Category Archives: goofy face


I originally labeled this photo 1970-something. I’m thinking very early seventies. I’m too lazy to do research on its location but somewhere in Hawaii where you can look out at that fabulous view while wearing an awesome white and red flower matching shorts-top set and socks with sandals and be twins with your sister while your mother checks out the view in a tangerine mini-dress. Grandma looks pretty normal. My sister is also making her almost-famous goofy face. I have got to go back and tag all my sister goofy face photos or gather them onto one page. She’d love it.

Yellowjacket Nest

This photo I took today. I hate to fixate on the weather but it’s been so consistently horrible (wet, cold except for two days that were blistering hot) for so long that I’m despairing a bit. It’s not even the rain as much as the cold. But the scary insects don’t move much in the cold so I took the opportunity to get the wire cages out of the shed so that the peas have something to climb up and I swept down the nests in the shed and this one which was right over the back door.

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Paris in the 70’s

I’ve been sitting on this story for awhile because I didn’t have the photo for accompaniment.

I’m sure you’ll be surprised when I reveal, that this photo has been Photoshopped. I wanted a photo that looked like it was taken in France and had me in this swell outfit. Remember Chemin de Fer pants? I had one of every kind.* These were corduroy sailor pants. Aren’t they fabulous? Also, I had to add something for my dear sister to be looking at.

So here’s the story. I don’t know how old I was here, maybe 14? My family went on a trip to Europe and for the first week we did a tour group together and the second week we hung out in Germany with Dad’s family and the third week Mom, Erin and I did another tour group on our own. I’m sure I have a journal of that trip somewhere but I have no idea where it is right this second.

We went to France the first week which included a day or two in Paris. One day, during our midday break we were at a cafe somewhere and I had to use the bathroom. The bathroom was a unisex and you put a coin in and then went in shut the door and you were in your own tiny bathroom.

I put my money in but I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the light. As I tried to figure this out a French guy came along who also wanted to use the john. He said a bunch of French stuff, probably something like, “Hurry up moron, people are waiting.” And when I shook my head and was confused he said, “American?”

I nodded and he quickly took charge of the situation. He also looked around for the light and said, “Complications” only sing-songy with a heavy French accent. That parts makes the story but I can’t spend the rest of the day figuring out how to put a 3 second audio clip on my blog. Use your imagination.

Then he came into the bathroom with me, shut the door, locked it and the light came on. There was a half second there when I thought, “This may not be a good idea.” But right away he unlocked the door and went out and I was all set.

Except now when I did it, the light wouldn’t work because the coin made the light go on and we used up the coin on the test run.

“Complications,” Mr. French Guy said and he dug around and found me another coin.

So I’m in there, doing my thing and I look down and I can see his eyeball looking in the crack under the door.

And being the totally naive moron that I was, I said: “What are you doing? Are you trying to look at me?” Because honestly, who gets on the floor of a public restroom and peeks through a tiny crack to try to watch someone pee?

Apparently creepy French guy. He was gone when I left and that is the Paris bathroom story.

*Upon re-reading this, I realize this might be confusing. I didn’t have every possible color and style of pants but I had the ones that buttoned instead of a zipper — I think we called them tuxedo pants, and I had some that laced instead of zippered. That’s all I can remember so really, saying I had every kind was pretty lame statement.

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 The Yoga Clothes Miscalculation
I haven’t been inspired to write anything lately. I keep thinking some great story will pop into my head but it’s not happening. I don’t want to write about the Sopranos finale because I know my Mom hasn’t seen it yet and she’s one of my three loyal readers. What I will say about it is that I love that it’s generated so much discussion and now I’ve had some time to digest it, I think it was completely perfect. Also, I still own that Journey album, on vinyl, and I’m going to crank it this weekend.

