January 31, 2005

More Cuteness

Be sure to check out Kevin's blog for even more cuteness!

Posted by Shelby at 11:43 PM

Digory, Day Two

Today Digory's doing FANTASTIC! We crated him last night, and were really worried with his separation issues that he would howl all night. But before we went to bed we realized he's imprinted as strongly on Scout as the two of us. We sent them outside to go potty separately (Digory was perfect--went right out, pottied, and came back--he knew exactly what was expected of him) because when they both go out Digory wants to play and Scout gets disgruntled when someone tries to interfere with her pottying. As soon as we sent Scout out, Digory stood by the door whining and looking for her just as he's done when we go out. He clearly was relieved when she came back.

We put both crates in the same room (now I don't have access to my closet) and gave Digory some homeopathic calming serum, then turned off the lights, closed the door, and hoped for the best.

He whined and barked for about 5 minutes--no full-out howling luckily. Then he settled down and we didn't hear a peep out of him for the rest of the night! It was surprising not hearing anything from Scout either, since she's a barker as well. I think they liked being together. No accidents either. Kevin let them out early, after about 5 hours, and both were just as happy as could be. They both went outside and pottied, then curled up on the bed with me to sleep some more while Kevin worked.

We haven't tried both leaving the house at the same time. I think this will be the biggest challenge for Digory. But housetraining doesn't seem to be a problem at all. We're still leaving the door open (the weather is great) and he gets the idea of scratching, but we don't quite trust him with letting us know when he needs to go, so we'll stick with this for a while.

He needs some major obedience training--he doesn't even know how to "sit"! He's also a jumper--paws up on the table and your legs, so we're teaching "off" as our first command. So far he seems to be respecting Scout's place as alpha dog and doesn't have a problem. The only time Scout got a little grrrr was when he interrupted her trying to pee. He doesn't try to displace her, even though he could pretty well shove her around if he put his weight into it. If Scout is sleeping on the Costco bed (that is, the bed we got from Costco), he'll find somewhere else, but as soon as she leaves it he jumps right in. He did the same thing with a bone--Scout was chewing it and he sat very nearby. He didn't try to take it from her, but the moment she left it was in his mouth. We've stocked up on several chewies so that there are plenty around the house for anyone to chew on if they want to.

Also I think we're making a small step in the separation anxiety. Last night he stayed close to us but as the evening went on, he did go lay in the living room with Scout while we were both in our bedrooms. Like I said above, he definitely seems to consider Scout a primary pack member and feels comfortable with her. Maybe he thinks if Scout thinks things are okay, they must be!

We're really enjoying this sweet boy. While he doesn't have any formal obedience training, his manners are pretty good. He did a good job with not begging last night (we're very severe about begging at the table--I absolutely don't allow it). He put his paws up on the table a couple of times to try to reach our food--and unlike Scout, he can actually REACH the table! But a couple of pushes and stern "Off!"s and he got the idea.

You can clearly tell that while he wasn't really trained, he wasn't abused either. The train noise doesn't seem to bother him. Next weekend we'll see if the fireworks upset him, but I suspect not. He immediately bonded with both of us and doesn't seem to have a fear of men that most abused dogs do. He's clearly very smart--responding to his name and totally getting the idea of "potty." Now we're looking for a training class to get started on some of these commands.

Edited to add: He's already destroyed his first stuffed toy. I'd forgotten how sharp the almost-a-puppy teeth are! Poor Labrador Head was unable to be mended--and we just got him this Christmas. We'll be looking at several more casualties soon, I suspect.

Posted by Shelby at 01:14 PM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2005

What's Better than One Beagle?


Please welcome our new Beagle baby, Digory Atticus (Digory is on the right)!

We adopted Digory today from Beagles and Buddies, a beagle rescue/shelter in El Monte. He is large, 15" high and weighs 33 pounds (that's 13 pounds more than Scout!). He's not fat, he's just the size of a typical beagle. Now I understand why we get so many comments about Scout's small stature--he seems huge next to her.

And speaking of Scout, I know your first question is "How is Scout handling this?" How's this for an answer?

She seems to be doing very well. She went with us to the shelter and was a bit overwhelmed by the dogs there (nearly all of them beagles--so cute!). One dog in particular, Rufus, insisted on humping Scout--how embarrassing! We then took Digory out for a walk and some alone time with Scout and they completely ignored each other. Since that's pretty much Scout's reaction to most dogs the first time she meets them, so we took that as a good sign.

Digory was very good in the car. He wanted to stick his head out of the window and whined a little as we pulled away from the shelter, but quickly settled down (which is more than we can say for Scout, who hates the car). Once we got home I realized that I left my keys at the shelter, so I went back to get them while Kevin took over the socialization.

