Invasion of the stroller people

Dandy posted a thing about being the parent of 6 kids. Most of the time, I am envious. I have 2 kids, but if I’d have been thinking, I would definitely have had more. Sure, zero population growth, etc. But my 10th grade history teacher told us that we actually should have more kids, because it was the kids of well-educated kids like us that were going to solve the world’s problems. I’m not sure that’s true, but I do think it would have been fun to have a few more kids.

But this is all just to introduce an email posted to my neighborhood email list. The “plan” she refers to is a plan, shot down by the neighborhood, to enlarge the sidewalk in front of a local strip of stores. Yes, very dastardly.

Hi, I thought this plan was shot down last year and
for good reasonssssssssssssssss, esp. impact on car
traffic which is bad enough already!
Why is the city making plans for a place for more baby
strollers? What happened to population growth Zero?
Can’t baby people use Live Oak park a few steps away?
This is just one more reason why I want to move out of
this section of town: no parking due to Cxx Games and
church parking and neighbros with 6 cars for two
people and they park some on not their street, but in
front of my house, for months on end, but now we have
to make space for people’s baby strollers (and results
of their past sex life.) ZERO POPULATION GROWN USED TO

SO.,What happened to petitions by the residents here
to oppose something for people who don’t live here but
will take up more of our parking spaces and block
traffic making people late for work etc.
I don’t get this.
Aren’t there any lawyers or brains in this
neighborhood to combat such idiotic plans? Doesn’t the
city have anything better to do, like fight crime IN
and car vandalism in our area?
Am I the only one fed up?

residents first, residednts first, residents first,
homeowners first, longtime residents first, baby
boomers first before baby strolllers, not in my
neighborhood you don’t. How about signs everywhere
protesting the plan all over the area? Bumper
stickers, street b anners, lets get visual and lets
get vocal. Don’t put up with this! Don’t accept
compromise. Don’t say mayb e. Just say NO! KEEP OUT.

Soon to move at this rate,
Hope you get it together and get that councilperson
acting or fire her .

Get me out of No. B_______ ASAP!

I hate this neighborhood!

anonymous cuz i know i will piss someone off, maybe a
grandparent of stupid babies and baby strollelrs.
Where do these people get all this money to raise
babies in this day and age????????


I’ve thought of writing a message back suggesting that she mount machine guns in each of the “traffic calming circles” that have been installed lately. then we could just shoot anyone we don’t know who tries to enter our neighborhood. And babies, of course.

So —

Here’s what’s up:

  1. We went to see Ray Davies on Friday night. It was very fun, although also sort of odd. He’s in his 60s, as were probably most of the people in the audience. It was a strange experience, but fun. He was great. We went and ate a a nearby diner after the show, and that was fun, too.
  2. We had friends over for dinner on Saturday night — people we haven’t seen in a while — and that was nice, too. They’re people K met his first year in architecture school, so people we’ve known for a very long time. they are also older than us, but at this point, it hardly seems to matter.
  3. I read An Italian Affair, by Laura Fraser this weekend. Kind of a piece of fluff, but also quite entertaining, and also sort of interesting. It’s a memoir. She gets dumped by her husband after 1.5 years of marriage, goes to Italy to recover, and there meets a man whom she has an affair with for a number of years — meeting him now and then in some exotic locale. It’s completely idyllic. It’s also interesting to see her as she recovers from her marriage. There are things you give up in a marriage, and the question is, how much should you give up? Her husband didn’t like her to wear bright colors, didn’t want to spend much time with her friends — nothing creepy, really, but still something. Hmmm.
  4. I think M is going to go to Italy this summer with an art program. Her friend MT is coming, too. I think. I think it might be fantastic. It will certainly be good for her.
  5. I was inspired to go for two walks this weekend — one was 2 miles, and one was 7. I was trying to get in shape to go hiking in Death Valley. I think we’re not going, after all, since we can’t get away until Thursday night at 9:00 pm, and need to be back on Sunday, which doesn’t seem to allow much time, given that it’s about an 8 hour drive to get there. But it still seems like a good idea to get in shape. Right?
  6. Sorry for the boring list —
  7. N went for a bike ride with friends on Saturday, and ate over at her boyfriend’s house on Saturday night. It seems that this boyfriend may be real — one thing she did not like about an earlier boyfriend was the fact that he never introduced her to his parents. This is a better boyfriend.
  8. Also, I’m researching easy bike rides. Maybe N would go with me?
  9. It’s spring break, and my plan, as of today, is to treat the nearby city as if we were tourists. N has to be back at 4 each day for lifeguard training, but we could go for the morning and do stuff we never ever do … it might be really fun. I’ll keep you posted.
  10. That’s it

