Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend, Part Two

After feeling a rush of love toward my home city after the fireworks show, I decided we should travel into the city again the following day to take in some sights and soak up the love.  We drove this time.  Fooled me once, Golden Gate Transit, shame on you. 

We picked up one of Leila's friends and had a tourist day.  We went to Pier 39, the most touristy place in the whole city.  In fact, if you are reading this and have never been to San Francisco and are planning a trip here some time in your future, do not go to Pier 39.  SAVE YOURSELF!  Except for the magnificent views of the bay, and the sea lions that sun themselves in the bay, Pier 39 has absolutely nothing to do with San Francisco.  You will learn nothing about our city by going there, except that we will take your cash any way we can get it.  I hadn't been there in 20 years, so we went, and in spite of the touristy shlock, we actually had a good time.  Doesn't mean you should go there, though. 

One of the really great things about my husband is that when I get a wild hair that we should do something like this, he doesn't cheap out on me.  He just knows that if we are going to the fair, or Pier 39, or some festival or public event, we are going to spend money, and that trying to save money during that kind of day is just annoying.  So we park in the garage, we go to lunch, we buy the kids some souvenirs (in this case, mood rings) we get some fudge, I even bought a sweatshirt because I've been wanting a zip up hoodie.  He doesn't balk, he just pays. (which is how I ended up with a $20 metal starfish.)  I like that about him.  When I was a kid, my parents might have taken me on an outing, once in a blue moon, but once there, I was never allowed to do any of the fun stuff like ride the double decker carousel, or tip the musician painted in silver, or get a funnel cake.  It was kind of a bummer.  But they also have a very comfortable retirement now, and that is a great gift to me, so maybe them buying me that ice cream cone would have meant me paying for their retirement home, so it was probably a good call.


How about those sea lions, though?  That's a never ending drama, right there. "Get off my pier!  Stop pushing me!  You smell!  I'm trying to sleep!  I don't want your stupid Amway!"  At least that's how I translated there constant barking.  Those guys have a lot to say.

After the Pier, the kids wanted to go to the Hyatt Regency Hotel where they have these glass elevators that you can ride.  You're not supposed to ride them, and you can only get on if you have a key card, but we dangle around the elevator lobby for someone to get off the elevator and then we sneak on and go wild.  I used to love this hotel when I was a kid, too.  It must be genetic.  Also, Leila loves the name.  She says, "Its so fancy, like, Hyatt."  They had a ball.  They kept checking their mood rings which vacillated between being "calm" and "in love"  The latter made them blush.

So long, Pier 39!  See you in another 20 years!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I did over my Memorial Day Weekend

Did you all have a nice memorial day weekend?  I sure did.  I laid around on my couch for two whole days.  I honestly can't tell you what I did.  Oh, yes I can, actually:  I made turkey meatloaf on Saturday, and I made vanilla ice cream on Sunday.  And the rest of the time I laid around and watched TV.

But here's what we did Sunday night, part awesome, part boondoggle.

Here's the awesome part:



In an effort to get out of the house and do something great, we went to see our bridge celebrate her birthday.  We were told repeatedly, by every news source and every radio station, for days beforehand, USE PUBLIC TRANSIT.  So we did, rule followers that we are.  We went down to the bus stop with our exact change, and bussed it in to the city and got off on the SF side of the bridge and watched the most excellent fireworks show.  It was simply amazing, and I hate that word.  But you don't read me to see how amazing things were, you read me because little things piss me off and I like to make big deals out of them.

Which brings us to the boondoggle part:

After a fabulous and moving fireworks show (I do love that damn bridge) we and our fellow spectators made our way back up to the bus stop at the toll plaza of the bridge.  There were no buses.  There were no buses for a half hour.  Full buses drove past us, and we were completely bus free.  Let me also say here, that if you have ever been on the Golden Gate Bridge at 10 at night with fog rolling in, you know that its witches-tit cold out there.  And we can't stand in the relative comfort of the bus shelter because the 200 other people waiting for a bus are in a mass at the curb trying to be first in line for a warm bus.  So we wait.  There is one poor soul in an official yellow jacket frantically calling people on her cell phone telling them we need empty buses.  Finally, one bus arrives, and the first wave proceeds to board.  It takes 20 minutes to fill the bus, because it seems that every single passenger has never been on a bus before, and has to have a long discussion with the bus driver, presumably about correct change.  It is excruciating for the rest of us who are standing shoulder to shoulder freezing our asses off.  The one bus is filled, and we wait for a second bus.  We eventually boarded the third bus which arrived an hour and a half after the fireworks ended.
The line of angry people waiting for buses
 Mind you, I had a 10 year-old with me, and she was losing her shit.  I had to distract her by lending voices to the boarding passengers, like this: "Excuse me, sir?  Does this bus stop at the planet Neptune?  I don't have any dimes, so can you give me change back?  Oh you cant?  Well I don't have exact change, but I need to get to Neptune.  Will there be hot chocolate on the bus?  No?  I was told there would be refreshments..." and on and on.  This is where the real parenting chops come out.  I am cold and frustrated, and considering waking my dad and asking him to pick us up, but I am keeping my kid distracted from having a complete melt down by doing funny voices.  Someone give me a medal.

At 11:30, we got on the bus, and Rob and I had to stand the whole ride home.  I was burping the whole way, hoping I wouldn't barf, and, mercifully, I did not.  We were home and in bed just after midnight.  I'm still cold.

Good fireworks, though.  Gave me a great feeling of city pride.  I really do live in the most beautiful place in the world, and if you're reading this and don't live here, I feel sad for you. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shopping Hangover

Dude, I just went shopping.  For clothes.  For myself.  I shopped like I've never shopped before.  I dropped a lot of dough.  But when I talked to my friends and said, "Guess how much money I spent on clothes today:"  Three of them said, "Was it more than a thousand?" and I was all, "NO WAY!! Not even close!" and they were all, "Oh, then its not that bad."

Really?  Not that bad?  I feel a little jittery about it.  I don't think I've ever spent this much on clothes in one go.  Or in one year, for that matter.  I think I need some post shopping wine. 

Here are all my rationalizations for why its "not that bad:" 

1) I NEVER do this.  Once or twice a year I go to Target or Old Navy and get cheap, ill-fitting things and wear them until they fall off my body begging for mercy.  Or until I drip popcorn butter on them at the movies and can't get it out.  Which ever comes first.

2) I wear my clothes FOREVER.  I used a white camisole from the store to try on these gauzy tops, and I realized I might need some camisoles.  I bought three.  The last time I bought camis, I wasn't even married.  That's a long-ass time ago.  The things I got today I will probably wear for the next decade.  Unless I drip popcorn butter on them and I can't get it out.

3) Almost everything I bought was on sale, and I left two thirds of what I tried on in the dressing room.  So, really, I saved money.

4) I don't have a number four.  I only have three rationalizations, but, for emphasis, I'll restate the first: I NEVER do this.

Honestly, I feel a little drunk off this shopping spree; a little light headed.  I might need to lie down. 

I went with my friend, White Pants, who is a good shopping buddy because a) she always looks good and stylish and fresh, and b) she's honest.  She would never let me buy anything that looked hideous, and will beat me before she lets me walk out of a store with pants that are any looser than a sausage casing.  She's a good egg.  You know what she tried on?  White pants. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wha?

I had something I was going to write about, but now I forget what it was.  This being in my 40s thing is so neat.  I can't remember anyone's name, I can't remember what I walked into a room for, I can't remember lines from movies, and I used to be able to recite those things like some people recite the bible; chapter and verse.  I don't know how I ever remembered all the words to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire (but I did, in college, when I wasn't doing the required reading.)  I'm shocked that I  remembered Billy Joel's name just then.  I also fart more. 

In Tina Fey's book, Bossypants, her chapter entitled "What Turning Forty Means to Me" says: " I need to take my pants off as soon as I get home.  I didn't used to have to do that.  But now I do."  That's the whole chapter, and its a good one, and absolutely true.

This was not what I was going to write about, but I have no idea what super-topic I had planned. 

Hey, you know what?  I just finished the third book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, and I have to tell you two things:

1) A woman in my Trashy Book Club told us that her husband said it was the best book he never read.  And if you've read it, you know what he's talking about.
2) At the end of book three, there is dossier on the main female character, and it lists her mother's year of birth as 1970.  I WAS BORN IN 1970!  So not only can I not identify with the main character's fantastic sex life and crazy wealth, but I'M OLD ENOUGH TO BE HER MOTHER.  That is sobering. 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Bras

Can I write an interesting Friday post in 13 minutes?  Let's find out!!!

