Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sweet November

I was about to start bitching about how I've apparently been designated to host Christmas at my house since Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, but no. No, my friends. For today is Love Thursday.*

Three things that made me love today:

1. After leaving for work at 5 AM, Sweet Dub called this morning at 7 AM to make sure I didn't oversleep. Sweet.

2. When I called in my order for Thai food at lunch, the server recognized my voice and we chatted for a bit before hanging up the phone. She reminds me a little bit of my best friend from junior high -- she has the same high, very girly voice and I find it really endearing. After I picked up my food, I reminisced a bit on the way back to work about my best friend and all the fun times we had together. I realized I could call her today and it would be like I had just talked to her yesterday, even though I haven't talked to her for God knows how long. It's nice to know there's someone out there in the world like that.

3. While discussing work stuff with my boss, I realized I am well past my probationary period and haven't had my performance review. I asked her if/when we would do one. She replied that we should have done one in September, but we'll do a 6-month review in December. Then she leaned forward conspiratorially and said, "I've already talked about it with [Big Boss]. You're getting a raise." Nice!

* Love Thursday was started by Karen Walrond, who blogs over at Chookooloonks. Here's what you do: upload a picture, image or story representing love -- any kind of love -- on your site, then leave a link in her comments section letting her know you've participated. As you know, I am squeamish about posting pics of myself, but here's an old one I love of the three of us:

Happy Love Thursday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Deepness

It generally takes between 15 and 20 minutes to get from home to Viva’s preschool. This morning, it was a very long 20 minutes, starting at the second stop light.

Viva: Mommy, why are you not brown?

Mama Blah [totally blindsided]: Whuh? Why am I not – brown?

Viva: Yeah. Why are you not brown?

Mama Blah: Um, hm. Well, I’m not brown because I came out kind of pink.

Viva: Why? I want you to be brown. Me and Daddy are brown.

Mama Blah: Um, hm. Well, honey, you can't change your skin color. [Apologies to Michael Jackson. Sorry, Jacko.]

Viva: Why?

Mama Blah: It just doesn't work that way. Some people are brown, some people are tan, some people are pink. You just are the color you are.

Viva: But I wish you were brown. Our family is brown. How come, why are, how come you can't be brown?

Mama Blah: Well, it all dates back to slavery and the one-drop rule.

Viva: The one-drop rule? Wasn’t that hogwash debunked years ago?

Mama Blah: Well, I think all reasonable people agree that the one-drop rule, aside from being specious, is an evil tool devised by The Man to keep us down. However, due to the historical societal acceptance of the rule, the family I come from is classified as black, and hence, I was raised to identify as a black person, despite being, well, pink.

Viva: You know, it occurs to me that this country is all kinds of messed up when it comes to racial issues.

Mama Blah: Oh, honey, don't even let me commence.

That was just for starters. Later in the conversation, we discussed God, saying grace, Christmas, Jesus, and Santa Claus. All before 8:30 in the morning.

Damn, this has been a long day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Hello? Is it still a holiday? Did no one tell me? I arrived at work at 8:30 this morning to find the front door still alarmed, which was alarming, although I can bypass the alarm by simply scanning my ID card. But I have no idea how to turn off the alarm. And I was, it appeared, the only person here in a suite which holds close to 100 people. It was all very quiet and eerie until our mob of interns appeared at 9:00 AM, full of vim and vigor and loud pronouncements such as, “And I totally meant it like it sounded, you know what I mean?” It’s an odd sort of Valley-speak for college kids who evidently are planning to be social workers or something that requires them to be somewhat articulate. I have to say, since I started working here, I’ve often wondered if social workers take a special class in communication because even the very young ones speak so well (so unlike myself). This is why when I hear that specific brand of Valspeak, I’m taken aback. It’s hard to tune out, which is why I’ve stopped working for a moment and turned to my blog.

I know. Lucky, lucky you!

It’s raining here in Southern California. It is, after all, winter now, but when it rains, I feel a sense of betrayal. Thanks, Albert Hammond.

I think the rain is why everyone’s coming in late. It’s a convenient excuse, at any rate.

