Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thinking Of Running Off to the Caribbean?

I was just sitting around daydreaming and perusing my email when up popped an email from Sandals Resorts. Emails from Sandals tend to be full of material to daydream about, so I opened it up and was not disappointed. They are offering a sale for Valentine's day that is really awesome - so if you are at a loss as to what to get your significant other, consider running off to the Caribbean with him! Talk about romantic!

Anyway, the sale is up to 50% off and they are ***offering 2 free days *** which is a spectacular deal because Sandals is all-inclusive, so those 2 free days come with meals and all the trimmings.

I have only been to 2 of the Sandals resorts, the Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island and Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica - While both of the resorts are great, I would recommend Jamaica over Bahamas because of the incredible natural beauty of Jamaica. I am working on a review of Sandals Whitehouse - and have posted some photos of Jamaica, if you are interested!



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Friday, January 18, 2008


My daughter called me yesterday to see if I was going to see Hillary Clinton in Santa Barbara at her so-called "Town Hall Meeting" at UCSB (The local university). I hadn't heard Madame Hillary would be in town, but since the Barak Obama event turned out to be such a pleasant surprise, I thought why not? So I sprung my daughter from school, and off we went. I also phoned up hubby Harry at work and invited him along as well and although he is no fan of Madame H., he was game and said he would meet us there.Police and Security
When we were about 10 minutes away however, Harry called to say that it was impossible to get in. Being the eternal optimist, I decided to try anyway... and I thought it a bit odd that they weren't letting people in... wouldn't Hillary want to have the chance to speak to as many as possible? I still had the flawlessly organized Barak Obama event in my mind; they let everybody in and even let me take some nice pictures. Mr. Obama had bodyguards, as one would expect, but they were fairly low-key. As he arrived, he took the time to shake hands with those waiting along the railing, stopped and exchanged a few words here and there and was on the whole friendly and accessible. Likable.Barak Obama
Different story all together with Madame Clinton. Apparently, people had been waiting outside the venue for 3, 4 even 5 hours to hear Hillary, and when they opened the gates, the masses pushed their way through in sort of a survival of the fittest exercise, which resulted in many of those who had been waiting there the longest not even getting in! We ran into several of my daughter's schoolmates and their parents who hadn't gotten in and they had been there since 3:00 - for an event that started at 6:45. They said people just pushed them out of the way. Yikes.View of Hillary Clinton Through The Bars
Well you can't blame that on the Clinton campaign, right? I suppose... but it did dawn on me that the chosen venue was extremely small (basketball court size) when there was a stadium and a big concert hall right near by. They must have realized that there would be a crowd...right?

Hmm. So I asked a few of the police that surrounded the "Town Hall" whether it was possible to just take some pictures. I might well have asked them to sprout wings and fly, because the answer would have been somewhat similar. So we waited, hoping to catch a glimpse of Ms. Clinton as she arrived, and to listen a bit to her "conversation => monologue" over the PA system that was to suffice for the trampled masses left out in the cold. (And it was the 40s!)
Hillary Clinton at UCSB January 17th, 2008
So the thing got started, and we were listening and shivering outside, peeking through the window from afar, and I hear the woman who is introducing Ms. Clinton say something like blah blah "so the people in the overflow rooms can hear." Which I found to be a rather odd thing to say given that there were no overflow rooms, unless "OUTSIDE IN THE COLD" now counts as a room. (I later verified this with one of the campus security crew).

And then it hit me. This whole thing was staged just for the media. They (Hillary and campaign people) didn't give a rat's arse about the people who showed up to hear Hillary Clinton talk. She just wanted the whole thing to look good on camera.
Hillary Clinton at UCSB January 17th, 2008 - Again
We listened to Ms. Clinton speak for about 20 minutes, but by this time we were freezing and I was pretty fed up with listening to her go on about how she is going to spend everybody else's money, so we left. Besides, if she can't even be honest about the venue she is speaking in, who gives a potato about what else she is saying. What a phony!

My daughter, who is young and liberal, commented that she sounds like she is talking to small children when she speaks (i.e. condescending). I really hope you folks don't elect her to be president. If you want a democrat, vote for Obama. He is far more genuine.

My 2 cents.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Crock Of Quality Time

quality time
A Boomer buzz phrase of the 1980's designed to alleviate a mother's guilt as she drops her kids off at the daycare center and heads off to work. See Latchkey kid.

