Monday, November 29, 2010


A few nights ago I lost the TV remote.  The one for our 16 year-old TV/VCR combo in our bedroom. The one that now has a digital converter cable box and can ONLY be controlled by remote (no old school getting-up-and-changing-the-channel here!).  I eventually found it under WG's bed (she likes to play with it), but for a couple of days we had no TV access in our bedroom.
And it was pretty darn nice!
I rarely watch the main TV downstairs.  Usually I reserve it for "Doctor Who," since that's the only TV that gets BBC America. I watch the smaller TVs when I'm cooking dinner or just chillin'.  But I'm beginning to wonder why.  WHY was I watching "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" last night?  These ladies were the same girls (not literally, but you know what I mean) I avoided at all cost during high school, and again when my kids were toddlers and I was thinking about joining a mom's group in L.A (thank G-d, I dodged THAT bullet! I once overheard a conversation at a coffee place by one of these groups who were sitting at the table next to us.  One of their members was absent that day, and they spent the entire hour ripping not only her apart, bur her 3 YEAR-OLD CHILD, as well!)  All I could think was "My G-d, these women are SUCH BITCHES!!!!! Why the hell am I watching this?!?!?!" before I FINALLY turned it off.
Because TV does that: it sucks you in.  It's like a cult. Or the Mob.  Before you know it you're DVR-ing shows about former Playboy bunnies and rocker wives, pledging your life savings and future favors to them.  (Luckily, we don't have a DVR.  I shudder to think how much MORE time I could waste if we did!)
To be fair, there are some things definitely worth watching.  The aforementioned "Doctor Who," of which I have been a fan for over 20 years (and has been running, although not continuously, since 1963), as well as things like "Sherlock"  on "Masterpiece."  It's a 21st-century version of "Sherlock Holmes," and is quite fun. There's also a local show called "California's Gold," which delves into the history of California landmarks.  Everything from the Golden Gate Bridge to the La Brea Tar Pits to Yosemite and even In-n-Out Burger (YUM!).
And "30 Rock."  Because Tina Fey just Gets It.
Also, my guilty pleasures : "Gilmore Girls" reruns (no real guilt there), "So You Think You Can Dance?" (less guilt) and "Dancing With the Stars" (HUGE guilt!)
Then, I must admit, there are the times I will turn on Nickelodeon or Sprout just because Mommy needs a break.
I'm not proud.

But getting sucked into all that other crap?  I don't think it's very good for me.  It's like junk food for the mind.   Not that I want to be one of those "I only watch PBS" types (although I do love me some PBS, especially when they do shows on dog researchers.  I think I've found my new career!), but MAN!  962 channels and 845 of them show 24-hour "reality" shows, while the others are talking heads screeching at each other!
Do I REALLY care if Perry Farrell's wife in an insecure ninny?  Isn't that his problem, and not mine?  And do I need to know the hardships of a bunch of wealthy celebutantes who whine and complain and only work when the cameras are rolling?
(Speaking of which: I was watching a rerun of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" the other day [less guilt for that, because it's still awesome!] and they had an episode with an alien race called the Cardassians.  They're REALLY mean, and they had captured and were torturing Capt. Picard.  It just made me wonder; this episode was made in 1990 or '91: foreshadowing?  Did they somehow know that the Kardashians would come along and torture all of humanity? Should I start my own spoof show and call it "Keeping Up With the Cardassians," about a group of whiny, annoying, mean aliens and their daily tribulations? Will it make me rich?  Would my karma be forever screwed?)
So I'm going to watch less of it.  I'm going to make a list of the shows I REALLY like (that don't spike my blood pressure) and stick to those.  If there's a movie on I want to see, fine.  But these "reality" shows are OFF MY NICE LIST!!!!!! Persona non grata! Unwelcome, uninvited, and will be asked, forcibly, to leave should they somehow sneak past the bouncers.
I've been cutting the junk out of my diet, and now it's time to cut it out of my brain.

Maybe, at some point, I'll even deal with the closets!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!

