12 December 2008

Has It Really Been a Whole Month?!?!?

So over here at Sveedish HQ, there is much going on. The President and VP went on a trip to the Land Of The Disney, they saw two Christmas Parades, made it through Thanksgiving unscathed, and secured a new location for a larger, improved HQ, which they will be moving into in a little over a week. There is obviously much to share. But first, we dance!


13 November 2008

And finally, Blogging Sin #7: Exploiting Your Children For Blog Fodder









Bonus points for being WAY LATE with said post (i.e. Halloween pictures in the middle of November).

More bonus points if the pictures you post have already been sent to practically every reader of your blog two weeks ago via Picasa. Enjoy! Again!

03 November 2008

Blogging Sin #6: Getting All Political on Your Ass

Actually, there is nothing wrong with political blogs. I'm just not the type to jump on that bandwagon. Mostly because I like to keep my political opinions to myself. My brother and my dad argue EVERY FREAKIN' SUNDAY NIGHT at dinner about how dad should be more Democratic in his political views, and how my brother needs to CALM THE HELL DOWN, DAD IS NEVER GOING TO STOP BEING A REPUBLICAN SO JUST GIVE IT A REST.

I find myself reminding my little brother that the most awesome thing about this country is that people are allowed to have an opinion. And they are allowed to express it as loudly as they'd like. Without fear of imprisonment or death or anything. Isn't that great?

So go out tomorrow and make your voice heard. Vote.

23 October 2008

Blogging Sin #5: Dear Diary Dullness

Dear Diary,

Last night I dreamt that Rainn Wilson came on to me. And because of the Gobi Desert that is my love life, I responded with the fervor of a sexual zealot. Rainn Wilson, though? Couldn't my subconscious pick someone with a nicer ass?

The dream was a nice break from the dreary days that have swept over October like a black cloud, though. October 5th was the anniversary of me leaving my ex-husband. Don't get me wrong, Diary. The anniversary wasn't really a day of sorrow and regret. It was more of a reflection of the last year of my life and a kind of "course adjustment" of where I'm heading.

Work could really not suck any more that it is sucking this month. It got so bad last week that I actually considered restarting my smoking habit. I have been smoke-free for six years, Diary! And I gaze longingly at the smokers outside the office building, chatting away with others that are on the same nicotine-dispensing schedule as they are. I recall the delicious rush through my limbs to my fingertips and toes after that first drag on the cigarette, and the deep breathing and the relaxation of being away from the office for ten minutes. And then I recall the coughing. The constant coughing. And the smell and the bad breath and the smell and the coughing and the smell. And the addiction that makes you smoke even when you are sick. And then I don't miss smoking anymore. Yay, me!

Then, to stay consistent with the suckiness of October 2008, Boog came down with pneumonia a week ago and has been recovering since then. Thank goodness for my mom - she agreed to watch him during the day so that I can go to work and earn a living. I am so glad that I took him to urgent care last Sunday - otherwise I might have let this go undetected for who knows how long. He's doing fine now, but the side-effects from his antibiotics are preventing him from returning to preschool anytime soon. Poor little man.

Is it November yet?

02 October 2008

Blogging Sin #4: Shameless Self-Promotion

On this day, 39 years ago, Eva was born! Happy Birthday to me! In lieu of presents, feel free to send cash.

30 September 2008

Blogging Sin #3: Plagiarism

I got this email from a co-worker of mine today and wanted to share it with all of you fine people. Because I'm geeky like that.

"The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'


THIS STUDENT RECEIVED AN A+."

26 September 2008

Blogging Sin #2: Procrastination

Basically, more sloth. In disguise! And cuter, don't you think?

Last weekend, I went to Santa Barbara with my brother's fiancee and three other lovely women for a bachelorette party. It is now late Thursday night (technically, I guess it's Friday morning - yes I have insomnia tonight and I have no more bank statements to reconcile, so I must blog! I also don't have cable, which explains why I've been reconciling my bank statements instead of watching the tube. Although Conan is on right now in the background, but never you mind about that. This is now much too long to be parenthetical anymore so I'm going to resume my original sentence. I'll wait while you go find the beginning. Okay? Okay.) and I'm just getting around to organizing my thoughts about the weekend into blog form. How am I doing so far? Wait, don't answer that.

So Santa Barbara: what a beautiful weekend for a trip out of town. Warm, but not hot. Blue skies. Fun company. We went wine tasting, picnicked on a vineyard, and had a driver so that we could taste to our heart's content. Not the driver. The wine. Ha! Wow, I'm amusing at 1:15am. I should blog in the wee hours more often!

Two of the ladies on the trip had the foresight to bring some silly bachelorette accoutrements, which provided endless giggles on the drive back to Santa Barbara after four hours of wine tasting. For example, someone produced a deck of cards that had 52 different images of naked men on them. And yes, we all agreed that naked men are gross. At least naked men that live on the backs of playing cards from 1984.

That night we went out for margaritas and Mexican food. And salsa dancing! My dance partner that evening, Juan, was a great dancer and very patient with White Girl Eva. After a few songs, I picked up some steps and he even spun me around a bit. I am SO going to go salsa dancing again sometime. It was a blast. Ms. Bachelorette had to be dragged off the dance floor at 1 a.m. so that we could get back to our home base.

I don't remember much more. Not because I was drunk, but it was 1:00 a.m. and I'm a mom and I just don't last that long anymore. As soon as we got back to the house we were staying at, I set up my sleeping bag and collapsed into a deep sleep.

Remember in college when it was a weekly occurrence, staying up until 2am or later? Good times.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

15 September 2008

Blogging Sin #1: Sloth

Here is how lazy I am.

I am so lazy that I can't even re-post an old post to keep my readers from abandoning me. Instead, I'm just posting about how lazy I am by not posting.

Have I lost you yet? Because I think I just lost myself with that last part. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, please explain it to me.

09 September 2008

No autographs, please.


I'm very busy and important. And I'm in a hurry. If I was behind you on the road right now, I would tailgate you and honk impatiently, indicating my desire for you to move out of my way so that I could pass you. Once you obeyed my non-verbal request, I would speed up and as I passed you I would glance over with an irritated look while simultaneously gunning the engine. Then I would cut you off, and immediately slam on the brakes in front of you to pull into a parking lot just ahead. I wouldn't use my turn signal. I would then park in a Compact Only parking space. Backwards. Unevenly.

Grrrr...

I strongly dislike my ex-husband today. He is being a dick.

Ok, I feel better now. Thanks for reading!

03 September 2008

Genetics

This is me and my brother back in the day. I have this picture hanging in my bathroom with other photos of Boog in the tub, or wrapped in a towel, or in his robe. I'm the one on the left. I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at in this photo, but if memory serves, my brother probably farted in the tub again.



Since Boog was born, I've been told he looks just like me. I can definitely see some similarities. But when he looks at the picture above and I ask him who that is on the left, he says, "Boog!" So I thought I would show you a side-by-side comparison.



