Tuesday, October 25, 2011

California Girls - The Beach Boys Kind, Not The Katy Perry Kind

Today, as we waited to exit the plane:

"I gotta get outta here, it smells like farts and ketchup." ~Samantha  (I have to say, she sorta nailed it.)

Passing a graffitied building in downtown San Diego:

"Hey, check it out!  It's a monkey with an umbrella and a beard."  ~Samantha

It's Fall Break around these parts, and when I say "these" parts I mean the parts I left behind this morning as we parked our car at the airport and boarded a flight to the place where I once developed a crush on a boy named Jeremy in 2nd grade, used to ride bikes across town with reckless abandon for coconut frozen yogurt, (back when we didn't have cell phones, and we never called when we got there, and never once thought about child molesters!), and where I was the teacher's pet in ceramics class.  I was wild back in those days.  I mean, seriously, I would go toilet papering on WEEKnights.

The point is, we're on vacation in my hometown.  I've been afraid to talk about it for fear I would jinx it, as the last time we attempted a trip to Disneyland I ended up on a gurney two weeks previous and had to send Cory to the happiest place on earth without me.  Not cool, dudes.  NOT COOL.  So I am here to redeem myself, and I'm counting on all the planets to align and support the process.  We start tomorrow, but in the meantime we have settled into the warm pacific air - I have already driven the kids past my elementary school, high school, and showed them where my best friends used to live.  Not to mention we picked pomegranates from my parents' tree which my mother used to whip up a little batch of dark chocolate pomegranate scones.  Pomegranates!  From a TREE!  And then, SCONES!  Too bad my mom isn't your mom too. 

Operation Redemption:  Off to a roaring start.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What I Know For Sure - IKEA Edition

Several months ago I saw my first IKEA but I didn't actually go inside - it was a quick freeway fly-by.  But the way people talk about this place you would think the Greeks left out one of their gods and we're just hearing about it.  There's been so much hype about the grand opening here that I decided to wait a couple of months to let things die down before visiting for the first time.  Last weekend Samantha and I came upon a little mother/daughter girl time and decided it was a prime opportunity to lose our IKEA virginity, except instead of lighting candles and getting a nice little room overlooking the water we entered the great and spacious building that bears my high school colors.  BLUE!  YELLOW!  Hard to miss.  Here's what I learned.

1.  Quote from Samantha:  "Little furniture, BIG napkins!"

2.  These birds have big butts and I cannot lie.

3.  Ligon Berry juice from the fountain!
4.  I don't know what ligon berry juice is!
5.  Giant pebble ice, like Sonic ice that hasn't been to fat camp.  Awesome.
6.  The sign says "Swedish Meatballs", but how do I know they didn't just get it from the giant bag at Costco?  This weighs on me and compromises the European feel I'm going after. 
7.  Still. GIANT pebble ice.
8.  Pitcher or Neti Pot?  I'm still not sure.

9.  Garden Gnome ornaments.  You start off wondering, "Who?  Why?" and then the cashier says, "That will be $2.98 please."

10.  You are the weakest link, hej da!

One thing I know for sure, we have a lot more in common with the Swedes than I thought:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rhymes With "Harlot"

Since I'm too old and broken to have anymore babies I often stalk my other friends whose reproductive capabilities are in full swing and have blogs with pictures to prove it.  There's a girl I love, and I used to be her youth leader.  As in, she looked UP to me as an example, came to me for advice, and relied on me for guidance sometimes.  Crazy enough, she turned out anyway!  I won't say her real name (rhymes with Barley) or tell you who she's married to (named after the river where Jesus was baptized) or what they named their darling, new baby girl (rhymes with "harlot"), but I WILL say that she posted some pictures lately that made me laugh.  As I began to draft a comment I realized that what I really wanted to do was turn the whole thing into a post, so I asked her for permission and what do you know that girl always comes through for me.  So, my friends get the credit for the pictures and I will take responsibility for the captions.

Uh, Mom?  You've got a bat in the cave.

Seriously.  Aren't you going to do something about that?


Friday, October 14, 2011


I really wanted Samantha to set a PR (personal record) today in her cross country meet.  I wanted it because she wanted it, and she’s been busting her chops to make it happen.  She was incredibly disappointed last week when her expectation to PR was foiled, and I wanted her to see that hard work eventually pays off. 

I really wanted her to PR.

I fed her a carb filled dinner the night before.

I wrote an encouraging note and put it in her lunch.

I made sure she had a full water bottle and we both climbed in the car to head for school.  “I love you Mom,” she said as I dropped her off.  “I love you too,” I managed before she shut the door and I watched her blond hair and green eyes disappear through the double doors.

Later this afternoon I showed up to the race across town.  With some time to spare before Sam's heat started I made my way up to the memorial on the hill, a place I had intended to visit before but ran out of time.  I read the sign at the entrance outlining “no cell phones”, “no climbing on walls”, and additional requests for certain levels of propriety.  I scanned the area to take note of the others meandering the memorial. 


They were quiet, walking slowly and deliberately, and following all the rules.  Circling the memorial they stopped to read the tributes engraved on the flattened, polished boulders.

It’s been over 11 years since Columbine, a massacre laid out on a group of students who had been dropped off that morning of April 20th just like Samantha had been this morning.  I walked the path that honored the victims through stories, accomplishments, their goals and beliefs.  They were deeply personal and I was deeply moved.

It’s been a long time since that awful day.  

I came to the race wanting Samantha to PR.  I left feeling grateful just to have her here.

Grateful she could run at all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's True, I Have Roasted Edamame In My Cupboard

Months ago a friend of mine (Hi Kettie!) was sharing her experience on working out with a personal trainer, who had encouraged her to make 80 grams of protein a day part of her diet.  A DAY!  I was like, "So, let me get this straight.  You pay her $50/hour and in exchange you masticate a cow every 17 minutes?"  She said, "Of course not, stupid.  I masticate a cow every nine minutes, and in my down time I pop a little roasted edamame."  I said I didn't know you could make edamame grosser, she said 'grosser' wasn't a word, I said look it up in the Scrabble dictionary, and it went downhill from there.  She may have a different version of this story, but the point is, I made fun of her for eating roasted edamame.  Because hellooo, too easy.

And then I went to Sprouts.
And the bin of roasted edamame and I came face to face.
My inner voice said, "Don't do it."
The bin cried out, "You know you want to."
My inner voice fought back, "Not really."
The bin argued, "Everybody's doing it."
I said, "No, you must have us confused with Boulder."
Then I got tired of the vulcan mind meld between the bin and I so I broke down and bought some, took a picture, and texted it to Kettie for proof.

It's been sitting in my cupboard ever since.  'Cuz for the record?  Not as delicious as you might trick yourself into thinking.

Then today I was at my WW meeting and the leader was asking what our refrigerators and cupboards should look like if we want to be successful at losing weight.  "If I came to your house right now," she began, "what would I find in your cupboards?"  Perhaps I should have jumped at the opportunity to highlight the abundance of soy gracing my shelves but I couldn't do it.  I couldn't be that kid in class in the front row who asks all the questions, turns in his homework before it's due, and requests additional extra credit work for fun.  So no, I wasn't forthcoming about my edamame but I also wasn't forthcoming about having a bundt cake for lunch last Thursday so I'm calling it even.  I feel like this picture is telling me that's okay:

This one is kind of funny:

As for this one, I SWEAR IT WASN'T ME!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Family Dinner

As we sat down for dinner tonight Drew was laughing about something when Cory asked, "Hey 'Laughing Boy', will you say the blessing on the food?'"  Before Drew could start, however, I observed, "You know, Dad would have been good at naming Native Americans."  We chuckled, Drew prayed, and then Cory turned to Samantha, "Hey 'Runs on Gravel', how was church today?"
"It was fine," she answered.
Then, turning to me he inquired, "How about you, 'Blogs With Rabbits', did you go to your new class?"
"No, not until next week," I replied.
As Samantha slurped up a final spoonful of soup she asked, "Is there more soup or is it all gone?"
"Well,"  I began, "I gave most of it to 'Grunts When Poops' but I think there's a little left."

We don't have a lot of friends.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Highs & Lows

Yesterday the high in Colorado was, no, not Ziggy Marley, it was 67 degrees.
The day before that the high was 78.
The day before that the high was in the 80's.
And the 27 days before that the high fluctuated between the 70's and 80's.

Last night it started to snow for the first time this season, and it's still going strong.
Windy, rainy, wet, blustery, side blowing snow.

Tomorrow is forecasted to be in the high 50's with sunshine.
The day after that should hit around 69 degrees, with sunshine.
The day after that Mike Nelson said it should be in the 70's.
Same for Wednesday and Thursday.
And Friday.

I'll let you guess which night Cory had to take Drew camping with the scouts, and which day we had to deliver 320 Yellow Books for the school fundraiser.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The One Where You Google "Anti-Depressants" And Email Me Your Findings

My birthday is coming up next month and I will turn 41.  FORTY.  ONE.  It's not like it's that high of a number, but if I was a celebrity this is about the time I would have to start considering dog food commercials instead of movie deals just to pay the rent.  So, you can imagine how relieved I am not to be famous.  It goes to show, really, that being mediocre in all things is a pretty good gig.  This way if someone called me up to do a dog food commercial I'd jump on my blog and be like, "YOU GUYS!  Watch Channel 9 and look for the ad with the backlit, middle-aged woman in the meadow getting mauled by a golden retriever - THAT'S ME!!"  This way it's a celebration instead of a walk of shame, and at the end of the day I get to come home and sleep with an accountant who golfs on Fridays and be totally happy with that.

I'll tell you what else I can be happy about when it comes to getting older is that I'm discovering how many strong opinions I have, and how I care less and less about whether people like them or not.  I think this is why old people have a reputation for being so crotchety, because they don't give a flying fig (digression:  I have no idea where the phrase "flying fig" originated, but if I had to guess I'd probably say a rest home food fight is a decent possibility) what you think.  They don't care if you're their friend as long as you bring them their pudding on time and keep their TV on "All My Children".  It's where I'm headed, I can feel it.

A few days ago I ran into a skinny friend at the store who had just finished a marathon over the weekend in THREE HOURS.  I asked her about it and was all prepared to congratulate and pat her on the back and say all kinds of nice things when she began to lament her time.  But that's not even the point where I got mad, because I understand the difference between myself and an elite runner.  (Elite runner:  "I didn't average a 5 minute mile"  Me:  "I got to the finish line before they turned off the lights!")  It was when she launched into her dissertation about being fat that I completely lost my mind.  This girl needs to lose weight the way Carson Kressley needs to shed a little of his masculinity.  I looked her in the eye, smiled, and said, "I'm sorry, this conversation is officially over", and walked away.  Cory's worried that I was too rude, but I'm at a point in my life where I refuse to tolerate that kind of utter nonsense.  I mean, if you were standing in a store talking to Martha Stewart and she said, "If I could just get a little more creative"....  See what I mean?


I'm also starting to get grouchy already about winter waiting for me just around the corner.  Because around here, "Winter" should be spelled "WINDter".  Wind in the summer can be kinda nice, but wind in the winter is like nature's way of saying, "I've never liked you very much."  Seriously, it gets so blustery around here that Chicago starts calling to see how I'm holding up.  I'm not ready.  One time last year when I was running around the neighborhood it was so cold and windy that I stopped dead in my tracks, raised my fists into the air and yelled, "STOOOOP IIIT!!!"  It yelled back at me, froze my snot and told me to run wee wee wee all the way home if I was going to be such a baby about it.  The wind - it mocks me.  As do the neighbors who may have witnessed this event.

So yes, soon I won't just be 40, I'll be "in my forties".  I've decided to celebrate by complaining without apology all year long.  Cory is super excited.  (p.s.  Buy me something really nice.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

How To Get A Good Pedicure

STEP ONE:  Pick a color that doesn't suck.

That's it, just the one step.   

(What was I THINKING?)