Ginny Here and There is TEN YEARS OLD!!!

I started this blog ten years ago.  I wasn’t on Facebook or Twitter, Myspace was boring, and I had a solid job in Pasadena.  I used the blog to push out my ideas, articles I found interesting, and documented our move to Downtown Los Angeles.  Ten years…dang.  Ten years seems like such a long time, and when I think about what the last ten years has been like…it really has been a long trip.

Look back and see what the last ten years of my life has been.  Giggle all you want, but it is all very real.


People think I'm sooooo internet savvy.  I don't claim it, it just happened.  For a long time I thought "FTW" meant "For The Win!", mostly because I confirmed it via the internet.

However, as I was delivering @msiolani to school the other day, I passed by a new construction sign.

And as I got  closer to the sign, I realized that FTW in this case...was a different "W".


So - for the first time in a long time...I'm really sorry for any of the "FTW"s I've posted in the past.  100% of the time I really meant "For The Win" and not "Eff the World".

The bittersweet of it

Gerry and Mom

Facebook is a humbling experience for me. At my fingertips and mouse clicks, I have curated a series of moments of joy, sadness, gratefulness, spite, anger, and sheer heartbreak. It is an amazing feat.  Post after post, even when it is just a simple sharing of another article, there’s a momentary connection with someone.

My mother and her partner died 20 years ago.  I’ve long accepted her death, but I’ve never accepted that her spirit is gone.  I’ve never accepted that this aura of my mom is just “poof, gone”.  I’m humbled when in the moments when I think she would have enjoyed seeing what the world is today.  

Twenty is a big number.  Two decades.  Twenty years ago,  I was fresh out of high school, just into college.  All the things I’ve seen and done in the years since, I’m thankful I don’t have to explain. I continue to have my entire future to decide on whether or not that is a good thing. 

For those of us who have lost their mothers, and they’ve been told the pain never goes away, it just gets easier to deal with.  Twenty years, and if I’m having an off day…my tears can still run as if I’ve just been told of her passing moments ago. It isn’t pain that I feel, I feel the loss, a missed opportunity to have something I might have wanted. 

My mom was a hot mess, but she was the hot mess for three kids. She was our hot mess. 

Sometimes these blog entries get personal.  I’ve long since been good with that, mostly because I’ve already been comforted by others, having been told they feel the loss as well.  No use in hiding the emotion in the loss that I feel.

Circling back to Facebook. Through my updates, pictures, posts by others, I see how life is just amazing.  Watching Alex and Iolani hike (and going back to the pictures at the end of the day), Troop meetings, REI trips, ground breakings, construction updates…here is the testament on how to move forward, but not necessary moving on.

1st Grade

Of course @MsIolani starts 1st grade tomorrow.  Every time I get a little "Time Hop" update, I'm reduced to quick little tears - and I can't say "where has the time gone".  I know where the time has gone.  I understand why there are weepy parents out there, but I also understand the joys of sending the kid back to school after a summer of juggling childcare, lunches, sunburns, and the savior Netflix.

"Mom, don't you wish you had my life?" she says to me.  And, while we were standing in Disneyland for the 10th time this year, I realized that I don't have her life, and I wouldn't want her life. 

Don't get me wrong, she has a wonderful life.  She gets to do a lot of fun things, she gets to see things that most kids don't get to see until they bounce the nest and head off to college.  

But the other side to this life is what I loathe.  She  knows that Mom or Dad will pick her up, but she doesn't know which one. She doesn't know if dinner will be at home tonight, or out because I might have an evening meeting. I might come home in a rush, hop on one last conference call, or answer a slew of emails before I can give her my full attention.

It isn't a pity party.  It is her life, it isn't mine.  And, I admire her greatly for living it. 

Thank You!

