Monday, June 8, 2009

What A Week

I woke up in a foul mood this morning and I can't for the life of me think why.

It didn't help that Captain Underpants is off school with a fever - which appeared to be miraculously cured by 9.02am - and both boys were running amok and clamouring for attention every 3 seconds and I just wanted to drink coffee and read blogs. By mid morning I was all set to extract my own toe nails with pliers as a less painful alternative to spending one more second with my exuberant offspring. I am sure the cupfuls of children's medicine that I have been force feeding them every 4 hours since yesterday morning have something to do with their behaviour. It is as though they have steadfastly climbed sugar mountain and are refusing to descend.

Thank God they are back at school tomorrow and I'll get a chance to get stuff done (although saying this the two priorities on my to-do list are primarily to read blogs and mooch about, so why I am bemoaning my lack of productivity today I have no idea).

It has actually been an eventful week.

I went to Santa Monica for 3 days - taking my substandard British teeth to the land of The Beautiful People - to educate a group of trainers on the wonders of the 5ft vibrator professionally named the PowerPlate. I have been once before and it is hard not to feel like you are on holiday in that postcard perfect part of California. I didn't bother getting a GPS system with the hire car and so needless to say within 100ft of leaving Hertz I was totally lost. It was at this point I discovered my fool proof map was selective in detail and only featured roads that I should have been on...but wasn't. After heading towards the mountains instead of the ocean for a good 10 miles or so I finally found a landmark deemed important enough to warrant a spot on the map and managed to use my extremely limited sense of direction to start heading west and north instead of east and south. So I was late but luckily for me, this being LA, I was able to pass the blame onto the traffic and not my inability to get to the end of the road without losing orientation.

It was so wonderful to be working again - and get paid for showcasing two of my strongest talents: talking endlessly without letting people get a word in edge ways and then telling people what to do, while I watch and critique. I love my job. Shame I don't get to do it more often. At the end of the first day the head of marketing and the studio manager were begging me to transfer to LA to work with them and, in another lifetime, I would have jumped at the chance. I was flattered but even my shoddy navigational skills are responding to a magnetic pull 4,000 miles east of Chicago, not 2,000 miles west.

Plus, my teeth just aren't up to scratch to live permanently in LA. And it's unlikely I could ever afford the dental bill to achieve the required fluorescent smile. And don't even get me started on the implants. Mind you, there were more hot men than I could shake a stick at and my eye lashes were batting so furiously at times I'm amazed I didn't take flight.

I also had two celebrity 'moments'. I sat and had coffee with Helen Hunt on Friday morning. Well...not actually with Helen Hunt per se but she was sitting at the next table, so that must count for something. And then I bumped into Balthazar Getty at The Kabbalah Centre on Friday night. I embarrassed myself somewhat because he looked so familiar I automatically assumed I had met him before, possibly through the Chicago centre, and so started to walk over to say hello. It was only when I was a few feet away that I realised, of course I had seen him before. On the tele, obviously. In Brothers & Sisters. What a prune. I had been so purposeful in striding towards him we had already made eye contact (I have to say - what an unexpectedly attractive man). As the realisation dawned on me, instead of simply following through, shaking his hand and saying Shabbat Shalom (or something vaguely appropriate given the circumstances) I simply faltered mid-step, switched my gaze to an invisible speck of dust in the distance and veered off to turn full circle back into the room I had just come from. Lame. So incredibly lame.

I returned to Chicago on Saturday, which happened to be my 11th wedding anniversary. I didn't feel sad or a sense of loss, just a sense of poignancy. There are so many things that remain unsaid between ex and I. I tried to write a letter on the plane - both of apologies and also gratitude for what we once had together - but I couldn't find the words. Oh well, I thought, it will be more personal if I just try to express it in person. However, when I arrived back ex was in a foul mood, which I instantly interpreted as my fault, and simply dropped the boys off and left immediately. It seemed an opportunity had, once again, been lost. And I wasn't exactly sure that he would be open to such an exchange anyway, so I decided to leave it. So imagine my surprise when I received an 'anniversary' email from him last night - of both apologies and gratitude. How is it now that we are both on the same page? I sent a response, expressing all the things that until that point I hadn't really found the words for and it felt really great. I am not sure it changes anything. I am pretty sure that it doesn't. We haven't mentioned it or discussed it any further today. But one of our key issues has always been our inability to communicate, so the fact that we are making an effort in that department feels like a real achievement. And having him instigate an exchange of thoughts and feelings...well, that's pretty mindblowing. Kudos to him.

