Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mama's Park Slope Integration

Hey look at this...two posts in less than a week! I am so proud of Mama Jens!!

So this is what I did tonight: Laundry. This is a big production these days. But first, let me rewind.

In Berlin, we had a wash machine that cycled for something like three hours for a couple of lonely pieces of clothing. Then we had to hang those guys out to dry. And when you are doing laundry for four, two of them always dirty, that means you are basically perpetually confronted with looking at a record-breaking size pile of laundry sitting in the bathroom everytime you pee, and well, you are always doing laundry. I am sure I have blogged about that before. Visiting family members from the U.S. were always in awe of my patience with that situation in Berlin, happy to go home to their SUV size washers and dryers.

Fast forward to Chapel Hill, and there I was in laundry washer and dryer (SUV size of course) and I could clean a million large items in record time and never have a dirty towel hanging around. I enjoyed every minute of it.

And, now, we are here in our bajillion dollar a month apartment in Brooklyn, and with no wash machine in the apartment. So I have been hauling my laundry in trash bags to the local laundromat to sit and spin. I have done it every week so far- about two loads a week. I could get real and order a machine from Sears...but somehow, I am enjoying this right now because a.) it makes one think twice before throwing a perfectly clean item of clothing in the basket for the poor old Mama to haul later in the week b.) it gives me the opportunity to get out of the house and converse with the locals for about an hour c.) when I put a five dollar bill in the money changing machine and all those quarters fall out, I feel like I just won something and d.) When I lived in Chapel Hill, I always missed that feeling of "living" that I got from inconvenient experiences in Berlin, so I am indulging in them now again, just to remind myself that I am alive. Call me crazy.

So go ahead and start counting the days it takes me to break down and buy a washer and dryer.

And speaking of meeting the locals, we joined the Park Slope Food Coop this week too. This is an amazing, organic supermarket in the neighborhood where every one of the 14,000 members work 2.75 hours every four weeks to enjoy the benefits of shopping where food is marked up only 21% above cost. This means that the food is cheap, like half-the-price-of-Whole-Foods-Cheap! Very nice. The trade-off is that you have to work and this week, we both did our first shifts. I had originally hoped that I would get the job in the basement dividing large quantities of spices into bags and weighing them and pricing them, but that job was full, so I got the job checking people in at the front door, and boy oh boy is this an amazing experience in social analyzation. I enjoyed it totally...and I especially enjoyed sharing this job with a 60- something lesbian who was full of punk rock stories to pass the 2.75 hours time.

So it is exciting to feel like my Mundane Mama Jobs - shopping and laundry- are fully integrated into the social system here in Park Slope.

The children, to continue with the Mamaness of this post, are doing well. They seem to be adjusting well to city life...though we haven't gone into the city (Manhattan) with them much. Their world here is parametered by a few different playgrounds and Prospect Park, which we have had fun exploring with them. They start school next week - one in elementary and the other in preschool, and so now all my energies are directed toward getting them situated right now. I feel very good about the elementary is much bigger than the one we were at in CH, but it is just around the corner and the zone is quite small, so I am sure we will see a lot of those children when we are out in the neighborhood, and I think this is wonderful. As for the preschool, it is in Foxy Brown's neighborhood, so a little further and a little more funky, but it seems like an awesome school, and if I can get over the fact that they will be walking the little guys to the playground a couple of blocks away, I think everything will be cool. I'll keep you posted there.

Otherwise, all is good. Time to sleep, but more soon. Good night and big kisses, love Mama Jens.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

holy shit we moved again....

i know it has been months since my last post...and i am always promising myself i will be consistent...but i am and we live in park slope now.

sometime after my last post, another crisis hit, and we found ourselves packing again. sometimes, i think our only real goal in life is to experience as many realities as possible, all the while trying to keep our sanity and financial situation in tact.

so here we are. it went something like this:

1. convince friends and family that we aren't totally crazy.
2. find renters for our beautiful house and pretend it had no emotional effect.
3. find an apartment in park slope and pretend it had no financial effect.
4. go through another marathon of getting rid of things you don't need.
5. clean your heart out to make sure the house is ready for the new renters all the while wishing that someone was doing that for you in your new place, but knowing that wouldn't be the case.
6. rent a uhaul and drive north, singing sinatra's new york, new york.
7. unload the uhaul on the hottest day of the year. add a couple flights of stairs for extra pain.
8. sit in your apartment at 2am in a corner overlooking the piles of boxes while your sweet family sleeps and think, "holy fucking hell, what did we just do?"

and now it is three weeks later and sometime in the middle of the night and i am eating some chicken from two boots - a little cajun pizzeria around the corner that we have fallen in love with that has the most amazing, hearty meals (and very good pizza too). they give the kids pizza dough to play with and so that is basically all we need for now at this point in our lives.

it is wonderful wonderful wonderful to be back in the city again. i love having everything right at our doorstep and all the people in between. the dust from moving is settling and we are anxious to get back to living and exploring. there is something new to see everyday, and that is what has always been interesting about moving so much. and here i get the feeling it will take awhile to exhaust that benefit.

if you are still reading, i hope you are doing well. if you aren't still reading, i hope you are doing well too. big kisses from mama jens and hopefully i will get my shit together and post more in the coming days.