Redding, California

Yup.  Redding, California.  That’s where we are right now.  We’re tucked in, nice and cozy in a hotel that accepts pets.  The Bean is taking Max out for a last-minute walk (Dog, please, PLEASE empty your pea-sized bladder and make it through the entire night without having to go pee), and the cats are creeping around, finally starting to look a little less terrified now that the kids are completely asleep and the room is quiet.

You know, on a similar note… Please wish me luck.  I am not looking forward to trying to shove those cats in their cat carriers in the morning.  We managed it smoothly this morning because we had the element of surprise on our hands.  I don’t think Coyote and Fat Cat are stupid, so I think they’ll know what’s coming as soon as I try to grab them in the morning.

I hope I don’t lose a finger.

It’s been a long day, and I had a lot of time to think, since I didn’t have the radio to distract me.  Well, let me rephrase that: I was playing a CD and music was coming out of the speakers, but a certain little DragonMonkey had an absolute meltdown when I tried to play anything but Bingo, so that’s what we listened to.

Bingo.

I listened to Bingo for the vast majority of 600 miles.

Are there any “How I Met Your Mother” fans out there?

Remember this scene?

I’m actually in a good spot with Bingo right now.  This is a good thing, because I imagine I’ll get several more hours of it tomorrow.

Farmer Brown, he had a dog, and BINGO was his naaaaame-o!

Anyways.  

As I sat there, alone with my thoughts and the 973rd repetition of Bingo, I actually composed quite a few posts for this blog.  I thought of some funny ones, with witty anecdotes… some serious ones, full of bittersweet, nostalgic memories…

….And I even mentally composed some long-overdue ones.

Last Sunday (as in, Sunday the 20th, a week and a half ago) Knott’s Berry Farm sent me to Soak City OC.

I had one of the best times of my life there…. It was, hands down, an absolutely incredible day.

In fact, it was so incredible that I knew I didn’t want to just write a quick, silly post about it… I wanted to do the place justice.

So I put off writing about it for a day or two.

And then I caught the Bohemian Death Flu… or a sinus infection… or some kind of creeping-Ebola-Flesh-Eating-Infection-of-the-Lungs.  To be honest, maybe it was all three.  Suffice it to say, I was sick.

I was sick on my last day of work.

I was sick when The Bean graduated.

I was sick through the final two days of packing.

I was sick on the day we loaded the truck (U-Ship…much cheaper than a POD.)

I was sick on the day the truck left for Portland, a day later than we had planned, held up by the fact that I was completely useless for close to a week.

Anyways, I’m feeling better now, and I’ve been writing posts in my mind all day…. I’ve got the Knott’s post all mentally planned-out and ready to go…

And, honestly, I’m not going to get to it for a day or two.

Sorry, Knott’s.  If it helps, I feel bad about it.

If it really helps, I can tell all of you out there in the SoCal area:  GET A SEASON PASS.  I’m a little annoyed that I didn’t really find out about this place until the week before I moved.  I mean, I knew it was there, but I just never really went.  So if you live near it, and were waiting to see what I had to say about it… quit waiting.  Go.  Really.

Okay, I still feel guilty, but that’s going to have to do for now.

Anyways, I know this isn’t my most thrilling post ever, but hey, I’ve been up since 2:45 this morning, and spent most of that day listening to Bingo and the boys.  Although they did WAY better than I expected, Squid and the DM alternated between whining, crying, and just being generally loud and needy.  They’re little, and it’s a lot of time to be stuck in a carseat so I don’t blame them… but that doesn’t mean I’m not secretly daydreaming of running away and joining a nunnery where everyone has to take a vow of silence…. sweet, sweet, blessed silence…..

The Bean will be back any moment with Max, so I’m going to finish putting all of our stuff together.  2:45 in the morning is absurdly early, but it buys me a few short hours of quiet driving time before the boys wake up around 6:30 or 7.

I’m looking forward to crossing the border and getting my first glimpse of Oregon.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what Portland looks like.

And if I’m completely honest, I’m most interested in seeing what my new house looks like.  We never got a full set of pictures from the realtor, and The Bean’s camera broke and ate all the pictures he took, so I only have a vague idea of what the full layout is actually like. I’m not picky, so I’m sure I’ll love it… but the suspense is killing me.

