Wednesday, December 30, 2015

#1 reason not to get a flu shot

True to natural cycles I picked up the flu this Christmas, probably somewhere in the airport...

*fake smile* It's the gift that everyone just keeps re-gifting!

About the only upside I can think of to having the flu after Christmas, is that once you've puked up twice your body weight, and completely and utterly exhausted yourself by being sick waaaaay past the point of being sick... you either come out of it lighter, or at very least a net zero in regards to the extra pounds you gained complimentary of those second and third helpings of scalloped potatoes.

It also gives you a greater appreciation for the health and well being that you've experienced up until this point when you realize just how quickly and effortlessly you can be reduced to a sniveling helpless blob of biomass.

In fact, this tried, tested and true formula has been refined for thousands of years... and is completely natural! Forget that lemon-cayan cleanse that everyone at work has been talking about doing that lasts all week, this baby'll clean you out in 24 hours or less*!!!

*Disclaimer: It may take more than a week for you to recover...

Friday, December 18, 2015

The force awakens... as do we at 2:30 am

Shockingly enough we made it to the theatre in record time at 3:45 am and found a decent parking spot only to realize that we were going to have to run the gauntlet of people who had just finished watching it and were no doubt talking about it. right. now.
At least no one looks pissed... that's a good sign. 
My eyes are burning and itching but my adrenalin is pumping and excitement and anticipation are coursing through my veins. Despite this my thought process is running at half throttle with a significant delay, and even simple tasks like going to the washroom take longer than one would think.
The wait is about to be over, where we find out if they were able to stay true to the spirit of the originals or if Star Wars as we know it is about to jump the shark at lightspeed.  
Also we have been dreading the possibility that the characters we've met only through advertising could potentially turn out to be Jar-Jars...

No spoilers, but I loved it, and would like to see it again... maybe like at least 3 more times, in addition to that I am looking forward to seeing where the rest of this story goes!

Ungodly hour in the morning after the show, to the guy whipping through the parking lot:
You better slow down dude, I know you're excited to see the movie but if you hit me I'll spoil it for you.

*unstoppable tired giggles*

Monday, November 30, 2015


Why on earth is this "sealed for your protection"... I'm not planning on consuming this, I'm not even planning on touching it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

BCAA, never leave home without it!

I'm slightly ashamed to admit as a Canadian, that I bought a brand new set of chains for our trip to the Grand Canyon and it didn't even cross my mind to bring a window scraper...

Luckily it was a perfect frost, and came off like burnt eggs on one of those fancy new Teflon pans.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

She's not a friend of Spock

Standing in line for the washroom I overheard this Mom talking to her daughter...

"Don't do that, it makes me uncomfortable"

Wha??? Out of the corner of my eye I saw the little girl doing the split finger "Live long and prosper"

"I know, I see that you can do it, but Mommy can't do that... No, stop it I don't like that."

"It's fine that you can do it, just don't show me."

Saturday, November 21, 2015

If only bottles grew on trees...

Oh but they do at the bottle tree ranch! 

Random and pretty in an eclecticly creative way... with a touch of abandoned wind chime middle of the desert creepyness ;)

In all seriousness though I wish we'd been able to meet Elmer? apparently this is what he does to keep himself out of trouble, and walking through spotting pieces of historical items hidden in his creations and going "Hey I remember that!" or "I wonder what that used to be for..." was pretty darn cool.

Thursday, November 05, 2015


So bright I can seeeeah when you're even *thinking* of doing something stupid!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


I love playing against ball teams that don't know that I can hit *grinch smile*

It means that I can hit the ball and run really fast, and even if it isn't out of the park... sometimes I can still get a home run ;)
Running so fast!

*sings* I don't wanna go to girl guide camp!

I was just in an elementary school washroom that brought back memories... in Obi Wan Kenobi's voice...

Only instead: "Now that's a smell I've not smelled in a long time... A long time."

In fact, the likes of which I have not smelled since Girl Guide camp when someone invariably added too much Detol to the latrine cleaning water. The worst by far was when the soles of Megan's shoes started "steaming"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Student: I have two questions...
              1. Do clarinets and saxophones use the same reed? 

Teacher: That's a very good question, yes they sometimes use the same reed.
Student: And 2. Where can I buy a pumpkin big enough to fit over my head? 

Teacher: *?!?*  ...have you tried looking in a grocery store?

And you thought that your music teacher would be best person to ask this of?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

You look like you need a hug

I know you used to be one of us, it's okay I still love you!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Silver lining

Listening to the gentle snoring of peaceful slumber...

On one hand it sucks, because I want to be snuggled up sleeping too... but on the other hand I'd rather be working while they're sleeping than missing all the fun they'll have while they're awake.

I'll treasure this little piece of time that is mine, and more thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together later today, however hectic it may be.

Roommates are awesome!

Because in that moment when you realize you took everything out of the bathroom in order to paint the vanity, including the toilet paper... you aren't in an immediate dilemma.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Choose your percentage of drunk

Hmmm I don't know how Math works in Japan... but from what I recall your level of Math is usually higher than our level of Math... but I'm pretty sure this isn't how alcohol percentages work in Canada (I would say America but they're using common core math, so who knows what they've done to percentages) 

Is this some kind of new alcohol percentage Math that I don't know about? Because if it is, I've been doing it all wrong!  I thought that no matter how much you put in the cup, it would still have the same relative percent of alcohol... No?  

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The best laid plans...

I had plans this last weekend... plans to finish projects, clean the house, and go grocery shopping... among a few other odds and ends of 10 second tidying before my friends come visit.

Little did I know the Aunties didn't have plans, and would drop by with brunch and that we would then spend the rest of the day looking for garage sales, eating and spending money on things I didn't even know we needed at Costco (we did get some really good deals on stuff we're going to use anyways... I drew the line at 24 rolls of paper-towel - we don't need a 2 yr. supply of the stuff).  Now don't get me wrong, I made some poor decisions, I could have opted to stay home... but then I wouldn't have gotten 6x as many razor blades for the same price as usual, or found that perfect cabinet for over my toilet that I've been searching for ;)

It was slightly overwhelming, and a little nerve wracking wondering how I was going to get the bare minimum done in time, when I realized that it was great having everyone over and seeing them all, and that my friends, are coming down to visit me... not my house, it's just a box to hold all my stuff and keep me cool during the day.

I was also reminded that although family may be the people that drive you the most crazy, they're also there when it counts.  I'd like to sincerely thank Auntie Mayweather for cleaning my shower floor, I was hoping to get it half that clean, and she spent the better part of her morning before work scrubbing away my dirty footy-prints. 

It. looks. Ah-maze-ing! So amazing in fact, that I have resolved hence-forth to wash my dirty feets *before* getting into the shower.

Thank you Auntie Mayweather. No seriously. Thank you, so much... I owe you one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Adventures in bathroom fixes

One phone call to my Dad for moral support (to see if he thought I could do it) as well as some safety first on how to check if something's *hot*... (preferrably the right way, not the 'just touch both wires with a screw driver while holding the plastic handle - and if it sparks it's hot' kind of way)

Also, I had colour coded the wires with tape so I could plug the fan I took out back in the right way, but I wasn't sure if there was a way to tell with the new one I was getting, which way it should go... Also I wanted to check if they had mickey-moused it by just twisting the wires together - Apparently not, as that's totally standard as long as they have those caps on, and since it's a/c it really doesn't matter which way you wire the fan in... which was good for me because they clipped the plug and wired it into two black wires.

Note from common sense: If you use these comments for home or bathroom reno's of any kind you're an idiot, I'm not a professional, and this is not an advice column.

One replacement upgrade kit later, that was much too large... partly because I guessed the worn off model number wrong, partly because I got excited about 50% stronger and 25% quieter! ...and partly because there's no perspective for how big something is online... *sigh* Oh well it will probably fit the downstairs bathroom :p

Once I had the boring replacement unit I still had to unscrew and flip the nuts around that hold the damn motor together, and swap on the old fan blade because the new one wouldn't fit through the hole... no upgraded fan experience for me :(

It sure is nice to hear the white noise of my bathroom fan again this morning though... for something I don't usually notice, I sure missed you ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Day"-ja vu

That feeling that you've already been here today...

Oh wait, we have.

We literally went everywhere twice yesterday... except garage saling first thing in the morning...

We drove all the way out to Pomona to move the Ninja's cousin into his new place for school, drove all the way back picked up some stuff from Home Depot and then got the phone call to meet up for dinner at Gen Korean BBQ... back near Pomona...

Got cleaned up and organized, and on our way out there the plans changed... to Gen Korean BBQ near where we had just passed on the freeway, we exited, saw this Stop Korean BBQ place and researched it on the way back to the other one...

The other one had just opened and was crazy packed, so we changed plans and looped *back* around to Stop Korean BBQ via the freeway... which was less busy, and was able to seat our party of 8 when everyone got there *phew*

That's not all though... here's the kicker:

After dinner, we were going to play pool but the pool hall was a little more upscale than our collective skill set... so we ended up going home and playing at Scratch... which is in the same complex as the Home Depot

I'm not sure how it happened but it felt like something out of an episode of circus-circus


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Labour day weekend, how appropriate

562 trips to Home Depot and the project we started last weekend has an end in sight... of course that's what we thought yesterday... and the day before that.

Before we discovered that we needed just one more floor tile and they wanted to sell us the entire case... before a nice guy said this case is already open, its garbage to me (you can have that one)... and we hastily exited the store whispering "Start the car! Start the car!!!" Before we cut one wrong...

and as a desperate last measure cut it in half with mad exacto knife skills and made an overlap to fit ;)

Which was just before it turned 11 and was too late to nail in the base boards for fear of waking the neighbors... So here we are again, 12 hours later caulking the baseboards because they "mostly fit" and the end is still in sight...

The list is getting smaller, but each item has sub items you don't even know about until you get there... *fingers crossed* the end is drawing near, I can feel it!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Lady luck

I've come to the conclusion that lady luck smiles on different people in different ways... some people are lucky with parking and some with cards...

