Sunday, December 31, 2006

happy happy

okay, gang, for all the folks who decided to stay home tonight, put on your party hats:
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throw some confetti:
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and do a lil dancin:

i'll come back later with water bottles and champagne :0)

your hostess with the mostest,

a holiday wish

my cyber bud, steve, sends his holiday wish. it's a little dated, but the sentiment is still relevant for today's world.

watching this clip reminded me of when i was a kid and santa was coming to visit our school. all the students were to write their christmas wishes to santa. i wrote,

Dear Santa,
For my Christmas wish I just want there to be peace on Earth - and a hang ten shirt.


well, the big day arrived and we all handed our letters to the teacher, then we lined up to go outside and watch santa arrive. i guess he had some pretty good connections - he was being flown in by the newport beach police in their new helicopter. the helicopter landed in a flurry of whipped up wind and asphalt pebbles. we fought to hold down our catholic school uniform skirts and still wave frantically to santa. the letters were delivered to santa by our principal, santa told us to be good and before we knew it, he flew away in the police helicopter.

wow! my first brush with fame. i was giddy and all a twitter. how could i go back into the classroom and thing about math when i had just seen a real life holiday icon? somehow the teacher got us back into the classroom and focused on the tasks in our little classroom world. maybe we finished our parents' classroom gifts, i don't remember.

but i do remember a week later, my mom showed me the local newspaper and how my letter to santa made the front page. seeing santa was one thing, but seeing my name in print was a whole new ball of wax. yeah, santa was a world wide celebrity, but i had my first 15 minutes of fame...or at least for however long it took folks to read the santa story headline before the paper lined tweety's bird cage.

could this have been the start of my childhood lust for fame and the subsequent fantasizing about becoming the newest member of the brady bunch? perhaps, but i sure have another vivid memory of being a six year old at a family reunion - getting all my relatives to stop talking and watch me pretend to faint, so maybe the published letter wasn't the exact start.

these days i don't want fame, but i still love making people laugh, cry or feel something profoundly undefinable. i do wish for peace on earth, but now i know that only happens in movies like lost horizon.

...and the wish for a hang ten shirt has been replaced by lusting for a pair of ugg boots and a new set of calphalon cookware.

happy holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christams to you!!

oooooh, tis the season to be jolly!

so, are you in the mood yet? it takes me a while to get revved up, to get me convinced that all the tinsel and caroling is a wonderful thing, but once i get there, i'm all about christmas. just like someone who's grumpy in the morning, i can be a downright scrooge the first three weeks in november. don't even THINK about singing jingle bells or putting up decorations before thanksgiving - i just might give you a sour puss look, but knock on my door with egg nog on the 12th and i will invite you in for some fresh baked christmas cookies and show you how to make a gingerbread house out of pop tarts.

i've done some of my shopping (power shopping at target put a huge dent in my christmas list), but i still have lots to do at the mall (blech. i'll never like the mall).


okay, so the above blurb was a draft from 12/12. now it's 6:00 a.a. on the 23rd.

we had our poptart gingerbread house party last night. my son opened his presents from the auntie, unc and cousins before he goes to do chrsimas with his dad. i'm still trying to figure out when to 'do christmas' with my son. this will be the first year that my son starts the 'every other year' christmas shuffle, and i'm trying to figure out how to make it go smoothly for the boy.

i'm in the mood for the holiday...friends and family getting together - boat parade parties - work events - getting ready for the christmas eve bash, getting ready to go to christmas eve mass to hear my niece sing in the children's choir...all this is the good stuff.

...what i'm dreading is the other stuff: last minute shopping, trying to find a parking spot at the mall, fitting in the kid's portrait and having the boy to his meet and greet with santa. all today. i better go make some coffee.

here's my Christmas present to you:



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

mckay predicts the future

SNL will have a skit about miss usa in group therapy rehab....wearing her crown. others in the group therapy will be pissed that she got to keep her crown. a brawl will ensue over the crown, it may end with girls kissing. i don't know.


Monday, December 18, 2006

today's topic

again, i've nothing profound to blog, so i'll vamp until inspiration strikes. didja hear about the olive garden outbreak? it seems over 300 people became violently ill at an indiana olive garden. if i remember correctly, it was first attributed to a possible ecoli virus, but that now seems to not be the case. in my college years i worked part time for a restaurant chain (el torito in restaurant row, for you savvy san diegians and foo foo las brisas for the jet set set). anyways, my thought is this: restaurant staff have been known to scrounge on the high end left overs on customers' plates.

there. i said it. it's not a pretty fact, but it's true.

someone orders a $40.00 surf and turf, but they fill up on the vintner's cab and warm bread. they're late meeting marg and phil at the pageant of the masters, so they leave the lobster tail and the medium rare filet half eaten as they dash to the evening of art under the stars.

cut to the kitchen - waiters are crowded around the plates from table five - scarfing on lobster, filet mignon and creme brule. fact. sad, but true.

said staff then takes out a new plate of food to a new table....hence, germs get spread. i'm just sayin', it's not always about washing hands after using the potty.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Merry Christams to you!!

oooooh, tis the season to be jolly!

so, are you in the mood yet? it takes me a while to get revved up, to get me convinced that all the tinsel and caroling is a wonderful thing, but once i get there, i'm all about christmas. just like someone who's grumpy in the morning, i can be a downright scrooge the first three weeks in november. don't even THINK about singing jingle bells or putting up decorations before thanksgiving - i just might give you a sour puss look, but knock on my door with egg nog on the 12th and i will invite you in for some fresh baked christmas cookies and show you how to make a gingerbread house out of pop tarts.

i've done some of my shopping (power shopping at target put a huge dent in my christmas list), but i still have lots to do at the mall (blech. i'll never like the mall).


okay, so the above blurb was a draft from 12/12. now it's 6:00 a.a. on the 23rd. we had our poptart gingerbread house party last night. my son opened his presents from the auntie, unc and cousins before he goes to do chrsimas with his dad. i'm still trying to figure out when to 'do christmas' with my son. this will be the first year that my son starts the 'every other year' christmas shuffle, and i'm trying to figure out how to make it go smoothly for the boy.

i'm in the mood for the holiday...friends and family getting together - boat parade parties - work events - getting ready for the christmas eve bash, getting ready to go to christmas eve mass to hear my niece sing in the children's choir...all this is the good stuff.

...what i'm dreading is the other stuff: last minute shopping, trying to find a parking spot at the mall, fitting in the kid's portrait and having the boy to his meet and greet with santa. all today. i better go make some coffee.

Merry Christmas!!!


Monday, December 04, 2006

dennis prager's sound american thinking is under attack

i just read this on the internet news.

i first learned of dennis prager when i was going through my divorce in 1091. my sister had bought his tape cassette series called 'a course on happiness', which she loaned to me. ever since i listened to the tapes, i've been a fan of his. what he says just makes sense to me.

i used to listen to dennis prager as much as possible when i was able to listen to conservative talk radio at work), as i've always thought him to be an extremely intelligent person, an engaging speaker and one of the few people to whom i would look as a role model. in my opinion, his conservative views are based on sound thinking, a high level of education and are guided with a strong religious moral compass.

read the article and let me know your thoughts.

if you like listening to conservative talk radio dennis prager's talk show, in my opinion is the absolute best there is. for example, this morning he was talking about gambling. most people would just say, "i'm not really fond of gambling", but because dennis prager has a life hypothesis of sorts where happiness is a factor, he mentioned how the sadness of losing $100 outweighs the joy of winning $100. it's his in depth daily thinking that keeps me listening and inspires me to apply his concepts to my life (maybe i need to buy a better radio that picks up his AM frequency so i can start listening to him at work again).

Friday, November 17, 2006

i lied

taking down the repulsive wallpaper is not my next project. i have a busted toilet. the good news is the toilet will be replaced via my homeowner's warranty. the bad (and good) news is i want to replace the linoleum, as whoever laid it down decided to go the lazy man's route and cut the linoleum around the toilet base instead of taking out the toilet and then laying down the linoleum. did i mention i hate linoleum? ewu.

not only do i get to replace the linoleum (i have never typed that work so much as i have in the past few minutes) in the kid's bathroom, i really need to pull up the same cheap stuff in the laundry room, and my bathroom. and guess what? i'm gonna do it all myself! and i have no idea what i'm doing!! woo!

i've seen many home improvement tv shows (which i love to watch) and i watched the pros do the job when i was once a richy rich wife. to tackle this all by myself is a tad daunting, so i kinda asked my sister for advice, but she didn't offer to help. i have an old friend i could call to get his assistance, but i don't want him to think i call only when i need help (i called him last year when i moved back into town to touch base. we had dinner and did a movie. it was nice. comfortable. way in the past he wanted romance and i said no and eventually married my ex) you can see why asking his home improvement help isn't such a good idea when he hasn't called me in ages to say hi. i mentioned my project to a director at work, whom i know has done tons of home improvement projects, and he's offered to be my tile guru. i'm grateful for his offer to help, i just hope his wifey understands that my seeking his advice is as innocent as it gets. i am no hubby staling hoochiemamma.

i do have to say, it's times like these when i miss having a partner. tackling a project with a pal makes it much more fun and it's great to be able to look back and say, "wow ain't we somethin?"

i'll just have to settle for awesome looking floors :0). wish me luck!

IF i did it?

let me just say this: if any of you fine readers buy this book i will have to get in my car, on a plane, boat or yak to come slap you silly.

who thought up that title? the publisher? the author? "if i did it"???? i could go on a tirade that'd make naomi campbell blush, but i will keep this brief.

the murderer who shall remain nameless is shameless and, as the publisher kinda points out, is a sociopath. i honestly think the publisher is shameless, as well. any rationalizing she has done to justify her publishing this book doesn't meet my standards of a stand up kinda gal. to use her abuse as a vehicle, rationale and excuse for publishing this wad of trash makes my skin crawl.

my personal hurdle is to get over what happened to my family. i need to not have 'that" be my defining moment in my reason for X, Y and Z. i need to move on and find something other than that horrific experience be what makes me ME. i haven't done it yet because i tend to still look at my life as "before that happend and after that happened". i know i must get to a point when i don't think that way. i just want my daughter back. i won't write a book about it. i won't have it be a movie of the week. i won't put my kids through that. ever.

how could he?

as i said. shameless.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

next project to take on after the holidays

i've entitled this "beatrix potter threw up on wallpaper. perhaps that's a bit unkind, but the second i saw this paper ensemble i knew it would have to come down. what i would really like to do is tear down the whole wall and move it about 5 feet out to make a bigger kitchen. but them's caviar dreams on a popcorn budget. we'll see....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

what's in a name?

after almost a year in my new abode i've finally bonded with a neighbor. our kids get along, our dogs don't fight and we both share an ardent connection with italy, tuscany and venice. we've already made a giggly girl pack to re-visit Venice together....someday.

but what i can't keep straight are the names of her daughter and her dog. one's Bella- one's Gigi. i grew up knowing a girl named Gigi and a once-upon-a-time family member had a dog named Belle. i have to say, i'm a bit afraid of offending her by calling her daughter by the dog's name - and *poof* there goes my newly formed friendship.

i know that there's a trendy trend to name one's pet with a 'people' name - Eric, Elizabeth, Roger, etc... in fact, i once had a cat named Sam. but doncha think it gets confusing for the general public? it used to be Fido, Spot and Rex. now it's Ashley, Bob and Paul.

it gets sillier. i had a dog named Cheyenne. there's a little girl named Cheyenne at my son's school.

when did names get so interchangeable? personally i find it very confusing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

just be

i read this today and thought i'd share it with you. be well...or just be.

There is no lesson for today. You have permission to stop thinking for a moment and just enjoy yourself. Stop looking at your computer so much and go look at the world. Rediscover the natural wonders that you walk past every day. How can there possibly be that many shades of green? Let your mind be grateful for a break. Don't think, don't strain. Let the memories of loved ones remind you of your favorite times. Close your eyes and try to smell the sunshine. Listen to your heart beat in your ears.

If it's raining, smile at the thought of the flowers that will soon follow.

If you're surrounded by buildings, celebrate the creative genius of human beings.

See the hope, the alarm, the love, the grief in faces that stream by.

Thank whomever you'd like to thank for the chance to even be here. For a moment today, don't worry about being perfect, smarter, faster, wiser. Just be.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

overdue post

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what?! you want happiness and love? go somewhere else, you dopes. this is national bad mood day. grrrrrrrrr.

okay, so i'm not really in a bad mood, but i know i'm way overdue in getting a post out. work life's been very busy now that the CIO has moved on. i'm doing tons more decision making and strategic planning (what to get for lunch) for the executives than i thought i would during this transition. seriously, i'm involved in more meetings to help redefine areas of responsibility, keeping the execs focused on deadlines to corporate, and using the fine art of bossing around people who are 5 pay grades higher to make sure they're not running around all willy nilly promoting people to positions that don't exist in the HR job codes (snore, i know) etc.... basically i'm the office mom. adored, sometimes ignored, but ultimately respected (even though they might stick their tongues out at me behind my back, just like son did last night, but that's a whole other story).

here's my plan for today:
getting this post finished while the laundry room is noisy with the cleaning of clothes, shower, then taking my son to home depot for their 'first saturday of the month' kids' workshop. he's been dying to wack a hammer and pound some nails all week, so today's the day.

but what i'm really looking forward to is national bittersweet chocolate with almonds day on 11/7. life is good when chocolate is in my future.
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p.s. 11/7 is also election day. get out the vote and the chocolate. woo!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

project #1

today is painting day. i''m gonna paint my bedroom, which is something i've been wanting to do since i moved in. currently, my room is a bland oatmeal color. this evening it will be a tranquil light sage. i don't know the official name for this color, but i've used it in all my homes and i've had friends and family compliment and copy it in the past.

yep, today's the day. it's a baby step in getting out of my 4 year mental slump (the last time i'll use that phrase). it's time to get happy. sounds like a partridge family song, doesn't it?

before picture: (could the previous owners have chosen a more shocking white paint for the beadboard?)

tricky part: how will i move the armoire? hmmm....

okay, time is wasting and i'm getting distracted watching Roman Holiday....time to get moving!!

# * # * # * # * # * # * #

may i just say that set up is a bitch? okay, thanks. bye.

after pic: i couldn't resist sharing this photo at least for a day or two, then i'll replace it with a different final pic of the room. my son was hanging out in my room as i got ready for work this morning. and guess what? he's learned to read almost instantly (insert proud mom smile here). i bought him the 12 book set of Dick and Jane almost a year ago, just because they reminded me of my youth. he wasn't into them, until last month and now he can't get enough....and guess what? they really work. he's up to book 6 and is learning new reading concepts with each book. now he reads me a bedtime story each night :0)

oh yeah, and the paint.... it probably doesn't look much different on film than the before pic since this morning was so cloudy, but let me tell you, this color sets me at even. it's very tranquil and is
home project #1 - done.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

driving at the speed of profound

i know i'm a good driver. i rarely get lost or cause major sig alerts.

but sometimes a girl needs to pull over and check out the road map. to be honest, I'm feeling pressured from all angles (or lanes, if we're keeping with the metaphor).

Where to begin? Well, I can start with one of's headlines: “What are You Gonna do with Your Life?

