2008: a snapshot

December 31, 2008

borrowed from @daniellesque

  1. Where did you begin 2008?
    Crashing on a friend's couch in Pasadena. But I got a homemade breakfast that day.
  2. What was your status by Valentine's Day?
    Single and in my own apartment.
  3. Were you in school (anytime this year)?
    Yes, I started University of Phoenix.
  4. Did you have to go to the hospital?
    Only for Josh and his broken arm
  5. Did you have any encounters with the police?
    thankfully, no
  6. Where did you go on vacation?
    I took a few weekend trips to the Bay Area, but no real vacation
  7. What did you purchase that was over $500?
    My Honda Fit
  8. Did you know anybody who got married?
    Yes, my downstairs neighbors.
  9. Did you know anybody who passed away?
    No. Death free year in my immediate circle.
  10. Did you move anywhere?
    From Pasadena to Long Beach.
  11. What sporting events did you attend?
    Vans Downtown Showdown. Skateboarding is a sport, right?
  12. What concerts/shows did you go to?
    Backstreet Boys
  13. Where do you live now?
    Still in Long Beach
  14. Describe your birthday-
    The best day of the year I think. First we had the Corona Book Club, more wine imbibed than book discussion. Daphne got me a yummy chocolate cake and then we got dolled up and went to Old Town Pasadena for dinner and dancing. I was supposed to get a tattoo, but we took too long eating and just having fun.
  15. What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008?
    get addicted to yet another on-line service *cough*twitter*cough*
  16. What has/have been your favorite moment(s)? 
    Hiking with my daughter, the above mentioned birthday, and getting a job with Disney.
  17. What's something you learned about yourself?
    I am waaaay to prone to anxiety and depression still.
  18. Any new additions to your family?
    A neice and a nephew
  19. What was your best month?
    sometime between July and August. I was unemployed, but the best moments of the year happened then.
  20. What music will you remember 2008 by?
    Chris Brown, Pink, and Estelle
  21. Who has been your best drinking buddy?
    Daphne and Jules
  22. Made new friends?
    YUP! Lots of new twitterpals met in RL
  23. Favorite Night[s] out?
    My birthday and the Roscoe's Tweetup
  24. What do you want to change in 2009? 
    I want to focus more on being the best I can be at everything I turn my hand to, be more organized, be a better mom, and quit procrastinating.  Maybe my mom is right about me being an overachiever...
  25. Overall, how would you rate this year?
    One of the worst I have ever had.
  26. What would you change about 2008?
    I'm not sure. Everything is an opportunity for growth right?
  27. Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
    On the freeway, and on twitter 
  28. Have any life changes 2008?
    Continued separation, adopted a new dog, and decided to lose weight
  29. Change your hairstyle?
    Still letting it grow.
  30. Get a new job?
    Yup. Switched agencies after getting sacked and now working for DIMG and loving it.
  31. How old did you turn this year?
    A lady never tells her age. But you might be able to figure it out from older posts
  32. Do you have a New Year's resolution?
    To kick this depression in the arse
  33. Did anything embarrassing?
    Of Course! Not going to make it public though.
  34. Buy anything new from eBay?
    A power cable for the camcorder.
  35. What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
    I guess my car... everything else has been a necessity. Oh! My Nikon pns
  36. Get married or divorced?
    Still separated
  37. Get arrested?
  38. Did you get sick this year?
    More times than I care to think about
  39. Start a new hobby?
    got more into photography, but that's not really new is it? Introduced Joy to hiking.
  40. Are you happy to see 2008 go?

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I hate being alone with my thoughts

December 28, 2008

EscherEye They aren't good thoughts. They aren't uplifting, nor inspiring, nor especially good for my self-esteem. I think that is why I have been hating the drive to Vegas and this whole season. It gives me too much time to think and reflect. And leaves me in a lot pain, which is always a mood-lifter for me. I've been canceling on people lately because of the pain and depression, feeling more and more anti-social. I really don't want to be the life of the party, but can someone drag me out once it in a while? Self-reflection is NOT what I need right now. It leads to drinking, and drinking leads to anxiety, and anxiety attacks, and that whole scenario is just bad.

But if you insist on being an enabler, I'm just about out of Bailey's and completely out of everything else.

Misunderstood - an understatement

December 27, 2008

You Feel Misunderstood By Your Family

You feel a bit overwhelmed by and resentful of your family right now. This is a good moment for you to take some time away from them.

You feel like your family is prone to too many arguments and instability. You never feel like things can be completely peaceful.

It's sometimes hard for your family to understand who you are now. You've changed a lot, and they have trouble accepting the new you.

You are honest and very outspoken with your family. You sometimes hurt feelings by saying things they don't want to hear.

Feeling Grinchy

December 24, 2008

I don't know what it is about this week, this month. Around Thanksgiving I was looking forward to Christmas, and now that it has arrived, not so much. I'm ready to go into hermit mode. I am tired of the kids asking for things that they *know* I can't afford. Yes, me, not Santa. I'm not sure if my daughter still believes in Santa, but she certainly believes in her Amazon Wish List.

