Wednesday, November 30, 2005


"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt

Saturday, November 26, 2005


There is a certain satisfaction that comes with completing a project. I am very very good at beginning projects. Less good at finishing them. So rare is that completion satisfaction for me.

Knitting has given me some more opportunities for completion satisfaction. But I DO have several projects still on the needles. Most of them are far from completion. One has just ONE MORE THING to do.... before I felt it.

Most of them are just a matter of sitting down and getting them done.

Such was the case for The Clapotis.

I started it back in September (I think) when it was the Knit Along for the month at Knitique. I was highly skeptical of my ability to tackle this project. The pattern looked very complicated. I was also hesitant to spend $20/skein on silk. Knowing I needed 5 skeins, especially. I contemplated other fiber choices but kept returning to two shades of Art Yarns silk. I decided that spending that kind of money on this project would help drive me to actually start AND finish it.

I copied the pattern into a Word doc for myself and broke it down so I could keep track of the rows and made it easy for me to read it (increased the font size considerably!). There are yahoo! groups with Excel spreadsheets to track the rows, but they didn't work for me. My funny little system of X's and highlighting did the trick.

Then I got a wild hair that I would wear this as a wrap to a party we go to every year. It is a formal affair. I have myriad black dresses and always have the urge to find something with color for a change. Well, this would be my color. This would be my new to speak. I would just take one of the black dresses and add a colorful silk wrap.

After much internal debate I chose a purple color.... It matches my tanzanite ring, actually. I still really really like the steely blue color. I may have to use that for something else....

After a couple of late nights, I finished it. The first late night was courtesy of a significant nap Thanksgiving afternoon. I just wasn't tired so I kept knitting. The second one was due to the fact that I could see the end. Just. A. Few. More. Rows.

And now, it is done. I used it as a scarf today. Cold has come to the valley today. It was warm on Thursday, rainy on Friday and today the cold wind blew. But my silk scarf kept me nice and toasty. I think I need to take my leftover silk (I only used 3.75 skeins) and make some gloves to keep my hands warm too!

Anyway.... Here it is.

And for detail:

It isn't nearly as difficult as it looks. Looking at either the pattern or the completed project. Just keep track of what row you are on and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lemulating My Favorite Things

Oprah does it every year. Stacy and Sue have done it. So I might as well too. And because you want to be JUST LIKE US, like everyone wants to be like Oprah... Now you know how.

Unlike Oprah, I will not be giving one of each item to every member of the audience. Because, unlike Oprah, my income level is closer to the "average American income". I'd love to gift it all to you....but I cannot.

Yep. My Little Yellow Beetle. I will probably be getting another one next year. It's become kinda like a signature. A friend said he was waving at me in my Little Yellow Beetle only to find it wasn't me. But he still waves at Little Yellow Beetles anyway. I think I've been the one maybe twice. But it's zippy. I can get into tight parking spots. It has a great sound system. And for the driver, it's great for long drives. Not so great for backseat passengers. But this is all about me today.

The next thing kinda goes with the first thing. Revolutionary when first introduced. Unique in styling. Visually striking. And I'll get another one some day.....
I have plenty of room left on my iPod. But it will be like so many of these things, I will just NEED to upgrade after a time. This isn't mine. Mine has buttons instead of a click wheel. No graphics. But the tunes are on board and sound great coming out! My selections are eclectic. Aerosmith. Frank Sinatra. Hoobastank. Uncle Kracker. Culture Club. Arlo Guthrie. Tennessee Ernie Ford. Coldplay. Green Day. Beatles. Monkees. Bobby Darin. Cher. You just never know what you're going to get when it's on Random Shuffle. Although I SWEAR it has a pattern. Yesterday it was heavy on the Elton John. A few weeks ago, it was all 80's all the time. Apple swears it is indeed random. I guess the machine sees it as random, but the human sees the patterns.

When I'm roadtripping in my Little Yellow Beetle with my iPod on the sound system, I've usually stopped for a Large NonFat Mocha at about 120 degrees (immediately drinkable temperature). No. Starbucks isn't better. It's DIFFERENT. But not better. And it's significantly more expensive. By about 50%. And Starbucks doesn't have punch cards. Java City does. I get my Large 120 degree NonFat Mocha at my next favorite thing:

Bel Air is the grocery store around the corner from my house. Good and bad in that. It means I rarely do "big grocery shopping" and so we will run out of stuff like paper towels or vegetable oil because it isn't part of "tonight's dinner". But we've been able to manage anyway. It's good because I totally suck at planning for dinner. I can also send a kid over with a signed check (made out to Bel Air) and they can pick up a few necessities. Bad because a $3 cup of coffee is SO very close and easy to get.

Which leads me to my next favorite thing. My favorite charity. Raley's/Bel Air/Nob Hill Foods administer Food for Families. This allows all donated funds go to local food banks. All money donated to Food for Families here in town goes directly to our local Food Bank. I asked a friend who serves on the board for the Food Bank if I should donate food or cash. He said cash. Because the money taken in is used to purchase from Raley's/Bel Air at their cost. So they can take my $10 and buy more at wholesale than I can at retail. I also love that my children will drop coins in the collection box when we check out. But I'm big on charities that spend very little of donated money on administrative costs. Since Raley's/Bel Air underwrites that part of charity work, all donated money goes directly to feed the hungry. Moves it right up my list of "favorite charities" that way!

