RTT: Seriously Random … But With Pictures!

Thank God for RTT … without it (and some of my other fave memes), I wouldn’t blog at all.  Gotta look into that … meanwhile, here’s a download:

Come to Mama!

I can’t wait for my new iPhone.  We didn’t get on the waiting list for the first wave in time (because you had to be hovering over your keyboard at the exact moment they sent the reminder and we just … weren’t) and now I’m holding out for the white one which is available sometime in late July.  I’m a little bit crabby about that but am planning on ramping that up to being completely insufferable when my husband gets his stupid black one before I get my gorgeous, sleek, white one.   (Isn’t it cool how I can get worked up about something that hasn’t even happened yet?  That’s just one of my many talents …)

In other news, I got an IPL last week … which is not that newsworthy except that I went to a place that was recommended by a friend where I could get it done for $75.  That’s, like, half price.  And while I’m not usually one to go for discounts where it concerns maiming and pain (2 fer Lasix? No, thank you.  Budget-friendly boob job?  M’kay … no), the friend who recommended doesn’t suffer fools gladly and would NEVER tell me about something that she hadn’t tried and loved so … that’s how I found myself in Little Saigon deep in the OC last Tuesday morning.

I could not read ANYTHING on ANY SIGNAGE after I got off the freeway.  Luckily, numbers are the same in any language so, whew! I found it.  And this is what I saw on the locked door …

Uhhh ... whut?

So, there was a price for the discount and it was CONFUSION.  It worked out, though (with a little help from my friend who is from Vietnam), and I got my face all crispy fried (in a good way) and am oh-so-happy with my new almost freckle-free-face.  End of story.

I eat too much… it’s the only conclusion I can come to about the vexing problem of the 15 Pounds That Won’t Go Away.   I know how much I should be eating.  I even have this handy-dandy reminder in my kitchen but, alas, I still have 15 Pounds That Won’t Go Away on my body:

I wish that being good at crafts and planning diets was an aerobic activity. *sigh*

Don’t you love it when you let your garden go to pot and then you walk out one day and a flower has insisted on growing?

Life persists and all that ...

I work out in my garage now because if I’m going to fail at losing weight, I don’t want to also pay for a gym membership.  Insult to injury, if you ask me.  So anyway, when I come out of my garage at the end of the workout, this is what I usually see:

My two 16 year old cats, chilling in the planters ... who needs a dog when you've got these two?

Gotta give a shout out to my friend Gretchen at Second Blooming for passing on her obsession with the Hipstamatic iPhone App.  It is AWESOME!  Here’s a random shot of my dad and my son reading together in what appears to be 1960 but is really yesterday (if my dad wasn’t wearing that lame visor, we could have pulled it off!):

Finally, two of my best girlfriends and I  went to see Sex and the City 2 because, well, you just kind of have to go with your besties to see it, you know?  That’s the excuse I’m going with anyway.  And why do I need an excuse?  Because it was an unmitigated disaster, that’s why … really, truly awful.  Reasons #1 – 99 have a lot to do with this cringe-worthy babe, playing a one-note character who, apparently, is never going to come close to completing a character arc <<shudder>>:

I'm all for cougars but this is getting embarassing ...

Okay, that’s all from Lake Woebegone.  Go on now and look read some more randomness at Keely’s place!


And I Used To Walk To School In The Snow. Uphill. Both Ways.

Recently, I was waxing nostalgic with a friend about the small town where I grew up and how it’s no longer a small town and that it now, in fact, has a freakin’ Walmart in it.   WTF?   So, in memorium, I’m going to take a little trip down memory lane.  Come along if you will … this won’t take long:

These are postcards, by the way. Even I'm not weird enough to take pictures of the main drag of Nowheresville, USA. I am, however, weird enough to buy vintage postcards of my hometown on Ebay.

No Walmart, but somehow we bought everything we needed here.

Check out the back of this card: "The building housed the Christian Science Exhibit at the New York World's Fair. Afterward it was dismantled and shipped via the Panama Canal to its new home in the beautiful rolling hills of North San Diego County where it was reassembled." I mean, it's cool, don't get me wrong. But to ship it through the Panama Canal in 1940? Not so much ...

The main drag again. One gas station. One grocery store. Several bars. We even had a place called the Egg-o-Mat where you could buy a dozen eggs on the honor system. I could ride my horse to school, y'all.

No post written by some old lady who is totally bitter that her little town full of orange avocado groves got turned into Disneyland a booming metropolis would be complete without an image of what the town looks like today.  Unfortunately, the sprawl makes it hard to recreate the pictures above but here’s an aerial shot that gives you an idea:

I like how it looks all post-Industrial Revolution dark and gloomy compared to the cheerful images above.

