Mother knows best

This is going to be my year for regional burns.

Pagan Bunny Burn in March.

UnSCruz in May.

Maybe a mini, unofficial PreCompression in July.

The BIG, OFFICIAL burn in August/September.

Decompression in October.

The other day, my dad said to me, “I hope you grow out of this. “

He’s always saying things that upset me.

Why would he want me to grow out of something that makes me happy, fulfilled, and productive?

It defies logic.

It makes me think, when I look at my boys, that the most important thing I can do for them is to support the activities that enrich their lives, even if I don’t understand them.

Except for motorcycles.

I will NEVER support them riding a motorcycle.

Irony, since my BFF is a HUGE motorcycle rider.

AND my birth father and my uncles ALL RIDE MOTORCYCLES.

Along with two of my brothers, Cy and Art.

It’s crazy, I know, but you witness one motorcycle accident turn a man into an accordion and you never want to ride a motorcycle EVER AGAIN!

I suppose, as parents, we think we know what’s best for our kids and we try to steer them in that direction.

So I can forgive my father’s lack of understanding when it comes to Burning Man.

But in my case, when it comes to motorcycles, I do know what’s best.

Dirt bikes I can handle.

Street bikes?

No way!

Burning Man?

I’ll drive them there.

Mom to the rescue

I am DEATHLY afraid of spiders.

It’s been this way all my life, ever since my dad INSISTED on catching the spiders in my bedroom in a plastic bag which he SHOOK IN FRONT OF MY FACE before depositing them “safely” outside.

You can imagine my youthful horror.

My mom, on the other hand, is DEATHLY afraid of snakes.

So is The Swede, for that matter.

And just like I’m sensitive to even LOOKING at a picture of a spider, they are sensitive to looking at a picture of a snake.

The other day I was with my mom and we were inspecting the backyard shed, looking for my camping equipment.

It drives me crazy that she RELOCATES all my gear all over the place, but since it’s free storage, there’s not much I can do about it.

So there I am, digging through conduit, pool covers, and tarps when I come across my tent.

Pete (as I like to call my tent) has seen better days.

He’s been to four burns, two unSCruzes, and countless other minor camping trips.

I fear this may be Pete’s last hurrah.

So I haul out Pete lickety split and that’s when I see it. . .

A snake?

A spider?

A mouse?

What was in the shed?

It was a spider.

A big, knobby black widow.


I immediately freaked out.

I told my mom to back out of the shed slowly and I followed her.

She, thinking it was a snake because who would freak out over a teeny tiny spider, backed out rather quickly and asked, “What is it?”

It’s a BLACK WIDOW! I practically screamed at her.

Oh, is that all?

She casually takes off her shoe, steps into the shed, and beats the black widow with her shoe.

There you go!

Just so you know, you can be 44 years old, have two kids of your own, a college degree, and be a relatively accomplished camper and yet MOM STILL HAS TO COME TO THE RESCUE.

Just sayin.

Growing up

I’ve had no dates since returning from Sweden.

It’s not that I’m consciously trying to be loyal to The Swede.

It’s because I simply can’t stomach the quality of men I meet online.

Did you know that one man thanked me for moving my beer on the first date because (as he put it), he “could see my tits better without the glass in the way?”

Mind you, I have behaved no better.

I’m no “holier than thou” woman.


I sent dirty pictures.

I wore low cut dresses.

And I flirted with the best of them.

In the end, online dating is not any way to make a connection with somebody.

Although, I did meet The Swede on Tinder.

Go figure.

One in a fucking billion.

And I had to import him from ANOTHER COUNTRY!

You’d think, given my inclinations, that I’d be missing all those dates, and sexting, and flirtations.

But you’d be wrong.

I’m not missing it ONE BIT.

Maybe it’s because I can skype The Swede whenever I want.

But also?

It’s because I can TEXT The Swede whenever I want.


Maybe he’s a big part of why I’m happy, but he’s not the ONLY reason I’m happy.

I’ve got a hundred other reasons to be happy starting with my boys.

I guess this is growing up.

