Sunday, April 26, 2009

Curious George

Yesterday I did something I've wanted to do since I moved here. We took George to Huntington beach- to this stretch of shoreline that is affectionately known as "Dog Beach."

It was hilarious. Picture puppy heaven- filled with frolicking pooches in the surf, sniffing each others' rear ends and chasing after endless tennis balls covered in sand. I immediately let George off his leash, and to my astonishment, he jumped in the surf to steal a ball from some Golden named Scout. I wasn't even sure he could swim. I'm not sure he knew either, but he was just going with the flow, folks. He had friends to impress.

With his snout covered in sand, George ran around, making buddies and running in and out of the water at breakneck speed. I started to relax, and waved to Matt and the kids who were watching the action farther up the beach. I popped my toes in the water, and made casual conversation with the owner of a 4 month old bulldog named Buddha.

And then I looked up.

And that's when I realized that George was gone.

GONE. G-O-N-E. I couldn't find him anywhere.

Not in the water, not stealing tennis balls, not up the beach- he was nowhere to be found. I walked down one side of the beach, and found about 10,000 other Black labs, but no George.

I walked back to Matt and the kids, hoping he may have popped back for a drink or a biscuit, but no luck. Instead, I instilled an air of fear with my kids who suddenly started yelling "WHERE'S THE DOG, MOM?" WHERE'S MY DOG? DID YOU LOSE OUR DOG?"

This Saturday went from happy to shitsville in the blink of one bulldog eye.

I plastered a fake smile on my face, and told the family I was going to walk down the shoreline again. That George was just playing a game, and I would bring him back. And then I walked. And walked. AND WALKED. Clutching my blue leash, I looked like some dog predator that scrutinized every single black lab to see if someone was trying to walk away with my now potty trained, and somewhat behaved dog. I started to think- was he stolen? Did he drown? Is he making out with some poodle under the pier?

About 2 miles away, I gave up and went to the nearby lifeguard stand. Sheepishly, I admitted I had lost my dog. The guy laughed, said no one ever steals dogs from Dog Beach, and that he would radio in to the other towers. I started to walk back to my family, empty handed, and not sure how I was going to face my kids when the guy ran up and said they had found George THREE MILES in the OPPOSITE direction.

My pooch? Apparently he's a runner. He looked a bit sheepish when I rescued him from the lifeguard office. But to my dismay, he also looked the tiniest bit proud. I've got to rest up if we're ever trying that outing again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Land Versus World

Dear friends from Orlando are visiting with us this week, and we somehow managed to sneak in a day to Disneyland so they could compare theme parks. For those that are not Disney obsessed, you may be interested in knowing:

Disneyland is much smaller. MUCH much smaller. Our castle looks like a miniature golf course castle compared to Disney World's. My friends almost wet their pants when they saw it. But hey! It's the original!

We have an Indiana Jones ride at Land, World does not. (But they have a gazillion other stuff that Land does not because they have the space to do so people!)

Apparently, our Toontown is better.

There is no New Orleans at Disneyworld. (This is our favorite place to hang out at night).

DWorld has a whole Star Wars convention with marching storm troopers and everything. We have a ride, and a Jedi Knight training camp. We do have our share of freaks though; that comes naturally this side of the MIssissippi.

DLand will give you free refills, and put your drinks in "to go " cups if you ask. DWorld, not so much.

"It's a Small World" is a bigger deal at DLand. Probably because it is the "smaller world."

We just got our first Food Fair, DWorld has been doing this for years. I want to go to Epcot!

We still have Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. DWorld converted theirs into Winnie the Pooh.

DLand has the coveted, hidden, "Club 33"- the private club where Walt and 32 of his buddies could gather for a drink.

There's probably a gazillion other ones, but if anybody is headed out to Anaheim anytime soon, give me a shout and I'll ride Splash Mountain with you. Extra bonus points if it's 102 degrees like it was on Monday. Poor Mickey almost looked like he was going to have heat stroke.

Monday, April 20, 2009

He's His Own Shel Silverstein Poem

Scene: set in our family room, my husband, fully dressed, lays in a heap on our couch. I'm sitting on the end, with his feet in my lap, looking concerned.

Him: "I'm sick." he moans.
Me: "I know." I say, as I pat his feet. "I'm sorry."

Him: "No really, I'm sick." he says.
Me: "I know."

Him: "No really, my stomach feels horrible." he says.
Me: "What did you eat for lunch?" I ask.
Him: "Ummm.... El Burrito?"
Me: "You're kidding, right?" (El Burrito is a Mexican shack that serves up burritos bigger than your head, and incidentally, happens to be located next door to a veterinarian).

Him: "No, but I'm also really, really hot. I can't get comfortable". he replies, indignantly.
Me: "Hmmm..." (now admittedly, it was 90 degrees yesterday, and it was hot. But my husband, who seems to have developed an allergic reaction to casual clothing, is always fully dressed in wool slacks, a long sleeved dress shirt, and wool socks).

Me: "So let me get this straight. You ate a 4000 calorie burrito of questionable meat for lunch, and are now sitting through a heat wave dressed from head to toe in wool. Do I have this right?"
Him: "Oh forget it". (but he did start to giggle).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Yikes. I got a call from my little brother this morning that went something like this:

"Hey!" My brother says. "Did you hear the news?"
Since his wife is like 102 weeks pregnant, I assumed his little daughter made her grand debut.

"Did Amber have the baby?" I ask.
"No, but Dad broke his leg in two places and shattered his elbow." he replies.

My parents spend every Tuesday night at the local bowling alley, bowling with a lot of their teacher friends. Since my Dad retired from the airforce and became a high school teacher, my parents have the most active social life of anyone I know. They bowl together, they play bridge, they have a dinner group every Friday. They follow baseball teams around and do crazy things like see Billy Joel/Elton John and Bruce Springsteen in the same week. To get some time with them means you have to pencil it in WAY in advance. Seriously.

Anyhoo, my Dad was trying to bowl for a turkey (If you don't know what that is, come over and play some Wii Bowling with my five year old and she'll definitely show you) and apparently he slipped on some grease on the floor and went down for the count. They are waiting for the orthopedic surgeon to become available, and then his ankle is getting operated on.

He's bummed. He's a bit grumpy. He's depressed that he can't play golf, or work in his garden, or drive his new car around. But he's not so sad that he can't go see Fleetwood Mac next month. He got tickets for my Mom's birthday.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

I did something really stupid. REALLY, really stupid. I should know better. I should just accept myself for who I am, and stop trying to be who I am not.

I tried a self home tanner.

I now look like a stripey, orange clown.

My husband is embarrassed to be seen with me, and the Easter bunny at brunch on Sunday started giggling inside of his fake bunny head.

Sigh. I'm pale, I know I'm pale, and yet, every spring, I try to forget that I'm naturally, well, more akin to the albino in "The DaVinci Code" than the Beyonce I feel on the inside.

And if you're even thinking about buying the Loreal Sublime At Home Humiliator? At least do yourself a favor and go for the cream and not the spray. Trust me. I speak from some bright orange experience.

Friday, April 10, 2009


We're a mixed bag of religions in this house. A mutt of spirituality, if you will. My husband's family is Jewish, so we celebrated passover at my sister-in-law's last night. They asked me to bring a kugel. My mother-in-law chuckled when I was given the task, and has repeatedly asked me if I knew which kind I was going to make. I started to get sweaty kugel knuckles.

I've never cooked a kugel before. I've gone to confession, and knelt a lot in church, but a kugel? I accepted the challenge.I asked my husband if he had a favorite recipe, and he made a face and said "blech, no one likes to eat those. Sweet noodle dishes are nasty."

He wasn't taking into account the tastebuds of the six and under set. I found an awesome kugel recipe on and gave it a try. Putting it together was a little off putting. It has a LOT of butter, and before it set into a custard-like consistency, it looked a bit funky, and gelatinous. But when it baked? My house smelled delicious.

When we started serving dinner, my 3 year old started to yell for some "Google!" "GOOGLE! Where's my Mommy's Google! My Mommy made us a Google!"

Why was this night different than all other nights? We ate a Google, y'all. And it was tasty.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nosy Neighbor

So, my little community of 13 homes now has its first casualty of the economy. The open house we stumbled upon way back when we were looking for a house has now gone into foreclosure. The guy that used to own it is a realtor, and his income went from a gazillion dollars to nothing faster than you can say "bad hair plugs." (sadly, he still has those).

I really feel bad for the guy, but marvel at how he's handled it. When we bought our house, he paid us a visit and basically interrogated me as to why I didn't buy HIS house. He hasn't paid his home owners fees since last March, and my first board meeting centered around how to handle this. He has sent an email out to the community apologizing for his debt, and is trying hard to remedy the situation. Yesterday, the bank took possession and slapped a 3 day eviction notice to his door. Today, he spent most of the day lounging by the pool. Nothing has been moved.

His house is huge- well over 3600 square feet, and fully furnished. It would take a slew of folks to get that thing packed and moved in 2 days. I feel like the nosy neighbor in Bewitched- but I'll keep y'all posted.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


In the last week and a half, I've lost 4.5 lbs. Then, I go to sushi and am now retaining so much water, I look like I should be flying over a football stadium. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Growing Pains

I took Annie to our local elementary school to drop off her registration packet for kindergarten. She strutted down the halls, telling me how big she is now, and how excited she is for next year. She made the school secretary guffaw by announcing to everyone in the local vicinity that she is now 5 1/2, and more than ready to go to kindergarten. The secretary shot me a secret look of glee that quickly turned to pity when she noticed that I was about to lose my swizzle shit.

I'm not a crier. I'm not an emotional person. In fact, during moments of drama or high stress, I'm more apt to make an inappropriate joke or giggle than to burst into tears. I'm not being insensitive, it's just how I do things. Tell me my Mom has a brain tumor? We're going to immediately start making hairstyle jokes. (true story). Cat dying in the backyard and my girlfriend crushes up drugs to sedate her before I can get her to the vet? I think I'm being punked as a storyline for Desperate Housewives.

So it mostly surprised me that this little jaunt to the school office would affect me so much. It sounds so cliche, but it just seems like it's going so, so fast. Her elementary school smells EXACTLY like my elementary school--- Elmers glue, stinky sneakers and construction paper. But the kids look so BIG, so much more (stupid word here) sophisticated. I know the next logical step is to have Annie put a ban on all things Disney Princess and move on to slutty Hannah Montana, but I feel like (especially with girls) that we are at a crossroads to keep our children as young as humanly possible.

And ironically, this school trip taught me that I'm the one that has to mature a little bit.