Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Road Trip Gone Wild

Tour Update:

The San Diego concert is turning into an extravaganza all its own. In addition to Ginger joining me at the concert, fellow unschooling moms Flo, Kate and Gardenia are also coming. Flo told me that she's so excited to be losing her James virginity with me. Does that mean I'm pimping for James? Cool.

And now Diana is considering making the trek down as well. Look out James, we're coming back! Anyone else want to pop their James cherry with us? Just let me know. I'll be at concerts in San Francisco, LA, Anaheim and San Diego. Come join the fun! Why not? You know you wanna...

The day before the day before

What I planned to do today:

- finish the book I'm reading so I can return it to the library before we leave tomorrow

- go on a
5k Ass Project walk
- make a check list of necessary items to bring on our road trip

- lay out clothes and other sundries

- carefully pack for the Bacon-Wrapped James Tour

- relax

What I did today:

- work a surprise! shift at the cafe
for most of the day
- go to an after work meeting
- print out directions to the 87 different stops we're making on this trip
- throw stuff in a suitcase and hope for the best

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Laundry Day

Don't I look cute when I do the laundry?

Then it's packing day. Then it's ROAD TRIP DAY! Which means of course, that (at last count) it's only 3 days, 4 hours, 25 minutes, 17 seconds until I see James in concert. But who's counting?

We are all getting pretty excited for our road trip.

Jon is joining us as far as San Francisco. He'll go to that concert with me and then head back home. The kids and I will continue south to LA for the second concert. I just checked and that concert is SOLD OUT! Amazing. The Gospel of James is bringing salvation!

Speaking of which, I have a couple of willing converts down in San Diego and I'm really excited for that bit of the trip. My friends Ginger and Jeff have invited us to stay at their house while we're in town. Ginger and another friend, Flo, will be going to the San Diego concert with me. Girls Night Out!

Our final concert in Anaheim is also James' final US date. It's definitely going to be the best one.It's got to be, I promised Craig I would have absolutely NO fun without him at any other concert. No Flat Craig in Anaheim. He'll be there full size.

Rocking out with my obsessive James counterpart.


Except, maybe now we'll need a Flat Diana?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Change I can *Really* Believe In

Click image for a larger view.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Schlep, a post in 3 part harmony

Part 1
If you've got a
bubbe in Florida, you won't want to miss Sara Silverman's plea for your participation in The Great Schlep. (If you don't know what a bubbe is, or you're easily offended by Sara's incredibly non-PC approach to humor life, then this is probably not the clip for you. Move on to Part 2.) Personally I don't have a bubbe (and I'm not terribly PC), but I had a bubbe-in-law for many years, so Sara's plea is making some sense to me. Luckily my current Florida relations, both sides, are already voting Obama. That's 4 votes. How many do we need again to get that red state to turn blue? Oy! That's a lot of bubbes.

Part 2
The Great Thursday Morning Ass Schlep in which I took my dog for a long, hard walk, on a beautiful trail, in the morning air and now I feel great. So it's got me thinking that I may finally, possibly start doing something for Mrs G's 5k ass program like I said I would, even though I really didn't know that I said I would.

Seriously, I just thought I was encouraging Mrs.G, but now my link is on her sidebar as a participant, so I kind of feel obligated. But I don't do obligation very well. But walking makes me feel really good, and it's good for me, so I shouldn't let some perceived obligation get in my way, right?

What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, walking. Why don't I do this everyday? It clears the cobwebs, facilitates the oxygen intake, makes the dog really happy and provides me time to think. (That's not even considering the obvious ass health benefits.) So what I'm thinking is that I want to set a really attainable goal of doing this extended walk at least 3 times a week. I'm saying it here and putting it in the sidebar in the hopes of keeping myself focused on the goal and honest in my attempt. Feel free to kick my ass encourage me it if it looks like I'm slacking off.

Disclaimer: Even though I'm right there in spirit with Mrs. G, there will be no pictures of my ass on the web. Ever. You're welcome.

Part 3
The Great California Schlep in which I pack up the family and head south for the much anticipated James concert concerts. (
Did I mention that I'm now going to 4? The opening band, Unkle Bob, emailed ME and asked if I wanted free tickets to any more shows. Um, yeah, sure. San Diego here I come! )

it's almost here, Kenya believe it? Where did summer go? I know I saw it here just a minute ago. Then I turn around for one minute and it's gone. It seems like September just flew through my mind like a breeze. Maybe that's because I've been looking forward especially hard this year.

