Monday, March 06, 2006

Pints in the Afternoon

This weekend was great. Despite the frigid temperatures, and having to skip the Brazilian Girls show on Thursday (which was reportedly great) due to work, I had a fantastic weekend, in large part because Wood, Dutch, and Juniper were in town. They flew in on a red eye Thursday morning and stayed through Monday. Friday night Wood got to go out baby-free and play with me while Dutch and Juniper spent some quality time together back at the hotel. Wood, Raj, and I, and some friends went out for drinks in the West Village at the Stoned Crow, a relaxed, unpretentious place with a jukebox and pool tables in the back. The drinks were so-so, but we still had a good time. It was so great to see Wood again. Phone conversations and emails between NYC and Cali are fine, but they're no replacement for just hanging out with one another, joking around, and talking about everything or nothing. I loved it.

The next day, Saturday, was also a lot of fun. The Sweet Juniper Fam and Raj and I wandered around Soho, LES, and the East Village. We went searching for pickles, but had no luck because apparently the famous pickle place that Dutch likes is closed on Saturdays. Instead we window shopped for a bit and then took a break from the cold to get some coffee and cakes. We sat in the basement of the coffee shop and chatted as we watched Juniper practice her newly developing walking skills. It was pretty darn cute. After coffee, we walked around some more until we had the brilliant idea to go grab a beer. It was 4:30 in the afternoon, chilly outside, Juniper had just falled asleep in Dutch's arms, and we were across the street from a cozy bar, Rue __, with a sign outfront advertising its happy hour specials. Perfect. We went inside and ordered a round of pints - Guinness for the boys and Sierra Nevada Pale Ales for the girls. An odd, arbitrary choice in light of the recently discovered fact that Guinness has only 125 calories per 12 oz (compared with 200 calories per 12 oz for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). Not that I'm a calorie counter per se, but I have no problem drinking great beer and being healthy at the same time. But this particular afternoon, the ladies were in the mood for Pale Ales so through calorie counting to the wind. It was a marvelous afternoon.

That night, I got some more Wood and Juniper QT, because they came over to my place for a few hours, and I had the joy of seeing Juniper do more of her baby sign language magic. There was something about watching Juniper make signs, like the sign for "more," when she wanted another spoonful of baby food (instead of thrashing around and whining, like many hungry babies do), that was absolutely wonderful. It made me think that maybe babies really are born with their own language and that all that crying is just them screaming with frustration at their inability to communicate with these incomprehending giants that are so intent upon swaddling and feeding them. Juniper seems like a relatively calm baby, and I wonder if that has something to do with the fact that she has already started to discover how to communicate with those around her through means other than crying and screaming (although she does try those as well occasionally). Some of the other signs Juniper made this weekend were the sign for "dog," which entails panting like a puppy, and the sign for "frog," which entails flicking out one's baby tongue just as a frog would to catch a fly. The latter reminded me of mutant X-men, but evenso, or perhaps because of that, was completely and unequivocably adorable.

Sunday was Oscars Day, and also the day of my wine and cheese Oscars Party. My partner in crime from the Firm, Prue (the giver of all manner of carefully reasoned and balanced, prudent advice), and my closest friend in New York, attended. Prue master-minded a thoroughly enjoyable Oscars Contest, complete with ballot letters, poker chips, and and a prize for the winner. Each person had to fill out a card with their choice for the winner in each of the categories announced during the show. There was a lot of boisterous card waving and yelling out of nominees, in between wine and cheese tasting. I was robbed on best film, when Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain, and I also made the fatal error of picking Heath or Joaquin over Philip Seymour Hoffman for Best Actor. Curses! Prue ended up winning the game with a grand total of 14 correctly identified wins. Raj and I tied with 12, folllowed closely by Wood. My favorite cheese, by the way, was the Pyrennes with Green Peppercorns. Delish. All in all, the evening and the competition were a wild success.

Unfortunately, the fun had to come to an end, and now I'm back at work on Monday. Yuck. I truly hate Mondays, and hope that this isn't what it means to be an adult. I'd like to think one did not have to live for the weekends. This morning, after having slept over at Raj's, I did my first test run of the morning subway commute that I will be doing once I move in to his place in Chelsea. The ride itself was a bit tiring and clausterphobic, and stressful to be smashed together with all those tense people going to work. I felt like I was surrounded by negative energy, but I might have just been projecting my own work related negativity. Despite the crowded ride, it was fun getting ready and taking the train in together, and the ride didn't take as long as I had thought it would, only 20 minutes. I think I'll get used to it eventually, although there will be no more waking up at 9:30 am and lolly-gagging around. Come April 1st, those days are done.

After commuting in this morning, I met Wood and Juniper for coffee to say goodbye and wish them a safe trip to Michigan. I miss them already. They walked me to my work and I was so sad to have to step through the revolving doors and leave them on the sidewalk. The weekend went by too fast, and I had too little time to spend time with Wood, although we made the most of it and I enjoyed it all. As another baby-related observation, I am continually amazed at how quickly Juniper has grown and developed. I can't believe the little mobile miniature person I saw this trip was the same swaddled peanut who I saw just 6 months ago who could barely hold up her own head. Maybe by the next time I see her, she'll be able to say "Auntie Buttercup." That would be pretty cute.

So I'm sad that they're gone, but I'm going to try to be focused and productive this week. I certainly have enough to do to keep me busy. I have to catch up on work, start sorting and packing my belongings for THE MOVE, and I have to APPLY TO MORE JOBS. Ah, the pressure. Work actually helped motivate me this morning, because I came in to discover an email detailing another large assignment related to The Hideous Giant Case That Will Never Die. I feel that if I get sucked back into that vortex, I will die. But the truth is that if I stay at my Firm, that is exactly what will happen - there will be no escaping the vortex. So, if I want to live, my only choice is to get out NOW, so apply it is. Hopefully after I get out of this hell hole, there will be more time for friends and the occassional happy hour beer. That would be fun.


Bean said...

Weekends are always great when surrounded by good company... Juniper sounds so adorable and smart. When are you going to have one of them?

Buttercup said...

Freak attack, not anytime soon.

Bean said...