(not the teenage kind)

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Mutilation Ceremony

Can you believe it? Only one out of the fifty some odd people there noticed my new Paul Smith spectacles. I wish I had pictures (of the ceremony, not the glasses) but my camera would not work and I am waiting for kruthless' husband to download his vast collection of pictures. It's like that commercial. You know, the one where the kids are trapped in the camera.

We did not run out of food so my dad did not have to wring my neck. I did tell the Israeli guy we ordered the food from that my dad was worried. His response was to repeatedly look up to the heavens and say "Baruch ha shem (bless the Lord), in my fifteen years in this business, I have never once had a customer call me to complain that there wasn't enough food. Too much food? Yes. Not enough? Never. (Look to heavens) Baruch ha shem." kruthless had gone a little emotional when I discussed the menu with her because she thought it sounded too much like breakfast food at lunch time. I tried to cancel the blintzes but the Israeli guy we ordered the food from told me "They will love the blintzes. You can not cancel." If there is one thing I have learned in my long years on this planet it is that you should not even try to argue with an Israeli guy. And the blintzes were a big hit.

I made a great tactical error. I went to see little Isaac right before the ceremony. There he was, lying in his bassinet looking all sweet and trusting like a total little monkey in a dressing gown that was open at the bottom. It was the dressing gown with the easy access that got to me. I went out front to weep because I thought the arriving guests would appreciate being slobbered on as they walked through the door. I eventually staked out a place - not in the closet - but behind several rows of people where I could hide and not see or be seen.

But then I was called back into the bedroom and given the honor of carrying little Eva in for her naming. They wanted to have her make a grand entrance after the mutilation ceremony so I stayed back in the hallway with her. Apparently they got Isaac all liquored up on kosher wine and he did not even cry. As I was waiting in the hallway with Eva, she got the hiccups and was making this funny little squeaky noise.

The most traumatic part of the day happened as we were cleaning up. Someone piled some bowls and platters way too high and lopsided on the edge of the counter and they toppled over, spraying broken pieces and possibly scraping kruthless' mother-in-law. Also, the food came on these sweet platters which I showed kruthless who said they would be perfect for Thanksgiving. My mom, who did not know about the broken dishes, could not figure out where to store them so instead just started giving them away to the guests.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'm Styling

Because my new Paul Smith spectacles have arrived and boy have I made some people (i.e. don dokken) jealous. I am getting ready to leave for the mutilation ceremony. My dad just called because he is fretting over whether I ordered enough food and wanted permission to wring my neck if we run out or if the family has to hold back (FHB). Considering that at most family events we throw away enough to feed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I am not too worried about my neck. No one is going for the food anyway, right? And with what will be going on, how hungry are these people really going to be? Okay, I gotta go look in the mirror at my hot, hot new glasses now.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Time For A Commercial Break

I had some friends over for brunch on Sunday and I started telling them about Big Love. None of them have HBO and they asked that I post weekly commentaries on my blog. I think their interest might be because I spent a great deal of time talking about Bill Paxton's butt. Bill Paxton is 51 years old and he has taken great care of his butt but, still, if we started a Bill Paxton's butt drinking game, we would be on the floor at the end of every episode. I am just curious how it started. Did they specifically look for someone with a good butt or did they decide they needed a lot of butt scenes after seeing Bill Paxton's butt? Or is Bill really proud of his butt and made it part of his contract that it see the light of day at least fifty times a week? Maybe they made the whole cast show their butts and Bill's won!

If I sound a little loopy, it is because I am. Yesterday got crazy as we prepare for little Isaac's mutilation ceremony tomorrow. I totally screwed up the announcement/invite I sent out by spelling Isaac's middle name wrong. For those playing at home, it is Mikhael. But don't ask me how it is pronounced. I have no idea. The food ordering got a tad out of hand as we struggled with a dairy versus meat issue and with how to get the food there on time without certain important members of the family (i.e. moi!) having to arrive late. Not that I need to see the actual cutting but I do want to be there hiding in the closet to show my support.

