United States of Motherhood: January 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shits and Giggles Part II

So it's been a while since I've revelled in what auspicious searches bring new visitors to my blog. So I did a bit of research at Google Analytics and found some great, thoughtful, mature searches such as:

  • stinky seamen
  • unhooking bra
  • feral shiz us
  • divorce crazy lying
  • sweaty goat balls
  • Whack-A-Mole Baby Float. (why the period? Yo no se!)
  • breast a sexualized
  • my chemical romance parental concerns (puh-lease!)
  • tongue tumor
  • medical females bleeding out
  • masturbating while breastfeeding (You are one sick mother-fucker! Get help! Still got the shivers on that one!)

I'm just saying, some of you new visitors, well, you just craze-e-e-e. Sick! Sick! Sick! Thanks for the entertainment!

And...drum rolls please...my number one consistent tag that brings daily visitors is DR. Rey and Mormon. Yep, everyone else seems as incredulous as I!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Eye for an Eye

A.N.G.R.Y. So angry I could scream.

Why are there people out there who treat animals like they are nothing, but trash? What the fuck is wrong with them? Locally, seven 6-8 week old puppies were found in a trash bin. Two unfortunately did not make it. Temperatures dipped below freezing and no one knew how long they had been in a garbage can in this rural area. How could a person do that to puppies as gorgeous and helpless as these:

ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Then there was this other story I came across is about this gorgeous Bull Mastiff who was BURIED ALIVE. Luckily, a neighbor heard him and found him with just barely a hole to breath. Who knows how long he was down there! Evil! To dig a hole deep enough for a 125 lb. Bull-Mastiff is premeditated, cruel, and criminal.

What I don't understand is that if these dogs were unwanted, at least give them a chance. Put the puppies in a box in front of the grocery store or fire station where they'll be found. This also goes for young teenage mothers. I get that you're scared and ashamed, but put the baby where it can be found for Godsake!

Back to animal cruelty, as an addict of Animal Precinct, I see what happens to people that actually get prosecuted for these inhumanities. Generally it's slaps on the wrist. I think these people should suffer the same torture. Eye for an Eye. Let's bury the bastards!

Olympics Here We Come

We are off to a swim meet today. This one is sooo cute because it's just for PB. Basically, she still falls on the low side at 7 years old--the maximum is 9 years old. I am excited to see how she does.

At our last meet, she spanked some TEN year olds in the 100 Free and 100 Back--and even got those pesky flip turns down even though we missed warm ups, so she didn't have her count. Actually, there were two events she swam last year that this last meet was the first time she swam them again. She improved--no joke--FIFTY-SEVEN seconds on one and TWENTY-SEVEN seconds on the other. Wow! That's the way to track a year's progress! So glad we moved from our Issaquah Swim Team to King Aquatics. The difference is amazing.

The best though is her attitude. She loves swimming and rarely complains about practice (unlike my 10 year old who likes to compete, but hates practice). So last night, I remind her we have a "just her" meet. She rubs her hands together and says goodie-goodie. Suddenly, my 10 year old realizes he really isn't swimming.

"Hey, I want to swim, " my eldest says.

Oh really! This is the kid who vacillates between loving swimming and then wanting to quit. He talks all the time about taking a year off. I tell him it would be impossible to return if he took that much time off.

I am hoping the competition with his sister might get through to him. They can be pretty competitive. Hopefully, that will get his butt in gear. Nothing would be worse for her to move up to his group ( She is in the fast group one level below him). Oh, the horror of having a little sister who is 3-1/2 years younger than you in your lane. He better watch out! She's a shark after a mother's heart.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tween Tang

My ten year old smelled today the way that only pre-teens can.Bleh! He took a shower last night before bed for what seemed like hours. Given that yes, he had a busy day, he still smelled to the point that I questioned the pungency. No way could he have worked up that haze in one day at Home Depot, could he? I question whether he did take that shower and ask him.

He says, "Yes!"

My next question though blew his flimsy excuse of a shower out of the water, "Did you use soap?"

His response, "Errr....no?"

Oh God, I know what's coming next. It's the odor of boy permeating his room, his shoes, his clothes...I can still remember how my brother's room smelled. Help!

Old Silly Putty: You Be The Judge

I'm not saying plastic surgery is wrong--just don't lie about it!! You be the judge:








The pics in her blue suit are the most recent. Hmmm...not even Botox is that good!



Separated at Birth ?!?

So let's chat about hotness is presidential candidates, shall we? Got your dry double cappuccino handy?






The idea of Obama's hottness actually translating into dumb voters voting for him based on his looks bothers me a tad. Given he does have a tight body and high cheek bones, but are those very same high cheek bones going to lead this Iraqi snarl to peace, eh? (Sorry for the eh? I've been hanging out with too many Canadians) I agree with Green Republican that I never would have seen Obama as hot because, well, he is a Democrat (hiss). Yet now, because of Mark, I see the light. He could be a young Harry Belafonte's doppelganger with hints of Denzell and a splash of Sydney Poitier. Really these cuties could have been separated at birth.





Okay, you got me. I could only make this pic of Harry 'the commy' Belafonte palatable because there's a hot pic of Charleton Heston with him. Now, he was hot. ( Rawr, go NRA.) Anyway, in the pre-Venezuela Harry's honor, here's a favorite video.


Let's hope Obama is sooo hottt that voters don't take him seriously. You know, like that JFK dude. (sigh)....Well, a Republican girl can hope, can't she? However, based on studies, people usually think good looking and taller men are smarter, more confident, more hireable, etc. This will, I hope, spell doom for Hillary, but doesn't really help Republicans in situations where dumb blond voters play eeenie-meanie-minie-moe.

So now it's up to us to glamorize our Republican hott... um... Rudolph Guiliani or Senator McCain. Swan producers where are you when we need you? Sorry, chuckle stuck in my throat here. I think those fine, upstanding Republicans need minimum 20 plastic surgery procedures. You know, about as many as Hillary has had.

