Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Anyone out there been to Hawaii with a preschooler? We are trying to plan a vacation in May (ha!) and while we had originally planned on Kauai, we got sidetracked to Maui and now have recommendations to go to Honolulu. I don't want to go somewhere too touristy*, but I want to make sure we have amenities. I don't want to spend my vacation in a Motel 6. I'm torn between staying at a resort so we'd have the option of the pool, room service when we want it, etc., and renting a condo or bungalow or something. My mother-in-law will be coming with us so she can get away from it all and also provide some babysitting if we want to go out at night.

Any thoughts? I know it's not the most earth-shattering decision I'll ever make, but I am truly without a clue. I've never been to Hawaii. Anyone?

*As Sweet Dub says, "It's all going to be touristy to some extent."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Low-Rent and High (In Three Parts)

Part the First

Seen today in the building where I work:

Please respect the building tenants and do not urinate in the stairwells.

(And yes, there has evidently been a veritable epidemic of stairwell peeing in my office building. Nice.)

Part the Second

Sweet Dub gave me a picture of himself posing with the director of the movie he's been working on. I took it to work with me because I thought it was hilarious. First of all, Sweet Dub does not have a small head (no, that's not a euphemism, you dirty, dirty, naughty thing), but the director? His head looks about the size of a battleship in this picture, dwarfing my husband's head to the size of a coconut. Some might say this is symbolic of how he thinks of himself, but certainly I would never take it there. No, indeedy. I know which side my bread is buttered on. But the director is also sneering mockingly at the camera, clearly cheesing it up a bit. It makes me laugh just to look at it. So when Sweet Dub called a few minutes ago, I mentioned that I was looking at the picture.

"You hung it up at work?" he said.

"Yeah, it's up on my bulletin board," I said.

"That's kind of goofy," he said.

Hello? Have you just met me? Goofy is my middle name.

Part the Third

Speaking of brushes with celebrity, on Monday afternoon, I worked half a day in the office and half a day at home after lunching with the lovely Cee, her sister, and an anonymous friend who shall remain nameless in the interest of anonymity. At about 4:30, I realized Sweet Dub and Viva would be home soon, and there was nothing to eat for dinner. I hopped into my BlahBlahMobile and motored on over to the local Gelson's on the Los Feliz/Silverlake border. You know the one, across the street from Trader Joe's? I grabbed a cart and swung over toward the meat product section, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a smartly-yet-funkily-dressed fellow with locs, pushing a cart. I am usually not one to celeb-gawk, but I did a double take, because for a split second I thought it was Wyclef Jean, but then I realized it was At the same time, he realized he had been recognized, and broke out in a big smile, and said hello. I am quite sure he was admiring my snazzy red boots. I said hello, and then, feeling all "first day of high school" geeky, I ducked my head and ran off to get some boneless skinless chicken. Because that's how I roll, baby.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of Tums.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Glitz, Glamour, Gaaaaah

Sweet Dub has been working madly on a movie since - oh, August, I think. It is almost done. Release date imminent.
He mentioned to me yesterday, in tones usually used by one who is broaching the subject of "say, maybe we should think about putting Grandma in a home," that we would be expected to attend the L.A. premiere. Which is in a matter of days. Not weeks. DAYS.
I know, I know, how exciting, how great, blah blah blah. Where the hell am I supposed to find a dress, shoes, appropriate jewels, etc. in a matter of days? Have I mentioned that I'm also planning our child's birthday party (now two weeks away)?
An added treat: he and everyone involved with the movie will be working on it non-stop, 17 hours a day, for the next week or so. Including the weekends. So if you thought I could maybe go frock-shopping sans the child, you thought wrong. Since I can't even take her shopping for her own shoes without her telling me how bored she is, you can only imagine how extremely ever not fun this is going to be.
The good news is that Sweet Dub will be getting a screen credit. And the director is letting him approve everything up until the final cut. (At least I think that's what he said.) It is exciting, and he is excited, and I am excited for him.
I'm just freaked about having to look my cutest, most sophisticated-yet-funky self without proper notice. You know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Power of Positive Thinking

