back to school photo

Of course I’m going to post a picture of my kids going back to school.

Rex 1st grade!

Vivien 5th grade.. hate how that is the last year of elementary school now.

I’m glad I will able to work uninterrupted and go to a couple of yoga classes, but the return of frantic time is not great.  I like sleeping in till 8am with Rex snuggling next to me.  Not the frantic dash and the battle over lunch.

“I’m making you the ham sandwich you liked last week.”

“I don’t want it”

“I can make you the pasta you liked?”

” I don’t want that”

“Then you are having hot lunch”

“what is it?”

” pizza”

” I don’t want it.”

I have warned them this year, tough, if you don’t like the first choice I give you eat hot lunch and deal with it.  I like the lunch fine.  Way better than when I was in school pealing back the foil top, steamy something up my nose.

So yeah, I love seeing everyone’s kids in their back to school best and seeing how much bigger they are.  But, parent’s need their own back to school pic.

So, here is my back to school pic.moms back to school

 

“We are going to be late, hurry up,  I don’t want to get a tardy,  Cody got out.  Rex, find your shoes!  Vivien you are lollygagging.”

 

What would yours look like??

#IalreadyMissSummer

Home from Epic trip

I didn’t think we would be able to take a trip like this. perfect italian villa But, certain forces conspired to help us have an Epic European trip.

Look ma I'm in front of the Duomo in Milan, oh yeah Ma, you are taking the picture

Look ma I’m in front of the Duomo in Milan, oh yeah Ma, you are taking the picture

I’m going to pick out one part today.

My darling husband spoke at the USA Pavilion about dining trends in the USA,front of usa pavilionedible garden at usa pavillion

My wife told me to wear this shirt, wait that's not what I was talking about!

My wife told me to wear this shirt, wait that’s not what I was talking about!

at the Milan Expo. In THE Milan, you know, the one in Italy.  By the way the Expo is an underated attraction. Sure there are some odd translations here and there, but it’s a coming together of countries across the globe to entertain, feed and educate the world… well, mostly Italians in this case, but I felt really lucky to get to be one of the people there. This is what the world’s fairs of old have morphed into. Remember “Meet me in St Louis”?  This was Meet me in Milan.  Every five years a country hosts and the host country picks the theme.  Last time it was China and the subject was “Clean Cities”.  Which I know if very important, but sounds as sexy as a flushing toilet.  The Italians hosted and they picked food, or rather feeding the world.   I had assumed in our jaded, TV, social media age the quaintness of the world coming together for education and recreation would be over.  But, oh no.  It felt like the United Nations meets Disneyland.  It runs through October and just in case you can get there I would advise you go.

spoiler alert: it will affect the food supply

poster for Expo

We visited different countries, ones that we know, France.. great food, natch.  Holland… which had a ferris wheel restaurant.

why didn't we think of this?

why didn’t we think of this?

The most charming, whimsical eating experience I’ve ever taken part in.  The kids and I got in, thinking it just and old ride and then the lady said, “no, would you like some wine or beer?”  Well, yeah, sure.  I sipped Rose as we went around, next round we got Rex a grilled cheese, then another round or two a sweet crepe.  It went very slowly. We loved it.  Another little food truck at the Holland area was offering “Silent Disco”, okay, what is that?  Dancing with myself! I love the irreverence.silent disco

funniest sign at expo

is that what the kids are calling it now?

Each country had a different take on the theme of feeding the world. USA took it seriously.  As we walk up there entrance of usa pavilionwas President Obama on a loop saying we have to figure out how will we feed 9 billion people by 2050?  I got choked up.  From seeing homefolk abroad and the enormity of that proposition. Then you walk at your pace to different  areas where there are video presentations from chefs, farmers, etc talk about how they are trying to create food that is sustainable.  It was educational, and important, yet I couldn’t help but be amused when I saw that USA had one of the odder translations at the Expo

We went to places we’ve never been, Turkey ( best tasting rice), Estonia ( one of our faves… when do we go), Poland, Russia ( impressive, but we were NOT going buy the Putin T shirts), Bolivia ( a mini pavilion in the are with countries who didn’t speak the mega bucks) and places we are unlikely to ever go, Iran, Zimbabwe.

