Showing posts from April, 2005

Perpetual Immobility

So my grandmother was famous for a few things. She was a wonderful cook of pretty much everything, and it is to my detriment that I never asked to learn from her. She was also well-known for her cleanliness. She cleaned thoroughly, and many times a day. Her house was always spotless, even after cooking a large meal. The other thing she was known for was her tendency to rearrange her furniture. Pretty much every time we went to her house, the furniture in the living room was arranged differently. It almost seemed like she had a new house. Even down to the things hanging on the wall, there was an entirely new look. She had lots of little pieces such as end tables and chairs and lamps, so the variations seemed to be quite endless. It wasn't until I became a stay at home mother that I finally understood my grandmother's compulsion for change. Being at home and seeing the same items in the same place began to bother me after a while. When Mr. Personality was an infant with


So can I tell you that I have three separate, very large surprise parties that I am basically in charge of planning? Can I tell you that as I relay information to various people, most of whom are related to me, I am forgetting who is who and almost letting the wrong details out? The first party is the one for my parents 40th anniversary. My sister and I are (somewhat) jointly handling this one, although so far her only concrete contribution was to attend one of the prospective fancy brunch locations with me. Hmmm, some hard work there, eh? But, it is only reasonable that I do most of the research and legwork, as I am the only non-retired member of the family who does not work. The second party is my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. This one is going to turn out to be quite a doozy, as we are wanting to fly in people from across the country without my grandparents being aware. It is also supposed to be quite upscale, as you are certainly not going to take the whole gang to C

And I Even Got to Give My Personal Info for a "Prize Drawing"

So I have decided that certain names and dates of this story will be altered to protect the innocent. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to a party. Oh, not just any party but a "product" party. For avoidance of possible defamation lawsuits, I will call the company Brownie Tree . The person who invited me is a sweet widow who lives in my complex. She dotes on Mr. Personality, and is always giving him tasty food in the grand tradition of elderly, kind neighbors. Plus, she always makes a point to come out and talk to me when we are wandering the complex, so I didn't want to hurt her feelings by ignoring her invite. Normally, I avoid these parties like the plague. I don't feel comfortable with the Multi-Level-Marketing tactics of most companies like Brownie Tree . I mean, really, the expectation that you will come to the party and buy something because the hostess is your dear friend hovers around 99%. In this case, the product host was my neighbor's daughter

Oh Boy

SO POOP HAS BEEN DEPOSITED IN THE POTTY. THE NORMAL WAY. AND PEE, ALTHOUGH I THINK THAT WAS SOMEWHAT A HAPPY ACCIDENT. And here we go... I wasn't expecting it, really. For the last few days, we have been letting Mr. Personality know that when he learns to go in the potty, he will no longer have to suffer through the multiple torture sessions known around this house as diaper changes. Hubba-hubba had been especially pushing it yesterday morning, the various charms of the potty. It even sounded good to me. But I wasn't prepared. Only one crappy (I couldn't resist) potty book from Fischer Price, no little prizes to grab out of a bag like I had planned. Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, and Great-Grandma were all called so that he could breathlessly inform them of his stupendous achievement. All complied with responses of "what a big boy" and "good for you" etc... So this is day two of the Surprise Potty Boot Camp, and it is going pretty well, all things consi

Domestic Drama

The Scene: Vons Supermarket, pasta aisle. The Players: A 30-ish couple with their young child in the cart. The child has a balloon tied around his wrist. The scene opens with young toddler fiddling with the balloon string on his arm. Suddenly, the balloon begins to rise in the air. Her: Oh my God, the balloon! (jumps up about an inch in an awkward, futile attempt to snatch the balloon as it rises toward the ceiling) Her: (looking at husband, annoyed) Why didn't you even try to get the balloon? Why were you just staring at it? Him: (also annoyed) I couldn't get it! What do you want me to do, knock you on your ass? Her: Knock me on my what ? Him: Knock you on your ass! Her: My what? Him: Knock you on your butt ! Now, surely this is a disturbing exchange to be heard in the market. Imagine, this cretin has just threatened to knock his wife down on her ass in the middle of the pasta/sauce aisle! In front of their young and adorable child, no less. Perhaps the store manage

Some Rat-Traps Needed

So about a week or so ago, I entered the gym for the first time in a very long time. I had gone half-heartedly a little after Mr. Personality was born, but I hated leaving him at the daycare center. I couldn't see what was going on, and I felt he was just too small to be left alone in there. So we went about four times together and I stopped. Part of the problem of my lack of gym attendance can be blamed on Hubba-hubba. Not all, but part. He has always insisted that we work out together, meaning we must leave Mr. Personality at the child care center. He will read this and splutter in denial, but it is true. I didn't like leaving my son with strangers, and I still don't. Finally we brokered a compromise that we can work out separately. Due to my back problems, I needed a truly non-impact cardio workout, and the gym is the best place for that. We have a 24 Hour Fitness Sport membership. Our particular Sport complex happens to be a complete meat market, which I abhor.


