Saturday, January 30, 2010

Anger Management

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd
forgotten to make. I found the number and dialed it.
A man answered, saying "Hello."

I politely said, "This is Chris. Could I please speak with Robyn

Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear "Get the right blankety blank number!" and the phone was slammed down on me.

I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude. When I tracked
down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the wrong number again. When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled "You're a jackass!" and hung up. I wrote his number down with the word 'jackass' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell,
"You're a jackass!" It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic jackass calling would have to stop. So, I called his number and said, "Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?"

He yelled "NO!" and slammed down the phone. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're a jackass!" and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me. I noticed a "For Sale sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.

A couple of days later, right after calling the first jackass (I had his number on speed dial), I thought that I'd better call the BMW jackass, too. I said, "Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?"
He said, "Yes, it is.." I asked, "Can you tell me where I can see it?"
He said, "Yes, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax .
It's a yellow rambler, and the car's parked right out in front."
I asked, "What's your name?" He said, "My name is Don Hansen."
I asked, "When's a good time to catch you, Don?"
He said, "I'm home every evening after five."

I said, "Listen, Don, can I tell you something?"
He said, "Yes?"
I said, "Don, you're a jackass!"

Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too. Now, when I had a problem, I had two jackasses to call.

Then I came up with an idea.
I called Jackass #1.
He said, "Hello."
I said, "You're a jackass!"
(But I didn't hang up.)

He asked, "Are you still there?"
I said, "Yeah."
He screamed, "Stop calling me!"
I said, "Make me."
He asked, "Who are you?"

I said, "My name is Don Hansen."
He said, "Yeah? Where do you live?"
I said, "Asshole, I live at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , a yellow rambler, I have a black Beamer parked in front."

He said, "I'm coming over right now, Don.
And you had better start saying your prayers."
I said, "Yeah, like I'm really scared, jackass," and hung up.

Then I called Jackass No. 2.
He said, "Hello?"
I said, "Hello, jackass ."
He yelled, "If I ever find out who you are..."
I said, "You'll what?"
He exclaimed, "I'll kick your tail,"
I answered, "Well, jackass, here's your chance.

I'm coming over right now."

Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I lived at 34 Oaktree Blvd , in Fairfax , and that my gay lover was on his way over to kill me. Then I called Channel 9 News about the gang war going down in Oaktree Blvd in Fairfax .

I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax I got there just in time to watch two jackasses beating the devil out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better.

Anger Management really works!

Author behind depiction of this totally well adjusted way to deal with people and telephones is unknown.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Six Word Memoirs - Daniella Style

Do you remember back in this post when I promised to do some of my own SWMs? Well I came up with a few for your consideration.

My she dog has many balls.

No hate, but not exceeding eight.

Doughnut, you had me at 'sprinkle'.

I never saw that salsiccia coming.

Think. Over think. Speak. Awkward. Repeat.

My life supposed to be punchline?

Fat chicken still has skinny face.

Shoebox by the sea, lucky me!

Drinking problem. I missed another round?

Orange scented olives. God loves me.

Want to see world without travel.

Rats way bigger than cats - drats!

You're a big ass. Thank you.

Your ass is big. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Can Keep The Puppy Dog Tails

I like snails. Water snails. Seriously. I have them in a couple of rooms in my house. I don't know exactly what it is about them but I have had many over the years and would have even more if I felt like cleaning all the bowls.

My very first snail was Babbalucci. A gold Mystery snail I got the year I was married (don't say it with diamonds, say it with water snails). He lived for many years and grew from the gumball I got at the aquarium store to the golfball he was in his golden mystery years.

Santo moved into my bedroom about six months ago. A rich yellow like Babbalucci, he is in his gumball era right now too. He's a good eater, respects the house rules of not sliming out of his bowl and breaking his snail ass on the dresser below. He also has a great sense of humor - he loves to wing out his peen when my room gets dark so when you flip on the light, everyone gets to do that awkward laugh for having walked in on him during private time. He always gets a "Whoa tiger! Let's roll that bad boy up and put it away!" out of me every time. I know, I know, he's a total crack up.

Pepino was a little chocolate brown nugget that lived out in the living room, but he died last week. I am not sure what happened to him, (actually I am pretty sure he killed himself after the Jersey Shore marathon, it's just that suicide is a hard thing to come to grips with)but he wasn't with us for long.

The two in the photo are shacked up in his old bowl. I just got them. Unlike other snails, Mystery snails aren't trannies, so you have to have a boy and a girl -- and they have to be in love to hump out some baby snail eggs. Keep your fingers crossed, this is potentially the first honeymoon snail suite we've had.

Now I am learning there are jade colored mystery snails, so I may just have to get another bowl going...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Toss It In And Get It Over With Already!

I think I am going to throw it in. Give up. I know we aren't supposed to do that, but I am just so damned tired.

Tired of being completely mortified every time I ask for money. Sick to death of looking at inventory in my garage that I have no money to ship. Cringing every time I take money out of my savings to pay down corporate debt.

I still marvel at the corporation part. That's right party people: I started a corporation. I still remember my delighted shock when the IRS loved me enough to approve my 54 page exemption application. I know, who would have thought?! OAP will be three years old next month.

The upcoming deadline to renew the website (and corresponding expense that goes with it) has compelled me to really stop and look at the state of my corporation. It's a sorry state, truth be told. I so believed in what OAP was set up to do that I always had this fantasy that the funding would follow based on their sheer rightness of what we were doing.

It was perfect in my mind. Almost everything went directly towards our mission. We didn't pay salaries, office or storage rent, nothing. We bought our supplies, paid our shipping, carried our insurance and did our basics for exposure like modest printing costs and the price of the website.

I thought I was upholding an ideal that I always wished more charities could run on. Now I am so tired I don't even give a damn.

I didn't ask for enough help or enough money and I ended up running both myself and OAP's potential, right into the ground.

I keep thinking I am wrong for being done. You aren't supposed to ever give up, right? I am letting people down because I don't fund raise better. I should try harder. I should wait it out and somehow everything will get itself back on track.

Oh but live and learn Daniella! Failure is such a great teacher! Next time you are going to know so much more! Yeah, whatthefuckever.

I should have learned more this time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All Other Tropical Storms Must Bow Before The Nino

I just read an article about how this week's group of storms in California is moving through in a "classic El Nino pattern". So for those of you who don't know what that means......El Spanish for...The Nino.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Taking A Sit

Ask Anne - that's a real meditation term. When you settle yourself in and meditate, you are taking a sit.

Or maybe you just got done taking a real satisfying sit. It's been one of those days, and you really feel like you have to take a sit. Your pants fit better after that last si....alright, maybe I am taking it a bit too far, but you get my drift.

I have wanted to try a regular meditation practice for a long time now, but apparently the road to anti-zen is paved with good intentions, because I never got around to it. Then a couple of weeks ago Anne and I were discussing a group she meditates with once a week. She enjoys it and on the days in between their meetings they are broken into texting groups where you text someone to tell them you did your daily meditation. If you miss more than one day in a week, you get booted out of the group. Tossed from the herd. Ostracized to a prison colony.

My heart sang at the potential for social humiliation, so I got Anne to initiate me into her group.

I try to concentrate on my breath. I try to become aware of my whole body. I do my best to allow my thoughts to pass through without judgment. All the good shit.

So here are a few of the things that went through my head while I was supposed to be using my third eye to Zen it up:

"I'm not doing this right."

"Another day and I am still not doing this right."

"That donut upside down cake on Serious Eats looks absolutely fabuloso."

"I'm not doing this right."

"My hands are cold."

"I hope I moved enough of the dirt they didn't repack enough in the yard to keep it from flooding with all these storms that are coming."

"When is the alarm going to go off - it's been three hours already."

"What's up pain in my knee - ow!"

"I want to move my desk"

"I was with so-and-so when I bought that desk -- ewww!"

"I want wall to wall built-in bookcases."

"There's no way I am doing this right."

"I wish I had a long hallway where my two big bookcases could go at the end."