In the meantime, my dad has only seen the babies once and that was right after they were born. I sent him pictures that my mom took when she went on her own on Sunday. They were mainly of Isaac. I think there is a little bias towards him because he is most definitely the underdog. And he looks like a little monkey. But not to worry. My dad has fixated on a picture of little Eva - I believe it is this one -

and has decided that she is the most gorgeous baby ever born. He can not stop looking at the picture and the perfection that is his granddaughter. Aww!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Eva And Isaac Together For The First Time Since The Womb

You should have seen the circus that went on for me just to get this picture loaded onto my computer. It involved broken cords and calls to don dokken and memory card and camera swapping. I need to go take a nap now.

TBD Has A Name And I Am A Really Good Aunt

The fifth graders rule! The parents have capitulated and the little boy has been named Isaac. I can not say or spell the middle name so we'll just leave it at that. He will always be TBD to me. That or little monkey boy.

My mom and I were at the hospital for several hours on Saturday. I was holding little Eva and I mentioned that I thought she looked a little yellow. Then I was holding little TBD and I thought he looked a little yellow too. Neither their mother or their grandmother saw it so we thought maybe it was the lighting in the room. But apparently later that night a nurse came in and she saw it too and it turns out that both babies are very slightly jaundiced. Nothing to worry about but isn't it crazy how well I know my niece and nephew already?

I called their house this afternoon thinking they would be home from the hospital and the baby doula answered the phone. She told me she was exhasted from how excited she was. She must already be in complete control of the house, though, because I had a matter that needed to be resolved with kruthless and/or her husband which I shared with the doula. She assured me that one of them would call me back right away. And within minutes of their arriving home, they did. It is about time someone took me seriously.

There will be a mutilation ceremony for TBD on Thursday. I think you will find me hiding in a closet.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Letters From Concerned Fifth Graders

Dear Kruthless:
Congrats on having your twins! I think Eva is a good name, but Isadore, I'm not sure of. Isadore seems like an o.k. name, but he might have some trouble growing up. He could be called names upon his name like, is a door. Here are some names that you might like: Luke, Zach, Jesse, Jake. Anything but Isadore.
P.S. It's not too late to change his name, he doesn't know it yet!

Dear Kruthless:
I am so happy for you about your twins! I heard their names are Eva and Isadore. I think Eva is a good name but I think you should change Isadore. Isadore sounds like a girl's name and it is a name a lot of people will tease about. Some other boys names are Luke, Will, Ben, Nick, Jake, Jack, and Noah. I could go on and on with more suggestions if you really needed them. But, those are all good names so hopefully you'll be able to choose one. Please! Don't give your little boy a girl's name. Please don't!
P.S. Anabella is the maximum length for girls' names.

Dear Kruthless:
You should name your son Cody, Zach, Nima, or Aaron. Not Isadore cause kids are cruel, they will make fun of your son's name.
Love a student,

Dear Kruthless:
Congratulations! You are now the mom of twins, how great! There is one problem though, your boy's name. Now I know you like the name Isadore but take my word he will get teased so badly. Isadore, wasadore, whosadork, etc., etc. I am in fifth grade and I have an odd name too. Aleandra. I also have a new sister on the way too and her name will be Zjena. Maybe you should name him Jack or Alehandro or something like that. How about Troy, Roy, or Zach? Possibly Martin, Luther, Cody, Justin, Ryan. I could go on forever. Just please, please, please don't name him Isadore unless you want him to come home and say a new name that someone called him. Like I said good luck.

Dear Kruthless:
Your mother told us all about the name of your baby. Isadore can be a great name but a lot of kids will make fun of her and I think that you know it as well as I do myself. Some inexplicable positive nicknames for Isadore are: Windadore, Dumbadore, Humadore, Lumadore, Sumadore, Ugadore, Stuadore, etc.

