Saturday, December 20, 2008

AllThingsBD is coming to TOWN!

You better not shout.

You better not cry.

You better not pout. I'm telling you why.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Classic Television

Tonight, MamaDB and I took our respective families (minus My Mukor) to Islands (sorry for the restaurant mention, AllThingsBD). On our way to pick up her hubby, we encountered some traffic. She suggested we rip through an empty parking lot which would dump us out to the main street we wanted, and I nixed the idea. She wasn't really serious, but it got me thinking... which is never a good thing.

I was reminded of the golden days of television.

In honor of MamaDB's excellent driving but wild and crazy ideas.
Sigh... I sure do miss these "good ole boys".

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"I don't like him - bring me someone else!"

The title of this blog is a quote by Robin Williams during a stand up routine he did as a pre-show to Barbara Streisand's concert "One Voice". He was describing how scary it was to be up there with the faces of who's-who in Hollywood staring back at you, and that quote was what he believed some of them were thinking.

Well, my point is that BoopaLoop has adopted this attitude when it comes to some of her favorite movies.

We were watching "Cinderella" the other day, and in the middle of the movie, BoopaLoops says: "I want the movie where the mean step-sisters and the mom are not mean."

Me: "... Uh, well this is the movie, and that doesn't happen in this movie."
BoopaLoop: Sighing heavily, "Mooom, I know! I want the movie where the mean peoples are not mean to Cinderella!"
Me: Trying desperately not to laugh, "I see. You don't like the evil step-sisters and the evil step-mom?"
BoopaLoop: "Nope."
Me: "Yeah, they are mean."

That's how I left it. I'm pretty certain she believes she will receive this new Alexis-approved-Cinderella movie this Christmas. I didn't know what to say to her that would penatrate her 4-year old mind, so she would finally understand that there is only one version of Cinderella - unless you count Cinderella 3 A Twist in Time (or whatever it is called, but I don't think that is much better). Suggestions here are welcome.

This reminded me of an earlier conversation I had with BoopaLoop about movies. Iasked her one time if she liked "Peter Pan".
BoopaLoop: "No."
Me: "What about Ratatouille?"
BoopaLoop: "No."
Me: "Uh... Finding Nemo?"
BoopaLoop: "No, there aren't any girls."
Me: "But, Dory is a girl."
BoopaLoop: "But Nemo is a boy. And so is the other Nemo."
Me: "Marlin, his dad?"
BoopaLoop: "Yeah, Marlin."
Me: "That's true."

She got me thinking - we only had movies that appealed to my 6-year old, LittleMan. Granted, she was too young before now to express a strong opinion, and in all honesty, if the TV was on, she was interested. But now she was expressing a desire for a girl movie. Great!

Thanks to AllThingsBD, I decided to give Barbie's Island Princess a try. I am so glad I did! It is such a well thought out movie. Yes, the title character is a girl who looks like Barbie, but her looks are NEVER MENTIONED! In fact, the Prince likes Barbie because she is interesting and unique. He likes her because they have the same interests. I can't think of many movies that focus on this point above all others. Even the Disney movies that treat this topic with the proper focus on personality always paint the leading lady as the most beautiful in the land. In this Barbie movie, the Princess the Prince is "arranged with" is in fact more beautiful looking than Barbie, but the Prince doesn't choose her since they have nothing in common.

So, I was impressed. ATBD was correct in recommending this for BoopaLoop.

Now, all I have to do is convince ATBD that the movie Australia is worth the price of admission. (Just go see it already for crying out loud!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


After a long and dreary, tiring day, I went out to see the movie Australia with a girlfriend of mine. I have just returned, and I have to say I enjoyed it very much.

The movie is directed by the same guy who did Moulin Rouge!, which I also enjoyed, but aside from both movies beginning a little quirky, they otherwise have very little in common. If you are interested in seeing a romance or more specifically Hugh Jackman looking gorgeous, then I highly recommend this movie for a chick-flick viewing.

I will now go to sleep and dream about cows, desert and feeling glad I have a roof over my head.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's My Line?

I don't know if you are familiar with the late 1950's TV show, but I'm currently addicted to it. I blame my brother, AllThingsBD's hubby, for exposing me to the charm and curiosity that is this show.

The rules of the game aren't that important to read this blog entry, but I will say that at least one point in the show, a celebrity is brought before the panel - and this is only one of the many highlights of the show.

I'm facsincated by the then-celebrities. Most I don't even recognize - like Ralph Bellamy (who I know as the sweet old business man from the 1990 film "Pretty Woman"). Isn't that strange? Perhaps not to you, but with the fervor that is "celebrity" these days, it seems I'll never forget Brad/Angelina or Ben/Jennifer or Britney or whomever is gracing the covers of rag mags today.

But it seems that over time their stars will dim while a new face, a new "it" person takes over our impulse-buy shopping spaces. I find that a little sad and reassuring. Sad that these people who are given such importance will not be regarded at all if our civilization crumbles. Weird thought, I know - but think about it. All these people do is entertain. Don't get me wrong. I love movies, tv shows and music. But, history tells us that our civilization will indeed be ruins one day, so what will remain that will be valued by the the next civilization? Mr. & Mrs. Smith? CSI? U2? Doubful.

However, I am reassured that entertainers will be brought back down to the level they should be regarded which is a necessary luxury - not Gods.  And yet, who from our era will be revered by the next civilization? Our inventors? Authors? I dunno. 

But if the TV show "What's My Line?" is anything to go by, it won't be our celebrities.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Obvious Tip

I enjoy doing laundry. Any chore that requires me to do very little to accomplish so much is a big plus to me. However, I seriously dislike washing dishes, and I have a dishwasher. These two chores are very similar, but there is ONE BIG DIFFERENCE: the pre-rinsing.

I don't pre-rinse my clothes. Why should I when I have paid for a machine to do all of this work? I acknowledge that pre-rinsing my clothes is great for removing stains, but I don't HAVE to do that before each load or else risk breaking my machine. Apparently, you have to rinse your dishes before loading them or the dishwasher gets clogged. I find that ridiculous! The machine should be made to accommodate large chunks of food coming off.

It won't surprise you to discover that I don't pre-clean my home before maids come over either.

Which reminds me, I wish we had a maid again.

Anyway, I didn't mean to flame off about the pre-rinsing necessity. Instead I wanted to point out the one flaw in my enjoyment of doing laundry. Since I enjoy it, I usually do one or two loads a day. Whatever clothes my family needs, I wash - for the most part. However, if my children are needing their school clothes washed, I don't wash ALL of their school clothes. I just put together one load and do it.

The other day, my son requested his play shirts be washed. I went about gathering one load of laundry that included some of my son's favorite shirts, and voila! He had a drawer with three play shirts inside. I looked again at his stack and realized that my son needed more play shirts.

I went online to order some play shirts that were on sale, and they arrived about 5 days later. Great! I went to put the shirts in his drawer, and suddenly, there was no more room to put shirts! His drawer was overflowing with them!! What happened there?!

Well, I'll tell you what happened... I'm a dufus. That about sums it up. If this was the only time I had made this kind of error, I would have called it an "Oops", but as it is, I've done this about four other times with other articles of clothing, so it really is that I'm just a dufus.

You see, since I love to do laundry, and I do 1-2 loads every day, I rarely see the bottom of the clothes hampers. Usually, about once a month, I will decide to hold a laundry day, and get it all done (except for the odd sheet, blanket or jacket). Being a dufus, I forgot to check the clothes hampers for DIRTY PLAY SHIRTS before deciding I needed to order more for my son. Hence, the drawer overflowing with play shirts.

The nice thing about this mistake is that it forced me to do the that-shirt-is-slightly-too-small-on-you drawer purge. Bye-bye beloved surfer shirt! Yeah, I really know how to pick my moments. My son was whining about the lameness of the new shirts, the need for the old shirts, and how unfair life was.

But, I got all of the shirts in the drawer.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tradition! TRADITION!!

We just got our Christmas tree up. I know, I know - it is only 12 days until Christmas, and I probably wouldn't have put one up... but the kids. I had no idea how bad nagging could get until now.

Every day this week after school, my children would clammer, "Are we going to put the tree up today? Can we put on the ornaments too? When are the outside decorations being put up?" Now, before you start lobbing your accusations and finger-wagging at me, I want to say in my defense that we will not be home for Christmas. We will be visiting my mother, so I haven't been highly motivated to decorate our home.

I never said NO to the children. I always pushed the date off until this weekend. I used the "Daddy has to help us" excuse. Frankly, I was hoping they would run out of steam by then, but of course, they did not.

Please, don't misunderstand - I LOVE Christmas. I would have Christmas songs playing all year if I could. In fact, last year we had one particular piece of decoration up for 5 months after Christmas. But, when I've missed the weekend after Thanksgiving to put up the decorations, I begin to feel like there isn't much point to all the work. It is only 5 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 weeks, 2 weeks until Christmas! By the time I put everything up I'll have to take it down again. Cheerful thought, huh?

But, as I said my children are persistent, so we put the Christmas tree up. I have to say that I'm so glad my kids kept on me. Every year the experience of Christmas with my children is different. As they grow older, they are learning to appreciate and generate excitement for all things Christmas. Today, what began as a reluctant job turned into a joyful activity with my kids who were "oohing" and "aahing" over the ornaments and tree.

I put my laptop next to the "staging area", and I put The Ray Conniff Singers album on an infinite loop. This was the album from my childhood that we would always decorate to.

Thank you, Mom for that excellent tradition.

Once the Christmas tree was up and most of the ornaments on, it was time to put the topper on. My children picked out the topper last year when they were 5 and 3, so I was surprised they remembered it. LittleMan picked it out of the box and announced that it was time to put it on. Usually I reserve the topper for the end after the tree has been completely decorated, but the kids were so delighted in finding it, I figured, "Why not?!"

As I placed the topper on the tree and stepped back, LittleMan said, "God, thank you for the topper and the tree. Amen."

I was almost speechless from shock that my son said a prayer, but habit kicked in and I repeated, "Amen." BoopaLoop said it too.

Me: "That's a great idea! We should do a prayer after we put the tree topper on."
LittleMan: Looking at me
Me: "Would you mind doing another prayer?"
LittleMan: Bowing his head and folding his hands, "Please keep the topper on the tree. Amen."
Me and BoopaLoop: "Amen."

Thank you, LittleMan, for that excellent new Christmas tradition... and thank you, Lord, for blessing me with such awesome kids.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Free-Enterprise Friday

(Continuing the sharing of my failed and successful experiences at getting a new product created.)

To be a wholesaler or not to be a wholesaler - that is the question.

Generally speaking, if you have no intention, desire or ability to run a retail store, and you are creating your own product, you want to begin as a wholesaler. What this means is that you will sell your product directly to retailers or other companies that would in turn sell your product to the customer. You can always add a retail license to your company, so my advice is to start off as a wholesaler and build from there.

However, if you are a wholesaler, you can NOT sell directly to the customer. Nope, to be able to do that you need a retail license.

Another time I will go into how you obtain a license. Right now, we are still in the planning stages after determining that your product idea has feasibility.

I determined that since I had a product I would like to sell, but I didn't want to deal with customer support, on-line orders or all of the other details retail stores deal with, I went the wholesale route. That decision cut my projected expenses significantly. It also makes it harder to advertise or market your product.

Once I figured out that I was going to be a wholesaler, I knew that I had to offer my price to retail chains for about 1/2 of the cost they would sell my labels for. So, for example, if I know that no one would pay more than $10 for my labels, I would need to make certain I could sell my labels to retail chains for no more than $5 per pack. Otherwise, the retail chain will sell the product for more than what I think customers would pay.

No retail presence = no sales!

Since I had a pretty good idea that customers wouldn't pay more than $10 for my labels, I went about making certain I could sell my product for $5 or less per pack and still cover all of my expenses AND make a small profit.

I think that ideally, you want your profit to be enough so that if you manage to sell 1/2 of your stock, you have enough money to reorder a full supply from the manufacturer. This is not based off of extensive research or fact, but it is based on my own experience - so therefore it is completely subjective. I ordered a large number of my product to be manufactured in order to keep my costs down, so it would take a while before I would need to reorder.  If the rate of demand for my product continues to grow steadily, this formula will work until I decide I need to order a greater bulk from the manufacturer.

But to start off, this seems like a decent short-term goal for my company to have.

Let's say you have a product that costs $10,000.00 to make 5,000 of them. You need to make certain that you have cleared at least $10,000.00 by the time you have sold 2,500 of your product, so you can order more without ever being out of stock in your warehouse.

This may not be possible to do when you first begin your company, but it should most definitely be the first goal you make for your company. This is what will get your company from the red to the black financially.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

1st Floor: Sci-Fi Convention

Once a week, LittleMan gets an allergy shot. Most of these trips have been uneventful. We enter, wait with countless others, get our named called, get the shot, grab a lollipop, and then leave. Today, however, we were in the waiting room with nameless faces, but two caught my eye: a boy about 12 years old and his father who looked a lot like Peter Jackson.

No, no, it wasn't THE Peter Jackson, but a guy who looked like he had ignored the same barber for some time. Since we were in Beverly Hills, I assumed this guy to be some eccentric talent... like a movie sound guy or a film editor.

Anyway, after the allergy shot was given (and my kids agonized over which lollipop color to pick *sigh*) we left the office and waited for the elevator. Soon enough, the Peter Jackson clone and his son arrived to wait with us. LittleMan noticed the 12-year old's lollipop.

LittleMan: "Your lollipop is green just like mine!"
12-Year Old: "Yup."
Me: "Ah, but his lollipop matches his shirt, LittleMan."
12-Year Old: "Actually, green is my favorite color."
LittleMan: "Me too."

BoopaLoop: Noticing the dad's lollipop, "Your lollipop is red."
Dad: Smiling, "Yeah."
Me: "But his lollipop doesn't match his shirt. See? It is gray." After a moment, "I suppose gray wouldn't be a very delicious-looking lollipop... except to kids your age", gesturing to the 12-year old.
12-Year Old: Nods his agreement

I don't really know why I kept comparing the lollipops to their shirts except to say that I'm in a habit of teaching my kids through games whenever I think to do it. I'm going to use that as my excuse (even though my kids are well beyond the "identify this color" stage) otherwise I just look like a loony.

12-Year Old: Notices my 'Jedi Academy Training' sweatshirt
Me: "Pretty cool sweatshirt, huh?"
12-Year Old: "Live long and prosper."
Me: Smiling, "That's the wrong movie."
12-Year Old: "I'm a Trekkie."

Elevator doors open, and we all get in.

Me: "Yeah, I'm a fan of Star Trek."
12-Year Old: "Are you familiar with 'Next Generation'?"
Me: "Oh, yeah!"
12-Year Old: "Resistance is futile."
Me: "Nice! Are you familiar with the game Yahtzee?"
12-Year Old: Looking slightly disappointed, "Yeah."
Me: "Well, we have a funny saying whenever a player is trying to roll a Yahtzee of ones. We say, Alexander, a Klingon warrior does not roll for ones!"

Well, I figured these two would appreciate and recognize the reference, but I had no idea they would lose control of themselves with laughter. While these two were laughing way too hard at my statement, I noticed that the elevator had filled up. There were 8 women, 2 men, 3 kids and a dog (being carried). I can only imagine what they were thinking about this conversation.

Dad of 12-Year Old: Begins to speak to me in Klingon
Me: Smiling at Dad but trying to keep the "you're a loon" look from my face
Dad: "That's basic Klingon."
Me: "Wow! That's... nice."

I'm smiling now enjoying this crazy family, but I'm certain several people in the elevator wish to escape right now.

Me: "Speaking of my sweatshirt, when do you think my son would be old enough to see Star Wars?"
Dad: "How old is he?"
Me: "6"
Random 40-something Year Old Man At Front Of Elevator: "Humph! My kids saw all 6 movies by the time they were 7. He's old enough."
Me: "..."

Elevator doors opened, and the kids and I got off. I called out a farewell and thanks to the two men and the 12-Year Old remaining in the elevator, and smiled to the kids.

Note to self: If you want to engage in elevator conversation with 35-45 year old men, talk about Star Wars or Star Trek.

Me: "That was kind of cool meeting so many people in elevator. Usually people don't like to talk to strangers on an elevator."
LittleMan: "Why?"
Me: "I dunno. People are so busy thinking about their schedules and stuff."
Random 40-something Year Old Woman: "There was a comedian that said, If you want to clear out an elevator, enter the elevator, face all of the passengers, and laugh loudly."
Me: Chuckling, "Yeah, I don't know what I would do if someone did that."

Note To Self REVISED: If you want people to talk to you, wear the JEDI sweatshirt... and if you don't, try what the comedian suggested.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Graceful I am NOT

LittleMan and BoopaLoop are 6 years and 4 years, respectfully. They also account for about 99.9% of all spills, splats, ker-BLAMS, and other "accidents" from age 0-3 1/2 years.

Something happened after that.

I venture to guess that it was the high-pitched screeching and temper tantruming that I threw after every one of these incidences. Okay, perhaps I didn't SPAZ OUT every time, but my brain always felt like there was a small firework display going off... with the neighborhood dogs howling... and a train screaming by... with a ninja thrown in (because, let's face it, ninjas are cool.)

My curiosity about their behavior ignited tonight at dinner. We were at one of our favorite kids-can-be-beasts-and-no-one-cares places, Cafe 50s.

BoopaLoop: "What are these?" Pointing to a toy she and LittleMan just received from the hostess of the restaurant.
Me: "These care called 'Jacks'. Want me to show you how to play?"
LittleMan: "I know how to play. You bounce the ball and grab one of these. Then you bounce it and..." trailing off after losing track of his thoughts.
Me: "Right! You pick up each Jack one at a time, but you have to catch the ball in mid-air after you pick up each Jack."
The kids were watching me, but clearly not really getting the picture.

Me: I demonstrate the game for them.

Now, it had been some time since I had attempted Jacks - about 28 years, probably. I bounced the ball on the table, and watched as the ball bounced pathetically high. I wasn't even close to picking up the Jack much less the ball before the ball bounced on the table again. I scrambled to get the ball before it rolled off the table.

I realized I would have to bounce the ball harder.

Sure enough! BOOM! The ball bounced much higher, I grabbed a Jack, and caught the ball in mid-air. My kids were appropriately impressed. So was I. I bounced the ball, grabbed a Jack, bounced the ball, grabbed a Jack... This continued until I had about 3 Jacks left. These 3 were going to be hard to pick up in time since they were in a big pile and not spread apart. For those of you familiar with this game, you know that picking one Jack from the pile is pretty difficult.

But, my kids were watching, waiting to see how this all would turn out. So, I bounced the ball really hard, attempted to grab a Jack, ricocheted the Jack off my fingers, tried to stop said Jack from flying off the table, quickly attempted to catch the ball in mid-air, and watched as my sleeve caught on my silverware. The knife that got caught in my sleeve was pushed with so much force (remember, I was trying to catch the ball before it bounced again on the table) that the knife knocked my FULL glass of Diet Coke all over the table. It also shattered the glass!

I was struck dumb. It was practically a ballet the way the whole event happened. It was unbelievable. However, I was also mortified that I had not only made a huge mess which led to a broken restaurant glass, but I had behaved in a manner I have repeatedly told my children NOT TO in a restaurant.

BoopaLoop: Struggling not to cry
Me: Alarmed! "Oh, honey. It is okay." Laughing at myself, "See? Mommies make messes too!"
BoopaLoop: Smiled but was still clearly devastated.
LittleMan: "That was totally cool."

LittleMan's reaction had me laughing, but BoopaLoop... I must have completely scarred her for life with the idea that messes are not okay. But I don't remember yelling or putting the children on time out for accidentally spilling stuff. I do remember being "short" with them, but I explained that mommy was just frustrated that I had a huge mess to clean up. Perhaps BoopaLoop took my plight to heart.

But there is something else that disturbs me about this incident - in the last year, my mother an I have spilled more beverages than the kids had the first 3 1/2 years of their life!

How do I explain this trend away?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mama DB!

Yesterday I did a post about friendship.

Today is the birthday of one of my closest friends. Happy Birthday, Mama DB!

She is an awesome mom of two incredible kids, a loving wife to a lovable guy, and an amazing photographer. So, to show her the proper respect and to honor a fellow stay-at-home mom, I will now relate to my mom "Hi MOM!" the masses a funny story about her.

About 1 year ago, she and I got it into our heads that in order to help encourage us to cook for our finiky children, we should do family-style meals together. The idea would be that the children would help encourage each other to eat, but what ended up happening was a bunch of tag teaming and yelling for children to "stop acting like the food was poison!"

Most of the time the food wasn't.

However, there was an instance where Mama DB and I decided that we really needed our own reality show called, "How NOT To Cook".

I had frozen chicken tenders that I was planning to cook this particular evening that Mama DB and her family joined us. We were going to douse these chicken pieces in yellow curry sauce, and throw in a side veggie dish and starch dish and you have yourself a banquet!

Well, when it was about 30 minutes before dinner was to be eaten, Mama DB asked me if I had defrosted the chicken. I said, "No, I always cook them from frozen." She looked at the time, and then she looked at me and said nothing.

Elapsed time: 25 minutes

Chicken was cooking on the stove top. Everything else was ready except for the chicken, which was (admittedly) getting a little burnt on the outside and was still raw and partially frozen on the inside. Mama DB peered over my shoulder and said... nothing. I was still poking the chicken hoping that it would miraculously change from being a disease-infested dish to a delicious work of art. But... barring the use of illegal drugs to impair our judgement, that WASN'T going to happen.

Total elapsed time: 35 minutes

Mama DB sees the frozen chicken on the pan, and she suggests, "How about we boil it?" Desperate for something that would salvage the chicken, I say SURE! I take a big step back and leave my chicken in the capable hands of my friend with ample boiling experience.

Total elapsed time: 45 minutes

The chicken had finished boiling and was in fact cooked all the way through. We then looked at it...

I poked it...

The consistancy was inexplicable. It is like touching one of those fake chickens they use for comedy routines. Yes, RUBBER! It felt like a rubber chicken. I have finally discovered how they make those!

But, I wasn't going to say anything about it. Mama DB had saved my dinner!

Except, no amount of cooking or yellow curry sauce could save the rubber chicken. It was too... weird. I don't know how else to describe it.

Huh... after reading this story, I realize this is more about my cooking ineptitude rather than a funny story about Mama DB. Well, Mama! That's what friends are for. Happy Birthday!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I got this definition of friendship from Wikipedia.

"Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more people. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, and affection and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for many, friendship is nothing more than the trust that someone or something will not harm them."

That last sentence made me sad. To think that some people expect nothing more from their friends than a trust that they will not be harmed.

I have few people I would call friends. Not because I'm not likable but because I expect to be there for every one of them. I just wouldn't have enough energy to have tons and tons of friends as some people aspire to. No thank you. I like having my small circle of friends to be able to drop everything for - whatever the occasion, and I'm blessed that my friends do more than "do me no harm".

There has been an occasion or two where someone who I might have called friend made me feel badly about myself, and I had to make the hard decision to no longer give that person my time or effort.

Someone once told me, "Why be friends with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself?"


To me, friendship is being passionate about your friend's passion, yelling at a random stranger when an injustice has fallen on a friend, or having your friend's back when the chips have fallen (whatever that means).

I never question a friend's motives unless they have asked me to. I have faith in my ability to pick great friends to assume the best about them rather than question their actions.

Otherwise, what a sad world I would live in.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy 40th My Mukor

Granted, it isn't really My Mukor's 40th birthday, but celebrating it today (about two weeks early) was the only way I could think to really surprise him. Five of his closest friends showed up early this morning (8:30 AM is early for him), and they took him to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Mama DB helped me set the surprise stage so well. I told My Mukor to block today out for her birthday, since Mama's birthday is in early December. However, that wouldn't be enough to get him showered and out of bed bright and early. Nothing would ruin this perfect surprise birthday more than to have My Mukor come out of his bedroom in his bathrobe surrounded by his friends. Okay... THAT would have been fun, but not for him.

So, we devised this plan that Mama DB's family would arrive early this morning, and the reason My Mukor had to be up and showered was so he could take the children to the zoo early to see the gorilla feedings...?! What?! This was Mama's idea, and I would NEVER have thought of that.

Have you ever played two lies and a truth? It is a game where you say two things which are lies and one truth, and your friends have to figure out which one is true. Well, the key to that game is to make certain that both the lies and the truth are slightly unbelievable; therefore, making them all mostly believable! That's what this "gorilla feeding" excuse was - just slightly unbelievable to be believable!

There was only one little hitch in the perfect plan. Last night, My Mukor looked online at our AMEX charges (as he does from time to time to help thwart fraudulant charges) and noticed a large charge for Six Flags Magic Mountain. Sigh... darn. My Mukor was looking right at me with puzzlement in his eyes, and I'm a horrible liar. Oh sure, I had a ton of great excuses I could have used in a moment's notice, but without any practice to make my lie believable, I had to tell him the truth.

"Those charges are for your 40th birthday party."

My Mukor was so EXCITED! He couldn't wait for his birthday to arrive, so he could go on wisdom-defying rides. I guess telling him a 1/2 truth kept him from being suspicious about the next day.


This morning, I woke up waaaay too early in my excitement. I double-checked the weather to make certain it wasn't going to rain (probability of rain 0%). I verified that I had all of the Magic Mountain tickets printed and ready to go. I even printed out directions on how to get there. Now, all I had to do was wait.

The plan was for the men to arrive at 8:30 in order to leave at 9 AM. The park opens at 10 AM, so I thought this would leave them plenty of time... just in case one or more friends are late - as some are prone to do. My kids wake up at 8 AM, and Mama's family shows up soon thereafter.

I forgot to mention to the men that they could come INSIDE our house, so they were waiting out in our driveway waiting for the signal that it was okay to come inside. At 8:40 AM, I called them inside, and I had them wait in the kitchen. By this time, My Mukor was mostly dressed and getting ready to come out of his bedroom.

My Mukor came strolling down the hallway, wandered into the living room, and was about to use his laptop, when we all came busting in from the kitchen singing "Happy Birthday". I could tell at first he didn't get what was going on. After all, it wasn't his birthday. But after a moment of seeing everyone singing to him and his wife holding a video camera, he got it. And he grinned from ear to ear before shooting an accusing look at me and his friends.

Then came the fun part of regaling him with stories of how we tried to pull this off. This of course was followed by him denying that he knew anything about this other than the AMEX charge slip up the night before.

After leaving around 9 AM, the men returned at 8 PM with smiles on their faces, souveigners and exhausted bodies. They had stopped to eat dinner on their way back, and they had a BLAST!