Friday, February 28, 2014

Must do redux

We're getting a bit of weather here, or are supposed to anyway. They tell us there is a Strong Pacific Storm coming in today through the weekend.....we'll see. It would be the first real "weather" in a long time.

But even though we've had one of the mildest winters of late -- the term "polar vortex" used only in reference to our poor misguided family and friends who insist on living elsewhere in the country -- it is still winter. It is still February, if only barely. It is still dark before 6 pm. The daytime light is still filtered and weak.

It's not summer. If you know what I mean. And I very much think you do.

So, in the last few weeks when I've been eye to eye with the photo below when opening my refrigerator door, I've had a reoccurring thought.

We MUST recreate it. This summer.

We must position these kiddos, now teens and preteens and tweens, in this very same lineup.

Yes, yes, they would protest, but not too loudly and not for too long, because they'd secretly think it was awesome too. Plus, they'd be at the waterpark together, and if memory serves we had the full cabana treatment that day, so redux on that too.

I think we'd be well served to snap a second shot that would also include the one boy missing in the above photo, Jacquie's boy (who is now almost a man), as well as the two new additions, both preschool girls who will be headed to kindergarten.

I may even spring for the cabana. Yes, you can quote me on that one.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chilly Scenes of Winter*

*Remind me to tell you the story about meeting Ann Beattie 
someday . . . 



It's chilly . . .

. . . it is winter, afterall . . .

. . . but it can be utterly spectacular, around these parts, this time of year.

And when you travel with Mistah on the team bus . . .

. . . He who likes to stop by the side of the road to capture the moment . . .

. . . well, yes, it's winter and it's chilly and it's endless . . .

. . . but also?

It's spectacular.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Ahhhhh, San Diego. Here's what our polar vortex looks like.

Lovely, always lovely.

We get complacent about the expectation of perfect weather, the possibility that weather will have any sort of impact on on the plans we make is remote. Off the radar.

So happily, blissfully oblivious, we plan.

After all, our baby is turning fifteen, and we've been talking about a family trip to Knott's Berry Farm for years. This is the perfect time to go! We'll drive up on Friday night and spend all day Saturday in the park. Done.

Where in the midst of our big, blue, sunny sky is there room for an ominous and foreboding change?

Really, San Diego?


(pssst: don't tell the weather gods, but we're gonna play hooky on Monday)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

By the seat of my pants

So, I posted this on Facebook a few weeks ago:

Seriously!? Remember these jeans, Jacquie? I wore them to the concert on Sat night? This is how they came out of the dryer!!! Pretty sure you would have said something if they looked like this when we were walking around, that night, right?

These were my second favorite jeans, my go-to jeans for concerts and other nights out. Wtf? Could the washer really do this? It had just ripped major holes in the last pair of tights I had thrown in there. But denim? That's crazy, and a serious problem. How long would it take before the cost of all the ruined clothing exceeded the cost of the washer itself?

I was contemplating writing a letter to GE when Dorothea responded to my FB post with this:
If we lived closer I would totally think my dog ate the crouch of your pants!

OMG, lightbulb fucking moment, a dog DID eat the crotch of my pants. We were dog sitting while the girls' dad was on vacation. That little yappy mutt ate my jeans!

Honestly, there was a moment of relief; the letter to GE no longer needed to be penned. But, damn, Ziggy, those jeans were pricey and fit well.

Those jeans had seen Ben Harper, Trevor Hall, Slightly Stoopid and Citizen Cope all in the last few months. Those were my good-music good-time jeans I suddenly realized! (Geek alert.)

After some laughs from the Facebook post replies, and a quick text to the girls' dad with a photo of the crotchless jeans and  unrepentant dog, the irritation passed.

They were, after all, only a pair of jeans.

A day or two later, when the girls' dad came to pick up the baaaad dog, he asked them to fetch the jeans so he could take photos of the size and style. Apparently he was going to attempt to replace them?

This seemed like a fool's errand to me. How the hell was he going to find those jeans again?

But, it peaked my curiosity, and, well, the Internet is an amazing invention. With the size and style number maybe you could find them. Low and behold, Ebay had them. The very same. Brand new with tags attached. The price was fair too.

Should I re-buy them?

But what if Michael (aka, the girls' dad) found the same pair and was going to buy them....