Strangley there was a big pavilion for Sudan.  I didn’t get to it, but I was curious.. how are they feeding their people with civil war?  But, that’s what’s interesting about the Expo.  You get a lot for your travel dollar.  A sampler of countries and culture.  I said the the man I bought tea and spice from in Iran Pavilion, “I feel like I’m doing something illegal to be here.”  He said, the government is not the people, that Iranian people love Americans.  I didn’t want to belabor watching the hostage crisis as a child.  Let’s move on.

Russia had clearly spent some rubles on their pavilion.

Back in the (former) USSR

Back in the (former) USSR

 

russian pavilion

cool mirrored over hang at entrance to Russian Pavilion

By the way, USA was the only pavilion that was privately funded ( Source: USA pavilion).  Russia showed off it’s grains and grain based beverages if you know what I mean.  There was a line to sample some Russian delicacy they were handing out.  I thought of making a joke about Soviet era bread lines, but thought better of it.  Makes me seem older than I am the way  I know history.  Rex really wanted to go to the top of the pavilion which was hot, so we didn’t stay long.  The roof top was partly given over to a Sky bar like cocktail lounge where the vodka was available.top of russian pavilion

 

We were most moved by the former Soviet bloc countries.  There is an earnestness there.  As if they are saying , “We survived Nazi’s, Soviet Union and now we are HERE!”  They really celebrate their food, dance, customs.  The Polish were very smart.  They thought of EVERYTHING.  People will be tired, okay, big couches in front so people can relax.  While there a stage with music and stunts by off road cyclist, which is a big deal in Poland.. who knew?  Everyone will want to charge their phones.  Free charging stations.  Free cotton candy made to order.

forget the jokes, the Poles are smart

forget the jokes, the Poles are smart

That’s before we even walked in!  There was a beautiful upstairs garden surrounded by mirrors. Showcasing what grows in Poland.  Rex went twice, “mommy, this is enchanting.”  It was. IMG_3678 Mark noticed we were there just in time for a Chopin concert by an award winning Polish pianist.

go Poland

go Poland

We listened entranced.  Later the same spot was used to show wordless videos of different Polish chefs cooking.  It was probably the most beautiful food photography I’ve ever seen.  Rex and I didn’t want to leave and only did so because Viv and Mark were downstairs in the cafe waiting for us.

getting lots of ideas in case there is a season 3

getting lots of ideas in case there is a season 3

They had a 3-d movie of the history of Poland in about 8 minutes they covered over a thousand years.  Spoiler alert, lots of wars.  They showed what they produced, great water, grain, vodka.  They had beads for the kids to make bracelets.  They had a Chocolate Village!

I can smell it now

I can smell it now

It was good propaganda… We walked out impressed and ready to fly to Poland. Lord knows they have been through a LOT and keep trucking.

I know what you are thinking: How was the Estonia pavilion?  Swinging good time!

Swings that go in and outdoors

Swings that go in and outdoors

Did you know that swings are big there?  Well, they had swings on every level.  One way you were indoors, the next you were out.  Great little sandwiches at their cafe too.  Plus, they know sometimes you just need to crash.

relaxing..like an Estonian

relaxing..like an Estonian

 

From there we went to the Vatican pavilion. It was small, but was basically pictures and videos of the poor throughout the world.  While one can feed their face at the other places The Vatican asks us to consider those who do not have enough food.  Then you get a complimentary pope magnet when you leave. My kids curled their lip at it.  I had made them finish their cotton candy before they entered and all they got was this dudes blessing?   Um, did you see that kids don’t have food..?  Okay, let’s keep moving

In Zimbabwe I spoke to a nice man there about his country.  They had a yummy soda that was from some plant they have there.  They also had some hand cream.

“why is it all written in Italian?”

Him, “No one was going to buy the Zimbabwe cream, but our ingredients manufactured in Italy, people like that better.”  Makes sense. We show how we are ready to embrace the culture for a few minute and not get into the into any dictator talk kids love zimbabwe at milan expo

They were in the area with smaller pavilions.  Next door was Bolivia

talk about your instagramable moment!

talk about your instagramable moment!

 

I went for 3 days and didn’t scratch the surface.  The kids were with me for 2 of the days and they loved it.  While there were bigger message in some places, a lot of pavilions featured their local cuisine more than weighty issues.  Rice from Turkey, is a winner.  Best I’ve ever had

Hmm, Turkish rice

Hmm, Turkish rice

 

Turkey had a pretty outdoor pavilion,

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

though the first day I was there it was 100 degrees

it's so hot

it’s so hot

and I ran to..well, crawled to the French pavilion which had air con and the best beet soup I’ve ever had.

