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I quit... most likely

I quit my job today, so I do not feel like posting my original intentions. I don't know if my boss (aka my mom) and I will work out our differences, but I am fed-up. My mom claims that the problem is a breakdown in our relationship with each other. If we had a personal relationship, that might be true, but we don't. So, that's not it. I think I can pinpoint the exact problems, and they stem from a listening-discerning-defensiveness-communicating stance.

I don't know what I'm going to do, just yet. I'm trying to spruce-up my resume and look for a job that will work with my mortgage payment. I might smooth things over with my mom, but I think that the straw has officially broken the camel for good. Even if we work it out, I think I'll still look into moving.

I have faith that it will work out. In the (paraphrased) words of Tim Sanders, author of the Lovecat Way, "If you cannot imagine starting over, you've got scarcity."

More on scarcity at a later date.


the things I would do for love:

1.) Pose in a Star Wars, Han and Leia, photo. If there is one thing that must prove my love for Justin it is that picture. The people making the photos were really impressed with us and Justin's crooked-Harrison smile and with my expression. The guy taking the photo asked me to look like a damsel in distress. I was like, dude, are you kidding me? I WAS a damsel in distress!

2.) Go to Disneyland during peak season. I know the trip was for Luke, but we had so much more fun when we went in January. However, Luke is right at the perfect age for Disneyland. He's just big enough to go on Space Mountain (but not Indie, rats!). He's just small enough to unabashedly wrap his arms around Mickey in a fierce hug. He didn't have to ride in a stroller, which makes life easier in a crowd. However I am increasingly convinced that strollers may be the next weapon of passive aggressive rage-aholics. It was also nice for Luke to tell us what he wanted to do next - no more guess work for us. Alas, much to Justin's dismay, while Star Tours ranks pretty high on Luke's list of favorite Disneyland activities, it was Buz Lightyear's ride that stole his heart for this trip. This was also a huge blessing to me, because we only had to ride Star Tours twice. And because the Star Tours ride lets you out in the Star Wars Disney store, where the photo from #1 was taken, I can barely drag Justin and Luke out of there. It's a whole other attraction on its own. For those of you who want to know, yes, we had a nice time at Disneyland.

3.) Attempt to climb a second story balcony to get into my house, because Justin put my house keys in his pocket and then proceeded to get a on plane to Atlanta. Yeah, welcome to my morning. You don't want to hear this at 5:45 AM, "Honey, I'm about to board our plane and you're going to kill me. Your keys are in my pocket." Oh how I curse you, little two-part key chain. I thought it would be so cool to be able to separate my house keys from my car keys. It's not. It had gotten us both into so much trouble with getting locked out. Anyway, so I had to reach my dad, who picked-up a spare key from us on Saturday before we left. However, my dad was also at an airport waiting to board his flight to Alaska. So, I called my mom (gee, I'm glad my family doesn't mind me calling them at 5:50 AM!). She had my dad paged at the airport to see where he put the key. Since, they are both of out town, they can't just look for it. He put it in his truck, which was locked, at their house. So, I made my way there, only to discover that the only key I have to my parent's house is in Justin's pocket and somewhere over Nevada at that point. Bless my mom and her hide-a-key! Long story short (too late): I was able to locate the key to my parent's house, the truck and my house. Oh, and I failed to mention that I did all of this running around and climbing the shrubbery at our complex in my PJs. At one point my mom suggested that I just go to work and wait for a locksmith. Well, nevermind that my office keys are also in said husband's pocket, my hair was unbrushed, I still had on my PJs, I was sans make-up...

In the words of Meatloaf (taken completely out of context for my own selfish purposes), "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that."


the sea of jerks

Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, not the jerkiest place on Earth. We tried to see the fireworks tonight and the end result was us taking a tour from Tomorrow Land through the area in front of the castle, to Frontier Land, around Adventure Land, back to Main Street and then FINALLY we were able to sneak into the crowd. If that last statement sounded weird, it was. We had to SNEAK into A CROWD.

Those cast members with the light wands waving people to and fro are absolutely militant. I know they kind of have to be, but man! A lady cannot even stop to tie her shoe (while politely and secretly crooning her neck to see the fireworks from behind a tree). We contemplated just ignoring the cast members as they repeatedly told people that, "This is not a viewing area." But being the sort of people with consciences that we are, we decided to move along. My favorite wand-waving cast member was the one who was screaming, "Don't look, don't view the fireworks, keep walking." I nudged Justin and said, "Uh oh, I'm looking!"

However, the scariest part of being a huge crowd like that? Being 5'4" in that crowd. It's the perfect height to get overlooked by a large majority of people. That may not sounds so bad to you people on the taller end of the spectrum, but being overlooked means getting shoved, stepped-on, elbowed and a vast variety of other rude and painful inflictions. It's also the perfect height for people to run over your already-sore feet with their very heavy strollers.


finally, it's Friday!

I love Fridays. I wish it wasn't as close to Monday, but there is something magical about a Friday. Everyone at works seems a little happier with the weekend looming just past your lunch hour. This time, however, I am even more excited about Friday, because tomorrow we head to Disneyland! I can't wait to go with my family. The three of us have never been there alone. There is a twinge of excitement in the air at the Tipton House. Of course, I think Justin is only excited because he gets to go on Star Tours a million times in a row. And he has Luke convinced that Star Tours is his favorite ride, as well. I know better, though. Luke will tell you that Autopia ("the cars" in Luke-language) is his favorite.

Despite Luke's interest in Autopia, Justin is likely to get the long-awaited Star Wars fan and son combined! Luke's Star Wars collection is growing. Last night's addition was a Darth Vader. Luke really likes the Jedi Force toys, I think it's because they look like Rescue Heroes. Justin would rather Luke get into real Star Wars figures, but I don't really care (obviously), I just like the Jedi Force figures because they have big feet. There's something totally cute about dolls/action figures with big feet. That comes from my mom. She's always grabbing the feet of dolls, even those that do not belong to her or people whom she knows.

I am sure I'll post more photos from Disneyland, but here we are at bedtime. Luke loves Goodnight Moon and has memorized it completely. There is this part of the book where you say "Goodnight Nobody" and the page is blank. Every time he gets to that part he looks at me in consternation and says, "Hey, you cleaned that up!" I guess my cleaning is noticeable even to an almost five-year-old. What can you do?

Goodnight Luke, sweet dreams.


all's quiet on the blogger front

It's quiet out there. Short postings can be found on all my friend's sites and no one is commenting. Even I haven't felt up to my daily posting. Where is everyone?

Luke goes home on Tuesday (7/26) and time seems to be hurling us, at a break-neck speed, toward our deadline. Why does our time with him seem to move faster than the rest of the months, yet slow down to a near crawl on certain days? Whenever he's here, I go through these moments of either desiring full-time motherhood or getting my tubes tided ASAP. Right now, I'm feeling somewhere in the middle.

My in-laws recently informed Justin and I that we are to give them a granddaughter. Flabbergasted beyond belief, I stared back at my cuddly dad-in-law and all he said was, "So that mother can dress her up."

I looked over at mom-in-law and all she said was, "It would be fun to have a little girl in the family."

Perhaps you need to know that before we got married, the in-laws were not too in favor of us getting married so soon and having children. To give them full-credit, Justin and I got engaged after 6 months of dating and 3 months after his divorce was final. So, they had legitimate concerns. I won them over, though. And they had me at hello.

So, there you have it. We are supposed to have a daughter. Just when I thought my ovaries are safe...


Walt, our hero

No, not that Walt. This is not another Disney posting.

I was just sitting at my desk (in the land of un) when I remembered a story I wanted to share with you. In the middle of a hot July, my good friend Jenn and I headed to her parent's cabin at Pine Mtn. Lake. I was so excited to spend a weekend away in the wilderness. Well, pseudo wilderness. We were are a cabin, which was (and is) just as nice as anyone's house. Upon arriving at the lake, I convinced sweet little Jenn to rent a sailboat with me. These are tiny, little 2-person boats. She was OK with renting one, because I gave her false security in my ability to sail the boat. You see, I told her that I was more than capable of sailing this tiny, little boat, because I had been sailing before. This statement is true. What I didn't tell her was that my sailing experience was as a passenger on a large sailboat, almost yacht, in San Diego. COMPLETELY different. However, I figured it couldn't be that hard and that I could handle it - no problem. After all, I catch on easily!

So, the facade was working as we headed out the middle of the lake. It was a fairly breeze day, so we didn't have a problem catching wind in the sail and I knew how to steer the rudder - so we were golden! That was, until the wind died and we were stuck in the middle of the lake. Jenn looked at me and said, "Now, what?"

Silence... Not ready to admit defeat, I calmly stated that, "We just need to wait it out."

Eventually, the wind picked-up, again and we were off. Of course, the wind decided to die down, again, and we were stuck in some reedy area of the water, near the shore. I was NOT going to get out of the boat in that water. Ew! I am always afraid of water I can't see through. You know, because some crazy water snake is going to bite my toes off! I couldn't believe we were stuck in a place I couldn't smoothe-talk my way out of. There was really no excuse. I could tell that Jenn was getting wary of my "technique" but politely didn't question it. Finally, when I kept getting us about 10 ft from the reeds, only to immediately return did Jenn looked at me in question to our dilemma. I just shrugged. This was the point when she frankly asked me how to get out of this situation.

My reply: "I have no idea."

"I thought you said you knew how to sail?" She asked in a voice that was a little less than thinly-veiled panic.

"Well, I've been ON a sailboat, before," was all I could say. At this point I was extremely amused that I had been able to convince her to get on this boat. She wasn't very spontaneous at this point in her life. (Now, she is very spontaneous. I am not taking full-credit for that, just some.) I knew it would all work out. Worst case scenario would be to swim to shore - Pine Mtn. Lake is very small. She wasn't as confident in my abilities and began to get a little mad, yet she was still having fun and I could tell that situation was stretching her adventurous muscle. Luckily, a man name Walt actually swam out to us and taught us how to tack. Without our permission, he just climbed right in. Even though he sank our boat and tossed Jenn overboard in the lesson, we did, indeed, learn to tack our way back to shore. I was very proud of us. Our only casualty was Jenn's watch, which will forever remain at the bottom of Pine Mtn. Lake in tribute to our sailing lesson a la Walt.


Have you ever looked at your screen and been totally blank? That is me, today. I feel like the most boring person on Earth, right now. I feel unoriginal, unethusiastic, uninteresting and un-whatever. Just un.

Despite all the un, I am doing quite well today. I have been doing a lot of reading on Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. It is really interesting. Did you know that a JW believes that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, that there is no trinity and that only 144,000 JWs will actually make it to heaven with an immortal life? I would just like to know where that number came from? Why not 144,116? Or even 144,001. I am still searching for some Biblical reference to this figure, but so-far no one can really come-up with one. I guess the rest of the believers will have everlasting life. It gets more confusing from there. JWs even have changing doctrine that they attribute to having greater light shed on the truth. Man, I am SO GLAD that I believe in a consistent, unchanging Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Hopefully, tomorrow I won't be so un. (Smack me for overusing it, already.) But what is the opposite of un? Nothing - just the word, I guess.


another trip in the works

Have I mentioned our love of Disneyland? There is something so wonderful about Walt's playground. It is, indeed, magical. From the syrupy sweet scents at Main Street to the hidden In'jun Joe caves on Tom Sawyer's island, there is nothing better and no place I would rather be than at Disneyland. I think it's the kid in me that keeps longing to come out and play. It is just something about the way everyone seems happier there. It really appeals to my idealist side.

We try to take Luke when here is here. This photo was taken in Toon Town (not my favorite place, but the kids love it). Don't you love how I'm too tall for a proper photo with Luke? I don't usually get to say that I'm too tall for anything.

This photo was taken over a year later. You would think that we would have learned from the prior experience! We're so stupid! However, that is Luke and his uncle Ian. I think that it is possible that Ian is an even bigger fan that I am. I have suggested the Behind the Ears books to Ian.

Anyway, I have a ton of Disney memories. A TON. Did you know that I was in the Parade of Stars at Disneyland? My cousin Emmaleigh and I were on a 3-day adventure there and we saw that people were being picked-up by cast members to be in this Parade of Stars. We studied them and their pick-up times. The last day we were there, we "wandered" over to the area where they were getting people to join the parade. We pretended that we had no idea what was going on and when the cast member asked, "Would you girls like to be in the parade?" We looked a little sheepish and relunctantly agreed, all the while we were bursting inside. We got to learn a dance and wear a tutu! We did our routine around Baloo and got a pin at the end of the night. They told us not to eBay it, but obviously some people do. Check out the pin!

More Disney adventures to follow in future blogs. What's your favorite Disneyland memory?



It's Friday night. Justin is out. Luke is asleep. I am about to start my cleaning ritual, but I am feeling unusually lazy. It's the heat, I'm sure.

Do you guys know how much of a clean freak I am? I mean it borders on OCD, if not crosses the line in several areas. I get agitated if the house isn't always "just so." I know when people move things and I impulsively move them back - most of the time I don't even realize I do it, either. Sometimes my friends or my sisters will move things, just to watch me move them back unconsciously.

When I say "clean" I mean CLEAN. I break out the toothpicks, old toothbrushes and Q-tips to make sure corners and crevices are absolutely clear of dirt, crud and scum. Even if the bathroom appears clean, I assume it is not and scour it every Friday (unless we go out, at which point I will clean it no later than Saturday morning). It's really a sickness, people. I don't feel like I can leave the house on the weekends, unless I have thoroughly cleaned it. Luckily, we live in a 2-bedroom condo, so it doesn't take me that long to clean. Can you imagine what I will be like when we get a house? I shudder to think! I like for cabinets and drawers to be organized and neat, so that when I open them I feel a sense of order - by color, size and type. Justin says, in that respect, I would have made a great Marine.

When Luke is here, my cleaning is on overdrive. I feel like I have to run after him with a bottle of disinfectant. I love him, but Luke sneezes, coughs and boogers just about everything we own. Oh and the hands! No matter how often we make him wash his hands, they still leave gummy residue on all household and vehicle surfaces. I consider our dinner table the very definition of cesspool by the time he's done with his nightly feeding frenzy. How DOES more food get on the floor and smeared across the table than there every seems to be on his plate?

Everyone says that when you have your own kids... It will be different. (By the way, step-parents don't really like to constantly be told what it will be like when they have their own.) Like suddenly my entire personality will change? I don't think so. I am sure I will relax a little - which I do when Luke is here. You should see my messy dresser! I haven't refolded its contents in almost 5 weeks. But I don't see me every having the type of nastiness in my home that I typically would run away from. I would have to go clinically insane for me not clean, which I find to be a rather circular conclusion to my hypothesis. The only way to rid me of this OCD-ish cleanliness would be for me to be insane. Hmmmm....

Well, I don't have time to go into this anymore, I just realized that it's been FIVE weeks since my last drawer re-organization!

what to do when it's too hot to function

10. Stick your head in the freezer.
9. Sit in the Coldwell Banker meat locker, I mean office.
8. Eat so much T.C.B.Y that you get constant brain freeze, therefore eliminating thinking about being too hot and dually making you incompacitated for menial work duties.
7. Complain about it constantly to everyone the minute you walk in the door.
6. Stand over an air conditioning vent in a skirt (very a la Marilyn).
5. Fry an egg on an ex's car (kids, do not try this one at home).
4. Pretend you're the York's Peppermint Patty virtual skier, complete with "whoosh's."
3. Consider moving to a cooler climate - I mean, isn't Greenland lovely this time of year?
2. Put undergarments in the freezer for 20 minutes then put them on... Ahhhhh!
1. Jump into your client's pool during their open house. No, really.


three in one, yet three separate

Our music pastor's favorite quote is, "You don't really know God." I think that is true, because while God Himself is unchanging, it seems that the more you know him, the more He is different. However, one thing I do not have a problem with is the trinity. I think it must be because I was raised Lutheran (Catholic-light, sans the saints, the prayers to Mary and the guilt) and went through catechism, where through memorizing different creeds (like Apostles and Nicene) we just accepted the concept of the trinity.

I am in a theology class at church and this was last night's topic. I completely understand how it may be a difficult concept, but I would have to be in that group of people who just don't focus on the all the facets, but take it at face value on faith. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is three in one and yet three separate. Each is God, but because they are three in one, we believe in one god. OK, I guess I don't usually try to explain it out like that. It IS hard to explain. Check out CARM's explanation of the trinity, because they really bring it home with back-up verses and detailed explanations. I would love to hear what any of you have to say about it.


feeling feisty today

Today, I am wearing this cream colored shirt that has a brown flower on the top left side of the shirt, starting at my shoulder. It's one of my favorite Banana shirts that I have had for ages. The flower has started to fade and, from a distance, it looks more like a coffee stain - which is exactly what people think when they see me. So, all day I get these funny looks and people telling me I have something on my shirt. One would think that I would toss the darn thing, because it looks like an accident, but I love it. It's like my own little practical joke that makes me giggle with glee. Ha! I laugh at you.

In other news, I watched the Next Karate Kid last night. Hillary Swank is SO NOT a good Daniel-san. She's really annoying and unconvincing as a karate protégé. What do you expect? It's the third sequeal to a series that gets worse with every addition. Karate Kid II is where I draw the line. By the way, what was with the hawk in that movie? And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to live with a bunch of monks who think its OK to let roaches roam their tables. Yuck.


Mr. Miyagi is super cool

Last night, Justin and I watched the Karate Kid. I think it just came out on DVD not too long ago. Anyway, I think that Ralph Macchio was better as the dying Johnny Cade. However, something about the 1984 flick brought me right back to my childhood - a time when my sisters were both at home and our hairbrush concerts to Madonna and Rick Springfield were a daily event. It was a time when I felt totally safe and my sisters were my world... Well, them and my Cabbage Patch doll, Brandon. (Santa gave me a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas in 1983, but because demand was so high, I got a boy.)

Do you ever see something from your past and it almost transports you back to that time and the memories flood your every thought? Sure, I had a weird childhood where I was taught to do laundry at the age of 6 and my parents weren't really ever home, but I really had a lot of fun. My sister Jacqui was acting-mom for a large portion of my childhood, because our parents worked a lot, but she was great at it. I mean, no one can whip-out a Tater-Tot casserole like Jacqui - four nights a week. There is a reason I don't eat Tater-Tots anymore!

But anyway, I remember wishing that I had a Mr. Miyagi to teach me karate and how to properly use chopsticks. I actually used to clean using the "Wax on, wax off" and "Sand the floor" techniques. I actually thought every high school must have it's clan of Cobra Kai's running the joint. As an adult, Mr. Miyagi signifies so much more when you watch the movie. He's silly and says stupid things, and the whole persona is a completely made-up character, but the lesson behind his karate lessons are all about being a stronger person - from within. As a 7-year-old I didn't really get it, but I wish I did.

One thing that I thought then and I still think now is that Daniel-san was just way too scrawny for Ali. When they kiss in front of the waterslides at Golf N'Stuff, I always thought, "Man, she's gonna snap him in half!" Thanks to watching the featurette, I found out that the directors did that on purpose. They said Elizabeth Shue was like Strawberry Shortcake and Ralph Macchio was like Canoli. I get the underdog thing, but it still looks funny. But then again, how many scrawny guys did I see hooking-up in high school? At least a few - Rich Lashua in particular! Ok, I didn't mean to turn the movie into a Blog, but here you go!

All of this nostalgia and seeing a young Elizabeth Shue makes me pine for Adventures in Babysitting... Maybe I'll add that to our Netflix queue.


Can I talk about Luke some more?

Originally uploaded by BeanTipton.
It never ceases to amaze me how agile Luke is. You cannot tell from this photo, but he's wielding that lightsaber like a real Jedi. Ok a 4-year-old Jedi (ok Padawan, Justin!), but still he's really good at it. I know his daddy is proud of his keen and intense focus on Star Wars. And amazingly, as much as I like to joke about Justin "forcing" Luke to like Star Wars stuff, Luke is a proactive Star Wars enthusiast. However, if he's playing, you must refer to him as Luke Skywalker, not simply Luke.

Originally uploaded by BeanTipton.
Check out the wound he inflicted upon Poor Uncle Ian. I heard Ian yelp from inside the house. Damn, that boy is strong. And this isn't the first time we've witnessed his strength. Now, of course we have to tell Luke not to hit people with his lightsaber, and it was an accident, but I think Justin was just so proud of how well Luke was fighting his oddly competitive Uncle.

So, our lazy Fourth of July consisted of a Tipton-family trip to Gardnerville, NV. It was fun. I wish that Jane would let me help more, but she's hustles around the house cooking, cleaning-up, watering plants and keeping busy with house stuff that I kind of spin in circles following her around. The Tipton men (and boy) have an easier time just watching TV or watching Luke. It's funny for me to witness a patriarchal home. I didn't grow-up in one. My mom would serve dinner to my dad and he would watch TV while she cooked, but that's about where the stereotype stops. I never felt like my dad was the only head of the house, maybe in name only. Tip is clearly the man of the family and wearing the pants - the only pants. That's not to say there is anything wrong with their household, it's just different. Personally, I prefer a more equal-status home (as ours is), but there's something safe and secure about the Tipton house. That is, unless you are playing Trivial Pursuit.

Make no mistake about it. Ron Tipton does NOT like to lose Trivial Pursuit. He hates that Justin nearly always wins. I think he hated it even more when Jane and I teamed-up and beat the whole family in a rousing game of the 90's edition. There is snarling and the gnashing of teeth. Wow. It's something to see. I think it might be something better to miss, at times, but that's neither here nor there.

Luke has been DYING to go fishing, so grandma and grandpa concocted a fishing excursion - just for Luke. Of course, I forgot the camera. That's OK, it was windy and we weren't able to stay very long. I spent a leisurely afternoon in the camper shell of Tip's truck, sipping Fruit 2 O and perusing Jane's stash of People. Now, I know more than I should about Tom and Katie (soon to be Kate a la Scientology's suggestion).


Luminous beings are we... not this crude matter

X-Wing Luke
Originally uploaded by BeanTipton.
I am living in a Star Wars house. I am out numbered, two to one. It is amazing to me that Luke remembers everything Justin tells him about those movies. Without thinking, Luke can tell you about Y-Wings, X-Wing Fighters, Snow Speeders, Tie-Fighters, the Millenium Falcon, Obi Wan, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2D2, Battle Droids, Storm Troopers, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Jar-Jar, Watto, Anakin, Padme and the list goes on and on, and on and on... Yesterday, in the car, we heard Luke telling his toy snake that it "...did not know the power of the dark side."

It's really interesting, though. Luke's memory is amazing when it comes to Star Wars. Can a child learn to read on Star Wars alone? Come to think of it, how on Earth do I know all this shit, too? Damn it! I'm going to be a nerd too, aren't I? Do you think I'll ever get Justin to start reciting designers and the names of all my favorite stores? Not likely. This is why I have boycotted Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Six movies should never have spawned this much insanity. I am sure I am in the minority of this thought-line, but oh well. I'm into shoes, not space fantasy.

I had a lot of fun photos I wanted to send to you from our weekend at the in-laws in Gardnerville, NV, but I forgot to download the camera last night. I'll post them tomorrow with a story from this weekend's adventures. You won't want to miss the lightsaber wound Uncle Ian received from our very own aggressive Luke (Skywalker). Stay tuned...



There are only 4 people, including myself, who even enjoy hunting down the perfect rig. There is a long list of attributes in which a rig must have to qualify for the elite "rig" status. (Although saying it's elite in status only contradicts the entire background of the rig, however, given the way in which Matt and Justin qualify one - I dare to say it is indeed elite.) This one has them in spades. It is a good, ocean rig.

Dude, don't ask. Justin's friends in high school, NAAR, formed a game centered around old trucks. I have found it amusing. For more details, check out the link in my new links section.