Dateline: Chicago. I’m In A Sugar Coma

Dear Kid,

Dateline: Chicago.

I’m in a sugar coma.

According to Chicago native folklore (and by “native lore” I mean I saw it on a bag in a store here), the important things to do in Chi-town are 1. eat, 2. eat, 3. eat, 4. see the bean, 5. eat.

According to Chicago native folklore (and by “native lore” I mean I saw it on a bag in a store here), the important things to do in Chi-town are 1. eat, 2. eat, 3. eat, 4. see the bean, 5. eat.

Because Dad and I are wild and crazy, we added 6. see Navy Pier and 7. the Field Museum, but other than that, the Wisdom of the Bag prevailed.

After breakfast on Saturday of our anniversary trip (temperature minus 4,783 degrees Fahrenheit—not including wind chill), we began with a visit to a patisserie for macarons. We chose balsamic fig (which turned out to be our favorite), coffee, and Guanaja chocolate. Yum. Then we rode the trolley to Navy Pier where we HAD to have Garrett Popcorn (yum—and orange colored fingers).

We chose balsamic fig (which turned out to be our favorite), coffee, and Guanaja chocolate. Yum.

Our pre-lunch snack was at the Field Museum (where we also had lunch a few hours later because there is a limit to how much museum this girl can do without being fed and caffeinated).

Dinner (drinks, appetizers, entrees, and first dessert) was at Le Colonial, a very nice French Vietnamese restaurant.

By the time we finished dinner, the temperature had dropped a million or two degrees, so we walked (did I mention the high heels, skirt, and the temperature?) over to the new Water Tower where we planned to go to the Signature Lounge for Dessert 2. After we showed our IDs (yep, we were carded), we went up, up, up but in the lounge there is a limited dessert menu which did not include what we wanted. So we gazed at the view for a few minutes, passed on dessert, went down, down, down, and walked back to the hotel.

Most of the walk was along Miracle Mile. We had to walk there at night because we don’t earn enough to stroll there when the stores are open.

Dad was still dead set on finding Dessert 2. I was dead set on getting out of the cold and out of the 4 inch heels. We compromised by going back to the hotel and getting carryout dessert from the restaurant there. I chose banana bread pudding (shocker) and Dad got chocolate (bigger shock). I would have taken a photo but we pretty much snarfed them.

Tomorrow, I’m ordering a new wardrobe from Omar the Tent Maker.

Love, Mom

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I Did NOT See That Coming | Surprises Can Be Awesome

Dear Kid,

OK, I did not see this coming.

Dad is rarely able to completely and thoroughly snooker me, but that is exactly what he did.

Completely and thoroughly.

As you know, Dad kidnapped me for our anniversary. Without a computer. He told me we were heading south and that it would take about an hour and 45 minutes to reach our destination. I thought I’d weaseled real information out of him. I was pretty proud of myself.

I guessed Lexington. I was sure it was Lexington. He told me he might ask me to do part of the driving. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes and groaned. Dude was raining on my happy.

I was absolutely, positively sure it was Lexington. I thought (from Dad’s vague hints) we’d be learning to ride horses. He told me we’d leave no later than 6:30pm. I (mistakenly) assumed that if were ready earlier, we’d leave earlier.

Fast forward to last Friday. I was ready to go. Dad was dawdling. I sighed and resolved not to spoil his plans with my impatience.

Finally, we were ready to go. Dad drove. We were indeed headed south.

And then he turned onto 275 West to go to the airport.

Wait, WHAT?

I did not see that coming.

At the airport, Dad took my license and kept the secret all the way to the gate.

We were headed to Chicago.

First thought: Cool.

Second thought: No, cold. Freezing cold.

Third thought: Who takes a vacation to Chicago in the middle of the winter?

Fourth thought: Shut up and enjoy.

Chicago! Chicago! DearKidLoveMom.comFast forward (again) through a 2 ½ hour delay and a gate change. I ask about plans and Dad says he has information for me to read. I ask where we’re staying and he tells me the Embassy Suites. I briefly wonder about asking if I should call any of the cousins who live in Chicago. I think: Shut up and enjoy.

We land, retrieve my suitcase (I have packed enough for three weeks at a shoe convention because I don’t know anything about what we’re doing), and head out for the Uber Dad has called.

An Uber?

Dad has an Uber account?

I did not see that coming.

And who takes an Uber from the airport? Why not just grab a taxi?

I think: Shut up and enjoy.

We walk outside to meet the Uber. After a few false starts, we find the car. I notice the long-haired driver is a woman and briefly think: How odd that a woman is picking up people at the airport this late at night. (Sexist. I know. But it’s what I thought.)

The driver got out of the vehicle to open the back of the car for our luggage. And it’s Cousin Jennifer! How freakin’ wonderfully cool.

I did NOT see that coming.

Dad didn’t lie. It took about an hour and 45 to reach the appropriate gate from our house. And we moved to the Embassy Suites on Saturday.

I seriously did not see any of that coming.

Surprises can be awesome.

Love, Mom

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I Had A Lovely Weekend. I Think. (and verb problems)

Dear Kid,

I have been kidnapped. I will be kidnapped. I was kidnapped.

“If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?” ― Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, DearKidLoveMom.comAll of the above are equally true and equally false.

Let’s start with the timeline. I’m writing this last week (It is last week as I’m writing. Except it isn’t. It’s now. But by the time you read this, it will have been last week). Explaining the timeline is not as easy as I’d hoped.

