Monday, April 25, 2011

Candy Fairy Vs. Tooth Fairy

Earlier today, MicroSqueak and I were driving home from dropping LadyBug off at school. Out of the blue, she asks me: "Mom, do the Tooth Fairy and the Candy Fairy hate each other?"

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the "Candy Fairy", she's an important fixture in my children's lives.

See, around Halloween, we go all out, and put together some pretty elaborate costumes. They really get into it, and love going Trick-Or-Treating. They usually come home with more booty than I am comfortable with letting them have. And with our food intolerances, as well as the curse of my fat-retaining-'aint-gonna-give-it-up-for-anything-chromosomes, many of these candies just don't make the cut, anyway.

So... following the example of a friend, I too, came up with the "Candy Fairy"!

She swoops in during the time my kids are sleeping on Halloween night after all the fun and fanfare is over, takes the remaining candy from their booty stash, and leaves a cuddly doll or stuffed animal for them to play with.
We have been doing this for a few years, and my kids have gotten used to the idea. They love it, and don't seem to miss the candy that goes away. They don't get much candy anyway, so this works out pretty well. Now you know.

But back to the question!

My response went as follows: "Yes. They hate each other. Can't be in the same room together.

(I try not to cuss around my little ones... so bear with me here, as there will be many euphemisms in use.)

"The Tooth fairy tries really hard not to say anything to the Candy Fairy... since the Candy Fairy always has some sort of sugary treat in her mouth. The Tooth Fairy finds this kinda gross, and eventually the lip smacking gets to her. She pops off with something like: 'Hey! Knock it off! Why you gotta be so gross?! And what's with all the candy? Ever heard of vegetables?'

"Then the Candy Fairy gets all annoyed and disgusted with the Tooth Fairy for being all anal, and says stuff like: 'Chill, will ya? Why be such a 'bird-doo-head, Tooth Fairy? Seriously. You are highfaultin, and it's not impressing anyone! I think it's time someone knocked you off that high horse, so you can take a hint and go away! Nobody likes you!"

'Well, at least I don't have donkey breath! Dang-a-rang, Candy Fairy. You stink!'

'Oh, that's it! You gonna get it now! You got some behind kickin' comin' to ya!'

"And then they start wrestling! Teeth and candy fly all over the room, and innocent bystanders complain about the fallout, 'cause that stuff hurts! Nobody wants to get hit with errant teeth!

"This is why you never, ever see the two of them together. We just have to plan around their schedules so that we are sure this doesn't happen, and also keep in mind the fact that the candy fairy's teeth are just not in the best shape, and she has a finite number of them. We don't want her to be toothless before her time, so we do our best to be sure her teeth don't meet any extra drama.
"If we invite one to a party, we can't invite the other."

"Oh. Wow, Mom. That is crazy!"

"Well, now you know. Fairies are pretty nifty on their own, but most rooms are just not big enough for more than one, and this is why."

The End.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bumper sticker wisdom

Lately I have noticed some clever bumper stickers. I'm not the type to paste these all over my car anymore. I was at one time. In fact? I used to be a little obnoxious with them. See? I traded cars with my father in law several years ago. The car I received in the trade was a vintage Toyota Tercel wagon. It was the sort of car that SCREAMED in desire of very liberal bumper stickers, so I made sure to oblige. I felt pretty badly when I had to trade back, and he had to drive the car back to rural Eastern Oregon with all of those stickers in place.

At the time, we were all surprised he didn't get shot!

Now though? Totally different story. I prefer to be a bit mysterious these days, and... not actually wear my full agenda on my sleeve or bumper. Shocking, 'non? Although if you were to look at the insides of the rear passenger windows of my current vehicle, you would notice that there is scant bare surface, and stickers everywhere from our many trips to the grocery store. I sort of love this. I know it's fleeting, and those stickers will come off one day; sooner if we get rid of the car in favour of something more fuel efficient, or later if we don't and the kids outgrow their surroundings and want to be able to actually look out the window.

