(not the teenage kind)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Why I Didn't Sleep Last Night

1. It could have been the two lattes at Ammo. I am very sensitive to caffeine and I drank the second one around 12:30 or 1:00 (in the afternoon). After the first latte, I really wanted to run around the block seven times so I am not sure why I ordered the second one. Maybe it was peer pressure.

2. On Saturday a pipe burst in my backyard. The plumbers came to fix it. It took a long time and cost a lot of money and in the end they totally messed up some of my landscaping. My only hope appeared to be my gardener so all night scenarios were going through my head. The first scenario was that the gardener would say "no problem. I can fix this easily right now." The second scenario was that he would say he would come back later this week and then never return. This has happened before because I don't think he likes to say no. I did not envision what really happened which was him shaking his head and saying "Jesus Christ" over and over again.

3. When I did fall asleep, I kept having those dreams where you know you're dreaming and you want to wake up but you can't make yourself wake up. So when I really did wake up, I wanted to stay up instead of going through that again.

4. The weather has cooled down and the dog totally wanted to snuggle all night.

I'm tired.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Way Of Looking At Things

I have written a couple of times here about my cleaning lady's knack for breaking things. Big things. Like my television. And I have also written about how she is my dog's best friend and she takes good care of us and I love her and her whole family and do not know what I would do without her.

So the other day my neighbors two doors down asked if she would have time to clean their house. Funnily enough, when I was looking for a cleaning lady several years ago, I asked this neighbor (it was just him, his wife was not yet in the picture) for his cleaning lady's number and he refused to give it to me because she was too good and he did not want her to get too busy.

She is no longer held in such high esteem. She was not doing a good job cleaning. There were flies on the window sill and she did not remove them. My neighbor's wife came home and the only way she could tell the cleaning lady had been there was that the bed, which she had left unmade, had been made. The final straw, though, was that she ate a bear claw that the wife had bought for the husband. There was only one bear claw. It was meant for him. And she ate it.

I told them how wonderful my cleaning lady is and all the projects around the house she takes on without me even asking but then I warned them about the breaking of things. They looked delighted.

"But of course," my neighbor's wife said. "If you're really cleaning, you're going to break things."

"That's right," my neighbor chimed in. "Our cleaning lady never broke a thing. That's how bad she was."

You might say it was generous of me to share my cleaning lady with the same neighbor who would not share his but I got him back. I told her to be sure and charge him a lot of money.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Magic Sunglasses

On our last night in Healdsburg don dokken and I ate at a French restaurant. Towards the end of the meal don dokken went to the men's room and I noticed that his sunglasses were sitting on the table. I made a mental note to remember to take them when we left.

I remember making the mental note and I kind of remember that I actually took them and handed them to him but in the morning as we were checking out of the hotel he told me his sunglasses were missing. I searched our rented car and searched our hotel room but did not find them. They were prescription sunglasses.

We drove to San Francisco. We had a wonderful morning at the de Young Museum and then a great lunch with Sandra and Matthew at The Beach Chalet. We drove to the airport, turned in the rental car, got on the plane. My mom picked us up from the Burbank Airport. don dokken stayed at my house for awhile and then drove home in his truck. I called the French restaurant and asked about the sunglasses and they were not there. At that point, I was pretty certain that I had picked them up and that don dokken would be calling me saying he found them packed somewhere or in a pocket or something.

That was on Wednesday. On Thursday don dokken drove to San Diego in his truck. On Friday he drove back from San Diego and went to his Aunt's house. After leaving his Aunt's house, he went to the post office and picked up some mail which he dumped on the passenger seat of his truck. He then went and bought a fan for his Aunt. He moved the mail on the passenger seat in order to place the fan there and sitting there on the seat were the sunglasses that he believed to be gone forever.

We can not quite figure it out. At first he thought maybe they weren't even his glasses but he tried them on, they were the right prescription and everything. He claims that he inspected them for stickiness and there was none so they could not have been stuck onto something all this time and then somehow readhered to his passenger seat. The only explanation we can come up with is that they transported themselves from Healdsburg to here. So that is it then. They are magic sunglasses.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tour Day In Napa

We all know that to me ten minutes early is the same as being on time and that I like being late as much as I like getting a blood test. So you can imagine how mortified I was to show up 1/2 an hour late to our tour of the caves that are the Jarvis Winery yesterday. It was really nobodys or everybodies fault. We were just misinformed about how long it would take to get there from our hotel.