My company leases office space in a fairly large office building. I had a reserved parking spot for one month, and let me tell you, that was heavenly. However, I only had it thanks to some technical snafu. Henceforth, I have had to look for a space just like everybody else. This is usually okay, unless I need to drive somewhere at lunchtime, and quite often when I return, I end up having to leave my keys with an attendant and let him stack my car. This, too, is okay, unless at the end of the day I am running late and need to go get Viva, at which point I need my car ten minutes ago and don't want to deal with all the shuffling cars around to get mine out.
My sister-in-law, the Diva, mentioned that she just "calls on the parking angels" when she is trying to find a spot, and it always works. This sounds a bit ridiculous, I know, but one day as I was driving back into the parking garage during a particularly busy time of day, I remembered the parking angels and decided to visualize a space as I was driving in.
It works. Every single time. For weeks, I have not needed to leave my keys with anybody. I relayed this to Sweet Dub last night as we were going to bed.
"Why don't you visualize a big bag of money in that space?" he said, turning his back on me and flumping into his pillow. "Sheeit."
I may just try that. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Monday

So for the past several weeks I haven't been able to find the charger for my cell phone. In puzzlement, I've gone through all the places it could possibly be. I've rummaged through drawers. I've checked places it would have absolutely no business being. My phone is now constantly beeping at me that the battery is low. This is because, on a 35- to 40-minute commute to drive over to Viva's school, drop her off, get back in my car and drive to work, I generally only think to use the car charger when I'm say, about a mile from work. I'm reluctant to go buy a replacement because I know as soon as I do, I will find it.
It has been a bit vexing.
This morning, after being at work about half an hour, I was pulling a file out of a drawer that I don't use that much, and that's when I saw it. Plugged into the wall, about a foot-and-a-half from where I spend much of my working day. In full view.
My powers of observation, they are strong. Not fully utilized, it seems, but strong.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Addendum - Media Links

Hey, so I forgot to add, if you are interested in this sort of thing (I know I am completely fascinated by it): check out the website for the national Conference for Media Reform. Great transcripts, and great video. I particularly like Geena Davis' address, which I heard replayed on KPCC-FM during their pledge drive. You should visit her non-profit's site, See Jane, if you want more info on the lack of representation of women and girls in the media. One example of the gender disparity their research uncovered: overall, three out of four characters in the 101 top-grossing G-rated movies (1990-2004) are male, and during that time period, there was no change in that percentage -- i.e., you can't see any improvement. We still got a long way to go, baby. Also take a look at Media Matters. They pretty much obsessively monitor the media for misinformation and unhealthy trends.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Disney: Too Little, Too Late?

Regular readers of this blog (hello!) know of my aversion to the whole Disney princess marketing machine. I oppose it on many many grounds. You can imagine that I was completely floored yesterday when my sweet husband dropped this bombshell on me:
Sweet Dub: Hey! You'renevergonnabelieveit: Disney is finally coming out with a black princess!
Mama Blah: Oh my GOD [metaphorically dropping a huge bag of groceries, including several dozen eggs on the floor in my shock]! What? When?
Sweet Dub: Yeah, apparently it's in development and it should be out sometime in 2008.
Mama Blah: Wow. [hoping against hope: please let it not be bad, please let it not be bad] So what's the storyline? What's the setting?
Sweet Dub: It's called the Frog Princess, and it's set in New Orleans. And the princess is black black -- not a light-skinned girl.*
I haven't been able to find any images online**, so I can't comment on that. But here's the official release and another release, same day, talking about Disney's support for New Orleans and the Gulf region. Disney loves black people! How could I have been so wrong all these years?
Until this morning, I had no idea that there was a petition going around about Disney's lack of a black princess. I admit that I have mixed feelings about the whole princess thing - I think it's fun for little kids to play dress-up and all that, but I hesitate to endorse the message that life is all about sparkly things and pretty dresses. At the same time, some little girls just really love that shit, and if they do, at least they should have some damn representation. Now, Disney has yet to come up with a Latina princess, which I think is also a huge mistake from an economic standpoint if nothing else. But there at least there is a Dora princess story and accompanying doll.
And for those who wonder, "Why does everything have to be so politically correct? They're just kids!": Please. Don't play that. With the huge part media plays in how we see ourselves - when you have statistics that show that one-third of girls in third grade have been on a diet - don't try and tell me that this is just one more thing for us to be hypersensitive about. There's a reason we're hypersensitive. And there's no reason we should just lie down and be passive consumers.
I'll leave you with this plot summary from, which suggests that it's probably not going to hit theaters for a few years anyway:
"The Frog Princess - This currently in development fairy tale is being closely watched for it is said to represent Disney's first 2D-animated feature since 2004's Home on the Range. Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) are writing and directing what is said to be a musical set in 1920s New Orleans. A casting call has revealed the lead characters to be Maddy, a 19-year-old chambermaid; Charlotte La Bouff, a spoiled 18-year-old southern debutante; villain Dr. Duvalier, a voodoo magician; and Mama Odie, a 200-year-old voodoo priest. In a departure from the norm, three of the four (not Charlotte) are African American. Though Alan Menken was originally pegged to handle the film's music, Pixar veteran Randy Newman is now said to hold this command. No release date has been set, but traditionally animated films have traditionally taken about four years from first news to reaching the big screen, making this unlikely to show up until 2010."