Coincidentally, I ran into his girlfriend while leaving yoga the next morning. She was very apologetic and told me they could/would replace the jeans. I told her I'd found them online and would buy them myself, and that really, it wasn't a big deal, and additionally, a good, albeit unwanted, lesson not to leave dirty clothes on the floor of my closet.

But should I re-buy the jeans?

After hemming and hawing for another day or two, I decided, why not?

In record time, and one day before the JBT concert, my new Ebay replacement jeans arrived. And fit just like the last pair.

What DID we do before the Internet?!?
So, a happy ending. I wore them to the amazing concert last night, and had just as good of a time as I did at all the past concerts. The fact that they were replacements did not stifle the magic.

And then, double happy ending, this was awaiting me when I returned home tonight.....

A gorgeous flower arrangement


A thank you/apology card with a yoga studio gift card inside!

I guess that perverted little mongrel can probably come back someday...

Monday, February 24, 2014

First Time

First time this year.

First time with the doors open.

First time watering the plants outside.

First time sitting on the deck with said plants . . .

First time with a non-ice-covered path to the street.

First time we could get to Westy to Pop Her Top.


But don't worry, chairs . . .

. . . it's not the last time. Soon we'll sit on you . . .

. . . soon we'll fill you, ol' bird bath . . .

. . . soon we'll romp under you, ol' tree. . . .

. . . and in the meantime . . .

First Guest. Hi Davey!
. . . finally . . .

. . . we got out there . . . 

. . . for the First Time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

flashback friday

I don't even remember writing this, but I love it:


if you can't beat 'em (even when you really want to)... 

I called home before my last errand to see if anyone had additions to the grocery list. There was high drama in the house. The dog had just eaten the boy’s new toy, the one he had taken the better part of an hour to select with his Target gift card the previous evening. Come home, they said, come home. But I was steadfast in my resolve. You can handle this, people. It is tragic, but not fatal. We need groceries, kickoff is in two hours and I’m bringing all the food. I’ll make it quick. I had already been to the gym, Sears, and Home Depot. I had showered at the gym, but had yet to ingest a drop of coffee and the satiation from my morning banana was wearing off.

I arrived at the grocery store and found easy parking. I grabbed my canvas bags and made my way inside. Something was amiss. There was nary a vacant cart out front. But there was a friendly cart guy, and I got one from him. I walked in and noticed that it was crowded, but I was a woman on a mission so I did not dwell. I started in produce, picked up everything on my list: red apples, grapes, sweet onion, lettuce. I hit the back of the next aisle as I passed the processed foods section and grabbed the last two packages of toxic waste little smokies. So it was not until I came around the bend of my third aisle, seeking refried beans and crushed tomatoes, that I became fully apprised of the situation. The check out line was stretched to a point about halfway down the canned food aisle. Please do not read on until you have paused to visualize this. The checkout line? Where they like to brag that if more than 2 customers are queued up, they’ll open another lane? It was HALF WAY DOWN the canned food aisle! I thought surely this must be some bizarre express lane phenomenon, I had never seen anything like it this. Surely it could not be like that in all the aisles!

It was.

This presented two distinct problems. First, the obvious: it is going to take forever. Second, the maddening: it is really, really hard to maneuver your cart around the store when people and carts are blocking all the space! I was so pissed, so chagrined, so irate! The day was half over and turning to crap. I needed to holler at someone butquick.

I looked back to my peaceful, spacious produce area. There were a couple of decidedly calm employees milling about, watering the cucumbers and whatnot. You know how they are always asking “can I help you find something?” or “how are you doing today?” That’s exactly what they were doing! Smiling at me! Wanting to help me! I was floored. Did they not notice that everything was in the shitter? People were waiting in line for ages, bumping into each other and having to move their carts for others to get by! They had to ask other people to hand them things they could not reach! They had to talk to each other, solve problems, be patientWHY ARE YOU IDIOTS SMILING AT A TIME LIKE THIS? I felt my fingers being pulled into a fist. The force that was driving me to punch the grin right off of the nearest face felt unstoppable. But then the smile said something to me that stopped the freight train dead in his tracks. He said: “isn’t this funny?”

It was funny - not 'ha ha' funny, but funny in that it was so different from what I've grown accustomed to expect from the masses.

