September 12 , 1999

Well, it's after 11:30 on Sunday night. I wasn't going to do an entry because I was too tired but now, as it's bedtime, once again Morpheus is eluding me.

So, what the hell...have an entry.

This Friday, Zoe and I had our usual date. What to do? No nail appointment. Didn't want to go the marketing. "What do you want to do Zoe?" "Chuck E. Cheese, mommy."

Zoe has wanted to go since last Friday night. It's pretty much all she talked about last weekend but no mention of it for five or so days so I thought we were in the clear. No such luck.

So, I look in the phone book and find the closest location of that Shrine To All Things Kids Love.

Off we go. Zoe is practically vibrating with anticipation. She's only been once--for, yes, you guessed it, a party. It was a Saturday afternoon affair. I decided I was sick and sent Chuck.

(BTW: Chuck absolutely hates the place but for other reasons than my own. When your name is Chuck everyone thinks they're being original by calling you Chuck E. Cheese. I'm here to tell you: there is absolutely nothing original about this. The closest I've seen coming to original is the fact that sister #2 addresses any mail to us as Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Wagon. I find this vaguely amusing.)

Like Disneyland, in my single days Chuck E. Cheese was a place I SWORE I'd never go to. Well. Wrong. There's no avoiding the place once there are residents under 4 feet tall in your home (unless you live with a midget).

Well, we went on Friday night. I was expecting the worst. It was horrible in a lot of ways but from the tales I hear it could have been a lot worse. It was loudish, but certainly not deafening. My eardrums were not buzzing. It was not very busy frankly. The key is that Friday night was the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

Hot tip: Go to Chuck E. Cheese on Jewish high holiday's.

My overall impression of the place, besides the fact that it is in very poor taste, is that everything in the entire place is sticky. Big time sticky. Yucky sticky. The tables were sticky. The booth seats were sticky. The little cup that they gave me for the tokens was extra super sticky. So sticky in fact that I had to wrap a napkin around the cup. The tokens themselves are sticky. The rides are sticky. Sticky. Sticky. Sticky.

Part of the reason for this is that they serve no beverages, in this palace for toddlers and small children, that is not absolutely filled with sugar.


Zoe had a lot lot lot of fun. I endured.

Last night was the much-anticipated Archipelago dinner. I was merely a guest as I guess I'm just not elite enough to be in that ring (though no one looked particularly special or different so clearly it's not a physical thing, or I'd be a shoe-in).

Present were: moi and my beloved Chuck (OK, this is a gratuitous link but he gives em to me all the time), Lucy and her hubby, Steve (who swears he's got like millions of entries waiting to be uploaded as soon as his server is working again--yeah, right) and his wife Viv (who I absolutely adore), and Diane and her husband Darin.

Chuck picked the restaurant. Pinot Bistro. A good choice but you often have to be careful what you order as there are too many "with's". I'm all for layering flavors and all but sometimes they get a little carried away with themselves. That said, I've never really had anything that wasn't delicious.

Anyway, our ressie was for 8:30. Wow, what a grown up time to eat dinner. When your used to eating with a 3 year old 7:30 is really late.

The plan was that Zoe was going to spend the night at #2's house. I can hear you all shaking your heads and asking if I'm crazy. OK, I am, but Zoe loves her aunt and far be it from me to keep them apart. I had dropped Zoe off at about 5 so we had plenty of time to relax and get ready.

I bought a new dress for the occasion. A little black slinky kind of thing. Very not me. I don't usually do slinky. I also got a smart black velvet shrug (which Chuck just doesn't get) and the whole thing worked. I wore makeup--even foundation, did my hair, and pretty much felt like a hottie.

When we walked into the restaurant and gave the host our name he asked if we saw any of our party waiting for us. Well, here's the thing: Except for Steve and Viv (who weren't there yet) I had no idea what any of these people looked like.

(For my last journaling blind date only reason I had a clue about Viv for our lunch was that her photo was on her index page at that time.)

Diane and Darin were at the bar already. Apparently Chuck knew what Diane looked like. Lucy and hubby showed up shortly thereafter. (Diane knew what Lucy looked like). As were were being seated the Evaporation's showed up.

I had requested a round table as I figured it would be easier for conversation. Everyone sat next to their spouse but there was a lot of cross table talking and photos were being snapped right and left.

It was lovely. I think everyone was pleased with their dinner selections, and I took the opportunity to have a couple of glasses of wine (something I rarely do anymore) so I was feeling no pain.

While conversation at the beginning of dinner was difficult due to noise levels in the restaurant, suddenly it seemed easier for everyone to talk. Then we noticed the music getting louder and realized they were trying to tell us something. It was close to midnight. The wait-staff probably wanted to go home.

We packed it in and everyone said goodnight.

I think it's pot luck when you meet fellow journalers. You only know what they let you know. For all you know, in reality these people can be serial killers or ax murderers. But there were no awkward pauses in the conversation, no weird lulls. Everyone was, at least last night, fairly normal.

I think I would consider last night's dinner a success.

Chuck drove since I'd had a few. (One of the advantages to having a full time designated driver.)

Well, we pulled into our driveway at about 12:15 when my cell phone rings. It's #2. Zoe is hysterical. She wants to come home.


I was bumming hard. I'd had a few cocktails and was looking forward to a quiet morning without the baby before Sunday activities began. (Especially since it was my day to get up early.)

So, we found ourselves driving downtown to pick up the baby at 12:30 last night.

When we pulled into my sister's driveway and called to be let in I asked if Zoe was asleep yet. Nope. She was painting. At 12:30 at night. Arg.

We packed up her stuff and bundled a completely wide awake 3 year old into the car for the drive home. She was awake for most of the ride but fell out about 15 minutes from home. It's the first time we've ever managed to transition her from the car to the house without her waking up.

I guess the key getting my daughter to sleep is to keep her up until 1 in the morning.

Until next time. . .