May 31, 2007

the nose knows.

nose hole here.
i realize there's been a lot of discussions going on...some in our own homes,
some love me. some don't. some can't figure out what i'm doing here. but that's philosophy.
i don't do philosophy.
i am, however, smarter than my host. so much so that i am here to convey her thankfulness (and thoughtlessness, i must say) over those out there that wished her (and me, too) a happy birthday.
that being written. allow me to thank Leslie & Melissa for the lovely cards.
SusieQ & Linda for sufficiently embarrassing the host while singing my praises.
y'all are SO on my Christmas list.
finally, to all of you who posted or emailed to wish the host a happy birthday...all i can say is why. she certainly is self centered (why else would she draw attention to herself by adopting me?!). although by adopting me, well, i can only say i'm an improvement.
(offstage sounds of a scuttle. furniture overturning. lots of screaming)
*whew* kids? you still out there? sorry about the hole taking over. he's been doing that lately. kinda scary. i'm thinking i may need an exorcism.
or is it possible to put it on mood enhancing drugs?
either way. i do want to echo the hole's views. thanks to everyone who posted about my birthday, sent me cards, via email AND snail mail, and most of all for your good wishes. this really has been the most fun birthday i have had in a long, LONG while.
oh and anything else the nose said about me is a dirty lie.

May 30, 2007

treat me like the princess i am...and i'll never let you down.

you may call me Her Royal Hindass Princess Valerie, ruler of all things cool and righteous.


seriously. i have had the best 24 hours ever. and short of the baby fairy dropping one off at my stoop, it couldn't have been any better.

work was so-so. but after getting home, the Husband told me to change my clothes, we were off to fine dining. and, not knowing where i was going, was gonna make things interesting. but...the Husband doesn't make me get dressed up to go to Red Robin for burgers, so i'm good with it.

we went here.

yum. yummy-yum-yum.

after they seated us, the maiter'd took our white napkins...and returned with black ones. we were both wearing black, and so black napkins wouldn't show the lint from the white ones.

i ain't in Kansas anymore.

the waiter, came by and said he was going to illustrate the menu before he gave them to us. then he pulled over a cart that had a basket of fresh veggies, a huge tray of steaks, covered with a thick layer of plastic wrap; the third tray had a lobster. but i figured it wasn't real.

as the waiter explained the different steaks they had, the veggies and salads, he then said "oh, and we have lobster..." and picked it up.

it moved.

holy freaking cash cow Batman. it's a!!!!

i swear if my eyes popped any wider, they would've split in half.

now i wasn't going to order the lobster anyway, but even if i was, i couldn't. see, for starters i bonded in that quick moment with Chris Crustacean.

no. not really.
i'm really enough of a baby to want my food to not look like it's original form. i realize it's silly.

i realize it's childish.

welcome to my world.

but dinner was wonderful. AND i got chocolate lava cake for dessert.

Weight Watchers be damned. i ate it all.

then came today.

we ordered lunch from a killer Mexican place. my friend brought root beer floats for dessert.

then came the gifts.

i got the new cookbook from the Deen boys. i got beer and beer glasses from a brewery in Escondido, just down the freeway in San Diego Co.

and tonight a group of friends from work are going to a BBQ place to continue the celebrations.

it's the never ending birthday. and even though my mother disapproves of my little stud, and my step-pop called me a barbarian (i think he was kidding...wasn't he?), it's been a totally fun, celebratory 24 hours.

and, unlike Lindsay Lohan, i didn't crash my car and end up in rehab.

May 29, 2007

by the way...

on YOUR birthday, did you get greetings from:
Donald Duck?
Keith Urban? (sigh)
Donny Osmond? (sigh. sigh)
your favorite San Diego radio station? (and on the card was cartoons of Ozzy and Keith Richards...BOTH of whom, i must say, i definitely look better than)
Southwest Airlines?
Borders Bookstore?

no. of course you didn't.

say it loud: i'm middle aged and i'm proud....

i am 45.

it's official. i now begin the walk down the middle-of-the-aged road.


i ended up going to work today, because the Boss called and said his wife was going to be induced today, so don't hate me, but please go in?

well, ok. but you gotta name the kid after me, since she's likely to be born on MY BIRTHDAY.

he laughed, that kinda nervous laugh people have when they're not sure if you're serious or not.

well, of course, i'm serious, dammit...if i'm giving up my vacation the LEAST you can do is name the kid after me...'specially since she's gonna be born on MY BIRTHDAY.

i gotta talk it over with the Wife first, he says.


today wasn't bad. just really slow (which i was expecting) and SO would rather have been at home, no makeup, watching Season Two of Dead Like Me on DVD (thanks, Husband!).

and thanks, Linda, for the birthday wishes on your blog and the ecard. totally made me laugh.

oh, and to prove i am ripe for a midlife crisis.... i present photographic evidence.

do not adjust your monitor.
that is a real, genuine nose piercing.
not the magnetic one i bought earlier this year (and was terrified the backing would come off and i would inhale the magnetic disk...sheesh. what am i, four years old?)

a real stud in a real hole in my really big nose.