And Josh! Since being in Vegas he has called for money, more money (ok, it's so he can buy Christmas gifts for everyone else but he could have put *SOME* effort into earning his allowance!) my external HDD or lots of DVDs to burn stuff from my brother, and FINALLY, once to find out if I was coming tonight. And could I bring ... I forget what. Joy hasn't bothered to call once, but that's ok. She's 6 and I don't recall wanting to talk to my parents when I was with my grandmother either.

I guess the true source of my sense of Grinchiness is my complete and utter inability to pull this one out of my ass. There have been a few years where it was tight, or impossible, but I have always been crafty and resourceful. This year I am drawing a complete blank. My kids are freaking materialistic and I'm not sure when that happened. And the fact that I can't think of a single thing to get them, galls me. They used to be so easy to shop for, especially after we instituted the "3 Gifts Rule" -- which doesn't completely apply since they get gobs of gifts from everyone else in the family.

I know there has been one other Christmas where I felt "this is the worst Christmas ever", but I don't think I felt this sad, dejected, and upset at myself and the world. That makes this one officially "The Worst Christmas Ever". And no amount of chilly weather or Christmas songs will make me change my mind.


Jan 1 No Text Law & My Addiction

So if you are like me and occasionally (though Josh will say constantly) text while driving, you might want to try Dial2Do. You have your hands-free headset, right?

And of course, the line that convinced me .... "post updates to your TWITTER or JAIKU stream".

Not that I have an addiction or anything...

You HAVE to listen to this

December 23, 2008
If you didn't catch my tweets pimping @CynicalDad, you have to watch and listen to this all the way through. It's HI-LARIOUS! And the chick's voice, I dig it. Er, I really like it. She's phenomenal cuz you know, I don't think there was much studio editing the way there is for all the pop divas. Her voice kinda reminds me of Etta James... but anyways, I present Paloma Faith and Josh Weller for your listening and viewing pleasure.

The Third Degree

December 22, 2008

I found this fascinating quote today:

We had to go in this morning. Too bad there were 12-18 inches of snow in my driveway/parking lot so I wasn’t driving myself! BM came to get me (adore the man!) and we had the branch open by about 9:30am. Not too bad. However, we only had six clients in six hours, so they sent us home at 2pm.Sarah, The Third Degree, Dec 2008

You should read the whole article.

Portable North Pole

painter_mommy_blog_badgepointed me towards this awesome little app. Get your own personalized Santa to read your kids wishlist to them :)
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Here's the one I made for Joy: Joy's Santa Message

Forgotten Christmas Specials

Truthfully, I know about the Star Wars one because of Tim. I think I saw the He-Man/She-Ra one, I wasn't allowed to watch the Pee Wee Herman one, and I never heard of the Pac-Man one. How about you guys?

(Disclosure: this was sent to me by someone else who had the time to do the research on "forgotten" Christmas specials. I thought it was good enough to pass along)


o_starwarsholidayfront 1. "The Star Wars Holiday Special" (1978 - CBS): On the planet of Kashyyyk, Chewie’s family anxiously awaits the return of Han Solo and Chewie for the celebration of ‘Life Day.’ The duo must battle their way through Imperial forces to join the party.
*Key moment: Princess Leia performing the "Life Day" theme song to the tune of the original Star Wars’ score.

He-ManShe-RaChristmas 2. "He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special"  (1985): Two children unwittingly get caught up in the battle between good and evil when Skeletor believes that the spread of their Christmas spirit is the only thing that can stop Horde Prime’s total domination of the Universe.
*Key moment: Skeletor shooting down Horde Prime’s ship and saving the two children after being overtaken by the Christmas Spirit.

peeweexmas 3. "Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special"  (1988): A number of celebrities drop by Pee Wee’s festive playhouse to teach Pee Wee the lessons of Christmas and Hanukkah. Appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Joan Rivers and Magic Johnson give the special some celebrity wattage.
*Key moment: The classic double entendres featured throughout -- such as the bottled "Eau de Pee-Wee" perfume that smells like Pee Wee.

mov_grandma_got_run_over_by_a_reindeer 4. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (2000): Jake strives to help his Mum and Dad protect their family store from takeover, but in the confusion it turns out Grandma has gone missing and was involved in a very unusual hit and run accident.
*Key moment: Santa’s "hit and run" note and Grandma’s Christmas cakes being spiked by ‘reindeer-nip’.

paclandxmas 5. “Christmas comes to Pac Land ” (1982 – 1984, you actually had two years to try and catch this one!):  Pac-Man and Christmas!!  Who wouldn’t want a show that was part of the Hollywood trend of “it’s a successful video game/movie/song/catchphrase; so, let’s make a whole series around it!”
*Key moment:  How could you pick with so many hidden gems throughout this excruciating 1/2 hour?