Thanksgiving, How I Love Thee

I don’t know if I mentioned that I was in charge of Thanksgiving (well, in my family, anyway – not In Charge of Thanksgiving Across the U.S., because I am just not that organized) this year. I don’t know if this has come across in this blog, but both Sweet Dub and I are rather highly strung at times. What this translates into is two days of us losing our minds cleaning and shopping and cooking, and then collapsing on Friday into little unmotivated puddles of goo, which our child poked at with a stick, moaning plaintively, “I want someone to play with me!”

Nonetheless, my turkey-cooking virginity has been rather painlessly taken from me. The turkey turned out beautifully, the gravy and stuffing in particular were superb, and my God, after catching that minx Rachael Ray on TV a few days earlier, I went ahead with her suggestion for cheesy mashed potatoes. I spent the next few days spouting, “MANCHEGO CHEESE, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?” randomly about the house. The day itself was really mellow – my in-laws came, we ate, we drank, we lit the outdoor fireplace in our backyard and sprawled around and generally just enjoyed ourselves.

Thanksgiving went so well, in fact, that my mother-in-law called the next day to thank us for hosting, tell us what a wonderful time she had, and praise my cooking to the highest. So, yeah, good Turkey Day.

Onward to Festivus and Christmas. Oh Lord, so very tired.

P.S. Special to an unnamed military base in Texas: Thanks for refusing my Fed Ex package of homemade cookies and candy on my 18-year-old nephew’s first Thanksgiving away from home while he is in training to defend this wacked-out country of ours. Let me turn you on to something: they have scanners now? Where you can see what’s inside a package? You might want to look into it. That’s all I’m saying. My oatmeal-walnut-chocolate chip cookies are not a terrorist threat.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cleanup in Aisle Four

The scene: late Monday afternoon, in the check-out line at the Pavilions supermarket at the corner of Melrose and Vine in Hollywood. I am in line, waiting to purchase my allegedly free-range turkey and assorted other items. The cashier is finishing up a conversation with his customer, an elderly woman sporting (among other things) a shiny blue denim visor, funky green and orange sneakers, and very pink lipstick. “I’d just like to talk to the manager,” she says. The long-suffering cashier gets on the horn and pages the manager while he bags up the rest of the woman’s groceries.

The manager, a pleasant woman who has helped me many a time, comes over. The following exchange ensues:

Visor Woman: I just want to ask you about the announcements.

Manager [pleasantly confused]: The announcements?

Visor Woman: Yes, why do they have to be so loud?

Manager: Oh, you mean like over the loudspeaker?

Visor Woman: Yes, I mean they’re so loud. I used to shop at the Ralph’s at 3rd and LaBrea, but I stopped going there because the announcements were too loud. Now I come here, and you’ve started doing the same thing!

Manager: Well, ma’am, that’s just the policy of the company to better serve our customers.

Visor Woman: But do you have to say “Such-and-such is on sale this week in Aisle Four” or “No waiting on Checkstand Ten”? I mean, we have eyes, we can see that for ourselves.

Manager: Um, but it helps some people to have us tell them things like that. The company’s policy is that –

Visor Woman: But why does it have to be so loud? Do you see what I’m saying? It’s too loud.

Manager: I guess I could turn it down.

Visor Woman: Would you?

Manager: Yes, ma’am. [turns away, centers self, finds a happy place, goes back to work]

My turkey, meanwhile, bored into reanimation by this lengthy conversation, has lunged out of the cart and is scampering madly toward the Starbucks concession. I have to fling myself upon it and, aided by staff from the Panda Express concession, pound it into submission it with a Rent-a-Rug-Doctor vacuum cleaner. All of which causes me to lose my place in line.

All because of some fling-flangin' announcements. Holy Mother of God.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Name Game

Hello, my name is Lisa. That is my real name, although, as you may have guessed, Blah Blah is not actually my legal last name. My husband’s name is really William, but while I refer to my daughter on this blog as Viva, that is not actually her real name.