Here's a cute one of Guiliani all dolled up. He looks as legit as Hillary's face of silly putty:




As for Harry, I prefer to remember him as in the below video and not for the ass-clown he's become. Let's hope Obama doesn't follow that career path:





Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dee-lish!



Came upon this sweet pic of Aw-Nold at the Jelly Belly Factory in Northern California that we visited this summer. Not as hunk-a-licious as good old Ronny Reagan (who I named my first daughter after), but still pretty deee-lish!

One-up-manship

In a silly contest between my son and I to communicate who was sillier:

Me: "You're silly."

Lil Man:"No, you're silly!"

Me: "You're silly-califraglaisticexpeealodosious"

Li'l Man: "You're googolplex percent silly."

Um, wow! How did my just turned 5 year old learn about googolplexes? Young'uns, in my day (which was the "olden" days according to my 7 year old), it was "infinity" and "infinity plus infinity." Now, we are getting pretty darn specific how silly I am. What's worse was that I couldn't think of a come-back.

Don't You Wish Your President Was Hot Like Ours! Prezzy Cat Dolls



Okay, a small concession to you non-Republican readers, yep, Obama is HOTTTT. Here, just for your viewing pleasure (and apparently Mark's), are some nice pics to chew on:


I have to admit, having a cute, "smokin" prezzy would be a change over old, slaggy butt-cheeked, pasty presidents. It would be a definitely better choice than that old coot Hag-illary, but I think I'll vote for the gray pudding between the ears rather than any other pudding. Ewww! I guess the proof is in the pudding. (Bum Dum Dump)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Born in 1756

So I'm tooling on CG's blog and what do I find? I'm sure he's changing it as I write, but according to my husband's profile, he's 250 years old. Damn! Sweetie, you old! Would that be in Polish years!

Here's what his profile said:

Beau
Age: 250
Gender: Male
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
Zodiac Year: Rat
Industry: Manufacturing
Occupation: Logistics and Product Supply
Location: Sammamish : Washington

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not So Productive Week-End

Yep, pretty productive weekend. I did my 5th grader's homework, got tipsy on beer and goat-cheesy bagel chips, and went a little I-hate-Hillary video crazy.

CG had a similar experience by blogging and getting into these little queer finger puppets for the kids, and more importantly, himself, from Lifehacker. My favorite is the picture on the left.

All this while the garage door is still broken, xmas decor including a full decorated tree still sits in our house, and a million painting projects are left undone.

Yep, super productive.

Saving The Best For Last: Save Us From Hillary



Just gotta love the Fergilicious beat!

Hillary Shows Her Chops

Soccer Moms Against Hillary in 2008

Hell No

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Okay, feeling slightly better until I realize that it isn't a dream. Hillary Clinton IS running for president. Let me gag now!

Riding one's adulterous husband's coat tails does not qualify you for president. Neither does questionable ethics and being a first lady.

Finally, all the campaign money and plastic surgery in the world can't buy you respect, with your "stand by my man" comments. GAH!

I would love to have the first female president in my life time, but not this way. Condi we need you.

Have a Hoppy, Creamy, Pank-0-liscious Sunday

I have to admit, I love pranks as long as I am not their victim. This one on You Tube makes me laugh every time. I actually started using You Tube for a therapeutic laugh of the day.





Next, I'm going on to my next therapy, a nice Heifeweisen. Actually, CG brought home a recipe for Stout Float. What's better than beer and ice cream!?

Hoppy Sundae on a sunless Seattle Sunday!

Survival of the Slightly Psychotic

Li'l Man had his birthday celebrations at his two pre-schools last week. Amidst crowns, birthday songs, birthday circles, and cupcakes, he hit a little bit of a shy note. However, in this pic, his true comic personality came out.




Accordingly to most National Geographic documentaries, usually the young tear off their mother's head. Obviously, my son is a more advanced life form and chooses to tear off his own head. Note the sharp canines and slightly-psychotic look in his eyes. Yep, it makes a mum proud...

Gobs and Gobs of Greasy, Grimy, Slimy...

Gobs and Gobs of Greasy, Slimy, Grimy, Gopher Guts,
Mutilated, Money Meat,
Slimy, Dirty, Birdy Feet,
Gobs and Gobs of Greasy, Grimy, Slimy, Gopher Guts,
And I forgot my spoon. (slurp, slurp)


My 5th grade son has chosen slime as a topic for his required 5th grade science fair project. I am relieved he finally has chosen a subject, but I see much unhappiness in my future. Oh, the possibilities are endless...magnetized slime, glow in the dark slime, heat-sensitive slime, slime in one's sister's hair, slime on the carpet, slime on canine...All of these, of course, would fall under the legitimate auspices of scientific advancement.

Just so you can all share the joy, we found a couple slimy web'cipes worth mentioning thanks to Activity Village:

12 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
Food Coloring


Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, then food coloring while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. This makes a messy slime that goes from liquid to solid, and is great fun to play with.

21/4 cup White Glue
1 1/4 cup Water, divided
1 tbsp. Borax - found in the laundry detergent aisle of your grocery store
Food Coloring


Borax is available in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Add 1 tbsp. Borax to one cup of warm water. Stir until completely dissolved.Make a 50% water 50% white glue solution by taking 1/4 cup of each and mix thoroughly.In a ziploc bag, add equal parts of the borax solution to equal parts of the glue solution. (Half cup of each will make a cup of slime.)Add a couple drops of food coloring. Seal bag and knead the mixture.If slime is too sticky, add a little more borax. If slime is too slippery, add a little more white glue solution.

Variations:Less rubbery and more transparent slime: Try a 4% solution of polyvinyl alcohol instead of the glue mixture

Different Consistencies: Add shaving cream or baby powder to the mixture.

Glow in the Dark Slime: Add several drops of glow-in-the-dark paint during mixing.

