I am going to go backwards in recounting the events of the day, and see how that works..
The boys are asleep, the sink is almost free of dishes, I only have a small pile of unfolded laundry on the bed impeding my eventual sleep, and it’s 10:48 pm. I’m sipping on a green smoothie left over from breakfast (yes, a beer would be nice, but there are none, and I have done my drinking for the day already) and knawing on ½ a bagel spread with honey and subsequently rejected during tantrum (not mine) about 8 hours ago.
Bedtime for the boys was only about 20 minutes ago, I confess. During the week I am very invested in an 8:15 pm conclusion to childcare and have been pretty successful of late, but today was a free-for-all. My friend Martha Redbone and her 4 year-old boy Zach Whitby came over for dinner/playdate/rehearsal at 5 pm. We ate green salad, chicken roasted with sweet potatoes and green beans, onions and garlic, along with a quinoa dish whose origins will be explained later. Martha had brought some ice cream as well. Zach is right between Maceo and Van in age, and the three of them fell right into their increasingly familiar rhythm of hide and seek, “freeze tag,” and general harmonious wildness that was lovely to see. These games and the movie they watched later were all over Van’s head, but he’s expert at going along with the big boys. The plan was for Martha and me to prepare for my upcoming gigs and recording by trying out some background vocal parts, and the boys did their part in occupying themselves boisterously. But we spent as much time talking about other music and musicians as singing. Still there was some good work done there, and I’m excited about it.
I had turned on the oven to pre-heat for the chicken before saying goodbye to my brunch guests, who were a glorious bunch gathered with no illusions of working, but rather to reminisce about the time when we were all roommates and friends in a nutty duplex at 314 West 51st Street in Manhattan. We all just call it “314”, and the time and place is legendary, as least to us. The party started at noon with the ironic punctuality of Jolie, who was driving in from Long Island with her 3 ½ year-old Austin and 2 year-old Vera. The rest – Vicky & Paul, Heather, my brother Josh, and Tim & Teresa with baby Owen dribbled in later, from nearer parts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Tim & Teresa’s imminent move to Oakland was impetus for us all getting together, and they had brought along a bottle of special wedding gift champagne. There were coffee and bagels, fruit and cheese, salad and a elk sausage on ziti with parmesan concoction contributed by my brother from the last of the Christmas gift elk hunted by my cousins in Colorado.
My contribution was the aforementioned quinoa. Left with about 30 organic chicken hot dogs in my fridge remaining from Maceo’s school “Movie Night” on Friday, I thin sliced four of them and browned them in the skillet with olive oil to a more elegant sausage-y look along with some red onions, herbes-de-provence, chopped fennel fronds, and a few other vegetable remnants. The quinoa was cooked separately and then all were mixed together for a reasonably tasty thing. Not sure what I’ll do with the other 26 odd dogs.. (But I know what I should and possibly may do – cook 6x the amount of same dish and bring it to the Rockaways or another NYC neighborhood where people are still without heat and working kitchens after last fall’s hurricane..)
I am tired of cooking and cleaning after today’s exertions, but it was all about as relaxing as could be for a day that didn’t really involve sitting or stopping. The boys and I never left the apartment, but the party came to us – all old friends with good hearts, funny stories, and sweet happy children who greatly enjoyed each other.