Friday, December 31, 2010

Dancing Tulips

I stand here every morning . . .

and make coffee before I sit down to read blogs. I was particularly happy the other morning when I noticed that the tulips were doing the mambo.

Have a safe and lovely New Year's Eve. I feel good things coming.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Airplane Airplane

Last month we had one of my son's friends over to play. We did this because his mother asked us to. His father was at home with terminal cancer and the boy enjoyed breaks from all that was going on at his home.

I watched my son and his friend play outside. They were purposefully lodging paper airplanes onto my roof. My son thought this was hysterical. His friend was about as happy as a ten year old could be with a father that was at home dying.

I wanted to stop time for this kid. His days were only going to get harder, and then there would be the day that would change his life forever. This sweet little ten year old would forever have a missing piece that nobody else could fill. Over time, he'll grow to be a beautiful, successful man (you can just tell that about kids from certain families) - who lost his dad when he was 10.

The next morning I saw paper airplanes all over my yard. I decided not to pick them up, not then, not the next day, not ever. It was the only thing I could do to stop time for him.

The boy's dad passed away the day after Christmas. And the paper airplanes are gone from the yard.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slowly Melting

That was a lovely picture of George Harrison yesterday, no?

Anyway, the first phone interview went . . . well. It was so very normal. Unlike past interviews, the interviewer didn't spend 2 hours talking about himself and asking nothing about me (true story). You could tell that the guy was really trying to get to know my personality and what I liked to do and what I didn't like to do. We spoke for half an hour and I actually enjoyed our talk.

Now I wait to see if I get called back for an interview at their offices.

Until then, solutions for the Lego builder on the go . . .
That's right. This t-shirt comes with that ever elusive flat foundation piece attached right to the front.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Alright Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo, Doo.

My husband and I spent yesterday evening's dinner discussing tattoos with my 17 year old stepdaughter. She hasn't decided yet what she is going to get. I thought my husband's head was going to explode. Given that her mother and her older sister are tattooed ladies, I think my husband gets that he actually has very little control over the ultimate outcome of this. I am also not sure why my husband's head didn't explode when she said that her 21 year old boyfriend has U.S.D.A. Prime tattooed on his ass. I am sure she knows this because he told her.

Anyway, the summer that I spent in California during university I was entirely convinced that I wanted a tattoo around my ankle that said, "Here Comes the Sun." That is, and always has been, my favorite song. One day that summer I walked the entire length of San Francisco looking for a tattoo parlor. It is only by the odd circumstance that I did not find a tattoo place in the Haight (and that smartphones had yet to be invented) that I am tattoo free today. And thank God. As much as I adore that song, what was I thinking?! A tattoo anklet? I blame the marine layer for even having the thought. My stepmother wears anklets. I am a stepmother. Let's leave it at that.

There have been so many times during the last year that I have heard that song and wanted to feel it. It did not yet feel like the ice was slowly melting, for me, for anyone. Every time some expert proclaimed the recession over, there was a parallel story about more jobless and benefits running out. The job boards were slow. Nobody I knew that was laid-off with me had found a job.

This Christmas, I started to hear stories on the news about people coming back to the stores. My practice groups website was posting new jobs daily, and my state bar's employment page was expanding daily as well. I have three (3), tres, drie, phone interviews next week. THREE.

Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo, Doo.
Picture from

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Returno to Rancho Pescadero

My husband, the one that does floors, gave me the ultimate Christmas present - a trip for us back to Rancho Pescadero. I know. I know.

If you can't do Bora Bora on a regular basis, (and, unless you are Adrienne Maloof or Barbara Streisand and can afford $25 lattes, Bora Bora is a once in a lifetime thing) Rancho Pescadero is the best place on earth.

In the time since we were at the Rancho last March, it has been written up on more "best of" lists than I can remember, and it has also expanded the number of rooms available. Nevertheless, knowing what I know about the staff and the philosophy of the whole place, I am confident that it will be the same place - and this time we are going early enough in the year to catch the whale migrations through Baja.

Baja, baby! Were going to Baja. Rancho Pescadero is remote yet accessible, decadent yet unpretentious, decorated yet rustic - perfect. It is an escape form reality, yet you feel more connected to what is real than ever before. The rooms are laid out so that you can keep one of your walls completely open to the ocean but still feel like you are at your own private resort. Last time the only other guest we noticed from our room was the guy that played his guitar every afternoon on his patio - but even that was lovely! Should you desire company, there are always lots of friendly guests at the bar by the pool happy to chat, as is the bartender (who makes killer margaritas).

