Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Things that have gone pink that shouldn't be pink:

1.)  My eye.  Once again, I have some weird eye infection that has turned my entire right eye pink - and oozy.  Bleh.  I'm pretty sure it's not actual pink eye because it doesn't hurt or itch or feel like my eyelids are made of sand paper.  But it does leak a whole lot.  And I think it's all allergy related because it has always come when I'm having a particularly difficult time with them.  But whatever the cause, it is disturbing and gross and I'd like for it to go away.

2.)  My neck.  Or rather, a ring around my neck.  We had a glorious Memorial Day that involved more time in the sun than I had anticipated and I now have a lovely necklace of slightly burnt skin around the collar.  But it was worth it.  We played bocci and went to the batting cages and ate homemade ice cream - which, in my book, constitutes the perfect day. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Canoe Dancing? YES!

The Lovely Liz shared this with me and I had to pass it on.  Because it will change your life.

I will be up at camp in 2 weeks where there will be canoeing. Which means that in 2 weeks I will be embarking on my new career as a canoe dancer. I got my eye on you Marc Orstein.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I've mentioned before how we have a continual loop of documentaries on at the Pod and how we're getting a little tired of learning about trains and surfing and animals that eat other animals.  So I brought in a few movies to change things up a bit.  I walked in with a stack this morning and had the following conversation with some of the girls in the office:

Me:  I brought in some new movies!  Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, The Princess Bride...
L:  What's that?
Me:  The Princess Bride?
L:  Yeah, I've never heard of it.
M:  Me neither
S:  Me neither
Me:  (reeling, a bit)  Is this a joke?
L:  No.  I only have sons so I don't watch a lot of girl movies.
S:  Me too.
Me:  This isn't just some girl movie.  It's an 80s classic.  It's like saying you've never heard of the Breakfast Club.
M:  I've seen that.
Me:  But you haven't seen the Princess Bride?  Wesley?  Buttercup?  The Six-Fingered Man?
All of Them:  No. 

This seems, well, inconceivable to me (a reference, by the way, that no one in my office would get!)  It's not like I go around quoting the Princess Bride all the time, but I always just assume that when I say, "Have fun storming the castle!"  or, "Wove.  Twue wove," or, "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line," people are going to know what I'm talking about.  And it's not like I can blame it on their youth because both L & S are roughly my age.  Is the Princess Bride as obscure as they made it seem?  Have I just been living in a bubble my whole life believing that everyone knows it?  Please tell me I'm not the only one shocked by this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Queen's Handbag

There are many  reasons why I love the Queen.  Like how she was a mechanic in the war, and how she's not all up in our faces about being the queen (like I would be, "What do you mean you're putting me on hold?  I'm the QUEEEEEEEEN!!!")  But probably my favorite thing about her is that she always has a sensible handbag with her.  Think I'm joking?  She took one to the state dinner tonight:

She also had one when they first met up.  (Sidenote:  Close call, Michelle.  You totally almost flashed Prince Phillip!)

Please note that it's not a clutch or some other elegant or diminutive purse.  It's an old lady handbag.  The 80 year old in me can relate to this habit of hers.  A clutch isn't going to hold everything you might need while you're out inspecting troops and christening naval vessels.  I'm sure she has any number of ladies in waiting who can hold her lip balm for her, so I appreciate that she's sensible enough to know that a gals got to have immediate access to certain items.

Let's guess what's inside, shall we?

1.)  A bag of safety pins
2.)  The aforementioned lip balm
3.)  Altoids
4.)  An assortment of snacks, like Swedish Fish and those mini tubes of Pringles
5.)  A hanky with her initials on it
6.)  A picture of her corgis
7.)  A cell phone that would only be used to call the Prime Minister to send the troops off to war
8.)  An extra pair of hose
9.)  A retractable sword, for impromptu knighting
10.)  A dog-earred copy of Twilight
11.)  A couple of the crown jewels, just because she can

Anymore guesses?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


How come I didn't think to have a So We Missed the Rapture -- Let's All Eat Ice Cream party?  I have heard of several people throwing their own version and I feel like I've missed a golden opportunity.  Next time some wackadoo predicts the end of the world you're all invited over to my house for snacks and dancing.

