Friday, December 15, 2006

What fresh hell is this?!

First of all, mad props to the person in the city of Fresno who decided that it was NOT OK to be able to see your garbage cans from the street.

We keep the garbage cans on the side of our house, like all out neighbors do. They are in the spot where they have been since we moved here, three years ago.

The exact phrase in the notice we got was: "No container shall be stored in the front yard, side yard or on a street, unless the container is screened from view of the street." It is signed, "D.HOLM Code Enforcement Specialist." Because nobody wants to be called, "D.HOLM- Trash Can Photographer". Or "D.HOLM- Garbage Snitch N'Bitch."

The first offense is a warning. The second offense is $50. Repeated offenses? Up to $1500. Yikes.

We got our first Notice of Violation this week, along with (as far as I can tell) 99.9% of our neighbors, because they were all standing around and complaining after the mail came.

For your enjoyment, here is a photo of the enclosed photo of our unlawful garbage can placement:

Hard to see what the problem is? Let's go hi tech!

Ok. Granted, there are people who have Christmas decorations which are arguably more irritating to view than our garbage cans. But we complied, for the time being.

Look! You can see our fence! And our extremely ugly water and power meters!!!

In the meantime, we are trying to come up with a solution that thwarts the need to put the garbage cans in the backyard. So far, I have come up with this attractive option:

Who doesn't need a festive garbage can cozy? We could change them seasonally to share our holiday spirit with the whole neighborhood.

In other news, PG&E just gave us a credit on our bill. A $480 credit. Whoa.

While I am thrilled to not have to pay the people for the next few the heck did they make a mistake of this magnitude? Almost 500 bucks? The hell?!!

I sort of want to demand that they pay us back. IN cash. WITH interest. Which is what they would demand from us, if our bill was in arrears. There's also no explanation of how this happened, or any kind of apology. Just a credit on our bill.

Did they think that we wouldn't notice?

Anyway. Ho ho ho! I am off to SF again, but I leave at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow, and return at 8PM, so it's not much a a trip. I am so totally bringing my knitting. :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Stumped for a thoughful gift idea for "the man who has everything?"

Ok- THIS is hilarious.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Take that, jogging bitches!

I used to ride my bike while my dad ran in the evenings, when I was a kid. When we passed people, they'd acknowledge us- you'd always wave or say hi. That's still the case in a lot of places.

I have been running/walking alternately with the dogs in the mornings, at least 4 days a week. It's working out well for me and the dogs, so that's good.

Anyway. There are at least two men who run in the early mornings- they both always wave to me and say good morning.

The jogging bitches, however, are a different story.

First of all, they both wear matching jackets with the reflective stripe, and they both are talking effortlessly as they jog past me.

Secondly, they have never once acknowledged my prescence in any way.

The first time I saw them, I waved- and nothing. Did they not see me?

This is not likely. I have two panting 90 lb. dogs, and I am gasping for air, so I am not exactly inconspicuous. The second time I saw them, I said, "HI!"

Nothing. And I know they heard and saw me, because they stopped talking when they rounded the corner of the street I was on.

Ooooookay. Am I polluting their air with my fatness? Are they anti-dog? What the hell?

I don't know why this bothers me so much. but it does: I want to find out where they live and let my dogs defile their begonias.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

O Christmas Tree

Date night tonight was great. I skipped the gym, but I did manage to go out this morning and walk the dogs.

The Man and I hit CPK, and I ordered a salad with the dressing on the side like a sycophant good girl. I decided to do a small splurge and have a few bites of the dessert we ordered- apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup. What can I say- I am a sucker for caramel! Three bites later, The Man coaxed me into a fourth bite, and then I ceremoniously put down the spoon.

Then we headed to Target, and picked out our Christmas tree. It's a nice 7 foot Noble Fir, there is just enough room for our star to fit on top without touching the ceiling. I will post pics when we get all the lights and decorations on.

It took a lot of maneuvering to got the thing set up- we had to move a big table, and then a bunch of chairs and my spinning wheel and a cabinet sewing machine got to visit a few different rooms before we achieved a workable layout. But it's worth it- I do love the smell of a real tree!

I did go to the gym last night, which was surreal, because the place has been REMODELED completely since the last time I have been in there. Whoops. It's nice though, they have more machines, and I actually got to hop directly onto an elliptical without sticking my name on a list or anything. I had a great workout, although I noticed discrepancies between my Polar monitor and the figured produced by the machine. Hmmmmmm......

I also bit the bullet and took my measurements today. There's a wakeup call I really didn't want to answer. I suppose it could be worse- I could have kept ignoring the weight gain until I was back where I was in March! Ironically, the only thing that has actually gotten bigger than my initial measurements is my bustline- by an inch. Everything else is smaller or the same. I guess I should be thankful!

In other news, the Grinch seems to have paid my brother a visit. When my bro and his wife came home from work today, they realized that someone had stolen a bunch of their Christmas decorations. How awful is that? Gotta love Sacramento...although, I know this happens in Fresno too. There are some really messed-up people out there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Ran...(so far away)

The End.

No, seriously, I did.

Mostly because I could feel the jeans getting a mite snug. But also because I looked at my two mutts outside, and realized that they needed exercise as much as I do.

Plus, I was up at 6AM for no discernable reason, and it was either exercise, or clean the catbox. (Aha! I have found my source of negative motivation!)

So we went out into the freezing cold, and I ran, and walked, and ran, and walked...and also tested out my new Polar Heart Rate Monitor.

I was a little intimidated at first, but I can actually see how this would be a really great motivational tool. First of all, when you are a Big Girl, it's difficult to get a fair picture of calories burned. It was something I didn't even think about, until I realized how many more calories I burned when I used the elliptical machine than when I used the treadmill, or looked up the data on an aerobics class.

Then I finally had that epiphany- HELLO, the only thing that you actually plug your weight into is the elliptical machine. What are those other weight formulae based on? The assumption that since you are a woman, you weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 120-150 lbs. Which in my case, is laughable. If one of those women put 100 lbs in a back pack and set off up the hill in her Nikes, she might come close.

So I set up my Polar Monitor, and lo and behond! It states that my walk/run combo this morning burned almost 400 calories in a half hour, and also reminded me to bump my heart rate up into the ideal "target area". (Whatever the hell that is. I haven't dome it yet, because it requires some mad mathematical skillz which I totally do not have.)So it will, I am sure, warn me if my ventricles are going to explode, or something. It also stores your highest heart rate achieved, the median heart rate of your workout, calories burned, and exercise time.

I plugged it all into Fit Day, and set some new goals- my final goal is my birthday next year. It spat out my caloric limits and ideal weight loss per week, so it's totally do-able and healthy.

I have been slacking, and making excuses. A big one has been the pregancy thing. Ideally, if you want to get pregnant, you're supposed to take it easy on the exercise and not be dieting. Yes, that policy's been working great for me so far!

The other side of the double-edged sword is that it's supposed to be easier to get PG if you are at your ideal weight. So I have decided to play with the other side of the odds, and not make excuses anymore. If I get pregnant(by some miracle) my body won't be under a lot of stress; I prevented myself from lowering my allowable amount of calories. I want to be happy and have some wiggle room, since this is going to be...


Well, let's face it. It's the rest of my life, this ongoing battle with weight. I want to be healthy and active, to stay around for The Man, and to eventually be one of those moms out there on the playground, playing as hard as their kids do. And while I can exercise without dieting and lose pounds and inches, dieting without exercising does not have the same effect. Skinny is not the goal here- healthy is.

What kind of lunatic starts a diet two weeks before Christmas?!

I guess you're looking at her.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh HELL no.

I went to Walgreens with The Man the other night- he needed to pick up some decongestants, and I needed to pick up some shampoo.

It was around 7 PM, and I guess while I was looking at the shampoo, a stockboy was shoving large boxes of Christmas yard decor onto the top shelf in the next aisle.

The Man called me, and I went to the end of the aisle at the same point when I guess the stockboy shoved too hard, and 15 boxes of wrought iron holiday lawn art slammed down off the top shelves, exactly where I had been standing about a second before.

Dumbass. Then when I asked the stockboy "What happened?" he denied all knowledge of the incident.

Having narrowly escaped death-by-falling-wrought-iron-reindeer, I remembered that I needed ribbon to wrap my Christmas presents. The Man grudgingly followed me over to the aisle- there was a sweet little old lady (we're talking grey curly Grandma bob, wire rimmed glasses, the whole shebang) looking at gift wrap.

While I rummaged for some silver ribbon, The Man promptly found a gold mylar pre-made bow the size of a dinner plate. I deflected him when he acted like he was going to stick it to my head.

TM: "Didn't you have a dress with one of these on it in 1980?"

Me: "Dude. In 1980, I was FIVE."

The little old lady chimes in, "You'd better behave yourself there- she just might tie you up if you don't!"

Uhhhh....OK. Since I am holding about 300 yards of silver ribbon...and it IS a little old lady. So it's probably not a kinky reference, right? Right.

I give the Man the hairy eyeball. "Yeah. Behave yourself." I kind of shrug and laugh.

Little old lady: "If you're naughty, she might not just tie you up...she could handcuff you! And they don't always have those nice fleece liners!"

At this point, she winked lecherously. And that's when I grabbed The Man and the ribbon and we hightailed it out of there.

WTF is up with Walgreens, people? Is it Christmas that is making everyone crazy? The hell?

Monday, November 13, 2006

My week in video

I have decided that this is what it's like to be me right now.

The part where the hamster gets hurled out of the wheel and wanders around in a daze? That's my weekend.

The Man just came out of hibernation, and we had the following exchange:

Me: "Getting ready for work, sweetie?"

The Man: "Work?"

Me: "Um, how is that surprising? Yes, work."

The Man: (patiently) "This is my night off, hon. Remember?"

D'Oh! I am seriously losing it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Can I get a "do over?"

So this last week?

Thank heaven, the work week is over.

I mean, I am not expecting anything miraculous this weekend. The way this week has gone, as long as there is no plague of locusts, or rain of blood and frogs, it's all good.

I am going out on a limb saying that, because I am taking Greyhound to SF again this weekend, which may be considered another sign of the apocalypse.

I am usually incredibly responsible when it comes to work. However, being sick messed me up in more ways than I ever could have imagined. (Note to self: you are human. Suck it up, let someone else take care of it!) Besides the chills the other night, I had a temp over 102, which for good old sub-normal temp me, is more like 104. Evidently, it boiled my brain. I missed several appointments, and generally was in a fog for two days, during which I made at least 4 major work-related mistakes that I am still kicking myself over.

I am feeling better today, and I am hoping that I will be good to go for another week at work. I got the news today that I am basically booked through the end of the year, which is just insane. I am going to be training people to pick up some of the slack next week, because the demand is huge. It's thrilling for me, because I love this company, and I am doing my best to get them as many bookings as I can finagle.

It pleases me to no end, however, to find out that I have a waiting list. Teachers are calling in, requesting me to come to their classes again, and when they find out I am booked, are actually requesting to wait until I have an open day...even when they find out it will most likely be sometime in February. That is about as cool, and as flattering, as it gets. I am blown away.

It does make things harder on some level. I am thrilled that the kids like me, and incredibly happy in my job.

Here's the problem. I take questions at the beginning and end of my classes. Being kids, the first questions usually have nothing to do with why I am there, but I answer them anyway. Questions two and three are usually things like, "What's your favorite color?" and "What's your favorite animal?" Question number one: "Do you have a family? Do you have kids? Or just "How many kids do you have?"

When I say no kids, I have a big huge husband and a lot of pets, they get...well, indignant is the best word.

"But why not!!! Your kids would have so much fun!!! You could do science with them at home, and they would be so lucky!!!"

Ouch. Just....ouch. Luckily, I am out of the teary stage, because as it is, it damn near does me in. EVERY time.

Anyway. Today I managed the Big Three Questions from a class full of fourth graders and then another little boy raised his hand.

"When's the guy getting here? Isn't there a guy?"

I was puzzled for about a second, and then I pointed to my lab coat and said, "I'M the guy!!!" And I made a silly face at him.

The class all busted up laughing. The teacher explained that she had talked to a guy on the phone, which was why they had been expecting a male scientist- but wasn't it great that I was a woman? Because girls can grow up to be scientists too!

I guess the little girls felt empowered, which is great. They all swarmed my table after the presentation- asking where to get dry ice, and telling silly knock knock jokes. I hit them with the vintage interrupting cow joke and they went bananas. It was hilarious- they were all squealing and slapping their teensy knees, and then they followed me out into the parking lot, offering to carry stuff for me. The teacher from the class saw them and called after me, "I'm jealous! You already have groupies!!"

The good outweighs the bad- definitely. And I have to remember, my knock knock jokes from 1982 will always be a hit with the fourth graders of the world. I have found my audience! If I had my own kids, they'd eventually hit puberty and find my mere prescence to be totally humiliating.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thrills and chills

First of all, I just realized that this is my 200th post. Holy crap!

Second of all (reference the "chills" above) I am sick. With my usual creeping crud, on top of what is evidently the flu. I have a fever, with chills, and while I am not barfing yet...

"By the pricking of my thumbs
Something wicked this way comes."

I did go to work today, and I was just in a daze. It's been a hard week, I accidentally released some of the kids in my class yesterday 15 minutes early, and the pissed-off parents called my workplace. I evidently had mis-set my watch. So I explained, did the whole mea culpa thing, and hopefully now we've moved on. My usual tendancy is to beat myself up about it, but hey, it was an honest mistake, and nothing (thanks to Baby Jesus) bad happened to any of the kids I released.

Halloween was hilarious. The animatronic bat has been in use for three years, and now the neighborhood kids look forward to it. It amuses me that my home is known in the neighborhood lexicon as "the bat house!!!!"

I guess it's better than "That house with the unmowed lawn."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Spring forward, fall off.

Ok, I have no excuse. I don't even really have a specific reason for being so erratic about teh blog. I guess I just like to keep peeps on their toes!

Disjointed ramblings:

Top 5 places to hide Halloween candy from your husband-

1. Behind the trash bags

2. In the cabinet containing the cleaning products

3. Trunk of unwashed car

4. Laundry basket

5. Crisper drawer of fridge, beneath bags of pre-pack salad

All of these would totally work in my house- however, I opted for:

6. Behind boxes of diet soda on the lowest shelf of the pantry.

It seems to be working. I just wish someone would hide it from me- I have already fallen victim to the siren song of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Behold, a conversation chez moi:

The Man: You bought new yarn.

Me: Yes. Are you monitoring my stash?

The Man: Which one?

(This is the part where, if you are a knitter, your blood runs cold.)

Me: What do you mean, which one?

The Man: Well- there are the boxes of yarn in the spare room closet...and the yarn in the two big baskets in the entertainment center....and the yarn filling the entire cedar chest in the living room. Am I missing any?

Me: Uh....

The Man: Would you even tell me if I found it all?

Me: I plead the fifth.

Between stashing yarn, working my butt off, and prepping for my favorite holiday, I have been archiving our CD collection. More than 500 done so far, and I am not even halfway done. When the hell are we going to listen to it all?

In other news, I have been corresponding with my ex-boyfriend from college. The Man has no cause for worry, that train has sailed. Still, it's been interesting catching up on the last ten years, and I have even managed to keep myself from saying "I TOLD you she was a bitch!!!"on several different occasions. Let's just say that as girlfriends of my ex go, I was probably the sanest of the lot. Which is saying something.

So, I am trying to decide if I should dress up for the trick-or-treaters tomorrow night. The Man and I did go to a halloween party, and this year was much better than last year. The best part is that we went as Perseus and Medusa. Yes, pictures will be forthcoming.

I finally watched Red Eye on cable. Cillian Murphy never fails to give me the creeps. EUGH! I can't even look at him without skeeving. That being said, it was a decent thriller. But still! *skeeve*

Monday, October 23, 2006

What happened to my weekend?

Every two weeks, I go to San Francisco for acupuncture.

Yes, it has something to do with the whole baby issue. And evidently, it is the point that people who hardly know me are saying things like, "You're so much calmer!"

The people who DO know me well have hatched a conspiracy theory which involves my unknowingly having taken some kind of Chinese lithium. (For the record, that one was Secret Squirrel, who watches way too much CSI.) But The Man has noticed. My family have noticed. And while it's great that it's working, there's some part of me that is resentful. (Ack! Was I so horrible before?!!!!)

I know they won't answer this honestly, for fear that I will suffer a relapse and attack them with a Salad Shooter. But still...! I am fully awarethat some things which would have rendered me apoplectic with rage at one time now are just sort of irritating, but nothing to get worked up over. Recognizing this while it's happening is sort of surreal.

Anyway. My regimen involves the needles, and an everchanging formulation of Chinese herbs that has come to be known simply as "Ass Tea." (Rhymes with NASS-TY!) The nearest way I can describe the taste? Murky. If you need more detail? It's like top ramen flavor packets with the salt removed. Yep. Taste sensation! I usually throw in some Crystal Lite, which is probably not condoned by ancient Chinese medicine, but does manage to camouflage the ass to some degree.

So, San Francisco. Secret Squirrel tagged along, and we had many strange and hilarious conversations. One that came up was the sad, strange take of Lorena Bobbit. Yes, guys, women talk about this all the time...and we laugh.

Me: "Whatever happened to Lorena, anyway?"

SS: "Well, she went to jail. I mean, she chopped it off."

Me: "I never understood that. Wouldn't he be pretty wiggly? He must have woken up.
Did she use anaesthetic? A machete? How is that logistically possible?"

SS: "Um, I think he was pretty drunk, but he woke up in the middle of it."

Me: "Welll...ouch."

SS: "I was always surprised there were no copycat crimes afterwards."

Me: "Well...I think men were probably much more zealous in guarding the junk after that. They were pretty traumatized, as I recall. Didn't they find it and sew it back on, and then he did porn or something?"

SS: Welll- I mean, she chopped it off, then ran off and threw it in a field. THEN they sewed it back on."

Me: "Thanks for the timeline."

SS: "Well, it couldn't have been out there too long. He's lucky. I mean, it could have been eaten by wild dogs."

Me: A dingo ate my penis!!!!!!BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA......

Yeah, that's pretty much how the whole weekend went. We talked and laughed a lot, bought some yarn (aka crack) from Artfibers, met up with my sister for drinks, and ate some meals that were completely insane, but totally worth it.

On the way home, we hit the Bridge School Benefit, which was fantastic. It was worth it for the Foo Fighter's acoustic set alone.

Always Read The Label.

So, I went to SF this weekend (more on this tomorrow). First, I have something to get off my chest.

We went to Sephora. I spent way more than I intended to, which is what happens every time I go in there. Three bottles of nailpolish, Bare Escentuals foundation and concealer, a really cool eyeshadow palette- and then I remembered OH! yeah...I am out of eye/lip makeup remover. So I bought the store brand, which was a pretty good deal, I thought. I have had great experiences with the Sephora brand, and for eight bucks...well, how could I go wrong?

It wasn't until I got back to the hotel and tried out my new purchase that I realized I'd been had. At first I was thrilled, because it did indeed work like a charm on my waterproof eye makeup and all day lipstick. But...there was something really familiar about the smell and consistency, so I checked the label. One ingredient- petrolatum.

In case you don't know what petrolatum is?


I paid $8 for an OUNCE of Vaseline (but Vaseline made in France!) cleverly repackaged in a cute little tube. Considering that you can buy a 13 oz. tub of the stuff for $4.49 at CVS online...that's what? Like over 1000% markup? Great.

There are way too many dirty jokes possible here, so I am just going to let it go.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Project Runway

Well, crap.

I hate it when I'm right.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The biggest one-horse town in California.

So, I am in Fresno.

This post is going to be pretty vague, due to the non-disclosure agreement that I signed when I started my job.

I grew up here in Fresno. I know a lot of people because of that. Due to the nature of my job, the huge social circle of my parents, and my husband's ties to the military, I need to be careful when I run into people. Note to self- it's "Nice to SEE you", not "Nice to meet you!" Invariably, I screw that one up, mainly because my ability to match faces with names is god-awful.

Anyway. I was given a dossier on a little girl to tutor. It had an addendum that part of the reason that she was having problems in school was because of a family tragedy- her father had died violently a few months before and since she was shy anyway, they wanted someone with a "bubbly" personality.

I showed up on the front doorstep on Monday, and when her mother answered the door, she shrieked, "Jenna! I didn't know you were tutoring!"

They're friends of friends. People we knew by first names only, and so I had no idea that this was someone I had spent time with at birthday parties and barbecues.

I was literally gobsmacked. In the meantime, the friends who are the link between us, called, and gave me all the gory details.

Every time I look at this sweet little girl, who is just caught in the middle of all this crap- it just breaks my heart. And all I can do is correct her spelling and teach her how to multiply, and try not to get too involved.

Sorry. This has been bugging me since Monday.

Here we go...

Project Runway finale is tonight.

I am such a PR dork. I am beyond excited.

I really don't care what the outcome is, as long as Jeffrey doesn't win...although I have a sinking feeling that The Angry Little Peanut is going to take it. At this point, I love love love Laura's stuff, even though it's not exactly young or "boob-friendly". Michael's stuff looks like it came straight out of Captain Save-A-Ho's trophy collection. I have always liked Uli, and I actually think she's a contender for the win (Of course, I may be in denial- see above re: Jeffrey.)


Friday, October 13, 2006


Remember that kitten I was talking about?

This picture is of Lucky on her second day with us. She's staked out the bed as her own personal property, and she communicates in sweet little squeaks and trills, which I hope she never grows out of. And her favorite thing ever? Is playing fetch with the fun-fur mice I bought for her.

There were originally two mice. The first guy lost his felt tail and exploded early on, but this guy has been hanging in there. I decided that he probably needed to be retired. Before we went back to the pet store, I decided to see if I could possibly build a better mouse.

So I busted out the knitting needles, along with Stitch N' Bitch Nation and gave it a go. The pattern is called the CatWarming Set. I was about halfway through with my mouse before I realized there had to be a mistake in the pattern somewhere, but I didn't feel like looking it up. (And yes, today, I found the correction on the Stitch N' Bitch website. D'Oh!

Still, I think the little guy turned out really cute, if a bit skinnier than anticipated due to the error in the pattern. I added whiskers and stuff- i think next time, I will modify the pattern and knit him in the round, because I really freaking hate mattress stitch.

No matter what he looks like, Lucky has been carrying him around since last night, so I guess he is a hit!

In the meantime, Big Fatty (aka Tiramisu) has not been happy as part of a two-cat household. He's adjustting, but slowly. In the meantime, I tried to placate him with more knitting, this time, the felted Kitty Pi Bed from Wendy Knits.

Here it is, pre-felting:

"Dammit! She ruins EVERYTHING!!!"

"Well...maybe it will be OK."

Oh Hell no! My new bed, it has been DEFILED by her MERE PRESENCE!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Benny's from heaven.

I am a sucker for a good pun. The title of this post is also the title of a Rhumba Bums song- their re-working of "Pennies From Heaven".

The giggles are all in the intro, about how a soldier comes home after a three year tour of duty, and his wife has a three-month old baby. So he kinda does the math and says, OK, honey, where'd the kid come from? So after this long build-up, they start in with "Benny's...Benny's from heaven...!"

Maybe I am just a swing dork, but The Man and I thought it was hilarious. Even more hilarious because the lead chanteuse, Carmen, is probably about 7 months preggers.

So we had a great time, and even got some dancing in. Then we rushed to the car so The Man could get to work on time, and I managed to catch part one of the Project Runway finale. I can't even express what I think about it at this point- besides, these guys sum it up better than I ever could.

Today has been pretty darn good. Work is going great- I am teaching four classes a week, and have about 20 science workshops scheduled over the next two months. My employers are wonderful people, and I definitely feel appreciated, which is something I will never again take for granted. Most of the kids are great (as usual, there are one or two exceptions) and I am having a fantastic time. Who knew that enjoying your job was even a possibility?

Um. I am enjoying this so much, that I am thinking about heading back to school and getting my teaching credential. Maybe it's temporary insanity? Whatever happens, it will have to wait until The Man is out of college, sometime next year.

This is so bizarre- I feel so grown up!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Get Lucky.

So I was cruising around online Monday night, and I thought I would check in to see how some of my fave modern swing bands are doing.

Just for kicks, I took a gander at the Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums tour schedule. They usually play SF, but I have been there a lot recently, and The Man has expressed a desire to see them.

So imagine what a pleasant surprise it was when I saw the listing for 10/11/06- The Big Fresno Fair. I love love love their music, they are fantastic live, and they're actually playing Fresno. Who doesn't love a band who has a double-entendre-packed song about gravy?

Here they are on Amazon, if you're curious.

OK, the drawback is that *cough* it's THE BIG FRESNO FAIR. But for Steve Lucky et al, I will brave the wilds of the Thug Life crowd and all eight bajillion babymammas. Well, plus the big musical act is The Black Crowes, so I am guessing that might have some affect on the usual suspects in attendance. Hopefully, I can convince The Man to make an evening of it.

So- great music, a night out with the hubby, and maybe an old fashioned cinnamon roll.

And then tonight is the first part of the finale of Project Runway.

My cup runneth over!

I melted my Visa card.

So, we all know, I am a knitter, and a reader. And you put those together, and you get... an unhealthy obsession with knitting books.

I seem to have had some kind of blackout over the last couple of weeks. Combined with the credit card and (Damn you Amazon! Damn you!) ... well, let's just say it's not a pretty picture.

I somehow have 10 new knitting books. Count 'em, 10. On top of the 30 or so that I already have. This is not counting the knitting magazines, which I really don't want to talk about, aside from that old saw- "Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to recovery." Or something like that.

And did I mention, I also placed pre-orders on two more books that are coming out later this year?

Oh, and there's one more that should be showing up tomorrow:

Knitting needles. Yarn. Martini glass. Yea, is The Promised Land!
Yeah, if there's any combo that would make me click "Add To Cart" juuuuuust one more time, that's it up there.

I wonder if Blue Shield covers this.

Tag! You're it.

Yes, I have been pretending that I didn't have all these blogs for awhile. Then I logged in, and I realized...Blogger now has TAGS. Bless you, Blogger!

So- I am probably not going to be maintaining three blogs, just one. Good old TMWA will likely be the one to stay put. The knitting and weight loss stuff will just be posted here under different tags, and then we can all live together in peaceful harmony. Or something.

Anyway, to quote the fabulous Tim Gunn: "Carry on! Make it work!"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Le Freak, C'est Chic.

FREAK OUT. (Guys, you may want to avert your eyes.)

I went to the doctor today. For THAT check up. Since I haven't had THAT checkup since 2003 (whoops) I figured I better go in before my fallopian tubes fell off or something.

I really like my OB-GYN (which I suppose is a good thing, under the circumstances.) He's cool, and he's gotten used to my sense of humor, and he always remembers my last knitting project and asks how it turned out. And usually, I lie and tell him that I finished it, because my state of yarn-ho-ness is just out of control right now.

Anyway, a couple of enlightening tidbits for the ladies:

If you're in a monogamous relationship, you only need to come in for THAT checkup every two to three years. And here I was thinking I was being severely negligent! Evidently not. I love accidentally turning out to be responsible.

The best thing EVAR:

Okay, so it has always been my opinion that any individual who could come up with a non-humiliating scenario for the standard Pap test would be an overnight bazillionaire. I am informed that this is now on the horizon, and is already in practice in Denmark and some other countries.

Since cervical cancer is caused by PID, women can actually test at home for the virus. If it comes up positive, they'll come in to the doctor for a Pap test. If not, well, hallelujah! No stirrups for you, lucky ladies of Denmark!

Now for that "freak out" portion.

During the breast exam, my wonderful doc discovered some abnormal feeling scar tissue in one of the girls. He reassures me that he's not worried, and I shouldn't be either, but he wants to get it checked out just to be safe. So I go in for an ultrasound next week.

Yes, I am worried, but the odds are that it is nothing. I haven't told my parents yet, and I was debating about telling The Man, because I knew what the reaction would be. (I did tell him though, and for the record, I was right.) Anyway, I go in next Thursday.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Why do I think this is so funny?

Sunday, September 03, 2006


My "h" key is here. Wooooohoooooooo!


Ok, I'll stop.

The weekend was great- I did a ton of knitting, and am in the process of planning the meals for the week. In the meantime, I am considering using up the ton and a half of frozen fruit that seems to have mysteriously accumulated in my freezer. I am loving the sorbet recipe that I found on Recipezaar. I actually use this site to find new recipes and to make shopping lists and do menu planning- it's seriously the bomb.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ain't that a kick in the head

No, it just feels like it. Hello migraine!

The replacement keyboard should be here by next week. In the meantime, I still wince every time I have to hit the "h" key.

I am just feeling kind of blah. I just asked The Man what I should write about, and he said, "The keyboard?" Uh, been there done that.

OK, I am just going to write this off as a boring day.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I lurves me some Project Runway.

Yes, I admit it. I am so very addicted. I want Uli and Michael to be in the top 3 Laura and Kayne can fight it out for the remaining spot- Project Catfight! RRrrrrowr!

Every Wednesday night, there I am- I head over to Secret Squirrel's place, and we watch it together and snark the whole damn time. It's wonderful. And sad at the same time, since in order to get the Bravo network, The Man had to bump up our cable package. Yes that's right. I can live without HBO, but not without Bravo.

Anyway- If you are a PR fan, and haven't checked out Project Rungay yet, you are seriously missing out. Seriously. These guys are friggin' hilarious.

Is it wrong that I am already completely excited about tonight's new PR episode? I totally need to get a life.


My H key is broken.

That's my pathetic excuse for not blogging. It is actually still broken, although a replacement is on the way.

In the meantime, I have been:

Trying to get ready for my baby brother's upcoming wedding
Adopting random kittens (true- pics are forthcoming)
Implementing "date night" with The Man

and doing a whole bunch of other things that I am too out-of-it to remember right now.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Reports of my death....

Have been greatly exaggerated.

Please stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


It's been forever.

Mostly because overnight, my job went from part-time to full-time, and partly because there's been some major and minor household upheavals recently.

The Man got read the riot act regarding playing World of Warcraft. He has agreed to only play on Saturdays now, and I feel that this is fair, although the caveat is that if he plays it on a day that is NOT Saturday and I catch him, he has to kiss it goodbye.

In other news, The Man started up his truck about a week ago, and it made a funny noise, so he pulled back into his parking spot and opened the hood and saw....fur.

Evidently two black kittens had crawled up into the fan shroud of his engine compartment, and when he turned the car on....

They actually turned out to be very lucky. One of them had a broken foreleg, and the other was completely unharmed. The one with the broken leg ended up being accepted by a vet who specializes in this kind of stuff (she's getting a bolt in her leg) and the other one...

Well, we now have two cats. Lady Luck is about 8 weeks old, and has already had her first shots, a deworming pill, and a flea bath, none of which she appreciated much. She's black with big eyes that are turning gold, and a really long body and tail- the vet says she's going to be a big cat. She's totally cheeky and intrepid, has zero regard for the well-being of our furniture and is a little TOO fascinated with the parrot, so she's got to be supervised at all times until her hot pink Soft Paws arrive. (They match her hot pink collar.)

Our big boy cat was initially terrified of her, but has now figured out since he weighs at least 18 lbs. more than she does, he probably doesn't have a lot to worry about. They are definitely not best friends, but they are fascinated by one another.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Freaky Beeyotches

OK- I hate to do this, because guys- sometimes there are genuine ladies in distress. But a few distinctly shady things have been happening lately, and I do know a lot of nice guys who could fall prey to this kind of garbage.

My dad was raised by a single mom- it's his policy to help out when he sees a woman in any kind of automotive distress. On his way to my house last week, he spots a woman with her emergency flashers on, side of the road, standing next to her (really pricey) white SUV.

She tells dad that the car just died, and that "the last time this happened, the guy who helped me said the car just needed more gas."

Dad asked her if it was out of gas, and she said no, but it worked last time. She started pressuring him to give her a life to the gas station. He then started to realize that there was something weird about this situation. He said "That doesn't make any sense...." and she got all belligerent, which made him even more convinced that there was something wrong with the situation.

Then he tried the car, it started right up. The lady gets even more insistant that she needs to add more gas, it worked last time, and she wants him to give her a ride to the station in his car. He realizes that once this woman gets in his car, she could say all kinds of things about him, and/or be impossible to get rid of. He refuses.

Then she says she has no cash on her, and will he please give her some $ for gas? And Dad knows he's been conned, but he figures it's worth the $5 to get rid of her. As soon as he coughs up the dough, she ROARS off in her supposedly defective SUV.

Then a week or so ago, I went out to the Dirty Olive with two guy friends, and a woman approached us. I had noticed her talking to different guys throughout the evening. My two guy friends were drinking martinis, and I was having a Diet Coke.

She was cute in a girl-next-door kinda way, and she explained that she was with a service to keep people from driving drunk. She made eye contact with my two male friends, and didn't even acknowledge me (even though I was sitting in the middle, and even when I said, "Uh, I'm the designated driver!") and handed them both her card.

The card said smething like "Mother Mary's Driving Service- we drive you home, in your own car!"

The most ironic thing? She was totally off track with both of my guy friends, who just happen to be gay.

We all discussed it, and the whole situation just seemed fishy. All I could think from her behavior was that she was a hooker on the side, or that even if she was supposedly legit, once someone is in your car and has the keys, they know the location of your house, and that you're wasted....and that presumably, someone is followng the driver back to your house...

That just seems like a stupid situation to get yourselves into in this day and age, gentlemen. Just call an old fashioned taxicab and save yourself the potential psychotic episodes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Worst. Date. EVER. (Part 2)

So of course, the guy calls me. The phone starts ringing off the hook as soon as I walk in the door at 2AM.

"When can I see you?"

Luckily, at this point I am slightly more sober, and have explained the dilemma to my buddy while she drove us home. I defnitely want to avoid the gratuitous "she dumped me, so now I'm gonna ruin her life" scenarios. We decided that proceed with caution was the right approach.

We set a date for lunch on Friday. He has a short day at work, and I have no afternoon classes that day. (Plus, I had a standing occasion at Sudwerk, the Friday hang-out for most of my friends, and a built-in excuse to keep the lunch from turning into dinner if things went south.)

"I always wanted to see you again," said Needy Guy. "I figured that if you saw how much I had'd like the new me better than the guy I used to me."


I tried to disabuse him of this notion, but of course I felt guilty, because the looks had definitely gotten his foot back in the door.

"I always was attracted to you before!" I protested. Hey, it was the truth. It wasn't his looks I had a problem with, it was the whining and manipulation. Oh well.

Friday came quicker than I thought it would. Mainly because by that time, I realized that this was the same guy, and I was making a huge mistake twice, and actually being really cavalier about his feelings.

I drive up to Sweet Tomatoes, and he is waiting in the parking lot. His once-crisp white shirt is soaked with sweat.

The story I get is that his "vintage" Porche was towed, and he needs to go to the DMV to "straighten things out, and will I take him?"

He's been at Sweet Tomatoes most of the afternoon waiting for me to get there.

Faintly, the strains of Psycho start to swell in my brain, but hey, he's stranded. I take him to the DMV, and even wait in line with him (and no, I didn't get lunch.) We take care of the situation, and I start trying to get away. "Ok well, I have a thing that starts at 4:30."

"Well, at least let me buy you gas."

Hell, I'm a starving college student. Twist my arm.

So we end up inside an Arco, and he gets a bottled water, and I get a cherry slurpee (it was the first thing I saw) and he starts lecturing me about how unhealthy all that sugar and red dye are for you. At the counter, I see these HUGE cookies. They're literally the size of Frisbees, and so to distract him I say something along the lines of, "Hey- check out the frisbee cookies!"

"I'll buy you one!"

"No thanks, I don't really want one, I was just commenting that they're kinda big."

"I'll totally get you one, it's OK."

"Seriously- I don't want one. Don't buy it, I won't eat it."

He buys the goddamn cookie anyway, then hops into my car and hands it to me like it's a medal.

So, I am irritated.....rEALLY pissed, actually, as I am starving and have been trapped in a DMV for several hours with this guy who I am totally incompatible with. There is no way I am eating the cookie. At this point, I just want to make it out alive. I chuck the cookie into the back seat without thanking him and start off down the street.

"I'll take you home...where do you live?"

While I am driving, he is trying to grasp my non-driving hand- the hand holding the ICEE. I use it as an excuse. "Sorry- I need to hold onto my drink!"

So he takes my drink away, puts it between his legs like they are a drink holder, and starts petting my hand and nibbling on my fingers while I am desperately trying to steer with my free hand and to extract coherent directions from him to drive him home.

"Uh...turn here?!" I asked, frantically weaving through traffic.

That's when he turned my hand palm up and BIT me really hard.

I screamed "OW!!!SHIT!!!" and slammed on the brakes, and red slush exploded out of my slurpee cup and went ALL over him. Jeans, white shirt his hair, and all over the passenger side window.

If you ever need to distract a man, pouring a 40 ounce cup of ice into his lap is definitely an option. "My new JEANS, goddamn it!" he snarled, trying to soak the red stuff of with inadequate napkins, while I tried desperately not to laugh.

We finally got to his house, and apparrently, hope does spring eternal- he had the gall to ask me if I wanted to come in and "help him out of his wet things." It took about 10 minutes of abject lying to get him out of my car.

Back at Sudwerk, all my favorite drunks really did enjoy that cookie.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Worst. Date. EVER. (Part 1)

So, I felt the need to share this with you people.

Once upon a time, I met a guy in a dance club. He was on the er- husky? side, with nice floppy brown hair and gorgeous green eyes, and bonus- guy was TALL. (Yes, I like 'em tall- sue me.)He was also smart, had a great job, and was juuust dorky enough for my taste. Hey, it's a fine line.

We went out for a few months. Which is where I get to the big BUT in this scenario:

Guy was considerably older than I was, and man, was he insecure...and needy. NEED-y like no other. He also tended towards soppiness in the romantic department, which is just not how I roll. There were a few light episodes that tipped me off that this was probably not going to work out ("Were you looking at HIM?!")but nothing to clue me in to the weirdness that eventually made me stop seeing him.

We had gone shopping- it was raining pretty hard, and he's been pretty annoying all day. ("Were you looking at HIM?!") We both sloshed through the parking lot, and when he went to open the passenger door of his car to let me in, he made the mistake of saying, "I'm not letting you in until you give me a kiss."

Evidently, this was the wrong thing to say to the 19-year-old, already annoyed, soaking wet ME in the rain. I refused. I was nice about it at first, and then when it became clear that I wasn't going to give in, even when he schmooped and made puppy dog eyes, he threw a huge tantrum. With the full-on foot stomping.

So. He finally gave up and we drove in stony silence. He dropped me off at my apartment, and I called before he'd be able to get home to dump him via answering machine. And asked my roommates to please tell him that I wasn't home. (Which they were happy to do- he guy called incessantly, saying things like "I just want to BE THERE for her!!!")

Yeah, I know. I'm going to hell.

A year later, I took a friend from out of town to the SAME club, and this guy starts flirting with me. He seems familiar somehow...but he's gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Wait a second...

Yes, it's the same guy, who evidently had developed a workout regimen, figured out how to use styling products, and was wearing some much cooler clothing than before.

He asked me out. Because I was dazzled by his gorgeousness, because every other girl in the club was acting desperate for the guy's attention, and also, because I am STUPID stupid STUPID (and I might have been showing off from my friend from out-of-town), I told him to "Call me sometime".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why I don't usually drink wine.

I went to a wine tasting, which was hosted by the military-type people that my hubby works with. Since I am not a wine drinker, more of a martini-type gal, I was a little hesitant, but was reassured that this was supposed to be "wine tasting for the ignorant." OKay.

We brought an Italian wine, Prosecco (I think) which is one of the few wines I enjoy drinking. Other selections ranged from a really nice bottle of Merlot to "wine from the dollar store". And no, I don't remember what it was called, and I didn't frink any, but was informed that it was actually not bad.

At some point (after a few glasses) I heard the opening strains of "Toxic" playing on the stereo, and had a slight panic attack.

Me: Ack! Britney Spears? Britney SPEARS??!!

Military Guy: What's wrong with Britney?

Me: *wheezing* Britney Spears should not be playing at a wine tasting.

The Man: Come on Jenna! Get up and dance!

Me: Ok. Quick! Someone bring me a boa constrictor! And the gold chain mail loincloth!

After a few more glasses...we start discussing the movie Sideways.

Me: What's up wih the revolting male nudity?

Mildly Stunned military guys: Huh?!!!

Me: You assholes get gratuitous boobs everywhere. We get that trucker guy in Sideways, and Harvey FREAKING Keitel.

Military guys: *silence*

Me: Hey, I am not saying that I want to see penises everywhere, but just maybe one or two, attached to more attractive people. In the interest of fairness.

Military guys: *looking pointedly at my husband*

Me: Sorry, I seem to have the wrong audience.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Who knew there's a "phallic tombstones" group on flickr?

Here's proof:


Yeah I know- I disappeared.

Not much has happened. At least, not car-wise. This entire experience has been so incredibly...infuriating.

It's been two weeks, and I still have the rental.

The insurance adjuster made an appointment to meet with us "between 8 and 3 PM." I let him know that both my husband and I left for work around three.

I got the call at 2:58 PM. "I'm on my way! What are the cross streets?"

I politely re-explained the situation. He said he'd be there the next day by 10 AM.

He made it around noon, after I had (in my optimistic idiocy) rushed through the gym so I could get back to the house by 8 AM. He was at least a nice guy, which was a little irritating, because my first instinct was to kill him.

While he was there, the guy who lives two houses down pulls up. "Hey is there something wrong with your car?"

We explain the situation, and then he says:

"Oh! Well, if it was two nights ago, I saw the guys who did it."

He proceeds to natter on about how he saw three guys under the hood of my car with a flashlight "around midnight." And that he "thought it was odd, but maybe your husband was working on the car?" He paused and added, "I thought it was weird, because your husband's truck wasn't there, but..." He shrugged.

You know, if it was possible to kill a man with laser beams shooting out of your eyes? I could say that I killed the KING of the Morons. Thanks neighbor! Not to mention, if the timeline he gave was correct- those guys were watching the house. The Man gets home at 12:15. So I was alone in the house, and they knew it. Great.

A few days later, my car still hadn't been towed for repairs. We called the insurance co., and found out that they'd evidently lost my paperwork. OK, guys. At least the tow truck showed within an hour.

So now, the repair guys have been calling. The thieves didn't just take the throttle body, they took a bunch of wiring and sensors as well, and so once the garage got the main part and replaced the hood, they realized that the wiring harness had to be replaced, and then realized that the cables having to do with my accelerator were damaged.

Theoretically, I am getting my car back tomorrow. What a nightmare!

Part of me feels ridiculous for complaining about this. Yeah, it's a $500 deductible, and we sure didn't need it right now. On the brighter side, if we didn't have vandalism coverage, we'd be completely in over our heads- the repairs and the two-week rental were at least four times that amount, so it's just good that we have the werewithal to take care of it.

But still. As someone who has had her car broken into more times than I can count, I desperately believe that there's a special place in hell for people who steal.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Making The Grade

I got to my tutoring appointment last night, and there was a beautifully wrapped candle waiting there for me.

One of the young women I was tutoring had three LOW F's when we started our sessions three weeks ago. A lot of it was from homework that was indifferently completed or not turned in- she has some learning and developmental disabilities. So we've been focusing on doing makeup work, and reinforcing some study concepts and adding some new ones.

Now she has two high D's, and a C minus- and her other grades, while they were passing before, have also gone up.

Her mom was thrilled. SHE was thrilled. She will be able to go on to high school and not be held back to repeat 8th grade, which was what they thought was going to happen.

I am just...overwhelmed. But in a good way.

There was a horrible moment when they showed me the change in her grades, when I thought I was going to cry. This kid has so much going against her. She always tried SO hard and felt like she was getting nowhere. And I have somehow managed to make a difference with that.

It's been a long frustrating journey for me, and then suddenly, totally by accdent-I am somehow doing what I was meant to do. I have found that nameless "thing" that I was looking for. I feel fulfilled and lucky and energized and over-the-moon.

In the meantime, I am waiting for the insurance appraiser to come out and look at my car, o determine the extent of the damage. Both the guy on the phone from the ins. co. AND the cop who came out and dusted for prints said the same thing- that the situation was just bizzare. Leave it to me to get the bizarre car crime.

In the meantime, I do have a rental:

Yep. It's the 4 door version of the one in the picture. It's white. It is so NOT ME. Although I do appreciate that it gets much better gas mileage then the 'vertible. But still- meh.

All this gorgeous top-down weather- FINALLY!!! And the 'vertible is out of commission. I feel a sense of lame cosmic injustice coming on.

Friday, April 28, 2006

PISSED (In both senses of the word)

Hi! Yeah, it's been awhile. My life has been pretty uneventful. Until today.

I hopped out into the driveway to head over to my weekly work meeting. Threw my purse onto the passenger seat, thrust the key into the ignition, and turned.

This is when the car revved like the pedal was going THROUGH the floor and possibly also through the driveway. It wasn't in gear, nor was my foot even on the pedal. It was like my mild mannered little 'vertible has morphed suddenly into Christine.

I did what any sensible woman would do. I screamed, flapped my hands at warp speed for about a second, and then turned the car off. There also may have been some hyperventilating in there somewhere.

I cautiously looked down at my floorboards, to see if the pedals were stuck down or something. Then I tried turning the key again. The same thing happened. Oh, and The Man came barrelling out of the house to demand WHAT the HELL WAS I DOING?

Me: "I turned my car on."

Him: "AND?!!"

Me: "Uh, that's about it."

Him: "Ok, let me try it."

Do I need to say that the same thing happened?

We turned off the car and popped the hood. There was a lot of "Holy SH*T" and "What the HELL!!!"

Suffice it to say that someone? Somewhere? Needed parts for their 1999 Chrysler Sebring and decided to go shopping beneath the hood of my car.

The bastards took what we THINK was the throttle body, and (to add insult to injury?) left behind the bolts that kept it in place. They also disconnected a whole bunch of things and cut some wires. Oh, and they damaged my hood. Yes, insurance covers the repairs and a rental car- but we have a $500 deductible, which we really didn't need to deal with this month.

I am going out for drinks tonight, and since I am definitely not the designated driver, I plan to take full advantage of the situation. A few drinks will definitely not be amiss.

So, yeah. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Out of the ordinary

I saw some really amazing stuff today.

One instance was at the gym. I have been slacking lately, and making excuses not to go, and generally feeling sorry for myself. So I went.

While I was on the elliptical, I saw a woman coming towards me from the locker room. She had beautiful, smartly-styled silver hair, and was wearing a vivid pink outfit and a gorgeous, brightly lipsticked smile. I grined back at her, and then I realized one more detail- she was in a wheelchair.

It sort of stunned me- and then I realized that of course, she could be doing physical therapy in the pool. And then I thought about all the dumb excuses I make to keep from getting my exercise in, and I felt both inspired, and like a total ass. But mostly inspired.

Then driving home, I saw this tree in my neighbor's yard swaying oddly. As I drove closer, hundreds of tiny birds burst out of it like fireworks. There must have been at keast 500 birds in that tree, and all in constant motion. As I watched, they kept taking to the air, and then landing back in the tree or hovering around the branches. It looked more like a swarm of insects than a floxk of birds- I have never seen anything like it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Et tu, Blogger?

I am over the hair thing. Finally.

Possibly because the new job has begun, and I am loving it. LOVING it. I am hoping it continues in some form or another during the summer. It's so rewarding, working with these kids. And ironically? My weak points don't seem to be where the problems are. Math? No big whoop for these kids.

The areas where the problems lie? English. Spelling. Science. Which are all fairly strong points for me. So I am basically having a blast.

In other news? I decided to reward myself for generally being fabulous. I have been slowly eradicating my old wardrobe mishaps and so:

Duh. I bought shoes. Fabulous springtime shoes. Hopefully by the time I actually wear them out of the house, I will have bothered to shave and use moisturizer, and I will be much less...well, "pasty" seems like a good word here.

These are totally going with the white prairie skirt and the orange beaded tank. And the jean jacket. And some turquoise jewelry. And a tan....yes, definitely a tan...which means they might get shelved 'til summer.

OK, can't you just see these with a cute little white or black dress? And a cardigan? Well, I can.

These were 5 bucks. No, totally not kidding. And as we all know, red + sparklies + high heels = MINE, all MINE! Muuuahahahahaaaa!


Other signs that spring has sprung?

That Dove I mentioned?

She comes back every year. I did try to get a better picture, but it frightened her when I got too close. So before she got back, I took this:

Yes. I am a dove stalker.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

For the record...

The buzz from the new job has worn off. But I am EVEN MORE pissed about my hair. It's shorter than I previously thought- it used to be down to my waist when straight, and now it juust dusts the bottom of the bra strap. What is that? At least six inches. SIX INCHES.

The dastardly thing? I let him style my hair in a curly way, and I know he talked me into it because he KNEW I would be pissed, and he didn't want me to realize how short it was until I got home.


Friday, April 07, 2006

It could go either way...

Good day: I asked an innocent question at work, and ended up with a whole new job! I am going to be tutoring kids- and it's all according to my schedule so I will now have two jobs. Aww yeah. I should be making at least half of what I made at my previous job, but will be working way less than half as many hours. Take that, Company Which Shall Not Be Named!!!

Bad day: My haircut? It's about how I wanted it, except about four inches shorter than I wanted it to be. Which uh, YEAH, pisses me off. It took me a long time to grow that hair, dammit! I mean, it's still cute. And it will grow back. But I'm pissy about it.

Good day: There is an adorable (but kind of stupid) dove who has built a nest on top of our entryway supports. She has two eggs in progress (I took pictures, which I will post as soon as my camera battery recovers). My lavendar from last year is blooming, and so are the azaleas in our front yard. Spring has sprung!

Bad day: I made it to the gym, but my iPod took a huge dump 20 minutes into my workout, even though it previously showed the battery power at 75%. I ended up cutting my workout a few minutes short, because the music that the gym pipes in makes me insane. I tried it again when I got home, in the driveway, and it was fine. This is the THIRD TIME this has happened. What the hell?!

Good day: The weather was gorgeous- no rain!!!, and I drove the 'vertible with the top down. And I looked HAWT, having actually applied makeup, and was wearing jewelry and a long flowy skirt.

So, I will have to declare this a good day by a 3/2 margin.

Use it or lose it

I know, I have been snoozing on the blog.

Between recovering from my random sickness and the trip to SF last weekend, I have just sort of been chillin'. Even work has been slow- thank God for spring break!

Let's see- I got new glasses, and I hate them. I don't know what I was thinking, they make me look like I am looking out through two giant fishbowls- my prescription is so bad on one side, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. There is NO WAY that they are venturing out in public as-is. I think I am going to pop out the prescription lenses and just use them as sunglasses.

I've been doing a lot of reading and movie watching- I actually managed to hang out with Mr. Phancy last night, for the first time this year. We went to see The Jerk at Flashback Flicks, and then headed over to Starbucks and ended up getting kicked out when they closed. So we stood around in the parking lot like teenagers, albeit, teenagers who were freezing their asses off, until I realized that it was almost 11:30. I didn't have my cell phone, and I hadn't called The Man to let him know what was up.

So I headed home, cursing. Because The Man is a little hesitant about me hanging out with my male friends. His test of the situation seems to be asking, "Well, can I go?" As long as I say, "Sure!" he's OK with it. I guess it makes sense.

So I made it home, and he was playing World of Warcraft and had hardly even noticed that I was gone. Why was I even worried? I guess that stupid game is good for something, anyway.

I get my hair cut today! Just a trim, and some cleanup on the layers. I am so excited!

Although now, when I call the guy who does my hair, I have to introduce myself as Jenna from the Science Program, because otherwise he'll pretend to not know which Jenna it is.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Personal Stylist is on Vacation

The kids in my classes are hilarious. Particularly my Wednesday class.

Cute Little Blonde Girl: Teacher, why are you wearing your glasses today?

Me: Well, I didn't feel like wearing my contacts!

CLBG: Why not? (To her credit, she doesn't just come out and say, "YOU LOOK BETTER WITH CONTACTS, STUPIDHEAD!!! But you can totally tell she's thinking it.)

Me: Well, sweetie, I have a little bit of a cold, so my glasses are more comfortable.

LG: Oh.

Little Boy: Hey, who does your hair?


I wondered who was putting him up to this, because my hair today looked not unlike Medeusa's.) Luckily, realization dawned when I noticed a striking family resemblance.

Me: Uh- You're not RON's kid, by any chance, are you?

(For those of you who don't know, Ron is the guy who cuts my hair.)

Ron's kid: Yes!!!

I grin, and tell him to tell his dad that I said Hi.

Fresno is a scary, small world, people.

Random Cupcake Driveby

So evidently, cupcakes are in style again. Who knew?

Not me, certainly. I had to go read up about it through SaraDru's blog.

Anyway, I left her a cupcake-related comment, and then I got to thinking- it's definitely worth a blog post. And obviously if I am feeling well enough to ramble about cupcakes, I am feeling a hell of a lot better. Hooray for antibiotics!

My mom is a kindergarten teacher. A lot of the creativity and quirkier bits of my personality come directly from her. Yes, I am getting to the part about the cupcakes.

So. My fifth birthday, waaay back in 1980. Mom enters my kindergarten class, bearing a huge tray of birthday cupcakes for my class to enjoy. She'd stayed up all night, creating and frosting them, and the whole class was already all keyed up, because they knew from experience that Jenna's Mom Makes the Coolest Snacks EVER!

My birthday is in November. So mom made (drumroll, please......) "Indian" cupcakes!
Or, as we've said since the nineties, "Native American" cupcakes.

By the way, if you google "Native American cupcake" you'll find a whole lot of slutty MySpace profiles, but no actual pictures of baked goods.

I'll try to describe the cupcakes for you. They had caramel icing, a red licorice smile, a head band made out of colored M&Ms, black gel-icing hair, and the crowning touch- multi-colored lollipops with fringed cellophane sticking up like a feather in each and every one. The kids in my class were overjoyed, and promptly gorged themselves into little individual sugar comas.

It must have taken my mom FOREVER to make those things. And now, I have to laugh because obviously, "Indian" cupcakes are no longer a kindergarten staple, because they're not exactly considered politically correct.

Anyway- fast-forward to my senior year of high school. Sober Grad. This guy who I had secretly had a crush on (probably since kindergarten) approached me.

"I can't believe we're graduating!" I said.

"I know!" he said. "It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were in kindergarten."

He paused, and then added, "You know, your mom always made the BEST cupcakes."

Monday, March 27, 2006


I'm sick today, and not feeling particularly creative- so I will post the first project that I have been working on. Yes, it's another list, or at least part of one. The beginning of one of those goals/dreams/projects/aspirations lists.

1. Write a novel.
2. Take an Armenian language class.
3. Travel in Europe. Went to Paris fror 10 days in Dec. '05- Had a blast!
4. Lose 49 lbs. (By 9/30/06!)
5. Find a job that I love. I love my current job!
6. Convert all my CD’s to MP3.
7. Digitize and store all photographs
8. Contact wedding photog re: negatives (I lost ‘em in our move!)
9. Call that doctor about that thing. Called 3/27/06- appointment is at the end of April.
10. Transfer all the crap from my old desktop to my new laptop.
11. Turn the old desktop into an Mp3 jukebox.
12. Become a mother.
13. Find a therapist that I like.
14. Finish the front courtyard.
15. Pave the dog yard.
16. Re-landscape the backyard.
17. Get TiVo.
18. Frame all those posters and artwork.
19. Knit the Christmas Tree Skirt of my Dreams (Duh, by Christmas ’06!)
20. Take a Swing Dance class with The Man.
21. Lose 74 lbs. (By 6/01/07!)
22. Finish making those curtains I keep talking about.
23. Plant an iris garden.
24. Own a convertible. Violet arrived in 2003.
25. Get the car detailed.
26. Hell, get the car an oil change (it’s long overdue!)
27. Build a fully stocked bar. Accomplished Jan '05- And still stocked! I guess we need to drink faster.
28. Remodel the kitchen.
29. Brush up on the ‘ol French.
30. Donate clothes to DAV. They came out in Feb. '06 to pick up a huge load, and I have another one waiting.
31. Use and maintain my daily planner.
32. Throw at least one kick-ass party a year.
33. Take yoga classes. I am so glad I finally did this!
34. Organize and catalogue DVD’s Now I just need to keep it updated...
35. A room of one’s own…
36. Own a 50’s era automobile Clarisse, our '59 Dodge Coronet, arrived in 2005

Friday, March 24, 2006


Yeah. I went to the weekly meeting today, and when I mentioned in passing that the Tuesday class that I had taken over was a little crazy, I got this:

"Oh yeah- we know all about them! They're a really rowdy bunch."

To which I smiled and forcibly prevented myself from yelling,

"Well, I sure as hell appreciate that you didn't bother to warn me about it in advance!"

They went on to say that since we'd had some problems with the instructor arriving on time (as it turns out, his car evidently broke down, although I am still wondering about the "mental institution" hypothesis), they didn't want to have to alert the parents about the fact that a large percentage of their children are actual demon spawn who need to be rounded up and tagged.

So I just smiled and said, "Well, I figured- I was in there for five minutes before some kid punched both of his friends in the nuts."

There is just something about seeing the incredulous look on my (male) boss's face when I say random things- it seriously cracks me up.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Today's the greatest....

I mean it. It was a fantabulous day today.

Nothing major happened, it was just one of those good, solid days where pretty much everything went smoothly and I just felt content with everything. I taught my fave class, and the rocket launch went really well- mainly beause I was prepared for the mad dash that the kids would want to do, and threatened them with death and dismemberment beforehand if they didn't stay put.

I made it to the gym. I did the grocery shopping. I am losing weight, so I feel good about that. I gave up on Atkins and fell back to my old standby- counting calories and exercising. Lo and behold- it still WORKS.

The weather was beautiful today, so I got some top-down time in the 'vertible. And this evening, I got to have a treat- madeleines with my hot tea. Then I took a nice hot shower, washed and dried my hair, and spent the rest of the night just relaxing and making plans for tomrrow.

I'm so happy- its ridiculous. The usual stuff that I worry about? Doesn't seem to be intruding on my thoughts at the moment. All is right with the world.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Or Not.

No Disneyland. I do get a day off tomorrow, however, so I am happy about that.

Launched a rocket for the kids during class today. I am going to have to figure out a way to keep the next bunch from GOING INSANE the way this bunch did. The launch itself went off without a hitch, but I had a lot of help from one of my fellow teachers, ho had done it before. This is the unit I was dreading the most. Right behind the unit that uses dry ice.

I couldn't launch the rocket in class yesterday- it was raining. So today was my first shot at it. The Man is very excited, because I asked him to help me put rockets together tonight.

I am EXHAUSTED. Twenty-five first graders (the ones with the nut puncher). A lot of the mothers hang around too, and I suspect it's because this is well known to be a problem class.

It's the sweet ones who make it worth it, however. One boy and one girl helped me clean up after class today, and I have to say, they were both a joy. It's too bad that kids like this get overshadowed by the behaviorally-challenged ones.

Plus, when I mentioned that their teacher seemed nice, one of them uttered this gem:

"You only say that 'cause YOU haven't been in her class all year!"

To be fair, I explained that nobody likes to yell, but sometimes, you have to get the attention of the noisy kids who aren't paying attention so that the ones who ARE paying attention can learn.

I try to pick those quiet kids to do demos and stuff. I seem to recall being a quiet kid in school, and I rarely or never got picked, mainly because my tiny voice (at that point) was nearly inaudible. True, some of them raise their hand, and then when I pick them, they freeze. But I think it's worth it, just for them to feel included.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Holding Pattern

I may or may not be going to Disneyland tomorrow.

I am betting on the not. It depends on how the Squirrel's morning goes.

So....should I hedge my bets and do laundry NOW?

Either way, I am going to need some clean jeans at some point.


Slime! Everywhere!

That's what I did with my weekend boys and girls.

I made slime. I ended up staying until we ran out of the little cups to put it into- so by my calculations, about 500 happy litle kids got to go home and make a huge mess.

They were so much fun- although the amount of crouching I did, to measure ingredients and get on kiddie eye level? Who KNEW that making slime was such a workout?! I could barely move on Sunday morning!

I looked up twice- both times with cameras (one news, one Bee) in my face. I don't know if I was pictured, as I don't watch the news or read the paper, and that's probably just as well. Since, as we all know, I hate being captured on film.

OH. And my mom called, all excited, to let me know that my high school (of around 14 years ago) was playing basketball in some huge game. Considering that I have no interest in televised sports and uh, no love lost for my old high school, and HATE the basketball coach (who used to be my gym teacher...and is possibly a Nazi)......Meh.

I just kept right on knitting and watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Oh, and they ended up losing, anyway.

Gawd- do I sound bitter?!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I was supposed to go to the eye doctor and pick up my contacts today. I also had an appointment downtown to get fingerprinted (as someone who works with kids, it's a requirement of my job.)

But when I got to the eye doctor, I found out two things- One, for some reason my insurance, while it covers glasses, does not cover contact lenses. Which seems odd to me, because, in my case, contact lenses are actually cheaper. We're talking, around half the price of glasses. WTF, VisionCare?

I may be a special case, however- my prescription is so bad that when I buy glasses, I need to use thick frames, and the material for the lenses has to be a particular kind with special treatments to the glass to make it lighter and glare-proof- because I am prone to migraines and sinus infections. Fun!

With contacts, they're not only more aesthetically pleasing, but they're rigid lenses, so they keep my eyes in shape, which seems to prevent much degeneration of my sight from year to year. Which is a big deal, if (like me) you're blind as a bat. But without the benefit of the radar/sonar/whatever skills that those little winged beasties posess. So, if I ever become blinder than the proverbial bat, I'm basically screwed.

Anyway, I had no idea that contacts weren't covered, so I owe the eye doc an extra hundred bucks or so. D'oh! I am considering going back and ordering a new pair of specs, in that case, just to get my money's worth outta the damn cheap-ass sea bass insurance people. (Did I mention that it's VisionCare? Because they Care about my Vision, supposedly.

So, I tried the contacts on, and they don't fit properly- they have to switch them out. So I left empty-handed. Although, fun fact: contact technology has changed since I started wearing the damn things (twenty years ago!)

You put 'em into cool little holders that look suspiciously like an egg timer- one lens goes in each side, in its own little claw-like receptacle. Seriously, I was enthralled.

So I was narrating my excitement about "the claw storage method" and my optometrist interrupted me.

"Actually, they don't call it a claw. It's called a TULIP."

This is when I started laughing uncontrollably, because- I can just hear the marketing guys now:

"Well, my first reaction is to call it a claw."

"Yes, but "claw" isn't really a positive word is it? Too threatening."

"Ok- what about tulip?"

"Wooden shoes....windmills...buxom women with flaxen braids.....that's a winner. Start printing the promo materials!!"

Seriously, it's a claw, people. It looks like a little lego hand, or a kung-fu grip. It may look like a tulip to someone, somewhere, but I'm not willing to smoke enough crack to get to that point.

What, aren't you guys fascinated by contact lens cases?

OK. Then, when I went to my finger-printing appointment this afternoon- well, it was an experience. I hate, HATE driving in downtown, and if the Fresno Schools people had heard the language I was using, they definitely wouldn't allow me in any position of authority over children. Or farm animals, for that matter.

