Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

I love Texas

Wednesday, March 23
Subject: 10:53 and all is right with the world

Car is ready, shuttle will be here in 20 min to fetch me for car pick up, Bill will be here at 12:15 to fetch me for Clara's conference, Cab will be at school to fetch me for airport run. Good thing I'm so fetching.

Packing is a study in absurdity. I can't find my jeans or my ipod. Where are my jeans??? I wore them to the Hunger Games, then they slipped into a black hole. I don't care. The outfit I have on right now would work for any event this trip might throw at me, so bring it on beeeyatches. By beeeyatches, I supposed I mean the universe.

Last night I got next to nothing done, right when I started to pack, my friend who just bought a house around hte corner texted to say she was there if I wanted to see, so my girl and I headed over there with a bottle of champers, it was downhill from there. I came home and folded laundry and swept the house, natch. Plenty of time to pack this morning, though since I didn't work out because my foot is seriously messed up. But let's not talk about that, shall we? I'll catch you hosendorks on the flip side.

Wednesday, March 28. 10:17 pm

Hello darlings! Here in the room,shiner bock in hand. Jane- I'm in a king room on the 16th floor but will move before you arrive to a 2 queen. Hotel is nice but windows don,t open. Small fitness center and indoor pool, nice lobby bar. Very pretty location, and apparently there,s some madness in store for the Austin relay? I have no clue, but from what the guy said it sounds like bay to breakers, lol. I need to force myself to sleep, full day tomorrow that starts at 8 and I'm so excited for my seeeester to get here! Cab from the airport was $20, cheaper than my ride in sd. I forgot my toothbrush and face stuff - just called for toothbrush and they are en route. Awesomeness! I'll check in often tomorrow.

Thursday, 3:56 pm

Hi! Jane is in flight and scheduled to arrive 30 min early! Can't wait to see that kid. Today has been a whirlwind, I'm so ready to play. After my 6 ish hours of sleep I was so dead this morning, I was nodding off during the 8am keynote and I was getting bummed that I'd be wrecked by the time Jane arrived. So at 9am I went up to my room, shut the drapes, set the alarm for 30 minutes and had the world's most restorative power nap! I was so smug, I bragged to anyone who would listen. I changed rooms, the hotel is kinda lame but the location is great and the meeting rooms are wall to wall windows! So rare and lovely for a conference.

The peeps are all going to a big hosted dinner right now but I am just waving buh bye. I scored us club level passes and apparently there are hors every evening and breakies In the morning and the world's most awesome coffee contraption. I made myself a quadruple espresso around 2.. Wheeeeeee! My phone is currently charging in the room, I'll stop and get it on my way up to hors. I thought I might work out but I can't be indoors anymore so I went for a little walk but it's really hot out there and I was a little a scared to wander without my phone... So now I'll either go put shorts on or go to the bar.... It's like Sophie's choice!

4:22 pm

Hi! I'm back with either a funny or a turkey sandwich, you be the judge. I came up to the club room to check out the goods, the world's cutest boy was up here setting up for happy hour (excuse me while I swig my shiner... mmmmmmm) He told me all about a million bats under a bridge or something. He asked if I needed anything before he went down to get the food. I say "what've ya got? hahahahah. No really, I'm just hydrating with water and charging my phone." He said go ahead and turn the tv on or whatever, enjoy yourself. Before he left 2 kids came barging in, all wet from the pool and raiding the complimentary soda fridge. They are just like My kids' ages, arguing with him that yes they CAN be in here without parents, they've been in here without parents all day long! They turned on cartoon network at top volume, and I though F that S, started packing up. He was distraught, "what's wrong? why are you leaving?" I told him I'd be back, I didn't want to listen to the cartoons and I would go down for a beer. He led me into the other room and handed me a shiner bock, apologizing for the fact that it wasn't free ($3.50, they are $5 downstairs. I love texas) and told the kids they were kicked out as soon as he gets back with the food. I sat at a table by the window and was looking for a plug for my stupid phone and he pointed out the one by the other table, and I made some bratty remark about wanting everything within my reach by the window, and he was distraught "I'm so sorry!" I was all: Dude. He looked at me with his cute face and earnest glasses and said "I am allowed to be sorry." I love Texas. He's kicking the kids out right now, they're going to see the bats. I need to post for the blog tomorow, might just cut and paste this dumb story. I don't know if I can figure out how to take and post a photo from my ipad. This room has a desktop computer (so much better, F that laptop S, mom) and I'm soooo hoppy! Jane is coming!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Have you noticed how it's all 'craft beer this' and 'craft beer that,' lately? I never seem to hear the word 'micro brew' anymore. But no matter, I like them no matter what you call them, and today I will let you in on the very best of craft beers. The craftiest of the crafty.

I've been conducting my own March Madness, although I'm not going to crown just one winner. Nope, I've got a top five for you people.