After reading these nicknames you can possibly come up with many more. Here are some possibly good names to take into consideration: Frederick, Chris, Michael, William, John, Jake, Julian, Luke, Nick, David.
Anders (consider changing that name)

Dear Kruthless:
Isadore would be a bad name to name your son because it sounds like the name means Is a door. Isadore also sounds like you are saying "sad" with a bad accent. I personally think that kids would make fun of that name. I also think that kids would not make fun of names like Kevin, David, Joshua, Jacob, Michael, Joseph (Joe), or Daniel (Danny). I hope you would use one of these names.

Dear Kruthless:
Congrats on having twins! I'm a twin too! Before we were born, my mom came up with names like "Flora" & "Perry." I really don't like those names and I'm happy I was not named one of those. I probably would've been made fun of. Isadore is not the best name for a boy. It's great that you want to pass on your father's father's name. He will get made fun of. Think of more popular names, like Will or Luke. Of course, he is your son and you can pick any name but while you are deciding, think of the future. Put yourself in his spot. Would you like your name? Please just think about another name!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Happy Birth Day Report

I am sorry it has taken me so long to report on the happenings of yesterday. My computer has been very uncooperative and I did not realize all the responsibilities that came along with sending out an email announcement. People write back and they have questions and they want answers. But, finally, here is the story. From my perspective. Because this is my blog.

The Meet Up
We knew that the c-section was scheduled for noon and we were told that it could take about an hour and then maybe another hour for kruthless to recover. Our plan was to meet at my dad's house at 1:00 and get to the hospital by 2:00, just in time to see babies and mom when they got to their room. Meanwhile, we reckoned that husband of kruthless would call us while we were on the road.

Since neither my mom or I can go anywhere without arriving at least fifteen minutes early, we both showed up at my dad's at 12:20. We were calm, had some lunch but then it was almost 1:00 and we decided we had to get to the hospital and apparently my dad wasn't moving fast enough for my mom so she just...turned off his oxygen. Yes, really, she turned off his oxygen. The thing that helps him breathe. That did not get him moving any faster.

The Drive
We really were thinking that we would get a call around 1:00 and when 1:15 came around and we had not heard anything my stomach started hurting. I was cautious at the beginning of the pregnancy but it never occurred to me that anything could go wrong at this point until we were not getting a call. And that just made me sick. My mother was twisting nervously in the back seat, I kept calling kruthless' stepdaughter (KS). She had finished her last final and got to the hospital a half an hour ahead of us. She was all alone in the waiting room and all they would tell her was that the surgery was still going down.

At some point during the drive my dad said "Well, I talked to my neighbor who had a c-section and she told me everything and now I'm expert." And he proceeded to give us a detailed description of pulling insides out and then putting them back in and that did not help with the nervous stomach.

The Hospital
We arrived at the hospital and I called KS to tell her we were parking. She was still waiting. A short time later we were standing in line to sign in to go up to the baby delivery place and I called KS and she answered the phone and said, "They're out! They're out!"

The Girl

Her name is Eva Touba and she weighs 8 pounds 4 ounces. She cries and cries. In fact, when we saw her in the nursery we thought she was going to lose her breath with all the crying and could not understand why the nurses weren't more attentive. She sucked up all her brother's food and space and now she is clearly upset because the rules have changed and maybe not in her favor. The doctor said that she was kicking and fighting because she did not want to come out. She knows she had it good. So sad.

The Boy

I am calling him TBD. He weighs 5 pounds 11 ounces. See, I told you, little Eva was sucking the life out of him.

As for the name, here is what happened. They wanted to call him Isadore which is my father's father's name. The night before the birth, don dokken and I were discussing this name. "I thought it was a joke," he said. "Do you know how bad that kid will be teased? Why don't they just name him Isawindow?" At the hospital, KS was practically in tears. She hated the name and thought she had convinced them not to use it. She threatened to call him "Isadork." She pleaded with my dad to use any influence he might have. We might win this one. My mother substituted for a class of fifth graders today and asked them to write an essay on "Why Isadore is a terrible name." This maneuver might have made the parents turn a corner on this issue. The last time I talked to kruthless' husband, he mentioned the name Isaac. The middle name will be Mikhael or Mikael.

TBD looks like a little monkey. I am not saying this to be mean. I love monkeys and I think he is adorable.

The Wait
It turned out that kruthless and the babies were not brought to a room for three more hours. I had come prepared. I had magazines to read, sudoku puzzles to play, paperwork to fill out. But no one else brought anything. They kept interrupting me with their wanting to talk. My mom was making notes every time something happened in the nursery to document the first few hours for their baby book or something. "Did you write down that their Aunt is reading The New Yorker?" I asked her. "No," she said. "I am only writing down things pertaining to the babies. I am not writing anything about their visitors." I think that is big mistake. I think they will totally want to know what I was doing the day of their birth.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Happy Birth Day

My impending niece and nephew will be here in just a matter of hours. Last night I told don dokken that I can not wait to see what they look like. He said, "Like a trout on the side of the river. That's what all babies look like." He then did a dead-on imitation of a baby looking like a trout on the side of the river.

Last Sunday we were trying to think of middle names that start with T and do not end in A. My mother brilliantly suggested Thyssily. Thyssily will not be the middle name of my impending niece or nephew, however, because kruthless and her husband rejected it outright. I am totally using it for my next dog, though.

Hey, the next time I post I will be an Aunt!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Little Behind

So there's this company called Enron? I mean, yeah, I know all about Enron. I read the newspaper and listen to NPR. But the other day I watched this documentary called Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room and the whole thing felt very personal.

I have worked for large companies and maybe seen unethical things happen. People were too afraid to speak up because the boss said it was okay or it didn't hurt anyone or everyone else was doing it or whatever. But these Enron people were something different. I am fully convinced that Jeffrey Skilling and Andrew Fastow are sociopaths. And some of the traders that worked for them are evil. In fact, whoever made up that saying "the love of money is the root of all evil" must have known these Enron people.

It all started with Pete Wilson, the former governor of California, who decided it was okay to deregulate electricity. Enron came in and, to meet quarterly numbers, started playing with the California power. California had plenty of electricity but the traders would make a call to take a grid off line to simulate a shortage creating rolling black-outs and inflated electricity prices. These hi-jinks cost the citizens of California $30 billion. Poor Gray Davis, the then governor of California, did not know what hit him. He appealed to Washington D.C. for help and they refused to step in. Oh, did I mention how deeply friendly the Enron guys were with Bush Senior and W?

Two scenes in the documentary stick out: Kenneth Lay, the head of Enron and the biggest of the big friends of Senior and W, comes to Los Angeles (to the fancy schmancy Pennisula hotel) to assure the Republican mucky mucks that the electricity situation is under control. The actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in attendance. Soon thereafter, Gray Davis is recalled and Arnold is in. Coincidence?

The other scene: There is a company meeting. An employee asks whether he should be investing all his 401(k) in Enron stock. A giggly woman and a giggly Jeffrey Skilling are all "You betcha." Meanwhile Jeffrey Skilling knows that the stock is inflated based on a bunch of smoke and mirror numbers and is not only dumping his stock but soon thereafter announces he is leaving the company for personal family reasons. Sociopath.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three More Days

Not that I really understand but something about the doctor said that at 40 weeks the average circumference is 40" and her circumference at 38 weeks is 44". Anyway, these might be some big babies....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nightmare At Union Station

I gave a Union Station tour yesterday. It was a special tour. I am not going to write the name of the group for fear of being googled but I will say that this group is made up of post menopausal women who, when they go out together, all wear the same wacky attire. My first hint that I was in for it was when I ran into my friend John who, while giving me a hug, managed to whisper in my ear "How did you get stuck with them?"

The second clue was when a security guard, struck by the group's wacky attire asked who they were. They described their organization and the guard asked if drinking was involved, implying that maybe they had already started at 10 am on a Saturday morning.

They were the worst group ever. They chatted amongst themselves. They would not listen. They would not follow. They went into places I told them they could not go. One of them would ask "What is that building with two domes?" I would explain the building with two domes and then another one would ask "What is that building with two domes?" This happened over and over and over.

They were obsessed about where they should go to eat afterwards. They asked me about eating places before, during, and after the tour. In fact, one woman, the only one who seemed to be listening because she was taking copious notes, came up to me and pointed to her notes and they said "Windows on the World." She wanted to know where that restaurant was. Um, the World Trade Center in New York? She insisted someone told her it was an amazing restaurant in Los Angeles and she had to try it. The same woman raised her hand while I was talking about a beautiful architectural detail and wanted to know if there were any maps of places to park while Downtown.

There is public art on the tour. One of the pieces is made up of twelve light sticks which, when you train your eye correctly, forms patterns and you can see pictures. I have been doing these tours for two years. I have probably shown hundreds of people this piece of art. Maybe you will have one or two people who can not see the pictures. There were fifteen people in this group. Not one of them could see the pictures. Not that all of them tried. Some of them just stood there yakking, some of them immediately wandered off to look at other things.

John was waiting for me at the last stop of the tour to see if I wanted to have lunch. I said, probably way too loudly, "You don't happen to have a gun, do you? Shoot me now. Please, please." Yes, it was that bad.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Today was my last day at the part time job and our first Casual Friday, one of the many remarkable and cutting edge policies instituted by The Marketing Intern and me. The boss walked in wearing a green Izod shirt and I complimented his Casual Friday outfit. Then The Marketing Intern came in wearing jeans with a kelly green sweater and matching green slippers. (The Marketing Intern is quite the fashionista. I do not doubt that she spends her entire salary and more on clothes and accessories.) It was only then that I realized that it was St. Patrick's Day and I was not wearing green.

I told them the story of when I was about nine years old and I apparently owned not one piece of green clothing. Or maybe all my green clothes were in the laundry. Really, my mother simply must not have planned ahead and her solution was to pin a leaf (and I am not talking about a four-leaf clover made for St. Patrick's Day pin. I am talking about a real leaf here, like from a tree) to the non-green dress I was wearing. And, yes, of course I got pinched. The Marketing Intern could not stop laughing. "Your mother is awesome," she said. "When I have kids, I'm totally going to pin leaves on them for St. Patrick's Day." Actually, The Marketing Intern is Irish and St. Patrick's Day is such a big deal at her house that all the kids had special St. Patrick's Day outfits when they were growing up.

Today was so sad that I would not leave work when it was time to go. My boss took me and The Marketing Intern out to lunch and he told me that even though I was only there for a short time I had made a big impact which will be even bigger if the woman who I hired to replace me turns out to be as great as we think she will be. Okay, enough sadness, now go drink some green beer.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why There Might Be Lots Of Typos In This Post

I hurt my left hand. I was walking down the street and I fell and I used my left hand to break my fall. Now I have been known to just fall for no reason but this time I revisited the scene of the crime and I could see exactly what happened. There was the handicapped curb and at the edge of the curb there was a little ledge. I did not see the little ledge and did not realize I needed to take a little step up. I tripped right over that little ledge and fell.

I happened to be about two blocks away from my mother's house when I fell but it never occurred to me that she would be home (turned out she was.) Instead, I walked to the nearest drugstore and bought an ice pack. The problem was you needed both hands to activate the ice pack and my left hand was useless. I decided just to get back home. I figured twenty minutes without ice would not be too detrimental.

So I have been putting ice on my hand and taking massive amounts of Alleve. At the beginning I thought it could be broken but now I'm just thinking it is just very, very sore. It hurts a lot. And you would not believe how much use the recessive hand gets. I never realized...I hold my toothbrush in my right hand and I squeeze the toothpaste with my left hand. My left hand is unable to squeeze toothpaste. My right hand is going to get very, very strong. Okay, I think I made it through this post with no typos but my left hand is starting to throb. Gotta go pop more Alleve.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Employee Of The Month

At the (soon not to be mine) part time job there are two kids (i.e. they are in college) who come in the afternoon to do clerical work. They alternate days and are usually there for two hours at the most. I have only met them once. Yesterday The Marketing Intern and I went into the kids' office and noticed that on the wall they had posted a list entitled "Employee of the Month" and for the two months of this year had alternated their names.

