Friday, August 31, 2007

What makes your day?

Most mornings when I walk the lake I pass this senior gentleman who always greets me with the biggest smile along with a hearty "HELLO!" and energetic wave. It just makes my day and keeps me smiling. I've often wanted to capture this on film (not wanting to appear too obvious) but today when I saw him coming I had to grab for my phone. I snapped a quick photo without really aiming and as you can see here he comes BIG smile and all with the arm in motion for that wave!

Seeing this man's exuberance for life at the start of each day reminds me of a quote from Edith Warton's autobiography A Backward Glance (one of my summer reads)

"In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."

Words to live by. Perhaps even my new motto. Sends a much better internal message than "I'm an idiot" don't you agree?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poor Chum

The last few days have been a bit warm in the house and one of the ways Chum cools off is laying belly up with his side against the wall. It's really cute and sometimes he contorts his neck in what looks to be very uncomfortable positions so Tom and I call him "Twisty Boy."

Here's a shot of him sleeping but what's funny about Chum is that he's never really relaxed, even when asleep. Notice his feet sticking straight up with the toes curled and even his face is sort of squished. Poor little stressed out monster.

Well I guess to some degree I can understand why he's never really relaxed...

my new motto

Here are just a few things that I did this morning that make me an idiot. Please feel free to comment about the things you do that make you an idiot. I would love to read about it.

-Left the key sticking out on the outside of laundry room door after my run yesterday morning where it sat all day and night. Hello Burglars/Rapists/Serial Killers: no need to break a window or jimmy a door, here's a key sticking out of the door just for you. Welcome!

-Filled up Wrigs bowl with water and then set it on top of kitchen stove as if to boil. Realized 2 HOURS later after poor Wrigs would not stop panting that his water bowl was not in it's proper place. I'm such a bad MOMMA!

-Spilled the entire sugar bowl that sits on the top shelf in the fridge, all down the refrigerator door. Have I cleaned that up? No. I did vacuum the kitchen floor though because the ants will come marching in no time if I don't. But sugar granules are still stuck inside the soles of my running shoes so when I walk, I crunch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

e de candle

One of my absolute favorite scents is the Tocca Candle in Cleopatra. It smells so clean and refreshing with light notes of cucumber and grapefruit, truly the most pleasant scent I've ever laid my nose on. I also use the delicate fabric wash for delicates and bedsheets which smell so good steaming hot out of the dryer. The one thing I have always wished for is a perfume but I have never been able to find one. So I thought I'd invent my own. Sort of.

I have several Tocca candles placed randomly about the house and one of them sits near the tub in the masterbath. It's been pretty hot up there so the top part of the candle has melted into a layer of clear sweet smellin' goo. A few days ago I thought I'd rub some of this goo on my wrists and behind my ears and see how it worked as perfume. Surprisingly, it's fantastic! I dotted myself in a few places today and as I'm standing at the check out line in the grocery store, I reach across the belt to grab the separator thingy and almost clock the lady in front of me with it in the head. She was very nice about it and then said, "Ooooh. You smell good. What is that you're wearing?" I was not exactly sure how I was supposed to answer her because I didn't really want to divulge to complete strangers that I actually rub melted candle wax all over my pulse points. So instead I just say, "Tocca in Cleopatra." She says, "It's lovely, where do you get it?" She's all smiles. I reply, "Online. They have a website." Now I'm feeling really guilty so I lower my voice an octave and start talking out of the side of my mouth, "Actually it's a candle. It started to melt and I just rubbed some of the gooey stuff from the top onto my skin and it smelled so good so I've sort of been using it as a perfume."

She looks at me like I have 3 heads and then says, "Well that's creative." Then the eavesdropping cashier chimes in with, "Oh I do stuff like that all the time. I use my deodorant sort of the same way." I hesitate for a second then ask, "As perfume?" She says, "No not exactly, I use it on the back of my neck when it's really hot because I sweat a lot!" Ok GROSS!!! That's just too much information and I don't want the woman who's handling my naked peaches to have overactive sweat glands. (Note to self: remember to scrub those pups with antibacterial soap before we eat.) The woman and I glance awkwardly at each other and then to break the silence I say, "Hey, whatever works!" The woman gathers her bags and smiles as she rushes out the door. Now I'm left to fend for myself with McSweaty.

When I get home I do a search online for a pic of the Tocca candle only to find out that there is in fact perfume and it just came out on the market! So I could have avoided this entire scenario if I would have just left it with telling the woman that she can order online. Oh well. I'll probably still use my candle goo.

Call me innovative, call me frugal, call me certifiably insane. But you know what? I smell d..a..m..n good.

How old are you?

According to this website I am 19.9 years of age (that explains a LOT) and will live to be 88. So does that mean I have 88 more years to go from age 19, which would put me at 107?? Oh goodness gracious kill me now.

Check it out and see how old you really are...

  • life expectancy & age calculator
  • A warm welcome

    Please check out my friend's (who comments on here as BYFFI) new blog iteachkdg (also added to my links). She is an amazing person and I'm sure what she will have to say on a daily basis will definitely be worth checking out. But be warned, she has a tendency to use some rather raunchy language, and even invents words of her own! You wonder why we get along so well? Good Lord, if anyone ever saw the emails we've exchanged, we would both be committed.


    That title is not in reference to a verse in the Bible. It could be actually, I'm not quite sure but that is not what it stands for in this case. It's the amount of time I was on the phone (hold) with Mac support just a few minutes ago.

    I'm still dealing with the never ending issue of my dead laptop battery which is a mystery because when I first inputted the serial number on the mac support page it came up as qualifying for a free replacement (due to the fact that a range of batteries produced would overheat and catch fire.) Well now for some reason when I inputted the number the last time it doesn't qualify and the geniuses both at the store and in India or wherever the bumble they reside are dumbfounded.

    So today I decide to call Mac support again (I am a glutton for punishment, I know) and just place another battery order through them because now this laptop model is discontinued so you can no longer purchase the batteries at the retail locations. REALLY wish I would have known that little side fact too!!!

    Anyway, deep breaths.

    So I make the dreaded call and am told that my wait time would not exceed 8 minutes. I pitter around, multi tasking for a bit while the phone sits uncomfortably in the crook of my neck. I click it into speaker mode and set it on the kitchen counter while I whip up some lunch (wheat tortilla with a sprinkling of Mexican cheeses crisped in the oven and then drowned in Tabasco sauce. It's fabulous!) I check the phone and it's passed the 7 minute mark so I'm anticipating help anytime now. As I'm reaching for the sauce in the fridge I hear from the other side of the kitchen "Hello? How can I help you?" I leap for the phone which is standing upright and knock it over on it's back and watch as it slides off the counter, as another "Hello???" is uttered before it crashes to the floor. I shout "Hang on!" as I grab for the phone with such force that I hit the fricking END button!! I scream "Nooooooo!" Both animals come running to my aid probably thinking that they have done something wrong so I reassure them that they are still good boys, after a few choice words were directed at my phone.

    I call back and wait 13 minutes before I am helped and am on the phone another 30 minutes (most of the time on hold). The guy was accommodating but somehow the price of the battery jumped up another $30 in less than 2 weeks so I opted not to purchase. I'll probably realize that I made a mistake and have to call them back in the next day or so. If I'm not heard from for a while just assume I keeled over from phone rage.

    who are the people in your neighborhood?

    Went for my run this morning which quickly turned into a side clutching stumble from a severe stomach cramp probably due in part to last nights $1 tacos washed down with foamy beers by the lake. Or maybe it's residual effects from Monday's risotto but either way, running was out of the question. Plus I left Wrigs asleep, belly up on the couch so I was absent a pocket full of poo bags.

    I was headed uphill in the hot sun when my stumble mutated into an ape like crawl at which point I decided to cut this "run" short. I detoured into a neighborhood of fancy pants homes along the lake and then slowly started to morph into a more upright position. I was really huffing and puffing and needed to stop every 20 feet or so to catch my breath. Finally the ground levelled a bit and started to decline so I was able to walk without dragging my knuckles.

    There are areas throughout the neighborhood with large patches of open grass for people to bring their dogs for play. I was coming upon one and there were 2 women, one had 2 yellow labs and the other, a tiny little golden pup. Of course I had to stop. I will never pass up the opportunity for some good ole doggy lovin'.

    Paolo the pup, was just 5 months old yet he was half the size of Wrigs at 2 months! In fact, I think Wrigley shot outta the womb bigger than this guy. The labs were a bit older and all dogs were in training for Canine Companions and they were so well mannered and calm. I told the women that my dog could really learn a thing or two from these guys and they were so sweet and suggested I bring him by sometime to exercise with them.

    I responded: "Oh he's a bit of a spaz and has a little too much energy. I wouldn't want to do that to your well behaved brood."

    woman 1: "Oh I'm sure he'd be fine. What's his name?"

    me: "Wrigley."

    woman 2: "I know him! He's friends with Simon, up the street. (Simon is another golden.) then she continues with, "Wait a minute...You're the lady in the balloon!"

    me: (somewhat perplexed) "The balloon? You mean like the boy in the bubble?" (had no idea what she meant by this but she was all animated and excited about it so now I was curious).

    woman 2: "Aren't you the one who's hot air balloon crashed?"

    me: "Yeah, a few years ago. How did you know about that?"

    woman 2: "Oh I heard it from Simon's dad."

    me: "Oh. I see. Hmm. I don't remember telling him about it but maybe--?"

    woman 2: "He said you really messed up your back. Are you doing any better?"

    me: "Well somedays are better than others." (I'm starting to wonder if she saw me moments before practically crawling on my hands and knees from the stomach cramp) "But today's not so great."

    woman 2: "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Did you see that recent hot air balloon accident? The balloon actually caught fire and people jumped out while it was still high in the air. So tragic."

    me: "Yes, that was awful. Thankfully mine was not as bad as that but I'll never get into one of those air bombs again."

    woman 2: "Oh me neither!"

    me: "Ok well it was nice to meet you both and your sweet pups. Enjoy your day!"

    woman 1 and 2: "You too! Bye!"

