Dec 31, 2007

that was the year that was.

365 days.
12 months.
52 weeks.

it was a year of unexpected delights, of new jobs, of laughter, evilness and silliness.

a year of meeting new friends online. of sharing your joys, fears, terrors and tears.

i cried with you when the tests came back negative. prayed for you when your parents/children were suddenly, unexpectedly hospitalized.

we shared more this year, than i think i've shared with my 'real life' friends.

this was a year of endings. of beginnings. of boredom. of thrills.

a year of weight gain. and for many of you, weight loss (you GO, girl!).

a year that brought us something as horrific as kids being shot in West Virginia.
and as laughable as this. or, God help us, this.

a year that ended with no new TV shows. once again, writers rock.

a year that involved being lied to about my best friend having a diabetic episode to get me out to my own surprise birthday party and also involved going to Whittier for Mexican food. (i know. i plan on letting this go soon. just not yet.)

i'm blessed because i'm ending the year with every member of my family still here. and i'm also ending it with the same ol' Husband i started the year with.

a new year is always looked at as a new beginning. a chance to start again and to make resolutions. but the cool thing is, every day we are allowed to live is a chance for a new beginning.

that is the coolest thing of all. no need to wait until December 31st to make changes. changes can begin right now. no waiting till midnight. no waiting period.

and i cannot think of better people to share it with. Happy New Year.

Dec 28, 2007

fly boy. part too.

"More than anything else, the sensation [of flying] is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost - if you can conceive of such a combination." - Wilbur Wright

"holy crap, i did it." - Husband


as long as i've know the Husband (back when he was a friend, then a boyfriend), he has wanted to fly.

his dad flew. his brother flies. and when you accused my Husband of having his head in the clouds, well, you weren't far off base, mister.

but that's another post.

he's gone after that FAA approval several times in his adult life. (you can read the extended version here.) the farthest he got was actual flying time.

he's back there again. he passed his test with a 93% accuracy.

i cannot tell you how bloody proud i am of him. i mean, really - how often in our all too-short lives to we actually get the chance to accomplish a life-long dream?

not often enough.

this is my boyo. my love. my life. and he's on his way to accomplish something he's always wanted to.

you go, boy. your dreams really are up in the clouds.

family+holiday=x.

now it's your job to find out what "x" really is.

so. i told you my mom was sick on Christmas, AND the days following. yesterday, she said, was the first day she really felt human again. and as such, she wanted to go have a deelish fried chicken dinner over @ Knott's.

naturally, when you are recovering from ANY kind of a stomach bug, you want to eat deelish, if a little greasy, fried chicken with biscuits, corn, mashed potatoes & gravy, salad AND chicken soup.

did i mention you also get a slice of pie for dessert? all for the low, low price of $14.95.

it's really good. really, really good. otherwise, it wouldn't have been around since the 30's, right?

however, it's not my little secret. everyone knows about it.

and everyone was in line for it last night. matter of fact, the line went out of the restaurant, along the front of the building, then, down the other side of the building..all the way to the back entrance.

the wait was two hours.

duuuuuude.

as a matter of fact, the host of the restaurant came by to get the number of people in each party, and in talking to the group behind me, said that last Saturday, the line made its way all the over to the exit of the park...about a quarter of a mile long line, he said.

duuuuuude. that ain't right.

so, being the first one there, i called the parents, driving over. and naturally, they had no intention of waiting two hours for dinner.

let's go get Mexican, my mom says. great, i reply. we've got a really good one just up the 91 freeway.

no. my mom says. we'll go to Senor Compost (i swear. that's what she calls it) in Whittier. that's about a seven mile drive from here. our restaurant is only three miles up the freeway. but it's the same distance according to my mom.

oh goody. let's go to Whittier.

there's something about people when they are absolutely convinced they're right. they are as firm in their conviction as a kernel of caramel corn stuck in your shag carpet.

my mom was that caramel corn in my shag carpet. even though i don't have shag.

dinner was OK. the company was way better. oh, and by the way, the restaurant is called Senor Compos.

and to quote the late great Gilda Radner's Emily Latilla from Saturday Night Live - well - now that's very different.
never mind.

in other weird news...
at my birthday dinner group's Christmas party, we somehow got on the subject of...leg cramps. and apparently, if you get them, the cure is to stick a bar of soap under your bottom sheet. the chick that told us about it, said she tried it.

it.really.worked.

well, allrighty, then.

i'm trying it tonight.

and in one last note...Hagan Daas has a holiday (read: limited edition) flavor out. green tea.

are you making a face? don't. if it's anything like the green tea ice cream we get any time we go to a Japanese Teppan restaurant, i will be in hog heaven.

so let's review: so far i've covered unreasonable parents, chicken dinners, Mexican food, leg cramps and bars of soap and green tea ice cream.

they don't call it Random Thoughts for nothing, kids.

Dec 26, 2007

let the mayhem continue.

Happy Boxing Day!
(and if any of my Canadian, Irish or British friends can please tell me what the heck Boxing day really is, i would be indebted to you. truly.)

it may be the day after, but i am still wrapping presents and putting stockings together.

we had a lovely, quiet Christmas. watching movies Santa brought, as well as Bond flicks on SpikeTV.

my mom, not so much.

Monday, she and my step-pop went to Disneyland to be with the family. they ate breakfast out there, and my mom, for whatever reason, had scrambled eggs.

scrambled eggs & my mom? not a mix. she spent all of yesterday drinking Pepto instead of eggnog. not nice.

tonight we're supposed to meet @ Knott's for dinner and gift exchange. we'll see...it depends naturally on how she feels.

meanwhile - the Husband and i are debating when we should go and meet up with them. i do want to see Kyler, Maddie & Lucas - and their parents as well, but man. it really chaps my hide to think of spending anywhere from $65-85 for a one park/one day or two park/one day pass, much less going during Christmas break, with 20,000,000 people there.

chaps.my.hide.

reminds me a little too much of New Year's eve 1999. (remember that, Kristie? oy.)

my friend, his step-son and his wife, along with another couple, came down from the Bay Area for New Year's and invited us to come along.

Disneyland for New Year's? why not?

somehow, we got the bright idea that it would be totally cool to stand in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle as we passed millenniums.

hmm. 'passed millenniums.' sounds almost as enticing as passing kidney stones. and a LOT more painful.

my friend Kristie came down and brought her then 7 year old daughter. Husband & i hung out at our spot near the front of the castle; they had erected a countdown clock, so we knew how much longer we'd be standing. or sitting.

but as the day wore on, more and more people started squeezing in our spaces. we were roped off. eventually, people were literally walking over us to get across to other places. Kristie's girl was laying on the sidewalk, trying to nap, while we were attempting to keep her from being trampled.

dude. not a good scene.

believe me when i say that two minutes after midnight, we were in the crush to get out of the Park and head back to the hotel.

we found out later that officials for the park said they should've closed the park earlier and not let more people in. but that's what greed will do for a corporation.

turn an innocent mouse into a snarling, drooling, money-grubbing rabid rodent.

back in the day, from about 1989 until 1997, i had an annual pass for Disneyland. that, Gentle Reader, was sweet. it was cool to head out there for a few hours, grab a coffee and do some people watching.

makes me wish i had been a sociology major. the papers i could've written on human behaviour.

i still wish i had one.

back then, there was only one. 365 days of Disney magic for the low, low price of $199. now - they range from $129 for 170 days to $379 for 365 days.

people i know who work there call the $129 pass the 'pre-school pass,' because with the amount of days blacked out, it will work best for SAHM's who have pre schoolers and can go on a Tuesday morning for an hour or two.
the premium annual pass? no thanks. there's other things i'd rather spend $379 on.

i'm still not sure how i went from Boxing Day to Disneyland...but whatever.
it's what Random Thoughts are all about.

Dec 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

and a Merry Christmas to you & yours from me and mine.

bad english. no cookie for me.

it's started out quietly enough and i'm completely good with that. Santa came last night, bringing unnecessary goodies in our stockings (including Silly Putty, a key chain pinball machine and a pocket Etch-a-Sketch.

goody! now i can lose my mind while trying to draw on a pocket Etch-a-Sketch. or, maybe because it's smaller, i'll only lose a smaller part of me noggin.

Santa brought a new suit, extra pants, black dress shirt and a new black tie for Brendan. Elvis got a clean litter box (believe me, that is truly the gift that keeps on giving), a new batch of kitty grass to eat and kitty treats to nosh.

oh, along with some bites of ham for breakfast. dang cat lives better than some kids.

Santa also brought two dvds for Yours Truly, along with the Bind-it-All i wanted.
wise one, the Big Kahuna is. very wise indeed.

my parental units are off to Disneyland again, spending another day with the grand & great grand kids.

did i not tell you? my stepbrother's oldest daughter, her husband and their three kids are out here, along with her mom, brother and various other family members, visiting Disneyland on Make-a-Wish's dimes.

oldest daughter's oldest son has leukemia. he's been on treatments for almost three years now, and they believe they have it in remission. thank God.

five is too young to be knowing so much about hospitals, ports and other such things.

anywhooo...

Make-a-Wish contacted them, asking if he were chosen, what would he like to do? his answer was to take his family to Disneyland and meet Sully from "Monsters Inc".

and so it came to pass that the good people of Make-a-Wish flew Kyler and the whole famdamily out here and Disneyland arranged a special party so Kyler could meet Sully.

probably a good thing i wasn't there. all my mascara would've been somewhere along my jawline.

as for us right now, we're both in our jammies, Husband is still napping, we have a James Bond movie on the TV and the cat is searching for a nice, quiet lap to lay in.

indeed - all is calm.

wishing you the magic only this day can bring. Merry Christmas.

Dec 24, 2007

SO not PC.

the other day, i did something completely NOT politically correct.

i wished someone a Merry Christmas.

i know, i know. i'm a rebel and i'll never be any good. but dagnabbit, i'm tired.

i'm tired of tip-toeing around this time of year.

i'm tired of offending, when i end up feeling offended.

i'm tired of apologizing for my beliefs.

so, in the grocery store the other day, i took the bull by the horns. i wished the clerk a Merry Christmas.

she didn't really know what to do. or say.

come on. i have several friends who are Jewish. i wish them a Happy Hanukkah. i have no problem with that, but when it gets closer to Christmas, i'm saying Merry Christmas.

dadgumit.

what really put me over the edge today (besides the espresso that i'm CONVINCED the barista @ Starbucks put in my Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha) was when i passed a church on my way to work, and their message board wished everyone Happy Holidays.

OK. wait a minute. if a church that teaches the birth of Christ wishes you a happy holiday, well...something just ain't quite right.

meanwhile, rebel that i am, will be wishing a Merry Christmas, right up until tomorrow night.




in other news....

today was a short day @ work. and we also had our white elephant gift exchange today.

most fun we've had there in a year.

there was the usual - candles, a hot cocoa set, toaster, a small, very used tv, pig lips.

yeah, i said pig lips. in.a.jar. oh dear googly moogly.

oh and a macrame belt kit from Singer. the sewing machine company. it came with hair extensions.

did i mention i got that one? and that the macrame kit HAD to be from the late 70s? and it still had late 70's dust on the package.

baby, you just can't buy quality memories like that. but apparently someone has, and has given it to the white elephant fiesta.

i can't wait till next year.



so on Christmas eve, i want to thank you for your love, laughter, tears and friendship you have extended to me through your blogs, and in a few cases, real life. i am blessed beyond reason by your gifts to me.

and to all of you, from Brendan, Elvis the Wonderkat and yours truly, we all wish you, Gentle Reader, the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of memories and peace on earth.

OK, Elvis is really only interested in tuna, but the rest of us really do wish that for you.

peace.

Dec 22, 2007

-40-

from Steff. yeah, i know - it's long. she said the same thing. but i thought this might make up for my long-windedness you don't get during the week.

1. I have come to realize that my butt: will always be behind me. and since i don't have to look at it, well, outta sight...
2. I have come to realize that when I talk: not everyone listens to me.
3. I have come to realize that I need:to forgive and forget and move on.
4. I have come to realize that I lost: well, not my butt. i guess some of my Christmas joy.
5. I have come to realize that I hate it when: every 28 days rolls around. still.
6. I have come to realize that marriage: isn't exactly what I thought it was...some days aren't that great, naturally, but it's still good. i'd do it again and with the same guy.
7. I have come to realize that work: is just work. it doesn't, nor ever will define me.
8. I have come to realize that I will always be:considered weird by some. oh well. to quote Cathy Zielske, i am, just as God made me, sir.
9. I have come to realize that I like: me. just as i am, sir.
10. I have come to realize that the last time I cried: was over a bloody movie. gad. i HATE being so dang sentimental.
11.I have come to realize that my cell phone is: part of my life. how in the world did i manage without one?
12. I have come to realize that before I go to sleep at night: i'm usually watching TV. bad.
13. I am currently thinking about: how many dang questions there are here.
14. I have come to realize that babies: are never gonna happen here.
15. I have come to realize that when I get on Myspace: what's MySpace? so kidding.
16. I have come to realize that today I will: be lazy. yahoo!
17. I have come to realize that tonight I will: not have to cook much. dinner's in the crock pot!
18. I have come to realize that tomorrow I will: so need to bake and wrap and wrap and wrap...
19. Where's the best place to eat a romantic dinner? anyplace i don't have to cook.
20. What did you want to be when you were growing up? a World-Famous author.
21. How many colleges did you attend? oh, let's see...Long Beach City, Orange Coast and Saddleback.
22. Why did you wear the shirt that you have on right now? because it had long sleeves and it was cooooold this a.m.
23. If you could visit anywhere and take someone with you...i know, it should be Hawaii, but i'd really love to go to Ireland and Japan.
24. What errand/chore do you despise? cleaning tubs and sinks. bleah.
25. If you didn't have to work, would you volunteer at an art gallery? doubtful. i ain't that smart.
26. What is your favorite cartoon character? Secret Squirrel.
27. Are you planning on remaining in your current field? i'd like to. i'd like to actually retire on my terms, not theirs!
28.Beach or lake? i know - California girl should always say the beach. but any body of water gets my vote.
29. What's your drink? A&W rootbeer. yum-o.
30. Cowboys or Indians? indian. i always wanted to be an indian princess. they got to ride horses.
31. Cops or Robbers? um....firemen?
32. Who from high school would you like to run into? Denise or David.
33. Have you ever had to use a firearm? only at the shooting gallery. and i suck.
34. Last book you read? Favorite Recipes from the Food Network Stars. how pathetic is that?!
35, Do you have a teddy bear? are you kidding? i have gazillions! my latest and most favorite is one my friend bought me @ Build a Bear. yes, i went to BAB. get over it. he has boxers on. that's it. i know...i'm not well.
36. Somewhere in California you've never been and would like to go? oh heck..i think i've been to all the biggies...
37. Number of texts in a day? are you kidding? i SO suck at texting.
38. If you had to choose- would you start a new career or relationship? career. i'd love to work someplace fun and creative. not that i'm either, but dang, it's hard working in the current environment.
39. How many jobs have you had? let's see...i've been a counter girl at a diner and a pizza place, a clerk @ a pharmacy and Woolworth's, a receptionist @ Supercuts and a car dealership, an junior loan processor and at the current place of employment - typist, proofreader, query coordinator, graphic artist, production coordinator & facilitator and incomplete reports girl.
i do get around.
40. Are you where you thought you would be at this age? oh hardly. but come on, life never takes you where you think you're gonna go, does it?

i pick you, you, and....you, way in the back!

Dec 21, 2007

requiem for a friend.

requiem for a friend..not only the title for today's missive, but one of my favorite Elton John songs.

(see kids, Elton John was a singer in the 70s who's shtick was outrageous costumes, large glasses and big-ass platform shoes. if you want more information, go to www.wikipedia.com.)



i was checking my email yesterday and found out Bruce Gordon died earlier last month. he was 56.

i don't expect you to know him. but i hope after this, you might know him a little better.

Bruce worked for Walt Disney Imagineering from 1980 until 2005. he started as a model builder and moved up the food chain, eventually becoming the 'show producer' for rides at Disneyland like Splash Mountain, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and most recently the newly opened Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

i got a glimpse into his world back in the 90s.

back then, as now, i was a girl in love. with Disneyland. don't ask me why, but there is something magical i feel when i walk under that train trestle and see the plaque right above my head that says "Here you leave the World of Today and enter the Worlds of Tomorrow and Fantasy."

leave the World of Today. i'm all for that.

well, back then, and at Disneyland, is where i met one of my best friends. he and his now wife were down from the Bay Area visiting Disneyland and attending a Disneyana convention.

nope. never heard of one, either.

he talked my mom & i into going. we met up on Sunday to attend the sale they always have. club members attending the convention set up their Disney wares to sell.

think garage sale. one man's trash, etc.

anywhooo...

i eventually joined the club and started attending meetings as well as the yearly convention. that's when we met Bruce.

back then, he was a speaker at one of the events with a partner in crime, David Mumford. they both worked for Imagineering and to look at them was like looking at a modern day Laurel & Hardy.

