Friday, December 31, 2004

float your boat

Every year my Grandma is OBSESSED with the Rose Parade. Big deal I say. She used to video tape the parade on tv, and then watch it throughout the year. Hello crazy. And, she HAS to go out to Pasadena to see the floats as they are being assembled. I got out of going with her many years, and this year I decided what the hell, I'll go.

I gotta say, it was pretty impressive. It's amazing how many volunteers work so long to glue those little flower petals on each float. The tv doesn't do it justice.

I'll tell you what wasn't impressive, the long lines to wait to see these things. Ugh. I could do without that.

Here are some pictures, click here for a bigger view.





Wednesday, December 29, 2004

martha's closing shop

I'm distraught. Martha Stewart's catalog and online store are closing. Sure alot of her stuff was overpriced, but sometimes you could get some good tag sale deals. Now EVERYTHING in the store is on sale.

So sad. At least we get bargains out of it. I couldn't even get online yesterday - people were buying up a storm.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

live doppler 7000

Wow, it's totally "STORMWATCH" over here. The rain is crazy - crazy for Southern California, that is. The weathercasters are having a field day, they are getting so much airtime. Remember L.A. Story - with Steve Martin? I loved that movie. He'd just pre-tape all of his reports because it was always sunny. Ha - not today, buddy.

In November, this store called Kevin Jewelers said that anything bought that week was FREE if it rained on Christmas. Free diamonds?? But just tell me, how the heck did they know that it wouldn't rain on Christmas, but it would be total STORMWATCH the day after? Smart.

Monday, December 27, 2004

rockin' new year's eve


Ah, the holidays went by fast. I keep forgetting New Year's eve is on Friday already. With a kid, we won't be leaving the house. That's fine with me, with all the drunk bastards out and about.

We won't be in Hawaii this year so no firecracker popping. It's pretty darn dangerous, but you can't argue with tradition. One year in Hawaii we saw a house on fire. That's a nice thing to come home too after a night os celebrating. Ugh.

However, in our family it does mean that you have to have the traditional Japanese New Year's food to make sure you have good luck. Tradition is interesting. There are these crazy dried fish for long life and black beans for good fortune. Both of which I find disgusting and refuse to eat, therefore I will be poor and dead soon. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

STOP - burger time.


While some would argue that these aren't real cookies, to them I say, screw you. These Burger Bites are very creative and probably a lot tastier than the crap cookies those haters made this year.

Sure the stuff is store bought, but it's not like I took an Oreo and scratched the name off of it. These things take time and talent, people.

Go HERE for the recipe.

Monday, December 20, 2004

low income housing

I've been busy! Good lord Christmas is this weekend, so my mom were on our annual gingerbread house kick. This year we made NINE to give as gifts to some lucky peeps.

We started by rolling tons of dough and assembling the houses...

Then the fun part - decorating...

This year I added a little touch by making fondant snowmen. It was the first time I'd tried using fondant, and man was it simple! This may be my new fave thing!


Next year we have big dreams and want to do an entire village! My brother thinks a gingerbread crack house is in order...



Friday, December 17, 2004

you're my snack pack


I went to my Grandma's house. She had this letter openner sitting on her table from the "elder abuse" organization. I think she's reporting me...

Gram: Look what I got from the elder abuse people.
Me: What is that some sort of weapon? That blade is sharp - you can kill someone with that.
Gram: They also gave me pudding.

I guess you cut someone for abusing you, then you have a light snack? Those old people are dangerous...and hungry.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

cookie nazis


It started out innocently enough. My mom had to do a cookie exchange for work. I told her I'd make the cookies if she'd babysit the kid. She said ok, and that she was supposed to bring Maple Cookies. I told her that was lame and that I wanted to make "Burger Bites" - I love these things and make them every Christmas. They are the cutest little things. (I'll post that recipe next week.)

My mom comes back and says the people doing the cookie swap said that my Burger Bites aren't "REAL" cookies. Oh no they di'int. I was pissed. You've heard of killing someone with kindness? Well I planned to kill these nerds with perfection.

So I made Maple Snickerdoodles. They came out darn tasty if I do say so myself. Then I bagged and sealed them - yes I have a professional sealer - then I boxed them - yes I have professional baker's boxes. Shut it, when Martha gets out of prison she can have her job back.

My mom said that in the cookie swap you are supposed to print out the recipes. Oh really? Well I took that one step further and printed them on cardstock, made vellum sleeves and slid a ribbon through a logo and fastened it to the top of the box. I also made customized stickers to go on the inside of the box with my mom's name and the cookie name on them.

I'm sure my mom will be like, "Uh, that's too over the top." Who cares. They shouldn't have veto'ed my original cookie recipe. I told my mom that when she delivers them to the swap she should say, "Here's your Maple Cookies, bitches!"

click HERE for a larger look at the box, and HERE for the recipe.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

MOOpheus

dahaha! The MEATRIX. They should have named him COWanu Reeves...



chicken soup for my soul

Oh man, I think I'm sick. I have a headache and a sore throat. I'm still able to function, but I passed out on my grandma's couch yesterday. I think your body just gives in when it needs help.

It's hard to take care of a kid when you feel so crappy. We went out to get me some cold medicine and I saw lots of strollers...white kids with non-white women pushing them. Am I the only person in Los Angeles who doesn't have a nanny?? I wish I had a nanny right now...for myself. I need someone to tuck me in. I'm beat.

Monday, December 13, 2004

nightmare before christmas

The phone rang while I was watching tv. Apparently my dad had a stroke. I can't decide whether to dance a jig of joy or just keep watching Dodgeball.

I don't usually hold grudges, but in his case, forgiveness is something I cannot do. People keep telling me, let go of your anger. Well, ahem, put yourself in my shoes.

Let's say YOUR DAD had an affair with a family friend that was always over at the house. Then let's say - said mistress and YOUR DAD stole your whole family's life savings leaving both sets of grandparents - his own parents and his in-laws, on the brink of homelessness.

What if YOUR DAD pitted all your family members against each other, through a series of lies and blame, causing years of misunderstanding and grief? And what if YOUR DAD had the government take money from your mom's paycheck to pay for over $350,000 of penalties that HE accrued for digging out on his taxes? Then what if YOUR DAD left you homeless when a man came and repossed your house one day?

What if YOUR DAD stole money from a famous celebrity? What if this crime was so infamous that someone actually wrote a book about YOUR DAD?

What if the last time you talked to YOUR DAD he laughed at you for being angry, since "he did nothing wrong." And what if YOUR DAD didn't contact you for over 15 years and you only heard about his stroke because someone else happened to pass on the news?

Well, he's not your dad, he's mine, and he actually did all of those things. So would you forgive him if it was YOUR DAD? Probably, but you're a better person than me. Believe it or not I'm no longer angry. I actually just feel...nothing. Apparently the stroke was mild and he will recover, but I am setting aside a nice bright pink dress to wear for his funeral just in case. I'll be waiting, not angrily, not bitterly, just...waiting.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

you're the one for me fatty


FunkyJenn said that she heard Clay Aiken has fans that travel across country for him...yikes. While I do dig the Christmas cd (shut it), I doubt I'd follow that dude anywhere. Jenn said she'd follow one Mr. Dave Grohl. I totally agree. Maybe all people named Jenn love Dave Grohl. Who knows, but he's the MAN. I'd follow him anywhere.

Some people are just devoted as hell to their fave bands. I once stood in line to meet Andy Bell of Erasure, if given the chance I'd probably also follow Morrissey. I did go to one of his concerts in L.A. - then continued to drive up north to his next show. I also did a two nighter for DM, anyone - see the 80's theme here?...Hmm, I guess I'm only devoted enough for a two city tour, that's about as far as I'd go. Then I'm spent.

Friday, December 10, 2004

salad days

mmm...somen salad...



Thursday, December 09, 2004

you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em

Today we took my father in law to Kenny Rogers Barona Valley Casino. The place was goddam far away and you had to drive through some Lord-of-the-Rings looking creepy valley to get there. Still it was a nice clean casino, much like Vegas.

Unfortunately, unlike Vegas, there were no attractions. We took the baby and I thought there'd be some shopping or somewhere to walk around with him. No such luck. It was gambling...and that's it. It was very picturesque, but even the baby was sick of it when it came to sitting by the lake and looking at ducks. I mean look at that picture, isn't it gorgeous - minus the giant CASINO sign, blaring in the distance?

I played 3 card poker and lost which totally sucked but I played Casino War and won a little. That game is so mindless...til you get into it.

It was a nice place, but I was disappointed that Mr. Kenny Rogers wasn't there to greet me himself. Bastard.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

photo-chopping

I have a secret regarding that last post. The family picture I used on the ornament...was partially fake. It was a perfect picture of the three of us that we took at Rusty's wedding, so we were all dressed up. However, the baby blinked and so his eyes were shut. I went into photoshop and chopped out his head and put in another head with his eyes open. I did a rough cut so it wasn't totally clean and it looks like his hair is lighter than usual. Still, you'd be hard pressed to know the difference unless I told you. HA!

I use photoshop alot. Like when I took a picture for the office and I thought I looked fat so I went into photoshop and slimmed myself down. I looked nice and skinny and no one was the wiser. Ha, fooled you suckers...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

ornamental

Every year I hand make my Christmas cards. Usually it's a daunting task that I think about months in advance. I like to make cards that move, or pop up, something different. Of course my address list is like 60 people long, so whatever I decide to do, I have to decide early.

Since this is the first year that we have the kid, a family portrait would be in order. But my husband is very against those traditional "photo cards," and I don't care for those "sum up the year" letters. I mean, who cares what I did this year, I can tell you that I watched the Apprentice and ate more caramel corn than humanly possible. That about sums up the year.

So here's my big idea this year - a four sided ornament for the tree. I modeled this after the papersource one, while they used decorative paper, I stepped it up a notch by putting christmas greetings on cardstock and using family portraits on the others.

Like with everything I do, I had to do a prototype and do some test designs. To the left is my basic template. Then you just cut out the circles, fold them in half, glue em together and glue some ribbon down in there and you're done!

da doo doo doo, da dah dah dah

Today my son took a dump during his bath. I tell you - I'd never thought I'd find myself standing over a baby bath tub full of poo wondering "how do I get myself out of this one?"

As far as poo is concerned, this little bottle is ALL THE RAGE in Hawaii. Someone told me they are called "Dew Drops", or is it "DOO DOO Drops", who the hell knows.

All I know is that you drop a bit of it into the toilet before you go "number two" and it's supposed to not smell so bad. Those crazy Japanese, always thinking up something.

Everyone's buying them in Hawaii - so I hear. Too bad babies don't use the toilet.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

saint nick

I took my son to see a mall Santa for the first time ever! We didn't have much of a wait, thank god. But when we got there Santa was on break, so when he finally did show up and rounded a corner, there were screams of joy. I wanted to scream SSSAAAANNTTAA..ala Will Ferrell in ELF, that would have been hilarious, but it might have scared the children.

So Santa and I chatted a bit while they fixed the camera:

Santa: "Does your son weigh 15 pounds?"
Me: "Hey! Pretty close, 16 pounds, but he's very small considering he's 10 months old"
Santa: "Well I've held a lot of kids, I once saw a 20 pound 4 month old."
Me: "Yikes, that must have been heavy to carry."
Santa: "Yeah, kids of your nationality are always small."

I was cracking up and laughed silently to myself thinking, is Santa a racist? My brother said, "Santa is just culturally insensitive." Ha!

Friday, December 03, 2004

I don't want to grow up

Are you doing what you always wanted to do when you "grew up?"

A bunch of people are partaking in this illustration friday thing. It's very inspiring, but boy are my design skills rusty. When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist. Wait, that - and work for Hello Kitty, no wait, that - and work for Disney. Well anyway, turns out I did get to do all of those things, and while I'm not a "true artist" I do work in a design field. I feel I acheived what I wanted to do, "when I grew up." So I guess I'm luckier than those who never came close to their childhood dream.

When I look at my son I wonder what he'll be when he grows up. I wonder if my mom looked at me and wondered the same thing. It's amazing to think what can happen through the course of your life. What will he accomplish?

Of course right now he's hitting himself in the head with the tv remote...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

trix are for kids

I was watching the Today show yesterday morn and they were talking about a new store called "Cereality" where they sell variations of cereal as snacks and things. Cute idea. I don't know if that would fly in L.A., as trendy as we are those kinds of "fun" stores don't last.

They have a toppings bar, if you like candy on your cereal (yeesh), or - now this is the kicker - you can mix your own cereal. Yeah I know you can buy 20 boxes and do it yourself, but who has the time? Take a virtual tour...

big MAC

I love MAC lipstick. I've tried others and they just don't work as well. Not to mention I'm a sucker for packaging and fonts and I dig their stuff.

Every couple of years since 1997 MAC has released a verison of VIVA GLAM lipstick. EVERY PENNY goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support the fight against HIV/AIDS. That's a great thing.

Not to mention, the color is gorgeous...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

the freshmakkkaahhhh


I love anything grapefruit. I have grapefruit soap, I have grapefruit scented candles, I eat grapefruit for dinner, I can't get enough.

So imagine how I started salivating when I read about my fave candy - GRAPEFRUIT MENTOS!! Doh! I have to have them!

I found them online but you have to buy an entire box. Now spending $28 on Mentos might put my husband over the edge so I am resigned to search every "doghouse, farmhouse, outhouse" in the Los Angeles area.

I already have STivo out scouring the streets as we speak...