Monday, May 28, 2012

I Count Stairs

My friend Jman over at Inside the Mind of Jman has bestowed a Creativ Blogger award on me.  I’m a sucker for any kind of award, so it’s a guarantee I’ll play.  I need to give 10 random facts about me and then pass the award forward. 

So without any further ado, I’d like to present the ten random facts about NumberWhisperer (of Blogger fame).

1)      I count stairs.  Always have.  Childhood home:  14 stairs.  Current home:  4 stairs at entry, 10 more to get to second level, 3 down to get to sunken living room.
2)      When I was four years old, I saw my brother fighting with the kid across the street, so I ran over, fists a flyin’, grabbed the boy and opened up a can of whoop-ass on him.  By the time they pulled me off, I was holding his head in the gutter.  My one and only street brawl.

You'd never know I threw a can at his head once.
 3)    When I was a toddler, my mom couldn’t find me anywhere in the house; after a frantic search, she called the police and reported me missing.  Neighbors got involved, and a search began.  A couple hours after I disappeared, they found me in the house across the street.  I was in the upstairs bedroom, under the bed, playing.  Only when I type this out now, all these years later, does it sound like a thwarted child abduction.
4)      My first impression of my Better Half?  “Ahhh, he’s HOT!”  His?  “She’s pretty cute, but she dresses kind of frumpy.”  I can’t disagree.  Sadly, the same still holds true for me today.

In my defense, we were camping, and it was COLD.
5)      My first job was hawking styrofoam airplanes in the middle of the mall.  I hated it.
6)      I do zumba.  This may be my most shameful secret.  And after finding this video of a zumba flash mob at Target, I may never do it again.

7)      I love avocados almost as much as I love butter.
8)      An eye doctor once told me that he could tell, by looking at my eyes, that I came from noble ancestry.  “Really?”  I asked, perking up.  “Yes,” he said matter of factly.  “You see these brown markings?  They’re the mark of inbreeding, which was very common in royal families.”  Lovely.

This is actually me with pinkeye, but it still works for the post.

9)      I’ve been mistaken for Greek, Italian, Asian, and Middle Eastern.  I’m half Mexican, half Colombian. 

Colombian Dad plus Mexican Mom equals Colombican Me.

10)   My  favorite place in the whole world is the Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach, CA.  It meets my 3 basic requirements:  it’s safe, it’s a natural water environment, and it’s perfect for long walks.

Sprinkle my ashes here.

Last time I did one of these pass-it-forward posts, my opt-in rate was pretty low.  So, I’ll leave it open.  Anyone who would like to talk about themselves (and who wouldn’t?) is encouraged to post their ten random facts about themselves.  It’s kind of fun trying to figure out which ten to post.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Things I Do at MOMA When No One is Looking

*Correction:  Clearly (from the name on the sign) this is the de Young museum, not MOMA.  Apologies, de Young.

So today's kind of a cheat, because I'm just throwing up another picture of me goofing off again.  This comes from the trip to San Francisco I took with my mother, sister, and brother, in an attempt to experience some family togetherness.  I should do a post about that one.  I had a great time, but I'm certain that no one else did.

Crouching this low requires great skill.

Turns out I'm quite the ethnic chameleon.  Who knew I could look so Egyptian?  Too bad it's not the femme fatale Cleopatra, but more the King Tut variety that I resemble. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Am Woman, Hear Me Sing

Many years ago, when I was a wee lass of 21, I worked in a yoghurt shop right off campus.  Going to college during the day, I worked evenings, making sandwiches and mixing up yoghurts for the college crowd.  Closing-time, I often got stuck scrubbing and mopping the floors.  As crappy as this task was, I didn’t mind too much, because I’d turn the music up and sing along to whatever loop was playing.  Most times it was Bob Marley.

One night, I was doing my own thing, singing and mopping, when a co-worker came out front, looked at me, and said, “Are you a singer?  You should be.”

 “No,” I told her.  “I’m a math major.”

And just like that, the birth and death of a dream. 

Alright, alright, I’m being dramatic.  I wanted to be a singer even before that moment, but having someone (other than my dad) compliment my voice solidified that want. 

But I was a math major.  I had a clear path set out for me:  go to school, get good grades, find a job, work my way up, and become financially secure.  Financial security was the end goal for me, founded on years and years of being the poor kid in school. 

My illustrious singing career was not meant to be.

Or was it?  Maybe there was an opportunity out there for frazzled mothers of three who have no singing experience but lots of heart.  Maybe there was a forum that wouldn’t judge me on my physical appearance, but instead on the quality of my voice.

Enter NBC’s The Voice.

“Whaaaat?  Are you crazy?  Don't tell me you're thinking about trying out for the voice...”

I am.  I totally am.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to find the easiest song out there and sing like I’ve never sung before.  I’m going to set up my camera, stand in front of it, and belt one out, like I’m Christina Aguilera singing to Aretha Franklin.

And then I’m going to send it in, sit back and wait.

I control my own destiny!!!  Rawwwwrrrrrr!!!!

.  .  .  .  .

Now that we’ve determined the path to fulfilling my lifelong dream of song, I’d like to proceed to the reasons why I’m grateful I will never make it past the Submissions stage:
  • My target age demographic is 5-10 years old.  I suspect I’d need a Xanax if I ever had to sing in front of real people.
  • I’m not especially compelling.  This is a pivotal hindrance when it comes to winning the audience vote.  And those 5-10 year olds aren't old enough to vote.
  • I can’t memorize lyrics to save my life.  For example, this morning, I sang Run-Around (by Blues Traveler) like this:
Oh, once a upon a midnight dearie (s/b “drearie”)
I woke with someone in my bed (s/b “something in my head”)
I couldn’t escape the memory
Of a phone call and a one night stand (s/b “and of what you said”)

  • I have hideous gray fillings in my teeth, remnants of a candy-filled childhood. Have you ever noticed fillings in any contestant’s mouth?  Neither have I.  
  • I’ve got a regular 9-5 job, and I can’t afford to lose it.  Twenty years later, financial security is still important to me. 
  • I have a half-octave range.  In case you were wondering, that’s not good.

Regardless of these significant obstacles to my self-actualization, I will not be deterred.  Or at last I wasn’t planning on being deterred, until I went to the The Voice website and saw this notification splashed across the video submissions page:

 (The video submission deadline has passed. Video submissions are only accepted if they were delivered or postmarked before Tuesday, April 17, 2012.)

Tough break.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Anticipation is Killing Me

For many, the first day of summer will be June 20 this year.

For me, the first day of summer will be June 8.  The day after school lets out.

No more yelling at the kids to do their homework.

No more class projects that are due on Monday.

No more rushing to get the kids to school by last bell.

No more notices about lost library books.

No more complaints about how easy school was in "the olden days" compared to now.

No more notes home about how chatty L was or how outrageous M was or how distracted P was in class.

Ahhh Summer, you're so close I can taste it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Take Two and Call Me in the Morning

If you are among the lucky 36 million Americans out there who experience migraines, you know how important your migraine medicine is to you.  For me, I hold my Excedrin Migraine in high regard.  In under a half hour, I can go from pain-induced nausea and protective head-cradling to happy, sleepy-time nightie-nights.  It works that well for me.

Hello, my love.

For certain, I'll end up nauseous, not from the residual effects of the migraine, but from the way that medicine tears up my stomach.  I don't mind, though.  Which is worse:  skull-pounding pain, nausea, and (inevitably) a failure to function or just plain old nausea?

I've lived through the 1st trimester of pregnancy three times.  I've seen my share of nausea, and it's a piece of cake compared to the horrors that a migraine can bring.

That was all preface to where I'm headed with this post.

I ran out of my beloved Excedrin last week.  My mental note to buy a refill went unnoticed until, of course, my head started pounding three days ago.  Truthfully, I wasn't too concerned, because I was already taking Nyquil for a cold and I'm not one for fancy drug cocktails.  So I warmed up the hot sock and hunkered down for some deep tissue meditation to "think" my headache away (don't knock it, sometimes it works).

And work, it did!  I woke up the next morning, happy and alert.

But then it came back.  With a vengeance.

By 5pm (quittin' time), I was the kind of miserable you only feel when you've suffered all day long and are now facing the prospect of going home to start your night job as cook, referee, and tutor.  There was no forgetting to stop off at CVS to pick up that refill this time.  So off I went, holding on to that glimmer of hope that relief was on the horizon.

But CVS was sold out of Excedrin.  Completely empty shelf.  Fuuuudge...

I changed course and headed over to Rite Aid.  Nothing there either.  Genius that I am, I wandered over to the pharmacist and asked them if they had any in the back.  That's when my world came tumbling down as she uttered these five words:

"No ma'am, Excedrin's been recalled."

NOOOOOOO......  Actually, it was more like "noooooo...." (as my head was pounding considerably, so even my thoughts had to be quiet).  I pathetically asked what I could take as a substitute, and she pointed me in the direction of their generic headache formula.  Desperate, I was in no position to be choosy.  Once in the car, I found a bottle of water that had been rolling around for who knows how long and choked down two tablets.  Then I began waiting, hoping for it to work.

Now, my beloved Excedrin has a way of working like a light switch.  I usually can pinpoint the exact moment that it kicks in, when the headache lifts and the sun peeks through the clouds.  It's always a glorious moment for me.  I wasn't expecting that from my RiteAid plain brand "headache medicine".  And it didn't happen.  But that's not to say the medicine didn't work.  Not only did it work, it worked quite well.  And it gave me a happy little mood lift as a bonus perk.  I do believe about an hour after taking it, I caught myself skipping from the living room to the kitchen.  It had to be the caffeine.  Whatever.  I felt goooood.

But dumb ME, I forgot about the stomach part.  And about an hour after my rainbow trippin' I noticed that I was nauseous.  Very nauseous.

So I guzzled some milk, in a pitiful afterthought attempt to appease my stomach.  No luck.  I followed it with some waffles, you know, to soak up all those acids that were bubbling away in there.  Still no luck.  But those waffles were really good, and apparently, not even a chemically induced nausea can get in the way of my appetite.  With a full, but nauseous stomach, I ended up going to bed (this time with the hot sock on my stomach), where I fought back the waves all night.

You may be wondering, "what is this 'hot sock' that she keeps mentioning?"  They're God's gift to the women in my family, that's what they are.  We live, breathe, and die by these things.  I'll have to post about our unnatural attachment to them one day.  For now, here's a picture of my favorite one. 

Notice the gold luster?  It's getting ready to work it's magic.
Back to the topic at hand.   Was there a point to this post?  No, I guess not.

In closing, I'd like to regain control of my brain and summarize my thoughts with these few thoughts:  migraines suck, the makers of Excedrin better fix this problem fast, Rite Aid makes a pretty good generic headache medicine, and always remember to drink a glass of milk with your painkillers.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner, licensed homeopathist, or even a school nurse.  So take medication at your own risk.

About Migraines

Friday, May 11, 2012

Have Equipment, Will Travel

I'm pretty sure Rock Opera wasn't what they were going for, but...

...I think they're ready for the road.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Siete de Mayo!

I have a dumb question for all you non-West Coast folks.  Do you look at our west coast Cinco de Mayo celebrating and scratch your heads?  Do you wonder what on earth all the partying is about?

Well, I'm here to tell you that, for most, there's no real historical significance to the event.  I mean, sure it's based on an actual historical event, but truthfully, it's more about having an opportunity (in that long stretch between Easter and Memorial Weekend) to par-tay.  That pretty much covers it.

Factually speaking, the holiday is based on the victory the Mexican militia experienced over the French many years ago.  Apparently, the victory was unexpected.  Hence the intense celebrating.

L has a state history assignment due this month, and he, conveniently enough, chose the Avila Adobe over at Olvera Street to report on.  Olvera Street is accepted as the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles and is home to many of the Mexican chotchkies that are a part of our culture.  You know, stuff like Lucha Lucha masks and creepy marionettes.

Since Cinco de Mayo was right around the corner, we decided to make our field trip coincide with it and hopefully get some Mexican culture along the way.

We were wrong.

All we saw were people.

Lots and lots of people.

Nary a mariachi or folklorico dancer in sight.  Kind of disappointing.

But the Adobe was fun.  It's restored and gives a nice glimpse into early California living.  Well, by "living, I mean only if you were a wealthy Alcalde.  Think Zorro, if you need perspective.

The highlight of our trip, sadly, had nothing to do with Mexico or Cinco de Mayo.  But it sort of had something to do with the Adobe.  While touring the place, we brushed elbows with this guy:

BH picked him out right away and first identified him as the guy in that new show, Awake.  His name is Jason Isaacs.  I had no idea who he was talking about, but when he said 'Captain Hook', I went straight for my camera.  I loved this version of Peter Pan and thought he was a good pick for Hook/Father.

A millisecond after grabbing my camera, I realized I was acting like a starstruck, slightly pathetic 40 year old woman.  It made me stop and take pause.  Is there a way I can get his photo without him knowing I was taking it?  After all, we are at historical site...stop it, crazy stalker lady, he's here with his kids!

And then, just like that, he and his family left.  Poof.  Opportunity gone.  Fortunately, BH had the good sense to get the kids' attention and surreptitiously point out Captain Hook before he walked away.  So, in the end, a good time was had by all.

On the way home, BH and I were talking about how we had wanted to get a picture with him.  We talked about how he isn't really huge yet, and he's on a new show, so he probably would've appreciated the fan attention.  And then we googled him and realized he's also this guy:

Uh yeah, we're total idiots.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DIY Jackson Pollock Apparel

Step 1:  Procure a brightly colored item of clothing.  A yellow Laker's jersey will do nicely.

Step 2:  Procure a handful of crayons.  I like to use Crayola originals for optimal results.

Step 3:  Throw both the clothing and the crayons into the washer and run at hottest setting*.  This is an important step to bring out the full intensity of the art.

Step 4:  Transfer from washer to dryer.  Again, run at hottest setting, to seal-in the color.

Step 5:  Remove from dryer immediately.


*Helpful Hint:  the same effect could be achieved by first placing crayons in the pocket of a size 7 pair of skinny jeans.

**Results may vary.

I'm going to file this one under "Things I'm Learning".  Because one day I will learn to check the pockets.