“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, September 30, 2011

A Ma'am-o-Gram to Will Smith: Gettin' Squishy With It

Growing up I listened to a lot, and I mean A LOT of Dr. Demento. I know, big surprise, huh? I grew up listening to his 4 hour live show on KMET in SoCal.  I loved so many of the songs. I even sang them to my kiddies when they were babies. Can you just picture me rocking my babies an sweetly singing "I took a fish head out to see a movie. Didn't have to pay to get it in." I don't even know why I'm asking. I'm certain you can picture it.
I still get all the songs I loved from that time stuck in my head. From Ogden Edsl's Dead Puppies to Tom T-bone Stankus' Exitential Blues to The Frantics' Last Will and Temperment where Ed Gruberman gets a boot to the head. I've even tried to sneak my favorites onto The Girl's ipod. She gets angry, I get amused when she gets The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins stuck in her head. I'm waiting for her to get 99 Dead Baboons stuck in her head. I will consider myself a successful parent when that happens. I can't even go through a drive through without being tempted to scream "A Double Cheeseburger, Onion Rings and a Large Orange Drink, Please".

Barry Hansen (aka Dr. Demento) is responsible for developing some of the many varied layers that contribute to my sense of humor and my outlook on the world. I would say that Mr. Hansen influenced my formative years greatly, and that's something for which I am thankful. Thanks Dr. D.

OK, here's were things get weird. I didn't start this post intending to wax poetic about one of my heroes. I intended to talk about getting a mammogram today. I'm old so I have to get the girls checked once a year. I had my 2nd annual mammogram today. You might remember when I had my 1st annual mammogram in my post Freshly Squeezed and Ready for 40 where I told the story about the time my mom uttered the phrase "Andi, I think Jesus wants us to call them boobies." I had intended for this particular blog post to start with Dr. Demento, talk about the music he played on his show, then talk about the parody songs like 99 Dead Baboons, or Al Yankovic's "I Love Rocky Road" and then offer a suggestion to Will Smith. (Will, you should do a public service parody for those of us in our 40's and beyond who have to get mammograms called "Gettin' Squishy With It.") Instead, this post took on a life of its own.

So, to make a long story even longer, I had a mammogram today. Then I went to Sugarbowl Bakery and had a pork bun, then I went to work. My time spent at the doctor's office took less time than the time it took to ride Muni there. Although I won't get my official results for a few weeks, I fully expect for my results to come in the form of a postcard telling me that my scan was unremarkable and to come back in a year.

Here's the PSA part -
If you're over 40, get your regular mammograms. It's a good idea.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Dream - Showers and Lice

Some mornings I hit snooze more than other mornings. On those mornings when I hit snooze a little too much I sometimes have strange dreams surrounding what I'd be doing if I were awake in real life. For example, if I have to pee, I'll have dreams that I have to pee but I can't find a bathroom, the bathroom is super grody, there are no doors on the stalls, there is a toilet but it's up on a pedestal in the middle of a busy casino. I had such a dream this morning, but not about peeing. It was about showering.

The Boy was in the shower. It was a totally kick-ass shower with knobs that controlled the temperature and the water pressure. There were two shower heads; one each on opposite walls facing each other. The Boy was super digging his shower, which I thought was odd because in real life he's always screaming "don't wash my eye-face. don't wash my hair. I get to wash my cheek-face, not you." While waiting for him to finish showering I decided to play with my hair. I parted it in the middle instead of the side. I liked the result. When parted in the middle it was longer than it was when parted on the side, plus I had super cute choppy bangs. Then I noticed these weird black spots. I got my clippers out to investigate and shaved off the top of my head, sort of like a reverse mohawk / scalping myself. I noticed all these little black bugs crawling around my hair. I don't know what they were, but I decided to call them lice. I went around the bathroom collecting all the brushes so The Girl wouldn't use them and get lice as well. The Boy got out of the shower. Just as I was about to go in, the shower turned into a shower / jacuzzi. Right when I was about to get in I discoverd 5 Mexican men in their 50's had beaten me to it and were in my jacuzzi shower. While I didn't mind them taking a jacuzzi and shower in my bathroom, I didn't want them to do it right now. I had to get up and get ready for work. I found a set of temperature controls in the other room and made the jacuzzi 32 degrees. They all complained that it was too cold but nobody got out. I couldn't wash the lice-bug-things out of my hair, I couldn't make it look nice parted down the middle anymore because I had scalped myself, and I had to pee really bad.
Then my alarm went off again, I got my ass out of bed, peed, took a shower and got ready for work. BTW, my hair looks great today and there are no bugs in it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It was good, but I hated that little girl.

