I forgot to tell you!

I was just re-reading a blog entry from 2005 and realized that I didn't finish the story...

The original post:
I tell this story a million times, but it’s a good story...One day at Mud Bay Coffee, I was behind the counter making, um, coffee. It was raining outside, it was Christmas time. The majority of our customers were women, who worked, who had kids, had big houses, and big expectations. They also had weird drink. A customer, known to me as Pineapple-Latte-Lady, had twin boys, and she had come in for her afternoon tall Pineapple latte.[in the background as I write this, one of the train doors has stopped working, and I’ve spent the last couple of minutes at the South Pasadena station]Anyways...A Pineapple latte is difficult to make. If the milk isn’t just the right temperature the syrup will crystalize, and the milk looks like it’s curdling. Yuck. So - you’ve got to pay attention when you are steaming the milk. Because if you get it too hot, you have to start all over again.Anyways, PLL sat down and began to enjoy her drink. I sat behind the counter proud that I had yet again conquered syrup! She asked me how school was going.

How the story ends:
I told her school was done for the year, and something about going to Europe in the summer.  We spent a good 30 minutes chatting away. I realized that it was getting dark.  Asked her if she had family coming over, how the boys were holding up through potty training.  Her reply:

"I have about 30 people over at the house right now, and the ham will be done in about 20 minutes.  I'l head back in a couple of minutes.  I'm sure no one has noticed I was gone."

I am "That Mom"

As I was busy reviewing all the beautiful Christmas trees, holiday lights, happy family photos, and other cheesy festive activities, I was reminded that I typically fail in keeping up with the great American season of glutton.  I'm don't mean to knock the sentimentality of it all, just pointing out my absolute disregard and under appreciation for the efforts that so many of you take on from mid-October to Superbowl.

However, I love to do these "end of year" lists.  So, in the spirit of wrapping up the year, I've developed a bullet list that summarizes the accomplishments of this year...

Introducing: "I am "THAT MOM" who...

  • lives off some sort of "i" device
  • is thankfully employed, with health and dental insurance
  • has no regrets that I provide an "i" device to our child at the restaurant, on the potty chair, or when the Real Housewives of Brentwood and Thousand Oaks is on
  • wonders why the child asked me if she could cut this, climb up there, or something when she knows I'm going to say no
  • forgets to sign up for the parent/teacher conference, but we talk all the time so...
  • tears up when the child freaks out at school on Monday morning because the child feels like she's being abandoned
  • has a husband who is so awesome at trip planning, that I know he missed his calling as a travel agent
  • used to live on the "Your emergency isn't my emergency" mantra, however now it is "My emergency is about to become your emergency, so...um ya...it's like that"
  • feels no guilt come Monday morning and the child is not only happy to see you walk away, but that I feel giddy as I head to the car to work
  • makes all her phone calls in the car
  • is proud of her daughter for proclaiming that she's "Healthy Strong"
  • will call your movie or commercial making ass out if you so much as unhitch that generator under our window
  • leaves clothes all over the house, knowing my dear husband will pick up after me
  • considers an empty office the ultimate in "me time"
  • lets her kid go out "In that?!!?"
  • wonders about the credit card bill, but never manages to pick up the mail
  • is willing to be held hostage in a bathroom...only if it is at Nordstroms
  • lets the child do anything she wants, even though I might have said no three times
  • is annoyed when there's that guy in line at Starbucks who doesn't know what he wants to order (Seriously, they haven't changed the menu)
  • tries to remember: This isn't a competition, but is proud to see her daughter running around in panties, and that other kid still in diapers
  • is thankful her daughter doesn't like to hide poop
  • knows when there's a new episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and the next release date for a transit publication
  • can interpret what the child said when no one else can AND you don't want to repeat what she said...because she called the old lady at famima "Fat"
  • screams FUCK!!!! when husband and child try to carry on two or three conversations with me
  • makes dinner, calls the tribe to the table and is annoyed that it takes 15 additional minutes for them to get their butts in the chair
  • packs for a vacation the weekend before the big trip for three people but scrambles every morning trying to figure out what to wear to work
  • feels a tiny bit of guilt when I say "Daddy is going eat your food if you don't get back to the table"
  • forgets about signing up for the school potluck, but always willing to STS with the teachers
  • tweets incessantly about silly things that happen through the day, but can't be bothered with a blog entry
  • still has 2T clothes in the drawers that "kind of fit" because the daughter loves to wear them everyday
  • has an amazing group of people around her that helps to quell my insecurities about being a full-time employee, Mommy, and Wife

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for such a wonderful year.  2012, looks to be an even busier year....  Although I heard that it is end times.  Oh man...better go get a new purse.


For the last two weeks Iolani has been asking to "goseethefishiesdiverattheaquarium" aka go to the Aquarium of the Pacific.  When she is excited or frustrated for something all her words run together. Alex purchased a membership after our second visit. You see, my husband is a very smart man.  Very smart.

