Friday, October 27, 2006

Reason #9,444 Why I Love My Husband

Today is the Halloween Carnival at Viva’s school. If I have not mentioned this before: Viva came up with her own costume. She could not decide whether she should dress up as a clown or an elephant (currently her favorite animal). I off-handedly said, “Maybe you could be both,” and Viva glommed onto that idea and ran with it. I sent her off to school this morning wearing a red-and-white-polka dot clown suit with matching hat, along with a pair of blue eyeglass frames, to which are attached the elephant trunk and ears. Since Sweet William is still working on a movie that is being filmed in a different time zone, he is still on a ridiculous shift whereby he must be at work at 5 AM to screen dailies. Thus and so: he did not see Viva before he left the house this morning, since she was snugly snuggled in her bed, pre-costume.

At precisely 8:42 AM, Sweet Dub called to ask me if I had remembered to buy the “nerd cord” to attach to the back of the glasses so the whole shebang wouldn’t come off her head. I admitted I had not. He was beside himself. “What time does the carnival start? Eleven?” he said.

“The carnival starts at 11, but the costume parade is at 9:45,” I said.

“Oh my God – okay, I’m leaving right now,” he said, and hung up the phone. Less than an hour later he called back to report that he left work, found the cord, drove by Viva’s school, fixed the whole rig (the ears were already apparently getting torn), and went back to work.

I am not making this up. He is completely insane about his child, God love him.

P.S. Yes, I'll post pictures later. Sweet Dub has the camera.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Blah Blah Bitch Bitch

Don’t you hate when you finish a big project and breathe a sigh of relief and then you kind of go into clean up mode and try to figure out what you need to do next and you realize that to keep on track you need to complete five more projects by Friday?

Yeah, me too.

My “to do” list is spiraling out of control. And I can’t remember the last time I sat down to write something I wanted to write. I mean, aside from this blog. I mean, like my own personal writing that I might publish someday.

That sucks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Insert Witty Title Here

Late Friday afternoon, I was struggling gamely along trying to flesh out a proposal to a Board member when my phone rang. I answered in my most professional manner, which was a complete waste, because lo and behold, who was on the other end? The mighty jazzy Cee in SF! She was calling to let me know that Buddy Lewis was only 4 votes behind the first-place contender in the Wandering Golfer contest standings. We stayed on the line for an undisclosed period of time, each of us keeping a Wandering Golfer window open and occasionally hitting "refresh." We were, therefore, together in spirit and on the phone when he pulled ahead and took the lead. It was all very exciting in a late-Friday-afternoon, when-does-the-weekend-start kind of way. I am really hoping he gets the job so my dear friend Sharon can have what she sees as the best of both worlds: a check in the hand and a husband on the road. Go, Buddy, go!

He's currently ahead by 220 points. Please keep voting!

When Potty Training Goes Horribly Wrong

My parenting style is a strange blend of contemporary attachment parenting married to some of the old school home training I received from my grandparents, coupled with some of the very lax 1970s hippie approaches (or lack thereof) used by my mom. I am all for being very open with kids about bodily functions and being straight with them when they ask questions about their bodies and all that. I don't think you should teach your kid that peeing and pooping are dirty and bad. Well, except for the bit about hand-washing. You do need to teach them to wash their hands, for the love of all that is decent and hygienic. But you don't need to tell them that they are dirty or (God forbid) bad when they soil themselves. With Viva, I try to impress upon her the discomfort and inconvenience of having "an accident" (which, at 3.5, is rare except at night).

And then there are those who go a completely different route.

Meet Pee & Poo.

They are plush toys designed to accompany your child on the road to being diaper-free. I think. Their tagline, in case you can't read it, is "Escapees from the bathroom." Yes.

Um. Okay. I have to admit my first reaction was "Are you shittin' me?" because I'm all foul-mouthed and punny like that. And then I was sure it was a joke. It's not. Oh Lawd, it's not. For those of you keeping score at home, the fall of Western civilization just took another dip. Please mark your cards accordingly. With the blue ink. I said BLUE! Dang.

