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Life at the Hall

Life at the Hall

The day after Bourdain Day

As all bad stories begin, “When I was listening to NPR this morning…”

When I was listening to NPR this morning en route to school dropoff number one, after getting the kids, our EIGHT bags (Water Play Wednesday at both schools) and all butts strapped in to the car, there was a story about “Bourdain Day” which was yesterday, his birthday.

Jose Andres and Eric Ripert have apparently launched a scholarship which I didn’t even hear about in the NPR story, but maybe I tuned it out.

https://www.instagram.com/p/By5BLZnHzcP/?utm_source=ig_web_options_share_sheet

The NPR story features remembrances from social media and celebrities, like my fav gal, Christiane Amanpour. It was a lovely and touching story that I feel reminds us of the spirit of Bourdain, which we so often need in our daily humdrum, like driving to school.

And then the disclaimer at the end of the piece, “If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline” got me thinking about a friend who lost her father that way, which got me thinking about losing my own father, which got me all choked up and unable to fight back the tears rolling down my face, as I am driving to school number one.

BUT it’s a saving grace that I invested in this *f-ing*awesome* new waterproof mascara. Since starting this new job, there’s been more than one teary occasion (a priest’s homily–tears; a couple sends me their intercessions–tears, the list goes on). I was in need of solid waterproof mascara and surprised it was hard to find. I went to The Strategist (where I get all my good recs / paid advertising links) and now I am also a hyper-enthusiastic reviewer of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara.

We got to school, had to trash the bagel that dropped on the ground and the ensuing baby girl meltdown, lathered Master O in sunscreen, got him into class, had a great quick convo with the director (as always) then back into the car to drive to school dropoff number two. It’s about 20-25 minutes in the car from school one to school two and that’s a more pleasant experience when I queue up the playlist for my passenger before we leave the parking lot.

This album was also solid for us on Monday afternoon during inclement weather–
dance party in the kitchen for at least an hour.

When I was listening to 50 of the Best Kids Songs Ever! this morning en route to school dropoff number two, the song, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” came on in the shuffle. I love these cumulative-type songs! I am rusty on the lyrics trying to sing along and Little Miss was in the backseat cracking up laughing because of this silly song (and because of mom singing along?).

Base verse:

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I dunno why she swallowed that fly,
Perhaps she’ll die

Next, the spider:

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly –
Perhaps she’ll die.

To get the spider, a bird!

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd, to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly –
Perhaps she’ll die

And from the backseat, Little Miss starts singing along too but she only says, “DIE!”

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die

“DIE!”

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog! To swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat…
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

“DIE!” (giggle giggle giggle)

At which point, I am in the front cracking up laughing overwhelmed by the absurd song and her response, chasing away the pain and the heartache and the tears.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog…
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat…
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird …
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I dunno why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse –
She’s dead, of course.

Of course.

John G Day: August 13

Life at the Hall

Turning 37 on 37th Street

When you are living at your mom’s house for your birthday

When you have to celebrate your birthday without a parent, for the first time

When the (very awesome) preschool director refers to your living situation as your “multi-generational household” but you keep thinking you are living a modern, middle-class version of Upstairs Downstairs, set to the soundtrack of Everyday I’m hustlin’

When you realize celebrating your kids’ birthday is more exciting than celebrating your own birthday

When you reach that turning point in your life where your birthday is no longer a celebration but a lamentation 

When your big birthday date is over iced coffee and chocolate milk 

When your son’s OT, who is about the same age, asks “Did you go to Colgate?” and then instead of telling you how a friend of hers went there, she proceeds to tell you that her friends are professors there, because that’s how old you are 

When champagne and flowers are more than you expected

When you buy lottery tickets for the first time in your life on your birthday with the $46 collected from husband, mother, and grandmother which has to be a good omen, especially when the cashier hands you exactly 23 tickets for your 10/23 birthday

When Cheers is where everyone knows your name but home is where everyone knows it’s your birthday–your family friend who parks in your space as you leave the local shops, the neighbor who greets you in the driveway, the family friend and neighbor you see walking to pickup his daughter from piano lessons, your favorite friends who bring the Veuve, and you realize it’s so nice to be home 

Life at the Hall

HAPPY #ObamaDay

First–let me say this was not on my list of “things to write” at the start of the week AT ALL. This is a surprise ending for both T and I.

Today, Barack Obama’s birthday, we started preparing FOR OUR MOVE BACK TO WASHINGTON, DC! We are doing it for you, Barack. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Our President Was Called Barack

Okay that’s a lie—we are doing it because T got a job in DC.

He also had an offer for an internal promotion at (undisclosed employer). After an intense 72 hours, we came down on the side of the new job in DC. If you know me, you will think it sounds ludicrous there was any question, however, we really did struggle with weighing all the factors. OJ suggested we ask Alexa for a decision–if only it could be so easy! It’s such a big decision I felt knots in my stomach and couldn’t even sleep the night we made our decision.

Seriously–I had some big ideas about life here this year. Since we moved here it’s been like college in the sense that each year has had a different feel and focus—and I was really excited about what I had lined up for this year! Just this week I got accepted as a new contributor to ACMB. After last weekend’s bachelorette at Disneyland, I was really looking forward to our regular family trips to LA—driven by T’s PhD program at USC but envisioning Disneyland as our new home from home. Great optimism and hope. Always hope.

But to be honest, I also heard myself thinking, “I would LOVE a Suburban!” and worrying about losing myself by giving in to Texas and all its ways. And now, all those plans are out the window.

Instead we are moving forward in a big unknown way! We have “given notice” regarding our obligations here but the biggest mountain is scrambling to downsize our household and make our house presentable for show and sale. This was SO. NOT. IN THE PLAN. I so DO NOT DO chaos. Hahahaha—joke is on you, M! If only it was as easy as wearing this t-shirt.

If we ever get our house ready for public consumption, I’ll be impressed. 

Selling it is a whole other thing, over which I have mostly no control, so “give it to God” as they say around here.

Maybe we will stay here until the house sells then pack and move. Maybe we will stay here through the end of next month and then migrate, house sold or not. CHOOSE JOY! 

As the summer winds down and I see posts like this from Des on IG, I start dreaming about fall Saturday mornings when we all wake up, have breakfast, and turn on CollegeGameDay at 8:00am (Central time, y’all) just in time for the start, “WE’RE COMING TO YOUR CITY!!!” This year’s premiere was announced today, BARACK OBAMA’S BIRTHDAY, for September 1 in South Bend for Notre Dame-Michigan.

No matter how this all shakes out, I hope we can all be together as a family for as many College GameDay episodes as possible this fall.

I sincerely doubt we will be able to get to Dallas for the LSU season opener against Miami (“THE U”, whatever) on September 2, but Dallas/Ft. Worth IIIS on the #texas #bucketlist so maybe it will have to happen (also remaining on the list include Hamilton Pool Preserve, Houston, Schlitterbahn, and West Texas–that last one is definitely not going to happen).

I hope we are in DC by Halloween, even though Celina’s party is pretty fresh (delay move in order to vote for her in TX HD 121!). I’m always reminded on Halloween that walking is SCARY in Texas.

And the light at the end of the big unknown tunnel is being back in DC. My mom said don’t move for her—I said, don’t worry I am moving for Holy Trinity (and just in time for the church’s 225th birthday).

But the bottom line is that T’s new job makes it all possible. I hope this new opportunity is challenging and fulfilling for each and every one of us. Now the real work begins.

Choosing TODAY (Barack Obama’s birthday) to start walking, Little Miss is certainly making the move more challenging for her parents.

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