David was thin. sorta quiet. if you looked at him, you'd want to scream "NERRRRRRD!" Bruce, on the other hand was a big guy who looked like he ate life like hamburgers - big and in one gulp.

it was the beginning of what we would call the Bruce & Dave Show.

the show would start normally. they'd come out on stage and start introducing their presentation...and then...

things would start flying. literally.

one year, their subject was the transformation of the former Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at Disneyland to Tarzan's Treehouse. at one point, Bruce dragged out a large box and he and David started flinging out Ziplok bags, each containing a plastic leaf from the old tree. Bruce said there were over 100,000 leafs on that tree.

he had labled & numbered each one and had it on each bag. mine is still at my desk at work.

with the Bruce & Dave show, you never knew what to expect, only that you would be exhausted from laughter by the end.

at one show, they announced there would be no more flinging things into the audience - the legal department from Imagineering sent them both a letter stating it was dangerous and irresponsible, etc.

they made copies of the letter, balled 'em up and flung them out to the audience.

we lost David in 2003 to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. then i found out yesterday Bruce was gone, too.

losing David was like losing your kid brother. you always knew he was there, but you didn't miss him until he was gone. losing Bruce was like losing your crazy uncle - the one who sucked all the air out of a room and left you weak from laughter.

they've both gone. and the world is a little less fun because of it.

i guess that God decided it was time to take the Bruce & Dave Show on the road.
rest in peace, boys.

Dec 20, 2007

the condensed version of my life lately.

can't talk. Husband studying for a flight test on Saturday. so, here's what's going on here 'bouts.

  • took photos. plan on a post of local Christmas lights.
  • tequila.
  • margaritas.
  • good friends.
  • the Jar of Encouragement. oy.
  • adult size onesies. (and yes, it's exactly what it sounds like)
  • vacation day.
  • napping.
  • not even close to being done with shopping.
  • have given up on mailing Christmas cards.

so what's new with you?

Dec 16, 2007

what i did during my blackouts.

and no, not the ones caused by benders.
the ones caused by Husbands Who Feel It's Necessary to Take the Laptop to Work.

not bitter. noooooo.
but i DID forget i promised you photos. here you go.
this is for one of our friends who just had her baby earlier this year. you can't tell, but i think babies made Santa nervous. he looks terror-stricken when you look at the photo up close.

next we have...



letters with a kitty paw for a friend

back...



and front of an ornament for a good friend from work. (sorry, i couldn't get the photo to rotate without losing half of the bottom.)

and these are the ones going to my work group.


and an altered tin for a gift card. man. i hope the dang card fits.

there you go. what i try to do on weekends.

The Leader of the Band

An only child alone and wild
A cabinet makers son
His hands were meant for different work
And his heart was known to none --
He left his home and went his lone and solitary way
And he gave to me a gift I know I never can repay

A quiet man of music denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once but his music wouldnt wait
He earned his love through discipline, a thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band.




one of my favorites. Rest in Peace Dan Fogelberg.

Dec 15, 2007

i'm OLD.

almost forgot.

on our many errands today, we stopped @ an electronics store that had a Nintendo DS out with the Brain Age game loaded on it.

seen that yet? it's a game for us adults, to keep our brains nimble & quick.

so the sample game we get? math.

SO the bad choice.

this game starts with the number 74.

now subtract 7 from that total. now subtract 7 again from the new total.

and so on.

guess what? my brain age is 70.

Geritol. yep. it's time for Geritol and Lawrence Welk reruns and blue hair and dining @ 5:30 so we can avoid them whippersnappers.

dadgumit.

the answer: about two weeks.

the question: how long does it take to get over a bad hair cut?

i'm in mourning. i never realized how much i've missed my hair stylist girl since she's been gone.

on maternity leave. pffffftttt.

come ON. it's just a baby. we ARE talking about my hair here.

kidding. but you knew that.

Debbie, my stylist, had been travelling down the crappy infertility road we were on for years. then she, like us, just decided that enough was enough and they were done. she and her husband split up, then got back together.

then earlier this year...surprise!!

she left work in October (which was good, she was swollen and miserable) and i'm hoping will come back in January.

the Husband does, too. he started seeing her as well. and since i've been seeing this girl for the last 10 years...well, ain't no one quite as good.

so, i made a stop @ Supercuts, along with Husband, for a little trim.
and color for me.

Gentle Reader - i had a skunk stripe two inches wide that i never saw until a potty break today, when the light in the room just made me scream in horror.

hor-ror.

same horror i just had, when i saw my haircut. i said, just a trim, and she made some comment that she needed to 'even something out'

oh dear.

but at least when i got home and styled myself, it turned out better.
and the Pepe Le'Pew look is gone.

thank heavens. i SO was not in the mood to be chased around the city by a horny lil' cartoon.



in other news...

ready for Christmas, Gentle Reader? i think i am. just a few last minute things to do. what really ticks me off, is, here i have made Christmas Cards and so have no ambition to address & mail 'em.

and while i love Christmas, love planning gifts and seeing delight, i have no holiday spirit.

not quite a Bah. Humbug!, but neither am i ready to go caroling.

not sure if it's an attitude, or just feeling sorry for myself. which both really are attitudes, right?

if it's feeling sorry for myself, i'm ready for this to be done. things aren't gonna change. Target is not gonna suddenly carry babies in the Baby Dept. Costco isn't gonna have the value pack on kids.

more's the pity.

i think i need a hot toddy (Maureen, why AREN'T i up there?!)and a video night - A Christmas Story comes to mind.

but i'm not even sure that would help.

humbug indeed.

Dec 14, 2007

seen this one?

sorry. i can't find a video to share. but it's a commercial on Food Network.

an anamated Paula Deen walks up to a snowman, pulls out his carrot nose and replaces it with a stick of butter.

"because everything's better with butter.''

you go, girl.

this is getting old.

i'm going through serious withdrawals.

this no computer crap is for da birds.

the Husband has been taking the laptop to work with him for the last few weeks. but man. i didn't realize how much time after work i spend reading, perusing and researching (read: goofing off) on the 'net until my toy is gone from me.

and all these great ideas i have for posts...until i get home and remember that i don't have the laptop and so can't write 'em down.

yet another good argument for ginkgo whatever.

so - let me work on the Readers' Digest version of where and what for me.

  • temporarily reassigned to yet another supervisor. this should only be until January and i should be going back to my current supervisor. maybe.
  • took today off - did a buttload of laundry, including all our bedding.
  • Christmas shopping. and no, i cannot share. he reads here, y'know.
  • made a present for a friend.
  • napped. naps are goooood.
  • cleaned my stove. it was gross.
  • embarrassed myself at the laundromat. let me explain how:

at my laundromat - when one of the machines is out, there's a note taped over the card reader (this one uses a card like an ATM, no change needed). i'm loading, loading, loading..

and loaded right into the broken one. and shut the door. and locked it.

dork.

i went off to find the manager, and after telling her my silliness, she laughs and walks away. i'm thinking that perhaps the language barrier snuck up and i scamper (yes, i occasionally DO scamper) after her and ask if she can unlock the door for me.

she walks over and turns the handle.

yep. that was it. the door opened like magic.

New Rule for Valerie #1,648, 287 - DO NOT go to the laundromat UNTIL YOU'VE HAD CAFFEINE OF SOME SORT.

reasonable request, dontcha think?

and for those of you who do enjoy a good Starbucks - let me share my new fave, if you haven't tried it already - the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha.

and no, i do not want to know how many calories it has.

in other news...

we had our Bunco Christmas party on Tuesday. our tradition is to go out to dinner, then to the hostesses' home for a gift exchange (where we steal presents and it can get vicious)where i went from having a Wedgewood blue tablecloth with matching napkins and some cheesy looking glass Irish Coffee mugs (don't drink that, thankyouverymuch, but would've loved the tablecloth. then i remembered i have a cat who loves to pull things off other things AND to claw things and got over it. the sting was made easier when i stole the $25 Cheesecake Factory gift card. come on over, girls, dessert's on me!).

longest run on sentence ever just now. wow.

next week - at work and at a friend's home - we're having White Elephant gift exchanges.

now that's fun. and, yes i found the most obnoxious white elephant ever.

ev-er.

when at the swap meet last week, i found this cheesy plastic bird cage with horribly ugly birds in 'em.

it has a motion sensor.

oh yeah. it chirps, moves around and is just horrible. hor-ri-ble.

cannot wait.

because nothing says Christmas like a motion sensor bird cage.

