Thursday, September 27, 2007


List of things in this picture of Carrot Top that wig me out.

5) That bag looks like it weighs about 80 pounds and he's holding it like it weighs nothing.
4) His waist is smaller than mine.
3) Black nail polish
2) Those shoulders!
1) The waxed eyebrows

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Search For Boxes

I'm moving this weekend. Not far, just downstairs to a bigger apartment.

The funny thing about this whole thing has been my obsession with finding boxes. Over the weekend, I went to Target and asked if they had boxes in the back that I could steal. After talking to several people, I get the story that they don't save boxes at all - if they are unloading and you see an empty box out in the store, thats up for grabs but anything else you are S.O.L.

As I walked out of the store, I saw a big dolly full of boxes in the Gardening department. I ran over there only to find that all the boxes were wet. DAMN! This does me no good. I try talking to these two guys in the Gardening department to see if they knew of any boxes hiding elsewhere but that was a dead end. As you can see - I'm one of those people that if I don't like the answer someone gives me, I try to find someone that will tell me what I want to hear.

So last night after work and school, Jake and I make our way to Target to buy more packing tape and trashbags for the move. Upon our arrival, I see them unloading merchandise in the Pet Department. Now, I dont know if teaching my child the stealthy moves needed to steal boxes from the big bad Tar-Jay monster are going to serve him in life, but stepping back and seeing us running through the stores lugging around about 5 boxes, was quite comical. At least I'll have that story to tell him later on in life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Thrill of Victory and The Agony of Defeat

On Sunday, I was cheering the Raiders on to win in OT only to watch them get robbed of their victory when the Broncos's coach (the bastard) called a timeout as Janikowski, the kicker, was kicking a 52 yard field goal (which made it). After everyone calmed down, they redid the play with the ball hitting the goal post - not even on the side, but right on top! Broncos went on their own drive to score a field goal and win the game. (Sorry to be rehashing this Derry, SO SORRY!)

Tonight, I watched the Dodgers, up 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth and two outs, give up a walkoff homerun with a man on first base. I screamed at the tv (and Seito) and nearly cried.

What is it about competitive sports that allow us to get so emotional? I know I'm going to get really bad this year with the Kings. They traded ways their strong veteran players (I still haven't forgiven them for trading Matty Nostrom, even if it was for Jack Johnson), resigned used up players (cough - ROB BLAKE-cough), and now we have to deal with the damn Duck fans rubbing the Stanley Cup in our faces? Yeah, I dont know if I'll be able to handle all that.

But there is hope - I have found it in NINJA WARRIOR! Jacob and I (and yesterday I found out, my parents) are hooked on this tv show on G4. I've been talking up this show for a bit and tonight I had to add it to my TiVo season pass. Kids - this show is CLASSIC. Ninja Warrior is an obstacle competition show in Japan. G4 slaps some subtitles on it and instant entertainment. The show, I believe has been on for about 10 years, and in those 10 years only 2 people have successfully beaten the course - 2 people. Of course, my favorite part is watching the people fail in the very first leg of the obstacle course.

So with the downfall of our favorite sports teams, I urge you to try out Ninja Warriors. As an inspiration and sample of the degree of difficulty, I present you with Makoto Nagono, 1 of 2 men to complete the course. But when you watch, pay attention to all the potentials of hilarity available to you. Where this man has succeeded; many, many, have failed...most quite miserably. ENJOY!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Ahh, the weekend. The time that we all look forward to all week to enjoy time with friends, family, and the couch.

This past weekend was a quite a doozy for yours truly and the Jakeman.

Friday night, I chaperoned Jake's first date. Yes, I said Jake's first date. I wish I was exaggerating but alas, I am not. The kid actually went up to his "girlfriend" and asked her out to the movies. Here is a picture of the cute little couple:

We decided to go the El Capitan and watch "The Jungle Book" on the big screen. If you havent seen a movie at El Capitan, you really have to make an effort to do so - it is so much fun. Before the beginning of the movie, they have this guy come out with Baloo and do a little sing-a-long of "The Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You" for everyone to get into the mood.
I swear, Disney movies are the best. A part of me really hates to admit it, but its true. I never noticed how many different movies the voice actors did in that time period. I know at least 3 people from the Jungle Book were in Robin Hood - just an observation.

After the movie, we head home because we have a long day on Saturday planned. What wasn't planned was this huge allergy/sinus headache that woke me up at 4:30am. So I was up, catching up on my TiVo watching when 7am rolled around and I had to get Jake up and ready for the day.

We had four things to do that day:
1) A friend of mine was running in a mini marathon, and much to his dismay, I was going to go support him, ok - yell at him to run faster
2) Go to the LA Kings Open House to buy tickets for the home opener and watch the open practice
3) Meet up with a friend at Santa Monica pier for lunch and a play date with Jake and her daughter (seriously, how many dates does my kid have in one weekend?)
4) Meet up with a group from for a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach

So off to do the yelling and screaming first at the Coliseum. I figure if we get there before the race starts, we can catch him early and then take off for the Kings stuff. So we get there right when the race started - we walked all over and found a map of the race. If I had been able to find a map of this thing before that morning, I would have parked my car near Staples Center and went on Figueroa to cheer him on because it got pretty close to where I was supposed to be. Instead Jake and I waited at the end of the race. We got back just in time to see the really fast people get in. Now, I wasnt sure how fast my friend runs and since they were having concerts along the race route, I wasnt sure if he was opting to stop along the route to enjoy the music. So I had no gauge to find out when he would be passing. Jake, learning that he must listen to his mother, is starting to complain about how hungry he is even though he passed up 3 offers for breakfast and is getting ancy for the hockey portion of the day. I stalled as much as I could and after seeing a kid with a mohawk, a dude wearing a leather vest and leather shorts, and a blind man all cross the finish line before my friend - I figured it was time to jet. Later I found out, that if we had waited about 10 minutes, we would have seen him pass. Oh well - next time we will bring the signs.

So off to the Kings event. Now, this marathon closed off a bunch of streets and made it such a freaking headache to get to Staples Center. Finally we arrive and go inside to see the practice. This is the place where I would put the really cool up close pictures I would have taken of the Kings players being 3 feet away from me. But, my battery died. :(

After the hockey thing, we jump in the car and head to Santa Monica. We walked along the beach towards the pier and had lunch at Hot Dog on a Stick. Amazingly enough, I had never eaten at the OG Hot Dog on a Stick. Those things never disappoint. We meet up with my friend and had a good time letting the kids play and chatting. After a while, I realize that maybe I should take my shirt off and just be in my tank top for the heat and tanning purposes. Later that night, when I look in the mirror, I will see that I took my shirt off a little too late. Oh well. I love going to the beach. Its one of those simple pleasures in life that I truly love. Jake and I sat and made a sand castle, ok I tried to make a sand castle, he decided that Megatron was going to destroy it.

After a while, we decided to blow off the bonfire and head home. We ended up getting chinese take out and prepared ourselves to watch the Kings preseason game against the Ducks - only to find out that they weren't showing it. I think we ended up watching some saved episodes of Mythbusters and called it a night. Happily - the day was over and the recovery had begun. My arms are itchy from the sun and now I have wierd tan lines - DAMMIT!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Embracing Your Inner Nerd

If you know me pretty well, you know that I love me some trivia. And to appease that love, I created a group on for other trivia lovers. Our first Trivia Night came and I walked away with one of those "only Melissa" stories that will live my blog.

I was unsure how my first meetup event was going to go since 1) I had never hosted one and 2) I was attending my very first Pub Quiz nights. After failing to get some friends to join me for moral support, I faced it alone. I get there and introduced myself to the Quizmaster. He tells me that he had heard my group was coming and that as far as he knew, they hadn't shown because most people were regulars. Now, do you remember that feeling of being the new kid in school (or work) and for as much as you tried to be friendly the others well, weren't? Thats how it was for me for the first 30 minutes of being there. I walked over to people's tables to ask if the seat was taken and they would grab it and say "TAKEN!" or "Expecting someone!" I seriously have never seen people so wound up over trivia, and let me also say that it was just the beginning of that.

I walk to an open area of the bar and the Quizmaster graciously gets another table to be set up for me and my group, if anyone would show up. As the table is getting set up, this guy taps me on the arm and asks if I'm Melissa - I say yes and its my first group member Jack! I'm so happy to see someone show up! And all of a sudden, the Quizmaster and Jack are chatting it up like old college buddies. I soo love trying to figure out conversations that I'm not a part of. Jack is talking about meeting Brad and the Quizmaster is saying that he might be there and so might someone else. And Jack is talking about how he hadn't seen him since Millionaire....wait - what? Millionaire? Now I was putting the pieces together....apparently Jack had tried out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and some people from the quiz show rounds show up to this pub quiz. Then the Quizmaster looks at me and says "Do you know who this guy is?" And I say, "Well no actually, we are just meeting tonight but I'm assuming its Jack, right?" And the Quizmaster says, "Not just any Jack - but Jack!" Yeah, apparently, Jack is a 5 time Jeopardy Champion. WOOHOO!!! So we grab our table and all of a sudden Jack is talking it up with some guy. He introduces me to Bob. Bob makes a little joke asking if Jack and I are on a date. Then I ask Bob how he knows Jack. Apprently, Bob met Jack at the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. Then Bob asks me if he can join my trivia team. Pull up a fucking chair Bob! I gots me 2 Jeopardy champions! By this time, 3 of my other meetup members have shown up and the games have begun!

Some of the questions that were asked, I kind of knew but most of this time a question was posed and I sat there sort of going "Ummm, uhhhhh - yes, I agree with that." But then, my moment finally came when the question was asked:

Quizmaster: "What primetime soap opera is narrated by Sean Astin and features characters named Flower, Zaphod, Hannibal, and Daisy?"
Me (jumping up and down in my seat) "MEERKAT MANOR! MEERKAT MANOR!"

I was proud of myself for that one. Sure, those Jeopardy champions could name the exact calendar year that the United States didn't have a Vice President in office but they didn't know Meerkat Manor. I needed my moment of glory, albeit a small one.

We ended up in a three way tie for 1st place and had to go through 3 tie breaker questions before coming in 2nd place. We wouldn't have been able to win anyways because we had 9 people on our team and the maximum allowed is 6, a fact that someone on another team kept reminding us of constantly.

We have our next meetup for trivia night in Pasadena next week and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be happy to learn new things and get to know my new gang of fellow trivia lovers. In addition, I am a competitive person, I have no shame in admitting this. I have been mocked for it many many times. Its good to take the brain out and exercise it every now and then and see what your limits are. However, this night proved that 1) I need to commit even more useles knowledge to memory and 2) I will NEVER be good enough to be on Jeopardy. That dream has died, I will now concentrate on getting on Wheel of Fortune.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


For my birthday, Jacob decided to invite me to Disneyland. What a great lad. I'm sure the fact that I had to pay for our entrances, drive, and be the adult in all this never quite crossed his mind.

A few days before our trip, he informed me of a few "requirements":

1) We have to be there before it opens
2) We have to ride Star Tours
3) We have to ride Pirates of the Carribbean
4) We have to go on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
5) We have to go to Mickey's Toontown but not go on the Roger Rabbit ride
6) Under no circumstances are we to go on Its A Small World

Its a miracle what waving a trip to the Magic Kingdom would do to a 5 year old. In the past year, I could not for the life of me get Jacob to wake up before 8am. But this fateful day, the boy was ready to go at 6:45am. The park opens at 9am and we arrived about 8:40am. Growing up, my family would get there early and I think we would be with about 75 people tops waiting for the park to open. This morning - there must have been about 500 people there!

Look for yourself:
Crap! Jake was adament about going on these subs. I'm actually rather excited about them myself and trying to use my Disneyland knowledge (I know this park like the back of my hand) I figure there is one way to get to the subs quickly - lie and cheat my way to the front. So I grab Jake's hand and we start weaving our way through the line into the Penny Arcade. I figure I can go through the shops and land close to the front of the line and then make a beeline to Tomorrowland. Smart plan - right? We get to the candy store to find that the other store is closed - darn! So we head out with the people and formulate another plan. I got it! I whisper to Jake to play along and I pick him up. I start waving to an imaginary person and start excusing myself through the crowd

Me: "Pardon me, I have to get to the rest of my party. My mom is over there."
Jake: "Grandma's not here! Mommy, you shouldn't lie like that."

D'oh! Damn the good upbringing I'm instilling on my child. By the time all this happened, the park was about to open. So we stood our ground and I put Jake down I told him we were going to make a run for it. The park opens and we go.

Now - I have never in my life felt a level fear from being run over by stollers AND wheelchairs as I did that morning. Jake and I are running and I'm using all of the shortcuts I can think of to get the entrance of Nemo Subs. We get there and they are directing us to another entrance....near the entrance to Matterhorn - we are screwed! We make our way there and not only is the like about 250 people deep, but the ride opening is delayed. Jake and I decide to book it and get on Star Tours. I love 5 minute waits.

For the rest of the day, the wait for Nemo never went below one hour. Needless to say, we never made it. We rode Autopia twice, went on the teacups, and covered everything in Toontown (except for Roger Rabbit of course) before 11am.

For lunch, I wanted to surprise Jake and we ate at the Blue Bayou. For those of you who don't know the restaurant, its located in Pirates of the Carribbean. When you get on the ride and look to your left as you depart the dock, you will see people eating...that would be us. I swear, that restaurant is the bomb. I don't care that its overpriced even more than everything else - it rules.

After our lunch, we work it off by heading over to The Pirate's Lair and then jumped on the Explorer Canoes. No matter how old I get, I will always think those canoes are great. Especially when its about 100 degrees and you're stupid enough to be at Disneyland. Jake had a particularly good time too!
After the canoes, we headed back to Tomorrowland and noticed something going on at the Plaza Pavilion. They had this activity that was starting in about 10 minutes called Junior Chef. We hung around and low and behold, they have people come out and teach kids how to make cookies. We even got free cookies! Anything free in Disneyland is a high five in my book. Here are some pictures of Jake doing his chef thing.
The day finally came to and end and we had to throw one more ride in. Gotta ride the rockets!
I have to say that taking a kid (or kids) to Disneyland is so draining. I was praying to go home at 3pm and practically accused Mary Poppins of giving me attitude. Ok, I did accuse her, but not to her face, on a text to a friend. I wouldn't go at it with Mary Poppins - Daisy Duck, no problem, but not Mary Poppins.