Since we're talking stores, my next favorite thing is another favorite store. I don't buy food there, so this isn't a repeat. But Emma calls Target "the best store in the whole world" for the simply fact that you can get whatever you want there. Clothes. Toys. Video Games. Decorating things. She supposes you could get books there if you were really so inclined. But she isn't so that doesn't matter so much.

When at Target I often pick up the next two favorite things. I am a Real Coke girl. None of that diet junk. Ick. Diet Coke is New Coke, with artificial sweetner. Ick. Ick. Ick. I'll have a Cherry Coke on occasion. I keep a stash of Caffiene-Free Coke for those evening cravings. But otherwise, it is Coca-Cola Classic. And when it comes to bottled water, Dansani is my favorite. It really does taste the best. Mostly I drink filtered water out of the door of the fridge. But if I go in and buy a bottle? It will be Dasani. Bottled by Coca-Cola. Coincidence?? Hmmm....

I suppose it's no coincidence that my favorite theme serves my favorite beverage. But that's not why it's my favorite theme park. It's my favorite because it is the best. Sure...there are newer ones and bigger ones. But this one is the best because it is the original. You can do it very very well in a week. No need to pick and choose what to see and what will have to be skipped. You can eat in all the restaurants you want to try. You can go on all the rides you want and go back again. It might be smaller than the other one in Florida, but it's cozier too. Florida might have been Walt's dream. But Anaheim was Walt's baby. It's where I went as a child still in a stroller. It's where I was able to stretch my wings as a pre-teen when a mom would drop us off and another mom would pick us up. It was the Best-Job-Ever-T0-Put-On-A-Resume. As any former cast member can attest... once they see "Disneyland" on your resume, they just want to know about working there. They forget about asking about the job you're interviewing for and just want to know about behind the scenes at Disneyland. I've always gotten the job after talking about my tenure at Disneyland.

A new favorite thing are these shoes. I blame Elaine and Sue. They promised the single most comfortable pair of shoes EVER. I'm starting to believe them. These puppies are HEAVY. My legs protested lugging around the extra weight for a few days. But they ARE comfortable. No toe pinch. I sincerely believe I will need another pair. Mine are the 'sport' version of the Professional Clog. Oiled brown leather. They go with a surprising large number of things. I try to wear them whenever possible to my next favorite thing. I work there so I am on my feet all day. I have become a better knitter in a very short period of time by working here. I have been challenged by my boss and co-workers to push my comfort zone and learn new skills. If not for the shop, I'd still be cranking out scarves. I would have declared the Clapotis far beyond my skills. And now it's looking like I might just finish it!

I keep my current knitting projects in one of the mulitude of this favorite thing that I have scattered around the house. They are way over priced, but I like the clean lines and how they all go together. Not only do I use the Cake basket for my knitting, but I use very nearly every single one of my baskets. They are sometimes repurposed and occasionally are set aside for a while. But all are used. I have a basket in use in every room of the house, except the laundry room and maybe Normy's office. But I'm sure once we get his office 'done' it will have a basket in use. I don't aquire them at the rate I once did, but every now and again, another one comes along. These Market baskets are going to be discontinued in January so says the website. Too bad.... handy multipurpose things they are. Hopefully something similar will take their place. And now that we have about a million and a half remote controls, we are looking at getting the TV basket. For the remotes. Because it will go with the rest of them.

I have no gift certificates or samples to hand out. But these are a few of my favorite things. Feel free to give them a try too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


After being "blog raped", as Sue put it, I protected my blog. If you are here, you have been allowed to be here.

One of the cohorts in this evil doing is now wanting to have a blog...but have it password protected. Blogger does not offer that feature. Other evil-doers have congratulated her on her cleverness of having a password protected blog.

Right. Because no one ever gives out secret information on the internet. Because everything is completely secure on the internet.


I don't want a password protected blog. It annoys me to no end that one can not randomly come upon my blog. I happen upon some pretty darn clever blogs when I "go to next blog". Some of them are in I move right along.

I know why the Trifecta of Malevolence (TOM, the anti-BOB) wants to be password protected. Because they EXPECT pathetic behavior. It's like the husband who suspects his wife of cheating everytime she leaves the house....because HE is cheating every time HE leaves the house. They expect their words to be used as weapons against them because they participate in that very behavior. They are morally bankrupt and cannot imagine how it would be to live in a world where good will is the main currancy.

Terribly sad for them and their lives.

And I refuse to be a part of their miserable world. If they wish to spend their time refreshing 40-odd times, whatever. If they wish to copy and paste my words elsewhere, whatever. If they wish to consume their time with me, whatever. The profess, and do so loudly, they I am nothing to them. And they'll tell you. Repeatedly. Faster than you can get a word in, they will tell you. Again.


But I'm not going to hide. I have done nothing that I am ashamed of. Am I sorry feelings were hurt? Surely. Absolutely. But when you eavesdrop on other people's conversations, don't be shocked at what you hear. The Trifecta have said mean things about people they live with and work with every day. I recall a particularly mean family inside joke told by one. I am sure she would be utterly MORTIFIED if that child's parents found out how she and her children made fun. But they didn't. Because no one sent her words to those parents. I realize that I run the risk of hurting feelings when I post here. I endeavor to never use names. Perhaps you see yourself here. Perhaps you see someone else here. But really, Sue. It isn't always about you! ;)

There will be those who will take any matter how innocuous and twist it around. I can't help that. There will be those who read here who I wish did not. I know who does and am sensitive to that.

