29 April 2010

Night Out in Pasadena

April 3, 2010

I found myself free of responsibility and in Los Angeles on a Saturday night. It's a good thing I know people, otherwise I would have been lonely. I originally planned to have fondue with Tab, Mike, Ken & Ty (all of Ithaca College fame), but they had reservations and I was going to make them late. The plan after dinner had been for all of us to meet Kerry (of Fargo fame) for a drink. So part two of Plan A became Plan B. Kerry & I went to Bar Celona in Pasadena for tapas.

Southern California and Northern California are nothing alike. I don't know how to describe it, the people are just different. And I felt like an invader as we walked down the street. Part of it could be that I was under dressed. I was wearing flats and I felt like women in their painful shoes were (jealously) judging. I was also taken aback by the desire to be perceived as "upscale" in downtown Pasadena. I would have imagined that city as a laid back "glad-to-not-be-LA" town. I would have been wrong.

I had a Tortilla Espanola and a sweet potato empanada. Both were delicious. I also had a vanilla vodka & strawberry juice cocktail that I one day want to recreate. Tab, Mike, Ken & Ty found us and we all sat for a little bit chatting and watching the apparently endless stream of sexy mute music videos. The videos did not match the songs that were playing. Essentially there were just silent, gyrating women being thrust upon us bar patrons.

It did not take long for us to realize we didn't have any party to give. Ken & Ty left before we did and invited me to their Easter Egg hunt. It was a tempting offer even before I knew there was a prize. Kerry drove the rest of our group to her place, where she gave me a table.

We had been talking about the hunt for the right furniture pieces. Kerry is moving across the country and needs to get rid of some furniture. She had an antique table that had actually been in San Francisco during the 1906 quake. We thought it cool that I could bring it back to San Francisco. But I was worried Jesse wouldn't like it. He's becoming quite fickle in his old age. I nearly passed but Tab said "it's a free table. And Mike's here to carry it." There is no way to reject such wisdom.

There was also no way to fit the table in my trunk. The table had to go in the back seat. I don't know if you've been counting, but one driver + one passenger + one table does not equal enough space for Mike. He had to ride in the trunk. This terrified me. I mean the back seat is a bumpy enough ride. I understand the trunk to be a cold and restraint-less, version of that. I drove carefully and aside from making one illegal u-turn in front of a police car, we arrived at Casa Mike & Tab without incident.

Getting Settled.

Good to go.

Once we were in and settled, I think it took 2 minutes for me to fall asleep. I had started the day with family and finished it with friends. I don't know if there is any combination more fulfilling.

23 April 2010

A Week Doesn't Change Much

April 3, 2010

The time had come to take the brothers to their respective airports. It felt strange, like there hadn't been enough time. Derek & I didn't get to be grown up siblings together, drinking and painting the town. We've never gone out like he & Jesse did and while I had hoped for that, it was not to be during our 2010 reunion. Derek had important plans. He was off to Vegas.

I didn't feel like I'd had enough time with Ty either. I mean the kid needs guidance and he's obviously not getting it at home from his mom or on the phone from my dad. A week is not enough time to teach a kid to drink water, avoid processed foods or enjoy the outdoors. Of the (now) four of my father's children, he's at the largest disadvantage. Derek & I don't see much we can do about that, but we would like to try. Still, a week doesn't change much.

That Saturday, I dropped Derek of at SFO, then went back to bed for a few hours. Even though Ty had to be in LA that night, his mother was not scheduled to be there until 6. So we had some time. We ate. I packed. We went on a search for his lost cell phone (never recovered) and we hit the road. Jesse didn't come because he had to work Sunday. And without him, I could spend the night and return leisurely.

There wasn't anything noteworthy about the drive. We arrived at his hotel for the night right at 6. His mom was not there, but on her way. I fed him and we sat there and talked. I thought it was the perfect time to impart some inspiring wisdom, but I had none. I asked what he wants to be when he grows up. He said a billionaire. I asked him how he was going to make billions and he said "credit cards." I present to you the future of America ladies & gentlemen.

Ty's mom came, we said our goodbyes. I'm going to see him again in a few months and I'll let you know if he's learned any lessons. Personally, I've learned plenty. Being a parent / guardian / role model is hard work. It's active, not passive and takes everything a person has to offer. And the final product is a reflection of that. I think the visit set me back about 5 years on the "maybe we should have kids" scale.