* Not that there's anything wrong with being light-skinned. Hoo, let's not even go there.

** Updated to add: here's an image, courtesy of blog reader Emma (hi, Emma!). I'm a little taken aback by the headdress thing, but I'll reserve judgment until I see it in context.

Note to My Future Self (First in an Occasional Series)

Dear Self,

We (You of the Future*, and I of the Now) have this problem. Rarely do we use our printer to print anything other than an 8.5 by 11 standard letter-sized document. About once or twice a year, usually at Viva's birthday and Christmas, we try to feed odd-sized paper into the machine to print out invitations or Christmas cards. Inevitably, the format is all screwy. Inevitably, we have forgotten since last time how we got the damn thing to work. It's a silly thing, but it's annoying.

The problem is that the paper is non-standard size, and the computer for whatever reason is not communicating to the printer that are feeding it non-standard paper, even though we have typed in the measurements in page setup. So it goes through as if it is printing on letter-size paper. Which is to say, it will print halfway across the (test**) page and lose half of the intended message. Why is it that this sort of thing never works to my advantage? Like, doesn't it seem to you that if I have to experience some sort of technical snafu, couldn't it be of the electronic banking variety, in my (our) favor? I'm just saying.

Here is what I have discovered, Future Self: you have to trick the computer. Ooh, tricksy. Tell it that you are printing on paper that is 8.5 inches wide. Measure the difference between 8.5 and the actual paper width. Add the difference to the margin in page setup. Try it, try it, you will see. Future Self, it will work. And there will be much rejoicing across the land.

Of course, it is after midnight and although I've figured this out, I haven't tried it yet because our husband is sleeping scant yards away and he will undoubtedly wake up if I make even the slightest sound, aside from tapping on the keyboard. Have you noticed he's a really light sleeper? Have you trained him to sleep more than 5 hours at a stretch, Future Self? Does he still say things like "I'm going to tattoo a blog across my body so maybe you'll pay attention to me"? Oh, you forgot about that?

Good luck, Future Self. Especially with the ozone and all that.

Muchos smoochos,
Me of the Now

* Hey, by the way, Future Self, what is it like there? Can cars fly? Can pigs fly? Has an asteroid hit the earth? Hello? Are you there?

** I never never use the actual "snazzily pre-printed, limited number of pieces" paper on the first go. I always start with a sample on the basic Office Depot multipurpose paper. Learn from my mistakes, Future Self (and any other poor souls out there).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Where Do I Start?

I have a moment to blog, and I barely know what to do. Rather than going over all my health issues (I promised last time I wouldn't, remember, and I'm keeping my promise), I'm just going to jump all over the place with random bits.

Turning 4 in less than a month. She has talked at me about her party pretty much daily for the last six months, without even a break for Christmas. Do you understand what I'm saying? The child would not even let Christmas distract her. Needless to say, the party planning is in full swing.

Sweet Dub
Working 11-hour days these days. Exhausted. Said to me at 6:30 this morning: "Sometimes at work I answer the phone, 'Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.*' Is that weird?"

Seems to have a girlfriend. Little calico number. Seems to like Sweet Dub better than he likes me, which is patently unfair, considering Sweet Dub doesn't even like cats.

World Peace
Still elusive as ever.

* Warning: before you click on this link, turn down the volume on your computer. The music is pretty loud --but maybe that's because I'm online during that funky woozy time when my child is kind of drifting off but at the point where pretty much anything is an excuse for getting up.

E-mail blogging

Testing, testing, one two three...

Oh my God, can it be true? I can't post anything on my blog from work, and I have been having trouble with my wireless at home. However, theoretically, I can post via e-mail, which I could theoretically do from work as a break between projects and meetings and the like.

This is my first attempt. Fingers crossed...