But me? well I'm just lucky. 

Not in any predictable way of course (because that might be useful), but I consider it the very best kind of luck.  I'm lucky when I need it, and sometimes when I don't think I need it or deserve it, like good karma.

Sometimes I win raffles, I get this tingly feeling literally just before it happens, like I just know it's going to happen, and then it does! Sometimes I have good shopping days, where I find everything I'm looking for, and it's even in my size! I've even had days where I'm able to find things someone else is looking for... in *their* size!

I think one of my favorites, was my Dad picking out a girl at a ski swap saying "You look about the same height as my daughter, go pick out a pair of ski boots" and she found me a $275 pair of boots (that still had the price tag on the bottom) which Dad picked up for ~$20... Which I then proceeded to wear for the next 18 years, until they were so completely and utterly packed out they hurt my son's and my feets. I never got to thank her, but I wish I could because they were wonderful! 

Recently I've been contemplating buying a wet suit so I can surf in the "winter" (who am I kidding, I'm acclimated and wussy now), but the trouble is that each brand fits a little bit differently.  I'd been looking at the swap meet because I don't need a new one, but was really struggling with sizing, some looked good in the top but then the legs were for someone with treetrunk thighs and the crotch came down to my knees :/ others were a good length, but were designed with Peter Pan in mind and there was no way they were going to fit over my boobs... 

So this last weekend we had gone to the swap meet with a list, the top item being a surf board bag... and we hadn't found it anywhere (so I bought a punching bag instead)... and then the Ninja found me the leather jacket I've been looking for for ages, and *then* while I was buying a churro because I was starving...


she found the surfboard guy we'd missed earlier! He said he didn't usually sell board bags, but since she was so charming and we'd come to the swap meet looking for just that and he *happened* to have an extra one he'd make an exception and sell it to me, and then I spotted this wetsuit over in the corner...

I liked it, and it looked like the most likely to fit candidate so far, but I was still wary about buying it without trying it on... and then he said I can give you a deal on the board bag and the wetsuit together, and tell you what, I'm here every Sunday... if the suit doesn't fit you can exchange it until you find something that works for you. 

*mentally SOLD*

At which point I had to ask the Ninja how much cash she had... *grins* I think we literally walked away from that swap meet with $4 left... in her pocket ;)

Oh, and the wetsuit? Fits like a glove *grins*

Sunday, September 06, 2015

How convenient?!

The recipe called for two yolks, and I thought I was going to need two eggs.  Luckily I cracked this one first!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It isn't a wedding until...

Recently before a wedding I found myself with two of my roommates' cousins helping with a few of the last minute things that needed to be done.

With half an hour till "go time" we beat a hasty retreat to get ready.  The plan from that morning was to change at one of the other cousin's hotel rooms which was only two blocks away allowing us to walk from and to the wedding and not have to worry about parking in downtown Boston.

We got there only to discover that the magnetic strip had de-magnitized itself since the morning hand-off...


E! went down to the front desk to try to get it set it up again... He was escorted back by the host who said something along the lines of "I need you to identify a couple of articles in the room so I know you've been in there before" *totally routine*

*bites lip* well the thing is, we haven't been in there before... and we all knew that none of us were in a position to guess anything other than "uhhhh twin's stuff?"

While all this was going on we had called the room owners who were already at the wedding and kept them on the phone with us, and they quickly described a couple key items to identify (my favorite being "in the luggage closest to the door, if you open it up you'll find a burgundy dress shirt, and multiple star wars t-shirts") They also gave us the names and the address on the account...

He stopped, looking concerned and said "We don't normally do this over the phone, usually it's in person, excuse me for a moment I need to consult with security"

"Of course, no problem" we replied... He retreated down the hall a ways but we could still overhear snippets of his conversation including "This could be a set up" 

Awesome. So we're either about to get escorted out of the building... or possibly arrested...

What felt like 10 minutes later he returned, listened to the few items we'd been given to use as identification and unlocked the room saying "Give me a couple minutes to check this out" I'm pretty sure we were all trying to remain nonchalant and not make him any more nervous than he already was...

My favorite part of the whole ordeal happened, after he took a few steps inside the door and radioed back "Yep, I'm still alive"

Dude! We're standing here with dress shoes and clothes because we need to get ready for a wedding, not because we're trying to break into a room on the 10th floor with your help. Security already knows about this, and has probably positioned themselves appropriately... or at least hit 'record' on their closed circuit camera feed *sigh*  

Less than a minute later, he had confirmed everything to his satisfaction, let us into the room and everything resumed as normal.

Everythin except that we had significantly less time to get ready.

I took the fastest shower I've ever taken in my  life! (faster even than a cold water shower - TC's Mom would be proud) The rest is a blur of E! speed-ironing his clothes and Mr. Beauuuutiful standing in the bathroom in his underwear and dress shirt watching a You-tube video on how to tie a bow tie.  By the fourth or fifth iteration I was ready enough to help him find the elusive hole he was missing and we were on our way!

I put my pretty shoes on in the elevator, and we walked into the wedding half an hour late, which it turned out, was just *after* the bride had walked down the aisle, so all in all we really hadn't missed that much after all ;)

How do you feel?

Well enough to hit a home run, and run all the way around the bases! *grins*

It figures, that the time I'm trying to take it easy while recovering from being sick is the time that I launch it past the outfielders...

But the way that it felt and sounded when I hit that ball... was so perfectly wonderful, that I'm not complaining. In fact as much as it will frustrate me, it's totally worth every second of being exhausted today ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Mama!

My best friend's grandmother is turning 100 this year, or at least they think she is, record-keeping being what it was in the Philippines back in her day, well that and while visiting relatives she found out she was actually four years older than she thought she was...

They put a call out for videos and pictures of everyone "Doing something cool and wishing Mama a happy birthday" This is our submission:

To elaborate a little, we probably waited in line for over two hours, as due to the limited time left to submit we only had one shot at this!

Luckily we were placed in front, and as we waited for the final checks they ran through the plan again.  Ok, it's going to turn right, right, right, right, and then left... So basically when it changes direction, you need to lean as far forward as you can and smile because that's where it takes the picture.

Ok, I got it, I can do that.

We were whizzing through the ride, turning, turning, turning always to the right... the new things they've added for the 60th makeover are amazing and totally capture my imagination, I really do feel like I'm blasting through space!

All of a sudden there's a commotion in front of me, as the Ninja unfurls the banner.  What's this?! We haven't turned yet I think, as her cousin yells "It isn't tiiiime yeeeeet!!!"

It sounded like an angry tarp on the highway beating itself to death, as she tried to stretch it across to her cousin... *pause for blinding insight* she realized there were two things we didn't take into account: the wind factor and that in order to do this she wouldn't be hanging on to anything... *unpause* She caught air on the next right turn where it then acted as a drag chute and pulled her all the way to the left, I thought for a moment I was going to have to grab her leg on the way by!

Somehow she manged to miraculously get it back under control without ripping it in half, her cousin meanwhile was dealing with an ear malfunction, I was laughing uncontrollably... and that's about where this picture was taken ;)

Happy Birthday Mama!

The Engineer's daughter

We were driving along when I saw this billboard and blurted out "They're all turned the wrong way!"

my friend: "What?'

me: "The faucets, they're all open"

her: "How do you know?"

me: "Because of the type of valve they are, those are usually closed when they're perpendicular to the pipe..." 

I trailed off, as I realized just how nerdy the words coming out of my mouth were... smiled and said "My Dad would be so proud of me" I need to send this to him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

California Surf #2

If someone were keeping score last weekend it would have read something like this;

Waves : 20, rocks : 2.5 and Sam: 1

But that 1 point was totally worth the 2.5 holes I have in the bottom of my left foot, and made it oh so much sweeter when I was finally able to pop up and surf towards shore with a modicum control. It was amazing and incredible and everything I remembered surfing to be from the last time I tried it *grins*  I can't wait to do it again :)

It was ridiculous how many people were out surfing and attempting to surf last weekend, and yet they were friendly and well mannered. 

Of the other times I don't count that I sort of popped up, my favorites include the first when I rode in standing way too far back on my board, awkwardly, like a penguin... and couldn't move to fix myself or do anything other than think about how ridiculous I looked.  The next I was up, and suddenly headed towards a Dad and his kid, I thought I might be able to lean around them until I saw the look of concern and fear in his eyes... I jumped ship with enough room that my board wouldn't bite them, even at the end of it's leash.  I think my favorite of the day though, was losing my balance on the way up and fighting it the whole way... and doing a cannonball butt first, if it were a cartoon my hands and feet would be getting dragged away from where they were trying desperately to maintain their surfing position.

The most pathetical moment of the day was paddling so hard to catch a wave, and then not having enough energy to pop up, and just riding it in on my stomach. *pleh* I obviously need to do more push-ups or something...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dog Barf... Achievement Unlocked!

After a year of living here, I finally managed to catch dog barf on a scrap piece of paper, rather than with the carpet. My previous attempt at "the football carry" to the bathroom was unsuccessful, and nowhere near the desired outcome. 

I'm sorry blank piece of paper, you may not have been scrap before... but you were the closest one, and I'm willing to sacrifice you for the cleanliness of the carpet.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


I bought a cheap "foamy" surfboard!!!

The cutest thing was our neighbor literally jumped out of a moving car when his wife said "Oh look Sammy got a surfboard". He was *so* excited for me, and said the best thing about them is that when you get dumped you don't have to cover your head and face like with the old wooden surfboards... he got 15 stitches from one once! 

I'm so super stoked you have no idea! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Almost embarassing beach story... because everyone has one

I was trying to bodysurf this wave in to shore when I got "Maytagged" (like the washing machine) about half way through I realized the lower half of my bathing suit was making a break for it!!!