It's Not You, It's Me

On Saturday, two of our dear friends who live up in the Bay Area happened to be in town, so we had them over for dinner and play. They have two girls, one of whom is 3, and one of whom is 4 months old. Viva was pining for the 3-year-old all day, and once she arrived, they were inseparable, barely even stopping to eat. The rest of us all hung out together comfortably, talking and periodically making shmoopy faces at the baby. At one point, the dad passed the new baby over to me and I cuddled her for a while. I had thought that perhaps this would make my uterus twang like the strings of a lonely guitar that had not been played in a while, but surprisingly, no. It was a pleasant surprise. I am glad that in the event that we do decide to expand our family, we can stick with our current sort-of plan, which is to adopt a preschool-age (2-3 years old) child in the event that we can actually afford it at the time we want to do it. See, it's all very nebulous, and that's the way I like it.


My Pentecostal cube-mate just yelled out: "JESUS! Is it almost Christmas again?!"

Making spirits bright, I tell you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Buggin’ Out

Yes, we truly do live in the wild now. I submit to you the following:

Exhibit A. Less than a week after we moved in, Sweet William went home on his lunch hour. On his way out to the back house, he noticed a couple of bees hovering about the koi pond. Going back into the main house, he noticed there were six bees at the pond. Curious, he looked out the kitchen window a few minutes later and saw about 15 bees buzzing about. He then determined that they were coming from our neighbor’s garage, which backs up to the side wall of our yard. Since what he was seeing basically amounted to Viva’s worst nightmare, he wasted no time finding a Bee Guy, who came out to the house pretty much immediately and for 200 bucks vanquished the hive.

Note: Sweet Dub went over to our neighbor’s house to tell her there was a hive in her garage and that she should bring her dog in before the Bee Guy agitated the bees by trying to kill them. Apparently she thinks the Bee Guy works for free, because she did not even offer to pay part of the cost. The bees were on her property, but the Blah Blahs had to pay to eliminate them. This incident will no doubt turn up again as part of a different post entitled, “People Are Triflin’.”

Exhibit B. Skunks. Running rampant at night throughout our neighborhood.

Exhibit C. I picked Viva up early from school yesterday because she was sick. While rummaging about in the kitchen making lunch, I discovered a trail of ants making its trusty way into my kitchen cabinets. Upon opening said cabinets, I was witness to a feeding frenzy of ants swarming over my honey bear. I opened the back door, picked up the honey, and flung it out into the yard. I then spent the next 30 minutes vanquishing the ants. Whee!

Exhibit D. As part of our ongoing efforts to make Viva more comfortable with bugs, I bought a copy of Charlotte’s Web (the DVD, not the book. She is, after all, only 3.). She watched the whole thing yesterday after nap, and she loved it. At the end, as the credits were rolling and we were snuggling on the couch, she shrieked and flung herself off the couch, wailing in terror. A Daddy Long Legs had wandered up onto the couch and was walking across one of our throw pillows. I grabbed the pillow, ran to the back door, and flung the Daddy Long Legs into the yard. I then spent the next few minutes outside trying to get Viva to understand that the Daddy Long Legs wouldn’t hurt her, while she just as fervently tried to get me to come in and close the door.

Ah, semi-suburban life. It is truly everything I dreamed about and more.

P.S. Buddy Lewis update: You can still vote for Buddy to become the next Wandering Golfer here. He is only 34 votes behind first place -- coming on strong! You can vote once a day, every day through November 9th. If he gets this job, it is truly the opportunity of a lifetime -- he will get to travel the world playing golf and getting paid for it. What could be wrong with that?? Please vote for him, and tip your waiter, too. Thank you and good night.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sugar Honey Iced Tea Laced with Witty Repartee

Hell's bells! It's all a mishmash of randomly randomized randomness today, kids.

For those who don't know, I am a Bostonian by birth, but an Angeleno by choice. Imagine my glee when I clicked on Losanjealous this morning and saw this side-by-side comparison of my two cities. Hee hee! I particularly like this one:
They Have...Plymouth Rock, Which Means...Pilgrims
We Have...Eagle Rock,
Which Means...Target

Maybe you have to have lived in both places to get it. But I found it quite hilarious. Thanks, Ryan.

