Diary of a SubUrban Housewife


April 21, 2006

I Love L.A.

Filed under: Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 1:21 pm

Seen on a plumbing truck:

Bob’s Plumbing

Where a flush beats a full house every time.

April 19, 2006

Safety First

Filed under: Quilting — Beth @ 11:59 am

This weekend is the annual Gala for Zoe’s school. Part of the festivities include a silent auction, with projects from each class figuring prominently. The 5th grade project for this year is a quilt, which I am working on with them.

Part of the syllabus this year is immigration, and so I had the kids draw pictures that represent them. Some of the kids were quite literal and drew pictures of their families or things related to their ancestry or culture. Others interpreted the project to be about them and the things that they enjoy and make them who they are. All in all it was quite fun, and I’m putting in the process of finishing up the quilt…it’s only Wednesday and the gala isn’t until Saturday.

Here’s a thing about making a quilt. After the top is all put together, you make a quilt “sandwich” which is the top, the batting, and then the backing. There are several ways to keep all three layers together to sew them. I am partial to quilt basting spray, which is basically some kind of toxic adhesive that I believe to be a relative to super glue. You spray it on each layer and everything sticks together. More traditionally, everything is sort of taped into place and you can hand baste it before putting it on the machine, but probably most common is to safety pin the layers together and then sew everything.

But alas, I cannot find my safety pins.

I do have some basting spray, but experience has taught me that the spray alone is not enough and I knew I’d be better off spraying and then using several strategically-placed pins until I can get a few foundation rows of quilting in.

Somewhere around 12:30 this morning I decided that using straight pins would work.

I’m here to tell you that while they do work, using them has turned the mild-mannered hobby of quilting into a blood sport.

April 11, 2006

Deep Fried, With a Side of Mayo Please

Filed under: All About Me — Beth @ 10:45 pm

Well, we’re back. Well, most of us are back. We all came back, but then Chuck left again. Chuck went back to work yesterday, because he is apparently unfamiliar with one of the golden rules of vacation: never return to work on Monday. I am not that foolish. In fact, I didn’t even return to work today. I knew I’d need another day to fully recuperate from my gold medal performance in the lounge chair Olympics. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, it involves maximizing your lounge chair time, while indulging in excessive amounts of reading, judicious application of a variety of sun screens depending on the weather and part of the body involved, and sipping lovely tropical cocktails. Yes, you are reading the words of a woman who has medaled in this event!

Curacao was lovely. I will tell you that if there was ever a place on this planet with absolutely the perfect climate, it might have to be April in the Curacao. It was a consistent 88 degrees every day with no humidity, light cloud cover, and trade winds that cool the air to the quintessential temperature during the day, with the mercury dipping a scant two degrees or so once night falls.

One night we dined at a local favorite, Hooks Hut. We had dinner on the beach. Literally, our table was on the sand, about six feet from the edge of the shore. While waiting (and waiting and waiting) for our food we all agreed that it was absolutely the perfect temperature.

Here’s the thing though about the food in Curacao: like everything else there, it happens on “island time” so be prepared for a wait. And be prepared for whatever your ordered to always come with fries (served with mayonnaise), be deep fried, and also more than likely have a fried egg on top of it. Unless of course you’ve ordered the conch, which unless it’s been turned into a fritter (and deep fried) will resemble in, both looks and texture, tongue-shaped erasers.

So yeah, 10 days of deep fried foods, with a side of mayo.

Well, as I always say: tan fat looks better than pale fat.

But there comes a time when enough is enough, and in as much as vacation is over and I’m back to the real world, I’ve about had enough. Particularly after I saw photos of myself from our vacation–which if I have anything to say, Chuck will never post.

So today, after a one year hiatus, I went to the gym! Yes, that cool breeze you feel is hell freezing over. But enough is, as I said, enough. Of course, when I spoke with Chuck this afternoon and told him I’d been to the gym I was very smug and self-righteous about it all. And no, I did not reward myself with a donut. I even topped it off with a very healthy dinner, which included nothing deep fried.

And there was not a drop of mayo to be seen.

April 6, 2006

Ocean 1 — Beth 0

Filed under: Family Stuff — Beth @ 5:51 pm

Bon Bini from Curacao (and if we weren’t using this hateful upgrade to WordPress I’d know how to put a lovely little cedilla under that second “c” the way Chuck can, but know that I know it’s supposed to be there).

Vacationing is something I do best. But my idea of the ideal vacation involves white sand and a comfy lounge chair, juicy novels, and being waited on by cute boys bearing beverages of the frosty and tropical variety. In the distance–but not too far away–will be clear blue tropical seas that I can dunk in when I get a bit too toasty.

So imagine Chuck’s surprise when I somewhat readily agreed to do a discover SCUBA dive  yesterday. Chuck sort of wants me to love SCUBA as much as he does. (Only sort of because he knows that if I do become a diver he will become my sherpa. He knows there are several things I do not do, and schlep heavy things is high on that list of things I do not do.)

Intrepidly we headed out yesterday morning with the Dive Bus to their dive hut for my trial dive.

Chuck took off for a shore dive and Mark (the owner) spent about an hour with me and Zoe going over stuff–SCUBA stuff. He was great. He very nearly put me at ease.

We made our way out into the bay. Zoe was ready to start diving despite only having had an hour of classroom training and no actual practical in-the-water experience (outside of a swimming pool).

Me, however, not so much.

I tried. I really did. Mark tried. He really did. Zoe tried even. And that just pissed me off because here she was, swimming around like she had freakin gills and I couldn’t submerge for more than three minutes without having an anxiety attack.

I know this will come as something of a shock to some of you, but I’m a bit of a control freak. And you know what? You can’t actually control the ocean.

So this time the ocean won.  Maybe next time I will.