Friday, April 29, 2011

Today On The Other Blog:

Party Like a Game Star: Nintendo 3DS Launch in Seattle

A few weeks ago I went to Seattle and came back full of oysters and with the ability to karate-kick my opponents into submission.

Read the whole darn thing here! 

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm walking for Eitan

It's true, I'm walking in a 5k next Saturday. And though I get winded just walking from my front door to my car, I'm willing to give it my best try for this.

Kiyomi's best friend Maya lost her brother Eitan in a fire eight months ago. At 14 Eitan became an organ donor when he donated his liver and kidneys and changed the lives of three people. This walk will honor him and will raise awareness and funds for Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

Please donate by clicking on this link: Standing Tall For Eitan

Or, you can send a check made payable to 'Donate Life Run/Walk' to our team leader: Polly Djiji, PO Box 57949, Sherman Oaks CA 91413 by April 29, 2011. (Or, you can give a check to me if I'm going to see you before next Saturday.)

Luckily these two are on my team:

Find out more about the 5k please go to Donate Life Run/Walk or for information about organ and tissue donation visit One Legacy.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm recycling for Earth Day

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by recycling? And by that I mean recycling an old post from 2010. Hey, I'm conserving electricity, keystrokes, and the delicate skin covering my fingertips. 

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My Earth Day FAIL. Or is it?

Happy Earth Day! I was hoping to write a post today about how I was honoring our planet on this special day. Maybe I'd be writing this on a laptop powered by solar panels while wearing a pair of hemp jeans and sipping on a smoothie made from sustainable crops. Or sending you reports from a city beach somewhere, where I was picking up soda cans and cigarette butts with my kids and filling their impressionable young minds with love paeans to mother earth.

Well -- didn't happen.

Instead, I'm having a decidedly un-earth day, because I'm in a bit of a frenzy right now. The kids are home early because of a fair and open house at the school tonight, they have friends over whose parents couldn't pick them up, and I'm frantically trying to prepare for Kira's 14th birthday party here on Saturday. So in other words there aren't any Earth Day sonnets being written and I think I actually walked by a couple of soda cans laying on the ground. In my driveway.

But you know what? Because all the women's magazines tell me to be good to ME, I'm going to go easy on myself and find the ways I did honor the earth. Today wasn't a total bust - here are some ways I found my Earth Day moments by turning lemons into lemonade. Or should I say 'juice made from organic locally grown citrus.'

1) I've been cleaning the house today in preparation for around two dozen 14-year-olds descending on my house this weekend, and every single light in the place is on. Even the waffle iron light is on which is weird because I haven't made waffles since 2001. Earth Day moment: I didn't use the vacuum cleaner! So what if I used enough electricity today to power the entire state of Wyoming -- all the microorganisms who call my couch their home will live to see another day.

2) I had the dishwasher and the washing machine on simultaneously. While I was rinsing off the sidewalk. And hosing off the cat. Earth Day moment: I didn't shower today. So what if I used enough water to supply the entire state of Utah -- all the microorganisms who call my navel their home will live to see another day.

3) In honor of Earth Day I could have walked the four blocks to the school to pick the kids up, but since they had their friends coming over and I needed to pick up lunch, I drove my van. Oh, and the other reason -- I hate to walk. Earth Day moment: At least I don't drive a Hummer.

4) Oh, and that lunch? Because of time restraints I regret to admit that it was McDonalds. Seeing as their burgers are made from extinct rain-forest toads and pandas, probably not a good Earth Day choice. Earth Day moment: We recycled all the wrappings! Even the cardboard drink tray, which I turned into a chandelier. You'll just have to believe me.

5) Getting back to that cleaning, instead of using natural cleaners made from vinegar and puppy sweat, I used all manner of toxic chemicals ranging from bleach to industrial-strength etching acid. You would too if you saw my bathtub. Earth Day moment: I used sponges instead of wasting paper towels. Okay they were endangered sponges from The Great Barrier Reef. Nobody's perfect.

But all in all it was a good day, and I'm about to drop all the kids back at school and I'll have a few minutes to myself before I have to head back for open house. I think I'll have a glass of wine during my little break. Organic wine. Enough to help me write that sonnet.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tina Fey's Biggest Fan Turns 15

Kira turns 15 today. I'm amazed and sad at the same time. How did that happen? It seems like just yesterday she was propelling her 10-pound body out of that 6-inch incision in my stomach. (Yes, ten pounds. High-five to whoever invented the epidural.)

