Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Promise I will not spread rumors that Professor Snape sings I'm Too Sexy for my Robes...

Friday my friend posted “Hogwarts Rule Number 362: I promise I will not spread rumors that Professor Snape sings I’m too sexy for my robes in the shower” the image of Alan Rickman dancing in his robes and singing in his monotone off beat way has stuck with me ever since. Making me randomly giggle and sing “I’m too sexy for my robes” to myself.

As many of you know I had my meeting with the Daughters of the American Revolution to start my application process. Their membership is no joke. I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that not only am I who I say I am but I have to prove my lineage too. They are currently asking for copies of my birth certificate, my husband’s birth certificate, our marriage license, my mother’s birth certificate, my parents marriage certificate, my grandmothers death certificate, my great grandparents obituaries, my left arm and my first born son while they’re at it. Part of the reason why I have to go to such great lengths to prove everything is because someone somewhere along the line applied for membership under a similar lineage. The application never went through (for reasons unknown) but I have to prove that I am right and they are wrong. Since I have a massive ego and I pride myself on my excellent research capabilities I am going to treat this like I would a legal case; which is similar to one of my dogs and their bones. Though, as a side note, I am in love with the Huntington Beach Central Library. That facility is fantastic! A snack bar, gift shop, a salt water aquarium and an amazing selection of books should the Zombie apocalypse occur I think I may take shelter there. Though, we’d need to bring a decent amount of alcohol with us…

Last night was our first book club meeting of the new year. The book that we were supposed to read was “A Post Birthday world.” I say supposed to because no one actually read it all the way through. Jess read the most 152 pages. I got to 53. Staci and Michele didn’t even read it. The premise is intriguing. A woman has a choice place before her and it’s about what would happen based on her two choices. The problem is that not only did I hate the writer’s style, it was very choppy. I also just wanted to hit the girl. Her long term boyfriend goes out of town and she spends her time putting everything on hold and only doing the things that he wouldn’t like. Having been through multiple deployments I find her actions incredibly frustrating. When Ryan deployed I held close to the mantra “The sun rises every morning and therefore so do I.” I also took the opportunity to do everything that I had always wanted to do but never really found the time. I taught myself how to knit, I took yoga I became a vegetarian. I didn’t just sit on my ass and do self defeating actions. Also, the writer had a thing against feminists. Like to the point where in her biography at the back of the book she says that she was insulted once for being called a feminist. The main character that she created was always saying things like “I’m sure feminists wouldn’t like that I did…” I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a feminist and there is nothing wrong with not being a feminist but seriously how many women go through their daily lives thinking “I am going to do (fill in the blank here) for my husband/boyfriend even though I know feminists wouldn’t like” I know I don’t call up my token feminist friend (you know who you are hun) and say “Ok I plan on doing x,y,z. Do you as a feminist approve?” Most women really don’t care. We just do what makes us or our partner happy because that’s what you do in relationships.

A similar premise to this book is a movie called “Sliding Doors.” I highly recommend it. It’s done much better than this book was. Michele, Jessica and I had a much better time eating cupcakes and watching that movie. Our next book is “Marriage and Zombies” Can’t wait to read that book, romance in a post apocalyptic world, what more could a girl want? I have to finish reading “The Other Queen” I am almost there and am so tempted to pick up “Fire Study” the next book in a series that my friends and I like. Michele just let me borrow the book tonight and I couldn’t resist picking it up and reading it a little. Total mistake. Now I want to really read it but I have to spend most of my day tomorrow studying, researching and finishing the other queen. Too many books, too little time…but then again there was a great Twilight Zone that covered just that scenario.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In Which I Learn Crazy Cat Ladies Love their Turtles...

I love all my pets. Though I have been known to put my dogs in sweaters from time to time I have not gone all out crazy, putting them in little bikinis to prance around dog beach in. It’s common to find those that are crazy about their dogs and cats but for the first time in my life I found people that were crazy about their turtles. Friday night Ryan and I went to a lecture on the extinction problems of tortoises.

As a side note, we found an amazing Peruvian restaurant called Casa Inca on Warner in Huntington Beach, we ended up being slightly late for the lecture because we wanted to stay at the restaurant and keep eating, the food was just that good.

Anyway, I guess we were expecting something like the SCHA meeting…it felt like the complete opposite. So there was one woman who had a red eared slider turtle. During the meeting she took it out, set it on a blanket to get some of the extra water off and then proceeded to hold it like a baby on her shoulder. We were talking after the meeting and she told us how he has the run of the house including free rein on the bed. Since the group had some events that were coming up I thought it would be a great opportunity to write about them. So I introduced myself to their PR woman. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi, my name is Diana; I write for a website called, I was hoping I could get some information for your upcoming events so that I can write about them, maybe help generate some publicity.

The Woman: So you would like to advertise us?

Me: No, I’m a writer. I would like to write about your group

The Woman: What newspaper do you write for?

Me: I write for a website.

The woman: So you want to advertise for us?

Me: I’m a w-r-i-t-e-r (at this point Ryan was standing behind me helping me emphasize the words)

The woman: oh can you publish our past articles from our newsletters?

Me: No.

At that point I thanked her for her time and walked away. By the time I got in the car I was doubled over in laughter. Really? I mean REALLY??? I’m sorry by my 86 year old grandmother can understand that when I say I write for a website, that hey I write for a website. Plus, what part of the fact that I am a writer makes anyone think for even a second that I would want to post someone else’s work in my column??? Besides the fact that I like my column and would like to keep it, I have an ego to maintain and it wouldn’t be happy if I post someone else’s work.

The lecture on the other hand was really good. I didn’t realize what kind of effect that the pet trade has on tortoise populations. For example there are no more tortoises in Vietnam, they’ve all been smuggled out. There is one medium size tortoise that goes for $10,000 a piece. The tortoise’s sanctuary has to be secured by armed guards 24/7 because one tortoise gets a poor farmer a year’s worth of wages. Some are taken for food but so many others are taken for people’s pet collections. Apparently Russian Tortoises that can easily be found in pet stores is on the brink of becoming endangered because of the pet trade. I will be writing about this more in my column this week.

It’s time to get used to going to school again. Tomorrow I start my Certified Paralegal prep course. I plan on taking the test in May so I will be studying my bum off between now and then. They call the exam the bar exam for paralegals. I get tested on four areas of law, I have decided on three so far: estate planning, administrative law (ie: social security administration, DMV etc) and family law. I still need to choose my fourth. I am debating between criminal law and contracts. I am leaning towards contracts because I have had a class on that already, so the studying won’t be too bad. I’ve only covered criminal briefly. Given the fact that I am taking this class and a law office management class it should still be a fairly easy going few months education wise.

Thursday, I have my application meeting with the Daughters of the American Revolution. I am looking forward to joining the group. I have to go through a serious pedigree check to make sure that I am actually a descendent of a revolutionary war soldier. After we finish my application it gets reviewed and then hopefully accepted. They really don’t mess around with their members; I’ve heard that they were a tough group to get in with so hopefully things will go smoothly.

Well it’s time to go to bed and get ready for the week. I am so happy to finally have a job that I enjoy. It’s nice to not have to dread Monday morning and resenting Sunday evening.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Time to take a breath

It’s a lovely Sunday evening. I’ve got a pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove, Top Gear America on TV and two wiener dogs curled up by my feet on the couch. It’s a nice breather from the crazy week that it has been. This is what I love about Sunday evenings. Just quiet relaxation before the storm otherwise known as the week begins.

After finishing my first week of work I can honestly say that I really like what I do. It’s not the most exciting and glamorous thing in the world but I enjoy it. Really that’s all that matters. Now it is just a matter of learning all that I need to know, at least with this job this job there isn’t as much pressure to be the perfect paralegal. It means that I have the confidence and because of that I can become a better paralegal.

So amongst all that job stuff my social calendar filled up to the brim this week. Tuesday night we went to our first Herpetology Association meeting. Ryan and I really like it. They have what you would expect, a show and tell of reptiles, talk of current issues and trends going on in the world of lizards plus community outreach such as pet expos, does work with children with down syndrome and kids terminally ill with cancer. Ryan is very excited that I am getting much more interested in reptiles; it’s turning into a nice couple’s hobby. We’re also preparing to adopt a new reptile or two. They are truly interesting creatures.

The highlight of the week though was camping at Irvine Lake; it’s a pretty piece of California countryside just outside the city limits. The lake is an easy quick getaway. Besides winds so strong that in the middle of the night I thought I was going to get picked up and carted off to OZ, the weekend was a lovely time with friends celebrating Angel’s birthday. High winds aside, there was a lot laughter, love and fun. The dogs got to come with us and have been asleep ever since we got back. It’s nice to be able to include our dogs in our busy schedules.

It’s not going to be as busy as it was last week however; I will be able to keep myself busy between work, life and everything in between. I’ve started knitting a new project, some Steampunk gloves to go with my outfit. I’m happy that I can incorporate my knitting into my Steampunk outfits.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tortoises, Chameleons and Wedding Invitations

I have to say that 2011 has gotten off to a great start. The good news that I was hoping for came through on Friday. I accepted a paralegal position with an Estate Planning/Elder law firm here in Huntington Beach. I am excited about it. Elder Law and Environmental Law are my two major interests plus I don’t even need to get on the freeway to go to work! It’ll be nice to work again; I am so not cut out to be a house wife. I go stir crazy way too easily.

This has been a good weekend. Hanging out with Amanda stuffing envelopes with lots of girl talk was much needed. Though I have to say, I don’t want to see another bow for a long time. But I have found my hidden talent, placing stickers. I can do that like a pro.

The Reptile Expo was really cool. If it wasn’t for our bank account we would have walked out of there with a Super Blue Nosy Be Chameleon. When I saw him it was truly love at first sight. They are like living art. It wasn’t just about buying new reptiles today. I found a new charity that I can really get behind, the Turtle Conservancy. They work to rebuild wild turtle and tortoise populations along with protecting wild species in their natural habitat.

Ryan and I also decided to join the Southern California Herpetological association. They look to be a great organization that does a lot for animals and people in our community. There are also camping trips along with educational events. Ryan is so excited to have a wife that is into reptiles. Besides the Chameleon Ryan thinks that we are going to end up with a Rosy Boa. I enjoy holding them and they have a very sweet disposition. On top of it they don’t seem to be big rodent eaters, that’s the thing that freaks me out about snakes.

As my friend, Michele, wrote in her blog, it’s the simple things in life that are the most enjoyable. Like finishing up the last load of laundry as I write this with two wiener dogs curled up next to me. Alas, it’s time to get back into my pre work evening routine.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ceviche, Sushi and Other Good Things

For a person who loves cooking and experimenting with food as much as I do, having a fisherman for a husband is a really good thing. There has been many a time when he has come home with a random fish and ask me to come up with a recipe for it.

As the old adage goes “you should always try something once” I inevitably put it to the test a few months back when Ryan came home from a weekend fishing trip with close to 30lbs of fish requesting I make ceviche with it. I decided to go for it and I love it. I’m absolutely fascinated by how the acid cooks the fish. Gotta love Chemistry!

I suppose the same could be said for my sushi. One night Ryan and I had the brilliant idea to substitute trout for salmon. The fish are so similar that we thought it’d work well. So A few weeks later we invited my friend Jess and her husband over to try it. Jess later confessed to me that she was hesitant about the trout sushi but after trying it she really liked it. As I said, you have to always try something at least once….even if it is trout sushi.

Several months back some friends and I started a book club. We always talked about the books that we read and shared them. So a book club was the next logical step. Our last book was “To Kill a Mockingbird” We’d all read it in highschool and enjoyed it but reading it again was a whole new experience. This time around, I really found the court case to be what struck me the most. The fact that Atticus used the just system to protect the freedom of one man against all odds, I felt the children’s admiration. Our next book is “The Post Birthday World.” Exploring the what if’s one woman’s life. I’ll have a review of that once we’ve read it.

Keep an eye out for my new column coming soon on I’ll be the Huntington Beach Reptile Examiner. I am happily creating my list of topics to cover and means that I will just have to attend the Reptile Super Show this weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona. I’ve always wanted to go to one of these and now I finally have a reason to HAVE to go. If you’re into reptiles I recommend checking it out, there are going to be a lot of venders and reptiles. It's sure to be a great time.

This weekend is going to be a stark contrast to last weekend. Besides attending the reptile expo I’ll be meeting my best friend, Amanda, at her mother’s house to stuff wedding invitations. The wedding is coming up in March so now all the fun planning stuff begins and as matron of honor I’ll be in the thick of it. Hopefully this will keep me distracted from thinking about the good news that I am waiting to hear.