Thursday, December 31, 2009

You say you want a Resolution

Who thinks she's SO original and punny with that title? That'd be ME. So, it's January 5, 2010 and I'm just now getting a chance to write my New Year's post. Why so late, you ask? I'll tell you. I spent the New Year's weekend camped out in the middle of BuFu Nowhere and not only is there no internet out there in God's Country (Red Mountain CA at Teagle Wash), there's no cellphone reception either. If you need to make a call, you get on your dirt bike and ride up a hill, stand on the biggest rock at the top of the hill, figure out the direction of the wind and if you're lucky, you'll be able to complete the call.

So we get home Sunday night with an injured and very, very crabby-ass teenage son so I spent yesterday getting him to the doctor (he's fine. The swelling on the knee should go down in a couple of days) and trying to get my house in a semblance of order (and failing), doing laundry, cleaning and I never got a chance to sit down at the computer for more than a minute to answer e-mails.

ANYWAY. In the last few weeks leading up to the end of the first decade of the 2nd millenium, it became clear that some changes HAD to be made, financially, physically and mentally. TheManTheMyth spent the majority of the summer months unemployed and he's had to take a $200 a week pay cut until he gets caught back up. He also no longer receives his annual "gift" from his mom so funds are a bit (to put it mildly) tight. So it's time to stop the unnecessary and frivolous spending.

I've been eating fast food WAY too much and it shows. I'm fatter than I've ever been in my entire life. I actually weighed myself this morning and it was what I expected but was hoping it wouldn't be. So, if I cut out fast food, not only would I lose weight but I would be saving an unbelievable amount of money which is a win/win situation. I know it will be difficult because I was in the habit of eating a Del Taco Bacon & Egg Quesadilla along with hash brown sticks almost every. single. day. It was my crack. But it was costing me about $90 a month just to feed my habit. Luckily for me, Del Taco had to start using Zero transfat oil and things just don't taste the same. The last time I had Crack was December 31, 2009 and I'm not missing it. Much.

My other big expenditure is magazines. I love me some magazines. People, US Weekly, InStyle, Vanity Fair, Real Simple, the Soap magazines and British Tatler are the magazines I buy every week/month. Sometimes I get the People and US from my sister but I buy all the others. I figured out I was spending well over $800 a year just on magazines alone. That's a LOT of money. I can either read the online versions or I can go to my local bookstore and read the magazines while sitting in the comfy chairs Borders and Barnes & Noble provide. And my sister has been real good at passing down her magazines to me. Kind of a recycle, reuse, reduce type of thing.

I also need to get off my ever-expanding ass and get back to walking. Now that the kids are back in school after winter break, I can drop off Thing 2 at school and continue on to the park for my morning power walk, which I did this morning. Yay me! I got those Sketcher Shape-up shoes for Christmas and dammit, I WILL get use out of them. By the time I was done with my 2 mile walk (Yay me!), my legs were a bit woogly. And after my walk, instead of heading to the Crack House, I came home and made a bowl of Trader Joe's Old Fashioned Steel Cut oatmeal with a sliced banana for some sweetness. So see? I'm trying.

So in a nutshell, my Resolution for 2010 (and beyond) is to streamline. I need to, no wait. I MUST streamline my unnecessary spending. I must streamline my body and I would like to streamline "stuff" and declutter. Everything is connected and if I can be successful at one, the others should naturally follow.

Otherwise? I'm fucked. That's it, that's the list.

So here's to a Streamlined Me for 2010!

The Last Day of the First Decade of the Second Millenium

(Subtitled, the Brag & Gag. Please read it with the humor and sarcasm I used in writing it)

Whew! Can you believe it's the final day of the first decade of the 2000's? Yeah, me neither and what a year it's been for our little family!

As usual, the majority of our time has been taken up with racing. For the 2nd year, TheManTheMyth and I were elected to be the stewards for District 37 Competition Committee for the Lightweight II, Magnum, Masters, Legends and Quad classes. It's a huge responsibility and a lot of work but I've proven that I can handle it and I'm often complimented on my hard work.

Both TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 have been at the top of their respective classes all year, TheManTheMyth in the Magnum (Age 50+ ) Heavyweight class and Thing 1 in the Lightweight II (200cc) class. Thing 1 had a sure shot to the Number One plate this year until some old guy (He's 28!) decided to throw a monkey wrench into his plans and give him a run for the money. Obviously *SOMEONE* didn't realize that the Lightweight II class is for TEENAGERS dude.

Everything was going swell until TheManTheMyth broke his leg in a high speed crash. Ok, he was actually in 1st gear and he tipped over after colliding with another bike on a hill and the bike fell and pinned his leg but doesn't "high speed crash" sound more glamourous? This put TheManTheMyth out of commission for 6 to 8 weeks and cost him valuable points. He was able to make his return to racing in time for Round 2 of the Night Race Series, which he easily won:
Thing 1 would have won his class at that race but his teammate has a bad habit of crashing. We won't be teaming up with him again.
This summer was a very slow summer for the construction industry and TheManTheMyth knew he needed to do something to keep busy and to keep me from chopping his body into tiny pieces with a butter knife so he came up with a light frame for race lights for motorcycles and DeJongh Racing and Race Lights was born!
The business became official November 1 and while we have yet to sell a single, solitary light, we are optimistic and it was well worth it to have TheManTheMyth happy in his garage workshop instead of starting the demolition of our kitchen which is what he originally planned on doing even though we had no money to remodel the kitchen but he does love him some demo work.

Thing 2 continues to play inline hockey and is now playing in the Patrick Division with boys several years older than herself. This past season was rather dismal as she had a coach who clearly did not know Who She Was and insisted she play defense instead of forward where she really shines. Because of this, she went the entire season without ever scoring a single goal, the first time in her entire hockey career that this has happened. Obviously, we have requested a different coach for the Winter season. One who will recognize her skills and talent.

Thing 2 and I both were lucky and thrilled to meet our favorite NHL players this year. She (Who? Her. Huh.) favors Teemu Selanne and we went to a meet and greet where we battled the crowds in order to have Teemu autograph a photo of himself that she presented. While I wasn't able to get a photo of the two of them, I did manage to snap a candid shot of him:
And I finally got to meet MY favorite hockey player, George Parros, who I love and adore because he's HOT. I was thrilled to have my picture taken with him and since I wasn't escorted out by security (again) I consider this a success!
While the menfolk were out racing, I actually did a bit of traveling this year, visiting the city of New Orleans with my seesters. New Orleans was everything I had hoped and dreamed and it was all that and a bag of chips!
There was also a trip to Colorado where acrophobic me actually went up to the top of a mountain on a ski lift! How brave am I?

This year was also the year that Thing 2 WORE A DRESS! Yes, it's true. She had to wear a dress for her 8th grade commencement and didn't she look adorable!
Our Lucy is still alive and well although there are many people out there who think it's WAY past her time to leave the building but those people are just haters. Does this look like a dog on her deathbed?
I think not, even though she is 11 years old. As long as she goes to the park every day, she's happy.

Thing 1 is now a Senior and Thing 2 is a freshman. I can't believe how fast my little darlings have grown. Of course they both are on the Principal's Honor Roll and Thing 1 even had a 4.0 on his 1st report card! We chose to overlook the fact that 3 of his 5 classes are Surf, Teachers Aide and Computer Art. Thing 2 had a 3.5 GPA including an A+ in Spanglish so we're quite proud of our little scholars! Thing 1 has applied to Cal State Long Beach and we're crossing our fingers he's accepted despite a less than impressive SAT score.

All of the hard work and $$$ we invested in racing finally paid off! Kevin, my son Kevin, aka "Thing 1," was tapped to be a rider for Blais Racing Services with support from KTM North America! This is a huge honor! He'll be competing in the National Hare & Hound Series as well as District 37 races. He's already received thousands of dollars in new gear and parts and it's just the beginning, especially since Kevin finished the 2009 racing season as both the Enduro Champion and the Best of the West Champion in the Lightweight II divisions! Oh, and 2nd place for the desert division so that means 3 big trophies at the annual Awards Banquet! And TheManTheMyth had his best ever year end finish in his 20+ years of racing. He'll be wearing the M3 plate for 2010 for the Magnum Division!