What do YOU think?

31 August 2008

Is it Just Me?

...or does everyone call him M. Night Shamalamadingdong?

Just wondering.

24 August 2008

Happiness Revisited

First of all, thanks to those of you who shared your happiness lists for me! And for those of you who didn't, well I know who you are, and you shall be formally reprimanded in triplicate come Monday morning.

The picture in that post has an accompanying song, but it took me FOREVER to find it online. But I am nothing if not persistent. Enjoy!

Spreadin' the Love

One of my favorite bloggers, Skeeter, says I'm his favorite accountant! Aww, thanks! He also says he loves my blog. See?



So keeping with tradition, I am paying it forward, passing this award to my favorite bloggers:

1. Sari - the second person I befriended in the blogging world, Sari somehow manages to raise three boys AND find time to write everyday! Her observations about the world are always fun or thought provoking. And she loves music, which makes her tops in my book!

2. Michael C. - does this guy really need an introduction? Michael's writing makes me laugh on a daily basis, and I am so grateful for that. Hi 9-volt!

3. Meleah - this hot tamale is a recent blogger discovery of mine. I think she's fantastic. And she apparently shares my love for Macs, although she's a bit more obsessive about it.

4. Sharilyn - my neighbor! Seriously, we share a wall in our apartment building. One evening, I shared with her that I have a blog, and within 24 hours the wonder woman over there had set up one of her own, with photos and her first post! Since then, she has posted every day, often adding beautiful photos she has taken. Her posts remind you of the beauty that this world has to offer if you just stop and look.

5. Employee #3699 - I can't help but appreciate this woman's sense of humor. Plus, she's on the same bandwagon as me: The "Exploit Our Children on our Blog" bandwagon. Hers are grandchildren, but same difference. They're all minors.

You guys are just so awesome. Thanks for making my life that much better.

22 August 2008

Outdoorsy Outdoorserson

This summer, we've been attending weekly outdoor concerts here in Long Beach. It's a popular event, with the Long Beach Municipal Band performing for the crowd.



Hundreds of people come out, toting blankets, chairs and picnic dinners to share a warm evening out in the fresh air. The City of Long Beach turns a blind eye to the fact that wine and beer are consumed, which is probably for the best since our prison system is rather crowded as it is.



It's such a popular community event that people come out at 9am that morning to stake their claim to a primo spot near the band. My mom, the trooper, gets our tarp down at 9:30, so we have a nice position a ways back from the band's speakers. The band is over by the palm trees on the right side of the picture:



Each week was a different musical "theme": big band swing night, western theme (remember the William Tell Overture, anyone?), International Music night (French, Norwegian, Italian, German). One night, they even had a local singer come out and sing some standards for us, including lots of Sinatra and the like.

Having little faith in Boog's tolerance for remaining in the vicinity of our tarp for more than an hour, I was a bit nervous during our first evening out. But guess what? He was perfectly content to nibble on the food we had set out on our little "table", and people-watch with the rest of us:



Alas, their concert series came to a close two weeks ago. But another band, The Elm Street Band, passed out fliers at the last performance, letting us know that they would be holding an outdoor concert too. So after work, as usual, Boog and I headed over to my parents' house and we all walked over to the park with our picnic accoutrement. As always, I think Boog felt quite at home:



I highly recommend these types of events, as they involve music, family and food. And they're outside! And for those of you, like me, that are air-conditionally challenged (read: only have fans at home), this is a plus. I'm already looking forward to next summer!

20 August 2008

Happiness

Michael C and I were having an email conversation about happiness today. That it is a great thing to have! Duh, right? So then I asked him to list three sources of happiness for him this morning. His list was this:

1. My twins- they make everything brighter, just like the Brady Bunch sang about.

2. I finally had a good day at work where I didn’t spend all day giving my cubicle walls the evil eye, which they ignored anyway. Those fools!

3. Waking up with a new blog idea this morning.

He asked me the same question. Here's mine:

1. Boog’s smile when I woke him up this morning singing “Good Morning” from the movie Singin’ in the Rain.

2. Seeing a fire engine AND an ambulance down the street from Boog’s daycare and having enough time to stop and watch them for a while. Boog went totally BONKERS when I pointed them out.

3. Listening to my favorite retro-80s radio channel on iTunes all morning on my computer.

(And my bonus happiness: I’m wearing my red shoes today.)

So what are three sources of happiness for you today? Recounting them will make you happy all over again, I promise!

11 August 2008

Meleah and Her Main Squeeze

Macs Rule! And so do their owners. Behold, a genius at work:



You should pay her a visit over at her blog. She's a good read!

TMI

Nothing says "Good Morning Monday!" quite like finding two flies copulating on your windshield as you depart for work in your car.

09 August 2008

Question

I met him online. He's funny. He seems to think I'm funny. We share stories and we get to know each other.

Have any of you ever developed an Internet crush on someone? I would love to hear some anecdotes about this phenomenon, because it's a first for me. Unless you call Ryan Reynolds an Internet crush. In which case, this is my second.

29 July 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise

In case you don't see/read/hear (feel?/smell? I don't want to make any of the senses feel left out) the news, we had an earthquake today! Wheeee!

Actually, not so wheee, since this was the first one for me as a mommy. There I was, working sitting at my desk when the shaking began. And if you live in California, you know what happens then. You think to yourself, "Ummmm...is a huge truck driving into our building or is this an earthquake?" And then you wait for it to be over in a second and a half.

When it continues, your brain shifts gears. "Ok. Earthquake. Let's do this!" And your years of early training in elementary school pay off as you robotically walk to the nearest doorjam. Doorjamb? Door jam. And you ride it out.

This one lasted like five hours. No, that's not right. Two? No. Probably about 10 seconds, but with an earthquake safe building, this means you roll around and sway from side to side for an extra minute. My sweet co-worker from Turkey looked like she was either going to barf or need assistance with her journey to the nearest loony bin. There is always a "first timer" in the bunch.

When the building stopped swaying, I hugged my freaked-out Turkish co-worker, went to my desk, grabbed my purse, keys and phone and left with a quick "I'm going to get my son," which I said over my shoulder as the door was closing behind me. I heard my boss shout, "Don't just check on him - take him with you!" Boog is in daycare about 0.8 miles from the office, so in my car it takes me under five minutes from the office door to the daycare's door. I was the first parent "on the scene." Wow, that sounds so dramatic! Like I'm a paramedic responding to a distress call or something! Cool. I'm using that more often.

I walk in and the caregivers are pacing around with phones to their ears. The head woman (we'll call her MarshaMarshaMarsha) mouths a "hello" to me and I scan the room for Boog. All the kids are preparing for nap time, laying on their respective mats, some already asleep and the rest in various states of consciousness. I spot Boog in the middle of the room, hunched over what appears to be dirt that had been tracked in on someone's shoe from outside. He's pushing a clump of dirt back and forth with his little finger, completely engrossed.

