Right of Way

Yesterday I rolled down my window to yell at a pedestrian who made a rude gesture towards me after I almost hit her while she jaywalked in front of me.* Normally I just get on with myself, but seriously? SERIOUSLY? I was pulling out of a parking garage where you are forced to turn right or left (you can’t go straight) and as I pulled out, turning, she stepped in front me. I swerved, she stepped back up on the curb and rolled her eyes and gestured rudely towards me. As I rolled down the window she yelled “Oh so you are going to yell at me now?”

“THERE IS A CROSSWALK ON THE CORNER FOR A REASON” is pretty much all I managed to get out, along with something about having a right of way.

If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even when I havea  green light, I wait. It is the law, and they have the right of way. But I am sick of people just walking into active roadways and expecting cars, sometimes traveling at a high rate of speed ,to just stop. That isn’t how the world works. Go use a crosswalk, I’ll stop for you every time. You know why there isn’t a crosswalk right where that lady decided to cross the street? Because there is A PARKING GARAGE OF EXITING CARS RIGHT THERE.

Oh and bicycles, I always treat you like a car and am respectful of your space and I check my mirrors before exiting so I don’t door you, but how about you live up to your end of the deal and follow the rules of the road? This means stopping at stop signs and red lights. You don’t get to complain about drivers not treating you like a car (which they are obliged to do) if you don’t follow the same principles of stop/go/right of way.

* I do not condone yelling at strangers.

* * *

Gracie loves the car carts at our local grocery store, and since they keep her happy and occupied (wheel spinning, beep-beeping) I oblige. The problem being the car carts are really hard to steer and wider at the base than a typical grocery cart which means I clip a lot of corners. I’m slowly getting better, but damn if I’m not apologizing for half of my trip. The car carts are also quite heavy so stopping when someone exits an aisle and there is a traffic jam isn’t always feasible. But who has the right of way in the grocery store? The people coming out of the aisles, or the people cruising the main, perpindicular thoroughfares? I always wonder. And try to halt as necessary to prevent cart crashing. And a side note: I love when we pass other kids in car carts and the kids do some sort of secrete handshake headnod thing, like “YEAAAHHHH CAR CART RIDING”. Oh to be a kid again.

(I have a really cute photo of Gracie in the car cart, but I can’t seem to locate it. Blog fail.)

Thus concludes my deep thoughts. As you were.

 

Pause

You know when you find yourself in the midst of your only break in the calendar for the foreseeable future and so you insist (perhaps overly so) you are just going to ENJOY IT DAMNIT? That is how we spent the long weekened. We scrapped plans to travel, we didn’t make plans with others and we just….marinated. In our house. One dog, one toddler, two adults. I don’t mean to imply we were hermits (and we did have friends over for dinner, but it was for taco night which is by law as relaxed as it gets) but we just…enjoyed each other. We made it to the zoo (twice!), the farmer’s market, the grocery store and the playground. The baby had her first ice cream cone, followed by a free cookie and a balloon, so the grocery store will forever be a let down after that special trip.

We grilled out and made sandwiches and rented movies On Demand and caught up on some Netflix offerings. We read books (of the grown up chapter variety as well as repeated renditions of Baby Beep Beep) and I tried my best not to look at my work email. We had Sonic milkshakes for lunch one day and I took two naps on the couch.

If you ask Gracie her name she points to herself and yells “ME!” which is pretty much awesome. She also learned the words “up” (please put her in your lap now) and “help” (please put the hat back on her Baby) and to “sssss” like a snake. She spent a good portion of a dinner at a local hamburger joint clutching her grilled cheese sandwich exclaiming “MINE CHEESE!” but not before coloring a masterpiece on the kiddie menu.

I think this qualifies as a dang good weekend.

PS, Rhett Butler still hates fireworks. Baby remains in the dark (literally!) as her mean parents decided fireworks happen way too late for her 7:30 bedtime. Next year my darling!

 

Big Apple Recap

I’m back from a 4 night work trip to New York City and since many of you shared suggestions of where to go and what to eat I thought I’d share some of the highlights.

After my boss and I arrived on Saturday and got settled into the hotel, we headed out to dinner at Casellula in Hell’s Kitchen. This is a place that has been recommended to me over and over throughout the years but I’d never made it. It is a tiny one room restaurant (with a menu for Chicago’s Schwa hanging in the bathroom as a hat tip to the owner’s favorite place) that has an awesome wine and cheese selection as well as a tantalizing menu. We shared a phenomenal cheese plate and “pigs in a blanket” and I had their famous “pigs ass sandwich” that was amazing. Highly recommend.