So here's to 2009 and we look forward to bigger and better things for 2010! Which means, someone, anyone, please buy a light kit from DeJongh Racing. Just go to www.DeJonghRacing.com to place your order. Please.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Post-Christmas Post

Ok, so I survived Christmas but I don't know if I'm going to survive post-Christmas. I talked to my best friend on the phone for about 3 hours the day after Christmas and after I hung up, my throat felt all dry and scratchy but I just assumed it was from the marathon talk session. I wish. I've got a wicked head cold that has knocked me on my butt. The daytime "non-drowsy" cold medicine makes me want to do a face plant into a pillow and I feel like my limbs are made of rubber. The cold medicine I take at night so I can sleep without coughing knocks me out and, according to TheManTheMyth, makes me snore like a lumberjack. And I wonder why George isn't calling. Hmmm.

So Christmas was nice, my seester and her family came out from the frozen land of Colorado but unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. The day after Christmas, everyone except me, TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 headed out to Sister Number 2's house in Palm Springs where they will stay until January 2. Thing 2 went with her aunts, uncles and cousins so it's been very quiet around here. I would have loved to have gone but this is my busiest time of year, what with getting everything ready for the 2010 racing season which starts January 10 and since it's our club who puts on the first race of the season, it's been pretty hectic getting all the paperwork and permits and insurance and sanctions and ambulances and portapotties and everything else take care of and being sick is not helping.

Anyway, since money is more than tight this year, Christmas was a little on the small side with the kids each getting just one major gift each. Even though TheManTheMyth and I tell each other we don't want anything, I do like to get him a little something to open. So I thought long and hard about what to get him that he wouldn't get for himself but that he would use. Wanna guess what I got him?

That's right, a Snuggie. Let me say, though, that I hate the commercials for the Snuggie with the heat of a thousand suns. They are the STUPIDEST commercials, not to mention annoying as all hell but TheManTheMyth likes to bundle up with blankets when he's on the couch watching "24" Seasons 1 through 6 on DVD. And according to the Snuggie commercial, if you don't have sleeves on your blanket, you will be incapable of, well, FUNCTIONING because it's the sleeves that give you the ability to eat, change the channel with the TV clicker, talk on the phone, read a book and do a stupid dance in your kitchen while looking like a deranged member of some bizarre cult. Remember that folks, it's sleeves that keep the world from descending into chaos.

So TheManTheMyth opens the Snuggie box and takes out this, this, flimsy tissue-thin piece of cloth that happens to have some sleeves attached. I have no idea how this "blanket with sleeves" is supposed to keep you warm, it's THAT thin. And because it's made out of cheap manmade fibers, you are a conduit for electrical shock when you wear it. We've all given the Snuggie a test drive and we all agree that it's a piece of shit and all I can say is thank goodness I didn't spend much on it. Here's TheManTheMyth improperly "wearing" his Snuggie:
He refuses to "wear" it and frankly, I don't blame him. As for me, I got a pair of those Shape Up shoes:
which take getting used to. The first day I wore them I felt like I was walking taller and straighter and my ab muscles, what few there are, felt like I had been sucking in my stomach all day and were a little tender. I've had people tell me they aren't worth the money and other people say they definitely feel a difference so who knows. I needed new walking shoes anyway.

Ok, I gotta go and take some more non-drowsy cold medicine and hope I can stay awake to process more competition licenses.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Not dead. Yet.

Just a quick post to let my handful of followers know that I'm not dead. Yet. I've been swamped with work, processing hundreds of Competition racing licenses for the off-road series TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 race in and I'm coming down with *something* on top of that. It's agony to swallow and my head is getting all clogged up. I'm turning into a real snotty, turdy head. Beauty, eh?

Anyhoo, as soon as I get a chance this week, I will have something with a little more substance to post. I know you're all on pins and needles to hear about Christmas (yes, someone DID receive a Snuggie) and to read my version of the Annual Family Brag & Gag and Year In Review Newsletter. I love those Brag & Gag newsletters. Especially when you receive them from people you don't really know. Those are usually the best because they are SO full of "Aren't we FABULOUS!"

Ok, I gotta go find some cough drops/throat lozenges and a decongestant and get back to work.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Robocops and Christmas Trees

Ok, so now that the 2009 racing season is over and the 2010 season doesn't start until January 1, TheManTheMyth has a couple of free weekends and folks? He has no idea what to do with himself. The motorcycles don't need any tuning or fixing or anything. About the only thing needed to be done on the motorcycles is change the air in the tires. So in a nutshell, he's bored.

How bored, you ask? Bored enough that he's spent the entire day today laying on the couch watching a RoboCop marathon. How bad are these RoboCop movies? They're so bad I would walk out on them on an airplane, that's how bad they are.

So last night, TheManTheMyth was all restless and twitchy when all of a sudden, he gets up and grabs his keys. "Where are you going, my husband?" I ask. And his answer told me how badly he needed something to do: "I'm going to get a goddamn Christmas tree that's gonna cost too much money and will be dead in a week!" Ok, nobody had said ANYTHING about the lack of a Christmas tree but I guess he felt we were all lacking in the Christmas spirit (Yeah, we are. I'll admit it) even though he's the biggest Bah Humbug grinch there is. Or, more likely, he just needed something to do and this was all he could come up with.

So he and Thing 2 head out to the local tree lot and an hour and a half later, come back with a much bigger tree than I was expecting. And of course TheManTheMyth was all grumbling about how expensive it was and what a waste of money and blah blah blah. But here's the funny thing, nobody had complained that we didn't have a tree yet. I had figured we'd go today and get something simple, not massive and not "perfect." Methinks that TheManTheMyth himself NEEDED a Christmas tree.

So I drag out the box o' ornaments and Christmas lights. Now lemme say right now how much I hate putting lights on the tree. It's the biggest pain the butt trying to get the strings of lights on and around the tree. And it never fails that one string is not quite long enough but 2 strings are too long and I have to start doubling back. But I get the lights slapped on and throw on the ornaments and it looks just fine. I don't need or want my tree to look "perfect." I like it to look, well, like a Christmas tree for a family.

So we have the tree and it looks nice and all that but there's a distinct lack of presents under it for now. I told TheManTheMyth that I honestly couldn't think of a single thing I want or need and he feels the same. Although I did get him something that I really didn't want to buy because I absolutely LOATHE the commercials for this product to the point I want to draw and quarter whoever came up with these commercials but I know TheManTheMyth will LOVE it and use the heck out of it. I'm talking about a friggin' Snuggie. Gah!

Doesn't it look swell? Yeah, there are blank spots and we probably should have trimmed some of the branches from the bottom to fit the presents under there (Presents? What presents? We don't need no stinking presents!) and there's no tree topper but I think it'll fly. Oh, I guess I'd better start Christmas shopping. I mean, why rush these things, eh?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Fragments


It's Friday Fragments and I'm still learning all this blog stuff such as how to include banners and stuff on my blog. So if I did this incorrectly, cut me some slack, Jack.

Christmas is in exactly ONE WEEK from today and guess who hasn't done any Christmas shopping and who has yet to get a tree? No, no, guess! Ok, it's me. It's kind of hard to get a tree when there's nothing to put under it. Maybe I'll wrap up some empty boxes or something just so we don't look too pathetic.

Christmas is in exactly ONE WEEK from today and our temps today are supposed to hit 80. Nothing says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and HO HO HO like a heat wave.

Back at Thanksgiving I blogged about Willard and his family taking up residence in our walls. Read about it here! Well, it seems there's been a death in the family and I know this because I can smell it. Why the heck can't the little (little, my ass!) varmints crawl off into the wild to die instead of crawling inside my walls? There is no way I can remove the deceased without knocking some holes in my walls so we just have to wait it out. Gee, and I wonder why we don't get many visitors to our house. Huh.

I just bought Dominick Dunne's final book and on one hand I can't wait to read it but on the other hand, I don't want to because I know that there won't be any more Dominick Dunne books about the shenanigans of the World of the Rich. I love his work and I was SO sad when he passed away a couple of months ago. He was at the very top of my list of people I would like to have been seated next to at a dinner party. Put Kathy Griffin on the other side of me and I would have been in gossip heaven. Because I've got the depth of a spoon and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Let's see, what would I rather do, read about the war in Afghanistan or hear the latest about Tiger Woods and his skanks? Hello? Skanks trump war every time!

I'm drawing an absolute blank on what else to blog about here, fragmented or otherwise. I've got a ton of paperwork sitting on my desk that I need to attend to and well, I keep putting it off because I'm really, really great at that. I saw a t-shirt once that said, "I'd like to procrastinate but I keep putting it off." I should have bought one because that is so me!

Ok, I'd better go and do something productive. Like read the latest from textsfromlastnight or have my retinas seared from looking at the People of Walmart.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My man, George!

Several days ago, I received an e-mail from the hockey rink where Kaylyn plays on Tuesday evenings. Anaheim Ducks star Enforcer (read: Fighter) George Parros,

who I love and adore because he is HOT, would be doing his annual Cut for Kids where he cuts his long, luxurious locks which will then be made into wigs for kids who are fighting cancer. And he would be doing it at our hockey rink! How excited was I? I styled my hair including covering up the gray of which there is WAY too much, put on some makeup, grabbed my camera that takes incredible photos and headed off to have a Meet & Greet with George who I love and adore (because he's HOT).

There were about 50 people who had volunteered to cut and donate their hair along with George and about 350 people who, like me, just wanted to meet George.

So, George greets the crowd and takes his seat in the haircut chair. And I start snapping pictures. And discover that my camera is NOT taking incredible photos the way it usually does.
I got a kick out of the kids wearing their Official George Parros mustaches. But I had to hit the "retouch" button on iPhoto a jillion times just to get this picture legible. And this one too:
It's like I was taking pictures with a 1970's era Instamatic instead of my 10.1 megapixel digital camera. My flash would flash but I couldn't figure out why the pictures were coming out so dark unless it's my density to NOT be able to take photos of Hot Hockey Players. I had the same when I took Kaylyn to meet Teemu Selanne and could not get a decent picture because of camera failure.

So George donates his gorgeous hair and takes his seat at the table so that he can sign autographs and pose for photos in exchange for a small donation to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. And I'm all excited to FINALLY be able to meet George Parros, who I love and adore (because he's HOT) and I realize I have nothing for him to autograph and since Kaylyn refused to accompany me, I had nobody to take a photo of Us with my camera that has decided to take crappy pictures.

I finally figure out what was wrong with my camera: the flash was set to "natural light" or something, probably because the kids like to monkey around with the buttons and settings and I'm still learning how this camera works and I was too excited at the thought of George to check my setting ahead of time which is why the photos came out so crappy. I changed the setting to take good pictures and move closer and closer to Him.

There were three teenage girls in line behind me talking about what they wanted autographed and I mentioned that I didn't have anything for George (who I love and adore because he's HOT) to sign and they suggested having him sign the back of my BlackBerry and I ask if one of them would be willing to take a picture of George and me and they said "Sure, creepy old cougar lady." Ok, they didn't say that out loud but I know that's what they were thinking. As I get closer to George, I start thinking of some witty repartee that I'm positive would have him begging me to run off with him because I'm such a hoot.

So then it's My turn to meet George and any coherent thoughts I may have had immediately left my brain. I stand there in front of him, gawking and he says "How ya doing?" and I just stand there with a stupid grin on my face and then remember to hand him my BlackBerry, which just happened to have his picture as the screen saver. He looks at it and his picture and says, "Hey, I know that guy!" and I stand there staring and grinning like an imbecile, unable to speak and Scott Niedermayer, Captain of the Anaheim Ducks who was also present, is looking at me in alarm and wondering if he needs to get security. So George autographs the back of my BlackBerry
and while he's signing it I'm kind of leaning forward with my hands on the table just staring into his eyes like I'm trying to mesmerize him (trying and failing!) and he just stares right back at me and then says, "you've got some blue eyes!", which I do as seen here with my Official George Parros mustache:

at which I respond with a witty "uh huh" while I continue to stand there like a big stupid dork and then the teenage girl who has my camera reminds me that it was picture time and I remember the 200 people behind me who were getting irritated at the stupid redhead who was just standing there and holding up the line so I turn toward the camera and she takes the picture and I remember my manners and say thank you and I turn to Scott Niedermayer and hold up my BlackBerry and announce to him "I got an autograph!" despite the fact that he was sitting right next to George at the same table and witnessed the entire encounter and probably was thinking to himself, "thank god she's not one of MY fans!"

So I skip back to my car and drive home all twitterpated at having met George who I love and adore (because he's HOT) and when I get home, I look at the picture the teenage girl took of me and George
and while George looks HOT, I not only look completely deranged but would you look at my chin? When the hell did my chin become a butt? George hadn't been staring into my eyes as I thought; he was staring in horror at the butt on my chin! Why didn't anyone tell me I had a butt for a chin? Gah!

Anyway, despite me turning into a total 'tard with a butt chin, I was happy I got to spend some Quality Time with George and I also made a very nice donation to the Leukemia Foundation so that was good.

And guess what I have as my background for my BlackBerry:

George, me and my butt chin. The 3 of us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fractured Friday

Today was/is Friday and some of my fellow bloggers call today something like Fractured Friday, Fragment Friday, Freaky Friday, hell I can't remember, something like that where you just kind of post random stuff about your day and/or week.

So, here's random stuff about my day and/or week:

The Big Storm that was supposed to hit last night? Still waiting. Yes, yes, we SoCal people get our panties in a twist at the thought of rain but the news channels have been hyping this Big Storm all week.

The 2009 racing season came to an end this week and for both TheManTheMyth and Thing 1, it ended with both a whimper when TheManTheMyth got lost and missed his race and a bang when Thing 1's motorcycle wouldn't shift and a Good Samaritan let him use her motorcycle and he done blowed it up. That boy is hard on motorcycles. And yes, it's been repaired and returned to its rightful owner who probably won't be so quick to offer her motorcycle again.

Now that the 2009 racing season is over, TheManTheMyth doesn't know what to do with himself and he's all lost and just kind of wanders aimlessly around the house. Which means this weekend, his 1st weekend all year that he has absolutely nothing to do, he will drive me absolutely barking mad.

I won a major battle against Thing 2 this week, which is pretty rare because she's not known as the Pitbull for nothing when it comes to fighting for what she wants. And what she wanted was to stay home from school one day this week because it was the Freshman Retreat, where they go off for the day and do some kind of peer group workshops and she did not want to go because "it's stupid and boring and none of my friends are going." She offered me cash money if I would let her stay home which should tell you something because my daughter, Scrooge McTightwad, "collects" money. Seriously, this kid has more liquid assets than her parents. When the bribe didn't work, she got mysteriously sick. I told her to nut up and walk it off. Long story: she went. I won. So HA!

I can't believe Christmas is in 2 weeks. I'm so not feeling the Christmas spirit/mood. We haven't gone out to get a tree yet. Maybe this weekend. Not that there's any presents to put under the tree. Santa didn't work this summer and the money tree seems to be dormant. My seester and her family are coming out from Colorado, unless they get snowed in...again. This has happened more than once. We're all excited and then comes the phone call and Christmas just isn't the same.

I've been a bit of blah mood this week for some reason. Wait, let me check the calendar. Oh. That explains it. Anyway, I've just been a bit of a funk, feeling all nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna go eat worms. Then today, when Lucy and I got to the park, there was a whole group that was just so dang excited to see me. I'm telling you I have never had such a warm welcome. I had barely stopped the car before they all came running as fast as they could, knocking each other over to be the first to greet me. I got out of the car and they all surrounded me, letting me know how happy they were to see me. Ok, so maybe I'm talking about ducks, geese and mud hens but hey, it's nice to know that there are creatures who are happy to see me. Even if it's because I bring stale Cheerios for them and yes, I know I'm not supposed to feed the wildlife but these ducks are so not wild anymore so I don't feel guilty. Anyway, I felt a bit happier after such a warm greeting.