We all enjoyed the Iran pavilion.

Undercover in Iran..pavilion

Undercover in Iran..pavilion

Though their exhibit was wanting.. some herbs, a little music, yawn, but they had a great shop and we got cool spices, tea and cross cultural connection.  I said to the nice man working there, “I feel like I’m doing something wrong by being here,”  He seemed optimistic about US Iran relations improving if the Nuclear issue was soon to be resolved ( full disclosure.. I have next to no opinion on it).  “Iranians love Americans.”  I told him how I love the Iranians in LA.  Nice people, great tea, good sports in soccer ( I left out that I hate the remodeling some have done in Beverly Hills).  It was a people to people moment like Eisenhower had once envisioned. eisenhower people to people

Which is really kind of why the Milan Expo is so great.  Because I don’t have the time, money, energy, shots to go to all the countries represented here, but I get a little taste of them.  Well, actually since I think I ate my weight in food while I was there I also got to taste the diverse, delicious food of our world.  Hopefully, it will sustain us.

 

The Mayor comes to dinner

I can’t even say, “guess who?”

I’m SUPER excited to share that the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti will be joining me this Sunday on Daphne Dishes.  As some of you know we ( more Mark) has known his family for years.  I volunteered a ton on his campaign.  His parents, wife, daughter, all lovely, warm down to earth people.

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

Gil, Mark, Sukey, Amy, da mayor, me

So when Daphne Dishes got picked up for a second season I thought.. oh, dream guest list!!  When I approached I said I wanted it to be about the incredible diversity of food that is available in LA and how it inspires me in the kitchen.  Well, they got that pitch, The Garcetti’s are big booster of LA’s food scene, high brow and everything in between.  It was VERY hard to decide what to make. Not just because I had to make the Mayor a great meal, but because LA has So Many influencers it’s hard to narrow down for a 22 minutes.. or whatever it is …show.

When I was working on Eric’s campaign was when this show was being talked about, developed, slowly, slowly.  I would periodically update him on it and he was always excited to hear about it. I  clearly remember one day I was sitting in his kitchen calling voters and he had come home from an event.  Amy was calling from the living room, many volunteers strewn around the place and I popped my head up and said, “Eric, Food Network says they are going to do a pilot with me.”  He high fived me and wanted to hear more.  Well, cut to second season and he and his family remember their friend.  I really appreciate the support and since he is a very busy guy we said whenever you can fit us in we will make it happen.  It ended up being at 8:30am in the morning. But, you know what it worked!  We all enjoyed the meal and Amy and I are making plans for them to come over again when they have more time and I’ll make them the same meal, but without the camera’s.

He and his parents are from LA, so they all have memories of their favorite foods from growing up here.  Gil talked about going to Grand Central Market with mom when he was a little boy. Of course, that’s where Mark’s Bombo is now.  That’s where I  shopped for the food to make a great LA centric meal for LA’s number one fan.  desert for garcetti

 

Watch the show and tell me what your faves are.  I concluded the meal with a Very Berry LA Tart!

 

vacation

in case my posting remotely hasn’t worked here is a review of the high points of most vacations.

1) grinding anxiety before I leave.  I am a careful packer, not as much as my mom who can pack in a wallet for week.  But, I hate bringing to much and I usually end up wearing the same black skirt, black shirt, most of the trip. When in doubt, look like a mime.  I also have to pack for everyone else.  At the last minute Mark throws in enough tonnage to cause us to be charged for our bags.  Grrrr.  I pee 19 times before I get in the car.

2) LAX… either we got lucky and got in the quick line or not.  I find departures not too terrible.  But arrival back is brutal.  My kingdom for an airport with centralized rent a car, a dedicated lane for cabs, a light rail that goes to the airport.  Wait, that sounds like Europe.

3) Time to watch movies.  If Rex will settle ( Please, oh please) I will finally get to watch non animated movies. I also have a People Magazine, and 2 books. Nothing to heavy.  I can’t concentrate with 300 farting people around me.

4) We land.  A mix of excitement, humidity and exhaustion.  Then the adjustment to toilets looking differently.  I’m noticing a pattern in my thought.

5) Lot’s of fun sightseeing and food. Lots of posting of pictures so everything knows how great life is.