Anticipation is a funny thing. There's a kind of
yin and yang to the whole experience this time around. The good part is that I have time to think and plan. (Unlike my last James road trip where I just jumped in the car and drove through the night.) The bad part of course is that I have time to think and plan. This means I've had time to evaluate the sanity of said plan.

I've had a few What Am I Crazy?! moments. Like yesterday when Qacei and I were going over our budget for the trip. We've actually done really well in that department and I've got it covered for the most part. And don't think I missed the whole Learning in Real Life, aka unschooling, benefit that goes into the planning of such an escapade. But this is what sent a mild gasp throughout the room.

Yup. That's our Google map of directions and destinations. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be a kick-ass, mind blowing, amazingly awesome experience. But we sure do have a lot of highway miles on there.
And there's this...

It's s little unsettling to see the round trip driving time all put together like that. One and a half days in the car. Make that 1 day and 18 hours if we hit traffic. But I shouldn't worry. I mean we're driving to LA, what are the chances we'll hit traffic? Right?

Of course that's a small price to pay to see my boys in concert. Again. And again. And again. And again. WooHoo!

So get ready, it's almost here.

Coming soon to a blog near you.

Want to be a part of the tour? Email me at zenmomma (at) comast (dot) net if it looks like I'll be heading anywhere near you and you'd like to meet up for coffee, chit chat and the latest James update. I'd love to say hi
. Plus I've got a great CD to play for you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It may not be a mohawk...

...but it sure is shorter. I think I like it.

Gift Giving Made Easy

Who wouldn't want a Bacon of the Month Club membership?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rockin' Results

Thank you to everyone who entered my first ever blog giveaway! And thanks also to Mrs. Glosser for her handy dandy online number generator, which saved me the task of pulling out the old bacon hat for the number draw.

So.......drum roll please.....

thanks, Chachi


Congratulations to Caren from
Open-Hearted Life. I KNOW you will enjoy this CD.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Don't Forget to Enter!


Win a copy of the new James CD, Hey Ma.
It's easy, just leave a comment.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins :: The Piratical Edition

1. There be no need t' fear, UNDERDOG be here.

2. Where in t' heck did the
dubloons go? Avast! T' bilge rats have made off with all of t' booty. They ought t' be keel hauled!

Shiver me timbers! Gettin' out o' bed be all I managed t' do.

4. Prospects for
gettin' much done today be slim. Arrr!

Change be t' message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility be
not t' pirate's way, ye scurvy dogs.

7. And as for t' weekend, tonight I’m be lookin' fore t' discovering the zen o't' pirate, tomorrow me plans include a bit o' pillage and plunder and Sunday, I want to work on my piratitude! Arrr!

Today's post created with t' help o' t' English to Pirate translator. Arrrr!

Avast! Get yer own Friday Fill-Ins

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chuckle, snort, guffaw

I received this from my friend Holly. I thought it was worth sharing for a good afternoon lol.


I want to live my next life backwards: You start out dead and get that
out of the way.

Then you wake up in an old age home feeling better every

Then you get kicked out for being too healthy. Enjoy your retirement
and collect your pension.

Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You
work 40 years until you're too young to work.

You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally
promiscuous. Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play,
and you have no responsibilities.

Then you become a baby, and then... You spend your last 9 months
floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions - central
heating, room service on tap, and then...

You finish off as an orgasm.

Speaking of Unschooling Conferences

Thursday Thirteen - The ARRRGHHHH! edition

Talk Like A Pirate Day countdown banner

13 Handy Phrases for Talk Like a Pirate Day*
*from the International Talk Like a Pirate Day website

1.Ahoy! - "Hello!"

2. Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, "Whoa! Get a load of that!" which today makes it more of a "Check it out" or "No way!" or "Get off!"

3.Aye! - "Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did."

4. Aye aye! - "I'll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over."

5. Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it sucked!" and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

6. Thar she blows! - The pirate equivalent of "Whoop, there it is!".

7. Beauty
– The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by “me,” as in, “C’mere, me beauty,” or even, “me buxom beauty,” to one particularly well endowed. You’ll be surprised how effective this is.

8. Bilge rat – The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It’s loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. On TLAP Day – A lot of guy humor involves insulting your buddies to prove your friendship. It’s important that everyone understand you are smarter, more powerful and much luckier with the wenches than they are. Since bilge rat is a pretty dirty thing to call someone, by all means use it on your friends.

