“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Friday, December 31, 2010


Dream I had this morning.
I was riding the shuttle that takes me from my office to EMB. When I got off the shuttle I was informed that I was no longer allowed to ride it anymore because I had corrected someone's grammar a little too loudly and offended the wrong person.

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Gift Giving and Receiving

My Philosophy on Gift Giving and Receiving
It's OK to re-use wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and gift bags - It's the responsible thing to do in this day and age; it saves a bit of money, it helps the planet by not using extra or unnecessary resources, and gosh darn it, some ribbons and bows are too pretty not to use again.
It's OK to make gifts for your loved ones, rather than buying something - it shows creativity, ingenuity, thoughtfulness. Imagine receiving a gift knowing that the person who made it for you was thinking of you the whole time the gift was being made. Gosh, that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
It's OK to give cash or gift cards instead of a gift - sometimes one just doesn't know what to get someone. Maybe the recipient wants a very specialized item and rather than buying the wrong one, sometimes it's best to send a gift card for the store where the item is sold. When I was in the 2nd grade I got a bra from an aunt. I would much rather have gotten $5.
It's OK to re-gift - this one is a bit tricky. It is OK to re-gift but one must take care to not give the gift back to the person who gave it to you (duh), and one must take care not to re-gift an item to someone in front of the person who originally gave you the gift.  Gifts are supposed to make people feel good. Re-gifting is fine, if done with care.
It's OK to put the gift receipt in the box with the gift - sometimes you don't need an espresso machine from Williams Sonoma, but you really could use a new knife. The gift-giver should recognize this and gracefully accept that a new knife from Williams Sonoma is just as lovely as a new espresso machine. Your gift of an espresso machine gave the recipient the means to buy a new knife. Every time that person uses the knife you will be remembered with fondness.
It's OK to use a gift in a manner the giver hadn't thought of - for example, one year for Christmas I received a cutting board. I didn't need a cutting board, but I liked the design, so I used it as a flat surface on top of my microwave so I could have a nice place to put my condiments that I use frequently. I've had it now for about 10 years. I still use it, and when I see it I think of the people who gave it to me.
It's OK to get some benefit out of the gift you give - for example, I have to buy a specific dollar amount of scrip every year for The Girl's school. It's OK to buy Starbucks gift cards and use those as gifts, and get credit for scrip. Another example is credit card points. I admit it, I bought some of the gifts I gave with my AMEX points. The gifts I gave were exactly the same things I would have gotten from a store, I just used alternate means of paying for them. Let's face it. Everyone who has ever given someone stuff from Bath and Body Works has taken advantage of their buy one, get one policy, am I right?
It's OK to have a gift sent directly from the website from which it is bought - Sometimes going to the store, picking out a gift, taking it home and wrapping it, then sending it out takes more time than a lot of us have, plus it costs a bit more money to pay for shipping to your house then shipping to the recipient. Sure, sometimes the wrapping isn't as exciting or pretty, but everyone loves getting packages in the mail so the 'ding dong' of the doorbell sort of makes up for the fact that it doesn't have a pretty red bow.

With All that Said, There are Some Things to Remember
Know when to stop recycling - If the paper is torn, if the paper has creases so formed that it won't fold any other way, if there is tape on the paper from past holidays that you can't remove, it's time to get rid of the paper. It's done its job. It's time to recycle it. If the gift bag has tears, if it has an old card attached to it with the "to/from" already filled out with the last recipient's information, tear it off or don't use the bag. Don't scratch it out. Don't use an Easter or Happy Birthday bag for Christmas, make sure the bag is holiday appropriate. If you're putting money or a gift card in an envelope, make sure the envelope is in good shape and don't use an envelope that has the return address for PG&E in the top left corner and try to cover it up with a Santa sticker. If you're giving a gift certificate that came from a book of certificates, make sure you take off all the perforated bits.
Don't know what to get someone? This is an easy one. If you spend even a little bit of time with the person to whom you're giving a gift, all you have to do is pay attention. It's easy to make simple leaps of logic that will usually work out. Someone works downtown probably makes frequent trips to Starbucks, in which case a SBUX card would be a welcome gift. Most women would love a gift certificate for a mani/pedi. A lot of conversations turn to food. Pay attention to where someone had a meal they liked and get them a gift card for that restaurant. It doesn't have to pay for the whole meal.If you know someone drives 60 miles each way to work every day, a gift card to Chevron will be very much appreciated. Pay attention to what you gave them last year. For three Christmasses in a row I received a new pie pan from the same person. They're nice pie pans but three years in a row?  Don't cherry pick stuff from the gift basket you got from a client at work, wrap the stuff in pieces of discarded tissue paper, throw it into a ripped gift bag and call it Christmas.

We all know that people re-gift and re-use. It's not a big deal. What is a big deal is how the gift is given. The care you put into the packaging shows how you feel about the person you're giving the gift to.  Most people are happy with thoughtful gifts.

The thought and care taken is way more important than the gift itself. The thought and care surrounding the gift is what people will remember and cherish more than the gift itself.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Guest Blogging

I did my very first guest blogging ever. My friend Anika asked me to write a story about Santa.
 Here's what I sent her.
Hope you like it.
Be sure to check out her blogs here and here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hula knew?: The Kaona of my Hula Siblings.

In May of 2004, on the first night of hula class with Na Lei Hulu, Kumu said something that I think about often. I don't remember his exact words but he said, to a packed room that is now maybe a quarter of the size it was then, that if we stick it out, if we stay dancing with this group of people, we will become great friends with some of them, and the rest, although we may not be super close, we will feel a great connection to.
When one dances hula, one dances with the music, not to the music, and definitely not at the music. When we dance hula we will be, at least when class is in session, wearing our emotions on our sleeves. Doing this at least once a week for the last 6 years, one can't help but feel a connection to other people in the class. And it's true, there are some people in the class I have become great friends with, and I do feel a great connection with the rest of them.
Even with this connection I don't really know some of the people I dance with. I know their names. I know their pa'u. I know them by their skill. I may know if they are married or have kids. I may know where they live or what they do for a living. The fact remains, however, there are things about some of my hula siblings about which I know nothing, or at least not a whole lot.
Case in point, my hula sister Sue. I really like Sue. She's nice. She's fun to talk to. She's a beautiful dancer. I wish I knew her better. The other day I came across her website, and I have to say, I was totally blown away. You need to check out her site. She paints the most beautiful pictures of flowers, seeds, roots, shells, leaves, etc. They are so amazing and beautiful. My favorite is on this page. It's the one in the right hand column, third one down. You should check it out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Nativity Set

picture stolen from loose-as-a-moose.co.uk
When Hubby and I moved into our home about 13 years ago it was right before Christmas. My mother-in-law gave us some ornaments for the tree and an old nativity set. We put it up every year. Every year it looks a bit more weathered and it gets a little bit more broken, but we love it. MIL sometimes offers to replace bits and pieces of it, but we always turn her down.
We love our three-legged sheep, some of whom have had their eyes rubbed off over time. We love our handless angel. We love that we have to prop up the baby Jesus in his little wooden bassinet on Joseph's knee. And mostly, we love that the sheppard is missing both hands, an arm and a leg. The leg isn't missing, however. Every year we tape it on, because for some reason super-glue won't "take". This year I found it at the bottom of our Christmas box and put it next to the sheppard. The Boy was playing with the set yesterday making the wisemen kiss, making the cow attack the donkey. I tried to get it on video but he stopped. Here's what he did do . . . .