did it yesterday in Newport Beach at a VERY clean place my friend recommended.
took no time at all, and didn't hurt NEARLY as bad as it did when i got my ears pierced, 27 freaking years ago!!!
(quick version of that story: i lived with Crazy Auntie Kay at the time, and she said ANY piercings was barbaric. i wanted my ears pierced, so on my actual 18th birthday, i took the bus over to the Lakewood Center Mall, to Chic Accessories and got 'em shot up. it hurt soooo baaaad, i ended walking around the mall in a stupor, crying for about half an hour. wuss.
oh, and Auntie was so angry, she didn't speak to me for almost a week. imagine what she's doing now, from her vantage spot in Heaven!)

i'm still getting used to it. i see it occasionally, and think it's really sparkly/glittery eye shadow. then i rub it.
it doesn't hurt. it didn't even hurt *after* the woman at the shop pierced it.

oh...about that woman.

nicest lady ever...was kinda like a grandma figure...i cried a little..well, welled up really bad when she first pierced it, and sweet lady put her hand on my shoulder and said, "you OK, sweetie?"

what was funny is that the woman had tattoos up & down BOTH arms.
definitely not my grandma.

oh and now, i'm announcing Random Thoughts - Live!
yes, for a mere pittance, you can hire me, yes me, to entertain at your parties, receptions (Jolene? just a thought...), Tupperware parties (only not ones that are fundraisers designed by people you haven't seen in over 20 years) talent? (and thanks to my dearest Kristie for this idea)

i'll be performing a Dancing Waters show.
out my nose.
i'll be using my new hole to create water illusions AND! by shining colored flashlights on the waters, i can color coordinate for any occasion! to any music you choose!

now that's entertainment.

so thanks - and here's to my next 45 years. heaven only knows what i'll do next.

May 28, 2007

Land of the Free - for a reason.

i would love to take credit for this, but i can't. it was sent to me from my friend's wife, who's son, Eric, spent nine months as a fireman in Afghanistan.
i can share with you and echo its sentiment. and to also add i also fly it for my stepfather from D-Day. for Eric and for Chad - young men all, giving up all.
Memorial Day is not about BBQs. it's not about beach parties or weekend get-aways. it's about the young men and women, past and present, who serve this Country proudly.
and for the families at home who pray and wait for their safe homecoming.

Below is a letter that our past Blue Star Mom president wrote to the CC probably will not be published, but cannot pass up the chance to share this great writing with you all.
Something to reflect on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day, I will be flying my America flag on Monday, and Saturday and Sunday as well. It is a quiet salute, unlike the call to protest that some have called for. That is political expediency in its rawest form and I denounce that in a loud voice.

I will be flying my flag in honor and memory. I will be flying it for my friend, John Farley, who was recently taken from us. It was through his eyes and his stories that I first began to understand the horror of December 7, 1941. He was a young man that morning, but by the end of that day, he was old beyond words. He remembered each of his buddies, where they were standing, what they did and how they died. He carried that burden for all of his remaining years. I will fly my flag in his honor and remember his service.

I will fly it also for my friend, David McDonald. He doesn't talk much about Korea, except to tell me it was cold. His body is so full of shrapnel that he cannot have an MRI. He is frail now, but not willing to give into this old age stuff. He fights it everyday with a quiet dignity that inspires me. I will fly my flag to honor him and his grit.

I also will be flying it for Lt. Jerry Novakovich. I didn't know Jerry, but I have come to know him through his mother's eyes and through the eyes of his friends. He had it all and he gave it all on February 9, 1968 in Hoi Anh Province in Vietnam. I presented his mother with a Gold Star Banner in January. She told me it was the best day of her life. I wept that she waited all these years to feel honored for her sacrifice and for Jerry's. I will fly my flag for her and for him.

A tiny down payment on a huge debt I owe them.

I also will fly my flag for the young men who grew up among us and went off to war. We didn't know at the time the depth of their caring and commitment. They knew the risks. I have tried to be worthy each day of their sacrifice. I have finally learned they had already found me worth it. I didn't have to earn it.

I will fly my flag for Kyle and Mick and Travis, for Ben and for Eric, and Daniel and Sean and Jimmy. If you don't know their last names, shame on you. You owe them at least that. I will fly my flag for them with thanks and with the honor I owe them. Today is not the day to question the worth of any of this. Today is the day to just say, "thank you." It is a day of honor and remembrance.

DebJoe - USMC 2001-2005

May 27, 2007

thought for the day...

seen on the back of a truck in the parking lot:

Who Lit the Fuse on Your Tampon?

disgusting, huh?

i laughed my butt off.

send all old people to prison!

OK, i think we know i really don't mean it.

or do i?


we went out to dinner tonight with my parents for my birthday...which isn't until Tuesday, but celebrate early and often is the motto 'round here. my parents met us here for some killer hushpuppies, pulled pork and sweet 'tater fries. oh, and there would have been Dixie's Crimson Voo-Doo Ale, except that the restaurant doesn't carry it any more. schmucks.

digression, they call you valerie.

so anyway, like i said, my parents met us there. having not been there before, my mom asked where the restaurant was, and quickly looking online, i see it's at the corner of Bellflower Blvd. & Flower.

or so i thought.

it's actually a street after, but! you can turn onto Flower, and cut through the alley to get to the restaurant. so i called them at home to tell them.
too late. already left.
so i then called my mom's cell.
not on. niiiiiice.
then i think, hey! try step-pop's cell! he usually has more minutes on his cell (they have pay-as-you-go service).
guess what? it's not on, either.
and they don't have voice mail.

