Monday, August 24, 2015
My 4 month late twice-yearly dental exam and cleaning is over!!! I am the proud owner of a cavity free set of chompers. And grateful. I actually thank God regularly for my teeth. Yes, I am serious. (Am I the only one who thinks that a single smiling tooth is a creepy way for a dentist to advertise? Why would a solitary extracted tooth be smiling? And on the subject, if you were to Google "Dentist," you would see picture after picture of smiling patients with their mouths wide open. I have NEVER seen a person happy to visit the dentist. EVER.) As I sat through my exam with my fingers digging into the arm rests, I was thinking to myself that this is such an awkward situation. You have someone you barely know in your personal space examining your teeth for starters. And where are you supposed to look? Personally, I just close my eyes and fantasize that I am in Target shopping for new, luxuriously soft, thirsty, almond colored set of hand towels. (Yep. That really is my fantasy at the moment. White is too much maintenance, grey is too trendy, almond is perfect.) Are you supposed to look them in the eye? That would be creepy. Do you look at the ceiling tiles? The wall? The light? And what about your tongue? Are you a straight up point-to-the-ceiling kinda person? Do you try to lay it flat? Do you "roof-it?" Do you put it on the opposite side of your mouth? And what do you do when they try to make small talk with you? Do you answer them? Give hand signals? Sign language? What if they don't know sign language? Do you blink once for yes, and two for no? How do you know that for them, two blinks means yes? Should you use Morris code? Does ANYONE know Morris code? There are just too many things to figure out. I suppose I should ask a hygentist or a dentist for their opinion...But I avoid them at all cost. Remember I put off my visit for 4 months? Admittedly, my dentist is a very nice lady, and our family has been going to her for about 10 years now. She has Netfliks for you to watch (why you would want to invest 30 minutes into a 90 minute movie is beyond me though. Is it OK for you to stay till it's done even though the exam is over?) She also has massaging exam chairs. And digital x-rays. But until she gets rid of the drill, I won't enjoy being there. Sorry Dr. Scoggins...
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of California? Is it the Malibu coast? The pine topped mountain peaks? Maybe it is the Hollywood hills. However, if you happen to actually live here, you know there is more to California than the scenery and tourist destinations. That's right my friends, we are talking entitled environmentalists, Vegans with an attitude, Pit Bull activists, and Gangstas.This can be a dangerous place. It's not all glorious poppy fields, and happy cows making good cheese. I wasn't born in So Cal, but I grew up here.So, I can give you some legitimate advice on how to keep yourself from getting attacked by a Vegan or shanked by a Gangsta. Here are some rules to live by for any Cali-newbies, or those of you who might just be passing through:
1) If you visit a Farmers market, do not ask what the difference between "Organic" and "Natural." Just pretend you know.
2) If someone hands you a "Save the Whales" flyer, do NOT engage them in conversation.
3) Whether you are with friends or family or strangers, NEVER discuss politics or gun control.
4) If visiting LA, do not wear red or blue. Even on the 4th of July.
5) Get everything done before the sun sets. In other words, don't go out at night.
6) Even if you are a Raiders fan, DON'T wear Raiders logo.
7) If someone offers you some ice, it's not for your favorite beverage. Trust me here.
8) Avoid making eye contact for more than 3 seconds.
9) If someone asks you how much you want of something, TELL them, but never hold up your fingers to show them. This could be confused with flashing a gang sign.
10) If you need to bank, go inside. Do not use the ATM.
11) Do not discuss the difference between Grass-fed and Grain-fed beef. Especially with Vegans.
12) Avoid the 405 between the hours of midnight and 11:59 pm.
13) Do not speak of Angels to Dodgers fans or vice versa.
14) If someone asks you to go to a Harvest crusade, you should absolutely go. It has nothing to do with farming. And tell Greg I said hello.
15) And lastly, even though I already mentioned it, AVOID the 405.
I sure hope that helps you during your visit. Don't forget to visit In N Out, dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, and drive up to Big Bear for a picnic. Have a good time and just to be on the safe side, make sure you carry a shank or some pepper spray with you.
