Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's Get Shakin

5.4 quake today. That's big, folks. Not that I should know, because me and the anklebiters were in my minivan, driving home from Trader Joes- probably belting out some Beach Boys. It's hard to feel an earthquake in a moving car. When we got home, Matt was pretty shaken- literally.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I'm not making this stuff up. Seriously.

There is a cat missing in our neighborhood. I ran into the owner one morning, and we chatted about her missing "Bear". I promised to keep an eye out for him. The other night, Matt and I heard 2 cats kicking the patootie out of each other, and I phoned our neighbor to tell her it might be her Bear.

"Oh goodie." she says. "I just got back from a pet psychic and she assures me Bear has not crossed over yet. She said Bear has found a friend- a little white cat, and that I will find her soon."

In other news, we celebrated Matt's 37th birthday yesterday- complete with a day at the beach and a barbecue of steamed mussels (mupples), filets, asparagus and chocolate cake. Oh yeah, our dinner guest (who shall remain nameless, but knows I'm going to post this anonymously so it's not like I'm too heartless) also showed up with an unnamed veneral disease that Matt got to diagnose after dinner. Nothing says happy birthday more than some genital warts.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mupple Mass

I caught Annie and Lucy flexing their arms the other day.
"What are you guys doing?" I asked.
"We're showing off our mupples." Lucy replied.
This has now become my new favorite word.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barefoot & Broke

I'm currently missing a strategic article of clothing. We open escrow on our new house tomorrow. This whole thing was kismet- after looking at 40 houses in person and 100,000 on line- we finally found one that fits the bill. Matt and I literally stumbled upon an open house on Sunday, and our realtor still shakes his head as to how this came to be. The family selling the house originally intended on moving to a bigger home in the same neighborhood. They unfortunately lost out on that, but for some unexplicable reason, still want to sell their house to us- even though they have no where to go.

We celebrated by raiding my mother-in-law's liquor cabinet and snagging some Veuve Cliquot. Without our socks on.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yesteday, I did something I've always wanted to do, but never actually got up the gumption to drop the cash and check it off my life's activity list. We went whale watching. My brothers were in town, and my little brother is awesome at rallying large groups of people to do various activities. Yesterday, we boarded a boat in search of blue whales.

I'm not a big boating fan. I went deep sea fishing in fourth grade, and for me, seasickness makes morning sickness feel like a walk in the park. I fully anticipated that yesterday's excursion would 1. Make me puke and 2. Cost me loads of money without ever seeing a whale.

I was wrong. A little Dramamine and an on-board Marine Biologist did the trick. It was an overcast day, so spotting the whales was a bit tougher than usual. (You look for spouting water out of their blowholes). After sailing 11 miles off the coast, we happened upon a blue whale.

The Marine Biologist mentioned she had seen this whale earlier in the day. She whipped out her cell phone, and using it as a timer, mentioned that this whale happened to surface almost every seven minutes. I love predictable marine life! Every seven minutes, for the next hour, we would scan the horizon, looking for tell tale blow holes. You'd see some water squirt five feet into the air, and a rounded grey (not blue!) hump of the whale's back breach the surface. He/she (hard to tell the gender unless you can get intimate with a blue whale, and since they are the largest mammal on earth and roughly 110 feet long, that can be kind of hard to do) would hang around, blowing up water every few minutes, until it decided to dive down into the 800 feet depths of ocean and eat more krill.

We always knew when it would take a deep dive because it would raise it's tail into the air- like my own personal "Free Willie" trailer or something.

It was really cool. Really, really cool. However, no matter how cool it was, it still freaked me out that I had my 2 kids, both under the age of five and not strong swimmers, on a boat in the ocean 11 miles offshore, without life jackets on. (They only put them on in case of an emergency). Not to mention that we were stalking the largest mammal on Earth- and this whale was almost 2xs as long as the boat we were on. The biologist did make the mistake of telling me how trippy it is when you can feel the whale moving underneath the boat. I clutched their little hands for the entire trip- as did my husband until he finally caved in to his non-Dramamine experience and crashed on a bench in a fit of nausea.

Now that I think of it- it may not have been the seasickness that felled my hubby. I was the only one on board to ask the biologist if she "spoke" whale, and then did my best Dory impersonation from "Finding Nemo". Luckily, she told me that it's virtually impossible for our sound to penetrate the water and have the whale hear it. She knows this because some goofy, California new age harpist hired her to take him out on a cruise so he could play his harp for the whales. She kept telling him that they would have a hard time appreciating his music. So, for those keeping track with my goofy California references?

1. Grocery store checker goes into great detail about the moon driving menstruation calendars.
2. I am bidding on a house tomorrow that was founded by nudists.
3. There is a local harpist that composes music specifically for an audience of whales.

I knew I loved it here.

Careful Where You Sit

Today we found a house. It's older, just like we like em', but has been updated considerably. I think the funniest part is that it is in a small, gated community that used to be nudist's colony. Aside from my 4 year old who loves to be naked, this strikes the rest of my family as funny stuff and also makes us wary of using the pool facilities anytime soon. (But you already knew about my pool phobias, didn't you?) I'm joking. The neighborhood was founded by 4 nudists, unfortunately their grand master naked plan never took off.

We are going to put a bid on it tomorrow if it didn't sell today. We will celebrate by removing strategic articles of clothing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Girl Talk

Today we got some great news- the board met at Matt's new place of employment and has elected to put him on the tenure track. This is huge for us, mostly because now it means that we are really and truly staying in California. Without telling our family, we put our stuff in storage in Houston, mostly because if this didn't come through- we were gonna hit the road again. Whew! What a relief!

