Friday, December 31, 2010

Observations Of 2010

Nearly every December I complain that I need a whole week to prepare for the coming year. Paperwork for church, birthdays, calendars to synchronize, all that stuff.
This year, in the best present ever, I got that week. It has been just fantastic. I got caught up on my sleep. I have the class, lesson and teacher lists for Primary. The hymns will be done today. All the clean up from Christmas is finished and the presents put away. I got out thank you notes out for those presents, food made for the neighbors, we have a party tonght and I am ready for our trip on Monday. It's a holiday miracle!
I even have time to share my sumary of the year.
  1. You get what you pay for. Sometimes it is worth the money to get the good stuff.
  2. Prayers are answered.
  3. Tarzan is gong to be a random, non-sequitor conversationalist forever.
  4. I really don't like to clean.
  5. Family is awesome.

This is me and it's the end of the year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2010

This is me wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

All Dressed Up And No Place To Go

We had a fancy schmancy dinner thing scheduled for this evening. We'd planned our week around it, despite the change in venue and time, twice and because it was at such a fancy place we had to get all dressed up:
We looked pretty good, I thought. We drove downtown to the club, paid the valet, sauntered into the lobby, up to he concierge, was directed to the third floor dining room, strolled into the elevator, out to the hostess and she didn't know a thing about the event. We checked with the other rooms and no one knew the name. We called the other location of the club, they didn't have a reservation and didn't know the name. We called all the houses and numbers we had with us and no one was there. We hung around for forty minutes and when no one we knew showed up we decided to call it a night and went home. We ate and then went to get ATL from work and BHB from the airport. It was good.
I was a little annoyed because this was the first time EVER that I managed to blow dry my hair into something decent. I'm not thinking to take out a spot in the local Aveda but it looked okay.
C'est la vie, I guess. These things happen.

This is us and we were pretty.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


A lot of years ago I bought something online and in the process also subscribed to the Joke-Of-The-Day webisite. As you might expect, every day I get a joke emailed to me. Most of the time they aren't particularly funny and many times I have considered un-subscribing, especially when I get the same joke for the third or fourth time. And just when I am about to really do it - quit the joke business - I get one that makes me laugh and I decide to put it off for another time.
Today was one of those days:

A man walks into a bar with his pet alligator. He asks the bartender,“Do you serve lawyers here?”
“Yes, we do!”
“Good. Give me a beer, and I’ll have a lawyer for my alligator.”

This is me and I laughed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Local Timing

The stop light at the freeway entrance just next to our house has either been hit by a vehicle recently or the sensor under the asphalt at the stop has a short circuit because when a car stops the light can either turn green right away or stay red for up to three minutes.
I've timed it.
That's a long red light at a freeway entrance. A lot of people waiting at the light just give up and go despite the light's color. But I have mastered the trick of getting it to change for me quickly every time.
I noticed that if there was more than one vehicle waiting the light seemed to not get stuck, so I experimented and discovered that if I wait where a second car would wait, the light changes.
I've gotten a few honks but every time it's a short wait and I get to move on.

This is me, and we use this entrance a lot. Lest you think I stalk traffic signals.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hardest Part Of The Year

What does one get for a gift to give to a man who truly does not want anything?
I pride myself on being a good gift giver and I enjoy the holiday season in part because I get to shop and find presents for family and friends.
But Tarzan is so amazingly hard to shop for. He wants nothing. There's no idle "I wish I had..." throughout the year I can tack onto, quirks I can exploit into a present. He has a house, a job, food, clothes - and can only receive so many ties before it's ridiculous - his computer, buys his own games, says he hates to own books because once he's read them he's done, also says he hates the piano so there's no getting fun music for him to mess around with, no hobbies per se because he works like a dog, plays the aforementioned computer and that's it for spare time and I am out.
Out of ideas, out of surprises - because his reaction to a surprise is "what am I supposed to do with this?" - and swiftly becoming out of my mind.

This is me and I am so stumped. What do you get your husbands for Christmas?

Spiders On Drugs

It's a little bit bizarre:
But a whole lot of funny.

This is me with the first spider thing I have ever enjoyed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Thoughts

A bright spot in the hectic-ness? hectic-icity? hectic-ation? that is the holiday season. A small pat-on-the-back moment for me.
All semester long I've been helping out at Tarzan's school, with the Academic Decathlon team which means for one period a day I am at Tarzan's high school helping the team write speeches, giving them tests, quizzes, urging them to come to class, to read the book and do the work. It's not hard but it is harder than it sounds like it ought to be.
How does one teach motivation?
Yesterday, the teacher I have been helping out came back to hear these speeches. Each student has to have a speech, on a unique subject, originally written, memorized and between three and a half to four minutes long. We have been slogging through these things since before the Thanksgiving break. Some days they don't do any work though they have an entire hour of free work time every day, some days they don't bring their speech or anything to work on, sometimes they pitch fits about how they don't like their speech and want to write a new one. And some days they just don't come.
But yesterday all the stars aligned and though not all twelve of them were there, the ones that were had their speeches and gave them for the teacher to hear. As she left she said she was really impressed with the quality of their work. She had thought they would need more revisions and structure work then they seem to and that she thinks we have a shot at some medals at the competition this year.
I felt so pleased. All the struggling, the prodding, the urging, the threatening, the pleading, actually accomplished the goal.
Now if they will only give the speech they prepared and not go off-book when January comes around.

This is me and I could teach high school, if someone else came up with the lesson plans, I only had twelve kids, for one period a day and they were the highest GPAs in the place. No sweat.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Army vs Navy

Because ATL's boy.friend is in the Navy we watched the 'Civil War' football game today. It was highly entertaining and in many ways classier than most of the Saturday college games I have ever seen. Sure they turned the ball over about a dozen times but the fans come dressed in uniform rather than bikini tops and body paint that washes off in the drizzle. Also, a little more physical than I'm used to. The referees ended up in the pile quite a few times.
Army: 17
Navy: 31

This is me and Navy had the better team but Army had the warmer coats.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

December Cold

I suppose it was inevitable - we breathe the same air, sleep in the same bed, drive the same cars and use the same bathroom - but I was REALLY hoping not to get sick this time, even though Tarzan has been doing his best to spread his germs everywhere but with me.
Alas, it is not to be. The scratchy throat, the sniffling nose, the dreaded ear pops.

This is me and I can feel it coming. I do not have time for this!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Guilty Or Innocent

It's been FOREVER since I did a meme and this is a little different from the number based ones out there. I forget who I took this from but it was off the Facebook, so thanks friend!
1: You can only say Guilty or Innocent
2: You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks! (So people reading this, if you want an explanation, comment.)
Kissed one of your Facebook friends?: Guilty
Danced on a table in a bar?: Innocent
Ever told a lie?: Guilty
Had feelings for someone whom you can't have back?: Guilty
Ever kissed someone of the same sex?: Innocent
Kissed a picture?: Guilty
Slept in until 5 PM?: Guilty
Fallen asleep at work/school?: Guilty
Held a snake?: Guilty

Been suspended from school?:Innocent
Worked at a fast food restaurant?: Guilty
Been fired from a job?: Guilty
Done something you regret?: Guilty
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose?: Guilty
Kissed in the rain?: Guilty
Sat on a roof top?: Innocent
Kissed someone you shouldn't?: Guilty
Sang in the shower?: Guilty
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on?: Innocent
Shaved your head?: Innocent
Slept naked?: Guilty
Had a boxing membership?: Innocent
Donated Blood?: Innocent
Eaten cheesecake?: Guilty
Still love someone you shouldn't?: Innocent
Lead someone on?: Guilty
Get totally drunk one night and you have an important exam tomorrow morning?: Innocent
A total stranger treat you by paying your bus/taxi fare?: Innocent
Get so angry that you cried?: Guilty
Tried to stay away from someone for their own good?: Innocent
Thought seriously about suicide?: Innocent
Thought seriously about murder?: Innocent
How 'bout mass murder?: Innocent
Found someone with the same name as you?: Guilty
Tried illegal drugs and the like?: Innocent
Rode on a stranger's vehicle?: Innocent
Had a crush on someone you knew you couldn't have?: Guilty
Stalked someone?: Guilty
Been so drunk that you forget things that happened while you were intoxicated?: Innocent
Stolen anything?: Innocent
In love?: Guilty

This is me and I was a lot more fun at the beginning.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Not Good Odds

That makes 50% of my female kittens who can't wait for their stitches to dissolve on their own and feel the need to remove them with their teeth.

This is me and that's a lousy record.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Why is it so hard to think up food to feed people for dinner?
Every week I sit down with Tarzan and ATL and ask them what they want for dinner. If it was up to me, we might eat cereal a lot of nights, but that bugs Tarzan so I try to give him real food. But it is a real drag to have to come up with the ideas. Why is that?
It's not the making that annoys me - because I will literally make anything they ask for if I can find the ingredients, which is also not a problem since I love to shop and that includes grocery shop. We plan a week at a time and I search the local circulars for the best deals, it's kind of cool - for me it's the thinking up of the meals. It's not like we are picky eaters and we sure don't choose exotic and bizarre things. In fact, just as I would be fine with cereal each night, ATL would be fine with pasta and red sauce every day.
Why can I not decide we're going to eat baked potatoes, tacos and spaghetti with meatballs this week, just like we did last week? Tarzan and ATL sure don't mind. I don't mind really...I just hate to have to think it all up.
What does that mean about the next ten years?

This is me and I begin to understand my mother so much better now.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


This is always a big game - cross town rivals don't you know - and even though neither team was ranked, the game shown on the tiniest of cable stations, today was no different. Interception, no they have it back, no we do, no wait, what? Craziest game of returns and long runs and no points and random scoring drives.

This is me and that, for us, is the season.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Story Of My Life

Always, always, always, always, ALWAYS there is something I forget. To do, to say, to get, to bring. Whatever it is I forget part of it.
There is a list of things scheduled for tomorrow, culminating with the church Christmas party and including the tree decorating for the aforementioned party and amidst it all, I forgot to make, or buy, refreshments for the kids after the tree thing.
How is that the one thing I forget?

This is me, annoyed at myself.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Apparently, there are more than a few movies I will watch no matter where in the plot they are when I turn on the television. Add to the list the following:
  1. Gone in 60 Seconds
  2. Independence Day
  3. Groundhog Day
  4. Clueless
  5. The Devil Wears Prada
  6. Ocean's Thirteen

This is me and I'm easier than I thought.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Quite A Quote

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is me and I never knew what that meant when I was a kid. It seems my parents were right; when you grow up you learn stuff.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Stitches Are Out

(Warning: there might be TMI in this post for those who don't like discussing my wounds.)
I went to the doctor today to get the stitches in my thumb removed. It was not a difficult procedure, just odd. Shortly after the surgery Dr. Z said to come back in "about two weeks" for the stitches to come out. Two weeks from the surgery was Thanksgiving. His next available appointment was today. That's not the odd part.
Over the weekend I noticed the stitches were starting to be covered up by skin and they were itching kind of a lot. I don't know if you can see in this picture:
Dr. Z is a mellow, relaxed kind of doctor - I like that about him - but he was a little concerned about the amount of time that had passed because the stitches could get embedded in the skin and need to be cut out. As it was, he had to snip some of the dry, old, dead skin around the stitches to grasp them and clip the threads. I think my thumb looks much better even so:
It's a little tender - my thumb has been wrapped up for over a month, first in the brace, then the bandage, then band-aids - I have exercises to do to increase the mobility and range of motion and I have to go back again in a month just because he likes to see me. Not really; it's to check one more time that the trigger has not come back and I do not have pain or anything. Dr. Z is thorough too.
I'm hoping this is the end of the thumb drama.

This is me stretching my thumb muscles.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like We Aren't Picture People

MusicMan called today to ask for a picture of Tarzan and I for the annual Christmas card. Unlike other members of the family Tarzan and I do not take copious amounts of pictures and particularly not of ourselves. We don't have kids to document and I am extremely not photogenic so it isn't something we do a lot of.
And inevitably we find ourselves with this moment at the end of the year, trying desperately to find a photo of the two of us that wouldn't make us jump in the East River knowing the rest of the family and a lot of people we have never met are looking at it.
I put it to you kind people of the Internets. Which of the following do you think is Christmas card worthy?
There are a few from the wedding weekend:
These from the county fair:
A baseball game:
And when we went to the museum last smmer when RHM was in town:
I realize my sunglasses are on in three of these so that might not work. Is it kosher to photoshop one's Christmas card images?

This is me and next year I should plan better for this.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Put It In The Oven

I apologize for the lame overlap. Blogger is not making this format thing easy. I love anyhting with cats as I am sure you have figured out by now. This was one more awesome thing to add to the list:

This is me; you don't want to know how long it took me to realize the narration was added after the film was shot so they could time it correctly.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

USC vs Notre Dame

That was one of the weirdest games I have ever seen played. It was almost like watching high school ball again - only in a fancier stadium - what with the interceptions and passes dropped and weird tackles and penalties and inability to hold onto the ball.
And then it stared raining in the middle of the game.
So bizarre. We almost made something happen at the end there but it was not to be. Maybe next year.
USC: 16
Notre Dame: 20

This is me and I do love that there is a player on the Notre Dame team called Floyd.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Countdown Begins

Do you realize that Christmas is only four weeks from today? Four weeks. That's 28 days. I have so much to get started on. There's the Christmas tree decorating party by the kids for the ward Christmas party which is a week from tomorrow. There are about six musical numbers I have to schedule rehearsals and Tarzan for before the Christmas program which is three weeks from the day after tomorrow and there's the shopping and the baking, people to be fetched from the airport, a cousin getting his Eagle Scout award, dinners and all that stuff that comes every year.
I love it, I do, but it seems sooner this time around. Or maybe I'm older and don't have as much energy?

This is me, wondering if those people up north don't have it right. Do Thanksgiving early and then there's plenty of time to slide into Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

My three kernels for this year are the following in no particular order.
  • Sleep. It's probably lame to mention but this fall has been insanity and I am so thankful for the opportunity to lay down each night, put all the problems and issues of the day out of my mind, get warm and snuggly and drift off for a few hours. It makes the next day possible.
  • Tarzan. He makes it all worth it. The crazy weeks and weekends. The scheduling nightmares, the assignments. He's strong and supportive, kind and loving. He works hard and is happy to do so. He's a mite random so it's a trick to follow on occasion but it just keeps my brain active. So many things to be thankful for.
  • Safety. There was a huge fire not too far from our house last night. And a few months ago a warehouse down from us exploded. And there's the crazy crack whore next door. And the whole middle of the Jungle thing. But we are safe, every day, and our house is protected and the cats are safe. It's a huge blessing.
This is me and HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Other Thing We Did

Lest you think that all we did while the house was being tented was ride horses and sleep I profer these few pictures. Remember when I mentioned the thirteen boxes of apples we were taking out to my parents:
We spent most of our time cutting:
And canning those apples into pie filling:

This is me and it will be awesome come February to have pie.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Tenting Aftermath

I don't know if it's good or not that the fumigation company finished early yesterday morning and removed the tent from our house before we were back in town. The gas company even agreed to come the same day as the tent removal - this is a huge accomplishment - to turn the gas back on.
In many ways it's very great, but it's a little not great because I didn't get a picture of the huge striped tent with the name of the fumigation company plastered across the front of it and our flag stuck in the orange tree because we forgot to take it down before the tent guys came. This is a fair approximation of the color, style and form of the tent on our house:
It does leave out the fence around our property and the sign naming the fumigation professionals. Also, our trees are not of the palm variety but it gives you the idea.
The good news is the cats are all okay. None of the ones we can identify snuck under the tent so they are all alive. The less than stellar news is all my succulents in the front yard look like they have been stepped upon.
Other news that might not be considered good, though Tarzan, ATL and I are fine after having eaten food that was here during the process, all three of us have noticed our eyes itching quite severely since we've been home. We're thinking it might be from air trapped between the layers of plastic bags we had to wrap around everything and once all the bags are gone the itching will be gone too but if not we're going to have to open the windows and let in the November air which is a tad chilly of late.
Remind me why I thought this was a good idea.

This is me and I hope we never have to do that again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Weekend

(We're back now so this post is legit.)
How I spent the weekend at my parent's house while ours was being fumigated for termites:
How Tarzan spent his:
This is me and that's the difference.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


(This post is totally postdated because I hate to think I missed a day when I was doing so good.)
The game was not what I wanted it to be. No one likes to lose, but it was such a sloppy game and then to have the quarterback get injured and just get whupped in the score. Not the most fun I have ever had watching a game.
USC: 7
OSU: 36

This is me and that was not good.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reflections On The Fourth Year

(This was actually composed before we left town so I don't consider it NaBloPoMo cheating.)
Happy Blogging Anniversary to us here in The Jungle! It's been four years and I like to think we've come along rather well in the posting department. Tarzan has upped his contributons to the site, albeit a tad random in the subject matter, and we have a few more fans than last year.
It's been a long year as far as activities participated in and a fast one relating to time.
But I do love to come to the computer and see new posts from friends and I really love it when I have some subject matter to share with you. Some times I am making it up as I type and that doesn't satisfy me as much as a really good event - like the Road Rage incident - to create some commentary on human behavior. I've discovered that that is what I like best, discussing people and why people do what they do.
I should have been a psychologist so I could get paid for it.

This is me celebrating four years blogging.
This time last year in The Jungle: Reflections on the Third Year.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Does anyone know how to get thirteen boxes of apples, sixteen bags of wheat, three people, all their stuff for four days, two kittens and THEIR stuff plus miscellaneous nonsense that can't really be left in the house while it's pumped full of noxious gas, into one KIA Spectra?

This is me and it's going to be a long drive.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Interest

It's all thanks to Rocketgirl that I have discovered Hyperbole and a Half and I have to say, that blog is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. The cartoons totally make the stories and they are so very hilarious. You know how obsessive I can be about new blogs. Going back and reading everything from the beginning in case there's a continuity issue. This one doesn't really have a day-to-day thread, but it is totally worth the read from the start.

This is me laughing at a new blog. Awesome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It seems we are having our house tented for termites this weekend. It's all the rage in The Jungle these days and since we found filings on our front porch, we're jumping on the bandwagon.
My question is, what do I need to know about termite tenting? The chick from the exterminator company was really nice and friendly and she said to get all the cats and plants out of the house, to bag up all the food and tell the neighbors to keep their animals indoors. Is that all there is to it? And does anyone want to come help me find all the spices and things I use once a year so have tucked into all the back of my triangle shaped cabinets have gone to? Or you an help me pack up ten cats and all their stuff to a very kind neighbor's spare garage type thing. Or just help me pack my and Tarzan's stuff for four days at my parents'.
These things always seem so simple when I start out.

This is me, tired already.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Five Guys In Kilts

Just when I though I'd have to take a pass for today because nothing of note has happened - you've heard about my thumb, no change there, and no one wants to hear how busy I am yet AGAIN - I remembered that I hadn't mentioned how the Celtic Thunder concert ATL and I attended had gone.
Bonus! Blog material.
It was interesting to be on the escort side of the viewing instead of the insane fan side. Usually I am the one shrieking with delight and so delirious I don't remember vast sections of the night. This time I was watching all the others shrieking and being delirious. The night was much less of a blur.
As mentioned previously, they are five hot guys in kilts who can sing. Right away it's a good time. Secondly they don't seem to be caught up in their own fame, which I count as a plus. There were a few times during the performance where they just seemed to be friends hanging out and goofing around. You can tell they are amused and a little amazed at the notoriety they have:

And yes, the flips at the end are on purpose. The guy on the far right, Paul, makes it his signature thing. He's always flashing his legs to the crowd. Ryan, the dark haired guy on the far left, is ATL's favorite. He's the "bad boy." For a 'favorite,' I am torn between the slightly older, Scottish guy (all the others are from Ireland) in the middle, George and the youngest, Damian, who has gone from a short, high tenor at 14 to a tall, deep bass at 18.
We got to go around to the stage door and hang out with the milling throng of teen to ancient ladies yelling for their favorite voice to sign a program, arm or unmentionable item. ATL got Ryan to sign her program and I was close enough to catch a few words from each in their sexy accents.

This is me and in short, it was quite fun.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chubbs Just Bites My Toes

This is how much I love you readers. So much that I am willing to share the following picture despite the obvious reasons:
(Lest you think I tempt them, I am only holding the cheese in this picture so she will stay up for the camera. Usually she jumps down as soon as I step away.)
Yes, Spike climbs up the kitchen drawers every single time she thinks I am making something for her. I only do that at dinner time but she climbs up at least half a dozen times a day. Making toast is a real challenge because every time the toast pops she's up there to check it out. Each and every piece.

This is me and it's cute but also annoying.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Unveiling

Today was the big day when I got to take my big old bandage off my hand and replace it with a smaller band-aid. Which was a good thing, the old wrapping was getting kind of grimy and it was a pain to take a shower with. Have you ever tried to wash your hair with one hand? I swear the left side of my head is cleaner than the right.
Additionally, this was the first time I would get to see the wound and I was curious as to the nature of it. The doctor had explained to me how the procedure would go, indicating the incision and placement of the scar etc.
I will say only this; my doctor will never get any awards for his stitching:
This is me and it'll be a much funkier scar than I was hoping for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

USC vs Arizona

I was prepared for a really tough season; new coach, nasty media coverage, BCS sanctions, blah de blah.
It's true, our record is not what it used to be. The team is a lot less flashy and fancy footwork than under the previous regime and a little bit more traditional football. We're running some sneaks and fake plays the NEVER used to work but do now. Sometimes.
I am liking our special teams right now. A blocked field goal or point after the touchdown, making the two-point conversion. These are not things that our team can manage to pull off usually. But in the last few weeks I have seen it all.
USC: 24
University of Arizona: 21

This is me and I like where it's going.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do I Trust A Man So Happy To Slice My Hand Open?

As previously mentioned I went for (minor) surgery on my right thumb yesterday.
It went well, I suppose - the doctor called it "beautiful" - but on his recommendation I chose the less severe anesthesia option which meant I was awake for it and I was not amused by the sounds I heard during the procedure. I was amused by the doctor though. Apparently he "loves" his minor surgery days and he was "a little goofy" yesterday. Lots of jokes, which maybe are meant to distract the awake and clearly nervous patient.
I am also surprised at how much it doesn't hurt. My young, bald-headed-on-purpose doctor wrote me a prescription for Vicodin - after joking "How many do you want? 20, 30, these things have street value you know" - which led me to believe I might actually need some of it. When I had my wisdom teeth removed I enjoyed the relief those lovely little white pills can give for a day or two.
Here I had my hand cut open and then stitched up and it's been a little sore and achy but nothing that I even need Tylenol for.
Of course I can't turn the car on, button my own shirt or cut my steak, as we amusingly found out last night at dinner, so I guess it's a fair trade.
I also can't tell if I will be able to bend my thumb when this all heals up because of the enormous wrappings around my hand:
The incision is on the inside of my thumb and is packed with all kinds of gauze I can't take off for three days. Dr. Z asked me to wiggle my thumb while the wound was still open but I couldn't tell if it was moving let alone locking or clicking like it had before. Why do medical professionals insist on asking questions that the patient has no answer for? He's the doctor, can't he tell if he did it right?
This is me and no, I did not look at my hand from the time they washed it off until it was wrapped up again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

A decidedly odd day all told, trips back and forth across town, a gigantic fight and then some making up, surgery on my hand for the stupid trigger thumb that has come for what had better be the last time...and then dinner out with some friends.
Not the usual way one spends time on a holiday dedicated to the soldiers who have and continue to defend our country. And yet, they served and fought and died to preserve the freedom of this land so we can spend our days however we want.
To borrow from the Kohima Epitaph:
"When you go home
Tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today"

This is me and I hope I will always spend my days well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Thing I've Learned In Ten Years Of Marriage

Do not ask Tarzan how much he wants to eat. Being the smart alec he is he will say "a goodly portion." Sick, hungry, tired, busy, bored or angry, that's his answer.
I ask him how hungry he is. If he's "eh," (that's a real answer) I don't give him much.
If he's "starving" then I give him a lot.
And if he's hovering over the pot asking when dinner is, I just serve him all of it.

This is me and it's a proven system.

Why this World deserves to die......NOW!!!!!!

Today was one of those days when you wonder why God lets this orb keep on rotating. It started with an extremely disturbing article in the LA Times about the unbelievable escalation of drug violence in Mexico. Very striking piece that I highly recommend you read, here.
The article's summary is "The extreme violence produced by the drug war is seen as a form of social disfigurement in which Mexican values get more distorted each time a mutilated body is found." I didn't know that over 600 people have been beheaded in Mexico since 2006. We read about the mayhem in the paper here so often that I had lost count.
I want to quote the last segment of the article which I found particularly worrisome. Sorry the quote is so long.
"The reality of rampant brutality is itself an illustration of a kind of growing acceptance, at least within a segment of Mexican society. But, it turns out, even hit men need to be conditioned to new depths.
An accused former enforcer for the notorious cartel known as La Familia told police this year that he took newcomers to a far-off spot in the Michoacan hills for lessons. They learned how to behead and dismember people — using real victims.
The suspect, former state police officer Miguel Ortiz Miranda, said in a videotaped statement that peer pressure worked on reluctant trainees. After watching others cut into victims, they eventually joined in.
In a matter-of-fact tone, Ortiz said the dead were dismembered with a foot-long butcher's knife and then burned over a pit fire until no trace remained.
"It's not difficult," he explained, saying he had no qualms.
"Nothing," he said. "You don't feel anything."
WOW talk about the ultimate in negative peer pressure. That passage really channels Moroni 9 in a perky current events way. Let me say that I am never stepping foot in Mexico again and I find it offensive that I have to share this life with monsters who do these things.
So that was the first peal of the Armageddon Bell. Then I came across an article on MSN about naked sushi that I will not link to. Google the term if you don't know what it means. I guess that I'm naive but I never imagined I'd witness that level of public debauchery. Strike two.
Then on the way home I caught a continuing piece on NPR that I have been enjoying. They're creating a small t-shirt business and then writing pieces about the different aspects of running a business in today's economy. Today they talked about buying cheap cotton. This of course led to a story about how the USA had been sued and found guilty of illegal cotton subsidies by Brazil in the WTO. So instead of fixing the problem which is politically too hard, the US government has decided to bribe Brazilian cotton farmers with $147 million dollars every year from now to forever so that the US government can continue to pay the cotton industry to grow cotton. So much for the moral high ground of the Promised Land!
The explanation on why this is strike three takes a bit of explaining so stay with me. The easiest industry for a developing country (like Mexico) to foster is agriculture. We compete unfairly with the 3rd world by paying the soulless corporations (who for the most part have either competitively destroyed or bought out small, traditional family farmers) to grow stuff at a cost that the 3rd world can't match. This destabilizes their economies and forces them to rely on us for aid and their displaced agricultural workers to come here looking for work. A whole lot of problems come from that.
Meanwhile a flood of American weapons sweeps into Mexico paid for with American dollars that we pay the cartels because of our insatiable hunger for drugs that is turning Mexico into a failed state and bring open warfare with Gadianton robbers into this country.
At the same time, our jaded and debauched citizenry choose to ignore the problems of their own creation and ceaselessly discover new disturbing ways to stimulate their flaccid mojos.
In short this world is burning, its our fault and we're fiddling while our civilization is burning to the ground. The sad thing is that things can and will get worse.
At the same time, I am very happy and continually surprised with how happy and how many reasons I have to be happy; considering the many sad things I see happening in the world around me. Thank goodness for righteous living. Its the only way I can stomach staying on this miserable rock sometimes. Everyday I understand a little better what God is talking about in DC 86:5.
"Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields."
This world is so wicked. How much more will God allow to happen before he pulls the plug? Frankly I'm scared to find out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Why It Doesn't Hurt to Be a White Man in the 'Hood

So Saturday was a rare free day for Jane and myself. Without school, church or family obligations it seemed like a mini vacation. So I decided to get some chores done around the house. One of the California lilacs died in the front after achieving a very substantial size and was a bit of a fire hazard. As I proceeded out to chop it into kindling, my next door neighbor (the crack whore) presented herself. She had been high on crack for the last three days which had naturally put her out of her mind. She had been screaming so much for the last 72 hours that her voice had been reduced to to a hoarse, painful sounding rasping. We usually put up with quite a bit from her, probably more than we should, but this was something else. She was wandering around outside with a sizable cut on her arm minus her shirt screaming that she had been shot. She hadn't been of course. So at the request of her boyfriend I called 911. First time ever in my life by the way. So I called on my cell phone and am quickly connected to an operator. After hearing the situation I am transferred quickly two more times and am in the middle of explaining the situation to LAPD when a black and white screeches to a halt in front of my house. Within 1 minute of my dialing 911, the cops have arrived at the scene. Within 3 minutes of my dialing 911, 3 more black and whites show up and a total of 8 cops, 1 ambulance, two paramedics, and a fire marshal truck complete with a fire marshal are in front of my house dealing with the crack whore. It takes all of them to muscle her to a stretcher that they then have to tie her to. Overall I was very impressed with the speedy response. Of course the crack whore's boyfriend starts complaining how no one ever shows up when he calls 911. All things being equal, it doesn't hurt to be a white man in the 'Hood. At least the authorities come running quick when we call.

Monday, November 08, 2010


I really hate it when I can't find a program install disc I KNOW I have and it's not where it should be in the filing system and I need it to recover some information from one of the times my computer crashed this last year and it's irritating and I can't download a copy from the all-powerful Internets because the company has ceased to support the program any more and all the shady websites have errors during the installation process and after it's taken an entire day or three to find this all out Tarzan buys me another copy so I will stop complaining and then I find the original disc somewhere I SWEAR I've already looked at least three times.

This is me and I'm annoyed.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


It was a tight game - ATL may be on to something when she says if the other team scores first USC will win, and vice versa - but thankfully we pulled it out at the last with a field goal.
If someone had told me it would come down to a field goal after the first two tries I might have cried.
USC: 34
ASU: 33

This is me and I think we've seen this game before, from the other side.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Celtic Thunder

Under normal circumstances I would writing about USC vs ASU in this post, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Because while I am crazy about Wicked, ATL is crazy about Celtic Thunder. (They are hot men in kilts who can sing real good.) And she managed to score tickets for tonight. Shortly we will be on our way - Tarzan is taking the crazy women to dinner first - for an evening of songs, music and hopefully some Celtic cheesecake:
Go George!

This is me and the football will have to wait.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Road Rage

I was motoring along, just as I do every Thursday, on my way to the Home Storage Center and I stopped behind a car making a left hand turn. It was a crowded intersection with large trucks maneuvering and sometimes blocking the street. When the light turned yellow there was a truck in the way of the car in front of me. This car went out and around the truck and I chose not to move as I was still within the lines.
The guy behind me did not like this plan AT ALL.
He honked his horn and then honked it again, longer and harder. I took a page from Tarzan's book and waved at him in the rear view mirror, just so he knew I'd heard him. This was clearly not a good idea as he flipped me the middle finger and proceeded to spend the rest of the red light pointing from his eyes to my car, like he was watching me or something.
When the left turn arrow came on I proceeded to make my turn and he came hard and fast behind me, sped up, passed me, then came back into my lane, in front of me and slammed on his brakes. I braked as well and changed lanes so I wasn't behind him. He then changed so he was in front of me and again slowed down.
We were really lucky there were not a lot of cars on the same road.
He kept up the same behavior until it became clear, I must assume, that I was not going to ram him or try to pass him or honk at him, so he came back to normal speed and zoomed away. I was glad to see him go straight through the next light, rather than right, as I was going.

This is me and I have never seen behavior like that outside of a movie.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ode To Are You Kidding Me?

Tarzan and I have been married for ten years today, boys and girls!
That's right
I am speechless when I think how long that sounds and how fast it's gone by. I realize how cliche that sounds but it's true. I've got nothing but my jaw on the floor when I think about it.
We've done a lot of things but it's hard to remember what happened when or in relation to what else. To quote another cheesy line; "It's all a blur."
I am honored that Tarzan has stuck around and despite it all still seems to like me.
He sent me flowers today which was sweet:
As far as the celebration goes, we had planned a weekend in the same hotel where we spent the night after our wedding, right before we flew to Paradise. This hotel had a hot tub on the balcony and we loved it. We've lived on that memory for a long time and we wanted to go back there knowing what was coming and not as exhausted as we had been the first time.
Only to discover that in the intervening time the hotel has renovated their rooms and taken out the hot tubs. Losers. So we did some research and found a really cute hotel on an island that we like but they don't have openings until the new year. So the tenth anniversary par-tay will be slightly on hold until January.
I'll post pictures.

This is me and we have been married for ten years.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cliche Day

Our household subscribes to the wonderful world of Uncle John. While perusing a volume day before yesterday I ran across a few lesser known holidays and November 3rd is Cliche Day! Which makes me want to;
'Look before you leap.'
Except that 'he who hesitates is lost.'
Then again, 'haste makes waste.'
Of course, 'a stitch in time saves nine.'
But, 'time and tide wait for no man.'
Those who 'act in haste, repent at leisure.'
If we 'lay our cards on the table,' it might look like 'the pot calling the kettle black.'
When 'the fat is in the fire'
All I have to say is 'the best is yet to come.'

This is me, HAPPY CLICHE DAY everybody!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I am proud to say that I voted today.
I went to our polling place in the middle of the morning hoping there would not be a long line so I could take my time. That was not the case, which is actually a good thing. I'm always pleased when a lot of people vote.
My philosophy at the ballot was to check yes or no for the Propositions. I had that decided beforehand. Then I went down the list of candidates for each position and paused before each name. If I got an icky feeling - and I really tried to not listen to any of the anti-commercials about anyone but I did do my research in other ways; I wasn't just guessing - then I moved on.
I was happy with the end result. We'll see how it all comes out tomorrow.

This is me earning the right to complain if it doesn't end up the way I wanted.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Starting Gun

I don't look forward to November quite the way that RHM does but National Blog Posting Month helps me feel like I'm making up for all the times I didn't post when I should have throughout the rest of the year. This year has just been going by so fast with so many things to do, I predict a lot of pictures for NaBloPoMo.
You think up things for me to write about! This blog was not set up with a central theme, leaving me nothing to fall back on, except maybe all the cats we have, and there is an incredibly long post coming about that, but here's the chance for some audience participation. Ask me anything and I will post about it. In fact, I might even make some cookies for the best question.
Contest #2, is now open.
What have you always wanted to know?
What do I not post about enough?
What sort of pictures do you want me to take?

