Monday, April 30, 2007

Where are Your Balls?

Wrigs has a new game he likes to play that I call, "Where are your Balls?" He takes his two favorite balls (one orange, the other blue) and after several attempts and failures, is able to carry them both in his mouth. He prances around the house while they stick out of his mouth and then all at once he drops them and quickly lays down on top of them to hide them from me. He puts his head down all innocent and then I ask, "Wriiiiiigley??? Where are your balls?" He'll start to slowly wag his tail but continues to keep his head down while shifting his eyes to look up at me...

I'll keep asking in an annoyingly squeaky, high pitched voice, "Oh Wriiiiiigley??? Where are your Baaaalls?" and then when he can't take it any longer he thrusts up his head and alas...there are his balls!

It's quite fun for both of us. But not so much for Chum. He watches disapprovingly from the threshold...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saw a great movie...

The Man in the Moon (1991) directed by Robert Mulligan (not to be confused with Man on the Moon, starring Jim Carrey about the life of Andy Kaufman - also a great flick but this isn't the one I'm referencing here).

The Man in the Moon was Reese Witherspoon's first movie and at 14 years old she originally went to audition as an extra but ending up getting cast as the lead! I was just flipping through the channels when I stumbled upon it and had no idea what it was about. I only read the caption that the digital cable service provides which read something like, "small town girl dealing with her first love and heartache". I thought oh well, let's see what this is about and worst case, I'll fall asleep and catch up on some much needed zzz's. Well I was definitely surprsied by this film. It's simple and heart warming and, draws on a few other emotions that sort of sneak up on you.

I won't say much more for those of you who would want to see it other than after I watched it, I had to look it up on imdb and discovered that this film was based on a true story.

Here's a link on amazon for those of you who are interested but I recommend just seeing it without reading too much into it. And yes, it's primarily a chick flick but some sensitive men out there will enjoy it too.

  • The Man in the Moon
  • Friday, April 27, 2007

    Weekend Getaway

    We're off to Palm Springs for a fun filled weekend! 3 days of live music, hot sun and ice cold beer. What could be better?

    Apparently there are over 150,000 people headed out today from the Greater Los Angeles area. So Tom is antsy to get in the car and start driving! I'm still packing a few last minute things: beef jerky, flask o' gin, fart machine, you know, the essentials.

    It's supposed to be 105 degrees in the desert so I'm sure at some point I'll strip down to my bloomers and run around half naked during the concert. What happens in Palm Springs STAYS in Palm Springs. Wait, that's my Vegas mantra. Oh well, they're close enough!

    Here's the link to the music festival. Lots of great bands playing. Can't wait!

  • Coachella!
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    My new favorite kitchen appliance

    "Hamilton Beach Toastation"

    This is absolutely genius!! It's a toaster/toaster oven all in one! I wanted to get a small toaster oven to cut down on conventional oven use for cooking small meals and reheating left overs since I'm not a big fan of the microwave. I was so happy when I saw this little gem on the shelves at Target. The top part has a large open slat for toasting breads and bagels the same way you would use a traditional toaster. And the toaster oven is a decent size, can fit two slices of 16in pizza or two individual personal pizzas! And the best part... it doesn't need to fight for a spot on the counter. Since it combines two appliances in one, it replaces the existing toaster, and isn't that much bigger in size.

    For those of you in need of replacing your toaster or toaster oven, you may want to check this out. It's currently on sale for $34.88 either at Target online or in the retail stores. And if you have a retro-themed or a funky colorful kitchen, it also comes in red!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Update on the Automobile

    Turns out the hubby didn't run out of gas on the freeway. Nope, instead he just blew the timing belt. No big deal, right? Can't you just replace it like the fan belt? Apparently not. I didn't realize how critical the timing belt is, but I guess if it breaks down and causes damage then the engine has to be rebuilt. Right now the estimate is $5000 and growing. Yeah it sucks to have to shell out money unexpectedly but as I told the hubby, it could have been a LOT worse. He is lucky that he was able to control the car and move away from the speeding traffic. And I thank God that he didn't get hurt or hurt other drivers on the road. These are all blessings and I'm very grateful.

    For those of you interested in learning more about the timing belt, here's a link to my two favorite car gurus, Click and Clack, a.k.a, the Tappet Brothers. We really enjoy listening to them and are highly entertained by their sense of humor as well as their knowledge on automobiles. They're on nationwide Saturday and Sunday mornings on NPR.
  • Car talk

  • And here's a picture I found online of what a timing belt looks like for those of you who would like a visual. Looks more like an old time movie projector to me...

    One last thing. Here is a picture of the loaner Tom is driving, probably for the next 2 weeks. I crack up everytime I see him pulling out of the driveway! Nothing against the car itself, it's just that my husband is NOT a candy-apple-red-station-wagon driving type of guy!

