Weekend Wrap Up

What a very busy weekend.  I'll sum it up for you...

First, there was the workday.  After a week of meetings, almost meetings, and community meetings, Friday was spent cleaning up.  For those who think public hearings just happen, check my tweets - the Paper Barf Monster made an appearance, and like most vomit that I see - I cleaned and disinfected.

I wrapped up work, and noticed that my iphone was still just...um..just...fucked up.  There just wasn't any other way to explain it. After numerous restarts I realized the iPhone OS just needed to be reinstalled from scratch. I wasn't going to spend any of my workday for it, so it was just going to have to wait for the evening.

I headed off to the DLANC election. When I arrived there was a line into the alley.  I understand from all the tweets and facebook updates - it was like this for most of the time.  I voted, hopped the DASH and headed to the daycare center's family picnic.

The picnic was a total riot. There's 10+ 1 to 2 year olds sitting around a table all quietly eating.  And, you know that if it was just one or two of them, this quietness just wouldn't exist.  They just sat there and ate yogurt parfaits. I got a couple of pictures on the phone, but as you know...the phone was just jacked up.

After daycare, we met up with Alex and headed back to Mr. Ramen. I am happy to tell all of you that we did not experience any poopy declarations. AND THEN!  Yooooooooooooooooooooo Gabba Gabba!  Hosted by Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Visual Communications and Giant Robot, Iolani got the chance to meet Muno, Brobee, and Plex.

Well, first she got to shake hands, but was a little freaked so the moment we walked away, she waved and shouted out "Hi Muno!!!!"  When we got back to our blanket, she wanted to go back. We walked back over to Muno, and she stood here behind the velvet rope and continued to shout out "Hi Brobee"

After two episodes of YGG, we took the Metro home. Iolani found it difficult to go and stay asleep.  But, she did sleep in until 10.  WOO-WEE!

Saturday night we headed out to Lolo's and Lola's to watch fireworks at SMC. This was Iolani's first time with fireworks, and needless to say that it didn't go over well.  Alex and Iolani ran from the fireworks, to the back of the football field to escape the sound, but enjoy the visual.

Sunday, well - it was a good day until the Dodgers totally lost the game to the freaking yankees.  Iolani woke up at 5 this morning, and promptly fell asleep on Alex's way to church. So, they came back. I set her in bed and she quickly woke up. Rather than pack up and walk into church 1/2 way over, we headed out to the "meet your neighbor day" at Pershing Square.

She did finally fall asleep, and she slept for three hours. Once she woke up we headed out to the ill-fated yankees v Dodgers game. She enjoyed most of the game, like the ice cream and hot dog part.  Also, Javier (a ball boy) gave her a baseball. It was her first baseball. 

Back at home, getting ready for bed - she was in the tub.  Her thing right now is to watch the little bits of water pour out of the facet. At the end of tub time she watches the water slowly go down the drain, and she asks "where'd it go?" 

I'm sure a typical parent would just answer with a "It went down the drain". Which is right, but seriously - where did the water go?  It went to the sewer, where it will be cleaned and delivered to the ocean. The first time she asked about where the water went, I replied: The Sewer. 

She seemed satisfied with the answer. Tonight I replied "to the Sewer and then the Ocean". She really liked that. The Ocean? She said... I said "Yes!" She says: "With the Fish?"  I agreed.  She then plopped down and stared at the drain with even more enthusiasm than before.

When she asks those kinds of questions that little kids ask - I'm amused (not in a funny way, but in an intriguing moment of awe) and I wonder how did she get to the point where she knows to ask the question.  It's one thing to wonder - where does the water go when it leaves the tub.  It's another thing to both wonder where the water went AND asked me if I know where the water went.

Which beg the next question - what gave her the idea that Alex and I have all the answers to her questions?!?!?  OMG, what the hell did we get ourselves into?

The bigger question: When will the Dodgers get their shit together. I blame the McCourts. 

Iolani and The Ramen

I have a great story for you.

Sometime yesterday Iolani bit her lip, kept tugging on it, and now she has a beautiful looking canker sore.  It's actually very ugly.  She needed to avoid hard and salty foods, so the only thing I could think to feed her was ramen.  I find myself in Little Tokyo quite often, and it's no surprise that I've come to really like ramen.

Now, for those I know - there's more to ramen than "Top Ramen".  There's a whole world of ramen.  There's the meaty ramen, veggie ramen, cold  ramen, minty ramen.

For Iolani, she got some "clear ramen" or just plain ramen noodles in water - not salty.  We added some veggies and went to town.

