Oct 31, 2009


come by and see my new digs....luckyshotphoto.blogspot.com

stop by, won't you? i've got lemonade and cookies ready and waiting.

Jun 14, 2009

scratched an itch.

photography is kinda like crack.

well, to me, anyway.
there are times where i feel like, if i don't take some pictures every.dang.day., i could likely implode.


ok, so i'm a little bit of a drama queen. but dang, it's hard sometimes to not have someone or something cool in my viewfinder.

that's why this, yesterday, was sooooo much fun.

this is the Birthday Girl. she turned one earlier this week and her BIG party was yesterday.

she was such the little princess. and those shoes...gaaaaaaah - kil-ling me. killing.

she knows what a camera does. and she likes it.
she was pretty dang cute, too.

so was she. but this one...

hambone. last October, she wouldn't give ANY camera the time of day.

now? 'hey! j'wanna take my pitchure?'

oh, if i must.

they had a butterfly pinata, and as soon as daddy finally kicked its butt, the carnage commenced.

oh, the humanity!
thank you, Pargas, for letting me share in your fun!

Jun 13, 2009

have you checked my calendar lately?

i've always wanted one of those electronic brains. you know what i mean, the kind that have a phone, camera, calendar, GPS, apps and a bartender.

are you listening AT&T? Sprint?? i could totally use one that maybe has a little spout so i could have a tequila shot when and if i need it.

i'm just saying.

but, since i don't have one of those electronic brains...or real gray matter, for that, i have to rely on paper and pen.
i love paper and pen. i love my calendar, especially when next week looks like this:
Monday: lab work.
Tuesday: spend 15 hours downloading my photo homework to the website and then find that i downloaded them too small. rats.
Wednesday: vacation.
Thursday: vacation.
Friday: vacation.
now i know what you're saying. you're saying, 'hey! valerie!! you JUST CAME BACK FROM VACATION!!!' and you'd be right. but we're heading up to Reno so that we can watch THIS girl

graduate from kindergarten.

(and yes, this is a 3 year old picture. i love it, because i remember that just after i took this, she looked at me with all the disgust a 3YO can muster and said 'you take too many pictures of me.' i replied with, 'if i give you a quarter, will you let me keep taking pictures?' needless to say, she immediately took me up on the offer.)

oh, and so we can also help this guy:

celebrate another birthday.

totally cool.

aaaaaaaaaaaand - while we celebrate the birthday and graduation, the Husband & i will be volunteering at his classes last week of school fun.

cannot wait.

what kind of volunteering, you ask? well, Thursday after graduation, we're off to fill a gajillion water balloons for the water balloon toss (a.k.a. The Fight of the Century. someone's gonna get wet. a LOT of someones are gonna get wet, and i'm gonna do my best to be part of that. some kids are goin' down, that's all i'm saying.)

Friday is the class BBQ. i volunteered the Husband to help man the fire and dawgs on them.

Saturday is the boy's birthday. besides the usual birthday whoopin' that he's gotta get, there will be dirt bike riding (go Dean McQueen!), trampoline jumping, swimming, Rover rides and heaven only knows what.

and i'll probably fill up a memory card on my camera. what a way to go.

cannot wait. can-not.

today, i'm off, with the Husband, to get some photo lovin' on. a 1st birthday party, thrown by a not very nice person for her granddaughter.

it's not that she doesn't love her granddaughter, she just, to me at least, is a very selfish person, who wants all the credit, but doesn't want to do any work. not only does she not want to do any work, she doesn't want anyone else to help, or participate, because then she wouldn't get any of the credit.

selfish? oh youbetcha. matter of fact, at the baby's christening, the not-very-nice person left right after church. because she had tickets for the Long Beach Grand Prix, and didn't want to miss it.

for the party today, she said she was getting a pinata for the party. but she wasn't buying any filling for it.

a class act all the way.

regardless, the birthday girl's auntie (a good friend of mine) and i will make sure it's a fun time today.

and i get to do what i love - have me some photo lovin'

ink me in for your next event, wontcha?

Jun 12, 2009

hey! @$*&^%!!!!!

'round these here parts, we have a lot of papers. now, i don't mean my place, but in the O.C.
there's regular papers, naturally - and the freebees.

my husband has one he likes, the OC Weekly. naturally, it has a lot of restaurant ads, articles, and ads for medical marijuana, piercing/tattoo shops and *ahem* people looking for dates.

what i like, is a small column called 'hey! @$*&%!!!!' and it's where regular joes can bitch out someone - a friend, the clerk at the grocery store, your neighbor, whoever in your life has pissed you off and while you want them to know, you don't want to tell them.

hey - isn't that what a blog is for?

* to the woman behind me at the grocery store yesterday with your two kids, and your flower purchase: i realize the right thing to do would have been to ask you if you wanted to go in front of me, especially since i had several bags of groceries to purchase. but i was tired and i'd been waiting in line for a long time.

that, however, does not give your kids the right to practically dry hump me and the checkout stand.

your son, who i figured was about 10 or 11, is totally old enough to stand still and wait a few minutes in line. your son is definitely old enough to keep his eyes on his own paper, and to not watch me write my check and keep trying to look at my check.

and you did & said nothing.

thanks. thanks for being such an attentive parent.

* to the neighbors at our complex that are apparently Lakers fans: dude. i get it. it was a great game yesterday. here's the thing: the Lakers already have a coach. several, in fact. they don't need you to help coach.

they especially don't need you reliving every play, good and bad. loudly. and they really don't need the repeated use of a certain four letter word. seriously, dude - there are kids here. not to mention the fact that i'm starting to think you really ARE hard up.

* to the "nana" of my friend's niece: thank you for offering to throw your grandchild's birthday party. i appreciate the fact that you recognize the baby parents don't have a lot of money and you want to help.

i don't appreciate the fact that you're doing this half-assed. i get that money's tight - believe me i do. but come on: you say you're buying a pinata, but you won't buy anything to put in it?

you plan the party to start right around lunchtime, but say you're only providing cupcakes? no food? OK. no worries, but at least put that on your invitations.

so you made the invitations by hand? that's totally cool - i love hand-made stuff, and i get how long it takes to do. but i don't get how, when you found out how many people were on the list to invite, that you decided you were done making invitations...especially when all you had to do was go to Target or Walmart or wherever and just get a packet of 'em.

seriously - you either throw a party or you don't. you don't have to go all Beverly Hills on the party, but at least do the right thing for your grandchild. follow through.

one final thing: you don't have to do this alone, y'know. all you have to do is ask and we'd be more than happy to help. but instead, you whine about how you weren't involved in either the baby shower or the christening...but if i remember correctly, you couldn't be bothered with the christening because you had tickets to a race.

just remember: it's all about priorities.

* to the fine, wise, smart & beautiful judges at the OC Fair's photography competition: man - you should totally wear that color more often! it does so much for you and completely brings out your eyes.

speaking of eyes, which are beautiful, by the way, i'm glad you use them to fairly judge the photos you see in the course of the competition this year.

good on you, judges. good on you.

by the way - thanks even more for putting two of mine in the '09 fair.

and i'd really love to see a blue ribbon this year on one of mine.

no pressure, though.

May 30, 2009

the first day of the rest of my life. again.

yesterday was my birthday. another year older.
i am 47 years old.

lemme say it again, in case you missed it. f-o-r-t-y-s-e-v-e-n.


again, if i had known i was gonna live this long, i'd taken better care of myself.
but i didn't, so i might as well start now right?? right???

oh well.


i realize it's not that old in the scheme of things and most days, i don't feel that old. some days, however, i feel much, MUCH older.

like now.

you see, not only did i have a birthday yesterday, i had the distinct honor of being sick -on.my.birthday.

actually, all week. the Husband has had typhoid/yellow fever/creeping crud for almost a week, and i was feeling pretty dang proud of myself that i had avoided it. that was until Wednesday morning came and i was calling the police, trying to report a hit & run on my bum.

and i proceeded to sleep the majority of the time. Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday. well, scratch that...not last night so much.

like a dumbass, i over medicated myself with cough medicine and Mucenix and could NOT get to sleep until about 2:30 this morning...whereupon i immediately woke up at 6:30 with the cheerful May Gray streaming in my face.

stupid sun. there ought to be a law.

and there ought to be a law against being sick on your birthday.

it s-u-u-u-u-u-cks.

did it effect my appetite? unfortunately not, except for the fact that the Husband's tummy did not like him, so therefore i had no appetite.

oh well. soup and grilled cheese is still good.