    So since the balloon crash is fresh on my mind here are some pics from that frightful day. These were taken right after our "pilot" said that we were going to experience a "bit of a bumpy landing" which translates to: blasting through the atmosphere nearly missing highway power lines by just a few feet and then crash landing (not once, but 3 times due to wind gusts) by the side of the highway. Tom took these pics right before we started our fast descent because he said he had never seen that look of sheer terror on my face before. What a guy!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Sometimes things happen in life that you just can't explain. Well I had another one of those "planets must be aligned" experiences which in the last year have been hitting with full force and it's starting to freak me out. I'll try my best to put down into words this latest one.

    Less than a month ago Tom and I were talking about our childhood experiences and people from our past and it made me think about two of my best friends from gradeshool that I've lost touch with, Grazia and Cristina. I met Grazia in kindergarten and Cristina in first grade and from that point on had been extremely close friends with both of them up until our 20's. All 3 of us attended different high schools and colleges but still managed to remain good friends. Once we became preoccupied with careers, spouses, moves to other cities, we started to drift apart. The last time I saw Grazia was about 12 years ago and I think the last time I saw Cristina was at my wedding 9 years ago.

    So thinking about them while reliving some of my childhood experiences prompted me to consult the world's greatest invention of all time, the world wide web. I was coming up blank on just about every name combo I searched and was getting discouraged, until I tried LinkedIN. I found Grazia! So I rambled off an email in hopes that it really was her, I had a feeling it was because there aren't too many out there! So this was on a Friday and by 10:00 that evening I had a return email from my BFF!!! I was ecstatic. I emailed back with my phone number and first thing Saturday morning she calls and first we screamed, talked and laughed for most of the morning and it seriously felt like no time had passed.

    I asked if she had stayed in touch with Cristina because I had no luck finding her. She said that she has lost touch with her as well and didn't really know where she was. Though I was disappointed I wasn't able to get in touch with Cristina, I was also so happy that Grazia and I had reconnected. We exchanged all our information and promised each other to stay in touch more frequently and are even planning to get together hopefully this fall. She now lives in Portland, OR which is an easy 2 hour flight away.

    Later that night I was telling my mom how Grazia and I got back in touch and she was so happy for both of us. My mom adored Grazia and Cristina and I told her how I'm not giving up hope on finding Cristina. My mom said that she had run into her YEARS ago at her local grocery store but it was so quick, no numbers were exchanged or anything so she really didn't have much more to go on. I thought that maybe the next time I'm back home I'll visit some of my old stomping grounds (ie, bars) and see what I can find out.

    Well that was my plan anyway. Then Monday afternoon rolls around. I'm working from home when the phone rings. It's a number I don't recognize so I assume it's a solicitor (we get TONS of those) so I'm debating on whether or not to answer it. After a few annoying rings, I pick it up.

    me: Hello?

    voice: Hello. Is Laura (insert maiden and married name) there?

    me: (assuming it's a solicitor so I switch into bitch mode) Um, yeah it's her. Who's this?

    voice: (in a slow drawn out question) L-A-U-R-A?

    me: CRISTINA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Cristina: OH MY GOD!!! IT'S YOU!!!!


    I literally had to sit down for a minute because I was so completely overwhelmed. I explained to her that I had just searched for her online less than 3 days ago and now out of the blue she calls??? I couldn't believe it. I felt the tears welling up. I asked how and WHY all of the sudden she found me??? She said that the night before she and her husband celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary and they decided to watch their wedding video. I was a bridesmaid and was chatting away on their video about when Cristina and I were younger, we used to put on these long black Elvira wigs and ride around town on this 2 person bike. The hair would be flowing several feet behind us and we'd be afraid that it would get caught in the wheel spokes and snap our necks! Yeah that's just what you want to remember when you watch your wedding video 10 years later. At any rate, she said after she watched it, she had to get back in touch. She found 2 listings for Tom's name and decided to try the first one which led her to our home. How amazing is that?

    When I told her that I had just talked to Grazia on Saturday after 12 years, again there were more screams. I gave her Grazia's information and now through some divine intervention from the heavens, 3 friends that have not seen or heard from each other in a decade, were reunited.

    I can't stop smiling.

    my thoughts right now...

    Sometimes I am made of glass, fragile and delicate
    But don't try to look inside because I'll never let you see.
    My shades are drawn and shut very tight, not even light can peep through.
    Other times I am made of paper, withery and thin
    Too frail to hold any words, so instead l remain blank and empty,
    Wishing I could soar into the wind and get lost in the clouds.

    Thank you Nick

    You know how there are some people in your life you just click with?? Well I am lucky to say I just found one of those people in my life. And I just "met" her in person this last weekend.

    I'm going to refer to her as KBL (originally from Afghanistan) and she has a blog (also in my links section, kbl2ord2san ) but she prefers to remain anonymous for family reasons. We met via someone else's blog and started chatting in the comments section of our own blogs. I instantly felt a bond with her over the loss of her golden boy Nick. Her pain was so real and raw and it actually hurt me inside to see someone (even though a stranger) go through this. I cried sooo many times (even out in public, still not showing my face in Panera Bread for quite a while) when I'd read some of her entries during the grief process over Nick. Now for those of you who will sit back and say, "Come on, it's a DOG for Pete's Sake, get over it!" Let me say as politely as I can, Go F*ck Yourself. I'm sorry if that's a little harsh for some of you but I lost my dog after 17 years and was told months into my grieving "Get over it already!" and to this day I will never forget how that person made me feel. I have also lost a parent and of course that is the hardest thing I have ever had to experience in my life but loss is loss and we all grieve and mourn for more time with those we love, be it father, friend or four legger.

