Monday, March 30, 2009

Domestic Bliss



Yesterday Hubs and I spent some quality time at Home Depot, looking for a grill, a blower and a weed whacker. Believe me, I said "That's what she said" more than once during our shopping excursion. At one point we'd become separated while looking at barbecues. I spotted Hubs near the Charbroil section and started walking toward him.

"That was weird," he said.
"What?" I asked.
"At first when I saw you, I thought you were some hot chick. I was about to check you out," he said.

Awwwwww! My Hubs thinks I'm hot! Too cute.

So anyway. We bought all of the items we were looking for and brought them home. Hubs assembled the grill in the backyard, noting that the instructions say to never operate the barbecue while inebriated. Once fully assembled we noticed a bottle opener affixed to the front of the grill. Soooo... Don't operate the grill while inebriated, but here's a convenient bottle opener for your beer?

We thought that was funny. We operated the grill while inebriated, utilizing the convenient bottle opener. Woops!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alcatraz

"The Rock" from the boat.



The dining hall



Some day a developer is going to convince SF to allow him/her to tear down Alcatraz and build condos. And this will be the view from them.



The Warden's room or something. I just liked the photo.



Jail cells.



Michigan Avenue

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Asses Afire



I am sorry. Truly, I am. How can I expect you to read this blog when it is so utterly depressing and boring? And does that mean I am also depressing and boring? Probably.

I don't want to depress or bore you any further so I will not get into how I was crying into my coffee this morning while reading an article in Money magazine about how now is a good time to travel. I mean, what the fuck? I probably just need a vacation.

So instead I am going to tell you about a few things I've been thinking about:

-A friend of mine, who envisions me calling him "Catprick" on this blog (his name is Patrick) told a story on Friday night that had me howling. I hadn't laughed this hard in months, although probably the four glasses of wine didn't hurt. The story goes, Catprick decides one day he needs a haircut. He happens to be near a San Jose salon and so decides to see if they can take any walk-ins. It happens that the salon is called Black Hairitage and is therefore probably a salon for black people. Catprick is decidedly not black. The stylists at Black Hairitage turned him away, even though it looks like they've got ample room for walk-ins. Probably just not Caucasian walk-ins. Later, Catprick tells a black friend about this experience and the friend becomes very angry with him for having the gall to ask for a haircut at a black salon. Now that I've written it, it doesn't look that funny, but believe me, it was.

-Dialogue from the movie, "The Rocker," starring Rainn Wilson of "The Office" fame:
Wilson's friend visits him at his office job and remarks: "I had no idea real life was so boring," and Wilson replies, "It's soul crushing." Yes! Thank you.

-I am becoming some kind of mindless drone. Lately I find myself laughing at things on TV, even commercials, that are definitely not funny. Hubs looks at me like I've skipped my meds.

-Giyen from Bacon is my enemy wrote about an experience with a fortune teller and it jolted my memory. Although I've never had my fortune told by an actual purported fortune teller, I did once have my palm read by a girl in college whose name escapes me. She worked on the college newspaper with me and said she'd trained with a fortune teller or something like that. All I remember of what she told me was regarding my love life: that although there would be other men in my life, there was one who would always be there. I knew him at the time, she said, and she didn't know if we would end up together but said no matter what, he would always be in my life. Whether fortune telling is a load of crap, as I suspect it is, I've always thought that if it's not crap, that guy is definitely Hubs, who I started dating in 1996. At the time of my palm reading, we were "taking a break" or some such nonsense. And now he's stuck with me for life, mwahahahhahahahah....

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Visitor

I was uber lazy this weekend. I think I wore myself out being such an angry bitch last week that I needed time to recharge my bitch-o-meter.

I spent lots of time sleeping and lounging on the couch. I went to Longs. I walked into the supermarket at one point and then walked right back out because I didn't want to deal with the crowd. I managed to do the dishes and some laundry, and then spent some time staring out the window into the back yard. It was nice.

