Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do WHAT to my WHAT?!?

If you use gmail (and possibly if you use other email programs or even web browsers), you may have noticed that there are ads on the sidebar, and that the ads often relate to the subject matter of the email you're writing or reading. At least I have noticed this. If I send someone an email about the zoo, there will be zoo ads on the side bar. If I read an email from someone about Mexican resorts, there will be Mexican resort ads on the sidebar. Well, today while reading an email with some pictures of my Vegas trip from my friend who accompanied me, I saw an add on the sidebar about LABIAPLASTY!!! First of all, RANDOM. There was nothing in either her email or my reply even slightly related to anything remotely having to do with said-plasty. But more importantly, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Women DO THAT??? AGH! Even after my recent trip to Brazil, where I discovered that the topography wasn't exactly how I had pictured it, I can't imagine being intimately acquainted enough with that area to decide I didn't like the way it looked. And even if I decided that I didn't like the way it looked (though why would I? What do I even have to compare it to??), I can't imagine giving the doc the scalpel and the go ahead to slice and dice down there. I'm thinking surely labiaplasty must be a joke. It's not real, right?

p.s. If it is real, don't tell me. I want to live in a fantasy world where hoohas are not up for that kind of make-over.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

As If You Cared

I know picture posts are sometimes the dumbest ones of all.  BOOOORRRRRIIIIIINNNNGGG.  Especially vacation picture posts and kid picture posts.  It's like, "Hey, everyone acknowledge (or lie about) how cute my children are!"  And "Hey, aren't you all jealous of how fun my vacation looks?"  Something about it reeks of a desperate need for validation.  Or a serious lack of writing creativity.  Or, at the very least, a majorly boring life.  Personally, I go with option C.    So without further ado, here are my vacation pictures.  (My kid pics were right before this, in case you missed them).  

Dinner out.   Christie and I got together with our friend Jen.  The irony?  Jen lives in Salt Lake.  But when do we get together with her?  When she happens to be in Vegas the same weekend as us.  

This is my favorite picture of Christie. She has the same look on her face that my daughter gives me while saying, "What EVER."

Coldish, hurricane force winds hit Vegas the first two days we were there.  This is a picture of me freezing while simultaneously showing off our awesome view of our awesome pool.

More dinner out!  If you enlarge this picture, you'll see that two of these three people have demonic red eyes.  The other one has angelic blue eyes.  Who do you think came down to Vegas to get in trouble and party and who is going to heaven?  (Just kidding.  We didn't party at all.  We were very good and very boring.  Thanks for joining us for dinner on the Strip of Sin, Rychelle.)

Definitely one of the best parts of my trip.  I got my second ever pedicure.  Complete with massaging chair and irate Vietnamese woman.  EXCELLENT.

You can't go to Vegas without eating some seriously good desserts.  Or at least licking them.

You know I HAD to stop off at the Wynn and use my favorite bathroom ever.  Look at the height of those doors, people!

This is Christie in the car.

This is me and Christie in the car.

This is a picture of me taking a picture of Christie taking a picture of her odometer hitting 88,888.   Do we know how to get crazy or what?

There, that wasn't SO awful, was it? You may now commence with the obligatory "Looks like fun/wish I was there/nice pics!" comments.

Let It Rain

Look at these adorable rain galoshes I got off ebay....

And look who I found strutting around in them....

I'm saving that one for the wedding video.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Revenge of Mommy Funcakes

It seems that while the mouse is away, the cat will also play.

We passed like ships in the night, Mr.FunGuy and I. Twelve hours after his arrival from China, I was on my way to Sin City. And I guess someone takes his role as Chief Fun Parent very seriously. Because I returned home yesterday to this....

Sugar cereal. Treats. And New Toys. The Trifecta. Oh I see where this is going. This is WAR!

