Friday, October 19, 2007

This Totally Blows.

marsha takeda morrisonI don't do product reviews on this website, but while doing one on my other blog I remembered that the product had another use, namely for making awesome bubbles. I Googled it and found the video below. I love it, mostly for it's soundtrack, which is a song by Joe Jacksonthat I had forgotten about. Note that the ingredients are probably the same ones used at most fraternity sex parties.

(There's sound, so you may want to turn your volume down.)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Perfect Day: A Promise Fulfilled, Valet Parking and a Gourd Mousse

I know it's hard to believe, but I occasionally lapse in my stellar parenting skills. There's the time I forgot to crease the plastic wrap correctly on those sandwiches I seem to be making every five minutes, or the one time I cursed in front of my kids. And then there are the unkept promises, those rare times when I say I'll do something and then fail to come through, like promising to get them a kitten or vowing to never again lick my hand and use it to clean their faces. Shocking, I know - it's like finding out your favorite movie star actually goes to the bathroom.

There's one promise that I made that was impossible to sweep under the rug: telling them I'd take them to Disneyland this summer. I'm not even sure why I opened my big mouth, seeing as our last visit lasted for two whole days. I think it even states in the small print on the Disney ticket that if you spend two consecutive days there 'The Magic' is supposed to last for at least five years. But the pleas started coming as soon as school let out in June and continued throughout the summer. I even considered buying them that kitten just to get the little nags off my back.

But then came the generous invitation from Maria Bailey of, who invited us, along with some other bloggers and their families, to join her a couple of weeks ago for a kickoff event for Disneyland's Halloween Time. It would include access to both Disneyland and California Adventure and then a reception at the Grand Californian hotel, capped off by an after-hours Halloween party. There was something in this package for everyone: the girls finally got their trip to Disneyland, some quality time in a hotel for me, and free valet parking which made Rigel's day. And there was the added bonus of being able to justify all those hours spent blogging.

And it was an incredible day. We happened to be there at a particularly slow time, and the longest wait for a ride was a mere fifteen minutes, a blink compared to the two hours plus we've spent in lines there before. California Adventure was a new experience, having only spent a short time there on a previous visit a few years ago. The Soaring Over California ride, where you're in a hanglider flying over rivers, cities and mountains, is now my favorite amusement park ride ever, having surpassed the Tilt-o-Whirl and the parking tram. Honestly I could have just ridden that thing over and over again, and I would have if those two security guards hadn't escorted me out.

We were treated to a decadent reception in one of the ballrooms in the California Grande Hotel - a buffet meal (separate ones for the adults and kids), a dj, face painting and cookie decorating for the kids, photo ops with the Disney characters (who even my two jaded girls were excited to pose with.) And the best part, a chance to chat in person for thirty seconds with one of my favorite bloggers.

Let me pause in reverence for a moment and just show you one of the desserts they had at the reception. A pumpkin mousse bruleƩ served in hollowed-out mini pumpkins. I know! Sure Disney's known for their fabulous theme parks and their child-hypnotizing merchandise, but to me their true genius was summed up in that little cream-filled gourd. I'd found The Happiest Place on Earth alright, and it was my chair, in front of that dessert.

And it wasn't over. The night was capped off by the after-hours Halloween Treat party at California Adventure, where the girls got to trick or treat through the park at different candy stations located what seemed to be every fifty feet. Disney spares no expense when it comes to decorating and the place looked awesome - my little picture here doesn't do it justice. But there's a little movie of it here. Those Disney people think of everything.

All in all, it was the best day at Disneyland we've ever had. The biggest miracle? Rigel never once complained or threatened never to set foot in an amusement park again. I think I even heard him promise the girls that we may not wait a year before our return trip, and I agreed, although I admit I was still high on that pumpkin mousse. And the best part? A promise fullfilled and the path to redemption in my girls' eyes. Now if I can only get around to that kitten, and stopping those spit-ball washings.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Of Mommybloggers and Young Love.

Jenn and her partners in crime over at Mommybloggers have chosen to feature me this week. Crazy you say? Not as crazy as the fact that they actually found a few people to say some nice things about me. Thank you Jamie, Jodi, Contrary and Mary Tsao - your checks are in the mail. Mary, I know I promised you a pair of Jimmy Choos for the extra FameCrawler reference in your tribute, so don't forget to email me your size. And thanks, Jenn for your infinite patience - man, the fourteen weeks between the time you sent me those questions and the time I got back to you went by so fast!

I picked up Kiyomi at school the other day and noticed she was wearing a faux-pearl necklace I didn't recognize. I asked her where she got it, expecting to hear that she had traded with one of her girlfriends for the day, or had gotten it as a prize from the teacher for knowing the molecular structure of a Smurf. But she collapsed into a fit of giggles and coyly said, "Luis gave it to me. He said he bought it specially for me at the fair." I'm assuming the fair he was referring to is the L.A. County Fair that ended this past weekend. My immediate thought was, couldn't he have bought her a funnel cake or a deep-fried Snickers bar, something the whole family could have enjoyed?

I know little Luis, and he's adorable. I always thought he looked like a kid straight out of another era - a shock of jet black hair that's wavy and shiny, pressed cuffed jeans and a little plaid shirt. In fact, I could totally see him at the fair, standing next to his prize heifer and proudly clutching a 4h blue ribbon.

Kiyomi nonchalantly explained how the gifting went down. Lovestruck little Luis marched to her table as she was lunching with her gaggle of girlfriends and placed the necklace on her tray, right there between the chicken nuggets and the fruit cup. (I have to say that is one brave little dude.) After the initial giggles from the ladies-who-lunch had died down, Kiyomi said she thanked him for it, and that was when he went into the story of how he had gone to the fair with his parents that weekend and bought the necklace for her with his own money. Seriously, I'm about to give her permission to marry the little guy.

Unfortunately, Kiyomi's intentions are less than noble. I asked her how she felt about getting the necklace and her response was, "Well, you know he's a really nice boy, and he's been my friend since kindergarten. I told him I'm way too young to have a boyfriend, but if he wants to keep buying me things, that's totally fine!" With those last words she did a disturbing little wave in the air with her hand, kind of what I imagine Marie Antoinette did when she said, "Let them eat cake!"

Poor Luis. Someone needs to put a hold on his allowance and get him a copy of, "She's Just Not Into You."

He and Kiyomi have been in the same class since kindergarten, and apparently this wasn't his first declaration of love for her. She told me last year he had summoned the nerve, after being teased by his classmates all through recess, to walk up to her and hand her a beaded necklace after the bell rang. I asked her what had happened to that one, and she shrugged and said she thinks she remembers losing it before the day was over.

Like I said, poor Luis. I imagine him finding that necklace tossed aside on the playground and feeling a teeny tiny dagger through his heart. He'll pull it out in ten years in his therapist's office, the beads dusty and the elastic string stretched out, and sob over the pain he felt that day and the love that broke his heart. And his piggy bank.

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