Because I was sure that everyone on the tour hated us for being so late, I became extra chatty and obnoxious which only got worse when we went into the tasting room and started really drinking the wine. To get in and out of the tasting room you have to climb over a little stream so they have stepping stones for you to walk on. By the time we left the tasting room, our tour guide must have been concerned about me because he called me by my name and insisted on helping me across.

My obnoxiousness continued at the Peju winery where the taster asked us to guess the one state where they would not ship wine and I thought I was the most brilliant person alive for coming up with Utah (after first saying, for no reason whatsoever, Pennsylvania.)

On a whim, don dokken and I stopped at Indian Springs in Calistoga where I announced to the front desk that we had stayed there twelve years ago when we first met. "Oh yes, during the honeymoon phase," the front desk guy said. "Yeah, when we used to like each other," I said. After twelve years, they still had me in their computer! don dokken had a mud bath for old times sake while I had a massage.

We got lost on the drive home. Well, not lost, but we went in the wrong direction. Still, it was a beautiful drive through the mountains. We rented a Prius and, after a rocky start, we are both starting to love it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Morning Conversation

Me: What time is it? I don't want to miss the free continental breakfast.
don dokken: If you're looking forward to that breakfast, I think you're going to be disappointed.
Me: No, no I had a dream about it.
don dokken: Did you dream that you were still hungry after it was over?
Me: Well, I didn't dream about the actual breakfast. I had a dream about going to the breakfast. In New York. With kruthless and Cynthia Nixon.

I don't know how Cynthia Nixon got in my dream. All I know is that, in the dream, kruthless met her and her baby on the streets of New York and invited her into the hotel room that the three of us were sharing. We were chit chatting (don dokken pointed out several times that "Sex and the City" would be starting from the very, very, very beginning that very next week, we all tried to guess the age of Cynthia's baby.)

Cynthia pulled out some yogurt that her yoga teacher had recommended that was supposed to be amazing. I somehow magically knew that they were serving that very same yogurt at the free continental breakfast at our hotel but I looked at don dokken's watch and realized the breakfast would be over in five minutes. Since kruthless was dressed and don dokken could get dressed quickly, I pushed them out the door to go get me some of the yogurt and said something motivational like "hurry up, you losers."

In another part of the dream, I went to a huge meeting for one of my clients and they were trying to decide who should be their new General Counsel. There was consensus in the room that the only logical candidate was Tom Hanks. I thought this was a bad idea. But no one ever listens to me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hollywood Bowl Excitement

When I was something like nine years old my mother took us to the Hollywood Bowl to see a performance for children by children of "The Ugly Duckling." It was a hot summer afternoon. In the middle of the performance, The Ugly Duckling barfed all over the stage. It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me and my favorite Hollywood Bowl memory.

And now I have a new exciting Hollywood Bowl memory because I got to go in back and see the first aid station! (No worries - don dokken had a combo of bad food and too much heat but he is fine.)

The first aid station has two beds and a television and a bathroom and a glossy photo on their bulletin board of god only knows who. Right after we arrived, the place started jumping. A man came in and asked for a knuckle sandwich. Only he meant a knuckle bandage. "You must be hungry," the EMT said to him. "When's the last time you ate?" That was her standard question for everyone. They also liked to ask if the patient wanted them to call 911. When they asked us I was startled and said "Do you think we need to call 911?" and the EMT said "Not really but we're happy to call. And the reason we're happy to call is because we love looking at those firemen."

The next person to walk in was a very pale, very thin seventeen year old usher with a Jane Wiedlin voice. She was feeling faint and after a while one of the EMTs remembered that she had fainted about a week ago although they got into an argument about whether it was two weeks ago or one week ago until the EMT said definitively that it was the 4th of July which would have made it 10 - 11 days ago so I declared them both right. Once they determined that, the EMTs huddled around her. "What's going on with you, girly?" they asked. Because she was under eighteen, they had to call her mother to come pick her up.

While all this was going on, a couple wandered in wanting to know if there was an electrical outlet so the woman could use her breast pump. They then had a protracted discussion about whether or not she should pump right then (ten minutes before show time) or wait until intermission. Since nobody including the Jane Wiedlin usher girl knew when intermission was going to be they just decided to go for it. It was a full house.

At one point I left don dokken there to go to our seats with Carol and Eric. When I came back, the EMTs were sitting outside smoking and flirting with the police. "You left him alone?" I accused. "He's asleep," one of them said. "I gave him a blanket," the other said, kind of helpfully.

