Friday, April 30, 2010


As I arose my from the toilet seat last night..and yes, I realized I didn't give you a warning about this, I just sorta dove in (to the story, not the toilet)...I noticed there on the seat was a HUGE AND SQUASHED mosquito hawk. That's like finding a half eaten worm AFTER biting into an apple. It kinda resembled that big leggy and arm-y-ish alien from the movie, "Close Encounter of the Third Kind". You know the the very end of the movie, when Richard Dreyfus has finally gotten close enough to see it?....and it creepily glides down and out of the UFO?....yea...that one...and then it has the creepy audacity to form a smile?....

Anyway, there it was on my white toilet seat....all legs and wings just kind of "caught in the moment" when its misplaced sense of direction met at the intersection of the toilet seat and my upper right thigh. Not a pretty picture....sorry....

Poor guy. Or gal. I guess most people swat at their pests...not moon them and then squash them. My bet is, they die laughing....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Okay, today at Costco I purchased a bag of shelled pistachio nuts. Why? Don't know. I think the idea of pre-shelled pistachios really appealed to my sense of profound laziness. I don't have to ruin my nails prying them apart. I don't have to stain my fingers with that weird pink color that they use. What's up with that anyway? I don't have to open them only to find one of every three or so looking a little sketchy and me wondering about it....not enough to NOT eat it, but wondering nevertheless...

So, I opened the bag, but first I did my delayed gratification thing. I left it on the counter for several hours. I let my hunger for them build. I walked past them and picked up the bag to feel their nutty contents. Why? Because I'm weird. And that's good enough for me.

When the bag was opened the smell was heavenly. Whoever thought this smell would translate to an ice cream flavor, ice cream is the furthest thing from my mind when I smell pistachios.

Anyway, I scooped my cupped palm in there and thus began a hedonistic indulgence which I am paying for now. I'm sorry. I'm very very sorry to the pistachio powers that be. I realize there is a reason for the shells. The allow us to practice restraint. They allow us to eat slowly. We fill up more slowly and are sated at a quicker rate with less food in our silly stomachs. But not when they're shelled. No....oh no no no...we scoop up handfuls of those little beasts and throw them into our mouths with reckless abandon.

"Ahhh...." we laugh, "This is the life of Riley" we chuckle to ourselves as we gobble up the pre-shelled, pre-worked-, restraint-removed snack food. Shelled pistachios are this culture's symbol of eating peeled grapes. Hedonistic reckless abandon.

Um....for a Mormon...maybe...or it could just be me....

Whatever....I'm going to bed.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I am a walking, breathing seismic indicator. I don't understand how or why this has happened, but it just has. I get "earthquake vibes" now and again, typically in the evening, and darned if they don't manifest. I know they check out, because I go on line the next day and check them out personally. I'll be sitting around, minding my own business, and I'll get a vague sense of uneasiness in my stomach, perhaps even detecting the slightest movement beneath my feet...I'll check the vertical blinds (which may or may not cooperate with me) because they have become my best indicators on any major moving...and then the physical manifestation will stop and I'll just be left with a sense of minor foreboding...if that even makes sense.

Mind you, I live virtually on the Pacific Rim (The Ring of Fire, I believe is what it's referred to) so it sees some action now and again. As the crow flies, we're about 20 miles from the ocean. I can't predict when this will happen and I haven't exactly noticed the pets acting much differently when I'm getting my vibes.

Saturday evening, I got "the vibe". Mentioned it. Nobody else felt anything so I didn't make a fuss about it. Sure enough, there was a 6.9 quake in Jakarta on Sunday. There was no tsunami warning issued and the buildings only swayed for 20 seconds (only!!!), but that's a respectable quake. Also, this morning I WOKE UP from sleep believing that my bed was moving and I was even saying, "Quake" (which, apparently, is California earthquake etiquette), only I'm sure it was mumbled because the hubs asked, "Whaa?" before snoring again. And once again, turns out there was a 4.7 magnitude earthquake felt in San Diego at 4:00 this morning, which no one else felt and no one else is talking about. Freaky....

