Showing posts from March, 2005

No Flattery Here

So I have learned today in no uncertain terms that I have to tone down my "rhetoric" while driving. As soon as I was bringing the car out of the driveway, Mr. Personality chimes in from the back, "Geez, lady" and "bunch of jerks." Mind you, I had not even been driving for a minute. Now, this stuff is much, much tamer than what I used to say when Mr. Personality was not in the picture, but it still didn't sound so great coming from a toddler. I am an impatient driver. That is one of my biggest faults. I must clarify that I am not a dangerously impatient driver, just one who gets easily annoyed. While driving, I seem to have a large, invisible only to me, flag waving from my car that says, "Why yes, I would just love you to cut me off!" When traffic hits, it is another matter altogether. We are all pretty much crawling nowhere together. But, when there is a semi-open road, is it too much to ask to be able to go five miles above the spee

SPF 100 Anyone?

So in the next few days, we are going to hit at least 80 degrees here in SoCal. The recent rains have made us into some of the most pathetic and melodramatic whiners in the country. Not to dismiss things lightly, there were some unfortunate losses of life and property with the rains, but most of the time it was just water falling from the sky. We just are not used to that here. Which leads me to the fact that I think I will probably be forced to wear shorts for the first time in at least 6 months. I will have to show my pasty legs in public, and it won't be a pretty sight. Actually, I do not have the legs of Snow White. My complexion is a little bit olive from my Italian side, and I tan like no tomorrow. Except, I don't tan anymore. And it feels weird. I grew up here, worshipping the sun. My best friend in high school and I used to lay out at the beach applying only baby oil to our skin. Sunscreen was scoffed at, something only used by people visiting from Indiana. My

Oh yeah, I'm a Gen X'er

So let it be known that I am a quintessential slacker. For all my snarky-ness, I am a very typical type B personality. Apparently I began life as a small whirlwind, but then somehow downgraded myself to a faintly wafting breeze. Not even strong enough to move your hair if you've got some hairspray in it. My parents tell me tales of me swinging myself headfirst over the bars of my crib. I had to wear a brace for the first two years of my life (which I don't remember in any way) and I would grab the sides of the crib and use my braces as leverage to swing myself upside-down and over. I must have had quite a talent for it, because I did it to get into cars as well, as long as the window was down. This was the 70's, so the cars were much, much tinier than what we have today, which is why I was able to reach up to the windows. Today I would definitely be earthbound no matter how hard I tried. I don't know what happened, but by the time I hit grade school, I was your t

Maybe I Should Be Investigated

So there it will be, for everyone and their mother to see on Easter. They can all look at Mr. Personality and whisper behind their hands to each other. I swear I am not a bad mom, just a second too late to hold his hand while he was getting out of the bathtub tonight and then SPLASH! BONK! SPLASH! SILENT SCREAM THAT MEANS YOU ARE IN SOME SERIOUS PAIN! REQUISITE TWO YEAR OLD REFUSAL TO LET MOM PUT ICE ON IT! My poor, adorable little boy will have one of the largest shiners ever seen beneath his left eye tomorrow. Just in time for all the family to see and document forever via camcorder and camera. We had been overjoyed that the cut on his forehead had finally healed and all that was left was a faintly pink line. Now this. Lovely. Happy Easter!

Starbucks, Shmarbucks

I am one of the voiceless few. My brethren and I skulk around on the edges of American society. We are a true minority in this country, but I am about to administer a call to arms. People who hate coffee, unite! Truly, Hubba-hubba and I are two of the only people I know that refuse to drink coffee in any of its endless variables, courtesy of Starbucks. When we tell people that we don't drink coffee, we usually get blank stares. It is as if they truly cannot comprehend a life worth living without coffee. I am a tea drinker, iced tea, hot tea, green tea, you name it and I will pretty much drink it. I think I should blame my father for this one, as he takes his coffee very strong and very black. He would let me drink from his coffee cup whenever I asked when I was younger, and it only took me a few times to figure out that it was just nasty. He did the same thing with beer and I don't really drink beer. Hmmmm, maybe he was on to something? Sure, I tried to fit in and hang


My father was born in 1946, the leading year of what was to become the baby boomer generation. Somehow, as he was growing up, he failed to connect with the songs of the 50's and 60's. Not that he didn't like the Elvis, the Beatles or Motown, but they just didn't quite spark his interest enough. Then came the 70's and my dad was in heaven. I was born in 1971, and some of my earliest memories with my dad are of us singing together in the car. He loved Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Kansas, Foreigner, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, and the list goes on and on. I definitely got my love of music from my dad. He never even told me that I couldn't really carry a tune that well, he was just happy that I was happy to sing. I was raised on all those bands, and I still like listening to them. The radio programmers now term that era as "Classic Rock." There were only two stations left on the radio dial in LA that still played those songs, and one of

