Tag Archives: NYC

Emma Watson on Feminism

By now you’ve all probably seen this clip a hundred times on Facebook and Twitter, but, Emma Watson’s impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly this week on feminism is too cool not to share again here with you guys.

I won’t bore you with the details as nothing I could possibly write here would even begin to compare with the awesomeness espoused by Watson in her speech. Poised, heartfelt, powerful and deeply moving, Watson nails the heart of the issue in one bold stroke. To paraphrase another trailblazing UN Goodwill Ambassador, Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell: “Girl Power 4eva!”

Rock on, Hermione!

 

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Girl Power

Routine Surgery

So, I had umbilical hernia surgery last week. I won’t go into the grisly details, because, well, it’s really gross and I just don’t have the stomach for it (pun intended). But, rest assured that it was a fairly simple in-and-out surgery.

I checked into the hospital at 6:00AM and was home by 1:30 or 2:00PM. Easy peasy. Except for the part where I thought I might die or stroke out on the operating table. Don’t laugh, stranger things have happened during so-called “routine surgeries,” and the things they asked me before surgery made it a million times worse. “Do you have a religious preference?” Huh? For what? My last rites?! Oh, man, I was totally wigging. You name an ailment and I was convinced I would not only catch it, but die from it, last week while at the hospital. Crazy!

Needless to say, I am safe and sound now at home. I’m feeling much better, but, the pain meds are still totally tripping me out. I keep dreaming about Asian chicks, not in a creepy sexual way or anything, but, they’re just there, like, in every dream. Lucy Liu has been a regular this past week, and Michelle Yeoh has dropped by, as has my sister-in-law, Laura. Actually, Laura makes sense at least, since she practically moved in with us, after I got home from the hospital, to take care of Greta. Thanks again for that, Laura, you rock!

The best Laura story was the first day after the surgery, she came over before I even woke up and let herself in. Greta woke up and started pestering me for food or water or something (I know, the nerve of that kid!) and as I was coming out of a druggy fog to respond, I heard this angelic little voice calling out to us both from the living room. “Greta, I’m here. What do you need, sweetie?”

Perking up at the sound of Aunt Laura’s voice, Greta ditched me so fast my head spun. It was hilarious. But, it was also really wonderful to be able to fall back into a deep sleep and know that Greta wasn’t juggling knifes or something in the kitchen. Whew. Thanks again, Laura.

Anyway, another thing I noticed during the last few days is that my surgery really freaked Greta out. She hasn’t said anything about it directly, but, her demeanor has been strange all week. She’s been very moody and temperamental and has been very curious about what happened to me when I “was gone” — Mrs. Yeti and I had to be at the hospital so early on surgery day that we had Laura spend the night and wake up with Greta after we’d left — and she’s even asked me when I’m leaving again. I have assured Greta that I’m not going anywhere, and she was pre-warned several times that we would not be there when she woke up on surgery day, but, something tells me she’s still a little skeptical about the whole thing. It’s weird.

We’re doing our best to show her how much better I’m feeling and that I’m on the mend, and Greta is very excited to go with me to the doctor on Monday to remove my bandages (urgh, at least one of us is!). So, hopefully that will bring the whole thing full circle for her. And I’m sure she’ll also mellow out a bit when things finally get back to normal around here.

I mean, in her defense, Greta’s little toddler world has been pretty hectic since we got back from NYC. We’ve had lots of people visiting, lots of indoor time while the sun scorched the earth outside, — BTW, kiss my ass non-believers, global warming is real as shit, deal with it! — both Mrs. Yeti and have been working like fiends, and then this big old belly surgery pops up (again, pun totally intended). Anyway you look at it, things just haven’t been normal in Gretaland in a while.

And the way this next week is shaping up, that trend should continue until about midweek, when, hopefully, things will get back on track for everyone.

Until then, I guess the Barbies and stuffed animals in our house had better prepare for a whole new wave of belly button surgeries performed by the ill-tempered Dr. Greta. Oh joy…

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Girl, Health

Since you went away…

Urgh…sorry for being away for so long, but, the deadline at my job got in the way. Yep, that’s right, the Yeti has a freelance gig and it’s looking like it might turn into something kinda steady, so, I might not be blogging as much as I normally do. But, rest assured, I still got lots of great stories to tell here too. I mean, hell, I haven’t even started telling you about our adventures in NYC last month.

Well, I guess I started…but, trust me, the flight there was nothing compared to some of the epic toddler blow-outs we had in the city. Wow, every year we travel it’s like we’re vacationing with a new kid. I guess we kinda are, but, man, what a difference a year makes…for better and for worse!

Anyway, will get to all that good stuff in the next few posts. But, for now, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes from the DNC in Charlotte last week. It’s something Joe Biden said about the importance of jobs. And seeing as everyone I know is having some job drama right now…some are losing them, some can’t find them and many of us are between them…I thought what he said was really powerful. So, here goes:

“A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community. It’s about being able to look your children in the eye and say: ‘Honey, it’s going to be OK.’ and mean it, and know it’s true.”