Well, it won’t have to bother me much longer.  If all goes well we should be HOME by mid afternoon tomorrow.

Here’s to my last day of being a Californian!

The Queen of ADD

I am the queen of ADD-land.

What’s that?

You don’t believe me?  You think you have me beat?

Well, you’re going to feel pretty foolish in another moment, because I’m going to prove it.

Earlier this week The Bean and I went down to the County Clerk’s office to get copies of some important paperwork (Squid’s birth certificate, etc.) in anticipation of our upcoming move.  While we were there we picked up a copy of our marriage certificate, just in case.

Without further ado, I present to you the evidence supporting my claim….

My marriage certificate:

Yeah, that’s right.

What you see is correct.

Signature of Groom?

Yup!

Signature of Bride?  

Uhmmmm…… Nope?

Yeah. So, it appears I forgot to sign my own marriage certificate.  How did this happen?  I have no idea.  I remember entering the room.  I remember watching The Bean sign it.  I remember watching the witnesses sign it.

However,  when it came time for me to actually sign the danged thing, apparently something distracted me.  I really have to wonder — what on earth could I have found more important than signing my own marriage certificate?  Did a really cool butterfly flutter by?  Did someone offer me a really shiny stick of gum?  Maybe someone told the world’s funniest joke?

I wish I knew.

Nevertheless, there you have it:  tangible evidence that I am The Queen of ADD.

I mean, I’ve had my suspicions of this before.

In high school I forgot to show up for the SATs.  I paid for it, I bought the study book…. and then I just forgot about them.   I didn’t realize I’d missed them until I overheard some kids talking about them the next week.

Whoops.

I also forgot to show up for a final in one of my college classes.

I didn’t even remember about it until nearly a week and a half later.

Double whoops (and an “F”, in case you were curious.)

Still, I think this new “proof” might actually take the cake.

Not only is it as confusing as heck (seriously, nobody noticed that I didn’t sign it?  Not a single witness?  What’s the point of having witnesses, if they’re not going to have your back on stuff like this?  Yeesh.), but the Bean has started referring to it as his “Golden Parachute”—as in, “Becky, you’d better be nice to me.  I’ve got my ‘Golden Parachute’ out of here unless you treat me reeeeeally good.  What’s that, Judge?  Marriage?  No, sir… I wasn’t married… just look at this here certificate.  Do you see any signature on that?  Nope!  Me neither!  Have a nice day!”

The Bean is also very, very close to spending the night on the couch, in case you were interested.

At any rate, there you go.

I am the Queen of ADD-land.

You may all bow before me, and.. and, CRAP I forgot to pick up milk at the store.  I really need to text The Bean to remind him to pick some up on his way home, so we can have some for The Squid’s bottle for tonight.  Definitely gotta text him….Where’s my phone?  I know I put it around here some place…..ah-ha!  Here it is.  Crap.  The battery’s dead.  Where’s the cord?  Oh, yeah, I know where the cord is!  It’s in that overnight bag – the one I put in the boys’ room.  I need to get it out.  Let me just pull it down and… Oh, hey!  That’s where that purse was hiding!  I’ve been looking for you, you dumb thing!  Heh – here’s that little note my coworker gave me last week.  It’s such a sweet note.  It always makes me think of..

Think of….
 
Wait.

What was I supposed to be doing again?

Go, Bean!

“So, how about you, Becky?  You’re in college?”  The Bean leaned forward to take a sip of his Sam Adams, careful not to lean the elbows of his blue hoodie on anything sticky.

“Yeah, I’m working through the prerequisites to enter a nursing program.”  My shift was over, but as I’d made a beeline for the door, anxious to escape the bar after eight hours of dealing with football fans, I’d seen him there.  I’d only stopped by to say a quick hello, but one thing led to another, and an hour later I was seated on the stool next to him, cocktail waitress apron on the bar by my elbow.

“Nursing, huh?”

“Yeah, I think I’ll like it.  I mean, if I didn’t have to worry about money, I might do something like a Creative Writing degree, or maybe even Spanish… or Sociology… maybe a translation degree…” I trailed off with a laugh. “None of the things I like really pay the bills, so nursing it is.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.  I was in school for engineering, but when I started making good money selling cars, I never quite finished.” He took another sip of beer, and I studied his face from beneath my lashes.  Man, he had really nice eyes.  Those eyes were incredible.

“Oh, that sucks.”  I sat there a moment, letting silence carry the weight of my sympathy.  He’d already complained to me about the way the car industry had tanked with the economy.  “How close were you to graduating?’

“I had one semester left.”  He laughed, shook his head, and took a big swing of beer.

I raised my eyebrows and and waited… but there was no punchline.  “You’re kidding, right?’

“Nope.”

“You were one semester away from graduating with an engineering degree from a prestigious UC school… and you just quit?  Are you freakin’ kidding me?’

“I was making really good money – like, really good– much better than I ever would have as an engineer.  It didn’t make sense to continue.”

“But you were one semester away, Bean.  Just one semester.” I stared at him, unreasonably irritated by the foolhardiness of his decision.

He gave a rueful shrug.  “It was really good money.”  He opened his mouth to change the subject, but I wasn’t about to let the matter drop.

There was a reason I was single, despite working in a crowded, busy sportsbar.

“You’re an idiot.  Seriously.  If you don’t go back and finish that semester and get your degree, you’re an absolute idiot.”  I set my drink down and stared at him hard.

His eyes met mine, and he held my stare for a long moment. 

“Maybe I will, Becky.  Maybe I will.” 

**********

Today was The Bean’s last final.

When he went back to finish his degree, one thing led to another, and he made the decision to start over from scratch and “do it right”, to use his words.

I may, or may not, have called him an idiot again.  I plead the fifth.

Two weeks into his first semester we found out I was pregnant with the DragonMonkey.

It’s been a little over four and a half years since then.

He completed the whole thing in four and a half years, from start to finish, despite working around 50 hours a week, moving several times, and having two kids.  In fact, for the last two years, he’s been working two jobs.  For a brief period there he was actually working three.

He is graduating with a 3.9, with only three B’s on his entire transcript.

He’s graduating the top of his class in the accounting department.  A really nice accounting firm in Portland has already snatched him up, and as you all know, in less than two weeks we’ll be living there.

Bean, I’d like to propose a toast.

Here’s to the hard work, and the sleepless nights.  Here’s to the lonely weekends, and the staying up late, studying ridiculously boring subjects.  Here’s to waking up at three so you can have everything ready for work and still show up on time to your 5 am math class.

Here’s to $300 tax books that the bookstore won’t buy back because there’s a “new edition.”

Here’s to skipping new movies, and vacations, and even our honeymoon so we didn’t have to pull out a bigger loan.

Here’s to horselessness.

Here’s to you getting up on the morning after we got married, kissing me on the cheek while I nestled deeper in the hotel sheets, and still making it to your Saturday class.

Here’s to not punching your fellow students when they complained to the teacher about juggling their school workload with their part-time, minimum wage job.

Here’s to all of our sacrifices.

Here’s to us.

I’m proud of you, baby.

Now… let’s go have a little fun.

Yay! Knott’s Berry Farm Again!

I opened up my Gmail, saw the email that was waiting for me, and did a little happy dance.

On behalf of Knott’s Berry Farm, we are inviting a few “mom & family bloggers” and social media addicts, and their families, to enjoy the opening day of Knott’s Soak City on Sunday, May 20, 2012.  Be one of the first families that begin Summer of 2012 with great waterpark fun…

Yaaaay!  More free fun!

I immediately clicked open Gmail calendar, created the event, blocked out the whole day, and sent an invite to The Bean’s email address.

Twenty minutes later, I got a response:

Maybe?!

What the heck?

MAYBE?!  “MAYBE” to my free, all-expenses paid trip to Knott’s Soak City that I earned through the sweat of my blogging?  “MAYBE” to a fun-filled day at a water park that had a lazy river and a wave pool?  MAYBE to letting the boys enjoy a kiddy splash zone?  They were even going to prepare and serve us a free lunch a lunch—food, that I didn’t have to cook OR pay for!  MAYBE?

I immediately created another event and sent him the invitation:

“Becky is mean ALL day long to The Bean for not agreeing to go with her to Soak City”

Fifteen minutes later after I invited him to the new event, I received this notice:

Thaaaaat was more like it.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly until I realized:

Oh.  Crap.