Keepin it Real for Suzanne

What's more important to you: money or love? Money, of course. I could lie and give the politically correct answer of love, but then who would I really be fooling? What initially attracted you to the man you married? It's funny you asked, because after we met for the first time, we could not stand each other for about two years. We hung around in the same social circles because we worked in the same place, so we kept seeing each other and reminding ourselves how bitchy I was/annoyingly loud he was. But, one day we actually sat down and talked for about two hours about anything and everything. I was amazed at what a great listener he was and how intelligent and funny he was. (Hubba-hubba is reading this and saying, "What? It wasn't my hot bod and killer smile?" Those too, honey, those too) And what struck him about me that day I am actually not sure. Possibly it was my blinding beauty and great wit. I was actually living and going to school in Northern Califor

How do I Get My Invitation to Those Conferences?

So on Monday night, since Mr. Personality took a three hour nap, we decided to go to one of our favorite malls, Fashion Island . Fasion Island is beautiful, clean, and has a large number of kid-friendly things, from a koi pond to a carousel. Now, Fashion Island is located in a pricey city, Newport Beach. Suffice it to say, if you live in Newport Beach, you either inherited your house or you make a lot of money. It is quite obvious when you look at Hubba-hubba and me that we aren't from around those parts. Newport Beach is a city that is filled with Rich Wife Clones. I say this because they all somehow seem to look alike. The look this season is frosted blonde hair, shoulder length and with some layers. Last year the look was short hair, so they must have had a Clone Conference and decided to grow it out. Add to the mix casual clothing that screams, "I have enough money to color coordinate my expensive velour track suit to my expensive purse and shoes, and I have 15 more

And We Never Once Shopped at Wal-Mart

So yesterday we became debt free. It has been a long road, but one that was well worth traveling, although I wish we hadn't had quite the number of flat tires that we did. I don't normally toot my own horn, but in this case, I just can't help myself. We weren't always in debt, we spent the better part of our ten years together before marriage completely debt free. No credit cards, no car payments, no cell phones, no nothing. It was cash as you go, and a fine time we had. I had a brush with overwhelming credit debt at the tender age of 21, falling prey to the ever present applications that are posted everywhere on college campuses. They didn't care how much I made, in fact I didn't even have a part time job when I applied. All they cared about was how much my parents made, and fortunately (or unfortunately, as it were) they made more than enough to qualify me for a $5000 credit line. Put a large credit line into the hands of a naive college girl who is pin

The Lowdown

OK, so I signed up to answer some questions from Mel , and here they are in all their glory: 1) Descibe the best vacation you ever had. That would definitely have to be the surprise trip to San Francisco that Hubba-hubba arranged all by his lonesome. If you knew him, you would be in complete awe that he actually made travel arrangements on his own. He had told me that we were going to Las Vegas in order for me to arrange for time off from work, but pulled a switcheroo at the last minute. He proposed to me on that trip, in (not up but, in ) a tree overlooking the San Fran skyline at sunset. He even memorized a poem to recite, and if you knew him, you would be even more impressed than about the travel arrangement thing. The best part was when I asked him why, after all the years we had been together, that was the first time he wanted to go to SF. We traveled to so many places, but never there. I had been bugging him about it for literally years, and he always refused, saying, &quo

To Do This Week

From the Desk of Mr. Personality Ask them to construct my train set, get angry that one track gets slightly disjointed, and pull a Godzilla and destroy the entire setup. check Have Dad read "Wacky Wednesday" to me at the library, and tell him that I don't want to take it home. Upon home arrival, proceed to quote the book and ask them to read it to me for the next two days. check Never, ever get dressed without putting up at least a token fight. check Plan on ordering the quesadilla at the restaurant, and then after it is placed before me, refuse to eat it and insist that I want the grilled cheese. check Make sure to never tell them when I have a poopy diaper, and vehemently deny it when they ask. check (ongoing project) Knowing that Mom has scheduled an expensive, professional photo shoot this weekend, throw myself headlong into a sharp corner where the walls meet. Shoot for a bloody gash at least an inch long, in the middle of my forehead. check Feign ignorance

Reality Check

Since my request went over like the proverbial lead balloon, (thank you Mel , for being a good sport) I must remember to do something similar when I want to remind myself how insignificant and pathetic I really am.