It's funny being back here. I only left 2 years ago- but it feels like ages. Friends are now getting divorced, home remodels are complete (and gorgeous!), folks are having babies. It's crazy. I love the vibe of California, and forgot how kooky it is. Tonight, I popped into the local grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends, and the checker commented on my box of Tampax.

"Lots of folks are coming in here tonight for these." she states.

"Ummmhmmm." I nod my head, not wondering where this is gonna go.

"Because it's so close to the full moon, and the moon dictates your cycle- we've had all sorts of women in here tonight." she adds.

Let's just say that I never had that kind of conversation at my Houston Walgreens. No ma'am, they don't do much moon-menstruation-talk there. Not at all.

In other news, my big brother is here visiting, and Matt was showing off his new I-phone. His new Iphone can turn into a Star Wars light saber, and my husband is PROUD of this. This is wrong on so many different levels.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Apple Turnover

We know how to relax on vacation. Instead of walking down the street, down a flight of stairs and parking ourselves in beach chairs- we decided to embark to South Coast Plaza, the mega of all malls, on the day Apple released their new G3 Iphone. We had some required shopping to do anyway, and decided it would be fun to check out the hoopla at the Apple store.

With Coffee Bean lattes in hand, we strolled over and giggled at the throng of people that had lined up at 3:30 in the morning. A lowly Apple employee was passing out bottles of Smart Water, and told us that the line was only 2.5 hours long. Matt laughed and started to walk away, but my competitive spirit kicked in and I ran to the back of the line.

"What are you doing?" my husband asked.

"Look, would you rather go shopping with me, or wait here in hopes you may actually get a new phone?" I asked. (feeling guilty that the reason he needed a new phone was because I accidentally dropped his on the tiled kitchen floor).

So we waved goodbye to Matt, and headed off to shop. And shop. And shop. And eat lunch. And walk around. And walk around some more. The line took FIVE HOURS to get through, and Matt would die if he knew I was telling you this because he's ashamed he had that much time to burn.

The whole thing was pretty interesting. People showed up in their Empire Strikes Back t-shirts- and everyone was very chatty. Matt stood in front of a lighting designer for a local theatre, and a computer programmer- both friends that had taken the day off work for this glorious event. One guy was savvy, and sold his spot in line about halfway through for $50.

Once Matt made it into the store, I dragged the kids along- we wanted to see what all the ruckus was about. Because of fire laws- there was an army of Apple employees manning the door, and they personally escorted you in when your time came up. We saw one young girl exclaim that she had to use the ladies room- and a chagrined Apple guy had to personally walk her through the mall and wait outside to make sure she could get back in. Crazy.

While Matt was haggling through all of the options, I played Dora and Ratatouille on the kids computers- while giggling at the crowd. There seemed to be an inordinate amount of young 20 year old guys, with ratty t-shirts and converse sneakers. They kept calling their friends on their new phones, and I heard more than one say:

"Dude, guess where I am right now? In the fucking Apple Store, man. G3 is awesome."

Sigh. It almost made me wish for my stuff to come out of storage so I could rejoin the land of responsibility.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dazed, Not Confused

So sorry for the delay in posting. I've entered the neverland of moving-turning-into-vacation. With our stuff in storage, our house sold, and just a month or two to wait for Matt to start his job- we are finally relaxing. Matt's Mom hightails it out of town during the summer and we are the fortunate souls that get to crash here and bring in her mail.

At the bottom of her street is a great family beach. We've been going daily. We trot the kids down the steps, park our asses in our beach chairs and watch them put huge quantities of sand in every part of their little bodies. (up the nose, people!) My poor mother-in-law's house is getting such a workout- it will soon look like I felt my last few days in Houston.

When we arrived, we were all pretty tired. Moving itself is exhausting- but couple that with a terribly long roadtrip and then a terribly fun, but tiring stay at my brother's for the 4th and you have one pooped family. Matt literally slept for the first 3 days we were here. He is just starting to return to the land of living, and I think I saw a glimmer of color enter his cheeks on the beach today.

The kids are handling the change pretty well. They did ask where we were going for playgroup tomorrow, and I tried to explain it to them. They continually ask to see the same Max and Ruby episode over and over and over again- and I tried to explain to my husband that this makes them feel secure- not sure if he believed me or not. We tour their new school next week, so that should be interesting.

We are so in love with the town we are in, we have tried our hardest to find a house we could afford here. We thought we found one- a new craftsman, built in 2003- and located in the canyon-within walking distance to the quaint village filled with shops and such. I quickly sent it to my realtor, who happens to live around the corner from my mother-in-law. He was driving by later in the day, and popped out of his car to say hello. I enthusiastically asked him about the listing . He replies:

"Are you planning on teaching Annie and Lucy to roll joints?"

I guess that's the "artistic" section of town. Damn.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not On The Road Again

The roadtrip is done. At long last! I wrapped a bunch of small presents, and thought I had timed it to deliver them out to the anklebiters every hour and a half or so, to help break up the time. 15 minutes into the trip, my 2 year old had the ultimate freak out and my well prepared treasure chest was almost empty.

Highlights of the trip?

The Liberty Bar in San Antonio. As opposed to eating nonstop Sonic and Mickey D's, we splurged on a delicious dinner at this falling down house in a random part of town. I had a roasted hazelnut salad with fresh parm and a slice of lime buttermilk pie for dessert.

Leapsters. Keep kids occupied for long periods of time. Thank you Leapfrog. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Big brothers that can cook. Tom made a stuffed flank steak & a grilled shrimp orzo salad.

Portable DVD players. As my kids were transfixed by "Finding Nemo"- Matt and I had this conversation:

Matt: Did you ever realize Nemo is actually in very little of this movie?

Me: Wow. You're right. It's just like "Saving Private Ryan." But with fish.

Matt: I wonder if that was on purpose. Do you want Sonic or McDonalds for lunch?

And scene!