Paying bills and growing fingernails


Well, it’s not that I have NOTHING to write about, it’s that NOTHING I feel like writing about is WORTHY of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

Like who wants to know that my nearly 19 year old son is asking me to buy him a $35,000 sports car to “motivate” him to go to school and get a job?


If someone fucking bought me a $35,000 car, WHY ON EARTH would I work or go to school?!

Nevermind that I have YET to own a car worth that much.

AND. . .

I knocked the fingernail off my little pinky finger on my left hand and am ECSTATIC to discover that it’s growing back!


I did it while sleeping on Tejas’ couch when I caught it on a seam and ripped it off.

Who knew sleeping could be dangerous?

And then DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED on how freaked out I am about my mom’s heart condition.

She gets winded all the time and has to sit down but continues to chase after her two little grandsons like it’s the best thing in the world for her.


And of course, there’s the fact that now I am suddenly responsible for all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, food shopping, etc. for a household of 5 people!

I BARELY have time to relax before it’s bedtime.

I start falling asleep at 8 pm.

So that’s my life in a nutshell

No outrageous sex.

No fun parties (although there is a 40th birthday party and the Pagan Bunny Burn coming up).

No cool costume building.

Just paying bills and growing fingernails.

That’s all that’s going on here.

Holding it all together

My mother has been in the hospital.

Her heart, which shudders instead of beating, set off her defibrillator four times.

You know your heart function isn’t up to par when you get a defibrillator built into your chest.

Imagine getting your heart shocked while you’re conscious.

Four times!

As typical, my mom is being a real trooper about the whole thing.

We took her home and she’s doing much better now that she can rest and relax in familiar settings without hospital staff and noises disturbing her.

Apparently, it’s THE LAW in California that when you set off a defibrillator, you can’t drive for 3 months.

So that means in my household of 5 people, I am the only adult (besides a flaky, self-absorbed teenager) who can drive.

And do laundry.

And cook.

And clean a 3,000 square foot house.

And drive my blind father.

And take out the trash.

Do I sound like I’m a little overwhelmed?

Well, that’s because I am.

But since there’s not much to be done except to do all the shit that needs to get done, I believe I will just carry on.

Tejas says I need to get my boys more involved in the maintenance of the house.

And I have to agree.

Do you feel that breeze?

It’s the winds of change!

What I love about Valentine’s Day

I don’t 100% HATE Valentine’s Day.

Although I should.

There’s something about a day where you can tell people you love them that just tugs at my heart strings.

After all, I have two teenage boys whom I adore to pieces.

Always my babies.

And since they’re usually adverse to me hugging, kissing, and snuggling them, Valentine’s Day is a good day to GUILT TRIP them into letting me do it.

This year, I got them each a funny card:

And since Duncan’s hobby is gaming, I got him THIS shirt:

Which I think he has more than enough attitude to wear when he’s out and about.

Gavin, on the other hand, is the daddy to two parakeets – Ross and Smokey.

They are his pride and joy, to say the least.

So I got him this colorful parakeet tee shirt, which I think he will like.

As much effort as I put into training the boys to remember to get me cards or presents on holidays, I think that I will be forgotten this year.

I’m not expecting to get anything from them. . .

. . .unless I HOUND them.

And that’s a possibility since I’m doing a piss poor job of teaching them to remember their loved ones on special occasions.

Jane Austen


I’m going to see a play.

A real theatrical production called “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.”

Can you tell I’m excited?

It’s the “sequel” to “Pride and Prejudice” and is set in Victorian England.

Guess who I’m going with. . .

No, not Barbara or Michelle.

Or Tejas.

I’m going with my mom.

That’s right!

Because we both are Jane Austen fans and there’s nobody I want to see it more with than her.

Of course, knowing me as well as she does, my mom just had to ask –



She knows me TOO well.

Of course I would love to (and I scoped out Natasha’s Attic for costume ideas), but walking around downtown San Jose at night in Victorian clothing is not something I’m eager to experience.

So we’ll skip the costume.

But I will wear a nice dress!