6) Annoyance with everyone I’m with.  It’s bound to happen. No posting of pictures.  I don’t want people to know how shitty life is.

7) Time to go.  My careful packing is down the tubes.  Everything is rumpled and dirty, but I no longer care.  Do I still have a hair brush?

 

I love travel.

A tale of two rash guards

I’ve been doing better with my C diff and have expanded my eating.. which of means I’ll probably gain back all that weight I lost.  Darn it. But, have more energy to be active with my children.

sunburn danger

no rash guard.. how bad can it be? Bad

Wanting to enjoy summertime fun with my kiddos.    I’m very strict about them always  wearing rash guards to protect their skin.  The one day I let it slide for Vivien ( we couldn’t find it) she got a wicked sunburn.  I felt terrible as she writhed in agony that night.

So this weekend we were at a friend’s house, invited to swim in their pool.  Rex always has his sun protection on.  The only problem is it’s hard to get off.  Here I’m trying to pull it off his head.  As I did so, he almost did a header toward me and the metal chair I was on.   I called for my friend’s nephew  “Grab Rex, hold em down”, like a steer at branding.  Then I pulled again.  mother protectorFinally it popped off.  Rash guards need to come with zippers.  Same as uteruses of child baring women. I was in the shade, but I also read years ago that after 25 years old you are pretty much set for how your skin will be.  In that the worse dangers are for younger skin.  So, again, my bad on Viv’s rash guard.  I really don’t get it when I see kids at the beach without them.  Probably some horrible, neglectful parents who don’t want to walk across the hot sand and look at the trunk of the car one more time just in case it was missed.

Yeah, that would be me

 

Vaccinate already

I’m super chuffed that California’s Gov.  Brown has signed into law one of the nations toughest vaccinations laws.  In short it does away with a religious exemption.  If there is a medical reason why the child cannot be vaccinated that works, but not someones personal belief.  If the child is not vaccinated they cannot attend schools.  They can go to home based schools.

A lot of good, nice, smart people feel strongly there is a link between vaccinations and conditions their children later developed.  But, no cause has not been proven, it’s mostly anecdotal, and Jenny McCarthy has been discredited. More about lack of link HERE

If a certain percentage of the population isn’t vaccinated none of us our.  Personal anecdotes are not proof either way, but I will add mine since I have it.  When whooping cough was on the rise.

 

I only hope that one day there will also be a law that personal, religious beliefs is not good enough for circumcision.  Something that to me that ranges from unnecessary to abusive.  But, then that’s my personal belief.

 

He is not planning on making it here

My kids are good travelers.    Whether it’s a grassy median  or pincher bug they find the fun.  Everywhere we go, even if it’s only for a few days Rex says,  Are you moving here?

first trip, surveying his new "home" in Carlsbad

an early, surveying his new “home” in Carlsbad

He is ready to stay.  Portland, Mendocino, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, Montana, Arizona.  EVERYWHERE… until now.  He doesn’t want to move to New York City.  Cue, the music.  “Dum, dum dum da… screech…”  Empire state of mind has not entered his little body.children in nyc subways

We just got back from a week there.  We had fun.  He had fun. A full, lively trip.  BUT, it was humid, crowded, dirty, lots of walking, lots of subways.. it was NYC.  So, while water views, Miss Liberty and my many sweet, wonderful friends pleased us all I think I was a little surprised when Rex said, “I’m home sick”.  He has never said that. Not imagining your loft apartment?  The subway’s were his biggest hurdle.

” Mommy, once when were on the subway I had a fat man sitting next to me and I was looking at a woman who looked like man, or man who looked like a woman, I don’t know.”  But, Rex , I said, “You go to school in Hollywood.  Haven’t you seen all sorts?

“I go to school in Hollywood?”  He got briefly excited thinking of the Hollywood of the dream world, not the reality of me having to scream at a homeless guy exposing himself near the gate of the school.  Or Yelling,  “Watch out Poo!” as we walk to the car.