I’ve been in the market for new yoga clothes. I’m sure I’ve written about this more than once already. When I practice at home I wear cheap stretchy pants from Target and old ratty sports bras. No one’s watching so I don’t care what I look like. But at class I like to look halfway decent and make sure that there are no flesh bulges around the elastic. I could probably write a whole post about the evolution of my yoga clothes but it would be hard to make it interesting.

Here’s a short version anyway: I started in baggy shorts and huge t-shirts. Must hide the body. I progressed to a black leotard and leggings so that for the next 8 years of class I looked like a lady from a 70’s yoga book. Then I found a cute outfit at REI that had loose fitting capri pants in athletic breathing stretchy fabric and a racerback style top with a yoga-y mandala thing on it. I thought REI was going to be my new yoga clothes store. Last time I went there they had one rack and everything was brown and XL.

For the past several (ahem) years, every time I’m in a department store I check out the workout clothes to see if there is anything that looks good and everything I found was black and plain and boring or if it was even close to try-on-able, it wouldn’t fit.

So I started trolling the Internet doing the online shopping thing and I hate to buy something without trying it on. I’m a chubby small and a scrawny medium and a tall petite and a short regular. I’m sure I’ve written about this before. My online shopping had iffy results. Things would either not be available in what I believed to be my size or was way too expensive or maybe the style looked like it might be okay but really needed trying on first. I finally found really cute stuff on and after looking at every single thing in every single color for about 9 months, I placed my order last week.

 I got notice that it shipped last week. I can’t remember the day but I was sure it would be here Monday and if not, then absolutely on Tuesday.

Remember the Calvin and Hobbs when Calvin ordered the propeller beanie and ran out to the mailbox every day? This is how I was with my Moo Cards and this is how I am with my new yoga clothes.

But they aren’t here yet. And I didn’t wash my clothes from Monday’s class. My petri dish clothes that I carelessly tossed to the bottom of the closet thinking, “I’m getting new yoga clothes, I can wash these next weekend” have been solidifying stench for two days.

This summer I’m taking 2 classes a week. Mon and Weds so I have class tomorrow and now I have to do a load of laundry specifically so I have something non-stinky to wear tomorrow. This was especially cheeky because I don’t even know if the new clothes are going to fit.

That’s the update. These are photos from the scanning project. I wish you could see my outfit in the puppy picture because it was a jumpsuit. I hopped in and zipped. And it was red. The bottom photo continues my series torturing my sister with her goofy expressions. Ha ha. As if I’m looking like the queen of the realm with my goofy hair.

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California Vacation

Half Dome

Our family did an epic California vacation trip when I was in high school. I got a job when I turned 16 so it must have been the summer before that which would make it 1979.

I remember very few details about this trip except that we went to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. I like this picture. Especially my sister’s bitchin’ 70’s hair and goofy expression which has been previously documented here and here.

One distinct memory I have is driving by Mono Lake (map) (fantastic photo). If you have nothing better to do right now, take a moment to search Flickr for photos of Mono Lake. Lots of good ones.

The landscape is vast and desolate and the lake looks like a different planet. Years later I read a magazine piece about people who live in that area. I don’t think the article was specific to Mono Lake but some desert-y, thinly populated part of eastern California. Living in a hot trailer in the middle of nowhere does something to you. The article was filled with interesting characters doing odd things.

It wasn’t my intention to write about this family trip today, I was going to write about the main reason for my “things I’m tired of post” that I somehow left off yesterday: customer satisfaction surveys.

But I’m out of time so that will have to be for tomorrow.

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Jenn, Lisa and Pam in 1974
I know I said I was stepping away from the computer but I lied, sorta. I scanned some old photos while I sorted out some non-computer related junk.

I had to post this photo of my cousins (L to R) Jennifer and Lisa and me in a kickass orangey outfit with bitchin clunkity shoes. It was August on the east coast. Where were my sandals? Lisa does not look her best and will probably come over and beat me up for posting this which would be nice since she lives in Germany and I haven’t seen her since August.

