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Wild Flower & Co.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006
Washington, D.C.

We were pretty wiped out from yesterday and we're still on California time.  Our hotel is pretty old.  In fact, it's a historic landmark or something.  The room is small, but I guess you could call it cozy.  It's got a weird room off to the side; it's pretty big, but it has just a table and two chairs.  I guess you can use it as an office, but it doesn't have a real desk and there's a lot of empty floor space.  We're using that room to lay out our suitcases and dump miscellaneous junk.

Guido got up really early to go down to the Washington Monument to get tickets for us.  The rest of us got ready so we could leave when he came back.  The weather has cooled off substantially from yesterday.  In fact, we need to take umbrellas with us for the rest of the trip (residual effects of a storm are making their way toward us).

Our hotel is up the hill from the Dupont Circle subway station.  The subway is going to be our main mode of transportation on this trip.  I actually love public transportation and try to use it in every city I visit, so I am very excited.

Okay, so there's a loooooooong escalator down into the sub station.  It's scary.  Escalator etiquette applies here.  You stand to the right so people can pass you on the left.  I need to hold on tight to the railing, because I feel like I am going to fall forward.  I don't know how people can walk down this thing with a briefcase in one hand, coffee in the other, talk on a cell phone, and NOT tip over into the abyss below.

Our first stop is the Bureau of Engraving & Printing - that's where they print MONEY!  But first we make a stop at the Holocaust Museum.  It's a pretty intense experience, so we are doing just the children's portion.  I think our kids can relate to it a little bit, because we have talked about how Japanese-Americans were sent to camps during WWII.  Of course, most people would think that was nothing compared to the Holocaust.

The BEP is interesting.  Printing money is a very complicated process.  Did you know that paper currency is actually more like cloth than paper?  That's how it can hold up to changing hands so much.  The BEP also prints postage stamps.  The printing area stinks - all that green ink.  It brings back memories of those summers I worked at the print shop.

The afternoon is devoted to visiting one landmark after another.  First stop is the Washington Monument.  Those tickets Guido got us this morning are our passports to the very top of the monument.  Wow!  The view is awesome.  We're looking at all the places we'll be visiting on this trip.  On the elevator ride down, our guide stops periodically to show us stones that were sent by various states.  Each state has contributed a stone to the monument.  There are also stones provided by various organizations and even some other countries.

We walk to the Lincoln Memorial.  It reminds me of Fluffy's 100th day of school when she "made" a Lincoln Memorial out of 100 pennies.

We also make a quick tour of the WWII memorial, WWI memorial, and the Korean War memorial.  I am looking for the Viet Nam memorial, but Guido says it's near the Capitol (wrong!  It turns out we walked right past it, but I was so disoriented and I didn't have my map, I had no clue where we or anything else was).

The last stop is the Jefferson Memorial.  Guido thought we were taking the short way, but it turned out to be the long way.  The upside is that we got to walk underneath the cherry blossom trees.

Dinner is at McCormick & Schmicks on K Street.  BTW, some of these street names are sounding very familiar.  Unfortunately, I still remember parts of The Exorcist which I read in the 8th grade.  Too scary.

It's raining and it's pretty late by the time we get back to the hotel.  It's a long walk back up that hill.

Posted by happyrainbow at 11:59 PM PDT
Tuesday, 29 August 2006

The Bunnies are spending a week in Washington, D.C.  Originally, Guido wanted to go to Disney World.  Since we take a major trip only once every five years or so, I couldn't see wasting it on a flashier version of Disneyland.  Who knows, this could be our last big family vacation.  Ever.  (No job, remember?)

I can't even remember what time our flight was, but we had to get up real early.  Since we couldn't take liquids on the plane, I guzzled water like crazy before we boarded, but still my hands and lips shriveled (I get dehydrated very easily and quickly) and I can't even count the number of times I had to use the bathroom during the first leg.  They don't feed you much on the plane these days.  We scarfed down some food in the Atlanta airport, and boarded for the second leg that took us to D.C.

We arrived late in the day and went straight to dinner after we dumped our luggage at the hotel.  I couldn't believe how hot it was.  It was about 8:00 and over 90 degrees.  I was beginning to dread the coming days when we would be mostly walking from one attraction to the next.

Dinner was pretty good.  I had a misto salad that was absolutely THE BEST salad I ever had:  field greens with prosciutto, smoked salmon and buffalo mozarella, drizzled with a sweet, tangy vinaigrette.  Yum!  Fluffy and I shared tortellini.  Scooter had lobster ravioli in a lobster bisque.

It was basically a day of sitting on our asses and eating.

Posted by happyrainbow at 9:57 PM PDT
Sunday, 27 August 2006
What's Going On with My Blog?
Why can't I update my blog?

Posted by happyrainbow at 10:23 PM PDT
Friday, 25 August 2006
End of an Era

It was my last day of work at Pen Maker (most recently known as Penhell).  I was dreading it, because it was the same day as our BTS 2007 meeting, and I didn't want to deal with all those salespeople asking what I'm doing, where I'm going, etc.  I don't like goodbyes.

It actually worked out better than I expected.  Everyone was so busy sucking up to the new marketing people that they pretty much ignored us ex-Marketiers.

Compared to other companies I worked for, it wasn't the biggest (Bank of America), the most professional (Mattel), the most innovative (Epson & DirecTV), and it definitely didn't have the best benefits (Continental Airlines), but the work was the most enjoyable and rewarding.  I LOVED writing about pens.  Weird, I know.

Anyway, after the meeting, I went back to the office, got my moolah, and split.

Posted by happyrainbow at 4:00 PM PDT
Saturday, 1 July 2006

I was next door at the luggage company interviewing for a job.  It's a pretty funky environment.  The owner is Korean, and he has Buddhas and potted plants all over the place. 

Anyway, all of a sudden his employees came running through the halls screaming, "Fire," and heading for the side door.  I ran out of the building with them and we all gathered in the parking lot trying to see where the fire was.  The luggage company was fine, but the building next door was on fire!  The west side of the Pen Maker building, the side facing the parking lot and the luggage company, had flames shooting off the roof.  A bunch of factory workers were throwing little buckets of water at the fire.  Joe (the Japanese one) was on the shoulders of another little Asian guy, and people were passing buckets of water to him douse the fire on the roof.  It was obvious the little buckets were useless.  It was really freaky.

Was my subconscious trying to say something or what, with a dream like that!

Posted by happyrainbow at 9:03 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006 9:27 PM PDT
Friday, 16 June 2006
Oscar Who?
I have this thing about movies. I tend to reject what the masses (and media) say is supposed to be good and usually anything with big name actors. So I purposely miss shows with Jennifer Lopez (which may be a wise decision), Tom Cruise (pre-90s stuff is okay), and all those little clone boys and girls I can't tell apart (Scarlett who? Matthew what?).

Since I have kids, I do have to go to the movies occasionally. I see things like "Freaky Friday" and "Herbie Reloaded."

You might have guessed that we don't have cable or a dish.

Needless to say, when the Oscars or Emmies or Grammies or whatever come along, I am clueless.

I saw "The Shawshank Redemption" one Saturday afternoon (when only losers are at home watching network TV). I had thought it was just about a bunch of guys in prison who revolt and kill each other. It was a pretty good movie after all. Did it win anything?

Posted by happyrainbow at 2:32 PM PDT
Sunday, 11 June 2006
Bend It Like...

We spent our last No Fear outing at a Galaxy game.  All teams that participated in the last tournament were able to buy 2-for-1 tickets.  In addition, the teams got to walk out onto the field before the game.  It was awesome to walk across the field played on by so many pro soccer players.  We touched the grass (and took some home with us).

Scooter was very excited to see Freddy Adu, the young, hot soccer star who currently plays for D.C. United.  And it's always fun to watch Galaxy, especially Cobi Jones.

What a great way to end the soccer season and kick off the summer vacation!

Posted by happyrainbow at 10:22 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006 10:33 PM PDT
Saturday, 10 June 2006
Series Finale
The Marketing department is a strange bunch of people. Unlike the majority of employees who are on a timeclock, we are exempt. I try very hard to be there on time, but if I'm late, it's no big deal, and there are those who stroll in anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes late everyday and don't give a shit. While the rest of the company races to punch out at 12:00 for lunch, the Marketiers tend to take late, long lunches, and until we moved to the new building, we always ate lunch together in our own marketing room. We dressed up as a group for Halloween. We had loud, raucous brainstorming meetings.

On the flip side, some of us put in way more than the expected 7-1/2 hours a day. There is a part of me that is always at work, always thinking of new product ideas, names, slogans, articles. I love my job. On weekends and vacation, even when I call in sick, I'm still mentally at work. Of course, we've all been given notice that we are being replaced by FOM (more on that after the job is officially terminated), so I don't know why I still try so hard.

Anyway, the Exodus has begun. First Michael left us for a design agency. A week later, Jill left us to help start up a new division of a consumer goods company. I'm pretty sure the next one to leave will be HRH Favi.