This was her first time eating ramen. And, by all accounts she was loving it. I pulled some noodles out for her, put it in a little bowl and let her just pull her noodles UUUUuuuuuupppppp and DOOOOOoooooowwwwwwwnnnnn.

Things were going well until she grabbed a handful of noodles, shoved them in her mouth and then proclaimed:

"Mommy, I got poopy!"

Total awesomeness right!

She refused to sit down (who could blame her).  And now she was stinky, you know...poopy-stinky.  I asked for our ramen to go, asked for the check, and the waitress asked if everything was okay.

Iolani took the liberty to reply:

"I have poopy!"  (while she pointed at her butt)

The waitress quickly bagged up the ramen. I paid for our stuff, and we headed towards the car.

Even though Iolani continued to gleefully announce the status of her poopage, she continued to fill both hands with cold ramen noodles and shove them into her mouth.  As we exited the restaurant (There was one other person there, and of course - we know each other... and I'm saying in my head: Sorry that my kid is announcing the status of her diaper contents, enjoy your lamb ramen), Iolani continued to grab for more noodles and shove them into her mouth.

To get back to the car we had to walk towards JANM, cross the street on Central, and cross 2nd street to get back to the car. I wasn't embarrassed by most of this, however I was a little nervous about running into anyone else and Iolani talking about her poop.  She didn't say much on the walk back to the car, she was busy filling her little belly with a full order of ramen.

And, the end of my useless story is this: She didn't want to sit in her car seat because of the squishy mess.  She did fall asleep, and once we got into the house I changed her diaper and kept her asleep.  However, as soon as I put her into her bed, she woke up and didn't fall asleep for the rest of the afternoon.

The story's take away: Yo Gabba Gabba is coming to Little Tokyo on Friday. Take your kids to Mr. Ramen.

DLANC Meeting the Candidates!

Did you know that the Neighborhood Council gets City funds to make decisions
that effect where you live, work and play? From community projects to
advocacy on issues of safety, open space, sustainability, arts, education,
planning, affordable housing, social services, and economics - DLANC has
helped shaped Downtown and this is your chance to be heard. Meet the
candidates before next Friday‚s election.


Monday, June 21, 2010
Ralphs Supermarket
645 W. 9th Street

Ashley Zarella Hand, LEED AP BD+C, Assoc. AIA
Chair, Sustainability Committee
Director, Area-Wide Work-Force, Private Sector
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2008-2010

Are you on our email list? Sign up here: http://www.dlanc.com/mailinglists

railLA Community Design Workshop

railLA Community Design Workshop on High-Speed Rail
Tuesday June 22, 2010
7:00PM to 8:30PM
the Exchange
114 W. 5th Street between Spring and Main Streets

Attendees will be invited to design their ideal High-Speed Rail station and
then share their ideas with the group. Led by Co-Chairs James Rojas and Alan
Huynh, the meeting will provide a quick overview of High-Speed Rail in Los
Angeles and what it means for Downtown LA's Union Station as its hub. railLA
intends to use the input from the public at this and other outreach events
to inform their recommendations to decision-makers by the end of the summer,
so your participation matters! For more information about railLA, please
visit our website at www.railla.org

The Life of One Ginny Brideau

Today in the wild world of Facebook, someone from high school said:
Ginny....I read your posts all the time but so often I dont understand them....am I missing something?? :)
People should feel somewhat relieved when I say this: if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you are not going to understand everything that I post, but there's something for everyone when I post.  Here's why:

I'm Married to Alex.
I am Iolani's mommy.
I work for an awesome firm. (And, don't we all deserve this at some point in our life)
I am a member of the First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles.
I am on the Finance Committee for my church, and we are trying to build a new building.
I'm an active member of the United Methodist Women in FUMCLA
I am a past board member of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, and feel compelled to remain "all up in their business".
I am a co-chair of the National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States.
I love political campaigns and the whole strategy behind them.
I am active with my Evergreen and Pepperdine Alumni organizations.
I'm a total tech-geek-junkie.
I love love love my neighborhood.
I get excited when other policy wonk people want to talk shop, and/or like to involve themselves in the decision making process, even when told they shouldn't be.
I'm the president-elect for my Rotary club.
I love local artists, skateboarders, and skateboarding artists, and would pay money to see all three.
I'm a member of countless transportation and "women in business" organizations...
And, just in high school, I still love the small town gossip.

I think it is important to note that while I do not give 100% of myself 100% of the time on this list, the top four things take up a good chunk of my time.  (Big sigh of relief I'm sure for #3 should my boss read my blog.  However, should she ask tomorrow - #3 is really #2, and #1 is #3, and if Alex should read this...Baby...You are always number one! And, when Iolani is old enough...well..you understand by now.)