Or how about the tv commercial that just came on as I’m typing this frigging thing:

Character says: (okay, it’s Lorilei Gilmore, from one of my favorite [don’t tell anyone] tv shows, the Gilmore Girls. It gets into my whole “cool mom/awesome daughter” relationship fantasy, but I digress)

A confused, at a crossroads, Lorilei says, “What if I don’t want to do what I want to do because I want to do it? What if I don’t like what I like, because I like it, but because my mother doesn’t like it?…” enter voiceover, “sometimes, when you don’t know which way to go, you have to follow your heart.” (want another metaphor? search this week's GG episode for the Pop-Tart metaphor. mind blowing).

Or how about the emails I’ve been getting from my producer friend offering me the opportunity to direct a show?

Or that this month's breast cancer awareness advertising makes me miss my mom whenever i think of yogurt?

Or how about that one of the six people i've had in my new home since i've moved here has stolen 10k of krugerrands from the shoebox in my bedroom - i know. my bad. a shoebox is not fort knox, even if it does rhyme and was semi hidden under winter sweaters (now you all know my ultra safe combo: look left under green cableknit sweater). my life as a boardgame metaphor? Clue. damn. gotta get one.

Or how about the fact that I am so unhappy/depressed with the latest undisclosed divorce/court battle that for the past two weeks I’ve been losing sleep and can’t wait to get to work just so I can be lost in details instead of dealing with my personal crap?

Or how about that the only reason I loved my job was because I had the best boss in the history of bosses, and then today said boss announced at our sr. staff meeting she’s taking a new position on the opposite side of the continent?

Do I need to go on?

I love to act/direct - that's my lifelong passion and honest to goodness talent (not one to brag. much)... but I gotta pay the bills and be home to put dinner on the table. I need to be happy but the last go around with lawyers has thrown me a way outta wack. I ……I …. I’m so sick of thinking of myself I could puke, yet I’m tired of being the Adult doing what has to be done. i.e. the right thing - instead of going for the gusto in life, at the expense of those who count on me to be there.

When I think about my boss resigning for more lucrative corporate adventures on the east coast, I get all teary eyed. It’s like breaking up with a significant other; or worse, being dumped by said S/O. You should’ve seen us – nine corporate executives (and me, the ever faithful admin to the VP) all drop jawed and emotional over our leader jumping ship for a better gig.

(blows in hanky) Anyways…I’ll get over it. Major corporate fluxes are no biggie. I just need to shift gears and think of helping her with her exit plan instead of working on her Holiday luncheon and Q4 goal metrics. It’s just that we got along so well, and whenever I look at the silk jewelry pouch she gave me….arrgh. and I just bought a new plant for her office. Fat chance that’ll make it on the moving van to D.C.

(blows in wet hanky). Crap. This is what comes out of not having a boyfriend.

(wipes nose)….overly emotionally invested in a work role model. Or at least wanting something worthy and good to last.

Can you tell I’m a bit wonky? A bit flummoxed?

I’ll just leave it at that.

p.s. spending bathtime with my boy has put life in perspective. he made me a plastic bead Necklace today.

fyi...N is the letter of the week. i'll keep my new necklace in my silk jewelry pouch.

post p.s. during bedtime prayers, my son reminded me to talk to God about my day and how my boss is leaving.
Son = Godsend.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

what kids need to know

A young coworker, who is a mom of a 1½ year old toddler, came to me in tears this morning. Her little son’s best friend died last night. Nobody knows why the little boy died as of yet. Yesterday he was playing at daycare; today he’s dead. We both cried a bit as we talked about how to let her little boy know…if she should even let him know.
You see, the mother of the little boy who died is the daycare teacher for my friend’s son. The two little boys played together every day, and just yesterday the teacher mentioned how so inseparable the two tykes had become.

My advice: if the mom doesn’t come back to teach at the daycare, then tell her son that they moved away. A young child not even two years old doesn’t need to know the hard truth in life that little boys can die suddenly. I don’t know if this is good advice, but it’s what I said. Probably not, now that I think about it some more. Chances are her son will learn the truth as people talk about it at the daycare school. This is so heartbreakingly sad. I know that kids around the world deal with death at such a young age due to starvation, disease, war....but we Americans are so sheltered. We have hissies when our internet connection is lost or our football team loses, or someone talks too loud on their cell phone at the grocery store.

We sometimes forget to see all the blessings we have. Food. Shelter. Family. Love. The unconditional love of a child.

At four years of age, my son knows about God, heaven, hell, good choices and bad choices, and how each and every day we get to make choices to be either on God’s team or the Devil’s team. He knows my parents are both in heaven with God. He is such a little bundle of love. He always tells me how much he loves me, cuddles with me and sometimes voices his fear that I will die and leave him or that he will die and leave me. We talk about it when he feels the need and I reassure him as best I can, without having a crystal ball to look into the future. We talk of him being a grown man and I’ll be an old grandma someday.

I have no good answers for my friend or for the many people who face tragedy every day due to freak accidents, sickness, madmen…other than to love with all our might. Hug your kids, tell them you love them. They need to hear it. You need to show it. They need to know they are loved.
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Saturday, September 30, 2006

my music picks

i've been tagged by my psycho bud, health-pych

here are the tag rules:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your Live Journal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

mckay says: if i had an ipod these songs would be on it.

mckay's angle: has an odd assortment of homemade music videos people have posted. you can listen to my song picks, but close your eyes, as most of the videos don't fit the song - or me - at all.

