Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Sort Of

Since I'm kind of on a roll with lists this year, and it is Tuesday, I am bringing you a list of my top eleven Christmas movies. Yes, you read that right; it's a list of eleven. I tried and tried, but I couldn't get the list down to ten. Each movie on this list loved; I couldn't leave one off. You may want to get a cup of coffee or something...this could take awhile.

Typically I don't place the items in a particular order but today I actually am; I'm going to count down to my favorite Christmas movie of all time. No fair scrolling to the end and peeking...you've got to start with #11!

11. Babes in Toyland a.k.a March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934). I'm a huge Laurel and Hardy fan; this movie delights me. Matt is trying to tell me that it's not a Christmas movie; maybe he's right. However, Santa is in the movie and the heroes at the end are his Wooden Soldiers. That makes it Christmas enough for me. It's not Stan and Ollie's best work but I love it anyway.

10. Christmas Eve On Sesame Street (1978). Long before Elmo and countless other annoying Muppets, Big Bird was worried about how Santa was going to fit down the chimney. Bert and Ernie were exchanging gifts, Cookie Monster was trying hard to get a letter written to Santa and Bob was reminding us to keep Christmas with us all through the year. I can't remember a year when I haven't watched this at Christmastime.

9. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). Poor Clark. All he wants is a "fun old-fashioned family Christmas" and properly working Christmas lights.

8. Elf (2003). This one ties for newest movie on the list but from the first time that I watched it with my buddies, I knew that it was going to be a classic.

7. Love Actually (2003). This is the other newbie on the list; I adore it! It's a fabulous ensemble piece. (*Disclaimer: this movie has a few extremely racy parts, watch at your own risk.)

6. A Christmas Story (1983). We have a miniature leg lamp in our living room. Need I say more?

5. Going My Way (1944). It's hard to go wrong with Bing, but the biggest reason that I love this one is that Barry Fitzgerald reminds me so much of my Granddad. SO much.

4. Holiday Inn (1942). "Oh, Linda Mason." Love it! But do I prefer the singing or the dancing? Ack! A question for the ages!

3. Mixed Nuts (1994). Words cannot express the genius of this movie. It's hysterical and brilliant and touching and perfect! I have a date to watch it with some people that I love this year; I'm beyond excited!

2. White Christmas (1954). Bing's classic. My #2 and John's favorite; we watch it together every year and that makes it even more wonderful. He brought it up the other day; he asked if I'd save this one for Christmas break so that he can watch it with me. Happiness.

And my all time, favorite Christmas movie....

1. It's A Wonderful Life (1946). I don't need to explain it; whether you love it or not, you certainly know it. It never, ever gets old. It's the last Christmas movie that I watch each year; I watch it on December 24th. I will love it forever. Once I've watched this movie and listened to my favorite Christmas song (ha..now you'll wonder), I'm ready for Christmas.

This brings to a close my contribution to NaBloPoMo for 2010. Thank you for spending some time with me this month. I really do enjoy taking the time to write and I appreciate your comments and feedback.

As November comes to a close and December arrives, I wish you all the very best this Christmas season. Enjoy the cooler weather, have fun decorating and baking and going to parties, spend time with those dear to you. But most of all, remember our Savior. He came into this world so that he could take on our sin. Yours and mine. He bridged the gap between us and our Heavenly Father so that one day we can spend eternity with Him. Christ is Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010


This morning I had a new experience. For the first time ever, I completed an online traffic school course. Perceptive readers may recall that I got a ticket earlier this month and apparently I'm eligible to have my record expunged.

As I sat at my desk late last night looking at the list of traffic school options, some of them made me laugh...

1. "Aztec Traffic School." This could go one of two ways; I could either have to prove my heritage or attend SDSU. I'm a season ticket holder, does that get me close enough?

2. "I'll Never Speed Again Traffic School." School for liars?

3. "Advantage Traffic School." Claiming to give/have an advantage is kind of a big deal. I'd like to know exactly what the advantage is before I would select this one.

4. "Traffic Treats." Many things come to my mind; I wonder what they have in theirs.

5. "Pizza For You." Is there a place on the registration form to indicate my preferred kind of pizza? Will it be homemade? Pizza Hut? Domino's? These things make a difference.

6. "Gay Traffic School." Seriously? Will it make me gay? This one's just stupid; they don't need their own traffic school. I don't see a Straight Traffic School on the list. Sheesh...

7. "Liberty Traffic Violator School." This makes me feel like a hardened criminal; all I did was go 10mph over the speed limit. It wasn't even in a school zone!

8. "Great Comedians Traffic School." One man's great comedian is another man's least favorite comedian. This one's too subjective.

9. "Universal Traffic School." This one sounds overwhelming; will I have to learn the traffic laws for every country???

10. "Laff For Less Traffic School." These people can't even spell! I'm supposed to have confidence that they'll give me a proper education and a correctly filled-out certificate at the end? I don't think so!

In the end, I went with San Diego Online Traffic School; it was recommended by a friend. It was reasonably cheap, it didn't take me very long and my certificate is already on it's way. I'm glad it's done. Now I know that having a blow out in your back tires will cause you to fishtail; I don't think I knew that before. At least I learned something.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back To Reality

"Halloween is over and I missed it!"

Actually, I'm not talking about Halloween and I didn't really miss anything. I should more accurately say, "Thanksgiving Break is over and it went by too quickly!"

It's been so wonderful having John home for a week. No homework, no football, no lifting...just a week of fun, games, movies and relaxation. I think I took for granted our years of home schooling when the kids were around all the time and we had family time up the wazoo. In fact, I probably got tired of it! But now that we're past it, I'd do anything to have some of those times back. With John smack in the middle of high school and all that it entails (homework, sports, friends, activities, etc.), and Matthew playing baseball three to four nights a week, we just don't have family time anymore. Looking ahead to this week, it will be six nights until we're all home together again.

I know that this is a season of life; and I really do love seeing the young men that my boys are becoming. It's just that the reality of our new stage is hitting me hard these days. No one will ever again call me Mommy. The kids may want me around from time to time but they don't need me; they're self-sufficient. Pretty soon we're going to add girls into the picture. It's new and strange and I don't always like it.

So this year, I think I am extra thankful for the time that we had together over the Thanksgiving break. I cherished every minute of it. If you have older children, you know what I mean. If you have little ones, even though they may drive you nuts, enjoy every second; it passes so quickly.

School starts up again tomorrow; Matt has a lot of work to do and John is starting his second trimester so he'll have a whole new set of classes and teachers. December will be upon us in a few days and while we'll be celebrating the joyfulness of the season, it'll be easy to get caught up in the craziness that tends to invade our lives this time of year. I'm going to try not to; I'm really going to try to stay focused in the moment.

However, I do admit that a part of me is already looking forward to the Christmas break. I'll be keeping an eye out for ways to make the most of every precious minute of fun time that I have with my fellas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Not Generally A Copycat

Earlier this month, a friend of mine dedicated a post to some of her favorite movie and TV quotes. Some of us had a lot of fun guessing what they were from and I thought at the time that it might be fun to assemble my own list. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and since I've watched an insane number of movies with the kids this week (gotta love school break!), I thought that tonight would be a good night to do it.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from some of my very favorite movies. Think you can figure them out? Some should be obvious; some might be more difficult. And no fair cheating and using Google!

Good Luck!

1. "Well, that certainly illustrates the diversity of the word. "

2. "Has anything you've done made your life better?"

3. "My friend here's trying to convince me that any independent contractors who were working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when it was destroyed by the Rebels. "

"Locked, from the inside. That can only mean one thing. And I don't know what it is. "

"Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker."

6. "The hell you will. He's got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the grail already."

7. "
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government."

8. "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything. "

9. "
It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds. "

10. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Happy quote hunting!

Friday, November 26, 2010

And So It Begins

Day two of our Thanksgiving celebration was a huge success! The food was delicious and we're stuffed full of pie and candy. Decorations have been put out and we watched four entire football games today; it was perfect!

The kids have gone to bed and the house is now perfectly quiet. As my Mister and I sit here enjoying the soft glow of electric sex, we officially welcome the Christmas season. Hope it's magical!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, Day One

Well, Day One of Thanksgiving was a success! We had a wonderful day with Andy's family; tomorrow we get to do it again with my folks. It really is the best way to do it, rather than trying to run back and forth and do it all in one day.

Since I'm sitting here waiting for tomorrow's pies to finish cooking, I thought I'd share some random thoughts from today...

1. Aunt Lissa's chocolate trifle was amazing. I think I need to have it again when I'm not so stuffed.

2. "Celebrate Me Home" by Kenny Loggins belongs on my least favorite Christmas songs list. Seriously.

3. Apparently taco shops and Mexican markets remain open on Thanksgiving. It's a good piece of information to have; you never know when you're going to need some carne asada or a bean and cheese burrito.

4. I need a golden retriever.

5. I just got my first burn on of the season; pesky oven.

6. Here's what Matt consumed today: half of a frappucino, several sodas and some peppermint bark. I'm not kidding; that's it. I know he's not feeling well but really...it's Thanksgiving!!!

7. The post-meal nap is even more pleasant when one is under the influence of muscle relaxants.

8. The word relaxants just made me giggle because I read it as relax ants. I might say that next time I see a bunch of ants scurrying around. (Maybe I need to get some sleep...)

9. Michelle Obama can kiss my grits. I had pie today, I'm going to have some tomorrow and I'll probably even have some on Saturday. Can't she go cross stitch a picture or something for the eventual Presidential Library and keep her nose out of people's business? Sheesh.

10. First kid on the block to have my Christmas lights up, baby! We're that awesome!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today was a fine day; it contained all of the usual pre-holiday stuff. I cleaned the house. The kids and I rearranged the downstairs so that it is ready to receive the Christmas tree on Saturday. Some movies were returned and I did some shopping at Michael's. The fudge, peppermint bark and chocolate/almond candy is made and ready to go tomorrow. All in all, a pretty run of the mill day before Thanksgiving.

Two things delighted me today. Since it's late and I have to post before midnight, and since just telling you about my day doesn't seem like enough, I'll share my happiness with you.

#1. We were out this evening (all four of us) and we spent about 20 minutes in the car quoting The Emperor's New Groove. Everyone was quoting their favorite lines; one would lead to another. We were doing the voices and playing out whole scenes. There was much laughter.

#2. Matthew made the following statement: "I don't know how efficient James Bond is but when John and I are James Bond, we're very efficient. Until we get killed by the auto-turrets."

I love my family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

For today's Ten on Tuesday, I have decided to post some quirky facts about myself. After reviewing the list, I'm afraid that you'll think I'm certifiable. Oh well, it's me. In no particular order, I present this week's list:

1. I don't like birds with my snowmen. At this time of year, this always rears it's head. I like snowman decorations and whatnot, but if there's a bird with the snowman I won't even consider it.

2. I really dig the low note at the end of "I'm Not That Girl." (Wicked) I often sing the last line just for the fun of that low note.

3. I'm quite picky about what I eat with my fingers. Burgers, dogs and fries? I'll pick those up. Clearly I'll pick up chips. But bread sticks, pizza, burritos...I cut them and use a fork.

4. Speaking of food; I always look at menus online before I go to a new restaurant. I hate going into a restaurant "blind" and not knowing what they have. I almost always decide beforehand.

5. I don't like to smell people. If someone is about to walk (closely) past me, I always hold my breath.

6. I can't floss without looking in the mirror. Well, technically I probably could, but I don't. I always stand in front of the mirror and do it.

7. Many of you know this; I hate to get wet. Getting into the shower every day is quite an unpleasant chore. I'm a total nut about being clean, so I do shower daily, sometime twice. But I never really enjoy the process.

8. I'm totally into Pik-Nik Shoestring Potatoes. They taste like In-n-Out fries. One of these days I'm going to bring some spread home and put it on the shoestrings.

9. I'm still not use to this whole "my kids are growing up" thing. I'm about to take one to his friend's house for the day and then I'll drop the other one off at the theater with his buddies. You'd think that I'd be excited to have a few hours to myself. Nope. I stress and I worry and I totally don't enjoy my time. Insane, I know.

And finally, the one that makes my youngest shake his head at me...

10. I don't wear hats. Not because I want the sun in my face, but because if I wear a hat, I get (wait for it....) claustrophobic. There's something about looking up and seeing a hat that totally freaks me out. It might as well be a ceiling, and then it's the Sears Tower all over again!

And there you have it; proof that I'm a total nut case.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just A Little Decorating

I didn't intend to put up the Christmas decorations out back.
Here's what happened...

A few weeks ago, I purchased some nifty little solar-powered Christmas lights to string along the fence on the side of the house. I was planning to put them up on Thursday when I do the outdoor decorations out front. Knowing myself and admitting that I'd be super disappointed if they didn't work, I decided to throw them up today. You know, just to test them. Armed with cup hooks and zip ties, I successfully strung them and mounted the solar-thingy so that it can charge.

Once I got that done, I decided to put the rest of the stuff out there so that I don't have to mess with it later. I have these little lighted Christmas trees that I use (thanks Ruth and Barbara!), and this year I added some LED branch things (they're like these but multi-colored). I was hoping that it would look like a magical Christmas wonderland in between my rose bushes.

Also, just to clarify...other than a quick test,
I won't be turning them on until Friday.
I might even keep the blinds closed so that I can't see them.
You know, there are rules to follow...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Feel It In My Fingers, I Feel It In My....Toes

Clearly KYXY (a local radio station) isn't paying attention t0 my blog. Last night when I turned the radio on, they were playing....Christmas music! Instantly, several thoughts raced through my head. The first was, "Hey, it's too early." Closely following was, "Yay, Christmas music!" The thought that won was, "Ick. I really hate this song."

As I hurried to find another station, I started thinking about Christmas music. It's a terribly personal thing; one person's favorite could quite easily be another's least favorite. Last year, I shared with you my ten favorite albums, maybe this year I'll do a Ten on Tuesday of my favorite songs. Wow, that would be difficult; so many to choose from!

Today, in honor of the song that I caught a few bars of last night, I thought I'd share with you some of my least favorite songs. You can call it a Six on Sunday. But you don't have to. If you'd prefer, you can just call it a list of my least favorite Christmas songs.

1. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey. I don't like her in general, but for some reason hearing her sing this song drives me nuts. It's very overplayed.

2. "Silent Night" by Stevie Nicks. It sounds like she's gargling.

3. "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" by Enya. It puts me to sleep. This song is supposed to be happy and jolly; in Enya's version there is none of that. I sounds like, well, any other Enya song.

4. "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This one isn't awful but I feel that it deserves honorable mention due to Yoko's warbling in the background. If she were left out of it, I'd really like this song. As it is, I find myself listening to the first half and then turning it off.

5. "Christmas at KYXY." This song is actually "Christmas in Dixie" by Alabama. While it's totally a cheese-ball country song, it's not awful for what it is. The problem is that a few years back, some one at KYXY decided to change the lyrics so every time it says Christmas in Dixie, it says Christmas at KYXY (pronounced kicksie). Ridiculous.

6. Finally, the one that started this train of thought, the one that I heard last night....."Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney. As one online writer said when reviewing this song, "Look, kids -- Daddy got a new synthesizer for Christmas!" Yep, he nailed it. I really, really can't stand it.

So there you have it; six Christmas songs that drive me batty. I left hymns/carols out; there are a few bad eggs in that category as well. How about you? Is there a Christmas song that you always hope will disappear before the holidays roll around again? I'm curious...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Appropriate Attire

This morning at the gas station, I overheard the guy at the next pump say to his kids as they got out of the car, "You can probably finish that (book) by the time we get to Disneyland."

Being the nosy person that I am, I tried to get a look at the family that was about to spend their day at the Happiest (Merriest) Place on Earth. There was nothing about the kids that stood out but the dad clearly wasn't dressed for Disneyland. He had on a button up shirt, casual slacks and loafers. It made me wonder...was he planning on going dressed like that? I assumed so; it wouldn't make sense to go back home and change (it was 7am). And he did say "we" which clearly implied that he was going. I just couldn't imagine him dressing like that for a day at the Magic Kingdom.

Or could I? The more I thought about it, I realized it that over the years I've been continually perplexed at the things that people wear for their day of amusement. Dresses, heels, full on hair and make-up done, slacks, Uggs (I'd never wear mine there, don't want them to get dirty!), flip-flops (no support!); I've seen it all.

It always makes me shake my head. When I'm planning to spend a day with Mickey, I always think much more practically; the comfiest jeans, good sneakers, hair up in a pony tail and no make up. Face it, even if I did spend a lot of time getting ready, I'd be all disheveled by lunchtime anyway.

What about you? Do you dress up? Are you casual? Somewhere in-between? Maybe I'm in the minority and I should take getting ready for Disneyland a little more seriously. Something for me to think about when AC takes me in a few weeks (hint, hint, babe!).

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today's flashback finds us in 1997. (I assume that you gathered that from the title of the post.) The year started out quite exciting. On January 1, 1997, I found myself the happy wife of one Mr. Coffman and the proud mama to an adorable, almost nine month old John. I also found myself pregnant. Turns out, I hadn't had the flu all through November and December of '96; go figure. It all seemed to click on New Year's morning. I drove around and finally found a place that was open, I bought and test and voila...our lives were about to get a little more interesting.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I couldn't narrow them down so you get a lot. I have a feeling that Fridays are going to be like that for a while...

John received this playhouse as a Christmas gift; it was his favorite!

He also really liked his little scooter. We pushed him all over in that thing.

In February, I turned twenty-two. Lovely maternity blouse...

How can you not love this?!?

Learning to walk...

My mister and I were both in our friends' wedding. Thankfully, there was enough material to turn my bridesmaid dress into a maternity version.
I came close to having to wear a tablecloth.
But that's another story.

In April, John turned one. He had to take a milk break after all that cake!

More cuteness!

Playing in the dirt at Grandma's house... it doesn't get much better!

Fish Lips!

My buddy threw a baby shower for me.

Almost time...

This was taken at 5:15am on August 3rd.
I was in labor and we were stopping at my mom and dad's house
to drop John off on the way to the hospital.
I had no idea that in less than an hour, it'd all be over.

A contraction...probably time to stop taking pictures and hit the road.

At 6:10am, Matthew arrived. I can't get over the sweetness!
Look at that face!!!

Guy time.

Melts my heart...

John's crooked hair cut doesn't bother me, nor do Matt's pants that aren't pulled down. What has always irritated me about this picture is how unhappy Santa appears to be. Would it have killed him to smile?

First night in a big boy bed!

This has always been one of my favorite pictures.
Welcome to our world, Matt. You completed our family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Play Like A Champion Today

As I mentioned a few days ago, John's football season has come to an end. What a great time he had! He was the starting left tackle this year and he loved every single minute of it.

Here are a couple of pictures from the season...

We opened the season with a win against Rancho Bernardo High School.

Road wins are nice too! Love that smile.

The week that his team (JV) had a bye, John was pulled up to Varsity. He alternated drives with their left tackle and was a part of the first Varsity win in school history. What a night!

The football players in my life.

Last night we attended the JV banquet. We had a great dinner, watched some highlight films and listened to the coaches as each of them shared about their players. All of the coaches this year were wonderful, but John particularly enjoyed working with his offensive line coach, former NFL Super Bowl winner Brian Habib. He played for the Broncos and blocked for John Elway. He was a great addition to the coaching staff this year. A few weeks ago, after spending most of the practice yelling at linemen who weren't making their blocks correctly, Coach Habib looked at John and said, "You know why I like you? You know what you're supposed to do and you do it. And on the rare occasion that you make a mistake, you learn from it and you don't do it again!" He then continued yelling at the other guys. Here are some other things that coaches said about John last night...

"He's always the first person to arrive at practice and the last to leave. "

"Coaches look forward to coming to practice because of kids like John."

"He just doesn't make mistakes."

"At the end of each practice, John looks every coach in the eye
and shakes his hand."

"He takes correction better than anyone I've seen."

"No one works harder than he does."

"I hope to know John all of my life; he's an amazing young man."

I could go on and on. The kind words that these gruff men had to say about John were amazing. One of the highlights of the night was that Coach Habib brought his Super Bowl ring and let each of his linemen take turns holding it. That was such a simple thing for him to do, but such a cool thing for these young men.

As if the season and the great evening weren't enough, there was one final surprise in store. John had mentioned that some awards were going to be given out; the players and coaches had voted last week (written ballot). We figured that if anything, John would be up for Offensive Lineman of the Year. When that award came and went (to a very deserving Junior), we guessed that it wasn't in the cards for John to receive something this year. We were wrong! After telling a funny story about John and saying many, many more kind words, John was called up to receive the Rudy Award; Most Inspirational Player/Hardest Worker. I could not have been more proud. John is an outstanding kid with an incredible work ethic, it's so good to see that others recognize that and honor him for it!

I don't recall the name of the coach that's shaking John's hand; he's a defensive coach so we're not very involved with him.
Closest to John is his head coach and the giant on the right is Coach Habib.

It's a little blurry, but I had to post it. Keep in mind that John is taller than me. Coach Habib is a beast. What an incredible man he is though; he was such a good mentor to John.

Well done, John. I love you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Too Early! (I Think....)

While driving home from a PTSA meeting last night, I noticed that one of the apartments several blocks from my house had their Christmas lights up.

What?!? That's too early! Don't get me wrong, I'm a Christmas junkie. I've even been tempted to put my own lights up but thankfully I have a friend who reigns me in when I get too close to the deep end. While they're beautiful and I can't wait to get everything up, I can't be in such a hurry to get to Christmas that I pass over Thanksgiving.

I spent the last few blocks of my drive thinking that the early Christmas-ers were nuts. There's an order to things. The lights (in my universe) go up on Thanksgiving. The tree and all of the indoor decorations will go up two days later. Everything in it's proper time. And while I am anxious to start playing some Christmas music, I'll wait. I'll enjoy the season that is upon us rather than rushing into the next one.

These were my thoughts as I drove the rest of the way home.

But as I pulled into my driveway and got out of my car, I realized that it made me terribly, ridiculously happy to see the Christmas lights. It totally made my night.

So I take back all of the negative thoughts that I had toward my apartment neighbors. I'll enjoy the last few days of this season and I'll certainly enjoy a yummy meal and some extra time with family and friends next week. Additionally, I promise that nothing will go up in my house until the appropriate time. But let the Christmas season begin!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, Football Style

While John's football season is over (boo!) the NFL and NCAA are still going strong. With that in mind, I bring you a list of ten random thoughts that I had while at the last Aztec game. Enjoy!

1. I'm afraid that I'm part hillbilly. I kind of like it when (at each game) they play Cotton Eye Joe.

2. Hard core football fans are cool. At the last game, they introduced a guy that had been to over 700 consecutive Aztec games. Not home games, consecutive games. That means that he's gone to every game, home or away, for almost 60 years. Quite impressive. Way to go, old dude.

3. Dibs and sunflower seeds are an odd mix. The same guy was selling both. Seems like the Dibs would be better paired with the other frozen items and the seeds should be with the peanuts and Cracker Jack. On my watch, they'd never be sold together.

4. I love audience participation. Since the Aztecs are actually doing well this year, there are more people in the seats and they're willing to have some fun. Whenever we get a first down, the announcer says, "And that's good for an Aztec..." and we all shout, "FIRST DOWN!" I think it's terribly fun; my kids were rolling their eyes at me.

5. The new mascot is stupid. This season they brought out a new, supplemental mascot: Zuma the Jaguar. He's ridiculous. Plush mascots are just silly (sorry, Sooz). Monty Montezuma was the best, the Aztec Warrior is fine. We don't need a stuffed animal.

6. Timing is everything. That being said, I think they're missing something when they do the Play of the Game in the middle of the third quarter. What about everything that happens in the last 15+ minutes of the game? Apparently it doesn't matter.

7. I walked right into the ladies' bathroom, but there were about 30 dudes in line for the men's room. Seemed weird.

8. There's never a bad time to quite 300. Whenever we've got a big defensive stand coming up, they play, "This is where we hold them! This is where we fight!" It's technically not complete without, "This is where they die!" I guess it's okay though, being a college game and all.

9. They should have a few sections marked off as a "No (Little) Kids Zone." I pay for my seats, I want to watch the game. I don't want an annoying toddler behind me who is going to scream all the time and spend the whole game kicking my seat. I'm just sayin'...

10. Streakers are awesome. I don't want my husband to do it, nor my kids. But face it, they're a lot of fun. We had two (not full nudity) at the last game and it was a hoot.

And that, my friends, is my Ten on Tuesday.

Monday, November 15, 2010


According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of illegal is as follows: "not according to or authorized by law : unlawful, illicit; also : not sanctioned by official rules (as of a game)."

Pardon me while I step up onto my soap box.

I'm getting so sick and tired of illegal not meaning anything. Well, unless it's me going a few miles over the speed limit. Then it matters. But when speaking of people being in this country illegally, it means nothing.

Today the California Supreme Court upheld a law from 2001 stating that under certain conditions, illegal aliens will be entitled to in-state (reduced) tuition fees when attending college.

(Excuse me while I vomit.)

I didn't even know about the 2001 law; I admit that back then I had my hands full with little kids and I wasn't quite as politically savvy as I am now. That being said, this is insane. Absolutely insane! I know that California is rapidly going downhill; frankly, we're in a hand basket. But this makes me furious.

They are illegal. Did you read the definition? They're breaking the law! One of the conditions for the reduced tuition is that they had to have attended three years at a high school here. Why the heck are they allowed in school to begin with?? Hello...ILLEGAL!

But now, assuming that no one has had the (ahem) cajones to deal with them by the time they attain college age, we're going to give them a discount?!? Ludicrous. Apparently, an illegal has the right (laughable) to cheaper tuition in California than, say, one of my nieces or nephews from Colorado, who are law-abiding American citizens!

Sigh. I shouldn't get up on the soap box. This only scratches the surface and you might not like all that comes out. I just couldn't keep quiet on this one.

Oh, and for the record...props to John Tyner for not allowing himself to be groped at the airport on Saturday. But that's a rant for another day.

I'm stepping down now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Looking on the Bright Side

Sitting here at 7:30pm on this fine Sunday evening, I don't really have much to offer in the way of blogging. It's been a long, exhausting weekend and I've got a nasty headache. Hopefully tomorrow will bring the return of regularly scheduled blogging.

However, there is always time to be thankful. With that in mind, there are two things that I am thankful for today so I thought I'd share them.

Item 1: Sleep. Or more specifically, consecutive hours of sleep. I'm a ridiculously awful sleeper; I wake up all the time. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I slept through the night; it was probably in the 90's. (This is probably why I'm tired all the time!) Last night though, I was treated to a rare blessing; I slept for six consecutive hours. It was amazing! I went to sleep around 1am and woke up at 7am. I could hardly believe it! Maybe the sleeping pill worked extra well, maybe it was the sangria, who knows. But it felt so, so good to get that much sleep! I'm quite thankful and I'm hoping that it'll happen again someday.

Item 2: New Neighbors That Seem Decent. We live in a townhouse and we seem to be the only owners in our building; the rest are renters and there is a lot of turnover. On one side of us, we have really nice people but they have the worst, small yappy dogs ever. I'm hoping that one day they'll magically disappear (no luck yet). The other side has been vacant for several months. Today, we came home to find people moving in. They seem so nice! It's a young couple, no kids and no dogs! We've had our share of bad neighbors over the years; I'm really thankful that it's looking up for this pair.

And with that, I'm going to take my thankful little rear off to bed and hope for some more of that sleep stuff. Goodnight, and here's to a better tomorrow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

By Way of Explanation...

A few days ago a friend of mine asked what she could get JC for Christmas. It didn't take me long to come up with a brilliant idea...get the boy a Big 5 gift card. Let me explain...

In addition to the helmet, sliders, shoulder pads and various other pads that are provided to the football team, this year we've accumulated several extra pieces of equipment. Mind you, these aren't coming from a provided list that we received at the beginning of the season. No, that would be convenient and make sense. Usually these are the result of a late night, after practice run to Big 5. John will get in the car after practice and say something like, "...coach wants me to have (insert random sporting good) by tomorrow." Practice generally lets out between 7pm and 7:30pm, and Big 5 closes at 8pm. Therefore, it becomes a stressful game of Beat-the-Clock getting there, knowing that if they don't have it we're at least in for a trip to Sports Authority and possibly of having to go all the way to Dick's (in Vista) in search of said suggested item.

Not only is this late-night-game-show a barrel of fun (not!), but it can also be pricey. That's why I thought that gift cards to sporting goods stores would make a good gift; then he can decide if it's an item that he wants/needs enough to use his money on it. See how smart I am?

For your viewing pleasure, and because I have absolutely nothing else to blog about today, I am providing you with a picture of this year's Beat the Clock winners.

At the top we have a chin strap. This looks like a harness. Or something else that I don't want to mention. Yep. It's a chin strap.

Next we have the lineman gloves. Don't know exactly how they help. I think their primary function is to add that dead animal/leathery smell to his gear bag. Seriously, it smells like a small animal lost it's life in there.

Moving right along, we have elbow pads. But they're not really pads; they're more like compression sleeves. According to the box, they're supposed to keep the elbows warm and therefore less likely to sustain injury. We found this out (and purchased these) after John displaced a ligament in his elbow several weeks ago. It might have been nice to know about these ahead of time...

Finally, there are ankle braces. You think the gloves smelled bad? These are a zillion times worse; they're in constant contact with sweaty feet! At least these stayed in his locker all season. They came home last night when the lockers were cleared out, they've been washed and now they'll await next season.

So there you have it. If you're looking for something to get my eldest for Christmas, please consider a gift card. I'm reasonably certain that next season, or this off season even, will produce more and more do-dads that he'll want to get.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Hey there! It's Flashback Friday time!

Last year I posted some pictures from 1995. I pretty much said what needed to be said about '95, so I thought I'd skip ahead to 1996.

One would think that after having such a life-changing event (getting married), we'd take it easy for a few years. And if you thought that - you'd be wrong. Being the crazy kids that we were, we decided that we didn't want to wait to start a family. In 1996, just six weeks after I turned 21, I became a mama.

Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures; they're old and I don't want to spend forever editing. I also apologize (only slightly) for number of pictures. Heck...you should consider yourself lucky that I stopped at a dozen!

And away we go....

April 11, 1996, time to get the party started.

I've always loved this picture.
It's as if they're saying, "Ok, we're ready. Move this thing along, will ya?"

After a very long couple of hours, John arrived. Love that little bundle!


There were a lot of "firsts" in '96. We'll begin with his first vacation. We went to a little town in Arizona where my grandparents grew up. Andy treated that stroller like an off-road stroller, running up and down the mountain. It never steered quite right after that.

My men.

First trip to Disneyland. Clearly he's overwhelmed.

First Aztec game.

First Halloween.

Developing his love of news. I'm not kidding; now he watches Fox News every day before he goes to school and he listens to KFI on the radio while he does his homework every night!

First Christmas!

An offensive lineman in the making? I think so.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mind Your Manners

Last week I had to deliver something to John at school.

Per school policy, I had to meet him in the office as we can no longer pass things through the gate. While it is a bit irksome (it ads, gasp, a whole minute or two to the process), I understand the desire for control over who and what comes and goes. Safety first and all.

After my business with John was complete, I headed out the main set of double doors. As I opened it and stepped out, I saw a man approaching with a bag of fast food in one hand and a drink in the other. He didn't look familiar or like a staffer; I assume it was a father bringing lunch to his child.

Now, while both of his hands were full, he totally could have opened the door for himself. I didn't need to wait and hold the door. In fact, it was one of those awkward times when he was really about a dozen steps away so I had to stand there and wait for him. Not being in a hurry and feeling like being nice (wow, me, who knew?), I waited.

He finished coming up the steps, got to the door and...walked right through. No eye contact. No head nod. No words. No acknowledgment of any kind.

Thinking more quickly than I usually do, I came up with a plan. When he was just through the other side of the doorway I let go of the door and channeling my grandma the best that I could I called out (cheerfully and quite loudly), "You're welcome." As the door was shutting and I was walking away, I heard him mutter something under his breath.

Seriously. Where have people's manners gone? There's no way that he could have missed that I was holding it for him. There was no one else around that I could have been assisting. Would it have taken that much time or energy to at least acknowledge me?

What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How Not To

He's a three-time All Star.
His stats are phenomenal.
I've yet to see anyone run the bases faster than he does.
He has trophies galore.
He is clearly a gifted athlete.

Unfortunately, even with all of the amazing-ness, some lessons are still hard to learn. I had really hoped he'd learned this one last year.

Alas, no such luck.
We still need to work on one important fundamental...

Not Using Your Face to Stop the Ball.

"...so it took a bad hop. I got him out anyway; that's all that matters."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When the Seemingly Simple is Anything But

This past Saturday, I purchased some Christmas cards at Hallmark. Long story short, I don't need them anymore. This morning I set out to return them...

As I entered Hallmark and stepped up to the counter, a young man came up to help me. While there's nothing particularly wrong with that, it doesn't immediately inspire the confidence that you get when you are helped by an older lady who had clearly worked there for years. However, he's who I got so I proceeded. The following took place between myself and the Young Hallmark Man (YHM).

MC: "Good Morning! I'd like to return these boxes of cards."

I produced the three boxes of cards along with my receipt. YHM stared at the receipt for probably a full two minutes.

YHM: "You used a Gold Crown Rewards Coupon with this."

MC: "Yes, I purchased the cards and used a $2 rewards coupon that I had."

YHM: "If you return these, you'll lose the rewards bonus."

MC: "That's fine."

YHM: (rather shocked) "Really?"

MC: "Yes, it's only $2 and I really don't need the cards."

He quickly-but-not-imperceptibly shook his head; then he logged on to his register and pushed a few buttons. More looking at the receipt. More looking at the register.

This was taking a long time. Probably seven minutes had passed at this point. I was really starting to get impatient. I can't stand incompetence and clearly YHM had no idea how to deal with this situation. I was about three seconds away from laying into him and then I saw it...a Jesus pin on his smock. Holy Crap! I can't yell at the Jesus man!! I tried so hard to be patient. But seriously, if you don't know how to handle a transaction, ask for help!

While all of these thoughts were running through my head you know what was doing? He was still staring at the register. My blood pressure was now reaching unhealthy limits. I've been a cashier and I'm reasonably certain that alternately staring at a receipt and the register doesn't make things happen. Ever heard of a manual price adjustment? I'm so not kidding. It had now been twelve minutes.

Just as I was about to walk behind the counter and figure out the register myself, he produced a binder with some magical bar codes which he started scanning. Then he punched in some numbers. Then he voided what he did. Then some more scanning, a few more numbers and finally he came up with a return receipt for me to sign. The amount looked right, I honestly didn't recall what the exact number was. I thanked him (much more sweetly than I felt) and left the store. I wonder if people could see the smoke coming out of my ears. The Jesus pin had left me no outlet for my exasperation.

At the bottom of the escalator, I decided that I'd better check my refund receipt against my original just to make sure that I didn't get cheated. I pulled everything out of my wallet, examined it and.... he refunded me 32 cents more than I paid originally!!!

Wanting to do the right thing and not wanting him to get in trouble (stupid Jesus pin), I went back upstairs, entered Hallmark and approached the counter for the second time in twenty minutes.

Me: "Excuse me..."

YHM: "Oh, hi."

Me: "I just looked at these receipts and realized that you refunded me more than I originally paid."

YHM: (with a bewildered look on his face) "I know. I don't know how to make it work."

Me: "Um, okay. I don't want you to be short or anything. I can buy something small so that you'll at least come out ahead..."

YHM: "No. That's fine, you don't have to. It just won't work."

The moral of this story: sometimes it literally does pay to go back and point out an error. Also, YHM is going to be eaten alive working retail through a holiday season.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweatshirts That Make You Cry

I don't generally care what I look like when I take John to school. It really doesn't matter; I never get out of the car or talk to anyone that early in the morning. The worst thing that can happen is that someone I know could drive by and see me as I'm getting into my car. If were to occur, they deserve what they see for having the nerve to look at me at 7:15am.

Usually, I throw on a pair of yoga pants and a tank top. My hair is always piled on top of my head and I wear my Uggs. You get the picture. With the weather finally deciding to cool off, I know have to add a jacket of sorts to the mix. This morning I grabbed one of Andy's sweatshirts.

About half way to school, I turned to look over my shoulder as I switched lanes and the sweatshirt bunched up around my face. Well, around my nose in particular. I don't know why this should surprise me, but it totally smelled like Andy. For a few seconds I felt like I was nineteen years old again and borrowing his sweatshirt. (Many of you might remember the green, Eddie Bauer sweatshirt that he used to wear.) It smelled quite lovely.

Oddly, the experience made me think of "Memories" from the Happy Days finale. I haven't seen the episode for years, so I have no idea how my brain dug that one up. I sang the song the rest of the way to school. When I got home I decided to look it up.

You know, when I was younger it used to make me cry thinking of getting married and leaving home (it's from Joanie and Chachi's wedding). Now I find that I put myself more in Howard and Marion's shoes; seeing their children grow up and leave the nest.

Apparently, that goofy little song and montage will always make me cry; it's just that now the tears are for a different reason.

The lesson learned is to wear my own sweatshirts unless I'm prepared to deal with the emotional roller coaster that comes with borrowing Andy's.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Travel Ideas

No, we're not going anywhere; at least not right now. I'm insisting on a grand trip for our 20th, but that's still a couple of years away. What a blog that's going to be! But I digress...

Last night I had the opportunity to participate in a contest where the winner would receive two airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States. Not that I won; I would have had to have participated to even have a chance to win. It did get me thinking though: Where would I go if I were to win?

I first thought that I would go to Orlando; I've always wanted to go to Disney World. That would be hell on Earth for Andy, though, so I quickly decided against Florida.

Secondly, I thought of Denver. We've got lots of family there and it would be lovely to visit them. I only dismissed this idea because I reasoned that if I won tickets, I'd like it to be a date kind of a trip, not a family kind of a trip.

Hawaii came to mind. I think it'd be nice visit the islands someday. There's just all that sand. And beaches. I hate sand and beaches.

I briefly entertained the idea of going to Washington, but I ruled that out since I hope to live there one day. No need to spend free tickets on a trip up north.

After thinking about for while, probably way too long, I settled on somewhere back east. Boston and New York were the top of the list. Boston would be fun; think of all of the pubs that we could visit! But New York...yeah, that's where I decided I'd go.

In the car this evening, I asked Andy where he'd go if given freebies. (Clearly I've used way too many brain cells on this...) The conversation went like this:

AC: "It would seem like we should maximize the value by going somewhere kind of expensive. So probably New York. Stay in the city, have some fun."

Me: "That's what I came up with too. I really think that would be my choice, but I'm kind of scared of the people there, so I don't know..."

AC: "Are you kidding? You're just as bat-sh*t crazy as they are! You'd fit right in!"

You know, he's right. So it's settled; if we ever win free airline tickets, we'll go to New York.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions

It's official. I'm currently on a toast kick. I guess I should be thankful; there are many worse things that I could be consuming a lot of. Cheesecake, nachos, candy bars...you get the idea. So toast really isn't all that bad.

When I really want a piece of toast, not just any bread will do. It must be Fransisco French Bread. This is the toast that I was raised on; this was my Grandma's toast. I'd never make a sandwich on this bread, it's not nearly soft and squishy enough, but it does make a mean slice of toast.

With all of this in mind, while I was making breakfast this morning I found myself thinking about my grandparents. It's probably natural; I always seem to miss them more around the holidays. Even thought it's been a number of years since I lost them, sometimes if feels like just yesterday. I'm sad that my kids didn't get to know my Granddad, and that they won't remember my Grandma before she developed dementia. It breaks my heart. But it is what it is I guess; the circle of life and all. I am happy, though, that there are little things that remind me of them. Today it was breakfast.

Grandma, I lift my piece of toast to you. Granddad, I left a few crumbs in the butter tin just like you always did. I love you both so very much. Nothing is the same without you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

1993 & 1994

As some of you are may recall, when I was blogging last year I had a Flashback Friday series. Each week I'd take a different year (in chronological order, of course) and I'd post a few pictures.

Since the last year I posted was 1992, it seemed logical to pick up in 1993. The problem is, I don't have very many pictures of 1993. Nor did I find very many pictures from 1994.

I was really involved at church; I sang in the choir and the worship team. I was a Jr. High leader and was in the College Group. I was working full time. I was pretty busy, I just wasn't thinking about pictures. Here's what I was able to scrounge up...

I spent a lot of time in 1993 babysitting/playing with my little cousins. It's hard to believe that they're all grown up now; it makes me feel really old!

In the fall of 1993, my parents celebrated their 25th Anniversary.
Surprise parties are fun.

Ah, one of my favorites of me and my bestie. We realized this past summer that I've now known her longer than I haven't known her.
That's a super cool thing.

Good times; a spring break party at said bestie's house. As I look at all of the faces here, some of them are my very favorite people in the whole world. Look closely, you might recognize some of them. Also, you should take note of my new, scruffy-haired boyfriend. (He was growing his hair out so that he could portray Jesus in an Easter production.) This was during spring break of 1994.
A month later, I'd be engaged.