November 30, 2002

I Ate Too Much!!!

Argh! We had our Thanksgiving meal today. Helena's friend Shannon came over. We had a 21 pound turkey, home made mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls and cranberry jelly. I also, for the first time, made a home made gravy. Not bad for my first time. Was a little thin. I need one of those separator spoons for skimming the fat off the top of the juice for next year. Oh, and Helena, my oldest daughter, made the pumpkin pies. The pumpkin came from some she grew. She sliced up the pumpkin, skinned it and boiled the pieces until she could mash them into much with a potato masher. Anyway, as usual, I ate way too much. I look like I'm about 8 months pregnant. But, everything was so delicious!!! Now, the leftovers look disgusting to me. Yuck! You would think I would learn, but I do this every year.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:22 PM | Comments (2)

November 29, 2002

The Day After

The local new channels are broadcasting stories about how people were spending their Thanksgiving nights in tents camped out in front of stores waiting for them to open. The Friday after Thanksgiving is the official 1st shopping day of Christmas, according to retailers. I guess the Friday after Thanksgiving is used as a gauge to determine how the rest of the season will go profit wise. A bad start to the season will make retailers offer even deeper discounts on certain items. A lot of the stores open at 6:00 am and people want to stake out their space, so they will get in right away and grab the bargains. Me? Heh! I sleep in. I never, ever go shopping on this day. Even though the sales are pretty good, it's not worth it to me to battle the long lines, parking lot destruction derbies and the chance that the item might be sold out. I hate shopping. I deal with catalogues and the internet. If I have to go shopping during the Christmas season, I will go in the middle of the week and try to get there when the stores open. My sister-in-law, loves this day. She and her mom make an event of today and have a blast.

Posted by Valkyre at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2002

Thanksgiving

We are going to postpone our "Thanksgiving" dinner until Saturday. A couple of reasons for this. One, everyone is still sick and we don't have much of an appetite, plus, I don't feel well enough to undertake making a meal. The other reason is my daughter's best friend. She's 19. And, it turns out, she has never had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I don't think her family has ever sat down and had any meal together. Usually they grab their plates of food and retire to the couch or their bedrooms to watch TV while they eat. So, I invited her over for a "traditional" Thanksgiving meal on Saturday. She's actually looking forward to it. I will go all out, tablecloth, centerpiece, etc. I'm even going to attempt to make turkey gravy for the first time. (I usually buy the jars of pre-made stuff.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Valkyre at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2002

What a Difference a Night Makes

You remember last night I posted I had a sore throat. Well, I sucked on a Chloraseptic tablet and then, following the advice of my youngest, had a bowl of Ice Cream. That seemed to help quite a bit. It took away a lot of the pain. So, I woke up this morning with congested sinuses, but my throat feels 100% better. In fact, I feel so much better, I am now doing the things around the house that I put off yesterday.

Posted by Valkyre at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2002

Sore Throat

Well, I know I'm about to get hammered by a doozy of a cold. Yesterday, my throat was dry and scratchy. Today, it hurts. My sinuses are also starting to get congested. It seems that everyone I talk to is sick right now, or has been sick. I should have known that I was coming down with something. I have been feeling real tired these past few days. That typically happens to me before I get a cold. I had just figured that I was tired because I have been out driving more lately, and traffic around here is murder.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:32 PM | Comments (2)

November 25, 2002

Free Turkey!

Every year, around Thanksgiving, a supermarket chain here called Ralph's, has this promotion. Make $75.00 in purchases, excluding milk and liquor and get a frozen turkey for free. It's always the store brand (Premium Select) that they give away. If you want some of the more expensive brands, they will reduce the price per pound the more you purchase. I usually get the free store brand. This is real easy for me to do as I usually buy all the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner along with my usual purchases. The total bill came to $84.00 and I got a nice 21 pound Tom Turkey for free.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2002

Harry Potter

Today is my oldest daughter's birthday. She turned 19 today. As part of the celebration, we went and saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I liked it! I thought it was even better than the first one. It was kind of sad watching it though, knowing that this was Richard Harrises last film. (Oh! And four different cell phones went off at different times, which kind of put a damper on the experience. Argh!)

Posted by Valkyre at 07:15 PM | Comments (2)

November 23, 2002

Huh? Fall?

Heh! It's kind of weird sometimes. I hear that people are buried in snow. The news this morning was showing the Christmas window displays in New York City. Thanksgiving is just around the corner.... But, you wouldn't know it in California. I actually took these yesterday, but I didn't have the time to post these. It's been in the high 80's, low 90's here in California. And, I've got roses blooming like crazy in the back yard. You would almost think it was Spring.

It almost makes it difficult to get in the Christmas spirit. It doesn't seem like it's a little over a month away when the weather is like this.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:07 AM | Comments (3)

November 21, 2002

Maybe I Should Have Just Let It Go...

Hmmmm.... I had, I guess what would be called an incident of "Road Rage". Even though there was no "rage" involved. Access to my daughter's Junior High School is via a narrow residential street. This school was built to be a small school just to serve the houses that surround it. Over time, though, the population has swelled and the school is taking on over 3 times the students the school was built to accomodate. So, when school is out, there is probably around 300 cars around the school at one time. Like I said earlier, to get there, you turn off a main street onto a skinny residential street that winds it's way around the school and then meets back up with itself. Imagine a funnel. Imagine 300 cars trying to get out at once and you can see that there will be a traffic back up from the signal where the little street meets the main drag. I was in that line, waiting my turn. Each cycle of the signal would allow about 12 cars through. So, we were slowly making our way down. Most everyone is very patient. I just happened to look in the rear view at the traffic backed up behind me. Suddenly, about 20 cars back, a lone car pulls out of traffic and starts to pass everyone, by driving in the opposite lane against traffic. A large SUV was coming towards him, but this jerk didn't pull to the side and forced the SUV to the curb so he could pass. About this time, the signal changed and I started to pull forward. I was the last car through before it turned yellow. As I started to make my left turn, the idiot who was passing everyone was next to me turning with me. (From the wrong lane). He honked his horn at me to let me know that he was beside me. I guess I should have let it go from there..... But, as he passed me, I fixed him with a dirty look. The driver ignored me, but his passenger smirked at me. It was two teenage boys. At the next signal, I ended up behind them waiting for the light to change. The driver looks up into his rear view mirror and stares at me. I just glared back. Next thing I know, he threw his car in reverse and started backing towards mine. I knew he wanted me to react and maybe see my eyes bug out, or something. But, I didn't give him the satisfaction. There was other traffic around, some of whom had seen his earlier shenanigans if he tried to say that I hit him. When the signal changed, I decided to just let the whole thing go. I would try to go a different direction than him. I know how these things could escalate. He turned right, the direction that I wanted to go, but I just continued straight. So, I made it home intact.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2002

Tumor? Huh?

Have you ever heard of someone going to the doctor for one thing, only to have the doctor find something else that had nothing to do with what they came in for? Teresa, my youngest, fell down some stairs last Friday and wrenched her ankle. I thought at first, that she had bruised it. But, instead of it getting better as the week progressed, it was getting more and more painful for her to walk with. So, I took her in today to have it checked. The doctor didn't think it was fractured, just a severe sprain. But, she decided to err on the side of caution and have them take some x-rays. We get the x-rays done and take them back to the doctor. She throws them up on the screen and says, "Well, she doesn't seem to have a fracture, but we've found something else......" I look at the x-ray and there is something that looks similar to white scratches on Teresa's shin bone. The doctor continues talking and I hear her say that Teresa has some sort of tumor..... But, it's benign. And she made it out to be somewhat common.... I wish I had written down what she said.... My mind just kind of blanked. But, the doctor was acting like it was no big deal. I heard the word benign and focused on that. Anyway, the doctor put in a referral to the orthopedist, so he can have a look at it and I will get the exact name of the darn thing.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:06 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2002

Freeway Slalom

Yikes! I was going home on the freeway. Suddenly, there is trash scattered all over the lanes. "What's going on?" I think as I run over some innocuous styrofoam cups. I look up and see a real dingy old trash truck, who doesn't seem to have the top of his truck covered and things are flying out of it. A load of cardboard comes next. Not too dangerous, except if it lands on someone's windshield and blocks their vision. But then, suddenly a discarded fabric covered easy chair comes lofting up. It looked light as a feather. It seemed like it was floating for a second. But, as it cleared the truck it started to fall down right towards this woman in a black Volvo. Fortunately, it missed her car and hit the right shoulder. The cushion, however, landed in my lane, but I was able to avoid it. The one day I forget my cell phone! But, when I got home, I did call the CHP (California Highway Patrol). That truck was breaking the law and there could have been a bad accident. There have been fatalities when people have hit, or have been hit by items that weren't properly secured.

