Wednesday, May 24, 2006

overheard at lunch today

I was sitting outside in the beautiful sunshine, eating a delicious panini and eavesdropping on the conversation that the geeks at the next table were having. My heart was warmed by the fact that they were peppering references to So I Married an Axe Murderer throughout their conversation. Also, they were discussing how LL Bean sells indestructible jeans and how that would be the ultimate in clothing. One guy said “I will buy seven pairs and never have to shop again!”

Putting aside the fact never having to shop again would be my personal hell, this overheard conversation made me realize how much I love nerds.

Monday, May 22, 2006

operation baby exhaustion

Now that my baby (and by “baby,” I mean child who walks everywhere and therefore is no longer officially an infant but how can I not call him a baby anymore, SOB) is extremely mobile, I have a new parenting strategy. The strategy is to provide him opportunities to exhaust himself so that he will become compliant and amenable to anything I want him to do. Like for example sleep. This weekend, the new strategy manifested itself in a couple of different areas.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day so we packed up a bag and some beach chairs and headed off to the park. Silly us, we did not understand that chairs are useless in this new parenting strategy! No, rather the park for us means following him on foot everywhere he goes so we can be prepared to extricate the leaves that he picks up off the ground and shoves in his mouth, or ready to change his direction if he’s rapidly heading toward a ditch. I should also warn you that this strategy requires climbing. I figure working against gravity has got to be a successful method for baby exhaustion. Well, it is, but it is also a fairly reliable way to exhaust your husband. Mine was forced to climb up the playground apparatus approximately eight (8) times to go down the slide.

Then, Sunday we went to the Irvine Spectrum, which is kind of a weird mall, but it has an Oakley store so the hub wanted to go there. In a mall setting, executing the strategy means setting the child free and following after him with the stroller, possibly with some baby wipes in hand to de-dirtify him after he has literally done a belly flop into a puddle and stuck his fingers in every drain he sees.

So there you have it. Operation Baby Exhaustion was a success, but I still haven’t recovered. Red Bull, anyone?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

stickin' it to the man, part two

The poor attitude exhibited in my last post has passed. Yes, I still have a gigantic zit on my nose and an atrocious up-do, but what are you gonna do. I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do: buck up, drink a caffeine-free Diet Coke and tell you about something really awesome that happened to me recently. Like, really awesome. Not sarcastic awesome.

Did you know that if you get a speeding ticket in the state of California, you have the right to a Trial by Written Declaration? That means you can fight your ticket by mail without ever having to step in front of a judge. And furthermore, if you do not like the way the judge rules in this Trial by Written Declaration, did you know that you have the right to request an entirely new trial? Yes. It is true. I know this because I am a nerd and read the vehicle code.

I am not so much of a nerd that I read the vehicle code for fun. I read it because yes, I got a ticket for ALLEGEDLY going 47 in a 35 mph zone. I repeat, allegedly. This troubled me. This troubled me because it was my second ticket in less than 18 months (um, for speeding) which means that I couldn’t go to traffic school to get it off my record. So, I decided to pursue a Trial by Written Declaration because after all? What did I have to lose.

I will now detail the chronology of me fighting the power.

I sent a letter requesting a Trial by Written Declaration, enclosing my bail payment of $119.50.
The court sent me back the forms I needed to submit evidence on my behalf.
I wrote up all such evidence and had my attorney (for full disclosure, I should say my husband who is an attorney) review it.
I mail the stuff to the court.
I anxiously await the judge’s decision over the next six weeks and obsessively check the mailbox hoping for news of my fate.

And then, it happened. I got a notice from the court in Saturday’s mail. I opened it up and guess what? My ticket had been dismissed! Either my case had been incredibly well-argued, or the cop who cited me had failed to respond in the time he was given.

Either way, they will be refunding the money I paid for the ticket and for now, the People of the State of California are off my back.


Today is really annoying.

Exhibit A: I have an enormous zit right on the tip of my nose that no amount of concealer can hide.

Exhibit B: Work is stressful.

Exhibit C: The weather is blah.

Exhibit D: Bad hair day. Just now I took a camera phone shot of myself to illustrate said bad hair day, but decided that it was too hideous to share with the internet.

Cupcakes. Where are cupcakes when you need them?

More later when I recover from this funk.

Friday, May 05, 2006

where shopping carts go to die

I just went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Now, I love shopping there as much as the next gal, but I've figured out how they keep their prices so reasonable. It's because they eliminated the budget line item that other stores keep on the books to purchase shopping carts. Honestly. Trader Joe's has the most horrific shopping carts in the history of any retail establishment. I have never gotten a cart there that steered right, that I didn't have to use all my admittedly minimal upper body strength to navigate it down the aisles. It's annoying. Annoying, but worth it in order to enjoy the possibly heroin-filled cracker discs knows as Savory Mini Thins.

And: on the way home from Trader Joe's, I heard Edie Brickell's "What I Am" on the radio, followed up by Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Fabulously reminiscent of tenth grade. Jack FM, I salute you. You are doing the Lord's work.

Monday, May 01, 2006

V is for vindicated

I love to read, and to avoid my book habit wreaking havoc on my budget, I frequent the library quite often. (is that redundant?) I also really enjoy reading a nice little crime drama slash detective story from time to time, especially while traveling. There’s something about spending a couple of hours living vicariously through Kay Scarpetta or Kinsey Millhone that really makes a flight seem short.

One time, though, I left a copy of Sue Grafton’s “Q is for Quarry” on a plane. Oops! I went to the library to report my transgression and paid whatever lost book fee there was.

So when I recently checked out a book for my flight to Ottawa, I didn’t give it a second thought until I got a phone call saying it was overdue… after I had already returned it.

Then, I received a threatening letter explaining that the next step would be to turn me over to collections. Sheesh, these library folks don’t mess around. Remember that Seinfeld?

The funny part? The book they claimed was overdue was none other than, you guessed it, Sue Grafton’s “L is for Lawless.”

After a quick phone call to the library, they were able to find the book on the shelves and absolve me of any wrongdoing. What a relief. I was starting to dread the library cop shakedown. Almost as bad as a tax audit.

new era

This weekend was action-packed. We went to see my parents so Evan could hang with Grandma and Grandpa. Success. He was happy wandering around their house, doing laps from the kitchen to the living room and back like he loves to. But yesterday Dr. Jekyll showed a little Mr. Hyde (or is it the other way around?). We took him for his second haircut ever, and he screamed bloody murder. Which was weird, because at his first haircut he had a grand old time. Then we made nice by taking him to the park so he could go on the swings. All was forgiven.

At this point he has definitely developed preferences and whatever the opposite of preferences are. Here is the current scorecard of various activities and Evan’s reaction to them:

Bottle? Good.
Sippy cup with milk? Um, not so much.
Walking? Good.
Being carried? Bad.
Walking around the house with the remote control? Good.
When Mommy takes the remote control away? GOD HELP US.
Swings? Excellent.
Shots? See “When Mommy takes the remote control away” above.

Apparently, the era of the docile, agreeable baby is gone for good. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great kid. He just knows what he wants, and a haircut ain’t it.