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Well our bags are packed, we’re ready to go

27 Aug


Movers arrived today, to box up our worldly belongings. The reality of the move gets pretty concrete when you’re faced with an empty wall of painting hooks and a wrapped up sofa.

There is still some anxiety on my part, but it is easing as it moves from unknown fear to a set of tasks, which have solutions. As my friend tells me, no one is dying in the makin if this movie.

And as my clothes are unceremoniously dumped into boxes, it feels more and more like stuff and less like me, or my life. Of course toddler may have a different opinion when he returns from daycare to find everything boxed up.

For most of our friends, we will talk to you on the other side, as they are taking our linking toys and moving them. We are due to fly out Saturday night, and settle sometime in the next week or so, but maybe more.

I’m not ready to say goodbye in my heart to Brooklyn, or New York, quite yet. But it is happening. Now.


Food co-op, birthday parties, chocolate chip cookies, oh my

3 Oct

Yes, we joined the Park Slope Food Co-op, the heart of what uber-hip, FIPS creator (and a person who seems to revel in her own bitchiness, though we can all obviously see that this is a transparent kind of insecurity about her own self-worth. I mean, I don’t know her at all, but who calls themselves a ranty bitch?) Erica deems one of the 101 worst places not to see before you die. So far in my rather limited experience here in Brooklyn’s asshole central, I have met many many more people who are cynically self-righteous about people who are self-righteous about Park Slope than people who are actually self-righteous about Park Slope. Unlikeable people abound, but it’s not always entirely clear on which side of the hipster/breeder douchebag line they lie. Our friend David is always complaining about the place, too, but I mean, wtf? The city is huge! Go someplace where you’d be less miserable.

I mean, look, yes, we went to a collective Fall 2010 babies birthday party this weekend, which took place in a big open space in a local synagogue. Maybe 25 babies, 40-50 adults. We brought guacamole (made by baby mama! quite a burgeoning chef!). Someone else brought, well, I’m not certain what it was:

But other than this black-hole dessert (it’s like an ain’t no nothing dessert – maybe all those negatives make the most delicious positive ever created!), and its implied baby-fussiness, people were just super-nice. Didn’t make many friends. But never got the feeling that I was in the presence of stroller-bullies either.

On the other hand, a couple of weeks back we met some friends and friends-of-friends for the last food-truck rally of the season. I got Korean something-or-other (I think it was a kim-cheesesteak sandwich or somesuch). And while we were lounging about in the park, this dude went on a rant about how he hates the food coop. Actually, that he ‘hates inefficient markets’ full-stop. I mean, he was kind of funny, but he also had a job that was a total loss-leader for his organization. His whole Park Slope existence relied on an inefficient market activity that was in fact disappearing, leaving him and his family kind of fucked, hoping that a killer book deal would make up the slack. I can say almost for certain, it won’t.

But he went on to say that he was hoping to outsource his shift, which he detested, maybe to out-of-work actors who would play him during his stint on whatever committee/shift he was on.

And I’m kind of looking at this guy, this seemingly nice, funny guy, and I’m thinking, what the fuck? The dude next to me was a litigator, whose time was valued in the market at more than the rest of ours all put together; inefficient market dude’s wife, who obviously liked the coop, was kind of half-smiling and half-shaking her head through the whole conversation. And I spoke up and was like, who hates inefficient markets on principle? Is your time that valuable that you can’t spend 3 hours a month doing a shift? And if you are so keen on paying market rates for your shift, why don’t you have your wife do your shift, and pay her what she would deem the appropriate market rate? Or pay her in doing childcare. Or quit the fucking coop, it’s not like the mafia, where once you join, you don’t leave until you’re dead.

I swear I don’t understand people.

On an unrelated note, I made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, a whole 3 dozen of them. Unless you’re a dead-set Levain Bakery cookie-lover, my cookies are as good a chocolate chip cookie as there are out there in the universe. I’m decent at a lot of stuff, lousy at a huge amount of stuff, and excellent at a small number of things. The cookies, fortunately, fall into this last category.

Oh, and Baby mama goes out of town with the little one this week, giving me a week of unadulterated alone-time. I don’t know why I mention this, other than to say that I am, in equal measure, looking forward to the sleep and going to miss them both incredibly.

Mom group adventures

22 Aug

So, this past Friday I had the baby all day, and while I was looking for fun stuff to do, it occurred to me that maybe I could get in on some of that hot mom-group action that my partner is always talking about. Park Slope Parents this and PSP that (um, not really so much). But still, this website home for the stroller mafia has lists and threads for almost anything you might imagine. Intimidating. When people point to PS as the home of the stroller mafia, PSP would be the centralized site for where the rebel parents are going to flashmob next.

Also, really, I don’t really know anyone in my neighborhood (for which I’d like to pretty much call Bullshit on all those people who talked about how I’d be making sooooo many new friends via my baby that I’d be fighting off the birthday celebrations and play dates), other than maybe our downstairs neighbors, and it’s kind of creepy to have your upstairs neighbor constantly knocking on your door asking if you and your babies can come out to play. Plus, lunch! How could I miss?

The group turned out to be much better in some ways than I had imagined. First of all, the lunch was indeed tasty. Bar Toto for the win, tomato-pesto-cheese panini and a salad/soup for like $12. There ended up being seven or eight of us, and while I was the only father, that didn’t seem to be much of a big deal. One of the things about teaching in sociology, and at a fancy-pants women’s college, is that I’m more or less used to being the only man in groups of women. Still, nice nice folks.

The babies, too, are pretty cute. Unsurprisingly, there was nary a conventional name to be seen. It was the ‘winter 2010’ babies group, which meant, since Bubeleh was actually born 12/13, that he is technically a ‘fall 2010’ baby. But rather than having him get trampled on by the bigger kids, in this group he could have eaten those other little babies. Plus, it gave me a whole ‘oh, you’re still doing a midnight feeding? That is sooo 6 weeks ago’ line of annoying responses.

There were two women in particular that were somewhat frightening, though still super-nice and friendly. One had just finished a half-marathon. I was trying to do the math on the training for this, as she had a 6-month-old baby. But since she let me know that there is a mom’s group that meets at a beer joint, well, who am I to complain.

The other woman was kind of a trip as well. First, while I’m all kinds of who cares about breastfeeding, man, she was pretty much nipples to the wind while doing it. We seriously need some new social mores to figure out how to manage the hatred/fetish/love/fear of boobies. I dunno. Maybe not so much ‘we’ as ‘I’. Plus, when people started talking about solid foods, which were good or bad, etc., said, ‘Oh, I make my own baby food. It’s not hard.’

Ok. I have actually said these two sentences. In a row even. But I have never heard them said out loud by someone else before. And let me say, there was a palpable ripple of ‘fuck you’ that spread around the table. I mean, wow, it turns out I must sound like a total dick. Yes, I know, knowledge that everyone already has about me, I’m sometimes slow to take it in.

Overall, it was a pleasant way to spend a Friday afternoon. I’m not sure any of these relationships are going to stick at all, since really I didn’t even swap info with any of these ladies. I guess I could go back to the PSP listserv and look up their info and such, but then it would probably be creepy.