Friday, December 17, 2010


Can I just tell y'all how frakking SICK AND TIRED I am of BULLIES frakking up other people's lives?!?!

You encounter these asshats in elementary, junior high, and high school, and you think: That's it. I'll never have to deal with these people again once I'm out of school. Once I'm in college. Once I get a full-time job.

But it's not true. They appear and re-appear, again and again, everywhere you go, throughout your whole damn life. AND I AM SICK OF IT.

Whatever your PROBLEM is that makes you behave this way, whatever it is that makes you talk down to me, whatever it is that makes you verbally attack me out of the clear blue sky when I least expect/deserve it, GET OVER IT.

Whatever it is that makes you set people up to fail, whatever it is that drives you to undermine people at every turn, whatever it is that makes you want to publicly humiliate and invalidate others: KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF.

Seriously, man. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. I'm sick of it happening to me, I'm sick of it happening to my friends and former co-workers, and I'm sick of it happening to my husband. I'm sick of workplaces that harbor, encourage, and promote bullies.

This has GOT to stop. But it won't until everyone agrees to call it out.

We, as a society of grownups, cannot let this behavior continue.

Thank you.

< /rant >

Thursday, December 16, 2010



Time. Flowin' like a river, to the sea.

Time keeps on slippin'... slippin'... slippin'... into the future.

No time for a summer friend;
No time for the love you send;
Seasons change, and so did I...
You need not wonder why
You need not wonder why
There's no time left for you
No time left for you.

This is a post about... TIME.

This year, I, like many people, find myself unemployed at the holidays. This is the first time in my adult life that I have experienced this! I’m finding it to be a VERY eye-opening experience…

My employment ended in October, and my husband and I decided I should just relax through the holidays; I needed some time to recover from the loss of my job, which I held for the past 16 years. I am enjoying this time off more than I could possibly have imagined!

There’s the predictable stuff:

* Having time to actually SHOP in a leisurely fashion, rather than just grabbing the first thing I see;

* Being able to lovingly WRAP and PACK gifts for far-away peeps, rather than having Amazon do it;

* Not RUSHING everywhere!

But the most interesting thing I’m experiencing – and the most surprising to me – is how differently I’m moving through the world.

I’m not gonna lie. After trying to work full-time AND manage a household AND look after my son for the past twelve years, I. WAS. A. MESS. Emotions I experienced daily included but were not limited to: anger, disgust, resentment, frustration, mind-numbing sadness, loneliness, and self-loathing. But it had gotten to where I just didn’t know any other way. This was just the way life was, I told myself. It was just the way *I* was. Life is hard, right? Suck it up.

So, when I found myself unexpectedly freed from my life in the Hamster Wheel of the Full-time Working Mom, I was absolutely amazed at the effect it had on me. I literally TRANSFORMED. After about the first week, I felt noticeably lighter! The tension and anxiety I’ve struggled with for years has VANISHED. I move through the world differently. Interact with my friends, family, and even strangers differently. I’m warmer, kinder, more forgiving, more relaxed. No more anger toward everyone in my way (and believe me when I tell you, EVERYONE WAS IN MY WAY). No more anger at the slow barista/driver/grocery checker. All of a sudden, everything is like water off a duck’s back! AMAZING!

So… Am I enjoying the holidays? I can answer that with a resounding YES! For what may well be the first time in my son’s 12 years, I am indeed enjoying the holidays. Again I say: AMAZING.

While I don’t wish unexpected unemployment on anyone, as it is quite traumatic, I DO wish that all moms could take a nice, long break from the Hamster Wheel. I wish all moms could experience the transformative power of TIME, and PEACE. I’m not overstating it when I say: It will change your life, and that of the people around you, for the better.

Best holiday wishes to you. I hope the new year finds us all slowing down just a bit, so that we can enjoy the things that really matter.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daytrip: Los Feliz & Silver Lake

We had a SUPER-nice day yesterday in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area! I thought I'd share our activities, as it would make a great outing for local families.

We wanted to do something outdoorsy, but The Tween is not a big fan of our usual hikes (Placerita Canyon, Eaton Canyon, Topanga State Park)... So this time we opted for the Fern Dell area of Griffith Park. The base of this trail weaves along amidst a beautiful canopy of trees, ferns, and streams. (I'd love to know the history of Fern Dell; I found nothing online. If you keep going up the trail, it becomes more strenuous and ultimately leads up to the Observatory.) Dogs are allowed on-leash, so next time we'll definitely bring Kelsey!

After the stroll, we drove in toward Silver Lake for lunch. There are some wonderful eateries here, but we opted for Wendy's (again, looking to appease The Tween).

Next up, one of our favorite stores: WACKO! Mr. Siegel and I have frequented this place since before we were married, when it was located on Melrose. I ADORE this shop. Stop in and you'll encounter bacon-strip band-aids; Absinthe dental floss; tons of Dover clip-art books; wind-up toys; and some of the most unusual art and pop-culture books you can find under one roof. In the back corner lies La Luz de Jesus Gallery, often displaying super-rad art that you won't find anywhere else (altho not always kid-friendly, so scope it out before you drag Junior back there).

A GREAT daytrip for Angelenos. I hope you'll give it a go!

Here's a great article about the Fern Dell area from, and here's another from

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Warmest Thanksgiving wishes from all of us here at The Siegel Files!!!

This year, it's JUST US in our OWN HOUSE for the holiday! We're very excited! The last time we did this was in 2001... (Gee, I'm glad we got rid of that paneling...and those drapes...)

So, wherever you are, whomever you're with... enjoy the holiday and count your mitzvahs!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zinfandel Cranberries

I only make one thing at Thanksgiving: Cranberries.

This is from a recipe we encountered years ago in Bon Appetit magazine. Basically, you make a mulled syrup with red zinfandel wine, sugars, and spices, then cook the cranberries in that.


Brian makes everything else. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! xoxoxoox

Saturday, November 13, 2010


::yawn:: ::strayche::


I'm boring as SPIT now that I'm so goddamn happy.




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Helping The Boy's School Via Your Online Shopping!

Public schools aren't the only ones that suffer when the economy is bad; private schools need all the help they can get in these scary times, when enrollments are down and donations are few and far between.

If you'd like your online holiday shopping to make a difference this year, click thru to Amazon via the link on Ev's school's homepage! A percentage of all sales benefit his school. Pretty cool, huh!? And it could NOT be easier.

Everyone who knows us knows that Pinecrest has been indispensable to us as a family. Not having much outside help, we truly could not be raising the child without them. So any little thing I can do to help, I will do.

Thanks so much for considering this, and for sharing the link with your friends and family. We're all in this together!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of holiday seasons.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Kittens

We continue to be delighted by these awesome little additions to our family.

They have CRAZY personalities... not at all like the late Miss Tabitha. Full of surprises! Some better than others! ;-)

I had no idea how much I would love these little buggers, and how much joy they'd add to our household... despite the food stealing, litter tracking, paper shredding and furniture scratching. :-D

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stuff I Will Try Not To Buy Now That I Am Unemployed

I think I will succeed at resisting most of these.

Except the Starbucks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How I spend my days...

Me & mah babies, originally uploaded by katerz1.

Yup. This is pretty much it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Today was a really nice day.

View of LA from Runyon, originally uploaded by katerz1.

Me and the hubs took Kelsey up to Runyon Canyon bright and early.

We had a really nice walk.

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying just relaxing and clearing my head! Not sure how I was living in such a wound-up state for so long...

A job and state pension don't do ya any good IF YER DEAD.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Blog!

Rather than chronicle my newfound unemployment here at The Siegel Files, I thought a separate blog was in order. Join us, won't we?!

Here, you will find me Barfing Up Daisies! It's not all that interesting yet... but something tells me it may GET interesting. >:-0

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tattoo #4!

I have several tattoo ideas lined up, and decided that on my 45th b-day last week I'd go and get one of 'em. I opted for the one that's been brewing the longest: a crescent moon with nautical star. I'd sketched up a rough draft and sent it to mah girl Julie at Yoni Tattoo. She took my idea and made it look 10,000 times more awesome, as always.

I'm thrilled with how it came out!

p.s. Because I know people are curious: The shoulder hurt more than I thought it would. Not as bad as the ankle, but not as easy as the upper arm.

p.p.s. The earrings in the last photo were a b-day gift from my friend Kendra. :-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Fool.

Happy Birthday to me, I'm a damn fool.

