Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So who DOES get the big picture?

And now ...

The moment you've all been waiting for: the winner of the Online Poster Printing contest.

Is ...

Are you ready?

You sure?

No, really. Are you?

This is what my friend Mr. Random Integer Generator had to say:

And who might be the 27th commenter on that post?

Why, Kaytabug, all that pimpin' seems to have paid off!! Dudette, your email address has been sent off to the Online Poster Printing people, and they will take it from there

Congrats, K, and thank you all for playing!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Treasured moments in the dark

It happens every night between 9:30 and 10 o'clock.

My cell phone rings.

"Come say goodnight to me," says the little voice on the other end.

(Yes, I've talked about this before. We do use our cell phones to communicate from one end of the house to another. Beats yelling anytime.)

Anyway, that phone call signals a precious mommy moment for me.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekly Winners: March 22-28

Before we get to the photos, let me remind you that there is only a little bitty bit of time left for you to enter my giveaway. I am offering up a chance to win your favorite photo blown up to 16x20 -- poster-sized. (That means one of YOUR photos, not mine, although I know mine are pretty stellar. *snort*)

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. tonight (Sunday), so hurry back to THIS POST to leave a comment and enter the drawing.

Now, on to the photos. There's not much, but what there is ... is colorful!

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight ...

No, there's really no lion in there. I just wanted to sing ...

Desk toy:

I once got in a LOT of trouble from my (now old) boss, who did NOT approve of playing
koosh-ball catch in the newsroom. Ha! I showed her!!! I took my koosh ball and left!

When all else fails ... GO!!!!!

My favorite model at work

Ok, so that's it. I know, I'm a bit of a disappointment this week, but I've been BUSY!!!!!!

Meanwhile, go HERE to enter the poster-sized photo giveaway and HERE for more weekly winners!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Haiku Friday: the here we go again edition *edited*

Haiku Friday

It's a cheer weekend:
Competing at Nationals
is a stressful time.

Roo hopes for the best.
Perhaps this time the cheer staff
won't bash in her nose.

Yes, that is the bag of ice she had on her face in Florida last month when she fell out of her stunt and the big, burly cheer staff spotter stuck his arm into the melee and CRACKED HER ACROSS THE FACE.

Oh, didn't I tell you about that? Can I just say she consequently bled all over the mat? And the rumor later was that she had knocked out a tooth? *Edited to add: We watched as she started to cry ... and then she put on her cheer game face and finished the routine. Blood and all.*

Can you say freaked-out mom?

Anyway, it's another weekend of non-stop excitement. Hopefully, there will be no blood.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a completely unrelated (but equally important) note: Have you entered my contest yet? I'm giving away a chance for a 16x20 poster-sized version of your favorite photo.

Go. Hurry up. The deadline to enter (by leaving a comment on THIS POST) is 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Too big to flush, too small to eat


???? to March 25, 2009

The biggest, baddest fish to ever navigate aquarium waters
Rest in peace, dude

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Quilted

Remember this?

It has now become this:

Leading immediately to this:

(Please ignore the conflicting nature of her Roo-ness's cheetah hoodie.)

My quilting girlfriend is a genius.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

P.S. Do you have a photo that deserves to be a poster? Well, then, have you entered my contest to win a 16x20 poster photo yet? Why not? Go here to enter!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting the big picture

I love photos. I love taking photos. I love being surrounded by my photos.

Why the heck else would I take out my prized Nikon on a regular basis and grossly annoy my children by flashing it in their faces. (Ah, well, perhaps it really is to just grossly annoy them. After all, isn't that what makes a parent's life worthwhile?)

So the idea of having a poster-sized print of one of my favorite shots appeals to me very much.

That's why I'm offering YOU a chance to win a photo poster print!

Online Poster Printing will give one lucky person a 16x20 poster print of your fave-rave photo.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, telling me what you would do with a poster photo print. Would it be one of your favorite pet? Your children? You and your spouse? Your favorite sunset? The inside of a blowup colon?

Want another entry? Tweet about it and leave the permalink in a comment.

A third entry? Plurk it and leave the link in a comment.

A fourth? Blog about my giveaway and link back to this post -- and leave a link in a comment.

Are you getting the picture here?

However you do it -- and this is the most important part -- EACH ENTRY MUST HAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT! (I made this mistake once, and I am NOT doing that again!!!!!!)

My friend the Random Integer Generator will cough up the winner.

Also make sure you provide a valid email address so I can contact you to receive your prize. The print will ship for free in the United States and Canada. Others can enter and receive the poster for free but will have to pay shipping. (Sorry, but them's the rules.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, March 29.

Ready, set, go.

Monday, March 23, 2009

At a loss for words ... and intelligence

The dvd release for "Twilight" was this past weekend.

Did you hear? Did you care?

We did at our house. Not because "we" loved the movie or anything, cuz both the Roo-girl and I were kinda "eh" on the whole thing.

But because it's "TWILIGHT," for heaven's sake!!!!!

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

P.S. Giveaway tomorrow ... come back and check it out!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekly Winners: March 15-21

The SUPER COLON (seriously) was the highlight of my week (if that give you ANY idea of how slow it is in my world) ... That, and flowers and fountains and SPRING!

White flowers look the same in black and white:

Purple sprouts up in barren surroundings:

I found a new fountain'ish obsession:

See? It's a new opportunity at a new job:

Not the golden arches:

The entrance to the secret world of your lower intestine:

Seriously, people thought I was insane this week. But I thought the idea
of walking through a big, blow-up colon was cool.
I WAS disappointed that there was no poop in it, though.
(Yes, I AM a 12-year-old boy -- why do you ask?)

Time to pet a polyp:

See? I'm 12, I swear.

The icky part of the journey:

Cancer ... eek!

Um, so, yeah, I can't really leave you with that image as the final one, so here's a blast from the recent past to kinda make that go away:

All my children:

The best kids ever

Whew, I feel much better now. So now I can tell you to go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, March 20, 2009

From my microwave to an A in French cooking

I was driving the Roo-girl to school at 8 a.m. when my phone announced the arrival of a text message.

"Can you talk?"

Benign enough message, but it came from Z-man, who I knew had already been in class for more than two hours ... and who I ALSO knew could not use the phone while in a cooking lab.

Slightly panicked, I texted back an urgent "yes" and waited.

Within 10 seconds, my phone rang.

"Yes? Are you ok? What's up?" I gasped.

"I have my classic French practical today, and I have salmon."

*silence from my end*

"What are the ingredients you use for the salmon we all love? The one with the dill and the white wine?"

Uhhh ... So let me get this straight. You're calling me from CULINARY SCHOOL to find out the three ingredients I use for my MICROWAVED SALMON?

Yep. That's exactly why he called -- in the middle of class.

Shaking my head and trying REALLY hard not to laugh out loud, I relayed the secret to dish: equal parts margarine and white wine, plus dill (eyeballed, not measured). Stir, cover, zap for seven minutes, and voila! A gourmet meal.

Ok, well, to be fair, he apparently took my simple cooking secret and turned it into a gourmet meal.

He texted me later with this:

"I did a pan sear of salmon with a dill verblanc, garlic asparagus and brown butter chateau potatoes. It was really good. I got a 14/15 on it."

Are you drooling? Cripes, I sure am.

And no. He won't cook for me and the family when he's at home.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Either that or my PRESENCE is his gift

The time has come, the walrus said, to speak of anniversary presents.

Our anniversary is coming up next month. Six years of wedded bliss for the Wonderhubby and me.

Which beats any record I have had thus far for happily married.

Anyway, here's the dilemma. In spite of the fact that we are close and loving and happy happy happy, I have had some real failures in the "what should I buy him" department.

Witness last year, when I nearly had an epic fail but was saved by himself telling me EXACTLY what he wanted. (Holly, if you ever take down your blog with this post, I'll have to hunt you down!)

This year, he already has hinted that he knows what he is getting me ... but he can't give me a clue what he wants for himself.

I am, frankly, terrified -- and therefore unwilling -- to go out on a limb and shop without some solid suggestions from him, but so far, he's got nothin'.

So, I find I must turn to the internets to solve this dilemma.

For the man who fixes everything and thinks the gift of antioxidants is a true gift of love ... what do you suggest???

I'm looking for some real-life suggestions here, cuz, frankly? I'm at a total loss.

Help me? Please? I beg of you ...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My mother, the pole dancer

My mother is a pole dancer.

She's 79.

I have mentioned the fact that she and her buddies take a pole-dancing workout class before, but it bears repeating after the conversation we had at brunch recently.

I don't remember how it came up, but I think it was when I asked if, during their recent bouts of home improvements (brought on by several floods -- oy, don't ask), she was planning to put a pole in her house.

"Ohh, I'd LOVE to," she gushed.

My father grinned a nasty grin.

I laughed and said something about how much HE would appreciate it.

"He's never seen it, and HE NEVER WILL," my mother said, smacking her smirking husband soundly on the arm (I do come by that trait honestly, it seems).

Meanwhile, the looks on the faces of Roo-girl and Z-man could be described as pricelessly appalled.

"It's a great workout," she insisted.

"I know," I said, laughing at my children's horror.

"I can spin around the pole two to three times," she added. "Not bad for an old broad. But I don't go upside down ..."

(wait for it)

" ... anymore."

I have since gouged out my eyes in an attempt to eliminate the image now burned on my retinas.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The nest: half full or half empty?

