Wednesday, August 31

Wet carpet smells musty

A couple things.
First of all, Blogger has changed its "interface" with us users, and it's kinda freaking me out. There's a lot less color, and everything just seems a bit ... higher ... that it usually is. There's quite a bit less stuff, and this doesn't bother me a whole lot, except that the text window is situated about three inches higher on the screen than it was yesterday, and it's weirding me out. I feel like I'm looking up at the sky, rather than just higher on my screen. Again, just weird. As I finish up the post, we'll have to see if everything works as it should.
Second, I had a flood in my house today. Yes, a flood. Apparently (well, not really "apparently," as we have definitive proof of it), my toilet cracked, and water leaked out the tank. As water leaked out of the tank, the floater kept falling, and water kept filling the tank. A never-ending circuit that eventually had water flooding my upstairs bathroom, the downstairs bathroom and hallway, and running out the sprinkler heads in my downstairs neighbor's apartment.
Maintenance arrived first (said neighbor called it in, confirming to me that he has nothing to do but hang out at home and listen to what's going on up here. Honestly, Steve, she's a kid, of course she's going to stomp and run around), as Brian and I were out and about, and confirmed that yes, the toilet was cracked, and yes, the flood was coming from my house. I got a call, of course, as all this was going down, and really, my car couldn't get me back home fast enough.
All is well tonight: I've got a fan blowing under the carpet in my bedroom/bathroom (picture to the left); the carpet padding has been removed from both the bedroom carpet upstairs and the hallway carpet downstairs; all the towels are in the wash; and everywhere but my upstairs bathroom is clean again. My carpet upstairs is full of air, so it looks like my room is a bouncey castle.
The carpet should be dry on Friday, when the carpet guys are due to return with new padding and to re-staple the carpet. Maintenance should be here tomorrow to replace my toilet. I do not look forward to cleaning up after all this again tomorrow, and again on Friday, but whatever.
This apartment, I swear, is a Hellmouth.

Tuesday, August 30

Brush-a, brush-a, brush-a ...

My arm is getting tired. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I've had to use a manual toothbrush for an entire week? Back story: I forgot my electric toothbrush out in California, and it's been a rough time since then. A whole week of working for my clean teeth. What good is technology if it doesn't scream at you from the next room when you accidentally leave it somewhere it shouldn't be? Inconvenience!
It's weird, but the most interesting thing about using the manual toothbrush is how it's brought to light my bad brushing technique again. When I started using the SonicCare, I had angry gums that were being forced away from my teeth by brute strength. My brushing was too hard, and my gums were bearing the brunt of it. They were beginning to recede, and my teeth were getting too sensitive. The SoincCare changed that, by babying my gums while still cleaning my teeth. The gums responded by returning to their full and upright position.
Ever since I started using the manual brush last week, I can feel where my gums are getting mad and pushed back again. It bothers me mostly because I know that I'm not doing right by them, but I can't seem to shift my brushing technique. I'm focused on the brushing, but nervous about the brushing, and therefore paranoid about the brushing. Also, my arm gets tired.

Monday, August 29

Treadmills are a good thing

Monday, Monday, Monday. Well, that's that.
Tomorrow morning, after I drop Sydney at school, I am going to the gym. I'm excited to get my ass back on the treadmill, and I will be on it, for no less than 45 minutes. I'm back in the swing, people, and I need to get this fattiness off my body. Happy me, happy cardiovascular system.

Sunday, August 28

Cliff jumping in my 30s: CHECK

I did something that I consider pretty awesome yesterday. I jumped off a cliff. I have no visual proof, but I do have witnesses. Now, this photo here  <---  is of me on top of another cliff I jumped off ... when I was a kid. I was, perhaps, 11 or 12 years old, and it took me an hour to work up the courage to do this. Daddy, Uncle Craig and any number of other people were witness to that jump, and it was as exhausting for them as it was terrifying for me.
For yesterday, I had learned my lesson from *cough, cough* 20-something years ago. I knew, in my heart, that if I took my time figuring this out, or looked down at the water, that I'd end up sitting there for an hour again. I climbed up the mountainside, with my floaty (because no one's allowed in the lake water without one), and made my way up to the top of the cliff. From there, I took courage from the fact that my kid was waiting below. Also, I stood back from the edge by about three feet so I couldn't see straight down.
I tossed the floaty, waited a few seconds for it to get a safe distance away, and in a split second that I can still bring right to the forefront of my memory, stepped off the edge. I squeezed my eyes shut, squeezed my nose shut, and fell. And fell. And fell. And thought, "Where the hell is the water? Shouldn't I be in the water by now?" And then, suddenly, I was splashing into the lake. Bubbles rose around me. I started swimming up, and then I broke the surface and pulled in a breath. Best part: Sydney cheering for me. Second best part: me proving to myself that I could do it ... without an hour of contemplative thought and courage-building.

Shoes, eyelashes and drinks, oh my!

I know that I'm not the girliest of girls. And I know that I don't dress like a girly girl. But on special occasions, I do relish the time spent looking and acting like the girly girl that I seem to be incapable of being in my everyday life. I walk the walk (and fall); I talk the talk (and smile); I dress the dress.
But, here I am, one week post-wedding, and I'm still feeling the effects of my weekend.
When I think of false eyelashes, my eyes begin to water uncontrollably. Not from tears, just irritation remembrance from the glue. These may never happen again. Until another dear friend gets married, and then I'll do it, but then I'll be better prepared.
I tried to drink this weekend at the lake. I really did. But a couple beers in, I couldn't follow through. Also, the last couple drinks of those two or three beers was enough to turn my stomach. I feel like, if it wasn't a shot or a mixed drink, my body just couldn't handle it. I saw the beers, and dreamed only of ready-made margarita mix over ice, mixed drinks, and shots. I had no heart for a beer. Maybe it's because it was Coors and Coors Light instead of Corona. That may have been a problem, too.
As for my feet, which spent a few hours in some shoes with sturdy, but high, heels, they continue to bitch at me regularly. In fact, my right foot is just now starting to feel normal again. But the middle three toes of my left foot continue to feel like television static. I think I may have permanent nerve damage.

p.s. Also, I'm not getting texted enough, and it's giving me issues. My phone got used to blowing up with text messages from my best friend, my girls, the bride, my husband, my mom and the rest of my Cali crew. Back in Arizona, it's a quieter existence. Though I feel like we've been compensating with Facebook quite well, I'm still missing everyone.

Thursday, August 25

I love my blog :)

Just as a matter of interest, I published my 1,700th blog post three nights ago. This is my 1,703rd post. Weird. That's a lot of random stuff that's come off my brain and onto the Internet. It's amazing to me how I can write as much as I'd like, and pretty much about anything that I'd like, but when it comes to telling someone new about the blog, I'm still kinda shy about it.
I know that I've got readers, and I pay special attention to how I say things or even what I talk about. I do, sadly, self-censor here, but not so much that I feel like I'm not having my voice heard, or that I'm stunted in my freedom of expression. Some things are not fit for public consumption (even when written about brilliantly!).
Also, sometimes, it feels like a chore. But mainly, the blog continues to be a terrific way for me to continue my love of writing, turning a phrase, playing with vocabulary, and getting my crazy out of my head and onto the page.

Wednesday, August 24

I wish it was that cool in here!

Oh my goodness, it is so hot in my apartment today.
Our air conditioner died at about 10:30 p.m. last night, making the evening among the most uncomfortable I have ever lived through in my existence. We sweat our way through the night, each of us in our own space. Sydney uncovered and sweaty in her bed; Brian uncovered and sweaty on the sofa; me uncovered and sweaty on my bed; and Oliver and Daisy sunny-side up and panting on my bed, too.
Sydney woke me up this morning with the heart-wrenching statement, "Mommy, I'm all sweaty. Can you make me cooler?" I wish I could have, but we all had to get our day going in, I'm not exaggerating but guessing, about 95-degree heat. It was cooler outside than inside this morning when I took Sydney to school.
Right now, Sydney's in school, Ollie and Daisy are at Katy's apartment, and Brian and I are heading out to get some groceries and wander through Target. The maintenance guy has been here already this morning, replaced the capacitor, and will be back with a new thermostat in an hour or so. Already, the a/c is blowing cooler. And with a new capacitor, we should have a more efficient machine working for us, which, hopefully, means less electric bill and more cool air.
Jeez, let's get this place to the approximate temperature of a meat locker, shall we?

Tuesday, August 23

I sleep well tonight. Thank you, Ursula

I'm instituting a bedtime for myself, as of tonight. I've got to catch up on my sleep from the last two weeks, and it won't happen with me staying awake until midnight every night. From now on, when in regards to a school night, I'll be going night-nights at 11 p.m. This means no more messing around for too long before digging into Facebook and my farm. It means getting up on time in the morning to get her ready for school. It means having the time to walk the dogs and make a lunch while still managing the time to wash my face.
It also means I'll need to finish up here and get my pajamas on.
I don't know why I've decided on a picture of Ursula, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, August 22

It was a great day

Okay, I'm totally tired, and really need to go to bed, but I do have to say that we all had a frickin' blast at JJ and Anthony's wedding this weekend. It's been a while since a wedding has consumed my entire weekend, and while it was certainly exhausting, it also was exhilarating. I had so much fun hanging out with everyone, and it's such a pleasure to say to friends, "See you later," or "See you tonight," and know that, yes, I will be seeing them later, rather than in a couple months.
Of course, last night I did have to tell everyone that I'll see them in a couple months, but after a whole week of seeing them whenever I wanted to, it felt okay to say it without being sad.

p.s. Here's my last bridesmaidenry photo!

Saturday, August 20

Rehearsal: check; big day: tomorrow

Daisy killed a doll today. Well, I hesitate to pin the death on Daisy so quickly, as we found Clyde making quick work of a crayon the other day. The doll, you see, is now without arms and legs. Her beautiful blond hair still is flowing, and her face is still perfect, but the jagged edges at her shoulders and hips make her into a shark-attack victim.
I got my hubby back today, as he flew into town for the wedding tomorrow. I dragged him here and there with me all day, and I do so love it when he's accommodating for that kind of thing. The rehearsal went well, though I'm a bit concerned with the outdoor temperature at that time of day. It may be warm. Also, I am concerned with the declining walkway for the walk to the altar, and my penchant for falling in my shoes, and the combination of the two. I am incredibly nervous about skinning my knees on said walkway when I should be cruising down the aisle all fancy, elegant and graceful.

Thursday, August 18

Bridesmaids rule!

So today may very well be the last "normal" day until next Tuesday, when I'm back in Arizona and spending the whole day back in my typical habitat. Tomorrow, wedding activities begin in earnest. Among them: airbrush tanning for my tan lines, which are forbidden; inspection and possible polish change for my manicure, because no wedding is the right place for a crack-ho mani; find something for the rehearsal and Friday's night out, for which I didn't even think to bring something specific; and taking the water pills, so I may lose some of this fancy water weight before the big day on Sunday. All of a sudden though, life is incredibly scheduled (and sometimes, quite early), and due to no one's fault but my own, I'm not awake enough to handle it. I need to be sleeping better and more, but I just don't see that happening. Result: getting through the weekend on a wing and a prayer, and suffering with a no-sleep cold next week at home. Don't mistake my meaning, this is all totally worth it for my sweet JJ's big day.
In honor of the big day, I'll be using fun and funny "bridesmaidenry" images for the blog. Because I think it'll be awesome.

Wednesday, August 17

Yay dinosaurs!!

I know more about dinosaurs than any regular mom should. That I could wander through a dinosaur museum with my own "dino expert" and have intelligent conversations, and debates, with her in regards to the fossils, displays and characteristics attests to this. I love that we could share the experience together, and I love even more that she had such a great time. Dinosaurs are awesome!
I vaguely remember going to the Natural History Museum in my earlier Pinecrest days. I would hazard a guess as to say it was in the first or second grade. Maybe first, since my first grade teacher was huge into dinosaurs and had dinosaur names in our spelling tests. Mrs. Fischer was a cool, little old lady. Since she was old then, it can come as no surprise to you that she's long dead, but still, a cool little, old dino expert.
Mom's last recollection of the museum is when she was little, and she, Gramps and Grandma, and Auntie Donna went one day. She said that Auntie Donna got totally freaked out by the grizzly bear display, and tears ensued. This, for some reason, gave me a huge giggle. The bigger giggle came when, in the big animal hall, we came across the same grizzly bear display. I can totally see little Auntie Donna being brought to tears by a pretend, glass-enclosed, six-foot-tall, bear.
And then there's my kid, who was more fascinated and giddy than anything by the huge, in-your-face, 17-foot-long, terribly scary dinosaur skeleton.

Tuesday, August 16

Bridesmaidenry ... a new word!

Today was a day about bridesmaidenry. Yes, I just created that word: brides-maiden-ry. I like it. I shall live with it in my vocabulary for the rest of my life. I picked up my dress; tried it on; worried over the two extra sizes' worth of fabric around my body; and finally, got it to the alterations lady so it can fit me in a few days. Also, I got some black patent leather shoes with peep toes for the day. They're comfortable, and have thick heels, so my falling shouldn't be too much of an issue. Sydney's hooked up for the day as well. And Mom will look pretty, too!
I should get my dress back on Friday morning, and I'm a bit concerned about how tight it will be. The tailor got a little pulling-and-pinning happy, so I'm nervous how well I'll be able to breathe in the dress. I need a black flower for my hair. It's all about the little things, oh yeah, and my dress!

Monday, August 15

A shark encounter

How was your Monday? Mine was pretty cool.
Mom, Sydney and I visited the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. We had a lovely time throughout a lovely day. I love doing fun stuff with Sydney, and it makes it even better when the stuff is fun for me, too. (Bonus: fun for Mom, as well!!)
We got to touch a whole bunch of sharks, some stingrays, and even some moon jellyfish. Sydney was incredibly cooperative with photography, which is not always the case. It wasn't too hot to enjoy the outside, in fact, it was delightful. Also, I got to see sea horses.

Sunday, August 14

20 years is a long time!

Well, 20-year high school reunions are a trip. So many of the people are the same as they were in high school, and some aren't. It's both refreshing and disappointing at the same time. I was hugged by one guy who I don't remember even talking to in high school. And when walking past that one "popular" girl, I felt like she still didn't like me for no reason at all. A couple people were nicer than they ever were in high school. And a couple were just as anonymous to me as they were in high school. And just as in high school, I preferred to sit at a table, chatting with Lisa, and watching everyone else do the things they do.
Also, I was peer pressured into drinking a coconut rum shot, and it was disgusting. Truly, truly disgusting. I can go my entire life, quite happily, without ever drinking that again. Coconut is icky.
Also, my throat still hurts a bit from laughing and talking so much. And I'm super tired.

Friday, August 12

Destination: California

We weren't even out of Phoenix before my patience was being tried to the breaking point. Sydney didn't pee before we left the house, as I had asked. Daisy was nervous about laying down in the backseat. Oliver wanted to lay down on my lap, and wouldn't be swayed to sit anywhere else. Also, I hadn't stopped at Starbucks. I had been in the car for all of 25 minutes before I wanted to scream. But, as the drive progressed, so did the behaviors of my kids.
The drive, on the whole, wasn't too bad. One good thing about traveling with the dogs is that they don't allow for lolly-gagging. We had to make our stops quick, to be sure they wouldn't get too warm in the car. Quick pee, drive through. That was our philosophy for the day.
Still, as of this moment, I'm pleased with how my day rolled: No traffic until I got into the Valley (of course). No temper tantrums. No accidents. Good speed. Good times. Good kids.

Thursday, August 11

Brown. Not gray. Brown.

I can't wait for tomorrow. Honestly. I can not wait.
Why so eager? Two words: HAIR COLOR.
It was but a few months ago that Malia and I decided that coloring my hair with permanent color is no longer an optional angle that we'll have to deal with in the future. No, now the hair coloring is necessary. This doesn't scare me so much as it irritates me. Living where I do, without the ability to get regular coloring sessions with my hair stylist, living with gray hair is a ridiculous thing. Oh yeah, and it's ugly.
Over the last several weeks, I've been sickened by my gray-infused hairline every morning when I "style" my hair, and every evening before going to bed. There's way too much gray for me to look at without getting pissy, and having to wait as long as I do to cover it up is driving me insane. Tomorrow, I roll full-on brown again, and I am beside myself excited. No purple, just brown. Trust me, it's necessary.

Wednesday, August 10

And the week begins .... NOW

I return from Brian's parent's house in good spirits, if a bit dogged by all the chores and responsibilities I have to finish before Sydney and I head off to California on Friday. I've got my third load of laundry in the dryer right now, and once it's done and hung up, all the clothes in the house (including that which we took to southern Arizona) will be clean.
That means that tomorrow, I can start folding and stacking clothes for our trip, and then later in the afternoon, I can start packing it up. It's been a while since I've had to pack for 10 days away from home, especially when three or four of those days are "event" days, so I anticipate some very full bags in the trunk of the car on Friday.
I've already done the make-up, jewelry and hair accessories. Tomorrow: clothes, shoes, toiletries, electronics. I'm exhausted already, and I haven't even packed all the stuff, done all our other chores for the day, and gotten our world organized.
All I'm missing is a couple hours' sleep and a seven-hour drive, and I'm good to go. Exhaustion should make for a lovely look at the high-school reunion.

Monday, August 8

Adventure: Payson

We took a road trip to Payson, Arizona today.
It felt pretty good to say to each other, "You know, we need to go somewhere today." That Brian agreed, and that we decided, at 11 a.m. this morning, to take a drive north in Arizona for lunch was a stroke of brilliance. I found a place online for lunch, Macky's, for hamburgers. So, it came down to figuring out which freeway to take to get to Payson, and then figure out exactly where the place was.
We were hoping for cooler temperatures and the opportunity to wear jeans. I put on the jeans, but we were quickly disappointed to discover that the heat was not as nonexistent as we had hoped there. A high temperature in the 90s wasn't great, but we still enjoyed the change of scenery, and our lunch was yummy.
Macky's has fried mushrooms and fried pickles. They have an Ooey, Gooey Burger that's covered in cheese. They have those good french fries that taste so delicious when dipped in ranch dressing. My lunch was really good!
Then, we drove around a little, made a stop in a crazy western shop that was huge and full of random little rooms filled with stuff from everyplace you could imagine. Then, we drove home.
As a whole, it was a good day, and a nice way to spend the five hours in the middle of our day. Next time, Flagstaff! Prescott! Sedona!

Sunday, August 7

True love is a sisterhood

I know I've blogged about it, though it's been awhile. I refer to my love of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The four books based on this friendship are fantastic. Ann Brashares is a great writer, and the four female characters in these books are well realized and fully explored. The last of the books was published in 2008. I remember crying through bits and pieces of the four books, and sharing them with my dear friend, Sarah, out in Boston.
I've been buying and reading books quite a bit lately, but haven't spent much time tooling around on Amazon. Doing that a week or so ago, I discovered that Brashares has recently published a fifth book dedicated to the Sisterhood. Sisterhood Everlasting picks up 10 years after the last book left off, reuniting the girls in love and friendship.
I bought the book the other day, started reading it this morning, and finished it tonight. Also, I cried through most of it. The plot line of this particular book touched my heart and my soul. I think it'll be with me for a while. Tomorrow's book will be emotionally less heavy.

Friday, August 5

Fall 1991 = awesome

So, this happened:

U2's Achtung Baby celebrates 20 years this November
Achtung Baby was originally released in November 1991 and was, as Bono said at the time, "the sound of four men chopping down The Joshua Tree." The album was a new direction for U2 -- led by The Fly, Achtung Baby went on to have four other singles, "Mysterious Ways," "One," "Even Better Than The Real Thing" and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses."
At twenty years old, Achtung Baby is all grown up, and to celebrate, an anniversary edition is due this October. The archives have unearthed unreleased songs and treasures from the original recording sessions. There's five different versions featuring a raft of songs, videos, remixes, b-sides and documentary footage - a full album of demo and early versions of the full track listing has also been revealed.
Deluxe formats will include "From the Sky Down," a documentary from Academy Award winning Davis Guggenheim, in which U2 return to Hansa Studio in Berlin to discuss Achtung Baby.

As if the impending 20-year high school reunion wasn't bad enough, now my favorite band goes ahead and makes me feel even older. I remember this album. I loved this album. Actually, I still love this album. I can close my eyes and still visualize my freshman-year roommates, myself and others stumbling across campus so we could see U2 for the concert tour promoting this album. (Yes, stumbling! I still can only vaguely remember a bit of this show. There was drama, and goodness knows, drama, at the time, trumped any concert. Ridiculous. I'd slap myself if I could. Drunk at the concert? Okay. Drunk and not watching the show? NOT OKAY.) Still today, it's among my favorite of U2's albums, though realizing that it is 20 years old is humbling. And no, I won't be paying for the deluxe edition of it. I'll listen to it on repeat a bit instead, that will be my homage.

Wednesday, August 3

Beers and beach ... paradise

I totally took advantage of Sydney's falling asleep on the sofa an hour earlier than her bedtime by falling asleep myself on the sofa, and then crawling into bed earlier than my normal bedtime. Sydney slept for 12 hours last night, and I slept for eight. Syd's is more awesome than mine, but still, eight hours is a good amount of time for me. It makes for an earlier rise in the morning, and for a better frame of mind once I'm up and about. I doubt I'll get it tonight, as the hour is already creeped up to after 11 p.m., but I'll make quick work of this blog and then try to get some sleep.

I saw two things today that made my day for me.
First, at the exact right time in my frame of mind, I saw a Corona commercial, and it was glorious. I want to spend time on a Corona beach, with that lovely bucket of bottles next to my Adirondack chair and umbrella. Also, I'd like one of those girls' bikini bodies.
Second, I saw this tweet: "Today I went on and searched 'ninjas.' The computer told me 'Ninjas cannot be found.' Well played, ninjas, well played." Besides the fact that searching for "ninjas" on a thesaurus web site certainly would not come up with a result, this just made me smile.

Monday, August 1

All aboard!!

I've chosen a train conductor avatar for August because Sydney and I will be heading out of the desert for several days during the month. I've got my 20-year high school reunion as well as JJ's wedding on two consecutive weekends, so Syd and I will be out at Mom's house for that entire stretch of days. I'm looking forward to it, and am hoping for a very good trip out there. We've got plans, as usual, as well as lists of things to accomplish together (with Mom, naturally).
I'd bullet point them for you, but then I wouldn't be able to surprise you with the awesomeness of it all. Happy August!