"What should I have for dinner?"

"Why do I still feel like my stomach is trying to digest rocks?"

"Alarm is broken. I swear I am going to open my eyes."

Doesn't look like I got anything close to mediation done, right?

"The monkey mind jumps from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from tree to tree. Rather than existing in the present moment, the monkey mind focuses on one thought after another, and these thoughts distract us from existing in the present, which is one of the goals of yoga."

I will be at it again tomorrow.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


All the 18-34 year old males just outclicked when they saw that picture. Sorry boys - no videos here, just a little bird talk.

I am not a huge fan of the nickname, but they used it repeatedly during the program about Hummingbird's last night. It was an installment of the PBS series Nature, and it was so interesting!

Fun Facts

  • There are over 350 different species of Hummingbirds.
  • Hummers are the smallest* warm blooded animal on the planet, and can only be found in the Americas.
  • They lay eggs that are about the size of Tic Tacs. Well actually, that's what Tic Tacs are - you've been macking on Hummingbird embryos all this time. Nice going.
  • There are actual Hummingbird banders out there who have documented some birds to be as old as 12!
  • Hummers are the original hover craft. They're ability to move their wings in a figure 8 pattern and hover has given them mad flying skills, including flying backwards and upside down. Take that Aflac duck - you fucking show off!
  • They're cute as hell.
  • Hummers know sweet is an anytime treat. They believe this whole Diabetes thing is a government created/funded way to torture all of us, and I believe them. Think about government cheese people.

You absolutely must check out the magic in your air and see this program!

* I like the irony that Hummers are the smallest warm blooded creatures, and most of the people who drive Hummers are the biggest douchebags.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You're Probably Going To Hate Me For This...

...but what the fuck are we doing giving $100 million in aid to Haiti?!

I'm sorry but it's ridiculous. You are probably already convinced I am Pat Robertson's evil twin, but maybe you could just let me have a chance to tell you why I think we are being lame: Our country is in a fucking shambles and we are jumping up to bleed out a little more! That's why. Thanks for letting me get that out.

Let's refresh on the current state of our grand old union, shall we? And I will throw the net wide and keep things as general and positive as possible. The current lowhighlights include:

Unemployment rates the highest they have been in decades

Complete healthcare crisis/meltdown

Complete banking crisis/meltdown

National Debt at an all time high

Many small businesses and homeowners struggling to stay afloat

For all intents and purposes, our debt to China means they pretty much own us

Eighth year of US military action in the Middle East

Do you wonder where we just happened to have $100 mil lying around with everything that is going on? Do you ask yourself why our government hasn't made sure that it's own citizens don't suffer? Doesn't it sound at all silly to you folks?!

It does to me.

America has become that lame-ass twenty something guy that is in the hottest car (balloon lease payments), blinging the most tricked out phone (massive security deposit on it), buying the whole club a round in his Armani suit (charged it yo!), before he goes home to sleep in his twin bed (the one his parents got him when he stopped using diapers) back at mom's and pay all the minimums on his secured credit cards.

Whoo! I know I am waving my asshole flag really high here, but I am going to take a shot at redemption here. I am not advocating in the least bit that we ignore the horrific damage and loss the people of Haiti are suffering. I wholeheartedly believe there is something we can and should be doing to help. Of course it is only right and just to honor their need, and do our part. We just make our part way too much of a starring role; and at a time when we literally can't really afford to do so.

We need to learn our limit before that last round goes out for a toast, and we are face down on the floor, getting that Armani all stanky before we can even get it paid off. Which brings me to another thought - who would pick us up off that floor?

Now I have seen like .08 of an episode of that So You Think You're Smarter Than A 5th Grader so I know we as a nation suck at geography...but do we suck to the point where we think we constitute 90% of the countries on this planet? Europe can't help a Haitian out? Is Dubai too strapped from making snow all summer for their indoor ski resort, to send a little food and water?

And maybe they are pitching in - I don't know. Researching facts gets in the way of my anger and sweeping generalizations, so I avoid it like a hooker dodges churches. I am just using them to soften the blow of my very unpopular opinion anyway.

