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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conversation I Had Today At Market and Main St. - Before I Had My Coffee, Mind You.

Me - standing at Market and Main, grumbling because I missed the shuttle by *that much* and trying to figure out if I should take the 82x or the F to work. Just when I see on nextbus the 82x is coming in 21 minutes but the F will be here in 2, and I'm about to step off the curb to go to the bus stop . . . . a man came up to me. He wasn't wearing a suit and tie but he looked like he was dressed to work in a fancy office. He was on the fancy side of business casual, except for the hippie choker he was wearing.

Man - Excuse me, can you tell me where Pizza Hut is?

Me - Ummm, Pizza Hut? I don't know.

Man - Well, I know there is a Starbucks right down the street and one just behind that building (pointing behind him)

Me - Yup, that's where the two closest Starbucks are. (Wondering what Sbux had to do with Pizza Hut)

Man - But you don't know where Pizza Hut is?

Me - No, I don't know where Pizza Hut is.  I've never looked for one before.

Man - Oh, OK. Thank you.

I'm going to be wasting a bit of time today wondering why this man needed to go to Pizza Hut at 8:00am in downtown San Francisco.

Why do you think he needed to know where Pizza Hut was at 8am on a Tuesday?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mock Tacos - The Way We Eat

When I was a kid my mom would throw a pound of frozen hamburger on the counter before leaving for work. It would sit on the counter all day long and when she got home she would turn it into something for dinner. When one of my sisters and I got older we would come home to a note on the table or a phone call from my mom telling one of us to make dinner using the meat on the counter and one of the Lawry's season packets in the cabinet.

One item that was a favorite in our house was Mock Tacos. I think my mom got the inspiration from a meal we would have at Camp Shiwaka, a day camp through the Camp Fire Girls (back when it was only girls). When I was a kid I went to day camp, then when I got older my mom would sign me up to be a DCA (day camp aide).  I hated being a DCA. All I wanted to do was hang out with my friends at the Bull 'n Bun and watch the cute guys who lived near my friend's dad's house play their guitars. But anyways, Mock Tacos. I had them all the time growing up.

Take some frozen hamburger meat and put it on the counter before going to work or school in the morning.
Cook up the hamburger and add Lawry's Taco Seasoning Packet. Follow the directions on the packet except for the draining the fat part. Don't drain the fat.

Put a few handfuls of Fritos on a plate. Use regular Fritos. Don't get fancy and get the big kind, the scoop kind or a flavored kind. Get the regular ones.

Add a scoop of meat to the top of the Fritos pile. Follow that with a handful of shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream. If you want it to have a little kick, go to your junk drawer and search through it for old packets of taco bell hot sauce. Del Taco hot sauce works better with this dish but not everyone is so lucky to have a del taco in their backyard. Taco Bell will work just fine.

When I was a kid I LOVED this dinner. "Hooray! It's Mock Taco Night!" I would exclaim. Sometimes when we had regular tacos for dinner (same recipe except substitute hard taco shells for fritos), I would crush up my taco shells so I could have Mock Mock Tacos. Today I can't imagine making it for my family. I have to admit though that thinking about this meal right now is making me both hungry and horrified. My kiddies wouldn't eat it if I served it to them and my hubby would flip out if I made something so bad for us. To be honest, Hubby and I would both eat it, and enjoy it, but then curse dinner as we fight over the lone bathroom in the house dealing with the gastric distress I'm sure it would cause.

I grew up loving food. I knew how to cook.  I grew up not being afraid to try new foods. I did not however,  grow up knowing how to make the best food choices.  I liked fruit, but I liked poptarts and fried pies better. I liked broccoli but I liked it better when it was covered in cheese sauce. Water was stupid. Coke was better.

One of the things I am most proud of in raising my kids is that they have better eating habits than I did when I was their age. If there is one thing I've done right, it's offer them vegetables and fruits plentifully (if that's a word) and frequently. They are happy to have fruit for dessert or a carrot for a snack. Sure, they like ice cream and sure they like chips, but those two items are not top of mind when they think about what to have for a snack. They've been programmed to go for the good for you stuff first. I'm trying to reprogram myself to think the same way.

I wish I had an updated Mock Taco Recipe that I could adapt for how we eat today. It would be the perfect thing to end this blog post. Oh well, another time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sci-Fi / Fantasy Mash Up - A Dream

I had a dream I was watching a new Star Trek movie. Dr. Polaski was the main focus of this movie. Then I was no longer watching it, but rather I was in the movie and it . Kirk was in it, but it was William Shatner how he looks today, not how he looked as Kirk on TV or even the real movies.

We were being held captive on a ship. It didn't look like a Starfleet ship. It was more like a crappy apartment building. We were free to roam the ship, hold jobs, make money, have families and friends, but we weren't allowed to leave and everyone was afraid to complain because all the rooms had secret microphones and our conversations were being monitored..

I lived in one of the ship's apartments with my mom and my little sister. My brother lived on the ship, but not with us. My little sister was really great at making giant pieces of furniture. She made my brother a murphy bed that could be folded to the size of a wallet and kept in his suitcase when he wasn't using it.

My little sister kept getting presents left outside our door. We didn't know who they were from but they were pretty darn cool.

Then one day I was walking down the hallway and I saw some royal looking guards dressed like Swiss Guards like at the Vatican holding stalfs and walking down the hallway towards my apartment. They stopped in front of my door and a hobbit sized Emperor Palpatine dropped off a gift on the welcome mat. One of the guards knocked on the door. Hobbit Emperor Palpatine looked at me then scurried away. The guards followed him.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Push! Push! - A Dream

I had a dream I had another baby.

