Tuesday, May 29, 2007

another one bites the dust.

perhaps you've noticed my new layout? a friend of mine commented today that it just didn't seem like "me," and if you know me in real life, you're probably thinking the same thing. yes, i typically am not drawn to floral motifs, but the colors of this template were so summer-y, i was immediately drawn to it.

moving on.

i took a 2 mile bike ride on sunday (i keep typing saturday! yay for long weekends!) and it was lovely. i need to pursue different physical activities, away from the standard gym routine. that's not to say that i've been to the gym any time in recent memory, but i cannot stand the local branch of 24 hour fitness to which i belong. another friend of mine was treated to a diatribe about my dislike of that gym the other night. it seems ridiculous that, while my membership allows me to visit other gyms, i'd travel a distance out of my way to go to the gym just because the one near me is shitty.


i also bought a pair of swim goggles in the hopes that i'd start swimming laps. while i was on vacation, i swam and swam and swam. and it felt good, not even like i was exercising. that's pretty much my favorite kind of exercise, when i'm just doing things i like that happen to be physical.

monday i went to santa cruz in the morning. how long have i lived in the bay area to know that if it's hot and sunny on this side of the hill that it'll probably be cold and windy there? the fog burned off just before i left, but it was a fun day anyway. pretty much any day with photo booths and soft frozen lemonade at the beach are good. (for those keeping score at home, those are three of my favorite things.) i've not yet scanned my photo booth pix, but here are a few of my faves from yesterday:

psssst! we used to own this company

i found a wallet in that particular photo booth, and being the good citizen that i am, returned to the lost and found. several teen staff members of the boardwalk had no idea where the lost and found was, sending me on quite the chase before i found it. let's hope tyler of redwood city found his wallet.

monday night jewels and cy hosted a yummy bbq. it was the perfect cap to a wonderful weekend -- playing cards with friends, enjoying the weather, food and company.

Monday, May 28, 2007


I support our troops, but not the war.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

six word sunday: boredom set in quickly on vacation

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

one ringy dingy, two ringy dingys

I'm a one-number kinda gal, but had this been around a couple of years ago when I was saddled with both a home and cell phone I would have immediately snapped it up. Immediately!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


i cannot stand will ferrell but LOVE the little girl. (so much so that i don't mind too much that it overlaps into the rightside column.)
you'll need sound.

The Landlord

Monday, May 21, 2007

this is SO ME

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

six word sunday: oh, the places you will go!

for the
Six Word Sunday challenge

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

all's well that ends (fal)well

original source

Dear Bereft Brothers and Sisters in Mourning:

Verily, I am crying as I type. You can imagine my shock in hearing that Reverend Jerry Falwell had been found dead, lying in a pool of his own gravy. First Anna Nicole, now Jerry. Frankly, the Lord seems to be on a fat, attention-whore killing spree! I'd stay indoors if I were Rosie O'Donnell. Well, on second thought, if I looked like Rosie O'Donnell, I'd be running through the streets screaming, "Here I am Lord! Come and get me!"

Gossipy paramedics told me that Jerry died of a faulty heart. Frankly, my only surprise was that he had one at all. Nevertheless, his yammering mug finally being silenced because he had a failed heart seems marvelously fitting. After all, while he was alive, this obscenely wealthy miser's heart seemed to fail him at even the most mundane opportunities. Jerry never gave anything to anyone other than an interview. Indeed, so parsimonious was this vain, oily swindler, in the aftermath of our nation's great tragedy on September 11, 2001*, the only thing Jerry thought to give those who grieved was blame.

I first met Jerry when he swooped down on Heritage USA to pick Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's bones clean of any easily-liquidated assets and studio equipment. They weren't the first people to be trampled when Jerry smelled money -- or bacon. As I told Tammy at the time, it's downright suicidal to stand between Jerry and a working television camera. After all, Jerry was most TV talk shows' go-to guy when they needed the snaggletooth-hillbilly point of view, a notoriously un-telegenic demographic.

When CNN called, Jerry would drop everything except pounds for a chance to squeeze much of his face into unforgiving aspect ratio of pre-HDTV television. With his smarmy smile and affable facility for slapping a perfunctory "but I love him in Christ" at the end of even the most vicious, artless insults, he was rather effective in putting a charming, folksy face on demeaning other human beings and their children.