Now that I have bitched about the problem, believe it or not, my lame opinion includes some solution too.

Let Americans decide how much aid goes to Haiti.

In just two days of mass exposure on television, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, we have donated over $5 million dollars to Haitian relief through the American Red Cross alone, and that number continues to grow. And that is just via their texting option. I am sure many more have mailed in checks and donated on the web.

Many celebrities have also pledged very generous donations to the cause as well.

There are also several not-for-profit organizations that are set up for exactly this sort of need.

Don't believe me? Here's just a tickle of what is out there:

Doctors Without Borders

Partners in Health

International Rescue Committee

International Medical Corps


American Refugee Committee

Yele Haiti

Save The Children

When I went to get these links, I noticed that several sites are already posting their thanks for the overwhelming amount of support they are receiving for their efforts, so obviously we are pitching in. Doing our part to help a global neighbor in need. Just as it should be.

Don't hate me for having opinions, hate me because deep down inside I am arrogant enough to believe my opinions are important enough to be blog worthy.

PS ~ I love you....and I donated to an org for Haitian aid.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tummy Monster Force Field Failure

I am one of those people that lives in fear of puking. So much so that me and my body have been in a successful 15 year no urping pact. Fifteen years. My fear and apprehension at the prospect of it actually seemed to create an anti-tummy monster force field that kept me safe for a really long time.

Even prior to the pact, I didn't urp very often. The first time I recall, I was only about three or four. I was in my grandparent's den one evening, looking super cute in my pink footy jammies. My grandmother had made strawberry milkshakes. One minute I am looking like a cuddly little piglet sucking down the pink yummyness in my glass, the next minute my grandmother is rushing me into the bathroom. I looked like one of those garden statue cherubs that arcs water into the basin below. Luckily, I made it all look damn cute in those jams.

This was taken a year or two before my water feature performance in the bathroom. By then, I am assuming I was wearing my brother's hand me down pink footy pajamas. What?

Even though I remember every time I was forced to reacquaint myself with something I had previously swallowed, I won't recount. Suffice to say everything changed on Tuesday night. Just before midnight my body went towards the light, the light at the bottom of my stomach.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think my body meant to fail me and wipe out our decade and a half run. The stomach flu is sort of a non-negotiable - it's happening.

I tried to pretend it wasn't happening though. I started out with my nightly routine and put myself to bed. That wasn't working, so I got up and cleaned my kitchen. Symptoms quickly progressed and left me hanging out in the bathroom, so I shaved my legs. You know, all the things you do to avoid being labeled "hairy" and "dirty" by the paramedics who rescue you half-dead off your bathroom floor.

And then it happened. While not at all pleasant, it wasn't nearly as awful as I thought it was going to be. I was also surprised at how much better I felt afterwards. Thankfully, the wave of green moved through quickly. And while I don't at all aspire to Pukey Pukerton status, I do have to own that all the times I dreaded it over the last fifteen years were probably more uncomfortable than what actually happened in my bathroom, after I shaved my legs on Tuesday night.

I also didn't end up having to call 9-1-1, and I could see my clean kitchen from the bed yesterday while I sucked down ice chips.

Now once the fever and achy chills pass me by, I will be back to my old....well...something.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chiquita Bonita Cheezits

The Mexicans don't have a cracker, and I don't mean Larry the Cable Guy's comedy tour hasn't come to Tijuana yet. They know their way around a tortilla like nobody's business, but in their rich and flavorful Con Queso culture, how can you completely void out the cracker? Answer: You can't. It's disturbing and unacceptable.

I have decided to help. Really roll up my poncho flaps, tip back my somebrero, and remedy this problem la raza has.

I give you the Chiquita Bonita Cheezit. Named for the lovely lady who received the maiden batch, they are the offically unofficial cracker of la raza. You can muchas gracias me later amigos.

