Sunday, April 29, 2012

please learn from my mistake

... or, the least efficient way to clean a kitchen floor ever. 

Okay you guys, I am no genius, but I'm not an idiot either.  I am a grown-up of moderate intelligence. 

But.  I occasionally do fairly stupid things. 

This weekend I needed to run the dishwasher.  This is not unusual.  I happened to be out of dishwasher detergent.  This also happens from time to time.  I had the bright idea to try using dish soap in the dishwasher.  You know, the stuff you use to hand wash dishes in the sink.  I poured some dish soap into the detergent holder thingie in the dishwasher.  As I poured, I had the distinct thought that I was perhaps putting in too much, but charged ahead anyway.

The dishwasher started doing its job as usual and I left the kitchen.  Maybe 20 minutes later, I returned to get something from the kitchen and discovered a pool of sudsy water on the kitchen floor and, somehow, on the other side of the wall in the dining room.  This is when I started yelling for Maya to bring all the dirty gently used towels I knew she was hoarding in her bedroom. 

Here I will take pause to tell you a side story.  Two days prior, my grandmother had discovered a small pool of water emerging from under her dishwasher which was assumed to be busted.  Then on the same day as my dishwasher incident, water was discovered leaking out of the electrical outlet above the dishwasher and onto the kitchen counter [of my grandparents' house].  It was quickly surmised that the problem was not with the dishwasher after all, but with a water pipe in the wall.  My parents were dispatched to coordinate hiring plumbers and had been up to their necks in turned off water and holes in drywall for an entire afternoon and evening before my mother called me to let me know they would not be heading home that night after all and I told her, "you're not going to believe this."

Thankfully in my case, there was no leaky pipe to blame.  No faulty appliance either.  Just my own poor judgement.  So, be ye warned.  Do not use sink type dish soap in your dishwasher.  If you must, just use a little bit.  And let me know how much is appropriate. 


Meanwhile, the pipe has been repaired at my grandparents' house and the drywall will be patched up within the week.  All is well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The poem that is always in my pocket

I hear that today is Poem in Your Pocket day. I don't often post poetry, but this one immediately came to mind, even though I have posted it before. It is my favorite by my daughter's namesake. That second stanza? That's what gets me.

Woman Work
by Maya Angelou

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

cargo container slash tiny house hybrid

Near the end of this video, she mentions having a fantasy about living on a barge. I dreamed about doing just that 3 years ago. I really admire her creativity and resourcefulness.  I still want/need to clean out the shipping container in my backyard. And I haven't heard the term wabi-sabi in a hundred years. I like.

Monday, April 23, 2012

luck and mercy

On Saturday I tried twice to post about a quick trip I took on Friday.  But due to a combination of stupid blogger's new format and my stupid laptop's hyper-sensitive track pad, I lost both attempts.  If you just barely brush my track pad, it clicks so your cursor may end up outside of the text editing area, and then if you aren't paying attention and hit backspace to correct an error, the browser instead goes back a page and blogger hasn't auto-saved your draft and you, my dear blogger, are hosed.  Again.

So.  Friday.  I flew up to San Jose in the wee hours of the morning, the sun just beginning to rise as we taxied down the runway.  When I left the house at 4 AM, I tried several times to use the windshield wipers to clear the windshield before I realized that the reason I couldn't see was because I didn't have my glasses on.  I turned the car around and got them.  After getting through security and exchanging money for caffeine, I sat down to realize that I didn't have my driver's license.   Just before panic set it in, I heard my name over the PA system.  Someone had found my license and turned it in.  Thank you, unknown soul, you saved me a heaping helping of inconvenience.

I attended the second day of a two-day conference in the Silicon Valley.  Everywhere I went up there had excellent public toilets and both the college that hosted the conference and the airport had meditation rooms.  So this is how the other half lives. 

Flew back south the same day, landing exactly 12 hours after I took off.  Waited at baggage claim with a woman using crutches to help her with her bag, not consciously doing so, but effectively paying forward the favor of my returned license. 

Slept like the dead Friday night and half of Saturday.  Then Sunday took off to a car show outside of Knott's Berry Farm followed by a very enjoyable few hours in the park with the kids and my parents.  Dan stayed home as he had back-to-back gigs doing audio tech for a local band.  Saturday had been miserably hot, so I was worried about being outside all day on Sunday, but Sunday turned out to be ridiculously pleasant, overcast and cool nearly all day. 

There is an old one-room schoolhouse at Knott's.  Inside there are old-fashioned desks with chalkboards.  They sell copies of old school rules which claim that boys and girls caught playing during school would receive three lashes.  Austin LOVED that schoolhouse.  He says that is his new school.  He sat at one of the desks, posture just so, and said, "good morning, teacher."  Without missing a beat the "teacher" corrected him, "it's afternoon."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blogger can take its new post layout and stick it up its ass.

Thursday, April 19, 2012



I would be hard-pressed to repeat or describe the sound that came out of my mouth today when I went over to see this post on The Selby.

On one hand it's sort of, um... gaudy?
But the colors are so rich and warm.

And the light.  Oy.

I don't envy whoever has to dust the joint, though.

Monday, April 16, 2012

You never know

I heard this song on the radio this morning (and you don't need to listen to it to keep reading... frankly, not my favorite Wilco song, but...)

I had a thought about the way people are so obsessed with The End of the World. It is nigh! And it occurred to me that I think this is because [some] people cannot fathom the idea of the world existing after they are gone. Not that the world itself depends on them to continue, necessarily, but that they can't (on some subconscious level, perhaps) stand the thought of all the things that they will miss... the people of the future enjoying new advancements, pains and pleasures and never even knowing that we, as individuals, existed... not caring that we existed for that matter. I think it's all about fear of death and lack of a legacy.

What say you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

egg hunting

We took Easter dinner over to my grandparents' house to avoid missing them if Grandpa didn't feel good enough to come to our house (like on Thanksgiving). Three of the four great-grandkids were there... and a fifth great-grandkid will be born in late spring or early summer. Born to my cousin that is, just to be clear. This baby shop is closed.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

one of the best things we've ever done

I am a total slacker and still haven't downloaded any photos from this past week. Mostly this is because we were all using different cameras/phones and I'm certain the best of the pictures are not on my phone. Anyway...

Wednesday we went to Knott's Berry Farm. Knott's is a place that my mom and I went to a lot when I was a kid. Mom was a school teacher [before she retired] so we had summers off together. I was an only child and she was a single mother and we have always been good companions, she and I. So when I decided we should break our Disneyland habit of the last few years and finally take the kids to Knott's instead, I thought it would be great if my mom and stepdad would go with us.

The six of us went and had a fabulous time. I am so so SO glad we went. It was such a nice combination of reliving good memories and making new ones with my kids. We even had dinner at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaraunt which is where my grandparents had their wedding night dinner in October 1947 and the whole extended gaggle of grandkids/parents/cousins/great-grandkids had their 60th anniversary dinner four and a half years ago.

We got season tickets which means we can go again. I doubt we will manage to go as a group of six very often, but we could also go in smaller groups... me and the kids, me and Dan, my parents on their own or with the kids... etc. I really look forward to going again. I may have to go again just for the boysenberry punch. Mr. Knott actually invented the boysenberry... a cross between the red raspberry, blackberry and loganberry. That's some good shit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break adventures in LB

This week is our Spring Break and while I had been hoping for a road trip, my bank account thought it wasn't such a good idea after all, so we're having some adventures closer to home. Yesterday we drove to Long Beach and went to the Aquarium of the Pacific then had lunch at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and then spent the afternoon at the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary is an excellent example of reusing/recycling; they turned that enormous boat into a hotel way before recycling was cool. I haven't downloaded any pictures yet, but maybe I will Thursday. Maybe.

Some random thoughts follow. The Queen Mary was built well before all that ADA business; there are way too many stairs and my knee was not happy by the end of the day. On the freeway I saw a semi truck emblazoned with the name BM Transport; this tickled me to no end. My favorite thing at the aquarium was touching the moon jellyfish; Austin's favorite thing was the little play area where a fish statue/fountain spits in your general direction while kids play on a pretend fishing boat; Maya liked taking pictures of every-flipping-thing; Dan liked the sharks and the sting rays. As much as I love the movie Forrest Gump, I wasn't as pleased with the Bubba Gump place as I hoped to be; the little gift shop area had a shirt that said my mama says I'm special; now I'm not usually easily offended by that sort of thing but that shirt bothered me on a couple levels, one of which being that Sally Field's character would never have said anything like that.