Monday, January 31, 2011

The Enemy


They year is just turned over from 1989 to 1990 and the military is changing.  The Berlin Wall is coming down, the Soviet Union is dissolving and Jack Reacher is almost 10 years younger than he was in the first book in the series, The Killing Floor.

After being transferred from Panama to Ford Bird in North Carolina Reacher is not enjoying a quiet New Year’s Eve when the call comes in that a two-star general has been found dead in a pay-by-the-hour motel.  No foul play is suspected except that this general is 100 miles away from where he’s supposed to be.

And so begins my least favorite Jack Reacher novel.  In case you didn’t already know, I ♥ Jack Reacher.  He is better than Arnold Schwartzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis all rolled into one.

But this book, for me, sucked.

I think it was because of two things.  For one, it was waaaaaay more military fueled than any of the other novels so far.  By the time the series begins, it’s almost 10 years after this prequel & Reacher has mustered out of the Army months before.  Here, it is all about the military.  And I’ll concede that yes, this was a very tenuous time for the military.  With the end of the Cold War meant that the way the military did things was going to have to change.  Apparently, not everyone in the military enjoys change.  Who knew?

The second reason I didn’t like this book so much?  I figured out the whole thing 2 pages after the second body dropped.  Seriously.  Everything.  The book no longer held any suspense or surprise for me and I was kind of disappointed that it took Reacher that long to figure it out.

I did like how we got to see his brother in action a little and find out more about his mother.  He never really had much reason to talk about her in the novels before.  Still, I hope this is the last flashback novel I’ll ever see from Lee Child.


I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m not all that into art so much.  Drawings, paintings, that kind of stuff.  I appreciate them, enjoy seeing them, but mostly the stuff that I like to look at has to BE something.  I’m not a fan of the pain splatters strewn across a canvas that someone tells me is the artist’s symbolic struggle with the evils of mankind.  I just don’t get it.

But I find that I can stare at a single photograph for endless amounts of time.  Imagining what was happening in just that moment.  Or how the photographer was able to capture something so brilliant.  There are endless amounts of photographers out there who are simply, breathtakingly, inspiring.  Some of them are professionals who earn their living taking photos, but many of them recreational.  Like the 7th grader who uses her parents’ camera or the 20 year old who moved to a beautiful place and wanted to capture that beauty on film.

My favorite right now is Vivian Maier.  She was a nanny & housekeeper who seemed to have always had her Rolleiflex TLR with her.  She never showed anyone her pictures and it would seem that many of her rolls of film she didn’t even get processed.  Mostly street scenes in Chicago in the 1950s through the 70s there are also many portraits as well.  Usually I gravitate to the black and whites, but the above image is one of the only color photos I’ve seen so far.

I can’t really express why I love this photo so much.  The dress, the color … I wonder what she’s waiting for.  Is anxious?  Excited?

And we’ll never know, but isn’t that what makes it so fascinating?
*photo from

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 365, Week Four

I haven’t taken many fantastical pictures this week.  Emma became sick Thursday so my pictures after that are slightly afterthought-ness.  But I still got some good pictures in here this week!

1.24.11 – Emma had Pirate Week at school this week.  She wasn’t really thrilled with the idea until they made these eye patches in class.  Here she’s making her ‘Aarghh’ Face.

1.25.11 – We went to lunch in downtown Sunnyvale on Tuesday.  We showed Emma where Ray & I first met.  When we showed her where we had our first kiss she said ‘You’re so lucky!’

1.26.11 – Spring is coming!  These are from the cherry trees in the parking lot at Emma’s school.

1.27.11 – Emma started running a fever the night before.  Thursday was spent trying to get her fever under 104.  After taking a bath to cool her down Ray wrapped her up in a towel.  She looked so tiny and cute and even though she felt like crap she was still smiling.

1.28.11 – This is the bottle of antibiotics that was prescribed to Emma.  When we picked it up we were with my mom (who’s a PDICU nurse).  We were all shocked at the size of the bottle, even my mom.  I’ve never seen a bottle of medicine this big!

