Friday, July 29, 2011


Last week a very strapping and fit friend asked if I wanted to go on a hike with him. I think the look on my face screamed "have you seen me?!" However, I absolutely said yes.

I grew up hiking. My father would take my sister and I hiking at least once a week. We were part of a peregrine falcon rehab program. So we would hike in and spend time watching to make sure things were happening with the falcons in that area. I'm not sure we were as serious about the falcons as we should have been, but it was a really great time for us. We have tons and tons of photographs from our hikes and even more great stories and memories.

While we were visiting home a few months back, I took Mario to our old hiking spot. I realized how much I missed our weekly hikes with dad. It's something I really want to get back to.

So, when I was asked to go on a little hike, I couldn't turn it down. I've been thinking about hiking for a while now and now was the time to start again. Of course I have no idea how out of shape I am. I mean I know I'm pretty stinking out of shape, but I have no idea what my limit is.

That means I have to make a test run, right? Enter Mario leaving work early last night. I had his shoes ready to go. Dinner was prepped, so when we got home it would be all set. I was dressed and ready to go. I wanted to make sure we had enough light for a nice little trek.

We live just minutes from a beautiful park and mountains. We headed up the rolling hills above Hollywood and Los Angeles. It's hard to believe there is such beautiful spots around this city. We had a beautiful view of the city as we walked.

We didn't do the hike we set out to do. The Observatory was having some big do da, so there was no parking anywhere! Plan 2, just pull over at any ol' trailhead you see. Mario decided that since there were a lot of people walking in and out of this trail...that this was the trail for us! We got out of the car, walked over to the trail head and looked up the steepest tail! It wasn't just was STEEP! But Mario decided we were going for it. I was really happy. I figured we can stop as much as we like, just so long as we get up it.

we made it to the top!

Turns out the steep only lasted for so long. The trail leveled off and ended up following the hills. The weather was perfect. The sun was just setting and we had made it up the hill. We just walked. I was so happy! It really felt like those hikes we used to take. It was a nice quiet sunset walk.

However, soon the sun was getting too low and we were heading back. Yet there were still people hiking in! I wanted to know if there was some bon fire some where...where were they all going in the dark! We only got to go about a mile this time, but Mario loved it so much he wants to go again this weekend.

We headed back to the car just as it got dark. It was a little creepy coming back in the dark. I kept hearing noises behind us.The steep hill was far more treacherous coming back down...but we made it! We climbed in the car feeling good. Then just as we got the car started, Mario suddenly yelled "WILD ANIMALS!!" then turned on the high beams on the headlights. I'm not sure what I was expecting. What I was not expecting was to see a coyote walk into the restrooms. Do coyotes drink out of toilets also?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No blaming sleepy me this time!

I lent my car to a friend for a few days this week. Her car was in the shop for repairs and mine was free to use, so it worked out. Today, was the day we needed to get our cars back to their respective owners.

Early afternoon she gave me a call letting me know that she was on her way. I figured after dropping her off at the garage, that I would head over to the restaurant for a change of scenery. So, I started packing up my computer. Part way through packing, I decided I was taking too long. I didn't want to leave her waiting for me, so I just grabbed my purse and headed out the door. I could just drop her off and just pick up my computer on my way back.

I locked the door and headed to the alley. Then decided to check if I had my keys. Cause it's always good to check after you have locked and shut the door right? Turns out they weren't in their normal pocket...and they weren't in the secondary pocket...and they weren't in the main part of my purse...and they weren't even in the pockets that are too small to fit in. So, I checked them all again...and then again once more.

Not to toot my horn, but I am not a key looser. I am normally very good about putting my keys back in my purse as soon as I'm finished with them. My best friend was notorious for loosing keys...even with the electronic key finder. Mario routinely forgets his keys, wallet and phone at home at least once a week. I can't lock myself out of the house after all the shit I have given them. So, I checked again. No keys. I even pulled all the crap in my purse to make sure they weren't hidden. No such luck...they were no where to be found.

I really wasn't too worried about getting back into the house. I had options. I would have my car and car keys in a matter of minutes. My sister-in-law works about a mile away and Mario only works about 15 minutes away...or I could just break in. I decided I was getting too old to break in to my own the shortness of my skirt would only lead to inappropriate beaver shots for the neighbors. Then I decided that it was silly to drive all the way out to get the key from Mario, when his sister is only a few blocks away.

I dropped off the friend at her newly repaired car, picked up the key from my sister-in-law, kept my girly bits covered, and was over at the restaurant in 15 minutes. I know, not much of a story, but the question still remained...where the hell were my keys? When I stopped back at my apartment, I couldn't find them anywhere. Not in any of the normal spots. Not in between cushions, not under the couch, not in the chair, not in the kitchen, in the bedroom or in the bathroom. Not in the freezer. Not in the house at all it seemed.

I had Mario check his car. I checked my car. We checked the apartment again when we got home. I had Mario checking all the spots I had already checked. I was about to call the restaurant we had been at the night before, when I reached into my purse for my phone...and pulled out my keys. That's when Mario yelled, "And that is why I am afraid of your purse!"

Two things I've learned, I'm not as forgetful as I thought...just blind. And also, I now know my purse is the perfect hiding spot from Mario. He does have a huge aversion to my purse. He doesn't even like to hold it. Now I officially know he's afraid of the purse...knowledge is power!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Night Shift

I'm really not a morning person. I'm sure I've told you this before. More times than not, I stay up late and sleep in. It works for me for now. I'm sure that will change when bebes come along. However, it's just fine for now. If I need to be at a shoot or a meeting early, I'm there without a question when I need to be...regardless of how early it is.

That being said and as backwards as it sounds, I usually wake up early to  use the restroom before Mario starts getting ready for work...before Mario takes his ridiculously long shower...and I'm stuck trying to sleep a little longer with my legs crossed. Then I get back into bed and check my emails real quick. Delete what needs to be deleted. Respond to any client emails. Delete a bunch forward this email to 25 friends and you'll receive a million dollars. Then I check the restaurant's emails and then I generally return a few text messages. About this time, mario gets up and heads to the bathroom to get ready for work and I hunker back down and try to sleep for a little while longer.

Most of the time I am quite coherent for my early morning business stuff. Today, it turns out...not so much. Only I didn't realize this until about 8pm tonight. Now, I had been working on a shoot, so, I had gone to sleep very very late. About the time 6am rolled around, I had only been sleeping for a few hours. However, I still got up and made my run to the bathroom, then hopped back in bed....and then vaguely remember checking emails.

Later at dinner is when there was any clue that my morning email session hadn't gone as well as normal. I was trying to explain a recipe to Mario that Tracy had sent me that morning. Failing to explain it, I tried to pull up the email....but couldn't find it...anywhere! I remember responding to it! I checked all my sent mail. I checked the trash. I checked my inbox. I even checked unsent emails. Not being able to find my response to the email was one thing, however, not being able to find her original email was another. Where the hell was it! I know she sent me a recipe!

About my third time through my inbox, I did find an email. Not Tracy's recipe, but a from my favorite sushi joint. I don't remember seeing it this morning...but woo hoo coupons!

Then I decided to look at my sent emails again. No recipe from Tracy! Where was her email and where was my response! Gone! What the hell was I doing this morning! That's when I noticed a peculiar sent email. From me. To my favorite sushi joint. Apparently very sleepy me wanted to send them a thank you note for the coupons. Only sleepy me thankfully couldn't quite pull it off. I only got my name, phone number, and my website into the email before I sent it to them. A sad but nice attempt to get more coupons from them? Who knows. Probably time to stop checking my emails that early in the morning unless I am fully awake.

You know what I did find out? The recipe email was actually a recipe text message. Luckily sleepy me sent an appropriate text message back to Tracy or she would have never let me live it down. I'm also thankful it wasn't a client...makes me wonder if I've done this before...lets just pretend I haven't ok?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Burbank has a really great magazine called Clipper Magazine. It's basically a big advertisement. Lots of local businesses advertising with some pretty good coupons...hence Clipper.

