Showing posts from November, 2004

Say it Ain't So, Suze

I could not believe it when I saw it. She was walking in what looked suspiciously like a new car showroom. She was prattling about interest rates "as low as 0%." She mentioned how great it would be to lock in that same great rate on your next vehicle purchase. I sat in disbelief. Was this the same Suze Orman who advocated spending less money? Who cautions people to save, save, save? To really think about what you are purchasing and why? Was she really hawking a new GM car loan? Perhaps Suze should take her own advice and examine the reasons why she took the money from GM to sell their cars. It can't be because she needs it, she has made a fortune on her books and lectures. If she walks the walk, her monetary needs should be fully and totally met. I think it was completely irresponsible that a person who counsels people on how to use and save money is on television advocating buying a new car. Her credibility with me has completely gone down the tube


Well, the holiday is pretty much over. My aunt, uncle, and two cousins, aged 16 and 12 are going back to Arizona tomorrow. My aunt L is my godmother, and has always been the "wilder" sister compared to my more stuffy and prissy mother. My aunt married well (twice) and always had beautiful antique furniture and nice cars. I will never forget when she took me in her little brown Mercedes convertible to get my ears pierced for my 16th birthday. I had been begging my mother for years to get my ears pierced. She told me I was too irresponsible and would end up getting my ears infected, as well as losing all my earrings. (Side note, she was correct on the second prediction, I have always been horrible at keeping earrings) Nevertheless, my aunt had a bit of a rebellious side, and who was I to argue with her? She was young, pretty, and had that great convertible. Off to the mall we went, and in one minute I had two shiny fake aquamarines in my earlobes. We went back

Oh How Times Have Changed

I used to be a very successful shopper. I would go to the mall and easily drop $300 or $400 without thinking too much about it. I would spend $100 at the Chanel counter, move on to some shoes, then an outfit or a nice pair of earrings. Before my son was born, my husband and I had quite a bit of money. I made only about $15,000 less than he did and boy did we live it up. We would go shopping and buy whatever we felt like, then go eat lunch, then shop some more. We traveled, we drank champagne at expensive bars, we parked valet. Were we crass and materialistic? I suppose we were, although it didn't feel like it. I knew many people who bought way more than I ever did, but the trick for them was that they charged their purchases, then paid the minimum on their credit cards. My husband and I almost always paid off our balance in full. Because of our penchant for saving money even though we spent quite a bit of it, we were able to put a fairly large down payment on our to


I am probably a horrible person for saying this, but am I the only person on the planet that thinks the Olsen twins are just ugly? I know they are multi-gazillionaires, but I just don't see what the big deal is about. Ah, I am sure my age is showing in a most unflattering way.

If you don't watch, you should

I cannot say enough good things about Frontline . This show is what news programs should be. In-depth, not afraid to ask hard questions, and interesting topics. I set aside time every Tuesday to watch this program. Last week was an episode called "The Persuaders" about the marketing and advertising industry. If you could have seen the utter disdain with which consumers were described, it would almost make you not want to ever buy anything again. Apparently, they also have us all figured out. You can go to a website for the company Claritas and do the Zip Code Search to find out the ways in which they categorize people by the neighborhoods they live in. I was not sure whether to be impressed or scared shitless. This week they profiled Wal-Mart. I personally do not shop at Wal-Mart because it is my own puny protest to what I feel are vile business practices. Watching the VP of Wal-Mart carefully consider every answer as if every word that came out of his mouth cou

Random Thought

I was watching "Lost" yesterday, and an ad from Johnson & Johnson came on. It was advertising a lotion that I believe was originally marketed for babies. The new take on the product appears to be that if us moms think our babies are soft, cuddly and good-smelling, then all we have to do is use the lotion for ourselves to feel just as nice! I cannot think of a bigger turn-off to a husband than if upon getting a whiff of your wife, you instantly think of your baby. That ranks right up there with the usage of his mother's perfume as a "don't want to go there." Perhaps they should change the marketing strategy to promote it as a product to definitively let your spouse know that tonight will not be his lucky night.

The Found Weekend

So, husband and I decided to go to Universal CityWalk for a movie and to hang out on our babysitting extravaganza day. For those of you unfamiliar, CityWalk is an eclectic collection of shops, restaurants, movie theater, and other forms of entertainment just outside the gates of the Universal Studios backlot tour. There are many things to see and do there, people watching not being the least. Universal City is quite a ways from where we are, and Sunday was a great day to drive through LA. I have not been down the 101 that far in probably close to three years, and I was struck by how much more graffiti there was in and around downtown than I remember. We ate a mediocre meal at The Daily Grill. The waitress did not serve us a basket of bread, and upon asking for it, I was told it was given "by request only." What the hell is that? So the poor schmos who have never been there before, read tourists, get shafted on a couple of pieces of bread because they don't k

Thank you

Even though I am a day late with this, (I plead the teething toddler defense) I would like to thank all veterans of all branches of the armed services for defending our country and its freedoms. My grandfather, who is 87, served in WWII. He volunteered to join the Army, since his job mining coal in the dark Pennsylvania caves seemed just as dangerous at that time. He was shipped to Guadalcanal, and was the radio operator for his unit. Even though he didn't partake in the famous fighting that the Marines undertook on Guadalcanal, he saw enough action to last more than a lifetime. I would never have known that my grandfather served if I had not been told by my father, my grandfather never mentioned it while I was growing up. Then, one day about 5 years ago, he began talking to me about some of his experiences. As he spoke of moments of sheer terror in the jungle, comrades dying in his arms, his hopes that he would see my grandmother again, it hit me very forcefully why he