    So KBL and I started to exchange emails and again her vibrant personality and warm spirit popped out at me through her words on the screen. I would share some of what we exchanged with Tom and he kept saying, "Be careful, I bet you're chatting with a fat naked 55 year old man." and sometimes he would add, "who's probably touching himself." Yes, that is my husband, I'm so proud to admit. But I continued to connect with her on sooo many levels and always felt so comfortable sharing so much about myself with her, things that the majority of people in my life now don't even know. So I took my chances that a fat naked man was not at the other end of the internet waves. And come to find out her significant other had me pegged as a lesbian serial killer who baited her victims via the blog. So yeah, we think our boys will definitely hit it off and are planning for them to meet in the near future.

    Our e-mails then led to a phone conversation and it was so comforting to finally hear a voice (a female voice!) and again get along so well. We decided to meet in person so she drove up from San Diego with her newly rescued 13 year old golden, Achilles. When I opened the door and saw them both standing there it was like welcoming a childhood friend who I haven't seen in years. She was so warm and kind and funny as hell too! We laughed so much and talked about everything and realized that even though we grew up half way across the world from each other and came from completely different backgrounds, we have so much in common. And I'm not talking about the superficial things, like taste in music or favorite sports teams (altho she is a die hard Cub fan so that didn't hurt!) but we have such similar outlooks on life and how we view the world and the relationships we have with people in our lives. Some of the situations that she has been dealing with in her life were so similar to things I have experienced that we both were able to understand each other so well and without much effort. To have one person like this in your life is a blessing. I am fortunate because I have many amazing friends who I love dearly but sadly they are scattered all over the country. And like KBL said it is soooo hard to meet good girlfriends, especially as you get older and even more so out here in Southern California. But being with her made me realize just what a true friendship is all about. And I've learned that things don't happen in life by chance. We were meant to meet, to share and to become friends for a lifetime.

    Thank you sweet Mr. Triangle face for bringing your precious Mama my way!!!

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    still tasted good

    Tonight I had such a delicious dinner that I just had to share it on here. I got a bag of Trader Joe's Asparagus Risotto and paired it with a glass of T Joe's Cheap Ass Wine. It was fabulous!!! I was so excited that I did a Google search on the Asparagus Risotto to find out what other people think about it and I found this interesting link. This very clever person has set up a website in an effort to try everything inside Trader Joe's. And of course there was an entry on this amazing Asparagus Risotto. What caught my eye was this line..."my digestive system and Trader Joe’s asparagus risotto are not pals." Hmm I thought. I usually have an overly active digestive system and so far I was fairing ok after chomping away at my bubbling mound of Risotto. I was actually feeling so good (though a bit stuffed) that I decided to go for a run.

    Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you to wait a half hour after eating before you participate in any physical activity? Those are words to live by. So in case you decide to try this Risotto I strongly recommend that you wait a while before running 3+ miles. Or if you do, make sure you run where there are public garbage cans placed every 1/2 mile or so apart. Or even better yet, take the dog with you and carry an excess of doggy poop bags in case you suddenly feel the need to hurl into one. I'm speaking hypothetically of course. 'Nuff said.

    Can't wait for my trip!!!

    I'm really looking forward to my trip to Greece in less than 2 weeks but I'm a bit nervous that all I'll get to see is charred remains of what used to be. I'm not much of a world traveler and in the past I've always traveled for pleasure, laying out on the beach, sleeping in late, cocktails poolside by noon. But this time I was really looking forward to learning more about the history and experience the culture of another country and see all that I can see in my 10 days abroad. I hate to admit it but my knowledge of the Greek culture doesn't extend much beyond the fact that I know where a Gyro comes from and that my husband tells me I have hair like Medusa when I wake up in the morning. So despite the fact that half the country is up in flames right now, I'm still hopeful that I'll get to venture out and see more than just the hotel room. And I don't mean to sound so selfish right now by saying all this because my heart goes out to all those people who have lost everything including lives in these fires. I can only imagine how incredibly devastating that would be. So please say prayers for those who are suffering through this horrific disaster and keep them safe from harm and also pray that the historical structures throughout the Greek landscape remain intact. What an awful tragedy to witness.

  • Greece on Fire

  • Friday, August 24, 2007

    Golf 101

    Who's the idiot that said doing things one spouse loves to do, together, will bring you both closer? Is this guy still alive? All we discovered is that it brought us closer to killing each other.

    Tom and I are trying to make more of an effort to do things together, like golf for example. He loves to golf, he golfs a lot, and I thought why not join him for a round or two so we can spend time together, doing something he loves? He's been coming for more runs with me around the lake and surprisingly when you're out of your own home, void of television, phone, and the internet an amazing thing starts to take shape. I forget what it's called, I think it starts with a "C". Oh wait, it's on the tip of my tongue, it's CON, CONVE, CONVERSATION!! What a lost concept. I highly recommend it.