Speaking of the imminent destruction of the earth, I have a new Jehovah's Witness BFF named Jason who first came by a few months ago and dropped off some reading material and then came over today with an invitation to a big convention they're having next weekend - the theme of which is "Will the Earth Be Destroyed".  When I saw the flier I said, "Well, not today, right?"  And he gave me a puzzled look.  Then he said, "Do you think the earth will be destroyed?"  And I said, "Well, that answer would take a bit of time," and giving it another go added, "but fortunately we dodged a big bullet today and you folks can still hold your convention."  I feel really lucky that I didn't try to high five him right then because as it was, he hadn't heard of the rapture prediction.  And he wasn't exactly picking up on my sarcasm because he proceeded to show me a handful of scriptures about the earth not being destroyed.  And then he showed me more scriptures about people not being able to predict the end of days and then he went for the hard sell on trying to get me to their convention by saying on Sunday there will be live costumed productions of Biblical stories.  Pass.  Although I am very curious about Jehovah's Witness services and I'm contemplating, if he ever stops by again, inviting myself along with him to church.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This day is a winner

There has been a bit of an annoying problem at the Pod lately and it sort of made my morning a real stinker and my grumpy mood carried over into the afternoon which made it look like the day would be a bust.


1.)  The girl I wanted to win on America's Next Top Model did,


2.)  I became the proud and doting aunt to a niece.  WIN!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm going to start refering to people as Old Fart. You've been warned.

The husband of a patient at the Pod was sitting in the lobby, waiting for her to finish up.  He was wearing a VA hat, a t-shirt with a bald eagle on it, American flag suspenders and aviator sunglasses.  He was making phone calls to pass the time.  (And he was also - and this may gross you out - sucking the snot up in his nose like it was his job.  Not just little sniffles but full-force suckage.  You know what I'm talking about.  For me, this is the most repulsive sound on the planet.  I haaaaaaaate it.   It makes me want to punch something, and then vomit, and then punch something else.  The End.)  These phone calls were of the "Hey, this is Big Fat Nose Sucker.  Let's get together some time." variety.  There wasn't anyone else in the lobby so it wasn't such a big deal.  Once the lobby started to fill up he stopped.  Until his phone rang and he said, in the loudest voice possible, "WELL HEY THERE YA OLD FART!  HOW THE HELL ARE YOU!"  And then proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes talking to one of his old war buddies about their time in Nam.  The receptionist and I just sat in our chairs, hiding our faces and giggling the entire time.  He more than filled my daily quota for the Ridiculous

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Old Friends New Friends

1.)  Old Friend

Little Rachel (I tower over her by two whole inches!), my old college roommate and one of my all-time most beloved friends was in town fighting the crowds at Disneyland all week with her family.  They took a break from the fun and met me at Downtown Disney for dinner.  (Motto:  we're not Disneyland but we're close and our food is just as expensive and mediocre.)

Fun Fact:  (And there is a connection here)  I rarely throw up.  RARELY.  Because I hate it.  So much.  In fact, I have only done it 3 times in the last 12 years.  The first time was hours after I returned from Rac's wedding.  The second was hours after enjoying a visit with Rac during a family reunion up in Utah.*  We risked getting together last year for lunch and that time is was poor Rac's turn.  We barely made it 30 minutes before she lost it all.  So I was a little hesitant to suggest dinner because we're clearly cursed.  Especially considering her long drive back today.  But we live on the edge.  We had a great time and picked up where we left off (minus the barfing), like we were back at Moon Apartments painting our toe nails and watching reruns of the Love Boat.  And I am happy to report that it has been 24 hours and we have checked in with each other and we're both healthy as two healthy things.  Hooray!  Thanks Rachel & Fam for hanging out with me!

2.)  New Friends

Katie and Camille have these friends, Hayley, Heidi and April:

Sisters!  Aren't they cute!  I had never met them but they read this blog which is how I got myself an invitation to breakfast this morning with them and my sisters at the Avocado House.  What?  You haven't been to the Avocado House yet?  Because why?  People of Chino and Surrounding Cities:  Go to the Avocado House, order the cinnamon swirl French toast with caramel sauce.  Yeah, you read that right.  Caramel sauce.  You'll want to hug people after your first bite.

Where was I?  Right, new friends.  So, it's always a little weird for me to meet people who read this blog.  Because I'm socially awkward and there's a good reason why I write what I have to say rather than actually say it out loud.  I can edit this.  But those girls are super fun and we bonded over our loud families and large heads and our love of breakfast food.  Thanks for being my new BFFs ladies!

*The third was in Tozeur, Tunisia, praying that I would not die alone on the floor of a bathroom in the middle of the Sahara Desert.  Oh that was hours and hours and hours and hours (so many hours) of fun.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I have deemed that word appropriate

My dad and his siblings once lobbied to have the use of the word "crap"  allowed in their home.  They failed.  But it is allowed here, so I can tell you that today has been a crap day.  It has been crappy.  Craptastic.  Craptacular.  Full of crap. 