Iolani **LOVES** the aquarium.  The thing she loves the most: the presentation made by the divers. A few times we visited, it was only to see the divers, and not the other exhibits.  She gets a kick out of giving the divers a high five through the window.  Or, today - she went totally bieber...when the diver blew a kiss back to her.  Swoon....

It warms my heart to see her so excited about water, watersheds, and all that earthy "stuff".  We live in the city...I grew up in the woods, around a lot of salal, trees, streams, and the canal.  What I saw growing up is going to be very different from what I saw growing up.  I would like her to feel comfortable with nature.  If going to the aquarium is one way to do this, then Ya-hoo for us.

GH&T is 7

I started my blog on December 2, 2004.  A lot has changed since then.  President Bush was getting ready to start his final term, Alex and I were living at Santee Court, and I had fallen in love with my neighborhood.  It is a little overwhelming to think about the past 7 years.  Even more overwhelming is to think that 7 years ago - Facebook wasn't a "thing" off of some stuffy college campus .wink.  Twitter wasn't around yet...

Pale Purple

For the last couple of weeks, getting dressed in the morning has been a….challenge.  One that I'm sure my neighbors wonder what I'm doing in our apartment to make Iolani scream like that.  Getting Iolani dressed in the morning is like trying to get…oh fuck…I don't know how to compare it anything.  I mean, she wiggles, tosses her hands, kicks her feet, screams, and my personal favorite: she bites.  

She doesn't usually bite.  I mean, except in those rare instances when she's >>REALLY<< angry.  You know, like if you actually take the ice cream away from her and tell her to get in the tub.  

But, there we were last week.  She's all red, I'm near tears, and it is 8:30, I'm late for work, she's late for school, and she is still in her pajamas.  Or worse - just naked.  

Last night I noticed that she could unbutton her shirt by herself.  Something in my head clicked: Hey, maybe she's pissy about getting dressed in the morning because I am dressing her.  Maybe, just maybe she wants to do it by herself?

So, this morning when I'm saying - time to get dressed, come here…I instead opt to ask her for her pajamas so that I could put them in the wash.  BAM…the motherfucking pajamas are on the fucking floor.  Yes…pure joyous excitement on my part.  

Phase two: "Get the clothes on".  I hand her the pants and offer balancing assistance.  Pants on. Shirt on.  In my head I'm thinking: "Holy shit…this whole time I've been a total bitch to her…my girl wants to do this shit by herself, and I'm here hovering.  Well, damn." 

The socks soon followed, and then shoes.  Then we walked out the door with my purse, workbag, and her backpack.  We did well.  Not a red mark, no mommy tears.  Just the extreme guilt that I was holding my daughter back from the independence that Ani Difranco has belted out for years.  

No guilt or anything….I mean I guess I am the Oppressive Mommy.  :-)

In any case, all was not lost…I did forget her cup at home.  The look of absolute disappointment in the elevator, in front of all her friends nonetheless was reminder enough: Don't bitch at the child unless you have packed up all her stuff for school first.

Going to the movies again!

Parents: I bring the good news...you CAN go to the movie theater, order one drink, and bring your kid with you!

Alex and I used to go to the movies all the time before Iolani.  Our place to go was the Arclight.  I think Alex still has enough points to go see movies for free for quite some time. My favorite part about the theater is that more often than not, people like Alex and I were at the theater.  There were no children, no babies, and assigned seating.  I like those kinds of theaters.  I especially like theaters that don't have crowds of people. (because I don't deal well with crowds)

Just when I thought we would be left with a big corporate theater...in comes Gold Class Cinemas!!!  In Pasadena, off the Memorial Park station of the Gold Line.  We (as in Alex) bought out tickets online, explained to Iolani that we were going to see a movie, and she was so excited that she asked me where her Halloween candy was.

Side note: I no longer enjoy Halloween.  Fuck, seriously - the candy is driving me bonkers.  It isn't so much the candy, but that the candy's in the house, and Iolani knows it.  She woke up at 4 a.m. one morning last week - demanding candy.  She gets home from school - "where's my candy".  She sits for dinner - "where's my candy".  Fucking hate these candy crap.  People need to stop giving out candy and start giving out crayons, play dough that isn't black (because I have recently figured out that black play dough stains the carpet...joy...), plastic spider rings, pretzels, a bike...anything by Sweettarts, mint milky ways, and starbursts.

Back to the movie...I need to talk faster, I'm losing interest.  If I'm losing interest, you've already clicked away.

The movie screens are actually two floors down.  When you get to the bottom of the escalators, parents will find something that looks familiar...it looks like a nice bar.  But, it is a nice bar with a family bathroom (but not a kid toilet, but Iolani used the big toilet anyways).  You are met at the bottom of the escalator with waitstaff...who is going to walk you all the way to your seat.  Oh...how nice was it not to have the sharp bickering witty banter with Alex about which way to the theater and to our seats.  The three of us shared two seats...which are two lazy-boy recliners joined together.  Oh, it was perfect.  While Alex was stretched out, enjoying the arm rest, reviewing the menu...I made the poor decision to show Iolani the buttons that reclined my seat.  Thank  god I had already looked at the menu online, and knew that the four cheese pizza would work.

We watched our movie, Iolani wiggled through most of the movie - but given the layout...Missy didn't really bother anyone.  Well...we weren't the only family in there with a young child....  In all honesty...we were there for that movie that sounds like toots in boots (Why is there a childrens' movie that encourages my little innocent girl to say: Pussy?

She can't just say Puss...it doesn't come out right.

Regardless, the food was a little salty.  But, who the fuck cares about that?  We got to go to the movies, it was relaxing, and no one wet their pants.  All in all, total win.

Until she had an exhaustion-induced breakdown after gelato, because I am a horrible mother who caused her to leave behind her unfinished dessert on top of a garbage can.  eh, whatever...I'm sure I'll do worse sooner or later.

This blog entry sucks.  I'll summarize: I enjoyed going to THIS movie theater.  I hope that we go more often.

Daily update

This is too long to tweet. The most exciting thing that happened today, besides Iolani not wanting to be harried everywhere, my iPhone getting repaired at the Apple store, and the church meeting... Was the email about a kick off meeting for a certain project that is finally heading into construction! Finally, something that goes from planning, engineering...construction is the light at the end of the tunnel. No accolades for successful guesses. :-)

My poor attempt at dark humor

Today is the anniversary of my mother's passing.  Yes, 17 years ago, she died. She was forced to leave behind three children, 23 undone quilts, about 3 grand in bad checks, and a lifetime membership in the NRA that was very difficult close out.

I could recount all the exciting and life changing activities that followed, but why?  When I can tell you this little tidbit, that reminds me that God truly has a sense of humor.

My mother and her mother are both up in heaven.  I know this... I am pretty sure that Mom is enjoying her unending supply of Virginia Slims.  Grandma Margaret is likely enjoying her favorite afternoon drink...right now (I know, it's only 10, but afternoon starts early for some ladies).  If my mother was anything like me in her teens, I'm sure that Mom and Margaret continue to have their bickering little fights, their gossip...all that to say... I'm pretty sure that heaven is NOT a quiet place.

Which explains why Grandpa Bob has done such a great job in staying down here....because he knows that up in heaven...it is going to get really loud.

Sick in the City

Funny title right?

There's one drawback to living in the same neighborhood you happen to work in: Being Sick.  I'm home sick today.  I have a fever, runny nose, and oh...so much more.  I'm a little pale (yes, it is possible), dull eyes, very tired...sick.  Home...sick.

I did have to venture out to get the usual "I've got a cold" supplies, like tissue, cough drops, chicken soup, and cash for Iolani's doctor appointment coming up in an hour or two.  But, I only got as far as getting the cash.  Everything else will have to wait until after 5 p.m.

After 5 p.m....anyone I work with or for will have escaped the neighborhood in order to nestle back in their own neighborhood.  I was outside the building - maybe by about 15 steps and I saw a couple of the folks from the Regional Connector PE team.  I'm not a vain person, but I don't need these folks seeing me in my kind of pajamas/weekend/sick wear.

I don't have the energy to put on work clothes, deodorant or socks in order to get my chicken soup.  I'd rather starve it out for a couple of hours in order to avoid the sidewalk at Wilshire/Hope.

File that under: things not said during the housing tour.  :-)

Privacy please

During bath time tonight, Iolani was obviously annoyed with me.  She would mumble, "Mommy go away" and "Mommy five more minutes". I can't just up and leave her in the tub.  

But, now she not only says "Mommy go away" but she pulls the shower curtain closed and announces "Privacy Please". Drives me bonkers.

Privacy please.  

oh, Please.

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning

The sailor's warning.  Translated into my world: No phone calls at night, mommy's delight. First text message before 7 in the morning - oh fuck, find a desk to hide under.

Accurate? Discuss....

Hair Glitter and Pocoyo

There are mornings that I wonder if a camera has been secretly outfitted in our apartment. 

I woke up this morning for my “me time” and planted myself in front of the television.  My only goal was to finish the most recent episodes of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, say what you will about reality TV, but I can absolutely relate to these ladies…  I mean if you take away the idea they live in Beverly Hills (which most of them don’t) and are rich (most of them aren’t) then there are things about each of the ladies that I can appreciate.  Adrianne’s definitely my favorite – except for that hair glitter?  Why?  I don’t get it.

During the commercial, a little after 7, I go into Iolani’s room to find her cuddled up to Moe.  Not wanting to disturb her too much (because I’m still in the middle of the show and it only takes about 20 minutes to get her out the door), I cover her up and tiptoe out.

However, by the time I’ve made it back to the couch, the little sneaky bugger has slipped up to the couch and is now asking for Pocoyo.  Fucking Pocoyo…please…let me finish my show.  “Mommy wants to finish her show and then we will watch Pocoyo” I say.

We finish my show, and I ask her what she wants for breakfast.  “Nothing” she says.  Maybe too much Housewives as my daughter is already thinking about skipping breakfast?  Ah, have no fear…Iolani saw a little microwave dinner, she points out that she wants that…  Spaghetti for breakfast it is.

Why am I being so accommodating this morning?  Spaghetti for breakfast?

Picture Day!!!!

Alex and I needed Iolani in nice clothes for school.  We needed her to ditch her Toy Story/Yo Gabba Gabba/Elmo stained shirts that she usually demands to wear – for a clean tunic.  You know, preferably something her grandmother (Lola) has purchased for her.

As Pocoyo has mesmerized our child, I slip on the purple top, clean pants, socks, shoes…and I comb her hair, she’s touting the joys of Pocoyo.  At this point, I don’t fucking care what’s up on the TV show – I’m just happy she isn’t shouting “I don’t want to wear this!!!!!”

And, with that – I get us out the door.  We are nearly halfway to the elevator when Iolani announces she needs a cup for school.  She doesn’t need a cup for school, she has 3 at school right now.  However, not to be deterred, she stomps her feet and proclaims: 


Holy shit, the girl needs a cup.  We run back to the house, she looks for the damn Woody cup and figures out that it is indeed at school.  She picks another cup, asks for “temonade” (ahhh, how cute)…which we have very little of.  (Grocery night is needed)

Back to the car.  She gets in, I buckle her into her seat.  I get into my seat and remember the days I used to slip into my seat and turn on blaring Green Day.  Today – I now keep the radio off in an effort to have my last bits of communication with Iolani before she heads into school.

The whole drive to work was about Moe the Bear hitting her.  Rather than hit back, I’ve been trying to teach her to point her finger and say – I don’t like that.

I can’t wait for the day that I tell her no to something, and she waves her finger back at me and says – No, I don’t like that.  Half of me is being sarcastic, but I’ll trade that for a fall-to-the-floor-wail-for-$1200 purse tantrum at Nordstroms.  (and just to clarify…Iolani would be the one falling to the floor.  I no longer throw a tantrum for $1200 purses, New Years Resolution you know)

We get into school, all settled in.  No tears, no hugs.  She leans in to kiss me with spaghetti half hanging out her mouth.  Yes….  I did hesitate for the morning kiss.  I’ve kissed worse things in the morning, so I doubled back to kiss my daughter goodbye.  I asked the teacher what time pictures would be taken.

Her reply: Picture day is tomorrow.

Panties in a bunch...that's me!

Can I just say "what total crap" and move on?  No.  I can't.  I can say - what an incomplete, half-assed article.  I love Tricia, she's a neighbor, her daughter is almost two months older than mine…but this article is total crap and fails…FAILS to paint the full picture of the Family Situation in Downtown Los Angeles.

And, I'm going to tell you why. (and listen Richard…nothing personal, but I know Downtown News can spare the space…you missed a key point)

Housing prices, specifically rental prices.

Take note: Overall average rental prices did go down between 2009 and 2010, but the average rental prices for two bedroom units did not experience the same kind of dramatic fall. (http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate?a=MSAAvgRentalPrice&msa=4472)

Rental prices have increased for both one and two bedroom apartments in Los Angeles - but the rate of increase between one to two bedrooms is more significant.  http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/CA-Los-Angeles-Pricing.html

Meaning - there's a need for two bedroom places, there's not enough rental housing stock for families. 

If you are a City of Los Angeles family that needs more than two bedrooms, you are just utterly and completely screwed. Screwed…as the average rental rate for a 3 bedroom unit is over $3,000 a month…and there's only about 146 of those available.  Two bedrooms: Average is about $2500.

In our neighborhood, Rentometer says that we should expect to pay $2800 a month for our two bedroom apartment.  Thank you to Pegasus…we pay under that.  We have seen the units that run for $2300, $2500, $2800 and higher…we cannot afford to live in a place for more than $2300 a month.  And, we are a two income, white collar household.  

There are plenty of DTLA families who purchased their units - they cannot just up and move. Either because they lack any equity in their mortgage and cannot sell their unit, or they truly love their neighborhood and they've made a commitment to make it all work out.

Additionally - you have to ask why parents are moving to the better LAUSD schools.  I understand that individual schools haven't been rock star schools forever.  Parents, students, administrators and teachers before us made a commitment to making that school the way it is.  There's a school in our backyard that is poised to repeat that track.  Why not be a part of it?

Housing prices, regardless of where you are at in the City of Los Angeles is breaking the back of her residents. My husband and I know plenty of people who have not just moved from DTLA because of schools…they are moving because the higher value of the housing stock, neighborhood, and the entire school district.  (Looking at you La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, and South Pasadena)

So, Richard…you missed something.  People aren't leaving >just< because we lack a Cheremoya, Solano, Allesando, or an Ivanhoe today, doesn't mean we can't have one tomorrow.  Parents are leaving because they are getting priced out of the neighborhood, overall concern regarding LAUSD, and other likely more personal preferences and beliefs. 