Enjoy! It could be worse--at least it's not silly putty or Floam!

~One Slimy Scout's Honor

Friday, January 19, 2007

Queen No More

My 7-year-old daughter came home today, excited and enthralled.

"Mom, do you want to hear my best ?"

"Yes, sweetie. Best of what?"

"My best part of my day. I learned to carry!!!!!! "

"Carry what?" I say with silly grin.

"No. math. I loooove math. I learned to carry the tens."

Where did this girl come from? I love that she loves math, especially because I HATED and STRUGGLED with that dreaded subject. I am so happy she's happy, but a new dread is forming. What happens when, as it is very likely, she surpasses my knowledge and capacity for her beloved subject. Is she going to think less of me? I will no longer be Queen Mommy of the universal fountain of knowledge. I still remember clearly when I figured out my parents didn't know everything. Will I no longer rock her world?! (sniffle)

I can help her write like the dickens. Not that you can tell from this blog, but I really am a bit of a better writer when there's a grade involved. When motivated, I even got a 5 on the AP English Comp & Lit test. With this blog, you only get my distracted, slightly interested effort.

On the same vein, I would definitely be a resource when it comes to history and government. I could help her with French and Spanish. But math, we'll let's just say math used to be my enemy. Now, it's more antagonism and distaste. Arithmetic and I are cool, but anything requiring logic or with phrases like Sally had 10 sweaty goat balls; how many.... or two trains leave Humptulips, WA.... and I'm lost like a guppy in the sand! Glob, glob, glob, gasp, wheeze....(silence) Calling Tokyo?

OOOOOOklahoma where the.....

Well, glory be! I've got Oklahoma!

Ga-zillionaire in the Making


My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

I just stumbled upon this calculator. Wow! A whole $1600 bucks for 3 months of work. Does that make me employed? Gah!

Where do I get this $1600? We could really use it! We are working on a bitchin' kitchen (granite, new cabinets, new 6 burner stove)--you know the kind that requires a home equity loan the size of which most family of eight in third world countries can live a life time on. Me Guilty? Nah, I'm Republican.

Now, my next step is take over the blog world, because, shit, Dooce is worth $2.8 million people! Need to bitch more about the Mormons especially my family, less about what I like about my husband, talk more about how my husband gropes me, and get that script for a Zoloft and Prozac cocktail. I guess I can't doing anything about going to BYU or living in Utah. I was presented that option as a youn 'un (full ride by parents) or pay my own way to Berkeley. Fuck! Who knew choosing a quality education over being mind-fucked would have cost $2.8 ! Instead, I chose Berkeley, so CG could pay off my student loans while I raise our three spawn in style in our soon-to-be bitchin kitchen.

Oh, yeah! Dooce takes lots of pics of her dog and says fuck a lot. Yup. I've got that one down. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Speaking of Peeved Pets: And I Thought My Dog was Dumb

This is what happens when you mix stupid with crack:

Do not mess with this dog's bone, by the way!

Pet Peeves

My husband rarely takes my advice when it comes to cooking. My three pet peeves:

1. He continually and consistently under seasons. Never uses salt. If recipe calls for a teaspoon on baking, he'll sprinkle it from shaker. If he forgets an ingredient, guess what it always is? Salt. This includes often times no salt on eggs. Gak!

2. He forgets/rarely stirs the pasta when cooking which results in 4 strands of crunchy hard linguine or fettuccine stuck together. I love when he cooks, but hate his pasta. It's also al dente, honey, not dent your teeth. You must stir it, pretty much constantly the first 2-3 minutes. Dumping it in in a bunch has not worked the last 10 years of our marriage and still does not work now!

3. The latest irritant which prompts this post is his refusal to grease or use cooking spray on anything non-stick. He takes non-stick quite literally, no matter how I repeatedly say that means use oil, butter, and /or spray and it will stick LESS than regular. So he's baking a cake for L'il Man (yep, 5 years old!) and didn't grease the non-stick pans. Then tried to release cakes with thick rubber spatula rather than knife. Results: both cakes break, crumble, and stick. He then admits to me he didn't use any lubricant. What the fudge! Now he's trying to balance cakes with both rounded sides in the middle while frosting said crumbling cake. Will he take my advice, um, no! He's as bad as my 10 year old who must do everything himself.

Dude, can you at least listen to your wife when it comes to cakes? Need I bring up the cracked in half strawberry cake on Valentines 1999?! You know the one. I believe it was the last cake you made!

I admit, I am not even close to a perfect cook, but at least I listen to advice. And yes, honey, I am waiting for your comments.

Ode to Kansas

Hold the lines, folks! I got Kansas. I repeat, I got Kansas! Whoo-hoo! 12 more states to go!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Can't Escape 'em

One of those keywords I wrote about on my last posting got me thinking. Why would someone search my Beverly Hills 90210 plastic Surgeon Dr. Rey with LDS (a.k.a. the Mormons)? I thought surely that was a spelling error and truly someone was looking to see if LSD (a.k.a. acid) was the cause of those krazey Kung Fu kicks before surgery. Really, what if he gets a charlie horse from all his pre-Op exertions and pops a boobie?

My search discovered (this is a definite oh my gawd moment), he is indeed Mormon. Get the hell out! Someone who feels up boobies and lives to put ass-plants into people really does belong to surely one of the most modern modest religions in the U.S.? Someone that flamboyant! I thought he was closet! I call bull shit, anyone? How can he wear garments with those cut out scrubs?

In the end, it's freaking hilarious that I constantly seek to evade my childhood religion (although SOMEONE in my family keeps telling them my new address with every move, erk!) and I keep gravitating toward friends and celebrities that I later find out are that very same religion! Go figure! Again, it must be the amazing moral compass and conservative values. Mormons, although I don't agree with their beliefs, are good peeps.