Apparently Scout ignored him at first, then hid under the bed and was lured out by a treat. They took a couple of walks around the neighborhood where there was much sniffing, then went to the backyard and started chasing each other and playing. They definitely hit it off. We're being careful to give Scout lots of attention so she doesn't get jealous, and she doesn't seem bothered by Digory's presence. We'll see what happens tonight when she realizes that he's not going home.

Digory is celebrating his 1st birthday on February 4th. He's basically full-grown, but still very playful, as he has a lot of his puppy energy left. He's got some separation anxiety issues. He doesn't like to be where he can't see one of us, and whenever someone goes outside he whines and gets upset. We're going to have to work on that one. For now, it's pretty cute that we have a little shadow wherever we go.

He's already made himself at home. Scout let him know that it's okay to get up on the couch and bed, so he hops right up now. I was taking a nap while Kevin mowed the lawn and both dogs slept on the bed with me. Right now Digory is sleeping on the bed in my office, where he can see me.

So why "Digory"? His original name was "Chesty" which we didn't like at all. Digory is the name of the main character in The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis, a book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. His middle name, Atticus, is of course from To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) which is where I got the name Scout. He's very smart and has already learned his new name.

He had one owner before he was surrendered to Beagles and Buddies. Apparently the family was not prepared for a beagle, and moved to a condo with no yard. They say that he is housetrained--we're keeping the patio door open just in case until we figure out exactly how housetrained he is.

This is the "Big News" I alluded to in a previous entry. What do you think?

Be sure to visit Digory's First Day page.

Posted by Shelby at 06:40 PM | Comments (4)

January 28, 2005


1. How late did you stay up on New Year’s Eve?

1:30 ish, 2:00 ish. I think we left my folk's at around 12:30 or 1:00.

2. Number 1 New Year’s resolution?

Finish my novel

3. What movie(s) are you looking forward to seeing in 2005?

I'm really looking forward to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe which is supposed to be released on December 9th. I'm still exploring the official site. In preparation, I'm re-reading the books in their proper order, a rant which I'm sure I'll write about in another entry.

4. Who is your favorite TV actor/actress, from what show?

Gosh, I don't know. Peter Kraus from Six Feet Under, probably.

5. What did you have for dinner last night?

Mom's homemade chicken noodle soup.

6. How tall are you?


7. What is your favorite snack?

If it's crunchy and fried, I probably like it. I have been making Crispix mix as an alternative to potato chips.

8. What is your least favorite dish your mom made for you growing up?

Her chow mein.

9. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry's Triple Caramel Chunk, which they discontinued but I see have brought back, thankfully.

10. All-time favorite musical artist?

Decisions, decisions. Probably the Indigo Girls.

11. Paper or plastic?

Plastic--very handy for picking up dog poop, and it can be recycled.

12. Comedy or drama?

Depends what kind of comedy. If it's an intelligent comedy, then I like it.

13. Favorite movie of all time?

The Princess Bride. As you wish.

14. What is your favorite household gadget?

The computer, duh.

15. What state would you most like to visit?


16. What color is your toothbrush?

Lemme go look. White and purple.

17. Who is your favorite comedian?

He's not a stand-up comedian, but I love David Sedaris.

18. What was your favorite Christmas present this year?

All of them!

19. Least favorite time of day?

Early morning. I usually skip it.

20. What was your worst birthday?

2001, I think. No details--too depressing.

21. Favorite city you’ve ever lived in?


22. Favorite athlete?

Michelle Kwan

23. What movie is in your VCR/DVD Player right now?

There isn't one.

25. Pay by check or debit/check/credit card?

Check card. My checks don't have my correct address, and checks are a pain in the ass anyway. I don't think I've written a check in a year or so.

26. Diet soda or regular?

Oh god, regular. Don't even come near me with that diet crap. I'd rather drink water than diet soda. I'd rather go thirsty than drink diet soda. I absolutely abhor Nutrasweet and can taste it a mile away.

27. One fact others may not know about you?

Not only can I wiggle my ears, I can wiggle one without the other. I've never met anyone else who could do that.

28. Exercise or relax?


30. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with your family and friends?

Actually, I may have some exciting news after Sunday. Check back in a few days.

Hat tip to Michelle at Mom With Attitude.

Posted by Shelby at 10:05 PM | Comments (2)

Oh Phew!

I'm not as big a nerd as I thought I was!

I am nerdier than 38% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Posted by Shelby at 09:05 PM

January 25, 2005

I'm So Embarrassed

So Annastazia has passed the torch to me and I'm very, very sorry to say that I'm going to drop it and let the light go sputtering out.

This meme is about music. Which basically I don't listen to. I used to listen to lots of music. I listen to music in the car. I listen to the cookie-cutter songs on the radio and crank it up during any 80s tune. But I don't listen to music on my computer.