My Favorite Christmas Song is "Dogs Barking Jingle Bells"

We got our Christmas Tree yesterday. Yay! I love bringing up The Christmas Box from downstairs and going through it, greeting all of our ornaments we haven't seen in a year, putting up our Nativity Scene, untangling the lights.

We usually go to Home Depot to get our tree because it's cheaper than going to a Christmas Tree lot. This year we went to "Gu's Christmas Tree Lot" on Moraga at Great Highway. They're a small tree lot in the Outer Sunset run by local surfers. Hubby's website wrote a little piece on them. A nice group of people selling trees and giving a portion of their earnings to the SFPCA.

The kids had fun running through the lot and picking out trees. The Girl's criteria for a good tree was that it had to be taller than her. The Boy's criteria was that it had to be shorter than him. We compromised and got the one I liked.

We took it home and decorated it.

We even strung popcorn this year. We had never done that before. It was fun.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#30 and #39 done!

This weekend I accomplished two things on my list.
#30 bake 2 parsnip cakes - one for me and one for Tina.
I know it seems I'm a little obsessed with this guy, but I really enjoy reading One Hungry Chef and trying out his recipes. A few months before my last birthday I found this recipe for a parsnip cake. It sounded interesting and the pictures on this guy's blog made the cake look really yummy. I don't have any trouble with the cooking recipes from this guy. Cooking isn't an exact science and it's a lot more forgiving if you mess up. If you mess up, what you're making will probably still taste yummy, just not exactly how the recipe dictates. With baking however, one mistake could cost you the whole dessert. I was a bit concerned about this recipe because it's written in metrics. To convert the recipe to American measurements I used the site Convert-Me. I think the site served me well because the cake was pretty good. I'm such a dork, though. The cake in the picture in Mr. Hungry Chef's blog is really little. I thought the recipe was for a small cake. I doubled the recipe to compensate. I ended up making two rounds, two dozen cupcakes and half a dozen mini loafs. And to top off my dorky-ness, I didn't have any cake pans I wanted to part with so I baked Tina's cake in a pie tin. The Boy, having just learned to open the utility ladder himself, helped himself to all the broken cupcakes that didn't come out of the pan in one piece. The rest of them went to the Santa Breakfast, Bake and Craft Sale at The Girl's school on Sunday morning. The cake itself was good. It wasn't "oh my gosh, this cake is so freakin' fantastic that to eat a bite of any other cake in the world would be to betray this piece of cake in front of me" good, but it was good. I had fun with the candied fennel. I'd never candied anything before - a big pile of candied fennel looks just like shark fin soup, btw.
I gave the cake to Tina yesterday.

And the rest of the parsnip cake, plus some rockin' gingerbread The Girl made went to the bakesale.

I did one other thing on my list this weekend.
#39 - buy a blood pressure monitor
not too exciting, just nice to cross something off the list

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Thanksgiving: some of us don't eat beef, some of us don't eat pork, but we all eat turkey!

Does anyone equate Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians anymore? In my opinion, not really. Sure, we all know the Thanksgiving story, but that's not really why we gather on the 3rd Thursday of every November.

Thanksgiving has evolved into something different. It's turned into a day to be thankful for what you have, spend the day with your family and watch football. We eat a lot, drink a lot and generally have a good time. Every family has their own special traditions but, everyone across the country is pretty much doing the same thing.

I like Thanksgiving because it doesn't matter your religion, class, personal beliefs, sexual orientation, your heritage or any of the many other differences we might have; as Americans we have this day in common, and the cool part is, you don't have to be American to partake in it. Everyone is invited to celebrate, you just have to show up.

I got an email today from someone. I'm sure a few of my readers got the same email. I like what he said:
"...I wish to greet you all here, and to wish you and your families and your special people the happiest of times this Thanksgiving. I, like many of our friends never grew up with the Thanksgiving spirit as it was so uniquely American. Over all these years it has become for me a very special occasion as it embodies the true goodness and generosity of the human spirit, uncomplicated by religion, politics, or the other divisive aspects of society. It is a time for the human touch, and it is a very good thing. So, with that in mind, I want to wish you all a most special and reflective Thanksgiving. It would be trite in the extreme to suggest that you look around you and appreciate what you have and revel in it. Life doesn't work like that. We all have problems and issues to deal with. Less trite, perhaps, would be to suggest that you enjoy this great holiday with your precious loved ones and look forward to the next one. That's what we are doing, and that's for sure. "

So put on your eating pants and your baggy shirt with the empire waist and grab a fork. It's turkey time.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cross off #60 and #89

I accomplished #60 from my list yesterday and #89 today.

#89 - Go through the drafts of blog posts I've made and either post them or delete them.Go through the drafts of blog posts I've made and either post them or delete them. 
I culled a bunch of started but go-nowhere posts, and finished one that's been haunting me since September. There are no longer any unfinished posts on my blog. Yay.

#60 Get rid of yucky chipped dishes and replace
For my birthday 6 weeks ago I got a gift card from Bed Bath and Beyond. Last week one of The Girl's friends had dinner at our house. As I was setting the table I noticed we didn't have enough of the same kind of dishes for everyone to have the same kind of dish. My family's talent for not breaking dishes in our old porcelain sink is not well cultivated. The dishes I bought when we moved into our house almost 13 years ago have been broken, chipped, cracked. We needed some new everyday dishes. A friend of mine got wind of me going to BBB yesterday and said she had some coupons I could use. Boy did she. She handed me a stack of coupons that was seriously, at least 50 coupons deep. She told me that even though BBB has expiration dates on their coupons they'll still honor them and you can use as many coupons as you have items. With my gift card and the coupons,  I bought $68 dollars worth of dishes and spent only . . . . .(wait for it) . . . . .$5.41. Sweet.

Color Tiles

Quite some time ago I came across a blog called MerMag. The author posted about a project she made for one of her kids. I LOVED the idea.

I sent the post to my dad, made him read it and then instructed him to go to home depot to buy the supplies listed exactly as Ms. MerMag had described. Having the kind of dad I have (a good one), he bought the required wood and cut squares for me according to Ms. MerMag's  instructions.

For my son's birthday, my dad sent me about 100 freshly cut tiles from home depot. I bought some red, blue and yellow paint, took painters tape and made beautiful straight lines on the diagonal of the squares and got to painting.

It took me almost a year to finish (partly because life is busy and partly because I'm lazy), but I'm finished.

So here they are. Don't look too closely or compare them to Ms. MerMag's, because her squares are painted way better.

My boy isn't too into making geometric shapes but he likes when I arrange the tiles to create a road that he can drive his little toy cars down. He also likes to stack the tiles and knock them down but his favorite thing to do is throw them across the room or at the cat.

My Dad and My Son in My Sister's Garage taken July 2009.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Conversation with a Salty Bartender

This afternoon I had to go to the restaurant on the bottom floor of my building and pay for a cheese platter for some thing-thing being held at my office today.

As it's 4pm, the restaurant was not yet open for dinner. Only the bar was open.

This is the interaction I had with a salty bartender and a drunk patron.

Salty Bartender: Can I help you young lady?
Me: Hi, I need to pay for a catering order that was delivered to my office earlier today.
Salty Bartender goes to the register to look for my ticket and comes back.
Salty Bartender: That'll be $40 bananas.

picture stolen from squidoo.com/bananaphone
Me: Sorry sir, I don't have any bananas, will you take clams?
Salty Bartender chuckles, winks at me and takes my credit card.
Drunk Patron: Hey, I didn't know they sold banans here.
picture stolen from trianglembc.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creepy Dream

picture stolen from everyjoe.com
 This morning I woke up with a bit of a tickle in my throat. I couldn't stop coughing.

Hubby and I set our own alarms. Mine was about to go off in a minute or so; his had yet to chime, beep or bakawk! I decided to make my way to the couch and finish my morning hitting-snooze-for-the-next-20-minutes routine.
I don't remember my dream during the last "snooze session" but as my alarm rang for the last time I woke up and said aloud "Stop being so creepy, Jim Carrey."
I wonder what that was all about.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jelly Cobblestones

This morning Hubby and I took the Kiddies to Ocean Beach.

It was a really beautiful morning, but that was not the reason for our 9am stroll.
According to the Ocean Beach Bulletin, massive amounts of (probably) moon jellies had washed ashore. We had to see it. It was pretty cool. The largest jellies were about a foot in diameter. At some spots, the concentration was so rich the beach looked like it had been paved with jelly cobblestones.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"I'm in a hole!"

The Boy has taken a liking to crawling into my bed and then wiggling all the way down to the foot and yelling "I'm in a hole." Last week he did just that but instead of yelling his new favorite refrain he fell asleep. Hubby and The Girl spent a good 15 minutes looking for him one afternoon only to find him in his hole snoring away.
This new fascination with blankets, along with The Girl teaching him about cocoons and butterflies, has turned into a new game. He likes to be wrapped up in a burrito cocoon.  Hearing him giggle from inside is too cute.

And yes, I made this blanket. A few years ago I started to crochet a blanket using up all the yarn I had left over from other projects. Turns out I didn't have enough yarn to complete the blanket so I went out and bought some yarn to finish it. Funny part (except for Hubby who didn't think it was funny) I had as much yarn left over this project as I did to start with. Comfy blanket, though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-happy birthday!

Picture stolen from winebuzz.hk
 Conversation this morning -
Coworker H - Andrea Andrea, it's Coworker N's birthday today. We have to do something for her.
Me - OK
Coworker H - We can go to (the restaurant in our building's complex) and get a cake and have some bubbles.
Me - OK

We feel bad that we forgot her birthday. I especially feel like a jerk-face because just over a month ago she remembered mine and took me out to lunch.

Coworker H goes to the restaurant, grabs a yummy cake, throws some bubbles in the fridge. She then sends out an email to a few people on our team and floor letting them know that we'll be having a mini celebration at 3pm.

At 3pm, Coworker K tells Coworker N to come into the bar (yes my office has a bar) because someone brought in some puppies that she just had to see. Right on cue she runs into the bar where 10 of us break into a lovely version of Happy Birthday and present her with yummy cake and sparkling wine.

While we're having cake and enjoying some bubbles, she tells us that our source for finding out when her birthday is incorrect and her birthday isn't until next week. We all felt stupid but enjoyed the cake and bubbly anyway.

Coworker N appreciated the thought, ate her cake and enjoyed her little mini party, even though we lied to her about the puppies.


At least we got to have a nice little 1/2 hour of not working, and drinking bubbles, and maybe we'll get to do it again next week when her real birthday rolls around.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

101 Things in 1001 Days!

I've been thinking about and working on my list this past weekend. I admit, around list item number 57 I got a little stuck and turned to our friend the google search to find other people who have taken the 101 things in 1001 days challenge, and took a peek at their lists. There were a lot of similarities in everyone's list; lose weight, get in shape, save money, visit far off lands, etc. 

One common thread I found bugged me, however. Some people listed items as private.
For example:
7. Eat  a Moons Over My Hammy at Denny's once a week for the duration of this project
8. Ride a unicorn through a wall of fire then spend the rest of the day eating ice cream out of a Brian Wilson's orange baseball shoes.
9. (private)
10. make full sized log cabin out of spaghetti and nutella

(Picture stolen from website called fishstripes.com)

Why list (private) things on a public blog? I'm all for making a list of things one has to do, but why even list something that you want to keep private if you're gonna blog about it? Why not just keep a private list of 10 things to yourself and not tell anyone about it. Why say "I have a list of 101 things I'm going to do and not tell anyone about it and my blog posts will look like this:
Dear Blog - today I did Item #9. Or did I? I don't want the blog-reading world to know because it's private." If you don't want anyone to know about it, don't even mention it. Either commit to writing about worms and all, or don't even mention it.

Ok folks, here's my list. Today is Tuesday, November 2, 2010. One thousand and one days from today will be Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Let's see how many list items I can accomplish.

Listed in no particular order of importance .....
1 - Put change in someone's expired parking meter
2 - List 100 things that make me happy
3 - Leave an inspirational note in a library book for some stranger to find
4 - Learn how to shoot a gun
5 - Go to a museum I've never visited before - Week of May 13
6 - Get to my goal weight
7 - Don't watch TV for a week - OK, don't remember the date, but I did it
8 - Bring my lunch to work every day for a month - a few months ago
9 - Take one picture every day for a month
10 - Do 50 consecutive push-ups
11 - Paint my bathroom
12 - Eat at Les Halles in New York
13 - Brew beer
14 - Make a new pa'u out of some old dresses I'm never going to wear again because they're either outdated or I'll never fit into them ever again or they're just plain ugly but the fabric is kinda cool
15 - Lose at least 40 pounds before my upcoming huaka'i in May 2011 - didn't happen
16 - Have a yard sale
17 - Paint the living room
18 - Paint the kitchen
19 - Go to a fireworks show on the 4th of July
20 - Be able to do the splits
21 - Take the two hundred squats challenge (twohundredsquats.com)
22 - Give up Facebook for one week - week of May 13
23 - Take the fam to Long Beach for a few days
24 - Learn to make paper cranes
25 - Get a literary tattoo
26 - Eat 5 things I've never tried before  (#1 Parsnip cake on 12/4)
27 - Teach my son how to hela (no, that's not a typo. I didn't mean to write "teach my son to hula." hela is a movement in hula)
28 - Complete the Hawaiian CDs from Kumu Kaliko
29 - Complete the Hawaiian Language text book I bought
30 - Make 2 parsnip cakes as featured on onehungrychef.com; one for me and one for Tina. 12/5/10
31 - Do the dishes every night after dinner for a month
32 - Go to at least 3 Giants games
33 - Do at least 1 unassisted pull-up
34 - Treat The Girl on a day of totally indulgence - fancy lunch, mani/pedi, movie, etc.
35 - Do the "Couch to 5K in 9 weeks" - done in February 2011
36 - Sell the records I don't care about and find a good home to those I do
37 - Post at least once a month on my other blog for the duration of this project.
38 - Get rid of or repurpose all of the clothes I haven't worn in at least 2 years (except my wedding dress, of course)
39 - Buy a blood pressure monitor 12/4/10
40 - Keep a blood pressure diary until I make my goal weight - not gonna do this
41 - Find a new job w/in my company. It's not that I don't like the people I work for, it's just that I think it's time to do some wing spreading. - sorta did this
42 - Master Ia o e ka la, kahiko version. I missed a few classes when we were learning this one. I always cringe when we have to do this one. Of course Kumu makes us do it when I'm close to the front. OK, I don't think he does it on purpose. I think it just happens that way. Still, I don't know this hula very well and it bugs me that I can't get parts of it right. (right 'uwehe, right 'uwehe, left 'uwehe, right 'uwehe)
43 - Master that simple hula move that for some reason I can't do. There's one that totally trips me up and I don't know why because it's super easy. it's right kawelu facing left followed by left kawelu facing right. I got my kawelu down. why does this variation mess me up? We've been doing it since we learned Mamala, which was even before our first ho'ike. Sheesh. Get with the program, Andrea.
44 - Be able to recite Ke Au Hawai'i without the crutch of my fellow haumana chanting with me. I got this. Why can't I do it alone?
45 - Obtain my WSET Level 3, Advanced certificate
46 - Have a dinner party
47 - Participate in Climb California again and climb all 52 flights of stairs for the American Lung Association - did March 26, 2011
48 - Double the team size of Team Aloha for Climb California - didn't do this, membership stayed flat
49 - Beat my time from 2 years ago when I did Climb California. Last year I was recovering from pneumonia and took longer than the year before. - old record still stands
50 - Complete "The Two Hundred Situps" Challenge
51 - Make French Onion Soup from scratch
52 - Send a "just because" care package to a friend
53 - Clean out the cabinet above the kitchen sink
54 - Turn the hall closet into a linen closet.
55 - Sell unwanted CDs on ebay or get rid of in some way
56 - Complete the parent hours for The Girl's school for the 2011-12 school year before Christmas 2011
57 - Complete the parent hours for The Girl's school for the 2012-13 school year before Christmas 2012
58 - Stock and organize first aid kit in the other hall closet - 12/2010
59 - Get rid of yucky torn towels and replace
60 - Get rid of yucky chipped dishes and replace - 11/20/10
61 - Miss no more Hula classes "because I don't feel like going tonight". I have to have a real reason to miss it like my kids are sick or my legs are broken.
62 - Host Mahjong at my house - 01/09/2011
63 - Ride a mechanical bull
64 - Ride a zipline
65 - Read 50 books
66 - Go to chuch at least once a month for the duration of this project (Christmas and Easter don't count)
67 - Eat at that cash-only Chinese-Muslim restaurant around the block from me that Hubby and I always say "we should eat there, I here it's good" whenever we pass it.
68 - Learn the names of the animals I like a the zoo. (So far - the Churro Sheep is named Wakoda, he's the son of Jerome, one of the Polar Bears is Ulu, the Tapir is Goober, the baby Gorilla is Hasani)
69 - Clean out at least one plastic bin a month - there are about 10 plastic bins in our garage filled with, who knows what it's filled with; stuff to shred, stuff to recycle, stuff to throw away. If it's been in the plastic bin for this long and I don't know what it is, I doubt I need it.
70 - Plan (and do) something super fun and fantastic for my 15th anniversary with Hubby (July 17, 2012)
71 - Get my taxes done by the close of March in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It sucks always waiting until the last minute
72 - Not watch TV more than I watch TV (OK, so this one isn't really measurable but I guess a good indicator if I'm doing this one is whether or not I'm getting other stuff done that I need to do)
73 - Go to Yosemite
74 - Be able to cast doubt on a person's belief that the sasquatch isn't real through the presentation of scientific evidence
75 - Save my change in a jar for the duration of this project
76 - Get rid of 1/3 of what I own - throw it away, recycle it, repurpose it, sell it, etc. I own a lotta crap I don't need, don't know I have, don't care about.
77 - Stop calling people litter-bugs when I see them litter because one day I'm gonna call the wrong person a litter-bug and I'm gonna get my ass kicked.
78 - Participate in the St. Stupid's Day Parade at least 1 time
79 - Ride boats around stow lake - prolly not gonna happen. it's closed now, right?
80 - Go to Angel Island
81 - Make up my own hula to a whole song
82 - Go to a crab dinner at The Girl's school (choice would be Feb 2011, Feb 2012 or Feb 2013)
83 - Put $5 in my change jar once a week for the duration of this project
84 - Meet Whole_Tost of The Toasted Blog
85 - Climb the stairs by my work at least twice a week for the duration of this project (except when its raining or I'm am out of the office)
86 - Have lunch with Bonnie
87 - Approach Sister P about creating a list to the neighbors of St. G regarding parking, events and such
88 - Write a blog post about the tattoo on my arm
89 - Go through the drafts of blog posts I've made and either post them or delete them. - 11/21/10
90 - Spend a day saying hello to strangers who pass me on the street.
91 - Eat at Norton's Vault - can't do this one anymore because NV is closed.
92 - Submit an entry to all of the projects listed on AcoLab, (even the ones I missed the last few months) for the duration of this project
93 - Start playing my 'ukulele again
94 - Teach The Boy to sing 'Puamana'
95 - Make decorations for the front window with my kids for every major holiday starting with Thanksgiving 2010 - OK so I haven't been doing this but The Girl has been commemorating the holidays with sidewalk chalk. That counts.
96 - Clean out the other hall closet and make a space for my crafty stuff, including the sewing machine
97 - Participate in Bay to Breakers at least once (chances are May 2011, May 2012, May 2013)
98 - Take a picture of myself once a month for the duration of this project (similar to but different from different than #9)
99 - Take The Girl to a Waterpark and have tons and tons and tons of fun
100 - Take The Girl to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk - July 3, 2011
101 - Keep my toenails painted and pretty at all times.

Now I'm off to put reminders on my phone for the things that have deadlines. Phew.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A New List - coming soon.

It's time to create a new list. I enjoyed having the old list of 50.5 things in 505 days. I didn't do everything on the list. Some of the things I didn't do because after putting them to print I realized that they were stupid, or I was just too lazy to do it. Some of the things on my list were a lot of fun and I would totally do them again.
Here's my old list.
The items in bold type are the things I did. Some of the items you can find in other parts of my blog and some I didn't bother writing about. The notes in italics are my notes written today.

1. Learn how to French Braid with Little Miss as my teacher - i should have done this one but didn't.
2. Participate in Bay to Breakers 2010 - this one cost too much money to sign up. I could have just blended in with the crowd and walked the course but I wanted it to be all official-like
3. At least one meal a day will comprise  only raw food for one month during the week, not on weekends - this one was stupid. I did it but it was stupid. I was hungry all the time and I didn't see any benefit to it.
4. I will climb the coit tower stairs every day for 3 weeks, excluding weekends.
5. I will walk from the office to the Muni instead of taking the shuttle every day for one month
6. Clean out the cabinet above the kitchen sink
7. not cut my hair until at least October 25, 2009
8. practice hula for at least 1/2 hour every day until October 23, 2009
9. put all of my change into a jar until the end of this project
10. finish the blanket I'm making for my mom
11. crochet a blanket for Rose and Darin's baby - I actually did finish this but I thought the blanket was ugly so I never gave it to them.
12.participate in the 2010 climb california, in SF for sure, but maybe another city - I did this, I even had pneumonia the whole week before, but I still did it. It took me about 15 minutes longer than the year before but I did it.
13. Take little mister camping
14. update my progress on this project at least once a week on this blog - this was  a stupid one
15. Give hubby control of the remote, without complaint, for an entire week
16. Give up TV for a week.
17. Read "The other Bolyn girl" or whatever that book is called. - this was a stupid one. I tried but couldn't get into the book.
18. Make a decent Portuguese Bread
19. paint the bathroom
20. tame my CDs and make sure every CD is in its correct case
21. Have a garage sale
22. Try dolmas again. I hate them but I recognize that people's taste buds change. Maybe mine will and I'll like dolmas one day. I would really like to like them.
23. Take the kiddies to Monterey Aquarium
24. Visit Long Beach
25. Call or email all my friends or family on their birthdays. see my comment for #29. It took a while to get the PPD in check. In my head some days my friends were jerk holes and didn't deserve for me to tell them happy birthday. they didn't want to hear from me anyways. Totally stupid, I know, but so is struggling with post partum depression.
26. Make a Cherry Pie
27. Make ravioli with my family
28. Read my bible before I go to bed every night for a month.
29. Compliment someone every day. - I was really grumpy for a lot of 2009. Stupid PPD. anyhow, some days I was lucky to even smile
30. learn how to style my hair 40's style
31. go to the alameda antique market the first sunday of the month at least twice
32. sell a case of melemacs
33. paint the living room
34. paint the hallway
35. ride one of those bikes with 4 seats down JFK on a Sunday in SF.
36. go to the rosicrucian museum
37. visit yosemite (I've never been there, can you believe it?)
38. walk the barbary coast trail
39. finish that quilt I was making when the kitty ate 1/2 a spool of thread and had to have surgery, bad kitty.
40. march in the st. stupid's day parade on April 1, 2010
41. lay flowers on emperor norton's grave
42. go to church 5 sundays in a row
43. take little miss to at least one festa
44. put $1 in the change jar every time I bite or pick my nails so bad they bleed.
45. eat at geneva pizza and exorcise the GP demon that's been plaguing my dreams whenever I have a bad day at work
46. let my hair grow out long enough so I can see what my natural hair color is
47. learn an eddie money song on my ukulele
48. Take little miss to Knott's Berry Farm
49. Ride the Giant Dipper with Little Miss
50. Have a dinner party.
51. go to Angel Island.

