Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Gov

Before I start my Saturday and get ready for family, I have one more post. Governor William J. Le Petomane was a hoot in Blazing Saddles. The Gov was the bomb. He was an honestly corrupt politician. Did you know Le Petomane was a real person? He was a French entertainer who apparently had remarkable control of his abdominal muscles and could....fart at will. The Fartiste as it were. It translates into the Fart Maniac. Mel Brooks is a gas.

I figure our good governator, Arnold, should have a jacket that says The Gov and I would rather he fart than pass (get it, pass?) new taxes.

Have a great Saturday~!

Snark Attack

Mizwrite has a post on Heroes that I liked and got me to thinking. I said that I am pretty sick and tired of cynicism being thought of as sophisticated and difficult. I mean how hard is to be negative and mean? And if you write well you are probably a best seller.

But...I love a good snark. I love irony. To me that takes so much more brain cells firing than cynicism. I was reading the Washington Post blog, Achenblog, which I just discovered. What snarky fun it is. He is writing about something as mind numbingly boring as what is REALLY in the budget that the President submits? He said all the fun stuff is in the appendix. He talks about how NASA got an "extra $900 million more dollars than the Bush administration's last budget request, which by my calculation will allow it to fire three more satellites into the ocean every year." He has a story in the Washington Post about the satellite "orbiting earth at the bottom of the Indian Ocean."

Kathleen Parker is another snarky columnist as is Maureen Dowd and Michelle Malkin. Christopher Hitchens is probably snarky, too, but his writing is so, so....well, let us say I can read a sentence he has written and not be sure I am speaking the same language. I have seen him on TV though and he is hysterical, even if you don't agree with him. Anybody who can flip off the Bill Maher audience has got to be snarky.

Maybe that is the hallmark of good snark, humor and a quick wit. Jon Stewart leaps to mind here. I like when they pick on all politicians and all issues, not just cherry pick the ones they are against. Hollywood is liberal, so they make fun of conservatives and do a mighty fine job of it, but there is plenty of humor to be had at the expense of the liberal world. We have a fine new Democratic Attorney General, Eric Holder, who says Americans are cowards when it comes to discussing race, and yet they have a fine Democratic member of the senate, Robert Byrd, who was a member of the KKK. Grand Wizard I understand. Now tell me there isn't a good snark in there somewhere.

A good snark takes what you think you know and pushes it outside the box. Kind of the same thing a good reporter should do, but without the sarcasm.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Visual DNA and E-Harmony

So have you taken the Visual DNA quiz? Come on, go on over and do it, it's fun. I took the quiz one night with my sister-in-law and her friend Manelli. We were drinking, so perhaps the results were skewed a little. Hee, hee. Manelli took a long time picking out one picture from each category. She is a very methodical organized human being, so it took her a while. JuJuBeez and I were starting to get paranoid. Maybe we answered all the questions wrong? Can we do it again? What does it all mean?

I take the quiz and I think I am being honest with myself, but I get the results and think, some of them are right on, but some are so wrong it is funny. The moods analysis seemed pretty right on but the fun segment was so not me. "For kicks, nothing beats an adrenalin rush." Me? Adrenaline rush? HAHAHA. "You're confident and brave--life is for the living." I'm a hermit in the making and it was a long time before I got brave enough to call businesses on the phone and try to resolve an issue. What if they yell at me?

As a joke, I went back and picked the opposite of what I would normally do. Do you know that that revealed a lot about me too~!??

So what does this have to do with E-Harmony you ask? I went on their website awhile ago and filled out their endlessly long questionnaire. It was so hard. You have to be honest so that they match you correctly. But when you read the questions you feel like cheating. I mean who doesn't want to be thought of as honest, loyal, affectionate, hard working, blah, blah, blah? Who wants to date someone who takes procrastination to new Olympic levels? Who wants to date someone who just discovered how to use a blow dryer? Make-up? What's that?

So I fill it out and I am pretty sure I put in there not to send me anyone over the age of 55 and they should live in or near Temecula or even down to San Diego. (I go there a lot.) What do I get? Sheesh. It looked like early bird special day at the local cafeteria in Hemet. Facing reality is a bitch.

Manelli is a psychologist, maybe she can shrink me up a bit so I can fill these dang things out and start dating again. Dating? I met my ex-husband when I was 16 and divorced at age 50. What do I know about dating? Nada. Not a thing. Zippo. Zilch. Okay, I am having palpitations here. I did get a good piece of advice from a man who met his new wife on He said do not put older pictures of yourself on your profile, you know, the ones when you used to be hot, thin, young. He said to be honest. Sigh. There is that truth thing again. I wish he would just introduce me to one of his Marine officer buddies and save me the trouble.

I think I will try again and I will keep you posted.

Freaky Friday

Another Freaky Friday. This is making Happy Hour more like the Horrid Hour. If we have a depression coming, does that means drinks will be even cheaper at Happy Hour? Brother, can you spare a dime?

The headline is: "Economy Shrinks at Worst Pace in 25 Years." The taxpayers get a bigger share of Citigroup. Wells Fargo, swell guys that they are, are suspending bonuses for top executives. It makes you wonder what makes a top executive. I am sure I could run a Fortune 500 company into the ground as well as any Top Bozo. Or this headline: "New Home Sales at Record Low." "Fannie Mae: $25.2 Billion Loss." "FDIC: Number of Problem Banks Increases Sharply in Q4."

I figure I am going to be like the starfish in "Finding Nemo" and find a happy place. You know, relax, take a deep breath. Maybe I should learn to speak whale.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I love this video. I love the flying, the song, the beauty. Part of me so wants to do something like this, but I know damn well that if you put me at the edge of one of these cliffs, I would have to crawl to the edge. I would be hyperventilating, sweaty, clammy, and ready to pass out from fear. The knocking sound you would hear would be my knees and my teeth chattering. I would be lucky to have the courage to even peek over the edge. I mean, are these people mad? I think they would have to throw me over the edge wailing and screaming.

So why on earth do I want to do this? Are there any shrinks out there who could put be on a cyber couch and tell me why, oh why, I even begin to think I want to do this? I mean climbing to the top of the ladder to put the star on a Christmas tree tests my fear of heights. I remember going to a space needle, I think it was in San Antonio, and we get to the top, the elevator opens, and I can barely move. I mean it took everything I had to get off the elevator and move toward the glass windows. I don't know if you have ever been in a space needle, but the wind buffets them pretty well, so the damn thing is swaying. It felt like being drunk but without the nice bottle of Jack Daniels. At least being drunk, I would have a good excuse for barfing.

I like to go fast. I could never have a truly fast sports car because they would throw me in jail and I am too much of a chicken to go to jail. I had the opportunity at about age 25 to go on high speed taxi ride in a T-38 jet. The Air Force used them at flight school for their pilots. I had to wear a flight suit, the helmet, but I got to wear my own tennis shoes. They let us steer down the taxi way with the canopies open. That was hysterical watching the wives try to steer a straight line. One by one we got into position on the runway and then we went screaming down the runway almost to the speed you would take off, but then we had to stop. I still remember the feeling of not wanting to stop. Keep going, take off~! I had no idea speed felt like that. In Top Gun, when he says he feels the need for speed, I had a small, very small, taste of that.

When I watch this video, I guess I want to feel that sense of speed and freedom. A friend of mine gets to fly, FLY, damn it, in a Blue Angel jet this weekend. She will truly learn what speed is. I told her even if she blows chunks, she will have a great time.

And if she meets a nice single pilot, about age 50 or so, to please get their number.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Slice of Chicago in Culver City

It was so funny that I picked the crush on Brian Williams for the previous post on going to the Bonnie Hunt Show, and they do a short segment on her visit to New York and her crush on Brian Williams~! And, then I have a post called One Peeps Man about tattoos and Kat Von D and, well, heck, she is on the show that I saw taped yesterday. I am watching "Return to Me" while I write this loaned to me by my Book Babe buddy. If this was paper, you would see the tear drops. What a great movie. Now I really have to find it in the store so I can watch it again.

I wish I had pictures to show you of our trip to Culver Studios to see the show, but they allow no cameras. Do you know how frustrating that is? You go to a film studio and can't take pictures?? There are so many interesting shots I wanted to show you, but, alas, no such luck. They even have a metal detector now.

Bonnie's show more than makes up for that slight indiscretion. She is so damn funny and quick. She goes out into the audience after each show and talks to the people. She used to be a nurse and people just seem to flock to her. We have seen Ellen, and I loved her as Dori in "Finding Nemo," but her show was run so coldly and professionally, I felt like a prop in the seat. Stand up, dance, clap, laugh, sit down, look interested. The warm up guy I wanted to go down and cram the microphone down his throat.

I was so hungry waiting for the show to start. We left Temecula about 10 in the morning, got to Culver City about 11:40, waited for them to let us in at about 1 or so, then sat and waited until 1:40 when they finally let us in to sit down. I was dying for my hot dog and root beer by that time. I love hot dogs and even though I do not like mustard I ate mine anyway. Two ladies were in front of us and they did not want their hot dogs, so they did not take them. Book Babe and I were upset; they could have passed their hot dogs our way. I did mention I was hungry, right?

We saw Rosie Perez. What a hoot! She told funny stories and cooked a dish with no name, fish and smashed potatoes. There was show and tell with 3 sisters, their hairless cat and their pet rats. When the cage broke and fell that was holding the rats I thought for sure they were going to scurry off somewhere. They were huge! The little girl just picked them up and held them the entire segment. Kat Von D came out and told a little bit about her family and the story behind some of her tattoos. She can play the piano, even has tattoos of Beethoven. I thought she was adorable. We also saw Helen Hunt, who I loved in As Good As It Gets.

We went to Trader Joe's afterwards to get snacks to make it home and then we went to Claim Jumpers. Sheesh. Food seems to be a theme here.

Kat Von D brought her book for the audience to take home~! Johnny was not happy because Teddy Bear is starting to get ideas about tattoos again. I wish I could have it autographed. Maybe I can make a trip to L.A. and visit her tattoo studio. Well, if Teddy Bear lets me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Twelve Step Program for Blog Hopping

I was reading Jeanne's Life Right Now post called Oy which had a comment by Mizwrite which I clicked on her name because it was a link and Jeanne said she really enjoyed her blog and Jeanne has made some great suggestions for blogs before, so off I go to Mizwrite's blog. Loved it and what does any self-respecting blogger do when finding a new blog? Maybe not self- respecting but an endlessly and easily distracted blogger do? You check out the archive, fan favorites (if they are a popular blog), and most especially their blog roll. Which led me to the List Addicts blog, and the
n magically on to Cake Wrecks, where I found these "precious" cakes.

This is when I really miss Jeanne~! I am so glad she is a blogging buddy now. Is there a serenity prayer for blog addicts? "Hello. My name is Happy Hour...Somewhere and I am a blog addict." Come on now. Don't tell me you didn't click over to Cake Wrecks to find out about Olivia's cake? What on earth possesses someone to make an anatomically correct cake of someone giving birth? The comments on the original post were soooooo funny.

I had to resist adding my two cents though. I wanted to comment: Twat the hell?

Like I said. I need help. Anyone know a good blog for this?

Bonnie Has A Crush

We are going to see Bonnie Hunt tomorrow~! I know Sophia has a "crush" on Bonnie and I wish she could go, but I guess Brian Williams will have to do.

We have a lot of fun when we go to see Bonnie and I will tell you all about it tomorrow~!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hello? Hello? Your butt called me.

Cell phone ringing. S*#t. I left it downstairs charging. Race for the phone and don't make it in time. Check missed calls. My brother called. Fun, maybe he wants to play. Call him right back. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. *shit, where is he?* Ring. Ring. "You have reached Baby Brother's cell phone. Blah, blah, blah." Well, that's rude, you called me. Fine. Be a brat. Try again.

"Hey, Kat, sorry about that, my phone called you." How sad. I have a relationship with an iPhone. At least it has cute apps. I like the Star Wars light saber one; it sounds just like you are playing, uh, I mean, fighting, with a light saber.

Well, at least his butt did not hang up on me.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Friday night was my first scrapbooking night of the year. Keep it on your calendar, the third Friday of each month to play with pictures, sort them out, scrapbook, whatever. I had chicken and stuff to make burritos with flour tortillas, olives, cheese, guacamole, salsa. And, of course, booze. Casey brought chocolate. Yummy. Even if you don't scrapbook, if you have a laptop, bring it along and digitally scrapbook. I am looking into buying a scanner that will scan negatives, slides, and pictures so we can get them onto a computer. Can you imagine the fun with that~!?? I have tons of pictures that I would love to send to friends but they are on film, not digital, and my current scanner bites.

Most everybody brought pictures to sort and organize, which is the ultimate in distraction and fun. Casey, her sister, and Lynn have been friends for many, many years, so when they started going though pictures it was hilarious. Lynn had pictures of Casey going to prom with Lynn's brother. OMG. She looks just like her daughter, or I guess her daughter looks just like her. A young Wiley looks like Trevor does now. Actually, in the picture I saw, Wiley is the same age as Trevor is now~! It was kind of spooky. LeAnn had some great pictures of her kids. I loved the picture of Evan crying because mommy was making him touch a character, I think it was a panda bear. In the next picture, the character has her paw in her mouth as if to say, "oh, my." It is so funny when you look at older pictures how you can see the resemblance between pictures of yourself when you were younger and your own children now.

It was the battling Bickersons for a while with Casey and her sister but when they sat down to sort pictures, it was so much fun. Kelly had a glamour shot of herself with BIG HAIR. She is beautiful, but the hair is worthy of Farrah Fawcett, man. The stories they were telling were so funny and they darn well better write them down.

Maybe by summer I will be more organized~!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake "Auguries of Innocence"

I have always wished that there was a way to travel in space with just your mind but still feel as if you were flying and could see all that there was to see. To fly through the rings of Saturn, travel through our own galaxy and on to the next, find a wormhole, "see" a black hole, see a star exploding.

I have wished that I could understand physics and astronomy and understand the magic behind the universe. I read books on science written by science writers for the lay person and come away wishing I could have a do-over in my life and start again. Go to school to study this, but perhaps more from the philosophical side of things. It is fascinating to think that the study of the very smallest of particles in the universe could help us understand the biggest.

Living here in Temecula, which I love, I sometimes kid that I live in a bubble. The rest of the world is out there, somewhere, I guess, but I wish it would stop trying to so aggressively intrude on my little city. Doesn't that seem contradictory though? I guess that is a good reason to travel. To physically move beyond your own small piece of this earth and visit another. When it takes 11 hours of flight time to get to Rome, when you fly over the United States, over Canada, across the Atlantic and then swoop down to Italy, you realize how big the earth is. How very small you are and how small your own little bubble is. Then you click on a video like above--and please do--it is almost awe inspiring.

If wishes were stars, that would be heaven.

Flying Ace

My mom and dad called me this morning to say hello. They were sitting around on this Saturday morning drinking coffee and said they had not heard from me from me for a while, so they picked up the phone to call me. My mom is so funny. She wanted to know what was going on for my grandson's first birthday. (Wow, can you believe little Z is going to be one~!) I had to laugh because my daughter sent an E-vite out to everyone. I did tell her to go ahead and send one to Grandma that way but she had better darn well pick up the phone and call her Grandma to tell her about it. My mom got a computer for Christmas but it collects dust on their desk. She even covers the monitor with a cloth so it does not get dusty. I always tell her that if she wants to know what is going on with me to fire up her e-mail. I am just about always on the computer and my e-mail program is always open in the background.

Anyway, they will be coming out next weekend to celebrate his birthday. Teddy Bear is working and will miss the party but she will get to see her grandparents on Saturday. My dad calls her "The Baby." I love it. He is so sentimental about her. It is so wonderful to be so loved by someone just for who you are, no expectations, no criticisms, just love. My dad and I had a hard relationship when I was growing up but he has been a great Grandpa to my girls.

I love to talk to my dad when he is up and feeling well. He can be so funny. We were talking on the phone and got disconnected. I called back right away and he laughed and said he was talking to himself for awhile before he realized it. He said he does that all the time anyway when he is watching TV. He loves his sports and the news and he talks to the TV to let them know what he thinks and he wants to make sure they hear him. My mom says he has made an indent on the cushion of the couch and she has to "air" out the cushion once in a while. Hee, hee. He is bringing me some oranges from his garden. They are so good~!

Of course, being parents, they made me feel guilty that I don't call enough, which is true. My BFF tells me all the time to appreciate the time I have with my mom and dad because they could be gone before I know it. My dad said he wanted to get a hovermobile or something like that so he can fly over to see me and the girls and the baby. I was laughing so hard picturing my dad flying over to see me like Snoopy, the Flying Ace.

Birthdays and birthday parties were a big deal in my family and we loved to celebrate with family parties. I just found pictures of my nephew's 1st birthday from 2000~! What fun. A Winnie the Pooh cake, a Tigger pinata, lots of kids and lots of family, and, of course, lots of food~!

So now the hermit has another good week coming up. Darn, but now I have to clean my house super duper clean.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Girl's Night Out

Last night was girl's night out in La Jolla at P. F. Chang's China Bistro. I met my two sister-in-laws and two other friends, one who I have not seen in a long time.

I usually do not have that much going on in my life, remember I'm a hermit, but this has been a fun week. As always, I got to the restaurant early. There was a wait to be seated, so I put our name in and then sat at the bar--ALL BY MYSELF~! Talk about feeling weird. It is a beautiful restaurant with large glass windows, lots of wood, and warm lighting. The place was busy but I found a seat at the bar. Did you know a lot of men sit by themselves at a bar? There were a lot of men sitting there, eating dinner, reading newspapers, watching the sports, or some had friends and they were busy chatting it up. One guy made eye contact with me, kind of cute. The bar is a big rectangle and he was sitting opposite me. I felt so stupid though. How on earth do you go from eye contact to actual talking? Teddy Bear says she is going to teach me to flirt. And I was sitting there with a copy of "Eclipse" with me. You know, the Twilight book by Stephenie Meyers? Manelli wanted to read it as she has finished New Moon, so I brought it for her. So what does any self-respecting introvert do in this situation? Of course. I got on the phone and started texting everyone to find out when the heck they were going to get there~! It turns out my other friend, the Brazilian bombshell was already there, and guess what? When she asked what I was reading and I showed her, my big black hardcover version of Eclipse, she pulls out the EXACT same book out of her purse! HAHAHA.

So the five of us sit down with a great view of the big statue of the horse out front. I mean a great view of his rear end. It must be a requirement that anyone who works at this restaurant must be good looking. The guys should have been on the menu so I could take one home in a little white carton. One guy had dreadlocks, which I usually do not like, but they were pulled back and he had the most gorgeous face. There were a lot of clean cut guys, too, I guess. JuJueBeez and Manelli were happy anyway. (Don't tell their husbands. Shhhh.)

With five women, the conversation never dies down. Husbands, boyfriends, dating, movies, kids, work, everything gets discussed. The food there is so good. Dan Dan noodles are hot though. It is always fun to read your fortune cookie after you eat, too. Mine said: You will be rewarded for being a good listener in the next week. A nice check will do, thank you. JuJuBeez was not thrilled with her fortune: Your health is important. Eat your vegetables! BWAHAHA. She got nagged by a fortune cookie.

I am terribly sad we did not order the Great Wall of Chocolate. I think I need to grab Nancy and the Book Babes and head to our P. F. Chang's that will be opening soon and get one.

Black Friday

Friday is such a schizophrenic day nowadays. It is TGIF but is also bank failure announcement day and bankruptcy notification day and let's watch the stock market take another dump day. The stock market is testing new lows today not seen in about 12 years. But really, why does that matter to most people? Citibank is plummeting, Bank of America is falling, Saab files for bankruptcy.

This man lost his retirement--$700,000. He is 90 years old and is back to work making $10 an hour. Why is Madoff not hanging from the nearest Wall Street sign with the crows picking at his carcass? I guess that is why it matters.

But....when you watch this piece, he is not bitter, he is not cynical. He just went back to work and does not dwell on it. I so admire that attitude, but I want to know what went wrong. How did we get here? How do you work hard all your life, save your money, and then find out you have lost it all in a matter of minutes? There are important lessons to be be learned but I am not sure what they will be. If the people who should be looking out for this, the Masters of the Universe in Washington and the Masters of the SEC cannot spot this, what are we to do?

Do you remember the saying, "You can't cheat an honest man." It took me a long time to understand that. What do you mean you can't cheat an honest man, of course, you can. Why would an honest person be exempt from being taken advantage of? I decided what it meant was that an honest man looks into any obligation he gets into for himself because he honestly wants to know that it is legal and aboveboard. He does his due diligence. But nowadays, how on earth do you do your due diligence?

This gentleman is an inspiration and a warning. I know I'm ready for Happy Hour. Maybe a good game of Beer Pong? Never played it but this old dog can learn new tricks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


$70,000,000,000. Did I get the zeroes right? That's seventy BILLION dollars. They have raised taxes in the state of California by seventy BILLION dollars. Double the amount to register your car, increase in income taxes, increase in sales tax. And you want to know how the politicians in Sacramento felt about that?

Democratic Majority Leader Darrell Steinberg and Democratic Sen. Louis Correa. Los Angeles Times

I wish I could tell you where I would like to high five them to, but this is only an R rated blog.

I just found this fun factoid about how much ONE billion dollars is: If you went on a $1,000 spending spree today and every day until you spent one billion dollars, you would have to shop every day for 2,740 years. Woohoo.

UPDATE: I guess I'm wrong. The article only states $12,500,000,000 in new taxes, for this year. They have been trying to work a budget to cover until the end of 2010. Not sure why. Whoa. Am I relieved. I thought it was going to be painful. I mean it's only twelve billion this year I suppose, and then twelve billion the next year, and then again and again and again. I have a lot of extra money to hand over to Sacramento, don't you?

A Foodie Goes to Fallbrook

I trekked into Fallbrook last night to have dinner with a new friend, Skydiver's Mom. She works at one of the doctor's I do transcription for. We met at El Jardin Mexican Restaurant. I felt like I had been transported to Sun City or Hemet. It was a pretty small place. Our waiter was kinda cute with a funny looking mustache, kind of had mutton chops on his mustache if you know what I mean. Great margaritas and the food was good. I wish their enchilada gravy had been a little tastier but everything was good, even the beans. I could never figure out how On the Border managed to mangle their beans so badly. The chips were good and the salsa was not as good as La Caseta's but it was still yummy. (I was very sad when Albertson's stopped selling their salsa.) We were there sort of early for dinner but the place was jam packed with walkers, canes, and gray hair. It was cute to see how everyone seemed to know everyone else~! Made me kinda miss Lubbock, Texas where I spent a few years back in the 1980s.

It has been a long time since I have been to Fallbrook. Driving down Mission Road seemed like a blast to the past. My friend said to look for the post office and then go past Jack in the Box to find the restaurant. I like when people give me directions like that on top of the north, south, east, and west. You see, that way I know when I am getting close. And I have to know what side of the street the place is on so I don't have to make a quick lane change~!

I call her Skydiver's Mom because her youngest son, age 29, is a skydiver and a CPA. He was recently traveling all over Europe making jumps. He had a BAD accident a few years ago but recovered and is jumping again. Ah, to be young and stupid. He is pretty famous in the skydiving world though, so he must be good. I would love to jump in one of those squirrel suits, you know, where you look like a flying squirrel. (I can hear the nut jokes already.) It looks like how I used to dream about flying.

I think my next run into Fallbrook will be to La Caseta; I'm making myself hungry for their salsa~!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Living Room is NOT a Toilet, Dang It~!

Have you ever had to pick up dried-up, Tootsie-roll looking poops off the carpet? This happens on a regular basis in this house. The only reason little Indy has not become a fluffy, furry, flying football is because at least the poops do not stain the carpet. Go figure.

This is a picture of Indy. He is half Chihuahua and half Papillon. He is now 6 months old. Doesn't he look all cute and innocent? He has great big bat ears that are fluffy and as he gets older he looks like more and more like a little fox. I think he weighs about 8 pounds now.

He does a "rain dance" with Teddy Bear where he dances on his back feet and hops up and down when he is super excited to see her. He really is not a stupid dog. He can actually sleep all night long without having to get up. He is much better about pee now. But for some reason if he has to poop, he runs straight to my living room.

What is a dog tolerator to do?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tit for Tat # 1

Johnny Carson as the Great Carnac

With all that is going on in the world, it would be nice to be well informed. You know, have a strong press that reports and researches and investigates the news. Searches out connections with their resources that perhaps we may miss. I would like the mass media to look into Russia and Putin with the continued fall in the price of oil. What are the implications of that?

Unfortunately, sometimes the press is less than diligent in their job. Chris Matthews is too busy getting chills down his leg and making sure Obama's administration does not fail, so I am not sure how effective they will be. The New York Times has had how many reporters make up the news?

Another thing that really bothers me is that they will look back to FDR and how Obama is emulating FDR's administration and just get all squishy and soft in the head about it. Do not misunderstand me. The Republicans have not showered themselves with glory or even with sticking to their principles--they seem to have their greedy paws in the taxpayer pocket just as much as the Democrats. But a little bit of, maybe not skepticism, but a little bit of looking at the world with a less leftward tilt would be nice.

During the Depression, FDR created his "Brain Trust." Super smart people to help guide America out of the Great Depression. FDR liked to play with our currency. Here is a quote from a book by Amity Shlaes called "The Forgotten Man":

"Roosevelt personally experimented with the currency--one day, in bed, he raised the gold price by 21 cents. When Henry Morgenthau, who would become Treasury Secretary, asked him why, Roosevelt said, "it's a lucky number, because it's three times seven." Morgenthau wrote later, "If anybody ever knew how we set the gold price through a combination of lucky numbers, etc., I think they would be frightened."

Now, do you remember the justified ridicule Reagan got for Nancy consulting an astrologer? It was embarrassing to be a Republican. Why even try to defend such silliness? It was a justifable source of late night humor. Do you think we would have heard anything about this had it been a Democrat? Do you think the late night comedians would have had a field day with that?

I have one for Bush and Obama, but I will save that for Tit for Tat #2.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Look! A Bright Shiny Object

So, yes, I am easily distracted. I have a mountain of work to do, but here I sit playing with You Tube, reading Christopher Hitchens, and watching Mike Rowe sing about doing Dirty Jobs.

The scrapbook convention was at the Orange County fairgrounds this weekend. Ouch. No need to run away screaming into the night. Glitter is not contagious. Pretty paper is not an airborne illness. It is fun to play with pictures and tell stories. Kind of like blogging. I love the stories behind pictures and I have had many a run in with "consultants" who are in such a hurry to get the pictures in a book and tell me to stop dawdling. But I love picking paper, choosing colors and making the page glittery, and then I love to tell the story behind the pictures. I would read friends' scrapbooks and groan when I would read captions like, "Me, John, and the kids at the park." Do you know how agonizing I find that? Who the heck is me?

I found a picture once, black and white, and obviously from a different era. The woman in the picture is beautiful, wearing a dress and a hat, looks like maybe from the 1940's, and in the background is the Statue of Liberty. And what is written on the back? Me in New York. Sigh. One of the reasons I so liked the idea of scrapbooking, besides making sure pictures last in an acid free environment, was for the stories behind the pictures. I look back at pictures I took and for the life of me I would be hard pressed to tell you who is in the picture, when it was taken, and why~!

Casey and I went and had a fun day. Our sisters could not make it and Wiley was making her lobster and steak for a Valentine's Day dinner, so we left early. We ate at Carrow's Restaurant for breakfast on our way out. I had some biscuits and gravy. Yummy. She had blueberry pancakes, also, very yummy. On the drive out from Temecula, we noticed the Highway Patrol was out in droves. I look at the speed limit as a suggestion, not an absolute, so they tend to chap my hide (or however that saying goes) and they were on almost every freeway we were on. There was even a stealth Highway Patrol, white with no lights on the roof. Now, that's just cheating. Not playing fair and all that. I think the lack of money is going to cause them to give out tickets like candy.

Watch out my poor California drivers. Arnold and his bozos up in Sacramento are battling among themselves--not in how to curb spending but how much more to grab from us. I say lay off half the bureaucracy and see from there who is actually "essential." But, that is a different rant, perhaps for April 15th.

I think digital scrapbooking could be fun. I may have to ask Thia Karen. HAHAHA. Just kidding. She probably will not read this whole post. She is allergic to scrapbooking, but she tells a wickedly good story and takes fabulous pictures, so she is a "scrapbooker" in spirit.

Maybe one day I will even finish an album. HAHAHA.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Mad Woman in the Attic

The Book Babes had their first get together of 2009~! It has been a while since the last meeting with the cookie exchange right before Christmas, December 23rd. Little did we know it would be a while until we saw our friend. She spent the holidays and a month after in the hospital, but she is out now and she looks fabulous. We had our first meeting at Johnny Carino's. Please, we really hope they do not go out of business. Who else makes their incredible Italian Nachos, margaritas, chocolate cake, and wedge salad? We get the nachos with everything on them and Debbie eats the jalapenos! This economy really bites.

We picked 18 books for the year and we will pick one at the end of each meeting and hopefully we will use my homework to talk about each book.

Our first book is the "Wide Sargasso Sea" by Jean Rhys. This book is basically a prequel, I guess, to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It is based on Mr. Rochester's wife locked in the attic. Okay, I have to be honest here. I have never been able to finish Jane Eyre. I would get through the first few chapters and that would be it. My daughter was in a musical version of Jane Eyre but I hardly think that qualifies for knowing the story. And there has to be about 20 versions of it on film, none of which I have seen. It is embarrassing sometimes admitting to my ignorance. I did not even remember that his wife has a name, Bertha Mason.

I found an online version of Jane Eyre to find out about this wife in the attic. Jean Rhys creates the story of the half Creole, half white woman. I have to admit, I was shocked to hear that. Half Creole? I know at one time the British empire was vast. (The sun never sets on the British empire and all that rot.) I guess that might explain the setting. Slaves were freed in the British empire in 1833, and Wide Sargasso Sea is set in 1839, years after emancipation and times are hard for the freed slaves.

I wanted to read what Charlotte Bronte tells about Bertha.

"Bertha Mason is mad; and she came of a mad family; idiots and maniacs through three generations? Her mother, the Creole, was both a madwoman and a drunkard!--as I found out after I wed the daughter: for they were silent on family secrets before. Bertha, like a dutiful child, copied her parents in both points. I had a charming partner--pure, wise, modest: you can fancy I was a happy man. I went through rich scenes! Oh! My experience has been heavenly, if you only knew it! But I owe you no further explanation. Briggs, Wood, Mason, I invite you all to come up to the house and visit Mrs. Poole's patient, and MY WIFE! You shall see what sort of a being I was cheated into espousing, and judge whether or not I had the right to break the compact, and seek sympathy with at least something human."

"In the deep shade, at the farther end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards. What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell; it grovelled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal; but it was covered with clothing, and a quantity of dark , grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face."

"She was a big woman, in stature almost equalling her husband, and corpulent besides; she showed virile force in the contest--more than once she almost throttled him, athletic as he was."

He says he does not hate her because she is mad. From the little I have read so far, it seems as if Rochester is as trapped in a culture as woman are usually described as being in. In Pride and Prejudice, you feel for the family of women because of the laws and how they seemed to conspire against women and how trapped they must have felt to not be married by a certain age and simply become a burden, a nuisance to their family. Rochester, being the second son, was not going to inherit but his father and brother felt no compunction in coercing a marriage and it seems tricking Rochester into marriage.

Charlotte Bronte's description of Bertha Mason is so descriptive. I loved the quote: "What a pygmy intellect she had, and what giant propensities!" When you truly try to picture he r, she is frightful.

So, I am anxious to read the story Jean Rhys creates. What point of view will she take? How will she portray Rochester? Yes, I hope it is a good story.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gotta Catch 'Em All~!

I cannot believe that Teddy Bear and Johnny are watching the first season of Pokemon. She actually ordered it online, was tracking the package, and is spending a Friday afternoon watching it! What next? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? My Little Pony?

Of course, my favorite is Pikachu!

I mean, how many hours do moms having watching all the kid shows? Sesame Street was cool you know. The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak was always fun for a laugh. The Care Bears rocked our world for a few years, too.

So what character or show is your favorite?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Out of Her League

"Underachieving, undereducated, overweight." Reality TV strikes again with "Wife Swap." There is a stage 4 smug alert in San Francisco. Noxious fume alert. Danger, danger. Where is Jeff Foxworthy when you need him? The following are quotes from the Wife and the Husband in this piece.

The Wife: If I'm too much with the kids, it does not suit my personality, and then I start getting grumpy.
The Husband: Coming from Europe, there are not too many places in the United States I could live. This city is unequivocally one of them. You've got the opera, you've got the symphony.
We are trying to raise our children as citizens of the world, not just citizens of this country.
The Wife: I am guessing we are not looking at advanced degrees here.
The Husband: Mid-westeners are so predictable.
I think the worst thing that James (his son) could do would be to tell me he wanted to move to Missouri.
Uneducated, simple, without a clue about what is going on in the world. You are undereducated, over opinionated, and you're overweight. It's not a good combination.
The Wife: No, I'm not a proud American. Because of the chance I was born an American soil. I mean, that's just the way it was. I had nothing to do with that personally.
The Husband: I didn't know you could read. The what? Agenda. Oh, that's a big word for you. Given that your two languages appear to be bad English and redneck.
I object to the National Anthem rule change because it is humiliating and objectionable. Unlike most Americans, I chose to become a citizen and I did this because I wanted more of a voice in helping set, influence the direction of this country because I really care about it.
Look, you dumb redneck, I've already told you.
Can I tell you my net take on this? Fascistic, militaristic...
Don't send any of your kids after me with a shotgun.
Its not every day she is going to come across someone like me.

BWAHAHAHA. Pompous, pin-headed, purveyor of putridness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wiley E. Coyote Gets an Anvil Dropped on His Hard Drive

So last night, Casey and I tried to fix Wiley's computer. Unfortunately, it got nailed with a virus, the nasty TrojanDropper: Win32/Aleuron.J virus to be exact. This video is how she and I felt after hours of messing with it. You know, sometimes you just don't know what you don't know until it gets thrown right in your face.

I mean, do you NEED recovery disks to reformat your hard drive or is it in the hidden partition. (Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain.) Is the driver disk enough or do we need to make sure they are all updated? Even if you could get rid of the virus, should you reformat anyway? It is so sad because my computer expert, my witch doctor of bits and bytes, was working and could not help us. It is the kind of thing, probably, where he would sit down, bring up some dreaded black screen of death, type in some voodoo, sit and drink some sacrificial wine, wait, and voila, fixed! All without breaking a sweat. I, on the other hand, might as well be trying open heart surgery.

We decided we want to know what all the crud means, damn it. We may end up taking classes or something. I think it has something to do with our propensity to want to know everything. Wiley says we are, well, his quote, "One curtain away from Mrs. Kravitz." Umphh.

I am sending out smoke signals to my witch doctor later on. He will probably byte my head off.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick! Where is the Red Light on a Signal?

How observant are you? I know I am oblivious. It is embarrassing. Things that you see every day do you really notice? Kind of like when a guy shaves his beard or mustache and you don't notice. I am so bad at that.

I have a memory book by Harry Lorayne that says the first trick to a good memory is to observe, to see, to actually notice because how can you remember what you don't really notice or see? Like when you forget the name of a person you just met. Did you really pay attention to the name? Did you really? Sometimes I can remember that a person is someone whose kids went to school with my kids, we used to be on PTA together, or maybe our kids even played together and were friends, but I will not remember their name~! Or the feeling that a name is just on the tip of your tongue. My sister-in-law and I were trying to remember the name of the actress who starred in "Walk the Line", the movie about Johnny Cash. We both knew she was blonde and we thought it started with an R but we sat there driving ourselves nuts trying to remember. I finally had to call Teddy Bear who justifably thought her mom had gone crackers. Reese Witherspoon. It was a total hit your head with the palm of your hand moment. How could you forget? Where on earth did that tidbit of information get filed that its retrieval was so hard?

I have always said there is a button on my rear end for memory. I can be sitting in my office, think of something I need to get or do upstairs. I get up, go upstairs, stand there, walk around, think hard, get totally mad at myself because for the life of me I have no idea why I even got up~! I stomp downstairs, sit down, and damn if suddenly I now remember why I got up. I have looked carefully. There is no switch on my butt for memory but why is it as soon as I sit down I remember??

His memory book is fun and I think I am going to try his techniques. It would be fun to memorize stuff even if it was totally ridiculous stuff. Presidents and Vice-Presidents, elections, dates in history, the states in alphabetical order. Can you think of things you would want to memorize so you can pull them out of your a$$? He has a way to memorize dates, months, numbers, everything.

I think the red light is a the top by the way? Quick, look at your watch. Is the number 6 a numeral, roman numeral, or just a line? Okay, smart ass, now what time is it?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

If I Only Had A Brain

Have you ever used the Genius feature in iTunes? I love it. I have managed to accumulate a library of over 7,000 songs. Some I got from my daughter's collection of music. Hey, I paid for the damn CDs to begin with, so I figure I could download them to my computer with my conscious still intact. But, I also have music from friends who have interesting CDs, but I have such twinges of guilt doing so. I buy lots of CDs and always download and pay, but if a friend has a CD, sometimes I download it to mine. I would never run out and buy the Black Eyed Peas (or whatever), but some of their music is good. I feel guilty even admitting that and it will probably cause the Powers That Be to come after me. But maybe not.

Teddy Bear's music runs toward the indie side of things. The Yeah, Yeah Yeahs (who are no, no, no in my book), Aubrey Debauchery, The Avett Brothers, The Killers. I have learned to love Muse because of her and My Chemical Romance is another good one. Oh my gosh, I almost forgot Death Cab for Cutie.

I love Genius because if you click on a song that you like, it goes through your library of music, figures out what songs are like that and creates a playlist. You see, the Powers That Be should be happpy because I now love all kinds of music I would never really discover on my own but now I hunt down their CDs to buy. Teddy Bear had some music that her boyfriend liked from the band, H.I.M, and now I have purchased quite a few of their albums and the same goes for Linkin' Park. I also "discovered" Michael Buble and Steve Tyrell.

Yes, I love technology~! Always and forever, always and forever.
- Kip, "Napoleon Dynamite"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Makes a Good Romantic Comedy?

Did you like this movie? I loved it. But then I love almost anything with Gerard Butler. I saw "He's Just Not That Into You" last night. I am still puzzling over it as to whether I liked it or not. I saw Four Christmases and did not like that at all. There were scenes that were hysterical but overall after I left the theater and thought about it, I thought it was such a sad and depressing movie with depressing characters.

Anyway, the movie last night was good but it was not quite what I expected. I chose the trailer from P.S. I Love You because if you think about it, it should be a sad movie. I mean, jiminy crickets, the guy dies right away in the movie. I spent the whole movie crying and then laughing, but when I left the movie I still felt happy.

How is it some directors and writers can do that and others fail at it? I think they want to add depth but for some reason they fail. Mall Cop was like that. Kevin James was great in the movie, you actually like him and feel for him, but everyone else is a caricature. SPOILER ALERT. The SWAT cop in the movie is the ultimate in cheesy, stereotyped, dumb bad guys. It was almost painful to watch, but I do not think it was all the actor's fault. I think the director screwed up.

Back to last night. This movie may grow on me when I get it on DVD. Love Actually did that for me. I am not sure. I liked Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin. He is deliciously mean but how many times have you wanted to say those same things to a friend who really needed to get her head out of her butt? It was funny listening to all the stupid things we women say to each other about men.

I need some help trying to figure out what the movie was trying to say. Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck end up having this great relationship but what was the point? As long as the woman does not want to get married, the guy will ask? Or never give a man an ultimatum? Or hang on as long as you can because he really does love you and what more do you want?

I am just thinking out loud here. I need my personal Siskel and Ebert to see the movie to see what they say.

Friday, February 6, 2009

25 Random Things

Thia Karen has a post on 25 Random Things. You know, 25 things you may not know about her. A lot of her friends have posted on this, too, and some of them are so funny. Who would have thought booger picking in the car would make the list~?! So, this is an all out nothing held back kind of thing. I am having trouble writing this, it may take me a few days.

1. I hate to look in a mirror. Remember in Sex and the City when Charlotte said she would spend hours looking in a mirror, finding all the wrinkles and picking at things? I cannot even begin to imagine that. Looking in the magnification side of a mirror is like a horror movie. Whose damn pores are those? It looks like the surface of the moon.

2. I spell words to myself and then break them up into syllables and into groups of letters. This made me a fabulous speller in school. It is hard to spell a word wrong when you have been playing with it in your head. Although now I rely heavily on Spellchecker on my computer. I mean who really knows how to spell transependymal edema?

3. I love getting funny e-mails from my friends, but I really do not like the chain letter ones. I am sure I have the worst luck coming my way because I delete them or never pass them on (unless they are funny). Wait, is that my phone ringing? Is it fortune calling saying I have won a million bucks?

4. I cannot figure out my favorite color. When I was younger my favorite color was orange because my favorite stuffed animal was orange. (My mother tried to throw it away once.) You know those darn e-mails where you answer questions about yourself and they give you an analysis? One of the questions is inevitably what is your favorite color. Well, what mood am I in at that moment? Sometimes my favorite color is black, sometimes it is green. I like blue but I do not like walls painted blue. Not sure why.

5. I love to laugh. A lot. Does laughing release endorphins or something? I went to a performance once where my oldest daughter was dancing in the Nutcracker. I was sitting in the audience with family and friends. After the play, my daughter said she knew I was there to watch because she could hear me laughing from backstage~!

6. When I am super mad, I clean. I mean raving mad, sputtering mad, the kind of mad where you can barely contain yourself, but I love cleaning house when I am this mad. I scrub and scrub and scrub and pretty soon I feel better, or at least I am less dangerous to those I love. I really dislike popping off to people but I am quick to apologize.

7. I used to think I was going to be 5 feet 10 inches tall when I was younger. I got my all my height when I was around 10 years old. I towered over everybody. There are pictures of me with all the kids in the neighborhood and I am taller than everyone, even if they are my age. But, fate is a weird thing, because now I am short~! Go figure. I only made it to 5 feet 3 inches, well, if I strain and reach, I am that tall. I am probably closer to 5 feet 2-3/4 inches.

8. I took a grammar class in college and did so well the teacher asked me to be a tutor for the subject. I could diagram a sentence like no one else. Unfortunately, all that knowledge leaked out of my head a long time ago. I always wonder if the knowledge is there but it is filed away in a strange folder in my head and have no way to retrieve it? Ummm, I wonder.

9. My friends mean the world to me. Without them, I would be curled up into a ball in the fetal position right about now. As it is, I have the makings of being a hermit. I work at home, so I work in my pajamas. Do you realize there are times when I do not get out of my PJs for 2 days or so~?! But they make me laugh and because of them I try not to dwell on my fears. Which brings me to #10.

10. Fear. After being married for 25 years and now being alone, I am afraid. Will I be able to work until I drop? There is no way I can retire, ever. Will I have a job in a year? In a month? I am self employed in a business that is probably going the way of the dodo bird. I would love to go back to school, but realistically, who on earth hires somebody over the age 50? Will I meet a man who I fall in love with? Or will I be alone?

11. I think I like to travel. I have been to Spain, France, and Italy. Loved Spain, not so much France, and Italy was fascinating but the people, well, not so much. It did not help that I was traveling with about 90 teenagers, so that may have had something to do with the glares we would get. What can I say? We were so obviously American it was painful. Vatican City is so worth going to. St. Peter's Basilica is incredible. The size of it was overwhelming and the history is incredible.

12. I love science fiction~! Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Joe Haldeman.... I could go on and on. I love science writers, too. I have books on chaos theory, fractals, quantum physics, molecular biology, anthropology.... 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of my favorite movies.

13. One of my favorite authors is Ayn Rand, but another is Robert Fulghum. They are incredibly different but I would take one book from each author to go with me to a desert island.

14. I love long hair on men~! I mean I am a sucker for it. The clean cut look is nice but, well, not my cup of tea. Picture Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall" or Hugh Jackman in "Van Helsing". (Hugh Jackman in anything is good.) Sigh. Men always cut their hair when they get older though.

15. I am a Ranger girl, not a Joe Morelli girl. In the Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, she has two male characters who jockey for position with Stephanie and everyone always wonders who she will end up with. I would definitely run away in a heart beat with Ranger.

16. I have a new found love for certain kinds of music. I have rediscovered Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Stabbing Westward, Fatboy Slim, H.I.M. I tried like mad to get someone to go with me to see Nine Inch Nails in September, but sadly, there were no takers. My iTunes library is now over 7,000 songs, but I still do not own an iPod. I do not like reggae music. Not at all. Not even a little. Maybe if you got me stoned I might, but who needs an over 50 year old smoking pot? Weeds is funny on TV but who wants to turn Temecula into Acrestic?

17. I am hopeless about keeping up with pop culture. I do not watch that much TV. I have NEVER seen Gray's Anatomy, CSI, X-Files, Desperate Housewives, E.R., etc., etc. You get the idea. I like to discover a show after it has been on a while so I can buy the DVD and then watch it without commercials or having to wait week after week for the next episode. I do own Lost, Heroes, Gilmore Girls, Buffy, Angel, Sex and the City on DVD.

18. I deliberately turned off the answering machine to my home phone so I did not have to listen to messages. Is that bad? If you know me well enough, you have my cell number, otherwise I probably do not want to hear it. I hate ringing phones but I love to get text messages. Weird.

19. I like reading books on being a tightwad. America's Cheapest Family is a great book, The Ultimate Cheapskate is funny, and the Tightwad Gazette was a hoot. I do like to spend money, but I do not like shopping, especially for myself. Claim Jumpers, Barnes and Noble, Target, they get all my money. Oh, and Costco, of course.

20. I wish I was better at first impressions. I always think I am right about someone but I usually end up being wrong. My daughter says that when I start dating (yikes!), she has to help me pick a guy out or at least meet him right away just to make sure I am not being a dummy about it. As if. What guy wants to meet the teenager right away? Although when we were playing on, she spotted a teacher she used to have and he was weird to say the least.

21. Am I the only one whose lips are always dry and cracked? I buy Blistex all the time and now I have a jar of vaseline on my desk because it is cheaper and works better. Hey, maybe that tightwad stuff is rubbing off~!

22. I love the smell of orange blossoms in the spring. We used to live behind an orange grove when we lived in Moreno Valley and that smell was the best. We used to drive back and forth to Norton AFB and there were so many orange groves when you cut through Redlands, and the bonus was getting to see all the old Victorian homes.

23. I like driving aimlessly. Just wandering around. Drive to Julian for apple pie or to Idyllwild and all the fun shops up there. San Diego is a favorite place to explore. Coronado Island, Old Town, Gaslamp District, Point Loma, La Jolla, the Zoo. I am learning my around there since I have 2 brothers who live there.

24. I like going to Vegas, but I do not gamble a lot. The only game I play is roulette and that is only fun if everyone is playing so we monopolize the table. It is truly a fairly mindless game but it can be fun. The last time I went, I did not even do that though. I like the pools and spending all day lying around and swimming. It is strange to be drunk before noon. I like the shows, the pretty hotels, the people watching, the dueling piano bar at Napoleons in Paris, Paris, Thunder Down Under, eating and drinking~!

25. I love being a grandma but I am not so good at it. Any pointers out there?? My grandson is the cutest!! Even his grumpy aunt thinks he is the best and she does not like little kids or babies. Of course, I would never trust Teddy Bear with a baby anyway, so it is probably a good thing she does not like kids yet~!

I did it~! Hope you like them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Augie Doggie! Augie Doggie! Where is Busch Gardens Now?

Right before I graduated high school in 1975, I got a job at Busch Gardens in the San Fernando Valley. Anybody familiar with the Valley will know how you could smell the brewery when they were brewing a
new batch. It had kind of a yeasty smell. You could see the Anheuser-Busch brewery right off the 405 San Diego freeway.

They used to have this incredible beer garden that had different pavilions for the different beers. There was a beautiful lake and they had all kinds of birds and monkeys in cages. They had a howler monkey (or something like that) and I had a friend who could make the same sound they did and set them off. It was the weirdest noise. There were peacocks walking all over the park. Tourists can be such buttheads though. They would chase the birds all over trying to stomp off one of the tail feathers.

Every year in October they would have an Octoberfest and the college kids would all show up and drink themselves into oblivion, but since I was not 21, it was kind of a drag. While I worked there, the park grew from a beautiful beer garden to an amusement park. At first, it was kind of fun. I worked in the section that had the old fashioned style ice cream parlor, fudge counter and chicken restaurant. My uniform was a red and white striped dress that came to my ankles. If you know me, you know I am short, barely 5 foot 3 inches and that length dress made me look so short and weird. I had to wear an old fashioned bonnet, you know, the kind that looked like Little House on the Prairie? Only red and white stripes. (Just picture the dress below.) The ice cream parlor was a very popular destination for the tourists and the lines were always long. I think my deep dislike for Rocky Road ice cream is in part because of working there. For some reason, Rocky Road was always impossible to scoop.