many's the time i have said, look...just get a family plan with a small amount of minutes. but they would have voice mail. there's been more times than i can count (and i'm horrible at math to boot) when i couldn't reach them and leave them a message because they don't have voice mail.

so. back to the location problem. not sure if they would figure out where the restaurant was, the Husband and i walked up to the corner they would turn on to try & catch 'em.
after about ten minutes, i tell the Husband i was going back to the restaurant to see if we missed them.

they came out of the restaurant just as i got there.
"well! where have you been?" my mother says.
"yeah and what kind of computer you got that gives bad directions?" the step-father chimes in.
i respond that IF they had their cell phones on, i could've reached them and told them.

then my stepfather comes back with "well, i'm old but not stupid, if you think i couldn't find where this gosh darned restaurant is (ed. note: if you know my stepfather, you know he didn't say gosh darned. family blog and all.)"

wow. suddenly Bellflower is the Happiest Place on Earth. move over, Disneyland.

once inside, he calms down considerably. then he starts winding up again about did i get a table instead of a booth because you know your mother has a hard time sliding in booths.

nooooo. it never occurred to me. i only have known her my entire life and know her physical limitations.

we get a table. WITH chairs. score one for me.

dinner was good. step-pop got better. by the time dinner was done, he was much better. i had just decided that hunger was the only issue and that he wasn't a grumpy old man when, walking through the parking lot, we miss getting clipped by an old man driving his Lincon Contental with his wife.

"gosh darn that fool," the stepfather says, "old people need to have their heads examined and should probably all be sent to prison."

hmmm. i don't think he'd like it if the Fogie Police came for him.

May 25, 2007

stalking for dollars.

how i could forget this story is beyond me.

about a week and a half ago, i came home from work to find two messages on our machine. odd.
even odder is they were from the same person.

a person whom i haven't heard from or seen in twenty years.

twenty years, kids.

she calls again the next day.!

she calls again the next day. and me, in my little crafty area with no access to caller id, thinks it might be my husband.

oh. crap.

it is a girl i knew from my days in Rainbow. she was a state officer, representing California to the Great State of Kansas. i went with her on her official visit as a chaperon.
(i have a funny story about us getting lost in downtown Wichita, and going into a bar that wouldn't serve us lunch unless we were both 21 - and i convinced them that we were both over that age. actually i was, but she wasn't but again - that's another post.)

this girl is now married, three kids, and lives in Wisconsin. but daaaaang - the girl can talk.

"heygirlhowreyoudoing?longtimenotalk,letmetellyouwhat'sbeengoingoninmylifeigotmarriedandhad kidsandthenimoved to hereandi'mthinkingofgettingbackinvolvedwithRainbowbutireallylikeithereblahblahblahblahblah."

breathe, dammit!!!

so - as she rambles on, i come to find out that she had contacted another girl from Rainbow, that i had been friends with. girl #1 asks girl #2 if she knows what happened to me, and girl #2 proceeds to give girl #1 my phone # & address...without asking me first!!!

huh? i don't even talk to #2, and haven't since her mother passed. and she's giving out my info?
thank heavens she doesn't work for the State Dept. i'd be moving to Canada or something.

so. why do you think it is she called?

not for herself, but another girl that was a member of our Assembly, who also grew up, got married and had kids recently found out her husband has cancer.

what kind? they don't know. how serious? no one knows. cynic that i am, i keep thinking it's skin cancer, and while i don't discredit the seriousness of skin cancer (being an oh-so-fair-skinned chickie, i try to not leave the house with anything less than SPF45), i do discredit the idea of planning a fundraiser before we even know what we're dealing with.

three days later i get a packet in the mail from this girl with Tupperware brochures.

oh boy.

don't get me wrong: i will always help wherever and whenever i can. i'm just not sure which ticks me off more: planning to raise money for a crisis that hasn't happened yet or giving out my mailing & phone # without my permission.

i'm such a crank.

so - i'm planning a fundraiser of my own. please. give generously to help me battle the horrors of...middle age. do what you can to ease the pain of turning 45.

every little bit helps. (me fund some Botox).

after all, i don't want you to think i'm not philanthropic. but i don't take credit cards.

peace out!

May 24, 2007

what th'? - reduex

for starters, i figured out that the graph fwrom (fwrom? what, i'm now channeling Elmer Fudd?) the post about my accent was messing up the blog.

hence why i had nothing on the sidebar. whatever.

but i know you've been on pins and needles about the shower today.

it. was. good.

of course, we had some good giggles...and not all at someone's expense. for starters, the one girl in our group who told everyone else but me that she couldn't afford to go in on the gift card brought in some food for us.

she came in quite chipper and chirps: "i brought WATERMELON!!"
how lovely!
how wonderful!
how whole it is!


yep. she brought in a whole, uncut watermelon. she then proceeded to put it down and skipped away.

not exaggerating. she skipped.

hole-ley crap.
and it's only 7:15 a.m.

so of course, it was up to us to carve that bad boy up. luckily i brought a large sharp knife.

oh, but there's more!

one of the guys in our group emailed me that he had no idea what to bring to the potluck. so i emailed back a list of foods: muffins, fruit tray (cut would be good), cookies, cheese & crackers...

oh! he says - cheese & crackers - that sounds good, i'll bring that.

good. i think. my work for food is done. or so i thought.

so today as we're setting up the food, this fellah says "i'm gonna set up my cheese & crackers now."

sounds good.

ten minutes later, he emerges from his cubicle proud as punch.

