Saturday, January 28, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka - I'm Getting Ready

I love this man's voice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home


Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out

Some old-school dramatic video action. Great song.

it's hard to dance
with the devil on your back
so shake it out

Another by Florence here.

I want a mirror ball in my house.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


This odd, sad, sort of scary feeling has come over me. A series of events, a couple bad dreams, and a conversation with a person who seems to be... troubled. I feel a sense of déjà vu. That the right thing to do would be to reach out to this person, but I don't know how. But that doesn't matter, does it? The how just lays out in front of you if you just start. Tell the person. I see you. Are you okay? Really?

At least twice in my life I have failed to ask. Failed to reach out when hindsight later tells me I should have. Whether or not it would have made a difference.

This isn't making any sense is it?

I really have been having the most terrible dreams. In one, my family was put on what looked to be a ride at an amusement park. But I knew that at the end of the ride, we would be going into an incinerator. I didn't know how to handle the situation. Was it inevitable? Or should I try to get us out? Should I tell my child that is excited to go on a ride what is really happening? Or play along?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

rock on

First, I have to say that the "box" that chair came in was a conversation piece on its own. There were supplemental box shapes poking out on all sides to encapsulate the sticky-out bits of the chair. Then it was wrapped in a complete roll of box tape. Austin thought he had won the lottery of fun boxes to make buildings out of, but by the time we got the thing opened, there wasn't much usable box left. In fact, getting the box apart took longer than putting the chair together. That went lickety-split with Dan in charge.

Austin approves. It doesn't look like it will work as Dan's Chair. The back isn't high enough for him to rest his head. I like it though. Even without cushions is comfortable and has a nice rock. I told Dan he may have to build me a proper front porch to rock on. What would he do with himself if I weren't here to keep him busy?

And just for a bonus, an enormous bug as found in my kitchen. The jar is a LARGE pickle jar I use for change. I don't know what kind of bug it is. Its body was ant-like, but I don't much think it was a mama ant. Based on where the legs are attached, it doesn't look like a termite. My sister-in-law who is visiting for a couple weeks said it was a mosquito, but it didn't have that long sucker-mouth thing on the front of its face.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures in Estyland

I am writing this prematurely, as the chair below is not yet reassembled. But sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.

My husband's chair -- daddy's chair, as it is known -- is in a shambles. Threadbare and collapsing. It was his dad's recliner before he died three years ago. I was on the hunt for a replacement. Something that might work with our funky bamboo stuff. Something that, like our futon and bamboo stuff, might have cushions separate from the frame, so the cushions could be replaced if they wore out while the frame was still good. We are hard on things. We are fat and young at heart and thoughtless and we abuse our belongings. I had no interest in plunking down $500 on another recliner, just to watch it get destroyed. I looked online some, Ikea and JC Penny... and I was struggling a bit. I started looking at vintage chairs on Etsy. I found some cool stuff, but a lot of it was out of my price range (search for "mid-century Danish" for an idea of what I was looking at. But then I found this...

Bent Cane Rocking Chair. Perfect fit, no? The price was right so I jumped on it. I didn't even check with Dan. I told him that if he doesn't like it enough to be a replacement for his recliner, we can instead toss the glider rocker that is also falling apart.

The day after I ordered it, I got a message from the seller about how he was going to go to UPS and get a shipping quote -- he was worried about the cost of shipping. There was something about that message that peeved me. There was nothing in the listing about contacting the seller for a shipping quote prior to payment; I checked. I didn't want him telling me I had to pay him a pile of money above what he had charged. If he was going to do that, I would tell him to forget it -- give me a refund. But I sat on it and held my tongue, waiting to see what he would have to say after going to UPS. Less than 24 hours later, he wrote again and said that UPS wanted a ridiculous amount of money and he had walked out of the place. He had another solution, Greyhound Package Express. This would mean I would have to go to the nearest Greyhound station to pick up the chair (which was disassembled and flat-packed). Greyhound is about 10 miles away, in a pretty rough town nearby and not my favorite place to go. But if it meant saving a buttload of money, I was game.

Yesterday I got the call that the package had arrived at the station. After asking about their business hours I decided the best choice would be for me to go during my lunch break today. I wasn't too worried about getting it into the car, I am able bodied enough, it's not that hefty of a chair, and I have a big trunk. No worries. It took me a bit to find the station. I missed a turn and had to make a bit of a loop into neighborhoods that, to be honest, make me nervous. Anyway, I found the place after calling them to ask for a landmark and when I got there, there was just one little old lady working there. She had put together who I was based on our conversations on the phone and had me sign for the package without asking for my ID or even my name. Then a man standing in the lobby area walked over to the package and asked me where I was headed with it -- after telling me that the Greyhound lady said I sounded like a little girl on the phone. I said there's nothing little about me and he said there's nothing wrong with that. He picked up the box and we walked out to my car. We talked a bit and it turns out that he had been waiting there for an hour and a half to help me. I had told Greyhound Lady that I would be there around lunchtime, but it was 1:30. She told him she thought I might need help getting it into my car. I felt terrible that he had waited so long. He said not to worry, he worked for quarters. Then he chuckled a little. He was too clean to be homeless. Like homeless homeless. Park bench homeless. He didn't smell like that. He may live in a shelter or government housing. But he was doing this because he needed money. He didn't say so, but you know. Anyway, I didn't have any change. I knew I had a 20 dollar bill, so I walked back into the station with him to see if I could get some change. But then I decided, hell with it, and I gave him the 20. He said no. He said we could go get change. I said no. He said "don't do this to me." I turned toward him and asked, "why? You did a nice thing for me. I want you to have it." He asked if I could really afford it. I shrugged and said yeah, sure (sort of lying but I had it and I get paid in a week so...). I told him to have a nice lunch. We hugged. I honestly couldn't tell you who initiated the hug. It just happened. Then I did something really weird. I said "God bless you." I never say that shit. I don't know if there's a god or not (I think not more days than not). But if there is a god, this man deserves a blessing.

Isn't it funny how these things happen? If I hadn't ordered that chair on one of my favorite sites on the great miracle that is The Internet, I never would have met this man -- and I don't even know his name -- but our encounter gave me such a nice feeling. I hope to hang onto that.

Now I just hope the chair is worth a damn ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jack Johnson - Monsoon

I've posted this one before, but it's my favorite song and it's my blog so I can put it up again if I want to :)

My go-to song for getting through lower moods.

Jack Johnson

I feel sorrow for the fear
And everything it brings
Wonder if it will ever sleep
I know you understand
‘Cause you briefly look away
Focusing on nothing so now everything is clear
‘Cause there’s no one to blame
You got no place to hide
It’s only in your mind
And I saw you in amazement stumbling through the day
You told me time never waits
What is that supposed to mean?
All of life is in one drop of the ocean waiting to go home
Just waiting to go home
And if the moon can turn the tides
It can pull the tears and take ‘em from our eyes
And make ‘em into monsoons
And turn ‘em into monsoon-er or later they’ll weep their way back to the sea
Gonna finally be free
Free for a while
Until they break like waves of sorrow always do
All in due time
‘Cause time never waits

Daddy don’t daydream again
Just help me to believe and then
Show me that there’s more than the mean time
Sonny do you hear the sound?
You will feel it when it breaks
You will know it when it’s gone
How else can I explain?
‘Cause it’s only the pain
Coming straight through
Coming to remind
Cross cut to you in amazement stumbling through the day
You tell me time never waits
That’s okay ‘cause I don’t wait for time
When all of life is in one drop of the ocean waiting to go home
Just waiting to go home
And if the moon can turn the tides
It can pull the tears and take ‘em from our eyes
And turn ‘em into monsoons
And make ‘em into monsoon-er or later they’ll weep their way back to the sea
Gonna finally be free
Free for a while
Until they break
Like waves of sorrow always break
All in due time
‘Cause time never waits


Today I feel like single people have the right idea. I am not proud of the fact that on at least one occasion I have turned to my daughter and said, "don't ever get married."

It will pass. This feeling, that is, not my marriage. Hahaha.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

here goes nothin

Did you know that in middle school, there are kids who have sex in the school bathrooms while other kids stand lookout at the door?

When I worked at the movie theater, we found people in all kinds of creative hiding places doing all kinds of nasty things.

When I was in high school, I had at least one friend that had sex on campus during lunch. Not the most romantic setting, but hormones are very motivating.

Another friend had an adventure on the grass of a golf course in the middle of the night. Until the sprinklers came on, that is. I still laugh at the thought of it.

But now I am a mother. And while TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE my teenager is not yet 'active,' the time has come for a little pill to be a part of her daily routine.

Make no mistake, this is not an endorsement on my part. I would be perfectly OK with it if she didn't have sex until... um... ever. But I am also realistic. And I've been there. I got pregnant at 18. And I was a 'smart' kid. I got good grades, had a part time job, got accepted to college. But the good judgement part of my brain went wonky and I thought it would be just fine to jump into the great pool of life with both feet and have a baby. God help me. You know how lucky I was in so many ways? But in spite of that dumb luck it was hard. It is hard still.

So I am doing what I believe to be the most responsible thing and putting my child on The Pill.

I know as well as you do that it doesn't protect from disease. And that it certainly doesn't mitigate the potential emotional ramifications of sex. And I'll say it again -- I don't want her to have sex. But I'm pretty sure that what I want has not much at all to do with what will happen.

