Tuesday, June 30

Could I? ... I don't know!

And here we sit, on the eve of yet another month in the year 2009, and I'm feeling the self-inflicted pressure of random tasks on my mind. Let's not think about them. :)
You know what I need? An adventure that will scare the hell out of me. Something that would make me feel cooler than I am. Something that would give me that amazing feeling of lightness. Something like ... um ... skydiving?
ACK!! I say, whatever, the avatar can do it!
See you all in July!

Michael Jackson: The Estate Fight Begins

Okay, I'll admit it: I am fascinated by the Michael Jackson saga, as I figure I can call it now. My own current situation with family members fighting over money gives me an even more perverse desire to see how Jackson's estate is going to be administered. I mean, these people actually are fighting over millions of dollars. Word on the Internets is that there is a will that was drafted in 2002, that divides his assets among his children, his mother, and various charities. According to the Wall Street Journal, sources claim that the will could be submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday.
I knew there was no way that Jackson would be flying around the world with all his assets and no will to administer them should he die. There was no way that a man who was that surrounded in attorneys would be so lax in having such a necessary piece of paper somewhere with his signature on it. By all accounts, he was good to his kids, and a will is the best thing anyone can do for their children.
It's intriguing to see the vultures circling. His father, Joe Jackson, is pimping his own label at press conferences on Jackson; the tour promoter is holding on to the final rehearsal's video and audio for a potential DVD package; and I'm sure, all manner of bottom-feeders will want to exploit him in more ways than I can imagine.
But here's more information on the singer's estate: Joe Jackson, who has been hogging every spotlight he can since his son's passing, is reportedly believed to have been left out of the 2002 will; it is not known if the 2002 will included instructions on custody of Jackson's three children; the will reportedly names lawyer John Branca and music executive John McClain as executors; and Jackson is said to have amassed approximately $500 million in debt, but that his assets could reportedly outweigh that by more than $200 million.
The most valuable part of the Jackson estate could be the singer's 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog, of which Jackson owned half. The 750,000-song music catalog includes the work of The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers, and is reportedly estimated to be worth about $2 billion.
I was never a HUGE Jackson fan, though I had an LP copy of Thriller (who didn't?), and maybe a cassette of Bad. At any rate, I do believe that we, as a pop-culture nation, have lost an incredible presence. And the fight (because there is no other word for it) for control of his family, his estate and his legacy, will do nothing but add to that phenomenon.

Monday, June 29

I'll wait and see what I can find in October

Sydney rediscovered her ladybug costume from last year's Halloween this afternoon, and chose to wear it around the house today, flipping the wings out behind her, sing-songing, "I'm flying! Look at me! I'm flying!"
I can't begin to tell you how very much I wish I had a ladybug costume of my own so we could fly around the house together. I think that would have been an awesome thing for us to do together today.

Peanuts are an illogical choice

I read an article this morning, that I can't find now, about how the British monarchy has gotten more expensive for the British people. Apparently, a portion of the populace's tax revenue goes straight into the royal checkbook. The monarchy cost the people about 23 percent more last fiscal year than the year before. Inflation, you know. I guess I thought that the queen got her money from other means, like profits from books, palace tours, and photo ops.
I'm torn between being pissy for the people who have to pay for the prince's lifestyle; jealous for the queen who has other people paying for her dresses; and indignation for the royals because they have to ask politely for more money if they need it.
I need sunscreen wipes for my kid. I keep forgetting to put sunscreen in my car, and it's making me feel like a failure as a mom. I mean, I live in Arizona, the sunshine and frickin'-hot capital of the country, and I have no sunscreen in my car for my baby. I can't keep a big tube of SPF 85, because it'll melt and be super hot, and probably separate. I can't have one of those remarkably convenient aerosol cans because an afternoon in the car will make it explode. What I need are the wipes. I saw them in a magazine somewhere, and need to find them to buy for my car.
I'm on it.

Sunday, June 28

I prefer life in a flock

"How are you?"
"Exhausted. You?" She yawns, and doesn't even get the answer.

That is what a conversation between myself and someone nice would be like if they asked me how I was feeling right now. I'm sitting here in my chair, in front of Crocodile Dundee II, blogging, simply because to get up from the chair and get ready for bed would take too much energy. I'm really just an Internet crash and blanket flip away from falling asleep right here, with nothing but the dulcet tones of Paul Hogan to soothe me into my dreams.
I had a wonderful weekend, complete with a ton of time spent with, not only my dearest Pinecresters, but the lovely Lisa as well. I had a fantastically social couple of days, as did my husband and child. Again, I'm exhausted. And also, kinda irritated, because of my exhaustion. Seriously, spending a weekend doing stuff with my friends should not be such an anomaly ... such an occasion ... that I would be so tired at the end of it. Chilling with Lisa and drinking with the Pinecrest group used to be part of my weekly agenda. It used to be something I could count on ... not have to plan for. I whine, quite a bit, when faced with the thought of weeks between visits with the girls and guys.
As we left Vince and Tania's wedding, driving to the reception, Brian smiled at me and said, "You've got that attitude right now. That way about you when you're with your friends."
I said, "Yeah, I know. I'm happy."