47. three years away from 50. eight years away from AARP membership.

and i'm still standing. over medicated, but standing.

May 25, 2009

memorial day.

salute the standing.
remember the fallen.
and remember it's not all about bbqs, the beach and beer.

on the savannah.

yesterday, i had the opportunity to be a wildlife photographer. photographing birds and wild cats.

in the wilds of Long Beach, at my mother's, who is the Crazy Cat Lady of the neighborhood and somehow got two rather feral cats from the same litter, who got themselves pregnant at about the same time.
did i mention they're both sisters from the same litter? and pregnant at the same time??
good grief.

now, my mom & step-pop has three cats they would claim as their own, and about four others they say aren't, but i say when you feed 'em, then you've got 'em.
and that makes them ripe photo ops for me.

apparently, momma no like her picture being taken.

i think she's praying for the milk bar to close soon.

here's her four. there's another three, a little bigger, but smarter. they won't get near me. this gray one in front is especially sassy, and hisses a tiny hiss like there's no tomorrow. not being easily intimidated, i just laugh, pick 'er up and hold next to my heart. immediately they calm down and almost purr.


and they play a lot of tag.

then there was this birdie.

not sure what kind this was, helping itself to the free buffet at the birdfeeder, but it was pretty. if you know, will you tell me? (i say a robin, but apparently we don't get robins in Mostly Smoggy Southern California.)

i don't know what it is, but it is pretty.

now all i have to do is wait for National Geographic to call.

May 23, 2009

the happiest place on earth.

so after the last post, i believe it's time for something a little happier. don't you?
so here it goes.

after Vegas with Kristie & her family, my sister-in-law, her husband and the Cutest Kids in Reno, came down for a visit. my brother in law had training classes all week, and since they were close, hey! let's go to Disneyland all week.

thus began what i called the DDM. Disneyland Death March.

and who better to go on a march with than people i love? and did i mention i love taking pictures? and did i also mention i love taking pictures of way super-cute kids at Disneyland?

just as good as seeing Donny & Marie.

oh yeah. just.as.good.

the Cutest Kids in Reno with the Cutest Mom in Reno. and the Cutest Husband in Buena Park. (you KNOW i HAD to put that one in)

i always heard about the Golden Hour: an hour before sunrise, the hour after sunset, where the sun casts a golden glow around. but i had never experienced it in any photos i ever took. i'm a believer now.
the Girl was quite excited about meeting the Mouse. the Boy, however, at 8 3/4, is a little too grown up to get his picture taken with them.

i'm cool with that.

they went on every ride we could. the scary ones? not a problem - well...except for the Tower of Terror and the roller coaster California Screamin'. the Girl 'did NOT like that ride.'

and proceeded to tell everyone she met about them. however, she LOVED Space Mountain.

and again, proceeded to tell everyone she met.
this is what it looks like when Auntie buys you a Slurpee.
oh yeah. this does my heart good, seeing the young'un taking pictures. even if it is pictures of funny signs & trash cans.

i love photo rich environments.
and photo rich targets, too.
thanks Maureen, for letting me share in your kids', and your life.

May 21, 2009

times a-wasting.

*WARNING: the following post could cause crying, tightening of the chest and uncontrollable urges to go hug like there's no tomorrow your kids, your significant other and, quite possibly, your dog. or cat. i'm easy.*

the letter started out easily enough.

"dear mom & dad, every 15 minutes, someone dies as a result of an alcohol-related accident."

then it turned. badly.

"today, i died."

the letter is a part of this program. a woman i work with has two boys in high school and one of them was 'chosen' to be killed in a crash and had to write this letter.

the program selects some kids to be 'killed'. some were driving the car drunk that killed their friends. the 'killed' ones wore black all day and could not speak to any of their friends during the day.

then, right before lunch (ed. note: never EVER plan any gut-wrenching assembly right before lunch. it's just wrong.), the school had an assembly where they read obituaries on each of the 'dead' kids.

and the moms cried.

hell, i cried, just thinking about the pain that parents DO feel when their kids, their friends, their loved ones are killed as a result of drunk/buzzed/no-really-i'm-OK-to-drive driving.

every 15 minutes.

i'm lucky. no one i knew or cared about was ever hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident, or as a result of one. well...wait. that's not exactly true.

my mom & i were.

i had turned 20, we were on our way home, less than 1/2 a mile from our home in fact, and making a left turn on to our street.

the only thing i remember is my mom saying 'oh shiiii...' the next thing we were spinning like a completely psycho Tea Cup from Disneyland.

when i realized what had happened, there was a huge face at my window, banging on the glass, asking me if i was OK.

and all i could think was 'lady, i'd be a lot better if you'd stop yelling and banging. you're making my headache worse.'

we were lucky. no. blessed. the Hand of God was truly on us that day, because the idiot that hit us was doing at least 60MPH coming down the hill as he hit us. he t-boned us just past the right passenger door.

a few inches more and my mom might not have been here. the cops said that i definitely would not be here, because the force of the impact would have probably flung me out of the car.

oh, and did i mention we didn't wear seatbelts? didn't have to then. we did after that.

nothing serious in the way of after-effects. broken nose (me), bruised ribs (both), a huge dent in my mother's leg where she was jammed into the steering wheel.

who cares about a dent or bruising. we're both still alive.

so, while the idea of 'every 15 minutes' seems shocking at first, and the realization of every parents nightmare, i agree with their philosophy: if it saves just one life, it was so worth it.

go now. hug someone (or several someones) you love. because today is short and tomorrow's never EVER a guarantee.

and you never know what the next 15 minutes may bring.

May 18, 2009

Vegas, Baby.

the Friday before Mother's Day, the Husband & i joined my best friend, her kids & mom for a trip to Vegas.

Vegas. the hot bed of heat, buffets, shows and the Loosest Slots on the Strip!!

well at least that's what most of the casinos say. i can't figure out how every casino can be sooo huge and still have the most money give-aways.

we stayed at the same place we did last year - South Point, which, ironically, is at the south point of the Strip on Las Vegas Blvd.

for Friday night and most of Saturday, it was a girls' trip. Brendan stayed behind with Kristie's son for a Scouting event on Saturday. and the girls made the most of it.

and, where Vegas is, shows will be also. there's a lot of them out there and it seems like dang near every casino has a Cirque du Soleil show.
but the Tropicana has this.

(and it's really fun for me to bounce up & down in the car every time we passed the Trop, especially with the HUGE banner on the side of the building with their faces on it. )
and i went.


in our hotel, there was a mini travel agency that also sold half price Vegas tickets. the problem was trying to decide what show we should see that we could without making the boys upset that they missed that show.

and believe me, missing Donny & Marie would not bother the Husband one bit.

so while Kristie and her mom went to see this, the 16 YO said, sure, i'll go with you to see Donny & Marie.


so off we went.

so what if we had balcony seats? well, i ended up caring when Donny started walking across the tables at the stage level.


it was a killer show. they danced - seriously danced with lots of sweat. there was lots of their typical bro/sis ribbing and yes, the 16YO really loved the show...so much so that yes, she wants to borrow auntie's cd/dvds...much to her mother's chagrin.

at one point, Donny made a rather sexified move and she whooped, at which point i felt it necessary to remind her that she just whooped at a 51 YO grampa.
yep. THAT freaked her out.

i love him.

i really, really love him. Brendan knows. he's used to it.

so while Brendan & i won no money, Kristie's mom did. she ended up coming home with some nice change, courtesy of video poker.

dang - i need to get better at that.

i might be able to get better seats next time i go to Donny & Marie.

