(not the teenage kind)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Under The Knife

Today I get a soft tissue gum graft. It sounds pretty yucky. But, fortunately, I do not have the same fear of the dentist that I have of the doctor. This is not rational in any way because they both involve needles and blood and poking and maybe some pain. I can only say that I was a model dental patient as a child which could be because our dentist, Dr. Anderson (RIP), gave out toys if we were good but was more likely because after the dentist my mom would take us across the street to the now defunct pastry store, Emil's, where we could have the sweets of our choice. Even if we had seven cavities. So what if I now have mega amounts of mercury leaching into my body? The dentist and after dentist was fun!

Due to Sandra's excellent advice, I asked the dentist's office to call in my pain medication pre-surgery. They asked me to name my favorite pain pill. I was so unprepared! If I had known I had a choice I would have totally researched. Ironically the guy who writes one of my favorite blogs had dental surgery the other day and his commenters had posted their pain pills of choice but I read it too late. I stuttered and mumbled to the woman from the dentist's office and I have no idea what pain pill they ended up prescribing. Vicodin maybe?

My Ipod is fully charged and the dentist gave me permission to take Ativan. I am good to go.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Letters From Second Graders

Eva and Isaac's grandmother was substitute teaching for a second grade class and gave them an assignment to write their wishes for Eva and Isaac. A large percentage of them had the same wish for Eva and Isaac that I do. In the words of the second graders:
- I wish Eva and Isaac have a puppy. I wish they will grow strong.
- My wish for Eva and Isaac is to get a pet puppy. I've always wanted a puppy but my parents won't let me. Hopefully your parents will let you.
- I wish they have a dog and make a lot of friends.
I think they will make a lot of friends but only if they have a dog so their parents better get right on it.

The wishes I found the most interesting were those with separate ones for Eva and Isaac. I still remember the elementary school assembly where the principal announced that girls could now wear pants to school. As a very funny, funny joke a group of 6th grade boys came onto the stage wearing dresses. Ha. But all that gender equality fighting seems for naught when you read stuff like this:
- I wish the boy, when he grows has a Ferrari. I wish the girl has a cat.
- The thing I wish for the boy was that he could be a millionare(sic) and the girl a famous opra (sic) singer
- I wish they both have First Aid and for the boy I wish he could have friends and for the girl I wish she could have fun.
The boy should have a fancy schmancy car, the girl a cat?

There does seem to be quite a car culture going on with those second graders. Besides the Ferrari there was this wish:
I wish that they have a good life and live a long life. I wish your grandparents have a long life. I wish they have a good car - a Lamborghini.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Little Angels Not

Little Isaac had surgery on Monday night. Or was it Sunday? Or Tuesday? I have lost track of time. He is fine and it was nothing major. He had Pyloric Stenosis. I won't go into the details because there is a fine summary here.

While Isaac and his parents were in the hospital I got to stay with Little Eva. Apparently her father, in his concern for Isaac, did not take time to caution her to behave well to avoid a diss in "The Blog." The second the nanny left the house Eva decided to spit up volumes. I think actually she must have spit up her last five meals because it went all over her, all over me, all over the couch. All over. We had just cleaned up from that event when a very unpleasant diarrhea event occurred from which I will probably never recover.

She was very fussy and would not fall asleep. Her father came home a bit after midnight and the moment I put her in his lap she got the most peaceful, happy look on her face. It was then I realized that she was greatly missing her mom, dad, and maybe even her brother. After some happy time with dad, I gave her a bottle and she feel asleep. I myself fell into a very shallow sleep in which I dreamt that Eva looked at me and said "I miss my mommy." I had a moment of feeling sad for her at which point she turned into a shrieking, wrinkled devil child.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Little Angels

I spent some time this past week with my niece and nephew who are now one month old. Can you believe it? Apparently, they were warned by their father that they better behave themselves as any bad behavior would be documented in "The Blog." They were angels and I have proof. Look at them:

I know the picture is a little hazy. It was taken from my cellphone camera. But doesn't that just add to the ethereal (too lazy to look up proper spelling) quality?

I spent almost all the time with Isaac as Eva was mainly sleeping. Based on my internet research, it appears that Isaac is a bit of genius. In fact, his parents better save up college money now as I predict he will be going in just a few short years. He is very alert and will grab onto things and hold them. So intelligent.