Adult Acne

December 21, 2008

I knew it was bad, I didn't think it was that bad. I arrived in Vegas last night about 8:30/9:00 PM. Kids pass out hugs, we bring in the stuff and my then my dad takes a look at me. Says, "What happened to your face?" 

Wonderful. It's not like I had black eyes (ok, I have the racoon look going on), but still. It was dim in the house, not even full lights and one was really bad, bright red, even in the dark. I guess it was noticeable. I guess I should be glad he didn't call me Rudolph. That's the name of one of the puppies that woke me.

Picture Meme

December 16, 2008
I got this meme from Mary Lutz. I wasn't tagged, but I thought it would be fun to do anyway.

1. Open the 4th picture folder on your computer.
2. Open the 4th picture and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same!

2008 001


This is Noel. Well, the child is my daughter Joy. Noel is the guinea pig. And my couch is clean. Wow. But back to the picture, this was the morning after we adopted Noel in January 2008. Joy was so happy to have a guinea pig to add to her menagerie. This is as close to sleeping with the GP that she ever got.


I tag:





How to determine your "Star Wars" name

December 15, 2008
How to determine your "Star Wars" name:

For your new first name:

1. Take the first 3 letters of your 1st name and add
2. the first 2 letters of your last name

For your new last name:

3. Then take the first 2 letters of your Mom's maiden name and add
4. the first 3 letters of the city you were born

How to determine your Star Wars honorific name and title:

1. take the last three letters of your last name and reverse them.
2. add the name of the first car you drove/owned
3. insert the word "of"
4. tack on the name of the last medication you took.

With Love,
Annho Talos,
D'na Toyota of Advil

Snow Day at Shoreline Village

December 14, 2008
snow day collage
The sun was covered by dark clouds, the wind was blowing, and we were at sea level. BUT honey, it was COLD outside! It hadn't been when we left the house for gymnastics, so despite having her snowsuit (time for a new one I think) we didn't have a jacket. In these pics she's wearing her leotard, covered by a long sleeve tee and a snowsuit. Pants wouldn't fit. And she hates wearing socks if she doesn't have to.

After being miserable on the snow, we went to the bouncy stuff, and then back to the snow where she proceeded to bean me in the eye with a snowball. After that we went shopping in the Village and warmed up with some tasty churros.

All-in-all a good Saturday.

Dayngrous Discourse: There's Always Room for More Love

Dayngrous Discourse: There's Always Room for More Love

When Dayngr first asked
Do you have a little extra room in your heart this holiday season for a 3 and 4 year old?
I had a snarky comeback. But then something told me to click on the link (I had missed her first tweet about it). Boy, did I feel like a heel.

So, before you make my mistake, Daynger is asking for some Christmas cards to be sent to her children. They love receiving mail. You can read all about it on the Daynger Zone. So, to make two kids VERY happy, all you have to is send one more Christmas card this season.

With love,


No time for the working mom

December 12, 2008
So I'm watching "The Starter Wife" (that darn insomnia) and this clip just got to me because it's so TRUE!!!

This balancing act is about to topple me far, far, far down.

Enjoy, have a laugh, and get some insight into the life of a single, working mom. Even though you never see her kid.

How's this for accountability?

December 9, 2008

So I'm watching and pondering a post that I have had in mind since yesterday. Because, you know, something has to change. I asked Tim to bring my scale over, he did. I got on it this morning (dripping wet as you're supposed to) and my fear was confirmed. I'm back up to 180#. I'm at least 30# overweight for my frame and height.

There, I said it. My real weight. And I want to get my real weight back to 150#. Preferably between 135 and 145, that's where I felt healthiest and strongest, but 150# is doable too. That's about where I was when I was running the daycare.

I am going to get rid of these rolls! Or figure out someway to move all my fat to my bustline. (Like that's ever going to happen).

For the record, with both pregnancies I never got above 165#. So for me to be at 180 first thing in the morning, is ... distressing. Mainly because of all the weight-related diseases that run in my family. Diabetes. Heart diseases. High blood pressure. I want to live to be older than 62.

And you know, I'm just too pretty to die young :-) (Capt. Mal Reynolds)


Now to give up the soda and start walking .... this is so not going to be fun.

It's a White Elephant!

First of all, what is a white elephant?
White elephant gifts are traditionally gifts considered extremely tacky, or that do not fit the tastes of the recipient, and that are given by a friend or close relative (such as a mother-in-law) and therefore cannot be returned or exchanged at the store without potentially offending the giver. The thought behind a white elephant gift exchange is to give everyone a chance to rid themselves of these tacky gifts--and invariably gaining a new one!

-- WikiHow

The Rules
Select who will open a gift first. 

Decisions, decisions...
Have the next person choose and open a gift. Now this is where it gets interesting. The person has a choice of whether to keep the gift they opened, or to "steal" an already opened gift from a previous person. If they steal a gift, they take that gift and give their unwanted gift to the person they stole from. That person then gets the option of stealing from someone else, and this continues until somebody decides to stick with their gift.