The windows have looked like this for years now. I haven't really thought much of it for all these years, until an old friend I reconnected with from my high school days rode in my car recently and affectionately referred to it as a "kid car". It's true. My car is totally a kid car. Kids are pretty awesome creatures; at least mine are. I don't know about yours. Your kids may be total assholes. Not everyone can be awesome. People are people... just... sayin'.

On top of the stickers, I will admit... the left side of my car? She isn't pretty. See, when we were looking to buy our first home, and had just looked at what is now our rental property and were leaving the scene to go make an offer, Mr. Hed was a wee bit nervous about pulling out of the driveway. There was a lot of traffic going down the street at that point in time, and he just wanted to make a safe getaway. He hadn't realized he was too close to the telephone pole bordering the property, and smacked into it. This damaged the fender, and tore the bumper off. Polystyrene bounced from inside the bumper, and the car looked just... awesome after that.

We did replace the fender, light, and bumper, but while we were at a friend's house one day, we walked out of her home to discover that the car had been sideswiped... on the same exact spot that had been damaged before. About a month later, I pulled up on the door handle, and it broke off in my hand.


I decided that I just wasn't meant to look sexy in this car. It gets me where I want to go, and I firmly believe in the philosophy: "You are not what you own". Therefore, I sometimes cringe when people see this for the first time, but I have also come to terms with it. And while my car may look like crap, it is pretty reliable, and we have taken it many, many places; in fact, we have all over the country. Maybe some day we will buy something better looking, but for now, it's still a fine machine, as far as I'm concerned. So what if it's ugly?

Shut up!

That said, and in keeping with the tone of stickers on cars, rather than the spectacle the left side of my car has become, I have to wonder about some of the stickers adults place on their cars. Some are immediately identifiable, and everyone knows what they are referring to, without having to actually say it, like "Fire The Liar". I see that one all over town still, even though "The Liar" has not been president for a couple years. I like that one, and thought about getting it myself. Another one read: "Yee Haw Is Not Foreign Policy." Have truer words ever been spoken? I think not.

Yesterday, I encountered one that made me judge the driver. And hard. It read: "Kids Need Both Parents." I think steam spewed from my ears and sparks came from my eyes and forehead." I had to think about this. Wha? Seriously? What good is this sticker supposed to do?

Really. What? WHAT? WHAT???

You know what? Sometimes life stinks. Sometimes parents die. Sometimes one parent is so fucked up that he or she should not be around other adults, let alone children. Sometimes daddy leaves his family for his secretary. Is this for him, perhaps? Because that is really the only instance where I see it being effective. The rest of the time, I see it triggering widows, widowers, children of dead parents, children of douchenozzle pig motherfuckers who don't deserve to be in the same room with them, but they still wonder what it was that made Daddy or Mommy reject them, or hit them, or molest them, or, or, or... bah!

Seriously. Play nice, people. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and damn it, you know what? That is fine. Most of us make the best of what we are dealt. There is no way to know what someone else's reality looks like, and placing that sticker on your car just makes you look like an ignorant asshole pigeonfucking piece of shit. I... spit in your general direction. And I am a very mellow person, so that is really saying something.

But... back to the topic of bumper stickers!

I did see another one yesterday that voiced something that I have felt for a very long time. It read: "Those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours."

Wow, that's true. So true. In fact? If I were to put something on my car, it would be that one. Seriously. I don't think anything more needs to be said there. Perfect.

You know what I actually prefer looking at while out and about though? The new leaves that are budding on the trees. I love the flowers that are finally waking up from their wintery hibernation and showing their colours again. I dig nifty old houses and buildings. People. Fashion. The odd blue sky.

That said? I am just not really a bumper sticker person. Doubt I ever really will be.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Falconer

The other night, we heard a noise in our parking area. We were almost asleep at that point, but Mr. Hed ran over to the window to see what it was. He's a little doberman-like, and for good reason. We have had a few car break-ins since moving in here, so there are times when it's a good idea to just do that.

Of course, this time, along with every other time we have looked out there, it was nothing, and soon we were asleep. Still, though; we know better than to leave anything unlocked anymore. All cars are in view of our window, so we can jump up at the slightest sound and check things out in true paranoid, usually unnecessary fashion. We aren't always dressed, but we are badass enough that it hardly matters. We will still kick your ass if we catch you.

Be warned.

I keep a garden hoe next to the bed. Hey, that could fuck a person up! And guess what? I know how to use it! Yes. Several gangs tried to get me to join 'cause I'm pretty good with that thing.

Despite the fact that this time the noise was not coming from our yard, I was asleep... not very long and awoke from a freaky dream about a flying attack Chihuahua at a child's birthday party. No joke. This thing was across the room, then suddenly, it was eating my face. I don't recommend that sensation, even in mere brain wave form. No. No, I don't. It still makes me shudder slightly. Is there such a thing as dream-induced PTSD? Am I crazy?

Don't answer that last one.

I had to wake Mr. Hed and tell him about this.

He said he wouldn't mind having something not unlike the dog for the parking area outside, since we still occasionally find evidence from unwanted guests out there in the morning. We never really know when this is happening, because we are in the middle of town, and there is a lot of activity in our general vicinity at all times. It's very frustrating, but we will be putting up a spiky wrought-iron fence and gate soon, and hopefully that will help.

Mr. Hed said that in the meantime, he wouldn't mind training an eagle, crow, or falcon to attack unwanted people. The bird could perch high upon a branch in one of our cedar trees out of view from the entrance, and stealthily swoop down, pecking the culprit about the head and face until they run away, screaming.

I would name it Adolph, and say things like: "Adolph: eat eyes."

Or... maybe a Komodo Dragon. They eat less than dogs. I think you just have to feed it a goat like every three months or so. And they are pretty badass. They will fuck your shit up! They may not be poisonous, but damn, they are grody. I think the inside of their mouths probably smells like a combination of garbage, ass, and man-pit... and would give you one hell of an infection if they merely bite you, and don't decide you are goatalicious.

I would name him Tim. Tim The Fucking Dragon.

Mr. Hed may be onto something.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have been feeling a bit dry lately.

Dry and salty.

Dry and salty like a bag of broken crackers, and not really in a good way. Having kids and a somewhat complicated life can make for some strangeness that shows when I don't always want it to. I can sometimes come off completely awkward when my best intentions were meant for a completely different action. It seems that I am the embodiment of the synaptic misfire as of late. It's not for lack of social skills. I have them. I was raised to have them, and this has never really been much of a problem for me. But I also have about 85 million thoughts running through my head at once these days, and trying to combine those thoughts with what would normally be a cake walk? Well, it can bring the awkward.

can it!

Today I was having a discussion with a few friends about what it's like in this stage of life, being mothers and having kids and chaos, ad nauseum. The phrase "just stumbling in from the woods" came up. All I could think was: "Yes! That is me. I am totally covered in moss and brambles. Kinda dirty, a little scratched, not exactly the polished version of myself I once was. Hm. Who the hell was that girl? I sort of remember her... Sort of."

Sometimes this bothers me; especially when I see what life could have been like from the other side if I had applied myself more, or had tried harder; even with kids. It's not that I find the other side threatening. On the contrary! It's more that I would like to figure out how to fit into that other side now, somehow; to find importance in the community and utilize my mad artistic skillz in some way; other than just a side gig, which is sort of what I have going now, because that is all I have time for. I long for the time when I can devote my everything to my art. This is just not the time, unfortunately.

I have Thoreau envy regularly. Can I just... go to Walden and shoot the fuck out of it, as well as write about it? This would make me ever so happy; to just spend some time away, solo. No media, no other people; devoid of influences or opinions to cloud my vision. Nothing to distract me from taking it all in. I know I would come back with something truly amazing and worthwhile. This would feed my soul in so many ways... I don't even know where to begin... or how to articulate in a way that would truly express my need for this. I don't know if there are words. I may have to create new ones.

Did I mention I am an incurable extrovert? That said, this is speaking volumes here.

But then, I have to wonder if anyone is completely satisfied with their lives. The logical part of my brain tells me that we certainly would not be motivated in the least if we were. What would drive us to keep changing and growing as people if we were absolutely comfortable in every way, and everything was perfect? I think if everything was perfect, and I was completely comfortable, I would want to stay put.

