Thursday, August 28, 2008

Please Stay Tuned...

Yay! I have my first non-Michelle (...) K request for a blog. Woohoo!
Now, Michelle my love; don't get your panties in a bunch. I asked for your requests; and I am EVER so grateful for them; but I now have a request without me directly asking someone to make a request. Oh, excuse me, I guess I did actually make a request when I wrote a blog saying "I'm taking requests;" but anyway, you get the point - someone made one and I'm delighted. I feel like Sally Field at the Oscar's "You like me; You really like me."
Now, here's the kicker. Nancy has requested a blog about how Luis and I met. Well, call me delusional or hopeful, or insane but I am SO convinced that our story is the material that Lifetime movies are made of; (even though neither of us has been abused, anorexic, arrested, bullimic, jailed, kidnapped, on drugs, on trial or killed;) that I want to copyright the blog before I post it. Did I say, call me paranoid?
Seriously though; those of you who already know of my love story can attest that A. This story is TV, movie or book bound, and B. It is Well Worth Waiting for. So, why am I blogging now? Well, it is part of my commitment to meet requests within 48 hours. This isn't quite the same thing, but it is a blog about a blog. I'm having a Victor Victoria moment. Anyway, PLEASE stay tuned and as soon as I get copyrighting figured out; I promise to bring you one of the most fantastic love stories of all time.
In the meantime, here's a picture....
OK, probably not what you were expecting. This is actually me and Michelle (...)K
NOW, here's a recent photo of me and Luis; taken by Kelsie (age 4)

Till Next time...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You Know You Have a Problem When... #2

You know You Have a Problem when... Your friend is showing you her pictures from her cruise to Europe and after perusing several photos; the first one you comment on is that of a pretzel cart.
OMG, I am actually am little bit embarrassed for myself.
My friend Kara was showing me pictures from her trip to Russia, Germany, Stockholm etc. There were pictures of churches and beautiful buildings; and though ultimately I did comment on one or two - OK, one. The first picture that I felt compelled to comment on was that of a VERY lovely, hot pretzel cart. What can I say - I LOVE hot pretzels - they're one of my all time favorite treats. And thankfully Kara enjoys food as much as I do; which is probably why she took the picture of the pretzel cart.
Till next time...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Know You Have a Problem When...

So under the heading of "It seemed like a good idea at the time;" I give you... my last blog. What can I say? I basically measure the success of a post by the comments that I receive; and considering that thus far I have only garnered one comment and it was from the ever faithful, Michelle (...) K; I take it to mean that my last post tanked. Now, I know, I know; with the whole feed burner thing, not to mention people's busy lives; I definitely allow for the possibility that not many people have read that post yet; but as I am the Queen of BEING CRITICAL of MYSELF; it is obviously easier for me to believe that I just missed the mark last time. Now, let me remind you - that last post was not meant to bring about World Peace. I mean we all know that I am about the Greater Good; but sometimes I just need to share my thoughts; and hey when I asked Michelle (...) K for a suggestion; she happily gave me one and I was delighted to oblige her. Now since her other request was also movie related; I figure I'll give everyone a little breather from my cinematic commentary; however, I did want to get another post out within 48 hours since AFTER ALL that was the whole purpose of the taking requests idea.