I always look forward to it. Being the penny-pincher that she is, my sister has even expressed some jealousy over our fantastic Clipper Magazine. Mario has been into it lately also. We both ravage it, pull out a bunch of coupons...and then promptly forget about most of them. But still we love our clipper magazine!

This week was the random surprise delivery of our Clipper. I was lucky to be home first, so I went through it leisurely. I sat back with my feet up and studied all the local businesses. Ooh look at those solar panels...I would totally use this coupon if I had a house to put solar panels on. Hmm, look at the coupon for the restaurant down the street...great coupon...if only the restaurant didn't suck. Oh good can that massage be...even with the coupon that's freakin expensive...but I want it anyway...cause who doesn't want a massage! Seriously I look through it a few times just to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Mario finally got to see our Clipper after he got home from work later that night. I had defiled it first...but he didn't know. He was so happy. Sitting at his desk, slowly flippling through. He was quiet. I was working. All was happy in our world. It was peaceful.

Then he saw the advertisement that blew his mind. Yup. Lazer hair removal! That's apparently what gets my man going.

Mario "Honey, it's only $75 for Lazer Hair Removal for arms!"

What is the correct response to that?

Mario "I can't believe how cheap that is!"

Great. Wait, Does he want lazer hair removal for him? Or worse, does he think I need hair removal on my arms? Are my arms really that hairy?

Mario "Doesn't that seem incredibly cheap for really hairy arms?"

Well, I'm going to guess he's thinking about his own arms, cause I ain't that hairy!

Mario "Hmm, wow, I can't believe how cheap that is."

Man, I really hope he hasn't noticed my beard chin hairs...He better not be hinting at me! Maybe I should wax my eyebrows tomorrow. 

Me "Honey, do you know how ridiculous you'd look with hairless arms, a bushy beard, and chest hair sticking out the top of your shirt?"

Mario "No, I'm just surprised how cheap it is." a little too awkwardly...he totally wanted him some hair removal! He would have gone with the arms just because of the coupon!

Me "Thank god! I could not be married to a hairy man with hairless arms! A man without arm hair is just not a man!"

However, I can't stop picturing my hairy italian with clean smooth arms...and it creeps me out. I like my furry man just the way he is.

Then just as quickly at the first coupon..."Ooh...look at the coupon for these solar panels!"

Just like that the next wonderful Clipper coupon had lured him in... and all was restored in our hairy world.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Splitting Hairs

Last week, Mario and I decided that we were both in desperate need of hair cuts. Something we have both been putting off. However, we knew this was the time to do it. Mario was looking like Jesus with a big bushy beard and I just looked a mess, all frizzy and a the ends of my hair a bit discolored.

We made duel appointments for Sunday afternoon at our favorite spot, Floyds. Can I tell you how excited I was! I love hair cuts! They are so relaxing for me. A good hair cut is like a good massage...but I get the bonus of walking away with a cute hair cut.

I was called first. I went across the room and started talking with my stylist. I was getting my hair washed and was mid way through the most wonderful scalp massage, thinking about how relaxed I am, when I start thinking about how this might be a little too relaxing for Mario. However, as the stylist turned me around and started cutting my hair, I can see Mario chatting with his stylist. Good. He's conscious.

I get back to chatting. This song rocks. Do what ever you want with my hair. Did Amy Winehouse get a boob job? Yes, Purple is a happy color. Then holy shit my husband is asleep while someone has scissors to his head!

Not three minutes after I had seen him talking to the stylist, he had completely passed out! I understand it's relaxing, I was right there with him. I'd love to nap through it. Here's the problem though...Mario is not a sound sleeper. He flops. He snores. He bounces. Not only was this not safe, it was probably freaking annoying! 

With the loud music blaring through the place, I couldn't hear snoring. Thank god! But I had the perfect view of him in my mirror...and I was obsessed. I wanted to be able to wake him up, but I couldn't. It's a big enough shop and the music is loud, so I couldn't yell to him or his stylist. My stylist thought it was funny, but thankfully was more interested in my haircut. All I could do was stare at this poor woman trying to cut Mario's hair while he looked like he was having a seizure. She seemed like a patient enough girl. I still felt bad though.