I immediately abandoned all pretenses of swimming and caught it down around my knees, with the wave in control I was immediately bouncing along on my head, with my knees and feet flailing around out of the water, while I pulled my suit back into place... 

Sputtering sea water I surfaced cautiously, double checking my suit placement before walking out of the water... acting as though nothing had happened...  judging by the people and their dogs carrying on as though I hadn't just exposed myself to the world... nothing had happened.

Huh. I guess it is true, nobody really cares what you're doing...

I literally brought half of the beach home with me in my bathing suit *sigh*

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Darth Paw


Dog with a light sabre!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thoughts on getting older

It was weird, as I waded through the legal jargon spelling out the representative agreement, and the documents giving my brother power of attorney should something happen to one or both of our parents... I realized it didn't feel personal.  It was like the documents I was signing were for someone else, I mean *my* parent's are "Mom" and "Dad"... who are these people?

When I got to the section dictating the resolution of conflicts I knew that "these people" were one and the same with my parents.  I could see the dissolution of the legal mumbo jumbo into a striking clarity with the statement:
 " ...and any conflicts shall be resolved by coin toss"
Waitaminute... whaaaaat?!?

There they are, those are definitely my parents you're talking about. *smirk* I can just imagine the consternation of the person drafting this document... the mental grinding of gears as they stumble through it while reading it this time, and every time after *satisfied grin*. It doesn't fit the standard, and I like to think of it as a very Canadian, passive aggressive way of throwing a wrench in the works *sticks out tongue*

As Dad said chuckling when we talked about it later... I know you guys are smart kids, and I trust you to make decisions in our best interest. If there's a conflict it's probably because you're both right, and there's no point in agonizing over it.

It echoed this sentiment, something he used to say all the time ...
"Do something! Even if it's wrong..."
It hearkens back to the oldest form of decision making, let whatever gods may be decide the outcome of my fate.

Patience isn't always a virtue

Someone said something along these lines the other day, and before asking if they meant "infinitely" I thought about it... and realized that it described certain situations perfectly:
"There are some people in our lives that we are intimately patient with."

Monkey see, monkey do

A friend of mine recently re-laced his ball glove with paracord, which didn't seem like a bad idea... and when I got to thinking, I realized that it meant I could pick from any number of the brilliant colours that paracord now comes in *grins*

Of course having thought that, it didn't take long for the pocket of my glove to blow out... so after limping through an afternoon of catch using a shoelace, I picked up some pretty green paracord and embarked on my own re-lacing journey...

You know that moment, when you reach a natural breaking point in something you're working on? That moment where you should stop and call it done, but you're feeling overly confident with your recent progress so you keep going. Like the longer you keep at it the faster you're going to get... that is until you hit that plateau...

Yeap, definitely should have stopped at re-lacing the pocket and the sides...

I've learned a few things though, be ye so foolish; 

You should undo the lacing around the bottom of the palm first rather than last... as it would have opened up waaaay more options for fishing the other lacing pieces through.  I've learned that although handy, forceps, needle-nose pliers, zip ties and masking tape in any of the combinations you can think of... are not the appropriate tools for the job.  Also the tensile strength of a paperclip is not up to the task of fishing doubled over paracord through a leather hole with pliers...

Paracord does not like to be tied the way nice rope likes to be tied, nor does it melt and shrink up neatly the way anything with the appropriate amount of nylon in it does... but a couple tubes of electrical shrink wrap and a hot glue gun later, I fixed it's little red green wagon. Ha!

So here you go, it may not last long... but I think it looks pretty!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Riding bikes, always better with a friend!

Fast forward a few weeks from our nocturnal laps, and we went from the relative safety of an empty complex loop... to the bustling narrow albeit paved, bike path that overlooks Huntington Beach!

I would like to say that you did an amazing job successfully navigating through wandering pedestrians, other bikers who weren't paying attention, untrained dogs on leashes, more pedestrians, and a hill larger than anything we have at home...

There might have been some white knuckle moments, and perhaps even one or two moments of panic but you did it dude! You didn't run into anything, or even frighten anyone... you didn't crash, or add any battle scars to your bike or your body. As far as I'm concerned that's a pretty good scale to measure against, and classify it as a successful ride.

You're tired and out of breath but we rode a whole lot further than anything we've ever done before, so that's exactly as it should be.  Tomorrow, and possibly even the next few days you may be sore in places you didn't even know had muscles, but the secret is that's what means you're still alive.

It will get easier, and it will come to be more enjoyable. I promise.  When it doesn't take every ounce of concentration to ride, you'll be able to appreciate the places that we're riding and the beautiful views there are to see.

What I'm trying to say, is In the end it will be worth it.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eating leftovers. So much easier with a microwave

I'm the first person to go "Really? $70 to install that for me? I bet we could probably do it..."

Long ago, my father tried ever so hard to teach me that your time is worth something.  So while you might be *able* to do something (like changing the oil in your car). You should assume that your time is worth at least $30/hr and if it takes you any longer than that (plus parts) then it's actually totally worth the $40 - $50 they charge at the drive through oil change places which only take ~15 mins ...also sometimes there are some really cute guys working there ;)

So while my brother and I are both extremely cheap in this regard (we must be related) and will err on the side of "doing it ourselves" I think it's good to have that sober second look.

