Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Painful Book Review

On my other blog is my book review of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. This book was recommended to me and I'm glad I read it because it's a book I will never forget. I encourage you to go look at the post and view the pictures (but be warned, they will probably elicit some emotion).

Click here to see the review.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Small-Chested Woman's Creed

Status: Science Fair project is finished & turned in. YEA!
What I'm listening to: "Incognito" by Enigma


I am not flat. Lithe, svelte, dainty--yes.

I will assert to any who doubt that Yes, Nearly A is a legitimate bra size.

I will never have to endure underwire. (Poor women.)

I will shop with pride in the Juniors section.

I will stare down each and every busty Victoria Secret salesgirl who says in disbelief, "I don't think we even make bras that small."

I will be happy as I run comfortably.

I will have no shame at having the figure of a 10 year-old.

I will try not to be smug when my curvier friends bemoan the effects of gravity.

I refuse to wear a training bra. I graduated from "training" long ago.

I will not even try on a top that has darts in the chest area.

Swimming suit shopping will not drive me to tears.

I will not even bother with a water bra. Despite the advertising,
it only looks like I stuffed my mom's bra with partially-filled water balloons.

I will be happy with the fact that I only bounce when I want to (on trampolines, etc).

I can lie on my stomach easily.

I never have to worry about smothering my baby while breastfeeding.

No one will ever wonder if my chest is natural.

I can give front hugs to anyone I want.

*Probably falls in the category of TMI (too much info.) but it popped into my head during carpool the other day & I had to share. Small-chested women, Unite!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why don't friends with kids have time?

Status: Science fair project due tomorrow. Procrastination = bad.
Song: "Alive and Kicking" by Simple Minds

Just a quickie today (project calling).

A friend sent this to me. Because apparently I have all the time in the world (see previous blog post here).

*click on image to enlarge

And we won't mention homework, cooking meals, scouts, school projects, soccer, football, basketball, or how everything triples when they're sick, etc. etc. etc.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A contract - why didn't I think of that?

Status: More snow. Darnit!
Song: "Cristofori's Dream" by David Lanz

I've had contracts on the brain a bit (what with my desperate hope I'll get one with an agent) and maybe there's some sort of mother-child telepathic connection, because Saturday Ian plopped this down in front of me and asked me to sign it.

He had made his own contract.

I scanned it in on the suicide-inducing printer that still resides on my computer desk (you can read the whole story here- and after this morning when it would only print in green, its days are numbered. Hey Monsier Epson! Ever heard of a laser printer? Yeah, that's right. Tremble in your ink cartridges. You are about to be replaced, buddy. Tout de suite!!!) so you can at least get the gist of it. I will now type in the contents, for those of you who have a hard time reading badly-scanned 8 year-old.

This document clearly states that Ian Theler will not be punished for his bad actions,
but will be free to do his will.
This document can't be broken or you will do 100 push ups and 100 sit ups.
This is approved by the FBI.

I Barack Obama approve this document.

Agreement by Ian Theler

I, as a parent I will or can't break this document and will approve of this document.
I as dad of Ian Theler will sign this document.

Signed ___________ (signed by Jason)

Saturday was a hard day for Ian because his evil parents made him do Saturday chores, dragged him to his basketball game, *and* made him redo a book report (a paragraph about how SOME of his classmates are violent, unlike Quasimodo, does not constitute an acceptable book report on The Hunchback of Notre Dame). So Ian must have felt he had to take drastic measures to right the injustice in our household. And the fact that Barack O'Bama approved it? Well, we had no choice but to sign the contract, obviously!

Ian cackled gleefully when Jason signed it, but was less than thrilled when we informed him that we don't "punish" him. We just let him feel the negative consequences of his actions.

Foiled again!

Wow, if only it were that easy. I've got a whole bunch of contracts I could draw up. I wonder if I could get mine approved by the FBI...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In case I don't make it

Status: Getting ready to help with a book report
Song: "A different drum" by Peter Gabriel

I fully plan on getting to a shark blog here pretty quick, but just in case it doesn't happen today or tomorrow, here's a little something to tide you over. For those of you who may not know, I'm trying to get a literary agent for my latest book. The process is long and hard, and I'm sharing it on my other blog.

Here's a quick fun post when I was really grumpy about it the other day and an author friend of mine really helped out. Check it out here. *Hint: It involves fire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blogs can save your life

Status: Twittering now. Tweet. (If you know what Twitter is.)
Song: "Too Much Time on My Hands" by Styx

C'mon, Jaime, you say. Blogs can be entertaining, informative, a great way to keep in touch, or downright weird, but save your life?

Oh, yes! Indeed blogs can save your life. I shall elaborate...

*wavy lines indicating a flashback*

Place: The Theler house.

Time: This morning, 5 minutes before car pool arrived.

The Story: I had just made B. stop playing his strategy-based, conquer-the-world computer game to get ready to go. I was doing what all mothers learn to do in order to survive--multi-tasking. Meaning I was fixing my boys lunches and flipping through B.'s school planner (that needs parent's initials every day) when I noticed some key homework-type things were incomplete, despite my son's assertions the day before that his homework was all done.

I called upstairs to my beloved 10 year-old to tell him he had 5 minutes to get it done. Whereupon he promptly started freaking out because there was no way he had enough time to get it done and he was going to get a bad grade which was going to affect his ability to get into college and then he'd be stuck flipping burgers at McDonald's and living on minimum wage the rest of his life... (notice no pausing for breath)

**Okay, I have to be honest. He *did* freak out, but the part about affecting his ability to get into college etc. is just my wishful thinking, as we continually have these discussions about why he should even care what grades he gets.**

So, B.'s freaking out. Then screams that his agenda is downstairs and he needs to be on the internet to do something which is...gasp...upstairs. You know. A *whole flight* of steps apart. It could kill a 10 year-old. (No, no sarcasm here.)

Being the compassionate mom I am, I tell him, "Just go get it."

He replies, "That means I'll have to go all the way downstairs! And then go all the way back up here!"

Yeah, pretty much.

"Can't you get it for me?" he yells.

Note: He would probably have been finished by this point if he'd skipped the freaking out yell-fest.

"So," I said. "You want me to go all the way upstairs, then have to go all the way back down here? I don't think so. Your legs work just fine."

*This is where the life-saving part comes. Are you ready?

My precious first-born--the fruit of my loins--then said in all seriousness, "Well, you're the one who has all the time in the world, while I have to go to school!"

It was as if everything stood still.

In a flash, something like tickertape unrolled in my mind, detailing all the things that I had to do today, with all those things I optimistically hoped I would get to, as well as the stuff I didn't quite get to yesterday or the day before or the week before, and the huge long compilation of stuff I need to eventually get to that always hovers like a bad smell in my psyche wherever I go. That was overlaid by all the things I'd already done the 3+ hours I'd been awake, including homemade breakfast, a load of laundry, dishes, making the kids' lunches, getting them ready for school, checking and replying to email, and making sure my son did his homework.

But apparently I have all the time in world.

Things started to take on a reddish hue, just like in cartoons. Mount Mommy was gonna blow. And it didn't look good for one 10 year-old.

Then, like a ray of sun, came the thought. "This will make a great blog."

I started composing it in my head right then and there and my son made it out to carpool alive. See? Blogs really can save your life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today as a Writing Exercise

Status: Ummmm
Song: "60 Miles and Hour" by New Order

I’ve read various places to do writing exercises to work on your craft, but many of the topics they pick for those are boring. After all, you know you’re a writer if you can take the daily mediocrity and make something out of it. So, here goes.

If today were written as a…

Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a house not too far away, a young mother rose from her warm bed long before the rest of the family. It was still dark outside, and dawn was yet an hour or two away. As Jaime slipped past the rooms with their still-slumbering occupants, she didn’t wish them ill, even though they were still sleeping and she went to bed later—after all, the dishes had to be done. Jaime was good-natured and loving, and without an irritable bone in her body (or even a backbone, come to think of it). She shivered in the cold as she tiptoed barefoot across the frigid tiles, careful not to bump into anything and wake the others.

She opened the side garage door, and the frost coating everything sparkled in the light from the open doorway like the diamonds of the Queen’s crown. It was so beautiful that Jaime burst into spontaneous song. The neighborhood cats and the one yippy dog that never stops barking (no matter what time of day or night—but Jaime never got irritated by this) joined in. Their voices blended into a beautiful harmony that rose into the pre-dawn stillness. With regret, Jaime wished the animals a good day, then trudged off to her weight class, where she would try and get stronger so she could take care of the chores, which today included a top-to-bottom deep cleaning before the royal mortgage refinance appraiser arrived.