Everything else just kind of happens.  It's "fit in" to an amazingly busy schedule. I'm sure that when Iolani does start therapy - you know that time when it's all the parents fault for how their kid turned out the way they did - she will say that her mom and dad were too busy.  And, hopefully Dr. Therapist will ask her about what we were doing. And, it's not that I don't want someone to take pity on her, or be sympathetic to her cause - but what does it sound like out loud... "My parents were busy dragging me to civic duty to religious events, to neighborhood artshows, to BBQ fundraisers, to international Rotary conventions, and whathaveyou"

Today's tweeting/Facebooking was all about the release of a document for a client.  People wanted to know how to get to the document online, and somewhere in the founding documents of this country there's an obscure reference to a person's right to pass hyperlink from person to person, all in hopes of reading an executive summary of an environmental review document that will make the main drag through town even more productive, economically successful, and sustainable than it is today.

Long story, longer...if you don't get the tweet I posted a minute ago, check back in an hour, and maybe you'll be looped in on the next one.

$22 to get my wallet back?

Someone gave Iolani a piggy bank.  Until a couple of months ago, Alex and I used it to keep our spare coins in.  Now Iolani actually "Feeds the Piggy" and I feel quite good about hopefully instilling in her financial habits that my parents were unable to.

Two parts to that: all of our parents have shortcomings.  I know that in some way I will disappoint Iolani.  Most likely she'll say something like I didn't spend enough time with her, or she wanted to grown up in suburbia, or even worse...she'll become a lunatic pro-lifer who loves direct action.

I'm hopeful for a rational direct-action kind of girl who finishes college and gets a job that can pay for Alex and I to retire on.  LOL.

The second part: now that she knows how to fill the piggy bank, she's hot on the case to find coins. This means that she will search through all of my purses, work bag, and my wallet.

She's been going through my wallet for a couple of months.  For the most part she was simply pulling everything out and leaving it in some kind of semicircle, highlighting where she was sitting. Those easy days are gone.

She got my workbag this morning and pulled out about $2 worth of dimes, nickels, and pennies. She ran to her room, pulled down her pig and started to drop coin by coin into the pig. Then she figured out how to put in two pennies at a time.  She still had a couple of coins left ofter when she realized that my wallet probably had coins in it.

What was I doing all this time? Laundry, picking up the muffin she kind of ate, and of course I was busy updating facebook!  Come on, I keep an eye on Iolani, but I don't hover over her.  And before everyone goes into a tizzy about Iolani handling coins... When I was little I accidentally swallowed a penny.  I'm just f.f.f.f.f.f.f.f fine. She doesn't put them in her mouth, she puts them in the piggy.

crayons - that's another story.  And, those washable crayons cause me some heartache this morning.

back to my wallet...

She took off with my wallet to her bedroom.  She left all the cards in it, but she had removed a $20 and shoved it into her piggy bank.  Now, I cannot...CANNOT... show her that the bank can be opened and my $20 removed. So, it sits in there.

So there you have it.  And, let this be a lesson to everyone who enters our house: Leave your cash at home.  She will get in your wallet and she will take it from you, and you won't be allowed to break into her bank to get it out.

Seriously - do you want to be the person that shows her how to open her bank, and be the person who takes her savings away?

Total awesomeness.

DLANC Candidate: Leslie Colwell

From her website:

Hello, my name is Leslie Colwell. I’m running for an Arts, Cultural, and Education Interests Stakeholder Seat for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.
My first introduction to Los Angeles was after college, when I moved here to teach 6th grade at Bethune Middle School in south L.A. My work as an educator reinforced my belief in the power of community to improve situations and neighborhoods. I currently work at Teach For America, a Pershing Square-based non-profit committed to educational equity, where my work is centered around fostering a culture of civic engagement and leadership among TFA alumni.
I spend a lot of my time downtown, and I’m excited about the growth this community is experiencing. I want to be a part of the leadership that will partner with the City, non-profits, and other community groups to guarantee that downtown’s growth benefits those who live, work, and play here. I want to involve and empower community members to use the Council to solve the problems that are important to them. I’m interested in making participation in the DLANC easier, and ensuring it is not just about parking and potholes. It’s about working side-by-side with community members to ensure downtown Los Angeles thrives as a center of arts, culture, and education, and leaving our neighborhood better than we found it. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to serve this diverse community.
I ask for your vote on Friday, June 25th, so I can bring my commitment to educational equity and the arts to the DLANC. In the meantime, please browse this website for more information about me, Leslie Colwell, your candidate for the Arts, Cultural, and Education Interests Director, as well as information on how to vote.