Monday, December 31, 2007

why do I care so much? because I'm insane

For the past few days, I have been engaged in a rather frustrating email correspondence with They are a very cool company because one of the things they do is cut the handle off of a knife or whatever and attach it to pieces that aren't normally available in your flatware pattern. For instance, I have a punch ladle and I'm about to order a wedding cake knife and server (the actual set from our wedding is God knows where, it might have gotten lost in Hurricane Katrina, actually).

Anyway. I decided that I want two child-sized place settings. Oneida, apparently, makes a five-o-clock teaspoon in my pattern, which is a smaller spoon intended for pre-dinner tea or whatever, which can also double as a child-sized spoon. They also make a demitasse spoon, which is approximately toddler-sized. They don't, however, make forks in either size, nor do they make a smaller knife (except for the butter knife, the blade of which is not an appropriate shape to use for cutting food).

Knowing as I do, however, that cuts the handles off of things and attaches them to other things, and knowing also that they make several different kinds of forks (such as ice cream forks aka sporks, oyster forks, pastry forks, etc - presumably by cutting up spoons, I don't own any of these pieces so I can't say for sure), I sent them an email to ask if they could possibly make a couple of sets of child-sized forks and knives for me. They responded that Oneida never made a child-sized set in my pattern, and since they are not a manufacturer, they cannot make one for me.

I, in turn, responded that I knew that Oneida had never made a child-sized set in my pattern, but I was confused, because they "hand craft" pieces all the time (I cited my punch ladle as an example) and what I was really asking was whether or not they take special requests for which pieces to hand craft. They responded that the punch ladle had been made by cutting the handle off of a place knife (um, duh, an idiot could see that) and Oneida never made a child-sized set so they can't make one for me.

I could very easily have responded that there is a child-sized spoon available and they could take the handle from a child-sized spoon and put a fork on it...or they could even just cut the bowl of the spoon into tines...but I'm tired of my comments and requests zooming right over their heads.

So instead, I wrote an email to Oneida and asked if they have any plans to make a child-sized set in the Aquarius or Satin Aquarius pattern. I figure, they have been selling three different versions of this pattern (Aquarius, Satin Aquarius [which I have] and Golden Aquarius) for at least 6 years (I registered in late '01 - early '02), so it must be pretty popular. I cannot possibly be the only person who'd like a child set in the Aquarius pattern.

So if you found me through a random act of Google while searching for a child-sized place setting of your Oneida Aquarius flatware - do me a favor and write to Oneida, too. If enough of us show interest, maybe they'll actually listen. I mean, after all, they make Satin Aquarius steak knives now. That has to mean that they listen to requests, right?

(Here's a picture of the pattern for reference.)

ETA: This was the response from Oneida: "We've had some discussions on offering children flatware to the Pattern for a Lifetime Program. At this time, there is no short term plan. I will pass your comments on to our marketing staff for review." So I'm going to expand my request: if you have any pattern that is part of the Patterns for the Lifetime Program, and you'd like a place setting for your child, please write to Oneida and let them know. They won't know we want it unless we let them know.

toot toot

I like to be efficient with language. I always try to use the word that means exactly what I want to say, and I don't use a phrase where a single word would do better. If there is no one word to express what I want to say, sometimes I make up a new word, just to be more efficient.

Brandon is efficient with language in an entirely different way. If he recognizes that a group of objects or people or concepts all go together, he will choose one word to mean all of those things. For example, Mommy and Daddy are both "dah-ee". (Although he has been saying "mah-ee" occasionally for the past couple of days - finally). All colors are "gee" (green), all numbers are "sees" (six), all bugs are "bee", and peeing, pooping and tooting are all "pee". It's a little frustrating to change his diaper because he came up to me and said, "ah pee!" - only to find that his diaper is completely dry, and he was just telling me that he tooted. Still, I suppose it's a step in the right direction. I do appreciate his thoroughness.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I'm sure I will find more examples in the future

Some people just shouldn't be allowed to write reviews on (or anywhere else). Even ignoring the people who review things they don't own ("this looks so nice", etc) and the people who use reviews as a forum to ask questions...there are some people who are just so stupid that they should have their keyboards taken away before they hurt themselves.

Like the guy who trashed John Mayer's Continuum because it doesn't contain any songs that he (the reviewer) identified with, as on past albums (because as we all know, our favorite artists should be writing about what's going on in our lives, not theirs) - and then went on to complain that the titles of the songs were too simple, citing "Bold as Love" as an example. John Mayer didn't write "Bold as Love". It's a $#^&@*& Jimi Hendrix song. Dumbass.

I thought that one was bad. Then I started researching blenders. Man, oh man, are there some stupid people out there. Somebody actually deducted a star because "liquid can seep out from the bottom without its rubber gasket." In other words: if you lose the piece that is there to keep it from leaking, it will leak.

Holy God in Heaven. I think my head's about to explode.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Originally uploaded by LavenderLily.

Santa (and Mommy and Daddy, and Nonna and Pop, and Grandma and Grandpa) went a little overboard with the Cars figurines for Christmas this year. From right to left: Cruisin' McQueen, Dinoco McQueen, Sally, Snot Rod, Wingo, DJ, Boost, Nitroade, Stanley, Buzz, Woody, The Fabulous Hudson Hornet, Sheriff, Flo, Green Ramone, Purple Ramone, Tex, Red. Yes, that's 18 cars. (And it took a footstool, a Cars carrying case, a flexible tripod, and 14 tries to get this shot.)

Merry Christmas, here's a recipe

I don't know if you can really call it a recipe, it's more of general instructions. I don't measure things.

Eggnog Pina Coladas
Put frozen pineapple chunks, a few ice cubes, and a handful or two of coconut flakes in the blender. Add eggnog to cover. Blend. Pour. Add rum if you're not pregnant or a child. (Lucky.) Enjoy.

Mele Kalikimaka!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

happy ho-ho-ho to you!

I would like to thank the following people for making this Christmas rock:
  • Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, for helping me feel like a theater person again. I never get to go see shows anymore - ever - so being able to go see Sweeney Todd made me very, very happy, even if it meant I had to go to the (big) mall on Saturday, December 23rd (it wasn't as bad as I was expecting). Thank you to them for doing a good job with it. I would have hated to have been disappointed like I was with the Rent movie.
  • David Lebovitz, for writing The Perfect Scoop. Your vanilla ice cream was a perfect addition to my Thanksgiving spread, and the chocolate that I just took out of my ice cream maker was already absolutely to die for before I even froze it. (Now that it's frozen, though...Holy freakin' God.) My hat's off to you, sir. You rock.
  • Rachael Ray, for the Venetian Shrimp and Scallops recipe I'm making tonight. I knew I wanted to do Shrimp and Scallops (since, as Giada and Mario taught me, a seafood feast on Christmas Eve is traditional in Italian homes - which struck me as a very, very good idea), but I had no idea what exactly to do with them. Ray Ray to the rescue! I puffy heart the Food Network. (ETA: very yummy. The crushed red pepper gives it a nice kick, and the lemon zest is very subtle. Yum yum yum yum yum.)
  • Hershey's, for making teeny tiny Peppermint Patties and Peanut Butter Cups for baking into cookies. Um, yum.
  • Brian, for coming up with the idea of staying at the Hale Koa (the military-owned resort on the beach in Waikiki) for three nights last week. A "Hawaiian Vacation" was exactly what we needed.

Monday, December 24, 2007

failing sucks

Since the first time I saw an American Idol audition episode, it has been one of my biggest, most repressed fears that I am one of those people. The ones who think they're awesome, but really, really suck. The delusional ones.

How many times does the world have to send you the same message before you start listening? How many times do you have to be unsuccessful at something before you finally give up? At what point does it stop being stick-to-it-iveness and start being self-delusion? How can you blow off a rejection when it comes from 25+ people all at the same time? How can that many people be wrong all at once?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

swing your razor wide, Kerry

I am, in general, very tolerant of toddler behavior. I am a mother, I have a 2-year-old, I know how they act. And that is why I don't bring my 2-year-old to the movies with me. Bringing a 2.5-year-old to the movies is rude to the other people in the theater. Letting them run loose up and down the aisle and "talk" to the other people in the theater is just beyond words.

But bringing a 2.5-year-old to Sweeney Todd...that's just flat-out bad parenting. The R rating should have been a clue. Murder, cannibalism, child abuse, spurting blood and people being burned alive. Fun for the whole family!!!

And in case you're wondering, I didn't let the wandering go on for very long. Pretty much the second I noticed it I said, "whose child is this?" - knowing full well whose child it was, since there were less than 20 people in the theater - and they actually kept the kid pretty quiet for the rest of the movie.

And another thing...don't go to a movie adaptation of a Broadway musical - a sung-through Broadway musical at that - and complain about how there's too much music. And for the love of God, if you're going to complain, don't complain to the person who obviously enjoyed the movie, silently mouthing the words to the songs. Because if you were to say to that woman, "A little too much singing, huh?" - then she will reply, "No, actually. It's a Sondheim musical. What were you expecting?" and walk the f*ck away from your dumb ass.

