Monthly Archives: July 2010

Love & Loathe — 07/29/10

Loathe:

* I’m out of my “family size” hot chocolate and can’t find this size can anywhere now. Have I mentioned lately how much I loathe it when a company discontinues products that I’m not done with yet? Who says change is a good thing?

Love:

* Going to the grocery store with my man. It’s not that I mind going to the store by myself, but if I do I find myself wanting to hurry to get home to see him. With him there, there’s no sense of urgency and I have my favorite person by my side.

* I’ve spent so much time doing stuff to my plants in my little back yard that I can now go out there and sit, look around, and not see a single thing that needs to be tended. Everything is as it should be — for now. If you’re a gardener, you know how unbelievable that is.

* Our parallel lives neighbors, the ones with whom we share a common wall & a wedding anniversary date. They are the sweetest people on the planet and I’m so grateful that since we have to share a common wall, it is with them. Plus, they give us mini desserts.

* Summer fruits… watermelon, blueberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, figs, nectarines! I’m absolutely loving this season. Although, my colon is having some… issues? We went to the mountains last weekend and Tony came to bed after I’d fallen asleep. The next morning he said he had trouble falling asleep for all the ruckus! HA HA HA!! What? It’s funny!! Best of all, I couldn’t be held accountable because I was sleeping and, therefore, innocent! hehehe

* Zucchini flowers. Yes, I have my own zucchini plant. It’s growing in a container in my back yard. Not sure how well it’s going to produce, but I’m enjoying the heck out of its pretty flowers.

* I’ve slowly, but surely, started moving my “fun” folders and decorative items into my cubicle at work. I figure I’ve got about a year left… oh, what? Didn’t I mention? They’re moving in a year. We all know what happens when companies I work for move, right?

One Last Thing:

Last night, Tony and I were driving through a residential area when the car in front of us put on his blinker and proceeded to slow to nearly a stop. At the very last moment, the car turned into a very nearly unseen, narrow driveway which ended in a garage door which was framed heavily by trees. I assumed there was a garage around the garage door, but the trees were so dense I really couldn’t tell and one shouldn’t make assumptions, you know.

In a droll voice, as Tony slowly accelerated, he proclaimed, “No margin for error with that one.” I nodded my agreement.

Then tonight I came across this video. Allow me to don my droll voice and state, “Truly, there is no margin for error with THAT one.”

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Filed under Best Husband, Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

The Amazing Zucchini.

Last week, one of my co-workers brought in a bag of zucchinis. I saw them on people’s desks around the office and finally asked where they were coming from. It was as if the office were being invaded by enormous squash — and I wanted in on it!

I chose this thing out of a bag where there were larger ones, but I wanted one that I knew I could at least do some justice without wasting too much of it. Then the guy told me that he had another bag of larger ones in the trunk of his car. Can you imagine?

This is me, working out with it. We’ll call this Dumbbell Zucchini. At nearly 10 pounds (I wish I’d weighed it!), it was certainly something to brag about!

Lift it up:

Put it down:

Let’s give Tug (the cat) a zucchini smiley-face:

How about a telephone?

No! Don’t look into the Eye of the zucchini!

Here, Ripper and Slasher communicate through either end of it.

A zucchini rainbow?

Or an automatic zucchini feeder…

Or, I can just cut it up and eat it because you’re not supposed to play with your food. But, as any kid will tell you, playing with your food makes it so much better!

Who knew that one of the perks of my job would include 10 pound zucchinis?

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Filed under I feel Amused, Kid Substitutes, Weird is Fun

Love & Loathe — 07/22/2010

Loathe:

* Typos, misspellings or grammatical errors in my own posts. Argh! I have a good excuse, which is that I usually write my posts around midnight, when I should be in bed, sleeping.

* The heat. I mean, I love being warm but… yeah, so much for that cool summer I was wishing for a couple weeks ago.

* We lost 3 guppies this past weekend because of the heat. Poor little guppies just got too hot.

Love:

* My life today. Must be all these anniversaries that have been celebrated recently, but I realized to my shock, that if I’d stayed married to my ex-hole, it would have been 21 years yesterday. I cannot even begin to articulate how thankful, grateful and blessed I am for where and who I am today vs. where/who I would be if I hadn’t changed my world 8 years ago. God is so good, and I don’t say that lightly.

