Monday, November 29, 2004

laundry room haiku

sticky things and food
should not be inside a vat
meant to clean my clothes

Thursday, November 25, 2004

happy birthday, Matt!

Since you're only 2 years old today you are probably having some trouble reading this, but I'm sure your Mommy will help you out.
I hope you know that even though you are little, you have a very huge place in my heart.

happy birthday, Beret!

It's an honor to be welcome in your brand new home for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

now I'm one of those people

The other day out of sheer desperation for some nugget of hope that something good was going to happen to me, I read my horoscope. Now I can't stop. I read it everyday, not just the one in the paper, but also the one on Yahoo. Sometimes I even read the one for the next day, too.

The plus side to this new unhealthy addiction is that I don't read all the comics anymore, I'm able to ignore the lame ones. There's no time for Beetle Bailey when excellent insight into my future is on the very same page!

Monday, November 22, 2004

stop the room, I want to get off

Okay, so when I said that Meniere's Disease wasn't as bad as it sounded I didn't know how bad it actually was. I spent many hours this weekend flat on my back, staring at light fixtures trying to regain some sense of non-movement. I also got some drugs to help me out, which actually just make me feel like someone blew a bunch of helium in my head and then put a powerful spell on me, forbidding me to hold up my own head or move my lips. I know I should probably enjoy these drugs and just relax and zone out for awhile, but I really hate the idea of not having control of my own body.

I had a nice big pity party for myself all day on Sunday. All of my guests were via phone, except for Alex. First I invited my friend Lisa, who was a great guest when it came to making me feel justified for wallowing in my own self pity. Then Rachel called, because we were supposed to knit together yesterday. Unfortunately she caught me at the height of my Meclizine induced haze, but I recall the conversation as a nice one. My Mom also called during the party, unaware of the festivities going on, and I could tell she didn't stay long once I started bawling about how scared I was. It was as if she kept looking around the room to pick up any stray cups or make sure the punch bowl was still full. Alex was my favorite party person, even though he had a lot of studying to do, he would come out of his cave periodically to check up on me. He made sure I was comfortable, then he would cock his head to one side, make a super sad face and ask me if I needed anything.

I'm not saying that the pity party was all fun, and I don't want to have another one anytime soon, but I really needed it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

at least I have two

I went to the ENT today to find out once and for all what is going on with my right ear. My right ear... so crucial for phone calls, hearing passengers while driving, listening to music on headphones and all sorts of other fun hear-y kind of things, including balance. It turns out that I do have partial hearing loss in my right ear and no one knows why it happened or how to fix it.

Dr. Li, who had the cutest little earring in his left ear lobe, was very kind and thorough when explaining what may have possibly caused this dizziness and hearing loss. I'm either looking at a something viral that happened to my inner ear and did some damage (maybe permanent, maybe not) or I could have Meniere's disease. And even though Meniere's disease isn't as bad as it sounds, it was really odd to hear (with my left ear) that I may have a disease and then get in my car and drive to work like any other day.

Why didn't anyone warn me that my body would start giving me trouble when I got into my 30s? I totally would have requested a different model.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

happy birthday, Keith!

you sure do work some magic with crap from Home Depot

got to believe it's getting better

I hardly ever do this, but I thought today might be a good day to check out my horoscope:
The turmoil and drama of recent events will fade, and your life will suddenly be grounded, stable and secure. There. Now take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and allow yourself to enjoy what you've accomplished.

I hardly ever do this either, but I decided that today would be a good day to treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice latte (everyone has been saying that I just have to try one) at Starbucks. So I ordered the smallest size and the barista then informed me that I should just get a venti because it's the same price no matter what size I get. Yeeee haaaa. I'm all hopped up now on spices and such. (To tell you the truth the Pumpkin Spice latte is not that great, I give it a C-, but this could be because I opted out of the whipped cream.)

But don't worry about me getting too giddy, I figure if I get my hopes up too high I can just take a gander at this:

You may notice that screw just sticking out of the bottom there. That would be where the other half of the bumper would go.

Monday, November 15, 2004

dude, why my car?

You may know that not too long ago I was involved in a rear end collision. I will add at this point that I was only joking about that whole neck brace for a Red Sox victory thing. I will also add that the World Series is over and the Red Sox won.

The damage to the car from the accident on that fateful day wasn't so bad, but it was definitely a pain in the ass to deal with insurance, have numerous calls with adjusters, take the car in, wait for it to get fixed, blah, blah, blah. But luckily last Friday we got the Matrix back, with a spankin new bumper, all shiny and new. I even got some new stickers in the mail last week from Positive Negative for my magnificent new bumper. Alas, it was not meant to be.

I carpooled in with Greg today, because my bum ear makes driving a little rough. But as the day wore on I realized that I was feeling pretty wonky and probably wouldn't be able to last the required work hours, let alone the gym. (And Greg's simply had to go to the gym, Urban Challenge is this weekend!) So I gave Alex a call and asked if he would drive all the way out to San Mateo to pick up a dizzy lady like myself. Being the fantastic husband that he is, he arrived promptly at 5:35. With a hatchback full of groceries we headed back to the East Bay and on our way Alex told me about an accident which happened earlier on the bridge, how the sunset made the bay look extraordinary on his way over and that we would have macaroni and cheese for dinner. All of a sudden the conversation came to a complete stop, just like the traffic. I noticed more than one car slam on their breaks. Alex followed suit, and I have to admit I did the patented pessimistic double handle grab I learned from my Mom. As we finally rested safely behind the car before us and I began to release my white knuckled grip on the oh shit handle, I noticed Alex looking in the rear view mirror. I sensed his fear and then realized it was all over. The new bumper, gone. About a half mile from where I lost the last one.


We got out of the car to look at the very badly damaged front end of the Lincoln Towncar behind us. I was pretty nice to the last guy who smashed up my car, but this dude never had a chance. Before I even turned around to see what kind of car it was or who was driving it I was already slamming my door and muttering the word fuckface. When I finally did look at him I saw that he was a chauffeur who had some passengers in the back; a nervous looking woman, a man with tinted glasses and a dog. The man in the back seat was holding what looked like a prize winning dog and the woman was gathering up a dog bed and trying to reestablish passenger safety. After I checked out my ruined bumper for the second time in less than a month, I diligently wrote down all our insurance information (most of it now memorized) on one handy sheet of paper. In return the chauffeur grabbed about 7 years worth of paperwork out of his glove box and said "here" as he handed it to Alex. This wad of papers resulted in the three of us standing near the concrete barriers on the freeway, in front of fuckface's car, which he didn't even bother to pull all the way into the breakdown lane, trying to find insurance information by the light of the Lincoln's dismembered headlight. This proved to be more difficult than I had imagined because the chauffeur didn't speak English very well and kept pulling out the registration for the car. Alex and I also asked to see his driver license numerous times, but he never produced one, he just kept pointing at the name on the papers. Then the chauffeur answered his phone and wanted Alex to talk to the livery boss who was currently on the line. He handed his phone to Alex, without unplugging the earpiece, and Alex USED it. (I think that might have been the most scarring part of the entire experience for both of us.) It turned out that livery boss was pretty serious about not going through his insurance. He said we should call him later and he'll take care of everything. The most educational part of this phone call was the part where Alex and I noticed that the livery boss and the chauffeur had the exact same name. The jig was up. I asked the driver to spell his name for me. He was clearly irritated and quickly shouted out a bunch of letters in my face, then he said sorry as he gestured to what used to be our bumper, got into his car with the prize winning dog and drove away.

Alex and I finally made it home, an hour and a half after he came to pick me up. I did some Google searches on the limo company and the insurance information they gave us while Alex called the shady livery boss, who said he has a great auto body shop that will do whatever we want. Alex promptly hung up and placed the claim with our insurance company.

The interesting part about this whole car being marred or stolen crap we keep going through is the pattern Alex noticed tonight: First the Saturn was stolen when I was alone, the next time we were together. Then I get rear ended in the Matrix alone, then Alex and I get rear ended together. Both times the car was stolen it was near a Barnes and Noble. Both rear end collisions happened on the same stretch of road. These incidents happened during even numbered years. What does it mean?

Alright, I admit that isn't really interesting, and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't mean anything. But at this point I'm going to pretend it means something, because otherwise I'm just unlucky, and that's too much of a burden for me to bear. At least I'm not in it alone... I insist on dragging Alex down with me.

Friday, November 12, 2004


I've taken my hearing for granted for the past 33 years. Now that I can barely hear anything (except an annoying hum) in my right ear I realize how awesome it was to be able to hear with both ears. I knew I was in trouble yesterday when Greg and I drove into work together and I out of my mouth flew the sad words, "Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you, you're on the side with my bad ear". Needless to say, today I'm feeling a little decrepit.