Maroon 5 – sweetest goodbye

Blue October – calling you (ignore the video, just listen to the music)

Steve Tyrell – the way you look tonight (again, please close your eyes. you must ignore the video. steve tyrell sings a great rendition of my all time favorite song. This is the song I sing to my son, and now he sings it back to me)

Death Cab for Cutie – sound of settling (close your eyes and listen. this song always reminds me of saturday mornings at my former home; mowing the lawn then relaxing in a warm bubble bath, to this cd)

Nickleback – I walk alone (so me these days)

(you know not to watch the video, right? you get that. this is not 'my fav videos' blog. just the song-except for the screeching part at the end. that wasn't on the cd...okay. go)

The beatles – in my life (a song so great, it needs no explanation)

john mayer – st. patrick’s day (my favorite holiday song)

do any of these songs speak to you?
i tag 7 lurkers who never post comments.

Monday, September 18, 2006

stalkers take note: i'll be @ fashion island this sunday morning, along with 20,000 others racing for the cure.

i am so horribly uncomfortable asking for money, but here goes.

i'm participating in the Susan G. Koman race for the cure at Fasion Island, in Newport Beach this coming weekend to honor the memory of my mom, Joan McDonell. My sister asked me to participate last year as a birthday present to her. This Orange County race always falls in September, which is the month of my sister's birthday. how cool is that, that this is all my sister wants for her birthday celebration? pretty dang cool, if you ask me. yeah, i still get her a gift. but hey, i'm her sister and i love to give, give, give. i'm a giver, what can i say?

last year we did the 5k walk for the very first time: my sister, her 12 year old daughter (my oldest niece) and me(or is it i? i think it's i, but that just sounds weird), the ever faithful blogger, mckay (aka auntie, sis, mom). i went out and bought us matching pink nike baseball hats, to get in the spirit of the day. little did i know that wearing pink at the race signifies that the wearer is a breast cancer survivor. here we were a happy threesome, with my little 12 year old neice wearing a pink hat, along with her mom and aunt. everyone thought we were cancer survivors. it was so embarrassing! we had the master of ceremonies stop us and interview us. we said we were walking in honor of Joan McDonell, which was announced over the loudspeakers. hearing my mom's name announced to thousands had me in tears, and the race had just started. we had tons of photographers taking our pictures. and one of my sis and my niece made the front page of the orange county register: a very big newspaper in our parts.

...i just told this same story to a manager where i work (she's gonna donate! YEA!! but only after i go to the doctors and get a mamogram. i'm way over due.)...

this year, my sister has some of her friends participating. i just signed up and never gave much thought to collecting donations, until today.

here's a link if you want to help me gather a little caCHING to help a good cause. my mom died way too young. she has two grandkids she never got to meet. my son will never know what a wonderfully funny lady his grandma was, but he does know visiting her grave.

donate for a cure!

well, the link will give you some basic information, but if you want to donate... email me at and i'll give you my full name so you can fork over the cash.

help today...and if you can't donate, then at least assist a friend with a breast exam ;0)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

i've seen this victoria's secret commercial a couple of times and never thought much of it. i usually use my tivo to skip the commercials, but yesterday morning i was avoiding doing my household repairs by tapping out the grasshopper post

so, this commercial pops up on my tv and guess what i notice? this lingerie model is wearing MY glasses.

THAT'S the look i was going for: sexy librarian. or, in this case, sexy bra model (minus the bra. well, not minus the bra. keep the bra, just add a sweater).

anyways, she pulls the look off. i don't. just thought i'd share that lil tibbit.

this bud ain't for you

i'm not the type of gal who's afraid of bugs or spiders, i have no problem carefully squishing the occasional black widow, and i usually give the cute-ish i.e. harmless spiders a ride outside on a paper napkin.

so, when i get a mombo huge grasshopper in my garden, my first instinct is to look at how cool it is, admire the almost fluorescent shade of green and be quietly happy that i have a lil friend in my garden.


until i figured out that this is the guy who's the culprit behind all my damaged rosebuds. who knew that the grass- hopper's favorite meal in the whole wide world is the young rosebud just before it blooms? not this novice gardener, that's for sure.

this dang grasshopper was getting fat and happy off my adopted rose bushes i just planted in march. they were given to me by a coworker who was remodeling his backyard. i took these dormant bushes and gave them a new home and i didn't want them to be eaten alive by the grasshopper from hell. i had no blooms, because of this green eating machine. all i had were empty stems.

i took my handy dandy garden hose to spray the heck outta the green eating machine. instead of flying away in fear for its life, it flew through the spray and directly into my face. i had no idea grasshoppers were so aggressive! after i stopped flailing my arms like a spaz i was fairly soaked and just a little bit pissed. i turned up the water pressure and took aim a second time with the full intention of letting the hopper know i meant business.

leave my buds alone, bud. this bud ain't for you. i sprayed the hopper to the cement and kept spraying until it was across the street. HA!

the next morning he was back. i went inside to get an old tupperware container, poked a few holes in it and trapped him. boy that thing was pissed. he practically threw himself against the plastic trying to escape.

i decided to take him far, far away. the grasshopper now lives on the grassy knoll beside my reserved parking spot at work. some days i imagine him sitting on my windshield begging to come home for some of those tasty buds. i felt a little bad bugnapping him like that, but i've gotten over it since i've done the same for his relatives. i've relocated four grasshoppers since last week. am i nuts?

anyways, this morning i took a pic of one of my roses for you to see. finally, a rose in full bloom!