Jaime wished she could go to the royal ball tonight. The mother who caught the prince’s eye would win a housekeeper for a year. She sighed, a small tear escaping down her perfectly curled lashes even though she never put on any mascara. Unfortunately, the baseboards and walls would take so long she wouldn’t have time to get a suitable dress ready or round brush her hair. Maybe if she burst into tears later that day, a kindly fairy would grant her wish...

Old Picture Book

See Jaime wake up
See her go to her weight class
Shiver Jaime Shiver

See Jaime exercise
See her do a billion crunches
Lift Jaime Lift

See Jaime go home
See her wash walls and floors
Scrub Jaime Scrub

See Jaime get tired
See her not get to the basement
Tomorrow, Jaime. Tomorrow.

(Bad) Historical Romance

Jaime woke with a start. She hadn’t wanted to wake from the lovely dream, where she was reliving the glory of the previous evening. Lady Mary had insisted Jaime take her place when she became ill. And once Jaime saw Sir Jason standing across the room, his finely tailored costume only enhancing the body encased within it, she knew immediately why Lady Mary had suddenly been struck with a fit of the vapors. She came close to it herself when he strode over to her as soon as she entered the Beauchamp’s drawing room.

“I see you are wearing the trinket I gave you.” He indicated the sparkling bracelet on her wrist just before he raised her gloved hand to his lips.

She had to fight not to snatch her hand away, somehow sure he could feel the roughness of her work-hardened fingers through the fine material. Or maybe it was the fact his lips seemed to burn through the cloth. Or that he gazed at her with eyes like a clear summer sky.

He would know she was an impostor as soon as she spoke. She was much more forthright than her mistress, which would give her away instantly. Even though Jaime had been gentle born and still spoke like a lady, the years of taking care of her family when her father retreated into the bottle, and then finally having to become a lady’s companion cum servant, had cured her of any demureness.

She just had to extricate herself from his mesmerizing sapphire gaze. As soon as possible. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered.

“My lady,” he said. “Your voice?”

“My throat is sore,” she explained.

He captured her elbow and she could swear there was a slight smile behind the mask. “Then by all means, do not tax your lovely throat. I shall retrieve some punch for you.”

And that was the beginning of the most glorious night Jaime had ever imagined. Even thinking about it made her pulse quicken and her breathing deepen. Her bosom heaved.

But then her excitement turned to despair and she focused on her bucket of soapy water and the rag she was using to wipe down the walls. The royal appraiser was coming and there was so much work to be done. As she scrubbed at another spot she faced the truth: her love was doomed. Without her disguise he would only ever see her as a servant.

**Forgive me for the heaving bosoms, but it is a romance. And I’d appreciate it if those of you who have seen me in a swimsuit wouldn’t laugh too hard—I know “bosom” is a stretch.**


“There’s nothing left, captain!” Sporty, the engineer, shouted across the intercom. “That’s all she has!”

Jaime, the plucky star cruiser captain with something to prove, slammed her fist against the Com Board. “You have to!”

She was afraid she was out of her depth with this one. Her first voyage as captain looked like it would be her last. Maybe that slimy admiral was right: she was too young for this. She was willing to take the risk, had sworn in the Academy to do so, but as she thought of her crew all looking at her to somehow make this better, she knew she had to do something. She couldn’t let the Tralls—those cannibalistic, four-armed, blue-skinned, big-foreheaded, and the dirtiest race in the known galaxy—have her crew for dinner. By Snapthar’s Groin, she refused to be any specie’s entrĂ©e!

By sheer will, she remained standing as their ship was rocked by another laser blast. A junior navigator went flying over the rail to land in a crumpled heap below.

“That’s not good enough!” she informed her engineer.

“We’re completely out of ammo for our SPLAT torpedoes,” Sporty argued. “There’s just no more left.”

“Wait a minute,” Jaime said, struck by an unbelievably brilliant—or unbelievably stupid—idea. She turned to her science officer. “SPLAT torpedoes are liquid-based. Could we substitute other liquids for SPLAT?”

Bart considered, his face implacable. “Theoretically, but it’s never been tested.”

“Luwanda,” Jaime barked at her second-in-command. “How much of that green apple cleaner do we have on board?”

“Storeroom 51-G on deck 43 is completely full. Why?” Luwanda asked.