Posted by Valkyre at 03:13 PM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2002

James Coburn

Rats! It was just announced on the news that actor, James Coburn died. He was one of the good ones. He won the Academy Award in 1999 for Best Supporting Actor, in the movie Affliction. A good one, if you can ever catch it. A sad day indeed. :-(

Posted by Valkyre at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx

My favorite episode of I Love Lucy is on. It's the one where Lucy and Ricky are in Hollywood and they meet Harpo Marx. Anyway, later in the episode, there is a scene where Lucy is dressed as Harpo and he sees her. So, they do this whole routine where it appears that Harpo is in front of a mirror and Lucy is his reflection. It's a great scene. I just love this episode. (I'm kind of biased. I love the Marx Brothers too!)

Posted by Valkyre at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2002

Wasted Another Weekend

Geez! I had planned to do so many things this weekend! But, I goofed off as usual. And there is no excuse. Can't blame the weather, it's been beautiful. Can't blame illness, I seem to have recovered from my cold. It's just plain laziness, I guess. The internet is way too tempting.... Maybe next weekend, there will be a blackout, and then I can get things done! Hee hee!

Posted by Valkyre at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2002

Another Doofus

Nothing much happened today. So, I thought that I would write about another Doofus criminal, (are there any other kind!) There is a columnist named Steve Harvey who writes this column called, Only in L.A., in the Los Angeles Times. Anyway, he occasionally prints stories about stupid criminal tricks. I will post the story here, since you have to be registered at the L.A. Times site to read any articles:

A Dumb Crook Grabs a Purse and Finds a Get-Into-Jail-Free Card Inside
For your stupid-criminal-tricks file, an Orange County reader suggests the recent theft of her daughter's purse. The bad guy used one of her credit cards to purchase a TV system. And, of course, in order to enjoy his new luxury item, he had to give the installers his real address. Which the TV company turned over to the credit card company. Which turned it over to the cops.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2002

Sneaky Little Dog

I was visiting my sister today. She was making lunch for us, and went into another room for a second. I heard a thump from the kitchen and then, a few second later, what sounded like two dogs fighting. My sister came running back into the kitchen and started yelling! Turns out that she he put a cooked chicken breast on a plate and set it on the cutting board. It was out of the reach of her, 13 year old, little Mini dachshund, Pico. But, she didn't notice that her Chow/Lab mix, Smokey, who's about 2 1/2 years old, had come in from the backyard. He pulled the plate down and dumped the chicken on the floor. But, before he could eat it, Pico attacked him. You are talking about a little 8 pound weiner dog taking on a 55 pound chow mix. Well, believe it or not, Pico is the alpha dog of the three dogs my sister owns, so Smokey backed off and let the little sneak eat the chicken breast. Smokey lets Pico push him around. Maybe it's because Pico's so old.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2002

News....

Nothing much going on today. So, I went to the CNN site to see if there is any off beat news....

Miss Cleo's Newest Fortune: Forgiving $500 million in Bills

That's $500,000,000!

Kermit the Frog gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Yes, the muppet gets his own star......)

And a teen burned himself trying to imitate a stunt he saw on the TV show, Jackass. (Hello!? There's a reason they call the show, Jackass!)

Oh! And the critic from CNN seems to like the Harry Potter movie sequel. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I'll definitely will be going to see that one.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:36 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2002

Screech!

I witnessed a little fender bender this morning. I was taking my two daughters to High School. The traffic around there is a nightmare, due to the fact that the school fronts a major north/south route. So, not only do you have to contend with school buses, pedestrians and parent's dropping of their kids, but also commuter traffic and delivery trucks. So, it's probably some small miracle that there are not more auto accidents around the school. I was waiting to make a right turn and suddenly heard a screech of brakes. I look up in time to see a tan Dodge Intrepid slam into the rear of a little Suzuki Samurai. The Samurai hadn't actually come to a complete stop but had slowed considerably and the driver of the Intrepid wasn't paying attention. I heard the unmistakable "bang" and watched the Samurai move about 5 feet forward and it's read end go slightly airborne as the other car drove under it. Both drivers pull to the side. Both young teenage boys, possibly students at the school. Ironically, I didn't see any significant damage on the Samurai, but it looked like the Intrepids hood was peeled back like a banana skin. Anyway, seeing auto accidents, even if they don't involve me, get me all stressed out. I think it may have something to do with me being involved in a pretty serious one back in 1986. Reliving the sounds, etc., bring back all the memories. Now, I'm all tense....

Posted by Valkyre at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2002

Relive My Youth? Ha!