So basically, aside from the flurry of phone calls, everyone seems unfazed. Un-fazed? I'm having spelling issues today.

Boog sees me and jumps up with a delighted squeal and "Mommy!" and runs over to let me wrap him in a tight hug. MarshaMarshaMarsha gives me the lowdown on what happened: everyone is fine, nothing fell off shelves or whatever, the news says there might be more, and Boog was laughing the whole time it was happening.

Like he's Mr. Adrenaline Rush or something. Thoughts of a future Boog bungee-jumping off some remote New Zealand bridge flood my mind. Then he's off to Colorado to shoot the rapids in a kayak, stopping only to base jump off Half Dome in Yosemite.

We left in my car and headed back to the office. Here's my reasoning for this:
(a) there is a very small chance that there will be another one today;
(b) it's air conditioned;
(c) it's safer in that building than my apartment building (I'm quite certain);
and (d) it's air conditioned. Oh did I use that one already?

I park the car and we head inside. He is greeted with the happy excitement that usually ensues when we visit Mommy's office. He makes a beeline for Brad's office, which is the place where the slinky, stress ball, orange fish and tiny globe live. I make sure he isn't bothering Brad and settle back at my desk to make some calls and update Rob on where we are/how we are doing.

So that's basically it, I guess. Just another day in paradise, as the title says. We all had In-n-Out Burger for lunch, Boog included, and I was able to actually get Boog down for a nap in my office for two and a half hours! He snored loudly in the corner, with a cozy towel wrapped around him like a burrito. I got some work done, and managed to fit in lots of personal emailing without anyone noticing. Looking back on the day, I would have to say it was pretty great. Is that odd? I think it's because having Boog within arm's reach for the afternoon made me extremely happy. And if you knew about the crazy night I had prior to this day, you would understand.

But that's another post altogether.

20 July 2008

With Tongue

Last night I dreamt that I kissed Seal. He was a REALLY good kisser. And Heidi Klum was totally okay with it.

19 July 2008

Boys

My mom and I sat and watched Boog playing quietly with his little school bus and bus riders...

Mom: "Aww...look how cute he is, playing so sweetly with those little people."

Me: "Awww."

Boog was removing all the passengers from the school bus, including the driver, and placing them gently on the carpet.

Then he lifted up the bus and SLAMMED IT DOWN ONTO THE LITTLE PEOPLE. Over and over again.

18 July 2008

Office Chatter

Ally: “Hey Eva, guess what today is?”

Eva: “Um, your half-birthday?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your parents’ anniversary?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 2 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 3 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 4 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “I’m running out of guesses.”

Ally: “It’s actually something that both you and I are involved in.”

Eva: “Um, oh! Is it National Take Off Your Bra and Don’t Wear A Bra To Work Day?”

Ally: “No. …it’s payday, Eva.”

Eva: “Oh.”

12 July 2008

New Beginnings

And so my journey through the alphabet comes to a close. It's been an interesting project to play with and distract myself with. I re-read a few of them recently and realized that I really don't get too personal with all of you readers. Which I suppose is for the best, but tonight I'll let you in on a small piece of Personal Eva.

On last Tuesday night, I wrote an email to a friend, part of which read as follows:

"I am sitting here feeling rather odd, and I know it's some strange thing associated with the events that are taking place tomorrow morning. I find it impossible to write anything, so I just sit here, staring at my screen, willing an email to come and distract me. And I run the rounds through my favorite blogs, chastising myself for not reading something important. When is the last time I picked up a damn newspaper? I don't know why I'm concerning myself with my lack of intellectual stimulation right now. I guess it's just more desire for distraction..."

The following morning at 9am, I was at the Orange County courthouse to appear before a judge that would finalize the "marriage dissolution" between myself and Rob. I arrived with some discomfort about how I would feel during the next hour of my day. I came alone, not wanting this to be a "shared moment" with anyone else in my life. Outside the courtroom I met my attorney. As previously agreed, she and I went over the questions she would be asking me in front of the judge; all of which pertain to the fact that the marriage is irreconcilable, that we've agreed to split our assets as stated in the judgment, that no amount of counseling will solve anything, etc.

We were moved to a different courtroom due to our scheduled judge being absent that day. The new judge needed to review the documents before swearing me in. In the interim, he closed a couple of other cases on the agenda. A woman around my age was sworn in and was asked the same questions as I had been briefed on. The judge approved the petition for divorce and sent her back to the seats in the rear of the courtroom. She sat down next to me and started to sniffle and choke back a few sobs. I placed my hand on her arm and told her that it was going to be okay, and that she wasn't alone. I don't know if that was a dumb thing to say, but I found myself becoming sad for her. She said that it was for the best and that now she can get on with her life.

I was struck with a moment of terror - would I start sobbing in front of the judge? I really didn't know how I was going to react to the finality of this divorce that began back in October. I decided that I would just remove my emotion from the process and hope for the best.

The judge excused himself and went to his chambers to review the cases that had been moved from the other courtroom (ours included). My attorney came over to me (she had been sitting up front with the other attorneys) and sat down to make small talk. I asked her if she ever took vacations, figuring that this would distract from the task at hand and further my goal of remaining unattached to the proceedings. She talked about going to San Diego at the end of the month to attend Comicon, AKA NerdFest 2008.

This was perfect. I was delighted that my attorney was such an odd character, vacationing in San Diego for Comicon, and, from a previous conversation months ago, loves to see Wicked The Musical over and over and over again. Even better, I found myself totally at peace with what was soon to transpire.

The judge came back, and after one other case, we were called up. I sat at the table with my attorney and stood up to get sworn in. Did you know that they don't make you put your hand on a Bible? Is that just in the movies? Anyhoo, my attorney asked all the questions and I said "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, etc." and then we were done. The judge granted the divorce, I said goodbye to my attorney, and she stayed behind to wait for the documents to be processed.

I left the courtroom and made my way towards the escalator to take me downstairs and out of the building. You know how sometimes you experience a rare moment in your life where you are completely "in the moment", taking everything in, committing it to memory and utilizing all of your senses to do so? Wednesday morning, riding down the escalator was one of those moments. I realized that I felt an extraordinary sense of relief. And closure. And then something surprised me. I felt happy.

And that made me smile.

Z is for Zane Grey

My old college roomie Gloria is one of my top five friends in the world. She is fun, brilliant, goofy, and a perfect hostess. On occasion, I find myself with a Boog-free weekend. Boog's dad will have him for a weekend with his parents, and I will have time to have a lazy sleepover with Glo at her house.

She loves having guests and I always feel like I'm spending a weekend at a Bed & Breakfast. She and her fiance Steve feed me dinner, fill me with wine and good, grown-up conversations, I collapse in a private room with private bath and sleep for hours and hours with no alarm or child to disturb my sweet, sweet slumber. Then I wander downstairs and once everyone's awake, we have breakfast and cappuccinos and healthy smoothies. And then we waste a whole day just hanging out together, with either retail therapy or a trip to the botanical gardens or whatever.