Till Next time,
Sunday, August 23, 2015
What separates a cold sterile home from one that is filled with laughter and history? Traditions. It's the stuff memories are made of. Decorating the tree for Christmas. Nanas deviled eggs for Easter. Grammy's famous rolls for Thanksgiving. Uncle Frank pulling a shiny penny out of your ear. Breakfast in bed for your birthday. Those little things that make your family unique. I thought it would be fun to let you get know me and my family a little better by sharing some of our own special traditions. Here are just a few that make our home special:
1) "You're on your own for dinner tonight or I'm going to fix you a big bowl of nothing." This is one of my favorite's. It happens randomly but on a somewhat regular basis. Usually when we have had a particularly busy few days. I strive to make a home cooked meal for us to share together around the dinner table each night. Strive being the key word here. Let's face it, life gets crazy. Especially with kids, jobs, school, pets, and the occasional online stalker. You have to choose your battles. And I just want you to know, that PB and J sammies, or a bowl of cereal is OK every once in a while. No one is going to die.
2) "Let's see what's in the freezer and cook it for dinner tonight." This is similar to the previous tradition, but involves me realizing at the last minute that I forgot to plan tonight's dinner. Out of desperation, I must go on a treasure hunt of sorts to find something somewhat nourishing that can be heated up and served on a platter (presentation is everything, a little sprig of parsley artfully placed next to the previously frozen entrée on an attractive platter doesn't hurt anything either). If you are interested in adopting this particularly charming tradition for your own family, might I suggest making friends with the Schwans man? Also, frozen taquitos and a box of Stouffers Mac and Cheese are your BFF's.
3) "Gluing a quarter to the sidewalk out front." This is an endless source of entertainment and only costs (you guessed it Smarty pants) a quarter and a few drops of super glue. I don't know why we started doing this, but in each place we live, we glue a quarter close to the front door. Everyone from the Schwans delivery man to the sweet old lady across the street tries to pry that baby up. Occasionally, someone will try to be helpful and tell me that there is a quarter stuck to the sidewalk. Of course I always act surprised and thank them. Sometimes I even say, "There is? How odd..."
4) "Avoiding politics at family gatherings." This came about when we realized that just because we are family, our political views don't necessarily match up. That and I prefer to remain on speaking terms with loved ones. Presidential candidates just aren't worth Uncle James cutting you out of his will.
5) "Turning the clock forward on New Years Eve so you can go to bed on time." As children come into your life and rob you of sleep, you need to make adjustments wherever you can in order to ensure you get some Z's. I know that this will make you think I am a genius, I am not. This came about from sleep deprivation and sheer desperation. I can function while hungry. I can live off of frozen taquitos for an extended period of time. But I cannot function without sleep. I become murderous. So, when the kids were little and excited about staying up till midnight to welcome in the New Year, I quickly realized that it was a good idea to celebrate the New Year with my friend who lives in a time zone that is 3 hours ahead of us. Simply turn the clocks ahead 3 hours and hand the kids some pots, pans and wooden spoons. Then, at "Midnight," celebrate the New Year and go to bed at a reasonable hour. The kids are happy, you are happy. Everyone except your neighbors who remain confused are happy. Win win my friend. (when the children are old enough to read a clock, this no longer works. So enjoy it while you can.)
6) "Bring home a rock souvenir." In an effort to save a couple of dollars and to keep the Flotsam in our home to a minimum, we began collecting rocks as souvenirs on our travels instead of the usual "Made in China" plastic junk that breaks before you finish paying for it. And let's be honest here, a woman can only stand a certain number of snow globes (that number is two FYI), sea shell encrusted picture frames, clever coffee mugs, or black market T shirts. And set of 8 pineapple shaped coasters will not remind you of your wonderful trip to the Florida Keys, nor will the green foam Lady Liberty hat remind you of your trip to New York City. Since we are on the subject, Mickey ears with your name embroidered on the front serve no purpose on this earth, NONE. Well, maybe the purpose is to make the CEO of Disney a little richer, (and who wants to do that?) but that's about it. The remedy to all this is to stop somewhere along your vacation destination and pick up a pebble. Carry it home and put it in your garden. Free landscaping and no snow globe. You are welcome.
7) "Pajama Day." (not to be confused with fat-pants Friday.) This doesn't need to stop when the kids are older. It is just as nice to have a Jammie day when you are an adult as it is when you are little. There is simply something comforting about wearing a cozy pair of pajamas all day long after a harsh week. My only recommendation is to avoid going out of the house and running errands during Jammie day. You never know when your car is going to break down, and explaining to the Officer why you decided to make a donut run in your pajamas isn't as easy as it sounds. Trust me.
8) And last? "Buy some games and play them often." (the Quiet-game and Clean-up Clean-up do not count.) I recommend Uno, Sorry, and Apples to Apples. Play them at least once a week. Read chapter books together. Teach each other to say please and thank you, and I love you. Often. Take lots of pictures, love each other, and pray together.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our traditions, I would love to hear some of yours.
Till next time,