Someone who points out that the new microwave weighs in at 69lbs, and that the old one is probably heavier.

Someone who says with a dubious look on their face... "Yeah we probably *could* do it... but we would have to move the stove"

And as I sit here watching two big strong men manhandle the old microwave almost literally out of the wall, I'm satisfied that it probably would have taken us much longer, and there would have been a whole lot more heartache involved.

Soooo hot-pockets for dinner?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New to me dresser

It became apparent that I needed a dresser, to try to tame the entropic pile of clean and semi-dirty laundry in my closet... being that it was going inside my closet, I didn't want to pay a whole lot for it.

We looked and looked and looked, scoped out prices at the local thrift stores and finally I settled on one.

It was a little larger than I had envisioned, but I was excited to get it home and see how it was going to transform my life!  That excitement was short-lived when we discovered we couldn't actually get it in the back of the car *sigh*... They were nice, and despite being busy refunded my money, only giving me a mildly hard time about it because they "don't do returns" until I pointed out that I literally could not get it out. of. the. parking. lot.

I was a little bummed... but we resolved to keep looking, as that must not have been the right one anyways ;)

The next one I liked I found at the swap meet, I was happy with the drawers -they slid nicely, it was a decent price, and it wasn't made of particle board like everything else these days.  I ended up tipping the guy $10 after he single-handedly manhandled it up the stairs like a hero, carried it 30' down the sidewalk and deposited it into the back of our car.

When we got home I was even more impressed when we unloaded it, and considered it well worth the extra $10.

I spent the next ~3 hours cleaning, wiping, and pledging the dirt and grime off of it. While removing the drawers to clean them and vacuum the dust out I was rewarded with a clean pair of socks, and guys boxer shorts -also hopefully clean- from where they had fallen behind.

Moving along, this far into a cleaning project I'm in the groove... I'm working away, I've got the shop-vac swishing around inside doing it's thing, pushing out enough white noise to drown out the dogs next door, when suddenly there's something there in the drawer... something that wasn't there before. Not so far from where I was *just* vacuuming. Something black. and shiny. withlegsandfricken' HUUUUUUGE!!!!!!

I levitated backwards at least a foot and half screaming obscenities I'm sure the neighbours 3 doors in either direction heard.  I also scared at least a year and a half off of my roommate who had been working away behind me on something else...

She was yelling at me for scaring her, until I pointed out the *size* of the black widow that had started the whole thing.

We skipped the raid and went straight to the heavy duty bug barrier that's supposed to kill things dead in their tracks. She sprayed it, and dripping it staggered sideways and then just continued along?!? She sprayed it again and it dropped down, but kept walking towards us! I whipped out a trusty flip-flop and *splat* it was all over.  We figured that it had probably eaten everything else in sight, but I very carefully double checked anyways ;)

And now? Here is the dresser that has transformed my life closet, see what a good job it's doing?  I would have taken a before picture, but you'll just have to trust me... it was much too embarrassing to show the world.

What? you like my Granny's buns?

Heh, don't worry... you aren't the first person to say that.

It always takes me a few tries when I move to a new place, but I think I finally "got it"

Here are my Granny Buns:  

Monday, May 18, 2015

There's magic in the air

One of the most wonderful sounds, is that of unbridled glee bubbling up out of someone unbidden.

As I ran alongside in the dark for moral support, at an hour in which most people are in bed, it was a rare treat, listening to my best friend giggle in the nervous pitches of an elementary school-girl...

The look on someone's face when they are simultaneously thrilled and terrified... the expression of loving going faster than you can run, tempered with the knowledge -born of the wisdom of your years- of how much it will hurt if you fall... and throwing all caution to the wind for the wonder of it all.

Bearing witness to it was incredible, thank you. It's only been about 20 years... but I do believe it's true what they say about riding a bike ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I am an IBMer

It's always exciting for me when I get business cards, I always have to show them to everyone I know.
Like "Hey look! I really do work for this company!" *glowing*
I think partly, its a sign of trust. Because once my name is associated with the company's name, I'm an extension of their reputation. 
I think being in IT, since you often aren't customer facing... there isn't usually much "need" for business cards, and quite frankly you're replaceable.  So getting business cards is kind of a big deal, like the company thinks you're going to be around long enough to be worth getting them for.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

It's so good it makes you cry

This is some goooood horseradish she says to me...

Almost brings a tear to your eye? I ask

She nods, smiling through glassy eyes

It's so good I keep putting more and more on, although I probably shouldn't she said... just before a giant crater opened up where her nose used to be...

Yeap, might've put a little too much on that one ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


When you're angry enough to bite your own ass, bite a Mars bar!

New bite sized Mars bars. Small enough to fit your diet, enough chocolate to take the edge off a jaguar.

Number of lives saved today: 1 and counting

Thursday, April 09, 2015

It's the little things

I recently had a one on one chat with my manager's manager, and she opened the call with the most important question.