Modifications for this blog:
I will start by telling you what the gift is in the comments. You can decide if you want it. Whoever comments first will be the one to "open" it.  But beware! Someone may come along later in the night and steal it! 

If you steal a gift you have to leave a gift in the comments and also let the other twitter/blog owner know that you have given your gift away. 

Whoever has kept the gift by the time 10 PM Pacific Time rolls around wins and will get the gift via email from me.

Saturday was a bust

December 8, 2008

aman87lEver have one of those days where you just want to curl into a ball and hide from the world? Well, that was me Saturday afternoon. I didn't plan on it being that way. In fact, I had all sorts of plans for being productive and useful and "getting things done" that just didn't happen. First, I had left some flexibility in my schedule just in case I got to go to the  "ALL 80's ALL DAY Skate event at Quiksilver in Huntington Beach with Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi & more" courtesy of Rock Da Mullet. I thought Josh would want to go -- mom got clarification, Josh wants to go to skate events where he actually gets to skate some -- and the timing was all off. I guess that worked out, because, can you imagine me having a full-blown, out-of-the-blue anxiety attack at a skate event??? Me neither, and I don't want to!

I should have noticed that something was off because I was disoriented and tired all day long. I mean really tired and disoriented, but maybe that's why I didn't notice. It didn't help that I went to bed with a migraine and woke up with one too. I think I am grinding my teeth in my sleep again.

After walking the dogs and letting RockDaMullet know that I wasn't going to make it, I decided to hit the post office and get my mail situation cleared up. That didn't happen because even though I said I was going to do it about 11:30 AMpostoffice I didn't leave the house till after 1:00 PM. Part of that is because I had no motivation and got sucked into Into The Blue on TNT. And then Britney's "For The Record". Luckily I don't watch MTV that much so I was able to pull myself away finally.

So after getting a box at a local UPS store,I sent out a few emails from my phone (I really do feel naked without the thing these days, but I hardly ever make an actual phone call) .. where was I? Oh yeah, I sent out emails to a few people who had told me that mail had been returned with my new mailing address. Then I called Josh and he didn't want to go grocery shopping, so I went alone. I tried a new Albertson's, the one off 2nd street because I also wanted to hit Trader Joe's. I never did make it to Trader Joe's. After some awesome savings, I loaded up the car and proceeded to have a small mental break-down, also known as an anxiety attack.

Despite tweeting about it, yes, it was real. I can feel them coming on, but this one hit hard and fast. I sat in the parking lot for over an hour wanting to crawl into a ball. But my Fit is kinda small to do that, so I just sat, and cried, and tried to breathe, and tweeted to take my mind off things. I would really like to thank @amhurst, @tinatessina, and @thelaughingimp for talking to me during that episode. I think it went faster because I had immediate feedback that I wasn't alone.

Finally around 4 something I was able to start up the car and head home. We got the groceries put away and then I went and crawled into my blankets. I needed a cocoon. I spent the rest of the night in bed, watching TV and tweeting. Because you know, it doesn't take a whole lot mentally to tweet.

Remember my Scrabulous addiction?

December 5, 2008
Lexulous Login Page

It was replaced by Scrabble Beta on Facebook, but now I can play Scrabulous (excuse me Lexulous) all over again! They finally impleted and even ported over all of my email games. Now I just have to figure out how to nudge people to sign up and play again. Let the games begin!

(at least it's a safe addiction to have ...)
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GNO - Random Acts of Kindness

December 3, 2008

Your task for the week, should you choose to accept it, is to perform at least one random act of kindness. Now, generally I try to follow Matt 6:1-4

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

But Jyl and Carissa have an awesome idea for spreading some Holiday Cheer:

  • Identify and perform at least one random of act of kindness this week (December 2 through 9).
  • Post about the experience in written, picture, and/or video format(s).
  • Be creative! Keep it simple. Do something within your means and time. Include your friends and family.
  • Submit the post URL via e-mail to mommygossipgno AT gmail DOT com by Monday, December 9 at 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).

Full details can be found at Mommy-Gossip Cares.

So far, I have decided that my Random Act of Kindness is to not send Josh off to military school before the holidays. Other moms can relate and agree. I guess I will have to find something else to make a blog post out of though.

With love,


Yes, It was a Happy Thanksgiving

November 30, 2008

I wish I could post some pictures with this, but I only took some of the tiny Cornish game hens. I fit four into the roasting pan that we usually use for the turkey. Overall, it was a good, calm, quiet Thanksgiving. Totally out of character for me, but not in a bad way. AND I got to go Black Friday shopping with my mom, something we have never done before. Luckily we avoided being trampled or shot.

The Menu:

Cornish Game Hens
Candied Yams
Mashed Potatoes
Roast Vegetables (corn, red potatoes, fresh green beans, crookneck squash)
Wheat Rolls
Cranberry Sauce

No stuffing, but we had so many other starches we all agreed that stuffing was overkill. We ate late for thanksgiving, closer to 6 than 3, but in the meantime we watched Wall*E, the kids fought intermittently, I had a Mike's or two and settled into having a small Thanksgiving.

And even though I could never live in Lancaster, going to my mom's always restores my spirit a little.

So yes, Annette, it was a Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving?

November 26, 2008

I'm in an odd place today. I shouldn't be stressed, but I feel a little anxious. I'm down because this Thanksgiving, like last year's, is not what I envisioned. I guess it helps some that I didn't plan ANY vision for this year. That's a lie. I had envisioned a cozy dinner at my mom's place with my kids, my nieces, my sister, and a few displaced friends. Because I always find some extra people to feed during the holidays. It's what I was raised to do.

I was hoping that a good friend from Oregon would be able to make it down. He's been having a hard time and, well, misery loves company, right? Long story short, he can't make it. My sister made other plans, my nieces will be at their father's and all other family members are either in OR, Northern CA or NV and not traveling. I'm not even sure my dad celebrates Thanksgiving with his new family. We weren't invited last year and I haven't heard from him this year either.

This is the first year EVER that I  won't be cooking and prepping for a horde. I feel ... I don't know, but this saddens me. I really do mean ever. Even as a child I would help my grandmother the week of Thanksgiving making pies, cakes, rolls, the bird, the stuffing, the gravy, the vegetables, the whole kit and caboodle. Except the bird. My dad always did the bird. I finally had to learn how to cook something larger than a turkey leg about 5 years ago. Before that my brother usually did the bird and I did everything else. Family tradition, the men do the bird. Though that has changed. I now do the bird for my family. And my grandmother made a point to invite everyone in the church and neighborhood who didn't have family. I grew up in a family of 10 (extended family). So now imagine all of the adults inviting *at* least one other person. Though usually there were plenty of cousins, girlfriends, boyfriends, more extended family than you can count on fingers and toes. That's what I think about when someone says Thanksgiving. The love and joyfulness that comes from a house full of people who are thankful for each other (and the food on the table)! 

That's the other thing that saddens me this year. We aren't having a bird. In addition to the meager turnout (four people) the menu has changed too. No turkey. No sweet potato pie. No rolls. I don't know if I can cook for such a small turnout. I have never cooked anything smaller than a 22 lb bird. ok, a 15 lb bird.

I want to find the positive in all this, but I can't.

Thanskgiving Auction - GNO Style

November 17, 2008
Chenille Scarf
chenille scarf in wine
You are bidding on a chenille scarf made from Lion Brand Chenille Thick and Quick, available in 30 colors. The winning bidder will actually have their choice of color, this is just a sample.

Here is how the auction works:
Please leave a comment with:

  • your bid
  • name
  • and a way to contact you.

The bidding will end sometime on Wednesday 11/19 and the winning bid will be announced via Twitter.
You do NOT need a twitter account to qualify! You will be notified via email as well. The winning bidder will then need to pay directly to the paypal account set up on the GNO-cares page, in order to have the item shipped.


Also visit Mommygossip-GNO to see other items to bid on.

Opening bid is $15. Please bid in at least $1 increments.

tagged again! 7 things you probably don't care to know

Cheesepuppet over at grass|dirt|corn tagged me. She tweeted me, not sure if she's left a comment yet :)

Rules: Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I manage to get myself into all sorts of interesting predicaments. And if I didn't plan on running for President someday I would probably blog about them. Instead, a select few know about them because I can't seem to keep my mouth shut no matter what. Me? Keep a secret? Not about my life, that's for sure. I'm an open book, you just have to know the right questions.
  2. I actually like my job at Disney. It's the first job that I have enjoyed coming to.
  3. It's very frustrating, but I can't grow my hair past my shoulders. For 2 years I wore braids and my hair finally got to shoulder-length. I've been trying the last year to get it even healthier and grow longer but it's just not happening.
  4. I blog more now because of twitter, well, some of the people I have met on twitter
  5. I'm happiest when taking care of other people's kids.
  6. I want to be a professional photographer since it doesn't look like I am going to be able to do that doctor thing I had my heart set on.
  7. My memory seems to be getting worse each year. Though I believe it's a side-effect of the SSRI I was on. I'm hoping to get it back soon, I used to pride myself on my memory.

And now for the taggee's (is that a word?)

I better have something to read soon ladies!

Star Trek *SQUEEEEE!!!!*


I can't wait!! I am so stoked despite possible bad press since this is a prequel. But the last one left me wanting more. I will admit that I am more of TNG fan than the Original, Voyager , DS9, or Enterprise (though I am reminded that back in the day, on my very first personal web site, I had a prominent Star Trek badge. I was such a geek)


And that is your daily dose of geek from me. Keep your eyes out for more Star Trek trivia and fandom.

pain follow up

November 13, 2008

On Tuesday I had a chiro appt and a lot of my pain can be attributed to lousy sleep and sleeping positions, and sleep pressure, in this case, meaning the pressure that is applied to various parts of my body while I sleep.

My two most recent chiropractors have told me to stop side-sleeping, and I'm trying, really I am. But ever since I was a child I have always ended up side-sleeping. I consciously make the effort to fall asleep on my back, but I am so restless (probably due to the stress and what-not) that I can't stay still. I don't "knock out" like I used to (if I ever did).

So, I basically need a sleep positioner in adult size. Or a mattress that I can sink in to. I'm trying to convince my chiropractor to write me an Rx for a new mattress. the one I have isn't that great and the Memory Foam knock off mattress pad isn't thick enough. I am now contemplating a down baffle bed for support and comfort.


The good news is, I don't have fibro. I just sleep lousy. Going back tonight for another adjustment.

And now it's time for lunch with @bizzimommy

Sugar's Giveaway

Ok, so my photos won't fit in Sugar's comments, so I am posting my entry here.

The Rules:

Okay, so here's how we'll play this game. I'm going to give you a few tasks and questions to be answered. You will answer and display in the comments section. Easy enough, right? These are your scavenger hunt items:

1) A picture of you in the 90s when we were all first making out to singing Kissed By a Rose.

2) A Lego creation. It can be your own, one that your kid made, or one that you find on line. My engineer-in-training four year old will be much obliged if you can include directions and moving parts.

3) Your favorite song from the new Soul album. You can find the videos down there... down at the bottom of the blog... we're scrolling, we're scrolling, we're THERE! There it is! Which one do you just want to hear over and over?

That's it. Just those little items. You have until Sunday, November 16th to get those in. Not too long, so don't pull a Sugar and go procrastinating and not get your chance to win.

1) Ok, not the chola hair I promised, but this was one of my 90's hairstyles (more like Salt 'N' Pepa style):

Geekette hard at work

2) A Lego Creation:

Rainforest Cafe and Downtown Disney 024

3) and even though it's not playable in your widget, probably "If You Don't Know Me By Now" because that is one of my all time fave songs.

GNO Gives Back via FeedAmerica.Org

November 9, 2008

So every Tuesday I participate in GNO on Twitter. A few of my guy friends have finally realized that they cannot tear me away from tweeting furiously with other women, especially @sugarjones, @rogbark, @kitrona, and @jyl_mommygossip. This week's Topic is Thanksgiving. We'll be exchanging recipes, talking traditions, and giving back.

So even if you don't tweet think about donating to the Virtual Food Drive. Even $5 helps.

Take part in the GNO Gives Back fundraiser. You may donate from November 4-21. We will collect the donations and send one large amount to FeedingAmerica.org.

Chronic Pain

November 7, 2008

I am always in pain because it's a fact of my life now. I can deal with the dull, low throbbing. That I can ignore and get on with my life with generally no problem.

Then there are days when I hurt everywhere. I wake up in pain. Most often in my back, but lately my back, neck, shoulders, hips, and sometimes hands just HURT! And that much thoracic pain usually causes my IBS to act up. What a way to start the morning. Every morning. And Lord please, the days when my IBS acts up when I am commuting. THAT'S THE WORST, the most mortifyinghorribleembarrasing moments of my life, mainly because I think I have gotten off scott-free for the day. And then, BAM! make a run for the bathroom, the nearest bathroom, any bathroom.


A lot of my stress and high anxiety are caused by my chronic pain and vice versa. A never-ending cycle (not to be confused with the Never-Ending Story). My chronic pain could be a symptom of clinical depression, but I haven't been diagnosed as such. Besides, I smile too much. But the pain and effects of the pain cause me to stress about work, which then leads to anxiety, which then leads to tight muscles, back pain, and back to IBS, which causes me to stress out because of the time wasted waiting for my body to get back on track.

It's hard to get to work on time or do housework when you have trouble moving. It's hard on your liver when breakfast consists of ibuprofen and Aleve with a glass of milk, just so you can think past the fog the pain causes. And it's really hard on my kids who can't depend on me to move quickly or be out of the bathroom when they need me to be.

This week has been like that. And it's getting to the point where I can barely think even after taking 800mg of ibuprofen. Followed by 3 cups of coffee and lots of sugar, followed by a sugar crash to rival that of my kids the day after Halloween.

Repeat. That's been my week. And I'm over it. I want to be over this pain. It's not even chronic fatigue, at least that's what my doctor says. Just high anxiety and IBS. But I so want my body back. Pain-free please.

So glad I'm not the only one

November 4, 2008
Love @CoachDeb

Fall has arrived

November 2, 2008
Ok, so the official start of fall was Sept. 22 but in SoCal that's still summer. And up until a few days ago the weather was definitely NOT autumnal.
And it was hotter in the Valley where I work.
So today, it rained in the morning and stayed cloudy and cool all day long. My son made reference to how he missed Oregon and I was finally prompted to make potato soup. potatosoup
And so starts Autumn in the Holland household.
Josh couldn't wait to dig in.
Let me know if you want the recipe.
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  • 1 lb. potatoes cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup celery (about 2-3 stalks)
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (or 1/2 tsp. onion powder in a pinch)
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, about 10-12 slices (at least that's what I use) and/or sausage -- i use turkey bacon and sausage, already cooked and fit my one pot style of cooking.
  • 3Tbs all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In large pot melt butter and sauté celery, carrots, onion, sausage/bacon (if using turkey. otherwise prepare meat in a separate pan).
  2. Set aside in a bowl, sprinkle with flour.
  3. Fill pot with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.
  4. Add potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes or until soft.
  5. Add in milk and sauteed vegetables, mix until warm and thick.
  6. Serve and enjoy
I did this from memory. If it doesn't work for you let me know and I will find the appropriate times.

Friday Morning Drive

October 31, 2008
I just love the roll in the picture above. You get a good mix of dark and light, and it's all completely natural.

Yes, I sometimes take pictures when I drive. With my camera, not my cameraphone. I love things I can operate with one hand.

I also love clouds, and cloud formations. This is what L.A. (really Long Beach) looks like in Autumn when it is trying to decide if it will rain or not. Lovely clouds...
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Endless Possibilities

October 29, 2008

Simple Salmon

My sister has been asking for this recipe for 10 years. What's the big deal you ask? My sister doesn't eat fish. But after having this a few months before I moved to Oregon, she was hooked. I'd like to think it's the only fish she eats. It can't be that bad, right? My son at the time was 4 was has liked this recipe since he was 2.

DISCLAIMER: I am one of those cooks who after a while does things from memory and to taste. So there are no measurements in this one. I am also a huge fan of one pan cooking.


  • Salmon fillet (enough to feed you and yours)
  • Olive Oil or butter
  • carrots (baby to sprinkle around the salmon)
  • tomato (sliced)
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Lemon Pepper
  • 13x9 pan

Grease your pan with some of the butter or oil, heat the oven to 350°F. Place salmon in middle of pan. Spread a little butter/oil over the top, sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cover with tomato and onion. Place carrots around salmon. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until salmon is flaky.

Serve with rice.

Baked Salmon

Help Breast Cancer Awareness

October 28, 2008
One of the gals I follow on twitter, @ShannonNelson, has a week to raise $995 for Breast Cancer Awareness. You can donate on her site using the PayPal button. In her own words:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this month my focus is on raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Fund through the Total Beauty-Total Cure campaign. I’ve now included a Paypal button in my sidebar where you can make a direct donation into the Total Cure pool that in the first week of November will be compiled and sent to BCRF.

I would truly love to raise $1000 this month. I plan to do this between auctioning off some awesome beauty products and asking you, my readers, for donations. Even if you can only give $1, it is $1 closer to a cure. If you know someone who has been touched by breast cancer–you know that no amount is too small to contribute to the cause. Of course, I also plan to make a donation as well.

So donate $1. It truly will help.

What are Six Little Known Things About You?

October 27, 2008

I've been tagged by Sugar over at Living - In Theory
so I guess I will fill y'all in on six things that you never knew and probably never wanted to know.

  1. I used to hate country music, but now I like it. A lot. Ok, not all country. Rascal Flatts, I <3 them. And when I am feeling goofy or needing a pick me up, Big and Rich. I love their philosophy of MuzikMafia. And one of my girlfriends introduced me to Gretchen Wilson. I <3 her too. So, a girl from the ghetto gets down to country. Go figure.
  2. In person, I'm naturally quiet, subdued, and introverted. A lot of my RL friends are, shall we say, overwhelmed by how much output I have online considering I let other people carry the conversation in person. Go figure.
  3. I really do know how to clean house. No, really, I do. Quit laughing. In fact, I am so good that for a couple of terms in college I was a housekeeper for this little old lady out in Imperial Beach. But I'm not sure what's happened the last few years. I have noticed that the more depressed I get the worse my house looks. I guess I've been depressed lately. I have Flylady C.H.A.O.S. But I'll get it clean again someday.
  4. Smart-aleck that I am, I don't have my college degree. Been working 14 years on getting it. Will probably be another 14 before I do get it.
  5. I'm addicted to chocolate ... oh wait, you already knew that. How about that I'm allergic to pork. I thought it was just intolerance since I was raised S.D.A but it turns out my dad is allergic and my kids are showing a sensitivity to it too. You really shouldn't eat meat from an animal that doesn't have functional sweat glands.
  6. I love to dance. I haven't been able to go out and do it since my grandmother died (that's a whole 'nother story) and dancing at home seems to embarrass the bejeebus out of my son. Not to mention in the car. Yeah, I dance a lot in the car. Especially on my commute home from NoHo. I make sure my alignment is always correct so that I *can* dance in the car. More than just bopping my head, my whole upper body is involved and depending on traffic conditions, yes my hands come off the wheel. So, the next time you see someone just groovin' her heart out in her Honda Fit it might just be me.

And now I tag Jes, Daphne, Douglas, Jyl, Thea, and Kitrona

AAA to the Rescue - Again

October 23, 2008
Here are the dogs waiting patiently with me as I wait for AAA, again.


A little over a month ago I had to call AAA to come unlock my car. Last night was a little more dramatic. I thought I was being a good doggie mommy when I got home and it was about 90 degrees in the house. HOT! I changed as quickly as possible into a T-shirt, board shorts and Teva's (love my Teva's, but that's another story), grabbed leashes and away we went. The dogs get so excited when I grab the leashes. And even more so when I told them to go to the car instead of "Front" (front means you have to pee and poop out front and just get a walk. Car means "Yay! We're going somewhere and get to SMELL things!")

So, we head out to the beach. I chose the board shorts because they have a pocket I can keep my keys and phone in. Apparently about 5 minutes in, or sometime after I locked my car (this time I clearly remember having keys in hand!) my keys fell out into the soft sand from a hole in my pocket. I never realized because my phone was still in my pocket. Not that you can hear a whole bunch over the crashing of waves and such.

We enjoyed a good walk between the two life-guard stations that mark the boundaries of Dog Beach. I walked them back and forth four times, Zoe romping into the water and trying to get Buddy to chase her. It wasn't happening. My old man was fine just walking with me and wandering over to people silly enough to be on the beach at that late hour (BTW, I don't care how secluded you think it is, trying to make it on a lifeguard tower is stupid. People can still see you. You're better off using a blanket in the sand).

Where was I? Oh yes, it was calming and mind-relaxing for me, which I needed, and the hyper-psycho dogs became calm and well-behaved once again. I even got Zoe to stand under the shower (boy was that water cold!) and rinse off. We walked some more so I could get her a little more dry and then headed to the car. I reached into my pocket and ...

NO KEYS! Now I keep my keys on a carbiner and hoped on the off chance ... nope, not on my waist since board shorts don't have belt loops. And then I felt the hole. The hole that my phone had not managed to fall out of, but my keys did. I think I would have been less upset if I had lost my phone. I have insurance on it. The phone is replaceable. My keys, not so much so.

A little panic and self-pity set in. Ok, a lot. I cried from the stress and the patheticness of the situation, I tweeted for help (hey, it worked for that one guy). I would have called, but it was close to 10 and I had no idea who was still up. I tried using my phone as a flashlight and retracing my steps. That didn't work either. I finally called AAA. It took them almost an hour to get there and get me home, but I made it home safe and sound. And no longer centered.

On the bright side, I'm glad I had a spare car and house key at home. Now I just have to get replacements for everything else that was on my keychain.

Let the phone calls begin!

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dogs waiting patiently with me

Posted by ShoZu

GNO Follow up Blog on Traveling

October 22, 2008
Ok, so I'm going to be lame and just link some of my more interesting travel posts here :) You can also search for more stories.
  1. Roadtrip with Jes. Phase 1 this was a roadtrip with a girlfriend, her three kids, and not the best planning :) The photos from the trip can be seen on photobucket. We got some truly amazing sunrise photos coming up through the Grapevine. Oh yeah, the trip was from Portland to SoCal and a week later we did the return trip
  2. Photo Friday - ok, not really a blog post, but the topic was travel. This was taken on a roadtrip to Las Vegas with 2 kids. 
  3. SoCal to Grand Junction
  4. Last year's trip to Vegas

And this little exercise has made me realize that though I love to blog, and I love to travel, I haven't blogged much about travelling!! Either that or I need to go back and really do my labels.

But if you want to take a look at the photos of all the places I have been recently:

Thanks for reading. 

I think this one was pithy

October 20, 2008

Ok, this is a bit narcissistic, but for off the cuff, pretty darn good. Especially considering the reply.


full moon over L.A.

October 14, 2008

Posted by ShoZu

The Pitcher's Pendant

October 7, 2008
by Tee Morris

Love mystery? Fantasy? Film noir? How about Philip Marlowe or David Eddings? If you can say yes to any of these questions, run, don't walk, to get a copy of The Case of the Pitcher's Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. It's the perfect mix of all the above.

Tee Morris flows in his use of metaphor and imagery of the 1920's. If you have listened to the podcast of The Case of the Singing Sword you can almost hear Tee narrating his latest Billibub offering.

Enjoy the mix of baseball and fantasy metaphors that flow together seamlessly.

Billi's character development, as well as that of the supporting cast is credible. No need to suspend (much) belief when reading. I could go on, but I'm afraid of giving out spoilers.

If you don't mind mixing your genres, this is an enchanting and entertaining read.

Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Stop sending mail you later regret

Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Stop sending mail you later regret
Too funny. And it's not even an April Fool's thing.

how i spent my friday night

October 4, 2008

Posted by ShoZu

miss america bus. 8th & termino

October 2, 2008

Posted by ShoZu


September 27, 2008

Posted by ShoZu

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