“Viva” is how Viva pronounced her real name when she was first learning to talk. I thought it was cute, so I started using it on the blog, and thus even when she gradually learned how to pronounce her real name, I just left it as it is, since she is not old enough to understand the concept of a blog and people knowing her real name, so I haven’t asked whether she feels comfortable with me putting it out there.

Viva’s real name is not a complicated one; in fact, it’s a variation on a pretty common name. It’s not spelled in a funky way, like, oh let’s see, Aaleeyeah, or oh, I don’t know, Chrysteena, or something like that. It’s a simple five-letter name.

Why do people not get it?

I just got an e-mail message from my stepsister on the east coast, in which she said, “[Not Viva’s Real Name] must be really big!” I’m assuming she meant Viva, but then again, who knows? She used the wrong name, one which is not now and has never been Viva’s name. It’s like saying, “How’s your husband Raul?” when his name is Rafael. Do you know what I mean? It irks me.

Okay, rant over. Work to be done, and all that. I'm sure I'll feel better once I've finished my coffee and bitten the heads off a couple of bats.*

* Special super-secret message to Cee in SF: Bat manure! Bat manure!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bring Home the Bacon

Viva has been very opinionated about food lately. She seems mainly to want spaghetti or pizza. Also, after a period of becoming more amenable to the concept of a sandwich at lunch (but only when wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla! Or stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket!), Viva has become more fascist about her lunch as well. Since I can only take so much of “I don’t want that” at the dinner table after working a full day, coming home and starting dinner within 10 to 15 minutes of walking in the door, I am more than a little sick of her intransigence on this issue. I sit down and plan out a healthy, varied menu every weekend before I go grocery shopping. I am a good cook. I enjoy cooking. I know she is just going through a phase.

Anyway, so now you have the context. On the way to school today, Viva asked me what day it was. Since I am one of those sickos who believes each day is full of teaching moments, I had her review the days of the week to figure out that if yesterday was Wednesday, what today was. So then she figured out that tomorrow will be Friday.

“YAY!” she shrieked. “PIZZA NIGHT! Right, Mama?”

“Yes, babe,” I said. “On Fridays, we have pizza for dinner.”

“What are we having for dinner tonight?”

“Well,” I said, taking a new tactic, “What would you like?”

“Vegetables,” Viva said.

“Really. What kind?”

“Mmmm…broccoli, and carrots…”

“Okay, and what else?”


Bacon. I swear to God.

After some negotiation, we settled on a chicken stir-fry with broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and mushrooms.

Bacon. What the hell?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Green

Several people have stopped by my cube today to tell me my ficus tree looks awful and when am I going to get rid of it.

Did anyone bring it chicken noodle soup?
Did anyone offer to drive it to the hospital?
Has anyone asked me if I've considered grief counseling?

No. They walk by and they make their callous comments and they leave me here, with my grey tree, shrunken and feeble, dropping its leaves one by one.

The world is a cold and unfeeling place, my friends.

All the more so because Buddy Lewis has not been chosen as the next Wandering Golfer. I thumb my nose at Fine Living and all who are associated therein.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I'm Out

After several hours at Knott’s Berry Farm yesterday, I came home and collapsed on the couch with a good book (Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver). Since we ate a late lunch, we merely snacked in the evening and then went to bed. While I was pulling up the covers, I said, “Aaaaanngh, I forgot to blog today.”

“Are you going to get up and blog now?” Sweet Dub said in amazement.

“No,” I said. ”That’s it, I’m done.”

“You could always say you had trouble with your computer, with Bloglines or whatever it is, that thing you use,” he said. (This actually would not be a lie. Blogger has been giving me trouble whenever I try to post from home.)

“No,” I said. “I’m not cheating. I’m out.”

So sad. I hardly ever blog on the weekends, though, so I’m not in the habit. I knew that would be the toughest part of NaBloWriMo.

File This Under: What Were We Thinking?

So we decided to go to Knott’s Berry Farm on a Saturday. What were we thinking? Since Sweet Dub and I hate crowds to a degree that makes us practically psychotic, it was not the best choice. As we were walking the 70 miles from the parking lot to the park itself, we passed a man wearing a whole slew of medals across his chest. Once he was out of earshot, Sweet Dub said, “What the hell was that?”