I asked Emmy if she ever feels all these tremors and she said, "I feel quakes all the time, but it's from my concussion". I'm questioning that. I'm questioning that because then I have NO excuse. So Em, I'm taking you with me on this, whatever "this" is. Does anyone else in SoCal or elsewhere experience this sense of wobbliness on a regular basis?

So...If you see me and the livestock gettin' antsy, you just run for high ground and for cryin' out loud, do NOT let me run back into a burning barn!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


So...Project Runway is all over. Seth Aaron won. I'm happy that he did. He has a wife and a couple of kids and they seemed pretty united in his journey. That's a nice thing to witness. I loved it that he could design for children, as well as adult women.

Emilio Sosa's collection was fabulous as well. I loved his use of color-it rocked. But that ego of his...yeesh. And, the worse, most offensive behavior of all-he was rude to Tim Gunn. For could ANYONE be rude to Tim Gunn?

Mila's collection was all black and white and retro. Same thing the entire season. Sure, she "roughed up" the hair and make-up to make it look grittier, but there were no surprises.

I'm not a judge, by any stretch. You're reading the blog of a woman who staples her hems. I just love a fabulous creative challenge. I love the process they go through, how they "suffer" for their craft, how they deal with each other, the whole schmear.

On another entirely unrelated note, the hubs and I took another one of his "road trips" today. We drove out on the country roads and went through Pala (where all the pretty nurseries are) and drove through Anza-Borrego, then up the mountain to Julian, then back through the hills to home. It was beautiful and green and hilly and wild-flowery. But it lasted sooooooo long. This guy drives all day-how he gets relaxed by driving more on his day off is beyond me. One of the benefits, however, of being in the car together for four hours, is that he gets me to talk. I don't talk that much when we're together. Yes. I know that sounds odd, but I just don't. I don't like to sound blabby-and I have real blabby potential.

Anyway, for some reason, the notion of aesthetics came up and I confided that the female form is far more pleasing than the male form. I explained that the female brain is kind of "wired" to find beauty in curves. Think of babies cheeks and their curves. Think of the attraction of the VW Bug. And then I confided that I never really found the male form particularly attractive. Not that I found the female form attractive, I'm just not a physical kind of person. I guess I like wit and intellect-and more wit. We agreed that many women are probably more like me than would care to admit...of COURSE we would think that!!!

And then we solved all of the world's problems.

You're welcome.


Friday, April 23, 2010


I keep checking my blog to see if I've written a new entry. I haven't. Who do you have to know around here to get an updated blog entry, eh? Yeesh.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I read about a woman in Great Britain whom, after suffering a 3-day migraine, awoke with a Chinese accent. Physicians claim she is suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS). It's an actual condition, though rare. There is a video of it (I've seen it), where the patient discusses her ordeal. She is British, but speaks with this weird Chinese accent. This freaked me out a bit because I have had 2 and 3 day migraine headaches-though none of late.

Can you imagine how odd it would be? She said she woke up the morning after her headache and was speaking in this odd dialect. She has never been to China and does not know Chinese. Her voice sounds very strange to her and now is very disturbing. It's been many weeks and she is becoming quite distressed by it. Reactions to her new voice have been mixed, but mostly negative. According to the woman, people think she "is stupid" or "pretending". Her family has accepted it for the most part, but she has difficult interacting with strangers or others who question her "new" voice.

Doctors say the strange accent can last for several weeks to months, or can be permanent. No one knows for sure. Obviously, this poor woman has suffered a type of brain damage in the speech centers of the brain. And Chinese???? Where in the world did THAT come from? She even pauses haltingly like a stereotypical Chinese speaker would.

So I started to imagine what accent I would wake up with after one of "bin busters" (as we used to call them). Accents of choice:

My Aunt Shirley: Imagine Marge Simpsons' sisters with culture and an IQ of 200.

Paul McCartney: just a bloke from Liverpool.

Rastafarian: I could grow dreads and defend my dissertation with beads in my hair.

Brekken: The imaginary language of my sons as they were growing up and continue to this day.