Sometimes I open up my blog to write a post and the words flow like water.

Sometimes I open up my blog to write and I stare at a blank screen for ages, my fingers still, yet expectant, waiting for some aberrant inspiration to strike.

This has been one of those days.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekly Winners: March 8-14

No cheer photos this week. But I did want to share one of my favorite meals ...


The staff of life for SOME people:


Heaven in a red tray:

Burgers and onions and fries! Oh my!!

Spring has sprung:

Straight out of the camera, yo!

The grandparental units and their pride and joys:

Yes, there IS a family resemblance. Heh. And -- ahem -- that IS the pole-dancing grandma.

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Random acts of blondness, part the eighth

We're in the car, listening to the radio. I allow the Roo-girl to change it from my fave country station (yes, I'm a geek) to her rockin' station when she's in the car.

I actually have gotten into some of the music, and we sing together at the top of our voices.

Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, T.I., Beyonce, the Pussycat Dolls. Even Britney ... sometimes.

Anyway, the deejay in the evenings is not our favorite, but we tolerate him. He usually asks some weird (frequently double-entendre-like) question and takes calls from listeners to answer it.

Last night was typical: "What is the biggest bomb you ever had to drop?"

We snorted, knowing the typical answers would have to do with pregnancy or cheating.

And then ... it happened.

"Wouldn't it be funny if a Vietnam War veteran called and said the biggest bomb he ever dropped was on Hiroshima?"


"What?" she wailed. "What did I say?"

Um. Yeah.

"It was not the Vietnam War."

"It wasn't? Oh. Um. World War II? Well, how am I supposed to know ..."

A product of public schools. I'm so proud.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hello, you must be going -- again.

I said goodbye to my boy Monday morning.

Z-man has headed back to college for what is to be his final term before graduating with his associate's degree in culinary arts. (Well, sorta. He still has an internship to do, but he plans to do that at home.)

Anyway, I said goodbye to my boy.

"Just one more," he whispered in my ear as we hugged and hugged and hugged some more.

Yep, just one more term and he'll be home. Hard to believe that it's been two school years since I took him to school in August 2007.

He is ready to come home, and I am more than ready to have him here.

It's not an open-ended invitation. I learned THAT lesson the hard way.

He can stay as long as he is either working or in school. If he's working and NOT in school, we will discuss rent.

He plans to work for at least a year (God willing and the creek don't rise) and then go back to school (in-state) and finish a four-year degree. In what? Eh, who knows. He thinks he wants to teach -- in the food industry. Maybe high school. Maybe something else.

Interesting how his desires have changed in these two years. He learned that he doesn't actually want to work as a chef on "the line." He has gotten a part-time job at the school, tutoring others, and it has sparked an interest in a different direction.

My boy.

He is a different person than the one who left.

He discovered how important his family is.

He discovered who HE is.

And at the end of May, he'll be coming back to me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The worm turns ... into a butterfly?

I love my daughter.

No, I seriously do LOVE my daughter. Never mind the 14-year-old hormones. When it comes right down to it, she is my most vocal fan. My personal cheerleader, if you will.

At the end of last school year -- in fact, closing in on exactly a year ago -- I described the first meeting of the cheer moms and girls. The one where I felt the return of my geeky childhood persona.

And, while I hate to do this, that post really is required reading to understand the rest of this story, so go. Please? I'll wait.

*cue "Final Jeopardy" theme music*

Ok, we all on the same page now? Sally Smith. Got it? Good. Fast-forward to the here and now.

A season of dealing with the moms, some of whom are very very nice, and others who really truly are my junior high nightmare brought back from the dead.

Anyway, the Roo-girl and I have discussed the Sally Smith syndrome and my inner 8-year-old geek endlessly, but most recently during this cryfest Friday night when I basically told her that her behavior gave me a case of the Sally Smiths all over again.

She was HORRIFIED and cried all the harder, wailing in my ear that it breaks her heart to hear me talk about that.

Two days later, she was looking through my high school yearbooks and stopped dead in her tracks.

"THAT???" she howled. "THAT is Sally Smith??????"

I nodded.

"She's HIDEOUS!!!!!! How can you say she's pretty? She's not pretty!!!!!"

Ok, well, maybe it wasn't her best photo, and maybe standards of drop-dead gorgeous have changed in the past ... uh ... many many years.

But to say that Roo was outraged is putting it mildly.

A couple hours later, as I was playing a nasty game of Scrabble online, my cell phone rang.

"Mom? You are MUCH prettier than Sally Smith. MUCH."

I love my kid.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Button, button, who's pushing my button?

The Roo-girl and I know how to push each other's buttons.

It's not hard to push hers. She's 14, so EVERYTHING pushes her buttons.

My buttons aren't always so easy to push. But she's 14, so EVERYTHING pushes MY buttons.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly Winners: March 1-7

Another weekend, another cheer competition ...

Can you touch your toes?


No, you don't have to be blonde to be on the team. It just LOOKS that way!

Arabesque or scorpion or whatever the heck it's called:

My kid has muscular legs that just don't quit.

Cheer hands:

Only in Hollywood:

Well, not exactly Hollywood, but it isn't often you see Shrek and Fiona
giving out the awards at a comp.

My five favorite gigglers:

From left, Drummer Man, Z-man, the Roo-girl, J-bear and Drama King.
Shot of the week as far as I'm concerned!

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Haiku Friday: the elusive edition

Haiku Friday

Nothing like waking
up and knowing that you wrote
a great post.

Nothing like waking
up and figuring out it
was only a dream.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fabric-ating *updated*

Remember this?

Yeah. It's gonna be an absolutely fabulous quilt, isn't it? Except for a slight problem.

My girlfriend had a quilting malfunction of epic proportions. The top was done. It was perfect. And everything was straight.

And then? She put the top, batting and bottom together; pinned it; and quilted.

Somewhere along the line, the thing came unhinged. And stretched. And became a quilting disaster.

My friend was distraught and immediately purchased replacement fabric at her expense.

Except for one. She went to two separate stores, to no avail.

You know what is coming, don't you? It was the one that Roo loved the best.

Of course! It's the one that she built the entire collection around.

It was a sullen Roo-girl I took back to the fabric store in OUR neighborhood to see if we could locate the renegade roses.

I had a flashback to many shopping trips when she was looking for "the" dress and ended up in tears.

Because it was an even sullener Roo who left the store empty-handed. The perfect fabric was not there, and there was nothing that could substitute.

She was unhappy unhappy UNHAPPY.

Fortunately, though, a quick drive through that fabulous French restaurant, Jacques in Zee Box, brought back a little sparkle.

I knew she was back among the living when one of her curly fries was pushed into my mouth.

Ahhhhhh, heaven.

*update: Yes, we did find the fabric online. So, win-win: fabric AND curly fries!*

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We put the "fun" in dysFUNctional

The prodigal son has returned from faraway college land, and as such, we decided that dinner with ALL of our minions would be appropriate, even though no one was actually having a birthday.

Yes, we had family dinner Sunday night. And yes, that means that dysfunctionality and hilarity were on the menu.

It's the first time all of us (including Fabulous Girlfriend and Rocky) were together since ... well, I'm not even sure when.

We went to a familiar location -- the scene of the Roo-girl's birthday dinner last July -- where they seem to be accustomed to parties of nine with no verbal gatekeepers.

Drama King: Mmmmm, jambalaya. Rocky, do you want a bite?

Rocky: No. Is that shrimp?

Drama King: Yeah ... this from the guy who is eating pig's ass.

Evil Mother: Pig's ass??????

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Drama King: You got pizza??

Rocky: Yeah, remember the whole conversation I had with the waitress about size?

Drama King: Oh, yeah.

Rocky: I like 'em big!

Evil Mother: *cringing* How 'bout them Lakers?

Drummer Man: The Lakers? They're kickin' butt ...

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahahahaha! Drummer, you are adorable!

Drummer Man: What? Did I say something funny???

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Evil Mother: *to earnest waitress* We will be your worst nightmare.

The Roo-girl: At least there's no corn!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Actually we had a lovely evening together, reminiscing about the kids' childhood memories. Random trips to Disneyland. Being on Space Mountain and having the ride break (they turned on the lights to bring our car down -- that was scarier than the ride itself).

Leading up to the moment we walked outside the restaurant, and Z-man let loose with an earthshattering fart.

"Aaaayiiiiiiiiii," shrieks the Roo-girl. "You are revolting. Oh. My. GAWD."

It was ok until the wind shifted. The rest of us gagged helplessly.

And he let another one rip.

I looked at him nastily.

"Dude. Please finish your business before you get in the car."

A fitting ending to the evening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Growing up, part two

It's funny that I wrote last week about how grown up my oldest son has become.

Not really funny-haha or even funny-peculiar.

I'm thinkin' funny-sad.

(Continued at MCMM)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekly Winners: February 22-28

This week, I returned to the scene of a recent crime expedition for more local beauty and a cuppa vanilla latte goodness ...

A spot of color:

A bridge to somewhere:

The roses will come again:

Heaven in a cup:

Choose your poison, sweetie:

A complete abomination:

It will be a quilt:

My girlfriend makes quilts and is doing one for the Roo-girl.
This was the result of the shopping expedition to the fabric store.
Very sophisticated, n'est-ce pas?
(Tish!!! You spoke French!!!!!)

Go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.
All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.