Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm sure that most people who are my buddies already know most of this stuff...but who knows? Maybe you'll find something blackmail worthy...
1. My middle name is Kathleen.
2. My oldest daughter was born in the same hospital that I was born in.
3. I am currently 100 pounds overweight. People laugh when I say this...because they think it is an exaggeration. But it's not...I "kept" 20 pounds of baby weight as a memento of the birth of each one of my 5 children. 5 babies x 20 pounds = ... You do the math.
4. I hate math.
5. I LOVE animation. My favorite show OF ALL TIME is Avatar: The Last Airbender...and I can't wait for the live action movie next summer.
6. My favorite animated movie is Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki...yah...I'm an anime nerd.
7. And while we're on the subject...I also love comic books...with X-Men being my all-time favorite. I have a super-secret crush on Gambit...if he showed up on my door...I'd have to cheat on my husband (even though he's 2-dimensional). Sick and sad, I know...
8. I love to travel, and get antsy if we live any one place too long.
9. I am severely anemic...I take great big Iron pills with OJ every morning.
10. My hair is turning white, and I refuse to do anything about it.
11. My great-great-great-great-and-some-more-greats grandfather on my FATHER'S side was supposedly the bastard son of Lord Lyon of England and a house servant. The servant was sent to America with my grandfather in the late 1700's to avoid scandal. It's a dead end on our family genealogy line...
12. My great-great-great uncle on my MOTHER'S side is Kit Carson, the famous frontiersman and Indian fighter.
13. I am horrible with budgeting...pretty much the sole reason we struggle financially (well...not REALLY...but I don't help...)
14. I spent 3 months of my life when I was 16 living in a rehab facility in Utah with an assortment of seriously demented kids and even more demented "counselors".
15. I am writing it all down in book form for my kids (when they're much older and I'm dead and gone)...but I actually have repressed memory syndrome from some of the trauma I experienced...so it's taking a long time.
16. Jason and I wanted 10 kids, and had names picked out for all of them (5 girls and 5 boys). We gave up half-way through...
17. Names we didn't use: BOYS (in order) - Zion, Jaxon, and Griffin GIRLS (in order): Jonquil (nickname "Jonni"), and Ginger (with Charlotte as a runner-up)
18. My favorite band OF ALL TIME is Oingo Boingo.
19. Everytime I tell people that, I get the same reaction..."REALLY? That's a weird choice...not the Beatles? Or the Stones? Or Nirvana?"...NO PEOPLE!!! Oingo Boingo!!! All hail Danny Elfman (I'm not worthy!! I'm not worthy!!)
20. I can't make the commitment to homeschool, although I know it would be better for my kids.
21. My favorite chore is laundry. There is something therapeutic about sorting, folding, ironing, and mending. It keeps me in touch with my children and centered in a chaotic house.
22. On the other hand, I hate cleaning bathrooms. I get totally grossed out at other people's funk.
23. My husband still gets me hot...12 years and 5 kids later. It's a good thing we're both incapable of making more babies...
24. If I could have any car...I would trade it in for a Harley. (But until they make 7-seater bikes...I'm stuck with a minivan).
25. My bedspread is a "Jungle Floral" pattern with lots of green, orange, and hot pink.
26. I crave different sweets at very different, but very specific, times of the month.
27. I've seen Celine Dion in concert. It's a low-point on my "cool" meter...but no one can deny that the chick has PIPES.
28. I've also been to two LollaPaloozas ('93 and '96), which allowed me to see Alice in Chains, Fishbone, Dinosaur Jr., White Zombie, Devo, Soundgarden, Metallica, Primus, Front 242, and many, many others...Oingo Boingo's LAST Halloween Bash, Pearl Jam, the Ramones, Blue Man Group, and the TransSiberian Orchestra.
29. I taught my kids how to headbang.
30.I swear like a sailor when I stub my toe or encounter stupid people.
31. I love all kinds of animals...especially cats.
32. I am a Leo.
33. I wear flip-flops 365 days a year...except at the gym.
34. My favorite colors change seasonally...but I have a serious soft-spot for red and turquoise.
35. I used to be the voice of Crate & Barrel...the voice you heard when you called their 1-800 number to order from the catalog.
36. I have serious OCD issues...but only for the strangest things...like making sure hangers match in a closet.
37. I read all my books barely cracked open so I don't break the bindings. I never fold over pages, and I store dust jackets in a ziploc while I'm reading. (See? OCD.)
38. I had a boyfriend off and on my freshman, sophomore, and junior year that abused me physically, emotionally, and verbally.
39. I still think about him.
40. My dad was awarded the California Medal of Honor...the highest award for bravery at the time...for rescuing two pilots from a burning plane that crashed in the middle of a minefield during a military exercise at Edwards Military Base. I was about 7 years old...and remember the ceremony.
41. I used to play the clarinet, and played in the Alta Loma High School Marching Band my freshman year.
42. I get bored easily, and while I'm bored, I record weird messages on my answering machine.
43. I was voted "Most Likely To Write A Book" in high school.
44. I once stole a roll of yellow "Caution/Cuidado" tape from a firetruck right in front of the firefighters. My friend Cristi was with me, and she couldn't stop laughing for , like, 2 days.
45. Cristi and I once spun out her car (a Honda CRX) and crashed into a wall while street racing down Vineyard Avenue.
46. My favorite place to hang out used to be Cafe Luna. It went out of business while I lived in Chicago, and I cried.
47. I love to garden, cross-stitch, scrapbook, and cook. At least, that's what my Relief Society profile says about me.
48. What it DOESN'T say is that I love punk and metal, fantasy books, movies, and shopping.
49. I have a hard time making friends...and I never tell one person everything about me.
50. I majored in Microbiology in college.
51. My favorite place to go camping is San Onofre ("Nofre") in California.
52. I hate mystery's and science fiction.
53. My favorite food is Asian-Island fusion.
54. If I could run away and join the circus, I'd want to be the Lion Tamer.
55. I have two tattoos...a lion on my back and a Leo glyph on my ankle.
56. I wish I could have more.
57. My first car was a red Pontiac Sunbird.
58. I used to be a lunch lady for Valley View School District. I embarrassed my daughter every day.
59. My favorite holiday is Halloween...followed closely by Christmas.
60. As a child, I had terrible, gory, recurring nightmares...one that involved going to the supermarket with my parents, and finding out that a werewolf had turned the market into a giant meat grinder and was grinding up people. In my dream, my dad went to go "Check Things Out", and I begged him not to go because I knew he would die. He went anyway. I could see people being hacked up and mutilated in the grinder. I had the dream over and over again, and it was obviously so scarring that I still remember it in detail today.
61. I suspect that my memory of these violent dreams as a child is the reason that although I am a fairly dark-humored individual who loves Halloween and loves to be scared, I cannot watch gory horror films...no matter how cheesey.
62. The book Lovely Bones made me physically ill to my stomach.
63. I hate chick flicks.
64. My greatest fear is that one of my children will be stolen from me and abused in some way. Sometimes I wake up at night crying from dreaming about it.
65. Sometimes I am driving down the freeway, and I have the sudden urge to drive away and not stop...not look back...just disappear...
66. I love water and could swim everyday.
67. My favorite season is Autumn.
68. I love things that sparkle and glimmer...glitter is GOOD.
69. I was on TV once...when the local News Station busted a ring of Illegal Teenage Street Racing, and the camera man zoomed in on me running from the cops with an open bottle of beer in my hand. My parents saw the "Special Expose" on the 8 o'clock news the following night. So did everyone else's parents, and my already torrid reputation took an additional dive.
70. I used to be the Assistant General Manager for a Fredericks of Hollywood. My name badge said "Ass. Manager"...you can imagine the jokes...
