Mar 11

The neglected blog

Remember when I used to write? When each new discovery and test and general silliness was posted here? Lots of things have happened that made me stop updating this site, in general, but I think I’m ready again. To be sure, I never stopped writing. There are 117 drafts–spanning between August 2009 and last Friday–are mocking me. And guess what? I’m going to delete them all. It’s time for a new start and to refocus on what I like.

Jun 10

UPDATED: Is it that hard to pay attention?

I received another email from this person again, update below.


I often get press releases and invites to events for things that are outside my frame of reference or interests. Somehow, there are people out there that think that my blog is the perfect place for me to write about cleaning supplies for pets I don’t have or I care about meeting singles in Texas, never mind that I’m married and in LA. People just don’t pay attention.

Today, I checked my email and found a press release from a guy who clearly Does Not Pay Attention.

Good Afternoon Anika!

First of all, nice to make your acquaintance!

Secondly, I wanted to invite you to our client’s VIP Media Exclusive Party. I think this would be perfect for “Faboo Mama”. [SNIP] We are especially interested in the new “Mommy Blogger” demographic, which is why we thought of you!

(Emphasis mine)

First off, it was for an event for some cosmetic thing. Who in their right mind would consider me for such an event? Secondly, anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t give a flipping flapjack about celebrities. But it’s that last line in the email is where he stepped in it. Why? A quick look at any page on my site, has the same part in the sidebar:

about_meNow, what does the last line say? Yep.

You may be willing to offer up a myriad of excuses for the guy, but considering I spent almost 15 years sending out press releases and invites like this, I cut him no slack. I made sure my lists were relevant and up-to-date. I managed not to send the Science Editor of a paper in Houston things about an accounting even in Washington. If I knew that a writer wasn’t interested in New Jack Swing groups, I didn’t send him/her a press release. It’s that simple. It’s called doing your job.


UPDATE: The follow-up email received is especially laughable considering the above:

Anika! How are you!

I trust you received my invitation on Tuesday — I think it is perfect for you and your readership at FabooMama! We are exploring the ‘mommy blogger’ sphere of influence, and your site just keeps popping up. So please won’t you join Los Angeles blogging elite for a night of champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and freebies all night long!
Geez. Kinda laying on the GimmeGimme. Not that kinda girl.
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Apr 10

MINI DEATHWATCH: $2200 for a 4th transmission

The MINI was towed yesterday and the mechanic said it wasn’t the clutch, it was the transmission. Again. This will make it the 4th transmission in the 8 years we’ve had the car. Luckily, the first one was replaced under warranty. I believe the 2nd, we only paid half the price and the dealership covered the other half because it had been less than a year.

There comes a time when it’s not just worth it and I think we’ve come to it. The transmission issues, at least for manual cars (2002 – 2006), are known problems that BMW/MINI USA will not recognize. It’s something about metal bits rubbing off and winding up inside.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer 2002. Being carless is not an option. We have two small children now and don’t live in Hollywood any more. Cracking down on finding a car for our family. I am very sad over this. I like driving the MINI. I had no problem with the idea of getting a larger automobile, knowing that we still had the MINI to drive. I just assumed the larger car would be parked most of the time.

Time to be flexible. Everything else seems so big though! My driving habits will have to change. Driving a big car for a few days is one thing, but getting one to drive “forever” is different. We’ll figure out something.

Apr 10

School picture blackmail

Last month, we got notice that Spring photos would be taken the week before Spring Break. We got the form and tossed it because we were not interested in buying more photos. Imagine my surprise when I picked my child up from school and she had pictures.


What you’re seeing here is an 8×10, 5×7, 2 4×6, wallets, decorated wallets and a fun pack (bookmarks, ruler, door tag, key chain). I did not want this. I do not need this.

I am livid that this company, School Portraits by Kranz, Inc. and the school find it appropriate to not only take unwanted photos of my child, but print them and send them home with her so that we can look over them and pay for what we want to keep.


Yep. You read that right. She’s to return the photos if we don’t want them. What they do with these prints, I have no idea.  I do know that little kids want everything. Six year olds, really don’t grasp the concept of cost or not needing useless stuff.

I also don’t get how this makes any business sense. Taking the time to photograph a person who never submitted an order form is one thing, but to print all of this and send it to the school seems like a great way to lose money. There are people who will keep the photos and not pay. There are people, like me, who will send the photos back and not pay for these already printed items.

I am also concerned about what happens to these photos once they are sent back. I want them destroyed. I do not want my daughter’s image used in this company’s marketing materials, if any. I really have no way to guarantee that both happen, beyond any promise the company may give me.

But beyond all of this, I am extremely upset that my little girl was in tears because I had to say ‘no’. She was so excited over the photos and in was in no state to listen to reason as to why I was saying ‘no’. To be sure, I’ll sit down with her tonight and explain again, but a 6 year old should never be put in this position.

What say you? Have you had this experience before? Do you think I’m over-reacting?

Mar 10

Why so mysterious?

Themes are getting redundant

Themes are getting redundant

Most people are aware that I enjoy Hidden Object games. Most of them are clever, in that there are intricate puzzles you need to figure out beyond the mundane part of finding items on a list. It seems safe to assume that market research shows that 18 – 25 year old white women are the biggest consumers of the games because that is usually the character we’re presented with in most of these games. She often has to travel the world or through time to find some hapless male relative who went and got himself missing either by messing around with stuff he shouldn’t have been messing with or messing around with the wrong mad scientist or evil wizard.

For mindless play, I guess this is okay, but usually the stories are so redundant that there is no point in playing them because you know how they’ll end. This is makes setting even more important. Mystery Case Files has a wonderful franchise in their games. While the puzzles and graphics are often excellent, what makes them more attractive is the setting. Ravenhearst and especially Return to Ravenhearst were just unsettling at times. There were areas of the games I wanted to avoid because they were scary.

Lately, it seems that other game companies, wishing to latch onto MCFs success with Return to Ravenhearst, have gone the mystery route. Sadly, they do it so poorly and just come off as cheap knock-offs. Most of these games don’t even have the awesome puzzles that are really the core of the MCF games. Now we’re faced with titles like in the graphic above (from Big Fish Games) and no compelling game play. Mystery for the sake of mystery is never a good idea. I need something to sink my teeth into.

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Sep 09

Her Name is Ceviche

There was this girl, yeah, Her name was Anika.
But everybody acted like she was some kind of freak, uh
One day…when she down at beach-y,
This dude asked her name,
She said, “Yo, they call me Ceviche.”

He said, “Hey that’s strange, do you smell like fish.”
Ceviche said, “No, it’s ’cause I’m a kickass dish.
Im like all kinds of awesome, complex & flavory.
Add some Tapatio; it makes that tostada savory.
Ceviche’s my name, and when in doubt,
Just watch me swim fast like I was a trout.”

Well this girl Ceviche, reps the City of Angels
Sometimes it’s so hot that she sounds like Charlie Rangel.
You see her around, she drives a green Mini Cooper
Speeding one, she got pulled over by a trooper,
He asked for ID, and said, “Your smile is kind of peachy.”
She laughed and say, “Yep, that’s why they call me Ceviche.”

He said, “Hey that’s strange, do you smell like fish.”
Ceviche said, “No, it’s ’cause I’m a kickass dish.
Im like all kinds of awesome, complex & flavory.
Add some Tapatio; it makes that tostada savory.
Ceviche’s my name, and when in doubt,
Just watch me swim fast like I was a trout.”

The cop was tired since it was an early morning,
He said, “Ceviche, Imma let you off with a little warning.
But next time, I’ll have to give you a ticket,
Take your ass to jail as an excuse just to kick it.”
Ceviche told him, “You don’t need no excuse, man.
You got my address, just come over and we can play Rock Band.”

Yeah, you can check her online, she’s all over the place.
FriendFeed and Facebook…well, not on MySpace
She got her photos up on Flickr,
And updates her status on Twitter.
If you’re in LA, you can check her on BrightKite,
See her Last.fm profile for your party at night.

Her name is Ceviche and she don’t smell like fish.
They gave her that name ’cause she’s a kickass dish.
She’s all kinds of awesome, complex & flavory.
Add some Tapatio; it makes that tostada savory.
Ceviche’s her name, and when in doubt,
Just watch her swim fast like she was a trout.

Sep 09

Cheating hair

As we drove the streets of Oakland, I was discussing with a friend about why I keep my dreadlocks a certain length and had been considering cutting them a bit shorter. At a stop light we saw an older lady with long, grey dreadlocks.

“See, that’s what I want”, I said. “Grey dreadlocks. I live for that day. After that, maybe I’ll cut my hair short.”

My friend had cut her dreads off back in ’03 after 12 years of having them. She replied, “Yes, I love that look. I think maybe when my hair turns grey, I’ll lock it up again.”

“But that’s cheating!”, I exclaimed.

“No, it isn’t. My hair will be grey no matter how I wear it”, she answered.

Still, somehow I think it’s cheating.

Oct 08

Plurking the vote

I just awoke to find a litle ‘US Elections’ tab on my plurk page. Curiosity took hold; I clicked through to a contest page. Plurk is offering ‘One Plurk, One Vote’. You go to a friend’s plurk page and you can vote for your candidate of choice.

You don’t have to be a US citizen, but you do have to have a Plurk account.


As of this moment, the scores are McCain/Palin -16%, Obama/Biden – 84%.

So why don’t you visit my plurk vote page and register your voice.

Aug 08

Hurricane Gustav

This is going to be pretty short and too the point.

There’s been mandatory evacuations called for New Orleans. During a presser earlier in the day, Mayor Nagin and Gov. Jindal made it expressly clear that there will be no government provided shelters for those who choose to stay/can not afford to leave their homes. Or in Nagin’s words, ‘”You’re on your own.”

Many of my remaining family members are already gone. I’ve heard from friends (online and meatspace) whose families have fled already, as Gustav is being called as worse than Katrina. I believe we all know that he levees will not withstand anything over a Cat3 storm, so this is pretty big. Let’s hope that Gustav loses strength before it makes landfall. There’s already been 78 deaths in the Caribbean. I pray there’s no more.

Aug 08

I’m still laughing

Last night, the GOP put the word out that they may postpone their Convention in St. Paul, Minneapolis in Hurricane Gustav hits the Gulf Coast.  Their reasoning?

Senior Republicans said images of political celebration in the Twin Cities while thousands of Americans flee a hurricane could be dubious. “Senator McCain has always been sensitive to national crisis,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, noting that the senator postponed announcing his presidential candidacy in 2000 because of the war in the Balkans. “We are monitoring the situation very closely.”

This would be admirable, but I think all remember how “sensitive” McCain was to the national crisis of Hurricane Katrina 3 years ago: