Sunday, June 29, 2008

Santa Maria, California (Love)

A few weeks ago John took me down to Santa Maria to one of the foreclosure homes he's in charge of reselling. We had a very important reason to be pick some blackberries in the back yard. Let me tell you it was awesome! It would have been a real shame if they been left there to rot or worse, let the birds eat them. You know you all love purple bird poop on your cars.

We also went to another home in a near by neighborhood. John tried to see if anyone was home to let them know that they property was now owned by the bank. However no one answered the door.

It wasn't until this trip to Santa Maria that I saw some of the nice neighborhoods. I had no idea such nice areas were in the city. The overall local impression of Santa Maria isn't really the nicest. I'll just leave it at that.

There is another blog I stalk of a lady and her family, who do live in Santa Maria. She recently posted this entry giving the low down on the views of Santa Maria and what it is like to live there. I thought it was a great summary, and since she already did, you need to read it because I'm not going to give you the low down. I'm lazy, I know.

John eventually made it in the house where no one had answered and when he entered, he saw the following master pieces of Tupac on the walls.
Here are a couple of photos for scale:

When John had told me about these drawings I had no idea they looked like this...however what I couldn't believe was why the artist didn't get some paper to draw on. I mean wouldn't the tenant want to take them with him when he moved?

Another time John had to go to the property, he bought along three ladies in their mid 40s, (who he is working with), who were all so impressed with the artwork and kept complimenting the owner on the pieces...all the while not having any idea who Tupac is. The tenant just told them that his buddy from Lompoc drew them.

'California...knows how to party. Caiforniaaaaaaaaa knows how to party. In the city of Santa Maria...keep it rockin'...keep it rockin'. - Tupac circa 1996

Friday, June 27, 2008


What was I doing a year ago today? I'll tell you...I had to take a week off work and I didn't even wind up somewhere tropical. In fact I didn't even get paid the whole week. I think I only had two PTO days saved up since I had my surgery. If I recall, I was able to catch up on uploading all my photos to and I created my sister's wedding website. The only reason I remembered was because Wimbledon has started I remember getting to watch it when I was quarantined.

We got our new MacBook this week and it is awesome! Although I'm really not used to the small screen. We were able to transfer over some of my design programs, but not all...and you know I really don't want to shell out the cash to buy a new version. We tried to log onto some of our neighbors Internet access but they had them all locked! Can you believe that one? The nerve! Couldn't they just let us 'borrow' their connection? Whatever.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yo Soy Una Moligo

This past Monday John and I went to the Cal Poly bookstore to pick up our Italian I workbooks. That is right…we are going back to school! Just like Rodney! Well under different circumstances of course. We are taking it in preparation for our trip to Italy this October. Also after visiting Germany without knowing ANY German we figured the smart thing to do would be to learn the language of the locals. Seriously…after not being able to shop in Germany due to the language barrier I vowed to NEVER let that happen again!

It was pretty weird to be on campus and in the bookstore for a legit reason. The big shocker was that the workbook was $47! What a rip off! I need a scholarship.

It has been 8 years since John was a student and 6 for me and we were both nervous as to what to expect. Would all of my awesome student skills come back to me? Would it be like riding a bike? Would I be able to stay awake?

As we were walking to the class John wanted to know if I wanted to ditch class and go make out in the library. I see some things haven’t changed.

The class was actually really full which was a pleasant surprise and was filled with people older than us, except for maybe 3 youngsters. It was really weird to be sitting in a desk again, and man are those things uncomfortable! I really like the desks that have the extended part so you have something to rest your arm on, which is not what we had.

The teacher seems intelligent, and was really upbeat. She seemed a tad scatterbrained, but she does know her stuff.

One thing I forgot was that there was always one student that would annoy me in about every class I took. Unfortunately this class was no different. Over my left shoulder was a young boy; I’m thinking maybe 18/19 years old. He started off real quiet, but then after the first half hour I guess he started to relax a bit, which entailed him to suck in his mucus, but not clear his throat. Does that make sense? It’s hard to describe but it was really annoying loud sniffs that aren’t your normal sniffs. They were more low and deep sounding coming from the bowels. Like when someone really wants to hawk a big one. It was SO gross! Like we all wanted to hear his gross snot issues? Go outside and deal with it! (This also went on for an hour and a half).

Then he kept pronouncing words a second before our teacher would, which made it really hard to hear her…especially when he wasn’t always pronouncing the words correctly! He was totally acting like a know it all and I started to wonder if he already knew the language. However when the teacher came over to have a quick exchange with him the arrogance left and he acted like he had no idea what he was doing. Go figure. All I know is that I’m going to get to the next class a bit earlier and sit as far away from him as I can.

