THAT Friend…

June 29, 2010

Maybe a good kick is in order?

Is it just me, or does everyone attract jerky friends? There’s one friend I’m thinking of here – ultra-competitive and egotistical pretty much sum her up. It’s so strange because she can be a ton of fun and very caring.  

Back story: We got to know her a few years ago when she started dating a friend of ours. They’ve been married for a while now. At the time, her goofiness that placed her at the center of attention was chalked up to her being out of her element and with only her boyfriend as someone she knew well. WRONG!

She’s always right. Always. Doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know “jack” about the topic, she’ll argue to the death, until you can provide PROOF she’s wrong. Then she just shrugs it off like it was no big deal. Nevermind the gaping, bloody wounds. Problem is, she’s doing this more and more. She has to compete for time, attention, the most friends, the best appliances, the best brand name bags, etc. Her insecurities are so huge that her attempts to cover them with material diversions is going to put them into bankruptcy (not to mention her hubby’s issues – which I won’t even go into). And then she has the gall to bitch about their financial status. If anyone mentions these splurges, she becomes defensive and rationalizes. It’s crazy really.

Your everyday pack of ravenous wolves

They’ve got pets too. Good ones. Unfortunately, they are often not home at chow time and they call “favors” on friends and family. Just yesterday I got a call ONE HOUR before chow time. While I wanted to say “go fly a kite”, I pictured the happy faces of the sweet pets. It’s not their fault their people parents suck. Why should they go hungry? I couldn’t do it. I’m such a sucker for animals. Maybe I should have stopped that sentence at “sucker”.  After all, I’m the dependable one. I’m always here (no job, no life). So just default to me. It’s no big deal, right?

Being “friends” with her is becoming much more trouble than it’s worth. But I just can’t break up with her on a post-it…..

My hubby says I should have ignored the call yesterday, and if she called my cell, lie and say I was too far away. I can’t do that. One because it’s blatantly lying (NOT that he’s usually comfortable with that sort of thing) and two, because the poor animals. I know they won’t starve by the time someone gets home to feed them. But they honestly do know what time it is, and wolf down their food if it’s late.

So a while back, my hubby had some stuff stored at her hubby’s storage. He made a crack about charging rent. My hubby retorted with “right after we charge you for feeding your pets!” (Good one, hubs!) I didn’t know about the exchange, and “friend” offered to pay me for my “trouble” in feeding the pets. I felt awkward by that, so I declined. She was insistent on doing “something” for me. We finally settled on a mani/pedi. It was really nice. Any chance I get to get my toes did makes me happy. Especially if someone else is footing the bill. I found out after the fact about the traded barbs and it really soured me on the little indulgence. AND the fact she didn’t fess up about it all. (At the time I was caring for the pets at least three times a week.)

I’m just SO not competitive (at least not the way she is). I don’t WANT to be the center of attention in a room full of people. I might want to kick your ass every week at Bejeweled Blitz though. But that doesn’t even really carry bragging rights. I don’t need the newest, biggest, best of whatever. If what I’ve got works, then I’m good! I’m worn out even from thinking about her in this post! And to think, I haven’t even seen her in days. Hmph. I need a break.


Bitten’s Broken

June 23, 2010

My little workhose is sick!

Well, actually, I’m not broken. (Okay, maybe that one’s up for debate.) But what really IS broken is my computer. I’m on a borrowed laptop now. Ugh. I feel like someone ripped my security blanket away from me!

So anyway, I have no idea what’s really wrong with my machine, but I’ll be back as soon as I can.

And just for the record, I did not go all ‘Office Space’ on it, so don’t blame me. Blame those little computer gremlins.

Hot Rods!

June 23, 2010

As promised (even if late), here’s my short & sweet photo slideshow of the annual Good Guys hot rod show held locally earlier this month. (Or, maybe it was May?)  There’s nothing particularly special about any of these shots. Some I was playing with angles or light, and others I just liked something – either the car, paint, interior, etc. The “Felix” tag on the plate and the “Potvin” sticker in the engine compartment gave me a giggle, since many years ago, the LA Kings had a goalie named Felix Potvin. I’ve always loved the sign for the Felix Chevrolet dealer in Downtown LA which is where one of these bad boys is from.

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Simplification: Check-In #2

June 22, 2010

It’s been a long while since my last check-in. What’s been going on?

  • Haven’t touched my sewing machine.  FAIL! I have, however moved it from the middle of the kitchen table to my nice guest room. (No, I do not expect guests to sew for me.)
  • I have been cooking more! Well, considering my diet, I kinda have to or I would starve! I have lost 11 pounds in less than two weeks. When I think about that, it’s kind of embarrassing because it just goes to show how terrible all the processed crap & fast food really are for you!
  • Less daytime TV – Check! More movement: FAIL.
  • Little chores: PROGRESS… Thanks to Flylady, I’m getting some basic stuff done (making the bed, keeping the kitchen sink shiny, etc.)
  • Remembering my reuseable grocery bags: I’m ROCKIN’ this one!! At Trader Joe’s, they give you a raffle ticket for a gift card drawing, and at Whole Foods, they give you a nickel off per bag. Little rewards are nice!
  • Clearing clutter: a little progress.
  • Gardening: my front planter box remains weed free and my container veggies remain alive. Yahoo!
  • Purchasing less: unless it pertains to something edible, or something to improve our house, I’m killing it!
  • Doing stuff that’s FUN: Check! I’ve seen one of my very favorite performers (twice) and have been taking walks with my borrowed doggies. Also, it’s been fun working with hubby on the house – kind of a bonding experience. We’re actually becoming quite a team when he’s more patient with whatever’s not going right, and as long as I don’t take his comments personally (they’re always directed at whatever isn’t working or himself anyway).