Yesterday I watched "The Visitor" on the Starz channel. This is a channel Hubs somehow convinced Comcast to give us for free -- I forget exactly how or why this happened. Anyway, Starz ocassionally has some good movies. "The Visitor" is one of them.

This movie stars Richard Jenkins, whom you've never heard of but you've seen in things like "Burn After Reading" and "Six Feet Under." He usually plays the dad in movies. In "The Visitor" he plays a widowed professor who lives in Connecticut but has an apartment in New York that he seldom visits. One day business forces him to visit NY and he is surprised to find a couple living in his apartment. They thought they'd been legitimately renting it from someone.

He allows them to stay in the apartment while they look for another place. In the meantime they develop a friendship and he takes an interest in the African drums, which his new roommate teaches him to play. Instead of merely existing, he begins to enjoy life again.

Then, one of the roommates is arrested and detained without cause, other than that he is an illegal immigrant. We come to realize this movie is actually a commentary on illegal immigration and whether it is right or wrong to detain illegal immigrants for no reason other than they are living in the country illegally, and to then imprison them indefinitely, sometimes for years. In this post-9/11 era, the government can apparently pluck people out of their homes and send them wherever it pleases them, and no one has any recourse.

Is this right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Helpy Selfy

Whenever I have to make my annual trek to the gynecologist (I know, right? Here I go again with the vagina talk), I think of a former friend of mine who, after her own trips to the gynecologist, would declare:

"I'm horny!"

She claimed that receiving her clean bill of health from the doctor always made her want to run out and have sex. And believe me, she did.

So today I did have my annual doctor's appointment and it went swell, thanks. My doctor, who is this absurdly thin and perky lady, proclaimed me in good health and primed for procreation. Although I did not say I intend to have children any time soon, she told me that if I do become pregnant that they'll have me come in for an appoinment around the 6th or 8th week of pregnancy. Which, really? Can't we cross that bridge when we come to it?

She's just being nice and informative, since I did declare my intention to have children between now and age 40, so I probably should just take the information and stick it in the dusty file in my brain labeled, "Things you never knew about babies."

Speaking of vaginas, I am about to enter the Red Tent. Like, tomorrow. And believe me, everyone knows. Or, everyone knows that I have been a raging, hormonal bitch this week (hence the nasty Facebook post on Wednesday. I really do believe in the First Amendment. Really). I barely spoke to Hubs for two whole days, for really no good reason. I hung up on my boss yesterday, which -- Really, MOAM? In this economic climate can't we just be glad to have a job? And I'm sure my vendors are accustomed to these few pleasant days of the month, when I get tired of their lazy asses not living up to my expectations and I bust out some Bitchy.

Really, if people in the Olden Days had been smart, they would have put the women in the Red Tent for the 5 days before their periods, not during. I mean, PMS strongly affects a lot of women, and sometimes, if I forget that I am PMSing, I have difficulty controlling the rage. Why, just this morning, I fantasized about slicing off a man's head simply because he was taking too long in line. Violent, I say.

Believe me, if I could sit in the Red Tent and eat ice cream for 5 days, I would, just to save everyone the annoyance of dealing with my mood swings.

On that note, Happy Friday. Here's to starting your period on a Saturday! Enjoy the weekend....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More fun than a barrell of monkeys

Have you heard about the "No 'Poo" movement? It's huge. No pun intended, seriously. I'm not talking about POO poo. I'm talking about SHAMpoo.

There's a subset of people who believe that the chemicals in shampoo may be harming them and the environment, and they also believe the body knows how to naturally regulate hair cleanliness, so they are boycotting shampoo. They say the initial shampoo detox period can last for several weeks but after that your hair naturally regulates itself and will look more beautiful and glossy than ever. Results vary, apparently, considering some women who've tried it proclaim they spent six weeks with greasy, itchy heads, utterly miserable.

Ok, so, look.