As long as I can avoid Mr. Annoying I think the class will be great. It’s really exciting to be learning a language that you know you will need to use in 4 months. It’s a great motivator. I’m also lucky because I’ll be able to practice speaking with John and learn from him.

I was hoping that having a Spanish background would help me, but it seems like it will both help me and hurt me. For example, to say Good evening it’s Bunoa sera. Now I want to pronounce ‘buona’ like a Spanish word, but the correct pronunciation is b-wona. Yeah that’s right…a W sound is in that word! There are also a lot of g’s that you don’t pronounce either. I have the feeling that Jovanie and I will be using a lot of Italianish on our vaca.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

F@#%* Nuts

Not that F-word people!! It's FUDGE...with nuts! Did you all know that this past June 16th was National Fudge Day? Well if not, then too bad for you! No fudge for you! You really missed out I'm sorry to say. At work we had a fudge-making contest in honor of the special day. I like to enter any contest we have at work. As you remember I entered the guacamole contest for Cinco De Mayo, and LOST! I was pretty ticked. The only reason I heard people didn't vote for mine was because it didn't have enough cilantro in it. NEWSFLASH…it probably tasted that way because it didn't have ANY cilantro in it. Yeah I'm still bitter, but only because I know my guacamole should have been the real winner.

After the bust in May I was ready to compete again...but there was one problem. I'd never made fudge before! Let me tell you that my confidence was really high with this challenge. Never the less I still had to talk some trash to my other co-workers. I knew I was possibly setting myself up for some huge backlash…a small risk I was willing to take because I had a plan.

Years ago when I worked for my dad's company during the summers I became friends with Lori R., (not to be confused with my blogger twin Lori). She was one of the best co-workers I've ever worked with and taught me many valuable lessons. The most important one was how to have fun at work! That lesson is so priceless I'm telling ya. (Of course we did some work in-between our morning bugle breaks).

Lori is also a fabulous homemaker, designer and most importantly baker. She would make this 'snickers fudge' for my dad every year for Christmas which he LOVED, because snickers is his favorite candy bar. My sister tried for YEARS to get the recipe from her and she would never fork it over. She knew if my sister had it then she'd loose all leverage with my dad. Smart cookie, I'm tellin' ya. I knew it was a risky move to ask for the recipe, but she gave it over with ease. I didn't even have to use any profanity or threats! I think she either thought A) the chance of me actually making the fudge for my dad, (living 9 hours away), didn't seem to likely, or B) she knows I don't bake often and me making this fudge would probably be a one time thing. Both very possible reasons...I told you she was smart.

I get the recipe and look over the ingredients and I know what each one is!! SWEET! Already this process was going smooth. I head to the store later that week and can't find individually wrapped caramels ANYWHERE in VONS. However I did find some caramel crèmes. What the hell are those? How could they not have regular normal Kraft caramels? ( I guess I should have just Googled them and bought them on Who knew you could buy food on Amazon?)

So then I called CVS and the clerk tells me, 'Oh yes we have those! Come on down.' So I did, only to find the friggin' CARAMEL CREMES AGAIN! What is wrong with these people? Then the panic started to set in…what if in all of SLO County all of the normal caramels have been replaces with these crappy crèmes? My fudge would be doomed even before it began!

The next day I called Ralph's and they totally came to the rescue. After I bought them I headed home to start baking. Like I said before, I'd never made fudge before and now I am come no one has EVER told me how easy it is? All I had to do was microwave the ingredients and then layer them and wa-la! It was done! It was WAY easier than baking cookies.

The recipe called for the fudge to be chilled, so I chilled it over night and then asked John if he could cut it into 100 pieces. Little did I know that it needed to thaw for 10-20 mins before cutting, but even so, we didn't have that much time to spare the following morning, as I was frantically running late. John was a total champ and worked through the pain getting two blisters from the knife. There is no way I could have cut that fudge and I don't think that would have been a legit excuse for being late to work either.

Once I got to work I surveyed the competition. There were 5 entries:
1. a dark chocolate fudge with chopped nuts
2. a light chocolate fudge with chopped nuts (almost identical to fudge #1).
3. a peanut butter fudge
4. a fudge that looked EXACTLY like mine!

My reviews:
1. Pretty tasty, especially if you like dark chocolate
2. Totally a fellow co-worker said 'it does nothing for me.'
3. Pretty good, but only real peanut butter lovers would enjoy it. It was very peanut buttery.
4. It had an odd flavor. I thought it kind of tasted like chocolate frosting, and even though I LOVE frosting I didn't think it tasted that good. I guess I was in the clear of thinking it was the same fudge as mine!

I voted for mine of course...well not because it was mine, but it really was the best one there. I was worried that I would like another fudge better than mine, and then I wouldn't know who to vote for. Luckily none of them compared to my little pieces of heaven.

A fellow co-worker who was in there stuffing her face along with me told me she had narrowed it down to two, and mine was one of the finalists. She didn't know that of course, but then in the end she made the right decision. It was good thing because I told her had she not voted correctly I would have had to taken some unnecessary office retaliation which would have included her mouse...and maybe her stapler.

A little while later my boss came in after her tasting/voting and said 'The vote has been was so easy!' I slyly asked her if she would share which number she voted for and she told me she had voted for mine! Thank goodness because I could not have threaten her with office supply retaliation, ya know? She also mentioned that the two other people that were in the break room with her also voted for mine! I cannot tell you how excited I was knowing that I had a chance to win!!

A few hours after lunch I was told that my fudge was completely gone...the first empty plate. I was really hoping that was a sign of it being the best fudge and not the sign of some greedy person who decided to scarf it all.

I wouldn't find out until Friday at lunch who the winner was. The events committee has monthly lunch get togethers for the company, and last Friday was our one for June. I was so overly confident that I was going to win that I wasn't even nervous or excited! Can you believe that one? I really don't fashion myself to be cocky, but I totally was! I couldn't believe I was more excited about the possibility the day before!

I guess my gut instinct was right because I did win, and when Samantha announced it, I said "Yeah I knew I had it in the bag,' and then tossed the certificate to the side. Just kidding! I was very excited to receive my certificate. It feels great to finally have a win under my belt. Granted I've won a football pool at work before, and some other chance pools, but this was my first victory that depended on actual votes.

I forgot to take a photo of the 'Awarding Winning' fudge, but I made another batch today to take into work tomorrow as a thank you to my co-workers. Now I know some of you may think I'm sucking up to them, but I'm really not! I'm just really that you can just sit there and fell bad for thinking that.

Here is my official certificate! I was going to hang it up on the outside of my cube, but I thought that might have been a bit much.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

There's No Place Like the Theatre

Every Wednesday I get an email from with their latest deals…some are airline, rent-a-car, hotel, and even theatre ticket deals. I have yet to take advantage of any of the airline deals, but I hope one day I will. I can’t help it if I’m picky about the dates I travel and don’t want to vacation in Iraq.

Yesterday when I got my email I couldn’t believe it I saw a deal that I could actually take advantage of! Travelzoo was offering $30 off tickets to the musical Wicked! What a deal for a cheapie like me! My mind instantly started working on creating a plan to be able to save some money. (Like how I look at it as saving money vs. spending? I know I’m genius!)

Step one: The Date
John and I are heading down to LA for the Angels game next month…what if we could see the show on the same weekend? BRILLIANT! We’d be killing two flying monkeys – I mean birds with one baseball! There is really no availability in our summer schedule to fit in another trip down south, so I knew this would be the only way.

Step two: The Convincing of the Husband
Now I know that John would go see the show with me even if he didn’t want to, but what fun would it be to say ‘You are going with me,’ end of story. I knew I needed to do some sweet talking to build up my argument of how I just know he will enjoy himself. (The dude is extremely skeptical about everything). I’ve taken him to quiet a few musicals, but his favorite of all time was Spamalot. I’m not really sure if that qualifies as your typical musical since it was based on Monty Python movie, but regardless he loved it. I’m hoping it’s been long enough to where that memory has started to fade, and he won’t remember it enough to compare it to Wicked.

Step Three: The Case
I then contacted all of my friends in LA to see what kind of feedback they could give me about the show. Sarah V., Maggie, and Molly all LOVED it and only had good things to say about it! Molly even told me that she was sure John would like it, and if anything else they have flying monkeys that look like Clyde. If that wasn’t the best argument EVER then I don’t know what was.

Step Four: The Presentation of my Flawless Case
We went out to dinner to Big Sky last night and before I got out my briefcase to present, I decided to ask my mom if she and my dad had seen it. I thought they had when they went to NYC a few years ago. Great plan right? What could be better then a personal review right at our table? I knew she would help me convince John that it was a must see. Flawless right? WRONG-O BONG-O! My mom STRONGLY DISKLIKED the show! Can you believe it? I just sat there stunned. After all of the great feedback I had heard about it all day I was in total shock! She said it was all just average, or ‘eh’ to use an exact quote.

The show? Eh.
The music? Eh.
The original book? Eh…all forgettable.

You get the picture. Once my shock wore off I had to shut her up IMMEDIATELY! She was totally going to ruin my case! You know I worked so hard on it. Texting is hard work people!

Once I got her to zip her lip I was able to present my case, but it definitely lacked the excitement level after Mrs. Eh’s review.

John did agree to see it as long as we went with his sister. That was no prob because earlier in the day she told me that she liked it so much she wanted to see it again. She even said she’d get the tickets. Later that night I received an email from her saying that she got two tickets for the 20th. I found that odd as we wanted to go on the 18th. Come to find out she thought that the baseball game was this weekend not next month! It totally stinks because she is wrapping up her movie and knew she’d get off work early this Friday…the Friday next month? Who knows? So it looks like John will be stuck with just his old lady for the show. However I’m sure if I wear something low cut he won’t notice anyone else in the room. I love my boobs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So like I said before...I'm busy this week with company, so I'm not sure how often I'll have to blog. With that being said, I'm totally taking the cheater route with this entry.

A few months ago I was asked to write a restaurant review for my company's quarterly newspaper. I was so excited to actually write something that I knew people would read. (I really never know how many people actually read this thing). So I used my review of The Giant Grinder as a stepping stone, and then tweaked it. The feedback I received was fabulous, and I even got a few of my co-worker so try it out! I felt like it was a job well done.

So this quarter I have reviewed local burger places. I know this won't be very interesting for those of you who do not live on the central cost, but at least it will give you something to read if you are really board.

Are you ever jonesing for a juicy, meaty burger at lunch time and don’t know where to go? Thanks to a suggestion from Mr. Rebhan it was my goal over the past quarter to help those of you who are hamburger challenged. I decided to only taste burgers only in San Luis so that way you all could take advantage of them during our lunch breaks.

Like I mentioned before, I’m a pretty picky eater, and that goes for my burgers a well. I’m a ketchup only kind of gal, so these reviews will be strongly focused on bun and meat quality.

Restaurant: The Graduate, 990 Industrial Way, SLO
Ordered: Junior Grad ¼ lb., and the Gradburger ½ lb.
Rating: 3

The first time I went to The Grad I got their ¼ lb. burger. Overall I really liked it, but my only complaint was that it needed more meat. So for the next Monthly Mingle I decided to get the ½ lb. burger and I was not disappointed! There was enough meat where I could see and taste the juice. I could definitely tell that the meat was fresh, and their buns are homemade. (I know they don’t look homemade, but they taste better than they look.) Overall it was a decent non-frozen burger.

Restaurant: Madonna Inn Café, 100 Madonna Rd., SLO
Ordered: Hamburger
Rating: 4

Now I know what you are thinking…and I thought the same thing too. How could a café have a good burger? Do they even know what a BBQ is? Going off of Samantha’s recommendation I went and got their regular burger and was pleasantly surprised! The meat was really tender, juicy, and I could taste some spices. The buns are also homemade which was a nice addition. I even shocked myself by giving the Madonna Inn Café one of the highest ratings during this taste test. I will never doubt a café burger again.

Restaurant: Caruso’s Deli, 3536 S Higuera Street #206, SLO
Ordered: Hamburger
Rating: .5

I decided to review Caruso’s burger because it is the closet burger place to our office, and I know some of you often need to grab a quick bite to eat after spending day in and day out in the Avila boardroom. I will admit that I was not that excited for this burger tasting. I had one of their burgers a year ago, and never wanted to go back after that. However this time I went in with an open mind and tried my best to forget about my awful meat experience. Let me just say that I should have stuck with my instincts. Their burger is one of the worst burgers I’ve ever had. You can tell that the patty was frozen, (probably from a big bag from Costco), and the bun was totally generic as well. It actually had an odd flavor that I couldn’t put my finger on. I think I could taste the grease that it was cooked in. I’m praying that it was the grease, and that they aren’t importing their meat from out of the country! The meat portion so small that the bun is bigger, and it’s crusty. I don’t want to totally demean the place, so I will add that their fries were really good. Just like Firestone’s but without the seasonings.

Restaurant: Firestone Grill, 1001 Higuera St., SLO
Ordered: Hamburger
Rating: 2.5
Speaking of one of the best BBQ places in SLO, I hit up Firestone next knowing that they have won numerous ‘Best Burger’ awards. After 13 years I had never passed up their tri-tip sandwich for a burger, but the time had come. Overall I felt it wasn’t anything special. Just an average burger similar to The Grad burger. However I don’t think their buns are homemade and it wasn’t even toasted. Who wants to eat a burger on a cold bun? The meat was average on the juice scale, and I could taste some seasonings. Overall it doesn’t even come close to their tri-tip. Do yourself a favor and stick with the tip.

Restaurant: Cool Cat Café, 3165 Broad St # 102, SLO
Ordered: The Fonz burger
Rating: 4.5

I’ll admit that before this burger quest, Cool Cat’s was my top choice in town, and they did not disappoint. Their burgers are extremely juicy and flavorful. I get the whole-wheat bun there and they are always fresh and toasted. The portion of meat is very generous, and I can’t help but feel like I am eating something fresh vs. frozen.

