Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My Version of the Birthing Statue

Lucky Britney Spears was recently depicted in the throes of childbirth in this oh-so-flattering statue by pro-life artist Capla Kresting. I understand artistic liberty as much as the next gal, but I don't mind telling you that, had I been immortalized whilst bringing my children into the world, the statue would have looked quite different.

Let us first examine Brit's pose and be thankfull, as one, that none of the images show the statue from a vantage point that includes her nether regions. After 9 months of pregnancy, let's face it, hemmorrhoids have probabaly become a big problem. Looking at a woman's piles does not seem like the best advertisement for carrying your child to full term, instead of aborting. And, what about the bear skin rug? My home doesn't have any of these (my style runs more toward broken down computers, Razor scooters, and large bins of LEGO), but if it did, cavorting naked upon it, ass in air, hemmorrhoids a-flap would not figure high on my list of things to do in my last month of pregnancy.

My version of the statue would depict me clothed in those comfy jeans that have the cotton insert in the front to allow for the comfortable expansion of my womb. My boobs, in all their purple veiny glory, would be encased in one of those industrial strength maternity bras. My pose would not be unlike Britney's, but instead of bearskin rug, I would be crouched in the back seat of my car, brow creased and sweaty, attempting to install the %#@&* babycarrier/carseat.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Guess what? I'm "nice"!!!

The weather has once again turned nasty, but unlike last week, I was able to schedule a bit of field work while sun was still shining today. Julia and I headed out to south San Jose to look for the host plants of the rare bay checkerspot butterfly. Our site was just east of U.S. Highway 101 and consisted of rolling foothills colonized by annual grasslands and lots of beautiful little wild flowers. The landowner had obligingly removed the cows that he normally grazes on the site. I’m not fond of hiking around with cows as I feel compelled to examine their underpinning for evidence of testicles. My greatest fear is that one day I will be charged by an angry bull and be forced, like the Biologist of Steel, to clear 5 feet of barbwire fence in a single bound. Considering that it usually requires the assistance of another person and prolonged entanglements under the very best of circumstances, I think my chances of succeeding with a 3000 lb bull in hot pursuit is not good. But I digress. Julia brought her 19 month old son, Wyatt, along and schlepped him around in the backpack the whole time. He had a great time, and at the end of the outing pronounced me “nice”. Strange how a small child can make you feel more validated with a single word than all the cute guys you dated throughout your single years.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


The following is an actual conversation that took place in the Dakin household whilst Weston and I were each poking around on our respective computers for songs on iTunes:

Weston: Mom, I can't find any songs by AC/DC......

Me: Are you sure you are spelling it right?

Me: Oh my God. I am an idiot. Did you hear what I just said? "Are you sure you spelled AC/DC right?"

Sometimes I forget to listen to people as they are talking. Sometimes, I forget to listen to myself!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I Love This

This is a humorous but disgusting look at Weight Watchers food from the 1970s.


Yesterday was a day of good news. First came the call from my neighbor, who is the mother of twin boys who are Weston's two best friends. The twins had gotten into Castillero, the middle school we were hoping all three would be able to attend. Next was the letter in the mail that confirmed that Weston had also been accepted to Castillero. Third was the call from Dr. Sheu's office informing me that they got all of The Mole. There was much rejoicing in the Dakin household last night. Prosecco was consumed, toasts were made, and many hugs were exchanged. Whew!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mole Part II

So yesterday the mole, or former mole, began to freak me out. After having a surgical procedure to remove a severely atypical nevus these are some things you should NEVER do! Do not ever:

1: Google the words, severely atypical nevus, or:

2: Google the word, melanoma.

These things are a bad idea and may cause one or more of the following:

  1. Hysterical crying in the lap (rather than the shagging) of your husband.
  2. Excessive drinking.
  3. Ulcers, canker sores, and pimples.
  4. Memory loss.
  5. Irritation with your children.
  6. Distraction
  7. Loss of sleep
  8. Paranoia about the cough you have had for two weeks.

So don’t do them. Please. Ever.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Mole

So today was the day that I finally headed off to the dermatologist (Dr. Mary Sheu) to have my mole removed. In medical parlance they called it "a severely atypical nevus", which in common speak means, "Oh, shit, we really don't like how that mole on your arm looks!" It wasn’t, thank goodness, melanoma, but it was atypical enough that they decided to treat it as though it actually was melanoma. This meant excising a 5 mm margin around the chunk they already removed when they did the original biopsy back in January.

I didn’t look while they had the wound open. I’m way too skittish about my own blood, but I couldn’t resist peeking while she was stitching it up. Dr. Sheu used what is called a purse string suture to make the scar as small as possible. I appreciate what she said about the scar being smaller, but have you ever seen one of those little velvet pouches that jewelers use put your expensive earrings in? You know, the ones with the little drawstring top. Let me just say this. What looks elegant in velvet looks a little alarming when interpreted in human arm skin. Supposedly it will all start to look a bit more normal in a month, or so. Meanwhile, my forearm now has what resembles an anal sphincter, complete with little arse hairs in the form of black stitches. I’m just grateful it’s not t-shirt season.

They sent me away with a very large bandage on my forearm which, when covered by my sleeve makes me look like I am smuggling hamsters. I was also given strict instructions to not put any pressure on the stitches. I wonder if typing counts as pressure on my stitches? Surely I won’t be able to do dishes, or laundry, and grocery shopping counts as heavy lifting, right? Otherwise I might develop a hemorrhoid on my arm!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Image courtesy of Flickr

Did you know that there is now a bra specifically designed to counteract the bounce you subject your boobs to (according to cup size) while exercizing? It's called the Shock Absorber, and I challenge you not to become at least momentarily mesmerized by the pendulous bouncing nude demo. Take a peek at the Bounce-ometer. Be forwarned however, selecting the FF-G cup-size is not for beginners. I particularly enjoy how the accompanying music sounds like it could also provide the sound track for a porno movie. Bow-chicka-bow-wow!

Cracking Good Oscars, Grommit!!!

I confess, I watched very little of the Oscars. The problem was that Garrett, who had watched TV or played video games most of the day on Sunday, began rolling on the floor and groaning in a fit of rage the moment I turned them on. Apparently 15 minutes of something other than "The Fairly Odd Parents" is enough to send him in to an extended tail spin. Truthfully, I turned the TV back over to him because it was time to start making dinner, but the groaning/rolling was an added motive.

Thankfully, I was able to catch the most important five minutes of the show. The part where Wallace and Gromitt, Curse of the Were Rabbit won an award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Now, here is the part where I confess that I'm a teensy bit of a fan of W&G. We've been watching Nick Park's creations for close to fifteen years. Until recently when our kids talked about W&G they got blank stares from their friends. Garrett learned to say "cracking good toast" long before he was in to the Power Rangers. Witness my Halloween pumkins! I'm not sure I could have been more excited if one of my own kids had gotten an Oscar.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sideways Saturday in Sonoma

On Saturday we (me, Steve, and our friends Brad and Lori) headed up to Sonoma to go barrel tasting. If you aren’t familiar with this event, it happens annually on the first weekend in March. Participating wineries are pouring off of the barrels from last year’s harvest in hopes that people will buy futures.

Unfortunately we got a bit of a late start, so it was almost 2:00 when we finally got there. Still managed to hit 4 really good wineries, including Rafanelli, Wilson (a must if only for the bread and tri-tip and to watch Molly-the winery dog, a little border collie, herd flies), Bella, and de la Montanya.

This was my forth year for this event, and the first time I’ve ever seen crowd like this. Rafanelli is always a zoo, but this time the line stretched out the door. It was totally worth the wait because not only were the Zinfandel and Cabernet they were pouring outstanding, but they had chocolate to go along with it. Bella was a highlight because they had the whole place decorated to look like a barn dance, complete with live band. Wines were only OK with the exception of the Syrah. It was very smooth, and almost buttery. We had visited Wilson and de la Montanya in October (and actuallys stayed at the little cottage next to the tasting room at de la Montanya), but still worth another stop in. I recommend the Tempranillo and the Primativo at DLM. At Wilson, must haves are Sawyer Vinyard Zinfanel and the Late Harvest Zinfandel.

