Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our State Fair is a GREAT State Fair

Girls night out, at the CA State Fair. All we wanted to do was eat and talk and laugh. And it was glorious.

Watch out for carnies.

Ari and the brick of fries. Greasy, crunchy, goodness.

My milk shake is better than yours.

Pizza, baby, yeah! Nicole enjoys that first bite.

PJ and the philly cheesesteak from heaven.

Jen walks the alpaca.

Doughnuts, lemonade, and a deep fried snickers bar. Hell yes, we had fun!

The infamous deep-fried twinkie,with strawberry sauce and powdered sugar (because the twinkie is not enough calories on its own). Yes, it was disgusting. Yes, it was gooooooood.

Night time at the Fair.

It was beyond fun. My girlfriends are the best!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fasten your seatbelts...

The Presidential race of 2008 JUST GOT INTERESTING...

McCain has chosen Governor Palin as a running-mate. (McCain, you sneaky bastard, you!)

THIS is going to be a race worth watching. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Review - They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways, and Renegades

This fabulous book by Barbara Holland is a collection of women you don't usually read about in history books. There aren't a whole lot of women in history books, and those that are, are usually sanitized to within an inch of complete fiction. OK, well, history books and their white-washing of reality is another post entirely (right Susan??).

But I digress.

Barbara Holland writes with a steady, assured dry wit that borders on sarcasm but never gets nasty. Her humorous approach keeps this book from being oh-so-serious and worshipful, but still manages to suggest how amazing these women were for throwing off society's expectations and threats. From the adventurous to the criminal, these women were not well-behaved. Great read, and I will be searching for more Barbara Holland...count on that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ugly Tchotchke of the Week*

I used to clip these out and post them outside my cubicle, at another job. Now that I have this blog, I can post them here. Aren't you lucky.

*bananas not included.

Only $19.99 plus $5.99 shipping and handling! And then you too can have this ugly POS - I mean, fine collectible.

Here is the ad copy [snarky commentary added by yours truly]:
What do we have here? [GOOOOD question!] A sweet little blue-eyed baby [even monkeys are cuter wtih BLUE eyes!!] in a tiny diaper, looking for some tender loving care. But this little one has a curly tail and nibbles a banana! Introducing "Monkey Cuddles," a winsome little baby monkey figure so lovable, you'll smile [puke] every time you see her.

The collection will also include "Monkey Toddles" and "Monkey Nibbles." [I just CANNOT WAIT!!]

Who are the people who get paid to think up this bullsh**?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pie Day Postscript

TH just had a sliver of my berry pie, and he said, I quote:


Considering how much he L-O-V-E-S my mother's apple pie (and it really is damn good apple pie), this is high praise indeed.


As part of our summer fun, my office declared today PIE DAY. Here is my berry pie:

I think I finally figured out how to keep the bottom crust from getting soggy, and how to keep the filling from being too runny. Victory is mine! But I still use Pillsbury pie crust.
The selection included a from-scratch chocolate cream pie, my berry pie, a cherry pie with crumb topping, a peach, a no-sugar-added apple, and later additions: tomato, and an apple-cranberry. They were all delicious.
As you can see.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is this trend out of control?!

Leopold checks his blog, and considers how to best respond to a comment.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Non-Events

My friend Nicole blogged about how if there was an Olympic Event in Worrying, she would take the gold. I suggested that she and I could team up and be the May-Treanor/Walsh of Worrying, and kick serious butt.

So that got me thinking, what are some other Olympic Non-Events?

  • The Dishes-Slacker Event. TH and I try to see who can go the longest without doing the dishes. We hate doing the dishes. No, we REALLY HATE IT.

  • The Thermostat Event. Whose will reigns supreme? Who gets to control the temperature? Does this meet go to the Cold-bloods? Or do the Hot-bloods win today?

  • The Remote-Control Wrestling Event. Will it be House Hunters, or Monday Night football?

  • The High-Tech Gadget Event. Who has the latest iPhone/Nintendo/whatever?

  • The Shoe-Shopping Event. Um, yeah. Ari wins.

  • The Best Deal Event. Who saved the most - was it Nicole, with her half-off of $10.00 at Crossroads, or was it PJ, with her final clearance, 70% off plus employee discount at Mervyns?

What are the Olympic Non-Events of your life? Share.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another mini-vacation

I've planned this day off, and planned it as a me-day, since early this summer, and I'm so glad. What with all the craziness in my life, I really wanted to treat myself kindly today.

After dropping TH at work, and running some errands, it was off to yoga. Fabulous. Next, to lunch. I had a gift certificate to Cafe Rolle, a French cafe. Ooh-la-la! It was like being in France again. The waiter greeted me with a cheerful, "Bonjour, madame!" I was able to reply in my limited French (which was FUN). I ordered foie gras (yes, I know what it is; no, I don't care because IT IS DELICIOUS), quiche on a salad with that mustardy-vinegary dressing that only the French know how to make, a Perrier with lemon, and a cafe creme for after. The waiter said it was just what he would have ordered; "a taste of Paris, oui?" Oui. And I took my time, eating leisurely. Lovely.

For dessert, I went to Ginger Elizabeth for French macarons, little delicious sandwich cookies that should not be confused with macaroons. Today the flavors were chocolate and vanilla plum. OMG.

These are almost actual size.

What a great day. A mini-vacation to France. I'll have to try this again. Have a vacation-like weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Or, back on the yoga mat again. I tried yoga yesterday, and while my ankle kept me from a few poses, it was a rousing success. And the best part? I feel so much better!! The tightness is gone from my shoulders, and I slept better, and I feel more chipper. Thanks Alicia!!

Now, a couple more weeks and I will start the running regimen. I'm waiting till my ankle is no longer sore to the touch, and I can do my foot exercises without any twinges. I don't feel any pain while walking, and I can go without the ace bandage for longer periods now. Every day I'm getting better, so I'm aiming for the beginning of September to start my running. I never thought I would say this, but - I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Comfort in Music and Faith

When all else fails, I find relief in music and my faith. I sat in my car and listened to Selah's CD of Greatest Hymns while the fire was raging. And sang.

There was nothing else I could do.

Be Thou Near to Me - Selah
Oh Lord I come with heart here open,
For in my hour of darkness I may be.
Seeking the joy of love unspoken
Oh Lord, be Thou near to me.

And the holy voices sing “Hallelu!”
Ever will Thy reign be.
As I wander through this life,
Oh Lord, be Thou near to me.

As I wander through this life,
Oh Lord, Be Thou near to me.

My old friend, Insomnia

Dear Insomnia -
I had almost forgotten about how you like to visit me when I'm stressed.

Thanks so much.

Now go away.

a page from her book

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


After any traumatic experience, I usually go through some interesting emotional and physical shifts. At the time of the event, there is shock. The brain turns off everything except survival thinking. Then there's disbelief, and when these wear away, things get complicated.

This event is no exception. I am lucky, in that I have remembered emergency training - so as I left the rooms of my house, I closed windows so the fire would be harder to spread. I left through the garage, because the fire was at the front of the house. I did not waste time looking for paperwork or trying to grab photo albums. It was, get out and get out NOW.

Watching the fire, I was consumed with fear. All I could think was, "Pleasegod,pleasegod, don'tspreadtomyhousemykittyisinthere." It was my mantra. It wasn't until the fire was under control that I felt weak in the knees, that my bladder reminded me it was awake, and my stomach told me it wanted breakfast, like, five minutes ago.

When the adrenaline wore off and we were allowed back in our home, all I could do was sit limply in a chair and watch TV (the ultimate mindless activity). Occasionally I would feel hungry, thirsty, or in need of the potty. Basic needs only, folks.

After the event is over, and the shock wears off, I try to deny the level of the trauma. "I'm OK," I tell myself and everyone else. I'm trying to find normal again. I miss normal. I go back to work right away (dumb), and try to take care of business. Then I quickly sink into depression. My body and mind know, even if I don't, that I've been through an extremely stressful time. I suddenly need sleep, lots of it, and I'm not hungry anymore. I don't feel like reading, watching TV, listening to music, taking a walk, talking to ANYONE, blogging, whatever. I can't remember basic pieces of information (like my phone number or address), and forget problem-solving. So work is out. That was yesterday.

Then, slowly, the depresion lifts. That's today. I started the morning in complete numbness, no feelings, nothing. This is not a fun place. I forced myself to put away some laundry, eat a bowl of cereal, make juice, read my email. I stayed home from work. I listened to some music and tried to feel something. Anything. I sang and played piano. Finally, a lightness in my chest and heart. I played cards. Laughed at my simple solitaire mistakes. I checked the blogosphere. I read a nasty comment by some ignoramus on another website and felt a surge of anger. All right! I can feel again!

Once the feelings begin again, I know I'm beginning to heal. As long as I stay open to the range of feelings that I'll have, I should be fine. So over the next few days, I am looking forward to feeling: sadness, tiredness, anger, rage, weepiness, relief, guilt, frustration, and hopefully, peace.

I'm working on a scrapbook now, touching paper, pictures, matching colors, cutting shapes, remembering good times from our cruise last winter. I'm watching the cat watch the workers put our neighborhood back together. These acts of creation and building are doing good things for me.

And I'm feeling better now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We have internet again.

So here are some pictures my neighbor took, from the fire.

That's our building, on the right. It's not our particular townhome, but our building has 6 attached townhomes, so if the fire had spread, we would have all been affected. As it is, we are pretty close neighbors and we are all supporting each other through this.

Pretty intense, yeah? Look at how the building is orange from the heat of the fire. It's absolutely amazing that we only had minimal damage.

a few more details

The fire was in new construction (unoccupied). It's believed to be arson.

I have NEVER been so scared.

Yesterday there was a really, really bad fire in the homes across from ours. We were awakened at 6:00 am and evacuated shortly after, by the police. I threw on a bathrobe and only had time to grab my purse and cell phone. Cliff tried to find the cat, but we had to evacuate without him.

WE ARE OK. Thank God!!

OUR HOUSE IS OK. Thank God!!

LEOPOLD IS OK. Thank God!!

There was minimal damage to our house - a cracked window, some melted weatherstripping, and our bludgeoned front door - the firefighters broke it in to be sure we had evacuated. We don't have internet at home so I'm typing this at work...and may not be able to respond to emails and post comments.

It could have been SO MUCH WORSE.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Random thoughts on the Summer Olympics

(I hate using corporate logos/sound bites/catch phrases, but this one from Visa really fits.)

Did you see the opening ceremonies last night? Click here for some pictures. TH and I were speechless with delight and awe. The drummers, the children, the fireworks, the "printing press," the huge LCD screen, the whole amazing spectacle was over the top and pretty amazing.

It was helpful to have NBC's commentator filling in details about China's history, cultural values, and symbolism. I don't know anything about China. We didn't learn its history in school, nor the history of any Eastern countries, for that matter. There's something wrong with that.
Anyhoo - we love the Olympics. Oooh! Swimming is on. Gotta go.

TH is the best cook

Friday night dinner: chile rellenos, refried beans, and rice.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


I guess my feet aren't all that pretty to look at. And I have been showing them a lot lately.

Good thing sandal season is almost over. If you call two more months "almost."

Just because I know you're all wondering...

Here's how my ankles look. See the ankle on the right? The outside lumpy part? That's the part I injured. It still kinda hurts but today I didn't wear the ace bandage and I went for a (short) walk on my break.
So that's it for me. Not much I can do with a gimpy ankle but sit around on my tush. What's new with you?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mostly good news, a couple of sour notes, and a WTF

First the good news - it's just a minor sprain. The X-rays looked good. (Bonus side note of good news - my bones look healthy. Yay!) The swelling is mostly gone. I can now walk without limping and so, I don't need crutches. I get to do some cool foot exercises (write the alphabet with your foot! Woo hoo!) for physical therapy. I can probably go back to yoga next week as long as I take it easy on the ankle.

Next, the sour notes. The X-Ray revealed a small bone spur on my right heel. Huh. This just means I'll need to stretch really well when I start the running regimen, to avoid heel pain. Which I was planning to do anyway. Also I need to stay away from flipflops for awhile. And high heels. Hmm.

And lastly, the WTF moment of the day. According to the chart in the doctor's office, age 35-64 is Middle-Age Adult. Which means I'm officially...middle-aged.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

You don't know what you got till it's gone

I've been hobbling around now for a whole 24 hours. And feeling mighty sorry for myself.

The good news is the swelling is minimal (just enough to feel uncomfortable), and there's no break. I can get up and down stairs (slowly) and can put my weight on it (carefully). The bad news is I probably won't be able to do yoga for a week at least, and won't be starting the running regimen for at least two weeks.

Which should be enough inactivity to make me grouchy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Life's lemons

While working outside on the completely innocuous task of watering plants, suddenly - in less time than it takes to type about it, and pretty much simultaneously - I did the following: a) tweaked my ankle, b) fell to the ground, and c) thought, "oh shit."

Yes, I now have a twisted ankle. It's wrapped up in an ace bandage, I've swallowed a probably-unhealthy amount of ibruprofen (the wonder drug), and I'm ticked off because now I can't start my running routine as planned. I'm not sure yet what kind of lemonade I'll be making from these lemons.