Restaurant: F. McLintocks at Farmer’s Market (restaurant location, 686 Higuera Street, SLO)
Ordered: ½ lb. hamburger
Rating: 5

My disclaimer for this rating was that I did get the burger at Farmer’s, but I doubt if you ordered it from the restaurant it would be that different. With that being said, I was completely blown away at how good the burger was! I did not think that a street vendor burger could be as good as a burger made in a legit kitchen. Boy was I wrong! The meat was so tender that I barley had to bit into it before it broke away, and the flavor and juiciness were all top notch. The bun was also nice and warm and the ratio of bun to meat was pretty even. Every week I see the line of people waiting to order, and every week I never want to stand it. I will say that it moved quickly, and was totally worth it.

Until next time, eat, sleep, work hard, and then eat some more!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Just a quick note to thank EVERYONE who left comments on my computer whoa post! I can’t tell you helpful they all were and we will now be ordering a new laptop this week! O happy day!!!!

Also, sorry for the lack of posts. John and I tiled our guest bathroom this weekend, and then had to get rid of the construction zone because my mom is coming to visit today! Needless to say there has been some intense cleaning going on. Why must I care how clean my house is when as a kid you couldn’t even see the floor of my bedroom? Being an adult sucks.

(Photos of the tile to follow once it's sealed).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What the F?

This afternoon when John came and picked me up for lunch I saw one of the GROSSEST things I had EVER SEEN on the hood of his car. In fact I could barely tell what it was…poop? Barf? A decomposed body? What was worse is that there was some dry liquid along with the mystery mound that had run down the front of the hood! It kind of looked like the liquid might have come from the mound…but if so, then someone or something had moved it out of the liquid! All I know is that I was totally grossed out and my lunch hour had just started!

I looked in the car at John and he wasn’t looking for my reaction or anything! I couldn't believe it. So I enter the car and ask him nicely,


John: What are you talking about? (Was he serious? How could he miss that pile-o-poop/barf?)


John: What are you talking about? (As he drives away)

Me: SOMEONE POOPED ON YOUR CAR!! At least I think it’s poop.

John: WHAT? Are you kidding me? (You could barely see the mound from inside of the car)

Me: How could you not notice that? Did you enter your car from the back?

John: Yup. Maybe some homeless man came and took a dump on my car! (The car was parked in the DMV lot over night as he’s trying to sell it).

Me: It does look like it could be human…but why would anyone crawl up on the top of your car and drop a deuce?

As we continue this banter in trying it figure out what the heck happened, John drove as fast as he could to the nearest car wash. Right before we entered, I stepped out to take a photo of it, since he HADN’T EVEN SEEN THE RUNNY LIQUID PART. (Click on it if you dare!)

John paied for the MAXIMUM EXTREME WASH and hoped that it had one of those high-powered roller brushes. It unfortunately did not, and every time a new brush would sweep buy we would do our best to see if the turd/barf/mangled corpse had been washed a way, but it hadn't. All the car wash did was spread it out so it looked even BIGGER!

John then realizes that he probably should have tried to scrub it off BEFORE the car wash! Duh! I told him just be thankful that he’s not the car behind us who will be getting their car washed with poop brushes.

Then it’s time for the air dryer…can you just imagine what happened next? Chunks of the barf START FLYING over the car windshield! It was SO GROSS!! It was like a really bad 3D movie, and not matter how far I slouched in my seat I couldn’t get away from the flying poo. Every time a chunk went airborne we would both let out helpless cries, along with some dry heaving sound affects.

After we exited the wash, John manned up and got a windshield brush to get the rest of it off the car.

What is worse is that the air blow dryer blew chunks of the mystery meat into the grill/vent!! John said it looked like ground turkey, raw hamburger, and something with hair. We think some animal, (possum, cat, raccoon), must have eaten some other animal, (bird, gopher, baby possum), which did not sit well with their stomach which cause a double explosion from both ends. That would at least explain why the solid matter was not touching the liquid matter. We still don’t know why the animal decided to empty out their contents on the car, but I’d really like too get a hold of the security tape from the DMV! I just really hope it wasn’t a homeless man who hates BMW drivers. Even so...I am sure glad we are getting rid of that car! Oh wait! I anyone interested in buying a 98' BMW? If so, let me know!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Do I Choose?

So I need some help blog viewers…John and I are going to be getting a new computer but are having a hard time deciding on whether to get a laptop or a desktop. Actually it’s me who is having the hard time…John says he will get whatever I want. My current computer probably has about a year left before it will need to be replaced, however since I’m such a computer hog John feels as though he never gets to use it and would like his own. Hence the early purchase.

Sooooooooooooo that is where you all come in. Can you please leave a comment, (or send me an email), stating pros or cons for either type? Or stories that might help me make up my mind? Have you had both types of computers? Would you please give me ANY advice? I’m getting desperate.

Here are some of my pros/cons, (I wanted to save you the time if you think of some of the same things).

The convenience of taking it ANYWHERE! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could work on the computer in the car (On the straight stretches of course…I am prone to get carsick), or in the living room, in bed, outside…can you get wi-fi outdoors?

I could take it on client meetings to have easy access to the deigns I’ve created.

I’d be able to download photos, alter photos, burn CDs, work on blog entries and on any freelance work wherever I wanted.

After talking with John we realized there isn’t a real need to take the computer places, and that most places we travel to do have computers. (And I really can go 48 hours without checking my email…if I have to).

It’s only $300 cheaper than the desktop, which has a better system.

It would most likely be considered “John’s”, not mine. (I know…selfish).

Is it a pain to carry it around? Do I really want another bag?

I would get the new desktop and John would get my old one. (More selfishness…but at least I’m honest!)

It has better features, (more memory, hard drive space…I think?), for only $300 more.

It would be great to use for my design work…it would be faster, and because of the HUGE monitor.

John says we could get a new desk with two workstations that FACE each other! How awesome would that be? (Sorry to make some of you gag).

Immobile computer…however since I’ve never had a laptop I wouldn’t know what I was missing…right?

I was hoping that after making this list things would be easier…maybe I should prioritize them? I KNOW! Maybe one of you will give me the answer I’m looking for!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nature's Garbage Disposal

You know it really amazes me…just when I think I have run out of ideas to blog about, the blogging gods take pity on me and answer my prayers. I will admit that I haven’t had the easiest time coming up with topics over the last few weeks. I like to keep things light and funny, but you know really…my life really isn’t a laugh a minute. I know! Can you believe it? Shocking I’m sure.

This morning when I left for work I saw something limp and furry lying in the road about 15 feet from our house. (I was really hoping it wasn’t someone’s pet cat.) As I drove by I really didn’t want to look, but I knew I had too, and you know you would have as well. I was really lucky that there wasn't blood or guts, and that it wasn’t a cat. It was a possum, and from the looks of it I think it might have just been a head wound. Poor lil’ fella. However I think I would have had more compassion had it not looked like a GIANT RAT.

(Are you starting to wonder how this is into could possibly turn into a compelling entry?)

So I get to work and a co-worker of mine, named Ken, asked me how I liked the nice dead rat in front of my house. (He lives a few blocks away and often walks his two cute dogs by our house in the mornings.) I told him it really did not make my morning and I’m hoping someone will come and pick it up. He suggested that John could make some possum stew for dinner…uh…no thanks.

Lunchtime rolls around and I head home to meet John. As I walk into the house, John says:

‘I'm so glad you didn't disturb the birds.’

Excuse me?

‘Check out our buddies on the front lawn.’

I look through our kitchen window to see two HUGE turkey vultures! One standing guard and one GNAWING AWAY AT THE BLOODY POSSUM CARCASS!!!!! It was SO GROSS!

I then got really mad thinking that someone threw that bloody body in our yard! I mean it’s bad enough to have poop in your yard, but a decaying animal? Come on! What will be next? A human limb?

John said he thought that the vultures might have moved the body into our yard. Aren’t they smart? They didn’t want to be dodging cars while enjoying their all you can eat buffet.

Soon after my anger died ed down came the embarrassment. We live right on a corner where a lot of people drive by. I can’t imagine how pleasant it must have been for our neighbors to see the two vultures chowing down like it's Thanksgiving! I only saw a few cars drive by, but about half of them drove by really slowly. I even saw one do a double take! SO EMBARRASSING!

The one vulture that was standing guard totally creeped me out. Like was he on attack mode? Could there have been a fight to the death with one of the neighborhood dogs if he came by to find out where the smell of death was coming from? I did see the birds switch rolls at one point. It was just so unsettling. Here they are during the festivity:

So John and I eat our lunch…all the while I’m trying block out the image of the bird ripping off the bloody chunks of flesh. Somehow I managed, but I have no idea how. I guess I was lucky that I wasn't eating tomato sauce.

As we were getting read to leave John ran back into the living room (from the kitchen), saying that he thinks a guy just drove by to pick up the possum! I totally didn’t think he was telling me the truth, but then he said that he was parked in the driveway!

So we crept back into the kitchen all quiet and hunched over, hoping that the dude doesn’t realize we are home. However we did have two cars parked outside, so I have the feeling he must have known someone was there!

So I grab the camera and capture this disgusting event on film. (You are lucky that the quality of the video greatly decreased after I uploaded it.)

John was crouching down right next to me, so that is why I tried to get him on the vid at the end.

Meanwhile I am already about 5 minutes late to head back to work, but then I can’t leave because his car is parked behind mine! Then after he got into his car it looked like he was writing up a report. I’m sure it included under observations: ‘Saw a glimpse of the home owners who were hiding behind their kitchen table.’

Finally he left and John said that I could always tell my boss that the reason I was late was because a county vehicle was blocking my car because he had to pick up a dead possum in my yard. And if that didn’t work I could tell her to ask Ken because he could back me up on this one.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Burger? No Thanks.

In preparation for seeing the Sex and the City movie, John and I have been watching old episodes of the show. Well that is partially true…John just figured out that we have HBO on Demand, and we now have free, (with a subscription to HBO), access to some of the episodes! Now that we have access to them, we figured this was a perfect time to watch them.

I had forgot how much I loved that show until after we watched the first episode! Each lady is so unique in her own way, which makes me love them all for different reasons. Except for Carrie…I find her kind of blah. Well her personality is kind of blah. Maybe that is why the costumer gave her the funkiest clothes? To distract us from her blah personality? I think her blahness is what allows all of their eccentric personalities to get along.

The season that we are watching is the final season where Carrie dates Burger. Now I know you have to remember Burger…AKA ‘Mr. Post-it.’ I remembered from the first time I watched the season that I really did like Burger and was sad that it didn’t work out between them. (I don’t know if my love for Office Space influenced that hope or not). However this time I had a totally different view. Right from their first fight, (which they did in every episode), I thought ‘oh these two should not be together!’ Talk about friction! I could just tell they would never last. Now I know what you are thinking…and I didn’t think that because I knew the outcome. But seriously…with every fight in every episode, I was yelling at the TV ‘BREAK UP ALREADY!’ Please get out that post-it pad and end this dysfunctional mess!

I couldn’t believe that 5 years ago I actually liked Burger and wanted them to stay together! Was I in La-La Love Land like Charlotte? I couldn’t believe how much my view(s) had changed over the past 5 years. It actually made me pretty happy that I am able to look at a relationship and see beyond what is on the surface. I have known that I am getting better at this, but I didn’t realize how naive I used to be. Talk about me really being in La-La Land!

Now I’m wondering what has caused me to change over these past 5 years. Is it because I got married? Is it because I’m getting older and wiser of the ways of the world? Or is it because I’ve been hanging around more and more dysfunctional people that are easy to dissect?

I really am happy that I am more insightful. It not only helps with other people’s relationships, but also with work relationships. I actually find it fun to figure out the real reason why someone really said what they said. Are they hiding or scared of something? It’s kind of like being an older and wiser Nancy Drew.

I’ve even been able to catch myself saying things I don’t mean because I’m feeling a certain way. I haven’t been the best at stopping myself before the words come out of my mouth, but after I realize it’s too late I then try to say something to counteract it. Not really the best move…actually that is the worst move I could make. If anything that just makes me look suspicious, or that there is more to the story.

On a positive note…this is the first thing I consider good about growing old! It can only get better with time right? I mean our bodies are getting worse, so hopefully our minds will balance it out…until they reach their peak and start to go downhill, right? Anyone know when that peak is? I need to mark it down on my lifetime calendar.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Good Times!

On Friday John and I headed over to Clovis to visit our friends the Pearce’s. We hadn’t seen them since their wedding in October and it was so good to catch up with them! We also got to meet their puppy Dakota. She is a goldendoodle and SOOOOO cute! She was so excited to have company in her house that she kept doing these mini circular laps where she would circle completely around John and I., kind of doing figure eights. She was so friendly and had the softest hair/fur! Plus since she is part poodle she doesn’t shed. She would definitely make you want a dog.

Anyway, Brianne and Daniel took us to dinner to a teppanyaki grill restaurant, which was SO good! Of course we ate way too much, but it was totally worth it. Keeping with the same theme, the breakfast place they took us to the following morning was equally as good. It was in Old Town Clovis, which was really neat.

I was so glad we go to stop by and visit them since they are kind of in the neighborhood of Bakersfield, and since we don't take too many trips East I knew we had to take advantage of it. They seem so perfect for each other…totally respectful, polite, nice, and caring. It’s nice to see two people who are good together and are such a joy to be around.

After our tasty breakfast we headed over to Bakersfield. I wanted to stop by Jo-Anne’s Fabrics if possible to look for fabric for our shower curtain, so I just typed in the name in the GPS and wa-la it took us right there! Ever since John got a GPS for work I LOVE it! It is so great to travel with...I mean to go look at the houses he's selling.