So that was my fractured, fragmented Friday and/or week. Oh, and I still haven't done a RAK. The days are counting down to Christmas and I'm still drawing a blank. I'd better get my butt in gear otherwise poor Stephanie will be sitting there, without a gift in the Random Act of Kindness gift exchange because I suck.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spellcheck

I am not a talented person. I can't sing, draw, play an instrument, juggle, do math, decorate a room, throw a successful party or put together a stylish outfit out of the odds and ends in my closet. I do not have the ability to accessorize. I'm not crafty (nor do I want to be) or artistic. Several years ago I jumped on the scrapbooking bandwagon and despite buying all sorts of scrapbook gadgetry and going on two separate scrapbooking retreat weekend getaways, I have made a grand total of ONE scrapbooks and really have no desire to put together another one.

The one talent I DO have, aside from my great tact and diplomacy skills, is my ability to spell. I love spelling. I used to win every spelling bee/contest in school. My skills in proofreading for typos were in high demand. If someone needed to know the correct spelling of a word, they could pick up the red phone that would instantly connect them to Kelly's Spelling Hotline and I would correctly spell out the word for them and they'd be all "Thank you, Kelly's Spelling Hotline! You've saved my job!" and I'd be all "It's a gift; the least I could do is use my powers for good."

I used to work for a direct mail marketing company and once or twice a month, I'd have to sit in a little room, all alone (which was sheer torture for me at that time) and sit and do quality control on the hundreds of fliers that the company printed up and mailed out. I was just supposed to make sure the colors were right and that the ad fliers were legible and that the correct franchise codes were on the ads. However, Champion Speller that I was, I read every single flier and could not believe how many words were misspelled. And I'd go running out to the printing department screaming "STOP THE PRESSES!" while waving a handful of ads, forcing the mostly non-English speaking print crew to think there was an INS raid or something. And I'd be told that I was only supposed to make sure the ads were legible. That's it. It would drive me nuts that those ads were allowed to be delivered to millions of home with TYPOS! It was just SO wrong! I don't work there any more. And not by choice but we're not discussing my dismal employment history now are we?

Anyhoo. Spelling is my "thing." At least it USED to be. Lately, I'm reaching for the dictionary every time I try and type up another blog entry or letter or Facebook comment or post on a message board. The other day I was trying to spell a word and it just didn't look right so I reached for my handy-dandy dictionary and damned if I couldn't even find the word in my dictionary. Which when you think about it, if you don't know how to spell a word, how are you supposed to find it in the dictionary? Huh? Huh?

So. I'm getting frustrated because I can't find the word (and I don't even remember what the word was) and after pitching a fit at the stupid dictionary I realized that the word I was trying to find was spelled with a "u" instead of an "e" which is why a) I couldn't find it in the right place in the dictionary and 2) it looked wrong when I was writing/typing it out. Don't you hate it when you write/type a word out and it just doesn't look right so you look it up just to make sure and yeah, it's right but it still just looks wrong? Yeah, me too.

By the way, my expert spelling does not include punctuation, grammar and syntax. I'm always ending sentences with prepositions here, dangling participles there (and I have no idea what a dangling participle is; I just get a kick out of the term, "dangling participle." It sounds kind of naughty heh heh), using slang including Ebonics instead of the Queen's English. Makes it more fun to read, doncha think?

Oh, and you can bet I've misspelled at least ONE word in this here blog post. It's seems to be par for the course these days.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Love Lucy

I was originally going to post this yesterday because yesterday was The Big Day but I decided to wait until today to make sure.

What Big Day, you ask? I'll tell you. Yesterday, December 8, 2009 was My Lucy's 11th birthday. And I wanted to make sure she survived before writing anything. She did, so I am.

When we got Lucy, our old dog, Jamie had decided she did not want to live in a house with children. Every time I would visit my sister and BIL, when it was time to leave, Jamie would "look for ants" as we called it. She would pretend she didn't hear me telling her to get in the car because she was busy looking at the ground. She wanted to stay there. Where there weren't any noisy kids and she would be spoiled. More spoiled than she was at home. And BIL would BEG me to let Jamie stay with him. So little by little, Old Jamie spent more and more time over there and eventually, the move became permanent because Jamie was much happier in their childless house. BIL not only renamed her, he changed her breed and her gender and Jamie, the female black retriever somehow evolved, in BIL's mind, into Rusty the male Golden Retriever. We played along and Jamie/Rusty would respond to both names because that dog was the smartest dog in the world.

So, my house was feeling pretty empty without my doggie and TheManTheMyth was missing having a dog in the house even though we were NOT missing Jamie's stinky smell. It's like when she turned 8, her skin just got really, REALLY stinky and nothing would get rid of that stinky dog smell. Almost every Lab I know gets stinky when they hit 8 years old.

Anyway, we needed a new dog and after searching around, I found My Lucy. She was one of 10 puppies born to a Golden Retriever and a Black Lab. Perfect!

Because I wasn't working, I got to spend all my time with Lucy, training, housebreaking, keeping her occupied so that she wouldn't become destructive, etc. Lucy became my constant companion and I would take her everywhere. When I took the kids to school, she'd go along for the ride. She didn't care where we were going as long as she got to go. She also slept with us. On the bed.

Thank goodness we have a Kingsize bed. She took up A LOT of room. She also was a sofa hog:

Yeah, we were REAL strict about keeping the dog off the furniture...NOT. Lucy was considered one of our children and had all the rights and privileges of our biped kids. Sometimes more.

3 years ago, though, we thought it was over. Over the Christmas holidays, we knew something was wrong. She would pant, moan, groan, whimper and she had an accident in bed one night. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with diabetes, which I didn't know animals could get.

We started her on insulin and the vet told me that because of her age, we'd be lucky if she survived 2 years. Fast forward 3 years. She's mostly blind now but it doesn't stop her at all and going to the park is her favorite thing in the whole wide world and don't even think of telling her that we can't go to the park today because it's storming because she doesn't CARE, that's MY problem and don't try to go to a different section of the park than usual because it's not The Park and she won't fall for it and will refuse to budge until we go back to The Park, HER Park and then she's happyhappyhappy:

Several months ago, we thought we'd lose Lucy again. She had recently lost most of her sight and even though she got around just fine by memory and scent, every so often she'd get lost if things had been moved. One day we were over at my sister's house, which was like a 2nd home to Lucy, and while we were out at dinner, Lucy fell into the pool. We still don't know how she managed to find her way to the steps, being blind and confused and all, but she did and was able to drag herself to the front door before collapsing in exhaustion.

She survived but picked up a new quirk (she develops new quirks almost weekly): she wouldn't go into the backyard any more. She'd go right out the front door and hang out on the front porch but our backyard had become a place to be avoided. After about a week or so of this, I finally took her out front and around the corner (we live on a corner) to the back gate and through the back gate and back in the house. From then she was fine with the backyard.

One of her latest quirks is how she eats her breakfast. Because of her insulin injections, she has to eat at specific times and in the mornings, she's not really ready to eat at the appointed time. So I started spoonfeeding her the first few bites and then she'd go ahead and eat the rest. Unfortunately, now she won't even acknowledge her breakfast until I sit down and start hand-feeding her. At least she's not demanding airplane or choo-choo sound effects. Yet.

Every day that Lucy is still with us I consider a victory and I don't mind (much) all her demands and funny little habits that I had a hand in creating. She's my baby, my constant companion.

Happy Birthday, Lucy! Mamma Loves You Best!