My former CASA kid had a garage sale yesterday to raise money for the animal shelter. While there, I bought some little books that I expect Isaac to be reading to me the next time I see him.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why I Do Not Have A Handyman

As previously noted, there are many things that need to be taken care of around this house. And it is hard to find a handyman/person. So I was quite excited to hear an advertisement for Angie's List. Or maybe I read an article. Angie's List was started by a woman who was just like me - tired of not knowing who to call when something went awry in her home. The list is called "the homeowners grapevine" and you can look up service providers in your neighborhood and see how other Angie's List members have rated them. Groovy.

I signed up with Angie's List and went to look for a handyman. I sorted by grade - I only wanted someone who got all A's. The first name to pop up was Peter Reed. He sounded perfect. He had all A's, he had been hired by several people for similar jobs to mine, I called him up. He called me back right away. What a dream. He said he would not be available for two weeks but would call me back when he had his calendar in front of him to schedule an appointment for an estimate ASAP. I never heard from him again.

So next I called Tony G's Handyman Service. He got good grades too (except for his prices, that was a B). He called me back right away too and everything was going just peachy until he asked where I live. He was in Burbank, a mere six miles away, and he told me that he could not lawfully practice handymanship so far away from his city. He said he was only licensed to practice handymanship in Burbank, Glendale, and North Hollywood. This really threw me because I believe North Hollywood is the City of Los Angeles and I live in the City of Los Angeles. I told him this but he told me that he dare not perform any handyman work for me or he would get a $500 fine. For working six miles away. Six miles is a stones throw in Los Angeles.

At this point I called the Angie's List people myself. They proceeded to file a report from me on Peter Reed and said they would make a note on Tony G's profile that he was not willing to drive more than 3.2 miles or whatever. They then recommended that I call Mr. Handyman. It was just before 5:00 and I attempted to call Mr. Handyman but all I got was a recording. I will try to try again tomorrow. But I thought you should know why I do not have a handyman.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Reason I Haven't Been Posting Here

is because I've been posting here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Taking Care Of Business

You may recall that when wintertime came I made the decision to shut my fountain down. I drained it, cleaned it, and thought maybe I would forget about it until the spring. This turned out to be a bad, bad plan. Rain came and wind came and leaves came and the fountain became filled with dirty, dirty, gross disgusting water and became filled with leaves and this all led up to the note last week from the dog sitter about mosquito larvae in the fountain water.

Given the mosquito larvae and the fact that maybe it is now going to be spring, I decided it was time to take the fountain out of hibernation. I started bailing the water out at which point the cleaning lady offered to help. I felt like the fountain was my responsiblity and I told her no. Once I had almost all the water out, I decided to go to my neighborhood gardening shop to ask them about the proper care and cleaning of the fountain. I bought a mosquito larvae killing product and then went to the drug store and bought some cleaning products including a scrub brush and bleach.

By the time I got home, the cleaning lady had finished draining the fountain and when I went into the house to get clippers to trim the trees around the fountain, she took over the cleaning of the fountain. In fact, she refused to let me clean the fountain. When she was done, she filled the fountain with clean water and we went to turn on the switch. And nothing happened. I would have stopped right there and called in a professional but the cleaning lady was determined to make it work and she started taking the fountain apart. At this point, I was feeling so much goodwill towards the cleaning lady that I no longer minded that last week she broke the shower door.

Unfortunately, while taking the fountain apart she dropped and broke a piece effectively killing Plan B which was to list the fountain for sale on Craig's List. I did not get upset, however, because the broken part was in the back and, more importantly, she actually got the fountain to work! It was very rewarding and exciting. And it lasted about one minute. And then the fountain stopped working. And we could not get it starting to work again. So we drained out the water and that is where things stand.

I am keeping a positive outlook on this latest fountain development. I have protected my loved ones from the West Nile Virus. The fountain is sparkling and spanking clean. I am trying to find a handyman to fix the shower door and can just add the fixing of the fountain to the list making his trip to my house all the more worthwhile. And I can always move to Plan C - fill the fountain with dirt and plant some very pretty flowers.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Eva recites the Four Questions with her eyes closed...

What can I say? They MAKE you drink four glasses of wine at these things.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

From The Dog Sitter

This note was waiting for me when I got home:

- I like your weathervane with "Little Rudy" on top!
- Rudy is still a gentleman - he treats Destiny like a guest.
- Rudy keeps licking his back at the base of his tail, on both sides. I don't see anything there.
- Your fountain has mosquito larve.
- Hope you had a good trip.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tile Math

After reading this story, you will be shocked to learn that I got an A plus plus in Calculus and breezed through and was the teacher's pet in Quantitative Analysis. Shocked and appalled.