Well, Mr. Funguy, I have 8 hours at home with the kids, the DVR, squirt guns, a secret stash of Easter candy, Pop Tarts, bubbles, and a buttload of chocolate chips.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I'm home from Lost Wages. And actually I didn't lose any wages. I didn't even play a single slot machine. In fact, for all intents and purposes, I could have been in any warm city in the country for all the use I got out of Vegas. And that's just how I wanted it. Lots of lounging by the pool, sleeping in, napping, eating out, and reading. NOT very much blogging or internetting, unfortunately, because I couldn't get a connection in our room. But I'll try to make up for it. (Is anyone even still reading my blog?)

As for the Las Vegas Strip, this is all I had to show that I'd been there.....

Oh, and this....

Whew, that's bettter. I think I'm going to work a pedicure into my "must do" Vegas routine from here on out. Even if the Vietnamese lady did say a few mean things about me that I couldn't understand while she ground off my calouses and scrubbed the motor oil out of my heels. Don't ask me how it got there. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going The Extra Mile

I know I've ranted commented on the state of customer service these days at least once or twice before, but I got a new one today that I thought was noteworthy.

So first the background. I got an iPod Touch for my birthday. And after dropping it once or twice, I decided it would be wise to get some sort of skin for it, to protect it. Also, Big Daddy has an iPod Touch, so the skin would also serve to differentiate the two. When I searched on Amazon, I found a skin I liked, and it came with a screen protector and neck strap too. I thought the screen protector was a good idea. And the neck strap, well, I couldn't think of a specific use, but I thought perhaps it might come in handy. So I ordered the trio. It came in about a week. The skin was about as I'd expected. The screen protector was much too wily for me and I couldn't get it on without bubbles. But that was my bad. Then came the neck strap. I opened it up and then picked up my iPod to attach it. Hmmmm...where does it go? There was no place on the skin to attach it, and the skin wasn't tight enough anyway. That kind of pull would have detached the skin right away. And I couldn't find anywhere in the iPod itself to wrap the little cord around. I turned it over and over, but nothing presented itself. So I fired off this email to the company I bought it from (via Amazon) called

Hi, I received an iPod touch skin and neckstrap from you. However, I cannot figure out where or how to attach the neckstrap to the iPod. Can yougive me help with this? Thank you.

-Arianne Thompson

And here is the response I got back today...

Dear Customer,

Your I-pod should have some kind of hook on it. You can hook up the neckstrap on the hook.


customer service team

So what you're telling me is, you have a whole TEAM of people in your customer service center, and yet none of you know if my iPod Touch has a hook. It should, but you're not really sure. And rather than investigate this product you sell and how, exactly, it works with the product you have sold it for, you just sent me off a notice saying that, if the hook exists, I should be able to hook the neck strap to it. THANKS. Thanks a TON! Wow, that was brilliant logic. I am so impressed, not only with the spectacular design of the product (which may or may not actually attach to my product), but also your amazing powers of deduction. And you have really impressed me with your interest in my problem and making things better. By the way, my name isn't "Customer." It's "Arianne Thompson" as I said in my letter to you. But then, actually addressing your email to me would have required you to look at the original email, and looking for things is, we both know, not your strength.

Well, never fear, I'll keep looking for that elusive hook on my iPod. And when I find it, rest assured, your neck strap will not be on it. It's already in my local landfill. Thanks for nothing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flower Girl

When people ask me what my favorite flower is, I have a hard time choosing just one. I love flowers. All kinds of flowers. My favorite to smell? Lilacs. My favorite to get in a bouquet? Gerbera daisies. My favorite to look at? Lilies. My favorite to pick? Peonies. But overall, I'd have to say the flowers that give me the most joy are spring flowers. When the first crocuses push up through the ground in late February, I heave a huge sigh of relief; spring is coming. And then my grape hyacinths and daffodil spears start peeking through. Next my hyacinths and tulips. And by the middle of April, most of it is in bloom. And I swear my body feels 20 pounds lighter and my heart is a hundred pounds lighter.

