Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I love my friends and I am glad I have them.
Sometimes I need to talk and I thank those who can take the time to listen.
I cry when I am sad.
I want to give everyone that I care about what they want and it makes me sad when I can't.

Oh yeah, Boobs. (That's for you grace)

Monday, August 29, 2005

And so it goes

We had ourselves another super sized weekend. On Saturday we went out looking at houses to see what the market is like. We do this often. It is a good way to keep from friiking out when you look at a house you like and might consider living in and then see that they want all of the money you will ever make just to buy the garage. We saw a couple of tear downs, or "scrapers" as we call them, one in Redwood City and one in San Carlos, both were north of $750K. The first had been inhabited by a handy person who fancied themselves much better at remodeling than they really were. Suffice to say the house was really fucked up. The second wasn't remodeled but it had SERIOUS rot problems.

By now the Suburban was seriously acting out it's recent demonic posession. On Monday morning it was taken by ambulance to the car hospital where it had emergency surgery to remove and replace it's fuel pump. ($628.03!)

The ambulance driver Dave had LOTS of tattoos. But now I'm getting out of order, aren't I?

So on Sunday I decided to cross off an item on the casa trabajo list and get compost into the back garden. First we see the naked, worn out soil in the garden.

Then we see the ginormous pile of compost in the driveway.

Which then turned slowly into a very small pile. (No, the children did not help.)

And finally the pile was all gone and covering the garden a few inches thick.

Then (while I was still covered in mulch) our friends Kate and Rob arrived for a swing on the swings, a swim, a spot of pizza, some drinkies,and some playtime with the doggies.

Kate said this was the face her mom makes. She did not specify under what conditions he mother makes this face. We can only wonder.

Then they* foolishly decided to bug out before the movie, Shaun of the Dead, which was pretty damn funny.

*Rob said he had to be at work at the crack of eleven, so he insisted that they go around 10 PM.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Staged readings

I was in a couple of staged readings over the weekend. There were two performances. I was in two scenes. The first was a fellow trapped in an elevator with a redneck woman strung out on pain medication. The second was a fellow who discovers that the boss murdered his wife and stored the parts in with all the business records. Both were pretty funny. Tonights audience was very appreciative and we all had a lot of fun. There was even some muffled laughs backstage as we all looked at naughty pictures on my phone. (tee hee)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Casa trabajo

We live in a nice house. It just isn't finshed. There is "unfinished" all over the place. Something must be done to cap these wells of unfinshedness. Look here for updits soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The messenger

Today I suddenly had the same feeling that I had after my father died: a sense that things had changed forever, and that I had lost something unique and treasured.

Nine years after Dad died, I still grieve, wishing I could tell him things that happened to me, ask him what he would do, or just talk with him. He was a very good fellow, and now I see how much I am like him. He liked to laugh, and pleasure was important to him, enough so that he made time to enjoy things. I do those things too.

I intend to laugh and make time enjoy things, but not today.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

That was nice

Nice weekend so far (9:30 PM Sunday).

Friday night I got a frantic call, "The rehearsal for the staged reading just started, where are you?" (apparently a vague reference to the date is all that is needed to schedule these things.) I hightailed it over to Fremont and read through the two scenes a few times. The genre is much more comedic than I have played before and I had a lot of fun with the two characters. Even the folks watching enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the second rehearsal and two performances.

Spent most of Saturday cleaning up and fixing up at the school where the little one goes. You can get a lot of work done if you get about 100 people working on things. Had a couple of G&T's while I called and chatted up some friends and the siblings.

Sunday brought a nice walk around the three mile loop, some driving practice for the middle one (first to Frys, then up the twisty road to the summit of the coast range), some serious gardening (more by Sharon than by me), then a visit with some old* friends while the kids swam like fishies. (*We've just known 'em since the mid 1970's).

The eldest spent both days at Renfaire and is looking forward to her irreversible escape from teenhood on Monday. Apparently she is aging far faster than we are since I don't feel anywhere near old enough to have a twenty year old child.

I've written a ton of Netflix reviews, mostly on boobie movies. Some of them are the top rated reviews!