Friday, September 01, 2006

i was just starting on a pitiful post...i haven't been able to think of anything witty or profound to say... when i stumbled across this. life should always be this complicatedly simple. i got such a kick out of watching this.

okay, now i'll go back to the stupid post i was working on....


Thursday, August 24, 2006

sick as a dog

needless to say i haven't felt much like posting these past few days. everyone's been sick at my house: the son, the two dogs, and now me.

i'm so tired of cleaning up all the assorted messes these past few weeks. i could never be a nurse. even so, i'll never regret the two years i spent taking care of my mom as she fought her last battles with cancer. she took care of me as an infant and i was more than glad to return the favor. dang, i miss that woman.

Friday, August 18, 2006

travel bug

should i start with my earliest journey? is the most romantic trip to be addressed first? well. perhaps i'll start with my birth.

on a warm july evening a baby girl was born harriet and william of the scottish clan in the city of angels. i was delivered via cesarian section by an obstetrician who happened to be married to the orange juice hocking, homosexual lambasting singer known as anita bryant. not that that's anything of note, but it's a trivial pursuit bit of info at the very least, to be sure. my father, being the entrepreneur that he was, was not present at my birth. my mom drove herself to the hospital and, according to her recollection, was left strapped on a gurney in the hospital hallway to travel the journey of labour alone.

my first two years were spent in an upscale cottage home within a quaint L.A. suburb from which my parents decided to leave, as los angeles was growing too fast for my father's taste. L.A. was left behind for a sleepy beach town no one had heard of. our new home had the romantic sounding name of corona del mar (to this very day, few know of its existence, yet for the memory of beautiful coastal drives between newport and laugna).

my first memory is of resting in my crib within a sunny room, enveloped by a warm glow of pink. maybe this is the first glance of how compatible my nature is. i never screamed to be let out of my crib. i was content to meditate on the toddler view of my world. and what a world it was, for my view was the undeveloped expanse of the southern california coastline. i could look out my window (which was the whole friggin wall - top to bottom, left to right - all glass and view) and see forever. brown desert prairie summertime grass with roaming herds of cows,... and nighttime visitors of cougar, coyotes, foxes, possum and skunk, if one were to count the critters from largest to smallest. forget cable tv - all we had to do was put a few table scraps in our backyard, sit on the living room floor with the lights off and wait to see all our nocturnal beasties that lived in our neighborhood.

does it really need to be said that i could spend eternity contemplating that view? i truly spent hours upon hours gazing out my 4th wall....

to be continued.

here's a look at the states where i've been. i'll go into the stories why i visited a bit later...

create your own visited states map

here's a map of the countries i've been blessed to visit:

create your own visited countries map

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jennifer Aniston called up People today to get it into their thick heads (my words, not her’s) that she's not engaged to Vince Vaughn. She says in an angry interview:

"I'm not engaged and I don't have a ring and I haven't been proposed to. Normally we don't even acknowledge these things because they're endless, at this point, the thing that got me was that I was getting phone calls from Greece! My Aunt Mary in Greece is getting accused of lying! I mean, they're getting angry. My dad calls and he says, 'Honey, it's on the CNN crawl,' and I'm going, 'Wait a second!' When it starts to travel over into the Today show and CNN and supposedly reliable and accurate news programs, then you just go, 'This is insane. People are getting fed a lot of bull. I don't feed into that. We (her friends) don't talk about it. We don't hash it out because it's not true. The only reason I'm saying something is because if we're listening to the news, we're supposed to be believing in the news. Tabloids are going to lie all the time. You’re prepared for that. But it's the news. And you think, 'Well, we need to trust what our newscasters are saying when we have this horrific situation that's actually taking place in the world, I mean, we are getting reported the truth, right? The American people need to believe (the news). Please. Get it together. So that's all.”

# $ # $ # $ # $ # $ #

mckay says:

Bravo. Well said. now i must continue to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s, darlings, to escape from the humdrum madness that is my life.

p.s. dang, i just copy/pasted that blurb from some gossip blog. i sure hope it’s true.

p.s. again. my sister and her hubby just got back from puerto villarta last week and they confirmed that they did not see jennifer and vince at all.

p.s. again, again. this is why i am so glad i’m not famous. all this talent left undiscovered is oh, so worth it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

the debate has been settled. most guys say, "yep, that's sexy (unless they belong to a dude)."

the chicken guessed it. the lengthy gams belong to Tim Curry.

settle this debate

i was having a silly debate with a friend and i need to your input.

sexy or not sexy?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

shut your trap

Terror Plot Suspects Planned 'Dry-Run' of Attacks in Next 2 Days, Sources Say
Thursday, August 10, 2006

LONDON — Suspects arrested Thursday for planning to stage a massive mid-air terror attacked were in the final stages of planning and planned to run a dry-run of the plan within two days, U.S. intelligence officers said Thursday.

One official said the suicide attackers planned to use a peroxide-based solution that could ignite when sparked by a camera flash or another electronic device.
The test run was designed to see whether the plotters would be able to smuggle the needed materials aboard the planes, these officials said. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter…

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mckay says,
is it just me or does this piss anyone else off? if it's supposed to be confidential then KEEP it confidential. this is not juicy office gossip. lives are at stake.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sunday, August 06, 2006


sometimes i want to post something, not because i have something to say, but because i want to connect with you.