I rounded off the week by relearning a long-lost skill that I know will make my mother happy - I went to a sip and knit baby shower. I am now fully engrossed in the challenge of knitting a medium sized rectangle, which will become part of a baby blanket. Poor, poor baby is all I can say. Or rather, poor, poor coordinater who will responsible for unpicking all my 'handy work' and starting over. I have only knitted 6 rows so far and I'm already suffering from a crippling case of RSI. I cannot seem to stop gripping the needles with every ounce of muscle strength that my hands are capable of. I thought the whole point of knitting was to relax body and mind. In my experience so far it is exhausting and painful. My shoulders and neck are intent on contributing to every single stitch knitted and as a result I am hunched over my ball of yarn and groovy rosewood needles like an old biddy. I am not sure this exercise is going to work wonders for my health but I admit I am loving every agonising second.

And now I have loosened up the digits on the's back to my rectangle masterpiece.


  1. Loved the Balthazaar Getty story, that was hilarious! And you have my full sympathy on the sick child scenario. I find myself being scary mummy whenever one of them seems the slightest bit sick; 'You know you will need to stay in bed all day? ALL day? No tv, nothing fun?' Obviously they ignore me. And for good reason, because the tv is normally on by 9.30am if they're home sick...


  3. ROFL at this post - soooo funny.
    So much to comment on, so little time. It could have been worse with Balthazaar Getty, it really could have. But then again it was bad enough, wasn't it :o)
    As for the knitting... oh my... do you remember the time when I allowed you to knit two rows of whatever woollen project my time was invested in? I passed the needles over with 30 even, nicely tensioned stitches.... and they came back with 36 stitches tight enough to leave grooves in the needles... (and although you had increased the stitches, you had still managed to drop 5 of them). Nice try. x x x

  4. Aww i'm cringing for you, Balthazarr Getty,wow i am jelous :) Good luck with the knitting i'd be terrible x

  5. Teeth and tits. Yes, you would need those in LA I think.

  6. I'm sitting here thinking how could you possibly get lost in LA with the ocean to one side of you? You live in Chicago where you can't go too far east without plunging into the Lake. Good job you got there first!
    Great post. My kids are out for the summer now!!! I may just have to switch to your school.

  7. Who is this Getty character?

  8. I never see celebs. Hmmph.

    LA frigthens me, frankly. The teeth, the tits, all of the people trying to get into the same freaks me out a little.

  9. Potty mummy - I am with you on the tv front for sick kids. Wish I recovered so quickly. I now have a cold and will no doubt NOT be bouncing off the walls by 9.02am

    Lyn - Thanks so much for commenting! And yes, the British School in Chicago is a wonderful thing where vacations are concerned!

    Noble Savage - My history at spotting celebs is pitiful. We have walked past Noel Gallagher in Camden and stood behind Tony Blackburn at a parking garage and I had no bloody clue. So I am quite impressed with myself that they even registered.

    KR - yes I am repeating my 'tight' knitting skills from's going to end up being a very odd shaped rectangle.

    WOB - yes BG was a hunk but even with the British accent I can't quite compete with Sienna. And if I can knit (cough) you can, believe me!

    Iota - hello love. Yes, I guess we'll just stick to the midwest... :-(

    Expat - I think that is what confused me - I am so used to heading east to the water, not west. Got me all discombobulated!

  10. The Dotterel - American actor in a popular tv series with Calista Flockhart and Sally Field...most famous for leaving his wife and 4 young children for an affair with Sienna Miller.