Saturday, August 30, 2008

House Update II

The sellers countered our low offer with a high offer. We made our final offer in the middle, but we think they probably will not accept.

Friday, August 29, 2008

House update

The sellers did not accept our offer and will be counter-offering...

An Open Letter to John McCain

Dear John,

I heard on the radio this morning that you'd selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as your VP, and my heart sank a little because she's so young and lovely, even if she is a Republican, that I started to worry she would steal women's votes from Obama. You and Obama have done very interesting, strategic things in selecting your veeps; Obama trying to balance his foreign diplomacy inexperience with Biden, and you trying to balance your grandpa-esque-itude with Palin.

I expressed my concern about women defecting to your camp with this latest move to a co-worker, and she rebuffed it. She feels that your main problem is that you are, indeed, hella old (happy birthday, by the way). Should you die in office, Palin would become president.

This is an unpalatable thought. Sure, she's 28 years your junior, and a woman to boot, but if you want to talk about inexperience, let's talk about how this is Palin's first term as governor, her first real stint in any serious kind of public office. She was mayor of a town of 9,000 people before that. Running for Miss Alaska doesn't count, but at least she has experience in the pageant arena (the ability to fake-smile is a valuable political talent). She's a proponent of air-hunting for wolves -- that is, using low-flying planes to chase wolves and shoot them down. Maybe wolves are a problem in Alaska? I couldn't speak on it knowledgeably.

She's a card-toting lifetime member of the NRA. She supports drilling for oil in her home state. Even you don't support that!

And, she's a mother of five who elected not to have an abortion when she learned she would have a child with Down Syndrome, which -- nothing could be more admirable, and I'm not being sarcastic, for once. That's an extremely brave thing to do.

The point, though, is that she's pro-life, and that's not going to fly with many voters who hang their hat on that very issue. I'm not one of them -- the idea of voting for someone based on their abortion stance is distasteful to me, unless they are running on a platform that has something to do with it. I'm just pointing it out, is all.

So anyway, thanks for making this election that much more interesting. I think you're a pretty decent guy and I don't think it would be the end of the world if you were elected. I just don't think you're the best man for the job.

Good luck,


Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Open Letter to David Duchovny

Dear David Duchovny,

Please, oh please, tell me you are not really in rehab for sex addiction and that it is all just research for your role in the Showtime series "Californication."


Thank you,


An offer

Well, we have officially made our first offer on a home. It's a lovely three bedroom, two bathroom house in the Cambrian area. We'll find out soon what the sellers think. Our bet is that they will counter our offer, since we are offering a good deal less than they are asking. You never know!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to tell when a woman does not have a weight problem

Today I asked a co-worker about her wedding plans and she remarked that she is extremely stressed out about the whole thing, which is causing her to stop eating. She said she is normally between 145 and 150 pounds and today she weighed in at 139. She's tall - probably 5'10 or 11. So, this is how you know when a woman doesn't have a weight problem: she tells you what she weighs.
I would rather wear assless pants to work than tell anyone there what I weigh.
And I'm not saying that all overweight people have a "weight problem." I consider a weight problem to be mostly mental. It's a problem wherein one's weight is overly disturbing to the person. For me, it is overly disturbing. I have overweight friends, though, who breezily tell me their weight. They feel more comfortable in their own skin and it's obvious.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kentucky love

After a tip from John on a story about a dead guy who stood for three days at his own wake, I noticed this story right next to it on How in the world this woman got potentially four different men to marry her is beyond me. She looks a little "touched."

Word to that, Huey Lewis!

I want a new drug
One that wont make me sick
One that wont make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new drug
One that wont hurt my head
One that wont make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you

I want a new drug
One that wont spill
One that dont cost too much
Or come in a pill

I want a new drug
One that wont go away
One that wont keep me up all night
One that wont make me sleep all day

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you
Im alone with you baby

I want a new drug
One that does what it should
One that wont make me feel too bad
One that wont make me feel too good

I want a new drug
One with no doubt
One that wont make me talk too much
Or make my face break out

One that wont make me nervous
Wondering what to do
One that makes me feel like I feel when Im with you
When Im alone with you

The Beleaguered Brasierre

SFGate reports that a Berkeley woman missed her flight out of Oakland on Sunday because TSA employees wouldn't allow her through security without a pat down of her breasts. She was wearing an underwire bra that kept setting off the alarm. She refused the pat down and instead agreed to remove her bra and then walk through security, after which her luggage was then searched at length, causing her to miss her flight.
This is a pretty dispicable infringement into a person's rather personal space. We're already removing shoes and belts at security, now if your bra sets off the alarm they want to start feeling you up? Oh, hell no.
Personally, I wear underwire bras because I have to - my boobs are too big for that non-underwire BS. I've never set off security at the airport, though. This woman is described as rather heavy chested, so she's probably got a lot more metal keeping those puppies suspended. Let's acknowledge her huge bazoombas and allow her onto her plane, shall we? Instead, she suffers the indignity of walking around an airport packed with people, completely braless. As a C-cup, I would never, ever wander in public braless. This woman is probably way larger-chested, and here she is flapping in the breeze for everyone to see, because she didn't want to allow a stranger to put their hands on her private parts.
Something needs to change with the whole security process at the airports. Decent citizens are being treated as criminals while silly news programs are still finding ways to sneak contraband through security to prove the system doesn't work. I don't know what the solution is, but a grope session is not the answer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hold your.....

I went home for lunch and watched "Family Feud," which, if you've never seen it, is a real gem of a show. People give the silliest answers.
One question was: "Finish this sentence: Hold your...."
The first two answers were decent: "Hold your horses," and "hold your breath." The rest of the family couldn't think of any good answers, though, and came up with "hold your pants up," "hold your baby," and "hold your dinner." I nearly snorted lemonade out my nose.
Actual answers were: "hold your tongue," "hold your temper," and "hold your hand."

Another Monday!

Where was all of the traffic this morning? Someone please enlighten me. My calendar says it's a Bank Holiday in the UK. Maybe everyone is taking off early since Labor Day weekend is next weekend? The metering lights were even green. Weird!

So somewhere between a barbecue at my sister & brother-in-law's new place and about six episodes of "24," we drank a bottle of 07 Late Harvest Syrah from Screeching Owl Vineyard, bottled by John Evan of Big White House winery in Livermore. It's a Syrah but tastes more like a port. Normally I don't like port because it's too awfully sweet but this stuff is sweet with a kick of tart. We know firsthand that it goes great with dark chocolate. The bottle's small, probably equivalent to half a regular bottle of wine, therefore we had no trouble drinking the whole thing in one evening (which is probably not how you are supposed to drink port, but heck). Sadly this is another one where I can't point you toward bevmo, but I can point you toward the tasting room.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fried-brain Friday

We've been having theme-days this budget season and today is Frosted Friday, so my guess is that means someone is eventually bringing in donuts. Truly, it's Fried-brain Friday, as I was here til 9 last night during "Pizza Night," entering numbers into my budgets.
So since ze brain is fried, I vill write a couple quick reviews of some stuff that impressed me greatly recently.
1) Teske's Germania, a German restaurant in downtown San Jose. I ordered Kassler Rippchen mit Kartoffelsalat und Sauerkraut -- translation: Smoked pork cutlet with potato salad and sauerkraut. The cutlet was huge and tender and delicious, the potato salad and kraut were lovely complements. BK ordered their special of lamb shanks and devoured them happily. We also ordered large, yummy beers and as appetizers a sausage platter and two jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels (we were with a large group), which were all scrumptious. The pretzels are not too spicy and arrive hot. For a trip here you should probably set aside at least a couple hours.
2) The 2003 Loco Lobo Syrah from El Sol Winery. We picked this up at El Sol in Livermore a few weeks ago. I'm afraid there may be no other way to get it than to make a trip to the actual winery, as I'm unable to find it on bevmo or anywhere else (don't mistake this for the Lobo Loco Syrah from Lodi). It's a syrupy red that doesn't bite you back. I drank it with something inappropriate like Taco Bell, but I think it would go well with a strong pairing, maybe a spicy pasta sauce with a generous topping of parmesan.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Dolores Aguilar follow-up

Dolores' amazing obituary has been zipping around the Internet and even led myth-busting to verify its truth.
A reporter for the Daily Breeze contacted the woman who wrote the obituary, Aguilar's daughter, to ask her what inspired the caustic missive. She explained that her mom had been abusive and kept her children "unfed, poorly clothed and completely terrorized."
I simply cannot adequately express my love of Aguilar's obituary and her daughter's bravery in writing it.

