Showing posts from July, 2006

Saturday Shout-Out

So as I mentioned previously, Kvetch had a wonderful idea to give some love to some of the ladies not attending Blogher this weekend. I immediately thought of Wordgirl . This is a woman who is a true writer, in the best sense of the word. She has some of the most entertaining and yet thoughtful posts out there, in my opinion. She has a great sense of humor, as well as being able to write some of the most perfectly structured sentences I have ever seen on the internet. She is an artist, the only estrogen in a testosterone-fueled household, as well as being a wise and kind soul. And as long as you can stand references to ancient artists like Steely Dan and Peter Frampton, you'll be fine. (Ack, please don't kill me, Wordgirl, I was just joking there. Really!) If you have never been to her snazzy new digs, I highly suggest you do so now. You won't be sorry. Unless you are a big fan of Tom Cruise, and then, well then you might have a bit of a problem.

Weekend at Gina's

So, I am sure that many of you have heard of BlogHer, the mega convention going down in San Jose this weekend. I'm not even going to link it because I am just ornery, even though I am a member of the official Blogher site. Many blogging luminaries will be there, as well as some of the ladies that I know . Not that they aren't luminaries in their own right! A special toast goes to Kvetch for her wonderful idea of giving shout-outs to our fellow bloggers who are not attending. Actually, a while back, Mega Mom asked me if I was planning on going, and I was surprised. Well, not surprised that she asked me, but surprised because even though I knew about it, I hadn't even thought for a second about going. Until she asked. And then, the possibilities began swirling around in my brain. I thought, ooooh, fellow bloggers! Ooooh, a weekend away from home! Ooooh, what if I have to room with someone and I keep them up all night because I am snoring or something? Or ooooh, wha

Mix It Up, Baby!

It's up! Check it out , and if you are the person who guesses the theme, you will get the privilege of working with Ted and having your own Mix Six! Why are you still here?

Thursday Night Entertainment

So I got this in an email from my sister, and wanted to pass it along. I don't usually do stuff like this, but it was just too good not to share. Try not to be drinking anything while reading this. Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. The winners are: 1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs. 2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained. 3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach. 4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk. 5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent. 6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown. 7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp. 8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash. 9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller. 10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly

Pointless Points Trivia

So welcome to the Mix Six edition of Pointless Points Trivia, where the points don't matter. That's right, just like me trying to pretend I know something about music, they just don't matter! Tomorrow will be a very cool Mix Six where Mix Master Ted over at Py Korry graciously allowed me to barrage him with obnoxious emails and suggestions for this week's music mix, which he personally puts together. Be sure to go on over and check it out, as the theme this week will be up to the listeners to guess! It is sure to be fun and there will be some great music to start your weekend! Of course, with that in mind, this week's question deals with my all-time favorite rock band. U2 made their first (and only, to date) appearance on "The Simpsons" in 1997, in an episode entitled "Trash of the Titans." Which of their own songs was the band seen performing at a concert crashed by Homer Simpson?

Because I'm Nice Like That

So this morning after waking up early (for him) Hubba-hubba kindly offered to zip down to the grocery store and buy a couple of things we needed. Well, actually he was out of soy milk in order to fuel his new food-obsession , so my things were a definite oh-by-the-way. Now Hubba-hubba professes to be a very observant guy. He claims that in order to perform his job successfully, he must be almost hyper-observant. Apparently that quality gets stored in his locker before he comes home, because let me show you the list I handed to my husband: Milton crackers- Small Squares Chex Mix Kids- Three Cheese Chips- BBQ’d Baked Kettle Chips Spaghetti Sauce- Barilla or Paul Newman’s Raviolettis- Cheese Cream Cheese- Light Ranch Dressing- Light Barilla Protein Enriched Spaghetti Turkey Meatballs Now, do you notice the exquisite detail? Not just Milton crackers but the small square ones versus the large round ones. I even verbally explained the difference to him as well as telling him all the

The Mirror is Cool, Though

So because we are relatively poor yet love to travel, Hubba-hubba and I have been looking at different options. Since lodging is usually your first or second largest expense, we were considering ways to cut down on the cost. Since we will have Mr. Personality along, hotels such as the one we stayed in while visiting Chicago are no longer an option. It was recommended in the Frommer's guide as a low-budget favorite, yet one night we swear we heard someone getting mugged in the alley that backed up to the hotel. Like I said, not exactly an option. And, I am really not a low-budget hotel type of person. I like things fairly clean and shiny, not with rust stains on the tub, or a bathroom that once functioned as a closet, which was the case with the hotel we stayed at in New Orleans. We could barely lift up our arms to wash our hair in that shower, it was that small. Good times. Anyhoo, we had heard of vacation home exchanges, and I went and visited this site which seems to be on

Knitting, Perhaps? How About Pinochle?