I've been to my doctor twice about this and he's referring me to someone else, finally. This comes as a great relief to me; last week I was stunned when he looked in my ear and said it looked great and then told me to take a Sudafed and "see what happens". What really got me was when he tried to comfort me by saying "Hey, at least you got two ears, right? Just use the good one for phone calls".

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

"we've never experienced anything this awful in our lifetime"

That's a direct quote from Alex as he flipped through the Big Toy Book from Toys R Us. If you got a paper this Sunday you, too, may have seen the sorrow of marketing at it's worst. I'm not sure why we started looking at it in the first place. Maybe it was the post election haze or the fact that we were eating bagels and bacon for breakfast, but now that I have lived the horror of the Big Toy Book, I think the only way to decrease the harm done to my psyche is to share my misery with others.

The circular itself is rather harmless, it's a bunch of good looking kids playing with loads of toys. The toys themselves are what actually hurt my soul. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Burgermeister Meisterburger, I think all kids should have toys. I want kids to have oodles of toys to play with until they burst with glee. But sadly I know that many of these toys are about creating customer loyalty with toddlers before they are even toilet trained. To see it all in one sitting was too much for me. I didn't even have a chance to finish my coffee before the whole concept made me feel weary.

Take, for instance, this food cart. Nothing says playtime like pretending to slap a burger in a microwave and then serve it to a disgruntled customer through a fake drive through window. If that doesn't bring you enough joy or education you can always learn the fine art of cuisine by making a McFlurry. I can't get too upset though, because there's Ronald McDonald right there on the side of the cart, and he's smiling... AT ME!

If you aren't looking to point your kids towards the fast food industry you may want to consider the fast track to home improvement with this handy tool kit. That's right, it's not just any tool kit, it's from the Depot. The Home Depot. Man, you don't just get the orange tape measure and assorted other orange tools, you get an apron and a hat. An apron and a hat?! Oh yeah! Complete with the Depot logo and the thumbs up fix it dude. Sweet.

It's never too early for kids to learn the value of natural resources and preserving the environment, so be sure to pick up your Little Tikes H2. I don't know what they were thinking, putting two children in the car for the picture, because I think we all know that a Hummer is at it's best with only one person in it. If you decide that the BIGGEST battery-operated Hummer anywhere isn't the right choice, maybe you should just go for the City Slammin' Silverado. ahh, Chevy, like a rock, indeed.

Perhaps you know a little runt who is scientifically inclined. How about the CSI Facial Reconstruction Kit? It's America's favorite show bringing skulls into our very own living rooms, you can't say no to that! Now while Ma and Pa tune in on Thursday night to watch the investigators find a victim of a brutal crime beaten beyond recognition, junior can sit happily by their side and reconstruct the victim's face. Maybe you think this gift is kind of morose, but don't worry, because you can get this kit with either blue or brown eyes, for that personal touch.

Ladies, I know you love to SHOP! Get your gals trained early with Mall Madness. If I get started on this one I don't think I'll be able to stop, so why don't I just let you read about it for yourselves:
This is a, like, totally cool update to the original Milton Bradley Mall Madness game. Its time to shop til you drop! Grab your cash and your shopping list and get ready to race from store to store. You'll buy everything from hair dye and glitter make-up to cell phones and MP3 players. The electronic console will announce sales and clearance specials, and you'll race up and down the escalators and all around the mall to buy up the merchandise. But as we all know, not every shopping trip goes smoothly. Sometimes the item you want is out of stock, or you need to go to the ATM to take out more cash. Yes friends, surviving a day at the shopping mall is not for the weak. So grab a smoothie at the food court and remember this battle cry from the 80s: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!

The folks at Amazon add this golden nugget:
For detractors, Mall Madness may teach and encourage over-consumption, indebtedness, and a focus on material culture at an early age (9 and up). But for those who care more about pretty ponchos than prickly politics, the game offers the same guilty pleasure that comes from excessive shopping in reality!

Oh, Big Toy Book, with Christmas right around the corner the possibilities are plentiful!