    So here's some footage of our day together on the course. Not much in the way of conversation on this outing, although some words were exchanged. I don't think we'll be golfing again together anytime soon.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2007


    Tom had come home from work early and we were both talking in the kitchen over some cheese, crackers, grapes and wine. I was standing with my back to him cutting up some more of a blue cheese wedge. He's at the sink. I nibble on a couple pieces of cheese crumbles and say,

    "I can't get past the fact that I'm eating mold."

    He says,

    "I know. Lately I've been thinking about that a lot."

    me: "You have? Why? Is it bad for you?"

    Tom: "No not bad. But it's something I think about."

    me: "Ok you're freaking me out. I'm done with this cheese. You seem to have no problem eating it." (I slam dunk my piece of moldy cheese into the sink)

    Tom: "Why did you just throw your cheese away?"

    me: "It's covered in mold!! Look at it! I seriously think I could throw up now. I'm never eating blue cheese again." (spit spit spit)

    Tom leans back and folds his arms across his chests and calmly states,

    "I thought you said 'you're getting old'."

    me: (still spitting in the sink) "What??? I didn't say that! Why? Do you think I am??"

    Tom: "No I don't. I realize now, that you were talking about cheese mold."

    me: "Yeah I was and I feel like I could throw up." (burp)

    we both ponder this ridiculous miscommunication. I take a sip of wine and then say,

    "So wait, back to what you thought I said...Do you think you're getting old???"

    Tom: "Nevermind. Maybe I'm just going deaf."

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    battle of the water bowl

    Chumley's obsession with Wrigley's water is getting out of control. Chum won't even sniff his own water dish anymore. He only drinks from Wrigley's bowl and now, whenever Chum is drinking, of course Wrigs has to have a drink right then and there. So usually a battle ensues, with fists n fur flying and Chum spitting out his mouthful of water with each hiss. This clip below shows how patient Wrigley can be while he sits and waits for Chum to finish drinking but the best part is, Wrigley's not even thirsty. He takes three little licks and walks away. He just has to be the last one drinking.

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    dinner at our house

    The mood is set. Romantic lighting, a nice chilled glass of California wine to compliment a delicious steak dinner. After a long hard day at work, this is the perfect setting for some quiet reflection and relaxation.

    A letter to my husband

    To my dear, sweet, adventuresome, outdoor lovin' husband,

    While I am thrilled to bits that you really seem to enjoy your latest summer sport, Bass fishing, I just have one simple little request. In the future, can you kindly refrain from keeping the LIVE SQUIRMING FLESH COLORED WORMS out of our kitchen refrigerator? Or at the VERY least, give me some sort of head's up that the worms will be in there, housed in a container marked Gravy? I would greatly appreciate it and so would my Cardiologist.

    Thank you from the bottom of my still palpitating heart.

    Your wifey.

    A real live...


    Saw this on my walk around the lake this morning and had to snap some photos. Look at him go. In case he needs to backtrack he can always follow his slime trail. Sort of makes me wish people had this ability. Especially in airport and shopping mall parking lots. Collectively I've probably spent 3 months of my life searching for my car in crowded parking lots. Maybe next time I'll just take a snail along with me. I'm sure that would save me gobs of time.

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Guilty as Charged

    Gosh! I really need to apologize for my lack of updates. It's almost been a week since I've posted which is just unacceptable. It's been a busy week/weekend but that's no excuse. In addition to my laziness, my lap top is still out of commission and only works in spurts, (for example if I'm facing due South, arms akimbo with my cell phone balancing open on my head.) It's beyond frustrating at this point. I met with my "Genius" the other day and let me tell you that the words MAC + Genius = Oxymoron. I won't go into details on this post but the next day I ended up spending close to an hour on the phone with MAC support (another oxymoron) and let's just say my conversation ended with me stating that it's time I invest in a PC. They weren't too happy about that. But oh well, what the hell, it's time for a Dell.'s random snippet:

    Tom and I were sitting in the family room watching golf, (WOW what a change of pace, can you believe it?!?) and he turns to me as I'm looking at him and we both say literally at the same time, "Hey, thanks for cleaning Chumley's litter."


    Then again almost in sync: "Wait, I didn't clean it."

    "You didn't?"


    "Neither did I."

    and in walks Wrigley. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

    Anyone have any idea what to do about this? While I love having an automatic kitty litter cleaner, it's just not sanitary. And let me also apologize to those of you who have been on the receiving end of Wrig's sloppy kisses.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Taps for the 'top

    So my lap top may have sat upon it's last lap. I've made an appt tomorrow at the Apple store with a Mac Genius to take a look and see if there's any hope for a recovery. I'm still optimistic that it just may be the battery but there have some been other screwball quirks that have randomly occurred in the last week so I'm preparing for the worst. (Gosh, sounds like I'm talking about a family member on the eve of exploratory surgery.)

    I'm posting this on my GARGANTUAN vintage i-mac (cir.1982, ok more like 2003, but by today's standards that's ANCIENT!) so I'll keep this short since this thing operates at a much slower speed and the keyboard tends to stick a little (one too many spilled lattes.) Modern technology never ceases to amaze me but at the same time I'd like to ween myself away from my dependence to it. I think being without a lap top for a few days affords me that opportunity whether I like it or not.

    Which brings me to today's thought...

