#15. Unplug


September 30, 2010

My phone sits right next to me while I sleep, I take it into the bathroom with me, I look at it when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, or whenever my mind starts to wander.

I use it to make lists, notes, dates, and to take pictures. I use it to find out how to get somewhere, listen to music, and to look up recipes on how to make delicious pumpkin spice muffins. I love my phone.

And I’m pretty sure my phone loves me back, because it promised not to give me cancer.

The old adage goes, if you love something, set it free, if it comes back to you it was meant to be…

So I set my phone, computer, and television free for one day.

That’s right, people. No internet. No texting. No T.V. For. One. Whole. Day.

Here’s how my day went:

7:13 I wake up and look for my phone. CRAP. Today’s the day that I’m not going to use it. BLUURG.

7:45 Feed Hudson. I feel like I should be checking Facebook right now. I pick up a book instead. This book sucks.

8:25 Pat calls me into his office to show me a Jason Schwartzman video. I run out of the room holding my eyes and screaming, “NOOO INTERNETS!! INTERNETS BAAAD!”

This is the video. It’s pretty epic:

9:34 I start getting itchy. I want to google world wide web hives.

10:49 I drive to Target. I see a guy wearing on of those hands-free headsets. Like the ones from the 90’s. It’s massive. It’s very Madonna circa Blonde Ambition World Tour, I think, that would be funny to take a photo of him and send it to Twitter. Kinda mean, but also kinda funny.

1:12 Kids are alseep. I check my emails. I just want to make sure nothing is super important. I’m not going to open them, GAH. That’s not technically cheating, right?

1:13 Bordem.

1:14 This would be a good time to blog, or clean the dusty pubes out of my bathroom, or watch Glee, or buy something impulsive online. I totally need a salad spinner or one of those shake-weight things.

3:22 I do none of that stuff and take a nap instead.

From there the day continued to be pretty uneventful.

But I learned that I can totally quit anytime I want. I don’t need the internet.

I did miss texting.

And I missed watching T.V.
Gosh, I love T.V.

The good news is I felt like I paid more attention to my kids. So, that was nice. Plus, I learned that my mind doesn’t always have to be busy. The phone is such a distraction from life. I actually said hi to people as I walked my dog through my neighbrohood instead of checking my RSS feed. And I read a book, and I had a meaningful conversation with my husband.

I’m thinking I should unplug more often.


“And Bingo was his name-o.” Also, how does he do that with his eyes? YOu’re right: that was an awesome video. As was your post.

by Michelle on September 30, 2010

I’m going to warn you: unplugging on a regular basis will land you into rehab. First you’ll start being more aware of the real world vs. the computer world. Second, you’ll start losing weight. Third, you’ll find yourself happier. Fourth, you’ll start judging all the mommies at Walt Disney World who are playing on their smart phones instead of enjoying their kids at Disney. Fifth, you’ll land in rehab, because who needs a life like that?!

by Heather, Queen of Shake Shake on October 3, 2010

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#16. Play Bingo with Grams


September 30, 2010

My grandma has 3 loves, they are:


Shiny things

and bingo.

She also loves her great-grand babies (my children) and inappropriate racial slurs, but that’s neither here nor there.

My grandma is 85, and the realization that she’s not going to be around forever is palpable. So I have to squeeze some grammy-time in wherever I can find it. Since I’m allergic to cats, and I’m not all that enthralled by shiny things, Bingo is the perfect way to hang out with her.

Oh, and my mom tagged along too because it’s more fun when there are three generations of crazy,

plus she paid.

Bingo was at the Elk’s Lodge. And this guy was watching my every move. I called him Monty, and he made me nervous.

No, I didn’t win, and I’m blaming it on him.

Thanks a lot, Monty.


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#17. Buy some chickens for the kids


September 28, 2010

We just started sponsoring two kids in Zambia.

They’re the same age as our own kids and we are excited about building a relationship via letters and gifts.

The live in a community deeply affected by HIV and AIDS and our money goes to minimize the spread of the AIDS virus and also to help with fresh water and food.

We also bought their families two chickens each.

The gift of chickens and a monthly donation seems paltry in light of all that we have, but I know that even though it is a small act of service, we are still making a difference.

I sponsored the children through World Vision and also made a donation to Amazima Ministries

Do any of you donate to charities? If so, which ones?


We do!! We go through Africa Renewal Ministries. We’ve been doing it for the last 4 1/2 years. Drew actually got to meet our little girl when he went to Africa back in 2006. Pretty awesome stuff.

by Dena Lucas on September 28, 2010

That’s awesome. I give to Charity Water every year, but I think this Christmas I’m going to buy some chickens too. I love that concept. And, of course, I’ve pretty much donated my soul to Back on My Feet.

by Yellaphant on September 29, 2010

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#18. Explore a new place


September 27, 2010

We explored Abbot Kinny Street in Venice Beach

I met up with my BFF, Dena.

Little did we know, there was a huge festival going on:

Since we’re not ones to shy away from huge, once a year, festivals, we embraced the chaos.

But we made extra sure that no one got too excited about it.

We stopped in this little gem of a coffee shop called Intelligentsia.

Things got pretty awesome in there.

They use syphons to brew their coffee, not only does it look amazing, but it tastes unreal.

Then we took a stroll through the neighborhoods, and realized that anyone who is anyone has a beautiful wood fence surrounding their picturesque home:

Kinda made me want to live there. But then I realized that we were only a block away from the weirdos

and I became content with my suburbia bubble once again.


I don’t want to rain on your parade or anything, because I’m lovin’ your parade… but you have 11 days to do 17 things. Holy smokes girl! How will you do it???

I am waiting with baited breath, dying to find out. 🙂

(I still think “Join a book club” should be on the list. Then maybe my picture will make the blog. Then maybe I’ll be sort of famous-by-association, and I’m fine with that.)

by sarah on September 27, 2010

Everywhere in SoCal, they build fences to keep the fruits from picking the people.

by Mike Krause on September 28, 2010

[…] So on Sunday afternoon we found ourselves confused, and instead of bumping into each other all day at home, we leisurely made a trip up to Venice. I’m not talking about the wacky and weird boardwalk of Venice Beach, I’m talking about the quiet and laid back Abbot Kinny Blvd. […]

by Venice is Cooler than you. | Hippo Brigade on February 22, 2012

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#19. Volunteer


September 27, 2010

Saturday was coastal clean-up day.

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

Lemme just tell you that there was cleaning involved.

Well maybe not so much of the cleaning, but more of the picking-up variety. I’m not a good cleaner. Just look at my house, it’s a hot bed of dust and boogers.

But picking-up, I can do.

(Insert unflattering photo of me jumping off the curb, filled with child-like enthusiasm for picking up the beach here)

The day consisted of a thousands of volunteers in California cleaning up the beaches.

Because letting your kid play with a condom in the sand is kinda tacky.

There were so many people already picking up stuff, that by the time we got there, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. So, we just ended up taking a nice walk around Dana Point Harbor. We dropped the kids off at my mom’s because they were being sorta needy, and had a bit of romance while picking up cigarette butts and waiting for some teenage turd to litter.

Then we saw some pirate ships. But unfortunately, no pirates.

And I was so excited to find this bottle of “ocean potion” sunblock. It was oppressively hot out, and I felt myself getting a little burny.

So I borrowed a little.

Pat thought I was disgusting using found sunblock, but it’s been 3 days since I’ve used that stuff, and I haven’t developed a rash or anything funky, so was a win for me.

And here’s what we picked up:

16 cigarette butts, a piece of painters tape, a chapstick lid, and a receipt for cigarettes.

Something I’ve learned, smokers like to litter.

Shame on them!


Long, long time ago, I buried a used condom down there in the sand. It would have disintegrated by now, I’m sure, because it was such a cheap brand. It burst before the burial. Sand is coarse material and totally gets into everything.

by Mike Krause on September 27, 2010

It’s not tacky if you brought the condoms with you.

by Libby on September 27, 2010

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#20. Take a class

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September 27, 2010

I took a cooking class.

It was at this adorable little place in Ladera Ranch called Tspoons.