“Bart, I want you to get all the hands you can to 51-G. Transport it all to the weapons deck. Fill all the empty containers you can find that will fit in the SPLAT tubes.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Bart answered. At Jaime’s scowl he amended, “I mean, yes captain.”

“Let’s give those Tralls a cleaning they’ll never forget,” Jaime vowed.

*Whew* That was fun! I'll have to do it more often. (Yeah, I'm weird.) You ought to try it. Maybe I'll ask for genre suggestions next time. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hawaii continued - it's about time!

Status: Finishing laundry - ahhh, Fridays.
Song: "Clocks" by Coldplay

Do you ever fully plan on getting to something, then life gets too interesting or crazy or whatever and that thing you planned on getting to gets shoved to the back burner, then the back of the stove, then on top of the fridge, and finally to the junk drawer? I'm sure that only happens to me... Well, I've yanked the Hawaii blog intentions out of the junk drawer, dusted them off, and here we go!

Just FYI, December/January is in the middle of Hawaii's rainy season, so we had to adjust our plans accordingly - meaning we drove around the island in search of sun. One day we scrapped our plans (yucky weather) and decided to try and go hiking at Manoa Falls. All I can say is thank goodness for cell phones because Gina finally got us to the start of the hike -- where it was dumping buckets of rain. And when it rains in Hawaii it ain't kidding, either.

This doesn't quite do the amount of rain justice, but notice the rivulets of running water down the trail. Some decided to get soaked and hike up to the waterfall anyway. We elected with some others in our party NOT to go hiking. And even as we pulled out of the parking lot I regretted it. I totally should have gone. Just stamp "Crochety Old Geezer" across my forehead. Or maybe "Hates to be cold and wet and could do that just fine at home, thank you." Oh, well.

We headed over to Waikiki instead. Jared, who lives there, detests the place, but since we were tourists we wanted to go there and be immersed in the Hawaii tourist Mecca that is Waikiki Beach.

Notice the hoards of people crowding the beach, in varying degrees of sun exposure--from blinding white (which would be me) to lobster red (and there were quite a few of those) to the two old people that looked their skin could be used for saddles (I'm not kidding.)

Ah, here we are with Diamond Head in the background.

This couple was one of the more interesting parts of the day. They had a total blast doing their own modeling photo shoot--in front of thousands of strangers. She would splash in the ocean or pose covered in sand (like here) while her husband (in the striped spandex pictured above) would snap tons of pics. Then she would take the camera and he would take a turn, swimming with manly strokes or bursting out of the water, etc. I had to admire the sheer aplomb with which they ignored the rest of us (snorting and chuckling in their towels - or maybe that was just me) as they went about their shoot. And actually, it was kinda cute.

New Year's was an experience. We got up super early to head to the North Shore for a shark cage expedition, only to find that the water was too murky to actually see any sharks (too much rain washing the red soil into the ocean), so we went to a nearby beach that had *huge* waves. Like monster scary waves. That totally wiped my feet out from under me when I tried to take an ocean potty break. And you know what? It's very hard to do that when you fear for your life.

Ever heard of Pipeline?
Yeah. That Pipeline.
(And this is not my picture of Pipeline, but it totally rocks, doesn't it? You can find the original here.)

That's where we decided to kick back and go for a leisurely swim in the ocean. Before you freak out, realize the waves weren't *this* big when we were there! I didn't have my camera that day, but I loved the pic I took of Anjuli & Marissa with Jason's dad washing by in the background after being knocked on his butt for the 5th time by the waves. I'm hoping to get some copies of those pics from family.

Another note about New Year's in Hawaii. BIG DEAL. It's THE holiday there. And they go for it in a big way. We're talking fireworks from 5:00 to 1:00 a.m. non-stop. And unlike here, all fireworks are legal.

Here's the street just before midnight when we decided to book it down to the beach to celebrate the official New Years. That isn't fog making it hard to see. It's smoke. From fireworks.

And another learning experience. The beach is dark. Really dark. And it's kinda scary running down the public access path in the pitch black. We used our cell phones to light the way. *Note: iPhones make almost as much light as a flashlight. My little Razr - not so much.

Happy New Year!

I can't believe I stayed up. New Years is the holiday bane of my existence (me being an incurable morning person and all). Usually I can't stay awake and Jason dodges my grumpy swatting at him for waking me up and gives me a quick kiss for the New Year. If I'm lucky I might even remember it the next day. But this time I was wide awake for the magic moment. Of course, being surrounded by the Neighborhood Hawaii Firework Extravaganza left me with little choice.