Saturday, June 27

Cupcakes are my favorite dessert

I love it when I have fantastic weekends with my friends. It puts such a lovely spring into my step, and makes the days following just a bit happier. Yesterday, Vince and Tania's wedding, which rocked, and the drinking and dancing goodness involved in that; and then we had today's group adventure to a kid-friendly wine tasting spot, and all the sun, fun and child-crazy activity in that. I won't lie to you; I'm frickin' exhausted, and totally wanting to do nothing but sleep all day tomorrow.
My friends are like the cupcakes in my life.

Thursday, June 25

M-I-C-H-A-E-L Jackson; spell it right!

I don't want to get into all the Michael Jackson stuff, but to share a couple of my favorite memories of the man. I remember Mom and Howie bought me my LP copy of Thriller. It folded out, of course, and had the inside photo of him with his tiger cubs. The three of us listened to the record that night over dinner. Some of you might remember that dining room, the one in the condo in Thousand Oaks, with the mirrors on the wall? Howie clucked and huffed and told me that M.J. looked too feminine. That's my Thriller LP memory.
The second memory involves most of my divas from Pinecrest. On the night of one of my slumber parties at my house, we all had dinner at Numero Uno and then had to rush back to my house (the same condo) to catch the Thriller video as it began on MTV right at 8 p.m. We did; we RUSHED back to catch that video! And I swear, to this day, that video still creeps me out. Yeck. I don't do scary movies ... even when the zombies are dancing and signing.

Now, to be a pessimist: I think most of the "fans" who are out and about on street corners and in front of Jackson's landmarks, are there solely in the hopes that they will be interviewed by the news programs. Honestly, I get the feeling that everyone is standing there working on their best soundbite. Add to that the video I just saw of some guy doing his Jackson dance, and the whole thing stinks of opportunism. Also, I have an extreme issue with the signs. I Facebooked about this, but I'll mention it again: These people ... these huge fans of Jackson's who love him so much ... are not spelling his name correctly. I've seen so many random cardboard and poster board signs spelled "Micheal," and it is bugging me like crazy.
That is all.

Wednesday, June 24

The hat itself is pretty fantastic though

How many of you were creeped out by Johnny Depp in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? "I was," I say, as I raise my own hand. In fact, I watched approximately 15 minutes of it, somewhere in the middle, and had to leave because his whole caricature of Willy Wonka was too disturbing in my brain. The hair, the lipstick, the voice; he was just a freaky little guy, and he scared me.
Here, to the left, is a photo of Depp as the Mad Hatter in a currently filming incarnation of Alice in Wonderland. I'm not ashamed to tell you that he may just scare me away from this movie, too. Which is a shame, really, because Johnny Depp may be one of the best, and most fearless, actors of my generation. I mean, I watched Sweeney Todd, for heaven's sake. I spent good money to see Edward Scissorhands in the theater. I do not shy away from Depp movies easily. But check out the hair, the eyebrows, the red circles under his eyes! Again, creepy! If there's music and a sense of humor, I'm totally there, but if not, I may be saving this particular Depp-tastic film for the Netflix queue.

Tuesday, June 23

Happy B-day, Daisy!

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday dear Daisy,
happy birthday to you!

We sang to her, and she got all kinds of special treats, so all in all, I think she's having a good day. Against all odds, or contradictory behavior over the last several months, Daisy's turned into a pretty good dog. Sure, she barks a lot, and tends to chew up stuff, and is a shark when it comes to food hitting the ground, and gets all in Oliver's personal space. ... No, that's it. She is all those things. But she's also a cuddly little mess, who loves attention, the rest of the "pack," hanging out on the sofa, and of course, flip flops. She's finally learned how to chill though, which is the best, because that puppy business was getting crazy.
Check her out, wearing the sleeves from Sydney's long pj's as legwarmers. Just funny.

Monday, June 22

Garbage in, garbage out

Today was like a cess pool for entertainment tabloid news. I find it repugnant that any of this is considered "news," but when Jon and Kate's divorce is the lead story on my Yahoo! home page over the metro trains in Washington, D.C. colliding, I declare a problem with the world around me.
So, yes, let's go ahead and dignify this with a response.
Jon & Kate Plus 8: I didn't think I could feel more sorry for those children, but tonight, I do. It's a travesty that this couple's relationship demise is front-page news. Can we stop hearing about them now?
Chris Brown, the singer/ex-boyfriend of singer Rihanna, has agreed to a plea deal to stay out of jail for assaulting Rihanna. Sarcasm alert: It's always nice when a high-profile assault case ends up with a slap on the wrist for the bad guy. Such a good example of a fair justice system for our boys and girls.
The rumor is that the blogger, Perez Hilton, tweeted for his fans to call the police after he was allegedly assaulted by an associate of the Black-Eyed Peas. Let me get this right: he TWEETED for someone to call the police, rather than use the exact instrument in his hand to do just that. This is a crazy, publicity-whore action to take. "How can I make this more about me? I'll tweet, and then maybe call the cops!"
I am sad to say that all this news comes from my favorite entertainment web site, ew.com. I usually appreciate the site for all its good information, but apparently, some days are less about good than they are about bad. I'm kinda grossed out by the site's home page tonight. In fact, I feel like I need to wash my hands ... surgeon-style ... for clicking on it.

[Editor's note: I am fully aware that the above monster is constructed with traffic cans, and not garbage cans. The headline, metaphor and topic don't match. Oh well. The picture is really funny.]

She just took it, like a pirate would have

I had a crisis of creativity consciousness this morning. It was brought to my attention that I may be stretching myself creatively lately -- or rather, not stretching my creativity much at all -- due to all my technological commitments. I love my blog so much, and I am so happy with Facebook, that by the time I get to Twitter, I'm kind of spent for a way to express myself that I haven't already touched on that day. Actually, in the order by which I do things, the blog may have been suffering the most, since I don't typically get to it until the end of the day.
So, I'm having this conversation with my staunchest supporter/fiercest critic this morning, discussing the general malaise in my writing. Among all those other things, I've had a bitch of a time getting my children's writing homework done over the last couple months. The discussion ranged from where the writing has faltered, to where some of it has shown some spark. I admitted that I find Twitter to be the culprit of my own creative vacuum, though I still enjoy it for the vicarious information on other people and celebrities ... I mean, really, my daddy is on Twitter (you can say it, that's just awesome). Soon thereafter, the conversation moved on, and then ended.
Sydney, of course, was in the room as I discussed these things, and seemed to be doing a puzzle. I left the office for a few minutes to get dressed for the day and to wash my face and pull up my hair. When finished, I returned to the office, surprised to find that she still was doing the puzzle, though curiously, my desk chair was pushed in and my computer was open. I didn't think much of it, until I went to check all my "stuff" during naptime.
You know what's weird? I'll tell what's weird: Your two-year-old daughter taking a couple minutes when you're out of the room to hijack your Twitter account, change all the settings ... including the password, and not say anything about it. Who knew that the kid was so techno-savvy? I guess I should have, but I didn't.
And honestly, I'm happy to say that I'm feeling a bit liberated at not having to come up with those 140-word updates on myself by myself. They say that you should encourage your child's creative self-expression, at all avenues. I will happily do so. Check out her Twitter updates to the left and down the column, if you're interested. Let's see how good she can be, now that she's taken over part of my technological self-inflicted burden.

Sunday, June 21

I'll tell you about it later

There was a time when I dreaded Mondays. Of course, I was working, and Monday meant the beginning of what would end up feeling like a long week. But now, well, play class is on Mondays, and that makes the day so much better. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow. Not only because of play class, but because it is the beginning of what will probably be a super cool week.

Saturday, June 20

Now, I want to see it more than ever

Have you heard this story? It's been all over the web today, and even when telling Brian about it earlier, I teared up.
It's the story of a 10-year-old girl, Colby Curtin, who suffered from vascular cancer. She was diagnosed three years ago. Here's where it gets bittersweet: Ever since she saw the preview for the new Pixar movie, Up, she wanted to see the film. Her parents were looking forward to taking her to see the theater, but over the last couple weeks, Colby continued to decline in health, and it became clear that she would be too ill to make it to a theater for the movie. A family friend made calls to Pixar, hoping the studio would help grant the girl's dying wish. Pixar came to the rescue. The company sent an employee, with a DVD of the film, to Colby's house on June 10 for a private viewing of the movie. She and her family watched the movie together. Colby died about seven hours later.
And here I get all teary-eyed again, just rereading the article and sharing the story with you. It's weird, how being a mom can change your perspective on something so completely. I would have probably cried over this before I had Sydney, but now, knowing how the simplest things can bring a smile to a child's face, I can only imagine how uplifting it must be for Colby's mother to know that her daughter died having seen the movie she wanted to see so badly. And that Colby was able to stay alive long enough to appreciate the film (she was unable to see it, because her pain was so intense, but she listened, and her mother gave her a play-by-play of the action).
I love that there is such inherent kindness still, in the world. One tends to forget that even though the huge corporations are the newest "big bad," they still are housed by people ... people who care. Colby's friend had to pick someone from Pixar's automated voicemail system to which she could plead her case. From that message, that employee took the situation to whom they could for additional help, and it went "up" the ladder from there. You know there had to have been a suit to approve this action. And that Pixar isn't saying anything about it, or trying to milk any publicity from it, makes it better.
What a fantastic story, even though, as I said, it's bittersweet.

Friday, June 19

Too many topics, so few symbols

So many things to make random comments about:
!: Nestle wants us to throw away our Toll House products because when they are eaten BEFORE being cooked, some people got kinda sick. Now, I know how yummy uncooked cookie dough is, as I take bites of it every time I break and bake, but one simply must know the risks involved in that delicacy, and should take the consequences like a man. That is all.
@: We are beyond bummed that the Arizona State University baseball team lost its double-elimination game tonight against Texas. Thank goodness we didn't call our Longhorn friends and talk any smack.
#: I was just about to comment on how Brian's recent The West Wing obsession on Bravo! has drawn me in, and then I scroll down to find an article on Bradley Whitford (who played Josh) and his wife, Jane Kaczmarek, about their divorcing after 16 years. Weird symmetry.
$: I am incredibly excited to see Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger. I think it'll rock.
%: There were some tweets that made news this week, that I knew nothing about, simply because they are people I'm not really interested in following. I mean, Lindsay Lohan had topless photos in her tweets, and Governor Schwarzenegger tweeted about his plane's emergency landing today? Ugh. Tony Hawk tweeted about the White House today, though I will probably follow him now simply because I do think he's kinda cool.
^: One of the best movies ever, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, is on USA HD tonight, and I've gotten completely sucked in. I love it so much! I'm at the part right now where Will Turner demands that Elizabeth goes free, and the awesome Capt. Jack Sparrow tells Barbosa that Turner is a eunuch.
&: I can NOT believe that Donald Trump is at all involved with televised professional wrestling. Can this dude handle a single thing in this world that doesn't have his frickin' head or hair on it? Obviously not. You know, I need to start a little list over there on the left that lists the people that bug me, which is different than the list of Random Pet Peeves. But that suggestion feels so negative.

Thursday, June 18

Four for Thursday

1. I read somewhere, or heard it, that hot dogs give you headaches. Is there any truth to that? Even the Hebrew National hot dogs? Whether it's true, or I am just crazy susceptible to a suggestion of that sort, I have had a wicked headache ever since my lunchtime hot dog began its trail of digestion. I've certainly eaten since then, and have been drinking my fair share of water, but right now, at 9:13 p.m., my head is just starting to feel better. Still, I also pulled my bangs off my forehead about 20 minutes ago. And I just finished watching today's Burn Notice. Maybe the combination of the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, barrette and Michael Westen helped me through the last bits of cranial pounding. Yeah, that must be it. But to be on the safe side, I think I'll pass on finishing that last hot dog tomorrow. The experiment intrigues me, but I'm not strong enough to have the head pain two days in a row.
2. I am, already, SO over this "Bruno" character (on the cover of GQ? Posters? MTV Movie Awards?). Honestly, I do not get the appeal behind Sacha Baron Cohen and his ridiculous personalities. He's becoming as tiresome and predictable as Will Ferrell. I've been bugged by Cohen ever since Ali G., and he has failed to impress me since. Instead, I get more and more disgusted by his antics. In fact, I hate talking about him, except to tell you all how much I am bugged by him (even more than Beyonce, which is really saying something). That is all.
3. Also, tonight, I will announce my lack of interest in the new Late-Night Talk Show War. I was interested in Conan O'Brien's captaining The Tonight Show enough to watch the first two episodes. (I did not see Gwyneth Paltrow's shiny legs except in photos the following day.) I've never liked David Letterman. (And hopefully, the time spent on him and Sarah Palin will now be used better elsewhere.) My interest in Jimmy Kimmel runs to funny-ass music videos featuring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I'm never awake late enough to see Craig Ferguson. (Which, actually, I consider a shame, since I've heard such fantastic stuff about Ferguson.) And Jimmy Fallon still feels like a high school A/V project to me. So, consider me one of those people who has not changed my late-night viewing AT ALL because of Conan or the others. (Mom is though. She doesn't like Conan at all, so now lives life without Tonight. She is though, planning on tuning in to Jay Leno's primetime program this fall. I will not.) I will though, continue to pledge my devotion to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.
4. I hear that "Jon & Kate" will be announcing their divorce on their show on Monday. Join me in a yawn anyone? I worry for the children, because who knows how messed up they already are. And so many accounts point to Kate as being the more crazy of the parents. As mother, she'll get custody, you can bet. Sad. Now, it's no better than a frickin' show about the mom of eight in SoCal. And the show? I'm sure, more of a train wreck than ever. I assume, I've never seen it. I make snap judgments based on copious tabloid and gossip news coverage.

He's so pretty

You remember how a couple weeks ago I went off about how Kate Hudson was in a bikini on the Fool's Gold poster, even though it lent nothing at all to the actual film or only one short scene? And how I blamed the Hollywood establishment for exploiting Hudson for her body? Well! Finally, Hollywood (or at least an entertainment magazine that is focused on most things Hollywood) has exploited a man for its own gain. Check out the Entertainment Weekly goodness that will be dropping in mailboxes this week!
I don't know about the rest of you, but I totally notice when there is a big photo spread in a magazine, about ... say ... Oscar nominees or musicians or comedians or something, and all the photos have the women seductively topless or naked or in lingerie, and the men are fully clothed, or in a shirt, or even just close-ups of their faces. Of course, there are exceptions, but more times than not, that is the way of the celebrity-focused photo essay. EW is a huge contributor to that (I think they know it too; the mag is too self-aware to miss it), as is Vanity Fair. So it's refreshing, to say the least, when there's a topless dude as awesome as Ryan Reynolds on the cover of a magazine.