“Huh? Who? That guy?” I said.

“Yeah, that guy. What was up with the medals?”

“Maybe he’s very proud,” I said.

“Who goes around wearing all their medals?” Sweet Dub said, and then in a dorky voice, “Excuse me sir, I see you served in the Prussian Cavalry.”

Oh, how we laughed. Clueless fiends that we are.

By the way, Happy Belated Veteran’s Day. We felt bad about the medals after we realized that, dur, um, it’s a national holiday? Devoted to those who have served their country? But still, Prussian Cavalry. You have to admit that’s pretty funny.

Also: had we known that up to six adults could get in free with one child admission and some sort of military ID, we could have saved 70 bucks. Sadly, we did not find this out until we were already there, having already paid for our tickets online. Despite having his military ID with him, Sweet Dub was unsuccessful at convincing the good people at Knott’s to refund part of the money we had already paid online. I’m filing this info away in the overcrowded storeroom of my brain for next year, as if (a) we would ever subject ourselves to a Saturday at Knott’s again and (2) I will actually remember such a thing in time before we go.

I had never been to Knott’s Berry Farm, and I will admit openly that the main draw for me was the legendary funnel cake. However, from pretty much the minute we arrived, we were standing in line to get on rides – oh, what didn’t we ride in Camp Snoopy? But Viva was not interested in stopping for food, except for a box of popcorn with Snoopy on the side. Thus, by the time she started breaking down from sheer exhaustion in mid-afternoon, it was a fool’s errand to try and stop for funnel cake.

It goes without saying that I will never let her live this down.


I took Viva to her doctor’s office Monday to deal with her persistent cough (which persists! Even now! On the 7th day of antibiotics!). While there, the doctor sold me a bill of goods, i.e., convinced me to get the flu shot for Viva and myself. Now this whole weekend I have felt sick and like I’m coming down with something. Fricking Western medicine.

On a more positive note: the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the house is quiet. Viva and Sweet Dub are out at a birthday party. I am working on my proposal and it is actually coming together into something coherent that we may be able to fax tomorrow. I’m hoping this will coalesce into my having raised more than $100,000 for my non-profit before the end of the year. That would make me quite pleased.

I’m going to go make a cup of tea. Peace out.

Friday, November 10, 2006

One-Inch Margins, Double-Spaced

Oh, please. At 3:10 pm on a day when a significant proportion of staff have already left early due to the Veteran's Day holiday, I get a phone call from our president and CEO. A foundation that funded us last year is having a board meeting next week and she wants to know why we haven't submitted anything during this cycle. Could we put together a progress report on what we've been doing, along with a proposal for continued funding and fax it to them Monday or Tuesday?

Have I mentioned that we have already bought tickets for Knott's Berry Farm -- a highly anticipated trip on the part of my little sugar cube -- for Saturday? And that my sister-in-law is supposed to be visiting tonight? And that we are expected at a birthday party on Sunday?

Shit, man. And I hadn't blogged yet today. I was planning to fritter away my Friday afternoon on a nice long post. Ah, ha ha ha -- just kidding.

Who's laughing now? Not me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Goodnight, Ed Bradley

'60 Minutes' reporter Ed Bradley dies

I’m sad. I didn’t even know he was sick.*

Ed Bradley was one of those quietly talented people that make what they do look effortless. I never had the sense when I was watching him that he was ever out of his element, that he ever struggled to find the right word, that he ever had some scripted idea of what he was supposed to do on camera. He won 19 Emmys for his reportage, which is a damn fine accomplishment.

Thanks, Ed. We’ll miss you.

* Further evidence of my narcissistic personality disorder. Like Ed Bradley was supposed to call me personally and tell me he had leukemia.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Not So Much

I’ve started and deleted two posts today, and let me tell you why: I have lost all capacity for being funny or even remotely entertaining. In fact, I think I am rather witless and slow. I am now going to sit in the corner and eat paste. Tell me about the rabbits, George.

Don’t worry, I’ll try again tomorrow.

