I’m lovin’ my foodblog…

Well, hello!

Since all I seem to be getting these days is spam visitors, I hereby decree this the shortest post I’ve ever written and I’m going to drown my sorrows in foodblog land.

Not too many worries there, which is nice for a change.  Not too complicated.  Just pleasant.  Lots of food porn (no, not nekkid people with food spread on them), great recipes, and well, foodies.

Toots!

Just another Friday

His large feet shush across the carpet toward my bed in the dim rainy day light. I can hear his hesitancy as he approaches and know he must be wondering if I’m awake, or even alive. I’m tangled in and out of covers and sheets after another restless night. It must be time for him to leave for school and he’s come to check on me since I’m not downstairs. For a second I wonder if he thinks I’ve forgotten carpool duty on my one day off.

“Morning, Doog,” I mumble to him before he turns around to leave, trying to sound more awake than I am.

“G’ morning, Mom,” he responds in a voice with a Friday lilt. I can sense that he has drawn closer to the edge of the bed and is standing there, most likely trying to decide just how he might give me a hug. But I’m not perched on my usual edge. Instead, I am sprawled across the middle and not quite reachable for a 15-year-old who more and more seems to find the business of hugging awkward. I find myself wanting to erase his discomfort.

“Are you ready for school? Do you have all your things together?” I ask even though I asked last night before bed, and even earlier after his homework was complete.

“Yes.  I’m ready.”

“Do well on your tests today, okay?”

“‘Kay. And I just wanted to remind you that I won’t be there to pick up after school ’cause I’m going with W,” he tells me, already headed out of the room.

“It’s not my day, Doog. Don’t forget your book for English so you can read today,” I add unnecessarily, as that, too had been discussed last night.

“I won’t, Mom.”

I hear the weight of his still growing body on the stairs as he heads down, and a few muffled words with his father as he clicks the lock on the front door to leave, his backpack banging against its frame. It’s 7am and his car pool is most likely waiting outside. “Bye, Mom,” he calls.

“Bye, Doog,” I say, never quite loud enough.

“See-yah-later.”

“See you later, too,” I finish.

I wait to hear the car pull away before I drag myself from bed and shuffle down stairs to take care of the animals.

It only takes a second to notice that he has left the book I reminded him about. It’s on the floor right where he drops his backpack each day.

I sigh and am glad that I have resisted learning how to text message. What good would it do to remind him of what he’s forgotten unless I plan to drive the book to him? It would just remind him that he just can’t seem to get the details of school right. Besides, when it’s time for him to need his book, he’ll remember that I reminded him, and that yet again, he has forgotten. He hates it. But he also seems fairly incapable of fixing the problem.

I head into the kitchen and tell the MoH. Annoyed, he tells me it isn’t too late to call the RT to let him know he can’t go to his friend’s after school. I make a mental note to not tattle on the RT unless it’s important, because it doesn’t solve the problem. It just sends the MoH off to work on a Friday morning with a less than buoyant attitude about his son. It all feels a bit Ward and June-ish to me.

It isn’t that important. What is important is that he takes the time to say good morning to me before he leaves for school on a Friday.

 

I’m left wondering when the last time was that I told him I loved him. I pick up his forgotten book and place it near his calculator which he has also not taken to school today.

the RT

Thoughtfully synthesizing statistics, dreams, and spiders

As another month draws to a close, I am left wondering why, oh why this particular post has been viewed so many times this month. As of two minutes ago, it has been “viewed” 1,004 times. When I scan down the statistics presented about this site to the key phrases and words used for searching, “spider” is far and away the greatest one that this site is connected with. At one point or another, someone was looking for information about spiders, photos of spiders, ground spiders, pictures of spiders, etc… You get the idea. Spiders. Nine-hundred-thirty-three times. It has to be the time of year. People see their webs, their gorgeous plump orange bodies and want to know if the creature will eat their Yorkshire Terrier. People are curious.

So back to my stats — of course I know that “viewed” doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve actually visited my page. But I have accumulated nearly 2,000 unique visitors this month — nearly 300 more than last month. I’m not sure why. Perhaps people are simply trying to figure out what to do about those short hairs. But if they have viewed that post, I doubt they stopped long enough read what I had written. That’s too bad, because I truly like that post. It’s about dreams. Not spiders. I had recently had a dream about a tarantula, so the post was my attempt to analyze it. The whole experience was rather strange and fascinating. Okay, so it was fun, too. I’ll admit it. And since nearly four months have passed, I’ve decided that it’s a good time to revisit some of what I deciphered about what spiders in dreams mean — and show you my latest photos of my resident orb weaver, Clyde (who is probably a female…), and his – er, her buddies.

Clyde fixing his web for dinner Clyde is pretty busy, isn’t he? Go, Clyde, go.  Go, go, go.

(Clyde appears to be small here…)

With respect to “staying away from an alluring and tempting situation,” clearly that would be blogging. I’m hooked. But it isn’t just about the writing, or the social network that blogging has created for me, there’s a technical side I truly enjoy and want to learn more about. I’m annoyed that lately, I have to put that curiosity aside to be more constructive about the project I’ve been working on which will actually earn money if I ever remember to turn in my time sheets. Every situation is tempting at this point, with the first deadline looming on October 15th and the second November 1st. Laundry is enticing. Toilets aren’t yet tantalizing, however.

…a powerful force protecting [me] against [my] self-destructive behavior” again has to refer to blogging. Exhibit A would be this post. But to be fair, it’s Thursday. I have mentioned before that Thursday is my favorite day of the week and to celebrate that, I’ve instituted for myself Thoughtful Thursday. Ironically, I hadn’t remembered that until just now. That confirms that I’m simply basking in something I’ve always enjoyed, that my spirits are high, and that I’m…well…being thoughtful about what I want to be thoughtful about instead of what I have to be thoughtful about. You know. That project. I’ll get around to it when I’m finished being thoughtful about dreams and spiders.

Small, new spider buddy on the block

(This guy is so much smaller than Clyde. Just wait…)

So what other kind of self-destructive behavior could there be? Hmmm…that isn’t the kind of thing I want to think about right now, but it could be a great discussion for later. Suffice it to say that the topic would include Food + Wine, and no, I’m not talking about the magazine.

Okay, moving right along…Just a note that the spider searchers have already given up on me because I haven’t provided any information about spiders in this post yet. That’s too bad, because I have a huge spider treat saved for later. And yes, it will be just about as Hallo-weenie as I get. Dreams…where was I?

…energetic in my labors and fortune will be amassed…domestic happiness.” I truly can pat myself on my back for being a diligent, avid member of Bloggsville. Hell, I could be mayor. As far as the fortune goes, I believe that’s relative, and that I feel fortunate for what I have. It’s not about the cash — it’s about gratitude. And that extends to domestic bliss as well — um, except for when the Yack Star barfs up her breakfast on the rug immediately after leaving her bowl twice in two days. No, she’s not sick. She has binge and purge problem because she’s a plus size feline. It’s a problem that rates fairly low on the domestic bliss meter.

Clyde’s little brother, Mr. Busy.

(This guy is half the size of Clyde…)

With regard to “an aspect of myself that is vulnerable and helpless…” er, um…I think you know that I’ve really been struggling with some physiological changes that are kicking my butt. I’m about as far from helpless as Bush is from being an elocutionist, but do feel a bit as though I’m just not what or whom I used to be. It’s unsettling, but I refuse to get depressed over it. I’ve got my stuff lined up on the counter, and am trying very hard to stick with it day and night so I don’t end up being helpless from neglect. Sad, but true. Take care of your bodies, or you will regret it.

And finally, “maintain a balance…everything [I] do now is weaving what [I] will encounter in the future.” Yes, I know. As much as I harangue on myself about avoidance and slovenliness, I am a fairly deliberate person. No, an extremely deliberate person. I have fun magnifying my idiosyncrasies because it’s healthy and allows me to examine my faults. Although I’d enjoy sweeping a few of the under the carpet, it wouldn’t be productive. I’d still know they’re there, and at some point would have to deal with them. They sit around in all their glory for me to think about each time one surfaces. The more I work on them, the better the future will be. See how that works? I know. Write a book.

“I am the keeper and writer of my destiny, weaving it like a web by my thoughts, feelings, and actions.” Future, destiny…I was born with a steering wheel in my hands. It doesn’t quite work the way the one in my car works. It’s more of blowing the seeds of a dandelion into the wind and choosing one to follow until it’s time to choose another, and another, and so on…It keeps everything interesting. It’s a bit painful at times because I wait too long to change directions, and then there’s a huge upheaval that affects others in a way that I’d love to avoid. Yes, this is quite nebulous and I realize you are scratching your head about now, but I don’t want my thoughts to drift too far down that path today.
IMG_3900.JPG (

Clyde the Spider has grown…)

And to get down to the clencher, “enemies are about to overwhelm you with loss…” My immediate reaction in revisiting these words was that I don’t have enemies. Or if I do, I don’t know who they are. (Don’t care who they are if they exist?) And then I read what my original response was — I was so right! Doubting voices, indeed. Especially when I consider the project I’ve been working on. In fact, this morning on my walk, I told my VBF that what I was working on completely sucked. That I’ve worked on the words and they all just sound like jargon — meaningless and inane. But I also know it’s normal and so I just keep plugging along. I’m not enjoying the work, however. News flash. It doesn’t feel as if it belongs to me, and I am very undisciplined in engaging in anything that my heart and soul are not invested in. It’s a problem and I seriously doubt I’ll outgrow it at this point in my life.

No, I’ve just decided to embrace it, fists clenched, teeth bared.

Balls to the wind, as my mother would say.

Which is why I’m being so thoughtful today.

 

Ahhh…moisture.

Yes, another Nearly Wordless Wednesday has arrived. Where does time go? I can tell you it seriously left while I was “working” yesterday because I achieved very little and have now successfully blamed it on Bach and Brahms who were more for meditating and gardening, not grind-stoning. They contributed to my delinquency.

Not today. It’s 8:42 am and I’m raring to go by celebrating something I’ve been waiting for. IMG_3870.JPG See it? You aren’t sure what it is? IMG_3871.JPG  Oh come on. How many clues do you need? Or is it just glasses? It’s condensation! IMG_3875.JPG

Yes, that bit of atmospheric wonder that lets me know officially that the weather has changed. The plumeria that took so long to bloom will soon drop its last flowers, its leaves, and return to what the MoH refers to as “The Stick.”
IMG_3876.JPG  Our windows will soon need to be closed during the night. The precious moisture in the air will help us breathe more easily, and keep me from feeling like a prune.

Okay, so I’ll be a juicy prune. Plump and juicy.

9:09

Gotta go. But with no Bach or Brahms.

Work, Beethoven, and Bad Drivers

I have a treat for you, but before I get to that, thanks to those of you who took the time to offer your suggestions about staying focused yesterday. I didn’t have a list as some of you mentioned, and which I’ve used in the past when work had me by the short hairs, but grabbed a few cds to keep me anchored to the monitor instead. Thanks to Essential Beethoven (especially the “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major’s Adagio un poco mosso“), and Rachmaninoff (“Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”), I managed to stay focused with little or no distraction.

And today will be the same. Somehow, my iTunes playlist doesn’t quite work. It is distracting. And it’s not about my being able to sing along. I can actually “sing” to the classical music as well. I do a mean Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Allegro con brio nearly all the way through. You know, the Dat-Dat-Dat- Duhhhhhhhhhhh…Yes, that one. It’s quite entertaining without being distracting. The walkers outside my window now know I’m a complete goner, however.

So, it’s 8:59 and I have to work. But I heard about LA CANT DRIVE on CNN this morning and thought I’d share if you haven’t seen it. This guy is totally my hero and I’m so sad he beat me to the punch on blogging about drivers who have their heads where the sun doesn’t shine. It seems that L.A. traffic is so bad (OH REALLY?) that one has a double chance of dying in a car crash there as opposed to New York City. The only place that one’s chances are higher? San Diego. True. Sheesh.

And I’m sure it’s because of all those Urban Attack Vehicles that crowd the road each morning dropping off their future superior court justices and combinatorial chemistry specialists for school each day. The blonde and ponied Audi driver who cut me off THREE TIMES and then took on a school bus to situate herself before it at the red light wins the a**hole driver award for the day from my neck of the world. Too bad I don’t have more time, or I’d send in her photo. Wait. No, come to think of it, she probably has a few attorneys on retainer for her little problems in life. Come to think of it, I just might invite that blogger down to Paradise. His dislike for Mustangs and Escalades will immediately dissapate after he sees our UAV Babe-n-steins in action.

Kay. Have a splendiferous day, but don’t put your nose too close to that grindstone or you’ll end up with a big scab on your nose.

Disgusting.

Begging for tips on how to stay focused…

There are things I’d like to write about today, but can’t…

1.) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia: Wow.

2.) Ruben Navarette of the San Diego Union-Tribune & Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune on the Jena 6: Interesting subtle differences of opinion — or are they?

3.) Bush’s comment on Hilary having the Democratic nomination wrapped up: Um, could he just not say anything, please? Ever?

4.) The UAW strike: They’re kidding, right?

5.) The public’s skewed perspective on public education: I’m getting ready to just let it rip. But not quite yet.

6.) People who are resistant to change (newspaper vs. Internet): Yes, Dorothy, there are these things called computers. And yes, you can actually “read” whatever you want and more with your coffee in the morning just like you do with the paper. And no, they’re not going to make the sports section smaller.  Get over it.

7.) The MoH and football season: Oh the hilarity of it all. Even if the Chargers suck.

8.) Those little racing planes we saw Saturday on the bay: Unbelievable. What will they think of next?

9.) Exercising at Oh-Dark-Thirty: When is the time change?

10.) Brunch: food, champagne, and plenty o’ smack: How many people can talk all at once while changing the subject of discussion five times within a single minute?

I know. You all work and are quite capable of writing as well. In fact, lots of you work, are raising young children AND write. Pat yourself on the back, smile and count yourself as special. Truly. In my next life, I will long to be just like you.

But now, I’m just wondering how you manage to do both. Let me know, okay? Seriously. I’m already busted because I’ve written this much and I promised to not even read my e-mail. What a complete loser. Can someone please put me out of my unfocused misery?

In the meantime, be very glad I didn’t bore you with most of what I wanted to write today since I’m full of piss and vinegar. Nothing pleasant would have come of it.

Have a totally lovely day.

Like, you know.

Totally.

And I’m waiting for your free tips on how to stay focused. 9:01 — gotta go.

A Day of Whimsey and Frolicking Cavortingness

Today, my horror-scope read, “Something may be important without having to be serious. Today, the roles whimsy, mischief and laughter play can’t be under-estimated. Something wonderful comes out of all your clowning around.” Oh. My. Permission to be a bad girl.

But laughter play? Is that a thing one does? What does it look like? *images of people too old to be engaged in this particular type of activity are conjured frolicking and cavorting in a woodland scene with ribbons and wearing their birthday suits* Bouguereau's Nymphs and Satyr Hey…I recognize those glutes!

Whimsy and mischief indeed.

Okay, twist my arm. I had already put on my rubber suit to tackle the RT’s bathroom since I put a serious dent in detoxifying it last week and could see that if I gave it another go today, I might actually come out ahead for the first time in months. The last time my middle son was here he quietly informed me that the RT must have gotten a bit wild with the toilet bowl cleaner because the lid was stained blue. I told him that, “No, I did that just to keep a safe distance” and still have a prayer of getting it clean without having to put a bomb in it. I reminded him of what his bathroom used to look like. End of ratting on his little brother.

But I tell you, the possibility of whimsy instead of scrubbing the RT’s toilet? Now that’s a pretty tough decision. Moot at this point, however, as I could tell that he’d already given the porcelain bowl a swish or two. *Okay, so he’s actually figured out that there are tools one uses to clean things.* I’m detecting progress here.

I will have to talk to him about leaving his toilet bowl scrubber next to his toothbrush on the counter, however…Don’t Do This At Home *Don rubber gloves and scrape all articles into black plastic bag…* It’s supposed to go ON the tube… *Hmmm…I know I’ve mentioned to him that the paper goes ON the roller a few thousand times…*

What does one do when one practices whimsey? *Remove one’s pants with never a care as to where they land, or who finds them…*Does he put them there on purpose?

I could eat bon-bons and watch old movies all day? How much different would that be on the whimsey meter than blogging? I could paint my toes blue or purple and the dog’s red. I could play hookey, but that’s what I do every day. If that isn’t whimsical I don’t know what is.

With respect to mischief, I’d need to hire a tutor for that. I’ve never been very good at it. Well, there was that one time a few friends and I went into the surf one evening outside the Ritz Carlton sans some of our clothing. That wasn’t really mischief as much as it was group unwinding after a grueling period at work. And I would never have done it without the evil influence of my friends. I’m seriously out of mischief these days. I’m so boring and put out to pasture relaxed. Contentedly Chewing Cud

As far as the “laughter play” is concerned, I think snarking is on the agenda this afternoon. So that would be more of a “snark-n-laugh” activity, with absolutely nothing playful about it at all. That has to count for something, doesn’t it? I’ve been called to an emergency get together with some very good friends who are celebrating the announcement of their boss’s premature exit. It seems he wasn’t up to the task expected of him and people had begun to question whether he was all he was purported to be. Pity.

A Reason to Celebrate They’re heart-broken and will be suspending all clowning around out of respect for the dire situation.