9/23/08 postscript: I feel compelled to write more on this since I get easily 15 hits a day just from people searching for more information about the Dolores Aguilar obituary. Just today, someone commented that they don't consider Dolores' daughter's actions brave at all.
Mostly, I was fascinated that someone would have the guts to write such an honest obituary. My husband and I recently buried his grandmother, who was a spunky lady we loved very much, but if you think we were completely honest in her obituary, you'd be wrong. Of course we wrote honestly, but we didn't put everything in there. A completely honest obituary would have mentioned the heartache my husband's tiny family has endured over the last two and a half years, after enduring the death of my husband's mother, and then the rapid decline of his grandmother as she fell into the grips of dementia. She was miserable, and we were miserable. A truly honest obituary might have mentioned how toward the end she didn't trust anyone, including family, or how she wrote agonized notes to herself over and over that said the same things, in her effort to remember everything.
I know this is different than Dolores' situation, as she was apparently unliked by her family due to what they call a lifetime of abuse and neglect. Is it brave and noble to write such an honest obituary or shameful and vindictive? I can't honestly tell you.
I do know, as a former reporter and someone who's always been obsessed with obituaries, this is a highly unusual one. And it's managed to spark a ton of interest, and if anything the interest seems to grow by the day, despite news agencies having dropped the story. It's been fleshed out, as we say, and there's nothing more to say about it.
Some people, though, seem to still have something to say about it. If you've searched for this information and found it and you have a thought about Dolores' scathing obituary, please feel free to post it here.

Oompa, Loompa....

We are not proactive about laundry in our house. Well, really, we aren't proactive about cleaning in general. It typically has to get to a state where I start having nightmares about it, and then I'll spend a few hours angrily scrubbing things down.
So anyway, the other day BK ran out of black shirts, which is sort of a first. For those who don't know, BK's normal uniform is a black T-shirt and blue jeans. He's one of these lucky engineers who gets to dress casually for work, and believe it or not, he's actually better dressed than many of the dudes I've seen roaming his office. Anyway, he does not deviate from his standard uniform except on special occassions, when he'll wear The Suit. For in between occassions he's purchased khaki-type pants and will wear a black polo instead of a black T.
So when BK ran out of black T-shirts, he was forced to wear a bright blue T-shirt to work. When I saw him later that day wearing bright blue, it struck me as so funny that I made fun of him for it for about two hours. I asked him if he felt a little off kilter wearing such a bright color, and he said something to the effect of: "I feel like a goddamn blueberry."
We did laundry that evening.
What made me think of that is that today I am really, really bloated. Yesterday I ate probably the equivalent number of carbs that Michael Phelps eats on any given day (his typical breakfast includes something like an omelet, two breakfast sandwiches, a stack of pancakes and four waffles) and my stomach is having some major pooch action. I poured myself into my work pants and scrounged for a shirt that wasn't going to hug my belly. I settled on a bright blue three-quarter sleeve number. As I've been waddling around the office all morning I couldn't help but think of Violet Beauregard in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and hear the Oompa Loompas chiding me.
I feel like a goddamn blueberry!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

As promised - my Costas material

I remembered Bob being more of the main topic of this email I sent to about 30 people on Valentines Day in 2002, but turns out it's only a snippet, so I'm snipping it out and pasting it here for you. I wrote this when I was interning at the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla.

"Speaking of the Olympics, did you watch the opening ceremony? Who loves Bob Costas? I do. Katie Couric, the poor woman, has a mouth like a bottom dwelling fish, but Bob. Who could NOT love Bob? Here is how truly bored and pathetic I am: I took notes during the opening ceremony. Bob was having a truly quotable evening. I believe the first thing I wrote down was "You know, Katie, it's never good when you're being pursued by giant icicles!" The "child of light" or whatever they were calling the kid with the red jacket, was being chased by these pointy tin foil guys. Jay Leno made a funny about this later in the evening: "Why is the Klan chasing that kid?"
Another Bobism: "...known, to his displeasure, as the flying white sausage," speaking about a German luge guy.
Do you all remember the hoedown or have you managed to block it out? Bob said, "They're about to have their hoedown!" Andi, on the phone (probably with Antonio) in the kitchen, says, "The Olympics are on. They're having a hoedown on the ice. I feel very Olympic just watching it."
I noted in my book: "This is why the whole world thinks we're stupid."

A message from my husband:

What's up, you motherfucker??!!!! It's Hubs. Bitch!!

You have to have read yesterday's post to understand why this is funny.

Mid-morning musings

Today I noticed someone found my blog by searching for "fresno stripper."

Also I realized that not only has No Name been fired from Alice, but Hyphy Mikey seems to have been demoted off of doing traffic and is now doing interviewy type stuff for the station. So Kathy the traffic lady is back, which is cool with me. She's a lot easier to understand. Hyphy talks like he has marbles in his mouth.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tip for cube rats

Do not loudly swear "motherfucker!!" when the vice president of operations is on a rare trip to your office and is standing behind you.

Shocking news!! Bigfoot is a fake

Check it out -- the two guys who perpetrated the hoax have disappeared into thin air after submitting a rubber costume as their proof.

Fare thee well, Dolores!

SFist posted this obituary for an allegedly nasty lady named Dolores Aguilar, which upon first read seems as though it must be a fake. But apparently the Vallejo Times Herald demanded that a blood relative bring in a death certificate before they would agree to publish what was written. Take a look, it's quite a doozy! I know a certain journalism professor who would get a cackle out of this...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Glory be!

Someone did a google search for "Costas" and visited me. Ha!

By The Way

Recent google searches that have led people to this blog:

Is plain popcorn fattening?

5 reasons to take a vacation


Mr. Costas

I know I said I was going to write an open letter to Michael Phelps, but I frankly don't think he needs any more adoration than he is already receiving. Plus, I was reminded of some of the true treasures that fall from Bob Costas' lips during Olympics coverage when he said something about fungus soup -- "Just like mom used to make." I remembered he covered the winter Olympics in Utah and had some really, really funny things to say, which I, in turn, wrote down and emailed to everyone I knew. I plan to find that old email and paste it in here out of pure laziness and narcissism.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Underwhelming Big Foot evidence

Of three supposed DNA tests on Bigfoot, one was inconclusive, one had traces of human DNA and one had opposum DNA. The Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote about today's press conference.
By the way, that link includes a photo.

And, Discover Magazine says they call bullshit.

You mean you don't believe in Bigfoot?

A quote in a separate SFGate article that amused me:

"What I've seen so far is not compelling in the least, and I think the pictures cast grave doubts on their claim," Jeffrey Meldrum, a Bigfoot researcher and Idaho State University professor, told the Scientific American. "It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect."

Bigfoot found?

Stay tuned -- there will be a press conference today in Palo Alto regarding the origin of some remains found by self-proclaimed Bigfoot trackers.

Control Disease

Panera says: Wash your hands.
BK saw this in a Panera restroom and it struck his funny bone. It's not often that signs asking you to wash your hands go so far as to explain that it will prevent the spread of disease.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

I understand that you are experiencing technical difficulties at the moment, but I must plead with you to please, please rectify the situation as quickly as possible, as I am neck deep in Season 3 of "24," and we're at the part where Jack is busting Salazar out of prison while fighting off urges to shoot heroin and vomit in a corner and Tony's been shot and Michelle is bravely heading up CTU all by herself.

Meanwhile, in real life, spoilers about who dies, who gets stabbed and who gets married keep popping up in Entertainment Magazine, which I receive for free, although I'm still not sure why. So, you see, it's imperative that I finish all six seasons of "24" by November so that I can watch the seventh season live and not risk being told what will happen before it actually happens.

So, please, pay the technicians overtime, but I need my "24."



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A budget meal

As I crunch budget numbers at work -- I ate the new Southern style chicken sandwich from McDonalds. It is literally chicken with two pickles. No mayo or any other condiment.

Happy Birthday, Javelina

Today is my BK's 32nd birthday. Although I am a notorious grouch in the mornings, I willed myself to say hello to the birthday boy as cheerfully as possible this morning. I believe birthdays have the potential to be special, if you let them. They want to be acknowledged and made a big deal out of. They want balloons and cakes and special dinners and kisses and wine. It's the one day of the year that other people are supposed to focus on you, and you may gladly accept their fawning and silly songs.
That's why I decided a few years ago that I will never work on my birthday, ever again. Working on one's birthday is really just depressing. You're still expected to perform your job, and your co-workers most often are not going to give you the genuine fawning-over that you desire.
So last year, for example, I took the day off, went to a spa with a friend, got a massage and a facial, had a lovely lunch and bought an expensive purse. Then I went to my parents' house for some fawning-over. It was a great day!
BK doesn't seem to agree with me about my taking-the-day-off policy, and he will be heading to work this morning. I'll try to make up for the depressing day at work with appropriate levels of fawning-over later on, but don't say I didn't warn you, babe!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

An Open Letter To John Edwards

Dear John,

I rarely deign to write letters to politicians (in fact I rarely write the word "deign"), but today's news of your affair offended me even more than Clay Aiken did a little while ago.
Therefore, I feel it necessary to inform you that you are a Class-A Asshole. Good job on joining that esteemed group of men in the public eye who have the gall to cheat on their wives. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's not so much the cheating, it's the lying.
Cheat, if you will, but when repeatedly asked about the affair, you need to MAN UP. Admit your mistake, and move on. Not you. For months you've been skirting this little infidelity problem of yours, perhaps hoping to be chosen as Obama's VP? Here's news: I think that VP position just flew out the window.
From what I understand, this affair may have taken place during your own campaign for president. Is that true? Are you really so shameless that you would ask Americans to elect you president, as you publicly stand by your wife and secretly frolick with some hussy?
And seriously, John? The wife, with the cancer? Seriously? Could the situation be any worse? You seriously cheated on your wife, who has incurable cancer? Her imminent death isn't soon enough for you, apparently?
Also, I found your statement to the press today disappointing, to say the least. Firstly, you are denying your mistress's child is yours. Which -- I think we should let a paternity test determine the true answer to that question, since you are obviously not a source of reliable information. Secondly, you felt it necessary to say something to the effect of, "Yes, I had an affair, but I never loved her." Ah, yes. That makes it OK. It's OK for you to be physically unfaithful to your wife as long as mentally you still love her just as much as ever. You are a deluded man.
Honestly, John. I find this sort of behavior disgusting. Really. You disgust me. At one point I thought you were a viable candidate, not just for VP, but for the Big P. Now I think you're just a dickwad.


Do you feel lucky?

Happy Luckiest Day of the Century, if you happen to agree with the Chinese that eights are, like, serendipitous.
Although I don't feel lucky (soul suckage going on again), I do feel excited about the Olympics. I've always loved the Olympics. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I felt like I could be an Olympian, too.
I thought perhaps I'd be a swimmer. Maybe an ice skater. Maybe a gymnast. I've never been particularly athletic but for some reason I always thought this might be a possibility. Probably because the adults around me always told me I could do whatever I wanted. My grandparents, deluded as they must have been as I dog-paddled from end to end in their swimming pool, used to say I could be a professional swimmer if I wanted to. Swim for my job? Sounded great to me.
My other grandmother used to say I could be a model. I was a skinny, long-legged kid but not particularly good looking (more grandparental delusion there, I'm afraid). But, a modeling gig also sounded pretty sweet to me. Too bad cookies sounded even sweeter!
My parents always knew I would do something with words, as I had my nose in a book almost constantly from a young age.
My sister was more of a mystery, possessing certain talents that didn't come fully to light until she reached high school. She's a talented artist, musician and singer.
I sometimes read about children of movie stars and how they often grow up to be movie stars or singers, or artists of some kind. The thought is that artists beget artists. In which case, I wonder how two corporate work horses produced two artistic minds? Maybe it was all the wine and the fighting and the movies and the art classes and the family outings and the pine cones and the enchiladas. Just maybe.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Chance Meeting in Livermore

Whilst stumbling about various Livermore wineries, glass in hand, I ran into my sister and her husband on Sunday. That sentence does not sound bizarre, but if you really think about it, it is. My sister lives in Milpitas, and I in San Jose. I rarely go wine tasting; the last time was in April in Santa Barbara, for our anniversary. I'd never been wine tasting in Livermore. There are easily 50 wineries in the area. We spent an average of 20 minutes at each of about six or seven that we visited. Once we'd reached the last one, which we hunted for endlessly and agreed would be the last one due to our level of inebriation, we stood behind a small crowd that was already bellied up to the bar. At some point a number of people began exclaiming loudly at each other, and looking in their direction, I realized my sister and brother-in-law were among the rosy-cheeked group downing generous "tastings." Their friends, an older couple who'd invited my sister and her hubby along for the day, bought a rare bottle of wine for the group and shared it with the approximately 10 people in the tasting room.

Here's a photo of the gang hanging out, although you really can't tell who anyone is. My back is facing the camera, you can see the side of my brother-in-law's face, part of my sister's head, my friend Greg in his hat, and the happy gentleman serving wine behind the counter. This was at Elliston winery, which is technically in Sunol. They have pretty good wine, and a very interesting tasting room.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sarah & Vinnie reuniting

So I just read that Vinnie is coming back to the Alice morning show that he was fired off of in 2002 for being a drunk. It's an interesting article about how he got sober and where he's been for the last several years. I remember being peeved when he left initially, so I'm hoping the show will resume its original greatness. He's supposed to have started today, but since I was driving BK's car to work today I needed my powers of concentration and didn't turn on the radio this morning.