Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray For the New DA!

Now that he’s been able to tell all the people he needed to tell in person, I can announce the good news here – and we can all celebrate. Mr. Trizzle got a new job!!!

He’s still going to be a DA, which is good because he’s a really good DA. But he’s going to a new office, a new county: Merced.

Merced is way……….. over……… here.

merced and el cerrito cropped

It seems like a nice place, based on what Mr. Trizzle’s told me and the things he’s showed me on the internet. And it seemed really cute when we went out there to find him a new home. It’s really cheap. Cheap compared to the Bay (what isn’t?); cheap compared to Nashville; probably on par with Milwaukee. Mr. Trizzle was looking at housing options the other day. He could rent a 3 bedroom house for less than our 2 bedroom apartment!

Of course, this is great news. He’s going to get to keep doing work he loves, and actually get paid properly for it. He’ll have a salary and vacation days and insurance and all that sort of stuff grown-ups are supposed to have.

I have to admit, I am a bit jealous. He gets to leave the Bay before me. It’s not too far away, a couple of hours only, but it sounds so different. So much closer to America. With real people who don’t have 8 gazillion degrees and aren’t trying to save everyone and everything except themselves. (Sorry, I went into Berkeley the other day and it hasn’t worn off yet. El Cerrito’s actually quite nice.) And, he gets a gigantic bedroom with huge windows and sliding doors out to a patio and high ceilings and a mammoth walk-in closet, and I'm left here in this tiny apartment I never would have chosen because it doesn't have enough windows and has stuccoed ceilings. I hope I get to visit someday.

Anyway, we all have to celebrate this wonderful news. A toast! To Mr. Trizzle and his fabulous new job! *clinck clinck* HOORAY!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ride

I wake early in the morning, before Mr. Trizzle because I want to make sure I’m ready when he' leaves.  If I’m ready when he’s leaving, I get a ride to the bus stop.  Mr. Trizzle probably thinks I try to be ready because I’m lazy and don’t want to walk to the bus stop.  That isn’t it at all.  The bus stop is only a few short blocks away, and it’s usually a very pleasant walk.  No, I try to be ready not because I am lazy, but because that short ride is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Three minutes.  That’s about how long it lasts.  But those are three wonderful minutes, in my favorite place, the passenger seat of Mr. Trizzle’s car.  He has a big SUV and I feel special sitting up high above the world, the loud bass from his subwoofers rattling the car and letting everyone know we’re coming.  It’s usually a song we both know, something we can sing along with, riding down the street in our stunna shades, each in our own little worlds right next to each other.

It’s only three minutes, but that’s three minutes of just us, no laptops, no work, no books, nothing.  Just us.  And we talk.  It’s the only conversation likely to happen in the morning. Inside, we’re both rushing around, hurrying to get ready.  Him to not be late, me to get to ride along.  In the car, we’re relaxed and we have time.  Just enough time to say ‘hey, what are you planning for the day?’  Just enough time for a friend.  I’m going to miss those three minutes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Church, Strike 2

It seems like a strange thing to say, but maybe God doesn’t want me to go to church, at least not to this church.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon El Cerrito United Methodist Church.  I checked out the website and decided to give it a shot.  I was pretty excited about finding a Methodist practically in my backyard.  Well, last week, you may remember, I arrived at the church for the 9:50 service only to discover it was a 10:00 joint service at a different church far away.

This week, I was super excited about trying again, especially since Mr. Trizzle went out of town for the weekend.  Same as last week, I walked down to the church, enjoying the warm sun and soft breezes and the beautiful vegetation along the footpath under the BART tracks.  And just like last Sunday, the church was all shut up.  Only this time, there were cars parked all along the street.  I had arrived at the church at 9:45, only to discover that this Sunday, service was at 9:00!  Bummer.

The really annoying part is, I was up and ready then.  I could have made a 9 o’ clock service, but I didn’t know.  Instead, I was at home cleaning until 9:30.  Next time, I’m walking to the church on Saturday to read the sign in front of the church so I know when and where the service is on Sunday.  Geez, sure do wish they’d update the website.

