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Saturday, January 3, 2009

No kids this afternoon, what will we do?

This afternoon Anastasia and I got a break from the kids for the first time in a long time. Their father and his girlfriend came to town and took the kids out to lunch and dinner and his girlfriend treated to a shopping spree. (I only hope his girlfriend has better taste than he does.) This is the first break we have had, other when the kids freakishly made plans with friends at the same time. (I think that has happened twice in the last 6 months.)

So what did we do with our childless (read quiet) afternoon? Watched real life murder mysteries on TruTv. How romantic! Isn’t that what you would do?

Hey, I’m not complaining! To watch anything more exciting than ABC Family channel is a thrill for me. I’ve had more than my fair share of Hannah Montana, Drake & Josh and that one show with the twin boys (who live in a hotel) that just makes me wanna hurl from the cuteness of them all. It was a pleasure, truly, to watch a show with “adult content”. Because of my daughter's illness we cannot watch anything remotely scary, no police shows, nothing with violence. So that means no CSI, Criminal Minds or any other similar type show. (See, I don't even know the names, because I haven't been able to watch them.) Today we saw a classic murder story where the father comes home to find his wife and daughter missing. Anastasia and I look at each other and go “he did it”. We were right. But we did have a disagreement that maybe you can help us with. Let me ask this hypothetical question:
You arrive home to a quiet house, you head to the master bedroom and find a large amount of blood on the bed and the floor.
A.) Would you dial 911 immediately upon finding the blood?
B.) Or would you run through the house and garage looking for your missing spouse and child in the hopes of finding them and perhaps stopping the bleeding or performing CPR? (Of course having your cell phone or cordless phone in hand, perhaps even calling as you ran through the house.)
The perp, in this case the husband, dials 911 from that bedroom and reports his wife and daughter missing, before looking anywhere else in the house or on the property. How did he “know” they were missing? He didn’t look for them beyond the bedroom. He didn’t look for them until the 911 operator told him to walk through the house to look.

I’m thinking we need to have a better plan for the next kid’s visit with their father and his girlfriend. Anastasia is not a planner, but I am, so I guess I have some work to do. We still want to see "Milk", but it is still only playing in Lombard and that's just too far when we know we have to be home for the kid's return after dinner.

Oh, and our other entertainment for the afternoon? Whenever Anastasia comes home the kids are literally in her face wanting her immediate attention. My daughter, more so than my son. We’ll hear “Anastasia, Anastasia, Anastasia.” So we had a good laugh saying “dad, dad, dad” and “Christina, Christina, Christina”. We did that during commercials. We were rolling on the floor laughing. I’m sure you all don’t find it that funny, but we enjoyed ourselves. And that's what's important!

Lola's Diner

My Picks for the Inaugural Celebrations

Today I am guest blogging at I Am Harriet. I’ve been reading Harriet’s blog for quite a while now and I always enjoy it. Please be sure to check out her wonderful blog. To guests from I Am Harriet…welcome.

There are Inaugural Balls and Inaugural Galas, concerts, breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, etc. I went on Experience - DC Presidential Inauguration Balls and Events and found more than 70 events. If you plan on attending the inauguration, or any of the events, please post in the comments section and let us know. We’d love to hear about it. Here are my picks and jabs at some of the events:

Two events for “the people”:
01/16/09 The People's Inaugural Premier – Historical Society of Washington, DC. Tickets: $75; $250 Host Committee VIP Pass. For the “people” and only $75, a bargain.

01/17/09 The People's Inaugural Ball – The Historical Society of Washington, DC. Tickets: $75; $250 for Host Committee VIP Pass. Another ball for the peeps, yeah!

01/17/09 - International Inaugural Ball – L’Enfant Plaza Hotel. Tickets: $12, a real bargain. A ball featuring Project Runway’s Korto Momulu presented by WHUR 96.3FM, Inner Caucus Entertainment Inc, HiddenBeach Recordings & KnockBoyz Productions. Sure to be a high-brow event.

