Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bionically Quittin' MILF Weed

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"Honey, we have one episode left of, 'Weeds,' " I say excitedly.

"I'm over, 'Weeds,' " says Stefan.

"What?" I say wondering to myself isn't Nancy Botwin some sort of MILF why would he want to to quit her? "We only have one episode left. You can't quit now."

"Yes I can," he says smoothly. The sander in the last episode went too far."

"I know, but Dan said it doesn't get worse than that," I say agreeing. (Note to Dan: It better not ;-) The sander scene was so bad I closed my eyes. "Well I'm going to watch it."

"You can give me a preview if you want, but I'm not watching it anymore," he says.

I stop with my "Weeds," ad campaign knowing it is useless. When my husband was a boy his Mom only let him watch half of, "The Six Million Dollar Man," a 60 minute show, because it violated his bedtime curfew.

I used to think this was bad, but I quickly learned it is a great skill to have. When a show goes south my husband can walk away from it without looking back at the TV. He's got skills. I, on the other hand, am skilless and will stick around till the bitter end of a lousy show for no other reason than, "I want to know what is going to happen next."

I attribute my inability to turn off a terrible TV show to my lack of, "Six Million Dollar Man Deprivation Training," as a child.

Besides he knows all too well I will tell him everything about the episode the next day, just like his classmates did in elementary school, whether he wants to hear it or not.

Oh and by the way, he still has his Steve Austin doll with accompanying space shuttle. If only I had the "Bionic Woman".

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cats Can't Sleep on Their Backs and Dogs Don't Drive

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Murmur sleeping on her back.

Ten years ago I took anatomy. The professor stated, "cats can't sleep on their backs." He had some anatomical reason explaining why, but I can't remember what it was anymore. Anyways, every time we see our cat sleeping on her back we laugh and say, "cats can't sleep on their backs."

I am sure there is also someone out there who believes dogs don't drive. But the other night, we saw a dog backing his car out of the parking lot at Target.

Unidentified dog driving car.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sally Mander

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Yesterday, while I was writing in the backyard and the boys were playing, they discovered a new creature.

"Look, a lizard!" screams Gio. "It's really big!"

Normally, I would ignore this ranting for a little while, but at Lake Tahoe this summer when Gio screamed, "a snake, a snake!" I learned to take his creature identification skills seriously. When Stefan and I heard Gio scream, "snake" we both thought in our minds, "oh it's just some sort of branch."

Upon investigation Stefan discovers, "it really is a snake!" And even though it was a small, cute snake, I got out of the water immediately.

Did I mention I don't like snakes? I can't even watch them on TV. I am certain in a past life I was some snort of snake charmer who suffered a mortal wound by one of my charmees. Or maybe I was just looking at a picture of a snake as I lay dying.

So when I heard "lizard!" I jumped out of my lawn chair to see what the boys had found. When I arrived on scene and caught my first glimpse of the creature I assure them with, "oh, that is just a plastic toy. Lizards aren't orange."

Then to make sure, I gently poke at the plastic toy with a very long stick and it seems stiff and plasticky. I return to writing.

"It isn't a toy and it isn't dead," states Vinny.

I get up again and concede, "okay it isn't a toy, but it is underwater so it must have drown." I go back to my chair.

"It moved!" screams Vinny and Gio in unison. Vinny demonstratively performs a squiggly wiggly dance mimicking the creature's own movements. It was very convincing so I got up, again.

"It isn't dead," says Vinny. "It's alive. And it isn't a lizard. It's a salamander, and salamanders live in water."

Is there a show called are you smarter than a second grader, because suddenly I feel like I am on that show? Now I know where the concept for reality TV came from.

I run to the internet, quickly look up salamander, and lo and behold it is a salamander. And she does appear to be alive and looking at us. By the way, salamanders are well known for playing dead.

Later that evening as we are all discussing the salamander with my husband I say, "Yeah, those salamanders really know how to play dead. We all thought she was dead."

"You mean you! thought she was dead," Vinny reminds me.

Oh, yeah, right how could I forget that important detail?

Gio on the other hand still thinks she is a lizard.

"Say 'sal-a-man-der'," we linguistically coach him in unison.

"Ssss," Gio starts and abruptly stops. "No! I am not going to say salamander because it's a lizard."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

San Francisco's Wicked Homecoming

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Narrowly escaping death by bus, we find a parking garage spot, pack up the stroller and follow the giant, black "Wicked" balloons to Union Square. Upon arriving at the bubble filled city square, we were treated to cookies frosted in pink for Glinda, the good witch of Oz, and green for Elphaba, the green witch of Oz. As Glinda says, "Pink goes good with green." Of course, Gio was happy to get some treats right off the bat.

After realizing the lead characters wouldn't be performing for two hours, we decide it would be better to check out the festivities, rather than go galloping around downtown San Francisco. Turns out this was a great decision, as there were plenty of Wicked goodies to stand in line for, including sunscreen, tatoos, pins, bubbles, chap stick and water.

First, we got in the tee shirt/hat line. Basically, they were giving away black "Wicked" tee shirts and baseball caps, to anyone who could correctly answer "Wicked" trivia questions. Contestants were allowed to work together as a team, and I turned out to be the expert of my team. Big surprise.

When all the caps and tee shirts had been given away, the line magically transformed into the book/CD line. "Wicked," the novel by Gregory Maguire, and "Wicked the Musical" soundtrack, became the goodies. Yes, I got in line twice and came home with a hat, a book, and a CD.

Gio chose the next line, Wicked Makeovers, aka face painting, that would have made Glinda the Good proud. This was the longest line. After waiting 15 minutes and asking the people behind us to, "please save our spots," we left. By the time Gio reminded me to go back saying, "I want my face painted," our place holders were gone.

The funny thing about standing in line is, the line doesn't seem to move until I get out of the line. And then the line moves quickly. Yesterday, Dan accurately diagnosed me as having "line attention deficit disorder." Every time I got in one line, another line always seemed to be pulling me in a different direction.

Anyways, after some mild begging we got our place back in line, which at this point, was the very front. Randy, the makeup artist, gave Gio green Ozian eyebrows, and all he could say was, "I didn't get my face painted."

"Yes, your eyebrows are green and really big," I say reminding him, thinking he must have forgotten since he can't see his eyes.

"Those are my eyes, not my face," he says reminding me of the inherent truth. Structurally, I believe anatomists consider the eyes as part of the face. However, I didn't want to bring this up with him because, one, he doesn't care what anatomists think and, two, I don't want him accusing me of splitting hairs.

Randy The MakeUp Artist Guy, gave me an awesome witch's broom on my right arm, which turns out to be the side I always hold Gio on and the way I like to turn when driving my car. Anyways, by the time we came home, my witch's broom, looked more like a bruise and less like a broom, according to my Mom.

Other lines we didn't get in were Wicked karaoke; although, I considered signing up for this, since the prize was tickets to the show. But I didn't want to subject the crowd to my singing. Besides, everyone who did participate actually could sing. Everyone in the Wicked Makeover line agreed the little girl was the best; however, I have no idea who won.

There was also a costume contest, and, of course, I have no idea who won that either. My vote was for Elphaba, not pictured.

Some of the hoopla included city officials proclaiming Wicked Day (tba) throughout all of San Francisco, and a producer sharing some inspiring words on his journey along Wicked's Emerald Green Road. Afterwards, the two lead characters came on stage to sing songs from the Broadway musical, Wicked.

Emily Rozek as Glinda left, Cassie Levy as Elphaba.

While I have to say they weren't Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, original Broadway leads, they did a fine job of bringing the characters Glinda and Elphaba to life, capturing the essence of both. And when they sang, "For Good," the song in the musical when the two witches realize they may never see each other again, they had chemistry and a strong connection that brought tears to my eyes.

Up until that song, I wasn't sure if I was returning to San Francisco for the musicale's return in January 2009, but at that moment I realized the characters of Glinda and Elphaba have a spirit of their own that will enchant any actress playing them.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jesus Saves

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I am adding a story from the Sugarland weekend for foreshadowing purposes of today's blog. And, no, I haven't forgotten part two: The Sugarland Concert. Time travel to a different dimension where I am waiting in the hotel lobby for Stefan to arrive with our luggage.

After waiting for seven minutes I decide to venture out to the parking lot to see what is taking him so long. And to help pull luggage, since my packing motto is "if it fits in the car I'm bringing it."

I arrive in the parking lot to find him just getting to the sidewalk with the bags.

"What happened?" I ask.

"This lady's car was stuck on the parking block and I moved it for her," he explains.

"You got in her car?" I ask thinking I misunderstood what he said.

"Yes," he says proudly.

"How old was she?" I ask.

What I didn't ask, but wondered to myself was; was she hot, was it Jennifer Nettles? Those questions, as well as others, I kept to myself.

And now without further ado today's blog.

I was finishing up my shower early, around 4:30 pm. Normally, I don't take a shower before 8:30 or 9 at night. Tonight Stefan had Back to School Night duties, so I got a head start since I was going to be a single parent for the evening.

Suddenly, I heard a scream from next door. Being auditorily voyeuristic, I listened more closely. What I heard set off my sympathetic nervous system, the body's emergency preparation program.

"Get ready to call 911," I yell to Stefan as I run through the kitchen.

"Where are the kids?" he asks as he finds each one.

"Be careful," I say running out of the house not knowing and worrying about what we were going to find.

He lags behind with the 911 call and soon realizes the limitations of a home cordless phone.

When I get to the scene and see our neighbor, I know I am going to be useless.

"Do something!" I scream at Stefan.

"Sir, you're breaking up, the 911 dispatch says. You need to get closer to the base of your phone."

"Stefan get over here now!" I yell hysterically.

Stefan directs me to the phone and runs to the scene, arriving to find our neighbor being pinned in the driver's door. Her car had rolled down the driveway partially into the garage, and our neighbor was wedged in the door of the car basically being suffocated by sheer force.

Stefan attempts to push the car out of the garage, but the car won't budge. I said he was Jesus, not Superman.

He then tries to open a car door, but all the doors are locked, luckily the back hatch is unlocked and he flies into the car. OK, maybe he has a little Superman up in him.

"I checked and listened for breathing and there wasn't any, says Stefan. Her face was blue and I knew I had to get her out immediately so she could breathe."

Fortunately, the keys were in the ignition so he was able to start the car. He put the car in reverse, slowly backing out of the garage a few inches at a time, releasing her body from the grip of the door. With help he places her on the ground safely and gently.

At this point, she is blue, and foam is coming out of her mouth. She isn't breathing. Fortunately, she has a pulse, . He turns her head to the side and clears her mouth of the frothy sputum, a mix of saliva and mucous from the respiratory tract.

"She's breathing," he exclaims!

Five minutes later the police arrive. Another three or four minutes, the paramedics and fire department are on the scene.

Stefan's job is done, with the exception of relaying his side of the story to the reporting officer. But he still has to return to work for Back to School Night.

"Please, don't go to Back to School Night," I plead.

"I will have to phone 100 parents if I don't go," he says in a tone I know can't be swayed by my begging.

"You just saved some one's life," I say still shaking from the adrenaline. He just shrugs his shoulders and laughs.

All in a day's work for Super Jesus, I suppose.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Angels Are Real

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Today is my Aunt's birthday. While she is no longer on the Planet Earth in the body we would recognize, we are going to celebrate her birthday tonight. Not one to miss a party, I am sure she will be there with us, in spirit.

People who knew her loved her. Period. My Mom is still meeting people who knew my
Aunt. "Your Dolly's sister?!" they always say with glee. One such person related a story to my Mom about how my Aunt couldn't wait to finish work so she could rush home to see her "baby sister." There is a 10 year age difference between them.

I remember going to my Aunt's home as a child and eating treats such as Lucky Charms and snacking on Ding Dongs out of the big freezer in the garage. Believe me for someone who got carob, instead of chocolate, this was a big deal.

When I was in college, my Aunt had a heart attack. I remember being on a break and having the privilege of bringing her home from the hospital. After that, we all felt my Aunt was living on borrowed time.

But looking back, I think it was more than that, after all, she loved life. She loved dancing, parties, food, doing crosswords, watching birds and observing flowers grow. Her excitement and zest for life was full of child-like wonder. She didn't take the little things in life for granted, rather, she enjoyed them.

Anytime I had Mom issues, my Aunt always had something wise and compassionate to offer. Her advice always helped me see beyond my side of the story.

My own son (I only had one when she was in physical form on Planet Earth), may as well have been her own grandson because that was exactly how she treated him. We are still dolling out Christmas presents from the box of toys she had tucked away, which we discovered after her passing.

"I just saw an angel, Mommy," Vinny told me when he was three.

"Does the angel have a name?" I asked.

"Aunt Dolly," he answered.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby Wipes Use #1

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Baby wipes aren't just for babies' bottoms anymore. People without babies may even buy baby wipes now. What would a person, without a baby, do with baby wipes?

One of my all time favorite uses of baby wipes is stain removal from clothing caused by spilled food, beverage or a child wiping his mouth on clothing inadvertently, of course. When this happens, I immediately reach for a baby wipe and gently remove the mess from my clothes. The trick is to remove the intrusive stain right away, as in immediately.

I recommend keeping a stash of baby wipes around the house, in the car, and yet another in a purse or backpack. Baby wipes store nicely in plastic containers, plastic baggies, or lo and behold, the containers baby wipes are sold.

Buying baby wipes in bulk amounts, usually 200-400 count, is economical. I know this sounds like a lot, but baby wipes don't go bad, they just dry out if the container in which they are stored is left open. When this happens just add some water and the baby wipes are as good as new.

Stay tuned for more useful tips on the application of baby wipes in everyday life on Planet Earth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kimchee RefrigeratorTM

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My friend, who is half Korean, brought me some homemade kimchee, fermented, spicy cabbage.

"Smell it, it stinks," she coaxed. "It tastes good, and it's good for digestion."

"So it tastes good, but it stinks?" I ask. Now I am wondering, one, how does something stink and taste good, and two, is she really my friend? I have friend issues after all, and they were starting to get triggered.

"Open it!" she says excitedly.

"Okay," I say reluctantly.

Oh wait, first I have to mention the kimchee refrigerator.

"Oh yeah, the kimchee will stink up your refrigerator," she says. "My Mom has a kimchee refrigerator. When she puts eggs in the kimchee refrigerator, the eggs taste like kimchee."

"So, the kimchee refrigerator is a small fridge just for kimchee?" asks Stefan for clarification.

"No, it's big!" she says pointing to our standard size fridge, laughing.

"Oh, so is kimchee refrigerator some sort of brand?" asks Stefan.

I can see she is going to be a very expensive friend since I need to purchase a special Kimchee RefrigeratorTM to store my precious kimchee, a common side dish served with Korean meals. Although, if I don't mind all of my food tasting like kimchee, I suppose I won't need to buy the Kimchee RefrigeratorTM .

"Go ahead, smell it," she says in an urgent tone.

I open the kimchee, holding my breath, then I dive in for a big whiff.

"It smells like garlic," I say relieved since I happen to like garlic. When the wind is offshore at my house (in surfing this is good) I can smell garlic in the air.

"Let me smell," she insists implying something must be wrong.

"Yeah, it stinks," she says relieved.

"Whatever," I say sprinkling kimchee (spiced with red chilli pepper) over my rice. "It tastes good."

Monday, September 22, 2008

When Wicked Fest Is

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Wicked Fest, a celebration of the return of Wicked, the smash hit broadway musical, will fly into San Francisco's own Union Square, Friday September 26th, from 10am-1pm.

Festivities will include live performances by Wicked cast members, Ozian goodies, magical makeovers, a karaoke contest, and much more. And it's free!

Wicked, the musical, comes back to San Francisco in January of 2009, at the Orpheum Theater.

In May of 2003, Wicked made its first preview before a paying audience at the Curran Theater. While the musical underwent many changes after its San Francisco debut, in the words of Dorothy, "There's no place like home."

1 Friend in Common

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"Candy!" Melinda screams paddling out.

I could hear Melinda screaming because I was in front of Candy, as in, we were riding the same wave.

In surfing, this is bad! Surfers don't like to share. Honestly, I am not even sure why everyone thinks surfers are so cool? Trust me, we aren't, and for anyone thinking of starting, don't, because surfers are mean. (Although surfers do like to balance out the meaness with a civilian ocean rescue, every now and then.)

When people ask, "Where do you surf?" my smart aleck response is, "in the ocean."

I am not trying to be feisty; I am just trying to keep my spot a secret. Surfers don't like to tell anyone where they surf because other people might start showing up at their beach.

"You just dropped in on Candy," Melinda says as if I were unaware of my actions.

"I told her I was going," I say in my defense. "Besides, she missed two waves and it was my turn." And I was being nice because every surfer knows missing one wave, means the following wave belongs to the next surfer in line.

Then the wheels in my mind started spinning. Candy and Melinda know each other?

"Do y'all know each other from the Witness Protection Program, um, I mean the Jehovah's Witness thing?"

"Yeah, we do," answers Melinda. "We go way back. We used to hang out and go snowboarding together, but we lost touch over the years."

I know both of them and I didn't know they were friends. As Facebook says, we have, "1 friend in common."

I was feeling good. I was, at least, partly responsible for their reunion because Melinda and I were having a surfing playdate (Yes, adults can have playdates, too). Plus, while they were busy catching up, I was busy catching waves.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Driving Thru

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I love drive-thru's.

Drive thru coffee.

Drive thru Mexican food.

Drive thru bagels.

Drive thru banks.

Drive thru pharmacies.

Drive thru oil change stations.

Drive thru wedding chapels.

Drive thru groceries stores, which I haven't been able to find anywhere?!

I am not a fan of drive thru fast food, however. If they can make the food smell good, then, they should be able to make it taste good, right? And, oh, I would also like to feel good after eating the food.

I was sitting in my car, getting a drive thru oil change, when I suddenly thought of another drive thru right around the corner. "Sure," I say to myself, "right now sounds like a great time for coffee." So, I went to Starbucks.

Once I get started with one drive thru, I want more.

I ordered and drove to the window. I was about to pay when Gio asks, "What are you getting me?"

"What would you like?" I ask.

"Hamburger, french fries and to go down the slide," he rattles off in list order.

I had been so caught up in my drive thru fervor; I didn't notice we were next door to a McDonald's. I may have even forgotten Gio was with me since he wasn't making any audible noises. Normally, I would say no to this request because I stand in direct opposition to everything fast food is, but I was feeling guilty for traumatizing him at the drive thru oil change station.

"I don't want to change the oil, he pleaded. It's too loud. It isn't going be fun. I'm going to tell Daddy about this. Awwwwww," he said in his best Curious George voice.

"Okay, I will take you to McDonald's if you don't tell Daddy about the oil change trauma," I say. "But we aren't going down the slide because the drive thru doesn't have a slide."

And just like that we were off to our third drive thru in less than a mile, and Mommy was very, very, very happy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Surf Mom

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I was totally confused by Sarah Palin's claim (Click link to observe Kelly Slater "claiming," a win) of hockey mom, thinking she was a hockey playing Mom. Thanks to my friend Daniel's expalination, my confusion is gone.

"Sarah Palin plays hockey," I say feeling a connection since I sort of played roller hockey in another life.

"No, she doesn't," says Dan.

"Yeah, I read that she is a hockey Mom, that means she plays hockey," I say.

"No, it means her kids play hockey," says Dan growing impatient.

"What?" I say totally confused thinking I am a surf Mom because I surf, not because I watch my kids surf or drive them to the beach. My thinking went on to include skateboarding Mom, twist bike Mom, bicycling Mom because those are things I actually do with my kids. Not, watch my kids do.

"So hockey Mom means her kids play hockey, I say repeating the definition to make sure I got it right. Am I supposed to be impressed with that?"

"It's her way of connecting with the people, he says to me. She's showing she is like everyone else."

Growing up my Mom was a single working mother. She was also a softball and tennis Mom. The highlight of all my sports endeavors was seeing her face in the crowd. Even though she ran her own business she only missed a few of my games. Thanks Mom! And now she has finally come to a place of acceptance of the title, surf Mom.

Curiously, Palin is the first parent I have heard claim "hockey Mom," let alone say it outloud in a "hey world look at me, I'm great," voice. So far to date, in my parenting career I haven't run into any Moms or Dads, for that matter, who claim the title soccer Mom, track Dad, water polo Mom, drama Mama. Turns out we all just do it. Plus, the pay off is, as American Express says, priceless.

Even the parents who coach the teams or head the PTA or take on room Mom or Dad titles, never say, "hey world look at me, I'm great!" and believe me they should.

Call me surf Mom, skatebaording Mom, call me anything but, room Mom.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dear Mr Jon Bon Jovi

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Hi Jon,

How are you? Well, I hope. You look fine.

I am writing to ask why on earth would you record a version of, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," without her awesomeness, Ms. Jennifer Nettles? I thought y'all were friends? Didn't you two win an award for best collaborative video from the 2006 Country Music Awards for that song?

Oh, how quickly we forget our friends, Jon. Or maybe it is the fact that you and your other friend Richie Sambora penned the song together and you feel a sense of ownership? Is this a boys' club thing? You can't take it with you when you die, Jon.

More importantly how am I supposed to sing the girl parts, when all I hear is your man voice?

I phoned Ms. Nettles for a comment, but all her agent had to say was,"who did you say you were with?" Then we lost our connection. Cellphones. Why does everyone think they are so great?

I bought your album, "Have a Nice Day," because of the track with Ms. Nettles. By the way, y'all compliment each other so well. I was excited when I saw, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," listed as the fourth track. But as I was listening to the song I discovered Ms. Nettle's voice was completely absent. The track with Nettles is dead last. Jon, are you listening?

To think, Ms. Nettles always has something nice to say about you. This is a testament to the depth of her character, I suppose. She could teach you a thing or two.

Now I can't even believe you made a video without Ms. Nettles, one with an odd horny dog, but you also photoshopped her out of the original habitat for humanity version of the video.

Jon, I promise, and I swear I wouldn't lie about this, you are just as pretty as Ms. Nettles. But, um, I think she has you beat on the hair do thing.

By the way, I love the track, "Welcome to Wherever You Are." This could be the theme song for the world. My favorite line is, "remember that you're perfect, God makes no mistakes." Those are wise words anyone could live by, even though it wasn't a chart topping success. Maybe you should have released that on the Christian charts, now that you've gone Country and all, what's another genre in your bedpost. Oops, I mean your belt.

Wendy, Huge Fan of Jennifer Nettles, but I love you, too, honest.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Mama

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Practically, as exciting as "Baby Mama's," theatrical debut, is its DVD release on September 9th. A snort inducing comedy starring Tina Fey (30 rock) and Amy Poehler(Saturday Night Live).

By the way, Fey shares my birthday, therefore, explaining why she is so funny, considering she is two years younger than I am.

Poehler, plays a Gwen Stefani inspired surrogate, who is a little rough around the edges. In direct polar opposite, Fey plays a polished new age executive with an uncooperative uterus or so we are led to believe. (I hate movie reviews that give away the plot.)

The film also features Steve Martin as Fey's om-ing, eye contact addicted, mostly funny and only slightly irritating, boss.

I almost forgot to mention cast member, Romany Malco (Weeds), does a nice job balancing out the feminine energy, but too bad he didn't wear a Gwen Stefani inspired wardrobe (read: less clothes).

Some funny quotes from the movie can be found at this link, Baby Mama quotes.

Comedic chemistry bubbles between Fey and Poehler throughout the movie and fans can only hope for a sequel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Comfort in the Truth

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Bicycling has become mine and my oldest son's, Vinny, favorite athletic endeavor lately. I love it for the exercise, as well as the release of his pent up energy he would normally use to torture his younger brother. And, no, I am not trying to be funny here. On the other hand, Vinny loves it because we usually hit the snack bar, at the local baseball field, for candy.

There is a lot of bribery involved.

"If we do four laps around the park we can buy some candy," I say.

A lap takes approximately five minutes, though I didn't know this until today. We usually do our four laps, eat some candy and go home. Unfortunately, for Vinny, we arrived 45 minutes before the start of the first game. I was ecstatic, envisioning lap after lap, instead of the usual four.

"Laps versus dishes?" this question never crosses my mind.

"Oh no, I have to get home to the dishes," is not something I would think, let alone say outloud.

"How much longer til the game starts?" he asks after each lap.

Towards the end, he was getting tired and we were doing more talking than pedaling.

"What are they building over there? he asks. Oh, I know. I figured it out. It's a house," he says answering his own question.

"Actually it's a teen center," I say.

"What's a teen center?" he asks.

"A place for teenagers to hang out and play games," I say.

"Can adults go there?" he asks.

"No," I say.

"Can little kids go there?" he asks imagining escaping from our clutches.

"No," I say.

"Why not?" he asks.

"Because sometimes teenagers are inappropriate and it isn't OK for little kids to be around them," I say firmly.

"Someday, I am going to an inappropriate teenager," he says informing me of his future aspiration.

"What do you mean by that?" I ask trying to hide my anxiety.

"You know, I'm going to be like all the other teenagers," he explains, not easing my mind at all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Don't refer to me as a MILF!"

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I am so excited! I just stumbled across this Saturday Night Live skit featuring two of my favorite funny people, Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, while writing my real blog.

Did Palin really say, "don't refer to me as a MILF," or are the SNL writers just poking fun at Palin? Personally, I wouldn't take being called a milf as an insult and I kind of like the song from Weeds.

Just last week I was telling Stefan, "that Sarah Palin looks like Tina Fey. They must have the same aura. Or maybe it's the glasses."

And now, lo and behold, Fey is playing Palin on SNL. I must be some sort of psychic.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I had Leif Garrett's baseball card.

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Stefan, and I were watching Swingtown's latest episode the other night, when one of the characters mentions Leif Garrett.

Stefan then realizing maybe he did have a connection to the show shouts, "I had his baseball card!"

"You so did not have his baseball card, and I can prove it right now," I say. "He was my junior high school boyfriend," I say stretching my obsession to a lie.

I pause Swingtown. I love watching T.V. on the Internet so much I don't even know what the television is for anymore. (Mental note: cancel Tivo and cable, get rid of dinosaur which is taking up too much space in my house.)

I effortlessly type in L-e-i-f G-a-r-r-e-t-t on You Tube driving my point home with ease. I click on I was made for dancing.

"What was his popular song," Stefan asks?

"We're listening to it. Oh my gosh, I forgot how cute he was," I say transporting back in time to my crush.

Realizing his only connection to Swingtown is me, Stefan admits, "I guess I didn't have his baseball card."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fit at 40

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I was talking to my friend today. She is younger than I, by about six years.

"We got a Sony Wi Fit, she says joyfully. "It is so fun. Have you heard of it?"

"Sure, like tennis or bowling or something," I say knowingly. "Have you gotten any repetitive stress injuries," I ask?

"No, that is Sony Sport, she says correcting me. It is stuff like yoga, strength training, aerobics."

"My body mass index was 20%, better than my boyfriend's," she says proudly. He's not overweight or anything. His (BMI) was 22%," I think.

Winning counts especially when counting adipose, commonly known as body fat, just ask any woman on the planet.

"I was really horrible in the balance testing, she says losing self esteem by the millisecond. It asked me if I have problems falling down while walking?"

And here is the kicker, "and it said I have the fitness level of a 50 year old," she says in a tone of defeat.

"Fifty," I ask thinking to myself that would be disappointing even for me.

"Forty," she repeats herself.

"Um, I'm forty," I say trying hard not to take it personally, and thinking she must have forgotten my age. All the while, 40, 40, 40, 40 is flashing in my brain.

"I know, she says. Well, if they were talking about your fitness level at forty that would be awesome," she says trying to make up for her former comment. Right?"

It's ok, though, someday she'll be forty, too. And I being the great friend that I am, will be there to comfort her with the wisdom age brings.

Besides, I like being forty. Didn't someone say forty is the new seventeen? As the king of funk, James Browns says, "I Feel Good."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blue Eyes

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Check out this hilarious video, Blue Eyes, by Timmy Curran, pro surfer extraordinaire and all around funny guy. Curran is one of the best free surfers in the world and turns out he can carry a tune, too. Shanoah Curran, Curran's wife, is featured as the girlfriend in the video.

Timmy is asking everyone to vote (sorry peeps you will have to sign up and sign in to do this) for his video on VH1. Curran said he is surprised the video made it to VH1 because they were just having fun while filming the video. Great things happen when people are in the moment having a great time. Curran has a giant yellow aura, meaning his main job on the planet is being creative, making people laugh, and demonstrating how fun can be serious business.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Road trip

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5 a.m. "Woof, woof," barks Nadia the Dog. Alarmed by the barking, Stefan gets up to investigate.

"Dan is that you," asks Stefan? (Dan is my brother. This may confuse some people, since many, many people think I am an only child. However, I am very creative and have made him my brother in 2 simple steps. Step 1 he was adopted. Step 2 my Mom always says she thinks my Dad had another kid. Step 1 + Step 2= My brother, Dan.)

"Yeah, the door is locked, dude," Dan replies.

All the while, I am groggily processing the conversation from my bed, thinking was he here when we were up partying late last night in the bedroom? How loud was I? What time is it? Unbeknown to me, I am operating (sort of ) on four hours of sleep.

"What time is it," I ask as Stefan enters the bedroom?

"Five," he answers.

We were supposed to be leaving.

"Was Dan here, when we were, you know," I ask sheepishly?

"No," he says relieved by his own answer.

"Whew," I exhale in relief.

6 a.m. Stefan strapped my girl crush on the surf racks, as it was far too large to sit inside the car, and we were off to see Sugarland.

We both required a bathroom break so we hit McDonald's. Stefan got an egg Mc-something-or-other. "How can he be hungry we just ate forty-five minutes ago," I asked myself?

7 am-11am
Lots of uninterrupted conversation on everything, except politics due to my refusal to discuss them resulting in Stefan's disappointment. The boys were back at home with my Mom or Dan or some combination of what I call tag team babysitting.

Talking does wonders for a relationship.

Oh there were a few cell interruptions entailing "what's the surf like,"?

Yes, I know I don't have to answer my phone, but I was also wondering what the waves were doing? After all, I was giving up two days of surfing to go see Sugarland. People, who don't surf don't understand this about me, they just get to a point of acceptance. I highly recommend this route since I don't plan on changing, ever.

Fill up gas tank. Stefan is eating a corn dog.

"He is eating, again," not fair flashing in my mind?!

At this point, I am starving and concluding his hunger is contagious. Since, we are at some type of mini-mart I refuse to eat. But not because I have high standards when it comes to food. Rather, I would be sick and I didn't want to risk my Sugarland concert experience for some food made in a chemistry lab, rather than a kitchen.

Back on the road and roughly 5 hours into the trip I say, "this is crazy and a long way to go for a concert. I am not even sure I like concerts?"

"It is crazy, but I love you, and you went to World Cup (soccer) with me," he responded. Sometimes, you pick crazy things and sometimes I do. We take turns."

I admit I was baffled about his World Cup comment. Did he consider my attendance to World Cup Soccer a favor? How silly is that considering my first sporting event ever was something as amazing as World Cup Soccer (1994)? Many citizens of the United States don't get how great World Cup is, but the momentous event wasn't lost on me.

Then I remembered how much the tickets cost for two games and thought to myself, "yeah, that was a little crazy."

12 p.m.
We arrive at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona, CA as Sugarland is playing at the Los Angeles County Fair. The fair entrance is a 30 second walk from the hotel.

"Yay," I say in my best sing-song voice. (Thanks Dan for calling that one.)

The hotel check-in lady informs us there aren't any clean rooms available yet.

"Come back at 3," she says.

I immediately start whining. I am starving and my manner's filter is practically non-existent. I apologize for my low blood sugar behavior and we go out for Mexican food.

2 p.m.
Stefan drops me off in front of the hotel as I repeat the affirmation, "yes, of course, we have a room ready for you," all the way to the front desk.

Positive affirmation is a complete success and we are in our hotel room. Stefan plops himself onto the sofa with the remote and turns on the T.V. because he can. When I am home we limit the boys' TV time to 30 minutes a day, if that. I am not sure what happens when I am not home and I don't want to know (Ignorance is Bliss)

Since I was missing out on surfing, the plan was to substitute in swimming. We were excitedly walking to the pool until we saw it.

"It's murky," I say in disgust.

"Come on it is just like the ocean," Stefan pleading his case.

"There are waves in the ocean. There are no waves in the pool," I say firmly holding my ground.

"Maybe it's sunscreen," he offers hopefully. "Or maybe it is pee," he resigns.

No way, was I risking my Sugarland experience for that pool.

I took a meditation nap by the pool. Stefan regretted not bringing a book and settled for reading a deck of playing cards with Yosemite factoids and photos on them.

Back in the room, and now I am watching TV because I can.

6 p.m.
Arrive at fair.

"I feel like I'm in a sea of people," I say hu-ing under my breath.

"You are," he says as he parts the sea.

6:45 p.m.
Split a burger. It's hot and neither of us are very hungry.

Look for something to drink that doesn't cost $4.

Buy $4 dollar beverage. I am talking water. One bottle. OK, it was $3.50, plus tip = $4.

Trying to figure out where gate to concert is.

"I hear Jennifer Nettles singing (half of Sugarland dynamic duo)," I say

"Yeah, it's the third song," he says

"What, I didn't hear any songs"? "Are we missing the concert because you didn't want to pay $4 for a drink?"

We check the time on the tickets, which say 8 p.m. Desperate, I let go of Stefan's hand and start walk-running to the gate, beating myself up for missing whatever I was missing.

Find gate. Walk slowly in herd formation with fellow concert goers, none of whom are concerned in the least bit about missing the sound check, to concert arena from the backside of stage. I can hear Jenny's voice, but I can't see that far.

"They are just playing snippets of songs for the sound check Stefan assures me. She isn't on stage."

I decide to believe him so I can, at least, feel better.

Get inside gate. Buy tee shirt. Sit down. Only the sound check crew is on stage, Jenny's voice has been replaced by ads for the remaining fair concerts, including KC and the Sunshine Band with the Village People, Jessica Simpson, and the Doobie Brothers.

People watch. Notice everyone else seems to have brought their girl crush along, as well as, their husband or boyfriend. I am in good company. See three cowboys. They are an anomaly in the crowd adding to my suspicion that Sugarland isn't really a country band, after all.

Concert starting

To be continued................................

Thursday, September 4, 2008

To do lists

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Since July 22, 2008 I have had a Sugarland only music moratorium, with a few exceptions. Now the Sugarland concert is only a few days away. I am feeling nervous about going. Coming and going are always challenging for me. But once I am there I am usually good. Did I mention, I don't really like crowds? I wonder if Jesus is any good at parting seas? Oh well, at least he'll be there with me, and that will be divine.

We are driving to Pomona, 6 hours away. It is kind of far for a concert, but what can I say, "go to a Sugarland concert," was on my to do list. I don't have a normal to do list, although it would help. My to do list (All I Want To Do is playing in my head) includes lofty visions, such as move into a beach house bungalow, have private Sugarland benefit concert, interview cool people for the blog, surf perfect waves, see auras, own beach house at trestles with a Helli pad, it has nothing to do with me (this is a whole blog in itself).

If I had a regular to do list I might remember to get an oil change, rotate the tires, pick up some rice milk so I can drink coffee again, pay the bills, pay office rent.....Wait, is it the first already?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What is that smell?

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For my birthday two years ago I got a front loading washing machine. Obviously, my first choice was a surfboard, but the old washer broke, so I took one for the team. Afterall, the team that could not live without a washing machine.

I like to take my time on purchases, especially big ticket items. I have been known to take years deciding on the right car. With the washer I had hours to make a decision, as I was already behind on the laundry. Does anyone really get caught up on laundry for four people?

I have had some ideas for limiting dirty laundry. If everyone would quit wearing clothes there wouldn't be any dirty laundry. I know this isn't a practical solution for most climates, but I would consider moving, to make this option work. And I am totally open to loin cloths and fig leaves.

A second option I have thought of is covering clothing with a layer of protective plastic, not unlike the protective plastic found on furniture and other junk. The only problem I see with this option is the sound. After all, plastic is noisy and there would be no more sneaking up on people and saying, "surprise!"

To make a long story slightly shorter, I chose the four times more expensive front loading option. I am a proponent of quality and I am willing to pay more for it. Here in lies the problem. Yes, front loaders use much less water, so I can feel good about saving the planet. But remember the saying, the road to the place no one wants to go is paved with good intentions?

So approximately 1 year and 4 months later my washer smells like a raging sewer. Although I couldn't specifically place the stink until last night.

My Mom, current theme song It Happens, does laundry at my house while she babysits. And every week all I hear is, "the laundry smells after I wash it. The washer isn't very good. I don't like it."

OK, did I mention a front loader cost 4 times more than a top loader? So these words are like fingernails scraping a chalkboard to my ears.

However, I found when I used enough fabric softener with matching laundry detergent the clothes smelled OK, I think. Call me, the Chemist. I like experimenting.

I found ways to deal with the stink. I removed the clothes immediately from the washer, thanks to the advice of the Cleaning Goddess. I also discovered if I left the washer door open between loads, the washer didn't stink, but guess what, the garage did?

We basically decided the garage smell was probably coming from a few dead mice, as the skunk smell (future blog stay tuned) had almost completely dissipated.

And here is the epiphany moment folks! (Hold on to your Socks)

The Cleaning Goddess, left me a message on my answering machine, which I got two days later because I rarely feel compelled to check my messages on this relic.(People call me on my cell phone, please. Did I mention my Mom can't understand me on my cell phone? At least that was free! And I am learning to talk slower.)

"My neighbor got a new washer and they told her the washer needs to be drained once a month," the Cleaning Goddess said with concern.

"You can drain it yourself if there is a drain plug in the front. If there isn't a drain plug you have to have the washer serviced once a month. I hope you have a drain plug," the Cleaning Goddess said with compassion that knows no bounds.

"If you don't clean it, it smells. Wendy I think that is why your clothes smell," click.

Upon hearing this alarming message, I did a little research on the Internet. Leaving the door open, turns out, is a good thing because it allows the water left in the bottom of the basin to evaporate. Yay.

The ehow article also recommended cleaning the rubber door seal, as stinky water can get trapped under the seal. I ran to the washer with baby wipes in hand.

I peeled back the rubber door seal, I saw something and it wasn't stinky water. It was dark and wet and there were two of them.

"Are those dead mice in there," I thought out loud in dismay.

Bravely, I reached under the seal with only a baby wipe between my hand and the critters.

I pulled out two socks. Two sewer entrenched socks. One was mine and I liked it.

When I thought about washing it I could hear the Cleaning Goddess's voice in my head saying, "you will never get that sewer smell out of the washer, throw the socks away, now."

I complied. I have found it is much easier to listen to this inner voice immediately than to ignore it and find out the hard way.

I neeeeeed pancakes!

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"Don't take my pancake," Noah yelled in his sleep.

"I neeeeeed pancakes," he demanded. Unfortunately, he was no longer talking in his sleep.

Due to the fact he was just waking up and feeling grumpy I decided my old standby line, "Mommy doesn't make pancakes. Mommy makes breakie," (Fun name for French toast I made up to make up for my pancake inadequacies) probably would elicit more yelling and screaming.

So I said something I have never said before,"You want pancakes, OK I will make pancakes." What can I say, even I can melt under great pressure.

In my head, Make A Pancake, was playing.

He agreed to lay down on the couch while I magically came up with some pancakes. Do they need to taste good, I wondered to myself? About now I was starting to regret my decision not to buy pancake mix at the store. How could I just walk right by the pancake mix, I interrogated myself?

Then Jesus walked in. I often refer to my husband as Jesus because, yes, he is that good, at least relative to me.

I told him about the pancake nightmare to which he responded, "It was probably Stefan."

"Why do you always blame him," I retorted. Hey, I said he was Jesus, not God.

"I will make pancakes," he said to my delight and shock since he is the one with the real job. And he makes them from scratch. See what I mean about the Jesus thing?

By this time, Noah had fallen asleep and woken (yes it's actually a word) again.

"You didn't make pancakes," he suspiciously stated. And he was right. What can I say, he knows his Mommy?

(Mental note: Buy pancake mix, hide from husband because he just won't understand.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Need company?

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The person who is selling this spice rack on Ebay believes the rack came with more than the ability to hold spices. The Ebay ad states the spice rack is haunted as paranormal activities have been occurring since the spice rack came home. For example, the spices seem to be arranged in a different order than how they were left the night before. So, if you need company, or just want to add a little spice to your life this may be the purchase for you.
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