But I also know that there are those who are just spoiling for a fight. I can make a comment about the color of the sky and someone will take it as a personal attack and rip into me about it. It will then be my fault for pointing out that once again, a perfectly reasonable conversation has gone to hell in a handbasket due to one person.


I'm getting to the point where I am pretty much over the whole thing. While I want people to like me, I don't care if they don't. Plenty do. I may be close to zero in my checking account, but I am wealthy in friends. Those I call "best friends" are in every sense of the word. Quick to pick me up. Ready to give me the hard truth. Easy to make me laugh. (sorry dude....) I really do not need to concern myself with the rest of them.

So if you have a link to my blog on your blog.... feel free to update it. If the Trifecta of Malevolence find me again... whatever. If you feel compelled to pass along this address (or this entry) to them... whatever.

But know this. At one time, we were friends. At one time, I would have counted one of them as part of those best friends. She turned on me for reasons unknown. She will turn on you. So watch your step. It went from "oh...wouldn't it be great to do this for a friend" to...well, to whatever you want to call this, within days. Overnight almost. have been warned.

I don't run scared. I don't negotiate with terrorists. I don't give in to them either. My blog is back open. The terrorists don't win here either.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I am a United Methodist

And so I bring you this:

From our Bishop:

November 3, 2005

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I greet you in the loving name of Jesus.

I write to you from the Council of Bishops, who are meeting at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, October 30 – November 4, 2005. In response to the Judicial Council Decision #1032, the Council of Bishops has prayerfully written a pastoral letter to the Church. I support this letter wholeheartedly and want you to know my personal thoughts as well.

Many of you are in great pain, especially our church members and constituents who are gay, lesbian, trans-gendered and bisexual. As United Methodists we believe that Christ invites all persons to His church and His table without reservation or barrier. Sincere faith and a desire to seek and know Christ are the only criteria. As one who has known exclusion because of race and gender, I grieve for the man who was denied membership in the church. I am in prayer for our church that we may not see the erroneous action of one pastor as a license to deny membership based on individual and personal criteria.

I am asking that this episcopal pastoral letter be read in our congregations at worship on either Sunday, November 6 or November 13, 2005, as well as offered for bulletin inserts, church newsletters and study, as you are able in your diverse settings.

Let us continue to be faithful and not lose hope. God is with us.

Yours in peace,

Bishop Beverly J. Shamana

And this, from all the Bishops. ALL OF THEM.

This is the statement approved by the Council of Bishops on Nov. 2, 2005
A Pastoral Letter to the People of The United Methodist Church
From the Council of Bishops
By grace you have been saved through faith.
-Ephesians 2:8
Grace to you from Jesus Christ who calls his church to welcome all people into the community of faith as it proclaims the Gospel. The Judicial Council, our denomination’s highest judicial authority, recently issued a decision regarding a pastor’s refusing a gay man’s request for membership in the church. In the case, this man was invited to join the choir at the United Methodist Church in the community. As he became more active in the choir and the church, he asked to transfer his membership from another denomination to The United Methodist Church. Because he is a practicing homosexual, the pastor refused to receive him into church membership. The Judicial Council upheld the pastor’s refusal of membership. While pastors have the responsibility to discern readiness for membership, homosexuality is not a barrier. With the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church we affirm: “that God’s grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”(Para. 161g, 2004 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church) We also affirm our Wesleyan practice that pastors are accountable to the bishop, superintendent, and the clergy on matters of ministry and membership. The United Methodist Church is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ with all people. We, the bishops of the Church, uphold and affirm that the General Conference has clearly spoken through the denomination’s Constitution on inclusiveness and justice for all as it relates to church membership: “The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking the vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.” (Article IV, Constitution of The United Methodist Church) We believe the ministry of the local church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people accept and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We call upon all United Methodist pastors and laity to make every congregation a community of hospitality.

Nov. 2, 2005
Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Escape into Magic

Yesterday, Nov. 18, was "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" day. Some people I know went at midnight. I considered it since I was up. But I decided it would be very early in the morning and went to bed instead. But we went last night. Unfortunately, a book like "Goblet" is too big to put on screen in its entirety. Tom Clancy books are like that as well. Which means the movie leaves the reader unfulfilled in some ways. They must choose what to bring to the screen. Which may or may not be the individual reader's favorite bit of the book.

Having said that... I anticipate going back, spending another $10 on a ticket, and seeing "Goblet" at LEAST once more before it leaves the theater. It will be added to our DVD collection as soon as possible as well.

And this morning, magic of an earlier time. No wands. No Unforgiveable Curses. No Lord Voldemort.

A few weeks ago, a skeptical Emma asked me a question. I could tell she thought someone was yanking her chain.....

"Have you ever heard of a movie called "Escape to Witch Mountain"?"

I happened to be on my computer and I knew what I had as I answered I called up my Netflix queue.

"Why YES I have, Em!" I replied.

She was incredulous. REALLY???!!!

And there it was. In my Netflix queue. It happened to be #1.

Find the Herbie movies and we'll send them back and get "Escape Witch Mountain".

This morning we are watching a magical movie from 1975. Special effects are low tech. CGI? What is that??!!

Young wizards discovering their powers. Young wizards learning how to use their powers and not understanding them.

Yea. My kids are gonna like this movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Cute One

He was always the Cute One. He was always the one that made the girls scream and swoon.

He still is.

Except those girls are now having hot flashes and THIS time they have nothing to do with him.

He's 63 now. He could easily pass for 20 years younger though.

He's funny. The accent is to die for. And the music..... the music is a gift from God. In some ways, it seems wrong for that much musical talent to be confined to one body. But it is really so very very right.

As we drove home I wondered what it was that made him so sexy. What make him The Cute One even now. Other than he is gosh darn cute.....

And I realized it was the shirt he wears for the final encore at every concert. Three simple words.

No More Landmines.

Not the words you expected? What is about those three words? Simple. They are his wife's words.

He was married for 29 years until Linda died. Twenty Nine. That's a good run for anyone. But for a rocker who could have any woman he wanted every single night? That's almost a miracle. When he remarried, he married a younger woman by a couple decades. She came with a cause. A passion. The elimination of the usage of landmines and the removal of ones from past conflicts around the world. It was not his cause. Until he loved her. Because it was important to her, it was important to him. Because it was her cause, it was his. Because it was her passion, it was his.

Because he loves his wife.

He loved his first wife. He supported her and encouraged her talents. Her music. Her photography. It was 4 years before he remarried after she died.

A man who loves his wife is sexy indeed. Especially when you can see it in his actions. The words are easy. The actions should be just as easy. Often, they are not.

He is a man who you think must have a tremendous ego. How can he not? Every now and again he would say something that made you wonder. A story about a converstion in a bar. His wonder at getting to sing directly to the International Space Station. His pride at NASA choosing "Good Day Sunshine" to wake up the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery (with the first woman commander aboard he was sure to point out) last summer.

And then there is the shirt.

Three words that say:

I love my wife.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Water Vapor Part 2

Tule fog.

It is a phenomenon that is distinctly Californian. Other places might have radiation fog or something technical like that...we have Tule Fog. (say "tooley") Named for the tule reeds that grow in marshes and the Tule Elk that were native to the Central Valley.

Sometime this winter or next you will turn on your evening news and read of a "massive pileup" on a Central Valley highway. Sometime in the next five years I will call my mom and tell her "I wasn't in it" because one will be local. You may catch The Discovery Channel showing one such incident with our then Fire Chief giving the play by play. Someone Normy worked with never got to work that day. It took several days to identify his remains from that fiery crash. Four others died with him that day on I-5. The cause? Driving too close too fast in fog that reduced visibility for cars to "barely past your bumper". Big rigs probably had better visibility.

Because of the Tule Fog.

At this time of year, the Tule Fog isn't deadly. It does come in and stay for a week. You won't see today's Tule Fog on satellite weather photos like you will in January. The Tule Fog is a curiosity. It just sits there. On the side of the road. It doesn't cross the road. It doesn't "roll in" like the marine fog of the coast. It just rises up out of the ground. It is most dense at the ground and is less so at higher points. Sometimes you can walk through Tule Fog and see just fine. But sit down on the ground and you are in the soup.

Dropping the child at school these days means driving past the Tule Fog. Not through. Past. The catch basins just hold the fog like soup in a bowl. Tule Fog seeks the lowest point. It will rise out of the field and sink into the catch basin, floating on top of the water. As the sun rises and warms the damp fields, the Tule Fog will get more dense and rise higher. Tule Fog requires warmth. But not too much. Too much warmth and it evaporates. In January, it will be so dense it won't let the sun through to warm us up and we will be socked in for a week.

The only cures for the Tule Fog are wind and rain. A new storm will wash it away (and set up conditions for another round) and wind will blow it away and allow the sun to shine again.

But for now.... I will enjoy watching fog rise from the ground and sit by the side of the road. I know that later it will hide the schmuck who comes upon it suddenly and slams on his brakes causing all the other schmucks following too closely to slam into him and each other. Later it will be deadly. But now? Now I will enjoy the spooky wonder of the Tule Fog.

Water Vapor Part 1

Despite the fact that I. Am. Not. a morning person, I am up and out of the house at about 6:30am every school day. The child starts school at 6:55am. It was dark at that time but now with the time change, it is light. It is getting LESS light.... Sometimes I drop her off and the swing by the grocery store for coffee or breakfast items or lunch items. When it was dark at drop off at school, it would be getting light when I came out of the grocery store.

That's when I first noticed them. Driving back home is driving East. Towards the rising sun that has yet to break the horizon of the Sierras.


Sometimes only a couple. More often, half a dozen or more. Little white streaks in the sky. Most of them coming from points West, both North and South, heading towards points East. High in the sky so they can clear the 8000 feet (more or less) that the Sierras rise into their airspace. Sometimes there would be a contrail heading West. Bigger than those going East. Distinctly pointed towards San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Stand and watch the sky and suddenly a new one will appear. As the sun rises and catches the water vapor that forms these contrails they appear as if by magic. Others are suddenly gone. They all look like shooting stars or perhaps an invading alien force.

