Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shake Up Call

I was putting Lea to sleep when the earthquake started at 8:00 or so tonight. I was supra-relaxed at first, but when it seemed to be going on too long, I made the mistake of inhaling sharply, which is when she realized something was wrong. The shaking stopped soon after that, and while half of me went to work trying to calm down my shivering, slightly weepy child, the other half was coming to the realization that if it HAD continued I would not have known what the hell to do.

What kind of native Californian am I?

The kind that has some Googling to do, that's what kind...

Monday, October 29, 2007

A List of Things Lacking in Fun

1) Taking 3 children to the dentist at the same time.

2) When your jeans start to feel a little tight in the thighs.

3) Completing the often arduous task of removing the nut from the shell of the pumpkin seed and then having Lea say, "Can I have that, Mama?"

4) When your aunt's appendix bursts.

5) Having no chocolate chips in the house and, therefore, being unable to make chocolate chip cookies. This, however, may be helpful in other areas (see #2).

6) Rounding up volunteers to help with the Kindergarten Halloween games. WORK WITH ME, PEOPLE.

But you know what makes up for these mini (well, okay, except for the appendix thing) bummers? This scene from an otherwise bleh romantic comedy. You might laugh at the beginning, you might laugh at the end, but you WILL laugh:

Come come on the kickdrum. Come, come.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October Overload

I've been eating too much fancy foodstuffs lately. And no, smarty, I am not referring to fried zucchini at the Big Fresno Fair. It's a big birthday week in the family, you see, so the celebration started last Saturday at a restaurant here in San Mateo called La Lanterna, where I believe a single, tiny gnocchi boasts enough caloric value to power an adult through an Iron Man event. It goes without saying that they serve you more than one. And then last night, I met the SU for a private feast at Sutro's (inside the Cliff House):

My drive to the restaurant took me on quite the nostalgic romp along Skyline Boulevard. On my left, the sunset was ridiculously dramatic. Off to my right I passed...

1) ...Higate Avenue in Daly City, where several teenage-era friends once lived
2) ...Westmoor, my high school
3) ...John Daly Boulevard, across which my buddy Paul and I were safely ferried by the ancient crossing guard (also named Paul) as we walked to Olympia Elementary School each day
4) ...the now rather sad Lake Merced, which was the site of several childhood family reunions

But back to all the fancy food. I feel that if I were to stick a pin in some meaty part of myself (ah, so many places to choose from at the moment...), cream and truffle oil would trickle out.

Wow. Gross visual.

Anyways, I've begun an intense form of culinary penance, and I have but one thing to report: eating a banana is in no way thrilling.


{Happy birthday, Kuya! We miss you}

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Alfred Peet?

Just when you think your children can't get any more odd, they do this: they go to the craft store with the spousal unit to purchase styrofoam, spray paint, black paint, and wooden dowels. With their suddenly crafty dad at the helm, they proceed to create tombstones using the purchased items.

Not that odd so far.

When it comes time to choose names for the headstones, CSU (Crafty Spousal Unit) says they may have their way. Here's what they decide:

Gregory Hines

Alfred Peet


Rin Tin Tin

Simon Cowell

I'd take a picture, but I can't find the camera. Maybe tomorrow, you lucky ducks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This Just In: Animal Identification Not My Forte

My sister-in-law was kind enough to inform me that the Goat of Some Renown (see below) is actually a SHEEP.

But the other picture IS a cow.

I think.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Goat of Some Renown, Hair of Cow, and Fried Things

First of all, hello, what a fantastic outfit on Miss 4-H:

And I believe the goat is a Goat of Some Renown. If I am mistaken and this goat is not, in fact, a Goat of Some Renown, then it ought to be. Super shiny coat! Velvet to the touch! Willing to pose for pictures! Freakin' awesome goat.

Allow me to present another standout pair from the Big Barn:

Do you see that? Do you see how they have identical matching hair peaks (click it! click the picture!)? Do you think that's easy to achieve? Does it seem like I'm yelling at you? I am! Because this can't be easy. If someone said to me, "Nesting Ground Mistress, make your hair look like this cow's hair," I would be at a loss. But not this fellow. This fellow is follicle-y gifted.