Still, I know myself. I would get bored even in the most idyllic situation, and try to find something else to do. Perhaps I don't have enough life experience to say what I'm about to say, but honestly, I feel that things just aren't all that interesting without some conflict, contrast, or disconnect. This is the sort of thing that reminds you that you are alive, and that life is supposed to be a challenge. (I am not referring to the sort of activity that creates unnecessary drama. I am SO over that.) But life has a way of twisting, turning, and morphing on its own. This, to me, can be very interesting and I try to look at these times as opportunity for personal growth.

After all, obtained happiness isn't what life is about. The pursuit on the other hand? Why, yes!

We can certainly stay in one place for a while, but when it's time to move on, it's time to move on. And we do it. Because we have to.

One of the things I often repeat to myself is the old adage: "This too, shall pass." Trying to make the best of what I have to work with now is how I cope. It's not always easy, and I don't always succeed, but I try. And there are times when it simply exhausts me; really, and truly. But I keep going, and I keep trying to find things that interest me. I surround myself with people who inspire me. I avoid the ones who drain me. I can at least hope that I am, in turn, inspiring to some.

So, I may be bag of dry crackers being held by a hippie stumbling out of the woods, but I know that this is a temporary feeling, and I am remarkably adaptable. I will get through this dry time, and I will be fine, because I have the tools to lead me, and I know how to use them. And if I don't, I simply ask for help from someone who I trust, feel safe around, and does know.

This may actually be the key to something important. Like life.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

An unexpected evening of music and fun!

Last night, MicroSqueak and I were waiting for dinner to bake in the oven. We sat in one of my wing chairs together watching youtube on my laptop, and she asked me to play "The uber dramatic song with the wolves". Her words. No lie. She's 4, and she's a pistol. She also has a love for Harry Nilsson.

She is right. This photo montage is all very... dramatic.

But this is right in line with the stuff I grew up with. Figured it's only fair to play stuff from my childhood for her. Remember "The Point"? If you are a child of the '70s, you probably do. It had hit songs in it such as: "Think about your troubles", and "Me And My Arrow". I loved both of those. And who can forget "I'd Rather Be Dead", or "You're Breakin' My heart?" OK, that one also deserves an embed, although it isn't safe for work, for those of you who haven't heard it. Still. Pure awesome.

From what I gathered, it was about his divorce from his first wife, and sounds accurate. She was all serious and responsible, and every night was a party for that guy. Yeah, hard to see it working... although he did go on to remarry and have... what was it? 6 kids? Damn!

After dinner, I was sitting with my glass of wine, still listening to Harry via youtube, and realized I needed to up my music collection... and I was bored! And the kids were already abed. And Mr. Hed was being a wet blanket. So... I called my friend Sandy, and off we went to the wrecka stow, so I could pick some up right away. After that, we drove around for a little while, listening. She hadn't heard of him before, but I played the "Uber-Dramatic Song With The Wolves" for her, and she recognized that, along with this one:

Most people do with those two songs. Thanks, Mariah Carey, and advertising industry...

We crossed the Hawthorne Bridge, and I realized I just wasn't ready to go back home yet. I remembered hearing of a show that a friend of old, (Ezra Holbrook,) was going to be in at a neighbourhood bar, so that's where we ended up. I hadn't seen him play in about 15 years. It was a neat show, for sure, and good to see that talented guy do what he does best, along with a bunch of other talented people who came and went as they seemingly pleased. I love it when music is like that; informal, spontaneous, and shares a certain intimacy with the crowd. It can feel like you are part of it, and that it's happening in your own home.

I also love my spontaneous friends. It is so nice to be able to find someone to just skip out with at night, and have a great evening!


Monday, April 4, 2011

By Request: My Olive Dip.

I started this post a while back, then ADHD took over, and apparently, I got distracted. But well? Here you go!

I don't currently have any of this on hand, and damn, I wish I did. This is really fabulous dip. It's also really simple to make, as it only has a few ingredients.