he's decorated Wheat Thins with cheese-in-a-can. not leaving it out for the individual to squeegee their own cheese out. nope. not him. he's gonna do it himself.

what made me laugh was watching the cheese change color as the air hit it. eventually the cheese was the same color as the crackers.


the other good laugh was, this morning, as i retreived the cake from it's hiding place, i was, followed by a nice (but odd) young lady who was making comments on the cake: how cute it was, what kind was it, oh that's my favorite kind, etc.

so you are setting it out now? she asks.

well duh.

yeah, it's cute and it can be part of the decorations, so i think it's a good idea, i say.

well, i'll just come down with you and get a piece for this morning, she says.

wait.....what? it's 7:30. you want cake @ 7:30 a.m.? and you want me to cut the cake before our guest of honor has even seen it? what th'...

oh no, i reply, we're not serving cake until 2:30 when he opens the gifts. i'm sorry if you misunderstood me.

see? wasn't that better?!

oh, and everyone left the clean up for me. but i'm not bitter.

my boss was speechless. surprised. touched.
and we're doing it again in three weeks for another chick in our group who's preggers.

stay tuned. there'll be more stories to tell, i'm sure.

May 23, 2007

please knock some sense into me.

someone, out there in internet land, please tell me what i doing...and why i'm doing it.

example one:
i have just eaten an ENTIRE pint of Ben & Jerry's. Willie Nelson's Country Peach Cobbler ice cream, no less.

my favorite part is the little shortbread bits in it.

example two:
i engaged my own services to putting together a baby shower for my boss. the shower is tomorrow. i have purchased, out of my own money, a $75 gift card for Target, because that's what the group wanted to give.

i had to pull teeth to get the cash out of these people.


i made a card, and asked each person i gave it to, to return to me, NOT to pass it around.
when i got it back, everyone had signed it. including those who haven't paid me.


i finally did get the money from everyone, except for one young lady, who told someone else in our group she couldn't afford it. which is fine, i get the whole budget thing. just please tell me, not everyone else.
my friend said to me that she was probably embarrassed.
i say she wasn't too embarrassed if she could tell other people in our group.

dang. i really am a snot.

i will be oh, so glad when this is over.

in other "crap, am i cranky and a snothole to boot" news, my friend shot an email to me, asking for help with a brick quote.

a brick, you say? why a quote on a brick?
there's an open space in Disneyland, between Disneyland and California Adventure, that has octagonal bricks. they can be purchased, and originally had your name, and location or a date on them, along with the castle logo.

my friend, who got married at Snow White's wishing well in 1996, originally planned on purchasing another brick with their anniversary date. but he missed the deadline. now he found out that former Cast Members (as Disneyland cast members are called), have an exclusive design for a brick.

so - me, being the writer, was asked to come up with something quotable. apparently, he liked my writing abilities, when we met a man who wrote a book on Disneyland, and my friend wanted him to autograph it. the author asked what he wanted him to write, and me, ever the smart ass, replied, "how about: to my bestest buddies - have a bitchin' summer - hugs and kisses, Bruce."

everyone laughed.
he actually signed it that way.
my friend is mightily amused. his wife is not.

back to the's my first try:
don't spit on me.

why not? it's accurate! for some reason, he didn't like it.

so here's my second smart ass brick idea:
whatcha lookin' at?

and my real one:
where our magic began.

i don't know what he thinks yet...haven't heard back from him. could be bad, could be good. but the moral of this story is - don't ask me questions if you don't want to hear my answers...especially when i'm in this kind of mood.

and especially when i've eaten a whole freaking pint of ice cream

call me Vlad.

we joined a group of my work friends last night for a birthday dinner.

going to Outback, a steakhouse, where food is just yummy good. the Husband isn't crazy about it, but hey - it beats Eastside Mario's, an Italian restaurant just up the street from the Outback.

we.can' but everyone else looooooves it.

different strokes for different folks. back to last night.

besides the Wallabeydarned, a lovely frozen peachy drinky-poo, i got my usual: the 9oz Outback special (a yummy 9oz steak) with Caesar salad and garlic mashed spuds.

i ate every blasted bit.

i was up all night.

never mind the fact that Husband was in the middle of the bed (leaving me with too small a space for my all-American arse) AND had all the covers.

up all night. why, i ask...why?

crap. could it be that the older i get, the less tolerant of garlic i'm becoming?

or maybe i'm part vampire.

as a kid, i always knew that vampires lived beneath my bed. so maybe...just fear came true. i was bitten by the vampires and, being a slow-acting venom, it just now is taking effect.

so i guess i need to stay away from mirrors, garlic, wooden stakes and silver bullets.

no, wait - that's a werewolf.
bla! bla!

May 22, 2007

what th'?

how in the hell can i have a midwestern accent, when I HAVE LIVED IN CALIFORNIA ALL MY FREAKING LIFE?! go fig. and Linda had one from the West. WHICH IS WHERE I FREAKING LIVE.

someone, somewhere in InternetLand is laughing their butts off at us.

May 21, 2007

the mystery of why it tastes like crap.

kids - it may not come as a surprise to most of you, but...i like to cook.

you name it, i like cooking it. well, except for sushi. some things are better left to the professionals.

i remember the first thing i cooked was rice krispie treats, followed quickly by chocolate chip cookies with no nuts because i no like nuts in my sweets.

