Movie Review Monday

 I feel it is my responsibility as a card-carrying Will Ferrell fan club member (hypothetically of course) to see even his most serious movies. Let me forewarn you, Everything Must Go is a depressing movie. There is no Will Ferrell hilarity to be had. Not even a hint of a morsel. He loses his job, his wife kicks him out of the house and he's forced to sell all his belongings. He makes friends with the pregnant lady neighbor across the street and another kid in the neighborhood. At the end, he finds redemption. Sort of, I guess. He's a "recovering" alcoholic that seems to bounce on and off the wagon and is watching his world crumble around him. Not exactly a bucket of laughs. However, I think Will Ferrell as an actor is a fine thing whether it be comedic or dramatic in nature. I just happen to prefer spastic, hilarious Will Ferrell over this fella.

The Lincoln Lawyer was a little better but I don't know by much. I guess I just can't get enough of Matthew McConaughey. Here he plays a defense lawyer who is just a tad on the smarmy side, not at all like the lawyer he portrayed in A Time To Kill aside from the fact that they both might have liked the drink a bit much at times. He is hired by a rich kid who is accused of roughing up a prostitute only there is a bit more of a layer to it. If I say too much I might ruin the twist. Everyone and their mother has a cameo in this movie, I swear. Los Angeles makes an appearance here as a starring player only she's not looking so pretty in this time around. I think the idea of this movie was a little better than its execution but I didn't fall asleep watching it and it was pretty late at night so I think that is a nod to its ability to at least capture one's attention. This weekend, BFF told me that I basically only like comedies, cartoons and superhero movies... she might be on to something, but that won't keep me from trying on the occasional drama. Ya heard?


Goodbye 2013 Haiku Friday

This year was okay
But I hope next year's better
Same feelings yearly
We've had a few woes
But it could be much worse
I remain thankful
Grateful for my friends
And my family who ground me
I know I am blessed


First Day of Winter Haiku Friday

Tonight is the night
When the Santa float goes by
I hope we catch him
Tomorrow? Reindeer
Husband's old roommate has them
How random is that?
Holiday spirit
It's running high today, folks
Sugar and singing! 

Our Christmas Card 2012

Initially Merry Christmas
Create from the Heart: photo Christmas cards from Shutterfly .
View the entire collection of cards.


Scene at a Gas Station

Randi puts money into the Arco dollar receptacle and goes to the tank to pump gas. She is unable to get the gas to come out of the pump. She cradles the pump multiple times and even tries 91 since 89 isn't playing along. Randi goes inside to tell the attendants of her strife.

Randi: Hi. Number 4 isn't working so I was wondering if you could put my money on 6.
Attendant: It works, there's money on number 4.
Randi: Yes but when I push the handle no gas comes out.
Attendant 2: Did you push the gas grade?
Randi: I know how to pump gas. I am not retarded.
Attendant: She didn't mean...
Attendant 2: She'll go out to help you.

Randi then rolls her eyes because she does not need help as the pump is broken. Randi has been pumping gas since the age of 12 and is really quite good at it as she has done it WEEKLY ever since. Attendant accompanies her to the pump. Randi demonstrates how one would normally proceed to pump gas. The numbers go on at the pump.

Attendant: See? It works.
Randi: No, I'm actually not getting any gas out of this. Do you need to physically hold it yourself to see that it's not working or will you just go ahead and put my money on number 6 like I asked you to already?

Attendant scurries away, clearly afraid. Randi successfully pumps gas on number 6 with zero hassle.

Questions for discussion:
  • Why can't number 4 just be broken? Does it make the attendants too sad?
  • Is it very hard for the attendant to just put Randi's money on another pump?
  • Did Randi really need to Bah Humbug all over the attendants?
  • Did the attendants really need to be that asinine at 7:15 this Thursday morning?


Magic Mike

Well, I did it and I dragged Husband down alongside me; we watched the much-hyped Magic Mike. I had assumed this was going to be as bad as it was and had every intention of watching this train-wreck by myself but Husband said he didn't mind watching it with me. Thank goodness Matthew McConaughey kept repeating "All right all right all right" otherwise it would have been a total bust for him. Well I'm sure he enjoyed the random lady boobies too. I mean, duh. It was definitely impressive to see Channing Tatum's dance movies but I preferred his role in 21 Jump Street over this garbage any day.
It's the story of a stripper/furniture entrepreneur/car-detailer/construction worker who recruits his buddy to join him onstage. We get to see what goes on behind the scenes including a very obvious penis-pumping, drug use, sex and babes. It tells us how being a stripper seeps over to your private life and how stigmatizing it is. Ohmygod I can't even believe I am typing this. It's simply too much. Women dig this crap I guess. I found the lap-dancing and crotch grinding to be super raunchy and kind of grody but that's just me. I will admit, the dudes are all hotties but this "story" - if you can call it that - is no bueno.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Don't buy the hype.