I told The Marketing Intern that I was going to write her in as Employee of the Month for March. She immediately demurred and suggested that I should be Employee of the Month given that it was my very last chance. She wrote me in.

I found out this morning from The Marketing Intern that the kid du jour came pouting out of his office yesterday and said, "Well I guess I don't get to be Employee of the Month this month."

The bosses wife happened to be visiting and asked who was. When he told them it was me, the boss said, "What? But she's leaving." At this point, The Marketing Intern came to my defense "All the more reason for her to be Employee of the Month." The Marketing Intern said that the kid seemed sincerely upset.

Yesterday was a very eventful day. The Marketing Intern and I had a hankering for goldfish (the food) and so we ordered some along with the supply delivery. The boss is usually in charge of the office snacks and I had been wondering how he was going to react to us usurping his job. So today I said to The Marketing Intern, "When the supplies arrive this afternoon and the boss sees the goldfish, you tell him that the Employee of the Month gets to pick their favorite snack for the office and that I picked goldfish."

The Marketing Intern and I are establishing outstanding policies and processes before I go.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Big Decision

On Saturday I realized that if I wanted to watch the last season of The Sopranos I needed to hastily decide whether to turn back on the HBO. I turned off the HBO when Six Feet Under went off the air because, truthfully, I could not even listen to the HBO commericials without feeling the sadness of that last season of SFU.

I called my Dad and woke him up. "I have an important decision to make," I said. "Should I turn on HBO to watch the last season of The Sopranos?"

He did not even think about it. "Absolutely, you must," he said. "And there's that new show starting too."

I always do what he tells me. A few hours later my mother called and said "Did your father help you tremendously today?"

"Yes, he helped me make a very important decision."

"Well, what was it?" my mother asked. "Because he doesn't remember."

I am impressed he remembered the phone call. He was half asleep. And still dispensing the good advice. Because I don't know if you've seen it or not but that episode of The Sopranos was the best ever. And I watched The Big Love (is that what it's called?) too. I liked it - it was kind of like Bull Durham without the baseball (kidding!) Actually, the acting was great, the characters compelling, and it gives a view into a subculture which I know nothing about. Hey, it was like Bull Durham without the baseball! Just so you know, I watch the East Coast feed of both those shows so do not call me on Sundays between 6:00 and 8:00.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Corporate Hijinx

I was in a meeting today and we were talking about, say, a bunch of business plans. One of the meeting attendees, Ken (name, of course, changed), had to leave a little early. He got all his stuff together, stood up, and said "This was a great meeting. I think we'll find that the new business plans are very serendipitous." I looked at him and started laughing. The big boss looked and him and basically said, "Say what?"

Ken reiterated, "Yes, I believe that we have something very serendipitous here with all these new business plans." The big boss all pleased said, "Well I'm certainly glad you think so whatever you might mean."

A guy who was participating in the meeting via telephone piped up and said, "I feel I need to tell you all that I sent an email to Ken's blackberry during this meeting and challenged him to find use for the word 'serendipitous.' " Ken whined, "You weren't supposed to tell them" and proceeded to read the email outloud.

Boys will be boys.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Looking For My Replacement

I am leaving my part time job and we have been interviewing for my replacement. My boss finds amusing my insistence on making snap judgments about people after talking to them for five seconds on the phone to set up the interviews. Or else he finds it annoying. I'm not sure which.

"She's a total sweetheart," I'll say after one call. Or "Talks too much, not for you." Once I slammed down the phone and accidentally yelled out "I do not like her at all." This prompted our intern to yell from her office "Wow, it's starting to feel like sorority rush around here." I am going to miss her terribly.

By the way, I have been 100% correct about every single one of my snap judgments. 100%.

A couple of weeks ago my boss was dismayed to find that a candidate he was interested in for a different job was not interested in working for us because we are so small. I explained to him that some people want to be in work situations where they will meet other people and then for some reason I blathered on about how big companies offer other things besides just standard benefits like discount movie tickets. He told me that through our building management we get all sorts of discount tickets. I immediately marched down to the building management and got a list of all the discounts (that's actually a lie - I happened to be passing by the lobby desk one day and there was a flyer.)