Here are a few of my favorites from my garden....

This frilly, double daffodil

My favorite tulip. It's so tall and elegant. I transplanted a bunch of these from a different part of my yard, but only this one comes up every year now. It has the prettiest shades of pink and salmon and orange.

Although their stringy leaves tend to take over the garden, the intense violet of these grape hyacinths really pops against the green. And they're among the first to come up, so they always make me happy.

These darling jonquils are white with pale pink centers instead of yellow. They're tiny and delicate and adorable. I love them.

This is a parrot tulip. The edges are all frilly and spiky. Short, but very interesting.

I call these my fried egg daffodils. The centers are so orange, just like egg yolks. They're also really frilly and ruffly and interesting to look at.

What about you? What are you favorite spring flowers?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Sky Is Falling

Due to all the rain, snow, slush, sleet, freezing rain, and ice delivered in copious amounts to the top of my house this past week, my roof decided to absorb an inordinate amount of moisture. And then it passed it on to my ceiling, who then deposited lovely chunks of plaster onto my cherry floors. Soon it was raining in my kitchen. It soaked through a towel and a half before it finally slowed down. At that point, I called my friend Henny Penny. “The sky is falling!” I said. “Let’s go out for dinner.”

She agreed.

“Call me if the roof falls in,” I told the sitter on my way out.

No need to fear. The roof is still there. So is the ceiling. Well, most of it. . .

When The Cat's Away...

Big Daddy is unquestionably the fun parent. I admit this with no small amount of chagrin. I wish he was the Discipline Daddy so that I could be Mommy Funcakes more often. But someone's got to keep order around here, and I've decided to take one for the team.

But since China is 18 million miles away, with Mr.FunGuy enclosed somewhere in the middle of it, I've had to take over both roles. And guess what? Being Mommy Funcakes is kind of, well, fun.

For lunch today we had a tea party. There were chicken nuggets for the appetizer (I haven't completely abandoned my motherly instincts. And yes, somehow I do count those as "nutricious food.") For the entre, there was Swiss Miss, the kind with the tiny marshmallows built in. I carefully scooped those out ahead of time and put them in the sugar bowl. Then I filled the teapot with mildly warm hot chocolate. And in the cream pitcher I put some very hot milk. On the side of each saucer were M&M's. Then the kids and I sat down and feasted. "One lump or two?" I would ask. They didn't know what I was talking about, so they just dug into the marshmallow sugar bowl with their tiny, pink plastic spoons. "Cream?" I would enquire. And they would both nod vigorously as I poured the hot milk into their tea cups. After we all finished two cups of "tea," we helped a frog and a lion and a rabbit who had joined us for the party finish their hot chocolate and M&M's. (Frog and Lion are not very good eaters, and Rabbit doesn't care much for chocolate.)

For dessert, there were homemade cupcakes. This was an unplanned addition to my day. I got the idea to make cupcakes when I woke up at 6:45am to Daphne's face, six inches from mine, asking me, "Mommy, can we make cake now?" I'm not sure how she got that bee in her bonnet. Especially prior to sunrise. But I agreed that at some point in the day we could make cake. So we made a cupcake mix (did you know they have cupcake mix? It's just like cake mix, but smaller and more expensive. It makes about 10 cupcakes, not 12 like the box says. And that's just perfect for us, 'cause what would 1 mom and 2 toddlers do with 48 cupcakes??? Oh you KNOW we would eat them all. Hence the $2 cupcake mix.) As it is, I ate half the batch. I blame it on the frosting. Perfect frosting, I have to admit. Unfortunately, I made it up as I went along, so I'll never be able to replicate it. All I know is that it had a LOT of butter in it. And butter always tastes good.

