My latest Mike dream: Jamie Lee Curtis, Cartoon animals and Asian Inspired Quilts

So, I blogged for the first time in a month last night about our wonderful vacation in NH and Cape Cod (see down below in next blog post for photos)…

But I’m writing this morning because I HAVE to share this dream. One of the best, craziest, smartest dreams I’ve ever had.

Literally just woke up in this hotel bed with Baxter (in Cape Cod) and feel like I was just hanging out with mike… but I have to share this amazing narrative that my mind constructed to “give me permission” to me to be with PJ.

I dreamt that 2 years ago, Mike, me and all of our friends were on a huge trip to Australia with a stop-over in some jungle land. Mike never got the second flight. All he had on him was his wallet. He had stopped to use the restroom and never came back. Local authorities claimed he was murdered, so we all went about our lives as though he was dead. Got it? No brain tumor. In my dream he died due to some civil war jungle fight.

BUT, after some digging in the UD library, I found some indications that perhaps he was being held hostage by a militia – led by Jamie Lee Curtis – and he wasn’t dead at all.

So, with the help of a team of cartoon woodland animals – inspired, I believe, by the team of Kung Fu students in the film Kung Fu Panda – I went to this jungle land, battled the local security force, and found, deep in the jungle: Mike and about 12 other hostages.

We hugged and kissed and next thing I know, I had brought him back to the US. We were all at some craft fair where they were selling Asian inspired quilts. I knew that PJ was on his way with Baxter and I told Mike really quickly all about PJ:

“I thought you were dead. I’m in love with PJ and he asked me to marry him. He is an excellent father to Baxter… But I love you and loved being your wife, so I have no idea what to do here. We need a plan, Mike.”

Mike looked right at me, “I don’t know. I love you, smoosher, but you really want to still be married? I've changed a lot. We've both moved forward. It feels like it would be too much.”

Basically, I learned that, in the jungle, Mike was the leader who kept all the hostages happy, strong, entertained, and optimistic. Apparently, he had also had some wonderful flings with the young female hostages and was feeling attractive and invincible – ready to take on the world… and women.

“Really???!!” I said with a smile, “For reals? You’d be ok if we just stayed best friends and I married PJ?”

“Where is this alleged ‘PJ’” he asked with his air quotes and a smile.

PJ was inside, holding Baxter. Bax ran to me and asked to use the bathroom. So, I left PJ and Mike to chat, and was trying to help bax in the bathroom, meanwhile trying to explain that Daddy Michael was back. He was all kinds of confused.

When I came out of the restroom, Baxter ran right to PJ. Mike slapped PJ’s arm as they were joking about something. Mike chatted with Baxter a little bit, nothing huge or dramatic.

I noticed that Mike had put in his earrings again… but they weren’t the gold hoops. Instead, they were big diamonds.

“What are THOSE,” I asked, pointing at the earrings, as he pulled out a ridiculous pimpish hat from behind his back,

“Hey honey, I have things to do,” he said in a fake condescending voice and then laughed, “I think they’re kind of cool!” He put on the hat, I gave him a huge huge hug, and then he was off…

PJ looked at me, waiting for the verdict, with an expression that said, ‘will my fiance’s dead husband be taking back my fiancĂ© and son? Or will my life go as planned.’

I hugged and kissed PJ with Baxter sandwiched in between.

“Mike said he loves me, but he doesn’t want to be married. I think he has a lot he wants to do now that he’s back and he feels like he wouldn’t know how to start where he left off. We’re ok. We’re a family.”

And we looked over as Mike was joking and laughing with the entire ComedySportz crew (who, I guess, were also interested in this big Asian quilting show…), reveling in the love and attention of the many friends who had missed him so much.

So, it took cartoon animals, Jamie Lee Curtis, and an Asian quilting exhibition, but my mind found a way to rescue Mike, get him back to his life and his friends, and still be able to move ahead with PJ and Bax.

As I used to say to Mike after I did something I found to be particularly smart,

“Awwww yeah… Who’s your genius?”


World's longest vacation

Been on vacation since June 13th up here in New Hampshire. I'm renting a small lakefront cottage about 12 minutes from my parents' house. The cottage is adorable. rustic, small, amazing views of the lake. The house is literally about 20 feet from the water. There's a screened in porch that runs the length of the cottage, and two cute lil' bedrooms. Baxter is LOVING it here.

PJ drove up here with us on June 14th
. (Fortunately, the sting of Mike and my wedding anniversary was countered by the fun of the first day of a great vacation...). He spent the whole week here with us and departed last Sunday, June 22nd. We spent each day just hanging out with Bax, canoing, attempting hikes (that we had to bail on because of INSANE mosquitoes), picnicking streamside, playing baseball in the Hebron village square. PJ loved it up here.

