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, 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


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.


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.


woke up. had to use the *ahem* powder room. 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.

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!


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'


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 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.


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, 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 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.

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?


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.)


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. 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.


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 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 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.
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.