Sunday we started the day off with work and conferencing but in the afternoon we grabbed some pizza at Angelo’s Pizza on 57th. It was what I assume many NY pizza joints are like- nothing particularly fancy but serving solidly good pizza. It was also right next to a very cool gold ATM (as in, it dispenses gold) I’d read about- a fun find. After lunch my boss and I took the subway down to the World Trade Center memorial and museum. We were late for our assigned time but the staff let us in anyway. We began with the video and then entered the exhibits. It was wonderfully done, incredibly poignant and emotionally difficult. I struggled as I overheard kids asking questions – how could they not remember?- before reminding myself that it happened in 2001 and part of the museum’s purpose was for those generations that don’t remember. I found myself incredibly overwhelmed about 2/3 of the way through, but it felt disrespectful not to keep reading and looking and remembering. I’m so glad I went, but I don’t think I need to go back. Afterwards we were both emotionally drained. We had a quiet cab ride back to the hotel despite driving right through the Pride Parade crowds.

It was a good night to have plans with my cousin who lives in New York and met us at a restaurant she likes on the Upper East Side, Uva. We once again indulged in cheese (so much cheese!), wine flights and I had an amazing truffle and gnocchi dish. Truffles can be over-used but this dish was a great combination of flavors and textures. I balanced out the rich truffles with a little lemon meringue pie after….

Monday was a whirlwind of Supreme Court decisions, work and conferencing. We had a work lunch at Bar Americain, which is a Bobby Flay restaurant. It was my second time eating there and my food was awesome- I had a southwestern chicken salad and sweet Vidalia onion soup. I’m unapologetic in my enjoyment of Bobby Flay’s various food shows, so it was nice to have a good experience (again) at his restaurant.

That night the conference had their big event for the week, an evening at Ellis Island. We took charter busses down to Battery Park (with a mini-tour on the way). Battery Park is still undergoing work after Superstorm Sandy, but you can check out The Sphere, which used to sit at the base of the World Trade Center towers, and now sits, damaged, in the park as a memorial/remembrance. The park also has a neat splash area for kids and lots of green space to stretch your legs. From the park we went through security and caught ferries out to the island.

The ferry ride was mercifully quick (lots of people turning a little green on the way) and the views were spectacular. The event included jazz music, drinks and dinner. We walked through the museum exhibit and enjoyed an evening looking back at the city. Pretty cool! One of my college roommates was able to join us, and it was a great night of catching up.

Tuesday was our last day in the city (flew out Wednesday morning) and we were busy with work all day. We had lunch at Iguana, another unassuming spot, but I had pretty spectacular fish tacos and we were able to catch some of the World Cup action. (Also, it is apparently a dance club at night…?) I also managed to slip away to FAO Schwarz where I bought Gracie her very first baby doll. She seems rather smitten with Baby, even if it is just because she has a hat that we can take on and off.

 

For our last night in the city a large group of work people went out to Joe’s Shanghai where I was introduced to soup dumplings. I now must find soup dumplings in Chicago- talk about awesome. We all ordered our own entree but there was so much food we all ended up sharing everything – moo shu pork, ginger beef, pork with spicy garlic sauce, and some chicken and bamboo dish. All of them were awesome and I’m now busy researching soup dumpling eateries in the general Chicago area.

On Wednesday I was ready to head home and see my family. While I was gone Gracie had a blast with B and his parents, and I got a lot of photo updates while I was gone. That said, Gracie climbed into my lap as soon as I walked into her room at daycare and just gave me a huge hug. It was pretty awesome. She came home and just grinned while sitting next to me. Trip success!

Five on Friday: Crazypants Edition

5onFridayLogo-Final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068Well as you guys could tell, it has been a crazy few days in our household…and it isn’t letting up any time soon. Lets do it. (Note: the Five on Friday link up is taking a summer break so this is for awhile until it returns)

1. Friday…oh Friday. Normally a day to relax, let the baby stay up a little later, eat pizza for dinner, watch a movie or read a book and take a deep breath after a long week. Last Friday is when my car decided to not work, and this Friday B heads out for a sailing event with my Dad, my in-laws come into town and I go to two events and then come home to pack because….

2. Saturday…. catching a plane to New York City* for work. I’m looking forward to the trip (a whole 4 days where I am not responsible for anyone’s laundry, dinner, or food cutting) but I’m nervous about that much time away from B and Gracie.

3. Sunday…. ok fine, Sunday doesn’t present too many challenges except for the fact that much of the legal world is gearing up for Monday becuase….

4. Monday….the Supreme Court should release its opinion in Hobby Lobby v Sebelius (the contraception case) and my world goes topsy turvy for awhile. This decision has been hovering in my mind for months……..

5. Wednesday/Thursday/Friday….I get back into town on Wednesday just in time for a work vacation day and a national holiday. We’d planned on going to Indianapolis for the holiday but I think we’ve decided that it is just too much to do back to back. Instead we’ll catch some fireworks at home nad be lazy for a few days.

Lets end with some unnecessary but adorable photos of my child imitating a monkey:

Monkey 1

Monkey 2

*Accepting any & all restaurant recommendations in Midtown (blergh).

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