31 March 2009

It's funny cuz it's true

I had a very successful weekend.
I went out.
I danced.
I had fun.
I was asleep before the sun came up on both Friday AND Saturday.
I made an uber-classy choice to go the 14-year-old-drinking-by-the-train-tracks route of a Gatorade bottle half full of vodka.
But I was at a show. In the parking lot of a taqueria? Can we even call that a show? I mean.....what choices did I really have?
I inexplicably decided to do a full set of reps with a 100lb barbell. Well. Inexplicable is not strictly accurate. I did it cuz Stella wanted me to prove my freakish strength to her and I'm a sucker for peer pressure. I spent all yesterday trying to figure out OMG why am I so very VERY sore? My arms! They hurt!
My phone was either stolen, or found by someone who knew it was mine and didn't give it back to me and used it all weekend. To me that equals stolen, to other people apparently not so much. City of Chico: If you see some DUDE with a hot pink phone? It's mine.
Stella got $30 stolen out of her purse, and our friend James got $300 stolen out of his room, which is why I'm not really that pissed about my phone. Comparitively, it's no big deal.
I napped.
I met the (extremely adorable) girl version of Gabriel, one Miss Neveah. She's just his size, and she acts just like him, and I think they look alike, although others seem to think the fact that she's a little Mexican girl with brown eyes and long black hair negates that possibility. But they do! They look alike! Look at their cheeks!
Some dude intentionally spilled a beer on my friend Eden, because she didn't want to fuck his brother-in-law. She just about punched him the face.
Stella went out with one pant leg rolled up.
We met a guy who had never heard of L.L. Cool J. And then I realized that I'm getting kinda old. Does anyone else still think he's hot? Because I totally have not gotten over that Jr. High crush of mine.

So. I know my weekend recap's a day late and a dollar short, but how was yours?

30 March 2009

Review: Intelius Date Check

I recently had the opportunity to review Date Check, an online service offered by Intelius, designed to answer any questions you may have about another individual (presumably someone whom you’re dating, given the name, but you can search out anyone). Job history, criminal convictions, address history, bankruptcies, and all sorts of stuff that you'd want to know if you're nosy, like me.

It's no secret that I've been having a hard time with the dating scene since I moved here. Last month I decided to dip my baby toe into the online dating world.

Online dating squicks me out, and even I think that's inconsistent with my personality and what I do. I'm a blogger, and I'm comfortable and open and quite happy to form new relationships through the internet. But. Dating? I mean....that could lead sex?? Call me old fashioned, but online dating really just feels off to me.

But where do you meet people?? It's not like I've got a lot of choices here people.

So I've had a few matches. I've looked them over. Some email conversations. I haven't met anyone yet in person on account of the afore mentioned squick factor. But with a date check! A ha! This is the answer! This is exactly what I've been looking for!

The Intelius user interface is very simple; you enter the person’s name, state, and you have the option of entering their address. The person I searched only came up with one match, but I was searching for someone with an unusual name, so I imagine that with a more common name, there would be a set of profiles to choose from. You select the profile you wish to view, and Intelius spits out its report, which includes (as available) the following:

* Personal Public Records Data
* Property History Summary
* Single State Civil Judgments
* Business Profile Summary
* Address History
* Single State Criminal Check
* People Search Report

Lucky for me, I know how to pick a winner, and ALL of these things were available. Oh yes, you read that right, ALL of them.

Personal Public Records Data: This is name, known aliases, age and date of birth. Straight forward.

Address History/Property History Summary: This is where Date Check lists known historical addresses, along with associated phone number, known neighbors, etc., as available. The addresses aren’t listed in chronological order, and the dates of residence aren’t listed, so this section seems a little random. Ten listed addresses bouncing around from city to city could be strange, but you have no way of knowing the time span of the list, or the order of the residences, so this feature, in my opinion, seems to have limited functionality. You do have the option to click through to a property report, which for $10 will give you home value, ownership info, neighbors, tax information, legal description, neighborhood information, etc. I live in an area where almost NO ONE in my age bracket is a homeowner, so I have a hard time seeing the value of this service to me personally.

Civil Judgment Report: This section lists civil records from county courts, and provides all the relevant information you would need to pull records at the courthouse. Wouldn’t you know it? This is where the state tax evasion showed up. This person is starting to look suspicious.

Single State Criminal Check: NOW we get to the juicy stuff. The criminal check lists criminal records from county courts, department of corrections, and administration of courts. The report through Intelius lists the case number, the county, and the offense date. With this I then used my library sleuthing skills to go to the county court websites and look up the case numbers to get more info. For the individual I checked, Intelius didn’t offer a great deal of information on the 8(!) different records, but the case number and county were enough for me to take it to the next level and unearth a series of records ranging from the mundane (traffic citation), to the undisclosed (paternity case for a child whom I’ve never heard mentioned), to the genuinely criminal (felony case). At this point my journey left Intelius completely, and I’m off using the Freedom of Information Act to call courts and pull records, but Date Check was certainly the jumping off point.

Intelius has the option to “confirm case at the courthouse” for an additional $49.95. If you choose to do this, criminal records are verified on-site by a court researcher, and the report includes the offense, case number, sentencing, and some other info. Personally, I’d rather save the $50 and pull the records directly from the court. There are typically processing fees for this, but they’re much lower than $50, and unless a case is sealed by the court, you can pull substantially more information. So for me, the benefit of confirming at the courthouse is pretty limited.