After Jo-Anne’s we realized that we probably needed a snack to tide us over since we ate a late breakfast and probably wouldn't ave having any lunch before the BBQ. So what did we do? We typed in Jamba Juice and wa-la! It took us right there. I cannot tell you how helpful having a GPS would have been when I lived in the bay area. That was even before mapquest/Google maps. I was got lost all the time.

I got a few good photos of the fam, but of course now I wish I would have gotten more, or at least a group shot. Dang it!

Here is a sweet self portrait of John and Molly:
Here is Jane showing John and Lisa some sweet video on Val's computer. As you can see Val is more than thrilled about the situation.

After we stuffed our selves with a fabulous meal, we played a couple rounds of poker. It was really great because I started out and won the first two hands! I knew I should have called it quits, but the dang gamblin’ bug got me and I stayed in…and didn’t win another hand! I know totally crazy. Good thing we were only playing with coins.

After casino night we went and saw the new Indy movie. Now everyone I have talked to hated the ending, however I didn’t think it was that bad…however I’m sure the fact that I started to doze off a bit in the end had nothing to do with my final opinion. Yeah I saw a hint of a spaceship, and yeah the alien looked a little cheezy, but it seemed like that was such a small part of the movie. I can’t help it if I’m old, and that the 8pm show was sold out so we had to see the 9pm show. I’m tellin’ ya I’m old.

We got to stay with John’s Aunt Jane and his cousin Val. We always have so much fun when we are around them. I have the feeling that Jane and I do have an unspoken connection because we are both ground hog babies…plus she is the youngest child in her family, and you know how the youngest are always so serious.

Anyway, we went out to breakfast on Sunday, and Jane and I ordered the same omelet, except I asked for no onions and she asked for no bacon. So the dishes come and the waitress asked if I had no onions, and I said yes, so she gave me my dish, but as she was handing the other dish to Jane she realized it had bacon in it. So back she went to the kitchen. I felt kind of bad, but I was hungry, so I dug in…that is until I saw about 5 onions in my first bite! Let me tell you that these were not large onions, but tiny ones...that were distributed all through the omelet. I did try one bite and all I could taste were the onions! Then I realized that my omelet didn’t have bacon either…wait a sec! I got Jane’s order! CRAP!

When the waitress came back with Jane’s new plate, I had to send mine back. I’d normally pick out the onions in a situation like that, but there were WAY too many to deal with.

We got to see Gramp again on Sunday at his house, and I tried to download Adobe Reader for him, but his computer has Window’s ’98 and Adobe doesn’t have an option to download their program for that operating system. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get it to work, when I actually knew how to help them.

John and Gramp

After we said our good byes we went and overloaded on dairy, and then headed back to Jane’s. I was able to rock my tech support skillz for her, and helped her download some photos from her new camera. At least I was 1 for 2 in the IT dept. John and his dad then did some small fixer upper projects…like install Val’s toilet paper roll holder that had been MIA for the last 2 years! Let me tell you she was SO thankful.

Even though we left later than we wanted, it was totally worth it. We had such a great time this past weekend seeing everyone, hanging out, and just having fun. Jane and Val might be moving by the end of the year, so I’m thinking we might need to make another road trip later this year. As long as I tell John that there will be a milkshake in it for him, I’m sure he will be game.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


We had a great weekend in Bakersfield this past weekend. Of course we got home pretty late tonight, so all you get is a few photos.

One of John's goals for the weekend was to go back to Dewar's to get a George's Special, (chocolate, banana and nut shake.) Jane and Val took us there for years ago, (yes it had been four years...I know that is awful...but we did go over last March, but only for a day), and John's mouth has been watering ever since we went. Last time neither John nor Val were able to finish their shakes, but this year they accomplished their goal!

I went into my photo CD archives and dug up this beauty from our trip back in 2004:
I'm not sure why John's eye are so squinty. Anyway...make a note of that stuffed ram in the background.

When we were there today we sat at the counter again, and John noticed the ram's head and we all thought it was a little odd that it was A) just sticking out of the wall in a slight random local, and B) what the heck was it doing in an ice cream shop? I was very excited to see that 4 years ago the ram was in fact on the wall, but now it has a lovely scenery around it:
Here is Jane and Val enjoying their George's Specials. Jane is totally acting like a cool cat in this John had to impersonate her:
I of course had the easy job of impersonating Val, since she always looks good. I did not opt for the George's Special since I'm not a big fan of banana. I decided to get a peppermint shake which was GREAT and also made me think that it was Christmas time. Although that didn't last long once we left the shop and entered the furnace of 88 degree weather.

More to come...