Summer PJ’s

It was late August, the beginning of the Bay Area’s warm season, when Mr. Trizzle came home with new doctor’s orders: sleepwear must include long sleeves and long pants.  He had some long underwear shirts and flannel pajama pants.  Neither of those would do for warm nights.

goldenrail to the rescue!  (Ok, so it’s really not a rescue at all, and, as he likes to point out daily, Mr. Trizzle can get along fine without me.  However, I like to feel useful, so just humor me, ok?)  I headed to my favorite little getaway, the Jo-Ann store two blocks away, and set to work finding what I needed to execute my plan.

The basic pajama set pattern was pretty easy to find, but the fabric proved more difficult.  I wanted a nice gauze, in a color that would look good on Mr. Trizzle.  I sort of had my heart set on white.  Unfortunately, the bolt of white obviously didn’t have enough for the whole outfit.

“Maybe I can get the shirt out of white and use something else for the pants,” I thought to myself.  So I took the white and grabbed some beige and headed to the cutting table.  The white was a quarter yard short for the shirt, and in two pieces.  I took it anyway.  I could tell this project was going to be more interesting then I planned.

Getting the front and back out of the large piece of white wasn’t too difficult.  Both were nice cut-on-the-fold pieces and I managed to make more folds by doing the old fold-both-sides-into-the middle-instead-of-folding-in-half trick.  But the other piece was shorter than the sleeves.  Dognabit!

Then I found a nice surprise in my shopping bag.  Less beige than I needed.  The cutting table lady cut it shorter than I asked.  Splendid.  Well, I do love a challenge, and this was turning into quite the challenge. 

With some interesting finagling of the pattern pieces, I managed to just barely squeeze out the four pants pieces.   Then the real fun began.  I cut a long strip from the remainder of the beige and sewed it onto the bottom of the too-short white piece.  The gauze lines on the white went vertical and those of the brown horizontal.  Perfect.  Then I laid out the sleeve piece, which now fit, and I cut.  Final result, the sleeves look like they have neat little mr trizzle's jammiesbeige cuffs, perfectly coordinated with the pants.

I added a drawstring to the waistband (not part of the pattern, but a rather essential pajama pant piece) and made it white to coordinate with the top.  There, a beautiful, light-weight, long-sleeved, long-pants pajama outfit.  Mr. Trizzle must like it a lot, because he wears it every night.  He said he feels sort of like an African king in it.  He does kind of look like one in it. :)


Here’s a better shot of the sleeve “cuff.”  It looks like it’s a different color because Mr. Trizzle (who doesn’t need a woman to help him with the laundry) accidentally bleached the shirt, which changed the beige into a sort of greenish tinged color.pants and shirt cuff

That was one of the most fun sewing adventures I’d had all summer.  But then, making something for someone else is always the most fun, especially when it’s a surprise.  :D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I’ve Reached the Green

At the special request of my mother, I am to post today about my outfit.  As you know, I have been spending the past few months exploring my closet, going down the row, wearing whatever comes next.  Earlier this week, I reached the green section.

Today’s item was an olive green RED shirt (from the RED collection; there is no color called olive green red, that would be brown).  It’s a v-neck t-shirt, although a little softer in shape than most t-shirts.  I didn’t want to just wear it with jeans, since I don’t really like jeans all that much.  So, I started at the top of the closet and began flipping my way through the clothes.

It just so happens the shirt coordinates nicely with a skirt waiting just a few hangers down, a skirt that would probably have come up for wearing on Saturday or Sunday.  A skirt I don’t think I’ve worn since college.  It’s a cute skirt.  But I could never seem to find the right top for it.  And for the longest time, it just looked funny on me.  (I was bigger in college than I am now.)  After today, I think it’s my new favorite skirt.side green wool skirt                                    

Mommy made the skirt for me, I think about 9 years ago.  At least I’m pretty sure she made it and not me.  The plaids line up on the side.  The fabric is a green wool plaid.  I front green wool skirtbelieve it was part of the large stack my mom inherited from my grandpa’s house when he had to move into a home.  The skirt’s got a little fish tail in the back which I think gives it a nice shape.  It’s warm, and comfy and olive is a good color for me.  Well, at least for my eyes, which turn a pretty shade of green when I wear olive.

Two pieces of clothing I almost never wear, now one fabulous outfit.  And that’s what makes exploring my closet so much fun!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Little Hill

For as much as I complain about the Bay Area, I really like El Cerrito. Mr. Trizzle did a great job picking out where we live. It‘s a nice little town and I can be quite content without going much beyond its borders. The playhouse I found, where Daddy Bunny and I saw Harvey, is the El Cerrito Community Theater, just a mile behind us. Turns out there’s a really cute little community back there.

The El Cerrito Middle School is over there, as well as recycling center that includes free book exchanges and a Goodwill drop off center. There’s also the El Cerrito United Methodist Church. I attempted to go there today.

It was a beautiful morning. Warm and sunny. The birds were chirping and a soaring on the fall breeze. Joggers and people riding bikes passed me as I walked along the footpath under the Bart tracks. Sidewalks down quiet residential streets took me up and down a few slight hills. My friend MattE and I talked caught up with each other on the week’s events. It was a good, happy, morning. Then I reached the church. “Sunday, October 18th Joint Service at Vallejo UMC.” Darn it. I’m nowhere near Vallejo. So much for church.

But one little set back can’t ruin a whole day. No church? Time for the next best Sunday pastime (remember, I don’t get Packer games here) a trip to Jo-Ann! What a perfect way to enjoy more fresh air. I needed an embroidery hoop anyway. – I’ve been doing some counted-cross stitch. The cross-stitch part is going ok; the counting, not so much.

Not only did I get an embroidery hoop at the Plaza, I got a haircut! Finally, all the badly damaged, oddly colored, frizz left over from being Jessica Rabbit two years ago is gone! It almost looks like I dyed my hair because it’s now all dark brown. As if I didn’t already look enough like Mommy! But getting it cut also has the nice benefit of perking up my curls. :)

The afternoon was full of sewing, until it was time to make dinner. Mr. Trizzle’s mom joined us for dinner, which is also a fun treat. This time she brought a really crazy movie with her so we didn’t get as much of her great conversation as usual, but it was still fun to see her.

All in all, a great day in my little town. When I stay within El Cerrito, Albany and Richmond, I actually like living here. (Oakland’s cool too, but getting there requires going through Berkeley.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Can’t Win

Faithful readers may remember a little tale from a week ago when I tried to go to work and didn’t quite make it.  Well, it seems the bus gods were against me yet again yesterday.  This time the victim was a cute yellow and orange plaid skirt circa 1960-something, a yellow sweater and brown lace-up boots with the fur.  Oh yea, and me.

I woke up to a dreary, overcast day, nothing unusual in the Bay.  Except, it was also raining.  Pouring pretty much.  Constant downpour, with not a speck of sunlight peeking through.  In other words, sucky,  and totally out of season.  Apparently, yesterday broke all kinds of weather records for the area, including some that counted all the rain from April through today.  Craziness.

With full intentions of going into the office, and a giant rainbow colored golf umbrella, I headed out the door and down to the bus stop.  Usually, Mr. Trizzle can drop me off near the stop on his way to work, but yesterday he was going somewhere else.  So I walked down the few blocks to the stop. 

I got a little wet on the way there.  It took both hands to hold onto the umbrella, and that was difficult while also holding my laptop bag.  The wind was driving the rain a bit sideways, but it wasn’t too bad.  Nothing like the rain in Nashville, that’s for sure!  I think if the bus had come on time, or even just five minutes late, I would have been ok.  I would have dried out at the office.

But the bus didn’t come on time, or five minutes late, or even ten minutes late.  By the time the bus was fifteen minutes late, I could squish my toes in the water inside my boots.  My jacket was soaked through on one side, and my skirt.  My once light brown boots were a deep dark brown.  By this point, even if the next bus came, I was so wet, I’d never dry out at the office.

Home again, home again jigidy jig, without a fat hen.  Just with a sopping wet me.  Even my laptop got wet.  The rain had soaked through both my bag and my laptop case.  Luckily, only the outside of the laptop got a little wet.

out to dry

The worst part is, I wasn’t the only one in the office that had this happen to them!  Maybe we can blame it on the unexpectedness of the rain, but it appears the buses don’t operate in the rain.  Perhaps the transit company should borrow the tourists’ ducks or something.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Quick! Go get a glass. Preferably a pretty one. Got one? Ok, now, add some wine or some other fancy drink and some ice cubes. Yes, you must have ice cubes. Now, ready, set, toast! It’s that time again. Happy Birthday Alfred!erica, sara, heather and wendy on wendy's bed

[Alfred on a past birthday with her cousins. She’s the one being held hostage.]

Alfred’s had a wonderful year. At least from my perspective looking back. I hope she’d agree. I mean, just look at all the things she’s done since her last birthday!

Here’s to another great year Alfred! Love, your big sister.

(P.S. you’re going to have to stop having birthdays soon or you’re going to pass me up. I had to stop this year so I won’t pass Mommy up. After all, she’s only 32, she couldn’t pass Grandpa up.)


Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Theater, the Theater

Guest post by Daddy Bunny

My mom’s been kinda unhappy lately. I’m not really sure why. We have this nice big, squishy bed. She and I get to hang out every night, and I’m safe from being dropped kicked all the time. Plus, Mr. Fuzzy’s visiting! I think everything’s fabulous. But my mom doesn’t seem to think so. Like I said, she’s been unhappy.

She decided that one thing that would make her happy would be to go out and do more things. I don’t really get this. I mean, what could be better than staying home and playing with me and Mr. Fuzzy? But no, she wants to do stuff. So she got tickets to the theater and she said I could go with her!

At first, I thought we were going to go on a long trip and visit her friend, The Great Ecclestone. Usually, when we go to a show, he’s in it, and we travel very far to see it. But she said nope, no Great Ecclestone this time. This show was right here in our own town. Something called a community theater. I didn’t understand why we’d go see a show without the great Ecclestone, until she explained that this show has something to do with bunny rabbits!

Well, you can imagine how excited a show about bunny rabbits would make me! I was hopping up and down with joy that I was going to get to go see this show with my mom. The Great Ecclestone is great and all, and we’ve seen plenty of things in his shows - horses, reindeer, Mayans - but never any bunny rabbits.

I got all dressed up, carefully smoothing out the wrinkles in my patches and tucking my ears nicely behind my head. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, there’d be a pretty little girl bunny in the show. Boy was I wrong. Bunny rabbits indeed!

The show was called Harvey. And there was only one rabbit in the whole thing. He wasn’t a cute little bunny rabbit either. No indeed. He was a very big rabbit. And he was invisible.

At least, he was invisible during the play. He must be visible sometimes because there was a painting of him and his best friend. Maybe he can choose when to be invisible and has stage fright and doesn’t like being visible when all those people are watching.

There may have only been one non-girl rabbit, but he was really important. So important, the play was named after him: Harvey. Harvey’s a very big rabbit. Much, much bigger than me. About the size of four of me, each standing on top of me, or about the size of my mom in her boots.

In the painting of him and his friend, Harvey is wearing a necktie, just like the ones I wear for holidays. Harvey also had a shirt collar under his necktie, but no shirt. I’m not really sure how that works, but the play was set in the 1950s so maybe clothes were different back then. Harvey had a hat too, but his was different than my hats. My hats have one whole in the middle for both my ears. His hat had two holes, one for each ear.

Harvey doesn’t seem to like to make himself visible to his friend’s family. And this causes all sorts of problems for his friend. His friend’s family thinks he’s crazy because he’s friends with a big, white rabbit that they can’t see. Then they try to get his friend put into a mental hospital because of it! Can you imagine that? Getting locked up just for being friends with a rabbit?!

Anyway, the play was pretty good. I sat on my mom’s lap. When Harvey goes places on trains or to the theater, his friend gets him his own ticket. But, he is much bigger than me, so I guess that makes sense. If I had my own seat, I wouldn’t be able to see.

DSCI0001After the show, the cast came out, and I got my picture taken with Harvey! We went outside by the theater sign. I sat on top of the sign and Harvey stood next to it. My mom had to turn the camera the long ways cuz Harvey’s so big. Then, my mom and I skipped and danced and did The Bunny Hop all the way home. (This one, not this one.) - They were playing it as the exit music after the show.

I’m really glad I’m not invisible, so no one will think my mom is crazy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

goldenrail, Made with Real Cheese

The other day I got some junk email, unfiltered out by Google. A flyer about special cheese makers in the Bay Area that only use local this that and the other thing. The flyer newsletter thingy had a special section showcasing some woman in New York City. “Queen of cheese making” or something ridiculous they called her. “One of the most important influences in American cheese making.”

I scrolled to the bottom of the flyer newsletter thingy. There, hidden among other tiny little links was the word “unsubscribe,” underlined in all its hyperlink glory. Squinting in order to see if I had my mouse cursor on the tiny link, I clicked.

“Yes, unsubscribe me from the newsletter and wholesale offers.” Check. A box comes up. “Please tell us why you are unsubscribing.” Ah, now that’s simple. “Real cheese comes from Wisconsin.” Submit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Two Hearts

Moving, moving, moving.  She felt like she was always moving.  She was tired of it, and tired of dragging around so much stuff with her.  Kneeling down on the hard floor she groped around under the bed until she felt what she was looking for.  Hidden deep in that dark abyss, behind empty boxes, a missing shoe and a few stray pieces of paper.  She pulled the heavy black bag, tugging as it caught on the underside of the bed.  It was a little overstuffed, but she’d never been willing to expand beyond one bag.

These were her ‘mementos,’ discarded remnants of relationships long past.  No use in keeping them anymore.  She wasn’t moving all the way across the country to hold onto this baggage, physically or emotionally.  She probably should have just thrown the whole bag into the trash, but the sentimental never let go that easily.

Making herself as comfortable as the wood floor would allow, she sat down next to the large box that had become the garbage, already full of the crazy odds and ends one finds when packing up their life.  And in the mist of all the other packing, she began to unpack.  Unpack the bag and unpack the corners of her memory, corners she had purposely allowed the cobwebs to cover.

A hair brush from a guy she sort of dated in college, a t-shirt from some frat boy, a framed sketch, all sorts of random things that have use only as sentimental objects.  The trash, the pile for Good-Will, the recycling bin, the different items were distributed as appropriate.  Lingerie that was never worn, birthday cards, printouts of long im conversations.  Some of it seemed downright ridiculous to still be in her possession.

Then she pulled out a small ball of tissue paper.  Confusion crossed her face.  What could this be?  She began to unwrap it.  Sharp edges protruded from the tissue, yet there was a solid circular feel to it.  She knew exactly what it was.

Her 17th birthday.  Her boyfriend, her first boyfriend, had given it to her as a present.  A small clear crystal heart, the tip perched on this circular base with swirls of clear crystal and a pink rose, two birds had sat together on one of the heart’s round humps.  She remembered unwrapping it, sitting in the passenger seat of the car in a parking lot.  She remembered wishing it was her 16th instead of her 17th birthday because then it would somehow be more special.  And she remembered what happened to that gift.

It was a little thing at first, a crack, or maybe one of the birds fell off.  Some sort of damage to the structural integrity of the gift.  That week, they got in a fight.  Then, things were getting better, they were patching it up, they were working on it and moving forward.  At least she thought so.  Until she was trying to adjust something on the bed and knocked the gift off her night stand.  In broke into many, many pieces.  The next week, the relationship ended.  For good.  He moved.  She went on.