Overall, Intelius offers an easy to navigate service that’s easy to read and understand. I particularly like the volume of information consolidated into one report. In regards to the features that are offered at additional cost, I didn’t see any that I thought would be worth the money, although I admittedly did not try them. I think a background check can be hard to do on your own because you don’t necessarily know where to look, but once you have a starting point, it’s simply a matter of fleshing out the details directly at the source.

I’m still feeling squicky about online dating, but I learned something very important:

I think I have heinously bad taste in men.

---

In addition to Intelius’s data search service, the free iSearch.com search engine allows you to quickly and easily uncover information about anyone. This is a great, targeted search that looks not only at public records, but also through social networking platforms. Get your search started at http://www.isearch.com.

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Intelius. Read what everyone thought about it here.


In unrelated news, I love you forever Molly

So I spent all weekend thinking that Sunday was the 30th. And it's....today. Which is good! Because it means I get to write this post.

Molly is one of my favorite people....on earth.

She's one of the only people in the entire world who I would tell anything. She tolerates my insanity and she lets me embarrass her, and she always ALWAYS knows the perfect thing to say, because she knows me so well.

Sometimes we don't talk for months, and then one of us picks up the phone and it's like we just spoke that morning. I can talk to her for two minutes because I need to tell her about the homeless guy I just saw who offered to sell me his shopping cart, or I can talk to her for seven hours about everything under the sun.

I wish she lived closer to me. Right now I think it's a pretty fabulous year if we manage to see each other twice.

I miss her like crazy. I love her like family.

Happy birthday honeyface.

Molsh

Wigs

me

Congratulations on a job well done.

Molly my lovey

The Harrars

If I could only show you ONE picture from this weekend

I am AWESOME

Luckily, I took a whole lot more.

And yes, that's my phone.

28 March 2009

I'm not good with ownership

I inexplicably lost my phone last night. I've certainly been known to lose my shit, and even misplace stuff, but I happen to have specific memories of the last point at which I had the thing, so I can't figure out how I lost it.

Anyhow. I don't have your number.

Please provide.

27 March 2009

Now & Then

I sent Gabriel to school on Monday, when I just thought he was a whiny toad, before I realized that he has a legitimate childhood illness. So I picked Gabriel up from school Monday afternoon, and we were walking to the bus stop when I hear, "Jenny? Jenny J-!" Once I register that this directed at moi, I look around bewildered. The car that was stopped at the crosswalk contains a guy, vaguely familiar, in the why do I know you sort of way. So I waved. Because what else do you do?

It took me 3 full days to sit bolt upright at 4am with the realization that we went to elementary school together. Shortly followed by the realization that we haven't seen each other for 16 years.

Why are people always commenting that I haven't changed a bit? Oh right. It's because I haven't. Observe...

Age 2:

Me

Age now:

BW

My mom says I have Downs Syndrome eyes, because she's sweet like that.

26 March 2009

We have been trained as homing pigeons

Before I outline my Zombie Plan, I must tell you two things:

1. Gabriel's dad has thought excessively about a zombie plan, and when we were together, I saw every zombie movie ever made, and we discussed at length how we would defend our home not if, but WHEN zombies came. As a result, I am now trained to evaluate buildings for relative zombie safety.

2. My parents' honest-to-jesus Emergency Action Plan is this: walk home. That applies to all children, wherever we are, presumably in the world. Walk home.

So. My apartment is NOT good for zombies. It's on the first floor, and there are many windows and doors that could be easily penetrated, and I don't have much by way of good furniture to use for barricading purposes. Also, we'd run out of food and water fairly quickly, and I don't have any zombie fighting weaponry.
Hopefully if zombies come, I'd already be at my parents' house. The structure itself is not particularly zombie-proof, but our nearest neighbors are over a mile away, so there's good possibility that our remoteness would provide protection.
And since we've been through some natural disasters (earthquake, fire and flood) I know that we have the following to pull us through: a well, a wood-burning stove, chickens, large food stores, and a good deal of food that's grown on-site. Oh! And guns! We have guns! I'm fairly confident of the J-/Kane ability to secede from society with a fair amount of ease.

Since our general natural disaster plan is to convene at my parents' house, I'm fairly certain that at the first sign of anything out of the ordinary I would head up there. That's what I do now, if the weather seems odd, or I'm running low on eggs. Plus I think that the zombies would tend to center in big cities, so we would have a bit of warning before it hits here. If driving wasn't an option, I'd bike, and if I couldn't bike, I'd strap Gabe on my back and walk home. I'd befriend sexily rugged men with guns as necessary.

Japanese Flower Dish


Perfect for storing your rings, or emptying your pockets (if you have pockets). On sale for $9.99 from Urban Outfitters.

Girl Talk Thursday - Twilight



Maria at Mommy Melee is starting up a new thing called Girl Talk Thursday. This week the topic is Twilight, love it or hate it? and OH MY GOD I HAVE OPINIONS. Conflicted, girly opinions.

