last day of 2006

8am: wake coughing in unison with my son, again.

8:30 am: walgreens. zane learns to say malibu (ma- boo).

9 am: paperwork at urgent care.

9:30 am: jumping for joy in parking lot

10:30 am: most of my family is drugged, we are all happy

12:30 cowboys and indians

2:00 pm d-d-dd-d-DORA

6 pm: the most delicious bean dip

11 pm: everest on discovery channel

I would have to say this has been one of the happiest days of 2006 for several reasons, some of which I choose not to write about today.



Someone once told me when I got married that it would be hard because we come from two very different families. To that I am grateful because if we came from the same family I believe that would be considered incest.

I only have 1 sibling and he has 7. He was raised a different religion than I was raised. He had lived in a different city, state, and country than I had before we were married. Parenting styles that raised us were different. Educational interests were different.

Marriage does have hard moments. Regardless of the background of each person, it can have some really rough days. That's what people need to be aware of when they get married. They need to be aware of the roses and the thorns. Wait, this is becoming a GNR song. Ick.

Redirecting thought.....I have just really enjoyed my stay in Arizona this week. I have driven down roads that reminded me of my dating years with my beau. Of the nights he would come over just because I wanted to make out. Raves. Gameworks. Getting kicked out of hot tubs. Trips. The cubby hole at the cabin. Concerts. Wally ball. The big jeep I hated to climb into and worried about how we would drive it in the winters of NY. How we had no idea the experiences ahead of us when we first held hands. The people we would encounter. The things that would make us laugh. The fights we would have. The times we would care for each other, sick on the bathroom floor. The decisions we would need to make. And there are still more ahead, so many more. It's nice to be here and take pause to reflect on how it all started on these very roads. And to know we will be back. Not today perhaps, maybe not even next year, but we both know we will be back for a good while.

We are so different today. We are very different people. A mixture of time and experience has changed us individually and as a family unit. The difference in upbringing adds a spice to the mixture that makes the other person just as simply lovely and interesting as the first day that we met.

However cliché it is, I have to admit when it's a blissfully happy marriage day, it's clear to me I would not smile as long that day if I didn't have the memories of the harder marriage days behind me. And the perspective to know they will happen again, but we will just have softer ammo.


shelf life

Circa 1992 David Winmill, my first high school crush, handed me something I would never forget. It was a cassette single of The Cure and he told me to listen to the song Halo. He told me the song made him think of me. This was the first time a boy told me a song made him think of me. I placed the little plastic case with the cassette intact into a shelf I carved into my heart and couldn't get home fast enough.

I raced into my room, pushing my sister aside, to listen to the words as carefully as I possibly could. I think I even stuffed a towel under the door to avoid any possible interruption. If you saw Little Miss Sunshine you will always remember the little girl's smile when she listens to that voice message telling her she is in the pagaent, afterall. That little girl will feel that way again when a boy hands her a love song and tells her that's how he feels about her.

I gave him The Jesus and Mary Chain single to Head On and I meant every breath of that song when I handed him the tape. It is a powerful feeling to hand someone your heart for the first time.

It doesn't really matter that he dropped out of school, nor that there were rumors he liked a boring, mis-shapen girl more than me. That simple gesture made me see stars that day and that was awesome. That shelf in my heart waited for another song to keep it company over the years, but it just got dusty.

Fall 2006 my husband comes home from work and tells me in the kitchen he heard a song that made him think of me. BUT he can't remember any of the words, who sang it, or how the tune goes. I dusted of that shelf in my heart and have kept it nice and clean, waiting.

This week Mike is sitting in his mother's kitchen and I am chasing our son away from the his favorite toy, you know, the dead bolt on the door. A song randomly shot into the air and he said "that's it! that's the song!" His sister's mobile phone is ringing to the tune of Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars. My eyes fill with tears and my heart spills over. I am at a loss for words, but look him in the eyes with nothing less than a look that says let's go make a baby.

of mullets and bullets

I can't begin to think of where to start regarding the past few days. Only bullet points come to my weary, traveled mind.

* My poor husband suffering senselessly in the restroom for two days. It was too awful to tag it as a flu. It was more like that time he had to prepare for a colonoscopy before being diagnosed for Celiac Disease. He had to eat/ drink nothing but water and chicken broth for days to make sure his system was clean. Oh, and silly me, I can't forget to mention the series of white boxes that contained medicine he was required to take, assisting in the 'cleansing' process. He lovingly refers to the results of these products as a$$punch.

* I know I am definitely riding in my mother's car when I check her CD selection:
violent femmes
new order
red hot chili peppers
another weezer
trainspotting soundtrack
all american rejects
another weezer
arctic monkeys
the strokes
kenny g
just kidding

* Why do I seemingly have the only toddler on earth interested and able to unlock dead bolts and successfully exit any door of his choosing?

* For some reason I have no idea how to strike up conversation with my extended relatives (?). It's quite confusing. When I meet strangers at the park- well, we can go on for hours.

* If I had to say there is a location that feels like home, right now in my life that would be New York. As for a scent, that would be the desert after a rain storm. There is truly no other calming aroma on earth to match it.

*My husband will most likely have an unintentional mullet by the end of his vacation.

* It is decided that holiday yard art is best if it does not involve characters. Lights are fabulous on trees, roof tops, columns, or plants - as they are cheery and bright. There could really be a post just on this topic, but I don't have the energy or evidence collected to properly demonstrate the Do's and Don'ts.

