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June 23, 2014

litany of crap

egads, i'm a whiny little shit. ignore me.

June 22, 2014

bliss

i wish i knew what it was to follow my passion.

(cue "follow your bliss." oh, cosmic thing.)

i know a yoga instructor... well, i happen to be related to a yoga instructor. after many years of this and that, she turned that lovelight into something she could DO. for a living, i think. and people she loves have supported her, and well, she seems--from my very, very distant vantage point--to be blossoming.

but when one's skills lie in... problem-solving, the putting out of completely stupid fires, administration, for crissakes, what to do?

i can't turn a love of fanfiction into life's work, not when i don't write it. i'm not good with people, not skilled at... much. i adore too many things i know very little about. i can't convert a kinda-sorta facility with cooking into a food blog that will get me a book deal. no one in their right minds would pay to read an lfc book, either with recipes or without. if i ever had a moment in which it would have been smart to capitalize on past tragedies and life lessons learned, well, that would have passed ages ago. i was a bright kid, maybe. a diligent student. not setting the world on fire with my brilliance. barely getting through math. told through grad school that i had a good combative streak but i folded too easily. i was a more interesting kid than an adult.

(the mentor's reaction to my disclosure that i read on death and dying when i was 11? priceless.)

my views of the world are narrow and shallow. if it's not funny, chances are i know nothing of it. chances are i know nothing of it, anyway.

the only thing to move me to tears these days is the growth of my children and the feeling that work is shit.

what does it mean to think something so strongly, feel something so deeply, believe something so painfully that you have no choice but to follow? i kind of wish i knew, but maybe my ignorance is bliss enough.

June 18, 2014

whatever okay means

today an employee plopped herself down in one of the visitor chairs in my office and asked if i was "okay."

apparently i seemed really stressed and someone else had noticed, too, so this employee decided it wasn't just a matter of her being paranoid.

i said a contract project was going south, then i lied and said that there no new ledges.

i lost my best work friend, people seem to think management (meaning me) should do everything for them, my team routinely leaves me to work in the office alone because it's just so convenient for them to work from home (and i lie to protect them), i have no idea where my current project might be headed, i'm about to get my ass handed to me for writing a too-honest review of one of my employees, my son is not ready for middle school, and god help me, i'm house-shopping because i want to make sure we move while i still have a lengthy job history.

but at least i'm getting some sleep in this strange purgatory. whatever.

June 7, 2014

scraps

a few days ago i tried to interest nola in a project. go through these magazines with me, i said, and we'll cut out things that look good to us and make a collage. she readily agreed, but it was the afternoon following the last day of school and she was antsy-pantsy in a familiar way, so she soon left me in search of more active and/or digital pursuits.

my "things that look good to us" quickly narrowed down to "things i like in houses, specifically the house i want to have." for the past few days, i've gone through a few more magazines, cut out a few more pictures.

these magazines, oddly enough, represent a strange failure for me. i don't know why i have them, who ordered them, who paid for them, etc. etc. etc. but i have them and for some reason it fills me with absolute guilt to toss them into recycling without looking at them. the fashion magazines, i leave until last because i am a painfully sad wreck of a formerly stylish type. the parenting magazines, i leave until almost last because i am totally of the "go find something to do and call me if you have a problem" school of parenting (and i know the recipes are going to be full of cheese and eggs because that's how you appeal to children who can eat cheese and eggs). so what have i been reading? better homes and gardens. then i log into archive of our own and read softcore about middle aged men to cleanse my soul.

i just looked at the pile of magazines and my silly unglued collage lying on the floor, and i think it will all just go into recycling. it's not important enough for me to care to finish it. i think i can deal with the guilt of unread magazines.

May 25, 2014

found money

i finally got around to organizing our ever-increasing stash of gift cards. for a few years, i've just been stashing them in a little business card folder, but that meant i kept forgetting about them.

briefly debated two iphone apps and settled on gowallet. (documentation re gyft mentioned bitcoins, so i lost interest immediately.)

applied itunes/appstore gift cards to itunes and amazon gift cards to amazon, and then diligently entered numbers for the rest.

much to my horror/amusement, i discovered we've been sitting on ALMOST $2K in gift cards. for the love of random deities.

paul: what the!
nola: what the!
me: yeah, that.

commence the shopping!

May 16, 2014

honestly, you can't make this kind of thing up

two (three? they blend) weeks ago my mother told us this semi-incoherent story about ducks.

(okay, that's not fair. i probably just wasn't paying attention.)

apparently our neighbors had somehow convinced my mother to help out a local couple by taking in and raising TWO DUCKS. and i didn't really realize this until some old guy showed up and pulled the ugly american talk-loud-and-slow-to-foreigners bullshit on my mom while insisting she take care of these ducks that his wife just LOVED and would continue to LOVE and properly raise if they didn't live in an apartment. (when he said to her he hoped she could read english i should thank those angels from heaven that somehow magically flew down to HOLD ME BACK. GODDAMNED RACIST $@*%)%(*@$#^.)

anyway, we found ourselves in charge of two tiny chirpy stinky things who were so freaking cute that it almost made up for the fact that they were chirpy stinky things. nola named them after characters from "peep and the big wide world." i was leaning towards mordecai and rigby, but nobody cares what mommy wants.

now. there's some kind of wacky backstory about the ducks, but that's not that important. what's important is that this man and his wife live in the same town, a few streets away, and somehow failed to recognize that raccoons and possums roam the streets and that ducks were not necessarily better off with someone just because they have a backyard. also. am i weird that i find it bizarro world that he told her to release them at a nearby cemetery once they get big enough to survive on their own just because there is a nice pond there? who brings living things to a cemetery to live?

because i am fortunate enough to know a true animal lover at work with ties to a woman who owns a lovely ranch that she operates as a rescue facility for animals of all types, those ducks no longer live with us. they are now living at said lovely ranch at a fenced-off pond with various other ducks and similar swimming birds.

the children were mildly bummed, but really, we are entirely all too selfish to be responsible for such things, they were okay with the fact that mommy had to take the ducks away.

one day earlier this week, i brought the baby ducks to work with me in a hamster cage, and they spent the day in my office so that true animal lover could take them home with her.

at one point they chirped so loudly i almost dissolved into giggles during a phone call. (sorry, earnest dc associate, i was listening, honestly.)

they ran around my office and were so unbelievably cute i briefly wished they could stay there forever (but only at that size). i've been uninvolved in all things duck-related, but they kind of charmed the hell out of me, even though i had to refill their water bowl constantly and clean the cage more times than i expected. really, ducks, you have to step in the water bowl while you eat?

true animal lover's son was perplexed when she called him at home and asked him to fill up her grandson's kiddy pool. "wait. nobody cares you have BARNYARD animals at the office?"

it was not the most productive day at the office, but. DUCKS. really.

(this was quite possibly the most internet-style talk i've ever indulged in, but i'm still semi-speechless that this happened. ask me for the pics. it happened.)

May 14, 2014

so spice

today i looked up poultry seasoning because i come across it so often in recipes. not being a cook of actual poultry, i had no idea really what it was. was it supposed to taste like chicken or something?

much to my surprise, it was just... made of stuff i mostly already had. thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, etc. etc. etc. so i figured i might as well make my own.

me: i've decided to make my own spice blends.
cam: [silence]
cam: you are much crunchier than i thought you'd be.

April 29, 2014

itchy

i have a little patch of eczema on my right forearm, a little splotch of discolored skin.

at some point we treated it like an infection, and it proceeded to get pretty gross, but one day i read something about NOT treating it like an infection--so i covered it in heavy-duty hydrocortisone and a giant bandage, and yay, holy healing powers, batman!

anyway.

it's disgusting, but that little patch of skin is like a freaking mood ring. you can tell how i feel about life by the length of my sleeves/presence of a giant bandage because i scratch the hell out of my arm in my sleep when i am suffering.

as a child, i had eczema issues so horrific i wore long sleeves and long pants in all weathers (in so cal!) until high school, when things subsided enough that i could be naughty and occasionally flash a calf or a forearm. that alone makes me infinitely less self-conscious about this little patch, but sometimes it's so painfully raw i have no choice but to cover it.

today it is about 80% discoloration and 20% rawness, so i think it inversely reflects my state of mind about work. but i'm so in denial sometimes i wonder if my arm would have to fall off to make me just hold up my (remaining) hand to say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

outhouse, redux

too stupid to post, but i already told the kids and cam.

i reread my post today and saw I wrote "accommodating" in relation to a toilet.

ac-COMMODE-ating.

see what i did there? blech. i must have still been under the influence.

me: well, mommy, she drinks.
paul: [sarcastically] WOW.

one day i will be mallory archer. does that mean cam is woodhouse? somebody's got to take care of the kids (and take their abuse).

my current bff (and mentor/protector/father figure) asked me on friday if i've read any wodehouse. wonder how he would have responded if i had said, "not lately, but i'm a big fan of woodhouse." i can see his eyes rolling practically out the door.

April 12, 2014

throw away the chains

as i mentioned a few days ago, there was finally some communication with the ex-boss (instigated by me, of course). and then there wasn't.

i think i'm finally okay with that.

good luck, guy.

March 22, 2014

a pathetic still life

fell asleep at my desk at home: work lockscreen shining its usual happy teal, head resting on copy of death march, cell and blackberry scattered carelessly on desk.

February 17, 2014

cheese

i have always loved cheese. (cheese has not always loved me, sadly.) when we stopped keeping dairy products around because of my poor babies, well, those days of brie and wine instantly became a thing of the past.

it's been years since we last had daiya cheese because the kids don't like it. and since the kids don't like it, i didn't really see a point in trying to like it myself. we did try on several occasions... a local pizza place used it, and more than once we bought shreds from whole foods (predating their current packaging, even). i liked the bubbling and melting effect far more than the taste, which i found to be somewhat soapy.

the other day at whole foods, however, i remembered that i wanted to try a daiya wedge because i kept seeing it pop up in recipes. so i grabbed a havarti and promptly forgot about it until today. (cam said to get cheddar, but... to be honest i decided to go with the havarti because i have no real memory of the taste, which I figured meant there just had to be a higher chance of satisfaction with this choice.)

i found it today while i was scrounging around in the fridge for lunch, so i pulled it out and cut a piece, amused that i somehow failed to notice that this was no ordinary havarti but a jalapeno garlic havarti. huh, well, more tastes to obscure the oddity that is vegan cheese, i thought with a shrug, popping it into my mouth. but it was actually really a surprise: the texture was nice; the flavor, good. i ate a piece wrapped in a little tortilla (with some tofu, how cliche) and was quite pleased.

the real test came when i handed cam a piece. cam is the most vegan-tolerant/indulgent person i know, but he doesn't eat vegan cheese. the kids and i eat follow your heart cheddar fairly regularly (i like the monterey jack, which is nothing like monterey jack but it's white and unobtrusive). i suspect he would willingly starve rather than touch that stuff. this, he liked. he agreed it was good.

so. maybe it's time to give daiya another chance. and maybe it's time to sneak a piece of real havarti so i can actually have some basis for comparison.

February 2, 2014

slice of life

not doing anything out of the norm lately:

too much working
too much drinking
not enough sleep
random dancing
random singing
random parenting

yay, life.

January 6, 2014

new-old

for the life of me i simply can't remember what book introduced me to the concept of the new-old sock. (i'm afraid it's going to be something my ridiculously lowbrow, like a novelization of teen movie. oh well. i never claimed to have good taste.)

so. a new-old sock is a sock made of two top parts of two socks sewn together. when the heels and toes are too worn through to mend, just cut away the feet and sew together the ankle bits, and out of two beat to hell pairs of socks you have a nice new-old pair.

reinvention. rising from the ashes. discarding the battered parts of you and stitching together what survives. isn't this what we all strive to do at the beginning of a new year?

i absolutely suck at new year's resolutions, partially because i always end up making the big one everyone makes, and weight is so tied to genetic self-loathing and baggage of ancestors that making lighthearted plans to BE THINNER is something akin to tying myself to train tracks and counting down the whistles and horns as if they were cracks of thunder and flashes of lightning in the near distance.

last year i tried to give myself a "fun" resolution of drinking hard liquor. but i sucked at that, too, because it was effort. drank more beer instead. still don't know the difference between a stout and a porter. not sure it matters. not looking to impress anyone with my dark beer drinking skill.

this year i've decided to make smaller resolutions, much in the way one breaks down bigger tasks into steps to feel more accomplished. my house will never be neat. i will never be thin. i will never stop being a workaholic. i can't stop being an overly emotional yet antisocial sarcastic shrew. but these i can do with the bits of me i think i'll keep.

i will drink less beer--at home.
i will get a second tattoo.
i will cuddle my children (and my husband) more.
i will play dmmd re:connect.
i will grow my hair long again.
i will continue to ship ridiculous tv couples.
i will stop wearing uncomfortable shoes.

cheers to 2014.

December 4, 2013

mope

boy oh boy, i'm 25 years too old for this, but "say something" (sans ms. aguilera) just makes a girl want to curl up in the dark with a pillow.

December 1, 2013

first of december

much to this curmudgeon's dismay, the christmas tree is up.

there is something a little ridiculous about stringing popcorn in shorts, beer at side (fire rock pale ale, for the obligatory product mention), and listening to boy bands via pandora, but i guess it's as accurate a picture of my life as anything else.

September 28, 2013

bad wordplay but sadly true

i am literally allergic to olive branches. maybe that's why i tend to be unforgiving.

September 18, 2013

lifejacket

to a friend:

if i was kate winslet and you were leonardo dicaprio, i would totally let go.

you need it. i need it.

April 17, 2013

timely

him: [grumbling] sorry i'm late.
me: no problem.
him: [grumbling] traffic was bad.
me: okay.
him: stupid kids... got stuck behind some kids! [grumbling, incredulous, whiny]
me: [sitting up and turning around] you know you come in here EVERYDAY like you're the only one with a rough life.
him: no, no.
me: that's the image you give off.
him: i know EVERYONE'S got trials and tribulations that make their lives difficult...
me: but you're the only one who lets it interfere with your ability to come to work on time.
him: HEY.
him: not true.
me: ON A REGULAR BASIS.
him: [pause]
him: point taken.

March 12, 2013

your middle name

olly murs is an adorable little newsie. "troublemaker" is TOO catchy.

March 5, 2013

youthful enthusiasm

i do like to occasionally marvel about what a manic writer i used to be. and so young! where did the youth--and mania--go? where did that steve burns/peyton manning/martha stewart-loving girl go? she was fun.

January 28, 2013

all that glitters

for years i've kept my ever-increasing (thanks to my mother's obsession with the home shopping network) necklace collection on a wallpaper-covered bulletin board leaning against the back wall of my closet. a little precariously balanced, especially given the weight of the chunky rock necklaces my mother favors, but functional--i can see my inventory, so i usually remember to grab something while i'm getting dressed. this is also an easy access solution for nola, who used to like to wear as many necklaces as possible.

but as the collection expands, i've been thinking more and more about getting a big wall-mounted jewelry cabinet. i'd see nice ones on flash sales, but i've had the hardest time pulling the trigger. i finally forced myself to order one just last week.

so last night i told nola i finally bought a jewelry box.

nola: for me?
me: no, for me.
nola: [disappointed face]
me: do you have any jewelry?
nola: [laughing] oh, i forgot!
nola: i don't have any jewelry.

so now she wants jewelry of her own--a necklace with her name, and a charm bracelet with hello kitty, cupcake and butterfly charms. i guess i know what she's getting for her birthday in may.

too bad i can't get away with telling her, "but all this will one day be yours."

January 1, 2013

2013

the christmas long weekend zipped by. the new year's long weekend totally dragged by comparison.

but still. it's nice to be home.

happy new year!

December 1, 2012

blurry

happy first of december. where the hell has the time gone? what have i been doing?

breaking up kid fights
ignoring my pigsty of a house
working long, long, long hours
reading gay porn
trading off between latest albums by one direction and mumford & sons
christmas shopping
being sick

that almost sounds like a full life.

November 10, 2012

yakety sax

not everything is made funny by the addition of the benny hill theme song.

but my morning commute might be.

October 22, 2012

new levels, part two

i am watching doctor who. and i am still wearing a scarf.

i have never been geekier.

October 20, 2012

new levels

i am making my own seitan. and i'm wearing a scarf.

i have never felt crunchier.

August 22, 2012

whither goest thou?

i don't find/make time for this blog anymore, but the finality of dropping it completely makes me a little blue.

the set-up is cranky. my archives are screwy. i run an old version of movable type. whozits and whatzits don't work, and i'm the old lady shaking a stick at the sky and wailing, "eli eli, lama sabachthani?" (but apparently in slow motion because it's taken me multiple years to fully appreciate the sad thing my blog has become).

i feel like there was a tiny window in the overstuffed library of my life in which i wrote posts from my phone. then something happened, the window closed and i shrugged and forgot. but considering how much i spend clutching my phone (currently dressed like adventure time's beemo), you'd think i'd jump at the chance to blog that way. but no, i'm forgetful, so i spend my time listening to pop music and reading omegle chat logs.

so. what to do? save the blog and retool? looking back at the archives, i remember how nicely documented paul's life was for a while, and i feel SO SO bad that nola barely warrants a mention. dump it all into a giant text file and be amused that once upon a time there was a blog named after my ability to trip over nothing?

June 10, 2012

radiator springs

we give the disney machine a lot more money than i--someone with VERY LITTLE mickey enthusiasm--ever would have expected.

went to a cars land preview this past weekend (not sure when the official soft opening was, but the grand opening is next friday), courtesy of special tickets offered to annual passholders. it was cool, and since cam paid for it in advance, i could almost pretend it was free. ALMOST.

(knowing my boss' family is a fan of the cars series, i mentioned it to him, and he declared family jealousy and asked for pictures. being an obedient employee, i sent him some.)

May 28, 2012

hair today

went to a fantastic sam's in long beach yesterday, thinking that it would be a quick and cheap chop. i wanted at least three inches gone.

sure, it was quick and cheap, but
1) i was confused as to the gender of my stylist,
2) s/he had me stand up because my hair was too long to be cut sitting down,
3) s/he only cut off 2 inches because the ends weren't that bad,
4) s/he also only cut 2 inches because s/he figured s/he was saving me some tears when i realized how long 3 inches actually was (of hair, people),
5) s/he also thought my husband would be unhappy with my "short" hair,
6) s/he informed me that "her" hula dancers were not allowed to cut their hair,
7) s/he once had knee-length hair, but "being in the business," s/he couldn't keep it that long, and
8) s/he kept talking about my return visit during which time s/he would blend the sides (which were "too short") into the back.

it was a whole lot of befuddlement for a 5-minute $10 cut. but for the sake of entertainment, i tipped "her" $5.

August 14, 2011

ode to the 9-5

every single time i think i am going to be able to revive my sad little blog, some new kind of shit gets in the way.

these days, 9.9999 times out of ten, it's work.

that said, even with the constant drama, handholding, stupidity, politics, etc. etc. etc., i can say with absolute certainty that i fucking love my job.

so there.

next to alone-with-cam time (something that is in very short supply these days, work commute notwithstanding), work is the place where i can be me: me with all of my sass, spunk, profanity, insecurity, self-righteousness and basic office skill competency. some days it's like junior high with grown-ass adults behaving like preteens, but that's fine because junior high, in some ways, was freaking awesome.

the only things i can't do are buy/rock a pair of louboutins in the office or put the kids in the attorney daycare because i don't want my [not-so-well compensated] staff to know that i could possibly afford such things. there is no reason to play up the salary divide, and i sometimes hate myself for even thinking about it.

if i put something on my phone that would help me keep this blog up to date, maybe that would work wonders. but then again, maybe i'd continue to use my phone to read overwrought fantasy fiction (thanks, cam and boss (note: two separate people), for putting me on that trail).

i've considered just letting the domain name lapse, but i'll probably renew it and feed this little thing a post or two every once in a while. we'll see. is the work-life balance a myth? or just something i can't bring myself to respect?

May 8, 2011

still full

big dinner tonight--we took a chance on the willingness of a local thai place to accommodate our MANY dietary demands, and it paid off decently. didn't really feel like thai food in the end, but it was reasonably tasty, very convenient, and provided us with enough leftovers to keep me from cooking for at least two days.

and many, many hours later, i'm still stuffed.

May 1, 2011

popped

this morning i was blowing bubbles in the backyard with nola when i had an idea:

when things at work get weird and stressful, i can go outside and blow bubbles!

when i mentioned this to cam, he half-smiled and pointed out that it would probably run counter to the very professional image that i had been trying to cultivate.

yeah, probably. but when the alternative seems to be to take up smoking, i kind of think bubbles wouldn't be that bad.

April 10, 2011

flat top

got a straight perm. good lord, my hair is STRAIGHT. (and silky. and shiny. and the nice young japanese lady who did my hair told me i don't need to come back for a year because of the natural texture of my hair. yay!)

April 3, 2011

love amongst equals?

last night at dinner cam asked me how many relationships i had had in my lifetime.

as i tried to count in my head, he added that "stalking" situations in which i had played along didn't count. i don't think i had phrased it quite like that, but i had mentioned earlier that i had been involved in a number of relationships in which the other person had really liked me, and i had been flattered and went along for the ride, even though i didn't necessarily have the same feelings at the outset.

me: um, about three?
cam: i suddenly feel like a whore.

it's an interesting distinction. surely people do this all the time? i always thought it was better to have one person at least slightly more obsessed than the other because it means someone's in control.

how many relationships start out on completely equal obsessive footing?

(for what it's worth, i think i've had more than three, but i don't want to examine the past too closely lest i don't like what i see.)

March 30, 2011

random

i am helping a friend with a cover letter. i like my friend. i do not like his writing. god. tripe. shite.

in other news, i am listening to david archuleta's first album. what has happened to my musical taste?

March 26, 2011

the end is near

i bought myself a vera bradley bag for work. sure, it's navy blue microfiber and not a gaudy floral, but it's still vera bradley. middle age is weighing a little heavily on me.

March 22, 2011

mixed messages

i find the constant hawking of yoga attire to moms to be a little weird. how many moms actually practice yoga? (deep breathing while trying to quell an internal meltdown is NOT yoga.)

or maybe the real question is this: how many moms resort to yoga pants because we've all been taught that sweats have no place outside the home?

September 14, 2010

different mode of transport

this morning when we dropped paul off at his grandparents' house, their next-door neighbor came outside, got on a skateboard and skated down the street.

this wouldn't seem so odd if he weren't in his 30s and the father of two.

"going to work?" wondered cam.

September 11, 2010

historically romantic

at the behest of one of my employees, i just finished reading hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet. clutching a slightly worn copy, she shyly came into my office, asking just as shyly, "do you like to read books?"

it was a ludicrous question. no, ma'am, i do not like to read books. i like to read words. if there happen to be enough words to make a book, then good. if there are only enough words to cover the side of a box of cereal, i can deal with that, too.

good grief, woman, you forget i was an english major once upon a time. do i like to read books. to quote hercule poirot, "tcha!"

so i replied brightly, "sometimes!"

so she lent it to me, and i read it. it was very cute and very obvious. i got to misty but not as far as teary. (which is kind of shocking because i cry at commercials these days.) i feel like one day soon it will be a movie and LOTS of asian-american actors and actresses will be very happy because the producers and directors will need LOTS of extras.

at the back of the book i found a list of discussion questions. is that what people do at book club meetings? seriously, these were like wussy essay questions. reading comprehension questions. fascinating stuff. (i just deleted a supremely catty line.) to be fair, i know nothing about book clubs and the state of modern literature, and really, anything that makes people get up and read and talk about what they've read should be commended, but i'm meaner than that.

still a pretty read, though. can fault the writer for a lot of things, but can't blame him for the questions at the back, right?

cooler than?

vh1's top twenty video countdown is playing quietly in the background. who the hell is mike posner? i swear, i thought it was justin timberlake until he took off his sunglasses. and even then i was a little confused -- is that justin? have i ever really looked at justin timberlake's face? aren't those eyebrows a little much? maybe he looks like that now. no, wait -- i've seen nsync in concert. of course i know what justin timberlake looks like and that's not him. who is this guy again?

good lord. these flashes of old are a little overwhelming.

September 5, 2010

kinda sorta inauspicious

so. there were two reasons for taking off tuesday earlier this week:

1) rescheduled ob/gyn appointment.
2) paul's new school orientation.

a few months ago, i got a friendly little note from my medical provider. hey, it's time for your next pap smear, it said.

oh yeah, i thought, and set it aside.

fast forward. another note: hey. HEY. pap smear!!! OR ELSE.

i made an appointment within days of that charming reminder, and planned to work from home the day of the appointment. much to my irritation, i had to reschedule that appointment due to my period. (speaking of which, i apparently have an extremely regular 28-day cycle. out of curiosity, i downloaded a free tracking app for my phone, and lo and behold, the "projected date" is always right. it makes me wonder if perhaps i've always had such an insanely regular cycle. that would mean my own inability to read a calendar would be behind my lifelong idea that i've had an irregular cycle.)

the appointment went as expected. not a whole lot to report, other than the fact that i left cam in the waiting room for this one. oh speculum, you are not my friend.

in the afternoon, paul, cam and i went to paul's new school for his magnet orientation. can you say, "bloody waste of time?"

seriously, the only good things that came out of it were 1) we discovered they were smoking something when they called our house to remind us to bring in paperwork we were never obligated to provide, 2) we learned they don't require a uniform, and 3) we got to wander the halls and blacktop of our old school.

but still. i wouldn't have missed it. what a trip. and what a nice thing to spend some time with just paul. love nola to pieces, but sometimes, i want to just cuddle with my little boy.

it was a pretty busy day. i meant to spend my final night before returning to work going over some papers i brought home on friday, but i ended up being so tired i didn't even bother getting up after nola went to sleep.

July 8, 2010

spoiled for a fight

sometimes i gear myself up to be uber-diplomatic -- and then i end up not needing to use those reserves. it's a relief, yes, but also oddly disappointing.

June 27, 2010

romper room

a few weeks back i saw a pretty young lady in the most awful outfit -- a khaki strapless cargo romper, knee-high black suede boots and heavy liquid liner to match. from far away, i thought she might be naked (and oddly shaped), but common sense told me that such get-up might be inappropriate for the mall.

i know i dressed poorly when i was young, but jesu maria, even when i'm not looking through the mommy lens (omg, what will MY daughter be wearing to the mall when she's that age?) i can still tell when something looks stupid.

April 17, 2010

banana

sometimes i read stuff white people like and i feel a little embarrassed because i have to actually look at my arms to confirm that i'm not white.

yes, i like conan. yes, i listened to a little bob marley in college. yes, i have wanted a vespa. yes, i mock people wearing ed hardy. yes, i wore wayfarers (back in the early 90s, though). um, yes, i eat hummus? (well, that's more a side effect of beng vegetarian with access to farmer's markets than anything else. but still!)

i'm perfectly fine not having a true ethnic identity, i suppose.

April 13, 2010

profoundly inappropriate

my newly married assistant was filling in my single assistant on the details of his wedding and my attire to said wedding:

x: everybody loved those shoes.
x: and the dress...
x: let me just say that i didn't know our boss had legs.

!!!

February 28, 2010

two dresses

bought two dresses on sale from anthropologie.com. wonder of wonders, i might actually keep both -- that doesn't happen very often. i still have a pile of things to return to lands end.

my mother REALLY likes one of the dresses.

the other one, she doesn't so much. of course, that's the one i like better.

me: i think this dress is actually kind of hot.
nola: hot!
nola: hot?
nola: hot!
me: yes, it's hot.

yesterday she explained that she didn't think it fit very well, which sent me into agonies of self-doubt and misery. should i exchange it for a bigger size?

cam: if that means it'll be longer, then no.

yawn

me: apparently i gave up sleep for lent.
cam: no, you gave up sleep for 2010.

February 26, 2010

peeking behind the veil

what passes for strength of will and strong convictions might actually be apathy or inertia (or forgetfulness).

for example, you should see the looks i get when i tell people that my decade-plus commitment to meatless eating was initially fueled by curiosity and then continued out of habit.

February 25, 2010

somewhere, pigs are flying

certain people at work are taking an interest in my welfare and are expressing concern about my late hours. amazing.

February 20, 2010

gray, part two

speaking of "questionable," why on earth would nordstrom consider a sandal with a lucite heel a good "wear to work" option? it may be a "chunky" lucite heel, but lucite is still lucite. a "stripper with poor balance" shoe doesn't strike me as properly business casual.

consider gray as an option

am in the middle of completing a mandatory workplace harassment prevention training seminar (online, thankfully) for work. i'm learning that i'm pretty trigger-happy when it comes to defining harassment. yikes. i need to remember that not everything can be labeled appropriate or inappropriate from the get-go -- "questionable" is a valid categorization.

February 9, 2010

how many stages are there in a conference call?

seconds after a conference call ends, the phone rings. it's one of the participants.

x: i started to zone out at the end -- did i miss anything?
me: no.
x: good.
x: when i heard "think outside the box," i thought, "oh, we've reached the platitude stage so we must be wrapping up."

so true.

January 30, 2010

almost a month late

how can it already be almost the end of january? i'm still getting used to the idea of 2010! i am finding it very scary how quickly time is passing...

January 27, 2010

neither term is attractive

i love how houndstooth appears to be called dogtooth in the uk.

January 22, 2010

fried-day

toyed with the idea of working with home today, but it didn't work out.

just as well, i had a meeting. (i hate friday meetings.)

but i promised myself i'd take monday off -- and i notified my dept so that i couldn't get out of it. i only mentioned the funeral to four people, and three of them were amazed (two were mad) that i only took off one bereavement day. but monday will be a vacation day because i have plenty of benefit time to spare.

(my mom told me that the mortuary offered death confirmation forms (i don't know what the hell they call them) to get people out of work. my cousins were all about that. the service rep asked if anyone else needed one -- my mom thought, "whatever, grace doesn't need that." i'm not sure why... because i wouldn't take off five days? or because i AM the boss and i don't need to prove to anyone that someone died? either way, she was right, i guess.)

not sure what was in the air, but people were very talkative today. drove me mad. how am i supposed to get anything done with people plopping down in my visitors' chairs all day long? my assistant was right -- i need "the doctor is in" signs and a pick-a-number dispenser on the door.

it was a busy, busy day. cam didn't pick me up until almost six (with kids in tow) and he still had to wait a little bit. so glad that it's over and i have a three-day weekend ahead of me.

January 14, 2010

massive overgeneralizations and stereotypes

i realized in the shower today that -- based on a lifetime of literature, a little tv and a decade of minor interactions with a foreign office -- my parents were quintessentially british.

stiff upper lip, check. discomfort when confronted with strong emotion and/or emotional events, check. fast speech, check. somewhat negative teeth situation, check.

too bad they weren't actually british. it would have explained a lot of my childhood.

December 31, 2009

nye at the old folks' home

sitting up with a tired cam, a wired paul and a sleeping nola. part of me can't wait until midnight so that paul will go to sleep and maybe i can swap my coffee for a glass of port. but part of me can't wait until midnight so that i can go to sleep, too.

field trip day

skipped out on work a bit early today to accompany the family to the discovery science center in santa ana. it was a good break, even if i was checking my blackberry every few minutes. (cam's office has been closed all week, so the fam has been on museum mode for the past several days.) paul likes it there a lot, and i think nola enjoyed herself, even though the place isn"t really structured for toddlers. my mom was with us, and she was kind of amazed that such a kid-centric environment existed. right. my childhood was clearly all porn, hookers and blow.

they went to the aquarium of the pacific a few days before. i suspect i would have liked that better, but this was fun. i'm just glad i was able to accompany them on at least one trip.

December 27, 2009

musicality

a few weeks ago, nola got really excited about a commercial for little tikes pop star instruments (or whatever it is they're called). she stood up, pointed and kept saying, "wook! wook!" since she doesn't normally react to that sort of thing, i took that to mean that she might appreciate such things for christmas.

cam picked up the keyboard for her. i wrapped it without really paying too much attention.

today i realized it was playing "love shack." in confusion, i pulled out the box (which had already been flattened in preparation for next week's trash/recycling pick-up). then i went to the kitchen to point out to cam that this toy was supposed to play the songs that *we* grew up with. huh? "wide open spaces" (dixie chicks), "hot hot hot" (buster poindexter), "all star" (smashmouth), "abc" (jackson 5) and "love shack"? i guess i grew up alongside these songs (well, "abc" predates me a bit), but i don't consider them to be old friends or anything like that. odd, very odd.

December 26, 2009

stuck

i know it's time to start the thank you cards, but i'm currently paralyzed by the sheer amount of stuff in my living room.

family gatherings

we went to a family party today -- blood-distant/geographically-close relations on my father's side.

i had thought last year would be our last year to attend. it sounds awful, but we went last year because my aunt was in really bad health and i thought it would be her last (and alas, it was). but this year when the invite came, i decided we should go because the kids might enjoy the kid-full gathering (nola did, but paul didn't). it's a little bit funny, though. my mom and i have been trying to get out of this party almost ever since my dad died -- when was that, 11 years ago?

it was nice to see my cousins, aunts and uncles and all the kids. i'm not really close to any of them at this point (one is a lifelong rival, one used to be my absolute favorite cousin), but i do like seeing them. am not sure if i want to do this again next year. i pretty much dreaded it up until the moment we walked in the door. it was fine and we did have a pretty good time (and oh my god, the haul!), but we're just not party people. after the kids opened their gifts, they headed to the family room to watch movies. the adults stayed behind to play a gift exchange game. we didn't participate, but we watched them for a bit. at one point cam whispered, "is this what adults do?" um, yeah. not our thing.

don't hold me to this, though. chances are we'll be back next year.

December 23, 2009

a parent's whine

why are my coworkers giving me gifts for my kids? most of them have never even met them. don't i deserve a gift or two anymore?

December 16, 2009

unpleasant truths

i've noticed that each year i'm a little bit less prepared for christmas than i was the year before. my card isn't done -- we started taking pictures, but i'm not sure THE picture is in there. my shopping isn't done, not even close (barely finished my own wishlist for cam and his parents). have i even wrapped any gifts?

i used to create an upwards of a hundred christmas party-favoresque things for work friends. i used to start my shopping in september or october. setting up the tree was never my strong suit, but i thought we were usually got it ready closer to thanksgiving than to christmas.

when did i become such a holiday slacker?

December 14, 2009

evidence

this morning i thought i didn't fall back asleep after making paul's lunch and getting his stuff ready for school, but the drooly pillow told me otherwise.

December 12, 2009

tree-picker

we finished decorating the christmas tree this morning (at least i think it's finished) -- it's actually been up for a week (since last sunday), but i didn't really work on it myself until today.

our tree is amusingly bare on the bottom third. at first i thought it was just paul concentrating his efforts at eye level and whereabouts, but i realized the truth when i caught nola yanking stuff off the tree and throwing it to the ground. do most people gate off the tree or something to avoid this?

December 8, 2009

blind leading the blind

just had two employees in my office complaining about a supposedly limited distribution email -- an invitation to a lunch that they thought was office-wide.

turns out that the person laughing at the others for not receiving it hadn't realized that the email went out YESTERDAY (after she left for the day). i brought this to their attention. upon further research, those supposedly left out were able to locate the email.

z: that's why she makes the big bucks!

good grief. there are so many things that i could say.

December 3, 2009

there's only one everything

i sort of feel like i am balancing a thousand dishes on my head. one false move and crash! hell and broken crockery will rain down on my life. between projects for every department but my own, i'm finding that stolen moments of quiet (like now) should really, really be treasured.

of course, i did play it off lightly to my boss.

me: when [project X] ended, it went DEAD.
me: i didn't know what to do.
me: i lost all purpose for... a few minutes!
him: [laughing] a few minutes, huh?
me: yeah, that was about all the downtime i could stand.

i think i lie most convincingly. my mom says i thrive on pressure, but this? (my mom also didn't think that we could joke about the presence of swine flu in our household, but duh, nothing is sacred but certain dead relatives.)

on a lighter note, i learned yesterday that when a certain person said, "that's your chair" (gesturing to a visitor chair in his office), he meant it. my assistant had to spend some time in that person's office and noticed that he had printed out my name and picture off the firm intranet (in color, no less -- where's the color printer?) and taped it to the chair. my chair, indeed.

him: i TOLD you that was your chair.
me: yes, you did, but...

the funny thing is that i don't think i have ever sat in that chair. when i come by to chat, i stand in the doorway. guess it's an invitation?

November 30, 2009

here's an idea

how about this:

rather than get all self-loathingy and pissed off/depressed because you hate letting me down, why don't you try NOT LETTING ME DOWN for a change?

novel, eh?

November 28, 2009

gray saturday

today nola and i went shopping with my mother. then we met up with cam and paul for lunch, and we went with them while my mother kept an appointment with her financial consultant.

got a coat at anthropologie. i was pretty reluctant to actually buy it because 1) i don't really NEED a new coat, and 2) it was a little pricey, even on sale, but cam (fed up with over a decade of dithering*) issued an ultimatum.

cam: if you don't buy it, i will never take you shopping again.

so i bought it. it's very cute. and we bought a doorknob. what a weird store anthropologie is.

*by the way, last night i picked up a reversible puffer vest at target. i futzed until cam pointed out, "you're going to talk yourself out of $7.50? really?"

November 25, 2009

unfamiliar dining experience

yesterday a bigwig took me to lunch. it was lovely and fancy and it amused me to think that the daughter of a guy who worked hotel maintenance was having a leisurely lunch at a place that refused admittance to jews as recently as the 80s. good lord. it was like walking backwards in time -- but not my time, clearly.

November 19, 2009

half and half

i realized something today:

why do i persist in buying pants with a 30" inseam? i know i like to wear heels, but... i'm just under 60" without them. suddenly my pants length sounds ridiculous.

November 15, 2009

prioritizing sunday

ended up folding laundry and starting a new load. then i went to paul's room to clearing up a little without his interference. (the other day, my mom said that kids don't have respect for their stuff when "you keep buying and buying." i was a little stung. look, lady, it's not just us, he has other family, and YOU would totally buy him more stuff if you knew more about his interests!) nola woke up while i was in paul's room, so i brought her in there to fiddle around while i worked in there. she was fine puttering around by herself for the most part, but then she became really clingy and i had to carry her. then i unloaded the dishwasher.

cam's awake now, so i guess i can "start" my day.

poor sense of priority

paul is sleeping over at his grandparents' house, cam and nola are still asleep. it's nice and quiet, and the perfect opportunity to go back to bed or sit on the couch and veg. yet why do i feel like i should either go do some laundry or work?

November 13, 2009

bad luck day

i peeped my head out from the fog i've been inhabiting to realize that it's friday the 13th. how did i not see that one coming?

November 6, 2009

crisis of management

people at work are in really good moods. i should just enjoy it, but they are getting a little loud. should i intervene? damned if they're happy, damned if they're unhappy.

November 2, 2009

midday meal

my newest employee started today. that's two mondays in a row that i've had to go out for lunch. (i had another employee start here last monday -- but she actually started a month ago in another country.) i hate going out for lunch on workdays -- who has time?

but we did have a very nice lunch... even if i did leave my sunglasses behind at the restaurant.

October 9, 2009

workplace

lately work has been all about the highs and lows. sometimes i love my job, sometimes i despise it, sometimes i lie in bed and cry. at least i can say that nowadays it is never dull.

October 7, 2009

dressing for the seasons

it's been hitting me in the mornings (as i stand sleepily in the closet) that i don't have much in the way of cold-weather clothes. the last two years i have added significantly to my tank top/sleeveless top collection without corresponding gains in the sweater department. it's kind of funny because once upon a time i only wanted sweaters and sweatshirts and assorted bulky items. i don't know if it's a style thing or a body thing or an aging thing -- whatever. all i know is that it feels like fall and i am FREEZING.

October 3, 2009

confessions of a shopaholic

today cam, paul and cam's dad went to the miramar air show.

i mentioned it to a friend yesterday: "what a fun guy thing!" he exclaimed.

so nola and i did a fun girl thing -- we went shopping with my mom. ended up getting a cute black skirt suit and a pretty bright pink (i KNOW!) dress. i've actually been shopping like a fiend lately (since i no longer pump at work, i'm ALWAYS on the lookout for cute dresses nowadays)... but i still need to say that these were pretty sweet deals. (my mom ended up paying for them because she used her store credit card for additional savings, so i need to pay her back.) i'm tired of feeling like in this economy we all need to live in sackcloth and ashes. goddammit, the stores are feeling the pinch, too, and somebody's got to take advantage of these recession-era prices...

interesting note: they are putting an h&m at del amo mall! as i told cam, i saw the familiar red lettering and i completely lost my shit. that's really the best description i can think of for my behavior. we're talking total disorientation. if i had been carrying nola in my arms instead of in my hip carrier, i would have dropped her.

no lunch

things at work have been really hectic. there have been a lot of changes in procedure and staffing.

in related news, i unintentionally dropped a dress size in three weeks. yay, stress!

September 21, 2009

cheeze

even though i've been a vegetarian for many, many years, my recent purchase of nutritional yeast made me feel like i was just starting out in that world. i've looked for it in stores off and on for years with no luck, but one day i just shrugged and ordered a box of bob's red mill via amazon. this stuff is wild.

September 6, 2009

out and about and out again

yesterday was a tremendously eventful day. busy busy busy. i can't have too many days like that or i'd be even more of a wreck than i am now.

in the morning, we went to the farmer's market with my mom to buy flowers to take to the cemetery. nola and i went with my mother to the flower stall while cam and paul bought fruit. it was hot and crowded and cam and i both got very stressed. i was glad to leave. (amusingly enough, we ran into our next-door neighbors. the husband commented on cam's rather hirsute appearance, saying he looked a bit like keanu reeves. i smirked internally. personally i think cam looks more like bo brady (at least in the 80s-90s... dunno if he still looks like that), but i see where my neighbor was going with the comparison.)

then we went to the cemetery. it's important to note that my mom doesn't like to drive if she can avoid it -- and as a non-driver, i understand -- so she was squished in the backseat between paul's high-backed booster and nola's rearfacing infant seat. (we had to take her pt cruiser because our a3 isn't big enough for three in the backseat AT ALL.) she never wants to sit up front if cam's driving, so she insists on sitting in the back even though it would be less of a squeeze for me back there. nola fell asleep on the way and continued to snooze upon arrival, so cam stayed in the car with her. paul had picked out a bouquet of flowers "to plant," he declared (note that we had already bought the flowers and they were waiting in the car by this time, so it was just one more thing to be stressed out about -- hurry up and let's go!), so he came with us to the gravesite. cam let him run across the street unattended -- it was a cemetery, after all -- and i questioned cam, but ultimately it didn't matter because no one was coming. part way through the flower arranging, paul got bored, so i escorted him back to the car. he then decided he wanted to come back to us, so he "helped" us out by rearranging flowers and cutting some very short. i then refused to play because 1) i was still dealing with flowers and 2) we were in a cemetery for chrissakes, so i brought my sulky little boy back to the car. my mother got very stressed.

on the way to the cemetery, cam and i had joked about test-driving a bigger car (this topic had actually come up about a week prior) afterwards. well, after we left the cemetery, that's exactly what we did. paul was reluctant, so cam convinced him of the fun of it. then cam got cold feet, but paul really wanted to go. har. so cam test-drove his big car of choice at the moment, a ford flex (which he partially likes because it looks like a giant mini cooper). we were initially going to all go on the drive, but then i thought maybe nola, my mom and i would stay behind. but then paul wanted cam to sit with him, so i decided to tag along to give paul a traveling companion (and to let cam focus on the car). oh, how nola wailed when i handed her to my mother...

the drive was nice. cam seemed impressed and paul LOVED it. we sat in the third row and paul was the happiest little test-driver in the world. he wouldn't stop talking -- we were, he said, in a big airplane with cupholders and storage for toys. if we pushed certain spots on the car, things would happen. i asked him, "can we do anything to help the people up front?" he told me to push a spot on the window while he did the same on his side.

me: what was that for?
him: it made cupholders pop out in the front.
me: oh, how nice.

after the test-drive, we drove to a local mall for lunch. i was thinking food court, but cam convinced paul to let us go to cpk because i had been wanting to go there (grilled vegetable salad, yum). turned out cam needed to bribe paul with a ride in a $7 (!) rental double stroller shaped like a fire truck. lunch was beyond stressful. nola nibbled crayons, paul pouted. nola screamed, paul climbed around on the bench seat. nola rubbed food on my shorts. a table of pretty young girls in their 20s looked over at us while i shoveled food in my mouth while trying to keep nola from crawling on the table.

i've had finer moments.

after lunch, we walked about the mall with our expensive rental stroller. the kids were happy (even nola, the hater of strollers), but i was embarrassed to be walking a mall with that monstrosity. i can struggle with a car cart in a grocery store, but a mall? ugh. i then took my mom into nordstrom, abandoning cam with the kids, and we hit the shoes, then the petite section. i ended up buying two dresses, a wrap and a sheath with elbow-length sleeves. now that i'm not pumping anymore, i love my dresses. i wasn't sold on one of them (the sheath), but i wanted to show cam before just saying no to it completely. besides, my mom would have been disgruntled if i didn't get that one because that was the one she liked better. (cam ended up liking that one better, too, but he liked the wrap as well.) my mom didn't like anything she tried on, so she left with the same amount of money she brought in.

after the mall we finally went home. i fed nola and we took a brief nap while cam filled up an inflatable pool in the backyard. when nola awoke, we got in the pool. it was freezing, so we didn't stay in too long. then we took quick showers and went to whole foods for groceries and dinner.

the kids got to bed really late. cam and i intended to stay up and have some wine, but we were completely bushed and fell asleep. sleep of the just, i say.

September 3, 2009

kinship

yesterday i felt officially OLD. REALLY OLD.

i was trading some emails with an unfamiliar employee. i asked her to interoffice me a document. it had not arrived yet by the next morning, so i told her that the mail can be a little slow and that i would let her know when it finally showed up. she wrote back "great. thanks!" and i thought i was done.

but no. she wrote back a few minutes later:

btw, GO BEARS! (class of '06)

:)

i managed to write back something cute (like "yay! go bears!") but inside i was dying. later i pointed out to a similarly-aged friend: "when she was graduating from college, i had already been working here for eight years."

good golly.

August 31, 2009

faster than a speeding bullet

some people can fall in and out of love faster than others can jump to conclusions. haven't figured out if it's a blessing or a curse. guess it all depends on how many wedding invites i get.

angel on my shoulder

apparently i underestimated my influence over one of my assistants. (the other one is snarky and disrespectful, something i sigh about in public and chuckle/tear my hair out about in private.)

he told me about a conversation he had yesterday with his mother. (!)

his mother: you are FINALLY listening to that little voice in your head.
him: you mean grace?

August 26, 2009

verminator

a coworker was telling me how her husband was really mad at her because she had accidentally killed some crickets when she sprayed for ants in her backyard.

me: crickets?
me: were they like pets or something?
x: [calling out from a nearby office] did i hear you say you killed crickets?
y: yep.
x: you bitch!

August 25, 2009

milkstone

today was my very last day of pumping at work. i can give the motor to paul to play with, i can save some of the bottles for nola's future baby dolls, i can turn the pump bag into a tote. one full year of stress, missed lunches and easy-access tops is now over. i can retire the do-not-disturb sign on my office doorknob. i can wear dresses to work.

now i will rely solely on morning, night and weekend breastfeeding to keep my supply up. i'm a little nervous about what lies ahead. how much longer will nola be interested in nursing? i'm not ready to wean...

August 24, 2009

a minute

while i was away from the office last week, i had one of my assistants distribute a report for me. one of my coworkers told me this morning he had teased him about his timing.

x: when grace sends out the report, i get it at 5:01.
x: but you, i didn't get it until 5:02.
my assistant: well, that's why she's the boss.

i work with a bunch of dorks. lovable dorks, yes, but a dork is a dork is a dork.

August 19, 2009

leggo my lego

blogging from legoland! exciting.

our time here got off to a bit of a rocky start -- the drive was great, quiet and low on traffic, by the way -- because paul was really cranky. he refused rides, whined, fussed and generally was a pain in the ass. for a while there i thought we'd have to abort and return home. (i tried to get cam to take a short walk without us so he could cool off, but he declined.) but things improved, and now he and cam are playing in the build and test room while i sit here in the shade with a sleeping nola. (nola wore herself out in the water park area. she, unlike her big brother, seems to enjoy getting wet.)

tonight and tomorrow night we'll stay in a local hotel, then back home on friday. tomorrow will be a full-on paul kind of day -- the air and space museum, the fleet science center and some kind of a museum on an aircraft carrier. wonder if i can sneak in some outlet shopping or time by the pool?

August 17, 2009

and preschooler makes three (kids)

today someone offered me an extra child.

"no, thanks," i said. "i have two of my own and they already fight, so the idea of throwing another one into the mix COMPLETELY freaks me out."

August 16, 2009

muffed

made unimpressive blueberry muffins this morning. will not be using that recipe again without major tweaks. but paul seems to be enjoying them, so at least these won't go to waste.

August 12, 2009

alternatives

since i had my mirena removed, my period and all of the accompanying irritations have returned. last night i mentioned to cam that i was considering a diva cup. after, what, 20+ years of pads and tampons, i thought it might be time to try something different. a lot of mothers on my parenting board are using the diva cup or something similar, and they all seem to love it.

cam: but it's a cup.
cam: A. CUP.
cam: come on, it's a CUP!
cam: oh, do whatever granola thing you want to do.

i felt so ridiculed, but it was my fault. sometimes i need a better self-edit on my mouth. oh well.

August 7, 2009

why yes, yes it was

yesterday, i told my assistant, people were having an attack of the stupids.

i asked a coworker to see if it was contagious.

me: did people in your department seem unusually stupid yesterday?
him: [chuckle] unusually?
me: people in mine certainly were.
him: that's a loaded question.
him: they're usually stupid, but unusually, no.
him: maybe it was a full moon last night.

July 27, 2009

tiredest place on earth

disneyland is not for the faint of heart nor the flat of foot -- nor for parents of children either unable to walk or simply not desirous to do so. oh, our aching bodies!

but i think the kids had a good time, so it worth it. paul was not particularly ride-inclined and eventually ended up in a stroller (bless the disney machine for their high weight limits on their rental strollers AND the free stroller rental courtesy of their credit card), but there was enough to look at to keep him and his sister occupied.

thank you, cam's uncle, for the free adult tickets! you saved us more money than I fully appreciated at the time. it was bad enough spending crazy amounts of cash on food and drinks -- the additional cost of admission would have made my head spin.

July 12, 2009

we're not paying you for that

we had a new house alarm system put in.

one of the installers commented to cam on my appearance (he only saw me for a second while i was carting the kids over to my mom's house) and put my age in the mid-20s. flattering, but how tacky of him!

July 10, 2009

fruitless meetings

i love my assistants, but both of them in one room = BAD idea. i cannot even believe some of the tangents we followed. of course, it's not like they were prepared for this meeting. you should have seen the face one of them made when i asked if they had any thoughts on the topic. it reminded me -- and i told them this -- of a meeting i had attended earlier in the week. there were five of us in la and two in sf via vid. the original plan was to put a set of specs up on the screen, but i guess there were some problems reconciling the content with the vid conference app (which i totally don't understand because surely other meetings have required both) so they had to scrap the content part. the meeting organizer said, hey, well, people will bring their own copies. when we were all seated, it turned out that two of the three others in la did not have their own copies. in fact, when asked if they had even reviewed them, one looked away. (i bit back a laugh and studied my own copy.) just sad. funny, but sad.

i think we ended up talking for almost an hour, but i'm not sure what about. there was about 10 minutes of work-talk and 45+ of inside jokes and random stories. i swear, one guy manages to work in his girlfriend into every conversation. i mean, i do appreciate a man who loves his woman, but good grief. i eventually shooed them away because others were waiting to talk to me.

one of the guys dropped by on his way out and said he would give the topic some thought over the weekend. he said he'd write stuff down and talk to me on monday. then he claimed that the meeting went the way it did because it's friday. i didn't have the heart to tell him, "dude, you two are like that every day."

disloyalty in the workplace

i am in the midst of a work dilemma.

my boss' new boss called me a few days ago. we spoke for about 45 minutes -- or rather, he talked for 40 minutes and i managed to get about five minutes in edgewise. he went on and on about his soapbox (technology is our friend; let's move into the current century). he talked about personal goals and work goals and "where do you see yourself in five years?" he talked about what others thought about my dept's main application (that we designed ourselves). he talked about meeting up in august (mentioning my boss like an afterthought). he talked about his open-door policy and "off the record" conversations. he said he'd call next week and to please think about what he talked about. i said okay, hung up and rubbed my ear.

so.

the more i thought about it, the less comfortable i became. it's probably just timing (boss on vacation), but i feel like i'm in a precarious spot. even though i'm not particularly fond of my boss, the idea of potentially selling him down the river really does not sit well with me. i feel like the new boss wants dirt and is thinking perhaps that i'll be the snitch. i did initially think i'd be okay with that idea, but maybe i'm not. i'm afraid that when my boss gets back and hears about all this talking, he might think that i went over his head when really his boss went... under his. but it is probably just timing and it is just my overactive imagination and overinflated sense of workself ("single point of failure since 1998!"). when i told cam i didn't want to be disloyal to my boss, he pointed out that my boss doesn't exactly have my best interests at heart. "eff 'em," he said.

but the boss and i have been working together for a long time. this new boss, i've known his name for years, but we only just met in march in dc (he won the same award i did). he came down to la for a few days and we had a meeting or two, but we didn't really get a chance to talk until he called me. what are his goals? what are his motives? where do i fit into his schemes? where does my boss fit?

i don't know. i just don't know.

July 9, 2009

happy at last

one of my good friends at work is on a trip to visit his boyfriend. after almost six years of listening to his dating misadventures and lonelyboy rants, i'm a little unsure how to deal with his newly minted relationship bliss. i'm happy for him, sure, but this is new ground!

July 6, 2009

office

back to work after a long weekend. i hate it when "oh, thank god i'm back at work" collides with "how can a long weekend be so short?" i always have this sinking feeling that i've missed something...

July 4, 2009

kid music

a long time ago i read a thread on a parenting message board about the kind of "grown-up" music that their children enjoy. i thought about this again recently when we were in the car with the kids and i realized that we almost never listen to our music. nope, it's the wiggles. or it's they might be giants ("123s" or "abcs" or "no!" not "flood.") or -- as we've been playing the last two days -- the dora the explorer soundtrack. cam seems perfectly happy (as long as we're not playing a raffi cd), but i sigh (silently) at almost every kiddie song. would it damage the children to listen to something not specifically recorded for their age group?

July 3, 2009

in with the fix, out with the cash

our awnings were finished and installed two weeks ahead of schedule. they look great, but of course, now everything else looks a little shabby. our next project will have to involve a little more elbow grease, a little less contractor assistance. i'm thinking repainting the railings.

it's been a rough few weeks money-wise. as soon as we paid the deposit for the awnings, we had a plumbing emergency to the tune of $2K+. and then the car was in the shop twice... i'm glad we got the awnings done, but it seems to have triggered a chain reaction that we could have done without.

June 29, 2009

a new start or more of the same?

my boss announced late last week that he has a new boss. what kind of changes are in store for us?

June 28, 2009

re facebook

it pleases me to know that people have grown ugly or plump or just plain aged. so much more interesting than staying exactly the same ("you haven't changed in x years!").

June 26, 2009

grownup

one of my assistants pointed out the difference between him and me:

him: when i walk into your office, i do get the feeling that you are definitely an adult.
him: and i definitely am not.
me: um, thanks.
me: enjoy it.
him: oh i do... every. single. day.

dude. when did i get so old? he's older than i am, but i am so... boringly suburban. (plus i am his supervisor, so i can see how that might be a factor.) after i spent a bit of the day looking at old pictures and talking about past experiences, i really am feeling a hundred years old. i was cool and adventurous once, right?

June 18, 2009

today's activities

am home today -- had the mirena removed this morning, and we'll be leaving shortly for a kindergarten performance at paul's school (i baked two dozen mini vegan chocolate cupcakes to send along... wonder how many will come home with us?). i've been checking work email and it's been relatively trouble-free so far. i hope all hell doesn't break loose this afternoon.

June 17, 2009

lack of [birth] control

after having it for just under a year, i will be having my mirena iud removed tomorrow morning.

in the beginning, i thought it was fab. and it was fab. i sucked at taking the pill, so this no-stress/no-maintenance little thing was just up my alley. i was also never particularly fond of my period, so the idea of not really having one sold me.

but a few months back, i realized that i wasn't so happy. i could live with the spotting, but the itch? a bumpy rash in an unmentionable place? not so good. but the itch and the rash went away after just a day or so, so i didn't think too much of it.

but they came back, and came back for longer amounts of time each instance. the itching moved from nights-only to all-day discomfort. (as a former eczema sufferer, i am extremely proficient at scratching in my sleep -- so all that effort wasted on not scratching during the day was negated by even just five minutes of unconsciousness.) the spotting increased in frequency and got heavier. my skin hovered between "teenage" and "pregnant" levels of pimpliness. i felt bloated and sore. sex? riiight. don't even look at me that way.

after the most recent bout of misery, i finally admitted to myself that this wasn't working, and i told cam. i wasn't sure what he would say, but i was really glad he didn't even try to talk me out of it. (again -- sex? like he was going to tell me to keep it after i said i was suffering from a decreased sex drive.) so i emailed my doctor, and within a few hours i had an appointment.

cam told me to document my symptons here so that we can see how long it takes for them to clear up. i don't really know how much is actually caused by the mirena, but it'll be interesting to see what actually goes away.

June 13, 2009

appetitekiller

tuesday cam left work early because he felt sick. wednesday morning i was on the floor in tears because i had the same stomach bug. (i slept/worked/slept/worked until about 4:30, then called it a day.) was better enough by thursday to go back to work, but was slammed so hard by calls, emails and paper that i wished i hadn't bothered. everything returned to normal by friday. what a week.

June 8, 2009

a parent's request

no matter how much you love your children, there is invariably a moment during a weekend when you will think:

when can i go back to work?

June 6, 2009

scrunch

one thing i've noticed about old pictures is that i often have a particular smile that is kind of silly. my nose is scrunched a little, my eyes are practically slits and my gums show too much. clearly i look happy, but it's not the best look. since i'm not really an attractive person, i don't really like the fact that i was photographed so often with this funny face. i mean, jeez, help me out a bit.

but -- like i said -- i look happy. and i am a little startled by the dearth of pictures i have now with this particular expression. the last one i can think of was from a party in college. it's funny. at what point did the consciousness of being photographed overtake the sheer joy of the moment?

out of pocket, out of touch

we are sprucing up our home. it's been a while since we've done any significant home improvement projects, but now it's time to get back on that wagon. our house, while cute, has something of the crack den about it. bare dirt out front, awning-less awning frames, peeling paint on railings... eeesh. i tend to think unkind things about people who have let their houses go, so i guess that means i ought to think unkind things about myself.

i've had people come out to give us estimates on a few things, and can i say:

OMG!

i bet business is both good and bad for these guys -- good because people are afraid to sell and so are investing in their homes, but bad because, well, people are also afraid to spend. but damn! one guy factored in a 25% discount because i found his business through google, and i still nearly gasped in shock. another one just sent in an estimate that was way more than i was expecting. i really have no idea how much things cost. on to get more estimates... and to scrap some of our plans...

May 30, 2009

big head

i am related to a human bratz doll. it's a little scary.

May 25, 2009

holiday luncheon

today cam, the kids, my mom and i had a bbq lunch with cam's parents, sister and uncle. it was a nice mellow day, except for the fact that cam felt sick after lunch and went to bed. undercooked meat, perhaps?

May 23, 2009

boldly going

cam and i are going to see "star trek" this afternoon. i haven't seen a movie in the theaters since... "unbreakable," i suspect. damn.

May 14, 2009

repetition

my assistant: [on phone] i hate having to call you to tell you i'm going to be late.
me: then it's a shame you have to do it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
my assistant: you have no idea.

May 11, 2009

foamy

foam soap is the product of cheapskates. i have never been a fan of it partially because it seemed insane to me to pay a premium for lather. but now that i see that you can mix water with liquid soap (still trying to figure out the proportions i like) to refill one of those kids' soap bottles (we had some kandoo bottles i recycled, but i did have one johnson's buddies bottle left), i'm most grudgingly an enthusiast.

turnabout is fair play

i mentioned to my mother on saturday that it was my cousin's 39th birthday.

my mom: oh, that's right -- it's may 9th.
me: may 9, 1970.
my mom: your generation is getting OLD.
me: uh, yeah.
me: thanks.

April 29, 2009

completely artificial

strawberry milkshake oreos are surprisingly good and surprisingly fake -- how can something called "strawberry milkshake" contain no strawberries and no milk?

April 25, 2009

bang

i've been living the bad hair life for weeks now. my hair seemed to be behaving quite nicely, but then the little baby hair regrowth (after the lovely postpartum hair loss) hit a very awkward stage. suddenly i had long bangs with short bangs underneath! to make matters worse, the short bangs had a weird wave to them. for a while, i just wore the bangs tightly pulled back or to the side. for the last few days i've been able to just leave them pushed to the side and they've been okay -- a little puffy, but livable. BUT then the rest of the regrowth decided to show off, and good freaking god, i wish nola would let me wear hats (she yanks and tugs). i have... amazing volume on top of my head. when i have my bangs pulled to the side, it looks like i'm wearing a little fluffy puffball hat slightly off-center on my head. i guess i should just sort of shrug and think of this as a badge of honor for motherhood, but really, i just look silly.

April 18, 2009

moo moo

how astonished i am to discover that i have 263 oz of breastmilk in my stash! DUDE. that's more than two gallons!

April 17, 2009

just a number

yesterday morning i was accused of being "deceptively young-looking." two coworkers pegged me at about 27-28, tops. while it's nice to be thought even a little bit younger than i am, would it have killed them to shave a few years off that and make me a happy 25?

April 9, 2009

pellets

today both of my assistants commented on my eating habits. i hadn't realized my diet raised such eyebrows. one of them seems absolutely stuck on the fact that i don't eat meat. stuck on it. like he's-discussed-it-with-his-mother stuck on it. now i find out that he's even mentioned it to HIS doctor. what?

the other... well.

him: you used to eat [insert expletive] soybeans.
me: i still eat [insert expletive] soybeans.
him: i see them and i think "grace pellets."
me: thanks, i feel like a gerbil.

is it a gender thing?

on a different level

i got a facebook friend request from a former adviser in high school! eek! are we supposed to interact like adults now and not... skeevy adult male and impressionable teenage girl?

April 8, 2009

lemon fresh

yesterday a coworker brought in a big bag of lemons from her backyard. she offered them to me and another coworker.

lemon-giver: you could cut them up and put them in water...
other coworker: [muttering] i hate lemon in water.
lg: [startled] you hate lemon in water?
oc: [grudgingly] i'll take one -- i can put it on a fish.
lg: oh, okay...
me: [brightly] i'll take the rest!
lg: [relieved] really? great!

how rude! that poor kid. now i have more lemons than i know what to do with, but... they do smell very nice.

March 30, 2009

weekend activities

the most interesting thing i did this past weekend was pay off my mortgage on animal crossing: city folk. okay, maybe not quite, but close.

saturday i was supposed to attend a party, but cam deemed me still too sick to go. so nola and i stayed home while he and paul went with my mom. it sounds like it was a good party, so i'm pretty bummed i missed it.

sunday was interesting, though. it was the anniversary of my brother's death, so we went to the cemetery with flowers. then cam took the kids and went to his parents' house to see a visiting (and soon departing) aunt, and my mom and i had an early lunch at cpk. (cute waiter.)

the rest of the weekend was seriously rooted-to-the-couch time, except for when i went to bed (early all three nights). i didn't do much, and it was kind of nice. i have the day off today because paul has his first optometrist appointment this afternoon, but i feel like i ought to be doing something more productive than more sitting on the couch... but i also feel too apathetic to do something more productive than sitting on the couch.

March 27, 2009

speaking of jury duty

i was off work on monday for jury duty. (of course, i dutifully checked work email throughout the day and took care of what i could, then did more when i got home.)

i came away from the experience with three thoughts.

1) jurors are a poorly dressed bunch. many of the people actually going to court are quite a different matter. i gazed with much delight upon a tall woman in a purple sequined fedora and beaded lavender satin pumps. she wore a trenchcoat, so i couldn't tell what was beneath it, but i was certain it was also wildly flashy and just as purple.

2) jurors who come without reading material or anything else to occupy the waiting time are foolish.

3) if you don't get picked for a panel, then it's really just a nice opportunity to sit quietly and read.

i had a great day. i was able to sleep in. cam was working from home, so he dropped me off and picked me up, and best of all, met me for lunch. how lovely it is to be able to see him in the middle of the day.

the courts didn't need anyone else after calling a sole panel around a quarter to ten, so they sent the rest of us home a little after three.

a coworker objected to my calling jury duty "a day out" -- you were on jury duty, not traipsing around disneyland -- but what else can i call a day in which i got to get up an hour and a half later than usual, read a book for most of the day, AND take a leisurely lunch with cam?

March 10, 2009

secrecy and busyness

that title pretty sums up my life right now. will explain more later.

March 6, 2009

more on vanity sizing

i've been doing my bit to save the economy, i guess. and i've learned that either i have no freaking idea what size i wear, or manufacturers have no idea to dress women shaped like me, or both. i've got a little spreadsheet with the size charts of various stores, and they are all fairly similar. some size a little big, some a little small. i have no desire to look at older size charts because i know they will be distressing. (god, like wedding dress sizing, or at least like wedding dress sizing over a decade ago. eesh. trying on a dress and having a saleslady say, "THAT'S your size? but you're so small," was a little weird.) i think what manufacturers need to do is continue to provide these size charts with body measurements, but also provide clothing measurements. i occasionally check a fashion message board and it's full of "how does X fit?" maybe if we had measurements, people wouldn't need to ask that so often.

March 1, 2009

family party surprises

went to my aunt's house for my grandmother's birthday party yesterday.

the drives went very well. with the help of david archuleta, there was minimal crying on nola's part. poor cam forgot his headphones, though, so there may have been slightly more crying on his end.

the party itself was fun. it was nice to see my aunts, uncles and cousins. not much for us to eat, but that's pretty much how things have gone for me since i stopped eating meat over a decade ago.

one of my cousins has a son two years older than paul, and they played together pretty well for two boys with very little in common. my poor boy can be very sensitive sometimes. as cam puts it, paul is "pretty good -- he's social, but playmates can be overwhelming." it was a little alarming to see how my cousin's boy appears to have an aversion to going to the bathroom. (we thought paul's own distaste would go away soon -- but if the other boy is still going strong two years later... ugh.) my cousin's boy also had some temper/fighting/behavior issues that i didn"t really see -- cam took him in hand, though. cam is a really good dad.

paul was terrified of a little dog. i don't think he's always been afraid of dogs, so i was a little surprised by the tears.

everyone loved nola, but nola wanted nothing to do with everyone. she has been considerably more social in the past, so again, i was a little surprised by the tears.

it was a pretty good day (surprisingly), but i'm in no hurry to do that sort of socializing thing again anytime soon (unsurprisingly).

February 24, 2009

painted ladies

i am SO intimidated by the mac counter. even the lure of a black hello kitty isn't enough to overcome the fear.

February 21, 2009

poultry

it's a good thing i already knew that boot-shopping can be a rough ride. i ended up returning the boots i bought a few weeks back, and just got another pair of boots that were equally wrong, nay, even more wrong. this new pair was wide in the ankle and at the top. because i'm so short, long-legged as i may be, this pair came up nearly to the knee when they should have hit a wider part of the calf.

said cam most diplomatically, "those boots make you look like you have chicken legs."

i can't send these boots back fast enough.

February 18, 2009

red plant

there's a poinsettia plant growing in my kitchen. the fact that it is still alive (and actually still growing) amazes me -- i thought that these holiday staples just spontaneously died after the first of the year.

February 16, 2009

i think this is what is called "relaxing"

i spent a whole rainy day either eating, carrying a baby or playing "animal crossing: city folk." sometimes all three at once. i have a sneaking suspicion that this was a ridiculous way to spend a day.

February 14, 2009

lucky hearts

so funny how this year's valentine's day is the day after friday the 13th. for those dreading v-day, i guess it's fitting. wasn't there a horror movie parody called "saturday the 14th"?

February 11, 2009

poor planning

i don't know what it is, but i have had very little motivation to work these past few days. i'd rather work on wardrobe planning (ah, spreadsheets), which is stupid because what's the point of having a well-organized wardrobe if you get fired for not doing your job?

February 8, 2009

the bag speaks for itself

even though i'm very muted (one might say bland, another may say dreary) in terms of clothing and accessories, my taste in diaper bags is LOUD. i had a black leather diaper bag i used to carry all over the place until i decided it was too heavy. what did i replace it with? a lexie barnes darling in pacifica and a lesportsac liz in a funky print. (sorry, no pooh or bunnies for me.) nobody ever said a diaper bag had to be subtle.

February 6, 2009

egged

the other day my mom picked up a small item for me that i had offhandedly mentioned i wanted -- a ped egg. (she gets 20% bed bath & beyond coupons pretty regularly, and one day she asked me if i wanted anything. i had said i'd get it myself, but she insisted. she does that.) she picked out the one with a handle.

tonight i cracked it open and tried it out. pretty cool and pretty gross at the same time. unfortunately, i think i was a bit overzealous in my sanding because my left foot feels a little raw. i rubbed my feet with lotion and put on some socks. we'll see tomorrow if this strange new thing is a keeper.

idle

thursday i was spent after a long day in the office.

so friday i spent the day at home doing very little.

apparently the new cap on benefit time was the best thing hr could possibly do to me -- it forces me to stay home.

February 2, 2009

sizing issues: me or the clothes?

my suit obsession has hit a snag. j. crew doesn't like me.

first i ordered a gray ruffled jacket, a two-button wool crepe jacket, wool crepe trousers and a wool crepe pencil skirt (all in black, of course).

the gray jacket and pencil skirt, nice. they sent me a three-button, which didn't fit my ultra-short torso, and the pants were out of stock.

then a few weeks later i tried again: two-button jacket, trousers and another pencil skirt, this time in black wool gabardine.

the skirt was too big, the jacket too small (well, the top button was poorly placed for me). the pants were very nice. so the jacket and skirt are going back. i suppose i could send back the pants, too, but i could always use a nice pair of dress pants.

i'm feeling a little dispirited about this shopping experience. maybe i might order another pair of the wool gab trousers because i know they fit well (with three-inch heels, i don't even need to hem them), but i'm not sure. three out of eight isn't really that great of a record, so i think it's time to try another store.

February 1, 2009

vicariously

through facebook, i am the friend of friends of woody allen and lea salonga. wild.

January 27, 2009

cobbler

i bought three pairs of shoes yesterday morning, and courtesy of zappos' lightning-quick service, i've tried them on and have already determined that at least one pair is going back. that was the plan all along -- two of them are almost identical (round toe black leather pumps with three-inch heels). i got them both just so i could see which was more comfortable. amusingly enough, i'm keeping the cheaper pair. i did consider returning both and going for a pair of pointy-toes because the round-toes make my feet look wee, but i really like round-toed shoes. clinton and stacy would frown, i know.

i'm torn over the third pair -- almost knee-high black leather boots. for the first time ever, i have a pair of boots that are loose on top. like go-go boot loose. i have tried on countless pairs of boots, and knee-high boots have almost universally been too tight in the calf. i don't think i have huge calves, but the bootmakers of the world seem to want to prove me wrong. the last pair i bought had an elastic panel in the back, which made for a nice smooth fit, but i felt kind of funny about it, like my legs were wearing leather dickeys and if i turned around, it would expose the deception. (but they were crazy-comfortable and i wore them all throughout the last pregnancy to hide the cankles -- am replacing them now because they are beat-up and loose.) these new boots are shiny and soft and comfy and make my feet look tiny and oddly futuristic, but i find myself thinking that the tops are too loose. i guess i could indulge in some skinny jeans so that i could tuck them in, but i don't know if that is really me. cam shrugs and thinks i should keep them, but... i've never had this problem of excess space at the top of my boots, so i'm feeling a little wishy-washy. thank goodness for zappos' nice return policy. this could take a while.

not quite the odd couple

early this morning during my regular 4 am weekday routine of pumping/feeding/staring blankly at a computer (usually facebook), i discovered that a former high school crush is in a relationship with another former schoolmate (not classmate -- she was at least a year younger, maybe two? dunno). my first thought was, "no, really? i didn't think she was cute enough for him."

my second thought? "well, he was no great catch, either."

it's funny how time changes everything. if someone had told me in hs that they would be dating x years into the future, i would have been positively aghast. now... eh. good for them. i wish them every happiness.

January 16, 2009

smart shopper

for christmas, i gave two filipino secretary friends vera bradley bags (one a little backpack, the other a little shoulder bag) that i got on sale from the vera bradley site. i'm not a fan, but i do think that the prints and quilting are cute in moderation. plus these friends are considerably older than i am, so i figured they wouldn't be totally weirded out by the notion that i was giving them printy quilty cotton purses.

vera bradley isn't cheap. i usually don't like to spend too much on work xmas gifts, so i'm always confused by what to get these secretaries. last year i got one a silver mirrored compact, the other (i'm much closer to her) i got a coach wristlet. this year, i didn't know what to do. somehow i ended up on the vera bradley site. they were having a really good sale, so i bought what i bought (plus another bag for a secretary who was unfortunately laid off, so i was unable to give it to her).

anyway, i finally gave one of those secretaries a thank-you card (she bought gifts for me and both kids) the other day. she emailed me that she was glad we liked everything, etc. etc etc., and then, much to my surprise, thanked me yet again for the bag. apparently she had looked up vera bradley (not already being familiar with it) and was very pleased to see that it was, in her words, "a good brand." i was somewhat on the verge of horror.

i told my mother about this. such a filipino thing to do, i said. "really, what other people that you know would look up the brand and then actually SAY SOMETHING about it?" how gauche! she laughed and agreed. i was a little embarrassed that my friend then would have seen that i had bought the bag on sale, but when i thought about it, "filipinos don't pay retail, right?" we are supposed to be all about a sale.

she laughed and had to agree with that, too.

blackberry in hand

i am supposedly off work today, but after a late-evening fiasco last night, I'm a little wary of unplugging completely. is this what makes me a good employee?

January 13, 2009

small electronics despise me

my computer somehow got infected by gobs of nasty things.

my iphone ceased to respond to my touch. (cam got it replaced.)

my blackberry leaks power like a sieve.

my palm is a little creaky.

so far this is not a good year for technology.

December 31, 2008

wiggle and learn?

it has been a nonstop wiggly party in my head. this morning it was "turkey in the straw":

turkey in the straw
haw haw hawHAW
turkey in the hay
hay hay hayHAY

yesterday it was "here comes a bear... stomPING stomPING" and the day before that it was a bullfrog saying "biggest rain we ever had."

i sort of want to shove sticks in my ears, but i sort of want to sing along.

December 23, 2008

gently rounded?

at the party i attended on saturday, there was a quick conversation about how my cousin is miffed about how often she hears, "your daughter is so pretty -- she looks a lot like your husband." this came up because her husband (and another cousin's husband) said that nola is so cute and wow, she looks like cam. i get this a lot. i am not particularly miffed.

that said, how was i supposed to take this?

your daughter is so chubby -- i think she looks like you!

of course, she did preface this with, "you've lost all the baby weight! you look great!" so i can't think she really meant that the way it sounded, but still... ouch.

vested

i have discovered over the past year or so that i like wearing vests. a long time ago my mom left an old black fleece one in my house. one day i put it on -- and i've been wearing it ever since. with a long-sleeved gray tee, jeans and clogs, it's become my go-to casual outfit. embarrassingly enough, with a long-sleeved gray maternity tee, maternity jeans and clogs, it was also my go-to maternity casual outfit. i've been thinking that maybe it's time to get myself a new vest that actually fits me when i'm not 8-months pregnant, but part of me is a somewhat freaked out that i'm dressing like my mother. sure, i'm already dressing like her when i've got this vest on, but at long as i can say that i'm borrowing hers (even though she doesn't even remember that it is hers) rather than wearing my own, i feel a little bit less... previous generation.

December 21, 2008

carded

it's astonishing, but we appear to have run out of christmas cards. i had 100 made and the ones i have left are all spoken for. thank goodness it's easy and cheap to make more...

family festivities

yesterday my mom, nola and i went to a family christmas party. paul was sick, so cam stayed home with him.

the party was for relatives on my dad's side -- geographically close, blood distant. they are mostly nice people, but i still dreaded going because, well, i'm a hermit. my mom dreaded going, too, but i'm not entirely sure of her reasoning. she kind of leans toward hermit, too, but i think she had other reasons.

but... it turned out to be nice. we weren't able to sneak out as early as we would have liked, but we did have a good time. for once, someone made a dish i could eat. nola, of course, was a hit in the way that cute pudgy babies always are. a cousin snapped lots and lots of pictures of her. i was a little bummed that paul missed out on the mass gift-opening, but i did get to bring home a gazillion gifts. i see a lot thank-you card writing in our future.

December 14, 2008

there's a school for that?

saw a "sdsu mom" license plate holder. at first i thought it said "stfu mom" and was disappointed when i saw that it didn't. if i had a car -- if i even drove -- i think i wouldn't mind one of those.

December 10, 2008

of course

overslept this morning. didn't hear the alarm for a oood ten minutes. serves me right!

November 28, 2008

cover band

thank god for filipino relatives. if it weren't for them, i would have never known that journey has a new lead singer.

November 18, 2008

word choice

one of my issues with my boss is that he uses "gonna" in his emails. i'm all for informal discourse, but that might be a little too casual for me.

November 15, 2008

knack

a few days ago i introduced a newly pregnant friend to the world of "nak" (nursing at keyboard). she has expressed an interest in breastfeeding, and as i was actually feeding nola while we were email-chatting, i thought i'd mention it. depending on nola's position, sometimes it's a one-handed operation, sometimes it's two. sometimes my arms just go around her to reach the keyboard (like right now, actually), sometimes one arm rests on her while the other arm is awkwardly reaching over her head. in all positions, the potential for typos and discomfort is there, but sometimes, you know, you just gotta type.

it's kind of fun talking to someone about stuff like this. is this what i've missed by not having many mommy/mommy-to-be friends?

November 8, 2008

threadless

did i mention that i was a noun for halloween?

October 27, 2008

oily

just finished an order of fries that i should not have finished. ugh.

not something to put on a resume

for some reason i have gained a reputation of "being able to find things" online. just this morning i was drafted into locating a particular item to decorate a little girl's room for a coworker. i don't get it. googling is not a skill.

October 20, 2008

i love country darius rucker

i'm gonna work like i don't need the money
i'm gonna live like i'm not afraid to cry
i'm gonna dance like nobody's watching
i'm gonna love while i still got the time

October 12, 2008

a day late

i can't believe i didn't mention it here -- yesterday was my dad's birthday. he would have been 72. three generations of females went to the cemetery yesterday morning (cam and paul went to the museum of natural history to participate in their critter club program), then capped off the day with shopping. my dad would have smiled, i think.

hometown shopping

after much drama and construction, a new target opened in san pedro. i am delighted. finally -- we don't need to leave the city for socks and underwear.

October 11, 2008

zzz and more z

the last few days i have found it increasingly difficult to stay awake. thursday and friday at work were particularly painful. when i get really tired my contacts dry out -- or perhaps when my contacts dry out i get really tired? -- so i was blinking like a fiend in the afternoons. last night i passed out around 8ish. i went out my mom and nola today and fell asleep in the car on the way home around 1ish. then i took a nap from 2:30 to 5. i don't know why i'm so tired. i guess all the sleep i've missed out on in the past has decided to rise up and strike me down.

September 27, 2008

headachy munchies

in a fit of post-migraine activity, i baked five dozen oatmeal cookies and a loaf of banana bread. it's a good thing i don't get migraines more often or we'd all be really round.

September 23, 2008

shoebox

paul needs to bring a shoebox wrapped in brown paper to school as part of his wednesday night homework. the instructions clearly say that the top and bottom should be individually wrapped. i wandered the house and found five shoeboxes, and only one of them (the flimsiest and most square -- they held paul's minnetonka boots) had a separate top and bottom. when did one-piece shoeboxes become de rigueur?

September 20, 2008

fancypants

trouser jeans are awesome. i am almost inspired to get a pair of real trousers.

mama needs a brand new bag

being a purselover, you'd think i'd be thrilled that i get a chance to look for a new diaper bag, but i'm not all that happy -- i'm more disappointed in the bag that i do own and have been using.

i splurged and bought myself a b-kaed masala in black before nola was born. i rationalized that i could carry it as a work bag once the diaper days were over. it's worked great for me (maybe a little heavy), but i made a horrifying discovery last sunday: when i carry it with the strap across my chest while wearing nola in the sling facing in, her drool mixes badly with the leather strap and i end up with black marks on my shirt. when i saw this, i suddenly realized that it had happened before -- i just hadn't connected the strap with the stains. so... until she stops drooling i better carry another bag when i wear her.

i've had three bags in mind: a lesportsac baby bag, a lexie barnes darling and an orla kiely maxi sling. all have their pros and cons. (i do have two skiphop duos that i could use, but they have both been repurposed as laptop bags.) it's kind of funny -- if i just decided i wanted a new bag, i'd pick one and that would be the end of it, but knowing that i'm getting a bag to replace/supplement an existing bag just irritates me and makes it hard to decide on a new one.

purseness

i'm a bit of a purseaholic. i think i may have mentioned that, um, once or twice. i used to want a birkin, but i have since come to my senses. after buying my mom the lv epi alma in cassis, i'm thinking that the alma in black epi might be THE classic bag for me. however, because i just shelled out the cash for her bag, i'm not really so inclined to splashing out the same amount on myself.

but... that doesn't mean i'm on a purse ban. in the last two months i've bought two bags (one with a 25% off code from lucky mag, the other at a hautelook sale) -- from new-to-me designers -- a jenny yuen hitchcock in black and a rebecca minkoff morning after bag in hazelnut. these bags make me feel a little younger and a little hipper, even when my clothes and hair are on the unhappy side of presentable. really, what woman doesn't want that?

me: you know why i like to buy bags?
cam: why?
me: because bags always fit.
cam: that is so sad.

it's not sad, it's glorious.

half-assed housekeeping

there are few things more satisfying to me than hearing the dishwasher running and not seeing any cups or plates that i've missed. or folding the last load of laundry and knowing that the only unwashed stuff in the house are the clothes on our backs. i'm not much of a housewife, so these things -- these tiny victories -- are all i have. i don't need a pine-fresh smell to hit me the minute i come in the door, i don't need to see a mirror finish on the floor. i just need to feel like at least one tiny spot of the house is as "done" as it can be.

September 18, 2008

height = power

me: i'm wearing 4-inch heels.
him: i thought you looked more... authoritative.

social yet not

feeling like a joiner these days. in the last day or so, i've joined a social networking site, a writing community and paul's school's pto. and i volunteered to prepare class materials at home since i can't volunteer in the classroom during the day. this is all somewhat out of my comfort zone and activity level, frankly. i like being sludge on the couch with a baby on my lap and a remote in my hand.

September 15, 2008

tinted

today i learned -- god know why it took me so long -- that many asians have trouble finding eyeglass and sunglass frames that fit properly. since i'm the center of my world (at least the part of the center that wears glasses and sunglasses), i just figured it was me. frames that sat on my face and skipped my nose completely, frames that squeezed my head enough to give me migraines, opticians that laughed as they adjusted the sides to curve completely down around the backs of my ears just so that the glasses wouldn't slide (and they still did), glasses that nearly fell off every time i bent to pick up a kid... well, i just chalked it up to having one big flat fathead.

but apparently it's a global epidemic. fancy that.

will my next pair of sunnies be oakley "asian fit" sunglasses? will i head to oliver peoples in costa mesa to scope out the special flatter frames? i don't know, but both of those ideas are sure tempting.

proof of shrewness

the metrolink accident on friday was completely horrifying. i don't yet know if anyone from the firm was on the train that crashed, but two of the folks in my department were on the following train (they were at northridge at the time of the crash).

however, i do know someone who would have been on that train if he hadn't driven in on friday (just like i knew someone who worked at the world trade center who had been late to work on 9/11) -- and as bitchy as it sounds, i am already tired of his story and it's not even 8 am. it wasn't an actual near-death experience, so enough already.

September 14, 2008

meadery

who knew that the cardboard packaging for a six-pack of bottled guinness was made by mead? you know, the people who make spiral notebooks, binders and lined paper? mead, glorious mead. happy back to school.

September 13, 2008

shoeless

am getting rid of the flat boots i wore through the majority of my second pregnancy. it made me think of a long-ago conversation with a coworker in which i mentioned i had tossed the shoes i had worn everyday during my first pregnancy (a pair of naot clogs). they were beat-up, flattened, stretched out and i could barely stand the sight of them once the swelling in my feet went away.

"but you could have saved them for the next time you get pregnant," she protested.

i just looked at her. if a look could say, "1. worn-out shoes are not the best thing for your feet and legs when you are carrying that much extra weight. 2. i feel fat and miserable when i'm pregnant, so why should i deny myself the pleasure of newer shoes? 3. there's such a thing as being too cheap. 4. you can't talk to me about anything to do with clothing or anything else i put on my body because you're still wearing some maternity clothes and your baby's over a year old. bitch, please," then that would be that look.

mani

my fingernails are longer than they have ever been, i think. usually i just chop them off (takes about a minute a hand, so that should tell you the kind of care i give my hands), but this time i left them alone once i filed them into a somewhat squarish shape. i think the reason why these nails have survived is because i usually go for a more rounded/pointyish shape, and i usually get sick of that before they get too long. but now that i have started wearing rings as a part of my "new and improved" post-baby work look, i had the idea that i ought to, i don't know, give a shit about my nails. so -- voila! semi-ladylike hands that i can still use to type and change diapers. (texting on an iphone is a little harder.) i think i will go a bit shorter in the future, but it's nice when an experiment goes well.

September 8, 2008

sedentary youth

sometimes paul and i run around and wrestle in the backyard. usually my mother will be nearby with nola. every once in a while i'll wonder how she felt about being an older mom. she was 36 when i was born -- and none too athletic -- so i don't have any memory of her running around or even really playing much at all. spinning paul in a circle, playing police/criminal, going on dives to the great barrier reef (which looks surprisingly like our backyard pond), doing tumbles and cartwheels... does she ever watch us and feel a pang that my childhood was nothing like that?

cassis

my mom's 70th birthday is coming up. i'm finding it a little hard to believe that she's going to be 70 -- i think she is, too. i've been asking her if she wants a party or something, but she makes faces at me. so to celebrate her birthday, i'm buying her the fanciest handbag she will ever own: the epi alma in cassis. no, i didn't buy it so i could borrow it -- although i could! -- but because 1) she regularly carries a fake multicolore alma so i know she likes the size and shape (it was a gift; no, not from me), 2) she loves purple, 3) she would never spend this much money on herself, and 4) it's her 70th birthday, fer chrissakes. i can't take credit for this idea, though -- cam offhandedly suggested it after we saw it at the lv store in costa mesa. i first scoffed, then instantly felt guilty for not thinking of it myself.

i hope she likes it... and i hope she never asks me the price.

September 4, 2008

language barriers

i learned two new things in one email today.

"glandular fever" = infectious mononucleosis

"broody" = wanting to have a child

those brits, so charming and so sneaky. i don't even get to point, laugh and say, "you've been out with mono?"

September 3, 2008

not a bad substitute

silk's spice-flavored soymilk is almost as good as silk soynog. not that i get to drink that much of it, though, because paul is a spice-flavored soymilk HOG.

August 19, 2008

sunny san diego

we just took a mini-vacation to san diego -- sunday afternoon to tuesday afternoon. sunday we went to the fleet science center in balboa park. monday we went to sea world. today we just drove home. it was a very spur of the moment thing. i mean, we knew we wanted to take a short trip, and we had kind of a halfassed idea that sea world might be the thing to do, but we didn't make any real plans until friday or saturday.

but, oddly enough, it worked. we stayed at a hyatt near sea world, and although it was a bit pricey, it was a great place to stay -- we got upgraded to a nice suite (very west elm in decor, i thought), they offered soy milk on the room service menu, we could see the sea world fireworks from our room, and the hotel had three pools (one of which had a little sloping "beach" area). we ate breakfast and dinner in our room (we had a big dining/conference table) and spent some time in the pools. both nights dinner for the guys was fish and chips from a place within walking distance. paul declared that fish and chips were the best dinner ever. he loved the room. he loved san diego. he had the best time ever. in fact, he cried as we prepared to leave because he "hate[s] home" and "love[s] vacations." (i don't necessarily agree, but i understand the sentiment.)

we brought the stroller with us to sea world, and thank goodness we did because paul refused to walk -- he spent almost the entire day (which was abbreviated because he got tired, anyway) riding the wheeled board. nola, on the other hand, spent her time in the sling. poor baby got a mild sunburn on one arm because it was hanging out of the sling.

i don't know if it was just me, but sea world seemed really outdated. the aquariums were not very spectacular. some of the tanks just looked too small for their inhabitants. plus i've never been a big fan of trained animal shows, and those are key at sea world. (never mind that watching marine life documentaries has really messed with my ability to enjoy killer whales and other animals. eesh.)

today we initially planned to return to balboa park for the natural history museum, but changed our minds because paul and cam are going to the natural history museum in la tomorrow. i'm glad because i need a rest. it was nice to come home and just veg after spending the last few days out and about.

we should take impulse vacations more often. it will be interesting to see if we can top paul's assertion that this was the best vacation ever.

August 16, 2008

undergear

i need to be fitted for new bras, but i'm a little afraid to put a whole lot of money on bras because i don't know how long i'll be keeping the postpartum nursing breast size. (i tried to measure myself yesterday and well, i can't be as strippertastic as the numbers are claiming. eek.) still, i think it would be nice to have at least two nursing bras that fit the way they should. i'm tired of having the child spit up directly into the center of my bra.

personal scrutiny

my mother had a revelatory moment today.

while i was in the dressing room at macys, she waited with nola in front of a triptych of mirrors. i joked, "well, it's not quite the 360, but maybe 180?"

apparently i was on to something, because while standing in front of those mirrors in her favorite printed cropped pants, she suddenly realized that those damned things should never leave home. stacy and clinton would so approve.

August 13, 2008

toastiest

over the weekend we returned a pair of lands end pants to sears. while we were there, we picked up a new toaster. when the salesguy asked us if we wanted to do an exchange, i was startled -- who knew you could exchange pants for a toaster?

we used the toaster today to make toast. i set it for the second level of darkness, which promptly burnt the bread. at first i was undecided if that meant this was a particularly strong toaster or if roman meal is just weak-ass bread, but i quickly decided in the toaster's favor.

August 11, 2008

maternity leave home bakery

baked a lemon cake (mix) with a simple lemon glaze (it would be sad, sad, sad if i needed a mix for that) today. baked cornbread yesterday. what should i bake tomorrow? on some levels, i have to say thank goodness i'm going back to work -- all this fresh baked goodness is going straight to my waistline.

August 10, 2008

new stuff!

the 2009 ikea catalog arrived today with the la times. yay! now i can cancel my subscription.

August 9, 2008

nap, dammit

my mom is off visiting relatives for the day. paul and cam are off bug-hunting at madrona marsh. nola is asleep. why am i not asleep? so far i have done some laundry, loaded up the dishwasher, tied the water hyacinth to a rock to keep it from floating around the edge of the pond (the raccoons savaged it last night), and general picking-up-around the house.

i was convinced i'd fall asleep instantly because we had a rough night. woke up at one point to find paul in the bed. four people in a queen-sized bed does not make for a comfortable sleeping experience. my children are aggressive sleepers. nola by herself can almost knock me off the bed. paul CAN knock me off the bed. i spent a lot of time hanging off the bed while trying to protect nola from her brother's feet and elbows. yes, i could have put her back in the crib, but where's the fun in that?

my head is splitting, my bones ache and yet i persist in sitting here, awake...

August 8, 2008

suits

with paul at his grandparents' house and my mom off getting a pedi and running errands, i figured that nola and i would sleep all day. as usual, it didn't work out that way. yes, nola took a really nice long nap, but i kept myself busy, picking up around the house and doing laundry.

i also found my little stash of business suits from the good old days prior to the intro of everyday business casual. (boy, was i pissed. in retrospect, i should have been relieved, but i was mad because i had just spent a few hundred on suits. and since i've been working there for the last ten years, it's not like i needed them for interviews.) i've been thinking about donating my suits to a nonprofit for disadvantaged women for a long time now. they're pretty classic (minus the periwinkle dress/jacket combo my aunt and mother bought for me) and in very good condition (and in sizes i will probably NEVER wear again), so i'd be honored if someone wanted to use them for job interviews and the like. i've found an organization that has a pick-up station nearby, so i might just have to trek over to torrance to drop them off.

shaping, part 2

my recommended-size stuff arrived today and it's all... so big! i must have screwed up my measurements somehow. (sigh of relief.)

August 7, 2008

like ducks to water

my mother is in love with the pond. she took paul to a garden center today and came back with two water lilies (one real, one artificial -- two guesses which one was paul's choice?) and a parrot feather plant. at this rate we'll have the pond fully plant-stocked within another week.

August 6, 2008

shaping

i've been really spending far too much time thinking about what i should be wearing. for the first time ever, i'm really trying to focus on what is flattering, not what is comfortable or what is inexpensive or better yet, what is black.

it's kind of funny, but yesterday may have been the first time i ever thought to look for fashion advice for a short torso. considering i've had a short torso all my life, you'd think i would have done this eons ago. i was aghast to discover that apparently i've been dressing someone else's body because much of what i like to wear makes me look shorter and rounder. not that i've noticed, though, because i am short and round.

today i came across a site called myshape. you log in, answer some questions, put in some measurements, and voila! you have a "personal store" with clothes in your recommended sizes and styles. out of curiosity (and because there was a $25 off coupon code for the initial order), i ordered a few things. what was astonishing to me was that so much of the stuff in this store wasn't sized for petites, so i have no idea how these items will fit me. i was also more than a little astonished (and distressed) by the recommended sizes. of course, i do suspect that some pregnancy weight -- and postpartum/nursing boobage -- accounts for the sizing, but still. clinton and stacy always say to dress for the body you have, not the body you used to have/want to have/could have with lipo/a personal trainer/eating disorder, so i'm trying to be open-minded.

i feel like i've ordered far too many items of clothing lately, but it's all in the name of experimentation... and having something to wear when i go back to work (the boobage doesn't quite fit in most of my shirts). i thought i was more or less back to my prepregnancy size, but myshape's recommended sizes are telling me that i'm not quite there yet.

August 5, 2008

bananas about bananas

my mother announced a few days ago that she had some bananas on the verge of overripeness so if i wanted to make banana bread again i could have them. i took her up on her offer, and today i baked the very popular bread with the substitution of egg replacer and vegan margarine and the addition of allergen-free chocolate chips, just like before. (i think it's pretty funny that this recipe comes from the woman behind learning movable type. i spent much time there when i was starting this blog,) amusingly enough, it's already half gone. i suspect paul would consider eating the whole thing if i would let him.

August 3, 2008

guilt-free shopping

been spending some time playing with the fashion side of shopstyle. it's been fun "shopping" and putting stuff together, but it's become painfully obvious to me that 1) i have no idea how to accessorize, and 2) my entire world is clothed in black. if i weren't so afeared of the humiliation at clinton's and stacy's hands, i think i'd nominate myself for "what not to wear."

August 1, 2008

tee'd

today i read a blog post about how it was time -- as a woman in my 30s -- to throw out all the "ironic" t-shirts. feh on that. i didn't start accumulating them until i was in my 30s. (in fact, cam just bought me a dinosaur comics shirt earlier this week.)

pinned down

the last few days nola has not been able to sleep for very long away from me. her favorite place seems to be on the boppy (on me, post-feeding). every time i manage to get up with her still asleep, she'll be awake again within minutes of being put down. in order for her to get a nice nap or two, i've just been staying put after she falls asleep. been using this time to catch up "what not to wear," watch marine life documentaries (am not really a fan of mike degruy) and online-shop for the perfect black bag. (i feel so... shallow.) when paul's not around, this works out fine, but when he's here i feel so mean for telling him that i can't get up.

July 27, 2008

south coast

because cam is a kind and thoughtful person (most of the time), he arranged for a boy to spend the day with his parents -- and then took his two girls out to costa mesa for lunch and shopping.

(shopping with two kids is not easy, but let's face it, shopping with just paul has has never been easy. nola is much more portable, and she can sleep in the sling when she gets bored. she cries, yes, but she never whines.)

why costa mesa? h&m, of course. i ended up getting a little gray cardigan and an orange tank top. there was a tan coat i liked a lot, but it had too much hardware. i imagined the buttons leaving strange marks all over nola.

we also hit the lv store, where we were greeted by a strange sight: an extremely tall white woman in an ugly pinkish furry jacket posing by the entrance. since lv was (and always is) filled by noisy short asians, she seemed to be at least ten feet tall. i coveted the epi alma in cassis. swoony, but where would i carry an expensive purple handbag? i also admired the bowling montaigne pm (also in cassis), but as cam points out, it looks like it has a face.

other stops: went to crate and barrel because we wanted to buy towels (we have giftcards), but didn't see anything special. bought a star wars pillowcase for my assistant for his birthday from pottery barn kids. cam bought himself a new iphone at the apple store.

i nursed nola in the car post-shopping and we went home. we had talked about stopping by container store and ikea, but it was getting late.

it was a nice day. i needed to get out, and i think it was the most relaxing afternoon i've had in ages. thanks, sweetie.

July 23, 2008

it only took three years

finished (albeit poorly) the bench cushion for my dining set. yippee! (if you don't look too closely, it looks fabulous.) now i'm starting a tiny quilt for nola. no real reason why other than i got the idea i wanted to make a tiny quilt.

it feels good to play with my sewing machine again. my skills are mediocre, but i got mad enthusiasm.

July 22, 2008

stone fruit

we were all set to go to the park today when paul decided he'd rather hang out with his grandfather. so what's a mom to do when abandoned by her offspring? put the other one to bed and spend some quality time trying out a new peach cobbler recipe. i think this one was better than the other one, but i'm still not completely convinced that any cobbler is worth peeling a boatload of peaches.

July 21, 2008

suited up

i wasn't going to mention this, but i bought a bathing suit. what possessed me to buy a bathing suit (a tankini from lands end) two and a half months postpartum, i don't know. well, it arrived today, and i think it'll be absolutely fine -- with a very large t-shirt over it. yep, it'll be just fine.

July 20, 2008

self-affirming

sometimes i tell myself i look nice or that i've lost weight so i can hear it without having to ask for it.

never too sick to play house

i've spent the last few days in a sickly grumpy fog*, but that doesn't mean i've been too foggy to think about home decor and spend money. we've finally figured out how to solve the fireplace-cover issue (we have an unused fireplace that has been "temporarily" blocked off with cardboard and clear packing tape for at least three years), necessary fabrics have been ordered for said fireplace issue and curtain for large living room window, small cheap patio rug has been ordered (and received) for putting below kangeroo climber on the deck in the backyard, the second dining room bench cushion is almost done, and i determined that the mibo clacket lane wallpaper in cream would be a little too busy for the living room. (oh, and i hit up the tea collection sale for pretty nola-gear.) now i'm contemplating a small club chair for the library and wondering if alphabet stickers on plain white knobs would be a good way to label shoe drawers.

clearly i really like making work for myself.

*timeline: tuesday cam came home from work and sent me straight to bed because i apparently looked like death. wednesday nola and i slept for most of the day (she seemed to have a bit of a fever). thursday i was tossed back into solo duo-child-care a little too quickly and felt it. paul mocked me when i felt faint. by friday i was still sick-feeling, but doing much better. saturday was fine.

July 10, 2008

same but different, part 2

the food from the vegetarian chinese restaurant was better the second day. weird, but good to know.

sizing matters

been studying size charts for various clothing stores (eddie bauer, lands end, etc. - places with proprietary brands). it's funny to see how they differ. a small in one brand can be a medium or a large in another. when i'm ready to buy some new clothes, i'll need to decide if i want to wear a size-loathing X or a vanity-sized Y.

oft-used

i hate cliches, but i use them all the time. i even think in them. cam smirks because he hates them and he knows i hate them, so i am constantly embarrassed.

me: when i finish this [project], it'll be... um, cliches about monkeys and backs and stuff like that.
cam: ah.
me: bugbears.
cam: [smirking] bugbears.

when i hear myself, i think, "stop it! you're better than that!"

July 9, 2008

same but different

went to a local vegetarian restaurant for the first time since they changed ownership (when was that, like 3-4 years ago?). the sign outside had gotten really weatherbeaten, so i figured that if they had let the outside get so shabby, how could i be confident that they had kept up the inside, too? lest you think i'm too shallow, i had also read bad things about the changing of the guard, so that also gave me a reason to stay away. but recently they redid the sign, so we decided to give them a chance (plus they got an a from the health dept. and we lost a local mexican place we used to frequent). well, the menu is the same, but the food is not as good as we had remembered it. the texture of the "chicken" was a little off (how funny it is for me to say that) and the special blend brown rice was soggy. the "beef" was okay. but the dry sauteed green beans were good, as was the braised tofu. so... we'll be back, i guess, but not nearly as often as in the past. alas.

July 8, 2008

genuinely curious

the new lg shine phone -- is there some kind of anti-fingerprint coating on it?

peachy

a fresh peach cobbler is cooling in the kitchen. doesn't that make me sound uber-domestic? (had to do something to make a dent in the piles of peaches paul brought home from a family friend's house.) got a bandaid on my finger to prove that those peaches needed peeling. no canned stuff for us. (riiight.)

off-brand

noticed this morning that nola's diapers (the disposables -- she wears them outside of the home and at night -- we go cloth during the day at home) have a strange winnie the pooh on them, along with blue's clues-esque paw prints and cute little pandas and lions. it was almost like when you walk into a little asian market and you consider buying a little hello kitty lunchbox until you realize that hello kitty shouldn't have a mouth.

cam: winnie the pooh is sitting like a dog.

so weird. these aren't some random diapers i picked up by the side of the road -- these are huggies. surely licensing costs wouldn't be a problem?

July 7, 2008

blacksmith

i recently read something about leather bibs and how great they are for babies and kids because they clean up easily and are very durable, but... leather bibs? do they make tiny forges and anvils, too?

June 27, 2008

mii, mii and you

we spent an amusing amount of time today refining our miis. gave my mii a new hairstyle that more closely resembles my newly short hair. nola has a mii of her very own -- she looks just like paul but with longer hair (black instead of brown) and gray eyes. i set her up just so that she could hang out at our pokemon ranch with us, but it's somewhat surreal to have her walking around there when right now the child can't even hold her head up. we also adjusted our heights -- it was a little weird to have three out of the four people in this family be exactly the same height.

(set up a mii for my mom, too, so i can try to shame her into trying wii fit. don't see it happening, though.)

June 25, 2008

the plague

i appear to have pinkeye. sucks. considering that conjunctivitis is our office disease of choice, it's kind of funny that i have it at the halfway point of my maternity leave. and when you combine it with the bug that may or may not have been the cause for my children to become little vomiting machines, we've been a hotbed of contagion lately.

(joel and family, you dodged a bullet! hope your vacation was happy, relaxing and illness-free.)

June 19, 2008

mommy jewelry

after much internal debate, i bought this necklace for myself. i wanted a little something for myself to commemorate our little family, so it has all four names on it. (the sample is hilarious -- apparently we should have named our kids jack and jayden.) i ordered it at the same time i bought cam's keychain. i like to wear it with my kinda-sorta "push present" -- a necklace from cam. i do NOT wear it with the other necklace he bought at the same time.

(just an aside: paul finds the white trash charm necklaces equally amusing, but he thinks the dude one is more appropriate for a boy. oddly enough, this is from a child who happily sported the trophy wife one around the house and would have worn it in public if i didn't take it from him.)

June 18, 2008

the upside

that reminds me -- i need to add cornstarch to our grocery list so that we can make more non-newtonian fluid.

June 7, 2008

tropics

you know, i understand that a person can love a vacation spot SO much that s/he uses it for a destination wedding (and then to work that into the reception back home for the folks who couldn't attend the wedding itself). and i understand wanting to use that vacation spot as a decorating theme for one's home. and i can sort of see wanting to somehow incorporate it into a child's name (especially if said child was conceived there...). but you know, after a while, it's just sort of sad. just move there already, will you?

June 6, 2008

tiniest world

set the scene: we're trying to get paul into an elementary school other than our neighborhood one. we missed the magnet application deadline, so that left us with two options to get into that school -- apply for (1) a childcare permit (because this school is actually in cam's parents' neighborhood and cam's dad is going to be responsible for getting paul to and from school while we're at work) or (2) admission into the school's advanced studies program. when cam went to the school's office to pick up the applications, he was told to complete the second one first because that one had a deadline that was coming up soon. (the first one would be more of a last resort, anyway.)

with this in mind, we decided to move ahead on the second one. there was a brief application and paul's preschool teacher had to write a letter of recommendation. today we had an interview with a teacher and the school's principal and provide some samples of paul's work. (for a public school KINDERGARTEN. yeah, it blows my mind, too. maybe this is common, but this is my first kid in school, you know.)

nola was bawling all the way to school, so i was almost positive that i wouldn't be able to attend the interview -- a thought that had me almost in tears, too, because i feel like i've absolutely failed paul as a parent when it comes to school stuff. but the little girl came through for us and we had a great little interview.

paul dealt with the teacher while cam and i spoke to the principal. it was a little weird because i was trying to listen to paul while trying to tune him out at the same time so i could give the principal my full attention. i'm sure i smiled at weird times during the principal's spiel, but oh well. during the interview, she said something about my old old elementary school (the one i attended before the one where cam and i met) in passing to the teacher, which i filed away in my head but didn't think about too closely. i was busy trying to remember if the teacher was cam's parents' next door neighbor (turns out she is).

but then things took a very strange turn. if you've been reading this site for a while, you know that paul's last name is gracelastname-camlastname. (if you haven't, well, now you know.) the principal asked which one of us was camlastname -- cam said it was him. then she turned to me and said my name and said that i seemed really familiar to her and did i have a relative in education. nope, i said, smiling because i get "you look familiar" ALL THE TIME. (hello there, generic asian!) offhandedly, i thought to say that i went to such-and-such elementary school.

silence. i wondered if maybe i had heard wrong earlier and that she had no ties to that school.

the principal asked me when. i told her the years. and then it came out that she knew my brother. it was so weird. i told her that i thought her name was familiar, but i couldn't place it. (in talking to my mom -- who recognized the name instantly -- i learned that the principal had been my brother's 5th and 6th grade teacher.) i then was in the very unhappy spot of having to inform her that he had died 15 years ago. she said she was going to have to call another teacher (whose name i did recognize) to tell him.

who would have expected this from a kindergarten interview? welling-up tears, even. i've told lots of people about the ultimate fate of the original paul, but this time was especially hard because i was having to tell a former teacher who remembered a 10-, 11-year-old boy from 28 years ago and wanted to know how he was doing. "he had a very round face. i can see him." sometimes i forget that he had a life outside of us -- that he touched other people's lives and that people outside the family might actually remember him. i'm so used to inhabiting this world where i have to remind my mother of things he said and did.

i think the interview went well. from a proud mommy point of view, paul certainly showed his stuff (talking about tornadoes and his newfound love of spiders). from a cynical point of view, well, if paul doesn't get in now, maybe i should have worked my angle a bit harder.

June 4, 2008

postpartum demons

today my mom, nola and i visited our friendly neighborhood faith healer.

okay, so she's not really in the neighborhood anymore because we moved. and it's not like we just visit her for this reason because she's actually a family friend (i think my folks helped her and her husband find work when they made the big move from the philippines back in the '70s). but today we went to her for a very specific reason.

after paul was born, she told my mom to bring me by her house. i expected a massage (always a nice thing) because this faith healer also does that -- in fact, when i was a kid, we always went to see her when we were sick because she would do a great vicks rubdown that always had us up and running within a day or so. any aches and pains? off we'd go. my mother's sisters would go see her, too, whenever they or their children were feeling less than great. so. shortly before i was set to go back to work, we went to see her. i was pretty much back to prepreg size (except the girls, of course) but i still couldn't really wear much of my regular clothes because my shape was rather different. she sized me up, had me lie down on the floor on my side, and she STOOD on my hip. then she made me lie down on the other side and proceeded to stand on the other hip. had to help move everything back into place, she said.

when i got home, i was elated to see i could wear my old jeans.

this time around my mom asked her when was the earliest we should come by. (i've said this before: my mom has issues with me being fat.) a month post-birth, she was told.

after one month and two days, i was back on my spot on the floor. this time, however, she did not step on me. (i was rather disappointed.) but she did practically kneel on me. she commented to my mother that i wasn't very big. (a compliment? to my mom, maybe.) she then wrapped my waist in a long piece of cloth and knotted it tightly to cow the flesh into submission.

when i stood up, i was amused to realize i felt taller. but that may have been due to the fact that i was wearing clogs, and well, she's a tiny 75-year-old filipino lady.

before the... i don't even know what to call it... massage?... we did the regular faith-healery thing. candles, flaming spoons, wax shapes in water, prayers, crucifixes, blowing on my head through a piece of old crocheted lace, comparisons of the lengths of fingers, the whole nine yards. after the massage, she did the same thing for nola (but nola's session was much shorter because she didn't have any demons inhabiting her tiny body -- i, however, had five.).

when i was younger, she once attributed a rash to the tiny demons in chicken and shellfish. as chicken was the only meat i was eating back then, i forced myself to eat hamburgers instead. mmm, western bacon cheeseburgers. the rash went away, but man, i got kind of fat.

we'll have to see how well this works. honestly, i'm not expecting much because i'm still carrying quite a bit of excess stuff, but hey, it's an experience.

June 1, 2008

jaw-length

i now have short mom-ish hair. i guess this means i should encourage paul to play soccer.

May 30, 2008

lefty

wii fit tells me that my center of balance is slightly to the left. duh, you spend 4+ years carrying a child on your left side while doing stuff -- cooking, cleaning, unloading the dishwasher, typing, etc. -- with your right. (note that i didn't say "right hand" because i have been known to pick up things with my feet.) you'd sway that way, too.

May 26, 2008

we did it, yay

am planning to get my hair cut sometime this week. i was thinking louise brooks, but i have a feeling i'm going to end up looking like dora the explorer instead.

May 21, 2008

exercise play

paul is playing (is that the right word?) wii fit. apparently he needs more exercise, it tells him. duh, this is a preschooler who is more interested in science and tv than active play.

cam: now let me try so it can tell me i'm obese.

since you can password-protect your profile, i am so going to use this thing. i'll set a weight goal with my going-back-to-work date as my target. wonder how well it'll work?

May 20, 2008

stuff you don't hear everyday

my mom and i were sort of watching "so you think you can dance" on mtv. i left the room to change nola's diaper and got sidetracked -- as a result, the show was over before i returned.

my mom: that tila tequila show came on, so i changed the channel.
my mom: she's a ho.
me: i see.
me: [calling out to other room] cameron, my mother just called someone a ho!

May 18, 2008

bleary

between the heat, nola and my inability to focus on the reviews i need to write for my assistants, i have had about 4.5 hours of sleep since friday morning.

May 16, 2008

a few minutes of chores

because the baby is asleep, i got to 1) unload the dishwasher, 2) move stuff from the washer to the dryer, and 3) hang the diaper covers outside to dry in the sun. if paul were here today instead of spending time with cam's dad, i think i'd be sprawled on the floor in front of a pile of lincoln logs. that sounds more fun.

May 14, 2008

dented

my mother got into a minor accident today -- one of the rear doors on her pt cruiser swung open and smacked into a parked car. she didn't even realize it until someone following her stopped and told her to go back because it was the nice thing to do. she went back and knocked at the door of the house where the car was parked. no answer, so she seemed to feel she was off the hook.

when she told me about this, i just looked at her. jesu cristo. i told her to go back to the car and leave a note. how can she assume a car parked in front of a house belongs to the owners of that house? and just because no one answered the door, how does that absolve her of responsibility?

me: i know if you went outside and saw your car had been damaged you'd be mad.
her: [wheedling] but it's not really a dent.

sometimes i feel like the parent in this relationship.

April 23, 2008

blending

working from home is turning this week into a fog filled with couch-sitting and overeating. what day is it today?

April 21, 2008

a monday in april

another weekend has passed by and i have managed to remain pregnant. this is both a good thing (my jewish doctor would have missed the birth) and bad (my work baby shower is today and i hate being the center of attention).

April 19, 2008

the quiet end

yesterday was my last full(ish) day in the office. rather anticlimactic. i'm not sure what i was expecting, but the day was blah. got in late because of a morning appointment with my ob/gyn, then got stuck at at work until 6:30 pm because our new couch wasn't delivered quite when we expected it would. i know that people in my dept. don't consider me gone until next week (and i will be back in the office on monday for the baby shower), but c'mon, make me feel like i'm going to be missed... four months is a long time.

April 17, 2008

plow

as we drove past the harbor this morning, the rising sun shining behind the shadowed cranes made me think of the bookcover of an old copy of my antonia. and i was strangely content for a moment.

March 13, 2008

crying over...

in retrospect, the spilt milk incident was kind of funny.

March 11, 2008

overdue for a break

i have taken ten days off work (including sick days) in two years. such behavior in a department where people seem to take off A DAY A WEEK.

March 7, 2008

what i have to look forward to

"both my kids got in trouble yesterday at the same time... can you tell i don't beat my kids enough?"

catty

there is a woman here who keeps declaring to no one in particular that it's really hot in the office. since she's not pregnant (god knows i'm overheated almost all the time), i firmly believe that early menopause has set in.

February 29, 2008

lego

legoland is a nice place for little kids. i'm surprised how well the day went. (even though there's not a whole lot for a pregnant lady to do there -- not that pregnant ladies are the intended audience, of course.)

i'm also surprised how many people brought newborns with them. i mean, i understand wanting to appease your older kids, but i swear i saw more than one baby that was little more than a fetus.

i think paul had a good time. he really enjoyed this room where kids got to build cars and send them down little ramps. i think he could have stayed there all day. he wasn't so big on rides (and was only interested in rides he could ride with cam), but he did enjoy crashing a little motorboat multiple times.

we ended up paying an extra dollar a ticket to get three more full-day passes. they're good for nine days. we might end up going back on sunday, i don't know. we'll see. legoland didn't look like much fun for kids older than six, but hey, ours is only four.

February 28, 2008

mini-getaway

it's 11:30 pm. the washer is running, the dryer is running, the dishwasher is running -- and i am run down. i need to go to bed, but i have stuff i need to do first. funny how a day off from work takes so much planning. if i were going to work tomorrow, i'd already be asleep. the only thing i'd need to think about would be what to pack for lunch and snacks for the workday. instead i have to think about what to pack for our impromptu trip to san diego. legoland tomorrow, balboa park the day after and back home the day after that. what to pack? what to wear? what to eat? what to bring to entertain a boy on two long car trips?

i'm already thinking that work sounds less stressful.

this must be why we rarely take days off for anything but the most practical of reasons (like preschool and doctor's appointments).

February 23, 2008

mover

i am not to be trusted in the house alone. even at seven months' pregnant, i move furniture for fun.

February 15, 2008

illness or wellness

it's friday morning. two of my coworkers (including one of my assistants) is out sick. paul is sick. cam was well enough to go to work, but had to stay home because cam's dad is sick and therefore can't watch paul. i feel okay now, but my cough is making me a little self-conscious. just ran out of kleenex. sigh.

i went to bed early last night, so hopefully that'll be enough rest to get me through this. there's too much to do -- a viewing tonight, a wedding tomorrow, a long weekend to enjoy. there's no room for the flu. i just got over (mostly) a cold in that charmingly unmedicated way that pregnant women do. the flu could finish me off.

February 14, 2008

re the birds and bees

my ob/gyn is very cool. he decided that he doesn't want me to test my blood sugars anymore, which is really nice. not that i minded it too much, but it's nice to not have to deal with that. of course i need to keep to my diet, but that's fine because it keeps my weight from going out of control (but i was very bad last night -- paul brought me a big heart-shaped cookie that he had frosted and decorated at school).

plus he's hot.

but i wish he wouldn't be quite so... frank with the sex talk. cam was too sick to come in with me to my appointment, so he waited in the car. after i met with the doctor, i told cam he was lucky he missed out because this appointment was twice as embarrassing as the last one. i swear, do we look like bunnies or something?

February 13, 2008

mcdreamy?

coworker: you look very pretty today.
me: thanks.
me: i'm going to my doctor today.
me: [dramatic pause]
me: he's very good-looking.
coworker: [dramatic pause]
coworker: [laughter] maybe you could ask him out for a drink.
me: riiight.

February 12, 2008

in the dark

i am remarkably unobservant. didn't even notice my blackberry was out yesterday.

February 4, 2008

cast iron

will i ever learn how to use cast iron cooking surfaces properly?

hearty congrats

we are all very happy for little eli.

January 21, 2008

many happy returns and all that

pretty sad that my first acts as a 33-year-old were to drink a glass of milk, eat a piece of toast and watch the last few minutes of "what not to wear." i think it's bedtime.

January 20, 2008

same store

have been perusing pictures of children's rooms from all over the world to get ideas. it's a little comforting to see that no matter where you are, there must have been an ikea in your life at some time or another.

January 19, 2008

saturday night at my house

just read -- teased -- sang -- snuggled -- paul to sleep, then i cut his fingernails. returned to cam to discover he was asleep, too. am thinking i ought to do the dishes, but because of my eczema i fear that cam would yell at me in the morning. maybe i'll just sit here and contemplate sleep.

griddle

why do i always end up on pancake duty on saturday mornings?

January 4, 2008

it's raining, it's pouring

one of my coworkers in another office is boring me with details of the weather. look, i know the weather there is awful. i get it.

December 26, 2007

back in the saddle

another christmas over and done with (except for the clean-up of decorations and the writing of thank-you cards). now i'm back at work and wishing i could be sleeping. or shopping.

December 19, 2007

gone to waste

apparently my contributions to the party were not so popular. i must be a terrible cook. i should have slept instead.

all i want for christmas is my bed

when the holidays are over, i think i will sleep for three days straight.

December 10, 2007

city beautification

i just read an article on a local paper's site about city officials requiring a $65 encroachment permit from a man who had decorated a little grassy parkway in between his home and the street.

now, i don't care for flashy holiday decorations. i usually find them kind of tacky. paul loves them, though, so i tend to keep an eye out for them so i can point them out.

because the decorations are on city property, okay, i can see why a permit would be necessary. $65 is pretty steep for decorations that are only going to be up for two months, tops, but i don't know how cities assess the rates for these things, so... whatever.

normally i'd just read this sort of thing and not really think anything of it, but today i feel enough irritation at one comment to write about it. in fact, i'm not really here to write about the permit or the fee or even the fact that somewhere nearby a man loves flashy decorations so much that he ran out of decorate-able space on his own property. i'm writing about one line in one comment by a person who couldn't even bothered to use his real name.

the majority of comments were directed at the city for their meanness and lack of holiday spirit. considering that the homeowner in question had decorated this little strip for four years' running and had even won awards from the city's own beautification committee, it does seem to me that this was something that could have been brought to his attention a little earlier. perhaps they could have mentioned it last year? i'm guessing this isn't something new, but because holiday decorating only comes around once a year, maybe the city should send out a little notice each year reminding people of the city's rules and regulations. but who knows, maybe they already do that? i don't live in that city.

one person objected to the homeowner's decor, felt it was "jumbled" and a "blatant disregard" of city policies. this is fine. taste is taste, and apparently someone knew about city policy. but this one line -- "happy holidays and way to go on spending your son's college fund" -- rankled beyond belief. i don't know which i object to more -- the idea that someone who knows nothing about you can criticize your spending habits, or the idea that every parent needs to have a college fund for their children. either way, ugh!

November 26, 2007

always right around thanksgiving

happy birthday, joel. hope you had a nice day.

November 23, 2007

doh

today i played with playdoh. i have never really played with playdoh-brand playdough before, so i think i understand why its appeal now. the smell i can live without, but how surprised i was to discover the smooth color-blending ability, silky texture, and best of all, the lack of residue on my hands. astonishing.

November 21, 2007

something i wondered this morning

is there any way that "you look like my ob/gyn" could be construed as a pick-up line?

November 13, 2007

ingratiating

a normal day in my office.

assistant #1: [looking around my office] it's kind of messy in here.
assistant #2: hmph.
assistant #2: he's not looking for a raise.

assistant #2: i've been thinking she [me] needs to see the addams family movie.
assistant #2: the second one.
assistant #2: she reminds me of wednesday addams.
me to assistant #1: he's not looking for a raise, either.
assistant #1: yep.
assistant #2: what did i say?

November 2, 2007

starter wardrobe

i need to buy some maternity clothes. at 14 weeks, my pants are officially too small. i already have some in storage as i was clearly pregnant before, but at this point of my pregnancy with paul, it was early spring. of course, we don't really have seasons here in southern california, so i suspect that i just want to go shopping. regardless of locale, surely one dresses differently in november than in april, yes?

but the problem is that i'm not sure where to go. recent stories about child labor have crossed old navy and gap off my list, and i've heard such awful things about motherhood (and related businesses) that i refuse to go there. local targets don't have the greatest selection, and the local kohl's is pretty ghetto, my mom says. (okay, maybe those aren't her words, but that's the gist of what she told me.) maybe i should really just dig out my stuff from storage and assess my current belongings before i fling my money into the wild.

portions and things

i've been watching my blood sugars for over a week now, and i have to say that this experience has been extremely enlightening.

for one, it's kind of hard to be a bread-loving vegetarian diabetic. figuring out my starch intake is harder than expected -- i had no idea that some of my favorite vegetables and protein sources were so carb-heavy.

two "proteins" worth of tofu is too much for me to eat in one sitting, but two "starches" of rice only covers the bottom of my bowl.

two "vegetables" worth of raw carrots is overwhelming.

restaurant portions are really out of control. insane. i knew there was a reason why i always averted my eyes from nutritional information brochures and websites. how utterly disturbing to see that my favorite la salsa black bean and cheese burrito is worth almost six "starches" and only two "proteins."

can i live like this?

October 25, 2007

strangest compliment

"i TOLD you -- she's like yoda, man!"

October 23, 2007

dark to light

i have a new blue pen. i think my old pen got rather scratchy after about a month and a week. i must do a lot more writing than i realized. what is the normal lifespan of a pen, anyway?

October 19, 2007

slickers

cam saw a woman in a raincoat walking a pug in a raincoat. how i would have loved to see that.

October 12, 2007

sending stuff back

i guess it was a good thing that there was a second round of recalls from learning curve because it reminded me that i still hadn't sent in the first batch of thomas toys.

newish dress

today i am wearing a babydoll-ish dress. i've never worn it to work before -- in fact, the only time i've worn it was to a wedding when i was definitely NOT pregnant. (because, honestly, when you see a bride and a pregnant woman taking a smoke break together, something is really not quite right with that picture) for a while, i was thinking about wearing it to work, but couldn't decide on work-appropriate shoes. then when i discovered that people were speculating about my pregnancy, well, i definitely wasn't going to wear it to give them ammunition.

but today i decided to wear it because the news is out anyway.

him: hey, that's kind of nice.
him: i've never seen you wear that before.
me: why are you critiquing my wardrobe?

but the funny thing is that i'm a little too self-conscious to even stand up because it makes me look so totally pregnant. while i was getting dressed, i realized that wearing a light-support shelf bra with the dress made me look round, so i ran away from the mirror in horror and put on an underwire bra to bring the girls up a bit.

me: [to the mirror] nice -- i'm stacked.

but when i got to work, i suddenly felt like i was a little too much of everything. too busty, too puffy, too silly. i was wearing a muffler when i arrived in the morning, but after an hour of a cold chest, i ended up putting it back on and wearing it all day.

it's a very nice dress, but i think i'll wait until i'm much more pregnant-looking before i wear it again. with my luck, of course, it probably won't fit by then.

pretty colors

if i were about six inches taller or had a good tailor (or if they sold petites), I'd buy all my clothes from boden. and if i shopped at boden, i'd also shop for cam and paul there. we would be so colorful.

October 11, 2007

libra

happy birthday, dad. hope you liked the flowers we brought last saturday.

October 4, 2007

all kinds of wrong

my new ob/gyn is all kinds of hot.

September 19, 2007

salt pig

because i'm hormonal and hungry, i just placed an order for two bottles of bacon salt. not that i really need salt (or bacon, for that matter), but for some reason i just had to have it.

September 16, 2007

oh, the humanity

it will never cease to amuse me how easily and often people claim to lose faith in humanity -- usually all it takes is for a favorite to lose out on american idol, or an emmy, or whatever the award of choice might be....

in the dark

i was awakened very early this morning by a sudden burst of static. in a panic, i woke up cam, who informed me in a remarkably non-sleepy voice that the power had just gone out. ah, i thought, that explained the static (the baby monitor we still use) and the somewhat unearthly glow of the green and blue candeloos right next to my head (they went on when the charger died). i went right back to sleep.

a little while after that i woke up -- still in the dark -- because paul was crying. crap! i didn't even think about the fact that his nightlights would be out, too. green candeloo in hand, i went to his room and tried to comfort him. as usual when he's upset, he was in a big anti snit.

paul: i want nothing.
paul: i want the power to just stay away.
me: okay, then we'll just stay in the dark.
paul: okay.
paul: i want light.

i stayed in his room with him and tried to sleep, but it was hard because every 15 minutes or so he'd kick me and sob something about the power. finally he decided it was time to be up and around.

paul: does the tv use electricity?
paul: does the floor use electricity?
paul: does the potty use electricity?

i stuck it out as long as i could, but i felt so crappy that i ended up waking cam and making him take over. then i went back to bed. cam brought me some toast he made on the stove. what a sweetheart.

the power didn't come back on until almost noon. by then i was starting to lament the potential loss of our freezer contents (again), so i was much relieved to see all was still nice and frosty in there. cam had already taken paul over to his parents' house with two gallons of milk in tow.

it's funny how life feels put on hold without electricity. it's nice and quiet -- jumped when everything went back on! -- but we depend so much on power for just about everything. occasionally i'll read about people and their planned electricity-free days and think that it sounds like such a liberating experience, but really, if you haven't planned for it, it's just a royal pain in the ass.

September 12, 2007

baby steps, office-style

i am not a creature of habit. in fact, i am now using a blue pen at work. it may be the same old micropoint rollerball type of pen i've been using since 1998, but for the first time ever, this time it's blue. the fact that i can do this without freaking out is a testament to my increased flexibility in years gone by...

September 1, 2007

math

insane heat + long nap = wide awake at 2 am.

August 28, 2007

calm before the show

cam and i are taking the day off because we're seeing crowded house tonight. i know that sounds backwards -- we should really take the day off after the concert, right? -- but there is a reason for this madness. rather than be gone from 6 am to midnight, and therefore pissing off a toddler greatly in the process, we're spending the day with paul. i think we'll be going to the aquarium later today.

August 27, 2007

school shopping

this weekend i went to a local bass outlet to try to find some replacement everyday work shoes. i found a pair fairly quickly -- black mary janes, flat, with white top-stitching (that vaguely reminded me of a pair of docs i wore back in the day). there was one pair of size six in black hidden in a tall stack of boxes of the same shoe in brown. feeling rather victorious, i modeled one for cam. he gave his approval, then ran away to chase paul down another aisle.

as i was putting my shoe back on, a family came up right next to me. the mother pointed at the shoes in the display (MY shoes) and told her daughter (who was maybe 12) that those would be perfect for school. the girl agreed and started to scan the sizes.

mother: what size are you?
girl: aren't i a five?
mother: i think that was last year.
girl: oh, that's right, six.

with a slightly guilty feeling i picked up my shoebox and walked away. i made it as far as the corner before i turned around and asked the mother, "excuse me, you're looking for six in black, right?" then i handed over the box to the slightly mystified woman, smiled and walked away.

cam laughed ruefully when i told him how i had lost my shoes and made some remark about karma. (but i'm not earl.) i'm not particularly sad to have lost out on those shoes -- sure, it would have been nice to be able to replace the shoes i've been wearing out over the last six years. but i do remember what a drag the back-to-school sales could be, so i was happy to help speed these folks along.

August 25, 2007

gratuity

found $3 in the dryer. am taking it as my tip.

faith, hope and charlie

in honor of grace paley's death, i reread enormous changes at the last minute last night.

it was different reading it this time. i read it once in grad school, and until last night, i had only read it once since graduation -- even then, it was just a quick read to purge the academia from it. this time i just read, and i liked it even more than i remembered. it's fun taking the english major out of the girl.

August 24, 2007

in one piece

yesterday i had a migraine. had to leave work early because, well, i couldn't see.

cam: mommy's not feeling well.
cam: mommy's head is going to explode.
paul: [sobbing] mommy's going away forever?
cam: oh, no!
cam: her head isn't really going to explode!
me: [thinking] i can't believe you just said that to someone as literal-minded as paul -- plus he's three, for crissakes.

August 23, 2007

but the point is probably moot

discovered this morning (in the elevator, actually) that today is rick springfield's 58th birthday. 58!?! how is that possible?

August 20, 2007

step

when we got home, paul's little ikea plastic step-thing was in front of the kitchen sink. i don't know why.

when i went to wash the dishes post-dinner, i decided to use it instead of putting it away. (it reminded me of the little step we had at my parents' house. my aunt used it when she washed dishes. she's maybe 4'9"? i think i stopped using it when i turned 10.) holy crap. if that's what it's like being six inches taller, i'm glad i'm short. the sink looked so very far away. my back started to hurt.

scrub, scrub, scrub. ache, ache, ache.

then i heard footsteps. i jumped down and kicked the step-thing to the side... but i was too late. cam had already spotted me. he laughed. i felt sheepish.

cam: give little mommy a hug.
paul: little mommy!
me: feh.
me: stop calling me that.
cam: hey, i wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't jumped and kicked the footstool.

little mommy: feh.

August 11, 2007

re-trap

i don't really know why, but i am rather looking forward to the return of "trapped in the closet."

re: infatuation

no, cam, I DON'T HAVE ANYONE IN MIND.

infatuation

this is utterly stupid, but i think i kind of want someone at work to have a crush on me. maybe i've spent too much time on trueofficeconfessions.com where people are always talking about secret crushes. who knew the workplace was such a hotbed of emotion? (oh wait, i did know that.) it might be because i've watched my assistant go through a very high-school-type infatuation.

i know it's hypocritical because i totally panic over the possibility of ulterior motives (you know, like sex) and i tend to get all sad when i think that someone won't just be a friend, goddammit, but today i just like the idea of an innocent little crush. maybe i'm just tired of wasting my sassy wit on gay men, i don't know. i don't need eye candy at work and i don't necessarily want to be anyone's eye candy, but when i'm feeling miserable at work, i'd like to know that someone might be blushing and stammering and looking forward to a two-minute chat with me.

as far as ego boosts go, it's not perfect -- and no, i don't need the approval of men to validate me -- but really, something, anything even remotely smile-inducing at work has got to be worth something.

August 10, 2007

the gift horse, he bites

i got some good news at work yesterday (i'll be getting more help), but i'll be damned if i'm not somewhat disappointed that the request was approved. i actually was looking forward -- in a tiny way, mind you -- to a scene.

