Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekly Winners: May 24-30

Happiness is a graduated son ... and so we traveled far, far away to see the amazing moment actually take place.

The man of the hour:

Head and shoulders above the rest:

Happy, proud mommy:

Now, if he'd only agree to COOK for me ...

We celebrated with sushi:

And a little MORE sushi:

We left no fish uneaten:

When out of town, one must try on the local attire ...

... Even if it is grossly out of season:

Yippee-yi-yay, mini-sirloin burgers ...

And the cheer season begins AGAIN:

Next year's squad has started practice already ...
someone please shoot me!

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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shhh ... it's called a secret sauce because IT'S A SECRET!

I am a crappy cook.

Well, not really crappy. I am just a disinterested cook. I'm bored with the things we always make. I'd be just as happy to have a bowl of cereal for dinner as anything.

Part of the problem is that I USED to cook for the thundering hordes. A minimum of four kids (and, depending on the marriage and the time frame, as many as six) plus a spouse (or not) meant preparing meals in large quantities.

So when it was just a couple of kids, it seemed like too much trouble to go to. And now that, for the most part, it's only the Roo-girl, Wonderhubby and me every night, I completely lack enthusiasm for the whole ordeal.

But the Roo-girl feels the loss. In a fit of emotional incontinence over a dollars-for-chores argument, she vowed to make dinner three times a week.

The first effort was ... um ... edible. Pasta with red sauce and green beans. All of it served cold. (And have I ever told you how I feel about red sauce?)

But recently, we discovered something in our neighborhood that changes everything.

It's a place where you prep a meal with fresh ingredients, making all the sauces or whatever else. Then you take it home and pop it in the freezer for cooking later.

This? This is something that spoke to Roo -- IN. A. VERY. LOUD. VOICE.

We turned the experience into a mother-daughter bonding moment as we put together chicken yakitori, mango salmon, chicken with lemon and artichoke sauce and a very interesting lasagna (no red sauce!).

As part of the "experience," the place offers bottles of water or soda to its customers, so, of course, we imbibed. The diet Coke was just what the doctor ordered, while we covered lasagna noodles with a spinach and alfredo concoction.

Until I hit it with my elbow.

And it spilled all over the counter ... and into the shredded cheese.

Roo and I looked at each other in horror, and, while we scrambled to clean up our mess without anyone noticing, she glared at me.

"When you dish out the cheese, you better make sure you take the stuff in the back where you spilled," she hissed.

So we did.

And next week, when we serve up our lasagna, we two will be the only ones who know:

The secret is in the soda.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's my dream, and I'll cry if I want to

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same-sex marriage that California voters approved last November. At that time -- before the election -- I wrote this for Mid-Century Modern Moms.

It's my personal wish as only one of the many, many families touched by this ruling. Because those of us who ARE affected are not just faceless numbers. We're real people with dreams and hopes.

And so I thought it was appropriate to reprint it here today:

Once upon a time, there was a little boy with a dream.

He dreamed of love. A romantic love, in fact. Of love that transcended the ages.

He knew that his dream was not really all that realistic. It was a dream, after all.

But he continued to hope that one day he would meet the one person in the world who was absolutely perfect for him.

The one person who would understand his dark moments.

The one person who would understand his sense of humor.

The one person who would be the yin to his yang.

The one person who would love him back with the same intensity.

The one person who was meant just for him.

There were many dark years as the little boy grew up. Many years when he thought that one person didn't really exist.

Many false starts. Many times when he thought ... maybe? This time? Is this the one?

And many times when his heart was broken. Not just broken, but smashed to little pieces by a person who turned out to be much less than he thought.

Until now.

The little boy is a week from his 25th birthday. Almost a year ago, that elusive "person" he was seeking appeared.

And he knows love.

Romantic love.

Precious love.

Someone who understands his dark moments.

Someone who understands his sense of humor.

Someone who is the yin to his yang.

Someone who loves him back with the same intensity.

Someone who was meant just for him.

Last May, something happened that would open the way for the little boy and his true love to be able to get married.

Tomorrow, California voters will decide if that still can happen when he's ready.

As the little boy's mother, I want that for him.

I want for him and his boyfriend to know the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs, of marriage.

