Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

Future International Traveler

April 18, 2009 By: turtlegirl Category: Uncategorized


Claire and I arrived home tonight after escaping to Walmart for flower pots and other “necessities” to find her first passport in the mailbox. Though I’m sure she has yet to understand the relevance, I have a feeling that she soon will!

Hopefully we’ll be visiting our friends in Amsterdam before the year is out. Then maybe a weekend trip to Mexico… Or maybe Canada sometime. Then again, there is always time for London and Greece next year!

Here’s to another milestone surpassed by my 44″ tall, 44 pound, 4-year old daughter! I look forward to our many trips together. Love, Mama


Claire’s birthday party

April 06, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Claire, holidays, Uncategorized

Claire's 4th bday party

We’d been attempting to come up with a cool place to have Claire’s birthday party, and we also wanted a place where we’ve not really been to a party. When Claire joined Karate recently, they offered her a free birthday party and we jumped on it. They have a two hour block on a weekend, and we chose today since my schedule isn’t great on Saturday’s this month. Donna set everything up from the cake and balloons to being in charge of RSVPs for Claire’s friends. This morning I ran around to get everything Donna had ordered and we got to Sandoval’s Freestyle Karate at around 1:30PM.

Her friends came at 2PM and Mr Garrett, her regular teacher, had cool activities for the kids while the parents were able to just sit and enjoy ourselves. I ran around shooting photos while they had a mini-lesson including board breaking. Later we all ate pizza and birthday cake before Claire opened her presents (with the help of Raegan!)

While her actual birthday isn’t until Wednesday, she had a wonderful day with her friends today. Next up is making cupcakes for her school party Wednesday, opening family presents Wednesday night, and playing with everything all week with Mimi.

A Video of ME

September 05, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Tuff Shed

March 02, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

We’ve been going around the house considering buying a shed and considering buying a dog run. I worked in the yard for two weekends getting the yard ready, and I tried to call a landscaper. I posted about how he wasn’t getting back to me, and guess what? He never did. Forget it. I have another guy coming to work next weekend, and when we woke up this morning I dragged my girls out to the store. There’s a place called Tuff Shed up along the highway where people alway drive by, so we tried them. They’re not open on Sundays! Why wouldn’t you be open on Sundays? I mean working people buy sheds, and they work during the weeks. Who knows…

A friend of mine bought one of these Tuff Sheds a few weeks ago, and said they sell them at Home Depot, so after grabbing some lunch we drove to the local Home Depot. We typically hate that store and buy everything at Lowe’s, but Lowe’s only has these Rubbermaid sheds. When we got to Home Depot we saw they had several Tuff Shed sheds, in which we climbed, measured, played, talked. We finally decided on a relatively stanard 8’X12′ with two skylights. We went inside to pay and that took forever, but we were pretty happy.

Next we wanted to check out the fencing to make a dog run. I really wanted a metal fencing like they put around pools, rather some rickety wood picket fence, but it’s so damn expensive. It’s usually about $80 per panel for the metal fencing, but I dragged Donna and Claire back to look at it again. We found some guy to help us in lumber, and when we told him what we wanted he said "well, why don’t you just buy our clearance fencing?" We kind of shrugged and said something about not wanting old scratched and bent fencing. He told us it was just discontinued and they were s$150.00 if we bought it now, which we proceeded to do immediately.

We’re pretty damn excited to get the dog run installed, and to get our shed installed!!!

Dan moves fam to Amsterdam

February 05, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

2008_Feb_MahoneyAirport11.JPG, originally uploaded by nooccar.

My student teacher is doing a lesson on the Expatriates today about those people who leave the United States and move abroad for a period of time. He is focusing on the 1920s literary movement, but I am think about Dan & Madeline. Dan is my best friend who I followed to Arizona in 1999. He  met his wife, Madeline, here in the desert. In late fall Dan announced that he was moving his family to Amsterdam for two years. I eagerly congratulated him, and I think he was relieved since the grandparents were a little more apprehensive about being an ocean away from Dan’s two daughters. I just thought it was cool that they get to go over there for two years.

Their house is rented, their trucks are sold, and we took them to the airport Sunday morning. It was sort of funny because if you can imagine this family trying to check into the airport in the early morning dawn with a toddler, a baby, two cats, and about 15 bags and boxes of luggage. Believe me, no matter how jealous I am that I too did not fly off to Europe for 2 years, I am thrilled I didn’t need to pack up an entire house. The movers took care of a lot of it, but they still needed to make piles of taking on the plane, shipping, donating, selling, storing, and giving away. Donna and I had a dining room table of trinkets of food, booze, etc… by the time they left. We stood at the airport for an hour while they checked in, and I will honestly say the tears did come to my eyes as Dan pushed his family off through security.

Just this morning I remembered meeting Dan at a fraternity rush where I went with my gay neighbors. I had on a pink shirt and they thought I was gay, too. Dan asked me about a website and we got talking. Our friendship began in 1995 and I could tell story after story of our lives together so far, but you, dear reader, don’t want to hear them all. I will touch on just a few… How about Groundhog’s Day in Punxsutawney, PA sleeping out in the icy snow. Or a couple days tramping around San Francisco, CA in the rain, living in youth hostels. Or driving to San Diego, CA across the Sonoran desert with Donna. Or going to Nogales, Mexico with Nicki & Madeline. Or staying at the ranch in Tucson. Or my bachelor party in Pittsburgh, PA. Or living outside Phoenix for a year with our future wives in one way or another. Or driving to Philadelphia, PA on a whim to see Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert one night.

Dan’s daughters are world travelers, and mine will become one when we fly to Holland later this year. I miss my bestfriend, but I am eager to see what adventures we can add to the above list.


January 26, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

mradams.jpg, originally uploaded by nooccar.

A former student of mine took this picture of mine when she was a sophomore in high school. She’s now in my college compostion course. How odd… I look like a flip-haired, anorexic troll.

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 13, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Claire on Mother’s Day, originally uploaded by nooccar.

Japanese Tea Gardens

March 20, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

March07_SanFranscisco183, originally uploaded by nooccar.

I just love this picture of Donna and Claire at the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. I had not been here since I went with Dan a decade ago, and I love sharing this with my family now. If someone told me then that I’d be back in a decade with my wife and two year old daughter I would’ve wanted to hurry up and get there so I could meet Claire. (Donna I had already met by then.)

February 18, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

Claire_pigtails_Feb07, originally uploaded by nooccar.

James Kim Auction

January 06, 2007 By: nooccar Category: Uncategorized

A while back I wrote about how the tragedy of James Kim’s death affected Donna and I, and every time I hear about it or think about it, I tear up. Still. As I am sure Kati Kim will do for years. We donated money on PayPal to Kati in November, and now there’s an auction. There are handmade crafts and artwork on Ebay for auction to raise money for the James Kim Memorial Fund. Please click on this link and bid on something, please. For Kati, for the girls, and for James’ memory.

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