(feel free to converse with my Husband on said fact. he thinks i'm out of my gourd)

at nine (or was it 10?), i cooked a Thanksgiving turkey by myself.

it must not have been too bad. i obviously survived.

but cooking is one of those things i really enjoy doing. most days.
just not cleaning up. every day.

in school, we ordered Scholastic books for our personal library. well, as much of a personal library as kids our age was gonna have. while other kids were ordering books about the Wild Things and Where They Were, i was ordering the Peanuts Sandwich Cookbook.

yep - at least 50 ways to make a peanut butter sandwich.

they had other things, too, but what i always remember about that book (which i found on eBay several years later, thankyouverymuch) was it introduced me to peanut butter & banana sammiches.

sorry, Elvis, they weren't fried. it's a cookbook for kids, for cripes sake.

yes, i lived with a southern woman, no, she never made me a fried peanut butter an' 'nanner sammich. it's one of the many ways in which i was deprived.

you can read all about it in my book "the many ways in which i was deprived as a child and still managed to not kill my baby's daddy or anyone else in my family." coming soon from Simon & Schuster.

but this book, kids...this one really opened up a door for me:

yes, the Nancy Drew Cookbook -or- Clues to Good Cooking.

they're all here: George's "Keep in Shape" Grapefruit, Twisted Candle Peach Crisp *which is really, really good, BTW*, Detective Burgers.

and each one comes with a special hint from Nancy. like with the Detective Burgers, Nancy suggests that instead of plain bread, to use English muffins, toasted potato bread or garlic bread. but! "be sure to serve parsley with the garlic bread. It's a great breath neutralizer!"

dang it all, Nancy, if i can get the burgers to cook all the way through the least of my worries is parsley.

this is where i made my first cheesecake. my first (and last) attempt at fortune cookies (some things are better bought) and soup...Sleuth Soup to be exact.
take one can beef consomme or bouillon, one consomme can tomato juice, combine in a pan and warm over low heat. take 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and whip. pour soup into cups, place a spoonful of whipped cream on top of each and garnish with parsley flakes.

doesn't that sound yummy? OK, not really.

and in case you need a Nancy Drew mystery fix while you're fixing dinner, there's also the mini mysteries scattered throughout the book...for instance:
Late one afternoon Nancy was hurriedly called to the home of Mrs. Russo, a neighbor, to help find a valuable heirloom ring. The piece was strangely missing just before Mrs. Russo was to present it to her niece at a birthday dinner party. No one else had been in the house all day and Mrs. Russo, who had selected the ring from her jewel box that morning, was positive she had not worn it during dinner preparations.

Nancy, however, refused to overlook a single possibility (of course she didn't! that's why she's Nancy Drew!) and began to search. She figured if the woman had unknowingly dropped the ring into some food, it would have sunk to the bottom. First Nancy examined the aspic (what's aspic?)
salad, then the cream of mushroom soup. No ring! Then she looked at the blueberry muffins, still in their pan.

"If the ring's in a muffin," Nancy thought, "it would have been scooped up last, so it would be in one of the end cups."

She began to break open the muffins. No luck on one, two or three. Then she halved the fourth.

The next moment she cried out and raced up the stairs. "Mrs. Russo! The ring was in a muffin! Your gift is safe!" As Mrs. Russo thanked Nancy profusely, the girl added with a smile, "How about my whipping up another batch of muffins for your party?"

see? literature AND culinary delights. who could ask for anything more?

but one thing still bothers me. and i guess it shows how truly materialistic i am. how come Nancy finds the ring, solves the mysteries (as she does on all her cases) but never gets any rewards? and in this case, she even has to make another bloody batch of muffins?! what th'...

dang it all. i think Nancy needs me as her agent.

short. sweet. prayerful.

prayers, please for two of my bestst friends ever.

'nuff said.

love you both.

May 18, 2007

that was the week that was.

and what a week.

busy going ons at the casa. besides the terlit getting fixed, we had our sink replaced, which meant that it couldn't be used for 24 hours while it set.

and during that time, i went into the bathroom and saw two antenni sticking out from the drain plug.

well dagnabit, i can't pour water down the sink. so i decided to tap on the plug. it scared antenni enough to disappear on down the tube. that night, our handyman came by to take out the support holding up the sink while it set.

he also found we have a link that he couldn't fix. that means the plumbers are coming.

we also decided (after talking to Dave the Handyman) that we will have the sliding doors removed from our tub. hally-freaking-luu-yah. i get to have some style in my Early American Garage Sale Abode by purchasing a cutsy-wootsy shower curtain.

Dave came by today to take the sliding doors down. ooops.
i don't have a curtain.
he said he'd be back Monday.
more shopping for momma.

moving on...the CSI finale was last night...oh my freaking goodness was that intense or what? and if you didn't watch it...WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THURSDAY NIGHTS?
i already know most of y'all watch Gray's Anatomy...which i occasionally do, not that it's a good show but CSI....i so love me some CSI.

at work...
this week was weird. i worked my butt off clearing reports (as usual) and fighting to get the ad designers to clear their rushes off their desks before the pages go to the printer.

then today, my boss says "with as few ads as we have going today, we should be clear by noon."
i have to be clear by 2pm.
i laughed.

so, he set out to prove me wrong.
he didn't.
i was clear after 2.

it just frustrates me, because i feel sometimes like i'm the only one who cares about my job.
well, the only one in management besides the Queen of the Department. i know it's not true, but i guess i just care too much.