So Sister MR was my favorite teacher in high school. She taught me in Freshman AP English. When I told my "sophomore buddy" that I had her for my teacher, she visibly shuddered and wished me luck. Sister had a very formidable and intimidating presence in the classroom. She did not smile often, and if you made a mistake of any kind, she would embarass the heck out of you in front of the class. She expected, no demanded, perfection from us and did not hesitate to let us know when we failed her. I loathed her for probably the first quarter of school, along with the rest of the class. But then something happened between us, I don't remember what it was exactly. I think it was the journals that she had us write in for the first ten minutes of class every day. She would go down the alphabet, and write a quote on the chalkboard that started with that particular letter. Then we were to just free-form and write a page on whatever we thought about what she had selected. We

Two Was Enough, Plenty Actually

So I just got off the phone with my sister. I looked down at the display and noted with surprise that we spoke for 80 minutes and 36 seconds. It didn't seem quite that long of a conversation, but I guess that is the beauty of a good chat. My sister is five years older than me. Apparently when she was told I was going to be coming into the world, she got very upset. She had been queen of the roost for so long, she couldn't imagine having to share any of the chicken feed. There are some absolutely hilarious pictures of her holding me as an infant in my parents photo albums. Her face is literally dripping with disgust, and she is holding me as far from her body as possible without quite dropping me facefirst onto the floor. Yet my parents assure me they didn't force her to take them. Right. Of course, being so much older, she had much more information at her disposal at 7 than I did at 2, and she never failed to lord this fact over me. I was seen as a goofy dumb baby

Just a City Girl Lookin' for Fresh Veggies

So I have been trying to find a Farmer's Market around here that I like. What I have learned is that these canny farmers (or perhaps the cities that sponsor them) can be, shall we say, creative with the truth. I persuaded Hubba-hubba to go to one with me last week, and its little webpage boasted of how many vendors there were and how many different and unique vegetables they had. So with high hopes and Mr. Personality in tow inside his Radio Flyer wagon, off we went. First, the directions were wrong and we got a bit lost. But then we found it and were saddened to find that a grand total of 6 vendors were selling fruit or vegetables. Did I go there to buy cutsie signs for my garden? No, but those were there. Did I go there to buy custom tote bags? No, but they were there too. Since when did selling hot Coach purses qualify as a Farmer's Market entry? Easy to guess that the wagon was a gross overachiever, we put the one loaf of bread we bought in it (which we could very

My Fairy Blog Mother

without a doubt, is Mel . (this subject via POW ) And I thought it was so funny to see that, as I had been considering for a while about telling how she helped me to get started. I first "met" Mel on an AOL toddler message board, as her Babygirl and my Mr. Personality are very close in age. Mel was outspoken, irreverent, smart, and funny. She was very much a regular on that particular board, and I was a newbie. I am not sure she liked me very much, as I tended to flout my liberal views quite loudly on what was a quite Republican/conservative dominated board. She had a link to her blog on her posts, and one day, intrigued by the title (which was different than it is now) I clicked on and entered the blogosphere for the first time. Her posts were real, laugh-out-loud funny, and thought provoking. At one point I think I emailed her to let her know I was reading her blog because I felt like a peeping Tom. I didn't know her that well, and here I was reading all these intim

They Come in Ones or Twozles

So I had known for months that my parents 40th anniversary was coming up in August. My sister and I have been conspiring for that entire time, and have come up with a plan that we think is fitting for the joyousness of the occasion, without overshadowing what we are planning for the 50th. Imagine my surprise when my grandmother told me that it would be hers and my grandfather's 60th wedding anniversary in October. Luckily, we were on the phone, because my eyes bulged and my jaw dropped. Bad granddaughter that I am, I hadn't thought to do the math. I knew it was looming, but had no clue it was coming up this year. My dad is in big trouble, because he knew, but didn't tell anyone. Now to me, 50 is big, but 60 is like, wow, ohmigod. For their 50th, at my grandmother's insistence that it be kept fairly low key, we had a banquet with about 50 people at a lovely hotel in Dana Point. For her 60th, my grandmother is requesting something that she has always wanted to do,

To Heck with the Planet! It's All About Me!