Friday, December 4, 2009

Hockey Fights and the Kindness of Strangers because those two things go hand in hand

Ok, so it's been several days since I've been paired up with Stephanie to do a Random Act of Kindness and I gotta say, it's not looking good for me. Just tonight I pretended I didn't hear the panhandler roaming the parking lot of the supermarket because I'm so used to having Selective Hearing when it comes to panhandlers and solicitors and "sign my petition" people. Although I've given the same guy money several times because he's very polite and quiet while he sits outside the various stores and also because he's the Dead Ringer of a friend of mine. I'll have to ask RElmo if he has a "down on his luck" brother because the resemblance is uncanny.

And speaking of dead, I had to add 3 people to the "Dead to Kelly" list for talking smack about my boyfriend, George (HOT!!) Parros

on an Off-Road motorcycle racing message board (of course) on a thread that was originally about celebrity encounters but (thanks to me) somehow evolved into an intense thread (read: argument) about Hockey fights and fighters and someone dissed MY George and well, the figurative gloves were dropped and sadly, three people did not survive. I hate it when that happens but hey, don't be dissin' my man George. Because he's HOT. I'll take George, black eyes, broken nose and other scars over those pasty white "Twilight" dudes any day.

So, back to my RAK challenge. Dang that June for throwing down the gauntlet! Yesterday I had to take Thing 2 to the orthodontist for her routine checkup and sitting right there in the waiting room was a big barrel where patients are supposed to donate canned food and did I have a can of yams in my purse? No. Because even though I got the e-mail letting me know about the canned food drive, it never even occurred to me to slip some can goods into one of the several eco-friendly canvas shopping bags I keep stashed in my not-so-fuel-efficient-after-all vehicle but always forget to bring into the store with me so I wasn't able to look good while doing good by helping to feed the hungry because I SUCK at doing Random Acts of Kindness.

I'm not giving up on my quest to be the Stranger of which Kindness depends on. I'll get my chance when I least expect it. Because then it'll be all RANDOM, which IS the point.




Thursday, December 3, 2009

A gift that keeps on giving

A couple of days ago, June over at Bye Bye Pie, issued a challenge to her faithful readers. This holiday season, instead of the usual gift/cookie exchange, she asked her faithful readers, of which I am one because she's hilarious and I love the photos of her dog Tallulah trying to hump her cat Winston because I'm kinky like that, to team up and do Random Acts of Kindness, or "RAK" and report back on her site.

I'm all, "I'm in!" because I hate gift exchanges and the only cookies I like are chocolate chip with walnut cookies fresh from the oven while they're still soft and gooey because I don't like hard, crunchy, crispy cookies so doing a cookie exchange, which I SO don't "get," is useless for me to participate in. Not that anyone has asked me. I think everyone knows my stand on this.

One of the reasons I hate gift exchanges with strangers or co-workers is that one of the pair will pick out something thoughtful/funny/useful/frivolous and the other one will do something like give you a ginormous gift basket wrapped with ribbons and bows and bells and jing-tinglers and you're all "SCORE!" and when you tear open the wrappings, you discover a single, solitary small bottle of dust covered Oil of Olay buried deep within the straw that fills said ginormous basket and you're all "What the hell?" as you "thank" the giver. Yeah, I just LOVE gift exchanges.

So anyway, I'm paired with Reader Stephanie and we each have to do a RAK (or more) and report back to June.

Now here's the hard part. People who know (and love) me know that I'm not only selfish but self-centered and lazy as well. And this type of gift isn't the kind you can just pick out at the drugstore gift counter. I have to actually make an effort! And the way I look at it, it can't be something as easy as dropping the loose change in the nearest Salvation Army red kettle. And it shouldn't be premeditated. The best kind of RAK just HAPPEN. Unfortunately, refraining from firing an RPG at the twit in her Lexus who totally cut me off on the freeway and then kept drifting into my lane because she was too busy texting to pay attention to actually DRIVING probably doesn't count as a RAK although I know *I* would feel happy and fulfilled.

My friend Bubbles said a nice RAK would be to pay for the order of the person behind me in the drive-thru at the Crack House (Del Taco) and to please let her know the time and date of the next time I need a "fix."

Well, whatever I end up doing I just hope the recipient pays it forward and my RAK becomes the gift that keeps on giving. Like herpes.

I KID!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh, RATS

So, we survived our quiet Thanksgiving dinner, just the 4 of us. Lucy mostly snored throughout the entire meal so we were thankful that we didn't have to listen to her bark, moan, whine as we were trying to enjoy the delicious spiral ham and all the fixings I had made. Yes, that's right. You read it correctly. *I* cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal. By my ownself. Mashed potatos and gravy, stuffing (do you know how hard it is to stuff a ham?), fresh steamed asparagus, corn on the cob, rolls. And I served it on the fancy good china instead of the usual Corelle. Oh, I had to wash all the china first on account that it has been sitting unused and untouched in my china cabinet since it was bequeathed to me several years ago but it looked lovely once the decade of dust had been washed off.

Of course the kids bickered throughout the entire meal and Thing 1 had already had one Thanksgiving dinner with his "other" family but other than that, it was lovely. And afterwards, I cleaned the kitchen all by myself. TheManTheMyth was flabbergasted that not only did we have this fancy meal without me having any sort of meltdown (I NEVER have meltdowns! Piss and moan and bitch and cuss, yes, but meltdowns? Not I!) but that I cleaned up afterwards and did the dishes and everything. Yeah, I don't know what came over me, either.

This morning, still in the glow of the lovely dinner, the menfolk are getting ready to head out to the desert for a weekend of riding and I'm sitting on the sofa reading the morning paper while Lucy was sawing logs in her bed. And I hear something. I hear a funny noise coming from the kitchen. Kind of a knocking, scratching, clawing, gnawing sound. I go into the kitchen and I'm standing there listening to these sounds and my heart is sinking because I know that sound and I hate that sound and everything it represents.

Yep, the goddamn rats are back. Over the years we've had a problem with rats because of where we happen to live. I've seen rats climb out of the storm drain in front of our house, I've seen them running on the telephone wires at dusk and I've seen them in my very own house whereupon I screamed like a girl and leaped onto a chair. We had to call the exterminator when TheManTheMyth opened the pantry door early one morning and one jumped down from the shelf and went running through a teeny-tiny hole the size of a quarter underneath our bottom cabinets.

We've put traps out, which work just fine most of the time except when they don't and you know when they don't when you hear the trap snapping and then the sound of the trap being dragged across the floor because the thing trapped in it is still alive and only caught by the tail or leg and it's trying to escape and I get all freaked out and demand that TheManTheMyth Do Something about it. It's been a year or two since our last invasion and obviously they decided it's time to make another attack on my house.

Back when Lucy could still see, she caught several on her own and we were very proud but now that she can't see for beans and spends the majority of her days and nights snoring happily away, I can't rely on her for exterminator duty.

So. I'm in the kitchen listening to these nasty, disturbing sounds and the menfolk have just pulled away from the curb and it sounds as if IT is getting ready to pop out of a cupboard or drawer and there's no way in hell I'm going to open a cupboard or drawer and have this thing jump out at me and I'm thinking what the hell is a rat doing up at this time of day because aren't they nocturnal and shouldn't it be in bed by now instead of in my kitchen and what the hell am I going to do?

I did what any self-respecting wife would do and call TheManTheMyth, who is probably just about to get on the freeway towing a 28 foot toyhauler and I'm all "You HAVE to turn around and come back, there's a RAT in the cupboards!" and he's all, "Are you freaking kidding me?" and I'm all, "No! Come back and get rid of it!" and he's all, "Sic Lucy on it!" and I'm all, "She's snoring and she can't see anything and I don't want to have to witness a fight to the death between a blind Lab and a big ass rat!" and he's all "Oh Jesus Christ I don't believe this!" and hangs up and I'm thinking I'm screwed here.

A few minutes later, he and Thing 1 come walking in the door all "where is it?" and I point them in the direction of the kitchen and yep, the little bastard is still clawing and gnawing away and TheManTheMyth flings open cupboards and drawers and... Nothing. There's nothing there. But we can HEAR it. Which means the little fucker is in the walls. TheManTheMyth kicks the toekick under the cabinets, plops down a trap and box of rat poison and says "Here ya go. Use them" and then he and Thing 1 jump back in the truck and drive off, leaving me with nothing more than ONE trap, a box of rat bait and a blind, senile (but happy) Lab to defend myself and my home against an Army of Invading Rodents. And since rats are ALWAYS on the Friends and Family Plan, I think I'm going to need reinforcements. And lots of likker. Which won't do anything for the rats unless they like a nice dry martini but it will help me get through the next few days until TheManTheMyth returns to do his husbandly duties and KILL THAT RAT.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let's Talk Turkey

Ok, tomorrow is the third Thursday of November. Which is a National Holiday. It's the day millions of Americans watch football or the Twilight Zone Marathon and work their way towards obesity by consuming mass quantities of foods high in starch and carbs. Because that's the American Way!

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always held at Farnham Avenue. Gramma and Grandpa and my mom's mom, who we called "Gigi" (pronounced with hard G's, "Giggee") would join us for turkey, stuffing, that cranberry sauce stuff that comes out of the can in the exact shape of the can with all the rings of the can molded into it, the infamous Green Bean Casserole that is known in our family as "Gigi Beans," mashed potatos and gravy and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert.

My mom would get up early and start cooking. Once the turkey went into the oven, Siam, our Siamese cat (totally original name, eh?) would plant himself right below the oven and make these funny sounds. We think he expected the turkey to march right out the oven door and into his mouth and he was not going to miss his chance should that actually take place. Since our kitchen was pretty narrow, naturally he was right where someone would trip over him. Unfortunately for Siam, the turkey never did do a swan dive out the oven.

One year we invited a group of Japanese visitors to experience a Genuine American Thanksgiving Dinner. They arrived dressed in silk suits and dresses while us Americans were in casual attire. They didn't speak much English and I remember my Grandpa telling us to "Speak Slowly and Distinctly and They Will Understand You." He also seemed to think that speaking LOUDLY would also be helpful. Our family is loud enough and I'm sure our guests were more than a little overwhelmed.

After TheManTheMyth and I were married, we spent a couple of Thanksgivings at our vacation place on the Colorado River. One year, I decided to do something different because neither of us are all that big on turkey. So I decided to make roast lapin (rabbit) along with made-from-scratch baked beans. The rabbit came out pretty good but those damn beans never softened, despite soaking, boiling, simmering.

The first Thanksgiving after we got married, TheManTheMyth's grandmother decided dinner would be at her house. There were 10 people crowded into her tiny 600 square foot house including my in-laws, my mom, my dad, my dad's wife and my Gramma. I still don't know we all fit. I think we had to take all the furniture out of the living room and put card tables in there.

15 years ago, I decided I want to spend Thanksgiving with my mom so I flew up to Washington, leaving TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 to spend the holiday with my in-laws. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I just felt blah and ick. I thought I might have eaten something bad on the plane. We drove to Portland to have Thanksgiving with some cousins and all I could choke down was a couple of biscuits and gravy. My mom asked me if I thought I was pregnant but that wasn't possible because a) I was using birth control and b) I hadn't missed a period so no, I'm not pregnant.

I spent the rest of my visit feeling like hammered shit. My mom kept telling me I was pregnant and I kept denying it because see paragraph above. I got back to California still feeling crappy so I decided to take a pregnancy test just for shits and giggles and to prove that I was Not Pregnant.

After my test I immediately called the doctor who, after examing me and performing an ultrasound, confirmed that not only was I knocked up but I was just starting my SECOND TRIMESTER with Thing 2. Color ME flabbergasted.

This year, it'll be just our little family: me, TheManTheMyth, Things 1 and 2 and Lucy. We'll be enjoying a spiral-sliced ham from Costco (none of us really like turkey), stuffing although I'm not sure how to stuff a spiral-slice ham, mashed taters and gravy, steamed asparagus, corn and apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

I'll get out my good set of formal china that I inherited from TheManTheMyth's grandmother and we'll sit and do the "What are you thankful for" question that each of us has to answer although I'm sure there will be some smart-ass answers because we're not a "sentimental" family and just have a Nice Family Meal. While Lucy moans and drools and barks and begs from under the table. And we'll eat at a "normal" hour, like 6:00pm. None of this 3:00pm dinner stuff. What's up with THAT?

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Don't overstuff yourselves and remember that there's always something to be thankful for.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Speaking of cats

I recently went to a website for the very first time because I can't really comment about a website without knowing exactly what it's all about because I know I hate it when someone has a snotty comment about something and when you ask them if they've ever seen/read/watched it and they say in a lofty tone that well, no not really but they're sure it's stupid and that's reason enough for offering an allegedly informed opinion.

ANYway. So I felt I needed to check out this cutesy website about cats. I like cats. I think they're funny. So I go to lolcats.com and there's some funny, funny photos of cats being, well, funny.

But there's something that just doesn't sit right with me. I'm talking about the spelling and grammar that these cats are supposedly using. Yeah, I GUESS it's supposed to be cutesy (I hate cutesy spelling. Hate. it.) but please. Anyone who has a cat and has observed cats doing cat things knows that cats are just too snooty and proper to have such atrocious spelling and grammar.


Do you REALLY think that a cat, a fastidious cat, would speak or spell like that? Cat's just don't speak and/or spell in Ebonics and ghetto-speak. They just don't. I believe cats would speak in a voice similar to Charles Emerson Winchester The Third. Just like my dog Lucy's voice is similar to Forrest Gump's voice. Even though she's a female. She still sounds like Forrest Gump.

On the other hand, I can believe DOGS would speak and spell funny. Because they're dogs. However, there isn't a website called loldogs.com with pictures of dogs doing funny dog stuff. But believe it or not, there IS a website called lolhamsters.com. But it's all videos of hamsters and the hamsters aren't speaking in ghetto speak. Because they're hamsters. And everyone knows hamsters can't talk.

Duh.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Identity crisis

These days, any time you sign up or register for something on the World Wide Web known as the Internet, you are required to choose a user ID and a password. And each ID and password requires a specific number of letters and numbers, some are case-sensitive and some are not. Some must be a combination of letters AND numbers, and some don't need to be a combination of letters AND numbers.

I spent the better part of this morning on the phone with "Sylvia" over in Mumbai or Punjab or wherever trying to figure out why I could not log in to my Verizon online account. This was after trying to navigating my way through the automated phone system that made me want to punch someone in the neck.

Verizon was refusing to recognize either my e-mail address or my phone address. I get told that I probably never registered for the online site (I could have SWORN I had several years ago when I first got Verizon but whatEVER). So now I have to register all over again. And I have to choose a new User ID and password. With all the rules about letter/number combos thrown in for shits and giggles. Oh, and they need the answer to a secret question, which was supposed to be the name of my 1st pet. Unfortunately, our first pet didn't have the minimum number of letters in his name so poor Siam was tossed aside.

Great. We're on a roll here. So I choose a user ID and password. "Sylvia" tells me to go ahead and log in. And guess what? No, not Chicken butt. Verizon doesn't recognize my spanking new user ID and/or password. Of course. Why? Because my new ID with its combination of letters and numbers is case-sensitive and "Sylvia" forgot to mention that important tidbit of information. Several tries later, I still wasn't able to log in using my new case-sensitive User ID and password and "Sylvia" told me to wait about an hour and try again. Which I have yet to do.

I have a little notebook where I write down all my User names and passwords for the various websites and accounts I have. If I ever lose that book, I'm utterly and completely screwed. Currently, I have about 20 accounts that all require User ID's and passwords. Everything from messageboard log-ins to bank accounts to medical insurance and cell phone accounts. Not to mention the multiple e-mail accounts I have for various (but not nefarious) purposes. And since you're not supposed to use the same ID and password, I've had to come up with 20 different User ID's and passwords, which is why I've had to write them down because there is no fucking way I can remember all that. I really need to make sure I keep that book in a safe place but at the rate I'm going, I'll forget where I stashed it.

And you wanna hear something funny? I can't remember my administrator ID and password for my very own website. Now that's bad right there. I *think* I have that info with all my paperwork for my bidness, DeJongh Racing, but I'm not positive on that.

All right. It's been over an hour. I need to see if I can log on to my Verizon account. I hope I can remember who I am.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Farnham Chronicles - "Tippy"

During the years of the Farnham Chronicles, i.e., the high school years, there was one person who played a very significant role in our lives. His name was Tom Tyra but we called him "Tippy." Tippy was the guy who brought The Band into our lives. He was at our house constantly, along with his younger brothers, Jim and Alan, aka "Meej and Noodle." These 3 were the closest thing we had to brothers, although there was a little more than sibling affection at times. Tippy used to joke that he and my sister, whose nickname is "Bippy," would get married so that Tippy and Bippy could have kids named "Ira and Myra Tyra. No middle names necessary."

Tippy was the type of guy who was always, ALWAYS having some sort of adventure. He used to walk in the door saying, "You'll never guess what happened to me!" And he always had a good story that would have us roaring with laughter. There's so many Tippy stories I wouldn't even know where to start.

We had a redwood hot tub in our backyard and Tippy loved to come over and soak in the hot tub. Didn't matter if we were home, he was pretty much family and could come and go as he pleased.

We spent a lot of time at Tippy's house as well, which was easy since it was jsut around the corner from our house. Tippy's room was covered with a collage of pictures. He had cut out of a magazine the life-size eyes of John Travolta and he would move the eyes around his room and it became a game while we were in there (getting stoned) to try and find Travolta's eyes.

When my parents divorced and put our house up for sale, Tippy was devastated. He used to steal the "For Sale" sign that was in front of the house in the hopes that if there wasn't a "For Sale" sign, nobody would know the house was for sale and then nobody would be able to buy the house and we wouldn't leave him. Sadly, the house did sell and Tippy was out of town when we moved out. He returned from his trip, not knowing we were gone and he had let himself into the backyard as usual and undressed and slipped into the hot tub, as usual. So Tippy's sitting there soaking and all of a sudden this lady comes out of the house and starts screaming at the big nekkid guy in the hot tub. "Who are you?" she screamed. "Who are YOU and where are the Perkins'?" Tippy screamed back, trying to cover himself. Poor Tippy found out the hard way that we had moved and he had just met the new owner of 3521 Farnham Avenue. Tres awkward to say the least.

After we left Farnham, our family lost touch with almost everyone from that time of our lives. Several years later, we reunited with Tippy at a friend's wedding. We spent hours reminiscing and then the next night we all had dinner together and laughed and laughed and laughed and did the "Do you remember?" game.

A few years after his 30th birthday party, Tippy passed away after a long illness. And with his death, an era, the Farnham era, came to a close.

Today would have been Tippy's 49th birthday. I think about him a lot and smile at the memories of our Tippy.





Friday, November 13, 2009

A devoted son

This is the actual transcript from a text conversation between me and my 17 year old son, Thing 1 on a Friday night:

You'll need a hankie or two, it's THAT touching. Oh, and for that extra special touch, try and imagine the voices of Howard and Ma Wolowitz from "Big Bang Theory."

Thing 1: I'm staying at Wyatt's tonight (Note: Wyatt's house is Thing 1's 2nd home. He has his own bedroom there fercryinoutloud).

Me: But I'll miss you! (Note: I always say this when he leaves the house, even if he's going out to the garage because I know it bugs the crap outta him. And it's a mother's duty to annoy her teenage son.)

T1: Call of Duty is more important.

Me: Of course. I know where I fit in the scheme of things in your life: the bottom.

T1: Luey (Note: this is an all-purpose answer he gives. And "Luey" is what everyone calls Lucy, our Lab. If Lucy/Luey had a voice, she'd sound like Forrest Gump. This has nothing to do with anything but I thought I'd toss that bit of info in).

Me: I think she rates higher than me.

T1: Nope, she's fat. (Note: Yeah, she is. But she's a Good Girl!)

Me: But according to Jake (One of Thing 1's cronies. He's a hoot.) I'm a Ginger and I don't have a soul (Note: anyone get the South Park reference?)

T1: Well I'm playing Call of Duty and I can't multi-task.

Me: Fine. Don't worry about your poor soulless mother. I'll be fine, just fine.

T1: Ok.

Me: No, really. You don't have to worry or be concerned about me. It'll be hard, I know but you'll just have to try.

T1: Ok.

Me: Ok now you're just getting out of hand with concern. I'm touched, really I am.

T1: Ok.

Me: That's so sweet of you to think of your mommy. You're such a caring son. Your friends should be jealous of what a good son you are.

T1: I know.

Me: My heart is filled with joy that you want to come home and keep me company but I insist you hang out with your friends.

T1: Ok.

Me: No, no; don't argue.

T1: Ok, I won't.

Me: Please, my son. I'm getting all teary-eyed at your devotion to your mommy.

T1: I bet.

Me: No, really. I need a tissue.

T1: My phone's dying and I'm playing Call of Duty (I think he's lying but has to save face in front of his friends. SUCH a giver my son is).

Me: Love you bye.

T1: Loveyoutoobye.

Think he'll need therapy in the future? Yeah, me too.



Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th and you know what that means, don't you? It means Beware of Men Wearing Hockey Goalie Masks:

Or THIS could happen to you

Oh, that Patrick. I used to love him. LOVE. HIM. I was DEVASTATED when he retired. But Patrick has not been behaving nicely since his retirement from the NHL so I had to end our relationship. And I've moved on to George Parros, whom I love and adore

Anyway. It's Friday the 13th, the day when everyone's superstitions come out to play. My Gramma had all sorts of superstitions. Hats and shoes placed on the bed was bad luck. Opening an umbrella in the house was bad luck. When you moved into a new house, you were supposed to carry a cat into all the rooms of the house and then put the cat outside through a window. The cat would then take all the bad luck with it out the window. She made my parents do this when they bought their first house, the house I was born in. She also believed that if you walked out one door and didn't go back in the same door, you would have unwelcome or unwanted guests. Palm itching? Gramma believed it meant you would be getting money.

I'm not superstitious. Much. I know that stepping on a crack will not break my Momma's back. I don't toss salt over my shoulder if I happen to spill some. Yes, I knock on wood but I don't really BELIEVE it. It's just a habit. No, I don't walk under ladders but not because I believe it's bad luck. I don't believe rabbits have magical feet. It certainly wasn't good luck for a rabbit to lose his poor paw. I don't believe if you break a mirror you'll have seven years of bad luck although I've never put that one to the test and quite frankly I don't intent to.

I don't believe that if you whistle while passing a cemetery, the dead will rise up and haunt you. Recently I put that one to the test. I was at a local cemetery and was walking through basement of the mausoleum

which is a pretty spooky place because it's not just quiet in there, it's like deathly quiet. Very, very still. Very, very eerie. So I started to whistle, not loud but after a few bars I had to stop because I'll admit it, I got creeped out.

But I doubt I was followed home by a vengeful spook when I left because that would just be silly to be believe that sort of thing I say as I knock on the closest piece of wood.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Daily fodder for the blogger

Part of my daily routine is reading my favorite blogs. I'm always amazed and impressed at the bloggers who manage to come up with something interesting and/or amusing EVERY SINGLE DAY! Because lately, I'm lucky to come up with something to write about once a week. Every morning, I sit and stare at the blank "New Entry" page and end up feeling like Patrick Star when he's trying to think and nothing happens.

Several times throughout the day, I'll think of something, start writing it in my head but as soon as I sit down at the computer, my train of thought leaves the station without me on board.

It's like trying to keep a diary or daily journal. After reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" in elementary school, I was inspired to try to keep a diary. Except I was lousy at it. I had one of those 5 year diaries that came with a locking cover to keep out prying eyes unless they had a paperclip because a paperclip would open that cheap lock so quick your eyes would spin. The 5 year diary would have a whopping 4 lines per day so that all there was room to write was what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner with maybe some space for the time you woke up and the time you went to bed. But there was no way you could write anything of substance in those 4 lines.