I'm not going to go on and on here about what a great kid she is (straight-A student! Member of the Young Feminists Club at her school!), partly because I've said it before but mostly because I've got a million things to do before forty-two kids descend on our house for her party on Saturday. Did I mention they're all high schoolers? Did I mention a lot of them are boys? I wonder if I can get my hands on an epidural by this weekend.

(This is the first high-school party we're hosting - what should I feed them? Soda and potato chips? Iced mochas and pizza?  Also, what's the best way to confiscate beer and cigarettes from a teenager? I heard a light chokehold works best, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.)

We're taking her out to her favorite restaurant tonight (Mexican, of course) and as for her gift, we bought her tickets to this, the only thing she asked for:

Because don't all 15-year-old girls want to see a 40-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man talk on stage?

Anyone who knows Kira is aware that she's a HUGE Tina Fey fan, that she never misses an episode of 30 Rock, that she's watched all the repeats of SNL that she was on, that she uses Liz Lemon as part of her Facebook name. So this gift won't seem strange, but it raised the hackles of another parent I mentioned it to and I spent more than a few minutes explaining that Kira really would not know what to do with a Justin Bieber duvet cover.

Or a Twilight Bra:

Instead, she'll get the tickets along with this card I found:


After all, I figure a smart, successful, funny, talented writer/actress isn't such a bad role model for a kid these days, right? So here's to you Tina Fey, for making our gift giving easy this year. And for not putting your face on a duvet cover. Yet.

But most of all here's hoping my lovely, sweet Kira, who I love with all my heart, has a birthday to top all birthdays and a blissful year ahead. As Liz Lemon would say, You want to go there.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

This is just nuts

I have a confession to make. No, it's not about my reptile feet. I hope you're sitting down for this one.

I just tried Nutella for the first time last year. What.

Stop yelling.

For some reason, Nutella wasn't ever on the table of this Asian American growing up in South Central. Spam sandwiches, yes. Fancy spread made with hazelnuts and a 'hint of cocoa'? Not so much. I don't think I'd even heard of it until a few years ago, and even then I figured it was just some other mutant form of peanut butter. You know, peanut butter with different nuts or something like that. Hey, calm down.

So last year I finally gave in and bought a jar just to see what all the fuss was about. So that I wouldn't be left out at gatherings when the talk turned to Nutella and all it's amazing qualities. Seriously, I've seen people's eyes glaze over when they start talking about this stuff, saying things like, "If Nutella were a man I'd never say no to sex." And I'm all, "C'mon, people, it's just a hazelnut spread with a hint of cocoa." It's not like it's Baconnaise, or anything.

(Note: This post was not sponsored by Nutella, nor have they provided any product to entice me, although now that I'm thinking about it there is a cool Nutella spreader that they could possibly send me if they're feeling friendly. It says it's "able to reach the sides and even the corners of your Nutella jar!" which seems awfully handy.)

Another confession: Nutella did not overwhelm me. While I'm fond of dipping a pretzel into it or spreading it on a graham cracker, I'm not ready to say it's the best thing to come along since peanut butter. Or Spam.

Wow, put down the torches.

But you'll be happy to hear that my girls are totally down with the whole hazelnut-cocoa experience.

They've developed an overwhelming obsession with it, what seems to be a frenzied desire to make up for all of those years they lived without it due to their mother's ignorance of European non-peanut spreads. The jar is always on the counter and never makes its way back into the pantry - it's as if the parting would be too much to bear. I even bought another jar last week before the previous one was empty, because Kira looked inside it and said with some panic in her voice, "Please buy another one. SERIOUSLY WE MIGHT RUN OUT." Those last words were said with such gravity, as if the absence of the Nutella might lead to some sort of condiment apocalypse.

So now we're a Nutella family - Nutella on toast, Nutella on crackers, Nutella crepes. (Rigel even made Kira a Nutella sandwich the other day, which just seemed so wrong to me – isn't that just a chocolate sandwich?) But more importantly, I feel like I can confidently join in on any pro-Nutella conversations that inevitably break out at fancy dinners and cocktail parties and no longer have to feel ashamed of my lack of chocolate-infused-toast-topping knowledge.

Although I still say it doesn't hold a candle to canned meat.

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