I'm all about this less chemical, environmentally friendly, better for you stuff. I want to cook slow food and exercise outside and wash myself with homemade soap. I want to filter my water and buy organic and grow my own garden and juice pesticide-free carrots. I want to eat hormone-free meat and eat less meat and practice yoga and also meditate. I want to wear chemical-free makeup and start composting and I want to carry my future babies around in a sack on my back all day because that's the way tribeswomen do it and have you ever heard their babies cry?

But let's face it. I cannot go No Poo. Some of the things I mentioned just now, maybe I could do. Some of them are not feasible for me. Such as No Poo. I have thin hair that's limp and greasy by the end of the day, let alone Day 2 without a wash. If I went No Poo, I would be miserable. My hair would no longer smell like artificial flowers; it would smell like dirty, greasy scalp.

So in conclusion: No poo is a no go. Best of luck to all of you shampoo-free babes out there, but that ain't me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Off With Their Heads

Yesterday was a day of reckoning in the backyard. All plants heretofore left to thrive all winter long had to answer to me. Some went to see their maker yesterday. They're sitting in that big compost heap in the sky. Some simply suffered major pruning. Some I haven't had time to get to and they're trembling in anticipation.
Forgetting that I am out of shape, I gathered up my gardening tools and approached the overgrown garden. I pruned like the devil. I pruned like my life depended on it. I weeded, I whacked, I hacked, I hoed, I shoveled. I attached a corner where a vine had overtaken a rosebush that I had no idea even existed. Two previously undiscovered flower pots were revealed. I grunted and cursed. I bled (roses!) and sweat.
When the battle was over I had dirt between my toes even though I'd been wearing sneakers. I had one broken nail and scratches on my arms. My ponytail was askew. My arms were shaking from the effort.
And it was worth it. This is the kind of workout I can appreciate. You bust your ass and when you're done there is a noticeable difference -- maybe not in your ass but definitely in the garden.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Steak & BJ Day

Hubs informs me that today is Steak & Blowjob Day, a holiday for men that comes exactly one month after Valentine's Day. I'm fascinated, as you might have guessed.

On Sunday we went to In-N-Out for burgers and as we were sitting outside, a few kids who looked to be in their late teens were sitting nearby, and one seemed sick. He was sneezing and hocking nasty loogies. He announced loudly, "I smoked too much weed on Friday." At least the kids are still calling it weed and I'm not too unhip to understand what they're talking about.

As they ate, someone they seemed acquainted with - a gentleman in a cap and a wifebeater tank top - joined them. He waited for them to finish their meals. Then they went to a vehicle and a transaction obviously took place. They were parked a few feet from where we were sitting outside. We watched them exchange money for marijuana and even roll a joint.

These kids are what my dad would call little peckerheads. They were so unworried about being caught discussing and then purchasing weed that they felt free to do so in broad daylight, in front of God and everybody at the In-N-Out. At least in my day we had the common decency to buy weed under cover of darkness, in remote areas where we were fairly certain no one else, especially the police, might be lurking. And honestly, I've never personally bought it myself but only tagged along once or twice.

It's certainly not the smoking of the weed that irritates me. In my opinion it should be legalized. Alcohol is more dangerous and addictive as far as I'm concerned. But for now, it's not legal, and you little peckerheads had better keep it under wraps or next time I might be tempted to turn you in just for giving potheads a bad name.

On another note I took these photos today in my back yard. I'm excited that spring is on its way and flowers have managed to bloom in my yard with absolutely no help from me.





Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My favorite time of day



And no, we're not big bed makers 'round here.

Adieu, Starbucks (Warning: Extremely Irritating Diatribe Below)

Being the true genius that I am, I chose this week, the week we "spring forward" for Daylight Savings, to ditch my daily Starbucks habit. I'm not ditching caffeine, just Starbucks. Other coffee houses are fine, but I'll be damned if I continue to dole out $3.50 every day to support a chain of coffee houses that can't seem to properly and politely sell me a cup of joe. In case you're curious what that comes out to annually if I buy one grande skinny vanilla latte five mornings a week: $910 a year (I don't even spend that much on my hair every year!). I used to consider it a luxury that was worth the cost, but I have decidedly changed my mind.

Why is that, you may be wondering? Well, let me tell you!

Firstly, I am so over the coffehouse-employee attitude. Congratulations. You work at Starbucks. Why, may I ask, does this entitle you to treat me as an inferior citizen? Am I not keeping you gainfully employed by paying WAY too much for a lukewarm beverage every morning?

Which leads me to point No. 2: I am ordering what is probably one of the most commonly ordered drinks at Starbucks. Every day. A grande skinny vanilla latte. It contains milk, espresso, and syrup. The process of making the beverage includes squirting syrup in the cup, steaming the milk, dripping the shot of espresso, and then combining all of said ingredients in said cup. I know this because I have an espresso machine at home. I have made this beverage. It is not difficult. Why, then, when my order is explicitly written on the side of said cup, am I receiving beverages that are decidedly not grande skinny vanilla lattes? Would you like to know what the straw that broke the camel's back was? On Friday morning, preceeding a work day that I knew would be hellacious, I visited my local Starbucks for my hot, grande skinny vanilla latte, and after tolerating extreme attitude from a Starbucks cashier, I picked up my beverage and breezed on out to my car. Having apparently not learned my lesson from previous latte fuck-ups, I did not taste the beverage in the store, and did not taste it until I was already parked in front of my office and didn't have time to go back to the store so that a rude employee could remake my latte. It was ice fucking cold. It was as though someone had pumped the syrup, dripped the espresso and then taken a jug of milk out of the fridge and poured it into the cup. It was, needless to say, not steamed. Look. The store was not busy when I was there. I was the only person in line. I am there every day. You have fucked up my drink so many times that at this point I am starting to think it's purposeful. I've never been anything but kind to you, even after that time you gave me just steamed milk with nothing else in it, so why in the name of God is it so hard for you to make a fucking latte?

*sigh*

Point No. 3! This is sort of related to Point No. 2 since it involves a certain level of incompetence. I had been frequenting a Starbucks that is very close to my office. This particular Starbucks has rather friendly employees who unfortunately seem to have their heads way, way far up their asses. They're having conversations with regular customers about their weekend plans while 20 of us are standing in line and are at their mercy because we need our damn coffee and must patiently wait for Cheerful Cheerfulson to finish her conversation with Equally Oblivious Customer about why EOC's friend no longer comes to this particular Starbucks (He got a different job, and therefore he now frequents a Starbucks closer to his new office. Now everyone in the store knows, move along!). Although this Starbucks is quite busy and it takes, on average, 15 minutes to obtain a latte, even when it is not busy, you will wait the same amount of time. Why? I DON'T KNOW. It is the mystery of that particular store. Everyone in my office is aware of this mystery and comments on how long it takes to get their drinks. They may be the only person waiting for a drink, and the person behind the espresso machine always LOOKS busy, but somehow is not producing their beverage.

Here is what I think. I think it should be mandatory that all Starbucks employees receive training at the busiest Starbucks in San Francisco. Because have you ever been to a Starbucks in San Francisco at 8 a.m. on a Wednesday morning? The line is out the door, and when you see it, you think that surely you will be there for half an hour waiting for your drink. Do you want to know how long it actually takes? About a minute. Those mean fuckers (and they are MEAN in San Francisco) have got it down to a science. Get your money out and have it ready because they are ready for you and mere SECONDS after you place your order, your drink will be ready, waiting for you on the counter, hot and made correctly.

But I digress.

So because I was irritated with the mysterious wait, I decided to start going to a Starbucks that is slightly farther away than the Long Wait Starbucks. That is when I encountered We-Will-Fuck-Up-Your-Drink-In-More-Ways-Than-You-Thought-Possible Starbucks.

So I have had it. HAD IT! I am making coffee at home. I am drinking the coffee at work. I am *gasp* going to get coffee at Peets or *double gasp* an INDEPENDENT coffee house!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Expert procrastinator

As a kid I used to visit my grandparents in the summertimes at their home in Hanford, where typical summer day temperatures reach well past 100 degrees. They had a swimming pool I spent countless hours in, never with a lick of sunblock on as these were the days before we slathered our children in sunblock before they were allowed exposure to the sun. These are also the days before I started sunburning, and instead I turned a deep brown each summer.
The water felt delicious on those hot, hot days, but after a while I'd get the shivers and climb out. I'd grab one of my grandparents' brightly colored oversized beach towels, lay my body directly on the hot concrete where you could almost hear your skin sizzle, and I'd drape the towel over myself. There I would lie, heating up like a cat in the sun, for what seemed like a long time. I'd breathe in the scent of chlorine and laundry detergent and hot cement as my hair dried into chlorine-encrusted twists and the sun shined through the tiny holes in the bright towel, creating a dreamy glow. I'd doze under my blazing, makeshift tent and after a while my grandmother would come padding out with a bowl of Cheez-Its and Diet Pepsi poured into a glass over ice. The corner of my tent would lift and the snack would slide into my little sauna. I wouldn't realize until then how hungry and thirsty I was. I'd polish it off, make a fast run into the air conditioned house to empty my bladder, and then run back out to splash in the pool again before the day's shadows took over and baking on the sidewalk would have to come to an end.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Batten down the hatches



I wasn't able to post on Thursday or Friday due to frantic 12-hour days at work that were followed by rushed dinners and restless nights during which I actually dreamed of financial reports like the ones I've been dealing with for the last week at my job. Nightmares about spreadsheets and accountants are not the norm for me, so I'm definitely doing something wrong.

"Ur doin' it wrong." I love that, when you're looking at one of those LOLcats-type sites and it says something like "Bird watchin -- ur doin it wrong," next to a photo of a child with a bird on his head holding binoculars up to his eyes.

What I'm doin' wrong is failing to relax and realize this is just a job and if I cannot get it done in the time allotted, that is not my fault. If I were on failblog.com, there would be a photo of me not relaxing at work and it would say FAIL in red letters across my dumb face.

Or maybe I should be on icanhascheezburger and it would be a picture of me ignoring a phone call and the caption would be: "Likin' people: Ur doin it wrong."

It's sort of a joke between my husband and I (and some close friends who I actually do like) that I don't like anyone. When I meet someone, I presume they are guilty and they must therefore prove their innocence, ie, they must prove to me that they are not so excessively annoying that I will make up excuses not to hang out with them. Some people who seem annoying at first end up proving themselves quite entertaining, actually. One of my best friends, Jacq, seemed extraordinarily annoying when I first met her, but to date she is one of the most genuine and wonderful people I've ever had the privilege of calling my friend.

I know my whole guilty-before-proven-innocent quirk sounds like a really nasty personality flaw, but I actually do have lots of friends who I actually like and who I believe like me (they are probably all having meetings behind my back about what an awful shrew I am) and when I meet the new "guilty" people I am always friendly and act as though I am giving them the benefit of the doubt even though I am most certainly not doing that and am actually being what I like to call Judgey Judgerson (Christina will be familiar with this slice of my personality) by judging their every comment and movement. And their clothing, makeup, shoes, manicure, and breath smell. I can't help it.

So anyway, I am not sure where I was going with that.

This weekend we went to our friends' apartment-warming party (they each long ago passed the Judgey Judgerson test, although some of their party guests have not) and Hubs became extremely inebriated on gin and tonics. It's something he will occasionally do when he forgets how miserable he was the previous time he drank too much and climbed a tree or set a plastic rooster on fire. One of these days I will remember to video tape him speaking while extremely drunk because it's simply the funniest thing I've ever heard. The stumbled slurring of his words just kills me. Ahhh. I am a loving wife. Anyway I got him home without incident and tucked him in on the couch (attempting to get him into bed when he's that drunk is a futile effort). Around 4 a.m. he went a-hunting for aspirin and finally came to bed. The hangover nursing has been an all day affair.

And if you're wondering about the photo above, that is Beau, our friend Christie's cat. We are cat-sitting and getting her mail for her. He's such a good cat, he's almost a dog.

Forgive me if I don't blog tomorrow as I've got another looming deadline...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Complete mush

At some point over the weekend I was watching PBS and there was a doctor giving some kind of presentation about mental health or something. She told a story about how while sitting in the backyard one day, a large black butterfly landed on a bright yellow bush.
"That is today's gift," her young son said.
These things are important to notice and acknowledge. If we go through a day without knowing at the end of that day what that day's gift was, we had blinders on, the doctor said.
Her story resonated with me because I'm a born day-dreamer who'll use any excuse to pause in my work and appreciate something else. I remembered her story while I was driving back from an inspection and gazing out the window I noticed billows of clouds backlit by the sun. The rain would come again later, but for the time being, there were these beautiful puffs of clouds in the sky, and I realized that was the day's gift.

So yes. That is your mush for the day.

Other than that I've been doing some housekeeping on my "favorites" list. There are several blogs I read that are A) becoming boring (socialites who blog about their dogs and remodeling the house in New Canaan get real old, real fast) or B)aren't getting updated frequently or regularly enough. If I could rely on some of these bloggers to update, say, every Friday, that would be one thing. I'm getting irritated with their "Sorry I suck at blogging" posts, so guess what? They're OUTTA here! I bet they care. A lot.

By the way, someone told me that Jason Mesnick signed a contract in which he'd agreed that if he was going to break up with the woman he chose on the show, that he would do it on television. If he didn't I suppose he would have been in breach of his contract. In which case: Jason, I officially apologize, but you're still a douchebag for signing that contract.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

An Open Letter to Jason Mesnick

Dear Jason,

So, I'm hoping that you're not truly as lacking in good judgment as it would seem you are. That, or I'm hoping ABC paid you an effing fat chunk of cash to dump Melissa on national television. Because the way I see it, there are a few possibilities.

1) You were both in on it, and both of you were paid handsomely for your public breakup.
2) Neither of you were in on it and you simply chose to dump her publicly for shits and giggles.
3) Only you were in on it and handsomely paid to dump her publicly (this option makes you the biggest dick in case you were wondering).

Granted, Molly was right when she told you that you were making a huge mistake by not picking her. Butcha didn't pick her, didja? You either:

1) Are truly in love with Molly and simply didn't realize it until you figured out ya didn't love Melissa or
2) Ya got tired of Melissa and felt no qualms about asking the seemingly low-self-esteem Molly to give you another shot despite the fact that you'd already publicly humiliated her on national television. She apparently doesn't hold a grudge, lucky for you.

So anyway, dude, I just want to say that regardless of whether you and/or Melissa were paid, you're sort of a douchebag and I've completely lost respect for you. The idea of 25 women vying for your attention is basically a joke.

Good luck. Dickwad.

MOAM

Monday, March 02, 2009

Back to life

Finishing out the 7-day detox over the weekend was difficult. I had to attend a baby shower that, needless to say, did not include detox menu items. I didn't eat anything bad, but only lost .2 lbs that day. The next day I didn't lose anything, but didn't gain. Overall I lost 11.5 lbs, which is probably the most I've ever lost in a seven day period.

Today I'm back to "real" food. I can now have dairy, alcohol, caffeine.... I'm trying not to overdo it, though. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast and then a nonfat latte later at work. I don't want to take steps backward. I do still have that 50-lb weight loss goal in mind.

Last night it was sooo windy, part of our fence blew down without us even realizing it. I noticed it this morning after I showered and opened the window. Hubs sprang into action and rebuilt it. That particular section of the fence will Never Blow Down Again, he assures me. :-)

Happy Monday. Let's take a deep breath and dive in...