* Zucchini. I know, I’m teasing you about the large zucchini I was given and not posting pictures. Just you wait… the anticipation will be worth it.

* Nail files. Can you imagine life without nail files or nail clippers? What would you do about a hang nail?

One Last Thing:

At one of the birthday parties we recently attended, Tony was allowing the kids to beat him up and I was watching. Sometimes it’s best just to watch. And record a video for posterity, of course.
Link

Anyway, so the kids were beating him up, his antics were actually drawing kids away from other parties at the park. I was watching, and the nearest thing to sit on was the wooden fence. So, that’s what I sat on, and then Tony took my picture.

After a bit of time passed, I looked at the picture and realized with some embarrassment that I was all slouched and I could hear my grandma admonishing me in my mind to “sit up straight!” GAH! I admit it. I’m a total sloucher. I hunch over when I’m not thinking about it. Obviously I wasn’t thinking about it. Since I’m confessing, I also, apparently, hear voices in my head.

We’ll just call this series the “Before” and “After” John Robert Powers Modeling school training, shall we?

Before:



After (remove the pink cup & backpack):

You, too, can have picture perfect posture and sit uncomfortably on a wooden fence, remembering to suck your gut in and keep your arms away from your rib cage, all while smiling and pretending as if it were the most natural and comfortable thing in the world… if you go to modeling school!

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55th, 20th & 50th

You know how sometimes if you break up your routine by going out and doing something on a Thursday night, Friday just kind of seems like part of the weekend, even though you still went to work? That’s kind of how Friday the 16th felt to me.

Thursday night we went to Disneyland. Our annual passes have black-out dates throughout the summer on the weekends, so if we want to go, we have to go on a “school night.” It was fun and felt like we had snuck out of the house without asking permission from someone! Tony wanted to ride Star Tours before they redesign it. I wanted to pick up a special 55th anniversary map — 55 years ago that Disneyland opened in California. We managed to stay late enough to watch the fireworks, which I always enjoy.

Friday night we hung out with Tony’s Little Bro, and a long-time friend. Later we went and saw the movie Grown Ups. It was silly and goofy and I laughed and laughed.

Saturday was a double-decker event day. We started by going to Mazda Miata’s 20th Anniversary celebration at Mazda’s Research & Development Center. That’s where it all started over 20 years ago. I remember when I first saw the Miata, a blue one… someone had parked it, and left its top down. I wanted one but figured I could never afford one. Then one of the ladies in my office bought a red one, and she made so much more money than I did, which affirmed my assumption. It took me 6 years, but I finally saved up enough money to buy a used 1992 red Mazda Miata. Oh, how I loved that car…. with its pop-up headlights and chrome fingerpull door handles.

Six years later and over 200,000 miles on the odometer, I was devastated when a truck blew off a stop sign and pulled out in front of me. I t-boned him, and my poor little car was totaled. The guy’s insurance company settled with me, which provided a hefty down payment for my next car: a red 2002 Miata. The one I currently drive.

So the 20th Anniversary celebration was like a trip down memory lane for me. They had clay design models, time line pictures, various concept models, and also the design team who imagined it and brought it to fruition were there, talking and answering questions. It was just a really fun event for me. Plus they fed us and gave us goody bags.

Concept models…

One of the clay models…

The design team…

The Starship Enterprise version (Tony’s favorite)…

Saturday afternoon, we attended the 50th wedding anniversary mass and reception for some long-time family friends. The mass and ceremony when they reiterated their vows was, simply put, quite lovely. They must have spent months planning and practicing (their adult “kids” provided the music). Every detail was attended to, the food was delicious and the reminiscing was touching.

I know the food at an event is not supposed to be the main focus, but I didn’t get permission to post any pictures of the grown-up people (I take liberties when posting pictures of my nephews), and the caterers were truly artists… so just imagine that everything else was as imaginative as the food and you’ll have a small taste of it. So to speak.