I have to wear a bathing suit, don’t I?

Oh, double crap.

I have to go bathing suit shopping.

Seriously, is there any female over the age of 11 who actually likes to go bathing suit shopping?  If she says yes, she’s lying.  I’m still crossing my fingers that those 19th century head-to-toe bathing suits come back into style. 

I would totally rock one of those cotton, full-length babies.

Also, I like the fact that it would hide my mayonnaise-white legs.  You know, as a half-Mexican you would think I would have dusky, tawny gold skin, but nooooooo.  Apparently “absurdly pale” is a dominant gene.

By the way—Portland?  I can’t wait to meet you.  Rumor has it that you are full of people who are just as white as I am.  Do you have any idea how exciting this is to me? 

Anyways.  Moving on.

As dumb as it sounds, trying to find time to go bathing suit shopping is actually taking a bit of scheduling.  In addition to The Bean being in finals this week, we have a vaguely-realistic goal of trying to get the entire house packed up by Friday.  The moving trailer is dropped off this upcoming Tuesday the 22nd, The Bean graduates on Wednesday 23rd, and the trailer is picked up and shipped off to Portland on Thursday the 24th.

It is very, very busy in our house right now.

Earlier this afternoon, while driving down Pacific Coast Highway in the middle of Newport Beach, The Bean and I played juggle-the-schedule over the phone. 

As I crawled my way homeward in the slow traffic, I saw something that caught my eye.

Actually, it wasn’t something – it was someone.

This someone was a she, and she was GORGEOUS.

Seriously, Orange County, the scale is from 1to 10, not 1 to 15.

She was so perfect it was hard to peg her age – 20s?  Early 30s?

It wasn’t so much that she had the perfect body (which she did), it was the fact that she looked like she just stepped straight out of a commercial, or a movie, or some kind of high-class photoshoot.  Her outfit, her hair, her incredible mile-long legs balanced elegantly on high wedge heels… As she bent through the window of her spotless Mercedes convertible, reaching for something for something on the passenger seat, the soft, elegant folds of her skirt blew playfully in the wind.

Dude, I definitely don’t bat for the other team, but even I was craning my neck over my shoulder to get a second look.

As traffic pulled me past I happened to glance down and took stock of myself:

  • Size 14 Kohl’s skirt – slightly wrinkled.  Still covered in a small amount of cat hair from this morning.
  • Strangely-colored neon blouse that emphasized the pudgy tops of my arms.  Hey, what can I say… it was the first thing that jumped out at me when I raided my mom’s closet this morning (Note to self:  PLEASE, for the sake of your self esteem, PLEASE do some laundry tonight.)
  • Walmart “shoes” – I use the term “shoes” loosely.  They are sensible, unattractive, and were the cheapest shoes they had on sale at Walmart.  When you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel at Walmart, you know you’re sporting high fashion.

Feeling fat, frumpy, and vaguely overwhelmed, I heaved a heavy sigh into the phone.

“What’s wrong?” asked The Bean.

“You know,” I said bitterly.  “If you would just make tons of money, let me stay at home, and hire a nanny for the boys, I could spend all day at the gym, hire a professional trainer, and look absolutely smokin’ all the time.”

There was a brief pause, and I could tell The Bean was trying to figure out the proper response.  I’m sure between my tone,  the subject matter, and my absolutely ridiculous complaining, his little internal warning system was on full-scale alert.  DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!  DANGER, DANGER! Anything you say will probably be the wrong thing!

“Well, yeah.  But then again, if I were to go to prison and pump iron for two years, I’d probably come out all ripped,” he quipped.

I laughed out loud, and felt my tension ease.  +10 husband points for the perfect answer.

“Yeah, you’re probably right, Bean.”  I gave another laugh, then continued, thinking out loud.  “You know, I’ve never understood why they do that.  Why feed them healthy food, and give them work out equipment?

“Exactly, Becky.  After two years pumping iron, I’d probably look like that hamster off of Family Guy.”

I laughed again, and felt the last of my pity party melt away.  “You know, what they really ought to do is feed prisoners really fattening foods – like, every Tuesday is Twinkies Tuesday…. or Thursday is Thirsty Thursday – all you can drink weight-gainer ice cream shakes, with endless sodas – none of the diet ones, either.  Think about it – when they got out, if they decided to act out, they’d be so fat they really wouldn’t have the cardio capacity to do anything that bad, or run very far from the cops.”

I could feel myself getting on a roll – I was really onto something here.

“Think about it, Bean.  Instead of giving stocking the prisons with weight rooms and dumbbells, we could give install big TVs and order all the good shows.  Then we could get them all hooked on shows like Prison Break or Dexter.  They’d only have the weekends to do criminal activity – when  their buddies tried to get them to go out and rob a liquor store on Thursday nights, they’d be all, “Nooo!  I can’t!  I’ll miss Grey’s Anatomy!

“Forget TV, Becky.  If you really want to solve the problem, get them all addicted to World of Warcraft.  You’d never seem them out of the house again.:

And that, dear readers, is why I still have no idea when I’m going to squeeze in bathing suit shopping before Sunday. 

It’s because The Bean and I single-handedly solved the  problem of repeat offenders, thus solving the issue of overcrowding in prisons.

You’re welcome.

I Want to Be a Veterinarian

I want to be a veterinarian.

I want to be a veterinarian specializing in large animals.

I want to be a vet specializing in large animals, with an emphasis on equines.

I want to be an equine vet who specializes in reproduction.

I want to be an equine vet specializing in the comprehensive service of assisted equine reproduction, specifically artificial insemination as a viable alternative to natural breeding.

Why do I want this?

I want to do this because the longer I am married to The Bean, the more it becomes apparent that I have married someone who enjoys the finer things in life.  I have married someone who likes nice suits and black tie affairs.  He likes expensive liquor, and fine cigars, and formal business transactions. I have married someone who enjoys the smooth sound of a 7 series BMW, who likes the idea of getting into local politics, who enjoys expensive dinners where the meat is served with sides of nearly unpronounceable french-sounding sauces.

I have married a classy man.

I want to be an equine vet who specializes in AI, because one day The Bean will let down his guard and bring home some equally classy business associates.

Knowing how important this meeting is to him, I will have taken a day off of work and spent all day preparing.  The house will be perfect, as will I.  The Bean will usher them in to the front door (which might even be a foyer at that point), and I will glide forward to meet them.  I will be by his side, well-dressed in an elegant black dress, features accentuated with tastefully applied makeup, hair pulled back in a smooth chignon.  I will murmur all the right things in a quiet tone, welcoming them to our home, taking them past the elegant wall hangings and gleaming wood floors as we go down the hallway.

Together we will enter the dining room.  

“Oh!” I’ll say as we enter the room, raising a well-manicured, horrified hand to cover my mouth in astonished embarrassment.  “Oh, heavens!” 

I will rush forward, my heels making a smooth clicking sound against the floor as I gather the large cylinder from the corner of the table.

“I do apologize.  Please forgive me, I really thought I had put away earlier.  This is so embarrassing. “

I’ll hug the object in my arms and give a self-deprecating laugh.  “Murphy’s law, right?  Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally leave a giant artificial horse vagina out on the table when company comes over?  I am so sorry.”

I’ll stride to the doorway, dress rustling against my legs as I sweep past them with my arms wrapped around the smooth cylinder.  As I pass by them, I’ll collect myself and turn, completely poised.  “Please forgive me gentlemen.  I am neglecting my hostess duties.  After I put this away back in the closet I’d be happy to bring you some wine.  Red or white?”

Knott’s Mother’s Day Brunch: Please Don’t Steal the Food

Hey, everyone!  I wrote up about my morning at the Knott’s Berry Farm Mother’s Day Brunch, but I posted it as a guest post over at California Mom Bloggers.

I have no idea what the protocol is when you post somewhere else… do you only post it over there?  Are you allowed to post it on your own site?

Eh, I’m confused.  I think I’ll just give you the link:

If you don’t want the hassle of clicking over to another site, I understand, so here’s the run down:  I got some free food, it was good, I ate too much, I’m a winner, my mom’s a thief, and I now own a chicken lamp.

There.  See how nice I am?  You’re welcome.