So Hubba-hubba was just sitting there. I looked at him and said, "Hey, look at Daddy, he is SWG!" Both men looked at me inquisitively. "You know, Sitting While Geeky!" Well, I crack myself up and began laughing uproariously, thereby making Mr. Personality laugh uproariously because he doesn't want to be left out of the uproariousness. Then, Mr. Personality, thinking he was repeating the phrase, said, or rather screeched, "Sitting Wild Geeky!" and pointed at his father who found really nothing funny in this situation. We both repeated the phrase ad infinitum while giggling hysterically. For quite some time. Hubba-hubba suddenly sprang up off the couch and commenced tickling us while yelling, "The Wild Geeky attacks!" Seriously people, we need a hobby. Send help quickly!

No Vacancy?

So lately I have been wondering where a lot of my time is going. Hmmm, I think all I need to do is take a look at my Bloglines Feed page and voila , my question is answered. I have subscribed to so many blog feeds, I hardly know what to do with myself. I try to get all of them every day, some days being better than others. Sometimes I will just read from the feed page, others I will actually click on the site. Depends on how much time I have, and a few months ago, I actually swore up and down that I would no longer be adding people to my feed list. Yeah right. That is the insidious thing about blogging. Even if you say to yourself, as I did, I will no longer actively seek out new blogs. But then, wonderful people like Atasha and Py Korry , Maya's Granny , Amber , and Cherry come to my blog or are pointed out to me be other bloggers, (yes, J , I am pointing the finger at you !) and are so delightful and charming that I cannot resist. I truly am not proactive about looking f

Poor Me, Literally

So today found us at the Orange County Fair. As a city girl, county fairs are quite fascinating to me. My exposure to chickens and goats and cows is basically limited to these types of things. I wonder if cityfolk are the only ones who gawk at sheep being sheared or herded. Probably quite mundane to people used to being around farm animals. Actually, one of my favorite parts of the fair is the visual arts exhibit they have, which is made up of photography, paintings, floral arrangements and the like. There is something about the medium of photography that speaks strongly to me. I don't know if it is because I know the things depicted are real, or because I enjoy thinking that it is a moment in time forever frozen. But whatever the reason, I certainly am reduced to looking at other people's photos, because I suck at taking pictures. Especially with my crappy digital camera, which has a delay of, oh, what seems like thirty freaking seconds before it actually takes the picture. An

Fabulous Fours

So the heat is draining my brain of all creative and original thought. So of course, to the meme I go! My most recent sighting of this was at Hope's , and that's where I lifted it from. Four jobs I have had in my life: Library Clerk Assistant Women's Volleyball Coach, Santa Rosa Jr. College I loved being a coach, and I miss it sometimes. I'm not sure there are many women coaches of boy's teams, however, so I just might have to put my skills on hold for a while. Day Camp Counselor Seriously, the most fun job I have ever had. It paid well, I was ferried around to fun places every week while getting paid for it, made some great friends, and got to hang out with some pretty cool kids. Survey Research Supervisor By far the most interesting job, although stressful. I was in charge of the collection of data for major surveys from clients such as the Department of Defense, the NIH, the National Cancer Institute, the FBI, and many more. My areas of expertise were hea

Pointless Points Trivia

So welcome to the sleepyhead edition of Pointless Points Trivia, where the points don't matter. That's right, just like me trying to tell Mr. Personality to go back to bed when he woke up at 6:20am, they just don't matter! Which part of your brain is responsible for your circadian rhythm, which encourages you to sleep and wake in a more or less regular cycle?

C'mon Now, You Say Never? Are you Sure?

So I have to admit, I cuss. I try not to cuss on this blog because I like to keep it family friendly most of the time, as well as having the time to come up with alternate ways of stating things. My father is a famous cusser, and I grew up listening to him fix things around the house and cursing them in seemingly thousands of different variations. A tradition of sorts was begun, and my sister and I both cuss, even though my mother thinks "darnit" is risque and looks around to see if anyone overheard her. In fact, in my later teen years the best way to fluster my mother was to curse at her. Not necessarily at her, but say cuss words in the course of the argument. Yes, I am a bad person, but hey, I had to use the full arsenal and I was usually backed into a corner at that point. She would occasionally throw the cuss word back at me, but you could see her inwardly cringing as she did it, so it lost a lot of impact. Most people think that cussing is for people who lack a voc

Hopefully Continuing the Tradition

So I was told that I began reading at the age of three. Obviously I don't remember, but I do know that whenever I started, I have loved reading ever since. Heck, my degree is in Comparative Literature, and it is impossible to get that type of degree if you dislike books. I was and am a voracious reader. Not quite as much since Mr. Personality, but give me a good book and I will stay up until one in the morning to finish it. The bargaining for "just til the end of the next chapter" begins around 1130 and by the time 1230 rolls around, I am finishing this book tonight dammit. I have done my best to impart this love of books to my son. We read all the time together. His aunt is a teacher and uses her discount at Barnes&Noble to buy him books. Shhhh, don't tell, 'k? She's my dealer. I don't usually brag about Mr. Personality, but I must mark this milestone forever, and since I am much too lazy to do scrapbooks and such, the blog will have to suffi

What We Did Over the Weekend

As seen at the San Clemente Ocean Festival :

Saturday Soapbox

So there are not too many things I am prejudiced against. Usually if I do have a prejudice of some kind, I can be shown data or compelling evidence and am able to admit that my view was incorrect. Motorcycles do not fall into that category. There is nothing anyone can say about them that will change my mind. For starters, there's the whole carpool lane issue. Ummm, the big sign reads "two or more" and I don't see how a single rider on a motorcyle qualifies. Secondly, there is the whole noise issue. They're loud enough to begin with, but for most motorcyle owners, 50 decibles is for wussies. They've got to illegally tweak them to have at least 75, and they are not happy until all people within a six mile radius can hear them exiting their driveways. Third, the whole driving between lanes thing just kills me. I understand that you can move in between the cars. That doesn't make it always legal, nor a particularly bright idea. Last week, an idiot on


So, I am discouraged. And a little depressed. And wondering why is it that every time I put up a great post that has everyone coming out to comment, I never fail to follow up with one that completely flops on its face? Seriously, I want to know. However, that is not the cause of my angst. At least not today, anyway. Last week I took what is becoming a routine blood test for my hypothyroidism. At the last visit two months ago, I was declared hyper thyroid, and told to lose weight, pronto. And that began an era of Gina working out at least five days a week and eating in an extremely healthy manner. Because I am a woman who is on a mission. Except, I'm very afraid my mission will indeed be deemed impossible. Let's start from the beginning, shall we? Your're in for a loooong haul here, so feel free to go get a drink and be comfortable. I'll wait for you. I've got to get this off my chest and perhaps I will feel better. Mr. Personality was, ahem, a baby that took

Fine, fine...

So we love balsamic vinegar around here, even Mr. Personality. The thing I like most about this recipe is that it is easy and quick. It is easily altered to be more or less "saucy" and I tend to cut down on the onion a bit, using sweet red onions. CHICKEN WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup finely chopped onion 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional) Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken and cook until chicken is brown, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and mustard. Continue cooking until chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil if desired. Serves 4. Bon Appétit

I Always Think Pumpkin in July, Don't You?

So the other day, my sister and I went shopping. I don't know about y'all, but lately it has been hotter than hades here in good old Southern California. Despite the big ocean to the left, we have a semi-arid climate and only people in very close proximity to the ocean have had bearable temperatures. And even then, it isn't all that pleasant when the wind dies down and the fog burns off. Anyhoo, I digress. The point I was trying to make is that summer is in full swing, with no signs of leaving the party anytime soon. Even though we've asked nicely for it to call a cab, already. With these conditions in mind, my sister had in mind to buy certain items. One of them being at one of our favorite stores, Illuminations . She was looking for this diffuser type of thing with bamboo sticks and oils. And since it is hot, she was looking for a clean, refreshing scent. Something along the lines of linen or cucumber. She approached the saleswoman and asked about the oils t