P.S. Blogger is making me completely nuts today. I started trying to post more than 2 hours ago, and every time I would even try to get to the “create post” page, the computer would freeze. “NaBloWriMo! NaBloWriMo!” I mumbled, eyes glassy, breathing labored. And then (of course, and more than once): “Piece of shit!” Thankfully, I’m working from home today.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Maximum-Strength Relief

Last year at this time, I came down with both bronchitis and a sinus infection. I had this horrible post-nasal drip that would not be put off, no matter what I tried.

Mama Blah Blah: Uh, Post-Nasal Drip? It’s really not a good time right now, since it’s right before the holidays? So do you think you could, you know, go –

PND: Hell, no! I’ve moved in and I’ve already set up my satellite dish!

MBB: I see. But Post-Nasal Drip, I have so many other things to attend to right now. If you could just –

PND: Turn the heat up! And get me a beer!

MBB: Listen up, Post-Nasal Drip. I’m taking Mucinex.

PND: Fuck that noise. You can’t scare me! What do you think I am?

MBB: You are one sorry muthaf – okay, I’ve seen the doctor twice and you’re still here. I think I have to bring in the big guns. I’m going to the Ear Nose and Throat guy.

PND: The who-ha?

MBB: Take that, you sorry piece of shit!

PND: I'll get you! I'll...[trickles up and slides away]

MBB: [smiling contentedly] Ahhhhh.


MBB: Shit! What the hell are you doing here?

PND: Bitch! You thought it would be that easy to get rid of me?

MBB: I’m going to get some Sudafed.

PND: Like I’m scared. I see you’re at work today and forgot to bring that shit with you. You know you can’t just run out to the store and buy some more, right? They track that shit. If you go buy more, they’ll mark you as a meth addict and narc on you!

MBB: You’re making me gag. Jesus, this sucks.

Monday, November 06, 2006

That's Entertainment

Sweet Dub was watching In My Country this morning when I got up. I watched the last ten minutes of it with him, although I kept expecting Samuel L. Jackson to bust out with a line like, "I'm sick of all these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!" I don't know what the appropriate line would be as it's all about post-apartheid South Africa and reconciliation and those are some heavy issues. "I'm sick of all this muthafuckin' brutality in this muthafuckin' country!"? It doesn't have quite the same cachet.

At any rate, after the credits rolled, the station identification came up, and an announcer said, "You've just seen In My Country on Starz in Black. Coming up on Starz in Black, Terminator 2: Judgment Day."

We both looked at each other. I said, "Did he just say Terminator 2?"

"How is that a black movie?" Sweet Dub said. I watched the gears clicking in his head, and then he said, "Oh, you know what, there's a black guy at the end."

"What?!" I said.

"Yeah, no, there's a black guy at the end, remember? He's the one they have to go find because he's the one that started it all? It's a black dude."

Thus, because there is a black man in the last 15 minutes of the movie, it qualifies to be shown on Starz in Black.*

I'm sick of all this muthafuckin' ignorance in the muthafuckin' media!

* Please note: Starz in Black is touted as "the only movie channel dedicated to showcasing the work of Black actors, producers and directors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." And more power to them, if indeed that's what it was. If I want to see work showcasing Black actors, producers, and what-have-you, I'm not looking for a movie I could see on any other cable channel. I'm looking for something I presumably can't find anywhere else. If you turned on the Independent Film Channel and they were showing Titanic, wouldn't you be perhaps both amused and annoyed? That's all I'm saying. Truth in advertising, please.**

** Yes, I live in a dream land. It's nice here. The sky is blue, the birds are always singing, and I have an endless supply of Haagen Dazs Vanilla Swiss Almond ice cream. Mmm, ice cream.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Helps Prevent Breakage and Split Ends

It’s 9:32 pm, Sunday night.

I was falling asleep as I was putting Viva to bed when I realized I hadn’t blogged yet today.

“I’m exhausted,” I said to Sweet Dub. “What the hell am I going to write about?”

“Write, ‘I’m exhausted, what the hell am I going to write about?’” he said.

I’m exhausted. What the -- oh, well, you know.

Then I had trouble getting my wireless network to connect, and now I’m having trouble getting my blog host to load. What the frizzy?