We go in mid-January and this time I have my own camera and I will make sure my husband doesn't leave his at the airline check-in (snaps to American Airlines for keeping it safe for us until our return). I will try to post on other things between now and then, but did I mention - RANCHO PESCADERO.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Colors of the Season

Merry Christmas from
the pink and orange tree . . .

the red and white tree . . .

and the black and white dog with the blue eyes.

Thanks for sharing with me this year! Love, Associate Girl

Normally I Don't Care for Feet

For all but the very first part of my son's life, he has gone back and forth between two houses. Entirely convinced that my divorce from his father was the best thing for us all, I have never wallowed in missing him when he is not around. This is our life.

However . . .

I just dropped him off at his dad's and will now not see him until Christmas Day. I read a lot about children of divorce when I was going through the divorce (including one popular article promising that my son was going to be a drug addicted sexual deviant as a result of the divorce, destined to make it no further than high school and middle management at Whataburger). One of the prevailing themes was that kids generally adjusted, but that they always felt stress about forced schedules and being shuffled around on holiday days. Accordingly, my ex and I don't set a schedule for that day. We switch Christmas Eve/morning every year, but our son can decide when he is ready to come over to the other house that day. So far it has worked out brilliantly.

This year though, when I dropped him off at his dad's, it hurt my heart a little. I'm going to miss him these next couple of days. Because my husband was out of town, my son slept with me last night. At some point during the night, he reached out his foot to find me, and he threw his ankle over mine. This happened at some point very early in the morning, but I stayed awake until the alarm went off. No matter how he twisted and turned for the rest of the night, he made sure his foot was touching mine. Then he woke up and started jumping on the bed because he couldn't wait to get over to his dad's because there are so many presents there. That's okay. I got the foot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Over It!

I'm Done.

No more.

If I have one more sip of pumpkin spice latte, I'll gag.

Looking back at this month, it's really rather revolting: I also tried the brulee latte (ew), peppermint brownies, caramel popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, chocolate haystacks, yogurt with caramel ice cream topping, the Baby Ruths out of my son's Halloween candy, coconut M&Ms (yum), mint M&M, cherry MandMs, candy cane kisses, Pamela's gluten free shortbread, Pamela's gluten free chocolate chip cookies, Glutina chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered craisins and macaroons.

I can literally feel the sugar rotting my body and burning my cheeks.

So that's it. It's back to the salt.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


My husband is really allergic to dogs. Like, really. He gets all itchy and stuff just being in the vicinity of them (Which is rough when you live in the State of Dog. People take their dogs everywhere here - Home Depot, Starbucks, restaurants. I'm not even kidding.)

Because my husband wasn't going to be around for a little while, I asked my ex if I could pick up my ex dog when I picked up my son to take him for a walk. It's important to walk him around this time of year because he has so much extra excited energy to burn off on account of Christmas.

The three of us ran up and down the parkway, up and down the parkway. It was lovely and chilly and we had a blast just running. There is nothing better than a boy being run by his dog and the laughing due to the pure joy of being run by the dog.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Classics

Over the weekend, we watched Elf. It's one of those movies that I enjoy more every time I watch it. There are really three lessons to be learned from Elf:

1. Zooey Deschanel should not be blonde.
2. Zooey Deschanel used to be all angsty before she became quirky.
3. Zooey Deschanel can sing.

She has an excellent version of "Baby It's Cold Out Side." As do many singers.

Now, I love me some Willie Nelson. "Always On My Mind" is just achingly sad and beautiful, much like the movie The Way We Were. Although, if there was a song that was reminiscent of the movie The Way We Were, it would probably be the song "The Way We Were."

Anyway, even thought I am a tax attorney sworn to uphold the rules and regulations of the tax code, or something to that effect, I love me some Willie Nelson. But he's what, like 100? He's got a version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Norah Jones, who is what, like 25? I am just driving along in my little car enjoying all the classic Christmas music and on comes Willie, sounding like he wants to eat up Norah Jones and violate her in ten different ways. I'm all, "Run Norah, RUN! It's cold outside but for goodness bundle up and get the hell out of there!"

So, what's your favorite Christmas movie?
Also, it's kind of distracting that I used italics for movies and quotes for songs, no? What can I tell you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funny, Fantastic and Fabulous

These three thing from around the web made me extremely happy this week.

1. When Parents Text.
Contrived? Perhpas. Hysterical? Absolutely.

2. Juliet's Tree.
You have to check out her discription of the Elf.

3. Winona Ryder's Vintage Pink Bathroom
This makes me want to get a tatoo that says Winona Forever.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For Juliet

There's no place like home . . .

There's no place like home . . .

Free Christmas Gifts

I am working the tail end of a migraine, so this is going to be short . . .

Today I have a challenge for you - spend a little extra time chatting with someone today. It will make their day, I promise. It could be your assistant, your barista, the slightly slow guy that bags the groceries, or your boss. (It won't be my boss. It could have been my boss but then she sent me an email saying that we need to talk about my 2011 goals, thereby causing me to want to avoid her at all costs.)

Anyway, I did this recently with a new assistant at work whose group doesn't seem to talk to her much. I learned that, like me, she likes to mix her major Target wardrobe scores with her Tory Burch shoes. However, unlike me, she likes the Tory Burch logo reva flats. I do not care for the Tory Burch logo and I do not wear flats.

P.S. I wore my yellow kitten heels twice so far this week. Yellow is the new neutral.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The One Question

The question I was referring to yesterday is from the article, "Could this one simple question be the key to greatness?" by Russell Bishop . . .

What could I do that would make a difference in my life that requires no one's permission other than my own?

This seemed a bit tough at first. It would really, really make a difference if I could work near a window, but I can't just decide to move into one of the empty offices (although my therapist tells me that I should). It would really make a difference if I could practice law again; unable to practice in my area quite yet without a partner, I need someone to agree to take me on. It would really make a difference if I could pick a space for The Franchise and someone would give it to me, but that requires a landlord. Well, you get the picture. This all seemed a bit hopeless at first.

But then it became easy. And downright fun.

I don't have a window, but I can skip the Starbucks and put fresh flowers on my desk every week. With January's first paycheck - hello Jonathan Adler vase. And I can choose to run outside at lunch time. I don't just get light, I get fit. I can harass my headhunter. I have the power to do that. (I note that she has the power not to respond, but I'm working on that. Squeaky wheel thing and all.) And I have the power to look for another space for The Franchise other than the malls, and find a broker that knows what she's doing.

It's actually inspiring to think about how much control you do have. As the article went on to provide, even if you can't control the event, you can control your reaction to the event. That you have control of your reactions isn't an original idea, of course. But sometimes you need reminding of it. Consider yourself reminded.

What about you - what is a situation in your life that has been imposed and what can you do to make the best of it? An interesting question, no?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Way She Is

I quite like The Huffington Post. That is where I learned about Hungover Owls. Also, from time to time, movie star types will write opinion pieces. It is fun to see who can think and who should just look pretty.

Speaking of which - sidebar - I really liked Barbra Streisand. The Way We Were. Not only did she and Robert Redford have an orange wall at their beach house in Malibu, but - oh - the love that could just never be even though they really loved each other. And that final scene (spoiler alert) where Robert comes back with his new little blonde wife and sees Babs on the street and you just hate him for giving in to all the things that came too easy (i.e, not Babs) just like he foreshadowed in his creative writing class so many years earlier. Perhaps he knew where all this was going . . .

. . . a Main Street created in the basement of her home. Like, in real life (not her communist supporting Way We Were life), in her real home, she has a fake street with fake little shops, including an antique doll shop. No. For the love of God no. If you have that much money you buy art. You don't build a fake Main Street in your own damn home. Or, like Adrienne Maloof, you dress like a drag queen rodeo clown for charity functions. But a fake main street in your basement and a hardcover book dedicated to your decorating prowess? No.

So, anyway, I was reading The Huffington Post today and came across this article by Russell Bishop: "Could this one simple question be the key to greatness?" I guess since you can't have bright green blogs up at work for an extended amount of time, I'll tackle that one tomorrow.
(picture of bab's book from

Monday, December 13, 2010

Provided, However

The champagne below was not in celebration of anything specific. Although . . . we love our new commercial real estate broker and I love my new headhunter and after 3 seasons of looking I finally found yellow kitten heels for a steal. (Provided, however, that now that I have them I wonder if I look like I a duck when I am wearing them.) Anyway, I have a lot of black and gray in my wardrobe, but I love shoes in colors.

This weekend we set out purposefully to enjoy the hustle and bustle. We went to Crate and Barrel (how suburban of us) to buy this year's reindeer ornament, to Talbots where we found the perfect hat and glove set for the 97 year old grandma, and to the Avalanche game to enjoy some hockey. My dear sweet husband who has been working way, way too hard misread the tickets and our hockey game is next week.

We traveled around to the spots suggested by the real estate broker, one in suburbia by a Corner Bakery, and one right smack in the middle of downtown, also next to a Corner Bakery. I note that the Corner Bakery sells Whoopie Pies. This is brilliant. Despite the fact that I do not eat wheat, I felt the need to buy Whoopie Pies. There is a lot of flotsam and jetsam in our downtown; provided, however, I really am a city girl. There are a lot of Talbots sweaters on the old ladies in suburbia; provided, however, it felt very safe. I could take down an old lady should I need to.

Today I shall wear the yellow kitten heels and see if I feel like quacking.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Come On!

When I was growing up, my parents used to shoot the champagne corks into the pool. Being a stickler for tradition but lacking a pool, my husband and I aim our champagne corks for the Parkway.

Yes, yes, its littering. But trust me. Compared to some of the other things that we have seen on the Parkway, the corks are downright pleasing. Also, I know of no city ordinance stating that if one does not have a pool then one is prohibited form shooting ones champagne corks into the Parkway.

Celebrate good times, come on! Need a reason? It's Friday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Marble Track Tree

I'm pretty happy.
I have this new habit of focusing on the the joy in every day - not so much what was yesterday, or what could happen tomorrow, but what is great about today. Like the scene above. My son decided that we shold have a marble track around the tree. Yes please!

This carpe diem thing hasn't even been a terribly hard exercise when I am in my cubicle. For one thing, I love the fact that the Starbucks cups are red at this time of the year. (In addition to the red, I enjoy the fact that I don't have to look at a big picture on my cup of that mermaid thing with the split tail. Why the cleft tail? Is she an evil mermaid? Thinking about it makes me all confused like when I think too hard about why tall buildings don't fall over or how wireless data gets to where it needs to be. Where was I? Oh yeah, happy.) For another, I found a legal headhunter that is actually making calls on my behalf. For a third thing, I found a new commercial real estate broker for The Franchise that so clearly knows what she is doing.

For a fourth thing, the world seems to be spinning around a different axis these days rather than my career/lack thereof. Like, for example, my home and friends. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be an attorney or I am going to run a franchise because daytime t.v. sucks. I'm just saying, it all spins around my family and friends these days. And they make me incredibly happy.

Jesus and Peanut Butter

I am aware of this person that has two things on his desk. A statue of Jesus and a jar of peanut butter. Now, I am not here to make any sort of statement regarding nuts or religion. Rather, I offer the following points:

1. I worry greatly about people that don't have stuff all over their work desk - papers, books, Starbucks cups, pens, lunch, butterfly clips, keys (somewhere), etc. etc. etc. Do these people really work?

2. If all I had on my desk was a statue of Jesus and a jar of peanut butter, you can bet that at some point Jesus would end up in the peanut butter. Nothing against Jesus, of course. I'm just saying, if there are two things and two things only to attend to on a desk, and one of those things is a jar of peanut butter, the other thing is going to end up in the peanut butter.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I Shouldn't Be Left Alone

I have to wear a dental guard because a clench my jaw so tightly while I am sleeping that I crack my teeth. My husband was out of town and my dental guard is currently blue. These two facts will now be connected.

Much like Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles, fresh breath is the priority of my life. Nevertheless, the first thing I do every morning before all else is hit "brew" on the coffee maker. My husband gets my coffee breath all morning. Accordingly, because the first thing I like to do when I come home from work is crunch something, I try to find unoffending things to crunch like carrots or plain chips.

However, when he is out of town, its cool ranch or sour cream and onion all the way. Sour cream and onion is the worst. I don't even like those chips. The sour cream and onion powder gives me a headache and makes me feel dirty. But once you have the powder, it controls you. One chip becomes a whole bag and before you know it you've got the bag ripped apart and you are licking the powder remnants off the smooth cool interior and wondering if you could leave your sleeping child in his bed while you run to the 7-11.

The other thing I do when my husband is out of town is fall asleep on the couch while watching t.v. So, the other night, after eating sour cream and onion potato chips, I fell asleep on the couch. I was all disoriented when I woke up around 3 a.m. to move to bed but I saw my dental guard and popped it in because my dentist has convinced me that I am a bad person if I don't sleep with my dental guard. He's in my mouth for 10 seconds and he's all, "you haven't been wearing your guard, HAVE YOU? You have made God angry and now I walk away in despair and shame. I cannot even finish this exam. Why do you waste my time?"