Oh, man! I had full intentions of fitting the rest of the trip in this post, but it isn't gonna happen. I like to add too much story, I guess. You'll just have to read more fun stuff in future posts.

Like... the sharks. And there were lots of them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why in the world were you watching American Idol?!

Status: Sheepish
Song: "I can do everything good and you do everything bad" by my 5 year old

And that's really a song, too. I simply have to post and explain why the kids and I were watching American Idol last night when Jason walked in the door after working late. He stopped in his tracks, jaw dropping to the floor. "What are you watching?" he said in total disbelief. I mean, I'm a little anti-TV as it is. I don't ever, ever, hardly ever watch the thing. Especially never reality shows.

Let's just say I had a long day, complete with trips to the doctor's office, the carpet cleaning guy showing up and I had completely forgotten he was coming so had to scramble and pick up toys and move furniture, my husband working late, and being on the phone for 30-45 minutes with Comcast to figure out what is wrong with our phone service.

It went something like this...

Technician: Ma'am, (and that's something else, I'm not a ma'am yet. I'm not old enough to be a ma'am!) Take off the splitter and plug your phone directly into the modem.

*in the tone that clearly says this would have been good information to know, oh, 10 minutes ago before we tried a whole bunch of crap that didn't work because I neglected to mention I have a splitter plugged into the back of the modem.

Child (screaming from downstairs--everything he said was at maximum volume): Mom! Can I go play?

Me: Okay, I'm plugging in the phone. No dial tone still.

Child: MOOOOOMMMM! Can I go play?

Technician: Wait. Is it a cordless phone?

Me (yelling): NO! (in a calmer voice) Yes.

Technician (confused): No it's not a cordless or yes it is?

Child: WHY NOT?

Me: Yes it's a cordless. (Yelling) Because you still have more homework to do!

Technician: Do you have a corded phone you can plug in instead?

Child: WHAT?! I do NOT have more homework!

Me (still yelling): Yes you do! You have a whole page of multiplication. Sorry, (to the technician) what was the question?

Technician (sounding a little frazzled, which is fine because so am I): Do you have a corded phone you can use?

Me: Yeeeees... (imagining the hassle this is going to be to get my corded phone from my bedroom. I'll have to somehow unravel the 50 ft. long phone cord that is irrevocably tangled with all the other cords hiding behind my bed. It's so bad I gave it up for a lost cause and just let the cords knot hopelessly for the last 4 years) Do we really have to use a corded phone?

*I can hear the answer in the silence from the other end of the phone.

Me: Okay. This will take just a minute.

Child: This is freaking IMPOSSIBLE!

Me (agreeing as I fight with the cord ball, while trying to keep the 2 centimeter wide cell phone in between my ear and shoulder): No, it's not!

Child: Where's the calculator?

Me (yelling and dropping the cell phone as I yank the cord free at last): Absolutely not! That's cheating!

Child (grumbling incoherently under his breath - while still at a yell. How do they do that?): FINE!

Technician: Maybe we should just set up an appointment to have someone come and check it out.

Me: No, I've got it. (running to the modem) Okay, it's plugged in. Yea! We have a dial tone.

Technician (in obvious relief): Well if that's all, thanks for calling--

Me: No, wait! (running downstairs to check other phones) But we don't have a dial tone anywhere else.

Child (sprinting to the front door): Bye Mom!

Me: Stop right there! You can't go until I check your homework.

Child: WHAT?! That will take FOREVER!

Technician: There must obviously be something wrong with your phone jacks--

Me (to child): Sit down. I'm almost done.

Technician (practically stumbling over her words in her haste): So I have a technician scheduled for Friday between 8 and 12 to come check that out, will that work for you? (not even waiting for a reply). I'll just put it in the computer--

Me: I guess that's okay.

*cell phone beeps indicating low battery

Technician (under her breath): C'mon, c'mon. (falsely cheerful) I'm sorry, my computer's being slow, but I'll just make sure the order gets put in after we get off the phone.

Other Child (dashing out the front door before I can stop him): Bye Mom!

First Child: HEY! Why does he get to go when I was done first?!

Me (to technician): Don't you need a phone number to reach me?

Child: Mom! You're taking forever!