Timeline Take 2. I’m writing this letter on Friday because I am going to be deprived of my computer for the weekend. Later today (or last Friday, as it were), Dad is kidnapping me.

Perhaps kidnapping is too strong a word. Since I am going willingly. Happily. And I expect to be returned, no worse for wear, in a few days (by today, in fact).

We’re celebrating our anniversary and Daddy is surprising me with a trip. Here’s what I know so far: We’re leaving Friday evening (Pi is coming home to Puppy sit and study). Saturday evening is dressy. The rest of the time I need to look casual but nice. There will be coffee. I’m not allowed to bring a computer.

Which means the trip is not a surprise but the destination is. Except that by the time you read this the destination won’t be a surprise—at least not to me because the weekend will be over.

I’m sure I had a lovely weekend. Will have had.

My verb tense usage and I need a nap.

Love, Mom

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Snuggled Under the Comforter Until Spring

Dear Kid,

I understand that exercise is good. I understand that it’s important to get up and move around a little every now and then.

But it’s cold. And I’m snuggled under the covers and I do not wish to emerge until spring.

But it’s cold. And I’m snuggled under the covers and I do not wish to emerge until spring. DearKidLoveMom.comThe warm part of spring.

So I’m trying to figure out how to do everything from the cocoon of my comforter. Some things are easier than others.

Thinking. Easy.

Writing to you. Easy.

Cooking. Difficult.

Showering. Pretty much impossible.

Talking on the phone. No problem.

Going to work. Big problem.

Online shopping. Uncomplicated.

IRL shoe shopping. Complicated.

Sleeping. Easy.

Brushing teeth. Tricky.

I remember reading a science fiction story about a guy who was severely injured. While he was recuperating, he was confined to bed. And the chief computer took care of everything—including somehow managing to instantly clean the sheets when he, um, soiled them. I’m not saying I want to pee in bed, but if the technology were available I wouldn’t have to tiptoe through the arctic to get to the bathroom.

Just sayin’.

Love, Mom

Happy Birthday, Auntie M!

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Things Have Gotten Serious. Really, Really Serious.

Dear Kid,

Things. Are. Serious.

Fortunately, I have time to prepare.

Unfortunately, there may not be enough time in the universe to adequately prepare.

I’m being kidnapped.

That’s not the problem. That’s the good part.

In a few weekends, Dad is taking me away for the weekend.

Note to burglars: There will still be people and vicious puppy in the house. Don’t bother.

He hasn’t told me where we’re going. I’m hoping Aruba, but I doubt it.

Dad’s agreed to tell me what to pack (dressy dinner Saturday night) so that’s not a real problem.

But last night, Dad dropped the proverbial bombshell. “No computers.” ‘Scuze me, What? DearKidLoveMom.comBut last night, Dad dropped the proverbial bombshell. “No computers.”

‘Scuze me, What?

“We are not taking computers with us when we go. You have time to prepare.”


“You may take your phone.”


“Absolutely. Of course.”

But no laptop.

“Correct. No computers.”

You’re sure?


I’m really excited about our trip. I’m a little excited about not having my laptop (no, sweet laptop, I’m going to miss you terribly).

It won’t take up much space.

“No. Computers.”

Stay tuned.

Love, Mom

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I Have a Piri-What?!

Dear Kid,

Turns out I have a piriformis. But you knew that. 

Just in case you were sleeping the day they talked about it, the piriformis is the muscle that keeps your hips from falling off. It’s located behind one’s behind and helps one stand on  one leg without falling over.

At least that’s what most people use their piriformis for.

I was going to put in a picture of actual muscles, but it turns out I prefer them covered in skin. And often times, clothing. So I chose this muscle model instead.

Some people use their piriformis to cause piriformis syndrome which means (more or less) pain in the back. This is not a recommended use for said muscle because it hurts (and can cause other problems which allow doctors to send their children on wildly expensive educational jaunts).

Not to worry. I don’t have piriformis syndrome, and my piriformis muscle is not causing me any pain.

It seems my piriformis is more or less a freeloader, just hanging around for the good times but not doing any actual work. Which means that while I have no pain (yay) I also have pretty much no stability (we knew that a long time ago).

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region. It was named in the 16th century by Adriaan van den Spiegel, who missed out on a prime opportunity to name a muscle after himself.

I discovered this because a very nice Physical Therapist (and we know what I think of physical therapists) named Julie set up a table at the gym and (gratis-for-free) examined people in the name of Injury Prevention. I like preventing injuries as much as the next person, so I volunteered to have her poke around my muscles.

She found the spots that hurt. (See: Beliefs about physical therapists, above.)

Her first thought was that my hamstrings were too tight. Then she started bending my legs around, discovered that I take after Gumby, and moved on to jabbing her thumbs into my hitherto napping piriformis (at which point I moved on to jumping 6 inches off the table).

She enjoyed that so much that she did it again on the other side which only caused me to spasm and question whether she’d gotten her degrees at the Université de Marquis de Sade.

She gave me some exercises to do on a daily basis (and by daily basis I assume she meant every month or so during daylight hours). I’ve done them twice. At least I’ve done the ones I remember twice. If I remember correctly.

It’s not that I think she’s wrong. It’s just very hard to find time to do them (and by “very hard to find time” I mean I just don’t really want to).

You might wish to study up on the piriformis and how to strengthen it. I hear it’s lots of fun to torture your mother in the name of good health and stability.

Love, Mom

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