* Of all things I am grateful for this year, I would have to say NOT getting Mike's a$$punch sickness is probably towards the top of that list.


shiver and shake

I know, get over it Liz. But I was a little too excited to fill out my "Did you feel it?" report on-line about the little earthquake. The process cemented my awareness of the mildness I felt when I had to answer the following questions with no:

Did you take action
(i.e. stand under a doorway)?
Objects fall off shelves?
Pictures on walls move?
Masonry crack or fall?
Appliances or furniture
become displaced or tip over?
Chimney become dislodged?
Light fixtures fall?
Windows cracked or broken ?
Separation of porch or balcony?
Earth suck you into a giant trench?*
Have a heart attack?*
Home turn to rubble
and dust around your feet?*
Cry in fear?*
Wish you lived somewhere else?*
You are a big wuss.

I was a little too eager
to finally answer yes to the following:

Did other people in the room feel it?
Did you hear creaking?
Were objects in the room swaying?
Did you over-react?*
Search on-line
to confirm it was what you really felt?*
Think about emergency preparedness
kit you never put together?*
You would never have been be a tough pioneer gal.

*okay so i added some of my own questions, so what.
** not my pic


shaken and stirred

Around 7:15 this evening I felt my first ever earthquake (that blue square on the map). I was in Concord, CA sitting on a couch in the home of an elderly lady, Margie, and visiting with another gal, Jen, from church. Jen is also new to living in earthquake zone.

It felt like someone shoved the whole house forward. My body wanted to brace for a fall that never came. Margie didn't skip a beat, she continued with her story as if nothing happened. She has lived in California her whole life. Jen and I looked at each other and her wide eyes matched the hair standing on the back of my neck. The shiny red and gold balls swinging on the branches of the Christmas tree confirmed that we did, indeed, feel an earthquake.

My arms felt so empty not having my son to hold and protect, even though there was essentially nothing to protect him from. The 'what if it's only a preshock' wouldn't budge from my mind for a good 3 minutes. Images of 1906 flip through my head.

I call Mike and Zane, Margie waits patiently to finish her story. She smiles as I buzz about the movement. Mike barely felt it and said "oh is that what that was?"

I almost forgot to sit down and write about it once I got home. I guess my anxiety-laden brain has come a long way. In June, July, and August I laid awake at night for hours waiting for this moment to happen. Waiting to feel the ride of being inside an etch-a-sketch that only gets halfway shaken. I kept waiting to be shifted back to where I began when first sat on the couch, surely I had been moved at least 9 inches forward. Margie assumed it was roughly a 4.0 magnitude.

Turns out she wasn't that far off. It was Berkeley that had the earthquake tonight at a 3.7 magnitude at 7:12pm.

Mr. Hayward fault, go back to sleep for a very, very long time.


the bangs

okay so the bangs.....

the night I got home the camera had several shots to choose from nestled in the card, however both the reader and inside of my camera have been destroyed by my posterity.

in sum- they are cute. jerry was brave to cut them and felt jazzed about how he did.

i am still learning to fix them and deciding how i feel about them. that feeling changes every 6 minutes. and then i looked at some other people with bangs and decided i can rock the bangs, too. i just have to wear it like i rock them.

i am glad i took to the plunge as it will encourage me to wear my hair down more often and actually make more effort to clean up and pretend to be presentable. you know, less like a housewife and more like a housewife with bangs that tries to be cool.

i think they could ultimately try to look a little like jenny lewis (above) in a couple weeks with 1/2 inch more length. although she is workin' the mini that really says 'i can have no hair and be awesome' so i honestly don't think i should ever compare any part of me to even half of her.

i just don't want to think they look cool,
but really be mistaken for a P.E. teacher.

my baby


cheap thrills

Someday I will feel I have mastered the drums. I will still play them and hopefully have a better kit and make impressive sounds with original music. Then I will want more.

That is when I will seek an opportunity to learn and master this beauty. A '50s Stratocaster Relic Fender. I touch it every time I visit Guitar Center as I pass it on the way to lick my ideal drum kit.

If I could have music accompany this post it would be monks chanting. Or maybe just some angels singing in unison.

When I get to see it in person it's like that feeling of a heavy crush. When Mike would arrive to work and pass by my cubicle and my breath would halt. I am immediately aware of every misplaced hair and imperfection, but my eyes still gaze like a doe in a trance. I wonder if I have food in my teeth.
Yes, I am comparing my attraction to a guitar with the likeness of how I fell in love with a man from across the room. Only in this case I get to fully have my way with the guitar when I see it without exchanging a single word.


little ol' YOU

Congratulations! I am so impressed I know
Time Magazine's

Person of The Year.

I knew you would rise to the top of the list.

holding my breath

i haven't had bangs since i was a little girl.
i am going to give it a shot and be bold.
here's to movies inspiring hair dressers.
now, if he could get me the wardrobe to go with the bangs,
i would be less scared.



The onset of the boy's language has been a positive thing in our home. It has resulted in fewer tantrums, more conversation, and overall general happiness among the family. It has also made grocery shopping an interesting experience.

Once we were in the produce aisle and Zane was hysterically bored. I had several items to collect at various spots, so I decided it would be best to park him in front of the avocados and a scale. He insisted it was a clock. We discussed how it does look similar to a clock, but the important thing was that he stops screaming and place delicious avocados on the scale and watch the weight change. This game was a winner as I collected all of my needed produce and we were on our way to play the pull-out-coupons in the frozen food section.

Each grocery trip begins in the produce section, which happens to be the most highly populated area of our shopping excursions. As we enter the section he immediately recalls the scale incident and gets excited to repeat the game. Normally I am in a rush to get in and out of the store so we zip through, although never without incident. Zane screams and whines and shouts for the "clock". Shoppers whip their heads around, darting eyes in annoyance.

The most wonderful part is his inability to pronounce with word properly. He still forgets the L in the word CLOCK.



i still love technology

I was given additional responsibility to support the IT group at work. A group I had not worked with at that company and too few contacts were developed in time of my light tenure. I knew from being at my husband's work BBQ (then a techie himself) it wasn't going to be a lively bunch. I knew it would be an adjustment from the sales folks I had gotten accustomed to laughing with.