I like action packed blockbusters. I quite enjoy watching Will Smith fight aliens, whether it be along side Tommy Lee Jones or Jeff Goldblum. Watching Gary Oldman fight President Harrison Ford, or Kurt Russel and Halle Berry fight a group of terrorists from some unnamed middle eastern country, is just as enjoyable. I want to be Franke Portente running from the law with Jason Bourne. I like watching Casper Van Dien fight aliens while Neil Pactrick Harris reads their minds and Dina Myers takes off her shirt. I will be a happy Andrea when Cowboys and Aliens comes out on DVD.

So here's my question - why did it take so long for me to accept that I like reading books just as blockbustery?

I just finished reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. It was super fun. I loved the extra story lines and details the book had. It made the story more exciting. I like the ending better, with one exception that will reveal itself in just a few paragraphs.
Usually when I read a book that a movie is based on I don't like the changes the movie makes. I get all hung up with the integrity of the story, character development. In this one, the differences between the book and the movie I didn't mind so much. The book was just as enjoyable as the movie. For instance, in the movie, Dr. Grant and Laura Dern were a couple. In the book they weren't. I don't think it really added or took away from the story line. In the book, Dr. Grant liked kids. I like that aspect better. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was a more fun character in the movie and he could have died better in the book. It was sort of a "meh, he's dead" moment. He should have been fed to the raptors. That would have been good.
What I truly hated in the book was the little girl. In the movie the grandkids of John Hammond are a smart 10-ish year old boy and his 12-ish year old sister Lex. In the book, the boy was the same age but the girl was 5-ish. I like movie Lex better than book Lex. Book Lex was whiny, annoying little pest. Movie Lex complained a little but she pulled herself together and saved the day with her mad computer hacking skills. Book Lex foiled every plan to get away from the dinosaurs by whining about ice cream. There were plenty of opportunities where she could have been fed to a dinosaur and the rest of them could have gotten away. Someone should have fed her to the compys or given her to the baby t-rex as a chew toy. She should have met a some kind of dinosaur-inspired end at the end of the book. Yeah, that's harsh, but I really hated her.

Overall, I liked the book. I liked it enough to grab another MC book. I picked up Disclosure the other day at the library. We'll see how that goes. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Know, I Know, 20 Years, Blah Blah Blah oooh look, Peachy Puff Girls

