Monday, April 30, 2007

recipe organizing help?

This weekend went by in a flash. We did more of the same thing that we've been doing for a while now: doing things for the new house. We bought a pastel colored ceiling fan for Brianna's room, a garage door opener and some of the curtains that we want. We still need a lot of things. We have living room furniture and furniture for the den/office but now we're also having a family room and we have nothing for that. Also, we have a dining room set but now we're also going to have a breakfast area and we have nothing for that either. Oh well. There's no hurry for anything. We just want to have everything already.
I've been trying to get everything all organized for a while now. So far I've been pleased with what I've done. My whole vision of "there's a place for everything" is going well. The one thing that I don't have organized, though is all the recipe papers I have. I have some saved on my computer, I have some printed out, I have magazine pages, just too many things. So, here's my question . . how do you organize your recipes? I mean those other than in a cookbook. I've seen recipe boxes and have been leaning towards that, but then I think maybe a nice recipe scrapbook might be nice. Give me suggestions please.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

se habla telemarketing

Here is what you need to know.

- We are on the "Do Not Call" list. Still. In this phone number. It hasn't expired. I have the printout right here.
- My last name is in Spanish
- Rodrigo's last name is also in Spanish

So, we've been getting a whole lot of telemarketing calls in Spanish. Lots and lots of calls. I looked up some information and as it turns out people with Spanish surnames are targeted by these telemarketing companies. This is sooooo wrong. I mean, not everyone with a last name in Spanish actually speaks Spanish. Anyway, I answer the phone in English and get asked if I spoke Spanish. I've lied several times and say no. They apologize and hang up. This didn't stop the calls, though. So now I've received calls that are a recording telling me we won a prize and to claim it press "1". I didn't do anything and the call just disconnected. I tried to dial the number and it's just a rapid busy signal. Anyway, I googled it up and found pages and pages of complaints. People are being harassed by these people. I finally found out the name of the company and the real phone number and I called. I was speaking Spanish telling them that they called my house way too many times and wondering why they were calling in the first place. They tried to sell me a vacation package. Again I explained that I wanted the calls to stop and I was transferred. The manager woman again tried to sell me a vacation package. I asked again to not be called and explained that I was on the do not call list. Then she had the audacity to tell me that the do not call list was not valid if I requested it in Spanish. WTF? I mean, que f*ck? What was she talking about? The do not call request was made online. I them started speaking English and told her that what she had just said was not true and that they needed to stop calling. Anyway, she transferred me to someone else because she didn't speak English. What is going on? Is this really going on? Are they ignoring do not call requests for people whose last names are not in English? Does this sort of thing happen in other languages? This is so wrong. Anyway, after that I haven't had any of these calls. I wonder if it was the same company making ALL those calls or if they're different companies in cahoots somehow. Hmm.

Someday soon I'll use this blog to post about something other than complaining and whining. Don't leave in a bad mood. Here, I'll make you feel better . . . kittens and rainbows and ice cream and birthday parties and Brandon Boyd. Ah, much better.

feeling: I love coffee
listening to: Tiger Army (Forever Fades Away)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

dress-up school

It seems that Brianna's school has some sort of dress up theme all the time. Last week they had crazy hair day, pajama day, twin day, career day, sports day. This Monday and yesterday there was no theme. On Monday we got a notice about this week's dress-up days. Today is "Dress as a Literary character".

When you read what she says think of a sort of young valley girl, sarcastic, maybe Clueless type of accent. Then you'll get the full effect.

me: baby, who are you going to want to be on Wednesday
Brianna: (scoffs) uh, no one
me: are you sure?
Brianna: (scoffs) uh, yeah
me: I think you should think about it. I still have time to make you something
Brianna: (scoffs) you always want to dress me up and NONE OF MY FRIENDS ARE DOING IT.
me: ok . . . . .

Last night . . .
Brianna: you know how tomorrow we have to dress up?
me: yes
Brianna: Madison is going to be Junie B. Jones
me: oh really?
Brianna: yeah and Sarah has a Hannah Montana book and she's going to be Hannah Montana
me: oh
Brianna: oh and Lauren has some books, like all with the same characters I don't remember the name but she's going to be one of the characters named Violet
me: oh, The Boxcar Children?
Brianna: I said I don't remember the name. so . . . did you ever have to dress up like a story character
me: yup
Brianna: and who were you?
me: one time I was Strawberry Shortcake, I don't really know why and one time I was dressed sort of like a genie for a story called Arabian Nights. Both times were for a parade, though. Not for school
Brianna: oh. do you still have those costumes?
me: no baby (and since I knew where this was heading the whole time). are you now wanting to dress up?
Brianna: yes

We spent the next hour or so looking over things we already have. She has several costumes none of which she wanted to wear. A fairy? Nope. A cat? Nope. Minnie Mouse? Nope. A geisha? Well, that's probably inappropriate. A cowgirl? Nope. I finally just asked who she wanted to be and she said Hermione. Great. Ok, now let's see white blouse? Check. Skirt? Check. Robe? Uh, nope but we could improvise with a cape sort of thing. Tie? Check. Gryffindor scarf? Nope. Time to make one? Nope. I improvised and printed out a Gryffindor emblem and attached it to a black tote bag. I just wanted her to have the colors. I braided her hair last night so that it could be wavy. It worked. We seemed to have pulled off the look this morning. She has a wand but didn't want to take it insisting that they didn't "have to have an entire costume". At school I saw a girl dressed like an elephant, red riding hood, several very long dresses and lots of whimsical outfits all of which I didn't know who they were.

Note to self: if there is a dress up day, prepare yourself. Even if she says she doesn't want to do it, she'll end up wanting to at the last minute.

I think I should keep all sorts of costumes at hand. Then again, she's still growing. For the rest of the week we have pajama day again and Hawaiian day. We're ready for both.

feeling: making a million lists in my mind
listening to: some Miss Spider song with Alec

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

hello again . . . .

Here's what's been going on so far. . . . .

- We got our walk-through date and closing date for our new house. We move in about a month. Actually, exactly one month. We take possession on the 24th of May. We're planning on taking that week to paint, put up blinds and ceiling fans, etc. then completely move on the first. I am very excited to finally be going to our house but I hate that we have to move yet again.

- We were under the impression that Rodrigo's company would still provide packers and movers since this was considered a temporary home. Well, that's what we were told. I think it was more like a miscommunication between the relocation rep and us. The truth is that they would've moved whatever we had in storage but not in the home. We have nothing in storage and have to move ourselves. It's really not such a big deal, but when you think that you're going to have professionals pack and move for you and then you don't, it sucks. Oh well.

- When we first started up the contract for the house, we were given the credit rating. It was good but of course there was room for improvement. Rodrigo decided to pay off accounts he still had and close them. One of them is a credit card from a certain company that rhymes with Crank of Comerica (I don't want people's searches to lead them here). Anyway, he paid it off and closed it in July. In DECEMBER, we received a "courtesy statement" saying that the account was past due. There was some interest and then late payments. We sent the payment and it posted almost a month later. We called and were told that it might've been because of the holidays and half of the new late charge was taken off. Next month was the same thing. Since the account was now closed, we couldn't pay online. We called again asking why this was happening again and again half the late fee was removed. Then I saw a story on the news about how other people were trying to close their accounts with this same bank and had the same problems. Months and months of delays, fees, all sorts of problems that hadn't existed when the account was active. We called them told them that we were noting exactly when we were sending the payments, told them about the story we saw on the news and that we expected no more problems. After that the account closed and we didn't hear from them again.
Then we went to do another credit check for the home financing and the score was LOWER BECAUSE OF THIS CARD. We were LIVID. Because of their little schemes we were going to have a higher interest rate. We had to call again and speak to more of their customer service reps who really just told basically told us to shut up and go away. The thing is that we have everything, the courtesy bill, the check stubs, notes of the people we'd spoken to, dates when the payments were sent out. After we saw that there was no one that was willing to listen of help, we filed a complaint with the U.S. Treasury. Not even a week later, the credit card company was calling here talking to us like we were a favorite relative they hadn't seen in years. You should've heard their tone. They apologized and apologized and apologized and IT IS GETTING REMOVED FROM THE CREDIT REPORT. A-ha! Dirty rats. I knew it! Anyway, we're very relieved to say the least.

- I have a lot more to say. I'm going to try to post as much as I can within the next month. I also have about a million blogs and pages to read. Lots of catching up to do. Also, today In-n-Out Burger is opening in my city. Happy day! Uh, I just don't know if I want to wait hours for a burger today. Still, it's here now. No longer do I have to drive two hours for one of their burgers.

Have a good day. I'll be popping into your pages soon.

feeling: like I have soooooo much to do
listening to: Amy Winehouse (You Know I'm No Good)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Brianna's teeth

Nope, I haven't fallen off the earth, I've just been busy. Brianna had some minor surgery this past Thursday and well, now that she's all better, I can talk about it.

-sigh- I feel soooooooo relieved now that this is all done with. We've been dealing with this for the longest time. My poor daughter lost her top teeth in the autumn of 2005. I remember this very, very well because she had a field trip to a pumpkin patch where they were given a corn on the cob. Her best friend's mom and I were talking about how the girls had both just lost their teeth and had a hard time with the corn. Anyway, all the other kids' teeth started coming in and I saw no progress with Brianna. I waited and waited. In the spring of 2006, I had her dentist check her again. At this check-up, he pretty much kept asking me if I hit her. I told him no but he was insistent that she had hit her teeth and they had fallen out before time. I kept telling him that I don't hit her, no one else has hit her and she has never fallen and hit her teeth. Still, I was dismissed and told to just wait. We waited longer. We moved to Arizona and I took her to a different dentist here. He also told us to just wait. Now it had been a little over a year since she'd lost her teeth. Also, it looked like the teeth were there but covered. You could actually see the outline. This guy really got under my skin. When he asked me why we were there, I explained the whole thing while he took a look at Brianna's x-rays. I thought he was listening and when I was done talking, he said "Ok, let's take a look at those teeth". Then he was surprised that the teeth weren't in even though I had just TOLD HIM! Anyway, he didn't know what to do or say and he told us to wait a month. We waited a month, I called and he said to wait another month. All this time, I was looking up all sorts of websites for some sort of information. Rodrigo and I spent soooooo much time trying to find some sort of information or answer but couldn't find anything similar. I called around to various local dentists and specialists and no one really knew what to do. I finally found one specialist who was willing to see her. As soon as he saw her, he knew what it was. I was so relieved, I started getting verklempt talking to the doctor. The teeth were in fact in but actually covered up by gums. We were given another month to try to get the teeth to cut through. At least this time, we were actually made to do something. We were numbing her gums and rubbing them each morning and night. After the month, there was only a little progress and so we were sent to an oral surgeon. Then she had to be examined there and finally had surgery on Thursday. They removed a chunk of her gums to uncover her teeth. -cringe- I couldn't sleep the night before. I kept thinking she was going to be in pain, wondering why the first dentist couldn't have just listened to me, thinking that I should have been more insistent since I knew something was wrong, wishing I could go through with the surgery instead of her . . all sorts of things. The actual procedure took only about half an hour. After she was done, they called me into the recovery room and I was shocked to see all her teeth in. The four front teeth were uncovered completely. They're not like halfway in but all there all of a sudden. So for about two days, she had some soft food and lots of ice cream. She's been smiling all weekend, poor thing. Saturday she cheered at a football game and was just all smiles the whole time. She couldn't wait to go back to school today. I'm glad she feels better and happy that this is all over with.

feeling: very, very relieved
listening to: Paolo Nutini (Last Request)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I went to pick up Brianna from school yesterday and was waiting for her where all the parents wait. There is a fence that separates the school yard from this area. Some mom was standing next to me. I don't know her name but I see her there all the time. Every time I hear her talk, I think something she said is dumb. Some kids were in the school yard playing around with a football. Then they threw it towards us and it hit the fence. Then that mom said, "Whoa, that almost looked like it was in 3-D!" Seriously? I couldn't say anything back to her. I was trying very, very hard not to laugh. I also wasn't doing a good job because I was sort of snickering like when you're somewhere that you're not supposed to be laughing. Yeah, I know she probably meant she meant something like "That was really coming towards us" or something like that, but what she said was just soooooooo dumb. I think I'm just going to stand next to her all the time now and hear what other things she says.

feeling: My Unkymood Punkymood (Unkymoods) <-- do any of you remember that I used to put a different one of these each time I posted? I'm so glad they're back!

listening to: The Church (Under the Milky Way)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

i can't read

Here is how I read . . . .

1. I read something that makes no sense
2. I think "WTF?!?!"
3. I read it again, correctly this time
4.. Think "OH!!!"
5. Laugh

Just today I read this: "Kevorkian bids $4.5B in cash for Chrysler".
What I thought: Wow, suicide assistance must be really lucrative
The real headline: Kerkorian bids $4.5B in cash for Chrysler

I also read: "Geeks unearth rich Roman tomb"
What I thought: Geeks? What were computer guys doing that they came upon a tomb?
The real headline: Greeks unearth rich Roman tomb

And: "Cruise ships evacuated after running around"
What I thought: Tom Cruise did what? (I took "ships" as a verb)
The real headline: Cruise ship evacuated after running aground

Also: "Dog treats audience to pet food recall"
What I thought: HUH?!
The real headline: Dog treats added to pet food recall

Finally: "Giuliani complaining in S.C.
What I thought: Maybe he hates it there
The real headline: Giuliani campaigning in S.C.

Geez, more: Florida police arrest activist for feuding homeless
What I thought: Huh, what kind of feud?
The real headline: Florida police arrest activist for feeding homeless

All I can think right now is what Rodrigo is always telling me . . . "Context, sweetie, context". Still, I think I need some glasses, pronto. Someday when I have lots and lots of time, I'll tell you about the things that I hear incorrectly. This happens ALL THE TIME. EVERYDAY. I knew I shouldn't have signed that hearing loss waiver when I became a flight attendant years ago. Then again, I probably read it wrong.

feeling: dumb
listening to: Dora or Diego counting.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

my vegetarian son

Up until recently, I had no problems with Alec's diet. Little by little I've been noticing that he liked any sort of meat less and less. Now he just refuses to eat it. I have to beg him, bribe him, and sometimes even feed him myself. I feel guilty because, well, I don't like meat all that much either. I feel bad pressuring him to eat it. It's just that I feel he needs protein. He's so thin. He'll be four years old in June and he still weighs only 30 lbs at the most.
I've been trying to sneak in some meat in his meals. A couple of nights ago, I made stir fry and cut up some beef into tiny little pieces hoping they'd just blend in. He was eating fine, then tasted the beef, took it out of his mouth and said "Eww, this mushroom tastes bad".
So, I've been looking on websites to find information about kids nutrition and protein requirements. I have no problem getting him to eat fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. All he hates is all meat except for fish. But, well, I can't and won't make fish every night. Knowing that he loves the taste of fruit, I tried looking for recipes that included some sort of protein in fruit. I ended up making pork chops in a cranberry glaze. He loved it and ate the whole thing. Score! Wait, Brianna hated it. Suck. Just when I thought she was the perfect dinner daughter who never complains about food (other than eggs), she was whiny yesterday. She was wiping the glaze off the pork chop and complaining the whole time. That's it. I give up. I'm going to become one of those moms who just give them canned food or macaroni and cheese every night. Yeah, and then my mom, my grandma, and Rodrigo's mom will all come over and punch me in the face . . and Rodrigo will marry me just to be able to divorce me.
Ah, I miss the days when the kids were young enough to just eat whatever I gave them. Why did I ever teach them to speak?

feeling: I LOVE this coffee
listening to: The Shins (Phantom Limb)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

house/ cd help needed

After having waited for months, we were told that it looks like our house will be ready around the first week of May. Uh-oh. I had originally planned to move this past December. That was the deal. Then we saw that there was no way that was going to happen. The house (or dirt, rather at than time) was no where near ready. We were told and thought it would be somewhere around July. That's kind of what I had in mind. Now that it's sooner, I feel like I'm going to be rushed again. I guess it sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm really not. I REALLY, REALLY want to be in our house now, it just seemed sort of sudden. Like waiting, waiting, waiting, then everything happened all at once.
Anyway, this past weekend, Rodrigo finally went through some of his computer junk and got rid of a bunch of old software Cd's. Now I have a pile of Cd's. I figure that I could make something with them, but apart from coasters, I can't think of anything. Should I just toss them? Should I save them and make him a geek Christmas tree? I thought of breaking them and making some sort of shiny mosaic, but come on, I'm not going to have the patience for that. Besides, it would look sort of kitschy, no? Let me know if you have any ideas. Please. I'm this close to just throwing them away.
Lastly, I think I have the whole playing around with my new operating system done with. Yes, I have Vista now. Stop right there. Don't try to tell me about how much better a Mac is. I've heard it. Almost every day. Anyway, now that I'm done playing around, I'm going to try to post more regularly. Take care and Happy Passover.

feeling: this song/video is hilarious!
listening to: Alanis Morissette (My Humps) <-- you have to see it. find it on youtube or TMZ.