Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adding to the common lexicon

I've been working on adding a couple of phrases to the common lexicon. They used to be very popular, back when my grandparents were children, but I've noticed that they've fallen out of favor in my neck of the woods.
Wash and Set
This was something your grandmother had done at a beauty parlor, some ladies had it done daily - those were people living high on the hog indeed! It involved having your hair washed and then put up in rollers, or curlers, and sitting under a dryer while gossiping with the other hens.
Fergie wears it rather well. At least I think it's Fergie - I can't really tell with the rollers and dark glasses...

Bread and Butter
What you say when you are walking along, holding hands, and have to split apart to go around a tree, pole, etc. You can see it at 5:42 in the following:

I found a bunch of merrie melodies on you tube, and had actually FORGOTTEN about them. I'm off to watch more. I may have the energy to tell you of the five hour zoo trip later. After a drink or ten. Definitely after my headache goes away and my nose thaws out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Job search

Earlier today I went to the park with the boys and the visiting cousins from CO. We were only there for a couple of hours, but they all had a lot of fun on the swings, and traipsing through the thigh high drifts of leaves. My oldest and the oldest cousin played a jungle game. She was queen of the felines, and he was king of the reptiles. The younger boys climbed trees and threw rocks and sticks, and the youngest played on the swings and slide. I'll have to get the boys back out for photos. I was a bit photoed out after the holidays. Later today I surfed the web for jobs, and applied for a few. Luckily, I live in an area where there is a multitude of IT work. I just need to find what fits.

Last night was the holiday dinner with Ron's step sister and brothers. The kids all had a good time, except for the 13 year old, who spent the time texting his friends about how bored he was. The three 9 year olds, two 8 year olds, and one each 6, 5, and 3. All but one are boys. It was really loud. They played Wii Olympics, and ran around with swords and Light Sabers. It was casual - spaghetti, salad and bread. And desserts from other holiday offerings. They asked me to bring what I call my stuff salad. They all call it trail mix salad. I don't like lettuce, I like the stuff that goes on it.

That said, here is my Stuff Salad Recipe:

2 bags washed Spring Mix
2 cans Mandarin Oranges, drained
2 cans Hearts of Palm, drained and sliced about 1/2" thick
1 bag Craisins, original flavor
1 tub crumbled Bleu or Roquefort cheese
2 bags Candied Walnuts, Butter Toffee flavor
1 jar Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette

Layer all items into a bowl, in any order you like, though I find lettuce on the bottom works best. Pour dressing over, slightly toss and serve. Serves 10-15.
I eat mostly the stuff, and leave the lettuce, but I've found that there are people on this planet who actually like lettuce. Otherwise, I'd leave it out entirely. I've also found I can do these on chilled salad plates for a nice presentation. Alternately I've added thinly sliced red onion, artichoke hearts or water chestnuts instead of the palm. I'd also say candied pecans would work, though I'm not that fond of them.

I did have a strange dream the other night, though now I cannot remember what it was about. Last night I was feeling a bit of vertigo, and I know I need to get to the Acupuncturist.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

au revoir et salut

Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day. This makes me sad to know the population lost a tremendously talented woman. Though the thought of her and Miriam Makeba together in Heaven makes me smile.
For your viewing and listening pleasure:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post Holiday Rambling

Here it is the day after Christmas and I am really glad the year is almost over, as well as the season.
(This was not what it looked like, and I would have gotten a picture if it had lasted more than 5 minutes after I got it home)