A year ago, give or take a couple days, I miscarried. I was only a few months along, hadn't even heard a heartbeat but it was one of the most devastating occurrences in my life to date. I had lost my child. 18 years ago I made the decision to terminate a pregnancy and still have thoughts of "what if" about a baby whose heart I never heard beat either. The only thing I can think of that hurts my heart more than the losses of two babies I never knew is thinking of how the mommies of the children that were inexplicably and purposelessly murdered on Friday must feel.
I have found myself crying a lot about those babies, most who were around the same age as my beloved nephew. I wept with the president when he spoke. I wept when two football players from opposing teams in their number 26 jerseys took the field for a moment of silence. I cried all day on Friday as I scrolled through news update after news update searching for some kind of explanation of who could do such a thing as if knowing that would offer any consolation. When I watch a movie, I become a part of that movie, completely emotionally invested and so when I read those news stories, I became a mother of one of those children. I imagined the devastating loss of having never had the chance to say one last goodbye to Casey.
I do not believe that gun control is the answer. I know too many people who own guns and enjoy them that would not dream of using them in a violent way. We can restrict and pass laws until we are blue in the face but criminals and mentally disturbed individuals with a plan will find a way to achieve the chaos they are desperate to spread. There are people who have no moral compass who are desensitized to violence. Mental health should definitely be a topic of conversation and the taboo of mental illness needs to be erased. I mean, I had to be on Prozac for depression and that was SHAMEFUL for me. Why? If I had cancer, something else that I have no control over, would I feel ashamed to receive chemotherapy? 
I keep a journal for Casey and on Friday I wrote the following:
"There was a horrible shooting at a school in Connecticut this morning and many small children were killed. I hope we do a good job teaching you about safety and the dangers of guns and the value of a human life. I pray you are safe when you are away from me. I can only dream that maybe one day this sort of senseless violence will just stop already so we can truly know peace on earth. I love you, Casey. I simply don't know who I was before you or who I'd be with out you."
That is as close to an answer or a plan as I can come. To retain hope. To spread love. To actively work toward a better world and to do that by using our children as instruments to make the world a better place. To hug my son closely and cherish every moment as if it may be our last because frankly we just never know. God willing, the loss of those children's lives was not in vain. Maybe this was a catalyst for a desperately needed change.


Weekend Pictures Christmas Style

This is a shot of me holding BFF's ornament that I randomly picked for myself at my ma's ornament party. I guess it's a good photo of me because I've been complimented on it all morning.
This is the pagoda downtown. It's a music and lights show.
 This is a super tall tree downtown by the theater we frequent they decorate for Christmas
 This is Casey having a grand ol' time dancing and running twixt the tree and the pagoda.
This is my sister-in-law's mother's house decorated for Christmas Tree Lane in the Henry T. Oxnard Historic District.


Mid-December Haiku Friday

We may take Casey
To see the mall Santa Claus
If it's not busy
Need to bake cookies
Buy an ornament as well
For mom's wee party
Get to see some friends
Is there anything better?
Hooray for weekends!


Good, Bad & Ugly

  • Husband comes home tonight after being gone 4-days this week and the last. He'll be home until 2013. Praise the Lord.
  • All the work we had to do on our end for Christmas is complete. Now I am just waiting patiently for Christmas day to come and enjoying the lights and music and copious amounts of snacks.
  • BFF and Co. are coming this weekend to attend an ornament party my ma is hosting.
  • I am off on the 24th, 25th, 28th, 31st and 1st. I mean, hot damn. Maybe this will give me the recharge I have been looking for because work is...
  • I swear work has just not been my thing lately. I've been grumpy and just not feeling it. The last time I took a week off? Last December when I went to Michigan for Christmas. What the hell? 
  • I got my new fireplace screen and am super excited about having an indoor fire but my tools are back-ordered and no one will tell me when they are coming and thus you have this white whine.
  • It's supposed to rain for the next three days and I really wanted to take my boy down Candy Cane Lane or Santa Claus Lane... whatever it's called. But they decorate two blocks of historic Oxnard and we want to walk rather than drive through.
  • Casey is not sleeping well and thus I am not sleeping well and now I've got beef with him. Going to bed has become a struggle and for the past three days he has come into my room at the dark early hours of the morning. I swear if there is one thing that makes me not want to reproduce again, it's the lack of sleep. Holy hell.
  • I said I wouldn't do it but I did. I weighed myself yesterday morning and I was at 223 with a long sleeve shirt, a camisole, jeans, chonies and socks on. We'll go ahead and call that 220. Boo.
  • It's fucking UGLY watching my Gran fall into dementia. She confuses easily and forgets often and gets all frustrated and wants to sort of fight about it. I don't like it. I don't like how my mom responds to her. I don't like any of it.


Check Myself

It's been a week since I declared my Day 1 and I'm not entirely convinced that I was successful. However, I did give it some effort. I have really made it a point to walk the dog with the boy. We did a lot of cleaning and yard work this weekend which I consider strenuous physical energy. Even though I only had 2 meals both days I may have made up for that with beer. It was my company holiday party. Not ideal, really, but I don't think I "over did" it per se. Definitely haven't weighed myself yet and I am knee-deep in menses so I'm not going to. Actually, I don't think I'll weigh myself until after the first of the year. Because why do that to myself?
Yesterday I did well. I had my oatmeal for breakfast and salad for lunch along with my healthy snacks. I walked the dog and had a light dinner. I only had one beer instead of the many I would have liked to have had. I guess I just have to look at those small accomplishments and be proud of them. I'm not trying to be unrealistic. I did, however, quit the candy dish at work once again yesterday. Because OHMYGOD ENOUGH WITH THE TINY CANDIES!
So some goals:
  • stop eating when I feel full/eat only half of my serving/focus on realistic serving sizes
  • stop eating out of stress or boredom
  • try to keep it to one beer a night Monday through Thursday
  • make an effort to move more
  • drink more water at work + no sodas if I do eat out at a restaurant
  • stay away from the candy dish at work
Obviously I am doing this because two-twenty-anything is clearly not a good size for me to be or a healthy weight for me to be. I also want to shop for cute clothes and/or fit in the clothes I used to fit in that are currently hanging useless in my closet. But also I'm starting to wonder if me being this big is keeping me from getting knocked up... because, um, we have been trying. And nothing is sticking.


Movie Review Monday

There is a new version of this movie out right now and when I mentioned to Husband that I hadn't seen the original Red Dawn I got a kind of look that could be described as judgmental. Since I have some sort of self-imposed movie viewing reputation to uphold, I netflixed it and we finally got around to watching it this weekend. I'm pretty sure Husband said he loved "The Swayz" Not Swayze. The Swayz. Charlie Sheen before the whole Tiger Blood thing is really hot. C. Thomas Howell is all up in it commando style. Can I just tell you that when Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey showed up on screen I actually shouted and howled with laughter? Epic.
The movie dives right into the violence, ok? They're not trying to ease into anything. One minute the kids are in a classroom, next minute the Soviets are parachuting onto their quad and shooting up the place. It's pretty graphic and had me jumpy in a super fun way. People are dying left and right. I loved it more than I logically should have. I will confess, though, I sort of missed the last few minutes because I fell asleep but I really don't think my life will be affected adversely because of it. I had a jolly good time watching it up until then and from what Husband tells me, the ending kind of stunk. Guess you should watch it and tell me what I missed.


Pearl Harbor Rememberance Haiku Friday

Presents all purchased
Most of my cards have been mailed
Had to trim my list
Now it's time to wrap
And hope Casey can control
His urge to open
Much less stress this year
First Christmas in our "new" house
Happy to be home



For as far back as I can remember, every December my Gran gave me and my brother an Advent calendar. Each day from the 1st until the 25th we could open one door and find one candy counting down to Christmas Day. I think my mom took over this tradition eventually and I remember having a calendar all to myself up until maybe a year ago. My family loves beating a tradition to death.
This year, "Gaga" (a.k.a. my mom) got Casey his very own calendar. He really seems to know what is going on this Christmas. He is fascinated by the lights outside and the tree and calls my nutcracker collection his robots. He talks to me about Santa. Then he got this magic treat of a chocolate per day and you can consider his mind blown.
Each day I sit and tell him "Let's look for Number _" and we look at each of the tiny numbered doors and find what we are looking for. Then together we open the tiny door and find a tiny foil wrapped chocolate just for Casey. It truly is the highlight of his day. Bright and early this morning he said "Mama? Numboo fow? Wook fo Sanna?" and I told him we had to wait until later and he was crushed. It's the most hilarious thing to watch him remember certain events and talk about them all day long. There really is nothing comparable to seeing Christmas through his eyes. And to watch him savor the heck out of a piece of "canny."


Not For The Squeamish

A while back my friend Hung wrote a post about Pull-Ups. Here is my story.

Last night I put Casey down to bed at 8 like I always do. I shut the door behind me so that he doesn't try to resist night-night. After some nice chill-out time for mama, I decide to open his door at 9. Last night, his eyes popped open so I went to tuck him back in when I could smell he had made a poopoo. So I said, "Come on, buddy, let's change your diaper" and was met with the horror of seeing that the poopoo was not contained in his Pull-Up (aka chonies). We use those chonies to make him feel like a big boy... Mistake? Perhaps.
There was poop on his pillow, on his stuffed Woody that he sleeps with, on his blankets... everywhere. It was up his back and spilling out onto his pajamas. I had to lift his pajama top over his head and it spread to his hair. Pull-Ups don't have the side fasteners like diapers do so I had to pull down that Pull-Up full of poop and watch it spill to the carpet. Oh the smell! Oh the sadness!
Next stop was getting him into the shower to clean off the poop that could have very well been sitting on him for nearly an hour. That left quite a lovely mess in the bathtub as you could well imagine. Poor Casey was half asleep and totally confused as to why he couldn't just sit down in the tub. It was heart wrenching. We got him cleaned up, dried off and into new pajamas. I threw everything into the sanitary wash cycle and tried to get rid of the evidence.
All the while Casey was following me around the house saying "mama? mama?" and it broke my heart that I had confused him to this degree. I tried to tuck him back into big boy bed but he was having none of it. Obviously, I wouldn't have wanted anything to do with poop bed either. Poor traumatized child. He slept with me in my bed so my night was full of him throwing himself around and kicking me. Awesome.
In my haste I washed his red blanket with his favorite white blanket and now that and Woody's vest are a depressing hue of pink. I feel terrible about it. I feel like I could have done better as a mommy. And naturally, this all happens when Husband is out of town for work. Le Sigh.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Save the Pull-Ups for potty training. Skip the big boy stuff.


Day One

Yesterday I went through my old calendar, transferring dates from 2012 to 2013. That's probably one of my favorite things to do at the end of the year aside from updating my address book. Lame! I didn't realize it, but I have a doctor's appointment with my primary care physician on January 4th. Nothing like a looming appointment to make you really take a look at yourself. I'll share in snippets.
  • My size 16s are very tight.
  • I do not know my exact weight but I believe it to be somewhere in the 220 zone
  • Since Curves shut down, my exercise program has become all but non-existent.
  • I fell back into the candy drawer at work
  • I stopped bringing my lunch which equals too much eating out
  • I bought a treadmill that I have yet to use
All of these things have pretty stupid and altogether avoidable consequences. Mostly: THE FAT

So today I brought my salad and banana and baby carrots to work. Instead of the candy drawer I'm back on the dark chocolate Kashi granola bars. No more sodas at lunches out, just water. I am proud to say that last night even though I got home from the market after dark, we still took Betty for a walk around the hood. It's not much but it's something.

