Thursday, March 31, 2005
When I am old.........
..... I will buy a metal detector and comb the beaches, wearing a belt made of soda can tabs I've found.

Since San Diego is warm and sunny pretty much year round, some people complain that they miss having 'real seasons'.
However I would like to point out that San Diego HAS seasons, just different ones than other places.

We have Wildfire Season, always a fun one. We celebrate by creating a 'non-flamable moat area' around our houses, clearing all the dried brush in a 50 yard radius around all buildings. Always a good way to work on your tan and get in shape for bathing suit season.

We have Rattlesnake Season, when we go around stomping heavily to warn the snakes of our approach (which will hopefully encourage them to leave the area). The snakes celebrate by laying out on rocks and paths and roads to warm in the sun. The ER is pretty busy with snakebites this time of year. And there is always that one weird guy in the neighborhood that crashes your BBQ with snake kababs and snake jerky. Not kidding.

Of course, the aforementioned Bathing Suit Season. Now, tans and figures are maintained year round, but in Feb and March, girls begin whipping in shape for summer, no easy task. Your tan needs to be darkened, to avoid bad summer burns. A tan is a necessity in the summer, not a luxury. So expect to see a lot of laying out by the pool in these months.

Tourist Season. A season we dread for a snotty reason we're ashamed to admit to. It's not that we aren't friendly, really. It's that tourists offend our sense of beauty, with their hot pink plastic sun visors, sock and sandal footware, and loud t-shirts worn into the water at the beach. If you visit, it's fine if you take all the parking spaces and ask for directions. We like making friends and sharing the beautiful city that we are so proud of. But please, leave the tacky beach towels at home. Much as we politely try to hide it, we cringe. We know, it's horrible of us. We know.

Mudslide Season. This season doesn't happen every year, only in the event of rain following wildfire season. If the plants have burned, then there are no roots holding the dirt into the side of the hills, and rain makes it slide right down. Blocks roads, maybe takes out a house or two. It's rare, mostly because rain is so rare.

Christmas Season. Lasts only for the month of december, when everyone sweats in big tacky embroidered sweaters and sprays fake snow in the windowsills of their house in a pathetic attempt to delude ourselves that we live in a 'winter wonderland'. With palm trees.

I think I should make a regional calander.

Reoccuring Fantasy.
That friday afternoons my desk turns into a DJ spin table, and as people come down the stairs and go home, I send them off with feel-good dancing party mixes. And the lobby turns into a happy hour bar where everyone hangs for an hour or so before heading home.
"This one goes out to my peeps in Marketing!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
So tomorrow is 'Sooooper Duper Sports Day' at work.
We're all supposed to come dressed in the uniform of our favorite sport.
After discussing the possibilities with 'Rez, and keeping in mind that my goal is to make them regret having this 'event', we've narrowed it down to a few possibilities.

A tutu. With no explanation offered to the visitors that come in for meetings.

A swimsuit. Again, offering no explanation as to why I'm sitting at my desk in the lobby in a bikini.

Throwing a dodgeball at everyone that passes through the lobby.

And my personal favorite, wearing a sash that says "Competative Spelling Champ" and spelling out, slowly and nervously, one word in each sentence.

I think I will send Lindsey Lohan a sympathy card.
I know what it's like to have a father that acts like a massive jerk, then goes around complaining that you won't talk to him.

Wanna sign it?

Ok, I love my job and I'm NOT complaining.
I just think this is funny.
Today they are having a Board of Director's Meeting. And they meet in the main conference room, which is right next to the lobby. So if they need anything, they poke their heads out and ask me. Anything from faxing something and getting a reply, to looking up a weather forcast for the city one of them will be flying into after the meeting.
Today the CEO comes out and says, "I tried to print some pages off my laptop, but I'm not sure which of the printers in the building it went to. Could you track down those pages?"
I'm not even kidding.
Do you want to know where I FINALLY found the pages?
On another floor.
In another conference room.
A conference room that was being used by the VP to hold a meeting, which I had to interupt by walking in and getting the pages.
Some days I feel like I actually deserve my paycheck.

Flutter Bys
Monarch butterflies spend the winter in Mexico, meaning they fly south in the fall and north in the spring, like birds. They fly through San Diego like a river delta, in large rivers and smaller creeks of low-flying color. It's magical.

One fall when I was a child, a main migratory route was diverted for some reason, and they flew thickly through our yard for about a week. Their red wings where like fall leaves, and the air was full of them fluttering by in a meandering yet purposeful way.

Right now they are trickling past the lobby, heading north to where ever home is.

Maybe when I die, if it's in fall, I'll fly south with them, and spend the winter in the mountains of Mexico. Just a wish.

Quote of the Day
"You are scaring my yaks with all your jewelry."
Myself, in a brief creative writing exercise with my kidlets last night.

Only in El Cajon.........
........ would a news story use the words, "horses", "freeway" and "cowpoke" all in the same paragraph.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
The warning label says.......
...... that I shouldn't operate heavy machinary if I've taken it.
But it doesn't say anything about whether or not I should be allowed to supervise children if I've taken this medication.

The post-it on the chocolate cake in the fridge read "Eat me."
Naturally I assumed it was some sort of company memo, an order, if you will.

Will the cats play with the nine dollar feathered cat toy........
....... that's supposed to amuse them while I'm gone, and keep them active and healthy, both physically and mentally?


Will they play with a ball of their own fur that I've picked up off the carpet and rolled into a ball?

Of course.

The question is, when will I learn?

So then I said.........
.... to the guy in Engineering who loaned me a dry shirt the day the pipe burst in the back hallway a couple of weeks ago -
"So here's your shirt back. Please don't take this as a reflection on how long it takes me to get around to doing laundry, because that would be, uh, really, ah, ............. accurate."

I won't say I STOLE this from 'Rez,......
..... because I asked nicely first, to borrow it, and I will return it promptly, freshly washed.

Accent: Californian. Holla!

Best feature: A good laugh.

Chore I hate: Taking out the trash.

Dare: When I was three or four, my brother dared me to climb into the roof of our house. When my mother came looking for me at dinner time, she freaked and called the fire department to get me down. I was mad and embarrassed because only sissies needed help like that, and I was sure I would have been able to find a way to get down myself. Eventually. Probably.

Essential make-up: Nothing is essential. I rarely wear makeup. But when I do wear makeup, I start with mascara and lipgloss. Those are the most subtle.

Favorite perfume: The other day I ate a grapefruit at my desk, then put on B&BW Night Blooming Jasmine lotion. My hands smelled like a combination of both and it was lovely.

Gold or Silver: Copper

Hometown: El Cajon, CA

Interesting fact: Once, while I lived in Minnesota, on a first date, we came back to his car after lunch to find a guy stealing his car. At first the thief acted like he was going to put up a fight, but I convinced him he didn't want a piece of me, and eventually he left. My date ran off like a scared little girl. I didn't date him again.

Job title: Receptionist

Kids: Just the ones I work with at my church. I wish some of them were mine.

Living arrangements: The decadent accomodations of the Postage Stamp, my apartment. Which I share with seven pets.

Mom’s Birthplace: Camp Pendleton (military base), CA.

Number of apples eaten in last week: Maybe two? I eat a lot of other fruits.

Overnight hospital stays: Less then a dozen, but not sure exactly.

Phobia: I'm not claustraphobic in the traditional sense, but the idea of being STUCK, unable to move, in a small dark space that I can't get out of......... *shiver*

Question you ask yourself a lot: What options do I have here?

Religious affiliation: Messianic Jew, with is better explained as a Protestant Jew. I got to a Christian church that is mostly unaffiliated, but has some ties to Southern Baptist.

Siblings: My brother Jesse. Twenty months older.

Time I wake up: 5:45 AM. I got for a half-hour walk, then take a shower and pack my breakfast and lunch and am out the door by 6:40 AM.

Unnatural hair color: I've had just about every color you can name, but right now it's a medium brown. My boyfriend just decided to be a redhead. Rather shocking, but I'm getting used to it.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brocoli I'm allergic.

Worst habit: Throwing my clothes on the floor when I get undressed.

X-rays: When Maximus got hit by a car, and I brought him home from the pet hospital, they gave me his X-Rays. Not sure why or what use they thought I would have for them. Have you ever seen a cat X-ray? A human skeleton is almost instantly recognizable, but not a cats, really. In the end I just hung them in my windows to freak my neighbors out. I may do that again at Halloween.

Yummy food I make: I make a mean gingerbread. And some killer mashed potatos (I have a secret ingrediant, and no, I'll never tell.)

Zodiac sign: Capricorn, but I don't buy into that at all.

Monday, March 28, 2005
"Under a single lamplight. In public or alone. Very late or very early."
Vino Tinto
by Sandra Cisneros

Dark wine reminds me of you.
The burgundies and cabernets.
The tang and thrum and hiss
that spiral like Epyptian silk,
blood bit from a lip, black
smoke from a cigarette.

Nights that swell like cork.
This night. A thousand.
Under a single lamplight.
In public or alone.
Very late or very early.
When I write my poems.

Something of you still taut
still tugs still pulls,
a rope that trembled
hummed between us.
Hummed, love, didn't it.
Love, how it hummed.

Part of Jonny's interview of me.
Jonny will someday be posting his interviews of 'Rez and I.
Here is a little teaser.

Chalk or cheese? Cheese. Chalk is just not ok.

Ants in your pants or a holiday romance? Holiday romance, hands down. I had ants in my pants once. I was standing by my car, unaware that I was standing on a red ant hill, until they started biting me all over. I scared my roommate to death, running in the apartment, half naked, continuing to strip my clothes off, screaming, running for the

Saints or sinners? I'm not sure I know the difference.

Yes or no? Yes. I just like that better.

Black or white? Well, I think of colors in terms of wearing them. I can't stand to wear all black, I have to break it up with red shoes or something. And when you are as clumsy as me, wearing white is a risky idea at best. So I pick green.

Frogs or dogs? Dogs. As much as I hate to admit something so prissy and girly, frogs seems slimey to me. But then we don't really have frogs here. So I've never really seen one close up.

Voices or choices? Choices. I think people have far more choices in life than they realize. There are no rules, only consequences.

Violence or silence? Silence.

Sunday or a sundae? Sunday.

Tangerine Dream or vanilla ice cream? Tangerine Dream.

East or West? Go West, young man, haven't you been told, California's full of women, whiskey and gold? (It's a song.)

Eyes or ears? Ears. You have your eyes closed at all of life's really crutial moments anyway.

Red or dead? Red.

Rain or snow? Much as I like to play and twirl for a while in either, my favorite is warm, life-giving sun.

Old or cold? Old. I can't wait to be old, and I hate cold like cats hate water.

Smoke or fire? Fire.

First or last? Both sound a little lonely to me.

Money or sex? Sex. Because you can share it with someone. And sharing money makes relationships more complicated at best.

McDonald's or Burger King? Burger King. When I lived in Alburquerque, I worked at one across the street, at the register, weekdays, 10AM to 2PM, for the lunch rush. It fit perfectly in my relaxed, recovering life at the time. It required no mental effort and I got to know all the regulars and wear a loose, comfy uniform.

Bush or Blair? Blair is a prettier name.

Fighting or writing? Writing. With a good red pen on thick paper.

Hide or seek? Hiding is lonely. Seeking is a gamble. I'll take seeking any day.

Blind or deaf? Blind. Like I said, you have your eyes closed at all the important moments anyway. When someone kisses you, when you smell the ocean, when you hear tragic news.

Hats or cats? Tough one. I tried to put a top-hat on my cat Maximus once. He ripped it to shredds in miliseconds, then pushed the pieces under the couch. I haven't tried that since.

Rocket science or Olympic triumphs? Tea.

So Sad.
I'm both happy and sad to report that I'm losing my favorite neighbor. Bashar, my AJN (Adorable Jordanian Neighbor).
He found a much better business opportunity (and possibly a romantic interest?) in Charleston, South Carolina.
I'm happy for him, as it sounds like a much better place for him.
I'm sad for me.
Now I only have Sal, my APJN (Adorable Palestinian/Jordanian Neighbor) to force red meat and wine and very strong coffee on me.

Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
Not much to report, since I spent the majority of the last four days sleeping, punctuated by a few IM conversations with some sweet friends kind enough to check up on me.
Drugged out of my mind (legally, doctor prescribed) and so, SO bored.
I tried to leave the house twice. I am still not allowed to drive myself anywhere yet.
Friday night I asked my AJN to walk me down to the corner Mexican food place, because rolled tacos was the only thing that sounded remotely palatable, and I had to take my medication with food. Poor Bashar had to guide me by my elbow, as I kept wandering off the sidewalk and he was afraid I'd end up in the street. I'm sure everyone at Albertos thought I was drunk. Especially when I almost threw up. It's hard to explain how dizzy I was. With my equalibrium completely gone, I had no reference points. I could be upside down and not know it for a few minutes.
But we made it there and back safetly.
Then on Sat, Bunny asked if I wanted to run a few errands with her. I was so desparate to get out of the house, I agreed. We went to a craft store, and I managed not to walk into any walls. But by the time we got to Walmart, I was fading fast. So Bunny took me home, which was a good thing, because the guy from Cox was there to hook up the phone line that I got just to get a reduced rate on my internet. I can't remember the last time I had a home phone. Like most people I know, I just use my cell. Simpler that way, and cheaper, usually. I don't even have a phone connected to it.
So that was my exciting weekend. JR came home from his camping trip early, because he was worried about me. Which was a good thing, not just for me, but for his fish, that turned out to be sick with something that was literally called 'The Ick'. Not making this up. 'Vertigo' and the 'The Ick'. Sounds like a scary movie double feature at the drive-in movies.

Quote of the Day
"So Jr High Girls Softball is a very LOUD sport."

The bad blind date story to top all bad blind date stories.
No really. Whatever you're about to say, no. This is worse. And scarier. And funnier.

Oh, and as you read this story, you're going to think, "What was she thinking to even go with this guy?!?!" Frankly, I don't know. I was stupid, ok?
So I was seventeen, and a friend of mine wanted me to meet this 'really cool, quirky college guy'. He called and asked me if I wanted to get a cup of coffee, and since he sounded normal, and I was free on the night in question, and I didn't know then what I know now, I took a chance and said, "Sure. Why not?"
So that evening rolls around, and he's late, but I'm not one to stress it. But he pulls up not in the pickup he said he drove, but a big white windowless van. The sort that my friend Eric calls an 'abduction van'. He looked, in a word, greasy, somehow, not in a literal way, just sorta in a figurative way. But I was trying not to judge by appearances. He said "Hop in", and I did, mentioning that I thought he drove a pickup. He said that he was in the process of moving and that was why there was furniture in the back. I looked in the back and the only 'furniture' I saw was a mattress on the floor of the van. Believe me, the words "Holy Crap" ran through my mind.
"I have to run by my house," he said, "because I told my mom I wasn't going out tonight because I didn't want to get twenty questions. So she's going to call my house sometime between 8 and 9."
"Um, ok." I said, thinking I could call a friend from his house, to come get me.
"But here's the thing," he went on, "If you come in the house, my roommate will tell my mother on me, that I have a date. So I need you to wait in the car."
"Um, that's ok." I said, thinking that I could slip over to a neighbors house and call, which would probably be safer anyway.
To bad he lived in the freakin' boonies. We pulled up to a house in the middle of nowhere, and he hopped out, saying, "I'll be back in 45 mins, an hour, tops."
It was dark now, I couldn't see anything out, much less another house. I didn't want to wander the back country in the dark, with god knows what lurking. So, stupidly, I sat in the car and waited, debating my options.
He came back an hour and fifteen minutes later, and said, "My mom says since I'm not doing anything tonight, she needs me to come over and move some furniture around for her."
"Where does your mom live?" I asked.
"La Mesa." (Well populated area)
"Then lets go." I said.
I intended to make a break for it there, but he stayed on the front porch for all but just a few minutes. As he came back towards the van, I said, "You need to take me home now."
He said, "Ok."
On the way back he said, "I feel bad that I didn't get to buy you coffee."
"Um, don't worry about, dude."
"No, really. Oh, wait!" He pulled over at a 7-11, bought me a cup of coffee and presented it to me with a big smile.
"Um, thanks?" I said.
When we got back to my house, he asked for a hug. I said, "Um, no. And don't, um, ever call me, or anything. Ok?"
My friend spent weeks apologizing for setting us up. She said, "Really, he seemed so normal and charming when I met him, and he went to a strict christian college and all." (Turns out he didn't go there, he just hung out there to pick up on girls.)

Where is this man today, you ask? No, not on a wanted poster, or anything like that.
He became one of those grown men that spend all day hanging around the mall. He thinks its cool, and not horribly, horribly sad that all the employees at the mall know him by name. He keeps (I swear to you, I'm not even making this up) a lizard in a pouch that he hangs around his neck. He takes it everywhere.
And he's still asks me for a hug. I pretend I'm afraid of the lizard.

Saturday, March 26, 2005
Clothes that love, LOVE me.
This outfit is begging me to wear it.

My heart skips a beat........

These jeans were made for me.

I'm in love.

But I might have an affair with this.

Friday, March 25, 2005
Another Actual IM Conversation
VJ says:
Actually, I was thinking of making more tea.
VJ says:
Want some?
Jonny O says:
I see I have taught you well
Jonny O says:
Yes please
VJ says:
*rumages tea shelf in cupboard*
Jonny O says:
VJ says:
Most of my tea is at work.
VJ says:
I need to stock up.
VJ says:
Here are the options.........
Jonny O says:
VJ says:
Lipton Brisk.
VJ says:
Raspberry Royale
VJ says:
Ginkgo Extract.
VJ says:
Sugar Plum Spice
VJ says:
VJ says:
Orange and Spice.
Jonny O says:
Definitely orange and spice.
VJ says:
"Sweet Dreams"
Jonny O says:
VJ says:
Another kind of chamomile. (this kind is 'cozy')
Jonny O says:
but still most of your tea is at work??
VJ says:
Earl Grey
VJ says:Black Current
Jonny O says:
still with the orange and spice
VJ says:
Jonny O says:
I propose that you have every tea in the world.
VJ says:
Orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea.
VJ says:
Jonny O says:
show off
VJ says:
Honey and Lemon.
VJ says:
VJ says:
Green tea
VJ says:
Hmmmmm, I think thats it.
Jonny O says:
orange and spice
VJ says:
And for you?
Jonny O says:
the same
VJ says:
Do you wanna know something silly, that I will totally blame on my medication?
Jonny O says:
VJ says:
I just pulled out two teabags and was totally about to make two cups of tea.

Another Actual IM Conversation
'Mookie - "Still dying?"

VJ - "Yes, slowly."

'Mookie - "Well, if it's slowly, then you have time for last words."

VJ - "Ok, then. 'Feed the cats'."

'Mookie - "I was hoping for something more poetic."

VJ - "Sorry, much as I try to hide it, deep down I'm a very practical girl."

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Turns out I have a bad case of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
"I can't come in. I have The Birds. It's all over my face."


I have Vertigo. A viral infection in my left ear. Last night I was tidying up around my apartment and started getting sooooooooooooo dizzy that when I tried to walk, I would veer off into walls. I sat down and felt a smidge better, but thats when the shaking started. I was shaking like a leaf, so I called my healthcare provider's nurse line and she told me if my doctor's office was closed to just go into the ER. So JR drives me there (after packing me an overnight bag, complete with my perfume and my stuffed dog and mouse. I love that man.) and the nurse who checked me in brought me my ID bracelet thingy and then he looked at me and said, "Do you want some stickers?" I said, "Yes, always. Could you tell just by looking at me? You must have some really comprehensive medical records on me to know that." So my bracelet is now adorned with a yellow flower and pink smily face. Bless his little soul.
So I sat in my new little room in a paper gown that wafted open in the back at the slightest breeze, and watched tv with JR while the nurse and doctors came and went Finally got to see most of that Alicia Silverstone movie where she kidnaps herself.
And I got to play my new favorite hospital game, Attempt To Convince Doctor that Pregnancy Test is a Waste of Hospital Resources and Both of Our Time. Lost, as usual.
Then the doctor does a lot of magic trick like things, "follow this pen light with your eyes, then fall back on the bed and put your hands up like Frankenstein", probably just to amuse himself, and tells me I have vertigo.
So I'm not allowed to go back to work until Monday. And I may not fully recover for up to three weeks he says. And I can't drive my car until I'm fully healed.
So I'm home, with lots of legal drugs. If only the room would stop spinning this might be fun.
But the prescriptions are funny. I have to take with food an antibiotic with a side effect of more dizzyness. I have an anti-dizzyness medicationwith a side effect of lack of appetite. So I'm stuck in a cycle here.
But all in all, this has taught me that I love, LOVE my healthcare provider, PacificCare, and my doctor, Dr. Acouna-Young and my local Sharp Hospital. They werent' just good at their jobs, they were all kind and concerned. I mean, they came me stickers AND a drug with the possible side effect of hallucinations. What more could I want?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Words I never expected to utter............
............... "Dude, Isho, you would be a great Fabio."

Shout out to Ross!
The first of my friendships to orginate on the internet (back in the days of Emode), and the person to first show me the beauty, the wonder, the pure unadulterated joy that is boba tea, I give you ROSS.
Love him, cuddle him, snuggle him, but don't tug on his ears.

*editors note - I made a big oops when I first posted this. Instead of linking you to my friend Ross, I accidently linked to an angry little man in Nevada. My bad. So if you already clicked on this and decided my friend Ross was a rather odd, please, try again. Ross is worth it.

Things I've learned in life, part one.
Just buy the large drink. You'll spend too much time otherwise, assessing how thirsty you are. And people are probably in line behind you.

Never leave the country with a man who's last name you don't know.

Never put a check (especially if it's a check for two million) in the autofeeder of a copy machine, unless dis-assembling the machine with a power drill is your idea of a good time. And if it is, can I have your number so you can help me next time?

Jello shots are deceptive. It's best to avoid them.

It's all but impossible to eat a salad gracefully.

If you keep you break a limb attempting to ride the dog, your parents might give in and buy you a horse.

Run away at least once in your life. Just to prove to yourself, that really, you can make it on your own. You just probably don't want to.

Grandmothers give the best presents. Seriously. Did you want to spend your own money on socks and sweaters?

Always, ALWAYS tip the pizza delivery guy. They have loooooong memories and they WILL be alone with your next pizza. I'm just saying.

Always splurge on music, if it reminds you of a person.

Back up your cell phone address book somewhere.

Nail polish is a great craft paint.

If you are going to throw up, unfold a paper napkin and lay it across the surface of the water in the toilet. It will float there, and reduce that utterly disgusting backsplash.

Pack light.

Consider carefully how much time clipping and saving that coupon will take, because you can always get more money, never more time.

Chapstick, not matter how much it SMELLS and FEELS and even LOOKS like it would taste good, is not good to nibble on.

Things like explosives and electrical current and matches ARE toys. I don't care what your parents told you. They were just trying to hog the good toys.

Keep a blanket in the truck of your car.

Don't keep a pumpkin, some old fence boards, a jumbo bag of kitty litter and a three foot stuffed cow in the trunk of your car if you plan on crossing the Mexican border without being detained for six hours to explain yourself. Trust me.

Never buy a cheap corkscrew.

Never get rid of your old legos. If you do, call me. I will buy.

When trying on shoes, dance in them. Preferably re-enact the dance sequence from Flashdance. Or the one from Dirty Dancing if you have a partner. After all, what good is a pair of shoes if you can't dance in them?

Nerds are HOT.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Mookie's Challenge.
(see post before last)
I was sick all weekend, but I did get out and take a brief walk down Main St. with JR on Sunday afternoon.
So I kissed a Mexican (JR is 1/4 hispanic) in front of the courthouse (law) while a duck from a nearby fountain/pond waddled by. Does that count?

I know what the answer ISN'T.
Question - When you've been sick and lying around your apartment all weekend and feel that you have to do something or else you'll go insane, what do you do? What do you direct your fever-addled brain into doing?

You DON'T dye your hair. Especially not some dramatically different shade.

Not that I know that from experience or anything.

Not that I now have 'Caramel Kisses' hair or anything.

Friday, March 18, 2005
I've been challenged by 'Mookie ..........
....... to have a true story for him on Monday, about my weekend, that involves a duck, 2 Mexicans and the law.

Piece of cake.

Lobby Drama
So the last two weeks have been interesting.
First there was the hallway that flooded due to a busted pipe. I got head to toe soaked, the fire department came, it was great.
Then there was the morning the phones (actually the phones where only about 75% dead. Meaning some of the incoming lines worked, and most didn't, some of the extentions worked and most didn't, some of the time, but mostly not) AND the computers when dead. All of them.
Then there was the ultimate battle of wills, when the guys in IT, still bitter about their lack of girlfriends, decided to block EVERYTHING on my computer for no good reason, and I threw the mother of all hissy fits (alternating with flattery and cookie bribes) and made them fix it, something that no one as ever been able to do. Gold star for me.
And I had to leave early last Monday, to take JR to the ER for a concussion. Don't worry, he's ok, he's just recuperating at home, from that and a nasty little flu, all at once.
And now I have his flu. It's my own fault. I insisted on kissing him while he was sick. (But he's so cute!)
So now I'm heading home to sleep it off.
Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2005
I think this would give me a rosy feeling even if I didn't know the story behind it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Requiem for Geneva.
My coffemaker, bless her dear little soul, passed away this weekend. I shall always remember her as the happiest sounding coffeemaker, slurping and bubbling at her work. Please say an encouraging word to Godrey the toaster, he's heartbroken.

Hero of the day.
Kathy Kendrick.
She works with children at my church, and was diagnosed with cancer. She noted that most adults hide cancer from children, to avoid alarming them. But she felt if she could discuss it with the kids, without showing fear, she might be able to help the children that would later have to face it, in a grandparent or parent or even themselves.
So she cheerily shows her bald head, and answers any questions the kids have. Just knowing the answers seemed to help the kids know how to deal with the fact of cancer. I'm not sure I could be as brave as Kathy, and it takes a smile as courageous as hers to do what she did. But I'm grateful to her.
She's my hero.

I wanted to adopt her.
So the other day I was driving to church and as I drove down a small sidestreet, I came up on a group of young kids standing by the side of the road. They looked happy to be outside and luxuriating in the fact that they were UNSUPERVISED. Do you remember that heady feeling? The feeling that you were finally your own separate person, free to do and be and say what you pleased? So the youngest girl, maybe nine years old, eager to prove herself to the group, was standing by the side of the road waiting for a car to pass, which happened to be mine. She brazenly flipped me off. Both hands.
I grinned so big I almost split my face.
It wasn't just that she looked so much like me at that age, and I really should have been shocked by the gesture. But she was just so ALIVE and defiant and "Watch out world, I'm going to grow up!" that I just adored her. I wanted to jump out of the car and join her in saying "World, this is me. Like it!", but I'm an adult and my presence would have tainted the moment, I'm sure.
But she did grin back at me.
She knew I understood.

So then.......... (last night edition)
.......Coco said, "Oh, these fries are hot!"
So then I blew on the fries in the carton.
So then Coco said, "No, the ones in my mouth!"
So then I blew in her face.
So then she pushed half-chewed fries in my mouth.

So then I said, "I need a large caeser salad and twelve breadsticks."
So then the cashier gal said, "Need any plates and forks?"
So then I said, "Sure."
So then she said, "For how many?"
So then I said, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
So then she said, "Try me."
So then I said, "I have twenty-six kids here with me at the mall."
So then she said, "Why on earth do you have twenty-six kids with you at a mall?"
So then I said, "What, you think I'm gonna bring twenty-six kids to my HOUSE?"

So then I dropped ice down Ben's shirt and he threatened to puke on me.
So then I said, "Well, that's fair."

So then I said to Coco, "Stop poking Robb with the pinecone. And where did you get a pinecone?"

So then I said.........
"J, V asked me to ask me to ask someone to take the tires out of the conference room and take them to G's office. Did that make sense, or should I repeat it?"

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Morning News
This morning I awoke early, and bounced out of bed, determinded not to read the morning news, but to go out and experience it firsthand. It was early, about 5:45 am, when I started my walk. I got a traffic report from a crow, who cawed a warning as I jogged across the street. A mockingbird song told me the weather would be warm and fair, no fog. A calico cat darted off into the bushes without telling me a single secret, reminding me that there is still danger and mystery in this grand old world. The only thing I read was the page of a book that blew across my path. And last but not least, an old grey tomcat with one ear reminded me that not everyone is as snug and well-fed as me, and we all have to do our part to help.

So keep your newspapers and webpages for one day, it's all the same anyway. My morning news came with a sunrise and some dandylion fluff.

My First Bike
Last night I was chatting with Petey about our first bikes, and how your first bike isn't just a bike, it's a magic steed that opens up your world. Suddenly your world is bigger than your front porch, your yard. Now you can roam to the signpost up the hill and to the pine tree in Mrs. Martinez's front yard. Ask anyone about their first bike and their eyes get distant and they get a stupid happy look on their face.

See? You're doing it now, aren't you?

Well, it's my blog, so I'm telling first, then you.

I was four or five, and having declined a bigwheel, (remember those?) the closest thing to a bike I knew how to ride was my plastic horse. Did you ever have one of those? Four little wheels on a plastic horse, that you sat on and scooted along with your feet? Actually, I had two, and I couldn't bear the thought of one of them feeling left out, so I would ride one and drag the other along behind me by the plastic reins. My brother had discovered BMX bikes that year, like everyother kid on the block. We had a rather impressive set of ramps built in the back yard, and so all the older kids came to our yard. I would scoot my little horse, other horse in tow, over the ramps, getting in everyone's way, and it was only my homefield advantage that kept me from being forcibly removed, I'm sure.

This was one of the years of the 'Country House Debacle of '83-85', so we were in New Jersey at the time, and my brother and I had devoloped the habit of rising as annoyingly early as possible. Christmas morning was no expection, of course. We crept downstairs, Jesse in his termal pjs and pound puppy slippers, me in my zip-up footie pjs. Of all the presents, I remember two that year, my own set of pound puppy slippers, which I hugged delightedly, because I wanted to be just like my idolized older brother. And my bike. I remember it fondly because it was one of very rare times I remember my father taking TIME, not MONEY, to do something for me. He had it custom painted, because he didn't think I would like the pink color it came in. The color he painted it, a sparkly, purple, ghastly, tacky color, but I loved it because my dad actually took the time to think about me. It was all wrong, but it was an effort. It had a big sparkly banana seat, and streamers on the handle bars. A straw basket with flowers on the front, and best of all, one of those little bell things.

I was the bane of the neighborhood on that thing. I rode up and down the lenght of the block on it, and at one corner, the sidewalk was too narrow to turn around, so I just fell, picked up my bike, turned it around and rode back. Everytime. I got real good at falling, a trait that came in handy later when I got my first horse. Never occured to me to change my route. I fell with grace and style, sometimes with a roll, even. I had almost permanently skinned knees in those days.

Ok, I digress...........

Your turn now. Tell me about your first bike and why it was the best bike ever.

So then Coco said.........
"I've been thinking about taking over the world. And I know a guy with a bunch of emus, so that should help........"

Friday, March 11, 2005
They should bottle this.
Whenever I'm away from San Diego and return, the thing that strikes me is how good it smells here.
Alburquerque smelled of desert sand. Which DOES have a smell, and it's not wholly unpleasant. But even when it snows, it smells of sand.
Minnesota was a lovely place, one of the prettier places I've been. But to the unacustomed nose, it smells exactly as you would expect a place with thousands of lakes would. Boggy.
San Diego smells of ocean breezes and salt and sand and the almost too-sweet oleanders that bloom almost all year round.
Of sage and mustard in the hot sun, wafting down from the rolling hills.
Of shady pecan trees and low-lying waxy avocado trees.
Of orange trees that blossom two or three times a year because of the long growing season.
Of freshcut grass that people have their gardener cut often, because, hey, since they are paying a fortune to water it, might as well show it off.
Of cactus and warm earth and hot adobe brick.
Of carne asada and orange chicken and krispy kreme donuts.
Of surfboard wax and suntan lotion.
Of hot asphalt that burns your feet in the summer if you walk on it barefoot.
Of euclyptus trees and aloe vera.
Of night-blooming jasmine and chlorine from pool water.
Of fresh soft bagels toasting and lemons ripening on the windowsill.
Of horses and hay bales and well-oiled leather.
To me, it smells of home.

Take a deep breath.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
My cat's tongue is shaped like an oven mitt.
Almost a year ago, Maximus came home with cut on his tongue. This was at my old house, where I could let him out for a few hours a day. I have no idea how it happened, but since I do know that Maximus seems to have been born without fear, my guess is that he attempted to eat a creature not meant for feline consumption. Like a coyote or a rattlesnake. I called my vet and she said that unless it became infected and needed anti-biotics, there was little they could do for him and a trip to the vet would only add stress. The underlying statement was, "Lady, your weird little cat hates us and is freakishly strong and the scars up my arms from the last time he was here haven't even faded yet, so please, for my sake, don't put us all through the stress of a visit unless it is a dire emergency, PLEASE." She told me to keep an eye on him and just wait it out.
So I mashed up his food into a bowl of milk. And made sure he got plenty of water. But have you ever seen a cat that can't lick himself? A cat with permanant bedhead? It was all I could do not to laugh at him, poor thing.
His tongue nicely within a week, but now it's shaped like an oven mitt.

Another Actual Conversation
Wet Receptionist - "I'm afraid I won't make it tonight. I'm soaking wet and smell of flame retardant and anti-corusive."

Youth Leader - "Huh..... what ....... are you ok?"

Wet Receptionist - "Yeah, I don't want to talk about it."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
The Taco Stand Kitty.
So one balmy night in Ensenada Mexico, Jesse, Danny and I were all at our usual taco stand. Admittedly (and stupidly, kidlets, very stupidly) we were more than a smidge drunk. I noticed a cat twining itself around the legs of the barstools we sat on. I fed it bits of my taco. Ok, I was drunk, so of course I was accidently dropping more bits of taco than I was purposely dropping. I decided that I loved this cat, and that the cat loved me. Ok, I was REALLY drunk.
I told my brother, "Shjesseeeee, I wand da cat."
"No, VJ, you can'd have the cat."
"But Jess, I REALLY love the cat."
"No, VJ, the cat lives here with the nice people here."
"Quiero el gato."
So the next morning rolls around, and by 11 AM, we're all back at the same taco stand. The previous night's events are slowing coming back to me, and then I perk up happily as I remember the cat.
"Oh, Jesse, where's the cat?"
Everyone eating at the taco stand paused midbite.

Take 'Rezzie's quiz.
1. You're in a room, and you are surrounded by doors. Which one do you choose and why?
The one in the floor. Requires the least effort and I can always blame my actions on gravity if it turns out to be a bad choice.

2. You suddenly realize that the smelly person beside you is actually not smelly --- it is you. Do you apologize for your misconception? And then what do you about your smellyness? I mean, you're at the movies, and you just thought your date was smelly when in reality it was you.
I buy tons of snacks to cover the smell, and if that doesn't work, everyone will forgive me because they want my popcorn and Raisinettes.

3. Choose: telepathic abilities, psychic abilities, clairvoyant abilities or intuitive abilities. Why?
Intuitive. Sounds the least creepy.

4. How do you eat your ice cream?
I like cones, liking the sides. It's the most interesting way to eat it, plus you really must finish it or wear it, so no guilt for chowing down.

5. You are granted one wish and one wish only. What is it and why?
I would wish to be able to fly. It would get me out of trouble if I needed, it could make me rich and famous if I wanted, and I would be able to travel all I wanted. Plus, dude, I could FLY! How awesome is that?

6. You're driving a schoolbus. How long before you go insane?
*giggle* I have a high tolerance for chaos. I could actually enjoy it for a while.

7. What is your favourite word?
Niblick. It's a street name near my old house. It's fun to say. Try it. Really clack the 'ck' sound at the end.

8. What is your position on broccoli?
I'm allergic. Makes me violently ill. Plus I don't really like the taste.

9. How long does it take you to make a decision, on average? Why?
On average, small ones take about about ten seconds. I do a lot by gut instinct. Really serious decisions take about at day. I talk to JR and Bunny and myself. Then I make my decision and stop all worrying about it.

10. Say you are forced to retire today. What do you do today, before you retire, and where do you go to retire?
Before I retire, I say a fond goodbye to my desk, my stapler, my phone, etc. I play with the intercom for about a half an hour, saying all the funny things I've thought about saying before but managed to restrain myself. I order my last piece of toast from the corner deli. I eat it as I write a confidential letter to my replacement, telling her all the things he/she will want to know. Then one last lap around the building, saying short goodbyes with hugs and bequeathing my desk item to my friends.
After my retirement, I build myself a very open, one room cabin on the beach in Mexico. I would keep a couple horses, and on Sundays a local woman would come and cook me a huge lunch. I would have a couple hamocks, and hundreds of books. The local children would all come to my beach to play, because I would keep a large cooler full of coke on my porch and would read stories aloud (complete with character voices) when asked.

Monday, March 07, 2005
Weekend Update with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
Friday night was blissfully quiet, just a much needed evening in with my honey. I [heart] him, I so totally [heart] him. There was a movie and a couch and a lot of smooching. I don't think anyone out there wants more details than that, so moving one.........
Sat. morning I woke up at 5:45 AM, my usual weekday time, and got up and opened the blinds to let in the morning light. Then I thought about how horribly wasteful of good sleeping in time this was, so I went back to bed for about two more hours.
When I got up the second time, I had a good long soak in the tub, then made coffee for myself and my AJN. Then off to JR's for breakfast. We re-arranged the furniture in his bedroom, and went new boxspring shopping. When we got it home I noted that while JR could stand on the floor and easily touch the ceiling with his hand, I could stand on his bed and jump up and down without my head touching the same ceiling. Sad, frankly.
Then we watched the first two Austin Powers movies because JR had never seen them. As usual, I had to explain most of the sexual innuendo to him. He's so adorably pure, I [heart] him. That's not sarcasm, either. I love his pure little mind.
Then we got a call from Christy saying the gang was going to the drive-in movies that night. We took James along and introduced him to the gang. Props to James for not batting an eyelash when introduced to them. Not even when Eric jumped in the puddle or when we all just randomly starting yelling for no reason. My crew is a odd bunch, and you are simply forced to adore them because they are without question some of the finest people ever, but they can be scary the first time you meet them. We watched Hitch (still funny the second time), but when The Pacifier came on, we walked over to the 7-11 for snacks. When we got back we just mentally subsituted the first part of Kindergarten Cop for any plot points we missed, and could follow the movie with no trouble at all. Vin, dearie, don't try to act. Leave that to the children in the movie. Or the duck. Really.
Sunday after church, JR, James and I went for a hike. It was gorgeous weather, a smidge on the muddy side, but a great time was had by all. We saw two rattlesnakes, one was about four feet long and got real mad at being disturbed from his sun bath. (They like to warm themselves in the sun and the hiking trails are the best place for that.) Then we went to dinner with JR's friends and I randomly winked at people in the restaurant. Almost started a fight between a middle aged couple. *giggle*
I should do that more often.

Look for a guest post of mine on Jonny's blog.
You can go read about the time I almost got run over by a big rig in the middle of the desert.

Friday, March 04, 2005
Tell, tell.
In the past week, have you had one of those moments where you realized that, in that one moment, you were utterly happy?

I did. Last night I was alone for the evening, JR was off playing tennis with the boys, and I didn't have any errands to run, or kids to babysit, no responsiblity at all. That doesn't happen often.
I made my lunch for the next day, and my dinner for that night, while dancing around to the radio. Bet Weird Neighbor enjoyed that.
Then I poured myself a glass of sangria, and discussed movie choices with my cats. No, I'm not crazy (well, if I am, it's not 'cause of this), they like it. Dulce responds with little mews and Maximus comes over to see what I'm doing. We decided on Beat the Devil, an old Humphrey Bogart film. Then I made a lot of progress on this puzzle I have been working on, it would have been more but Maximus kept trying to 'help'. I fed all my pets and was turning out the lights when I realized that I was utterly happy in that moment. I like that feeling that everything in my care is safe and warm and fed and happy. Then tucked myself into read The Awakening by Kate Chopin (highly reccomend) until I fell asleep.

So, tell, tell, gang. What's a moment in the last week that you felt happy in? Whatever is going on in your life, there has to have been AT LEAST one.

Begin this sentence, please.
"........... takes courage."

Does anyone remember life before blogging?
I was talking to someone and they said they didn't have a blog, and I thought to myself, "How am I supposed to get to know this person? The long way with talking and stuff?"

Then I laughed at myself.

If I was a single ......
......... and at a dance, I would soooooooooooooo hit on this guy. He's awesome!

Thursday, March 03, 2005
" equality of wills I finally understand........."
On Stripping Bark from Myself (for Jane, who said trees die from it)
By Alice Walker

because women are expected to keep silent about
their close escapes I will not keep silent
and if I am destroyed (naked tree!) someone will please
mark the spot
where I fall and know I could not live
silent in my own lies
hearing their "how nice she is!"
whose adoration of the retouched image
I so despise.

No. I am finished with living
for what my mother believes
for what my brother and father defend
for what my lover elevates
for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes
to embrace.

I find my own
small person
a standing self
against the world
an equality of wills
I finally understand.


My struggle was always against
an inner darkness: I carry within myself
the only known keys
to my death - to unlock life, or close it shut
forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the color yellow
nd the sun, I am happy to fight
all outside murderers
as I see I must.

For Svenny, who had a bad day.
Svenny, dear, on my Top Ten List of Favorite Things, you're on it twice. A good friend and a brilliant writer. And I meant when I said I'm happier living in a world that has you in it. I'm sorry that you must navigate a breakup while illness dogpiles you. It's not fair, and I'm here if you want to whine about it.
Shall I add homemade cookies to my pile of things I've been meaning to send you?
Hugs from afar,

I feel like my own mother, because I want to say to this picture of me, "Sit up straight, young lady." Posted by Hello

".............But it is a love, my beloved............"
The Gardener
By Rabindranath Tagore

Your questioning eyes are sad.
They seek to know my meaning
as the moon would fathom the sea.
I have bared my life before your eyes from end to end,
with nothing hidden or held back.
That is why you know me not.
If it were only a gem,
I could break it into a hundred pieces
and string them into a chain to put on your neck.
If it were only a flower, round and small and sweet,
I could pluck it from its stem to set it in your hair.
But it is a heart, my beloved.
Where are its shores and it's bottom?
You know not the limits of this kingdom,
still you are its queen.
If it were only a moment of pleasure
it would flower in an easy smile,
and you could see it and read it in a moment.
If it were merely a pain it would melt in limpid tears,
reflecting it's innermost secret without a word.
But it is a love, my beloved.
It's pleasure and pain are boundless,
and endless it's wants and wealth.
It is as near to you as your life,
but you can never wholly know it.

*Gasp!* I want him. I must have the giant lobster. He's soooooo cute. I want him to be the Postage Stamp's new watchdog. He's estimated to be maybe 100 years old, just think of the stories he could tell. I must have him as a pet, he could live out his retirement in my bathtub. I'd buy him bowties and listen to his stories of 'back in my day'. Maybe Edward Furlong will steal him for me. Edward Furlong would understand. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Did I ever mention how much I love that man?
JR is the best thing to ever happen, not just to me, but EVER.
He holds my hand while driving. He orders me flower bulbs for no particular reason. He just rolls his eyes and shrugs when I name his iPod thingy. He remembers what sort of tea I like and dislike. He'll make out with me for hours on end. He has the cutest ears that ever existed. He hangs pictures on the wall for me and takes out the trash at my apartment. He insists on carrying my bags when we shop. He cooks our dinner more often than not. He once got out of bed at two AM to buy medicine for my upset stomach and drive it over to my apartment. He's patient and loving and I would trust him with my life. He doesn't care anything about my weight as long as I'm healthy. He listens when I talk and cares about my feelings and respects my opinion. And dang it, not that it matters, but he's cute as hell!

Page 23, Sentence 5
The Awakening
By Kate Chopin

There was now an apparent dispostion to relax; to widen the circle of confidences and give a more general tone to the conversation.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
If Rezzie came to spend a summer with me...........
We would have great stories to tell.

"..... and that's how we got the bartender to bail us out."

".... but if we did that again, we'd need a pogo stick and scotch tape."

"...... and that's why I always carry a dinar and a copy of my phone bill."

".... but luckilly, VJ had thought of that, and had the foresight to bring the extra jell-o we needed, so we didn't have to get naked after all."

We'd get in all the right sorts of trouble.

I think 'Rezzie would break a few hearts.
And I would sit by and look smug.

And one of us would talk the other into a drastic haircut.

And we would sit outside on hot summer nights and stay up way to late, and develop an addiction to some sort of snack that would forever remind us of that summer.

And they guys at the corner mexincan place would know us by our orders.
"Oh, look, it's Rolled Tacos and Extra Guac."

And we would terrify as many strangers as we could.

We would play "we're not from around here" all the time.
"ve are from france and are here on vacazzeon, beecuz we 'eard dat eet was beautiful 'eere."
And they'd be like "Weren't you spanish yesterday" and we would say "noooooo....."

And a whole lot of tourist would go home saying, "We met these insane girls and well, to make a long story short......... we will never eat burritos on a ferris wheel again"

And we would start to look scarily alike.

And JR would shake his head, like, "What did I get myself into?" but a smile would slowly spread across his face, and in his own quiet way he would adore 'Rezzie.

JR would accidentally call 'Rezzie VJ one time and then be very surprised at the mistake but 'Rez and I would laugh.

And by the end of the summer, someone would mistake us for sisters, and we would turn to each other and laugh hysterically, agreeing that we were sisters.

Someone would call me Therese, and I'd be like yep, that's me, and then they'd see me call 'Rez Therese and be confused. And they'd be like, "Which one is Therese?" and we'd slant our eyes and say, "Who wants to know?"
"Did a bartender with scorpian tattoos tell you to ask us?"

And we'd start catching each other's mannerisms, I'd start saying "eh" and 'Rez would start saying "like" and "totally" together.

And we would forget by the end of the summer who's clothes were who's.

Reason I should carry a camera #985,621
I once saw the Dali Lama in the Mall of America. I swear to you.

See, I told you they were the cutest things ever. My AWANA Olypmpic team. I'm the crazy looking one that is making the peace sign and appears to be about to eat Jessie's head. Posted by Hello