Stone Brewery Pale Ale*
This was hard for me, because I love their IPA as well. But I'm going with the pale. Both are excellent. And brewed here in San Diego.

Lagunitas Little Sumpin'
Again, a hard choice because I also love Lagunitas IPA and Lagunitas Pale Ale, all are excellent, but, as the Lagunitas Brewing Company marketing slogan goes, Everyone needs A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Sometimes. These guys are north of San Francisco, in Petaluma, California. (Although you can find the pale on tap at The Fargo in Aurora, New York, of all places, so keep your eyes out for it!)

Kona Brewing  Koko Brown Ale
This beer is DE-licious. It has toasted coconut,** and is a good alternative to dessert. You're not going to want to drink a whole six pack, but one, or possibly two, of these Koko Browns hits both your sweet tooth and your beer jones.

Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing
This is one tasty, citrusy IPA. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. This beer won the gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. Yum. It's brewed right here in San Diego as well.
Pliny the Elder - Russian River Brewing Company
Finally, let me introduce you to Pliny the Elder. This beer is excellent! Truly delicious. You can't find this brew in every liquor store. No you can't. There is actually a waiting list for stores to get on. Luckily my local store does carry it, but the bottles are tightly controlled. You cannot buy more than one a day! Isn't that crazy? Just goes to show you how yummy, this beer, this winner of my very own malty March Madness, is.

Yep, Pliny the Elder is the craftiest of the crafty. And Pliny the Younger is amazing as well.

So that's it folks, the results are in, the tournament is over. All that is left for you to do is toast the winners.


* There was one of these in the house last night, and it was my sincere intention to photograph it in the kitchen like I did all the others. But it's disappeared, been drunk, and thrown out I suppose. I spot checked  the recycling bin to see, but you know, not too deeply. I hope the stock photo will do.

** Which means that Jacquie will not be agreeing with the ranking of #3 here. She is not a coconut fan. Or is that Bill?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Roof

You see this roof?

This very roof?

This is one butt-ugly roof.

There's only one thing to do at a time like this.

Get a Dumpster and throw away the butt-ugly ghetto couch from the front porch.

Goodbye Butt-Ugly Scurvy Front Porch Ghetto Couch. 
Goodbye forevah.

No, wait. There's another thing to do at a time like this. Hire a guy and his crew to come and take the old roof clear off our 1915 house.

But first? Tarp it up.

Monday was cold, and winds were gusting to about 6 million miles an hour, and there was only one thing for Mistah and me to do at a time like that. Make like a tree and leave. Get the hell *out* of there. After taking a couple of photos.

The anxiety I felt at the height the boys were at in that wind was tempered only by how impressed I was at their mad tarping skills.

And that old roof? Off . . .

. . . and straight onto the deck.

But oh dear. Big Glitch. After two layers of roof came off, underneath were cedar shingles. A wooden roof, how quaint. But underneath that? Wood slats instead of plywood.

Wood slats look cool, but you can't put new asphalt shingles on them. Oh no you can't. You need *plywood*.


But whaddyagonna do? That's my mantra. And the crew is so awesome and conscientious and neat . . .

. . . you see all this crap? They made it go away. This is what we came home to:

End of Day 1.

Then Day 2 dawned.

Brrrrrrr. Day 1 was was blowing, but Day 2 was *cold*.

And . . . the infamous plywood started to go up.

We're everyone's favorite neighbor at 8 in the morning.

This is the time of day when I tell the boys to be careful with their giant plywood sails and run like the wind far far away from the house.

Aw jeez. Be careful, guys.

It's all pretty cool, though, how confident and smooth and experienced they are. But they're so bloody high up. My niece Chapel Hill Girl would never make it as a roofer.

They plywooded the whole south side, and the plastic wrap* went on top of the plywood . . .

*polpropylene What-ever.

. . . and they even got started on the north side.

End of Day 2.

Can't wait to see what Day 3 brings today . . .

To Be Continued . . . ?

Oh, you better believe it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a ridiculously long post about my car battery, for God's sake. I'm sorry.

This has been going on for quite some time, this battery drama. The first time was way back in summer when Bill and I went to a concert after a day at the races in Del Mar, which means it was August. We had parked in the overflow lot and while enjoying a couple of pre-entry beverages, I plugged in my phone to give it a little juice. No big whoop! Hours later we made our way back to find that the car was, as my dad used to say,  D-E-D dead. I called AAA and they came and gave ‘er a little jump. It was a delay, but not a big deal.
Then I was hanging out in my car one night with one kid while the other one was at karate.  I had my book, we listened to some tunes. No big whoop. Naturally, when the second kid joined us we realized that the car was D-E-D. Another call to AAA, another jump. This time the guy said he had a battery right there in his truck if I wanted to get a new one. I figured it was more expensive to do it that way, but I came learned a long time ago that my time is valuable and convenience is usually worth the money. So I told the guy to go ahead and replace the battery, I called my husband to say that we’d be a few minutes late for dinner. 45 minutes later the guy accepted defeat – he couldn’t do it! He was willing, but unable. That was a very clear sign that I didn’t need no stinking new battery, and shame on that man for trying to sell me one!

