Monday, June 30, 2008

Dinner at Coco's and Health Science class

After work today I went to Coco's for dinner. On Mondays and Wednesdays I have Health Science class so I'll have dinner in a restaurant so I can get to class on time. I ordered this chicken breast dinner with mashed potatoes, veggies. The chicken is covered with this creamy, sun-dried tomato sauce. When the plate arrived there were two HUGE blobs of mashed potatoes and two tiny pieces of chicken. At first it looked ok because everything was covered with the sauce so you couldn't tell the potatoes from the chicken. But as soon as I put a fork into it I could see that there was no way that dish should have cost $12. I sent it back. When the waitress came back she set down a plate that had enough chicken on it to feed three people. And it still had two mountains of mashed potatoes! I felt a little weird asking for a container to take home the leftovers.

Health Science class was interesting. The teacher showed a Discovery Channel film about the differences between the sexes. Yes, I learned a thing or two. Then he gave a lecture about our reproductive organs. Now, his delivery is pretty funny sometimes but when he was talking about our sexy bits he was freakin' hilarious! Very monotone until he comes to a key word and then he yells. "The EGG travels down the fallopian TUBES to the UTERUS, also called the WOMB." Man, I wish I had it on film.

So! I'm going to Santa Rosa this weekend. Well, not really Santa Rosa. I'll be staying with Lorraine in Penngrove, visiting the Lorenz's in Graton and maybe go visit the Richardson's in Napa. I'll pop up to Santa Rosa to take a look at the Sunny Manor house. I'll be there Thursday through Sunday. I thought I'd be able to get Monday off but that's when I start subbing across the hall. So, bummer. On Saturday Nancy's hula teacher is giving a ukulele workshop at her house. I'm really looking forward to that. Michele is also visiting so she and I will zoom around hitting all the important spots. Gonna soak up the love.

Tomorrow morning I'm taking my car in for some maintenance. I don't want any car trouble on this trip.

Monday, June 23, 2008


4.0 at 7:14, centered in Riverside. Rumble, rumble, rumble, BAM!

Guess it's time to get up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another photo -and- practical jokes of the divine

While I'm in a photo posting mood, here's a picture of my pretty mom.

Ok, so I went to Drew's to take care of the dogs. I remembered seeing on their list of instructions that they'd like to have the sprinklers turned on so I decided to do that before I went into the house. I found the controller and turned on the front sprinklers. I saw the one at the front corner go burble, burble and then BLAST! I caught it right in the face. I was drenched! And when I tried to run away the sprinkler followed me! Of course, the dogs thought this was the coolest thing in the world. They had sprinklers to play in and a running human to chase. We all went in the house and I fed them and took care of Kona's ears. When I left I locked the front gate and started to drive away. That's when I heard thump, thump, thump in the back. Yep. Flat tire. I must have run over something in Drew's driveway. AARGH!!!

I pulled over and sat there for a while trying to decide what to do. I could handle changing a tire but it's hot and I really didn't feel like it. I tried calling Allstate's roadside service but cell reception was iffy and I kept getting cut off while trying to complete their menu options. I called Paige at home and gave her all the info so she could call them. I pulled out a folding chair and my uke and entertained myself until the roadside service dude arrived. About half an hour later I was on my way.

Between yesterday's events and what I went through this afternoon I'm thinking somebody up there is having a lot of fun messing with me.

Three day weekends

I'm going to like this. I have Fridays off for the summer. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Sunday.

On Friday I went to Ken's a little early and took a dip in the pool. Ahhhhh!!!! Then John showed up and he had a lovely little jam. We put together what Ken calls a "three item combo". Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, It's Only Love, and Sukiyaki. Those three songs go together so well! Man, we've got to play somewhere. We could do an hour, easy.