See... my doctor wants to put me on cholesterol medicine but I wouldn't let him because I said I was trying to get knocked up. The knocking up has not happened and I assume neither has a drop in my cholesterol. The last thing I want to do is to get a stern talking to by a health care professional.

So my goal is to take it a day at a time. Really try to be as good as I can be - day by day - because "the holidays" really isn't an excuse to not try at all, am I right?


Killing ME Softly

Hello and welcome to my review of Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta. This is apparently some sort of gangster movie and with the aforementioned cast I was expecting something on par with Snatch. What I got was a steaming pile of hot garbage that I can only liken to Drive.  That was also a critical darling. However, this one ended up disappointing me so much that I actually said "Are you fucking kidding me?" when the credits started to roll. Unfortunately, where Drive was the strong, silent type, KTS was non-stop noise. Background radio noise, chatter, non-stop discussions about nothing and hardly any action. Don't even get me started with incorporating Bush and Obama and the recession, ok? We just got out of an election. OVER IT.
About an hour into it I asked Husband how much longer we had to sit through this shit. When we left the theater? I was FURIOUS. We hardly ever get to go out and this is how we spent our money and our time? I mean, I was so pissed during the movie I was unable to snuggle with my Husband, forget about enjoying my alone time with him. FUCK YOU, Brad Pitt, you pretentious piece of shit. I know this was some kind of a vanity project because it was your production company that put it out. Man. I hated you because of what you did to Jennifer Aniston but this shit seals the deal.


End of November Haiku Friday

Decorations? Up.
A Christmas tree this weekend
Most presents? Boughten.
Gotta work on cards
Thinking of a picture still
Gotta buy stamps too
Two Christmas parties
This weekend is plan-less though
Praise Baby Jesus


Weekend Pics

On Friday we hung our Christmas lights because we are busy little beavers at Rancho Viernes.
Husband was none too happy about the outcome of Saturday's Michigan v Ohio game as you can see here.
When it ended he brought Casey to a friend's baby shower. Here they are resisting the advances of another friend's 2 year old daughter. Side note: toddlers hate shoes.
Then we headed to Culver City for Babe's beeday celebration. As you can see, we have no trouble making ourselves at home there. BFF sure puts on a good party.
This dead baby here? Is the result of too much partying! Hooray for Babe's princess castle bounce house!


Haiku Friday on a Monday

A four day weekend
Thanksgiving then Christmas prep
A baby shower
Christine's birthday, too
And Mike's party in L.A.
Not a dull moment
We squeezed in some chores
Took a nap or two as well
Now back to normal


Wrap It Up

Today I'll just wrap up my thankful for the month because, well, I want to. That's why. It's my blog and I'm here to break my own rules, sucka! Here's 16 through 30:

16. For living in my hometown. Friends that grew up here but now live far away come back to see their families and I get to see them when they are here. I don't get to travel much so this is a nice treat for me. This was especially nice when I didn't have to travel to Portland to meet months old AJ, firstborn daughter of Denise. SHEISSOCUTEYOUGUYS!

17. For fun scavenger hunt games I get to play on my camera. I'm becoming a bit of an Instagram whore and I sure do love having an excuse to play with my real camera.

18. For people who cook for me. I'm so glad Husband is the cook of the family and that my mom is making turkey dinner tomorrow. I just don't have the hang of it but I'll bake for you in return! Maybe clean? Sex? LOL

19. For online shopping so I never ever have to consider camping out for Black Friday. Gross.

20. For this lovely weather. I hurt for the people that were victims of the hurricane or have to worry about tornadoes and snow and shit like that. We have earthquakes sometimes. Big whoop.

21. That BFF and Crusty are both living in California again. I can't tell you what this means to me. It's kind of the best thing ever.

22. That I live in proximity to many wonderful things like the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Reagan Library. I can be at the beach in 5 minutes or the mountains in 20. I can go to LA for baseball or hockey or concerts with ease.

23. For Levi's. Without them I don't think I would be able to wear pants because I wear jeans every. single. day.

24. That I have money in a 401K and in a savings account. And in our checking for that matter.

25. For my DVR! Dangit. I get to watch my shows at my convenience. Amazing. And there is nothing like fast forwarding through commercials. Iron Chef. Top Chef. All that stuff. Love it.

26. For coffee in the mornings and beers at night. Silly to look forward to beverages but I do!

27. To always be busy. Lord knows there are days that I wouldn't mind curling up with a book and not getting out of bed but it's nice to know I always seem to have family or friends that I need to visit or work and chores to tend to. Must mean I'm doing things right since I have no time to be bedridden.

28. That we don't have to go to Michigan this Christmas. As much as I love my in-laws, there is nothing worse than holiday travel. Plus this will be the first Christmas that I get to spend with my Lici Niecey!

29. That magazines and books are still in print because I don't always love reading online and am just not ready for a Nook or a Kindle.

30. For music. Whether it's listening to Casey sing or singing to Casey, the radio, the iPod, Pandora, or Husband strumming the guitar... It's just my favorite thing.

Happy thanksgiving blog readers. Thanks for reading, thanks for being my buds. Thanks for marrying me or being in my wedding. You know who you are. xoxoxoxo


Weekend Pics

 Sure, it's blurry, but it's Mary Poppins and I can't love it more than I do.
 Simi Valley is sure pretty to look at through these big windows in front of Air Force One.
 At the zoo my boy was crazy about holding hands.
 Nothing could have melted my cold, dead heart faster.
 This is a street near my folks' house that I can't love more.
So we planted our own wee tree just like those so it can be beautimous
 in front of our house in the fall. Hooray!