1.29.11 – Today my Digi Clover Camera arrived!  For Christmas Amy, Dave, Dominic & Chloe gave me a gift certificate to  It’s a keychain digital camera that takes Holga-like pictures & videos.  Very exciting!

1.30.11 – This is a picture I took with the Digi Clover.  I was taking a picture of the oranges in the backyard that I can’t reach.  I didn’t even notice the rainbow until I uploaded the picture!  For a teeny, tiny camera I think the picture came out pretty good!

So that’s this last week in pictures.  Onto February!

& My 20+ Year Relationship with this Man Continues Happily …

I can honestly say that I have never read a Dean Koontz book that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.  He writes everything from gross out horror to scientific marvels that boggle (my) mind to children’s books about his dog Trixie.  My favorites though, have always been the fast-paced, suspenseful, unbelievable thrillers like Intensity or Tick Tock.

Relentless is about a novelist (Cubby) with a quirky sense of humor married to a children’s book writer/illustrator (Penny) who grew up blowing things up (what??), their genius science prodigy 6 year-old Milo (you have to be a genius to get away with that name) & the ever mysterious family dog, Lassie.  After being poorly reviewed by an infamous book critic they find their lives turned upside down.

The book is fast, it is intense and it is funny.  Koontz injects a couple of well placed sentences that not really foreshadow as much as tell you what will happen.  At this point in the book you might be tempted to throw the book or Nook or Kindle or eReader across the room and never pick it up again.  I urge you not to do this.  For starters you should never put a book down more than halfway through and never go back to it.  That is criminal.  And secondly, should it be some electronic reading device you may break it and that would be costly and wasteful.

But really, because the book is so damn good and you may just be able to predict the ending, but I doubt it.

I didn’t and I’m really (kind-of) smart.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Who Knew Joey Buchanan Was So Awesome?


Pretty much a lot of people, I hear.  Thanks to Joss Whedon there’s an entire legion of browncoats who get extremely protective if ever someone says anything negative about Nathan Fillion.

So I won’t.  Because he’s awesome.

When Castle started I thought it sounded interesting, but after the first episode I wasn’t really sold.  I’m a cutthroat TV watcher.  If I don’t like it, I cut it out.  If I get tired of it, I’ll cut it out.  I couldn’t see how this show could keep going and I just kept seeing Joey Buchanan from One Life to Live.

Now in its third season I decided to give it another try.  I told myself that I’d give it 4 episodes.  I now love it.  I pretty much laugh a lot.  I’m only about 6 episodes into the second season.  I have many favorite quotes.  I will leave you with one/

‘I had this dream once.  Only I was naked & far less embarrassed.’

Yeah, it’s been a week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


When Ray and I picked Emma up from preschool we let her run around and play while we chatted with some of the other parents.  I noticed that all of the boys were speaking in robot voices ‘Get Em-ma Ro-bot, get Em-ma Ro-bot!’  She thought this was fun for about 38 seconds and then I could hear her yelling that she wasn’t playing anymore.

Now, these kids are almost as tall as me.  Yes, I’m short.  So when she came running up to me to save her I bent down and said ‘Go to Daddy!’  She ran over to Ray who scooped her up and (because he is tall and scary) frightened all the boys away.  I thought to myself how she appreciated this now, but in 11/12 years or so she wouldn’t so much anymore.

It reminded me of one time when I got a little too tipsy.  My two guy friends Randy & Alan took upon themselves to get me and my truck home.  When Randy walked me up to my door at my parents’ house my Dad opened the door just as we got up to the front porch.  Randy kind of pushed me through the door, yelped something about me being drunk and ran away.

The next day when I saw Randy at work he asked if that was my Dad that answered the door.  When I confirmed he said ‘Your Dad is pretty scary.’

Good luck teenage Emma.  You’re going to need it.