On Saturday I took care of Drew's dogs and ran a bunch of errands. I visited Dad and played for him. Two of the nurses there came up to me and said Dad always calls them Dede. One of them kind of looked like her but the other one really did. It's kind of uncanny. This girl is a spittin' image. The other Dede nurse kept talking about how sweet and funny Dad is. And handsome. Here's Mom and Dad in 1952. There are better photos but I thought this one was cute.
After visiting Dad I went to Michael's to get some paint. That's when the day took a stupid turn. I had gotten myself a large Dr.Pepper at a drive-through. I'm walking around Michael's, happily sipping, and decided I needed to use the restroom. I went into a stall and set my drink down on the toilet paper dispenser. The cup slid off the dispenser and hit the floor topside down. That caused the lid to crack and the straw to shoot up straight through the bottom and send a plug of foam cup and a big splash of Dr. Pepper right into my face! Now I'm all wet, there's a huge mess on the floor and I still needed to pee! I grabbed the cup and ran it over to the trash can. But there was still a pretty big puddle on the floor, not to mention the splashes of brown liquid all over the toilet seat. Now, if I make a mess in a public place I like to clean it up myself if I can. I don't think it's right to just leave something for someone else to clean up. I went to get some paper towels but the dispenser didn't work. At that point my manners went out the window. I said, "Fuck it", and left the restroom with wet, sticky hair. I finished my shopping and on the way out I told one of the clerks that I had left a mess in the bathroom and apologized. She said, "Oh yeah, that paper towel dispenser never works."

Then I went to Costco. The parking lot was crazy full and it was really hot so people weren't feeling charitable. At one end, near the entrance they had blocked off the driveway with cones. I didn't know it and I got stuck in the middle of a clump of cars that wouldn't let me out but decided to honk at me anyway. Right then Bill called to tell me that our houses at the farm are now completely gone. So, now I'm a clueless woman with Dr. Pepper hair, in a hot, crowded parking lot, chatting on a cell phone.

It's amazing that I got through all that and was still in a pretty good mood.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It happens every time.

I handled a lot of business type stuff today. I'm still working on putting things into my name. This time it was stock certificates. They sent me a change of ownership package with a bunch of forms to fill out. One of them required a Medallion Guarantee stamp. A notary has to have a special license for that and most of them don't. They told me I could get one at my bank. Well, Altura doesn't do that anymore. They gave me a list of notaries but when I called them half of them didn't even know what it was.

Today I went to Kinko's to fax Paige's and my health insurance applications. Wells Fargo is right nearby. I do have a Wells Fargo account but I hate going in there. After Jim died and I needed LOTS of help with accounts and other stuff, they wouldn't help me because their legal department said I needed to go through probate first. Not true, at least not for the stuff I needed them to do. This is freakin' California and I'm the wife. I had all the documents I needed to prove we were married and that he was dead but they still wouldn't help me. Every time I walked into that place it was like getting beaten up. So, I really didn't want to go there today.

I walked in and was greeted by the same clueless guy I dealt with before. I could feel my throat tightening up. I told him I needed the Medallion Guarantee stamp and he said yes ma'am, right away, ma'am, come over here and have a seat. I couldn't believe it. I was finally getting something I needed from Wells Fargo. My throat tightened even more. I gave them all the documents and sat there while they faxed everything to their legal department. The whole thing took about half an hour and the whole time I had to keep grabbing hold of myself to keep calm. When the notary finally came back with the completed papers I lost it. The tears started to flow. Damn, I hate that.

But it's done. Another piece handled. I came home and called Fidelity to get some more stock items taken care of. This time they put me in touch with an office in Palm Desert. They explained that I do have to go through a probate process because Jim didn't name me as beneficiary. They gave me a long list of stuff I have to do. At least they were helpful. And after I hung up I got weepy again. Part of it is being freshly reminded of all the grief, but a big part of it is just plain not knowing how all this stuff is supposed to work and feeling stupid and ignorant about it all. It makes me want to cash it all in and stuff it into a mattress. A mattress I can understand. Ain't no mystery about a mattress.

Once I get the paperwork done I'll consolidate everything into one account. It would be good to find out exactly how much money I have. Right now everything is too spread out and I'm tired of dealing with particles.

Bleah. I'm drained. Tonight I'm going to Ken's to play music. I'm going to go early and swim a little. It's freakin' hot! This morning when I was sitting on my front porch waiting for the trash truck (really, I was out there just enjoying the morning), I ripped out the cheesy railing that has offended me ever since I moved to this place. I was going to get some tools and carefully take it out but when I was sitting there I decided what the hell and started rocking it back and forth. It pretty much snapped right off. It felt gooooood.

When we moved I brought over these concrete yard statues of a donkey and a guy in a sombrero taking a siesta. They're both sporting really bad paint jobs. I'm going to repaint them all cute 'n' stuff. This morning I brought in the siesta guy. I've got my art area pretty much ready to use. It feels good to finally be at a place where I can do some painting. Boy, do I need it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trash day double dip (& Dude, where's my iPod?)

I love this. Ever since the move I've had more trash than I can fit into the cans. Especially recycling. I always have bags of recycling hanging around because there's just too much. I'm getting rid of mushed up boxes, newspaper that was used for packing, just a bunch of crap.

I've discovered that the trash trucks come up my side of the street first and then they turn around and pick up from the other side. If I run out and grab the cans as soon as they're emptied I can fill them up again real quick and drag them over to the other side of the street to be emptied again. I've got the bags all ready to go. Boy, it's the little things that make life fun, eh?

Tonight I went online to check my Wells Fargo Rewards points. I've been saving them up to get an iPod. In the fall when we rented all those dumpsters doing the farm clean up I racked up a lot of points real quick. When I checked my points tonight I was up to 57,985. The iPod I want is 37,000 points. When I clicked "redeem" it took the iPod off my list and deducted my points! But no confirmation! No shipping info! I was robbed!

I called their Rewards Hotline and talked to a very nice young man (it's like, 10:30 pm at the time) but he couldn't find any record of my lost points. I'm so glad I wrote them down before I tried to redeem them. He said I should wait a day or two to see if they went through. I'm going to call tomorrow morning and every day thereafter until I get my stinkin' iPod.


Today's Google quotes

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. -Kurt Vonnegut

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -Thomas A. Edison

Late night tile game

Shuffle here, shuffle there. I almost have art studio space. It's a good thing because I'm dying to work on something. I can't sleep so I'm puttering.

I found a cool music streaming station. It's a pretty good substitute for an iPod for listening to music at work. It's called Pandora, radio from the Music Genome Project. For the last few days I've been doing a LOT of data entry, which is completely mindless, so it's nice to zone out and groove to the tunes.

I haven't alerted the NorCal crowd yet, but it looks like I'll be going up to Santa Rosa for the 4th of July weekend. It's going to cost a bundle in gas but I think it'll be good for me to get out of town for a while. Thanks, Michele, for putting the bug in my ear.

Monday I start Health Science class. Two nights a week but at least it'll go quickly. Woo-hoo, I get to learn about germs and bad food!

Look! I added my Fire Monkey to the blog! It is the cocktail monkey of death!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

UCR's Commencement, Father's Day and a party

This morning we went to Lindsay's graduation at UCR. Drew and Mindy, Scotty and B, Paige, Kyle and I were there for the celebration. It was hot and sunny, but as graduation ceremonies go, I thought it was a pretty good one. The keynote speaker said "nukular" twice in his speech, but he quoted Barak Obama and Bill Clinton, so we forgave him. I was doing pretty well until the Chancellor mentioned that it was Father's Day. I kind of puddled up at that point. Yep, Jim should have been there. I'm so sorry he wasn't.

But it was a happy day and Lindsay was quite pleased and proud. Many photos were taken. Afterward, we headed over to Ken and Sherri's for our celebration brunch. I'm happy to say that the quiches turned out tres yummy, especially the shrimp quiche. The fruit salad was just a fruit salad but it was reeeeally good. After a little while Bill and Virginia showed up. After everyone ate we went out to the patio. The kids (Kids, ha! C'mon, they're adults now!) swam, while Bill and I uked, Ken played guitar and Virginia beaded. After a while Sherri's girls, the grandkids, Sherri's parents, and some friends showed up. It turned into a very nice, very active party. We had a great time. It was fun playing with Ken and Bill. That's a new mix! We played for most of the afternoon.