Shits and Giggles

I think Google Analytics is the coolest thing. It suppports my state tracking quest for visitors. Yes, it's a bit big brotha, but hey, it doesn't tell me your shoe size or even your name, so feel free to keep lurking. It also cracks me up because I can see common Google search requests/key words that end up with my blog. I thought you might enjoy some of these classic requests:

  • mommy inserting tampon blog
  • unhook a bra one hand
  • "dr. rey" lds
  • "Condeleeza Rice"+infertility
  • whirling dervish b 25
  • tomato soup carpet
  • bloody penguins
  • see the hiney white and shiny
  • naughty rhymes
  • ha ha ha ha heart (than would be 4 ha's--no more, no less)

Can you tell the kind of high quality drivel I produce?

With raised eyebrow and thoughtful fingertip on chin, I say Hmmmm.....

Work 'O Fiction?

So, I happened upon this and found this pretty humorous. I think young kids of today might actually read said literature if they put this warning on it. Just like "yutes" sought out the music advisory warnings in the '80's-90's, thanks to Tipper Gore. Just call the Bible a retro-Desperate Housewives meets Seventh Heaven meets news coverage about terrorism and the Iraqi War. Peeps, it's all about marketing!

And, since I am beyond twisted and conflicted when it comes to my own faith, I think this is definitely a discuss amongst yourselves moment.

Lame Hillary Joke

A man walked into a very high-tech bar. As he sat down on a stool he noticed that the bartender was a robot. The robot clicked to attention and asked, “Sir, what will you have?”

The man thought a moment then replied, “A martini please”.

The robot clicked a couple of times and mixed the best martini the man had ever had. The robot then asked “Sir, what is your IQ?”

The man answered “Oh, about 164.”

The robot then proceeded to discuss the ‘theory of relativity’, ‘inter-steller space travel’, ‘the latest medical break throughs’ etc…..

The man was most impressed.

He left the bar but thought he would try a different tactic. He returned and took a seat. Again the robot clicked and asked what he would have.

“A Martini please”.

Again it was superb.The robot again asked, “What is your IQ, sir?”

This time the man answered, “Oh about 100″. So the robot started discussing Nascar racing, the latest football scores, and what to expect the Cowboys to do this weekend.

The guy had to try it one more time. So he left, returned and took a stool.
Again a martini, and the question “What is your IQ?”

This time the man drawled out ” Uh….. bout 50″.

The robot clicked then leaned close and very slowly asked, ” A-r-e Y-o-u-r P-e-o-p-l-e G-o-i-n-g T-o N-o-m-i-n-a-t-e H-i-l-l-a-r-y-? ”

Yawn!

So the black background of my blog was driving me crazy. Thus, until I find something good that shouts "Me," I chose a safe, non-descript gray. (Yawn!) Well, in consideration on how long it took me to agree to buy our new dishes (seen below), this is a step away from my usually safe stubborness.



By the way, yes the cereal bowls are massive and I am sure I ate cereal for a family of four for breakfast. Add that to the fact that I let the kids finally buy their one box of cereal sugar a year allowance this week. They chose Cookie Crisp which was my childhood favorite. With our new white bowls, our family finished the box in less than 20 minutes. Yikes, so much for portion control...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Blog, Like My Plates, Needs Some Updating

One very superficial way I'm opening up my palate is that I'm thinking of changing the template on my blog. The black is feeling tired, strains the eyes, and frankly, I want to branch out and make it my own.

Anyone out there have some suggestions for color (nothing too busy or patterned, puh-lease!) or either places for blog design (preferably free, or cheap) or do-it-yourself instructional websites? Hopefully, we'll get some new freshness in this blog to celebrate my 2 month blog-a-versary on Tuesday!

Speaking of blog-a-versary, so far I've had over 1000 visits and 3000 page views. I'm still childishly working on those 50 states. I've hit 38 states and the District of Columbia. (And next I'll dominate the world with my fantastic international visitors) I'm still looking for:

Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Surely, there must be someone in those states that want to read about a crazy Republican mom with dysfunctional relationships, recovering from Mormonism who has a love of animals, eh? Feel free to suggest my mind wanderings amongst your friends. Cheers!

My Mother-In-Law Chose My Dishes

For the last 12 years or so, we have used dishes that my mother-in-law picked out. Pfaltzgraff Midnight Sun black dishes-- black with geometric designs.

They started as a starter set of place settings for four when my husband and I were living in sin in college. My husband liked them. I was just happy to have matching plates in college.

Then, the OCD in me required we match the set in our wedding registry. With extended family coming over, a place setting for four didn't cut it! But, truth be told, I always hated those black plates. Yet, I and my OCD, appreciated it every time my mother-in-law bought a creamer or gifted us another place setting.

Soon after our wedding, Pfaltzgraff discontinued the design , no doubt because of it's dated, eighties feel. No problem. My mother-in-law had an outlet and soon we had place settings for 13, plus serving dishes, creamers, tea pots, and butter dishes--all in resplendent black with geometric fucking shapes.

So time has passed--10 years or so--and we dwindled down to 6 plates and a variety of mugs and serving dishes that have survived the trenches of a kitchen full of a constantly cooking family of five always on the move with military and personal moves to Ft. Leonardwood,Missouri, then Fairbanks,Alaska then Pleasanton, California, followed by Antioch, California and now the Seattle area.

So honestly, CG's love for the dishes died years ago and he's been itching to replace them. Their ugliness and the fact that we had a matching set grew on me in those same years. So, the cheapskate in me was reluctant to buy new dishes, when we had perfectly good dishes that matched.

I also resisted the white, every day casual Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel because they looked so pale and were so costly if we were to get a matching set of 12. I also had issues of size and rim. I liked the huge charger size plates with a very refined edge, which was hard to satisfy. Another of those OCD things about me.