Looking forward to this weekend

Joy! My husband and I are getting a full day of babysitting this weekend! Now, mind you it is going to take 2 of my family members to do this, instead of the usual one of me. I actually think that is kind of funny. The worst part is that we cannot think of what we want to do. We don't want to squander the day doing things we could do on a "normal" day. But, that leaves us trying to come up with something grand, and since our scope of things has narrowed since the boy, we are having a tough time. My husband and I used to travel everywhere together. The good old days of driving from the beach to Griffith Observatory, then to the Bonaventure Hotel for drinks has long passed. I do not even remember what it was like to feel so carefree. That was back when I didn't criticize his driving and he thought it was cute when I was indecisive. I think though, that as long as we bring some great CD's and leave the daily bickering at home (harder than it sounds),

Gina Unplugged

I have yet another confession. My husband and I are the least "plugged" in people I know. We own no cell phones, no pagers, no TiVo, no Ipods, no satellite radio, no OnStar, no big screen TV (try a 19 inch) and (this will elicit the biggest gasp of all), no cable. Our big splurges on technology are a dial-up connection to the Internet, a factory installed 6 disc CD changer in one of our cars, and a dual DVD/VHS player. We do have an old lap top from my husband's brief law school career, but that is now 4 years old and pretty much obsolete. It is not that we are oblivious to technology, or that we are intimidated by it. I think it is that we don't have much discretionary income and we choose to spend it on other things. As a person in my 30's I sometimes feel like the people who call techno things "those watchamacallits" and has a vague idea that there are cool things out there, but doesn't have access to them. Hell, I think I am even misspe

Customer Service, or lack thereof

Tonight we all went out to an Italian restaurant that we had never been to before. We had gotten a good recommendation from a trusted source, so off we went. I ordered something that I figured should be fairly decent, polenta and Italian sausage. Boy, was I wrong. I literally had to spit the stuff out, it was so offending to my tastebuds. For the record, I have never had to do anything like that at any other place I have ever been. I may not have liked everything, but I have never had to spit it out in disgust. Now, when the waiter came to pick up my plate, should he have said something about my lack of interest in the dish? Common sense as a person in business should have tipped him off that something was wrong when I refused a doggie bag, even though I had literally eaten two bites. Nope, he just took my eleven dollars without a word. I have been to restaurants before where they ask you if something was wrong with the meal, and could they try to fix it for you. Am I

Do I really look that pathetic?

I should mention that I take my son to the park often, since we live in a townhome and all we have is a large concrete patio. When he takes a long nap, the park is the only place he can burn off all that extra steam. Now that you are assured that I am not some weirdo who is constantly hanging around parks for the jollies of it, I can tell you what happened the other day. DS was playing on the big kid equipment, like he always does. A nice looking younger man with his son arrived onto the playground, and we exchanged pleasantries about our sons. He seemed nice enough, and I thought nothing of it. His wife arrived about an hour later, also young and pretty. Somehow we all just got to talking about things in general, and she complemented me on my engagement ring, which I wear on my right hand. I thanked her and laughed, joking that the ring was from our "pre-baby" days when I was working and we had money to throw around. She said she thought it was a great thing that I was

Poor Thing

A month or so ago we all went to Disneyland. We live quite close to it and we have annual passes, so we go at least three times a month or so. As my son was playing (meaning-trying to climb into) at the circular fountain that is at the entrance to the tram loading station, my husband and I noticed another set of parents on the other side. They were actually quite hard to miss. Mom had pink and black hair, a large nose ring, other piercings, multiple tattoos in obvious and most likely not so obvious places. She was dressed mostly in black, wore black Doc Martens and black and white striped socks. Dad had a shock of bleached white hair that stood straight at attention, one of those "bolts" in his earlobe (I am so unhip now, I do not know the official name for it), various other piercings, a T-shirt with an obscenity, more tattoos than Mom, and the black Martens. Their son had a faux-hawk, black baggy shorts, I believe the T-shirt had a skull on it, and the ubiqui


Raj did not deserve to be fired, it should have been Kevin. At the playground, a boy was shouting to his sister every time he reached the top of the equipment. Thinking this was the new trend in park fun, my son shouted "Ab-gail, Ab-gail" at the top of his lungs when reaching the same spots. I think the other family thought my son was a little nuts. The more I think about it, the more I feel that Wall Street and everything associated with it is a really really bad thing. I find it interesting that people indicated that morality in a politician was a key reason they picked a certain candidate. Do they not know that a moral politician is an oxymoron? I confess that I love reading People magazine. I have some bad news for Fear Factor fans (which I am not). The show is FAKE FAKE FAKE. My husband did security on a shoot, and they kept admonishing the contestants to "act more frightened" and re-shot take after take because the screams were not convincing en


I have just raided my son's Halloween candy, like all good mothers must do while their kids are asleep. A full-sized Butterfinger was calling my name, so I took it. This is my first blog entry, so I am thinking that I must write something pithy, something for the ages. Well, I am too tired, so I am writing whatever comes to mind. I voted for the loser of the presidential election. I am not going to storm the White House or anything like that, but I am disappointed. The Democrats are a bunch of wusses that cannot get their act together. I can say that because I am one. If John Kerry was the best candidate we could come up with, then we probably deserved to lose. I just hope that the incumbent can fix the mess in Iraq, trim that damn deficit, find a solution for Social Security, create some well-paying jobs, and try to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, or at least reimburse the states for the cost. Ha, it is good to dream, isn't it? Sometimes I wonder about the world my so