And if you look closely in this photo, you’ll see me and my car in the reflection of the door.

Beep beep.

Here’s the pantry ::Swoon::

When I grow up, I want a pantry just like this.

Here’s what we made:

Chicken Rollatini with rigatoni

Caribbean spiced chicken with plantains

Panko encrusted tenders with creole sauce

Whole roasted garlic chicken with citrus honey glaze

and an apple tart for dessert.

There were a total of 6 women in the class, and there were hands everywhere, fighting over who gets to stab and stuff the chicken with garlic.

I tried to stay out of that fight, lest my hand get mistaken for a chicken part.

Plus I wasn’t feeling very stabby that day, and I don’t need another round of stitches. Thankyouverymuch.

Here’s our rollatinis stuffed with cheese and spinach and goodness:

After we cooked, we sat out on the patio and feasted.

It was delicious.

Apple tart:

The cooking class was a good lesson in sharing for me. Because I’m a mess if you step foot in my kitchen while I’m cooking. I get all panicky and sweaty. And sweat isn’t good for the food; adds too much salt.

It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just that I’m a rabid control freak.

But in the cooking class, and I tried to mellow out and stand back.

I think I’m taking major strides at being a better human being.


1 Comment:

That apple tart looks awesome. And good job not cutting yourself and spraying blood everywhere.

by Libby on September 27, 2010

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#21 Get a Physical


September 23, 2010

(Alternate title had some Olivia Newton John lyrics involved, but I didn’t want to be responsible for getting a crappy 80’s song stuck in your head all day, you’re welcome.)

I thought that getting a physical should be on my 30-to-do list.

Mainly because I’ve never really had a physical before, and I want to have some confirmation that I am a superior human being.

There’s something about answering those questions that make me feel empowered:

Do you smoke?


Do you do drugs?



I said no.



Are you on any prescription medication?


Are you allergic to any medication?


Zing. I feel awesome.

The doctor did the normal stuff. She looked in my ears, mouth, and eyeballs.

She checked my reflexes, and then I almost kicked the doctor in her lady junk, and laughed out loud.

What? That was funny!

When someone almost kicks you in the pelvic region because they have super amazing reflexes, that’s funny.

She didn’t get my ‘brand’ of humor.

Then I had to place my urine in the special door.

And that was pretty much it.

It was very anti-climatic.

I donno, I envisioned myself jogging on a treadmill with those EKG stickers all over my chest. I had it all planned out that I would set the treadmill really fast, and let my paper dress dance and crinkle in the wind. And everyone would exclaim how insanely fast I was on a treadmill, but really it was the paper dress that made me look so fast. All that crinkling and dancing makes a girl appear speedy, you know.

And I envisioned myself at a white desk taking a series of logic tests.
Humm…what’s another word for remarkable?

After the logic tests, I would take an artistic and rhythmic movement test. Which I would pass with flying colors because Wow, I can artistically and rhythmically move like nobody’s business. Turn on the Safety Dance and watch me go!

But no such tests.

How can those doctors really asses me physically if they don’t watch me rhythmically move?

Or jog?

Or ask me to simultaneously pat my head and rub my belly?


Health care.

If I were a doctor, and you were coming to me for a physical, I’d take that seriously. I’d probably want a stool sample, and I’d want to look in your cupboards and your fridge. I’d want you to touch your toes, and attempt a headstand, I’d want you to tell me how you defrost your salmon, and what you do to unwind after a long day. I’d interview everyone in your family and ask them about your snacking habits. I’d stick you in one of those big white tubes and check out all your organs. I’d give you healthy living tips, and make you join the gym. I would be thorough. No stone unturned.

I would totally rock at being a doctor.


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#22 Experience the great outdoors

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September 21, 2010

We went for a hike

and then we saw a coyote,

so we went home.

That was enough outdoor activity for one day.

1 Comment:

I love it! I need to know more about no ziplock bags though… I feel like I go through TONS of them, which I’m not proud of. So what do you use?

by sarah on September 21, 2010

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#23. Compost


September 21, 2010

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to be more earthy.