As adults we filter out all of the senses that are coming our way.  Kids are still sorting.  The people I know who grew up in NYC are all super cool people, so obviously plenty of people benefit from growing up in such a dynamic atmosphere.  It was just kind of an “ah-ha” for me that I have country kids. Though if you do take kids to NYC run to the Brooklyn Bridge Park.  What a fantastic bit of urban development that is!  Fun, immaculate!  Views of Manhattan, interactive art installations.  It was a major highlight.best view of manhattanmirror maze brooklyn bridge parkbest place for kids in nyc

Now, we are all humidity wimps.  I fold.  3/4 of the rest of the country, I don’t know how you do it. So, that ‘s one factor.  But, when we went up to see a friend in Connetcut, the humidity came with us, but Rex said he could live there.  Open, grassy fields.  Not so much walking. Oh, and a pool.pools

When is the right age to visit NYC?  I was 9 when my dad took me.  I liked it, but it was part of a bigger trip where we were in Atlantic City ( before it looked like it does now) Jersey country side, Washington DC, Atlanta, so it was all exciting.  I do remember NYC seemed a bit overwhelming, but the excitement carried the day.  So much going on. But then again I didn’t come back till I was 18.  Is this one of those things where you remember something when you are older and think you were younger?  Where your old person brain is off sync with a young brain?  Like when I played “Caddy Shack” for my then 11 year old stepson and he reacted as if I was making him much a documentary about tooth extraction?

In the end the best moments for Rex and Vivien were, along with  the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Parkcentral park with kids and playing with my friends’ kids in their homes and apartments.  Parks and fun kids.  Those are available anywhere.  Though due to the massive population in NYC I do know a fair amount of people there, so you can do a lot of visiting.  If I go to most cities I’m lucky if there is one person I know there.

We got back home and I asked my kids what was their favorite part about New York?  They both said, “Connecticut”.  Do they have a song?

Daphne Dishes RETURNS

Second season baby!

 

That’s right, I’m back!!  More recipes, more kid hi jinx, more tips and tricks from the kitchen.   I’m super chuffed that Daphne Dishes

selfie on set

selfie on set

is returning to the Food Network this Sunday at 11:30am.  I will be live tweeting PST from my screening party. @daphbrog

First Episode is fun.  We do a back yard movie night.  Culver Crest Chicken! culver crest chicken Oh, yeah.  Find out the secret (ground fennel seeds), why I named it that, oh so much.   I’ve long wanted to have a movie night in my backyard and finally get to. It’s so much easier when  PA goes to pick up the equipment.  If only life was always like that. Although I don’t miss the bender board that blanketed the floors of my house while we shot.  Note cardboard and blue tape below.  Little known fact, cardboard floors don’t feel great on bare feet.

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien.  Good luck

producer Craig attempts to direct Rex and Vivien. Good luck

Some sweet friends came on the show and Vivien and two of her best friends make their own movie.  All their own idea.  Watch out Sundance. These first 3 shows my gut hadn’t turned on me yet, so I’m happy but chubbier cheeked.  I’ll be interested to see if we can detect changes throughout the season.   I hope you like it.

renewal

One of the things I love about America in general, and even more so the promise of the West is that one can remake themselves.  That it matters less out here in California than in older societies where you born, you are less bound to tradition. Still, we have done some AWFUL non progressive things out West.  Japanese internment camps jump to mind as I’m reading a great book on the subject.  Whether it be with education, career, or avocation we can change ourselves.  Now, with Caitlyn Jenner,caitlyn jenner gender change might seem more possible to people.  It’s a radical leap.  I will not pretend to always feel comfortable when I see a trans guy or girl.  Sometimes it’s nothing, sometimes amusing, sometimes upsetting.  Especially when it’s a hooker in Hollywood and I am glimpsing a bit of a downtrodden life.

I do admire Bruce Jenner’s change because I think it’s hard to really change yourself.. let alone your gender.  I look and dress an awful lot like I did 30 years ago.  My eyebrows are plucked, but I still wear leggings.  A friend at my wedding said my dress reminded her of my prom dress.  Others change more drastically.  Some people change their name. My mom changed her first name.  Why not?  No one asks us what name we want.

Biology does not define family.  I feel that keenly since losing my brother, of non bio origin.  Some have said, ‘Oh, but he wasn’t your REAL brother.”  (teeth grind)

So, let’s do this.. let’s let everyone define themselves for themselves.  Names, occupation loved ones, and I guess identity.  It’s a stretch. It’s not always easy to go along with, but what the hell?  Let’s humor each other.  That’s what friends do.

The last call I got from Jeff was when he was concerned about a friend of ours whose adult child was transitioning.  It was a surprise as we had known the person since childhood, but he wanted to know the well being of our long time friend, the mom.  Even for liberally minded, it’s a transition for the family and friends as well.

“Is she okay?”  He wanted to know.  Not knowing what deep torment he was in at the time that would cause him to take his own life 6 weeks later. I so wish he had felt he could have come back home and start anew.  He didn’t have to be a success, that he could be poor and we would figure it out.  He had an idea of what he wanted to be and wasn’t getting there.  How great to be able to say, “I’m going to not only change the way you see me, but how I see myself.”  After someone you love takes their life someone else you know being trans gender starts to feel like “Please pass the potato salad.” Not that important.

I know a lot of people are going to make fun of Caitlyn Jenner.  Lots of Bruce Jenner jokes.  I know trans kid will still be made fun of.  But, it would be better to be kind.  If they want to dress up and blow a bugle and call themselves Teddy

Arsenic and old lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

Why not salute?

Beside, Bruce was a handsome man and Caitlyn is a nice looking woman.  Bully for her.

how I got accidentally locked in the UCLA hospital deli

 

 

So, while I have been recovering from my bout with c-diff I’m not all good.  It’s been a while since I was done with the medicine that is suppose to heal me and I’ve been going on C-diff websites where people say years later they still can’t eat what they use to.  Well, 3 weeks of No alcohol and mild foods is ok.  But, bland food is well bland.  A few times I ventured to the land of flavor and I pay for it the next day.

some days this is how I feel

some days this is how I feel

I went to the doctor last week.  She said it could take a few more weeks and if the issue persists or gets worse to come back and give another “sample”.  Oh joy.  The worst part is not having to be so close to my waste product, but having to DRIVE ACROSS TOWN to UCLA.  It’s all surface streets.  Always congested.  So, I waited till after 6 thinking I was outsmarting LA traffic. Wrong. Very slow going. The lab closes at 7 and I was hoping to get in there, get the “kit”, do the deed and go home.  I don’t want to have to DRIVE back ACROSS TOWN the next day with my sample.    I also had to do some grocery shopping. So I parked at Ralph’s in Westwood and ran to the lab.  It was 6:51.

I asked if I would have time to get this all DONE.  A nice lady named Marcella chimed in.  “I’m staying till 8pm.  If the gate is down just call for me and I will open it up for you.”  I told her how I had a dear Aunt who is also named Marcella ( she is now gone, didn’t tell her that) Thanked her and announced that I would have a cup of coffee and soon be back with my package.  I walked over to the Medical Plaza Deli.  Bought some expensive, but tasty cold brew. cold brew

I was feeling fine.  As moms often do I was enjoying having a little “me” time.  I sipped my brew waiting for nature to kick in as I fan geeked out reading all about my newest TV obsession, “Orphan Black”.

Don't go in there Sarah, you might not get out!

Don’t go in there Sarah, you might not get out!

I’m all caught up and don’t want to be a spoiler, but the most recent episode was juicy.  I switched to a big glass of water as the time ticked by.  The deli was quiet, just me and two workers.  A stray person here and there. Should I go to the lab bathroom?  Wait, think it’s closed.

Finally, I think I’m ready to finish the job I came to do.  I take my enormous brown paper bag the lab gave me. With the plastic bowl and other lab goodies and settle in the deli bathroom.  While I read an interview with the actor who plays “Felix” I start to get concerned that this may not get done in time before Marcella has to leave. I keep checking my watch. Alas, task complete.   I  put the charming little plastic bottle in my bag and am ready to high tail it to the lab with minutes to spare. Then I will go grocery shopping and just make it home in time to kiss my kids good night.

I walk out and I see it’s darker than it was before.  I go to the door.  It’s dead bolted.  I go to the side door.  It’s dead bolted.

“Hello?”  I call out.  Nothing.  “Hello?”  Certain that a worker will emerge from the back.  But, they don’t.

I start to get worried.  I jump over the counter into the back kitchen.  I open many doors.  Mostly closest.  I open one door that goes into a little alcove where there are two more doors and one elevator.  Oh, phew.  I almost let the door behind me close, but propped it open with my purse.  Glad I did. The other two doors are locked and the elevator doesn’t respond to the buttons.  The light keeps going out.  No up, no down.  I go back in.  I find a camera in the ceiling.  I jump up and down and wave hoping some security person sees this.  I go to the front door and yell between the crack in the door and bang on it as three coeds come by.

