Saturday, September 30

Land that I Love...

A girlfriend from Iowa is having her younger brother move out to live with her and her boyfriend. He has never been out to see the West Coast, and he’s moving here. The more she talks to him, the more she is convinced that the poor boy thinks he’s moving to San Diego.

This is a mistake I think a lot of young people make when they move to the Golden State. We have a lot of coastline, but a lot of it is frigging FREEZING. The warm sunny beaches make up a very small percentage of what California has to offer. Hot chicks in bikinis, riding around in convertibles, dying to flash earnest young men? Only on TV, man.

What you are far more likely to see in every part of the state is a migrant family ekeing out a living, in a ramshackle stucco house. Redneck families with an assortment of scrap metal in their yard. A landlord pulling away in a Mercedes, going back to the “right” side of town.

I’m not saying that we are all hand to mouth vagabonds. There are plenty of affluent families of all races, creeds, and colors. But there is a neighborhood in every town that never makes it to the sitcoms and dramas on TV, and I think her brother is in for a huge slap in the face. Poor boy.

Having said that, I love California. I grew up in the far North of Northern California, and sneered at those fools on TV who referred to the bay area as Northern California. As far as I am concerned, it’s still Central California until you get to Sacramento.

But it is a glorious state with so much more than beaches and movie stars. I love the rolling hills between Vacaville and San Francisco, I love the red dirt and manzanita bushes around Whiskeytown Lake. I am in AWE of the variety and scope of CA’s natural offerings.

My other girlfriend (the other Jen)is moving to Coarsegold, which is south of Yosemite. I went to see her new palace today, and was struck again by these thoughts as I drove through the stucco shacks in Madera and then hit the dusty plain on highway 145. The geography changes abruptly and starts climbing….



  Posted by Picasa

I am sick.

104.6 F
Originally uploaded by dianny.

I found this photo on Flickr and it made me laugh. I was dying to know what the ointment was for--turns out it's an ear thermometer. Not so funny that way, but I appreciate the generic Vitamin I. They don't tell you that Ibuprofen is necessary in life, but they should. My mom and her nurses always called it Vitamin I.

I have a sore throat and the lovely feverish skin that feels like every nerve ending is being stroked--not painfully, just constantly. It seems to roll across me in waves. Add the dizziness and inability to stay warm, and it's going to be a lovely night.

Friday, September 29


I am so embarrassed. I got my TT up, but thought it was Wednesday the
whole time I wrote it (usually when I do it), and then I left this
little note on the TT hub about how amazed I was that at 1 am on
Thursday morning, I could be so far behind the TT pack. Try Friday
morning, genius.


I did the same thing a few weeks ago, but THAT time I posted too

On a side note, I am wearing a striped mock polo type shirt from Lane
Bryant. Lane Bryant, the retailer dedicated to big girls and their
fashion choices. I would still assert that big pouffy/lacy/ruffled
pirate shirts are a fashion mistake on almost anyone, but Big girls in
particular, but LB tries to be fashion forward, and I try to respect


On my springy stripey mock polo, there is a tiny novelty pocket above
my left breast. Okay, the horizontal stripes on a stretch shirt, placed
upon a curvaceous woman, become a little distorted. I can live with
that. But then throw on a miniature pocket so it looks like a fun house
mirror with my chest eight times as large as the teeny pocket receding
in the distance? Thanks, guys.

I love this shirt for it's clean, bright colors. It looks very crisp
to me.

In a funhouse sort of way.

Thursday, September 28

Thursday 13 #13! --13 Magazines I love

1. Cuisine at Home Best, easiest recipes, easy to follow directions, yum.

2. Harper's Magazine Brain food-- an interesting cross section of liberal media--a little bit of everything, the Index alone is worth the price of a subscription.

3. National Geographic Long a favorite of schoolboys everywhere, this magazine is the coolest for incredible photo essays AND exotic locations.

4. Real Simple A little bit of everything, but beautiful and simple and clean. Love it.

5. Cook's Illustrated Magazine This is the advanced version of #1. They are much less concerned with simple and easy, their point is to find the best result, and then they'll worry about easier if possible. The PBS Show America's Test Kitchen is from the folks who put out this magazine. Love them.

6. Discover It's not quite science for dummies, but it IS science in everyday language, much more approachable than other science journals.

7. Vanity Fair This is a total Guilty Pleasure. It's like People Magazine, but instead of the story about the Wal Mart clerk, they have the story about the Art Thief, or the Uber rich dog trainer, or whatever--it's snobby People. What a life...

8. Everyday Food The unstoppable Martha Stewart gave me something to compete with Cuisine--but I don't like the size--I want something I can lay flat as I dribble sauce on it.

9. Print Magazine I don't claim to read this--it's a graphic design magazine that is over my head/out of my league. But Years of working at the bookstore got me hooked on their annual design issue--I've said it before, I love cheese. I clever graphics and funny ads, and I pour over this thing when I run across it. Marvelous stuff.

10. Car and Driver Magazine My dad is a car junky. Not to fix them up, but he loves toys, and likes to know what the newest toys are. I have always loved cars. I blame it on my father.

11. Turtle Magazine Again, my father. I had a subscription when I was little, and there was a series of Baba Yaga stories that my dad and I read together. There were probably only one or two about the Russian (Slavic?) witch living in her cottage, but that time with my dad was HUGE to me, and I will always love Turtle for that time with him.

12. Rolling Stone It was my bible in high school. Not so much anymore, I haven't bought an issue in a few years (when did THAT happen?), but the first of it's kind.

13. Smithsonian Magazine My former sister-in-law had a subscription to this. It's like an Americana version of national geographic--minus the stunning photography (usually). Great stuff.

14. I know, I know, it's THIRTEEN things, but every year, Better Homes & Gardens does a Christmas Cookies magazine. I don't want their other seasonal stuff--I just want an annual subscription to THIS. My Christmas season is kind of a failure if I don't grab one. I'll see one in the store and think I'll get it next time and then never see it again. ARGH!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. ItÂ’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Linky Love...

Wednesday, September 27

Interesting and thought provoking.

My Belief-O-Matic Results are in!

I stole this from the Irreverant Antisocial Intellectual.

It's quite a shock, as I was raised Seventh Day Adventist. Imagine finding Scientology and Christian Scientist higher on the list than SDA...Won't mother be proud? Actually, it looks like almost everything is ranked higher. What does it mean for my daughter's baptism that Roman Catholic is the least likely? hmmm...

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (98%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (88%)
4. Taoism (77%)
5. Secular Humanism (74%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (74%)
7. Bah�'� Faith (74%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (72%)
9. Orthodox Quaker (68%)
10. Neo-Pagan (62%)
11. New Age (61%)
12. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (60%)
13. Nontheist (59%)
14. Jainism (58%)
15. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (53%)
16. Reform Judaism (52%)
17. New Thought (49%)
18. Sikhism (48%)
19. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (45%)
20. Scientology (42%)
21. Hinduism (41%)
22. Jehovah's Witness (41%)
23. Islam (38%)
24. Orthodox Judaism (38%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (32%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (22%)
27. Roman Catholic (22%)

Tuesday, September 26

Butterfly Update

Here's where we are so far on Little O's wings. My mother laughed her head off when I finally 'fessed up. She says I'm crazy for sewing it instead of gluing it all together.

She may be right. Posted by Picasa

Tasty Tuesday- Bread Pudding

Still no fantastic Rum cake. WTF did I do with the recipe?

More Badness...

Don’t Think About It Bread Pudding

2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

4 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
¾ cup sugar
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about ½ loaf) good quality american style white bread, sliced 3/8 inch thick and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (about 8 cups)*okay, I used mini-croissants, hence the name
1 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for
greasing the baking dish

1. FOR THE TOPPING: stir them together, genius.

2. FOR THE PUDDING: adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325*I think mine was at 350-yikes! Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish.

3. Wisk the eggs, yolk, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk in the milk, cream, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Stir in 6 cups of bread; mix thoroughly to moisten. Let stand 20 minutes.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Scatter the remaining 2 cups bread cubes on top, pushing them down gently to partially submerge. Brush the exposed bread with the melted butter and sprinkle with the topping.

5. Bake until the pudding turns a deep golden brown, is beginning to rise up the sides of the baking dish, and jiggles very slightly at the center when shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. A knife inserted in center should be partially coated with semi-set custard, not clean!

Monday, September 25

go here. support kimmie.

My Friend Kim
Has a heart bigger than the Rocky Mountains.

She takes care of everyone around her and now has found a way to take care of people that she has never met. She's just that way.

You should go read her tale and tell me if YOU have a cause that you feel strongly about. One special cause, I mean. Because I know you feel strongly about lots of things.

Opertion Lose That Ass--update--NOT!

So this ought to be an update, telling you all about my magnificent ass and how skinny I'm getting. Instead I'm going to tell you that we took the Honey's mother to the Indian Casino in Lincoln on Sunday for her birthday.

Whenever anyone says they've been gambling, MIL asks if it's fun, and then mentions that she's never been. Then she sighs. Then she sighs again. For her Birthday this year, we took her gambling. We figured it was a safe bet, because if she DIDN'T like the machines, there was always the buffet--and this woman loves her some buffet.

We spent more time at the buffet than we did gambling. I admit that I did not spend all of my money gambling--when we squeak by on a regular basis, it causes me physical pain to throw money away, on the off chance that I will be struck by lightning. Physical pain, people.

But as a result, I had money to buy groceries today!

I don't think MIL was impressed with her gambling experience, and while I enjoyed the sunday brunch aspects of the buffet (give me an omlette bar and keep the mimosas coming), MIL sniffed and said Hometown Buffet had a better selection. Given that she is diabetic who doesn't drink, I could see her point--They had nothing sugar free for our little diabetic, versus a whole range of sugar free desserts at Hometown.

Ye Gods, I hate Hometown.

Originally we were supposed to get all of the siblings to try and come, but favorite fantastic sister-in-law kept changing the launch time from our original noon, so the fliers I printed up sat in my car until Sunday morning, when I finally threw them away as I was clearing space for MIL and SIL to sit. What time did we finally get on the road, you ask? Oh, about noon.

So yes, Nikki, Sayre, and Quinn, along with other OLTA participants, I sat for TWO hours at the all you can eat buffet on Sunday.

I walked the perimeter of the casino while everyone blew their remaining cash, but any possible health benefits were mitigated by the carpet of cigarette smoke that coated the place. In California, you are ostracized and banished to the door next to the dumpsters if you smoke. Actually, 20 feet away from the doors, so that puts you IN the dumpsters, doesn't it? It makes us non-smokers spoiled. All that crazy fresh air DOES things to you, man. Walking into the Indian casinos, with their sovreign authority to let people suck down those ciggys, is bizzarre. They were like human smoke stacks.

Bitchy people watching was fun, though...

Anyway, I wore a pair of pants today that I had to DIG for, because it had been so long since I had been able to wear them. If I have to write poems, I'll write them in smaller pants than I started in, and THAT was my goal.

kiss kiss.

Damn those shades of Grey....

I am a liberal. You may have noticed.

This man has always appeared to me to be the epitome of right wing zealotry, second only to good old Strom Thurmond. He WAS the Republican anitchrist until Dubya and tricky Dick were elected.

In the October issue of Discover Magazine, he asserts some surprisingly moderate positions--some verge on open minded. I found this to be somewhat disconcerting, in light of his past image.

Then it all became clear. In a small throwaway line it is mentioned that oh, by the way, he'll probably be running in '08. For the big house. You know, the White one.


Consider this my plea to the Democratic party--Please for the love of Dog, come up with a viable candidate--QUICKLY. President Gingrinch. I just threw up in my mouth. I still liked the interview. But Not in the white house. Please. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 23

Halloween Madness...

So I mentioned on WTF Wednesday that Toys R Us online didn't recognize the term hula hoop. I went to the actual store, and found, not a hula hoop, but a Wave Hoop--apparently the newest, tarted-up cousin of the plain jane hula hoop. Yes, it was encased in some sort of Mylar sheathing that was peeling the first time Little O dropped it in the parking lot--whatever--it was on sale, and that was all that I wanted. I was only going to cut it in half.

Guess what makes it a Wave hoop? Can you see it coming?

Yes, the frigging thing was water filled. As were my shoes when I cut it open.

But it WAS the right size and structure to fill out the wings.

In the meantime, the girls at work have caught the bug and are planning costumes for work. One VERY daring co-worker received her online shipment of the Marilyn dress she will be wearing to work. I am jealous and apprehensive at the same time. This girl goes ALL OUT on her costumes. Last year she came as Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty--one of my favorite villains for pure evil's sake, by the way--and she totally kicked ass. I would love to get a sexpot Marilyn costume, but it would be porn gone bad to appear in something with a neckline that plunging when I am overendowed to the point of cartoony-ness. We are actively encouraging this girl to get some serious pasties if she plans on wearing this cheap white costume material as the only covering to her worldly goods. I think she is beginning to see our points--just as long as we don't see hers! But all kidding aside, she is going to look phenomenal and My competitive streak is kicking in--I know what I want to be.

I want to be little red riding hood in a little-girl dress and a red hood.

If you look online at plus sized costumes, they all involve bustiers or the bend-me-over-and-do-me lengths. This is something I want to wear to WORK and then take my (then) four year old daughter trick-or-treating in. Lifting the aforementioned cartoony proportions up even further with a bustier would be obscene, and the do-me short skirts are equally inappropriate because most of my height comes from my legs. We won't even address the sites that advertise plus sized costumes that go all the way up to a fourteen! Okay, yes we will. Fourteen is where plus sizes START, you skinny bitches! Don't advertise a plus sized costume that is a twelve. Go eat a sandwich, you anorexic whore. (that would be the web master, not the size 12)

Ahem, anyway...

I decided that a square dancing outfit would still give that little girl look with the crinolines and the traditional style, but probably be a more respectable length. Only problem? They DANCE, so they're ACTIVE, so they don't really get a whole lot of requests for a size 18-20 dress. I think I found an old lady on E-bay who's selling off stuff, but e-bay is strangely resistant to my charms, and won't let me register. I can't ask questions until I register. Hopefully my psychic twin Jen, who CAN access E-bay, will be able to find out more...

Thursday, September 21

Thursday 13 #12--13 Things to Learn!

13 Things Jen needs to Learn

1. Wine-- I would like to know the difference between fruity and dry, slightly acidic with a hint of lavender…the grapes were grown on the northernmost side of the vineyard, in a year with lots of rain, and they were…(sip) hmm, yes, picked by a left handed man wearing argyle socks. Barring that, I’d like to be able to drink a strong red without making faces.
2. Belly dancing—I have wanted to learn how since I was four—one of my parent’s friends knew how and used to let me play with her finger cymbals. I was actually enrolled at Parks & Rec five years ago, but got a job that forced me to quit due to scheduling conflicts—I’ll learn to belly dance if I have to do it when I’m sixty five. I will.
3. Time Management—I am eternally late. To everything. My family takes bets as to when I will show up for things. I would like to be prompt—I know some people take is as a sign of disrespect when you’re late, but I am, literally, late to everything.
4. Tai Chi—There used to be a tai chi class in the mornings at the mall, and while their annoying Japanese banjo music would put me to sleep just when I most needed to wake up, it seemed like a great way to exercise in a low impact way. (If I hadn’t needed something upbeat to get me going, I’m sure the music would be peaceful and soothing—just not at 8 am.)
5. HTML—I’d like to learn all of the arcane voodoo based languages that blogger runs on—I REALLY want to learn the lining out thing—those make me laugh. I’d like to understand how to make my blog as pretty and smooth as the ones I see as I travel the Thursday Thirteen blogroll…
6. Whiskey!! My Girl Jen, the other half of each Jennfactor tale, has learned to differentiate single malt from whatever the alternative is, and good whiskey from bad—that is such a guy’s girl kind of thing to know—How cool! (Without being a hard drinking road dog chewing on a seegar, not knowing where your underwear went.)
7. Cake Decorating—I want to be able to make magnificent creations using FONDANT—I drool over those glorious cakes, and while I can FAKE a regular butter cream cake, I want to make one of those flawless, gorgeous, not-sure-I-want-to-eat-it-because-it’s-just-too-pretty pieces of art.
8. House Cleaning—I am a terrible housekeeper and I am deeply ashamed of how very bad I am. I’d like to work as a temp at merry maids, to learn how to get it done efficiently and painlessly. I’d work for free if they’d just teach me.
9. Typing. I type for a living, but that doesn’t mean it’s a skill I have mastered. I am an outstanding Customer Service Rep, but a terrible typist. You may have noticed.
10. Pastry—When Martha/Julia Child talks about a Brioche, I want to say—oh, yes, of course! A brioche! I’d like to have a secret pie crust recipe that I am not afraid of, that makes buttery flaky crusts just like my frozen Marie Calendar’s ones…homemade Danish to die for? Oh, it’s EASY!
11. Basic Auto Maintenance. I am thirty-five years old and have never changed my own oil or tire. I HATE being a dumb girl about these things. I’d like to look the mechanic is the eye and say –excuse me? How, exactly, are you going to charge me for four hours of labor for something that takes you TEN minutes to do? You have to have knowledge to back up a conversation like that.
12. Raising my Kids to be Independent Thinkers. I know what I WANT to give them, I'm just not sure I'm giving them the appropriate tools to become the adults I hope they will be. I hope they don't need too much therapy when they are grown...
13. How to finish a list of thirteen things without petering out at the end (sorry any Petes out there, that phrase must drive you guys nuts).
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
I again profess my Love for Mr. Linky, even though I am too cheap to express my love in cash form! I get the traffic I get, and I suspect I'd get a lot less if I failed to post each link that my fellow TT'ers leave. Which I would, in fact, fail to do, if it were not for Mr. Linky's magical widget.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 20

WTF Wednesday--or, the agony of car repair

My Honda is sick. It wheezes and gasps as it chugs along. The honey took it to work and they asked him to bend over while they pulled five hundred bucks out of his ass. Atta boy, honey, take one for the team.

I'm a little put out with him for being a horse's ASS the last few days.

Hmm, there's an ass theme to my posts this week. Aren't we all glad that I didn't post anything for tasty tuesday?

I'll strive for higher moral ground on my thursday thirteen.

But he was still a jackass and I'm stuck at home, NOT earning a paycheck, because HE could not possibly wake up early to take me to work. Did I mention that his car has been dead for weeks, and we've been waiting for his paycheck to resurrect HIS car, and now mine as well?

A WTF Wednesday golden bitchslap to the Karmic gods of Vehicular Fortitude for taking out both of our cars at once.


Let's just add a little something for the Toys R Us website for not recognizing the term Hula Hoop. W.T.F.--how can they have "toys" in the name and be unable to recognize a keyword search on Hula Hoop? I am an angry bitter woman today, and Toys R Us has not helped me with my rage issues. fuckers.

Monday, September 18

Operation Kiss My Ass! Update

er, I mean Lose That Ass!

Hooray! I'm at 214.2!

I have an announcement...I wore my skinny jeans this weekend!!!!
It was by the grace of Dog that no zippers were harmed in the making of this weekend, and I was WAAAAAY beyond Muffin-topped--think entire loaves of bread--but!

Today I walked to Jack in the Crack for my salad--which is sort of a scary thing in the neighborhood that I work in, given that there are occasionally other, uh, "ladies", strolling along...we often review their fashion choices as they walk by...

Maybe my penance for mocking their clothing is that I was almost hit on by a big ole biker. He wasn't icky or scary or visibly panting or touching himself, but I was saved by a little old lady who wandered into Jack looking for directions to Kaiser... I almost offered to drive her myself, I was so relieved. I should add that I was the one gasping and panting as I walked into Jack, having speed walked from work--man am I outta shape!

Not sure I'll share that experience with Honey--he would not appreciate my efforts at fitness taking me on a stroll down Charter Way.

On a side note? I officially filed my paperwork to drop my gym membership. I have paid ten bucks a week, taken out of my paycheck before I ever saw it, for the last TWO YEARS, for a family gym memebership. Who has used it? Just me. How often have I used it? Just twice. TWO YEARS. A thousand bucks gone for two trips to the gym. If I could get work to funnel that straight to Cookie Lee for the Sample club, I'd have it made...


Ten bucks more on each paycheck in 30 days...something to look forward to...And the poetry from y'all when I post the photo of my skinny jeans--working on my extra loaves, now. :p

Sunday, September 17

A Good Death.

So I’ve mentioned it before, but let’s address it—what constitutes a Good Death. I grew up in a medical family. Hospitals are not scary places for us. Death is a natural progression, and while it sucks, I think we are sort of fatalistic and clinical about it. It happens, sometimes in spite of everyone’s best efforts, and there isn’t anyone to blame, there is just so much you can do. My paternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother both died while in the hospital, under the best round the clock care, of complications that essentially amounted to old age. It was their time.
My Ex-husband’s family, on the other hand, has had several members die well before their time. The thing that their family does differently is that they bring them home to die. Someday I’ll write about who they were and how they died, but today’s point is that they died at home--Surrounded by family, cared for by the people who loved them best. Everything ground to a halt, and their death was the focus of every family member. In my family, everyone continued to go to work each day, and they fit their visits in around the continuation of life.
I’m nauseated just thinking about it, but when the time comes for my folks, I want to make sure that we change that cycle. I want to give them the kind of loving care that my in-laws received. I’ve talked to my mom about this, and she does not want to die in a hospital room. She would like to pass on surrounded by family, not staff.
I know that it’s not always possible, that life happens, but if I can do that one thing for my mom, it seems so important to try. My brother’s wife is a nurse. I won’t expect her to step into that role (although I know she’d be perfectly willing—she’s a doll), it’s something I’d like to do for my mom, when the time comes. My dad? I honestly don’t know. I don’t know how he feels about it all. But the fact that my mom has said it out loud to me means that I have to make sure it happens the way she wants.
My folks are spry and in their mid-sixties, and I expect that the Honey’s mom will be the next to pass. She will probably be in a hospital bed when it happens. She and I don’t have that kind of relationship where I could take care of her—aside from the whole language barrier. I find myself at a loss each time she goes into the hospital—I just don’t have enough medical knowledge to be helpful. I feel that lack keenly as I contemplate the day my folks are in that situation. I don’t want to force all decisions onto my brother and his wife. That’s a heavy burden. My parents have been the medical experts in my life—who will guide me when it comes to their issues? I know that they will have relationships with medical professionals that they trust and respect, and ultimately, I’m sure I will lean on those people, and be grateful that I can know that my folks respected those people.
I suspect that often the quality of medical care is a crapshoot. The doctor you get is determined by your HMO rather than any firsthand knowledge of their skill level or professional reputation. I don’t want to even think about my parents dying, but I want to be ready to step up when the time comes and make sure that their death is a good death. I hope I have that chance.

Saturday, September 16

Woo Hoo! Karate Kid!

Big O Tested for his high orange belt last night--his was the highest belt testing, thank goodness. Little O barely survived the testing as it was. The test is simply showing each of the moves required for the belt. Everyone starts out, and as each belt's moves are finished, that belt steps back and sits down. On the night Big O tested out of his white belt, into a low yellow, someone was testing for a blue belt. Holy Bejeebus, that night was never going to end. I ended up having to leave because Little O was having a meltdown.

Last night there were only six kids, and Big O's was the highest. As a mom, I cannot wait for the Purple belts, when Big O can get a Black Ghi. Putting an eleven year old into a snowy white pristine outfit that he has to wear three or four times a week is nerve wracking. And the black ghi looks cool. I'll take him to get his pictures taken when he gets into a black ghi.

Speaking of black versus white, I showed the honey the wing that I finished stitching together, and yeah, it's all black right now, the pink panels have not been added. He says to me...

Did it have to be BLACK? Couldn't it have been know, like an Angels wing...

I did very well. He still has all of his teeth and I was very pleasant when I explained that it's NOT an angel--we've been there and done that, by the way-- it's a freaking butterfly. Think Monarch. Think every cartoon you've ever seen. I'm not making her a MOTH, I am making her a butterfly.

Sidebar: Big O's dad, my ex, was famous for telling me that what I had done was very nice, but too bad I hadn't done THIS, THIS would have made it perfect. Cooking, costumes, Birthday parties, he always knew just what was lacking after the fact. The Honey was on very thin ice, last night. Especially as I had been trapped with the ex at karate, while he fretted about how the shifu was running the test (ex, currently a yellow belt, of course knew better than the freaking 26 year veteran Shifu). I got a lot of frantic sewing done on Little O's costume to keep from sticking the needle in his eye. Where was the Honey? Out drinking with his buddy. Thin ice, indeed. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 14

Thursday 13 # 11--Best.Toys.Ever.

I seriously have to read a book and figure out how to get pictures to appear straight from my computer--the directions seem simple, but they never take. I apologize for all of my links, as opposed to photos.

1. Baby Beans. According to this price guide, she was actually Bitty Beans. When Little O was born, a crazy customer gave the Honey an outfit with a bonnet trimmed in eyelet lace. My mom took one look at her and said "You know who she looks like in that?" and I said "Baby Beans!" And she totally did. I had four dolls that I played with when I was little. Baby Beans was the queen. She had white pom poms trimming her pink polyester sleeper, and my dog Coco chewed off her vinyl hands one day, but she was still the best...

2.Magic Window Did anyone have this thing? It was the coolest. We got one that glowed in the dark when I was a little older--so simple, but I'd take this over my etch a sketch any day.

3. Storybook Records. I only had three. I had the Wizard of Oz, with Dorothy & Co coming out of a forest on the yellow brick road- The cover was dark green due to the forest scene, and I couldn't even find a photo to link to. If I still had it, it would probably have been my college fund. My luck runs like that. I also had the storybook/album for Pete's Dragon. I can still sing you most of the Pete/Elliot "I Love You, Too" song. And last, but NEVER least, I had the Hobbit. The Cartoon Version. Wierd songs sung by seventies folk singers. good times.

4.Kick N Go. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post. My daddy rode it in at the end of the Farrel's line for my fourth or fifth Birthday. I remember that moment SO well.

5. My teddy Bear looks like a blonde Steiff bear, but I doubt he's a real one. I still have him. Once again, our garbage dog, Coco, chewed off his glass eyes--My brother felt so bad for me that he took a permanent marker and colored two new ones out of paper and scotch taped them on. They are still there, all curled up and tiny, but I look at those steiff bears, and they don't have nearly the charisma my teddy does.

6. I had a wierd rubbery vinyl baby doll that would sneeze when you squeezed her belly. She had beautiful silky blonde hair. Apparently, while she could drink a bottle and pee in a diaper, she could not go into a bath tub. Forever after, she could not sneeze, she just sounded like she was having a prolonged asthma attack, or the dry heaves. In spite of the asthma, she replaced Baby Beans as my baby of choice, and I still have her. Who knows where her clothes ever got to, and her blonde hair stands straight up--she's kind of the hitler youth version of Don King.

7. I had 2 Raggedy ann dolls--one skinny and one fat. Okay, the fat one was just WIDER than the other one. Like twice as wide. I think my mom got them at the green stamp store--remember those? How in the world did those stores work? Anyway, Big Annie got her revenge, as she got a second life when my brother was in high school. He and his friends on the swim team would go on Commando Raids on each others houses. These involved TP'ing and the usual, but one night they stole Annie out of the truck and cut off all of her hair. The girls on the team felt bad, and so they gave her green yarn hair to replace it and soon Annie was being left at the scene of each commando raid, each time gettting something new--She had a full cammo suit and multiple accessories by the time she vanished for good.

Okay, the last six are books, because books made me who I am today. Oh, and my parents might have helped.

8. The Ant & Bee Books These were british and I absolutely loved them. Bee's hat still cracks me up.

9. Wee Gillis This is from the same team that brought you Ferdinand the bull. A boy in Scotland travels between his family in the highlands and his family in the lowlands.

10. The Three Investigator Books. Kids working as private eyes under the influence of Alfred Hitchcock. They were great! Also the Mad Scientists' Club.

11. Little house books. All of 'em. On the Banks of Plum Creek is probably my favorite, though--the sod roof and the leeches...

12.Gone Away Lake. Although not with this cover--mine was much cheesier. I read this book over and over.

13. The Secret Summer of L.E.B. A secret friendship between an "in-crowd" girl and an outcast boy gets put to the test. I loved this book, too--read it over and over AND over again.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I still profess my forbidden love for Mr Linky and renew my pledge to bear him children. If Mr. Linky turns out to be female, well, we'll have to work something out.

Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

What is this??? Mr Linky is snubbed by the Almighty Hub? I don't use wordpress, and I'm too late to try to install it tonight...Why? WHY? WHY??? What foul thing has my linky-poo done to deserve such treatment?????

Tuesday, September 12

The Perfect Post.

It's HERE!

The day you have all been waiting for!!

Jen at Casual Slack has gathered up all of her Tuesday Work Sucks Haikus!

Somebody call the Blog Pope! I have found something worthy of being nominated for the Perfect Post!
Dammit, I need a button!

I seriously printed these out to scatter on desks at work.

Tasty Tuesday--Dutch Baby

I can't find the Rum Cake recipe, so here is the dutch baby that is the best, most impressive, so easy it should be illegal thing to serve when you have company for breakfast. Forget standing over a griddle, missing out on all the conversation!

This is from an Old Sunset Magazine cookbook--Favorite Recipes II. The important thing is to use a shallow container (no more than 3 inches tall) to get yummy crispiness all around...

For 2-3 qt pan:
1/4 C butter
3 eggs
3/4 C Each milk and flour

Place butter in pan and set pan in a 425 oven until butter is melted and foamy. Meanwhile, Throw it all in the blender! Eggs first, once blended add milk with motor running, then slowly add flour. Keep the blender going for at least 30 seconds after the last of the flour.
Remove pan from oven (butter should be foamy).
Pour batter in pan and return to oven, bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffy and well browned.

Two favorite ways to eat this?
1. powdered sugar and squeeze lemons on it...

2. I just throw frozen peaches into the blender with a little sugar and cinnamon and pour it over...YUM!

Because I love that they list proportions for other sized pans in this cookbook--I NEVER have the pan that they call for...It says don't use glass, but I've done it, it's still tasty!

3-4 qt pan?
1/3 C Butter
4 Eggs
1 C each flour/milk

4-4 1/2 qt pan
1/2 C
5 eggs
1 1/4 C each

4 1/2-5 qt
1/2 C
6 eggs
1 1/2 C each

Seriously--so easy.

Monday, September 11

Did I say Obsessive?

Big O has declared that he is done with costumes for halloween. I think that will change as we get closer to it. But I am off and running on Little O's.
Last year Big O wanted to be a Charlie Brown Ghost. We compromised on a more traditional ghost, as CB's ghost had holes cut out all over it, and My anal Martha tendencies could not really handle that. Little O was a pirate, a la captain hook, and it thoroughly traumatized her mexican relatives that she went as something BOY. My baby rocks, and if she wanted to be a pirate, I'm doing my job right. She got her choice of TWO foam swords from big lots, AND a hook, AND a pirate coat--If we're supporting girl pirates, you KNOW she's gonna be the Captain!
I'm dying to post the photo of them, but I have sworn to the Honey that I won't post the kids on my blog.
The best part of the pirate coat was that I was stuck on the stewpid fancy cuffs, and Little O got a hold of my sewing scissors while I jumped into the shower. She came in and told me she was helping...Two about to be three and she's helping while I am in the shower. aawww, she's picking up her toys!
She had cut her coat to ribbons. It looked like Captain Hook AFTER the croc. (Momentary pause to thank all the powers that be that nothing worse happened with my extremely sharp scissors) The honey says just throw it away---EXCUSE ME? I just spent days--weeks even, getting this thing to this point. No way in hell she is not wearing it. I stitiched it back together with a few careful patches...You couldn't even tell until you got a closer look at her poor little franken-coat.


So this year my vow was to get a much earlier start on her costume. This year she is going as a butterfly. I am building her giant black felt wings with cutouts for her choice of pretty pink girly fabrics. Okay, MY choice. She likes it, I swear.

My mom could sew anything. I am such a total cross between my folks. My mother's stubborness and my father's cheesy-over-the-top enthusiasm. Mom's sewing ability? Not so much. There is so much that my mom did for me that I don't do for my kids. But I CAN fake a cheesy costume out of felt. I inherited a decent sewing machine from my Gramma B, but it intimidates the hell out of me. I sew it all in my crazy hand stiches. My mother laughs her ass off every time, because I have a machine and I insist on doing it by hand. Maybe it's residual guilt--This is the one thing I do for my kids, and I want it to always be WOW.

I knew the marriage was really over when the ex took Big O down and got him a storebought skeleton costume--that was WAR. Dumb cluck bought it too small and bubby blew out the seat of his pants halfway through his school carnival--he couldn't have cared less. Third graders don't much care about tidy witeys showing if there's a bounce house to tackle. I kept telling him his tailbone was showing--he didn't get it.

Anyway, Wings are a work in progress--I made a sample pair for Piggy to figure out the logistics--we don't need no stinkin' patterns (my father again).


Originally uploaded by supa_jen_10.

That sparkly stuff below them is what is going to go in the middle...the left one was made second, the right one was the first attempt.

Woo Hoo!!!!!


My plot to kick the evil accountant's ASS is still in play, but this is the last month of the competition and this month I have to get SERIOUS.

This means Exercise.

No more pasta and fried foods.

Nothing but raw, leafy greens. And meat. No bread, no potatoes. No beautiful homemade macaroni and cheese.

It's five hundred bucks on the line, and fifteen pounds to lose in a month. Ten pounds down over two months, but I have to be at 204 by October 9th. Minimum. The evil accountant has six pounds to lose to qualify.

Okay, Operation Lose That ASS is in full warrior mode--and hey, if I really lose 15 pounds in a month, I may just fit into my sixteen jeans by October and win BOTH competitions!!!

Saturday, September 9

Suri is the new, Beta scientologist...

So over the last few weeks, I have noticed that I cannot comment on a Beta blog.

Elitist motherf--

What? What's that? I can be Beta, too? Oh, well, I'm flattered, but why would I want to go Beta (other than, you know, to hang out with the "cool" kids)?

HA! Here's the trick--I can't ask a Beta blogger, because I'm not allowed in the big kids' sandbox. If I upgrade, my peeps will have to upgrade before they can call me names. AND I won't be able to use Flickr, which, as you know, is my only real way to get a photo to succesfully show up on my blog (but would that change if I went Beta????? Damnit!).

So I'll put it to you in the form of a poll, and the four people who read my blog regularly (none of whom are Beta) can click their answers to me...What have you heard? Beta? Scrap the whole notion and go Wordpress? Get a life?

Free polls from
To Beta or Not To Beta--THAT is the question...
Just go Beta and get it over with! Beta is the sign of the apocalypse!!! Stay far, far away!! Why are you still using Blogger at all? Huh? I googled midget porn and it took me here- am I supposed to click something?

****Okay, my poll was much prettier and easier to read on THEIR page--would it have turned out if I were Beta? I'm getting a little paranoid about this now...Are they PICKING on me for not being Beta? WTF?!?!?!

Thursday, September 7

Sweet Dreams, Auntie.

Originally uploaded by lawatt.

My mom told me that our Auntie Poppa passed away this week. She was the oldest sister of my Grandmother, and she was just a magical figure when I was a child.

I think my mom is always a little hurt when I say this, but my Grandmother was not the warm and fuzzy type. She was a survivor, and she had gumption and grit, and I loved her because she was FIERCE. My daughter has a variation of my Grandmother's name because I hope she gets some of those qualities. Okay, a lot of those qualities.

Auntie Poppa was the warm and fuzzy one. She lost the lower half of her arm as a child, and until I was thirty, I really thought it had been twisted off in a washing machine accident. (I'm still fuzzy on the actual cause, but not willing to subject myself to the teasing from my family if I bring THAT one up again) Auntie Poppa would just smother you with love the instant you walked in the door. She fed everyone, including her dog, Kuhante. (SP?) After getting my first dose of lovin', I would run out the back door to her wonderland of a backyard. She had abalone shells lined up in endless rows as borders for her garden. They were the prettiest thing I'd ever seen, and she would always send one home with me.

When she passed away she was well over ninety, and had seen both of her younger sisters pass. I think it broke her heart. She had been in a gradual decline for a long time. My Auntie Doty, mom's cousin, had moved far from California to be closer to a daughter that really needed her, but she would come home and visit Auntie Poppa whenever she could. Auntie Poppa had not recognized her for the last few years. Doty came out this month and was stunned when Auntie Poppa recognized her and told her that she loved her. Then she went to sleep one last time and died three days later. What a blessing and a gift, just to hold your momma's hand one last time, but to hear her say that she loves you, and know that she really was talking to you? A Gift.

I don't think I can go to the service, but I'll make it over to see her grave eventually, and I'll take her an abalone shell. Love you, Auntie Poppa.

Thursday 13 #10--I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

So the challenge from Denise was to think of 13 things we like about ourselves...

1. I am tall-ish. I'm 5'10", so I'm not wow-you-must-play-basketball tall (although even I get that from time to time), but I can reach the top shelf myself. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be.

2. I am empathetic, although this gets me into trouble with friends. I almost always see the OTHER side of things, too, and I don't win points when I give perspective, but I think it makes me very fair and balanced. If you don't want to hear where the other side might be coming from, don't ask me for my opinion/help!

3. I smile. It's my first reaction, and my normal expression. Not in a creepy, mall-stalker crazy sort of way, but I'm a smiley, friendly person, and it helps counter balance my pathological shyness, so I don't come off as a huge bitch when I don't talk to you. My smile has saved my heiney with my in-laws--is that the way you spell that, or did I just imply that my in-laws try to steal my beer? hmmmm....

4. I am open minded about most things, although I stick to my guns about Dubya and his ability and qualifications to lead our nation into a crosswalk, let alone navigate national policy.

5. I am grateful that my chest is in proportion to my body, which is not to say that I don't wish I were a smaller girl, but if I were a shorter/smaller girl, I'd be nothing but ta-tas. Shopping would be easier, but I'm grateful everyday that my top hides my middle.

6. I appreciate humor in others. I like to think I'm funny.

7. I am quirky. A little off kilter. Which means my sense of humor doesn't always line up with mainstream America, but really, would I want it to?

8. Aside from a few guilty pleasures, I have great taste in music!

9. I try to stay out of office politics, and the back-biting behaviors that lead to a mob mentality. Why was my mom one of the only ones who got the golden rule to stick?

10. I make kick ass desserts. Not EVERY time (whew! I tried to make a fuzzy-navel cake this last week with an orange cake mix I had in the cupboard-who buys orange cake?-and it was god awful--tasted like baby aspirin--ugh), but mmmm, when it hits. I was trying to link to my own blog for the Tasty Tuesday from july 18, but it is beyond me. Trust me, you should search the archives for that recipe if you have to bring something for dessert!