The original inspiration was a food basket I was putting together to give as a secret Santa gift. The finale present had to be homemade, and I knew my SS giftee's fave cocktail is a margarita. I decided to deconstruct some of the flavors of a margarita for the basket. On my quest for yummies in that theme, I decided on a cheese straw recipe that I thought would lend itself pretty well to some traditional Mexican spices, like cumin and chili.

The recipe is pretty simple and only took me a few minutes to put together. Once I had the dough made (and chilled briefly), I simply rolled it out nice and thin and then rectangled it off with a pizza cutter. Making smaller rectangles after that, then three pokes to each with a small fork, and a nudge onto the baking sheet is all that was left to do.
(I don't think I have to remind you that I take awful photos...)

Too hip to be square

They brown up (not a Mexican joke, haters) nice and flaky and in just enough time for you to get a pitcher of Margaritas together. Fiesta time (or siesta time, depending on how many of those Ritas you are going to be downing)!

The mustard and cheddar team up for a really nice little sharpness to the flavor, while the chipotle adds just enough heat to remind you that you've gone south of the border baby!

Try them. You will never go back to boring old Cheezits again.

Just add queso - bonita!

Chiquita Bonita Cheezits TM
adapted from the Lottie + Doof blog's Cheese Straw recipe

* 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more, to taste)
* 1/4 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (2 1/2 cups)
* 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 2 tablespoons water

Sift the flour, cumin, salt and chipotle chili powder into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cheese, mustard, and butter on low speed until well blended. Gradually beat in the flour until completely incorporated. Add the water and beat for 1 minute.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. On a large sheet of wax paper, roll the dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the dough in half crosswise, then cut it into 1 1/2 -by- 1/2 -inch strips (this doesn't have to be perfect). Take a small fork and poke tops of each 2 or 3 times.

Transfer the strips to 2 cookie sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes, or until the CBC's are golden brown (especially on the bottom) and crisp. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Like A Guerrilla Rebel Force

Last week I picked up a magazine and read an article about a project called Global Colors - lurv it!

Founded by a philanthropist hottie man named Barton Brooks who "thought it would be better to go out and try to make a difference, rather than complain about things that weren't being done."

Their mission is to aid in the development of grassroots campaigns using local ingenuity and resources to accomplish very specific goals. Their projects are geared towards creating immediate change - while teaching individuals, families, and travelers how to do the same in their own back yard or across the globe.

This Barton Brooks knows how to take it to the streets (all over the world!) and get shit done - lurv it!

Can't make it to Batwa this week and too booked up for Senegal all of next? That's okay -- there is an off-shoot of GC called Guerrilla Aid. That's right, an opportunity to pay it forward right here in your own backyard. There are 52 weeks this year to change the world and you can be a part of it!

Brooks says:

Guerrilla Aid isn't about me and this expedition - it's about everyone just doing something to help someone else... Call it random acts of kindness, a project, or call it volunteerism, but just go and do it!

I'd love to hear stories about what "Guerrilla Aid" you are doing at home... Send me an email or video and I'll post it on the website to help give other people ideas of what they can do at home.. For example if you're a hairdresser - you could donate every Friday from 3-5 for free haircuts... It's as easy as that...

Now c'mon send me some examples of what you think Guerrilla Aid is for you!

Well I know I for sure want to make BB proud, so I am already on my way to brainstorming ways I can help out.

Starting the year on a sweet note, myself and a few lovely ladies in my family are going to bake once a month and donate it to a local soup kitchen. There will be more to come and I look forward to sharing it with you all.

Now it's your turn; what have you got up those spirit of helping sleeves?

Note: If Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year's didn't provide you with enough of a retail therapy fix, how about one of Global Colors wish bead bracelets? Minimum donation to receive one is minimal. It may not be your birthday, but prepared to make a wish just the same! - Check it yo!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Exboyfriend's face hidden to protect anonymity; it was a bad breakup.

Thirty five years, seventeen hours, and twenty one minutes of it right there for you to see. It wasn't even that difficult to tell you the truth.

You can ask yourself where you went wrong, but it would most probably just make you feel crappy about yourself. The simple truth is that some people are just genetically engineered by a God who plays favorites, to be superior. That's the reality people.