Of course, no trip to downtown would be complete without a visit to Café Stritch and their live jazz music.

Woo hoo!

I’m seeing Jane Austen reimagined with my mom!

What could be better?


My parents gave me a nice little check for my birthday.

I proceeded to buy a very fancy raclette grill from Amazon:

Tejas’ ex-girlfriend Yvonne once served me a raclette dinner and I WAS HOOKED!

So I got all the groceries I needed from Whole Foods, including about $40 of raclette cheese.

I bought about 10 different kinds of cured meats including pancetta, sopressata, and calabrese.


I also bought a bunch of picked foods – everything from tasty little cornichons to spicy pickled green beans.

I even bought Bubbies sauerkraut, which was an unusual choice for raclette, but one which I thought my family would appreciate.

Since my dad is a vegetarian, there was no cooking raw meat on the grill.

We used it only to melt the cheese into a pile of gooey goodness.

We poured it over toasted bread, new potatoes, pickled food, grilled veggies, and cured meats.

We added sauces like lemon basil, honey mustard, and teriyaki.

And boy was it all yummy!

I even bought two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc for everyone to sip on.

The only disappointing part of the meal was that my youngest son missed it because he was at a friend’s house.

My eight year old nephew declared that it was THE BEST MEAL HE EVER HAD!

And, quite honestly, I had to agree with him.

But I literally fell asleep on my bed, in my street clothes, with the lights on thirty minutes after dinner.

Nothing like a full belly to rock oneself to sleep, eh?

Here’s a pic post-meal (I totally forgot to take one before we gorged ourselves).

A BIG THANK YOU TO YVONNE, who taught me everything I need to know about raclette and introduced me to it so I could introduce my family to it!




We LOVED raclette so much, we had it a second night and I managed to snap a pic before we devoured it.  YUM!

Say cheese!

My birthday present to myself is actually a present for my family.

Months ago, when Tejas was dating Yvonne, she made a FABULOUS raclette dinner for us.

Raclette is a special cheese from Switzerland/France that becomes super gooey when heated.

It’s very tasty and is served over pickles, boiled potatoes, grilled vegetables, cured meats, etc.

I nearly died and went to heaven when Yvonne made it for us.

Now, I’m going to attempt to make it for my family.

I bought my raclette grill from Amazon for like $120.

I then proceeded to buy meats, cheese, vegetables, and sauces from Whole Foods to the tune of $200.

I know.

I overindulge.

Then I get mad when my boys complain because I put so much effort and money into making a nice meal for the family.

This meal is perfect because while my dad is a vegetarian, he does eat cheeses and I imagine he’ll love eating raclette cheese poured over various pickled green beans, cornichons, potatoes, and grilled vegetables.

I’m hoping the novelty of cooking their own food at the table will encourage my boys to enjoy what is an unusual meal for them.

Considering all the different meats I bought, there should be something that appeals to them – prosciutto, sopressata, calabrese, pepper crusted roast beef, black forest ham, pancetta, mortadella, and more!

And then there’s the sauces: green goddess dressing, carrot-ginger miso dressing, teriyaki sauce, madras curry sauce, lemon basil simmer sauce, and honey mustard.

So cross your fingers and pray that everyone enjoys the meal.

Lord knows I will be disappointed if they don’t.

Doing the splits

In retrospect, it was probably unnecessary for me to do the splits in the garage.

It was already a rager of a party.

But my splits were joined by others’ splits and before you know it, EVERYONE was doing the splits.

And by EVERYONE, I mean all two of us!


I have no clear recollection of what I drank or how much.

What I DO remember is the nasty little hangover I had the next morning.

I drove myself home, crawled into bed, and slept for the next 4 hours, pretty confident that I was dying.

As it turns out, I didn’t die, my headache went away, and I was left voraciously hungry.

Just so you know, I didn’t IMMEDIATELY remember that I did the splits.


I was walking around wondering why my legs were so sore when the memory came flooding back to me.

Falling over while doing the splits in front of Halloween party guests.

Here’s the pic to prove it. . .