(Breathe) Now, while we're on the subject of requests. Jackie pointed out to me that I do not post many pictures on my blog. I hadn't really thought about it; but I guess it's true. And how Ironic. I mean I definitely hold my own in a Lucy Vs. Carolyn Applebee bragging mom's competition. Yes, I admit it; I KNOW that I brag about my children (may be too much;) but heck, they are wonderful!! So... The point is; how funny that I never post pix of them, yet I; Queen of The TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED feel compelled to run home and do my darnedest to figure out how to post pictures of the Bobble Head Woman. Yes, I think my blog definitely calls for more pictures and I can't believe that I hadn't thought of it before; and I'm pretty sure that those of you who only receive my kids semi-annual school photos will be happy for the updates. Let's round a curve.
So, while we're on the topic of photos, I would like to take a chance and introduce yet another new segment of my blog that I am going to call "You know You have a Problem When..."
I believe that I have told you before that I have no illusions about who I am. I know myself VERY well; and I DEFINITELY am my own biggest critic. Yes it seems to me that I am the Queen of Self Criticism; and I am certainly prone to recognizing my weaknesses before my strengths. Don't get me wrong; I know that there are things that I am very good at (I like to think blogging is one of them - but then again; maybe it's not.) Can you say Queen of Self Doubt? I am also the Queen of Talking Myself Out of Stuff. Anywho; for a long time (and I think a lot of people do this;) I have enjoyed pointing out my quirkiness or faults by saying "You know you have a problem when..." (Boy I hope this is reading the same way that I am saying it in my head) and so, I have decided that in the interest of humor (yes, it's meant to be funny;) when I have one of these experiences; I am going to blog them. They should be really quick little blips (SHOULD being the operative word) but we'll see how it goes.
So, without further ado... You know You Have a problem when; Your kids pick out outfits to wear for their school pictures and you actually consider asking them both to wear something else; because they have already worn those outfits to some event or occasion that you already have pictures of and were planning to scrapbook.
Let me explain a little further. After a whole one week of school (yes, for all you non- Arizona dwellers, my kids actually went back to school on Aug 11 -) my kids were going to have their fall pictures taken (FALL - haha) Well, Lyndzi picked out the dress that she had worn on the first day of school; and Nicky picked out the polo that he'd worn to his birthday party. Both outfits were EXCELLENT choices; however, I already have great pix of the kids in these outfits so of course they are future scrapbooking layouts. School pix, also future scrapbooking layouts - so now you see my dilemma. (Or you don't because YOU are sane and I AM NOT.) Anyway, as with anything the first step is admitting that you have a problem, right? Hi, my name is Paige and I am an anal ,compulsive, scrapbooker - there, I feel better already. And yes to answer the question that I'm sure is just burning in all of your minds; YES, I let them where the outfits. I decided to try and rise above and I will just challenge myself to make 2 separate layouts with the kids in the very same outfits. It will take some good self talk (and maybe a Xanax or 2) but I'll get past it.
You know; I have often asked myself why I am so willing to share the moments that make me sound like an utter ass; but you all know the answer to that; "I'm all about World Peace - oops, I mean the GREATER GOOD;" and god knows we ALL need more laughter in our lives; so if I can bring you even just one chuckle at my expense; I am most gratified. And since I have mentioned my beautiful children in their outfits of choice; I will share the pix of them as well. Enjoy!
Till next time...

This is Nicky at his 9th Birthday party, just after he bowled a strike; and Lyndzi on her first day of First grade.
How could I leave out Kelsie... (First day of Pre-School this year;) and while I'm at it; here are
Nicky and Lyndzi ready for CRAZY HAIR DAY at school.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New and Improved

I'm back. My tantrum is over and I'm moving on. It's time for me to make some changes; and I plan to start now - after all, wasn't I the one who was claiming to be the Queen of DETERMINATION just a few short weeks ago? Well, the Queen has put on her big girl panties (God, I'm lovin that expression lately; and my nearest and dearest can attest that I've been using the heck out of it - but hey if the panties fit...) Anyway, since I am so determined to turn things around and take my shot; here is the new and improved Bumpy Ride, by the new and improved (down 30 lbs now) Queen of EVERYTHING.

For starters, The Rides new look is apparent; and I must extend my thanks to Jackie for helping me out with that. I actually thought about adding music to the Ride but I was afraid that people would find it too distracting when trying to read, and we all know that the last thing I want is to hinder anyone from reading and enjoying my blog - so for now please enjoy the quiet that The Ride offers, as I know sometimes it takes EVERY bit of concentration to follow where the heck I'm going.

Now, you know how time and time again I have blamed my blogging delays on lack of quality subject matter? Well, since it is my fervent hope to increase the frequency of my blogging, I've decided to try requesting questions and suggestions from those who enjoy The Ride and want to read more of it. I'm hoping that by doing so, I'll have a whole lot more to blog about. So here's how it's going to work (I hope.) If you have a suggestion for a blog topic, a question about me, or just want my opinion about something; PLEASE leave me a comment and then I Will do my best to post a blog within 48 hours.

My first suggestion has come from Michelle (July has come and gone and she's still not legally) K; who has asked for my top 10 movies of all time; as well as my top 10 movies that I just can't pass up. You know, the kind of movie that when you're changing the channels and you come across is, you can't NOT watch it; (even though you may own it on video or DVD) and no the 2 topics are not necessarily one in the same by any means. Please feel free to leave your lists as well, this way maybe we'll all find a new fave or guilty pleasure.

For today I'm going to tackle the Top 10 movies list; this way I'll save the Top 10 movies I can't pass up for my next blog. (see, thinking ahead, planning to blog in the near future - this my friends is PROGRESS...)