I always think of the hundreds of people those contrails represent. Airline pilots and flight crews that are awake and working as I am seeking caffeine and feeling lucky I got a sweatshirt on my top and sweatpants on my bottom and not the reverse. I think of the people who are heading East for work and left their families this day before they were awake. The people heading off for vacation. Perhaps to Europe or other points beyond our borders and these early morning contrails represent the first leg of a long day of travel.

I can't help myself. As it is my habit whenever I see an airplane in the sky.... I wish them Godspeed and safe passage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

TP Revisited

My TP blog of yesterday was prompted by going into the bathroom at work and finding... the roll to be empty. So I put a new one ON the roll.

Today. TODAY, 24 hours later, I go into the very same bathroom and find HALF A SHEET on the roll.

So I put a new one ON.

And I left a note....

"Need more TP".


Men At Work

No. Not the 80's band..... ;)

What is it about heavy machinery that we find so facinating? Today they are grinding up the parking lot at the tax office. Grinding up the old to put in new. I stood and watched. Other people stood and watched.

There is something hypnotic about watching graders level a field.

Something facinating about watching the heavy roller flatten out the asphalt of a new road.

I can so understand why small children want to watch. It's new. It's big. It's exciting.

But it cracks me up to watch adults do the same thing.

For the same reasons, I suppose....

Monday, November 14, 2005

So. What happened?

Parts of my blog, specifically the comments, were posted on a public message board.

By someone far to obsessed with me for anyone's good. Thank God she lives in Georgia.

Seems she didn't like what me and my best buds posted here. She sent the link to someone else. Someone we spoke of, but never by name.

She walked into my space and didn't like what she heard. And kept coming back. Again and again.

She may be back. Surely she will be able to find me again.

At some point, I won't care if she does. But TONIGHT.... tonight I do. She has torn off the cover of her innocent act. I'm fed up with her shit. And for now, she is blocked.

Tomorrow.... I'll deal with tomorrow.

Nothing to See....

Move along, move along.

And a Nod to The Anvil....

It is indeed National Lighten Up and Loosen Up Day.

Praise God and pass the cranberry sauce. Although I am rather partial to Sarah's version: "National Let-It-Fucking-Go-Already Day"

So in the spirit of the holiday I am NOT sending that email, people. She can spew and she can talk to herself and answer herself and look like the ass she is. I'd say "she's dead to me" but damn if she isn't gonna rise up out of that grave like some zombie who cannot be killed. Yea. I'm letting it fucking go already.....


Do you remember that show "Mad About You"? They would have a little skit before the opening credits. It would be unrelated to the show itself. Just a little joke prime the pump I suppose.

The only one I remember is wordless. Not a word spoken. But it goes like this:

Paul is sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper or watching TV or some such thing.

Jamie walks in with a roll of toilet paper in one hand and the spindle in the other. I can't remember if the empty tube is on it or not, but I'm thinking not.

She stands in front of Paul and places new toilet paper on the spindle while he watches, turns on her heel and leaves.

I thought I was gonna pee myself (no pun intended) laughing.

The reason I remember that skit is that I am reminded of it nearly every single day. It doesn't matter where I am.... the roll is empty when I get there. Sometimes, it is nearly empty. If I pull off the last, I replace. If it's empty before I get there, I replace.

I have replaced the roll at work a disproportionate number of times when you figure I'm only there a few hours a week. Ironically, the job that is all women employees and is owned by a woman? I've had to replace the roll maybe twice. I'm there more. But the job that is mostly men? Yea. That would be me replacing that roll.

My husband will probably comment that HE replaces the roll. I'm sure he does. It's just about 1/20th of the time. My children do not. Not ever. If it runs out while they are mid-job, they will just leave the new roll on the floor or counter. Growing up, I would FREQUENTLY find 2, maybe 3 squares left on the roll.

Why is the little job of replacing the toilet paper such a momentous job that only "the lady of the house" is capable of doing a proper job?

And why is it that it is my responsibility to make sure we have toilet paper in the house? No one else says "we need more toilet paper". Not even when I realize, oh... we need to go before we use THIS roll. No one else has noticed.

I often say I don't have any more children because I don't want to go through that 'messy food' stage again. (ick ick ick) But the real reason is that I don't want another person in the house using toilet paper. I'd be changing that damn roll even more often (and Elaine can tell us all what fractional percent that is, exactly).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Two (copied from Ft. Worth AGAIN)

2 names you go by
1. Nance
2. Mom

2 things that scare you
1. getting my teeth drilled (found this one out recently-hmph)
2. Wild Water (no white water rafting for me)

2 of your everyday essentials
1. sunlight (how did I end up in the foggy valley?)
2. talking with my best friends

2 things you are wearing right now
1. My new fit so nice jeans
2. My new Danskos

2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)
1. Sir Paul. Wednesday...I see him in concert for the third time!
2. Can't be done. Can't name just two.

2 things that make you laugh
1. Bobs
2. Normy

2 things you want in a friendship (other than honesty and respect)
1. Wicked sense of humor
2. Being who we are, and that's all good.

2 truths
1. Normy loves me.
2. So does God.