A meme

(from Lass)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
(These are really hard questions.)

What is your greatest fear?
Oh, probably that something would happen to my kids. Knock on wood.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My ability to think about things.

What is the trait you deplore most in yourself?
Currently, it is my ability to act like a doormat.

What living person do you most despise?
George Bush. Or maybe Dick Cheney. I think George Bush, though.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Parking tickets.

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don’t know. The most underrated, though, is the virtue of using a turn signal appropriately.

On what occasion do you lie?
Sadly, I’m a rotten liar. (Or am I?)

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Mmm. I wish I was 2 inches taller.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Eagerness to wash dishes.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Ability to not annoy me.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I don’t think I overuse any, being, as I am, a master of the English language. (ha)

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Well, I like coffee milk, and snow, and lilacs. Probably my kids, though.

What and where were you happiest?
This is pathetic, but I did like high school. But I think the purest moment of happiness I have ever experienced was coming down a mountain on a bike trip I took with my friend Lynn when I was 24.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would that be?
I would like to be more ruthless.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Hmmm. I don’t know.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Living 47 years without killing anyone. (That’s Lass’s, too, but it’s hard to think of a better one at the moment. Or maybe nearly raising one child through high school. That’s not exactly an achievement, but it’s a something.)

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I don’t know. A marmoset. (What is a marmoset, anyway?)

Where would you like to live?
Someplace with four distinct seasons, snow, and an ocean, and not too many people, but near people I like.

What is your most treasured possession?
My brain. (Nice answer, Lass!)

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Probably some kind of sickness.

What is your favorite occupation?
Playing hearts.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Oh, probably Emma Woodhouse.

What are your favorite names?
Well. I’m sort of partial to names like Ann or John.

What is it that you most dislike?
I dislike lots of things — spiders, sappiness, stupidity, annoying people, rotten drivers,

How would you like to die?
I’d rather not, I guess.

What is your motto?
Oh, dear.


It’s Friday, and not officially a work day, but I’m thinking (hard!) about taking Monday off with the kids to go skiing, so I’m here today just in case I do.

Also, I’m melting. It was freezing this morning, so I was deluded into wearing a sweater, which I am now deeply regretting.

I had quite a productive morning. N got up and studied for her Latin test, so I drove M to school and then N, and then I had an appointment, and after the appointment I went to LUPS to find out that they had mailed in M’s paperwork for her accommodation on SAT achievement tests (I am kind of liking her new counselor). Actually, he’d put it in the box, but then gave it to me to get it certified at the post office across the street, which was probably a good idea. So I did that, and then I went to the Y and signed up!

That was huge — I’ve been thinking about it for probably two years, now, but now I’ve done it and maybe I’ll even go swimming tomorrow. And sign up for a class. Or three.

And my appointment, at the risk of tmi, was with a counselor. I am nearly 50 years old, and I need to figure out how not to have every visit with my mother result in psychic trauma. Also, my kids are on the verge of flying away, and I want to be sure that I’m not going to accidentally inflict the same psychic trauma on them, and also, because they are on the verge of flying away, I’m not going to have them as an excuse for me not doing things that I know I should be doing. Like joining the Y.

So I feel quite productive.

And now I’m going to clean up my office.



I’m back.

I was sick — the stupid cold that lasts forever — and my mother was here, so pretty much every minute was occupied. She left Monday, which was a very busy day, and then there was Tuesday. Not sure what happened to Tuesday. Or Wednesday. But now it’s today, and here I am!