Okay, so far? I have nothing.  Okay here's something.

My daughter is slowly but surely entering puberty.  I wont go into any specifics because she will one day be taller than me and will kick my ass, but I have taken to torturing her.

I say, "Hey!  Guess What!" and she goes, "What?" and I go, "PUBERTY!" and she rolls her eyes and tells me how weird  I am. 

I was relaying this story to my mother and reminisced about how I was too shy to ask for a bra when it was time so Kelly Fitzsimons and I hopped on our bikes and rode down to JC Penney and I bought a bra in a box for $3.50 of allowance money.  I hid it from my mom and rinsed it out when I took a shower.  Then one day I was trying on clothes (Levi 501s, if memory serves, and a top with ruffles that went from shoulders to waist) and she peeked through the curtain and saw my bra.  When we got home, she came in my room and snickered and said, "So lets see this bra of yours" so I handed it over.  "I didn't know they made them this small!" Said the woman with the life long A cup.  Is it any wonder that I didn't ask my mom to come with me and get me a bra?  For such a good mom, she was really terrible about stuff like this.

My mom says that never happened, and that I didn't buy myself my first bra.  She does this.  She can't remember anything, and assumes that if she can't remember it, it never happened.  She couldn't tell me how I did get my first bra, but she was sure I didn't get it on my bike with my friend, Kelly.  She finally relented when I pointed out that she is old, and I am young (er) and that I think I know what happened in my own life.

So I am going entirely the other way, by bombarding my daughter with puberty talk, and tampon tutorials, and mortifying her at every turn.  I told her the story about how I got my first bra and made her promise not to do the same thing.  She promised.  And, she hates riding her bike, so I think I'm safe.

10 minutes.  How'd I do?  Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Cat is a Dick

My cat is a very lovey, snuggly, affectionate asshole.  I am very done with pets today.  They all suck.

My friend has a laundry room in her downstairs and from the time she brought her cats home, they were put in the laundry room at night.  Now I have total laundry room envy. 

Not sleeping well is bad enough, but when it someone elses fault, like a neighbor whose car alarm goes off at 3 a.m. and wakes up your cat, who then starts climbing all over you and touching your face with his paw and purring in your ear and doesn't stop for hours until you pitch him across the room, its even worse. 

I also think I heard a screech owl.  That's a bad sign.

So, today didn't start well, but I can turn it around.  I will make myself some french toast, which heals almost anything, and then in a while take the dog for a bath and buy him some food.  Then I will come home and watch celebrity ghost stories, and my pets can all suck it.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Best Mother Ever - Exhibit 27

The other day I was waiting with a friend in her car, picking Leila up from school.  Another friend joined us at the driver's side window and we did what moms do: engaged in juicy gossip.  I know, we should be above it, we should all be beacons of forgiveness and understanding.  But you know what?  Eff it.  Just as we were getting to the good part, here comes Leila, bounding up to the car.

We had to stop mid story.  So, genius mother that I am, I say to Leila, "Hey! Go over to the after care place and see if your little friend can come over for the afternoon!"  Leila looks at me confused.  This is unprecedented.  Sending her back onto the school grounds to go get a friend for an un-planned play date?  Well, okay then!  She runs off, back toward the school, and I get to hear the rest of the story.  And it was a good one.  But I'm not going to tell you what it is because I'm above all that.

My payment for this act of awesome parenting was to have two girls giggling the afternoon and evening away, getting them pizza, and finding her friend's pants in my bed after we brought her home.  Totally worth it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

French Toast Saves Lives

I had an intense craving for french toast this morning.  I am feeling sullen and bruised and crabby, and french toast seemed like the only way to save the day.  I fought it for a while, and my friend suggested I go to the grocery store for some bananas so I could make a healthy smoothie.  Has she met me?  Is she high?  Doesn't she know that the grocery store is the worst place in the world besides the dentist's office??  So I decided, eff it, I'm going for french toast.

I went to the little place around the corner from me, and I sat down at the counter and the nice lady said, "French toast with sour dough?" and I said Yes please, and then I thought about this:  Is this just the charming feature of small town life, where the purveyor of fine breakfast items knows exactly what I want when I sit down? Or does it indicate that eating french toast, alone, and that I am known for this means that I have a problem I should explore?  Is this akin to drinking, alone, in the morning?

Hello, My name is Bored, I'm a french toast addict.  Hi, Bored!

Seriously, it felt like I had gone into a bar at 9:30 in the morning and ordered a bourbon and water, hold the water.  And I don't even like bourbon.

I decided to order a smoothie too, though, so I got the menu back and chose something with orange juice.

And you know what?  It worked!  I actually feel better now.  They say exercise makes you feel better, and I had taken a long walk with the dog before breakfast, but the only thing that made me feel better was delicious french toast.  See?  No need for endorphins, just maple syrup.

Sweet Elixir of Life

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ghosts

So, you guys, since my remodel is done, and my job is over, and I'm winding down my PTA duties, I don't have a lot to do.  I have to come up with stuff to do during the day to pass the time, and I try to make those things meaningful instead of frivolous, but sometimes I fail at that.  I could pass my time doing chores and cleaning the bathroom and stuff, but mostly I just read books and hang out.

One of the things that has been happening is that, during lunch time, which is usually around 1:30 (I'm a late breakfast eater) I turn on the TV to see what's cookin'.  Literally.  I often watch the food network.  But at 2:00 on the Bio channel, Celebrity Ghost Stories comes on.

People of the internet, I know how ridiculous this sounds.  I was flipping channels one day, and Joan Rivers was talking about a ghost, and then some guy from Sopranos, and then C. Thomas Howel, and before I knew it, I was watching and looking forward to Celebrity Ghost Stories every single dingle day.

At first I was all, I like it, but its not like I'm gonna DVR it or anything.  But that turns out not to have been true because I have an episode waiting on my DVR for me RIGHT NOW  Its haunting me.  Ha ha ha.

I freakin' love this show.  Its supremely stupid, but it has all the elements I like in a show: it is produced in small little bites, like three or four celebrities per show, so you don't really miss anything if you start in the middle.  It has C and D list celebrities, some I haven't even heard of.  There seem to be different categories of stories, some are simple post-death visitations that never happen again, some are spirits that live in the house all the time and are like family.  The show has weird sounds and screams and camera tricks that make it freaky enough that I probably wouldn't watch it if I was home alone at night.  Like, in the Loretta Lynn episode, they show a pond, but they color it all yellowish and wiggle the camera around, and then show a riderless white horse, and add some interference in there, and its awesome.

video

This is a video I took from my TV.  Its not from Celebrity Ghost Stories, but its about ghosts.  Sorry for the poor sound quality, I'm low tech.  To see the real version, click here.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Stories about Yogurt

In spite of my complete yogurt-making failure, I am still making frozen yogurt.  I promised myself an ice cream maker if I had room in my new kitchen, and, as it turns out, I have room for 5 ice cream makers.

A few weeks ago, we had some people over for brunch and Rob was in charge of fruit salad.  He went to the store and came back with enough fruit to feed an entire ship full of scurvy-riddled sailors.  We thought we'd make a light brunch, with home-made granola, store-bought yogurt, fruit salad, and I made some scones.  This was all fine until I mentioned eggs and bacon and everyone was all, "HELL YES! We want eggs and bacon!"  Luckily, I just happened to have a pound of bacon in the fridge in case of a bacon emergency, so all the healthy stuff was shoved aside in favor of crispy bacon and scrambled eggs.

We had tons of fruit leftover, and some of it was in the form of a salad, but not all of it.  So we made Watermelon Sorbet with lime (delicious but too icy to really be called sorbet) Pineapple sorbet (so good!) and strawberry frozen yogurt, the subject of all my frozen yogurt dreams.  Very tasty and refreshing, but I'd like to figure out how to strain out the chunks and seeds without being left with just the strawberry juice.

I felt a little bad that I'd made three different frozen treats and, since they all involved fruit, Leila would have nothing to do with them.  I made her try the strawberry by pushing a spoonful against her tightly closed lips, but she did not like the strawberry molecule that fought its way on to her tongue.  So, yesterday we made cake batter frozen yogurt which is her favorite.  I think its pretty good, but Leila decided it was too "yogurty."  Its true that it has a little tang, but I like that.  So now I'm stuck with a whole batch of cake batter fro yo that she wont eat.  This is going to be harder than I thought.

What flavor should I make next?