Damn straight, brother! Wow, I just loved that. But, hey, I kinda dug that creepy Clint Eastwood and his empty chair bit at the RNC too, so, I guess I’m a sucker for political theater.

Either way, it’s good to be back, I missed you guys…

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Red-eyes

Sorry if I’ve been a away for a while, the rigors of exploring New York City with a three-year-old have left me so damned tired at the end of the night that I have literally fallen asleep in the bathroom twice. And I’m not talking about a cat nap, amigos…I’m talking full-tilt-snoring on the can. Sorry, but, we’ve been running pretty ragged.

Anyway, we arrived at JFK at 5:27AM on Sunday after a relatively-peaceful red-eye flight from Burbank. I know those terms don’t usually go together when you’re flying with a toddler, but, surprisingly, the flight was awesome. Greta fell asleep right away and our only real glitch came when the power mad Jet Blue flight attendant made us physically move Greta and her carseat to the window seat in the middle of the flight.

We’d been given the approving head nod when the other attendant walked the aisle before take off and Greta was, by then, sleeping very soundly in the center seat — which she has done on every other flight we’ve ever flown, BTW! — and he told us that she would have to move to the window seat due to some bullshit regulations. Huh?! I know you’re not supposed to fight with flight attendants nowadays, but, I was like: “She just fell asleep? Surely you can’t be serious?!” And he said: “Yes, I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” Ha, just kidding. He didn’t say anything back to me, but, that stern look in his eyes spoke volumes.

So, we moved Greta — as gingerly as two grown-ass adults can move a gigantic carseat with a toddler in it while a plane is moving — one seat over to comply with his bullshit regulations. In the heat of seat switching, I told Mrs. Yeti that if Greta woke up because of this, I was gonna make that flight attendant switch jobs with me for the rest of the flight. I mean, hell, passing out bags of cookies is nothing compared to entertaining a trapped toddler on a five-and-a-half hour flight! Luckily for him, the move didn’t wake her.

Anyway, aside from that, everything was cool. We even managed to get some sleep ourselves, so, hooray. But then we landed and all hell broke loose. I don’t know if it was the fact that we actually saw the sun rising or what, but, yikes, the minute we stood up, we morphed into total zombies. All three of us. It was brutal.

And the worst part of all is that our hotel wouldn’t let us check in until 3:00PM. We could check our bags with the bell man right away, but, anything resembling sleep would have to wait. So, we headed out into Times Square (yes, we stayed in the throbbing heart of crazy-town this trip, I’ll tell you more about why later) in search of food. And lemme tell ya, if you think Times Square is scary when it’s crowded, it’s even scarier at the crack of dawn on a Sunday. Nothing is open, the streets are littered with trash (Mrs. Yeti just missed stepping on someone’s discarded wig!) and a brand of homeless vagrant that gives new meaning to the term. Seriously, it could not have been more post-apocalyptic. It was freaky. And, come to think of it, our zombie asses fit right in.

Anyway, we finally found refuge at a place on 9th avenue (between 43rd & 44th) called the Westway Diner. And, lord in heaven was it delicious. I’m not kidding, this might just have been our best breakfast in the city, EVER. The eggs were perfect, the French Toast was made with a gorgeous challah bread and the coffee and bacon were all top-notch stuff. It was an amazing meal and best of all, it was dirt cheap. Even by non-NYC standards. Amazing!

After breakfast, we took Greta to a nearby playground park (thank God, they also open at the crack-of-dawn) where she ran around like a crazy person for half an hour and then totally crashed in her stroller. Mrs. Yeti and I weren’t so lucky. She had to go to work and I had to push Greta around in her stroller for the next six hours.

We wandered through the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, checked out a couple of funky stores in the neighborhood and at around noon, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. My cell phone battery was almost dead, my feet were killing me and I knew if I stopped at another park to rest, I’d wake up with an empty stroller and an empty wallet, or worse, so, I headed back to the hotel. They have a lobby, I thought, with plugs and couches and bathrooms, so, I’ll sit there and plug in my phone and, you know, recharge everything.

Luckily for us, I didn’t have to sit there for long because our room was ready and quicker than you can say red-eye, Greta and I were sleeping it off in a king sized bed with room to spare. Mrs. Yeti joined us a while later and we pulled that big old black-out curtain closed and slept like babies.

The only downside was that Greta wet herself (apparently, she was too tired to remember she wasn’t wearing a diaper, poor thing!) but, hell, even that couldn’t disturb our slumber. Nope, we just changed her clothes, threw a couple of towels down on the bed, and kept right on snoozing till nightfall.

I don’t remember what we ate for dinner, but, it was good and warm and we were all together on the cusp of a brand new NYC adventure, so, we had a blast. Even if we still totally looked like zombies…

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Food, Good Girl, Mommy Stuff

Whole lotta nothing…

Urgh, you know those times when there are so many things you should be doing that you get all overwhelmed and end up doing nothing? Well, this has been one of those weeks. I don’t know if it’s the fact that our precious Olympics are over (actually, we still have hours of coverage left on our Tivo, so, who am I kidding?) or the heat, or what, but, man, I am just spent.