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    The husband's not gonna like this one...

    He may even insist that I remove this post if he ever reads it but for now it's here and since this is my blog, I'm doing it.

    I absolutely dread driving with my husband in the car. Within seconds he is criticizing something, anything, and has got to be the WORST back seat driver in our generation. Two nights ago I'm making dinner and he calls me. Conversation went like this:

    me: Hello?

    him: Hi. What are you doing?

    me: Cooking dinner. You almost home?

    him: No. My car died on the freeway.

    me: WHAT????

    him: I'm sitting here in my car on the 5. It just broke down. Well I may have run out of gas, I'm not sure.

    me: Where on the 5? Are you off to the side?? Are you safe from traffic??? (mind you it's rush hour and he's driving from LA)

    him: I pulled off to the side, I'm fine but my phone's about to die.

    me: Where are you specifically?

    him: I'm north of the Lake Forest exit. Shit, my phone's beeping. I gotta go, Call me a tow, ok?

    me: Ok, ok. Just stay in your car!

    him: (click)

    So I call Triple A with his location and ask that they tow him to the Audi dealership which is just a few miles up the road. It was time for his annual service check anyway. Then I call the dealership and the service shop is closed but the sales office is still open and the woman says she'll look out for the tow truck and let him know where to put the car. Tom calls back in about 20 minutes to let me know the tow truck arrived. I tell him I'm on my way and I'll meet him at the dealer. I grab my keys and head out the door with Wrigs at my heels. He knew something was up and definitely wanted to be part of it so I ask him, "Do you wanna go for a ride?" In a flash he's out the door to the garage, standing by the passenger side door alternately lifting his 2 front paws in anticipation. We're off to pick up his Daddy.

    As I pull into the dealership I see Tom checking out a few of the new cars on display in the lot. Oh no, I think. He gets in the car and as we're approaching the light to exit the dealership, he starts in on my driving...

    him: Why are you stopping in the crosswalk?

    me: I'm stopping because the light is red. And I'm not IN the crosswalk.

    him: YES you are! The front part of your car is over the line!

    me: (deep breaths, deep breaths) So, how was your day?

    him: Why don't you pay attention???

    me: Why don't you please shut your mouth right now?

    We continue on for a mile or so in silence. Wrigs can pick up on the tension between us and sticks his big head through the space between our seats and smothers us with nervous licks. I ask him to return to his seat in the back and he slowly complies. There's a stop light down a slight hill about 500+ft ahead and the light just turned from yellow to red. I let up on the brake and slowly begin to decelerate. We're in a 45 mph speed zone and I was slowing down to about 35.

    him: Why are you slowing down??? Are you running out of gas???

    me: No, only an IDIOT would allow that to happen.

    him: You're going SO slow!

    me: I am approaching a stoplight and unlike some people who SLAM THEIR $#@*!&*# BRAKES TO A SCREECHING HALT INCHES BEFORE THE CROSSWALK I prefer to gradually slow down to a stop. It's a CRAZY concept, I know.

    him: Well that guy behind you is on your ASS!


    After the light turns green I floor the gas pedal and we blow the other cars away. I didn't exceed the speed limit I just gave it all I got from the start and we went from 0 to 45 in what felt like 3 seconds.


    me: (happy place, happy place) I'm sorry Sweetie, did you say something?

    {this incident just reminded me of a story from college. A friend of mine and I would drive back and forth together (about a 2 hour ride) and we'd always get into arguments about the other's driving. We decided this one time to duct tape our mouths shut for the entire ride and see if that would prevent the fighting (actually I think it was my mother's idea, she even put the tape across our mouths). It definitely put an end to the verbal attacks however we just got more creative with hand signals and impolite gestures. And I remember that it took HOURS to get each and every speck of tape matter off our faces. And I was red and blotchy around the mouth for days. But in the long run I think it was well worth it. Now there are 102 uses for duct tape.}

    Time to laugh

    We've all seen parts of this before but I think some new pictures have been added...

  • What to do in an Emergency

  • Cracks me up everytime! I hope it makes you chuckle too. =)

    How depressing is this?