I also have this thing about CDs. I put one in and play it over and over and over and over and over until (as Kevin says) the voice of God himself comes down from the heavens and gives me the message that it's time to put a new one in. I am not kidding about this. In college I listened to Kenny Loggins' The Real Thing at least once a day for two years. Thank god I had a tolerant roommate.

Therefore, this is going to be a very boring meme.

Random 10 (Winamp shuffle):

I'd like to help ya here, but as I said, I don't listen to music on my computer, so I don't even HAVE a Winamp to shuffle (well I suppose I have Winamp, but I don't use it). I did install iTunes yesterday with the intention of bringing more music into my life though.

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
Zero. Zip. Zilch. And any other Z word that represents none. I don't have a single song on my computer.

2. The last CD you bought is:
I really couldn't tell you. Kevin buys CDs for me! The last one I received was Sarah McLachlan's latest (couldn't tell you the title of the CD however). Oh, I did buy some tapes for Kevin that I thought were going to be CDs--the David Sedaris Box Set. But that's not music.

3. What is the song you last listened to before this message?
One of the four songs they play over and over again on Star 98.7

4. Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
Remember what I said about listening to CDs over and over and over again? Well you'll never guess which CD is in my car now:
1. Unraveling--Deb Talan
2. Ashes on Your Eyes--Deb Talan
3. How Will He Find Me?--Deb Talan
4. Saturn's Light--Deb Talan
and just for the heck of it, I'll throw in a non-Deb Talan song
5. Southern California Wants to be Western New York--Dar Williams

5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (three persons and why)?
Gosh, I don't know. Who wants it?

Posted by Shelby at 10:45 PM | Comments (2)

A Painful Lesson

This one goes out to all the ladies I know. Not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

And please note that I did not write this. This is something I found on the internet NOT written by me. Just so you know.

Cold Wax Hair Removal

All methods have tricked me with their promises of easy, painless removal - the Epilady, the standard razor, the scissors, the Nair, the EpilStop, and now ....The Wax.

My night began as any other normal weekday night. I came home from work, fixed dinner for my son and we played for a while. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next couple hours: maybe I should use that wax in my medicine cabinet. I set up my boy with a video and head to the site of my demise, um, I mean bathroom. It was one of those cold wax kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the clear strips in your hand, peel them apart, press it on your leg (or wherever) and ignore the frantically rising crescendo of string instruments in the background. No muss, no fuss. How hard can this be? I mean, I'm not the girly-est of girls but I'm mechanically inclined so maybe I can figure out how this works. You'd think. So I pull one of the thin strips out. It's two strips facing each other, stuck together. I'm supposed to rub it in my hand to warm and soften the wax (I'm guessing). I go one better: I pull out the hair dryer! And heat the SOB to ten thousand degrees. Cold wax, my ass. (Oh, how that phrase will come back to haunt me.)

I lay the strip across my thigh. I hold the skin around it and pull. OK, so it wasn't the best feeling in the world, but it wasn't bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am Sheera, fighter of all wayward body hair and smooth skin extraordinaire!

With my next wax strip, I move north.

After checking on the boy and verifying that he was, in fact, becoming one with Bear and learning all about smells, I sneak into the bathroom for The Ultimate Hair Fighting Championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I then apply the wax strip across the right side on my bikini line, covering the right half of my coochie and stretching up into the inside of the right ass cheek. (Yeah, it was a long strip.)

I inhale deeply. I brace myself.


I'm blind! Blind from the pain! . Vision returning. Oh crap. I've managed to pull off half an inch of the strip. Another deep breath. And RIIIP! Everything is swirly and tie-dyed? Do I hear crashing drums?

OK, coming back to normal again. I want to see my trophy - my wax covered pelt that caused me so much agony. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold the wax strip up like an Olympic torch...

But why is there no hair on it? Why is the wax mostly gone?

Where could the wax go, if not on the strip?

Slowly, I eased my head down, my foot still perched on the toilet.

I see hair - the hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I feel. I am touching wax. I look to the ceiling and silently shout "nooooooo!!" And realize I have just begun living my own personal version of "The Tar Baby."

I peel my fingers off the softest, most sensitive part of my body that is now covered in cold wax and matted hair, and make the next big mistake - up until this point, you'll remember, I've had my foot on the toilet.

I know I need to move, to do something. So I put my foot down on the floor. And then I hear the slamming of the cell door. Coochie? Sealed shut. Ass? Sealed shut.

A little voice in my head says "I hope you don't have to poop anytime soon. Your head just might pop off." I penguin walk around the bathroom trying desperately to figure out what I should do next.

