Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rub-a-dub-dub, Thanks for the Grub.

Everyone seems to be posting the things they are thankful for. I have a lot of things to be thankful for so, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, here we go.

I have to get the normal stuff out of the way - they'll get weirder because I'm thankful for weird things too.

First, I'm thankful for my family - husband, mom, dad, brother, and all my relatives all over this planet and my fantastic in laws. I wouldn't trade out any of them... even for Johnny Depp.

I'm thankful for my dog and all the dogs I've met or ever lived with. Dogs are awesome.

I'm thankful for ALL my friends and that you all are nice to me. I'm thankful that some of you are smart, some of you are thoughtful and some of you are stupid awesome - you all make me happy.

I'm thankful that I was born a healthy human being with a fully functioning human body. By "I", I mean my consciousness or whatever it is that seems to be linked to my human body but not limited by it. "I" could have been an ant or a termite or a monkey. Sometimes I'm jealous of my dog and the Lochness monster, but in the end I prefer to be human. As a human, I am thankful for all the animals and plants that sustain my omnivorous life. I'm thankful for all the humane farmers and workers who treat those creatures with respect and the people who work to make sure that the Earth and all animals are treated that way no matter where they sit in the food chain.

I'm thankful for all the blessings that came with the fact that I was lucky to be born in a first world country. I didn't do anything to deserve it, but considering that the odds of being born in the USA is about 3.1% and about a 15% chance of being born in a first world country, I pretty much already won the lottery. I'm no more or less special than any other child born on the same date at the same time, but "I" got lucky.

I'm thankful for the guy who designed Mercedes 300E that was built in '87. My old car is the best.

I'm thankful for technology. Facebook. Computers. Internet. Blogging. Google. Nanomachines. Robots. Even if I hate some of it, I'm still thankful for it.

I'm thankful for Battlestar Galactica. And the X-Files. And Arrested Development... And The Office... And Cartoons.... And actually, if I go on it will be too long. I'm thankful for TV... but only the shows I like. I'm not thankful for shows I do not like.

I'm thankful for subtitles.

I'm thankful for Michio Kaku, Ray Bradbury, Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, Anthony of Padua and Steven Colbert. Maybe for reasons other than what you might assume.

I'm thankful for Jon Stewart - probably for the same reason you assume.

I'm thankful for time travel (it will happen/has already happened... we can discuss this another time.)

I'm thankful for cheese.

I'm thankful that I haven't been abducted by aliens.

I'm thankful for ghosts. Even though I haven't seen one myself.

I'm thankful for photographs.

I'm thankful for pizza and nachos and frozen yogurt.

I'm thankful for patient polite strangers.

I'm thankful for people who hold open doors for others - male or female.

I'm thankful for holidays.

I'm thankful for the reality that my perception creates. Because of this, I believe the world I see every day is actually very beautiful.

I'm thankful for many more things that would take me years to list. Since I can't list them and because Michael is telling me we have to go, I have to remember to say a thank you in my head for those little things when I come across them - Thanksgiving time or not. I'm Thankful for it year round.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boot to the Moon, Now Jazz Hands

Last night, Will, Michael and I headed up to the Downtown Artist's District in Los Angeles to the Cafe Metropol to watch a jazz performance by one of their old Cal Poly SLO choir mates, Inga Swearingen.

Michael had talked about Inga for as long as we had been dating - he played old recordings of her singing with their choir group and I'd be amazed by how perfectly her voice moved along all the notes. I was pretty excited to hear the real deal and she absolutely did not disappoint. She performed alongside her sister (also doing vocals), a stand up bass player, a guitarist and a percussionist. There was another jazz vocalist in the audience who happened to be a friend of hers - at one point she invited her up to the stage for a "songversation" - about 4 minutes of improvisational verse, harmonies and scat. The performance was phenomenal and I would not hesitate to drive anywhere in Southern California to see her again.

The only thing possibly more remarkable than her voice was her incredible personality. She recognized Michael and he introduced me to her and without hesitation she opened her arms and hugged me with a great big smile. She told me how much it meant to her that I could be there. It was the first time we met.

Now, normally I'd be totally freaked out by
that type of person. I can definitely be a don't-touch-me-or-look-at-me type of person and when I've run into some of those overly friendly- spaced-out-touchy-feely type of people that teeter on creepiness, I tend to curl up into a ball and shut down.