We took lots of pictures, and exchanged addresses and phone numbers, making promises to get together at least once every other month. Though we all started with the department at different times, this group has been together about four years. The business has been mostly downhill since I started eight years ago, but until recently it still was a great place to work. MF made sure all that changed. At our peak, we had twelve people; now we are down to five. All the best people have left, and a few stragglers remain, yours truly included, to close down the department.

It's like the end of a TV series. We were thrown together like a sitcom ensemble, and we were a very strange cast of characters.

Nerdy, brainy Marc. The most talented person I have ever met. His mom is such a nut job, I'm surprised he turned out to be so normal.

Matt, a former actor and bartender and a total babe, he never really gave up the spotlight, always doing crazy things to get attention.

Mike, always cracking jokes that may or may not be funny, the only person in the entire company who actually reads our Nielsen reports.

Richard was so friendly I thought he was hitting on me. He turned out to be the gayest person I know. I've never seen a grown man run like that.

Janet, a princess from USC. I wonder if she'll ever be happy about anything.

Joe, the Generic guy. He loves green. And Pilipino jokes.

Michael. Soft-spoken, artistic, musical, and a wild streak that pops up when you least expect it. "Well, I wasn't always a Christian."

Sharon knows everything about everyone, and I know nothing about her except she loves farts.

Lori aka Miss Melba Toast, the White Trash Princess. "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places." I think all she wanted was a family, and she's finally found it in Nashville.

Jill, the buffer between us and management. It's amazing she put up with that crap for so long. And vice versa.

HRH Favi, the loudest, most obnoxious person I have ever met. Underneath the tough barrio exterior, she has a huge heart. If she had ever met Janet, she would have eaten her alive!

Scott and I shared an office for five years before I discovered he's gay. Our typical conversations started, "You wanna hear something gross?" If I stay in touch with only one person, it will be him.

Posted by happyrainbow at 10:46 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006 11:40 PM PDT
Friday, 9 June 2006
Goddess of Whine
Fluffy: Dreams are supposed to come true, but none of mine have come true yet. I'm NOT a princess; I DON'T have blond, curly hair; and I DON'T live in a big, humongous house!

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 6 June 2006
Bouncy Balls
Scooter's P.E. teacher gave the class a time out recently. She told them they had to be quiet for so many minutes, but it didn't last for long when she said, "And I don't want to see or hear any balls bouncing around, so all you guys better hold onto your balls!"

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Monday, 5 June 2006
Boiled Lobsters
I never knew how delicate my ears are until now. They are so sunburned. And my eyelids! I guess the glasses magnify the intensity of the sun. It's funny, too, how you discover after the fact the places where you missed putting on sunscreen. One spot on my shin. Selected areas on the backs of my legs and arms.

And somehow the sun has brought out the lines that were brewing just below the surface of my forehead. Augh!!!

This was an awesome weekend, but I have never been so sunburned in my life. Well, there was that last weekend of the 84-85 ski weekend at Squaw Valley when my face blistered on Saturday, yet I continued skiing on Sunday. I didn't know about sunscreen back then. I actually went on a job interview a few days later, when the blisters on my face had turned into ugly brown scabs. I got the job. This might be a good week for more interviews...

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
San Pedro Classic
We spent just about the entire weekend at the Field of Dreams for the San Pedro Classic, the last tournament of our 2005-2006 select season. The team didn’t do so well, but we had a good time anyway. On Saturday, we played against Central Torrance and San Pedro, and lost both games. The guys put up a good fight in the morning, but they were kind of lackluster in the afternoon game. We hung out under the E-Z Up between games, and went to Cold Stone at the end of the day.

On Sunday, I got up real early to make a double batch of spam musubis, since we planned to spend the whole day at FoD again. We played Valencia in the morning. It was 0-0 for most of the game. Scooter scored a goal and things were looking good, but in the fourth quarter, Valencia scored three goals one right after the other. That put us at the bottom of our pool, and in the afternoon we played the bottom team from another pool.

Since our last game of the day would be our last game as a team, the coaches let the kids choose their positions and go for it. To add to the mania, we spraypainted their hair blue, green and pink.

The game ended 1-1, so at least we didn’t lose ALL our games.

I don’t know enough about soccer to know what is a good or bad call, but the consensus among the coaches and parents seems to be that all refs are biased against our region and that isn’t just sour grapes speaking. One ref actually told our coach this weekend that our boys should take up ballet, because they obviously can't play soccer. Is it because we don’t play rough and dirty? Are they jealous that we’re too nice? It can’t be that we’re rich or spoiled, because we’re only from Torrance, not PV or Beverly Hills.

Anyway, the coach asked everyone to hang around after the game, because he had a surprise. I thought he brought popsicles or ice cream. Instead, he had a cooler full of water balloons! The kids had a blast! He did exactly the right thing to end a day that could have been very disappointing.

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Monday, 15 May 2006
Armed Forces Tournament, Part 2
Soccer games continued yesterday. We won our first game against Central Torrance 1-0. Our second game ended 0-0 against Westchester. It was probably our most exciting game of the tournament. Both teams played hard. And the tie was enough to get us into the semi-finals against P.V.

We started out strong with a goal, but quickly fizzled. Our guys aren't used to playing five games in one weekend, and by that fifth game, you could tell they were pushing hard but struggling. We lost 2-1, but took fourth place overall in the U12 division. Not bad for a team that wasn't expected to win anything.

The best part of the tournament was that it was obvious how much each player improved, and that they now know how to play with each other. It was also the first time I heard them calling to each other, as well as trying to motivate each other. Each player is in the optimal position for him and the team, and the coach is using each player to the maximum advantage possible.

Our last tournament for this select season is the San Pedro Classic. Hopefully, the boys have more confidence (without the big heads) and can go on to place in that tournament as well.

4-0 No Fear vs. Diamond Bar
0-4 No Fear vs. Culver City
1-0 No Fear vs. Central Torrance
0-0 No Fear vs. Westchester
1-2 No Fear vs. P.V.
No Fear - 4th place overall

Posted by happyrainbow at 5:36 PM PDT
Saturday, 13 May 2006
Armed Forces Tournament
Wow, this is a rarity. I'm actually writing about something the day it happens.

Today Scooter played in the Armed Forces tournament at the Field of Dreams. They won their first game 4-0 against the Diamond Bar Midgets. Wyatt, Scooter, Michael B, and Stefan scored goals. They were very impressive this morning. Then we came back this afternoon and got killed 0-4 by Culver City's Merengue (is that a dance or a kind of pie?).

Scooter doesn't score very often. He's a pretty good player (even his coach commented that it's too bad he has to play on such a lousy team), but whenever he gets near the goal, he gives the ball to another player to score. Fear of failure? Or of success?

Anyway, we have to be at the F of D at 7:20 tomorrow morning. I need to get up real early to make spam musubis. Maybe that will help Scooter score another goal.

Posted by happyrainbow at 8:11 PM PDT
Friday, 12 May 2006
Cost of Raising a Kid: $1,000,000. Benefits of Raising a Kid: Priceless
Fluffy: Who's the richest person in the world?
Wild Flower: I'd have to say me, since you already told me you're priceless.

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 9 May 2006
Happy Birthday, Scooter!
Scooter is twelve today. He doesn't know it yet, but I bought him a really nice soccer ball and a cell fone!

Fluffy: Our boy is growing up!

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:54 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006 9:38 AM PDT
Monday, 8 May 2006
F.O.R. Tournament 2006
Fluffy played in the FOR tournament this weekend. She had a game at 9:00 Friday night (yawn!), another on Saturday (which I missed), and their final game on Sunday.

I think we can all agree that Fluffy is not good at basketball. She does okay at practice, but in games she tries to be invisible. I can totally relate, because I did the same thing in sports when I was a kid. However, she has one big advantage, which is she gets good coaching, compared to P.E. in the seventies, when the teacher sent everyone onto the field with no instructions at all.

Anyway, Fluffy made a basket. The way everyone in the gym cheered, you'd think she was a "special" player. It was actually a pivotal point in the game. We had been losing by two points; her basket tied the game and from there we took the lead for the rest of the game, and won our only game in that tournament. After her earth-shattering basket, she got a little more aggressive, and was definitely more into the game. She took another shot and missed. But that's about 10,000% more than every other game she's played.

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006 9:42 AM PDT
Friday, 5 May 2006
Out of nowhere, Fluffy asked me, "Did you have sex five or fifteen times?"
"What in the world are you talking about," I exclaimed.
"Well, it says here on your driver's license 'S-E-X: F...'"

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Thursday, 4 May 2006
I Need a Job!
Did I mention that I will be out of a job soon? Penmaker is moving Marketing out to Ontario, and when they find our replacements, we're gone. I, as well as everyone else in this department, have a lot of thoughts on this issue, but I can't share them in my blog lest I get fired for sharing them.

I can't believe how hard it is to find another copywriting job! My ideal job would be part-time and/or working from home. Actually, my really ideal job would be to stay at home and smother my kids.

Anyway, I'm looking at all my options - full-time, part-time, work at home, freelance. What's really discouraging is that I've been looking for the last few YEARS and I haven't found any freelance work in all this time.

Posted by happyrainbow at 9:28 AM PDT
Sunday, 30 April 2006
Festival of Books

Posted by happyrainbow at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006 9:39 AM PDT

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