I felt all smug because I got the dental guard in that night. Until I woke up and I realized - Fckty fck fk fk. I fell asleep after having sour cream and onion potato chips and without brushing my teeth and now the flavor has compounded logarithmically such that I could awaken the dead by whispering at their tombs. And the flavor embedded itself in my dental guard. Now I have a sour cream and onion dental guard. So I soaked in Listerine. Now it is blue and tastes like mint sour cream and onion. This is why I should not be left alone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Adomestic Dive Strikes AGAIN.

Okay, really, this was my son's idea. But I take the credit for birthing him.

Neither one of us has a long attention span for crafts. Nevertheless, I felt like it was my obligation to do some sort of Christmas craft and/or baking with him. I patted myself on the back when I realized I could do a craft and baking in one swell foop with dough ornaments.

We both had a blast mixing and cutting them, but knowing what I know about both of us, I suspected that they would sit baked and unpainted until March when I finally threw them out. Until . . . Until my son got out the colored sugar before we put them in to bake.

So pretty, eh? We haven't even put the glaze on yet. They are going to look even more purty with glaze. Yes. Yes. I know. We forgot the holes for the hooks. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just Advice

I don't keep a stock of food in the house. We are screwed those few times every three years or so that we get snowed in. You would think I would learn, and that when I caught wind of an impending snow storm, I would go to the grocery store and stock up. But do you know what? On the eve of impending storms it usually very chilly out and the grocery stores are usually very busy and I convince myself that I could come up with something to make from what is in the house. Which is usually only rice and nutmeg. And wine.

And this is also why I am usually the first neighbor out in the middle of the street with my shovel trying to make it passable for cars.

Anyway, the point is, today when I became very hungry, there was nothing in the house to eat. After being sick, I wanted something simple. I thought and I thought and I thought. Ginger Ale and . . . Twizzlers? No. Ginger Ale and . . . pho without the funny stuff? No. Ginger Ale and . . . ah ha! Ginger Ale and Just Fruit or Just Vegetables.

Have you ever had these delights? If not, they are very easy to explain. You get them at the vitamin store and it's just dried produce. Nothing else. You can get Just Tomatoes, Just Cherries, Just Carrots, Just Strawberries, etc., etc., etc. So I slowly hauled my ass to the organic grocers to purchase some Just. However, I always love to stop at the natural makeup section. That day I tried the Burt's Bees tester gloss in red. Love it! (And then I felt slightly guilty because there is a possibility I am still contagious. But you can't buy the tester, so what was I to do? I should probably go back and throw it out today.)

After finding this perfect red gloss, I went over to the Just section whereupon I found a new flavor - Just Pomegranates. Brilliant. One tub equals 8 fresh large pomegranates.
But here's my advice. One should not eat 8 large pomegranates in a row, dried or otherwise.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day! Mental Health Day!

Well, actually, my son threw-up from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. and while this is very sad indeed, it did necessitate me staying home today. The first few hours of this scenario were fantastic. My son was dopey and willing to just play his iTouch. I did laundry (because he managed to sleep in three different beds last night and throw-up on or around all of them), cleaned the fridge, and put out the rest of the Christmas decorations.

Then he perked up a bit and wanted to build his model truck. So I built a model truck while he watched. And, damn! I love building model trucks. Where has this useless hobby been all my life.

However, shortly after noon we both started to go a little crazy. I decided he had enough iTouch game playing and that he should switch to watching t.v., whereupon he picked Pumpkin Chuckin. Normally I would ask him to watch that in the sink in the kitchen (it's a galley kitchen with no furniture). But because he was sick, I decided I couldn't ask him to watch t.v. in the sink. Do you know what Pumpkin Chuckin is? It is a t.v. show where the flotsam and jetsam of people who are underdressed for a NASCAR race go to a field and see how far they can chuck pumpkins. Only, this day, there was a Pumpkin Chuckin marathon. Hours upon hours upon hours of pumpkins being chucked.

Then, because he was feeling all better and 9 year old little boys only get more active on lack of sleep, he was all, "how about we go outside and build a rocket or do jumping jacks or climb the roof or chase squirrels and can I have something to eat and we can throw snowballs and then how about we have sushi for dinner and I want to do crafts and I really want to get dad a cookbook for Christmas and speaking of cookbooks didn't I just ask for something to eat . . ."

I has been up since 1 a.m. All I wanted was my faux fur blankie, control of the remote and some quiet time, cause guess who felt like they were about to throw up . . .