We stopped for dinner at Manzanita and had a great flatbread pizza with picholine olives, fennel, and idiazabal cheese. Another great restaurant in Sonoma is Restaurant Charcuterie. Particulalry if you are in to pigs. Manzanita was the only place that wasn't booked solid by 5:30 and even they turned us away at first but then ran after us at the last minute as we headed off, to say they had a cancellation.

All together a great day if not a bit too much driving.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Actually, It's an Excavator

Steve is so sick of hearing me tell this story, but it's my favorite, so Steve, be quiet and listen again! Weston started talking at what I think is a pretty young age. His first word, "uh oh", was uttered at just about one year of age. And he spoke clearly too. As he learned new words, he might say them a little oddly the first time, then they came out perfectly after that. By two he was speaking in complete sentences.

A former aquaintance of mine (Beatrice) has a son (Frankie) who was born a few days before Weston. From the moment this boy was born Beatrice obsessed that he was fat, or that he looked too Hispanic (whatever!). As he grew older she constantly questioned her friends about whether we thought Frankie was "slow". In truth, he was totally normal. A little bigger than average (but not fat), very athletic, and although he was slow to talk, it seemed totally normal to me because his dad spoke Spanish to him. So I was left to constantly reassure Beatrice, whilst inwardly seething at her insecurity.

One day when Weston and Frankie were about 2, Beatrice and Frankie were at my home and the boys were playing together. This usually involved Frankie pushing, sitting on, bumping into, and generally manhandling Weston, who was quite a bit smaller. This also made me seethe inwardly. Weston was going through his earth-moving equipment phase at this point in time, so the boys were playing with tractors, dump trucks, diggers, etc. I had stepped out of the room for a moment to seeth and roll my eyes in private, when I heard Beatrice calling to me in great excitement. "Come here, come here, you have to hear this!! Frankie, tell Mommy again what you are holding in your hand." Obligingly, Frankie chortled, "Bahoe, bahoe." (translation:back hoe) and Beatrice clapped her hands in delight at his eloquence and astounding ability to indentify construction equipment. That is, until Weston piped up with, "Actually, it's an excavator."

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nick Names

Is any one name enought for a pet or a child we love? To wit, my cat Kasey. Simple enough name, right? But when she's lounging in front of the window in her sunny spot, the name Kasey is not sufficient. Instead, she is transformed into The Divine Miss K. When she has overeaten (a frequent occurrence), she is Miss Fatty Pants. When she has exhasperated me she is Kasey Bell (what is it about middle names?). Names evolve. From Kasey, came Quesa, which begat Quesaquin, which begat Quesaquinny, which begat Fwaysafwinny and Fwinfwin. Does anyone one else succumb to this insanity? I did the same with my kids; especially when they were little. As babies, their given names were, well, too adult. As a small baby, Weston, with his big toothless grin became Gums, then Gumball, then Gumballino (you know, the Italian form of Gumball). Garrett, inexplicably, is called.... no, it's just too silly. His friends might read this. Even Bo, the much-maligned wannabe JRT, has nick names. Soon after we got him, Bo was quickly lengthened to Bodee, which Garrett then changed to Bodwee (pronouced like bu-DWEE (so CUTE)). From that evolved, Shmudwee, Shmudders, and Shmudwud. But isn't it true that when your pissed at them, they are just plain, Bo. As in, goddamnitboyoupieceofshit!!!

Dog Envy

So does anyone else have dog envy? Three years ago in the throes of deciding not to have any more children, Steve and I decided to get a dog. As responsible future pet owners we researched breeds, visited the Humane Society, went to dog shows. Then, because it was the middle of the dot com boom, we purchased a dog over the web. Try not to fall off your chair laughing at our naivete. The last dog I had anything to do with buying was when I was 8 years old OK?