So, we were not just driving North to spend the night in a luxury hotel for $65.00. We were on our way to San Francisco to buy tile for don dokken's house from Heath Ceramics.

Marc and Sandra had been there for an overstock giveaway and picked up some boxes for don dokken so we stopped at their house first to assess the loot. They had really scored and there were these 2" X 12" white tiles that don dokken especially loved. We laid them out on the streets of San Francisco and counted how much we had. In the truck, on the way to Sausalito, I calculated the square footage. "Wow, 968 square feet," I shrieked. don dokken thought that was awesome. Until we both realized at the same time that 900 square feet was about the size of my house and that what I had calculated was square inches. I tried and tried and tried and for some reason could not think of how to convert the numbers (for all you out there yelling at your screen don't worry, there is a happy ending to this story.) We figured that they would help us figure out what we needed at the tile place.

We were wrong. We were there to buy seconds and the people who work there were more interested in just having them hauled away than in helping to make a sale. We eventually found a woman who pulled out a chart and made us realize that he needed way more of everything than we originally thought. But I still didn't know the calculation. don dokken purchased enough tile for one of the rooms but he was still thinking about those 2" x 12" tiles so we decided to go back again the next day and buy up their whole supply.

The next morning I was sitting at Marc and Sandra's breakfast table when the calculation came to me. But of course - one square foot is 12" x 12" or 144 square inches. So all I had to do was divide 24 (the square inches of the tile) into 144 and come up with 6. So we needed six tiles for every square foot. Easy! To reward myself I purchased this:

See, I told you there was a happy ending.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Life As An On-Line Travel Agent

I am posting this from my suite in Pismo Beach. I am lying on the couch, sipping coffee and staring out at the ocean. We have the balcony door open and there is a nice breeze. They keep saying it's going to rain but the weather has been mild. We have a full kitchen, washer dryer, fireplace and a plasma television with surround sound. And we are paying my travel agent discount rate of $65.00 a night.

It is a new hotel and residence, really designed for families to stay for the week. When we arrived, there was a note to me from the manager with a gift - two big bottles of water! A little while later I got a call that the hotel wanted to present me with some amenities. I opened the door and there was the receptionist bearing a plate upon which was an orange, apple, kiwi, and grapes. You can look the place up here. They have the most inviting pool ever.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Walking In L.A.

I did it again. I went for a walk this morning and fell. It was the same scenario as before. The handicap curb took a little dip up and I didn't see it and I tripped and I fell. This time I had an excuse because a car pulled over to ask me directions so I was looking at the car and not paying attention to the curb. And this time I did not trip as badly and did not put all my weight on one hand and so I just scraped both hands, one knee, and I am going to have a huge, huge bruise on my left outer thigh. The only bummer is that my left hand was 98% healed and now I have a feeling I will have to wait a little longer to get to 99 or 100%.

So I am going back to the treadmill and will leave the walking to my friend, Eric. Eric is turning 40 this year and to celebrate he has decided to walk forty miles in one day. The walk will benefit Outward Bound. Eric would very much like to raise $40,000 for them. If you are not familiar with that organization, here is their mission:
Our Mission is to inspire character development and self-discovery in people of all ages and walks of life through challenge and adventure, and to impel them to achieve more than they ever thought possible, to show compassion for others and to actively engage in creating a better world.
Eric has started to train for his walk and is posting his progress on his blog 40at40walk.blogspot.com . He takes awesome pictures, finds interesting gems, and is really into sidewalks. I always wonder what people think about when they go on long walks or long drives because personally I can not walk for more than an hour without boring myself.

I could see, or at least I have hope, that Eric will keep up his blog after the walk because I think documenting the roads less travelled (by foot) is a fascinating subject. So, please, check out his blog. He has a link to Outward Bound and instructions on how to donate. It would be very cool if he made his $40,000 goal. Pass the info on to anyone who might be interested in (a) stories about walking in L.A. and/or (b) the opportunity to donate to a good cause.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Remember this post here where I talk about how a guy came knocking on my door and said he was from Adelphia Cable and needed to come into my backyard because he needed access to the utility pole? And remember how I called Adelphia Cable and to quote from the post:
The Adelphia customer service guy told me that his wife is a real estate agent and that, if you have a utility pole in your yard, you have to by law let the utility companies have access to it whenever they want.
I just had to run to the computer to let you all know that there is an article in my neighborhood throwaway paper written by the LAPD's Senior Lead Officer covering my neighborhood and he says right there in the article "If someome comes to your door from any one of the public utilities - phone, cable etc, and wants entrance to your property, for any reason, you are not legally required to grant them permission to access your property. The law requires that they first contact you to make an appointment."

Adelphia Cable is going down.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Dog's Social Life

Rudy just received the following email:

Samson has invited Rudy to join the Dogster Group called California
Couch Potatoes!

Here is the group's welcome introduction:
Hi and welcome ;-)
This group is to share time at dog parks (preferably in Southern CA
near the Big A) or home... birthday parties, holidays... swap stories,
share resources, and socials our loving spuds.

Here is the group's description:
Greyhounds, rescued or retired, living in the People's Republic of
California USA

Here is the group's tagline:
Relaxation and Short Runs are our thing
I don't believe he will want to join. For one, although both of us have lived in Southern California all our lives, we can not figure out where "near the Big A" is and in any case don't think we want to find out. We are also unsure of what "socials our loving spuds" actually means although we are hoping it has something to do with eating potatoes. Rudy is not a greyhound, per se, he really is a mutt who I believe has some greyhound in him though I am told that I only say that to make him sound more fancy than he really is. Finally, though relaxation and short runs sound nice, they are NOT Rudy's thing. Now, if there was a group with a tagline "Hypervigilence and Extreme Neurosis are our thing", that would be a much different story.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

This And That

I know it's been a few days since I have posted. Nothing too exciting is going on but here is a sampling from the last few days:

- On Sunday I went to see my new niece and nephew. I have to say, while they are cute and good and do not cry at all, they are not very interesting right now. I offered them each a million dollars if they would say my name and neither of them could even muster the first syllable. It seems like they have been around a long time and yet they are not even two weeks old. I felt kind of bad for Isaac because apparently there is a theory that babies should really be in the womb another month so they need to be swaddled (or, what I would call, mummified.) Eva seemed fine with it but Isaac is very active, likes to move his arms around. I think he was stiffled enough in the womb by that food sucking, space hogging sister of his. I am going to start a free Isaac campaign. Maybe we could get some fifth graders to write some letters. BTW, kruthless says she does not know why there was such a hullabaloo about his name because they don't use it anyway. They call him "Magoo" because he totally looks like Mr. Magoo and they are going to go out and get him the appropriate glasses next week.

- The time change has not been easy for me. It does not help that the weather is so gloomy. But, look, it is 8:00 and I have barely gotten out of bed. That is just not like me. Maybe I need to amp up the vitamin B-12.

- I picked the stormiest most awful day this year (yesterday) to take my car in to be serviced. My original thought was that I could walk to and from the service station as it is just about two miles from my house. Instead I had to rely on the kindness of don dokken. I did take him out to breakfast but I caused him to have to do a lot of driving in a lot of stormy weather. My dad told me that next time I should take a cab.

- Work is going mightly well. If my mother were here she would make me delete this sentence and tell me that I was putting a big curse on myself. But, meanwhile, although I am probably finishing up with one big client, I have started a small project for another and have an interview next week with yet another. Instead of a curse, maybe throwing it out to the universe like this will cause you all to collectively cross your fingers for me and bring good luck? Maybe.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Where Everybody Knows My Name...Is Sunshine

I have my very own Cheer's bar. Kind of. It's near where I used to work and the bartender knows us because it is a very quiet hotel bar and we usually arrive with a big group and make him move tables around and order a lot of food and give him a big tip.

He is particularly always happy to see me and for some reason has decided that my drink is a glass of chardonnay. So when I walk through the door he just starts pouring. And he always comes over at some point to kind of top off the glass. We were there a month or so ago for my birthday and someone asked him "Do you even know her name?" And he said, "Of course I do. It's Sunshine."

I hadn't been there for close to two months but I met just one friend there the other night. The bartender gave me a hard time for staying away for so long, asked how many we'd be that night and should he start moving tables, and then poured my glass of chardonnay.

My friend and I were drinking, eating, and talking when a small group of very cute guys sat down a table away. As the bartender served their drinks he said to them, pointing to us, "If those ladies get out of hand, just let me know." The guys looked over and said, "Well, if they get out of hand, maybe they should just join us."

A little while later my friend and I commented to the bartender that the place was much more crowded than usual. He said that was because a band was staying at the hotel. "Who is it?" I asked. "It's the The Rolling Stones, isn't it?" The bartender turned to the very cute guys a table away and asked "What's the name of your band again?" It turned out they were these guys and they had just done this down the street.

A little celebrity sighting at my Cheers bar.

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