It was tradition that HR support roles be present in departmental meetings, often delivering presentations. It would be nice to put names to faces so my org charts could finally come alive.

They began the meeting introducing me as a new member of the support team, their new HR contact. I sat slightly nervous with the hard glances that came my way. They threw some skeptical curve balls my way that I answered well. This was going to be different. I tried to sit properly and held my posture like stone, tightening my stomach and telling myself I can do this. I know what I am doing. Trying to push every ounce of confidence to the expression on my face. Be friendly but don't be a pushover. Don't let them know your youth, you need credibility. Be stalwart.

The spotlight moved off of me, something I normally don't choke on, and now was focused on the conducting manager. They went around the room and each person had to answer the same question; an ice breaker if you will.

What was your favorite childhood toy received for Christmas?

I was starting to sweat, what would be a noble answer? What would make me sound smart and grown up and 'hey I know what I am doing, even since I was a kid' toy? I was glad the game started on the other side of the room.

I don't remember hearing what other people replied with, I was too nervous trying to figure out my own answer. Glimpses of DOLL HOUSE and BARBIE VAN and KEN! were shoved out of my head. What on earth would I say. I can't make it obvious that I am several generations away from this group. They have to know I can support their ER issues with professionalism and wisdom. One answers with a joke that his item was telling of his older age, but I blank out on what the toy was.

It was coming down to the wire, a few more people before me. My hands were sweaty under the conference room table. Then it came to me- of course! A toy I loved that would impress those who love technology, it was perfect. And before I could think my mouth started moving with a gracious smile,

"Well, this might be telling my age, but my favorite childhood gift was Nintendo".

Someone from the back of the room shouts "NINTENDO?! I was in college when that came out!"

Another replies, "I bought that for MY kids!"

The rooms burst into a medley of chuckles as I shift in my seat. I decided I would laugh, too. I was up next on the agenda and my nerves were calmed. I launched into my presentation with ease and remembered just being myself, all but stalwart, is a lot more fun for all of us.

Something about making other people laugh, even at my own expense, makes me feel unstoppable.


my etnies, the new concert t-shirt

Remember when concert t-shirts made you feel so good.
No matter where you were or what happened in these shirts, they still made you feel so happy.
I got rid of most of mine in college when I discovered the cute little vintage dresses at the local thrift store. They were much more flattering. I wish I had kept those t-shirts, for pjs if nothing else. They held more memories and sentiment than an entire collection of Christmas ornaments. They would have been great art to frame for my drumming room.

I could tell you the first was an orange Mudhoney with an illustration of a man at a urinal. But I didn't really go to that concert, I snuck it from my sister's room once she left for school. I thought I had fooled them all.

I also wore her Lemonheads, the one with a picture of a hand wearing a mood ring. I think it was an XL and I still had not fully experienced puberty. I imagine I looked gravely thin and ill in that shirt.

My first was a white t-shirt that was so long, the back of it read EMF across my bottom. Not sure if that was an intended effect or not. I worked that one until it had holes and areas were worn transparent. After it was too used, it became the cross county work-out shirt of choice. It led me to a conversation with a boy that eventually broke my heart.

Beastie Boys ringer with picture of van got traded for a faded blue basketball hoop. I liked the blue shirt too much and not as much the person I traded with. It was the softness of the fibers and comfortable fit we never could get right. I walked away too easily with this new shirt.

Portishead. It didn't fit right, it was a small and they were finally making them for girls. I never even liked that band. What was he thinking? This ended up in the D.I. pile.

Material Issue white, band's giant feet stretched out before them. I just remember meeting my biological father and wearing this shirt when he took me to Fanny Mae, a candy store I knew my mother loved. I wished she was there with me instead. I got mint meltaways. The plane landed back home and it was 30 minutes before the show began. My airport pick-up crew said I would never make it in time. It was such a Ferris Bueller moment and worked out so smoothly- I got them on a VIP list so my ride could get me there, attend, and get me home that night. I think they had a good time. Weezer opened.

VooDoo Glowskulls. It was the perfect size for layering on top of long johns for spring boarding trips. They matched my evil knievel pants perfectly. I think it was the last concert T-shirt I let go of after a camping trip with Mike.

His last was School of Fish in green. As much as I hated that shirt and I couldn't wait to get rid of it, it still made me love him all the more.


A new favorite mtv show: Rob and Big
It's basically hilarious and great entertainment.
Everyone needs a best friend.
It's extra great
if you can be opposites.
And have a show together.
And for the kiddo The Upside Down Show
on Noggin is quite perfect.
As far as daytime television is concerned.
They are like the children's variety of
Who's Line Is It Anyway.
Two Australian guys that are silly and funny
(true physical comedians).
The set is colorful, changes often, and well designed.
A perk for those designer-types.


learned this week

I cannot play a song I hate with the same feeling as a song I like. No matter how hard I practice.

Parenthood does not come naturally for me.

The yellow flowers on the corner are still brightly alive after a few nights of freezing temperatures.

I cannot hide my emotions. No matter how hard I try.

It's a lemon bush, not tree.

The lemons keep getting bigger.

My neighbor's health is a lot worse than I thought.

A girl needs girlfriends, many of them.

I really really love to wear my big, brown Etnies shoes. Even though the other moms might look at them funny.

I think I really like my neighborhood, afterall. I'm pretty lucky to live here.

Making someone else smile meant a lot more to me that day than self-pity.

Laughing with a friend is better than the best chocolate. I am glad for those calls. Funny friends are tops with me.

New Order isn't so bad.

I can rearrange my calendar and To Do list this month in a way that will subside the stress.

Running a household is a lot like running a business. I knew this before, but had to remind myself of this when prioritizing and reviewing projects, budgets, and scheduling 'meetings'.

Sunshine makes a big difference in my day.

I want to be better at certain things.

I know I can.


...that's a vanilla milkshake

My favorite friend in High School, Shannon, used to leave messages on my machine that always made me laugh. Right after the beep I would hear her reading from the classified section like it was poetry night. She would read as many in a row as the time on the tape allowed.

When I tried to repeat the gesture to her voicemail I stumbled upon a gem. It went something like this:

I am 3'5'' and weigh 554 lbs. I am a slothful, lazy bastard and do not enjoy outdoor activity. I mostly like to sit on the couch and scratch myself. I like t.v. dinners and hearty amounts of gravy. I collect stamps and scabs. If you have a good sense of humor call me.

We laughed so hard and truly contemplated calling this guy for a good laugh. If pervert could have been surely ruled out I think we would have invited him to join us for the usual weekend concert (it was almost always Agent Orange opening for some reason). I wonder if anyone ever did call him or get the humor of his ad.

That little experience is why I fell instantly for the movie Ghost World.

I plan to invest in the comic, which inspired the movie.


wonderfully pretty

I am in the process of something great: my top 10+ songs by The Cure. I have been reshuffling this list in my head for months and months, so it feels good to get it set in somewhat of a final order. I hope to get all techy like a relative of mine (hi brandon) and link the actual audio of the selected songs. This could mean another month will go by before you see it, but it's really the only proper way to reveal your first love.

I think I was 14 when I watched a VHS tape of them in concert and had only had one of their albums at the time. I knew I liked the band and the music they played, but watching them perform live made me feel it more deeply. That tape was the first time I heard the song Pictures of You. I sat frozen on the living room floor that night watching it alone and from the moment the song began until it ended there was peace on earth. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I raced back to my room to pull out my boom box and recorded it. I stayed up all night listening to it with my ear pressed against the speaker until I knew every word.

I believe I felt the emotions of being in love and traces of heartbreak through listening to these musicians long before I had a serious crush on a boy. Intense emotions I was not aware I was capable of.

Most of the songs on my favorites list have nothing to do with personal connectivity to the lyrics or boys I had feelings for. Although some were written so perfectly it was like they were written for me and the boy specifically. Some remind me of a night in Paris I dreamed about as a little girl. Others perhaps the scent of the locker room as I would scrunch my hair with apple hair spray before anxiously seeing him. And some abstract torments and pleasures that exist within happy relationships.

I can't reach for all the words I am looking for when I write about The Cure. I just know it makes me appreciate my passionate feelings that enjoy flying around when I listen.


Raquel Called

When I was completing High School, there were very few things I was sure of. One was that I knew I would be going to college. The second, I knew I would need roommates. And third, I knew that living with all girls was not going to work for me.

My first Three's Company situation went relatively well. Paul and Jaime were a few years older and had good jobs. I knew them from working at a restaurant, although I was working at the bank the time I moved in. We were all busy and we had our own rooms. A month into it I discovered somehow Paul and Jaime has distain for each other. I still don't know how it began, I just knew I was in the middle of it. And since I was upstairs on the 'girls' floor he assumed we stayed up late and talked about how much we hated him. So he avoided us both and we essentially had the place to ourselves.

He decided out of the blue he had to leave college and move to NY with nothing but a duffel bag of clothing and began selling everything else he owned. While I admired his adventurous side and good taste in music, I had some re-collecting of my CDs to handle while he was at work one day. Jaime had to find her sign language video he borrowed years ago. We held our breath and went in. His room was a disaster and his bathroom had mold growing on the ceiling. They had to remove and replace the toilet because it was so gross and dirty once he left. We didn't know what we would find looking for our belongings, we just knew we had to be quick and careful. I found my CDs, they were melted to a plastic holder he had left baking for months in his car. I peeled them off and assisted Jaime with her search. We couldn't find her tape anywhere. Then we both looked at the VCR, then at each other, not saying a word. She pushed EJECT. Slowly a movie emerged from the VRC: Raquel in the Wild.
I think we screamed and did the jittery-skieved-out dance and ran upstairs to the girls section of the home and scrubbed our hands clean. She determined her video was no longer important. But we sure got a kick out of leaving messages on the white board in the kitchen for the remaining months he lived with us.

Have a great day!
love, Raquel

We disbanded as a group and then it was Kiley (the Jack of the group if you will) and Candice. Candice worked with me at the bank, but called in sick a lot so I took a chance with her. Kiley answered an ad we put on the college roommate section of a community message board. He ended up being the big risk. He didn't go to school after all, hopped from job to job, and drank a lot. I think he would have been the perfect neighbor, not roommate. We had fun going to concerts and hearing about his crazy girlfriends. However, one night he passed out in the living room, left the front door and fridge wide open AND ate the rest of the enchiladas. I had enough. We kicked him out that month.

Then Sean moved in, another winner from the school community board. He played the song Plush by Stone Temple Pilots too many times each day with his acoustic guitar. I think it was the only song he knew how to play. I didn't like that song to begin with, so you can imagine my feelings of love and adornment for him as time went on. The only duty we asked when he moved in was to be in charge of taking the garbage out. He did it too few times until I started putting it into his room. He and Candice fell in love and got freaky all the time. I was happy when they went their separate living ways far away from me and my bedroom walls.

That's when I decided to give the all girls living situation a shot. The Christian girl getting married to the wedding singer and the brunette bombshell with the best and longest legs you have ever seen (Mike you aren't allowed to comment on this post, thanks). Men would literally compliment her on her legs whenever we were in public. She wasn't my favorite friend to attend the beach with.
Legs moved out to live with her sister and a little nut job with a perm moved in. She had the boyfriend that was out on parole, not yet divorced, and 12 years her senior. She was a nursing student and had an unhealthy obsession with South Park. Things got ugly with her, there was screaming, drama, harsh words exchanged, and tears. All the madness was abruptly ended as I escaped to my wedding with my eternal roommate.