01/17/09 The Green Inaugural Ball: Maximum Celebration, Minimum Impact – Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. Tickets: $500 gets you organic food and earth-friendly linens and serviceware. (Does that mean rental dishes and serviceware and not paper plates and plastic serviceware?)

01/17/09 H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball – The Trinity Center at Trinity University. Tickets: $77.50 (because $77 wasn’t enough to cover costs and $78 was price gouging.)

01/17/09 Obamarama Pre-Inaugural Party – DC Blues Society. Tickets: Members $10, Nonmembers $12, $15 at the door. Called "OBAMARAMA" because it so evokes the blues-y jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Soul music to be featured at the event.

01/18/09 "2 Degrees of Separation" Champagne Brunch –Fairmont Washington Hotel Georgetown. Tickets: $85. Will Kevin Bacon be there?

01/18/09 Aloha Inaugural Ball –Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Tickets: $300. Former Obama campaign workers, island entertainers and hula dancers? I’m there!

01/18/09 The Inaugural Soiree – The Hudson Restaurant and Lounge. Tickets: $150. Soiree, is that fancy pants for highfalutin ball?

01/18/09 The People's Inaugural LGBT Gayla – The Historical Society of Washington, DC. Tickets: $75; $250 for Host Committee VIP Pass. An Inaugural Gayla for MY peeps. We can’t just call it an “Inaugural Ball”, it’s got to be an “Inaugural Gayla”.

Two events with Chuck Brown, Godfather of Go-Go:
01/18/09 Welcome to DC Inaugural Celebration – The Historic Bohemian Caverns. Tickets: $60-75. All-star musical tribute to Marvin Gaye hosted by “The Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown.” I did not know “GO-GO” had a Godfather.

01/20/09 Inaugural DC Ball – The Old Post Office Pavilion. “Inaugural DC Ball is brought to you by the producers of the Barbecue Battle event, held annually in DC. Benefiting the Metropolitan Police Boys & Girls Clubs, the Inaugural DC Ball will feature DC's very own Chuck Brown, Godfather of Go-Go, along with guest DJs and a special guest host.” Again with the Godfather of “GO-GO”. What is “GO-GO” anyway?

01/19/09 Land of Lincoln Inaugural Gala (Illinois State Society) –Renaissance Washington DC Hotel. Tickets: $400 for reception/dinner/gala, $200 for gala only. The theme is “Illinois Heroes”. Somehow I don't think they'll be mentioning Blagojevich.

01/19/09 Pearl Gala –Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC Hotel. Tickets: SOLD OUT. “Guests are also invited to attend a morning conference about voting results, the political appointment process and the legislative issues for the next Congress.” Because as we all know, none of the guests will know anything about “voting results” and “the political appointment process” and “legislative issues”.

01/19/09 Yes We Did! Celebration –Washington Plaza Hotel. Tickets: $150. Which begs the question, are the Republicans planning a “No, We Di’int! Celebration”?

01/19/09 Young and Powerful Black Tie Gala and Awards Ceremony – L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. Tickets: $125, includes open bar from 8pm - 9pm, heavy Hors D'oeuvres and live music. What exactly are “heavy Hors D’oeuvres”?

01/20/09 MTV's Be the Change Inaugural Ball – Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center. An Inaugural Ball for a Democrat at the Ronald Reagan Building, I guess MTV pulled some strings.

01/20/09 Human Rights Campaign Equality Ball – Renaissance M Street Hotel. Guests to include Melissa Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright and Cyndi Lauper. Another event for MY peeps.
01/20/09 Inaugural Purple Ball (Eracism Foundation) – The Fairmont Washington, DC Hotel. “Guests will enjoy fine champagne and cuisine served in a purple velvet-draped ballroom; the host committee includes notable names like Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Brad Silberling, Josh Lucas, Kate Walsh and Patricia Arquette.” As opposed to ‘not fine’ champagne? Purple velvet-draped ballroom? Will Prince be there?