Are you happy?

The straightforward simplicity of it caught me off guard, it was naked and sincere.

I would say I'm significantly more satisfied in the company I'm working for, and the people I'm working with, given that you just took the time to ask me that.  The fact that you expanded upon it to include life both inside and outside of work touched me immeasurably. 

The full impact of our chat didn't really hit me until just now, but it resonated deeply and reminded me something about my Granny. No matter what you were involved in, doing, or going through in your life, she used to ask that same question... then sagely nod her head and say "well then, that's all that matters"

Are there things I would like to change in my life personal, professional or otherwise? Sure, but overall, I am happy.

Thank you for asking.

Wrapping up last weekend's project

You know when you put something together, and things fit the way you had envisioned... Does that still scare you, or do you have enough practice now that you know how to do it properly?

Because it still scares me a little. Like when mechanics used to have pieces left over after putting cars back together, and they would still run...

Nevertheless, behold! It could probably use a few more things holding the two trellisesss together, but all in all I think we did pretty well. 

*high five* team

$5 Garage sale jade plant score! (except that it came with spiders!)

New meaning to the term "sun dog"

 Once when she was let out before the sun was actually *on* the deck, she leaned into the patch of sun on the wall... Absolutely pathetic and adorable all at the same time, like she doesn't get enough sun down her in California *rolls eyes* 

Friday, April 03, 2015

Remember me?

I don't know if I was sleeping backwards or what... but its already broken in.

It's memory foam!

Well it doesn't remember me then!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How hungry were you?

(In your best Filipina accent)

If I'd seen a cow, I would have taken a bite out of dat cow!

Wherein "smart" is not a reference to the person using the phone...

I saw something once, that people back in the days of Einstein would be appalled if we told them that we carry something in our pockets that had near-instantaneous access to a vast accumulation of human knowledge... and we used it to talk to each other and take pictures of our food...

It brings a little perspective to the power we literally hold in the palms of our hands

Don't get me wrong, I'm fully guilty of this also... but I've realized that having this literally at my fingertips, means that I don't make the effort to remember things "because I can just look it up again"

In some ways we're a generation of idiots...

"Weekend" DIY projects

We are in the midst of working on a "minor" weekend deck project that went big.  In fact, we're took it into the next weekend.

We decided last weekend that we wanted to put up a trellis, like the one our cool neighbors have, but in wood because it just looks so much warmer.  Of course the fence we want to put it on top of isn't level... and it's a 12' gap where prefab trellis comes in 8' lengths, aaaand then we decided we should put in a shelf for planter boxes... yeah, you know how it goes ;)

Anyways we spent a good couple hours wandering around Home Depot figuring out what we were going to do, comparing prices, sorting through wood all the way down. to. the. bottom. to get pieces that weren't bent and warped and otherwise munched or weird, and gathering random other supplies...

Checked out and realized that at the end of the day the prefab trellis was going to cost pretty much the same as all the parts AND wouldn't require nearly as much monkeying around with. 

We turned around right there in the parking lot, and returned half the stuff we had just purchased, went back to the lumber section and sorted down. to. the. bottom. to get the two prettiest prefab trellisesss.  As an added bonus it also fit in the car better, and was easier to tie down ;)

Once home, we cut, dismantled and otherwise mangled the one prefab section into a beautifully framed shorter trellis... only to discover that we had done it to the wrong half. *facepalm*  Seriously I was so proud of us, it looks like it came like that! (For those of you doing the math in your head and thinking that shouldn't matter because we cut the one trellis in half... I lied. The space is actually 12' at the bottom and ~146" at the top - It's California! Things get shifted and re-settled regularly)  Annnnd of course, the way we did it meant that we couldn't just "undo" it and "do" it to the other one... yeah, we "did" it good.

Two "emergency skype" calls to my Engineer Dad later and we had a few different options... along with various notes of things to watch out for, things to remember, and things to be careful of... and most importantly, how to level the fence. 

Another trip to home depot for paint... a few jugglings of which pieces are going where, an evening of painting the various pieces, and we're just about ready to put it all together! *phew*

Despite my worst efforts

My orchid is blooming again,  I didn't kill it!!
This has been so cool to watch it open over the course of about the last three days :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Straightened misconception from my childhood/highschool years: Fried green tomatoes is not about smoking weed.

You're right,  I'm crazy but the only thing I can think of is:

a) I did not at any point see a preview or trailer and b) the only thing that got talked a lot about at my highschool was weed, and so in the absence of any other logical explanation (because really, who would want to eat fried green tomatoes?!), I assumed it was another euphemism for smoking that I just wasn't cool enough to know anything about...

Hehe, it is a pretty good movie though, I'm glad I finally saw it ;)

Friday, March 20, 2015


You might have ADD if in the amount of time it takes between one turn and the next... you forget that you've already got *two* hits, but haven't actually sunk the battleship... and then start looking for the next one :p

Sometimes it's better not to wonder...

Last night for instance...

One moment I was wondering what would happen if while gargling Listerine I relaxed my throat just a little bit more... aaaand the next moment I was gagging on the fresh burning sensation on the back side of my nose flap, and drooling profusely.

I've often wondered, where that point is. When something switches from you thinking about it, to the reality of your body following through with it.  Especially when it wasn't something you ever intended to *actually* try...


Sometimes, it really is better just not to know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Some things never change

Her: Are you all done with that sir?

me: *hehe* yes, I am thanks

Her: *apologizing profusely* I'm so sorry, I wasn't really looking, and I saw your R2D2 hat and I just assumed...

me: It's ok, no worries

The ninja: Dude. You're like a 36-D right now!

me: I know, and it still happens to me from time to time *shakes head*

Saturday, March 07, 2015


Some of the best things in life are free.

Like lying on the deck blowing bubbles into the night sky, and watching them sparkle like gems in the reflection of a flashlight... although the surroundings are a little bit different, its still as magical as the first time I saw it at Girl Guide camp.

If you've never blown bubbles at night before you should try it.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Look we found nature!

I am loving the green from all the rain we've been having, and as you can see there's more on the way!

It was a beautiful day for a walk!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Oh right...

That's why you shouldn't leave things open in the shop...

Monday, February 09, 2015

Well that was exciting

Let's go for a soak I said, relax a little I said...

Half way in to our twenty minutes of bubbles we hear shattering glass and the sound of a screen door being wrenched off it's hinges.

We look at each other like is that seriously happening? Is someone actually breaking into a place in the middle of the complex? Are you kidding me?!?!

Aaaaand we're sitting in the hot tub. Awesome.

The ninja has the presence of mind to tell me to call 911. It took forrrrreeeeeever like a dream in slow motion to dial the number, and then time caught up *zap!* like an elastic band back to reality as I explained to the dispatcher we were witnessing a break in.

I gave her the address, described what we saw and heard... she asked me to stay on the line with her until dispatch arrived. Yep, not a problem... aaand no sooner than that...

*wuppa* *wuppa* *wuppa*

Damn! That's some response time! Well that's good to know! Buuuuut now we're sitting in the hot tub in the helicopters spot light... and I'm still talking to dispatch.

me: So uh, should we get out of the hot tub? (Nothing like being on the phone in a tub of water, safety first you know ;).
Dispatch: No, stay there, they know where you are.
me: Ok, well at least it's warm in here.

Dispatch: Can you describe the person? me: Nope, it's too dark.

Dispatch: Do you know the aparment number?
me: Nope sorry.

*thinking* I don't live in that one... and I'm not about to walk over and check, that's why I called you guys.

Dispatch: Which side of the complex is it on?
me: Well it's on the right when you drive in...
Dispatch: *prompting* East? North?
me: *visualizing Google maps* looking at the palm trees trying to get my bearings and muttering under my breath "Never Eat Shredded Wheat" East! It's on the east side of the complex. *phew*

So much for relaxing, with skill testing questions like these.

I honestly don't know why they can't follow the damn instructions, turn right when you come in. I know a lot of guys who use compass directions all the time and that's great, admirable even, but I don't think in compass directions. So any that I give you are translated, and I'm pretty sure the chance of an error goes up tenfold under duress.

So dispatch has me meet the squad car out front and direct him to the apartment,  at which point he casually radio's in "yeah, I think it's the same one from earlier today"...

The helicopter was still doing loser laps over our complex, and it was clear after the third squad car arrived that they didn't have anything more important going on...

Anyways, turns out it's this bipolar chick who used to live here... like 3 months ago. Her ex has moved out, changed the locks, and shut off all the utilities, and even obtained a restraining order but every once in awhile she forgets, decides she lives there again and breaks in... Apparently this will be the third time.

The disappointing part though, was that despite their record response time, we were the third call in that day... So even with this unfolding in the same way it usually does, I guess they can't *do* anything until she has broken in again?

Which just seems kind of silly to me. What happened to "keeping the peace"?

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dinner bell

You're in timeout at least until I'm done cooking, because steam does not constitute an emergency situation.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Are you sure I was there when this happened?

Sometimes we have these conversations where its like I'm having it with someone else...

I guess you do too though, it's like my alter ego answers for me and then doesn't bother to tell me about it...

Friday, January 30, 2015

You can't take me out

The only trouble with eating at nice places where you have a napkin on your lap... is later when you're eating and wipe your hands like you *think* you have a napkin on your lap ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Look Mom! I have the coolest roommate ever!!

I don't even know how many years ago, I got balloons and a pump for my birthday so I could learn how to make balloon animals... unfortunately the pump was broken :(

After all this time though, I'm still fascinated by the things you can make... with a little imagination ;)

This is Jango, and he's a little scared, that's why his tail is straight up, not because I made his body too big okay!?!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Oh California...

Apparently since its "mostly hot" down here, they don't bother insulating the hot water tanks...

And while I don't think it'll make any significant difference in any of the bills we're paying, it hurt my little hippy heart to heat the garage. For no reason whatsoever.

So it's not the prettiest, but I think it'll do!