May 13, 2014

Mother's Day 2014...

Mother's Day.

A day to spend with your children and family and in-laws and extended family of in-laws and about a million other people who take their moms out to lunch. 

Yep, that was how I spent this Mother's Day 2014. 

There were 22 people (crazy, right?!) in our family, meeting at a local restaurant for lunch. There were 6000 others with the same idea. Good thing we had reservations. We only waited almost 2 hours for a table and 3 hours to get served once we were seated at the table. The server notified us 15 minutes before our food was served that we were almost next! Two hours later we all took a vote and decided the server didn't know how to tell time or had quit. 
There is a 50/50 chance both of our guesses were true. The 
manager ran by on his way to a table of 10 to apologize for the 
delay. He must not have noticed our 5 tables shoved together. It looked like we were trying to set a record for most people crammed into a corner section. On a side note, this paragraph reminds me of those math/word problems from grade school. If Johnny had 4 quarters and 3 friends, how much was a gallon of milk at the corner grocer and what is x? Huh? Those math problems always stumped me. 

As a mom, I felt it was my duty to entertain the kids sitting in our 
section. We played "Heads Up!" on my phone until my battery went dead. Good thing everyone I knew was at the table and I could just take a long walk to the end if I needed to speak to anyone. I won every game by the way. You are only as good as the person(s) giving the clues. That's what they told me. 

We had our "breakfast" at 4:00 in the afternoon. Is that still considered brunch time? I need to know! 

The good news was we canceled our dinner reservations. It seemed 
wrong to go straight from breakfast to dinner. And...we sort of had all our meals at once in the middle of the day. 

We went home and had just enough time to get ready for part two 
of the festivities. We were heading for a concert in the big city. We had to pick up my mother-in-law and meet my son and daughter who had left ahead of us. We made it to the concert and our seats just as the room went dark and the concert was about to begin. There was a couple sitting in the middle section of our reserved seats. They wouldn't move. The usher sat my husband and mother-in-law next to each other and told my son to sit somewhere else. My daughter and I were sent to the empty seats at the end of the aisle. Siberia would have been closer. The pillar blocking our view was the icing on the cake. I laughed. What else was I to do! I have lots of patience and can find humor in most situations. My son somehow convinced the seat poachers that they needed to move over one seat so he could sit next to his dad. They obliged but told my son that if the person who was really supposed to sit in that seat arrived he would have to give up his spot. My son said the people who were really supposed to be sitting in those seats were his mom and sister sitting over by the pillar. Halfway through the first part of the concert the usher came down the aisle with a couple whose seats just happened to be the seats she had placed us in. My daughter showed her our tickets and explained what had happened and she waved her flashlight at some seats a few rows closer and told us to go sit there. She had us covered. 

Musical chairs at a music concert! Oh boy! 

We squeezed and apologized our way to the next set of seats in the middle of the row hoping and praying nobody showed up for them. 
There were a couple seats on the stage and I told my daughter we 
were going to end up there if this seat switching didn't end soon. 

Intermission.  Half an hour to wait in line to use the one (yes, that is true) restroom. It is an old theater. I guess nobody went to the bathroom in the 1920's. There was one ladies room and one men's room and lots of people ordering drinks at the bar. I wish our 
restaurant server was around to do the math on that one. 

We made it back to our original seats after switching with my 
husband so my mother-in-law could be closer to see the performance. She's 85 and has poor vision. The rogue seats were much better for her and the original seat holders never showed up. The second half of the concert went off without a hitch and I could relax knowing every person walking by wasn't there to take my seat. 

On our way out we walked down the street to the parking structure talking about how much we loved the concert and how fun it was even with all the hilarious seat switching. A guy and his girlfriend 
were walking ahead of us. I commented on her outfit to my daughter. She was wearing a cute dress and boots and a hat. She looked like the actress, Michelle Williams. Her boyfriend looked like the actor, Javier Bardem. They turned the corner at the light and walked a little way down the street. We stood on the corner waiting for the light to turn green so we could cross. The guy 
turned back and approached us followed by his girlfriend. He told us his girlfriend was too shy to ask us but they wanted to take us on their jet right that minute to Cancun. My husband speaks Spanish so he made a joking comment to the guy in Spanish and he told us he was serious. He wanted us all to go to Cancun with he and his girlfriend, "Right now!" We could take a car to the airport and take his plane to Cancun. I laughed at this craziness and pushed the crossing light button hard, wishing the light would turn green! My son laughed too and my husband also. I think my mother-in-law was contemplating going with the Javier Bardem, "No Country For Old Men" crazy look-alike. "Javier" started calling my son "Picasso." He has this artistic mustache that attracts plenty of attention. It was getting weirder by the second.  We politely declined the offer to be possible drug mules, sex slaves, and/or murdered. The light turned green and we left the offer of Cancun behind us on the sidewalk and walked/ran to our car. My son said, "It's Hollywood, mom. Everyone is a character here." 