Let's move on to food, shall we? Below is a lot of meat:

And, well, that's it. A lot of meat.

My niece, Sarah (pictured below with me, your Nesting Ground Mistress) says that this is not only a snapshot of the two of us holding ungodly-looking pieces of fried foodstuffs...

...it is also accurately depicts the number of pounds one can gain by eating at the Big Fresno Fair. You'll be happy to know that I didn't actually partake in any of the items we're foisting. I did, however, eat these fried zucchini ribbons, and you know what?

I'd do it again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

They Draw Now, Ask Questions Later

I don't know why the thought of Filipino doodlers fills me with such glee, but it does.

In other drawn-to-drawing news, a question: if you were the mother of three young daughters, and you saw this edition of The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, illustrated by Lauren Child of "Charlie and Lola" fame, could you prevent yourself from purchasing it?

Yeah. I didn't think so.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No News Is Good News

Not much going on here at Nesting Ground. Just the gentle hum of the dishwasher, the light pelting of raindrops. I'm working on two grants and one story, with the hope that all three things will go out in the mail next week. Magic happens, after all.

The rain is growing louder, more insistent. This can mean only one thing: time to climb under the covers with a book. Question is...Little, Big or The Book Thief?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sorry? I'll Show You Sorry

By way of an introduction, I would like to say that I am no wimp when it comes to the dentist. I have endured horrifying dental and periodontal procedures during my lifetime and have barely uttered a sound beyond a muffled, "I hate you." With that said...

I have a new dental hygienist. Our relationship is off to a difficult start mostly because I almost jumped out of the chair and throttled her for causing me such deep discomfort. It would have been one thing if she'd said, "You know, this is going to really, really hurt, so...just deal with it." Instead, she was overly apologetic and affected a pixie-like voice. "Oh, I'm sorry!," she squeaked again and again. "I'm so sorry!" This was a little bit like slapping me repeatedly while smiling.


I bet she doesn't have any friends.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Roles & Rejuvenation & One Question

And just like that: rejuvenated.

I was 100% stress-free on my way to writer's group on Tuesday night. J's home in the city is in my old neighborhood, avenues and streets laid out in a perfect grid, with names I can recite in my half-sleep. After miraculously finding a parking space, I tromped up and down X avenue looking for "836." It didn't exist. The numbers went directly from 834 to 838. Wha?! I checked. And re-checked. And then I finally cracked open my moleskine to triple-check the address. Woops. Wrong avenue. I zipped two blocks east, the parking god smiled once more, and a few minutes later I finally sunk deep into J's ultrasuede sage-colored couch. Someone handed me some ice water, and we were off.

My work was up first, and I can't even express how grateful I am to the four others in my group for just letting me sit with them as a writer. It's a gift, really, to have people in my life who don't think of me first as someone's mother or a fundraiser or a volunteer. I say this not to diminish those roles (I am very proud of them, after all), but just also to acknowledge that I'm...I don't know. That I'm other things, too, I guess.

For example, right now I have to be The Person Who Makes Dinner.

And—per the ridiculous title of this post—here's my one question: Who even WATCHES this stupid-ass show?

Monday, October 01, 2007

At Your Service

Blogwise, I'm in some sort of reclusive, hibernating-like place. Basically, I bore even myself. Not a good sign.


At this very moment, there are five girls running in and around the house. It's impossible to keep an eye on all of them, so I've opened every door and window and am depending on my ears and instincts. Sometimes when there is a tone of voice or a noise that concerns me, I track it down to its source only to find out that it's "just a story."

I cut up those tiny Dulcinea watermelons and put the slices on strategically placed plates, knowing that in ten minutes or so, the dishes can be rounded up and rinsed off and re-stocked with graham crackers or apple slices. When someone runs by the desk here, I say, "Hey, what's going on?" The answer is always, "Nothing! We're fine!"

When I hear bikes and scooters and little yelps, I check to make sure everyone's wearing a helmet.

When someone leaves the bathroom, and I don't hear the toilet flush, I go flush it.

When shoes are abandoned in the hallways, I bring them to the front door.

When I hear Lea cry, I grab some Band-Aids before running outside.

I eat a cookie. As payment, you know. For services rendered.