Wednesday, June 17

The pronghorns were playful

It seems that, today, I have little more for you than vague comments here and there about nothing. So, can I find something just as good as the big ant sculpture photo?
Hey! I just thought of something kinda weird! Sydney and I hit the zoo this morning, and since it was a bit warm, I curtailed our visit to only The Arizona Trail ... and the carousel (which is a required portion of every trip to the zoo). Anyway, animals in The Arizona Trail include iguanas, snakes, frogs (including a blue dart frog, like the one in the picture), meerkats, owls, roadrunners, mountain lions, Golden eagles, peccaries, coyotes, Gila monsters, and pronghorns. We had a lovely time wandering the Trail, and found great joy in the meerkats, frogs and snakes in particular. So, la la la, our day at the zoo.
Cut to this afternoon and we're sitting down to watch Go, Diego, Go!, which coincidentally, is all about an iguana in the desert. The animals all around Diego's adventure were the exact same animals we saw at the zoo today: coyotes (which eat iguanas, I guess), roadrunners (which sing), mountain lions (which provide vocal back-up as well), and even the peccaries (which run alongside Diego when he's singing). I don't know about Sydney, but I found it great and a little creepy that the show was such a perfect complement to our morning at the zoo.

I have no pun for "ant." I fail you.

This sure is ... well ... a really big sculpture of a big ant.
It's being moved by a crane.
And it looks kind of like Batman.
And I wonder how, if the sun was shining off it, it would look. Shiny? Matte? Sparkly? Leathery?
I'm weirdly intrigued.

Tuesday, June 16

Ollie and his new chewy

Oliver is a great dog. What he isn't, and never has been, is a chewer. Sure, he takes advantage of the random rawhide bone or bully stick, munching on them until he eats them, or chokes on them, or leaves them around so they dry out and get really sharp and injure my feet. Because of those random occurrences, I really don't encourage any prolonged chewing obsessions. I fear though that my reluctance to bring a chewy item into the house may be the reason why so many of our shoes have been killed.
Daisy, you see, is a chewer. She'll chew on Sydney's toys, Brian's t-shirts, the entire family's shoes and sandals (flip flops are her preferred choice), and even electronic equipment cords (anyone know where I can get a new foot pedal for our Rockband drum set?). I decided over the weekend that perhaps I have been too lax in getting Daisy something that she can chew on.
So with that in mind, Brian made his way over to Petco. He bought Daisy two hooves -- I assume they are cow hooves, but they actually seem a little small to be bovine (pig?) -- and the little chewies have become very popular around the house since then. (And that is what we call them, "chewies." Not creative, but always better than "bones," "rawhide pieces," or "hooves.") Now Oliver and Daisy share, argue over, chew the hell out of, and whisper sweet nothings to these little hooves all day. Yes, they smell a little, but not too offensively bad, and also are not too painful when accidentally stepped on.
I find myself wondering why exactly it takes me so long to get my head out of the clouds and come up with a solution sometimes. I mean, really, we've had Daisy for 10 months; I have tossed out countless shoes, t-shirts and toys; and I just now think to myself, "Hmmm ... perhaps we should re-think the chewing situation?"

Monday, June 15

I say, Grrr. *spit* Grrr.

ITEM!: I've got a friend who isn't a friend, but is friends with all my friends, but doesn't want to be friends with me and vice versa. If you knew the topic, you would totally get that, but I didn't write it for everyone to get. I just wrote it to throw it out there, and see how it would stick. What's bugging me is that this is bugging me. I would rather be over it, but I think it'll follow me around for a little while longer. Even though my one friend, who is friends with my non-friend, said I am better off not being friends.
ITEM!: I fear that my dogs just don't eat enough when I'm not home. I swear, they are neglected, unfed and thirsty when I walk back into my house, even though their water dish is full ... and has a backup, the food bowl also is full, and they're sleeping contentedly when I enter the domicile. Because once I get home and all the welcome love is done, the two of them spend hours eating, drinking, chewing on toys, rubbing their faces on me, and giving me arms for treats. Poor dears!
ITEM!: I think we need to buy a lawn mower. I know, I know, you're all, "What? You don't have a lawn mower?" No, we don't. And my grass must be happy in my backyard, because it is getting pretty tall. Not too tall ... yet ... but it's getting there.
ITEM!: I'm already making my pile of stuff to take back to Cali next week when we return for Vince and Tania's wedding. A super quick weekend, to be sure, but certainly an entertaining one, since we're driving and bringing the dogs with us.

Sunday, June 14

Fans who rock cars: why do that?

I'm exhausted from my extended weekend, and have not a single positive thing to say about the Lakers, a subject that is dominating everyone talking on the television right now. As my mom never told me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
Mom and I watched He's Just Not That Into You tonight. I'm a little coy about saying that I enjoyed the movie. I dug it though. I may have to see it again.
Our flight is at a decent time tomorrow morning, so we should be back in Arizona by naptime.

Saturday, June 13

Graduates from high school, and a womb

It's such a weird sound when everyone in the house is sleeping but me. I mean, it's quiet, yes, but there's a heavy contentment in the air, too. Sydney was just super tired; Mom is taking a doze on the sofa; and Clyde is stretched out on the floor at my feet. Me? I'm messing around on the Internets, when I should probably be sleeping myself. But I don't work like that, and the afternoon looks to be a slow and easy one, so I may just blog a bit, eat some pineapple upside down cake bundlet, and read a magazine.
It's been a lovely visit here to California this week. Ashlee's graduation was great yesterday afternoon, and we all got a chance to scream and jump around when her name was called and she walked across the stage. Her school, my own high school alma mater, still forces its female graduates to wear the same hideous light blue color on their gowns and mortar boards that Lisa and I had to wear. That's too bad, because the darker shade of blue is much nicer. My brother, Scott, tells me that the lighter blue is more feminine. (!) But if the dark is prettier, it should all be uniform! I wonder how many other schools have different gown colors for the girls and the boys? I find that giving the girls the ugly color is gender discrimination.
The other big news! My dear friend, Jeannine, had her baby boy Thursday night! Eli James was born at 9:35 p.m., weighed 7 lbs, 8 oz., and is celebrated by his family and their friends. Andrea and I had a chance to go by the hospital last night to meet him and to check in on Jeannine and Jeff. Everyone is perfectly fine, and seemingly walking on air. He's such an adorable peanut! The new parents are so happy, and they couldn't stop smiling at their little man. It was a sweet, loving scene, and I'm so glad and honored to have been there for part of it.
Also, you know that other thing, with the guy, and the attorney, and the suing, and the asshole? Well, we are feeling better about that. That phrase, about losing battles but winning wars may sometimes be apropos, but not always. We're not losing anything.

Thursday, June 11

Look out world, Mom's on Facebook!

Still waiting, waiting, waiting to hear from/about Jeannine...

I just created a Facebook page for Mom, and it's pretty awesome. As she says, "You've taken Mom one step further into the technical age." Still, I used her senior-year, high school photo as her profile picture ... I mean really, the hair was just fantastic (check her out in the lower left of the blog if you don't believe me). She would have loved a place where it could be declared that Kimmie filled out her info page and all that, but no, now she's stuck with her friends thinking that perhaps she is remarkably clever at turning a phrase. Activities? She's a gym rat. Interests? Interior design, of course, but shopping, too. Books? She's had the same stack of to-be-read books for more than three years, except the gem that Lizzie bought her a few months ago, Getting Naked Again. She read that one.
This is fun. I think she'll enjoy Facebook once she gets into it. But also as she said, "This Facebook thing will be really easy if you're doing everything for me."

Wednesday, June 10

Who acts like this? Really!

I saw the craziest thing at the airport today: a kid, about 20 years old or so, getting crazy belligerent with a TSA employee about a cup of coffee. (I was next in line, so got a premium seat to the train wreck.) The TSA Lady told him, nicely, that he was not permitted to bring the coffee through security. The kid, no kidding, fires back in the dickiest voice, "THAT is the most RIDICULOUS thing I've ever heard!" She's all, those are the rules. He's all, your rules are ridiculous. She's all, you want to talk to a supervisor? He's all, yes. As the supervisor heads over, the jerk downs the rest of his coffee. By the time the supervisor arrived, the coffee cup was empty, and he was all, I don't need an empty cup anyway.
I'm making this a lot more relaxed than it was. I am, to be completely honest with you, still stunned by the blatant hostility this kid ... and his father ... exhibited to the TSA employees. All over a $2 cup of coffee that obviously was not too full to slam down in the space of a few seconds.
It's not my experience to pick fights with strangers over stupid stuff. And certainly not when those strangers could derail an entire flight schedule and travel day by having you arrested if you so much as look at them funny. I'm still shaking my head at this guy's attitude. Every time I looked at him throughout this incident, I just shook my head and muttered about him being an idiot/asshole/jerk ... pick one.

Tuesday, June 9

Do frogs eat mosquitos?

Have I told you that we've been having mosquito issues in and around our house lately? I think it's because of the grass and how often I have to water it. But jeez, I've got a ton of bites on my legs (from watering the grass at night), and a couple on my arms. Brian contends he has them everywhere, and they are so awful! Between the two of us, we've been killing the little bastards whenever we can, but they move so frickin' fast. In fact, I just moved my arm to move the phone, and I swear that one just flew right past me. I hate them. Every spring in Boston, I would inevitably have some industrious mosquito in my apartment that would bite me two times on the face. My face would then swell up a bit and go kind of numb. Odd, and seemingly only a Boston thing, but every night, when I know there are mosquitoes around, I worry that the next morning I'll wake up feeling like a balloon.
Right now, every time something tickles my skin, I'm smacking the area. I hate this.

Monday, June 8

The raccoon is tired, too

I'm watching the end of The Doors right now. I've never seen the movie, starring Val Kilmer, before, and got totally caught up in it a few days ago. I had to stop watching with about 45 minutes left -- a toddler will do that to you -- so recorded the end of it. I don't think I knew that he died in the bathtub. I knew he died in Paris, and is buried at Pere Lachaise cemetery. (Once upon a time, Julia and I wandered Paris and its outlying areas for the weekend. We had planned on visiting Pere Lachaise to see Jim Morrison's final resting place. We arrived there five minutes past the cemetery's closing time. We took a picture of the outside perimeter wall, and then went down the street to The Hard Rock Cafe and got hammered.) I dislike it when I learn more about a historical personage and they end up being off-putting. I'll say that about Morrison ... having just seen the movie.
I had the opportunity to bitch out Auntie Donna's former apartment manager earlier this evening. Her voice mail is blistering, I tell you! The woman had been nothing but rude and unhelpful, and tried to cheat us out of some $85. We finally got the last of the deposit refund, and a rudely written letter, today. And I finally had the woman's phone number, and I called it. It felt good to spew on someone, as I'm not permitted to spew that often, and the fact that this lady actually deserved it, was gravy.
I'm tired, and I've got a lot to do tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7

A new OS for my computer, too?

My Sun Devils are heading to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.! Can I get a "GGGOOOOO DEVILS, GGGGGGOOOOOOO!!!!" Awesome! (And you can say it, our Sparky bobblehead is perhaps the coolest bit of ASU something that could possibly exist.)
I'm totally and completely fascinated by this Air France 447 incident. (I actually was hoping that the passengers were all "lost" on a tropical island that dances around in time, harbors ghosts, and has a smokey watchdog.) But sadly, no, all these people have died, and now the recovery effort is underway. I hope they find the black boxes and are able to give these families and companies some closure and explanation as to what happened to this fateful flight. It's such a shame, and so sad. :(
I'm no fan of the Lakers, and in fact, really just watch the games in hopes of seeing Kobe Bryant lose, so this year's NBA Finals is a bit of a drag for me. That's all I have to say about that.
And the best news of the day? Even though Apple is releasing a cooler version of the iPhone soon (I assume it's better. It might not be, and then all of us who already have iPhones will smile), the company also is releasing an updated version of its iPhone software this summer. The latest software offers cool enhancements such as the ability to cut and paste Web pages, and (YAY!!!) send MMS (multimedia messaging service) text messages with photos. ... This sending pictures and text messages thing is by far one feature that I have missed TERRIBLY with this phone. Do you realize how awful it is to not be able to take a picture of some woman's ugly/ridiculous ensemble and not be able to text it to my mom right away? Or to not be able to receive pictures via text? It's SO frustrating, especially since every other phone on the planet seems to be able to do it. Now if they will let me upload songs as my text tone too, I'll be a happy camper with nothing to complain about anymore!

Saturday, June 6

Must. Go. To. Vegas. Soon.

Holy crap, you guys, this is the funniest movie I've seen in the longest time! Brian and I giggled, laughed and went into silly hysterics throughout the entire film. Truly, The Hangover is worth every cent for the ticket, every dollar for the concessions, and every day we had to wait for it since we first saw the trailer. It's already a classic among our little movie-going experiences, and will definitely have a place of honor in our DVD library when it comes out. The film was just totally awesome.
I've got Tropic Thunder on my television right now, as it is the Saturday night movie on Cinemax. I'm still not loving the film. I didn't like it when I saw it the first time (I can't even remember if that was in a theater or on DVD, which says something), and I'm not inclined to change my original assessment of it now. A lot of it is still really irritating.
I was just reading through a news web site and since I was scanning it so quickly, I thought I read the word "smurf." And then I stopped for a milli-second and considered why "smurf" would be in a headline. I re-read it though, and it didn't say "smurf." And then I thought, "I don't think I've posted a single picture of a smurf on this blog." And then I decided to remedy that.

Friday, June 5

Internal debate: Beatles or "Airplane!" headline?

I think that I would completely love the newest Rock Band offering, The Beatles: Rock Band. In fact, I am fighting against my instincts to not pre-order it right now! I mean, really, I could play "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Here Comes the Sun," and "Get Back"? That's awesome! I can not wait until Sept. 9! I think I'll exchange one of our unliked games from the holidays for it. Because The Beatles are too cool. The only bands cooler to have on Rock Band? Well, U2 and The Monkees, of course.
Oh, I won't lie, I totally wish that I had won that $232 million. Background: a 23-year-old cowboy living in South Dakota won the ninth-largest Powerball jackpot, and had this to say, "Thank the Lord." Honestly, dude, the Lord had nothing to do with it. (It's just "luck," you know.) He said he recently told his horse, Eleanor, that "It'd be nice if we go for a longer ride than usual on a bigger ranch of our own." He also elected to take the one-time payout, which, after taxes, came to $88,504,147. That's silly, I say, for a 23-year-old; he should have taken the yearly installments, and received more. Why the rush?
One of my favorite movies, I think, ever, is on right now: Airplane!. I can tell it's a Friday night, because my taste in entertainment is flipping back and forth between funny and not funny. I'm trapped in indecision between that ridiculous movie and True Blood. I see, "We've got clearance, Clarence." "Roger, Roger." "What's our vector, Victor." And then go to, "It's hot!" "That's how it's served: 98.6 degrees." "It's supposed to be like blood." And then back to, "Nervous?" "Yes." "First time?" "No, I've been nervous lots of times." I giggle, because that's just funny. But in a couple minutes I think I'll turn the television off, and read for a bit.

