May 9, 2005|Posted in: Uncategorized
I am beat but it has been a Mother’s Day to remember. After a lost weekend, as it happens. I’ll see how far I get before drooling off to sleep.
Started off the weekened with a bang Thursday night, dashing home to Patrick’s for our Cinco de Mayo party. Big whoopee — it was much fun for all. Moments to savor: the look of horror on the kids faces as I danced with Stella in the living room to salsa music. (Savanna: “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst thing you could do as a mom, that was a 7 if you were joking, a 13 if you meant it.” Fortunately, I was only joke-dancing. I skate by with a 7.) The chiles rellenos casserole was a hit; the music, courtesy of DJ Patrick, was hip and fab (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Desi Arnaz, Los Lobos, Fernando Vicente, the Iguanas, and so much more); fun people, and the best part: Choco-Tacos for dessert. That’s an ice cream cone in a taco-shaped shell. Yum.
Friday we left town for the Dixon May Fair, held once a year for the past 130 years. Got wristbands for rides, rode all the kiddie rides with Austin while the big girls went on the Zipper and that gravity-defying thing with no name. I held drinks and jackets and the girls got their picture taken in old-fashioned clothes. We listened to some good music at the outdoor stage while Lynyrd Skynyrd warmed up on the big stage (“Free Bird!”), and we ate food on a stick. The most disgusting thing P ate was the chile relleno hot dog on a stick. It was truly neauseating to watch. But he ate it, down to the stick.
Saturday we did our usual chores and errands while the girls did a walkathon for cystic fibrosis in San Francisco. I worked a shift at the Park Street Spring Fair but camera no work, no take pictures. The weather threatened rain all day but didn’t oblige us. P took his kids to their mom, and my girls were tired so they stayed home. He and I hit the road for a mini-bar-hop, heading straight to the Lost Weekend Lounge for a Cosmo, then he said we might try the Lighthouse. Quinn’s Lighthouse in Oakland — I had been invited to go there for a Pirate Party. It seemed like a good idea, so off we went.
May 7 was the day to celebrate Blackbeard’s Wake at Quinn’s. When we walked in the door of this wharfside restaurant, it looked like any other seafood house. We asked, sotto voce, about the pirate party and were sent upstairs — to another world. Wenches and cabin boys, admirals and full-bearded pirates in leather, silver, velvet capes, tricorns, boots, with their silver goblets and broadswords — they were everywhere. Peanut shells were strewn on the floors and a comely lass was trying to catch peanuts in her bosom as a few sailors aimed, poorly. Everyone had a mug of ale or some tipple at his elbow. I pulled my blouse off my shoulders and P ordered our drinks. A few minutes later, the good pirate John Blakemore arrived and offered to show us around. We had our drink and watched the tomfoolery, heard a few shanteys and met the inimitable Skip Henderson of sea shantey fame, and then followed Blakemore out the back and down to the dock. We passed through a gate down the pier and ended up at the creaking ropes and gently rocking ship called The Royalist. I don’t know much about old ships but this one had masts and riggings and a pirate’s flag. We went aboard, then down into the cabin, where the captain sat in costume and incongruously held court over a handful of pirates (who could have been roadies for Lynyrd Skynyrd, without too much readjusting of costume) as they looked at his GPS monitor. A collision of two very disparate worlds.
We stayed just a few moments, enough to get the flavor of the place, before scuttling over the sides of the ship and heading up dock and path to our car. We should have gone home, but we stopped at the Shamrock on Webster for one more drink, to debate the merits of tube tops, well vs call vodka, the best music of our era, and yes, who loved who more. (Guess what? I lost that bet, somehow.) We finally headed home and fell alseep, setting sail for Mother’s Day, three sheets to the wind.
And last, this day, we slept very late (a rarity for either of us) and awoke to the sounds of clatter in the kitchen. My youngest, who ve-e-e-ry casually Saturday, had asked me “So how do you cook eggs?” was in the kitchen with a mixing bowl and a frying pan. I heard the rattle and clank for half an hour or so, then a whipered argument outside my door, and opened my eyes to my two daughters and a tray of half-cooked bacon, browned eggs, a bowl of ceral and a fruit salad, plus a cup of my favorite tea. They stood and watched me eat, so I started on the eggs and quickly moved on to the tea and the cereal and fruit, which were lovely. I even made a pretense at eating the bacon, swimming in a puddle of pink grease. Those girls — they’re just too much. Later, Ana spent an hour with a large roll of tape and some scissors, and then presented me with a poster-sized collage all about me! Photos, fun words, stuff I like, and more. Very cute. I’m looking for a frame now. I worked on office stuff all day, went to the gym with P and then he took us out to dinner. All in all, a very satisfying day.
I am past my bedtime limit for this blog so must to bed — but I must say, it doesn’t get much better.
Advice to Aspiring Writers: Ordinary days? No such thing.
(Below: Breakfast of champions…)
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.