May 17, 2009

alive. well. not living in Peru.

in the beginning - there was a blog. and it was updated regularly.

and it was good.

then cameth writers block and it verily sucketh.

then cameth a trip to Vegas, tickets to see Donny and Marie and a visit from my sister in law with her two kids. and a death march for three days across Disneyland.

and it was good, too. yea, verily.

but behold - i am still aliveth and will posteth more on the morrow.

and pictures shall follow.

Apr 26, 2009

something's missing.

besides me, that is.

*sigh* i don't know what the deal is. normally, writing for me is right up there with, oh, let's say eating hot bread with lotsa butter.

lately though - not so much.

i'm not sure what's going on with me. but, because i'm fairly sure no one wants to read a diatribe on a pity party that i'm throwing...please byob, by the way...here's the run-down on what's been going on.

you can skip to the end if you want.

  • did you know i have a bad attitude? apparently complaining to someone about someone else breaking rules was the wrong thing to do. i'd say more on that later, but who knows who reads this.
  • now i'm paranoid. great.
  • step-pop healing nicely from the surgery. apparently so much so that he's back to driving my mom to the edge of sanity...which, really is where most of my family is on a day-to-day basis.
  • Cutest Kids in Reno, along with their parents come down for A WHOLE WEEK next month. and, in between filling up memory cards with their mugs, getting smothered (and smothering them) in grimy hugs & kisses, chasing the 6 year old (come BACK HERE NOW!!!) and what not, their mother and i will do the Disneyland Deathmarch. and remember at the end of each and every day why it is that the Lord gives children to the young.
  • heading to Vegas the weekend of mother's day with the Cutest Kids in Hesperia AND their mother AND their grandmother. conspiring with the mother to go on a pub crawl throughout Vegas and make the teenager be the designated driver. that should make her 'just say no.'
  • Husband still sort of unemployed. he's currently helping a man who owns a training school by handing out fliers at factories, warehouses and such, then helps him train the students. so at least there's a bit of mad money coming in, but the economy still sucks.
  • up side (a small one) to being unemployed most of the year? we become the favorites of Uncle Sam and get a really, REALLY nice refund this year. even from the Great State of Cal-ee-forn-eye-aye, which hasn't happened in years. i always end up paying them.
  • working a lot of overtime lately - and while the money's nice, i can tell i'm getting old. i don't bounce back from it like i used to. getting old is wrong.
  • since i AM working overtime, i decided to splurge and give myself a present - i signed up for this. what really sold me: i have to turn in photos and have them critiqued. niiiice.
  • friday @ work, i got a plaque celebrating my 20 years of service with the Company, which is great, except that i've been there 22 years. oh well, better late than never.
and that, Gentle Reader, is why i call this Random Thoughts.

Mar 30, 2009

cropping for fun and profit! -or- how you too can learn to stop worrying and enjoy the process.

that has GOT to be the longest blog title i've ever written.

but i digress. and look! a new record for my attention span; i've digressed in the first sentence.
gooooooooooooooooooooooo me!

anyway -
it occurred to me today how cropping a photo can make it go from 'eh', to 'eeeeee gods! what photographic genius took this miraculous snippit of nature?!'

and i do realize that this isn't new to anyone else. nor will it cure the world's ills and set Wall Street back on its merry little cash-making way, but it was just one of those things that the more i thought of it, the more i realized what a difference it can make.

let me demonstrate.

here's our cat. Elvis the Evil Wunderkat. a blah photo. an eeeee-vil gleam in his eyes. but! through the wonders of cropping....

now you can see how evilly his eyes gleam. and how i SO needed to pick up the extension cord from the floor.

let's try another example, shall we? roadside daisies before...and - through the miracle of the crop tool...why look! a bouquet of daisies fit enough to grace a table.

just one more to bore you with. but it never ceases to amaze me how a photo, like this of my niece, while still good....can, with a little time and care, be transformed into something that just takes my breath away.

and hopefully, that of the judges in this year's OC Fair.

yes - with just a little care and experimentation, kids, you too can take photos to another level. amaze your friends! confound your enemies!

just don't expect it to work miracles for things like this:

after all, i am NOT a miracle worker.

Mar 29, 2009

is there such a thing as decision makers anonymous?

i need help.
other than the normal.

i am completely incapable of making a decision.

now don't get me wrong, some things i still have capacity in decision making.
go to the bathroom? it's a go. (pun intended)
eat when i'm hungry? good to go. (however, what to eat is still a matter for debate)
go to work? a go, although when i win the Big Jackpot, it will quickly become a no-go.
update the blog regularly?


although, when it comes to picking three photos for possible entry in the local fair, well - i choke up tighter than a politician who was asked if he (or she) ever inhaled.

just for the record, my fellow Americans: no, i have never.

but pick three photos? gaaaaah. it becomes Sophie's Choice - the Remake. only substitute me for Meryl, Brendan for Kevin and the dang photos for my babies.

because that's what they become to me, you know. they become my children. and heaven knows i can't pick one over the other - that would be wrong. the others would have hurt feelings. they might plot together when i'm not in the room and decide to gang up on me in the middle of the night and....

ooops. sorry. that's what i used to think about my toys when i was a kid. really, now i only have a slight twitch from those electro-shock treatments.

seriously - it's the hardest thing ever. of course, some i love more than others, but what kills me is trying to balance what i have/do against what i saw at the fair last year AND to hold them up against what i remembered won.

which is impossible. remember: i have goldfish memory.

so let's see: i have goldfish memory AND i cannot make a decision.

shoot me. but make sure you get my good side.

last year at the fair, i just remember pictures were HUGE. the Fair want them at a minimum framed size of 8x10, going up to 32x32. i had printed my ladybug from last year at 5x7 and remember thinking, d-a-a-a-a-ang. this is BIG.

then i got to the fair and thought, d-a-a-a-a-ang. i've got a postcard up there.

now here's one of my many problems. i am Queen of the Control Freaks. i (possibly) can pick three photos. i can submit them. IF one or (heaven help me) all three are chosen, then i've got to have them framed. black frame, white mat, Plexiglas preferred. all within the span of about 3 weeks before i have to take them down to the fairgrounds for judging. which also happens about the same time as graduation here and last year i dealt with the local frame shops up to their necks in jobs before graduation.

once again, early planning seems to be the key. a plus for us control freakos.

that's all based on any of them being chosen. last year, i was one of 300 chosen out of a field of 3000 submitted. i'm not telling you this to pat myself on the back...

well, OK. maybe i am.

BUT! my point is this: there's a LOT of peeps in the OC that love photography as much as i do. some more, i'm sure. and there are a WHOLE LOT more of 'em that are a WHOLE LOT better than me. and to say i've got as good a chance as any of the others is, well...wrong.

better ones are going to win. some of the time. Brendan thinks the only reason i didn't win last year was because my ladybug wasn't big enough.

remember kids: size DOES matter. bigger IS better.

then, of course, there's this: let's say i go ahead and print my three submissions super large. get 'em framed and ready to go. then, let's say from my three, the Fair only picks one, or maybe all. then what do i do with these three huge framed pictures after the fair is over?!

i live in an apartment. we do not have a wing for the art we've collected. and as much as i love my niece, i do not want her sweet baby blue eyes gazing down at me from the ceiling while her auntie saws logs.

or anything else.

so you see - that's the vicious circle i spin myself into. i worry about them getting chosen, and i worry if they don't...and what to do with the products after the fact. i.need.help.

wait - i've got it. i can sell 'em on eBay!

or maybe i should try Etsy.

crap. another decision. i am sooooo screwed.

Mar 18, 2009

up the river: a tale of a pacemaker.

my stepfather had a pacemaker installed today.

oh and butt implants.

OK, not really, but dammit, he's 82. he needs a butt.

the surgery went very well. i was amazed at how much color he had when i went to to see him afterwards. looked great. sounded good.

wanted to get out of bed to pee. that's how i know we're family.

AND he got lasagna, salad, broccoli, a lemon bar AND coffee for dinner. (and i had Thai food. i got the better end of the deal!)

so during our stint at Memorial Hospital, my mom took my darling husband in to visit, leaving me to watch the purses and what not.

that's when the fire alarm went off.
and the magnetized door to the waiting room shut automatically.
oh crap.

i had this image of me trying to get out the building, carrying two purses, one tote (filled with a sammich, water, 2 romance novels and pepto. that was my mom's) and one backpack (filled with a police scanner, manual and book. that was my husband's)while trying to let them both know that i was still alive, unsmoked and unsinged.

but, since i smelled no smoke and no one was running around trying to avoid being singed and smoked, i decided i was OK.

it was annoying, though, listening to the chiming of the alarm. at least it was somewhat pleasant.

it was about to get worse.

my parents, who are notorious for not telling things...important things, decides to call my step-niece, her step granddaughter. and tell her what's going on.

because the niece knows nothing of the surgery.

and so, in the course of the conversation, when my mom mentions that i'm there with her, the niece declares that i will die for not telling her.

my mom fails to mention that i was sworn to secrecy by both of them to not tell the granddaughter or my stepfather's son.

sold up the river. by my own mother. the one person in the world i thought would stand by me through thick and thin.

just apparently not when it comes to saving her own butt.

remind me, if my mom ever gets a pacemaker, no butt implants for her.

Mar 17, 2009

diabetic diatribe - vol. 1

before we delve into today's subject, a request.

my stepfather is having pacemaker surgery Wednesday...installed, for the first time. my mother is nervous..and considering he's 81, well...it does make for some nervous moments.

of course, i'll let you know how it goes.

so. it's been a week tomorrow since i got privy to the news. a week since i started meds for the rest of my life and a week since my life changed.

but not the drama queen part. heck, i've been a master at that for most of my life.

anywhoooo -

yesterday, i got my very first test meter. i had one all picked out: it was tiny and cute and came in different colors. apparently, however, my doctor doesn't seem to fall for my ideas.

it's still small, but it's blue. i'm cool with that, but it sure ain't pink.


today i started monitoring me blood. yarrrrr. i'm checking 2-3 times a day, but today was a lot more, mostly because i'm still getting used to the dang thing. earlier this a.m., i was talking to my friend and fellow diabetic (i'm not only the president of the anti-sugar shack, i'm also a member!) and was whining about my delicate fingers getting some serious bruising because of the blood testing and not only that! i am bleeding all over the place.

stuck pig? thy name is me.

i asked what she kept her lance at. there are numeric setting on the lance so you can go thick or shallow...depending on you and your preference. she said her's was at three, which mine was as well. kinda low, really, but still! i'm starting to look like i'm rehearsing a scene from "Psycho! The Musical!"

this, cannot be good.

i've decided at this point that i need to go as low as i possibly can. and i move on.

then later in the day, i pass by her desk in time to see her checking her own blood, and i notice something...

she has the cap on her lance.

i do not.

well no freaking wonder i'm the Old Faithful of diabetics. i'm practically sticking a dagger in my finger.

so what have we learned today? for starters, that for someone that has had lot of experience with diabetics, i have NO idea what in the hell i'm doing. secondly is the fact that knowledge wise, i've got a long, long way to go.

and lastly - here's a stock tip: invest in Band-Aids. i'm single handily cornering the market in 'em.

i'm sensing a new book in my library: the Idiot's Guide to Diabetes.

Mar 12, 2009

today is the first day of the rest of your life.

how trite.
how dramatic.
how me.

today was the first day i started taking daily meds.

yes, Gentle Reader, (and it was actually yesterday) i became one of the millions of Americans that has diabetes AND high cholesterol.

and neither one is really all that bad. it's just a change in lifestyle. an opportunity to make smarter decisions regarding my life and my eating habits. a chance to....

oh, who am i kidding? THIS SUCKS, THIS SUCKS, THIS SUCKS!!!!!

now granted, the cards was stacked against me; both my mother and grandmother are diabetic. my husband is, although the doctor assured me you can't get diabetes by injection.

sorry - too much info? moving on.

now while i know the chances were good that i'd get it, i tried to keep the attitude that it didn't necessarily guarantee that i would get it. but dang, it still slapped me across the face.

and dang it further, it's not like my AC1 (the measure of sugar in your blood) was outrageous... it should be at 6 or below and i'm at 7.3.

come on. stupid head.

but - it's OK. i know this doctor is young and aggressive...and really, REALLY cute. he's also Brendan's doctor, and what i've always liked about him is that he doesn't let Brendan get away with nothing.

but dammit, that means i don't get away with anything, either.

and did i mention he's really, really cute?! i already decided that any 'girlie' exams will be performed by the office's PA. not him. nope. ain't no way he's seeing my hoo-hoo.

that would involve extensive sprucing and heck, if i'm not a doing it for the Husband, it certainly wouldn't be good to do it for my doctor.

although it might be a good opportunity to try & carve that Chargers bolt i always wanted.

what - too much?

Mar 10, 2009


there are people out there that are stupid.

i'll give you a minute to let that set in.

yep, i know. really? stupid people in the world?? how can that be?!

a couple of weeks ago, we were watching some show that was exactly how stupid you can be, and still walk upright. the would-be Mensa applicant tried to rob a convenience store. the old coot behind the counter, after refusing to hand over the money, THEN electronically locked the door, AND locked himself behind the bulletproof glass.


and our aspiring thief was actually begging for the cashier to open the door with the ever-popular, "c'mon, man, i cain't (yes, not a typo) go back t'jail."
(p.s. - he was a skinny, stringy, greasy white boy)

Grampa behind the counter opened the sliding window half an inch (which made me yell at the TV, 'oh NO! don't do that, dummy!) and spat back, "well, then y'all shoulda thought o' that 'fore y'all tried to rob my ass."

yep. Grampa said ass.

which brings me to today's installment of stupid.

dude goes to John Wayne airport. dude is going to fly to Philadelphia, with a stop in Vegas, because dude got out of the Navy just a few weeks ago.

dude was wearing baggy pants. but underneath his baggy pants, was wearing bicycle pants. and inside those pants was cocaine.

d-u-u-u-u-d-e. you're stupid. like no one's gonna notice you're wearing baggy pants?

go to jail. go directly to jail. do not pass go. do not be a stupid-head.

Mar 8, 2009

stranger things have happened. as usual.

for whatever reason, i am remembering, fondly, a poetry reading my school held back when i was in 6th grade.

and for those of you keeping track, that was approximately 36 years ago.


so - here it is. the poem i had to memorize and recite. i couldn't remember all of it, so i had to resort to Google...but i'm not ashamed.

come on, it was 36 summers and springs ago.

Every Time I Climb a Tree

Every time I climb a tree
Every time I climb a tree
Every time I climb a tree
I scrape a leg
Or skin a knee
And every time I climb a tree
I find some ants
Or dodge a bee
And get the ants
All over me.

And every time I climb a tree
Where have you been?
They say to me
But don't they know that I am free
Every time I climb a tree?

I like it best
To spot a nest
That has an egg
Or maybe three.