“Please help, I’m locked in.  Can you please go tell that police officer I’m locked in? ”  They are kind and rush over to the police car that is parked about 100 feet away.

locked inside.. hey Mr. Police man

locked inside.. hey Mr. Police man

I see them gesticulating, showing him where I am.  Phew, surely, he will be here on the double. Nothing else going on at this nearly deserted campus.   He doesn’t move.  I wave my hands.  He slowly moves his car down the drive toward me…He wasn’t 100 feet away.  Why did he have to drive?  He parks.  No movement. Is he calling for back up in case I’m armed with chips and Snapple?  I start rattling the door to indicate my desperation because I’m desperate.  If he doesn’t come over I think of pulling the fire alarm.  Marcella is about to leave.  I’m going to have to drive home with a canister of crap.  If I’m here at the medical plaza I’m probably sick, right dude?  Or have someone close to me that is ill.  Step on it.    My kids are home with a sitter I’m paying as I sit here.  I’m tired.  I’m hungry, but can’t really feast on the Good Humor bars or granola bars on the counter.  Hurry up copper! He saunters over.  I explain my issue.  He walks away.  Then he comes back to the door with a nice woman who works for UCLA security.

“We are trying to find the tenant who has the key.  Can you just sit tight?” she says.

“I don’t really have a choice.”  I say with a shrug.

anyone?  anyone?

anyone? anyone?  I was just a lady looking for quiet a can, then it got weird.

I get a text from a friend from my grief group.  She is having a hard time.  So often we don’t have time to talk to a friend.  Well, I have time.  I call her up.

I start with a joke.  “Guess where I am?  If you say locked in the UCLA medical plaza deli you are right!”  I get her to laugh.  Then we talk about feelings.  A couple of times I had to say, “oh, hang on, they are back.”  The police officer checks in, “We are still looking for the key.”  Another guard tries the side door.

It's getting darker

It’s getting darker

A UCLA guard, Jose, comes by.  “How are you doing?”  I get off the phone and tell him I found some doors that are locked, but there is an elevator.  Could he come through the elevator? He walks away. It’s now 8:30 and there is no way Marcella is still there.  They say the owner is coming, but maybe he lives in Sylmar.

More time.  I go back into the kitchen. Vivien calls me.  “mommy where are you?”  I’m locked inside the UCLA deli.

“You what?”  like a 9 year old has never heard that story.

“Honey let me call you back.  I want to check the back exit again.  I’m fine.  Don’t worry.” If she knew how close I was to a case of Pirate Booty she might have envied my position.

I walk to the back through the kitchen.  Open the same door that led me to nowhere, but this time the elevator is open!  I’m out.  I start shouting, running into the lobby.  The lady security guard welcomes me, “come out!”  Yeah!  They take my name and number.  They say that have to file an incidence report.  They say “the owner will want to call you.”

liberators

I thank Jose, my hero for getting the elevator open.

I know it’s futile, but I run over to the lab.  The gate is down.  “Marcella” I yell.  She jumps out of the office.

“You’re here!” I could hug her.

“I left, but came back.  I was worried about you.” the dear angel said.  I told her what happen and then my phone rings.  My kids are freaking out.  “Are you still trapped?”  Rex is starting to cry.   “I’m Ok.  I out.  I’m going to come home.”

Marcella says, “give it to me and go home to your babies.”  I hesitate.

She assures me.  “I’ve seen it all.”  This has been the most humbling, humiliating and hilarious experience.  I hand over my container. I thank her profusly.

I head over to Ralph’s and while I quickly shop I feel the adrenaline leave me.  I feel shaky and exhausted.  That wasn’t fun, I think.  Being imprisoned in an empty deli with soft drinks and a stool sample. My phone rings.

“Is this Daphne?” a man asks. “This is John, I own the deli.  I am so sorry.”  He was very nice and very apologetic.  “My team members should have checked the bathrooms before they left.”

“Well, alls well that ends well.” I say.
” I have enjoyed your matzo ball soup there before, but it taste better when I’m there of my own free will.”

John brightens. “Please keep my number.  Next time you are there ask for me and you get all the matzo ball soup you want.”  If he knew it’s one of the few things I can safely eat now he might not have offered.  Only the cross town drive is keeping me from cashing in that freebie.

Today the results are in. I still have C-Diff. Tomorrow I get a new medicine to try and clear out the infection or I am in danger of getting something more serious that can make my colon enlarge.  Sigh.  I’ll eventually get better, but now I have another problem.

Fear of abandonment.