The reason I've been away is that I've been moving, and all I can say about that is: you really find out who loves you when you move. In my case, turns out it was my mother. While I like to give my mom a hard time for not being much of a cook, or for not baking my birthday cakes now or ever, the truth is if she were to bake me a cake I'd probably think of the ways I would do it better. And besides, no cake-baking mom would endure what she did in the last week as I/we engaged in the tedious and seemingly endless process of transferring every one of my earthly belongings from one location to another.

When I'd thought about my impending move, I'd imagined, get this, a party. My logic was, "If Tom Sawyer can get people to pay him to whitewash his fence, why won't my friends pack my boxes for me? For free!?" My party would involve my many colorful friends, lots of strong and funny men making us girls laugh all while dealing with various tasks I didn't want to, and just when we needed it, having already put in a hard day's work with hours yet to go, the perfectly timed, heroic appearance of warm, molten, still crisp pizza from Mozza. What I got instead was this: a nice few hours from Sara, my intern, who spent a gorgeous post Guac-Off Sunday packing every damned book in the place. Some real dedication from my pal, Camille, who took on the worst part, the kitchen, as if she were being paid. Daily phone calls from my friend Ralph, whose promises to help me move as the move approached had given me the courage and confidence I needed at the time. When he called, though, it occurred to me: This is his day off. He doesn't want to pack my boxes. He is just being nice. "If you want to come over, I'd love to see you," I said each time. "But we have it under control." (I never saw him.) And then there was my mom. Day in and day out, driving from Santa Monica, where she lives, picking up Cobb salads at La Brea Bakery on the way, and packing stuff.

Those warm pizzas never arrived, but we didn't go hungry. In additon to the salads my mom brought, I cooked off the contents of my freezer, which included half a dozen chicken apple sausages from Huntington Meats, eight servings of frozen lasagna verde that had been there since February, from Osteria Angelini. A beef pot pie, also from Huntington Meats, which I heated up and served upside down with a mountain of warmed-up frozen petite peas on top, which--substitute a Swanson's Pot Pie--was one of the staple home cooked meals my mother raised me on. And lots and lots of Progresso Lentil Soup, which I consider to be canned food perfection. All in all it was its own sort of festive. Moves are exciting. New beginnings, and all that. And my mom and I really did have a great time. "Boy did I have fun!" she wrote in an email to me this morning. "Just a great weekend!" To which all I can say is: Thank God for moms. And to each his own.

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