21 July 2006

Shut my mouth and paint me red...

(I have NO idea what that title means, but Carol Kelsey-Frilot, my wonderful co-worker, used to say it all the time.)

My sis has been visiting from Seattle this week. She works at a high school up there. Are you sitting down? Because she says the latest kid-trend is - get this - leaving price tags on clothes.

Yep, it isn't enough to wear expensive designer duds. Now you have to be able to show proof you bought them FULL PRICE. Crazy, no?

My mom had the perfect question: what happens when they need to be washed?

Update: apparently the Beeb was onto this months ago.


A new one on me: I was invited to a wedding next weekend. Normally, I would have to send my regrets, because I am going to be at BlogHer. But no. I wasn't invited to the actual wedding. I was invited to a webcast of a wedding. No shit. Here are the instructions, condensed for your viewing pleasure (my comments in bold):

Your Friend Who Never Calls You Even Though You Leave Lots of Messages and His Fiancee You Have Never Met have listed you as potential online guests for their wedding. In order to ensure that you are able to view the wedding, we have put together the following tutorial.

1. At least a day or two before the wedding, if possible, visit our website at www.chapelofexploitativeinternetlove.com and click on "View a Wedding" in the left-hand panel. Choose any wedding that has the "free viewing" icon next to it, and click on the names of the couple in order to watch it. If a video starts, then you shouldn't have any problems viewing Your So-Called Friends' wedding.

2. deleted: blah blah blah troubleshooting It is highly recommended that you either watch on a high-speed connection or pay to download the wedding.How conveeeeenient that I can pay to download!

3. deleted: more instructions blah blah

4. Even though you aren't able to personally attend the wedding, interesting you should say that, because I wasn't actually INVITED to the wedding you can let the happy couple know of your love by having us deliver a toast or a gift to the couple on your behalf. Again, how convenient! Thank you for making it easy for me to drop some cash on this Click on the couple's names, and scroll down toward the bottom of the page, where you will see the links to order a toast or a gift. If you order a toast we will deliver the message that you write, along with a fresh-cut rose, to the couple directly following the wedding. Likewise, if you order gifts enough in advance for us to process the order, we will deliver them to the couple after the wedding (Usually even 10-15 minutes is enough time for us to retrieve the crappy gifts from the crappy gift vault, but the sooner the better). Please call or e-mail if you have any questions.

5. deleted: more instructions for the technologically challenged

As you prepare for the wedding, we hope you will join us in wishing the happy couple all the best in love and happiness for their marriage. We want to do what we can to help you feel included, too, even if you are a continent away. We want you to feel included - even though you AREN'T actually. Please do not hesitate to call or send us an e-mail if you have any questions or need help viewing the couple's video. It is our pleasure to assist you.

Enjoy the wedding!as you sit in your stained jammies peering at a choppy low-res picture on your 4-year-old Dell. Did you remember to send a gift? No? Click now! Really! We mean it! Cash would be best!

Best Wishes,

Chapel of the Exploitation


My spam subject lines have been getting more and more graphic and disturbing. Another reason not to have kids: so you don't have to explain when they ask you "Mom, what's 'Latina teen g3tting it in 3 h0les' mean?" as you are reading your emails.

Today's was kind of funny though: "My peenis is always hard and is able to move without interruption!" It leads me to want to know: Always? Really? Isn't that kind of inconvenient at the grocery store? And "able to move without interruption"? Do you usually have interruptions? What kind of interruptions? How long do they last? Is it really sort of a paralysis, or what?

20 July 2006

My first IRL blogger meet-up

I took a step out of the virtual world and into reality today when I had my first real-life blogger meet-up with VenturaMom and her lovely child, The Girl.

I was debating whether to post about this tonight because I am tired and don't know whether I can do it justice. But I know I will be running around like a chicken in the morning and I can't blog at work (terrible, I know!), so I will give you the rundown now.

VenturaMom is lovely and funny and smart and has an almost 3-year-old that is lovely and funny and smart. Interesting how that works. We met down by the beach in a park and hung out and talked and watched as The Girl - who is quite the socialite - made friends with all passers-by.

It turns out that we know a BUNCH of the same people - Ventura is not that small, but it gets real small when you start talking to people.

We share political views (Fox News - bad; kindness, mercy and justice - good), a love of dogs and a hatred for extremely mean skinny women who do their hair and nails to go to they gym. THAT's what I'm talking about.

All in all, a raving success. The Girl learned to play bocce ball from some nice guys in the park, too.

And there's also Linkateria

19 July 2006

Five different things

A while ago someone tagged me for that five things meme. You know, five things in your purse, in your fridge. I never did it because I never cared enough to read anyone's. I don't care even care what is in my OWN purse. So I made up my own five things.

My five things meme

Five things you have but you do not want
1) Scraggly lawn
2) Crack in my car windshield
3) 50 extra pounds
4) Arthritis
5) A 30-minute one way drive to work

Five things you want but you do not have
1) Peace of mind
2) A job that uses all my skills
3) My own home
4) An intimate relationship
5) Pain free body

Five things you would like to know more about
1) Permaculture
2) Spanish
3) Scuba diving
4) Photography
5) Playing an instrument

Five important lessons you have learned
1) Tell the truth
2) Be kind
3) Take opportunities to have fun
4) Be where you are
5) It's not all about you

Five of your favorite memories
1) Lunch with Laura and Marius at the Herb Garden in Ojai where everything glowed and was magical
2) Stuck in traffic on Conejo Grade with Laura singing "Freeway of Love"
3) Flying up and down waves on the front of a catamaran in Kauai
4) A magnificently pink sunset on a 727 flying back from Montana above the Rockies and below the clouds with my mom
5) Graduating from college

Five things you are looking forward to
1) Getting interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air
2) Crossing the equator for the first time
3) Dining at the French Laundry
4) Visiting Spain, France, Italy, Africa, Mexico, CentroAmerica (is that more than 1?)
5) Snorkeling with dolphins

Five things you would like to forget
1) Being such an ass to my best friends Gael and Curt when they fell in love
2) Telling my mom that she hadn't done anything with her life
3) Hurting my back and those months of agony
4) Those tormenting bitches in high school
5) Dating Mark even if it was only for a month

Consider yourself tagged if you want to be and if you have time. This is a low-pressure assignment.

18 July 2006

We are family

My eldest sis is here for 10 days. She is 15 years older than me. I am the youngest and there are 3 between us.

We are a weird family. We are scattered all over the place and we love each other a lot but rarely call or write. It is good enough just to know the others are out there.

I like hanging around her and seeing how much she is like me. Good-hearted and funny and a story teller and a hellcat bitch all at the same time. It makes perfect sense to me. Ah, the relaxing feeling of having shared genetic material.

My brother and one other sis are coming by the folks on Thursday, so if I manage to get time off work to get there, it will be four out of five.

My other sis can't travel due to some serious physical limitations. And my parents can't travel to her house in the midwest because, at their age, it is too much for them. So no matter what happens, there will only be four out of five.

It seems horrible that that there will never, ever be another complete family gathering. That already happened, years ago, and at the time there was no way of knowing that it was the last one. It was in a park. We barbecued and burned the beans and took a walk up to the waterfall.

The thought that the seven of us will never spend another day together makes the saddest kind of sad. Like my heart has been pounded on by the meanest hammer. It hurts so damn bad.

16 July 2006

Sunday skool

Linkateria: go there now. You need the laugh!

In an effort to become more like a real member of the human race, by which I mean someone who can be around small children without suffering a panic attack, I signed up to assist at Sunday school.

Well, that isn't entirely accurate. I signed up because Carol, the church administrator, made me. When Carol asks, one does not say "no." This is what makes her the perfect church administrator. But then I realized I could also use it as a Valuable Learning ExperienceTM that would Make Me A Better Person.

My childcare experience is limited by a number of factors, the primary one, of course, being a marked antipathy for children.

This began when I was a child myself. I always wanted to hang out inside with the adults and try to understand their jokes instead of being outside getting pushed off the monkey bars by Jeff Feely.

I remember being five and trying to play with our neighbor, Jeanna, who was four. Her mom told her that she had to share some of her candy with me. It was one of those long strips of cellophane packages from the grocery store, each of which has a few candies sealed inside it.

When Mrs. Parrack tore the strip in half, that made Jeanna's circuitry go all haywire. The sight of all her beautiful candy being divided and dispensed to another child caused what NASA would call "a major malfunction."

I sat there watching her convulse and scream turn red as a beefsteak and thought the rough equivalent of "Good god, girl. Get a grip." That seemed to be the type of thing I was always doing as a child - sitting back and gazing, in horror, at the idiotic behavior of my peers.

As I got older, I didn't take opportunities to be around children because it didn't occur to me that one would want those opportunties. And even though I had eight nieces and nephews (the eldest born when I was nine), they had the good graces to stay mostly out of state, leaving Dear Aunty Sue to forget their birthdays and important personal details ("And tell me your name again?") from a respectful distance.

As an adult, I have had plenty of friends who have chosen to breed (and some who have bred without consciously choosing to). I also have a surprisingly large number of childless friends - maybe we ganged together because of our similar world-view, which did not include welcoming little bundles of joy into our lives. Unless those little bundles of joy were cashmere sweaters.

This morning was my second time of being in close proximity to children who were my responsibility in...oh, gosh, my life, pretty much. Laugh away, all you moms.

And in Sunday School, we had a child who suffered a major malfunction. He lost his mind when his mom left him with us to go to church. It was my job to try to comfort the little guy while the teacher wrangled the other kids into a circle so we could commence indoctrinating them into the One True Faith (kidding. My church is slightly less dogmatic than The Oprah Show).

I did not succeed. My little pal was unconsolable. Screaming! Laying face down! Crying! And mom had to be fetched during the service to step in and save the day as only a mom can. But he and I both survived, somehow.

The cool part was that while I was watching him yell, I could see in his eyes what he was thinking.

The injustice! The unfairness! The horror of being a small little person without control over your circumstances! He seemed...well - human! I had a moment of emotional connection with someone under 15 years old!

"Yep, little man," I thought. "I know just how you feel. I didn't like being a kid, either."

12:30 a.m. - Feel all right

Last night, I got loaded
on a bottle of gin...
on a bottle of gin...

Not really, but I did dance my butt off with the rest of Santa Paula, watching Los Lobos play at the Citrus Festival - which is why I have that song stuck in my head.

Perfect night. Not too hot, not too cool, thousands of moms and dads and kids and grandmas and uncles out dancing on the lawn.

The first time I saw them play was in a park in Ventura on Sept. 15, 1985 (which I now know thanks to an obsessive person with a website. We danced on the grass back then, too.

It's Sunday. Time for prayer. Thank God for Los Lobos.
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