insert sarcastic laughter here.

sooooo...after that exhausting day, i decided to stop at the grocery store to get some goods, all the time bitching to myself what am i gonna do if the "big three" grocery stores go on they did a few years ago.

they were on strike for five months.

i'm bitching to myself because the other two options for me are the Hispanic market and Stater Bros. - the meats are WAY good at the Hispanic market. Stater Bros. however, is still stuck in the 70's - wood paneling on the walls, small stores, not the best selection.

but again, i'm worrying about things that haven't happened.

carting my groceries uppa stairs, i complained (again)(where are my complaint-free world bracelets when i need 'em?) that we lived uppa stairs, because Brendan feels better on a second floor. i decided to put my stuff away and call my mom.

ya gotta love multi-tasking.

so while multi-tasking, i also gathered up the trash and walked into the soon to be remodeled bathroom.
ohmybuddahstarsandgartersaFREAKING CUCARACHA IN MY NEW SINK!!!!!

common sense (and my mom) would say to squish the bugger. but i cannot stand the sound (aka crunch) that they make when you do. so, at an attempt to keep good karma going, i decide to catch the mugger and release.

the freak jumped at me. jumped. i've never seen one jump and i can guar-ran-tee this was NOT a cricket.

i let loose with a certain word that i really don't use much of. well, except with April and occasionally Maureen, but that's because they're bad influences on me. (hi girls, love you!)
oh, and i let loose with it on the phone with my mother.

oh bother.

well, several heart attacks later, i caught the bugger and let him loose. i figured it had to be a boy, because boys have done nothing but annoy me this week. (hackles down, Doug, Kenny & Cynthia's Husband. y'all haven't annoyed me.)

i flung that bugger into the tree across from my patio.

now before you ask why i just didn't flush him, if i wasn't going to crush him, well, again, i'm such a softy i cannot stand to see any critter, even one i hate, frantically try to swim out of a toilet. let him find a new home in my downstairs neighbor's place. after all, he keeps his TV on super loud, super late.

and with that, Gentle Reader, i bid you a fine Friday night.

May 16, 2007

no wonder my arse is the size of Tex-ass.

get it?

so here's the dealio. i'm allegedly on Weight Watchers, remember? well...apparently i've forgotten all about it.

at work, i coordinate lunches for another group. don't even get me started on why i do this, i ask myself this every time i do it. today, we ordered from a local restaurant.

i wasn't going to originally. didn't feel like spending $8.00 or so for a lunch, and 'sides nothing was grabbing my tummy's attention.

except for one thing. (and if you don't like seafood, you might want to turn away)
Shrimp & Crab Melt
an open face, grilled Parmesan sourdough served with a generous portion of crab meat blended with shrimp with crispy bacon, tomato, avocado and melted jack & cheddar cheese.

except they forgot the avocado. no big. really.

it wasn't something i would order to go again, but if i EVER go there for a sit down lunch/dinner, duuuuuuuude. i am SO there.

cheese and bacon. man.

it's no wonder i need Weight Watchers.

May 15, 2007


rental living sometimes sucks. BIG time.
we have the parking gate broke in the open position. last week, a crew came out to resurface the parking area and fix some serious potholes. the manager, however, messed something out, and now we don't know when they're coming back.

the potholes are still here, however.

but, miracles still happen.

you see, my toilet is finally fixed.

we have two here in Casa de Us, and the one in Brendan's room has been running for almost a year. we've had the toilet turned off, in order to keep the peace with the downstairs neighbor.

we have tried talking to the assistant alcoholic, er...manager here and got nowhere. then with our last rent check, Brendan wrote a letter to the manager (who comes by each month to collect the rent - he lives out of state. do not get me started on that rant.), stating that we need the toilet fixed, a rusted, cracked sink and the gate at the parking area fixed, ASAP.

and now my toilet, she is fixed.

wow. i have two toilets. and they both work. again.

it's good to be a two-hole family again.

May 13, 2007

Broken Roads and Broken Hearts.

She came to California to escape. She came with dreams, most of them broken and a heavy heart...also broken.

She came looking for a new start.

She came expecting her first child.

As the car widened the distance from the past to the future, her memory was still at home, reliving everything from the past few months.

She was in love. She thought he loved her. She imagined them setting up the American Dream: 2.5 kids, white picket fence, dog in the front yard.
But what she got instead was rejection from him.

So she went to his parents. Surely they, of all people, would help. They knew her. They loved her. They said so, and how glad they were that their son had this calming influence in his life.

But all she got instead was rejection from them.

How do we know it's really his?
You could be doing this to trap him into a future that's not his.

He's not a child. He's 21. This is his child.

The conversations kept looping like annoying muzak in her brain as they drove.
California would be the answer. She & her mother and this unborn child would make a new life. A fresh start. She would find a love that would embrace both herself and this child.

No rejection. No judgemental eyes. Only love and a bright future.

Months raced by as she prepared for the New Arrival. Cute clothes to be purchased. Toys. A baby's room to be decorated. Yet all the time, in the back of her mind, that loop of rejection kept playing. This should be us. Not my mother and i. This should be a mother and a father planning this together.

Occasionally, she would imagine that he would come looking for her, like she used to dream as a child that her father (who left when she was three) would come back for her and her mother.

That would never happen.