Bill and Virginia went home and I left shortly after. Even though we were in the shade on Ken's patio I was feeling a bit baked. I dropped off the leftover food (we'll be eating quiche for a week!) at home and then went to see Dad. I found him near the nurses station yelling at the doctor that had just left. He was pulling at his seat belt and yelling that he wanted to get out of there. Hoo boy. I quickly said, "Happy Father's Day!" and kind of diffused his anger, for a short time anyway. When he started to get agitated again I told him I was going out to my car to get my uke and that I'd play some music for him. I could see he really needed to be redirected. When I got back with the uke I wheeled him into the dining room and sat at a table and played and sang for him. He was still kind of tweaky but he stayed with it. I was there for about an hour and a half. I'm pretty sure that after I left he went right back to yelling at people. Oh well.

A good day. Congratulations, Lindsay and Paige!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm sort of good

I've walked three days in a row now. But then, I had pizza for dinner. Tonight I walked through the rich neighborhood across Central, down the other end of Rumsey. It just boggles my mind that there are people who live like that, and they're not even the ultra rich. Their gardening bills must be through the roof.

Today I spent several hours making party food with Sherri. We made eight quiches, four different kinds.

Tomorrow we have to leave here at 7am to get to UCR by 7:30. I'm glad it's going to be early so we can finish up, get to Ken's, and relax for the rest of the day.

I need to go cut up a pineapple for tomorrow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woo hoo!!

Got an A in Psych!! Woo hoo!

Gotta go. I'm at work.

Woo hoo!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I just got back from walking the Vic. Feels good. Tonight the deaf school had their commencement. You know what's great about a deaf school graduation? No air horns.

Last night we went to Paige's graduation. I'm glad I won't attending another high school graduation for a while. Why do people feel like they have to demonstrate their love for their graduate by showing up with enough balloons to start their own business? The family of morons that sat in front of us had a huge bunch of balloons, flowers, teddy bears big enough to require their own bleacher space, and air horns. And it was windy so we got bonked by their balloons. The teenage daughter was going blah, blah, blah on her cell phone while two senior girls sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. I'm so sick of people.

But it was great to see the baby graduate. Ken and Sherri were there, too. When Paige walked in with her class she actually held up the line because so many teachers were hugging her. When they started reading the names of the graduates there was this one woman who read the names reeeeaaally sexxxxxy. God, it was funny. Lindsay and I couldn't wait until it was Paige's turn so we could hear her name over the loud speaker all sexy and stuff. But about 10 kids before Paige's turn she got tired and had someone replace her. We were very disappointed.

Afterward we went to Joe's for sushi. Jin, the manager (Or maybe he's the owner. We're not sure), was his usual crazy (drunk) self. Paige had walked in wearing her blue mortarboard. Jin immediately took it from her and placed it on his head. The tassle kept getting hung up on his ear. Then he grabbed a goofy-looking japanese lampshade-type hat and put it on Paige. Jin wore the mortarboard the whole time we were there. He sent over a carafe of Merlot for me. Many mussels were consumed. We had a great time. But when we got the mortarboard back the tassle was gone. Jin felt bad about losing it but Paige wasn't upset. She figured it was part of the Joe's experience. I'm going to see if I can order her a replacement.

Today I found out they're going to be closing our building on fridays for the summer. Fine by me. It'll be great to have a week day off so I can handle business stuff. We're going to discuss my hours tomorrow. Work's been pretty busy lately. Usually my desk is pretty clean but right now it's piled up with projects. I like it when I have stuff to do.

Dry mouth. Must get water.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm free!!!

For a couple of weeks. I just got back from taking my psych final. I think I did ok. I didn't get much chance to study (too many distractions) but the stuff I managed to cram into my head paid off. I start my Health Science class on the 23rd.

After the test I went to Target. The record guy we met this weekend told me they have digitizing turntables there that are totally self-contained. All you have to do is put in a cd. The one I have has to be hooked to the computer. Come to think of it, it might not work with my computer anyway because for some reason I can't burn cd's. Anyway, the Target turntable seemed like a good idea. I can take back the USB turntable because I haven't opened the box yet. But when I saw the Target turntable it just looked like a pile of red flags. They made it to look like and old- fashionedy wooden record player. Sheeezz! I don't want some cutsey, plastic piece of crap that costs $300. I decided I'd go online and try to find something comparable. Maybe that one is really good. I can probably find a review somewhere.

Paige graduates tomorrow. Guess what she bought for herself as a graduation present? A motorcycle!!!!! I made her promise to take a motorcycle safety class. There's not much else I can do except walk around being a martyr mom. Like, oh sure, rip out my heart and let me die with worry. So far that hasn't worked.

I'll try not to think about that and just enjoy being out of school for now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm beat

But I still have work to do tonight. We had the second yard sale yesterday. It wasn't the madhouse the first one was but we did get rid of a lot of stuff. I made about $250. Drew and Mindy were here to help. Thanks, guys!

Today Drew came over to help pack everything up. Actually, I helped him. He did most of the heavy lifting. The guy who said he was interested in buying all the rest of the albums turned out to be not that interested. He wants to pick and choose. That wasn't the deal. We'll probably try to find someone else who will take them. We loaded up Drew's truck and trailer and took the rest of the stuff to Second Time Around. We like them because they'll take anything. Salvation Army and Goodwill are too picky about what they'll accept. We also like Second Time Around because the gay guy who runs it calls everybody sweetie.

When it cools off a bit more I'll go back out and work on clearing the driveway. I cleaned up the front porch and swept the walk. Tonight I'll turn the sprinklers back on and get the lawn green again. Tomorrow after work I'll mow. I'll make it all nice and pretty out there so the neighbors will be happy.

This morning Drew brought over a truckload of my stuff that was being stored in the truck trailer at his house. He said there are two more loads. It'll be good to get it all here. I'll be spending the summer going through it all and organizing and cleaning and purging. I've already gotten rid of so much. It's wonderful.

But the house is still in chaos. Drew installed another ceiling fan and the cool light fixture I got on eBay. Getting that ceiling fan up off the floor will really help. Now I can assemble the shelves that were being stored on the front porch. It's that damn tile game again! Gotta do this before I can do that, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Ok, one more push and then I can shower.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Test results

For a couple weeks now I've been playing phone tag with my doctor's office. She's been wanting to discuss the results of my blood work. I figured man, if she want's to talk to me personally it's gotta be something serious. I looked up the results on Kaiser's website. Nothing earth-shattering as far as I could tell. Today I finally talked to the nurse. She wanted to go over it with me and tell me how wonderful everything is. Um... ok. Thanks.

Blood sugar is still a little high but it's actually lower than last year. She said I should avoid sugar and get some exercise. I was almost hoping for at least a little bad news so I could throw myself at their feet and cry, "Help me! Save me from myself!" But, no, I have to stop spinning my wheels and get going with a diet all on my own.

I wonder if all those vitamins I take are actually doing some good? Maybe they've kept me from becoming a full-blown diabetic for all these years. Well, I do know that I can't keep getting away with it forever.

Today I contacted Kaiser to see about getting Paige added to my plan. It's going to end up costing the same for the both of us as I'm paying for me alone! Coolness! The co-pay will be $30 instead of $20 but the monthly payment is the same. The deductible is the same.

Ok, that's a couple things crossed off that to-do list.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

For the good of the party

I got this idea from Daily Kos. Hillary said she's willing to consider accepting the VP spot if it'll help insure getting a Democrat back into the White House. One woman on Kos said she'd be willing to sleep with George Clooney if, and only if, it would bring about world peace. You can sign me up for that one, only I'd be doing it for a cure for cancer. To get a Democrat back into the White House I'd be willing to do extensive research on which sushi restaurant serves the best mussels. I'm talkin' nation-wide, people. That's how dedicated I am.

What would you do?

More blogging from work

I visited Dad last night. He was pretty alert and sometimes seemed almost normal. Kind of strange. I'd kind of gotten used to seeing him barely functioning. I played uke and sang for him. Then I fed him his dinner. He ate every bit of it! Another surprise. He asked me why he had been thrown in the clink. I told him about the stroke and how it has weakened him. He accepted my explanation. I sang a couple more songs for him and then left.

Tonight is the last psych class before the final. Then I jump right into summer school. Health Science, yuck. Oh well, it'll be good to get it out of the way.