Technician: Oh, yeah. Give it to me and I'll just write it down. (after I give cell number she finishes so fast it's like one long word) We'llseeyouFridayandthanksforcallingComcast. *click*

And that was the condensed version.

**Note to self: check *all* phones in the house to make sure they haven't been off the hook all day (like the one I found in the basement 2 hours after this experience) before calling the phone company.

So 7:00 rolls around and I am DONE. Like, done done. I park the kids in front of the TV, collapse on the couch, and refuse to watch another episode of "Chowder" - probably the *strangest* cartoon ever created. My kids wanted to watch American Idol, so that's what we did.

Then in the bathtub my 5 year-old declared she wanted to be on the show and made up two songs. My favorite was the one where she gyrated around and sang various versions of "I do everything good and you do everything bad" at the top of her lungs. At least I know we're doing good in the self-esteem department.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Uber-fun book

Status: Is that? Can it be? SUN actually shining?? Yes!!!!
Song: "Black and White" by Sarah McLaughlin

Like fairy tales? Like princes? Like your indoor plumbing? Go check out my review of a really delightful book, "My Fair Godmother" by Janette Rallison on my other blog.

To summarize: Easy read, funny, definitely would recommend.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quickie Laugh

Status: Busy
Song: "Human Touch" by Under the Influence of Giants

Hey all. I just wanted to start off the week with something light and funny. Then it'll be back to normal blogging-type stuff tomorrow. Cesar the hot water heater is working smashingly. Lots and lots of steaming hot water. Yea!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Meet the newest member of the household

Status: Stoked
Song: "Some Like it Hot" by Power Station

I know you've all been on pins and needles to know the outcome of the latest Theler drama. Have the cold showers addled the Theler's brains? Will they finally have hot water? Is it sanitary to wash dishes in cold water? Stay tuned for these and more answers.

So, my buddy Cesar, knowing how frustrating it's been for us to fight with the hot water heater (or maybe knowing how frustrating it's been for him to keep coming back to try and fix the problem) that actually wouldn't heat the water, despite the fact that the general consensus is that hot water heaters should last 8-10 years, and our little 5 year old should be still in its prime... Um... wait a minute. What was I saying? I kinda got lost in all the clauses of that last sentence.

Well, anyway, Cesar, who is now topping the list of my favorite people for the day, called the company that makes the heaters and gave them what for. Whatever magic Cesar worked, he got them to admit that the heater in our house actually had a design flaw, which made it not work so good--or at all. With a little more arm twisting he got them to give us a new hot water heater for... are you ready for this... FREE.

That's my boy!

And with only a little arm twisting on my part I talked the plumbing company into charging us significantly less labor to put it in than they originally quoted me when they called to tell me the news. And so we reach the end of the Theler hot water saga. Meet the newest member of our household.

Isn't he cuuute?!
We haven't picked a name yet, but I'm kinda leaning toward Cesar.

And for the new year we have . . . no hot water. Again.

Status: Shivering from a shower that could optimistically be called "lukewarm" but it had to be done because I ran 5 miles this morning.
Song: "Here it goes again" by Ok Go

No pilot light in the hot water heater again this morning. Good grief! I'd like to get this fixed once an for all. The plumber's on his way again. Cesar and I are getting on pretty good terms, but I'd really like to go a couple weeks without talking to him. Now I have to go clean up the basement because it looks like war-torn Europe every time he comes.

I'm looking for the silver lining--maybe my ornery mood will transfer over to a great blog post later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Movies I should have skipped

It's up on my other blog. Check it out here. More Hawaii soon, promise.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Long layover and a really bad movie

Status: Trying to decide if I can get away without shoveling snow today. The verdict--maybe.
Song: "Word Up" by Korn

I just wanted another snowy, frigid picture to get you in the mood for more Hawaii pics. (He he)

Apparently it was snowy and frigid throughout the country the day we left because we had a 7 1/2 layover in San Francisco that we were dreading, but that turned out not to be too bad compared to other airport fun and games. One of Jason's brothers & his wife got stranded in Texas and had to come out the next day, and another brother & wife's flight was delayed leaving San Francisco for over 7 hours, making their layover 9 1/2 hours. Yikes!

So we prepared for our long layover with another of Jason's brothers and his wife who were on the same flights and took BART into the city. Well, only one stop into the city, to a mall where we dined luxuriously at the food court (for about 1/6 the price of airport food) and decided to kill time by seeing a movie and wandering the mall for an hour dragging our carry-on luggage and looking for playing cards to kill the rest of the time.