The baby was born the day after her 21st birthday. A 21st birthday should be spent celebrating, but instead she got jello and split pea soup with a candle. Instead, she spent hours birthing a breech baby who, to make things more difficult, came out with the cord wrapped around her neck.

A girl. A girl who looked like him. Like the man who rejected her.

As the baby grew, she had no time to think of the past, as she did before. Occasionally, she would fall into the trap of What Could Have Been, but would stop, look at this baby, and remember that it's your past that shapes you, but your future is what you make of it.

She came to start a new life. Both for herself and the baby girl who writes this today.
I say she did a bang up job.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. i love you.

May 10, 2007

happy 500th posting to me!

500 ramblings, blah, blah blahs and the occasional sensible posts.

thanks for sticking with me.

post away. i might be giving away some goodies.

gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo me!!!

May 9, 2007

a new medicine, unwelcome guests and addendum.

wow. a trifecta post. i'll try to be interesting..for a change. :o)

on Wednesdays, i head over to the Parents' abode to say hi and generally visit. (such a good girl, i know). and today was no exception.
last night was Bunco, and i opted out. Mom, however did go, and picked up from one of the girls three paper bag books that this girl wants me to put together. (fine. there will be money involved this time) she also brought back some little notebooks i put together before last Christmas to sell at the boutique at work. she was going to sell on eBay.

they didn't.

great. i'm a two time loser. can't sell at work, can't sell on eBay.

so here's my new medicine idea: EgoEase. you can take them and all ego issues are vanished!

they're fast acting! and easy on your stomach! best of all, you don't need a prescription!
ahh-hem. onwards.

this morning...i walked out of a lovely shower, feeling not only clean, but at peace with the world (obviously before i decided to smush my ego), when....

look! a visitor!!

that would be a cricket.
now i love nature as much as the next girl, just not on my pantalones.
what a sissy. needless to say i captured the beast, and set him free outside.
(and don't you be emailing or posting me and telling me this is a cucarocha. i know what i know and i believe what i wanna believe.)
now for the addendum.
'member the other day when i talked about nicknames? well, i oopsied. BIG time. one i was reminded of, the other i remembered on my own. (thank heavens. i'm not as old as i though)
Auntie Vowel and Aunt Balery.
AV came courtesy of Kristie's two babies...who aren't babies any more, but i just found out they read this rambling blog and i like to irritate them by CALLING THEM BABIES!!!! NAAAAAHH
Jourdan started calling me Auntie Vowel, trying to say Val and well, it came out Vowel. (Brendan likes to say he's Uncle Consonant. i say nice try.)
AB came courtesy of Maureen's oldest, Dean. let's face it, B & Vs sometimes sound the same, much less say the same, especially when you're just a little shaver. (and i know, Dean, you're not -- you're almost 7) {p.s. - he probably doesn't read this, but i thought i'd just cover my bases.}
semi-big doins' tomorrow. actually only big to me, and i actually missed the one i really wanted, so i'll go with this...just wait till tomorrow!

it's in the way that you use it...

courtesy of a tag from Jacquie...happy humpmyhumpmylovelyladyhump day, by the way...

The Tag is this: Name 5-10 ways you use your blog:
1. to write. (because i love writing!)
2. to share my joys and frustrations.
3. because a blog is cheaper than therapy.
4. to show off photos.
5. because i'm an attention whore. :o)
6. it's better than going postal.
7. how else would i have met the wonderful people i have on line?
8. because it's fun.
9. did i mention blogs are cheaper than therapy? get back at the people that tag me. (just kidding!! i couldn't think of something for #10!)

tagging all readers...but especially Allison, Linda, Melissa, Kenny & Jolene!

May 7, 2007

call me what you want...just not late for dinner.

amen that.

for some reason, i've been obsessed with nicknames lately. thinking about them and what not.

everyone has one. even if it's just honey, sweetie or HEY!

i have several. not all liked, some given by people that i have NO idea why they chose that.

back in the day, my uncle called me Buster. probably as in Brown. but i hated it. i think i connected it with being a boy. and i am a girl, dammit.

(the real irony is that when i was a young un, i had an alter-ego: Tommy. i would answer to none but Tommy, and woe be unto you if you called me Valerie, when i was Tommy. i told you i was bi-polar.)

moving on to junior high...i caught the unfortunate moniker of Fish. a play on my maiden name...and believe me, Fish was better than Fishface, which was the other name i got stuck with.

i know. it WAS mean. i take solice in the fact that the poo-poo heads that called me that are now either divorced (or unmarried - HA!) with five kids, are doing time, hard time, or are drying out someplace.

ain't i a bee-yatch? moving on.

at work, i have many names...most of which i can share here on this family blog. valshmal ( i like that one), valley (not my favorite), val-der-ree, val-der-rahhhh, val-der-rah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha (for those of us of a "certain age" no doubt remember the song The Happy Wanderer. it fits. and actually, that goes back to my childhood).

then there's att-a-gal. yes, attagal. one of the chicks i used to work with gave that one to me.
she's notorious for giving everyone names. some just weird. one of the weird ones was to a guy we used to work with who got the name Woody. the excuse was that he was named after Woody in Toy Story.

the true story was that he once got a splinter in his palm. i won't go into more detail, family blog and all that. (you can always email me or post comments to ask & i'll let you know)

anywhooo, i was trying to get logged on the new computer system one day, and kept getting failure notice after failure notice when it finally worked. "attagal!" he exclaimed.
and there you have it.

and of course, the infamous val. it's not my favorite, but i tolerate it. it's not as bad as some and
everyone calls me that. well, almost everyone. the Husband calls me valerie. he also calls me sweeteepie, cutie, and ...sorry.
digress girl, thy name is me.