There was no parking, and it was rush hour, and I was downtown, where kamikaze driving is like a team sport, and hello, there is NO parking. (Yes, I needed to mention that twice.) I tried to call the gentleman who set up the appointment. No answer. I circled the block five times, called twice, and narrowly missed getting bulldozed by a prehistoric truck that decided to steal the spot I was waiting for.

Then I got to drive home in five o' clock traffic. Beeeyotch!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Does anyone out there play World of Warcraft?

If you do, I ask you not to do as my brother-in-law did and shamelessly pass his unholy addiction along to someone else.

The Man? Just finished his weekend. He spent, I would conservatively estimate, 75% of his time playing World of Warcraft. The percentage would be higher, but I don't think he's yet managed to be able to play it in his sleep.

We've had several, uh, "heated discussions" about the amount of time he spends with the computer, this game, and the members of his guild. I believe the first one involved someone sleeping on the couch after he tried to compare his obsession with this game to my knitting hobby, which I accepted as further proof that he is on crack. After a few more uncomfortable nights, we forged an agreement that:

1. He could play for 4 hours a day during the week. (I was lobbying for three, but I caved.)
2. He wouldn't play on his days off. (His idea.)

If you know anyone who plays World of Warcraft, you know that the terms of this agreement were violated (and we're talking, MAJORLY) within less than 24 hours.

I am not his Mommy, he is (supposedly) a responsible adult, and I refuse to stand over him and nag. I've gone on a dinner-making and laundry strike, and he just flat-out didn't notice. He's just gone back to his bachelor habits and eats peanut butter sandwiches and salami and cheese. With this diet, and the laundry issue, I estimate that we have roughly two weeks before he starts to smell like cat food.

This has been going on chez Jenna for about two months now. My attempts to get him out of the house have been fairly futile, with excuses like, "But it's RAINING, so I can't finish the patio/don't want to go outside/might explode if the sun touches me."

When I complain that we don't talk a lot anymore: "You can talk to me WHILE I PLAY- I never said you couldn't talk to me!" He insists that I have his full, undivided attention. Uh huh. OK. If I wanted to talk to a man who was simultaneously wearing a headset and battling large winged creatures, I would just guest-star on Star Trek.

Or the perennial favorite,when he PRETENDS to cave: "OK, let's spend time together- what do you want to do?" And (unsurprisingly) everything that I want to do that is not "Play World of Warcraft until my eyeballs fall out" is deemed either boring or too expensive. And yes, he's tried to get me to play this game WITH him so he can "spend more time with me."

Understandably, I am not attracted to this option. Especially after I did what any practical wife would do (Google search, baby!) and found chat boards loaded with people who said their kid had flunked out of college and spent their tuition money buying "gold" on eBay, or wives who said their husbands had lost their jobs because of their World of Warcraft addiction.

Actually, the going nickname for the game online seems to be "World of WarCrack." That's just PEACHY. I'm beginnning to resent having to know any of this.

Anyway. I tried to get him away from the screen to go to the store with me yesterday, and he threw a serious tantrum. "Why do I have to go to the store with you? Can't you go by yourself? Why do I have to go? I don't want to put on shoes. Can I just drive you and stay in the car?"

Things between us have disentigrated to the point that the most time I am spending with him has been reduced to a fifteen to 30 minute period in the evening where he emerges from his hole, makes tea, and sits with me in front of the TV. After which, we go to bed. Unless I am asleep on the couch, which happens frequently, because he'll usually play until 11PM or midnight.

Actually last night, he just DIDN'T emerge at all. I finally staggered to bed around midnight, and woke up this morning, still by myself, with the lights on. My glasses were squashed in the bed next to me.

To say that relations are strained at this point? Definitely the understatement of the year. I just don't freaking know what to do, but am considering taking up drinking or possibly just going out for groceries and not coming back. He might notice that I'm gone when the food runs out, but I'll be halfway to Tahiti by then.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blame it on the rain

I mean it. If you have younguns at home (and you know who you are), these teacher people who your kids spend so much time with deserve some credit.

Especially when it rains, because after hours sitting there with no recess and maybe just some Heads up 7-up for entertainment, these kids are going stir crazy, and they have driven their teacher (who has had no break all day long) around the BEND.

After an hour teaching science at a new school today, I am ready to fall over. I got the call last week to take over from another teacher. The explanation that I got was that I was replacing someone who had issues with showing up on time.

After teaching the class? I think the person I am replacing may have been admitted to a mental institution. Most classes have two or three boys who are described as being a "problem". I can tell you right now, this class has at least eight.

Most classes of first and second graders can get a little crazy, especially when you show up with a huge black trunk, wearing a white lab coat, assorted blinking pins, and multicolored hairclips. They go WILD.

You get warm fuzzies and wonder if, on the way in from the car, you have somehow turned into a Spice Girl. You hope that if that's the case, it's Ginger, because let's face it- Posh has turned herself into a sun-baked cadaver.

So anyway- kids go wild. They all volunteer to be helpers. The teacher whispers in your ear about the one little boy that you have to "watch every second!- He WANDERS" (gulp) and also informs you that due to an "incident" last week, which she is sure I read about in the newspaper, (which I don't read so, I can only rely on my lurid imaginings- but I didn't confess that to HER) children have to go to the bathroom in pairs.

Due to the torrential rain outside, every time I sent them, it felt strangely like a long-winded television mini-series about Noah's Ark.

So now I am afraid that the little boy in the front will turn into a knife-wielding maniac or disappear at any moment, and that any child who leaves the classroom may have some freak waiting in the bathroom who wants to touch them "in their swimsuit area." The teacher leaves, and the kids commence to running around and screaming and flailing in the way only second graders can flail.

At this point, one of the classroom mothers walks in, and she looks totally unfazed by the ruckus. This is when I should have realized that the ruckus was totally the status quo, and I was in waaaay over my head.

5 seconds later, two little boys run up to me.

"Teacher! TEACHER! Bobby* punched me in the CROTCH!!!!"

"Me too! He punched me too!"

I was only warned about a notorious wanderer and a possible recent molestation event- crotch punching seemed even more ominous. The mother smiled and shrugged in a way that indicated that not only was crotch-punching a regular occurrence, but that she didn't really see what I could do about it either.

I think she said, "Now Bobby, that's not nice!" (Which seems like kind of an understatement to me, but that's OK.) And then she left.

I confronted Bobby, who smiled sweetly at me, lied though his teeth, and said that he wasn't Bobby, he was George.

This is when all the little girls started tattling, (Liar! Teacher, he's LYING)in the self-important way that only little girls can tattle. I was immediately engulfed in a squealing sea of pink, bobbing pigtails and frantically upraised and waving hands. I tried fruitlessly not to start hyperventiling.

I made Bobby/George sit by me, (he was not pleased with this arrangement) and started my spiel while I set up. Things went pretty smoothly, until we came to an activity where we had to split into 5 groups of five.

I know second graders can count to five. If they can't. I may have lost my faith in their parents, the school system, and a benevolent God.

I know they can SUBTRACT, because I had two groups yelling Three boys- "But we have only THREEEEEEEE- we need two!" like it was the end of the world, while the two little girls (who were obviously BFF's) right next to them wailed, "But we have only TWOOOOOOOOOOO! We need three!"

I suggested they join forces, and they looked at me like I was the stupidest
stupidhead in all of Stupidville. Evidently the boy/girl cootie war is still alive and well in the second grade, even in this enlightened age.

So. I let the boys be on their own (yes, because I'm a pushover, dammit) and the girls got to me my "assistants." Like most sensible women, they were thrilled to be in a position of authority. I fairly saw their little pink hearts glow through their little pink t-shirts. (For the record, one t-shirt read, "I'm the CUTE one". The other one had a flower on it.)

Anyway. Aside from periodic breaks to go to the bathroom in pairs, the kids seemed engaged (except for Bobby/George, who kept repeating, "This is BOR-RING, and I can't SEE!" at intervals, while I reminded him quietly that next week, if he wanted to sit with the rest of the kids, he shouldn't be slugging them in the genitals.)

At some point, I looked up, and realized that of the three boys who had been together in one group, two of them seemed more freckly than they had at the outset. More unusually, the freckles were bright blue, and the boy in the middle seemed to have escaped the blight. I approached him.


"Um, I don't have a pen."

"Give me the PEN. RIGHT NOW."

Evidently, I managed my scary look, because he handed it over. He also gave me a look that bespoke his theory that evey pen in my pen collection had been mercilessly thieved from blameless infants like himself.

So a whole lot of bathroom trips and countdowns (and one cell-phone confiscation warning)later, I made it. I am hoarse, and very nearly deaf. But I made it. And while they definitely kept me on my toes, and I am glad that there's a week between visits, I had a fantastic time. I know. I'm sick like that.

Where else does a kid get a call during class from his "brother's girlfriend"? Has two-timing filtered down to the second-grade demographic? I blame Bill Clinton.

I am also looking forward to the weekend. We are sponsoring a booth at the Kids thing at Grizzlies stadium. I'll be the one in the lab coat, making slime with kids and GETTING PAID for doing it. I am beginning to think that this is the ultimate job. My sister the lawyer is seriously jealous.

* I made up Bobby/George. Which you should have realized, because it seems like every boy under the age of 15 is named things like "Gavin" and "Tarquin" and "Dermot."