Friday, August 04, 2006

and the winner is… !!!

the tamagachi family!

i.e. not me. …and i’m perfectly okay with that. well, to be honest, i’m a little disappointed since all my fantasy brain power was working overtime on designing my beautiful italian courtyard with all the nifty items to be bestowed upon me as the beautiful divorcee contest winner. in my fantasy i would be a gracious and humble winner, delightefully surprised in a semi-serene, classy way…no wild jumping or flailing. picture audrey hepburn winning an academy award ..

okay, so i have an active and glamorous imagination.

What i’ll miss about my contest fantasy not coming true is losing the designer contractor part of the prize. i need that leader/contractor/partner to help me move forward and set the course of action. at times i can be a leader, but lately, my cocoon has become a bit paralyzing. perhaps that’s part of the grieving process. i haven’t done anything to this new house other than change out a few plants and bushes in the front courtyard and buy some potted plants for the back. i really need to get off my licking-my-wounds / feeling-sorry-for-myself butt and start doing some of the stuff that’s on my home improvement list.

i think it has something to do with living alone. having a spouse or partner with whom i can work on projects makes it fun and manageable.

“here, honey, hold this nail while i use all my strength to pound it into submission.”

see how fun that is?

one of my favorite home improvement memories was 'helping' my hubby install the satellite dish on our former home. he chose to attach the dish to a wall on top of a huge slope; therefore, having to scale the heights on slippery ivy, past eucalyptus trees and through some very overgrown bushes. while he was struggling with the wires, the dish & assorted tools he got frustrated and was on the verge of a hissy fit, so i offered the only help i could at that moment.

i flashed him. if any of you knew me, you’d know how out of character that is. i’m not a flasher kinda gal. i’m a bridget jones'-undie & victoria's secret-bra wearing, support-is-my-friend kinda gal. but on that particular morning i wasn’t wearing a bra, so…

from then on, my offering to help always brought a smile.
like i said, help is good.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

mel's meltdown

by now everyone's heard and perhaps commented on mel gibson's drunken tirade. i, myself posted the following comment on saur's blog:

i've liked some of mel's movies, mostly Braveheart. I didn't care for the gore of Passion yet I didn't see anything in the movie as anti-semitic. Being a born & raised Catholic, i was never taught that the Jews caused Jesus' death.

the thought that crossed my mind when i heard the horrible things allegedly spewed from mel's mouth was that many saints had huge vices they had to overcome and renounce to finally become better people.

here's a brief bio on Saint Paul:
"Jewish Talmudic student. Pharisee...Saul the Jew hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus to arrest another group of Christians, he was knocked to the ground, struck blind by a heavenly light, and given the message that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. The experience had a profound spiritual effect on him, causing his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began traveling and preaching. Martyr."

if Saint Paul started out as a bigot full of hatred, perhaps there's hope for today's bigots to repent and change. Perhaps this arrest could be a life changing event (like Saul being struck blind) to give mel the wake up call he surely needs.

Monday, July 31, 2006

the longest drum roll.....

Okay, so i check my email this afternoon and here’s what in there:

“Thank you for entering our Backyard Contest. We would like to invite you to a special reception where we’ll serve hors d’oeuvres and announce our Grand Prize Winner.
The event is scheduled to take place on THURSDAY, AUGUST 3RD, FROM 5P-7P in the KZRA Courtyard.
Please reply to this email with your RSVP and how many guests you will bring.
Thank you!
KZRA Promotions Department”

so, now i’m thinking it’s one of two doors:

door number 1) i’ve won...

or door number 2) they’re inviting lots of entrants to the reception because all the vendors will be there to pass out brochures and little coupons for all the folks with the cruddy back yards. now i do live in southern california, but taking time off work, finding someone to watch my son and driving into the los angeles area during the high traffic time is not my idea of a fun afternoon. granted, the lure of mini quiches and a wine in a plastic cup are quite enticing, but i’ve become such a social hermit, i’d rather spend the evening with my 4 year old than schmooze with other garden challenged black thumbs.

i will have a better idea which is my fate when i learn from my sister if she received the same email… that'll give me a hint.

oh, and did i mention they changed their website? the contest logo/verbiage on the website used to read "Oasis $100,000 backyard / patio makeover" now it just says "patio". granted, the email says "backyard" but hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

okay. i just heard from my sister and she did not get the same email. she's going to go up to L.A. with me after i find someone to watch my son. arghhh. the suspense is killing me!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

maybe...just maybe....

remember how i mentioned that my backyard is a pitiful area of dirt and boring concrete? well, there's a los angeles talk radio station that i listen to and guess what? they're having a a $100,000 back yard or patio makeover. to enter the contest one had to tell why their back yard was in need of a 50 words or less.

on a whim, i emailed my shpeel (saving my last seven characters to say, Thanks!...being polite never hurts) along with a goofy picture of my back patio. i checked out their website this morning and lo and behold, the photo of my patio* is one of the 50ish photos being shown as entries. the caption says, "look at your neighbors' back yards!" or something like that. how embarrassing. i didn't know they'd show my dusty hovel on the net. eGADS! *note: my yard is NOT the one with the toilet in the dirt. perhaps there are needier(filthier)peeps than myself. and hey, one or two of those yards look nice. hmmm. do they really need a makeover? kinda like farrah fawcett thinking she needed a facelift.
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a drastic change is not always for the best.

a funny thing: i mentioned to my sister that i had entered the contest and she said that she did, too! this is only funny if you know that she and her hubby recently bought a m-m-million dollar home and have already had an architect draw up an awesome multi-level back yard dream design (complete with putting green, horse shoe pit and lanai) that they've been planning for some time now. i guess it doesn't hurt to try to win it for free...just like i'm trying to do. our budgets are just a bit different, that’s all. ;0)

and another interesting thing is the radio website's headline says Patio makeover...not backyard. could it be that they've picked a winner (moi?) and they know it's a patio?? the radio station will be announcing the winner this saturday morning on the air. i suppose i should clear my busy social calendar to see who wins.

update: they did not announce the winner this morning. maybe next week? who knows?? they read some of the 50 word essayettes, and i must say i'd rather have the mom who's hubby is away fighting the war be the winner. how cool for him to come home to an awesome backyard.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

changes in my routine

my son is away on his first camping trip with his dad, which leaves me alone for several days (i will save you all the pity party woe's me stuff). so with my added free time after work i thought i would go to the gym...and guess what?

i re-discovered something i forgot i already knew. i hate going to the gym. i think i will actually cancel my gym membership.

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for the past two weeks or so, my television's been on the fritz. it's done this before and i shelled out around $300 to get it repaired about a year ago, which isn't too bad to spend on a tv we paid 3 grand for back at the start of the millennium. now it's back to its same old tricks - it just won't turn on. *sigh* i hate spending money on stuff like this. i've waited for it to magically get better...which it has done in the past, but since it actually seems to be dead this time i bit the bullet. oh well. here's what i bought online last night: for you technogeeks, it's a 42 inch vizio hdtv plasma w/ tuner. i have no idea when it will arrive, but i sure hope the delivery guy will be kind enough to carry it upstairs for me.

* # * # *

since i refuse to go to the gym, and being a tv watching couch potato isn't an option, tonight after work i plan on taking my dog to huntington beach (the real, one-and-only Surf City, USA) for a bit of fun at the famous dog beach. it's a great place to run around and let your pooch have some fun. i've never taken my mutt there and he can be a bit of a scaredycat, so it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to the beach, the ocean and other dogs running around without a care or leash. i'll be sure to take my camera.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i learn something new every day

this morning i was reading my Real Simple magazine and i learned something new. did you know that the little strawberry on the tomato pin cushion is filled with sand, which can be used to sharpen your needles and pins and will also help remove any rust on your little shiny things?

neither did i! what a tiny bit of information that is, but i know i'll never forget it. it made me think of my sewing kit. it's a small wooden sewing box that belonged to my grandmother. the box still has old fashioned wooden spools inside, some still bound with silk thread. i don't know how old it is, perhaps 80 years old? each time i take it down from the shelf, sit on my bed to repair something, i think of grandma memories as i sew. funny thing is, they are never about sewing. They’re usually how she taught me to play gin rummy for nickels and dimes. whenever i would walk to her apartment to visit we would always end up sipping coke and playing gin. at the end of the afternoon i would always leave with a little fistful of coins. it took me years to figure out that she let me win, which was her way of indulging me...letting me think i had outsmarted her of her coins that day. i guess she outsmarted me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

mckay and hattie

i promised jamie dawn that i would post a picture of me in my old age makeup. i tried to get a good picture while on stage with the lights, but the playwright didn't get a good shot. i guess he needs to stick with the pen (or keyboard) and leave the camera to others.

i'm glad i got to do the show, but there were some frustrating times dealing with the diva and nonexistent audiences. let me say that i will (probably) never do another production for this theatre. if we can donate our time and energy to put on a show then the theatre company should do some advertising and promotion to fill the house. there was one night when the only people in the audience were friends of the cast - six people. the dad of a cast member was rather old and not feeling well, so he and his family left after her show was over (remember, this was an evening of two 1-hour one-acts). so after intermission ended, there was a grand total of one person in the audience - a friend of the diva's. i hadn't heard that the audience number had dribbled down one sole soul until i was in places, ready to go on stage in one minute. the diva comes trotting up to me saying, "there's only one person in the audience and he's my friend. he can come see me another night, so we're going to cancel the show."

this is the first time i've ever heard of an actress canceling a performance. *rolls eyes* whatever. three other cast members thought canceling the performance was a great idea. i wanted to do the show, just as a pick up rehearsal, since due to the diva hardly ever showing up to rehearsal, opening night had been our fist runthrough with everyone present. no luck. the show got canceled that night. like i said, i won't do another show for a place that can't do their job and sell some tickets. as much as i like to act, i really prefer there be some people in the audience.

what i liked most about doing the performance was getting to create a believable older character for the fist time. in the past i've played ingenues and character comedy roles. i bonded with my character, hattie. hattie was my grandmother's real nickname and my mom's middle name was harriet, so i felt a bit of a spiritual bond with the ol' gal. okay, okay, that's my story. here's a recent picture of me and a backstage picture of my character, hattie. my apologies for the picture not being under the theatre lights, which would make the old age makeup a bit more realistic.

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