I’m writing this in Word and I’ll keep trying to connect so I can post.

Speaking of frizzy, have I mentioned that I’m growing my hair out? I don’t think it’s going very well, because one of my co-workers who I like very much very tactfully mentioned that my hair must grow very quickly, and imagine how long it would be if I had straight hair!

However, perhaps I speak too soon. On Halloween, all the members of my department had agreed to wear different variations on the same homemade costume, part of which involved each of us wearing a head made of papier mache. I wore mine for a few hours during our Halloween party. At the end of the day, when I was walking to my car, a woman who I didn’t know who was also walking to her car looked at me, looked again, and then just kept staring. I realized that yes, I was carrying a head made of papier mache, and I was just opening my mouth to say something semi-clever and mildly self-deprecating, because that’s my default mode, when she blurted out, “You look like a model.”

“WHAT? I do?!” I said, completely aghast.

“Yeah, it’s your hair.” She said. “It looks perfect, like a model.”

“Oh. Well, thanks,” I said, and got into my car and snickered cruelly to myself, because she was clearly mad as a damn hallucinatory psychotic mad hatter. Because the only reason my hair looked the way it did was because I wore a Head. Made. Of . Papier. Fricking. Mache. For three hours.

What the frizzy, indeed.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Do the Locomotion

This morning, our friends CC and Lucy came over to visit. CC is a year or so younger than I am, and Lucy is a year or so younger than Viva. Coincidentally, they are mother and daughter, just like me and Viva. At one point, the girls decided they wanted to dance. Sweet Dub put on a CD for them to dance to, and Viva flung herself about the room with abandon.

"Wow," CC said. "Has Viva always liked to dance?"

"Since she came out of the womb," I said.

I too have always liked to dance, but my love for the dance pales in comparison to the love and sheer effortlessness in the dance when it comes to Sweet William's side of the family. As soon as music starts, they are up and moving. They cannot resist it. Have you ever seen the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? There's a scene where Roger is hiding in the back room of a diner, and the bad guys are looking for him, and Judge Doom starts knocking on walls to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut." "No toon can resist it," he says, and he's right, because even though Roger is shaking with the effort of trying to keep his mouth shut, ultimately he can't stand it, and he bursts through the wall, screaming "TWO BITS!"

This is what happens when music starts anywhere around the Sweet Dub side of the family. And Viva, she is her Daddy's girl.

"She gets that from me," says my mother-in-law, who can shake it with the best of them.

I wish Viva had inherited a love of the nap, but a love of the dance is damn fine. Let's hope she hasn't inherited a love of the booze, or any of the many more complicated traits she could have gotten from either side of the family.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Full-Bodied Blend

“I have this little sister Lola. She is small, and very funny…”

Viva has become quite enamored of the Charlie and Lola show, so much so that she has adopted Lola’s imaginary friend Soren Lorenson as her own. Last night I overheard what appeared to be a very schizophrenic type of conversation (with apologies to any real-life schizophrenics out there) during which Viva appeared to be arguing with herself. In fact, she was arguing with Soren Lorenson.

At bedtime, Viva and Soren Lorenson had a sleepover, during which they whispered and giggled until they fell asleep – but not before Soren Lorenson screamed for “Viva’s mom” to come back into the room and turn on the sleepytime CD.

This morning, Viva announced that she and Soren Lorenson both required a waffle and orange juice and vitamins. Upon receipt of said items, both said thank you, and insisted that I say “You’re welcome” to both, separately.

In the car on the way to school, Soren Lorenson sat in an invisible car seat directly behind me and kicked the seat. After I told him he could get out and walk to school, he stopped and fell into more whispered conversation with Viva.

I am not opposed to Soren Lorenson, as long as he does not require me to wipe his bum after he’s used the toilet.


So I just mailed off our absentee ballots this morning. I hope they get there in time, because as we all know, every vote counts. Sweet Dub and I registered as absentee voters due to the fiasco of the last presidential election. My polling place was three blocks from our apartment, and it took me 3½ hours to vote. I only had my babysitter scheduled for 4 hours, so hello, that was pretty much my whole kid-free morning. But if I didn’t vote, I figured, the terrorists had won*, so I hung in there bitterly, bitching along with a long line of folks I didn’t know.

Well, no more. I vote by mail. Suckas!

Speaking of voting, if you haven’t done so today, please cast your vote once again for Buddy Lewis to become the next Wandering Golfer. I have watched the videos of all four candidates, and I have to say I know I’m biased, but I think Buddy is the most entertaining. I would watch him, and not just because I know him, but because I think he would bring a richer dimension to the show. He is funny, and he knows golf. He’s fun to watch.

* Sarcasm, I know, what a shock. Actually, my line of thinking went more like, “People died so I can vote, goddammit.” Have I ever told you the story of how my grandparents bought a van and drove it down to Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s so they could donate it for voter registration? It’s a pretty cool story, but perhaps I’ll save that for another day. I mean, I am supposed to blog every day this month. I have to conserve my strength.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trashy, Yet Demure

In our old apartment building, we had a trash chute. When we wanted to empty the trash, we would simply walk out the front door, down the hall and around the corner, and dump the trash down the chute. We were mindless consumers, throwing out bags of trash hither and yon, whenever we damn well pleased. Well aware of our reckless abandon with the trash, we self-deprecatingly called ourselves the Trashy Blah Blahs.

When we moved to the house now nearly a month ago, I said to Sweet Dub, “Um, this trash thing could be a problem.”

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking,” he said. “We generate a lot of trash. A lot.”

And then we singlehandedly burned a hole in the ozone layer in the atmosphere directly above us and laughed and laughed. Oh, how we laughed!

What we have discovered, actually, is that more than half of our trash – in fact, easily two-thirds of what we used to throw away – is recyclable. In our apartment, it would be a hassle to be green, at least in terms of recycling. I did explore this option at one point, and abandoned it altogether due to our lack of space and the pain-in-the-ass (PITA) factor of trying to find somewhere to drop off recyclables (which evidently could not all be dropped off in one place). But apparently the City of Los Angeles, while pretty much giving the finger to anyone who resides in an apartment, lives to make life a bit easier for those who dwell in houses. At least in terms of trashiness.

Heartened by this discovery and eager to be more considerate to our dear planet, I boldly went where I had gone once before and ordered shopping bags, wrap-n-mats, and SIGG aluminum bottles from I have purchased stuff from them before when there was all the hullabaloo in the news about lead in lunchboxes, and got Viva a very charming lead-free lunchbag made by Mimi the Sardine. When I got home last night, the box was sitting by the back gate, looking pretty much like a plain brown box and not a box that was going to transform life as we know it and simultaneously save the earth.

Nonetheless, when I made Viva’s lunch this morning, I wrapped up her sandwich in a fetching red-and-white-checked wrap-n-mat instead of putting it in a plastic sandwich baggie. The rest of her lunch (grape tomatoes, apple slices, YoKids in a tube, sesame crackers, and Teddy Grahams from Halloween) also traveled along in little reusable containers. But here’s the kicker: after I dropped her off, I went to CVS to pick up a few things before heading back to work from home. I made my purchases, drove home, and realized when I walked in the door that I had forgotten my lovely new ChicoBags at home and was bringing another damn plastic bag into the house.

Day One of Reusable Shopping Bags was thus a bust, due to my not having a fucking brain in my head. How is your day going?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Join Us, Won't You?

So Mrs. Kennedy has thrown down the gauntlet and issued this challenge to those of us who blog:

Okay, so I'm gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, and because I want to overextend myself just that much more I am proposing that everyone commit themselves to NaBloWriMo -- that's right, National Blog Writing Month. Let's all take the sometimes depressing month of November and post EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Well, it all seems so thrillingly easy on November 1st. I'm accepting the challenge. Won't you join me?

P.S. I am not even going to try to do National Novel Writing Month this year. Let's just be real.

Halloween 2006, A Retrospective

All right, I know I promised. Here, without further ado, is my little elephant clown.

If you won't join us in blogging, perhaps you will join us in dressing as either an elephant or a clown. Extra points if you dress as both. And post pictures. Because otherwise, how will we know?