01/20/09 Inaugural Peace Ball – Smithsonian Postal Museum. Tickets: SOLD OUT. Harry Belafonte guest hosts the ball, which will be “the largest gathering of peace activists in Washington on Inauguration Day without a protest.” A gathering of peace activists without a protest?

Lola's Diner

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

This will be my shortest post yet.

I don't do them. I don't believe in them. Besides, Ninety-Two Percent of New Year's Resolutions Won't Be Kept. "Forty-five percent fail by the end of January".

Why set yourself up for almost guaranteed failure?

Lola's Diner

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I hope everyone had a Happy and Safe New Year's

I have to say that for someone who has always lived a quiet, sedate (read 'boring') life, I could not wait to tell my New Year's Eve story from the 80's. I am glad everyone enjoyed it.

My family spent the evening channel surfing the television, trying to find something tolerable on. We watched America's Funniest Videos for awhile, and then I remembered (too late) Kathy Griffith was on with Anderson Cooper for a New Year's Eve countdown. I LOVE Kathy Griffith. Looked like she was pummeling Anderson pretty good. I'll bet he's got black and blue marks today.

Be forewarned, in the clip below Kathy uttered a bleepable word for a part of the male anatomy, but it was not bleeped. If you don't care for coarse language, skip this clip.

Around 11:45pm we HAD to turn on Chicago ABC Channel 7 and watch the drunken local anchors. Janet Davies is always entertaining to watch on the New Year's Eve show. Here she is "dancing" at some point (seems like fairly late in the evening). (I put dancing in quotes, because, well, when you see it, you'll know why.) Have another cocktail Ms. Davies!

Many thanks to NewsFan2 who posted that video on Youtube for all my guests to enjoy!

My 15 year old daughter wanted to go have a nap at 8:30pm so she could get up to celebrate with us at midnight with sparkling cranberry juice. It was no surprise that she completely slept through the night.

I have to say, living in the suburbs there is one thing that I don't miss. That is the midnight gunshots. I don't understand the logic in it, but no matter where I lived in Chicago, there were gunshots at midnight. Don't these people know that when you fire a gun into the air that the bullet HAS to come down somewhere?

There were some illegal fireworks last night, but thankfully, it was nothing like the 4th of July when we had some neighbors who had almost professional displays in their backyards.

We just finished some Hoppin John and cabbage. Everyone snickered when they found out I was serving cabbage, but I told them they HAD to eat some. Black eyed peas (which Hoppin John is made with) and cabbage are both supposed to bring good luck. Since we could use all the good luck we can get, I made sure everyone ate some. Last year we only had the Hoppin John, could that have been our mistake? Not taking any chances this year. The Hoppin John was delicious. I used Fresh Polska Kielbasa that I got from Jewel at the unheard of price of $0.99 a pound (just that location). If I had a freezer, I would have bought everyone they had. I have to say again, it was delicious! My son has already made several trips back to the pot on the stove.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's and I look forward to you all stopping by in the New Year.

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve Memories

I think the most memorable New Year’s Eve was back in the ‘80’s. I was 19 or 20 years old. (The legal drinking age back then was 18.) I had arranged to bar hop with friends by bus. Each of us took a bus to our first stop, which was Wendt’s Bar in Milwaukee. Even though the idea was to bar hop, we stayed there most of the night.

Lei’s, party hats, streamers and horns were aplenty. So much so, that my friends and I wore multiple hats and Lei’s. After ringing in the New Year at Wendt’s, we walked about 2 blocks to another bar. At some point my friend Cindy's mother picked us up and were going to give me a ride home, but there was some arguing going on between Cindy and her Mother. I ended up asking to be dropped off at an intersection about 3 miles from my parent’s house. (Yes, I still lived with my parents.) Taking the bus at that point wasn’t an option because the end of the bus line was less than a mile ahead.

I began walking and stopped at the next bar just to warm up, or so I thought. Apparently wearing 2 Tieras (one forwards, one backwards) a Fez type Happy New Years hat in between them, about 8 lei’s, and more streamers and confetti than I’ve ever seen since, makes you the life of the party. Having never been the life of the party before, I rather enjoyed the attention. Every single patron (and there were still a heck of a lot of people out at the bar at that hour) had to buy me a drink and wish me a Happy New Year. After a very short while I HAD to switch to plain soda because I could not possibly drink any more alcohol. Around 5:30am I decided I was close to being sober enough to walk the 2 miles home.

So picture this (and I am so GLAD that I didn’t know anyone at that bar and that no one had a camera.) Picture this, I am walking home (more like stumbling), it’s nearly 6am, the sun has already come up, and I am still wearing the 3 party hats and I still have about 4 Lei’s and streamers and confetti all over me.
I am a freakin
New Year’s Eve party!

Somehow I managed to walk down 3 streets in our subdivision without being seen by anyone. I also managed to get in the house and into my room, without my parents seeing me come in. The issue here isn’t underage drinking, I was of drinking age. The issue is not having my parents see me looking like a New Year’s Eve Party threw up all over me. My friends thought it was cool, after all, they had just as many party hats, leis, streamers and confetti as I did. Somehow I don’t think my parents would have been impressed.

As you contemplate your New Year’s Eve celebration, please:
Use public transportation (some cities offer very reduced rates certain hours on New Year’s Eve/Day) or
Designate a driver or
Have a house party and let your guests sleepover.
Be safe!
I want to see you all back to blogging bright and early New Year’s Day.
(Ok, maybe after you sleep a little late and have a couple aspirin.)

What was your most memorable New Year's Eve?
Please post it in my comments section.
(If you don't have one yet, please don't try to imitate my exploits.
The hangover for the next day and a half was excruciating.)

Lola's Diner

Blagojevich names Burris to Senate Seat, Seriously?

The audacity of Blagojevich. The defiance. He took such an "attitude" in his speech, and I know that attitude was toward the media and those politicos who are out to impeach him, but as an Illinoisan I am offended. I found it disrespectful. It was clear from his tone that this was in retaliation for the predicament he has found himself in. He should be ashamed. Did you see this ‘tool’ at the end of the video when Congressman Rush is speaking? He’s bouncing up and down on his heels, so pleased with himself. Cocky, so and so. Speaking of Congressman Bobby Rush, he did not need to play the race card. It was uncalled for.

By naming Roland Burris, Blagojevich has opened up a whole other can of worms. Does he seriously think that this appointment is going to go unchallenged? And by appointing Burris, now Burris is in the mix. If the Democrats, the Senate and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White find a way to block this appointment, Roland Burris can sue the state, all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get his appointment back. Do we really need to waste more state resources on this baboon?

Speaking of Roland Burris, he was been part of the Chicago political machine for years and has served the state well. I think it’s very unfortunate that Blagojevich has dragged Burris into his mess.

Lola's Diner

Monday, December 29, 2008

Your Blog Is Fabulous Award

Thank you so much to Jodi at Jodi’s Journey for this “Your Blog Is Fabulous Award”.

The rules for this one are that you have to mention who gave you the award with a link to their blog and admit 5 addictions and then pass it onto another 5 blogs:

1. the computer
2. Bargain hunting (I have a black belt in bargain hunting)
3. Entrecard
4. Chocolate
5. Canning

I am passing this award on to:

1. Liz at A Mom On Spin
2. Petra at The Wise (*Young*) Mommy
3. Chat Blanc at Wit’s Bitch
4. Erin at The Mom Buzz
5. Liza at Mommy’s Little Corner

Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 28, 2008

14 Pound, 2 ounce baby born in California

Speaking of babies. Oh my word! My 'lady parts' are hurting just thinking about this. This baby needed 6 month size baby clothes.

14 Pound Baby Born in Orange County, CA

Lola's Diner

Happy Birthday to my baby!

He is no longer a baby. He is 14 years old today. Much to his chagrin, I (aka the not ‘fun Mom,’ aka the ‘bad cop’) got him an electric razor for his birthday and that pair of slippers that he snooped and found before Christmas. (Couldn’t return them because what are the odds of finding another pair of Men’s size 14 slippers?) Oh don’t worry, he got something fun too. Anastasia (aka the ‘fun Mom’, aka the ‘good cop’) got him a wireless controller for one of his video game systems.

Now just a short trip down memory lane. My son is a good kid, really he is, but when he was younger he was quite mischievous. When he was 5 years old his father and I were at my company’s holiday party at Navy Pier, while both kids were at Grandma’s house. Just before dessert was served I called to find out how they were behaving. My daughter answered and said that Grandma was asleep and her brother was gone. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE IS GONE?” (I swear everyone in the Grand Ballroom heard that.) “Go wake up Grandma, NOW”. Grandma comes to the phone, has no idea what’s going on, then starts searching every nook and cranny of her apartment, the front stairs and the back stairs. He’s not there. I tell her to keep looking and I call the police. I tell my husband (now ex) and we head for the parking garage. My ex doesn’t drive, so here I am driving and on my cell phone on Lake Shore Drive (practically hysterical), in winter, trying not to speed and end up sliding into Lake Michigan.

The police send a squad to Grandma’s house and several more to canvas the neighborhood. My ex takes the phone and calls Grandma back, ‘are you sure he isn’t there?’. Big help. I drop my ex at his mother’s apartment and I begin driving the neighborhood. (Because those 6 police cars just might miss a spot.) After a couple rounds of the neighborhood I drive home and meet a police officer at my house. He tells me they haven’t found him yet, but they have every squad out looking.

I decide on my own to check the outside of our property thinking that even though it is cold, maybe he is hiding in the gym/slide or found a way into the garage, or something. Maybe he was scared by the police and if I look, he’ll come out. (Because I'm Super Mom and have better detective skills than the Chicago Police force.) After I crawl under the gym/slide and come out, I see something. One of the jealousy basement windows is missing, another is broken and something is hanging out of the window. I call for the officer and his flashlight and find a pair of black boys jeans hanging out the window. I break into a run and run around to the front of the house, up the porch stairs and scramble to get my key in the lock. I open the door to find my son in his tighty whiteys, kicking back in front of the television watching Saturday Night Live, eating a bag of potato chips. I grab him and just about squeeze the life out of him and fight back tears. The officer steps in, sees him there and tells me he’ll call it in. After the officer leaves I have a talk with my son.
Me: Why did you do it?
Him: Didn’t want to be with Grandma anymore, she’s mean (Grandma was also a ‘bad cop’).
Me: How did you do it?
Then he proceeds to tell me his exact route (racing across a major highway at 10pm at night) from Grandma’s to our house and how he got in through the window head first, leaving his pants stuck in the window.
Two years later I get a call from the kid’s park summer program, my son disappeared, they’ve called the police. My heart stops again, but I’m thinking back to what happened earlier and I’m praying that he’s just up to something and someone hasn’t snatched him. I tell them to be sure to have the police check my house and his father’s apartment. I leave work early and agree to meet the police at the park. Just as I begin talking to the park director, he gets a call from the police, they found him at his father’s apartment. The park director gives the phone to me and the police officer tells me that my son broke into the apartment through an unlocked window, what did I want to do? Did I want them to give him a ride in the back of the squad, the full treatment? YES! So they give him a ride in the back of the squad, as if they were arresting him for breaking and entering. My son swears they handcuffed him, but I think he is just embellishing the story. The police bring him to the park and one of the officers takes him aside for a chat, explains that they are releasing him to me and that if he ever breaks the law again, he WILL go to jail. My son gives me that smirky smirk thing he does when he’s all proud of himself and he’s in trouble.

This photo was probably from his 2nd birthday. The kid still loves to get all dressed up. Before winter break we had our annual meeting at his school and funny how he suddenly didn't have any clean clothes other than his dress shirt and dockers. His teachers were impressed, he just did his smirky smirk thing, thinking he put one over on the teachers. We had our meeting and everything was fine. For some reason every year he thinks he's in trouble when I have to go for 'the annual meeting'. This year he had to attend because they require 8th graders on up to attend.

Lola's Diner
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