Diary of a SubUrban Housewife


January 31, 2006

Term of Art

Filed under: Work Stuff — Beth @ 7:56 pm

I learned a new technical term today: SWAG: Scientific Wild Ass Guess.

Feel free to add it to your personal lexicon. Yeah, I’m a giver.

January 19, 2006

A New Profession

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 10:12 pm

Boneatologist: An important kind of specialist who reads x-rays when other doctors can’t figure out what’s in them.

Source: Zoe Atkins, age 9 1/2

January 18, 2006

Big Girl Treats and Little Girl Treats

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 12:10 pm

A discussion last night between me and my 9 1/2 year old daughter:

Zoe: Momma, I want the Manolo’s tomorrow.
Beth: Manolo’s????
Zoe: Yes.
Beth: Shoes?
Zoe: No (said, complete with eye rolls, like I’m the stupidest person to have ever walked the planet), the cookies.
Beth: Ohhhhhhhh, Milano’s.

January 12, 2006

Landing Strip

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 5:04 pm

I will be the first to admit that there was mainly one reason I wanted to buy the house that has been our home for the last 7+ years: the master suite.

There were two things about our master suite that made it a must have: a huge walk-in closet with tons of drawers, cubby holes, shelves, and other assorted storage; and our bathroom. We have a totally luxe master bath with a jacuzzi tub, huge shower, double sinks, tons of drawers, and a dressing table.

Our bathroom is a thing of beauty, a joy to behold — especially since our old house had 1 1/2 baths, and basically it was one, with a single sink, and no storage.

And over the fabulous double sink/dressing table area there are ten light fixtures. Each fixture has two bulbs. It’s almost like one of those old fashioned Hollywood dressing room tables.

Anyway…over the course of the 7+ years that we’ve lived here a number of bulbs in the 10 continuous light fixtures have gone out and been replaced. Others of the light bulbs have dimmed with age. Not quite out but not as bright as they once were.

So last Saturday I decided it was time to replace 20 bulbs in all ten fixtures so that they’re all spanky and new and the same amount of bright and all together beautiful. Off I trundled to OSH and picked up the bulbs. I came home and dragged the step ladder into the bathroom and immediately replaced all the old bulbs with brand spankin new 60 watt bulbs. Naturally all the work was done with the lights turned off…for safety reasons.

The project took me about 15 minutes and as I finished and turned on the switch I was looking forward to a nice, clean, even, warm glow. Instead I got 1200 watts of blinding brightness — not a cozy place to dry my hair and put on makeup.

So, in keeping with the Atkins’ motto that no home improvement project can be done with only one trip to the hardware store, I will trundle back off to OSH and pick up some lower wattage bulbs–before that Southwest Airlines flight from Vegas makes a wrong turn on its approach to Burbank Airport and lands in my master bath.

January 10, 2006

Probably Not the Same Thing

Filed under: Zoe — Beth @ 3:30 pm

I’ve been to a sum total of one professional soccer game in my life. It was a long time ago. I saw the Cosmos play. Pele was on the team and in rare form that day (or so those in the know told me).

This afternoon, for the first time, I’m going to get to watch Zoe play soccer with her school team. I’m guessing it’s going to be a little different than that other game I attended.

January 8, 2006

Parenting At Its Finest

Filed under: Family Stuff,Zoe — Beth @ 5:11 pm

Because it’s a day that starts with the letter “S”, Katie is here. The usual regimen was followed–TV watching, giggling, jumping on the trampoline, and bike riding.

This afternoon the two of them absolutely begged me to take them to In-N-Out for lunch. Being the mean mom that I am I said no. But then in a maneuver designed to show me off as extremely magnanimous, I agreed to take them. In exchange for them vacuuming the living room. Naturally they thought I was joking and agreed to the deal immediately.

Well, we got home from In-N-Out about 30 minutes ago. About 25 minutes ago I reminded them that they needed to vacuum. Much hemming and hawing about chores and the shock and horror in discovering that I was serious about the vacuuming ensued. But I did not relent.