(hey! a new nickname!)

May 6, 2007

celebrate...good times, come on!

we're off to dinner. again.

but this time it has a purpose.

we're celebrating my step-pop's birthday tomorrow...and the parents thought that tonight would be better than tomorrow. (i agree. considering how late the Husband can get home from work most nights)

he's going to be 81.


happy birthday, Poppy.

May 5, 2007

oh yeah...i remember now...

this is one reason why i'm still in Mostly Smoggy Southern California. because of days like this, at the marina in my hometown of Long Beach.

eating killer crab with a silly boy (don't believe me? see below. white men can't rap.), just enjoying perfect weather.

'sides, i couldn't let April outdo me by having a date night. :op

motivation vs. drugs

i am in search of motivation.
and some prozac.
got either one that you're willing to share?

here's my story:

Husband & i have SO fallen off the Weight Watchers wagon, it ain't even funny. and i need to be back on.

i'm just lazy. poor excuse, huh?

you'd think after all the mental angst i put myself through over the back surgery that it would be a no brainer.

i'm lazy. L-A-Z-Y.

but...i'm going back today. i need to fix me. and since i am responsible for my own happiness (as well as not having more back surgery), i'm getting off my bum and taking the husband and we're going.

i'd like to think i can be as successful as my Melissa, i want to believe. and so the journey begins.again.

and now, on to the prozac portion of our program today.

yesterday at work, my group had a lunch. originally it started as a group get together, but expanded into a birthday lunch (we have four May birthdays in our group). (oh, and did i also mention that the person who spearheaded this whole lunch thing didn't participate? whatever.)
and did i also mention i was the one who ended up fetching the lunch?

that's very important for later.

the whole lunch yesterday was just odd. well, not the lunch, but the whole prep leading up to it. people kept changing their minds on what they wanted to order. then one of the women in my group wanted to know when i was picking up the order. you see, the last time they had an order from this place, the order was made late, and wasn't ready, blah, blah, blah. i now responsible for the time restaurants takes to cook? oh well.

i place the order (early, i might add) and take off to fetch it. not everyone had paid me, so when i got there, i decided to just put the whole thing on my check card.

wait...where's my check card?

oh crap.

check the pockets, nope - it's not there. go back to the car and go through my purse. negative.
check the wallet. dang. check the pockets again.

as my stepfather would say, it vanished like a fart in a whirlwind.

i called my boss, and asked him to check my hoodie, at my desk, hoping that i just left it in my pocket, from when i got gas earlier in the morning.

he comes back to the phone. "sorry, i didn't find anything."

let me just give you a minute to digest that. let me also give you a minute to imagine my panic and nausea.

"just kidding. i've got it right here."

let me also give you the opportunity to join me in killing him.

he came out to meet me and bring the card, and also says "i've never heard you panic. ever. you were panicked. it was weird."

well, duh. that card, like most Americans, is my lifeline.

but he's right: panicking is really not something i do.
it was then i realized that i've been married too long.

Husband is a panickier. my mom is one, too.

could it be that as i get older, i will panic all.the.time?
i'm getting fat, lazy and panic at the whim of a breeze.

Mick Jaggar was right: what a drag it is getting old.

May 2, 2007


so after the downer yesterday, i thought you could use some giggles. heaven knows i do!

If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it is yours to keep forever. If it doesn't, it was never yours to begin with.
But if it just sits in your living room, eating your food, using your phone, messing up the place and doesn't realize you've set it've either married it or given birth to it.

A reason to smile: every seven minutes, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

My mind not only wanders, it leaves completely.

Amazing! You hang something in your closet for awhile and it shrinks two whole sizes!

Sometimes i understand why i'm here. Then i regain consciousness.

and my favorite...

They say we need to get in touch with our bodies. I asked my body yesterday, "Body, how would you like to go to the 6pm toning class?"
And clear as a bell, my body said, "Listen, fatty, do it and die."

happy hump day!

May 1, 2007

english & karma classes now in session.

i·ro·ny1 [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]
the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.
a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
(esp. in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
dramatic irony.
an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
the incongruity of this.
an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

ah, irony. you're going steady with karma, ain'tcha?

we had our first of three birthday dinners for May tonight..a yummy fiesta at El Torito, a mexican food chain. i brought the shower gifts for the girl who's shower i purposely ditched.

remember that?

apparently the Powers that Be do too.

i got asked today to plan not only a baby shower for my boss, BUT for another girl in our group who's due next month.

hey. at least this one is married.

what am i supposed to learn from this? what great life lesson am i supposed to take away from this...being surrounded by pregnancy? just feels like a slap in the face. over and over and over.

i just don't get it.

i really think i'm a patient person. after all, i deal with my Husband and his emotions on a daily basis.
so if the Lord is trying to teach me that, i think i've already got that lesson down.

or maybe i don't.

i'm many things. like everyone else, i have many layers.

but this is just a constant poking at a sore. it doesn't get any better. and if what kills me only makes me stronger, i'm freaking Supergirl by now.

ta. i'm off to race a speeding bullet and arm wrestle a locomotive.