And then I skin
The other leg
But every time I climb a tree
I see a lot of things to see
Swallows rooftops and TV
And all the fields and farms there be
Every time I climb a tree
Though climbing may be good for ants
It isn't awfully good for pants
But still it's pretty good for me
Every time I climb a tree

by David McCord

string 'em up.

riddle me this, kids: who's brilliant idea was it to cap off a hour off my weekend?


even as a kid, i would shake my fist every time Daylight Savings Time rolled around. then, as now, i

hated losing an hour of sleep. especially when i sleep like crap half the time, anyway. hated feeling like i had just gone to sleep and BAM! i'm waking up again.

stupid alarm. stupid job. stupid need for money.

don't get me wrong, i get the whole idea of conserving energy, electricity, blah, blah, blah. but isn't it all about me? and if it is, then shouldn't the Powers That Be, be concerned about how this crap effects me? after all, the Powers That Be now have an hour of mine that they say i'll get back in six months. without interest.

kinda like my income tax refund, only i don't get to spend it.

it makes me think i should move to Arizona, since they don't observe DST.

then again, Arizona slapped us with a huge tax on our rental car when we honeymooned there, so they could build the Diamondback stadium. we didn't even get a ticket to the game. Arizona doesn't observe Dr. Martin Luther King day, either.

and most importantly to me...it's hottern the hinges of hell there in the summer.

on second thought, i think i'll just stay here, sleepy in my smogberry treehouse.

Mar 5, 2009

if you're happy and you know it, the meds must have kicked in.

i know. i stole that from my facebook profile.

but i could seriously use some meds right now.

first off: the Husband had interview #2,457, 632 with the company that's teasing...er, courting him. now of course, he's tormenting himself with 'oh crap, i said this, this and this wrong.'

meds. now.

work today was meeting upon meeting upon meeting. then, a friend of mine at work, who apparently isn't as good a friend as i thought...well - let's leave it at i got the shaft when i needed support.

meds, meds, meds.

at least it's almost Friday...there's a weekend to be savored. hopefully, photos to be taken, a soul to be fed with all that is beautiful and joy and love in the world.

and meds.

so while i lick my wounds and heal my feelers, i'll check for meds to make me happy.
they're contained in the pint of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake sitting in my freezer.

Mar 3, 2009

hugs to my girl, Kristie.

gramma will be missed.

prayers, please for my girl and her family - gramma passed in her sleep this a.m. and even if i did try to kill her by catapulting her from her wheelchair once, she still liked me.

or at least pretended to.

i'll miss you Sylvia.

oh mercy. she's at it again.

see the badge on the right there? yeah, that one, with the camera and the black & gold?

yep. i'm at it again.

it's another photo contest...but one that i don't have a photo in. let me explain.

what's your dream assignment is all about you. what's your dream? if you could go anywhere in the world and photograph anything, what would it be?

mine is kinda mushy. but it's an idea i've been mulling around for a year or so. i would love to travel and find my friends, both on the 'net and family we have around the world and find out why they love who they love. how did they meet? what made them fall in love with the other? and more importantly, why do they stay together?

so it's pretty easy. if you want to vote for me, go to the badge on the right, click pic it, and log in. and yes, you'll have to create an account here, and if you decide to enter your own idea, for heaven's sake, tell me so i can vote for you, too.

after you get registered, you can log in, then come back here to pic me...again on the badge.

a little complicated, i know. but remember that dreams are work.

keep dreaming.

Mar 2, 2009

this is what being stupid looks like.

oh, i know. they look like ordinary news vans. parked and ready to transmit. but trust me, this is exactly what stupid is.

you see, i work in Los Alamitos. yes, that Los Alamitos...and just in case you haven't heard, this is going on.
and my company is right next door to the city council/mayor office AND for the last week, there have been a steady stream of news vans.

tonight is the city council meeting, and Mayor Stupid is expected to not only step down as mayor but from the city council as well.

normally, i stay away from things like religion. politics. spiderwebs and bees. but here, well...nope.

Forrest Gump said it best, 'Stupid is as stupid does.' this guy was beyond stupid. then to claim he didn't know the cartoon was derogatory, well - that makes him ultra stupid.
especially when he said he didn't understand it, then why would you send it?

u-g-l-y, you ain't go no alibi, you guilty. and ugly.

so kids, and parents, the next time you start to send something, or say something, racial or not, just remember this: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

everything, everything has a price. and this is the price of stupid.

don't be stupid.

Feb 25, 2009

one more shameless plug.

Saturday is the last day for this contest. if you haven't, can you please vote for my photo?
you need to be a member of Facebook to do so, so if you haven't joined, you'll have fun if you do.

and you might find kids you went to high school with. and wonder how we all got old.

the interview you WON'T see on TMZ.

from the next host of the CBS Evening News...an in-depth interview with yours truly. i'm sure you'll find it hard-hitting and also recognize that i don't shy away from the really tough questions.

let me know if you want to play, er....be interviewed.

but i warn you - i don't play nice.

1. What do you consider your most precious material possession?
that's easy - the camera. aka precious. i don't leave home without it.

2. How did you meet your handsome husband and what was the first thing that made you stop and say, "Ahhh...now THIS guy is special!"?
i met Brendan on a blind date - set up by my best friend and her mom. we met @ Disneyland right before Christmas. i can't really think of just one thing that made me say "this guy is special," well - actually i can, but i can't share because it's a little embarrassing. let's just say it had to do with him thinking i was pretty. even after 8 hours at an amusement park.

3. You have just won 40 million dollars...what'cha gonna do now?
1) buy a house. 2) pay off bills. 3) travel.travel.travel. 4)set up some kind of children's charity. 5) did i mention travel?

4. We all know you love photography, and that you are darned good at it! Do you have one image of which you are most proud?
ooooh - a tough question, but a fair one. i gotta say, they're all like my children. i can't say i love one more than the other. and, not that i would admit this to my kids (so i never say it while i'm downloading or editing): my favorite today may not be my favorite tomorrow.

5. You answer that knock on your door and there stands Donny Osmond. You....
(laughs) is that before or after i pass out?! well, since we're both married i know there's not a single chance that either of us would do anything...so i imagine i would do one of two things. 1) act like a complete idiotic 15 year old, fling myself at him, screaming & crying and have to be picked off by some burly security guard or 2) try to be totally cool, invite him in for a cool refreshing beverage and then embarrass the beejeebers out of myself by offering him a beer or diet Coke. then i would cry, embarrassing myself further, and then end up taking a picture of the two of us.
then i would have a new favorite photo.

Feb 22, 2009

it's a good day, all the way around.

today was my best friend's kid's 12th birthday.

12 years. d-u-u-u-d-e. why, it seems like just yesterday i was changing your diaper, and...
never mind. i gotta save that story for his first date.

Kristie called and asked if we would come up & meet them for brunch, then off to mini golf/laser tag. and so up the hill we went to their place for bananas foster over ice cream and mimosas.

life, as they say, is gooooood.
happy birthday coleymoleyfazolieguacamole.
after brunch, we drove over to the local fun center to play indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf and laser tag.
thank heavens we only played for 15 minutes. any more than that and i swear to you, the paramedics would've been called for the adults. we were sweaty icky masses.
and by the way, what's up with these young uns picking on the old broad and shooting the crap out of me? sheesh.
so much fun. even if i am too dang old to be running around shooting after a bunch of kids AND adults.
good times indeed.

Feb 16, 2009

because poop is funny.

many thanks to my Kristie for this one. it was the best giggle i had all dang day.

and apparently her as well.

see this picture?

or, more accurately, THIS part of the picture:

yep. completely missed that the cow is ready to, um....let 'er fly.

which, i realize for people like Linda, or Ree, is no big. poop happens.

but dang. it sure is funny.

so, to not offend you, Gentle Reader (and to make it so that every time i see this picture the only see i see is, well...), i have edited said picture.


happy Monday pt2, tomorrow.

here we go again...

interview #3 @ 3pm today.

i did my best peptalk before he left: it's only an interview, it's not life or death, i'm not leaving you even if you DON'T get the job...blah, blah, blah.

and i do talk a mean b.s.

so, i'm off to take some pictures and hopefully it'll keep my mind off the whole stressful time.

but i doubt it.

updates to come - hopefully followed by a employment start date.

edited: he just called, a little bummed. after dang near three hours interviewing, there's MORE interviews to come; they want him now to interview with another mucky-muck in the company, the managers he would be working with AND their client.

let's talk about frustrating, shall we?