Hot water! Hot water melts wax! I'll run the hottest water I can stand and get in - the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it a way, right? Wrong.

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than is used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment. And I sit.

Now the only thing worse than having your goodies glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of a tub. In scalding hot water. Which, by the way, does not melt the cold wax.

So now I'm stuck to the tub.

I call my friend, C, because she once dropped out of beauty school so surely she has some secret knowledge or trick to get wax off skin. It's never good to start a conversation with "So, my ass and coochie are stuck to the tub."

She doesn't have a trick. She does her best to suppress laughter.

She wants to know exactly where the wax is on the ass. "Are we talking cheek or crack, here?" she asks. She isn't even trying to hide the giggles now. I give her the run-down of the entire night. She tells me to call The number on the side of the box, but to have a good cover story for where the wax actually is. "You know that if we were working the help line at XX Wax Co. and somebody called with their entire crack sealed shut we'd just put them on hold then record the conversation for everyone we know. You're going to end up on a radio show or the internet if you tell them the truth".

While we go through various solutions, I have resorted to scraping the wax off with a razor. Boy, nothing feels better to the girly goodies than covering them in wax, sticking them to a tub in super hot water and THEN dry shaving the sticky wax off!

In the middle of the conversation (which has inexplicably turned to other subjects!) I find the little, beautiful saving grace that is the lotion provided with wax to remove the excess. I rub some in and start screaming "It's working! It's working!" I get hearty congratulations from C and we hang up.

I successfully remove all the wax and notice, to my dismay, that the hair is still there. So I shaved the damned stuff off. Hell, I was numb by that point anyway. And then I put the box of wax back in my medicine cabinet. Never know when a moustache might start to come in.

Tonight, I attempt hair dying.

**Please note that I did not write this, but found it on the internet and had to share because it's so hilarious**

Posted by Shelby at 06:07 PM

January 20, 2005

A New Doctor

Both of us went today to establish a relationship with our new family doctor, Dr. Budman. He was a had the bedside manner of Dr. Troell, the brilliant doctor who did my sleep apnea surgery and had great bedside manner, and the energy of Dr. Vagelos, a cardiologist at Stanford who was also brilliant but somewhat lacking in the empathy department. One night I was in the ER at Stanford and Dr. Vagelos was on call--he showed up in a track suit and was practically jogging in place checking his heart rate while he gave me an echocardiogram. Dr. Budman was the best of both worlds--just exuding competance.

I typed up a sheet with all of my diagnoses, medications, and surgeries on it to simplify things for my new doctors. When I sat down with the nurse she said, "any medications" and I handed her the list. She gasped and said, "I love you!" Dr. Budman also seemed very impressed with my knowledge of all of my various conditions and medications. I also found out they have some female doctors in the office who specialize in women's health and do gyn. exams and stuff. That will be super-convenient. Plus I got such a good feeling from this office. My last ob/gyn had the world's bitchiest staff, months to wait for an appointment, and limited access to the doctor herself. Their opinion was pretty much that since I wasn't pregnant and bringing a new baby into the world, I wasn't important. It sucked. So this should be much better.

I also got my blood drawn and the phlebotomist got it on the first stick with only a little digging around. I said, "good job!" which I don't think she hears very often. I then related my horrible night in the ER (in Gilroy) when I got stuck 16 times before they successfully started an IV. I told her that they let everyone in the building including the janitor have a go at me, and she thought that was funny.

Posted by Shelby at 04:11 PM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2005

The Vacuum I've Been Waiting My Whole Life For

I'm sold. My friend Sandy was raving about her vacuum cleaner, a Dyson Animal. I've seen the commercials for Dyson on tv and wondered if they really work as well as they claim they do. When we went to Sandy's house for Book Club, she had used her Dyson and there was not one strand of cat hair anywhere to be seen in her house--and she has 2 cats.

The Animal is designed specifically for animal hair. We have had a huge problem in our bedroom because the idiot previous owners installed this dark blue carpet that collected and held dog hair, and showed every strand. I tried our Hoover (piece of shit, and it wasn't cheap either), our other vacuum (brand escapes me now), and our non-electric carpet sweeper that believe it or not, did far better than the other two and was only like $25.

Based on Sandy's rave review and the condition of her house, we decided to get one. Yes, they're very expensive, but if it actually picks up the dog hair, I'm all for it. It came in the mail today and...WOW! Kevin just vacuumed the bedroom (with the horrible carpet) and it actually picked up all of the hair! It's the vacuum I've been waiting my whole life for.

Posted by Shelby at 04:26 PM | Comments (1)

Capitalism Meme

Courtesy of Annastazia.

Grooming Products
Shampoo - Lush Karma Komba, Big, Ultimate Shine
Moisturizer - Something by Bare Escentuals. It's blue.
Cologne - don't wear it
Razor - Shick Intuition. Expensive, but love it, love it, love it.
Toothpaste - anything but Aquafresh, anything without baking soda

Cell phone - LG
Computer - Sony Vaio
Television - Sony
Stereo - Kevin's is a Panasonic. The main one is made of up pieces--Kenwood and, you guessed it, Sony.

Sheets - These luscious 600 thread count sheets I got for Christmas
Coffee-maker - Yuck! We have one, but I won't let it be used in this house
Car - 2000 Mazda Miata.
Stationery - William Arthur, or anything of like quality

Bottled water - I'm not picky
Coffee - See above.
Vodka - Nyet.
Beer - Most microbrews.

Jeans - Levi's 505 stretch.
T-shirt -Are we talking about my favorite t-shirt? Because it's this one that has a cartoon on it and says "Drive-through brain surgery, Deposit head here." It's going on about 13 or 14 years old now (!) and I can't really wear it anymore, but it's legendary (right Sherri?)
Briefcase or tote - Neither, but I have an Eastpak backpack.
Sneakers - Nikes.
Watch - The Dog Club beagle watch.

Favorite Places
Right here at home, my parent's house, Disneyland

Necessary Extravagance
Lush bath products

Posted by Shelby at 04:19 PM


Well Kevin and I have caught a cold. I was feeling icky on Monday, but attributed it to my allergies. Then Monday night Kevin started hacking--which is a sure sign of a cold for him. Yesterday I was feeling a little less than 100%, and today I feel out and out lousy. Let's hope this passes soon.

And if you're thinking of buying a laptop, don't buy an IBM Thinkpad. They SUCK! Kevin's hard drive crashed and despite two trips to Fry's, several attempts on my computer, and even the uber-hard drive copier at his dad's office, it cannot be revived. Of course, Kevin's product release is the end of February, so this comes at a fantastic time. Have I already complained about Kevin's Thinkpad hard drive? No, that would be the LAST Thinkpad he had, where the hard drive also crashed in a spectacular manner and had to be replaced. And several keys popped off of the keyboard from Kevin blowing on them.

Here's a little former employee secret. When I worked at IBM, we called the Thinkpads "Stinkpads" because of the constant problems they had. My Stinkpad had a CD-Rom that never worked correctly, and that was a common problem. Hard drives going down was also common. This makes three Thinkpads in our family that have crapped out. And they're not cheap, either! Compare that to my handy Toshiba that ran flawlessly for something like 6 or 7 years and was only retired because of its age. I'm now on a Sony Vaio that I love and haven't had a problem with so far. So here's my warning: Don't buy an IBM Thinkpad!!!

Posted by Shelby at 02:36 PM

January 17, 2005

Warning: Cute Beagle Ahead

Not mine, but Annastazia's. Be sure to see her beagle Gypsy. And another entry dedicated to me--how cool!

Posted by Shelby at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)


To continue with the opera theme, Kevin and I used the free tickets I got from doing wigs to see the actual performance yesterday. The opera was the Marriage of Figaro. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I knew after the rehearsal that it was hella long--3 and 1/2 hours with 3 intermissions, so I thought well, we could always sneak out at one of the intermissions. But as it turned out, we didn't have to. The opera was quite enjoyable. It was a lot funnier than I expected it to be (I'm not sure I'd like a tragic opera). There were a few arias that almost put me to sleep, but the performance had English translations of the libretto (which was in Italian). That was very helpful, even though you knew they weren't translating everything--like when they'd be singing for 5 minutes and there would only be one line displayed. Kevin later said he now knows how I felt (frustrated) when he'd try to give me a running translation of German television. Anyway, the opera was very fun and cultural.

Posted by Shelby at 11:24 AM

January 16, 2005

I Am the Wig-Master, or I Feel Like Those Gorillas Who Groom Eachother

Fun night! Fun! Fun!

I got to put on and take off wigs at the opera. First I got my personalized backstage pass clearly marked "WIGS." Then I got to meet my fellow wig dressers--Walter and The-Russian-Woman-Whose-Name-I-Don't-Remember. Chelsea, my friend, used me as a model to teach us how the wig process goes. It's actually more complicated than I thought. Women's hair must be french-braided (now there's something I haven't done in at least 10 years), then pinned, then you create pin-curls. Men get a headband thing and little ponytails to hold them in place. Next is the wig cap, which is basically like a knee-high. That gets pinned into place. Then comes the wig, which also gets pinned into place. And the whole time you're trying not to pull anyone's hair out or stab them with a pin.

Then the process gets reversed. As you take the wigs off, you have to hunt through the wig and the hair to get all of the pins out (a minimum of at least 10). As we were doing this, Chelsea remarked that we looked just like those gorillas that groom each other for nits. It was funny because it was true!

The opera is The Marriage of Figaro, and we have free tickets for Sunday's matinee, which should be fun. It's hella long though, like 3 and a half hours.

Posted by Shelby at 02:35 AM

January 15, 2005

Oh Wow

How cool is it when one of your favorite bloggers mentions you specifically in a post? It's very, very cool. Congratulations on the condo, Dave!

Posted by Shelby at 12:18 AM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2005

Busy Busy

It's been a busy last couple of days. Wednesday I did some intensive work on some marketing brochures for my part time job, in addition to going to Curves and to Torrance to see the chiropractor. Thursday was a little more relaxed and I caught up on a bunch of things I'd been putting off. Today Kevin's mom came over for a Super Secret Mission, then I have to go to Curves, to the Jewelry Store to pick up some jewelry repairs and work I had done (I'm getting a diamond toe ring!), to the chiropractor, and to wine tasting tonight.

Tomorrow I'm getting a much needed haircut, and then I'll be working with hair again in the evening at the opera. Chelsea, who is the wife of Kevin's friend from Jr. High/High School is in charge of recruiting volunteers for wig and make up duties at the opera at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts. She invited me to do wigs (apparently take them off and put them on throughout the performance) and hang out back stage. How cool is that? So it sounded really fun and I signed up. It's very neat to be near friends to do stuff with.

Also, we're planning a party for Kevin's 30th birthday, so mark February 12th (Saturday) on your calendars. I'm considering making homemade invitations, which may prove to be a totally insane idea.

Posted by Shelby at 01:24 PM | Comments (2)

January 13, 2005

Shocking Exercise

I had my first workout at Curves today. It was fun! I was worried that I wouldn't make it all the way through the 1/2 hour workout, but I had no problems and didn't feel like I had to push myself too hard. The nice thing about Curves is that you can do things at your own pace. Well, sort of. You have to move from machine to machine every 30 seconds, but whether you want you do 50 reps or 5 is up to you. I did minimal reps concentrating on building technique and getting used to the machine. I'm really more interested in strength training than in muscle building. In between the machines are platforms that you are supposed to walk or jog in place on. I opted for a modified marching, and may add some upper body movement as I build my stamina.

I have to admit, I am afraid of raising my heartrate too high, lest I get shocked. My particular type of arrythmia is not exercise-induced, but it's still a little sobering to think that at 180 beats per minute I'll be getting a very large jolt of electricity delivered straight to my heart via a wire threaded through my vein. It's been almost 3 years since I had my ICD implanted (April 2002). I can't believe it. Already there have been huge strides in ICD technology since then. In particular, there's a new device called a biventricular pacemaker which shows extremely promising results in assisting congestive heart failure and raising ejection fractions (a measure of how much blood your heart pumps out verses what it takes in). I won't be due for a replacement for another couple of years but it looks like my upgrade will be dramatic.

Anyway, I enjoyed my workout at Curves and hope that I'll be able to lose some weight, lose some inches, and build stamina through my workouts there.

Posted by Shelby at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2005

I'm Back

Sorry for the extended delay--Kevin and I were out of town this weekend. I always agonize about whether to advertise this on my blog. I'm pretty open about personal information on here--both my maiden and married names are plastered all over the place and I'm not exactly hard to find (a definite plus, as some old friends have looked me up and found me here), but I always worry that our address will not be hard to find either and if I say we're going to be gone for a couple of days that's inviting trouble. So...I just left you hanging. Oh well.

We had a great weekend. Friday and Saturday we spent in Kevin's old stomping grounds, Berkeley. Friday night we got together with Kevin's college friend Anita and got to meet her fiance' Derek. That was a lot of fun and I really liked Derek. Saturday we did some shopping and met up with Kevin's high school friend Jennifer and her husband Chris. We hadn't seen them since our going away party last January so it was nice to catch up.

Sunday morning we headed down to San Jose to attend our old church. Oh my god, it was like we came back from the dead. Granted it had been a year since we left San Jose, but everyone seemed to be under the impression that we'd been gone at least 2 years. Anyway, they were all so nice and it was great to see them all again. I hope we're able to find a church like that here in Orange County. They really helped us a lot through the tough times. They were also having Ozoni soup, which is a traditional new year's soup made from Miso (soy) stock and Mochi (rice balls, sort of). As I was lifting the bowl to my mouth, I promptly dumped the entire thing on my lap. Luckily it wasn't too hot, but man, it was gross. It completely soaked me down to my underwear. After that Kevin wanted to stay and chat with a few people and I was like "No, we have to go NOW."