And by the way: Gloria and Steve live in the historic Zane Grey Estate.



22,000 square feet of amazing room after amazing room. And it's all so unassuming that it's easy to get accustomed to being there very quickly. We usually eat in the kitchen and then we "retire" to the living room where there is a big fireplace, a sofa and some comfy armchairs. And a kitty that makes himself at home in your lap. I find myself forgetting that I'm in this crazy big house made from poured concrete because the wife of the first owner was petrified of fires.



I remember Gloria taking me on a tour of the house the first time I visited her there. It took about an hour. Here's a partial picture of the "West Wing" taken from the back of the main house:



They just planted a mini vineyard in the back, as you can see at the bottom right of the picture above. The property is so large that they can only afford to tackle one project at a time, most recently the roof and the enormous expense of repairing it. This weekend they are having an estate sale, selling big roomfuls of stuff that they've spent the past couple of years clearing out as they work from room to room.

I love visiting that place, mostly because Gloria lives there, but also because really people: how often can you take advantage of such an opportunity? And also, it gives me an appreciation for my tiny one-bedroom apartment and the simplicity that accompanies it.

03 July 2008

Y is for Yesteryear

I should discontinue sharing the musical journeys of my past. Perhaps I scared some of you away with the LA punk scene? Except for Skeeter. Hi Skeeter! Or maybe you're all enjoying your July 4th weekends sans computers! Happy 4th, everybody!

So let's take a journey of another sort. One with a picture and one with a post.

Here's a picture I have in my apartment, of my dad and me outside our cabin in Norway, circa Summer 1970.



And here's an old post that I dug up about Boog from December 2006.

Stay tuned for the final post in my alphabet series: "Z"!!!

01 July 2008

X is for X

At the tender age of 17, the summer after graduating high school, my friend Gail dated a cute punker from Long Beach. And since she and I were attached at the hip, I was paired with his buddy Brent. It was through them that I was exposed to the L.A. punk band X. I still listen to my double album "Los Angeles/Wild Gift" and feel 17 again, with no responsibilities, no sense of mortality and no respect for authority. I never lived the punk lifestyle, but I'll be damned if this band didn't rock my world that summer.

24 June 2008

W is for World of the Sea (aka SeaWorld!)

Boog and I went to Sea World two weeks ago! He had a blast. So did I!



Before our big day, he was given a little monkey "backpack", which is a toddler-leash in disguise. Go ahead and comment on how cruel this device is, I don't care. I didn't lose him, now did I?



He sat so still during all of the shows. During the dolphin show ("doffin show!") he sat on my lap with his hand stuffed in his mouth, he was that excited.



He decided that it would be more prudent to go see the shark exhibit first, and then go to the Sea Lion & Otter show. That way we wouldn't feel too rushed.



He stayed awake as long as his little body could manage. I was impressed that he held out as long as he did! 5pm with no nap! Well done, Boog!

23 June 2008

V Revisited: V is for Variety

While running through alphabet-inspired posts, I keep stumbling over a variety of ideas for new material, but put them on the back burner of my mind since they lack the appropriate letter that would propel them to stardom. The back burner of my mind is getting a bit cluttered, to say the least. So in an effort to do some light housekeeping, I shall perform a clean sweep, hopefully ending this cursed bout of writer's block.

Stealing Respectfully borrowing from a dear blogger friend's routine theme, I am hereby submitting some random thoughts:

• I was on my way to finding a parking spot for my car while I spent an afternoon on the beach, when I stopped at Jack-in-the-Box to get a nice frosty cold beverage. It got me to thinking about drinking straws. How brilliant is the drinking straw? Who figured out that instead of lifting a big heavy cup to your lips to drink, you could leave it sittign on the table, stick a tube into the liquid and sip it with as little effort as possible? And the crazy straw? Genius. I can remember as a child how much more enticing it was to drink a glass of milk when I got to watch it make its curly journey to my mouth. I'll bet a mom with a stubborn toddler invented that one. Some Cliff Claven trivia for you: The straw was invented in 1888. Learn something new every day, don't you?

• Southern California has been in the throes of a heat wave for the better part of a week. It's rather remarkable how different the world is when it's hot. For example, why does the rising temperature bring out the worst in people? I find my patience evaporates quickly, people's tempers boil over, not even allowing time to stew. Everywhere I turn, I witness heated arguments. Okay, I'm done with the puns. ... Hot-heads abound. (Okay, I'm done for real now.) I live on the second floor of a west-facing apartment building. For those of you who are directionally challenged, this means my living room gets ALL the afternoon sun. And coming home from work in the early evening is the earthly equivalent to vacationing in one of the circles of hell from Dante's Inferno. This past weekend, I seriously considered selling my computer to buy an air conditioner.

• When your boss is out of the office for a few days, do you find yourself slacking off? Not even a tiny bit? I had some relaxing days at work last week while my boss was vacationing on her ranch. It felt like a tiny vacation of my own, in a way. But not really. I mean, I'm still the one sitting on my ass in front of a computer, right?

• My car has been acting up lately. It does this weird lurching thing when I accelerate sometimes. In the past week, it has occurred with greater frequency. Am I the only one that pretends not to notice these little inconveniences in one's life? My relationship with my car is such a unique one. It's so one-sided. The car gives and gives, and I just take and take, for the most part. I try to take good care of it - I take it to the mechanic for regular servicing, I change the oil every 5000 miles, if not sooner. I wash it and clean the trash out of it. I sing to it (okay, that's more singing to myself, if you want to get technical about it) and sometimes I even talk to it, lovingly patting its dash in an encouraging manner. In return, my car has been good to me. Until now. So I did what any self-sufficient woman with limited funds would do in my position: I put more oil in it. You know, lube it up a bit. That's what she said. And believe it or not, so far so good. Lube: Works every time. That's what she said.

• Finally, I'm trying my hand at "That's what she said". How am I doing?

• Oh. And then there's this:

13 June 2008

V is for Venomous

I do have another "V" post in mind, but for now, I have to vent to the Internets about my disgust with the show TMZ. I'm not even going to link to it, this is how disgusted I am. I watched 10 minutes of that show tonight. The people who work there are HORRIBLE HUMAN BEINGS with no sense of respect for others. I wonder if it makes them feel good about themselves. It would be the only good that ever came of that show. They should be ashamed of themselves. It's not just gossip, it's downright meanness. I put my remote to good use and changed the channel.

End of rant.

06 June 2008

U is for Undercover Agents Underground

Tonight, I surpassed the 1000 mark in how many times I have read the Backyardigans "A is for Adventure" book to the Boog. I exaggerate, but not by much. In the last two months, something extraordinary has happened - Boog is actually paying attention to what I am saying when I hold a book in front of his face! He repeats stuff and he points to stuff and names it or asks the name of it. I am delighted with this new turn of events.

