Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We be illin'

Our household is in the midst of the lingering cold. It wasn't bad enough to prevent my husband from missing work, my kids from sleeping, or me from missing tennis, but it just... hangs around. I am on the phone with a girlfriend, and my laugh turns into a cough. My son has succumbed to the tickle torture which quickly turns into a coughing fit. My husband makes it difficult for me to fall back to sleep since he is congested and snoring a little. These aren't painful, debilitating or progressive - it is just annoying.

Unfortunately, this means that we are all kind of annoyed with each other, and tempers will flare more quickly than usual. I have decided that the solution to this problem is to have everyone nap. Usually, this just means that my children end up playing on my bed while I try to nap through it.

After all, napping makes me happy. And a happy mommy is a happy household - right?

Sunday, August 26, 2007


There are some days when jogging in the morning feels effortless - like I could run forever.  An illusion, for certain, but still a nice feeling. There are other days where jogging is so laborious I wonder if the pain is worth it, and I just want to stop and sleep on the concrete.  Today was the latter. However, I have found that some songs on my IPod help me "power through" these moments of near collapse.

Annie Lennox - "Little Bird" - Album: Diva

Bjork - "Earth Intruders" - Album: Volta

Coldplay - "Clocks" - Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head

Duran Duran - "Want You More!" - Album: Astronaut

Jars of Clay - "Fade to Grey" - Album: Much Afraid

Marc Anthony - "I Need to Know" - Album: Marc Anthony

Oingo Boingo - "Dead Man's Party" - Album: Dead Man's Party

Rob Zombie - "Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Remix)" - Album: The Matrix Soundtrack

Rush - "Subdivisions" - Album: Chronicles (Disc 2)

Seal - "Bring It On" - Album: Seal

The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now?" - Album: Hatful of Hollow

Soundgarden - "Spoonman" - Album: Superunknown

Tori Amos - "Raspberry Swirl" - Album: From the Choirgirl Hotel

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Give me justice or give me a headache!

Justice. Everyone wants justice to prevail, and I am the worst at needing justice or my world falls of its axis. But sometimes it isn't practical, and I have to live in an offkilter world until I get over it. Here is a recent example.

I was driving my kids to the grocery store. Most of the time, we take the freeway, and today was no exception. I was cruising at 60 MPH (okay, fine - 66 MPH) in the slow lane, listening to the movie the kids were watching, and thinking about the grocery list. Suddenly, a green car about 4 car lengths in front of me in the 2nd lane decided it needed to take the very next off ramp exit. Green car slammed on the brakes, signaled a right turn, and proceeded to enter my lane! Now remember, this car was 4 car lengths ahead of me before slamming on its brakes and nearly hitting the front left panel of my van in an attempt to get to the exit. So, not only did green car brake so suddenly to allow three cars to zoom past it, but it didn't even to bother looking into its rearview mirror to check to see if there was room for it in my lane. It all happened so quickly. I couldn't brake in time to make room for green car, I couldn't swerve into the 2nd lane since all the cars behind green car had jammed up from braking so suddenly, and there was no shoulder for me to drive onto. So, I did the only thing I could think to do - I leaned on my horn!

I'm not talking about a nice little TOOT TOOT. I mean a full-on lean of the horn sounding like BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Fortunately, green car was only 1/2 into my lane before realizing that not only was there another car in the slow lane already (ME!), but that there wasn't enough room for it between me and the car in front of me. The green car stopped coming into my lane allowing me to swerve around it at 50 MPH. The car behind me did the same thing.

Now, the green car was in a pickle. It had slowed to a ridiculous speed - obviously wanting to make the impossible offramp exit, and it was 1/2 way into the slow lane and 2nd lane. The green car decides to forgo the exit and attempts to jam itself back into the 2nd lane.

This is when total chaos erupts. Since the green car had occupied both lanes a little, cars were swerving around it in both lanes to avoid hitting it. So, when green car decides to get back into the 2nd lane, all the cars that were trying to swerve around it are now trying to slam their brakes to avoid hitting it. That's because green car lives in a world where it can do whatever it wants without CHECKING IN THE MIRROR FIRST TO SEE THE OTHER CARS CURRENTLY OCCUPYING LANES!!

To make a long story short, there was a mack truck a few cars behind my van, and he was oblivious that his truck was coming up to Chaosville. The mack truck is going too fast and is too big to manuver around like all of the other cars. I know there is going to be an accident, and I'm powerless to stop it as I watch through my rearview mirror as the fully-loaded mack truck comes barreling down onto the slowed traffic. Miraculously, the mack truck driver managed to manuver around the slow lane cars, he makes it into the 2nd lane to see that the cars were at a stop, and he was not going to be able to stop in time. So, he tries to swerve back into the slow lane, and he hits the back left panel of a silver compact car. All the while, the mack truck driver had been slamming his brakes. There was smoke everywhere.

Thanks to the quick thinking and actions taken by the mack truck driver, there was only a minor accident between he and the silver car, and no injuries. Amazing! I pulled over when I saw the mack truck and compact car doing so, so I could help defend the actions of this great truck driver. Then I realized that the green car (who started this mess in the first place) did not pull over. There it was on the freeway now going a decent speed, turn signal still on, merging nicely into the slow lane traffic to make the next offramp exit - WHICH IS WHAT THE GREEN CAR SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE! Then to top it all off, the green car didn't stop.

I provided the police with the color and description of the green car and the first three digits of its license plate. That's all I could see from that distance. The mack driver informed me that his company will most likely pay for the damage done to the silver car since it was minimal, and they propably won't pursue legal action against the green car if they should find the driver. It wasn't cost effective.

Where is the justice?! It wasn't the truck driver's fault he hit the car. In fact, I believe that swerving the way he did is what saved lives. That driver should be given a medal. Instead, he will get a ding on his work record, and his company had to foot the bill.

And I can say is, ARGH!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happiness is...

There is something about watching a young child belly laugh that makes me laugh so hard.  This isn't a long video, and the joy starts immediately.

Monday, August 13, 2007

She's Like The Wind

The title of this blog refers to a song in the movie Dirty Dancing - for all the movie buffs out there. But, this entry has nothing to do with the movie.

I love jogging in the morning. Not the part where my alarm goes off or the part where I am fumbling in the dark for my exercies clothes hoping not to wake up my husband, Mukor - but the part where I open the door, dog on leash, and we head out into the crisp morning air. We may live in Southern California, but at 5:30-6:00 AM, the sun is barely up, and the fog has left a sheen of moisture all around. I would call that crisp.

I set my IPod to random, and my dog and I head off around the neighborhood. I begin with walking to give my dog as many potty stops and sniff-investigations he needs before we jog. Running with a dog adds a whole other level of chaos that I could do without if I didn't love my dog so much. Regular exercise is good for him too, and he loves it, so I do it. Plus, when he isn't freaking out over the sudden sprinkler that turned on or startled by the new road sign hanging on the lightpost and hiding under my running legs for protection, we would have a marvelous time.

Watching the world wake up is a rare spectacle, and I smile every time I witness a piece of it: the guy in his bathrobe watering his lawn with a coffee cup in one hand and the hose in another, the lady strolling down her driveway to get her morning paper and smiling as she sees me, the sun rising slowly up and changing the landscape from dark to light, and the stillness and quiet before rush hour begins.  All of these things remind me to slow my life down a little bit and enjoy the little things.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Forts are cool

I loved forts as a kid.  We would pull the cushions off the couches and bring the chairs in from the dining room, and we would have a ball!  Blankets, flashlights, fruit, and anything else we could think of to add to the imaginary experience would get dragged in. I seem to remember our family dog (Muffin, of course) wasn't even safe from our fort pretending. Somehow it was important for the dog to be put into costume too, but the hair clip stayed in the dog's fur for about 2 whole seconds before Muffin twisted (as only a dog can do) sending the clip flying across the room.  The dog was not invited back into our fort.

I was reminded of my childhood fort creations as I assessed my children's fort in the backyard.  No dining room chairs and blankets for them. No, their fort is one of those state-of-the-art, professionally constructed, elaborate, multifunctional forts with slides and swings on it. We inherited the fort when we bought the house. Okay, let's be honest - the fort was one of the major selling points. However, as I stand there looking at the fort, I see that it is leaning... a LOT.

I was worried enough about how much the fort was leaning to call various fort-building companies to see what they could do for me. It turns out that these companies won't come near a fort that they themselves hadn't built. So, my options were to find out which company built the fort, try to fix it ourselves (yeah, right), or pay to completely replace the fort.

After calling the prior owners, my Mukor informed me that the fort was built by the prior owner and a friend, and they didn't lay down concrete first.  Huh. That would certainly explain the leaning.

So, every day I look at it leaning, and I think that we really should do something about it. But back in April, we hosted a going-away party and 20 children and one adult all climbed this fort and posed for pictures, and the fort didn't even sway. Before you ask, I was completely oblivious to this picture being taken. I was busy inside the house doing my hostess duties. I saw the photo later.

But, no one was hurt. No one even thought that this picture was a bad idea! I think this proves that the fort will last another few years, right?

Looking at the fort, I went over to one of our large, potted plants that has a leaning plant inside.  I moved it next to the fort. Perfect.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

No Messages = A Good Day

I just watched yet another movie where the protagonist is depicted as an isolated, work-aholic, who has no friends. And, all movies convey this simple fact the same way: protagonist pushes "Play" on answering machine only to hear the mechanical voice say, "You have no messages." How sad! But, I submit it is NOT sad.  Watching the movie, I think, "Wow, that's great!"

In my opinion, if I happen to remember to press the answering machine button and I have no messages, I'm over the moon! No messages means that my work here is done. I have completed my To Do list.  I have left no one hanging. I am done! Even a simple message from a friend saying that they just called to say hi makes me feel like I should call them back just so they know I got the message.  But, what if my friend really only wanted to say hi and had no other purpose in calling? Then, I've called them back only to have them tell me again what they've already said on the machine. See my point?  What do you mean, no?!

Which reminds me of the new way I have of handling telemarketers.

[Phone rings]

Me - "Hello?"

Caller - "Good Day.  Are you the owner of your house?"

Me - Filled with dread, "yes."


Okay, the caller isn't really yelling at me, but this is how it sounds in my head.

Me - "uh, no."

Ever persistant, increasingly annoying, caller - "Ah, but ma'am what about..."

I hand the phone to BoopaLoop.

BoopaLoop - "Hi. I gotz a pwuppy."

My daughter continues to chatter on the phone a while before hitting random buttons on the phone.  I wince, and I hope that the telemarketer has hung up before the blaring BEEP BEEP noises hurt their ears.  Finally, I suggest to BoopaLoop that she say bye and hang up the phone.  After a few more button presses and a garbled bye, she manages to hit the OFF button.

Now, I recognize that telemarketers are people trying to make a living, which is why it is so hard for me to just hang up on them.  I'm a fan of free enterprise.  But, this method allows my daughter to practice the fine art of phone usage, and the telemarketer, hopefully, gets a BIG FAT CLUE and removes me from the list.

Sigh, okay, I'll work on my phone etiquette.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pardon moi?

I have a theory.  It is a good one.  No, really.  It goes something like this: If you have an excellent ear for music (singing in tune, hearing when someone else is off key - that kind of thing), then you probably have an excellent ear for doing accents.  I have a so-so ear for singing, but that is only after years of being yelled at by my Choir Director. But, if you ask me to do a British or Austrailian or... really any accent other than Southern Californian, it comes out as a mixture of various accents.  Mukor is amazed at my ability to create an accent for no known Earth-based culture. Actually, it is fairly surprising since you would think that with the shear number of different cultures and accents on this planet I would hit upon at least one of them!

You would think so, but no.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sometimes I can't explain myself

Don't you ever feel like your best intentions have gotten the best of you? My dilema is located squarely inside my garage. You know, the place where men put a bunch of power tools that are mostly never used, where holiday decorations are in clearly labeled boxes, and bikes are hanging on racks.

Or, in my case, where boxes have taken over (a couple have spilled) labeled "Garage Sale".

We moved into our house two years ago, and I truly believed that within 6 months of moving in, we would hold a garage sale.  But, I soon realized that I had a lot of baby stuff that I was not going to need any longer.  Well, I didn't want to have a garage sale every year, so I decided to wait a few months for my kids to grow out of things... then I waited a few months more... and a few months more.  It has been two years now, and I feel like the job is just too big to handle, and I am too set in my ways to throw away perfectly good stuff.

So, now my garage is bearly

Why don't I go to the Salvation Army or Goodwill,  you might ask?  That is a very good question.  My only lame excuse is that I still have that picturesque image of sitting in my chair, chatting with a friend, drinking lemonade, gleefully watching people pay money for my junk.  Am I greedy? No. I'm just an idiot who can't let go of the idea. It comforts me in some way. It makes me feel connected to my neighbors to see them walking away with something that I once treasured. Sigh... I know. I need to get over it.

Anyone want a diaper genie? Put it in your living room. They make great conversation pieces.