I believe this photo was taken in August 1974 because my family was visiting their family in Falls Church, VA and I’m almost certain that we were there when Nixon resigned.

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8th Grade Graduation
Here I am on my wedding day. Just kidding. I’m challenging myself to find photos where my sister makes a goofy expression. This one is classic. I can hear my dad behind the camera now, “Erin, don’t make such a goofy face.”

Those yellow t-shirts were our middle school band uniforms. I still have mine — I think. I’d run and look but I don’t feel like getting up right now. If I find it, and I can fit into it, I’ll have Bob take a picture and post it later. Something to look forward to.

The actual occasion of this photo was my 8th grade graduation. Why that event requires a fancy (but very sweet) dress only to be worn once and a crown of roses and baby’s breath is beyond me but I remember thinking I was looking pretty sharp.

Meanwhile, back in the present, my appetite is all wonky. I’m not very hungry. Not very many things sound good and when I finally do sit down to eat, I fill up quick. I don’t think this is a problem. I don’t feel unhealthy. It’s just a surprise that the woman who used to be able to shovel down a half a loaf of bread slathered with a bucket of peanut butter in the morning before stopping at the Arbor (little food shack near the library at UCSB) to pick up my ginormous bran muffin (this was all before 9am), would now find herself thinking: oh, I should probably eat something. Then eating a banana and not being hungry again until 3pm.

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Why is my Sister wearing this Hat?
I worked on the whole family photo archiving project again today. I can’t remember when I started it, but it turns out scanning family photos is not a quickie weekend project. I found out from reading a Photoshop magazine that I can scan more than 1 photo at a time which is the only reason I revisited the project. Now instead of taking forever, it’s only going to take half that long.

I would post a bunch on Flickr so you could chuckle along with me, except the whole monitor bad/can’t color correct issue. Just enjoy Erin and her skipper hat that she is wearing for some reason at Disneyland, for my birthday, I’m guessing December, around 1980.

Yesterday we saw Elizabethtown, Cameron Crowe’s new movie and we had wildly divergent opinions, and not what you’d predict. I thought it was about a half dozen brilliant scenes strung together will filler and random crap. If the protagonist had been anyone other than the adorable Orlando Bloom I would have been forced to nap between high spots. Bob thought it was brilliant and personal and reminiscent of French filmmaking blah blah blah. I think the nanosecond flash of Kirsten Dunst’s panties hypnotized him.

Also yesterday, I finally made tamales and they turned out FANTASTIC. It was labor intensive but no more so than making gumbo or lasagna. I have never made them before and what I did was read about 10 recipes. Tamales are sort of like lasagna in that once you see how they’re put together — you can figure out how you want to do it.

This was my primary source. The thing with that recipe is that it makes a bazallion and I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle that my first time out. I also had zero interest in cooking pork. But I used that as my base and then used the other recipes for ideas on fillings and seasonings. The package directions on the masa said it was for about 12 tamales and this seemed more reasonable so I used this to guide making the corn part.

It was surprisingly easy but I wished I had a more experienced chef to ask questions. The corn husks were packaged in thick packets and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to unlayer them. Also they were completely round like they were pulled of the corn so I cut them open and there was ooky stuff inside which I rinsed off. Also I have leftover husks that I soaked. Can I put them in the oven and let them dry out again and then put them in a ziplock bag for next time? Common sense would suggest that this is a fire hazard but I’m doing it now and monitoring very closely.

I also made a mole which I’ve never done. Erin brought me some seasonings called mole dulce last year and I never knew what to do with it. You add a bunch of spices to chicken broth (which I had 3 gallons of from cooking the chicken) and then let it reduce on the stove and then stir in some chocolate at the end. I swapped out the chili powder with the mole dulce and it looked like chocolate syrup but it tasted fantastic: spicy, dark and rich.

I think tamales will go in the rotation. They are super yummy and now that I know what I’m doing I could make a big batch and freeze a bunch. Do you freeze them before or after steaming them?

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