Super Saturday: Smashed Taters, Partying with a Heartbreaker and Losing Myself in a Book

Super Saturday: Smashed Taters, Partying with a Heartbreaker and Losing Myself in a Book

Oh boy, we had such a nice Saturday today. An extraordinarily nice Saturday. And we didn’t even make it down to see THE DUCK yet, although that is on the agenda for tomorrow, once I cross the finish line for the Great Race.

Last night I finished Helen Bryan’s The Sisterhood, which I didn’t really like, but it wasn’t bad enough to totally ditch. I didn’t realize that I didn’t much care for it until about halfway through, and by that point I was already halfway through, so I decided to stick it out to the end. Which I did. And it was nice to just be done with it and move on to something new. So I started Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.


Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

I had an inkling I would like it because it kept coming up as “recommended” on Amazon, Goodreads, all kinds of things. I cracked into it, and I loved it. It was one of those rare books that I just wanted to clear out my whole schedule and sit down and read. Semple’s got solid skills at writing light, fun banter. All the characters are completely batshit crazy, but in a super fun way. The whole plot is ridiculous and implausible, but Semple pulls it off in a way that’s funny and kept me wanting to see what would happen next. I stayed up late last night to read it, and finished the rest of it this afternoon. It was simply great.

This morning, after Baby Beez’ ballet class, we went to the Quiet Storm for our farewell visit. We went there with friends for brunch a few weeks back, only to find that the items Mr. Beez and I loved most and craved weren’t on the menu for brunch. So it was necessary to return to get those dishes as our formal farewell. So today, I got my ultimate comfort food: The QS Home Fries.

QS Home Fries

Smashed taters, soysage, tofu (or eggs, your choice), cheese (or vegan cheez) roasted veggies, pickled onions and garlic aioli. Heaven. And I ate the whole thing. Stuffed. Word on the street is that QS has teamed up with Ava lounge to keep both projects open at a North Oakland location. I hope it works out, because my life will be sadder without those QS Home Fries.

After brunch, we celebrated the First Birthday of Judah K, our favorite little heartbreaker! Judah’s such a sweet little guy and his parents are such wonderful people. Judah was born with a congenital heart defect called truncus arteriosis. He has been through several heart surgeries and rough patches and successes. We were so thrilled to get to celebrate the amazing milestone of his first birthday with his family. The party was at the Children’s Home and was partially a fundraiser for the organization/facility, and it was great to learn about all the amazing work the Children’s Home is doing. In addition to doing arts & crafts, eating like 50 cookies, and playing with kids, Baby Beez got a chance to play out on the Children’s Home’s wonderful playground.

Gettin' Crafty

Gettin’ Crafty

As the party went on into that time of day designated as “nap zone,” Baby Beez got progressively wonkier. At one point, some boys a little older than her were roughhousing (not being bad, just being typical over-sugared 4 year old boys) and Baby Beez ran up to me, demanding that I join in the roughhousing:
Me: (shocked, kind of embarrassed) No! I can’t hit them!
BB: Can I hit them?
Me: Uh, no.
BB: Can I kick them?
Me: Um, no. How about you color?

It doesn’t look nearly as funny in print now, but believe me, it was funny at the time. And then Baby Beez continued to get ridiculously tired, tried to lick the bathroom door, and I knew it was definitely time. to. go. home.

So we went home and everyone took a 4 hour nap. And it was amazing.

Tonight it’s movies, magazines, a glass of wine and a lot lot lot of water. Tomorrow is The Great Race. Wish me luck!

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