Tuesday, June 29, 2010

bed bugs

do yourself a favor and do NOT google image search bedbugs. i'm pretty sure i just threw up in my mouth.

bed bugs are hot right now. oprah got them on her show, and now no one is safe anymore. i'm not so concerned about bed bugs because i'm to busy being stressed out about black mold and flesh eating maggots dropping slowly into your bed over the course of two days before realizing it. but that's another TRUE story for another time. in any event i got to thinking about beds in general the other day when we decided to take down the co-sleeper. with tali being almost 8 months old, we are dangerously close to getting our ferber on and letting her cry it out. its never easy, but we have to before we decide to start continuum parenting which is always creepy.

so anyway, as b wrestled the co-sleeper out of our room i took a wee peek under it and then further under our bed. it was the usual suspects, long lost pacifiers, used and un-used nursing pads, a liberator love pad, stray infant socks, all nestled in copious amounts of hair and dust. pretty awesome, and very stressful for my inner non-existent neat freak. in any event it got me thinking- i've come a long way from the drug paraphernalia and too short cd's hiding under my bed from my youth. cuz really, nothing says mom like lost breast pump parts being found under your bed when you do finally do get the hose attachment on your vacuum and bend over to clean. don't be jealous.

i know its not the most exciting question-- or maybe it is... in any event, please do tell,

'what's under your bed?'

i knew he'd claim it as soon as he came around... he's kind of a genius and if you haven't already, you should really check out his blog- just don't start reading his instead of mine.

comment of the day: a secret hatch that when opened, reveals a ladder that takes you down to an underground bunker with a single desk, on which sits a computer that I make Jenn enter the numbers 4 8 15 16 23 and 42 into, lest the world come to an end.
-Travis Avila

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

safety first

i love running in san luis.

i can't tell you how many times i've been so ready to dedicate an entire blog to all the sights and scents that spell home to me. from the smell of wet asphalt at my old elementary, to the myriads of all those flowers i don't know the names of (yes i still pay $100 a month for the B.S in horticulture i received at cal poly).

SLO has it all, and then some.

today that 'some' came in the form of my personal safety. for those of you that are female, who run or hike, personal safety is never far from your mind. i have lots of friends who only run/hike with someone else, or carry pepper spray, or some other form of defense-- but then there are those of us, myself included, who are naive enough to think that they are immune to any sort of calamity. its SLO after all right?!

i live in osos. i do most of my running in osos. MDO is my backyard and it doesn't get much better trail running than out here. of course there have been a few isolated cases of attack in the park, but for the most part it feels pretty darn safe- our biggest threat being ticks, snakes and oak. i've had my run in with all three, including the time a baby rattlesnake blocked my path and i had to be rescued by st. francis of montana de oro, or as i later found out the checker on aisle 4 at trader's. but that's another story for another time. i'm used to the park, and when i get my music goin' and my stride dialed, i rarely feel frightened, or consumed by the idea that mariska hargitay will have to discover my body later.

so the other day when my mom offered to watch the kids so i could go on a run, i agreed immediately. after dropping the kids off, i got my shoes on, turned up the gaga and hit the pavement. one of my old running routes from my days in SLO involves meadow park. growing up, meadow was my old stomping grounds. i had a bunch of friends in elementary school who lived there and i spent countless hours in that neighborhood doing paper routes, playing softball, and hiding in the bushes to spray innocent bystanders with a water main. there were some good times for sure. so when i passed the obligatory homeless man i didn't think much of it, till a few hundred meters up i thought, that guy wasn't just collecting cans in his shopping cart- there was more- he had that look that crazy couldn't contain. it gave me a little shiver as i made my way onto the path in meadow park. of course just as i turn the corner i almost hit another (male) runner, and then we do that super awkward like who's gonna take the lead bit- there are only two of us on this single track path, and i'm having thoughts like 'if i'm in front he'll probably attack me from behind, if only my hand could automatically turn into a switchblade when i'm provoked...' you know all the normal stuff. once i safely get away from him, i notice a 'work crew'- you know the kind. yeah, the CMC kind. of course they are hardly working and seemingly very loosely supervised. i keep going, and just as i'm getting ready to exit the park altogether and get back on the road, i see a creepy white van that unfortunately i've seen at other parks one to many times. next time i see it, i'm totally calling the cops. i'm not one to judge *ahem* but that thing has got amber alert written all over it. i tell you what, i'll take the cat ladies any day in their ratty ol station wagon parked in front of meadow park. at least they loved animals, even if they were the reason the show 'hoarders' came to be. so i make it out of the park, back on the roads, and have a pretty uneventful rest of the run beside some questionable rabid dog that i was convinced would attack if i ran by to fast. but then i remembered i have that fear every time i run by a dog after being 'for real' attacked while running when i lived in ediburgh.

so the rest of the way to my mom's house i thought about how i could prepare myself next time for all of these 'situations.' and then it came to me... a flash of pure genius. picture it, me 12 years old, in a hot sweaty building near franks famous hot dogs. the room was packed to the gills of women of all ages from 15-75 all awaiting their chance. 'next up, we have connie mcnoble...' i hear someone shout. everyone starts cheering. i wait anxiously as my mom comes out with her war cry. next thing i know a huge thing comes chasing after her- likely a man dressed in a hockey/football combo uniform with what looks like an nasa astronaut mask on his face. next thing i know my mom is hi-ya-ing and ka-booming this fool. the crowd goes wild. my mom has him pinned... all 110 lbs of her. handled. i'm confused, but incredibly proud. who can forget... model mugging.

no, that's not dark vador, just your local model mugger.

so the real question i know you are dying to ask... am i going to re-start a chapter locally? i know, so very tempting, but even with all my free time, i think i'm gonna pass. in the meantime we gotta figure out a way to stay safe in this urban jungle called SLO. so here's where you come in...

'how do you best protect yourself when you go running or hiking by yourself?'

i copied this idea from my favorite blogger of all time cuz she's kind of a genius and i want to be just like her when i grow up and or be her comment of the day... wink wink.

comment of the day: i read a kids book in middle school where the heroine used ground mustard; she tossed it into the attackers' eyes. i'm carrying a li'l bag until i can get a dog. or a tazer.
-esther jane

mustard in the eye. genius. thanks esther.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

i'm not always a coward. well, come to think of it, i am.

this is basically what i looked like everyday, but if the car was blue...

every year for my birthday and christmas my grandma jeanie gave me $100. that's a lot of money when you're six years old- heck its a lot of money today! so much so, that i didn't totally grasp how much money i was really raking in twice a year.
however it wasn't a couple years later, when i was eight years old, and my brother was 15 that i realized i had a plan for this money. while he was busy trying to find a way to convince my parents to buy him a car, i watched and listened carefully. i can remember several long arguments as he pleaded his case. i vowed then and there i would not have to go through that. i decided to open a bank account and save all the money grandma jeanie gave me, so that on june 20, 1995 i could not only get my license, but also have my own car.

so for the next eight years, i dutifully took that check from grandma and walked over to the ol' sesloc and deposited that 100 bucks (except one christmas when i was ten years old, the weberstown mall beckoned me to buy my first leather jacket- a must when you are ten years old, but also a bit sketchy cuz afterall you are in stockton). since the math might be too difficult, i'll spare you- by the time i was 16 years old, i had close to $2000 bucks.

lucky for me, my mom's friend was selling an old volvo. not just any old volvo, but a 1982 sparkly blue turbo. this thing was bad A-S-S. not like the range rovers and beamers you see crowding the parking lots of SLOHS, this thing was growly, chunky and pure awesomeness. clearly the hottest thing to grace that parking lot in a long time. i can't tell you how cool it was to have my OWN car. FREEDOM!

after acing (that's right i got 100) on my driving test, i hit the open road. i immediately paid to get a cd player installed so i didn't have to do the ol discman with tape adapter biz my friends were wrestling with. i blasted indigo and sarah, smoked newports and just drove.

life was good.

but of course, like all new drivers i found myself in a new world. from learning to pull over for ambulances, to letting the car to your right go first at a stop sign, there was lots to learn. there was also lots to get pissed off about. like most teenage drivers i rolled through stop signs, sped, cut people off, and even flipped the bird more than i should have. this sort of behavior not only landed me some tickets and accidents, but also a few other incidents.

it was a tuesday afternoon and i had just pulled out onto johnson near SLOHS. as i pulled into the left lane i saw a car come speeding up super fast behind me. i pulled in front of it and accelerated as not to piss them off. however, she had other ideas. i should have clued into the 80's red camero and realized that this was not gonna end well. she came up super fast on my tail and started honking and waving, like i'd run over her cat or something. i was looking at her in my rear view mirror as she ranted and raved. i didn't feel like i had really done anything so wrong, so i decided to piss her off by going super slow. this really made her angry, so she decided to pass me. as she was passing me, i sped up and she got caught between me and two cars. by now she's super pissed, so much so, that she slows down and rolls down her window yelling at me to pull over. at this point i started to get a bit nervous, cuz my last altercation didn't exactly prove me a winner. so i tried to ignore her and just speed up. but instead, she got behind me and just kept yelling and motioning for me to pull over. this went on for what seemed like forever. i kept trying to loose her, but she was committed to settling this.
finally i realized that she was not gonna let this go. so i signaled to the right and pulled over on pismo st. i'd just calmly explain to her that i was sorry and we could just forget about the whole thing. she quickly signaled and pulled up right behind me as i came to a stop. i waited in my car as she opened her door. as soon as her door had closed and she began to walk my way, i saw that she was still clearly very pissed-- no raiders bomber jacket, but she was easily in her early 30's and quite possibly high on angel dust (or so i thought). just as she was about 5 feet from my window, i sped away. i watched in my mirror as she ran back to her car, but there was no way. she was safely behind me. another disaster averted, this one without tears, but a pounding heart nonetheless.

so with that said, please, do tell.

'have you ever road raged someone?'

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

meat might still be murder

when i was 12 years old i went to my aunt's house for the week to visit my cousins. my aunt was fresh out of a divorce and exploring some alternative ways of living. after the typical greetings and chitchat with the family, my usual june cleaver sort of aunt led me into their tv room to watch a little video.

this little video single handedly changed my life. ol johnny boy had his share of all that casein with baskin robins and was ready to blow our minds. he was kind of like the original micheal moore-- exposing the underbelly of what makes america taste so good...
anyway, the next 45 minutes my little sixth grade mind began to burst at the seams. seeing chickens and cows slaughtered in such a carnal and gruesome manner seriously traumatized me. i vowed then and there to never eat meat again. EVER.

and i didn't. for a good 10 years i stayed away from all forms of meat. i wore my vag badge proud much to the demise of many around me. it wasn't until i met b that i started to slip. he lured me into the meat trap once again (that's what she said) with whispers of bacon.... as he always says, 'pork is the gateway meat-- it will bring you back to red meat in the blink of an eye.' it wasn't long till i was slammin down sliders at applebee's with the best of 'em. no amount of threats from my brother about trichinosis could touch me now, i was makin up for lost time. supersize me seemed like a great idea, not to show how nasty mc'd's was but just cuz you got to eat that much mcdonald's... that was how far i had fallen.

with my mouth dripping with the sweet, salty gristle of bacon, i turned my eyes, ears and heart from the continued warnings... every once in awhile i'd catch glimpses of that sunny afternoon in my aunt's house, or flash back to uptain sinclair's the jungle, but for the most part the vag in me had died- just like the chickens getting electrocuted in those big drums of water. i would never be a vegetarian again.
but before i knew it suddenly it seemed ol mr. robbins was on to something. movies like food, inc came out pleading with us to stop poisoning ourselves and watch what we eat. yet i had turned, and i just wasn't sure i could come back. i started to rebel. not just in my actions, but in my heart. i wasn't gonna fall for this hoopla, these people were annoying. i had to shut them out... meat can't be murder! i love it too much!

maybe its the semi annual mr. micheals fur haters, or the fine folks over at fox news, or maybe even all those tree huggin liberals in berkely. whatever the case, i want to know...

'which activists are the most annoying?'