9. Bung hole – Victuals on a ship were stored in wooden casks. The stopper in the barrel is called the bung, and the hole is called the bung hole. That’s all. It sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it? On TLAP Day – When dinner is served you’ll make quite an impression when you say, “Well, me hearties, let’s see what crawled out of the bung hole.” That statement will be instantly followed by the sound of people putting down their utensils and pushing themselves away from the table. Great! More for you!

10. Grog – An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren’t prepared to be picky about that, either. Call your beer grog if you want. We won’t stop you! Water aboard ship was stored for long periods in slimy wooden barrels, so you can see why rum was added to each sailor’s water ration – to kill the rancid taste. On TLAP Day – Drink up, me hearties! And call whatever you’re drinking grog if you want to. If some prissy pedant purses his lips and protests the word grog can only be used if drinking rum and water, not the Singapore Sling you’re holding, keelhaul him!

11. Hornpipe – Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. On TLAP Day – We are not big fans of the capering, it’s not our favorite art form, if you will, so we don’t have a lot to say on the subject, other than to observe that the common term for being filled with lust is “horny,” and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. “Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?”

12. Lubber – (or land lubber) This is the seaman’s version of land lover, mangled by typical pirate disregard for elocution. A lubber is someone who does not go to sea, who stays on the land. On TLAP Day – More likely than not, you are a lubber 364 days of the year. But not if you’re talking like a pirate! Then the word lubber becomes one of the more fierce weapons in your arsenal of piratical lingo. In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is ALWAYS an insult.

13. Smartly – Do something quickly. On TLAP Day “Smartly, me lass,” you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Because laughter and chocolate make life a little sweeter

My friend is feeling down. She experienced a loss this week. Knowing that chocolate helps everything, even if only in a small way, she sent her husband on a mission for the ultimate brownie. He settled for an 'Oh My God' brownie from Sunnyside Up. Not that one of those could ever really be considered "settling." It's a pretty religious experience as far as baked goods go. But my friend wanted needed more. He told us she wanted a "Jesus H. Christ on a Pogo stick Brownie." That's a brownie that has everything in it, including Jesus H. Christ on a Pogo stick. Because that's what a week like this deserves.

I sometimes wonder what other people do for fun. You know, "normal" people. Qacei and I, never accused of being normal, of course took this offhand request and decided to create this bit of heaven on a plate for our friend.

We decided to wing it as far as a plan goes. We started with your basic frosted brownie and threw as much stuff in it as we could find enhanced the recipe from there. Those are marshmallows and m&m's on top. There are also m&m's and HUGE chocolate chips mixed in.

Qacei melted some chocolate and hand-dipped whatever we could find strawberries, marshmallows, mini chocolate chip cookies and almonds. We almost made chocolate dipped chocolate but decided to save that for next time. There was a chocolate dipped m&m. It never made it out of the kitchen.

The brownies were then frosted and decorated with 2 kinds of sprinkles, all of the chocolate dipped goodies plus more marshmallows and m&m's.

And of course the crowning touch, Jesus H. Christ on a Razor Scooter. We couldn't find a pogostick, but I think we came pretty close to her original request. We delivered our creation to much laughter and that of course was the goal.

Footnote: Mormon missionaries came to the door while we were visiting. I couldn't resist offering them a Jesus H.Christ on a Razor Scooter Brownie. The first young man asked if the H. stood for "Holy." I looked at Qacei and said..."sure!" So he took one. The other young man looked like I was offering him a big old helping of damnation and hellfire on a plate and politely refused. We all wondered then if the first guy actually ate his brownie? It would be sad to think he could let such a thing of beauty go to waste.

Pura Vida Unschooling Conference

My friend Sharon is hosting an Unschooling Conference in Costa Rica (also know as PARADISE!) during the first week of December. It looks like it will be an absolutely amazing event and I so wish we were able to attend. The hotel seriously looks like a slice of relaxation on a plate and the surrounding area is just an unschooler's dream. So much to explore! If you are lucky (or resourceful) enough to go this year, please tell me all about it!

Pura Vida Unschooling Conference (Yahoo group link)
Hotel California, Manual Antonio, Costa Rica
When: November 30 - December 8, 2008

Registration fees: $50 per adult, $40 per child, $200 per family, children under 3 free

Photos of the venue


* 25 rooms available. Possible overflow room in nearby hotel.
* Room rates will be discounted 20%

* Standard Garden Rooms: $90.00/night plus tax

* Ocean View Deluxe Rooms: $105.00/night plus tax
* The Villa ( 2 bedroom house) $174/night plus tax
* includes full breakfast, plus coffee & a small fridge in the room

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back in the U.S.S.A.