As I am interviewing for my replacement and they ask about the benefits, I completely talk up the discounts offered by the building management and whip out the flyer that I got from the lobby desk. When I told my boss this, he looked at me like I had grown another head. He's clearly going to miss me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Maintenance Is The New Thin

I went for my annual female check up yesterday. I highly recommend only going to doctors who are your same age and sex. My doctor talks a lot and yesterday she had me completely entranced because she had done a thorough review of my chart and gave me much kudos for maintaining my weight for the last several years. I was flabbergasted mainly because I thought I had gained at least ten pounds over the last three years.

"No, you put on weight when you entered your forties," she said. "That is normal. What then happens to many women is that they don't realize they can't eat the way they used to, they don't know how to adjust and they keep steadily gaining weight through their forties and fifties. It looks like you did your normal early forties weight gain and then figured out a way to adjust your eating habits so you could maintain."

"But I want to be that weight I was in my thirties," I said.

"That's probably what is allowing you to maintain your weight," she said. "Wanting to get back to your previous weight. It's a good goal. But, really, you should give yourself a pat on the back You're doing well."

Wow. That is such a difference from the smarmy young male doctor I went to at UCLA several years ago as part of an executive physical for the company I worked for who basically acted like I was the fattest, most falling apart person he had ever seen and seemed to be advocating for me to give up everything in my life so I could go hiking five hours a day, every day. He had two little kids and a thriving medical practice and he could do it. Why couldn't I? All the test results and gloom and doom that he laid down that day later proved to be completely wrong and unfounded when I went the next year to my regular doctor . It seemed he was trying to use some weird sort of exaggeration scare tactics. The only thing I will say is that, because of him, many of my former co-workers and I are now fanatical about taking our calcium.

My female doctor then went on to give me the tips she uses to keep her own family in shape. She only uses salad plates and she never puts the food on the table to pass around but leaves everything on the counter so her family has to exert effort to get seconds. She said she wishes her mom had done that but they were a family of six children and someone would be getting up and down every second. I told you she talked a lot.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Readers Ask And I Respond

with a really crappy picture taken of my new rings with my new cell phone. I guess I need to practice although I like the composition of this picture. It's just a tad blurry is all.

In other news, I thought the Academy Awards were quite predictable but I started crying when "Crash" won. They all seemed so genuinely surprised. I am wondering about Reese Witherspoon's and Ryan Phillipe's marriage. I just wasn't feeling the love. And I despised Charlize Theron's dress. The red carpet interviews were completely humiliating. If I only had the energy I would have hunted down the TV Guide channel to watch Joan and Melissa. Compared to Isaac Mizrahi and Ryan Seacrest, they rock!

My impending niece and nephew are now officially scheduled to arrive on March 23rd. This has thrown their impending Aunt (me) a little off balance as I have been thinking Pisces since the beginning. Not that I have anything against Aries. Aries have wonderful and big and compelling personalities. But there are two of them. And Pisces would be just perfect for my energy level. Remember, I have a vitamin B12 deficiency. And this is all about me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My Ring Problem

I love rings. I always have. In high school, I wore a ring on every finger except my thumbs. If I had a hundred fingers, I would wear a hundred rings. But I have never before experienced the ring shopping marathon that went on yesterday with me, Pam, Pam's sister, and their friend, Laura. Let's just say that by the end of the marathon Laura had a bruised knuckle and was almost unable to remove a ring she did not want to buy.

We were in Ventura to celebrate the February birthdays of me, Pam, and Laura. (That sentence does not feel like proper English but I am just going to acknowledge and move on.) Because of some meandering and a trip to a beauty supply shop that only sells to hairdressers and so would only let Laura in which necessitated her running back and forth to the car to confer with Pam's sister on hair dye products, we did not arrive in Ventura until almost 2:00.

