Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Confessional

Okay, it's been a couple of weeks since I hooked up with the sinners at Glamazon Mormon Mom and that has given me adequate time to reflect on and regret my sins... some of them anyway.

1. I ate a box of cookies for dinner last night. So, that is a sin of gluttony.

2. I threw a snail into my neighbor's yard. No, I don't like her that much. She has the most perfect yard ever. Plus she has perfect hair and perfect kids. (Okay, that's what I used to do with the priest too. Part truths. Now I'm going for the gold.) I ALWAYS throw snails in my neighbor's yard when I find them. Let the little suckers eat her stuff not mine.

3. I cut her flowers for my house when she's gone too.

4. I hate reading bitchy stuff about how evil public personalities are. I don't care who Tiger boinks. I don't care who Jesse James boinks. It's none of my business. I don't know how sweet their wives are or aren't. I just don't care.

5. I hate to hear people jump on bandwagons about somebody. It pisses me off. Don't go ganging up on anybody. If it's your own issue, fucking handle it! (Sorry Glam. But it really does annoy me.)

6. I don't know what twittering is. And I don't want to know.

7. I really would like to live on chocolate and Silver Oak Cabernet. Fruits, nuts, veggies, and grains just aren't as much fun.

8. Sometimes my kids can be assholes. There, I've said it.

9. I hate Oprah.

10. Once I had a boyfriend come to my house for a weekend while my husband was on a business trip. It never made me feel guilty. It was actually a lot of fun. Yes, I will roast in hell, and no it was not this husband.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

That "W" Thing

In total, I've worked about 40 years of my life. I started two weeks after high school as a clerk at an insurance company in downtown San Francisco. That did not last long. I caught my hand in an elevator one day,simply went home and never went back.

My next job (2 weeks later) was as a sales person at the Emporium in SF. Fun job and much more lively than being a "clerk". I then went to work for a finance company and loved working there! I worked the desk and took payments, collected money from borrowers and took applications for loans. I also did credit checks and hung out with the other girls in the office. Not really hard work, but fun work. I met my first husband while I worked there. (He was a sales rep, not a borrower.)

After getting married, I had a job selling linoleum at Sears for a while. I didn't like it much and wasn't very good at it. I also worked as an instructor at a health studio (spa) for about a year. Kind of fun but also had to hustle up memberships (hated that part!) and show people how to use the equipment. I was hired because I had a 3 month old baby and weighed 105 pounds. (I claimed my good shape was because of the exercises but it wasn't.)

I also worked for JC Penneys for a while as the assistant to the man who owned the jewelry concession. He was old and kind of icky and patted me on the ass every time he passed me. (He also fired me which pissed me off after allowing him to pat my butt.)

My first long term (12 year) job was at Chevron USA. I started as a file clerk, moved to the typing pool, and ended up the administrative assistant to the General Counsel.

I then worked for a high tech firm and wired and soldered keyboards, burned in eproms, and beta tested equipment. I was hired as a marketing assistant but these guys preferred to use me in engineering labs. Great with me! I loved the protective glasses and white coat!

I went to work for an Australian owned engineering firm and stayed there another 12 years. This was a great job where I worked directly for the president and did a lot of fun stuff. I had a staff of about six who I hired and fired. I also arranged apartments for visiting honcho's from Australia, managed office redesign, ordered phone and communication systems, traveled the US to assist in presentations, arranged 500 person conferences, set up security systems, and wrote and produced a film promoting the company. It was a fabulous job!

I also worked for an architect for 3 years as a Marketing Director and then for an Engineering firm for another 10 years as Marketing Manager. I photographed projects, wrote proposals, prepared graphics for presentations, and coached presenters. In other words, I paid my dues.

During my employment at Chevron, I went to school at night to get a degree in Business Management. Chevron paid the tab for Golden Gate University and that's a good thing because it was damned expensive.