So my sister-in-law, the neighbor down the street, and every add on TV, have these cute chubby little jack russell terriers with short legs and droll personalities. Doing a little online reseach on JRTs we came across a link to Violet Meadow Farm in New Jersey that promised cute little "shorty" (remember this term, it will come up later) Irish JRTS. Here is what we expected:
This is a "shorty" Short legs, short hair, and droll personality all intact. Look, he looks like he should be wearing a little smoking jacket and be all, "In my opinion, Hilary Clinton will never get the Democratic nomination. Over 40% of voters say (blah blah blah)."

This, on the other hand is Bo. Long, shaggy hair, which begins to stink quickly because he pees on his own legs. Long, loooooooooooooooooong legs (remember the term "shorty"?). Bo stands 18 inches at the shoulder and weighs 22 lbs. Does this LOOK like a jack russell terrier to you? The woman who used to groom him (Strange. Their business kept moving every few months and now has vanished compeletely. Do you think it's me... or my dog?) said, (and I quote) "If that dog is a jack russell terrier, I'm Marilyn Monroe." Let me assure you, this woman looked nothing at all like Miss Happy Birthday Mr. President.

Yup. Now appearence aside, we could be totally happy with Bo if he was intelligent and droll as advertized. Instead, Bo took 2.5 years to house break, drinks water obsessively which makes him vomit mucousy water all over the place, has only learned one verbal command with any consistancy ("Go hump your bed, Bo"), and has a complete inability to get along with any other dog. This, my friends, is the root of my dog envy. Now before you send me hate mail about how much I should appreciate my dog no matter what he looks like (please send me hate mail (any mail at all would be lovely)), Bo is treated as royalty. He refuses to eat any kibble not graced with leftover fillet mignon, taco filling, bits of chicken, or other gourmet treats I have whipped up. But if you'd like to trade your real JRT for my shaggy mop, drop me a line! I have DOG ENVY. Every time I see one of those cute little pudgy JRTs in the little Sherlock Holmes sweaters, a part of me wants to stop the person and pour out my doggy sorrows. Thank God I have you, Internet!

In the face of brilliance.....

OK, so I've been reading all of the other brilliant blogs out there like finslippy and GoFugYourself and I keep thinking, maybe I can do this too. So this is my first attempt at being humorous, thought-provoking, heart rending (should that be hyphenated?), etc. Of course the very fact that I am trying to do so is a little like watching yourself on video. Suddenly you become hideous to yourself as a byproduct of your own self conciousness.

Short introduction to me:
Name: Robin
Place of Residence: Silicon Valley (according to my husband, this should not be pronouced like silicone (as in fake breasts))
Husband: Steve - software engineer. Married since April 24, 1994 (send gifts!!)
Children: Two. Both boys. Weston (10) and Garrett (6)
Pets: Dog (Bo), Cat (Kasey), Hamster (Furry), and 9 fish (no names)
Job: Wildlife Biologist/Ecologist
Loves: Reading, Cooking, Karate (Green Belt in Kung Fu (it's the one before brown)), and apparently, Parentheses
Favorite Place to Travel: Kauai

So as I write, I am sharing the computer room with my two sons. Each has their own computer (What? This is the Silicon Valley). They are playing free games on the web. This is what I hear as I vainly attempt wit and humor.

Weston: Archer. (singing) Dana, na, na, na, na, naa. Elf. Dana, na, na, na. Man on horseback. Da na na na na na. na.

Garrett: (somewhat tunelessly) Dana na na na

Weston: Priest. Boooooo

Garrett: Boooo

Weston: Gandalf. (Extactically)YEAHHHHHH!! Woo Hoo!

Garrett: YEAAHH.

Weston: Warrior. Booooooo.

Garrett: You stink man!!

Weston: You look like a bear.

Garrett: You look like a freakin' idiot!!

What does this all mean? I know not. Something to do with a video game they are both playing. I assure you however, this does not increase my HQ (humor quotient) in any way.

Garrett: You smell like pooh!! Boooo!

OK. Enough stream of conciousness to fill up my first post. I promise, they'll get better as I go along. Next time I'll have something tangible, something meaningful, humorous, and thought provoking to write about. Meanwhile.... You stink man!!