Last night we were at our favorite restaurant, the dbar. Whereupon my son proclaimed, "View mom in her natural habitat, having a mocha and some chocolate."
Chocolate was required as we are now on our third SBA banker and every time they switch us off we have to redo almost all of our paperwork. Nothing I have ever done has been as complicated as getting an SBA loan.
My 8 year old computer had finally had it. Now I have this, an iPad. I don't know how to show you pictures though. They could probably tell me at the genius bar but they scare me. I realized just how not smart and uncool I was standing in the apple store.
Last week was a mess because of The Worst Migraine Ever, which effects seemed to linger for quite some time. I even forgot to go to my son's presentation at school about his Canadian heritage. I guess I'll just have to take it one email at a time.
I wish that my night on the floor came with a good story that involved tequila and some life changing visions. Alas, it has merely to do with a migraine - although there is nothing mere about a migraine.
This one was the worst of all, included throwing up, and lasted about 24 hours.
The upside of becoming intimate with the bathroom floor? I found an earring I thought I had lost.
I remember my parents having rocking parties that lasted until the wee hours of the evening. Whether owing to the fact that this recent party was to celebrate my father's 70th birthday, or the fact that most of his friends these days are from the book club at his church, the party was over at about 9:00.
So fairly early that evening I headed back to the hotel with my boys (my husband and my son, both of whom I quite like).
My son decided he was too cold and asked if he could turn down the air in the room. Okay, fine. He did so and crawled into bed and fell asleep. My husband crawled into bed and set his iPad to watch the Virginia Tech game that he missed on account of being at the party.
Frustrated that the hotel t.v. didn't get Food Network or Bravo, I decided to just read Freedom, which I started out liking immensely but now find a bit much. I fell asleep. Yet I woke up about every 15 minutes sweating buckets and trying to ignore the football game that was going on in the bed beside me. Finally I realized that my son had set the thermostat to 80 and that my husband actually intended to watch the entire game that night mere inches from my head.
I'm exhausted. And do you know what you can't do in Dallas? Walk anywhere. As in, the next morning when you need a cup of coffee, you can't just walk out of the hotel down the block to the Starbucks. But do you know what you can do in Dallas? Drive to the Starbucks you frequented when you went to law school there and then drive to some pretty damn fine Tex-Mex, and then you remember just how much you adore your heat-loving gecko and the football-loving vampire.
My son and I are headed off to Dallas for 24 hours. For my father's 70th birthday party. My son hasn't seen his grandfather since 2009. But that's the thing about 10 year olds. They don't hold grudges. Here I will follow his cheerful lead.
We are now within walking distance of 4 fro yos, and only a short drive to a Pinkberry. Oh I know I know, the fro you fad has been in your town for years. The last time we were in Dallas there was a cross-street with a fro yo on three of the corners. But here we get fads - fashion, food or otherwise - years after the fact.
So. Two questions. First, how do they get loans. We are bringing a product here that isn't even here, and getting an SBA loan has been the longest, most difficult process I have ever been through. How do you snag a loan for a store that is exactly the same as a store a block away? Are there that many people who are independently wealthy?
According to The Franchise Mothership, we must have stripes of different colors along our wall. Having not seen vertical stripes on walls except in sports arenas and past episodes of Trading Spaces when the decorators were getting really bored, I see no reason for vertical stripes (of varying widths). Yet here we are.
Oh I get the consistency and branding bit. But I do not see how the particular branding item should apply to my store when I don't like it.
This food franchise thing was an interesting choice for someone whose biggest pet peeve, after having to listen to people eat, is being micromanaged.
about St. Paul. These guys. They were just a few blocks from my hotel.
Another thing about St. Paul. Southwest Airlines is not big there. If your stewardess calls in sick, you have to wait for them to fly another one in from Chicago. The point being, without my work computer on me, I had an opportunity to pick up a new book.
I picked up Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, even though I thought The Corrections was just okay. As it turns out, the first part of Freedom takes place in St. Paul. And as it turns out, I really like Freedom.
It did not bode well that I had to read the first sentence of the book over and over and I still don't understand it: The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally - he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now - but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times. Oh wait, now that I typed it, I got it. Anyway, I persevered because I love an author that can wield a dash.
I've felt it, yet until yesterday, I couldn't put my finger on it. I had cleaned out my house of a lot of things from the past. I was having dreams about people I hadn't thought of in years. I decided I could forgive a few people. (A few. I'm a Scorpio, so some are still on the decade long grudge plan.) I was experiencing not just happiness, but joy.
Then I realized what had happened.
At some point recently I crossed the line from surviving to living.
After a decade of burying my mom and learning how to be a mom and going through a divorce and getting fired and trying to be a second wife and a stepmom and sometimes doing okay and sometimes not doing okay, at some point I crossed the line. From surviving to living. Ahhhhhhhhh. That's an exhale.
This was five blocks from my hotel in St. Paul. This is the ultimate diner. This is as good as it gets.
The guy who makes the malts sits on the stoop and smokes until you order. The guy who fries your clams claims to have been there since the 70's and talks back to the regulars. The whole thing is mostly counter seating mere feet away from the grill. The guy who sat next to me was aggressively interested in what I was reading and explained that the diner car was transferred there from New Jersey. He goes to Mickey's for the pancakes.
and I have the pictures to prove it. Only, my computer is being ornery. Do you know what I have to buy? A new computer. Grrrr. As far as I am concerned, a computer is like an appliance. I would rather spend $1000+ on anything else, but when you need a new appliance, you need a new appliance.
So for now, you will just have to trust me that St. Paul is amazing. A classic diner. A morning run while the sun was rising on the Mississippi. An art deco court house. Those Peanuts statues. And the people? Lovely. The clams at the diner? All I hoped they would be. The chef and waitress at the diner? All I hoped they would be.
You may recall that last Spring I was watching a Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy was loving on some fried clams. Ever since I have been wanting fried clams. You can't find them in these parts.
I am going on a business trip today. On this trip I will do blah blah blah blah and meet with some people blah blah blah. Oh yeah, also - I will be in FRIED CLAM COUNTRY. Oh sweet fried clammie. You will be mine all mine.