All in all, I've enjoyed my performance as Mommy Funcakes. But I'm a little worried that all this lack of discipline may have produced some unexpected side effects. A few minutes ago, I heard Daphne telling Frog and Rabbit about all the other fun things she had planned for us today, things that Strict Mommy and Laundry Mommy and Sweeping the Floor Mommy (and, well, Blogging Mommy) would never do... "And then we'll play Candyland. And then we'll do Motorboat. And then we'll take a bath. And then we'll play dress up...." I think all this fun has gone to her head. I might have to lay Mommy Funcakes to rest pretty soon.

But...maybe not until China gives Mr.FunGuy back.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Moon

I can't help it. I'm excited about this....

However, I am NOT excited about this...

Robert Pattinson ... Edward Cullen

Ashley Greene ... Alice Cullen

Peter Facinelli ... Dr. Carlisle Cullen

Nikki Reed ... Rosalie Hale

Jackson Rathbone ... Jasper Hale

Dakota Fanning ... Jane

I did NOT like Nikki Reed as Rosalie. Her acting was fine. But the most beautiful woman in the world? NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.

And no cast choice disappointed me more than Alice's (Ashley Greene). The worst acting in the entire Twilight movie (and that's saying a LOT). I really hope she has taken some acting lessons since Twilight. She has the look, but she blew it as soon as she spoke.

I am bummed about Robert Pattinson as Edward. I guess it would have been a stretch to change the actor at this juncture (although they pulled it off with Batman, like four times!). It's not that he's a bad actor. But he pulled some really weird faces in Twilight. The bigger problem is that he's just NOT good looking enough. Or manly enough. Or buff enough. My husband, who, bless his soul, brought home Twilight to watch the other day--OF HIS OWN FREE WILL AND ACCORD, with no suggestion from me--said right off the bat about Edward, "Could they have picked anyone faggier?" I think they could have. I can think of a few faggier choices. But Robert Pattinson just doesn't cut it in my book. Hopefully he'll stop being so brooding in this movie (what little he's in it.)

I could NOT buy Peter Facinelli as Carlisle. He was handsome enough. But he looked about 20 years old! Just way too young to be a doctor. Unless this is a sequel of Doogey Houser M.D. I wish they had changed him. He had such a small role that no one would have minded, I'm sure.

Jackson Rathbone did a fabulous impression of Edward Scissorhands in Twilight. Unfortunately, not so good as Jasper. Stiff, mechanical, robotic, blank-faced....YACK! And since he said maybe 5 words during the whole movie, I know he would not have been missed. Why, oh WHY did they keep him??

And finally we come to the most puzzling choice for the New Moon cast. Dakota Fanning as Jane???? Um, Dakota Fanning turns 15 this year. Did anyone get the impression from New Moon that Jane--powerful, vicious, cold-hearted vixen--was 15? And a cutesy blond? How they are going to pull THAT one off is beyond me.

I am, however, pleased to see a few people back: I really liked all the high school friends' actors. They're keepers. I liked the choice for Charlie, I liked Jacob, I liked Emmett and Victoria and Laurant. And I even liked Bella. There was a bit more stuttering and sighing than I thought necessary, but I thought overall that Kristen Stewart did a good job.

I'm also excited to see what director Chris Weitz (Director of About a Boy, American Pie and The Golden Compass) will do with it. I think the directing was one of the biggest problems with Twilight. Hopefully Chris can pull some better performances out of Jasper and Alice. (And let's all pray that the budget is big enough to make the special effects less absurd.)

What about you guys? Any thoughts on these actors, the upcoming movie, or your expectations for how this second book in the set will turn out on film?

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Never Too Late

I can't embed this, so please take a minute to click on the link. You'll be glad you did....


Keep the dream alive.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Raise Your Hand If You Woke Up In Alaska

I did.

Is it April 16th or December 16th? I can't tell.


The Mouths of Babes

We used to show Daphne these little Americana videos about Johnny Appleseed and John Henry all the time. It had been a while since we had put one on, so I decided to test her memory one day before playing them for her:
Me: Daphne, what does John Henry do?
Daphne: Um…I dunno.
Me: What does he have in his hand?
Daphne: A hammer!
Me: And what does he do with it?
Daphne: He hamms!
Pretty decent logic.

Daphne: “Mommy, the kitty is mean! She scratched me and she is NOT my best friend. Now you’re my best friend.”
Well, at least I’m a runner-up.

As I was getting ready to work out one day, I was putting on my thong underwear. (It creeps up less). Daphne came in and saw me and said, “Mommy, your bum doesn’t fit in those underwear.” Thanks, Hon. That’s why I’m going to the gym.

After returning home from preschool on St.Patrick’s Day, Daphne and I had this conversation:
Daphne: Mommy! We learned about leprechauns today!
Me, pleased : Oh good. What’s a leprechaun?
Daphne: It looks like a jaguar and it likes candy!
Me, concerned: Like a jaguar?
Daphne: Yes, like a jaguar who hides in the bushes. And he gives us gold. But he doesn’t want to give us gold. So he eats it.
Me: Ahhh, I see.
I think I might need to speak to her preschool. Clearly they have this holiday all wrong.

For dinner one day, I made biscuits with homemade creamy chicken sauce on top. After taking a bite, then spitting it out, Daphne said, “Mommy, that’s the worst dinner you ever made!” Really? I thought it was delicious. Silly me.

This is the first year we have told our kids about the Easter Bunny. Last year even Daphne was too young to get it. So after hyping it up for several weeks before hand, I was excited to see a clip on the morning news the Friday before Easter where the anchorman was hanging out with the Easter Bunny. So I paused the TV and excitedly yelled to Daphne to come see who was on the TV. She came running in and I said, “Daphne, look who’s on the TV!!” She looked at TV and gasped dramatically, then she exclaimed, “Wow! A giant bunny costume!” Dangit. Too smart for her own good.

And here is one thing that is funny that Beck says… With a very serious voice, and a very serious look on his face, he comes up to me now and then and says, “Mommy. I got trrrrouble.” It always makes me laugh to wonder what kind of serious trouble a 2 year old has.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Neuroses, Part 2

I realized after my last neuroses post that, unfortunately, my oddities don't stop there. I have a few more I have to confess to:

1) When I shop for groceries, I can't just unload the food onto the conveyor belt willy nilly. I have to group the items together by type, like in the order that I want them put in the bags. Like all the frozen foods together, all the produce together, all the items going downstairs into my food storage together, deli items together, cupboard items together, etc. Because do I give credit to the bagger to be smart enough to do that way? Not even close. Turn your back and he'll have toothpaste and ramen in the same bag! Plus, it'll save me a lot of organizing later. And really, that's more logical than neurotic, right?

2) When I eat Frosted Mini Wheats, they all have to be frosting side up. It takes an extra couple of minutes to get things set up, but SO much more yummy that way.

3) When I eat, the fork/spoon can't touch my lips. Only my teeth and tongue. I don't know why. Maybe it's genetic because my sister eats this way too.

4) I can't drink anything cold from a mug. Not water, not milk, not gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about how the ceramic tastes cold....all metallic, like blood. Or metal. Am I alone on this one? Surely not.

5) When I eat something really delicious, it makes me so happy I have to wag my tail. Well, my foot, cause, you know, I don't actually have a tail. I didn't notice that I did this until a few years ago when a guy I was dating pointed it out. And sure enough, I noticed from then on that whenever I was eating something really yummy my foot would jiggle or swing back and forth. I guess I'm part canine.

6) I can't STAND to have any clothing sit on my natural waist. Maybe because I'm so short-waisted. My hips are so high that they end about 1 inch below where my ribs begin. So when clothes are sitting on my waist, I feel like I'm wearing them just under my boobs. I look like Ed Grimley, for Pete's sake! So I pull or roll everything down around my hips: pants, skirts, pajamas, panty hose, even underwear gets rolled down to a comfortable position half-way up my hips. Whenever my mother sews something for me, she invariably tries to rest it on my waist for try-ons, and I invariably FREAK OUT. I can't help it. It's just so wrong.

Ok, I think that covers it. What about you? Do you do anything weird or interesting? Or are you just plain old NORMAL?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

X's and O's

I've gotten this email from several people and finally ran out of things to post about saw it on enough blogs that I decided to play along...

"X" marks the things I have done during my lifetime:
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been to Hawaii
(X) Gone on a blind date
(X) Skipped school
(X) Watched someone die
(X) Been on a plane
(O) Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost
(O) Been an extra in a film
(X) Been to a TV show taping
(X) Visited Washington, DC
(X) Traveled by San Francisco trolley
(X) Traveled to Europe
(X) Traveled to Asia
(O) Went to the top of the World Trade Center (only the bottom for me)
(X) Been to Notre Dame (Cathedral)
(O) Been to Jamaica
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(O) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(O) Skipped a final exam
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X) Watched the birth of a child
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only
(X) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(O) Made prank phone calls
(O) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(O) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies in 2009
(O) Been deep sea fishing
(X) Driven across the United States
(O) Been in a hot air balloon
(O) Been sky diving
(O) Gone snowmobiling
(X) Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
(O) Seen the Old Faithful Geyser
(X) Seen the Statue of Liberty
(O) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
(X) Been on a cruise
(X) Traveled by train
(X) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
(O) Been to Disneyland, Disney World, and Japan's Disneyland
(X) Been pulled over by a police officer
(X) Gotten a ticket
(X) Truly believe in the power of prayer
(X) Been in a rain forest
(O) Seen whales in the ocean
(X) Been to Niagara Falls
(X) Ridden on an elephant
(O) Swam with dolphins
(O) Been to the Olympics (We went on our honeymoon instead)
(O) Sat on a jury
(X) Learned to juggle
(X) Walked on the Great Wall of China
(X) Saw a glacier
(X) Been spinnaker flying
(X) Been water-skiing
(X) Been snow-skiing
(X) Been to Westminster Abbey
(X) Been to the Louvre
(X) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game
(O) Been to a National Football League game
(X) Been to a Professional Soccer game

Feel free to play along if, by some miracle, you haven't seen this or already done it by now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Jesus Bunny

You know I'm new to all of this. All of this holiday stuff. This past Christmas was the first year Daphne was old enough to anticipate Christmas, ask questions, remember what we told her, and establish traditions that she would come to expect in the future. So I wanted to make sure I did things "right" so that I wouldn't have to undo anything next year or explain why Santa's behavior had drastically changed, etc.

Well, I found the same thing true of Easter this year. She talked about the Easter bunny for over a month before Easter. Although, she actually couldn't remember the Easter part or the bunny party, only that there was candy involved. Every few days after I told her about Easter, she would crook her index finger over and bounce her hand and say "Mommy, what's that animal?" I would look at her like she was smoking crack and say, "What's what animal? What are you talking about??" Because I honestly had no idea what she was talking about. And then she would say something about candy, and I would finally realize she was asking about the Easter Bunny.

So when it finally got close to Easter this year, I had the same dilemma that came to mind about Christmas. How do I differentiate between the religious and commercial parts of the holiday? How do I explain about Jesus and still fit in the Easter bunny? I had explained to Daphne about Jesus dying and coming back alive several times. But when I quizzed her on Easter morning about it why we have Easter, she said, "So the Easter Bunny can bring me chocolate!" And when I reminded her about Jesus, she said, "Is Jesus the Easter Bunny?" No. "Does He live with the Easter Bunny?" No. "Well, does He make the candy?" No. Well, not directly. Anyway, she seemed confused. And there lies the problem.

So, any advice on how to clear this issue up?


Friday, April 10, 2009

The Best Money I Ever Spent

Don't Throw Up.

I'm serious.

Your body's first reaction when you see the picture below will be to blow chunks all over your computer screen. So I'm warning you ahead of time, don't hurl. Hold it in.
Are you ready?
OK, here goes...

This is a picture of my legs, circa April 1994. Remember where I was in April of 1994?

That's right. And I had no running water. No way to shave. So I just decided to grow it out. It would not be exaggerating to say that I had serious monkey hair on my legs. Well, you can see it for yourself. But even when I got home, shamed my family name, and shaved it all off, I always had scatchy, pokey, horrible dark leg hair stubble.

Then I got my legs lasered.

No more stubble, no more scratching my husband in bed, no more worrying about going swimming at a moment's notice (cause I do that a lot) or wearing shorts in the summer. Just silky, soft, perfectly hair-free legs (and bikini, if you must know). Forever and ever, amen.


See? Much better. No puking necessary.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

TOTE-ally Gorgeous!

Which of these fabulous totes do you like better?

Chocolates And Flowers?


First Love?

I know, it's a very tough call because they are both so cute! Well, Suzanne, the very talented seamstress over at Just Another Hang Up is having a giveaway over at her blog (ends today, so hustle up!). And if you win, you get to choose one of her gorgeous creations from her etsy store. So go to Suzanne's blog to see the rules, then check out all her stuff at her etsy store. And just know, if you win, you better let me borrow your tote!!! (You know which ones I want, so choose RIGHT!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Happens When There is Too Much Laundry?

The answer is, you get a lame post like this while I fold clothes:

I want to know how you all met your spouse.

See? Quick and painless. Now back to the whites...

Oh, and as for me, we met at a restaurant. I was a waitress, he was my boss. We didn't date then, though. We were both in other relationships then. But we ran into each other about 4 or 5 months after I stopped working there. I had just gotten back in town from a semester abroad and went to my storage unit to get some stuff. He coincidentally had a storage unit in the same building. We passed each other, me driving out, him driving in. Then we stopped our cars, looked out the windows at each other, and....the rest, as they say, is history!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Selective Amnesia?

So imagine it was your birthday. And the whole family had gotten together—grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins—to celebrate yours and several other birthdays that clustered around the same time of the year. And imagine there was a certain member of the family who got presents for everyone else whose birthday was being celebrated, but not yours. And imagine this same person had forgotten your birthday at least two years consecutive to this one. Maybe three. Yet you had remembered their birthday, their spouse’s birthday, and all their kids’ birthdays, every year. Would you be offended? Would you assume that they didn’t like you? Or that they were just careless and didn’t notice (yours is the earliest of the birthdays being celebrated)? Again? Would you decided it was time to make a statement and “forget” their birthday? Or would you assume there was some reasonable explanation for it and you should just let it slide?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Slumdog 1994

1994 was a good year. It was the year I flew around the world. I had always had an interest in other cultures, back from the time that I picked the new Japanese import Yoko to be my friend over all the other kids in the 5th grade. It continued into my high school years when a good portion of my friends were of East Indian descent. And by the time I had finished 1 ½ years of my college psychology degree, I was ready to take on world culture in earnest. So I started by signing up for the IFSI (International Field Studies and Internships) department’s semester in India. This required changing my major to anthropology and signing up for a semester of anthropology courses. No problem. Psychology was way more school than I ever wanted to do anyway. And then commenced my introduction to the love of my life: Cultural Anthropology. Studying what made other people tick, has always fascinated me. First I tried it on a mental/emotional basis, but now on a group/cultural basis. I took classes on Africa, China, Japan, Native American tribes, and many on India. Finally, it was time to head to India to experience the real thing.

But I wanted to make the most of my trip, so a fellow anthropologist friend, Rachelle, and I decided to purchase “Round the World” plane tickets. Our itinerary went like this: a week and a half in Seoul, Korea; Hong Kong; and Bangkok, Thailand; then fly to New Delhi and spend four months in India; then on to Frankfurt Germany where I would spend 3 weeks taking the train to Austia, then Switzerland, then France, then Belgium, take the hovercraft to Dover, England, travel around England and Scotland for 2 weeks, then fly out of London and back to L.A. As you can imagine, it was the trip of a lifetime. Two young 19 year old girls, gargantuan backpacks strapped to our backs with everything we would need for the next 5 months in them. They were so large, in fact, that we couldn’t fit through the bus doors in Hong Kong and had to push and pull each other, kicking, shoving and throwing ourselves against the other person to get inside the busses.

Finally, we arrived for our field study in India. We were a group of about 14 students plus our professor and his family. We were divided into two groups. “ The Goa Group” headed off to the coastal state of Goa to work in an orphanage and collect anthropological material. The rest of us, “The Village People” went down to the southern tip of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, to be divided in pairs and sent to live in neighboring villages. There we spent the next few months learning about the native culture.

In my case, my hut-mate Nicole and I went completely native. We wore saris and salwar kamises, we learned a bit of the Tamil language, we ate rice or idly with spicy sambar and coconut kurma every day, and we lived in a hut with no running water or electricity save for one dim light bulb overhead that went on for a few hours each night. Sometimes.. We slept on our inflatable camping mats on the floor with a mosquito net to ward off the mosquitos (and roaches). We got very tan. We sponge-bathed behind a palm frond screen, under the stars. We washed our laundry by soaking it then beating it on a rock. We taught English to the village children in the evenings. We did pantomime with the local women to talk about our lives. We fetched water from a pump about 2 km away from our hut, carried it back in large plastic urns, one on our head, one on our hip (the native women could do it without holding the one on their head.). We went to the bathroom in what we lovingly referred to as “Poo Field.” It was the size of a football field. Bushes and trees lined the edges. Small footpaths criss-crossed the middle. As long as you were off to the side of the footpaths, any clean patch of ground was fair game. And because of the dry heat where we lived, within a couple of days, everything was dried, broken down, and returned to the earth. Pretty sanitary, actually. We learned to love the people, the fiery hot food, the constant sweat, the fascinating religions, the crowded buses and trains, and the satisfaction of living a simple life. And when life got too real, we took the 1 hour bus ride to the nearest city and checked ourselves into the nicest hotel they had-- $5 a night for hot water showers, flush toilets, beds with sheets, and MTV direct from Hong Kong. It was the most amazing and formative experience of my life. Hot, dirty, chaotic, crazy, wonderful, adventurous, beautiful, peaceful, amazing.

Here are some pictures: (If you're not sure which one is me, look for the most sallow, homely one in each shot)

Nicole and I: hut-mates.

Making chapatis

Sick of making chapatis, we make hash browns instead.

Our hosts: Alice and her son Balsamuel in front of their hut, across the path from ours.

Me, looking very native with my urn of water and sari. Turn the camera off so I can set this thing down!

Eating idly (steamed rice patties), peasant style.

This is our hut. And some of our students.

Nicole and Yoko Ono drinking coconut water. Not to be confused with coconut milk. Coconut water is the clear liquid in the center of a ripe coconut. Coconut milk is when you take the flesh of the coconut and press it until a thick, sweet, white liquid comes out. One tastes delicious. It's not the one we're drinking.

A Sikh Gudwara in New Delhi. Evidently, I was behind the camera. Or out shopping, more likely. Delhi has amazing shopping.

Dirt or tan? You decide.

Amber Fort, former palace of an Indian prince

Getting blessed by an elephant outside a Hindu temple in Madurai.

Indian traffic: Bus, moped, bike, elephant. Totally normal.

Andy and I atop a mineret in Old Delhi. Probably at Jama Masjid, a famous mosque.

Old Delhi, the view from the top

Fatipur Sikri? I'm not sure, but this is a classic example of Indian architecture, the delicate lace-looking screen behind us is carved out of stone.

And of course the Taj Mahal...

Thanks, Tiffany, for the idea to do a post on 1994. You picked a good year!