So fast forward to yesterday. On a whim, we decided to go enjoy some meatballs and lingonberries at IKEA on the way back from our swim meet. There they were... beautiful, white, refined edge, and cheap. Well, after throwing down $300 on a whim for a set of 12 white chargers, dinner plates, rim soup bowls, and cereal bowls, maybe not so cheap. But, you can't go wrong with $4.99 a plate. I'm sure we would have paid a $1000 at Pottery Barn.

Suddenly, excited at the prospect of being free from a legacy of black plates I never chose, I insisted we stop at Safeway on the way back to make a brightly covered repast, honoring our new blank palate dishes. We ate in style:


Glistening spring greens tossed with a white Balsamic vinaigrette topped with bright ruby colored Bartlett pears and a nice delicately veined blue cheese

Zesty Coho salmon grilled with lemon, butter and fresh dill, mushroom risotto, barely grilled baby asparagus all garnished with truffle oil

A duo of CG's cheesecake and homemdade liquored truffles


Honestly, no dish was particularly special or out of the ordinary for us. But all looked sparkling new, brighter and better than before. There's something to be said about throwing out the old dishes and looking anew at one's menu.

I guess this has become a metaphor for one of my New Year's Resolutions. I am thinking I need to throw out my old dishes full of old grudges, resentments, anger, and most importantly, hurt feelings and looking at what's left. Looking at what remains through new eyes. Seeing the potential in glistening familial love, seeing the tenderness in forgiveness, seeing the zestiness in laughter, and the delicate veins of balance.

I've realized it doesn't have to be costly to take that first step or planned out; it can be fixed on a whim. It just requires courage. I need to renew my life's palate because I realized I don't want to hang on to those ugly plates. I want to treasure what's inside them.

I'm a Lying, Crazy, Exaggerator
...or so says my loving husband

My husband thinks I am crazy, an exaggerator, or just plain lying 90 % of the time. Oh, blow me!!

Well, maybe I am exaggerating with this statement above, but it is really starting to irk after 10 years of marriage. I am well-educated with a degree from Berkeley, actually do read a fair bit, and keep abreast of current events. Yet, every time I say something that doesn't resonate with his reality, he thinks it's an exaggeration or I am inalienably wrong.

For a while in my marriage, it simply served to hurt my self-esteem and make me doubt myself. Certainly a man with an engineering degree growing up in a family of mathematics masters and Geo-physics PhDs would know better than me as a first generation college graduate of Political Science, yes?

Well, it's taken a few years, but, that's a resounding hell no. It's gotten to the point now that I have to prove I am right. Or, if I know 100 % I am right, then I'll bet CG and then he knows I am so incredibly right there's no use arguing. He knows I hate gambling (serious issues with that topic) so when I do bet, I ALWAYS win.

So past bets have been about what the white of the orange is called. It's pith, but I had to prove it with the dictionary. (If you follow the link, keeping reading down to the middle of the page.)

Then there was the way he said linguica as lin-gwee-ka (spelled somewhat phonetically). At first, I thought it was a joke, so giggled when he said it. then I realized he thought that was the correct pronunciation and I was wrong with my soft "c." Ack, it took a consultation with dictionary.com with it's audio pronunciation of "ling-gwee-suh" to prove my case.

The latest is the weather in Alaska. I swear CG's mind is going senile because he was writing the coldest temperature he had been was -43 at a yelp.com competition. I said, "But honey, don't you remember when we were in the Fred Meyer's parking lot when it was -63?" He looks at me with a smirk and said, "Sure it was," in that patronizing tone of disbelief I know so well.

Now, I certainly remember because living mostly alone with all his deployments, the weather was certainly noticeable. So he continues to suggest it's my imagination. He maintained in Fairbanks proper, it never got colder than -43 when we lived there from 1997-2000. This is where I thank all the gods for the invention of the Internet.

It was tricky, but after I while I came upon the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. They had a study with graph that proved not just once but TWICE in a two year period, temperatures dipped below -60 while we lived there and not when CG was deployed(another assertion once he realized I was seriously in a snit and sure I was not on crack or my memory was bent beyond all recognition).

So there, CG! I tried to show him the graph, but he preferred his own sanctimonious memory. But, my engineer sweetie, one cannot argue with the data points!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Call Me a Cheapskate

After another harrowing drive two nights ago through inches of hail, snow and ice and idiot Seattle drivers who can't drive in snow, I slept in yesterday. Yep, it's another two snow days. So we made the best of that and slept in. Then we went to the neighborhood sled hill. It was awesome. The kids had fun with friends. The only lingering injury is CG's tailbone. I guess we don't bounce as nicely as the kids do.

Also yesterday, I noticed my eldest had cleared CG's side of the drive, but left the other two drives with 8-10 inches of snow. What's up with that? So I pour on the guilt.

Anyhow, my eldest got straight to work. It was slow going because each shovel full was put in sleighs to take across the street. The neighborhood are trying to accumulate all the snow at one house to make a snow fort. I'm glad it's their house and not mine. Last time they did this, the neighbor's drive had snow/ice for at least a week after the rest of us and ended up boiling water to melt it down.

About half way through clearing my drive, my son turns to me, and says, "Mommy, do I get paid for this or am I doing this because I love you?" The way he said love you was almost with a sigh of disdain. I snorted, "All for love, babe-y!"


He's silent for a minute then shrugs and says,"Okay!"


At first, I was a bit outraged because, hey, he did it for CG. Given CG has a Mini and I have an Expedition, so he clearly needs it more. Yet, I was still in a little bit of a half-humored, half-slightly offended snit. What I didn't know until later was CG had brokered a deal to pay for the shoveling. It wasn't until I relayed the love as payment that CG admitted he had offered to pay. Then, I felt like a cheapskate.

P.S. This pic above is complements of CG. He never sleeps in, so he got pics of the snow pristine. I love it when trees look like this. It reminds me of Alaska. By the time I woke up, it looked like someone had taken an eggbeater tro our yard. Those darn kids....