It has been one of those days where a whole lot of small crappy incidents have combined, along with killer PMS, to make it a craparific day.  Which naturally means that I finished off the day eating peanut butter and honey on a toasted English muffin and sipping cocoa while wrapped in my pink bathrobe.  This is my one true solace.  Once that ritual was complete I wrote an angry letter to one of the offenders.  (Dear Fresh & Easy, You suck.  Sincerely, Rachel)  ("Suck" is also allowed here, even though I'm pretty certain it would not have been in my Dad's childhood home.)  And now I'm going to snuggle under my covers and pray for my headache to go away and for the Bluebird of Happiness to nest back in my soul.

I'm curious - what is your end-of-a-really-crap-day ritual?

Monday, May 9, 2011


Well, the Fun Family Funeral weekend has come to a close.  It was said on several occasions throughout the last 4 days that you've never seen a happier bunch of mourners.  Of course, there were tears.  Lots of them.  But on the whole the weekend was filled with more laughter than anything and I have a feeling I will look back on it more as a party and will wonder whether or not there were balloons and a pinata.  Nearly everyone came into town (oh, how we missed those of you who couldn't make it) and it was a great family reunion and a celebration of an amazing man.  We laughed ourselves silly at the funny things Grandpa did and said.  We marvelled at all the people who pronounced that if it hadn't been for Howard Knecht their lives would have been a mess.  We wept as taps was played and the soldiers folded the flag.  And then we held a mini-wake at Taco Bell because it was his favorite place to eat.  And not just because you don't have to tip anyone.  The whole weekend felt like a resounding "Amen!" to a glorious life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Miracle of Rocky

Thank you all for your lovely comments and emails and texts and phone calls.  What a wonderful group of friends you are. I have been truly touched.

I have also, and this may surprise you, been not as weepy as one would expect.  Basically since Monday I have girded up the old loins and soldiered on, quite cheerfully, I might add.  But today for some reason I have been just a little misty-eyed.  Possibly because Grandpa's obituary came out today in the local paper and people who didn't know suddenly did and started asking about it.  Anyway, I was misty-eyed and trying to talk myself out of full on crying at work when the most miraculous thing happened.  But first some background.  We have a giant TV up in the waiting room of the Pod that plays a continuous loop of documentaries about any one of the following topics:  surfing, trains, space travel, or animals eating other animals.  It gets really tedious so the receptionists brought in some different movies - one of which (and here is the miracle) was Rocky III.  It is almost impossible to weep sad tears when you're listening to the Rocky theme song and watching him train with Apollo before he goes to town on Mr. T.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Stick with me and you'll be wearing diamonds as big as radishes."

My grandpa died on Friday night.  And even though it was expected and hoped for (he was 90 and sick) it has still been sad times around these parts.  Katie and I got the news on Saturday morning as we were pulling into the church parking lot for a service activity.  And then we pulled right back out because we are not quite the stiff-upper-lip types.  We are more of the intermittently-weep-throughout-the-day-while-consoling-ourselves-with-leftover-Easter-candy-and-viewings-of-Anne of Green Gables-but-skipping-the-part-where-Matthew-dies-because-who-can-handle-that-even-when-you're-not-emotionally-vulnerable types.  But we turned it around today at church, even when faced with kind friends and sweet hugs and orchids left on our doorstep.  Nothing breaks me down faster than kindness. I lose it when someone gives me a gentle pat on the shoulder and asks how I'm doing.  "Fine (weep, weep)."  But I only crumpled once!  After that I could talk about it like a champ.  Sunday miracle!

So I'm sad because I'll miss him, but more than anything I'm grateful for the knowledge of where he is and I'm grateful to have known him and to have him be such an enormous presence in my life.  He was kind and funny and silly and gentle.  He was an amazing example of hard work and faithfulness.  He loved to tell jokes (What do you call a row of rabbits walking backwards?  A receding hare line.) He loved to tell stories - about growing up in Watts (for real, yo!) and his time in the military during the war and dating my grandma and all those crazy jobs he had.  Fun Fact:  In his later years he was an exterminator so every time I'm in a place that has been sprayed for ants, where other people smell noxious fumes, I only smell Grandpa Knecht.

Once long ago he pulled me into his lap and we watched an episode of MASH together.  At the time I felt like I was too old to be cuddling with my grandpa but after a short while I was nestled into his shoulder and he said, "I'm glad you still fit here."  And even long after I didn't fit there, any time I would sit next to him he would reach over and take my hand and he'd look down at our fingers and say, "That looks pretty good, doesn't it."  And then he'd tell me that I had something on my shirt and then giggle like a kid because he made me look.  That, in a nutshell, was my Grandpa.  And I'll miss him like crazy.