Dec 9, 2007

my wife's gonna put me in a home.

or so says Bill Engvall.

in my case, it's gonna be Brendan.

i realized this a.m., as we wandered through the OC Swap Meet, that on our last trip, i purchased a fruit company packing label.

i don't know where it is.

then i remembered at my trip before this trip to Target, i bought a mini Christmas tree - suitable, as the label said, for small rooms, RV's offices or apartments.

dude. it's a dang foot tall. it's suitable for my old Barbie Dream House.

anyway.

like i said, i bought this mini tree. i even bought mini ornaments.

i don't know where they are.

so apparently i've lost what was left of my mind. CMS perhaps? (can't 'member shi....) Alzheimer's? hmmm... the possibilities are endless.

so...Kristie? i have an idea for a Christmas present for me. ginkgo biloba.

wait. forget it. i'll just forget where i put it.

looking for answers to life's most difficult questions.

one in a continuing series.

join me as together, we search for the questions to life's hardest questions.

today's stumper:

why is it members of your family ask you to get something from the store the day after you've done a buttload of shopping?

Dec 8, 2007

Wizards of Winter Christmas lights!

talk about Holiday Spirit.

dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

no. i'm NOT having a hot flash.

i'm just feeling pretty dang proud of myself. getting all puffed up and stuff.

'and stuff '? oy. when did i go back to high school? and yes, most likely, no self-respecting high school student would talk that way, right?

right??

back to ...me.

i started out having one of those days when, by golly, i was productive.

i finished ornaments for my group @ work. i make two more ornaments. i finished up a project for a girl i know who's baby is having her first Christmas.

pictures? why sure. i'll post some.

then...

i showered (and the angels rejoiced), dressed (my neighbors rejoiced) and headed out to Target, the bank, Michael's AND a little store by work that sells polo shirts that have a pocket in the shirt.

because my stepfather HAS to have a pocket in his shirts so he can stick his glasses in 'em.

then i came home and napped.

yum-o.

well dang. at least i started productive.

haven't done a dang thing with my Christmas cards.
still not sure what i'm getting B for Christmas.
oh and my mom's having knee surgery.

lucky her.

she moved funny a few months ago. messed up her knee, not that she hasn't messed them up many, many times over the years. so apparently this time, she's torn ligaments and they'll go in to fix.

knee surgery isn't good. it really isn't good on a 60-something woman who is, like her daughter, overweight but, unlike her daughter, doesn't move much.

no one's looking forward to it.

at least mamma has decreed that there is no cutting done until after Christmas, which is a good thing, especially since my step-father's granddaughter, husband and their kids are coming out to Disneyland for Christmas.

if i haven't told you already, my great nephew had been fighting leukemia. and while he is doing beyond great, they were chosen by the Make a Wish foundation. his wish, was, you guessed it, to go to Disneyland.

and go they shall.

Mom, on a recent phone call, says, 'well, i think we'll be having dinner Christmas day at the hotel.'

um, what? sorry. i'll stay at home, and order dinner from Knott's, thankyouverymuch.



i'm a little disappointed in myself. i started out this a.m. going great guns. then i kinda petered out. what i need is a wife.

yeah. that's the ticket. any takers?

Dec 5, 2007

what i'm thankful for right now.

(warning: today's post may have more than your recommended daily requirement of sarcasm. use caution and read at your own risk.)

i know it's not Thanksgiving. but the Holiday season is the time to remember your blessings as well, so strap yourself in. this is what i'm thankful for right now.

  • AAA and their $7 dollars worth of gas (which, in Mostly Smoggy So. Cal. averages out to about 1.75 gallons).
  • elaborate Christmas light decorations on other people's houses. because i don't have their electric bill.
  • online shopping. because i get crankier as the minutes pass and cannot stand shopping with huge crowds of illiterate, unwashed and ill-mannered people.
  • tequila. which helps me get through the huge crowds of illiterate, unwashed and ill-mannered people.
  • the Husband who, i'm convinced, thrashes around in bed around 3ish, just so i'll get out of bed and he can have the whole thing to himself.
  • hot showers. (are you reading, apartment manager?)
  • Mama P's post on 'keeping up with the Jones.'
  • being moved at work. again.

did i mention AAA and their gas?

tis the season to be jolly.

Dec 4, 2007

last Saturday...

over the weekend, the Husband & i made one of our frequent forays down to San Diego..to check the mail in a PO Box he has and to pick up a cd put out by a radio station he always listened to when he lived down there. we can even get it up here most days.

really funny stuff.

anywhoooo...

a trip down there usually makes me ask if we can stop at one of my favorite stores, which he goes for. and of course, since he has no interest in scrapbooking or whether or not these are the cutest dang brads evah, will stay in the car.

this time, however, nature called so he ran in with me.

running. the operative word.

on his way back, he actually hung out with me for a few minutes before he got all creeped out and hightailed it back to the truck.

and while there, i showed him this. i want it. bad. and, at only $60, it's pretty reasonable.
will he buy it for me? nope. why?

i need to be surprised at Christmas. (insert rolling of eyes here)

whatever.

so as he headed back out to the truck, laughing at me, i called him mean.
and behind the counter, an employee, who witnessed the whole thing, was laughing at us.

'should i call security?' she asks?
'no,' i say. 'just make him buy it for me now.'
she laughs.

'y'know,' she says, 'we could take you out to the truck and tell him we caught you stealing it, and the only way we won't press charges is for him to buy it.'

we both laugh. then i said, 'no - go out there and tell him you're arresting me for stealing it.'

we both laugh again. then she looks at me, with an evil gleam in her eye.

'want me to?'

holy freaking crap. this is my kinda chick.

so it came to pass, that this girl AND another employee, walked out to the truck (while i hid behind a display, laughing my butt off), tapped on the window and informed my Husband that i was being held for shoplifting. after his initial shock, he asked what i took, and when they told him, he started laughing.

at that point, i called on his cell and when he answered, proceeded to do my best acting, weeping and sobbing that they were gonna put me in the hoosegow.

'i know,' he said. 'i told 'em to keep you.'

ah, love.
there's nothing like it.

i'm really not stupid. continued.

in case you've been living under a rock, it's the holiday season. time to be busy, busy, busy and to shop till you drop.

and to be stupid.

last night, i was sooooo stupid.

i.ran.out.of.gas.

yeah, i said it. ran out of gas.

what a dumba...

from an early age, it has been drummed in my head that to run out of gas was not only foolish, but irresponsible. and while it's right, it only serves to make me feel worse.

i knew i was low. but i was putting off the inevitable. i gambled and lost.

i had pulled out of the grocery store parking lot when it happened. and of course, the car just died...along with the power steering. for one brief stupid moment, i thought hey! i can push the car over to that parking lot!!

hmmmm. wait. maybe i am stupid. i drive a dang Chevy Blazer. it's huge as an ox and just as heavy.

so after i called AAA, i called the Husband so he could laugh. to his credit, he didn't. AAA showed up, gave me a gallon and yes, i hightailed it over to the nearest gas station. and filled it up.

what have we learned here? well, a few things:

  • always have AAA. you never know when you'll need 'em.
  • do not bet against your gas gauge. you will not win.

and most importantly - always make sure you have a blog - so you can share your "d'oh!" moments with the entire world wide internet.

Dec 3, 2007

i so do not like Mondays.

especially Mondays that i have to work.

which is pretty much every Monday.

Husband spent all of yesterday doing homework. i did laundry, two loads in the dishwasher, fixed a clock i altered for a friend AND did some shopping, while wondering what i'm getting a friend i work with.

and no, i still have no idea.

Christmas is such a wonderful season. the only time when the world seems united by the feeling of joy, peace and love that always feels palatable this time of year.

it's just the freaking shopping that drives me up a stinking wall.

everyone has people on their list that are hard to buy for. some of my friends are dang near impossible.
and it's not as if she doesn't give hints. oh noooooo.

we can go shopping for someone else (or something else) and she will walk the aisle ooohing and awwwing over stuff she likes. she will ask for gift ideas for you, and then turn around and tell you what she wants as well.

it's a little annoying to me, and i'm not sure why.

i'm trying to get over it. after all, this is the Season of Giving, not the Season of Getting an Ulcer.

although sometimes the two walk hand in hand.

happy shopping.

Dec 1, 2007

ho-ho-huh?

from Steff. just to put you in a holiday frame of mind...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
gift bags, if i can swing it. i SO cannot wrap. my mom, however, can wrap the beegeebers out of everything. how come i didn't get that gene?

2. Real tree or Artificial?
real. all the way. even though i'm really allergic to pine trees, i still love 'em. i just try to not touch 'em.