So, Mother's Day 2014 will remain a very memorable day for years to come. Next year we will skip the five hour breakfast, maybe see another concert but this time sprint to our car as fast as we can and talk about what a fun time we had once the doors are locked and we are safe inside on our way home, away from Hollyweird! 

Mar 22, 2014

Metal mania goes milder....
My son plays metal music, and every once in a while he plays something I just love. This tune was made up on the spot after a party. It's a rough cut and bad shooting light but I think the pretty sound makes up for it. I hope you enjoy it too. 

Mar 9, 2014

Random thoughts...

I was born and raised in California, yet I swear I am a Southern girl at heart. Does living in Southern California count as being a girl from the South? 

I love Mexican food so much, until I actually eat it, then I don't like it so much. Maybe it's the chips and salsa I like so much, or the guacamole; not so much the heavy refried beans and rice and all that cheese. I'm allergic to cheese. I have no business eating Mexican food! I still think I love it...

I'm not that crazy about eating green food unless it's a vegetable. I do not like green eggs and ham...or food dyed green for St. Patty's day. Speaking of colored food...I really don't like red velvet cake. It's chocolate cake with red food coloring that makes it look a little like dark blood cake. Eew! 

I - L.O.V.E.- chocolate. See's please! 

I don't like hamburgers. I know! It's so un-American! I try! If I have to have one because my family wants to go to In-N-Out I will replace the hamburger patty with French fries. You should try it. It's like being a really unhealthy vegetarian. 

I don't like ice-cream. I'm a freak! It tastes hot and chalky to me.  It makes my mouth feel dry and I can't drink enough water to quench my thirst if I do have some because I think I may like it if I try it just one more time.'s gross. I'm lactose intolerant too. I have no business eating dairy products. 

Have I mentioned, I love chocolate! It's a food group in my mind and sits in the most important position on my personal food pyramid. At the top! 

I don't have a middle name. My mom said it was too hard to think of one. I am named after her. My birthday is the day after hers. What a gift! My dad thought it would be a good idea to name me after my mom. She wanted me to have a very different name. I'm glad I had a dad who didn't think that name was a good idea. It would not have fit with my last name or the names my sisters and parents and brother had. Imagine your sisters names are, Kathy and Susie, and your parents are, Bob and Betty, and your brother is, Chip, and your name is, Francesca. Yep! My mom wanted to name me that. It's a perfectly lovely name. It doesn't go with the flow of names in my family though. It really didn't match my last name at all. My mom didn't want to name me after her so my dad added a second name and combined them. I had a very long name when I was a child. I guess my mom did me a favor by not adding a middle name. I would still be here today filling out Valentine cards for my second grade classmates if that was the case. I didn't really like my name growing up but I do now. It's growing on me. 

I love romance novels. They make me happy. 

I love the color blue. Very much. My house has lots of blue and white in the decor. It makes me happy. I also love country French design mixed with traditional. It's so pretty. 

I love to bake and cook. My kitchen is a happy place in my house. Baking is a stress reliever for me. It provides instant gratification and something delicious at the same time. It also makes more of me to love...I need to learn how to make healthier food. If only it tasted as good as sugar does. "Buddy the Elf" would love an invitation to my house. I have all his favorite food groups in my pantry. 

I am the third girl in my family. My husband is the third boy in his family. Number four in my family is a boy and in his family it's a girl. My husband and I are born 40 days apart. Both our parents are the same astrological signs. Our dad's are Gemini's, and our mom's are Leo's. We call ourselves the forgotten children because once my brother and his sister were born we were left to our own devices. They were so happy to have something different after three of the same. My husband and I love being the third kid. We got away with a lot because we were easy going and entertainers in our families. 