In the Tradition of Thoreau

So my mother taught me nothing. I'm not kidding. Well, ok, maybe she was the one who taught me how to read and brush my teeth, but all the teaching stopped by the time I was in grade school. Especially when it comes to household things, I am mostly self-taught. My mother cooked, but never thought or never had the time to teach me how to cook. Perhaps she thought that with "women's lib" would come the freedom from the woman cooking instead of the man. Or on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, that I would somehow marry the CEO of a Fortune 500 company so that I wouldn't have to cook at all. Oh sure, I might have known how to boil water and pour the cheese mix into the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, but other than that, nada. I don't know if I just thought the kitchen was a magic place where food simply materialized in front of me or what. One night eggplant parmesan, fully cooked and steaming, would be pulled out of the oven and me none the wiser as t

Pointless Points Trivia

So welcome to the Italian version of Pointless Points Trivia , where the points don't really matter! That's right, just like France being all upset about losing the World Cup, they just don't matter! Since I am half Italian, I thought this subject was appropriate, since Italy did win the World Cup! In which Italian museum can one find Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" as well as Michelangelo's only surviving easel painting?

I Suppose I Could be a Candidate for "What Not To Wear"

So yesterday I saw "The Devil Wears Prada" and it got me to thinking about my sense of fashion. Or as most people would see it, the extreme lack thereof. I have never been the type of dresser that other people particularly admire. Oh, they might like the color of my shirt, but I set absolutely no trends. Unless you call the "thrown together from the bottom of the closet and pray they aren't too wrinkled" look a trend. I always wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I wore uniforms every year of my schooling until I hit college. If you squint over at my picture, you can see the pointy, triangular collar and oh-so-chic plaid suspenders that comprised the upper portion of my grade school uniform. Once in a while, I got really daring and switched the pointy collar for a cutting-edge Peter Pan collar. Don't go calling me timid! I think the only time I got to wear regular clothes during my grade school and middle school years was on the weekend

The First and Last

So I don't remember exactly how old I was when I first got my taste of crime and punishment. I'm going to guess close to five, although it could have been a bit younger. My maternal grandmother used to watch my sister and I quite a bit while my mother and father worked and attended school. She was a rounded, vociferous German woman who, to put it delicately, always made her presence known. I loved my grandmother even while being slightly intimidated by her. She had very exacting standards for everything, from housecleaning to cooking to dressing. I know she loved me, but I felt like I always measured up a bit short. She and my grandfather would take me grocery shopping with them. We would often go to a small supermarket not too far from their condominium, roaring the whole way in my grandfather's red sports car, Wagner blaring from the speakers. He always seemed to forget that he was no longer traveling on the Autobahn, and was the recipient of many a speeding ticket

It's Not Easy, Bein' Green...

So it started out very small, like it always does. A little nagging tickle, but easily dismissed. Then over time, it built up into something I couldn't ignore, yet at the same time couldn't exactly diagnose what was bothering me. Finally, I have figured out my malady, one that has now been progressing for about a month. It is the dreaded Bloggis Envitus . That's right, I'm jealous of everyone else's new blog templates. I don't know exactly who it began with, although eb is constantly changing her template around. Or AC , who changes his templates with the season. Perhaps it was Mel , who upon moving to WordPress got all fancy-schmancy on me, with a photo-montage header. Then I found Kvetch, with her cool design, and Mega Mom got in on the new-template action as well. Melissa's , Heather's , and other blogs leave my simple color-tweaking in the dust. And J's and Liz's blogs have always looked better than mine, as has Suzanne's at

Pointless Points Trivia

So welcome to the you-didn't-possibly-think-I-would-let-a-major-holiday-go-by-without-a-Pointless-Points-Trivia-question edition of Pointless Points Trivia, where the points don't matter. That's right, just like the attempts my city has made to ban fireworks, they just don't matter! (And happy belated Canada Day to all my Canuck readers!) In what year was Independence Day made an official national holiday? Happy 4th, everyone!

The Handymaaaan, the Handyman--Can't*

So I happen to have a husband who has a lot of positive "is" qualities. He is a great father, he is funnier than hell, he is posessed of a cute butt. But one thing he isn't is a handy guy. Let me elaborate. My sister, she's married to a handy guy. She didn't like their fireplace. Bam! It was sledgehammered out and a new one put in with hand-tumbled marble. By him. No help. Oooh, her kitchen is dated and she wants to rearrange the entire layout. Bam! Kitchen completely demolished, everything rewired, new marble tile, new cabinets, everything done by him except putting on the granite counter top. Not to mention he has the type of attention to detail that has him painting the petals on the rosettes he placed above their doorframes a color matching the wall paint. You get the picture. Contrast that with dear Hubba-hubba. When my father taught him, at the tender age of 26, how to change his own oil, he thought he was the man. He raises his fist in triumph