I should just stop right there...but ANOTHER THING, if there are so few families and children in DTLA, why is the Kid City South Park program FULL?  Why was the Biltmore Hotel's Gingerbread Man thing...FULL.  Why was the CCA's halloween event FULL. When Little Tokyo hosted two Yo Gabba Gabba episodes...PACKED!   There are a lot of kids in DTLA...the kids in the neighborhood are not clumped together in the Hipster Heaven Historic Core (You know I love you guys) or even the Financial District...they are stuffed in overcrowded apartments in South Park.  There are well over 500 children in South Park.  There's a big reason why the survey completed didn't catch that...the survey was only available in English.  Maybe next time the survey is done, add in a couple of Korean, Spanish, or even Japanese copies and see what comes back.  Fuck...you'll see that we will still have a market for Target, Nordstrom Rack, Petco, and a motherfucking Gymboree.

See...I almost went the whole blog entry without a potty word.  Fuck it...I need a nap.

How do you get kicked out of a neighborhood?

My original post has been edited below.  Additionally, The Downtown News has published an article in response to the question asked on the DTLA Parents Facebook Group.  My feelings on the topic remain unchanged.

On the Facebook group tonight, parents were asked if they are considering leaving the neighborhood in order to get closer to a "better" school. It is a touchy subject because if a couple of reasons:

1) Parents already live in this world were we are constantly comparing our parenting skills to another. As a parent, we know we judge other parents...accidentally or on purpose. So to say "are you going to move out of the neighborhood to find a better school" is the same thing as asking yourself "do I buy the formula with the extra brain power powder or do I hang on and keep nursing?"

2) When a parent admits that they "need" to leave the neighborhood in search of a better school...are we giving up on the neighborhood that we have spend years building and enjoying?

3) When our friends have their kids and move off to the Ivanhoe neighborhood, do we feel that little twinge of guilt that maybe we should be doing the same thing?

4) As a parent, am I all the sudden being asked to value new restaurants, shopping centers, and quality parks over quality education?

Even if you don't have children, it is something, somewhere in your mind you have considered. Maybe I'm asking a very big question of my neighbors...are you in this for the long haul, or is this neighborhood a casual relationship that seems like a remnant of your twenties?

The schools in the neighborhood are improving. We have a lot of new buildings, and LAUSD is LAUSD, and there are so many factors that can cause a school and a classroom to change from year to year. We want to be able to take advantage of every opportunity available to Iolani.

I'm hopeful and optimistic that the Brideaus can stay in DTLA. So far, it isn't the school system pushing us out, but rather the lack of affordable rent for middle (maybe even upper middle) dual income families. For us, it isn't a matter how how long we can stay in the neighborhood we call home, it is a matter of how long will DTLA let us stay.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

About that Tablet fad

I used to think the whole iPad thing was just a fad that would come and go...like the Newton, or Handspring.  That was until the iPad was turned into a piece of work equipment. And now....I don't know how I functioned without it.  I no longer carry around a day planner, pad of paper, pens, papers containing agendas, meeting minutes, or fact sheets. I carry my stylus and my iPad. ...  My monogrammed iPad (thank you boss)

There's only one hangup: the initial distraction of what the iPad means to a business meeting.  The moment I sit down, pull out the iPad and start to jot down my notes, inevitably someone whispers; "Hey, what program are you using to do that?"

So, here...for those whisperers who don't even read this blog...here's my  "So Your Boss Got You An iPad, What Apps Do You Need" list.

In no order of preference:
All of the apps cost money.  None of the apps that will do you a damn bit of good are free. So just stop hunting around for the free version.  

And, notice that I didn't tell you anything about what each of the apps do.  I know that you will simply follow the link and read the reviews anyway.  All I need to tell you is that I use these every day to do my job.  

Jesus, I'm tired. Good Night.

WTF is "kid friendly"

How do I put this politely? I get really annoyed when ever I see a list of "kid-friendly" shit.  Because what is kid friendly? Depends on your kid and one's ability to get totally pissed off about insignificant things.  Needless to say, I hate fucking "kid-friendly" shit - because it usually means 1) the menu has grilled cheese sandwiches 2) crayons and an ugly ass piece of paper for a menu (that slips all over the fucking table) 3) plastic cups with apple juice, with a twisty straw that ends up flinging juice all over the fucking place.

(I just had my first coffee for the day, so I might be a little cranky.  Piss off.)

Personally - there are not a lot of places outside of my house that I would deem kid-friendly.  And - I think I'm pushing the "kid friendly" part because our kid likes to play with computers and shit.  And coins...don't forget the coins.  If you come to visit our house, better leave the coins at home - Iolani will take you for every coin you have.  I won't go as far to say she's a pickpocket - but....  Trust me.  I leave my coins at work.  However - recently she's figured out that dollar bills have a larger value when compared to coins.  (Who the fuck taught her that?  Blame it on Starbucks, as she sees bills and not coins cross the counter).

Kid-Friendly...a childrens' toilet, child-sized portions (not fried food or plain noodles), and get that fucking paper placemat away from my fucking table.

Did I make myself clear?

When Iolani was in diapers, we just wanted a place that had a changing table in both the women's and men's restroom.  Often times the changing table was only in the women's bathroom.  You know what - my husband (like all good daddy's out there) change their child's diaper.  We both agreed that raising Iolani was going to take a team effort.  However, the diabolical forces out there defined that only the mommy could change the diaper when at The Farm. Fuckers.  All I wanted was a brief moment in time when Alex and Iolani went off to change a poopy diaper, so that I could enjoy a cup of coffee.  CONSPIRACY! Mommy Oppressors!

If a place is going to go through the effort of putting one diaper changing table in a restaurant, at least put it somewhere for the Mommy or Daddy to access it.  

The children's toilet is the best thing since at-home espresso machines. Seriously.  If you have a baby and you are laughing and point at me, well...fuck you...you just wait.  Wait for the day when Potty Training is all you get to think about, and all you do is look at that tiny little potty chair and wonder why don't they have these at places other than Ikea?  Wanna know why we stopped going to The Grove?  YOU DON'T HAVE A CHILDREN'S TOILET!!!!  A small potty that Iolani can sit on by herself, do her business so that she can go back and spend her daddy's hard earned money at Nordstroms. (Santa Anita Mall has a bunch of them...)

That little toilet let's our family stay out ALL day at the mall.  Imagine what kind of damage we could do if they had little toilets at the grocery store. We could stay for more than 20 minutes, and actually buy the stuff in the car.  Typically we just abandon shopping and come back as soon as Iolani's dropped her dookie.

Wanna fix the economy?  Institute Marriage Equality and put the little toilets all over the place.  I'm telling you...the employment rate will start righting itself.

Effing Idiots...I'm so getting a blog post on this...

LA Weekly...

Ladies bags

I find that it is very difficult to find the right work bag for me.  I want something compact, nice to look at, and will fit my laptop when needed.

Here are some options...



My mom would have turned 59 today.  She only made it to 42.

There are a couple of things I do know.

  1. I know that she would have HATED being anything over 45.  I just can't imagine her anything by 36.  I remember when she turned 32, claiming that she wasn't going to age ever again.  
  2. She would have been really pissed about all of the No Smoking signs, laws, and the overall societal disapproving over smoking.
  3. She would have been REALLy pissed about the price of her cigarettes.  When she started smoking, I think a pack of her Virginia Slims Menthol Lights cost about 50 cents.  Now - each pack is over $6.  At a pack a day, that's almost $200 a month in cigarettes.  Don't forget the matches.

While she would not have been a very happy 59 year-old, it is nice to know she's kind of still around.  And, the kids are doing okay.

Two posts in a day, chord struck

As I was tucking Iolani in, I was thinking about the family that lost their new baby during Artwalk. It is a horrible feeling to be looking at our little girl and think that someone out there doesn't have their baby any more.  I mean, already as a parent - from the moment the Iolani left my body - I can tell you I feel like I'm constantly fearful for something horrible happening to her that's out of my control.  When her bedroom door is closed, and she's been sleeping a little bit longer than usual I get all worked up wondering if she's okay in there. I know that it is completely normal to have this "irrational paranoia".  

I also got to thinking about Artwalk and how Artwalk and child-rearling so much the same thing. Right now, for as much as we have people in the neighborhood who mean well - Artwalk continues to be without a parental unit...guidance, or someone to nurture this event to the safest potential possible. Artwalk needs a parent.  Someone that at the end of the day will see to it that Spring Street is closed to auto traffic for Artwalk.

Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I recognize there are a couple of garages that can only be accessed off of Spring.  However, Artwalk isn't going away.  People want to come downtown for a monthly event.  There's nothing else like it that happens every month.  As Downtowners we have the opportunity and responsibility to make changes to Artwalk.

These changes need to be made - for a life has been taken.  We cannot let this loss of life be taken in vain.

Sadly UPDATED: Something horrible happened last night.

Earlier reports said the baby had died.  Early reports included additional incidents which may have included a stabbing.  I am pretty sure the "relaunch" of Artwalk was not supposed to include these things.  

In reading tweets this morning there were questions about why was a 2-month old out and about at 9 p.m. - let along out during Artwalk.  Questions about why wasn't Spring Street closed to auto traffic.  Questions about "should Artwalk continue". 

Here's one mother's take - aka MINE.

1) Why was a 2-month old out at 9 p.m. and Artwalk.  With all due respect, Iolani didn't miss an Artwalk during the first 6 months of her life. We walked, enjoyed the bright lights and the galleries.  Key word: galleries.  During our last Artwalk, Iolani enjoyed the street music, Syrup, and seeing the neighbors.  

When you live in Downtown - 9 p.m. is late evening, but it isn't late.  Especially when as a parent you know that a late bed time should mean a late wake up the next day. When you live in the neighborhood, Artwalk is when you see the neighbors. Artwalk to Iolani is just a Thursday evening in the neighborhood.  I am sure that other DT parents would agree - Artwalk to families isn't a pedestrian booze cruise.  