I want to dance at my son's wedding.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

... Aaaaaaaaand we're back!

So it's back to real life after our whirlwind trip out of state for Z-man's graduation.

Three days that included the obligatory trip to Sonic (we don't have one at home) for cherry limeades, bodily functions and the usual "huh??" from the very blond Roo-girl.

While examining the Sonic menu, we had this highly educated exchange:

Wonderhubby: What the ... $2.99 for a corn dog??

Z-man: That's kind of a lot, yeah.

Wonderhubby: That must be some corn dog for $2.99 at SONIC.

*Pause for maximum effect*

Wonderhubby: *quietly* What is that? The John Holmes memorial ...

And no, he didn't finish his sentence because I had already smacked him on the arm.

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

Z-man: *belching loud and long* brrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaachhhhhhhhhhh.

Evil Mother: Oh, REALLY. Must you?

Z-man: Well, it's gotta come out, and it's better than coming from the other end. I've been keeping THAT corked up for about an hour.

The Roo-girl: And we all thank you for that.

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

The light turns yellow and Wonderhubby slams on the brakes, bringing our rental car to a stomach-wrenching stop.

Evil Mother, Z-man and Roo-girl: *in unison* Arrrrghhhhhhhhh ...

Wonderhubby: Well, I didn't want to go through the light. I don't know how strict they are about that here.

*no response from the still-moaning peanut gallery*

Wonderhubby: And see? There's a cop right there?
Evil Mother: Where? How did you SEE that?

Wonderhubby: When you drive as much as I do, you develop a nose for that.

Z-man: I smell BACON.

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahhaha.

The Roo-girl: Huh?????

Wonderhubby: Roo-girl, back in the '60s, the hippies called the police "pigs."

The Roo-girl: Really? Why? I still don't get it. What does bacon have to do with it?

Z-man: Oh brother. Cops. Pigs. Bacon.
The Roo-girl: Ohhhhhhhhhh. How come I never get this stuff?

Wonderhubby, Evil Mother, Z-man: *in unison* BLOND.

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

Flight attendant on the way home: Make sure your carryons are safely stowed in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. Your lap is NOT considered appropriate storage for your handbag or your manbag.

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

We arrived home and parked the car. Z-man pushed his car door open, smacking the vehicle parked next to us, uttering these immortal words:

"Fuck, oh oops. Shit ... oh no, I mean ... damn!"

Yeah, he's home ...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday on a Monday

Because, really? There just isn't anything else to say!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekly Winners: May 17-23

I started the week at the Coffee Bean, floated through the garden and ended up in faraway collegeland for graduation weekend.

Which is more popular?


Up close and personal:

What's buzzin', baby?

Its bark is worse than its bite ...

And awaaaaay we go!

The photographer at work:

Just for the regard, she put me on notice for this trip:
She and her camera were getting revenge. I'm toast.

... Aaaaaand the reason for THIS season:

Yes, I hate his hair too. But the kid is going to be 20 soon. I have limited input.

Go --->here<--- for more of Lotus' weekly winners!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

American I-don't-think-so


I'm irritated. In fact it's safe to say I'm massively pissssssssssssed.

Yes, I'm a disgruntled "American Idol" expatriate. Please please don't tell me that the forgettable Kris Allen is more star-like than the amazing Adam Lambert.

Eh. Whatever. I guess I need to move on.

But first, of course, I had to express my displeasure to the Roo-girl.

Grrrrrrr, I said.

"Oh, Mom," she said, with that trademark 2-months-from-15 eyeroll, "have you ever closed your eyes and just listened to Adam?"

I smiled, loving that my daughter truly was about the music and not about superficial things like a pretty face.

"Seriously," she said, "some of those notes -- only DOGS can hear them!!!!!"

Darn. Shot down again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The proof that cloning can be done

The Roo-girl has a thing about looking and being like me.

I suspect it goes back to understanding just a tiny piece of the depth of the horrors that her father inflicted on me and her brothers.

But regardless of the reason, she is always looking at pieces of me, pieces of her -- and finding them alike.

We have the same little crinkle in our ears.

We are both short.

We have the same hair.


Um. Ok, so we DON'T have the same hair. Anyway, she wants to be like me.