71. I idolize my sister-in-law Tara, but I've given up trying to emulate her because it's too hard to behave.
72. Right now I'm watching Bones, Vampire Diaries, Dollhouse, and House.
73. I HATE reality shows...the only one I'll watch is So You Think You Can Dance.
74. We once lived in a hotel for 2 months when the sale of our house in one place fell through and affected our purchase of another home in a new place. That poor hotel will never be the same.
75. I once stole a mattress from someones trash and set it on fire in an ex-boyfriends driveway.
76. On really bad days, I still crave a cigarette.
77. My kids mean everything to me...for all my faults and past sins...I try everyday to be better so they'll never know my shortcomings. Unfortunately...I still chuck up.
78. I think I have ADD.
79. My sister once kicked my ass in front of my mom...I was winning until she brought her knee up into my face...then all I saw was stars...
80. I once dated a guy for 2 weeks with purple hair...
81. I was a big, huge nerd in elementary school...one of my supposedly "good friends" used to refer to me as "Red Dog" behind my back...then in high school I bloomed and was fairly hot...and he had to eat his words.
82. I've lived in 6 different states...California, Utah, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, and Florida.
83. The only country I've ever been to besides the USA is Canada.
84. I REALLY need a vacation.
85. I can shot a handgun, rifle, shotgun, and crossbow with good accuracy.
86. Mosquito's never bite me...they eat everyone in my family BUT me. Maybe I taste bad...
87. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up.
88. I'm afraid of ghosts.
89. I almost always order water to drink at restaurants.
90. I want to hike to the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park next summer, but I'm scared because I have developed a fear of heights over the last 3 years.
91. I like afternoon naps.
92. When I was preggers with my son Joseph, I craved Starburst jelly beans.
93. My ideal vacation destination is Phuket, Thailand.
94. I LOVE roller coasters.
95. I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME on the computer.
96. I can't figure out the song "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants...but I love it anyway.
97. I love to paint.
98. I cry over really dumb commercials.
99. I have a REALLY high pain threshold.
100. My favorite time of day is twilight (and it has nothing to do with the books).
There's a weird and wacky look into me...see ya!!
Monday, September 21, 2009
I was able to take not only Girl Scouts, but a couple Boy Scouts as well. In fact, it was a family event, so I took my whole family!! Even little Nicolette was there to help!! And I wasn't the only one...Karen (my co-leader) brought her kids, the Tylers had their whole family, as did the Rosales'! It was GREAT!!
I was really excited to go...not just to help out, but also to try some new tricks with my camera. Kaliayah was ready to go, too.
"C'mon, guys!! Let's GO!!!!"
Savannah was ready to work, too...giggly even early on this stormy morning. There was lightening...so we had to wait for the storm to stop before we went out on the beach.
Abi and Savannah played games with the kids while waited for the lightening to stop...Red Rover, Tightrope Challenge, and I Spy.
Michelle and Jessica were really just happy to sit and chat.
Once we got started, though...my Girl Scouts really went to town. They were dedicated and committed to "Making the World a Better Place" Here is Oriana hauling a bag of trash off the beach.
Of course...some weren't as helpful...mainly the teenagers that need the service hours to graduate. Karen was supervising...but as you can see...Karen was REALLY in need of some Cafe con Leche...so while my girls toil away in the background, Kaitlyn, Emily Tyler, and Alex Perez hang out and chat a bit.
Girl Scouts ROCK!!!!
While cleaning up at Bill Baggs, I was able to play with the macro feature on my camera. I took this picture of a giant banana spider. This guy was about as big across as the tip of my middle finger to the base of my palm. I wanted to put my hand next to it so you'd have a comparison, but although I'm told these giant spiders are "gentle" and hardly ever bite...I was too chicken to get that close. A couple of my Girl Scouts offered to do it, but I refused. Can you imagine me explaining that to someones mom?!?!?!?
Again...I used my macro to take some close-ups of the eggs. The kids were amazed to pick up the shells and feel that they were soft...sort-of like a deflated balloon...
