psycho candy

There are several dream jobs I wish to have one day lined up in my head, none of them actually have lucrative paths. One of those jobs on the list is official candy taster/ review writer. Today I will pretend to have this job.

1) Reese's Whipps.

Um. This is a no for me. I am not a nougat fan so I am not sure why I was tempted by this one. But I love the Reese's chocolate in general, so thought it might work out. Turns out, I still hate the texture of mushy, dense, mush in my mouth and it's even less appealing to me when it has a fake peanut butter tint of flavor added to it. My lease favorite candy bar is 3 Musketeers, this candy bar rates below that one.

2) Crunch Crisp.

Yes. This is a thumbs up. Although I have to warn you, get two for a full chocolate fix. The wafers are sturdy and fresh, so you get the snappy crunch. The flavor immediately reminds me of the messy wafer cookies your grandma always has in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. If you like those, this will be a huge hit with you. The crunchies on top are the bland and dull part and the chocolate just thin enough. Eats more like a wafer bar than a candy bar. I wonder if they would be brave enough to try strawberry flavor? But if they do, I hope they keep the milk chocolate and don't try to go white chocolate on me.


and then he kissed me

You hear your whole life about how opposites attract. It didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to hear that as a kid. Well, it turns out, in terms of personality my husband and I could not be more opposite.

This is him:


This is me:


Not so calm.

This being said, there are times with him the even and calm moods are peaked. It stirs me a bit and the earth stops moving on its axis and my heart goes pitter pat. I remember each of those moments like a photograph, in addition to a million others I have gotten to spend with him. These are some that have happened over the past 8 years:

* Terrified face tripping (safely) down two flights of marble stairs in a hotel in Rome. It was like modern dance the way your body, long legs, torso, and feet contorted about so quickly and awkwardly, yet ultimately controlled. You were catlike. And I think I peed my pants laughing.

* Bursting joy and shouts of thrill when The Diamond Backs won the World Series. I have never seen you jump so high off of the couch in my entire life. The fists were in the air, the blood flowing. I got to see what the ultimate fan of any sport waits all season for year after year. It convinced me sports are important to you and adds emotion to your life. I knew I would be the wife that would not complain about the Super Bowl or World Series, it would be a tradition that would be important to us as a family. Even if I never know who is playing and I don't really know the rules of the game.

* Sitting across from me in Brooklyn at that Peruvian restaurant we tried on a whim. I think it was cold outside. I remember crossing the street with the reflection of dim lights from various restaurants reflecting in tiny puddles. I remember the bright orange paint on the wooden restaurant sign and how pleased I felt for adventurously trying new food as I followed your lead. You got that drink with the seeds at the bottom. It looked gross. You told me casually how recently at the temple, you looked at me from across the room in all white and I was the most beautiful woman you had ever seen. I was not expecting that and it made me cry. The candle between us was perfect, tiny and slight in its warmth and light. We never ate there again, I didn't care much for the food. But of all the places I would like to visit again, it's on my list.

* A night in Winsor Terrace. Not our best year. I got to see genuine. Love. True. And Forever.

* Each time you held each of our baby boys for the first time. Proud Papa Bear. Just completely and intensely peaceful and happy. Vulnerable and pure and raw. It was like I could see through your body and watch your heart pound every.single.beat. and see the blood circulate through your capillaries. There isn't any other time I have seen you smile the way you have when you introduced yourself to your baby boys.

* Early summer evening in London. Perhaps the one I will recall more vividly with the widest range of emotions. I walked several steps ahead of you and our friend on the way to dinner. We were discussing what kind of food we should seek. Fish and Chips again? I was wishing I had a more stylish wardrobe to represent a young girl from the states as I crossed the street. A car that was stopped let up on the break just enough to tap his front bumper into my shin. I tripped as you would over a large boot, but caught myself with an embarrassed grin. I felt pretty dumb for not being more cautious. Or was the driver actually being a......before I could turn around and realize what happened you were leaning into the open window and shoving the driver with the strength of 10 Vikings and shouting in his face "THAT'S MY WIFE" over and over again. He was startled. I was stunned. And then he got out of the car while his friend watched in the passenger seat. Um, he was about 2 feet taller than you. Some shoving back and forth and I thought it odd he raised his hand like he wanted to slap you. ? Slap? I was trying to remember my Ju Jitsu moves and resigned to the fact that I would just kick him in the nuts if things got ugly, that was about all I could offer if need be. Upon much pleading on my part (begging really, it was a foreign country, after all, and I worried his friend might step out of the car with a crowbar), Mike walked away.

My tiger, my husband, my own personal warrior. I flipped from embarrassed, to shocked, to scared, to angry (fight! mode), to flattered within about 4 minutes. And then as we all calmed down and looked for a Chinese restaurant I asked if the other guy kept saying what I thought he was saying.

In an Arabic accent over and over he said to Mike: "Do you want me to eff you in the @$$hole?" We were rather confused, but laughed for several blocks about what a random thing that is to say to someone in a fight.


pm dawn

Some evenings I plan to steal as many quiet hours sleeping as my baby allows and I head for bed shortly after he is settled into his crib. Then there are the times Mike and I play cards or watch a movie. Other evenings I turn to a long list of blogs to entertain me for what turns out to be a couple of evening hours. So when I tip toe past the crib and peel back the cold sheets, sometimes my husband will stir. Usually he drifts back to sleep easily. Each time, however, I feel pretty lame about how I have spent the evening. Rather unproductive and dull considering how rare that kind of time is available.

On occasion Mike wakes slightly disoriented and asks what I have been doing in an astonished voice as if it is 4am. It always makes me giggle, cos he forgets to look at the clock to see it's really, oh, 11pm. And while I know he understands this little strange world of blogging and how it's the new romance novel for housewives, I still freeze that moment in time when I crawl into bed and think of how I wish I could respond one of these times with a really amazing answer that would impress. Something like

I painted the living room orange!

I got to a new level on World of Warcraft (which I have never played).

I finally filed the stacks of papers that have been sitting for months.

I made a baby quilt.

I retiled the kitchen floor. Just for fun.

I read John Adams.

There are so many options that sound a lot more interesting compared to "reading blogs".
So this week, I snuck past the baby, but faced the opportunity to reply to my love about my time on the computer. Only this time, my reply shot straight from the hip:

Porn.......Albino Twins.
The funny part is the silent pondering that followed.
Along with his reply in a calm voice: I can't even picture that.


long beach

Our first home in New York was in Long Beach, Long Island. He told me I would be mad about how small it would be. He said it so often I began to worry. Until I walked in. It was perfect for two people who would work a lot of hours in offices far away. Just right for our new little family of two; we were only married for about 4 months at the time of move-in.

It was 2 blocks from the beach. There will probably never be a time in our lives we live near a beach again. I wish I had taken more photos. I wish I had written about it at the time.

But I didn't, so here's a shot at hazy memory lane.

I remember each time I walked or went running on the boardwalk I would pass an old brick building with a sign on it that said "fallout shelter". I had never seen a sign like that before. I always wanted to check it out. See if there were old, dusty cans of food stacked on shelves or just rusty old puddles of water in a dark area that wanted company once in a while.

I will always remember the scent filling my nostrils while rounding the corner. I tasted the salt water air on the roof of my mouth with that first deep breath. I am pretty sure I smiled every single time; that scent never gets old or familiar to someone who was raised on a desert.

I wondered about the ocean-view buildings and the people living inside of them. What the boardwalk was like in the summer. I tried to guess when those modern condos had been built and imagine the character erased from the one that stood before. Many buildings were for retired people, but not the kind that are able to play shuffle-board.

I remember our first Sunday, we couldn't find the place to meet for church. We were told it was in a tiny little dance studio that rented space on the top floor of a store along the busy street. We couldn't find it. Oh, flower shop, I think it was above a flower shop. We drove up and down that main street for 30 minutes and went back home.

An hour after church an older woman with a looooooong island accent appeared at the door and wanted to welcome us. She brought with her a little loaf of banana bread wrapped in plastic wrap and a little gold sticker on it. She knew my name and said they were all expecting us and couldn't wait to meet us. I learned this to be the honest truth. We were surely needed. Even though the banana bread was gross, like the ones stacked up on the counter of a gas station or bodega, that gesture was what kept my feet grounded many times when I got homesick.

The following week we found the place. I remember there as a strange note on the door written in paper that caused us both to pause, but I don't recall what it read. Something about the missionaries and making sure we are safe (?). Something like 'no drugs allowed' or something completely unusual. We proceeded up the rickety, tired, old steps to a large, shiny dance floor and about 10 cold, metal folding chairs arranged in two rows of 5. We knew it was going to be a small crowd, Mormons in Long Beach, but we didn't realize THIS small. Mike was one of about 3 men total. The rest of the congregation, about 8 usuals, were women in their 60's and beyond. Except for one, she was in her 30s. I was 22. Each week I was selected to say an opening or closing prayer and/ or taught some kind of lesson. It was a safe place for me to learn to be a Mormon. It was nice to feel so needed every single week.

This room did not have working heat, so in the winter you kept your coat on and people brought blankets to keep warm. Someone always brought an extra blanket because they knew I would forget. That line my mother will understand best and smile.

I remember one lady would always stand and talk about her husband who didn't hear so well. I wondered if he heard anything she was saying while he sat next to her, sometimes snoring while he slept. She referred to him as "Sarge" and she would tell the same stories about him every week. She would always have the same high level of energy and enthusiasm telling it and laugh at the same parts like it was comedy night each time. I got the biggest kick out of her. I remember at Christmas she gave everyone things from the dollar store. The 30-year-old lovingly joked about how she gives out this sort of stuff each year and rolled her eyes a little. It made me feel embarassed how much it meant to recieve anything at all from someone and made me wonder if I was too touched by dollar store giftage. Do I really please too easily? It just felt good to be thought of, especially because I only had one New York friend at the time. Her and these ladies at church were my only local friends for a long time.

There were many ladies who were too old and ill to come to church on Sundays. A couple of them would arrive and sit briefly in the back, then leave before the end. I never remembered their names, but there was one that was my favorite of all the ladies. She snuck in like a ghost and watched me the whole time. She was always bundled up in a lot of clothing, but I could still tell she had a frail little body under all of it. She kept very still and quiet. She had these baby soft, full cheeks and a clever smile. It was like she couldn't wait to tell me some great secrets. She looked at me like we were old friends, always peering playfully when I would glance over my shoulder at the chair by the stairs. She had a bandage taped over her left eye every time. I wanted to talk to her, but at the end she would be gone or already shuffling slowly down those dangerous stairs. It was a little empty on those Sundays her chair remained empty. I wonder about her now, if she is still alive 8 years later. I also wonder if we will recognize each other in heaven and if I get to hear what those secrets are.


it's about time you learned to grin

I am wearing flip flops in February.
If you don't believe in God, you should really move to Northern California. It will make it easy for Him to prove you wrong. It's so deliciously beautiful that it often steals my breath.

I should make bumper stickers:
Nor*Cal [it*strengthens*your*testimony]


one of THEM

i actually signed up for snack day around valentine's on purpose so i could make the heart-shaped sugar cookies. i am actually at a point in my life where the heart-shaped cookie cutter is used so much on this day, that my hand hurts from pressing it so much.
i always wondered if i would be one of 'those' moms. the heart-shaped pancakes and then sandwich. the cookies for school. it's a lot more fun than i thought. and little effort for big impact with tiny people.

i wonder if this is what that first pta meeting will feel like. a little.......more grown up (me). a step further in the parent culture.
and a little more aware of what they mean when they said "enjoy him, they grow up so fast".
and more aware of the sweet, old widow on my block who asks where I am always going, she sees me come and go 'all the time'. it's hard to imagine my life without trips to Target many times a week, the grocery store, school drop off and pick up, dry cleaning runs, play date appointments, the park, etc.
will i look out my window one day long from now, all alone, and wonder what the youngster down the street does all day coming and going?


give my regards

When we set off to live in New York, I must tell you it was not part of my wildest dreams. In fact, I knew little about it besides the horror stories of crime and high cost of living people told me about in Arizona. People whom had not been to New York in over 15 years. I went on the arm of my husband as an opportunity for work led us there. He was thrilled, after living in Japan for 2 years he was no stranger to adjusting and saw it as an adventure.
The first year or so was an emotional train wreck for me. I demanded we live in the 'burbs so that left us on the last train stop south in Long Island. It took us almost 2 hours door to door each day. In the winter we never saw the sun. We went from parking the car at 5:45am in a snow bank side street near the train station. Actually, Mike dropped me off at the train station so I could wait for him all nice and warm on the train. He would then park the car cos I made us late each day, so he had to sprint back to the train. In snow and rain. Who knew he could have been training for a marathon way back when and didn't even know it? He never complained once. I love that man.
Then we took the l o n g train ride into the city, transferred underground at PENN station onto a subway (which by the way- awesome -the cost of 2 train and subway passes per month -we had no idea until we lived there the total expense!). Then we took our subways to our respective locations and worked in high-rise buildings until well after 5pm many nights. Then began the underground commute home that would peek above ground with the train after the sun was down.
I got more adjusted and realized it was time to move closer after several months. We found a fun neighborhood in Brooklyn and I am not kidding when I tell you our lives changed for the better. We actually found time and energy and interest in exploring more. Many adventures we heard about from people who had lived there longer or we read about in The Village Voice magazine or other on-line sources. I never would have thought the whole experience of living there would provide me with so much opportunity to learn and grow and change. Try foods I would have never thought of eating before. Make friends I never would have otherwise met or thought of hanging out with. Push myself in ambitions I didn't dare dream. Ride the subway alone at night and not be scared.

One of the many experiences I don't think I appreciated until we left was seeing Broadway shows. I took dance as a little girl, but it wasn't something I had passion for. I thought it odd how many people were interested in seeing Broadway shows when I would see the room packed to the ceiling, when people would stand in line for hours to get tickets. What a treasure chest of talent I got to see and I didn't even realize it!
That is, until I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie performed in my town last year. Millie was great, she took my breath away just like the one in New York did! But the rest of the performers, not so much. It was like they walked the neighborhood and grabbed people coming out of the grocery store and put a bad costume on and said 'go for it!' There was the dad next door, then the grocery bagger battling acne. Then someone's grandma and her friend. Bad singing, bad acting. Too much blush on the men. It was all around disappointing. I wondered what the NY Broadway experience would have been had I seen shows like this first. To have been able to take in the quality before me that was the best of the best.
Although the CA cast was a sad collection of random people, I did find volumes of joy observing The Red Hat Society in the audience. I had never seen them in action before. Why can't they be part of the cast?! They were these older women dressed in fancy hats and purple dresses. LOADS of them everywhere! Inspired by the poem"Warning" by Jenny Joseph, which begins "When I am an old woman..." Since the poem mentions wearing a red hat and purple attire, she and her friends formed a group that met on a regular basis for tea in their red hats and purple dresses—in public.

Rules: You must be a woman of 50 or over (or you may be a Pink Hatter under 50), and you must attend functions in full regalia, (red hat, purple outfit for women 50 and over, or pink hat and lavender outfit for women under 50).

Oh I am all about this. I can't wait to get a lavender boa.

*photo from google


is this going to be the end?

One of the first blogs that hooked me was Que Sera Sera by Sara Brown. I recall a while back her writing about how the more people she personally knew that found her blog, the harder it was to write freely. I thought it was odd and didn't understand. Until recently.

I used to feel posting in this space was a bit for the purpose of keeping up with a wave, trying to achieve frequent posting targets. I have long realized it's more for my enjoyment of writing about my thoughts and find it a bit like a fix of chocolate, or the way my husband runs to keep from getting cranky. Writing is an enjoyable outlet for me to spew my thoughts or findings. A bit like a great phone call with a long-time friend.

Lately those 'phone calls' are most needed and convenient at about 11pm. It's a nice time of the evening for me to take a quiet breath, relax, and release some thoughts or feelings. Really? Voting's all I've got so far? This week sleep became the 11pm priority (sick kids).

Although, the few times this week I sat down and started a few different entries that just didn't get finished. And that bothers me. For several reasons.

One is that I have not made time for myself to enjoy one of the few creative outlets that is easiest for me to spend time doing. Working on that.

Another is that the more people I partially know or somewhat know read my words, the more I feel a bit choked in getting words punched into the keyboard for some reason. Maybe it's a part of me strangely caring more what people think than I should. I want to write like no one is reading, but I am having a hard time. I don't want to offend anyone by having someone read too much into my thoughts or strike a sensitive chord with a new friend. I don't want people to think differently of me for the words I write.

I guess when part of my readership begins to be within the same state and see me on occasion I feel like I am more accountable for what I am writing. I start to think oh crap! I see you at church every week. Did you read the archives? The one about boobs or sex toys? Am I a different person than you thought I was for the curtain being pulled and my true thoughts being exposed?'

It's a strange, this worry about words on a screen being a deciding factor if I am likeable or not. And to suddenly care more about it. So I want to shed the worry of it and get a grip so I can keep writing when I have time for it. To take out the filter and let me be me. And if it's lame or inappropriate or gossip-worthy or offensive, well, then, it is what it is. It's more important for me to keep a journal of who I am and what I think than to worry about what someone else might or might not think about me. And odds are, no one thinks much of anything. Isn't that the joy of a girl brain? To worry about things that don't need so much worry, after all!

My purpose is not to cause unwelcome feelings. My purpose is to tell myself to keep going. To let you know me for me, even if it's not what you would expect, prefer, agree with, or even like. I know I love it best when I find people I know (or don't know so well) through a mutual friend and peek inside their blog ramblings. I have found some local blog connections of people I see each week and get to know them better and see their talents. No one else seems to write about their boobs, though?


only took 10 minutes

.......it's sort of like a treasure hunt.
and you get this awesome sticker.


boo yah

for the first time ever during daylight they are both sleeping.

excuse me while i lay face-down in the middle of a room and do abso-freaking-lutely nothing.