I've mentioned it before, so many times you're sick of it, probably, but I am at the 20 year point. 20 years ago this month I moved to San Francisco. I don't remember the exact date, only that it I drove up to San Francisco with my friend P. We first drove up here in his VW Bus, spent a week or so in a crappy 1 bedroom apartment on Haight and Pierce with two other roomies, our friends E and I who moved up here a few months before we did. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had $900 in my pocket, from selling my 1981 VW Rabbit. I thought it was a fortune. It wasn't, but I got by. Then we got a pretty decent flat in The Outer Richmond. It was a pretty nice place. We each had our own bedroom, there was a common room and a pretty good sized kitchen, plus there was a yummy bakery across the street from us. That bakery was a pretty good bakery. It's closed now and a pizza place is in its place. I've eaten there a few times. It's good. A week or so after P and I got our new flat we flew back down to Long Beach to get the rest of our stuff. We drove back up in P's dad's convertible mustang. It took forever because that freakshow artist Christo had a buncha yellow umbrellas all along the 5 freeway and tons of people were stopped along the road to look at his buncha yellow umbrellas. Luckily the radio gods had our back. We knew the words to every song that played on the radio that night, and all the songs were a mix of common guilty pleasures and just plain old good songs. Boston, Chicago, Styx, Eddie Money....whatever radio station it was was playing them all. Traffic was bad, but we had a good time.
In the first few months of living at this new flat, I was hanging out with this girl one night. Her name was Tess, she went to school with Oliver North's kids, she had a pit bull whose name I forgot, she rode a motorcycle and she had a Keith Harring-esque tattoo on the side of her head. We went out to some bar in SOMA. While we were in there some gals came in, looking like cigarette girls, carrying trays with a nice mix of sugar and salt items, plus cigarettes. I learned they were called Peachys Puff Girls. I wanted to be a Peachys Puff Girl. I always thought I'd make a good one. I never found out how to be one. I should have just asked one, but they kind of intimidated me.
Tonight Hubby, The Girl and I were watching the Giant's game. I asked Hubby if the rows right behind home plate had waiter service. Hubby said all seats had waiter service. I told him I wasn't talking about the guys who sell peanuts and popcorn, I meant real water service, someone who would retrieve beer, garlic fries and churros, or whatever else you wanted. He said he didn't know. I don't know the answer. I think they must, but I just don't know. Then Hubby said "you know what they need at ATT park?" My first response was "Burritos?" Although I think Hubby thought it was a good idea, it wasn't what he was thinking at the moment. He said that ATT park needed Peachys Puff Girls. I agree.

Why, Greg Wasson, Why?

Dear Greg Wasson,

I hate the new floor plan of my local Walgreens. It's stupid and annoying and doesn't encourage me to give in to my impulses and buy things I don't need. What it does is it piss me off. Rather than walking the block to my local Walgreens, I'd rather get in my car and go to Lucky. Because of your new floor plan I leave Walgreens grumpy and with only 1/2 the things on my list because I can't freaking find anything and I still have to go to Lucky anyway.
What's the matter with you?

That is all,

P.S. I am not a crackpot.

I got a text on my way home last night from Hubby. It simply said "Lemons, Tomatoes, Pull-ups, Beer." With those 4 little words, Hubby was very sweetly asking me to stop at the produce market, liquor store and Walgreens on my way home from work.
Authentically Local
OK, sure, I could get all those items at Walgreens, but I would rather support authentically local businesses when I can, and not a national chain when possible. Besides, just as I can't bring myself to buy perishable items at Target, I extra can't bring myself to do it at Walgreens.
Anyhow, I went into my local produce market and bought some lemons and tomatoes, but skipped the liquor store because I had a bottle of wine in my purse. (See, I can buy wine cheap from my company's employee website and have it delivered to my office, but because I take Muni to and from work I can't carry it all home at one time. I usually end up bringing a few bottles home a night in my purse.) So then I went to Walgreens. I've written before about how much I hate the way they've remodeled the store. Everything is organized so strangely it's hard to find anything. There's no logical flow. One would think that the hair accessories (bobby pins, hair bands, etc.) wouldn't be too far away from the shampoos and conditioners. One could reasonably assume that the diapers would be pretty close to the baby food. How come in my local Walgreens the greeting cards are three aisles away from the wrapping paper and the nail polish is next to the children's crappy toys, and the dish soap is kept near the potato chips?
I walked around the store 3 times looking for the pull-ups. There was an employee setting up the seasonal aisle with halloween stuff. I asked her why the store was arranged so stupidly. She asked me what I was looking for. I said pull-ups. She pointed to the adult diapers and said "for you?" No they're not for me. OK, I've given birth to 2 kids. I'm not alone in saying I've peed a little bit after sneezing, but really? I told her no, that I needed it for a toddler, and she said "oh, aisle 3, by the hair dye." By the hair dye? Why not keep pull-ups with the rest of the baby gear? I hate going to Walgreens now. Thank the Maker I can send my oldest kid to go there for me. She has more patience that I do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Because Embarrassment is Fun.