3. When do you put up the tree?
it varies. the Husband likes to have it up as late as possible, especially since it's a live tree.

4. When do you take the tree down?
generally the week of New Year's. growing up, my Auntie Kay would leave the tree up until the 15th. that was her birthday. never mind that, until she decided to purchase an artificial tree, the tree was a complete fire hazard. a breeze would snap branches off.

5. Do you like eggnog? yum-o. non-alcoholic for me, thanks, and also eggnog ice cream.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
way too many. but probably my Suzy Homemaker oven. like the EasyBake. ah, how many crappy chocolate cakes did i force my family to eat?

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
we have two. one we got as a Christmas gift and the other is a cute femo clay set

8. Hardest person to buy for?
the Husband. he buys what he wants.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
all the kids in my life.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?

11. Mail or email Christmas card?
mail. but i have been known to email 'em, too.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Story. you'll shoot your eye out, kid.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
all the time. especially if i find something i KNOW someone else would like.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
i'll take the Fifth on that one.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
ev-ery-thing. which is why my bum is the size of New York City.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
colored on the tree. heck, i love Christmas lights - no matter what they are.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
Angels We Have Heard on High

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
every other year, we go to the sister's for Christmas. so when we're home, it's Christmas Eve at my mom's (because she cannot wait to open gifts. seriously.), we have our own Christmas morning, then will have dinner (courtesy of Knott's) at mom's.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeers?
you know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen/Comet and Cupid and Richard M. Nixon. wait...wrong song?

20. Do you have an Angel on top or a star?
a star i bought for our first Christmas together.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
gifts at my mom's on Christmas eve. stockings Christmas morning. and when we're home we have our Christmas on Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing(s) about this time of year?
people in the mall. grrrrr...

your turn!

where in the world IS she?

here.
there. and everywhere.

the Husband is better, thanks for asking. but here's the rub of where i've been...he's been taking the laptop to work lately to work on his schoolwork. so, when i get home (when i usually check in on y'all and write)from work, no laptop.

no laptop-no blogging.

no blogging-no fun.

no fun-cranky me.



today's December 1st. hard to believe we're down to the last few weeks of this year. AND only 23 more shopping days until Christmas.

good grief.

it rained here yesterday...SO love the rain - it's the latent Oregon gene in me. i am completely happy just sitting and watching it rain. however, my job has other ideas. they are SUCH bah humbugs.

back to Christmas. i cannot believe it's almost here. i still have Christmas cards to finish, much less address, buy stamps for & mail. presents to buy. gifts to finish. a Christmas dinner to order from Knott's (oh yummiest of yums!), and of course all the cooking, baking and stuff that comes with this time of year.

i just need more time to do it all in. just like everyone else.

speaking of Christmas...

the fun part is buying gifts for kids. at least for me. especially when i'm buying gifts i know they want. the look when they open it and see it.

that rocks.

i have memories of gifts like that. the Barbie i wanted more than life itself. the Barbie makeup head. (looking back, it's a little disturbing. especially when i would take the head off and stick it on a broomstick, THEN put one of my dresses on the broomstick with duct tape.

i'm thinking now i probably would have benefitted from some sort of psychiactic help back then.

then there was the Valerie doll i SO wanted. i mean how often does a doll come out named Valerie? she was blonde. she was cute. AND she was named Valerie.

i got paper dolls named Valerie.

don't get me wrong. i was an only child, but believe me, i wasn't spoiled. i had three cousins that were as spoiled as the day was long. THEY got Vidal Sassoon jeans. I got Toughskins. not that big a thing, but the line was there.

30 years later, i got my dang Valerie doll. thank heavens for eBay.

and i love it.

see? a Christmas wish is a good one...even fulfilled some 30 years later.

Nov 28, 2007

i feel bad, i feel bummed.

a girl i used to know had a little song she would sing when she didn't feel good. "i feel bad/i feel bummed/how i wish that/spring would come/i got a code in mah node."

you can translate that last line to 'i've got a cold in my nose.'

oh, not me. the Husband.

just a little head cold, but enough to make him stay home from work. which really is saying something for him. so i'm shovelling chicken tortellini soup down his gullet and hoping for the best.

like his cough to stop.

he has this cough that sounds like he's hurling. completely grosses me out.

i'm not a good nurse. thankfully, he doesn't like to be coddled. my grandmother wanted to be a nurse. found all things medical fascinating.

i do, too...to a degree. but dang, i do NOT like to deal with sick people. throw some dirt on it and get back in the game.

somehow i didn't get that sympathy gene. which is surprising, i got everything else from my grandmother.

but in the meantime, he's sick, and i'm hoping to not get it.

so it's lots o' chicken soup for him, and Airborne for me.

and thankfully not much in tender loving care.

ain't i a stinker?

Nov 23, 2007

It's a memory.

some philosopher once said, 'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'

if i ever find that dirty bird, i'm popping him one square in the mouth.

before i begin my tale, allow me to wish you all a belated Happy Thanksgiving. hopefully, your day was filled with love and family and lots of full bellies to boot.

i'm coming to you today from my sister-in-law's office-slash-scrapbook room-slash-spare bedroom. cousin Marlen is celebrating her birthday with us here in the States, instead of Ireland, and considering she spent WAY too many hours at the airport, well, it's a miracle she's still got a good attitude.

her flight originally left Ireland Sunday morning around 1pm PST., due to arrive in San Francisco about 12:30pm, then a puddle jumper over the hill to Reno. her layover in San Francisco would be longer than the flight.

truer words never spoken. or written.

fog had rolled in to The City by the Bay. flights were being cancelled left and right and yes, hers was amongst them. the three hour layover stretched into a four, then five, then six hours.

she finally got in to Reno around 10:30 pm Sunday night.
oy indeed.

then came Thanksgiving morning.

B & i were up around 3am, he only having two hours sleep, i with four. and those of you who know me well, also know a)how cranky i am with little sleep much less b) how cranky i am in the a.m.

let me just say, poor planning and the Powers that Be were not working in our favor that morning.

we got to the airport in what would be, on any other day, be plenty of time. what neither of us took into account, even me the self described Most High Princess of Planning, was that IT WAS A FREAKING HOLIDAY!!!! THERE WERE PEOPLE AT THE AIRPORT!!! A LOT OF PEOPLE!!!

why? you should've left yesterday! most busy travel day of the year, blah, blah, blah.

um, hello?! do they send the news crews to the airport to report on the insanity of travelling on Thanksgiving day? NO! they're there on Wednesday.

which is when all these people should've been at the airport. not on Thanksgiving. not when the Princess and her Consort are flying!

Mr. Murphy? writer of Murphy's Law? meet Mrs. O'Mahony.

if you've already read Brendan's account of the story, then i won't bore you with the details. let me just tell you this: when we did get into San Jose to change planes, and i saw that the plane we were on stand by for was boarding, i uttered a few profanities, rushed up to the counter and said, 'i have no idea where i am, but i want to go there (frantically gesturing at the sign with the flight number to Reno).'

i am positive i gave the chick behind the counter the best laugh of her day.

i am a firm believer that i am blessed beyond reason. we were blessed beyond all reason yesterday. by all rights, we, due to our poor planning, should never have made it. i was prepared to actually plan on flying to Reno today, when things were a little more calm.

but once again, God is better to us than we deserve, and here we are. only two hours later than i originally planned.

plan. hmmm. perhaps it's a word i need to work on just a bit more.

photos later.

(oh and by the way? we had about six people, including my nephew playing Yahtzee last night. the kids all got bored and left the game so it ended up being just a few of us. and yes, Dean, He Who Would Be the King of Yahtzee, left the game as well. after totalling up all the game cards, the boy STILL would've won. so, as he predicted, i went down in a fiery ball o' Yahtzee flames.)

smarty pants.

Nov 17, 2007

do.this.NOW.

thanks, Allison, for this link.

and so, in gratitude, in thankfulness for their courage, go here. regardless of your political bent, this is a good thing to do.




why are you still reading? go now.

Nov 16, 2007

all 'round the block...

i have not been kidnapped, abducted by aliens or sold into white slavery because i stopped to speak to a stranger asking directions.

which, kids, you should never ever do.
thus concludes your public service announcement for today.

no. it was far, far worse than that.

the Husband, in an attempt to not stay up all night doing homework (read dickin' around on the computer), has been taking the laptop with him to work and working on stuff during his breaks and lunches.

meanwhile, i go through withdrawals and wonder what i can do to fill my time in the afternoons.

read to kids? naaah. bake pies for the shelter? are you crazy? there are blogs to be read! emails to delete, er...respond to! shopping! there is shopping to be done! ONLINE!!!

and it has been a week.

Mom had an MRI today for her leg. you see, many moons ago, she fell at work (hmmm! could this be where my natural grace comes from?!) over boxes someone left around a blind corner. and occasionally, she tweaks herself wrong, and well...turns her into a frightful mess.

did i mention my poor Mom hates MRIs? poor woman would rather listen to the caterwauling of tone deaf tomcats as the Angelina Jolie of the catworld strutted by, than to go into THE TUBE OF DEATH.

even with drugs, she freaks out. and lucky her, she just got over a migraine this a.m. just in time to be launched into THE TUBE OF DEATH.

so she can get another migraine. lucky, lucky her.

and this week at work there is talk about starting a 5am shift.

5am? good mooglie googlie.
kids, i am SO not a morning person. a pleasant personality for me starts to develop around nine.

p.m.

so, of course, if i have to start at 5, i will. and let me tell you now, Gentle Reader, start buying stock in Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

because i will single-handed make it rise tenfold.

wait...there's a question from the back? yes? can you please speak a little louder? why are they considering a 5am shift?

why to deal with the East Coast sales reps for our company, naturally.
the ones that will be contacting us for questions regarding their ads.
because their former graphics' office in Valley Forge is being eliminated.

yep. the office i spent soooo much time in last summer is being closed early in '08.
they were told on Thursday.

Happy freaking Holidays, huh?

someone out there asked, and rightly so, why they were being closed now, why not last year when they were doing so horribly?

a great question. with no good answer.

as i've told y'all before, i've been at my company for 20 years. i have survived five layoffs. three at my location and two at other locations.

there but for the Grace of God.

i feel for them. the few that did bother to talk to me seemed really nice. fun people.
people who have mortgages, kids and bills. just like the rest of us.

and although it's 'just business,' it still sucks for people who life still goes on.

in other news...

today, i woke up @ 3:45.

did you know there's a 3:45 these days? whoever planned it sucks.

anywhoooo...

woke up. had to use the *ahem* powder room. could.not.go.back.to.sleep. so i did what every good scrapper/crafter/player of glue & paper does...

i played.

yep. 4 am and i'm trying to open my eyes enough to see the glue i'm trying to attach to some wooden letters.

it's a sickness, i tells ya.

so now, i'm ready for bed.
and really, really hoping that 3:45 stays right where it is.

away from me.

Nov 12, 2007

an open letter to the Gamemaster.

dear Dean -
Aunt Balerie here. i just thought i'd write you something, because your momma tells me you are really getting into games lately.

really.into.games.

well, be prepared. you're going down, boy.

so it's Yahtzee you dig?! sir, i am the Queen of Yahtzeeville.
Monopoly? i make Donald Trump look like a second grader.

wait...aren't you in second grade? oh well. never mind.

just wait. there is nothing i love more than a good game. be it Yahtzee (or however you spell it), Clue, Trouble, Uno or Milles Borne. except for War. i don't know how to play that, but who cares?

you are SO going down.

just wanted to warn you. be prepared for a whooopin'.

(and never mind when Momma says that i'm all talk, and i talk big, blah, blah, blah. i don't talk THAT much)

oh, and be prepared for a lot of hugs and smoochy kisses. 'cuz that's how i roll.

i love you. i can't wait to see you, your sister, Momma, Daddy, cousin Marlen and the dawgs next week.

but you're still going down.
xoxoxoxo Aunt Balerie


p.s. - hi, Erin!! i can't wait to see you and have you help me roll my dice for Yahtzee!

countdown!

oh, Jax. she tagged me.

here goes!

Ten things I did this weekend:
* went to the grocery store * swap meet * Sugar Plum Festival * had Starbucks with this guy i married * finished Christmas gift project * got an upset tummy from cooking (see?! cooking really DOES make me sick!) * talked to my sister in law a few times * went to grocery store. AGAIN. * laundry * one more trip to the grocery store (and no, i have never heard of a grocery list)

9 things on my agenda this week:
* finish mini album for the step-niece's trip out * hammer down more off my Christmas list * plan my packing for Reno next week * grocery store * make more Christmas gifts * take more pictures * try to be nicer and less 'crap in my cheerios' kind o' gal * get a new book to read * trip to the Gap for a new stocking cap

8 shows I watched last week:
Good Eats * Paula's Party * Simpsons * Family Guy * Oprah * L.A. Ink * CSI * morning news

7 things i cooked this week:
i so cannot remember. hell to be old, worse to die young.
unless you forget to die.

6 things I read this past week
'Forever Liesel,' by Charmane Carr, who was Liesel in the movie 'The Sound of Music' * Sunday's paper * People magazine * In Style magazine * Simple Scrapbooks magazine * 'A Brief History of Time'

riiiiiight.

5 Reasons to be happy today
i'm going to Reno in a week and a few days! * i have a fresh unopened bottle of wine in our 'fridge * bought some super-fun toys for some really cool kids * i've got a crafty project burning a hole in my brain * peppermint mocha frappachinos

4 things I need to buy
trash bags (me, too, Jax) * wooden letters * milk * a brain

3 people I saw this weekend
ummmmm, no one? just my husband. how pathetic is that?

2 things I am thankful right now
my sweet boys - the big one and the furry one. my friends who are my family and my family.

One final thought: well behaved women rarely make history.

do make some history today. and consider yourself tagged, if you haven't been already.

Nov 11, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...




especially in the crap, er...craft room.
they're 16oz paper coffee cups, and the lids, too. regular scrapbook paper, cardstock to make the sleeve, some ribbon and on the top (even though you can't see 'em) matching paper filling the indent on the lid and a holiday brad...just to be festive.
my fave, i gotta say, is the top one. i know, it's not Christmas in the 'traditional' sense (Husband does NOT like that one. all more reason for me to like it - bwa!), but it just seems fun to me. Love, Elsie paper & some cutsie sparklie ribbon.
these are going to the supervisors @ work for Christmas (so if you're a supervisor, just forget you saw these, 'K? kidding. no one of the management team reads this. which is good, cuz, you all STINK!!! so kidding.), with a Starbucks giftcard and something else...not sure what yet, but i've got till the end of the month and next month to think about it.
if you want a template to cut for your own cups, let me know.
in other news...
guess who's coming to Thanksgiving dinner?! cousin Marlen is flying out next Sunday to my sister-in-law's for two weeks. AND my brother in law is coming over from Sacramento with his two boys.
it's a mini family reunion. now if Marlen could only get her brother to come out sometime with her...
oh, the trouble we could all get into. moreso.
and tonight, we watched 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.' the original, not the movie, thank heavens. talk about Instant Holiday Spirit. AND our satellite has a new feature on the info button...you can see when it was originally aired.
this aired 12/22/1966.
1966?! good grief. i suddenly feel much, much older. add to that that Friday was my 20th anniversary at my company, well...
who am i kidding. i am old.
i just can't decide which makes me feel older - 1966 or 1987.
never mind. i'm just taking my walker back down to the home.

some things just shouldn't be allowed.

Friday night, the Husband suggested we go to the swap meet Saturday. and, being the agreeable sort that i am, well...i agreed.

down here, the Orange County Fairgrounds hosts a swap meet every weekend. it's truly a cornucopia of everything.

ev-ery-thing.

fresh produce. spas. hair care products.lotions. art. mirrors.

heck, they've even got two trailers for haircuts.

but the most fun, is the people watching.
and believe me, here at the O.C. Swap Meet, you get plenty of subject matter.

there's the chicks that look, well...normal.
there's the women who look like your grandma. your grandma who is dressing like the average teenage girl. and then there's the women who SO do not look like they would be caught dead at a swap meet.

then there's the trailer park trifectas.

i saw many of them yesterday. it made me laugh, even while i recoiled.

what's a trailer park trifecta, you ask? a triple threat. picture this: a chick, who, like most of us, has an *ahem* little extra padding all around.

but TPTs go further. their tops are WAY too tight for their body shape, as are their pants. which results in the trifectas.
boobs. muffin top. belly.

i cannot tell you how many of them i saw yesterday. my favorite was the one who had some kind of tat on the *ahem* top of her boobage, AND her shirt was rising up on her tummy, exposing the faboo belly button piercing.

dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me. hot like me, indeed.

i love people-watching. sociology was one of my favorite subjects in college. but this, well...it really was too much.

like i said, it's not that i have anything against people with extra padding. Lord knows i've got more than my share.

but i ain't about to share it by wearing a top so tight i can see the scar from your appendectomy on your tum-tum.

heck. even i have my limits.

Nov 8, 2007

oh, one more thing.

another reason to rejoice and break forth in song.

o happy, happy day!

i can guarantee you where i'm gonna be tomorrow morning.

my 29.4 year old feet are doing the happy dance...now if only my 84.3 year old arse would cooperate.

great googley-moggley!

so - while perusing my usual list of suspects, er, fellow bloggers...i found this on Kenny's site.

i'm 45. according to my answers, my virtual age is 29.4.
(some would say much, much younger)
i can expect to live to 90.6 years.

oh dear heavens.

well, OK.
but only if i don't have to wear any Depends. 'cuz that just ain't right.

and i'll probably still be pissy and raising hell at the nursing home.

gooooooo me!! kicked out of the finest nursing homes in America! hell, even at 90.6, i still got it!
i rock(ing chair). and don't you ever forget it.

oh yeah.

dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?

ya gotta love the 80s. and us Calfornia girls.

Nov 7, 2007

getting the finger for my finger.

what was the name of that book? "The Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day?"

it was written for me.

no doubt about it.

it's not that i woke up on the wrong side of the bed, i didn't. i felt good, my day started out great.

then, i got to work.

what was it my grandma used to say? oh yeah. it all went to hell in a henbasket.

or was it hand basket? no matter.


it was just nutty.
in case you didn't know, didn't care or plain ol' forgot, my job involves making sure my department is clear from all ads that are going to press that day.

today i had 175 incomplete ads, that all needed to be completed by 2pm.
riiiiight.

it was nutty. i got a headache that i still have. the breaking point, for me anyway, was when, around 1pm, one of the supervisors emails to all of us "should we split apart the reports?"

um, hello?! where was that brilliant idea earlier this morning when i had freaking near 200 ads to complete?

ah. mental greatness.

so. we eventually got done. but in the meantime...

i had an appointment with my old orthopedic doctor today. my right index finger hurts. really hurts. especially on the side of my knuckle. i assume it's arthritis, i do have it, just in my hips, not my finger.
and did i mention i'm right handed?

fun.

today, my doctor's office manager called. seems they don't accept my insurance any longer, so i would have to be considered as a cash patient.

so how much would it cost for me to be a cash patient today? i ask.

ummmmm, about $315.

three hundred and fif....holy freaking crap. i guess i'll live with the pain.

(actually, i'll just call my regular doctor. even though he's a schmuck and i cannot stand him.)

then.

i stopped at the grocery store on my way home tonight. and, of course, got in the line being held up by the elderly woman in a wheelchair, arguing the price of a cheap bottle of whiskey. then her son said "ma, remember what happened last time. the mobile home association sent you that letter and stuff."

except he didn't say stuff. and no, i'm not making this up. you cannot make this stuff up.

as i rolled my eyes, the store manager walked by, touched my arm and said "miss, i'll help you on 7."

ooooh! he said miss!!!!

i unloaded my stuff. then, this giant lug of a courtesy clerk (we called 'em bag boys in my day, dagnabbit) stops at the end of the checkout stand and the manager asked him to pick up the baskets...don't just stand there.

so he walks to the head of the check out stand. right.past.me. hello?! is my butt invisible?

well, my butt may be, but i guarantee my mouth wasn't.

can you say excuse me? i snapped. yes, Gentle Reader, i was bitchy. and i liked it.

he looked at me. i honestly don't think he had a concept of what i was saying. the woman behind me, however, was laughing her butt off.

the manager didn't look amused. he tried to apologize, but i shut him down with some trite comment to the effect of rudekidsinamericathesedays, whodotheirparentsthinkthey'redoingafavornotdisciplining,needstoshowsomerespectandiamneverEVERsteppingfootinthisstoreagain.

whatever.

so - what have we learned today?
* good ideas aren't, if they come too late.
* my insurance sucks right now.
* finger still hurts.
* rude people suck.
and most importantly -
* i'm gonna be that cranky old broad that yells at the kids to 'get off my lawn.'

time for my meds. too bad i don't have any.

Nov 5, 2007

celebrate me home.

over the weekend, i got an email. which is nothing really unusual, i get soooo many.

most of which want me to use Viagra.

lucky me.

but in between the offers for watches, scrapbook items, and yes Viagra, i got an invitation.

from a chick i work with.

for a combo housewarming-slash-40th birthday party.

wait...what? let me re-read that.

yep. she's throwing herself a birthday party AND a housewarming party.

see - it goes like this: this girl talks smack about her grandmother. all.the.time. horrible things. disrespectful things. just mean stuff. then her grandmother passed away unexpectedly.

and her mother gave this girl her grandmother's condo.

and paid to have it repainted, re carpeted and re designed.

and put cash into an account so this girl will never pay property tax or association fees.

and this girl doesn't have to pay any of the payments.

she is lucky. but i don't think she appreciates it. i know her brothers are still peeved about it.

so - here she is, planning a housewarming and birthday soiree. for about 40 people.

i think it's gonna be like me hosting that many people here in our apartment. especially since her condo IS a converted apartment.

but what i wonder is...do i get her two gifts? 'cuz that's what it is looking like. and i hate feeling obligated to buy someone a gift.

it doesn't bother me at birthdays or Christmas...or even Groundhogs day. i love shopping for other people. especially for the 'perfect' (or what i hope is perfect) gift.

unfortunately, this girl doesn't realize how blessed she really is. and how horribly she treats people.

more to follow.



in other news...
yes, the writers are on strike. and yes, i'm still waiting for someone...anyone...to call and give me a big break.

Hollywood, i'm here. call me.

not only can i pretend to write, i can pretend to cook and fill up the Green Room.

see? double threat.


one more thing...prayers if you would, for my April, Susie & Pat. they've each got some heavy cruddy loads lately.
i thank you. and so would they.

Nov 4, 2007

...and the Oscar goes to...

an apropos title, considering the Writers Guild of America, West will probably go on strike @ midnight tonight.

soaps and late night talk shows are in trouble. this, however, could be my big break.
riiiiiight.
back to the Oscar thing. i always hated it, when the people that hand out the Oscars (i'm not sure i want to type out the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences) changed the line ''and the winner is...''
because everyone's a winner when you get nominated for an Oscar?
because ''it's such an honor to just be nominated?"
come on. someone's gotta win, someone's gotta lose. that's life.

and every bloody one of 'em would rather be a winner. fake gracious smiles and all.
hey, i know i would.

but i'm a long, long way off from having any nominations. at least for an Oscar. so - i put off picking someone to be my Honorary 2500th Visitor, for many reasons, none of which will interest you.

unless you want to hear about how the Husband hogged, er, used the laptop a lot yesterday, doing his homework.

and today, well, i was busy. finishing up Christmas gifts for my work group. a goody tin for the candy hogs @ work. photos will follow, no worries.

so. the winner of my Honorary 2500th Visitor is...






hey - did i mention i did some Christmas shopping already? a few Christmas presents for the kiddos in my life. craft stuff for our trip to Reno. oh, and paper towels.

because when you go to BigLots to get paper towels, you might as well do some Christmas shopping.

sorry. back to the subject at hand.

my Honorary 2500th Visitor is...

i am so ready for our trip to Reno. cannot wait to see everyone - and with a little luck, cousin Marlen might make a trip out from Ireland. and how cool is that? we'll be making paper chains for the Christmas tree, playing I Spy and i'll even be learning how to play War.

ooops. did it again. sorry. that was mean.


here's the Husband, overjoyed to be holding my Christmas goody pail.




hey! that doesn't look like candy to me, buster.



can you read that? don't worry, i can't either.

but Jacqui - you won! yes, you're a winner!!! you already know how to get me, so let me know what color paper and email me a photo if you want to include that.

thanks again to y'all for reading - whether you comment or not.

peace out.

Nov 1, 2007

2500 visitors.

that is amazing.

i thank you, each of you, whether you comment or not.

i always wanted to be a writer, and read around the world. i just never imagined it would be on the 'net.

thanks again. you rock. i love writing, you keep reading.

must be a good thing - you keep coming back. so again, from the bottom of my heart, i thank you.


so in honor of 2500 hits, i offer this: post a comment here and i will choose a name by 8pm PST on Saturday.

you, oh Gentle Reader, will also be a Lucky Reader. i will make you a photo clock with your choice of photo and color scheme.

thanks again. and good luck!

what DO the common folk do?

i do not *heart* L.A. not driving in it, anyway. driving into, through or out of downtown L.A., well, i can only liken it to surgery without anesthesia.

but occasionally, things happen - the stars align, blah, blah, blah, that makes it allllllll worth while.


ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Staples Center. and yes, the Husband did give me a 'ohfortheloveofgodandallthatisholy' look as i stopped in the parking lot to snap this.he SO forgets that 1) i am a picture taking freak, 2) i scrap, for heaven's sake and 3) of COURSE i'm posting this on the blog.


boys. go figure.we got to the parking area directly across from the Staples Center - where parking is $20. yep - t-w-e-n-t-y bucks. we pulled in, and Husband showed our ticket to the parking attendant who said, 'this isn't a parking pass, this is your ticket, sir.'


'no problem,' he said, only it was a problem, since we didn't GET a parking pass. 'can you tell us where we do need to go, or how much parking is here?'


after a short pause, the attendant handed us a parking pass. 'park anywhere you'd like. enjoy the game, folks.'


freaking sweet! parking just got free, too!


oh, and did i mention skybox patrons have their own exclusive entrance?!


i love L.A.


we headed up to the third floor - which by this time was looking more like a really nice hotel than an arena.

welcome to our skybox. please scan your ticket for admission to the box.





yep. this is the skybox. and me without my wide angle lens. but across from these couches, is this table with veggies. there are plasma screen TVs on either side of the room, and these bar seats like above.


below those are more seats. AND a mini tv above the seats.


holy freaking cow. this SO rocks.



the box is stocked with plenty of sodas, water, a bottle of wine and some beer. we had hot dogs, with or without chili, chips, pretzels and tortilla chips. oh, and wings and veggies.


oh, and did i mention the dessert cart that came by with a selection of red velvet cake (see, Melissa? we ARE cultured!) s'mores brownies, caramel apples, skittles, brownies, and dang i can't remember what else. we took a variety selection for the rest of the room.


we had about 12 people in the room and we were all comfortable. one of the most amazing things for me was, when i left to use the ladies room, i walked into a sparkling clean, EMPTY restroom. no lines reaching down the hall. seriously. i cannot remember ever not waiting in line at a restroom at any event, much less a sporting event.


heck. even when we went to Billy Joel years ago, i hit up the mens room. i couldn't stand it any longer. i'm sure i pissed off some people.


pun intended.


long story short - we both had a great time. the Kings lost (imagine that!), but i think the only one who cared was the guy and his wife wearing their matching, autographed Kings jerseys.


the rest of us were happy drinking free beer, eating free hot dogs and relishing (we were, anyway) in our free parking and our moment in the sun.


living like celebrities. or hot shots.

i love this town.

Oct 30, 2007

life goes on.

Robert Goulet passed away today.
and even though i never saw him perform live, i always liked him

secret guilty pleasure #1,658,278.

i loved his voice. i laughed at him when he was on the Simpsons, as himself, performing his show in Bart's treehouse. loved a commercial he was in recently for nuts - if you didn't eat these nuts, Robert would come to your office and destroy your desk, because your sugar was low.

or something like that.

even though he wasn't on Saturday Night Live, when Will Ferrell did this, i laughed. hard.

because i am one sick pup.

Robert Goulet was one talented fellah. he will be missed.

in other news...

in case you hadn't noticed, by the lack of candy in ANY store, including 7/11s and gas stations, Halloween is tomorrow.

work is having a costume contest, and no, i'm not entering. this has been one weird, wild and wonderfully stressed year here, and i'm just not into it. so, unfortunately, my department will be deprived of such classics as "Brittany Spears @ 40"

please don't make me describe it. i'm sure there are still people suffering flashbacks. suffice it to say there was a wig, a crop top, stilettos and a borrowed cig.

niiiice.

anywhooooo - Halloween is fun - for kids and most adults. before i married, the Parental Units had a TON of kids come trick or treating.

i think they bussed them in from other nearby cities/neighborhoods..

so, since we have kids here in our complex, on my first married Halloween, i was stoked. LOVED handing out candy, seeing the costumes, especially on the little kids. loved.it. and off to Target i went.

$50 later, i was prepared. i settled in for a night of fun. that never materialized.

i know! that sucked. $50 worth of candy and not one nibble.

needless to say, i learned my lesson. no more candy purchases for us.

last year. a.knock.at.my.door. holy crud. i have nothing to give, except some stale bread and macaroni.

do kids these days like that stuff?

this year, i'm getting the treat, instead of giving 'em.

Husband and i are going to a Kings hockey game. and we're gonna watch it in one of the skyboxes.

yep.yep.yep.yep.yep. you may touch my hand.

the Big Boss called today and asked if Husband and i would be interested. i don't think he's really that interested (not much of a sports fan), but hey - even roller derby would look good from a skybox.

there will be others there from my work. the bummer is, we have to drive to the Staples Center, in downtown LA - and driving to LA at any point of time is challenging, but during rush hour? well, there MUST be something wrong with me.

trust me - all will be forgotten after i get in the skybox. and i don't even need to ring a doorbell to get there.

pictures will be forthcoming.

Happy Halloween. may you get only Marathon bars and no rocks in your goody bag.



Oct 28, 2007

yum-o!

we celebrate many things in this life: births, weddings, anniversaries, even deaths.

don't believe me about the death one? what about when we go to someone's house after a service to eat?

Americans celebrate with food.

so last night, we food celebrated our anniversary. Ruth's Chris' Steakhouse. holy crap. it's goooooood.

we've been to them before, but have never gone to the newest one, a hop, skip and jump away from Disneyland. it.was.beautiful.
blown glass morning glories on the ceiling, framing huge windows. a lighted wine display that changed colors.

oh, and steak. really, really good steak.

and really good chopped salad.
really good shoestring potatoes
really good sauteed mushrooms.
and beyond good creme brulee.

oh yeah, good service, good company, good ambiance, blah, blah, blah.

dinner was great.

and for a few hours, we can pretend there's nothing else in the world but us. no pressures. no bills. no problems.

life is good.

happy anniversary, baby.

Oct 27, 2007

beer - not just for breakfast anymore!

but i don't LIKE Guinness! sheesh!
see? i've told y'all i'm a bitter broad!




What Beer Are You?

You are Guinness. You are brooding, bitter, and often in a dark, pensive mood. You are an intellectual and a dreamer, but your passion and emotions can sometimes get the better of you.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Oct 25, 2007

ten years.

i woke up with that gawdawful feeling in the pit of my belly.


i completely overslept.


dang!


barely time for a shower, i SO have no time for breakfast.


knock at the door. run to answer, still in my robe.

and it's amazing i HAD a robe.


it's SO windy out there, i hear. and puzzled, i open up the curtains.


the American Flag directly outside my window looks like it's starched flat. no waves to it at all.


holy crap.


another knock at the door. it's my friend and her daughter. ready for a fun-filled day.


i finally get my hair finished. make-up's on. i still don't know how i'm getting dressed.


spaz.


i finally do get dressed. and i can't remember the last time someone wanted to take pictures of me after i got dressed.

goooooooo me!

we leave and walk down the stairs. a crowd has assembled at the bottom of the stairs...and all this because i managed to get dressed.


they applaud. i bow. they take pictures.

paparazzi!


i take a moment to pray. i open my eyes and there's a bug. climbing.up.my.boobage. so, i flick it off me.


i then remember about the video camera. will the paparazzi never leave me be?


i got kissed.


we got married.











ten years ago, Husband and i stood in a hundred year old church, in the middle of Knott's Berry Farm and promised before God, our friends and family to love, honor and cherish.

it's been a ride. lots of ups, thankfully not as many downs. many tears. many stupid fights. some badly cooked meals. disappointments. victories. romance. and lots and lots and lots of dull, boring ordinary days.

i always say, every day we let each other live is a good day. i tease him that i would never kill him...why would i let him off so easily?

we laugh. we cry. we're silly. we're serious. we're good looking.

most days.

but he is my world. my life. and while i know that if i had to, i could go on without him, i never EVER want to have to find out how i would.

ten years. it's like, wow.

Oct 22, 2007

Saturday.

last Thursday was my father-in-law's birthday. he would've been 75.

it was a weird day for everyone in the family.

i really liked my father in law...he reminded me of the best of my Uncle Jimmy, before Alzheimer's stole him from me.

my father in law was cremated - then, my Husband and brother in law took the bro's plane out over the coast in San Diego and spread him to the four winds.

and before the Husband got a day job, would go down and, taking a tea bag, would share a cup of tea with his dad and sit and chat for awhile...telling him what was going on in his life.
but since the day job came around, Brendan hadn't been able to do as much visiting. this past Saturday, we remedied that.

it took awhile for Brendan to figure approximately where they did send their dad off on his final flight. in either case, like i told him, it's all about how it makes you feel.

so while he walked along the shoreline, i climbed up to the bluff to snap away.



and my favorite of the day...


miss you, Kevin.