Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Am I supposed to be mad or laugh?

Anyone that has children or raises other people's children knows that there are many many obstacles to overcome in trying to teach these kids what's right and what's wrong amongst the 5 gazillion other things we need to instill in them. Today, Danny taught me again that it is hard to lecture, nag, and/or discipline when what he does is probably the same thing I would an adult.

Case in point: As we were trying to get out of the Safeway parking lot, some idiot in front of me decided that he wanted to turn left onto Fremont Blvd. Fremont Blvd. is a very busy intersection. You'd be lucky if you can even go right out of this particular driveway. So he had at least 6 cars plus the Burger King drive thru backed up while we all waited for him to get his stupid ass out of the way. Some other dumb ass starts honking his horn behind me as if that will solve the world's problems. Finally there's a brief moment where he can gun it and make it across. I move out to the right and get into the far left turning lane (it makes sense if you've seen the intersection) and the honking guy pulls up next to me in the outside turning lane.

And he's staring at me. Like I'm the one that caused everyone to sit and wait. Now typically, I'd yell out the window and tell him to fuck off and what not. But this guy was just strange. He held eye contact with me for like 6 seconds and it creeped me out. So I looked away.

Danny is sitting in the passenger's seat and hears me mumble to myself what a fucking freak show this guy is.

So we're sitting at the light for what seems to be an eternity. If you know me, you know that I most likely have a mild case of ADD. We sat there for so long, that I'm not kidding you, I forgot about the freak staring me down. Then....


I look over and freak show is talking to me.

"WHAT?" WTF does this jerk off want?

"You better look at your kid and tell him to get his hand in the car."

I look at him like he's out of his mind. Don't tell me what to do with my kid. Then my mind starts thinking about what I'd do if I was a kid and some honking freak show was staring at my mom. So I say:

"What are you talking about? What did he do?"

"He's flipping me off." a do I handle this? Do I have five Danny because that's really what I want to do? Do I tell him that freak show might have a gun and it's not cool to flip off people? You have to know who's the right candidate after all...

So I tell Danny loudly (so that freak show hears), "Keep your hands in the car. You can't flip off people, they might be FUCKING CRAZY."

And I really try so hard not to smile or laugh while telling Danny this. I did pretty good. But now poor Danny probably thinks I was mad at him. I just can't tell him that it was funny because then he'll do it all the time. he doesn't do it now.

I am such a bad liar

A couple of weeks ago, my festive neighbors put two pumpkins outside their door. Not carved, not decorated, just two pumpkins sitting on the hallway floor looking for attention. I've been looking at them every day thinking of ways to spice them up. Use a Sharpee for, I don't know them well enough for them to see my humor. Roll then down the stairs...could be funny, but not nice. Carve them....hell no. Make them into pumpkin pie...too much work. So there they sat. Lonely. Boring. Plain. Kinda like some creepy lady that has 50 cats and collects finger nails in a jar. Blah.

Angee flew out from Minnesota on Thursday night. My friend Sami let Danny sleep over on Saturday night so that Angee and I could do the half marathon on Sunday (another blog, another time). Sami asked Danny if he wanted to carve pumpkins on Sunday and he said ok. Then I remembered that a couple years ago, I got some Halloween stuff on clearance. So I pulled it out of the drawer thinking in was those pokey pattern things. Well they weren't. Instead, they were those stickers you put on pumpkins when you're too lazy to carve.

Ding ding ding! I had a brilliant idea. Let's kidnap the neighbor's pumpkins and decorate them with stickers! And so we did on Friday morning.

We put them back in their respective places in the hallway looking way cooler than cat ladies that collect finger nails. Now they're like the guy at the club that hits on every girl because he has too much confidence but still goes home alone. Hey, at least it's an upgrade, right?

Angee and I were so proud of ourselves. The neighbors had no idea who pulled this massive trick on them and their pumpkins.

By Saturday morning, the stickers were falling off. But I noticed that someone was putting them back on. Over the past few days I've seen the steps repeated. Stickers fall off and someone puts them back on.

Tonight as I was walking up the stairs to my apartment, my neighbor, one half of the pumpkin owners asked me if I did that to their pumpkins. I tried to lie. Actually, I believe my head was shaking "no" as my mouth said "yes". He laughed and thanked me and said that they really like them.

No good deed goes unnoticed.

And that is just one of my stories for today.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Candy Dance

My friend Sami's family has a beautiful home in South Lake Tahoe that I am fortunate enough to have an open invitation to go to any time Sami goes up. Her father Gary, sister Melissa (Melis), and Melis's boyfriend Lalo all live there So when we go up for the weekend, we stay in an extra bedroom and always have the best time.

Last weekend, Danny and I went with Sami, Sami's boyfriend Kenny, and Sami's mom (who is also a friend of mine) Debi. The purpose of this trip was not just to get away, but to go to Genoa, NV for the annual Candy Dance. No, it's not a place you go to and see Candy Dance. I still don't fully understand why it's called the Candy Dance. But there is a street in Genoa called Candy Dance.