And so it was that we were listening to the radio and a newscaster was explaining about how the Governator is thinking about selling some of California's landmarks to make a little cash for our bankruptish state.

"WHAT????" shrieked the Roo-girl, with all the righteous indignation of I'm-two-months-from-turning-15. "He can't do that!!!!!"

Well, possibly he can, I explained.

"What does he want to sell?"

One thing that he is talking about selling is the Coliseum.

She looked at me and raised one eyebrow.

"Isn't that in ROME???"

Bwahahahahahaha. Yeah, I really do love that kid. But it got better.

"No," I explained patiently. "The Coliseum he wants to sell is a football stadium here. It's the stadium where USC plays."

"USC plays there?" she snorted. "Pffffffffft, he can TOTALLY sell THAT then."

Yes, my darling daughter, you are TOTALLY like me.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Next Monday, when you read my post on Mid-Century Modern Moms, I will be different.

You won't be able to tell on the outside.

I'll still look like the same ol' dorky me ...

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekly Winners: May 10-16

Another week, another bunch o' photos. Except I must confess that most of these have been hanging around, untouched, in my camera for a bit.

Also hanging around, though not in my camera but in my BATHTUB, thank you very much, was this guy:

I escorted him OUT of the house.
And you're welcome for not making this a bigger photo.

Top view:

I really do love my fountains. It's a sickness.

Valley lights:

No, I do NOT take photos while I'm driving in a moving car. Not not not. Sorta.

Ole! Multicolored chips all 'round!

Ay yi yi yi ... I am the Frito bandito ...

It's his best side ...

Now that you're either hungry for salsa or squigged out over the bugs in my bathroom, go --->here<--- for more weekly winners! I'm sure there are fresher photos on the 'net today.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Richard Gere wasn't even there!

Ok, so I have been a little quiet on the specifics of my new work gig. That's cuz some of it is ... shhhhh ... confidentialish and involves a non-disclosure clause.

But this one? This one must be told.

I'm in a meeting. I'm concentrating very very hard. I'm listening as assorted folk haggle over placement of paragraphs and specific word choice.

My concentration starts to drift a little, since I know someone will speak to me specifically when final decisions are made.

And, as I discreetly check my email on my iPhone, I hear something that jolts me back to reality.

"That needs to go after the gerbil response."

Gerbil? They didn't just talk about gerbils, did they?

"I agree," says another. "The gerbil reponse should come first."

Ok, gerbils. Sure. The day before I had read something about mice, so gerbils might be possible.

The conversation swirls around me. I start scanning documents for a place where gerbils might live.

And then someone who actually speaks in a clear, comprehensive, unslurred-speak manner opens her mouth:

"Janet, you'll want to put that under the durable response section."

Unfortunately, no one quite understood why I needed to clean the Diet Coke off my keyboard.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When 'mother' is not just half a word ...

Yes, Mother's Day. The day when we honor our mothers and our children honor us.

Sorta kinda.

Mine was not exactly what I wanted it to be, but I'll live. We spent the morning/afternoon at my nutty sister's with her bigoted husband and their divine creation, otherwise known as my 7-year-old niece.

(Hoooooh-wheee! I'm snarky today!)

But the good news was that I was surrounded by my own progeny, and where they go, trouble usually follows.

Things I learned at Mother's Day brunch:

* My brother has no gatekeeper on his language, even with a 7-year-old in the room. It's hilarious to watch everyone repeating the Yiddish words of my childhood: "Der kinder, der kinder! (The children, the children!!)"

* My children recognize bad behavior when they see it -- in other people. Their own? Eh.

* My mother is now wearing a tutu when she pole-dances. (I wish I had a picture of my brother's face when THAT came up.)

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

Psycho-sister: *holding up a half-full 2-liter bottle* Does anyone drink Diet Coke? Please take this home.

Nasty-mouthed brother: We'll take that off your hands.

Pole-dancing mama: Waaaaait just a second. What are you going to with that bottle?

The Roo-girl: Bwahahahahaha ... Grandma will wrestle you to the ground for the empty bottle. She's saving for an Armani suit.

Pole-dancing mama: That's right!! One day ... one day ...