The week wouldn't be complete without another story about the boys and poop. On Monday, we went to my mom's to build gingerbread houses with sis and my nephews. One house for each family, and my boys split our house. Boy #1 had a swirly half of the roof, and boy #2 had bullseyes on his half. On the way home boy #1 remarked that something smelled weird. (If you've been reading this blog since it's inception, you already know this is not a good sign at all.) My reaction (as it always is), "What smells weird?" "There's something on my shoe." Now I yell, "DON'T TOUCH IT!" But of course he has already gotten it on his fingers. His. Fingers. So I tell him to smell it, hoping it is just mud, but knowing my luck is not that good. All I can see from the front seat is his face, and he is making a "oh no, I cant believe I have dog shit on my hands!" face. I then hand him some napkins, tell him to wrap it around his fingers and to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. All of this, while I'm driving home as quickly as possible. Not 2 minutes goes by, and I see him scratching his face with the shitty hand! I am now yelling again, my blood pressure is escalating, and I'm thinking about replenishing my supply of hand sanitizer for the car. Another 5 minutes sees him now scratching his ear, again with the shitty hand. For Christ's sake, can I just get him to sit without touching anything? It's only 10 miles from where I was to my home, and yet we still weren't there. Before we got home, boy #2 also scratched boy #1's ear. Yes the same ear. I know he was only trying to help, but really? So we pull in and they are both clasping their hands together. Unbuckling was a snap. I had them unclasp, close their hands tightly, and maneuver out of the seat belt after I unbuckled each. I helped them out of the car, had them re clasp their hands and raise them overhead. I got them in the house, pushed up the jacket sleeves, scrubbed the hands, got the jackets off, scrubbed the face and ear, and threw the jackets into the wash.

Then I needed a drink.

Tuesday was picking up my Bro-in-law and family at SFO. Thirty minutes to get there, and 90 minutes to get home. During the ride home, the Nephews and Niece alternated crying, screaming and laughing hysterically. To say they were done in is an understatement at best. I also had the privilege of hearing about the extra TSA steps they had to take so that Bro-in-law could bring his firearm with them. Gee I feel safer already...

I needed a drink following that as well.

Wednesday and I had a nice long lunch with 2 friends who encouraged me to include the poo story in my book on boys. Christmas Eve found us at a relative's with kids who only wanted to open presents in a house that is not kid friendly. We survived it with little drama and even took a side trip to Bob's World 2. Little did I realize that putting together a Lego of 471 pieces for a 5 year old would take 2 hours. I think I could have done it alone in One. That put me to bed at 1am.

I collapsed into bed - no need for a beverage.

Yesterday was Christmas, and my blessed children waited until 6am to wake us, although they were up at 4:48. It was rainy and still very dark outside, but we were up and opening gifts. My folks came over at 7:30, I cooked Apple Cinnamon Ring, and Bacon with Coffee and Juice. We opened more gifts, and they went home at 9:00. The boys rode their scooters when the rain stopped, and we went to my In-laws at 11:00. I took boy #2 with me to my folks so I could see Sis, Nephews and an Aunt & Uncle. Boy #1 stayed and did PictoChat on his DS with Niece & Nephew. Went back to In-Laws and stayed until 8pm. By the time we came home I was ready to kill Ron, and his head was ready to explode from dealing with his family.

I desperately needed a drink after that, but my phone was refusing to recognize my SIM chip, and I was convinced that drinking would only reduce my impulse control, and I would have flushed it down the toilet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

OMG! I almost forgot Carol Doda!

In my post, "Going insane - random ranting" I totally forgot that our neighborhood gossip included that one of us helped enhance Carol Doda. I first heard of her in the mid 70's, when she was Grand Marshall of the KNBR Good Times Parade. I watched the parade with my family every year it was put on. It was my hometown after all, and it was pretty crazy back then. I remember the Balloon Platoon of course, and Lady Godiva (also my first introduction to that tale). I also remember the kids on bikes with cards and streamers in the spokes. And motorcycle guys in leather. It was also when I learned how to make fairy scissors out of the weeds growing on the side of the road.
I didn't think anything of the fact that she was a stripper. It seems in retrospect that he met many illustrious SF people. And here I thought my folks were fuddy duddies, but I know he also saw Ike & Tina Turner and Little Stevie Wonder at the Fillmore.
I maybe starting to understand my fascination with leggy blonds with nice boobs and tans.
I'm going to be taking photos of my family this season, because as I've been pouring over my flickr account recently, I realized there are not enough shots of my kids with our family. I also am going to continue shooting my photo walks, and start a series of self portraits.
In my spare time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Clean Windows = Happiness