Up until this point, our bedtime book ritual involved me picking out a book from his bookshelf, sitting in the glider with him, and beginning to read from page one. Not three words into the page, Boog impatiently flips the page. Okay... I begin to read from that page. Flip! Then I decide that I will just entertain myself instead of getting annoyed at the lack of personal closure that I feel when reading every word on the page. I try to speed-read as much as I can before he flips the page again. He counters with faster flipping. Wheeeeeee!

But now? Now he wants to pick out the books himself from the shelf. He climbs into my lap and hands me the book and we read it. And he points to things and proudly proclaims his knowledge of what it is. And he inquires about objects that he can't quite remember, "Whassdat, Mommy?" And we read books about the alphabet, and he points to the letters that he knows. It makes me a bit verklempt, actually. Side note: Go here for a good flashback of laughs!

I have loved books for as long as I can remember. My mom tells me stories about how when I was three, I used to bring five or six books to bed with me to read, and before lying down to sleep I would neatly stack the books on the table next to my crib. In junior high, I was obsessed with Sweet Dreams romance novels and would stay up until 4am, just to finish the book, or pass out with my face in it, whichever came first. Thankfully, my taste in reading matured with time, but my habit of reading into the wee hours of the morning remained. I lost count on how many times I stumbled into work or school with less than two hours of sleep, and not because I was out carousing the night before, either!

It seems to be one of the many joys of parenthood for me: watching Boog's love for books grow over time. I am so excited to see what the future holds for him.

03 June 2008

T is for Teenagers from Sweden!


My "S" post should really have been about Sweden. After all, Norway got its day in the sun, right? Oh well, bygones. What's important is that as of last night, we have three visitors from Sweden! They'll be here for a couple of weeks, staying at my parents' house for most of it.


I have two cousins in this world. Two. They are my mom's sister's children. They both live in southern Sweden in or near my mom's hometown of Simrishamn. How cute is Simrishamn, by the way? The town is storybook cute, people. Cobblestone streets? Check. Adorable hundred year-old houses lining the promenade in town? Check. The whole European sidewalk cafe action? Check. I haven't been there since 1998, when my grandmother turned 80. The teenagers that are visiting us now were 8 and 3(4?) years old the last time I saw them. I always love visiting my family there. I envy those of you who grew up in the same city/state/country as your relatives. It would have been so great to grow up with them and have close relationships with them! I'm fairly close with my female cousin, but only because she came over here a few times as an adult, the last time staying with me for a couple of weeks. The visitors this time are the wife and kids of my male cousin.

We don't correspond much - and it's not because of any language barrier. Those kids speak English like pros! But it's usually birthday and Christmas cards and that's about it. Since Boog was born, they've been sending him clothes and toys and sweet cards in the mail. The 18 year-old has a Facebook page, which allows me and her to send messages back and forth on occasion. So that's been fun, and has been a great place for us to get more acquainted.

So after work today, Boog and I went over to my parents' house to join them all for dinner. It is only the beginning of two crammed weeks of fun with these guys. We're going to Sea World this Saturday. It's a perfect place that can accommodate teenagers and boogs alike. And we haven't been in about 18 months, so I think Boog will enjoy himself.

Part of their visit coincides with Boog staying with his dad, so while I am going to miss my sweet boy more than anything, it will free up my evenings for movies and late nights and even a weekend trip to Magic Mountain! I haven't been to that park in over ten years, and cannot WAIT! I am hoping that I am so busy that time flies and Boog is back in my arms in what seems like only a short moment.

And all of this activity is certain to create memories to blog about and photos to post!

01 June 2008

S is for Summer

Boog and I finally kicked off our summer (properly) this weekend! Memorial Day weekend was a dud as far as summer days go. Rainy, cold, overcast days - totally inappropriate beach weather! But this weekend? This weekend was GORGEOUS.



Boog loves being at the beach. He loves the sunshine, the sand, all of the people, the waves. He loves all that space to run around and just be a crazy Boog without bumping into anything. I love the beach too. It is what I missed the most when I lived in Northern California. Now we live a mile from the coast, and couldn't be happier. I'm looking forward to perfecting our sand castles, having tan lines, finding sand all over the car, inside our shoes, in my bags and in Boog's diapers. It is a part of summers in Southern California that I hold dear in my heart and memory.

Happy Summer of 2008 everyone! Enjoy the moments!

21 May 2008

R is for Recreation

I am in dire need of a vacation. I just realized this on Monday. Let's backtrack and travel back in time...to last Friday. [Insert Wayne and Garth going-back-in-time squiggly noises here]

My company was to be a sponsor at a conference on Monday. On Friday, we were wrapping up the preparations. The boss was out of town, so we wanted to take care and not forget anything. We made a list. We checked it twice....

....gonna find out who's naughty or nice.... [sorry, I could not resist that one]

I delegated stuff. My staff finished it all with time to spare. My boss and Ally (one of the staff) would be going to the hotel on Sunday evening to set up our table in the conference room. The flower arrangement was picked up on schedule on Saturday. Things were going swell.

But no, it wasn't meant to last, this swell going. I got a call from Ally. "Boss wants to know why we laminated the brochure." "Um, because she asked us to?" "No, she said she only asked us to laminate the handout for the panel." "Uh, well what now then?" "She wants to talk to you. Hold on a sec."

"Eva? Do you know how much money we wasted on this? These are unusable and now we don't have brochures for the table."

The next call was an hour later. "Eva, we are the only table without a sign. Did we not request that the event planners make us a sign? Everyone else did." "No, I sent the logo in months ago for that." "Well, there's no sign. Fortunately, so-and-so says they can run to Kinko's and have one made for us in time for tomorrow morning." "Well that's a relief."

The next morning: "Eva, these handouts for the panel don't have our phone number or website URL on them. I am having a heart attack. How did this happen? This is not the version of the document that I approved. These handouts cost a fortune and nobody is going to know who we are now!" "Oh my God, I have no idea how that could have happened. I sent the corrections to the graphic designer and she sent the final version back to me. I checked the corrections and it looked good." "Well, this conference is turning into a total fiasco and it's all your fault."

Actually, that last part isn't what she said at all, but I basically decided that it was time to lose my marbles. You know how sometimes everything goes wrong? And since you're in charge of delegating everything, it's basically your responsibility? This is one of those times. But since I'm not a Quitter, I had to suck it up and just get through the day. With the help of a LOT of chocolate.

And after making it through the day and choking back some tears for a couple of minutes, I decided that I need a vacation where Boog and I actually GO somewhere. Not the lame vacation where you just stay home and do stuff that you usually do on weekends anyway. The kind where you pack a swim suit and sunscreen and maybe a guide book. And you reserve seats on an airplane. And you book a hotel room and when you land at your destination, you have to set your watch back three hours.

Unfortunately, the current state of my finances does not allow for such a destination until the fall, when I am hopefully getting a rather large sum of money for referring some business to an old colleague of mine. Cross your fingers, everyone!

In the meantime, this long weekend will involve a swim suit and sunscreen anyway. After all, I am in beautiful and sunny Southern California! Have a happy Memorial Day, everyone!

15 May 2008

Q is for Quitters

Yesterday was the most grueling training session at the gym EVER IN MY LIFE.

But I got through it! I survived the test of endurance! This experience with having a personal trainer is making me learn quite a bit about myself: something I never considered to be a part of the equation. And the more I think about it, the more I feel that I don't know myself very well anymore.

I'm one of those people that adapts easily to whatever situation or group I encounter. If I'm around a bunch of girls, I tend to act girly and showcase my girly side. If I'm around guys, I let my tomboy surface. At work, I'm professional, yet goofy to keep the office from getting too stuffy. With Boog, I am Mommy and we talk in words for two year olds, we play silly games and make each other laugh and I am constantly enforcing boundaries that need to be enforced. With my parents, I remain the fairly well-behaved girl that they've known forever. But with all these personas, who am I when I'm just with me and myself?

I'm figuring it out. My sense of self-worth is growing as my body gets stronger. I have a sense of pride in knowing that I did my best and pushed myself until I could go no further. My trainer Audrey is helping me realize just how far I am actually able to go if I just give it that extra push, or those last three reps, or those last ten seconds. Just groan a little louder and find that last ounce of energy somewhere deep inside yourself. I have started applying this "extra push" to other aspects of my life: my patience, my willpower, my approach to work, trying to think positive.

It's a work in progress, but hey, it's MY work in progress, and it feels really good to have a focused sense of personal direction again. And "quitting" is no longer in my vocabulary.

13 May 2008

P is for Poop

I tried to think of a better subject for this post, really I did. But after four days of taking care of a toddler with the stomach flu, it is quite impossible to think of anything else. Except for barf.

I am so sorry. My apologies to the childless readers of this blog. I hope you ate already.

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Just taking a brief break from the alphabet routine to wish all you mommies out there a very Happy Mother's Day. I hope you all had some wonderful moments with your children.

07 May 2008

O is for Overbooked

For the past few days, I have been laboring over a major friend faux-pas that I committed on Sunday. I didn't realize that I had material for a post until I was doing the dishes tonight. Read on, fellow parents! I am sure you have lived through the same exact scenario (which may or not involve IKEA).

But first, a little history to make this post super long (the Norway post has me reminiscing about all sorts of stuff). I have a dear friendship that dates all the way back to high school, circa 1985. He, let's call him Chester, because that's his name! Haha! Chester! Tee hee. Ahem. Actually, everyone calls him Chet (you may begin your flashbacks to Weird Science now). He played trombone in the band, and I was a flag twirler in Colorguard. His best friend began dating one of my best friends. He developed a crush on me and asked me out. We went out. He was way too intellectual for boy-crazy Eva, let me tell you. I'll give you an example. He didn't like going to the movies with me because "we can't talk if we're watching a movie. I'd rather sit and talk with you." What? Are you insane? We're in high school, our hormones are raging OUT OF CONTROL and you don't want to sit in a dark place rubbing elbows with a cute girl who loves making out with boys?!?! I thought Chet was strange, to say the least.

But oddly enough, we stayed friends through the years. We tried dating again after high school and were quite fond of each other, but the chemistry was a bit off. He transferred to a university in northern California and we kept in touch. I visited him up there once, and we made it a habit to get together for a meal or a nice chat during the holidays. He moved to Japan to teach conversational English and we had the most wonderful correspondence. He was the best pen pal I have ever had. At one point, we even sent cassette tapes back and forth, with audio letters to each other. I wish I had saved them - I have no idea where they went. He was over there for years, returning to northern California to complete his Masters degree in English and then back to Japan again. He knocked up his long-term girlfriend and they got married. He became father to a beautiful baby girl.

A year or so later, he moved his little family back to the U.S. I was up north by then, living near Berkeley. We resumed our "visit while we're in town" routine and I acquainted myself with this new little person in his life. My little family moved down here to southern California in December of 2006. I thought it would be so great to reconnect and be close again, but alas, Chet was going through a rough patch in life and dropped out of sight. After countless attempts on my part to get together, I gave up and reluctantly wrote him off.

A few weeks after I left Rob, I was driving back to my parents' house following an afternoon of packing my things at the old apartment. I got a call from Chet and after hearing that his rough patch was over and being relieved that he called, I spilled my whole story about what my life was like at the time. And ever since then, we've spoken or seen each other at least once a week. Something about our separate difficulties has brought us closer, and I'm so grateful for his friendship.

So we had been playing phone tag last week, trying to nail down some time to meet and maybe share a meal with our kids. We decided that a Sunday morning breakfast would do nicely. We agreed to meet at 9:30 at the Seal Beach Pier. He called that morning to say he was running a bit late and could we postpone about an hour? So I said, "That's fine. How about we meet for lunch instead, and in the meantime I'll head to IKEA since I need to do that today anyway."

"Great," he said. "See you at 11:30. Let's meet at the entrance to the pier."

My mom tagged along to IKEA, and we let Boog try out all the mattresses and sit in all the chairs and hold the big rolling shade that I bought for his room, which was quite comical, the shade being 6 feet long and all. My phone apparently rang at 11:30, and I later heard the message that Chet left: "Hey, we're here! We'll wait another 5 minutes or so, and then head out to the end of the pier to the restaurant to get us all a table." My mom and I got to the car to load our purchases in the trunk when I noticed that it was five minutes to twelve. I called Chet. "Hi, I am so sorry, we are just leaving IKEA, and our time totally got away from us." He said no problem, that they were going to just go ahead and order and maybe we can try again some other time.

I felt just awful. I should not have gone to IKEA, I should have just spent the morning puttering around the house or going for walk with Boog, right? But I just have to squish every single errand and social event into my weekend, leaving no margin for error.

I called him two days later and left a voice mail apologizing profusely, admitting that I had made a big mistake thinking I could fit IKEA into my morning, and that I totally disrespected his valuable time. "I totally understand if you don't want to call me back right away, and that you just want to stew about my rudeness for a couple of weeks."

He returned my call that night. He was touched that I felt so bad, but told me that we are both parents and we have both been there. "No worries!"

Well, despite this ending on a good note, I really have scolded myself to not repeat that if at all possible. I will not overbook. I will not overbook. I will not overbook.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to do about ninety-five things before Boog wakes up from his nap.

06 May 2008

N is for Norway

Did you know I'm half Norwegian? I know the "sveedish" bit is self-explanatory, but my dad is an Oslo native. I've been there quite a few times in my life, and let me tell you, it is an amazing country. Behold:



I mean, seriously people. Fjords! Imagine standing there seeing it for yourself. The kind of beauty that makes you gasp in awe of nature.