I've blogged about the Twilight series before. HERE'S THE THING. I've read the first two in the series. After that I stopped, and well, like I said, here's the thing. They aren't good books. They're so angsty and full of blah and there's NO SEX and it's just Bella and Edward sitting around talking about how much they love each other and dude, he watches her while she sleeeps. And...everybody's okay with this?!? Plus I think Jacob Black is TOTALLY hotter both literally AND figuratively. I mean, I don't want to get it on with a 108-year-old virgin who feels like an unforgiving block of ice. Do you think his you-know-what is like an ice spear or something?

That said, I totally read the first two books in a three day period, and was 100% enraptured and entertained. I think if I hadn't taken the break I would have been happy to read all four, and I probably would have been just as engrossed for all of them. They're 100% compelling. I was totally a weepy mess for at least HALF of New Moon, and I even read the online version of Twilight through Edward's eyes, which Glamour Girl turned me on to. I can't lie. Pure entertainment. It's just that if you step away for a moment, you sort of remember that you're not 13, and the lack of sex leaves you frustrated that you need to lock yourself in the bathroom and take a nice hot shower, stat.

Didn't see the movie because going to the movies is not a part of my life. Not that I'm opposed, just that I never get a chance. And I have a hard time imagining how they would do a good job of captivating me, when I can't even put my finger on why the books were so captivating.

So. Love-Hate relationship, that's my answer.

25 March 2009

I loves me some bullet points

*For the first time, possibly in internet history, I correctly diagnosed my son with Dr. Google. The next day when the doctor told me it was "text book Roseola," I gave myself a little mental high five. Seriously? When do you EVER get it right with the medical advice of the interwebs? Gabriel is fine, by the way, just rashy and annoying. I'm thinking hoping he can go back to school tomorrow. In the meantime, sleeping in has been nice?

*Speaking of Never Sleeping Again, next week hails the next in my series of luckily-the-money's-nice blocks of mandatory overtime. I likely won't be around much in blogiverse next week.

*I have Friday off, so I'm heading up to Chico, where I never get into trouble. Heh. I'll let you know how that goes. And since I'm staying with my personal stylist one of my best friends, I'm sure to get a cut and color update. I'm open to thoughts and suggestions.

*At my mother's loving request and financial sponsorship, I took my car to the dealership. It was SOMETHING SOMETHING THROTTLE SOMETHING ALIGNMENT MAYBE, and now it's fixed! Huzzah!

*As per I've mentioned before, I'm going to BlogHer in July. Does anyone want to split a hotel room with me? I've reserved one with two double beds which I honestly cannot afford. I'm fun!

*It's ten o'clock on a Wednesday and I'm not wearing pants. I should remedy that...

Cherry Tree Pillow


This pillow does not go with my current decor. But. It's beautiful and on sale. $19.99 (down from $32) at Urban Outfitters.

24 March 2009

Kiss, Kiss


I was fourteen. I felt silly and childish and embarrassed that it was my first kiss. I didn't want him to know. Of course he did, because I was fourteen and I didn't know what I was doing. Incidentally this is also the way I felt about losing my virginity.

After the initial first-kiss awkwardness, it ended up working out okay.

I think this may have been my only non-intoxicated first kiss. Not sure what that says about me.

Take Flight Lucky Necklace


I can't speak for how y'all are doing in 2009, but I know I could definitely use some good luck charms. Especially the pretty kind. You can pick up this sweet necklace for just $12.99 (down from $18) at Urban Outfitters.

23 March 2009

Only interesting if you're interested in hair color, and you probably aren't??

I've been a redhead for about a year and a half now, and while I wouldn't think my hair color would have that much of an effect on my life, I have some thoughts. You are interested in my thoughts!

People (well, men in particular) seem to either have a thing for redheads, or be totally repulsed by redheads. I haven't found much neutrality. It's strange because I'm pretty sure the feelings about blondes and brunettes don't run that strong. Although maybe I'm wrong? Please, elucidate me.

Yeah, wow, I actually do get approached by different people/treated differently/have different expectations of my personality. Which is totally weird, because promise promise, I'm the same fucking person. As a blonde, the idiot things that I said were constantly pointed out like dumb blonde airhead much? What's with the giggle? As a redhead, the bitchy sarcasm gets noticed in a weird, wow she's sassy! way.
And yeah, I'm a bitch. Also? I have my blonde moments.

When the super skeevy guys say something like, "Oh damn I LOVE your hair," I've GOTTA tell them that I dye it. And then? They argue...because I would lie?
Check it out. I came into this world with blonde hair and freakishly pale skin. My Irish/Scottish/Welsh/English heritage goes equally well with the red hair.

---

By the way you should sign up for my CD Exchange if you're so inclined. And if you're here from UBP, scroll down a bit.

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Whoa I'm a slacker!! (Big surprise there, right?)

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

A ha! I was doing my reading this morning, and I noticed that Maria had put up an Ultimate Blog Party post, and I thought, huh. I meant to do that.

Story of my life...

Anyhow, welcome to my party! I've got Two Buck Chuck (red AND white because that's how I roll), and...uh...milk? Or water. I'm happy to provide you with a tall, frosty glass of tap water. Oh! Or juice boxes. I can feed you edamame, cheese poofs, or cashews. That's about it really. I'm notoriously bad at keeping food in my house, and even worse at feeding people when they DO come over. My hostessing skills are some of the very worst. But I'm fun! Honest I am!