I personally can't understand why some people want to relive their youth. I am sort of doing that right now, vicariously through my three teenage daughters. I can remember going through the same crisis my 13 year old is going through right now. She's worried about High School next year. Will she go to the same school as her friends? (She's in a magnet program where you have to apply for the school you attend.) What if she doesn't make it in? Where will she go? What if her friends go to a different school and she doesn't know anyone at the one she ends up at? It's bringing back all the old feelings I experienced way back when I was the same age. And, she doesn't seem to believe me when I tell her that I once had the same feelings she did back when I was in Junior High School. Someday, she will be looking back on all this too....

Posted by Valkyre at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2002

Remember savekaryn.com?

It turns out that she was finally able to pay off her debt. I was checking out the CNN page and noticed a headline, Web Panhandler Pays Off $20,000 Debt. If you aren't familiar with the story, she landed a high paying job, in New York City, during the economic boom. While there, she went on a spending spree and ran up credit card debt. Only to have it all come crashing down around her after she lost her job and ended up taking one that paid about half. She was looking at a $20,000 debt that would take her about 40 years, according to her, to pay off. So, she started her website.... Anyway, it looks like she made about $13,300 in donations, along with $7,000 she made selling her high-priced items on Ebay, so she managed to pay it off sooner. I wonder if she's learned a lesson? *sigh*

Posted by Valkyre at 12:42 PM | Comments (3)

November 10, 2002

Beautiful Day

Ah! I love the first clear day after it rains! The sky is clear, the air is fresh! I went out today and regretted not bringing my camera. I could see all the way to the local mountains and even the buildings of downtown Los Angeles. Went out shopping and stopped to get gas first. I gave the attendant a $20 and told him I was using pump #7. I figured that the car would take about 8-9 gallons, as the needle was on "E". Suddenly, the pump started slowing down and $6.80.... What? Then, it stopped at $7.00. Oh oh!!! I had asked for pump number 7!!!! He had taken my $20 and set it to put $7.00 in the tank. Fortunately, he believed me as it was my word against his. (The station was quite busy and I wasn't sure if he would remember or not.) Then, I went to Costco and, I think, so did half the county of Los Angeles. After finding a space in the boondocks, and battling through the crowds in the store, (Another pet peeve: parents who let the kids run around a crowded store unsupervised!!!), I managed to get everything I needed and get back home. On a day like today, battling traffic, crowded stores and forgetful gas station attendants doesn't seem as bad as other days! :-)

Posted by Valkyre at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2002

Doofus Award

We already have the Darwin Awards, but I think that one has to die in order to get on their list. I think it's a "Thank you", for not contributing to the gene pool. But, we need an award for complete idiots who are still alive. So, I thought up the Doofus Awards. And my first nominee is this guy. A home intruder that called 911 on another intruder.... *sigh*

Posted by Valkyre at 12:26 PM | Comments (1)

November 08, 2002

Tailgaters! Argh!!!!

I don't know what people expect to accomplish by tailgating? Will it get them to their destination faster? I doubt it. Especially if they get behind me. Some moron in an SUV pulled his behemoth about 2 inches off the rear bumper of my car today. Instead of me speeding up, I actually slowed down to open up about four car lengths between my car and the car in front of me. Remember, it's raining, and a fog has started to come in. Because of the tailgating Doofus, I now have to keep an eye, not only on the guy in front of me, but Mr. Tailgater too. My goal, is to not get hit, so I will leave a distance to give me time to take evasive action if traffic suddenly comes to a stop. Of course, this gets Mr. Tailgater upset, because he can look over my car and see the distance between me and the guy in front of me. So, he angrily cuts over in the next lane and blows past me. What a maroon!!!

Posted by Valkyre at 05:41 PM | Comments (1)

Rain!

Finally, the first significant storm in awhile. And, like the rain brings out the worms. The rain in Southern California brings out the bad drivers. (I guess I should say even worse than normal. This is Los Angeles I'm talking about.) People can't seem to get it into their heads that, when it finally rains after a long dry spell, that the oil gets washed up from the street and you have to drive slower and leave a longer distance between you and the cars in front of you. Also, when it's pouring rain and visibility is lowered, you should also slow down. But no, people continue to drive above the speed limit and tailgate and then wonder why they just rear-ended the car in front of them. Duh! I think I read somewhere that the accident call-outs for the Highway Patrol go up 500% on rainy days in California. Sigh!

Posted by Valkyre at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2002

Oops!