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

Proof that the apple doesn't fall all that far from the tree:

Bigoted (and grossly overweight) brother-in-law: No, really, I couldn't eat another bite!

My father: *deadpan* Doesn't look like you've had any trouble with that before ...

My mother: *gives my father the death glare*

The rest of us: *fall on the floor in hysterics*

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

There was, of course, more. I'm just going to have to figure out how to get a tape recorder into these events so I don't forget stuff!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What's in a name?

They say a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


Or perhaps not.

I put a lot of effort into choosing the names for my children.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Weekly Winners: May 3-9

First, let's get a little bidness out of the way. Happy Mother's Day to all my motherish friends!!

Additionally, this is a photo that I have had hanging around my Weekly Winners folders for several weeks. It's little piece of loveliness left over from the Seventh First Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational.

So this is something only my ketchupaholic daughter would appreciate. No one else would be caught dead in it.

Of course, you remember that it was Drummer Man's birthday this week.

Reeeeeeeally good cheesecake!! We all had a bite (or three)

Loving siblings:
Look carefully at the hands. That's not really quite so loving.
Think crushed hand bones.

I only have eyes for him ...

My guy on stage. Man, he's adorable!

Oh, my aching heart ...

After you finish crying with me over how grown up my daughter looks, go --->here<--- for more weekly winners.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy birthday, now let's have cake!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear Drummerrrrrrrrrrrr,
Happy birthday to you.

Yep, it's Cinco de Mayo, the day that my first child was ushered into the world. It has been a big year for him, but I know it isn't birthday wishes that bring you here.

You're waiting for birthday dinner.

Admit it. You are, right? Right?

So in honor of Drummer Man's 28th natal day, we celebrated.

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

Rocky: Drama King, what are you going to have?

Drama King: Ummmm... Do they have corn?

Yes, we still find that same tired story hilariously funny.

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

Drama King:
So what do you hear from Z-man?

Evil Mother: *with an arched eyebrow* Who?

Drama King: Z-man? You know ... Tiny gay guy??

Evil Mother: *turning to Drummer Man and hanging on his arm* Please be normal, please be normal, please ...

Drummer: I'm a normal boy, as far as I know.

Drama King: Don't forget Roo-girl. She's a normal boy, too!

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

Drummer Man:
Seen any good movies?

Drama King: *launches into an uncharacteristically uninteresting tale of movies seen, leading to a discussion of weird, creepy stuff on an all-horror movie cable channel*

Drummer Man: Yeah, I loved that channel. I called and complained to the cable company when they discontinued it.

Drama King: One day when I was sick, I watched horror movies all day long. It was great -- of course, I had to sleep with the lights on for a couple nights.

Drummer: It was a great channel.

Drama King: My favorite was the one with the carnivorous breast implants ...

Seriously, is there a way to follow THAT comment?

Wonderhubby: You know they have white chocolate caramel macademia nut cheesecake here ...

Yep, that IS the only way to follow that.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marching to my own Drummer

Tomorrow is my oldest son's birthday.

He was born on Cinco de Mayo in 1981.

Yes, he is turning 28.

But what strikes me about the Drummer Man's 28th birthday is this ...

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekly Winners: April 26-May 2

There is nothing like a trip to the beach to make your day seem fine.

Unless it's Venice Beach, in which case, things might get a little weird:

Yes, this was a real live guy who truly was spray-painted gold. Ah, well, when in Venice, do what the Californians do: Get a henna tattoo!

After the Grilled Cheese Invitational and
before jetting back to the Land of Monkeys and Princesses,
Rachel got into the spirit of Venice Beach.

A walk on the beach can bring many opportunities for photos, especially for someone as water-obsessed as me:

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

Friday, May 1, 2009

Haiku Friday: the mother MAY i edition

Haiku Friday

Buckle your seat belts
because the month of May is
a wild one for us.

Two birthday dinners --
for Drummer Man and J-bear --
will bring the crazies.

We'll go out of town
to see Z-man graduate
culinary school.

But the best of all
will surely be Mother's Day
brunch at my sister's.

Rocky will be there.
Last time nothing much happened --
he and DK ducked.

This time, however,
they will be in the house of
Mr. Homophobe.

How can they avoid
confrontation while in the
belly of the beast?

Stay tuned!

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