That wasn't her. It might have been the first time I had met
that type of person. I had no sense whatsoever that she was being anything but genuine. She was all there. She was very... present.

Her big sister, Britta, later made her way over to our table and began conversation with us, asking us about what we did and how we found out about the show and later telling us a bit about her family and their growing up and their passion for Music. She was EXACTLY the same as Inga. (Well, except that she was a Dental Hygienist - not a pro-vocalist... although she could be...when she and Inga sang together it was unbelievable.)

I've decided I like that type of person. The person who can start up a conversation with a total stranger who had nothing interesting to say, yet genuinely hangs on to every word that's being said as if they have a complete appreciation for the fact that this conversation, this moment, that word will never happen quite the same again. The type of person who listens as carefully as they speak and realizes there's no value in putting anything but goodwill into the atmosphere.

I don't know what their parents put in the water on their farm in SLO, but I'd like to bottle feed it to my children someday.

Anyhoo - I hope Will uploads his videos soon so I can share them, but for now here's a YouTube Vid of one of her songs - ignore the visuals... if she happens to show up in your 'hood, it's worth the effort to cancel all your other plans and check it out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Economic Forecast for the Apocalypse

Last night I told Michael that my new retirement strategy would be to invest in tangible items that I could sell or trade in a post-apocalyptic world. Things like HAZMAT suits, gas masks, roller-skates, toilet paper, a fleet of trained dogs, solar panels, steel-toed Doc Martens, nano-machines and craploads of water. It's probably a good idea for me to work on my pocket desalination filters now so they'll be available at any time. I should also get a better grip on nano-technology as I'm pretty sure nanomachines will be the new gold. I don't want to contribute to any sort of post-apocalyptic violence, so you'll have to find other vendors if you're interested in guns or weaponry.

It's not that I think civilization will end any time soon or that I'll even live to see a post-apocalyptic world, but apparently I've got to have some sort of investment plan and as a non-economist, investing in a post-apocalyptic future seems to be the least risky strategy I've got.

I don't like risk. I especially don't like risk when it comes to my money. I work to get paid and I pay others for their work. I get that. I don't understand the other 75% of how I'm told making money works. Making money by letting it sit confuses me. I'm told that if I buy this stock now, put my money in this account now, invest in that thing now, it will be worth ten times more in 10, 15, 20 years. Magical capital. I don't doubt that it actually happens, but I just don't get how it's sustainable. The growth has to be endless for investment to be deemed profitable, right? But is endless growth possible? Isn't that where a crash or a burst comes in to level things again? Your regular boom and bust economy? I'm supposed to put my money in something that I'm told won't go bust and be ok with the risk that it actually will have to do that at some point and that I might get less money back that I put in? I'm supposed to keep afloat by jumping ship right before the bust and hopping on the next boom before it booms? I don't know how I feel about that.

I know I'm being paranoid. They'll say, "that's what risk management is for." And who am I supposed to trust for that information? The "experts"? The nameless person managing my 401K? They can't even decide amongst themselves what to do - they're familiar with the theory so maybe they have an intellectual advantage, but the bottom line is that they're gambling just as much as I am, right? In order for me to win, someone else has to lose, right? I don't care if it's a 401K or penny stocks - at the heart of it all, it's just a gamble. I don't like gambling. The last time I went to Vegas I went in thinking I'd be ok to lose $200. I lost my first $5, got sad, then won $20 and decided that I'd rather have $215 to spend on dinner than on this emotional roller coaster and quit.

We purchased our home back in 2007 - right as the real estate bubble was gently pin pricked and the air was slowly being released. We thought we were buying at a good time - the research you'd do on the net in late 2006 would yield two very strong opinions - 1) the bubble would burst and real estate would collapse any day now so plan on renting for the next 15 years or 2) the bubble would slowly let some air but bounce back again - the price drop would be temporary and it would be a good time to buy. Reliable sources for both opinions thrived.

In either case, it didn't matter too much for us because we weren't looking at a place as an investment. Everyone (literally) we talked to about buying a place told us we wouldn't be living in the same place in 5 years but we didn't want to assume that and instead looked for a place we loved. We found that place (I still love it) and decided to buy.