We left the first aid place and watched the dazzling Bollywood show. It was a beautiful night with a nice breeze. I think it would be fun to work at the Hollywood Bowl first aid office. don dokken is going to send them an eight by ten glossy.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Heating And Air Conditioning Make You Fat

I already hate using my heating and air conditioning because it is expensive and because I can not stand having air - hot or cold - blowing on me. Now there is a third reason not to use the heating and air conditioning. There is a new study out that examines why Americans keep getting fatter which looks beyond the obvious reasons of getting less exercise and eating more, less healthy food. They found ten potential reasons that they think should be further investigated and the use of heating and air conditioning is one of them.

Here is the article in Slate which gives the explanation behind the heating/air conditioning theory (basically our bodies expend less energy to maintain the proper temperature plus being hot really kills the appetite) and lists some other possible reasons (less people are smoking, more people are taking weight increasing medication, we are getting less sleep, and so many chemicals in the air).

Oh, but what does it matter anyway? I have been listening to the news and I am feeling so pessimistic. The other day I asked don dokken if it was true that troops in combat are given cyanide pills so that if they are taken as prisoner of war and things get too bad they have the ability to kill themselves. He said I have been watching too many war movies but since I have never even seen "Apocalypse Now" I doubt that is true.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Web I Wove

I have been making appointments for myself and don dokken regarding finding a living situation for his mother. Although I could tell the people I have been calling that I am his personal assistant or girlfriend or partner or something, I choose instead to call him "my husband" and his mother "my mother-in-law." It just sounds more official and authoritative.

A couple of weeks ago when we got into the car after taking a tour of one of the places, he said "I guess I blew your cover." He was referring to a point in the tour when we were talking to the salesperson about bathtubs and showers and he looked at me and said "Your bathtub is really hard to get out of." I was already ahead of him though and did not believe my cover had been broken at all. "Well, she probably thinks we live in a palatial manor where we each have our own big bathrooms. Lots of husbands and wives have separate bathrooms with their own bathtubs"

Yesterday I called another place and it got a little more complicated than I expected. For one, she asked where the bills would be going and I said "Oh, yes well, um, let me see. Um, he has a special place where he likes his own personal bills to go to so, um, let me just, um okay here's the address." When she asked for the phone number I gave her my cell and don dokken's cell which is usually plenty for most people but then she asked "And then what's the phone number at you and your husband's home?" I was stumped.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


It's the new ebay! Except it's for handmade things. Here is how they describe themselves:

Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Etsy lets you shop by color, place, time and material.

If I were you, I would go to my friend Joules site and buy something now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What I Did While Everyone Watched Italy Win

Jill and I gave a Union Station tour to a physicians wine and fine dining social club. Afterwards, they invited us to join them for some wine and fine dining and socializing. The club has their own wine cellar and they served champagne, a sauvignon blanc, a bordeaux, and then a dessert wine.

The bordeaux was a Chateau Lafitte something something from the 1980's. I could not stop smelling it. And then when I finished drinking my own I had to start smelling Jill's and then I went from smelling Jill's wine to drinking Jill's wine. I probably would have grabbed the glass of everyone at the table except that would have been rude. That wine was like perfume.

At some point, Jill looked across the table and said "Could there be more glasses on this table?" and that's when I had to snap this picture although I realize now they had already collected most of the champagne glasses so the answer to Jill's question was most definitely a "yes." It was also about this time that a woman from another table wandered over. She was not a physician. She was an artist who worked on environmentally correct projects and she told us about her idea for a project which involved children and sanitary napkins and tampons. Something about making the tampons into whistles for the children. No worries, though, I did ascertain that the sanitary napkins and tampons were unused although I am not sure how that would help the environment exactly.

Jill had parked in the parking structure and I walked her to her car. I told her that the parking structure was very scary and had been a hotbed for rapist activity in the recent past. I then handed her stickers so she could park there for free. Talk about a mixed message.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Stuff On The Internets

Lately I have been checking in at Jason Kottke's site. He seems to know everything that is happening on the world wide web and he posts what he calls "hypertext fragments" which are basically links and some slight commentary to the things he find interesting as he patrols the web. His website is hugely popular.

It was through his site that I first learned about the girls that got mixed up in the accident. I still read the blog of the real girl that lived - whitneycerak.blogspot.com - every day. I alternate between being offended by their intense belief that it's Jesus or the highway and fascinated that anyone could be so very unwavering and certain in their beliefs. And quite inexplicably I am interested in Whitney's recovery although I sometimes feel that we are getting the candy coated version. After the major head trauma she suffered, will she ever really be able to go back to Taylor U? When is she going to finally be reunited with her dog, Hunter? And, most importantly, will there be pictures and will I get to see them?

