Thursday, December 21, 2006


I take it all back...all of it! Remember when I praised the United States Postal System? Well it's all a lie. I checked online and I checked in person and I asked random people and I got registered mail and everything and did the package arrive on time? No. It did not. 8-10 days was the promise. That was 18 days ago people...Grrrr. So now there is a box with macaroni and cheese, American baby diapers and LipSmackers floating around somewhere between The Jungle and Brazil. Will there be anyone to accept the package at the house? No. Will it be returned to me? Probably not. I hope the Portugese like A-1 sauce!!!!
Well that was a depressing post so here's a happy P.S.
I neglected to include a picture of me IN the USC Santa hat, so here you go. These are two of my five cats and they did not want to sit for the entire picture session. This was the sixth or seventh shot we tried so if they look like they are trying to escape...they are! Mikey is in my right arm and Train Wreck in in my left.

This is me trying not to be annoyed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Something in the water (Weird#4)

Again with the weird dreams.
Last night I was in my elementary school library. Except this was for a community college. There were lots of flyers and announcements about dances and dating games and "get toegthers." Tarzan moved the ENTIRE orchestra from the room across the hall into the librarian's office one instrument at a time - just wandered on through the library with a tuba or kettle drum... I was just watching (again - I wonder what that means?) and then there was another announcement listing the adjacent states boys were "allowed" to take girls homes to. Montana, Michigan, Illinois and Larger Turtle something. Strange. So strange.

This is me, strange.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Picture This (#2) - Anniversary #6

At long last - the pictures from the trip we took last month for our sixth anniversary are posted! (Most people would go on a trip for the 5th or 10th but last year Tarzan's bachelor uncle got married and it was a HUGE event! Relatives we hadn't even met before came out for this thing.) But that was last year and this was this year. So we flew to Swampland and picked out our rental car:
Say what you will about the PT Cruiser this was the first convertible we had driven more than once and it was glorious! We spent two days in one city playing around at the Flamingo Gardens (I forgot the camera - duh) and sleeping a lot ;) Then we caught the Carnival Cruise Ship: Fascination:
From the Port we sailed to Tiny Island, Swampland (not that long of a trip true, but not a place we were likely to drive too - have you seen those causeways?) No, that is not my photo. Fooled you huh? Those boat people take a lot of pictures though - every time we left the cabin there were flashes going off. This was as we disembarked the first day:

This is Tarzan in the Blond Giraffe where we ordered fresh key lime pie and ice cream. Mmm, yummy!:We also took a glass bottomed boat tour - me on the way out into the Gulf:

Us on the way back in - tres windblown:Then it was all aboard for Playa del Carmen, Mexico:There were many options for shore excursions, but we chose to tour the Mayan ruins of Tulum. On our way to the gate of the city we saw these guys climbing up a pole. Apparently they sit up there until their compatriot on the ground collects enough money and then they jump off. It's like spiral bungee jumping. They didn't jump while we were watching though: Once inside, there were iguanas everywhere and they were huge!:This is the main temple - at the solstices the sun comes through the opening in the building in the rear and shines directly in the "back door" of the temple - special times for sacrifices and all that:Tulum is special in that it is the only Mayan city built on the ocean. The threat of hurricanes kept all the others inland. It made Tulum one of the easiest cities to defend and is partially why it's in such good condition still. This is us standing in the Atlantic Ocean. (We haven't mastered the art of self photography obvi.) : A really nice French family were visiting also and in exchange for us taking a picture of them together the dad took one of us:Then it was on board for the cruise back to Swampland. So relaxing....I could get very used to having someone make up my room twice a day. When we go to breakfast they make up the bed and when we went to dinner they'd turn down the covers, give us chocolates and make towel animals. It seems we were greatly amused by the towel animals as there are as many pictures of them as there are of us. I give you Tarzan:This is probably the best picture of me from the whole trip (I am NOT photogenic as you can tell from all the other pictures) after laying out by the pool all day: And Tarzan again before we go to the Captain's cocktail party:More flash-flash, this is one of the seven (yes 7!) they took in a single night:

Back on shore we stayed one night in another city, saw the Arabian Nights show - cheesey story line but it was all about the horses anyway and they were very pretty. Again with the cameras:This is the best picture of the arena, and the animal handlers were really impressive:We had a really good time! Despite teasing beforehand the office only called once. The Mayan ruins were awesome, I have like 50 pictures from all angles that I didn't post here, and I can now say I've been out of the country!

This is me and Tarzan crusin'.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend update

So you see, all the worry was for nothing. Except...that if I hadn't obsessed and worried maybe the Christmas party wouldn't have been so good...perhaps my neurosises (what is the plural of neurosis?) are all for a purpose in the end. As you may have guessed, the church party was a success. Plenty of food (thank you!), people came (also very necessary), no one got bored, the teenagers were great in their Nativity performance, the younger kids behaved. (I've noticed that it isn't usually the child that is the 'problem'.) and there were some faboo creations at the gingerbread house table. So glad it's over though... and then on Sunday they called someone else to be the Activities Chairperson. That was a welcome surprise.
Now all that's left to do (other than finishing personal shopping and cards and baking and all that) is the program next Sunday on Christmas Eve and then a week off! Yay! Rocketgirl comes in on Friday! Double yay!!
My sister and her husband arrived from London Friday night and we delivered them to The Desert where my parents were deliriously happy to see them. M2's so cute at 6 months pregnant with her little basketball tummy. Awww. I am so going to blow up like a balloon when/if it's my turn.
Confession time: I am ashamed to say that I watched Mean Girls on TV a couple of weeks ago. (I know, I know, I'm sorry - I came in the middle and by the time I figured out what it was it was too late...) I admit to it only because early Sunday morning I had a dream in which my imagination was making up completely new scenes for the movie. Same cast and scenes...and I wasn't even in the dream, it's like I was watching the 'director's cut' or something. Totally weird. These dreams will be a supplemental volume to the thesis book my brother-in-law PIT (Psycholigist In Training) will be writing, "My Wife's Psycho Family."

This is me finally able to look forward to Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Food for later thought

Maybe I am really nice...
The phone rang last night and, as to be expected, it was a telemarketer trying to get me to accept another credit card. (I already have two from your company people, what is the deal?) Rather than interrupt and/or hang up on her I listened to the whole spiel and then tried to explain; I already have two cards from your company and I don't use credit cards much anyway, just to keep my credit score active and yes, I have been satisfied with the company and no I really don't care how low the interest rate is, it can't be lower than nothing and finally she hung up on me. Now, when Tarzan answers the phone 1 of 2 things happens. Either he interrupts them with "no, thank you" and hangs up, OR, if he's in a particularly good mood, he sings to them. Seriously; show tunes, or Christmas carols, (which is more peculiar, in, say...April than right now) or hymns. Whatever comes into his head. I always feel bad for the people calling when he answers the phone, and it's worse when they're probably calling from India or something and don't even know what "Mem-ries, all alone in the moonlight..." even means.
And with the homeless people Tarzan says "no" and carries on. I feel like I ought to have a story so it makes sense why I can't help them. I don't carry cash anymore so that I can legitimately say I don't have any.
Maybe it's just a guilt complex...

This is me wondering

Monday, December 11, 2006

Jungle Living - Part 2

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I totally forgot to post two other celebrity encounters! (Thanks for reminding me Rocketgirl!) These are like 8a and 8b because they come before the Cillian Murphy encounter but after Christie Brinkley...

  • 8a. I was called for jury duty the first December Tarzan and I were married. I had never been called before and since my boss was paying for ten days I was not as stressed as most other people in the jury selection room. (Nice boss BTW, I didn't appreciate how rare he was at the time; no other employer I have ever had has paid for jury duty.) So I got to talking to this really nice old(er) guy next to me. (Old guys like me, I have a few theories about why, but that's for another day.) He sounded really familiar but I couldn't place him until he told me he was a radio DJ. He was Johnny Hayes! From the oldies station KRTH 101 which I loved. So we fulfilled our jury duty together. It was so much fun. He had a million stories about famous music artists he had interviewed and hung out with. He bought me lunch and then kissed me goodbye at the end of the day. (On the top of my head but still...)
  • 8b. Same day both Johnny and I were called as part of a panel. Up the elevator and into the courtroom, and who should be presiding but Judge Lance Ito of O.J. Simpson trial fame! It was going to be a long case so we had to tell Judge Ito our name, our juror number and how many days our employer was paying for. Johnny and I only had ten days so Judge Ito thanked and excused us.

This is me loving The Jungle

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jungle Living

There's this preconception that people who live in The Jungle must run into movie stars all the time. I didn't believe it until yesterday when I met Dustin Hoffman (funny story - I'll tell all in a bit) and my sister started tallying up all the celebrities that I've met/seen in my eleven ( years in The Jungle:

  1. Saw Jerry Seinfeld across the aisle when eating at Jerry's Famous Deli (that's ironic what?)
  2. Crossed paths with Mayim Bialik (of Blossom) - she was coming in and we were going out - at The Stinking Rose (too bad it wasn't Joey Lawrence too! :D)
  3. At a benefit for Tarzan's aunt (who was a Rockette and played in the all-girl band from Some Like It Hot) Tarzan nearly fainted when he stepped up to the bar next to Patrick Stewart.
  4. At the same benefit Gregory Peck spoke and we almost got to touch his sleeve as the famous aunt sat at his table.
  5. Bill Cosby spoke at commencement the year before Tarzan graduated and we were inside the library right behind him the whole time.
  6. Rosa Parks spoke the year Tarzan graduated.
  7. The year I graduated Michael Eisner spoke at commencement, Frank O. Gehry spoke at the architecture satellite ceremony and also awarded the diplomas. I have my picture with him.
  8. We passed Christie Brinkely in first class when we left for our honeymoon in Hawaii.
  9. Tarzan almost stepped on Cillian Murphy at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood.
  10. Okay, funny story time: My boss and I had a client meeting in The Upper Jungle at The Coral Tree Cafe. Dustin Hoffman was sitting down the bench from us with an associate. When he got up to get his valet ticket validated (even stars get their tickets valdiated!) he passed our table. On his way back he stopped and offered John (my boss) his hand and said "Richard Meier, right?" (like it was a joke) "Funny that I should remember you but you not remember me..." He gave a general nod at the client and I; John laughed, said "How are you Dustin?", shook his hand and then Dustin went on his way. The client turned to John and asked how he knew Dustin Hoffman. John answered "I don't." Hahahahahaha!! This is even more funny because my boss does NOT like Richard Meier's work at all.

This is me star struck.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Coolness To The Nth Degree

I feel a little guilty whining so much about what *I* have to do. Other people have more stuff to do than me. It's not as if I design my own Christmas cards or anything like RHM. (Who also sent me this fun exercise to try out.)

Hmm, don't know about the niceness factor there. Am I really nice? Food for later thoughts.
But I digress...

Tarzan is just as busy as I - busier even because he cares more than I do about all the hats he wears - yet he always has time to kiss me and rub my feet. When I came home last night I saw Tarzan had bought a wreath for the front door before he blew back out to go to Boy Scouts. (He's a Scout Master.) And he traded cars with me today so he could get the little red light on my dashboard fixed even though it means he has to take the bus home tonight. In the dark. In the heart of The Jungle.
And then I found out that my super talented rock star sister-in-law (talk about busy people, she has a new baby and lives in Brazil!) has volunteered to play Mannheim Steamroller's Silent Night in our Christmas Eve church program. How cool is she? I LOVE Mannheim Steamroller first of all and second of all she rocks out on the violin! This will be the coolest program ever! Tarzan's brother is going to solo too and his mom wants to do Carol of the Bells. (The whole family's freakishly talented in the music department. Why they associate with me I do not know.)

This is me proud of my super cool relatives.

Monday, December 04, 2006

20 days and counting

It's officially the Christmas season, and the mayhem has begun. The USC Santa Hat is on baby!
I was gonna be SO prepared this year. My sister and I started gathering lists and looking for presents in OCTOBER. I do have a few gifts already (though 4 of 20 is a lousy percentage) but there's all the other stuff to do too. My fridge is covered in lists of people to call, things to buy, make and do before the month is out. Here's a sampling:
As the activities chairperson at church I'm in charge of the Christmas party and I just realized that I haven't made the sign up sheets for the pot-luck dinner yet. There's two weeks (mostly) before the party there's only one more Sunday. People like to be eased into volunteering. I hope we have enough food. (Don't get me started on another of my rants; people who come to a pot-luck dinner and don't bring anything. What gives you the right to eat like a hog if you come empty handed? But I digress...) Beyond the food, there are the costumes to arrange for the group performing the nativity, collecting the music and words for the carolling, getting someone to play for the carolling, and getting the timing right for Santa Claus... Did I mention that this party is on the SAME day - at nearly the same time - as the wedding for a friend of mine? Yeah. How does one choose between events like that? And this is just one day of the month.
Next Saturday I have three (3!!) parties to attend. First I herd the kids into decorating the tree at church (because they just made me Primary President!!! That's the director type person over the children younger than 12), then it's on to lunch with the grown ups and lastly Tarzan's cousin has a performance that night. (When can a girl shop?)
There's the special program on Christmas Eve at church. Yes I also lead the music in sacrament meeting. (One would think I was musically talented from all the time I spend with songs and lyrics and pianists.) Solos and guest artists and speakers to line up.
Aaaaaand there's family stuff. I have GOT to mail my cards. Local cards shouldn't take too long but the ones to England and Canada and Brazil? I don't think I thank the United States Postal Service as often as I should. Thank you USPS!!
It's a pity that I spend so many of the daylight hours inside. Businesses other than retail should be closed after Thanksgiving. Who actually works during December? We pretend to in my office, but there's the holiday lunches for each of the clients and trading cards and bottles of wine (oooh goodie (sarcasm there)) back and forth. Nearly everyone takes days off and/or leaves early for "Christmas Shopping." I know I spend most of my time thinking/planning/dreaming of all the stuff to do after 5:30.
Yet...despite all the craziness, I loooove Christmas. If it all comes off and I don't mess up somewhere (please let there be enough food!) I have no regrets about the whole thing.

This is me getting merry!

From Whence You Cometh