Archive for May, 2007

You’re on Google Camera!

May 31, 2007

Well SV Moms, it looks like we’re on the map. The Google street map, that is. I just took a virtual walk around my house, and it was a little creepy. For one, it was my house about six weeks ago, bougainvillea just starting to come back from the winter freeze, catermonsters clinging to the siding. My car was in the driveway, my husband’s car is not around, and no kids in sight, so I figure it was about 11 a.m., and I was inside working in my home office. (Last night on the news I saw people interviewed who had been captured for posterity coming out of strip clubs, so yeah, it could be creepier.) And this image will be frozen for posterity; glad they didn’t do the capture last fall when the house looked so terribly shabby pre-painting.

Of course, I didn’t stop there. I looked at our previous house in Menlo Park—wow, it’s all torn up, undergoing a major remodel. Our house from the late 80s/early 90s, in San Francisco, hasn’t been mapped yet, though it likely will be soon, the mapped area runs quite close. I wonder how the morning glories I planted in 1992 are doing?

Are you on the map?

A room of her own

May 25, 2007

Nadya wants a room of her own; it’s time, she’s been sharing with her little brother long enough. At her age, unlikely to get that room of my own anytime soon, I painted the section of wall touched by the side and head of my bed a bright blue; funny, I don’t even remember what color the rest of the room was, let’s just say it wasn’t blue. And I put up posters and stacked peace-sign pillows and a record player on the foot of my bed and shut the rest of the family out.

So I know how it is to want a room of your own, and we’ll make it happen soon, honey, I promise. (It means moving office to dining room, brother to office, and piano to I have no idea where. It will also involve, apparently, a lot of lavender paint.) But what boggles my mind is how fast my little girl is turning into a teenager; damn the school system for starting middle school with sixth grade, without that change I’m sure I’d have had my girl for another year. She’s dramatically changed her hairstyle, with about 15 inches sitting in a bag ready to send to Locks of Love. She’s gone fashionista and nags constantly for Abercrombie or Hollister clothes (she gets Target and, sometimes, H&M). She’s listening to the musical genre we used to call teenybopper (I have no idea what it’s called now, only that it’s a lot less innocent) on her ipod nano. She’s perfecting that look, that “gawd mom you are so lame” look. And completely freaks out if I sing, dance, or wear anything that stands out whatsoever; clearly moms at this stage are meant to completely vaporize, they definitely should not call attention to themselves. And I’m thinking that going through the tween/teen thing with a boy who makes his fashion statements in Haight thrift shops in no way prepares you for doing the tween/teen thing with a  girl; it’s going to be a long couple of years.

She shops, she scores!

May 23, 2007

J0390552 The headlines a few weeks ago were all about how online shopping has broken through and become mainstream, not just for techies buying electronics gear, and wow isn’t this cool. I read that as I contemplated the pile of pants that had just arrived from Banana Republic online. Yeah, I thought, it’s normal all right, and I hate it!

I don’t buy my groceries from Safeway online; I used Peapod for a bit in its early days, but it took me just as long as a trip to the grocery store and left me cranky and eye-strained. I know shopping with little ones can be a struggle, but mine usually loved it, and were a lot easier to entertain in the seat of a shopping cart than at home. These days they help find items on the shelf and make me look not so crazy as I debate out loud whether to get the teriyaki or lemon rosemary pork loin. (“I like the teriyaki better, Mom!”) And it gives me some of that precious alone-time with a kid. Plus we get snacks along the way (love those demo ladies).

But now I’m buying pants online, because it’s the only place I can find my size. Brick-and-mortar stores have downsized me out of existence (not my fault–my measurements have stayed the same). Size four was fine, I liked when it turned into two; when it got one I felt a little marginalized, when one became zero I got seriously worried, and when zero became 00 and no longer carried in stores I stopped buying pants. For about six years.

But I really really needed a pair of khakis for summer business casual. (The last business-casual pants I bought were a winter grey, size 1, at a Gap in Boulder, Colo., circa 2001. And I’m sick of them.) So after several fruitless trips to Stanford Mall, an hour with a  personal shopper at Nordstrom’s, and way too much time in the dressing rooms of Ann Taylor and Banana Republic, I logged on to Banana Republic online and squinted at the screen for over an hour, trying to figure out the how wides, how longs, if midnight is blue or black, and if that fabric is as shiny as it seems onscreen.

Then I gave up trying to actually make a decision from those on-line photos and simply ordered every pair of cotton pants that came in a size 00, ranging in price from $20 on sale to about $100. I warned my husband not to panic when he sees the credit card bill; the charge from Banana Republic will only be temporary.

And bingo, she shops, she scores! Two—but only two–of the dozen or so pairs of pants fit; they were the same style, one in a brown, one in a sort of black. Neither in the light summer khaki I’d hoped for, but you can’t have everything. And they were the $20 sale pants, not the $100 new arrivals.

That weekend I took the rest of the pile back to the Banana Republic at Stanford. I went straight to the checkout; no need to shop around, while the clothes on display were cute, I knew not to bother, nothing fits. I felt a little weird dumping the pile on the counter; “I’m going to return this. All of this.” Salesfolks like you a lot better when you’re buying rather than returning; I found myself babbling excuses, “It’s that you don’t carry my size anymore.”`

So yeah, I’m one of those normal Americans shopping online instead of leaving the kids with my husband so I can spend a day at the mall, wander in and out of stores, take a break for a latte and croissant. But I’m still not getting why this is supposed to be a good thing.