Okay, I think the rant is over for today.  I’ll just leave you with another vintage postcard of where I live now … only this was about a hundred years ago.  It makes me think that there might be some old lady somewhere gritting her teeth over the state of this town and how it used to be all sand dunes and flower farms and the pier had a huge salt water plunge where you could play all day for a nickel ….  *sigh*  Old age is cool.

RTT: Birthdays Suck … Except For the Food and the Presents and the People

randomtuesdayIt was a doozy of a week here, folks so I’m using RTT this week to bat a little cleanup. Let’s see …

It was my birthday last week … 47. Woo-hoo/Whatever. I didn’t really want to commemorate it and I did pretty well with that. My husband and I drove up to San Francisco for the weekend to celebrate a friend’s 40th which was fun except for the driving part which went on and on and on and on. Here’s a snapshot because I really seem to be into that lately:

The San Joaquin Valley. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

San Francisco was totally awesomer than normal. We stayed at the St. Regis on Union Square (shopping!) and took a trolley car down to Fisherman’s Wharf (holy tourist trap, Batman!) and pub crawled from there to the Embarcadero and then back to our hotel (toasty.com!). The next day was GORGEOUS and I only feel that’s noteworthy because I used to live there and it’s never, never gorgeous. It’s like the “marine layer” armpit of the Western Hemisphere. Grey and gloomy, you can’t even tell you’re by the bay. Anyway, here’s a pic of the gorgeousity:

View from the bar that serves absinthe! Right on!

We did a good bit of drinking that night, too, so I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you that two hungover monkeys drove our car back to Los Angeles in the morning. Here’s a picture of one of the monkeys eating chicken noodle soup at Denny’s in God-knows-where, California. Note the number of saltines consumed by the monkey:

Denny's Chicken Noodle Soup: the cure for the common hangover.

When we got home, my parents and my son had worked up some birthday stuff for me including a lovely skit ripped off from Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First?” routine and these cookies that they “made for me” (but ate themselves as soon as I got home):

On my actual birthday, we went out with our neighbors and watched a Laker’s game in a pretty fancy-shmancy bar here in the ‘hood. Love them (the neighbors, not the Lakers … although I’m fine with the Lakers. They seem like nice people, too).

The weekend after my birthday, my besties took me to Malibu where we stayed at a marvelous hotel by the pier and shopped and ate Italian food and drink a lot of wine and watched movies in our fab room and ate cupcakes and went out for Sushi and martinis and read gossip mags and ate eggs benedict for breakfast. Perfect. Here’s the view from our balcony:

And here are my girls, curled up with magazines and iPhones:

As an aside, school’s almost over for the kid. I can’t wait. Because the first day I don’t have to blast him out of bed and beg him for an hour to keep moving? I will weep with joy …

That’s all the news from here … now go on over and see what everyone else has going on at Random Tuesday Thoughts!

Horses I Have Known

My last post about camping made me wistful for more than just camping.  When I posted a picture of the first horse I ever rode, it made me think of my horse-crazy youth and, to be honest, my sporadically horse-crazy adulthood.

Hence, what follows is an ode to my favorite horses … from the one that took me up the trail at 4 years old to the one that took me over my first nail-biting Oxers in my show-jumping phase not too long ago.  I could tell long, dull stories about each one but I will refrain.  Pictures and blurbs only…

Again, Butch, the most patient horse in the world:

The following year, we also took horses into the first camp before we started our daily hikes.  The horse my sister is on “tried to kill her” according to my sis.  Whatever, wuss:

You can hardly see me in the back but suffice to say, I was in heaven.

This was my first horse, Sam.  A lovely boy, I got him when I was about 10 years old and he passed when I was just finishing up high school.  He gets two pictures because he was AWESOME.

Before the horse pictured below, I had always ridden Western-style.  Cheyenne was my first jumper.  I wish I had action photos on this one.  It would have been very amusing … and, btw, why do I have so many pictures of horse’s butts?

Around the time I was riding Cheyenne, I went on the most awesomest cattle drive. If anyone is on the fence about going on one, please know that it was one of the best vacations I have EVER been on … and I have been to some pretty cool locales. Here’s a hard-to-see photo of me riding a crazy pony who (I found out later) had only been ridden less than a dozen times in her life. Best. Ponyride. EVER.

I can’t remember this horse’s name but I rode him for a long time.  It’ll come to me … or not.  I have half-heimers, after all.  Anyway, this horse was bat-shit crazy and literally spooked at the shadow of a bird flying overhead.  I fell off this horse many, many times.  Fab jumper, though.  Loved him.

This is the horse I rode last, the one I had to give up because I was preggers.  Her name was Roo and, aside from Sam, she has been the best horse I have ever ridden.  She would literally jump over ANYTHING.  She took me over my highest jumps and my first Oxers and walls.  I wish more than anything that I had an action shot of us but I don’t.  Here’s our portrait anyway, in fond memory:

On account of the osteopenia, I probably won’t ever jump horses again.  My husband, my son and my insurance company have all begged me not to and, for the time being, I have acquiesced.

