Category Archives: Tierrasanta Tattler

San Diego Halloween – 2013

Halloween 2013

“Mom, how many days left until Halloween?”

I don’t know how many times I have answered that question over the past two weeks.  My daughter Emma has been very excited about Halloween.  The candy.  Her vampire costume.  Running around at night.  Well, the countdown is over, along with Halloween.  At least until next year!

Check out the photos of our night of trick or treating in Tierrasanta.  We got together a gang of kids and went up and down and around our street.  We stopped at the Haunted House that Doug puts up at the end of our street.  We stared in amazement, as we do every year, at the Crazy House around the corner.  The kids are old enough that the adults get to chat and catch up, while the kids collect their candy.  They are even old enough now not to whine at how heavy their bags are!  Ahh, these truly are the salad days.  M+M and Laffy Taffy salad that is!

BOOOOOOOOOO!

Emma and Sam in our traditional "Sit in front of the door picture" that always starts out our night.

Emma and Sam in our traditional “Sit in front of the door picture” that always starts out our night.

Gang in our graveyard.

Gang in our graveyard.

Kids with our neighbors

Kids with our neighbors

Annie and Zoraida dressed up as Tony and Rich.  Complete with disguised cocktail.  "What this?  This is just a big, wholesome glass of pure water."

Annie and Zoraida dressed up as Tony and Rich. Complete with disguised cocktail. “What this? This is just a big, wholesome glass of pure water.”

Mo and Leslie at the door of the Haunted House!

Mo and Leslie at the door of the Haunted House!

Rat having dinner.  Funny, Doug didn't offer US dismembered limb, all we got was candy.

Rat having dinner. Funny, Doug didn’t offer US dismembered limb.  All we got was candy.

Annie tries to resuscitate the guy in the coffin.  She said this ALWAYS works with Tony.

Annie tries to resuscitate the guy in the coffin. She said this ALWAYS works with Tony.

Kids inside the Haunted House.  Dropping spiders, and shaking trees, and grabbing hands, OH MY!

Kids inside the Haunted House. Dropping spiders, and shaking trees, and grabbing hands, OH MY!

Emma wrote this caption.  "Here I am rising from my grave to get my revenge on those who are still living."

Emma wrote this caption. “Here I am rising from my grave to get my revenge on those who are still living.”

Half of our gang departs, off to chocolatey-er pastures.

Half of our gang departs, off to chocolatey-er pastures.

...while we head around the corner to the Crazy House.  These people LOVE Halloween, and their decorations are beyond belief.

…while we head around the corner to the Crazy House. These people LOVE Halloween, and their decorations are beyond belief.

Before we head in Blake tries to kill J.D.  All the decorations must be getting to him.

Before we head in Blake tries to kill J.D. All the decorations must be getting to him.

Crazy House.3

Bloody werewolf and hanging pirate ghost.

Werewolves and zombie babies.

Werewolves and zombie babies.

Just hanging out at the Crazy House.

Just hanging out at the Crazy House.

Gal pals and psycho killer guy.

Gal pals and psycho killer guy.

Tired, thirsty, heavy bags of candy.  Our work here is done...

Tired, thirsty, heavy bags of candy. Our work here is done…

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Facebook Shaming

Sue+MoMy friend Sue has made the inexplicable decision to not have a presence on Facebook.  As we live in a tight-knit suburb of San Diego (Tierrasanta – The Island in the Hills), this has become a social liability for her, mostly because she never knows when we are all talking about her on FB.  It has become my mission to drag her into the 21st century and get her to set up a FB page already!

One of her issues is that she feels she has no time for FB.  No time to document her fascinating choices for breakfast or dinner, pass on Home Economics tidbits, keep everyone updated on the accomplishments of her two very accomplished boys, or document her drunken binges at JPs Pub.  I must beg to disagree, because I know for a fact that she now has BUCKETS full of nothing but time.