All of this is to say how incredibly easy it is to live with my husband and son. Probably because I am the drama queen and there is no room for anyone else to be difficult.

It is also to say that I don't honestly know how to reply when the guys in this band email me an mp3 to learn Plush. It's going to be like drinking razor blades and mouthwash for me to play it.



Pictures of the moon
always remind me
of the album
Destination Universe
by Material Issue.
That band was
so under-rated.


When the Angels Sing

I wish I knew how to roar like a lion, a real lion sounding roar. That is the exhilaration I feel after being a real drummer last night with a few other musicians playing some songs together. Being PART of what you could call a band, if even for an evening, and rocking out. I thought I loved music, I thought it was a pretty awesome thing. To listen and bob my head and maybe tap a toe. BUT TO PLAY IT IN TIME WITH OTHER PEOPLE PLAYING IN TIME and to have all three of us at the end of Three Imaginary Boys by the Cure looking at each other with smiles and agree that sounded and FELT good. I imagine that might be the feeling my husband feels after running a marathon, albeit he puts a lot more time into his prep than I do my songs. It felt the way it does to see a pack of cyclists riding in perfect unison. Like we were the components in the back of a watch making it tick. I love being part of a collective group making music with my arms and feet far beyond just listening to music. I love it the way I loved my husband a million times more after going to the temple, just when I didn't think I could have more room in my heart to love.

The practice room was rented on the east side of Oakland's industrial section. It was one of many practice rooms about the size of a master bedroom. Purple carpet lined the floor and walls. Several wacky couches filled spaces along walls. My favorite one was red, but the most useful was the peach as I needed to steal one of it's cushions to sit on as my throne sucks and that New Order song had a really fast beat; comfort and extra bum support were essential.

Across the hall was a mega heavy metal screaming band that made my arms sore to think of the poor drummer keeping up with them. Down the hall I saw a ska band that set up in their own room as I arrived. I liked the personal touch of the little rude boy hats. They didn't sound so bad. As for us and our sound, they are definitely better than I am at my instrument, but not by too great of a margin that I was intimidated. I was weak on the Social Distortion song, but when the singer/ bassist revealed he hated to sing it I sighed a deep relief. I didn't know it as well as I wanted to, but it is a lot of fun to play due to the constant crashing of the ride symbol. I enjoyed beating the hell out of my drums so I could be heard over the amps and officially feel the timid me has been left behind.

I have been invited back to play with these two guys again next week.

Have I found my band? Time will tell...


sweet words

Zane and I went to visit a dear, lovely older lady today we know from church. Each time we visit, we hear touching stories about how she met her husband, high school and college memories, and about her children/ grandchildren whom live in other states.

She and her husband are healthy and active. They travel and go to The Opera. He refers to her as darling and they always greet us with a warm welcome. I look for opportunity to offer charitable service or assistance, but they insist they are blessed beyond necessary; no help is needed.

Today as we said our goodbyes her final sentiments gave me pause. She took a deep breath and with tears filling her happy eyes she told me about her love for her endearing husband. Of the wonderful years they have had together and the adventures they have had with every move. That every single place they have lived there have been wonderful experiences.

I want that. I want to stand with a friend in 30-40 years from now and shed tears of joy for the years I have spent with my husband. I took the chance of asking her for any advice she had to offer for us as a young family. Of all things she simply said: "Just support each other". She went on to explain that of all the moves they had she always supported his career advancement. And never wanted him to miss out on an open door of opportunity. Unless it would cause great pain for the family, in which case it never did.

She has no idea how timely this advice is for me. How much I needed to hear those words. How much I look up to her and admire her deep love and supportive heart.

Like many relationships I have, once again I am gaining much more in relation to what I offer as a friend.


little red

Not only is he into a new size, but a new season. I will miss this little shirt of his. And a few others. But mostly I enjoy getting him into a new array of threads. The new shirts are like little canvases waiting to be decorated with stains and scrubbed or faded into a comfortable routine of cold weather wear.


it's official, I'm a stalker

I admit it, I am stalker-ish. But really, if I have an idea that I think is a really good one that would really work out well on several levels, I go for it.

So DHC, I recently wrote about them. The band is right up there in ranking under The Cure. Their stickers grace my first snowboard. That is big-time band love right there. Knowing their drummer worked at the comic book store and knowing he probably still has connections there I called with a proposal of sorts.

The helpful guy who talked with me for so long about comics actually answered the phone. He remembered who I was and humored me while I suggested how great it would be for me to take drumming lessons from Gavin. (important- NOT because he is attractive, because honestly he is not attractive to me. BUT because he is a killer drummer and contributes greatly to sounds that inspire me year after year).

The worker bee agreed to give him my message and email address regarding lessons. I made sure to note I was MARRIED WITH A KID and that I am not trying to be a stalker. Even though this is SO stalker-ish behavior.

So, we shall see if he emails. He could email and turn out to be a total @$$hole upon actual lesson efforts (I try to only swear on my blog once a week and only when highly necessary).

My current situation isn't so great with my drumming instructor. He has good chops and awesome credentials with successful electronica groups, however, we just don't seem to jive. Conversation is forced and his passion is jazz. I travel 45 minutes one way to get to the rehearsal space and he always goes over the scheduled time. Usually this would be a great thing, but the time is often filled with the history of JAZZ drumming or something else I honestly don't care much about.
I can't say I have not learned from him, however, the time away from my family (3+ hours) isn't worth the 30- 45 minutes of actual value that comes out of it.

So crossing my fingers, Gavin or not, that something else will work out. Ideally someone closer to my home, not on the sex offender list, and a rockin' teacher.



This is the most useful (and unsettling) website I have ever viewed.

You can plug in your zip code to learn about registered sex offenders in your area. I know this link had circulated many years ago, but as I have since had a child and moved, it is interesting to revisit. To be aware of how the map looks in my new area.

