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

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Monkeybutts

I took the Kiddies out of the house yesterday so Hubby could get some work done. We went to our local Borders, which is closing soon. The Girl wanted to get a few books to keep in her desk at school for "silent reading time." She chose some teenage drama, probably involving horses, and Life of Pi. The Boy, seeing that The Girl was getting something at Borders, insisted he get something too. He wanted $3 post-its or $7 lunchbox. I told him he had to choose. He chose the post-its. I was kind of pissed that the post-its cost $3, becasue it was such a tiny stack, but in the end decided it was better than paying $7.
After Borders we walked over to a nearby public library and I found some books to read on the bus. I picked up Jurassic Park and a Philip K. Dick book. I figured that since I'd seen Jurassic Park at least 20 tiems, I should read the book. I was hoping to bring home a paperback, but instead the JP book is huge and hard cover. Dang, now everyone on the bus is going to know what I'm reading and try to talk to me. I hate when Muni turns into a book club. I'll have to make a bookcover for it. That's a good part about a kindle, I guess. Nobody knows what you're reading. That's one of the only good things about a kindle. The Girl wants one. I'm not sure if I'm going to get her one, but that's another blog post for another time.
The main reason we went to the library wasn't for me to find JP, however. We were there to see The Monkeybutts, family friendly rock'n'roll at its funnest.

There were about 20 kids running around, blowing bubbles and dancing. My kids weren't a part of it.
The Girl read her book. While The Boy jumped in his chair. He wouldn't get off his chair and run with the other kids. I don't know why. It looked like fun. I think he had fun. I know he had fun running around the library saying "monkeybutts, monkeybutts" in his 'non-library' voice.

The band played some original stuff, plus a few songs that Mom and Dad would enjoy. My favorite was Boris the Spider by The Who.

They were a pretty fun band to watch. Here are some more pictures I took. (And I have no idea why Blogger is being stupid and making the pics show up sideways.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Junior High

The Girl started the 7th grade yesterday. Funny I don't feel much older than the day I had her. She's certainly grown up, though. It's been fun watching her transform from a little girl to a young woman. In the last year she's done more new things on her own than she's done in her entire life. What started with me pushing her in her stroller to the zoo has evolved into her walking to her job at the zoo. What started with letting her stay home alone while I ran to Walgreens to get something has evolved into me bribing her to go to Walgreens for me. What started me giving her a plastic knife and teaching her to slice her own bananas for her cereal has turned into her cooking dinner for the family. What started with me planning playdates for her has evolved into her texting her friends and them making their own plans (making me drive them, of course.)

I'm so excited to see what's going to happen in coming year. Will she get more responsibilities at her job? Will she discover some hidden talent? Will she find new passions, new favorite things to do? Will she get a boyfriend? Oh my gosh. So much new stuff to think about this year.

Tonight at The Girl's school is back to school night. I like this night. Tonight's the night where I get to meet her teacher. In past years the event took place in individual classrooms. I used to sneak a little note or treat into her desk. Tonight the event is in the school's common room, combined with the other 7th grade class and the 8th grade. I wonder how different tonight will be, how it will evolve. I think back to the first back to school night I attended when The Girl was in kindergarten. I was a rookie mom who forgot to bring a little treat to put inside her desk. The desks were tiny. The room was bright and colorful and none of the parents knew each other. Nowadays all the parents know each other, the desks are big and the kids are old.

I remember the 7th grade. My teacher's name, Miss Maxwell. For Christmas she gave everyone in the class bibles. I still have mine. The front cover melted in the sun and the biding is shot, but I still have it. She told a story once about how she worked in an office over the summer and saw some manilla folders that she liked. She was going to take some home, but then remembered it was stealing. She asked her boss if she could have some and he bought her a case. I think of that story every time I find a pen from work in my purse. I remember one girl had surgery on her legs and was in a wheelchair for a few months, then later she had surgery on her jaw and had to drink shakes. I remember I met my junior high bff and her twin sister and their mom who introduced me to Eggs and Rice and Soy Sauce. I remember once the principal, Mr. Hensley interrupted class to ask Miss Maxwell about a particular bible verse. She said she knew the verse but couldn't remember where it was found. She told the class to pull out our bibles and look for the verse. I was the one who found it. It was Proverbs 15:1 (A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.) I remember getting in trouble for writing something derogatory about a teacher on the bathroom wall, even though it wasn't me who wrote it. When those who did write it were discovered, I asked for an apology and the teacher said she wouldn't give me one because she didn't think she was too far off from thinking it was me int the first place. I remember having to read The Tell Tale Heart in front of the class. I remember having to memorize a poem and recite it to the class. I recited some poem about Dungeons and Dragons that I read in Read Magazine, which was sort of like the weekly reader for junior high kids.