You know, like do nice things for the Earth, because the Earth does nice things for me.

I use way less plastic. I don’t buy water bottles, or ziploc bags, and I bring my reusable shopping totes everywhere I go.

I recycle stuff.

I give people dirty looks when they don’t recycle stuff.

I’ve recently switched over to exclusively using cloth diapers, I try to buy most of my produce at farmer’s markets, and I made the skirt I’m wearing out of hemp and discarded corn cobs.

And when I’m done writing this post I’m going to play a song about blue birds and the sunshine on my sitar and then braid long strips of organic cotton into my hair.

Okay so I made up the stuff about the song and the skirt, and the braiding.

I don’t even know how to play the sitar. Geez.

But there’s something I’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t got around to doing it:


I don’t have a lot of land at my house. Plus I’m super sucky at keeping my plants and edibles alive.

So, I haven’t really seen the value of composting.

But then I took some inventory of how much food I throw away. Like onion skins, and carrot tops, and bacon fat, and garlic nubs, and fava bean shells, lettuce middles, and lemon rinds.

And that stuff is all good for the earth.

So now I stick it all in here:


And it smells. But I add some of this magical stuff called Bokashi.

When my bucket of funk fills up, I bury it in the side yard.

And then in a few weeks I’ll have freshy-earthy compost.

But now I’m going to have a ton of compost, and don’t know what to do with it all.

I guess I’ll just put some in a biodegradable bag and,

Merry Christmas everybody!


I would love to be on your Christmas list. I don’t compost but I know my garden could benefit from it.

by Cathy on September 21, 2010

In fifth grade, our science teacher used to give everyone compost from our class’s huge earthworm bin for their birthday. It was a big deal. She’d call out the names of the kids with birthdays that week and present them with a baggie of dirt. I remember not being able to contain myself once December rolled around.

by amanda on September 21, 2010

Put it outside! Our neighbors have compost piles in the way backs of their yards. Which, incidentally, back up right to ours, much to the pure delight of our asshole dog. If these neighbors didn’t constantly pump me full of beer and delicious veggies that they grow using their homemade compost, I might have something mean to say about them. But how can you argue beer and veggies? You just can’t.

by Yellaphant on September 21, 2010

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#24. Try a different cusine


September 20, 2010

There’s a Persian food market just down the street from my house.

I went there once in search of Jell-O pudding.

I know, right? Jello-O? Well, it was a late night, I was pregnant, I had just had a dream about Dr. Huxtable delivering my baby, any ways I’ll spare you the details.

While I was in the store, I noticed it was a wonderland filled with nougat, figs, and all kinds of things flavored with mint.

The bakery was impressive, the produce looked fresh, and the meat department was well stocked.

But I felt like i didn’t belong.

I am not Persian.

I can’t read Farsi.

And I’ve never even been to Eastern Europe.

Sometimes I wouldn’t mind being a Kardashian because of their shiny hair and their extensive Louboutin collection, but wait, maybe they’re Armenian? Crap. Have I let on that I know too much about the Kardashians??


So I decided I should go back to the the Persian market, and visit the little restaurant inside the store, so I can acclimate myself with something new.

I told the handsome Iranian waiter that I wanted his recommendation. So I started things off with a yogurt drink that was basically yogurt and mint. It was weird. I expected it to be sweet, but it was savory and tart. I drank a few sips, made a funny face, and I brought home the rest. I think it would make a good marinade for chicken or lamb. But I wasn’t down with drinking minty yogurt. Plus, I have a hard time digesting the lactose.

Next that we had hummus. It was the best hummus I’ve ever had. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Then I ordered a speciality dish called Fesenjon. It’s a stew made with walnuts and pomegranate and served with gigantic heap of crispy basmati rice.

It didn’t really look that appetizing:


A big pool of brown porridge with a lump floating in the middle?


But in the spirit of trying new things, I ate it.

And it was actually pretty yummy.

And Pat got the lamb kabobs:

We finished up our meal with a trip down to the market’s bakery for something sweet and scrumptious:

Berlyn had a chocolate dipped madaline.

And we had delicious tiny cakes

Yay for Persian food!


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