I'll write a review of the movie itself when I get a little more time. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

while hallucinations of talking shovels danced in their heads

I have watched a LOT of Blue's Clues over the past couple of months. At first I was convinced that Steve was high as a kite and hallucinating - talking soap? A talking mailbox? A talking clock? ...I don't think I have to go on to list all of the characters. I don't know what Joe's deal is, but Steve was definitely high.

Then I added this DVD back into the rotation. (We bought it last year but Brandon wasn't really into Blues Clues at the time.) At first, the episode "Blue's First Holiday" seems pretty cool - everyone watches home movies made by Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper back in the day (when Steve was a little kid and Joe was a baby), that show how they all met Blue and how the game of Blue's Clues came about.

Then you realize that poor 7-year-old Steve is taking care of his baby brother all by himself and receiving "holiday" presents by mail. No wonder he talks to his side table drawer. You probably would too, if you'd had a childhood like that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the saga of the baby doll

I have been looking for a baby doll for Brandon. A basic, but decent quality, little boy baby doll so that Brandon can practice holding the baby, being gentle, etc. I had no idea it would be so difficult.

I looked at the Navy Exchange first. They had one single boy baby doll, and it was the kind with the freaky eyes that open and close, which are of course a choking hazard. All of the dolls that were appropriate for children under age 3 were dressed in pink and had definitely girly features.

I looked at Price Busters this morning. They had a couple that were decent enough, but they were $15 and I knew I had seen the same ones (or the girl versions thereof) at the Exchange for $10.

I went to the Air Force Exchange. Almost every single baby doll they had was dark-skinned. I don't mean dark dark-skinned (of which there was exactly one), I mean kind of light brown, like Native Hawaiian. Which would have made sense at the Navy Exchange, which is off base, and where 80% of the customers are unauthorized civilians whose friends and family sneak them in because they work there - so therefore, mostly Native Hawaiian. No, this was at the Air Force Exchange, which is actually on base. I can't explain it. Maybe they stock mostly light brown dolls at the Navy Exchange, too, but they all got bought up. I don't know. All I know is I wanted a light-skinned baby boy doll, because that is what I am having. The closest I was able to come was a gender-neutral Fisher-Price baby doll in a yellow duckie outfit...which was $15 as opposed to the non-name-brand baby dolls that were all $10 and come with accessories. This one came with nothing extra but it has pale-ish skin, dark hair, and big brown eyes.

It wasn't until I got home and looked at the receipt that I realized this is supposedly an "Asian" baby. Doesn't look at all Asian to me (round eyes and a skintone with no yellow undertones whatsoever) - but whatever. Figures that the only white baby boy isn't even supposed to be white.

Oh and Brandon's reaction? It scares the living bejeezus out of him. We're talking screaming, shaking, running away, the whole bit. I had to lock it in a closet. $15 well spent. I can only imagine what would've happened if I'd gotten the one with the freaky eyes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


When I had my 20-week ultrasound with Brandon, I remember still not being sure if I could feel him moving around or not. With this pregnancy, I could feel the baby moving at 14 weeks, which can totally be explained by the usual explanation of "you are more sensitive to the baby's movements the second time around, and you are more easily able to tell the difference between the baby moving and digestive sensations." But that explanation doesn't even come close to explaining why, at 19 weeks, I could feel him kicking from the outside (when I put my hand on my belly) or why, at 20 weeks, I could see him kicking - my belly is already moving.

I was convinced that Brandon was going to break one of my ribs by the time he was born. This little one is even stronger. Pray for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

beware of knitting patterns in blogs...

...because not everyone who posts patterns in their blogs knows what the heck they're doing. Granted, I say this as someone who hopes to eventually start posting patterns here, but I just knitted a hat for an adult that turned out approximately large enough for a toddler. I can't go into too much detail here, since it's a Christmas present, but upon unraveling about 30 rows (which sucks to do, let me tell you) I discovered that it wasn't the whole pattern that was to blame, it was just the last 30 rows that are completely illogical and not thought-through. So I have to re-write the end of the pattern myself and hope it turns out better. I don't have time for crap like this - it's December 5th and I only have about half of my gifts done. That'll teach me to find patterns by googling.

Incidentally, I do plan on posting pictures of all the things I've been knitting lately, after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

more about those silly lights

I found them! At Walmart out in Kunia. They are strings of 50, so naturally I bought 8 sets. Yup, that's eight strings of random twinkle lights. I'm probably only ever going to use 2 at a time, maybe 3 or 4, but I've been actively looking for them for 5 years (and been keeping my eyes open for them since I was, oh, about 10 years old and saw them in a department store holiday display) and I want to make sure that I always have a backup supply. Sure, I could've waited until the end of the season and gotten them on clearance...but who's to say that there still would've been any left?
So since I found them yesterday, and we decorated the tree on Sunday, it'll be one more year until I'm able to use them. But next year...oh, baby my tree will be awesome. ... And surrounded by a big plastic play yard fence. *shrug* Oh well.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

too lazy to think of a title

How about a bulleted list today?
  • I am having another boy. We know exactly what his name is but we're keeping it a secret. There has to be some element of surprise. He is big (meauring six days ahead and his little thighs are already chunky), very active (I can already feel him kicking from the outside), and he has Brian's nose. I figure that since Brandon has my nose but yet looks exactly like every picture I've ever seen of Brian as a toddler, maybe this one will actually look like me? Maybe?
  • I have spent the last five Christmas seasons searching for twinkle lights - the kind that randomly dim in and out. I have a very clear vision of what I want my Christmas tree to look like but I've never quite achieved it: multicolored globe lights of varying sizes, and white twinkle lights. Last year I found the lights I wanted on the Ace Hardware website, so I went to every single Ace Hardware on the island (okay, I admit it, except for the one way up in Haleiwa) and they all only had rope lights - and a pretty dismal selection of rope lights, at that. Eventually at the end of the season I finally found twinkle lights...somewhere, I can't remember where, probably Long's...on clearance, and I bought four sets. I was so super excited - I was finally going to have the tree of my dreams this year. We took them out of the box today and...they have a white cord. D'oh! Back to the drawing board. I was so upset that I immediately went out to Walmart. At 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. On December 1st. I must be a masochist. At least Brandon fell asleep in the car and slept through the whole trip - yay for the elusive two-year-old nap. Anyway, they had twinkle lights...with a green cord...and multicolor bulbs. Arrrrrrrggghh!!! I will go to one or two more stores tomorrow but if I don't find any, I'll have to order off of the internet and wait until next year to use them (because we are putting the ornaments up tomorrow and it will be too late to put up more lights). Rats.
  • I went to Burger King again on Thursday. We got home from music class at lunchtime. I was planning on heating up some leftovers in the microwave. The power was out. Usually we are warned in advance about power outages - they are building new housing units on the next block so the power is out often. So since the power was out, I couldn't use the microwave or the stove (since it is electric), so I put Brandon back in the car to go get something to eat. I wasn't particularly in the mood for any kind of fast food, but I knew that he would like some chicken nuggets and french fries, so Burger King it was.

    I decided to get the new spicy chicken sandwich one extra spicy chicken sandwich. I forgot to order them without mayo, that was my bad. I asked for a toddler toy with the Happy Meal, and they gave me the regular Spongebob toy with "not for children under 3" written on the packaging clear as day. Whatever, they only have 4 different toddler toys and we have at least one of each already anyway. By the time we got near home, Brandon was almost asleep (with a chicken nugget in his hand), so I decided to drive an extra little loop or two around the neighborhood until he fell asleep. I was starving, though, so I started eating french fries.

    Brandon's child-sized bag of fries was easier to find in the bag so I ate them (fully intending, of course, to give him half of my fries once he woke up at home). After I finished his fries, I searched through the bag to find my fries and - lo and behold - they were not there. I checked the receipt. Yup, there it was, "Med. Fries". I had paid for them. I looked at the two tiny spicy chicken sandwiches, listened to my stomach growl, and knew that there was no way those two sandwiches would ever be enough. I decided to go back.

    Now when I first went through the drive through, it was noon, which means that I waited in line for at least 10 minutes. It was now 12:30 and I knew that I would have to wait again, but I didn't even care. It was the principle of the thing. I was starving and I paid for fries, and dammit, I was going to get my fries!! I imagined all kinds of ways that they could give me a hard time and rehearsed my responses to all of them. "No, I cannot come inside, I have a baby asleep in the backseat and I am NOT going to wake him up and make him miss his nap because you can't do your job."

    I drove back to the base, waited at the gate again, showed my ID, drove to BK, waited in line for another 10 minutes, and finally got back to the speaker thing. It just so happened that the manager was out there at that very moment, fixing something. "I was here a little while ago," I said, "and I ordered a medium fry that you didn't give me." "We'll take care of that for you, ma'am," the manager said. He leaned into the speaker. "Make it a large." Not bad. But they still suck.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

it's on

WTF is up with Photobucket? I am getting tired of my flower and my title not showing up. I'm going to kick Photobucket's ass.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Everything in my house is falling apart at the same time. The major complaints that I called maintenance with last week included no hot water and that the ice maker stopped working. They fixed the hot water heater right away, and they're coming on Tuesday to fix the rest of the list (because there was more, much more). And now...the oven stopped working. In the middle of the night it started beeping erratically and now it's not heating up. It's warm...ish, but I wouldn't call it hot. The top heating element is heating up, but not the bottom one.

I have birthday cakes to bake today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I loooooooove Thanksgiving...

I like getting started on my Thanksgiving cooking early, not just because it makes my life easier on Thursday, but because the house smells festive for several days. Last night I had pumpkin pies in the oven (the recipe makes two so I now have one in the fridge and one in the freezer), and cranberry sauce cooking on the stove, and I also started simmering the marinade that we'll be injecting into the turkey. The pumpkin and cinnamon, the cranberries and orange, the chicken broth and all blended together and made it smell like Thanksgiving. On Monday night. Suh-weet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

bulk it up, baby

I think that a lot of people know that you get a better deal on things like grains and legumes and nuts when you buy from bulk bins, but my particular natural foods store has spices and seasonings in bulk as well, and I wonder if people know how much money you can save on that stuff. I refilled my bottle of Italian Seasoning for 27 cents today. You know I would've spent at least 6 times that if I'd bought a bottle at the grocery store. I also spent $3.54 on two vanilla beans, and I know I could get a much better deal per bean from certain internet vendors, but I would have to buy like 16 of them and pay for shipping, so on the whole, $1.77 each actually seems like a pretty good deal to me.

And they had natural maple flavoring. I'd never seen that before. Of course I had to get it. It was the only thing I got today that wasn't on my list. I was very proud of myself.

Friday, November 16, 2007

my way? not quite.

Today we went to a Navy Big Band concert down in Waikiki, so it was written into this week's dinner plan that we would get fast food for dinner on the way home tonight. It was 6:00 by the time we got near home (we usually eat by 5). I pass Taco Bell, Jack's and McDonald's about 4 blocks from my house, but I decided that I wanted a spicy chicken Tendercrisp, so I went out of my way to go to Burger King. I went to the drive through and placed my order, and the woman told me that they don't have the spicy sauce anymore. I literally said, "Are you kidding me???" You don't fuck with a pregnant woman's cravings. Especially when it's an hour past her usual dinner time.

"We have a new spicy chicken sandwich. Would you like to try that?" I paused to consider. I could get a regular Tendercrisp with no mayo (the reason I started getting it spicy in the first place was because it was easier than ordering it with no mayo), but then it wouldn't be spicy. I could get the new one, but then the chicken itself would be spicy instead of the sauce - and that was the whole reason behind the brilliance of the Spicy Tendercrisp: regular, crispy chicken; tons of creamy, spicy sauce. What I really wanted to do was just leave and go somewhere else, but it was getting late. So I ordered the new one.

What the woman didn't tell me is that the new spicy chicken sandwich is HALF THE SIZE of a Tendercrisp. I'm not exaggerating. Half the size. If even that big. I was still so hungry after I ate it that I ate all of my fries, which NEVER happens. AND I'M STILL HUNGRY. This from the reflux-y pregnant chick who just discussed with one of my doctors yesterday how my appetite is completely gone and I only gained a pound and a half between 11 and 15 weeks. I'm still frickin' starving. That was fast-food money well spent.

Also. The damn thing had mayo on it. GRRRRRRRAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH. I wiped it off, which of course necessitated removing the lettuce as well. So I was left with a tiny piece of barely spicy (although crispy, I'll give them that) chicken on a small bun - because thats all that was on it, lettuce and mayo. No tomato.

So, congratulations, Burger King. You went from having the hands-down best and most unique spicy chicken sandwich out there to having a spicy chicken sandwich that tastes exactly like everyone else's. Bravo!!

hate me if you want, I don't care, it's just how I feel

It breaks my heart when I see a newborn - like a brand-new, one-day-old newborn, being fed with a bottle. Because that means that the mother didn't even try to breastfeed. I'm honestly not being judgemental here, I just can't understand it. In my head, I can manage to rationalize it with some effort, but in my heart...I just can't understand it. I know that some women are just not comfortable with the idea of it, and that is totally up to them, I'm not going to tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing with your body or your children, I really mean that - but it makes me so sad that our society has gotten to the point that there are women who are uncomfortable with letting their bodies do what they're meant (by God and nature) to do. I feel the same way about elective c-sections and inductions planned for convenience (which includes, IMO, being "overdue"). I'm sure that everyone who does it has all kinds of reasons, and I'm sure that many of them could be argued to be valid reasons, but it still just makes me sad.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

one of those moms

I am planning Brandon's 2nd birthday party. It is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

I get really into party planning. I mean, I go overboard every single year for Thanksgiving dinner, and we usually don't even have any guests. I just enjoy the planning, maybe even more than I enjoy the execution of those plans.

Anyway, I've realized that I'm becoming one of those moms who goes maybe a little overboard with the birthday parties. Not the kind of overboard where you rent a hall or hire 4 clowns and a petting zoo, or spend hundreds of dollars on food, but the kind of overboard where all or most of the food goes with the theme and you make your own decorations because the store-bought ones just aren't enough. And it occurs to me that perhaps it might come across to some people as a bit competitive. Like, "my kid's birthday party is better than YOUR kid's birthday party!"

But I have to say that, for me at least, I do it because I honestly enjoy it. I'm not trying to prove anything by baking cakes from scratch and making real lemonade (not from a mix) - I just really like doing it. And I make the invitations and the thank you cards myself because it's a great excuse for me to geek out and spend an evening with Photoshop, the way I used to when I was in college and would stay up all night on the computer doing nothing in particular, just for fun.

At any rate, this is the invitation for Brandon's party this year. I made it using this tutorial which I stumbled across while trying to find a high-res picture from the movie to Photoshop Brandon into. (Click to view it enlarged. There's some blank space in the middle because I left out the details like our address, phone number and last name, for what should be obvious reasons!)

The background picture is behind the hotel where we stayed in Kauai last summer. Brian is a 1978 Monte Carlo, and he insisted that I had to be a Delorian, because I was born in 1980, and "nothing says 80's like a Delorian". Brandon is a Mini Cooper.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

cranberry sauce

This week I decided to try out a tweak to my cranberry sauce recipe. (I can't be experimenting on Thanksgiving, that's just crazy.) Anyway, last year I made homemade cranberry sauce for the first time, and it was delicious, but as Brian pointed out, not gelatinous enough. So for Christmas we went back to canned, and all I could taste was the metal. It's amazing how having it homemade JUST ONCE totally ruined my favorite Thanksgiving food for me. It has to be homemade now. But what about the gelatinousness?

I think that some people solve the problem by throwing in some apple, apparently the pectin helps to thicken the sauce. I, however, tried something different: I used agar. Gelatin would probably work, too, but agar is what I have. (Yes, I just happen to have dehydrated gelatinous seaweed in my pantry.) As an added benefit, agar is vegan, for those of you with stronger willpower and different metabolisms than mine and my family's. (For the record, I don't eat anything with four legs [although Brian does], but poultry, seafood, dairy,'s all fair game. HAHA, game.)

Anyway, what I did this week was to add one tablespoon of agar to the my cranberry sauce about halfway through its simmering time. (I use the "basic" recipe that was in last November's Bon Appetit - it adds a pinch of kosher salt and some orange peel [or orange extract in my case - 1 1/8 tsp] to the standard bag of cranberries, cup of water, cup of sugar.) One tablespoon was definitely enough to thicken it up a bit, but I think I might increase it to 1 2/3 tablespoons, which is equal to...anyone? anyone? 5 teaspoons.

If you prefer jellied cranberry sauce, here is what I came up with a while back: cranberry juice (I prefer the kind that's sweetened by mixing it with other juices, as opposed to high fructose corn syrup, but hey, whatever floats your boat) and agar (the ratio is one tablespoon per cup of liquid), with some other pureed fruit mixed in to thicken it up and keep it from becoming straight up cranberry jello. I only made this recipe once, because I used apple and cherry and Brandon's hands, feet and lips turned blue. (They tell me it wasn't an allergic reaction but still, I'm not about to try that again!) But anyway I seem to remember it turning out pretty good.

So that's my take on cranberry sauce. I hope it helps somebody out this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

at least they had MSNBC on in the OB waiting room

Today I thought to myself, "the only thing worse than having to wait in the pharmacy waiting room for 20 minutes is being forced to watch Fox News while doing so." I mean, Sean Hannity was saying things like, "These people want to take God out of everything. They want to take 'In God we Trust' off of the coins, they want to take 'under God' out of the Pledge of Allegiance...I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to change the Declaration of Independence."

Wait a minute...what? Who said anything about the Declaration? I mean, other than you? Don't be absurd! The Declaration of Independence is an historical document. It would be downright stupidity to want to change it. The Pledge of Allegiance on the other hand? Not an historical document. And even if you think that it is so historically important that it should not be changed, then by your own logic, "under God" should definitely be taken out because it was added in just over 50 years ago! Look it up, people!

Anyway. I was wrong. There is something worse than being forced to watch Fox News while waiting for your prilosec: sitting next to somebody vociferously agreeing with Sean Hannity, to nobody in particular, as if he expects everyone in the room to cheer. "You know what, if you don't like having God in this country, you can just go somewhere else!"

Way to miss the point of religious freedom, jackass.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

remember how...

...the previews for Chicago and Rent made me so excited that I cried? I managed to control myself this time, but just barely.

Sweeney Todd Preview

Saturday, October 27, 2007

jaw dropping here...

I just went to and this was recommended for me on my home page:

They made a movie of Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp????? With Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter? And Sacha Baron Cohen? Directed by Tim Burton? How the hell did I not know about this????? This is going to be the greatest movie EVER. The best part? I bet Brian will actually come see it with me, gladly. I mean, it's a Tim Burton movie, after all.

But again...why was I not told about this??? See what happens when I live on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? I'm completely and totally out of the loop.

ETA: More things I was not told and just discovered on Raul Esparza (who I love) starred in a revival of Company (which I am fond of), and Spring Awakening was composed by Duncan Sheik (whose little sister I lived with in the dorm). I should have my Theater Person card taken away for not knowing these things.

Zoom Zoom Zoom!

We picked up the car at the body shop on Wednesday. All of a sudden it all made sense - why it took two months for them to fix our car, why they expected us to come in immediately at our "scheduled" pickup time (not that we had any say in when that time was). The place is HUGE. I mean, truly enormous. Cars and people everywhere, and the smallest, worst-planned-out parking lot I've ever seen. You'd think it was the only body shop in the state.

Anyway, Brian went to the Mazda dealer, worked his magic, used the force, and got them to pay off the rest of the loan. And now I have a pretty black Mazda 5 with a moonroof and a kickass stereo. I've never had a car stereo that could be controlled through buttons on the steering wheel before. I've also never had a remote keyless entry system or an ignition key that pops out of the remote like a jackknife. Kickass.

Brandon is IN LOVE with this car. I took him for a drive yesterday afternoon and he was so sleepy but really fighting off the nap because he was so excited about the car. He loves being up high enough to actually see things out the window. For all of the times we've driven over the mountains, I don't think he's ever actually seen Kaneohe Bay from the H-3. (And it is a beautiful view, let me tell you.) Anyway he finally dropped off right as we got off of the highway in Kailua, so I turned around to go home and put him in his bed. He woke up instantly when I turned off the engine in our driveway, of course. When I lifted him out of the seat and stood him in the driveway, he cried and clung to the seat. He loves this car.

I love it too, by the way. It stops when I put my foot on the brake, first of all. And it's zippy and pretty.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

turnabout is fair play

For almost two months now, the body shop has been giving us vague answers about when our car would be ready. The past two weeks or so have been particularly frustrating. "Sometime next week. Maybe Friday." "Next week. Tuesday at the earliest."

They left me a message this morning while I was teaching to let me know it would be ready for pickup at 2pm today. Well, it just so happens that Brian has a gig tonight and had to be at work at 1, and he will not be home until late tonight.

So after 2 months of indefinite "maybes", all of sudden they are quite precise. They called me at 2:10pm. "Your car is ready. We left you a message." Subtext: why weren't you here 10 minutes ago? Quite amusing, really.

"We won't be able to come get it until tomorrow," I said. (Which Brian already told them yesterday.) She asked me what time. I honestly don't know, so I told her that. "I really couldn't tell you," I said. "Maybe in the afternoon."

It wasn't until I hung up that I even realized that I just did to them what they've been doing to me for the last two weeks. It was brilliant and delicious and it made me laugh an evil laugh.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

go sesame street! - there's no school like the old school

Incidentally, I am proud to say that I nursed my son for 22 months.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

dream on

Pregnancy has a tendency to bring vivid dreams, and you tend to remember them more than usual. Last night my dreams included:
  • a car chase with children in the car
  • handbells
  • memories of the lame music teacher at my elementary school when I was in 1st grade
  • a computer animated movie about mice getting on a ship (I frequently have movie dreams this pregnancy - not that I dream I'm watching a movie, but the movie is the dream. It's never real movies, it's ones that I make up.)
  • one of the moms in the playgroup we go to on Wednesdays called to tell me that they were coming to my house the next day. DH answered the phone and didn't tell me about it until we were falling asleep, and reminded me that I had to make some artichoke dip. Which is weird, because I have never even eaten artichoke dip, let alone made it. I make guacamole; as a matter of fact, I am known for it. The family of the woman who called in the dream is especially fond of my guacamole.
Well that was last night. I am looking forward to going to sleep again tonight so I can have more wacky dreams!

Friday, October 5, 2007

can someone explain this chain mail to me?

I really doubt it because it doesn't make sense.

A lame "poem" that tries way too hard to be "touching" about a girl dying in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. Then a "petition" to sign with instructions that when it reaches 5000 signatures to send it back to MADD so they can send it to the President.

What? Why? What exactly are they trying to accomplish by sending an anti-drunk-driving petition to the White House? A law that makes drunk driving illegal? Oh, wait...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

going bananas

Call me crazy, but Jello Instant Pudding, banana flavor, tastes like amoxicillin to me. You know, the medicine that tastes like bubble gum.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

knocked up

In case you can't tell from the fetus floating around in my sidebar, I am pregnant.

For a while I thought my due date was 4-20, and that was so funny, but I forgot that next year is a leap year so it's actually 4-19. Not that due dates mean anything anyway. Brandon came at 37wks, 5days.

I wrote four "secret" entries over the past few weeks that I saved instead of publishing. They are published now so you can go back and read them if you want to. The are named...wait for it...Secret Entry #1-4. (They are all tagged with the topic "pregnancy", btw.) I think three of them are about food.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What kind of car does Minnie Mouse drive?

I haven't been writing much lately. Sorry about that. There's been a lot going on and unfortunately the blog is the first thing to go when I just don't have time.

Today we went to the Mazda dealer (we have an "in" there) and I test-drove a CX-9 and a Mazda 5 (mini-minivan). The CX-9 was easier to drive than I thought it would be but I'm just not comfortable driving large vehicles. The 5, on the other looks like a minivan in pictures, and it is, but it's small and zippy and has a crazy tight turning radius. I felt so comfortable driving it. And it has sliding doors and 3rd-row seating! Cramped 3rd row seating, to be sure, but it's there when we need it, which will be rarely. Mostly it will be folded down for the cargo space. We will be able to have people in the car along with the carseats, or we will be able to buy furniture and bring it home ourselves. Neither of which are things we can do now.

I am excited. Zoom zoom!

Just waiting on the body shop to give us back the Ford so we can trade it in...

(btw, the answer to the question posed in the title of this entry is...A MINIVAN. HAHAHAHAHAHA.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Secret Entry #4

Just a minute ago, out of absolutely nowhere, I had the sudden, overwhelming feeling that I had to eat a Peppermint Pattie right now, or I would surely die.

Of course I don't keep Peppermint Patties in my house, because they're not something I usually eat. I do however have peanut butter M&M's, which is what I'm eating. It's just not the same.

On the other that I think about it...I do believe I have some homemade peppermint patty filling in my freezer left over from my last candy-making project. I defrost it in the fridge and wait until later, or do I pop it in the microwave and eat it NOW? Decisions, decisions...

Monday, September 10, 2007


This baby is not properly buckled into this carseat. The chest clip should be at the level of the armpits.

Is it any wonder that people don't strap their children in properly? When it's demonstrated wrong in advertisements everywhere?

I did some searching for instructions or pictures or SOMETHING for this particular carseat just to make sure that I'm not totally wrong, since I've never owned a Graco, after all - I couldn't find any instructions for the Snugride, so I'm basing my proclamation on the instructions for every other carseat I ever HAVE seen the instructions for. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

vehicular musings

I learned something recently. The reason why so many people in Hawaii drive scooters and mopeds isn't just because they're cheap, or because the gas is cheap, it's also because they don't have to be insured.

This scares me immensely.

The way a lot of these people drive is frightening in and of itself. But knowing that these zooming road hazards aren't even's enough to make me never want to drive again. For instance, today I saw a guy on a scooter, no helmet (naturally), speeding, smoking a cigarette AND talking on a cell phone. How exactly do you steer a scooter with one hand? And what happens when he has to ash his cigarette?

I have been driving around for the past two weeks seeing potential accidents everywhere. Because, you see, two weeks ago, I was in an accident. I was on the highway, the person in front of me stopped short, and I couldn't stop in time. I don't remember seeing anything, I don't remember reacting, I just remember all of a sudden the vehicle in front of me had stopped and I went to put my foot on the brake, but it was already there. For a while I wondered if I had blacked out, or if I just wasn't paying attention, but I know that that wasn't the case. I had my iPod hooked up to the car stereo through the cigarette lighter, so when my engine stopped a few seconds after the impact, my iPod shut off, too. So I was able to back it up and listen to the music that was playing in the seconds leading up to the crash, and here's the weird part - I remember hearing that music. I even remember specifically that I was looking at the bumper of the car in front of me! But I don't remember reacting to the fact that they had stopped short. Weirdness.

Well anyway, they're fixing my car; it's mostly body work and the radiator and parts of the AC need to be replaced. I don't know how much the value of the car is going to go down and I don't know how much my insurance rates are going to go up. We shall see, I guess.

And here's a little tidbit that I never knew: if you're in a crash, and the impact misses your bumper (if, for instance, you're in a car and you hit a minivan/SUV that is much higher than yours, and your bumper goes under their bumper) - your airbags will not deploy, because the sensor for the airbags is in the bumper. Good to know.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Secret Entry #3

Today I ate a Power Bar before I got out of bed, and then I ate two (cold) Ring Dings for breakfast. (Creme-filled snack cakes MUST be cold - right out of the fridge. That is non-negotiable for me. It always has been.)
A couple of hours after my nutritious breakfast, I took Brandon to the Aquarium. I knew that I would be hungry but for some reason I thought there was a snack bar there. There is not. I didn't even see a candy machine. Brandon had his box of raisins, and his teething biscuit (which I call a "cookie" now), and his juice and his milk. I had...water.
We left around 11:30. The whole way home I was trying to figure out what I was going to eat for lunch when we got home. The only things that were coming to mind were things that I absolutely have no access to. That's the way it's been so far with this pregnancy. Other than pickles (which also MUST be cold), and cheese quesadillas from Taco Bell for a couple of days very early on, I have been craving:
  • bourbon chicken - the "cajun" place at Ala Moana closed months ago.
  • chicken fingers from Raising Cain's - a chicken place in Louisiana
  • the ahi burger I got at the Fish Hut in Kapa'a, Kaua'i - that thing was to die for. I have also craved their fried scallops.
  • shrimp fajitas from ChiChis - a mexican restaurant we used to go to when I was a kid. Not only was it in New York, it closed at least 15 years ago (although the company still manufactures salsa)
  • shrimp fried rice from the Chinese restaurant on my corner in Philly - closed at least 5 years ago
  • shrimp tempura rolls from the sushi place we used to go to in New Orleans. Shrimp tempura rolls rock because they are crispy tempura-battered fried shrimp, rolled in chewy rice; and this one particular place drizzled a heavenly delicious creamy sauce over the top. So not only delicious, but crispy, chewy and creamy all at once. This is the craving that has been absolutely killing me for the past two days.
I ended up having potato & cheddar pierogies with tomato sauce, a childhood favorite of mine. It was good, and it feels great to have eaten something substantial...but I still want those tempura rolls, dammit.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I want this for my birthday. I have reached the 200 photo limit.

are you kidding me?

Higglytown Heroes today...holy crap. Made me absolutely crazy.

They went to the pool. Fran told them they couldn't go in the water because their parents weren't there and it's not safe to go swimming without an adult there to watch you. So they called for "someone special". I saw where this was going and I didn't like it one bit. What Higglytown Hero do you think showed up? A lifeguard, naturally.

Now, why would this bother me? You shouldn't go swimming without a lifeguard on duty, right? Right, but there's more to it than that. The lifeguard literally sang the line, "when your parents aren't around, I will keep you safe and sound!"

First of all, this implies that if your parents are around, you don't need a lifeguard. Most parents aren't trained in rescue techniques, first aid, and CPR.

Second, lifeguards are not a substitute for parental supervision. I used to work at a pool. We had a HUGE problem with parents just dropping kids off and leaving. Lifeguards are not babysitters! They are there to make sure nobody drowns. Period. The pool is not daycare. Playhouse Disney should be ashamed of themselves for sending this message to kids, and more importantly, to their parents!

I remember one occasion when a preschooler was rescued from the deep end. The mother had left her in the baby pool, completely unattended, and she had wandered over to the deep end and jumped in. First of all - it is VERY possible to drown in the baby pool! Second...hello? If her mother had been watching her, she wouldn't have jumped in the deep end! Yes, the lifeguards saved her. But come on, now!

Again: Lifeguards are not babysitters. The pool is not daycare. Lifeguards are there to keep people from drowning, and that is ALL. Parents MUST supervise their children when in or around water.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

that's why they make them non-toxic

Brandon just walked over to me and held up his hands. They were covered with something black. My first thought was that he had gotten a hold of a Sharpie or something.
"What did you do??" I asked him.
Then I noticed that his face had black all over it, too.
"What did you do?"
Then he spit out a chewed-up black crayon. Fabulous.

total eclipse of a different kind

I totally wanted to see the eclipse last night. I set my alarm to wake me up 5 minutes before the peak, dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my camera, went outside...and it was cloudy. Couldn't see a darn thing.

Monday, August 27, 2007

this kind of thing is my bag, baby, yeah!

Okay, so Tara tagged me with the meme "what's in your bag?", like, FOREVER ago. I sat down and wrote the entry right away, but I was too lazy to take a picture and I didn't want to post this without a picture, but you know what? I'm going to just go ahead and post it. Without a picture. Because it's been way too long since I've posted something.

My diaper bag is actually a purple corduroy messenger bag that I got on clearance from the children's department at Old Navy, for about $3. At the time I meant to use it as a knitting bag, but it kind of evolved into a diaper bag.

The things that I always throw into my bag before I leave my house:
  • camera
  • cell phone
  • wallet
  • keys
  • 20 oz Rubbermaid sippy straw bottle full of water (for me)
  • 10 oz Gerber color-change sippy cup full of soymilk
  • 7 oz Gerber color-change sippy cup or 10 oz Take & Toss sippy cup with diluted juice (usually white grape)
  • a Take & Toss snack cup of goldfish crackers and/or a Sassy snack cup of grapes
  • a box of raisins
Attached to my keychain:
  • Purell
  • a fuschia Sharpie mini
  • green Chicco bag (reusable nylon shopping bag that folds into a little pouch and attaches to a keychain)
If I am on my way to teach music class I also grab:
  • my iPod
  • a Power Bar (caramel peanut fusion)
If I think I might be stopping at Jamba juice at some point, I also grab an empty 10 oz Take & Toss cup, possibly an insulated one, with a straw lid. (It is very easy for a toddler to poke a hole in a styrofoam cup with their thumb.)

The stuff that has accumulated in my bag:
  • half a box of Sunmaid organic raisins
  • two individually wrapped Wet Ones wipes
  • A Chimes ginger/mint chew
  • A box of regular Sunmaid raisins
  • a small plastic Lightning McQueen
  • a ticket stub from the Pineapple Express (the train ride at the Dole Plantation)
  • my coupon organizer
  • a handful of Jamba Juice napkins
  • a Sushiman menu
  • a bottle of Germ-X hand sanitizer
  • 3 teething biscuits
  • a box of 4 crayons from a restaurant somewhere (most likely IHOP)
  • a cup of mandarin oranges
  • a receipt from Ben Franklin Crafts
  • a wallet photo holder
  • honey-roasted peanuts from Southwest Airlines
  • a vinyl bib
  • a plastic utensil holder with 3 Take & Toss toddler forks
  • a folding changing kit with a wet bag, a pack of CVS brand flushable toddler wipes and 3 disposable diapers
  • a Fisher-Price Doodle Pro
  • a box of Del Monte raisins
  • an "emergency kit" with bandaids, a baby-sized nail file, a nasal aspirator, teething tablets, Baby Orajel, Neosporin, baby Triaminic strips, children's Benadryl fast melt tablets, children's Tylenol meltaways (I stocked my kit with non-liquid meds for our plane ride in June), a pack of Wet Ones, Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment and a Burt's Bees bug bite relief stick.
  • a Burt's Bees lip shimmer in Rhubarb
  • two loose crayons - yellow and orange (probably from Chili's)
No wonder the strap is ripping off! (Did you notice the two and a half boxes of raisins? Maybe I don't need to grab a new one every time I leave the house!)

In my little suede purse that I bring with me when I go out by myself (and to the park in the evenings when I don't have to bring the whole diaper bag), is a travel-sized bottle of California Baby citronella bug spray, and a handful of loose change on the bottom. Just this morning [as of when I wrote this originally - on 8/18] I emptied out all of the random receipts that were thrown into it; there were 3 bank deposit slips, a handful of Jamba Juice receipts and a handful of receipts from Long's (the drugstore) - both of these are places where I walk with Brandon in the stroller (with the changing kit, emergency kit, DoodlePro and my purse thrown in the basket underneath - along with snacks, drinks, and an empty Take & Toss straw cup).

And that's what's in my bag.

I don't know who to tag. As far as I know, nobody reads this except my mom. And Tara. Anyone want to be tagged?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Secret Entry #2

Morning sickness + killer cold from hell = NOT FUN

On a different topic, if you happen to know that someone is trying to become pregnant, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T ASK IF THEY ARE YET. First of all, if they're having trouble becoming pregnant, your questioning is just reminding them of their troubles and making them feel like shit. If they ARE pregnant, maybe they have a special way of announcing it planned. Maybe they're just not ready to tell yet. If they've had a previous early miscarriage, it is ESPECIALLY inappropriate for you to ask because they most likely are waiting to get past the point where they lost their previous pregnancy - and until they get to that point, they are having a lot of anxiety and possibly just don't want to think about it.

In any case, if they ARE pregnant, you just put them in a very difficult situation. Either you are forcing them to tell you before they are ready (because if they wanted you to know, they would have told you already), or you are forcing them to lie. Nice work.

And for all the TTC'ers out there...this is why you shouldn't ever tell anyone - EVER - that you are trying to become pregnant. Ever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Secret Entry #1

You know how you spend more money on groceries when you go shopping hungry? Inversely, you spend less on groceries when you go shopping so nauseous that you can't imagine eating anything ever again.
Morning sickness sucks. The worst part about it is that it gets worse the lower your blood sugar is. So if you wake up feeling like crap because, say, your 20-month-old is teething and kept you up all night, and you don't feel like eating breakfast, it just spirals. You choke down a Power Bar for breakfast because you know that you have to eat something, and then you force yourself to drink a smoothie a couple of hours later, and eat half a serving of pasta salad for lunch (only half a serving because you just drank a smoothie)...and by late afternoon your blood sugar is so low and your stomach is so empty that you can hardly see straight from the nausea. And you know that to feel better, you have to eat something. But you just can't.
But on the upside, I spent about $30 less on groceries than I usually do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

yeah, probably just dumbing it down

Let me clear something up. Folate is naturally occurring. Folic acid is a synthesized version of folate. They are absorbed differently by the body, and not exactly the same thing. So when I see a package of spinach that says it's high in folic acid, it confuses me. Do they add folic acid to the spinach, which already contains a high concentration of folate? Or are they just dumbing it down?

people are self-centered, part 347

When I first started taking yoga classes, it was in college...for credit. On the first day of class, we were handed a syllabus and a list of class rules. So basic yoga etiquette comes more naturally to me than many asanas. Which is why it bothers the hell out of me when somebody comes to yoga class wearing a strongly scented body lotion. You just don't do that. You never know who is going to be bothered by it. Everyone around you is trying to maintain a deep level of inward focus by breathing deeply through their noses! I barely made it through the class. Ugggh.

Monday, August 6, 2007

there is no escaping the "Ka-Chow!"

So Brandon's favorite movie is Cars. We watch it every. Single. Day. He's upstairs in his room right now...I don't know if he's still napping but he's quiet. The point is, we're actually getting to flip through the channels and watch nothing in particular. In the past 15 minutes we have come across a PSA for buckling your seatbelt, featuring clips from...Cars. And then we flipped past Shop MSN, where they were selling flatscreen TV's. And what were they showing on those TV's? You guessed it...Cars.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pack Date

Pack Date
Originally uploaded by LavenderLily.

Remember the post I wrote about how I bought expired Instant Breakfast at the Commissary? You can almost understand how it might happen with things that sit on the shelf like that. But dairy, eggs...don't they re-stock this stuff daily? Or at least weekly? So how did it happen that on July 24, there were eggs on the shelf that were packed on May 29? How does that go unnoticed?

And I think it's just great, by the way, that I took this picture the very same day that I was complaining about how they keep expired food on the shelf. Brilliant.

Saturday is MARKET DAY!!!

I just got back from the People's Open Market. I've been going for a few weeks now. I love getting fresh, local produce - for less than I would spend at the store. Today I spent $21.40 (including the dime I put in the parking meter) and I got:
  • a bag of onions
  • a large bunch of green onions
  • a bag of several ginger roots
  • 5 ears of corn
  • a Thai watermelon
  • a cantelope
  • a bag of mushrooms
  • a very large bunch of ladyfinger bananas
  • two avocados
  • a bag of snap peas
  • a red bell pepper
I would have gotten more, but I ran out of money. You can also get cut flowers; orchid plants; fresh shrimp, crabs, and fish; lots of different varieties of lettuce and occasionally some herbs as well; and of course, tons of different fruits and vegetables. Pineapples were only $2 today and they looked delicious. I wish I'd still had $2 left when I found them! Then again, I got two melons so I probably don't need a pineapple, too.

Anyway. I love going there. Love it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

more complaining! hooray!

Those mofos at Jamba Juice overhauled their menu. Specifically, they changed my favorite smoothie and got rid of the boost I've been getting.

The Acai Supercharger now is now called the Acai Super-Antioxidant. It includes their new Antioxidant Power Boost. It might cost more, I don't know. Probably. And acai is already rich in antioxidants. There is such a thing as too many vitamins, you know. Vitamin A in particular. I am paranoid about these things. I have my reasons to be concerned.

And they got rid of the Femme boost. It had calcium, fiber, iron and folic acid. I asked today if they got rid of it, since it was no longer posted on the board, and the girl told me that they replaced it with the Calcium boost - "so that men can get it, too."

Are you f*cking kidding me? Like it used to contain estrogen and progesterone or something? Calcium, fiber, iron and folic acid are good for everyone!!! As a matter of fact, I usually shared my femme-boosted smoothies with my (male) toddler. If they're so concerned about cross-gender marketability, they could have just changed the name.

So now I can get a calcium boost. Or I can get a fiber boost. Or I could pay extra to get both. But what about the iron and the folic acid? That's why I was getting it in the first place!


Friday, August 3, 2007

I am SO cancelling my Old Navy card

I tried to pay my bill online. I couldn't access my account online, because apparently, according to them, I don't know my mother's maiden name. Some data entry clerk made a typo and it f*cked up my whole evening.

And the voice recognition system on their 1-800 number? The single most infuriating, aggravating, mind-numbingly asinine phone system I have ever dealt with. Seriously. Make me listen to a 2-minute-long summary of my account before you even present my options, then don't give me an option to talk to a real person, then misunderstand every damn thing I say. And this is customer service? Honestly.

It's so not worth the 2.5% kickbacks. The quality of their clothes has gone way downhill anyway. Those mofos can bite me. I buy my tank tops at Lady Footlocker now.

pest control

Centipedes are hard to kill. You smash them and smash them and they keep on moving. I've actually been told that the only way to kill them is by picking them up and cutting them in half with a pair of scissors! Now, I'm too squeamish to even smash them, so obviously picking one up and cutting it in half is out of the question.

But you know what? It's really not that difficult after all. A while back, Brian told me what to do, and I just did it, and it works. Really well. Dish soap. Squirt it with dish soap. It gets smothered and dies very quickly. Then you can pick it up with 8 layers of paper towel and flush it down the toilet.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

click the link or die

I'm guest posting today at ...and the pursuit of happiness. Check it out, mofos.

more proof I'm an idiot.

So, it turns out, I don't have a demonic serial-killer neon tetra. I actually killed all of my fish, by being a moron. Actually let me put some of the blame on the "detailed instructions" that came with our fishtank kit. But here's what went wrong, as near as I can tell:
  1. We didn't cycle it. Apparently you're supposed to do a 15% water change every 3 days for the first 8 weeks! I had no idea. I haven't had a community tank since I was a little kid, and as we learned in my previous entry, water quality is not an issue with Convict Cichlids - so it never came up with Holly.
  2. You shouldn't put goldfish in a tropical tank. I think I knew this, but for some reason I did it anyway. You shouldn't even use feeder fish (which are cheap, generally poorly-cared-for goldfish) to start off a tropical tank. Who knew.
  3. I added too many fish at a time, way too soon.
  4. I think the goldfish may have had fin rot, and infected the whole tank.
So I'm off to get a testing kit (I already got a pH testing kit, and the water is very alkaline - I put in some drops to lower the pH, hopefully that will help a bit, at least temporarily). One of the guppies is actually showing signs of ammonia poisoning (resting at the bottom of the tank) - so first things first I'm going to do a water change, then treat for fin rot, then start the cycling process over again - actually testing the levels and changing the water this time.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

my poor fishies

My fish are dying. At first it was one by one, now it's several at a time. We just set up our aquarium a week ago, so at first we thought there was something wrong the the pH, or something. Then we noticed that all of the fish that were dying had missing tails. They drift for quite a while before they finally actually die. It's really sad. When I talked to my mom on the phone the day before yesterday, I had 12 fish. Now I have 4.

By process of elimination, based on which fish we got when, and which ones are left, it's a neon tetra that's killing all the rest of the fish. This is truly bizarre, because neon tetras are very peaceful fish. According to Wikipedia: "They tend to be timid and, because of their small size, should not be kept with large or aggressive fish who may bully or simply eat them." And here's one of them, being the bully. A fish who "should be kept with at least six other (preferably ten others) of their kind, as they are considered 'school fish'," killing four of his own kind. (And four feeders. And a fantail goldfish. And two zebra danios. God help him if he goes after my guppies.) A freakin' neon tetra, for Pete's sake.

Unless it's the ghost of Hardcore Holly.

See, we used to have a Convict Cichlid named Hardcore Holly. We didn't name him that; we were the third family who had him. He was a Navy orphan fish; whenever his owners transferred, so would he - to another family. He must have been five or six years old by the time we got him.

Here's what Tim's Tropicals has to say about Convict Cichlids:
"Convict Cichlids are among the most aggressive cichlids, both toward fish and toward anything else in the tank. They should be kept either alone or in groups of at least four. They will rearrange any decorations and plants in the tank. Water quality is not an issue for them. They will eat almost anything, including cichlid pellets, freeze-dried blood worms, flake foods, brine shrimp and small live fish."

Holly was crazy. He ate smaller fish; that was a given. That's just the circle of life. But he didn't just eat them. He played with his food. I remember one particularly plucky feeder fish who, apparently, wasn't about to just give up and be eaten; rather than trying to swim away and hide, he decided that a good offense was the best defense. He started attacking Holly. And Holly let him, for a little while. And then Holly bit him in half. He didn't even eat the front half; he just let it float away. As a warning to the other fish, I guess.

He tolerated algae eaters, but only as long as they did their job. If they got lazy, or if they did too good a job and there was no longer any algae left to eat, Holly would terminate them. And he would often bite the fins off of a feeder fish or two if they got too uppity. Like I said, he liked to play with his food.

He was smart, too. In our first apartment in New Orleans, his tank was right next to our table. When we sat down to eat, he would tap against the glass to get our attention until we fed him. (He was huge, so when he tapped on the glass, you could really hear it.) And he liked to redecorate. He'd pick up pieces of gravel in his mouth, carry them to the other side of the tank, and spit them out. He was constantly digging holes and creating hills - he would dig straight down to the bottom of the tank. He was quite the landscaper. And you know those little plastic "jewels"? He'd sort them out by color. I swear to God.

Anyway, about a week ago (around the same time that we set up our new aquarium), we put a picture of Holly up on the living room wall. (I sketched it based on a photograph. I'm really proud of it, seeing as how I don't really have any drawing talent and it actually came out good.) So I really am wondering if the ghost of Hardcore Holly is haunting our tank. Because, as Tara put it, "Katrina man, wow, that killed some peeps, huh?" And maybe he doesn't want us to replace him.

RIP, Hardcore Holly. We miss you like crazy. But really. Rest in Peace! Stop killing my new fish!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

i thought i was doing a good job...

Sometimes things that happen for completely practical reasons make me doubt myself and I hate that that happens. Like if my hours at work are reduced due to scheduling conflicts for the other employees, it automatically makes me feel like I must not be doing a good job. I hate that.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

reposted from Toddler Planet

"We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Brandon's new favorite movie is Cars. It was The Incredibles for a while, but we put that one away when he started hitting us with things and then running away really fast. We figured that Cars would be safer for him to watch because he wouldn't identify with any of the characters like he seems to identify with Dash.
As much as I love the Muppets, I have to say that it's nice to be watching something different. Pixar movies are cool because there's a lot of detail in there and I notice something new every day. For example, when Lightning is making his personal appearance, and the spotlight hits him and you hear crickets? If you listen carefully, you can hear someone calling out "Freebird!!!" Hahaha.
And yes, I still cry at the ending. Every time. I'm pathetic.

guess I'll go get a smoothie

I am out of cereal. I pulled out the box of Instant Breakfast that I bought two weeks ago, and it says "use by June 2007". W.T.F???????? The canister of Instant Breakfast that has been in my pantry for at least a year had a use-by date of May 2007. (I just threw it out, BTW.) So how long had that box been sitting on the shelf in the store before I bought it?
The worst part of all of this is that shortly after I bought it, I went through all of my grocery receipts and threw them all away. So I can't even return it.
I'm hungry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

in which I bore you to tears

I haven't written for 10 days. I apologize. I have a ton of projects going on that have been taking all of my creative energy. Bulleted list time!
  • We are slowly redecorating the living room, piece by piece. First up was hanging the TV on the wall. Next we have to hang the shelf beneath it for the DVD player and speakers. I also have to hang the new curtains, make new pillows, knit a new throw, hang some pictures...etc...etc...etc...
  • I have actually been putting some work into the "Brandon's First Year" video montage for his website that I have been neglecting for...oh, almost eight months now. If you ask nicely, and if I know who you are, maybe I will give you the password for his site. (I am VERY protective of my little boy's presence on the internet.) Oh who am I kidding. The only people who really read this are my mom and Tara, and you both already have the password anyway.
  • We bought an aquarium. It has a cool rock and a (fake) tree stump and two real plants - it looks awesome. We got some cheapie feeder fish for it yesterday to make sure it's a hospitable environment. We're getting some neon tetras today. We'll get some more fish on Thursday. Maybe some guppies and a fantail goldfish (we call them "darps" because they look like they're saying "darp darp darp" - we're silly). Or maybe some mollies or danios or something. We'll see.
  • Brian is building a guitar. He is buying the parts and putting it together. The body he got for it is stunningly beautiful. Really. I have been helping him look at pictures and pick things out. I know very little about guitars, but I have a decent aesthetic sense. At some point after he finishes his, he is going to build one for me. So I've been looking at parts for mine, too. I'm trying to decide between a stratocaster-style body (because it would be easier to play and to find parts for, and I could get it made in any wood I want) or a jaguar/jazzmaster-style body (because it looks so darn cool - the pickguard I want doesn't come in a jazzmaster shape, though).
    Stratocaster-shaped body:

    Jazzmaster-shaped body (I wouldn't get it in a solid color, but it's easier to see the shape):

    Abalone (paua shell) pickguard (only comes in strat, tele, and Les Paul shapes, this is for a strat):

    Opinions? Anyone? I have LOT of time to decide.
  • I am probably going to set up a blog for Brian to detail his guitar-assembling adventures. More web design! Yay!
  • I'm planning out my Christmas gift projects. Every year I want to make everyone's gifts (mostly by knitting), but I don't think of it until September or even October, by which point it's just way too late to get it all done. So I'm looking through patterns and yarns and planning stuff out. I have some good ideas.
  • I'm trying to figure out how to spend less on groceries. I am spending twice as much on groceries as I did 3 years ago. Then again, many of the things I'm buying (like chicken breast) cost twice as much as they did 3 years ago. (Of course, 3 years ago I lived in New Orleans and now I live in Hawaii; I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.) I don't know if this is really a "project" per se, but it's taking up a lot of my mental energy.
Bored yet? Okay, good. My job here is done.

Update: rear-routed jazzmaster body and abalone pickup rings. Eureka!! I'm gonna have the coolest looking guitar ever. Maybe I should learn how to play. - 7/24/07

Saturday, July 14, 2007

timshel - thou mayest

I have watched waaaay more History Channel, TLC and National Geographic Channel programs than anybody should ever have enough time to watch. I like to watch stuff about ancient history, and more than anything, I like stuff about the Bible. I have seen so many of these shows, and I've seen so many of them multiple times, that I feel almost obligated to share some of the things I've learned. Today I'm going to talk about mistranslations in the Bible. I'm not going to reference sources because I'm too lazy. But I'm sure that if you google it, you could find plenty of information about this stuff.

Contrary to what some people believe, the Bible was not written in English. (Duh.) And "Lost in Translation" isn't just an artsy fartsy movie with scenes that don't each have a beginning, middle and end. It's an expression that means that words in one language don't always have a perfect equivalent in another language. And so:
  • The word usually translated as "virgin", as in "the Virgin Mary" doesn't mean "virgin". It means "unmarried young girl". Now in those days, of course, unmarried young girls usually were virgins, so one can see how it would be implied. But it isn't explicitly stated.
  • The word translated as "inn", as in, "there was no room at the inn" actually means the upper level of the house, where the people slept - the animals were kept in the lower level. It is quite possible that Mary and Joseph were staying with family when Jesus was born. They surely weren't staying in a barn. There was no such thing.
  • The "rod" being referred to in "Spare the rod, spoil the child" isn't an implement with which to beat your child. It is a symbol of power - like a scepter. Nowhere else in the Bible does the word translated as "rod" mean a stick used as a weapon. So, the Bible isn't telling you to spank your children. It's telling you to maintain authority over them. I'm honestly not trying to start a debate here. If you spank your children, that's fine. However you choose to maintain your authority is up to you. It's none of my damn business. But stop using the Bible to justify it.
Also, Jesus had brothers and sisters. It's right there, plain as day. Read the Bible, people.

ps, Name the book I referenced in the title of this entry, and get a prize. Extra credit if you can explain why it's relevant to this post.

foreign food

Have you ever noticed that people pronounce things wrong on purpose sometimes, just to "fit in"? I don't know if that's the best way to put it but let me give you a couple of examples.

When I was in Manhattan, I got a Caprese wrap at an Italian sandwich shop. (Mmmm...mozzarella, basil and tomato. Mmmmmm...) The guy at the counter corrected my pronunciation - kind of rudely, I thought. I know darn well how Caprese is pronounced. Ca-pray-zay. I have fairly extensive vocal training; I know how Italian words are pronounced, even if I don't know what they mean. But after 5 years of living away from the metropolitan center of the cultural universe, I have a tendency to "Americanize" the pronunciations of things. Because let's face it, if you walked into a sandwich shop in Westwego, Louisiana, and asked for a ca-pray-zay, they'd probably look at you like you were an alien.

The funny thing is, the same thing happened at Sushiman last week. My pronunciation of "nigiri" is corrected every single time I go there. And yet I still say it wrong. Why? I don't know. For some reason I just feel silly saying it right. Maybe I'm just afraid of coming across as pretentious. There's this weird unspoken thing in American culture, where people who correctly pronounce foreign words are considered know-it-alls. And I guess I just don't want to be "that guy". I have a hard enough time asking for "ebi nigiri" as opposed to just "shrimp", and "cucumber maki" instead of "cucumber rolls".

So which is worse? To be the ignorant white person, or the pretentious prick? It's something to think about.

Monday, July 9, 2007


"Rock-a-bye Your Bear" is stuck in my head. I haven't even watched The Wiggles with Brandon in...I don't know, days. Weeks, maybe. It's been a while. And "Rock-a-bye Your Bear" is stuck in my head. I'm not happy about this.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

that's...not hot.

There are FIFTY SEVEN messages in my Junk E-mail box. That's 57 pieces of spam in the last 5 days. Not counting the multitudinous pieces of email I get from websites that I've bought stuff from in the past, which usually make it past the junk mail filter. Altogether it's probably at least 100. IN THE LAST FIVE DAYS!! W.T.F.

And what's up with this?

Brian pointed out that they're hotmail, after all (duh - why didn't I catch that?) but it's still lame.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Saturday night's alright for...something

On Sunday mornings, I go to a 7am yoga class. It is the only 2 hours a week that I do something for myself, by myself. And it keeps me sane. I haven't gone for the last 3 weeks (due to travel and such) and I'm pretty much falling apart as a result. So of course I was really, really looking forward to going today.

The thing about waking up for a 7am yoga class on Sunday mornings, is that Saturday nights are always Brandon's worst nights. Always. He got really messed up with the travel (what with the SIX hour time difference) but he was finally starting to do better. Slept through the night on Friday. I was a happy fun mommy yesterday as a result.

But last night?

He woke up around 2:30. I went in and tried to nurse him back to sleep. The little bugger was wide awake, eyes wide open staring straight ahead, latched on but not actually nursing. So I decided to lay down with him on the folding foam mattress we keep stored under his crib for just such occasions. (Actually it's mostly so that if he needs me in the room while he's falling asleep in his crib, I don't have to fall asleep on the floor.) After about 20 minutes he was almost asleep. Then he popped up, walked away and went for his toys.

That was a big no from me; I picked him up and put him in his crib. I went and got him some milk. I left the room. (Sometimes if I leave the room he'll calm down within a minute or two. If he doesn't, I go back in and try again.)

Around 3:30, I put a movie on my iPod and gave it to him. He quieted right down and I left the room. Of course now, I had spent the past hour getting more and more upset, so I was wide the f*ck awake, too. All I wanted was to listen to my Peaceful Sleep Now self-hypnosis session...but it was on my iPod.

I spent the next 40 minutes peeing every 10 minutes like clockwork. When I FINALLY drifted off to sleep...Brandon started screaming again. He wanted to watch something else. I changed the movie and went back to bed. 20 minutes later...he was screaming again. I went in and changed the movie again. 10 minutes later...screaming again. The battery had died. So I picked him up, brought him downstairs, put on a Little Einsteins video, and laid down on the couch. It was 5:30. My alarm had been set for 5:45.

Towards the end of the first episode I noticed that he was slouching down to the floor (he had been standing, leaning against the couch) so I scooped him up and cuddled him. A couple of minutes later, he had just fallen asleep...when my cell phone rang.

The caller ID said it was in Washington. I don't know anybody in Washington. So I hit "ignore". A minute later my phone started chiming again - they left a voicemail. Some random wrong-number who can barely speak English. And they keep on calling me.

Anyway, Brandon fell asleep on the couch with me, and I scooped him up and put him in bed with Brian. They will probably still be asleep when I get home. Lucky bastards.

So now I'm on my way to yoga class for the first time in a month. I've been up for four hours already. So it's not like I'll be able to fully participate. Fabulous.

I'm just waiting for that broken-English speaking Washingtonian to call me again. I will answer this time. And oooh, boy, will they hear it for calling me before 6am on a Sunday morning.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

show me some love

I have a site statistics tracker set up, but I'm generally too lazy to check it. I do, however, check my comments. So I know that Tara is here all the time, and that Sunshine and Kate swing by every once in a while. Other than that, I'm pretty much in the dark. So...hows about, if you're here, leave a comment. Just to let me know that you stopped by. 'Kay?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

nothing boring about it, after all

I wrote an entry once, a long time ago (probably 5 years or more), that I didn't have any crazy stories about my time in college, because I was a boring person. Looking back on my teens and early twenties, I've realized that although I didn't have a lot of craziness, I did have a hell of a lot of drama. It took some distance and perspective to see just how not boring it all was. Man am I glad that's all over. Now my life really is boring. And by boring, I mean stable. Which, I guess, isn't really the same thing.

um, wow.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Human beings have a tendency to expect that when we leave something, or someone, it will stay exactly the same until we come back to it - even if we don't ever intend to come back. Like we expect it to stay in some kind of suspended animation. Like it couldn't possibly exist without us there. And no matter how much you may hate it when someone else thinks of you that way, you find yourself doing it, too. Like, how dare life go on without me?

It's so absurd.

On a lighter note...I went to Target today. I miss Target so, so much. There are no words. (There are no Targets in Hawaii.) I was literally pushing the stroller down the aisle, singing "I loooove Target, I love Taaaaaarget!" and doing bell kicks. Then I went to Ikea. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ikea is like Candyland. Candyland, I say!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I'm getting on a plane tomorrow night. I will be gone for two weeks. I haven't started packing yet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


My Order From Oyin, Stuck In My Mailbox. Figures!

isn't it sad that I live in the tropics and still need bronzer?

Here's a tip. Try not to get caught without an umbrella when you're wearing bronzer. The resultant patterns on your legs are interesting, but not particularly attractive. And it kind of ruins the illusion.

Monday, June 4, 2007

don't ask me why we're watching the MTV movie awards...

...because I don't know.
In today's day and age, what with American Idol and all, I find it absolutely unacceptable that there are successful, chart-topping recording artists who can't perform well live. The elaborate costumes and pyrotechnics would be a lot more impressive if the person singing didn't suck.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

It finally happened...

...Brandon discovered the buttons on the side of the TV. He managed to find a station that shows music videos.
Incidentally, music today sucks.
It might be time to finally get around to mounting the TV on the wall.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

real women

This bothers me.

Classic Knits for Real Women by Martin Storey & Sharon Brant

"The projects in this book are for real women: busy, hardworking women who want to enjoy life to its fullest. This book's purpose is to provide great patterns for women with real proportions. The simple, clean designs are accented by amazing details. Pattern sizes: 14-24."

I hate...hate...hate it when plus-size fashions are described as being for "real" women. Yeah, they're real women. I'm not denying that. But I wear a size 4-6. Am I not a real woman, too?

Excuse me for keeping fit and eating mindfully, and excuse me for having a small frame. (Have you seen the size of my wrists? Tiny!) I'm small. I can't help that. Am I supposed to gain an unnecessary 30 pounds just to be considered a "real" woman? Breastfeeding isn't enough? Giving birth isn't enough? Having two x chromosomes isn't enough? For the love of all that's good and holy!!

Yes, some women are small because they're anorexic. And some women are naturally ridiculously thin and tiny. And yeah, our culture does tend to make women who aren't that small feel badly about themselves. But we're all "real" women!!! And referring to plus-size women as "real women" just encourages negative feelings towards women who are smaller. ("I don't have to feel badly about not looking like her because she's not a real woman like me, the skinny bitch!") It's the same thing, in my opinion, as thinking that discrimination against white people couldn't possibly be racism.

Just because somebody belongs to the group that is considered "ideal" by our society - whether it be white, or skinny, or blonde (don't even get me started on the blonde thing) - that doesn't make it okay to hate them because of who they are, or because they're something you're not. If I can't call you a fatty fatty boombalatty, then you can't call me a skinny bitch. Make sense? (Not that I'm skinny!! I have a mummy tummy! I'm just trying to make a point.)

It reminds me of something that bothered me a lot when I was pregnant. People were always saying to me, "No! You can't be that far along! You're so small!!!" As if all women magically become the same size once they become pregnant? Never mind that I was actually measuring ahead throughout most of my pregnancy.

One woman who said this to me was about half as far along as I was and much bigger (not her belly, just her whole self). I didn't know what to say, other than "I'm just a small person, I guess." Because, well, I am. And if you were a size 12 before you got pregnant, and I was a size 4, I am never going to get as big as you will. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that?