August 28 , 2000

I feel like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of dead journalers. I will be celebrating my one month anniversary of no entries by the time most of you read this.

I'm here to tell you I've composed at least a dozen entries over the last month. In my head. But since none of you are mind readers, to my knowledge, I guess there's lots to report.

Let's see...what's news...

Well, we had a house guest For two months. I guess that goes past the house guest stage and moves right into ... well ... I don't know ... but it's a really long time to have someone whom you're not related to by marriage or birth staying with you, rent notwithstanding. It's a really long time. Even with a big house. Nerves started to get rather frayed.

I'm not the easiest person to live with under the best of circumstances. Add one unexpected but ultimately invited (we thought for a short time) other person and things get dicey. Add to that my husband going out of town for two weeks and let's just say this: it wasn't pretty. But it's over now. He's gone back to his wife and kids. Big sigh of relief from moi.

The Democratic National Convention came and went and it proved to be another Y2K for those of us with offices downtown.

There were breakfast meetings with the Downtown Security Managers, the FBI, Secret Service, LAPD, and who the hell knows else. We were told we should prepare for the worst and expect the best.

Well, preparing for the worst just happens to fall in my job description so I spent two weeks fine tuning our business recovery plan, organizing our Orange County office for an onslaught of LA office workers, bringing food, sleeping bags, and other emergency supplies into the LA office in case anyone (IT) got stuck there for overnight, and basically running around like a mad woman organizing and preparing. For naught. We closed our LA office on Monday, the first day of the Convention since our street was closed due to some major event with an anticipated crowd of 30,000+, sponsored by the Hispanic Caucus (or something). Plus our building, world headquarters of BP-ARCO, was targeted by Ruckus and a variety of other groups in their March Against Greed.

OK, so it was crowded for about 30 minutes on Monday and some marchers marched around our building a few times before they made their way to Flower Street and down to the Staples Center, but it was a whole lot of nothing.

Office hours during the Convention were 7 - 2. Quite civilized. I didn't get in until about 8:15, but I can really get behind leaving for the day at 2 in the afternoon. I stayed later most days but even leaving at 3 is pretty cush.

Our garden is in full swing. We grew corn. Oh. My. God. We cooked it and ate it about 5 minutes after picking it. It was the most delicious corn I've ever had. Unfortunately, from the 12 corn plants we only got about 3 edible ears but it was well worth it.

We have tomatoes for days. The first couple of weeks it was about one ripe tomato about every three days and then things took off. No one leaves our house without a few. We never visit anyone without taking some with us there. We grew seven different varieties: two Better Boy plants and then six different heirloom varieties. Our plum tomatoes are the size of softballs.

These tomatoes are the most delicious things on earth and we have them every night. Usually I just slice them up and put some fresh basil (also from the garden) on them with a little olive oil and salt. Nirvana

Chuck had a whack at the pumpkins again. He commingled watermelons with the pumpkins this time. As in previous pumpkin years, we find we have to go and pollinate ourselves. We're pretty light on female flowers. I've been reduced to marking the female flowers with red ribbons so we know where to go look in the mornings for pollination. We have four female flowers that should be ready in the next day or two, so if I ever post another journal entry again I'll let you know if we got anything. And neither Chuck nor I are sure whether it's pumpkin or watermelon we'll be pollinating since they both look exactly the same. I will tell you that the freakin pumpkin and watermelon vines are spiky and would take over the garden if you just let them.

The cucumbers that I started from seed have done quite well and are growing up into the orange tree so it looks like there are cucumbers sprouting from the orange tree. We have a few cucumbers that should be ready by this weekend.

We check the zucchini plants every six hours. I don't know what happens but one minute you have a nice little 3 inch zucchini, then you turn your back and that same little fruit has grown into the size of a Volkswagen.

FUCK!!!!! I am about to blame my husband for something that isn't actually his fault but he's my husband so he's going to take the fall. I just put the finishing touches on the entry and went to search his site for a link to an entry he wrote about Zoe's school when my computer, completely on its own, turned off. Completely off. And the last time I saved was a good 20 minutes and tons of sparkling wit deathless prose ago. FUCK!!!

But we move on now, saving on a much more regular basis.

I saved the biggest news for last. OK, not big news in the big scheme of the whole world but big news for us.

Zoe starts kindergarten next Wednesday. At the school we've wanted her to go to for two years: The Country School.

I heard about TCS some time before I ever had a child. Then when Zoe was barely or not quite two, Chuck and I started looking. We went to TCS. We sat through an orientation and got a tour. They have bunnies and snow. It was the school of our choice.

Ever the slackers, Chuck and I knew we wanted to take her out of the Montessori she's been in for the last two years and put her in a better school but hadn't exactly been diligent about doing anything about it.

Don't get me wrong. She's really blossomed at Montessori. She's reading and writing simple words, she knows her letters and numbers, she's even doing simple addition. But for the last six-or-so month's Chuck and I haven't been happy with the he school.

Finally, in late July Chuck called TCS and requested an application. I promptly filled it out and sent it in. Because Zoe's birthday is in March she is only old enough to to into the Pre-K program at TCS. The Admissions Director left us a message the Pre-K was full and that they'd roll her application over to kindergarten 2001. We should call if we had any questions.

Chuck was out of town and I took it upon myself to call the school. I knew from the syllabus they'd sent us that Zoe had the skill set for kindergarten, which had two openings. I wondered if they'd consider putting her in K, even though she's barely 4 1/2.

They agreed to see Zoe and a week ago Friday she and I went to the school. She seemed to really like it. They tested her Friday morning. Friday afternoon they called and said they'd accept her provisionally, for three weeks.

One of the steps in the application process for this school is that all new children take part in a play day. The teaches and administrators can then monitor the children and see how they interact with one another. Since we applied so late we didn't participate in the play day. They want to make sure Zoe is ready socially and emotionally for kindergarten She is absolutely ready academically.

I am confident that she'll do fine. At Montessori the classes are all mixed ages and she's one of the youngest in her class.

We're all excited.

Chuck and I are happy she's going to a really excellent school with an excellent reputation. The only problem is that in spite of our slacking Chuck and I got our child into the school we want. I pointed out to Chuck that while this is good it's also very very bad. It further reinforces the fact that even if we slack like crazy we can still pull it off in the end.

Zoe's excited because her new school has bunnies.

Life is good.

Until next time...