So gas prices here in SoCal are at 2.67 a gallon at a gas station a couple of blocks away from me. And Orange County applies less taxes to their gas than LA county, so that might be a bit on the low side of things. The bright side is- I don't drive much. And when I do, it is in a zippy little Accord. Hubba-hubba doesn't have to drive that far to work, and when he does it is also in a zippy little Accord. (ok, its almost 10 years old, so perhaps not quite as zippy as mine) But, the freedom that is now to be found on SoCal highways! We had to leave Disneyland the other day at about 5:30 due to Mr. Personality not taking a nap that day. Hubba-hubba and I glanced at each other, dread in our eyes at entering the freeway at that horribly inauspicious time. Lo and behold, traffic was moving! We were not forced to wait 20 minutes just to change freeways! Because, as everyone knows, there are just too many damn people here and if the high prices of gas are curtailing driving hab

Darkness Will Be Falling Soon

So I just ordered some new lined velvet drapes for my bedroom, and I feel really good. At least, I feel really good knowing that when they are up I am going to feel really good. You see, my window in the bedroom is not so much a window as almost a complete wall of glass. To be honest, it is a very large sliding door. It is about 10 feet across and 8 feet high. Up until now, this very large expanse of transparency was covered by a flimsy, unlined linen curtain. For almost 4 years now, I have practically lived in nature. When the moon is shining, it shines right onto me through those lousy curtains. When the sun is setting in the summer, because we are on a hill, it bores mercilessly into my room. The current curtains have about as much light-blocking efficiency as tissue paper. The animals outside most likely think we are their very own drive-in movie. If I am unfortunate enough to open my eyes before Mr. Personality strides through, I must pull the covers over my head to trick

No Cameras, Please

So I have been a people-watcher for a long time. Back when free time was something I could actually measure in periods longer than seconds, I would enjoy a good sit and a front row seat to humanity. Disneyland is a prime place to watch, as is the airport. But, mostly anywhere will do. It is such an easy activity, just pick a seat where people congregate, and have at it. It never fails to amaze me how different we all are. How the same stimuli can create a million plus responses. No matter where you are in public, there is someone, somewhere, watching you. And most likely, judging you in that (comparative to the span of your life) nanosecond. We just can't help it, that is how we are. If I see a woman explode and scream at her daughter when she asks if she can buy a toy, that woman will be frozen for eternity in my brain patterns as a big crank. Even if that might have been, for all I know, the 20th time the child had asked for that toy. Even if that woman's husband mi

But am I Winning the War?

So I must admit, I have been quite smug up until a few weeks ago. I would pityingly glance at parents who were trying to hush their inappropriately loud toddler at the restaurant. I would have some half-ass empathy for a mom whose son had just completely lost it at the pet store after being told he wasn't allowed to hold the bunny. When at the playground, I would mentally shake my head for those parents whose children refused to leave and had to be practically dragged to the car. Not that Mr. Personality didn't have his moments, believe me. We have had a few meltdowns, some hair pulled, some refusals to go to bed, not wanting the diaper changed, but then things would go rather quickly back to normal. Apparently, normal decided to give me a good smack-down. Vengeance is thine, fate. I am being punished for my superiority complex, even though it was rather short-lived in my opinion. We have entered the phase where every single request is taken as a personal affront to his i

I Don't Really Eat the Crackerjacks, Though

So it is baseball season once again. Hubba-hubba and I love baseball. I should amend that, Hubba-hubba loves the New York Yankees. When we were on the East Coast a few years ago, we stood in line for supposedly last minute release Yankee playoff tickets against the Cleveland Indians for 6 hours. That is the last time I will ever believe a bunch of New Yorkers. We wound up getting them after the first inning from a scalper. It is hard for me to describe exactly what about baseball, especially watching it in a stadium, pleases me. It could be the guys with the tight pants, although there is currently a serious shortage of good looking men in baseball. Heads up to MLB, if you want to increase your fan base, just get a few really hot guys on each team, and watch your attendance soar. Relegate them to left field, they'll be fine. It could be that for about 15 years my family had Dodger season tickets. We were in a pool with about 10 other people, so we got to have our box for ab

The Stick

I must apologize to Suzanne for taking so long to answer her questions. I accepted her stick and I whittled it for a while, then forgot it under a pile of dirty dishes. But, the dishes are now clean and here are my answers. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 , which book do you want to be? If a book were to be set on fire (perish the thought), I would put any book by Geraldo Rivera at the top of the bonfire. But being that book would give me the willies. It would kill me to be comprised of bluster, pompousness, and probably poor sentence structure. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? I had to think a long time on this one, because how boring would "no" be? After contemplating, I remembered Sir Percy Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Dashing, rich, a nobleman, and handsome to boot. What's not to like? Longest lasting crush? As I first read that book when I was about in sixth or seventh grade, he would fit the bill. The last book you bought

Good Grief!