Pet Peeve #865

What is up with people who print their letterhead with their address like so?:

8525 Main Moron Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90000

The state designation is a postal abbreviation which is supposed to be in ALL CAPS. Don't people learn this in basic geography? I seem to remember Mrs. Macchi testing us on all the states and their abbreviations when I was in fifth grade (admittedly a long time ago, but if you had Mrs. Macchi, you wouldn't forget).

(Special note to my friend Max: I await the arrival of your "Jesus Christ, you are so anal" e-mail at any moment.)

Hair She Goes Again

(Special note to my friend Max: I await the arrival of your "That was the worst pun ever" e-mail at any moment.)

I am a huge fan of Carol's Daughter products. You can get them at selected Sephora stores -- i.e., at Sephora stores which actually have some black foot traffic. Thusly, Angelenos, you can find them at the Beverly Center and Hollywood & Highland stores, but not at the Sephora in the Glendale Galleria. Figure that out.

Anyhoo: I have been using the Hair Milk and Mimosa Hair Honey on Viva, and I have to say, her hair has taken on a silkier texture. And if my girl Mary J. uses it, you know I'm down. But really, I'm just posting this to say that this little cherub, right here?

has to be pretty much the cutest thing going. I just want to grab her and squish her and...but that would be wrong, because you see, I don't even know her. She is someone else's kid! And I already have one at home who thinks we are one person and snuggles with me whenever I want. So you see the dilemma I'm in.

That is one cute kid, is all I'm saying.

And Speaking of Which...

Related to my comment above about the Sephora stores: until about a week ago, we lived scant blocks away from the Hollywood & Highland shopping center. Yes, right in the heart of Hollywood! Now that we have moved east, the closest mall is actually the Glendale Galleria. They are a few miles apart geographically, but worlds apart demographically.

Sweet Dub and I were joking last week about someone we know who moved north of LA and who had e-mailed me to say, "I hope you enjoy Atwater Village." I said (snarkily, I admit), "Yeah, well, hope you enjoy Whiteyville," which was wrong and bad of me to say, I know. And it came back to bite me on the ass since the next day I went to our local supermarket. On my return, I said to Sweet Dub, "There is NO ethnic hair care section in this Vons. Looks like we're the ones who've moved to Whiteyville." And then we laughed at ourselves, wholeheartedly.

Aloha from Whiteyville. Ahoy!

One More Random Comment

Last week, I was walking down what could be characterized as the gritty, inner-city street where my office is. My agency has three properties on the same street, so generally at least once a day I have to walk down the street to one of the other ones to go to a meeting or drop off or pick up some damn thing or other.

As I was crossing the intersection, a tall thin brother passed me and said, "Hey, lady! You lookin' mighty jazzy! You married?"

Well, at least he asked.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Check Out Our Crib!

Here's my second attempt to post pics of our new digs. Hopefully, Blogger won't do anything overwhelmingly annoying when I hit "publish post."

Here's the view of the front of the house, from the driveway (behind Sweet Dub's Jeep). Note the bougainvillea bushes in the front. And the tree! That's a baby peach tree!

Here's a picture of our kitchen with the cool-ass fully-restored Chambers stove.

This is a little patio area directly outside of Viva's room. Theoretically, she could go directly from her room out onto this little patio, but we keep it locked and jammed shut with a pole. Because, hello, this is still a major urban area.

This is Sweet Dub, doing handstands in the backyard because we actually do finally have a backyard.

We are going into Week Two of House Living and I still like it. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Help a Man Get a Job

Okay, so it's not like this is a family that is destitute, out on the streets. But, well, I know Buddy Lewis. Buddy Lewis is a friend of mine. And he is damn funny.

Buddy has a chance to be the next Wandering Golfer on the Fine Living Channel. Right now he is in second place out of four finalists. Do us all a favor and vote for him here. You can vote once a day through November 9.

Thanks! You'll be helping Buddy and you'll also be helping his beautiful wife and daughter, who are fabulous and wonderful as well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Payoff (Literally)

So, two-and-a-half cool things happened today at work:

1. I found out that the very first grant I worked on when I got here – as in, we met to hash it out the second day I started work – has been funded, to the tune of $75,000. SWEET! This led to my boss thanking me for my "tenacious work ethic."