*A note about the Target in that mall - completely ransacked. Did a hurricane or something go through S.F. without my knowledge so that looters descended upon the Targets throughout the city?! Oh, wait. Day after Christmas shopping. That's about the same thing, I guess.

Anyway, back to the story. The mall food? Passable. Wandering the mall? Okay since we finally found cards. The movie? At the end we stood up and looked at each other, then pronounced that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had the honor of being in the top 5 of the worst movies we'd ever seen. (That will spur a post soon on my red-headed step blog - my other, neglected blog - about my list of worst movies. I'll wax eloquent on why the movie was so bad there & I'll let you know when it's up so you can go check it out.)

In our "oh my gosh we just spent how much money and time on that 2 hours of trash?!" fog, we stepped onto the first BART train that pulled up, completely failing to read the blinking neon signs that announce the destination of the train. Let's just say, it was the wrong one.

Here we are parked at the wrong station at the end of the line (notice the lack of many other people, because they all intended to get off at this station) for 20 minutes until the train turned around and went back, so we could get off where we first got on and wait for the right train. Good thing we had a full work day to wander around :)

Happily, our plane left on time. We bade a fond farewell to James & Marissa whose flight was supposed to leave 4 hours earlier but had been delayed even longer. Six hours and a completely unknown and another top horrible movie called "The Son of Rambo" later, we were in Hawaii!

Another picture for you. Note the lack of snow...

The first full day rained quite a bit (torrential, rivers running down the street) and we spent time visiting with family and hanging out. The next day was just kicking back and taking it easy (you can actually do that with no kids). Jason and I went running early in the morning (in shorts and a tank top - yes!!), the guys did some golfing, the girls did some walking and exploring, and then some of our group went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, while others went to the beach. We went beaching.

It was too cold for me to get in the water (overcast skies) so I just cheered Jason from the beach. The next day things got a little more interesting, but I'll leave that for the next post.

To end this one I just have to do a little shout out to my hubby.

Happy Birthday!!!
(a couple days late)
You're my favorite 37 year-old by far!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

We're Baaaack

Status: Jet-lagged, but not as much as my husband who gave me the window seat on the long flight so I got about 5 times more sleep than him on the red-eye back home. Poor baby's crashed on the couch.
Song: "Mama's Room" by Under the Influence of Giants


Yeah, I know I'm late, but I was out of town, after all. And I promise to blog about it extensively, or at least post some fabulous Hawaii pics, complete with the amusing Jaime narrative you all love and adore. There'll be sun, sand, surf, sharks (oh yeah), and this guy. And if you want to know who it is and why I have a picture of him, you'll have to read to the end of the post. And trust me, it's way cool. Like, OMG cool. *Neener Neener*

We'll start off with a side-by-side compare and contrast of here and there. (My English teachers would be so proud... of my mom, who came up with the fab-u-lous idea.)









I think you get the drift. So would you rather be a "here" or a "there??" Well, if you're like the hordes of people on Oahu the last week, then "there" was looking pretty good. Apparently this was the busiest week for the island for the entire year, hands down.

"Yeah, yeah, Jaime," you're saying. "Wrap up the rubbing it in already and get to the anonymous guy at the beginning of the post. And it better be good!"

Okay, fine. My public's wish is my demand, (and all that).

drum roll....

The suspense is building....

That guy in the first picture is.... oh wait, I gotta go get my laundry!

Just kidding...

That guy is none other than your friendly neighborhood Secret Service agent telling you to turn your non-President-elect behind around because that part of the beach was secure for Barack Obama. I'm dead serious. He was staying within a half mile of us.

We even got flashed the official SS badge and everything. Jason thought about making a break for it just so I could videotape him getting tackled, but we decided that going to jail wasn't a good way to start the vacation. So, yeah, Barack Obama is a good sport about things like wearing a shirt and being Photoshopped as a vulcan on an earlier post of mine. We're tight now.

Well, if you want to get technical, I never actually *saw* him, but I talked with the Secret Service, so that's *almost* like talking to him. Jason's brother actually did talk to him after surfing. (Dang it!) And no, they didn't talk about world peace or anything. It was mostly small talk, with probably some surfing stuff thrown in.

So, there's a little about my vacation. Stay tuned for more blogs.