Starring in the Brenda Show

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It’s that time again. Time to do some catchity-catch-upping. I feel like a million years has past since my last post. New York seems like a lifetime ago. But what has happened in between? I don’t know! A whole lotta work and stuff and stuff. The stuff and stuff is the stuff I can’t talk about. Nothing to worry about just the usual “not my story, not my privilege to tell” kind of thing. Boring, I know. If I could talk I could fill up novels! But I can’t so let’s talk about the weather.

Summer has slowly morphed into fall and I couldn’t be happier about it. My arms are mystified by these things called “sleeves” that they have suddenly found themselves enveloped in. My arms hate sleeves. You know how some kids get used to wearing shorts and then when their parents force them to wear pants in the winter, their legs feel like they are suffocating in cloth? That’s me and my arms. They like to be free like a bee. But! It has been chilly in my air conditioned office and sometimes on my early morning dog walks so I have braved a sweatshirt now and then. Crazy talk!

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I made some fig tarts, school has been in full swing and I’m starting to have a regular balance between work and home life. It’s been a long time coming but getting an office has finally formed a truce over who gets to have more of my time. It’s really nice. But I do miss my family.

I’m still going to the Sticks weekly to hang with my mom. My dad is gone for a month or so to drive a truck for the potato and beet harvest in Idaho. We miss him dreadfully but my mom is a trooper! She walks Spreckles, the dog, by herself up to the park with her new knees and we are so proud of her.

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Bug and I are up to our usual mother-daughter dates in fun coffee shops. The rest of the family is not into food like we are so they miss out. How cool is The Den looking these days? It’s a pretty special spot.  Amazing food too.

In other news Bug and Joon went to their first Homecoming Dance! It was big news in our house. Bug tried to pretend it wasn’t a big deal at all but she was the one that forced me to take her shopping for the perfect dress that didn’t exist. We went to the mall, we went to a boutique thrift store and finally in the end she found her dress for $20 at a regular thriftstore. She didn’t even try it on, because they don’t have fitting rooms. We just eyeballed it and it fit perfectly! Well… after I took in the top by two sizes and cut off the dusty hem from some bride who must have worn it dancing the night away. I say that’s a perfect fit.

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It was so cute to see them with their “dates” aka the guys they played Minecraft with the whole year everyone was forced to stay home during the pandemic. I’m thankful for their group of gamer friends. They kept them sane.  I can’t say I know what goes on while they are gaming (other than a lot shouting and laughter echoing from the girl’s rooms) but they seem to all be good students and basically a good influence on our kids.

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How cute are they all dressed up? How awkward am I trying to insert myself into the middle of everything?

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They had a great time and danced the night away in their tennis shoes.

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Also in big news: Suki had a baby and she’s been living with my mom! The baby’s name is Blair and she’s the best baby ever. Very even tempered and pretty sweet. So of course I had to do a photoshoot.

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Suki is a great mama. I hope she gets to stay with my mom for a long time so we can all be part of Baby Blair’s life. I’ve missed my nieces and it’s so good to have at least one of them back here for a while.

I think that’s it for now! Hopefully I get back here again before November with more news because this once-a-month blogging is pathetic!

Disneyland for Joon

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This past May, Joon turned 14. She’s at that age where it’s hard to get her to come out of her shell. She’s quiet and reserved. Basically, she prefers her own company to ours. It’s annoying but not unusual for teenagers her age.  You could say that we miss the old talkative, lively June who was bubbling with activity. We haven’t seen her in a while… But she came back in FULL FORCE when we took her to DISNEYLAND this last month! Who knew!

Joon is just a Disney kid!

Me, not so much. In fact, I consider Disneyland one of the layers of Dante’s Inferno.

Exhibit A:

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Covid anyone? I’m kidding. But it is a little hard to take being in small spaces with other people after being in a pandemic for a year. If I didn’t have fear of crowds before, I do have it now. Thankfully, Disneyland does a really good job of piping in fresh-smelling air to these small spaces and on a hot day, it was a bit of a respite from the burning sun.  I can’t really speak to the germ factor but it didn’t *feel* as awful as I expected it to.

The best part was that there were no long lines like there used to be. I remember going to Disneyland back in the day and being okay with only riding three rides for the whole day. I mean, I wasn’t really okay with it but what could you do. Lines could be two and three hours long!  Ugh.  But not anymore! We went on July 2 and they were still using the reservation system so lines were short! I think the longest line we encountered was 45 minutes for Space Mountain. And as anyone knows, Space Mountain is worth the wait.

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Space Mountain is my favorite. Payam and Joon went on it multiple times!

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Joon was so happy. She babbled and sang along to the piped-in music the whole day. It was so good to have her back. Me on the other hand, kind of fizzled out as the day wore on. There’s only so much upbeat jazz music I can handle before I’m dreaming of a pause button and some good zen-out time. So when they rode Pirates of the Caribbean for the 2nd and 3rd time I chose to sit by the lake and imagine it peaceful if only I could turn the music off.

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It was a long hot exhausting day. But it was a good day.

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I hardly took any pictures. I’m not sure why. Maybe the magic just isn’t there for me. But I did find the lockers strangely photogenic!

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Until next time, big guy!

Funny story: they don’t have trams anymore to pick you up from the parking lot and drop you off at the park entrance. Instead, you have to hoof it through the hot sun for what seems like miles. Payam and I were joking about it with one of the staff members we found along the way and he told us that “The Mouse is taking a break to earn revenue before bringing back the trams.” We thought it was funny how he referred to Disneyland as The Mouse. So we’ll see you next time, Mouse, keep earning that revenue!