My family website has been greatly suffering from criminal neglect since the blogging, and before as well. As they say, "Something must be done". There is a link to 2003 xmas pictures on the front page for chrissake. To that end I am planning an overhaul. Not just an update to the background .gif mind you, but an actual re-factoring of the entire thing. If you have any really clever suggestions or good example sites that I could copy learn from feel free to send those along. Of course I am thinking of having a special page just for boob jokes for Grace.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Can you say County Fair?

We went to the County Fair last night. We went to see our friends' garden they won a first place ribbon for. It was really nice, with a water feature made of a slide, plants in a little boat, and all sorts of pretty garden stuff. That was cool.

But OMFG what a load of junk they were selling in the main room. Like complicated leather purses for $12, endless arrays of gadgets, tacky jewlery, burial plots, Green Party literature, stuff to clean your shoes. It went on and on. The baked goods displays were nice, but there was a fellow doing a hypnosis show with a bunch of audience members on stage. He was trying to get them to act like Michael Jacson when he said the word "ticket". I didn't see any MJ impersonations. We looked in several display halls.

There were nice textile crafts, just a few steps away from the bungee jump on a crane. (The girl we saw jump was watched very carefully, I half expected her to pop out of her top, I suppose half of the audience did too.) There were all the carnival food vendors you would expect (we had a funnel cake, and a gyro), and unfortunately we arrived too late to see the pig races.

There was no end to the bad custom decorations in every imaginable tacky motif, tee shirts to advertise where in Mexico you had *emigrated* from, reggae paraphenalia, and really amateur sales people. And I have not seen that many unattractive people in one place in a long time.

It was pretty good fun. If I had taken my camera I would have posted some really funny pictures.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Relax, don't do it

Somtimes you just need to have a snack before dinner. Sometimes you may want to have a drink with your snack. I suggest the following combo:
A Bombay Sapphire martini (with floating ice fragments) and Guittard chocolate chips. Of course you can always add in some Trader Joes Wasabi Cashews like Sharon just brought home.

I had fun with the meme but I'd like to add #6 *Bad Movies* like this. Hey, My review is the second most popular! Vote for mine to push it to the top!!! (Because I like to win!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Apparently one of my many hundreds of readers has challenged me to some sort of meme thingy. This one is about leisure. Specifically:List 5 things you enjoy, even when no one is around and you want to go out and play. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level?

In alphabetical order:

1. I'm not gonna sugar coat it kids: Onanism.
2. Building something, the larger the better. The satisfaction of cutting things up and sticking them together to make something greater than the sum of it's parts is very great. No kidding. I know that building things is hard and stressy for some, it is the opposite for me. Treehouse, house, theatre set, a rolling stand for the recycle bins, IKEA furniture, whatever. Nailed, screwed, welded, glued, cast, whatever.
3. Singing. I like to sing even if nobody is listening. I sing with the music playing in the car, if I can hit the notes. I like the lyrics in many many songs and frankly I like the sound of my voice. (Narcissist. Shocking, I know.) Singing to others is even better, but I think this is out of scope on the meme.
4. Walking, even if it is just a great big 4 mile circle. I don't like taking the dog, she goofs off too much. It is good to go with a partner so you can talk, but walking alone leaves plenty of time to reflect on your thoughts, which is better sometimes.
5. Cleaning the pool. The satisfaction at making something yucky into something nice. You can't be very stressed out after an hour in the sun scrubbing, chlorinating, and hosing.

Monday, August 15, 2005

We're Baaaaaack

We made it back in just under four hours, a record for my family. Back to the land of high speed Internets, dogs, a pool full of algae, and no food in the house. We got pizza. Yay.

Some vacation notes I forgot to mention before:

Danny and I were waiting for the family in the car outside Gar Woods, the restaurant that serves LOTS of drinks. Their drinking bus, that takes drunk people back to their rented condos, the one that says, "Gone Drinkin" on the front, was making a parking maneuver and hit a car right in front of us. Almost like the driver was drunk (but I'm sure he (probably) wasn't). The driver of the car who arrived later was very unhappy, even though the manager was apologetical... The word settlement comes to mind.

On the way up there was heavy traffic all of a sudden on the uphill trek. The fellow behind me stopped just fine, the moron behind him didn't and smacked right into him. I got to see crumpling hood in the rear view mirror, and hear that unmistakable THUD. Good thing the fellow behind didn't hit me. I'm sure the event ruined two vacations. Note to self: never tailgate and keep your eyes open.

The road signs for the trucks on Hiway 80 on the way down the hill from Donner Pass are pretty funny. They say eruidite things like "Let'r drift", "Easy going till Auburn", "Crank er' Up". We should have taken pictures.

The service in Tahoe restaurants could best be described as "variable". Some of it was good. Our dinner last night was notably the worst of all. We were seated. Our waiter visited our table a full 12 minutes later. Following our drink order we were served our drinks a full 20 minutes later. So we were in the bar/restaurant 35 minutes before we were served anything. Dinner came soon afterward and was pretty good, but the wait staff at first seemed genuinely unhappy that we were interrupting their work day. I left an 8% tip, only because the waiter himself had been told by the hostess (as I watched) to see to us, then failed to do so for another ten minutes.

The restaurants I like the most are the ones that don't take reservations, have an hour wait, and require you to come in and commit (to their "service") in person. I understand completely their motivation, they keep the seat queue as full as possible that way. Only problem is that it serves the business, not the customer. Too bad you can't switch restaurants more easily.

The weather in Tahoe during our visit was really very good. The water was consistently 68 degrees (the first six feet anyway) and all the drinkies we had were pretty good.

Realtors are very at ease telling you about the benefits of a 1000 square foot house that they are selling for $1,250,000.00. It seems thay have been to some desensitizing class to be able to do this. I think they offer the same class to people wo sell high end software packages; $250K for a compact disc.

I'll try to pull together a good set of pictures to post. I know, if I was a really good blogger I would have done this already, but hey, I was on vacation for crying out loud.

You should go to Tahoe. It is very nice, even though I complain.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

This is the end, my only friend, the end

Well we are letting the air out of the inflatable boat, thinking about what to have for our last dinner here, and watching re-runs of Night Court on TV-Land. Today we just read a few magazines went shopping a bit, got a spot of lunch ($85, remember, this is Tahoe), and went to the beach for some actual swimming. (Sorry no pictures, we forgot the camera).

Tonight we're having dinner at a place we have not been to before. Wish us luck.

We're all looking forward to getting back to our real house with our kitties and doggies, our pool, dinner that costs less than $200, and televisions where we know which channel is which.

Oh and where we have DSL instead of %@#$ dial up.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Another day in paradise

Today we looked at houses (surprise) and then we floated down the river. This sounds easy but it is actually some work, and you run the risk of getting tossed off the edge of the boat (like I did) when you hit a rock. Some things got wet, but not like last year when it took two days to dry out the camera and cell phone.

It takes about 2 hours, and it is a great way to relax and get wet. Plus there are numerous opportunities for people watching, usually shapely drunk people in their 20's, wet, and cavorting in bathing suits. Yes, I know it sounds boring.

One house we looked at has an absolutely stupendous location (private beach for 31 houses on a single one way loop road on the lake side of the highway) and needs massive style upgrading, but is structurally sound. It is the ugliest house in the development (good) and nearby houses are selling in the low to mid 900's. Problem is they want 749K for it and we'd have to flip it in less than a year to make the deal worthwhile. We could potentially make some real money, but only with lots of real work and some real risk.

Last night at 2:30 in the AM we got a call from Sharon's brother informng us that the Perseid metor shower was in full swing and awesome. So we got up and put on some clothes and went outside. Of course we saw nothing. We have requested a refund.

In a few minutes we are going to Gar Woods restaurant where they have yummy food, and a drink called the Wet Woodie. (Really, it's all about boats!)

Friday, August 12, 2005


Dinner was marvelous. Bombay sapphire martini, clos du bois wine with the seafood and fettucini. It was really good. The rest of the family had excellent dinners as well, venison, crab, and weinerschinizel. We ate at the Swiss House restaurant. It was absolutely fabulous.