~ Courtesy of my VZW Pinkberry
www.piqueaboo.com
www.twitter.com/danie_d

22 April 2010

The Beginning of The End

April 2, 2010

I had next to nothing left that Friday. I heard Ty having potato chips (purchased in a moment of weakness) for breakfast. Derek & Jesse were hung over and useless. It was cold and raining. I tried to think of an agenda and came up with nothing. There was nothing within walking distance that was worth hearing Ty complain about walking. There was nothing in driving distance worth seeing in the rain. And honestly, I just wanted to relax. I had a lot of driving coming my way and I didn't really want to do anything.

I made breakfast for myself and the little guy and let sleeping drunkards lie. Of course there's nothing like the smell of breakfast to wake up someone who had been lifeless just a minute. Derek & Jesse were outraged at my intent to let them sleep, then make their own breakfasts. I mean can you imagine me having the gall to not make breakfast for two grown men incapacitated by their own doing? I told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of their sense of entitlement. Jesse took the boys to In-N-Out.

As I do whenever I find some unexpected "me" time, I cleaned. I cleaned in the quiet, without any cartoons or music. I swept. I organized. I folded. I got a little bit of control and sanity back. Jesse kept Derek & Ty out I think for as long as he could and I think that was just long enough. I was refreshed (though still sans plan) when they came back.

We didn't do anything all day. The brothers and I watched Star Trek. Jesse wavered between wanting to eat and wanting to sleep. Ty wanted to play video games, but was rejected. He then became dejected, and sat in the closet requesting his "personal privacy." As a test, Jesse & Derek started playing video games. "Personal privacy" fell by the wayside. Ty is not content to play video games. He's content to watch other people play video games too. And I don't just meant people in the same room. Ty actually visited YouTube and watched videos of strangers playing video games. It was not his first rodeo either. He had memorized all the trailers and comments. It was painful to watch. Jesse switched him to a movie on Hulu. That seemed less wrong.

Derek & Jesse went for a walk into North Beach, where I hear they were solicited as both a couple and on their own. I made spaghetti & meatballs and was pleased (thrilled, even) that the kid liked it. He asked for seconds for the first time all week. Afterward, we all piled on the couch to watch a movie. I didn't really want to watch it & fought for my right to read a book instead. It was a smart decision; Jesse & Derek got to the turning point and both decided to go to bed. I suppose it was the smart thing to do. I had drop offs to make in the morning.

19 April 2010

April 1, 2010

We tried the same movie watching plan the following day and failed. I had an errand to run in the morning that took longer than I wanted. While I was gone, Ty inhaled the Chinese he had rejected the night before and declared it "really good." I still had him eat some eggs & bacon, because I didn't know how much he had eaten and honestly, I didn't want him ordering a bunch of movie theater food. I ate, Derek ate and all three of us had to shower. It was hectic and somehow stressful. Derek didn't bring a jacket because the one he had with him was too close in color to his jeans. I found his lack of planning / variety to be silly. But he dresses himself.

We were shooting for a 12:05 movie. We were in matinee territory and we were going to have to deal with that. Derek suggested we take a cab. I should have said "I'd prefer to walk, since I haven't been exercising this week." But I didn't. I told him he was ridiculous, that the theater was less than a mile away, that the traffic would make us late, that we wouldn't even be able to find a cab. Derek (have I mentioned how patient he is?) said something like okay, but why are you freaking out. I had no answer. I was freaking out and I tried to make amends but really there were no cabs and we were at the theater in 25 minutes. That left us plenty of time to be gouged.

We were to see "How to Train Your Dragon." It was $13 for a child, $14 for each adult. I spent $10 on water & popcorn. Derek spent $10 on curly fries (?) and Vitamin Water. And that's how we spent $97 going to two movies. Preposterous. I recommend anyone with more than 2 in their party pack their own snacks, and go before noon. Seriously, it is worth getting up an hour earlier.

The movie was great, all three of us thought so. I'm not giving anything away, but during the 2nd or 3rd to last scene, Derek & I looked at each as if to ask "woah, did they really do that?" They did and it worked. Afterward, we stopped to buy Derek proper protection from the wind. And then we hopped on a cable car.

Can you tell I was off this day? I didn't take a single a picture all morning.

