Tuesday, December 23, 2003

In the grand scale of the cosmos I'm not really sure what this means... but I feel that it's worth mentioning.

Last night my Dad (who passed away in 1996) came to me in a dream. He wanted to let me know that I should check all items in my house with an expiration date and make sure I throw away anything that had expired. He pulled out some old make-up and showed me that I shouldn't use it because it "went bad" in May. He then proceeded to open it, smell it, and throw it away.

I think we can all take a little something away from this. I tend to think that my Dad must be fairly serious about this, because he also came to me in a dream about a year ago to ask me if I had theft insurance on my car. Two weeks later my car was stolen. So heed the warning of this dream if you wish; perhaps it was advice meant only for me, but I figured, what the heck, it's the holiday season and I should share this wealth of knowledge.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Christmas time is always a little hectic, when I try to finish up those final details at the last minute everything else in my life seems to fall to pieces. I can't return phone calls, there's a mountain of clothes on the floor near the bed and periodicals just pile up. Last night I hit a breaking point. Too much to do and tired, Alex and I decided to go to the McDonald's drive through on our way home. I try not to eat there, but sometimes I just have to give in. I think the last time I had McDonald's food was in the summer of 2001, so I can sort of forgive myself. I also figured that they finally started putting chicken... I mean, white meat..... in the McNuggets, so I figured I would give it a go. We got to the drive through and realized we had 8 bucks, plenty. We got a #5 (all new white meat Nuggets), super sized (to share the drink and the fries) and a double cheeseburger.

The following are the things that astounded me as we ordered: A double cheeseburger is a dollar. You can get your meal regular, large or super sized. There are 3 kinds of chicken sandwiches to choose from.

We waited a while and finally got to the window where the guy told us we owed 4 dollars and some change. Hey, wait, that's too cheap. What did he think we ordered? A number 5 and 2 apple pies. That's when I realized that "super size" kind of sounds like "apple pies". Alex told him what we were supposed to be having and the guy says "Sorry, we're out of apple pies." A mediator steps in and starts yelling at window guy accusing him of deleting the order, he takes out a sheet of paper and taps it a lot while telling him "this is what this car was supposed to have", blah, blah, blah. Mediator man was actually pretty firm with window guy and told him to do a better job and pay more attention. Window guy apologized to mediator man (but between you and me, it didn't sound very sincere). Window guy took our money (6 and some change) proceeded to fill the bag and hand it over.

Here's what blew me away when we got our food: the size of a super sized drink. It's not a cup, it's a bucket. I can't even begin to imagine drinking that much of anything at one sitting. I don't even know why they make cups so big.

Then, I believe in an act of defiance, window guy gave us 2 sauces for the McNuggets. The sign on the window clearly states that you only get 1 sauce with a 6 pc. McNugget. That's when I knew that window guy was not really sorry for not paying more attention.

When we got home we unpacked the bag and there at the bottom was an apple pie.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I can't remember when I last went to a Toys R Us (I just hate giving my money to a big crappy toy store like that...), and if I had remembered how visually assaulting it was I probably would have not set foot in one again. I felt like I was dizzy from the moment the doors closed behind me, but I was on a mission to find the Ocean Wonders Fishbowl and I had come to far to stop now. The two sets of drums being used by toddlers at the doorway forced me into the store quickly. To escape the noise I noticed I could either go into the depths of the store or to the exit, which you can only get to by going through the depths of the store and back again. I didn't see anyone who seemed to be on staff (except the cashiers near the drums), so I was on my own. I looked up to see if there were signs above the aisles and that's when I realized there really weren't any aisles in this store, it's kind of broken up into sections, and it took me a while to catch on. I finally figured out the following: the pinker it got I was in a section of toys intended to be used by girls. If things started to talk to me and ask me to press them I was in the pre-school section. And if things had wheels and made loud noises I was in the toys intended for boys section. All I wanted was the fishbowl, there was no fishbowl section. After walking around in a giant circle for about 20 minutes I found the clothes and bottles and thought "if this stuff is for little bitty babies maybe the little bitty baby toys would be here too" and lo and behold there was an aisle, yes an actual aisle, of Fisher Price toys for kids 6 months to 2 years. Ahhhh. And the Fishbowl. There it is was. I did have to wait in line by the drums, but once I found what I wanted the drums and the kids banging them didn't seem that bad. However, the pink section will always remain bad.

Friday, December 05, 2003

by the way... I got the pie recipe from a cookbook, thinking it was all exclusive and fancy pants. But much like everything else, you can find it on the internet. Here's the recipe. Don't look at it if you ate the pie, because you'll never want to eat it again.
I ended up making three of those chocolate peanut butter pies... they were a hit, and somehow they got renamed "crack pie". We even took one down to LA with us, and because of Alex's handy work with a cooler, that pie stayed firm and in once piece overnight and through 8 hours of driving down the 5.
We drove halfway down to LA on Wednesday night and stayed in a hotel pretty close to Harris Ranch. Seemed like a good idea in theory, but if you've ever driven between LA and the Bay Area you know how bad that ranch can smell. If you haven't driven past there just picture miles and miles of cows all bunched up together in a mound of filth, there, now you've got it. I never knew it was possible for an entire town to smell like that or that town would be able to survive so close to such a huge number of cattle. We didn't realize we were surrounded by stench until we got into the center of Hanford and tried to find the hotel. Alex was driving and I was navigating, a disaster indeed. I got us all over the place except to the hotel. We agreed that we should switch it up and I would drive while Alex (not directionally challenged, like myself) read the map. At this point we opened our doors and I had to look around because I thought I was standing right next to a port-a-potty. It was bad. Possibly the worst smell I could imagine for such a cute little town. I figured it was just that street, must be something bad with the sewers... but then we got the hotel. different street, same smell. The room kept us pretty safe from the odor, but by morning I was pretty aware that cows outnumbered humans in this county and I was ready to go. We had a pretty pleasant drive the rest of the way and spent a nice Thanksgiving with Beret, Rob and little Jack.
On Friday we took Jack on his first Merry-Go-Round ride, his expression was a combination of confusion and terror, but never once did he cry. He's one tough cookie, and that's part of the reason we love him so much. We also had some fun in the playground (a very cool Universally Accessible Play Environment) there, which I had never been to before. It was crowded, but I thought it was really cool to see all sorts of families together... except for the parents on the cell phones, that was kind of sad to watch. Besides taking Jack to the park we relaxed a lot and ate too much. We headed back up to the Bay Area on Saturday and avoided some of the holiday traffic. I must admit that since I spend an average of 15 hours a week in the car (since I started working in San Mateo) I was feeling pretty irritated by 6pm on Saturday night. We made it home safe and sound and are currently suffering from massive head colds. I'm not sure if we're quite ready for further holiday festivities. Good thing we have 19 more days to recover.