2 things you enjoy besides scrapbooking
1. road tripping with my family or Bobs
2. knitting

2 things you want really badly
1. to be able to buy the house next door so we can have a bigger lot
2. a housekeeper

2 places you want to go on vacation
1. Back to see where my kin came from
2. All 50 states (have a few crossed off the list)

2 things you want to do before you die
1. see my girls find their passion
2. see my grandchildren find THEIR passion

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick
1. I cry when I get angry
2. I hold a grudge

2 things you are thinking about now
1. if we have one more person for dinner tonight, we're gonna have to move the kitchen table into the dining room.
2. that we are in no way gonna keep everything picked up

2 stores you shop at
1. Target
2. Bel Air

2 things that have changed about you in the last year
1. I've decided life is too short to let annoying details like miles keep me apart from friends.
2. That scrapbooking can be a hobby, not an all consuming obsession

2 things you have to do tomorrow
1. Go to tax class. But it's the last week...finally.
2. Go to Trader Joe's.

2 reasons you blog:
1. I need to write.
2. People tell me I'm good at it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Dine and Dash

Last night as we were waiting and waiting and waiting....and waiting... for our tab at the restaurant, Normy said something about Dining and Dashing. We much as our overstuffed selves could... and.... waited.

I don't think I've ever dined and dashed. We almost did right after our cruise but that was purely out of habit. We hadn't had to pay for a waiter delivered meal in a week! We only got to "are you ready, let's go" before we remembered.

But I was thinking there are other ways to 'dine and dash'. You go in, take it in, and leave without 'payment'.

Blogs are one of those places. I read several blogs. A couple of them don't accept comments. Dooce is one of those. I always feel like I don't give back properly. Sometimes she makes me laugh so hard that I want to give back. Not that I could ever match her, but even just a "oh my flying spaghetti monster, that made me laugh!" Now and again I'll email her. But surely that is lost in the masses of emails she gets. Just like a comment would.

I don't always comment on every post on my friends' blogs. Usually it's because we've already discussed the issue at hand. We've IM'ed and discussed it to death. Nothing more to add. I've said my piece. Sometimes it's because it is an entry about something I'm not a part of. "post here if you'll be at book club". Ok. Not me. Although I DID post when someone said "post here if you'll be at the camp out cause I'm going to Tahoe this week". I said "can't do the campout in Alabama this weekend, but I CAN do Tahoe this week!" And I did. And I blogged it. :D

But I don't 'dine and dash' blogs anymore than I would a restaurant. I think it's rude. To always only read. To never comment (providing commenting is available).

I figure they know I've been there. Nothing is ever anonymous on the internet. There are paths to be traced. ISP's leaving their mark. I know my buddy in a town over traces back to Lubbock, TX. Cracks me up. I know she has an homage to Texas in her family room and now we know it has the RIGHT to be there. I wondered who the heck was in Lubbock.... until I saw her internet provider's name. Um. Ok.

I know you're here. I know you've been here. I'll know if you read this.

So give out a shout! Say "Howdy!" Especially if you're in Texas, just down the street. (Ironically, if I call her, I don't get her town listed on my phone bill either. I get a historical site further down the road. There just whack out there!)

So you Canadians. You Alaskans. Y'all from the south. Log in and say hello!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Scent of Heaven

Today's adventures in Walnut Creek included new shoes and lunch at Genova's Delicatessan.

It's one of those loud busy places that everyone knows the routine and newcomers need to get with the program QUICK.

But walk through the door.....inhale deeply. Surely this is the air of heaven. The bread. The marinades. The "deli meats". Including the salami, wrapped in paper, hanging from the ceiling. Somewhere in that mix is the scent of red wine, probably Chianti.

I selected my bread from the bin. I looked at my choices of meats.

My number was called. I stepped up with my small loaf of sourdough bread and my #91 and asked for roast beef and provolone.

I go back to Walnut Creek in a couple weeks.

It will include another sandwich at Genova's. But next time, it will be salami.

Do YOU need a blog?

Here's a quick test. If you identify with two or more of these, you need to get your own blog:

If, on a public message board....

Your post count is over 6000 and you've only been a member since June.

You are consistantly on the Top 10 Posters of the Day list.

You have ever used the phrase "I just need to get this out" when posting.

You post a "vent" more than three times a week.

You carry on weeks long conversations with less than three other people in a thread that has nothing to do with what you're talking about.

You see nothing wrong with posting a large sampling of your vacation photos on a public message board.

You have ever posted a vent and gotten pissed that people gave you advice and no one would delete it.

You have ever posted a play by play, day by day, of a life event (with photos)...buying a new house, getting a divorce, applying for a new name a few.

You have more than a dozen people knowing that your kid didn't take a nap today.

You have more than 3 people, and none of them is either your doctor or sexual partner, knowing your method of birth control and the difficulties you are having with it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bad Words

One of my disclaimers I give when someone asks if they can share my blog with others is: Sure...but I use bad words.

And so do some of my commenters. LOL!

But that's ok. You should read some of our Instant Message conversations. Someone will suddenly drop out of the conversation....

-Where'd she go?

*Dunno. Bitch doesn't like us.




*Oh, there she is. Gotta stop talking about her now.

^ You bitches were talking about me again weren't you?

*- No. Not at all.

We think we're funny.

But our point, I suppose, is that we can use those words and they don't nearly have the power that is usually behind them. They make us laugh. We think "skank whore" is particularly funny. Especially if you're from Idaho. (people are laughing. I can hear them)

Some would say "that's SO Jr. High". But I'm thinking if you're pointing that out...well, the pointing it out is more Jr. High. Because in Jr. High you are very very concerned about what other people are doing. And more importantly, what other people are saying and that maybe they are talking about you.

When you are a grownup, you don't care.

So what ARE bad words? Do they depend on the audience? You probably don't want your 98 year old grandmother reading a post titled "Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck". But your best girlfriends? Sure. Because that's why they are there. For those days that the best description of your life is summed up by that title. (even if your 98 year old grandmother has been known to use that word herself)

But what I know about bad words is this:

Know your audience. I don't use bad words in normal situations. I endeavor not to use them around my children. But they are ALWAYS with me! LOL! I also tell them to do as I say, not as I do and not swear. They laugh at me and say "Oh. Ok mom."

A cleverly placed bad word is better than routine useage. Using the above title of a post once is good. But even using a lesser bad word like "moron" loses impact when used too often.

Know your audience. Being called a "skank whore" by the wrong person is...well, wrong. Make sure you are in on the joke before you start using it. Otherwise you look like a fool. And if you're just using them to fit in? Yea. No.

There are those who are gonna be offended by bad words. So you should endeavor not to use them in their presence. But at the same time, if they come into my sandbox... well, they've been warned.

Know your audience. Walking in and dropping some words as soon as you get there? Uncool. And now we know more about you than we want and you cared for us to know. It might even be wrong. But we doubt it.

24 Hours and 80 Million Dollars Later...

And California is exactly as it was.

One of the most amusing political ads was someone saying "You aren't the governor I thought you'd be", directed at Gov. Arnold.

Funny. He's exactly the Governor I thought he'd be. An egomaniac who has no clue as to how politics and California politics specifically actually work. He had no clue that as much as Californians say "Things need to be different" we vote to keep the status quo and to make it more difficult for the Executive Officer and Legislature to do what we hire them to do.

Gov. Arnold did it himself. It's how he thought he could be Governor. His proposition has created set asides. His proposition makes balancing the budget more difficult. He forgets to tell people that the money that his proposition set aside is there... waiting for the matching funds from school districts to create after school programs. The sticky wicket is that school districts don't have the matching funds. But there is money, just sitting in the bank, that can't be touched.

Because Gov. Arnold put up a proposition that we voted to pass. To set aside money to be spent at some point. Maybe.

I've heard that something like 60% of the state budget is set-asides. Non-negotiable money. That money must be 'spent' in the budget. It can't be cut. It can't be redirected.

Candidate Arnold thought he'd be able to change that. He also thought he could fire the legislature.

Gov. Arnold is exactly the Governor I thought he'd be.

An egomaniac in love with the pomp and circumstance of politics.

But the questions I still haven't had answered:

Why was it BAD for Gov. Davis to raise millions of dollars but ok for Gov. Arnold to raise more?

Why did Gov. Arnold go to Ohio and raise millions of dollars to fund his Proposition fight in this election? Why did Ohio care that much about California politics?

Sometimes California voters are actually paying attention.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

One Week

Just one more week to go. Three more class sessions then the final.

Those that are still with us will probably pass. Not all will be offered jobs.

We've had drop outs. One quit class and complained about me. Why? Because she brought her approximately one year old daughter to class. And it was part 2 of Depreciation. It's the only subject broken into two sessions. Which should give you some clue as to the details and concentration needed.

I told her she must keep her child quiet so everyone could concentrate.

She told me she WAS being quiet. I told her that if I could HEAR the child, she was not being quiet.

She got huffy. Complained to the boss. Boss asked for clarification from someone else. Boss couldn't see why she was pissed. No children in class is the rule. If you bring 'em, they must be silent. Not "quiet baby playing and babbling" but silent. Make arrangements. Stay home and take a make up class. She was probably further pissed when Boss said "Oh. Ok." to her complaint and subsequent quitting.

Oh well. Can't bring child to WORK either. We already have people who don't get that. "I can't find anyone to watch them" Oh. Well then, call in and tell us you won't be here. But don't bring your raving lunatics to the office to run around whilst people are getting their taxes done.

Anyway. One more week. I will submit my evaluations of all our students. One will get a one word eval. "No" She's still hung up on entering all that personal information. She did fine on the midterm. Probably will do fine on the final. I kinda hope not. No. Check that. I really hope she does not. I do not think she should be certified to do taxes. But if she passes..... we have no choice.

We have one with a listening problem. Too busy thinking of what your answer might be that he misses what you actually say. I will tell Boss that.

It really is hard to find good help these days.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Readers

My mom asked if she could tell someone about this blog.

I said she could, but beware.... I swear here. She said "yea, she swears too." I don't think she meant it to be funny.... but I did laugh!

Read here if you wish. I write less to be read than to just write. If you wish to comment....please do so. Anon comments can be deleted. Unless you're my mom. If you are not.... and you are nasty... buh bye.

This is my sandbox.

If you don't like what I have to say.... sucks to be you. Start your own blog. Delete me from your bookmarks.

If reading my blog raises your blood pressure, don't. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

I don't have to be fair here. I don't have to listen to you because you think you have some God given right to free speech. You don't. If you live in the US of A, you almost have the right not to have the government stop you from speaking your mind. Almost...not quite...but almost.