I don't remember being as well liked as my Girl is. I don't remember getting the good grades that my Girl gets.

I hope The Girl has the best 7th grade year ever, has a lot of good memories, a lot of good stories.
I'm super proud of her.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kama'aina O Long Francisco

I moved to San Francisco 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago I was almost 21 years old, super skinny with bleached blond hair, more vices than what were probably good for me, no money in my pocket and not a lot of confidence. I moved to San Francisco with my friend P, who I have been friends with since I was 8 and he was 10. We moved into a flat with his girlfriend who was also my high school bestie, and another friend of ours. Our little Bubble Family lived together in (mostly) harmony for about 5 years when we spread our wings and became grown-ups, and ventured out on our own.

Today I'm almost 41, still have no money in my pocket, have only a few vices, a lot more confidence, am no longer skinny, and the bleached blond hair? Let's just say the drapes match the carpet these days.


Hubby and I were having a conversation about the term "kama'aina."

Kama'aina literally means "child of the land." In every day practice it defines someone who lives in Hawai'i or is from Hawai'i.

Last year I learned of a new, more complex definition of kama'aina. Last year I had the privilege of attending a hula workshop with Kumu Robert Cazimero. Before he started teaching us the hula we came to learn, he talked for a moment about what it meant to be kama'aina from somewhere. I think he only touched on the subject for a moment or two, but it was enough that it gives me pause every so often and I think about it.

Kama'aina means where your roots are. The definition of kama'aina doesn't have to relate specifically to Hawai'i.  One can be just as much kama'aina Brooklyn as another is kama'aina Waienae. Kama'aina not only means where you're from, but also what about that specific location that defines you.  What element of yourself can be defined by where you're from, and vice versa.

I grew up in Long Beach, CA. I lived in the same house from when I was two months old until I moved out just a month before my 21st birthday.
As a kid, I knew Long Beach inside and out. The thing is, however, I knew Long Beach inside and out, but through they eyes (and heart and soul) as a kid, then later as a teenager. I never knew Long Beach as an adult.
I can tell you story after story about
  • How when I was 8, the neighbor boy Charlie and I made sling shots with rubber bands and broken branches, then got in trouble when we aimed them at the little girl down the street and hit her in the arm.
  • how when I was 10 I used to ride my bike around the lake at El Dorado Park,
  • how when I was 13 I used to spend all my money at the hallmark store in Los Altos shopping center on Hello Kitty (because as a kid, there were no Sanrio stores around).
  • or how when I was 15 I used to spend my weekends at my friend E's house because her mom let us do more than my mom did
  • when I was 16 how I used to hang out at Bull 'n' Bun on summer afternoons hoping some  heavy metal guy would crush on me (yes, Bobby Sims, I'm talking about you)
  • Then later when I was 18 and I would take my fake ID and go to the Reno Room or Dick and Faye's Bistro on Saturday night.
  • Or when I was 19 I met my friend Rhonda and we used to go to clubs in Hollywood and see how many free drinks we could get cute guys to buy us just because we were cute girls in short skirts. 
  • Or plenty other stories about growing up in the LBC
But then I emmigrated from Long Beach and settled myself in San Francisco.

Because of San Francisco I can tell you stories about
  • Setting up a new apartment with three of my friends
  • The first friend I made outside of my regular group of friends (love ya, Prakash!)
  • My first cat who was all my own (miss you, Jack)
  • leaving the house at 10pm on our bikes to go see a band play, getting home at 2:30am, and still being able to wake up at 7am to work a full day.
  • discovering who I was and what I was capable of as an individual
  • the places I worked
  • the adventures I had exploring San Francisco and making it my home
and most importantly
  • meeting the love of my life, marrying him and starting a family
So here is my question. Of where am I kama'aina? Is it Long Beach? Is it San Francisco? Hubby says it's San Francisco. Although I'm most assuredly more SF than LBC these days, I had to work at it. I had to learn to be San Franciscan. I never had to work at being from Long Beach. I just am/was.

I'll probably never have a clear answer. I guess I'll just sum up my unanswered question with one simple phrase:
Me ke aloha ku'u home o Long Francisco.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Married again? - A Dream

Dreams are funky. Here's a dream I had the other night.