Meanwhile, there's a good chance it will help with her acne. (BONUS!)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


For my bloggy friends who like documentaries, or those who have food... issues, or environmental concerns, I caught this one on Netflix and it is very interesting: Dive! Living Off America's Waste.

These dudes do amazing stuff with food fished out of dumpsters behind markets (stores toss stuff the day before the 'expiration' date). The film explores the amount of waste in the food industry in the U.S., from farm to table, and compares that to the number of people in the U.S. (and the world) who are going hungry. Lots to think about.

Seriously, if I could get perfectly good bananas for free and keep them from going to a landfill to rot, I'd put some rubber boots on and hop in*. But the dumpsters in my quiet little town are locked up tight. We've talked about my banana addiction before, right?

*Spoiler Alert: The moral of the story (in the film) is not ultimately an endorsement of dumpster diving, but rather an example of what volunteers and food banks can do when there are people willing to do the work that needs to be done -- skipping the dumpsters altogether by working with local stores to get the food to the food banks and on to the people who need it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Q: Here we have Wes Anderson, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand... what else could you possibly need?

A: Popcorn

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

subconscious inspiration

Sometimes an idea will smack me the in face and suddenly I feel like a moron because it hadn't occurred to me sooner. I got to thinking about peacocks for some reason. They have this almost abrasive sounding call, but I find it somehow comforting, having lived near them off and on for so long. (This is what comes of living in semi-rural areas with crazy people as neighbors... who on earth thinks a peacock is a good pet? Besides me I mean. I would love one, or four, but the practical side of me just can't reconcile it.)

Anyway, it finally smacked me in the face. The beautiful teal of the feathers on their body. That majestic tail on display. And I look around my house at my use of teal and indigo and green and purple, and did I mention blue? Complimented sometimes with earthtones. My love affair with paisleys and mandalas (and so many things Indian). There might just be something to that...

See the rest of this image here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Western Science Center 01/08/12

We live fairly close to the "largest public works project in California," Diamond Valley Lake. DVL is a man-made lake, a water reservoir for SoCal. There were many years of digging the valley floor prior to filling the reservoir which fed some healthy archaeological and paleontological research.

The museum they built to house some of the findings there is the Western Science Center. The current exhibit at the WSC is Be the Dinosaur! With a five-year-old boy in the house, you know we had to go see the dinosaurs! Austin's hands down favorite was the Jurassic Park style "jeep" with a TV screen for a windshield. The kid needs to practice driving A LOT more because he kept running the poor dinos over. Ooops.

Maya was the only one who would take a picture with the T-Rex skull for me. I failed to get pictures of the ground sloth skeletons in another section, but Dan and I were really tripping out on those, they were bigger than us!

This exhibit is obviously geared toward the digital generation, with more joy-sticked, wide-screened sit-downs than actual bones, but the kids (including the husband) liked it.

Across the way in the lake's visitor center, we learned some depressing things about how many hundreds of gallons of water each of the 6 billion of us humans use EVERY DAY. Uggh.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

yet again

I laid awake last night composing novels of gibberish in my head. My legs were too tired to get my body up to make note of all my Brilliant Ideas, so now they are lost to the web of unreliable synapses in my noggin.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

wherein the internet improves my life for the thousandth time

A million years ago, or maybe just 20, my best childhood friend and I grew apart. Some unpleasant pre-teen girl type things happened between us. I did something to her that is on my Top Three Most Heinous Things I’ve Done to People List somewhere around 7th or 8th grade, and then sometime toward the end of 9th grade, her family moved away. And we never talked again.

But sometime in the last half of 2011, her mom found me on facebook. I wrote back. She wrote back. I wrote to my friend. We’ll call her T. I wrote and waited. Didn’t hear back. And then she wrote back and it was all good and all like we had never not been friends.

We all got together yesterday, her, her husband and kids, me and mine. We ate and laughed and caught up a lot and remembered the trouble we got into together and fell in love with each other’s kids. I think maybe we could still be lifelong friends. Wouldn’t that be good?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

it's the hangover talking

Well. Here we are. My weariness over the holidays that I had hoped would turn into relief has turned instead into anxiety.

2012 and I am suddenly thinking of Lori again. I haven't written about her in a while. Do I have any new readers? If so, go here.

When it happened and then the possibility that she had bought into all the 2012 nonsense came up, 2012 felt so far away. But now here it is. And how do we start the year? An earthquake in Japan (though thankfully not as bad a last year's). Seriously? Someone is fucking with us, right? There is a god, and he has a bitchy sense of humor. Either that or Mother Earth is going to shake us off her back like a dog with so much water.


Happy New Year... really. We spent New Year's Eve playing ping-pong with the kids and then sitting around the fire pit. It was perfect.

Listen to this, it's wonderful.