About a year ago I set out to form a Daisy troop for my daughter.  We hosted an information night and had a couple people turn out.  The second information night we hosted, we netted about 50 sign ups.  Our first meeting…we had nearly 60 girls - from Kindergarten to High School.  The troop split into a second troop, but Girl Scout Troop 16155 remains in Downtown.
We just finished our first season of cookie sales.  Our goal was just to sell cookies, and we really didn’t know how many boxes of cookies our neighbors would eat.  Cookie preorders totaled nearly FOUR THOUSAND boxes of cookies.  During boothing, you purchased nearly THREE THOUSAND boxes of cookies.  And, amazingly enough…some of you were told that we ran out of cookies.  And we did.  

So - my heartfelt “THANK YOU!!!” on behalf of myself, our troop goes out to all of you, especially Amanda Leon, Miguel Vargas, Patrice Hopper, Vivian Um, Rich Jesmer, Blair Besten, Ace Hotel, Escondite, Ralphs, to the many I forgot to call specific attention to, and to the parents of the Girl Scouts of Troop 16155.  

With everyone’s hard work and dedication to their sweet tooth, 21 girls (because the Daisies can’t camp yet) will have the opportunity to go camping in May…many for the first time. Further to that, many of the girls secured additional cookie awards that provide them with summer camp scholarships.  

Again, Thank You so very much for supporting Girl Scout Troop 16155. 


Ginny Brideau
Troop Leader

Girl Scout Troop 16155  

How To Join The Girl Scout Troop

One thing about Girl Scout cookies that I really like, the parents who approach the cookie booth NOT (just) to buy cookies, but to ask how their daughters can join DTLA Girl Scout Troop 16155, and now you have a way!  Visit, download the registration form, fill it out, and email it back. We'll call you to follow up!

SCAG Listening Session

Notice of Public Listening Session:
Southern California Association of Governments Federal Certification Review
A Public Listening Session is scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, 2014 to receive input on how to improve the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region’s transportation planning process.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will be conducting the certification review and evaluation of the region’s transportation planning process carried out by SCAG and its partners. Every four years the FHWA and FTA jointly conduct this review. As part of the review, the public is invited to comment on the transportation planning process at the following public meeting:
February 5, 2014, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
818 West 7th Street, 12th Floor
Policy Committee Room B 
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Oral and written comments may be presented at the meeting. Written comments may also be sent via e-mail to, or by regular mail to:
Mr. Michael Morris 
FHWA Cal-South Office 
888 S. Figueroa, Suite 750, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Mr. Ted Matley 
FTA Region IX 
201 Mission Street, Suite 1650, San Francisco, CA 94105
Public written comments will be accepted through Friday, February 21, 2014. For additional information about the SCAG federal certification process, or the February 5, 2014 public listening session, please dial 213-894-4014.

We Went Camping!

Growing up we used to spend a lot of time at Twanoh State Park, a lot of time.  It was about 20 minutes away from the house.  The three of us kids had our own tent, we ran around the campground, to the beach, and back again.  I loved camping growing up.

This past weekend we went camping for the first time!  We went to Sycamore Canyon, spent two nights and three days taking in the days. Highlights of the trip:

  • Making a bow from a tent guide line and a big bendy twig Iolani located
  • Making the arrow for the bow, and showing Iolani how to use a pocket knife
  • Watching Alex light the campfire
  • Coffee in the morning
  • Spending Saturday night in the tent with Iolani, singing quiet camp songs
  • Only cell service was by The PCH and not in the campground
  • The saturday day hike up, up, and some more up
  • Meeting our camping neighbors
  • Tent Envy!
  • Coming home smelling like campfire

Not the highlight of the trip:
  • Burning myself on a hot pot (WTF Ginny)
  • Cold nights in our 40 degree sleeping bag
  • The first 15 minutes of the up up up hike, with Iolani complaining her legs her.  But then she saw the view, and all was right with the world
  • The car battery died
  • Losing **All** of the pictures off the camera
Yes - all the pictures off the camera.  Which means...we have to do the trip again so I can be extra careful when making the transfer.