Everything in this basket was created from vegetables and fruits…

Yes, please…

Just a small taste…

I spent much of my Sunday enjoying the plants in my back yard — pruning them, splitting their roots and re-potting them. The rest of the time, I spent in the pool swimming — my hour long lap marathon in the morning, and then our nephews (and their parents) came over for some pool time in the afternoon. It’s remarkable how hot it’s been here, given how cool it was just a couple weeks ago. It’s been hot enough that I was dripping sweat while outside working with my plants (ewwww!) and the pool is running nearly 90°F.

In other news, my mom is off traveling in China. My cartoonist friend is traveling in Europe (and blogging about it), and a guy at work gave me one of the biggest zucchinis I’ve seen in about 10 years (since I grew my own).

It’s a good thing he gave me one, because I think it’d be wrong to covet thy co-worker’s zucchini.

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Filed under I did something Special, I have Family, I have Friends

Love & Loathe — 07/15/10

Loathe:

* The engineer/designer who determined it would be a good idea to design a car with a strip of chrome on the rear of a car at seated eyeball level. I would like to take that person and stick him/her behind the car that he/she designed with chrome at eyeball level during rush hour traffic when the sun is setting behind us. Then I would like to point out to him/her the fact that chrome reflects sunlight JUST LIKE A MIRROR.

* When my cat, Tug, goes feral. It’s only happened 2 times in the last 8 years, but I think he was a feral cat before he was rescued by the pound in Texas, which is where I adopted him. He had “words” with a neighborhood cat through our screen door on Tuesday night. Whatever that cat “said” to him wasn’t good because Tug was ready to kill that other cat, and that’s no understatement. He was so upset that he turned on me, and our other cats. Had I not had something with which to restrain and remove him to the garage, my arms would be a bloody mess. It took him over an hour to calm down.


Love:

* I painted my fingernails dark navy blue last Saturday. When I went to pick up our bird the next morning, she was really, really scared of my dark blue fingernails. I worked with her for an hour to remove that fear. What I love about that whole incident is that it tells me how aware she is of things around her. For some reason, I find it really endearing to know that she notices stuff like that.

* Seeing rainbows in the reflective paint of street signs. Have you ever noticed the iridescent paint used in some street signs reflects rainbows when the sun hits them?

* Fireworks. Especially at Disneyland. Do you see Tinkerbell flying in front of the fireworks?

* Random conversations with my husband. Tonight’s went something like this:
Me: Watch the road! You never know when a stray elephant is going to run out in your path on the freeway!
Him: *laughing* Now that would be something to explain to the insurance agent.
Me: You never know. He could have fallen off the trailer going to the county fair!


One Last Thing:

On my way home from work Wednesday evening, I saw a guy driving a Toyota Prius. The freeway on-ramp we were on had one of those traffic control lights (a beef for another day), so I had plenty of time to observe him. Dude was smoking a cigarette with his window down, and when he was done with it, he flicked the cigarette butt out the window — the window of his Prius.

He’s so concerned about the environment and gas mileage that he drives a hybrid, but he pollutes the air and then litters?

I am officially heralding that as The Oxymoron of the Month.

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Love & Loathe — 07/08/10

Loathe:

* Gardening gloves and how they make my hands smell and feel. Ick.

* Making coffee and then forgetting to bring it with me to work. It only happened once recently, but I’m thankful that my coffeemaker has an auto-shut off feature.

* Brownie mixes that take 50 minutes to bake! For an 8×8 pan! Ridiculous! Brownies should only take 28-30 minutes to bake. Next time, I’ll check baking time before I buy.

* Am I the only who thinks that cigarette smoking is rising in popularity? I can’t seem to get away from it! On a 3 lane on-ramp to the freeway, I got boxed in by smokers — one in front, one behind, one on each side. It didn’t matter which way the wind blew, I was blanketed on all sides by cigarette smoke.

* The concerns Tony is carrying about his job. Please keep him in your prayers, if you would.

Love:

*Free movies at the park. There are a few places around here that do that, and I love it. Not that I go, because I don’t. But I love that they offer it, because it means “summertime” to me.

* With the exception of the gardening glove thing, I love everything about gardening. The smell of the dirt, the fragility of the plant roots, the beautiful green leaves and blossoms, and how centered it makes me feel inside. I should have been a farmer, I think.

* Dark chocolate brownies. I’d like to plant a big kiss on the cheek of whoever decided to recognize the dark chocolate lovers (me, me!!) out here.