The latest quite fascinating (for me) link from Kottke is oneredpaperclip.com. This Canadian guy, Kyle MacDonald, wanted to see the barter system in action He started out with one red paper clip with the goal of bartering up for a house. Fourteen trades and one year to the day later he has done it. If you play around on the red paper clip blog, you can find his other blog where he talks about hand delivering postcards that he pulls from a barrel in the Galapagos. You have to read the way he tells the story. He is awesome.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fourth Of July Miracles

I do not like fireworks and neither does the dog and that is why the fourth of July is not our favorite holiday. I always try and make sure that I am home before the fireworks started and this year don dokken and I were back at my house by 7:00.

The first of the two 4th of July miracles happened when don dokken actually sat down and watched TV. And even some trashy TV. He watched "Project Runway" and became immediately invested in the outcome. Then he watched "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." Then he watched two episodes of the decidedly untrashy "House." I am not sure where this is all going to go but I'm thinking there might be some "Gilmore Girls" in don dokken's future.

The dog was snuggled next to don dokken watching television when the fireworks began and he did not even raise his head. We will never know if this is due to don dokken's calming effect or the fact that he is getting old and could not hear the fireworks above the noise of the television.
Either way, it was the most peaceful 4th of July I have had in seven years.

Monday, July 03, 2006

My Gardener Hates My Dog

A few weeks ago my gardener sarcastically called my dog his best friend. This morning my gardener knocked on my door to give me my bill and told me that he could take my dog down to Mexico. "Oh, do you think he'd like it down there?" I asked. "No," my gardener said. He then asked how old my dog is and how long most dogs live.

The dog has never done anything to be so disliked except for the barking and growling and generally acting like if only I would let him he would eat the guy for breakfast. Also, the dog is rather hard on the backyard making my gardener's job of keeping the yard looking fresh and lovely almost impossible. So I guess I get it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It Is Hot

I am starting to think this global warming thing is no joke. Yesterday I battled lethargy and forced myself to go to the Gelson's market. I was out of milk. On the way home I thought I saw the owner of my yoga school walking home. He lives in my neighborhood and it is not that long of a walk, maybe a mile, maybe even less. But it was one hot day. I turned the car around and, yes, it was him.

Me: Steve, do you want a ride?
Steve: No, I walk on purpose.
Me: Steve, it's great to walk on purpose but it's 104 degrees outside. I think you should get into my car.
Steve: Is it that hot? Hey, it's really great to see you!
Me: Do you have water with you?
Steve: (a car honks because I'm blocking their driveway) Wow, I'd love to catch up but people are really uptight these days.
Me: That's okay, we'll talk. Drink your water....

I noticed that he did walk on the shady side of the street.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Advice To College Grads

The new college graduates are looking for jobs and I think I could make lots of money if I started a business helping them craft their resumes and cover letters. And, yes, I realize the flaw in the business model is that new college graduates have no money. I have been recruiting for one of my clients and here is free advice to new college graduates culled from some of the resumes I have seen:

- Please do not rely on spell check. Spell check will not tell you that you are responding to an "ad" not an "add."

- When you are applying for a job which lists writing and communication skills as the main qualification, I will be scouring your resume and cover letter for clues that may or may not corroborate (edited based on confusion expressed in the comment section) that you possess these skills. Writing a sentence like "job entitled raising money" does not instill me with confidence in your writing abilities. Also, there is really no need to randomly capitalize words.

- Though I understand that having just graduated from college you are light on work experience and need to fill up space, unless it is highly applicable to the job I do not really care that you were a camp counselor seven years ago. Listing being a member of a religious organization as your one and only extracurricular activity does not do it for me either. (And it's the "member" not "religious organization" part that bugs me. Couldn't you have at least helped out with the bake sale?)

- I would not use abbreviations in a resume. However, if you feel you must, I would recommend using Asst. rather than Ass. It's just more polite.

- Don't say "please feel free to call me" and then neglect to include your telephone number.

- I have a client whose pet peeve is cutesy email addresses. Get a new email address that doesn't contain the words "puppy" or "lovemuffin."

- The same client loves to google applicants' names and email addresses. If you have a public My Space, Live Journal, or Facebook account, remove the naked drinking pictures or whatever it is you crazy kids are sharing on-line these days.

Of course, it all depends on what kind of job you're applying for....

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