On my blog, you have no rights. You have privileges.

I voice my opinions here. No one is required to agree with them. If you don't like 'em, start your own blog and state your opinions there. I probably won't read your blog.... but that's your solution. You don't get to post here just because you think you should be able to voice any and all of your opinions.

Rude and nasty people who have no idea what they are talking about and should really just shut up before making bigger asses of themselves? Go away. Or I will send you away.

But all of you wild and crazy people who've been hanging out here? Y'all just keep on keeping on!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Blast From The Past

Today, I had a doctor's appointment in Walnut Creek. It took Normy and I about an hour to get there (and about 2 to get home....timing is everything!)

We left early enough to have an early lunch at Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit. We ordered Ribs, Fried Prawns and pie at 10am. The breakfasts looked wonderful. I have to go back for a 9:30am appointment on Thursday. May have to have some of those hashbrowns...


My family moved to Walnut Creek when I was 2. We moved away when I was 7. Normy's family moved to Livermore when he was 10. We are 8.5 years apart in age. Livermore and Walnut Creek are neighboring towns for you non-California types.

We have often wondered if we stood in the checkout line at the Walnut Creek Gemco next to each other. And then we get all nostalgic about Gemco.

We made our waitress laugh when we said the last time we were there was before the Earthquake World Series.

And we got to thinking about when I was 2, 3, 4 and was going to Emil Villa's and he was 10, 11, 12 and going to Emil Villa's. It is possible that we sat in adjacent booths with our families. Never giving the other a moment of thought. How strange is that?

And we looked around the restaurant and noted how it really hasn't changed since we were going with our parents.

Today, like then, there were young couples with young children. Today, like then, there were very elderly people coming in, being greeted by name, for their breakfast. Today, like then, there were older couples who were meeting adult children for breakfast or just finished a round of golf.

When my parents took me to my favorite restaurant, Emil Villa's, they were younger than I am now. Now, they would be those meeting their adult children for breakfast. We were the middle aged couple who were able to get out for a meal without children.

In the midst of that musing, a little boy, about 3, walked past us with his dad. I hope one of these days, he will be sitting in a booth at Emil Villa's saying "wow, this place hasn't changed since I was a boy coming here with my dad! I remember being totally facinated with those big ol' air vents that look like flying saucers and that you always got a pickle and you knew what pie was available from the display case up front."

And from the number of people that were constantly coming in, I would venture to say that Emil Villa's will still be serving Hick'ry smoked ribs in 40 years.

Which brings me to my advice of the day. Don't pass up the opportunity to say hello to someone when you can. Back on the day of the Loma Prieta earthquake I did NOT go up and say hello to Dr. pediatrician. He wasn't there today. He died shortly after the earthquake. Not in it or because of it. Just because it was his time.... Thinking about that made me sad in the midst of the joy of ribs and pie.

And the doctor's appointment went fine. However, the pain killers are not letting me sleep (they can go either way for me, no rhyme orreason why I go with sleepiness or sleeplessness....just the luck of the draw) and thus the reason for the late night post.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Today was trash day. Which, generally speaking, is unremarkable and certainly not blog-worthy. But a friend of mine lives in a city that has just gone to once a week trash pick up.

The city is all a twitter.

My goodness... whatever shall they do?? What if they fill up the can before the next weekly pickup?

Uh. You pile it on. You squish it down. You recycle more. You reuse whenever possible. And when it gets really bad, you wait until next week.

I have never lived in a place that had anything more frequent than once a week. In the "olden days" we had actual garbage cans we bought at the hardware store. They were metal and they made a lot of noise when the men picked them up and tossed the trash in the truck and then tossed the cans back towards the curb. When we moved to S. Cal we had square plastic cans that had a cart. They came with the house but were not issued by any trash agency or governmental entity. My parents still have those cans that are now pushing 30, if they haven't crossed over already.

We have always had Official Trash Carts. Not cans. Carts. Handy they are. They have wheels and when they break, you call and get a new one. For free. We can have 2 of the green recycle ones for no extra charge. When The City switched trash collectors we could upgrade in size for $1 more a month. We signed up for that deal! We are finding we do not generate 90 gallons of trash most weeks. But some weeks we do and so we keep our 90 gallon can. But we often generate 120 gallons of recyclables. Perhaps that's why our 90 gal. trash is managable.

But it IS interesting.... when you have lived in essentially the same place (or even the exact same place) your entire life that there are things you just don't even think about. Like trash pick up. It's once a week. Isn't it like that everywhere? I would be so annoyed to have 2 days a week without cans on the street...since there are people who take three days to put their cans away each week as it is.

The City of Sacramento is once again trying to get The Citizens of The City of Trees to put their leaves and other yard waste into cans. Because it has always been that it is just piled in the street. Later... "the claw" comes and scoops it up. Meanwhile, leaves blow all over, gutters are blocked and storm drains are clogged. Great consternation abounds because "where exactly are they supposed to put these big ol' cans???". Hmmmm.... along the side of the house like everyone in the rest of the county perhaps???

It's kinda like when I found out that some school bus drivers are allowed to take their non-school aged children in the busses with them. Including infants in car seats. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. But it's just normal as normal can be in some parts of the country.

And they say Californians are the freaks! ;)