Now please keep in mind; although I run an annual Oscar pool, when it comes to movies my tastes are pretty shallow. What I mean by this is, chances are I will NOT see an epic. I do not like movies that I have to think to hard to follow. I like my movies to be clear and entertaining; that's just the way I roll. (Another expression that I'm loving the heck out of.) Anyway, I am (as I've mentioned before) the Queen of B RATE movies. I still love and could quote ad nausea um "Sixteen candles", "St.Elmo's Fire", "About Last Night" etc, etc. These to me are true CLASSICS. I have yet to see "Casablanca", or probably any other picture made since; of the same caliber or Stature; and that's OK with me. I will say that I LOVED "Dangerous Liaisons;" I thought it was BRILLIANT as was it's counterpart "Cruel Intentions;" those were story lines that you had to pay close attention to (at least I did) and though I saw them, and they are not my typical viewing fare; I thoroughly enjoyed them. Basically I just love movies that make you feel EVERYTHING. Movies that have you laughing one minute and crying the next; A la "Beaches" or "Steel Magnolias;" though neither of those are on my list. (Loved em' but 10 is 10 baby) ask me again tomorrow and it could be different; but at this very moment; THESE are my 10;(in no particular order; even though they're numbered; EXCEPT for Numero UNO, that really is my NUMERO UNO.)

10. "Cousins" - This was a movie back in the 80's that I could watch every day. It stars Ted Danson and Isabella Rossalini and it is a FABULOUS love story. One of the things that I love about it is how the scenes move on through a series of weddings. It's fresh, and endearing, and certainly worth watching if you never have. This is a movie that I could still watch again and again.

9. "Mystic Pizza" - Yep,another oldie but goodie. I LOVE the cast in this movie. Of course there's Julia Roberts, but also Anabeth Gish (who I just love,) Lily Taylor (who we need to see more of in the future) and Hottie McHotterson, Vincent D'onofrio (yes, he's that guy on one of the Law and Order shows that I don't even watch, and he's not so McHotterson now - but then man, whew he was exquisite - sorry fellas. But it's got Julia Roberts too, so there's someone for your viewing pleasure as well.) Anyway, GREAT story. I can't imagine that you haven't seen it yet, but if you haven't and you want some light entertainment, grab up The pizza and settle in.

8. "Pretty Woman" - While I'm on the topic of Julia Roberts, what more can I say. The Quintessential Julia Roberts movie, the Quintessential love story, with some lines that still bare repeating today. As a matter of fact just last week the scrap girls and I were quoting this movie. So unless you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years, I'm sure that you've seen it; but heck, who couldn't always see it again?

7 & 6 "Parenthood" & "When Harry Met Sally" - Let me explain why I have grouped these 2 together. Both movies came out in the late 80's and at that point in time, I actually would go to a movie in the theater more than once (OK, like 6 times even) if I really liked it, and both "Parenthood" & "When Harry met Sally" were multiple movie going experiences for me.

"Parenthood" was just a hoot and a half with an all-star cast lead by Steve Martin. Even though I was no where close to becoming a parent when I first saw it; I found it HYSTERICALLY funny and moving. I think it's a movie that could stand the test of time and I could watch it over and over STILL.

"When Harry met Sally," again, unless you're a Rock Dweller or maybe a guy (sorry guys no insult intended it's just that this was definitely classified as a chick flick so I know that could be a reason that you may not have seen it) but girl's c'mon I'd find it tough to believe that any of you out there hadn't seen it; and don't we all just LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this movie. I mean any movie that could endear Billy Crystal to you as a romantic lead - I say KUDOS, KUDOS, KUDOS and Meg Ryan - well she's just perfect. I know we all love the deli scene but that's just the tip of the iceberg. This movie is and always will be a classic and so I say, "Way to go Meathead - GREAT flick!!"

5. "The Holiday" (Yes, I have seen a movie since the 1980's - LOL) This film was out last year. It starred Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslett & Jack Black. It is a fantastic, make you feel EVERYTHING kinda movie and I find it to be DELIGHTFUL. I don't want to give any of the story away; but if you haven't seen it, run don't walk - because it's a winner!

4. "Fifty First Dates" - I love Adam Sandler (he cracks me up,) I love Drew Barrymore ( I just find her to be so down to earth,) I love them together (they are a great combo) and this movie does not disappoint. It is a love story, it is funny; and some of the funniest lines are from Sean Astin (he's not just a hobbit any more - haha I haven't seen any of the Lord of the rings movies - surprise, surprise, so I don't really know if Hobbit is the right word for his character - but you get my drift.) Anyway, this is not infantile Sandler - this is a REALLY good movie (for guys & girls both.)