Pam's sister wanted to start with the shopping immediately. Laura suggested that maybe it was time to get some lunch. "That's the difference between my sister and me," Pam said. "She'll choose shopping over eating. I'll choose eating over shopping." The birthday girls won. Pam steered us to what she called a restaurant and what I would call a sports bar. At the restaurant/sport bar, there was a round of margaritas ordered to celebrate the birthdays. And then there was a round of margaritas bought for us by the waitress to celebrate the birthdays.

All of us except Pam realized almost immediately that we would be unable to finish the second margarita. Pam was determined to finish her second and everyone elses. Her sister and Laura were ready for shopping and got up to leave. "You will never find the ring place without me," she said. They mentioned the name of the store where they would meet us and then left. "Ha, I told you they can't find anything without me," she said. "That store closed down months ago."

Pam did manage to suck down all the drinks and I am not saying that I did not help her a little bit. We found her sister and Laura in a jewelry store that they did manage to find without Pam and that is where the madness began. Apparently, Pam and her sister had been in that very same store the day before and had already purchased several rings and were now looking for rings compatible with the previous day's purchases. They are very into stacking. Meanwhile, Laura was having problems because she kept picking out rings that were too small for her fingers.

It really was a marathon. We were really in that store for hours. We would leave and then someone would see something in the window that they had to try on and we would go back in. And then once inside someone would see something they had not noticed the two times we had been in before and have to try it on. I had no problem finding rings that fit and rings I liked. I bought two rings and then another one and then another one. Pam and her sister bought some rings and then exchanged some rings and then traded with each other. Only Laura could not make a decision on which to buy and was so frustrated by her bruised knuckle that she gave up.

On the way back in the car we were still trying on each others rings and moving the rings we had bought around and trying them on different fingers and in different stacks. There were jealousies expressed over certain purchases and maybe more trades in the works.

I bought a smokey quartz, two different colored tourmalines, and an amethyst (my birthstone!). I even stepped out my box with one of the tourmalines because the band is actually gold. I generally do not like gold but this ring is so sweet. All my rings are made by the same South American artist whose full name, by a coincidence which makes the purchases feel all the more right, is comprised of the first names of two little boys I used to know and adore when I volunteered at an Infant/Toddler shelter.

I could not wait to get up this morning and put on my new rings. I believe that makes me a ring-o-holic.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Would Not Go And Get Potato Chips

I am a meanie. I went to see my CASA kid yesterday. The purpose really was that she was having a visit with this wonderful woman who wants to adopt her and I wanted to meet her (the potential adoptive mom, who I will call PAM. Get it?)

We met, we chatted. They had gone to McDonald's and a local landmark for their visit. My CASA kid was waving around a $10 bill that PAM had given her. She wanted to buy something from the vending machine so I gave her $1 and she got a juice drink. She is a very sweet kid because I did not have enough change or another $1 and I wanted a juice drink of my own and she offered me some of hers.

PAM had to leave and my CASA kid and I remained talking in the cafeteria where, by the way, dinner was being served. My CASA kid again started waving around her $10 bill and saying that she wanted to go to the store at the gas station and buy some junk food. She asked if I would take her. I told her I had not gotten permission to take her out. She asked if we could at least ask. So we asked the young girl behind the desk who said "no." She then young girlishly and stupidly said "But you could go yourself and get her something."

Yeah, because I am there to run errands for my CASA kid. I said no but I felt horrible. So horrible. And my CASA kid got really upset and would barely look me in the eye or speak to me. But I am not her big sister or special friend. I am her court appointed advocate. I am there to check up on her and find out how she is doing, what she is thinking, what she needs from the court and then report all these findings back to the court. I am there to spend time with her, not away from her on a mission to procure junk food at dinner time.

Another CASA probably would have done it. But I am a meanie and I also believe in setting boundaries. I am going to make it up to her. PAM told me that my CASA kid really wants a library card but they would not give one to her because her mother has to sign for it. For my next visit, I am going to take my CASA kid to the public library and wave around my official looking appointment papers from the Superior Court of California. These papers specifically state that I am to ensure that "the child's education rights are being protected." My opinion is that a library card falls under the education category. They will give her the library card and it will be so much better than the potato chips that I would not get.

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