Martha Stewart was my OB.

Getting All Professional and Stuff

I got a new job a few months ago. I still work for the same company, but it's a new job just the same.

With my new job I started a new blog. This new blog can be found on Wordpress. I chose Wordpress on purpose. I don't quite understand Wordpress and I want to. Having a blog on its site sort of forces of me to learn it. It's always good to learn more things, right?

So here you go, Meeting Andrea.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I'm no Health Master, but .... - An Open Letter to Montel Williams and The Blender He Does Commercials For.

Dear Montel,

When The Girl was a baby, say 11 months old or so, when we went grocery shopping, like most parents, I had to keep my baby from losing her marbles. Sometimes I would give her a box of mac n chz to use like a maraca. Sometimes I would give her a lemon and then wait for her to bite into it so I could see her sour face. More often, though, I would go to the salad bar and grab a piece of steamed vegetable. Where we shopped at that time the store always had steamed cauliflower on their salad bar. The Girl would take the cauliflower and turn it into a slobbery mess with tiny little bites taken out of it. It kept her entertained for at least 1/2 of the shopping trip.

I would get two reactions. The first one was from people who would ask me why I gave her cauliflower. Why didn't I just give her a cookie instead. I would answer with "Why would I give my kid a cookie? She's never had one before." or "What's wrong with cauliflower." The other reaction, was the reaction I got most often. People would ask me how in the world I got my kid to eat a piece of cauliflower. My answer was simple, because I gave it to her. My baby didn't need cookies. My baby didn't need processed foods. Cauliflower was just fine.

This morning morning The Girl, who is now 14 her brother The Boy, age 5 and I were watching TV. We came aross an infomercial called "Best Blender Ever." (or something like that). I stopped on the channel because we make smoothies every morning and my blender doesn't have the power I'd like it to have. I heard you tell the audience that this blender is a great way to disguise vegetables. Then some woman came on and said it was a great way to hide vegetables from her twins. After that you were at some farmers market where you were teaching kids how to hide their vegetables.

Why do you need to teach kids how to hide their vegetables? Why not teach kids that vegetables aren't gross? Why don't we teach kids to eat well by not exposing them to processed foods until they've developed a taste for the things that they should be eating? OK, so you're argument here is that the kids you were talking to were already taught that vegetables are gross. I still maintain that teaching kids to hide the flavor is wrong. It has to be possible to teach kids that savory is yummy and that things don't have to be coated with sugar in order to enjoy them.

I'm not perfect. I don't always monitor what my kids eat, but what I have been successful at is making sure there are plenty of fruits and vegetables they can always eat. The Boy will knock back a box of Trader Joe's peanut butter sandwich  crackers, which is bad, but he'll also kill a basket of cherry tomatoes in one sitting or grab a carrot when he's hungry . The Girl puts waaaay too much sugar in her tea but I've also seen her grab a handful of spinach because she felt she hadn't had enough vegetables that day and was feeling like her body needed it. Both of my older kids are happy with having a piece of fruit for dessert.

I teach my kids that you have to have good food in you before you can put bad food in you. I don't go overboard and tell them they can't have any treats. I'm not the mom who only gives them fruit sweetened, gluten free, vegan birthday cake. But I am the kind of mom who makes sure they know the difference between food your body needs, and food your sweet tooth craves.

Cultivate their palates for what is good for them and they will crave what is good for them. Tricking them into eating their vegetables isn't the answer.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Clowns are Drinkers, Too - A Dream

I recently changed jobs. I have the same employer, just a new job. I have a feeling that some weeks are going to be a lot busier and stressful than others, but overall I'm really excited about this new chapter in my life. Also with my new job, I am also working in a new office. My whole office moved into another building and we're in a brand new space. As far as offices go, my new office is pretty nice. Lots of natural light, nice colors, a great place to sit and have lunch - all things the old office didn't have. There are a few things to get used to in the new office, but overall the change has been a good thing. With my new job I moved to a new desk, but the first few months in the new office I was sitting next to the consumer affairs person, the person who gets all the complaints and concerns from callers who bought corked wine or who waited too long to drink their wine, not knowing that not all wines are meant to be aged. I don't know how the consumer affairs person stays so calm and doesn't break out laughing or get angry with the callers. I sit next to her when I see her in the break room. She's a really nice lady.

I had a dream that I worked for the consumer affairs department. My very first phone call was a very angry man who was upset that my company didn't do more to market to clowns. According to the man, clowns drink a lot and a lot of what they drink is wine. We are missing out on a whole lot of money because we don't specifically target the clown population. Clowns would buy our products if they knew about them, if they identified with them, and especially if they had a coupon for them. I asked the man if there was any specific brand of ours he thought clowns would like the most. He told me (although I don't remember what it was)  and so I transferred him to the brand manager that takes care of that brand. Then I hung up the phone and turned around. All the furniture in the room was gone. I left the room. I was barefoot. I saw my new boss setting up for a meeting. I told him I'd be right back because I noticed everyone had their shoes on but me. One guy was barefoot, but I didn't want to be associated professionally with this guy so I thought I needed to get my shoes back on. On my way back to the meeting I got lost in the office hallways and couldn't find the room I was going to and I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to find the bathroom. I did find the bathroom, but everyone kept walking through my stall to get to their stalls. I had no privacy and my toilet was spraying water out of it and the floor was all wet and there was another toilet right next to mine and its lid kept knocking my seat.

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.