To do this the way I do, you'll have to shell out a little, but I'm telling you, it's worth it. There is one olive in particular that stands above the others and works best in this recipe. Nocellara del Belice, or Castelvetrano. These are very distinctive because of their bright green colour. And the flavour is also quite different from other olives. It is less bitter/briny, and more subtle. It also has a much fresher, cleaner taste than other olives.

Please. Do yourself a favour and listen to me here... OK?

Also? Kalamata olives; while tasty on their own, make this dip taste like creamed... tires. The texture is nice, but your dip will not be palatable in the least. Nothing fixes this, either. I have tried. Don't go there. Just... no. Tahini needs to be coddled... with subtlety. It needs to be dressed in something soft and gentle like a silk dress. Then? It needs to be treated like a lady. Don't expect her to bounce her healthy breasts on your Italian leather sofa. No, no. Adding Kalamata to Tahini is akin to taking a refined lady to a monster truck rally; forcing her to listen to Molly Hatchet on the way to and from said event.

No one involved is going to be comfortable with that situation.

OK. I've rambled long enough, and I'm sure you are asking yourself where the hell the recipe is at this point. Fine. It's coming. I... promise. It... is.

Mise en place:

Food processor

1 C Castelvetrano olives
1/2 jar Arrowhead mills Tahini (This is my favourite. Very smooth.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 tb purified water


Add tahini, water, oil, and lemon to food processor, and pulse until mostly incorporated. This should emulsify beautifully and become creamy.

Run on high until smooth.

Add olives and garlic, and pulse until mostly smooth, and aerated.

Add the lemon zest at the last minute. You don't want to do this too soon, or it may become kind of bitter... or at least more bitter than what you are going for. You should expect brightness, not bitterness! Pulse for less time if you prefer it to still have some recognizable olive pulp.

Scoop out and serve with a little more olive oil on top... in something classier than an army helmet. Or if you are going for kitsch, why not use one?


Sunday, April 3, 2011


This weekend we went out to visit Mr. Hed's Grandma. She was... I'm going to say... true to form, rather than in rare form. A visit with her is always guaranteed to be wacky, and one is also guaranteed to end up snickering into the neckline of his or her top, once one gets enough space in the corner of a room to do so. One may also roll eyes at someone else in the room who may or may not believe her utterances.

But the former happens so much more often.

There are usually a few different things she will grab onto and run with. This weekend, it was Fear. The woman is addicted to fear. And TV. And fear on TV. In fact, she has two television sets, which are adjacent to one another in the living room. She will often have both going simultaneously. No exaggeration, and no joke. I have no idea how she absorbs anything from either set, as they are often playing very different things.

Last night, we were subjected to a show called: "It Could Happen Tomorrow!!!" This was all about earthquakes, and natural disasters, and the history of such things; what we have done in the past, what's in danger now, and... FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!!!!

We finally talked her into changing the channel... which of course, had to go to CNN. Oy'fuckin'vey!

Thankfully, some of Mr. Hed's friends showed up, and we escaped the living room, once in a while cackling about the combination Grandma had going, from the kitchen, where there is no way she could have heard us with that crazy cacophobination going full volume. At one point, we were having to yell at each other over simulcast SeanHannityEverybodyLovesRaymond.

Good times.

Did I mention she doesn't hear well? I suppose I can't hold that against her. But for the love of Ozzy... good GOD! Why play two shows at once? How can you possibly get anything but noise out of that?

At bedtime, she will play KGO Talk Radio at full blast on her clock set next to her bed. The poor clock set was only designed to play at that volume briefly; in the case of an alarm going off. It whines, whistles, and complains at the mere idea of doing this all night long, and this is what we often hear: "Shhhweeeeerrrr something political weeerrrshshshshskkkkgssshhhhweeeeee."

For hours.

I will say though, that am glad the whole weekend wasn't like this. We did, for the most part, have a pretty good visit with Grandma. Her wackiness is starting to become endearing, because good lord... you either decide to love it, or hate it.

Love is just... easier.

