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Adventures in Housework


Yesterday was another harrowing adventure into housework, though this one had a decidedly Irish bent to it. In Los Angeles, people don’t need their central heating systems very often - maybe 30 or 40 days a year or so. Here, you will turn into a bloggercicle if you don’t rush from bed to heat switch in the morning and flick on the radiators.

Yes, I just typed radiators. You haven’t transported back in time to 1944. Its Ireland. One of the little quirks about radiators (at least the ones I have) is bleeding them. To bleed a radiator you take a little key and twist it in a little hole at the side. air escapes and hot water fills the radiator to warm the room. Simple!


Yesterday I went to bleed the radiator upstairs. Everything was going swell: radiator key, check. air escaping, check. water filling radiator, check. Then the water got to the top. I twisted the key and nothing happened. a little water trickled out and ran down the side of the radiator. I gave the key a little more elbow. Nothing. Water began to flow a little more aggressively out of the hole and it was steaming. I jammed the key in and twisted with all my might. Nothing. Hot water began to SHOOT out of the little hole in the side of the radiator and into the rich brocade curtain tied by the window. I ran for a towel.

So I tried to stuff a piece of the towel into the hole to quell the flow of molten water. No luck. Then I thought “Why don’t I try turning off the heat?” and ran down to the master control switch. I jammed the switch to the off position and jammed back upstairs. The towel I had covered the hole with was now soaked and dripping into a growing dark puddle on the carpet. I looked underneath…

it was a still Lilliputian fire hose. The window had steamed up and I was wondering if I should think about summoning the fire brigade (thats really what they call it here!) I noticed that there was a valve at the lower end of the radiator. Aha! I could shut the water off! I dove for the valve. Turn turn turn turn turn turn… NOTHING! I began to weep desperately and swear as many swears as I could think of as my desperate eyes searched for something that might tame the hydro-hell I was entangled in. (I realize my prose in this paragraph has crossed the line of good taste and writing, but at least you got a Swift reference)

My gaze settled on a little white speck on the floor (I wasn’t wearing my contacts or glasses) what the heck… It was the screw that plugged the valve! I grabbed it and wrapped a towel around my hand and shoved it into the gush. It worked.

So I had a big mess to clean up. Somehow I managed it without injury to me, my children, my home or my psyche.

posted under weirdo me | 3 Comments »

New Years Resolutions


2007! wooooooooooooo! I’m surprised none of you have christened it the Year of the Hammer (with a snowman taking a nap in the center) yet. But, with so vary many of you shutting down shop and heading over to the PokerWorks blorgy (blog + orgy = blorgy), I can understand why you may not have time to start new poker hand memes.

Today I was reading through my RSS feeds when I came across a post that has been a blogging/op ed staple since Roman times: New Years Diet tips. You know what they usually say: Drink 22 glasses of water every day, don’t forget breakfast, carbs are baaaaad. This list particularly caught my eye because I hated almost every tip. Here it is, with my notes in bold:

1. Leave behind three or four bites of your meal. Research shows that people usually eat everything they’re served, even if they’re not hungry. This is the one tip I agree with.

2. Skin your chicken after cooking it. You’ll retain moisture yet still strip away 148 calories and 13 grams of fat. Wha? Remove the BEST PART? Next you’ll be telling me to discard my Oreo centers or scrape the chocolate off my Snickers.

3. Eat your sandwiches and burgers open-faced, with one slice of bread instead of two. And how, pray tell, am I supposed to HOLD my sandwiches and burgers? When the Earl of Sandwich invented the bread-around-filling thing, he did it so he could eat with one hand while riding a horse. You want me to get off my horse in the middle of a fox hunt to eat my open-face diet sandwich and possible get mayo on my Ralph Lauren Red Hunting Coat and White Pants that make my ass look awesome? I think not!

4. Trade in your chocolate bar (235 calories) for a glass of light chocolate soy milk (120 calories). Silk chocolate soy milk is yummy and its great for a post workout drink! Soy milk is for… for… damn, soy milk is so nasty I don’t even KNOW who its for. And while we are discussing trading a chocolate bar for some soy milk, lets make some other great trades: how about a date with George Clooney for a date with Pauly Shore! Perhaps Ferrari for a Kia! weeeeeeeee!