WHO AM I?

I'm Miss Grace.
I'm 26.
I have a 3-year-old, Gabriel.
He's quite charming.
I have degrees in linguistics and library science, because I'm TOTALLY NOT A NERD.
I spend more time reading books than I do reading blogs, which is really saying something if you bother calculating how much time I spend reading blogs.
My leanings are liberal, non-religious, eco-conscious, etc.
I think Obama's dreamy.
I'm going to BlogHer this July, so we can meet face to face. I'll talk a lot. It's a nervous habit. Tell me to shut up already. Or buy me a drink.

Sorry, like I said before, I'm a bad hostess, so this is sort of a lame party...
But! I can redeem this yet. There are prizes to be had!!

All are awesome, but my top three choices would be:

19 — $50 gift certificate to Target Stores (or really any of the $50 gift certificates to Target [19, 21, 22])

106 — Melissa & Doug Role Play Dress Up Costume (prize value $50)

125 — A neato mommy & toddler gift basket!

Really, I'd be happy with any other prize appropriate for a 3-year-old boy, or a 20-something working mom who doesn't like to cook, or, um, I think I noticed some other Target gifties?

Adorable dresses for little girls

Today is the 2nd birthday of my darling cousin Camille! She is the only little girl in my entire family, which means she's the only available outlet for my obsession with adorable little girl clothes.


This polka dot dress from The Children's Place is on sale for $14.62 (reg. $19.50). Available in snap pea, julep, and girlie. I have a dress that looks an awfully lot like this. It's still cute in grownup sizes right??


This floral-print is super-cute, and it's made out of jersey knit, so I think it's probably super comfy too. Comes in blue or pink for just $14.50 from Old Navy.


I LOVE THIS! Couldn't you just die? I'd really like this in a cross-over wrap shirt for me, but a sweet little toddler dress will do I suppose. Available in field goal green or frosted berry, $24.50 from The Gap.


And the perfect party dress! Camille would look just like a present, or a bunch of balloons, or something else equally delightful. Watercolor Dot Dress is $20 from Gymboree (Spring Break Deal, normally $29.75).

22 March 2009

Living Green and Saving Money

For us, living green and living on the cheap are intimately intertwined. In case you missed the memo, I'm a single mom, and I'm poor.

Green things that save me money:
*My mom keeps chickens, and ensures that our whole family has fresh, organic eggs.
*I also poach a good deal of produce grown organically by my parents, most often avocados and apples.
*I pay all of my bills online, which not only cuts down on paper, but saves me the cost of stamps and checks.
*I take the bus to and from work. This not only cuts down on gas use, but saves me the huge cost of the $60/month parking permit I would need to drive.
*I use rags instead of paper towels.
*I refill my ink cartridges. Refilling your cartridges ends up being significantly cheaper than buying costly new ones every time the printer runs low.
*When Gabriel was in diapers, we used cloth.

There are also some things I do for the planet that don't necessarily save cash:
*Reusable shopping bags.
*Recycling.
*Natural cleaning products (such as Nature's Source Cleaners), detergents, shampoos, soaps, etc.
*I buy fair trade and organic whenever possible.

Hey I was raised by a couple of hippies in Northern California, this stuff is second nature to me.

What do you do?

Let me know, and let the Parent Bloggers Network know. You could win a $250 VISA gift card.

Titles are for....people who can think of titles

Friday night after the wretched grocery store screaming, I let Gabriel take some pictures*, and! He is a budding photographic genius! He took this photo of the kitchen, and I'll be the first to admit that the main reason I like it is that it captures the two square feet of that space that aren't a slovenly mess:

dishwasher

He also took this picture of me, and yeah, that's what I turn into after a solid week of butting heads with Mr. Obstinate; a pouty puddle on my bedroom floor (channeling the spirit 13-year-old Miss Grace and her fiercely eyes):

Tired!

To prove that I haven't locked the brat in a basement dungeon (yet), this is Gabriel marching through a field near our apartment yesterday morning, doing his best to demonstrate that even in his most trollish phases, he can still be pretty charming:

IMG_3215

It also helps that he's curled up next to me napping right now, and he looks impossibly sweet when he's at rest. I think I'll keep him.

I took my car to the dealership today. Because I decided that what I really need in my life is a money hemorrhage.

*Yeah, I let Gabriel use my camera. I am insane.

Angel Island Top in Aqua

This happens to be a very flattering cut on me. I suspect it's flattering on lots of people. I love the details around the neckline, as well as the length. Excellent color for warmer weather. Angel Island Top comes from my favorite bricks and mortar store in Chico, which also happens to be an excellent online shop: LuLu's Fashion Lounge ($37, sizes s, m, l)

21 March 2009

At least I did the laundry, which oughta count for something.

I picked up my car today. It's not fixed. My mechanic hasn't been able to replicate the problem since Monday, and when it's working he can't figure out what's wrong with it, which he thinks is likely something boring like a jiggly wire or some such, but he needs it to fail so he can find said boring thing and fix it. So he told me either he could keep it till it did it again, or I could drive it till it happened, call him right away, and he'll come out and meet me and run some tests. So I have my car.
What I lack is confidence in the thing.
So.
I have a car, but I don't really want to drive it anywhere.

Gabriel's still whiling away his days being categorically awful. The worst part is that he's started melting down in situations where I HAVE to give him his way, which just reinforces The Bad. Yesterday afternoon we got on the bus to go home and he started screaming because he wanted to be in a different seat (after already changing seats twice so it was getting ridiculous), and the bus driver says to me, "He can't do that the whole ride you know," so I move seats again because I don't want to get KICKED OFF THE BUS.
Last night my sister took us to the grocery store because we didn't have my jewel of a car yet, and he wants my sister to push the cart so he just starts shrieking. And maybe she would have pushed him if he had asked, but since his initial approach was Tantrum Freakout Mode, you CAN'T give him his way because he's so awful, except that I'm out of milk and we HAVE to go grocery shopping and everyone's staring at you and you can't get him to stop and yeah, Laura pushes the cart.
There have definitely been times when Gabriel has melted onto the floor and started wailing and I've just picked him up and left without doing fill in the blank, but sometimes you're out of toilet paper, and then what?
I don't know if I'll ever get my mom to babysit again after the trauma of Thursday night.
While Gabriel has always been one of those Difficult Children, it's only been the past week or so that I've started to seriously consider selling him to the gypsies.
I'm hoping this is a short-lived phase, since I don't have any idea what I can slap together for the interwebs if I can't fall back on pictures my son. Maybe whoever buys him can set up a shared photosite so I can still distract you with his dreamy eyes.

20 March 2009

Productivity is relative

A list of things I didn't do when Gabriel was with my mom last night:

*laundry
*dishes
*tidy up
*vacuum
*shower
*cook

A list of things that I DID do:

*watch Weeds, season one.
*drink wine
*eat chocolate
*walk around my house with no pants on
*sleep

Then my mom called me this morning to ask, "Has Gabriel been unusually difficult lately?" Why yes, yes he has. I didn't want to tell her that he's lately been throwing tantrums because I cannot bend the laws of space and time, because I was worried that she wouldn't host him for a sleepover. She told me she felt like his teachers were doing secret high fives behind her back when she picked him up early from school.

There was a point on Wednesday when I had to lock myself in my bathroom and Chill The Fuck Out For A Minute because I was THIS close to dumping a bowl of Cheerios on Gabriel's head. If I didn't have some uninterrupted Me Time stat, I was seriously going to lose it, because that child? Oh my god. Parents, listen to me now: THREE IS WORSE THAN TWO.

Today I'm feeling fresh as a spring daisy, ready to be Fun Mom for the weekend. I'm going to try very hard not to bang my head on a wall, wish me luck!

19 March 2009

Open-Front Cardigan


Just ordered this open-front cardigan (in lead pipe) from Old Navy (now only $17!). I love the way it drapes (or rather, I love the way it looks like it will probably drape). I'm in need of some new sweaters/wraps/layers, and I'm adding this one to the collection.

Swiss-dot Melody dress


I am seriously in love with this adorable dress from J.Crew. It's on sale for $98 (from $118), plus get an extra 20% off sale items with the code EXTRA20 at checkout.

18 March 2009

CD Exchange, 2009 Edition

This year I'm up for April for my "real-life" CD Exchange. Last September, I so very much enjoyed extending my month to the online-iverse. So I'm doing it again!

How it will work:

1. Email me (grace at missdisgrace dot com) subject line CD Exchange indicating your interest. Please include a mailing address.
2. When I mail out my April CD's, I'll pop one in the mail for you as well.
3. Before April is over, return the favor, and send me CD of your genius creation.
5. We will all rock out in our respective locales.

Hard copy only please; I had some trouble last time around with emailing music back and forth.

Please email me no later than Sunday, March 29th.

LilSass, if you wanna try to play again, I'll send you a copy of last September's CD too, since I'm pretty sure that didn't work out for either one of us?

17 March 2009

It's National Tie Up Loose Ends Day!

*I'm going to leave my commenting form as is for the time being. I think that if the previous format was NOT giving you problems, this is less convenient. But it lets everyone post. So. More convenient! May change back at some point, because I'm indecisive like that. Whateva!

*My car. Uh yeah. I've alluded to this, but not explained. My car broke down Thursday night when I was driving home from my parents' house. In the middle of nowhere on a back country road. With no cell phone reception. Luckily strangers are kind, and a very lovely couple pushed my car to the side of the road, let me use their superior Verizon touch-screen blackberry, and waited until my brother arrived with a AAA card and a good strong back. My car was driving, and then it was not. Apparently (says the mechanic) it will start, and then after about 20 minutes of driving, just, cut out and be done, and then if you wait like 30 minutes, it will start again. He, and all of his mechanically minded buddies, are stumped. Still don't know what's wrong, will call me when they figure it out to let me know what the minimum bid should be when I sell Gabriel on E-Bay.

*Side effects of car:
**I stayed home, actually at home, all weekend, which I've literally never done.
**I have to wake up 1/2 hour earlier to take the bus in the morning to get Gabriel to school, and then we get downtown 20 minutes before his school opens. This morning we went to coffee. Well, Gabriel got a vanilla steamed milk, but you get the idea.
**I'm running out of groceries.

*Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is my one year anniversary at this job. Which means it's my one year and four day anniversary of living in SC, and my 10 month anniversary of totaling my Really Very Lovely Toyota Matrix.

*Gabriel's going through a Really Unpleasant tantrum throwing phase. And the meltdowns? They are for such LAME things. Such as I don't know where the hat for this Lego guy is perhaps you should look for it. Meltdown! But I'll help you look. No! I don't want you to help me! I just want you to do it! Or last night, we were coloring, and, because I failed to consult my telepathy, I did not realize that Gabriel would be Really! Very! Upset! if I colored my flower red instead of orange! HOW COULD I DO THAT?!?!

*INTERNET PHENOMENON! Readers of Swistle may be aware of the budding INTERNET PHENOMENON, The Chicken Game (<- as explained by Dr. Maureen). Well! This is fabulous! And Dr. Maureen sent me Mr. Pickles! And his brother Mr. Pickles!

OMG TCG

Mr. Pickles and his brother, Mr. Pickles!

But hey! I....live with Gabriel. And three-year-olds seem unlikely to follow TCG rules, if'n y'know what I mean. So I have my chickens, neat! But I need to find someone with whom to play who will not come to the immediate conclusion that I Am Insane. This may prove to be tough, as most of my real-life friends don't really cotton to the idea of perpetuating INTERNET PHENOMENA.

*On the subject of MAIL! I also won a superdeeduper prize from Emily at Pretty Crabby. This was...oh a month ago? The main part of the prize was massage oil, which, eh, that's good I guess. But! She also included all this other fabulosity! Like a sample size of the perfect red nail polish from Sephora, and a really fantastic little journal. And lip balm! And a little red robot dude for Gabriel! My honest intention was to photograph all of this when I got it, but it's since been incorporated into my home, and who knows what's what these days. So. Thanks!

*Winnings! I also won this CD at Am I Doing Okay? I think I've maxed out my internet prize winning luck for...awhile. At least.

*I also think I won a book from Literary Menagerie, but I never got it, so now I'm doubting if this is true? I'm fairly certain I won a book from....somewhere. I guess I'll find out when it shows up.

*BlogHer. Is anyone remotely near the Bay Area remotely interested in driving? I REALLY want to get in on this Chevrolet Carpool business! (Otherwise yeah, yeah, I'll fly).

I think? I'm done.

16 March 2009

Just really quick

So I switched commenting formats (AGAIN) because readers (including me! I couldn't comment on my own posts!) were having trouble commenting with Blogger's embedded format when using Firefox.

But is this one just....too annoying? Can you comment now? Should I switch back? Please let me know in the comments here, OR email me grace at missdisgrace dot com.

15 March 2009

When your toddler tricks you into going outside in the rain...

IMG_3135

IMG_3136

And since I know someone's going to ask, Gabriel is wearing his outfit of choice, shorts over pajama pants. The good news is I had a great reason to wear my rain boots:

My boots!

Also? When we got home Gabriel played the harmonica for me. He's strangely good at it.

Superhero + Harmonica

14 March 2009

Too long for a tweet

When my car broke down*, EVERYONE asked me if it was out of gas. It wasn't. Are you sure? Yeah. Really? Yes. Oh wow, it's not! Yeah, I know.

Gabriel's been playing with his cars all day saying,

"Oh no it's not working! Are you out of gas? Are you SURE??"


*My car broke down on Thursday night. My mechanic is stumped, which is not optimistic.

This is a cop-out


13 March 2009

Why does finding comfort have to be so hard?

This started off as a comment on this post, but then I realized that it was not really that related and also excessively long. So!

I'm somewhere between 5'4" and 5'5", depending on who you ask. I'm not skinny.

When I was 17 my mom tricked me into getting out of the car and coming into the office during my little brother's checkup, and when I got inside, there was HepB shot waiting for me. Then my pediatrician (whom I had refused to visit since his attempt to bring up safe sex 5 years earlier) took me aside and told me that really, I could stand to lose five, maybe ten pounds. Just something to think about before my weight got out of hand.

At the time, I wore a size 6.

Since that time (with the exception of my pregnancy, when they all laid off a little bit) every doctor I've been to for any reason has told me that I need to lose weight. And yeah, I'd like to lose 10lbs. Sure. But at my last annual exam my gyno (a new one) told me that I should probably lose 25-30. And I don't want to point fingers here but it is a FACT that she was heavier than me.

What. The. Fuck.

First of all, I'm totally healthy. I have low blood pressure and low cholesterol and I exercise regularly and I eat my veggies and blah dee blah blah.

Second of all, dear readers: a lot of you have met me, and even if you haven't I post current pictures of myself on a fairly regular basis. I AM NOT FAT. I'm not delusional. I'm not looking at myself in a fun house mirror. Yeah, I'm not rail thin; in fact, I'm not thin at all. I'm just not fat. Fuck that.

So what am I? Well I do weigh a lot for my size. I think I'm more muscular than most girls, based on the fact that I'm significantly stronger than most girls. True fact: I weigh more than you would guess.

I just don't understand why you (medical professional) can't take your eyes off of the chart for the way things are supposed to be, look at the healthy, comfortable person in front of you, and chill the fuck out.

Because even though I've worked hard to be comfortable in my own skin? That sting gets harder and harder to laugh off.