    Victim played dead as Cho shot himself | Video
    Suicide bombing kills 12 in Baghdad
    Woman Gets Life for Mutilating Lover's Friend
    NYC police search for torturer-rapist
    Man sets self ablaze in Calif. city hall
    • S. Carolina mother sentenced for twin sons' deaths
    • Georgia wildfires destroy 18 homes, threaten refuge
    • Search resumes for Md. miners missing for two days
    • 36 California schools under lockdown
    • FDA: Pet food tainting might be intentional
    Huge landslide dumps buildings into harbor
    Boy, 7, finds $9,000 of crack in jacket pocket
    Hormones Can Raise Breast Cancer Risk
    VIDEO: Student Accused of Plot to Kill 100

    These are just a handful of news headlines from yesterday, alone. I don't mean to focus on the dreary reality of this hell on earth but it's becoming more difficult to keep a light heart with sooo much heavy shit going on right now, this very second, as you read this. Our own little pockets of life seem so insignificant when there are far too many out there suffering at the hands of others. April 16, 2007 now inhabits a spot in our history book of horror. Yesterday marked the 12 year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and today is the date that Columbine high school was forever changed. 3 life shattering events, all in our own country, memorialized within 5 days of each other. I don't like those odds.

    A faithful reader of this blog sent me an email after I posted the VA Tech tragedy. She stated that she comes to read my posts about our crazy animals, Bob Villa wanna-be-husband, and other random nonsense as a diversion from all the chaos that is flooding the news everyday. She also has some personal struggles of her own and sometimes just needs a smile. Don't we all. So I'll try and focus on the daily insignificant happenings around here but that doesn't mean that I'm not affected by what's going on outside my bubble.

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    To be or not to bee...

    It's challenging for me to staying focused at home while on the computer, whether it's to blog, or even respond to emails. So this afternoon was crisp and sunny, a perfect day for outdoor adventure. I figured if I left the comforts of home and headed out to a quiet coffee shop with some peaceful outdoor seating, I would separate myself from the many distractions and be able to catch up with email correspondence, blog postings and some journaling.

    I was all set. I got my large decaf iced coffee (since it was after 2pm had to switch to decaf) and ordered an egg sandwich to keep myself nourished and packed with protein. There is protein in eggs right? Anyway, I found a great spot (away from the high schoolers ditching class to load up on lattes) and I set up my lap top. I made sure to position it away from the sunlight so I could see the screen without an annoying glare.

    Once it was all set I spread out my napkin and placed my sandwich on top and got ready to devour my first bite. Mmmmmm! It was delicious. I washed it down with a big gulp of iced coffee and thought to myself "Why don't I do this more often?"

    Well, this could be why...

    Right as I'm about to start typing, this big fuzzy bee lands right on my keyboard and would NOT leave!!!! I flicked my straw at him, I tried to shoo him away with my napkin, I even suctioned up some iced coffee in my straw and poured it all over the asshole but the damn thing stayed glued to my front slash key (\)! I was so frustrated and started to get angry with the bee and began to yell at him through clenched teeth, then noticed a few pair of eyes glancing over in my direction. Of course the onlookers couldn't see the damn bee because he was blocked by the screen of my lap top. So to them it appeared as though I was yelling at my computer, which come to think of it, is not at all out of the ordinary.

    I finished my sandwich and just stared and watched as the bee rubbed his prickly front tentacles together and then burrowed them in between the little slats on my keyboard. I'm sure he was sucking up the iced coffee that's now formed a gooey paste in between the keys and causes the return key to stick. Maybe the bee even made some honey on my keyboard, who knows.

    All I know is that instead of using this time productively for some quiet reflection, I sat tense and nervous staring at the insect trying to mate with my front slash key. I couldn't take my eyes off him for fear that he would fly into my face at any given second and thrust his stinger into my flesh. Finally after what seemed like an hour, Mr. Bumble hovers over the keyboard and smacks his body into the screen a couple times (which made this disgusting clicking noise) then suddenly launches himself right onto the top of my coffee straw.

    Without batting an eye, I take this opportunity to swiftly pack up my computer and make a bee line for the car.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

    Unless it happens to be all over the cat.

    I had just returned from a walk on the lake and was famished. I poured a big bowl of granola cereal and then poured in about twice the amount of milk as I'm trying to use it all up before the expiration date. The milk was just hovering below the rim of the bowl and I didn't want to walk to the kitchen table and risk spillage, plus I was too hungry to wait 3 seconds so I just started eating it standing up near the kitchen sink. Wrigs was pooped from the walk and was sprawled out like a frog panting heavily, in the middle of the kitchen. In walks Chum through the little kitty cut out door and all at once there is a stand off. For those of you who have been to our house, (even once, for 5 minutes) you all know what a stand off is. Both animals become frozen in time and only make sideways eye contact. This can last anywhere from 10 seconds to a full minute depending on the moods of the beasts. Today's stand off was quick, so quick that I didn't even have time to put down my bowl of cereal. Wrigs leapt up and tried to smother Chum, Chum is under Wrig's belly SCREAMING bloody murder and I'm trying to pull Wrigs by the collar to release the terrified cat. I finally get Wrigs off Chum but he pulls away and causes me to almost drop my full bowl of cereal. I spill about half the milk and granola all over an already frenzied Chum. Chum tries to jump up on the counter to get away but doesn't clear it and slips back down onto more of the spilled milk that Wrigley is now frantically lopping up like a maniac as well as smearing all over the floor with his paws. I just stood and watched the mess unfurl and finished what was left in my bowl (about 3 bites). Then I rushed to give Chum a few treats (such is the routine after an attack of this nature) and he seemed to be okay after stuffing his face with a few of his favorite fish smellin' nuggets. As for my back, that's another story.