It's cold here in the Bay Area.  I mean COLD!  20-something degrees this morning, and the heater is wonky (yeah, good tining, Heater!).  But today I get the kids off to school, teach 2 hours of Pilates, go to a potluck at my LG's class, run a couple of quick errands, get WG off the bus, and I'm DONE!!!!  Hubby doesn't have school tonight, and I have the next 2 days of.  Woo-hoo!!!!!! *
My tooth is doing great; I have a follow-up on Friday, but I haven't needed a single pain pill since Sunday night.  I'm teaching 3 classes on Saturday morning, but on Monday the kids go back to their regular school schedules (again: woo-hoo!!!!)
Wee took a walk last night, and folks are starting to put their lights up.  I love the holidays! Yes, it was quite cold, but we bundles up and stayed warm, even when we walked by the water.
I love the water.  My room in my parents' house was right on Boston Hahbuh-um-harbor.  (Right across from Logan airport, so SPEAK UP SONNY, I CAN'T HEAR YA!).  For many years I lived away from the water, but never TOO far. Although when we were in L.A. it took us at least 45 minutes to get to the ocean (and don't get me started on finding parking!), which was just too far.  Now we live  about 15 minutes away, and we have lagoons all around the house.
I think we'll stay in the Bay Area.  I HOPE we will!
Anyway, that's all for now.  Have a wonderful holiday, and talk to ya soon!

*(OK, scratch that:  I DO have my regular class tonight. But I'm still off tomorrow and Friday!!!!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

I'm guessing it's because it's That Time O' The Month, and because I had a root canal yesterday, but I am CRABBY today!  And it's only 10:30 AM!
Of course, looking at the balance in my bank account didn't help.
Or the fact that my mini-vacation is over and it's back to work, starting tonight,  or that I have 8,000 items on my MUST BE DONE, NOW!!!!! (said in a Schwarzenegger, "Terminator"-type voice) list, or that even with the economy the way it is it seems EVERYONE is at Target at 9 AM, or that my paycheck wasn't ready even after I spent 20 minutes looking for parking near the gym, or that I can't find my birth certificate to give to the synagogue so they can FINALLY pay me, or my health insurance "forgetting" that I just made an $800 payment and refusing to pay for my painkillers (curse you, Anthem Blue Cross!  But bless YOU, CVS, for giving me a discount prescription drug card!) or the fact that apparently I need to work another 90 hours a week so we can get the bills paid, or the fact that everyone is so stressed out about the holidays that they're driving like idiots and tailgaiting ME.  Grrrrrr.


Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays!  The lights, the decorations, the excitement, the fact that we no longer have to travel (hee!).  But everyone seems to get a little bit nuts and a whole lot mean this time of year.
I guess it's easier for us; we simply cannot afford to buy gifts this year.  So no crazy shopping sprees for us, no running through the aisles, tearing our hair out trying to find the perfect gift for Uncle Saul.  Because Uncle Saul will be getting bupkus from us this year.
I also can't help thinking about the people who are on their own this time of year, or of the ones who can't afford any kind of celebration.  Food banks are way down on donations and way up in terms of need.  And I can't do a damn thing about it because, well, like I said, I got a look at my account balance this morning.
I'm trying not to get pulled into the morass (heh-heh; "morass!") of it all, but old habits die hard.
So I guess I just need to let myself feel it all, then let it go.

And have faith that it will all work out.

Oh, and maybe eat a cookie.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Once Again, "DUH!!!!!"

Sometimes I REALLY wonder what is up with my brain!
I've been grousing about the fact that I haven't gone on vacation in almost 1 1/2 years, right?  So WHY did it not occur to me that a vacation doesn't necessarily mean going somewhere? I'm always talking about a staycation, but it never occurred to me to actually TAKE one.  That taking a day off now and then and staying home is as much of a vacay as going away is.  More, even, because it's MUCH less stressful; no finding a dog-and-house sitter, no vacation mail stop, no crazed house cleaning frenzy, and, best of all, no packing! (Last night we took the kids for a walk.  It was SO fun, and the kids got to play at the playground for a bit.  THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!)

Because it FINALLY penetrated my fog-covered brain that I haven't taken a day off from work in that almost-a-year-and-a-half.  Not only that, I've added 4 MORE classes and have been subbing whenever possible. Plus all my duties as Mom.
And then I wonder why I'm feeling burned out!

Um, hello, brain?  Anyone home?

This week, except for today's drama class, I am taking a break.  It's kinda been forced on me, 'cause of my tooth.  It's not the ideal situation, but, well, beggar, meet no-chooser.
At first I felt really guilty.  But then came The Realization (see previous paragraph) and I thought "Screw THAT!"
Plus, I'm on those fabulous painkillers.  It's hard to teach Pilates when you're lightheaded and loopy.  (I won't be taking them this afternoon: I need all my faculties when dealing with my fuzzy bunnies AKA 6-11 year-olds. Plus, well, I'm driving.)
The lovely folks at my gyms will be teaching my classes for me, and I am eternally grateful.

I've also decided that, along with the Pilates, I need a job with a salary.  And some benefits.  Flexibility.  I need  to have a say in my work.  I did a big ol' (very angry) post about this yesterday, but deleted it today.  I didn't want it here.  Some of you may have read it, and know what I'm talking about.  But it was written in a fit of pique and, while I stand by it, I just don't want it staying up here.  It was making me feel itchy.

So that's that.  Still not sure when the root canal will be, but that's OK.  (Painkillers!)

Have a WONDERFUL day!  I fully intend to do just that!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I got a temporary crown put on my right lower molar on Thursday.  It was doing really well!  A bit of pain now and again, but a little ice and some Orajel and it was gone.
Then, at 3 am today, I woke up with a head full o' searing pain.  Like NOTHING I'd experienced since childbirth, people!  As I said on my FaceBook page, it felt like someone was trying to pull my tooth out with a fork.  And it went all the way up into my head, and all the way down into my neck.  I started crying like the baby I am because it HURT!!!!!
I came downstairs and rinsed with warm salt water, put more Orajel on it, and finally caved in and took another ibuprofin (I'd taken one before bed, just in case).  Then I went online and realized that my symptoms coincided with someone who needed root canal.

I went back to the dentist today and it turns out, for once, I was right.  (It would HAVE to be about this! My one time?!?!?!)  So tomorrow the office will call me and schedule the dreaded procedure.  Although at this point, I can't wait; they take out the nerve from inside the tooth, so you can't feel anything anymore. And I wanted them to do it RIGHT AWAY!  JUST RIP THAT SUCKER OUT! But I suppose there are correct procedures for this kind of thing.
*Big Pitiful Sigh.*
I've also had this irrational fear of root canals for as long as I can remember.  Is there some term for that?  Rootcanalophobia?  Probably not.  But it's always been something I'm deathly afraid of.  Now, though, I just want it done!!!!!

On the plus side, I have a bottle of prescription Tylenol/Codeine in my hot little hands.  Not sure if I'm going to use it ; I'm also taking 2 Aleve every 8-10 hours, so we'll see how that goes, first.  But just knowing it's there is making me weirdly happy.  I've never taken codeine before.  Could be an interesting experience!
And it IS my own fault.  I neglected to go to the dentist for a long time (no insurance, poor, starving, struggling actor, wah wah wah), so let this be a lesson to ya, kids!
I also have been whining about wanting a break.  Except I was hoping to be lying on a massage table, not in a dentist's chair.
Ah well.  Be careful what you wish for, eh?
And, heck, with all that codeine, it might just FEEL like a massage!

Also, it has been GORGEOUS here, weather-wise!  Yesterday we drove along the coast into the city, parked on a hill overlooking the Presidio and took a nice hike. It seemed like everyone in the Bay Area was out and about, walking, biking, hanging out with their kids.  And we drove home as the sun was setting; everyone had stopped and was watching it.  It was beautiful!
And apparently today a lot of people are calling in sick to work.  I was standing in line at Starbucks and the woman behind me was describing to her friend the various phone calls she'd received that morning, including one from a guy who said he couldn't come in because he had no hot water & couldn't take a shower.  She wanted to tell him "You pay $1500 a year to go to Equinox.  Go take a shower there and come in to work."  But she couldn't.
And I thought "Holy cow, $1500 a YEAR?!?!?!"  'Cause I worked there, so I didn't have to pay, and had no idea how much a membership cost.  (Technically, I still work there, as a sub, and can still work out there...) And it's a very nice place with great classes and facilities, but $1500 a year?!?!
Although I will say that it's probably the cleanest gym I've ever set foot in.  They are CONSTANTLY cleaning that place!

OK, time to go lie down.  And try to ignore the drilling coming from next door (they're fixing it up to sell) that makes me think of painful oral surgeries.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Was that Hippocrates?

Lately I've been looking at my ongoing food rut.  Because I'm so busy, I'm not nearly as creative, food-wise, as I was a few years ago.  Granted, I was plenty busy then, but I was a full-time SAHM, so I was, well, HOME.  I could cook.  I also had a working oven and dishwasher, which made things a whole lot easier.  Right now I have a broken oven and dishwasher (broken as in there's a hole in the bottom of it, so we REALLY can't use it. Unless we want to recreate the story Of Noah's Ark.  Then it's perfect.), and a very nice toaster oven.
But I'm also working outside the home which, while good for my sanity, leaves me much less time to cook.
So I've been going with a lot of staples, things I know everyone will eat, that are quick and easy.  Whole-wheat or quinoa pasta with extra-lean ground turkey or veggie protein and red sauce.  Pizza with wheat or cornmeal crust. Turkey or veggie burgers.  Sandwiches. 
Only because I make them over and over AND OVER AGAIN.
I refuse to make 3 different meals every night.  My kids are notoriously picky.  I don't want to be stuck washing a ton of dishes.  But I REALLY NEED to expand my repertoire!
I like the idea of cooking something new, offering it, and if the kids refuse it, letting them have lots of salad. I have a billion cookbooks lying around, and I never use them.  I used to use them all the time, now they are languishing pathetically on the shelf. 
I also think I need to switch things around so that I can have more energy.  I am SOOOOOO TIRED!!!!! WAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

*Update:  It is now 3 days later.  Last night I made a seafood pasta, a recipe I hadn't used in about 5 years.  Hubby & the kids ate it up (the kids ate around the seafood).  Tomorrow I'll try zucchini lasagna.  Tonight?  Not sure.  Maybe tortilla or pasta soup.  I ended up buying a copy of "The Sunset Cookbook"  (Sunset as in the magazine, not a pretty setting of the sun, double-rainbow kind o' thing) after reading a wonderful (and very timely) review in the "Chronicle."  1,000 recipes, all tested by chefs and again by home cooks.  Quite inspirational, actually.  But I'm always open to suggestions!

In other news, it was quite a weekend.  Saturday was spent teaching and then cleaning the house, picking up the birthday cake, etc., getting ready for WG's 7th birthday!   It was a small but fun party.  Her teacher even showed up!!!!!!  It's just hard to believe that 7 years have gone by since the night she was born.  The night of the Full Beaver Moon, which is, apparently, what the November moon is called.  The fact that my OB-GYN informed me of this as she walked into the room where I was lying naked from the waist down and in stirrups didn't help the pushing-the-baby-out process.  It only made me laugh really hard.
Sunday was raining and blah.  It kinda matched my mood.  I won't go into details, but Hubby and I had a wee disagreement, which led to me getting out of the house while he watched the kids (and the Raiders) until I could cool off.  And I stayed cold.  Sometimes it's better not to say anything until you have calmed down completely, and that took me until this morning.  So, yes, I went to bed mad.  And hurt.  And confused.  But I'm better now, and we will talk (calmly) tonight.

I also took the pooch to the dog park today, which also cheers me right up!  And met a woman who was only too willing to swap funny/cute dog stories.  So I'm feeling MUCH better.  Plus, it's been a beautiful sunny day here, reminding me of a perfect New England Fall day, only without the horrible allergies and the knowledge of the coming snow, sleet, and months of gray.

I love Northern California!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haven't Got Time for the Pain

That breeze you feel is the collective sigh of relief many inhabitants of this country, including me, are expelling now that the elections are over.  Regardless of results, I always feel a HUGE sense of "Thank G-d THAT'S over" the day after the election.  (Except for 2000, when the hanging chads left us all twisting in the wind for 3 months!)
I used to get all caught up in election fever; glued to the TV watching results, cheering on my home team and booing the visitors, exultant if we won and bereft if we lost.  But now?  Not so much.
Partly because it seems like the last few elections have been reactionary; we don't like what's going on, so we vote against the party in power.  But also because I realize I HAVE to stay hopeful.  It takes too much energy (and I lose too much sleep, and heaven knows I don't get enough as it is!) to wring my hands and worry about the future all the time.
Am I crazy to hope that a divided congress will force the parties to work together?  I realize it may not happen, but a girl can dream, right?
But the BEST part of the day after the election is knowing that, for a little while anyway, THERE WILL BE NO CAMPAIGN ADS!!!!!!!
Seriously, I feel like I can breathe more freely now than I have in months, just knowing I can turn on the radio and TV without being bombarded by useless, information-less, nasty political ads.  (And they come from both sides.)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to vote! I think it's a duty we all have, and many people fought, bled and died for the right.  A lot of folks all over the world still don't have this right, so I am very grateful for it.  (And the lovely volunteers and free cookies at our polling place don't hurt, either.)  There is a sense that (to quote "High School Musical") we're all in this together, expressing our opinions and giving voice to our government.
"We the people" indeed.

Plus, well, the parade for the Giants is about to start, and it's hard to be TOO upset over anything when your team has just won the World Series for the first time in 54 years AND the first time in this city!

So, yay us!  To everyone who voted, who got involved in any way, and who cares about where we're headed. To all of us for surviving another election season, regardless of our political leanings.

And now, I must clean the house.