Years ago, the therapist/counselor I was seeing for marriage and personal problems recommended I keep a journal. A couple of years ago I found it in a box up in the far corners of my closet. I sat down and read it and absolutely HOWLED at how stilted and formal it was, as if I was trying to sound like someone in a Jane Austen novel. What was in my head and what transferred into the written word were two entirely different things. And it wasn't pretty.

And, there's some things that you really shouldn't put into writing for someone to read. It's one thing to say something like, "I sure would love to see Brad Paisley

on my bed wearing nothin' but his cowboy hat and a grin" because THAT'S never gonna happen to me but it's a whole 'nuther thing to write down, "I can't BELIEVE I'm having an affair with Michael Kelso! He's only 17 and I'm such a Mrs. Robinson and I know it's wrong but I can't wait to get naked with him in his van again!" or "I hate my kids! Why didn't I get that abortion!" because nobody needs to read that stuff and just like that sex tape people make thinking nobody will ever see it (hardy har har) somebody, usually the wrong somebody, will find that diary or watch your sex tape and the next thing you know you've been dethroned as Miss California.

And on that note, I leave you with this lovely photo I took of Lucy today:

That's my dawg!












Monday, November 9, 2009

Favorite time of the day

I just read an article in one of my favoritest magazines where several different writers did a little write-up about their favorite time of the day. And I said to myself, "Self, I must ponder this." And ponder I did.

Despite not being one of those people who jump out of bed all bright-eyed and bushy tailed at the butt-crack of dawn and singing glory to the morning, first thing in the morning is my favorite time of the day, especially when everyone else is still asleep.

It's my quiet time, just me and the morning paper. If and when the Long Beach Blab ever ceases publication and goes straight to a web edition only, I will be very, very sad. There's just something about the quiet of the morning, when the kids and dog are still slumbering away and it's just me and my paper.

The last few mornings it's been really foggy and when I go outside to get the paper, it's all misty and still and quiet. This morning, I decided to take a photo of the view from my front porch and the picture came out all weird:

Huh, I said to myself. That's weird. So I cleaned the lens and took another shot:

Same thing only worse. Thinking there was something wrong with my camera, I grabbed my BlackBerry and took another photo.

I don't know what was wrong with my camera because as soon as I came inside, I took a photo and the picture came out sharp and clear. Maybe I just have a very sensitive camera that captured the water in the air. Or, and I like this reason better just because, maybe my camera picked up spirit orbs and based on how many are in the photo, I've got a shitload of spirit orbs hanging around my front porch.

Anyways. That's my favorite time of the day before I have to get Thing 2 up for school, pour cereal down her gullet, get Lucy fed and give her her insulin shot, make lunches and drag Thing 2 out to the car so I can get her to school on time. Luckily, Thing 1 has become pretty self-sufficient, getting himself up and out of the door at 5:45am for Surf Team. Thing 2 is a whole 'nuther story. Morning person and self-sufficient she ain't. Once I drag her out of the depths of slumber at 6:45am, my quiet morning is a thing of the past.

But for that hour or so in the morning, all is peaceful and quiet in my world.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Buzz buzz buzz

Ok, so I just ate a piece of cake, white cake with white buttercream frosting including a big buttercream rosette swirly thing in the middle of the piece of cake and lemme tell you, I am buzzing like a bee from that sugar high. Seriously, my head feels like it's going to explode. That's a serious sugar rush. Or high blood pressure which probably isn't the case because I've always had very low blood pressure, almost to the point of "Hello? Hello? Does this thing work?" kind of low blood pressure. Yeah, it's gotta be the sugar rush.

And in my heightened sugar-buzz state, I swear my hearing is even more acute than normal which means I can probably hear only a teensy bit more than my normal hearing which is pretty bad actually. I've had my hearing checked and supposedly it's fine but I have a hard time hearing people when they talk, especially if there's background noise and then all I hear is Charlie Brown's teacher, as in, "waa waa waa." Or when anyone in my family is talking, then it's all gibberish because they all like to slur their words together in a big rush and "What's for dinner?" sounds like "May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?" to me. I think my family does it deliberately to keep me in the dark about their comings and goings. Or just to mess with me. Little brats.

Anyway, in my sugar-buzz heightened state of hearing, I can hear Lucy snoring from the living room. Ok, that's not saying much because that dog can saw some serious logs when she's in sleep mode. That's my doggy!

So Halloween was last week and I came up with a last-minute costume. Why I needed a costume I don't know because it's not like I went to a party or anything, just over to my sister's house but wear a costume I did:

If you haven't figured it out, the vacant, vacuous stare along with the big knocked-up stomach should be a hint. And the clothes. And hair. Still drawing a blank? Duh! I'm Michelle Duggar of "18 Kids and Counting" fame. C'mon, it's FUNNY. I've seen Carmelite nuns dressed more stylish than Michelle Duggar.

I'm oddly, strangely fascinated by the Duggar family. It's like watching a family from another planet as they try to live amongst the earth creatures. They seem like very nice people, although Jim-Bob comes across as a buffoon and the eldest son is quite the arrogant piece of work.

I'm trying to type this out on my dying Mac while playing "Shanghai" on my laptop. I'm so addicted to "Shanghai" it's not even funny. I have no idea how many levels are on this game but I'm on level 154 if that tells you anything. But I can't seem to concentrate and I feel like Mrs. Howell after she ate the radio-active sugar beets on that episode of Gilligan's Island. I loved that show. I loved it so much that I knew which episode it was 30 seconds into the opening scene. Hows that for bragging rights?

Ok, I think I'm heading for a crash landing now. I can feel my sugar buzz wearing off. I should have taken advantage of my limited energy and done something productive, like clean the house.

Naaaahhhhh.





Saturday, October 31, 2009

So there I was...part III

So there I was, sound asleep in my bedroom in the Laguna Beach house. I had moved in with my mom after G died to kind of start my life anew after the emotional upheavals of the last couple of years. I LOVED living in Laguna Beach. Loved It, Loved It, Loved It. Did I mention how much I loved living there? No? Well, I did. Anyhoo, one night, I'm home alone. Actually, not REALLY alone as I had two dogs hanging out with me. Neither of which were my dogs. But the guy who lived in the apartment above the garage totally ignored his dog so my mom and I pretty much adopted her. And my next-door neighbor was out of town so I was dog-sitting his pooch as well.

So after a night of pizza and TV, me and the dogs are curled up in bed, snoring gently in sync, when I'm woken up by the dogs whimpering and growling on the bed. Without sitting up, I open my eyes and look through the doorway into the kitchen. Standing in the kitchen was a person. They didn't move or make a sound. And I couldn't make out any details. It was like a silhouette. I remember thinking if I pretended to be asleep, they'd leave me alone. So I didn't move. I just looked at the figure through half-closed eyes and the figure just looked back at me. At least I think they were looking back at me. I couldn't see a face so I really don't know if they were looking at me or not. And it was very, very quiet. Except for the dogs whimpering. But the dogs would not jump down from the bed. They just stayed on the bed with me, whining and whimpering. And the figure still just stood there, not moving and not making a sound.

I don't know how but I managed to fall back asleep. When I woke up the next morning, I wondered if I had dreamed it. And then I noticed the dogs weren't on the bed. In fact, they weren't even in the house. I hear a scratching sound on the back door and after unlocking the deadbolt, I open the door to both dogs sitting on the back porch. And I asked myself, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?" C'mon! You knew THAT was coming!

So now I'm all verklempt. Someone or something had managed to get into my locked and deadbolted house without making a sound, had managed to leave without making a sound, had managed to lock the deadbolt behind them without making a sound and somehow let the dogs out, without making a sound.

I later questioned the neighbors who had keys to the house but they had been out of town that night and they said they would have never come into the house in the middle of the night.

I never did figure out who or what I saw. Or how they came and went. It's still a mystery.