Greta is finishing up her second, and final, week of swimming lessons, I’ve been trying to get as much work done as I can on the new freelance piece I’m writing, and we’re all trying to pack and prepare for our trip to NYC. It’s just a lot of stuff to do and a very small window in which to do it. All I know is that I need a break, big time.

Thankfully, we are leaving town for ten days on Saturday. Although some might see ten days of sweaty, New York City mugginess as anything but a vacation, lemme tell ya, I can’t wait! And since we are traveling on a budget (or, on more of a budget than usual) I’ve already mapped out all my favorite cheap places to eat. Actually, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two hours. See what I mean? Instead of doing anything worthwhile, I’ve been Google mapping the Dunkin’ Donuts locations that are closest to our hotel.

Totally lame, I know, but, it soothes me somehow to think of drinking their iced coffee for breakfast every morning. Not only is it dirt cheap, but, it is one of life’s greatest joys. Seriously, it’s delicious. The hot variety, eh, not so much. But, iced with a little milk, that shit is golden, baby! Of course, maybe I’m just saying that because we don’t have DD out here yet.

In any case, I now know that the nearest Dunkin’ is a four minute walk (probably ten with Miss Greta) from our hotel room and that to get there, we have to take Fashion Avenue. Yep, the one they always show on Project Runway. Cheap, hearty iced coffee, and a casual stroll down Fashion Avenue with my favorite citified toddler every morning? I can’t wait!

And, who knows, maybe we’ll even stop at Mood for some cool fabric for Mommy…

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Beating the heat: Burbank style

Whew, I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but the dogs days of summer are definitely upon us down here in beautiful downtown Burbank. Seriously, the past couple of weeks have been total stay-inside-and-watch-movie weather. Actually, we stay inside and do other things too, but, movies are more fun to blog about.

So, our movie of the moment is “Enchanted”, which, in my mind, is pretty much a perfect film. Great story, fantastic cast, awesome songs and best of all, it makes New York City look even more lush and magical than it already is. So cool! And let me tell you, as far as re-watchability goes, “Enchanted” is right up there with the best of them. Trust me, I’ve watched it at least once a day since Friday, so, I know of what I speak.

Another way we beat the heat is by going to IKEA. Yep, the Swedish-furniture-shopping mecca is actually home to one of the coolest indoor play areas in town. Actually, it might be the only indoor children’s play area in town…um, you know, that’s free.

Anyway, we’ve been going there since Greta was a baby (seriously, “IKEA” was one of her first words!) and lemme tell ya, she could play on that Virre kiddie slide and PS Lömsk swivel chair for hours. Hell, she even gets a kick out of arranging and re-arranging the pint-sized Mammut furniture. She’s so meticulous too, it’s like she’s setting that shit up for a party or something. Hilarious!

And finally, our third, and favorite, way to beat the heat in Burbank…the good old public library! Specifically, the Buena Vista branch. Not only do they have a super cool playground and park just outside their back door, but their children’s department is excellent and beautifully laid-out with fake trees and stuffed animals everywhere you look. We started coming here as soon as Greta could leave the house without the fear of large birds snatching her away from us and she loves it. And yes, “library” was also one of her first words.

Oh, and best of all, the library, like IKEA, and one tiny little corner of our living room, is totally air-conditioned! So, yay for that!

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New digs and a dog too!

Moved from our hotel to the upper west side apartment of our good friend’s Justin & Nadine on Wednesday night. Their place is very cute and super small, but it has tons of windows, is one block away from a major subway line and Central Park, and best if all, they have a sweet, gigantic dog named Kismet.

I’m not sure what breed Kismet is, but, Greta is already wildly in love with her. The only problem is that she thinks poor old Kismet (she’s nine human years old) is a boy. Greta keeps saying: “Good boy, Kismet! Good boy!” Our friend Justin tried correcting her a few times, but then totally gave up. Boy, girl, who cares…as long as the kid ain’t crying everyone’s happy.

And speaking of Greta being happy…she’s still getting wiggy around the dinner hour, but she has been going to bed much earlier since we moved and it seems to be helping her tantrums. A little. I wouldn’t say she’s been the best toddler in the city this trip, but, she’s trying.

Amazingly, we’ve also all been sleeping way better sleep since we left the hotel. I don’t know if it’s the quieter neighborhood — the upper west side is like the country compared to Times Square — or what, but the three of us are sleeping way better on a shared Aerobed than we ever did in a fancy, King-sized bed at The Paramount. Go figure…

Oh, and one more thing that makes us all sleep way better are our nightly walks in Central Park with Justin and Kismet. Dogs can go leash-less after dark in the park, so Kismet just takes off running with a barefoot Greta in hot pursuit. It’s the cutest thing ever, but more importantly, it puts both of them, baby and dog, right to sleep when we come home. Yay!

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