Anyhow, I need to create a new list. I'm going to be a bit more ambitious this time around. I'm going the full monty and creating 101 things in 1001 days. Hopefully I'll be more successful. I'm not going to start out thinking I'll finish the list. Why set myself up for failure? This is my list to help me create goals, both fun and noteworthy, and to push myself to do them. It's all about the journey and the sense of accomplishment, right?
Stay tuned for the full list.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hula For The Cure

Last weekend some of my Hula Brothers and Sisters and I danced at the SGK Run in San Francisco. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun. Here's a video that Hubby took.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What Calms the Crazy Boy? Dinner and a Movie

Show me the way to go home
I'm tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
it's gone straight to my head
Where ever I may roam
On land or sea or foam

You will always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home

picture stolen from nomorebrains.co.uk

hooray for orange powder, milk and butter

Every night when I get home from work, just after I've opened the front door, and just before I set down my stuff, I usually hear the phrase "yay, mommy's home." First The Girl says it, then, a when The Girl is a few syllables in I here Hubby chime in w/ the same phrase. To round out the chorus, The Boy chimes in with something like "yay, mammassome." It's the perfect end to my work day.
Last night was different. I walked in the house. The Girl was in her room doing her homework. Hubby was in the kitchen making dinner. As I walked up the creaky stairs I heard "no, no, no, no." I got to the top of the stairs, turned the corner and saw The Boy was standing in the middle of the living room wearing nothing but a saggy diaper (he just learned to take off his clothes, and now he does it all the time). He was stomping in place, "talk to the hand" hand out at me and screaming "no." Hubby said he had been in a bad mood since he had woken up from his nap. After a half hour of The Boy being a jerk, I gave him a big bowl of mac'n'cheese and turned on the TV. Jaws was on. The Boy sat down, devoured two bowls of mac'n'cheese and watched Jaws. He loved it. He was in a perfect mood for the rest of the night.
Funny Boy.

Then the night ended on a sweet note. We put The Boy to bed and The Girl and I played 5 hands of Uno with her hello kitty Uno cards.

Monday, September 20, 2010

On Purpose

I live in San Francisco on purpose. Here's one of the reasons why.

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

The music is kinda cheezy, but the video is beautiful.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Freshly Squeezed. Ready for 40.

Once upon a time, when I was about 3 or 4 years old my mom and I were driving in the car. I was in the front seat, without my seat belt (because nobody in 1974 used seat belts and kids rode in the front seat all the time) rummaging around the stuff that was under the seat and on the floor. I found a medical book. It was some weird cartoon book of the female anatomy. It had cartoon diagrams of breasts, reproductive systems and such.
Having just learned a few terms used by the Vulgate to describe the top half of the female anatomy, I shouted out "Tits. Look Mom, tits."
She looked at me very calmly and said "Andi, I think Jesus wants us to call them 'boobies'."

Today is exactly one month before my 40th birthday. Rather than say goodbye to my 30's, I decided to wish my 40's an early happy birthday. Today I had my first regularly scheduled annual mammogram. I had one before about 4 years ago. My doctor found something worth investigating. The investigation (needle aspiration and core sample) found nothing of note that needed to be followed up on (yay). The experience today was a lot easier than the experience 4 years ago. 4 years ago the doctors knew they were going to see something. It was up to them to find out what it was. I was really nervous. Today I wasn't really looking forward to the process, but I wasn't nervous. Sure, it's a little bit uncomfortable being topless in front of a stranger, then getting one's boobs' squished between two plastic plates (take a deep breath, don't move, ... beep), but I was in and out of the doctors office in 20 minutes, and that includes parking, a broken elevator and stopping off at Sugarbowl for a cocktail bun and a cuppa joe.

A small inconvenience to avert a large one, to say the least.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The "I Heart Your Blog" Award

I won an award! How cool is that? My very first award for my blog. I've always wanted one. Now I have one.

This was bestowed upon me by my friend and fellow blogger Anika. She has a few blogs that you should check out. One is Pasando - in which Anika shares her amazing photographs art. She also is quick to feature her favorite pieces from etsy and her favorite blogs / artists / stuff. Another one of her blogs is AcoLab. Acolab is a great site. She posts a theme and invites fellow bloggers/artists/regular folk to submit their interpretation of her theme in a medium of their choosing. I'm not certain, but I think it's open to anyone wishing to submit. I could be wrong, though. I'm proud to have submitted a few entries. I admit I'm behind in one, but I swear I'll get it to her. Plus, another one is due on Sunday. I better get crackin'.

To celebrate this wonderful award I'd like to follow in the footsteps of Anika and pass this award on to the authors of a few of the blogs I enjoy.

Here they are in no particular order

#1 - Maltese Kat. I used to work with the woman behind this blog. I've never seen her use her real name on her blog, so I won't use it here. Let's just call her Kat. I love reading Kat's blog. She muses about cool things she finds online or in stores. She posts her dream wardrobe via Ployvore.com. She writes beautifully about her heritage. One can certainly tell how much she loves and honors her culture - which is a great quality in the best of all humans. Through her blog she's inspired me to steal and modify a few projects of hers. She created 100 things in 1001 days. Following suit, I created 50.5 things in 500 days. (which is expired by the way. I need to go through the list and reevaluate). She also posted a recipe for yummy monkey bread. Totally white trash, but yummy, nonetheless.

#2 - One Hungry Chef. He's an American living and working in Australia. I don't know this guy. I stumbled upon him via this post in which One Hungry Chef created a BLT from scratch. I've blogged about him a couple of times before. You can read the posts here and here. His pictures, recipies, stories and observations are not only a joy to read, but are a literary mirapoix. I look forward to every one of his posts. I'm happy I found him. Besides the homemade BLT, my favorite posts of his is the one with the parsnip cake. The fact that he thinks Benjamin Franklin was a good guy doesn't hurt him, either.

#3 Pomegranate and Pumpkin. Like Maltese Kat, I used to work with the woman behind this blog; and like the person behind One Hungry Chef, she is also an American ex-pat living on an island far away from her hometown. In her blog she features her Little Miss, who is way too much cute for the internet. Oh my gosh, those cheeks.  She also writes about simple, homemade living; making hand-made toys, clothes, cooking from scratch. My favorite parts of her blog are "currently loving" and "create: list to make". Both comprise lists of websites featuring blogs and shopping sites reinforcing simple and creative living. Take a look at the link "color tiles". When I read this I sent the link to my dad and asked him to make me some tiles according to the website's directions. He did. I'm in the midst of completing them for my son to play with.

#4 Muni Diaries. I love San Francisco and I'm a regular rider of Muni. The site is a great mix of stories from fellow riders from lines around The City. One of my favorites is this one, in which a snooty-ish woman and a homeless man have words. So many different people ride Muni; different income levels, different levels of education, different destinations. Reading these stories brings everyone together. We're all Muni Riders.

#5 i live here: SF. I love this blog. There are a lot of people who live in San Francisco, and most of them hold a love for The City that just about everyone on the outside can't understand. Julie Michelle, the woman behind this project has a talent of showcasing the people of this diverse city. She lets the person featured tell their story while she takes amazing photographs of them. The photos seem to punctuate and underline the story the person tells. I had the honor and pleasure of being a part of this project. You can read / see it here.

I hope you will take a minute to search through these blogs and find things to interest you and make you smile.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ew, Edward! Now I'm going to have that taste in my mouth for a week!

I told my coworker today about this weird meal my mom used to make us eat when we were kids. I remember not only liking it, but liking it a lot and being really happy when she made it. Today I can't imagine putting a spoonful of this in my mouth. It probably won't taste as yummy anymore and would need to be washed down with a bottle of Siracha.

Here's the recipe.

Take a pound of ground beef out of the freezer and put it on the counter before you leave for work / school in the morning to thaw. The kind that comes in the long tube works best.
When you get home from work, turn on the electric skillet.
Brown the meat. Do Not drain the fat.
Add 1 can each of the following: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cream of Cheese Soup, Cream of Celery Soup, Cooked, sliced potatoes (yes, you can buy cooked, sliced potatoes in a can)
Add a bag of frozen peas.
If the mixture is too watery, add a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Mix together until the whole mixture is paste-like
Serve and Enjoy with a big glass of milk and a Flintstone Vitamin.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lotsa Helping Hands In a Pinch

There's a kid in The Girl's class who has cancer. We learned about it over a year ago, towards the end of the school year. All throughout the next school year, the school and the employer of the kid's dad banded together and formed a community. All throughout the school we took turns making meals, sending good wishes, planning fundraisers, etc. We received updates from the kid's family via a great website called Lotsa Helping Hands. By the end of the school year all was going well.
It all changed a few weeks ago. The kid is sick again. The family's time is once again spent at the hospital. Once again we are signing up to bring meals to the family so that there's one less worry, one less concern they have; what are we having for dinner and how do I find the time to make it?
Today is my family's turn. Before going to the grocery store to buy the necessary supplies, Hubby and I were discussing what we should make. I mentioned to Hubby that I hoped they liked our meals. I hope that when they see that it's my family's turn to bring a meal they say "oh yay, that one family is making the meal today." As soon as I said it I realized how selfish that sounded and felt like a big jerk. Here's this family who is in a challenging and not-fun-at-all situation and I'm hoping they like my meals the best. 
I guess what I really meant was that I want is for them to find some comfort in the food we bring for them. I don't know this family very well. I met the mom at a school function once. I can pick the dad out in a crowd, but I've never spoken to him, same goes for the kid's sibling. I only know who the kid is because this kid is in the same class as The Girl. I'm helping because it's the right thing to do. My family had a few meals brought over to our house when The Boy was born. It helped in unimaginable ways. It let us know we were cared about, we were being prayed for and there was still good in the world. I hope to give this family that same feeling. I imagine they are going to have long hard days in the coming months. I hope that at least they'll be able to say "Today wasn't the best day ever. At least dinner will be OK"

Today's menu
Frittata with red potatoes, bacon, onion, green beans
Green Salad with homemade vinaigrette
Angel Food cake
Strawberries macerated with balsamic vinegar and black pepper (sounds weird but really freakin' good)
Lemonade for the kids
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc for the adults

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Would you just stand still for a moment?

Every few months my mom and dad bug me to send more pictures of the kids. It's no problem sending pictures of The Girl. She'll pose, ham it up, be silly, look beautiful; whatever you ask, she'll do, even if she doesn't want to.
I'd like to share with the world why I don't send them pictures of The Boy very often. It's not that I don't want to. It's that I can't. I can't get a picture of him, that is.

Here are some of the most recent pics of The Boy.

Here he is at the Golden Gate Bridge
At the San Francisco Zoo watching penguins
Looking under the curtain at Old Navy changing room
Trying to move a rack of clothing at Old Navy
all tuckered out from a day of avoiding being photographed

It's not for lack of trying. He just won't stay still long enough to capture him on film.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hey Jamie Lee Curtis, why can't you be more like Jeff Goldblum?

I was in a conference room / lobby-type area. Jamie Lee Curtis and I were talking about crafting, mostly having to do with making beaded necklaces and using modge podge. I told her that over the last 25 years she and I had been running into each other every year or so, we always talk and we always talk about crafts and she always greets me, albeit warmly, like she's never met me before. I told her we were introduced by an old boyfriend of mine. I look up and the old boyfriend is sitting across the room sitting Indian-style (or criss-cross-applesauce, as the kids are taught to call it these days) in a big beat up chair. He's got ear buds in and he's pretending not to listen to our conversation. He finally looks up and tells her that I'm right. I look at her and tell her that the very least she could do is act more like Jeff Goldblum. He and I run into each other every 4 years or so and he always remembers me. He doesn't always remember my name but he always picks me out of the crowd and invites hubby and me to have dinner at his house, which in my dream is on Lower Great Highway.

Friday, July 30, 2010

What Lies Behind the Yellow Chicken Mask - mu-wa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

It lives in my kids' closet. It lives behind the yellow chicken mask; under the old, possibly broken, lamp without a shade; and next to a bag I haven't looked inside of in years. It sits on a platform. The platform bears my name, painted in large, orange capital letters: ANDREA.

It's a scary starchy clown. It wears a billowy blue unitard and carries a bunch of plastic balloons. Its clothes are hard, like painted fabric. It's got a weird ring of fuzzy hair around its head, but has a shiny bald top. It must have had a hat at some point. I seem to remember it. I think it had ruffles.

I'm not sure where I got it. I have it in my head that my Godmother gave it to me. However I got it, I've had it as long as I can remember. When I was a kid it lived on my bookshelf. When I got older, it moved to the closet. When I moved to San Francisco, I took it with me. It sat on a shelf in the kitchen of an old apartment I shared with some friends. On the shelf, in the kitchen, it shared space with another clown; a clown called "Chuckie-Blue-Head".
I can't get rid of it. I don't know why. Hubby says it's because when my name was painted onto the platform on which it stands, our fates were sealed together. I don't think the clown and I share a "one can't live without the other" bond.
The question remains unanswered, however. Why can't I get rid of the clown?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inception might be ruining the whole dream-thing for me.

I haven't seen Inception. I want to, though. I'll most likely wait until it comes on on-demand because I never go to the movies and if I do it's to see something The Girl wants to see. The last movie saw in the theaters was that one with Eddie Murphy and some little girl who has a imaginary characters in her head that help her dad make it big in the business world and Thomas Hayden Church thinks he's Native American and makes his kid drink cases of Red Bull in the hopes that he'll have visions.

Anyhow, I think Inception might freak me out a bit. It's about some guy who invades the dreams of people and uses the information he obtains for nefarious purposes, right? That might prove to be too freaky for me. Yup, see it on on-demand for sure so I can watch it in 1/2 hour blocks and watch something to cool down and ease my mind during breaks.

Maybe I'm making too much of it and shouldn't rely on what the general public thinks about it. I mean, I don't mean to channel my inner Jose Ortega y Gasset or anything, but in general, the masses think they know everything but they don't.

After seeing certain movies and reading certain books I usually have themed dreams about them. I don't have a definition of what "certain" means, but I do know that there's something in "certain" books and movies that make me think about them whilst sleeping.

I couldn't sleep for a week after I saw Kalifornia. I don't know what it was, but I kept having Kalifornia dreams. Harry Potter and Twilight Series made me have Wizarding and Vampire dreams. They were entertaining silly, not spooky. The Kalifornia dreams were icky. I did not enjoy those.

I have to say, I have a pretty entertaining dream life. I've had dreams about silver-clad men falling from the sky singing Def Leppard songs; dreams about carnivals in Africa where the prizes on the midway are Giants Bobbleheads; dreams about my mom and Bono being friends. All in all, I can't be disappointed with the musings of my subconscious.

I can, however, be a little bit pissed off at it. My dream life seems to have taken a little siesta.
I've been having boring ordinary dreams of late.
Case in point . . .
I'm at some kind of work/hula-related event. My group and I are dropped off at a hotel. We have an hour of free time to check into our hotel rooms, relax for a bit then meet up with the rest of the group for the remaining activities of the day. I'm assigned to room 503. I walk over to the section of rooms are that are in the 500 series. My room is not in that building, but rather a building way across the courtyard. I finally find my room, open the door and it's all dark. There are two beds with red velvet beadspreads and white sheets directly to my left, both unmade. There's a kitchenette to my right that has some old dishes that room service hadn't picked up yet and a hallway beyond that. I go through the hallway and come into a bedroom. The bed is unmade and there is a man wearing a yellow hard-hat and covered with a blanket passed out on the floor. I go to the door of the hotel room, pick up the phone and call the front desk to tell them that the room isn't made up and someone is on the floor. Just as the operator picks up, the man on the floor comes out of the room and yells at me for being in his room. I leave the hotel room and find a hotel employee who takes me to the front desk to find a new room.

I had another dream a few days ago that was just as boring.

The group I danced Mr. Sandman with at the hula intra-murals last month and I had a few performances. The venues were two houses right across the street from each other. I knew where we were performing, but not the times. I walk into one of the venues to find my group. I'm just about to ask them what time we go on when I notice this guy who works for my company standing in the middle of a room crying his eyes out. I thought it was weird to see him because I've only met him twice, his job and mine hardly, if ever, intersect and I don't know him very well. Anyhow, he's crying his eyes out. I ask him what's wrong and he says he needs a hug. I hug him and miss the performance. When I found the group a little later they were mad that I flaked on them. I kept telling them I didn't flake, I had to give someone a hug. Then it was time to perform at the other venue across the street. I got on stage and danced but kept forgetting the new choreography. They were pissed at me. I got all flustered all because of a stupid hug.

OK, yes, my dreams still have a lot of detail in them, lots of color, etc. But they just haven't been as vivid as they usually are.

I'm kinda pissed about it and I'm blaming Inception.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Two kids, two knee surgeries, too much wine turned me into what The Girl calls "Fairy Godmother"-like.
As sweet and wonderful as that sounds, I'm done being so "huggable". In the 3 weeks I've been seeing a trainer, I've lost 6.6 pounds. WOOO!HOOO!
That's about 1.5 pounds more than a standard bag of flour you buy at the grocery store.

There are two machines I can't decide if I love or hate. I hate them when my trainer makes me use them. I love them when I see the results.

I give you "The Leg Lift" thingie (I don't know what it's called but that's what I call it.)

And the ever-torturous
This machine doesn't say it, but the one at my gym has 'BUTT BLASTER' written in fancy script across the top. I'm thankful this one is kept in the corner because as effective as it is, it ain't pretty to watch.

My sore muscles say today is a good day. My sore muscles need a hot tub, though.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have THE BEST little boy

I have the best little boy.

This evening when I got home I smelled one of the most wonderful smells in the whole wide world. Yup, Pot Roast. There was trouble, though. It wasn't done yet. Darn.

Hubby had some work to do tonight so he left the house for a while.

There was still about 40 minutes left of pot roast lovin' to do in the oven. I went into the Boy's room to see what he was doing. He was stacking his blocks and then knocking them down. We spent the next 40 minutes finding creative ways to stack the blocks and even more creative ways of knocking them down. My favorite method was stacking about 7 blocks, followed by two miniature board books, a matchbox car, a plastic pig, topped off with Kehlar the Klingon action figure. We knocked it down with a very loud 5 inch long, three inch tall fire engine.

I thought about getting the camera, then changed my mind. We were having such a good time I didn't want to spoil it by making him pose or trying to reenact the event.

Then of course, the moment was spoiled when the timer went off, indicating that dinner was ready. My Boy got mad he had to stop and eat dinner. Once he realized what it was, however, he forgot all about being mad.

We had a fun evening.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I dance hula.

A lot of people wonder, and most people ask why I hula dance. I have no connection to Hawaii. I've only been there once. I don't believe I was Hawaiian in a former life. I'm not trying to become Hawaiian . . . . I'm just a white girl of German, Swedish and French Canadian ancestry from shores of Southern California.

I tell them the simple story that in 2002 I needed to have knee surgery. The doctor told me to do something that would make my legs stronger before the surgery. I started taking hula lessons at the Rhythm and Motion in San Francisco. I did this every week until my surgery and when I was recovered, I decided I still wanted to dance so I joined Na Lei Hulu. And that was that.

I admit that all of the above is true. I did have a knee surgery. I was advised to take up an activity to strengthen my legs. I did take hula classes at Rhythm and Motion and I'm now a student at Na Lei Hulu.

There is more to it, however.

After some searching online I found the Rhythm and Motion center. There were two classes I thought would strengthen my legs, that also fit into my schedule; Tai Chi and Hula. I chose hula.

The first day I went to class was a Sunday. I was in a grumpy mood because at breakfast that morning a few of the people we were dining with thought it was stupid and told me so. Hubby made me go. When I walked into the studio I was super intimidated and had butterflies like nobody's business, but I pushed through it, and I loved it. I had a great time. When he picked me up he said my whole countenance had changed. He looked at me and told me that I had to go again.

After recovering from my knee surgery I decided I wanted a more formal hula education. What I had at Rhythm and Motion was a great exercise class, but wasn't what I needed. Through the power of the internet and a few serendipitous clicks on the mouse I found Na Lei Hulu and discovered that new classes would be starting soon. I signed up.