2) Why wasn't Spring Street closed?  That is a very good question.  Artwalk is big enough that closing Spring Street between 4th and 6th (and maybe even down to 7th) should be happening. I know there are garages that access Spring, and maybe make it local access (management nightmare), but as residents - let's have that discussion about what it means to improve the pedestrian environment.  

3) Should Artwalk continue.  Um, fucking hell yes.  I might not make it to Artwalk every month, there may be a bunch of non-neighbors hanging out - but they are spending their money in the bars, restaurants, and maybe even a gallery or two. The money and pedestrian activity is worth it. The vacant apartments, the lofts for sale benefit from the one-a-month frenzy of potential residents. And with Carmageddon here - it is kind of nice to gloat over the fact that we have tremendous (and growing) transit access, we have the new school buildings, we have great redevelopment and infill development going on.  

Last night a horrible thing happened.  But maybe through the boozing, chatting, giggling during the morning after, we can take the next step in nurturing our residential neighborhood. We must keep the impacted families in our thoughts and prayers and do what we can to ensure that no other people get hurt during Artwalk.

(I removed the picture from the earlier post.  Given the gravity of the situation, my humor would not be appropriate.)

Bedtime for Iolani

First - getting it out of the way. This book - I want.

Let me do a dramatic (traumatic maybe) interpretation of our bedtime "process".  In no way should anyone interpret this as me being upset, angry, or feeling empty/depress - because this is my life and I'm enjoying.  I'm lucky, I'm blessed, I'm crazy.

It all begins at 6 p.m. when I leave work. I head out of the office, get to the car, and drive home.  This is the last time I will be all by myself in any shape, way, or form until the next day when I drop Iolani off at day care. Mondays, I get time to talk to my aging father.  I'm turning 35, my dad is getting old.  Actually, he's constantly between surgeries right now - and I think he's just excited to talk to someone who isn't there to borrow a tool, ask him to cook, or fix a car.

I get home and I'm lucky to get my shoes off before I have a child on my leg.  I have only one - so it must be Iolani.  Da Hubbie is either sprawled on the couch - on the verge of being absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of energy Iolani brings home from daycare.  Sometimes I wonder - what does she do all day?  I mean really...how can she possibly be playing ALL DAY LONG and come home ready to swing from the rafters?  Hmmm...how long IS that nap time?

I drop my work bag somewhere in the corner.  Iolani is either asking for Nemo candy, my computer, my phone, money, Starbucks, crackers, milk, juice, world peace, whereabouts of Hoffa's grave, her bear, stickers, mail, valet guy, Ben, Pastor Sandie, or some other random bit of something that she saw for 2 seconds three weeks ago.

Tired yet?  If so - suck it...it's only 6:35 and you haven't even started making dinner yet.

Dinner...whatever...I make something. Veggies, a meat, a carb.  Iolani eats only the carb. Alex asks me about the calorie count for the individual serving I prepared, and I'm still thinking about the fact that I didn't get to finish that first cup of coffee this morning.  But, I'm starting to think about the bathtub...

As Iolani fidgets at the table, I start to mention that if she's done with her dinner it's time for tub.  Magically - she's back in her seat and food is again entering into her mouth. "Still eating mommy"

15 minutes later, she's away from the table.  I mention the tub...Wizz...back at the table "Still eating mommy"

After three or four times of this - I start the tub. I'm done eating and I'm ready for the next step of the evening.  Tub.

Once the tub is filled, it is all about chasing our daughter around the house, snagging pieces of clothing as we can.  Once she's running around the house squealing...with no clothes - I start in on the "Get in the tub" line.  I try it a couple of times and I throw up my hands and announce "Mommy's tub"

I never get tub any more.  I get showers. I used to get tub time.  I used to fill the tub up with a bathbomb and shut the door and clean my toes.  Now...happy to say...I remembered deodorant today, and I brushed my teeth.

With one declaration of "Mommy's tub" the girl's in the tub.  She's playing and she likes to tell me - "Mommy go away...go check email".  With the reluctant sigh, I grab my phone and sit on the closed toilet and watch Iolani spill water all over the bathroom floor.  Soon, after a huge display of emotion - I wash her hair.

Then she says - "Set the timer, two minutes"  That our two minute warning that tub time is almost over. Next stop hair and teeth brushing. After a little battle with the tooth brush, girlie's got clean teeth and tangle free hair.

Then...off to bed - er - Off to the bedroom.  This is where the battle begins.  Step one: Enter Pajamas.  If she's in a good mood, you can distract her through conversation and get her into a night set.  If she's in a bad mood - it can range from giving her space to an all out wrestle match to get the PJs on.  Recently we've given up on the complete set of night clothes and Missy goes "drawers" free.  Whatever - I need sleep.

Time to wrestle with dad.  Iolani will climb all over Alex, declaring him a horse or jungle gym.  I don't know how he does it. Iolani jumps on me one time and I'm at a loss.  I'm older.

Once I've grown tired of their horseplay, or I'm bored with Facebook - I'll go in and relieve Alex of night duties.  I'll encourage Iolani to give one last hug, kiss, and "I love you" before tagging Alex out.