I was a human remote when I was a child. My job was to sit next to the television and change channels. It was before remote controls came into existence. I was pretty fast at it. Then again, there were only a few channels to flip through back then. I'm not much of a TV watcher. I think it has something to do with my "job" as a child. I only saw programs from the side view while sitting next to the TV. I lost interest quickly when I could only hear the show instead of watch it because I had to be ready to flip channels during commercials. I think that's a good thing. 

I love to read. It's my favorite thing to do. I can't go to sleep at night unless I read until I fall asleep. 

I have an obsessive personality. If I take an interest in something I will find out everything I can about the subject until I exhaust all resources or get sick of it. I do that with food too. If I like something I will eat it until I can't stand it and won't ever eat it again once I have reached my limit. One summer my brother ate nothing but hot dogs every day while I ate Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I haven't had it again since that summer of my youth. I wish that was the case with chocolate. I will never get tired of eating it. I have some every day. It is my favorite. 

My husband doesn't like sweets. He also doesn't like to read. Weird. But he likes me, so that makes up for his lack of a sweet tooth or interest in reading. 

I play pool, skateboard, and drive as a lefty. I do everything else
as a righty. I didn't know I did the first three things as a lefty until it was pointed out to me by others. I thought it was normal. I tried to switch hands and feet but it doesn't feel right. 

I played the piano for seven years when I was a kid. I was awful at it. I can still play one song from a recital all those years ago. It's called, Doll's Dream.

I loved playing with dolls when I was a little girl. I never had a Barbie doll. Only dolls. I cut the hair on my Pebbles doll once thinking it would grow back. It didn't and she looked so frightfully awful I kept a cap on her head after that. I played with dolls until the fifth grade. My best friend did too. I think I was a geek. 

I am an outgoing introvert.  I'm a shy extrovert. I'm my own oxymoron. 

And that's it for my list of random thoughts and things...

Feb 14, 2014

Cupid strikes again...

When my husband and I were dating, singing telegrams were all the rage. I received one in my college apartment. A few guys with guitars serenaded me in my bedroom while I played it cool and hid under the covers. I decided to surprise my future husband with a special singing telegram at his place of work. He worked near an airport for a large car rental company which was always busy. I pulled out the big book of yellow pages and started making calls. I wanted Cupid to sing his heart out for my man. 

I found the perfect singing Cupid and set the date and time for Valentine's Day! The only thing I didn't really give much thought to at the time was that Cupid was a male. I expected a female Cupid to show up and sing and dance and make my boyfriend laugh and think I was such a fantastic girlfriend that he should definitely marry me because I was so much fun. I figured I ordered the singing telegram for a guy so they would automatically send a girl. Not the case. Cupid showed up at my boyfriend's place of work in all his diapered, winged, and prancing shirtless glory singing at the top of his lungs and shooting rubber arrows at anyone who crossed his path. My boyfriend, as told to me by my college roommate (who happened to work with him) said he turned redder than a red hot candy heart and tried to hide. Cupid chased him around the store and tried his best to shower him with love and bent arrows. He wouldn't leave until he had done his job and sung his entire song and danced and pranced for everyone and then presented my guy with a certificate of authenticity, verifying he had been hit by Cupid's arrow. It is framed next to our wedding picture. Not really. I don't have a framed wedding picture. I also don't have the certificate or know what happened to it. 

It wasn't really that day that made my husband want to marry me. I think he liked me before Cupid blew in and knew I was the one. Cupid was persistent and prevailed that day. The rest of the time between Valentine's Day every year has been up to us. I will end this with, my husband likes to say being married to him makes every day Valentine's Day. Cupid strikes again! 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Jan 29, 2014

Me, my husband, and the serial killer...

When my husband and I were newly married we lived in an apartment a few streets up from famous Hollywood Blvd. We were young and poor and the apartment complex was owned by a friend, so it was just the right price for two very young and naive 
newlyweds trying to make it on their own. 

A cast of characters lived there as well. 

There was the mother and daughter who lived in separate apartments and communicated by yelling at each other out their windows. 