Feb 13, 2009

stimulating the economy - at home and a broad.

hmmm. rather TITilating, TITle, wouldn't you say?

c'mon - 'stimulating'? 'broad'? 'TITilating'????

that's funny. because i still have a junior high sense of humor. don't believe me? check this out.

so - after a horrible, angst-filled day yesterday, and a beyond boring, horrifying and humorous night at school last night...

horrifying & humorous you say? read on...

last night, i'm at photo class, waiting for it to start, playing solitaire on my Nintendo DS. there's a woman in front of me and a man next to me (the very same man who gave the most gawd-awful, boring lecture on Adobe Lightroom - for a moment, i was back in beginning algebra, wishing for death to take me.) and another woman next to him.

those two were chatting away, with the woman in front of me occasionally jumping in the conversation, then jumping out again.

then -

woman in front of me turns around to the other two. chipper as can be. "oh, i've wanted to ask! how's your husband liking retirement?"

wait for it....

"he died. two years ago."

you could've cut that silence with a knife.

the woman in front of me apologized most profusely. wishing, as i know i was, for the floor to open up and swallow her whole. and while i was horrified, feeling terrible for this poor woman, at the same time, i was biting the inside of my lip, realizing the black humor in the situation.

and black humor for me rocks.

after a few minutes, woman in front of me got up, walked over and apologized most profusely to the other woman, who accepted it graciously. as she should.

the boring part - the man next to me who did the presentation on Lightroom. (linda, my friend, you should've been there. he would've cured your insomnia in a heartbeat.)

i dang near dislocated my jaw several times during the presentation. and high tailed it out of there at break.

so today, my mom & i had a date to hit the Scrapbook Expo, down in the OC Fairgrounds. i sometimes dread these dates, only because my mom, God bless her, canNOT get around worth a darn, and does not recognize her own limitations. so - she does too much, messes herself up again, and THEN my stepfather gets mad at ME because I was the one who invited HER.

so, after a so-so shopping experience, in the rain, we came home. and before i could share my limited purchase with the Husband, he announced his own economic stimulus package:

he has a third interview up in Chatsworth next week.

i was ready to rejoice, when he said that they had called and scheduled it for next Wednesday, THEN they called again and moved it up to Monday - at 3:30 p.m.

(not that i understand why it is that these people don't understand that AFTER the interview, the Husband has to drive home. in prime drive time gridlock.)

now there is much rejoicing in the land - not about the gridlock, about the third interview.

makes me almost wish i had bought more stuff today.
more to follow.

Feb 11, 2009

B's Big Day - Part Two.

after a 2 hour & 20 minute interview, he's still not employed.
but he's a little closer - and has one more person to interview with.

at least this time they told him more about the company: health plans, 401k, stuff like that.

y'know - the IMPORTANT stuff.

he's thinking he wants to buy a round trip ticket on Metrolink (our local commuter train service) just to see how long it would take from here, to L.A. (where he'd have to change trains) to Chatsworth.

then he heard from the company in Mission Viejo (remember? the one with FOUR INTERVIEWS) that they are considering him for a temporary position OR that they decided to take the one job he interviewed for and split it into two jobs and that he could be a candidate for that.

all the while, he found a few more possibilities and turned in resumes.

*sigh* the saga, unfortunately, continues.

Feb 10, 2009

B's Big Day.

fingers crossed?
four leaf clovers picked?
rabbit's foot rubbed?
wishbone pulled?
goat sacrificed?
ch...um - check that.

the Husband has an interview today - it's up in East Egypt, but hey - it's a job. i'm very interested in becoming one less of the 8-10% of the unemployed in this country.
and i know he is too.

updates to follow.

Feb 9, 2009

there is a disturbance in the Force.

here, in Mostly Smoggy Southern California, we are currently experiencing a phenomena that has, quite literally, set the populous on its ear.

it's been raining.

rain, i realize is no big thing. heck, in the Land of My Peoples (aka Oregon), it's a common occurrence.
here, not so much.

it's been raining off and on for the last three days. and, while just one day of rain is frustrating, have it rain for that many days and you can watch my fellow citizens slowly be driven insane.

Southern Californians have no idea how to deal with rain...or any weather for that matter. as a society that lives in our cars on the freeway, when it does rain, the experts tell us to slow down.


people here do one of two things as they drive in the rain: they freak out and s-l-o-w w-a-a-a-a-y d-o-w-n, or freak out and drive like maniacs.

wait. we drive like maniacs anyway.

while the rain makes my Husband depressed, it makes me feel all giddy inside. i would be perfectly happy watching it rain for hours.

just not from the inside of my car.

speaking of us driving like maniacs...when the Husband and i were commute dating (he lived in San Diego County, about an hour and a half from where i lived), before i discovered the glory & wonder that was the train, i drove.

and i could tell you, without even seeing a sign, what county i was in just by the way folks were driving. in San Diego, if you wanted to change lanes, the attitude was "cool, dude. just go for it, save the whales, heal the bay and stay cool." by the time i would hit the O.C., it was "duuuude. do you really have to change lanes? OK, then - be cool."

in L.A., it was "dude. change lanes and i will bust a cap in yer ass."

driving here is fun. pack (heat) accordingly.

in unemployment news...
a couple of weeks ago, the Husband had his 4th interview with a company in the O.C.
they sent a Dear John letter, stating that they've decided to not fill the position, due to the recent economic downturn.

really? recent? where HAVE you been?

but he does have another interview with a company in Chatsworth on Tuesday. the rumor is that they really, really like him; i just hope they really, really hire him.

Chatsworth, by the way, is about 45 minutes from us. not a fun drive.

especially when it rains.

Feb 8, 2009

a story of headshots and ketchup.

which, i think, could win as one of my weirdest titles yet.

first ketchup.

Friday, my friend Melissa, had just about decided to get a camera like mine. we were ready to go to Costco @ lunch, because they've got a good deal with the body, two lenses, a camera bad, 2gb memory card...all for about $1000.

but...they didn't offer an extended warranty, and Melissa wanted that. so we looked online (i know, we should be working, but it's just SO BORING.) and found one @ Best Buy, who does offer an extended warranty.

so i called Brendan and said, come meet us there - then we'll EAT.

because fat girls love to eat.

so after looking at their deal, which was just the camera, one lens, an extra battery and a camera bad, Melissa decided she wanted to wait and find a deal more like mine.
(who could blame her - i found out my telephoto lens that i got with my camera costs about $600. oy.)

now comes dinner.
we headed over to Sizzler for cheap steak & lobster...yum. and as we sat, giggling and having a great time, i suddenly felt something hit me in the side of the head.

since it was raining Friday, the first thing i did, of course, was look up to see if there was a leak.
felt the side of my head, now thinking perhaps some smart-ass kid shot a spit-wad my way.
so i turn to my friend & husband and say - IS THERE SOMETHING IN MY HAIR?????

there was a blob of ketchup in my hair. KETCHUP.IN.MY.HAIR.
now, of course, being the mature grown-ups we are, we all start giggling hysterically, while Melissa wipes it out of my hair.

the only thing i can figure, is, when the busboys were cleaning the table next to us, somehow they flung it up and over.

needless to say, i washed my hair the minute i got home.

now i know what a french fry feels like.

on to Brendan O'Mahony - Supermodel.

could i talk him into doing something different? nope. oh well. i still think he's pretty cute.

we also had a lady in a kimono...i decided i'd rather take pictures of him, rather than the hoochie mammas that just wanted headshots for their portfolios.

just having way too much fun.

Feb 6, 2009

where do they get those wonderful toys?!

(and before you ask, i'm up at 4:30 A.M., not because i believe in getting an early start to my day. i am up, because i woke up with my legs hanging off the bed, the Husband in the middle of the bed and the cat pushing said legs off the bed. i tried pushing 'em over, but to no avail. hence, i am up)

last night was my photography class, and, while i still feel like a stumbling fool because i have no idea what my f-stop should be for certain situations, once in a (very great) while, something connects, the light streams in and i have a Moment of Discovery.

last night was one of those rare moments.