Haiku Friday on a Monday

Busy weekend, guys!
I took Friday off of work
To date my Husband
Finished up the exhibit
And became members
Saturday dinner
Malibu with Cod and Babe
Then zoo on Sunday


Thankful Thursday, Part Deux

9. For health insurance. I can't imagine what our medical bills would be like without it. I guess this is on the forefront of my mind because I have a dentist appointment this afternoon and just paid a $25 bill for Casey's testicle consultation that could have run well into the thousand dollar range without insurance.

10. For Disney animation. Be they movies or shows on DVD, on TV or On Demand, they sure come in handy. I can't be on the clock the entire time Casey and I share together and cartoons are something we can both enjoy either side by side or as a distraction. Plus, their movies are a must-see at the theater for me.

11. For this blog. I'm so glad I get to keep up with friends here, sort out my shit and basically just be myself. I met Husband and quite a few good friends blogging. I never take that for granted. Plus it helped me keep in touch with BFF and Christine when they moved across the country for no reason. Now they're both back in CA. Dummies.

12. For my in-laws. God knows I didn't get to choose them but my MIL and FIL are two of the best damn people around and I have zero complaints about either of my BILs or their wives and children. Frankly, I wish they lived here instead of MI but at least we have airplanes and Skype.

13. For Maria. I could ask for no better a care-giver for my boy. She is flexible and kind and generous. She teaches him far more than I think even I do. And most of all she loves him.

14. For modern technology. I really love my Samsung Galaxy S III and that it allows me to email, text, do Instagram and play WWF and Draw Something. My blackberry had nothing on this bitch!

15. For Target! Damn, I love that place. I realized this after my trip to TWO malls last Saturday. I hate the mall! Target has everything. Groceries, toiletries, clothing.. you name it, I need it, it's likely at Target.


Rants and Raves

  • If one more stupid ass Republican dipshit says something about Obama destroying America or any such thing I'm literally going to stab a motherfucker. Jesus Holy Christ. We have had far worse hold the rank of POTUS and here we are, still standing. Enough already. The only reason assholes are up in arms is because he is black. He didn't do all this damage. He got it dropped on his lap. Period, the end, STFU.
  • Elmo? Petraeus? Damn you for being heroes that can't keep it in your pants. Affairs are legal. Sex with an 18 year old is legal. You two are just smarter than that. I do not understand how people cheat on their spouses or how any adult person can have the secks with an 18 year old but they do and it sucks. Mind you, I don't really care too much about this but some people do so I'm mad for them. Sex is fun and awesome, I get it. But is it really worth the fallout? I really don't think so.
  •  My boy watched Brave last night since we bought it on DVD the day it came out and he was not nearly as scared as I was when we saw it in the theater. He said "Watch out!" and "Rocks!" and "Bears, mama!" quite a few times but other than that he was cool as a cucumber. 
  • He is not only a wee echo nowadays but also is carrying on conversations like a boss. This means he can also back-talk so here is a whole new hurdle for the adult people in his life. I was practicing with him all morning to say "Happy Birthday, Gaga" and he basically ignored me but in the car on the way to Maria's, I sang Happy Birthday to my mom and he decided he'd just sing along and keep on singing. Nothing is cuter than that. I challenge you to find something.


Movie Review Monday

I realized The Five-Year Engagement had been sitting in an envelope for too long so I told Husband we had to watch it to get a new Netflix DVD to gather dust. I sort of recall someone telling me this was not a good movie but I refused to believe it because Judd Apatow touched it and I really, really liked the cast. Unfortunately, this movie was not so much a rom-com as it was just a sort of sad look at two people not really able to commit. Not even commit, really, just unable to get to the altar. I really dislike seeing philandering and there was some of that here. Plus the jokes just weren't funny enough to make up for the "Where are we going with this?" feeling I got from the whole movie. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this kind of movie or maybe I just need to admit I am really not the rom-com type. Plus they sort of made Michigan seem lame and that turned Husband off. We can't have anyone thinking Michigan is lame, understand?

To make up for our lack of theater going and mediocre Netflix viewing, we actually made it to a matinee to see Skyfall. We arrived quite early and there was already a line of people waiting to buy tickets to see this. I think it says something about 007 that there are now two movie theaters in Oxnard and our "old" one was packed at the first viewing of this showing on a Sunday morning. Aside from the frequent and obvious product placement, I really can't say anything bad about this movie. There are beautiful women, awesome action scenes, gorgeous locales, Daniel Craig rocking the hell out of everything he wore (or didn't), impeccable acting by revered actors... This movie is just chock full of winning combinations. Even the theme song was great and it was Adele and I am so over Adele! I think the other two Daniel Craig Bond movies kind of took themselves a bit too seriously and this one was just a lot of fun with quite a few nods to the old Bond movies including the car, the drink and the theme song. And as for bad guys, they just don't come much worse than Javier Bardem. He was no less than incredible. Go. See it.