Then we had desserts; souffle, and a chocolate dish. I just have to say. It was really great.

Oh yeah, Sharon drove home since I am hammered.

Having. Too. Much. Fun.

Wow, even though we only ate lunch and went to the beach today we are all wiped out (more or less). This is because we got up at 3:30 AM AKA prior to the butt crack of dawn, to watch the Perseid meteor shower. It was more like a drizzle. We saw nine shooting stars in 90 minutes, about 10 times less than advertised.

We did have a nice dinner last night at the darkest, most cramped restaurant in the Tahoe basin. The place is called Bacchis and it has been there since time began. Dinner was really great, family style Italian where they bring you a big bowl of soup, a big bowl of salad, antipasto, relishes, then the bring the entrees. It was the best we've had so far, and not that much more than the pedestrian fare we have had elsewhere.

Then it was off to the beach. Plenty of swimming. We also took lots of pictures. Our real estate agent wanted us to come into the office to sign a counteroffer, but Sharon did not want to get out of the water, so he came down to the beach so we could make a counteroffer on the place we bid on before. Maybe it'll work, maybe not. I'll post some pictures in a while.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

More fun

We went on a two hour bike ride today plus looking at some houses (shocking, I know).

Sharon and I are trying to winnow down our options and decide what to do. We'll let you know. Here is a picture of one really cute house we saw today. They only want 480K for this one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

zoom zoom zoom

After looking at a few houses (lousy, tiny, better than the first time) we got our act together and did something fun. Danny and I rode a jet ski for an hour. I don't have pictures since we already proved the camera was not waterproof last year.

Danny wanted to go fast, but the lake was a little choppy. We got up to 50 MPH a few times, which is really friggin fast when the spray is hitting you in the face and you are bouncing off of 2 foot high chop. We had a few good hops over some wakes and ended up pretty wet.

Everyone else went out shopping. Nothing like retail therapy for bored travelers.

We went out to a nice Mexican food dinner. One odd note was the fellow at the next table that had gone on a little walk which freaked out the family and then they all had a very emotional "discussion" about it. This is with two little kids at the table. Nobody seemed happy at all. Then they left and things calmed down really good.

Yesterday Sharon painted this nice picture while sitting by the lake.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The purloined lettuce

Had a wonderful dinner tonight at Jakes by the Lake, our new favorite restaurant. Three of us had the Caesar salad with sea bass. Jess had a candied walnut salad that had mint in it. I stole some. Damn that was good! The desserts kicked booty as well. As we said, "Elbows on the table, stirring my ice cream, Emily post; spin, spin, spin.

We got the sleeping arrangements figgered out. Big problem was that the married couple had ended up in the double bed, not the queen. That'd be AOK if we were lilliputian, but oddly we aren't.

Andy took some pictures by/in the lake this afternoon. Looky here:

Other than hang out and eat, we didn't conquer much today.

I did write three poems for my book, but they will all need major style upgrades to get them from weak to moving.

Now its off to fix the live journal to add links.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tally Ho!

Well we made it to Tahoe, after packing most of our belongings in the Suburban, and driving a whole bunch, whereupon the children began having "room selection issues". We sorted it out but that took a couple of months off of our lives. We established an Internet connection. We met the huge neighbor doggie. We then went shopping for groceries, then it was off to dinner. Our fav restaurant changed their menu and it is now very expensive and ho-hum at the exact same time, plus the service was truly slow. (= $15 tip on $150 meal) Then it was off to Albertsons for a blow up boat.

Now the kids are watching one of the 25 or so DVD's we dragged up. Star Trek TNG, with Tasha Yar no less.

Tomorrow we conquer, um, something.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


OK, so it is like 11:20 and I haven't started packing for Tahoe. Looks like I'll need a toothbrush, some tee shirts, a pair of shorts, some trunks, and sandals. That ought to do it.