Then as if he heard me yelling at him in my head, he woke up. Said a few things to his stylist. Whew! Thank you! Then, just like that, he was back asleep! That fucker! He was torturing me and the stylist...and probably my stylist also because I was staring at him and not doing much talking to her!

That's when I told my stylist that they should have a rule in the shop. If you fall sleep in the chair, you get your head shaved...or at the very least a mohawk. That would be awesome! I told her that my husband could be the first one. She thought that was a great idea. 

I was hoping to finish up first, so I could go tell his stylist this new rule about sleeping in the chair. However, Mario walked over about 5 minutes later acting like he was wide awake and had a pleasant time talking with his stylist for the duration of his haircut. I called bullshit on him though. As he got half way across the shop, I yelled, "I hope you tipped that nice girl very well for sleeping in her chair for the whole haircut!"

He turned around and headed right back over to his stylist with a little extra tip. He is also now very aware that next time he falls asleep in the chair, he's getting a mohawk...I kinda can't wait.

Monday, July 18, 2011


This weekend was a nice mellow weekend spent running errands, doing a little shopping, but mostly just spending time with Mario. I smootsy cute. It was a great weekend though.

Fast forward to last night. We had gotten a call from friends about seeing the last Harry Potter movie. We got the message late and wouldn't be able to see it with them, but decided that we couldn't resist seeing seeing the movie anyway. With an hour to spare, we headed over to one of our favorite mexican restaurants to split something fast and yummy.

We knew we didn't have much time. We made the important food decision quickly. They delivered the food even faster. We were about half way through shoveling our food in when our waiter came to refill drinks.

Mr Waiter "More iced tea sir?"

Mario in the most loving caring sweetest voice says "Yes, thank you honey"

The "ey" part of "Honey" was drawn out just enough for me to realize he was trying to figure out if he could turn it into something more manly and more appropriate for the waiter. It takes a lot to embarrass Mario, but he did it to himself in one sweet loving word. He said it exactly how he says it to me. Sugary sweet and full of love....Mario was horrified.

I couldn't stop laughing. I had tears running down my face. Every time I thought I was finished and could start eating again, I'd have to put my napkin over my mouth so I wouldn't launch my dinner. I had tears running down my face. I had the giggles so bad, this little old lady was trying to decide if I was crying because I was upset or because I was laughing. Luckily Mario was giggling in between being mortified and embarrassed.

He sat like this for a while...well until the waiter came back. Then he tried to look tough and not look like he was hitting on him. That's actually "honey" over his left shoulder on the way back with his drink. They make a cute couple, right?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shoots vs Shoots

As a photographer, there are certain terms that I use...photoshop, flash, camera, tripod, head, crop, shot, aperture, exposure, panoramic, know all the standard terms. However there is a term and it's conjugation that photographers use all the time. Shoot and shot.

There are times when it's alright to say, however, some of the time it feels inappropriate. There is no taking this term out of our vocabulary though. So, I try to control how I'm going to use it. "Today's shoot was tough." Ok. "Are you going out and shoot today?" Ok. "I shot my grandma today." Not good. "I'm going to shoot my mom and sister today." Ooh bad. "I shot the cutest baby today." So wrong!

I've pretty much excepted our use of the word. It's not going away. I just watch who I say it to and how I use it. Around other photographers, I don't even try to change it. They know what I'm saying. My family has heard me say it for so many years, that if I stopped saying I was shooting someone or shot something, they'd think something was wrong. That being said, you'd think my loved ones would know what the hell I was talking about when I say "I shot today".

Last week, I went up to Big Bear to "shoot" some panos. I wanted to create a virtual tour of Big Bear for my marketing. When we arrived it was raining and thundering...which was wonderful. I had planned on shooting the next day. The rain cleared up that night. I was planning on the wonderful puffy clouds and amazing blue skies Big Bear usually has. The next morning delivered a nice sky, but with the dark clouds rolling back in. The thunder started up again and I waited. After a few hours, the sky cleared up enough, for me to run around and get a few nice panoramas. They weren't exactly what I wanted, but it was a great start. I called Mario later that night and told him I was able to shoot after all.

