Mar 22, 2014

Metal mania goes milder....
My son plays metal music, and every once in a while he plays something I just love. This tune was made up on the spot after a party. It's a rough cut and bad shooting light but I think the pretty sound makes up for it. I hope you enjoy it too. 

Mar 9, 2014

Random thoughts...

I was born and raised in California, yet I swear I am a Southern girl at heart. Does living in Southern California count as being a girl from the South? 

I love Mexican food so much, until I actually eat it, then I don't like it so much. Maybe it's the chips and salsa I like so much, or the guacamole; not so much the heavy refried beans and rice and all that cheese. I'm allergic to cheese. I have no business eating Mexican food! I still think I love it...

I'm not that crazy about eating green food unless it's a vegetable. I do not like green eggs and ham...or food dyed green for St. Patty's day. Speaking of colored food...I really don't like red velvet cake. It's chocolate cake with red food coloring that makes it look a little like dark blood cake. Eew! 

I - L.O.V.E.- chocolate. See's please! 

I don't like hamburgers. I know! It's so un-American! I try! If I have to have one because my family wants to go to In-N-Out I will replace the hamburger patty with French fries. You should try it. It's like being a really unhealthy vegetarian. 

I don't like ice-cream. I'm a freak! It tastes hot and chalky to me.  It makes my mouth feel dry and I can't drink enough water to quench my thirst if I do have some because I think I may like it if I try it just one more time.'s gross. I'm lactose intolerant too. I have no business eating dairy products. 

Have I mentioned, I love chocolate! It's a food group in my mind and sits in the most important position on my personal food pyramid. At the top! 

I don't have a middle name. My mom said it was too hard to think of one. I am named after her. My birthday is the day after hers. What a gift! My dad thought it would be a good idea to name me after my mom. She wanted me to have a very different name. I'm glad I had a dad who didn't think that name was a good idea. It would not have fit with my last name or the names my sisters and parents and brother had. Imagine your sisters names are, Kathy and Susie, and your parents are, Bob and Betty, and your brother is, Chip, and your name is, Francesca. Yep! My mom wanted to name me that. It's a perfectly lovely name. It doesn't go with the flow of names in my family though. It really didn't match my last name at all. My mom didn't want to name me after her so my dad added a second name and combined them. I had a very long name when I was a child. I guess my mom did me a favor by not adding a middle name. I would still be here today filling out Valentine cards for my second grade classmates if that was the case. I didn't really like my name growing up but I do now. It's growing on me. 

I love romance novels. They make me happy. 

I love the color blue. Very much. My house has lots of blue and white in the decor. It makes me happy. I also love country French design mixed with traditional. It's so pretty. 

I love to bake and cook. My kitchen is a happy place in my house. Baking is a stress reliever for me. It provides instant gratification and something delicious at the same time. It also makes more of me to love...I need to learn how to make healthier food. If only it tasted as good as sugar does. "Buddy the Elf" would love an invitation to my house. I have all his favorite food groups in my pantry. 

I am the third girl in my family. My husband is the third boy in his family. Number four in my family is a boy and in his family it's a girl. My husband and I are born 40 days apart. Both our parents are the same astrological signs. Our dad's are Gemini's, and our mom's are Leo's. We call ourselves the forgotten children because once my brother and his sister were born we were left to our own devices. They were so happy to have something different after three of the same. My husband and I love being the third kid. We got away with a lot because we were easy going and entertainers in our families. 

I was a human remote when I was a child. My job was to sit next to the television and change channels. It was before remote controls came into existence. I was pretty fast at it. Then again, there were only a few channels to flip through back then. I'm not much of a TV watcher. I think it has something to do with my "job" as a child. I only saw programs from the side view while sitting next to the TV. I lost interest quickly when I could only hear the show instead of watch it because I had to be ready to flip channels during commercials. I think that's a good thing. 

I love to read. It's my favorite thing to do. I can't go to sleep at night unless I read until I fall asleep. 

