And then the world almost ended.

9 09 2011

This week is stupid. Here’s an excerpt from an email I sent earlier this week entitled “My Path is Winding and Annoying” and all about how I’m having issues in getting certain things accomplished in my mom’s house. Things which will bore and/or disgust you so on to the funny/whiny bits enhanced with gratuitous cursing.

Tuesday morning I woke up and things were difficult from the start. The kids were being kids which is always rude of them. I was grumpy and every little thing was getting to me. And then I saw the hummingbird. It was hovering over the bush outside the window and I felt its magic envelop me and I instantly began to relax into happiness. And then it took a shit. And I nodded and said, “yep” and went back to being grumpy. (And I tweeted it.)

And then coffee helped me relax b/c coffee is reliable unlike asshole shitting hummingbirds so things actually did turn around and I sat here listening to the rain and enjoying the weird weather. Muggy isn’t too bad when it’s rainy. It was warm, but not impossibly so. And then the rain dried up and the sun looked down upon San Diego and was all, “Fuck you, little town, I shall SMITE YOU TO THE BOWELS OF HELL!!!!! MuahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!” And the temperature rose like 26 degrees in approximately 4 and a half minutes and the a/c in my van was all, “I cannot take another moment of this cruel world!” and then it committed suicide.

And that was Tuesday.

And Wednesday was such that I honestly cannot remember it except that my landlord decided that now is the moment in time when my kitchen cabinets have to be revarnished and since it’s been so long coming (like, since the moment we moved in here six years ago) and so many false starts you better believe I said yes.

So on Thursday we had to be out of the house while they did the work. We packed a lunch, left for the Children’s Museum (which turned out to be a really sweaty idea), had lunch at Seaport Village and generally had a really lovely morning.

And then it took a shit.

Naturally, on such a hot day, I assumed it was the extra a/c that crashed the power. And since my kitchen was torn apart and it was damn hot I didn’t feel like trying to fight a lack of electricity to make dinner, so we left to head across town and find some place to eat. Only when we got outside and heard all the sirens and saw the traffic backed up, I started to wonder exactly how large this blackout was. The radio stations were even down and it took me awhile to find one working, but once I did we learned it wasn’t just my block, or my city, or even San Diego county, but pretty much all the southwest.

So we headed home and had Pantry Dinner, trying not to open the fridge more than we had to since they were saying it might be days without power. After the kids went home with their dad, I headed to my aunt and uncle’s (for the second time, since I missed them earlier that afternoon) to try to borrow a radio or batteries or something. We ended up sitting outside for hours enjoying the kind of cool night air that only comes after the sun has smited us all to the bowels of Hell all day long. And there were stars! We don’t get that in the city. Only the brightest ones show. And last night the nearly full moon was blocking many of them, but oh what we did get to see was pretty amazing. I even saw a shooting star. Which makes the fifth this month. The first I saw while camping, the next three one night when Summer and I went to the beach and sat and talked for hours. I am grateful to The Universe for sending me this gift in such a hard time. I cherish those shooting stars. (And they totally did NOT take a shit. Take note, hummingbird. Take note.)

All night long life was weird. Gas stations were down or had lines up the block, most stores were closed, people were lining up at the few left for ice and water and batteries. There were car accidents (which baffle me, honestly) and ambulances and police cars zooming around with sirens blaring. Traffic was backed up for blocks, the freeways were at standstills. Everyone was out – walking or bicycling, or barbecuing with neighbors. It was bizarre. It was surreal. It was disaster. Although, thankfully, one of little consequence in the end. But, of course, at this point we didn’t know how long it would all be.

After we got cold (and yet, still sticky) and went inside the power was restored. Way ahead of schedule! It was only about 6 hours, not the days they’d talked about. The whole neighborhood cheered, like when the Chargers win, only this time I could cheer along with them. I stayed awhile longer and then headed home. And then it took a shit. As I got closer, things got darker. It was spotty the power grids that were coming back up, and mine clearly was not. On the news they were talking about boil water orders and, when they mentioned a region near to me, I wasn’t sure if I was included or not. After all, we share the same water processing plant. The moonlight made a flashlight unnecessary to walk through the parking lot to my apartment. In the house, I climbed into bed, tried to get online, eventually fell asleep.