Again I was terrified. I made myself go the first few months. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't know anybody and just about everyone outside of class that I did know thought I was weird for learning how to Hula dance. I've always sucked at making new friends. I get all awkward, stutter and don't know what to say next. I used Hula class as a tool to make myself less afraid of the opinions of others, and more willing to try new things that I've always wanted to do. Through Hula I've gained so much more than conquering my fear to try things on my own, without permission. I've learned about a beautiful culture. I've learned how to dance. I have learned to (almost) have a conversation with someone in another language. I've learned confidence. I've made new friends. I freely admit that I am not the best dancer in the class. It takes me a bit longer than everyone else to get the hang of new dances, and once I do get it, it's still not perfect. It doesn't matter, though. I go to class for other reasons, reasons that may not be the same as everyone else in class. I go to class and try my best because hula has brought out the best in me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My first dream about a website. Congratulations.

This morning my alarm sounded at 5:10am. Before it so rudely interrupted my beauty sleep, this is what I was dreaming about. . . .

I was standing on a Muni platform at Embarcadero station in that spot under the stairway in front of the operator potty. I was in my own little world not really paying attention. I looked up and saw a fare checker standing there. I apologized for not noticing her and fumbled for my fastpass. She told me not to worry, she only checks for fares from teenagers.

Then I find myself sitting on the train. I’m on the first car in the very first sideways seat. A different fare inspector comes on and starts checking the fares of teenagers. He finds a few and makes them walk to the front of the train. They are teenagers, but they are clearly Danish tourists wearing long flowing robes and flowers and ribbons in their hair, each carrying $2. On the way to the front the fare inspector asks the riders on the train what they all must carry with them at all times. Everyone says in reluctant unison “proof of payment.” The fare inspector asks what is considered proof of payment and again, in reluctant unison the riders tell the fare inspector what proper POP is. The Danes disappear. I walk up to the fare inspector and look at his nametag. It’s Cambria Birini. I go back to my seat and take a picture of him. He notices the flash but doesn’t know it came from me. He starts spouting off fraudulent California laws, saying it’s unlawful to take pictures on Muni and says it’s written somewhere in the Brown 700’s (whatever that is, it made sense in the dream).

I’m no longer sitting in the front of the train. I’m now sitting on the back of the 29, but an old kind, the kind with the squishy seats and the long backseat spanning the width of the bus, not unlike the kind I would ride to school in Long Beach. The guy behind me tells me I must be nuts for taking pictures and writing a little story for Muni Diaries and I should be afraid of the possible repercussions and retaliation from the fare inspector. I shrug it off.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bragging Alert: My daughter is Awesome!!

This weekend we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and then to The Festival of the Holy Spirit in Santa Cruz. More on those later.

On this trip we gave a camera to our Miss. Turns out she's got an eye. Look what she did.

 There were TONS more that she took. These are just the ones I cherry picked out of the bunch. This afternoon I'm going to show her how to use the meager editing tools we have on our old-rickety computer. I'm excited to see what she comes up with.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob's pacemaker.

I had such an entertaining ride home yesterday. It was, however, proof that one's mood definitely plays a part in whether or not something so annoying is entertaining.  Had my day gone differently, I may have had a different take on the situation. I actually had kind of a grumpy day. Nothing was really bad about yesterday, it just wasn't the best day ever.

I got to Embarcadero Station yesterday afternoon at my usual time. The station was a little bit more crowded than usual. I was a bit annoyed that they were running 3 J-trains in a row, then a few 2-car Ns, then 1 single car L, followed by a few more Ns. I didn't touch the single-car L. Too much. I waited for the next 2-car L.

A 2-car L came about 5 minutes later. I admit I was a bit of a jerk-face as I threw elbows with the best of 'em to get a seat. There was no way I was going to stand from EMB to all the way past Sunset Blvd; I had some very important crocheting to do.

The train was shoulder-to-shoulder with people. This kid gets on. He was Asian and looked somewhere between 15 and 20 years old. He looked pretty normal; jeans, long sleeve button-up shirt, back pack, ear buds. To look at him there was nothing remarkable or of note about him. I wouldn't have even noticed him except for what happened next.

This kid starts dancing at the music, like "raising the roof" style and starts rapping. He's not any good. He's just singing along to his music. What struck me as funny was how into it he was, how much dancing he was doing (and his dancing was about as good as his rapping) and how crowded the train was. Everyone kept trying to get away from him because he seemed really put out every time he hit someone with one of his dancing arms. Then, just as soon as he started, he stopped, pulled out a super old ipod, turned the dial a bit, put the ipod back in his pocket and started the whole routine over again. He was as into it as he was awful, except he seemed to think he was really really talented. He did this from EMB to West Portal. People around him were staring, some pointing, most of them suppressing their laughter.

At West Portal he either gets off the train or moves to the back. In any case, I don't see or hear from him the rest of the ride.

As soon as we exit the station I hear this woman on her phone.
"Hi it's Janet. . . . Do you know my cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob? ... Sure you do. (then she goes on to explain how the person on the other end of the phone should know Bob) ... Well, you know he's had a pacemaker for the last 10 years. . . Oh you didn't? Well, he did, and get this. He never needed it."
She goes on to explain that he went to the doctor for a check up, the doctor noticed his pacemaker wasn't doing its job, then after a series of tests they realized that he never needed one in the first place.
Then Janet tells the person on the other end of the line that we are going to go into a tunnel (which is a big fat lie because there are no tunnels once the L leaves West Portal) and the call was going to cut off. She hangs up.

A few seconds later --
"Hi it's Janet. . . . Do you know my cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob? ... Sure you do."
She goes on to explain the pacemaker story, adding more detail than the last time she told the story. Complaining about the price of Coumadin and about how doctors only want your money, they'll do anything for a buck,etc. Then she tells the person on the line that her stop is the next stop and she has to hang up.

A few seconds later --

"Hi it's Janet. . . . Do you know my cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob? ... Sure you do."
Again she tells the pacemaker story adding even more detail and embellishment than before, still complaining about those crooked doctors who are just out to get you because all they want is your money and none of them care about making people well.

At this point people are starting to turn around to see who is gossiping about Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob's medical problems.

There are two men sitting in front of me. One of them is bent over, his head is in his hands and he's shaking with silent laughter. The man sitting next to him keeps turning around and giving the lady "shut-up, lady" looks. He picks up his man-bag with a big Harrumph! and moves to another seat, out of earshot, I'm guessing.

I'm sitting right in front of her. I'm dying to know what this woman looks like. Instead of turning around I start craning my neck trying to find her in some reflection. No dice. I have to turn around. I do. She looks about 60, and sort of like Witch Hazel from Looney Toons except more modern. Her curly hair is dyed black and she has 2" super gray roots. She's wearing some well-loved 10-hole docs, weather beaten leather jacket and self-cropped and hemmed jeans; all with a "I slept in this last night" look.

Janet tells the woman her stop is coming up and she has to go. At this point I start, very audibly I might add, laughing uncontrollably, hoping, just hoping she'd call someone else and retell the story, with full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that, but alas, this time she's telling the truth. She hangs up. Gets off the train.

I watch her after she gets off the train. She walks over to an apartment building, leans against the garage, pulls out her phone and dials again . . . "Hi it's Janet. . . . Do you know my cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob? ... Sure you do."

From West Portal Station to 35th avenue we heard about Janet's cousin Sylvia's best friend's husband Bob and his pacemaker.

I get off the train a few stops later feeling refreshed. From Bad Dancing and Rapping to Comedic Gossip, my day was washed away with a giggle.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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Nice Pictures - Where'd you steal them from?

Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

Rest assured I make no money from any of it.