2. The President & CEO found out I still don’t have an office and made the executive decision to kick out the people who have been squatting* in the office she wants me to have. I will allegedly be in my new office by the end of the month.

½. The quarterly organizational newsletter, which is one of our major publications, came out. This was cool, because I wrote two of the articles – very cool to see my words in print. But not so cool, because I didn’t even get a credit. I should have been listed as a contributing writer in the masthead section, but apparently it wasn’t updated from the last issue. Sour grapes, I know.

* Not my word, my boss’ word. Evidently the people who share the office are not supposed to be in there; one of them just decided to take it, and the other person (who is new) got put in there with her. It is all very puzzling. I am not thrilled with the idea of displacing people, but hell, if they aren’t supposed to be there in the first place, they need to get to steppin’.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We're In.

Dear Friends,

Since I haven’t moved in six years, I had forgotten how physically exhausting moving can be. In previous moves, I had pretty much been moving just myself and all my accumulated crap. This time, I was involved in moving myself, Sweet Dub, and a 3-and-a-half-year-old, and it was about 300 kajillion times more exhausting. I woke up this morning and swung my legs out of bed and every muscle in my legs hurt. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My eyes hurt.

But I shuffled geriatrically out into the kitchen to put the kettle on at my 1940s fully restored cool-ass stove, as the sun was coming up, and the mist was rising over my back yard, and the (koi-less) koi pond was burbling gently away, and I felt an enormous sense of peace and gratitude. And despite having to leave the house 15 minutes earlier than usual to get to school and work on time, I think it’s all going to be worth it.

Having said that…

We pretty much made this move for two reasons:

(1) To live someplace quieter. Throughout the weekend, Sweet Dub and Viva would periodically break into a stomping dance jam on the hardwood floors, screaming at the top of their lungs, “No more neighbors! No more neighbors!” Which isn’t completely accurate, but it was delightful to witness their glee.

(2) To have a yard. Of course, what we didn’t realize is that Viva is such a city kid that she won’t spend more than two minutes in the yard. “Too many bugs!” she shrieks, making a beeline for the back door. “I’m paying [undisclosed] bucks a month for this place, you better get used to some bugs,” Sweet Dub says. Sigh. I’m sure she’ll adjust.

Oh, and Sweet Dub twisted and rolled onto his ankle on Saturday while moving the heavy stuff. It’s all swollen and purple, and yet he continues to walk on it, because, well, he has to. There’s simply too much to do.

No phone service or DSL until at least Thursday of this week, so I’m posting from work for now. More soon.

Love & kisses,
Mama Blah Blah

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Top Ten Reasons I Love My Husband

10. He makes me laugh. A lot.
9. He has a beautiful smile.
8. He is ferociously protective of his family and always puts his family first.
7. He is unfailingly loyal to his friends. As in, he’s been best friends with the same guy since 7th grade.
6. He is bootylicious.
5. He listens.
4. He is wicked smart.
3. He encourages me in every positive thing and steers me away from every negative thing.
2. He is an even better father than I expected, and I fully expected him to be great at it.
1. He has been married to me for five years today and is still my best friend, my favorite dance partner, the first person I go to with any kind of news (good or bad), the hottie I want to make mad monkey love to, and the man I want to grow old with.

Happy Anniversary, Sweet Dub! I love you, sweetie pot pie!

But My Blood Type is A+!

Cee took this quiz and that compelled me to go take it. Here are my results:

You Have A Type B+ Personality
You're a pro at going with the flow. You love to kick back and take in everything life has to offer. A total joy to be around, people crave your stability.

While you're totally laid back, you can have bouts of hyperactivity. Get into a project you love, and you won't stop until it's done. You're passionate - just selective about your passions.


I hate to quibble, but I don't think it's completely accurate. For one thing, I don't think I'm a total joy to be around. I mean, I have my moments just like anyone else. Maybe I'm just a partial joy to be around. It all depends. Hey, it didn't say anything about being indecisive. I think that's one of my defining traits!