Goal Update Haiku Friday

My period's here
Was exactly one week late
I blame "THE STRESS", man
Walked every morning
Had wine on Tues, beer last night
Scale is down from Mon
Some small victories
Paid off some credit cards, bills
Turning a corner


Thankful Thursday

8 days of November = 8 items of gratitude:
  1. For my family, immediate and extended. We may all get on each other's nerves on occasion but I'm glad that we are all very close, both in proximity and in our relationships.
  2. For my husband. I am so glad I no longer need to date and really did marry my best friend even if he does get on my last nerve sometimes.
  3. For my friends, be they real or imaginary. And by imaginary I mean on Facebook or via blogs. Even if I haven't met some of them face to face, they fill a big part of my life.
  4. For my job, especially today thanks to a big, fat bonus. 
  5. That I am a home-owner. Not only is my mortgage less than my rent ever was, I am so glad I don't have a tiny two-year old terror running around a tiny apartment. With stairs of death.
  6. For Betty. She may be try to be my shadow at all times and drive me up the wall with her neediness, but there is a comfort and feeling of safety that she provides that I'm so thankful for.
  7. For the Bun. He serves no purpose other than to be a super cute cuddle of fur but I love him so much.
  8. For our vehicles. I'm sure glad Vehicular gets Husband to and from San Diego so cheaply and reliably even though he might look awfully silly getting his huge body in and out of its tiny little self.  And the Flex is simply the best family wagon around. Room for a boy, a dog, and potentially 7 adults. Holler.


Some Thoughts

  • I cried last night when Barack Obama was confirmed as re-elected.
  • I have avoided listening to Mitt Romney speak pretty much this whole time because I already hated his face and last night's concession speech confirmed why. As gracious as he was, there is a general feeling of authenticity and sincerity that is lacking.
  • I fell asleep before I could watch Barack's acceptance speech.
  • I am appalled that I asked God to bless America and our POTUS on my facebook and a friend told me that Barack Obama is not a good person. He is a good, good man. For anyone to say otherwise needs a smack on the mouth.
  • I love that he appears to be deeply in love with his wife and children.
  • I barely got the swing of things 4 years into my job so hopefully he can only do better things in the next 4 without the pressure of re-election hanging over him.
  • I believe the "right wing" alienated a lot of women with their stance on gay marriage and Planned Parenthood and that is one of the main reasons they lost. Women make up quite a bit of the population and are not an interest group. They should not be treated as such.
  • He won popular and electoral! The end!


Tummy Tuesday

Seems fitting to type about this today. Last night, fellow blogger and enabler Genny came over to my house bearing a bag full of 50 or so hospital grade pregnancy tests. Just what I need right? To thank her for her generosity, I asked her to stay while I tested my pee. As the many, many tests prior to now have read, these too were negative. "These" because after she left I took another and again this morning, one more. I have a sickness.
To say I am relieved that these tests are all negative would be an understatement. I have come to the conclusion that I am 100% happy to have one, perfect little boy. I kind of have known this for a while but this most recent go 'round of being off of birth control and having sex with my husband has really proved it. Can I tell you how stressed I have been? I have been buying piss tests like a damn junkie and I have literally been scratching the flesh off my legs about it. I don't need this much stress over anything in my life, especially not the thought of bringing another child into this world.
I think I have been listening too much to the outside forces of the world, be they intentionally aimed at me or imagined by me. My pregnancy was pretty much the norm and my birth story is the easiest one ever told. However, I had challenges recovering from childbirth and I suffered from some pretty stupid postpartum depression. I sort of knew just after Casey was born that I didn't want to go through any of that again but I tricked myself into believing it was just PTSD.
Then, there was the miscarriage. I try to tell myself I am not one to look for signs but if there was ever a sign that maybe Casey was "enough", that should have been it. It's been almost a year since the miscarriage and I can honestly say I am just not over it. Hell, I'm not over the fact that I intentionally terminated a pregnancy almost 16 years ago. These two things weigh heavily on my mind. They're practically daily thoughts. I need to listen to myself - and to Husband who has told me time and time again he supports whatever decision I make when it comes to bearing his children - and put this shit on hold, perhaps indefinitely.
Next step is looking into hormone-free birth control options. I have also taken a note from Christine's blog and am making some goals:

Financial: We're paying things off and building savings accounts up. Casey will have his own established by the end of the month and I am banking on a healthy bonus to get us back on our feet.

Spiritual: I started a journal by my bed and am starting it off by listing what I am thankful for each day this month. It's nice to stop and realize what you have.

Career: I am going to try and maintain a more professional composure here and hope to retain my sanity along with my job. However, I have applied for a position elsewhere and am anxious to see where that goes. I know from experience that the process is very slow so I am patiently waiting.

Health: Husband and I both need to get our cholesterol under control so we are focusing on bettering our diet. We have both decided to cut back on our beer consumption during the week. Yesterday was the first time I didn't have a beer after work in some time and here I am, alive to tell the tale. I have remained strong about avoiding the candy dish at work, am bringing my salads for lunch again and have a stash of good snacks that are helping me avoid the tray of cookies in the other room.

Physical: When daylight savings started on Monday, I started walking the boy and the dog in the morning. It's not much but it's more than what I was doing. I also have a treadmill in my garage waiting for me to use it. Our goals for the weekend always include walks and bike rides so I just need to keep up with that. Hard not to be physically active with a 2-year old boy-child and a puppy.

Organizational: I would like to start a list of things we need to do around the house, for the house and in general. For the most part, I'm anal and organized but I need to get a realistic look on pricing things to get the house in better condition. Other than that, I'm calendared up the ass.