There really is no worse feeling in the world than the feeling of helplessness that you have when your kid is sick.  Today, Emma is running a fever of 104.9 after taking Ibuprofen.  She’s also thrown up a couple of times.  She is a trooper.  When I tell her that it’s going to be okay she replies, ‘I know.’  But me?  I’m just a mess.

What bothers me the most is that hospitals can’t, or won’t, do anything until you’re pretty sure something is seriously wrong.  Talking to an advice nurse at Kaiser gets me advice like ‘If her fever persists at 105 or above for 24 hours call back to see a doctor.’  How about, for the sake of at least peace of mind, have the doctor see her now before something goes horribly awry?

Apparently, little bodies can handle a temperature much higher than an adult can.  They tell you that it’s not really a high fever until it reaches the 105 range.  A friend of mine said she recently called in to her child’s pediatrician and they told her 106.  Are you kidding me?  106 degrees??  Sitting a foot away from Emma laying down on the couch I can feel the heat emanating from her little body.  She is literally a furnace right now.

So after calling my pediatric nurse Mom I threw her in the bath and read her a story while she floated around.  After the longest Arthur story ever I took her temperature again.  100.9.  Sweet.

Thanks Mom!

I’m Thinking This Was a Bad Idea

Today after Ray and I dropped Emma off at school we went to lunch at a local sushi restaurant.  It’s a very small place so the few tables are pretty close together.  About 20 seconds after we were seating it was very obvious that the two women seated behind Ray were in the middle of an argument.

And I’m not talking about a ‘my team is better than your team’ kind of argument, but I full on ‘we might hate each other’ or ‘our friendship is ending’ kind of argument.

It seemed as if maybe they worked together and were having issues doing that and not strangling one another.  One woman was clearly the one who felt wronged.  She had a laundry list of things that she deemed inexcusable offenses that were directed towards her by the other woman.  The other woman was alternating between requesting examples of these offenses and crying.  She was trying to be quiet, the other was not.

I felt so bad for her.

We considered asking to be sat somewhere else, but we didn’t really want to draw attention and then there’s the curiosity seeing how the whole thing turns out.

After awhile I wondered whose grand idea was this?  Obviously, their problems didn’t emerge at this restaurant.  They went out to lunch to discuss their issues and maybe come to some sort of resolution.  But was this really the way to do it?

Near the end of their lunch it seemed that they really didn’t work out their issues, but the complainer was reaching across the table to the crier and trying to comfort her so all was not lost.  After deciding they were finished the crying one bolted while the other paid the bill.  Once she paid the bill she stood up to leave.  And proceeded to zip up her pants and button them.

Thanks for the show.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Dad is the Best

My day commented on my blog post yesterday:
“Perfect ending to the story Kari! I loved it! I can see her head rolling along the floor as people gasp, then cheer as they realize that it is Insane Woman’s head that is rolling by!  I love you the most!”

And that, my friends, is where I get it from.

But besides my Daddy being a very good judge of funny he also sent me a surprise in the mail today!
Yes, you’re right.  It’s The Complete Calvin & Hobbes collection!!  It’s 22 pounds of awesome-ness.  And yes, I weighed it.
Best. Thing. Ever.

I love you the most Daddy!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today I Wanted to Chop Someone’s Head Off

Mainly, the insane woman who was in line in front of me at the library.  

I made the mistake of going to the library at 4:45-ish.  This, as you know (if you are a library regular like me) is the witching hour of the library.  It’s when all the tweens & teens are there from whatever school activities they have finished with and when most of the adults are stopping by on their way home from work … i.e. it’s a madhouse.

The tween/teens are actually not that bad.  It’s their parents and/or other idiot adults who have somehow forgotten that a library is a sacred and quiet place.  My sister-in-law recently rediscovered the library for her audiobook desires and was telling me how the Milpitas Branch has gone to hell.  She said kids were running around screaming all over the place.  I guess nowadays the scary old lady librarians who used to keep us all in line when we were kids have all retired and have been replaced by hip, young, whippersnappers who want to be cool in the eyes of these hellions.