Tomorrow I'm back in my own office.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Blogging from work again

It's ok this time. I'm in the office across the hall, subbing for their receptionist. The only thing I can do here is answer the phone so my goofing off is legal. I'm all ALONE! I wish I had my uke with me. Actually, I do, it's in the car. But that might be pushing it a bit.

Jeez, I wish I had more to write about. I've already been through the political blogs, eBay, Hotmail and everyone's personal blogs. I poked around on Chordie for a little while and searched Google for some songs. I could study for the Psych final but I've done a lot of that and my brain is fried.

This office is cold.

I've been wanting to get my life more organized. I've got the to-do list of Damocles hanging over my head. The house is in total chaos since we got everything out of storage. The final yard sale is this weekend so things should be a little easier soon. I try to do at least a little organizing every day so I'm making progress. But jeez, I'm tired of living this way.

Oops, some people just walked in. I'll stop for now.

Ok, I just came up with the beginnings of a song. The wallpaper on this computer is this idealized scene of a jungle with all the animals living happily together with flowers and pretty colors.

A picture of paradise
is on the computer screen
This jungle harmony
is a phony, made-up scene
There's no grass or dirt
here beneath my feet
This is a desk, in an office,
in a building, on a street.

I'm breathing filtered air
and sitting on a cushioned chair
bathed in artificial light
phone to the left, printer to the right

Oh man, let's get out of here
before I go insane
Let's escape to that jungle
You Tarzan, me Jane

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Music, banquet, Indiana Jones and a rear-end

Another full weekend.

Saturday morning I met Bill and Zoey at King to do a sound check for the song we were doing at the concert that night. It was King High School's end-of-the-year choir concert. She was singing I Will by the Beatles. Jeff, Bill and I were backing her up, the boys on ukes and me on a drum and singing harmony. We had practiced it on Thursday night and it sounded really good. Jeff didn't show up for the sound check. It only took about 10 minutes and they were able to set the levels without him so it wasn't a problem. But where was he? I called him. He had been rear-ended on the way there! It had just happened right before I called. We told him to meet us at this chinese place just down the street. Poor Jeff. He was pretty upset. His rear bumper now looks like a butt. We had lunch and then went next door to the smoothie place for coffee and smoothies. By the time we left he was feeling a little better but still not too happy.

I left and went to White Park for Paige's band banquet. Having it in the park was a really good idea. Since I had just eaten I wasn't interested in what they had to serve. Paige said it wasn't very good anyway. We stayed until after they gave out all the awards. I left and went back up to King for the concert.

They have it outdoors, which is nice, but the audience sits on a slope in lawn chairs. It's pretty uncomfortable because the slope is steep enough that you feel like you're going to tip over. I spent a lot of the time pushing against the ground to hold myself in the chair. They always start these shows with student soloists. It's basically karaoke. And, ahem, it's a public school, but they seem to forgotten the concept of separation of church and state. The kids pick their own songs but really, it was pretty over the top. Like, WAY over the top.

I was glad when it was our turn. Zoey did a great job. She sounded very sweet. The boys and I were, of course, awesome. Then we went back to our seats so we could get preached at some more. Then it was time for the choirs. It was a VERY long show. Zoey's choir did this really cool choral car song with choreography. After that, Jeff and I left, leaving Bill to shiver in the wind on his own. He had to stay. He was Zoey's ride.

We went to the Plaza and caught the 9:30 showing of Indiana Jones. Man, that was the perfect way to end that long day. We both really enjoyed that movie, although we could have done without the barrage of shitty commercials before the previews started. There was one that featured James Carville and Bill Frist getting lovey-dovey over a Coke. I told Jeff I was ready to barf into my purse. We were so happy when the movie started.

Man, we laughed the whole time! AND they included a Wilhelm scream! That's not a surprise, but it was pretty funny the way they did it. It felt good to laugh that much and I think it was exactly what Jeff needed.

Today was the uke circle. Wow, LOTS of people showed up today. It got pretty loud in the basement. Afterward, I went to Marie Callender's for dinner. Had a hankerin' for quiche and salad.

Good weekend.