Monday, January 8, 2007

Li'l Man All Grown Up

My baby will turn five in less than a week. Oh, how time flies. He ranted today how it wasn't fair how he was always the youngest. We discussed the difference between youngest and smallest and how he would probably be able to cradle me in his arms when he's grown up. At that point, unexpected tears came to my eyes.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Oh, The Vanity (Disclaimer: Graphic)


So, I was flipping through mindless TV this Friday night because Blockbuster/Netflicks didn't really send us anything good. Well, okay, so we didn't manage our queues well.

Anyway, I happen upon Dr. 90210. As usually, the Harvard and UCLA educated, Tae Kwon Do kicking, Brazilian plastic surgeon Dr. Rey delighted me. His insistence on the most flamboyant of suits and then scrubs with sleeves cut off is awesome. I always wonder if an armpit hair falling into someone's new boobies is all that sanitary, but maybe they have a pit mask I don't know about?

Watching the show, it turned into one of those shows where I kept yelling for CG to come check this out. First, there was a story about the genital plastic surgeon Dr. Gary Alter (Get it, alter?). This guy is so creepy--even if he did go to my Alma Mater, Berkeley. On the last show I caught, he fixed a couples' genitals--she needed some labial trimming and his penis was webbed. Double blek! This week, he was fixing a penile prosthesis gone wrong.


What sucked me in was the pure education of how and why a man with penile implants (after prostrate cancer) gets a erection (a squeeze inflatable mechanism in his testicles he has to pump) to have intercourse he can't feel and cannot have orgasm with?! His wife insisted it was not necessary, but this guy insisted it made him feel like a man. With something so fake, dude, it's the same as using a stick! If it's for his wife, there are MANY other ways (Sorry, think tongue) to make things work without a pump. It's just too bizarre.

The illustrated mechanism made CG turn slightly green. He doesn't do blood or vomit, so these medical shows make him nauseous. I thought he would faint once when I woke him up for a show where a woman's face was totally removed and then reattached.

So on to the next Dr. Rey vignette. In comes this perfectly slim blond. Nothing is wrong with her, and yet she wants butt implants. Dr. Rey says her butt is fine, perfect even, and yet still she insists. I yell for CG to get in here.

Why does this register? This woman has the same rare heart condition as my husband. Known as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, she and my CG have an extra conduction path in their hearts. Basically, although mostly asymptomatic, it can be fatal--in a heartbeat and without warning. A lot of athletes that die on practice fields have these kind of undiagnosed conditions. Anesthesia is very dangerous for these conditions. Anyway, this woman, knowing the risks, is so stuck on her vanity that she would risk her life for a bigger butt.

"Oh, Beyonce, what have you done to us women?! " I say ruefully. It used to be having a big butt was bad. Now women will risk their lives to have their husbands say, "Yes, honey, your butt does look big in those jeans." Sigh of relief? Whatever. Luckily, our hero, Dr. Rey said no. It turns out plastic surgeons do have some ethics. Now about those pit hairs...

Final Thoughts: Dr. Rey also used his martial arts for good when he subdued a 80-year-old on an airplane recently. "When you get a black belt, at that stage your brain just clicks into action," the doctor said. "I restrained this gentleman in a very aggressive way without hurting him. I did what's called a full nelson [tactic] and was able to control him into the seat."

Okay, I know anyone can restrain the elderly, but this guy shoved a flight attendant and rushed 1st class. Our Hero!

Blog Stats from Yesterday and Today: 27 minutes burned 84.5 calories .45 miles 26 fat calories

Friday, January 5, 2007

Bit O' Remorse

Ok, so CG jumped through all sorts of airline loops to get back late last night, instead of midday today. He was rewarded, but now I feel a little bad because I would love some coffee, dysentary and all....

(He's just uncanny about my needs. As I hen-pecked d-y-s-e-n-t-a-r-y on my laptop, a steaming cuppa love a.k.a. cuppa Joe was delivered straight into my hand! Precognitive 'ee is, that 'enry 'iggins.)

Blog Stat for Rest of Yesterday and Today: 1 hour walked 1.72 miles for 315 calories.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

CG's Tripping

So once again, CG is on a business trip, and I take on the daily trials alone. Managed in style last night and even got my eldest dinner (a daring chili in a mug in MY car) before 7:30 for once. The youngest were in bed before 8:30(their official bedtime) and I don't think that's been achieved for a while. I guess we just have too much fun with CG.

One of the greatest achievements of the night was that all the crazy bits and pieces of our coffee maker made it into the dishwasher. I usually always neglect that part and then suffer later. CG is great in that (when here) he is always the dishwasher and the maker of coffee and hence cleaner of the machines--even though he's a coffee snob and only makes espresso for himself.

So back to dishwashing...hmmm...well let's say with the stomach flu floating around in Chase's classroom (although we haven't got it-double knock on wood)... I wanted to be super safe. So I used the uber meticulous, super sanitizing with extra heat and dry cycle. So this morning, dishes should be sparkling, yes?

Uh, resounding NO! Some background is in order; CG thinks the 30-minute express cycle with energy saving is fine for everything -- although the reason for the cost of the gall-darned dishwasher is all those cycles and heated elements that can take 2-3 hours to wash. More importantly, CG thinks that since we paid an astronomical sum for our dishwasher with garbage disposal, that he should not have to rinse or scrape the dishes. So we often have noodles, whole broccoli florets, chicken bones, and all matters of food too big to fit in the hole to get to the disposal and too solid to dissolve until weeks later. During those weeks of decay, usually we get flecks of food and a film on our glasses and anything transparent. Silverware doesn't fare too well either. All these still dirty dishes still miraculously make it into our cupboards where CG never cops to seeing the chunks floating in water glasses and hardened food in the silverware drawer...