5. Use butter-flavored nonstick spray, not a tablespoon of margarine or butter, to make grilled-cheese sandwiches and eggs. I personally assembled a round table of chefs and asked them if you should use butter-flavored nonstick spray, and all but one said no. The one that said you should use the butter spray had a soy milk mustache and admitted to working at a vegan raw food restaurant. The other chefs braised him in some truffle butter and served him on a bed of rocket.

6. Order a white-wine spritzer (80 calories) instead of a mixed drink (about 180 calories). Only whores drink white-wine spritzers.

7. Hold the cheese, please. A single 1-ounce slice of cheddar has 113 calories. On salad and pasta, sprinkle on one tablespoon of grated part-skim mozzarella (36 calories). Seriously? Why would you do that and add NO FLAVOR when you could add a tablespoon of Parmesan for 27 calories or Romano for 19 calories? Whoever wrote this needs to go back to eating school. Counting school too.

8. Ditch the maple syrup and top your pancakes and waffles with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon or a tablespoon of low-sugar jam. Skip the butter entirely and cut even more calories. SCREW YOU DUDE AND GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY SYRUP.

9. Top salads with a half cup of crunchy celery instead of a quarter cup of croutons. Same crunch effect but without the carbs! Carbs are good. They feed your brain so you can do things like think. When you think, you can come to conclusions. Conclusions like: Celery is a yucky replacement for croutons. You know what is a good replacement for croutons? Croutons! They have grain and fiber! Fiber makes you poop! Pooping keeps you healthy and happy. Eat your damn croutons.

10. Make substitutions at brunch: poached eggs instead of fried, lean Canadian bacon rather than regular bacon, or fruit salad in place of home fries. Better yet, eat brunch only once in a while. Make it a treat and eat what you want.

If you really want to eat factually (like me!), you need to eat good food and enjoy it. Adjust your attitude and have happy days - as many as possible. Don’t make crazy New Years Resolutions that are just setting you up for failure. Be like Agent Cooper and give yourself a little present every day - a cup of good coffee (not frappiccino!), a slice of good pie (not fruit pie the magician!), a piece of chocolate (but not before 4PM or after 8PM - the choco-window!).

Happy Hammer ∞ Year!

A Happy Christmas and Very Merry Hannukah to You


Hello my marshmellow friends!

I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season! Here are some tips to make things better all around:

1. At the Annual Family Poker Tourney, let your mom win a hand without berating her for limping with AK in the cutoff.

2. Compliment your mom for the lovely holiday meal - tell her the yams were your very favorite and ask her what her secret was.

3. Don’t let her see the yams as you sneak them from your plate to your napkin to your purse.

4. Replace your gleeful screams of “SHIP IT!” every time you win a hand at the AFPT , maybe replacing the exclamation with “HO HO HO BITCHES!”

5. Got hard-to-please surly teens on your list? Everybody loves iTunes!

6. Go pick up a clever Trophy for the winner of the AFPT instead of making everyone buy in for $100 - everyone will be more relaxed when they aren’t playing for their Holiday Savings. Then you can clean up on side bets!

7. Your mom wants a Spa Gift Certificate.

8. Lookout… your 19 year old nephew read a couple of poker books this year. He is trapping your TPTK with a set.

9. Don’t drink too much! Especially since your 19 year old nephew is 420 with the scrumph.

10. Stop overthinking it all. Find one thing to love about as many members of your family as you can and write them down. One day you will look back and be glad you had good thoughts about your family. Or you will have something to rip up and burn in a cleansing bonfire ceremony.

I leave you with this exchange between fh and myself:

[14:03] husband: happy christmas
[14:03] husband: :)
[14:03] factgirl: why thank you Happy Kwanza to you
[14:03] husband: internet purchase complete!
[14:03] factgirl: you just got me something?
[14:03] factgirl: :D
[14:03] husband: hope it gets posted in time
[14:04] husband: if not, you’ll just have to trust me
[14:04] factgirl: not a problem - I wont be able to drive it until after the new year anyway
[14:04] husband: how’d you know i got you a broom?

How Not to Write


OK so I know I was all stoked about writing a book in a month. I did a good job on the first day and was all “man, I bet I could write about TWO novels in 30 days!”.

But then Jelly got into school. There were uniforms and track suits and books to buy. One more lunch to pack in the morning. One more kid to rouse out of bed at 7am GMT and nag until 8:20am GMT.

And Helly got headlice. Fancy Irish ones that were equipped with tin whistles and danced jigs as they gave you the finger and dare you to come at them with a louse comb. Luckily, there is not FDA or EPA here and you can put Malathion* on your kids head for twelve hours and napalm the little bastards just like Apocalypse Now. That will teach little parasitic insects not to live on my baby (or give me the finger).

Then I went to the Knitting and Embroidery Fair and picked up some sweet projects to cross stitch.

So lets just face it. I am an essayist. I have the attention span to write passionately for about 2 hours. Then I lose interest and move on to something else. Perhaps one day I’ll have a collected essays published. Then I shall sit at a desk and you can line up and I’ll sign a book for you. Rawk

(*I didn’t buy the 12 hour Malathion treatment, though that is the one the pharmacist recommended. I ended up doing a 10 minute poison conditioning treatment and hand combing the bugs out. One word: shudder.)

Factys Faves:

Election Commentary: Utter Wonder - The best explanation about what happened Tuesday on the internet.

New Stuffed Toy: a sampler of things - Shaky Bacon is Mister Toasts friend.

Internet Resource: stuff from home - mmmmmmmmmmmmm Jif creamy

posted under kids, weirdo me | 2 Comments »

Its a Plug, not a Post


Hi, its me, Facty!

I cooked today! I went to a thing where you put together pre-prepped stuff into dinners and freeze them until you are hungry enough to eat, but too hungry to drive somewhere and wait for someone else to cook.

Pauly was nice enough to print a story of mine in Truckin’. Give it a look if you like to read my stuff. If you don’t like my stuff, head on over anyway and read some stuff by much better writers like Joe Speaker and Change100 and Dr Pauly himself.

Be sure to check Miss April for WPBT Updates - there is a new one - dont be left out in the cold… er… heat!

That’s it for now - be good and Ill write some more later, bitches!

Do You REALIZE How Great I Look in a Tiara?


This meme reached me as I was getting dressed for the Oscars. My daughter was resisting putting on her gown and gloves but I insisted - we were going to miss the opening!. She relented and we made our way downstairs. Suddenly she balked. She ran back upstairs and scrambled back with the purple bathmat from the kid’s bathroom.

“We need a red carpet, right?”

Thats my girl! We made fhwrdh pretend to take pictures of us as we blew kisses and regally walked over to the couch where our soda and cookies and popcorn awaited. I took off my tiara ’cause it was kinda itching me and we enjoyed the pageantry.


Four Jobs I’ve Had In My Life in LA:

1. Tour Guide at Universal Studios
2. Page at Paramount Studios
3. Personal Assistant to a Famous TV and Movie Producer
4. Script supervisor on an unreleased feature film

Four Movies About LA I Could Watch Over And Over:

1. Repo Man
2. Short Cuts
3. Adaptation
4. Clueless

Four Places I’ve Lived All Over L.A. (With Food Memories From Each):

1. Melrose Avenue (Sundried Tomato and Riccotta Ravioli at Cafe Luna )
2. La Cienega (Sag Paneer and Chicken Korma takeout)
3. Glendale (Armenian Mystery Meat from the lady next door)
4. Sherman Oaks (Tuna Melt and big Dill Pickles at Jerry’s Deli)

Four LA-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch:

1. Entourage
2. CHiPs
3. Emergency!
4. Arrested Development

Four Places I Would Vacation At In LA:

1. Disneyland
2. Magic Castle Hotel
3. Hollywood Roosevelt
4. Georgian Hotel

Four LA-Based Websites I Visit Daily:

1. Defamer
2. LAist
3. Bill Rini
4. Perez Hilton

Four Of My Favorite Foods Found In LA:

1. Steak at the Pacific Dining Car
2. Margaritas at El Cholo
3. Coconut Soup at Chan Dara
4. the Tasting Menu at Ca Del Sol

Four Places In LA I Would Rather Be Right Now:

1. sneaking onto a closed set
2. hiking through the scrub in Malibu State Park
3. catching a show downtown
4. showing the kids a museum (Except maybe MOMA - I’ll save that for when they are older)

The PTA Ladies (who are welcome to borrow my blog

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