We rode up to home, then walked to Lombard. I thought it would be something to get the kid's attention. But along the way, while Derek & I talked, Ty grew restless, tired and surly. Derek said he was probably hungry. I think he's actually lazy. I'm not saying it's his fault. Whenever I see a kid who is obese or rude or (in this case) lazy, I always blame the parents. That goes even if one of those parents are mine. Derek and I talked about that too. And finally we arrived.

Ty & Coit Tower.

Derek using his phone as his camera.

My brothers.

Derek felt compelled to climb a tree.

A woman came out of the house corresponding to the tree.
Derek told her "I'm a tourist."
She said "no worries" and called him a "tree-hugger."

It was downhill from there - literally. I was going to take them to Ghirardelli for ice cream. But the line was obnoxious and Derek said we did need real food first. So we went to Lori's Diner instead. Surly Ty - who likes to pose when the camera is on - is captured here in his true form. Again he was monosyllabic in his responses. Again he wasn't hungry. Again he just wanted to go home. And I tell you this presented a real challenge for me.

Let's say we ate, and he perked up, and the ice cream line was gone. Would it be right for me to give him ice cream even after he behaved like brat? Or do I use part of our one week together to punish him and try to teach him a lesson? He's old enough to know what he's doing and if he's hungry. If he tells me he's not hungry, I'd just as soon not feed him. But I think there are laws against that. And he's not my kid. In my frustration, I called my dad, who talked to Ty and got him to order. We ate and the world kept spinning.

"I think my face looks fat in this picture." Me
"Yeah it kinda does." Ty

Derek.

We walked down to Aquatic Park again. This time it was Derek who wanted to dip his toes. I told him that water is a lot colder than he thought. He said he'd dip his whole foot. I didn't see it, but it seemed to me like maybe a toe went got wet. A guy sitting on the steps yelled "that doesn't count."

"What do you mean that doesn't count? You're sitting way over there."

Ty splashed a little too, but it was too cold to get as wet as he had the other day. We headed home. I introduced Derek to Trader Joes. He loved it. I think, as a vegetarian, he needs a place like TJ's. He agreed. We walked home and for once Ty was excited about it. We challenged Derek. Ty told him we had already walked the upcoming hills, and that we knew what was coming. Eventually Derek took a break. And while Ty laughed at him, he took a break too. It must have been refreshing, because they then raced to the top... and took another break.

Post race.

That night Jesse & Derek went out. They had a good time. Ty & I watched cartoons & went to bed. Perfection.

A Day In The Rain

The next morning we were on a mission to get to the movies before noon. I don't know if you know this or not, but matinees are not the cheapest thing out there. Movies before 12PM are even cheaper. This was of even greater importance during that particular week because movie prices had just been raised. And we had planned to see two 3D movies. Preparations that morning were a matter of financial prudence.

The griddle again saved me. I made pancakes for Derek, scrambled eggs for both he & Ty and bacon for Ty. I don't remember what I had. I'm sure it was delicious. Derek got Ty to eat (by watching over him while I cleaned) and was also amazed at how long Ty took in the shower. We were out the door with plenty of time to spare and we walked to the theater. Ty brought toys with him, which had to be confiscated so he could focus on not walking into people. A shame really, since that distracted him from actually walking.

We made it to the 11:xx showing of Alice in Wonderland. We had all three been excited to see it. It was $9/each. Derek also got Vitamin Water for he & Ty, which was another $9. And there went $36.

Derek & I thought the movie was great. Personally I thought it was cleverly written. Johnny Depp (as always) excelled at playing a disturbed character. I don't think the third dimension added anything, unless it was so subtle I didn't even notice. Afterward, Derek & I were pleased and Ty was bored. We set out for lunch.

Here's where I had made a request. I have a friend who was having a farewell luncheon that day. It wasn't (by my standards) too far from the theater and I knew there would be good food there. Derek was okay going and Ty voided his vote by asking to go home. So we walked. Derek & I talked about San Francisco, it's cleanliness and it's people. Derek works a lot in Baltimore and said he could run the city better after one afternoon in San Francisco.

Ty started grumbling from the rear. He was miserable, for no particular reason. He didn't want to talk. He said he wasn't hungry. He became monosyllabic and honestly I was annoyed. Derek - who I should note has infinitely more patience than I do - said not to worry about it. We were close to eating anyway and (as luck would have it) we passed by Jesse's job just and he was able to take a break.

"If you keep pouting, a bird will poop on your bottom lip." Sage advice from Jesse. He's great with kids. You can see Ty is not amused though.

Ty apparently did not believe Jesse and kept up his attitude. I sent my dad a message telling him we were going to let the kid starve. Derek did too and right as we arrived at the restaurant, Ty had an important call to take in private. I thought to show my new vegetarian brother a great margarita pizza, but his ulcer means tomatoes are the enemy. I introduced both to Potatoes Gorgonzola, but Ty didn't like the cheese. I re-introduced myself to pomegranate margaritas and was pleased.

Us. Fed & Happy.

And then it was time to go. It was also cold and about to rain. We walked back to Jesse's job and ducked into the bar next door to wait for him. It dawned on me I had never seen a kid belly up to a bar before. I must have looked like a terribly irresponsible parent. So I documented it with a picture. I told Ty Jesse was coming and he made his own request.

"Don't tell him I'm drinking juice. I'm going to tell him there's whisker in it."

"Whisker?"

"Yeah. I'm going to act drunk."

I didn't correct him - mostly because it's cute. Also I wanted to see him act drunk. He stumbled over a few things and said "man I'm tired." But that was about it. We got caught in the rain on the way home. We only had 2 umbrellas between the 4 of us. And while I was okay walking in the rain, Derek argued for a cab. Eventually we found one and were home watching TV in no time.

Once the rain paused, Derek & I went to get Chinese food. First we asked Ty what he wanted. We asked him to describe it in terms of color and heat. We had to make sure we ordered the right thing, because we wanted him to eat it. Once that was done, we set out on our quest. I meant to warn Derek the walk was steep, but I guess I forgot. He thought it ridiculous how far we go away from Chinatown to get Chinese food. But once we got our food and brought it home, he understood. Unfortunately, Ty was not of the same accord. We had to give him a number of forkfuls to finish. It wasn't too much of a fight though. So I guess the day was a success.

18 April 2010

Derek & The Tuna

Ty did not like eating the cookies as much as he liked making them. (Un)fortunately, Jesse & I were more than willing to pick up his slack. The morning of day 4 was a well-timed breeze. I woke up when I heard the video games and got right to eggs and bacon, thus limiting video game exposure. I mean I wasn't going to tell him not to play, but I wasn't going to make it any easier either. And he still had plenty of time to go from clone to Jedi while I was in the shower.

We were out the door in what I would call good time. And then we walked to the car. At first, there were no complaints, because he knew we were going to the car. But once he realized how far up we had to go, the battle was on. He wanted to know why I couldn't have parked downhill. He hated every step; I know because of the scowl on his face and the whining from his mouth. Once we got to the car he exclaimed "finally," and laid down in the back seat. He was asleep before we hit the highway.

Not only does the Internet lie about plane arrival times, airport message boards do as well. We arrived at baggage claim and saw Derek's flight had arrived. But we couldn't find Derek. He wasn't there. His phone was off. He wasn't at passenger pick up. He wasn't signed in to G Chat and his last status update was that he was going through security. All of my brother tracking methods were failing. So we waited, and he appeared. But the whole thing took more than an hour. And then we went to the aquarium.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a big deal here. If you have a few hours and good walking shoes, I highly recommend it. We spent the afternoon there, going through every exhibit. It's really interactive and Derek & I tried to get Ty to read the info instead of just pushing buttons & making things happen. He humored us.

Derek. There is an observation deck between one area and the food court that's outside.

$19 worth of aquarium food. You can't see my protein smoothie, but it's there along with the vitamin water, garlic fries and kids meal.

Checking out the dragon seahorses, one of my personal favorites.

Do you see him? There's a flat fish in there.

An exhibit about waste in water, and how fish adapt (before the corrosive elements kill them).

I found carrying both my camera and my cell phone to be the best way to take pictures. I'm not sure, but I think the low resolution of my cell phone camera took better pictures in natural light than my camera. I really like my camera, but it's inconsistent when it comes to moving subjects in low light. And my cell phone doesn't take the time to focus. It just clicks- which can be helpful in the event a fish decides to move.

Here we have a SCUBA diver in a deep pool. He fed the fish, but was also wearing a mic and talking to everyone who had come down to watch the fish. He talked about what was being fed. He also explained the difference between sustainable fishing and unsustainable fishing. I also learned kelp can grow a 12 to 18 inches a day.

There were birds in the aquarium. They were coastal a got their food from the water. They also splashed a bit. Still, I'm not sure why they were there or how they stayed in their area when there was nothing to keep them from perching atop a patron.

I think - for all three of us - the jellyfish were our 2nd favorite part. It's also an area lit well enough for me to capture with my camera.



I'm pretty sure these were called lion jellyfish, or something of that nature.

I love this picture. I call it: Brothers watching jellyfish.

Now you don't see them...

...but now you do. They're translucent. I admit this picture doesn't do them justice.


Ty with a seahorse...

and with a penguin.

We spent the most time staring at tuna. There is a wall that's just the side of a tank. Inside there are giant fish & small sharks That swim around without bothering each other. It was dark and the fish were moving, so there is no accurate picture I can present to you that would show you the size of these fish, specifically the tuna. Derek & I agreed the largest had to be 3 feet long and at least a foot wide. There were 7 of them. Four that stayed together and three large ones who did whatever they wanted. They were beasts and Derek could not fathom what his eyes were processing. He debated if he would be able to catch such a fish or if the fish would catch him. My brother is a big dude. But it was too tough a call to make.

I also had a favorite: the ocean sunfish. There was only one in the tank. It was large, but not tuna size and it's defense was that it was too oddly shaped to eat. It's sideways, with fins above and below. It's ugly and in my mind seemed lonely. But to defend yourself by simple design seems highly efficient.

Nothing impressed us after the tuna and we made our way back to San Francisco. We didn't do anything special. Jesse made scooby doo hot dish and I again appreciated not having to make dinner. Of course Ty wouldn't eat it and it violated Derek's new vegetarianism so I was the only one who enjoyed it. I was okay with that.

17 April 2010

"Eggs & bacon. No pancakes."

Day 3
Once again I awoke to the soft tap tap flip sigh of someone playing video games. I again thought to go back to sleep. I mean he was content and I was content, so why not let a sleeping Danie lie? Well I thought of a lot of reasons and I hoisted myself into action. I asked Ty what he wanted for breakfast.

"Eggs & bacon. No pancakes."

I noted how he reaffirmed what I had noticed the previous day about my pancakes - specifically that he was not a fan. I brought out the trusty griddle and made pancakes (for me) bacon & eggs simultaneously and with little mess. Lesson: the griddle can be a person's best friend.

And then I went to clean the bathroom simply because it needed doing.

While I was out of the room, he ate everything on his plate. I was pleased. He then took another really long shower and I got ready for a day at the aquarium. I checked the hours, packed some snacks, checked the finances and looked up special events. Finally I checked Derek's flight status. His flight was delayed by 92 minutes. Not one to let good errand time go to waste, I decided to do laundry - again because it needed doing. Derek happened to call just after the wash started - eerily close to the original arrival time of his flight. I was not prepared to handle being late to pick up a second brother from the airport. I mean what kind of sister am I? I answered the phone with my reasons for not being at the airport.

"Your flight is supposed to be delayed."
"What are you talking about?"
"I checked the status and it says your flight is delayed."

"My itinerary says the 30th. I don't leave until 4 in the morning."

"You told me you were coming Monday."

"Oh."

Then Derek went on to ask me about flying in 2010. He hadn't flown since he looked at a school (here in San Francisco) back in 2005. I explained the 3-1-1 rule, and that he couldn't use his cell phone in flight. Then I was interrupted by a visitor from AT&T. He had come (between 8AM - 7PM as promised) to fix our land line. I let him in, showed him the boxes I assumed would help him, checked in on Ty & his progress in the Clone Wars and went back to put my laundry in the dryer.

Suddenly the day had changed and I was not pleased. I did not want to get the car and go to the aquarium without Derek. I would just have to fight for parking and have to get the car again. It was raining, and it was after 1 in the afternoon. I couldn't think of anything to do outside and I didn't want to pay $50 (combined) to go to a museum for 3 hours. I found myself in a funk. And then I was inspired by a tweet.

@danie_d You just gave me an idea of what to do with my brother on a rainy day. Bake! RT @RetroCounter: Fresh sugar cookies brighten ANY Monday!

I dragged Ty away from the 360, and into the kitchen. I made him put on an apron and explained that he was to be a cookie maker. I showed him how to read a recipe, and how to combine ingredients in the proper order. By the time we go to the actual mixing, he was actually enjoying himself. He got really into it - making sure the batter was evenly mixed and folding in the chips. He even made sure the dough-balls were all of comparable size. But when it came time to eat the cookie dough, he balked.

Master mixer at work.

One cookie at a time.
He tried it, and declared it "a'ight." But he wouldn't go back for any more, leaving me to clean off all the spoons. Good thing I'm a nice sister.

We then watched Dragonball Evolution and Family Guy Blue Harvest. He showed me some of his favorite YouTube videos, and he & Jesse went on a quick tour of Chinatown. I'm not at liberty to know where they went or what they saw. Sometimes it's tough being a girl.

15 April 2010

The Wharf (ii)

It was about time for the kid to be hungry. He said he wasn't - but asked for a corn dog and onion rings just in case I was in a giving mood. I wasn't. I also didn't see a lot of options for when he would be hungry. A lot of the few chain restaurants we have are down at the wharf. There is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, a Hard Rock Cafe, an IHOP and an In-N-Out Burger. It was crowded that Sunday afternoon and I did not feel like waiting in line for overpriced food. I didn't think he would eat a crepe and when placed in front of generic American food, he said he didn't want anything. So we kept walking.

I showed him the sourdough being made at Boudin. He said it smelled funny. As we walked toward the Hyde St. Pier, hunger hit. The kid wanted crab legs. Maybe that's an odd request for a child to make. I don't think I ever requested crab legs. But Ty was the first kid I'd known to stand in line at an amusement park food court and order a Caesar salad. He was seven then and I guess his tastes have matured. It was a genius idea. We were at the wharf, where the Dungeness were being brought in fresh. I stopped at a stand, got him one ($15) crab (legs & body) and for 20 minutes, he did not speak.

Happiness is crab.

He became devoted to that crab. He picked apart each leg meticulously, digging and sucking on every bit. I could have told him I was going to swim in the bay and he wouldn't have cared. I had some too - it was fantastic. Ty didn't say a word. I called my mom. I sent a picture to my dad. I got my bearings. That crab had given me a chance to reset. Amazing.

Then we hit an arcade museum. There are games in there going back to at least 1925. It's amazing what people found to be entertaining. I mean I know I say that with my 2010 understanding of technology but really - have you ever heard of Laughing Sal? It's a larger than life sized doll that just rocks and laughs. It's creepy. I know, because Ty looked at me and said "that's creepy." We played some of the games, including this magnetic drop for gumballs. It's like any other drop game where you have to scoop your prize, except the claw is operated by magnets. You have to connect two of them to get the claw to close. We watched two people fail and I tried to give Ty a strategy. He told me he knew how to do it. He wasn't lying. He had scooped twice during the time his quarter allotted. The woman behind us told her boyfriend "you just got schooled by a kid." He had.

Hard at work.

On a horse.

With gumball spoils in his pocket, we made it to the Hyde Street Pier. Ty didn't want to go on to any of the ships, but we read little bits about a few of them. I think he thought I was tricking him into learning though, and asked to go play in the sand instead.

At the pier.

In a boat.

Dancing.

We went down to Aquatic Park. I rolled up his jeans and gave him a "do not get wet beyond this point" line. Useless. He danced with the waves and of course the waves won. It was cold, but there were plenty of kids on the shore. Eventually Ty got soaked and I told him we had to leave. I could just see a cold coming. We cleaned him up as best we could, got some ice cream and hit the grocery store.

Best efforts at staying partially dry, wasted.

There were things I knew he'd eat. My plan was to run in and get them. I was not prepared for the success of marketing. Ty knew every slogan to every sugary snack. He told me we should get certain fruit snacks because we would be giving a computer to a kid in Africa. He recommended other fruit snacks because they would give us a chance to win a family vacation. We went through the store like that - with him telling me why we should get something gross, and me explaining why we shouldn't. It was exhausting. I understood the "because I said so" argument my parents used to give me. I asked him why he only ate unhealthy foods. I know it's not his decision but I thought I could inspire some quiet introspection. He told me he didn't know, and that it was my fault for moving so far away and leaving him. Touche young man.

Jesse roasted chicken & vegetables for dinner. This is obviously a pre-roasting picture. I was excited. I mean I was thrilled just to not have to make dinner. To not have to make a dinner I really like it was an extra bonus. Ty would only want the chicken, although Jesse negotiated some potatoes. They spent the night hanging out and I got to relax a little. I told myself that had been the hardest day, because Derek on his way. Together we would split the work and we'd all have fun.

Bonding. "This is what they do in the UFC."