And then we go back to my coffeemaker. Since I don't make or clean it because CG insists, I haven't really looked inside the insulated thermal carafe in a LOOONG while. Well, today, after super duper sani-rinse, there was the most disgusting brown, toxic waste film with brown chunks inside. My stomach revolted. My first thought was dysentery. Yep, my husband wants to kill me while he has an alibi in Oakland. That's it. He wants all the kids in their sticky, defiant, messy glory...He wants all the housecleaning, lawn mowing, and carpooling to himself. That monster! I know for sure he can't wait to clean up the vomit when the kids finally do get the nasty stomach bug....

Err, well maybe not, but he's definitely tripping if he thinks I am going to let him continue coffee duties. I need my caffeine sludge clean and pure, people!


Blog Stats: 27.3 minutes walked for .45 miles and 85 calories (27 fat calories )

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Weight Loss While Blogging

So, yet again, my resolution is to lose the extra person in the form of astoundingly excess poundage I have carried with me for the last three years. How sad is it to realize that I weigh as much as I did when I was pregnant with the the kidlets--at 9-months pregnant. Ack! I could make excuses of back injuries with physical therapy that only stopped when the medical insurance ran out, but hey, that doesn't explain the magnets down my gullet that attract every Starfuck's Pumpkin Scone (with as much trans-fat as a large McDonald's Fries according to NPR this morning), every double cheeseburger eaten with abandon, every extra tablespoon of butter added to dinner cooked because everything tasted better with butter. Gah!

So my new resolution will not include too many calorie counting exercises because that is all always futile for me. I love to eat too much! Instead, I have chosen public purview. Now, I am not as hard core as some and will not blog every calorie or even my current weight. I couldn't stand the humiliation. Instead, I choose subtly in the form of a "current condition" box in the right corner under my profile which will only track cumulative pounds lost (or God forbid, lbs. gained) from a ground zero of January 2nd, 2007.

Yep, I started yesterday and have already lost a whopping 2 ounces. Whoo-hooo, I lost 2 ounces after eating my weight at a luscious, spicy, all-you-can eat lunch at Kanishka (Indian buffet in Redmond), left over broccoli beef and rice with fried sweet and sour pork for dinner, all followed with copious coffee with fat-free half-and-half and sweetened with equal(see doing good), and with a final sweet note of a slab of my husband's famous homemade New York cheesecake. Yep, my self-control is awesome...

So, I am regrouping today and have a new strategy. I track a lot of my weight gain to getting serious about our kids' competitive swimming (hours of commuting and sitting at practices 6 days a week) and my evil lap top. Can't do much about the commute. Can't do much about practice except try to walk during, if possible. But, my excessive computing, that I can adapt.

Henceforth, starting actually with this blog, I will gift my laptop with my presence only when walking my butt off at my treadmill. Yes, friends, fiends, and countrymen, I walk while typing with my laptop precariously slanted at our treadmill, typing away with wrist contorted at ungodly positions. Yeek, I can feel the carpal tunnel setting in! No pain, no gain, me thinks. We will see...

Final Note: The above picture is not me, but my goal weight. I think I last weighed that my senior year of college, when I was still vegetarian, and after a 6-week Army ROTC camp. It should take approximately 8-10 months, if I am good.

Blog Stat: I walked 45 minutes for 199 calories (62 from fat) for 1.4 miles with a whopping pulse rate of 86. Almost enough to burn off one bite of last night's cheesecake. Ah, progress...

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Mothering While Powerless: School Toubles

One would think, after getting through the holiday, that there would be a sigh of relief when I sent my kids off to school today. Sadly, that was not the case and I sit here now sick with worry and stress, feeling dispirited.

We moved to Sammamish from the Bay Area point blank for the schools. Generally, we have been wowed! Extremely satisfied would be an understatement. Yet, today I have real doubts. My eldest is in a classroom taught in a style that doesn't work for him with a green teacher. He's apathetic, disinterested, and has such low self-esteem, which is a 360 from last year's class. I have spent months fighting to get him transferred, but, because another child was already transferred, the school is resistant. So I fight on, jumping through bureaucratic hoops, feeling like I am stepping on toes and burning bridges at the school we gave up everything to get to.

Coupled with that, PB's amazing 2nd grade teacher has to go on bed rest due to a high risk pregnancy, so we will be getting a student teacher/substitute for the rest of the year. Hopefully, the planets will align, the teacher will be capable and fabulous, and all will be well, but I find myself sick with worry.

I hate this part of being a mother. I want to fight every battle for my kids, so they don't go through what I went through as a kid. Yet, there are times like these where I am powerless to protect them. Powerless...

Monday, January 1, 2007

Restaurant Review a la My Space

So I am all about reviews when it comes to new restaurants, especially since being transplanted from the land of plenty (a.k.a. SF Bay Area) to the land of somewhat mediocre, meager, and watered down... errr, I mean Seattle.

My husband uses Zagat and has scored a few freebies for making reviews, yet I am a more "of the people and for the people reviewer." I don't want to pay for a review or recommendation. That's why I love Craigslist forums, Epinions, and blogs. I want to hear the good and the ugly, and then take all with a grain of salt. I have used Open Table and actually scored some free food from my reservations there. I also use Gayot which has rarely led me astray.

So I have discovered two new sites to use in my new restaurant research, Judy's Book, and even better, The Yelp which is this queer restaurant review meets My Space page where you actively recruit "friends, " and people rate your reviews. People flame and rant there as well.

...So, being the sell out that I can sometimes be, I joined, even though I HATE that My Space shitola. The reason I joined? I found I had to contradict some bullshit one Yelp poster said about a wonderful Bainbridge Island bakery-- all because she thought the "white" clientele with kids referred to as monsters/brats ruined the place. What a kid discriminating biotch.

Anyhoo, a la My Space, my opinion is that gathering friends to conspicuously prove that you have friends, just doesn't say anything about you, other than that you are vacuous and superficial. Personally, I definitely prefer the blogger style of staying in touch or meeting new friends where you say, "Here I BE in all my crazy-ugly glory. Do with it what you will." No apologies and with a few exceptions, only a few regrets.