This is me and let me know!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marathon Week - The Conclusion

Saturday started early with the entire house emptying out the back gate, with all three cars in three different directions in less than 5 minutes all before 8:00 in the am. It was a study in localized maneuvering.
I was taking ATL to work, Tarzan was off to a service project - cleaning a local park - that was subsequently postponed because of the previous night's rain but he didn't know that at the time, and MusicMan went to visit his sister who lives not far from us. Tarzan and I met up with them for lunch, after which we needed to return the rental car, make it back to our house so I could get my car then pick up the visual aids I needed for a lesson today at a place on the complete opposite side of town from where ATL works, fetch ATL, and food for dinner. (Do you like how Tarzan's father was here for four nights and I didn't cook for him even once?)
AND it was game day for two local schools so traffic was not our friend in any direction.
Once we got it all collected it was home to watch our own game and then to bed because today was church. We didn't have early meetings which was good because Tarzan had to drive his father to the airport sort of early - I couldn't drag my sorry self out of bed to even say good-bye. I hope he forgives me - then we picked up two sets of individuals and off to church. It was a mostly normal Sunday except for the last hour when I taught the adults about emergency preparedness and the Home Storage Center and how being prepared helps us not be afraid and thus free. It's a subject which is very important to me and I was happy to help out.
The people who usually help out with the children too young for Primary were not there and the one mother who was substituting for me also plays the piano for the singing, Tarzan had his own class to teach and I was running two steps behind.
It's a position I know well.
In the end it all worked out. I talked too much but I received a number of compliments about my clarity and passion, so I'm not going to worry about the time and take away that I did an adequate job. I got a laugh when I said I'd feel more comfortable if they'd kick their neighbor or take off their shoes once or twice since I was used to teaching children and not grown-ups.
After we returned the people we had carted to church, I developed this urge to roast vegetables for dinner, which tastes good and sounds simple but is very labor intensive. So we ate late and huddled down to avoid the three trick-or-treaters who came by.
Ours is not a popular street owing to the high volume of traffic and lack of houses. There have been years when no one has come by despite us having lights and candy aplenty.
All the planning in the world goes out the door the minute the action starts. Oy.

This is me, Happy Halloween everybody. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

USC vs Oregon

Well that was not the most fun game I have ever watched. It started out okay but ended up very much not okay.
USC: 32
Oregon: 53

This is me and that was tough.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Marathon Week - Part Two

Thursday of this week can be henceforth known as the day I bailed out of nearly everything I had to do. I went to school of course, and took ATL to work but I didn't go to the food bank and I didn't go to the evening activity, which was a group of women from church discussing alternatives to store bought cleaners and how to raise children frugally.
Instead Tarzan and I went to the grocery store.
It was a much needed break.
And we bought an awful lot of little pumpkins.
Because today was the Halloween party at church. With the holiday falling on a Sunday this year we are trying to encourage the children to get all their candy gathering in early and then keep the Sabbath day holy. It's a battle I have small doubts of winning but where there's life there's hope.
We took food - it was a potluck event also - and wore our costumes of course, though I don't know that we knew exactly what we were supposed to be. Maybe we shouldn't have planned them while directing twenty teenagers angry at their parents, the world and themselves how to behave in public. It's a thought for next year.
With the addition of the pumpkins, markers, glue, paper and tape we set up a pumpkin decorating station at the party. There was food, games, dancing, two contests and about forty kids running screaming through the building and for once I didn't have to tell them to not so it was a tad relaxing. Until they got their candy from the trunk-or-treat out in the parking lot and then the sugar set in but we were on our way out by then so again, not my worry.
It does take a lot of energy to be part of one of those things though. I always come home just wiped out.

This is me and thank goodness October comes only once a year.

Date Night at Ralph's

With our busy schedules it is increasingly difficult for us to find together time. Its a really weird sensation when you are busy fulfilling work, church and family responsibilities that are emotionally rewarding, yet at the same time feel isolated from your spouse whom you haven't spoken with in what seems forever.
Last night Jane and I decided to make time and went food shopping together before picking up ATL. It sounds funny but our visit to the grocery store felt very much like a date! We had some time to talk and took a couple turns around the rutabagas if you know what I mean. Grocery shopping has never been so relaxing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marathon Week - Part One

I debated for a rather long time about whether to include Sunday's events because they aren't so different from usual. Early morning meetings, church - those this week was the Primary Presentation, where instead of the adults speaking and singing during sacrament meeting it was the kids. This doesn't sound overly stressful but as the president of the Primary it's a lot of "ssh, keep your feet to yourself," and "Johnny, psst, Johnny, it's your turn" and worrying if the parents can see their kid around my big head and which parts can I get away with skipping because the kid didn't come - plus the usual lessons and scheduling and then after Tarzan has tithing we come home to eat dinner only to turn around and go back for a fireside, hosted by our youth but helped out by Tarzan on the piano and with refreshments and what have you.
Monday kind of gets a pass because it was a regular day, fetching ATL to and from work, school in the afternoon and errands prepping for the rest of the week. I didn't have an activity in the evening so it feels a little like I am extending the marathon metaphor for dramatic effect.
Or to increase my whining capacity.
This is not even the half of it, I kid you not.
So I include Sunday and Monday in the insanity.
Tuesday was a cub scout pack meeting but not just a pack meeting, a potluck pack meeting. So in addition to school and the usual, I had to make some macaroni and cheese. When I told Tarzan that's what I was taking he got all excited - he loves macaroni and cheese - and I discovered that for the first time EVER in my life I made just enough for one casserole. So I had to make another batch so that there would be some left for Tarzan.
Then it was off to the event which turned out rather well, in no small part I believe, to the appearance of the firemen guest speakers who also brought their engine which the boys were allowed to touch and climb on. I get stressed when things are left in my hands since I still don't always feel like a grown-up and that's what happened Tuesday night. One of the co-hosting persons fell at work and twisted something vital so she wasn't there and the other person had to leave early so I was in charge of dispersing leftovers and making sure things were clean in the kitchen.
Then today was another whirlwind, only more so. Tarzan's father, MusicMan, came to town for a clinic or convention or something and so I got to pick him up from the airport and take him to Tarzan's school where he wanted to spend the day. Then it was home to do some cleaning so he wouldn't take back to my mother-in-law what a disaster of a housekeeper I am, then back to school for sixth period then home again to gather all the things for the demonstration/open house at the food bank where I still volunteer every Thursday. Completely unnecessarily I dragged both Tarzan and MusicMan to this event. Last time we had one of these we were inundated with guests and there was not enough man power to handle them all in a pleasing manner so I took my own help this time, only to have about a quarter of the guests and no need. We went out to eat afterwards and now we are all ready to pass out from exhaustion.
I am such a good hostess.

This is me and the week's only half over. Oy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sparing You The Image

I was just about to start a post detailing my love for the knives that Tarzan gave me for my birthday; how they were just like the ones that the chefs use on the TV shows, how the big chopping knife is fairly heavy but cuts like a dream and really can slice through a soda can and then chop a tomato right afterwards; how I was being very careful and not putting them in the dishwasher even though I hate doing dishes by hand; I was even going to post pictures of each type of knife - the steak knives look really dangerous - and reassure everyone that I was holding my knives and fingers exactly the way they do on TV and I hadn't cut myself once.
And then.
And then, and then, and then.
I was chopping green onions - some people call them scallions - to go in the Asian Chicken Pasta Salad for dinner and Tarzan walked by on his cell phone talking to my father and I thought of a question to ask and I glanced ever so briefly, minutely, not even really away from the chopping action and the lovely knife came down the front of my index finger and sliced half my nail off, below the edge of my finger of course. There was bleeding, ATL was exclaiming how gross it was, Tarzan was in the other room trying to explain to his father-in-law how I had not actually cut my finger OFF and I was searching the pile of green looking for my nail so we didn't accidentally eat it.
It's actually fine and though it will take some time for that much nail to grow back, there's no lasting damage. (I decided, since ATL was STILL exclaiming how gross it was, to not share a picture of my finger with you.
You're welcome.)
Tarzan did spend some time apologizing for getting me such sharp instruments and while reassuring him that I did indeed want to keep them, in my head I was realizing what an exact, precise cut it was and how amazing this present really is.

This is me and there's always two sides to a situation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Friday Night

Tarzan and I are teaching swing dancing to a bunch of teenagers who don't want to learn and only come because they've been promised food.

This is me and yes, masochist is my middle name.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That's A Life Lesson Right There

I was driving ATL to work for 9am the other morning - I frequently do this, that's not the lesson - when I noticed some unusual puffs emanating from the front of my car as we stopped at a light. It wasn't cold but I thought it might be condensation evaporating. It didn't stop, so I popped the hood in the parking lot and then called Tarzan because there was some hissing coming from a plastic part I wasn't familiar with and the steam was much more evident. He said do not pass go, do not collect $200, drive straight to the mechanic and pray the car doesn't explode on the way. This sounded dire, so I quickly and carefully drove it over without any incident.
Turns out my car had busted it's thermostat so I didn't know it was overheating and during that time it cracked the hose connection to the cooling system and the radiator had to be replaced and lots of other things and they kept my car for a whole week figuring it out. But the morning I dropped it off Tarzan was already at school and couldn't come and get me so I took the bus and then walked the last two blocks home.

That'll teach me not to leave the house without a bra.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Per Usual

Why is October trying to kill me?

This is me and it might be winning this time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ode To A Girl Who Likes Cheese

What can I say about Rocketgirl that could express the true sense of her?
She's fun, she's funny, she's smart, she's pretty, she's talented, she's a great mom, she's thoughtful, kind and genuine. (It's like I'm writing a personal ad for a Boy Scout, except for the mom part.)
Life has thrown her some wonky curves and she comes out of it on her feet and able to find the good in the experience. She has an amazing sense of what counts and what doesn't and the great ability to just move on.
In short: she's marvelous and I'm thankful to count her as my sister-in-law and friend.

This is me with a ginormous HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to her.

USC vs Cal

Those California bears...I don't usually feel bad for the other team but they ARE in our conference and since our team can't play anything post season this year we want everyone else to have good stats and of course we want the team that plays in the Rose Bowl to win. So the fact they had zero first downs made me a little sad for them.
And then the second half started and the feeling went away. What can I say, football is a fickle sport.
USC: 48
Cal: 14

This is me and it was good to win again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Plus Four

The party began early this morning when Tarzan wished me Happy Birthday before he left for work at 6am. There have been songs and phone calls all day, including the kids on the Academic Decathlon team and an awful lot of felicitations on the Facebook. Thank you all, it's been sweet.
After the usual toiling of the day Tarzan and ATL took me out for dinner - to CPK of course - and then home for cake and presents. Presents! I received lovely cards from family and the ever faithful RHM:
A replacement drawer organizer from ATL:
Our original one was pretty thrashed. Tarzan presented me with a brand new set of kitchen knives, excellent stuff and I am so excited to chop something:
I'm ever so grateful to Rocketgirl for introducing me to this concept of recapping the year on my birthday. I really forget what's been done and in what order. There has been a lot of work done in this last year.
  • Physical, with the house purchase, the repairs and the improvements.
  • Lots of holes dug - there's a post in the works about that.
  • My suddenly being a quasi-teacher and having students and other teachers rely on me for things.
  • Emotional, with all the paperwork and worrying about technical things for BHB and ATL.
  • The motor for the gate to our back yard was stolen.
  • Had to reinstall Windows twice on this laptop and then replace the hard drive. It's holding steady now but there's still time.

There have been less heavy events as well:

  • Celebrating three years blogging
  • And nine years with Tarzan.
  • Being there when PhatFiddle and Leizel got hitched.
  • Got to catch up with some family I usually only see on Facebook.
  • Found some new friends in the blogosphere.
  • Was part of the Census.
  • Celebrated a lot of birthdays, including the birth-day of my brother's daughter. That makes four nieces and four nephews. I like to keep it balanced.
  • I'm not sure which side to put the whole raccoon escapade on but since no one got hurt I'm going to leave it here.
  • I rescued, hand-fed and still have two new kittens. (There's a whole long post I need to do about that situation as well.)
  • I held this blog's first contest and we actually had a winner and I actually sent her a prize.

Other than that it's been the usual whining and busy to my eyeballs with church and family and school and volunteering and household stuff and cats and yeah...the usual.

This is me, 34.

From Whence You Cometh