* We’re going to San Francisco for our anniversary next month. I’m so excited, I could spit! *patooie* Bonus: I contacted our favorite hotel and they’re giving us a discount on the room. I love San Francisco and I love discounts.

* This weather. It’s been drizzling in the mornings and 65° to 70° in the afternoon. The pool doesn’t get as warm (sadly), but that just means I get the pool to myself! I’m hoping it’s gonna be a cool summer.

One Last Thing:

A long-time friend of ours asked us to be godparents to their baby daughter. We were honored by that request, and attended her baptism. It was a beautiful, touching ceremony and we were given this picture as a gift commemorating the occasion.

Forgive me, perhaps I’m a biased godmother, but isn’t our goddaughter the most adorable little girl ever? I’ve studied this picture several times since we received it, and I swear our goddaughter bears an uncanny resemblance to the baby doll I had as a child.

I’m definitely biased.

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Ping Pong, Fairies, Balloons, Bikes & Pirates

With a title like that, why bother writing anything else?

Right?

The month of June is over, marking the fact that a whole bunch of kids are now a year older!

Nephew Milo has had a love of ping pongs and ping pong paddles since, well … I remember him just learning to walk, wobbling around with a ping pong paddle. Not doing anything but holding it. Then when he started talking, he would say, “Ping pong paddle!” clear as day. Just one of those things where everything lined up in the universe when he first saw them and he fell in love with ping pongs and ping pong paddles.

Given that love, his mother decided the theme for his 2nd birthday party would be ping pong. All the food was in the shape of a ping pong — even the cake. Mini pita bread on popsicle sticks were the ping pong paddles and every adult had to play in the “tournament,” with the winner being judged by the kids — and bribing of the judges was encouraged.

Somehow Uncle Tony “won” the tournament. We were all so surprised.

The next birthday party was for my friend, Grace’s daughter, Mia, who turned 4. (Can someone tell me how all the commas are supposed to go in that sentence? Nina?) For the most part, Mia has had an undying love for all things that are bug related. Snails, roly-polys, ants, flowers, spiders… they’re all her friends. Much to her mother’s chagrin. This past year or so, she’s also developed an affection for Tinkerbell. Who knew Tinkerbell also loved Mia?

And the balloon artist? This guy was really good. Not only with his balloon creations, but with the kids. I found myself entertained by him, and could have watched him create balloon creatures for hours.


After Mia’s party, we headed over to get gas, and on a whim, decided to stroll through the strip mall in which the gas station was located. As we rounded the corner, we spotted Tony’s brother, who was hanging out with a bunch of bikes. Also known as working (for him). We had nothing on our calendar, so we decided to sit and visit with him.

This is actually Tony in the picture, but trust me when I tell you, all those bikes are NOT Tony’s…

Who should stroll by, but Captain Jack Sparrow! And the balloon guy had a gig down at the end, so we went to get the nephews some balloon swords and surreptitiously watched Sparrow pose with random kids. It was weird; we felt like it was just a continuation of Mia’s birthday party, except Mia wasn’t there and our nephews were. Weird.

This weekend, we get a holiday from birthday parties (don’t worry, we have two next weekend to make up for the time off). To kick the weekend off, we went yesterday and saw Eclipse. Something always goes wonky when we go to movie premieres and yesterday was no exception. The movie started, but the sound died and switched to playing the radio, and the curtains in front of the screen didn’t open all the way. They couldn’t fix it, so they upgraded us all into the IMAX theater. Oh my, IMAX. Can you say LARGE SCREEN with dizzying proportions? I can now say with certainty that even vampires have pores and nose hairs… and Taylor Lautner has very nice abs.

How big does a screen need to be anyway? See that guy way down there? That’s actually a concession stand.

Today was a relaxing, but busy day. We were on the go from the moment we got up. But it was relaxing because it was stuff we wanted to do… you know, like swimming (for me), basketball (for him). A deep tissue massage (for me), and another movie (for him). A drive in my convertible and working on a garden (both of us). Gaming (for him) and blogging (for me).

Just a nice day of freedom. Happy 4th of July.

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Filed under Entertainment can be Cheap, I did something Special, I have Family, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile