Friday, June 27, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. How are you planning to spend the summer?

Looking for a job, working on my tan, playing with my daughter in the sprinklers, trying to stay cool.

2. What was your first summer job?

When I was 14, I worked in a supply division on the air base where my dad was stationed in Germany. I worked with so many fun people (looking back on it now, they were probably only 19 or 20, which is probably why they were so cool). I basically just filed stuff and typed up order requests.

3. If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go?

I'd like to go to Bass Lake where my husband proposed to me. Every year after that we'd go with my sister-in-law and her husband and just hang out on the beach, drinking beer and turning very brown. Last year, I didn't go because my daughter was only three months old at the time. This year, it's kind of hard because we don't have jobs, and if I get a job, I probably won't be able to take time off for a while.

4. What was your worst vacation ever?

I can't think of a time when the entire trip was a bust, but I do have parts of vacations that were very memorable. I think the worst ones were when my family would make the trek from New Mexico to Florida. I remember one year, during the gasoline shortage of the very early 80s, when we had to sleep in the car because we ran out of gas. During that time, gas stations would close early to save on gas. We drove and drove trying to find one that was open. My dad finally had to stop because we didn't have enough gas to go any further. The gas station refused to give my dad gas, so we had to sleep in the car in a lot across the street until the station opened in the morning. The bad part is it was in the middle of the summer so it was very hot. But we couldn't sleep with the windows down because of the mosquitoes and other insects (amazing that we never thought about it not being safe from criminals!). So we alternated between suffocating and slapping insects while trying to sleep.

Another memorable time was driving through Dallas in the middle of July in an old junker of a car. It had automatic windows, but at some point during our trip, they decided that sometimes they'd work and sometimes not. So as reached Dallas during rush hour traffic, the windows got stuck down. So we're sitting in the scorching heat, breathing the exhaust fumes from the other cars. Finally, we checked and the windows rolled up. But by then we'd been sitting in traffic so long that the car was starting to overheat, so the air didn't work well. When we tried to roll the windows back down, they got stuck again. So with sweat running off our faces, we tried to make the best of the hot air coming through the vents. Uuuggghh! I'm hot just remembering it!

5. What was your best vacation ever?
Any vacation where there was air-conditioning and I didn't have to sleep in the car! Seriously it would have to be the time my husband and I (then boyfriend and girlfriend) went to the Florida Keys. We stayed in this little family-run hotel that was pretty secluded. We hung out on the beach, had great seafood and just enjoyed being alone. I miss that!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Here are a few little-known facts about Boogie's Mom (in case you're interested ... don't feel bad if you're not ... most people aren't!).

- When eating a sandwich alone, I eat the crust first, eating around the sandwich until the soft inside remains. (I ate my sandwich this way today, which gave me the idea for today's post). When in public, I eat like a normal human being.

- In a classroom, I always have to sit in the back. Otherwise, I feel like people are talking about me.

- I smoked my first cigarette in fourth grade.

- I've never worn a cast.

- I have a scar that runs across the palm of my hand from when I cut it at the age of three. I also have one below my lip from when I hit the end table and my teeth went through my lip at the age of two. Those are the only two times that I've had to have stitches. (oops ... I have one other scar that runs across my lower belly from my c-section, but that one's more a source of pride.)

- I have Fred Flinstone feet.

- I have very little cartilage at the end of my nose which makes it very squishy.

- I hate peanut butter and jelly.

- I've never made a mud pie. I hated getting dirty as a child.

- I won a bike-a-thon when I was in 5th grade by riding 50 miles and collecting the most money of anyone (adult or child) in our town. I won a 10-speed bike.

- I have a fetish about touching things: soft velvet, furry animals, live snakes, plush carpets, prickly pot-bellied pigs, whatever. I just like feeling different textures. (My daughter is starting to do the same things, rubbing her hand across our fleece throw blanket and sighing, "Aaaahhh!" or running her hand across the slick plastic surface of her high chair.) (I just realized that I said this in my 100 things about me, so I guess I'm running of not-so-interesting facts to write about. I'm out!)


Yesterday we took my daughter to the zoo. That's one of the bonuses of not having a job. You can go places that are typically too crowded on the weekends. This is a pretty small zoo, just right for a 14-month-old who could get overwhelmed in a monstrosity like the San Diego Zoo.

We took her there specifically to see the monkeys. She always says, "Aaah, Aaah" when we ask her what a monkey says or when she sees her Curious George plate. So we knew she'd love to see one in real life. And that's pretty much what this zoo had. Yeah, it had a few parrots and toucans, a porcupine and tiny antelope, and supposedly a few small wildcats that we never saw, but monkeys seemed to be in the majority.

This zoo had every kind of monkey you can imagine: big ones, small ones, ones with mustaches, ones that howled, ones that had the longest hair imaginable, ones that had the longest tails imaginable. She loved them all.

My husband made fun of me for tormenting the monkeys, though. I was giving our daughter a banana, since we went during her lunch time. I had the banana in my hand as we came up to a cage where a monkey was hiding in the back. He took one look at me and bounded to the front of the cage. It just sat there giving me this sad look, obviously wanting the banana. But I couldn't have given it to him, even if I wanted to, because the wiring around the cage was too small. It happened at every cage we passed. I look at it this way, at least our daughter got to see the monkeys close up. And no animals were harmed during the process. Maybe just had their feelings hurt.

All in all, it was a good day. The weather was beautiful and it wasn't too crowded. Until about 1:30 when everyone started lining up to see the Blue's Clues characters, a special event yesterday, even though we didn't know about it. We thought about trying to get in, but there were so many people that they had to close the gates. I felt sorry for the little kids whose mom's were late. I know I'll never do that to my daughter, since I'm compulsively on time anyway, especially after seeing the look on those kids' faces who couldn't get in.

One thing I noticed was the playground area near the food place where the kids played while their parents ate lunch. Most parents were watching their kids pretty closely, but there were a couple of kids I worried about. I saw this little boy, about 2 years old, fall down and start crying. I looked around to see who would go running to his aid. No one came. Then I saw this little girl, about 4, go to him and by the way he interacted with her, I knew it must be his sister. They started walking out of the playground area, but I still saw no parents. I watched them walk down the sidewalk and then to the line at the order window. The whole time, the little boy was crying, I could hear him where I was. I know that when I'm in a store, every baby who cries reminds me of my daughter. I couldn't understand why this little boy's mother wasn't going to him. They finally walked up behind this older lady and the little girl started tugging on her shirt. She turned around and picked up the boy. I guess it was his grandmother. But it bothered me about the time it took from the little boy falling to the time he was comforted by her. In that time, anything could have happened to either of the kids. Maybe I'm an overprotective mom, but you can never be to cautious I think.

In my book club last night, we started talking about all the kids who get abducted and how you can't let them out to play by themselves. How it's different than when we were kids and rode our bikes all over town, and just had to be home before dark. The interesting thing is that I read a statistic that the number of child abductions hasn't risen since we were kids. It's just that the media report it more. Which makes up parents more nervous. I don't know what's better. Not knowing about it, or being overly scared. I guess I'll just have to do the best I can.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

We had our very own episode of Cops tonight. OK, maybe it wasn't a true episode, after all there were no cameras, no one took off their shirt and the bystanders (me and my husband) had all our teeth. But it was pretty exciting nonetheless.

We live two houses down from a little neighborhood park. The great thing about this is we are just a few steps away from a wonderful playground that our daughter loves. She especially loves the swings, the higher we push her, the more she giggles.

The bad thing is that a lot of people visit the park, enough so that we never really know who's out there. Unlike a traditional neighborhood, where you pretty much get used to the same cars coming and going, at times this little park has quite a few strangers. Especially at night.

We've noticed how love-struck teenagers occasionally take a little stroll through the park at night. I'm sure it's harmless fun, after all, I was young once. But we've also noticed how at times, a group of young guys will just seem to loiter by the bathroom areas and then disband a few minutes later. We've always thought there was some sort of shady drug deal going on. (Now before you think I'm some Mrs. Kravitz, constantly looking out my window to see what's going on, I have to say it's not true. These are just little observations that I see when closing the blinds or turning off the porch light).

Anyway, tonight my husband saw a police car (the police station is just a few blocks away) park vertically against the curb, instead of parallel parking along the curb. Then another car pulled up. We also saw a van that had driven up onto the sidewalk and into the grass of the park. I guy was on his knees in front of the van, the headlights illuminating his body. Two more police cars showed up and parked next to an unmarked car. My husband and I watched from the safety of our driveway and deduced that it had to be a drug deal gone bad. The guy was arrested and put into the van, and everybody went on their merry way.

So that was my big night of excitement in our quiet little Orange County suburb. At least the presence of the cops made the cars that drive through our neighborhood as a short cut actually have to slow down instead of peeling around the corner at high speeds like they typically do (I've become one of those mom's who wants to start a petition to put in speedbumps ... but that's another blog). Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they comin' for you?

I'm a celebrity junkie. I love reading the latest People or Us magazine to get the latest scoop on who's dating who, who's wearing what and who's creating scandals in Hollywood. I always have to take a peek at magazine covers and even tabloids to see whose beautiful face is the focus that month. I love the E! True Hollywood Story, as well as the Actor's Studio on Bravo.

Of course, I'd love to meet, or even just see, some really big celebrity in real life. But so far it hasn't happened. You'd think since I'm not so far away from Tinseltown that I'd see someone. But either I don't have a very strong celebrity radar, or they just don't go to the same spots I go.

However, I do have a couple of small celebrity incidents that I hold onto (that actually occurred away from L.A.). I met Adam Duritz of Counting Crows when their first album came out nearly 10 years ago. We were in a really small venue in Tampa, Fla., and he'd come out from backstage to watch the opening band, Dog's Eye View (a few years before the hit "Everything Falls Apart" came out). I thought that would be my chance to get an autograph (which I found out he wasn't giving out) and to make some witty banter so he'd remember me. They had originally been scheduled to play a few days before this particular day, but had canceled due to illness. That happened to be the same night that The Who was playing at Tampa Stadium. So I joked to him that maybe he'd just faked being sick so he could go to that concert. He gave me a look like, "Yeah, right." When it came time for them to play, he yelled out the typical "Hello, Tampa Bay" or some such greeting. Then he apologized for the original cancellation and said, "You know, I actually had someone come up to me and say that maybe I had been faking to go watch The Who. I don't think so. Maybe the Rolling Stones, but definitely not The Who." So while he pretty much slammed me up there (thankfully he didn't point me out), I guess I did make a small impression on him.

I saw this woman on a plane in Orange County a few years ago who played a woman named Sheila on The Young and the Restless and also Bold and the Beautiful. But since everyone I know watches Days of Our Lives, no one knows who I am talking about. Anyway, she asked me if I could check if an overhead bin was empty as we stood waiting in the aisles for our seats. I turned around and noticed it was her, so of course I checked. But, alas, they were full so I couldn't come to her rescue. I must say that she is definitely more beautiful in real life than she is on TV (which I think is usually the reverse). And the funny thing is she's such a bitch on her soap operas, but when she got off the plane, I saw her little kids running toward her and she just scooped them up in her arms and gave them such big hugs and kisses. Very sweet.

I swear to this day that I saw Aidan Quinn (who I love!) at a Denny's in Tampa. Of course all my friends say that it couldn't have been him; why would he be there. To that I say that it's a perfect cover. Who would think that Aidan Quinn would be at a Denny's at 4 a.m. eating breakfast on a Saturday night? Anyway, I kept looking at him in the booth behind me, trying to get him to turn at an angle that would prove it wasn't him. But the longer I stared, the more I became confident that it was him. Of course, I stared so hard that he obviously noticed. "I'm sorry," I said. "But you look just like Aidan Quinn." "Really?" he said with a smile. "Who's Aiden Quinn?" So I told him about all the movies I loved: Legends of the Fall, Benny and Joon, etc., and then the conversation ended as we finished our meals. As my friend and I got up to leave, 'Aidan' said, "Hey." I turned around and he said, "Thank you." That clinched it for me. As we got to the parking lot, I told my friend that I thought he thanked me for letting him eat in relative peace, even when I knew who he was. My friend still thinks I'm crazy, but unless you can prove to me otherwise, I'll always believe it was him.

I guess my biggest encounter was when I met Erik Estrada at a supermarket trade show (the industry I was in before I got laid off). It was when he was the spokesperson for Jenny-O turkey, so he was the "bait" to get people to come to their booth. Of course my friends and I went while on a break from our own booth, because after all, it is Ponch. I LOVED him when I was growing up. That hair and those teeth? Who wouldn't love him? He obviously looks older now, but there was still something about him that made us swoon (if you didn't think about the fact that all he talked about was CHiPs and that he was promoting turkey). Anyway, he gave me a hug, said I was beautiful and signed his promotional picture. Hey, if Ponch thinks I'm beautiful, I think that says something.

So that's my big claim to fame. I'm waiting to meet some stylish couple like Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe, or even Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefanie (after all she is from the Anaheim area), and have them think I'm such a cool person that they want to hang out with me and my husband. But until then, I'll be satisfied that I've got a group of really good friends that are celebrities in their own right.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Why does time pass so slowly when you're waiting for something?

When you're expectantly waiting to move into a new house, the weeks before the move seem to take months. When you look forward to a vacation or trip, the days seem to never end.

This week has been like that for me. I've been waiting to hear about a job opportunity that I'm really excited about. Two weeks ago, I had an interview that went really well. I liked the people, and the job sounded very challenging and fun. They told me they'd contact me the next week with a status on where they were in the hiring process. They contacted me last Saturday and said they were finishing up their interviews, but that I was definitely in the group that they wanted to bring back for a second interview. They said they'd contact me at the end of the week to let me know more details.

So this whole week, I anxiously checked e-mail and randomly picked up the phone to see if it was still working. Nothing. So I thought that since they e-mailed me late last Saturday, that they might do the same. So yesterday I checked e-mail every hour (maybe not that often but it seems like it). Nothing. Today I had to fight myself not to check for messages, knowing that no one is going to conduct business like that on a Sunday. But I still checked a few times today.

I'm assuming I'll hear something tomorrow, but I feel like time's dragging. And I know if they don't contact me first thing in the morning, I'm not going to know what to do with myself. I know I should just get out the house, and let them leave a message so I have good news to come back to (hopefully). But then I worry about missing the call.

So I figured I'd write this out, get some of my nervous energy out and try to relax until tomorrow. The good news is I do have a second interview with the other company I interviewed with a few weeks ago. It's a good job, too, but if I had my choice, I'd pick the company that I'm waiting on. So until then, I'll have to immerse myself in my Stephen King novel that I checked out from the library, and hope that being scared will replace the anxiety I've been feeling.