You guys are killin' me

My goodness, can no one think of any worse invention than the automatic toilet? Is it really going to go down in history as the stupidest invention ever? I can make it easier, since technically the automatic toilet was not really a true invention, it was an improvement (although obviously Bizarre Snap Judgement Woman would disagree to that particular term) to an existing product. Anything come to mind now, how about the most annoying product ever? I nominate the "Billy Bass" singing trout as the stupidest "invention" ever. The singing Elmos come in a close second.

Any Takers?

Ah, today was the day of 8 hours of glorious babysitting, kindly provided by my sister. It was so nice to be able to actually walk quickly and in a straight line (sans 2 year old). Today was the day of the Annoying Laughter Newlywed, who whilst canoodling with her husband (I am just assuming that they are newlyweds because anyone married for longer than 2 years just does not do that kind of stuff in public) had the most loudly annoying bark of a fake laugh that I have ever heard. Today was also the day of Hysterically Screaming 4 Year Old Who Should Know Better Than To Throw a Screaming Fit in Public. He of course had charmingly placed himself just yards from our outdoor dining table, with parents who were seemingly nonchalant about it for at least a good 5 minutes. Trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, I told Hubba-hubba that they must be ignoring him so as to not give him the attention he was so obviously craving. I nominate that family for a "Super Nanny" epis


A dear friend of our family passed away a couple of years ago. He lived next door to my parents, and a friendship developed between him and our family. We came to "adopt" him as we called it, as he had no immediate family and his closest relatives lived in Oregon. He came to Christmases, Easters, birthday parties, and weddings. While we always thought to invite him to things, he was regarded fondly by my sister and me as an older uncle, one who repeats his stories a lot, and whom you listened to rather indulgently. But, a nice and thoughtful man all the way around. About 3 years ago he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and as his condition deteriorated, my mother and father took it upon themselves to care for him in his last months. It was a rough time, especially for my father, who has yet to go through the deaths of his own parents. My father was at his bedside when he passed, telling him that it was ok for him to go, that everything was being taken care of, and th

I don't know what a

"Wendy" house is but I bet it puts every Little Tykes play house to shame. I am positive this must put me in the "uncool/not stinking rich" mother category. I try not to judge other parents because goodness knows that it is the toughest job around, but are they really doing this child a favor to bestow these kinds of gifts on him? Either he will grow up thinking that when he snaps his fingers, a LearJet with a staff of 6 should immediately appear before him to fly to Ibizia, or he will eschew the trappings of luxury and dress in dirty, baggy clothes and not bathe for days. But, I bet if he chooses option #2, he'll still want to be included in the will. Just because he wouldn't want to appear nouveau riche to the masses (a la the Olsen twins who are worth a billion dollars) doesn't mean he'll be stupid. At this point in time, Mr. Personality stands to inherit enough to buy him a month's worth of grande Starbucks. Maybe if Hubba-hubba works some


Is it just me, or is the look the young'uns are wearing lately just kinda gross? I'm talking about the girls with the baby shirts and low-rise pants or skirts. Even on a girl that is pretty skinny, it kind of makes her look misshapen and kind of fat. If they are not complete toothpicks all you see is big fleshy looking hips, which is not particularly flattering. Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this. I am tired of all the coverage of celebrity trials. I really don't care, and I don't know anyone else that does, either. There is a big flap going on in California about a law to allow hybrid vehicle owners to use the carpool lanes while driving solo. They are normally reserved for vehicles carrying 2 or more passengers. I say, why the huge outcry? For some bizarre reason, motorcycles are allowed in the carpool lanes, and rarely do I see one with more than one person on it. Until single motorcycle drivers are kicked out, hybrids should be let in. Hubba-

The Big Three-Four

So today was my birthday. I say "was" because really I only have an hour left until I go to bed, and I am thinking that not much is going to happen between now and then. That is a good thing, because if I had to rate this particular birthday day, it would be pretty much at the bottom. When I was younger, I thought that the world should revolve around me on my birthday. The birds should sing, the sun should shine (but not too warmly), and everything be just generally perfect. Imagine my disappointment when it first rained on my birthday. I think I was about 7 and I took it as a personal insult. Since then, I have gotten a bit better about it, but I still think there is this teeny-tiny part of me that still wants that perfect day (ok, maybe not so teeny-tiny). I woke up groggy, having gone to bed late after a discussion that devolved into a semi-argument with my husband over disablility benefits and their effect on business. If you have read this blog before, you should

Pray for us, Please

Much to our unhappy surprise, we found termites in our garage. At first, I didn't realize they were termites because they were black. I had always heard that termites were white or transparent, so I dismissed the two small winged things I saw on our garage floor as some previously unidentified species of garden variety bug. We live next to what I would call a "wild" park. Even though it is a city park, it only has hiking trails and one picnic bench. The park is basically a fifteen acre ravine with a small creek running through it, glorified to the status of park by some generous city councilmember years ago. As a result, wildlife abounds in our little complex. Every night we are serenaded by the frogs who reside (I'm assuming) in the creek. We live on top of one end of the ravine. We have owls, quail, cute bunny rabbits, lizards, snakes, great egrets (one was standing literally two feet from our bedroom window one day), all manner of birds, coyotes, and of cours


After long deliberation (approximately 20 seconds), I decided to drop dooce from my blogroll. I figure if the woman is being featured in the New York Times and ABC News, amongst other places, she certainly doesn't need any help from me.

Sushi and Stepdancing

So yesterday night I got to go out to dinner and a concert with friends, minus Mr. Personality or Hubba-hubba. Wow, I had actually kind of forgotten what it was like to go out on a weekend night, I actually saw lots of people! Usually I go out on weekend days or weeknights, seeking to avoid the millions of people who always seem to be doing what I am doing. The concert was held at the California Institute of Technology , or as we refer to it here, Caltech. Caltech is located in Pasadena, and has a lovely campus that I was sorry to be seeing at night instead of day. Caltech often bests MIT as the best college in the United States, and the two of them duke it out for the top spot year after year. Caltech is somehow less well-known than MIT, perhaps they just don't care. They don't have too much to prove, and perhaps are more laid back than their stuffy Eastern counterparts. My friend works at Caltech, and was able to get discounted tickets for the show. When I was told abo

Weekend Economics or How to Lose Your Readers

Gas prices are going up again. A barrel of crude is topping above the $55 a gallon mark, and expected to go even higher. Yet, all I see around me are huge, lumbering, gas-guzzling behemoths. A Hummer H2 with one person in it. A Ford Expedition with 2 people in it. A huge diesel Chevy something or other behind me in the drive-thru line with one person in it as well. I am wondering, at prices that are right now at over $2.35 a gallon, where in the world are they getting the money to feed these beasts? Each of the examples above gets horrible gas mileage, and I complain about spending thirty bucks to fill up my Honda. If I am spending thirty bucks, they are spending at least 60 a pop. Hubba-hubba and I disagree about oil. Hubba-hubba is a free-marketer (read: Republican). He doesn't believe in rules and regulations and all that kind of nonsense. If we want it and we can pay for it, we should have it. I, on the other hand, think that we as a country have been selfish and spoil

First Impressions

The remote managed to click itself onto "Wife Swap" today, and in the beginnng, the wives are able to roam alone through the house they will be living in. I wondered what someone who had no idea who I was would think of the things in my home. Here is how I imagine her inner dialogue might sound: Obviously a toddler in the house since the one end of the living room has been swallowed by all the toys. Is that a fireplace behind there? Hmmm, she drives a very fuel-efficient vehicle, yet she uses disposable diapers. What is with this junk basket on the kitchen counter? I had no idea there were that many items that have no discernable use. Why are there so many boxes of Kleenex around? Interesting, some of the furniture is Pottery Barn, yet others are clearly final clearances from Bert's Bargain Basement. I have never seen a bagel guillotine until now. She must be a horrible mother as that Royal Potty in the bathroom has seen little to no use. I'm sure you love your ki

Under the Sea

Despite the cloudy skies and cool temperatures, we decided to go hang out at the beach today. We had just bought a very awesome dragon kite at Costco (10 bucks!) and Hubba-hubba wanted to try his hand at kite flying. So, we had to take the fairly long preparations that you need to take when you have a toddler at the beach. Cooler of food, towels, sandals, sunscreen, hats, neatsheet, sand toys, windbreakers, and luckily I thought to bring an extra change of clothing for Mr. Personality. (foreshadowing here, people, foreshadowing) Finally we make it to Balboa Beach and commence playing with the shells, the sand, the driftwood, the balls, and of course, the kite. We had made a joint decision not to try to put Mr. Personality down for a nap in order to go to the beach, which resulted in a screaming, angry toddler demanding to hold the kite at all times by himself. This was a bad idea because the wind was very strong, and if he had held the thing by himself, he probably would have been