Weekend Pics

Our Saturday began with a stop at Ostrich Land USA. We decided to spend the day in Santa Ynez and since we drive past there all the time we stopped. It was $9 for us to walk around stinky, growling ostriches and emus and that low price included a dustpan full of rabbit food that Husband had the pleasure of feeding them. So gross.
Next stop was Quicksilver Ranch to stop and see the tiny ponies. These twinsies above were much newer than the others and were just as cute as can be. Casey is at eye level with them but could really have cared less about them. He preferred running down the corridor of their barn and grabbing black widow spiders. Yes, I know. Horrifying.
I have such mixed emotions about the picture above because the two of us could not be cuter but I could not be fatter. I haven't been fatter, actually, since I was pregnant with him. This definitely, absolutely has to be my "before" picture. Ugh.
Here's Husband and the boy looking adorable and fun. We had a pit stop at the Santa Inés Mission so the boy could cool down and have a snack. When I was a kid we had to build the missions in elementary school so this was a real treat. While I may not agree with the religion, Catholic history is very interesting to me. What I could have done without, though, was the faux blood where Jesus's hands and feet would have been on the crosses bearing the Stations of the Cross. We got it, Catholics.
And finally we have the boy zonked the heck out. This picture had nothing to do with Saturday's festivities. Why I love this picture so much is that I didn't put Eeyore and Pooh in bed with him. He did that all himself. And made my heart melt all over the carpet. What a mess!


Ode to Cod Haiku Friday

Happy Birthday, Cod
Joined the rank of thirty-five
Nice to have you, ho
So... 18 years now? 
You and me, partners in crime
Match made in heaven
So many good times
No haiku could do justice
Here's to many more 

PS: Dude, how fun was Berlin?! Did a bird just shit on my face? LOL you have no idea how close I was to putting that as your picture. xoxo


Baked Ziti

Yesterday afternoon I got to leave early to take Casey and myself for flu shots. That process was so painless I almost felt like it was a trick. Since I was home, Husband was on the road home and my family was coming over for trick-or-treating later, I decided to make dinner. Shocking, I know. I dug into my recipe box (why I have one of these I really don't know) and found an email from my mom dated March of 2001 for baked ziti and decided I would make that since I had made it before, apparently 11-1/2 years ago. Since everyone was raving about it last night, I have decided to share it with you. Lucky.

Recipe serves 8 and preparation should begin about an hour and a half before serving.
  • 32 oz spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu but I suppose you can make your own.)
  • 16 oz package of penne noodles 
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • This is not a part of the recipe but I finely diced a whole lot of garlic for flavor
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. A 13" x 9" baking pan will be needed so get that ready with some non-stick spray. Cheese is sticky, y'all.
  2. In an 8-quart dutch oven, prepare the noodles per directions on the side of the box for those of us who don't know how to boil noodles. Drain. Set aside.
  3. In the same dutch oven, brown ground beef over medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the beef is nice and crumbly. Takes about ten minutes. Drain the excess fat. 
  4. Add all the ingredients except for the mozzarella to the beef along with 16 oz of your sauce and stir until well blended. Then add your noodles and blend that, too.
  5. Put that whole mixture in the pan, top with the remaining sauce and then sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Bake for about 20 minute or until you can see the cheese bubbling.
  6. This part is from my mom's original email: "Serve this with garlic bread and a nice red wine and it is a meal fit for a king or two queens." Adorable.


My Boy's 3rd Halloween


 A year ago today, we lost our beloved Kiyah,
 It would be disingenuous to not acknowledge her here.
This was the last picture I took of her, with our little boy who is no longer so little.


Terrifying Tuesday

Last week I put a picture of a scary spider on facebook to freak everyone out. Well, I think this spider is that other spider's fat uncle or something. Jesus Christ. I got brave and went up and took its picture because there is nothing more awesome than a spider spinning a web of this magnitude, especially when it is covered in the morning dew. The fog is so thick right now I can barely see across the street.

What's awesome about this particular picture is I took it with my phone. After that, it automatically uploaded to my Google + account because I set it up to do that. From there, I uploaded it to this blog via my Picassa album. Amazing. I am so used to plugging in the camera, uploading pictures and doing it the old fashioned way that I feel like this is some amazing new invention. I guess this is what it feels like to be elderly.


Weekend Wrap-Up

On Friday afternoon, Husband went to get me a treadmill from Craigslist. Since I no longer have Curves and the only thing I would use at the gym is a treadmill, we just bought one. Now, I just need to use it. $180 for a gym-grade treadmill that looks like it was mainly used to house dust is a steal if you ask me. That's like 4-months of Curves membership.

On Saturday afternoon we went way, way up in the foothills of Ventura to attend Christine's grandpa's memorial. The view of Oxnard and the Pacific Ocean was beautiful, the mood was light and the bagpiper was piping. Yeah, dude. An actual bagpiper in traditional garb, blowing and roasting under a 90-degree sun. Before all that, though, Casey tried on his costume (not pictured here) and refused to remove the hat. Would you look at those toes? I want to eat them.

On Sunday we carved pumpkins. We got a Sesame Street carving kit at Target for the tools but our tall and skinny pumpkin made a perfect Bert and our round and robust pumpkin made a perfect Ernie so we went with it. That big ass pumpkin had rotten, moldy insides so we said it had cancer. Gross. Then, after all was said and done, we watched the Detroit Tigers get swept by the stupid Giants. Ugh. I will be fair and admit that they had the superior team but it was just too sad to see the Tigers go down like that. 

PS - The pictures I am sure you have seen already on Facebook or Instagram but I'm trying out G+ because Andrea made me feel like I needed to. Ha!


Last Haiku Friday of October

Here comes Halloween
Only a few days away
And I am ready
Casey's costume came
He will be Handy Manny
The blanco version
Casey loves pumpkins
He sees the decorations
Says "Ha'ween, Mama!"


Banana Bread

This bitch is in a baking mood so you get to read about it here! I have made this recipe a bazillion times and think it is super delicious and easy (like your mom) so here goes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In one bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I suppose you could use nutmeg, too, but I haven't nor will I)
I use a whisk to mix that all together thoroughly and it adds a fluff to the flour. This is a technique I use basically every time I bake. Also? Always have your eggs and butter at room temperature. For some reason, the egg thing makes a difference. I thank Christine's mom for those tips.

In your mixer:
2/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar packed tightly
Make sure this is nice and creamy then add 2 eggs.
When all that is combined and lovely, add 3 pre-mashed, ripe bananas.
Finally, add your flour mixture and mix until all is married happily.

Now you can put your batter in a regular bread loaf pan or what I have been doing lately is making little breads in a muffin pan. Either way, be liberal with your use of nonstick spray. It is really a godsend.

Bake for 45 minutes. If you stick a toothpick in the middle and see you are pulling out dough, I have found that covering it in tin foil and baking for another 10-15 minutes usually solves that problem. Last night I had to bake it for an extra 25 minutes and I managed not to burn the bread so don't be afraid of putting it back into the oven multiple times for short periods until you pull out a toothpick with zero residue on it.

I happened to double this recipe last night because I had many ripe bananas. I made one plain loaf with half the mixture and with the rest I made those little muffins but added chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Deeee-licious. I highly recommend that combo.


Go Blue

As you all are well aware, my husband is a Michigananian. This means that despite a team being good, if they hail from that glorious state, we must root for them. This includes but is not limited to Detriot Tigers, Detroit Lions and University of Michigan. Apparently the state is divided, though, when it comes to rooting for Michigan State so we almost never do that. You'd be surprised how often Michigan is referred to in popular culture and just how many celebrities hail from there but that is another story for another day.
The World Series is upon us today and the Tigers are playing against the San Francisco Giants. While the Giants were still in the playoffs, my mother - a devoted Dodger fan - told me she was rooting for them because they were the other California team. Unacceptable. There is no bigger Dodger rival than the Giants. A Dodger fan is simply not allowed to do this. Then? On Facebook? Another Dodger fan said the same shit about this series. Are you fucking kidding me?
I have been to the San Francisco stadium ONCE in my life just because I would like to go to all the stadiums before I die. When we were there, we got heckled to death by the Giants fans. And not just good-natured heckling. Cuss words and middle fingers. Yeah. No thanks. I am also not an in-your-face fan. If the Dodgers are in first place or winning a series, I'm happy but not gloating. I can't say the same for the friends of mine on Facebook that root for San Francisco. Thus, I will be rooting for the Detroit Tigers tonight. Holding it down for my man and all his relatives. And secretly flipping off the Giants. Teehee.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: I bleed blue.


X-Men First Class

Want to know the very first thing that entered my mind while watching this? Ok here goes: "Kevin Bacon?" Yeah, dude. Kevin Bacon is the big ol' baddy in X-Men First Class. Nothing could have been more random but it really paid out in the end. I'll just say right now, I really liked this movie. Husband and I have decided we simply love an origin story no matter how many times or how many ways it is done. It took a minute to get over the new cast of mutants but we did get a couple nice cameos from Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romjin to put us at ease that they gave their blessing.
So basically, the movie just tells us how the mutants got together and how Charles Xavier and Magneto ended up going their separate ways. And we get Nazis. Nothing like putting some very heavy shit in an otherwise fairly light movie. We watched this on Saturday after watching Avengers on Friday so I think we were just in the mood for some good old fashioned comic book cheese. I will say this, women, there is some delicious eye candy to be had in this movie. Yummy Michael Fassbender. I am a fan. Sure, the action is good, the story didn't suck and the chicks are hot, too... but Michael Fassbender? Mmmhmmm.


Weekend Pics Pumpkin Patch Edition

 I just thought this duck was very fashionable with his pompadour.

 This is McGrath Ranch, built in like 1908. We have always bought our pumpkins here but this was our first tractor ride that showed us the grounds. Way cool.

 These are my cowboy boots which are apparently very in fashion right now but mine are dirty from fairs and pumpkin patches so they will never be cute.

 Casey rockin' a faux-hawk on his very first tractor ride. 
That fella behind him is his uncle, my brother.

 Here are all the rotten cousins together. Damn they are cute.


Emo Haiku Friday

Half the month is gone
And the weather is changing
Leaves are turning red
Pumpkin patch planning
And then thoughts of Thanksgiving
Christmas and New Years
Time goes by so fast
Barely have a grasp on "now"
And tomorrow's here


Good Bad and Ugly - Now with pictures!

The Good
  • Although I am counting my chickens before they hatch a bit, I have a good feeling our budget will be looking MUCH better come December.
  • We don't have a single plan this weekend aside from going to the pumpkin patch. We've had three birthdays to celebrate in four weeks' time so I think I'm good on plans for a bit.
  • All of Husband's hard work and precious time put into Ethan's dinosaur hunter kit for his 6th birthday was a success.

The Bad
  • Despite my shame spiral, I have continued to beer it up this week. I don't see that stopping until one of those pee tests says "Hey, ho, you're pregnant. Cut it out."
  • This weather is totally gross. I want autumn to be a time for sweaters and the like but instead it's all east winds and heat waves.
  • We had to cancel going away for Thanksgiving because our budget just isn't there yet. Damn being responsible.
The Ugly
  • I noticed that lately I have been going number two a whole heck of a lot and my tummy was not feeling so good. Cut to last night and reading that the prenatal vitamins I have been taking have a stool softener in them. Hahaha
  • I gained back all the weight I had lost for my birthday and can't seem to get off my fat, lazy ass and get back to exercising. My walking shoes are right here next to my desk in the office so I can walk on my lunch hour but it's hot as hell, yo. No thanks!
  • This big ass spider outside my office window: