Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Make a Shrunken Head

CAUTION: This post is NSFTS (Not Safe For The Squeamish). You have been warned.

I think it's self-explanatory:

Real shrunken monkey head..

Real shrunken human head.

Ernest says this was "at the Equator museum." This link seems to cover all the tourist attractions at the Equator: so it was probably the Inti-√Ďan Solar Museum.

(OK, I must say that I LOVED that he took pictures of the step-by-step instructions. Way to make your mom happy, son.)

Don't worry, there will be pretty things tomorrow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Looking Up in Quito

Without being aware of it, Ernest followed my "looking up" motif in Quito. How wonderful, to live vicariously through your child. are a few examples.

Tomorrow's installment is something small...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ernest on the Equator

My lovely M-I-L asked me for more pictures of her longest-haired-grandson*'s trip. Well, she asked for it. There will be several days of travelogue here.

*Cousin Josh can dispute this statement if he wishes to stretch out the curl in his ponytail and measure it.

If you saw that gorgeous floral post on Google Reader and can't find it here, don't worry! It will show up here in a few days...I hit the wrong key and published it for all of 5 seconds, but it showed up on the reader anyway. I am trying to put Ernest's photos in somewhat chronological order. And here it begins...

Ernest on the actual Equator.

Yes, he performed the flushing-water-flow experiments. He says: Right on the Equator, it goes straight down. And there is a difference to the north or south.

There is a large monument, built by the French in the 1700s, which is about 300 feet off of the actual Equator. But I think that's pretty darn close, considering they didn't have GPS. I guess they didn't know the flushing trick. (But they've since wised up to that Google trick.)

Stay tuned tomorrow for some looking up!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

At Long Last Aerosmith

After the previous year's debacle, we finally got to see Aerosmith last night. Believe me, we were plenty worried to hear about Joe Perry's motorcycle accident last week.

A whole bunch of my friends took their daughters to Justin Bieber a few days ago, and I was glad I had sons so we could see the anti-Bieber. And they were Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock, as their tour slogan goes. Steven looked great in his skin tight yellow spandex pants, which were tight enough to tell that not only was he cocked and locked, he was also sporting the male equivalent of camel toe, moose knuckles.

Since the venue was at a county fair, pungent aromas wafted through the air. What, you thought I meant the herb? No, I meant MANURE. Whoo-eee, what a strong aroma.

I think Sammy Hagar's been opening for them on the tour, but he got his own night at the fair (I wish I'd gone...). The opening act was a local group who'd won a radio station contest. I thought they sounded good, but my musician children said they were boring: "They always played in the same key and time and only used 8th notes."

Fortunately, they liked Aerosmith better. The music was great, of course. Here's the setlist, if you're into that. For all the animosity that was going on in the band last year, they seemed pretty friendly, with Tyler hanging all over Perry. It was fun when Perry duelled his Guitar Hero avatar and won.

(Bad pictures, I know. We REALLY need to replace our obsolete cell phones.)

So Ernest has FINALLY gotten to see Aerosmith--cross that off the kid's bucket list.

What concert's up next? I think it's Rush again in August, plus I am dragging the handy husband to the Americal Idols tour so I can see Crystal Bowersox. We saw Peter Frampton and Yes a few weeks ago, but I haven't written anything about that yet.

Turn it up!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Someone named "Mr. Thomas" had a birthday party yesterday.

There was lots of bouncing! How nice that big kids got to bounce, too! Whee!!

I bounced too, but fortunately there is no picture of that. Some people did not bounce.

Yummy food, too.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Thomas. He will be 6 on Wednesday.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The New Craze at My House (Snickers, are you listening???)

Three-quarters of my family are newly addicted to these...they can't get enough of this snickerlicious treat.

Even the one that doesn't like nuts likes these. I don't eat a lot of ice cream, so I'm just the enabler here. First I bought one box, then two, then three.

Snickers is not paying me for this endorsement, but I would dearly love some coupons!

So what's the current craze at your house?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out to Lunch

Yes, I've been "out to lunch" around here for a while. So many random thoughts fluttering around in my brain, but nothing's gelled yet. And since Ernest is back, my time is not my own. "Driving Mr. Ernest" is what I do. Although he is very appreciative. And I get a lot of In n Out Burgers out of the deal.

Honestly, I don't indulge in the burger every day. Yesterday was a chicken ciabatta sandwich, today a gyro plate, and tomorrow, I think crepes are in order. It's my little treat for sitting around waiting so patiently. And going out to lunch does help to pass the time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who Do You Love?

Why, Lonesome George, of course. The last living Pinta Island Tortoise.

Ernest had a wonderful trip, but with 500+ pictures I'm a little overwhelmed at putting together an overview for you. So I'll just start with the tortoises!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pie Recovery

Frank had some crust leftover from the last pie, so he decided on Chocolate Mousse Pie next. OK, neither one of us has ever made chocolate mousse from scratch, so out came the good old Joy of Cooking (1970s version -- I'm old school here).

We followed the mousse recipe exactly, but it stayed a runny mess. Frank toyed with the idea of calling it Chocolate Soup, but eventually he poured it in the pre-baked crust and put it in the freezer. Voila, Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie.

It tasted pretty good.

Here's to a great recovery from a culinary disaster -- that's what cooking is all about!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Gloom

Aunt Snow has shown the June Gloom in the southern coastal region of our state.

It continues through most of the summer, although the July and August Gloom just don't rhyme as well.

I lived a block from the beach for most of my college years and never saw the sun, unless I went inland a block or two... I wasted was good those years...just a block from the street from where people fall off the balconies Del Playa and I never partied there...those were the years of amazing apathy, between the burning of the bank and the Halloween riots, but I digress..

Lately the gloom has been incredibly thick, and has threatened to spill over the coastal mountain range into my sunny valley.

Back, back, damn you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alley Oops

All of a sudden the alleys in my neighborhood are sporting street signs. Who knew they had names? Now I do, but they sure don't make any sense. Google Translate can't even translate them.

Maybe pirates live on this one..."Aars, Matey!"...

This is pretty odd...

I've got it! This one's named for the funniest woman in Hollywood! If Suzy Soro ever wants a street sign, she can find it here. She can translate it, too.

What's new in your neighborhood?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Itinerary, Part Last

Day 12, they were supposed to visit the Tunguhuara Volcano, but I guess it's been especially active so they have been rerouted...back to the spa for lunch (Quel disappointment. --Kidding!), returning to Quito in the evening.

Day 13, the Avenue of the Volcanos, Cotopaxi National Park, and Limpiopungo Lake.....then they get on the plane at 10:30 p.m. or so.

Day 14, Travel Day (This is the only day I plan to stress out, what with the unaccompanied minor on Delta issue.)

This is the 5th year I have had one (occasionally both) of my children traveling with this group. If your child has the chance to travel with them, I say grab it! These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Four Days Later

I know, that title sounds like a zombie movie....

Children waiting patiently for the parade to start...I imagine their thoughts, from left to right...

This poor little street car has been in more parades than we can count.

Here it is in 1970. It had a motor back then. And less advertisements.

Love the emo bangs on these horses!

There were two horse/mariachi groups at the end...the cool emo horses shown above were in the first one, but the second group had the world's greatest sousaphone player. His instrument was old and dented, but he played the hell out of it. He rocked, or polkad, or mariachied, or whatever.

Traffic jam near our house....this is usually a completely empty street.

And at the fireworks, there was the guy behind us who was telling all his friends to shut up and be quiet, only he kept on talking. About everything random under the sun moon, including the smell of his 8 year old daughter's farts.


And he announced what they smelled like.


Which was probably what he had been drinking. (If not something stronger!)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bad Choices

Sometimes your legally adult child chooses to make a bad choice and you are powerless to prevent it.

Case in point:

This is Frank last month. Quite hirsute.

At breakfast on Monday, I noticed the sides were shaved but the chin was longer than ever. "Yes," he said, "I'm going to grow it out and braid it."

Like this?

Well, sort of. It's already far thicker than Brad Pitt's mess. Frank says he's going to have just ONE braid. OMG, at least it won't be gray.

I choose my battles with my children. As you can see from past pictures, hair has never been one of them. But this? I'm really disturbed.

At least it's not this...yet...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Itinerary, Part 3

Ernest will spend days 9-11 in the Amazonian jungle.

They left the Galapagos last night and spend the night here, at the Papallacta Hot Springs. Can you say "jealous mom?"

On day nine they will hike through the jungle by a waterfall, eat lemon ants and stay at the Huasquila Lodge.

Day 10, they visit an animal rescue center, a butterfly garden, see a shamanic ceremony, and stay at the Casa del Suizo.

Day 11 is their service project in a small village, helping to plant and cultivate trees which will finance the studies of the children in the community.

He took 2 cameras...I hope he takes a lot of pictures

Saturday, July 03, 2010

And The Latest Pie Was...

And the pie was Blueberry Peach Custard! I found the recipe in the paper on Thursday.

Frank's changes were:
  • vanilla instead of almond extract, as none of us are really fond of almond flavoring
  • a pie crust from scratch. He is using a basic recipe from Joy of Cooking.
  • extra fruit, becuse our pie pan is pretty large
It was delicious...creamy and not too sweet, which I like.

Here's the recipe - click on it to make it big enough to read.

Aunt Snow, did you make your pie this week?