A long lost boy I had a crush on in junior high contacted me. He said we had to get a divorce because he had met the woman of his dreams and he wanted to marry her. Apparently we were married in what we thought was a fake wedding ceremony when we were 14, but it was actually real. I thougth "I'm married. How come I didn't need to get a divorce first." Then he reminded me I was from California. For the divorce to become official we had to fill out our paperwork at the place where we were married. We met at the place. It was some kind of sports bar. When we walked in the hostess said the restaurant was closed. My "husband" ordered from the to-go menu. The hostess then told us that the bar was open and we could order from the menu there. We sat down in a booth with some people I think I knew but I can't remember now. We told them we were there to get a divorce. They brought us our to-go order and told us we couldn't eat it there because it was 'to-go' and we were clearly "here." We ordered from the menu. While waiting, I got super hungry and broke open the to-go package. It had wings in it. I picked up the wings. They smelled delicious but everytime I picked one up it would break apart and dissolve in my hands and I only got to lick my fingers.

Why My Kids Are Better Than Your Kids* Part 1

This morning on Facebook, one of my FB friends (and more importantly, he's my friend in real life), posted a story from CNN about society as a whole having really bad handwriting.

I think it's true. Not only has our hand writing gotten shoddy, our use of abbreviations has become more prevalent, and with that, our sense of grammar has gone right down the pipes of the porcelin bus, for example, the use of "I" vs. "me." Like fingernails on a chalkboard when I hear it spoken and see it written incorrectly.)

I'm here to tell you, there is hope, and her name is . . . well I don't want to tell you what her name is . . . she's my daughter!!! Yay.

She insists on WRITING IN CURSIVE!  She even does those 3 hump lower case m's. I super love her.

PS - she also knows that Comic Sans is a bad idea.

*Before you get all in a snit about me thinking my kids are better than your kids, to me they are, just as you think your kids are better than any other kid. Lighten up.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Have a Great Idea: An Open Letter to "Orthodox Chews"

Dear Orthodox Chews,
I've always wanted to try your product and today I got the chance to. Yay!
See, the market by my office that sells your delicious taffy sells it for $7.99 for a one pound bag. Ouchie-wouchie, that's a lot of money. I don't have that kind of money to spend on candy.
Today I had to go out to the market and buy some snackies for some folks that are flying in today for a meeting. Most of them will have been in the air since "dark o'clock" and could probably use some sugar or salt upon their arrival. I went to the market not really knowing what to buy. I figured some cookies and some pop chips, along with some red bull and fizzy water would probably do the trick. As I was standing in line with my goodies I noticed your product displayed at an endcap.

I grabbed a bag and smiled. Here's my chance, I thought, to try Orthodox Chews.

I'll get a bag for my group coming in today. Bingo! I tried a red and white swirly one. I liked it a lot. I grabbed a purple one. Not my favorite, but then again, purple isn't my favorite flavor. I tried a few others. They were yummy. I liked how they were a litte hard at first and had to be sucked on a bit to get soft.

So here's my idea. Bear with me as I will get to it.
About 4 years ago my boss and a few other senior people from the office went to New Zealand and Australia for a few weeks to tour some of my company's properties. It was a big trip with a lot of people helping to make the trip a success. I was in charge of creating some kind of thank-you gift that of course thanked them for their hospitality, but also relfected the industry in which we work (wine) and our local culture (we're in San Francisco). I found Jelly Bean Wine Bar on the web. I found "recipes" for specific varietals and styles of wine using jelly bellies. I ordered gumball machines and jelly bellies from Jelly Belly Factory and filled each gumball machine with the correct recipe for a few different styles of wine (Australian Shiraz, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc), then created a cute litle card and sent the thank you gifts off to our hosts. It was really well received.

OK, so now here's my idea.
You should use Orthodox Chews to do the same thing with Manischewitz. That might be a fun project.

Yummy taffy,

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Recently two of my very good friends added cute little limbs to their respective families' family trees. I'm very happy for and secretly jealous of both of them. New babies are the sweetest things ever.

Last night I got to meet one of them. Oh my gosh, little "NorCal Bunchkin" is so sweet. She was sleeping when I arrived and was stirring awake when I left. She made the best little "I'm about to cry" faces.

In a month or so I hope to take the fam on a little road trip to meet "SoCal Bunchkin." I can't wait to get to know this little baby.

I'm pretty certain that their moms (and dads) wouldn't appreciate me putting their pictures on my blog, especially without me asking first, so instead, I wasted 1/2 hour at work making pics of them on powerpoint, then converting the pics to a jpeg.


July Wordle

Here is a Wordle from all my July blog posts.
Wordle: July blog

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

Related Posts with Thumbnails


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.