Part of the exhausting nature of my mother’s visit, besides trying to keep up with her, was also needing to entertain my brother and his large and complex family. They don’t celebrate Easter, and there was trouble fitting them in, so they ended up coming on the Saturday before Easter. Then we had Easter brunch as well. Which means two brunches. Not really such a big deal, is it? But somehow it was, a little bit.

Let’s see. She came late Tuesday night. Wednesday is my horrendous day at work, so I was busy until about three, and not feeling so great. My brother came for dinner, and K’s cousin showed up, too! (Which was nice, actually — I like him a lot.) Thursday she went into SF (although it was stressful getting her to the BART, in the midst of trying to get N to school) to meet a friend, and I collapsed on the couch. Friday, I stayed home to spend the day with her. We ended up trying to figure out what kind of furniture to stick in the kitchen corner, and went to IK3A — always exhausting. In retrospect, I think we should have forgotten the corner and gone out to do something fun. Saturday and sunday were a whirl of social activities, piano lessons, swimming tests and laundry, and she left on Monday.

I guess it’s not so surprising I’m a little tired.


Okay. Got to go —


  • I’m sick. I have a cold. I’m tired.
  • My mother is arriving tomorrow. I was planning to stay home tomorrow to clean the house. I was really looking forward to sorting and organizing, but it’s not nearly so fun when you’re sick.
  • I stayed up until 3:30 last night with N, while she finished her mystery story. It’s quite good — I like it anyway. It takes place in a retirement community.
  • That made it harder to get up this morning, though.
  • We went to the SF garden show yesterday, because my brother has an exhibit. We thought it wasn’t as exciting as usual. Last year had an amazing meadow exhibit. This year had some nice olive trees, and my brother had a very comfy outdoor bed, which I would love to have if I had a spare $4,500 dollars, which I do not. But generally not much excitement. Or perhaps we’re just jaded.
  • More thought on the Gilmore Girls.
    • the trouble with tv shows is that the characters are not really allowed to grow too much, so Lorelei has to have the same stupid issues with her parents that she’s been having for years. To whit: Lorelei invites herself to a stupid dinner that Emily and Richard have for Rory and Logan. Then she’s mad at them for their silly behavior. Why would she bother? She’s Rory’s mother — why would she not simply invite Rory and Logan to something else on her own terms, and why bother to argue with her parents about their absurd behavior. It will clearly change nothing. It can change nothing — they’re on tv!
    • Ditto her relationship with Luke — it’s ridiculous that he would break up with her because he suddenly has a daughter.
  • Okay. Now I have a meeting to go to.
  • Also we went shopping the city yesterday for summer clothes. We found a few for N. M refused to try on anything. Oh to be 16.
  • It’s nice to be in the city, though.
  • The end.


It’s Friday afternoon, and I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done here at work and now the weekend is upon me. I need to get home to see what fresh hell (to coin a term) is going on there.

I guess this is the opposite of how I feel Sunday night. Well, not opposite. Parallel, I guess.


That’s the deal.

It rained this morning, which was pleasant.

Good night —

The way things are.

I’m knitting a sock.

The weather is odd: foggy, chilly but not cold. It may rain.

It’s march — we’re out of february, but it still seems like a long march (March! — an accident) till May. There are lots of things to do, and deadlines out there, and it’s feeling a bit overwhelming. But we are moving forward.

My mother is coming next week — I’ll need to clean the house. There’s that.

Work is quite busy. Which is good.

That’s all I’ve got —

Message from my mother

Subject: Great!

Dear Laurence, Kimberly is delighted to have spoken to you and is
eager for the lessons- of course, the time is going to be the issue.
But, I will hope to tag along, and may have to take a lesson alone to
catch up if I miss some due to my Arizona trip.

My cell:  XXX-XXX-XXXX

Cxxxxx Txxxx home: (husband, Kxxxxx Xxxxxxxx) xxx-xxx-xxxx

work #  xxx-xxx-xxxxx

Chrissie email: xxxxxxxx

I hope it works out that we can meet—–they are always so busy with
work, school etc. xxxxxx S.

I have absolutely no idea what she is talking about.


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