I loved when the Clydesdale horses would come out every year. I would beg to be on the cart outside so I could watch them go by. They truly are huge and awesome to watch. I used to love being outside working. My favorite was the cotton candy cart. You worked it alone so no one was hanging over your head watching you and they always put the cart in a beautiful place in the park. I bet my picture is in lots of scrapbooks all over the world~! The spun sugar would fly up and get all over my hair. Even though my hair would be pulled back, I had VERY long hair and it would be covered in pink fluff.

At least once a year, August Busch would come out. One year, the beer haulers (who were always yummy hunky guys) taught the mynah birds at the entrance to say "Augie Doggie." I am not sure if he ever figured out who did it, but it was very funny to watch.

It is sad to me that it got cemented over to make more brewery and even sadder to find out that Anheuser-Busch is no longer an American owned company. I would love to hear them say "Augie Doggie" again, even if August Busch got his panties in a bunch.

Stamping Out Happiness

Last night I went to a stamping party. No, I have not become a philatelist. Stamps have a funny gummy taste. This was a stamp party where we made cards. I went with Casey, her sister, and Lynn. Kelly and Lynn could start their own show they are so funny. Even with no alcohol.

We were all giggling and laughing about how nice it would be not to have to work or worry about money and get to play all day. Sit around eating bon bons all day long you know. Our hostess was an impossibly nice and super organized lady. She had family pictures all over her walls with wonderful cute labels created out of this sticky vinyl stuff that said "Family" and things like that. The whole house seemed to be decorated for the upcoming Valentine's Day. Cute towels everywhere, big glass bowls of conversation hearts with pretty ribbon wrapped all around them, placements with hearts, and even a banner she had made for Valentine's day hanging over the fireplace. Part of me wanted to retch and part of me was SO jealous.

I remember the days when I would decorate and get excited about holidays like that. Now, well, now, ummm, well, let me see. Shoot. One of these days I am hoping all that will come back. The last few years of my marriage were hard and I had so much joy knocked out of me. I believe no one can make you happy but they sure can make you miserable. I used to be a possimist. You know, an optimist who is positive. (That one is courtesy of my son-in-law.) I enjoy being around cheerful people and I love to laugh~! I mean I LOVE to laugh. So, I figure it is not that buried.

I used to like having a clean house. I remember being like Karen and could not leave the house for a trip if the house was messy. Who wants to come home to a dirty house??? Now, I couldn't care less (or could care less. Which one is it?) I will drop almost anything to play except when I am working. Those dang doctors are always calling for stats. I had a schedule for cleaning and everything. My favorite book used to be "The Sidetracked Home Executives." They were reformed slobs who became neat freaks. I mean, they were slobs!! Their story is funny because I think almost anyone who has had to keep a house clean can sympathize. (Unless you are the kind of person who even has a schedule for cleaning out the covers to ceiling lights. You know how they always seem to collect dust and bugs, but who wants to grab a ladder or stepstool and clean it? Or who even notices them!)

I have decided to have a scrapbooking night at my home on February 20th, so unless you are deeply suspicious of people who play with glitter and paper and glue and scissors, come on over~!

Monday, February 2, 2009

IRS Sec. 401k(a)(31) or How the IRS Gave Me a Heart Attack

Monty Python-The Audit

I am so bad about getting my mail. I let it pile up down at the box for days and days and then it may marinade in my car for a few days before it makes it into the house where it will sit for a few days on the kitchen counter and then eventually I open it. Unless it's a check. I am not that stupid. Anyway, I finally got to the point of actually looking at the mail, throwing away the junk mail and the mail for the previous tenants, etc. (I have lived here almost 2 years now, you would think their mail would stop coming here.)

There were tax forms from my clients, tax forms from the banks for interest and dividends. (ha, ha). And there was a form 1099r for distribution from a retirement account. Uh, what? I rolled over the account, never took possession. What are you talking about....If it was true, I would be paying taxes and a penalty which would amount to many tens of thousands of dollars. I spent a few hours online trying to figure out where I had gone wrong, how to fix it, how much a large cardboard box would cost. I texted my son-in-law to ask him to have the financial guy I used to roll over my account to call me.

I so wanted to watch the Superbowl yesterday. Wanted those Steelers to kick butt. A friend was having a Superbowl party and I could have made it for half time but all I could think of was the how on earth I would pay the IRS. I would have been a party pooper, so I stayed home.

Now, do you remember my story about my daughter and her car being vandalized and how there had to be a pony in the pile of crap? Well, this story has a happy ending, too. If I had actually bothered to read each box of the 1099r, I would have seen that box 2(a) had taxable income of 0! I don't know about you, but when I see crappy lawyer like chicken scratch like the title of this post, my brain goes into Walter Mitty mode. I start daydreaming, start thinking about other things I would rather do. So, the guy calls me this morning and tells me to stop panicking and that it was not the end of the world as I knew it.

Can you imagine? I got good news on a Monday and about the IRS no less. Now, let me see, I have to file 1099-MISC for my subcontractors, find all my receipts, fill out Schedule C and the self-employment tax form, and then file an extension when my head pops....

Do you think Arnold would take an IOU?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Can you play soccer with a bowling ball?

Embarrassing moments during bowling

Yesterday my sister-in-law was here with my nephew. Their soccer team made it to the next level in tournament play and they were playing in Temecula. Did you know there is a huge soccer field at the end of Diaz Road?? Where have I been all these years. Anyway, they had 2 games on Sunday, one at 8 in the morning and one 2 in the afternoon, so they spent the night at my place.

One of the soccer moms organized bowling for the boys and parents at the local Brunswick Bowling...and they made me bowl. I most definitely was NOT standing in the line for sports talent. There is no gene in my DNA for hand/eye coordination. When I try to play tennis, I swear there is a hole in my racket that the ball goes right through. There is a vortex of non-athleticism that surrounds me. I am afraid I could even suck the talent out of those I play with.

We got our required fugly bowling shoes. I have to admit I think they are fun to slip and slide in. I was not feeling well and I figured this was going to be BAD. Ah, but I was rescued. One of the dads had a pitcher of beer~! I play much better with beer. I bellied up to the bar, got my pitcher of beer and 2 glasses, and went back to bowl.

Watching the boys play was hilarious. They actually tried to play soccer with two of the bowling balls. Sheesh. Watching people bowl is so much fun. It is the ultimate in people watching. Everyone is there to have fun and there were all kinds of people there yesterday. They had a contest to do the chicken dance for all the parties celebrating a birthday. Anybody care for wine to go with the cheese? To be honest, though, I caught myself tapping my toes to the music. What next? The macarena.

By the second glass of beer, my bowling was awesome. I mean a score of 78 is totally, like, so gooood. And that included 2 strikes. I was on fire. I beat everyone on our team with that score, so you know I am ready for tournament play. Bowling is right up my alley (groan.)

The boys wanted to go to a show afterward and we saw Paul Blart, Mall Cop. The first of the movie was bad and cheesy, but the movie ended up just being cheesy but cute. I am going to have to come up with a rating system for movies I see so I could rank them. This is not a movie I would buy when it goes to DVD. Maybe if it was about five bucks at Walmart. Maybe. I liked the scenes with the bad guys skateboarding, running, and jumping like crazy. That was incredible. I would love to see the behind-the-scenes on those sequences.

Hey, Book Babes, we could become the Book Bowling Babes, or Bowling for Book Babes, or Babes with Books and Balls....