And It’s All Ghetto!

We chose this apartment by process of elimination. As in: we eliminated the possibility of living anywhere else located between his office and my office, because its all ghetto!

Don’t get me wrong, I love this neighborhood. People cut and water their grass, sweep their porches, decorate for holidays, the whole nine yards. The few blocks surrounding us are all very pleasant, you know: houses, trees, sidewalks, warehouses, railroad cars, houses, trees, sidewalks… Oh, wait! See, that’s the thing. Its an industrial town. Every few blocks there’s the remnants of what used to be a familiar chain super market, ice-cream shop, video rental store. There aren’t enough residents in this town to support the familiar favorites that you can find in a half-mile radius in other suburbs. This is the last Los Angeles suburb that only has ONE “Fourbucks” coffee joint within the city limits. Not that I’m a fan of “Fourbucks,” but come on! Fourbucks is everywhere, why not here?

Where does a 20-something newlywed meet her girlfriends for a chat in this town? The local cocktail bar with the Grandpamobiles parked out front? I think the secret handshake involves a Pompadour comb-over!

There’s a high school down the street, we could smoke cigarettes and be melancholy behind the gym… except that I don’t smoke!

Like, we could like so totally go hang out at the mall in the next town, that would be like so totally righteous… but I like stopped saying “like” like six times in a sentence when I was like eleven years old. That’s like so like 1987.

Chinese food? Sure, we got that, its the restaurant with the big blue B on the front window! Not the kind of place you take a friend!

There is one thing that this town does right, and that is Mexican restaurants.

So: Who wants to meet me down the street for a hot cup of taquitos?

Cynical Gen X & Child of the 80’s

If you look over there you will see some of the labels I have given myself. Two of them are Child of the 80's and Cynical Gen Xer.

In the late 80's and early 90's, the housing market in California sucked. If you are taking notes at home, that's spelled: S-U-C-K-E-D.

In fifth grade, some bureaucratic career-enhancing school board member decided to do some residential rezoning. My three favorite classmates lived on that side of the line. They were transferred to the other elementary, and filtered into the other jr. high and high school. I've run into each of them once since then. If they acknowledged that they knew me, I got "Hey", No Good Byes.

When I was nine years old, my next door neighbor and best friend Angela was the youngest of 5. Her father's job was eliminated in California, he was laid off and told he could have a job in Missouri. Up went the Cent*ry 21 Sign. It stayed in their front yard for two years. TWO YEARS, her family of 7 lived off of savings and credit cards. Two years, they talked about moving, selling the house, getting out of California, getting back to work. Every day for two years I looked out our dining room window and watched the top of the For Sale sign. Just before 6th grade, I was packed in the car and told to go to the city Labor Day parade. When I finally got home from that stupid parade, she was already gone. No Good Byes.

In sixth grade I met Amber & Laura, and in seventh grade I met Lee. Laura was too cool for words. She looked older, and had seen it all because she had 2 older sisters. She was just so far above all of the juvenile social drama. The first day of 7th grade, her name was called off the choir roster. A classmate who lived near her said she'd moved back to South Dakota over the summer. Poof. Just like that. No Good Byes.

Whether she liked it or not, Amber was just as goofy as me. We were thick as thieves for a year or two, and then one day she said "You know, I've noticed that a lot of my friends just aren't very cool." Well, you can't fault honesty. She got herself a new crowd, and I hung out with other friends like Lee. Some time around 8th grade, her mother got transferred to Idaho. Her mother was transferred back eventually, but our friendship was never the same. Today, she still hasn't added me as a friend on my*space. No Good Byes.

In ninth grade, another School board Hopeful rezoned the high schools. And, of course, Lee lived on the other side of the line. I clung to her, or at least the idea of her through all of 9th grade even though we were growing apart. After 9th grade, I even signed up to be a Cub Scout counselor so that I could have some time with her that summer. But high school is high school, as we started figuring out who we were; we had less and less in common. Junior year, I was the *last* person to find out that she was pregnant. That still hurts but it was my own darn fault. She ended up moving to Kansas with her (now-ex) husband. No Good Byes.

After high school and college it wasn't so hard. The high school kids a grade older move on, and you never have time to visit the kids a grade younger when your out. It just kind of happens: kids filter in, adults filter out. No Good Byes.

In college, it was only hard to see friends move on because of my childhood experiences. I finally had a little control of my own life enough to be able to visit the classmates who move to another county. It stings when they're farther away, but not so bad because I can plan a 3 day weekend to go see them, and don't have to beg for the parent's permission.

Now, if I screw up my friendship with someone – It's my fault and not some job, housing market, bubble, or parental whim. Why did she leave the state to go find herself without saying Good Bye? Why the hell wasn't she the maid of honor at my wedding? Because I was a sucky friend, that's why. No Good Byes.

Its not fair. This one isn't my fault. Today, California is knee-deep in another decade of real-estate suckage. Plants are closing, gasoline costs more than fancy-assed name brand orange juice, and 300K buys a 60-year-old-teeny-tiny-fixer-upper-starter-condo-that-has-creepy-neighbors-and-no-yard-and-needs-new-plumbing. Can anyone out there prove that God isn't laughing at me? Bring it on! I dare you!

I'm 9 years old and I hurt. All over again. I'm back at the dinning room window waiting for that inevitable sale sign, praying that I don't get forced to go sit at another stupid parade. This time, I'm on strike! No Good Byes.

I Have Pink Hair! Ha!

 I hemmed and hawed for years, then I finally did it.

I have pink hair. The husband, he has not disowned me! We’ll see about the boss tomorrow morning.

UPDATE! When I checked DH’s site this morning, he had updated my avatar… its pretty accurate.

And no, the boss didn’t fire me either.

Pink Hair

Pink Hair. If I want Pink Hair does not mean I'm Staid!

I want to be perfectly clear. Staid is a of settled or sedate character; not flighty or capricious.

 

“Characterized by sedate dignity and often a strait-laced sense of propriety; sober.”

I drank more at Blogher than I did in seven total years of college, and my blogher peeps think I’m “staid!”

I’m not staid! Really, I just have a giant stick up my hmm-hmm. Not that that’s any better… but still.

I’ve always had this false sense of delayed gratification. This isn’t so bad when we’re talking about saving for a house, and paying off the car loan. Its become a way of life. I got through grad school on a wing and a prayer. But, after years of living off ramen noodles and peanut butter, I can’t break it!!!

Nah – Let’s not go to Rome for our honeymoon, we could do it for our ten-year anniversary.
I wish I could take my favorite teenagers to the water park, ::sigh::
Oh, Honey, we don’t need cable tv.
I wish I wasn’t too old to buy a pair of Heely’s
I wish I could have pink streaks in my hair…
DH is very supportive of all my wacky ideas. When I whine that I wanna go to a water park, he says “lets go!” Even Heelys. He walks me around the parking lot holding me up so I don’t fall, just like my uncle Gil did when I was five years old.

I’ve been on a thing lately. Why do I need validation and approval before I can do something self-indulgent and wacky once in a while? I am an adult. I have a paycheck. I’m out of debt. I’m a dink. What is my problem!?

MiniMartha has to tell me to click the send button when I put bras in the shopping cart at Vict*riasSecr*t.com.

I have to use a little kid’s birthday party as an excuse to buy Paint-by-Number posters.

I “ask” DH if I can have pink hair, only because I know he’d never say no – and then I have to ask my hairstylist if she will do it!? I’m paying her and I have to have her permission to have pink hair? What the??

I’ve been looking for an excuse to make Shrinky-Dinks for over a decade. Does anyone know where I can order them online??

Am I Really That Ugly?

Am I Really That Ugly? Or Am I really that old?

Am I really *that* old? Is it really *that* time?

BlogHer is tomorrow. I’ve been packing, running errands, and shopping to for the trip.

I usually sport the “Lazy Au Natural” look. I really don’t feel like spending my life in front of a mirror. I did decide that I’d better get my eyebrows done and find a better concealer before this weekend – since there may be lots of digital cameras floating around.

Yesterday, I walked into a salon and asked for an eyebrow waxing. The asthetician looked at me, and without blinking said “And your mustache and new highlights too, right?”

HOLY COW! How rude! Yes, I know. I need new highlights. It’s been months, and I just don’t care. But a MUSTACHE!!!!!? I have a mustache? Wait, I do not have a mustache! Do I??? Am I the only one who doesn’t know I look like Charlie Chaplain? Is this chick playing me because she’s just trying to make a buck? I hate it. I know she’s gotta make a living, but making a living by getting other people to feel insecure about their God-given bodies? DOOODE! that just sucks.

Later, I walked up to the Clinique counter and asked the saleswoman to pick the shade of concealer that I need for the acne scars on my chin. Again, without even blinking… “Here, let me show you how to put concealer under your eyes too.”

I can not be *that* old, can I? Or is this a revisit of the misguided pre-teenage notion that big girls wear blue eyeshadow? How am I *already* being groomed for the next twenty years of trying to pretend that I’m still 20 years old?

Today, I’ve looked in the mirror 4 times, and it’s only 8:00am. Fabulous. I haven’t done that since I was 18 years old.

Long Day ~ Such A Klutz

I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m. on Friday morning, because I had a 6:30 a.m. flight to San Jose. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. (earlier than I ever woke up for christmas morning) and COULD NOT SLEEP. I was too excited to get to Blogher ‘06 later that morning.

When I got to the conference and saw all of the people, i started shaking even before I picked up my very cool looking “Hi My Name is… Nervous Weirdo” name badge.

Still shaking, I put my badge around my neck and saw Oh My Gosh Its Jenn Satterwhite(!!!!!) standing near a sponsor table. And, of course, being the socially inept idiot that I am, I walked right up to her with my camera ON and said “I’m not leaving this conference without a picture of you.” Yeah, scaring people is a fabuolus way to make friends. Go me.

And, because I’m destined to make a fool of myself – I introduced myself to Our Fabulous Hostess Elisa Camahort, and fell on my butt when I went to shake her hand. Â

I wanted to see the Fussy T-shirts, so I stood too close to some poor sap and when she turned around, I dumped my drink on my digital camera.

For the rest of the weekend I was  too ashamed to go  sneak a picture of Jenn, but fortunately, there were other really cool people at Blogher 06 like  Elizabeth of  Table for five, Chase, Deb, Becky, Kris, and Carmen to make me feel at home.

I’m A Teacher, Now What?

I'm a teacher... now what???

Ok, so the first trimester (of teaching!!!) has been kicking my butt.

Every spare minute of free time has been spent pouring over lesson plans, handouts, books, software, and the internet. I’ve gotten fat from spending every spare minute sitting at the computer. I’m rarely home to cook dinner, let alone eat it… It gets easier after this, right?

Also, In the last few months:

I made it through the busy season at my day job, events planned, excecuted,  paid for, and books balanced.

The last week in March, I taught my first night class, attended my first professional conference, taught the first night of my second night class, then caught a 6am flight to my second conference – a weekend in Lake Tahoe.

 In April, it was more of the same. Work the day, teach or plan lessons at night. One night after my class ended at 10pm, we caught a red eye to Detroit for my husban’ds cousin’s wedding. First thing in the morning we landed, and drove a rental car to the hotel. You’ve heard the rumors about traffic in L.A., "it is bad", but nothing like Michigan.

Here’s my theory. L.A. weather is good, so people can spend the money to buy a nice car and keep it nice for a decade without having to worry about rust damage. But those people live in L.A. where there are more than 10 million other people on the road. Sure, drivers are impatient and sick of waiting in line just to get on a freeway… but they like their cars and would like to keep them nice for the decade that it will take to pay them off. This puts at least some limit on driver agression.
It don’t work that way in Detroit. As my grandperz used to say: “Seems to me that…” Detroit drivers are all related to someone who works at the local automobile factory. With their company discount, they can afford to replace their cars every time they smash them up. I did not see one blinker blink on one car with Michigan plates! I was cut off by old ladies, and tailgaited for driving at the posted speed limit! Sure, the roads are wide enough to pass on the left or the right, and the on-ramps are wide enough that you wont flip your car over if you take it at 50 miles an hour but SHEESH PEOPLE!

In May, hubby and I both started taking advantage of my new dental insurance. Maaaaaan! We have good insurance and we are still paying a ton of money!! Is it childish to say that I’m proud that he needs more work done than I do?

I will say that after 27 years of putting dentist’s children through college, I finally found a new dentist who would bother to waste his time teaching me how to brush and floss.

I was shown how to brush once  when I was five, and every year after that I was scolded by the dentist and repremanded by my parents because my teeth were never good enough to be left alone.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that the new dentist has cable T.V…. and he lets me pick the channel i want to watch during my fillings!

DH also had a birthday in May. He does more wonderful things for me than he’ll ever even relize so I wanted to do something special for his birthday. Something big, something nice, something new, something special. The only thing his heart desired… He wanted to see STOMP. again. For. the. third. time. That’s not new, that’s not different, and its not  special if he’s already seen it twice. I did pout. A lot. But it’s his birthday and its  the only thing he wanted.

It was fun. You should see it next time its in town. I only needed earplugs for the last 15 minutes of the show.

Mostly to make myself feel better, I bought him some Omaha Steaks online. This meant learning to use that weird thing called a broiler. And learning what medium-rare looks like. And remembering not to pull the broiler drawer all the way out of the oven. again.

O! We just found out that the Hamiltons are coming to town. TWICE in two weeks!!!! We get to babysit IJ! Are you jealous yet? I’ve already quequed the Elmo DVD’s at N*tflix! Can you see the exclaimation points! Can you tell I’m excited!! Next time I’m gonna have to tell them not to tell me they’re coming until 3 days before, I just can’t take the anticipation!

Stay tuned for scenes from next week’s episodes: “10 Hour Days”, “Why did you pick *that* picture to show to the Immigration Officials”, and “What’s In a Name.”