I keep erasing the words I want to write about this topic. I am struggling with my gut reaction to the dots I see on the map within my area. The territory around my home, the places I shop with my son. And comparatively, there aren't THAT many versus other areas within the state/ country. I want to write about how disgusted I am and outraged that these types of bad-decision-people are allow people to live around us. That the pit of my stomach turns into painful black soot at the very thought of my son being a victim. That the people that do such things cannot possibly be God-fearing people, they have to be on the Other Side. How did they get passed the veil and receive a body and come to earth? how - why - i don't get it - can't wrap my head around it........

The other part of me? That religious part that hugs the pain of my imagination and terror of 'what if' reminds me about judgment. It tells me there is a lot more to the story than I can imagine. There is a bigger picture. That humans come to this earth and some screw up pretty bad. That I cannot throw a stone, because I am not perfect either. I am also reminded of the process of repentance and forgiveness. I am not sure how that works with various levels of crime, it's hard to separate the thoughts of Natural Man comparatively with the One on judgment day who ultimately decides.

These two parts of me are in conflict. Easily looking at the names and faces of the people who have been convicted as the world sees them versus the way their Maker possibly sees them. They are his children, too.

What if one of these dots was my elderly neighbor across the street that I know on a first-name basis? Who waters the plants every day and waves hello to us every afternoon. Who has more medication than I can count to keep him alive due to cancer and Valley Fever. Who has regular visits to the emergency room for weeks at a time while his sweet wife waits lonely and hopeful for him at home.

Would I stop smiling at him? Would we ignore his weak, waving hand? Would I leave mean notes in his mailbox? Would I still look him in the eye? Would I move? If my friend, my neighbor turned out to be a sex offender in the neighborhood?

I really don't know how to close my thoughts. There are so many fears I gained becoming a mother, I don't think my mind can handle it sometimes. The inability to truly and fully protect my son 100% of the time his whole life is a feeling I was never prepared for. The only possible filler for that gap for me is religion. Not that I think bad things will never happen because I have religion in my life, but that each member of my family can be guided (hopefully to avoid some trauma if it's His will), but most importantly to cope with the journey that unfolds with each of us. That hopefully if something awful were to happen to Zane that I would not commit the crime my mind would tell me to act towards the offender.

There is a place of misery for some souls once they leave this earth.
I have to remember it is not my place to make that list.
I think I will take it upon myself
to name this fruit


she's away with the pixies

I have not made very many friends that are girls that have a fondness of music near the calibur of my enthusiasm, let alone similar genre. Cannace (sp?), however, was a girl I met briefly when I first moved to Brooklyn. I met her at church. She was single. So while I was married I always felt like a boring old hag and didn't bother to initiate hanging out with her. I never really put effort into being friends. In between (and during) church meetings we had several conversations at length about music. Then she moved. But! Before moving we each allowed the other to borrow one of our personal favorites in our music collections. I gave her Ben Lee's Grandpaw Would. In hindsight, a stale CD of years past by an Australian chap probably didn't suit her fancy.

She gave me a Yo La Tango CD titled And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. I admit they have a sound that doesn't appeal to me. I think from a big picture scheme of things (re-sale value) I got the better end of the eternal CD exchange.

The point of all of this is to say that even though I won't purchase any of their albums, they officially get my vote for Best Album Title Ever with their newest titled:

I Am Not Afraid Of You

And I Will Beat Your Ass

If I were still in high school I would go to the concert just to get a shirt with this title on it. And I would make sure to wear it to the dinner table every night. To honor the step-dad.



just for the tzatziki

If I could be anywhere else right now it would be in Santa Cruz in front of a table full of food at Vasili's. It's a Greek restaurant with the most flavorful variations of food I have had under one roof. The owner is Julie, a friend of Mike's sister. She is charming and funny and smart. Her story of buying this little place and moving there after culinary school is most inspiring. Go visit her and get some good food, it will be a trip well worth your time. I promise you will find a way to go back again and again.

These are some of my favorite things from the menu I like to read and pretend I can taste from the monitor:

Cucumber, garlic, yogurt & cream cheese dip served with French bread* cubes. [*for the gluten-free crowd she has amazing tomatoes and cucumbers]
Fried Zucchini
Garlic Fries

Salads(Salads are served with Vasili’s special dressing of pure Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar & a blend of Greek spices)
Maroulosalata Lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, pepperoncini & Greek olives.

Souvlaki (aka Gyro) Choice of roasted slices of lamb, seasoned ground beef, marinated chicken breast or pork tenderloin rolled in a hand-made pita with lettuce, tomatoes, onions & tzatziki sauce.

Lamb Kebab Two skewers of marinated lamb sirloin charbroiled with lemon, garlic & Greek spices served with roasted potatoes, triangles of handmade pita bread & tzatziki.

Vegetarian Moussaka Eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, parsley, onions, garlic & parmesan cheese topped with béchamel sauce & nutmeg.

Bar-B-Que Chicken Kebab Two skewers of marinated chicken breast or pork tenderloin served with roasted potatoes.

Rizogalo Creamy rice pudding with cinnamon.




1) Deviled Eggs

2) Black Olives

3) Mashed Potatoes

(cream cheese version)

4) Vanilla Pudding

(Banana/ Nilla Wafer Layered)

That's all I really need

to eat tomorrow.

let's be honest here,
it's all about making the
post-dinner table
look like a bake sale.

not my pic

things i hate vol. II

bratty kids throwing sand
aimless roaming
movies with sad endings
celiac disease
sand in my shoes
my breadth of patience
belle and sebastian
the length of my fuse
beans without lard
wood burning stoves
the mars volta
moldy grapes
the wonder pets
vertical blinds


grateful for my ceiling

photo by m.f.

We always said when we have kids we will bring them to the Macy's Day parade. Or at least to see the balloons get blown up the night before, a fun evening of hot chocolate and walking dark New York streets. I prefer the latter, as it allows for Thanksgiving Day slumber the slothful way it should begin.

So...as you can imagine we have done neither with our son. And that's a bummer. There is no event that can replace it. Not even a cold Turkey Trot in the suburbs.


Updated: The Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past:

1999 I am pretty sure this began the tradition of Mike making all the food and me napping, reading magazines and filing my nails. He recalls us going to The Wheelers (maybe just for dessert?) that night and we met their parents. The Wheelers were our only friends in new york for a long, long time. We have spent more holidays with them than we have our familes in the past 7 years. We *heart* The Wheelers for life!

2000 This was the year we were in the first Brooklyn apartment and Mike's friend was visiting with her new husband from out of state. I had never met either of them. First impressions have never gone more wrong. The day they were arriving our ceiling collapsed in the kitchen. The 40 Mexicans living above us wouldn't let anyone in to fix their broken pipe- the root of the problem. We ate turkey and tried to pretend there wasn't black plastic hanging above our heads. Nothing says Welcome to New York like a construction scene in the middle of the apartment. Oh yes, yes it's also true my rent is 5 times the amount of your mortgage for your 4 bedroom house, but I bet you don't have the luxury of a moon roof in your kitchen. Also, don't forget the charm of the slanted floors, boards under the fridge to keep it straight, and the toilet that gets in the way when you open the bathroom door. We stayed there way too long. But the memories make it worth it.

2001 This was a year we gathered with other families in the Robinson's apartment in Brooklyn on 4th Avenue next to the fire station. This one goes down in the books as THE BEST FOOD we will ever have at Thanksgiving. Each family brought a dish of their favorite masterpiece, so it was an amazing combination of perfected dishes. Nothing was gross. Nothing was cold. The children behaved, until the grown-up children got out the XBOXes. Then there were tears and tired babies and bold wives yanking their husbands by the ear. Now we are all scattered across the states, I wonder if any of us will ever taste such a combination of food and friendship again. p.s. The Wheelers were there, too.

2002 Mike's brother Richard, The Wheelers and our kittens in the good Brooklyn apartment. It was hard to leave that place. It's a sore subject for one of us.

2003 Days after positive prego test. We were new to Westchester, so invited a couple we knew from Brooklyn, but are no longer in contact with. She was a Broadway Baby (in training) and he was looking for work as a radio guy. He was hilarious and kept us entertained. He coined the new phrase of a town we lived near from Tuckahoe to Slap-a-ho. I made apple crisps and she took leftovers home in a caserole carry bag I never got to see again.

2004 Zane's Debut turkey day. Dastrups + new friends. Mike snuck out the back door with the leftovers from the turkey we brought cos he didn't want to share with the other guests. I love that about him- how he matches my serious love for food. Well beyond courtesy.

2005 Dastrups (+friendly strangers)

2006 Just the three of us. And a lot of food. Oh! and the Turkey Trot.

I miss Brooklyn. I miss New York. I miss my friends. and family.

Not so much the cats that pissed on the carpet.


dust mites

Today has been a day of deep cleaning my home. To thoroughly deep clean it requires looking at the house through a new lens. Like an outsider. Thinking: what would my sister say if she walked in and saw the dust on those blinds?! The process requires looking at rooms that have bothered me for months, but ignoring the bother. Taking the time to rearrange things and rid the annoyance of ignore. Settling into a change of space that will make it more comfortable and livable. Quite a task that will carry me long into the night, likely multiple days.

While spending the day mostly in isolation from the outside world, I got a much welcomed phone call from someone I have not talked to in a long time.

She is also doing some deep cleaning today, but of her soul. A similar process, I think, to my household deep cleaning. Looking at her 'house' and deciding how it should look and feel. If anything needs to be rearranged. Figuring out what those details are that need to be scrubbed.

I wish I could roll up my sleeves and help her. But it's not my house and I don't live in it to know what the subtle annoyances are. I am too distant from it to give insight into the right or wrong decisions that need to be made. Of what needs to change or stay the same. I only know I love her and that I have confidence that it's important enough that she will make whatever decision is right for her inside and out. It is a lonely feeling to make big decisions, the older we get the heavier impact they have on our lives (and others around us).

The only offering I had was that at times I have felt the best about the end results were the times I took it to The Lord.



I have to say this is one of the most romantic things
I have ever read.

from postsecret.


trees with dandruff

this is what fall looks like in northern california

some colors
and green, still green

i keep waiting for summer to end. not that it's such a rough life to walk around in t-shirts so close to thanksgiving, it's just confusing is all. my mind won't adjust. we are stubborn that way. so don't be offended if you get your christmas card 3 months late.


and you taste a bit like me

I spent 20 minutes crafting the exact words together to try and let you know how I feel about

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

To sum up: 'hey I like this cd so listen to them they make me happy'.

I have to go make dinner and shake my fist at blogger for tearing my careful post away before I could save it. Bastards. I had some good things typed out.

The only line I can remember now was the last thing I typed, although it was the only thing that wasn't specific to the band itself:

I'm incredibly grateful
for the gift of having passion for music.



right here, right now

I found a great quote today on this website.

She wrote this:

- I find myself nodding furiously in agreement with Angelina Jolie, who says, “If you ask people what they’ve always wanted to do, most of them haven’t done it. That breaks my heart.”


Hope you have started putting the pen to YOUR cue card. You don't have to do all of them right now, but decide this week which one makes sense to focus on at this time in your life. Make a plan for one of your dreams.

photos by Mike Fuller

Central Park 2.13.2005



My favorite scene in the movie Can't Buy Me Love is when Ronald (Patrick Dempsey) tells Cindy (Amanda Peterson):

"Yes, and you have the nicest pair of rhododendrons in town!"

She looks confused and says: "Rhodo-who's?"

Then she goes into her house. He is heart broken for not saying something more clever.

I wish I could say I have the best lemons in town, but I think it's probably not so when they are just turning yellow in NOVEMBER.

They also tend to be on the smaller side of the scale.


And someday I might grow watermelon just so I can say I have the best melons to everyone at the block party. Most of my current neighbors are over 70, so I think I might wait a couple of years until they get to know me better. Because, really, will I ever live in a neighborhood again when my chances of that statement being a partially true pun ever happen?

In the meantime, we are just the family with the pathetic lemon tree out front and the funny little boy who rides a
purple toy car.


november west

I can't remember the last time I felt so happy about the way one of my pictures turned out. especially considering i stuck the camera out the sun roof going 65mph on the 680.


Love & Rockets

Every week I pass this inviting Comic Book store. It's been teasing me to come in and explore. Telling me there are amazing illustrators I need to appreciate. Luring me to flip thin pages and carefully scan the shelves.

I have been ignoring the plea and found myself more drawn to the ice cream shop; until yesterday. I finally got brave enough to go inside. It was the most interesting forty minutes I have spent in a good

Turns out- as a super bonus- Gavin from Dance Hall CRASHERS (my fav band in college) recently worked there. To think, he could have been the one telling me all about Vertigo and Eightball! It could have been magical.
It would have gone something like this:

Me: Wait, you look vaguely familiar.....

Him: Yah, I was in this band a while ago. Just some ska band.

Me: Gavin. Gavin? Gavin. Wait, you'
re the drummer for DANCE HALL CRASHERS aren't you!? Remember when I saw you backstage in AZ and complained about how all the jocks are going to ska shows and you shrugged it off.

Him: Yea, well.

Me: I have SO been trying to figure out your drum fills on X, Y, Z songs while pounding the treadmill for months! How about I take some drum lessons from you?!

Him: {looking at my feet} OMG those are awesome Old Navy flip flops! Of course I can teach you- you will so be rockin' in no time fast!

Me: I turn on my heel, carried off with a dramatic gust of wind. JUST like Greta Garbo.

Why did I wait?


barbie and the rockers

One of my favorite past-times as a kid involved the Barbie Van. It was a giant yellow van that was passed down from 2 generations of barbie lovers in my family.

Sure, Barbie and her lady friends (and the one ken doll we had) would:

+ frolic in the roof-top pool (shoe box/water spray bottle for effect)

+ go on camping trips (outside under a bush)

+ drive across the country (from the bedroom to the livingroom)

+ party inside the van (turn MTV up really loud)

+ go to the drive-in (place ken on top of barbie in back of van and make smooching noises)

But the real fun came when we involved the cats.

It was a two-person operation. My sister would load the cats while I would prepare for take-off. We had a generously long hallway, one end at which the launch pad rested. As soon as cat #2 was loaded I was off. Tripping over my long nightgown, weak with belly laughs, off went the cats. In the Barbie van. We would fall to the ground in fits of laughter as the van crashed into the wall at the end of the hallway. Then they slide to the front of the van like it was a slip 'n' slide. Both cats would scatter, leaping into the air like cheetahs. We got talented at removing them from under the beds. The key was lifting the pads under the claws and swiftly pulling before they latched into the carpet once again.

....So if you look closely at my childhood pictures, you will see long red scratches along arms, face, and hands.

not my pic


9th grade

Mr. Johnson was one of those teachers you felt bad for. The kids made fun of him. He had a glass eye, he was rather rotund, walked with a limp and talked with a lisp. You wondered how he wound up choosing to teach in middle school, where the children are at an age that evil doers are at their peak.

Then one morning it was all different. It was the only day he pulled his face out of a textbook to meet our eyes.

As he passed cue cards around the room we all looked at each other quizzically. I secretly wondered if he had snapped. If one lazy eye joke went too far. If someone left a mean note and he was seeking revenge. I think I started to sweat as I waited nervously for his next move.

He silently struggled to pull his worn wallet from his back pocket. I felt a twinge that he wasn't getting paid nearly enough for the cruelty of my peers. I wanted to give him my lunch money and flip them all off in his honor. For his bravery of showing up each day.

...So the wallet....He pulled from it a worn out, dog-eared cue card. He proceeded to tell us that once in his English class years ago he wrote on this card all of his dreams. His goals. The places he wanted to see. The things he wanted to accomplish.

He gave us instruction to do the same.

I never forgot that day. I don't think a day in all of my education had nearly the impact. Each of us sat in that little classroom and imagined the walls crumbling as we dared to soar beyond the everyday way of thinking. Beyond the test scores of the week, social drama, gossip, and hairspray.

Mr. Johnson taught my English class. He also taught me to dream.

Why do I keep forgetting about that lesson?

Naturally, I lost the card, but this year I have been thinking about what to put on my new one.

it's all about the sunshine

If I had to choose one movie to purchase between the two, I would select Little Miss Sunshine over Borat.

While one was wildly hilarious, the other just simply has less male nudity.

And male nudity, if it's not my husband, is kind of gross and awkward.

But if YOU buy the movie, I would be happy to bring the popcorn and watch it a million times over and laugh until we cry.


As Requested...

Someone just suggested I post about ladies night ideas.

I think it would be so rad if someone would have a good, clean sex toys party. Yeah, I just wrote that. AND my mother-in-law reads this. Every day.

Someone needs to have one already. You know the type- we saw a sample on the movie Old School. Products (clean, unused), lingerie, edibles, books to view and purchase. I think it would be the most talked-about party of the year. I think my friends from NY would fly out. I think select members of my family would fly out for it. I think friends of friends would attend. THAT would be a useful party and our husbands would make sure our calendars are free!

Who knows a consultant that can hook us up with The Party of the Year?

Are you on board? Let's do this.