Functioning without him this past week was interesting. For about 7 months now, I have not been living the life of a single parent.
I have come to rely on the energy he brings to the house as my partner and best friend and on the integral role he plays with baxter, as his dad. This is the first time we've been apart, really. We fell in love fast, saw each other daily from like week #2, and by month 3 we were cohabitating.

PJ and I have both been a lil' nervous about the "missing father" thing since he returned to NJ - wondering if it would stir memories or fears about a dad that leaves and does not return.

Related incident: On thursday, Bax and I had a lil date night, saw Kung Fu Panda, went out to dinner, and went shopping.

On the way back to the cottage we saw a beautiful sunset and I hear from the back seat in a happy voice..."Ohh.... look mama, at the beautiful sunset! PJ is up there, in heaven!"

I almost passed out...

"What, bax?" I said, as we stopped at a traffic light and I turned around to look at him.

He squinched
up his eyes and nose, smiling, "I'm just joking! My PJ dad is on Melrose Avenue with Maggie cat!"

Freaking comedian.

I can feel my appreciation and love for PJ growing each day we're apart.
The difference between being up here this summer and last is HUGE. I do not have that subtle sadness that clouded my every experience. I don't feel like the poster child of widow like I used to. I don't feel old and worn. I feel really young. I feel in love, too - which is such a fantastic feeling - and probably the driving force behind what's making me feel so young.

While he was up here, Mimi and Poppy took baxter from 5-8 pm on a couple of nights so PJ and I could get an actual "date." We went out to dinner at this local Irish pub, saw Irish music, sat at the local bar that overlooks the lake and watched the sunset... and by ourselves! Dreamy.

And we laughed... a lot. Each night - giggle fits. like WAY past our bedtime. laughing our asses off - so loud that I can't understand how we didn't wake up Baxter.

Since PJ left, it's been mostly rainy each day. I'm speaking literally here, n
ot figuratively. Baxter spends a couple hours with Mimi in the morning so I can get a lil' research done at the cottage. We've also gotten a lot of time with Jae and Kylee. The 3.5 year old and the almost 7 year old play together better than ever. It's a riot to just sit and watch and listen to the exchanges between them. (Photo at R, Kylee reading Dr. Seuss to Baxter).

Right now Mimi, Poppy, Bax and I are on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, MA. My mom spent every summer here from the time she was a kid in the 1940s. Her sister, Debbie is out here from Wisconsin with her kids and grandkids. I hadn't seen Aunt Debbie since our wedding. Uncle Bob, her husband died in the winter after Mike died. It's so weird that my Aunt Debbie, 76, and I can talk heart to heart about what it's like being a widow. It's so so weird. But it's also so wonderful to feel everyone's love and encouragement about my engagement to PJ, or Peter, as they all like to call him - and to watch as Baxter plays with his cousins and relatives that he has never met before.

We'll go back up to the lake together tomorrow morning. Tuesday, July 1, Crazy Susan arrives from Philly!! Hurray! I love watching as Crazy Susan transforms into Chillin' Susan before my eyes up here in this lake and mountain paradise.

And now, if you don't already hate us here at the house of Young and Gallagher for our extensive vacation... you will in a second:

After we drive back home on Saturday, July 5th, Bax, PJ and I head right down to Sea Isle City for a WEEK at the Jersey Shore with the whole Gallagher clan. It feels nice to be the person that others might be jealous of... instead of the person who people might look at and say, "Thank effing GOD that's not me."

It's funny. I always thought that the summer when I was 14 would go down in history as the best summer ever... no job, beach every day, crush on a boy i met at day camp...But this one is coming in to be a close second.

Yes, I have shitloads of research to do.
Yes, I have 2 revise and resubmits to complete and a paper to prepare for presentation at the end of August in Boston.
Yes, I'm teaching an intensive 5-week summer course July 14-Aug 15th.

But, I also have two summer scholars who are kicking ass at UD on a couple of projects for me, and I feel like this time maxin and relaxin is going to make me into one focused cat.

Oh right, there's also the BIG BIG EVENT OF THE SUMMAH:

Mark your calendars for the 3rd Annual LaUGHTaSTIC SKETCH-o-PaLOOZa
Comedy Show to benefit Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience

Sunday, August 24, 2008
World Cafe Live
Doors open at 6 pm
Show at 7:30
Tix $15 available NOW at:

Hosted by:
Don Montrey and Danna Young


  • ComedySportz Philly
  • Bad Hair Sketch
  • Masters of mic and powerpoint, Rowan & Hastings
  • Stand up comedy by: Steve Gerben and Doogie Horner