3. "Wedding Crashers" - My God do I love this movie. This movie CRACKS me up like no other; even though I can't help but stare at Owen Wilson's nose when he is on screen and personally he is NOT my fave; but I love me some Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell is a riot. Luis and I quote this movie EVERY DAY; and we rarely enjoy the same movies. You'll see this one on my can't pass it up list too; because EVERYTHING about this movie is a must see - over and over and over again.

2. "Sex and the City" - Now you know I LOVED this movie. With the price of tickets these days, I actually went to see this twice in the theater (OK I had a free ticket once) but I would have paid, I would have, I would have. I was not a regular viewer of the show, because I didn't have HBO when it was on, but I have seen the G rated version on regular TV, and none the matter; as you could fully enjoy this movie without ever having seen one episode of the show. And Mr. Big - YUM, YUM, YUM! It's funny, he's not the best looking guy in the world - but there is just something about his whole package that is Sexy personified. His voice, his style, his mannerism, his persona - S-E-X-Y! Now don't get me wrong; I don't love this movie because of Mr. Big alone. This movie is a standout because of ALL of the characters, the relationships, the dialougue and really, just like BIG, the movie really is THE WHOLE PACKAGE. Honestly, Don't miss it. I personally will be on line to buy the DVD the minute it comes out.

1. "Life is Beautiful" - I have referenced this movie in several different blogs. This is my all time favorite movie and all I can say is; Roberto Benigni is a GENIUS. This movie takes place In Italy during World War 2 and it is a love story beyond compare. I don't want to give one second of this movie away. I'll warn you that it is in subtitles which I personally try to steer clear of but I'm telling you that it will NOT matter. You must see this movie. If you have any doubt about the value of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if you need to be reminded what it's all about, or simply, if you have a heart - you NEED to see this movie and if you watch it at my prompting, PLEASE let me know, because i think it is the most PROFOUND movie to date that you could ever have the pleasure of watching - and you know I'm all about the GREATER GOOD; just get your tissues ready.

OK, so now I've said not so much about way too much, so I gotta hit the road. I had told Michelle (...) K that maybe by writing my blog more regularly, they'd actually be shorter - haha WHO AM I KIDDING? But seriously, it is not my aim to be verbose; say it with me "It's just the way I roll."

Till next time...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bad things DO happen in 3's...

Disclaimer: I am VERY Upset.

My family and I just came back from a fantastic weekend away; which I will have to tell you about some other time. And in the course of an hour, I found out that:
1. The sealants that the dentist had put on my son's teeth last month at the cost of $40 to me; was now going to cost me an additional $144 because the insurance claimed that my son had already had this procedure done before. As it turns out, the infamous Dr. Yati, had done the sealant in Dec 05, unbeknownst to me; and the insurance only covers it once in a lifetime. Now when I say unbeknownst to me, it was unbeknownst to me, but it seems that it was not unbeknownst to Luis; just forgotten. Dr. Yati's office does believe that Nicky's dentist should have checked with the insurance; so maybe, just maybe they'll cut me a break; but I'm not feeling so lucky right now - so we'll just have to see.
2. I got a photo ticket. Apparently I got caught by a photo radar making a turn on a red light. Luis said that he can tell from the picture that the guy in front of me probably didn't make the turn fast enough, which is why I got snapped, but nonetheless, now I have to either pay $214, or go to a defensive driving class though my ticket also mentions that I will have to take another class; basically because I am a potential murderer since I made this right on red. Woohoo!!
Just when you think it can't get any worse;
3. Luis called home to Puerto Vallarta because his parents had their visa appointment in Guadalajara today and he wanted to see how it went. Luis' Mom and Dad are 2 of the finest, most upstanding people that you could EVER want to meet. His dad is retired from the government and currently has several rental properties. He was also president of his colony for a very long time (aka Richie Howell - but better) and to this day, people come to his home to see him for advice and counsel. His mom has a business selling cheese and is pretty much the town saint. Whenever anyone is in need of assistance, very ill, or dying people come to her home (any time of the day or night) to get her to come to their bedside and pray for them. Anyway, they had passports with US visas for 10 years and they recently expired. They paid $40 each to get a new passport, and then requested a date to go to Guadalajara (about a 5 hrs drive) to apply for visas. As it is very difficult for Mexican citizens to get visas; they hired an attorney to help them with the paperwork, and Luis and I sent them a notarized letter to present, stating that we would be financially responsible for them (if necessary) while they are ever here. Luis' dad has over $50,000 in the bank, he owns a vehicle, and several properties; and they've had visas before. So you'd think there should be no reason for them to be turned down. They paid $80 each for their visa applications and transportation to Guadalajara and arrived at about 5am to get online at the consulate. Luis' dad told him that the person they saw at the consulate was a woman and she could not have been ANY ruder. She asked if he had a bank account, he said yes, and offered to show it to her but she said no. She asked what he did for a living and he explained as I did previously. She asked if he'd ever had a visa before and he said yes, and offered to show her the passport; but she said no. She then said "I'm sorry Mr. Ramos, there will be no visa for you today." My father in law told Luis that there were 54 people on his bus and only 11 got visas. And I am MAD!
There is absolutely no reason that my in-laws should not have been given a renewal on their visas. They paid the money for the passports, the lawyer, the visa applications, the transportation and there is no chance whatsoever that they would ever remain in the US or overstay their allotted time. I know this may sound hard to believe and trust me, I'm not UN-American, but NOT everyone and their mother wants to live in the United States; and contrary to popular belief, not every MEXICAN wants to live in the United States. Heck, if I would agree to move back to Puerto Vallarta; Luis would move in a heartbeat. He NEVER wanted to come here; he just came for me. He NEVER expected to be here this long; but the economy has us trapped.
I think that part of why I'm so frustrated is because the last time that my in-laws planned to visit, they had to postpone their trip for SEVERAL months because Luis' Grandma became very ill and ultimately passed away. Then just shortly after her passing, their visas expired. Of course they HAD to take care of their family, that's what WE do; but ultimately it also distanced them from us. I am angry because these are my kids ONLY grandparents; and now the US government has taken away their opportunity to spend time with them more than every 1 - 1 1/2 years. I mean, I was counting on my in-laws being able to visit US for a change. I wanted them to see the kids play soccer with their teams and be a part of their daily lives. With the cost of airline tickets these days and gas, it isn't possible for my family to go to Vallarta very often, not to mention that when we drive it takes about 24 hours each way, so we need to have at least 14 days available to us, to make it worth our while; and let's face it, when you have school age children the only time you get 14 days available is either at Christmas or Summer vacation. I'm mad that this woman didn't have to give them any reason for their rejection; because it just makes the decision seem that much more haphazard.
I guess I could go on and on; and many of you have never read this side of me before; but I wanted to share my day with you. WHY? Well many reasons; #1 Because I want everyone to know that we ALL have bad days; even though what might be bad for me is nothing for you or vice verse, it is a setback nonetheless. My $144 dentist bill and $214 ticket might seem like nothing to some; but to me it might as well be $2000 each because right now, my budget is just that strapped. #2 I really do want people to have some understanding as to what Mexican citizens do have to go through just to get the permission to visit this country; because (say it with me) "I am all about the greater good;" and hey, knowledge is power. I am in no way justifying illegal immigration; but there are people who do try to do things the right way, and for no explainable reason they are denied; which has more of a permanent effect on families than our government will ever know, or care to know. Luis has told me that since he is a citizen he believes there is some process that we can go through to apply for visas on his parents behalf. He believes it takes 6 months, and he doesn't know how much it costs. I on the other hand am not hopeful because when Nicky was less than 6 months old, Luis and I applied to bring his sister over to live with us because we wanted her to watch Nicky while we worked. 2 years ago we found out that her visa was finally approved (Nicky was then 7 and I had 2 more children;) to date my sister in law has NOT received her packet from the government with her actual visa; and although we paid for the application and have lost over 9 years, we have no idea if and when she will EVER receive her visa; not to mention the fact that she is now a successful accountant who is studying for her Masters degree and she would NEVER come here now for anything more than a visit. BTW she also tried twice to get a tourist Visa and was denied both times; as was Luis' older brother who is a chef in a four star resort, owns property, vehicles etc.etc.
Trust me when I tell you that this blog is not meant to incite any debates over our government or immigration; so PLEASE do not leave me ay comments to this accord. I just wanted to share the tale of my day because right now I am the Queen of DESPAIR. I guess it is true that bad things DO happen in 3's. So hopefully I have earned myself a reprieve for a few days.
Till next time...