It was all going so well until I heard the kind of noise one should not hear when operating a vacuum, immediately followed by Zoe screaming, “Oh My God! Katie! Turn it off!!!!!”. Being a natural at this whole parenting thing, and goddess of housekeeping I knew that this was not good. I immediately ran in there to discover that somehow they had half vacuumed up one of Zoe’s Chuck Taylor’s.

Said shoe was finally extricated from the vacuum and cleaning resumed.

Now, Zoe’s sneaker is dust free, and so is my living room carpet.

January 5, 2006

Three Hots and a Cot

Filed under: Work Stuff — Beth @ 4:03 pm

One of my accounts is the Sheriff’s Department here. They seem like a nice enough group of people…but I was a little concerned I was going to get shot when I had to call the commander (or whatever his official job title is) of a particular station I was scheduled to be out at this week and tell him that the dates I had his installation scheduled for were not the ones the salesperson told him and as a result we were going to be out there two days later than he expected. At the end of the day I did not get shot and we agreed upon the new date: today.

The thing about doing the sheriff’s stations is that many (or maybe it’s all) of them apparently have jails attached to them. But, we’ve been told by the salesperson (yes, the same one who gave the client the wrong install date) that they would not require any kind of clearances or background checks since we weren’t going to the jail area, but to the administrative offices.

Well, imagine my surprise when I get a call from the foreman on my sheriff’s job this morning and he tells me that when the crew checked in they ran everyone’s ID, and one of my installers was arrested, on the spot, for an open warrant.

How much does that suck?!?

January 3, 2006

Left, Bitch!

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 10:01 pm

Among my co-workers we joke, “Be a Project Manager, see the world. . .or at least the far reaches of Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties”. Because being a project manager you go where the project is.

So I spend a lot of time in my car.

Because I now travel to places that are far outside of my former regular path of travel I spend a fair amount of time being lost. Not Donner Party lost, but I miss a freeway exit, go a mile or two out of my way, or overshoot my destination on a regular basis. My car is basically an extension of my office. This, of course, was the rationale for absolutely needing a new car.

And one of the must haves for my new car was a navigation system. I’m still working out whether I can write that off as a business expense (any CPA’s out there feel free to chime in on that one).

The thing about the navigation system is that it’s not all that intuitive to use. So not intuitive, in fact, that it comes with an informational DVD, a 12 page “quick guide” and a 150 page manual. And me being me, I’m not all that keen on reading directions. But I chose to make an exception here and poured over the informational DVD and the 12 page “quick guide”. Alas, that was after the family went out for our maiden voyage.

And because we’re all about gadgets, and Chuck is less of a direction reader than I am, he was programming something into the navi and it started to take us there. Alas, it was no where near the direction of where we were intending to go. In fact, it was in the complete opposite direction of where we wanted to go.

There we were, tooling along, traveling west and vaguely north. My navigation system, however, believed that we were meant to be traveling east and south. So at every possible opportunity (read about every 1/4 mile), the navigation system was telling me to turn left to head back to the freeway. We did not want to go to back to the freeway. As we’d approach a possible turning point you’d hear a lovely *ding*, and the cool, calm, collected voice would say turn left at the next intersection. We’d zoom right by. A few minutes later you’d hear *ding* again and the same cool, calm, collected voice would remind us to turn left at the upcoming intersection.

In the meantime, because we have not read the directions, we have no idea how to turn the system off. It’s voice activated so I tried yelling SHUT UP but apparently the system is not familiar with that command. In case you’re wondering, I fared no better with OFF.

So I lost my cool with my navigation system, but despite the fact that I failed to follow the directions provided repeatedly, not once did the lady who lives inside my navigation system lose her cool and yell at me, “Turn left, bitch!”

January 2, 2006

Doing My Civic Duty

Filed under: All About Me — Beth @ 7:30 pm

My close personal friend GraceDavis has charged me with single handedly getting the economy off to a roaring start for the new year. I have taken this responsibility to heart:

My New Wheels!

I could bore you with the long drawn-out details of the cut-throat negotiations, and the waiting for the car to arrive, and whatnot. But I won’t. Suffice it to say I picked up car up today. It has all the bells and whistles, including voice activated navigation and a backup camera (which makes me carsick so I will never be going in reverse). It’s a beautiful thing. And it’s all MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE!