Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Never Thought

When you left me
All those years ago
I never thought
I'd see you again

Never thought I'd see your clear blue eyes again
Or watch your lips curve into a smile
Never again would I see your face
That I'd once loved so well

When you left me
I thought, "that's it"
We're over
Gone forever

I was angry
I was sad
Most of all, I felt terribly hurt
And abandoned

But I was wrong
When I thought
I'd never see you again
I finally did
Just the other day:

Now I see you in my mirror.

Happy Birthday Mom

I still miss you

Friday, May 16, 2008

Having A Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

This is a re-post from a blog entry I did on my first blog back in 2003. Thought I'd post some of those old blog entries I did just for grins. Enjoy!

August 26th, 2003

Laura, my darling daughter, just got a new convertible a few weeks ago; a 2002 Chrysler Sebring. The day she bought it, she and I had a blast driving down to Petaluma, about a half-hour drive. And I know, that's fun! That is a fun car! Playing music really loud on the awesome stereo system and letting my hair blow everywhere, not a care in the world.

So when she invited me to come to Napa with her last Sunday, I eagerly accepted. The weather was lovely and besides, since Dawson was doing website work I had nothing better to do. Since my skin is alabaster-creamy-white (although some may call it
"climbed-out-from-under-a-rock-wormlike-pasty-white"), I brought along a sun hat, sun block and a scarf to wrap about my lovely shoulders (read: I have enough freckles in that area and I damn well don't want any more; they're starting to remind me suspiciously of age-spots). Fully prepared, we set off.

As soon as Laura pulled away from the curb, my light blond hair, which I'd lovingly spent an hour on, applying various expensive products, blow-drying and curling, etc...blew all over the place. I have the straightest hair in the world, it's baby-fine and it simply will NOT stay put. Ever. Even the slightest breeze ruffles it. Unless I put enough hairspray on it to give it that shellacked "helmet-head" look that so many newscasters enjoy.

Even if I'd used a truckload of hairspray, it wouldn't have helped this situation. But what did I care? Cat Stevens was playing loudly, the sun was out, we’re in a silver convertible, Wine Country Northern Cal is so damn beautiful that people flock from all over the world just to gaze at it, so what’s the problem?

No problem. Screw the hair. We were having a great time.

I'm humming and enjoying the ride, despite the hair blowing wildly from beneath my hat. Life is good. Then I slowly noticed my left eye tearing up. I had sunglasses on, of course, (de rigueur for my baby-blue eyes which can’t see a thing in bright light) yet…that eye was really starting to burn. I realized that some sun block must've gotten in it, so I tried to wipe gently at the eye area. But I still had sun block on my hands, so I only made it worse. But no problem, right? I'm still in a God-kissed area of the world, we're in a new convertible, good tunes are blasting, the sun is out, NO PROBLEM!

Sure, I had to squint at the scenery with my one good eye and could only really see in those rare moments when my hair wasn't flipping wildly all over my face, so it was all kind of a green and blue blur going by, but still...

We were having a great time!

We came over the grade above Napa Valley and it certainly takes your breath away. Sweeping vistas of purplish mountains far off in the background, with miles of neat vineyards in the foreground, all interspersed with oak trees and wildlife. Like a scene out of a Disney documentary.

Although it was a bit disturbing to notice it was approximately 20 degrees hotter here in Napa county than it had been in good ol' Sonoma county. Which must have made it about 100 degrees with no protection between lily-white me and that suddenly fiercely burning yellow ball in the sky. But that’s okay, because blasts of hot'wind on my face is a good thing, right? Because, DAMN, we're outside, we’re in a convertible, life is just ducky.

Besides, I had my hat, scarf, sun block, etc...I had it COVERED!

As we continued on, I squinted at the name of the small town we were going through and saw it was "Rutherford". "Ah-ha!" I said to Laura, "I've had Rutherford wine before; it's very good, let's stop there" Laura kept both her eyes and I kept my one good one glued to the winery signs, looking for Rutherford Vineyards. Then Laura, cruising along at 80-plus mph, saw the sign: "There is IS!" she shouted. Sure enough, there was a big sign on the left. But we were going too fast to make the turn.

Laura slammed on the brakes like a movie stuntman and made a hard-left into the driveway, bouncing over the railroad tracks and barely missing the telephone pole that stood on the RH side, causing me to watch my life briefly pass before my eyes.

But No Problem. We were having a GREAT time!

We pulled up and got out, me staggering a bit from our close call with death, Laura smiling and laughing and looking fabulous despite the 100 degree heat and wind from the ride. I, on the other hand, looked like I’d just walked out of a wind-tunnel, and my eye had swollen completely shut.

Then I realized with a sinking feeling as we walked into the winery that I didn't have my business cards with me. You see, I get a discount by being in the industry. This was bad, because now I'd have to do my "song-and-dance" routine by explaining who I was so we could avoid paying the tasting fees.

So, with one eye squinting and my hair sticking out all over my head, I introduced myself as being sales director of a neighboring winery, etc., blah blah, and "here we are to try your wonderful wines!"

None of which went over nearly as well as it usually does. No doubt due to the fact I kept turning my head to one side like a parrot while addressing him so I could see, and trying in vain to smooth my hair by running my fingers fetchingly through it. Which always seems to work so well for women in the movies with mussed hair, but always turns out to be a complete disaster for me.

After a barrage of questions, while I clawed at my hair and fixed him with my good eye, he seemed satisfied that I wasn't trying to pull one over on him by pretending I was something I wasn't, (and with my appearance, who could blame him?) so he poured us some Sauvignon Blanc. Which was heavenly.

In fact, I could have stayed in the cool dim winery with the lovely oak barrels and the dark wooden walls with the nice tinted windows where you could barely tell there was any hot sun at all, not to mention basking in the most wonderful invention of mankind, airconditioning, and just sip Sauvignon Blanc in there all day long.

But, daughter had other ideas, namely food and a restaurant, so I bought two bottles of their crisp, chilled Sauvignon Blanc for Dawson and myself later and we left.

I girded myself for battle once again, donning the hat, the sun block, the scarf, the sunglasses, etc., and off we went. My eye, which had started to recover in the oasis of the winery, started swelling up again. But no problem.

We were having a great time. Damn it.

Finally, we got to Calistoga and pulled in front of a Mexican restaurant we’d eaten at before. The windows opened up over the sidewalk by our table, so we sat and watched the world go by while munching on nachos, fish tacos, and a very fine bottle of chilled white wine. It IS Calistoga, after all, soo, yes...even the Mexican restaurants have a superb wine list. I was actually enjoying myself as long as I avoided looking at my reflection in the window with my crappy hair and Quasimodo-like face.

Once again, I slowly started to recover out of the relentless sun and felt much better. But my daughter had other plans; she needed to go, let's go! Want to check out this other restaurant in Mark West Springs! See the baby giraffe at Safari West!


So back into the now-dreaded convertible we went. Glumly, I pulled on my war-gear and the torture began. I was starting to appreciate what it must be like to be in the desert blasting along in a military jeep.

Still...who am I to complain? And as far as Laura was concerned, we were having a great time.

But even hardened war campaigners must eventually get tired. And I’d run out of steam. The next hotel she dragged me to, the Hilton, the bar stood beckoning. Quiet, dark and cool. So wind, no sun, and the Giants were playing. Look, it’s TV! I'd forgotten what it looked nice and colorful and oh, joy, my eye was getting back to normal. But no, Laura wanted to sit on the deck and look at...traffic. Sigh...

I begged her to take me home and she took pity. Off we went. But then, oh NO! She wanted to stop at Paradise Ridge winery where her friend’s wedding is going to be held next year. Since Laura is a bridesmaid, she just had to check this place out! Right Mom?

Right, I whimpered.

Again, it was nice and cool and dark in the tasting room and they had the best view we’d seen all day. So as we were standing there, trying their whites and reds, a gust of wind/air conditioning blew over a wine glass that was on the gift shelf across the way from us. Glass exploded all over the stone floor.

Ever helpful, I went to pick up some of the smaller pieces I could see near us, not wanting myself or my lovely daughter to step on them. Then this insane woman came bustling out and ordered me to stop doing it. "Stop that!" she demanded. "I’m the CATERER!"

Which made no sense to me. Now, if she’d said, "I’m the JANITOR" I could understand her territorial loftiness...but since when had caterers become broken-glass experts? Which, after raising two kids and their gazillion friends at our house, I certifiably was.

I drew myself up and looked sternly at her with my one eye. "But I'm the MOM" I retorted.

Which didn’t fly.

I mean, would you trust a woman with one eye and Phyllis Diller hair to pick up broken glass? Probably not...

I allowed myself to get shooed away from picking up the glass. If that woman only knew how many pieces of glass I’ve picked up, vacuumed, swept, she wouldn’t have dismissed my services so lightly.

So finally, finally...armed with another bottle from Paradise Ridge, this time a Pinot for Dawson, who likes reds, we headed home. We pulled up into my blessed home driveway and I rolled weakly out of the car. Laura popped her trunk and skipped over to it, handing me only one of my Sauvignon Blanc bottles. "I'm taking the other one for tonight with my boyfriend!" she informed me brightly, as she drove away. "I’ll pay you for it later, okay mom? LOVE YOU MOM! Hey, I had a GREAT time!"

I feebly tried to protest her astonishing theft of my wine but my heart just wasn’t in it. I was dead tired and felt strangely woozy, that had nothing to do with the wine. I felt like I’d run a marathon and had come in a dismal last. Too much sun...too much "fun".

Dawson greeted me as I staggered into the house, asking if I'd enjoyed myself. I was too tired to answer so he took a clue and put on "Sex And The City" to cheer me up. The next thing I know, I was pulling my face up from the couch where I’d fallen asleep. "Wha' happened?" I asked blearily. "You fell asleep really hard," he said. "In fact, you’ve been asleep for TWO HOURS, babe!"

Had I? I blinked at the clock...all of 8:30...must be time for bed.

So off I toddled to bed. "It's only 8:30!" Dawson protested.

I didn't care. I slept like the dead and didn't wake up until morning.

But really...we had a GREAT time!

Originally posted by Annie August 23, 2003

Friday, May 9, 2008

Laura's Shower and the Great MOB Dress Hunt Still Goes On

No time for a "real" post but I thought I'd link to the pictures and videos from the shower. Oh and lazy Woody-Cat too!

Still no dress for the wedding and yes, I am starting to really worry. I have a backup but it's not really what I, or Laura, would like. Still...a dress is coming today; if that doesn't work, I'll have to hit the stores again and if I still can't find something, I guess I'll be forced to hit the bridal stores. Which I don't want to do because they are SUCH a rip-off.

So wish me luck.

Here is an example of a cat sleeping a lot:

Lazy Woody

And here are some movies of the shower:

Video of House/Guests Before Laura Arrived

More Video of Party Before Laura Arrived

Laura Arrives and there is a Media Frenzy

Aaand here is a approx. 5 minute video of the entire "panty" game:

Panty Game

Aaaaand some still shots from the party:

Still Shots from the Shower

Laura blogged about her shower too; check out my links to the right for Laura's blog.

Oh and Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! This is my favorite Mother's Day clip, enjoy:

Mother's Day Funny

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So I racked my stupid knee against my stupid desk yesterday afternoon and today the knee is !@#%#!@#! up. I remember hitting it and saying "ow!" loudly but it's not like it bothered me after that. I went on with my day, no problem. Forgot I'd even done it at all.

Until I woke up this morning and tried to, you know, walk on the damn thing.

ARgh! I have to lose five million pounds in four weeks! This ain't helpin' matters! NO! It's not!

In other news, the UPS man in his cute little brown suit has been fetching Mother of the Bride dresses to my door regularly but I've yet to find anything remotely suitable. How in the world do what looks like perfectly respectable looking "Mother of the Bride" dresses in the online ads translate into "Skanky Ho For Sale" dresses when I put them on?

The dress that was the front runner arrived yesterday but when I put it on and looked in the mirror, I couldn't help but burst out laughing. When I went down the hall to show Daws, his eyes bugged out.

"How much?" he quipped.

And he didn't mean the dress.


And going out to the stores has not proven fruitful either. I think today's dress designers are all on crack; that's how messed up dress designs and patterns are today, I swear! I keep bumping into other Mothers of the Bride/Groom; we recognize one another immediately by our hollow eyes and sickly expressions.

One woman held up a revolting looking dress and hastily dropped it again, as if she'd touched a snake.

Horrible out there. Just...awful.

We're all thinking, "I spent four thousand dollars in gas to drive the 20 minutes out here and for this crap?"

Oh well. More dresses on the way. Keep your fingers crossed.

The UPS guy has a workout coming.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ah, the Mind and Its Wonders

Last Sunday, Daws and I tackled an honest to god hike in Jack London Park. I packed a healthy meal to eat at the Wolf House, with organic peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit and raw almonds. And of course, water. Lots and lots of water was needed. Especially since it was mostly downhill on the way there but you know what that means, right?

Yeah, it was uphill allll the way back.

While resting at the Wolf House and munching on our food, I climbed up into a tree (if you check the Picasa pic, this was SO NOT a big climb, ahahah!) and Daws took my picture. As I was getting back down, I saw something shiny and silver on the ground. Leaning over to pick it up, I could see it was a coin. Rubbing at the surface, I could just make out a buffalo on it.

"Daws, I just found a buffalo nickel!"

"Are you kidding?"

"No, I found it on the ground, I can't see how old it is..."

"Let me see it." Dawson also rubbed at the surface and held it up but he couldn't tell either.

"Maybe it's worth a lot of money," he mused.

" cool would that be?"

Now, we know nothing about coins, zero. All we know is that some people are nutty about them and collect them. I know about collectors from having been a sales rep selling collectibles like worthless beanie-type toys so I knew that sometimes people pay outrageous amounts of money for the most mundane things; like antiques or stamps or...yes, even old coins.

Excitedly, I stuck the little coin in my pack and off we started for the climb back to the parking lot. As we toiled our way up the trail, gasping a lot and stopping to rest often, my mind whirled.

It's probably really old...going back to Jack London's day...maybe Jack London even HELD IT! Maybe it's worth a hundred dollars!, I thought to myself. Or two hundred...what if it's two hundred dollars!

As we neared the end of the trail, it became even steeper. Sweat poured down my face and the amount of money we'd get from that coin increased along with my efforts. I could see Daws huffing and puffing in front of me, almost sprinting up the trail in an effort to reach the end.

Maybe...just maybe it will be $1,000! I mean, it's possible! I had to stop and pant, a bit dizzy and my dizziness caused the coin's value to expand into $10,000, $50,000 and finally an astronomical amount that I'm too embarrassed to even post here.

Finally we reached the top and, gulping reflexively for breath like goldfish outside their tank, sprawled on the benches thoughtfully placed there for out of shape sluggos like us. As we recovered, I thought about all the things we could do with the money this coin would bring us. Thumb our noses at the IRS. Buy an outrageously expensive Mother of the Bride dress. Take a real vacation to somewhere warm with a beach.

Buy a new car!

My GOD, maybe A NEW HOUSE!

The possibilites seemed endless.

The way to our car was thankfully downhill and in no time we were on our way home.

The moment I got in the door, I ran to my computer and took the coin out. Using a magnifying glass, I peered at both sides looking for a date and rubbing at the dirt. There! I spotted it:


Wha?? Two thousand...WAH!?

Who the !@#@%$#!@ made buffalo head nickels in 2005????

Tossing the now valueless coin onto my desk in disgust, I sighed deeply as all my grandiose schemes vanished in a mist of avarice and too much imagination.

Don't you hate it when fantasy money just bleeds away like that?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Great Dress Hunt

Yesterday Laura, Heidi and I drove down to Petaluma for Laura's wedding dress fitting. Afterwards the plan was to continue driving South 101 to the Corte Madera mall. Where potentially all things are possible:

Cure for cancer.
A form of cheap, non-oil based fuel for our cars.
Maybe even finding a Matron of Honor and Mother of the Bride dress less than two months before my daughter's wedding.

The wedding dress fitting went beautifully; yes there are some corrections to be made but the bustling and the hemline looked gorgeous. I even teared up a bit at the sight of my little girl in her fabulous dress. She's so beautiful; I cannot WAIT until everyone gets to see her on the Big Day!

Then it was off to the Corte Madera mall. One of those malls where Shopping is a Religion. A Way of Life. Fountains and flowers and expensive looking shops. Obviously you're there to have a good time. Money? Pah! It's only plastic, spend it! A plethora of fashionably thin women were browsing the shops or sitting on cute little benches chatting with their friends, all wearing fashionably bug-eyed sunglasses paired with requisite overly large purses worth hundreds of dollars slung fashionably yet casually over one bony shoulder.

Now, Laura and Heidi are naturally beautiful young women and looked lovely in this beautiful setting. However, I couldn't help but compare myself to the other women I saw in my age group. Immediately I felt frumpy. I don't have a fashionably sculpted body, whether through surgery or pilates, so I cannot wear fashionably sculpted clothes made for such uber-perfect bodies. Plus, what had seemed to be okay attire for a Santa Rosa mall shopping spree; my black skirt, low-heeled black pumps and long-sleeved green top with the Neru collar, seemed dreadfully out of place in this rarefied setting.

I felt like a dinosaur. Dressed in clothes from (*gasp*) a year ago. Maybe more. Frumpy McFrumperson.

Trying to stop comparing myself with the women who clearly are in a completely different zip code than I am financially speaking and in every other way, I concentrated on why we were there and it wasn't to compare myself to other people. As we pushed through the doors to Nordstrom's, Laura announced, "Today we are finding you a dress!"

Damn straight we are, I thought to myself. Surely, in this Shopping Center for the Gods, this heavenly store equipped with a baby grand piano and a live piano player playing it rather than subject their sensitive customers to icky canned music, surely in a place like this, they will have oodles of dresses, dresses galore! It's spring, for god's sake; they'll have dresses on the floor, on the ceiling, dresses scattered EVERYWHERE and in all the colors of the rainbow!



To our dismay this wasn't the case. Nordstrom's, what I've always thought of as a veritable women's Mecca of fashion, had approximately three whole dresses that came anywhere close to the styles we needed stuck way in the back. Heidi found a beautiful dress out of the three in yellow and tried it on while Laura and I browsed the paltry collection of dresses left that might possibly fit me.

Laura thought perhaps a pink/rose chiffon dress we saw might look good and, on the hangar at least, I thought it might work out well too.

So I tried it on.

Mistake. Big, big mistake. See, I have decided that my stomach, which has begun to stick out most alarmingly these last few years, is really a giant fibroid. I have dubbed my fibroid friend "Ami", after that chick from Survivor I cannot stand.

Ami makes finding clothes that fit me rather difficult.

Ami actually makes me look pregnant. Rather incongruous at 52 years of age.

I hate Ami.

Pulling the dress over my head, I looked in the mirror and found to my horror that I'd morphed into a disheveled, rose-colored lump with pasty white arms and legs. My skin washed out so much that the dark circles under my eyes made me look like Frankenstein. And Ami, the little snot, made her presence known by bulging out in that rude, pushy way she has.

"Hi, I'm AMI! Remember me? Mwha-ha-ha-ha!"

Hurriedly ripping off the dress before the mirror shattered itself in seppuku-like protest, I scrambled back into my black skirt and green top which, if not fashionable, at least erased the image of that Pink Easter Egg Monstrosity I had just witnessed.

"Come out and let me see," Laura called through the door.

Oh no; no no no. Not on your life, not ever. shudder, shudder.

Putting the now-hideous dress back on the rack, we left Nordstrom's and thought we'd peruse through the rest of the mall, making our way down to Macy's on the other end. Right away I realized my shoe selection that morning had not been the best decision I'd ever made because my feet, unused to heels these days, began howling with pain. As I painfully limped ambled along with Laura and Heidi, checking out the stores and customers in them, I kept catching brief glimpses of myself reflected in the store windows. As always, I was shocked at how different I look in store windows than I think I look in my mind. Who was that chunky looking woman? Surely not me! Alas, it was me because there was Laura and Heidi also reflected walking next to me, albeit slender and not roly-poly.

As we continued down the beautiful mall with all the beautiful people and the even more beautiful sales clerks, I could feel myself expanding wider and wider as we passed an endless stream of slinky, stylish, skinny women; all wearing outrageously large sunglasses and enormous purses.

My sunglasses shrank to microscopic size in comparison and my purse, which I used to think was large enough and stylish enough by today's standards, turned into a tiny clutch-bag. By the time we reached Macy's, my body had ballooned up into a Giant Weeble Woman. Instead of walking, I was now waddling back and forth in my Weebleness, careening past terrified customers who plastered themselves against the walls lest they get trampled, tottering pathetically on my low-heeled shoes which now felt like knives stabbing into my bleeding stumps feet.

In fact, I had become so massively bloated by this point that I had to stand sideways just so I could fit on the escalator.

I had become a freak of nature; a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon on the loose. Right there in Macy's.

The Macy's dress collection was no better than Nordstrom's so, finally getting the hint that our Great Dress Hunt in the super-duper, richy-mc-rich-rich mall had turned into a bust, we trudged back to Heidi's car and came back home again.

The closer we got to Santa Rosa, the more my Weeble body shrunk until by the time we reached Monti's Restaurant, I felt myself again and not the Fat Woman at the Circus I had been in Marin County. Ami had once again been banished to the back recesses of my ego where she usually resides, my sunglasses worked just fine, my purse was cute again and things didn't seem so bad anymore.

Taking a table outside in the sun, we ordered and devoured salads and fries.

We relaxed, we chatted and fussed over Bella, Heidi's sweet little pug-dogger. The shopping trip may have not been the best experience ever but the socialization afterwards was just awesome and I basked in the presence of two of my favorite people in the world.

Good to be home again.

Although I still need a dress.

If only I could leave Ami at home. For good.

But I'm afraid she won't go for that.

The bitch.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I've Been, er...Busy. Yeah. That's Right

I know, I open up a blog and then I don't update it frequently. Well, we've been busy. After all, I do have that book I'm writing that I never started. Hey, shut up; I have a title. That's the hardest part, as everyone knows.

Yes,, I'm working on the outline. In my head. While watching "American Idol". And "Survivor". And while reading the latest Stephanie Meyer novel.

I said, shut up!

Then there's my camera hobby I'm supposed to be utilizing.

And all those classes I'm taking...

Okay, so I'm not taking any classes; that was a fib.

I'd like to take some classes. Maybe. But that would entail, you know...actually going to said-classes and I don't know about that...sounds like I'd have to get up and move about and drive and park and...tsk tsk, a lot of work, all that.

So I leave you with another amazing Cat Video starring our Woody. I do admire our Woody; he SO has his priorities straight.

Now, complaining about the fluffiness of this post. I did have an entire rant about war and what is it good for, etc., very serious, sad and quite dark but I decided to unload my Worldly Political thoughts onto my poor Dawson instead. So you can count yourself very very lucky.

And thank Daws for taking the bullet for ya all.

Enjoy. And have a great weekend!

(If you cannot see the video on your computer, try going here directly:
Woody Vid

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let Me Show You It

It's no surprise to those who know us well that we are rather embarrassingly obsessed with our cats. In particular the two kittens we got almost two years ago now, Jake and Elwood ("Woody" for short).

Hey, since grandkids have yet to be forthcoming, what else are we supposed to be weird about? (Hint, HINT!)

And for those who don't know us, all you have to do is look at the picture on top of this blog and you'd probably figure it out.

We even have a little cat door installed in the back door so they can come and go as they please because I didn't sign up to be their Personal Cat Butler. And no litter box, either, since the entire Great Outdoors is a giant sandbox in their eyes. It's great; I highly recommend pet doors.

Except for one teensy weensy little problem; they can go out, yes, but other things can come in.

Like neighborhood cats.

Who occasionally show up long after we've gone to bed to chow down on our cats' hard-earned food and hang out on our cats' lovingly purchased and clawed-up furniture whilst Daws and I snooze away, oblivious to the invasion. Much like many governments across the world, our cats are not feeling the love for their Feline Brethren; oh no. No, they do not want to share their spoiled lifestyle with anyone else, thank you very much. Whenever Outsider Cats get all Socialist on them, holding up little protest signs like, "Share the wealth!" and "We All Look Grey At Night!" etc., our cats say, "Screw you; we've got it made and too bad you don't."

The World would not benefit from taking lessons from cats on Sharing. No.

Unfortunately, establishing kitty territory is not a quiet process and invariably leads to a lot of caterwauling and crashing about as our cats' continually kickass on Stranger Socialist Kitties. Last night around 3am, a gawd-awful screaming erupted from the kitchen, causing me to shoot straight up out of the covers and land on my feet next to our bed before my poor, sleepy brain had even registered what was going on.

Brain: "Huh? Hey, what happened to my covers?!"
Body: "Intruder Alert! Flight or fight response NOW IN EFFECT!"

Within minutes seconds my bewildered brain had caught up with my Ready for Battle body and I rushed down the hall to "help" fend off invaders. Leaving my Daws behind in bed with his beloved earplugs, blissfully unaware of the assault.

Of course, once the Human Female made an appearance, the intruder kitty gave up and bolted outside through the cat door. Unfortunately, our entire Kitty Tribe bolted right after it; Luna, Jiggy, Jake and Woody all charged through the door after the cat and the horrible squawling began again but louder this time and close to our neighbors' houses.

Great. *sighs*

Since I sleep naked (shut up!) and had not stopped to put anything on before rushing into the fray, I ran over to our couch and, grabbing the big blue/red comforter we use as a throw during the winter, wrapped it around me and off I sprinted to break things up.

By this time our cats had chased the stranger cat onto the top of the fence between our yard and our neighbor's yard. They stood collected below, necks craned up, growling menacingly up at the intruder but I couldn't help but notice they were also sneaking little glances back at me to make sure I was backing them up in case the enemy decided to (gulp!) retaliate. Yeah.

You got "heart", dudes. Tell me.

Hissing and clapping my hands at the cat as quietly as I could so as not to piss off our poor neighbors any further, I finally scared it enough so it took off. Our cats definitely gave off an air of, "Yeah, that's right; we showed HIM! YEAH BOYZ! My Peeps!"

Wearily, I trudged back into the house, bare feet muddied and freezing, stopping by the bathroom to clean up before I joined my still soundly sleeping Daws back in our cozy, toasty bed.

Now, you'd think that that would be the end of it but oh no! No, our cats are NERDS. They insist on re-enacting such events and over again. Like the time they brought in a mouse and lost it in the house somewhere; for days afterwards, they would pantomime carrying it in, chasing it, catching it, throwing it up in the air several times, then losing it altogether, then searching for it in vain.

This is done is a comically dramatic fashion and always for our benefit. I know, because if we leave the room, they follow us to make sure we're still watching.

Which is fine during the day but not so wonderful at night.

Just as I began that blessedly floaty, luxurious, sweet sinking back into lullabyeland, I was jolted rudely awake by the sound of small elephants thundering down our hall as Woody noisily chased Jake up onto our bed. Jake poised on the bedframe, clearly pretending he was the intruder cat and Woody crouched below, obviously playing the part of the Family Hero Cat. They mock-glared at each other for several mock-tense minutes until Jake sprang off the bed to chase Woody down the hall, for all the world sounding like two giant sumo-wrestlers instead of two graceful felines. Even Luna and Jiggy got into the scene; darting back and forth between the two others, leaping about, mock-growling and re-enacting the Big Battle over and over again.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

This went on for two hours, while I squinched my eyes tight and tried to pretend it wasn't happening.

"Look how it went!" they seemed to be saying gleefully. "Mom! MOM! LOOK HOW IT WENT! It was like this....*pow*! And like that! WHAM! Look at us! We're AWESOMERS!"

Yeah. Okay. Whatever. Please...go to sleep. Please, you're cats, you're stealthy and all that. Show some stealth. Please, I beg of you.

Not a chance.

Since I kept ignoring them, or trying to, they finally resorted to jumping up on my nightstand so they could knock stuff off.

"BLAM!" There went a book.

"CRASH!" There went my lamp.

I hissed and clapped at them to no avail; too damn tired to get up and fetch the squirt-bottle to squirt their naughty asses.

Then they got behind our bed headstand and started crying and rummaging about, "Meow! MEOW! MEEEEOOOOWWWW!"


Needless to say, I got very little sleep last night. Right now, the brain is fuzzy and the body is tired. My Daws, however, woke up stretching and smiling brightly at 7am, saying he slept like a rock.

Sorry to say this news was met with a little grumpiness on my part.

Bad kitties. BAD BAD KITTIES! Laura got us a great picture for Christmas that shows a pair of cartoon cats with sunglasses saying, "They stayed up late! They trashed the house! And they didn't even care! They were...BAD KITTIES!".



Tonight the little cat door will be CLOSED!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Isn't It Romantic

The title refers to one of my favorite piano pieces, "Isn't It Romantic" from the movie Hannah and Her Sisters. I placed the mp3 in my Music Box widget which is located on the RH side of this blog below the archives (look over there ------>), so you can take a listen. (Yes, I know the widget is all screwed up looking, I'm working on that, but in the meantime you can still play it)

That song always makes me feel a little nostalgic for the Good Old Days...I don't know why but there is definitely a poignant longing in the way he plays this very beautiful song. I have probably listened to this song a bazillion times but I never tire of hearing it.

The song matched last night's experience at Stark's restaurant. I did take a little movie of the place with my cell phone but it was so dark in there, hardly anything can be seen. It's simply a gorgeous restaurant, a real labor of love by the owners, very 30's or 20's feeling. A tribute to the era before WWII, before the stock crash, before we lost that sense of late 1800's opulent luxury we once took for granted and hardly ever see today, especially here on the West Coast. Rich, dark hues everywhere within to match the incredibly rich, but delicious, food.

Heidi greeted us and showed us to our table. Apparently we were lucky to get it as patrons had been fighting over our table not ten minutes before we arrived, despite the large "RESERVED" sign clearly displayed. The joint was hopping, there was that great "buzz" inside fun restaurants have; people milling about at the bar, or sitting at cozy tables for two, or grouped in the leather booths. Laughing, chatting, sharing food and drink, celebrating the evening while music fitting both the occasion and the style of the place played gently in the background.

I was a little disappointed that there was not a live piano player sitting at the baby grand but I got over it once Heidi brought us our drinks. Daws had his usual Jack and Coke but I went for something new Heidi had recommended; a "Sidecar". Friends, have you heard of this "Sidecar" drink? If not, order one next time you're out; you won't regret it. Heaven, ambrosia in a glass! I kid you not! Orange and cognac, god knows what else, served in a martini glass rimmed with sugar.

A girly-girl drink. I was surprised it didn't have an umbrella sticking out of it.

Drinks in hand, sitting side-by-side against the booth side of our table, watching the scene, we felt very decadent indeed.

I'd dropped by earlier in the day at VJB winery near Kenwood to pick up a bottle of Sangiovese Cab blend for Dawson since he's such a Sangiovese Hound. Heidi opened the bottle to let it breathe while we sipped our cocktails. (Yes, you can bring wine as long as you pay the $20 corkage fee.)

Daws ordered Lobster soup as a starter and invited me to share with him. OMG! It was fabulous. Although I had said I'd only have a few bites, gradually I started spooning more and more until finally I growled at Daws threateningly and yanked the entire bowl away from him, tipping it up to my chin and chugging it all down before he could take it away from me eat it all.

Okay, not really.

But I wanted to. Oh yes.

Then we opened our cards to each other. Dawson's made me crack up:

(Note: There was also copious mushy stuff written by my husband for me on the LH side of the card but I'm not sharing that you guys since One: you'll make fun of us and Two: it's none of your beeswax what he said to me privately. Not that you lot want to know, anyway. So there.)

My card to him had cats on it too. SURPRISE! Yes, case you didn't know before now, we are a tad "cat obsessive". Okay, let me amend that:

We're just obsessively nerdy altogether. In almost every way. But that's okay, that's why we match each other so well!

Daws ordered the New York Strip for him and the Kobe Beef for me. We debated being sensible and sharing a side dish but succumbed to the temptation of getting our own, so I got the Potatoes Gratin Fennel and Daws got the Mac-n-Cheese.

It was all fantastic. Heidi poured wine and we ate and drank and shared bites of each other's foods and drank and ate and drank some more, and...hooo boy. We tried to slow down but it was all so good and far too soon my body said, "ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME OR WHAT?" So I had to stop. Heidi is so sweet; when we asked if she could please box the rest of the food to take home, she looked concerned lest we feel faint from malnutrition.

"You really didn't eat that much, you know," she said with a puzzled look. "Are you sure you don't want to finish?" We just stared back at her with owl eyes, feebly waving at the food.


You know, I honestly never ever thought I would be in a position where I didn't want more wine. But I didn't. That's how full I felt. Yeah. Enough to make one weep.

So of course, Dawson ordered coffee to help "perk us up". Hey, that makes sense! COFFEE! My savior! At Stark's, the coffee is brought in individual silver carafes and poured by your server; you're not allowed to touch the coffee urns yourselves. A good thing as I found out after Heidi left; those suckers are HOT! OW! Yes, I'm still a little kid inside sometimes..."now, whatever you do, don't touch that..."

wait for them to leave

touch touch TOUCH! "Nyah! NYAH! You can't tell me anything, I'll do WHATEVER I WANT TO!"

Ow. :(

Yeah, I'm the customer who, when the wait-person cautions, "these plates are HOT; don't touch!", I touch it once they leave. (How hot can it be? I wonder to myself...AUGH! That's really friggin' HOT!)

Yeah...I was never a particularly bright child.

Of course, you cannot have coffee without a dessert, right? I said, RIGHT? Right-o. One cannot possibly.

So of course we ordered the creme brulee and oh good god! I think that was the hit of the night. Srsly. Perfectly browned, so the crust was yummy tap-able and they had used salt of all things for a wonderfully dichotic flavor! The salt was the perfect counterpoint to the sweet and washed down with the hot coffee...superb.

Kudos to Chef!

As we got up, hugged Heidi and thanked her for such a wonderful experience and rolled ourselves Weeblestyle to stuff our bloated bodies into our car left the restaurant, sated, happy and filled with bonhomie for each other and the entire world, we agreed it had been a magical night.

Then we drove home, walked in the door, collapsed into a heap together on the couch in True Heart-of-America Couch Potato fashion and watched "Survivor"; our bodies still a tad overwhelmed by the massive amounts of food and drink, then stumbled blearily off to bed.

Where I dreamed incessantly that I'd insanely agreed to go on Laura's canoe trip in May. I kept saying to everyone, "No! No, I can't go, I have no bathing suit, no, I can't go, no, I have my CAMERA, no, I can't do it, no no no I DON'T WANT TO..."

But nobody listened.


Here's the vid I took, remember, it's really dark so don't expect much:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"But-But,There Were Rules!"

Looky here!

Yeah, Daws was b-a-a-d since this was a "no presents" holiday.

But who am I kidding, when has that ever stopped us before?

We are born Consumers with a capital "C".

I'll be blogging tomorrow about our romantic evening tonight, perhaps with more pictures and movies!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


So I've decided to start writing a family-friends blog again. The first time Daws and I had a blog like this, back in 2002, barely anyone knew what a blog was. "B-b-bllllog? What does that mean? A journal? Oh...well, why would anyone want to read that? Oh, you geeky nerds, you, with your crazy ideas!"

Riiiight. So due to an utter lack of understanding of why anyone would want to keep an online diary 5 years ago our readership was a tad...well, let's just say, "skimpy". Plus you had to know a certain amount of HTML in order to set up blogs, as well as having some kind of private domain to host it with and nobody knew how to set up those mysterious "comment" thingies, so it was kinda a pain in the ass back then. Fun though it was.

How times have changed.

Anyway, since some people have abandoned us forever for Australia moved, sibs are scattered to the four winds, our "kids" are grown and either married or in the process of getting married and our lives have all become far more complicated and busy over the years, I figured this would be a good way to stay in touch and keep those we love so well updated on our thrill-a-second lives here at Chez Rambo, NorCal Style.

Tomorrow is V-Day and my gift to Dawson is a reservation at Stark's Steakhouse. Yes, yes, THE Stark Steakhouse! The newest star in the restaurant firmament of Sonoma County. How did we get reservations on possibly the most difficult day in the year to get reservations, you ask? HA! Connections, of course...connections. By the way, this will be our 9th Valentine's Day as a couple madly in love; can you believe it's been NINE YEARS? Yeah, that set you back a bit, didn't it? YAY US!

May your Valentine's Day be wondrous, filled with love and if you don't celebrate this sweetest of all the holidays...for god's sake, what's the matter with you? SHEESH! Pump some money into this wheezing feeble joke of an economy we currently have and BUY something for someone you love! Anyone, anything! Even if it's a candy bar, c' an AMERICAN!

Save Capitalism! Buy something! Spread that money around!