August 7, 2007

terrier

on saturday i ceased to be a pekingese.

sure, my hair isn't all that short -- if i slouch, my hair is practically shoulder-length -- but it is a lot shorter than it has been since paul was a wee tot.

paul whined in the car on the way to the hairdresser: "i DON'T want mommy to get a haircut."

paul screamed when he saw the finished product.

paul: i don't like your haircut!
paul: i don't like your haircut! [runs out the door]
me: i'll get him.
me: cam, PAY! [runs out the door]

he was more or less fine with it within ten minutes. i guess it didn't hurt that within that ten-minute span we bought him a pair of spiderman light-up flipflops. (hey, he needed a new pair -- his heels were hanging off the backs of his old ones.)

later than evening, i decided to test his haircut tolerance. putting on my glasses, i observed aloud that if i cut my hair shorter, i'd look like bre pettis.

paul: get another haircut.

suffice it to say that my hair was no longer a sore spot for him.

August 3, 2007

gams

sometimes i feel self-conscious at work because i know i dress kind of blah and boring -- and because my hair is a tangled mess -- but today i decided to feel self-conscious for a totally different reason.

yep, i wore a miniskirt... and then i was cold all day... but at least i was cold and leggy. i don't know too many women under five feet that can say that with a straight face.

i can't, so that's why i'm typing this.

the things women can say with impunity

eyeing my skirt:

i don't think i've ever seen that much leg on you!

August 2, 2007

overly talkative stranger

standing in front of the elevator at target, a heavyset mohawked woman started talking to paul. first she admired his purple crocs.

woman: those are cool.
woman: but do your feet get sweaty?
paul: [silence]
cam: i don't know, i've never worn any.

paul showed her his fading jellyfish tattoo. she admired it, then proceeded to show him hers -- red handcuffs (i think?) on her wrist, then she pulled her shirt open (much to my horror) to display a brightly colored tiger above her right breast. then the doors opened and we got on the elevator.

another woman got on the elevator before the doors closed. mohawk says to her, "we're showing off our tattoos." good god. paul piped up, "mommy has one, too." then he tried to pull up my sleeve, but i was smilingly uncooperative. mohawk laughed. "kids," she said, "they're always saying things they shouldn't."

when we got off the elevator, mohawk went off cheerfully to a motorized scooter cart. cam, paul and i went straight to the railing. cam expressed some disbelief about how, um, open she had been about her chest art.

me: say hi to the girls!
cam: seriously.
paul: hi! [waving]
me: i didn't mean literally.

i was glad we didn't run into her again. god only knows what else she had to show.

August 1, 2007

red and squishy

the things we do for love. i cooked a dairy-free, gluten-free beef stroganoff. it turned out pretty good -- or so i was told -- but i'm not sure it was worth the total disgust i felt while cutting up the raw beef. vileness.

July 29, 2007

size matters

there are few things i like to see more than a child with child-sized furniture -- it is almost as damnably adorable as a pair of 2T boxer briefs.

July 25, 2007

silly tees

i've been meaning to write about this since friday night, but i was kind of either too busy or too drunk or too asleep to do so.

so. on friday night, cam and i went to dinner after work (standard for the every other friday that paul spends with cam's parents). before cam picked me up, i went to the work open bar with my assistant and a few other folks from our floor. cam showed up before i finished my drink, so i downed my g&t and left.

a g&t on an empty stomach. mmm. i was pretty happy before we even left downtown.

we ate at red robin. two beers each. mmm. i could have curled up and gone to sleep.

on our way out, we passed through nordstrom. a girl in a red "usc girls rock" t-shirt walked past us. cam and i squeezed hands (the universal signal for "get a load of that").

me: now, the question is -- did she buy that or did she have it made?
cam: she had to buy that.
cam: if she had it made, it would be in puffy paint.
me: no, it would have been in puffy paint if she had made it herself.

i then went on to describe a shirt i had once owned as a child with the same kind of velvety lettering as on usc girl's shirt. part of the way through the story it hit me that i was drunk-babbling because nobody but my mom (and the friend who gave it to me) should know about this shirt.

cam: you can't start talking about this and not tell me what it said.
me: [sheepishly] on the front, it said "grace..."
me: on the back, "... is cute."
cam: har!
me: [desperately] i didn't buy it!

while we were chatting, i caught a glimpse of an odd sight. i clutched cam's arm. walking in our direction, not too far from us, were two young men. one was dressed in an ordinary shirt, so ordinary i couldn't even tell you what color it was. the other was in a bright blue tee with the cheerful text, "i love hot moms."

as they passed by, cam murmured that he'd tell me a secret.

me: what?
cam: he checked you out.
me: what?
me: who?
cam: i love hot moms.
me: [snort]
cam: i wasn't going to tell you which one, but you had to ask!

i laughed all the way home. god bless alcohol, self-aggrandizing girls and oedipal boys.

July 22, 2007

service

went out to dinner with cam. after the waiter carded us (which, once we hit 30, became a bit of a treat), he looked at my ID, smiled and said i looked younger than that. i giggled like a schoolgirl.

it's a good thing he started out strong, because he messed up my order and then took a little bit too long getting us the bill at the end of the meal. a less smiley waiter would have received a subpar tip at that point, but me, well, i like flattery.

waiter: see you next time.
cam: [mimicking waiter] see you next time.
me: shut up.

seeing the truth on the back of a car

during a smoke break with the bride (how funny that sounds), we laughed somewhat artificially at a bumper sticker-type phrase that came up in a conversation about our identically-aged toddlers: "mommy drinks because you cry."

her: [looking off into the distance] i would insert my name right there.

it was a very cheesy, very bumper-stickery moment. i felt slightly superior. surely that couldn't be me, too.

yet here i am, a week later, just realizing that when we get to eat out sans child, my dinner choices are often based on the booze offerings of our local restaurants. yes, it has been those kinds of days/weeks/months lately. i stand corrected. one day, i will iron that phrase onto a t-shirt and wear it proudly.

hopefully it won't be a maternity shirt, though, or i will get lots of lectures.

July 16, 2007

crying at the discoteque

x: you are a completely different person on the dance floor.
me: that is hardly surprising, considering we're in the office right now.
me: i don't think i know anyone who is exactly the same on the dance floor AND in the office.
x: aww man, erase what i just said.

July 15, 2007

wedded bliss

all started out well at the wedding cam and i attended last night.

we went from cocktail hour in a nice little indoor courtyardesque area with a fountain, a bar and bizarre stretchy black slipcovers turning ordinary bar tables into pillars to a brief yet sweet ceremony in a pretty garden with waterfalls and greenery -- to sped-up 80s hell in a dark ballroom decorated with white lilies, black linens, a dummy kneeling before a guillotine, a headless marie antoinette (foam head looking up, bewildered, from the floor) and a large toile screen depicting the storming of the bastille. (the screen was situated behind the dj table; a smaller version of it graced the front of said table.) it was a little bewildering, to say the least.

plus they had a really painfully bad dj with a michael jackson fixation.

that said, we had fun. i finally met some of cam's newer coworkers, had four strangely weak (yet impressive looking) gin & tonics, danced to new order and smiled at a wobbly-legged ten-month-old daughter of clown/juggler/magician/mime.

considering the bride and groom worked for the same company (which is owned by the bride's brother), i was surprised that it was more of a family party than a company one. i admit it, i was expecting a slightly sunnier version of the company christmas party. there were quite a few kids. one of cam's coworkers asked us why paul wasn't with us. i pictured paul screaming "too loud!" and was glad it hadn't occurred to me that we could bring him.

the bride tried to set up one of cam's coworkers with a friend of hers from the peace corps. we deemed her too sorority. i think she probably deemed him too geek.

we smoked too much and mocked lots of people. cam tried to convince people to watch "burn notice." i liked watching the kids dancing. cam's newly married boss looked really happy. when we left, the dj was spinning "don't stop believin'." it was like the end of sopranos, i think. when you think about my first impression of cam's boss' boss, it was an appropriate ending.

in the lobby, a kid hefted a headless dummy (sans guillotine) and grumbled, "jesus, this is heavy."

cam and i smoked and sang at the top of our lungs ("our volume is controlled by the volume of the radio," he pointed out) all the way home. it was sort of like being young again -- not that we're old, but, well, parenting kind of changes your idea of fun. we were planning to hit an arby's on the way home for potato cakes, but the local one was closed by the time we got there. oh well.

paul was awake when we got home. late naps mean late bedtime, unfortunately. i crashed in his room while trying to get him to go to sleep. thanks to a 2 am tylenol run, i woke up surprisingly hangover-free. good times. i let cam sleep in.

best wishes to the newlyweds and family. our thanks for a good party.

July 12, 2007

admired from afar

my assistant mentioned to me the other day that his brother thinks i'm cute. i've never been anyone's hot boss before. it's kind of amusing.

tuneful spree

just bought a few songs off itunes:

"skin" (alexz johnson/instant star)
"but not for me" (elvis costello)
"best i ever had (grey sky morning)" (vertical horizon)
"slow dancing in a burning room" and "gravity" (john mayer)

yeah, yeah, i AM an adult contemporary station waiting to happen. yes, cam, i know my taste in music (conventional) doesn't exactly float your boat these days... but at least i didn't buy any more of the "high school musical" soundtrack.

July 10, 2007

data's day

sometimes i am a little robot.

a few weeks back, we saw a one-man show about george gershwin. certain songs made me feel a little funny -- like i wanted to cry. i was going to tell cam about it, but the sentence that instantly formed in my head was all but impossible to get out because, well, i started to laugh each time i tried to say it. i even snorted once.

a day or two later, i managed to express myself.

me: some of the gershwin songs made me feel what i believe is the sensation commonly referred to as "chills."
cam: you don't know chills?
cam: [astonished chuckle]
cam: it's like you don't know love.

yesterday i had another one of those moments.

i was talking about crossing jordan and i mentioned that i might have an episode saved because it contains the HUGE bug/lily moment. i started to say something, but then began to laugh helplessly. cam demanded to know what it was i was going to say, but i couldn't say it. i told him i'd tell him later, but i suspect that it would still be very hard to say, "yes, i have permanently saved that particular episode because the ending is marked by the moment when, in common parlance, bug grows a pair."

July 9, 2007

evader

me: [laughing at toddler's attempts to avoid her mother]
me: oh, this is so much fun when it's not mine.
toddler's mother: [gritted teeth] yeah, isn't it?

July 8, 2007

inflamed

on the fourth of july, several bugs in my in-laws' backyard decided that i might be a tasty treat.

today i am crippled by a red, painful and swollen right knee. i don't know what bit me, but man, it got me good. shit.

July 3, 2007

like death and taxes

me: did you hear?
me: my boss is on vacation again.
x: he must be doing something right.
me: no kidding.
x: is his significant other rich?
me: i believe so.
me: once they got together, suddenly he was always going on vacation!
me: i need me a rich boyfriend.
x: well, i'll give you a call when i make a lot of money...

June 29, 2007

freeing up some cash

i got my review and a nice little raise. to reward myself, i paid off the balance of my grad school loan (wasn't much left, just a little over a thou). i'm so practical sometimes it makes me sick.

June 3, 2007

orangey

cam and i went to south coast plaza to try to find a dress for a wedding that we'll be attending next month. while i didn't find THE dress, we did buy an orange short-sleeved cotton dress (with pockets) from h&m. even though it wasn't a petite dress, it still fit quite well.

one day i'll have to wear it to work -- and everyone will die of shock. because. it's. not. black.

June 2, 2007

shockingly quiet

i promised cam i wouldn't work on friday night. since i've been covering for my friend on vacation, i've been working every day and every night, trying to get my work done, his work done, and, for the last three days, my assistant's work done.

i kept my promise with the aid of wine, frozen garlic bread (decadent stuff, that frozen garlic bread), and tivo'd csi: miami and crossing jordan.

but the funny thing is that when i finally checked my email, there wasn't really anything new from last night. the same has been true all day today -- it's eerie. i wish i could enjoy the silence, but i find myself nervously gearing up for a storm.

May 28, 2007

jig

i have said in the past that i like doing jigsaw puzzles because they are a relaxing kind of pastime. but i'm working on one right now and it's pretty far from relaxing -- it's annoying -- so i don't know how longer i'll be feeding myself this particular line of bullshit.

happy memorial day, y'all.

May 11, 2007

99 cents

the best way to get over a song is to buy it. and that is why i now own katharine mcphee's "over it." damn that vapidly catchy song.

April 22, 2007

son of alan

i just can't find robin thicke or his voice sexy. i just can't. and his lyrics, laid bare by the joys of closed captioning, just leave me gawping in astonishment at the tv. oh well. i must be too old.

April 18, 2007

live an entire life in a day

am playing with an alter ego emulator. good god, this certainly brings back memories. the intro text is so familiar. i remember how my brother and i snickered over it.

we loved alter ego when we were kids -- partially because it was interesting and partially because there were naughty bits. okay, mostly because there were naughty bits. we'd play until the disk drive on the commodore 64 would heat up enough to justify turning on a fan and putting a damp towel over the back of the drive, over the vent, i think. (yeah. i know.) we had both the male and female versions because, well, we had to get both.

i've been feeling a little nostalgic for my brother lately, so i decided to look for an emulator. lo and behold, it was so astonishingly easy to find i was kind of sad i hadn't looked before.

when we first started playing, we tried to answer the questions truthfully, but that wasn't always the most fun:

Of course you are. All babies are beautiful. You do not have a very good self-image.

duh, it's us. of course we had image problems. it was more fun to try to be truly an altered ego. to be the jock, the jerk, the opposite. but... of course, it's hard to maintain that level of lie upon lie (so to speak) and we'd inevitably revert to type, dying peacefully with the clearest of clear consciences.

April 17, 2007

place

one of the first things i need to do in order to be happier at work is figure out my place/role/whatever at work and then take three steps back. i suspect i give myself too much credit.

April 14, 2007

rediscovered pleasure

a friend from work recently loaned me a book -- year's best sf 4. it's the 1999 edition of a yearly anthology of published science fiction short stories/novels. he recommended it because of ted chiang's "story of your life."

it's been a long time since i've read sci-fi. i read blogs. i read magazines. i read children's books. when i want to read an adult book, i dive into hercule poirot mysteries and meander through dick francis thrillers. in and out in two hours. no subtlety. no nuance. (if there's any, well, i ignore it for the familiar idiosyncrasies and beloved locales.)

this story was amazing -- i loved it. and many of the stories were entertaining. thanks, my friend. i owe you one.

April 13, 2007

panty raid

did you hear about the story of the geek squad tech who used his phone to tape a girl in the shower? it's like revenge of the nerds. dude, how painfully '80s of you. eeew.

April 11, 2007

counting time by minutes and seconds

um, let me clarify the whole "really long time" thing of the last post:

when was the decision made? a few days ago. but we've been debating the second child issue since the day paul was born -- and, honestly, there's something funny going on timewise because i suddenly feel five years older.

it embarrasses me a little bit that in all the time we've been wavering, people have had multiple children. both cousins with kids paul's age have already added additional little people to their brood. paul was beginning to be -- simultaneously -- too young and too old. i could see myself explaining to strangers one day, "yes, i know he's only ten and therefore a little young for merlot, but he's fluent in four languages and has been seeing a marvelous therapist since he was four." that would be the end of it. paul would wear a little tie and carry a mini tumi briefcase and we'd be a tiny family of workaholics.

but now that cam and i have made the decision to have another child, it's kind of amazing how relieved i am. i finally admitted to cam that as much as i didn't want to say, "i want a baby," i even more so didn't want to say, "that's it, no more babies for us." the idea of it, the finality of it, the enormity of it, was more than i could bear.

April 7, 2007

what's that on your head?

a friend told me about a little story about her year-old daughter.

apparently she had been finding random loose hairs and various bits of carpet lint on her daughter's head. she'd be combing her hair, and next thing you know, there'd be bits of stuff just coming off of her little head. for the life of her, my friend just could not figure out how all of this was getting on her head. she wasn't rolling on the ground or anything like that.

then one day, she caught her in action. examining the floor closely, the baby found a hair. she picked it up with her tiny fingers, looked at it -- and then put it on her head.

i nearly fell over laughing. guess she thought it was her own?

March 28, 2007

vacation day

today i took the day off to spend it with my mother. trip to the cemetery, brunch, shopping. we had a nice time. it was my first day off work since october. imagine that.

March 27, 2007

frivolous tastes

the most decadent -- and rarest -- of snacks would have to be the fresh plain raised doughnut. i know of only one place that will sell these if you catch them before they glaze them all (bob's at farmer's market on third street, mid-wilshire), and oh my god, what a treat. forget fresh krispy kreme originals... these plain doughnuts are divine.

still cringing

i am a ridiculous prude. a coworker told me a story yesterday about "toy porn" (unintentional bump 'n' grind between a tickle me elmo and a talking dog) and i was so embarrassed i was all but speechless. she just told it again to someone who had been out of the office yesterday and i was embarrassed again -- albeit from a distance. eeesh.

March 23, 2007

1998

today is my nine-year anniversary at work. how am i celebrating? i'm so stressed i'm smoking again. lovely.

March 18, 2007

three bags full

today at expo cam startled me greatly by expressing a fondness for angela adams' kenga wool rug. i had never pointed this rug out before because i thought cam wouldn't like it.

apparently you don't know me very well," he said, laughing.

the salesman started the hard sell right away. we asked if they carried it in a smaller size -- and they didn't, so he tried to explain to us that the larger size was really what we wanted, and trust him, he knew what he was talking about. there are few things i like less in this world than salespeople who say that. i find it insulting. good lord, is it so hard to fathom that i might have a notion of how i'd like to spend my money? he then went on and on about sales prices and expo credit cards. cam said that while he wouldn't advocate the purchase, he also wouldn't fight if i really wanted to buy it.

by the time we left the store, i was all fuffled. sure, i loved the rug, but at what price? i had just found THE rug just a few days ago, and here i was, potentially spending three times as much on a different one?

me: i'm just not very good at the expensive impulse buy.
cam: that's a good thing!

eventually i decided against buying the rug that day -- which is cool because i found out that everyone and their grandmother sells that rug cheaper than expo. maybe their final prices won't be as cheap as expo's sale price, but it's totally worth it to me to not feel railroaded.

March 15, 2007

sun

i still see daylight when i get home from work. imagine that. the novelty has not yet worn off.

March 10, 2007

tubular

i look ridiculous smoking a cigar.

March 9, 2007

on the line

between mr. rogers and "how it's made," factory work looks positively seductive.

cam: this is kind of fascinating.
me: i think "mesmerizing" is the right word.

March 7, 2007

aces

many years ago cam and i stayed at the ace hotel in seattle for a few days. it was neat and different, but ultimately too hip for us. whenever we wanted to say that something was too... self-consciously hip or too modern, we'd derisively label it as being too ace hotel.

well. styles change and i am not the same z-gallerie-by-way-of-pottery-barn loving girl i was back then. i've been trying to scope out a new chair for the living room, so i found one (which i had seen many times and had only recently begun to like) and hopped over to flickr to see if i could find a real person sitting in one to get a sense of scale. cam laughed when i sent him a picture of an eames rar rocker... at the ace hotel. i cringe at myself.

March 6, 2007

how to deal

life at work and home has been making me cry lately. coworkers have been mean (and/or stupid), a neverending stream of extracurricular work has been landing on my already bowed shoulders, everyone has been sick, paul has been clingy and heartless by turns...

so how do i compensate? by thinking about all the things i can do to my living room. have already designed a ceiling lamp, am picking a rug and thinking quite hard about window treatments. it doesn't really work as a coping method, but at least it's a distraction.

March 5, 2007

biding my time

i think it's safe to say that this past weekend ranks fairly high up there on the suckiest weekends of all time list. i simply could not wait to get back to work.

February 28, 2007

making myself a cup of coffee right now

when paul is sick, the needy levels go off the charts. combine that with work issues that refuse to go away for even a moment -- and you have one very tired me.

work-work vs. home-work

it's the middle of the night and i'm feeling strangely awake, considering the fact i've been sleeping so poorly lately. i just finished reviewing a set of specs, and am about to start working on an update/revision to a manual i wrote about two years ago.

tuesday was beyond crappy. i was stressing over a variety of projects -- i was still fighting tears for the first half of the trip home -- and i was unsympathetic to cam because i was too busy being frustrated by work issues and people. paul is sick, so cam stayed home with him yesterday and managed to accomplish about half an hour or so of work during the day. (i believe they watched many, many episodes of mythbusters.) it's my turn now to stay home and watch him, but i'm going to try really hard to get some work done. because i fear that paul won't let me, i'm working a bit tonight.

i initially felt guilty about not staying home with paul the first day of his fever, but there wasn't any point to both of us staying home. besides, i was up with paul for much of the night before, so i needed the rest that only leaving home can give me. but then work turned out to be nothing but ass...

i should probably stop procrastinating and get back to work, but i'll be damned if i don't just feel like turning off the computer and curling up next to my poor sick little boy.

February 27, 2007

make

there is something oddly appealing about bre pettis.

February 26, 2007

enough with the witticisms

maybe i'm just mean, but why is it that so many people who think they're being ironic or intelligently funny really just come across as stupid? (yes, i am including myself in that.) gah.

February 25, 2007

ninety

today we went to my aunt's house in moreno valley to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. what a brave little woman she is. she bucked her family to marry the man she wanted to marry. she bucked her husband to send her daughters to school. she came to the states already a senior citizen. she's helped to raise almost all of her u.s.-born grandkids. but the rigors of age are kind of shocking. she's so tiny now, so feeble. i have a picture of her at my high school graduation and we're almost the same height. now, less than 14 years later, she's barely at my shoulder and stooped now, too boot.

is that the reward for sticking it out -- having to give in to the weakness and frailty of the human body? doesn't seem fair?

February 24, 2007

starts and stops

just got back from a night out -- dinner at earth, wind & flour (bad name, but yummy spinach salad) and "speed-the-plow" at the geffen. dinner was very nice. the play, meh. i know it's supposed to be satirical and snappy, but i was unmoved. too much yelling. far too much. theater is supposed to be yelly, sure, but this was ridiculous. still, though, we had a nice evening.

we almost didn't go. my mom was going to watch paul, but when we came home from work yesterday, she looked and sounded like crap. (and this is after she had a super-abbreviated week -- she was too sick to watch him on tuesday -- poor mom.) cam called his mom and sister (his dad wasn't going to be home) and offered them the tickets. his sister wasn't interested, so his mom was going to see if a friend would want to go with her. we ended that night thinking we weren't going to go.

the next day, we learned that his mom's friend couldn't make it. hm. cam's mom agreed to watch paul, and so we were back on. we made better time than we expected, so we were able to eat at a restaurant. yay! (don't laugh, we've had at least one last-minute meal via the in'n'out drive-thru before. how romantic.) we used to eat at earth, wind & flour fairly often, but we haven't been there in years so it was cool to go there again. (we had actually been contemplating another restaurant, but... it partially didn't sound appealing to me because i couldn't remember the name of it!) it looked exactly the same except for the very large tvs mounted on the walls. but interestingly enough, it seemed to me like no one was watching them. they were just sort of there.

after the play -- we practically ran out once the lights went back on; for once we didn't have to wait in line to get out of the parking garage -- we stopped at ralphs for milk (we were out) and then cam dropped me off at home on his way to pick up paul.

i really do enjoy these evenings out with cam. i was pretty damned grumpy when i thought we weren't going. then once we were actually heading to westwood, i was feeling rather grumpy because i thought cam didn't want to go -- but he cleared that up and we bought doughnuts to eat on the way. life is always shinier and happier with doughnuts.

February 22, 2007

joyless convenience

a few weeks back cam started pushing the google reader on me. i resisted, but eventually gave in because i read too many blogs to visit daily -- because, you know, i have a job.

except for the blogs with lame feeds, this is working out nicely. the ability to share entries with cam does add a nice touch. and the reader really makes it so obvious which blogs update all the freaking time. the ones that hardly ever update (joel, do you hear me?), well, maybe i should drop them from my list... (kidding, joel)

however, with even with all of the fancy-schmancy new conveniences, it is hard to deny that it kind of takes some of the color out of the daily blogreading experience. this is going to sound stupid (especially considering that lots and lots and lots of people happily use feeds to keep tabs on just about everything), but i feel like a peeping tom. no more sense of community (not that i'm a comment-leaver, anyway). it's kind of like listening to a broadcast of a concert on the radio. you're probably hearing more than you would if you were there, but it's just not quite as fun.

February 16, 2007

times three

i think there are few things funnier than the concept of the "triple threat." if you market yourself as such, then quite possibly you aren't really good at anything. specializing in one thing and doing it really really well is hardly something to sneer at.

unassisted

my assistant is on vacation. when he returns, i think he will initially be frightened because i have cleaned his desk. i couldn't help it. i was looking for stuff.

Cameron: har. is his desk messy?
me: yep
it doesn't help, though, that i am a frustrated professional organizer
i have levels of AR that have not yet begun to be tapped
Cameron: for your sake, i am sorry that you are married to me

he will also be alarmed by the files, which i have rearranged and relabeled for the sake of uniformity.

a friend and i discussed decorating his cubicle while he's gone. cam thinks i should put up pictures of other people and generally make it look like we hired a replacement in his absence. i might do that if i have time, but i suspect it might take me the whole time to get things straightened out the way i like them.

February 14, 2007

per our conversation

joel -- i said i would do this. poke, poke. START WRITING AGAIN ALREADY.

red

today is "go red for women day," sponsored by the american heart association. at my work, we're permitted to wear a red shirt/sweater/etc. etc. with jeans in exchange for a $5 donation.

in my jeans, blue shoes, red sweater (it's a reversible red/navy thing -- surely you don't think i'd own anything just red, do you?) and red/white/blue colts hat, i look like a cast member of america sings! amusingly enough, my friend looks the same way (sans hat, of course, although she did tell me it was very cute).

x: we're all gonna look like clones.

from what i could see, most of IT was just not doing the jeans thing, so we didn't have to worry about looking like them. i think maybe i saw two guys in red shirts and jeans. one of them was an asian guy that just a few weeks ago told someone in my department to shut up. for that reason alone i feel quite warmly towards him, so i was pleased to see that he had followed directions. my assistant wasn't wearing a red shirt, but it was because he -- or so he claimed -- had just discovered that he no longer fit into the one he was planning to wear.

i'm feeling rather ambivalent about the clothes i chose to wear. for one thing, the sweater is too high-necked. the shoes make my feet look like they belong to a stuffed animal. the jeans are too close-fitting. i wear baggy, drapey clothes. i was sort of ashamed to walk around because i felt like people were all, "damn, didn't know she was a pear." it was distracting. yet -- i was physically comfortable. does that make any sense at all?

although it was a nice change of pace, i'll be glad to be back in my normal attire tomorrow. there's something so very like anarchy in wearing jeans in the middle of the week. i need things to revert to normal so i can concentrate on regular things, like work.

February 13, 2007

dispensing with a smile

several years ago cam and i pared down our bath routines by putting up one of those shampoo dispensers in the shower. our first model held two bottles, one for shampoo, one for conditioner. no longer did i have six barely touched bottles of conditioner cluttering up my shower. sure, whatever i used had to be fairly unisex, but that wasn't a big deal. it was lovely, convenient, and for once i didn't have to look at the bottle of dandruff shampoo. from that moment on i knew that i always wanted to have a dispenser in the shower. variety be damned -- here we had the beauty of simplicity.

when we moved to this house, we upgraded to a three-chamber dispenser with side compartments and a clock. serviceable but ugly. a few months back, i noticed that the conditioner pump wasn't really working. i shook it, re-primed the pump and watered down the goop to something slightly less goopy, but nothing worked. add more water, cam advised. the stuff was soon the consistency of cetaphil, but still nothing. every time i wanted to use conditioner, i'd first waste precious showering moments trying to get the pump to work, then i'd pry the bottle out of the dispenser, remove the top and pour some into my hand. one day it slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor of the tub. much to my dismay, the bottle was cracked right at the pump. not knowing what else to do, i left it propped across the faucet handles. i'd figure something out, i told myself.

weeks passed and the bottle was still there. i had half-heartedly searched for a replacement bottle, but found nothing. it occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to replace the whole thing if i could find one i liked better. look at it this way -- when i bought the current one, i had only bed, bath and beyond in front of me. now, as an experienced internet shopper par excellence, i figured that surely there had to be something even beyond that. well. did you know that very few companies make these dispensers? by very few, i think i mean one. after a while, i gave in and ordered some replacement bottles from that one company. i had originally planned to just get one until i realized that the flat-rate shipping was more expensive than the bottle itself. i bought three.

while transferring the syrupy dregs from the cracked bottle to its replacement, i found a tiny blue ball mucking about in the bottom. it looked familiar, like it had been mucking about for quite a while. in fact, i recalled seeing it once the pump stopped working. i soon came to realize that it was a part of the pump mechanism, and that if the ball escaped from the pump, it would no longer work -- which meant that all that watering down of my conditioner and all that shaking that goddamned thing was entirely for naught. well, shit. once the pump stopped working, i should have been thinking about replacing the stupid bottle.

it's funny how otherwise-workwise-logical people can be so dumb about household goods. jesu cristo. how could i be defeated by a shampoo dispenser?

February 9, 2007

job security

at work we have these cool copy machines that can also make pdfs (ooh, magic) and then email them to designated recipients. going one step further, you can even make a cover sheet that will tidy up the process. for instance, rather than having the email come from some random-sounding workstation email address, you can set it up to have the email come from a specific person. (you know, like yourself.) you can also use the cover sheet to set up a distribution list, a subject line for your email or a title for your pdf. it's really neat. you can even make your cover sheet single or multiple use.

i have a multiple-use cover sheet that i use regularly. it's very basic. emails come from me to me. yesterday i sent something to myself, but when it didn't show up within 15 minutes, i was baffled. mid-day it can take over an hour sometimes, but at 7 am, the email is usually in my inbox before i even get back from the copier. irritated, i went back and scanned in the document again. 15 minutes later, i still didn't have it. i went back to the copier and just typed in my email address. by the time i got back to my desk, the email from the random workstation was there. i just shrugged.

later that day, i happened to check my junk mail folder -- and there were those two emails from me. so! i'm a junk-mail sender! that's what my firm thinks of me? i expect my pink slip on monday.

February 7, 2007

homebody

worked from home today. i couldn't do this all the time because it isn't really all that fair to my assistant, but it's a nice once-in-a-while treat. didn't hurt that cam was here, too, and so we got to hang out a little. lunch should always be pizza and csi: miami reruns.

i may not have finished reviewing some documents i brought home, but hey, i cleaned my closet and did some laundry. now -- isn't that what working from home is all about?

February 6, 2007

this is really dumb, but

a few months back, the building managers/owners/whatnot installed little screens in all of the elevators (okay, well, probably not the freight ones). these little screens are tapped into the captivate network. every single time i get into an elevator, i think one of two things:

"mesmerize" would work just as well as "captivate"
or
ha ha, we're a "captive" audience

now that i've admitted this, maybe now i can get past the cheesy jokes and just revel in the pleasure of being hand-delivered trivia and advertising while on the go. there's a reason why i don't take the express elevators.

February 3, 2007

under a rock

where the hell have i been where MY MOTHER has to tell me that crowded house is re-forming and touring? what kind of a fan am i? and oh my god, coachella? i can't bring paul to that.

neil, i apologize to your shrine on my living room wall. clearly it needs dusting.

partial retraction

my cap came today, just in time for the game tomorrow. i'm happy, but... you know, the game was 1/21. cam would have paid for expedited shipping if nflshop had even offered it.

February 2, 2007

juggling

on my way to bring the laundry down to the basement, i picked up cam's copy of the new penny arcade book. there i stood, in the kitchen, for 15 minutes, more than long enough for a cd to be added to my itunes library (indeed, long enough for five cds). dammit. so i went back to my laptop, put in another cd and started to write about being not making it to the basement before the first cd was done. while looking for the book (which as of 2/2 is not yet on thinkgeek), another cd finished recording. i'm so useless. i'm going to finish this entry -- very meta -- and put in another cd, then i'm going to go back to the kitchen to pick up my laundry and bring it down to the basement. this time i will avert my eyes from that infernal book. damn you, gabe and tycho, for this odd sequence of events. i just want to be a housewife, for god's sake.

January 31, 2007

feeding my obsessions

my sister-in-law gave me a pillow with a five-legged octopus (pentapus?) for christmas. she gave me a similarly marine life'd t-shirt for my birthday.

i love her.

luddite no longer

so. i never wanted an ipod, but cam wore me down.

stage one: hell no.
stage two: um, i wouldn't throw it away.
stage three: okay, when you get a new one, i'll take your old one.
stage four: fine, buy me one for my birthday.

and now i have one, complete with a fancy shmancy tokidoki iskin. ugh. do you know how hard i avoided all things frivolously prefixed by the letter i? i feel like a traitor to my very soul.

that said, the clothed ipod is ridiculously cute (cam bought me "milky time"), and itunes -- as a storage facility -- is pretty useful. i don't plan to record all my cds to my computer and then just junk all the cds because i do love the tangibleness of a cd, nor do i plan to start buying music off itunes, so i guess i'm still a big stuck-in-the-past wuss, but i'm taking baby steps. even the most stubborn can change. paul won't need to be ashamed of me.

January 27, 2007

orient express

just finished "agatha christie: murder on the orient express," a game based on the novel of the same name (sans the author name, obviously). cam gave it to me for christmas. i started it yesterday. being sick has meant that i don't look like a lazy bastard sitting in one place for a prolonged amount of time.

i have two things to say about the game:

1) the LIBERTIES taken with the story! good lord.

2) thank god for online assistance/walkthroughs. i felt like a putz resorting to such things, but after telling cam about some of the weird shit you have to do in the game, he remarked rather sourly that "poirot wasn't macgyver." true dat.

January 24, 2007

careless of me

today someone asked me about paul. (what a shock. i get questions about paul every day. sometimes many times a day. in all sorts of inappropriate settings, like in meetings. or in bathrooms.)

so i tossed out my usual answer: he's great, thanks for asking -- although let me tell you, the terrible twos were nothing at all compared to the terrible threes!

somehow i managed to forget that such a comment might make a fellow parent-of-toddler nervous. oops. sorry about that!

January 23, 2007

pursepak

the coin-op tampon machine in the bathroom at work is a thing of beauty. it's not a particularly attractive bit of metal, but the very existence of it means that i don't have to walk past the IT cubicles with sanitary supplies clutched in hand/hiding in my sleeve.

i tend to not wear pockets, and the very idea of wearing clothes with pockets one week a month is a little ludicrous. although i'm pretty sure no one here would put two and two together, i am always reminded of the ex-boyfriend in high school who mockingly pointed out how he could always tell who was having that kind of week simply by observing which females were suddenly carrying purses. who else notices that kind of stuff? you never know. the peace of mind is totally worth the spare change i feed the machine.

dream street

can you hear the music playing?
can you feel the rhythm swaying?
this is the sound of dreams come true
and i can promise you that
you are the one and only
and i'm the lost and lonely
we are the perfect dream come true
and i can promise you that
i hear a silly love song in my heart

it happens every time when I see you
it happens every time when I think of you
it happens every time
oh it's magic when we meet
baby down on dream street

i can't believe i have this song on my playlist. good lord. damn those catchy kids and my former radio disney addiction.

January 22, 2007

gone tomorrow, part II

this morning my mom watched me as i got ready for work.

my mom: did you cut your hair?
me: [slow pivot and hard glare]
me: [thinking] FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, I JUST CUT OFF OVER A FOOT OF HAIR ABOUT A WEEK AGO.
my mom: [backtracking] i just thought it was longer than that.
me: oh no, this is how it's been.
my mom: oh, okay. [slinking away]

out-of-office

got an email from a coworker:
not feeling up to par today, but expect to be in tomorrow.

knowing him, i wrote back:
too much football (yay colts!), too much beer? :)

his response:
what a game.

perhaps my company needs to add a new category to our benefits: hangover time.

January 21, 2007

greeting card replacement

a few days before cam's birthday a letter arrived from a honda dealer. thinking it might be important, i tucked it into my purse to open/process at work the next morning. much to my utter astonishment, it was a note from the salesman who had asked me to type for him:

dear cameron,
!!! happy birthday !!!
happy birthday to you!..
happy, happy birthday to you!..
happy, happy birthday to cameron!..
happy birthday to youuuuuu!!!!!

i immediately scanned it in and emailed it to cam, whose reaction was less than kind.

cam: wtf?

on friday another copy showed up, identical except for the fact that it was addressed to me instead of cam. it's a nice gesture -- i mean, i don't think he could have the dealer receptionist do this kind of stuff -- but it's just so... nutty. much more nutty than the fact that cam's audi salesman sent over an unsigned photo christmas card of himself standing in front of the dealership.

unfestive

christmas stuff officially came down last weekend. i had already removed the decorations the week before that (during the colts-chiefs game), but cam didn't pull down the tree for a week. while cam was taking apart the tree, i took the christmas cards off the wall (which i should have done earlier, but i wanted to make sure i got a picture of my display before i dismantled it). the living room is just about back to normal.

when i started removing ornaments from the tree, paul was miffed, but it was time. (i had wanted to take the tree down before new year's day, but he had requested an extension.) as soon as i lifted one shiny blue ball off a branch, paul was standing in front of me.

paul: no!
paul: don't do that.
paul: we can leave it up all decorated.
paul: soon it will be christmas again!
me: so, what you're saying is that we should leave everything the way it is all year long so that when it's christmas again we'll be ready?
paul: yes.
me: um, NO.
cam: [laughter]
paul: [walks away in defeat]

i'm all for shortcuts and economy of motion, but jesu cristo, ignoring the post-holiday clean-up for the sake of saving some time in december is just not an option that appeals to me.

mid-seventies II

happy birthday to me.

courtesy of cam, i now own the tenth anniversary cd/dvd set of crowded house's farewell concert and a shiny new ipod nano. he is the sweetest.

January 17, 2007

exhaustive study

there are a bunch of IT guys outside my office discussing tech (but not IT) stuff. i'm not really paying much attention to what they are saying but their pedantic tones are leading me to think one thing: how wonderful it must be to KNOW EVERYTHING. god. get a room.

January 16, 2007

mild exercise

bought an exercise bike (schwinn 213 recumbent). it's great -- quiet and easy to use. i was going to use some of my bonus money to buy an expensive bag, but i decided to spend less than half of a purse price to become a new year's cliche instead.

i've been feeling really unhealthy lately, so i'm hoping that this purchase will motivate me to actually do something about that not-so-lovely feeling. if it doesn't, then maybe it will motivate me to hurry up and build that freestanding screen i've been meaning to build in order to hide the exercise equipment clutter in my living room. we'll just have to wait and see which impulse wins: health or guilt?

hairy

reactions to my hair have been positive. cam likes it. my mother has been noncommittal. the two people at work who noticed thought it was cute. it's definitely a lot easier to deal with the shorter hair. paul didn't like it at first, amusingly enough.

cam: look at mommy's hair.
cam: don't you want to look at mommy's cute short hair?
paul: no.
paul: [sniffly] i don't want to look.

i don't miss my hair, really, not that much. i don't miss getting my hair caught under my handbag strap in the crook of my elbow or my forearm. i don't miss paul pulling my hair for fun, but i do miss paul grabbing handfuls of my hair for the sole purpose of putting it on his head.

paul: share hair.
paul: i'm sharing your hair, mommy.

January 14, 2007

gone tomorrow

i have shoulder-length hair now, and i'm not entirely thrilled with it. should have gone shorter. maybe it'll be okay once my hair gets over the shock of a haircut, but for now it's entirely too bouncy for my taste.

January 13, 2007

panic and fear and nerves, oh my

during last week's colts game, i suddenly remembered why i've given up on football this year (and last year, pretty much) -- it's nerve-wracking. cam laughed.

hair today

am getting a haircut this weekend. shoulder-lengthish, i guess. i've asked cam to take a picture of my hair (after i comb it) tomorrow because i may never have my hair this long again. that's kind of a weird thought, isn't it?

January 12, 2007

sparky

am having the worst issues with static electricity ever. my hair is flying, my clothes are sticking... i wish static guard didn't smell so strong. phew.

January 4, 2007

cryptkeeper

i tracked down an old email for a friend/co-worker. he was pleased.

You? Are amazing. Like a pack rat, but in the best way possible. Thanks.

sweetie, it's called "personal archives." look into it.

January 3, 2007

falling prey to an amusing gimmick

am sending away for two free issues of dwell magazine. am not fond of dwell, but... they sent me a sheet of address labels, which so charmed me i decided to give them another shot.

January 1, 2007

the hills

cam's sister recently showed paul part of "the sound of music" (the lonely goatherd song). then she accidentally deleted her tivo'd copy. we happened to be near best buy yesterday, so we picked up the dvd.

paul really likes it, but i don't think he could watch it from beginning to end at this point. cam has never actually seen the movie before, but he was surprised to see how many songs he knew.

cam: i knew it was rodgers and hammerstein...
me: um, yeah, because that's something all guys know.

it's such a charming movie. i have a soft spot for the goatherder song because of an aphio talent show back in college, so it's kind of sweet to have that memory brought back to me.

living greener

cam and i have really been working on our recycling efforts. in the last few months, we have probably doubled or tripled our recycling and have reduced our trash output accordingly. it's kind of funny -- we used to semi-indulgently roll our eyes (collective eyes, yes) whenever we'd discover my mom had stealthily removed items from our trash in order to recycle them. now she's the one amused by our diligence in rinsing out containers and bottles.

for me, part of the change in routine came about when paul got a tonka recycling truck. it came with a dvd about garbage trucks and recycling. the landfill part was so depressing. i've watched it a few times since, but i've never felt comfortable about it -- so here we are, earnestly separating our trash from our recyclables and occasionally feeling a sense of bemusement about how we have changed.

December 30, 2006

been hearing them a lot recently

i know it's not particularly cool, but i do like hootie & the blowfish.

teppanyaki

went to lunch at tokyo wako in long beach today for a belated birthday lunch (cam's dad and uncle). usually the birthday lunches (and father's day lunches) are held at benihana in torrance because cam's dad loves the place. i haven't been to one since paul was born because, well, it's a little too dangerous for a toddler and the chance for cross-contamination is just far too great. this time we just decided to brave it because cam was able to confirm that there would be something for paul to eat, even though this, too, was a teppan steak house.

before lunch we stopped by the aquarium of the pacific (me: look, it's the aquarium of the atlantic!) because it was in the same area as the restaurant. paul seemed to enjoy the short visit, even though it was really crowded.

me: i think it was so packed with little kids because they were all too young to want to go somewhere fun like an amusement park.
me: did you notice how there weren't any bigger kids there?

paul didn't care for the little movie/documentary thing they started playing at about a quarter to twelve, but that was good timing because it was time for us to head over to the restaurant.

paul: i want to go someplace quiet.

lunch went pretty well. we had a private room and the table area was quite roomy. paul, unfortunately, decided at the first blast of fire that THIS WAS A VERY BAD PLACE and i spent the first half of my time there walking around with him in my arms.

paul: i want to go someplace where i won't be so warm.

we ended up at the restrooms.
me: this [pointing] is the women's restroom.
me: that [pointing] is the men's restroom.
paul: [pointing at the standard "men" sign] what does this say?
me: spell it.
paul: m-e-n
me: what does that say?
paul: men's restrooms.
me: not quite, but good try.

i swung him over in front of a private room.
me: look!
me: wrong room!

then i brought him back to our room.
me: look!
me: right room!
paul: let's do that again.
paul: let's go to the restrooms, the wrong room and the right room.
me: i knew i shouldn't have started this.

we had to go through the routine three more times.

after lunch, we walked around a little and looked at pirate ships. i think one of them might have been from a pirates of the caribbean movie. we played some running around games with paul on the scary, scary lacking-railings pier (cam: it's funny how we're so obviously afraid to let him even ten feet out of our reach), then, at his behest, took the free bus back to the aquarium parking structure.

cam dropped my mom and myself off at home, grabbed guitar hero 2 (and guitar) and took paul to his grandparents' house. my mom and i went shopping.

it was a nice way to spend a day, i think. lowkey.

wraps

the other day cam and i went to the target near my old house. it's been a while since we've been there. they haven't been restocking much because they're going to be closing in january for remodeling.

i needed some press 'n' seal (love that stuff, even if you have to scrub plates, etc. kind of hard to be sure you get the adhesive off), so i went looked at their sadly depleted shelves and could only find the freezer kind. Not ideal, but at least it was something. cam rooted around a bit and found a holiday two-pack of freezer and regular. according to the tag on the shelf, it was on sale for $8.99, a dollar off the regular price. thinking perhaps that the holiday boxes contained more wrap, cam checked the amounts only to find they didn't hold any more than the plain freezer wrap (which was only $2+).

cam: that can't be right.

he took the holiday wrap over to the price-checker. he came back smiling. it was only $2.50.

cam: you want more?

i took two. yay for a bargain, and yay for festive plastic wrap!

color coordinating

am wondering if i could find nice matching cases for my blackberry and my palm. cam finds this hilarious.

vino

stemless wine glasses are so cool.

December 25, 2006

like most cliches, all too true

the most parent-irritating gifts for children always come from people without children.

December 22, 2006

enough already

it's 2 pm the friday before christmas. it's really empty around here and i suspect all of the east coast offices closed hours ago. yet i still have work. quit it, people.

December 19, 2006

tiny nutty lies

i have a bad habit of not speaking up when people so generously give me nuts. i just can't say, "oh, thanks, you're so nice, but i can't eat that."

instead, i say, "oh, thanks, you're so nice."

friends and family who know of my allergy are aghast. "tell her!" they cry, a greek chorus singing warily of my impending death. the problem is that i probably have, at least once. if the message is not received, well, i'm not going to rebroadcast at the point when they have boxes of nutty goodness in their hands and friendly smiles on their faces. and if they're just eating it and not pushing me to have some, well, what can i say? "please stop eating that in front of me. i demand you lysol this entire cubicle to get rid of the scent."

just yesterday a friend told me i couldn't eat what she was going to bake. fine, i thought, pleased that she thought about this in advance.

me: well, as long as it doesn't have nuts...
her: coconut is a nut, right?
me: um, i can eat coconut.
her: really?

this same friend, amusingly enough, was crunching handfuls of a nutty trail mix while talking to me a bit later. she knows that just the smell can ruin an entire day for me, but she forgot. selective. (i guess based on our conversation, peanuts aren't nuts, they're peas.) i just held my breath and hoped she wasn't offended by my silence.

one of the most egregious nut-givers is one of the nicest ladies i know. i did tell her about my allergies (and paul's allergies), and she made sympathetic noises -- but then proceeded to give me snacks with nuts almost every day for a year. i just took them graciously, then wrapped them in ziplocs for my mom. (lucky her, she is not cursed with the same health issue.)

at this time of year, i expect to be offered nuts left and right. here's a peanut butter lollipop for all your help! here, taste this pecan pie i made just for you. next year maybe i'll put epinephrine on my xmas wishlist.

December 15, 2006

squares

been meaning to say for ages now that john mayer has got some seriously sexy music these days. i tivo'd a free concert out of curiosity a few weeks back and it was really interesting. "slow dancing in a burning room" is slinky and my-pants-are-coming-off-and-i-can't-stop-them sexy. whew.

December 14, 2006

zzz

i am working from home for the next two days. today paul is with me. (cam drove in -- his holiday party is tonight, right by his office.) tomorrow he will chill with grandpa while cam and i work.

i suspect that today won't be easy. paul is asleep, but he has woken up several times already. he went to bed around 11, woke up crying in his own bed at 1:30, came over to my bed, woke up screaming at 4, was carried back to his bed so that cam could get some sleep, fell asleep again, woke up at 6:45, was carried back to my bed, woke up at 7:45 and demanded to be carried, and now is asleep next to me on the couch. i am so tired.

paul: [crying] want mommy and daddy.
me: [already lying down next to him] but i AM mommy.
paul: [incredulous sideways look]
paul: [goes back to sleep]

i wonder what would happen if i took a little nap?

December 13, 2006

showy ergonomics

at work i got a new aeron chair, size a. i love it. i would smuggle it home in my purse if it would fit. my firm extended their discount pricing to anyone who wanted to order their own chair for personal use, but i was too shy and too afraid of anyone in my department seeing that i was willing to blow that much on an office chair.

December 12, 2006

grooming habits

just a few minutes ago i was in the restroom, following my usual morning routine of looking for silvery strands. a co-worker walked in and looked at me looking at the reflection of me plucking through my hair.

her: fleas?
me: nope, gray hair.
her: sucks.
me: yeah.

December 10, 2006

cool vibes and strong drinks

my work holiday party this year was the best ever.

i don't know how it is for most firms (cam's parties are the only ones i've attended, minus my dad's work holiday parties and his were very similar to mine), but my parties have generally been located in hotel ballrooms. the whole time you're there, you're very conscious of the fact that you are at a work holiday party. this one was at a club, so it was more like just being at a club with surprise! most of your coworkers.

the food was meh -- the buffet lines were poorly thought out, so it was kind of complicated just getting to eat. at least the bars were plentiful and well-stocked (for what i wanted, anyway). the way some people were behaving, it looks like they had skipped the buffet all together. can't say that i blame them. i had some pasta (which was tasty) and salad, which would have been good if it weren't for the final bite. i was eating as fast as i could because food was secondary that night, but the last bite of salad made me stop dead because i suddenly identified a nut-like thing (think it was a walnut) in my mouth. i didn't actually bite into it, though, and i think that's what saved my evening. cam ran and got me some sugar, so the sugar high combined with the g&ts gave me a slightly manic buzz which lasted the whole evening.

we got stuck in the elevator with a crowd of annoying people who wanted to talk about being stuck in the elevator. thank goodness the staff rescued us before too long.

once we hit the dance floor, we never left it except for brief air breaks. we danced and sang along with the headlining act, the former frontman of a famous '80s band. i flirted with the guitar player and a female backup singer. cam stole a tambourine off the stage. my boss was standing on the dance floor, watching the show (and his boyfriend dancing). we made eye contact and i somewhat sheepishly waved. my assistant and his wife showed up and we danced with them. a cover band took over and we danced some more with other members of my department -- including one woman who stuck her straw into my drink to see what i was drinking. if i had had more sense, i would have told her to keep my drink.

when we got home, paul had just woken up, upset. i sat on the couch with him to watch blue's clues, but when cam came back inside after putting the car in the garage, i passed paul off so i could pass out. i wanted to stay up with him, but all the drinking caught up with me and i felt like if i didn't lie down, i was going to throw up all over the child. all future parenting awards would have been revoked.

it was an excellent party. i fear i embarrassed myself, but i guess i won't know until i get to work tomorrow.

December 8, 2006

cosmetics counter

got my clothes ready for the party tomorrow and i'm not too jazzed about them -- i kind of wanted something new (embarrassing disclosure, that). i'll be wearing dark jeans, a black silk crepe tank, black leather wedge sandals and a black vintage kimono jacket-type thing with handpainted flowers on the back.

to contrast with what i fear will be drabness, i am going to whore myself up with makeup. i am going to wear so much liner that my eyelids will droop from the weight. i will heed the clown rule (don't emphasize eyes AND mouth), but i will break many others. i will have shiny neutral lips and my skintone will be even for the first time in years. can't wait.

tenderfoot

bought my mom two pairs of shoes -- she picked them, but i paid for them. the woman had the oddest (to me, anyway) request: they had to be really soft, fairly flat, open-toed and closed-heel. huh? i spent quite a bit of time looking, but ended up ordering them from a place that persists in sending me catalogs even though i am absolutely certain i have never ordered from them before. they seem to cater to people with foot/health problems, so i guess it was perfectly natural that we ended up there -- who else is going to have shoes comfy enough for my poor mom's tender diabetic feet?

my mother has always had fussy feet. when i was a kid she liked a certain brand of shoes we could only buy in select places... like san francisco. once we took a vacation up north just because she needed shoes. she bought four pairs. damn straight she bought four pairs -- you don't drag a spouse and two kids 400 miles for single pair of ugly shoes. maybe now they have improved in appearance, but back then they looked like nurse shoes (hopefully no nurses are reading this -- i don't mean to insult your appearance).

a few years back we discovered nike air prestos. high on my list of personal regrets is that i didn't buy 50 pairs back when they still made them (we only bought six pairs. two for me, two for my mom, two for cam). i missed it when nike temporarily revived the line. i didn't even realize it wasn't going to be around forever, so when i happened to check and saw them for sale, i thought, "piffle, i don't need any right now, i'll come back later." stupid me. my black pair is long gone, but i still have my navy blue pair with "swoo" on the side. even though they have a hole in them, i will keep them forever. my mom loved these -- they were so comfortable and so lightweight. she was very funny about her two pairs: one was for regular use, the other was for dressier occasions. obviously she kept the second pair very, very clean.

even though she loved the nikes, she did feel rather hesitant about the price. this made little sense to me. really, they were a bargain -- vacation expenses for a family of four easily top the price of even six pairs of shoes. she wearily hunted through her favorite stores for shoes that looked like her beloved air prestos, but never found any nearly comfortable enough. before she was a total freak about arch support. now she just wants softness.

my mother-in-law's best friend fairly recently tuned my mom into some five-toed japanese socks that she now swears by. they look kind of silly and are a pain to put on, but they make her feel better. she's keeping her source a secret from a friend who wants a pair. "why should i help her?" my mom asked. always a bastion of generosity, my mom is.

i'm hoping that the new shoes (which should be here soon) will be very comfortable. if they are, i'm willing to buy her as many pairs as i need to keep her in shoes for the rest of her life. it's the least i can do for the woman who ran after me and now runs after my son.

December 7, 2006

lawyerly

this makes me happy. the gratuitous use of "esq." is always pleasing.

slim pickings

went to the auto show last night. i am beat-up tired AND there wasn't anything really interesting to see. what a disappointment.

December 6, 2006

wtfwjd

is it so wrong to wish i could wear potentially offensive t-shirts all the time?

urbn

just saw an old post where i said we didn't shop at urban outfitters. i take that back, it's a huge raging lie. but at least i only buy housewares...

December 5, 2006

real subtle

me: hey, would you do me a favor?
my assistant: sure, what do you need?
me: would you please pipe down a little?
him: what?
me: you get a little loud sometimes.
him: when?
him: when was i loud?
[random raucous outburst from his partner in crime from outside]
me: just because ____ is that loud doesn't mean you have to be, too.
him: [understanding] oh, yes.
him: [grin] sorry about that.
me: no problem.

December 2, 2006

not too shabby

i baked a loaf of bread, washed three loads of laundry and became the pokemon league champion today.

December 1, 2006

preschoolers must like to row

it's really quite hilarious seeing how similar some preschool shows are. dora the explorer and mickey mouse clubhouse are very much the same sometimes -- both exhort their audience to stand up and follow along. "stand up. stand up, please!"

sometimes when we're watching mickey mouse clubhouse, i feel like i know what's going to happen next because we've already seen it on dora (back when paul liked dora -- gosh, maybe two years ago? a year ago? i don't know.) tiptoe past someone sleeping? check. reel in the fish/boot? check. count the stepping stones/alligators? check. useful skills there.

lolita'd

standing in front of the bathroom mirror at work, it occurs to me that with glasses and side-parted straight hair, all i need is a plaid skirt and a pair of knee socks to complete the transformation from corporate drudge to fetish object.

faux snow

my coworkers have begun decorating for the holidays. if they start playing christmas music, i am going to bring in paul's wiggles cds to play VERY LOUDLY.

it's kind of funny, this low-rent holiday decor. just now a few people left for big lots in order to buy new lights. (why they can do this in the middle of the day is totally beyond me.) apparently my last assistant was enough of a scrooge -- or so i've been told -- that he "sabotaged" the old light string, hence the need for a new one.

if i recall correctly, my last assistant also made some comments about the low quality of the decorating, but that may have been me. in my head. eh, i can blame him for whatever i want. it's not like he's here to defend himself.

November 29, 2006

frivolity

re the eyeglass coaster:

cam: i'm not surprised that you have one. i'm surprised that someone actually makes one.

binder clips

why do i automatically clip my papers in the same place every time?

November 28, 2006

tiny pieces

on the 19th, i bought a jigsaw puzzle. started it in earnest on the 23rd. finished it in the early hours of the 26th. doing a jigsaw puzzle with a toddler in the house is vastly different from working on one alone in my teenage bedroom in the middle of the night. good grief. sweetheart, baby, mommy would prefer that you NOT help.

pretzeled

cam hollered for his dad to stop bending over to pick up the sod from the ground, making me self-conscious about my own form. bend from the knees, not from the waist... i crouched quite obediently.

as a result, my legs are so sore i can hardly walk. my back, on the other hand, is just fine.

a rainy stroll

monday's rain caught us all by surprise, but no one was more surprised than my friend and co-worker. she had to bring her baby to the emergency daycare near work (which was planned), but she didn't expect to have to walk down the hill in pouring rain without an umbrella or a jacket and with her daughter's supplies in paper bags.

grace to the rescue. first i lent her my umbrella, then i offered to come along.

her: that would be bitchin'.

so we walked carefully down the hill. i pushed the stroller while she held the umbrella. when we got to the daycare, i played with the baby while she mixed formula and filled out forms. we finally got back to the office about half an hour later. it was a nice break, and i got to be a good samaritan. karma points are never a bad thing.

November 24, 2006

a list checked twice

our christmas lists (a tradition started just last year) are due today. i think my list is rather modest, but maybe i'm just being delusional.

1. steve burns plush doll
2. melamine decorative plates
3. kozyndan posters: "the bunnies fall," "uprisings," "bunny blossom" (any)
4. squid t-shirts (threadless, chimni, "angry squid" -- any)
5. against the day (thomas pynchon)
6. inhabit living "madera" stretched canvas in chocolate (any size)
7. fourlogs (stand optional)
8. aquis turban
9. tattoo
10. the absolute sandman, vol. 1

November 23, 2006

turkey

oh yeah, happy thanksgiving.

empty closet

december 9th is my work holiday party. it's at a club and promises to be quite the shindig. dress code is holiday casual (or something like that -- jeans and sweatshirts with blingy christmas trees on them?) and i am at a loss. what on earth am i supposed to wear to this thing?

November 22, 2006

age and power

a work-friend sent me an "official" email, "memorializing" a telephone conversation she had with a very, very, very renowned living legend at our firm (he was copied on the email, by the way).

me: even though he is long retired, if he wants something done, we jump!
her: damn skippie, young lady!

November 21, 2006

"never really that brave before"

this is mother love. best wishes for a speedy recovery.

November 20, 2006

no poker face

99.6% of the time, my assistant will have either one of two facial expressions when he comes into my office: expectant or apprehensive. 99.1% of the time i see apprehensive. cracks me up.

me: what is that face?
me: is something wrong?
him: oh, nothing....

sniff

i can't be the only one who finds it kind of depressingly funny that forest lawn distributes their own branded purse-packs of tissue.

November 17, 2006

paparazzi

a guy just came by my office, taking pictures for the holiday party slideshow. i sent him away.

me: no, please.
him: really?
him. c'mon, grace!
me: no, please.

i've noticed that having my name on the door makes people overly familiar.

November 13, 2006

teaching old toys new tricks

over the weekend i noticed an unfamiliar blond girl character on the nick jr. site. i didn't think anything of it until i read someplace that it was holly hobbie.

um, no? that little girl is not holly hobbie. i see that she's supposed to be the great-granddaughter of the original, which is all well and good, but couldn't they have given her a new name? according to the holly hobbie site, she's "keeping up the family tradition of wholesome values, country charm, and big smiles... but with a hip, fresh style all her own!" i gag.

i don't know who came up with the idea of modernizing this character (and good god, don't even get me started on strawberry shortcake in capris and flipflops) but excuse me, we didn't go running around in prairie dresses and bonnets back in the 80s, but you didn't see us clamoring to see dear old holly in legwarmers and jelly shoes.

keeping my mouth shut

i realized this weekend that if it bugs me how my assistant gets all rah-rah cam, i have no one to blame but myself. duh. i just need to stop talking so much -- then he'd have nothing to get all big-brothery about. funny how often i seem to just set myself up for negative situations.

November 11, 2006

self-opinions

sometimes i wonder if paul is -- objectively speaking, of course -- as smart as i think he is. i also wonder if he is as smart as HE thinks he is. is anyone as smart as s/he believes her/himself to be? i have a feeling i'm not as funny as i think i am, but i do think i have evaluated myself pretty fairly in terms of intelligence.

(famous last words, right? tomorrow i'm sure to be revealed to all as a complete and utter moron.)

November 10, 2006

the differences between you and me

talking to a friend:

him: of course, i do think about my father, who occupied the same office [location deleted, but know that it is fairly posh] for about 25 years, and get a little jealous.

i don't know what to say to this. how my father's office was a hotel boiler room? how funny it is talking to this man of privilege. we are as far apart as far can be.

giddy teenage years revisited

a couple of weeks ago, my programmer walked by as i was talking to a friend. i looked up and smiled a hello.

him: good morning! [patting me on the back]
me: [massive internal squee!]

as he left, i whispered to my friend, "do you think he's gay?" (not like it matters, really.)

she whispered back, "i don't know, but i've been wondering about that!"

me: come to my office. NOW.

so we went to my office and i closed the door. considering why i had her come with me, i'm not quite sure how it happened, but it came out that she had a bit of a thing for him, too. he's just so nice.

me: cam calls him my "IT boyfriend."
her: i want an IT boyfriend.
me: we can share him.
her: okay.

ever since then, we've been really silly about our newfound bond.

me: [he] came to talk to me. he sat in my office and smiled at me many times.
her: about what??????????
me: it was work-related obviously, but still! he was here. in my office. my day is complete.
her: lucky!!!!!!
me: he would be so red if he read this.
her: let's print it out and put it on his chair after he leaves.....

yesterday morning i sent him a screenshot of an error message because he tracks those for us. he peeked into my office on his way in to let me know he had received my email and would be investigating it shortly. later he sent me a very nice email:

Thanks so much for letting me know about the error - indeed it was like a traffic jam. :-) We are implementing some measures in order to prevent that type of error in the future. As always, I really appreciate your help and support!

i forwarded it to my friend.

me: i love him.
her: he's going to ___________ for lunch today... i almost want to go there too!
me: is [another IT guy we know and love] going, too?
her: i don't know…..wouldn't that be nice!
me: we would be such stalkers!
her: yeah, but he's so polite, he'll probably just ask us to join him.
me: that's true -- but I think I might be too paralyzed to speak.
her: it's like having a teenage crush!

i think her last comment sums things up nicely. it IS like having a teenage crush. it's fun. harmless. and, if nothing else, at least our laughter gives people something to talk about. (including IT folks.)

cam: don't forget -- he's in IT.
cam: he could be reading your emails.
me: feh!
cam: [laughing]

the big easy

i have always wanted to go to new orleans. just never got around to it. (mind you, it's not like i went on any other vacations.) don't know if i ever will.

so what brings this up? because i saw the cover of a magazine the other day and realized that harry connick, jr. and jill goodacre are still married. in the wake of all the celebrity divorce announcements lately, it's nice to hear that incredibly attractive people can still be devoted to each other and their family. now -- is this worthy of a vacation? probably not, but really, who needs an excuse for a vacation?

November 9, 2006

alcoholic truths

i suspect that if i got drunk enough, i would be more than happy to tell people that i am the cutest member of my department. in fact, i think i would be happy to tell people that i am the cutest thing on the whole damned floor. i'd be lying, but i'd still be happy to do it.

hard sell

tiffany & co. is starting to get on my nerves. i understand that the holidays are coming up, but please -- either a mailer or a catalog a week (plus emails at least twice a week) is rather excessive. please. this is tiffany. surely they can't be hurting for business.

November 7, 2006

no wonder he says i yell at him

my assistant: um, you sure you're okay?
me: yeah, i'm fine.
me: it was just a bug bite.
my assistant: i just want you to know that i personally would feel safer if you'd go get that checked out.
me: you would personally feel safer?
me: i'll keep that in mind.

reactionary

last night in the car on the way home, i felt a sudden itch on my right calf. i scratched and scratched at the strange little bump on my leg.

me: something bit me.
me: do you have fleas in here or something?
cam: [insulted] NO!

i scratched some more and then forgot about it.

after we had been home for a while, i changed my shoes and realized that my sandals were really tight around my ankles. i tromped around the house, bewailing my state.

me: i have cankles!
me: paul, were you playing with my sandals?
me: do my ankles look swollen?
me: did anyone readjust the straps?
me: [to my mom] do my feet look fat to you?

cam was busy with paul, but i saw him smile indulgently at what he must have perceived to be an image problem.

then it hit me. what if this was related to the bite i got in the car? hm.

i changed into slippers and went to the kitchen to eat dinner (since cam and paul were going to be eating meat leftover from various gatherings, i wanted to eat my lonely vegetarian meal in peace). i nibbled some corn chips and suddenly had the uncomfortable feeling in my mouth and throat as if the chips had been subjected to peanut fumes. it wasn't like i was going into anaphylactic shock or anything -- it was just a sudden discomfort. i put the chips down. lovely. i was having an allergic reaction to something i don't even know what.

cam started to get worried.

cam: if it gets worse, we're going to the hospital.
me: [thinking] i'm not getting back into that flea-ridden car...

at cam's urging, i took some benadryl. i fought to stay awake. i didn't want to pass out and leave cam with paul all evening, especially considering that cam's laptop had arrived (yay!) and that i'm sure he wanted to play with his new toy.

paul and i played "hey you, pikachu" and painted with watercolors. (cam painted a bit, too.)

when cam declared it was bedtime, i went to sleep. not sure how long they stayed awake, but at least i didn't feel like i had abandoned cam to that deceptively mild-mannered little lion we call paul.

this morning i felt like i had a hangover. still feeling rather dehydrated. hope this feeling passes soon so i can work. right now, that's more important to me than figuring out what bit me.

November 6, 2006

steps

my mother bought us a beautiful step tansu for our 8-year anniversary. it's absolutely lovely and looks really good in our living room. i had been wanting one (and semi-coveting the much larger and lighter-colored one she has in her own living room), but... i have issues with paying a lot of money for accent furniture. a few weeks back i mentioned to her that i was contemplating buying one because i thought i had the perfect spot for one, not realizing that she'd take that as a shopping challenge.

yeah.

when she told me she had ordered one for us, i secretly cringed because, well, my mom's taste... to put it diplomatically, is not the same as mine. but it is beautiful, and i thank her sincerely for such a thoughtful gift. (mind you, even if it were uglier than sin, i would still thank her for her generosity.)

now if only i could keep paul from climbing it...

November 4, 2006

northern exposure to numerical street time

there is something kind of appealing about rob morrow. i think it's because he has such a small mouth.

speaking of numb3rs, what's with that huge front door to charlie's house? he looks so tiny standing in front of it. (i know he's short, but this is ridiculous.)

November 3, 2006

in the dark

yesterday we had a minor power outage at work -- just when i was about to leave for home. just great. ten flights down in almost complete darkness. thank goodness i don't work on the 17th floor anymore.

wale

just realized that there are bald patches in the corduroy on the pants i'm wearing today. how embarrassing. oh well, i guess it's not surprising when you consider how these pants are older than some of my coworkers.

November 1, 2006

bro

i don't get why whenever i say that someone is attractive or eye candy or whatever -- my assistant feels the need to jump in with something complimentary about cam.

me: and this is my attorney crush. [pointing at picture]
me: i just love them hapa boys.
my assistant: but cam, cam is perfect.
me: [exasperated] DID I SAY THAT HE WASN'T?

the last time this came up, i said, "did i say that i was talking about REALITY?"

i don't understand why he seems to have appointed himself protector of cam's interests. when i casually said one day that i had been chatting with joel, he positively freaked. "i don't like that," he said.

cam laughs.

it's kind of funny, kind of irritating. he claims that he sees me as a little sister and he therefore feels like he ought to butt into my life and take lighthearted-clearly-just-conversational-gambit-type-things-i-say-as-if-moses-had-handed-him-my-words-in-stone -- but DID I SAY THAT I NEEDED A BIG BROTHER?

soft soap

i've updated my washing machine cocktail -- i use about a jigger of unscented liquid tide, a tablespoon of white vinegar and a splash of downy fabric softener. i stopped using softener ages ago, but i had a strange desire for my laundry to actually smell like something again.

October 30, 2006

determined to give the impression i had a bad vacation

x: How was Disneyland? Did Paul have a good birthday?
me: We learned that the terrible twos are nothing compared to the terrible threes. But we had fun -- in spite of that.
x: What happened?
me: He's just not as tractable as he used to be, and he's much more easily frustrated. Oh well. I just talked to a friend and she said the terrible twos last until about age 4. Joy.
x: Lucky you. You must have enjoyed being out of the office -- I can't remember the last time you took a day off.
me: I was remarkably non-productive while I was out. I'm a little ashamed of that -- the need to accomplish just wasn't strong enough. I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the couch playing video games.
x: There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That's what days out of the office are for.
me: It's foreign for me. I am actually quite relieved to be back at work.
x: You scare me.

October 25, 2006

following my schedule

am working from home today because paul has his 3-year check-up later this afternoon.

it has been far too busy, but... when i had some downtime between emails, i wrapped christmas gifts.

i am grace. hear me roar.

October 24, 2006

manuscript or cursive?

my assistant's wife has accused me of having filipino handwriting.

me: yeah, well...
my assistant: but you don't even like being filipino!
me: [airily] that may be true, but you can't fight blood.

honestly though, i have no idea what he meant. i hope he couldn't tell.

October 23, 2006

helmet

i worked on paul's halloween costume yesterday -- and he won't wear it. alas.

i hope he'll agree to wear it long enough for pictures.

then he can burn it for all i care. honestly.

October 19, 2006

you have to believe we are magic

damned if the idea of a xanadu sing-along doesn't set the blood a-dancing. well, maybe a-roller-skating might be more appropriate.

October 17, 2006

potential blindness

i've had this thing by my right eye for ages now. a white blister-blemish. doesn't hurt. doesn't sting. doesn't do a thing but irritate MY VERY SOUL.

for i am a dermatologist's worst nightmare. i am a picker -- a squeezer -- a digger. i wield my extractor with far more enthusiasm than skill.

even though cam has warned me away from this particular blemish (you know, being that it's right by my eye -- i actually once thought it was a blocked tear duct or something until i actually looked closely at it), yesterday i got the bug to get rid of it. i'll spare you the details, but armed with tweezers and a safety pin, i got it out. satisfaction!

so... if i have to cease work on this blog in the near future because i only have one working eye, you'll know how that happened.

October 13, 2006

false self-portrait

you know, i never thought of myself as a trinkety person, but looking around my office, i see that i am the absolute soul of trinkety. declutter declutter declutter.

the leaves have pretty shapes

this joke was old the moment it was first told:

i was taking gingko biloba pills to improve my memory.
but i kept forgetting to take them.

gah! there are so many variations on this and i suspect i have heard them all over the past few years. at first i laughed politely. then i started smiling wanly.

me: yeah, my dad took those for a while after his stroke.

then the other person kindly changes the subject. sorry, dad.

October 11, 2006

one for my homies

today would have been my dad's 70th birthday.

in the past, i think i would have taken this day off from work, but i'm not entirely sure. now my dad's death anniversary -- i know i would have definitely taken that one off to spend with my mom.

how sad it is that we focus so heavily on death. a few years back, my mom threw a little posthumous birthday party for my brother (we had pizza!), and i can't say it was a smashing success. we were all so conscious about the fact that the guest of honor wasn't among us, but still... kudos to my mother for trying to shine the light on his life instead of his untimely demise.

what can i do to celebrate my dad's birthday? we're going to the cemetery this weekend, but that hardly counts. you know, i think a beer might be a good idea. i only drank with my dad once or twice (as an adult -- those cans of beer my brother and i surreptitiously sipped as children don't count, especially since they were coors), so i think having a drink with my father is an excellent idea.

October 9, 2006

the cheesiest

danish havarti from whole foods is almost as good as danish butter from the deli at alpine village. who knew?

October 7, 2006

accidental

once upon a time, mommy and mommy's brother were playing in their living room.
mommy's brother said, "i bet you can't walk on the edge of the couch."
mommy said, "i can, too!"
so mommy walked, walked, walked, walked on the edge of the couch.
and then she fell... smack!
mommy's brother said, "uh oh."
the end.

October 6, 2006

but i know this one isn't really soft -- he's kind of skinny

me: someone here must have heard something about me.
my assistant: why?
me: because he said the magic words.
him: please?
him: pretty please?
me: "i'm just a programmer."
me: [dramatic sigh] gets me every time.
him: oh god.

October 5, 2006

the effects of aging

joel, i never thought i'd get my first gray/white hairs before you. unfair.

keeping things in their place

i recently reorganized "my" drawer in the bathroom -- it holds makeup, jewelry, tweezers, nail clippers, stuff of that ilk. i have always had a little plastic basket in there, but i just added an ice cube tray for jewelry (got the idea from real simple. brilliant.).

when i get home from work, i usually change my clothes right away and put any jewelry into that drawer, including my watch. for the past few days i've been taking off my watch in the bedroom instead of the bathroom. so, as a result, for the past few mornings i've been leaving my watch at home.

positively naked! absolutely naked! not having a watch is like walking around work without any pants!

today i went out of my way to remember my watch -- and it was amazing how much more assured i felt. without my watch, i felt like i didn't have control. for instance, how would i know if i spent too much time in the bathroom?

when i got home, i carefully rolled up my watch strap and tucked it into the ice cube tray. it has a home, it should stay there when it's off-duty. i don't know why i've been putting my watch in the wrong place. it could be that i've been unconsciously challenging the idea that things need homes. or maybe challenging the notion that i have routines. or maybe i've just been overwhelmed by all the organizing and reorganizing and blah blah-blah blah-blah. i don't know.

austen

the endings to jane austen's books are ridiculous. there, i said it.

bowed but unbroken

my assistant is back in the office. i'm glad he's back. we need him -- and he needs us.

swirly

am really jonesing for a tattoo. i feel kind of guilty that it will be entirely self-referential (where's my motherlove? why don't i have PAUL on my left breast to indicate his bfing preference?), but oh well.

October 4, 2006

costume party

today a friend made me feel guilty that i wasn't done with paul's halloween costume. great. like i need one more thing to feel bad about. it wasn't like she was supermom, either -- she just bought a costume today. an ugly one, at that. so there. pffft!

October 3, 2006

fluff and nonsense

been thinking a little bit about blogs and their purpose (personal ones only).

if you commit to having one, you should write as much as you can. if you direct friends, family, whoever to your blog, you should be real and genuine and write about what and who you are. if you write a mommy blog -- as i tend to classify mine -- you should write about your child[ren] and what they're doing and saying and being. if all you do is put up pictures and crow about milestones once a month, you're not keeping much of a blog.

i wonder about the people who write nothing but shiny superlatives on the joy of having a child. do they genuinely feel that glowy after a marathon bout with infant diarrhea? after the onset of teething? after a night of hellishness -- with neighbors banging on the walls AS IF that would lull a miserable child into sweet slumber -- do they want to sit down at their computer and coo blatant falsehoods into the abyss? these people make me feel ashamed of myself and the decision that i'm currently grappling with (paul's infancy was not delightful enough to make me automatically want another infant in my home). apparently i need to make more kissyfaces and babysounds -- then maybe paul will vomit pure gold the next time he cries hard enough to make himself throw up.

but maybe they are just being overly mindful of their audience. cam told me, when i was still incognito (so to speak), that if i knew that telling specific people about my site was going to result in self-editing, then i shouldn't tell them about it. i have kept that in my mind for the past year now, and as a result, i haven't told very many people i know personally about this little labor of love. if i knew my mom was reading this -- and her sisters -- and my cousins -- i might freak out a little bit. self-consciousness would set in. i'd be ever so wary of stray profanity. i'd want to work on my diplomacy. i'd feel obligated to make shout-outs to such-and-such-blood-relative for doing this-and-that. it's not worth it. so... mom, aunts and cousins, if you're reading this, do the decent thing and keep your fucking mouths shut.

i know my blog isn't deep. it isn't particularly funny to anyone except me (and cam). i'm happy with that. what keeps me writing this blog is the sense that i am creating a more or less accurate snapshot of a life in a time. blurry. cross-eyed. it's not like those pretty glossy photos that come with a new picture frame or a new wallet.

har. enough back-patting for the night.

October 1, 2006

cookie time

we had been promising paul cookies for a long time, but we were having trouble finding time to get to whole foods.

we finally went last week and were horrified beyond horrified to discover that they didn't have any of the gluten-free pantry's chocolate chip cookie and cake mix in stock. in fact, the whole section seemed depleted.

in a panic, cam checked amazon's grocery section. he didn't immediately see it, leading him to believe they had discontinued it. horrors! after some searching, he stumbled across the listing. they were selling it in bulk packages -- six boxes. they had three left.

we are now the proud owners of 17 boxes of cookie mix (i mixed up a batch yesterday). am pleased to report that they are just as good as i remembered.

paul: just one more cookie and that's it!
me: paul, you said that four cookies ago.

saturday night lights

last night cam and i went to see "rabbit hole" at the geffen playhouse, the first play of the new season. paul stayed with my mom, and he was predictably less than pleased to see us leave.

i look forward to these "date nights" -- but it's funny to see how they have become less and less planned as time goes on. the first time we went, we had a nice dinner out with wine at an old favorite restaurant (sure, the wind sort of messed it up by blowing in a screen, which knocked a bottle of wine all over me, but that's beside the point). one night we ate at an interesting mediterranean place in westwood we had never gone to before. one night we just got grilled cheese and fries from the drive-thru at in 'n' out. last night, we sort of planned to go canter's on fairfax, but we ran out of time. instead we wandered through westwood without any real destination in mind -- and were pleased and startled to come across a chain pizza place (a small chain, mind you) that cam loves. we shared a few slices of pizza, then impulsively stopped by haagen-dazs. we zipped over to the theater just a few scant minutes before the play started.

in those minutes, though, i did have the surprise of seeing peter gallagher come out of the bathroom.

cam: i peed next to the dad from the oc.

it was a good play, i think, but i felt like it had an antiseptic quality. it was distant. the main event -- which takes place prior to the play's setting -- was the accidental death of a child -- so the play explores the aftermath. after a week like we've had (our "week of funerals"), perhaps this wasn't the best play for us to go see. i am not claiming that i KNOW loss or that i GET grief, but i just felt like this play lacked the emotional resonance that it could have had. maybe the problem here was that i just didn't GET the play. i don't know.

when we got home, we were planning on wine and thursday's tivo'd csi, but paul woke up, sniffly and teary, with other things in mind. i'm surprised cam got any sleep at all.

September 30, 2006

rewardrobe

i have been working on refreshing cam's wardrobe. true, he only wears jeans and t-shirts, but sometimes when i do the laundry i look at his stuff and think, "how that hell can i let him go out like that? jesus." after months of telling cam we needed to get to old navy (since that's where he buys most of his clothes), we finally went -- and left emptyhanded. we tried target, but that was kind of a wash. so i took over and ordered him stuff from lands end. out with the old, in with the new. the shirts are sturdy and wash well. the jeans are simple enough to meet with his approval. now i just need to get him some new shoes.

i wish this process were as simple (and inexpensive) for me. i do need to rework my off-work clothes, though, so maybe i can simplify. there were once plans for a "uniform," but that didn't really work. i think it was too ambitious. fact is, though, i've backslid in a big way. when i'm not at work, i am usually wearing sweats and one of cam's t-shirts (the four i wear the most: a curious george one i bought him that is now too small for him, freebies from newegg and two different apple stores). if i'm not wearing those shirts, i'm either wearing my goldenboy or my smashing pumpkins t-shirts. gah.

September 28, 2006

inky

did you know that crayola washable markers should not be used to make temporary tattoos? the ink stays too wet. i have a pair of sweats that i need to wash this weekend. the inside of one pant leg is all orange.

September 27, 2006

chocolate-dipped secrecy

during the hottest days of summer, cam and i developed a naughty secret habit -- after picking me up from work, we'd go to the mcdonald's drive-thru (right by the carpool onramp to the 110s) to buy ice cream cones. initially i'd have the vanilla and cam would have the chocolate, but after a few weeks of this i gave into the magic-shell magic that is the mcdonald's chocolate-dipped cone.

on days we didn't have ice cream but still wanted something cold and sweet, we'd stop by the starbucks drive-thru (off the torrance offramp of the 110s) for frappuccinos, a tall coffee no-whip for me and a tall banana mocha no-whip for cam.

this was probably the most fattening summer of my life.

but all good things must come to an end. the banana mocha frapp turned out to be seasonal. the ice cream runs stopped when one day we were shocked to see that the price had doubled since the last time we had one.

me: it's 79 cents' worth of good.
me: but twice that?
cam: it's not that good.

sure, it's hardly expensive, but good heavens. so that was the end of that. occasionally, when we pass that mcdonald's, i feel a little wistful, but i'm moving on. i miss my cold sweets, but i kind of missed my waistline more.

September 25, 2006

charms

it has always been very hard for me to get rid of keychains. as a teen, i managed to wreck the ignition of my car because i had too many damned things dangling from my keys. it was not unusual for me to have at least six or seven keychains... per key.

i have since pared down the keychains, sort of. i may have almost as many, but they are smaller and less likely to do any serious damage to anyone or anything. (my poor old car. the family "learn-to-drive" car, it was already about ten years old when i got it. i think it aged at least five years in the year or so i had it.) larger or heavier "sentimental" keychains are just hooked together and stored in a desk drawer. in recent attempts to clean up my house, i tossed out a few, but i felt guilty about each and every one of them, even the freebies.

in retrospect, maybe i need to get rid of that sense of guilt about throwing stuff out more than i need to get rid of the keychains. perhaps that guilt is the underlying cause for my keychainitis.

September 23, 2006

moustaches and tight pants

when i was a kid, there was no man hotter than burt reynolds.

September 21, 2006

crane

was looking at paul's toy crane the other day. his name is cranky -- and on tv and in books his face is very cranky indeed. but this toy? positively benign. jovial, in fact. that's some false advertising there.

September 19, 2006

teabag tag

wisdom according to yogi tea:

live with an attitude of reverence for yourself and all others, you will be healthier, happier and more effective.

it's a nice thought, but the punctuation is off.

September 18, 2006

attempts

if you read this site regularly -- or even, say, more than once -- you already know that my fatal flaw is my enthusiasm for my new ideas. ideas mean projects and i just love them projects... but ideas do not equal completion or fruition or any of those lovely words that mean DONE, so many of my ideas sort of peter out before i get to see the pretty fulfillment of a good thought well executed.

this current desire for organization -- for supermomness -- has been percolating for years, but it wasn't until i recently cleaned my office did i finally decide to just buckle down and just do it. i hope i am equal to this task. i know it won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

September 15, 2006

hardy

after a crazed morning, things slowed down to the point where i was desperately reaching for things to do just to make the time go by. good lord. i've hardly done anything for the last four hours, but i'm strangely drained. i guess the efforts to look busy have really sapped my system. how much more refreshed i'd be if i had just kicked the seat back away from the desk and settled in with the copy of tess of the d'urbervilles i keep in the office just for slow days like this.

absenteeism

my assistant is out today. not because his wife gave birth or something monumental like that -- but because his stomach is bothering him.

me: your stomach?

apparently he ate something that did not quite agree with him. he claims he'll be in on monday, but it's quite possible he'll have a new daughter by then. it must be a hell of a stomachache to keep him home on payday, considering he doesn't yet have direct deposit.

my boss: can i give you his paycheck?
me: sure.
my boss: try not to spend it all in the same place.
me: i'll try...

and you still have only one grandchild

happy birthday, mom!

September 14, 2006

staying in my office

digging through my email archives for an address (which i never found, dammit), i found an email i wrote to a friend back in 2002:

i can't work here forever, i'll have a nervous breakdown. i've become positively agoraphobic in the last 2-3 years.

literally, it's supposed to be a "fear of open spaces" -- i've heard it defined as "fear of the marketplace" -- it's characterized by an avoidance of public places, yes. i can barely go outside my office, i have to steel myself for it -- getting my mail is painful -- i can't be in the restroom if someone else is in there -- i am anxious all the time -- i can't go outside the building at lunch time. and i only feel like this during work hours. i'm so anxious about being stuck in uncomfortable/embarrassing/inescapable situations, i can hardly do the small talk thing. i walk with my head down if forced to leave my office.

you know, i can't remember the last time i walked through the office on the way to the restroom. i always have to go out the door and through the hallway. i can't remember the last time i went to the breakroom before 6:30 pm. i have to wait until the end of the day to put away paperwork that comes into the office at 7 am. i've developed all these freakish phobias and behaviors. i imagine people talking about me. i can never take my jacket off (or sweater) even when it's hot, it's like armor.

once i called that health plan thing, you know, the referral service? i talked to a psychologist on the phone for a while, but then she started talking about payment plans and she said something pretty snide about people who make enough money to pay for expensive therapy, something along the lines of "of course, if you're making over $30K, you don't need a free service" -- so i was instantly turned off and i never got the guts to call again.

it's funny what time does to you -- what i once characterized as a phobia has now become simply a quirk.

September 11, 2006

doesn't bode well for the school

a little over a year ago i wrote a letter of rec for my assistant at the time because he was applying to law schools. today i received a letter from the admissions dept. of the school he ultimately chose, thanking me for the letter and letting me know that my former assistant was going to be a member of the fall 2006 entering class.

it was very nice of them to send me a little note, and i do appreciate that effort. but... would it have killed them to spell my name correctly? egads.

crunch

gross. i think i put too much conditioner in my hair and then failed to rinse it all out. i tied my hair back when it was wet -- and i just felt the stiff crispiness of a dry but overmoisturized head a second ago. i think i better keep my hair tied back.

September 9, 2006

three months

gave my assistant his review. because i know he's so hard on himself, i tried really hard -- harder than usual -- to put my criticism in a friendly light. i had talked to him about his review while i was in the process of writing it, and i emphasized how progress was key. i pointed out issues and i think i was very open about what needed to be done. i did this because i refuse to blindside my employees on review day. the review i wrote was, i think, cautiously positive.

my assistant read the review and smiled and murmured to himself. i think my boss was a little heavyhanded on the praise because he could tell from my writing that it wasn't like any that i had done before. positive, but not glowing. my boss emphasized that this was a "very honest" review, which made me internally snort a little. i was getting a little worried until my assistant blurted out:

she knows me too well! i've gotten a lot of good reviews over the years but this one is nearly perfect because i can't even complain about anything because it's all true!

we all laughed. i think his feelings may have been a bit hurt by some of the ratings, but i think it went well overall.

September 8, 2006

gah

can you say, "too much information"?

x: well... i'm on my period right now, so i am very imbalanced.
me: [thinking] well, that's just great.

eeew. i so did not need to hear that.

September 7, 2006

nineteenseventyone

happy birthday, bro. i think you'd like your namesake -- he likes to spell his name backwards.

September 6, 2006

personalized

while checking out the daily click (which is a regular feature of a great blog, by the way), i immediately became enamored of eq3's slotted pillow set.

i had to tell cam about it.

me: look at this brilliance
i would love to have a floor pillow thing like that
cameron: har! that is a funnies
me: it's very clever and very silly at the same time
i think the best floor pillows must be dog beds
and i would buy some
but then someone would come over and say, "why is your child sleeping on a dog bed?"
and then child services would take him away
cameron: we could embroider "baby" on it
me: har!

oh yeah, i can see that going over really well with child services. "sure, it's a dog bed, but it was an expensive one. and look -- we had it personalized!"

September 5, 2006

passing of time

at lunch yesterday, cam's parents mentioned that the principal at our old high school had been transferred to another school.

he had been at our high school for 17 years, they said, the longest tenure of any local principal.

i expressed astonishment that it had been 17 years already.

cam's mom laughed. "he was there for years before you got there!"

years? this man had been principal there for about a year when cam and i showed up as tenth graders (it was a three-year high school back then). my brother graduated from that same high school just two scant years prior and there had been a different principal in attendance at the time.

it's funny how we don't necessary keep track of time in the same way. to me, our principal would always be kind of new. to cam's mom, i suspect we'll always be kind of young.

strong language

yesterday my mother embarrassed me greatly by using the word "bitches" in front of my in-laws. what was the reason for the profanity? "design star." oy vey.

September 4, 2006

new storage solutions

finished setting up my mom's bookcases -- during the first one, i forget what we watched. the second one, we watched an ep of stargate. the last one, i believe we were watching the fashion police special on the emmys. we're tvaholics over there. when i was putting up her bathroom cabinet, we were watching "$40-a-day" and a world's craziest police chases kind of show. now it feels like we're always watching "parco, p.i."

it looks great. she's been weeding out stuff and there's definitely a sense of space that wasn't there before. she's using decorative boxes and baskets on the shelves to cut down on the visual clutter (a good trick -- the insides of the boxes don't need to be so neat!). plus she got a nice new lcd tv (jealousy!) that fits the center bookcase perfectly. my favorite spot is the bottom right corner. open the door and paul's toys are inside, including a cute little kitchen set-up. it's adorable and it's out of sight.

sigh. i love storage.

September 2, 2006

embarrassing disclosure

i have a mad secret crush on shane west in "a walk to remember." absolutely no interest in seeing him in any other movie whatsoever (eesh, especially not as the ridiculous addition to "a league of extraordinary gentlemen" -- damned hollywood), but hot damn, he's awfully cute in this movie (which i only watched after reading the reader's digest condensed version one day when i was sick at home). teen movies are such a terrible weakness.

foolishness

i don't know why this is on my mind, but i've been thinking about getting a tattoo for my 35th birthday (which is... wait for it... more than three years away). i would like a little swirly thing -- a swoo design -- on my back at the base of my neck. suggested to cam that he come with me and get a tattoo, too. the laughter could be heard for miles.

September 1, 2006

the shirt

my assistant told us the complete story of the shirt.

my friend's been out all week with strep (which she unintentionally shared with the coworker sitting next to her at the shower), so this was her first day back.

apparently there was mass confusion once his wife opened the gift bag (he wasn't looking at her at the time, so he didn't realize what was going on). she was holding up this t-shirt, looking at it with a puzzled face. finally her cousins asked her what the shirt said.

"yes, dear," she replied, turning the shirt around.

silence. then befuddled chat.

my assistant suddenly heard the topic of conversation and turned around. "who is that from?" he asked. when she told him, he went urgh! and at that very moment lightbulbs flashed all throughout the room.

"yes, dear! that's good! girl, make him put that on!"
"i want one for my boyfriend!"
"put it on!"

he managed to escape without having to wear it that day, but i think his resistance will be ultimately futile.

the next day on the phone, his mom sweetly commented that "yes, dear" should apply to his relationship with her, too. he threw his hands in the air.

we got him good.

september

this morning cam woke me up in a minor panic -- a little after six. (he's supposed to get up a little after 5.) we scrambled (very short showers) and managed to be ready to leave by 6:30, but then paul had to be changed after a diaper leak.

me: could my day get any better?

we finally got out to the car.

cam: i'm really sorry.
me: as you should be.
cam: [startled silence]

but i'm happy to report that things did clear up and i'm actually having a pretty nice day. a sick friend is back in the office and i cheerfully wasted about 45 minutes by her desk. then i had a nice little chat with a secretary friend. i've more-or-less finished cleaning up my office and now i'm just waiting for work (and online shopping, shhh).

August 30, 2006

in short

life was better last night. cam was up and around and had -- to some extent -- regained some of the sense of humor i love so. at the very least, he actually smiled.

i decided to come back to work today instead of working from home because it was horrendously busy yesterday. of course, this means that i am bored to death today. time to organize my office. i think i'm on the verge of throwing out my weight in old memos. why the hell do i keep these things?

word of the day

when the computer room is all tidied up and organized, i think i won't call my side a craft room or a workshop -- it will be an atelier.

August 28, 2006

tick tock

this is really sad, but i am going out of my mind with boredom. maybe i'll organize my pantry. maybe i'll wake up paul.

update (11:29 am): the work is coming in at a nice pace now. whew. i had already started to clean the computer room, a task that did not excite me. now i can abandon that room until february (got to take advantage of the annual elfa sale at container store)...

in the drink

observation at 9-something on a monday morning:

people must think we're alcoholics. i count four cocktail shakers in our kitchen, none of which we bought ourselves.

more like a wedding reception

saturday afternoon we went to a baby shower for my assistant and his wife. we almost didn't make it -- cam was in a lot of pain -- but i'm glad we went (and i thanked cam for toughing it out) because i would have felt awful if i had missed it. my assistant would have made my life hell.

this was no ordinary baby shower. they rented out a banquet room at a dave & buster's out near santa anita (awful parking, by the way). there were a lot of people there (including three other people from work) -- big families and lots of friends. paul was intrigued by the arcade. in the back there was an enormous claw game, so of course he had to try that. most of the games were pretty lame -- and their card value system was diabolical -- but paul found it all very colorful, interesting and overstimulating.

my friend warned us all that her baby was a foot-grabber, but that didn't prepare me for the feel of a tiny hand on my toe. eek! i jumped, much to my friend's amusement. i know i'm going to hear about this for a while. she put her daughter on the floor on a blanket, and the wee thing had managed to creep across the floor to my apparently very attractive foot. she's such a cute baby. we all had to laugh when her mom explained how she's afraid of clapping -- which made paul clap! cruel child. i guess he wanted to know what would happen.

the food was surprisingly good, much better than we expected from a chain sports bar/arcade/"entertainment" center. i had a special order vegetarian pasta primavera with feta and it was yummy. it took them forever to get it to me -- which infuriated my assistant and his wife -- but that's a different story entirely.

it was interesting seeing my assistant out of the context of work. i had met his wife before and he was quite different in her presence (they were so "on" they were exhausting. nonstop comedy routine. most couples have a schtick, but good heavens.), but surrounded by his friends and family he was different yet again. i didn't see all the weirdness he had worried about in the weeks prior to the shower, but i spent most of my time trying to keep paul happy. let me tell you, maneuvering through an arcade while carrying a three-dozen pound child is not easy.

i wish we had stayed long enough to see the opening of the gifts, but it was getting late. my coworkers had already left. my friend and i had put money together for a shirt for my assistant. i would have liked to see his reaction to it.

telecommuter

working from home today. cam needs to go to the doctor and i don't want to stress my mom out with a drive downtown. it should be an interesting day.

August 25, 2006

huge scare

this morning -- just like every other morning that we leave paul with my mom -- we gave her a wake-up call. today i did it because cam wasn't quite ready yet. she didn't pick up, but i didn't worry about it because she often doesn't get to the phone before the answering machine kicks in (besides, if you're treating the phone like an alarm clock, surely you wouldn't greet it).

i was kind of surprised when she didn't show up after a few minutes. i called again, left another message. at the same time, i opened the back door and peered at her house. no lights. weird.

so i put on my shoes and went over to her house. the front door was locked (as it should be). i knocked and knocked, but no one answered. i went to her side door and was about to knock when i realized it was open. feeling kind of freaked out, i pushed the door open and called out, "mom?"

one of my biggest fears is that i'm going to come into my mother's house one day and find her dead, so you can imagine the spiraling anxiety in my chest. "mom?" i called out again... and i turned the corner to see her sitting up in bed, hair wild and face baffled. she hadn't heard the phone, she hadn't heard the knocking. i was so relieved to see she was okay that practically the first thing i did upon seeing her was scold her for leaving the door open all night. she laughed sleepily.

gah. i so needed a drink after that experience, but it was only 6:15 am.

August 24, 2006

airhead

last night i had a lot to do, but failed to accomplish hardly anything at all because of circumstances beyond my control. i'm not used to feeling at home like my hands are tied. it was upsetting. i started to hyperventilate. my mother was making me anxious. i wanted to go to sleep, but i couldn't because it was only 8-something and cam and paul weren't home.

i hope tonight is better. i don't need that kind of weird panic -- i don't even know why i reacted that way.

one of the things i had hoped to do was put together one of my mom's new bookcases. i've been on a tear with her house lately. just last saturday we dropped a bunch of cash at ikea for three new bonde bookcases with doors. (they were delivered on sunday. sunday delivery? and we had no choice? we should all be so unlucky.) my mom's house is so small that her multiple pieces of small furniture were making the place look supercramped. the hope is that these three large casegoods will contain just about all of the clutter and she'll be able to dump most of her smaller pieces. we'll see. last night we removed a hazardous wall-heater and carried out a little table and a vcr tape-cab -- which is not a bad start, but i really had my heart set on setting up a bookcase.

my mom tried to help me move a bookcase box, but she couldn't lift it even a few inches without almost dropping it on me. when i said that cam would help later, she made skeptical sounds because he's still suffering from back pain. i think i nearly popped at that point.

me: if he can't lift more than a senior citizen or his diminutive wife, we're in trouble.

what else was i going to do if cam couldn't help? i told her i'd just pile stuff on paul's wagon and wheel everything over -- just like i did with paul's bed. (hey, i had to get the pieces from the living room to paul's room somehow.) at that point, she made the conversation about her -- "and then paul wanted ME to take it apart again" -- so i just closed my eyes and tried to breathe.

when paul and cam came home, they instantly improved the atmosphere, but the hyperventilating didn't really quite for a few hours more. i craved a cigarette and an inhaler. if tonight starts to move in that direction again, i'm going to bed no matter what time it is.

August 22, 2006

grassy

yesterday everything my assistant brought me was fastened with green paperclips. i was going to ask him why he only used green, but i sort of felt like he was waiting for me to ask.

August 21, 2006

fluorescents

ikea's low-energy, low-wattage, low-heat fluorescent light bulbs are great... they don't hum, they're hefty and substantial, but they do have a downside: they're awfully low on light. it amuses cam greatly when he turns on the light in our bedroom. for the first few seconds, you can't even tell that the light is on.

August 19, 2006

just add baby

i've been teasing my assistant (and his wife) for their baby registries. you'd think they were having a litter instead of just one small girl. he explained to me that they don't expect to get hardly anything, but their community (family, friends, etc. etc. etc.) would talk shit if they didn't register for a lot of stuff.

example: his wife wants to buy the crib. but they've registered for two, i think. i said, "well, why register for that? it makes perfect sense to buy it yourself." his response was that people would say [cue disdainful voice] "they're not even getting a bed."

in my a.r. way, i compiled a spreadsheet of all of their registries (at least the ones i knew about -- maybe they have others they kept from me). we were all surprised when the total dollar amount came out to over $10k! "who has that kind of a budget?" his wife emailed me, lol-ing.

the baby shower is next weekend. i look forward to seeing if they were right about the gossip and the chintziness of their community.

bargains

i recently purchased two cushions (for my chairs outside) and a etagere-thing (a "spacesaver") for my mom's bathroom from home decorators collection. i had been receiving their catalogs almost since we bought our house, but i never really gave it much thought because i thought it seemed like a pretty shaky place. as far as i could tell from my research when furnishing my house, there was ikea (our level), pottery barn/crate and barrel/restoration hardware (aspirational -- pretty catalogs to copy) and stuff from north carolina we'd never consider because, when it comes down to it, a chair is a chair is a chair. not to say that i didn't enjoy the home-furnishing process -- far from it -- but we had to be realistic. for our age and budget and style, well, we had to figure a way around the north carolina furniture market/fancy mail-order shopping. we visited a lot of local furniture stores and groaned and groaned and groaned.

anyway. so hdc never sat very prominently in my mind. it just didn't. i had read that some people were actually rather happy with their purchase and it was a good value for the money, so when i was researching storage alternatives for my mom's house, i gave their catalog a much more thorough look. i didn't find what i was looking for, but i ended up getting the spacesaver for my mom's bathroom to replace the horrid white tubular thing she had in there already.

the packages arrived this week. my cushions were a pretty shade of green and felt very sturdy. they're sitting outside right now. the spacesaver initially freaked me out because the box wasn't exactly in the greatest condition and there were entirely too many pieces to it. but i assembled it without too much trouble (maybe i was intimidated by the fact that the instructions had words -- if you're an ikea shopping, you know what i mean), and after a tweak or two (the support bar in the back had to be raised to accommodate my mom's plumbing) it is standing quite proudly and nicely in her little bathroom.

i'm pleased. i didn't spend a crazy amount of money (have you seen what patio cushions go for these days? criminal.) and my purchases are as appealing in person to me as they were in the catalog. i may order from them again one of these days.

August 16, 2006

insignificant

have been rediscovering "jim's journal," a strangely funny little comic i liked when i was in college. i brought home three of the books with me when i moved back to southern california.

paul found them and has been insisting that he is reading them. cam laughed at him about reading "mommy and mommy's ex-boyfriend's old books." but cam, too, has begun to succumb to the charm that is jim.

August 14, 2006

pcd

i have the pussycat dolls' "buttons" running through my head. kill me now.

August 11, 2006

doorways

this morning i was thinking about how little actions -- daily behaviors, unconscious habits-- might be an interesting view into a person's character, personality, whatever you want to call it. (not that those are necessarily synonymous, mind you.)

after opening three doors in a row, i realized that i always open doors at work the same way. i push it open just far enough to be able to slide out sideways from behind it. no throwing open of doors, no forceful shove on the door or the handle -- just enough energy behind the motion to get the opening big enough for me. at work, this is me. i am unobtrusive. if i could slip under the door, i could. if i can enter an environment unseen, all the better. i don't even want to make a ripple in the air.

i'm going to need to see how i open doors at home. i'm pretty sure i'm not even remotely timid at home -- if doors are opened gently, it might be because someone might be on the other side. paul comes crashing through doorways -- most likely because he's a bold and fearless little boy or because he doesn't quite know his own strength yet (or maybe a combo of the two). i haven't noticed how cam opens doors, yet, but i'll have to watch for that, too.

August 8, 2006

reputation

i've been talking to my assistant about what i've been calling the "summer of discontent" when i was A VERY BAD GIRL, indeed. (i briefly mentioned it here.) i'm not really sure why i've been talking about it -- i guess i'm just trying to get him over his view of me as this perfect mom/employee/person. look, i haven't always been super-mom, the calm and collected voice of experience. get over it. stop with the shocked looks already.

now, i'm not saying my skirts were an inch away from being belts. i'm not saying i was a step away from jerry springer-material. i'm just saying that i'm human and i did things that, okay, not everyone had to do, but i did things that people do. i shrug. i didn't reinvent the wheel. i never claimed to live a totally blameless life.

the summer of discontent took place during the final months of my engagement to joel. we were not particularly happy -- in fact, in retrospect, i'm surprised we stuck it out as long as we did. (sorry, dear, if your memory of this time is different.) i was dieting my ass off to look good for the wedding, and well, dammit, i thought i looked good. i had a friend in the area, so many drunken hours were spent with her and her friends. i also somehow hooked up with a guy i dated in high school. there was drama and i relished it because it was new and different and it kept my mind off the wreckage that was my relationship with joel.

to use a silly analogy -- if i were a cat, i bet i used about three lives that summer.

so i look back on that experience not with wistfulness or with loss, but with a certain sense of fondness. it was the summer i acted out and i managed to get away with minimal scars. minimal. i ruined a friendship i didn't really want, but it still stung a little. i badly upset a friend that had always been good to me (i stole a guy, sort of), but i guess these things happen when you're on the destructive path o' fun.

once cam and i got together, we continued along in that fashion, too. BUT we got over it. we outgrew it and moved on. that means i can talk about the past because it's not a secret -- it's just the past. it happened, it's over, i'm done.

better than usual

went out to baker's square for breakfast on sunday and had an unexpectedly good time.

not only did cam finally win something with the claw game (a dora the explorer doll -- knew that disproportionately big head had to be good for something), but i heard the ronan keating/leann rimes duet ("last thing on my mind"?) over their speakers. swoony. ronan may be... ronan, but i still love him.

August 5, 2006

jigsaw

ikea ice cube trays are delightful. i love the puzzle piece ones. last week i distracted paul from a potential tantrum by showing him how the ice pieces actually fit together. when i have enough broken crayons, i'm going to try to make crayon puzzle pieces (idea courtesy of diy network's "creative juice" -- they used candy molds instead).

faux-mystical

i just caught a grasshopper-thing. in my living room. with an upside-down glass. tomorrow i will try to catch a fly with chopsticks.

cam: what's the sound of one hand clapping?
paul: [opening and closing one hand rapidly] this.

August 3, 2006

gametime

wednesday was my assistant's birthday. cam suggested a giftcard from eb or game stop, so we dropped by an eb on the way home from work on tuesday (a scant two hours after i discovered the existence of said birthday).

he was thrilled. in fact, he already spent it. i know he's got a baby coming and his life is going to change dramatically so i could have bought him something a bit more practical, but i thought he deserved a last gamer's hurrah before daddydom hits.

August 2, 2006

lining

remind me to never again wear a particular purple silk dress to work. it's lovely and fairly work-appropriate, but the silk (slip dress) on silk (outer dress) action means i keep sliding out of my chair. not attractive.

schoolmarmy

there must be something very old-fashioned and/or prim about me. someone just called me "miss grace" -- over the last few years i've heard this about a thousand times from a thousand different people.

July 30, 2006

hatfields and hatfields

my mom and i have been slightly at cross-purposes lately because she has ideas about our backyard and i pretty much want her to just stuff it.

me: if only she would just say to me, "your idea sucks!"
me: then i could say, "your idea sucks, too!" and then we'd be square.
cam: [smirking]
me: or i could even say, "the feeling's mutual" because that would be more polite.
cam: [continued smirking]

after a few days of this, i was getting a little tired of being irritated, so today i decided to buy her a peace offering (a pretty purple folding basket). i wonder if she recognized it as such.

July 22, 2006

ambitious

cam: so sad when someone aspires to be a skank.

choosing a side

"what's left of me" is a much better song than "a public affair." painful earnestness always wins me over. something needs to fill that aching boy-bandless hole in my heart.

July 21, 2006

solo

i just set up some patio furniture. sure, the timing may seem odd, but it's cool outside, my neighbors are indoors, and most importantly, my guys are in bed.

lately i've been so tired. so very tired. my memory of non-work issues is sketchy. i haven't been able to consistently stay awake on weekend nights, so i've missed my usual friday nights for the past few weeks. i've really felt the lack, so i'm glad i'm awake now. the night before i sort of passed out, so i guess i'm making up for it now.

pranks

it all began so innocently. a favorite stuffed animal stolen from a desk.

then it was a carefully hoarded pile of paperclips removed from a cubicle and returned -- one at a time. in envelopes.

then it was an entire cube's worth of trinkets hidden. a beanie baby cat in the refrigerator.

the retaliatory office prank -- it must escalate.

one coworker spent hours painstakingly adorning an office chair with plastic clips and scotch tape. in return, the chair's owner wallpapered his cube with newspaper.

i am afraid to take a day off for fear of what might be done to my office. my assistant would probably try to protect my grounds, but i don't know if he's a match for my mostly funloving, somewhat malicious coworkers.

July 20, 2006

chapel

note to joel: the catalina room is going to be demolished. apparently what they kept of your deposit was not enough to keep them in business.

dispute

cam is not convinced that "myfanwy" should be the name of our next child if we have a girl.

July 18, 2006

out

several people are out of the office today -- including two people i have to cover for. it's going to be a long, long day.

July 16, 2006

trainwreckage

i have to add rihanna's "unfaithful" to the list of videos that are better watched with the sound off. the video sans vocals is already wtf? enough -- pretty girl cavorting with two suitors but clearly in love with herself -- add the closed-captioning and it turns into comedy. (turn on the sound and get a headache.) vanity shots! murderer!

my list of videos to fall into this category is actually really short -- three -- and they all belong to paula abdul. dubious distinction-much? i don't even know what the song is for one of the videos because every time i saw it start up on my tv, i hit the mute button (and i don't think i discovered the joys of closed-captioning for at least a decade). all i remember is that there was a white background and jewelry. sad, just sad.

i heard "unfaithful" on the radio today and was incredulous that it was actually being played somewhere... with sound... without pretty pretty poses... without skin. gah. maybe if i were a part of that age group i'd find the song appealing.

dante!

clerks II? when did this happen? why didn't i know about this? and why is it in color?

rest stop

just the other day i mentioned to cam that i thought that my teeth were whiter since i quit smoking. yay teeth.

but today i wondered if perhaps i should take up smoking again because i seem to have forgotten how to take a break.

several times a day cam will head outside, ds in hand, to take a smoking break that rarely lasts the length of time it actually takes him to smoke. several times a day coworkers head for the elevators, chattering away, lighters at the ready.

i just shrug and go back to work (or whatever) as i watch everybody leave. uncool.

July 14, 2006

hoe

i love the hula hoe. that thing is useful.

kitchen storage

i'm trying to think of a tidy and reasonably non-ugly place to put my yellow rubber gloves after i wash the dishes. (yes, i wear yellow rubber gloves.) when they're wet, i hang them on the faucet. when they're dry, they get pushed to the windowsill. far from attractive. any ideas? (don't say the dishwasher... i fear the one the came with the house...)

July 12, 2006

stitch

i don't know why, but i am embarrassed by the fact that my shoes (my own purchase) and work purse (a surprise gift from cam) have matching contrast stitching.

July 6, 2006

sparklers

the 4th of july was underwhelming.

it was too hot. boilingly so.

the block party surrounding cam's parents' house was too loud, courtesy of a garage band -- literally, they were playing out of a garage -- trapped in the 90s. (cam said they appeared to be playing the entire "singles" soundtrack.)

we were late for lunch because cam needed to rest after his trip to the hospital (poor dear was there from about 5 am to 11).

the neighborhood fireworks display was less crazy than the year before, which was a good thing, but cam, his dad and his uncle still had to hose down the cars in the driveway (and ours on the lawn) and the roof of the house because of the sparks and embers falling from the sky. paul was initially impressed but soon decided that it was all too much for him. we ended up playing inside and watching fireworks on tv instead of going out to watch the real ones twinkling and glittering in the smoky night sky.

after all of that, i think the only real plus to the day was that we didn't have to go to work.

July 5, 2006

periodical

i can't figure out what magazines i want to subscribe to. am tempted by blueprint, but the price and their irritating pre-bill tendencies are pushing me away. real simple sent me a good deal. shop etc. i won't renew. i'll be sending in my coupon for a free issue of domino tomorrow. i'd renew sunset if they'd give me a better deal. i wouldn't renew martha stewart living because i don't like that hour or two a month of feeling like an uninspired lout.

grrr. i don't have time to read magazines. why do they have to be so enticing?

taft

haven't been this dark in years. too much time in the sun, too little sunscreen.

July 1, 2006

the kindness of strangers

a woman and two men are parked in the driveway, loading our bricks into their truck. that craigslist, it's some efficient shit. we took the ad down this morning. i think we received 40+ unique responses.

shade

we went back to target to pick up a new canopy last night. a haggard-faced woman in a red tank top, platform flipflops and a red plaid pleated mini stopped me to ask for the price -- then she dished that she just bought one at costco for cheaper.

her: yeah, we just bought one -- the same one -- for $49.
her: we're going camping this weekend so we needed some shade.
me: [thinking] i hope you camp better than you dress.
me: good idea. thanks so much -- we'll have to go look for that!

we bought it anyway, but we'll be stopping by costco later today. we can always return the target one if necessary.

wee small hours

i am awake far too early.

June 30, 2006

not really my anything

my assistant handed me my last bit of work for the day.

me: you leaving?
him: yeah. you?
me: soon, i hope.
me: i don't know when cam's going to get here.
me: but i'm just happy because my programmer said goodbye before he left.
him: [silence]
me: oh god, did i just say that out loud?

masonry

placed our craigslist ad last night for free bricks. we've already received 27 replies. a lot of them were "i'll take them" or "are these still available? call me!"... which is all well and good, but my first instinct is to give them to the guy who asked, "what kind of beer do you like?"

June 28, 2006

finances

got wind of my raise today -- and i officially take back all of the kvetching i've been doing lately about my boss and my job, etc. etc. etc. good lord. others may find my salary puny, but it's more than i ever thought this underambitious and overeducated layabout could ever make.

June 27, 2006

bad hair year

i don't comb my hair anymore. wash-and-wear, indeed. in the morning, i wind the wet mess up with a clip. when i get to the office, i put on my lip gloss and do the slow-motion sexy-librarian thing, undoing my hair and swinging it down (as long as no one is looking). when it dries, it looks wavy. fab.

June 26, 2006

canned goods

whoever invented the can opener that cuts the side instead of the top was a total genius. i picked up a cheap no-brand one from target a while back, and it's a true testament to its glory that i still marvel every single time i use it.

June 22, 2006

blooming

just purchased a copy of the sunset western garden book from amazon. just another sign that i am getting old.

June 20, 2006

letter debt

i hate it when i owe people letters/emails/whatever. right now i'm in debt to so many people, but i can't bring myself (read: find the time) to buckle down and write back.

June 16, 2006

severed

my old assistant has been gone a week and i am feeling a little more settled.

when cam picked me up from work on friday, i told him i felt like i had just been through a breakup. an amiable one, sure, but still a breakup.

later that weekend, i mentioned that i had given him a personality test and had discovered -- i guess to no one's surprise -- that we were pretty much opposites.

cam: well then. it's a good thing you broke up.
me: cam!!
cam: [laughing]

on monday i learned some interesting work gossip and my first inclination was to email my old assistant, but i restrained myself. cam laughed once more.

it's funny now we get attached to people at work. when i first started working here, i took departures very hard. someone would mention they were leaving, i'd run off to a local card shop. eventually i bought a box of cards and kept them in my desk just for the occasion of a farewell wave. when people would leave the firm without saying anything, i got depressed. but now, i've learned to shrug it off. there was no slight intended, i understand. it's the business of life. there's no way to say goodbye to everyone. leaving is exciting. it's hard to remember all that one might want to remember... it's hard enough to remember what one needs to remember.

one day i expect he will find this blog and he will be horrified to discover that i was, for lack of a better word, grieving for him. but then again, maybe he'll be flattered.

new to him

email from a friend who had just moved into a new condo:

I have no idea how to use my dishwasher.

June 15, 2006

injury

some sort of garden cutting object fell on my mom's foot the other day. it bled for a long time, but she was able to get it under control. paul was initially horrified -- "what's happening, gramma?" -- but later decided it was all good entertainment:

paul: thank you, thank you.
my mom: for what?
paul: for cutting your foot.

my mom called me at work a few hours after she had gotten it to clot. "we had an accident," she started -- which totally freaked me out -- but she quickly explained what happened. guess she figured my toddler mom heart couldn't take the suspense? when i got home, i washed and bandaged her foot properly (the poor thing was using three dora the explorer bandaids and a pair of socks to hold them on) and she seemed fine. today she was even better. i worry about her feet a lot because of the possibility of diabetic neuropathy, so i'm really glad she's okay.

yummy

"they're too darn cute -- that's why we can't eat our young."
-my friend cathy

June 12, 2006

blemish

just popped out a blackhead. so disgusting and so damaging to the skin, yet so keenly satisfying to the soul.

June 9, 2006

out for the summer

today is my assistant's last day on the job. his replacement started two weeks ago to ensure... well, if not a seamless transition, then at least a relatively painless one.

yesterday i took him to lunch for the first time ever. we went to nick + stef's, a local restaurant cam and i love but haven't been able to get to in years. i gave him his farewell gift, a $200 apple giftcard. he told me today that he just might have to get a macbook pro now.

although he has occasionally bugged the hell out of me -- and i'm sure the feeling is mutual in that regard -- i am going to miss him.

June 7, 2006

unbathroomish

i saw this post about a week or so ago and squee'd in delight. (fabulous blog, by the way. so cute.) i now own the green tissue box cover pictured there.

i've been on the hunt for a tissue box cover for my office for ages. since i had recently redecorated my office -- well, new office -- i was particularly sensitive to the way the wishywashy kleenex florals clashed with my palm tree walls. i didn't exactly want to have to look for stylish tissue boxes, so a cover seemed like the answer to my problems. unfortunately, the majority of tissue box covers out there are extremely bathroom-looking. this is understandable, though, because the majority of tissue box covers are parts of bathroom accessory sets (buy this cover, get a matching tumbler, wastebasket and toothbrush caddy). sure, i know that there are some really adorable ones at a local japanese shop, but they have stuffed animals attached to them. not exactly the image i wish to portray professionally at this point in time.

after extended periods of fruitless searching, i stumbled across lotta jansdotter and fell in love. (i had seen her stuff before and thought it charming, but didn't realize she had tissue box covers.) i don't think i can buy this size tissue box at costco, but who cares? it's cute, it's stylish, and best of all, it doesn't look like it belongs in the loo. what's not to like?

June 4, 2006

the decorators

we went to my office today to put up my pictures. cam discovered, much to his amusement/irritation/embarrassment, that he had failed to bring enough nails, so we weren't able to finish the job. it was fine, though, because it took at least an hour longer than expected to get done what actually got done. we had originally planned to get there early in the morning so we could take advantage of the cooler temps and take paul for a walk downtown to see the multitudes of fountains, but, well, bad moods kept us from keeping up with our plans.

paul had a good time at my office, i think, but he did skin his poor wee knee on the industrial carpet. i swear, the baby has inherited not only my nut allergy but my low foot clearance. he refused a bandage, though, telling us instead to "leave it hurting." (stoic.) he ate fries, drank coke (and my coke icee), drew on my big whiteboard, used paint on my computer to draw a pink sailboat, punched holes in paper, threw pens off my chair, waved around a letter opener, told stories about parachutes, etc. etc. etc.

we then just went on home because it was already almost four and we needed some backyard play time. cam got three photos and the two big framed wallpaper pieces up, so i'm happy with what cam accomplished. i'm not sure that he feels the same.

June 2, 2006

jewelry

i am dressed really poorly today, so i am wearing my rarely-worn engagement ring in order to up the total value of my outfit. i mean, jesu cristo, my pants are older than my assistant. these pants belonged to my brother. when he was ten.

acclimating

watching my new assistant turn off num-lock instead of caps lock while we waited for him to type in his login and password:

me: [to current assistant sitting next to him] let's just stand here and make him feel as uncomfortable as possible.

June 1, 2006

bad pun

in my department, we have a teenager, a toddler, a newborn and a baby due in three months. the mom of the newborn and the father-to-be both look to me for guidance. as the mom of the toddler, i am practically the old mom and the sea.

overproducing

after my friend was done with her last pump session of the day, she walked by me and announced that she had gotten almost ten [ounces].

my current assistant looked up. "you fill up ten of those little bottles?" he asked, gesturing at the bottles in her hands.

"oh god, no!" she replied. we laughed. "i'm not a cow!"

caught

my new assistant, watching me look for something on my computer:

him: you surf the internet a lot, don't you? the thought processes going on there... they're quick.

as paul would say, "ha ha, busted!"

May 31, 2006

dogs

been trying to figure out why people at work seems to be using the phrase "best-in-class." it's not that i have a problem with the phrase or anything like that, but it just sounds to me like we're trying to participate in the westminster kennel club dog show.

May 30, 2006

brewed

it is going to take a lot of coffee to get me going this morning.

May 28, 2006

distinctions

cam: who has the shortest hair, me or you?
me: [to paul] say, "i have the shortest hair."
paul: i have shortest long hair.
cam: do i have the longest short hair?

when i was a teenager, i remember having a strange conversation with friends about whether or not it was better to be the smartest pretty girl (not too smart) or the prettiest smart girl (not too pretty). sure, there were girls who did both equally well, but for the most part it was safe to say that the girls we knew leaned a whole lot heavier to one side or the other. pretty girls could be unexpectedly smart. smart girls could be surprisingly pretty. it's sort of funny now, looking back. it's so completely trivial and so typical of teenage girls. the teen years are just so tumultuous that in spite of one's best intentions toward accomplishment over beauty, those hormones just send you into chaos.

short long hair? long short hair? pretty smart girls? smart pretty girls? does it matter? i don't know. i suspect we may be debating these sorts of distinctions for years to come.

hausfrau

i had some free time after dinner -- i'm actually still enjoying it now -- because paul wanted to show his grandparents and aunt his new haircut. so i did some laundry and baked a cake. lest you think i am a total domestic type, i want you to know that i left the dishes (including the ones from dinner and the ones i used while cooking dinner) for cam to wash. woohoo!

my art

yesterday (or was it thursday?) i figured out what i wanted to do with the wall in my office that i was planning to wallpaper until i realized i didn't buy enough to allow for pattern-matching. i had already decided that i was going to frame pieces of the wallpaper in black frames to tie the two walls together visually, but it struck me as kind of a boring approach. then i came up with a variation on that idea -- frame the wallpaper in black frames, yes, but mat them, too -- with green mats. cam thought it was an interesting idea.

we went to home depot this afternoon. i found a decent green match, so we bought a quart. friday evening we bought two big frames at ikea. this evening i painted the mats. (i also painted a small wooden desk organizer we picked up at ikea (i had purchased one previously for paul and liked it so much i bought one for myself).) when the mats were dry, i framed the wallpaper. the effect is quite nice, i think, even though the mats bubbled in a few places (yeah, paper doesn't necessarily like wet paint).

i think we'll be putting up my "art" next weekend. i'm looking forward to the pieces of my office finally coming together.

May 27, 2006

mildly offensive

the other day i signed up for a trial copy of a magazine. i figured i'd check out the magazine and if i liked it, then i'd get a subscription. (that is how it works, right?) but a letter showed up before the magazine did -- with the ridiculous suggestion that i might as well pay for a subscription before i ever see the magazine in person. hmph. this magazine is starting in the hole for me. i hope i don't like it.

puppets

team america: world police is the oddest, most wrongheaded movie i've seen in a long time (and i've only seen a few minutes of it). the voices, the voices... oh, the pain of remembrance. i gave up south park a long, long time ago. it's entirely too weird to hear these familiar voices emanating from big-eyed marionettes.

it does have a moment or two of funny, though. "i like stupid jokes more than vulgar jokes," says cam.

but... the puppet sex scenes (and the puppet vomiting) were so awful i could crawl under the sofa. eeew.

May 26, 2006

tmi

i'm wearing a newegg t-shirt. har.

May 24, 2006

harmless

had a strange dream last night. dreamt about an old college friend. nothing particularly scandalous -- in fact, what made it strange was more or less just the fact that he was in it.

but thinking about this old friend reminded me of a time -- not too long after joel and i split up -- when we had half-jokingly decided that we were going to have a grand old one night stand. in december of 1997, after my final classes were over and done, i planned to take a trip to new york to celebrate. i was going to buy a one-way ticket, stay there for as long as friends could stand my semi-permanent houseguest status, then figure out a way back home. part of that plan was to stop in vegas and get a job as a cocktail waitress. (i'm still bummed that never happened.) but then cam came along and put an end to all of my foolish fancies. sure, i still went on my trip, but it only lasted three weeks and i had a round-trip ticket.

the friend and i ultimately decided the one night stand thing would have been too weird. we still sort of identified each other as the significant others of friends, so instead of engaging in hot sex without strings, we just hung out and smoked and drank and ate takeout on the sofabed and watched tv. (we also checked out a gay club for fun, but ditched it pretty quick.) oh well. every once in a while i miss that friend. he was fun. i liked having a harmless flirty friendship. (when i started working, i was horrified to learn that flirty didn't usually mean harmless anymore. i guess the closer you get to adulthood, the more literal you have to be. hello, sticky situations!)

i have no idea what this friend is up to these days, and really, i think i like it that way. i like to think of the last time we were together -- him sleepy and rumpled in the gray light of dawn, me standing in the doorway of his apartment with my backpack on my shoulders, ready to head out into street. we were young, we were adventurous, we were saying goodbye. for good.

May 21, 2006

the sleep of the just

i have been awake now for over 17 hours. i have done at least seven loads of laundry. i have cleaned, reorganized and worked out minor dilemmas on a mere five cups of coffee. i expect to pass out any moment now.

lost time

i usually stay up late on friday nights (and saturday nights, too), but we were all fast asleep by 11. i feel rather sad about this. friday nights are most assuredly me-time and i squandered it on sleep. those two margaritas i had with dinner just bowled me over, i guess.

the sleep of the unjust

yesterday evening cam and i couldn't stay awake. cam asked my mom if she wouldn't mind watching paul for a half hour or so while we took a quick nap. it was already about seven, so we figured maybe we'd sleep until 7:30 and then go out to target or something. she agreed and we promptly passed out.

cam: oh crap! it's already ten!
me: wha? ten?
me: [thinking] why do i need to wake up?
me: [thinking] who am i?
me: [thinking] don't i have a kid?
me: crap!

i jumped out of bed and found my mom and paul in the kitchen, just across the hall from the bedroom. my mom laughed and said she thought paul was ready for bed. i thanked her and indeed, once tucked in paul was asleep in minutes. you'd think i'd get up at that point, but no. cam could no longer sleep, but i could and did.

at about a quarter past three paul woke up, sobbing about his diaper. sure enough, the diaper, his clothes, the sheet, the mattress cover, the comforter and the duvet cover were all wet. dammit. so i put a waterproof pad on his bed, changed his clothes and he went back to sleep. me, i was filled with an irrational sense of duty and so i put my shoes on, grabbed some of the wet stuff and left the bedroom.

in the basement, i was extremely irritated to discover that i had forgotten to turn on washing machine earlier in the day. in some nonsensical 3:30 am-ish kind of way, i felt like karma was at work, but how could karma be blamed for my sleepiness, a boy's bladder and my laundry error? gah. maybe i should just go back to sleep. maybe everything will look better in the morning.

May 18, 2006

familiar face

last night i happened to check friendster and was startled to find a friend request and two new messages. the hell?

all three came from the same source -- someone i knew back in school. in high school we got to be friends, but i'm pretty sure we go back much further. (i can't remember! embarrassing. did we go to elementary school together, too?) out of the blue, he just wrote to me. very strange, but also very amusing. the best part was his second message. titled "holy shit, part deux," he wrote "i just realized you married cameron [last name]!"

yep, that's a pretty common reaction.

i need a mute button

i tell my mom just about everything. okay, maybe that's not entirely true... but i do tell her a lot. i mean, hey, i live with her. we talk. sometimes she gets on my nerves, but i'm sure most of the time i get on hers.

after reading about the exploits of certain nameless related folk, i am dying -- LITERALLY DYING -- to tell her about it. i am struggling. i am on the verge of stapling my mouth shut.

i've faced this before -- i found some rather fleshy tacky pics online and had to practically sit on myself to keep from mentioning them to my mom. BUT this... this... this is too good to be believed. (or too bad, for that matter.) i suspect that the reason why i am so very much freaking out about this is because what i've read just trashes every myth we've ever been forced to believe. it is so family-reputation destroying. not that i want to do that, but it's just that i've been raised (hit over the head with a hammer, slapped into submission, etc. etc. etc.) to take a certain thing as gospel and apparently it's not entirely true. there's a certain vindication in that, to be sure, but really, it's just good dirt and if there's anything my mom and i enjoy, it's good dirt.

just writing this has strengthened my resolve not to talk. i don't feel like fucking with my mom's head. she believes what i used to believe and i think maybe she's better off that way.

May 17, 2006

the not-so-secret life of 20-somethings

my mother said something curious about some family members today (something about them and them damn interwebs -- loose lips and all that), so i did some snooping and found more info than i needed to know about said family members. i need some brain bleach. too much shock value, too much art, too much faux-candor.

poor taste

my coworker told me that her husband did "the worst thing ever."

me: what is "the worst thing ever"?
her: he called me yesterday. "i'm at the hospital."
me: what?!
her: so i said, "what? is [insert baby name here] okay?!"
her: then he said, "just kidding." he thought it was funny!
me: oh my god.
her: i thought it was him. i'm used to him getting injured.
me: "hi, yeah, what did you do now?"
her: don't ever tell me my baby is in the hospital if she isn't.
me: no. that is the worst thing ever.
her: you understand.
me: yep.

May 15, 2006

labeling

there are few things in this world as beloved to me as my p-touch.

May 14, 2006

monomania

yesterday was not nearly as bad as i feared as it would be. in fact, it was actually rather nice.

we drove to moreno valley to visit my grandmother (she lives with my aunt). my mother was originally going to see her on sunday, but she moved her plans to saturday when i said we would go with her if only it wasn't mother's day because the traffic would be too much for paul on a such a long drive.

on the way there, we stopped to eat at a red robin near my aunt's house. i had a gardenburger. cam and my mom had cheeseburgers. paul had a SALAD without dressing. (of course, we all ate fries. a trip to red robin would not be complete without those yummy fries.) in addition to being the healthiest eater, i think he was also the best behaved.

because our visit wasn't on a planned family gathering kind of day, it was nice and quiet. paul ran around and charmed my family with his pretty hair and overweening cute. cam found a nice comfy spot and fell asleep. since i didn't have much sleep the night before, i was in a bad state. i tried really hard to focus, but i was pretty much just gazing at paul and dumbly parroting everything he had to say. once his grand idea struck him, though, i came out of my daze.

for a good 15-20 minutes or so, i had been trying to distract him from going up to where cam was sleeping. in desperation i pointed at the light fixture above our heads. my aunt has a big chandelier-thing having in her two-level foyer. either by standing off to the side on the ground floor or by standing on the stairs or at the balcony above, someone or someones had managed to throw some stuff into it. from below you could see that there were some green and orange things in there. when the light was turned on, something kind of big, white and sheer became visible. i told paul that it was possibly a parachute toy.

paul: up there parachute guy in the light.
me: yes, there might be a parachute guy up there.
paul: could be funny.
me: yes, paul, it could be funny.

"could be funny" echoed around that house for the next hour. one by one he dragged various relatives over to explain about the parachute guy. my uncle brought him upstairs to try to see into the chandelier. it looked like there was a paper airplane in there, but paul refused to believe it. "could be funny. parachute guy." he said, ignoring all suggestions to the contrary. eventually my uncle brought in a ladder. from up high he tossed down several large plastic jacks and a paper airplane. we tried to entertain paul with these things, but were only marginally successful. finally my aunt started throwing the jacks back into the chandelier (also with limited success -- the woman is a good 4"-5" shorter than me, you know) to amuse paul. then my cousin showed up and he proceeded to flirt with her for a while. "could be funny," he told her.

we left not too long afterwards. paul hasn't mentioned the parachute guy since, but i'm sure he's still thinking about it.

May 12, 2006

chilled

good lord, it's freezing cold in the __th floor women's restroom here at work. i guess it's so people don't loiter? you know, hang out in the bathrooms, smoke, play a little cards, etc. etc. etc.? um, yeah, sure, i can see how cold would be a real deterrent to people spending their entire breaktime allotment or lunchtime in the restroom.

what else are you supposed to call them?

is the phrase "rubber shoes" for sneakers/tennis shoes/athletic shoes just a filipino thing? we always called them that growing up. after a while in the school system, i decided it sounded silly, so i started referring to them solely by brand. (i didn't own multiples of the same brand.)

my mom: are you going to wear your rubber shoes?
me: yeah, i'll wear my BKs.

that just seemed so label-flashy, so i tried to refer to them by type. (i didn't own multiples of the same type.)

my mom: are you going to wear your rubber shoes?
me: yeah, cross-trainers would be a good choice today.

but as i get older, it seems to me that "rubber shoes" is excellent. it is exactly what it is. you don't have to be specific at all. you don't have to talk labels, you don't have to let on that you are ridiculously unathletic and that your so-called athletic shoes are just for comfort. i have never liked the word "sneakers." makes me feel like my shoes are off doing naughty things when i am not wearing them.

cam thinks "rubber shoes" is the funniest thing. he surreptitiously smiles when my mom tells paul he should be wearing his. i smile, too, but more in acknowledged perfection of her terminology.

the other day we were at a local department store when a saleslady approached paul and started talking to him. there was something oddly familiar about her, but i couldn't figure it out. he held out his feet to her. "are you showing me your rubber shoes?" she asked. a-ha! at that moment, i looked at her and realized she was clearly filipino. in fact, she was the saks saleslady equivalent of a friend of my mom's. too funny.

i can see myself being an old fussbudget reminding my grandkids that they should wear their rubber shoes if they want to play outside. they will roll their eyes just as i did, but i will be content, knowing that i'm passing that silly phrase down to a whole new generation.

locked out

it's always a bad sign when my keycard doesn't work in the mornings. my first thought is always the same: "great. i've been fired and nobody bothered to tell me."

May 11, 2006

not so wide

i placed an order from zappos on friday. yesterday i received my order -- one pair of yoga-type slipons and two pairs of boots. tomorrow i will be sending back the slipons and one pair of boots.

it's true -- i finally found one pair of boots that fit my oddly shaped legs!

i'm not entirely enamored of these, but they fit and that is good enough for me. the other pair of boots were marked "wide calf" and i swam in them. they looked like waders. not the best look for me. i already have stumpy legs and these made me look shorter and stumpier.

cam: i told you you didn't have wide calves!
me: sure, tell that to 90% of boot manufacturers...

so back they go.

the slipons were so cute, but they curved up too much in the back and caused me quite a bit of pain in the three minutes i wore them. i think i'm going to have to go to the nike site and see if i can find something similar to the two pairs of prestos i wore out a few years ago. those were the greatest shoes ever. lightweight, comfortable, formfitting. (only problem was that they were quite stinky.) i had two pairs, cam had two pairs -- i even bought my mom two pairs. by the time we wore them out, we couldn't find them anymore. i saw them briefly on the nike site last summer, but i missed the boat -- didn't realize it was a limited time thing. oh well.

i can't believe my boot hunt is over. woohoo!

stunned response

can i just say that i am the WORST interviewer in the world? ye gads. i'm still cringing from the last interview. details later (maybe).

May 8, 2006

i think this was a compliment

looking at some framed b/w pics of paul, a coworker asked, "are these professional or does someone have a hobby?"

not enthused

my assistant doesn't like my new wallpaper.

"ah. palm trees," he said, surveying the wall. "you like looking at this all day?"

it reminded me of attempts to be diplomatic about the appearance of new babies. "now that's a baby." usually the new parent is too busy beaming with pride to notice the lack of enthusiasm.

in this case, i was just amused. i know our tastes are not similar. it's no big deal.

May 7, 2006

paperhanging

yesterday cam and i went to my office to put up the wallpaper. because i know nothing about wallpaper, it looks like i won't have enough for two walls. because it's really hard putting up wallpaper with tape, it's a good thing i don't have enough wallpaper for the second wall.

we managed to get four strips (drops?) up before calling it a day, which means we just have one strip and change left. those will be the hard ones because we need to cut in around the shelving. it's going to be a little bit tricky and it will definitely take some time. we didn't finish up that one wall because we had to pick up paul. cam's sister was watching him by herself, and i felt kind of bad. it's a nice sister that will give up almost a whole saturday to watch a toddler.

the original plan was that we would return to the office today, leaving paul with my mom. but the morning came and i just didn't want to leave paul behind. i knew we couldn't take him with us, so we opted to wait until next weekend to finish the wallpaper. it's kind of a shame because i'll have to stare at an incomplete wall all next week, but it's so obviously worth the trade-off of a day with my son.

May 6, 2006

clean laundry

i have something blasphemous to say -- blasphemous in my allergen-free, supersensitive-skinned household, anyway.

[whispering]

i miss scented dryer sheets.

sore hands

i play far too much bejeweled.

May 4, 2006

purses

the other day we all went to south coast plaza and i looked at several "perfect black bag" candidates. they looked so nice online, but they were all much less impressive in person. the mulberry bayswater was underwhelming. the chanel cerf tote was too stiff. the mj sting rachel was just big (in fact, all of the marc jacobs bags were surprisingly huge). the celine clandestine did not impress cam, nor did the celine boogie. didn't see a ysl muse, but i don't think it would have worked, anyway, because of the hardware color. it was a worthwhile trip, even if it was a disappointing one.

animal control

san pedro raccoons, please leave my trash alone tonight. i do not want to hear you caterwauling outside my door or rummaging through a pile of stinky diapers. i do not want to see random bits of food trash scattered around my front steps. please?

May 3, 2006

oversimplification

i love eileen fisher. i can buy her clothes sight unseen because the fit is so easy, so free. for truly casual stuff, i can just go to target. (i live in these slumpy gauchos i bought from there a few months back.)

i have determined that the lv epi line is my handbag line of choice. i have no need to look at other purses because i know exactly what i'm getting from lv.

now i need to find a shoe line that will fit consistently and without pain. i have wasted too many pairs of shoes in my lifetime because i didn't appreciate that the feet needed to be treated kindly. once i find my desired line, then i don't need to look at shoes anymore, either. i'm interested in taryn rose, but i haven't yet purchased a pair of those yet.

it's all about boiling things down to the essentials. sure, these may be costly essentials, but they will save me much time and sanity. i've admitted to myself -- and to cam -- that what once was fun is now stressful. i hate shopping in person. i'd rather online shop and pay return fees when necessary. and once i settle on my brands, i won't need to waste hours on browsing ever again. (check back with me in a year or two to see how (un)successful i've been.)

rah

i've been reviewing resumes for a replacement for my assistant. (he's off to law school very, very soon.) looking at these things, i have to say that i'm scared shitless. none of these folks inspire me -- and their friendster/myspace listings don't exactly thrill me, either. i am simply not enthused.

i do, however, find one applicant amusing -- a former nfl cheerleader. (i looked her up. 1998.) i love how she made that the very last line of her resume. "wait, wait, i'm a cheerleader!" now that's an interesting parting impression. i wouldn't want to hire her, though, because then i'd lose my status as the cutest thing in the department.

JOKE. that was a joke.

overtaxed

my vacation is already just a distant memory. i can't really think of what i did -- other than occasional bits here and there, like going to the theater and taking paul to the doctor. i've been trying really hard to keep what i can in my head so that i can write about it when i have time (because i did have a nice time, really), but it's slipping away...

May 2, 2006

deep

on saturday cam and i ventured out of the suburbs for our night of culture.

it seems appropriate that we miscalculated the time (among other things) and ended up eating in'n'out sandwiches and fries in the parking garage near the geffen. it's hard to think sophisticated thoughts when your fingers are greasy. grounding, you know.

after we ate, we headed into the theater to watch a play that was "good like gandhi... good like schindler's list," said cam. arthur miller's "all my sons" is not exactly a lightweight experience. it was excellent -- pardon the fangirly whoop for neil patrick harris (we saw him as mark in "rent," too) -- but i'm in no hurry to see it again. i didn't cry at the end, but i did feel a little worn by then. such drama, such anguish, such tragedy. try to be unmoved in the face of such pain. suicide stories always leave me feeling a little vulnerable, even heavy-handed ones with a topical veneer.

"let the dissection begin," i murmured to cam as we exited the theater. sure enough, all the theater groupies were already blathering on. as we walked through the courtyard to the street, cam looked startled. "isn't that oliver stone?" we watched him cross the street by himself -- the whole time he was on the phone with whoever it was that was going to pick him up (we speculated). we tried to wait for his ride, but i was feeling rather stalkerish, so we went into the garage.

i feel different, not the same
this kind of feeling i can't explain
there is only one thing that i can do
i feel... stalkerish
how about you?

paul was asleep on my mom's lap when we arrived at home. with cam's parents in hawaii, we could only leave him with her, and unfortunately he just doesn't get distracted enough when they are together. by 10ish he was crying for mommy and daddy to come home. at cam's parents' house, we're lucky if he even remembers who we are when we show up to get him.

we have two plays left on our subscription, but cam is already talking about buying a subscription for next year, too. i think we should do it. it's nice to have an excuse to go out and be adults for more than a stolen hour or two.

April 27, 2006

substantial savings

my cole & sons "palms" wallpaper was delivered this morning! it's lovely -- and best of all, ordering it direct from sanderson fabrics in the uk meant a serious savings over my local wallpaper shop. sure, i would have liked to have given the local guys the sale (they were really nice), but when it came down to it, they wanted more than twice sanderson's price for a single roll -- even after a 20% discount -- and they only were able to sell the paper in double rolls. i needed three single rolls, so going with the local guys would have left me broke with an overabundance of wallpaper. sorry, local guys, but your price put me so down in the dumps i almost gave up my wallpaper dreams completely.

April 26, 2006

dawn 'til dusk

lately work has been insanely busy in the mornings and pretty much dead in the afternoons -- until today. it was insanely busy all day. in fact, because i'm not going to be in the office for the next few days, i ended up staying late AND bringing some work home (just a little bit, though). jesu cristo. what a day. i am bushed.

April 24, 2006

42

i knew i wasn't exactly challenging myself at work, but it's a little distressing to see that my brain is approaching midlife before the rest of me. i'm not entirely sure how telling a nintendo ds what colors i see -- or counting to 120 out loud -- or doing simple arithmetic -- can determine my brain age, but hey, at the very least it's kind of entertaining.

April 22, 2006

gimmick

i am so amused by showtime's new subscription bonus offer -- subscribe now and get coupons good for twelve frozen pizzas. now i have eaten my share of frozen pizzas and digiorno is indeed pretty good, but... the question mark above my head is about a mile high and three miles wide. i guess i shouldn't talk, though, considering my long-distance service (which i only recently cancelled) initially sent me coupons for free ice cream.

"but it was ben & jerry! that shit was new around here back then!" she says defensively.

April 21, 2006

get back

the "sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band" movie from 1978 is on the sundance channel right now. (well, it's ending, actually.) cam has never seen it before, so he's looking at the tv with a mixture of bewilderment, curiosity and a somewhat watered-down sense of scorn. i have fond childhood memories of this movie. very fond memories. my uncle the beatles fan lived with us for a while back in the '80s. (he used to play his guitar and we'd sing, him with his heavy accent and us with our reedy little kid voices.) he really enjoyed this movie so we watched it quite a bit. i don't think i've seen it more than, say, "heathers," "grease" or the original "revenge of the nerds," but i know i saw it at least 8 times before i was 8. i think initially i may have even preferred the bee gees to the beatles because barry gibb was all kinds of hot. in fact, it wasn't until i was in high school that i realized that so many of the songs on the soundtrack were not actually on the sgt. pepper album. now i'm a bit sheepish about all of that, but it comes with growing up in those times. i was a pretty damned good disco dancer at one point in my life, too -- but that would have been when i was about six.

door

maybe i'm old-fashioned, but i have become accustomed to being told to go ahead when a man is about to go through a door, even if he got there first. so, if i open a door myself and there's a man on the other side of it, i expect that he will allow me to go through the door first. i guess this is all meant to explain why i got so utterly flustered when i opened a door to find a man on a cell phone on the other side who then proceeded to try to push past me without even acknowledging that i was there. huh?

April 19, 2006

sandlot

went to the park last night (in between the balloon popping and the faceplant). now my floors are covered with sand. yuck.

looking inward

trying to write a self-evaluation for work. it's freaking hard. (there's some advanced thinking right there. freaking hard. why did i even bother going to school?) i mean, i know what i've done and i know what [little] i have accomplished and so setting it forth on paper should be easy, right? bleah. i have never, ever been good at the tooting of my own horn. i either come across as irritatingly overachieving or overly precious. don't get me wrong, i do like the sound of my own voice, thank you very much, but writing about me for work gives me fits.

April 18, 2006

the mom-cut

i love having long hair. it makes me look feminine, it makes me feel pretty, it helps hide my fat upper back. but this past weekend we went out and i finally grasped the fact that i don't have a hairstyle. i just have hair. a ponytail is not a hairstyle. my grown-out bangs give me a weird hippyish vibe. when i let my hair airdry, it's a foofy 80s mess. i need help. i like to think i'm still too young for the updated dorothy hamill chop, but i'm not sure what else to do. whenever i cut my hair short people tell me they really like it, but all i can think is, "dammit, hair, grow!" i need women friends to advise me on this sort of crap. i have a gay friend, but he's useless in this regard.

April 17, 2006

sleepy sickly

i stayed home today with a head cold. i think i've only been awake for maybe four hours total thus far for the whole day. thank goodness my mom and cam have been around to watch paul.

April 16, 2006

return policy

while we were at the apple store at south coast plaza yesterday, we overheard a sales associate explaining how apple handles the sale of previously owned computers. he was extremely careful to stress that the these returned machines had only been returned because the buyer had "changed their mind." yes, that is the only possible explanation to why a person (an insane person, no doubt) would want to return an apple. "mwahaha," he laughed, twirling his devilishly long mustache, "after that lobotomy -- which was strictly against my advice -- he just up and returned his mac. RETURNED IT. can you imagine? i knew that surgery would do him no good." i don't have a problem with this explanation, actually. it's a little farcical (god forbid that maybe an apple wouldn't work for everyone), but he is, after all, trying to make a sale.

i also don't really have a problem with the fact that they only offer a 10% discount should you choose to buy a returned machine. it's somewhat paltry, but it's a discount. at least they acknowledge that someone else bought this stuff first. they could be like a certain themed and poorly staffed electronics store i will not name here that cheerfully puts the full price tag on all returned goods (so cam tells me -- i sure as hell don't shop there).

here's my problem: if you buy a returned item, what you are buying is considered to be "refreshed." not previously owned, not refurbished, but refreshed. pray tell, what exactly is involved in the "refreshing" process? a nice alcohol wipe and a spritz of eau de cologne? it just seems so pretentious, but this is apple we're talking about here.

April 15, 2006

mama does not have a brand new bag

saw the lv epi jasmin and the spark was gone, so that's the end of that retail fantasy. was intrigued by the new epi passy gm, but someone bought the one the store had in stock right out from under me. damn. but... it was an awful lot of money for something that, viewed in the cold light of the parking lot, was not exactly ideal.

April 14, 2006

wrong side of the tracks?

a guy with a cubicle has nothing to offer a girl with an office. yes or no?

eggs and such

i suspect the pregnancy test freaked my body out enough to make it do its usual thing. the timing, it slays me.

April 13, 2006

coke and crazy glue

yesterday we finally tried the cyclone experiment. cam originally just taped the two bottles together, but then got the way fancy idea of crazy-gluing the caps together and drilling a hole through them.

while cam worked on the caps (and got glue on his fingers more than once, i might add), paul and i played on the floor with the bottles. it was pretty cool, but the water level was clearly dropping as more and more leaked from the taped joint. paul was intrigued by the whole thing and liked to watch from the top looking down. (remember when just about all two-liter soda bottles had that opaque plastic bottom? that would have diminished our enjoyment greatly.) then paul and my mom went to go watch mythbusters while i cleaned up. cam and i joined them there soon afterwards.

after the glue dried, cam returned to the kitchen and set the bottles up with the new attachment. the hole he had drilled was really small, so the effect was quite different. oooh. ahhh. pretty. (paul, however, was unimpressed and left the room while we were still playing with it.) unfortunately, because the hole was so small, you really had to shake the contraption to get it working -- and all that vigorous shaking eventually broke the glue. oh well. it was fun while it lasted. i expect cam will have time to perfect it before the we watch that particular ep of blue's clues again.

April 11, 2006

corrections dept.

cam checked paul's toy police car. he didn't believe that it said what i said it did. and he was right. on the side of the car, it clearly reads dwi enforcement. excuse me.

April 10, 2006

accent walls

it looks like we have a wallpaper winner, palm leaves. i think this one will bring some light and vibrancy to my little office. cam is such a dear. we spent what seemed like hours in a wallpaper store, only to pick something we looked at within the first ten minutes.

we bought a bunch of frames and mats from michaels on saturday, and i'm looking forward to filling and arranging them. first i have to get past the fact that the backs of the frames don't fit when the mats are in place. growl.

at this rate, my office might just be done before my ninth work anniversary -- march 2007.

shabby

there are few stores as universally dilapidated as toys'r'us.

April 9, 2006

griping

this morning i was grumbling and growling over the curse of heterosexuality that caused me to be married to my slob and to be the mother of my wee slob-in-training, but once i admitted to myself that it was hormones talking, the grumbles subsided to a dull roar. why the hormones were talking, i do not know, but who cares? i just refuse to be a stereotypical slave to them.

April 8, 2006

friday at home

i took friday off from work. it was so exhausting, i napped from 1:50 to 3. but on the bright side, i made a toy rocket for paul from an empty toilet paper roll and some silver metallic contact paper (he then proceeded to decorate it with a, b, c and w stickers.) and i had some chocolate malted krunch. mmmm. ice cream. i've been eating so much ice cream lately that i'm going to start looking pregnant even if i'm not (i do not yet have confirmation of this fact, though...).

late teens

i had the most uncomfortable dream last night. i had just finished high school for the second time and was about to head to cal for my second undergrad degree. granted, i liked high school (for the most part) and i really enjoyed college... but to do them all over again for no apparent reason ? hells no.

April 7, 2006

construction

realized recently that my mother missed her calling. when it comes to building stuff with mega bloks, my mom is king. she is remarkably quick at putting pieces together in simple and sturdy structures -- and she can credit this skill to my bossy little boy who will demand that under limited time constraints she build something solely for the purpose of being knocked down.

April 5, 2006

e is for emphasis

"... and grace is not known for hyperbole," says a person who apparently does not know me very well.

how funny that someone agreed with him!

April 4, 2006

a proper response

friend: what did you say when he hit you with the truck? you're supposed to say, "we don't hit" or something like that.
me: i said, "ow."
friend: well... that's understandable.

April 3, 2006

rabbits

on saturday, cam brought me a sandwich from our local sandwich shop. it was my usual kind of sandwich (all sides, no meat), so i was horrified when i suddenly found myself running to the bathroom to throw up.

cam: you're not pregnant, are you?

on sunday, cam bought a pizza. our usual: mushrooms, olives, tomatoes. moments into my first bite, i felt the (un)familiar nausea. cam seemed amused. after some thought (system checks), i determined it was the olives. sure enough, once i removed the olives from my pizza, i was fine.

me: what's wrong with me?
cam: you held a baby last week.

sunday afternoon i was thinking, "hey, maybe i am pregnant..." but then the beginning-of-the-month roller coaster hormones kicked in and i was soon pms-ing like mad. verge of tears, cranky as hell, grump, grump, grump. i wanted to fight, i wanted to cry, i wanted it to be the second week of the month. i think paul has nothing to worry about quite yet.

March 31, 2006

feel the rain on your skin

i find myself dancing to natasha bedingfield's "unwritten." embarrassing. thank goodness cam is asleep. but goddammit, that song is ridiculously catchy. and the guy in the elevator in the video? hot. ridiculously hot.

aspirations

i want to quit my job, move to the bay area and see if i can get a job on "mythbusters."

March 30, 2006

rivalry

just got back from seeing a coworker's baby. (another coworker and i organized a little get-together.) her baby girl was so cute! oh my goodness, i want another baby. the tiny weight in my arms, the baby warmth, the baby smell... we need that in our house. paul will not be pleased.

almost blown cover

had lunch with a coworker the other day. in the course of conversation, he said casually, "... write it in your journal, publish it on your blog with fake names..." and i was momentarily stunned because i had never told him i even had a blog. i recovered quickly enough when i realized he was speaking generally, but wow, that was a weird moment.

i did manage to keep my mouth shut, thankfully. not that this blog is supersecret or whatever, but i'd rather not have my writings a topic of work conversation (and you so know that is exactly what would happen).

indecision

i've got my wallpaper samples up and i'm sad to say that i don't love any of them. any of them would be fine, but none of them really speak to me. back to the drawing board, i guess.

March 24, 2006

for want of a [humbert humbert] pin

dignity was lost. i am drunk enough to want to rhapsodize, but too drunk to type... and it's not even 8 pm. yay!

(if you understand the title, three cheers and a gold star to you!)

March 23, 2006

trendsetter

my boss stopped by my office this morning to tell me that my window treatment is a hit. he's hearing from other office owners down here that it's a great idea and they all want one. apparently -- and this is a total kick -- the head honcho down here once wanted office services to frost the interior windows (because, you know, it's a total drag to have an office with an interior window. what's the point? so you can see when i'm busy? we are not all equal -- if we were, there would be no offices. okay, so that's a painfully uncool thing to say, but i've earned my office and i don't get paid overtime.). but office services' only solution was window film, which we all know is not the easiest thing to put on completely cleanly without a lot of effort. frankly, it rarely looks good from both sides. it may look fab on one side, but it would look so utterly ghetto on the other if the bubbles weren't all smoothed out. so the head guy said no and that was the end of that. but now they are seeing (and one person actually stopped my boss in the elevator to discuss this) that a simple window covering can have the same effect. she mentioned seeing something similar at ikea and wondered if i had bought it there, so he explained to her what i did. he tells me i can now expect to see versions of my window treatment all over the floor. go crafty private me!

by the way, conscience kills, especially with frantic types like myself. the other day i gave in and sent my boss a message about the wallpaper. he didn't respond, so i was nervously declaring to all that silence means yes. but while he was in here today, he said it was okay by him as long as i didn't use glue. yay! i have samples on order for my selsey and woods, so soon i expect to have a decision made on this. thank goodness he said yes... i told someone if he turned me down i'd just wallpaper a large canvas (which would be cheaper, sure, but large canvases are kind of hard to transport), but i really had my heart set on putting the paper directly up on the wall. my assistant doesn't really see any reason to decorate an office, but he did agree (and he winced) when i pointed out that we spend most of our waking hours at the job, so we might as well like the sight of our own space.

the eye of a parent

viewing my paul-decorated whiteboard with amusement, a coworker asked, "is that babywriting? i'd know babywriting anywhere."

earworm

this animal is a friend of mine
from the tip of his nose to his funny behind
all the friends that we met today
are special in their own way
we've all got different names
but we're really all the same
thanks for dropping by
we're glad you came
these animals are friends of mine
they jump and swim, crawl, fly and climb
one more thing we have to say,
go make an animal friend today! yeah!

freaking kratt brothers, please please please get out of my head.

March 22, 2006

semantics

i know the firm means well, but i'm a little tired of being "engaged" in "dialogue." whatever happened to good old conversation?

March 20, 2006

home away from home

the new office is quite nice. i'm unpacked, boxes have been flattened, the whiteboard has been cleaned of all marks except the ones made by paul on saturday, the window treatment* has been put together and installed (much to the bewilderment of an IT dept that has clearly never been exposed to the whims of grace). now it's time to make decisions about what to do, decor-wise.

there are two very white walls i'd love to spruce up with wallpaper and poster tape. right now i am trying to choose between three different designs: the mibo selsey in gray, cole & son's woods in either white or magenta, or graham and brown's lovely purple damask. whenever i mention this project to people here, the first question is always "does [the boss] know?" my response has always been that he told me that i could do anything i wanted because it's my office, but i do have a tiny kernel of fear that he'd say no given the chance... so i choose to stay mum until it's too late. we'll just have to see how it goes. i was originally determined to use the damask because it's the cheapest, but my sample taped to the wall is just not wowing me. i think i need to get samples of the other two before i make my determination.

*after some minor flibbertigibbishness, i settled on a screen made of a webby polyester panel ($5.99 at ikea) and two tension rods. (i was originally looking for a roll of rice paper or mulberry paper, but i couldn't find any and i didn't really have the time to go on a real hunt for the stuff.) i cut the screen to size and elmer-glued rod pockets at the top and bottom. actually, i only made the top rod pocket at home -- the bottom one i made this morning after i fit the screen to the window. i suspect i made it slightly too short, but it looks pretty good. my boss thought someone frosted the glass.

March 19, 2006

butterfly

i do declare, i think this is the first sheryl crow song i've liked since "strong enough" (and maybe the first sting song i've liked since "why should i cry for you" -- but it seems that this duet is a new version of a song she initially recorded alone):

my yesterdays are all boxed up and neatly put away
but every now and then you come to mind
'cause you were always waiting to be picked to play the game
but when your name was called, you found a place to hide
when you knew that i was always on your side

well everything was easy then, so sweet and innocent
but my demons and my angels reappeared
leavin' only traces of the man you thought I'd be
too afraid to hear the words i'd always feared
leavin' you with only questions all these years

but is there someplace far away, someplace where all is clear
easy to start over with the ones you hold so dear
or are you left to wonder, all alone, eternally
this isn't how it's really meant to be
no, it isn't how it's really meant to be

well they say that love is in the air, but never is it clear,
how to pull it close and make it stay
butterflies are free to fly, and so they fly away
and i'm left to carry on and wonder why
even through it all, i'm always on your side

but is there someplace far away, someplace where all is clear
easy to start over with the ones you hold so dear
or are we left to wonder, all alone, eternally
but is this how it's really meant to be
no, is it how it's really meant to be

well if they say that love is in the air, never is it clear
how to pull it close and make it stay
if butterflies are free to fly, why do they fly away
leavin' me to carry on and wonder why
was it you that kept me wondering through this life
when you know that i was always on your side

they look too happy to be singing such melancholia (except when sheryl crow -- who looks a lot like denise austin, i just realized -- is looking off dreamily into space), but i do appreciate that the video just has them singing together. i hate when singers singing duets have to act like they are in love or something. there's just something so ridiculous about it. sure, some singers can act, but... stick to what you do best. showcase your singing. don't turn a video into an exercise in self-indulgence. not everyone can be a renaissance type.

March 18, 2006

underprivileged

cam and i have been watching "i love toys" on vh1, a countdown of the top 100 toys -- i guess there was a vote?

like i told cam, this show is making me feel like i grew up in a third-world country or something. so many of these toys i've never heard of, never seen and surely never owned.

it's the glasses

there is something oddly appealing about mo rocca. god help me.

March 17, 2006

unpacked

i'm just about settled in my new office. it's a beautiful thing.

the legend of the blue swoo

yesterday i got a surprise package in the mail.

it shouldn't have been a surprise -- because, after all, i ordered it -- but i thought it was backordered and so wasn't expecting it for at least a month or so, however, since i've been sick/busy, i haven't checked my home email in about a week, so it's possible that they notified me that it was now available... but i digress.

inside the box was a big, bold, shiny silver swirl on a chain. my trademark!

a few years back, when the pokemon craze was just starting to sweep the nation (and we were steadfastly ignoring it), i happened to see a cute little blue poliwag on the cover of a magazine at the supermarket. i told cam about it. "it's really cute," i said, "and it has a swoo face."

baffled, he asked, "what is a swoo face?"

"it looks like it's saying 'swoo'," i replied, demonstrating.

cam has called me swoo ever since, and because the poliwag has a swirl on its chest, the swirl has become my logo.

when i watched blue's clues for the first time, i felt like it was instantly familiar because steve's house was covered in swirls. why shouldn't i adopt that show for my own?

it's kind of funny, but i suddenly feel like this post is one of the most embarrassing that i've ever written.

March 13, 2006

decoration

i've been mulling over the office decoration thing all weekend and am not really close to a decision, other than ixnay on the katamari because it's a little, um, young. alas.

March 10, 2006

31

a friend from work is in tokyo for the next few weeks. last night we were having a work-related email conversation (it was 4ish pm here, 9ish am there) when he asked me if i wanted anything from there.

me: Ah, I can't think of anything off the top of my head...hmm, well, if you see anything small vaguely related to this (http://katamari.namco.com/), I'll pay you for it! (I'm contemplating a Katamari theme for my next office -- I'm moving down to 10 in a week or two.)
him: um…How old are you? j/k
him: I'll try to find it. Maybe one of the asst's kids know where to get it :)

what a sweetie. i adore this guy.

March 6, 2006

decoration

when my new office-to-be went vacant, i spent a fair amount of time thinking about how i would decorate it. now that i'm actually moving -- months later -- i'm at a loss. cam recommends a katamari theme.

March 3, 2006

eyewear

cam and i went out to dinner after work because, frankly, we needed beer. so we headed over to the red robin over at the south bay galleria and indulged ourselves in almost identical meals -- whiskey river barbeque burgers (medium for cam, boca for me) and medium brown beers (1 newcastle for me, 2 hefeweizens for cam). we laughed hysterically because the waiter brought me a bottled beer sans glass. (he brought one later after the second request.) "look at you," cam said, "you look like the last person to be drinking beer out of a bottle."

after dinner we went for a short stroll around nordstrom. we checked out the purses (and a nice older saleslady complimented by blue mj multipocket). cam scoffed at mj's quilted denim line. i was disappointed by mj's quilted patent (but was secretly relieved to be able to cross the the large satchel off my mental wishlist because man, that shit is pricey). seeing nothing of real interest, we crossed over to the sunglasses. i tried on what felt like a zillion pairs. cam was meh. some were nice, but huge glittery logos on the earpieces made us cringe. i put on a pair of aviators. cam was amused. "you look like a cop... a hot cop." then i showed cam a pair that i had tried on earlier (he had been on the other end of the counter at the time). he instantly liked the shape, but was less than enthused about the giant "d&g" on the side. he took the glasses and asked a saleslady for a similar pair minus the "glittery crap." she came over and unlocked the chanel case. she showed me two pairs, but we were all in agreement that the big d&gs were the best ones. i pulled my hair down over the logos. "is this better?" i asked cam. "gotta show that you're wearing expensive sunglasses!" the saleslady remarked over our laughter. when i decided that i was going to go with that pair, she was astonished to find that they were relatively cheap. "i was sure they were over $200!" using the giftcard from my mom that i got for my birthday, the glasses ended up being less than $50 bucks (cam made up the difference, bless his heart). they came with a ridiculously flashy case, in white no less. hm, i don't expect to be using that one for very long.

i'm so pleased to have replacement sunglasses. i just need to be sure that i keep them away from paul. with the bold logo designs on the side, though, i'm not sure i'll be able to keep his little hands off of them.

occupational hazards

things have been so hectic at work i've been feeling a more than a little worn. it seems like this has been a week of emergencies. lots of stuff going on, both good and bad, all of it time-consuming. even though i only went to work four days this week, i feel like i was looking forward to the weekend more than usual.

today was very much an up-and-down day.

i was frantic with work -- had a 4 pm cutoff that made the 3 pm to 4 pm hour positively painful.

joel called.

i got news that well respected coworked was leaving the firm, and that this departure might cause other people (well liked people) to leave, too.

my boss told me that his new boss had arranged -- with a single phone call -- to have me moved to the office i've been waiting for since when, i don't know, august?

a secretary friend stressed me out with an 11th hour freakout about something that could have been resolved over a week ago.

then when i wanted to go home, a friend in another office had issues with our accounting software that she wanted to resolve, so i had to wait for her to make changes in the system and then generate an invoice.

i felt like my workday was never going to end.

February 28, 2006

vh1

i almost feel like i need to write a post about starving children or the environment or politics to get the stink of shallow off me.

but instead i'll watch music videos. (yay for days off!)

February 27, 2006

hard to get

i fall in and out of love with material goods easily and often. i love so many "it" bags and assorted "it" accessories, even though i don't really think i would like to own them (nice way to sidestep the whole affordability issue). when i find something a little lesser known, a little lesser advertised that strikes my fancy i go to amusing lengths to try to locate it. i usually don't find it, but there never is too much heartbreak involved because after a while i tend to forget that i wanted it. this amnesia really helps my sanity and my bank account.

right now i am wasting much time and energy hunting for a mulberry ledbury (chocolate brown -- saw one on ebay uk) and anything, anything at all about the orla kiely stem punched leather tote. (i don't even know what other colors were available. ebay uk has an olive one listed and it's lovely, but olive isn't really a color i do well.) i have been admiring orla kiely's fun fabrics for a long time, but only today did i discover the beautiful leathers she has, too.

i was intrigued by kazuyo nakano's leather handbags, but cam wasn't impressed, so i gave up on those.

i always feel half a step behind, stylewise. if i wasn't, maybe i could locate these much more easily... but then again, is that a good idea? i'd go broke. maybe it's best that i'm so far back.

February 24, 2006

overtime

i have work i need to do (brought some home for the weekend), but i am trying to ignore it. maybe i should watch "love day."

solo viewer

it's just before 11 pm on a friday night and i'm alone with steve, mr. salt and mrs. pepper. i am actually sitting here watching "blue is frustrated," which is one of the last eps of blue's clues i have left to watch. (i know this because i have a doc on my computer at home i use to keep track of the eps i've seen.) i've been trying to get paul to watch this ep for a few days now, but he is a tiny bit too stubborn to indulge his sick, obsessive mother in this regard. i also need to watch "love day," but i think i'll hold off on that one. i feel sheepish enough watching this one without paul even conscious, but at least steve's in it.

mum

every once in a while i want to tell a particular work friend about my site, but i always chicken out at the last minute. not that this blog is meant to be private, but there is a difference between being candid with a work friend and personally granting access to almost all of one's thoughts to a coworker. if he found it on his own, that would be one thing, but...

February 22, 2006

designer

i am totally eileen fisher's bitch. i've been fighting it off for five years now, but i finally give in. her clothes are wonderful.

quick change artist

kind of have to wonder what the doormen at work have to think about me. every morning i arrive about 6:40-something, scant makeup, obviously damp hair and generally just a rumpled appearance. bag lady extraordinare.

then i get to my office and the transformation begins. shabby coat hung on hanger by the door, wet hair combed out to dry, lipstick applied -- got to get the work image ready. by the time i head down to pick up my mail and greet our temp, i'm alarmingly cheerful and all put together. when i head out the door in the evenings, my hair is still combed, my lipstick still glossy and i have a confident (and fast) walk.

by the time i get home, i'm ready to shed the all-black professional attire for (all-black) sweats. Within seconds of getting in the door, the clothes are changed, the shoes are off and I'm spinning a boy in the air. whiz bang pop, who am i now?

February 21, 2006

ham and jam and spamalot

work spamblockers must have been down this holiday weekend -- sure, they caught 29 messages, but 41 junk emails ended up in my inbox. the majority of them were from yesterday. a few were fradulent ebay notices, a few were "go to our site and we'll send you a gift card for walmart/amazon/etc. etc. etc.," and the rest were pretty much stock-related. boring!

what happened to the good old days of porn spam? how disappointing to not find any naughty pics in my inbox.

February 18, 2006

foolishness

the boys have been napping for a while now and what am i doing? clearing up my del.icio.us links. god, is that a.r. or what? the mandate to keep my hands dry while my finger heals is killing me. i could be doing dishes or scrubbing the floor instead.

February 17, 2006

button

this morning i talked to one of the women i wrote about last night -- one of my bay area co-workers. apparently she had talked to the other one and they had decided that i am just "cute as a button." now, i envisioned them discussing my lack of ambition, not my appearance. clearly i overthink.

February 16, 2006

bedbugs

i think i sleep more often in paul's bed than he does. but what else am i supposed to do when he takes my spot on my bed?

visitors

in the last two weeks, i've met with two coworkers from two different offices. they have the same title and the same duties and are both located in the bay area. they are both articulate and opinionated and experienced in the ways of legal accounting. they are good friends.

one doesn't talk about her life outside work. one can't stop talking about it.

the one who doesn't talk about her life appears to be the ambitious one. even when she's not in the office, she is usually available by email or even by cell. she doesn't seem to understand that i'm reasonably content with my job as is because it allows me to have time with my family. she thinks, "okay, so you have a beautiful little boy at home now, but then... ?" she is serious and no-nonsense, but she types her name with a tilde at the end, sort of a funny little flourish.

the other one is a redheaded texan with two kids under the age of four, a redneck husband and a love for nascar. i know she's got lots of other activities going on -- school and side businesses. i know she knows how to quail hunt and paint murals. she likes to lecture me about leaving audit trails. she snorts when she laughs. she is, as the other puts it, a-mile-a-minute and it's hard for the rest of us to catch up. she is confident about what she can do and doesn't seem to really have much of an eye on the future (minus the whole schooling thing, of course).

i like both of them and both of them like me... but i have to admit that they often leave me at a loss for words. they make me feel like a little country hick. "you've never worked at another law firm?" they ask me (not simultaneously), shocked. normally i don't have a problem disclosing the fact that i started at this place right out of school and that i'll be hitting the 8-year mark in a month, but with them i feel a little shy because unlike most, i feel like they'll actually do the math. (not that i'm particularly sensitive about my age or anything like that, but...) i feel like they hang up with me and call each other and discuss my shortcomings. i feel like a combined-and-tempered them is what i want to be and that maybe the two of them taken individually are a little overwhelming. i feel like i have probably dissected them more than they have ever been dissected before. i feel like i must have more free time at work than i ever realized.

habitual

on tuesday the secretary who sits outside my office (yet isn't my secretary) stopped me on my way to the copy room.

her: let me know if you get tired of this song. [gestures toward computer] i like to play it once a day.
me: i hadn't even noticed!
her: [laughing] good.
me: look -- i play the same cd continuously for like a month, so trust me, one song repeated each morning isn't going to bother me at all.

at this point, i think it's safe to say that i have listened to "songs for dustmites" at least two thousand times.

obvious

running into a coworker this morning:

me: how are you feeling?
d: much, much better. how are you?
me: stressed!
d: don't be stressed. life is too short to be stressed. [long look] what time did you go to sleep last night?
me: early... why?
d: because... oh my, you ARE stressed. don't be stressed!

February 10, 2006

dancing

i just found out my mother votes for her favorite dancer on "dancing with the stars" on her land phone and her cell phone. how cute is that?

February 9, 2006

materials

is there actually such a thing as luxe nylon? what kind of a weird beast is that?

too nice

i am exhausted. why do i agree to take on ridiculous, brain-dead, click-intensive, tedious, last-minute little projects for the people i like? it's a vicious circle. i get to know a person, get to like them... and then the would-you-pleases and would-you-minds start. favors, favors, favors. when am i going to get a chance to ask any of these people for a favor?

February 6, 2006

superbowl

hurray for the unexpected laugh!

rams fan: you guys need a new quarterback.
steelers fan: eh, so he made some mistakes, but he did what he had to do to win the game.
steelers fan: and now he has a ring.
steelers fan: do you even have a coach?
rams fan: i knew i shouldn't have answered the phone. [hangs up]

i never saw that coming, i swear.

February 2, 2006

saddle

i'm back at work today. as much as i love paul and as much as i love blue's clues, i don't think i could take the combination for another 12 hours straight, especially when i'm feeling a little under the weather.

January 31, 2006

etiquette

say you are doing the dishes. say you run out of room in the dishdrainer because you didn't empty it first. what do you do?

a) wash as many dishes as will fit in the existing free space, then leave the rest unwashed in the sink?
b) wash all the dishes and find another way to airdry the others? (put them on top of the stove rack, put them on a dishtowel on the counter, etc. etc. etc.)
c) you would never be in this position because you regularly empty the dishdrainer when the dishes are dry.

hm.

January 28, 2006

trash

the waffle iron failed its final test. i need a real nonstick waffle iron that will actually (imagine this!) cook the insides of the waffles. damned thing. well, at least i don't have any guilt throwing it out because it was a gift.

showoff

tenth grade english teacher: to introduce yourselves to me and each other, we're going to go around the room. say your name and the last book you read.
x: i'm x and the last book i read was lord of the flies.
teacher: good. nice to meet you. what would you say was the climax of the story?
x: um, when ....

y: i'm y. i read animal farm.

z: i'm z. i read lord of the flies, too.

me: i'm grace. the last book i read was remembrance of things past by marcel proust.
teacher: [blink]

how the mighty have fallen. the last thing i read was the most recent issue of real simple. ms. rittger would be so disappointed.

mini

looking at what has interested me in cars lately has been rather eye-opening. a miniwagon -- the honda fit. a mini-minivan -- the nissan cube. those choices really do scream [short] mommy, don't they?

January 27, 2006

self-referential

how unbelievably startled i was to find this entry. not to be too much of a cliche, but i'm not really sure if i should laugh or cry.

aside from the long post about ME, there's a very interesting issue at hand here. by revealing to joel that i have a blog, i have outed myself as 1) still being alive, 2) potentially still being a tad sensitive about the past and 3) a blogger. until the moment i told him, i had only notified four people that i know personally about my site (two of those people being cam and my mother). letting him know means letting his crowd know (some of which happen to have known me in college when i was half of groel). it's a little surreal.

(i just have to mention that my laptop is on paul's back right now because he's sprawled across my lap. thank goodness i have a 12.1". regardless, i should probably be reported for using my child as a lapdesk.)

i debated for months whether or not i should tell him. (after all, he was the only person with unrestricted access to my old site. as i reread those old entries, i am shocked how much of that site i wouldn't have let cam read.) cam told me that if i ever felt that i'd have to start censoring myself if i knew someone would be reading my site, then i just shouldn't tell that person. i mulled that over for a long time. the end result? i didn't tell anyone i knew. frankly, i felt like it was still very shallow and so very ugly. i wasn't particularly proud of it.

finally i felt like my blog was substantial, despite the fact that it was still relatively new. i had tweaked the default layout, created a banner image i liked. i joined webrings. then when joel called me for my birthday, i felt like the time had come to finally just spit it out.

his reaction surprised me. definitely didn't expect my own entry. i'm still a bit startled. it feels like we are playing out a long-distance college reunion drama in movable type.

letter

i wrote this letter to a friend today:

so sorry for the long delayed response. as usual, things are frantic – it’s hopping at work as well as at home. we had an unusually busy spell at work (we’re still in the middle of it, actually), but i really really wanted to write back because the whole terrible two thing is really close to my heart right now!

i wish i had time to join a mommy’s group, too. as it is, the best i can do is some reading online about how other toddlers paul’s age are behaving. it’s not much, but it’s surprisingly useful (and a relief) to see that i’m not the only one with a child who hates x and y, loves z and m, etc. etc. etc. the group on the baby bargains message boards are great. i have more time to read than i do to post, so i occasionally feel guilty that i’m taking and not giving, but moms of all people should understand how hard it can be to juggle.

the dramas never cease around here. sometimes they are funny (like the ones paul perceives to be game-related: “game!” he shouts as he kicks me in the arm because he doesn’t want to put his pants back on after i change his diaper), sometimes they are heartbreaking (like the preference for daddy -- i totally sympathize on that one -- and the way he will stare straight ahead when we’re leaving in the morning if he’s awake because he knows we are leaving him).

toothbrushing is still an ordeal. it practically feels like abuse sometimes the way we have to restrain him just to clean his teeth. he loves sitting on his little stool in front of the sink and playing with the water and rinsing the toothpaste off the brush, but when it comes to actually putting the toothbrush in his mouth and really doing anything other than chewing on it... well, forget it.

bathtime in the sink is okay and shampooing his hair is fine, but rinsing it off causes screams. he used to love showers with mommy (been doing those since birth, practically) and now the tears start as soon as the water goes on.

we’re talking about potty training, so we recently bought him a potty. i put it in the bathroom so that he could get used to seeing it, but the first time i showed it to him in its new home, he whispered, “no, no” and that was the end of it. i just have to say the word “potty” to bring on a tantrum (or to be ignored).

going out can be difficult, too. he’ll only tolerate a cart or being carried for so long. he refused the stroller at all costs, so we’ve already packed ours away. putting on a jacket or shoes can cause fits and tears.

one day cam called me, totally miserable, from the car on the way home from his parents’ house (where paul had been spending the day). it had taken him an hour and half to get paul calm enough to take him home. an hour and a half earlier, paul had been fine with the idea, but as soon as he saw the car, he started screaming. he didn’t want to go into the backseat of the car, he didn’t want to go back inside the house. by the time they got home, paul was all smiles and cam was wiped out.

i think the worst situation right now would have to be bedtime. we didn’t have too much of a problem with that before, but now it’s torture. we’re transitioning him to his own bed and it’s not going too well. we tell him it’s bedtime and he sobs, “no! go away!” and tries to hide. then he starts calling out all the things he would rather be doing. “play trains. blue’s clues. read book. play. play!” we get him ready for bed and give him his choice of book. we can sometimes go through six or eight readings (sometimes of the same book) before he will even consent to close his eyes. the screaming seems like it will never stop. it’s exhausting. we don’t even need to talk about naptime. i think it’s just the whole process of going to sleep that upsets him.

see, you’re not alone. really. for me, it helps to think about positive or funny things:

• he eats vegetables like a champ. it does my heart good when he asks for “brockly” and soybeans.
• he lets me put his harness on -- i know that a lot of people hate these, but paul often wears a stuffed monkey backpack with a tail (got it at target) that i carry. he refused to wear it initially and is now only grudging about it, but going from hate to mild distaste was a huge jump. sometimes we forget to bring it with us when we go out and we suffer as a result.
• he has a great sense of humor
• he loves “blue’s clues” (i’ve become an addict)
• he talks all the time
• he has a favorite song (“it’s a small world”) and loves to sing his own version of it
• he can name a surprising amount of “thomas the tank engine” characters
• he finally figured out that my mother is not “mom”. oh my goodness, it was so upsetting (although no one else understood how upsetting) when paul called us both mom and would sometimes express a preference for my mother over me. i did a lot of “he doesn’t like me” moping. now i’m mommy and she’s gramma.

when people ask me about the terrible two’s, i admit that yes, paul is in the middle of them -- but it’s not that bad. of course i have to say it’s not that bad because in the scheme of things, tantrums are not that bad. i mean, he’s not out robbing liquor stores or beating up old ladies or failing all of his classes. BUT it is that bad. my formerly pliant and sweet-natured little boy is gone and replaced by a stubborn and challenging little monkey who is testing his boundaries and asserting his independence. where did my baby go?

one day we’ll all laugh about this, but i really do understand that it’s hard to be philosophical about this stage. it’s exasperating. it’s exhausting. it’s painful and hurtful and occasionally hateful. it’s hard to maintain a relaxed and fresh attitude when all you want to do is cry or scream, “please! why aren’t you listening to me?!” cam and i have our days where we sigh and wonder why we are even considering having another child.

anyway, enough ranting/venting/whatnot. just wanted to let you know that i hear you.

hugs!

i hope it makes her feel better.

ill-timed laughter

back in high school, someone told me i didn't have a sense of humor. in college, someone rather snidely said to me that "you laugh at what you laugh at" as if it were an insult. both times, my feelings were a little hurt and i tried to find more humor in what they considered funny. how stupid is that? sure, another person can influence your sense of humor (look no further than cam and his sister for that), but is it even possible to deliberately subvert yourself enough to change yours? don't answer that. i understand about the loss of identity, blah blah blah clonecakes, that can happen in relationships, but the way you approach the funny should always uniquely be your own.

labels

i like what i like. that is the best way to describe my tastes.

it kind of puzzles me to see when i express an opinion of something, that opinion somehow makes me "cool" or "weird" or "different." when i was younger, i'm sure it pleased me to be thought cool (i know it pleased me -- why equivocate?), but it amuses me to see that this is no longer the case. i don't have anyone to impress anymore.

well, at least until paul is old enough to be in school. then i'll want to impress his friends (by being hip yet motherly ("stacy's mom," i have no desire to be)) and impress his friends' mothers (by being wonder woman).