Look here for more or less daily updates on the trip.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


The Miracle Worker closes tonight, (but you already knew that). Then comes strike, the cast party and the attendent goodbyes. I have a few things to do to get ready, like write some cards, charge the batteries on my cordless drill (where is the charger again?) and choose a stunning outfit for the party. (I'm thinking sweats)

Since this is my third show at Broadway West, I get a tee shirt tonight. I'm also looking forward to the poem that Mary is writing and will deliver. It's the rhyming kind that remembers all that went on in the show for better or worse, mostly for funny. I'm sure there will be plenty of moments to remember.

Closing night parties are always the most memorable; heartfelt hugs and good wishes, promises to keep in touch, and hopes that you'll work together again soon.

And now for good luck let me just say, "Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth."

Friday, August 05, 2005

That was nice

The performance went very well last night, especially a Good Thing since my whole family plus nine other friends were there to witness the event! Everyone said they enjoyed the play and then my very smart wife suggested that we all retire to our house for drinkies, hot tubbing, and swimming. (Did I mention she was smart?)

What a great idea! (Except for having to clean up after the little doggie on arrival; ugh!) The turnout was light but our guests made up for it by being very nice. The pool was pleasantly warm, and the moon was not up, so we could see the milky way. There were some good laughs, even when Jessie told one of my oldest shaggy dog stories. (Nice work kid. Just like Daddy would have done.) The sandman arrived at a wee hour, and the morning came too soon as usual.

Tahoe awaits!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The end begins

Tonight is the last Thursday performance for Miracle Worker (and my family is finally going to be there along with about 4 other friends! Hooray!) and the end is in sight. I'm sure by Saturday it'll be all good and we'll have a nice time at the party after the strike. Still it will be strange not seeing everyone again in a few more days. I'm sure it will be different.

To soothe my soul on separation from the cramped little backstage area called a dressing room, I'll be on vacation in the wide open spaces of Tahoe for a week and a day. It promises to be pretty good. We may come back, but no promises.

Yes, I'll post pictures from the trip as we go, and I'll get your email and comments. But I think we will be faced with the horror of DIAL-UP while we're there so don't bother sending me any huge multimedia extravaganzas. (I hope that is the correct plural of extravaganza.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Am having drinkie

Mint Julep (again)

Got a lot more sleep last night than usual but I had the WIERDEST dream.

We were going somewhere which turned out to be an exact copy of my dad's house except that the fireplace end of the living room had been greatly extended into a great room that had a large pool, large dining table, and a kitchen, and the house was the home of a very large family. Then the house turned into a place that we were staying in and when we left we had to take out numerous wood screws with flat bladed screwdrivers and remove unpainted plywood panels, because these constituted the door. We ended up with handfuls of screws. Then in the yard Sharon found an original artwork that was by someone famous, but I don't know who. Then we were at a circus tent sort of place where workmen were having a hard time getting something connected way up high and I showed them how to get that done using a bosun's chair, which strangely I was able to feel on my skin, which never happens to me in dreams. (I usually only see things, not feel them)

Sharon topped me by having a dream that had wine with octopus essence, and a similar vegetarian wine without the octopus essence. What the hell could that mean?

Oh and the patio is coming along nicely, but the visual isn't so exciting, so no pictures.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Destination: Happiness

The declaration of independence says something about the pursuit of happiness, which I take to mean that you have the right to seek it. In typical yankee ingenuity form, no mention is made of what one is to do to find it. I suppose you are supposed to make this up yourself.

This can be really hard. It seems the destination is spelled out pretty well, just not the path. So you do what you think is the next step towards your goal. Then you find out you chose the wrong action to take and you are right back where you started from, or worse. You do this over and over, picking up clues about which actions are wrong and right.

Hopefully you remember what you have learned along the way, and things get better more or less continuously. It doesn't always work this way though. Sometimes you take a wrong turn and go further than you thought you did before you realize your error. Retracing your steps doesn't always work since not everything is reversible. You have to find a new path, even though you may have no idea what that is.

With any luck, you have some friends to help you remember, to help you decide, and to share your happiness when you find some along the way; or perhaps more importantly, hold your hand when you need it. Make sure they are good friends; the kind that don't flee at the sight of trouble. They are your most important asset.