Anyhoo, I digress.  Back to the insane woman I almost decapitated today.  I will call her Insane Woman.

And just another side note.  This is undoubtedly my punishment for having late fees.  I NEVER have late fees.  Even if I have a 25¢ fee I have to go pay it right away.  I hate having that on my account.

So back to my rant.  I was the second person in line to pay my measly 50¢ late fee.  There are two terminals at the customer service desk.  One does everything, but the other can only look up account numbers, check stock and create new accounts.  The library has become a place where people go to get DVDs so they don’t have to pay for Netflix or Blockbuster.  If they do get DVDs they have to check them out at one of the very fast & convenient self checkout kiosks then go to the customer service desk to get the little anti-theft cases off.  Both people at the desk can do this.

There are about eleventy-hundred people in line.  Insane Woman is in front of me & she is next. She has a paper grocery bag FULL of DVDs.  The other librarian (I’ll call her Libby) at the desk shows up and asks if she can help this woman.  Insane Woman proceeds to drop the bag onto the counter and tell Libby that someone must have stolen the books she had on hold because they are not there.  She tells her the name she had them under.  Libby tells her that name is not on the account it is this other name.  Insane Woman replies, ‘oh yes, you’re right.  I changed my name when I got divorced three years ago.”  Really??  Three years ago you changed your name and you forget this?

She then upends the bag onto the counter and tells Libby she needs the cases removed.  Libby asks if Insane Woman has checked them out at one of the kiosks yet.  She says no she just thought Libby would check them out for her.  Libby tells her that the terminal is not capable of checking items out.  Insane Woman points to the woman at the other terminal and says ‘well, how come SHE got to check things out here.’  Libby tells her that the other terminal can check items out, but this one can’t.  Insane Woman picks up all the DVDs, dumps them into the bag and says she will just have to get back in line then.

She then, without looking takes a HUGE step back in line in front of me.  She is now so close to me that her short, greasy hair goes into my nose.  INTO.  MY.  NOSE.  I say ‘Excuse me’ in a tone that clearly implies ‘You are an ass.’  She turns around and says, ‘oh yeah, can you move back please?’

Now, I am not a nice person.  At least I used to not be.  I like to think that having Emma has mellowed me out some.  But I am respectful to people and mostly polite because I was brought up that way.  My nickname at work used to be ‘Scary Kari’.  Scary Kari wanted to tell Insane Woman that she needed to back away or I would kindly place those DVDs up her arse.

But I held it in.  Because I was with my daughter.  And that really is the only reason.  Not only because she was rude to me and was clearly invading my personal space, but because she was incredibly snotty to Libby who is a very nice and smiley person every time I come to the library (which is a lot).  I HATE people who are rude and mean to nice people who are JUST DOING THEIR JOB!

So I stepped back.  She got helped next and I had to sit through listening to her bitch about the $48 in late fees she had.  She wanted the breakdown of every fee.  There are now 1400 people in line behind me.
Then a woman shows up at the front doors and literally starts screaming at her kids that it is time to go.  A quick scan around the surrounding area does not net me a glace at any offspring that could possibly belong to this horrible human being.

Libby walks over to Horrible Human Being and asks if she can help.  She says she’s here to pick up her kids and then yells their names again.  Libby must remind her that this is a library and maybe she should walk around and look for the children instead of yelling.  Horrible Human Being replies ‘Forget it.  I’ll just call them'.  She them proceeds to take out her phone and yell to her children over the nation’s fastest broadband service that she is here to pick them up and where the hell are they?

It is at this precise moment (after waiting in line for 17 minutes to pay my 50¢ fee) that I hear Insane Woman ask ‘can I write a check for this?’  

And that is when I decapitated her.

Missing My Books

This year I thought I would try to read less books.  Yes, less books.  I read 202 books last year and I know I could have read more if I wanted too.

This year I wanted to slow down on the books and ramp up some other hobbies.  I’ve done well.  Emma and I have taken little trips, had some play dates, we’re starting to take walks/ride bikes.  I’ve taken pictures everyday.  Everywhere we go I see things I want to take pictures of so I carry my camera everywhere.  And I’ve been blogging more and reading a lot more blogs from others.  Oh!  I’ve also kept up with the TV shows I watch.  Usually by the end of the TV season I have 22 episodes multiplied by however many shows I’m watching.

But I miss my books!

I’ve only read 7 books this month so far and 6 of those were graphic novels.  Granted, the 1 novel I read was over 1,000 pages so at least that’s something.  I started these other six books a little over a week ago and am only halfway through them all.  And these are books that I’ve wanted to read and have put off already for so long!

So my plan is to read as much as I can, whenever I can.  I will have our play dates and walks and ride bikes.  I’ll continue my couch to 5k training, maybe do enough to lose a few pounds, take a couple of yoga classes and maybe, with prodding from Julie, I’ll attempt a Zumba humiliation course.  I will take my camera with me everywhere.  I will take pictures when I see something that I must preserve.  I will write these rambling blog posts and maybe make you laugh … or not.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Knew?

Did you know that mermaids were pirates sometimes?
According to Emma, they were.  This week is Pirate Week at her school.  On Friday they’re supposed to dress like pirates.  First, Emma told me that she was going dress like a fairy.  I told her that fairies are not pirates.  So she told me that she would be a mermaid pirate.  I figured we would cross that bridge on Friday.
She decided it was time for a dress rehearsal.
She’s like a mermaid-pirate-soldier-showgirl.
She must get her fashion creativity from her Auntie Kimiyo.

Yet Another Thing For Me To Waste My Time With

Check.  This.  Out.

I’d like to say that I’m going to do productive things this week, but beside this book of awesome-ness I also got the complete (so far) Walking Dead set on my iPad.  I’m about to KILL that Graphic Novel Challenge … as I neglect my child and other housewifey duties.

I ♥ Disney Crap

Today we went to Target.  As always, not the best idea because money is inevitably spent on stuff we really don’t need.  Howeverrrrrrr this time we walked by a bunch of Disney plates and stuff and I had my Christmas present gift card … so we bought crap.

Since I’m hosting Bunco next month at my house it’s really the perfect time to get some platters & a super awesome chip & dip dish.

Seriously … how cute is that???  It’s very cute.  Since we got the bowls, the platter & the chip & dip dish we had to get some plates to match.

I have a favorite villain and she also has some plates and bowls.  I got those too.  Shocker.

And since they were cute & Emma loves Tinkerbell we got some of those too

Yay fun Disney stuff!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sticking With It!

I’ve still been taking pictures everyday!  I’m so proud of myself.  The only thing I’ve got to work on is doing these posts every week.  So every Sunday … here goes!
1.13.11 – My new-to-me shoes I got at Crossroads for $10!
1.14.11 - I ♥ our Birch Trees
1.15.11 – My babies
1.16.11 – The final showdown LEGO style!
1.17.11 – On an excursion to Crissy Field Emma couldn’t resist the grassy hill.  We all ended up with soaked shoes & pant legs, but Emma was Queen of the Hill!
1.18.11 – @The Jungle with her BFF.
1.19.11 – I love my old Ball Jar.  The color is so fun!
1.20.11 – This used to be my shirt.  5 years ago.
1.21.11 – Rosemary in the yard.
1.22.11 – Uncle Greg’s 60th birthday party today!
1.23.11 – Emma got chilly in the fridge section at Costco so she got to wear Daddy’s new sweatshirt.
Hopefully I’ll remember to post again next Sunday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No More Excuses

As you know, I have not been very good at my lofty goal-ness.  Since that post on the 9th I still haven’t exercised.  I think about it, but never quite get around to it.