Genoa is a very small town that seems to be in a time warp. There's a town hall, a couple antiques shops, a bar, a realtor, a candy store, a fire department...I think that's about it. But what's so cool is that these buildings are so incredibly old. Everything looks like it's come out of an old western movie. I'll get back to that in a minute.

The purpose of the Candy Dance is it's a craft fair. There are booths as far as the eye can see full of jams, homemade jewelry, sweatshirts sewn into something your 5th grade teacher or great aunt would wear, and of course all the food you can imagine.

There's lots of cool things and Genoa and the Candy Dance. The first cool thing was once we parked and walked to meet the rest of our group, we happened upon a gun fight. Nothing really to say about it, just that it was cool and cheesy and you should have been there.

However, my absolute most favorite thing about Genoa is The Genoa Bar. No, I'm not an alcoholic. I did not spend the majority of my day there. But the bar is the oldest bar in all of Nevada. Established in 1853 to be exact. And from the looks of it, not much has changed. It's rich in history, intriguing, and just a cool place over all.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the floor boards in The Genoa Bar have been replaced. They creak, the kinda cave in, and they're very very old wood. Sami's uncle Rick grabbed me a brochure so I intend to give you some history from that.

Here's some excerpts. Oh any by the way, it is written as though the bar wrote it itself:

The top of my bar is original from the front to mid-way where you'll see a line across it. The medallions on the ceiling above the lights are original as is the one red oil lamp which is lit every New Year's Eve. The electric lamps are also original to the bar and were oil but were converted to electricity at the turn of the century....

The Diamond Dust Mirror on the back of the bar came from Glasgow, Scotland, in the late 1840's. It was shipped around the "horn" to San Francisco, then brought here by covered wagon. Originally, there were two mirrors, but one was sold to a movie company in the 1930's during the great depression.. The mirror has only been out of the saloon three times in history, the last time in 1910 when it was saved from the great Genoa Fire which destroyed most of the town....

Many famous people have visited over the years. Among them, Mark Twain when he first reported for the Territorial Enterprise which opened in Genoa before moving to Virgina City. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt enjoyed "cool ones", perhaps right where you're standing. Carol Lombard and Clark Gable came here to play high stakes poker games with the local cattle barons. Among the other famous and infamous, Lauren Bacall, Ronnie Howard, Red Skelton, Cliff Robertson and all of our Nevada Governors have come through my doors.....

A number of movies have been filmed here including "The Shootist" with John Wayne, "Carley Varrick" with Walter Mathau ad Joe Don Baker, "Honky Tonk Man" with Clint Eastwood, "Misery" with James Caan, Kathy Bates, Rob Reiner and Richard Farnsworth, and most recently (last summer) "Till the River Runs Dry" starring Ann-Margaret....

Musicians seem to gravitate here. I've welcomed Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Slim Pickens, John Denver, and Captain and Tennille to name a few.

Click here for more information about The Genoa Bar.

Click here for more information about The Candy Dance.

your hair is too long

My son is on this whole kick of growing his hair out. Why? I still am trying to figure this one out. Maybe to grow it out and cut it for Locks of Love? No. Maybe to keep his head warm since we live in such a cold climate? Oh, that's right. We live in the Bay Area; therefore there is no weather deemed cold enough to require long hair on an 11 year old boy.

I've been asking Danny just about every day for the past 2 months if today would be the day we'd go get his hair cut. And every day he says no.

OK. I get it. I know that kids are growing out their hair now. It's the style. I'm not exactly sure why being that little boys all over Fremont are starting to look like dirty little girls. It makes me wonder if they don't bother to look in mirrors. Who exactly thinks it looks good?

And the thing with Danny's hair is that he's got bad hair. It grows at different rates so it's different lengths. This is why he needs to keep it short because then at least it can be maintained. He has a cowlick from hell right where Dennis the Menace does.

So last Wednesday or Thursday morning, I get up in the morning and you know...the morning ritual. Pee, get in the shower, blah blah blah. Then I look in the bathroom garbage can and see this lock of hair. I know right away that it's Danny's. I kinda chuckle to myself and forget about it. But I was telling my friend Sami about it and said, "How funny would it be if it's that one piece that always stands up on the top of his head?"

The next morning, I asked Danny about the hair in the bathroom garbage can. He told me this one piece was driving him crazy and he pointed to the top of his head. And wouldn't you know, that it was the cowlick! But. Here's the kicker.

Not only did he cut off a lock of hair on the top of his head. But he did it in a way that when looking at his head, you can't even tell. I'd like to know how he did that and I find myself wondering if maybe that's going to be his hidden talent. Maybe I should have him cut my hair.


I know it's been awhile since I've blogged. I've been lazy. I know. Sorry. So, I will be posting a few today to make up for time lost.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

update on yet to be named baby boy

He has a name now. Joseph Salvador Ortega Jr. He's in the hospital with yellow jaundice and is expected to do just fine. :)