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A Zoom with a View, or The Germ is a Harsh Mistress, or The Moviegoers

Recently we took a little trip.

We get the joneses fairly regularly where we feel the need to travel. Ages ago, pre-parenting, we used to hop planes and go all sorts of wild places. Because we could. Once upon a time I took a job just because they offered me free air travel anywhere, any time. Every Friday we'd pack a bag and take it to the office. I'd call my husband around 4:30 and say, "This weekend let's go mountainous!" or "How about fabulous Chinese in San Fran's Chinatown for dinner tonight?"

Living in the northeast was great because so many fantastic places were so close, either by car or train. The high speed train was awesome. We could hit NYC enough that we got to know neighborhoods, and had their subway system as memorized as our own. Even Canada wasn't exempt, especially when I had to commute to work in Toronto.

Later my husband worked abroad and we commuted between Europe and the US---well, he commuted. I took a lot of vacation time.

Now of's a different life. But we still get that travel bug.

We both definitely believed that it is a Very Good Thing to get out of the house, way out, overnight out, every now and again. Improves perspective, brings about relaxation. Of course, usually by the time we unwind it's about time to go home, and of course the kids don't allow much relaxation time.

But on this trip, we had a babysitter. And a grandmother.

This meant Freedom.

One night my husband and I got all fancy and went to a chi chi place in our after 5 wear, ate overpriced food, and soaked up tony ambience.

It would have been the best night ever if only I hadn't been (a) sick as a dog, which lead to (b) a quick exit to the ladies' where I heaved and breathed through my mouth trying not to hurl, and (c) practically fainted outside the restaurant, whereupon I did regain consciousness and full nausea but lost control of it.

Nice. I'm really classy that way. And wow, the photos from that night? Well, my husband looks great. I look like a deflated blow-up doll someone propped against the wall. Let's leave it at that.

(And no, we did not even have a drop of alcohol. Only water.)

On the upside, I did not end up breaking the diet. (I know, what a reach, big stretch, LOL.) And, while on that note, I'd like to say:

That's right, you heard me: I am within two pounds of my target weight. Why, that's a margin of error it's so close. And let me tell you: I feel so much better.

On the other upside, I recovered enough a couple of days later to carry on with the planned good times, which included visiting a movie set and snapping so many photos of the kids in a variety of, "OMG, that is SO GORGEOUS! Quick kids, run get in front of that so I can take your picture!" settings that now if my voice even approaches that tone or I so much as mention camera they run screaming.

I'll share some of the largesse. I'm generous that way, even if I didn't take you with me on my trip to the chi chi resort (not that---after my description of my behavior---you'd have wanted to be there with me, LOL).

We sure learned a lot about movie magic, like wow, it is even more fake than I realized. And this after having worked on a TV show for a year!

Oh I ought to mention: it rained the whole time so we didn't actually get to see the movie being filmed and all the equipment was in rain mode, but we made the best of it.

Seriously, the amount of equipment is mind-boggling, as is the fact that they just leave it lying around right there on the street all the time. One very larcenous part of my brain wondered how many years of college that one piece of equipment would buy.

Note that the plants are all still in pots, on loan from a local nursery. The flowers are all fake, like seriously cheap plastic, tags still attached fake. I will so be zooming in close on this movie, trying to find those tags.

If you squint really hard and look really closely, way way in the back center, nearly not visible are the port-a-potties. Of all the aspects of this location (that's Hollywood for "real world set") and all the equipment, only two things interested my lovely, charming, sweet little girls: the john and a very strange, but large, bug. Really, I mean, how much information can one impart about a portable toilet? And how vast is one's patience with this topic, and its ancillary topics? Allow me to share: think of a watermelon seed. Yeah, about that much. Especially if one has already put out the kabash on Any More Damn POOP talk and I MEAN IT, REALLY. It will probably surprise you to learn that despite pleas from the kids, I did not snap photos of the port-a-potties. I admit it, I had a bad case of mom overcome me and I had that, "Don't encourage it for heaven's sake!" thing flash through my mind.

But because I am a Cruel and Vicious Mother, I did force my children to Pose for Photos, an event akin to medieval torture from my kids' POV. However with ample bargaining, threatening, pleading, and bribing, plus superhero lightning speed, I did catch a couple of cute moments:

After some internal dispute, I did not put up the series of photos in which they begin by giving each other the hairy eyeball and end by shoving one another down. My kids are so glad to have a sister. That's real love---who else can you shove down and then run off and play with two seconds later?

copyright 2007 all text and images by Julie Pippert


S said…
Wow. Free travel anywhere? I'm just so jealous. What a time that must have been!

I'm so sorry that you were sick on your fancy night out but oh my, the news about your weight is so terrific! Congratulations.

And your girls are positively adorable.

Life is good, no?
Gwen said…
So many items to respond to:

First, kids--love 'em. Little P looks like she might be very very good friends with Lucifer. Let's make sure they never meet. While Big P is all, Oh, yeah, I am so gorgeous and also OVER THIS, MOM. And? I am happy to hear how they fight. Really, my cockles are completely warmed to know I am not alone with the sister squabbles.

Second--Dude! bummer about the illness. Total sadness on that one.

Third--"Ocean's Twelve" filmed a scene at my favorite manicure place in the city (it was my fav mostly because it was exactly one block from my house) and the amount of equipment was amazing. As was the way they completely remade the space. I was like, Why even bother? And? Julia Roberts is seriously sickly thin. She looked like a skeleton walking by my house.
Lawyer Mama said…
Congrats on the weight loss! Wow! You must feel fantastic!

Your daughters are absolutely adorable.

That's horrible about the illness. Some sort of sick Murphy's Law backlash for trying to get a night out on your own, I'm sure.

When I was in my early 20's they filmed a couple of scenes for Tu Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar across the street from where I was working in Omaha. We watched them shoot a night scene in a parking lot over & over & over & over. My lord, it was boring! Wesley Snipes was very cool and shook lots of hands & signed lots of autographs. Patrick Swayze, on the other hand, ran away like a little girl when he saw the enormous crowd of 4 women heading towards him.
Julie Pippert said…
SM, I hated that job. Just hated it. I had about one project in all the time I was there that I even came close to liking just a little bit. But. Travel. For free. First class. Four days sucked and on the fifth day it was pure joy. LOL

Thanks...I feel sort of amazed that (a) I lost that much weight and (b) I had that much weight to lose.

I think my kids are adorable. But it helps to hear others say so too. Especially when it's not in a "Wow, they are SO lucky they are SO cute..." sort of way LOL.

I'll count my blessings. :)


Gwen, little P would be a great (or terrible---depending upon perspective) friend to Lucifer. One of my good girlfriends has an adorable son just a few months older than P2. He's precious. I love the family. In other circumstances we'd be arranging the marriage. Instead we have a verbal agreement to never, ever let these two date much less more---which I am sure means they'll be Soul Mates, in which case, God Help the World if they have kids.

Squabbles? Oh you bet. 50% of the time at least. LOL

I was really bummed to be so sick. It's one thing to be minorly stuffy nosed but that was...well, I regret not being able to enjoy that night.

Someday remind me to tell you a story I heard from two actors (pretty famous) and a musician (one hit wonder) about Julia...suffice it to say they weren't being real nice.

I am so glad I don't wish to be an actor or famous. I'd probably have to give up pie, in which case, how is life worth living? ;)
Christine said…
Sounds like quite a time! I am SO impressed with that kind of weight loss! That takes true commitment and effort. I'm sure those last two pounds will come off any sec now.
Mad said…
They were filming in Sleepy Town here last week on a day when it was hot and lovely (unlike the freezing rain weather we've got this week). Miss M and I ate popsicles and watched the film shoot. The film's subject matter: hockey, but of course.

P and P are adorable and congratulations on the weight. I hope you're feeling better.
thailandchani said…
Oh, I remember the fake movie sets. They were always amusing.

Liked seeing the pictures. :)


Girlplustwo said…
wow. sounds like such a good time, except for the sicky bits.

and your kids are eatable.
Her Bad Mother said…
Those little ladies - geeeyorgeous. WonderBaby wants to play with them.
Catherine said…
Congrats on the weight loss goal and your night away! I'm still adjusting to not being able to travel Internationally whilst being a mommy. Worth the trade, of course, but still an adjustment...
K said…
Congrats on weight loss!

Your girls, beautiful.

Roy and I need to plan a trip-two actually- one with kids and one without. Time is the problem. My kids are great travelers and I want to show them the world. We just can't pick our next destination.

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