Brendan came with me last night, not because it was a frog-choker rainstorm last night (which it was), but because last night he became Brendan O'Mahony - Male Model.

clothing was NOT optional. thank heavens.

we practiced on our portrait skills last night - and we had a few models besides the one i brought. one lady, a former student of my photo teacher, came dressed in a traditional kimono, shoes and all. another woman in the class brought her granddaughter who was probably about 17-18. the granddaughter brought two of her friends, who did not want to model, but were perfectly content to stand in the back of the room and giggle.

i so would not want a teenage daughter for that very reason. in fact, if the whole baby thing had worked for us, i already had arrangements to send said teenage girl off to some far-off place until the hormones and giggling had abated.

we also had a model who was looking for headshots. believe me when i say this chick was working the freaking room, posing and pouting and wearing the tightest jeans ever. and every stinking man in that class, all of whom were old enough to have been her father, were falling all over themselves, snapping away at her.

speaking of the men in this class, i think i've said before that most everyone in this class is older than me by about 15 years or so. they've disposable income up the wazoo, and that was apparent last night.

one of the men is a very nice guy, who doesn't talk down to you when he explains settings. he also gets every.new.toy. that comes out for photographers. for instance, he just bought a ring flash (keep scrolling down this link, you'll find it) for his camera.

it runs about $300.

he also has a tripod that has legs that allow it (the tripod) to spread out and be about four inches off the ground - good for taking pictures of four leaf clovers, i guess. the coolest part of this tripod was the ball socket it had below the holder for your camera. kinda like adjusting your rear view mirror in the car, it moves smoothly and STAYS where you put it.


another toy, that several people had last night, was a flash remote. it attaches to the flash at the top of your camera and trips your studio light set up.

and yes, they do have studio lights. one of them even has what can best be described as a bounce house with lights. it's tall, about 7 feet by 5 feet, zips into a box shape and then you can put your smaller studio lights on the side, pointing inside the box. then you have a lighted background that gives a great backglow.

i even heard two of the guys talking about actually having green screen backgrounds - so you can take a picture of say you and your kids, then in Photoshop cut out your subjects and place them in another photo...say, on a beach in Hawaii.


i think about these killer toys and how much fun i could have, then i remember that i can barely set an f-stop and a shutter speed. sometimes i forget to take off the lens cap.

and then i thank heaven i'm not a brain surgeon.

Feb 4, 2009

guess who's 6 today?

this little minx...this chickie who has both uncle and auntie wrapped around the proverbial little finger...

man - she knows how to work me.

and stab me in the heart.

she was talking to her mom the other day, who asked the birthday girl, "what do you want for your birthday?"

and she replied (with a dramatic sigh, i'm sure) "i just want Auntie Valerie to be at my party."

good going girl. you and your brother both know how to kill me.

happy birthday baby. may it be you're most fun yet.

Jan 31, 2009

in my next life, i'm coming back as an orphan.

i believe in life everlasting.
i'm not sure about life in the hereafter.

like the Hindus and Buddhists, i do believe that it is better for karma and all around good vibes to do good on this earth. and while i'm am SO all about that, i am definitely not interested in coming back for another go-round.

don't get me wrong. i love life. i love my husband, my friends and even my cat. i love my mom. heck, i even love my camera.


my family, to be exact.

unbeknownst to me as a child, i was the black sheep. and dammit, i never even got the opportunity to enjoy it. since my mom was unmarried when i was born (a small fact that apparently every other person in my extended family knew EXCEPT for me), apparently that gave others in my family, in particular my cousins, carte blanche to treat me like i was a step below them.

so while i was wearing my Toughskin jeans from the Pretty Plus section at Sears, they were wearing Sassoon jeans. they modeled for Buffums department stores, even appearing in print ads.

i was queen of the circus. and i even took them for free to the circus.

they were skinny. i was not. still aren't.

and if i sound bitter, it's because i am...just a tad. growing up was a never ending chorus of "why can't you be more like your cousins? THEY clean their room. THEY get As in school. THEY blah blah blah."

but after i did grow up, and they did, too, a funny thing happened. i became OK with me - warts and all. and while i was the chubby kid wearing Sears specials, and they were really truly spoiled kids wearing designer clothes, i didn't end up like the oldest of them, pregnant and married by 20, divorced three months later, and after birthing, basically handed over her child to her mother to raise so she could par-tay.

and get hooked on coke. but that's a whole 'nother saga.

the middle girl was pretty dang cool. and it was for her that i allowed my mom to guilt me into going to her baby shower for her first child - at 42.

they'd been trying for four years. man, i get that.

so, i managed to have a little breakdown before we left today for the shower. probably some pent up rage, still bitter about us not being pregnant (and we SO will not get into the whole story here about the local woman who, already having 6 kids, just gave birth to 8 more. eight. ocho.) and just so NOT wanting to go to this shower with these people that are supposed to be family.

family that do not treat the uncool as family.

and as we left today, the oldest, who really needs to be paddled, is bitching about how she hates her mother, how she needs to find a younger richer man and finishes with us coming over to their place for Easter.

oh - thanks. but i think i'm planning on surgery that day.

i don't need this. i truly am happy with my life and my small family as it is.

but if there is a next life, i am so coming back as an orphan.

Jan 27, 2009

she's at it again.

i entered another dang photo contest.

RitzPix, where i print photos a lot of times, is sponsoring a photo contest on Facebook.
(you can see it here)

and, i am a sucker for photos and contests. so heck, put the two of 'em together and man, i am SO there.

so feel free to enter your own photos - heck, it's pretty dang fun and easy.

but if you want to see mine, and vote for it (you vote by writing "vote" in the comment section under each photo), go here.

vote early and often. and thanks.

Jan 26, 2009

washing my hands. again.

here in Mostly Smoggy So. Cal., because we do have such mild winters, we also get a lot of conventions during the winter.


makes sense - we are notorious for, among other things, mild winters, no snow and some of the most egotistical & vain peeps this side of the Hollywood city limits.

so it's really no surprise that the Craft Hobby Association, otherwise known as CHA, generally holds its winter meet here.

and it's really no surprise either that they hold it across the street from the Happiest Place on Earth.

last year, i almost had a chance to volunteer at the show...i had signed up to help in a booth but unfortunately due to an email glitch, i didn't make it. which, in a way, is OK, when you consider that unless you've got a resale license, you ain't buying diddly.

talk about a tease.

generally, there are a lot of scrapbooking celebs at this show. some to work, some to play and check out what's new for this year.

and apparently there was a whole new celeb appearing there this year.

Paris Hilton.

yep. the O.C. Register.com ran an oh-so-small story on their website stating that Paris attended the show this weekend, touting her new line of (wait for it) scrapbooking products, aimed at the 'tween' age.

isn't that great, America? not only can your 11 year old girl dress trashy, now she can scrapbook that way as well.

in all fairness, i haven't seen the line. not that i would expect her to send photos in an email blast to anyone that signed up for twopeasinabucket.com. but i have to admit i'm curious as to what it looks like.

and i gotta say that although i wouldn't buy anything from the line, even if i did like it, based only on moral grounds (chick has more than enough cash, she doesn't need any more from me), i'm so seeing a trend here. not only can you have hair extensions & clothing by Paris, you can also smell like her (the perfume she designed). now you can scrapbook like her.

not that i'm seeing her surrounded by glue dots and deckled scissors anytime soon.

but i do see that for years she's had an interest in memory making. after all, she's documented
parts of her life.

lucky us.

Jan 23, 2009

a random thought haiku post.

*the dang cold is back. stupid thing must like me. really, i'm not all that so you don't need to hang around.