When I was seven, my family moved to Sweden, to a city just west of Stockholm, called Vasteras. During the eighteen or so months that we lived there, we visited my grandparents in southern Sweden often, and we also drove over to Norway to visit his mom and spend time in my dad's cabin that he inherited from his family. It was a tiny rustic cabin with an outhouse and a wood-burning stove that heated the whole cabin. I remember my dad and brother digging a new hole for the outhouse every time we stayed there. I remember dad getting up at 5am to light a fire in the wood stove so that the cabin would be cozy and warm when we all got up later in the morning. I remember the poofy down comforters that we snuggled under when spending a winter vacation there, and I remember our day hikes around the surrounding mountainside picking buckets full of wild blueberries.

My brother and I had a ball at that cabin. Once during a winter visit, it snowed so much that we had to dig ourselves out of the cabin one morning. Cliff and I spent the day digging tunnels in the snow, and little "caves" in the tall snowdrifts against the cabin walls. Like snow forts!

And the buckets of wild blueberries? We would bring them back to the cabin and eat them with cream. Blueberries the size of marbles.

M is for Meme (more of a game, actually)

I was surfin' around, popping in on BeanieSue's site after she left a helpful comment on my L post (hi BeanieSue!). She had a cool game that involves Flickr.

Here’s the game:
- Go to Flickr
- Type your answer into the “search” box.
- Pick an image from the first page.
- Copy and paste answer into blog

[I actually picked the first picture in each search, and didn't realize you could pick from the first PAGE, but that's typical Eva, not following directions]

My name is:


My relationship status is:


My favorite color is:


My celebrity crush is (yowza!):


My favorite princess is:


My favorite adult beverage is:


My dream vacation:


When I grow up I want to be:

03 May 2008

L is for Loud

I live in a nice, quiet apartment building. My neighbors in the building are friendly, and keep to themselves for the most part. I have a one-bedroom apartment, with Boog sleeping in the bedroom in the back, and I sleep on the sofa bed in the living room. If I could afford it, I'd live in a two bedroom, believe me. And if Boog didn't snore so freakin' loud, I would share the bedroom with him.

The problem isn't the sleeping arrangements. It's the sonofabitch who lives in the building next door. About five feet from our back windows are the neighboring building's back windows. And in the apartment directly across from our back windows lives Mr. Gangsta Rap.

Word.

He is the kind of neighbor you wish you never have to be exposed to. The guy leaves his window open ALL THE TIME. So when he's hitting his bong and listening to foul mouthed [c]rap, I can both smell and hear the experience first hand. And when he's struck closing-time gold at the local dive bar, I get to hear his exploits with the Skank o' The Evening. He gets a call on his celly? He has the consideration to stand right up at the window to have his conversation as close to my window as possible so as to allow me to hear every word spoken.

One night, he was playing his music so loud that Boog was unable to fall asleep. I yelled out my window for him to turn it down. No response (probably because he couldn't hear me over the music). So I went over there and knocked on his door for five minutes. The coward never answered his door. He finally turned his music off and left the apartment around 10pm, and I put Boog back down in his crib where he promptly passed out. Thankfully.

I don't want Boog exposed to this foul human being, but there's nowhere to escape it unless we stay in the front room. I've considered calling the city, or the police, but I feel like there are worse issues that occupy the police department's time. Once the Boog is old enough to ask questions, I hope that this is no longer a problem.

Any advice?

02 May 2008

K is for Kodak Moment

I was looking at my profile picture and decided it's time for a change. That picture is from, like, FIVE years ago. But then I thought, it's actually a rather goofy picture, but nobody can tell because I cropped the hell out of it. A friend of mine up in Calgary asked me what I am doing in the photo, and I explained that I was rocking out next to my friend KCMO, who dj's at home for fun. And then I thought, well I'll just send her the whole picture so she can see herself.

So I think I'll keep the profile pic as is, and share the whole picture with you guys!



I guess this post stems from my feeling self-conscious about joking that I was an exotic dancer in my profile, and now wondering if that was a stupid idea. I'm not an exotic dancer, I'm an accountant. But that isn't quite as intriguing, somehow. Unless you think number crunching is hot.

J is for Joke

My favorite joke was told to my by one of my favorite people in the world. You are required to tell this joke in a game-show host voice, similar to that of Guy Smiley on Sesame Street.

What do you call a midget psychic that just robbed a bank?

~ A small medium at large!

Do you have a joke you'd like to share? And as a side note: blond jokes and dirty jokes do not offend me, so feel free.

29 April 2008

I is for Incredibly Cute

I know, I know. The whole letters thing is getting tiresome. But I really can't stop now, can I? I mean, how big of a loser would I be if I just stopped at "H"? And it's kind of helpful to me to just think of some word that starts with the letter of the post and go from there. Who knows where these letters can take you? Am I right ladies?

Aaaaaanyhoo. Boog got a little robe for his birthday and asked to wear it after his bath last week. Once I got it all situated on him, I remarked at how dashing he looked in his big boy robe. He said, "Picture?" But of course, my sweet boy!



Every night since then, after his bath, he has requested His Robe, and subsequently announces his approval of a photo op. I comply.


On a completely different note - after watching Jason Castro perform "Forever in Blue Jeans" tonight on American Idol, I was reminded of my gross misinterpretation in the past of the lyrics of the song:

Money talks
But it don't sing and dance
And it don't walk
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I'd much rather be
Reverend Blue Jeans

Do you have any amusing misheard lyrics you'd like to share?

23 April 2008

H is for what the H-E-double hockey sticks?!?!?!

I cannot BELIEVE that Carly is out. I guess I can't really complain since I never pay for a call to vote on anyone, but OMG I am so bummed.

What a travesty! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

Hey wait! H is for the Horror!

20 April 2008

G is for Greatness

"What we do, Miss Ventura, does not define who we are. What defines us is how well we rise after falling."

Who knew that I would find a deep moment while watching Maid in Manhattan?

This week will mark six months since I filed for divorce from my soon-to-be ex-husband Rob. I really wish that I could put this chapter to rest, but the courts and the attorneys that navigate through them seem in no hurry whatsoever.

I feel like I have worked hard to rise above after my fall. The reason for our split is something I'd rather not publicize in this forum, and it's something that was not within my control. But since our split, I have risen above. I found a life that provides a happy world for my little Boog, and a happy and secure place for me to raise him.

A wise woman told me recently that in order to be a great parent, you have to take care of yourself first. She used the analogy of being in an airplane that is losing air pressure: Put your own oxygen mask on first before placing one on your child. So I am making it a priority to take care of myself. And I am trying to wade through this divorce process with as much grace as I can muster.

I think I'm doing pretty darn good!

That Bob Hoskins is so profound.

11 April 2008

F is for Funny

Today, my co-worker and I ran a bunch of errands for the Boss and bonded a bit over some shared laughs. Here's one topic that had us giggling. Remember all of those radio spots? Thank you, Internet, for always being there when I need to find something!

07 April 2008

E is for Me! Eva!

A self-indulgent post if there ever was one...

A list of six of my favorite material things:

1. My Nikon D40 - I love every camera I've ever had, but this one takes the cake. I have always, always wanted a camera that allows me to feel much more involved in the process and now I have one!

2. My television - I know that it is hip and cool to say that you don't watch or even own a tv, but I have one and I love watching it. I disagree with the term "idiot box" - I would rather call it a "turn off my brain after a busy and draining day box".

3. My 2000 VW Golf - I spent five months researching cars before buying this one. It is perfect for my life, in every way. I got a four-door with the plan of someday having a child that I would have to load and unload from the back seat. I highly recommend VWs. In closing, one word: fahrvergnĂ¼gen.

4. My iPod - hello? Of course I love my iPod! Who doesn't love their iPod? It's a wonderful piece of technology. Who would have thought that in our lifetime, we would be able to throw our entire collection of music in our pocket and head out the door into the world? Amazing.

5. My Rolex - this watch used to belong to my grandmother before she passed away. My mom gave it to me about three years ago. I wear it every day, except for the year following Boog's birth, because I was afraid it would scratch his little head when I put him down for naps and stuff.

6. My keepsakes box - my favorite of Boog's baby clothes, photo albums, birthday cards, you name it. I love opening the box (it is quite large) and taking a stroll down memory lane. I can't believe how TINY my boog used to be!

05 April 2008

D is for ... uhhh ... no idea.

Work has sapped my brain of every creative thought. I struggled last night to come up with something good to write about, but drew a blank. Oh well. I'm off to spend the night at my college roomie's enormous estate tonight, so here's a meme I stole from several blogs from Sari's circle of friends:

Instructions:
1. Open your music library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod, whatever)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question below, type the song that’s playing
5. New question — press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

Here we go:

* Opening credits: “Linger” by The Cranberries - Ah, the story of my past romantic relationships.
* Waking up: "The Sun" by Maroon 5 - It's always good to start the day with Adam's voice in your ears.
* First day at school: "Path of Thorns" by Sarah McLachlan - Nice job, iTunes shuffle!
* Falling in love: “Men in Black” by Will Smith - Actually, this is appropriate! The greatest loves of my life began with many, many laughs. And one of my favorite quotes is from this movie.
* Breaking up: “Machinehead” by Bush - A manic song with crazy lyrics ~ very apropos.
* Prom: "Here We Go" by N*Sync - Bubblegum pop full of fun goofy melody.
* Life’s okay: "Are You Happy Now" by Michelle Branch - Finding yourself and inner strength, perhaps?
* Mental breakdown: "Cygnus X-1" by Rush - One of their more "progressive" pieces, by far.
* Driving: "Top of the World" by Patty Griffin - I LOVE singing along to Patty when I'm alone in the car. This one's a bit slow, but good choice, Ms. Shuffle.
* Flashback: "Give it Up" by Sade - I used to listen to this album (Stronger Than Pride) while delivering pizza in Lake Tahoe back in 1995. Such a fond memory. [Mental note to self: Blog about time in Lake Tahoe]
* Getting back together: "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers - Full of love and promise.
* Wedding: "Trees" by Rush - Rob and I totally bonded over our mutual love of Rush while we were getting to know each other. In a way, the lyrics can (in a long-shot way) fit into our what our marriage was, including and its troubles and our personalities.
* Birth of child: "Say That You Love Me" by The Cardigans - Desperate for a perfect relationship; I had unrealistic expectations of motherhood, I guess this works in a way.
* Final battle: "Shadowlands" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters - A little too deep for me on a Saturday afternoon. I'm not a fighter anyways.
* Death scene: "Happy Now?" by No Doubt - Kind of in-your-face anger. I hope my life doesn't end with that sort of open hostility.
* End credits: "Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake - Right on! If you know me, you know about me and JT. As Justin says towards the end, "Now everybody dance."

Hey, that was fun! Hope everyone's weekend is going great.

03 April 2008

C is for Cookie

Why would C be anything else but?

I have a weakness for cookies. My favorite by far is chocolate chip. For as long as I remember, I've made Nestle Toll-House cookies from scratch. Over the years, I have perfected the art of baking them and am quite pleased with my craft.

The secret is in the preparation technique, not the ingredients, although that does make a difference as well. First of all, you must NEVER melt the butter. It must only be softened. And it has to be butter, not margarine. Very important. Second, you must mix BY HAND, not with a mixer or Cuisinart or whatever else you have in your arsenal. This overmixes it and makes it too creamy. You want the dough to have some texture. Always stop stirring the dough just before you think it's enough. Third, FOLLOW THE RECIPE. For you cooks out there who are at one with the "creative process" of cooking, hold back the urge to estimate the measurements, or God forbid, get all creative and throw foreign ingredients into the mix.

The final step before actually baking them is to put the dough in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (or the freezer if you wish). This keeps the dough from melting and spreading flat on the cookie sheet too quickly, making icky crispy edges to the cookies. Instead, they slowly bake and spread gently outward, and remain quite chewy after they've cooled. Yum.

Keep an eye on them when they're in the oven. Take them out just before they get any darker than a golden brown - they actually bake a bit more on their own after you've taken them out of the oven. And it is a cardinal sin to wait until they cool before having one. The melted chocolate is such a treat, and the smell of a freshly baked cookie under your nose is pure heaven. Be sure to stock up on some cold milk to wash down your perfect chocolate chip cookies.

And pull a stool up to the counter when you get started with the whole process - your little toddler will want to help mix and dip his pudgy fingers into the batter. And they will want to eat a lot of them. And they will get a tummy ache. And they will begin their lifelong love of baking if you're lucky.

Oh, and yes, a cookie is a Sometimes Food. ;)

This post was brought to you by the letter C.

02 April 2008

B is for Boog

My baby boy is no longer a baby. He is a little boy! A walking, talking, obstinate and affectionate bundle of spunk. Here's a short anecdote about my little Boog:

My brother and his girlfriend gave us an early Boog birthday present recently ~ a bike seat for Boog that attached to the back of my bike. I took him to Target and let him pick out his own helmet. Being a red-blooded boy with exposure to PBS and its enticing train propaganda shows, he made a beeline for the bright blue "Thomas and Friends" logo. How he spotted it amongst the glaring images of Dora and Diego I will never know. I pulled it off the rack and handed it to him. It was packaged with a set of elbow and knee pads as well, all snug in the thick, thick government plastic we have all come to know and hate. He exclaimed his joy with a squeal and a very concise remark: "Hat!" I was able to put it on his head to check the fit, along with the rest of the package attached, elbow pads and all. He giggled and indicated that he wished to wear it for a while. So he rode around in the shopping cart with a huge package of plastic-enclosed helmet and pads with a big toothy grin on his face. How cute can he possibly get?

The next evening, we went on a bike ride with my brother and his girlfriend. He ooh'd and ahh'd the whole time he was in motion. It was a happy, happy evening.

My Baby Boy Boog wearing his Bike helmet:



This post is brought to you by the letter B.