Today, instead of cleaning bathrooms and the rest of the house, as I'd planned, I cleaned all of the windows in my house. You know what? It made me feel better. A lot better. The sun was shining, despite the frigid air, and my house felt warm and bright.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Heritage & more rambling

This week was heritage reports at school, with Family Trees, costumes, reports and food. One kid picked Italy, and I made Mary bread, which is sort of Italian, and really easy.
1 loaf french or sour dough bread
1 cube butter
1 pkg Good Season's Italian Dressing mix
melt the butter to spreadability. mix the dressing mix and butter. Split the loaf (like you would for garlic bread. Spread the buttery mix on bread. Place under broiler until golden toasty. Slice and serve.
The other picked Scotland and I bought Walker's Shortbread. There were Samosas, Tamales, Enchiladas, Puffed Jasmine Rice, Potato Chips (for Idaho), Irish Sweet Bread, and Irish Soda Bread, Lumpia, Pot stickers and Spring Rolls. There were Swedish Meatballs, Spaghetti and Pizza. For dessert there was Rice Pudding, German Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Coins, and Cookies of all kinds.
I'm thinking of creating a cookbook of the recipes, they were THAT good! I found many more vegetarians than I had initially known about, and commiserated with the other moms of picky eaters.
The kids got to wear jammies to school, and were read the Polar Express. They were each given a bell and a book for the holidays and because it was rainy, they were completely wound up.
Now I have to figure out what to do with them next week. Tomorrow I'm going on a photo walk with them. Sunday, Ron is heading to the Raider game. Monday we'll be building Gingerbread houses at Grandma and Papa's house. Tuesday I need to do an airport run. Wednesday and Thursday will be totally nuts. I need to plan a play date for Friday. Saturday we'll be visiting Granny in Hilmar. Sunday-Tuesday is currently open. Wednesday and Thursday again out of the equation. Friday through Sunday totally open. Maybe a snow trip. Maybe just local parks and museums and photo walks. I am feeling a bit cooped up myself and in need of an outing.
Ron is driving me insane with the EMT class. He kept me up past midnight, yammering on about the people in the class, the instructors, the scenarios they have been practicing. Despite wanting some time away and alone, I let him take the car to a study group this afternoon, just to get him to stop freaking out. I holed up in the office, applying at various companies in the area. We'll see what comes of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today is funny

My husband resembles a cross between the following 2 characters:

And he makes me laugh on a regular basis. In fact, I've always been a sucker for comedy. Anyone who makes me laugh is halfway into my pants. Make it a guy with fair skin, blue eyes and dark hair, or a gal with long legs, a tan and blond hair and I'm smitten!

When I need cheering up, I think back to a time when we were living in a 2 bedroom condo, and our bed looked into the bath. He was emerging from the shower, and slipped. He didn't fall, but did a whole Fred Flintstone backpedal thing that had me laughing so hard, I almost peed myself! He was mad because he could have been hurt, but just conjuring up that image today makes me laugh all over again! I know, I'm probably going to hell for laughing at his near injury, but honestly, a dripping wet naked man who looks like Fred Flintstone? Hilarious!

And me today? I resemble Pearl Slaghoople:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boys are kind of weird

It struck me today just how different boys are from girls - I know, I know, besides the obvious. Get your heads out of the gutter folks!

My boys like fart jokes. They like to show their bare butts to each other, and think it's the height of hilarity when someone gets whacked in the junk on America's Funniest Videos. I just don't get it. Not. At. All. I also don't like The Three Stooges, but they all do. I prefer Abbott and Costello. I always thought there was a bit more than slapstick going on for them. While they all started in Vaudeville, A&C seemed to be more clever and well written, where TTS seemed to be all physical comedy. I suppose I should be grateful that the musician/artist, and the athlete/weapons expert have something they can agree upon.
Sometimes I worry about how they will turn out as adults, and then I realize that it matters little, as I will likely be paying for therapy for years. I figure I'm ahead of the game if I recognize that I cannot be the perfect parent to the boys, and just try to stay afloat in the ever increasing tide of testosterone. Just wait until the teen years my mind screams, just wait.

