Monday, March 30, 2009

90-year-old leg

I locked myself out of my apartment this morning. This is was just one of the many minor but frustrating inconveniences that has plagued my life for the last few days. It's making me want to do a google search for "how to make the bad juju go away."

It was about 7:40 this morning so I called Flo to make sure she was awake before I went and banged on her door to get a spare key. She was and she said to come on over. And now I feel it's important to send out a public service announcement to all my pals at Las Brisas. If you have to get a spare key from Flo at 7:40am, be prepared to see her in rollers and a Very Short Robe. I got more than an eyeful of 90-year-old leg.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Roaming Gangs of Chickens

My car was FILTHY so I was planning on washing it tomorrow. But then at lunch today I decided to stroll around CostPlus World Market and when I came out it looked like a flock of birds had their way with my car. I'm blaming the gang of chickens I see occasionally roaming the streets of San Dimas. I wonder if these chickens are as tough as the gang of chickens that roams the streets of Chino. My money, of course, is on the Chino chickens. They are in the numbered streets, after all. And everyone knows that chickens and people who come from the numbered streets are hard core. (Who is secretly hoping that I one day write a musical called West-Side Chickens?)

But, back to my car. So it was officially gross and I couldn't wait until tomorrow so I had it washed. Which is a huge splurge for me. This is actually only the second time I've ever paid someone else to wash my car (okay, well, I use to pay Casey sometimes when he was a kid). I hate paying money to have my car washed. Even though they do a lovely job and they wash the outside AND the inside of my windows. But whatever, it needed to be done. And it looks so shiny and pretty and I feel much better about life in a shiny, pretty car. Or I would if I didn't have to drive with all the windows down. Remember how Medusa's snake-hair looked like in Clash of the Titans? That's how my hair looks with all the windows down. But it can not be helped because the smell...oh, the smell. I needed just a little air freshener because after the rain last weekend my car was smelling a little musty. So I said, "Just a little bit of air freshener." But he may not have understood, or written it down, or cared. Because I watched the guy spray half a bottle onto my floor mats. And now my car smells like a cherry cough syrup factory. And I didn't even ask for cherry.

And you know how I am with smells. How I get unscented everything. How I have a hard time sitting through Relief Society because there is too much perfume. How I can smell people's deodorant from across the room. My throat is starting to close up just thinking about it.

So, for those of you who actually have this done regularly, how long is it going to take my car to cleanse itself of the smell? Is there anything I can put on it to counteract it? Will I have Medusa hair for weeks?

(If you don't have any answers for these pressing questions you can take a Pop Quiz: This post makes me think of two Seinfeld episodes. Can you guess which ones?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surgery Goop

If you're in the Nashville area and are looking for work I just posted a job for a Medical Supply Technician, which is a really fancy title for someone who has to wash bed pans and dispose of surgery goop.

Would you do it?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Country Living

I seem to be reading a lot of things lately about rural living. Like in places that don't have Targets. Practically the wilderness. And I find myself with the huge desire to say so long to Chiquita (as if I could bring myself to leave her) and pack it all up and move to the country and raise sheep. Who wants to come along? Anyone? We can grow our own vegetables and live off the fat of the land. I'll knit us all sweaters from the sheep wool. And we'll have chickens and a couple of cows and some horses and billy goats. We'll wear boots and drive trucks and start saying ya'll and ma'am. It will be a lot of work but we'll have modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and America's Next Top Model.

But then I remind myself that it takes years for me to finish any knitting project and I don't look good in boots. But I had to do something about the urge. So on Saturday I went to Wal-Mart (which is incredibly back-woodsy, don't you think.) and picked up some plants and went to town planting flowers and tomatoes and squash. Seeing as I have no experience with planting things, and as I live in a first floor apartment with limited sunshine, this should be fun. Then I made bread, which, since the dough hook for the Kitchen Aide wasn't where it's suppose to be and I really hate searching for things, I ended up kneading by hand. And while that was baking I finished up a quilt I've working on. It was very Little House on the Prairie. I even managed a good crying scene earlier in the day, just like Pa would do. (I cry over something practically every day. Just like Pa. We're sensitive, alright?)

Now, what would Ma Ingles do about a sty? I have one in the lower corner of my left eye and while the pain has subsided a little the redness and puffiness are still there. I'm going to show up to nun-chucks class tonight and the 12 year olds are going to think that I hit myself in the eye while practicing my spin set. NO, 12 year-olds, I didn't hit myself in the eye. The nose, cheek, shoulder, knee, forehead and lip, yes. But my eyes have been spared. For now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Signs of Spring

Because I live in a place that has glorious weather about 300 days out of the year (the other days: 55 days of excessive heat and 10 days of rain) I find myself sometimes defending Southern California's seasons. Because we do have them. I promise. I just like to think that we're so in tune with nature here that we only need very subtle signs of seasonal changes. I don't need a snowstorm hitting me over the head to know that it's winter. I let the fact that I'm not wearing flip-flops handle that.

But lest you don't believe me, allow me to share a few signs of spring with you:

1.) The air is filled with the smell of jasmine and orange blossoms. It's heavenly. And deadly. Because the smell of spring is also the smell of mutant allergies that are trying to kill me. I was standing outside the other night, practicing my nunchuck skills (which are quickly become extra awesome), and I could feel my throat closing and nose swelling and my eyes puffing and that desire to shove a knitting needle down my ear to scratch became almost unbearable.

2.) The emergence of leaves on the non-native trees. We have trees that drop their leaves here too. Just outside my office window are a row of lovely trees (thanks to wikipedia I learned that they are sweetgum trees. The kind that drop the spiky balls.) that are sprouting new leaves. And the fact that their old leaves turned and dropped in January does not mean we can't rejoice in new ones just two months later.

3.) The emergence of tube tops. You know it's spring when we go from it being 60 and sunny to 80 and sunny and girls start digging out their favorite swatches of stretchy fabric.

4.) The return of the freckles on my nose. Much like the swallows returning to Capistrano, every spring the freckles on my nose show up. Because it's 80 and sunny again it feels nice to be outside (Not in a tube top. You're welcome.) so I've started to take walks on my lunch break and the sun has brought the freckles back. Hooray!

5.) That haze around the mountains that isn't smog. In the spring we often get some coastal clouds that burn off in the morning and create this dreamy, slightly diluted sunshine effect. It makes everything look soft.

6.) Every strawberry stand is open for business and you wish you had cash on you every time you pass one.

7.) Newspaper articles about the Dodgers appear more frequently. My dad always says that General Conference and Baseball Opening Day are the two pillars of spring. (Guess what the two pillars of fall are.)

What are your favorite signs of spring?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What do you mean I have to get my own sample?

Dear New Owners of the Yogurt Affaire in Upland,

It's tough out there for a little yogurt shop. I get it. Business can't be all that easy when you're tucked in the back corner of a shopping center and your neighbor on the right has shut down and the one on the left is a pub, which the only time I've ever seen anyone standing outside of was last night, on St. Patrick's Day. And none of those kids had yogurts in their hands.

So I can see why you maybe need a gimmick. But I'm not very happy about it.

I went in last night and saw the flier for your big idea of going self-serve. Boo! And Why?! And How Could You?! I'm opposed to self-serve yogurt shops on many levels. Let me list them for you:

1.) There are already too many self-serve yogurt places in Upland. So already your gimmick is lame.

2.) The cups at the self-serve places are too big. Seriously, how much yogurt do you think I need? Anytime I've seen one I hear Camille's voice in my head saying, "This cup is a fat joke."

3.) And because it's too big I instantly think you're trying to snatch all of my hard earned fun money away from me. Because we all know that when you self-serve you end up paying way more. It's a GIANT CUP and you feel slightly cheated out of yogurt when you only fill it halfway up. But you still only fill it halfway and skip on the toppings because you refuse to fall for that trick again but then they weigh it and you have to check if they have a payment plan.

4.) The quality of the yogurt at self-serve places is disappointing. It's always icy.

5.) Not only do I have serve my own yogurt but I have to get my own samples. And that's tricky. I would rather a trained professional, or at the very least, a high schooler with a name tag get it for me.

6.) It's too much stress for me. I don't want to have to worry about paying too much for icy yogurt with no toppings. I just want someone to serve it for me. Is that too much to ask?

So I made my complaints to your manager. I don't know his name but he looked like a Roger. Maybe a Carl. He has a mustache. You know him. Anyway, I told Roger and he completely understood. He said that most of the regulars were unhappy about this and that he was pretty sure it would be the downfall of the place. It's not that I go there very often. Maybe once a month. And, let's be honest here, if I really wanted a delicious frozen treat I would go to Bert and Rocky's. But you're so convenient. And your peanut butter yogurt is always nice and creamy. Please don't make me have to drive out to Golden Spoon if I'm craving yogurt!

I don't want to get Roger in trouble, so I won't tell you that he told me that if I come in and he's there I can ask him to fill the cup up for me and he'll charge me the regular price I've always paid. Just like old times.

And if you're looking for a way to stand out, you could always spell affair correctly. Every shop in America thinks is charming and witty to spell things with extra e's. Which makes me want to get my hands on a monthly newsletter for the United Shoppe Owners of America so I can practice my editing skills.

Hugs and Kisses,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tennis anyone?

Somewhere along the road I became a tennis fan. I don't know how this happened. But one day I found myself watching a Wimbledon match and I was hooked. I think it helps when you know how it's scored. In tennis, love is not a good thing.
And somehow Camille and Casey because equally obsessed so we headed out to Indian Wells this weekend for a tennis tournament. Where, among other things, we got to see Roger Federer play. Which was awesome. I mean, really, seriously awesome. We watched a bunch of other matches, including one in a small side court where we got to sit in the front row which put us up close and personal for a tantrum by a French player (we were afraid he was going to drop kick the ball boy into the next court).
It was a pretty fantastic day. The sun is approximately 3000 miles closer to Indian Wells as it is to any other spot on the earth so it was kind of warm and INCREDIBLY BRIGHT. It wasn't as hot as it was two years ago when we were last there (110 March) but it was still warm enough to suck down a frozen lemonade and wish for another as you're doing it.
When you're blinded by the sun and wishing you had a fancy phone that connects to the internet so you can look up what heat stroke feels like, you get pretty creative with your headgear.
The shirt-as-a-hat
the hat-as-a-ticket-holder
the if-it-worked-for-Pancho-Villa-it-can-work-for-me hat
There were also several large, floppy hats, hats with sparkles, and one chair umpire who, from a distance, appeared to have a shaggy hat on but in reality was sporting a mullet.
And, as a special bonus, if you watch tennis at all you know who Bud Collins is. And you know he's famous for his flashy pants. The man did not disappoint.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't Yell at your Mom

Dear Wal-Mart,

You did it again. I don't know when I'm going to learn the lesson that every time I go there I'm going to get shoved to the ground and kicked by you.

I just spent 2 hours in your store. Two. Two hours. As in 1 hour plus 1 hour equals 2 hours of my life spent with people who like to yell at each other. Well, actually, two hours and 10 minutes. So more than two hours. TWO HOURS, WAL-MART!

What happened was this: I needed to get my oil changed. Generally I would just ask my dad to do it but I kept forgetting and I'm driving out to Palm Springs tomorrow and I wanted to make sure my car had enough of all the essential fluids in her and I have a 90 minute lunch break on Friday and you're just right down the street from the office so at least I can shop for mascara while I wait, right? So I went.

They told me it would be awhile but I wasn't too concerned because you're a big store. There's plenty of things to do. I looked at mascara and picked out colors I would paint my apartment if it were allowed. I tried on two very unflattering tops and talked myself out of a pair of shoes. But the time kept ticking by and I was hungry for my lunch. And then I started noticing the same thing I always notice at your store - that people who are suppose to love each other don't really act like they do. Because everywhere I turned there were families yelling at each other. Since when did it become okay to yell at your mom?

Even the workers were snipping at each other. There were the two in the electronics department who were arguing over their hours. And the ones next to the shoes who were complaining about their boss. And then the supervisor who chewed out an employee, in the middle of the store, for not stocking the towels right. It was so depressing. So I went out to the garden center and stared at the California Poppies for a while. Is there anything cheerier than a loose cluster of poppies?

But I eventually had to go back in so I just sat in the little waiting room (why is it that every lube place has chairs that feel like they've been coated in engine dust?) and waited for them to call my name. And while I waited I was treated to a customer using the most appalling language on one of the workers because he had to wait an extra 15 minutes for his car to be finished. I left feeling like I had been kicked in the gut.

I don't know what you can do about this. Maybe you could put signs up that say things like "Hug. Don't hit," or "Say kind things," or "Don't yell at your mom." Or maybe you can pipe in James Taylor through your speakers. I know that whenever I'm feeling a little cranky I just put in James and suddenly I feel a lot better. I bet free ice cream would help too.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

I blame DST

Don't you just hate it when you sit down to write in you blog and you have loads of things you could write about but nothing is coming out right and you're pretty sure that you've lost your sense of humor, which, let's be honest here, is the one thing you really have going for you, and once that's gone and all your friends have left you, you'll have nothing but the World's Largest Felt Collection to sustain you through the now dark and dreary days, and without your sense of humor, even the felt seems a little creepy and out of context, because, seriously, who in the world has that much felt? and what would you do with all of it if you're not funny anymore and can't make funny things with it?

Here are topics I started writing about in the last few days but ditched after I realized that I'm the Least Funniest Person In America. Right next to Jay Leno.

1.) My fear of undersea footage of sunken ships
2.) The time Amanda and I wore blue star shaped sunglasses on the grassy knoll.
3.) Ice flows crashing into homes in Michigan and how I will never live in a place where that is even a possibility, even if the Wealth Benefactor is from there and promises a Slurpee machine.
4.) How much I hate Daylight Savings Time and my writing campaign to stop it. And how I secretly believe that DST is the reason why I'm not funny anymore.
5.) My fear that my super awesome nunchuck skills will make my already large forearms balloon up to twice there size from all the muscles I'm building.
6.) How my inability to remember names, even of people I know pretty well, has set me up for some embarrassing moments. Especially now that I'm on facebook and people from Days of Yore are showing up to friend me and I have to wrack my brain to remember how I know them until it hits me, long after the totally embarrassing point, that we were like best friends in junior high.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What would you do?

Have I mentioned that I don't like taking the trash out? I really don't. (Aside: Whenever my home teacher comes over and asks, "Is there anything I can do for you?" I always say, "Yes. You can take my trash out," and he does. Sometimes I will purposely not take out my trash and have, on occasion gone around the apartment emptying all of the trash cans just so I have something for him to take. Best Home Teacher Ever. I'm pretty sure he looks forward to it, and it's not like my last home teachers who asked and I said, "Can you please move my two-ton piano across my carpeted living room floor?") It's a lot better since I've changed apartments. There are three dumpster locations at the Hub and all of them were approximately 18 miles away from my old apartment, which meant that on the long walk down I contemplated life without fingers as the trash bag strings cut off all blood flow to them. I'm much closer now but it still does not change the fact that I have to put on shoes and sometimes a sweater to take the trash out.

This is all beside the point - which is that a few months ago I was taking the trash out and I opened the door to the dumpster and there was a gentleman inside rummaging for recyclables. I was stumped. Because what is the proper etiquette for this?

Do you:

a.) Avert your eyes and stammer, "," and walk away, trash bag still in hand.

b.) Smile, say hello, and gingerly place the bag in the dumpster, like you come across this thing all the time and know exactly how to handle yourself. You put it far enough away from him so that it doesn't mess up any form of organization he may have working down there but close enough so if he wanted the tin cans in the bag he would have easy access to them.

c.) Climb in and help him look.

d.) None of the above. You have a Wealth Benefactor who takes the trash out for you.

I did b but my mind was totally going for a. Awkward!

I was reminded of all of this when I drove by the dumpster this morning and saw a hand with a trash bag pop out of it. I'm pretty sure I had a heart attack.

Friday, March 6, 2009

America's Next Top Short Model

I completely forgot to tell you yesterday about the MOST EXCITING NEWS EVER.

A commercial came on during America's Next Top Model. It was a casting call for girls to be on the next cycle. But it wasn't for the leggy Amazonians that generally compete. It was for SHORTIES LIKE ME! Apparently, cycle 13 of ANTM is going for short girls only. 5'7" and under. I really hope a midget gets on.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

For Vicki

My cousin Vicki was talking to Katie and told her to tell me that I need to post every day. Well, I'm sorry Vicki, but I think that's kind of excessive. I get tired of myself and I'm pretty sure that if I were to post everyday, you would get tired of me too. So, instead, I'm giving you a list of topics I could write about and what you can do is just read one a day and imagine how I would expound upon them:

1.) And now for the much anticipated answers to the grammar quiz:

1-a, 2-b, 3-b, 4-a, 5-b, 6-b, 7-a, 8-a, 9-b, 10-a, 11-b, 12-b, 13-a, 14-b, 15-a, 16-b, 17-a, 18-b, 19-b, 20-a, 21-b, 22-b, 23-a, 24-b, 25-a, 26-b, 27-b, 28-a, 29-b, 30-a.

2.) I'm pretty sure invisible midgets came and punched me in the back of my legs yesterday when I was at the gym because my hamstrings are KILLING ME. It seems the only logical explanation. Also in gym news: The Cat Lady has started coming in leopard print spandex. Awesome.

3.) Chiquita is CONVINCED that the Bachelor, the one who dumped that girl for that other girl, is gay and we spent the better part of the 8 o'clock hour discussing it. I don't actually watch the Bachelor so all of my information comes from very reliable sources, like US Weekly and Yahoo News and my sisters, Camille and Lindsay. But I have seen the part where he told that other girl that he dumped the first one and I'm pretty sure that he is certainly a jerk. I should point out here that I don't watch the Bachelor not because I have such high class taste in TV, but because I just can't bring myself to add another trashy reality show into my line up. My plate is full, people.

4.) Speaking of which, who's super pumped that America's Next Top Model is on again. It's like joy, in the form of crazy Tyra Banks, has returned to my life. Didn't you LOVE it when she came out dressed as the Goddess of Fierce? She is such a lovable loon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sweep the Leg Johnny!!!

You know I'll do anything for a good laugh. If I think something is going to be funny or if I can get a good story out of it, I'm totally there. And I'm fortunate to have friends and family that are the same way.

Which is how Katie, Liz, Heather and I found ourselves in a Nunchucks for Everyone class last night.
And now I can't stop giggling. No seriously. I haven't been able to stop since last night when I had to bow to my sensei. You can't even imagine how much this whole thing tickles me. Or how many lines from the Karate Kid have run through my head.
It all started a few months ago when Katie opened up the the Upland Community Programs brochure and saw they were offering the class. We all happened to be hanging out and she brought it up that she thought we should join. It certainly sounded like fun. And said it was for everyone, so why not.
We were going primarily because it would be hilarious. I think nunchucks are inherently funny and I could only imagine the joy I would have in saying, super casually, "So, I was at my nunchucks class down at the dojo...." I mean, really. How funny, right?
But there were a few fears:
1.) Would sarcastic remarks be appreciated or even tolerated? Since we were going for laughs we fully intended to make it fun. Would they go along with it? Or would our sensei be like the one at the the Cobra Kai? "No Mercy!"
2.) Would it just be us and a bunch of 10 year olds? The age range said 8-adult, so there was that possibility.
3.) Would we be laughed out of the place because we were old women?
4.) Would we poke out our eyes, or the eyes of all the 10 years olds, with our nunchucks?
5.) My particular fear was that I'm not very coordinated and it said we would be learning tricks and spins. I'm 80. I can barely walk without falling over.
But all fears were resolved when we got to the class. Our sensei not only allowed sarcastic remarks, but gave them right back. We were given foam nunchucks which will greatly reduce the possibly of losing an eye. None of us fell over or called us old. And it was, indeed, mostly 10 year old boys. Goofy 10 year old boys. It turns out that it's a regular karate studio and the class is made up of the students there and community members can join up. There are a few teenagers who are all black belts and one woman whose son is in the class too. And they were all fantastic! They didn't laugh at us for being uncoordinated old women and they went easy on us, and then marvelled at our cat-like reflexes and overall awesomeness as we dominated in the Whack the Pieces of Pool Noodles into a Bucket with your Nunchucks game. Especially when it was boys against girls and the 4 of us teamed up with Sempai Jessica (who is a double black belt and 16) and the mom and we killed them. Take that, all you kids with your fancy colored belts!
So not only was it hilarious to be there, but it was also really fun. We learned the first of the blocks and strikes and after we got home the four of us practiced in the parking lot, which is where the real laughing happened. I'm talking not being able to stand up straight, wheezy grandpa kind of laughing. If any of you live in Las Brisas and happen to drive by on a Monday evening, and you see us in what looks like mortal combat, or in the throws of an epileptic fit, do not be alarmed...we are trained nunchuckers.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tales of the Sea and Really Big Heads

I'll have things to write about tomorrow (trust me) but for now you can read up on:

1.) How I almost died at sea on Saturday
2.) How my nephew Thomas has the Largest Head in the World.