Here's another one...
After the show (and a good soaking), we wandered around the park and looked at the various aquariums and exhibits. One highlight was the manatees. Abi was VERY happy to see them..as "Manatee" is her camp name (she earned it for being so sweet and gentle).
All in all...yucky weather included...it was a great day helping our community and environment. I'm so proud of my Scouts and my family and the families of those that participated for being so socially conscious and setting a good example of service!! Together, we can "Make the world a Better Place!!"
Friday, September 18, 2009
They have a lot of classes and lectures, guest speakers and award ceremonies. One of the most impressive is where they announce the Restaurant of the Year. They award one Cheesecake Factory and one Grand Lux Cafe the honor. There are several criteria the restaurants have to meet to even be nominated...and I won't bore you with details...but it is a accumulation of sales, profit, attrition, customer service scores, cleanliness scores, mystery shop scores, etc. etc. Each Regional Manager picks a store from his region that he thinks should be nominated. All the stores are presented to the Board of Directors, and they are fought for and whittled down until about 5 Cheesecakes and 2 Grand Luxs remain. The remaining stores are presented and fought for again, and then everyone leaves except the Board, who make the final decision on the winners. No one except the Board...not even David Overton, the founder and owner of The Cheesecake Factory Inc., know the decision until it is awarded.
So at the Award Dinner, Jason found out that his restaurant had been nominated along with the Las Vegas #1 location. Now keep in mind that just getting nominated is a HUGE honor...especially for Sawgrass Grand Lux. See, Sawgrass was opened during the Katrina aftermath. Business was so bad that they couldn't even open the entire restaurant. It has struggled ever since. A lot of managers have gone there to "turn it around" and burnt out in a few months. Then they called in a rookie GM...my hubby. In three years, he's helped the store turn completely around until they actually got nominated for Restaurant of the Year.
Jason knew that he wouldn't win against Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a beast...it's the busiest restaurant in the entire United States. It's open 24 hours, and pulls in almost $28 million a year. To give you some perspective...Jasons store makes about $10 million a year. A super busy Cheesecake Factory (the kind with 2-hour waits on a Friday or Saturday night) makes between $16-$18 million a year. So Las Vegas has a real strong pull...sometimes it's been credited with pulling the entire company out of the bowels of the recession.
Besides the competition, Jason was just really excited to be NOMINATED. So imagine his surprise when the announced the Restaurant of the Year for 2009 as Sawgrass Mills...HIS restaurant.
He did it. He actually BEAT Vegas.
EVERYONE was totally shocked. But no one more than him...except maybe the GM of Vegas. I guess he had a hard time picking his jaw up off the floor after he heard that they'd lost to Sawgrass.
So - for winning...the store got a very nice plaque.
And Jason got a cool crystal cheesecake (which is the size of a real piece of Cheesecake).
Personally, I think there should be $$ involved...ya' know...a nice, big bonus check. But what do I know?
One of the perks of being a GM with The Cheesecake Factory Inc. is the company car...a BMW 325i. All the GMs get one...and it's upgraded every 36 months. It just so happens that Jasons 36 month mark was THIS month, September, so he got a new car. He got to pick the color and interior...and he went with jet black and tan leather. It was delivered right after he got home from the Conference...a brand new 2009 BMW 325i with just 21 miles on it...and although he would have gotten it even if he HADN'T won...it was still nice to come home to a new car.
I gotta admit...it's pretty sharp. I like it better than the old one...mostly 'cause this one has an iPod dock. So if you see a jet black Beamer streakin' down the freeway...look close to see if I'm driving it...I'll be looking for every excuse possible to leave the minivan behind and take that baby for a ride...
I just can't get enough of that new car smell...
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Savannah was eagerly anticipating getting HER quilt for her birthday...but since we were moving, Yaya didn't want to risk sending it and it getting sent to the wrong house (it IS irreplaceable). So, she waited until we were officially moved in to our new house, and THEN mailed it.