Thursday, June 4

"Burn Notice" is pretty awesome

Did I mention that one of my favorite TV shows is premiering its third season tonight? I know. I did last week, but not recently. I remembered though, and am so happy to have watched it this evening!
What a lovely couple of days I just spent with my mommy! We had a quick errand to complete at Grandma's house, but then just took advantage of the opportunity to hang out together. Lots of yummy food, bitching and kvetching about the "family issues," and some looking at pictures all helped make it a cathartic and zen-like visit. I always hate dropping her off at the airport though. Because now, it's not just me missing her, but that little voice from the backseat saying bye to Grandma the entire way back to our house, asking where she is, suggesting that we go get her, and wondering about Clyde. It's really cute, of course, but still makes me feel bad. But again, of course, I can say to her, "Well, we'll see Grandma and Clyde next week!"
Next week is looking pretty awesome though. Did I tell you why I'm going out to California? My niece, Ashlee, is graduating from high school a week from tomorrow. Honestly, this makes me feel quite old, because I remember that she was at my graduation (from the same high school, too!), though she was only a couple months old at the time. You know what that means, right? I'm two high-school-graduates old. Ugh. It'll be the first time I'll have the chance to wander around the campus, too, since I left it all those years ago. WEIRD!!

Tuesday, June 2

I need to stop watching this movie

And then there was a Tuesday...
Someone tell me why I'm watching Fool's Gold again. Usually, I love the fact that HBO and Cinemax show the same group of movies over and over again. But when it's some crazy, cheesy guilty pleasure like this visual confection, I tend to wish it would go away. (I also am secretly hoping that the networks suddenly rediscover X2: X-Men United and Troy.) I think I may cry or shut off the cable boxes if Paul Blart: Mall Cop ever falls under their heavy rotation, though.
Hey, did you notice that on this poster for the movie here, that Kate Hudson is wearing only a bikini, while Matthew McConaughey is fully dressed in shorts and a t-shirt? What's wrong with all the cute outfits Hudson wears throughout the film? Why a bikini that she doesn't even wear in the movie, when she only wears a bikini once in the movie, and when her character is the brains in the movie? Goodness gracious, the eye candy throughout this film is McConaughey. He's half naked in more than half of the scenes, and he's the one fully covered on the poster? Damn Hollywood for its sexism. McConaughey should totally be the one in the bikini on this poster.
Now, someone please tell me why I got all indignant and verbose about Fool's Gold.

Monday, June 1

The sinking ship is a metaphor ... get it?

I'm a huge hurt-my-mom-hurt-me type person. That can come as no surprise to any of you. It's a lonely existence though, being that protective, because I always end up saying or doing something that ultimately, I somehow regret (though after a fashion, not so much). And today, I'm saddled with another dilemma. And fuck if it just doesn't make me powerless to do anything. Situations like this are where I wish I had a wicked skill of some kind ... be it an incredibly clever streak of deviousness; knowledge of the law and its intricacies; a cool super power that could make someone do the right thing; or even just have a friend who knows a guy who knows a guy. ... ... Jeez. What can I do? I can write about it ... ooooooooohhhhhhh, scary.
I always thought to myself, "Those people with family members that come after each other with attorneys and stuff ... they've got issues." I certainly never thought that Mom (and I) would be on the receiving end of an attorney's phone calls or letters, at the behest of a family member no less. Brian asked the best question, "What are you? The Rockefellers or Vanderbilts? Are there millions at stake that I know nothing about?" No, we're not (and there aren't), but what we are now, apparently, is the family that doesn't talk amongst ourselves, and now has to refer each other to our attorneys.
What's this about? It's about someone trying to screw Mom out of something that's owed to her. It's about someone who has forgotten that whatever this amount is, it is a fraction of what she should probably get anyway. It's about someone who thinks that the woman who has been there for them all their life is suddenly going to cheat them out of money.
And it's about losing faith in someone who said that all would be fine, and then turned around and sicced the fucking dogs on us. You know, you don't only lose family members via death. I'm finding out today, you also can lose them through betrayal.

Happy June everyone!

I'm loving my avatar this month simply because she's so "gardener-y," and because if I could, I'd totally have a backyard that looks like that: all river rock, big plants, a waterfall even, and just so lush. I'm working on the big plants and grassy knoll, but the lushness and waterfall feature may have to wait until I've got a yard that's my own, and not rented.
My grass is looking very nice today though, I must say. My very green thumb and ability to "water it" must be paying off! I still need a couple more little lights for the border around my lawn (does that sound fancier than "grassy knoll"?), and Brian had a great idea for a feature including that cool wooden garden screen at Target. In fact, we may need two or three of those screens. I'm having a good idea in addition to his good idea!
But beyond that, I'm excited about June. Coming up: I've got some good visits with Mom; some fantastic time with all my friends; a fancy outing with my husband and without my kid; and happily, Pinecrest: Generation 2.0 will increase by one new class member. Yay June!!