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    Wild Weather

    Now a snowstorm hits the Northeast? Last week it was a blizzard in Denver, tornadoes in Texas and freezing temps with snow in Chicago. Hey, Mother Nature, it's the middle of April! Did you forget to change your clocks ahead too? Those of us in S. Cal are also suffering the effects of a delayed Spring. Last week we had 60 mile an hour winds that knocked down power lines and trees all across the southland. Then there was strange weather this past weekend.

    Saturday Tom and I (of course with Wrigs) went out for breakfast and sat outside. The sun was beating down on my shoulders and turned them red in a matter of minutes. I was wearing a calf length sun dress so I pulled it up a bit to get some sun on my legs. Tom told me my legs were so white that they hurt his eyes so I pulled my dress back down to cover them up. He told me that I really needed to get some sun on my legs but based on his reaction I wasn't about to put on a bathing suit and head to the beach anytime soon. As we sat and ate we began planning out the day which mostly involved yard work (Tom is installing a putting green and it's in the very beginning stages) and as exciting as that sounds I told him that I would love to lay in the warm sun for a bit with a glass of freshly brewed iced tea and a good book. I also said it would be great if we had a nice big hammock to nap in and he perked up and exclaimed that he has wanted to get a hammock for the back yard since we moved into this house. So the three of us head to Lowe's in hot pursuit of a hammock. And this is what we find...

    This is the Cadillac of all hammocks and even though it takes up 1/4 of our backyard, it is pure heaven. It is so comfortable that I fell asleep in the sun for almost 2 hours on Saturday afternoon. It was such a peaceful and relaxing sleep too. The temperature was in the 70's with a soft breeze every now and then. There were only a few white puffy clouds that skitted across the sky from time to time otherwise it was just pure uninterrupted sunshine. That being so, I definitely got some sun on my legs but it's not very even. They sort of have these candy cane stripes along the sides. But no worries, I just figured that the next day I would lay out on the opposite side to sun the white parts. But when I woke up on Sunday it was dark, dank and very cold! The sun never made it's way through the gray clouds. And of course our house was freezing! Instead of putting on my bathing suit for a second day, I had to pull out my basket of home made knits and spent the day inside. I sat by the window wearing my woolly cap and scarf bundled in a blanket and watched as the rain poured down on my big red hammock.

    For those who ask why we are in no hurry to have children-

    Well, sadly here is one reason...


  • How can a parent deal with something like this? You would think that if your child has made it to college age, that your worries for their safety at school would lessen. But I guess not. How does a mother and a father cope with losing their child in this senseless and most horrific way? I just don't get it. How do you protect your children from something like this happening to them? I guess you never can. How can you protect them from predators on the internet, a pedophile in the neighborhood, or a pervert teacher that preys on young adolescents? Not to mention their own peers who may be involved with drugs and gangs. It's just too overwhelming for my simple mind to comprehend. I give credit to every mother and father out there and I admire the strength and optimism you all have for bringing up children in the world we live in today. It's something I honestly don't think I could do.

    No excuses...

    I've been bad about updates lately but I will post later in the day. Just had some other things on my mind lately that have made it difficult to focus and post my usual nonsense. Oh and for everyone asking about the cat show I will call the producer today and hopefully get a timeframe. Sometimes a show can take as long as a year before it actually makes it to the air so I'm still confident that this show will go on. I'll keep you all posted!!

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Stop and smell the roses...

    Quick quick! Before they die!

    This is our first year planting roses and so far, so good. We only planted 4 small bushes (all different colors) because we weren't sure if they would bloom. They seem to be doing well so we may continue to plant more along the side yard. But for now, we just have these little budding beauties at the front steps greeting all who pass by. Actually, I need to hack off the light pink one on the right, it's getting a little too full. It will look pretty floating in a clear bowl vase sitting on the kitchen table.

    (I'm sure all of you know this but somehow in the excitement of cutting off my first rose stem I forgot about the thorns. I've got a few sharp puncture wounds on my digits but lucky for me I'm used to that. Chumley's front fangs are about the same size as a prickly thorn. But regardless...use caution when snipping stems!)