I have an obsessive personality. If I take an interest in something I will find out everything I can about the subject until I exhaust all resources or get sick of it. I do that with food too. If I like something I will eat it until I can't stand it and won't ever eat it again once I have reached my limit. One summer my brother ate nothing but hot dogs every day while I ate Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I haven't had it again since that summer of my youth. I wish that was the case with chocolate. I will never get tired of eating it. I have some every day. It is my favorite. 

My husband doesn't like sweets. He also doesn't like to read. Weird. But he likes me, so that makes up for his lack of a sweet tooth or interest in reading. 

I play pool, skateboard, and drive as a lefty. I do everything else
as a righty. I didn't know I did the first three things as a lefty until it was pointed out to me by others. I thought it was normal. I tried to switch hands and feet but it doesn't feel right. 

I played the piano for seven years when I was a kid. I was awful at it. I can still play one song from a recital all those years ago. It's called, Doll's Dream.

I loved playing with dolls when I was a little girl. I never had a Barbie doll. Only dolls. I cut the hair on my Pebbles doll once thinking it would grow back. It didn't and she looked so frightfully awful I kept a cap on her head after that. I played with dolls until the fifth grade. My best friend did too. I think I was a geek. 

I am an outgoing introvert.  I'm a shy extrovert. I'm my own oxymoron. 

And that's it for my list of random thoughts and things...

Feb 14, 2014

Cupid strikes again...

When my husband and I were dating, singing telegrams were all the rage. I received one in my college apartment. A few guys with guitars serenaded me in my bedroom while I played it cool and hid under the covers. I decided to surprise my future husband with a special singing telegram at his place of work. He worked near an airport for a large car rental company which was always busy. I pulled out the big book of yellow pages and started making calls. I wanted Cupid to sing his heart out for my man. 

I found the perfect singing Cupid and set the date and time for Valentine's Day! The only thing I didn't really give much thought to at the time was that Cupid was a male. I expected a female Cupid to show up and sing and dance and make my boyfriend laugh and think I was such a fantastic girlfriend that he should definitely marry me because I was so much fun. I figured I ordered the singing telegram for a guy so they would automatically send a girl. Not the case. Cupid showed up at my boyfriend's place of work in all his diapered, winged, and prancing shirtless glory singing at the top of his lungs and shooting rubber arrows at anyone who crossed his path. My boyfriend, as told to me by my college roommate (who happened to work with him) said he turned redder than a red hot candy heart and tried to hide. Cupid chased him around the store and tried his best to shower him with love and bent arrows. He wouldn't leave until he had done his job and sung his entire song and danced and pranced for everyone and then presented my guy with a certificate of authenticity, verifying he had been hit by Cupid's arrow. It is framed next to our wedding picture. Not really. I don't have a framed wedding picture. I also don't have the certificate or know what happened to it. 

It wasn't really that day that made my husband want to marry me. I think he liked me before Cupid blew in and knew I was the one. Cupid was persistent and prevailed that day. The rest of the time between Valentine's Day every year has been up to us. I will end this with, my husband likes to say being married to him makes every day Valentine's Day. Cupid strikes again! 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Jan 29, 2014

Me, my husband, and the serial killer...

When my husband and I were newly married we lived in an apartment a few streets up from famous Hollywood Blvd. We were young and poor and the apartment complex was owned by a friend, so it was just the right price for two very young and naive 
newlyweds trying to make it on their own. 

A cast of characters lived there as well. 

There was the mother and daughter who lived in separate apartments and communicated by yelling at each other out their windows. 

The mother lived in one corner of the apartment complex and the 
daughter lived below my husband and I, not particularly close or within reasonable hearing range. The daughter had a voice that sounded like screeching tires and the mother sounded like she smoked in her sleep. I still remember the daughter yelling for her kids to come home. They were most likely blocks away but could hear her with their attuned spidey senses and would come running. The mother would yell out useful information sometimes. She 
would yell when she wanted to let her daughter know the laundry 
room was available. I would hear at least five doors open and slam 
as everyone at home made a mad dash for the laundry room. 

I went in the laundry room once and never went back. 