I know what you’re thinking, I do. These two incidences were warning signs that the battery would soon fail, and I am an idiot for going back to my normal, innocent life.

But that was last summer, and the car’s been running fine. And who among us just goes and replaces a battery when the car’s running fine? Oh, shoosh, you.

So yeah, blah blah blah this boring story will end with the climax of a dead battery and  a stranded motorist, right? What kind of climax is that? How entirely predictable and dull.

How ‘bout this:

Last week I hung out in the car with my girl while my boy finished up basketball practice. I don’t think I was running anything off the battery, but I think that because I never opened the door or removed the keys from the ignition, even though it was turned off, the headlights stayed on while we sat. So yeah, the stupid battery died, and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d buy a new one from the towtruck guy and just wrap up this nonsense with a bow. The guy took forever, and when he didn’t bring up the option of buying rather than charging the battery, I took it as a sign that I should just go have dinner, but I knew I needed to really think about this soon or I was going to end up stranded.

This morning when I started the car to get the kids to school, it sort of…groaned. Or did I imagine that? No time to think about that, we had to be on our way.  Busy day, no time to remember the question of whether or not I had heard or felt a slight hesitation when I started my car way back in the dark recesses of the morning. In the afternoon, one of my kids called feeling unwell, asking if I could come and pick them up from the after school skating adventure. That was unusual enough to get me moving, but I didn’t even think about the battery until I turned the key. Shit. Not dead, per se, but making that awful rarrr rarrr rarr sound that is just never good to hear.  But it caught! It started! Everything would be fine. I would just keep it running until I could get it to the guy for a battery, and I would not have to call AAA for once. Did you know you can only use it four times in a year? Anyone keeping track?  

I got to the skating rink, which is not exactly in a posh part of town. I pulled in to the parking lot and squeezed in between a few small groups of loitering kids. I sat there in the parking lot for a second, wondering how this was going to work. Then I had a flash of brilliance! I dug through my console and found the spare valet key! I could leave it running and lock the doors, then use the other key to get back inside. 

I hit the button to lock all the doors.
It popped back open
Hit the button
Popped back open
Hit the button
Popped back open

It was like candid camera. Woman versus Toyota. The car would not let me lock the keys inside. I tried using the key to lock the door from the outside, but the little mo-fos kept popping themselves unlocked. I was outwitted. I couldn’t even text the kids to come out because my boy had forgotten his phone and it was a school thing to I had to sign for their asses. I was too far in to concede to the tow truck at this point, and I knew with certainty that if I turned the car off, it wouldn’t start again.

I had no choice but to end the spectacle I was making of myself. I simply pretended that I was not walking away from my car with the engine running and all four doors unlocked. Who would do that? I walked in and found the nearest kid who had sprung from my loins, and directed them outside to guard the car while I found the other one. Then we drove directly to the mechanic, where that conniving smartypants of a car has all night to plot its next move before getting worked up in the morning.  

The end?    

Monday, March 26, 2012

The most interesting dinner in the world

My mom is in town, very busily looking for a place in San Diego to call her own. But last night she took some time out from house shopping to meet up with me and Jacquie and Kendra, and some very interesting men, too.

We dined on



and some not-shown gourmet soybeans. It really doesn't get much better than that. And the company was excellent too.

My mom and Jacquie were cuddled up on the booth side of the table

with Kendra and I sitting opposite.

Jacquie commented that she was slightly distracted...

and clearly all eyeballs.

But with a view like this one, well, who can blame her?

Kendra drew her attention back to the table with some sushi-stuffing antics.

But as entertaining as this was, before we knew it, Kendra and Jacquie had to drive off to far-flung and near opposite sides of the county to pick up their offspring.

Thanks to both of you ladies for making it out last night, even with those rainy night drives still pending.

We so wish you didn't have to jet off, though, because you missed not only Jonathan, the most interesting man in the world.

Ooh, those muscles!

But his even more interesting friend, Pedro.

Clearly we make him VERY happy.

Ellie, (and Jennie) we really missed you last night!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

3-way weekend: chickens and crustaceans

West coast lobster traps

Premature Peeps

Lobsters and Peeps. And they said it couldn't be done.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Early Spring

Early Spring? Oh, it's here. Just look:

Tulips. Swoon.

Jennie back on my deck. Yakity yak.

An unusual mid-week dinner party.  Cheers!

Lots of dead soldiers. Thunk.

The gorgeous evening sky.  Whoosh.

Early Spring? It's here and it's spectacular.