First of all, her year long obsession with David The Swedish Exchange Student (DaTSES) has finally ended (see my post https://shibumo.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/david-the-swedish-exchange-student-give-me-back-my-friend/).  He has returned to the bosom of his biological family, though he misses San Diego greatly.  Topping his list of things he misses are the beach, the sun, and Sue driving him all over the damn place so he could keep up a social calendar that rivaled Paris Hilton’s.  No David equals more time.

No David

Also, her last child has graduated from elementary school.  She was quite the volunteer queen at our school, with her capable fingers in lots of pies (Yearbook, Art Program, Jogathon, Fall Fest, PTA, yada, yada, yada…).  Here she is, bull horn in hand, directing the peons.

SONY DSC

And below, attending a monthly school spirit meeting.  The depth of her devotion really had no END!

Sue.tribal

But now that that’s all done with now.  Which leaves her what???  MORE TIME.

One thing that hasn’t changed is how much time she has to spend on her hair, but there is nothing to be done about that.  It is kind of curly, just a little bit, and on bad days it takes some effort to get it under control.

Sue.hair

The other thing standing between Sue and FB diva status is, to be frank, her attitude.  Sue is kind of old-fashioned.  She has interesting views on “appropriate” attire for married women.

Sue.dress.2

And here she is driving kids to school.

Sue.driving kids

Finally, I think she may be a bit worried that getting on FB might draw her away from her family, that her online presence might detract from her flesh and blood life.  Who is she kidding?  She never sees her family anyway!  Her oldest son has gone feral.

Evan.camp

Her younger son has left home to take the helm and corner office in a Fortune 500 company.

Erik.plane

And she might not even recognize her husband if she passed him on the street.

Ed

I have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are really no valid reasons for my friend Sue NOT to be on FB.  To quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the occasion of his first inaugural address on March 4, 1933:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”

Sue…

Shrug off your unjustified terror of social media which paralyzes your attainment of a FB page!

Convert your retreat from interconnectedness with your friends and people you haven’t seen face to face in decades into an advance into the digital age!

Give your support to me, your friend Mo, which will be essential for my victory, in these critical days of trying to propel you onto the modern stage.

I am convinced that my friend Sue will give me that support, that she will throw off the shackles of the 20th century to emerge, as pure as a stream of fresh-scrubbed electrons, into the 21st century.

Thank thee for thy time good reader.

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The Secret Lives of Teachers

Many children think that their teachers live at school, and it comes as a shock to them that they go home at night, and that they have a life outside of school.  Most teachers have just one life outside of school, but some of our teachers also have a second, secret life.  Read on to find out all about…THE SECRET LIVES OF TEACHERS…

Mrs. S.

Secret Life: Wild Snail Refuge Owner

Getting ready to feed the snails.

Getting ready to feed the snails.

You know how Hagrid, the ground’s keeper at Hogwarts, loves dangerous animals?  He calls dragons “vastly misunderstood”, and wants one as a pet?  Mrs. S. feels the same way, except instead of dragons being vastly misunderstood, she thinks that snails are.  Every time she hears about yet another gastropod being destroyed, rather than relocated, when it has invaded a suburban backyard, her blood boils.  “It’s always the big, furry mammals everyone worries about, never the slimy invertebrates.”  That’s why she set up a wild snail refuge in her yard.  She tries to keep things as natural as possible for her charges, and tries to avoid too much human contact with them, in the hopes that one day they can be returned to the wild.  “If I must enter their enclosure, I try to camouflage myself as much as possible, so they don’t lose their natural fear of humans.”  Keep on fighting the good fight Mrs. S.!

Mr R.

Secret Life: Backwards Walker

Mr.R

Keep an eye where you are going Mr. R.

Though not yet sanctioned as an official Olympic sport, dedicated backwards walkers such as Mr. R. have nothing but praise for their chosen sport.  Habit. Compulsion.  Or whatever it is.  “I find that walking backwards when I am not at school kind of resets my odometer, refreshes my screen, I don’t know…it just makes me feel younger,” he said as he simultaneously peeled hyperactive Bobby off the ceiling while he explained the different vowels sounds made by a double “O” to little bespectacled Priscilla, who was in the reading corner doing an in depth study of Good Night Moon.  There are worse things one could do to maintain ones sanity, when confronted with 25 squirming, squiggling, squinting, squirrely 5 year olds 5 days a week.  Klaw no .rM R!

Mrs. K.

Secret Life: Wonder Twin

Wonder Twins

Mrs. K in her Wonder Twin days, and later, as a Super Friend.

Years ago, Mrs. K was known by another name, Jayna.  After a falling out with Zan over custody of their pet space monkey Gleek (Zan was awarded full custody and now lives with him on house boat in the south of France), Mrs. K. left the super hero life behind to focus on her teaching career and starting a family.  But occasionally the urge to return to the old ways resurfaces, and she can be heard muttering as she walks around campus, “Shape of…a polygon”.  Or she dresses identically to other teachers, who find her insistence on getting all matchy matchy adorably quirky.

Mrs. Y.

Secret Life: Mini Me Aficionado

Mrs. Y. and her mini me.  Adorable might be the word I'm searching for...

Mrs. Y. and her mini me. Adorable might be the word I’m searching for…

We really have the best science teacher at our school, but what many at our campus don’t know is that our science teacher has the best mini me ever.  How do I know this?  “I have the best mini me ever”, said Mrs. Y., our science teacher.  On the weekends she goes with me and my family everywhere, and does everything with us.  She has a very full life.”  Mrs. Y.’s husband and children were approached for comment, but they just ran away.  Later the doll was seen glaring out through the closed curtains of their living room.  Didn’t Chuckie have red hair too?  Hmmm, maybe Mrs. Y. has been doing a little experimenting after hours in the lab.  Nah, couldn’t be.

Mrs B.

Secret Life: Oil Rig Worker

She sure cleans up pretty!

She sure cleans up pretty!

Yes, I know, it is hard to believe that the teacher with the cutest nails, hair, sunglasses, and peek-a-boo toe sandals on campus spends her Saturdays as a roughneck on a rig in the Gulf, but it’s true.  “I like the contrast between school and the rig, I like pushing myself physically, and I am really proud that I started as a roustabout, but have now worked my way up to derrickhand.  Of course, it’s murder on my nails.  I have a standing appointment at the nail salon immediately after my plane touches down at Lindbergh Field.”  Though the kids have no suspicions about their teacher’s talents with a spanner, the custodians know who to fetch when a stuck nut needs coaxing or the plumbing goes out in one of the bathrooms.  “A plugged up toilet’s nothing after working the drilling mud in the mud pits, let me tell you!”  We’ll just have to take your word for it Mrs. B.

Mrs C.

Secret Life: Celebrity Stalker

Smile, cuz here comes Mrs. C.'s camera...

Smile, cuz here comes Mrs. C.’s camera…

Stalkarrazzi or shutterbug, whatever word you chose to use, it’s all the same to Mrs. C.  She thinks of her camera as her third eye, and it doesn’t matter if you look her in it or not, she’s taking your picture!  Though at school she is just known as “That teacher who never stops taking pictures”, in Hollywood she is known as “The Bulldog”, since she never lets go until she gets her picture.  Currently Bragelina, Justin Bieber, Brittany Spears, Demi Moore, and Mr. T. have restraining orders against her.  Do you think David Beckham is moving to France from L.A. because he wants to play one last season of soccer?  No, it is to get away from Mrs. C.  Ditto for Jennifer Aniston and the move to New York.  It wasn’t to snuggle in a Manhattan love nest with Justin Theroux, it was to have a moment’s peace.  But hey, it’s a free world, and she’s got college tuition to think about in a few years.  Smile!  Hey!!  LOOK HERE!!!  Gotcha…

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David The Swedish Exchange Student, Give Me Back My Friend

This is a plea to David The Swedish Exchange Student (DaTSES).  He is spending the year with my friend Sue, her husband Ed, and their two sons Evan and Erik.  And a tortoise named Trevor, though Trevor hibernates for 6 months.  Lucky Trevor.  At least HE won’t have his heart broken.

Anyway, you would have thought Sue’s life was already a full and fulfilling one.  Two wonderful children, a doting husband, and a great group of lovely friends.  We all thought we were meeting her needs, but apparently not.  So one day, out of the blue, he shows up.  David.  Wavy blond hear, blue eyes, charming smile.  He shows up, AND TOTALLY TAKES OVER!

Suddenly, Sue turns into his Stepford mom.

“Sorry, I can no longer make the get together at Colleen’s new house…because David qualified for CIF in cross country this week!!!   We just found out he’s getting an award at the Serra Cross Country banquet!!!

“I would love to do a holiday cookie party for my biological children and their little friends, but instead I am hosting a foreign exchange student potluck, because NOTHING is more fascinating than Foreign Exchange Students (FES’s).

I thought Swedes were nice.

So now I am brushing up on my Swedish, because I have a few choice things to say to DaTSES.  I translated my remarks into Swedish so I am sure he understands.  DaTSES, I AM SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO YOU!

“Varför vill du inte köra fort tillbaka till Stockholm, du body snatcher.”

“Why don’t you hightail it back to Stockholm, you body snatcher.”

“Dessa köttbullar ser läckra.”

“Those meatballs look delicious”

“Är detta vägen till Fjuckby?”

“Is this the way to Fjuckby*?”

Give me back my friend, David The Swedish Exchange Student.

Snälla.  (Please)

*Fjuckby is the name of a village in Sweden.  The residents applied to the National Land Survey of Sweden to have the old name of Fjukeby, a variant in usage until the 1930s, reinstated.  Fjuckby contains both the rude Swedish word “juck” and its more recognizable English equivalent.  The government agency denied their request.  (http://www.thelocal.se/9322/20071206/)

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My friend Sue The Stepford Mom (SuTSMo), saw my blog post and wrote a long comment/screed in response.  See the comments section below.  She also sent along these potential Christmas cards, asking me my opinion.  I think she meant them as a rebuttal, but sadly they only serve as horrible confirmation.  Excuse me now, I have to go plan the intervention.

Wait, did she say David has a brother?!?

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American Youths to Help With Security Shortfall at London Olympics

S.W.A.C.K. (Suburban White American Commando Kids), an elite and relatively unknown (by design) security force, have been pressed into service for the 2012 London Olympics.  G4S, the company contracted to provide over 10,000 guards for the Olympics, has admitted it will not have enough guards for the event, forcing British police and armed service members to fill in.  In a state of panic, British Prime Minister David Cameron has reached out across the pond to enlist the services of this somewhat unusual group of security experts.  Says Prime Minister Cameron, “Please, for the love of God and all that is holy, please send S.W.A.C.K., or we will be 100% gobsmacked!!!”  Since it is summer and school is out, the team has agreed to come to the aide of America’s mates in London.  But just who are these experts, and what skills will they bring to the table?  A short bio on each is below:

Jane – The Little Gourmet

Not only does she remove your liver with a spoon, she fries it up in pan and serves it with some fava beans and nice Chianti.  Just lemonade for her though, another 16 years until she’s legal to imbibe.  Think it’s impossible for a cherubic blond-haired blue-eyed angel to be a killing machine?  Think again my friend, think again.

Rhodes -Scar Face

Already battle-hardened by years of jungle fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (pity the man that gave him that scar), Rhodes is a take no prisoners, do what ever it takes to succeed beserker.  Nicknamed the Grave Digger, after his favorite monster truck, Rhodes is the boy you turn to when you want results and are not worried about collateral damage.

Grace – Say Grace, Say Whatever Prayer Comes to Mind, Because Your Goose Is Cooked

An all around sportswoman, Grace can kill you as easily with a baseball bat as she can with a golf tee.  Her job at the Olympics will be to blend in with the athletes, looking for trouble.  If you are trouble, pray she doesn’t find you.

Lily – If Looks Could Kill, or at Least Maim You Socially So Badly That You Want to Die

Don’t let her apparent lack of interest and total absorption in her phone fool you, she is deadly.  Make the wrong move, say or wear the wrong thing, and you are dead to her.  Dead to her, dead to everyone, just plain dead.  So go ahead, try to get too close to the Slovakian synchronized swimming team, make her day…

Emma – The Monkey

Gifted with supersimian climbing abilities, she will spend her time in London looking down on everyone.  Her headquarters will be on top of the Millennium Wheel, or will it be Big Ben, or the London Gherkin?  She wouldn’t really be a member of an elite and deadly security force if she told you that, now would she?  Just know that she will be there, somewhere high above you, watching, waiting, wondering what’s happening over at the Olympic Park…Emma!…pay attention!!!

Sam – 50 Lashes with a Wet Pool Noodle

An aquatics expert, nothing, not even a great white shark, delivers a death-blow with more efficiency or ferocity.  His main focus at the Olympics will be the River Thames, and that super nice hot pool the high divers use to warm up before and after their dives.  No one escapes his double noodle forward triple flip inward reverse pike with a half twist, no one!

So the international sporting and spectating community can sleep easy, rest assured, and put away the Xanax, because S.W.A.C.K. will be on the job in London.  Not to sound too much like a Brit, but you will all be safe as houses.  Let the games begin!

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A Day in the Life of Pretty Baby, My Friend Tony’s Porsche

I am Pretty Baby, Tony’s Porsche.  You may look at my home (a cluttered suburban garage) and make the mistake of thinking that I am not cared for in a manner becoming one of the world’s most elegant, envied, and high performance vehicles.  Well, if you think that, you are very, very wrong.  Follow along with me as I show you what one of my typical days is like…
Breakfast in Bed

Every morning I am gently awakened by Annie, Tony’s lovely wife.  She brings me my newspaper and morning coffee.  Ahhhh, sweet coffee.  To quote the French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838), “Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.”  I feel almost human again.  Thank you Annie, it is you who are the angel…

Sponge Bath

As ladies everywhere know, there is nothing better than starting off the day with a little fresher upper.  After brekkies, young Matthew arrives to give me my sponge bath.  He is an enthusiastic and chipper young fellow, who always looks so terribly modern in his colorful hats.  He only uses Meguilar’s The Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo and Conditioner (that my Tony buys especially for me) on my delicate exterior.  Wax on, wax off young Matthew, and mind the tender bits!

Mid Morning TV Time

Now for some R and R.  Please, no interruptions while I am watching my stories.

Afternoon Tea and Crumpets

As the day gets on, I begin to feel a bit peckish, which is Trevor’s cue to suit up.  A young man in a suit jacket is surely one of the most charming things on Earth.  Such a darling boy!  He delivers my afternoon tea with unfailing grace of body and spirit, his tea towel at the ready in case of spills.

NASCAR!

It may seem a bit unrefined, but have you checked out the bumpers on those bad boys!  Come to mama…

Nighty Night Cocoa and Jammies Time

At the end of another long and completely satisfying day, Darby, the lovely young lady of the house, arrives with my nightly cup of cocoa.  Made with real milk and imported Swiss chocolate, it has exactly 3 mini marshmallows bobbing in a sea of sweet, frothy foam.  After that I crawl into my jammies and it is off to dreamland.

…Tony and I are cruising north along Highway 1 through Big Sur, on our way up to Sonoma for a long weekend of wine tasting, the tangy ocean breeze caressing my grill, ruffling his hair…

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