Can you feel it in the air y'all? C'mon, sure you can. James is back on this side of the pond! Their US tour (all 3 weeks of it) started in Boston on Sunday and according to Boston.com, their reunion is a rocking affair. Good press for James, that never happens. It feels like all the stars are aligning at last.

Of course my own personal countdown clock continues to tick away in joyful anticipation as the bacon-wrapped leg of the James tour heads my way. Which of course gets me to thinking about how the hell am I going to pay for this?! funding. I am still pulling together my trip financing in any way possible. I've returned pop cans, pet sit the neighbor's dog and emptied out every pocket in every pair of jeans that I own. I've also got a few new items up on Etsy including my Blue Plate Special necklace , Mitzi note cards and more.

Check it out. Remember, the holidays are sneaking up on us fast. Why not get some hand made goodies now and avoid the rush?


If you're interested in a more musical purchase, Hey Ma is finally available today here in the US! I've said it before and I'll say it again, this album is amazing! Buy it. Really. You won't be sorry.

And as a thank you to everyone who has managed to read to the end of this post. For you my loyal reader, I am doing Zenmomma's Garden's first ever

That's right. In one swell foop I will answer the burning question on everyone's mind. Namely, "Who the hell is James?" (While also probably doubling their US sales total.)
So if you are interested in receiving your very own FREE copy of James' fantastic new CD, Hey Ma, just leave a comment on today's post. I'll leave comments open until Monday, Sept. 22. Then I'll choose a comment number at random and award you, my lucky reader, the most coveted of all items, music from Zenmomma's favorite obsession band. Good luck!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baracking the Vote

Qacei and I did our first volunteer hours for the Barack Obama campaign today. We hit downtown Corvallis this afternoon to register voters. Apparently we were Barack-stars because we registered quite a few people in a relatively short amount of time. (I didn't even want to tell the volunteer coordinator how much of that time we actually wasted spent at Sunnyside Up getting lunch and cold drinks. Hey it was HOT out today!)

I figure it was my pushy nature winning personality that encouraged people to take the time to fill out the voter registration cards. That and Qacei's pink mohawk. Who can say no to a pink mohawk? Qacei was amazed that I would ask just about anyone. But I figure if I don't ask, they can't say yes.

Tomorrow we're going to work the Oregon State football game. Lots of unregistered students for sure. Wish us luck.

Friday Fill-Ins

1. I enjoy
reality tv a little bit too much, I fear. But really, what's not to love about a marathon of Tabatha's Salon Takeover, Project Runway and America's Next Top Model? Besides, I'm sure that maintaining healthy brain cells is overrated and somehow unattractively bourgeois.

What might possibly happen to screw up the election in November (aka Obama NOT winning) is something I wonder about often lately.

3. In your heart, you knew
that everything would work out as it was meant to be.

4. Take just about anything, add a little bacon and you end up with something even better.

5. Life has gifted me with
a sense of humor and an understanding family.

A salon pedicure is an instant vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to
something, but I'm not sure what exactly. It will be better with bacon though. Absolutely. Tomorrow my plans include brunch with my unschooling tribe (again, better with bacon) and Sunday, I want to do some more planning for the upcoming bacon-wrapped James tour!

You can find the Friday Fill-Ins here!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be the Change

Thursday Thirteen - Those Wedding Bells Are Ringing For That Old Gang of Mine

It was a long drive and a whirlwind weekend. We had to cross the border into Canada and once again hope the US would let us back in when we were done. We drove up a craggy mountain logging road to celebrate life and love with family and friends. We wouldn't have missed it for the world. My favorite nephew married his one and only in a beautiful ceremony in an open air yurt in the mountains and we were there.

13 snapshots from my nephew's wedding in Bumfuq Nelson, Canada

1. Waiting for the ceremony to begin.

2. Who says you can't wear black to a wedding?

3. Leyna and Erik, the main event.

4. Mom of the groom, the lovely Donna.

5. Erik and his dad, my brother Rick.

6. The old married folks.

7. The new married folks.

8. Oops! Qacei hits the deck while attempting a tricky group photo.

9. Liz & Story rockin' the reception.

10. Wendy & Sean doing god knows what.

11. Conor the Magnificent, apparently finishing up his magic act.

12. Can you say Myspace? Oh yeah.

13. FLASH! Perfect photographic synchronicity with my niece, Hannah.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!