That said, the reviews are still helpful at The Yelp, so check it out.

Feeling in a Regina Mood Again

I just love Regina and her bitchin' shoes. The other video I posted has better shoes, but this is a fun and quirky video too.

Post-Holiday Activities to Do in Seattle

So we kept busy, took some more pics of our full family in front of the tree and even made the most of our museum memberships this week after Christmas:



Tuesday:

We went to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Pacific Science Center where we are members. Luckily, it was highly discounted at $8 per adult for us with free admission. Otherwise, I would have been pretty upset at admission and extra exhibit fee for a total of $28 per person for a few scraps (literally) of the scrolls at the end of the exhibit. They also hurried us through. The exhibits about the settlements that stored the scrolls were interesting, but bored the kids to no end and needed at LEAST 3-4 hours to get through completely (if you are like me or my brother-in-law and like to read every explanation and listen to every audio tour narrative.).


It didn't help that there was a blind guy whose guide was also reading every description in pretty loud, nasally voice. I just couldn't concentrate reading in my head, trying to ignore nasally voice, and look at exhibits all at once. Verdict: I think you could gain just as much information online without the $28 a head surcharge for underwhelming pieces of old paper with no similarity to scrolls whatsoever. The only cool thing that made me say, "wow,” was a copper scroll which was more of a treasure map and did not have the religious significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Again, little scraps of paper--very few larger than fist size--in a packed room weren’t worth it! It should have been called Dead Sea Bits O' Paper.

Saturday:



Then Saturday, we spent in gloomy weather at the Woodland Zoo in Seattle. This has been a well-used membership year, especially as just about every grade and every pre-school visits the zoo. My kids know it well. I have to admit that I think the San Francisco Zoo is far superior, but this is a nice school holiday day trip. We enjoyed the cute arctic foxes and the grizzlies posed perfectly as if willing us to take pictures wildly. The penguins were of the ugly "Ramon" type if you've seen "Happy Feet." I would have much preferred Emporer Penguins. Yep, I'm a penguin snob.

Since it was chilly, we stuck mainly to the indoor exhibits. My favorite was the nocturnal exhibit with the sloths and bats. In complete darkness, you enter an exhibit where silence is expected and you get to see bats hang and climb with their wings, porcupines lumber along, etc. Pretty cool and at the same time, we kept warm.

Our visit reminded me of the ST. Louis Zoo we visited when we lived in Missouri for 6 months--except that zoo was FREE. The cheapscape in me remembers it fondly and the mostly indoor exhibits were an added bonus in Missouri’s single digit weather. I guess our membership made it pretty cheap too. We definitely got our money's worth!

We finished up that day trip by gorging ourselves on some amazingly great burgers at Red Mill in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle. Awesome burgers and super thick shakes. Only downer is they accept only cash and checks and guess who forgot the checkbook? So we used up the rest of our cash, but damn, was it worth it.


Sunday:

Finally, we visited the Seattle Aquarium yesterday--on the last day of our membership. As always, it's a pleasure to see the gorgeous otters test their hydrodynamics in an outdoor exhibit. The Underwater Dome was also amazing to sit in as the sharks, rays, and fish circled. As an added bonus, there was a scuba-diver cleaning up the windows that waved at the kids. A regret was that we didn't have time to check out Little Nemo and Dory like we usually do as well as my favorite, the sea horses. I just LOOOVVVEE the idea that the males give birth.



After a short visit, we hopped on the ferry to check out Bainbridge Island. The ferry is always fun and this time, we did it as pedestrians because Bainbridge Island's downtown is so walker-friendly. The watery sun looked beautiful in its otherworldly Northwestern flair reflecting eerily on the Sound. The Island itself was quaint with some good shopping and the most amazing Blackbird Bakery. We have yet to find a great bakery on the Eastside so this bakery made CG and I tempted to make this our Sunday brunch routine--ferry, exercise to bakery, binge on amazing quality and selection of carbs-o-rama.



So CG and we ladies opted for roasted beet soup with thick, yeasty slices of oatmeal bread while the boys lunched on white bean and roasted vegetable chili. Then we shared a savory caramelized pear, gorgonzola, and toasted walnut tart and a dark, spicy slab of gingerbread laced with whiskey. The kids found room for slabs of dessert trio:


Li'l Man chose Double Chocolate Cheesecake.

PB chose Hazelnut Torte with Cream and Grand Marnier.

CGR chose a Snow Ball Cake (two chocolate layers wrapped in cream and coconut).



Not surprisingly, they weren't able to finish and even with CG's and my help, large mounds of desert remained. Yep, it's a bakery after my own heart. Now, a la Claim Jumper, bigger is not always better with their mediocre to plain disgusting desserts, but if you can make something really yummy and make it large enough to share, yep, you've got me. Verdict: Blackbird Bakery is a must visit on a trip to Seattle. Yum!



So we finished off New Year's Eve watching movies with visiting family. Also traditionally, we ordered way too much Chinese to ring in the New Year. I chowed on the Beef Chow Fun, Buddha’s Delight, and General Tsao’s chicken and then barely made it to the end of the last movie. CG had to wake me for a New Year's kiss. Yep, I'm getting old. We never even popped the champagne. Today, we skipped our traditionally New Year's Day’s Dim Sum (still haven't figured out where to go and dearly miss our SF Dim Sum haunts) and feasted on leftovers of Chinese food and the last of the Christmas turkey and gravy leftovers. So not in fitting with my resolutions to lose weight, but...ah well. There's always tomorrow.

So tomorrow, school starts, PTA Board meetings are planned, our aquarium and zoo memberships end, swim practice looms on our afternoon, and life, sans holiday sparkle, blusters on. I plan to keep up our holiday d├ęcor at least until the 6th—when the Boy Scout’s come to take our recycled tree and highjack my delusions that Christmas will never end.

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