And here I was, getting all depressed because I thought nobody loved me anymore. It turns out that Blogger is not sending me comments to my email. I rarely actually look at my web page, and it turns out I missed a bunch of comments. I am not ignoring you! I just didn't know!


Whoever was in the focus group for Quizno's that lied and said the baby with the fake moving lips was cute, I would like a word with you. That poor semi-stoned looking baby gives me the heebie-jeebies and has prompted a vow from me to never visit the inside of one of their shops. My sister said the other day that she felt like starting a new political party. She said she was going to call it "The Common Sense Party." I think that has a nice ring to it. There sure seems to be a lack of it up on Capitol Hill and its environs. We have a nesting dove on a ledge just above our patio. Yesterday, I was unaware that she was there. She must have really wanted to strangle her real estate agent, because Mr. Personality was in truly fine form. Between the tactics of "if I'm not looking at you, I can't hear you," grabbing the hose and spraying every possible surface, along with throwing handfuls of sand everywhere, it was not pretty. I have absolutely no clue

There's not Much I Can do About it

So it has been hot enough here for the past few days to remind me of my old nemesis. It always comes in warm weather, and there is nothing I can do to avoid it. I'm talking about sweat, people. Yes, sweat. We all do it, not many of us like it. I hate it. Yes, yes, I know it is the body's natural way of cooling itself off when it is overheated, blah blah blah. That doesn't mean I have to like it. I know that the house being cleaned is a task that must occur, and I don't like that either. I probably live in the wrong geographical area for a person who dislikes sweating. I should be living up North or something, but as luck would have it, I am here for the long run. I suppose I could be somewhere much much worse, such as Florida. I will never forget our trip to Disneyworld. We planned it for October, foolishly thinking that the heat and humidity would be long gone by then. My life being my life, a freak heat wave struck unseasonably that year in mid-October. I

And the Winner is...

Pamela over at Divine Dimension ! She was the only brave soul who was willing to put herself out there and answer some interview questions from moi. Thanks Pamela! Pamela is a mom of two who has recently waged a winning battle with leukemia. She also is an aura reader and all-around wonderful person that I am glad to call my friend. Go ahead and check out her blog!

I'll Be Waiting for the Smoke

Pope John Paul II is dead. He was the Pope that reigned throughout most of my life, the Pope that I remember the most. He is the Pope that was head of the Catholic Church when I decided that I wasn't sure if I really wanted to belong. He was a learned, intelligent and compassionate man, but he did not speak to me. I don't know much about other religions, and can only speak from my own experience as to how Catholics view the Pope. He is basically seen as God's chosen representative. He is revered and followed closely by Catholics as their Holy Father on earth. At every Catholic Mass, a blessing is said for the Pope. A lot of Catholics would never dream of speaking ill of the Pope, or if they thought something not so complimentary, they would keep it in their head. To disagree with the Pope somehow makes a Catholic uncomfortable and guilty. That is how I have felt for probably at least a decade. Guilty that this obviously devout and holy man made me angry with some of

The Prince and the Pea

So Mr. Personality has this thing with his clothes. Or should I say, the tags on his clothes. He hates them. He pulls on them and does an awkward elbow-behind-the head jig trying to unsucessfully pull them off himself. As the nonwise new mother that I am, one day I offered to cut the tag off of one of his pajamas. He was fussing while in bed about the tag, and I knew that this was a subject that was just not going to go away on its own. He was going to keep on about the tag as an excuse to delay going to sleep. So, in order to keep bedtime fairly peaceful, I ran and got the scissors. My selfish shortsightedness was soon evident. Every piece of new clothing is now instantly inspected by a grabby little hand. Always, a shocked and dismayed look appears on the face and the declaration of, "Tag, Mama, tag!" I sometimes try to convince him that it is a nice, soft tag that won't bother him a bit, but he remains unmoved. Out come the scissors for the umpteenth time, and