The laundry room was where Hagrid, from Harry Potter lived before he became famous. He was the "plus one" living in our apartment building. There was nothing magical or friendly about 
this guy. He was scary. The laundry room was a carved out cave of 
sorts under the building. Hagrid the homeless guy lived there. I went in one time and was about to place my laundry in the washing machine when I heard a strange noise coming from the dark underbelly of the laundry cave. 

It was Hagrid.

He was growling. 

may or may not have screamed when I saw him emerge from the depths. I grabbed my clothes and ran. Never to return. I took my laundry home to mama after that encounter. 

There was a single guy who lived in the building.  Every single time we crossed paths he would look at me and ask me the same question. "Are you a runner?" And then follow with, " If you aren't,  it's not natural to be that skinny." If single guy saw me today he 
would not ask me that question. I think it was the Dolphin brand shorts I wore with a matching tank top that had him convinced I was an Olympic athlete. Imagine Bruce Jenner, if he was a skinny girl...

There were plenty of other characters living on Franklin Ave. A few of Hagrid's friends lived in the alleyway between our apartment complex and the one above us. Our bedroom window happened to face that alleyway. My husband was completely convinced that a 
certain serial killer on the loose the year we lived there was lurking in the bushes or hanging out in the space between our building and the next, waiting for the right moment to get him. We were both quite the scaredy cats and not the best combo when it came to convincing each other it wasn't going to happen. Did I mention how young and silly we were? 

One night after watching a particularly spooky news program that proclaimed said Serial Killer was thought to be hiding out in our neighborhood, my husband freaked out. We locked all our rusty windows and bolted our balsa wood front door and shivering like it was the dead of Winter went to bed. It was not Winter. It was "hotter than Hades" Summer! I got up in the middle of the night to get some water. I came back to our room and my husband, who was prone to walking and talking in his sleep, sat bolt upright in bed and pointed behind me. He threw out a few guttural shrieks for emphasis as well. I thought this was it. I thought my husband's worst fear had come to light and the Serial Killer was behind me. I was frozen in fear. I let out a few shrieks of my own. A contest of sorts took place. I screamed and he screamed. Both of us completely out of control, with me screaming over and over, "Is he behind me?" My husband thought I said, "He's behind you!" in his half awake state and came unglued. He lurched from the bed and grabbed me. I was scared senseless at this point worried that he was about to toss me into the Serial Killer's arms. Our neighbors, who shared a bedroom wall with us, and were the apartment managers, yelled through the wall and banged on our door. They didn't speak English very well. I thought a gang of marauders was coming through the door. A back-up of sorts for the Serial Killer if we tried to escape. By this time we were both out of our minds with fear and adrenalin. In my hysterical haze I heard my husband ask me where he (the Serial Killer) was. I remember thinking, "What? Isn't he behind me? I shrieked, "Isn't he behind me?" and my husband responded with, " I thought he was behind me!" Our neighbors were breaking down our door at this point. Not hard to do. A poke with a pinkie finger would open the door even if it was latched.

But let's get back to the Serial Killer.

Logically if he was behind my husband that would mean he was in our bed - lying right next to him - because our bed was pushed up against the window where he could reach in and get us if he was so inclined. It made more sense - if we had any at all -  which we clearly did not - that he would be behind me as I came back to our room.  Our neighbors coming through our door distracted us from our hysteria and we realized our mistake after both of us recanted our side of the story. By this time my husband was fully awake and doing his best to calm me down.

The Serial Killer wasn't anywhere near either of us. He was caught soon after and is spending his life in jail in Northern California which makes my husband feel very safe.  But that night we both had the scare of our lives. My husband, our neighbors, and me. They were probably very happy to hear we were moving soon after this evening. It wasn't the right place for two newlyweds who weren't made for the big city life. 

...the end

Sep 26, 2013


My sister gave this to me a while ago to remind me of my years as a Catholic school kid. I don't ever remember a nun giving me the "thumbs up" sign. Typically they gave me the index finger pointing toward the Principal's office sign. I was a great kid. Apparently, I didn't live up to the high standards set by my two older sisters who were 4 and 5 years ahead of me in school. They were practically from another generation! I also didn't live up to the standards imposed by every nun who crossed my path as my teacher. There were many. Sr. Palmyra was my first teacher in elementary school. She was as tall as me in second grade. They made them smaller and mightier way back then. Sr. Palmyra liked my mother. She liked my two older sisters. She prayed for my father. He wasn't really Catholic. She tolerated me. She pinched my cheeks a lot. And I don't think it was because she thought I was cute.