A couple of weeks ago Ray went out to Best Buy and came back with a Nike + for me.  I’ve ‘wanted’ one because it’s nifty and does stuff.  Basically, you put it in your shoe and it keeps track of your workout in conjunction with your iPhone or iPod.  It keeps track of how many miles you’ve run, calories you’ve burned, how long you’ve worked out…etc., etc.
So I decided that it would be great to use with my new lofty goal-ness of exercise, but I needed running shoes that didn’t hurt my feet and I needed some sort of pouch that I could put the sensor in and attach it to the shoe or I needed to get some Nike shoes that were Nike + ready.  I haven’t really been on top of that.

Today we stopped off at the Nike outlet so Ray could get a new sweatshirt and I found some shoes that were comfy and cute and … wait for it … Nike + ready.
Now I’ve Inserted the thingie-ma-bobbie into the shoe and sync’d it up to my iPhone so I’m ready to go.
So now I have no more excuses.  Tomorrow I start my lofty goal-ness.

… Or maybe Monday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It Was Foggy

I love the fog and I love San Francisco.  I love everything about SF.  All the different neighborhoods with all their personalities, the cold beaches, the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, the museums, the buildings, the parks, the history….I love it all.  I feel so lucky that we live so close so that anytime we (and when I say ‘we’ I mean me because Ray does not ♥ San Francisco) want to.

So for Martin Luther King, Jr. day we took the morning to embrace the fog and head out to the city so I could take some pictures and have some fun.
See, it was foggggggieeeee.
I am fascinated by balancing rocks.  Did you know this is a profession?  I’d like to see some professionals in action.
Sweet as pie.
The fog is starting to lift enough to just get a glimpse of the bridge.  Emma was unimpressed.
Queen of the hill!
The result of being Queen of the Hill.  Soaking wet shoes and pants for all.
Yoshiro Taniguchi’s Peace Pagoda in Japantown.  Did you know that there are only 3 remaining Japantowns in the United States.  San Jose, San Francisco & Los Angeles.  Just a little bit of trivia for ya.
Emma can’t resist one of these cut out things.
And she makes Daddy pose too!

So Maybe I’m a Little Late to the Party

I don’t watch award shows because I pretty much think they’re bullshit.  It’s only really been in the last few years that any of the movies nominated for an Oscar are movies I’d actually watch and generally when something is nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe and I like it that means it won’t win.
But I thought for sure the winner this year was clear.  Inception SHOULD HAVE WON!  I don’t care if it might have been based on an Scrooge McDuck comic 100 years ago!  It was brilliant!  Social Network may have been interesting and/or fascinating, but come on people!  Christopher Nolan, you were robbed and you should punch someone in the mouth.

Inception was creative, visually stunning, intriguing and AMAZING!  Joseph Gordon-Levitt was perfection and the rest of the cast wasn’t too shabby either.  I’m so irritated with the whole thing.  Screwed.  Up.  Was it because it was sci-fi-y?  Was it because the main Japanese character was actually played by a Japanese guy?  Was it because everyone wants to ignore Leonadro DiCaprio?  I guess if anyone should be punching people in the mouth it’s that guy.  He should definitely do some punching.

Speaking of movies….
*photo from Big Shiny Robot
Let me just say ‘ohmygoodnessthankyouverymuch’. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Am An Angry Little Asian

Today I found the most perfect and amazing thing.
Myself in cartoon form.

It is a beautiful and amazing thing and I am the happiest person alive because I brought this purse of myself saying ‘F*@K!’ over and over again.

Apparently, there’s this woman I don’t even know who draws me saying things I swear I have said in my head (and sometimes out loud) a million times.  Her name is Lela Lee and she has a website called Angry Little Girls where you can see all her amazingness and buy it too.

I am going to buy everything.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I ♥ Harry Potter

I ♥ Harry Potter and I ♥ LEGOs.  So what’s the ult?  Hogwarts Castle built by LEGOs.  For Christmas that’s what Ray got me so I broke it out yesterday and began the 1,290 piece adventure.

It took me a couple of hours to put it together and it was worth it.  I love the details, all the little pieces that make it so much fun.  Emma put together all the characters for me and studied the instructions very carefully to make sure she got them all correct.  She even made sure they were all in the same places she saw them on the box.

Disqus for know-it-not-so-much