Guess I should be proud. I made it farther than I thought I would before going stark-raving batshit crazy.


Wish I weren't starting my 45th year in such a state of... chaos. Uncertainty. Maudlinity. Un-moored-ness. (I don't know if those last two are words.)

But, as my father once told me, "You made your bed; now you can lay in it." And as my (living) sister once told me, "You lack coping skills."

Beautiful artwork of 'The Fool' Tarot card courtesy of hellobaby on deviantart.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I have a birthday next week! I will be 45 years old.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I guess I'm kind of baffled. How can *I* be 45?! ::shrugs:: Wasn't I JUST running around with feathered hair, in Dolfin shorts and dangly day-glo plastic earrings, listening to Men Without Hats?! I dunno. I don't think I FEEL 45, but how is one supposed to feel at this age?

Time just flies. I look in the mirror, and I still see that young, generally happy, somewhat daffy young woman, struggling to make sense of the world. Trying -- and often failing -- to make sense of the people around her. But then I look at photos of myself, and I think, "Who is THAT?! She looks OLD and EXHAUSTED. Girlfriend need to CHILLAX."

I guess if you'd asked me 20 years ago, "How do you think you'll feel at 45?", I would not have expected the answer to be "powerless, ineffectual, disconnected, lost, perplexed, tired, worried." I used to think, as you get older, stuff just gets better and better, easier and easier, right?! While that's true in many ways (I like myself more now than ever, curiously; I'm so proud to be a parent; I am more wise about life and people; I have some financial security), in other ways, I have become a slave of sorts... a slave to responsibility. A slave to getting through each day while keeping my head above water. It is, in fact, my only goal each day. (Not very lofty, is it?) So, yeah, I guess I would have thought I'd be more "together" by now. I did not factor in how exhausting life is, and how it kinda wears one down. I would have thought I'd be in a better place mentally and emotionally, and thus able to accomplish more for myself, my family, and my friends on a daily basis.

But alas. This is all I have to offer at this point in time. Head above water? Check.

I hate for this to sound depressing. I don't mean it to be. I'm more just... musing to myself. I'm hopeful that things will improve for me, and I really am grateful for what I DO have: a stable job with good benefits (as of this moment, anyway); my boys and I have our health (kenahora); I have truly lovely, amazing friends who overlook my many shortcomings and help me get through my days. I feel so lucky to have these things. So very lucky...

And so, next week, when I turn 45, I will do as I always have: Just keep swimming. And when life perplexes me, I'll write about it. ;-)

(The image I used for this post is "The Star" tarot card, art by Thalia Took. The image upside down, or reversed, represents hopelessness. Look here for a more complete description.)

The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you're older must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

© Siquomb Publishing Company

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make your fun where you can, People!

LISTEN to the Katerz! The Katerz KNOWS! We must all make our fun where we can. We must LAUGH in the face of despair! HAHA!

Thank you, foursquare, for being a fun-enabler.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Larry & Joe's Plumbing Supply

I am a *huge* fan of weird old hardware/electronics/plumbing stores. The kind where there's probably asbestos in the flooring, the ceiling tiles are stained from leaks, there's a big ol' fan running in the corner cuz there's no A/C, and behind the counter sits a proprietor aged anywhere from 65-85, eager to help you with your household repair dilemma.

These places are few & far between, but my town has one, in the form of Larry & Joe's Plumbing Supply on Corbin Avenue in Northridge.*

If you need a plumbing part, I strongly encourage you to give these folks your business. If they don't have what you need, they will tell you how you can get it.

And, they have phone cords! And a Bag O' Nails! And a RainJet elbow assembly dated 1984!

*please note that Larry & Joe's does indeed have A/C!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

KITTEHS! We haz dem.

We'd like to give a warm Siegel Files welcome to Lily & Luna, the latest additions to the Siegel family! These little loves come to us from the awesome East Valley Animal Shelter in beautiful Van Nuys, California.

This here is Lily; she is obviously a calico, and, yes, a Tabitha Doppelganger. It's kinda freakin' us out. LOL

More pix here! And when I say "more pix," I mean... MORE. PIX.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Having heard yet ANOTHER story of a gal being unceremoniously dumped -- via FB no less -- by a man she thought she loved... Well, I got to thinkin'.

What in the HOLY HELL is UP with people sabotaging other people?!?!

I'm not just talking about romantic sabotage, although there's plenty of THAT to be sure. I'm talking about LIFE sabotage. Sisters sabotaging sisters; mothers sabotaging sons; friends sabotaging friends.

Now, if you have a legitimate beef with someone, that's fine. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about people who create issues out of thin air, then use these issues to upset YOUR apple cart. People who sabotage YOUR life, for no apparent reason and when you least expect it.

As you may have gathered by now, I have been on the receiving end of this sort of behavior from time to time. Well, okay -- more times than I care to count. And, like my various lady friends and their dead-end love affairs, I NEVER see it coming. EVER. At age 44, I hafta say, I don't think I ever will.

Why IS that? Why do we not see it coming? Well, if you're a saboteur, you're gonna keep it pretty well hidden, right? Otherwise, you won't have anyone to pull the proverbial rug out from UNDER, as it were. So, you're prolly good at masking whatever it is that's gonna make you do this. Which is... what, exactly? What makes people DO this to people they supposedly love? Sometimes after years and years of friendship, or a life-long familial connection?

My hunch? Self loathing. Self-loathers are, almost by definition, self absorbed. They can't be depended on for much, but they CAN be depended on to make everything about THEMSELVES. They are experts at setting OTHER people up to make some sort of "mistake". Then, they can get mad/hurt/offended, and feel superior/victimized/appalled. I guarantee you, they don't even know they're DOIN' it, so they won't be able to stop themselves, and there you'll be, sabotaged once again, feelin' like a damn fool for the eleventy-squillionth time.

You might be wondering about the curious image I chose for this post. It's a tarot card! Although I don't believe in prophecy of any kind, I DO think tarot cards are super-rad lookin'. This one is called a "Five of Swords". Some think that getting this card, in the "reversed" (upside-down) position, is a harbinger of destructive meddling, malicious gossip, and, yes, sabotage. (I musta been dealt a whole deck o' these bad-boys at BIRTH. BWHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHA)

So anyhoo... Does any of this help you? Does it help ME? No. I'm really just thinkin' out loud here. Trying desperately to figure out WHY I keep seeing this pattern of behavior repeat, in my own life and in the lives of others. Trying to make sense of something that makes no sense.

All I can say to you peeps who are enduring this type of nonsense is: It's NOT you. It's NOT your fault. You are not alone. Don't let the asshats get you down.

I turn now, as I often do, to the lyrics of Ms. Janis Ian, from her song "From Me to You":

Those people who surround you
Only want to see you weak enough to crawl
They'll lie for you
Decide for you
And buy up all your rights and all your wrongs
And they'll try to stop your singing
In the middle of your song
For they do not want you free
And they will not keep you strong
But only drag you down in the hole they're coming from

Monday, August 2, 2010


Still lovin' me some geolocation...

Apparently I've been too busy checking in at various Starbucks to actually BLOG... :-\

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I *love* my new iPhone!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Other times...

People make me happy.

THIS kind of thing... this is why I blog.

THANK YOU, faceless blog commenter.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


People just make me sad.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Pony Wall.

The Pony Wall. Is it real? Does it exist? Or is it folktale, myth, urban legend?

Those who have been in my house -- all 5 of you -- have heard tales of a "pony wall". But no one has ever seen it. Normally, people just see a big pile of Stuff, rising up out of nowhere.

Until now.

Ladies & gentlemen, I give you, the Siegel House Pony Wall. Never before viewed by the naked eye.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day in Leona Valley

It has been a longstanding Siegel-family tradition to go cherry picking on Father's day. Local cherries generally ripen right around mid-June, and only last a few weeks, so the timing is often perfect! We have (non-digitized) photos of a tiny 2-month old Ev sleeping in his baby carrier underneath a cherry tree from Bri's FIRST Father's day outing.

Our favorite place to go is the Leona Valley, near Palmdale. There are MANY farms, so if you go, don't stop at that first big GIANT place you see when you drive into town. Instead, explore the little side streets. Here, you'll find the small family farms. They'll hand you a bucket and tell you to have at it!

We chose Bright Ranch this year. It was LOVELY. Everyone was so nice, and the fruit is the most delicious we've had in YEARS.

GET THEE OUT TO THE LEONA VALLEY and pick yerselves some cherries!

View more pix here.