We'll read a couple of books. No more than Olivia's the goal.  But, I'm a sucker for the "read X book Mommy" - so after 10 books I announce "Mommy's got to go to bed".

"I'm thirsty - can I have milk?"
"My teeth hurt - can I have Tylenol?"
"There's monsters in my room?"
"Can I have a cracker?"
"There's someone at the door, can I go answer it?"
"Can Mo (the bear) have a kiss?"
"I forgot something in the house?"
"Mommy, can I have ice cream?"
"I forgot something at school?"
"Mommy, I'm still hungry?"
"I forgot something in New Orleans?"
"I'm still dirty, I need to get back in the tub?"
"I forgot something..."

And - In my head, I'm thinking to myself - "Oh my God Iolani, please please please for the love of God and all the goodness in the earth, please get in your fucking bed and go the fuck to sleep"

I'd never say that to her.  I'm pretty sure I've said that to someone on the phone sometime in my life. I mean, I do have a bit of a mouth on me.

I give my last kiss, hug, proclamation that she's my favorite daughter, ask her if she loves me, and close the door.  I sit down on the couch, and within 30 minutes to an hour - I'm out, or I'm worthless to talk to.  And, with Alex being the night owl that he is - this is usually the time he wants to talk about whatever - money, things to do on the weekend, a marriage proposal, a reminder to get the car washed...all I'm thinking is...do I have to brush my teeth before I go to bed, or can I just rinse with mouthwash and call it a day.

So, for those prospective parents or parents with children who don't talk yet...enjoy it now.  Once your child starts talking brush up on those ball-busting negotiation skills.  You might have only one kid...however - I am absolutely convinced that Iolani spends her entire day at daycare staring out the window thinking of the witty comebacks as to why she shouldn't have to go to bed tonight.

The 405 Widget.

Get your own.

Why the freakout over Man Down

First - the video:

And the top response on YouTube sums up the question regarding the outrage:
"After hearing the complaints I was expecting to see this horrible murder of an innocent man. So the people complaining care more about the fact that a man is killed that they completely overlook that the man in the story raped her? so much music by men depicts violence agaisnt women and they get a pass on it but god forbit a woman decides to do the same, and this case is the picture of a woman who was humiliated in the worst possible way. I applaud rihanna for this video"


People, you need to wake up and see there's a war being waged on women. If you have a daughter, wife, girlfriend, sister, a niece, a female cousin...wake up.  Because here's the new for you today.

  1. Plan and expect to be raped. Yes - time to get your rape insurance.  Be sure to get something with a low-deductible, or otherwise plan on having the extra cash around for the rape kit, hospital say and potential abortion.
  2. And, once you have been raped - do go to the police and report it.  Sure, your rapist might not be prosecuted.  There are several of recent examples.  About half the men arrested for rape are not prosecuted.
Why aren't these guys being prosecuted?  "Uncooperative witness", "Questionable motives", District Attorneys claiming they didn't have enough evidence that would convince a jury of guilt, and my favorite "Both parties were drunk"

Uncooperative Witness - I get this.  You've been raped and you might be fearful to return to the courtroom, recount that one evening of drunken bliss, prior sexual partners, and the memory of being dragged from the elevator to some guy's car. Although, the rape kit might show the rips, tears and bruising...it's just too much for the mind to comprehend.

District Attorneys, according to Wikipedia: "In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney (DA) is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of assistant (ADA) or deputy district attorneys." 

Here in LA County, we elect ours.  Next time you hear that the DA didn't file charges in a rape case because they "couldn't get the job done" just think to yourself that another rapist is out on the street and he's gotten away with it...probably...again.

And, once your rapist has been arrested, not prosecuted...he will most likely rape again.  

The part that really gets me, is the outpouring of support for the guys who "do good" who rape and then have their buddies come to their aid. Whether through editorial like Professor Stein. Or, the rapist's co-workers aid in the coverup. Or, the rapist is an outstanding athlete with a penchant for violence against anything that moves, that a school will cover up for. Or, when police officers cover for each other.

Around the internet there are more enlightening articles about this war on women. Is it just a matter of time before the story of the Handmaidens Tale comes to life?  What do I tell my daughter?  It's one of those things I feel like Alex needs to break the news to her - that she or one of her friends will be sexually assaulted at some point in their life, and society will do pretty much nothing to prevent it from happening to her, prosecuting the rapist, and preventing it from happening again.  Because I don't have the heart to tell my little girl about the bad in the world.

I watched the video a couple of times now.  If you haven't figured it out, Rihanna's telling the story about stopping the violence, and the same time showing a story about how out of necessity the violence is perpetuated.  She, of all people out in the world have a duty, expectation, and responsibility to showcase the injustice of rape.

For those of you out there who feel the video's too violent, too graphic, or "Rihanna shouldn't be talking (or dressing or dancing) like that - too provocative" Take a moment and check yourself. Rape isn't a matter of talking, dressing, or dancing in a way to "provoke" rape.

We would be having a different conversation if there was a serial rapist out there hunting down hetero-men.