Happy Thing: Moonlight and Stars

3:00am I woke up. I wondered to myself what I was waiting for. And then, at 3:02, the hall light blinded me and the fan powered up. Naturally, I tweeted that. And then, after awhile, I got up to plug the freezer and fridge back in, try to catch some news (painfully unhelpful about the boil water orders) and eventually forced myself back to bed so I could function the following day.

And here we are. It’s ridiculous how silly and scary that all was. I always felt that having a disaster kit (since I lack space and often money) could be bypassed by driving to my dad in Illinois if I had to, but I learned last night that gas stations need electricity and there’s no way I could have made it to Arizona and beyond on a third of a tank. Lesson learned. Not painfully, thank goodness.


Dancing with Matt

3 07 2011

About a year ago Summer and I went to a Cake Wrecks books signing and met Jen and John. Yesterday we went to the beach and danced with Matt. We’ve decided that our new goal is to meet every internet celebrity, one by one. Which, now that I type it out, sounds really unlikely. But fun!

Quick digression: As we were walking all the damn way across Coronado (because the Fourth of July weekend + a hot day + the beach = no parking anywhere anywhere) and trying to corral two kids and also me across busy streets we naturally got to talking about Paris. It is a little scary to try to cross Parisian streets, and Summer recently accomplished this feat with 20 8th graders and survived (and so did the 8th graders). This conversation naturally led me to comment (again) on one of the things I was most struck by while watching Sherlock – I mean besides the fact that Sherlock Holmes and I totally have the same pillow. There is a scene (more than one, actually) in which someone hops in a cab that’s parked on the right side of the road and the cab darts between traffic all crazy-like onto the left side where it belongs and drives off like nothing unusual happened at all. I remember Douglas Adams writing about this once, and how he was shocked to get a ticket in the US for parking on the wrong side of the road. So I was relaying this to Summer with exaggerated emoting for humorous effect when a lady next to us piped up in an English accent and asked, “And what’s wrong with that?” My feet? Are DELICIOUS. She went on to accuse us Americans of crazy shit like making right turns on red lights so I guess we’re even, but note to self: never mock other cultures in public again. I mean, except for this paragraph. And a quick note to my English readers, I do not actually judge your culture for your parking habits. In truth, I merely poke affectionate fun at you. Feel free to return the gesture if that floats your boat.

So! Matt. We trudged across the sand to a giant crowd of people who’d gathered in the designated spot and who were murmuring things like “Matt” and “dance” and who were also wearing random strange headgear (presumably to spot themselves in the video easier). Matt was not there. But! He had kindly shared some notes with us regarding this gathering:

When you get to the spot, look for the guy who looks like the guy in the dancing video. Just come on over, say hello, and ask if I am Matt. If I’m not Matt, I will let you know.

Wearing distinctive clothing will make it easier to spot yourself in the video, but please do not dress as a licensed character (Mario, Spider-Man, Sarah Palin) or I will have to blur you and that will make everyone think you showed up naked or something. Also, please do not show up naked.

I did not notice anyone there naked, so this was clearly a group who followed directions very well. After a short wait, a dark-haired guy in sunglasses ran up to the crowd to a large round of applause. Speaking of mob mentality (because Summer was, actually), all it takes is for a few people to assume that every dark-haired guy in sunglasses is Matt for the rest of us to assume the first people know what they are talking about. They didn’t. But, true to his word, Matt informed us that he was not Matt. Only a moment later, another dark-haired guy in sunglasses, struggling with a large cooler, walked up to the crowd to very little applause. I guess we were jaded and suspicious by that point. Poor Matt.

And so we gathered into a big mob. There was a girl there with the most awesome bright orange hair I’d ever seen, two guys who Matt dubbed “Shirtless Guys”, and a bunch of goofy kids who bossed Matt around a lot. Well, and a bunch of other people, too. Matt set up the shot, made us give thumbs-up to the disclaimer, squeezed in to join us and we danced.

First we did Matt’s dance, and then we did a bunch of others. Turns out I fail at dancing. I mean, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to me, but it turns out even simple dances like The Swim are beyond me when you are supposed to do it in some kind of rhythm. I predict being fully embarrassed when this video is finished. Or possibly that the entire San Diego sequence will be cut because of me and I will become Hated.

The kids in the front row all took turns making up dances for us to do. Matt was seriously so awesome with all the kids. At one point a tiny two year old ran up and grabbed onto his leg and just held there – that’s pretty much how all the kids felt, I think. Elliott showed Matt how do do a “dance contest” which ended, unexpectedly, with falling down rather than a prize. But then most things Elliott does end with falling down. He is a big fan of the physical comedy.

Happy Thing: My Son Teaching Matt From the Internets How to Dance Contest

It was such an awesome afternoon, as are most when you meet internet-famous people. But the sun was shiny and we were within view of the Hotel Del and we were dancing and we were with a group of people who were just awesome (as you’d have to be to show up to dance for the internet). And the traffic off the “island” (because Coronado likes to call themselves an island but it is clearly a peninsula) wasn’t nearly as scary as it looked. Win!

So. Who should we meet next?

UPDATE! We didn’t make it into the actual video because we were upstaged by a stupid sea lion (and maybe because I danced so terribly that we got upstaged by a stupid sea lion), but you can catch bits and pieces of us in the outtakes.

Cake Wrecks World Tour, Final Stop

27 06 2010

As soon as I heard that Jen & John from were coming here for a book signing, I decided I would go. Actually, last time they went on a book tour, I decided I’d go anytime they were within a couple hours of me and I got lucky and only had to travel to La Jolla. So I picked up my Frister, we stopped for gourmet chocolate, which required entirely more mall-walking that was necessary so we called it a hike just to make it sound prettier, and then we went hunting for this signing.

It wasn’t your average signing. I mean, I heard Cake Wrecks signings aren’t, but this was epecially wasn’t since it wasn’t, you know, in a book store. It was in the middle of an art festival for some reason and cost $10 to enter. So we found the spot, followed a strange maze of signs leading us to parking and hopped on a strategically-placed free shuttle which was extremely air-conditioned (not that I am ARGUING). The shuttle population consisted of my Frister and I, and one other girl who looked to be under 60 years old. The rest of the people were clearly not there for Cake Wrecks, as evidenced by the fact that when Summer shouted, “Look! Cakes!!” because she had spotted the baker bringing the cake into the festival, the nice grandmotherly woman in front of us turned around and asked if we’d missed our lunch.

So we paid our admission and wandered over to the Warwick’s Pavillion about an hour ahead of schedule where some authors of a cook book were giving a demonstration of, I don’t actually know, but I am pretty sure it was edible. We bought copies of the book and stood in the shade and snarked over foodie authors who just happened to be talking about cuitlacoche which, of course, I read about on The Sneeze! it’s been a couple of years, but one does not easily forget about infected corn. These authors even went so far as to say there is a place in MY TOWN which serves this. Or maybe they were talking about lamb. Either way, I should have asked which place so I can know to avoid it.

Then the foodies were done and their audience began to make to leave, Summer and I stalked the front row, prepared to shove people out of our way if need be, and we were rewarded with PERFECT SEATING. Yay! We settled ourselves in and were flipping through our new books when a guy wearing a fancy badge and a Threadless t-shirt sat down next to us and said hello. And he turned out to be John himself! Apparently, when he introduced himself Summer offered up her name, but all I could get out was some sort of squeaky intake of breath that cannot be spelled in our language (maybe in mermaid, though). I think he said some other stuff that was probably words, and I know in the end he invited us to go over and say hello to Jen who was hanging out with the big, fancy cake nearby. So then we had to decide: save our seats or go meet an internet celebrity?? We decided to go with: leave our stuff on our seats as territorial markers and be prepared to beat up anyone who didn’t take the hint. Luckily, there was no need for violence. We went over to say hello, and Jen sort of offended my Frister by assuming she wasn’t wanted in the photo Summer was taking of the cake. And then everyone stopped talking to us and it was Kind of Awkward so we went back to our seats, pretty sure we’d made an excellent impression and that Jen and John wanted to be our new BFFs. (John even ASKED US WHEN HE SHOULD BEGIN. True story. They totally relied on us for ADVICE n shit.)

The presentation was funny as hell, and then we voted by clapping for the best Wreckplica (which is very hard to say out loud – don’t try it at home) and then we stood in some sort of chaotic and weird line for book signings and cake and JEN TOOK A PHOTO WITH US.

By that point, I think the festivities were pretty much over (I hope?) so we decided to wander away. On the way to look for some very cool sidewalk chalk art, we saw, um, this.

Me: I’m pretty sure I need this in my living room.
Summer: I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I need a picture of it!
Me: You want me to pose with it?
Summer: Yes!

(FTR, I did not buy it to put in my living room. That was snark.)

Anyway, it was a great day. From the grandmas to the celebrities to the butt-art. Best book-signing EVAH.

PS. I totally stole those photos from Summer’s Flickr stream.

Dharma Iniative Brand Party

4 02 2010

Host: The Dharma Initiative
Location: The Orchid

When: Tuesday, February 2, 6:00PM to 11:00PM

“You do remember birthdays, don’t you, Richard?”

Time Travel (with bunnies!) down to Chula Vista to celebrate Bonnie’s birthday and the awesomeness of Lost all in one convenient party!

Dharma rations and hypo-allergenic brownies will be served. A viewing of the final season premiere of Lost will begin at 9pm.

Anyone not caught up on Lost may choose to take the sub off the island before 8pm when the re-caps begin.

dharma products

dharma beer

dharma chips

dharma chocolate

dharma fruit

dharma nuts

dharma tic tacs

Summer also brought some (perfect) gluten-free brownies. I threatened to marry her. But I don’t have a picture of hers because they are in my belly so I’ll just show you the ones I made from this recipe.

gluten free brownies

We made a CD of some of the songs featured on Lost.

dharma music

My daughter got in on the fun and created this label for me to wear.

margie made me a dharma product with my very own label

We bought magnets from this Etsy shop to share with our guests.


And then we watched the show.

watching lost

Oh damn. Oh damn. “What Happened?” Indeed.

Secret: We didn’t make the labels ourselves – they are available for free download here.

A Bridal Shower

2 02 2010

top 'o the cake

two hula girls


trying to find objects in the slideshow of photos

working on one of the games

cutting the cake

gifts and the bride


raffle money & decorations

everyone + me

comparing whiteness


18 11 2009


I love this band. I have loved this band since I was 15 and saw them on Tiny Toons (and before that, too, although I did not know it at the time). I saw them in concert once 11 years ago and missed them another time because I wasn’t 21 yet. I haven’t been to a concert at all since June of 2001 (it was Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, BTW) and since I missed The Killers recently, I decided that, dammit, I was going to see TMBG this time around.

that's john and next to him is john

So we left our kids to be put to bed by their grandma (first time EVER with a nighttime sitter) and we headed out. As it turned out, a friend of mine was also going so we sat together, along with another couple. I felt so strangely grownup to be out, at night, seeing a show. Funny how acting like I did 15 years ago makes me feel grownup.

confetti bombs are the best bombs

The show was awesome. I had intended to get up after the opening band and enjoy the show from the floor, but it turned out differently and even though we were at the side of the stage, we had a great view. Plus, Flansburgh gave us lots of attention over there which was very nice.

Before I left, my son was perusing the back of the Here Come the ABC’s DVD and wondering, “Do you think they will play E Eats Everything or LMNO?” I told him I thought they would focus on grownup songs (which is kind of a silly thing to think when it comes to TMBG – after all I first learned of them on a kids’ cartoon, years before they ever did a kids’ album) and, true to form, I was wrong. They played Clap Your Hands and Alphabet of Nations.

But the best part was when they broke out the puppets.

All in all, they played for nearly two hours, complete with two encores. I don’t even remember if that is usual for a concert, it’s been so long.

I took all these photos despite the warning not to. I tried – TRIED – not to. But it’s become uncontrollable for me now, and by the end of the show, I was snapping them off shamelessly. It’s a horrible addiction, photography. But I am not ready for an intervention yet.


Ana Ng, Subliminal, James K Polk, Don’t Let’s Start, Cowtown, Birdhouse… It was fabulous. I can’t wait to see them again. Cause I’m a grownup again and can go to concerts.

County Fair

3 07 2009

woodstock tribute


empty boats


on the rebound

For the whole set, click here.