To us in the booming Christianity industry, Jerry was our Bill Gates, only he made his money marketing the actual bugs instead of the patches. So fleet was his ability to turn any sorrow or situation into an opportunity to tout the politics of self-satisfaction, he never seemed to get bogged down in all those many words Jesus blathered, long before America, when Christians were surprised to have a house, not disappointed not to have a beach house.

The type of Christians Jerry spoke to were rich people looking to get richer -- or poor people stupid enough to give what little they had to make those rich people's selfish dreams come true. While Jesus commanded that we help the poor, Jerry was a man less preoccupied with poor helpings than second helpings. Frankly, Jerry was always more devout when it came to the GOP than the GOD.

The Gospels were written with a canny eye to a crucifixion-crazy Roman government that jealously patrolled power. As such, they are rather careful to direct Christians not to meddle in government. Before you go and accuse Mr. Falwell of intentionally disregarding these Gospels, the jury is still out on whether he ever got around to reading any of them in between the all-consuming demands of both media and meals. In any event, Reverend Falwell's legacy is the marvelously cunning idea of having a democracy run by people who think only their voices matter. Perhaps, thinking "render onto Caesar" was simply a delicious admonition to pile more anchovies on a salad, Jerry, in helping to move America from republic to theocracy, rather deftly countermanded not only those troublesome Enlightenment Founding Fathers, but also that inconveniently socialist, pacifist called Jesus.

When it comes to people who distort Jesus' message of charity and austerity to make an enormous pile of cash from credulous people with televisions, I hate to speak ill of the competition. But it takes admirable courage and nimble logic to devote your life to issues Jesus completely ignored (abortion, global warming, tax breaks and homosexuality) while completely ignoring issues Jesus told you to devote your life to (love, charity, nonmaterialism -- and not getting divorced or devoting your entire life to being judgmental prick, I mean prig). Frankly, ignoring the worshipped is a wonderfully dexterous approach to worshipping. And what a streamlined, busy-girl-on-the-go approach to Christianity it is to slough off words Jesus said in favor of simply saying the word "Jesus" as your only sign of faith!

Believe me, you get more cash stuffed in offering plates and envelopes from the "Support our Troops" crowd when you turn a blind eye to the words of Jesus than when you turn a slapped cheek to the words of enemies. And speaking of enemies, Jerry's death calls for the one thing that fell most easily from his lips: that is, blame. (And I bet you thought I was going to write something about that time he tried to eat a whole jar of pickled-pigs-feet in one gulp!)

Frankly, I blame the homosexuals, abortionists, liberals, feminists -- and Hormel -- for Mr. Falwell's death. The Lord apparently lifted His mercurial veil of protection, saw how truly hideous this obese con artist had become and slapped the self-serving glutton into a place where his self-aggrandizing wickedness would go relatively unnoticed. After all, to Jerry, Hell will be any place without media attention -- and a buffet.

After Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell and sundry other greedy frauds, it's a wonder the Lord hasn't pulled the licenses on all of His American franchises. But the 2,000-or-so-year delay in the perennially postponed Second Coming (to say nothing of sitting out that whole Holocaust thing) proves that the Lord is in no particular rush to do much of anything. Nevertheless, even the laziest deity must grow increasingly exercised (and trigger happy) in the face of someone devoting his entire life to giving that God a bad name. So, let's face it: when the Jerry said the Lord had revealed to him that he was living in the Final Days, a follow-up question for more specifics might not have been remiss.

Who knows what final straw caused the Lord to reach down and finally wipe Mr. Falwell from the airwaves. I suspect the Lord's patience reached a breaking point while eavesdropping on Jerry's recent conversation with Christiane Amanpour. Jerry told that troop-hating, Rory Gilmore-flattering, liberal pawn of the Mainstream Media: "If I have 20 more years, I will be able to accomplish my vision." I suspect that was a threat of such certain devastation even a Lord who played canasta throughout Katrina was moved to act.

As for the final destination on Jerry's journey, well, who amongst us mortals is to say for sure? Well, me, of course. Indeed, I performed a fairly reliable exercise in prognostication during lunch, almost more out of genuine curiosity than any anticipatory gloating. I had my help try squeezing a mildly anorexic camel through the eye of a generously wide needle (I am, if nothing, a fair woman when wishing ill on others). Alas, the results of this messy undertaking did not bode well for dear Jerry.

So close to Jesus, I toyed with telling Jerry, "That's enough bacon, dear" the day before,

Mrs. Betty Bowers
America's Best Christian

The above is a satire, lifted and credited to the lovely Betty Bowers, aka Paul Bradley.

*And I quote:
"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for [the attacks of Sept. 11] because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

Want more roll-your-eyes, tear-out-your-hair, scream-to-the-heavens quotes from the dearest departed? Peep this .

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

second opinion

"Managed care" is such a misnomer. I say this having worked in a claims office for HMOs before I started my current job. I'd roll my eyes as patients complained that surely chiropractic care was covered under their plan? I'd deny claims with wild abandon, as we were taught to do, that didn't meet the strict criteria set forth by the plan. Maybe that should be The Plan, as everything we did centered around an almost cult-like atmosphere

At the time, the concept of HMOs was entirely new to me, and I learned everything about them along the way. My family had a PPO plan, so the thought of having to be referred to see a doctor was foreign to me. That you couldn't just see a dermatologist because you had a rash, you needed "prior authorization" seemed ridiculous.

Fast forward 6 years and I am now an HMO subscriber with my own policy. The transition between PPO and HMO was interesting, but because of my former job I felt like any questions I would have had were answered. I haven't had too many issues.

Until I went on vacation and got sick. I went to the doctor I used to see when we lived on Maui, when we had a PPO, knowing that he wouldn't accept my insurance, but that I'd be able to submit it for reimbursement upon my return. After all, I was out of state, it's not like I had a lot of options. This doctor is awesome, and because it's half urgent care facility (or at least it used to be) and half regular doctor's office, he keeps irregular hours. Like when I went to see him on a Sunday. Not normal business hours for a doctor's office, but I got to reap the benefits.

So the bill, with medication, came close to $300. Figuring a) you can't put a price on health, and b) that my insurance would reimburse me, I didn't have any trouble forking my credit card over.

Fast forward to returning from my trip and trying to get my $300 back from my insurance company. According to them, I should have visited an emergency room and that's the only way the claim would be covered. The truth of the matter is that I wasn't sick enough to occupy a spot in the ER and would have felt guilty doing so.

So now I'm $300 poorer and pissed off at my insurance company. (And p.s. -- I'm still sick!)

Don't think I'm not going to appeal their decision.

Monday, May 14, 2007

electric company

Since I moved in nearly three years ago, I've wanted a ceiling fan in my living room. I know it's the first thing they rip out on "Trading Spaces" but since I don't have a/c and don't foresee getting it any time soon, it's really the best option.

My father keeps saying he'll install one for me, but after waiting a year for him to help me finish change out the light switches, plates and outlets (and there are still a handful of them left to be done) I decided to *gulp* pay someone to do it.

Electrician jobs are never cheap, so when I went looking for a fan and saw both Lowe's and Home Depot offered installation services, I thought that'd be the easiest route. Why I decided this, I still don't know, as after dealing with Home Depot's installation contractors for the Clarion shutters incident, I wasn't so happy. So off to Lowe's I went, where I found the perfect fan. Turns out they don't offer installation anymore, as their subcontractor lost his license. Ooops. Back to square one, aka Home Depot.

The guy at the installation services desk was actually very nice, and *gasp* helpful. As a former electrician, he advised me not to pay someone to do it, but to instead do it myself and save the money. (sidebar: I was quoted $110 at the store, but the electrician quoted me $375. Ridiculous!) J's hubby, then fiance, tried to install a fan for me when I first bought the place, and it didn't work out so well as he'd never done one before.

I hired an electrician on the recommendation of my mother's friend, and this guy didn't disappoint. He's about my age and the nicest guy ever. He brought a tarp to put under his ladder so as to not spread debris everywhere. He even vacuumed up after the install. And for a mere $100, he couldn't be beat. I gave him $25 extra cause he really went out of his way to bring several ceiling braces over, even though I already had one, to see which fit best. Then, because apparently I have funny ceilings, he needed extra long screws and he went and got those on his own dime.

The fan, in all its glory from the website:

I detached the awful looking pull tabs at the bottom, since the electrician installed a remote for it, which may be the best part -- it can be set to come on at a particular temperature!

And in its new home:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

things i can't get enough of

(written while waiting, waiting, waiting for some peoples.)

The Killers. I caved and bought "Sam's Town" a couple of weeks ago after pretty much wearing out "Hot Fuss" in the last couple of years.

Jamba Juice lemonade, blended with lots and lots and lots and lots of ice. (And that's how I order it, too!)

The Decemberists. And I missed my chance to see 'em in SF!

Daniel Craig, on BluRay. 'Nuff said.

My new ceiling fan, a mere three years after I moved in
(photo to come soon).

My new bench and fluffy pad, courtesy of J and C Builders (photo to come soon).

Catching rays on the above-mentioned bench. (note to self: apply more sunscreen, that my legs are peeling the way they are is DISGUST-ing!)

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six word sunday: she would always have fond memories.

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Six Word Sunday challenge

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

[insert jaws theme here]

have you heard about this ?! tres scary! that's the beach i always go to on maui, down the street from our place!

here's hoping the woman recovers quickly.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

six word story: mama said still waters run deep.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

go your own way

rumor had it that the four seasons wailea was hosting a benefit dinner for the maui food bank at $150/plate at the grand opening of the duo restaurant. while i have no doubt it's a worthy cause, i wasn't sure about parting with that kind of money to see b-list celebs. plus, i had nothing to wear. (age-old female dilemma, dontchaknow.)
we moseyed on down there anyhow, and ended up with first-rate seats by the pool, akin to cheapskate's hill above cal's memorial stadium, only much closer. and with live music!
spotted there: john corbett, christian slater and kids, amanda bynes, chris noth, mick fleetwood.

speaking of mick fleetwood, this is of him and various other musicians (including hawaiian musician willie k) performing fleetwood mac songs as well as hawaiian music and various other hits. what fun!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I'm supposed to be back in California already, but at the airport yesterday they asked for volunteers to give up their seats. I pretty much always volunteer when this happens, because I usually travel alone and don't inconvenience anyone. Oh, and I like the perks.

This is the first time I've volunteered where the airline couldn't get me on a flight the next day, so I'll be here until Wednesday. My haul from voluntarily giving up my seat? Two nights at a Ka'anapali hotel, taxis to and from the airport, three paid meals a day and a $300 voucher to be used on a future flight. All told, it's almost $1000. There were 15 or so folks that volunteered. You do the math. No wonder why airlines are constantly declaring bankruptcy!

The meal vouchers are only good at the hotel, but the food is surprisingly good. I had two lobster tails, courtesy of the airline's generous meal allowance of $75 a day, for dinner last night. I think that in itself was worth giving up my seat yesterday.

When I checked in, I presented my Hawaii state id to the front desk. When she saw my local address, she upgraded me to an ocean view. The $15 I spent renewing my id was money well spent.

Staying a couple extra days meant cancelling the doctor's appointment I had scheduled for today. I've rescheduled it for Friday, but I'm hoping I feel better by then and won't have to go. (Yes, I got sick on my trip, my second day here, in fact. Another story for another time.)

I met a young couple from the Bay Area yesterday that also voluntarily gave up their seats. I haven't called them to hang out yet, but I suppose we'll hit the beach today, despite the fact that it looks like it'll be a windy day.

I've only stayed on this side of the island twice: once in high school, after our senior prom, and once when I was about 3 years old. Although I'm familiar with this side, it's still a bit odd because I don't have any transportation other than my two feet.

While I was staying at my parent's condo last week, I was pilfering someone's unsecured network, thus fueling my internet addiction when I was home. No such luck at this hotel, and if it weren't for the BlackBerry I'd probably be forking over the $10 a day. No, not really. (Yes, really.) It's just that I'm anxious to share photos! I'll have a plethora of them to share upon my return.

And with that, I'm off. They don't hand out beach towels until 8am, and the clock has finally struck that magic hour. Curses for continually waking up at 6.30am on my vacation!

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