I read every. single. document. Anything that I needed to sign, I read twice - once at home and once again in the Realtors office. Most of the people we dealt with were fine with it, but our loan guy was a massive douche bag although he didn't seem that way at first - he was an older guy with many years of experience in the field. He was very friendly, knowledgeable and he met with us as often as we needed to discuss our loan options. We weren't sub-prime applicants, but the loans he was showing us were on were definitely on the creative end of the loan spectrum. We had to request to see a normal fixed interest loan. He somehow calculated that based on our incomes we could apply for a loan that was about $200,000 higher than the max we had set for ourselves when we came in (thankfully we didn't buy into the bigger loan thing.)

During our closing there was a specific document that they asked us to sign that indicated that we knew our loan was a "balloon loan." Our loan was NOT a balloon loan. I looked at the escrow woman and told her this is not our loan. The loan guy was sitting in the room. He said, "that's just a standard form, everyone signs it." I asked, "do we have a balloon loan?" he responded, "no." I reread the document and looked at Michael and said "I'm not going to sign this. We don't have a balloon loan." The loan guy got angry! He looked at me and said "Do you want to lose the house? You have to sign that or you can't close escrow and you won't get the loan. It's not a big deal, you just sign it, it doesn't mean you have a balloon loan!" In my head I flashed back to the moment where I asked the loan guy if he would recommend the same type of loan we were getting for his own children (he had told us about his children and his new grand child) he said yes, without a doubt. I looked back at the escrow lady and told her I couldn't sign that document. The loan guy huffed, got up and left the room pissed. The escrow lady read the document herself and then hand wrote something on the document indicating that we did not have a balloon loan and had us sign the page under her handwriting and stamp. That worked, we closed, we owned our home. I decided the loan guy was a douche bag and I probably should not have trusted him at all.

As the real estate bubble continued to leak out air and eventually pop, more information on these predatory loans started coming to the surface. While we were doing ok with our purchase, I did feel sympathy for the people out there who were losing their homes when their out of control loans came due and the market was not turning a profit anymore. Having gone through the process, I know that they most likely trusted what the "expert" had told them. Internet people were calling them stupid for not knowing better and blamed the homeowners for the collapse of the market. I agree in part - they should have read and understood all the terms of their loans and the documents they signed, BUT I understand how intimidating it can be as a non-expert when you've got the pro telling you that this is the way to invest and that you're just being a paranoid idiot if you don't follow their advice. It can be kind of hard to tell the expert they're wrong.

I can do all the research I want on WebMD when I have a weird cramp. I can pull up all my symptoms and do what I think is a pretty effective self diagnosis, but when I go into my doctor and she tells me my cramp is not due to the Maple Syrup Urine Disease (it's real, look it up) I'm going to believe the expert. To me, it's pretty much the same thing. I think that when you're dealing with money instead of lives though, it's a little easier for the "experts" to dismiss the danger signs when they're going to make more money off a little risk with my investment.

So, thanks, but no thanks. Post-apocalyptic nanotechnology FTW. Uhhhmmm... anyone know how I can get my hands on some nano-machines? I pay a pretty penny... or will trade for magical capital.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Offspring From The Future

Procreation is pretty trendy lately - everyone seems to be having babies. Mike and I are not planning on jumping on the baby bandwagon for a couple more years, but our friend Jessica (Swaaaaaan) recently posted an awesome link on my brother's Facebook page called 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son which, over the course of the last few days has had me thinking of all the "rules" I've got in my head for my still unconceived children.

Many of my ideas actually don't really involve actual parenting - which should give you some insight into where I am mentally as far as the mothering-spectrum is concerned. For example, the one I decided today is this: When I eventually do have an infant, I think I would like to strap it to my body in some way while I go about my business. I'm talking full on papoose-field-worker-baby-attached-to-your-back-like action. It makes sense to me. You know where the baby is. It's not eating anything it's not supposed to be eating. It's got tons of crap to look at while you're doing your own thing. It's floating around like it did in your belly. I have no problem falling asleep in a hammock - and it's pretty much the same thing, so baby nap time seems like a no brainer. Plus, it seemed to work for the hardest working women all over the world. They've got their hands free to do all the stuff they needed to do and freedom to bend over to pick stuff up and junk. Brilliant.

Of course, I'm sure I'll read something as I get closer to having children that might change my opinion, but for now all I need is to look at awesome pictures and stay pretty convinced that this is totally what I will do.
Most people that have had the "will-you-have-kids" conversation with me already know that Mike and I are dead set in rearing some awesome nerd-children. If you review this venn-diagram that Marci shared the other day, I'd say we're aiming for the bluish-purple hemisphere with some yellow overlap for fun. Obviously the "Genius" is our kid, but I'm sure we'd be happy anywhere in the realm of "Brain", "Geek" or the classic "Nerd." We don't want to venture too far into the "Dweeb" category or the emotional dysfunction and social ineptitude hemispheres, but let's be honest, your stereotypical "cool" kid is nowhere on our radar.