Monday, December 15, 2008


So I was looking for this to lead my post:

And then I found this, and it made me happier:

I decided to look up other Monday songs, and see if I could find something profound or even relevant.

What I found is that Mondays are boring, and I have nothing relevant to say.
I still think people are far too cruel to each other, and I hope it snows tonight (where it only snows once every 30 years), because I think my boys would get a kick out of it. I've written a functional resume, and two recommendations. I met with team members, had another good cry. I'm tired and need to sleep. I also need to finish folding clothes and washing dishes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shush, Daddy's Talking

OK, I admit, I have been an "appointment" TV watcher for decades. It all started with Hart to Hart. No one in my family could so much as whisper when it was on, and that included my mom and dad, as I was a child when that was on the air. I even got a Stephanie Powers haircut when I was old enough to blow dry the frizz that I call hair.

Then I moved to Remington Steele in High School, and again no one could do anything but stay out of the way when it was on. In fact, Pierce Brosnan is on my list of five still to this day.

Moonlighting was in there too, and I thought I was hooked because of the Private Eye aspect. So much so, that I did a report on Private Investigations in High School.

Next up was Northern Exposure, but by then I was living in my own place, but any commotion from my partner was met with angry stares, and shushing.

Then I found The X-files, which has been more like an obsession. I've seen every episode and movie, got sucked into fan fic, and Gillian Anderson is also on the list. I also started dyeing my hair red. I still have red hair because I think it goes well with my freckles, and I actually had red hair as a kid. I even went to the midnight showing of the latest movie, and was one of eight in the theater.

I was despondent when XF went off the air, and vowed to never have another appointment show. Then I got TiVo, and didn't have to shush my young kids, I could pause and record at will and watch to my heart's content. Yet I didn't pick a new show to follow until Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. That was rather short lived, and I started watching Heroes, only to be disappointed by the new season, so I've stopped.

Now I'm on Fringe. I'm not quite sure if I like it enough to continue watching it. The leads aren't that dynamic, and the chemistry isn't quite there. I'll give it a season and see.

I think the common thread here is character dynamics, a certain amount of sexual tension, and great writing (at least the most recent ones, I can't vouch for my tastes as a child). Oh and beautiful, strong female characters.

I do watch news shows, as I've previously stated, mostly it's Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Thanks to the crustybastard and Bea, I now have a new phrase to use when RM is on the air, and my kids wander through with some issue. "Shush, Daddy's Talking!" And thus, RM's new nickname will be Daddy. I like it because it's funny, and will confuse my kids to no end, and probably confuse their actual father as well! It is a bit off the original quote of, "EVERYBODY SHUT UP! DADDY'S TALKING.", which would not only confuse but startle my family.

Going insane - random ranting

So here it is a couple of weeks until Christmas, and I'm wondering how I'm going to survive the holidays, and this time the kids are off for SIXTEEN days. That's 5 more than for Thanksgiving, and I thought my head was going to explode from that. At least I'm taking off 11 of those days, and we can go running around to parks and museums. Also, my In-Laws from Colorado will be in town, and the cousins can all get together and play.

I have kind of accepted the backstabbing from my company. I don't like it, and I'm still crying, but I know what it is, and I need to move on. Found out that at least 200 more people I work with will be off the payroll (corporate speak for laid off) as of mid February. I can't imagine how people are going to survive in this economy, with few job prospects. I don't know how I am going to survive.

Got a call this week from a dear old friend who was recently diagnosed as depressed, and is now on medication. I could tell she needed it the last time we talked and she was not herself. She was bitter, and angry, and negative. It was odd because she has always been very upbeat and positive and vibrant. I'm glad she's getting help, and even more glad that she is feeling like herself these days.

This week Bettie Page died. That made me sad for no apparent reason. I didn't know her personally, but what she did in the face of such opposition opened the door to many of the people who are famous for taking off their clothes (Pam Anderson, my twin being one of those).

Here's Bettie during her heyday:

And my "twin":

I think there is something that draws me to the fringe aspect of fame, bordering on sex workers. I wrote a biography in 5th grade about Sally Stanford. I'm sure Mrs. Willis was started to get that one! I had a poster of Farrah Fawcett in my room at about the same age, and I still have my Mae West poster from college. It used to belong to an aunt. I always thought that being a madam was glamorous, but the reality of sex work is so different from the stylized way it is portrayed in literature and film. I have never been a sex worker, and I feel fortunate to have been able to find jobs that do not rely on my looks or selling my body. I don't know if I have a strong enough self image or psyche for such work. I admire those who have survived, with nothing more than interesting stories, and feel horrible for those who haven't.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Still in need of smiles


I had a team meeting today where I cried at least 4 times. I have been second guessing all of my decisions as a supervisor, trying to determine what I could have done differently to protect my team. The team doesn't blame me, but I have a very high standard for myself, and I am very sad about all of this.

I am also looking for a job, but have had a difficult time motivating myself to move on. I'm still grieving.

I will miss my team. They are all very good at what they do, and dedicated to making all of our lives easier. Everyone shares knowledge and information, and we take credit as a group. I give each person kudos for their individual accomplishments, not just to the team, but to leadership.

I guess I'm just sick of corporate politics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I need something to make me smile

I found this:

It did make me smile, which is difficult today. Yesterday, I found out that I and 5 of the 9 members of my team are potentially unemployed as of 4/2/09. I fell horribly for all of us. I have been wondering what I did wrong as a supervisor. Did I not get my team enough visibility? Did I not show the value of what we do? They (the ubiquitous "they" of corporate America) do not see the point in keeping the team, or perhaps even the functions we perform. Yesterday was full of tearful conference calls, and many offers of sympathy. However, the company isn't concerned too deeply, and I have to wonder how the hell some of these folks sleep at night knowing that 2 weeks before Christmas, in this economy, they have likely placed people in harm's way.

I am sick to my stomach thinking of the people who will be out of work, and I am trying to be as positive as possible. I know negative thinking will only provide negative results, but honestly this is difficult.

Today I am updating my resume, and looking for jobs for myself and my employees. I will quote what I noted during the meetings yesterday because I honestly think the people running this circus have NO CLUE what they are doing, and how it affects not only the people working around them, but how it affects their customer base.

Directly from my notes:

blah blah blah


blah blah blah

Strategic Sourcing

blah blah blah

Financial Commitment

blah blah blah

175 people will be affected

45% will be offered other positions

From the next meeting where I asked a question I already knew the answer to, in order to determine if anyone in leadership had the balls to tell the truth (which they did not):

blah blah blah

Cycle of Change

blah blah blah

We understand

blah blah blah

There was one nugget of information that did prove to be useful, yet painful. The decision on who were chosen to stay was based on how the supervisors rated and ranked them. Later in the day, during a tearful call, I apologized to my team and told them this fact. Everyone knew where they ranked when that was done, ad that made sense to them all, yet none were happy, including me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It was a busy weekend

Friday was spent at "Fractured Fairy Tails", put on by the Jr. High in town, and getting ready for the 8th Birthday Party.

He had a blast, all the kids got along fairly well, and there were only a couple of injuries. I consider that a success as we had 4 boys aged 9-11, and the testosterone is starting to creep up. There were a couple of alpha male issues, but all resolved amongst themselves. The girls all kept in a group, but had fun too.

Saturday, the boys had a birthday party, and we went to the downtown Christmas Parade with our extended family. I'm calling them our family now because the youngest asked if we could make them honorary members of our family, and I agreed. We ended up watching the parade with another family from school, and the birthday girl from earlier in the day.

Sunday was the usual - laundry, cleaning and groceries. I had the added bonus of referee duties on all of the Birthday presents. So far, the most skirmish inducing are the Star Wars Lego's, and the RC car. The boys are sharing the karaoke machine - there are 2 mics.

We discovered what the boys are asking for from Santa. The oldest, in keeping with tradition, is asking for a steel drum. The youngest wants a Clone Trooper gun, and Star Wars Lego's.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Last night I went to see Twilight with sis. She just finished the book and wanted to see the movie, and I haven't read the book yet. I thought it was pretty good, and could tell what the appeal to tweens and teens was. I thought Edward was written as a noble character, and the portrayal was a bit awkward, but that may have been the intent. I did not particularly care for Bella as a character, as I found her to be too dependent on Edward's protection, and a bit too willing to give herself up to him, all the while telling her friends that they are strong women. I can also see how High School romances will suffer because of this movie. I have no vested interest at this time whether they flourish or suffer, but I can see where girls are going to want their own "Edward", while boys will have a tough time with the bar for impulse control being set sooo high.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more diversity in the cast in regard to sexual orintation. I know there are lgbt kids in HS, and can even name the ones who I went to school with - and we all knew back then too.

Sis thought there was too much left out from the book that I thought would have helped the back story a bit. Ultimately, I'll read the books and see if there is more redeeming material there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things that make me happy

This is today's:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

I needed that bit of musical theater!

Today was fairly hum drum. I actually went into the office and had a nice visit with a fellow employee. Saw another one cleaning up and packing her office. She's out at the end of December. That's a bit of a bummer to watch. Was tired most of the day and yawning.

I did talk to sis this morning. She wanted to see Twilight tonight, but I'm without a car or a baby sitter, so no dice, though I told her I'd go on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I now have an 8 year old!

Today my oldest turns 8. Two days ago he told me he didn't want to be 8 because he didn't want to be the oldest kid in our family. I told him it was okay, and 8 would be a good year for him. This morning, I woke up early to make him Purple French Toast, and Purple milk because that's his favorite color. He also gets to pick what we eat for dinner tonight, and he picked Casper's Hot Dogs. I went to this same Casper's as a kid, and both boys love it. The guys who work there know us and our order before we walk in the door. We'll have cupcakes for dessert, and he can get a milkshake with dinner as a treat. His party is on Friday night at Pump It Up, and he's looking very forward to it!

Saw this today, and it made me crack up!

Found on LOLcats. If you haven't checked them out, and you like cats, GO THERE NOW. They also have a nice selection of rodents, birds, dogs and walrus.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I thought we were in the clear

Today was supposed to be the first day back to school after the holiday for both boys. Only one made it to school. The youngest has a bit more flu left in the lower intestines, and had an accident in his undies right before school. He's home, back in jammies, and his undies are in the trash. You get to a point (way after diapers) when it just isn't worth it to try and wash underwear full of something resembling all meat chili, that makes you gag from the smell. Sorry about the graphic nature of that description, but it was REALLY gross.

This weekend passed kind of uneventfully. No calls from sis, I spent 5 hours on Friday cleaning the house and purging old toys. Unfortunately, when the boys returned from seeing Bolt, they started crying that I was throwing out all their toys. I agreed to give them veto power, but they've already forgotten about the bins on the porch. They forgot because the youngest finally lost his first tooth.

Saturday morning, we hauled out the Christmas decorations, and put on Holiday music. We had fun getting it all up and looking good. I felt better about how clean and festive it all looks, and my mom gave me crap about no Nativity again this year. My only complaint is that we have a fake tree - this is year 2. While I enjoy not killing another tree, and the ease of care, I miss the smell. I don't want that fake tree in a can smell either. Last year, it never did feel like Christmas without the smell, so I may have to buy some random boughs of pine and figure out where to put them. (no pun intended)

To quell my bah humbugness, I bought the boys Santa hats, and some extra strings of lights for their room, and maybe the kitchen or office. The only festive parts of my house are the common rooms, although I took an idea of Cheryl's and made Santa hats for all the pictures in the house. There are lots of people in my pics, so I'm still working on it, but here's an idea of what I'm going for:I know, Santa hats on SCUBA divers is weird, but it looked worse when I had a hat on the shark too.