Meanwhile, keep in mind, I was raising two kids, mainly on my own. If I'm lazy now, I have an excuse! I'm still tired from what I did in my earlier years! If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I could! I used to get up at 4 and do homework till 6 when I would get ready for work (and get the kids ready for school.) I worked from 8 AM till 4 PM, when I would run across the alley to school and my first class from 4 to 6. The second (or third class) would end about 10 PM. I'd get home by 11 and go right to bed. I did this 4 nights a week. I had a babysitter, most nights, and if not, the kids were told to call the next door neighbor if there was a problem. (I doubt you could get away with that today.)

A young friend came to me last week to ask me to help her because she needs a job. She's 19, very sweet, and has really no experience beyond fast food. She's a very pretty girl. I helped her decide where to apply, how to polish her resume, and what clothing to wear to interviews. (I really wanted to tell her to just find a rich guy to support her and forget about working but I didn't!) She had an interview at a place I sent her yesterday. I think she'll get the job!

Somebody told me recently to think about the first thing you wanted to be when you were a kid. That's what you should be when you grow up. I would have a detective agency with another woman. We would call ourselves "The Dickless Tracy's"!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

High Heel Shoes and Me

From the time I was 14, I have worn only high heeled shoes. I do not own, nor have I ever owned a pair of flats.

I have wedge heeled shoes that are about 2 and 1/2 inches high, and some platforms that are about 3 inches high. But my favorite shoe, and the ones I have the most of are 3 and 1/2 to 4 inch stilettos.

My Darling DIL frequently talks to me about pairs of "darling Uggs". I'm sorry, Darling DIL, there is nothing about Uggs that can be considered even remotely "cute". They are an abomination! They are hideous! They are an atrocity!

No, I do not own a pair of tennis shoes. I don't play tennis. What I do as far as exercise is concerned is walk. And yes, I can walk for two miles in high heels and not suffer in the slightest. In fact, the tendons behind my knees have shortened and now wearing even a 2 inch heel is somewhat uncomfortable to me since I am used to a higher heel.

All of my husbands have thought I was much taller than I am. I never walk around without shoes. When my kids were growing up, platform shoes were all the rage. I loved the extra 6 inches or so I could get with the platforms. As my kids got taller, I did too. They never suspected that I am actually a hair under 5'4" tall. They thought I was about 5' 11".

Actually, the platform shoes worked out really well, except that you do tend to fall a bit. (But remember, I did master the art of the fake faint when I was about 10, so the graceful fall was not far behind.)

As some of you know, I am a Latina. We are by heritage not tall women. I also tended to be a bit on the curvy side, also a Latin trait. Those curves look a lot better on a 5'10" woman than on a much shorter woman.

I am not without my detractors. (Neighbors whisper "Can you imagine, she gardens in those shoes?" or "What on earth is she thinking wearing those hooker shoes at her age?") Well, fug 'em. That's what I think.

On the rare occasions I do not wear shoes, I walk on my toes. People think that is peculiar, and perhaps it is. I had a guy I worked with ask me one time "How would you cross a muddy field wearing those shoes?" Excuse me, why would I cross a muddy field?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Queries Of A Simple Mexican Woman

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the brightest bulb in the tulip patch, but several things have been on my mind for a while now and I want to see if you guys can help me understand them.

Arizona Immigration Law

Do I have this right? Anyone can be questioned at any time and asked to produce documentation showing that you are in this country legally. I'm confused. I looked on my Driver's License and on Alex's. There is nothing that states we are here legally. In fact, the only paper work I possess that indicates that I was born in the US is my birth certificate. (Oh, and my passport too would indicate the country of citizenship.) I have a library card but it does not indicate I am a legal resident. If I go to Arizona, should I carry my birth certificate and/or my passport with me? Should Alex?

What would make one be suspected of being an illegal alien? Would it have to do with the clothing you wear? Would the type of car you drive tip them off? Would a foreign accent give you away?

Since Arizona has a large Hispanic population, (as well as a large Native American population), it may be as simple as just questioning the brown people to see if they can provide proper documentation. It might be simpler yet if the State of Arizona issued "Yellow Star Armbands" for the legal resident brown people to wear at all times when they are outside of their homes.

This way the police would have an easier time identifying brown people without the armbands and questioning them, rather than taking up everyone's time questioning all the brown people.

Now, I have several good friends in the wonderful country of Canada. Should you visit Arizona, perhaps it would be wise to carry your identification papers with you at all times. The Arizona police may note that you are dressed more impeccably than the native Arizonians and want to question you. Somehow, I doubt very much that this will be a major issue for you though.

Every time Alex and I have driven to Arizona to visit his family, we can usually count to 100 after we cross the border before the Highway Patrol flashes their lights at us. Brown guy driving? Check. Blond hussy in car with him? Check. New BMW? Check. Okay, we are told that our tail light looks like it may be shorting out. Our turn signal was flickering. Funny, by the time we are waylaid for a couple of minutes so we can be checked out via computer in the cop car, all those little auto malfunctions completely quit. It may take a couple of minutes longer now to pull out our birth certificates.

I do understand that Arizona has had problems with drug cartels and violence in the last few years. We do not want people coming into our country illegally. We face a threat of terrorism. In fact, terrorism is a very real threat in America. Ask the people in Oklahoma City.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Southern Symphony

To celebrate Alex and CT's birthdays, I wanted to find just the right place! I selected Pican Restaurant in Oakland for it's ambiance, it's fantastic cuisine, and it's location in an area called Uptown Oakland.

In this case, I made a magical choice! The stars were in alignment and the end results were way beyond anything I could have hoped for.

We pulled up to give our car over to the valet, (a smiling young Asian man) and walked toward the front door of Pican. There is a seating area outside where a very handsome African American man and a stunning woman were having a coffee and conversation. The man looked at us and smiled saying hello and commenting "Y'all look like you just came from a great photo shoot!" At that moment, I was so glad I told Alex and CT to dress to impress!

The interiors of Pican are beautiful. The polished woods shine, the paintings are tasteful. The restaurant exudes warmth and good taste! The place was fairly busy for a Thursday evening, but we were shown to our table immediately.

CT and I selected to sit side by side against the wall so we could both face Alex. I'm very blond, CT is coffee with splash of cream and we both have very short hair. Alex is what he calls "a brown guy". (It occurred to me that the waitress, and others, might assume that CT and I were a "couple". Never mind, should I need to choose a wife, CT would be right up there on the list of potentials!)

A tall, lovely young woman came to take a drink order from us and realizing that Pican boasted the largest selection of bourbons on the West Coast, we decided to go with cocktails. I had my usual, Maker's Mark Manhattan, and CT asked what the "pour" whiskey was. The lovely woman responded with a straight face but a twinkle in her eye that it was "Fighting Cock". CT replied that she would try an Old Fashioned with the pour whiskey. Alex declined a cocktail because he is not usually a fan of hard liquor. (On rare occasions, Alex will risk the "fire water" but not when he's driving!)

We got our drinks and CT and I sputtered and giggled a bit over CT's "Fighting Cock" whiskey. The appetizers were fabulous and we chose our entrees.

The young woman who was our waitress struck the most perfect note I've ever seen. I felt that she was exactly like a perfect hostess in beautiful surroundings making sure her guests were comfortable, well fed, and happy. When we commented on the perfection of the food, her beautiful smile was sincere and she said "It makes me so happy to hear that!". She was never rushed (although she was taking care of a number of tables). This woman made it all look so effortless. She smiled and it was real. She also made sure we had everything we needed at every minute!

I have never before been a true fan of Southern Cooking. Pican changed my mind completely on this matter. The food is delicious and tastes like love! I'm a convert. If you go to the link, you can check out their menu. Believe me, everything that came to our table was perfection!

After dinner, the handsome man who had greeted us outside approached our table and asked if we had enjoyed our meal. It turns out his name is Michael LeBlanc and he is the owner of Pican. Looking around the dining room and bar area, it was obvious that the diversity of Oakland and the richness of its culture were on full display.

Should you plan a visit to San Francisco, please venture over to Oakland and try a taste of Pican. You won't regret it!