11. I am modest. Bwahahahaha! Okay, for #11, I choose the fact that I am content with a modest lifestyle. I don't mind if something is in the style of a prada bag, but isn't real prada. What the f*ck would I do with the real thing? Why would I want to spend a week's salary (or would that be one month?) on something that my daughter is just as likely to stick her half eaten banana into? If I like the look, give me something with that look. My honey is always abashed that the diamond in my ring isn't bigger--why, so I could lose it? I love the unique design aspects of my ring, and that he knew enough about me to chose something so very ME. Please don't get me wrong, had the rock been bigger, I would not have complained about it, but he wants to upgrade the stone, and I don't want to--then it wouldn't be the ring I love. Buy me a new ring. :)

12. I am a good friend. I won't always tell you what you want to hear (see # 2), but I will always try to be there for you . And I can give you space without becoming all butt-hurt and starting some centuries long feud...sometimes friends need to take a break--I get that.

13. I am creative. It borders on obsessive, but I like that my kids get fun parties and cool costumes. I get that from my parents. I have very cool parents--would that be a fourteenth thing? That's okay, they're worth it!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I love Mr. Linky and would seriously consider having his baby for sparing me the work of figuring out how to link everyone!

***My techno goofiness shows it's ugly head again...I thought I was making a link to Fee Feasible--but all I did was steal their photo--yikes! I'm afraid of committing a blogging faux pas (jennfactor 1).

Wednesday, September 6

whadda geek.

I am such a dorkus. I woke up at 5 am because I could not believe I had totally forgotten to write my Thursday Thirteen. I've been frantically typing and I just went to the TT hub, and they had not opened it up for posting--gasp! What happened, had someone fallen ill? How terrible!

yeah. it's wednesday. I get that now.

let me give you my two favorite mom moments of the week...

Stayed home with Little O while she was sick, and went looking for batteries for a stewwwpid game. We had been searching for a little while, and I may have slammed the drawer with a little more force than was strictly necessary (but the drawer DOES stick), and Little O puts her hands on her hips and says:

Mama, this. is. Cracking. me. out.

I did not tell her it was the only time she's going to be cracked out--three is a little young for the just say no speech, but I told her I was stressed, too, so maybe we could just play Hi Ho Cherry Oh, and she was thrilled.

That same night, Big O is watching the news while I made dinner, and I hear a wail of despair from the living room... What's wrong, bubby?

MOM...dramatic pause

I have terrible news!


We have Global Warming!

Now at this point, I probably could have been a better parent and soothed his fears, re-assured him that the destruction of the planet was not imminent, and turned it into a fabulous talk about the benefits of the recycling tub he hates to empty. But I'm not that parent. I started laughing. I told him It's been going on for years, and even the republicans were starting to admit it.

He huffed, "Well, why didn't anyone tell ME?!"

Love my O's

Friday, September 1

I am in lust.

I WANT a pretty new blog. I WANT to PAY someone to make me a blog that is fabuloso and thpecial like me!! I have promised PG&E the blood of my firstborn if I do not pay off my balance, so my lust is a pipe dream, at this point, much like my appreciation of our UPS driver.

And, honestly, I think I had better figure out some of this HTML stuff, since I cannot even change my buddy-icon-thing from my purple monkey doing the monkey power salute. Don't get me wrong, I love him, but he is embarrassingly pixellated on other people's blogs. I still have the pink monkey from little O's first birthday,so I can take a better photo, but it's just not as impressive. There is no monkey power salute--can you tell it's my favorite thing about him? The pink monkey just sits there holding a banana against her chest like sombody is going to steal it. She's weak.

Back to my tale of whole justification for the amount of time that I spend blogging is that it's free, which makes it infinitely cheaper than my reading habit. If I spend money on a beautiful custom template, and maybe hosting fees (I know, nominal fees, but FEES), can I still blog guilt free? When I ship Big O off to the PG&E salt mines, will I think that my blogging was the tipping point?
Mama Duck invited us to participate in the Carnival, but I don't think my blog is up to snuff for something like that! I'd like to get to the point where it is, though. I enjoy the daily exercise of both fingers and brain cells, and really try to do a little something each day to stimulate said brain cells. Ultimately, I'd so much rather utilize my verbage to earn a living, rather than my ability to handle bodily fluids without yakking. But is that a feasible goal? And if so, how do I get there? Because handling the distraught calls of the great unwashed is not progress, it's a holding pattern. Little O is almost four. Do I have to wait until she turns 18 to get out of customer service? I could see nursing as a path to financial independence, and I'd love to be able to schmooze intelligently with my family, not to mention have a solid knowledge base should I ever have to make decisions FOR my parents (God Forbid). But I don't think it's a CALLING. Not for me. And shouldn't it be?
sigh. One of the kids that used to work for me has written a novella, and I am in the process of reading it. I've started a few stories, but I've certainly never gotten up to 122 cohesive pages. I am very flattered that he is allowing me to read his work, and am in awe that he is soliciting critiques. This is just something he felt compelled to do--he has a real job in, I think, Biology. I am such an underachiever. :D
But I AM creative and enthusiastic, and I LOVE selling the right product to the right person. I need to find a path that will reward me for thinking ever so slightly out of the box, and where willingness, enthusiasm and creativity are job skills. But I think dealing with parents would be a nightmare, so teaching has kind of drifted off to the right...

I want a pretty new blog until I decide where all this energy needs to go.
I want a funny one. I want a smart one. I want my own--and next time I'll know better than to choose a forty-billion-letter-with-a-stupid-hyphen-between each-word address. do you think biteme.blogspot is taken?