I am also kicking myself hard for not remembering my good camera. The weather was just gorgeous out there, and we made a couple quick little trips through the foothills of the Blue Mountains. I could have done some very cool things with a few key lenses and shutter speeds... if I had just remembered my fucking camera!

I tried taking a few photos with my droid phone, but damn. It is just not the same. I am very spoiled, and I hate the point and shoot approach. It is just... no good when you are used to the real thing, and having that much control over the photos you are taking. Just... no good at all!

From this moment on, I vow to NEVER leave home without my camera again! I suppose it may take me longer to arrive at my chosen destinations, but I feel that I have been lazy and therefore missing out on some really good things recently.

That needs to stop!


Friday, April 1, 2011

The Day I Had A Boob... At Age 9.

I have decided to go through my old stories and do a few vintage imports... maybe a story a week or something, because I like keeping that stuff available for people to read. So, without further adieu, I bring you:

The Day I Had A Boob. At Age 9.

Yes. A boob. No, not plural. Just one.

See, I was 9 years old, and riding in the back seat of my mom's 1976 Ford Mustang Ghia, which had a sunroof. We were on our way to my Uncle Joe's house in Valencia, probably driving down the 118 freeway, en route to I-5. In fact, I know we were, because I remember seeing the rocks along the hillside overlooking Simi Valley, and had started looking to my right to see the city from above, when the horribly traumatizing, life-changing impact took place.

Just for background, I'll let you know, dear reader, that my parents smoked at the time. Hell, everyone still smoked then. Restaurants with non-smoking sections were still rare. I'm old. Shut up. Anyway, all of the windows were open, as was the sun roof, since it was August, and hot. My mom never ran the air conditioning when she would go over hills like that one, because cars were known to overheat as a result.

Anyway, I remember looking over the city, when I felt it. It was like a hot, searing, burning, mind fucking pain, almost electric shock-like... one I'd never felt before, on my little pre-pubescent chestal area. I opened my shirt, and saw something that looked orangy-red moving back and forth like a miniature flaming toxic waste drum that had just been knocked over, and let out a scream. At first, I thought it was a cigarette ember. I was primed for a split-second to give them an angry lecture on the dangers of smoking! But... alas... upon closer examination, I realized what it really was.

A honey bee.

Its little body was broken from its stinger by then, with its wet, feathery, frayed, sinewy abdomen... crawling around as if to say: "What the fuck is happening to me?"

The severed stinger throbbed and pulsed its poison under my skin. I really found the both halves; the moving body, and the undulating stinger severely creepy. In fact, at the time, this weird fact of science nauseated me, and I almost passed out.

I had no idea what else to do but scream... scream as loud as I could.

I screamed so loudly my mom came close to wrecking the car.

She pulled over, I got out, and dropped the bee's body from my shirt. Still though, none of us knew how to properly remove the stinger from my skin, which was, by now, red and swollen, so we decided that we would need to wait until we got to my Uncle's house, where my grandmother (a nurse,) would also be, and would likely know how to remove it.

I tried so hard not to look at it. The drive there seemed agonizingly long. Literally. The pain was intense, and still electrical in nature. Still, I couldn't help it. The stinger seemed like a well pump, just going to town. I had no idea they did that until it happened to me, and my little non-boob.

No idea at all.

When we finally arrived, my grandmother took me into a private room and tweezed the stinger out, somehow coaxing the barb along with the rest of the stinger. It all came out in one fell swoop, nothing left behind. She then gave me ice to put on the affected area.

Ahhh... Sort of.

And I had a boob. A very red boob. Yes. Just one. No, not plural. Painful as it was, I wished there had been two bees so I would have at least looked balanced.

Thinking about that at the time, I flashed back to another time, when I wanted to be Afro-American. I tried to paint myself black with black watercolour paint. I started with my feet, and only made it up to my knees, at which point, the little pot of paint was empty, and I couldn't finish. My parents thought I wanted knee socks. I can't remember if I ever told them what I actually wanted. I think by then my dream was completely dashed, so I probably said nothing. Ho, hum.

And still, at the time, it made me laugh, and almost forget about my single, pained bright red boobie.

Nope. Couldn't win as a kid. Just couldn't.