    If you had to give up one of the following modern conveniences for ONE week, which would it be?

    a) TELEVISION (not even youtube clips, sorry!)

    b) RADIO / iPod, (this includes any sort of listening device, so NO MUSIC for one week.)

    c) PHONE (home phone and cell phone, including text messaging, but can be used to dial 911 in case of emergency)

    d) COMPUTER/BLACKBERRY (aside from everyday work use but would include all personal e-mail, internet use, video games, etc.)

    I'm curious to see what people will say. This is a no brainer for me, it would have to be TV. Actually I'm thinking I could add this to my random experiments list. Any one else interested in coming along for the ride? I wonder how many days I could go without grabbing for that remote. Wait a second, before I commit to this I better double check the guide for any upcoming Enrique appearances.


    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    major computer issues..

    so I have to keep my updates short.

    For now, I'll leave you all with this...

    Never eat an ENTIRE big bag of Black Licorice Nibs unless you like to spend the ENTIRE next morning sitting on the toilet. And I'm certain that Twizzlers use shades of green in order to dye this licorice. I won't go into that on here though. Hope to be back soon!

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    So how was your day?

    Oh you know, nothing too exciting. Had coffee with a friend, grocery shopped, did a few loads of laundry then a little yardwork...oh and shimmied a fat rat out a hole from the inside of a barbeque. And you???

    This clip was shot very early on in the "Operation Rat Rescue" mission which took place at our next door neighbor's house. After several attempts with a shovel (used to push him up through the bottom) water (which was squirted all over him in an effort to make him skinnier) and then sticks (hoping that he would grab on so we could pull him out - yeah, that really did not go as planned.) We finally resorted to dripping Crisco oil on him and then BAM! He flew outta there like a bat outta hell. Or a rat out of a grill. Ha ha, that's really dumb, I know. But the good news is, he's alive and hopefully well. But I'm sure he has quite a tummy ache. He was REALLY wedged in there. Poor guy.

    one last bit of film...

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    when it rains, sometimes a rainbow appears

    When I walked out my front door to deliver my basket of baked goods I found a fed ex envelope sitting on the front porch. And this is what was inside...

    That's an autograph from one of my all time FAVORITE musicians, Chris Isaak. A few months back I got to see him in concert at the Greek theater in LA. More importantly, I got to meet and interview him backstage and snap a couple photos. And in all the excitement, I forgot to ask him for an autograph. That would just be downright greedy! The Hart Marx guy we were with said he's going to be traveling with Chris so he'd be able to get me one at some point. I guess you could say I'm pretty pumped about getting this in the mail today. Not really sure what he means by "Keep Swinging" but hey, it's Chris Frickin' Isaak!! I'll take it!

    Thanks Chris, for making me smile!

    In Memory of Daisy

    Well I guess I jinxed myself again. Not even a week ago I blogged about how I hoped I wouldn't have to send this card to anyone, anytime soon. As I type it's sitting atop a basket of muffins and cookies for my neighbor, Jack. He's in his late 70's, maybe even early 80's and he lives up the street. His best friend in the world was his dog Daisy, a 7 yr old yellow lab. Daisy was ALL woman. She was one of Wrigley's many girlfriends and he would get soooo excited when he'd see her. She would keep him in line, and play it very cool, sometimes even turning her back and walking away from him, but her tail wag always gave her away. She was in love with Wrigs which kept him coming back for more.

    Jack and I met soon after we moved into this house. I was sitting outside the coffee shop up the street where he and Daisy had their daily breakfast. Yes, she was spoiled. Wrigs was just a little fuzzy puppy and was climbing all over the ever patient Daisy. She would look up at her Daddy with these big brown eyes that pleaded, "Help me?" But she was so sweet and mild mannered and just let Wrigs have his way occasionally giving him a few scoots with her snout. A few weeks later while Tom and I were walking Wrigs in the neighborhood we spotted Jack and Daisy just a few houses away, working on his boat. Of course Wrigs hopped and jumped all over Daisy and I introduced Tom to my new friends and told Jack we were neighbors.

    Throughout this past year we'd stop and chat whenever we'd go for our walks, sometimes for quite a while. There was always something to talk about, especially when the two love sick puppies were fumbling all over each other. Wrigley, now full grown (I hope!) and a little less puppy-ish seemed to behave more gentleman-like around Daisy. And boy she sure loved it. She would now come running towards him as we approached the house and Daisy was not the fastest or fittest dog. It was really cute to watch their relationship blossom. Wrigs always had to stop at her house on our walks. You know that song, that goes something like, "I've got a gal in every port", well Wrigs has a lady on every corner. He's quite the Don Juan in the canine community. He's kind of a big deal around here. (quote from the movie Anchorman).

    Sadly there is one less lady for him to love. I hadn't seen Daisy outside with Jack for a couple weeks now. I had a feeling something was wrong because the last time I saw her she had lost quite a bit of weight and Jack had said she's just not eating that much and thought maybe it was due to the heat. Then yesterday on my walk (without Wrigs) I saw him in the garage vacuuming up the back of his SUV. That's when I knew it wasn't good. I just couldn't bring myself to ask so I kept walking. Then this morning I saw him outside again so I stopped and said, "Hi Jack, I'm scared to ask, how's everything?" and before he could even answer I felt the tears. He said that Daisy was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after she started to lose her appetite. The doctor said her white blood cell count was over 300,000 and I guess the normal is between 600-800. There was nothing they could do. She wasn't sleeping through the night and was constantly getting up shifting positions. She had some spots on her lungs too which made her breathing difficult. The only thing that seemed to comfort her was laying in the jacuzzi so that is where she spent the majority of her final days. He would sit there with her, just loving her up as much as he could.

