i’m guessing their world is kind of like being on a hallucinogen

Ralph’s made a pile of 11″ by 17″ paper for the kids to draw on. It’s allowed them to expand their art to the edges of the paper. Nels draws elaborate botanical gardens and tall, thin houses with many vertical-lined fixtures; Sophie illustrates mermaid families, dragons, and some kind of a spiky weapon hurling above us all like a vicious sun.

Yesterday one of her many mermaid family drawings had been amended. Above the four of us it now read: “Chart of mean People” and then below that, “X’s are mean”). Ralph and I had two big X’s drawn through our faces. I’m not sure what we’d done to offend, but I do like our daughter was ready with an infographic regarding the character of our family.

We were a topless mermaid family, of course. My breasts looked like two adjoined capital “Y”s. Ralph sported an arrow over his right shoulder pointing to “nipls” (just in case you weren’t sure what those two milk-dud sized dots on his chest were); he was also annotated “(with a sweet stash)”, the “w” in the word “stash” (which meant mustache, of course) sporting it’s own mustache like a tilde.

Last night my mom took Sophie to pick up her van at the shop. While they waited they shopped at the Dollar Tree and my mother bought Sophie a tube of plastic lizards. My kids love plastic animals, Sophie most of all – especially dragons and reptiles. By that evening in the bath the kids had named the lizards:

Roadkill
Flattop
Paul
Paula
Blackie
Finny
Schuck
Flower

In the bath with my daughter I spent several minutes committing each lizard’s color and name to memory; this morning while putting away clothes I noticed she’d put each of the eight to bed in these wee baskets, each with their own pillow (cut from fabric scraps).

Very, very sweet. Until one of the lizards offends my daughter and she writes up a blistering exposé.

trabajo mucho hoy… y como comidas buenas

Have I mentioned that I waitress a few hours a week – and I love it? The money is nice enough (and the tips surprisingly high sometimes), but I like the work far more for other reasons. Namely, I enjoy being a good waitress (or trying to be one), I love my boss (love her!), enjoy my coworkers (especially that little trollop Jz.), and believe in the restaurant I work in more than I’ve believed in any other restaurant. Hard to explain the place – called a Deli, it seems to me a combination of a diner and a bistro – and it’s pure magic!

A few highlights of my day: a Latino family who visited our restaurant for the first time and I was able to speak some of my (poor, limited) Spanish – an enterprise I love!* Halfway through their meal the gentleman at the table saw my parcel of pan dulce from La Unica Panaderia (I’d asked my mom to bring some to share) and came up to the counter to ask after it (eschewing the one hundred thousand types of ice cream confections, muffins, pies, tarts, etc. that we actually sell in the Deli). In fact he almost took some off my plate. I offered him some (“free gratis”) and in the next hour watched him continue to come up for more.

My favorite customer, though: the gentleman who ordered a large bowl of clam chowder (Award-Winning!) and an egg salad sandwich.

When I asked him what kind of bread he wanted on his sandwich, he said: “I don’t care… I’m not a pussy!”**

WTF?

* This might seem odd, but I actually speak Spanish an awful lot in my mind and the rest of the day kept thinking: ¿Mas café, Señor? and ¿Necessitas una cajeta para llevar?

^^ edit – g-d ASCII characters!!! ^^

** Ralph points out that this meal – an egg salad sandwich – is, in fact, exactly comfort food for a ten year old kid. So I’m not sure what all this brusque reply was meant to convey, but it may have been a wee bit defensive. “Can I heat you up some milk and smash some saltines in it, little tiger?”