The mother lived in one corner of the apartment complex and the 
daughter lived below my husband and I, not particularly close or within reasonable hearing range. The daughter had a voice that sounded like screeching tires and the mother sounded like she smoked in her sleep. I still remember the daughter yelling for her kids to come home. They were most likely blocks away but could hear her with their attuned spidey senses and would come running. The mother would yell out useful information sometimes. She 
would yell when she wanted to let her daughter know the laundry 
room was available. I would hear at least five doors open and slam 
as everyone at home made a mad dash for the laundry room. 

I went in the laundry room once and never went back. 

The laundry room was where Hagrid, from Harry Potter lived before he became famous. He was the "plus one" living in our apartment building. There was nothing magical or friendly about 
this guy. He was scary. The laundry room was a carved out cave of 
sorts under the building. Hagrid the homeless guy lived there. I went in one time and was about to place my laundry in the washing machine when I heard a strange noise coming from the dark underbelly of the laundry cave. 

It was Hagrid.

He was growling. 

may or may not have screamed when I saw him emerge from the depths. I grabbed my clothes and ran. Never to return. I took my laundry home to mama after that encounter. 

There was a single guy who lived in the building.  Every single time we crossed paths he would look at me and ask me the same question. "Are you a runner?" And then follow with, " If you aren't,  it's not natural to be that skinny." If single guy saw me today he 
would not ask me that question. I think it was the Dolphin brand shorts I wore with a matching tank top that had him convinced I was an Olympic athlete. Imagine Bruce Jenner, if he was a skinny girl...

There were plenty of other characters living on Franklin Ave. A few of Hagrid's friends lived in the alleyway between our apartment complex and the one above us. Our bedroom window happened to face that alleyway. My husband was completely convinced that a 
certain serial killer on the loose the year we lived there was lurking in the bushes or hanging out in the space between our building and the next, waiting for the right moment to get him. We were both quite the scaredy cats and not the best combo when it came to convincing each other it wasn't going to happen. Did I mention how young and silly we were? 

One night after watching a particularly spooky news program that proclaimed said Serial Killer was thought to be hiding out in our neighborhood, my husband freaked out. We locked all our rusty windows and bolted our balsa wood front door and shivering like it was the dead of Winter went to bed. It was not Winter. It was "hotter than Hades" Summer! I got up in the middle of the night to get some water. I came back to our room and my husband, who was prone to walking and talking in his sleep, sat bolt upright in bed and pointed behind me. He threw out a few guttural shrieks for emphasis as well. I thought this was it. I thought my husband's worst fear had come to light and the Serial Killer was behind me. I was frozen in fear. I let out a few shrieks of my own. A contest of sorts took place. I screamed and he screamed. Both of us completely out of control, with me screaming over and over, "Is he behind me?" My husband thought I said, "He's behind you!" in his half awake state and came unglued. He lurched from the bed and grabbed me. I was scared senseless at this point worried that he was about to toss me into the Serial Killer's arms. Our neighbors, who shared a bedroom wall with us, and were the apartment managers, yelled through the wall and banged on our door. They didn't speak English very well. I thought a gang of marauders was coming through the door. A back-up of sorts for the Serial Killer if we tried to escape. By this time we were both out of our minds with fear and adrenalin. In my hysterical haze I heard my husband ask me where he (the Serial Killer) was. I remember thinking, "What? Isn't he behind me? I shrieked, "Isn't he behind me?" and my husband responded with, " I thought he was behind me!" Our neighbors were breaking down our door at this point. Not hard to do. A poke with a pinkie finger would open the door even if it was latched.

But let's get back to the Serial Killer.

Logically if he was behind my husband that would mean he was in our bed - lying right next to him - because our bed was pushed up against the window where he could reach in and get us if he was so inclined. It made more sense - if we had any at all -  which we clearly did not - that he would be behind me as I came back to our room.  Our neighbors coming through our door distracted us from our hysteria and we realized our mistake after both of us recanted our side of the story. By this time my husband was fully awake and doing his best to calm me down.

The Serial Killer wasn't anywhere near either of us. He was caught soon after and is spending his life in jail in Northern California which makes my husband feel very safe.  But that night we both had the scare of our lives. My husband, our neighbors, and me. They were probably very happy to hear we were moving soon after this evening. It wasn't the right place for two newlyweds who weren't made for the big city life. 

...the end