Heidi Klum: But I get to keep Tim Gunn as a friend. I've never actually WISHED for a headache, but....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The following were sent to my email. They made me laugh so hard...and I wondered if I didn't write them somewhere along the way, they are THAT DEAD ON...(okay, I cleaned it up just a little)

Random Thoughts for the Day:

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment in time when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- EVER!!!

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day, "Mom, what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Bud Lites than Kay.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I had the following telephone conversation with my mother, Wendy, this afternoon:

ME: Hi Mom! I totally channeled my "inner Wendy" today.

MOM: Oh! What did you buy? *she totally gets that "inner Wendy" thing*

ME: Well, I was at the store and I saw these beautiful sandals loaded with beads and jewels. So I just bought them!

MOM: Well good! Do you know why you bought those sandals, Debbie?

ME: No. *smiling, because I know whatever's coming is going to be good*

MOM: You bought those sandals because God loves you and He wants you to be happy.


MOM: Now you listen to me. You are a daughter of God, right?

ME: Yes maam!

MOM: That's right. You're a daughter of God and He wants you to be happy. You're happy when you feel and look good, right?

ME: Oka...

MOM: And if you feel and look good on the outside, you're going to feel good on the inside. And if you feel good on the inside, you're going to be kind and loving to His other children. I see it all the time. I see little old women, younger than me (she's 90, by the way), walking around with no make-up on and their hair all straggly. They look so sad and I think, "Well heck, if they throw some lipstick on and drag a brush through their hair, they might feel better about themselves!" So you just wear those shiny shoes with pride knowing that you're a daughter of Heavenly Father and He expects you to look good and BE good. That's what I think, kiddo!

ME: *holding back tears* I will. I promise. (I'll never look at shoe shopping the same again....)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I bought a new book. Yes...shocking, I know.

In case you didn't know, I am a royalty wonk. I love the genealogy of the Royal Houses of Europe-specifically Great Britain, but I'm getting more and more enamored of Spain and France.

Anyway, my new book "The Tudors: The complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty" by G.J. Meyer. Now, I looked at this and thought, "what more could they possibly have found out about this most researched of lineages?" Apparently, plenty.

Kirkus Reviews called it "...flashy..." with "...fresh irreverence..." Woo hoo!!! Irreverence!!!! The Washington Times described it as "thundering" and "magnificent". Yowsa.

One day I hope to be a fun person to hang around with and stop reading history books for fun and pleasure. Until then, this book will do nicely.

I also bought a magazine called, "EnglightenNext" It calls itself, "The magazine for evolutionaries". Okay...

It has some cool articles, such as "Quantum Dreams & other strange things: and "Have scientist finally solved the mystery of consciousness?"

Well, if they have, hopefully they'll come up with solutions on how to keep my guests awake when they ask me what I'm reading....

Friday, April 16, 2010


You just never know what's going on inside a kid's head.

The other night, while I was watching Emmy's two kiddos, we were all sitting on Clarkie's bed. He was trying to go to sleep and Mae and I were on his bed talking quietly. Actually, Mae was talking and I was rapturously listening. While she was talking, there was a "woof" heard. Here's how it went down...

MAE: What was that?

ME: That was that big dog at the bottom of the hill.

MAE: Oh! Because it sounded kind of scary. And what do you know about the ice floes melting?

ME: ?

MAE: I know they're in Antarctica and there's a problem with them melting, but what is it exactly?

ME: *pausing to shift gears from granny to environmental scientist and thinking, "I can do this, I can do this, I follow Al Gore on Twitter" .... Okay, well, there are ice floes at the Arctic and at the Antarctic. There's a problem with them melting too fast because some people think the climate is changing. But we are in California, so we don't have to worry about it right now. We're safe here.

MAE: *her face visibly relaxes* Oh. But what IS an ice floe and what happens when it melts?

ME: *grabbing a big ball* Here's the Arctic and down here's the Antarctic. Here in the middle is California. See? We're a long way away from the ice floes. They can't reach us here. Especially not tonight. Maybe you should talk to your teacher or mom and dad about them. I just know enough about them to tell you that you are really safe.

MAE: Okay. *relaxes and goes to sleep*

ME: sitting on end of bed, wide-eyed, rocking, and freaked out about the ice floes....