What are you doing/have you done to simplify your life? Are you struggling with any of the things I am? How are you decluttering your life?

Intveld Overload?

June 22, 2010

with James Intveld, Pine St., Long Beach



In 2008, hubby & I went to see Mike Ness (Social Distortion) play at a local club. He was great. Really, really great. But I kind of expected that. I’d seen him do a song with the Stray Cats earlier in the year and really liked his stage presence (plus I like his music). But what blew me away was the opener. Some guy named James Intveld.  

I looked him up online before we went and he was a mix of old-school rockabilly, blues, country, and a bit of gospel.  He’s been around, but I’d never heard of him. He was AMAZING. I was sucked right in. He was a top-notch performer and sounded amazing. I’m not sure I took my eyes off him the entire time! Luckily, hubby liked him too. (I kinda doubt he thought he was as sexy as I did though!) We waited after the show and bought his latest CD, Have Faith, and had him sign it. (He was one of the nicest musicians I’ve met, and I’ve met a few pros.)  And vowed that we’d do what it took to see him any time he was around. We also went in search of his other music as money permitted.  

The most adorable dancing couple ever.


As expected, he did not disappoint! Long Beach was a lot of fun. We were able to get close to the stage, though the dancers took over right in front. All ages came to watch, from toddlers to seniors. And…. drumroll…. we waited after the show and I got my picture with him! He’s so warm – you can tell by the way he leans in for photos. Plus, I picked up a logo sweatshirt for only $5! It was the very last one they had. One of the best $7 investments I’ve ever made ($5 sweatshirt & $2 parking).  

Sunday was Father’s Day and we learned JI brought his dad to the show. He told us his “pops” was his inspiration for getting into music! Dad got up and sang a song, and gave two encores! It was the sweetest thing! His mom was there too, and his parents hit the dance floor. It was so cool to see him so proud to play for his parents. The weather hit somewhere in the 80’s with a nice breeze, but since we were in mid-day sun, hubby & I both got burnt. I’m still feeling the pain! (next up, peeling – yuck!) It was worth it though – the sets were even different which was awesome.

I really love his music, and am amazed by how talented he is. Not only does he have a great voice, but it seems as if he can play any instrument known to man. Just read the liner notes in his cd’s – you’ll see. If you like music, sample his here.  

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Not dead yet!

June 21, 2010

No, not me. I know some of you were thinking it because of my new diet. LOL

Can you believe it? My three tomato plants and two cucumber plants are all still alive! I wasn’t as worried about the parsley, basil and mint, but they are thriving too.

From Drop Box

I have been diligently watering and feeding these bad boys. They have rewarded me with plenty of blooms and a spike in height and girth. One tomato plant even has actual tomatoes on it! They are small and green still (check that, a couple are turning reddish!), but that’s definite progress! I feel like such a produce stalker because every day I’m out there inspecting the plants to see what’s new. (Yeah, I need a life!)

So maybe, just maybe, by the time I’m done with this 28 day food deal, I can eat the tomatoes I’ve grown in some sort of yummy pasta sauce! (Hopefully, they’ll be ready)

Now, I wonder why I can’t keep houseplants alive?

Check out the baby tomato!

From Drop Box

So far, so good.

June 16, 2010

Yum, what a dinner!

We’re working on Day Three of this crazy food plan. Hubby decided he’d participate Monday morning. Gee – thanks for the head’s up, pal! I sent him off to work with the first smoothie, and I made a second for me. He calls me, not two minutes after he leaves, to ask if there was garlic in the berry smoothie. Yeah, it was pretty gnarly. But we both sucked it up, so to speak.  Lunch consisted of a huge salad and some chicken with veggies. Dinner was salmon with veggies and salad. So far, with the exception of the smoothie, the food tasted good (not crazy about the salmon but that’s because it was salmon) and I was pretty full. One of the ideas is to limit snacking so the body goes into fat burning mode. I found I wanted sweets or something crunchy mostly out of boredom.

Day two rolls around and we’re supposed to have leftovers for lunch, except when it’s fish. (Fish only every fourth day – which is great because I HATE re-heated fish.) Or a smoothie. Since it was just me for dinner, I opted to keep the leftovers from lunch yesterday for dinner and just have a smoothie. Popped that in a skillet and gather some salad and I’m good. Added some almond butter to the smoothie and blended it longer – that made a huge difference! Still not happy about my coffee situation because, basically, it tastes like a car tire. This is even with some coconut milk and xylitol for sweetener. Oh, because I had the smoothie for lunch I ate dinner early. I was dying for something to eat around 7:30 so I had a green apple with almond butter. NUMMY. That snack is a keeper no matter what.  And believe it or not, it satisfied my craving for sweet. I guess natural sugars as found in fruit are ok as long as they are in moderation and eaten along with some protein and healthy fat. BONUS: I got to have wine! Wine is allowed – but only at 4 oz a day, and not the sweet stuff. It was amazing – the wine tasted better than it ever has, and since I used a different glass, I didn’t feel like I wasn’t getting a full serving. HAPPY HAPPY

Day three and I’m ready to attack my coffee with Stevia. Made all the difference in the world! Plus I used a bit more coconut milk. And now for the smoothie, I realized I can add a tsp of local honey to help with my allergies and give it a little sweet. Add FRESH berries instead of frozen and – wahoo – I’m in business! I liked it so much that I made one for lunch too! Breakfast was raspberries and lunch was blueberries. Dinner is some sort of asian stir fry with beef. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m optimistic!

The biggest bummer is that I have a terrible headache and am very lethargic. I honestly believe this is a little bit because I didn’t have my regular two cups of coffee (it was so ick) until today and plus I’m basically going through withdrawals for white stuff like sugar and carbs. And trying to get in as much water as I can means lots of excercise to the bathroom! lol