Until our children can beat me away from their closets with their tiny fists, they will be dressed primarily in clothing of awesome. This includes daily animal costumes (they aren't just for Halloween friends) hats, sunglasses, and crazy shoes. There's also a good probability that on any given day my kids could walk out of the house looking like they stepped out of a vintage photograph. Why? Because I can. And because kids look cuter in knickers and bloomers. And because you don't remember much of what you wear before you're 4 anyway - you just remember what it looked like in pictures. I promise to be kind and avoid itchy fabrics... but yah. Get ready to be jealous of how awesome our future children will be. Someday.

I'm glad I'm writing this down so that in 7 or so years when I'm actually trying to get a 4 year old to wear a pea coat, knickers and a cap and he is screaming bloody murder and I'm crying because his 2 year old sister prefers to run around naked after ripping off her hippo costume that I tried to make her wear for the family trip to the zoo in February (because seriously, most appropriate time for animal costumes) you can all print this out to remind me how sure I was about how easily this would all work out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Atomic Mischief

I love the possibilities that lie within the impossible.

I just read: “Sheldrake has also demonstrated in a number of studies that we can assist each other’s learning across distances, without any external interaction or communication. In one study, for instance, a group of individuals completed a newly created crossword puzzle, and their average completion times were recorded. The same puzzle was then broadcast to millions via TV, for the viewers at home to complete. Subsequently, a new group, who had not seen the puzzle at all, finished it significantly faster than the original group, suggesting that as a result of so many individuals having done the puzzle, knowledge of the puzzle was somehow etched into the field of collective consciousness, making it increasingly easier for others to solve.”

First off, this means you are all at fault for me not being a genius already - but that's not what I'm writing about.

Back when I was in school the simple explanation of matter was that it exists and you can't destroy it or create new matter - you can only change it's form. In the last few years scientists believe they've been able to create new particles which is new, different and exciting... but wasn't "possible" when I was a student. (Possibility in the impossible!)

Anyway, almost everything I've learned about science came from high school text books, Bill Nye The Science Guy, the Discovery Channel, and the Science Channel. I'm no science wiz. If I remember things correctly, I'm not the same thing now as the thing I was when I was born - atomically speaking - the structures are all the same, but the atoms are constantly changing. All the things I eat and breathe mix and mingle with my body sharing it's carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, iron, sodium, potassium, lithium, calcium, and sulfur atoms and they dance together and rotate in and out with the atoms my bones and organs. I convert the atoms I need to live and I get rid of the atoms I'm not using on a second by second basis.

Stay with me here because I have a point.

WHAT IF all these atoms had some kind of "memory" - kind of like a muscle memory. You know, like when your body remembers how to do something even if you haven't done it in years. So what if atoms have a "muscle memory" and they remember what it was like to be part of say, Einsteins brain, and once they wiggle themselves over and out and into grass or air or snot they wiggle themselves back into someone's brain and they have a "muscle memory" of a tiny part of what they did the last time they found themselves in a brain. They could also find themselves mixed into that brain with say an old atom from Galileo's brain and they're both like, hey, I've done this before and bam, Einstein-Galileo brain hybrid moment and voila, brilliance.

So my point.

This is my pseudo-scientific explanation of why there's movies that come out at around the same time with similar premises or similar characters. Case studies - Saving Private Ryan & The Thin Red Line, Deep Impact & Armageddon, Antz & A Bug's Life, Volcano &. Dante's Peak, Gordy & Babe (also, it appears the late 90's was big on Hollywood's atomic subconscious being all in a tangle) The Illusionist & The Prestige, Paul Blart Mall Cop & Observe and Report, Million Dollar Baby & Cinderella Man, there are plenty more I am sure.

It's the atoms.

The folks in Hollywood were all eating and breathing the same atoms in different cycles so the atoms got all up in their brains and were like, dude - Volcano movie - trust me. Within days that same atom had worked its way through the brains of studio execs and production staff so they all thought - dude, Volcano movie - so they did it and thought it was a new and brilliant idea. Until they realize they'd been had by their very own ATOMS!

And that's why you never trust what an atom tells you. They have no allegiance to your brain and are basically smearing the same ideas all over the collective subconscious. It's not your fault. And that's why this theory is likely neither new or unique - because I bet a rebellious atom plugged itself into my subconscious and told me to write about it - it's already told some of the others. Maybe the atom is part of the resistance and is trying to get awareness out about what those other radical new-idea-movie-killing atoms have been doing because he's tired of being expected to watch the same movie twice. Jerks.


(It's been a long day. I think this blog is further evidence of my need for a nap... I think I'll be filing this theory next to my "Seaweed As Evil Alien Species" theory in my ever expanding file of awesome-and-totally -possible-if-I-was-in-charge-of-everything-in-the-universe cabinet.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Remembering Grandpa Russ

Back in June I blogged about the passing of a man who I had thought of as a grandfather-figure since my childhood. This week another person that I had come to view in the same light walked through those pearly gates.

We got a call from Mike's sister late Tuesday night letting us know that Grandpa Russ had fallen earlier in the morning, was in the hospital and that things were not expected to get better. We wrapped up things at home and got to the hospital pretty quickly. When we got to his room, we were met by Mike's parents (who had been at the hospital all day) and Mike's aunt and her husband.

Grandpa Russ was not conscious, but he was breathing on his own and the medical team was doing everything they could to make sure he was comfortable as he slept. Occasionally he'd move his legs or clench his fists, but he wouldn't open his eyes. He couldn't say anything, but I think he knew we were there.

Mike and I spoke to him and reminded him that we loved him and that he just needed to relax and get good rest because everyone was taking care of him. His breathing seemed calmer when someone was holding his hand or talking to him. He knew he was loved.

I walked into that hospital room telling myself that I had to be the strong one. I had to be the one Michael could lean on when we faced reality. After all, Grandpa Russ had lived in the same house as Michael the entire time he was growing up. He was a fixture in Michael's childhood memories and a fixture in their household even after he was grown and out of college - this would no doubt affect Michael in a way I had probably not seen him affected before.

I suppose I just wasn't prepared for how much Grandpa Russ had affected me. Within minutes of walking into that hospital room, reality hit and I lost it. I was being hugged by Mike's mom and Mike was stroking my back. In a way, I failed. In a sense, Mike and I have been able to lean on one another to stop us from toppling over. It has been difficult and although Mike has been doing well, his grief is unfamiliar and sad and I never know quite what to tell him, or how often I should hug him. When he's vulnerable, I have complete control of my emotions, I can talk to him and listen and when he's strong, I become a big blubbering mess. So. Balance.

Mike and I started dating in 2004 and while I had always had a rough idea of what the "Layton Legacy" was, I was not prepared for what it meant to walk into the Layton home on Christmas day. I swear, there were probably 45 men, women and children there and I was introduced to everyone by name within the first 20 minutes. I am 95% sure I met Mike's secret sister, Kim, who everyone tells me does not exist. In any case, coming from a family where our warm Christmases were always just between our happy family of 4 (with occasional guests) this was nerve wracking. God forbid person A would ask me to get person B a drink, because I couldn't remember who person B was and would have no idea who to move towards.

As always, their house was vibrant with kids running around all over the place, siblings laughing, reminiscing and helping out in the kitchen. It had been a while since Mike had seen some of his nieces and nephews and was eager to catch up with all of them. I was the brand new girlfriend and I didn't want to get in anyone's way . I didn't want to be a burden on Mike as he enjoyed this time with his family.

And there he was.

Grandpa Russ sitting in his chair at the kitchen table smiling as he watched the hustle and bustle of your standard Christmas dinner at the house on Pinto. I had met him before, I think, maybe when I was in high school - but I didn't remember adults very well back then. He said he remembered me from when Mike was in high school, so I sat. We talked about things for a long while - probably food, and Christmas and family. Dinner was served and I went to sit with Mike at another table.

Every holiday or family dinner at the Layton house would go much the same way for a while. I couldn't remember who Mike's siblings were or how many he had and who was married to whom and what children went home with what parent, and which one had 4 kids and which one had 3, and who lived in California and who didn't and where the heck did Kim go!?

Grandpa Russ was constant.

We'd come over and he'd be in his chair and I knew that I could grab a coke and sit in the chair next to him and we could talk until dinner was ready and I could be comfortable and I could ask him over and over again which sister that was and who that child belonged to without getting embarrassed for still not being able to keep this big family straight. He was happy to tell me all about it.

Even after I finally learned everyone's name and forgot about imaginary sister Kim, the most comfortable place for me to be was still sitting in the chair next to Grandpa Russ.

When Mike's parents would go out of town, we'd go to their house so that Grandpa wouldn't have to be alone and Mike could make sure that he ate dinner and was ok. We'd bring Apple over and she'd go crazy in his room acting like she owned the place. Grandpa loved it. The last time we did this was a little over a month ago and he was having a harder time getting down the stairs so we sat in his room with him eating In-N-Out. He insisted that he didn't want to be a burden and that we should go eat downstairs at the table. We insisted that we wanted to eat upstairs with him and set up a dining room for the three of us. He ended up showing us all the treasures and family heirlooms that he had kept with him and the stories that he could remember going with them.

He was born in 1913 - what a century to live in. In 1913 the 16th and 17th Amendments to the United States Constitution are ratified, the Mexican Revolution is being fought, Woodrow Wilson succeeds William Howard Taft as the 28th President of the United States, the zipper and stainless steel are invented, and the first automobile road across the United States is dedicated. Most people ride around in horse and carriage and the trolley is a fancy new transportation device. He lived through tuberculosis, cancer and heart attacks (with unbelievable stories to go along with them) as well as the Great Depression, the invention of the telephone, x-ray, sonar, radio, television, antibiotics, Velcro, the microwave and sliced bread (literally.) He talked about how wonderful his wife, Mike's grandmother was, and how good his daughter and her family were to him (Mike's parents.) He lived an amazing life.

He was loved and respected and I don't think he ever knew how much of a crutch he was for me. He always worried about being a burden as he got older but he was the person who unknowingly gave me solid footing when I was so nervous about being liked. He took away any pressure I had put on myself to make the right impression in front of Mike's family. I didn't have to say much or be funny or smart - he'd let me sit there and just listen which is all I wanted to do.

I'm a little nervous about going back to the Layton house now that the chair at the kitchen table isn't claimed. I feel as though I should be stronger and less affected, but I can't help it. By now I know and love Mike's family as if they were my own and I don't need Grandpa to be my safe zone, but I really enjoyed just sitting with him during our visits, and I'll miss that. It will be hard to not notice how empty that chair is now but I'm glad I spent time sitting next to it when it was filled. I have boat loads of stories to tell our children about their awesome great grandfather and his adventures in the days before TV.

Much love Grandpa Russ. Say hi to Grandma Millie for me - we never met, but I know you missed her the most. You'll always be in our hearts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember Remember the blog in November...

Remember when I blogged 5 days per week? How awesome was that?

I forgot October.

Actually October showed up all of the sudden on the 1st, and was like "I am awesome and can make your dreams come true!" so I trusted it and listened to it's 2 hour timeshare pitch before it mugged me and ran away. Then November showed up and was like "hey, I'm here." And I was like WTF! And I shook my fist and said "damn you October!!!! I was supposed to blog weekly and lose 15 pounds!" I crumbled to the ground in tears and November - being the wise old month that it is - just gently held me in it's arms and consoled me with promises of Thanksgiving dinner and 4 day weekends.

So. That's why I ate pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast. And it was incredible.

For a number of reasons, we did not throw our annual Halloween Bash this year. It was missed, but I'm hoping it will be back next year. (BTW, if anyone is looking for a place to live in OC, the Chandler House is still looking for one more room mate... message me for details.) We did however celebrate a whole lot of birthdays and had a great time doing it... and no doubt some of you were busy working this past October to make more June birthdays for me to celebrate. So, good times.

I'll be out of town pretty much every weekend this month - except for Thanksgiving weekend when the husband and I will be going to our 10 Year HS Reunion (buy tickets now!) The only thing I'm actually worried about is greetings. Do I hug everyone? Do I shake people's hands? I like hi-5's, but some might disagree... or not know what I'm doing. Thoughts?

There were other things I was going to write about, but they'll have to wait... since I've forgotten most of them. I need to get one of those voice recorders like that Vicki Sprantz from Troop Beverly Hills (and BTW, HOW THE HELL DID I MISS THIS!?!?!? ) so I can actually remember all the random things I mean to blog about.

Now on to survive the next few weeks at work without pulling all my hair out.