January 26, 2006

observation

it struck me just a moment ago that banter is akin (a kin!) to flirting. if one can successfully banter, one can probably flirt quite well.

assembly line

my dept is like a factory of sorts. (won't go into too much detail for fear of boring those who have no notion of how the admin side of law firms work...) chug-chug-chug paperwork in, paperwork out, paperwork back in and then off to me to process. this is the way things have always been run, at least as long as i have worked here. i think at some point maybe two or three people did every step from beginning to end, but i don't think that sounds very efficient.

sometimes i feel guilty about being the person on the end because i get MUCH LOVE. the rest of the folks in my dept don't get the same kind of treatment because they get involved somewhere other than at the end of the process. i am a goal. hearing from me means that the finish line has been crossed (for the most part). they are an obstacle. so there it goes.

i hear a lot of complaints -- not all the time, mind you, because of my still crazed office arrangements -- about this person and that person from the folks in my dept, and while i may shake my head in mock disbelief and smile knowingly ("yes, she is a crackwhore. and she can't spell for shit."), i'm sometimes astonished because i hardly recognize the people they're talking about. someone may be as sweet as pie to me and a raving lunatic bitch to my coworkers -- all in the very same breath.

the nicer part of me wishes that my dept-mates got to see the kinder, gentler side of the firm, but the hag part (the one that shrieks, "ha!") is perfectly content with the situation.

unusual

me: is something wrong? why are you looking at me like that?
my mom: no...
me: is something wrong with my skirt?
mm: it's not... black.

January 25, 2006

words

to me, the two most frightening words in the world are "family emergency."

all i have to do is hear them together to make my blood run cold. i know that "family emergency" can mean different things to different people -- like to some, a family emergency might be that someone ate all the oreos without replenishing the stash -- but to me it means something really, really bad has happened. these are not words i can take lightly or use casually.

people at work have been having a lot of family emergencies lately involving parents and hospitals. even just the idea of that makes me a little nervous and a lot sad.

betty crocker

i used my new waffle iron for the first time last night, and let me tell you, it would have been a total crying failure if they hadn't tasted so good. they stuck to the baking plates like one would not believe, so i had to use a wooden spatula-thing to pry them out, my lovely golden broken crumby waffles.

i suspect my troubles stemmed from the batter being too thick and completely devoid of all ingredients known to normal human beings. allergen-free baking substitutes do occasionally lead to most unconventional cooking results. i only used half of my batter, though, so maybe i'll water it down some and see if that helps. i really want this to work. paul likes waffles and these were much tastier than the wheat/egg/dairy-free ones he's been eating for ages.

non-sticky

frizz-ease is an absolute godsend for staticky hair. a tube at the office is a must (along with my trusty can of static guard). i think i'd be better off if i retrained myself to raise my feet higher when i walk, but that's just not happening at this late date.

January 24, 2006

spark

the main problem with low foot clearance -- aside from the obvious one, tripping -- is that one is constantly getting shocked. i have a great fear of doorknobs at work because i just know touching them is going to sting. i drag my feet. i snuffle. i shuffle. i'm shuffleupagus.

January 23, 2006

rings

i've been a little webring-crazy this weekend. i finally mustered up some courage to join one (and i anguished over it, let me tell you...) and now i find myself with links to three.

i haven't joined anything in ages. maybe once in my life i was a joiner, but that time has pretty much passed. yet i felt like i wanted to be part of a community, so that's where this came in. we'll see how it goes.

January 21, 2006

inevitable

we went out mid-afternoon to run a few errands. one of these was to stop by the restoration hardware in pv to pick up a hook to match one we already have on a living room wall and to find two other similar hooks for my mom's bedroom.

while cam was paying for the three hooks, i heard the sales associate say to him that they went to school together. i was standing sort of behind cam so i couldn't see the guy's face when i looked away from paul (i was carrying him), but then cam moved just in time for me to see the guy say his name. i went to school with him, too, obviously, and not only did i go to school with him (junior high), i used to ride the bus home with him and even used to carry on a sort of friendship via notes passed back and forth on the bus. an epistolary friendship, if you will. i sort of had a minor crush on him, but it quickly turned to just friendship because really, it had just been a crush of circumstance since we rode the same bus. i actually thought he was gay, but, in retrospect, i see he must have just been an early metrosexual. BUT STILL.

oh my god. of course i was dressed like a suburban mom with my hair tied back and my glasses askew.

i immediately zipped off to the side and busied myself with paul. but then i heard cam say my name and that we were married and then he -- how could he? -- called over to me. i turned around, smiled and said hi. luckily at that point paul wanted to go up the stairs, so off we went.

after he finished up at the counter, cam came up the stairs and i let him know i was not happy about what he had done. argh. i knew i should have at least put on my damn contacts.

multitasking

i must sneak in some writing while watching selected wiggles segments or i'll go mad. i have seen this particular episode roughly six thousand times.

January 20, 2006

water

along the side of the 110 near sepulveda is a strange billboard. i thought it was a bottled water ad until i finally got a good look at it.

it's an ad for biola university, a christian college in orange county.

cam didn't see it this morning, so he looked for it on the way to pick me up this afternoon. "christian water bottle university," he dubbed the school.

i have, as i mentioned to cam in the car this morning, a dim view of biola, based solely on the one person i knew who went there. while we were in college, he sent me a letter because "god wanted him to." um. god thought you needed closure on your dealings with sinful me? ridiculous.

so this boy (formerly full of opie-ish charm and freckles... my lord, those freckles) wrote me a letter and it was a very nice, very bland letter about his new life. it didn't sound like him. the boy i had known had been full of vitality and sneaky humor. and then he went to college and he apparently became a new person. i'm sure he was very happy with his newness, but i kind of missed the oldness.

battle cry

no one is really going to be free until nerd persecution ends. woohoo!

yes, i'm watching "revenge of the nerds." god, i love this movie.

kind

my assistant remembered my birthday is tomorrow. i don't know why i'm absurdly touched by this, but i am. i think it's because he's a guy, and a young'un at that.

January 19, 2006

i used to know people like this?

from january 29, 2001:

___ came out and was clear with his intentions for the first time ever. "god, you don't know how bad i want you."

i'm so disappointed! i knew that it was kind of going in this direction (i'm wilfully blind, not stupid.), but i was hoping that he wouldn't go there. and it gets worse. turns out he prefers dating married women because they don't ask for too much. i never expected to find myself pursued because i have a husband.

reflecting

thinking about my old site today. had some spare time, so i read over some old entries.

GOD! what overselfindulgent crap.

still, it was very interesting to have a peek into my life back in 2000 and 2001. some things clearly haven't changed. this is from august 13, 2000:

today i was utterly useless. i played "sims," watched several episodes of "homicide" on court tv, put away some groceries (we had ours delivered), finished kitchen confidential and resumed my usual stupid combing of the internet for petite clothing sites.

how dull.

i wanted to go out, but i couldn't make myself do anything. i sat on my ass and did nothing. i guess that's good every once in a while. i don't always get the opportunity to sit on my ass. i'm still working on those feelings of inadequacy i get when i don't accomplish something on the weekend.

this is where cam and i differ.

he believes that weekends are for relaxing. i think weekends are for doing stuff that i don't get to do during the week. i believe in making plans, itineraries. i believe in running errands. cam believes in sleeping late, in lounging on our purple velvet couch in front of the tv, in drinking countless cokes and smoking countless cloves.

"compromise, baby," he says.

i particularly liked this from november 11 of the same year:

let me tell you, there is not a more amusing sight than me with a gameboy in one hand and a clove in the other, a drink at my side.

i'm a little startled by how much of my past life is made up of 1) alcohol, 2) work gripes, 3) sex (sexual tension and otherwise) and 4) shallow compliments.

January 18, 2006

mindset

someone told me today that all men think -- when it comes to the women in their lives -- that if said women don't share their hobbies and interests, other men would probably be able to interest them in those same hobbies and interests.

this is probably true. (at least his sister agrees that it's true.) unless you are completely set in your ways and anti-change, your view can probably be modified with the proper encouragement. therefore, if someone ever confronts you with this, i would say that the appropriate response would be "hell yeah, you stupid dumbass, you clearly had the wrong approach."

makeshift

today i am wearing a gorgeous drapey-flowy purple sweater that i got on sale from garnet hill. trial and error showed me that the most flattering way to wear it was with one side draped across the front like a shawl. unfortunately, it wouldn't stay put. out of desperation, i stapled it. voila! staples as thirtysomething fashion accessory. good thing i bought a pack of colored staples at target the other day.

January 17, 2006

observation

i don't know why, but i find it pleasing that wil wheaton still has such a nice face (a little rounder, surely, but he was too thin when he was younger). maybe it's because i like my men soft and a little nerdy...

not a cook

notoriously kitchen-challenged friend to doctor about heat rash on her back:

friend: i've been using cortisone, but it's not working. is there anything else i can use?
dr: you could use cornstarch.
friend: cornstarch? what's that? do i have to buy that at the pharmacy or something?
dr: you can buy it at the grocery store. it's normally used in baking.
friend: oh, so that's why i don't know what it is!

January 16, 2006

creative endeavor

let me say this right now: decoupage just isn't my thing.

January 15, 2006

iron horses

i just have a bad feeling about today's game. i can't watch.

January 12, 2006

baggage

i've been hunting for a laptop bag for a long time now. first i had to buy one for the laptop that was supposedly mine. ended up with the stm profile bag. it's a nice bag, i like it, but it took forever to find one that was pleasing to me yet wasn't offensive to cam. (since i assumed he'd carry it once in a while). little did i realize i was actually buying it for cam. good thing i didn't buy a girly one.

now with my new laptop, i'm back in the hunt. so far i'm torn between three crumpler bags (12" skivvy/breakfast buffet/wee bee) and two from stm (small drift/small alley). i thought about acme made, but those might be a little too fancy for my needs. i also considered tom bihn's lux bag, but you know, until they come out with those promised inserts (one for laptop, another for diapering!), it's just a tote bag.

in my search i learned that the people who care the most about this sort of thing would be the apple people. the mac evangelists. it's hilarious how many google searches brought up apple folks going on and on about bags for their precious toys. cracked me up. but i appreciated it because hey, it helped me narrow my focus. still funny though.

i already knew that i wanted something small but that would hold the adaptor, wouldn't have an overabundance of velcro, would only have one strap (because double-straps are the enemy of this slope-shouldered gal) and would cost less than $150. i never found one i really had to have, so cam suggested i just get a sleeve and use a diaper bag until i found the one i wanted. (i just read something about someone using a skiphop diaper bag (of which i have two!) as a laptop bag, so... maybe i really should try that first.) considering i want a new diaper bag and am having similar difficulties finding one to suit me, i figured i better just buy a damned bag and be happy with it.

cam: you could always buy another one later.

my kind of guy.

i told cam he could buy a bag for me for my birthday, so i sent him a list of links. however, i'm still looking. guess i'm still hoping that i haven't yet come across my ideal.

poor form

i don't know about you, but cam and i firmly believe that men should never, NEVER, tell their wives about women at work and say that they'd (wives) like them (female coworkers). i mean, it very well may be all completely innocent, but seriously... i don't think wives want to hear it.

worn

feh. man. i am beat. i am so ready to go home.

the hell?

5:07 pm in the elevator.

stranger: nice jacket.
me: oh, thank you.
stranger: so... is it the kind of jacket that's cool and warm at the same time?

um, excuse me?

January 11, 2006

newness

my new laptop is so cute and wee! (maybe not as cute and wee as the vaio we played with at best buy eons ago, but still pretty damn cute and wee.)

January 9, 2006

dishpan hands

i wash dishes by hand in the sink with running water. do not lecture me on the abuse of our aquatic resources. i do not like dishwashers and i think i'd rather use paper plates for all eternity before washing dishes in a sinkful of soapy water. (eeew!)

washing dishes is a ritual, but not one i always enjoy. if cam will do the dishes, great. i'm always pleased when this happens in a TIMELY fashion. (don't even get me started on past mold issues.) and even though it makes me feel a tiny bit guilty, i'm always secretly pleased when my mom steps in and does the dishes for us while we're at work. i feel like if i cook, i shouldn't have to do the dishes, but cam never feels any urgency about the process. sometimes i do dishes while i'm cooking just so that there are less of them afterwards. it's kind of a pain to be putting on and taking off the rubber gloves and positioning and repositioning the dishtowel just so on the counter in front of the sink so i don't get soaked, but it's preferable to walking into the kitchen at 5:50 the next morning and being confronted by the pile of greasy pans from hell.

because we handwash all dishes and other related kitchen stuff, we have a fancypants dishrack out on the counter. for most of my life i've had a two-bowl sink and one of those bowls was always filled with a dishrack, leaving me with a ridiculously small area for dishwashing. when we were planning our current kitchen, i was adamant about having a single bowl. this (i think) is the one we got and i love it. i can wash all sorts of things in it, including paul. anyway, i know that dishracks on counters is a huge kitchen decorating faux pas, but i think our snooty one is kind of nice-looking. on saturday (or was it sunday?) i cleaned it with barkeepers friend and stainless steel cleaner and i thought it looked actually kind of elegant. only when empty, of course. there is nothing elegant about take 'n' toss straw cups or cheap frying pans. i thought about using the dishwasher to hold dishes while they dry, but i'd have to leave the door open and that would block the path to the fridge. poor planning, that. (but don't blame me -- that's the existing hookup. our renovation was pretty much cosmetic.)

i think if we ever get dishdrawers, i'll make an effort to use them and to rid myself of my dislike of dishwashers. we never used ours growing up -- whenever we tried, the kitchen would flood. my aunt explained that because we never used it, the seals dried out and cracked, so that's why it never worked right. back then i thought she was crazy -- how can something left alone break? -- but it makes sense to me now. whether or not she was right, i don't know, but it makes sense. it's kind of like windshield wipers, right? when you don't use them all summer they get kind of brittle. cam and i have had dishwashers in apartments and i've used them, but we always used them after we already washed the dishes. the dishwasher was purely for sanitizing, which i don't really consider necessary.

i can't believe i'm writing a treatise on dishwashing. i better shut up now.

January 7, 2006

awards

i like how so many of my regular reads are trolling for bloggie nominations. it's sort of cute, like putting up self-aggrandizing posters for homecoming court.

blue's boos

i really, really, really don't like blue's room. i just don't. i can't believe the folks behind blue's clues decided to move in that direction.

a week or two ago paul and i were watching an ep on the nick jr. site and it was so surreal because joe showed up. blue and his friends had a candle burning in the window so that joe would know where to go. how on earth did joe get into that little box? more importantly, what happened to joe, mailbox, the spices, et al. when blue decided she'd rather live in her one-room house so she could talk with the voice of a five-year-old boy? so much for the much-vaunted loyalty of a dog.

whenever an ep of blue's clues is on with the blue's room segment tacked on at the end, i tend to just zone out after i hear "buh-bah-buh-bah-buh-blue's room!" i wake up when moona tells blue it's time to go back home. it's so funny to think how i used to be creeped out by the way the blue's clue's characters faces moved when their heads didn't -- i infinitely prefer those felt and construction paper folks to the playroom puppets.

odd planning

apparently in an effort to get moms to continue to buy toys even though the holidays are over, target has started stocking kitchen stuff. i had thought it was just me -- i thought that the kitchen toys had been there through christmas and i had just missed out because i had steadfastly avoided target during the second half of december. but i was reading the boards the other day and other moms were commenting on how they had gone all over town and shopped online to buy kitchen stuff in time for christmas, and then all of a sudden here was target with the cutest supply -- a week or two after the gift-giving time was over! curses to them. hang on to your wallets, ladies!

January 6, 2006

prepared

it sounds sick, but cam and i are discussing gifts for christmas 2006.

slump

i've been really avoiding myself in the mirror lately.

maybe i'll do a quick oh-my-god-check-out-those-monkey-brows-where-are-my-tweezers stint in the bathroom, but for the most part, right now it's all about the glance to make sure i don't have moisturizer globbed around my nose or something in my teeth or that my shirt isn't buttoned incorrectly. it's all about quickly fixable issues.

right now i don't have the fortitude or the willpower or whatever to focus on myself more clearly. my resolution to always be nicely dressed when going out has already fallen by the wayside. if i really wanted to do that, i think i would never leave home. luckily i haven't run into anyone i might be embarrassed to see.

cam made me spend some of my annual bonus money on some new clothes, and as much as i'm looking forward to having something nice to wear (some of my work stuff is starting to look worn from all the washing), part of me hopes none of it will fit so i can return it all and spend my money on more fun things -- like train stuff for paul or maybe new clothes for him instead of me.

i've been contemplating a haircut. my hair is about to the middle of my back again (slowly creeping back to the length it was when paul was born). i like my hair short, but i like it long, too, so i'm torn. my sister-in-law looks fab with shorter hair, but i don't. i turn to paul for the answer i think i want.

me: paul, should i cut my hair?
paul: no.
me: alrighty then.

he's not spitting up or hair-pulling, so i'm safe with long hair if i decide to keep it. when i hacked it off to chin-length, it was because i was tired of smelling sour milk in my hair from my wee spitter. cam thinks i should just cut it off again. "it'll grow back," he says. duh. that's no comfort. men. so prosaic.

i figure, as long as i look my age or reasonably close to it (either side of 30 is fine), then maybe i should just be content with my appearance. no one is mistaking me for my son's grandmother, so all's well, right?

January 5, 2006

"we could cheer"

last night cam watched the rose bowl with glee. whenever he cheered, paul was fascinated. he'd stop whatever it was he would be doing and look at cam.

paul: again! again!

thanks to the doubleplusgoodness of tivo, cam would re-watch and re-cheer, often accompanied by paul's very earnest attempts to follow along.

January 3, 2006

lights out

yesterday i had the day off.

apparently, so did our power. no, that isn't fair -- it was only out for maybe an hour and change. it felt like ages, though. the house was dark and cold.

paul was not happy. the tv was out, the lights didn't work, heat was off... the laptop worked, but what good was it as a standalone machine? if i couldn't get to google video, there was no point in it working at all.

we snuggled up in bed with the blinds open, reading paul's beloved books (which he has, to some extent, memorized). when the power kicked back on -- in parts -- it became apparently a boy had no interest in napping, so we got up and watched some tv. cam had to work a half day (he thought it was going to be a full day, so he was rather startled to be sent home after lunch), so he showed up not too long before a boy decided it was naptime and just fell asleep in my lap.

i was wary of possible power outages for the rest of the day, but the rain never came back. i read in the paper today that power was out for much longer in neighboring areas, so we really lucked out -- still, try telling that to a two-year-old boy determined to watch a video clip featuring a guy and a train.

December 31, 2005

handy dandy notebook

a few weeks ago, i told cam not to tell me about any laptop deals unless he really considered them good deals. i was getting lost in all of the details, only to discover that he didn't think the particular discounts he was describing were all that interesting. well... he finally found one. i am to be the proud owner of a new dell 710m within a few weeks. yay!

(#1 new year's resolution: stop spending money like it's going out of style. did i mention i bought a new jacket for paul this morning from hanna andersson? gulp. at least it was on sale.)

rain rain go away

supposedly this weekend will be marked by heavy rains and possible flooding. according to the daily breeze, south bay residents can pick up sandbags from local fire stations and other select locations, including the san pedro yard just blocks from my home. the national weather service says to expect the storms to hit this afternoon. a heavier one might be coming through tomorrow through late monday.

of course we were planning on going to a car wash today for paul's benefit. feh. off to watch joe-car instead.

waiting

i wish the noggin shop would respond to my email. don't they know how much money they'd make if only they sold moose and zee shirts in adult sizes?

December 30, 2005

nice rack(s)

in my kitchen i have a cheapy kmart version of this. (martha stewart everyday rocks. it just does. i have a beautiful shoe rack from martha's now defunct catalog shop and really, as much as i love it, i'm not sure it was worth what i paid for it.) today at home depot i found a teeny-tiny tabletop version that made me squee in delight. i had to have it. cam thought i meant it for paul, so i think he was rather surprised to learn i wanted it for myself. when we got home, i set it up next to the stove and put my cooking utensils, oil, salt pig and assorted spices on it. the two racks match almost perfectly. it makes me so happy i fear for my sanity.

sheepish

i made cam take me to carson ikea (paul says, "'kea! more 'kea!") because i wanted to buy a certain small table. of course it wasn't in stock. if only i had thought to check availability online i would have known that. oops.

December 29, 2005

pseudonym

i've noticed a disturbing new trend on one of the boards i read -- supposedly longtime posters/members are setting up anonymous usernames to post on sensitive topics (marital discord, abortion, etc.). these folks are writing really dramatic stories and asking for support.

i understand the (seeming) need for anonymity. a person may not want to be forever labeled as the one who did this or that. even if you've been around for years, all it'll take is one dramatic storyline for people to judge you in a way that may not be to your liking. or maybe you've been lying about how well things are going because you want to be like everyone else, but things are crashing and you need hugs. the carefully crafted persona slips.

but what if these anonymous people are not who they claim to be? this is the internet, after all. they don't have to be who they say they are. or... they could be exactly who they say they are, but the stories could be false. they could be bored, feeling like stirring up the pot up a bit. they could be doing research for an article or a story. who knows?

you always have to feel sorry for those nice big-hearted folks who get taken in by con artists. it happens all the time. a hard luck story is taken at face value and the next thing you know, half your money is gone and no one is answering your calls/emails. hoaxes, people. did no one learn anything from kaycee nicole?

my feeling about this is that if you really are who you say you are, trust that this particular online community will be there to support you. post under your own name. maybe this wouldn't be possible on other boards, but i think it might actually be okay on this one.

December 27, 2005

eggs

someone told me today that as a child he had an allergy to eggs. his mother was so afraid he wasn't getting enough nutrition, so when a relative told her that she should give them to him raw, she decided to try it. she mixed up a raw egg with a little milk and sugar and he gulped the concoction down with signs of obvious delight. he then proceeded to ask for this every morning.

when he told his wife about this, she didn't believe him, so he demonstrated. "i'm not going to kiss you for about a month," she told him. "let's just shake hands."

"i don't think i'm going to tell paul's pediatrician about this," i said.

December 26, 2005

how things work

funny how an overturned bowl of blueberries can result in a freshly cleaned leather couch. i've been putting off the cleaning for ages, but paul gave me a reason today to do it this very minute.

December 25, 2005

winding down

we have had a very nice christmas.

this morning we opened gifts -- and i know i was touched and astonished by the generosity of others -- and i wrote thank you cards while paul napped. we had a surprise visit from my uncle, who dropped off a present from my cousin, his partner and their dog. (a bike! a toddler-sized bike! i don't know if i'm thrilled or frightened.) when paul woke up, we headed over to my in-laws' home for a late lunch and sweets.

cam and i went home a bit early and worked on paul's kitchen. cam just left to pick him up. i'm still stuffed from that late lunch, but i'm still powering down the candies. oof. where are my stretchy pants?

paul seems to be enjoying his gifts. (almost every gift is accompanied by "wow!" and "ooh!") i'm a bit sad because one of my favorites doesn't seem to be interesting him much, but i'm hoping that'll change once he settles down from the toy-high. he wasn't very keen on clothes, but really, who thought he would be? he loves the wooden veggies and sandwich set because they come with wooden knives. when he's not chopping, he's rearranging his train tracks. his auntie told him, "maybe you'll be a chef, which is good because nobody in this house knows how to cook." based on his current interests, if i had to pick a profession for him, i think he should be a chef on the napa valley wine train. yes, i like that idea very much.

December 24, 2005

prefestivities

it doesn't really feel like christmas eve.

this morning my mom, paul and i went to costco. it was crowded as hell, but i would say it was probably only a bit worse than regular saturday traffic. still, regular saturday traffic at costco is pretty hellish, so i was glad we didn't stay too long. we bought diapers, lactaid, bread and a pair of jeans for a boy.

when we got home, cam was just about to get ready for his dad's annual benihana birthday lunch. being that it's at benihana, paul couldn't go, so of course i stayed at home with him. cam left. i chopped potatoes to roast in the oven while paul cooked/trashed the kitchen. i gave him a mini-lecture about scattering dried pasta on the floor. with a pouty face, he picked up the wheat-free penne. one by one. my mom and i just stood there and tried very hard not to laugh. when he was done, i thanked him and as a reward, gave him a paul sticker (i love love love my p-touch) to stick to his little kitchen stepstool. we watched an episode of blue's clues ("joe-car! joe-car! car wash.") and then i put him down for a nap.

i say i put him down like it was easy. of course it wasn't. it involved almost 15 minutes of tears on his part and feigned sleep on mine. when he finally fell asleep, i got up and proceeded to do the pre-christmas toy clean-up of the boy's room. i cleaned off the incrediblock, the ball popper and the leap frog learning table and removed their batteries, then packed them up for storage. i also took out batteries from a few other toys that were lounging in the closet and packed them up, too. then i set the pile outside for cam to put under the house.

cam came home from lunch and went straight to the computer to see, he claimed, if the chargers had been eliminated from the playoffs. paul still slept. i made dairy-free, wheat-free macaroni and cheese because i was starving. i ate that, along with some of the potatoes i had cooked earlier. cam struck me as being gone for a really long time, so i went to the back room and proceeded to needle him for the neglect. then paul woke up, so i let cam handle him while i ate and cleaned up the kitchen.

about 4-ish we went over to cam's parents' house for cake. cam's dad and uncle opened their birthday presents, and then, much to my surprise, started opening christmas presents. if i had any idea we'd be opening presents, i would have brought our camera. i was baffled because we were set to come back tomorrow, so why open presents now? paul opened his -- he got a cute puppy bank with his name on it, signing time vol. 5 and a bunch of thomas accessories (figure 8 expansion pack, a battery-powered thomas and cranky the crane). i tried to play with the crane, which upset paul enough to make him take it from me. cam's dad then revealed he had a fever -- we already knew cam's sister was ailing -- so that essentially put the kibbosh on our plans for the next day. oh well. so cam and i opened our presents. i got two le creuset petite casseroles (pumpkin and yellow pepper) and a mouse rug from cam's sister and a waffle iron from cam's uncle (funny, it never occurred to me that cam's uncle would also be seeing my wishlist). cam got a laser level/stud sensor from his uncle (which freaked me out a little because we also bought him a laser level, but at least it was a different brand) and sledge hammer dvds from his sister. (his parents gave us a card which feels like it contains a giftcard, but we haven't opened it yet.) we had originally planned to leave paul over there for a while so we could work on his kitchen, but the prevailing levels of sick kind of stopped us in our tracks -- so we went home and took paul with us. it was really too dark to do any cutting or anything, so it was just as well.

now we're at home. cam and i ate takeout pasta from our favorite local italian place (we always get an order of rigatoni marinara and an order of fettucini alfredo with mushrooms -- then we mix them together. yummy!) my mom watched paul while we ate -- as usual, he ransacked her kitchen and ate everything in sight. we haven't done a damn thing to the kitchen, but it's a little hard with paul around. cam had me open two gifts (which weren't on my list -- a photo album full of pictures of paul and a copy of alton brown's gear for your kitchen), so i made him open one -- the mr. rogers parenting resource book -- that i bought for him and paul. the two of them are now playing in the living room as i type this.

it really doesn't feel like anything is out of the ordinary. even the opening of gifts didn't seem to mark today as a special day. i don't know. maybe it's because today is saturday? there is something less interesting, i hate to say, about having holidays on weekends. it seems shallow, but i think i feel kind of cheated.

December 23, 2005

stupid holidays

i can't work for shit today.

manipulated

either he reads my blog or he feels a bit maudlin because he has daughters of his own. someone just sent me this email:

And you, trouble? I can't believe that. Here's what I'd guess your mother thinks about you.

Where are you going my little one, little one,
Where are you going my baby my own?
Turn around and you're two, turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of the door.

Turn around, turn around, turn around and you're a young girl
Going out of the door.

Where are you going, my little one, little one?
Little dirndels and petticoats, where have they gone?
Turn around and you're tiny, turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a woman, with babes of your own.

Turn around, turn around, turn around and you're a woman
With babes of your own.

("Turn Around," Harry Belafonte, 1959)

ack. lump in throat. i'm so glad i don't have a daughter or i'd be bawling.

see what i mean?

sacrifice

i am a martyr. i suffer -- often for fun. but i do not think i suffer from martyrmom.

i do not believe that i work any harder than most moms. i do not shoot down my husband's attempts to parent, only to complain that he does nothing and that i have to. do. it. all. i do things that are convenient, or if not quite convenient, things that are simple and avoid toddler confrontation/meltdown. i have access to free, safe and wonderful childcare and i make no bones about taking advantage of that. i do not keep the home spotless and when i do clean, i do not use only "green" cleansers. i have no problem telling cam i want takeout and that the child can have french fries for dinner for the second night in a row. i like that my toddler likes blue's clues. i get tired of reading aloud the same passage in a storybook over and over again just because it contains fun words like "bang" and "crash." i cheerfully switch cds when a boy stops dancing to "it's a small world" because i can't stand it anymore.

i do not think taking the weight of my household on my shoulders would make me a better mother.

early adopter

i have $55 in toys 'r' us giftcards for paul, so the other day i was browsing amazon.com to see if there was anything interesting in the way of toy train stuff.

i found something neat -- ice delivery cars. since paul has a real obsession with ice, i thought it would amuse him. then i started to really read the listing. according to amazon:

Based on customer purchases, this is the #1 Early Adopter Product in Vehicles & Die-Cast.

eh? i'm sorry, i thought at some point that expression meant something. now it just seems to refer to people who actually pay attention when the next installment of something comes out. come on -- this is a thomas the tank engine accessory. jesu christo. if i buy this for paul, i'll be sure to let him know he's cutting edge.

December 22, 2005

really?

my assistant informed me today that being a gamer-enabler is pretty close to being a gamer. since when? just because i don't kick cam to the sofa every time he turns on the xbox, that suddenly changes my role in life? interesting.

wine, women and song

yesterday i read that someone's toddler refers to my favorite show as "booze cooze." yes, i must be 12 because i giggled (around a mouthful of coffee -- nearly ruined a keyboard). how profoundly inappropriate. yet maybe if that were the actual name of the show, steve would have stayed...

go me!

was randomly googling and i learned that because i'm a movabletype user and i have a blog, i'm a pretentious twat. thanks!

December 21, 2005

tiger

if chad johnson can successfully integrate a deer into an endzone celebration, i may have to switch my allegiance from the colts to the bengals.

age

i am a terrible judge of age. someone showed me a picture of his granddaughter today and i almost blurted out, "you cannot be old enough to have grandchildren!" sure, it could be taken as a compliment, but it could also be taken as "damn, you were fast, weren't you?"

December 20, 2005

love-affair-by-mail

84, charing cross road by helene hanff truly is a delightful little book.

streak

the colts' loss on sunday really put me in a foul mood for hours. it took chocolate soy cream, a new banner image for my site and the idea that adam schefter could finally go home to finally chase the irritation away.

December 19, 2005

baubles

i got a nice-sized bonus from work today (well, i found out the amount -- the actual funds will be distributed at the end of the month). 96% of me wants to be prudent and apply the money to some of our bills, but the remaining 4% wants to spend it all on frivolous me-things.

no, cam, i will not list the frivolous me-things here so you can buy them for me.

duty

it's just before seven am -- my hair is still wet, my office is too brightly lit, my inbox is overflowing, i still have heartburn from a late dinner the night before -- and i'll be damned if i'm not happy to be back at work.

postal rates

my mom said something to me about international mail the other day. i thought she said international male and i was instantly amused by the idea of my mom perusing that catalog of scantily clad men (and men in tight pants, men in blousy pirate/poet shirts, men in pimp suits, etc. etc. etc.). how disappointed i was to realize she was talking how many stamps i'd need to put on a christmas card to spain.

December 18, 2005

awake

feh. it's 3 am and i am still awake -- the result of a late dinner and a late two-hour nap. feh and double feh.

December 16, 2005

500

in honor of my 500th entry, here is a little something that cam likes a little too much for my taste. hope your sound is turned down low.

it's peanut butter jelly time!

December 15, 2005

holiday sales

today i took the day off because cam's work christmas party was tonight and i didn't want to go. (if i had gone to work, i would have been waiting there for him until after 11 pm to pick me up or i would have had to ask my poor nervous-driving-downtown mother to get me during rush hour.) am taking tomorrow off, too, since cam will be working at home and i love him so.

cam woke me up before he left this morning. unfortunately, paul woke up, too, and refused to let me go back to bed. first morning of a four-day weekend and i'm out of bed before 6:30. i recorded my out-of-office extended absence greeting for my work voicemail, which delighted paul. "me!" he insisted, and pretended to hold a phone to his ear. i recorded him saying "dad" and he made me play it for him over and over again. later that morning, i called my mom over and we chatted while paul and i ate "brown" (hash browns). he pretended to cook, stirring cooked potatoes in a small pot. it came out that she wanted to go to citadel, a local outlet mall, because she wanted to buy new plates. she had remembered me talking about a store that sold open stock correlle and she was interested. (interesting note: years ago, she told my dad she wanted correlle plates, and the next day he brought home a box of hilton hotel plates, which were made by the same folks. those plates -- those white plates with the raised h border were a symbol of my childhood -- were not even remotely like the correlle plates my mom wanted, but she didn't fuss. now, more than seven years after my father's death, here she is, finally buying those desired plates.) i wanted to go to tuesday morning, so we made plans to get ready and leave quickly.

tuesday morning turned out to be closed until ten, so at 9:35 we walked over to ross, where my mom bought paul a cooking set (cooktop and pans) to be stored at her house. paul pushed around a pink stroller, which he called a cart. cam had accidentally left paul's shoes in our car, so i was looking for a new pair of shoes for him (his current shoes are on the verge of being outgrown, anyway). i put a pair of ugly black ones on him. they fit, but no one was happy with them so they ended up back on the shelf.

we left ross and went to tuesday morning. paul played with a toy microwave that didn't work. "damn," he said. a lady shopping nearby laughed. we didn't see anything we wanted, so we left empty-handed. paul did show a fondness for a spatula, but didn't protest when i took it from him.

we then drove to citadel. paul napped. i hadn't been there in a few months, but since i knew that construction was going on, i wasn't too terribly surprised by the changes. my mom, on the other hand, hadn't been there in years. she was astonished. we walked into a shoe store, hoping to find shoes for paul, but they only carried adult shoes. "me," paul said, pointing to a pair of black strappy stilettos. um, no. (he had said earlier he wanted "nice. black. shoes." but these were clearly not it.) we ended up buying him a pair of cute little white shoes at the reebok outlet. my mom asked if she could pay for them. hey, why not? she also paid for lunch (of which paul ate a lot -- yay, pachanga grill!) and bought herself some plates and a jacket.

we hit big lots and rite-aid on our way home, looking for ornaments that could withstand the outdoor cemetery life. by then it was after three and i was exhausted. a boy had refused to walk for the majority of the day, and i was dressed for an air-conditioned office, not for lugging around a hefty toddler and a diaper bag on a warm day. my own poor judgment, clothingwise, sure, but i think i would have been okay if the child would have walked.

when we arrived at home, paul wanted to watch tv and wouldn't nap. i wrapped paul's cooking stuff for my mom. there was much play, blue's clues, eating, "it's a small world" and crying before paul finally succumbed to sleep around 9:30. then i uncorked a bottle of wine and here i am.

December 14, 2005

dental re-education

i have been re-learning how to brush my teeth.

when i was pregnant, i couldn't put a toothbrush in my mouth without gagging, plus i had the lovely bleeding gums problem. (what a horrid symptom.) i tried a child's ultrasoft toothbrush, but the process took longer than before, which was no fun at all. so i switched over to an electric toothbrush.

not too long ago i was horrified to discover that my beloved electric toothbrush had a crack in the side. i thought about replacing it, but didn't know if i wanted the same kind, so i planned to use a regular toothbrush until i figured out what kind of electric one i wanted.

one night a few weeks later, cam and i were watching an ep of l&o:ci. goren examined a body and pointed out that the victim must have been right-handed because the gums on the left side of her mouth receded more than on the other side. apparently people brush more vigorously on the side opposite to their dominant hand. it was like a lightbulb flashing above my head. aha! i felt the gums on my left side and sure enough, they were kind of thrashed compared to the gums on my right side. i was overcompensating for the lack of battery-poweredness and that explained that strange soreness i had been suffering for the past few weeks.

my gums have since healed and i find that the regular toothbrush is actually kind of nice (what a surprise, i've only been using a regular one for what, 26-27 years of my life?). it's nice to not have to worry about charging it -- or worse, having the charge run out at 5:55 am when i'm running late. i think i may not bother switching back to an electric until, i don't know, i get pregnant again.

torn

i want the colts to win the superbowl, so sure, let the guys rest, let them play a bit so they don't get rusty or lose momentum, but don't let them risk injury. the team seems to want to play it out to the end, but they will respect dungy's wishes and accede that he knows best, so if he says sit, they'll sit.

but.... wouldn't it be rad if they went 16-0?

December 12, 2005

o christmas tree

the tree (a martha stewart everyday 7.5' pre-lit tree) is up!

sure, it was a bear buying it -- we got it the day after christmas, i think, and the box was shredded and it wouldn't fit in the car, anyway, so cam took it out of the box and just stuffed it into the trunk of the car -- but it was a bargain at $60-something (down from $199.99) and hot damn, it's pre-lit! no more wrestling with tangled strings of lights.

it looks so good on its own, i don't even want to decorate it. alas, i know i have to because cam's parents bought paul a blue's clue's ornament (can i buy one of steve?) and it looks so sad and lonely on the tree by itself. cam would probably be happy without ornaments, too, since he claims he wants a charlie brown christmas tree, but, um, that has no place in my house.

bait and switch

like i mentioned before, we are planning on a bunk bed for paul. so... on saturday, we dropped paul off at his grandparents' house, borrowed their creaky old van and took off for ikea to buy the unfinished $99 one i've had my eye on (as well as pick up the cabinet we bought to make paul a kitchen set).

because the creaky old van is a creaky old van, cam opted for surface streets. it took us an eternity to get to carson from san pedro. we parked and headed into the holiday tent because i wanted to look for gift wrap and tags. it was freezing in that tent, and it was with a sense of relief that we took our gift wrap (no tags in sight) to the register. cam reached for his wallet and stopped short. surprise! of course he had left his wallet -- and i left mine, too -- in our car, parked in cam's parents' driveway. so back into the van we went, cam apologizing all the way. he took the freeway back and we could barely hear each other over all the squeaks.

we ended up taking our own car back to ikea. cam felt bad that i didn't want to go back to the tent to get my gift wrap, but it was already late and i just wanted to get what we needed and get home.

i've been waffling on the bunk bed issue. i know i said i really liked it -- and i do -- but i've been wondering about the sagacity of putting a child that small into a bed that big. there's a new "junior" bed available (but not in carson, alas) that i've been admiring, but i've been unsure about that one because i didn't know if it could support my weight in addition to paul's. (voice-of-reason cam said that we could try sitting on the toddler beds at carson. if it felt unstable, we'd pass and then just buy the bunk bed.) i've also been iffy about the smaller bed because, well, do we want to have to buy a new bed again in just a few years? but then cam said that if we bought the smaller bed, we could keep it in our room, so i was pretty much sold at that point. however, i still wanted to see the bunk bed because who knows, maybe i'd fall in love with it again once i saw it.

when we got to the bed section, we just stopped dead. completely dead. the $99 bunk bed was no more. in its place was a shorter, more compact and solid bunkbed for more than twice the price. omfg. the reason for the priciness of it was that the bunk bed could be separated into two twins. plus it was already finished (clear coat). i was in shock. sure, i was 75% certain we weren't going to buy the bunk bed, but to have it just mysteriously disappear was a little shocking. it didn't even occur to me to ask if they still had some of the $99 one in stock because, well, i was in shock, and this was clearly a better bed. we kept walking.

cam sat on a toddler bed. bounced on it. it held. i should have been thrilled, but i was still musing over the new bunk bed. now i'm torn. we'll make a trip out to costa mesa or burbank to see the new toddler bed, but i have to wonder if maybe we're meant to get this new bunk bed. clearly we weren't meant to get the old one. argh. i know that what ikea wants for the new bed is not that much. it really isn't. (cam's parents pointed this out, too. cam's bunk bed cost about $600 almost thirty years ago.) but i have a certain idea about what ikea costs should be and this one sort of surprises me. cam says his sense of sticker shock at ikea was lost when we paid for our kitchen cabinets, but those are kitchen cabinets, you know? i'm kerfuffled. i don't know what to do.

but at least there was a nice note to the evening: i found my gift wrap -- along with others i had liked but were not available in the tent -- right next to the registers. unlike the old bunk bed, these rolls of gift wrap must have been meant for me.

December 8, 2005

forward thinking

i am quite impressed. kate spade now sells a breast pump bag. sure, it's crazy-expensive, considering that the medela pump-in-style itself runs for a little cheaper than that, but it's a very nice gesture. i hated the backpack that came with my pump. i ended up leaving the motor at work and just schlepping the bottles and horns home each night in my regular bag (which was, at the time, a maira kalman/kate spade tote). (i also used avent adaptors so i could pump directly into avent bottles, so i didn't even use the provided medela bottles or cooler.) the backpack found a new life temporarily as an emergency diaper bag for the car, but we never used it, so i packed it away with the pump when those days came to an end.

go, kate! thanks for the stylish dedicated option.

fashion victim

it embarrasses me that i want a pair of cherry blossom uggs. i'm 30, for chrissakes.

December 7, 2005