12 March 2009

Fingerless Gloves

Yesterday, yknow, one week before Spring will get sprung, it got all frosty cold here. My iPod Touch is a critical component of my ability to Ignore Everyone Including Coworkers without being openly hostile. My iPod no worky if my fingers are protected from frost. Had it been a one day thing, I probably would have forgotten about this task, but I was COLD AGAIN TODAY, so I'm on the hunt.

Originally I thought I wanted the kind of fingerless mittens that have the button over flap thingy, but those frankly are NOT as cute as the kind that are just fingerless hobo gloves.


These ones are made out of sweatshirt material, and come as a set with an equally adorable scarflette for $32 from Freeflight Clothing.


These sweet cream ones are the ones that I'm leaning towards probably most likely getting at the moment, because they're color-neutral. And ruffle! $36 from secondseed.


But OMG these? How cute are these? TINY BUTTONS! $30 from uloni.


I love the embroidered flowers on these so I had to include them, although they're honestly meant for someone else because that's not quite my color. $42 from secondseed.

Cody My Love

Met Cody the VERY FIRST DAY I moved into the UCSB dorms. He was still in the "OMG I DON'T LIVE WITH MY PARENTS I CAN BE OPENLY GAY" phase of running away to college, and I believe he was wearing a tight mesh t-shirt under overalls.

Checking the package

Once, I got off work at 3am, went over to Cody's house, and drank a case of 40s with Cody, Ben and Paris. At some point we started doing headstands.

Genoa

He was my date to my cousin Jasmine's wedding in Genoa, Nevada. Our room key inexplicably opened all of the doors in the hotel. It took us eleventy seven hours to make the 8 hour drive. Cody violated a covered wagon. We spent something like 10 hours watching episodes of Trading Spaces and drinking beer in our room. Best. Road trip. Ever.

I missed him when he went to Japan. I miss him now that he's in New York. He's pretty much one of the greatest people ever.

Union Square

Happy birthday Sugar.

11 March 2009

I swear it's all related

Something I've noticed, which is alternately an advantage or a disadvantage of typing vs. writing by hand:

I'm a speedy typist and a plodding thinker, which balances out to a point where I type at roughly the same speed as I think.

On the bonus side: typing and thinking at the same pace means that those pesky thoughts don't fall out of my sieve-like brain and disappear into the ether. Look! I wrote it down! Now I remember what we were talking about! Let's discuss it shall we?

On the meh-not-really-that-great side: When I'm writing things by hand, I actually have to think about my words before I write them down. It could be argued that my ideas are a little more...logical. And well put. And linear? With the typing, I'm not gonna say always, but I MAYBE, SOMETIMES get a little tangential with my thinking...

Hey! Speaking of writing and thinking at the same time, do you know what I was thinking about this morning? I'm not really a fan of fingerless hobo mittens because I'm not a hobo, and when I was in high school I didn't shove my thumbs through holes in my sweatshirt sleeves or listen Nine Inch Nails AND I wasn't a dirty hippie, so I also don't fall into any of the non-homeless fingerless glove style categories. But! When it's cold enough for gloves/mittens? Having an iPod Touch SUCKS ROYALLY. You have to get your hand all naked and cold in order to play your Sudoku at the bus stop. And then your fingers are blue and you're all inaccurate with your touch screen and then it's like NO NO NO that's NOT where I said I wanted the 9 to go, there's ALREADY a 9 in that row. Not that that happened this morning or anything (this wintry, 32 degree morning).

I am thus officially on the lookout for a cute pair, possibly the kind with the button-over mitten flap? My knitting skills are positively not advanced enough for this project.

09 March 2009

Too tired to come up with a clever title

I'm historically bad with these post-travel posts. I might spend a whole weekend in another state, on an exciting adventure, and only tell you about the cab rides, or a couple pick-up lines. Therefore, you'll have to forgive me for resorting to bullet points.
  • Virgin America! Best airline ever! Comfy seats, food is edible, nifty console, cheap, on time! Yes!
  • Flight there was immeasurably improved by the fact that I was not sitting by this guy. The drugs helped too.
  • Flight home was made immeasurably more painful by the fact that I'd had just two hours of sleep, was still drunk, and...yeah that about covers it.
  • Kathy! I loves me some Kathy. There were some logistical problems with the fact that I didn't have a computer, and Kathy didn't have a phone, but we did eventually coordinate a facebook chat that got us into the same part of town.
  • Boston has one of the best public transportation websites I've ever dealt with.
  • Friday Stacy, Kathy, Ben and I went to dinner at a pubbish type place, and for the first hour or so that we were there, we were treated to inexplicably loud and out of place hip-hop. Then, once people started to show up and the place was turning more into a bar than a restaurant, the volume went way down and the music turned all easy listening.
  • I totally abandoned Miss Lola. We were supposed to meet up for lunch on Saturday. I couldn't find my phone, and the aforementioned computer dearth left me unable to contact her. Sorry honey!!
  • Saturday afternoon I wandered around downtown with Ben and his friends (who are all really nice people, by the way). Between this and my wanderings with Kathy, I can actually say with a fair amount of honesty that I've "seen" Boston.
  • At the bar we went to on Saturday night, the well gin was Tanqueray. That was awesome.
  • Ben and I went on a 3am french fry walk, whereupon we ran into some strangers, and I fed them goldfish crackers, and he told them about the time we got him a stripper for his birthday (Note to self: Tell scaggy old stripper story at some point).
  • Bacon salt on french fries is the most delicious thing. Ever. Heather, Lilsass, bacon lovers everywhere: take note!

05 March 2009

Hush Little Baby Medley

Gabriel and I have recently incorporated movie making into our bedtime routine, right before stories. He told me he wanted to sing Hush Little Baby for the computer. I am not familiar with this version.*




Those are Spider-Man tattoos on his belly (the obsession lives on).

*You may need to click through from the reader to see the video.

Sleeveless pleated dress


I am LOVING this springy Banana Republic dress. I'm not loving the model's freaky shoulders, but that's a side issue. The pleats and cut would be flattering on a wide variety of body types. I think this would be a fabulous addition to any modern wardrobe, available in mount olive, leon coral and black, sizes XS-XL, $150.

04 March 2009

IMs with Ben

Me: I checked the weather for this weekend, what in the hell is a wintry mix??

Ben: it means drink more.

Me: do you have basic toiletries?
or do I need to bring them?

Ben: haha
I have them
I have to get laid and this isnt ucsb
i have to shower and launder my clothes

Me: just wanted to make sure that if I showed up without soap I wouldn't be dirty the whole frickin trip

Ben: no I'll get one of my friends to lick you clean

Me: as long as your FRIEND is clean
otherwise I think it's just spreading the dirt around

03 March 2009

A lesson in high school self-esteem

A friend of mine uploaded this picture onto Facebook, and I so vividly remember it; I simply must share.

Junior Year in High School

This was taken my junior year in high school at the winter dance (10 years ago). I made that dress at home. By myself. I'm positive that I no longer have those skillz. I'm wearing character shoes (we were all very into swing dancing at the time). In fact, I think I still own those shoes. Is that possible?

I remember how much I hated my hair. I used to have very curly hair, which I hated, but seriously? It was like, perfect ringlets. WTF. This was a failed attempt (by Mira) to straighten it, which lasted all of 40 minutes before it degraded into an early 90s frizz.
I was also fairly convinced that I had horrible saggy boobs so I was super self-conscious the whole night because I wasn't wearing a bra. No bra! I'm sure fellow mothers can appreciate this miracle because THAT IS SO NOT EVEN A CHOICE TODAY.

Anyhow, I really wish that when I was 16 I knew the following:
  • Curly blonde hair is desirable.
  • If you wear size 4 pants, you're not fat.
  • You're really fucking cute.
  • Don't DON'T REALLY DON'T wish that you had bigger boobs. This wish will come true, and (aside from their useful function as Wobbly Bit Distractors) they're quite obnoxious and in-the-way.

02 March 2009

There's a moral here*

Love your siblings

*I think it's this: Don't be mean to your baby sister because when you grow up, she might pin you to a bathroom bench and give you a wedgie while your best friend snaps a picture. And she might have a blog.

Monday, but at least it's a short week

I managed some woefully boring productivity this weekend. I washed my bras, which is most likely my least favorite type of laundry to do. No matter what path I take, I always feel like I'm doing it wrong. And they never fit as well once they've been washed. I dunno. How/how often do you wash your bras? Is there a magical formula that will change my life and make this less heinous? I feel like they're still dingy after hand-washing, but even in those special lingerie bags the washing machine beats them up too much.
My car smells like some sort of rotting vegetable matter, which was enough incentive to finally clean it out. Except it's clean now, and smells just the same, which in a way is more troubling. At least before I could imagine a good explanation buried under discarded sweatshirts and empty bags of chips.
I went to Costco, and ZOMG HAVE NOT BEEN FOREVER. My last job provided us with a Costco membership and (yeah yeah it's only $40) I just haven't managed to get my ass in gear to get my own card. Anyhow, a side effect of never going is that I felt like this was my One Trip in a Lifetime, and I did not manage to leave the building without first significantly raping my checking account.

I'm leaving for Boston, um, Thursday? That does not seem like real life. I keep absent-mindedly forgetting that I'm even going at all, and then Whoops! I'll be there in less than a week!
And hey? East Coast? I hear it's fracking cold over there! It was sort of misty/rainy all weekend, but in a pleasant 55 degrees sort of way. I always find myself woefully unprepared for making these massive climate jumps.
I've also been having increasing anxiety re: flying, which, yeah I know, more likely to die in a car blah blah blah. But you know what THIS taught me? That planes really do fucking suck. I mean if one can honestly be brought down by a goose? We have some problems. The good news is they make drugs for just this sort of adventure, and I shan't be boarding without a Xanax firmly in hand.

Gabriel will ideally be spending the weekend with his father. We have plans to meet on the way to the airport, which is causing some low-grade panic (likely to increase as the week goes on). What if he doesn't show for some reason and I'm halfway to the AIRPORT with our son? In reality, although he tortures me aplenty, he hasn't been a no show for anything in over a year. Also I'm not actually out to make his life as shitty as possible, so I wouldn't really feel like it was fair to leave Gabey at my mom's and have the exchange happen there, in my absence. Besides, I have my poor mother to think of. I dunno. Like I say, the panic is, as of yet, low-grade.