Friday, July 31, 2009

'stache envy

The Zavada mustache..
Can it be outdone?
Only time will tell...
Stay tuned, because Mr. Zavada's 'stache may be out-twisted and out-curled by a local softball slugger that some of you may know.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh and one more thing...

We went camping last weekend (= The Zentil circus tent was brought out of retirement for the weekend...and everytime NZ pulls it out, I get a little bit embarassed...I try to warn people, it looks like an actual circus tent. Friends usually laugh, thinking I must be joking...

But as you can see, I am not.
Not, one bit.

After my initial embarassment wears off, I usually come around and marvel at how fricken cool this tent is. It has been around longer than either myself or my hubby..It's an original VW Westfalia tent resulting from my father in law's love affair with the VW van...I beleive this tent is from his first of three VW vans owned in his lifetime...

..Tent was made in.....
drumroll please....

Feb. 1970. It says so inside.

And even more amazing..It's all original..All of the zippers but one still work, and I'm not sure how many people can claim a tent with YEARS ( literally, YEARS) of camping stories within it's walls.

So, yeah, at first, you might make fun of it, but admit it..You're a little bit jealous.

Back to camping...we had tons of fun, drank way too many beers, played lots of Beer pong and horseshoes, and overall feel pretty dang lucky to have spent time with great friends in great weather.

Being out on the water for a day, in a boat, and just soaking it all in, always makes me sit back and think about just how fortunate we are. Good friends and good times = a good life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ladies first

During a lunchtime jaunt today,I decided to go "ROSSing", as in, poking around the local ROSS store looking for whatever unnecessary bargains catch my eye. My co-worker and I have turned our lunch hour trips to ROSS into a verb..

As in, " I'm going ROSSing at lunch..I'll let you know if there is anything good there."

If whoever had the first lunch that day saw something good, we'd report back to one another as to whether or not it was worth wasting time over there or not...If it sucked, one of us would usually end up scoping out Marshall's on another day's lunch hour...but Marshall's is like Banana Republic is compared to Old Navy...a bit pricier on the 'ol bargain bins (=

Anyhow, I went ROSSing today during lunch and found nothing..nada...zilch..which is usually how my ROSSing trips end's just fun to waste time in there..

On my way out of the store, past the security guard (btw..why have a security guard at a discount store???Uhm, do they suppose the clientale of ROSS are more prone to shoplifting? Profiling, I tell ya! LOL), I see a family coming towards the out door. Realizing they are coming in the wrong direction, I try to rush towards the door and get out before they have a chance to come to prove a point that IN means IN, and OUT means OUT...but did they get it??Nooooooo, of course not.

To make matters worse, after mom, grandma and 3 little kids come in the OUT door, dad or grandpa then pushes his way through...MY DOOR!

I halfway expected him to stop and realize that maybe just maybe, going in the OUT door was not a good idea, and maybe, just maybe, he would be a gentleman and hold it open for me, because last time I checked, the saying goes, "Ladies, first..."

But then again, what was I expecting, he's not exactly a rule follower if he's walking IN the OUT door, now is he?

I suppose I am spoiled by NZ, because someone taught him how to treat a lady right... He could teach that old man a lesson or two.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ice Ice Baby..

Ugh, and so goes my saga of unhappiness when dealing with health insurance companies and their lousy provider service representatives.

My call today went something like this...

Says the Provider Service Rep(after 13 minutes of me being on hold...): "Hello, thank you for calling Blue Shield of California, this is Ice, How may I assist you today?" with a thick..and I'm talking, thiiiick Filipino accent.

Me: "Did you just say your name is Ice?"

PSR: " Yes, My name is Ice."

Me: " Can you spell it for me?"

PSR: " I.C.E."

Me: "Interesting, I've never heard anyone named Ice before." thinking to myself, dude, this hits the jackpot in terms of unbelievable names these reps in the Philipines pick for themselves when hired at the call center that an American company operates over there..We usually get Sarahs, and Steves,Kathys and Johns...but Ice? Really? Did she just pull out an English dictionary and point? Hmmm, my CSR name will be Ice.. totally believable, right?

PSR: " And who am I speaking to?"

Me: " Brie."

CSR: " Oh that is a very different name, I have never heard that before..Please spell it for me" (okay, so now we have wasted 3 minutes on our names alone...can we please just get to business?)

Me: " B-R-I-E"

CSR: I swear at this point she is mocking me for not believing her name is actually Ice... "Oh, Brie, like the cheese..Ah hah."

To top it off, she gave me the most jarbled nonsense description of a patient's terrible that I had to request to speak to someone in the USA..but, of course, I had to speak to her Manager in the Phillipines first, who was no more help than Ice, but at least had the normal name of Eve.

Now 30 minutes into the call, I'm connected with someone in America, who speaks clear English, and understands the ins and outs of the benefit policy I have inquired about. She gave me all the information I needed within 2 minutes of talking to her.