Mothers don't let your girls grow up to be cowboys! Scroll back to the 1980's if you will, for I have a story to tell! It is of a young, impressionable girl, eager to make her way in the world and find her place in the sun, faced with the daunting task of somehow becoming the woman in the Enjoli Perfume commercial. (For those who joined us later in life, the Enjoli gal had the unique ability to bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never, never let him forget he's a man, because she's woman...Enjoli. Equally impressive was her ability to fry bacon in a pan, and do so wearing a silky satin dress without splattering bacon fat all over it.*)

Our girl was armed to the teeth with the life-tools required for her journey: Feminism, a subscription to Cosmo and important life lessons learned from watching "General Hospital" and "All My Children" (Not once has my husband turned out to be a Russian KGB agent, an impostor, who via the miracles of plastic surgery had been made to look just like my husband, but really wasn't, because my real husband was being held captive somewhere on an island, and the impostor husband had fallen in love with me but those darn Russians were just not so understanding about the whole thing and wanted him to blow up the world anyway. No, that is one of life's little pitfalls I (Oops she!) have/has managed to avoid!)

Yup, everything was just humming along splendidly and according to plan until I became pregnant with my daughter. According to the makers of Enjoli perfume, because I'm a woman, this should be a cake walk! (Although admittedly, now that I think about it, there were no signs of children in that commercial... I just assumed them because who else would she be cooking bacon for?) Somehow it just wasn't adding up. I knew I was supposed to be a managing director or something by the time I was 30, and I was ready! I had the wardrobe and everything. But just how was that supposed to work with the kid part?

My trusty GenX's Guide to Feminism was not too helpful, apparently they had left out that chapter in favor of "How to Sue Your Employer for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination". Was I supposed to sue and then use the proceeds to stay home and raise my kids? Oh well I thought, it'll all work out somehow. So for the duration of my pregnancy, I dutifully arose each morning, put on my business suit and running shoes, stuck my heels in a bag and went off to work. We lived in San Francisco, so I walked to work every day from our cool and hip apartment in North Beach to the financial district. Yup I was acing this modern woman thing!

Until the baby came.

I took a four month leave from my job, instead of the allowed 6 weeks, we moved to a more family appropriate location (South Beach... which had just been conveniently cleared of freeways by the 1989 earthquake exposing a stretch of prime waterfront real estate...who knew? ) I settled into domestic bliss with my brand new baby girl. But a storm was brewing inside me as it became increasingly clear to me that it was not, in fact, possible to raise a child in 4 months. I dreaded the day when I would have to go back to work, but at the same time felt guilty for dreading it because they had not yet coined the phrase "Stay-at-Home-Mom" and "Housewife" was blasphemous which meant I would be nothing. A SLACKER!

So I went back to work to do some moving and shaking, raced home at lunch to nurse, and then raced back to work. Coming home in the evening, I did my best to get some of that "quality time" with my daughter that everyone was yapping about. I was exhausted all the time though, and by this time of day my daughter was cranky, so I felt guilty some more because it seemed I was lousy at quality time. I lasted another 10 months until salvation came in the form of my husband getting a job in Germany...where I would not be allowed to work! Score!

You see, quality time had not worked out so well for me. It turned out that a bit more went into the actual raising of children than reading them a story at the end of the day. In fact, it was the non-quality time that mattered more...being there when they got into trouble and guiding them out again. You can't schedule the important parenting times, or insist that they take place only at the end of the business day. If a child wants to fill the toilet with rocks or explore what's under the kitchen sink, they tend to do it on their own schedule. Even the routine, the mundane, the down right boring are important...not in and of themselves, but if you put them all together, in, say, a crock pot and let them simmer for a few decades, then you wind up with quality time!


**Turns out I remembered the ad wrong... there were kids and bacon frying is done in a bathrobe!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Recipe Requests!

Hello All!

From time to time I get requests for recipes that I don't have, so I thought I would see if anybody out there can help!

Here are two:
  1. "I am looking for Albanian maz or meze I think it's with milk."
  2. "We are looking for a recipe called Tennessee Cream Pie. My Aunt believes it was made with whisky."
Your assistance would be most appreciated!


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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Epic Storm, Day 3

I have to say I am getting a little ticked off at this Epic Storm. Yesterday I thought I had everything under control Epic Storm-wise, especially after I made my new best friend Joanne from Waltman Contruction.... and Snow Clearing Service.

Yes, Joanne and I go back at least 14 hours now, our acquaintance having become necessary after I discovered that the cute new sledding hill out in the driveway was actually our SUV, and that it isn't possible to just put the car into reverse and "floor it" through 5 or 6 feet of snow. Who knew?

With the driveway in the capable hands of Joanne and crew, I turned my attention to keeping the balcony and walkways free of snow. When I went to bed last night, I had a nice path leading from each door! Then this morning I open the door to look outside and I find this:
Just who is going to clean up all of this Epic Storm?


Thursday, January 03, 2008

More Epic Storm

Here we are, safely back home from the grocery store! Our Epic Storm having, it seems, moved in! Here is what it looked like outside when we left for the store:

Then, when we returned from the store (we decided on cookie dough instead of cake...easier) things were considerably darker and gloomier, but, not quite Epic!

About an hour ago, I took this picture:

I just opened the door and took the photo... it's cold out there! If I did not know better, I would say it is snowing, and would not guess that I was, in fact, witnessing an Epic Storm. Maybe the abominable snowman will show up later or something. Who knows?
Retro Housewife, Reporting Live From Epic Storm Central, 18:12, January 3rd, 2008.

Epic Storm

So here I am up in the Sierras awaiting the Epic Storm that is supposed to dump tons of snow on our heads. Last night my son and I went to Safeway and stocked up on food...although the shelves were pretty bare as we were not the only ones with this plan.

We bought enough food to outlast several Epic Storms, although I think I may make another trip because we are already out of cake.
Retro Housewife, Reporting Live From Epic Storm Central, 11:41, January 3rd, 2008.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Boy has this been an eventful holiday! We spent Christmas up in the mountains and had the loveliest white Christmas! With real snow and everything! (If you grow up in southern California, you never really stop being amazed by snow...)

Santa, being a clever fellow, brought the kids snowboarding equipment, so they would get off their bums and out into the cold but very fresh air and get some exercise.

Some friends drove up to visit and the house was suddenly full of teenage boys, so we did the only thing one can in such a situation; hand some a snow shovel, and pack the rest into the car and drive as fast as one can to the nearest ski area (in this case North Star), fork over the credit card and then speed off before they can start to miss their computers or realize that snow necessarily means cold, yelling "I'll pick you up at Foouuuuuurrrrrrrr" out the window as I disappear around the corner.

So far I have always gone back to pick them up.

Then, on the 30th, we packed 3 teenagers, 2 dogs and a lot of stuff into the car and drove like mad people to Las Vegas to see "Van Halen" in concert. We made it in about 8 hours - (Ha Ha Google Maps said it would take at least 10), checked into the MGM Grand, met the lady with the tickets under the sign as planned (another story, I will tell in detail later), rushed up to the room to shower and change, have a few last minute squabbles with teenagers (daughter never heard of "Van Halen" and did not understand why we have to drive for 8 hours to see them), and then race over to the Ampitheater to take our prized seats on Floor B, Row M.

Van Halen Live in Las Vegas December 30, 2007 David Lee Roth
You see, it was I who wanted to see Van Halen! Bwa hahahaha (evil laugh). Yes Sirree! I have always said, If David Lee Roth (DLR) comes back to the band, I'm a goin! And he did, so I went! I had a blast, even though by sitting so close to the stage most of the songs sound like a jet engine, I knew every last one of them. I even correctly predicted that "Jump" would be the encore song. Yes, I was reliving 9th grade! DLR was older and wiser, and not quite so cocky as he used to be, but was in great shape, Eddie Van Halen has the body of a 29 year old, and there is a new Van Halen in the band; (DLR referred to him as the "Inevitable Van Halen") Eddie's son Wolfgang (Mom is Valerie Bertinelli or Barbara from "One Day at a Time"). Alex Van Halen
looks older too, but still bangs out a mean beat on the drums. If you are a fan and have the chance, go see them. It is worth it!

We stayed an extra night for New Year's eve so we could catch the fireworks:Las Vegas Fireworks New Year 2008Las Vegas Fireworks New Year 2008Las Vegas Fireworks New Year 2008Las Vegas Fireworks New Year 2008

Have a great 2008!


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