A bunch of years ago I worked for The Food Whole. One week during my time spent with them was spent in Portland, OR setting up their new store.
When I got off work for the day I went for a walk and discovered Powell's Bookstore. What a great bookstore. At the time I had just finished reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
I'm sure all y'all have seen the movie The Princess Bride and can recite tons and tons of lines. Go ahead, recite some. I'll wait.


So the book is interesting. Much of it is written in first person.
There's this guy who, as a child, had this amazing amazing book read him called, you guessed it, The Princess Bride. It was his most favorite story ever. When he was an adult he decided he wanted to give a copy of the book to his son. He searched high and low for the book. At the time the book was written, there was no amazon.com, ebay.com or other easy outlets to find books. He finally found one and gave it to his son. His son humored his dad and attempted to read the book. He tried to like it, but he really really hated it. The dad was so surprised. This was his favorite story growing up. Why did his son hate it so much? The man decided to figure out why. He borrowed his son's copy of the book and started to read. He hated the book. He was so bummed, and perplexed. The book was nothing like he remembered. As he read through the book he slowly realized that his dad, who had read him the book so long ago skipped a lot of it. His dad only read him the good parts. Wanting his son to love the story as much as he did, he set out to edit the book. The result was The Princess Bride; S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - The 'Good Parts' Version. What we see in Rob Reiner's version of The Princess Bride is pretty true to The 'Good Parts' version.

Reading The 'Good Parts' version made me want to read the long boring version. It sounded so interesting. I just had to read it. I went into Powell's Books and searched and searched for the book written by S. Morgenstern, upon which William Goldman's version was based. I looked in Fiction. I looked in Young Adult. I looked in Scifi. I looked in Fantasy. I looked in every section of the bargain books and used sections. I could not, for the life of me, find the book. I went to the information desk and asked for the book. The lady behind the counter had both the physique and the sensitivity of Comic Book Store Guy told me the book didn't exist. I was so embarrassed I ran out of the store. The next day, Hubby flew up to Portland to spend a few days with me. He wanted to go to Powell's. I wouldn't go in there with him and I wouldn't tell him why. He got all cross that I wouldn't go in the store, and didn't say it but probably thought I was being a jerk.

Two years later I was hanging out with Hubby and our friend Cliff. I told that story. Hubby said that he had never heard that story before. I said 'I know, it's the first time I ever told anyone. I've been too embarrassed about it.' Hubby kissed me. Told me he was sorry I was so embarrassed, then laughed at me, lovingly, of course.

Last night I told The Girl my story. Hubby was surprised I told the story. The Girl laughed had the same reaction as Hubby. I got a sympathetic "aw," followed by uncontrollable laughter.

I love my family.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

#65 - Read 50 books

I have to admit I've been neglecting my list. What seemed like a good idea at first, kinda isn't anymore. Some items on my list I just never started. Some, after reading them, I've decided they are bad or uninteresting ideas. Some of them I modified.

A few weeks ago my parents were visiting. I told my mom about my list. She said "oh, it's something like a bucket list." I told her that I suppose it kind of was, except it was filled with seemingly short term goals and attainable things. It wasn't filled with lofty things like "shake the President's hand" or "go to outer-space." At that moment my dad's ears perked up and we argued for a good 10 minutes about how I couldn't possibly have a bucket list because #1 - I wasn't as old as Morgan Freeman or Jack Nicholson and #2 because I didn't have any terminal ailments or any tangible indication that I had an accelerated expiration date. My mom told him to leave me alone, because I could have a list if I wanted. The matter is still in debate.

I think from now on I'm just going to keep a running list of things I want to accomplish and modify as necessary, and to please my dad, I'll never call it a bucket list. Should be easy. I never called it a bucket list before. Why should I start now?

One item on my list I will keep, however, is #65 - Read 50 books, except since now that my list has no deadlines, unless I specifically add one, I think I will remove the "50." From now on my list will say "#65 - Read books."