I could go on and on about Insurance companies and how they are 100% business, and not out there to "protect" us and keep us well. This being said, I'll still take my private insurance over socialized medicine ANY day. I just think that if you're an American company, you should try to employ American service representatives who are familiar with how health insurance works, and are able to answer questions....not someone in the Phillipines willing to work for beans.

Perhaps this is why they often have a disclaimer stating that if the information you receive via the phone is different from that of the patient's policy contract, the policy contract holds true. So basically, it doesn't matter to the insurance company if the wrong information is quoted by their reps. That's just wrong.

And I just can't help but think of the many unemployed American's out there, who would be fantastic representatives and could probably use a job with health benefits..but instead, Blue Shield gives me Ice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


With two upcoming events worthy of a bikini, I've been trying to mind the sweet tooth and I've been fairly successful up until about an hour ago.

Temptation the form of our 11 year old neighbor, Sophie, and one of her summer cooking projects.

Bite size chocolately marshmallowy goodness.

I've got a word for it..Two, actually...


Doesn't she know that today marked my return to the weight room in Lord knows how many months ( well, actually, I do..but am embarassed to admit how long it's actually been).

In all reality, I haven't had a serious gym venture since December of last year. I've been chomping at the bit waiting for my M.D. to clear me to work out after having the longest post partum issues EVER. I got the go ahead on treadmill walks a few weeks back, and you bet your britches I have logged some miles on that machine ever since..In moderation, of course ( have to say that to make my mah happy). But now that I'm doing better, I'm allowed back in the gym...and it feels soooooo good! I killed my legs today and will most likely be doing the duck waddle tomorrow.

And wouldn't you know, the DIET SABOTAGE is now sitting on my counter, screaming my name, saying " Eat me! Eat me! Sophie made us just for you!"..I don't even have my ol man to help me out since he's getting his free Manny Bobble head at tonight's Dodger game..GO BLUE!!!!

I've got a couple options, and neither are really winners..but I never claimed to be a logical thinker.
#1- I could taste one and then throw the rest in the outside garbage where they can not be reclaimed...nor would NZ ever miss them because he wouldn't know they ever existed..


#2- I could leave them on the counter and turn off the light..You know, pretend they aren't there...and then come tomorrow morning, NZ will see them and know that they exist and I will be faced with what to do with them..Can I consider chocolatey marshmallowy goodness as Breakfast?? Which, inevitably, at that point, I'll pull a #1 minus the eating one part and trash them, thus subjecting me to NZ's jokes about how much food I throw away. I do it all the time..because I have NO WILLPOWER.

Ahh, decisions, decisions...

Life is great, beer is good, and people are crazy. I should know, I'm one of them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

King of the Road

Yesterday was one of the hottest we've had this summer..Once the sun started setting, the weather cooled down and we traded in our Sunday walk for a Sunday drive..babies and all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Since our kitty decided to serenade us with his "let me in" pitiful cries outside our window every hour, on the hour last night, we were both up by the crack of dawn ( but who am I kidding, when are we not?) and NZ decided that he would go look for surf, and I would tag along and go for a beach workout..

We hit the road around 7:30 a.m. and headed down PCH, stopping at both Countyline and Nicholas Canyon to check out the swell...which, as NZ can tell you, was non-existant.

The weather was gorgeous, probably in the 70's, but since there was no surf, our journey to the sand was a bust. Neither he nor I got what we went there for..No reason for him to sit on the beach while I run..So, we turned around and came home, and the ambitious morning turned into a Sunday drive..a beautiful one, at that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It's one thing to set a record, but another to make a poor decision.
I just read that the woman who set the World Record as the oldest woman to give birth at age 66, has passed away at 69 years old. Sure, medicine is great, but when does it go too far, leaving ethics behind?

As a woman who wants to be a mom, I understand the internal NEED to nurture, and to want babies of your own..however, you also have to weigh the consequences of your actions. How on earth did she ( or her Doctors) think that this was a good idea?

Bringing a child ( and even worse,TWO!) into this world at age 66 was poor judgement.

These children have been cheated out of knowing their mother. Even had she lived another 20 years, having an 86 year old mother when you are 20 would just plain SUCK. I wish that people who undergo fertility treatments under unusual circumstances ( ie. Nadya Suleman, having a houseful to begin with, no job..and need I go on???? and the "world's oldest mom") would think about the kids..not themselves and an immediate need to have babies.

I know we live in the USA, and freedom of choice is what we're all about, but in some cases, I wish there were regulations or "ethics police" out there to stop stuff like this from happening.

All I can think of are her two young children..the years ahead, and how they will cope with never knowing their mother. For the sake of the children, I hope that they're placed with a family full of love, and the means and abilities to keep up with them as they grow.

And if they can't find anyone to take them...I've got room, energy and love for two. Send em on over.

For Story go to:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back from the Dead

Hallelujah, I'm feeling crafty again.

Unfortunately, the death of my sewing projects went along with the death of our baby...Which sorta sucked because I had started so many projects. Thankfully, I had finished the burp cloths (and gifted them to someone who could use them) , and was at a turning point on the Quiet Book where I just needed a break anyways...I have a few projects were done for nothing, but I can't bring myself to throw them out, so they will stay in their happy little place in the closet until I decide to do something with them. Now I am wishing I woulda gone gender neutral with all the decor. Ah well, they'll be usable again, someday.

So, the resurrection of the Quiet Book is about to go down. I plan on dusting off the old Singer and finishing the pages now that they are all pressed and ready for grommets. I need to punch three per page so that they fit in a 3 ring binder set up. I'm a bit nervous to punch grommets, since I have very little experience, but I am sure it will go alright. Measure twice, punch once.Right?

I figure I have 5 months until Christmas, which is when I planned on giving it to my nephew, so if I really really screw up, I can start all over....or give up and buy a toy that requires batteries and makes sounds..cause thats what aunts and uncles do..we buy noisy toys for other people's kids..

My newest sewing urge is to make an apron. I just can't decide which one I like best. I'm sure they are super easy to make, and I just love love love baking and being in the kitchen, so an apron would be so much fun!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where's Steve Irwin when you need him?

I ran across this picture from our trip to Australia last year, and the conversation that went with the sighting of this beast was quite laughable.. BZ: " Hey babe, look at's a transistor lizard."
NZ: "Uhm, don't you mean, Monitor lizard?"

Uhm, yeah, isn't that what I said? LOL. Transistor, Monitor, all the same thing..right?

Just after our sighting, an Aussie guy rides by on his bike to see what we silly Americans are staring at, and says, " Ah, that's nothing mate, those suckas grow to be about 2 metres long!"

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tequila Citrus Chicken

With all the chicken that our household consumes ( all two of us) I've got tons of chicken marinade ideas, but rarely utilize them. I got all cocky on Sunday and prepared one of my favorites. It's supposed to be tequila lime chicken, but I was out of limes, and used the only bottle of tequila I could reach from our liquor cabinet. Sometimes being 30 years old and the height of a 10 year old has it's drawbacks..especially when your liquor cabinet is on the top shelf of the pantry..but oh well..I reached A, spare me the midget jokes, kay?

Anyhow, I think it turned out pretty good. Here's what I used:

1/2 bag of frozen chicken breasts
2 shots of Cazadores Tequila
1/2 can of Sierra Mist/ 7 up or Sprite ( I use Diet Sierra Mist)
2 lemons cut into thin slices
dash of salt
dash of pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed

I combined all ingredients ( including frozen chicken breasts) into a gallon ZIPLOC bag.
Let chicken thaw as it marinates ( took my chicken about 4 hours on the counter top)
Remove from bag and BBQ on low/medium heat for about 10 min per side, then flip & resume cooking until it's to your "doneness" specifications.

I think NZ and I tend to cook it on the close to being undone level, whereas many people BBQ the crap outta it.

HOw long you cook it is up to you.

It will still taste good.

How we spent our 3 day weekend..

Our 3 day holiday weekend was spent doing a ton of work with a little bit of fun mixed in, as we joined family on Friday night for a game of darts ( which, by the way, I am brutal ..) and friends on Sunday to eat BBQ and watch the fireworks across the canyon. The work part was pretty much all the other waking hours..haha, I say this like I know firsthand, when in all reality, Nick was the workhorse behind the project..who am I kidding? I don't do dirt, remember? That 'ol man of mine layed the first row of blocks for our retaining wall all on his own. Two and a half pallets, each block weighing 60 lbs. I'd say he got a workout in, and a free tanning session, if he were into that sorta thing.

What did I do, you wonder? Besides take pictures?
I pruned our roses and a hedge behind the house..and helped NZ lay pipe for the sprinkler & drip systems that will eventually go in.

With each step I get more an more excited about a damn cement block wall. It's a bit embarassing to admit, but I am!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

D.O.M. status

I'm sitting at my desk this afternoon, checking out one of our patients who happens to be an older man..As I was trying to arrange his next appointment with him, he looks down at me and says,

"I bet you have a tough time getting people to look you in the eyes, lookin' like that."

Me: " Huh? I don't understand."

Patient: " I knew you wouldn't get it..My wife says the same thing, and she's built like you."
and if the comment isn't bad enough, he then proceeds to cup his pretend boobies so I get "the picture".

Me: " Have a nice day Mr. A..We'll see you in a few weeks".

I had to totally let that one fly even though I "got it". He means no harm, but OMG, he just officially earned himself D.O.M. status. D.O.M. stands for Dirty Old Man, for all the slow folks out there in internet land.

Note to self, wear a parka next time he has an appointment.

We loove L.A.!

We finally made it to a Dodger game this season!

Under normal circumstances, we would have already attended at least a handful of games, however, the month of May was a bust for us, and we spent June putting the pieces back to make it to the gates of Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night felt soooo good!

Summertime Baseball games rock!