Right now, though?  I’m really thinking about being disobedient…

Camping vs. Glamping

When I was growing up, my family went on the same vacation every year. We backpacked – at first in the Sierras, then in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado – as a family.

Every. Single. Year.

You went to Disneyland when you were three years old? How nice for you. Here’s the summer of my third year:

First backpacking trip. That's my mom on the left, looking exhausted. My aunt and uncle are the other two "adults." They were 21 years old at the time.

It was mostly drudgery, but it was a beautiful drudgery. My dad took approximately 1 million slides to commemorate this fact. Unfortunately, most of the slides are of scenery. Here’s a rare one with people in it … sort of:

See those bumps in the front? That's my mom and us three kids.

I had a lot of “firsts” on those trips. Here’s my first fish:

And this is my first time on a horse:

But as the years went on and we got bigger and could carry more, the trips got longer.  A lot longer. In the end, my dad packed us up for three solid weeks of this.  All five of us piled in the Volvo station wagon with so much dehydrated food that we could barely move in the backseat from San Diego to Durango.  This doesn’t do it justice, but for some reason, we have a photo of it (no people, of course):

Behind those boxes are five fully loaded Kelty packs, two more suitcases and a lot of snacks, books and magazines for the trip.

Anyway, when my beloved older brother stopped going, I didn’t want to go either. My sister had been lobbying to stop going since she was 5 years old so, obviously, she was on our team. This is a picture of our last trip. No making fun of the floppy yellow hat. It was 1979:

The 1970s = stupid clothes... except my brother. He looks cool.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because, as an adult, I DO NOT WANT TO ROUGH IT. Unfortunately, my husband does.  Oh, sure, we had an uneasy alliance in the beginning as I learned the joys of car camping.  Bigger tents!  Fresh food!  Beer!  Sleeping mats!  Ice!  Tables!  Bathrooms!

For awhile, I was pretty content.  And then we started going camping with another family.  My friend, Robin, brought A LOT of stuff for her family of five.   Real plates!  Silverware!  A two burner stove!  Cast iron pans!  Then, they showed up with a POP UP CAMPER!  Oh, the jealousy …

So, little by little, I started bringing more and more … and just a few years later, our little family of three needed a big Thule box for the top of our filled-to-the-brim 4Runner SUV just to go camping for three days.  A three burner stove!  A Coleman oven!  A pop up kitchen!  Pantries with drawers!  Two coolers!  A shower!  A tent made for 8!  Aerobeds for everyone!

A small sample: this is my camping dish drainer. Notice the two (2) matching cutting boards at the back and the matchy-matchy tablecloth. This is what my husband is complaining about.

My husband suffered … but not in silence.  After all, his easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy camping trips had turned into a nomadic Bedouin nightmare.  Then, the coup d’ grace: our camping partners moved to Australia, leaving us their pop-up camper to use while they were gone.  My husband balked, I pushed … and thus, the camping trips came to an abrupt halt.  Sadly, two summers have passed and we have never popped the pop-up.

I miss camping.  I’m actually ready to make some concessions but, alas, have not been able to lure my husband to the bargaining table yet.  In the meantime, I still read articles like this one about “glamping” with wistfulness in my heart.  And then I remember what real camping is like and I realize, car camping is glamping.  At least for someone who’s been where I have …

After a long day on the trail circa 1978. Yes, I am eating out of a pan.

Spin Cycle: Technological Schizophrenia

When it comes to technology, I am Sybil.

On the one hand, I bought my first PC in 1986 (remember DOS prompts?), got my first job pimping the glories of the Internet in 1995, encouraged my husband to take a job at Yahoo in 1996 (my mother thought we meant “YooHoo,” the chocolate drink), and waited patiently in line for the first iPods, iPhones and now, the iPad.  We have two iPhones, one iTouch, three iPods, an all you can eat data plan with AT&T, lightning fast FIOS and five fully functional computers serving three people via a wireless network in a 900 square foot house.  This is me at Coachella, checking my email while my friends dance to deafening music:

On the other hand, this is my stove:

And the pans I cook with everyday:

And my coffeepot:

And my toaster:

I could post more, but I’m afraid you’ll start to think I’m weird.

Suffice to say that my furniture, my lamps, my sewing machine, my blender, crockpot, silverware, table linens, small appliances, jewelry and many of my clothes came from an era in which I never lived.  And yet, I can’t wait to replace my laptop which is less than three years old (it’s so SLOW!).

WTF?  And more importantly, should I seek help?

And when you’re done psychoanalyzing me, don’t forget to head over to Sprite’s Keeper to see how the sane people feel about technology on this week’s Spin Cycle!