Here are the books I've read since starting my list.

Book # (-)1 - The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks Started August 2010

I go through bouts of reading and then periods of not reading. I was at the library with my kids, couldn't find anything that really struck me so I just picked up a random book by the self-check and told myself I was going to read it. Read it I did, and loved it, I did. I can tell when I really love a book because I read at night instead of watching TV. It's about a woman who restores books. She had to restore an ancient Jewish text and learn about its history. In one chapter she'd do some researching and find a moth's wing, then the next chapter would take place a few hundred years before and it would tell the story of how the moth got stuck in the book. Then in another chapter she would discover that some weird bindings in the book were inconsistent with the rest of the binding of the book. The next chapter would be about the binding of the book. My favorite chapter was the one that followed the chapter where she found a cat hair. It was about, you guessed it, how the cat hair got into the book. I enjoyed the book more than I though I would and think that most people I know, young and old, would enjoy the book, too. I think my sister Dawn would like it.

Book #0 - The Stone of Kannon by OA Bushnell. Started 11/1/10

I tried getting in to this book. I had to put it down. I was getting annoyed by it. The sentences were too long for my short attention span. I'll pick it up again soon. I enjoyed Ka'a'awa and Moloka'i by the same author. I don't know why I couldn't get in to this one.

Book #1 - Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. Started 11/13/10

I have a guilty pleasure in Dan Brown books. I tear through them quite quickly. I will definately finish this one by the end of the week. This book is about some chica who breaks code for the government. Some code is written that can't be broken and she has to figure it out. The story is pretty easy to predict, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. It's sort of like watching your favorite action movie, knowing exactly what's going to happen, yet still being excited.

Book #2 - Deception Point by Dan Brown. Started 11/29/10

It took me a little bit longer to finish this book than Digital Fortress. I had fun with it though. It was filled with phrases like "We have to call the president!!!" and "It's a matter of national security." I decided it was like a long and complicated cartoon with a Scooby-Doo ending "And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling scientists and your off-shore diagnostic machines." That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. I totally did. I love over-the-top cheese. I mean, I have seen Independence Day at least 50 times.

Book #3 - The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Started 12/10/10

When this book was still in hardcover I checked it out from my local library. I read about half of it and then had to return it. I don't know why I didn't check it out again. As I read the first few chapters the second time around, I was reminded of what the book was about. It was a fun finish, and true to Dan Brown, another Scooby-doo ending "And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling symbologists." I think I have a crush on Robert Langdon, not Tom Hanks, though.

Book #4 - Puttering About in a Small Land by Philip K. Dick

This book was set in the late 1940's, early 1950's. Lots of people were working, supporting the war effort, making bank because they worked overtime and they had to make lots and lots of bombs. Then when the war ended, a lot of the people found themselves out of work and had to reinvent themselves. The main guy in this book has his own TV shop. His kid goes to boarding school, and his wife is mean all the time, but I don't think it's because she's a mean person. I think she's sad and stressed out. I think everyone in the book is sad, mean and stressed out and although I enjoyed the book, I hated every single character, and wouldn't have minded if any of them met their fate in the book. In the book nobody dies, but I'm sure they all continuted to live miserable lives until the end of their days.

I started a new book the other day. Stay tuned for my review.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

(Unsolicited) Advice

Yesterday I attended a baby shower for a few of the ladies in my office. The shower was pretty nice; balloons, music, yummy cheeses, wine, and pretty yummy looking cupcakes. I didn't have a cupcake. I filled up on humboldt fog cheese and pinot noir.
Anyhow, the lady who set up the event thanked everyone for coming, then asked all the experienced mommies in the room to give a little advice to the new mommies.
My advice was this -
As a new mom you're going to look at other moms to see what their doing. You're going to doubt yourself and think "should I be doing that, too?"
When that happens just remember, there are many different ways to acheive the same goal. What might work for their family, may or may not work for yours. If your baby's belly is full, if he's warm at night, and most of all, if he knows he's loved, you can relax because you're doing it right.

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.