Me..."The dark clouds cleared out enough for me to go shoot"
Mario sounding a bit confused..."Oh, what'd you shoot?"
Me..."A couple of nice spots around the lake. There was a really pretty picnic area. So I shot a couple of different areas"
Mario..."Oh!! I thought you meant you shot at something."
Me..."Really! Where would I get a gun?"
Mario..."That's why I was confused!"
Me..."The whole reason we came up here was to shoot some panos! The camping was a major bonus, but I couldn't come home without having taken any shots."
Mario..."Well, I forgot."

I have my cousin to thank for this change in thinking. Ever since he took us out to shoot his guns, apparently this is all Mario thinks about when I say shoot or shot. Years of using the same words over and over, now have to be explained because of one fun outing with guns and a tin can.

The second situation happened this morning. I sent a text to my mom today, letting her know that I now had six shoots on the board this week. "When it rains, it pours. Six shoots this week!" Usually, this would illicit a happy response....but I heard nothing back.

She finally called me today at lunch. I was on a small break in between shooting model homes. After listening to her talking about the quilting show she's been at for the most part of the last week, I finally asked if she got my text.

Me..."Did you get my text this morning"
Mom..."Well, I'd have moved out by now"
Mom..."I'd have moved after the first time!"
Me..."No, I have six photo shoots this week."
Mom..."Oh! That's much better! I thought those assholes were shooting at each other again!"...laughing
Me..."Shoots as in work...that will hopefully allow us to move away from those assholes that shoot at each other"

In this instance, when I say shoot, my mother hears Drive-by. I can only thank the assholes across the street. Even more years of hearing me say shoot and shot have been screwed over by the jerks across the street and their drive-bys.

What I want to know is, when my mother read my text and thought I was telling her there were six more shots fired across the street, why didn't she call and make sure I was alive!!! Where is the love! I suppose the text told her I was alive...but still!

Friday, July 01, 2011


I'm having a good garden year this year. I have shit growing all over the place in our tiny backyard. The tomatoes are getting so tall, they're heading over the fence to the neighbor. I'm sure my abilities haven't gotten better. I think Mario's super watering system and the great weather should really get the credit for those amazing veggies in the backyard.

There are a ton of tomatoes growing, my basil is getting bigger by the day, my chives have always been awesome (this is the third year they have come back on their own), the parsley is finally kicking some butt, green onions are really starting to thicken and grow strong. I just added mint, sage, and tarragon to the garden and they are already getting bigger in just a week. The zucchini I transplanted last week are now growing strong and getting bigger by the day. And of course my beloved rocket. Some bastard bugs attacked and ate every leaf down to the stick...hence the organic bug spray last week. I trimmed the plants back and they are all growing beautifully again.

I'm sure it will all change when the real summer heat hits. Until then, I'll be happy if this is all I get this summer... it's far more than I've gotten in the last three years of my adventures in gardening. I'm pretty stinking happy!

My cherry tomato plant is out of control. I've been attacking the little red beauties daily. Although, I noticed the little tag that came with the plant said yellow pear tomatoes...these sure are pear shaped or yellow. I'll still take them though!

 I also have some nice size regular tomatoes growing. I'm surprised how many there really are! I even have one really big guy turning reddish. It will go to our first BLT of the season with basil and thick cut bacon...can't wait!

 This year I planted two cucumber plants. I tried cucumber from seed in the front yard last year, but that didn't work out at all. This year I bought a few plants. They have taken off. One is trying to make a run for the other side of the yard. So far there are a ton of these little minute cucumbers with a flower at the end.

However, today I found this first guy camped out in my green onion planter. It's the bigger of the two. Probably 5 or 6inches. The second one I found while showing Mario the first guy. He's smaller. 4 inches or so.

 Here's my basil when it was smaller. I have a bunch more now. The planter looks more like a chia pet. I'm loving it!

Green onions are coming along. Looks like chives now, but should be nice strong onions soon enough. I tried planting these last year in the front yard, but it's far too shady. They never got past the grass stage. These I have hopes for!

Yes I am a proud garden mom and yes you can see that I stalk my plants at night as well as during the day. I'm hoping those cucumbers will be ready for harvest for next weeks camping...woo hoo!