I can't let this all go without mentioning how distraught I am to have just realized that I was logged in as myself while on Amazon/Toys R Us to find the links to these fine toys. Now the secret and amazing powers of Amazon have records of all the shitty toys I looked at. I'm sure that next week my plog will be loaded with all sorts of helpful suggestions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

all I want for Christmas

is to see this movie.

okay, that's not true, I also would like to unwrap some stuff.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

still feeling blue about the re-election?

I know I am, but I find comfort where I can. Here are a few links that may cheer you up:

The Cap'n carves a pumpkin.
The Thighmaster tries to accentuate the positive.
Check out Ed Helms report on Bush's Plan.
Bushspeak; not really sure if it's more sad than funny, but let's go with funny for today.

And if all that fails to make you smile and you want to desperately attempt to understand what America's lamer half is thinking, you can always read the moronic blog of some asshat Bush supporters.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

retail therapy

Tonight I went on a fun little shopping trip with Julianne where we made visits to the Macy's and Nordstrom in Walnut Creek. For almost three whole hours I didn't think about the election. As a consumer I was momentarily able to escape the frustration that four more years of douchebaggery will bring.

When I got home and I had packages waiting for me from my mom and Lisa and Ben. Being showered with unexpected gifts made it seem like nothing bad had ever happened. See, when I get gifts for me and about me I don't have to think about the rest of the country, because now I have stuff.

I then transcended into a state of nirvana when I ate the Reeses Peanut Butter cup I stashed away on Halloween.

Candy. Is there anything it can't do?

Monday, November 01, 2004


Yesterday, being Halloween and all, seemed like an appropriate time to do our second annual Haunted House in the Village. (Not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan's pile of garbage known as The Village.)
I can't say it was as much as a success as last year's fright fest; we were short on volunteers, had an injury on cement, an 8 year old threatened to sue us and I personally received multiple requests for "better candy". But we all had a good time and lost our voices.
Here's a picture of this year's crew looking especially excited about Halloween

The set up didn't take too long, mostly because we could still see the marks and holes from last year's staples and hooks. I'm sure we'll lose some sort of housing deposit from all this, but isn't making a few kids scream and/or cry on Halloween worth doing some damage to walls and ceilings?
Keith (who drove all the way up from LA) and Alex moved all the furniture while I took a shower (bonus!) and then they busted out some serious staple gun action and had the tarps up in no time.

The rigged bats, spiders and skull looked right at home by 2:00 and by 4:00 we were all able to kick back on the cobwebby back porch with a beer.
We had a visit from our littlest trick-or-treater, Ernie the Egg (along with his mom Molly the Toast and friend Julianne the Canadian bacon) at 4:30. I wish that I had pictures of that little Egg, because he sure was cute... and never threatened to sue us. He was so brave he even walked through the house, with Molly behind him of course, when it looked like this

with a soundtrack of screaming women and squealing pigs playing in the background. One thing Ernie the Egg was not very fond of were gloves which looked like skeleton hands.

Around 6:30 business picked up, I think we really got into the swing of things as the fourth group came through.
R.M. was our official greeter again. He helped us out by giving us fair warning of what was coming our way by shouting things like "Welcome, very little one!" or "Enter, disillusioned teens!"
Keith and Greg were stationed in the living room; Greg worked the long side of the room all by himself and if I didn't know any better I would have sworn there were three people behind that tarp. Here are three actual people behind the tarps. I promise it looked much more frightening without the flash.

Sean was in the closet... really, for scaring purposes! And Alex worked all sorts of magic in the kitchen, even though he couldn't see out of his mask.

I got to hand out candy and gawk at people as they would walk through and then trip as I would tell them to watch their step.

Highlights of the evening for me included the girl in the potato costume which couldn't fit through the back door, the father and son who had to leave because the kid got so scared when he saw his dad flinch, giving kids who came through more than once those crappy little flavored Tootsie Rolls, the very timid boy who was dressed as Harry Potter and was forced by his mother to come back to thank me for candy, and I'll never forget the kid who came through swinging his candy filled pillow case repeatedly screaming "you ain't gonna git me, suckas!"

We closed up shop at 8:30 and had the apartment looking decent around 9:00.

Then we ate a bunch of pizza and left over candy while watching old Simpson's Halloween episodes.

I don't know if this is the sugar-high crash talking or if I'm just getting old, but this entertaining kids business takes a lot out of me. I think next year I'm just going to put a bowl of candy outside and shout "ONLY ONE PIECE!" from the window while I watch Wife Swap.