Took our cat Tripod to the vet today. He's been having chronic unrinary tract problems. This could partially be due to him having FIV. Anyway, the vet needed a urine sample. He was pressing around Tripod's belly to see if his bladder had enough urine for him to take a sample. Turns out that he did. So, the vet carted him off to another room to get the sample. On the way there, Tripod peed all over the vet's shirt. So, he went into another room to change his shirt. Tripod had been his first patient today. I made the comment that I hope this wasn't a sign showing how the rest of his day was going to go. Later on, I found out that after he changed his shirt, another of his patients bled on him. Poor guy!

Posted by Valkyre at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2002

The Day After

Must be a slow news day.... After giving out the election results, the local new immediately cut over to the verdicts in the Winona Ryder shoplifting case. She was found guilty of grand theft for stealing more than $5500 worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue. She was also found guilty of vandalism. But, the prosecutor said she won't serve any jail time.... I wonder why someone, who could afford to buy those items, I would assume, shoplifts? It must be filling some psychological need, I guess. Maybe it will come out when she is sentenced.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2002

Crazy Cat!

Our normally sedate cat, Tripod, was going crazy this morning! Usually, he lays around all day. The only real exercise he gets is when he moves from one sleeping spot to the next. Or when he goes to eat, or to his litter box. (He's an inside cat now, due to him having FIV - the feline equivalent of HIV). The vet has nicknamed him "Chunky", due to the fact he weighs about 13 pounds. (He's on a special diet food). Anyway, this morning, he was doing what I call, "Crazy Cat"! He was darting all around the house, batting at objects and chasing non-existent shadows. His pupils were really large. Turns out he had found his catnip toy! It was really funny!

Don't Forget to Vote!!!!

Posted by Valkyre at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2002

Skunk!

Pepper started barking at about 2:00am. I sat up in bed and was telling her to quiet down, when I noticed a weird smell. I've smelled it before, but I couldn't quite place it. I guess it was too early in the morning. Suddenly, my older daughter, Helena, walks into the room. "Make sure that Pepper stays in the house. There is a skunk nearby!" That was it!!! It was skunk smell. It must have been pretty close by our house and possibly tangled with a cat or someone's dog, who then got sprayed, most likely. Even though we live in a city, there is an aqueduct near here that has all kinds of overgrown vegetation. Perfect for hiding little critters (and homeless encampments). I've seen squirrels around here, and one of my neighbors has even seen a raccoon. And, this wasn't the first time I've smelled skunk musk around here. A lot of people leave food outside for their cats, and I've heard that skunks love cat food.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2002

Mutiny on the Bounty

I watched, for the first time in fact, the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty, on KCET last night. (That's our local Public Television station). I have to admit, that that is the first time I have ever watched any version of the story. The names were all familiar to me. I knew a little about the story. The version I watched last night had Charles Laughton playing Captain William Bligh, and Clark Gable (meow!) playing Fletcher Christian. And, of course, their ship was called the HMS Bounty. Anyway, the movie piqued my interest and I did a Google search and found a page called The Bounty Chronicles. It's a great site with illustrations and essays about the incident on the Bounty and the aftermath. For instance, even though the movie ended with Fletcher Christian and the men who participated in the Mutiny living happily ever after on Pitcairn island, that wasn't really true. Some of the were killed as evidenced in the section called the The Pitcairn Massacre . It's a real interesting read. I am definitely going to read the book. (I thought that I had read in the beginning of the movie that the incidents that took place on the Bounty brought about changes in British Maritime Law.)

Oh, another term I have heard is keel-hauled. The movie had a pretty graphic version of what that is exactly (shudder!)

Posted by Valkyre at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2002

Argh!!!

I hate days like this! I had all kinds of constructive things planned for today. But, I woke up with a bad headache. So, basically, I sat around most of the day waiting for every six hour increment so I could take two more Excedrin. Nothing seemed to help. Now, I am starting to feel nauseated. I have no idea what may have triggered this. Unless, it was the drive in yesterday's rush hour traffic to the studio. Bleh!

Posted by Valkyre at 05:20 PM | Comments (2)

November 01, 2002

Berman and Berman

I spent all day at the taping of two episodes of Berman & Berman. It's a talk show that airs on Discovery Health Channel. My sister and I went to the city of Burbank to attend the tapings. We had to bring a change of clothes, so we wouldn't be wearing the same thing for both episodes. They also fed us between the shows. My sister and I were the only ones who stayed for both tapings, so we got to sit down and eat with the crew and guests. It was pretty exciting. I learned that the "spontaneous" questions from members of the audience are staged, in true Hollywood fashion. We were told when to applause and to smile, smile, smile. We will be going back on the 19th to do another one.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:22 PM | Comments (1)