 When I think of her I think of the times tables. We were required to learn them in her class and recite them every week. I was on a roll until we got to the 12 x ? = ?. To this day I have trouble remembering anything past 12 x 2 = 24. I'm lost after that. Seriously lost! I have managed to get by though with the help of a calculator. They weren't invented yet when I was a student. My time in Sr. Palmyra's class reminds me of numbers.

Sr. Pam taught us for a little while. She was the principal of the school and was also a pinch hitter when a teacher was absent and somebodies mother or the janitor couldn't come in and take over. Seriously. We had some doozy "teachers" who I think weren't quite qualified to teach but were available for the right price. In other words they needed to fill their pledge of a million volunteer hours. Some parents volunteered for hot dog day and cupcake day. Others helped in the health office. The brave few volunteered to come in when a teacher was absent and sit at their desk staring at the clock on the wall while the class ran wild. This happened to our class in 6th grade. Our teacher died soon after school began for the year. I think she can be found in the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest teacher ever to have taught. She told us on the first day of school she was older than God and we shouldn't give her any trouble because she was bound to meet her maker soon and would tell Him all about us if we misbehaved. I believed her. I didn't want those pearly gates shutting on me if I happened to follow soon after so I tried my best to be a model student. Just my month into the school year she died. Her successor was none other than the daughter- in-law of my 4th grade teacher. She was a newlywed and needed money to buy a house. We were the answer to her prayers. She was very sweet. I also thought she was very pretty. She didn't last long. Sr. Pam came to the rescue and cracked the proverbial whip and we were back in business after two months of coloring pictures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the Saints every single day and reciting the Lord's Prayer over and over while coloring. Seriously. I think of the waxy scent of a box of 64 Crayola crayons when I think of 6th grade. 

In high school I had lots of nuns teaching me. It was nun nirvana. At least for them. They all lived together on campus and taught all of the girls who were lucky enough to make it into the prestigious college prep school in our community. I was one of the lucky ones. They didn't ask me what 12 x anything was on the entrance exam so I was golden.  My oldest sister attended the school before me. She was a model student. I may have been or not have been the same. Think the latter if you must. I won't blame you. You may be right! I wasn't necessarily anything like my sister other than sharing the same last name and similar looks. She was quite shy. I was not. She was very studious and conscientious. I was not. I didn't really have to study to do well. It just came to me. I got by on that alone. There was a nun with my namesake who took a liking to me. She was my saving grace in high school. Whenever I saw Sr. Rosemary with her warm hugs and bright smile I knew everything would be alright. She had a way of making you feel like you were just fine the way your were. Whenever I think of high school I think of her. She was the epitome of loving someone unconditionally. 

In college I had a nun as a resident advisor in our apartment building on campus but not as a teacher. I also lived with an ex-nun my first year away at school. She was never home though. She was living with her boyfriend. She was also 36 years old. I was 19. We didn't have much in common. Seriously. My next roommate thought she had a calling to be a nun until she met a boy. Then all bets were off. They married and live happily somewhere in this great big world. I had lots of priests as teachers in college. They were just fine. They must not have read my cumulative file from high school and elementary school saying I was quite possibly the devil's spawn or close to it. I met my husband my second semester of college. He told me once he thought he had a calling to be a priest when he was a boy. I asked him why. He said he visited a seminary while in elementary school and was impressed that the priests ate roast beef every Sunday for dinner and had a delicious array of food made for them each day by the parish housekeeper. He thought that lifestyle would be heaven on earth for him. He loves food. He also liked the ladies. He had to choose. He chose me. I knew how to cook. I wasn't a parish housekeeper, and he didn't become a priest so...we got married. When I think of my college years I think of everything that led me to my husband. My favorite memory of all. Seriously. There's "nun" better than him.