*irritated as hell with the photo class. not the class per se, i love the teacher, but dagnabbit, the people in the class are a bunch of photo snobs who, although i have no doubt are talented and know what they are talking about are STILL a BUNCH OF SNOBS WHO DROP LINES LIKE: 'well, last year when we were on safari in Africa...' heck, if i didn't know better, i would think i was in the middle of 'Real Housewives of Laguna.' except that most of the people in my class are men. men that are older than me. sheehs.

*day from hell today at work. it's amazing some people keep their jobs. and that others of us don't come in and shoot up the place. not me. i can't aim.

*laying low this weekend. but am planning on having chilaques for breakfast Sunday. yum-o.

*laughing at the recent offer i got for Creating Keepsakes magazine: 2 years at the ridiculously low rate of $24. why, that's only a dollar an issue! and an 83% savings over the cover price of $143.76. wow. now that's a bargain.

*i have lost my most favorite-wear-them-all-the-time pair of silver hoops earrings. and right now i don't care about the starving children in China OR El Monte, i.want.my.damn.earrings.

*work is sponsoring a biometric health fair, free cholesterol, diabetes, etc screening. oh, and a BMI index reading. looking forward to busting the chart on that machine.

*seriously. is it possible to STOP producing snot for five minutes?

*saw a can at the Mexican restaurant we frequent for Bud Light mixed with Clamato. Clamato.
totally gross.

*SO looking forward to a better week this next week.

Jan 17, 2009

it's hard being this cute.

oh yeah.

after a week from hell, i decided that this weekend was going to be...well, about me.

selfish? oh yeah. and i wasn't going to apologize for it.

that was until i called my mom this a.m.

the Husband & i were at Wally-Mart, when i happened to notice the 6oz cans of Coke & diet Coke. my parents flipping love 'em, so i called to see if they needed any.

why sure! and while you're at it, can you get us some milk, too?

um....OK. and, since i have milk, i need to bring it over toot sweet.

then when we got there, my mom asks if Brendan would go in the back yard and rake the leaves for my step-pop.

apparently, he hasn't raked in over a year.

holy freaking crap.

so, when we got in the backyard, and Brendan got it raked up, the piles were HUGE.
and, thankfully, Brendan had bought a leaf blower/vacuum for my step-pop last year, so now was a good time to try it out.

it sucked. literally. i am here to tell you that it doesn't suck 'em up like it should.

i am here to tell you that there is still huge piles of leaves. even four hours later.

and i was bent.

selfish, selfish me.

it's not that i had all these incredible plans for us, i just wanted to relax and spent time with my sweetie...not watch him up to his ankles in leaves and other lawn crap.

i know they don't get around too well. i don't begrudge helping, just begrudge the helping when i hadn't planned for it.

and that, Gentle Reader, makes me selfish. shame on me.

in other news...

i made it in my photo class. no problems, but daaaang. it is packed to the rim. luckily, i got there super early, so i could get a spot at a table, not to end up sitting in the aisle in a folding chair.

and what a clique exists. we're talking about men older than me. and when i tried to make conversation with two of them, they looked at me like i said i drown bunnies and puppies for fun.
not only that, but when this other woman came in a little later, and there was an empty chair between the two, after they greeted each other, the woman asked if they had saved the seat for her.

nope, one said, we're saving it for Kathy.


they're also camera snobs...they both said, during class, that Nikon cameras ruled, and if you had a Canon, well..you just weren't in their league.

they laughed of course, but now i was totally bent at them.

there's no fool like an old fool. and no better way to piss me me off than to act like an ass.

moving on...

Brendan had another interview this week with a company in Mission Viejo...this time to test his prowess on Word and Excel.

he said he did OK on the Word part, the Excel, not so much. but in any case, they said they should be contacting him by Monday. this time to possibly meet with the president & vice president of the company.

fingers crossed. i would so love to have this nightmare of unemployment end for him.

oh yeah, and me, too - after all, it is all about me.

Jan 10, 2009

this week has kicked my asterisk.

the first full week after Christmas and New Year's sucky-suck-sucks. always.
not only do you have the holiday hangover/burnout, but it's the first full week back at work/school, and that, my friends, is just full of it.


not only that, but i'm suffering from photo withdrawal. i'm so in need of some good subject matter, but dang it, by the time i get out of work, when the light is golden & perfect, i'm too beat to do anything.

speaking of photos...here's reason # 4,578, 391 why i am the Queen of the Doofuses.

this past week was the beginning of my next stage in the photo class. i had signed up for it way before Christmas, and last weekend asked Brendan to drive out there so i had an idea where in the heck this place was.

(we had been there once before, for an organizational class. the only thing i got out of it was a different way to fold socks. man, that was boring.)

Wednesday, i drove out to Yorba Linda right after work. Yorba Linda, where a lot of our summer/fall fire was, is about 35 minutes from our casa...but of course, driving at prime drive time can boot the time up. luckily, traffic was light, so i made it out there in good time.

the fun part is, the school where this class is, is in the middle of reconstruction to become a junior high. the REALLY fun part, is that this is up in the hills. coyotes are there. not much lights. not even the campus is well lit.

i was trying to not freak myself out...imagining i was hearing the theme from Friday the 13th or Psycho. thankfully, no murderous rampages happened that night.


once i got in class, i managed to drop my brand new $300 glasses onto the floor. and watched in horror as the lens popped out on one side.

oh dadgum it.

i spent the rest of the night trying to get the bloody thing back in.


the instructor wasn't there that night...which i knew. he's on a cruise until next week.
lucky him.
so, while i was fighting my glasses, the sub handed out the class outline.

funny - it looks exactly like the one for the class i just took.


i signed up for the beginner class. again.

i have no problem, really, taking the beginner class again...but i'll be a monkey's uncle if i'm a-gonna take it out in Yorba-freaking-Linda.

then she mentions the intermediate class (which i wanted) is full with a waiting list.


knowing what i do know about Dave, the teacher, is - i should be able to crash the class. man, i hope so, i don't want to have $70 go down the tubes.

although it might teach me to pay more attention to what i'm signing up for.

naaaaah. once a goof, always a goof.

in other news...
the Husband had a phone interview with a company in Mission Viejo Tuesday...a town about 20 minutes from us. now they want to meet him this week for another interview.

prayers, please that this works and he can become once again a productive member of society.

Jan 4, 2009

if '09 wants me, it'll have to come in & get me.

the party's over...if you can call 2008 a par-tay.
we've eaten our black-eyed peas. luck is insured, right?


i'm not one to make resolutions. never have been. i usually come up with ideas what i want to try and accomplish in the new year, and sometimes (OK, most of the time) they fall by the wayside.

this year is different.

the resolutions i'm making i think...no, i know, are ones i need to keep.
* i resolve to worry less...especially over things i have no control over. people i work with that drive me crazy...i'm letting it go. there are always going to be people who don't do the right thing, or don't do what i want/need them to do.

*i resolve to not sweat the small stuff. let's face it: there are things we all worry about that are nothing but a waste of our time and energy. there's a ton more fun things in this world i can be doing with that time & energy.

* i resolve to have more fun. whether that means scrapbooking, writing or working on mad photog skillz.

for shizzle.
oh, and i resolve to not try and be cool, yo. i'm really too old.
bring it on, '09. i'm ready for you.

in other news...
Friday night, we met up with my best friend and her kids out at the Mission Inn in Riverside for their annual Festival of Lights. we've never seen them before, and to say it was amazing is an understatement.

the place is a target rich photo environment any day of the week. well, add bunches of lights (and some really creepy anamatonic figures-they were really weirding us all out) and it becomes amazing.

i love photo rich environments.
the place is amazing.
just amazing. inside & out.

and so are the shops around the Inn. amazing windows.

and some cool decorations they had that reminded me of giant dandelions. or, as Kristie said, 'all i can think of is 'we are here, we are here, we are heeeeere!!' (a la Horton Hears a Who!) i thought they would look super cool in black & white.
thanks for the invite, Kristie. it was totally cool.
here's to a new year, full of new promise.