Many months later, she came across the broken pieces of the gift, which she had gathered together and kept in her desk drawer.  It really was such a pretty present.  Why not try to put it back together again?  She took a small tube of super glue and attached the first piece back onto the circular base.  The next day, she ran into his best friend.

She glued on a few more pieces.  She saw his car when she was driving in her neighborhood.  Soon the whole thing was glued back together, minus the tiny slivers that had not been salvageable.  She ran into him in public.  They agreed to meet.  It was late, a 24 hour restaurant.  They sat across from each other.  The conversation was stilted.  It was clear it was too soon to be here, too soon to talk.  It was clear this was not going to come back.  She went home.  The glue gave out, the pieces of the gift fell in on each other, a small pile of fragmented crystal on the base of swirls with the pink rose.

The remaining circular base sat in her hand.  The power of the crystal, as she had started to think of it in that wild imagination of youth, was gone.  With only that circular base left, the gift had no magic left in it.  She had thrown out the pieces long ago, but the base had been tucked inside this bag, wrapped in tissue, waiting.  Waiting for what?  She had no idea.  Waiting for this she guessed, waiting to be put out with all the other pain held in that bag.  Waiting to become part of the trash heap that represented moving away and moving on from so many things.

- - -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If a Girl Gets Dressed Up and There’s No One to See It, is She Still Cute?

aurelia's first day of schoolI’d been waiting for today for a long time.  Today was the day I reached my burgundy sweater in my closet exploration.  The sweater itself really wasn’t that big of deal.  It was a Christmas present from my sister last year, and I’ve probably worn it nearly every other week since then.   [That’s me wearing the sweater on the first day of school last semester.  The white dress shirt is part of the sweater.]

What was so special about getting to wear the sweater this time was that I now have adorable shoes that match it perfectly!  I couldn’t wait to wear my sweater, grey skirt, grey striped tights (like the picture) and my beautiful garnet – that’s what the color’s called on the box – shoes.

garnet shoesI woke up this morning all excited, knowing exactly what I was going to wear and thrilled to finally get to wear my adorable shoes to work.  [It’s hard to tell in the pic, but those are 4.5” heels.]  I got dressed, brushed my hair for the first time in months – cornrows came out yesterday – put on my make-up and headed out the door.

It’s about a four block walk to the bus stop down at the busy corner.  We’re only three houses from the BART station, but the bus is cheaper because it offers a monthly pass and the bus station in the City is closer to work than the BART station.  The bus is also, usually, a much nicer ride because it’s less crowded and once it gets on the freeway, it doesn’t stop until we’re at the station in the City.  So, I take the bus.

The sun was shining so that even with the brisk chill in the wind the day still felt warm.  The bus stop has a wooden bench, sitting gloriously in a spot of bright sunshine.  I arrived about ten minutes before the bus’s scheduled arrival because the buses have been running goofy lately and seeming to pay no mind to the schedule.  I waited.

And I waited.

A gentleman joined me on the bench.

We waited.

And we waited.

We were waiting for the last bus of the day on this route; there was no next bus to wait for.  Fifteen minutes after the bus should have arrived, he headed up the street to the BART station.

I waited a little longer, for one more not-my-bus to pass.  Then I turned and headed in the same direction.  But I didn’t go to BART.  Instead I bought bubblegum.  No, I went home.

bus bart home [A = home, B = bus stop, C = BART station]

A BART ride into the city costs nearly $5.  That’s $5 more than I would have paid to ride the bus, because I have a monthly pass for the bus.  Plus, I’d already wasted a lot of time walking back and forth and waiting at the bus stop.  Luckily, work has a very flexible work from home policy.  And, since most of the people I work with on a daily basis aren’t in the office either, it doesn’t matter much where I am. 

So, as I said, I went home and worked from there.  I got a lot done.  But nobody got to see my adorable shoes.  Nobody except Mr. Trizzle and the guy at the bus stop.  I doubt either of them even noticed.