From there we headed up to my friend Dorothy's, where we met with Dorothy and Jimmy, Hai-Nhu and John (who came down from San Francisco), and Sandy. Dorothy, Hai-Nhu, Sandy, and I all worked together at IBM (they're still there) and it was fun to get together with them again. Monday afternoon we dodged the raindrops and did some shopping in Los Gatos, and then met with our book club Monday night. The book we were discussing was Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two Kids, and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth by Daniel Glick. The book is about this single father who takes his 13 year old son and 9 year old daughter on a 6 month trip around the world following his brother's death and his wife leaving him for another woman. I really enjoyed the book, which was good because it was my suggestion. Everyone enjoyed the book, actually, save one person--which is pretty much how every book club goes*. It turned out to be a very lively discussion and spurred lots of tangential issues like environmentalism, parenting, and endangered animals.

Today we went up to Palo Alto for lunch and a little browsing and headed back down to rainy Southern California. Despite the deluge(s) our house has fared very well (we are raised about 3 feet off the ground) and Kevin's work on the garage door seems to have sealed the leaking problem we had. Scout seemed relaxed and well-taken care of when we arrived at my parent's house. What a difference from when we've had to kennel her. She was spoiled rotten at Grandma and Grandpa's including multiple greenies, pig's ears, and sleeping in their bed under the covers. They reported that she was a very good dog so she apparently hasn't worn out her welcome there, although she was happy to see us (but not frantic as she usually is when we come back).

There have been a few books that were universally hated, such as Mangoes and Quince by Carol Field and the book that every book club in the world loved but us, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.

Posted by Shelby at 11:27 PM

January 06, 2005


So I was listening to Star 98.7 in the car today, and the afternoon hosts were running a fundraiser for Tsunami relief. They got the Goo Goo Dolls to come to the "Star Lounge" for a private concert and they were auctioning off tickets to see the performance--top 12 highest bidders. The bids started small, $200, $300, $500, then a very young voice came on the air. It was Alexis, age 7 and a half, and she was bidding her entire savings, which came to $56.00. She was so sweet and earnest that I hoped they would just give her some tickets anyway. So I got out of the car and ran an errand, and when I got back it was almost time for the auction to end. A woman called in and bid $1000, and said "If I win, I want the tickets to go to little Alexis." And she did win, and now Alexis and her mom are going to the concert. It was so cute and heartwarming.

Posted by Shelby at 11:16 PM

January 05, 2005


Well I've taken a big step towards my goal of Loseweightexercisemore. I went today and joined Curves. For those of you not "in the know," Curves is a new fitness studio for women only. The setup is extremely simple--there are 10 stations set in a circle. Every other station is a bouncy board for walking or jogging in place. The other stations are weight machines. The machines all work hydraulically so there's no settings or weights to change. You get on a machine for 30 seconds, at which point the Voice Of God tells you it's time to change to the next station. The whole workout lasts 30 minutes.

My mom goes to Curves and likes it a lot. In fact, the typical clientele is someone my mom's age (I was the youngest person there by a good 20 years), but I think that's because most people my age who work out do it at a gym where all of the Beautiful People are. It seemed expensive to me, but I've never had a gym membership before so I don't know how it compares. They are running a special, 50% off the setup fee, no doubt to try to attract women like myself who made Loseweightexercisemore goals.

They were very thorough today, taking my weight and multiple measurements and doing goal-setting. You're supposed to go 3 times a week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Posted by Shelby at 10:37 PM | Comments (2)

January 03, 2005

Oh, This Is Just Stupid

Angels Add Los Angeles to Name, Sparking Fight with Anaheim

Originally they were the Los Angeles Angels. When I was growing up it was the California Angels. In 1997 it changed to the Anaheim Angels. Now the owner wants to change the name again, to (are you ready?)

"The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim"

How stupid can you get??? Part of the contract with the city of Anaheim was that the team would be called the Anaheim Angels. They have been embroiled in a lawsuit because the owner changed the name. I suppose he thinks this Los Angeles thing is a compromise, but I think it's totally dumb.

It sounds like some kind of monastery or convent. The good sisters of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sect.

Posted by Shelby at 09:18 PM | Comments (3)

Well, Crap

Remember when I got rear-ended? Well it turns out that Mr. Miguel Munoz let his insurance lapse and doesn't have coverage after all. Shit.

It looks like our only option is to take him to small claims court, which would probably be not worth the effort. Our insurance deductible is $1000 so we're going to have to cover that on our own before we get anything else paid. I'm sure it's going to be expensive too, because it's at least two different parts (the trunk and below the trunk).

I'm just kicking myself for not looking at his driver's license and getting his address, license number, and phone number. All I have is his license plate number on the truck. Also, I was apparently supposed to file some kind of form with the DMV for any accident over $500 in damage. I'm not sure what this form would get us--it looks like it gives you the right to examine HIS form (for a $40 fee). And I'm quite sure he rushed right over to the DMV to fill that out.

It looks like we're going to be liable for the damage. I really hope this isn't going to raise our insurance prices. This sucks.

Kevin has more of a rant here.

Posted by Shelby at 04:39 PM | Comments (1)

January 01, 2005

A New Year Meme

This one's long. Click below if you dare.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you’d never done before?

What a year this has been. Two major things are living in a foreign country and buying my first house.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't do resolutions--I do goals. Some I met, some I didn't. Some were out of control, like the 7 graduate schools who rejected me. Some were of my own doing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Actually, no. After the Baby-O-Rama of 2002 people seem to have slowed down. Oh, a woman in my book club had a daughter. Other than that, nobody.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, England, Ireland--it was a big travel year.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

A publishing contract.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Specific dates don't come to mind. Just things like going to Germany the first week of February, coming back to San Francisco for Hai-Nhu's wedding in June, going to Holland in April and England and Ireland in July, returning to the US in July, and moving into our new home in November.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Buying our first home.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting into graduate school. I'll admit it--it hurt. But I think it's all for the best.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Compared to the Hell that 2002 was, this year was quite mild. But yes, I'm a serious klutz so there were battered and bruised moments like tripping over Scout and falling off of the stepstool. I also had a major intestinal infection that necessitated calling an ambulance in Germany and looking up the phrase "Bloody diarhea" in the dictionary. I also experienced plantar faciitis in my feet, which lead to another doctor visit in Germany. But really my health has been quite good, particularly given my history. I have no complaints.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

You know, we went on a serious spending spree this year so it's hard to narrow it down to one thing, but I think that the money spent on our European travel was the best money we spent this year. Also buying the house.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Kevin's, for his unbelievable patience and flexibility. And my parents, for putting up with us living in their house for 3 months (which was 2 months longer that what I'd planned). I had honestly thought living with my folks was going to be seriously stressful, but it actually worked out quite well and I think we even became closer as a result of it. We certainly drank a lot of really good wine while we were there.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed disgusted?

George W. Bush. Also Howard Dean, my candidate who blew it all. And I wasn't entirely thrilled with John Kerry either, though he really earned my vote as the campaign progressed.

14. Where did most of your money go?

This new house, followed closely by foreign travel.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving to Germany, although I was simulataneously terrified by it. And buying this house. I know, I'm like a one-trick pony on this subject but come one, how many people live in Europe for half the year and then buy their first home after that?

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?

Deb Talan's Unraveling

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? definitely happier
b) thinner or fatter? *sigh*
c) richer or poorer? poorer, due to (let's say it all together now) buying the house and traveling.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I really wish I had made more of an effort to put myself out there and practice my German, no matter how many mistakes I might make. If you've been reading along, you'd know that the language barrier was the biggest issue I faced in Germany. I just felt so insecure about it--like I shouldn't even try to speak because it wasn't perfect. I wish I could have gotten over that more and tried to connect with more people.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Sleeping. I sleep a lot.

20. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

Already spent it--half the night with David and Chelsea (David is Kevin's friend from Jr. High and high school), then ringing in the new year at my parent's.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004?

I fall in love with Kevin every day of my life. Just when I think I couldn't love him more, I do.

22. How many one-night stands?

Okay, that's called adultery and no, it didn't happen.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

My tv has been very limited this year, as it has been in previous years, but I'd have to say either Law and Order or Six Feet Under.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, I've hated John Ashcroft for years.

25. What was the best book you read?

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The extended works of Deb Talan

27. What did you want and get?

Antique Victorian pen stands. And a bunch of other stuff including a new computer and everything we bought in Europe.

28. What did you want and not get?

A big-ass lottery win.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Probably Whale Rider.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31 and it was pretty low-key. Kevin got me a few presents and we went out to eat. It was while we were in Germany and it seemed like the whole year was one big birthday present.

31.What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?

I don't know. I was very happy with this year. My first instinct would be to say that I wish I'd gotten into grad school, but looking at how the rest of the year turned out, I don't have any regrets about that. I think this is where and what I'm meant to be.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Casual and comfy

33. What kept you sane?

The internet--staying connected with friends and family while I was in Germany.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Mmmm, I don't know. Naomi Watts?

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

John Kerry's presidential campaign.

36. Who did you miss?

I missed all of my friends and family while I was in Germany.

37. Who was the best new person you met?


38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.

You don't need an MFA to be a successful writer.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Now you only dream in peaceful blue
The morning doesn't even scare you anymore
You are a phoenix with your feathers still a little wet
Baby, the ashes just look pretty on your eyes.

(taken from Mom With Attitude)

Posted by Shelby at 08:47 PM | Comments (1)