    He said the day he had to put her to sleep was the most difficult thing he's ever had to do. He said he was grateful that he got to be there with her, holding her, kissing her and telling her how much he loved her. Hearing this man speak of his love for his dog and his feelings of such loss pierced my heart. He truly lost his best friend. He said that when he takes his boat out he looks around for her, because she was always with him, and sometimes he forgets she's not there. I patted his arm and said, "She's still there with you. You just can't see her." He looked down at the ground for a bit and then said, "You think so?" and through my tears I smiled and just nodded my head. He smiled and nodded too, and then we said our goodbyes. I looked back and caught a glimpse of him wiping his eyes and I cried the rest of the way home.

    Once inside I clung to Wrigley and sobbed in his fur for a good minute or two and then he started licking my tears. I blurted out, "DAMN IT DOGS!! Why must you be so CUTE and SWEET and LOVING and MAKE US LOVE YOU SO DAMN MUCH!?!?!" Wrigley looked at me like, "What did I do wrong?" and I just kissed his snout and cuddled his head. All I know is that the more you love, the more it's going to hurt.

    I'm off to deliver my goodie basket and card.

    christmas in Laguna

    Yes I know it's almost 6 months away but I can't help but get excited for Christmas in Laguna beach. It's a winter wonderland complete with good food & drink, crafts, art, music, and lots of holiday cheer. Not sure why I'm already thinking about Christmas when it's only August, I really don't want time to go any faster than it is. So for now I'm just going to enjoy each season, each day, each moment and stay focused on the present. Although sometimes it's easier said than done.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    my top 5

    So I have to pick 5 blogs that I love.

    Of course there is a tie for first, both Christina's and Peter's because they were the ones that introduced me to the blogging world. And I love reading about their lives (although Peter needs to update his a little bit) since I don't get to see my friends as often as I would like to, it's nice to peek into their world from the outside. They both have a lot to offer so add them to your blog library.

    There are a few that I don't have linked on my blog, not really sure why, but some of the stuff on these blogs is pretty heavy but I religiously read Brainhell's blog and Snickollet's. They both have shown amazing courage, grace and humor as they face some of life's most difficult challenges. There is not a day that goes by where I don't think of them and pray for their strength.

    I also ready Pretty in the City, who is a former high school classmate of mine, and we also worked together back in the late 90's at the Jenny Jones show in Chicago. She is now a well respected author and I highly recommend her books. And she's got a dog and a cat that have some rather interesting issues, so it makes me feel better about my crazy animals.

    And I'll end with my new friend kbl2ord2san. Thanks to her Golden boy Nick, we've developed a friendship through the world of blogging and are planning to finally meet for a fun weekend filled with wine, animals and lots of laughs.

    There are actually many more that I read but I won't even begin to list them on here. Maybe I'll just add the links to my template at some point. I guess you could say I'm somewhat addicted to reading about complete stranger's lives. Does that make me a voyeur? Yeah I guess so.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Coming soon to a theater near you...

    Dim the lights and add some eerie Kubrick-style instrumentals and you have the makings of the next cult Horror flick: Chumley, Unleashed.

    (turn the sound down for the full effect and if you have some chilling tunes on your computer, all the better.)

    Here are some other working titles, thanks to my sister...
    Night of the Living CHUMLEY
    Texas Chainsaw CHUMLEY
    A CHUMLEY on Elm Street
    I Know What You Did Last Summer, CHUMLEY

    Friday, August 03, 2007


    I have this weird habit of purposely limiting my capabilities or senses just to see what it would be like. I think this is due to a college course I took called Exceptional Persons in Society. One of the experiments we had to do was walk around campus blindfolded for 1 hour, with a classmate who acted as our guide, just to see (or feel rather) how it be if we lost our sight. It was supposed to make us appreciate the things we have and also gain an understanding and respect for those who are less fortunate. So for whatever reason, I continue to do variations of this in my current life.

    Like for example a couple months ago I tucked my left arm into it's sleeve and only allowed myself to use my right arm for an entire morning. It was sooooo difficult. Making the bed, brushing my teeth, tying shoes, (that morning I skipped the shower because that would have been pretty much impossible) making coffee, even typing on the keyboard. It was all doable but everything took twice the effort and almost two to three times as long to accomplish.

    I also like to do things with my left hand (I'm right handed) just to test my skills of ambidexterity? Is that even a word? Sometimes I'll address an envelope, dial the phone, vacuum, etc. I feel as though it keeps my body and brain hemispheres in balance. I love to play the piano and for that I use both hands equally as much so I should be able to carry this over into my everyday tasks right?

    Well, not when it comes to hammering a nail in the wall...

    Crying in the aisles of Target

    Sounds like it could be the next Country/Western hit, but sadly it was what I was doing earlier this morning while shopping. I of course needed to restock our shower curtain supply, so I bought 3, hoping that lasts us through the month of August. I also needed to buy 2 get well cards. It was in the card aisle that I lost it when I saw this card for loss of pet...

    Card Front:

    Inside message:

    "if only they could"

    And there she blows. A waterfall of tears were falling down my cheeks and I tried my best to blink them away but a few splashed onto the card so I felt obligated to purchase. I just hope I don't have to send it to anyone, anytime soon.

    The last few weeks have been a little challenging so I know my emotional threshold has almost reached it's breaking point so I'm sure that added to the flow of waterworks. But for that moment in the store, I thought of all my past pets, current pets and those in my life who have also lost a pet. Those tears were for all the Taffee's, Bailey's, Brewski's, Precious's, Muffin's, Oswald's, Bambi's and Nick's who have left us behind. Your paw prints are forever in our hearts and we will never forget you.

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    note to self

    3 glasses of red wine + 2 cheesy lobster enchiladas + 1 house margarita

    more Chum?

    Sort of, but not really...
    I love watching Shark Week on Discovery channel. Why? Because every once in a while they use the word "chum" and it makes me smile.

    I know I'm going to get a lot of sh*t for this one...

    But oh well. These are just some snippets from the Heinz 57 Commercial Contest shot last week. The actual edited piece is very clever with a catchy jingle but for now, here are just some silly clips.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007


    In the last 2 weeks Tom and I have not seen each other much at all nor have we had a conversation that didn't revolve around Chumley's pee or Wrigley's worms (which are gone by the way.) So this morning we decided to head out for a nice breakfast together, just to catch up. We brought Wrigs with us.

    We sat outside and I sipped my coffee as Tom and Wrigs drank their water. We use this handy little fold up bowl for Wrigley that my mother in law gave us that's great for walks and outings. I made sure to anchor it carefully against a ledge because Wrigs sometimes has a tendency to step on it and spill out all the water.

    So we sat and sipped, sipped and sat, just enjoying the quiet of the morning. No sooner did our food come, when this woman, maybe in her late 60's early 70's comes hobbling up the sidewalk with her little scruffy dog. The woman was a bit unsteady on her feet but she was moving pretty fast. Her dog comes charging towards Wrigley who's so submissive that he just stands still letting this guy sniff him everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. We smile at the woman who is not even attempting to pull her dog off Wrigley and then we praise Wrigley for being such a good boy while he's basically getting an anal bath. The womans asks what our dog's name is and we tell her, then feel obligated to ask what her sadistic dog's name is and she says it's Harvey.

    We try to get back to eating and politely say, "Ok Harvey, nice to meet you" while tugging Wrigley away. The woman then says, "Oh they're eating!" and I'm thinking to myself, 'What the heck gave that away? The fact that our plates are full and I'm shoving a forkful of pancakes into my mouth??' But instead I smile and say, "Yep! Breakfast time." and she continued to just stand there. I'm feeling a little awkward because I can't eat with this woman standing there staring at us so I put my fork down. Tom was so hungry he continued to shovel in his food, he could care less if this woman stripped naked and sat in the middle of our table. But he raised his eyebrows a few times, indicating he wasn't exactly thrilled with the whole thing either.

    The woman's looking at Tom, I'm looking at the woman and Harvey is still assaulting poor Wrigs who is looking at me for intervention. It's now turning into an uncomfortable situation. The woman says AGAIN, "You're eating breakfast!" Tom says sternly with a mouthful, "YES WE ARE." Then she starts tugging at Harvey's leash but he doesn't want to move so she bends down unsteadily to grab him at the collar. She spots Wrigley's bowl of water and almost falls over as she reaches for it. She picks it right up and flings it in the air spilling water everywhere, including on herself, Harvey and Wrigs. Tom puts his fork down and slowly mouths the word...T O R N A D O. We now realize that this woman has some issues. She stands there mumbling and I tell her it's ok about the water, not to worry. She continues to mumble, still holding the bowl. Tom and I are just sitting there taking all of this in, then FINALLY she drops the bowl and starts to walk away. Once she passes our table she yells out in an annoyed tone, "Come on Harvey, they're eating breakfast!"

    I say to Tom, "What the "bleep" was that???" He says, "I think I just caught a glimpse of you in 30 years".

    So much for our special breakfast.

    More on Chum...

    Sadly for us, I have more demonic Chumley videos. He was VERY angry when he woke up this morning and I was trying to calm him but my efforts proved fruitless. I hope he snaps outta this soon. He's had mean streaks that can last a week or more though so who knows what the heck is up his cat ass this time. We're about ready to cut off his food supply.

    Chumley does this karate chop style attack. I should be better prepared for it but usually he screams like he's a professional karate chopper, about to slam his fist forcefully into a giant brick and right as he's about to do it he screams out..."Hiiiii YA!" and then smashes the brick into bits. In this video just imagine my face as the brick.

    After Tom watched this video he says, "Laura, there are so many things wrong with this, first one being you're telling Chumley not to hit so hard. Why not discipline him for hitting period???"

    Yeah, I see his point. Oh by the way, did you happen to notice the new shower curtain on the bed? I like how it's got that opalescent look to it. Gives the room sort of a moonlit glow.