And I looked around again. At the strangers talking and laughing in line, trying to move out of one another’s way, handing over what could not be reached, bagging their own groceries, making the best of it.

I tried to summon my rage, to reclaim my righteous indignation and pick a good fight. But it was futile. Remember before Christmas when I wrote about the contagious nature of happiness? Maybe that was only half bullshit. I sighed and finished my shopping. The aisles were blocked, but it wasn’t a big deal. It’s just groceries, right? When I got to the check out line, I grabbed the new People, and a selection of reading materials for my line buddies. It was turning out to be a pretty good day.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Super sonic bionic

A friend of mine posted this last week:

It cracked me up. I noticed tonight that she didn't get many "likes" for it, but c'mon, it's hilarious.

ANYway, it's stayed with me long after I hit the "like" button.

I mean, what kind-of super hero am I?! We've all taken those inane quizzes on Facebook, right? You know, the ones where your answers provide you with the city or state in which you should be living (Portland and New York, respectively), or the type of mom you are (The Effortlessy Cool - I kid you not!), or the character on Downton Abbey that you're most like (Lady Edith -- C'mon, really?!?!).

I have not taken a super hero quiz yet, but without a doubt, I want to be the Bionic Woman. I would skew my answers to land her.

My kids told me there is some new Disney show with bionic kids. Really? Well they can never, ever, ever come close to being as cool as Jamie Sommers. Some chic tried it in 2007. Honestly, I didn't even know that until tonight when I looked for photos of the REAL bionic woman. That 2007 poser was invisible to me.

The Bionic Woman?

Now, this is the Bionic Woman

Remember her?

Remember the way she pulled her hair back to intensify her bionic hearing?

Probably unnecessary, now that I think about it.....

And  her vitals:

Tennis professional? Hell yeah, and then later, teacher, which affords  her all that time off to be awesome? And her age? Perfect! Living in California is always the right choice too.

I'm no dog person, but really, if you're going to have one, he may as well be a bionic Alsatian, right?

And her home, do you remember that? Do you? No one seems to remember this but me, because I have made inquires over the years, but it was one of the great things about her Cyborg life, at least in my opinion.... that wood shingle carriage house apartment? I have been a fan of wood shingle homes until this very day.

With the fireplace to get crafty in front of?
okay, that part I don't remember. Or the granny glasses either.)

There is, of course, of course the fact that her boyfriend is none other than Steve Austin, the former astronaut, now 6 Million Dollar Man!

He da man!

Admittedly, not his best likeness
Here, this is better.

Sexy, right?
Maybe more so in this get up?

With the manly, manly belt? (and bracelet?)

I bet he was drawn to her stunning lip scar, which I always so liked too, but which you would, sadly, likely not see on an actress today. It gave her character. I mean she DID have a parachuting accident and all... Plus I like the fact she had small boobs. No Wonder Woman rack on the Bionic Woman. She was just a regular gal.

 Remember when natural was sexy?
Before plastic surgery was so pervasive? Yeah, me neither.

Lindsay Wagner was the highest paid actress on television at the time, and won an Emmy for her performance -- a rare event for any sci fi show back then.

She also graced the cover of People Magazine in 1976.

But, honestly, what do you expect?! Jamie Sommers battled  monsters, killer sharks, aliens, meteorites with sonic power, UFOs, a town full of killers and thieves in Mexico, bigfoot, and of course, FEMBOTS!

She's a super hero for the ages.

So, go ahead, click on it, let's re-live how it all started

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Luncheon with Lovelies

Here was our Luncheon on Sunday:

Mom, Mistah and MB got the burger-with-bleu-cheese-and bacon . . .

. . . Dowd and I got the burger-with-swiss-cheese-and-mushrooms . . .

. . . Burgers and Guinness and big windows on a winter day? What could be better?

Luncheon with Lovelies.

Lovelies. Lovelies make everything better.

Here was our Luncheon on Monday:

A fabulous view of the Connecticut River . . .

. . . Sliders, of the salmon, crab and tuna variety . . .

. . . Chopped salad*

*(and I'm the one who brought lefties home. Lobster is *rich* y'all.)

. . . and fries two days in a row.

My sole Lovely on Monday was the lovely Mistah.

Oh, and a couple of additional friends:

They were kind of stiff . . .

. . . being made out of wood pilings and all . . .

. . . but they were Lovely.