Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Winter Garden Install

For those who have never seen my backyard, our side yard has always been an issue.  Infested with crabgrass and bermuda grass, we have had some success and a lot of failure with veggie plantings in this area.  With work and the Bug, the last two years have mostly been failure.  This year, since all of our 5-year anniversary trip plans fell through, we decided to give ourselves the gift of a professionally installed winter vegetable garden.

Our new friend Russell with LA Farmhands came out to take a look and do a soil test, which revealed that our Altadena soil is completely void of nitrogen.  For those that don't know nitrogen is only, well, VITAL to growing ANYTHING, which would explain why our melons only got to 2"'s around before the vines died, and why our tomatoes never produced any fruit (for 3 years we tried!).  Russell gave us a list of veggies he knew would grow well in our area, and we opened the side gate and gave Russ free reign.

This is the yard pre-demo.  The green stuff you see in the ground are dead tomato plants that never produced any tomatoes.

 Crabgrass and bermuda grass invaded all that space.

Russ and Walter tearing it up!  After removing what they could of the crab and bermuda grass, they laid down cardboard to provide a biodegradable barrier between the weeds and compost.

Dump truck of mulch & compost.  Yes, everything still smells...

Can you see how he has built mounds of compost and soil?  According to Russ, these "mounded" beds allow him to plant up to 25% more crop than if the soil was flat.  He laid in the drip system and the plants/seeds go inbetween.

 Baby bok choy.  Planted to the right is pak choy (I'm not sure what that is either, but I'm sure my mom knows!).  Behind it tomato trellises are waiting for fava beans to grow up them.

 Garlic bed.  We planted 6 varieties this year, including the Sonoran that we grew last year that did so well.

Sugar snap peas are seeded at the base of the trellis.  The sprouts in the front are chiogga beets, a gorgeous pink and white variety if you are not familiar with them.  Seeded around the back base of this mound are 3 other varieties of beets (yes, I really like them!).

 Lettuce bed.  The other side is seeded with baby carrots and breakfast radishes.

 Potato "tower."  This is serious genius.  There are potatoes growing in that thing, which will eventually become a potato tower.  Apparently when they are ready to harvest, we'll give the top growth a good tug and all our potatoes will simply tumble out.  Seriously.

 This is broccoli, yellow onion and red onion on either side of our compost bin.

So in my little 300 square feet of space, we are now growing: 6 varieties of garlic, salad greens, 2 types of head lettuce, baby carrots, baby radishes, fava beans, sugar snap peas, bok choy, pak choy, black kale, swiss chard, 4 types of beets, 2 types of broccoli, red and yellow onions, cilantro, parsley, several varieties of potatoes, and purple tip turnips.

I cannot even describe the difference in our yard.  The man is a gardening guru.  In addition to having a veggie garden full of things I never would have planted myself, with more crammed into this area than I ever thought possible, we have made a new friend and learned so much about gardening in the last two days.  I cannot speak highly enough about our experience with Russ and LA Farmhands; if you are interested in putting in a garden of any type and size, in the ground or raised beds, you should check out their website at and give Russell a call.  He won't steer you wrong!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Cheese Store of Pasadena: Why Its Not Worth It

A few weeks ago, while having an indulgent solo lunch at the burger joint The Counter in Pasadena, I noticed that The Cheese Store of Pasadena was opening in a little store front across the alley, next to the newly (well, in the last year) opened Wine Detective.  All these stores are in a little alley behind Lake Ave, The Counter having taken over what used to be an Indian Restaurant next door to Green Street Cafe, which has been in Pasadena forever. 

The shopping center it is set in is most noticeable to me, for what has failed in those now-empty storefronts in the last few years.  Back in the day (meaning when I was in high school), the Crocodile Cafe occupied the Lake Ave front shop, and several shops catering to Old Pasadena money (aks stodgy and expensive) occupied the central plaza area.  In the six years since we moved to the top of Lake Ave, most of the central plaza shops have closed, the coffee shop became two more coffee shops before finally closing, the Crocodile Cafe has become Cafe 140 (with the exact same menu), and Michael Chiarello's Napa Style store (which only ever had 4 people in it at a time) closed within 2 years.  The only thing that has lasted is the Williams-Sonoma store, no doubt held up for a period of time by my wedding registry.

The cheese store we usually frequent is Say Cheese in Silverlake.  We like it for several reasons: they have a great cafe with good sandwiches and salads, even if the service is a little slow.  It is across the parking lot from a Trader Joe's, which is great for picking up a par baked French baguette or a par baked mini ciabatta loaf and some tomatoes for slow roasting.  They often have imported white anchovies from Italy, which my husband covets, even if they are $80/lb.  They are great about tasting and recommending cheeses and accompaniments, and best of all... they are not pretentious.

But we don't often want to travel to Silverlake and struggle with parking, especially now with a 16-month-old toddler you can't exactly let loose in a cheese store with wine displays.  So I was rather excited to see the Cheese Store of Pasadena opening, no less, 3 miles down the street from my house.  I bought a french baguette, and with a craving for a good white cheddar, W and I went to check out the new cheese store.

Its a lovely store.  Its bright and clean and the displays are beautiful.  To the left are shelves of gourmand goodies, accoutrement for your cheese experience.  To your right and near the corner of the tasting counter are large glass jars of several different olives, cornichon, walnuts.  Behind the tasting counter is what can only be called a huge, glass-walled room of cheese. 

Here's my problem with it:  its cold.  Its cold and pretentious.  On the marble tasting counter were soft cheeses on the left counter, hard cheeses on the right.  There were people at the soft cheeses, so we made our way to the other counter.  There was the big closet of cheese behind the woman there, filled with large wheels of cheese, but there were no signs, nothing to tell you what kind of cheeses they had.  What kind of cheeses they were.  Same for the olives, which I would have purchased had I been able to discern what kind of olive each jar held without asking someone.  The woman at the counter made some chit chat, and I mentioned that I was looking for a good cheddar.  She happened to have a French cow's milk and cut sliver for us to taste.  It was excellent. 

She asked what else we were looking for.  W said maybe something soft - our cheese plates usually consist of a soft cheese, a blue, and a hard cheese, maybe a cheddar or a manchego, or something new we've tried at the Say Cheese (they have an excellent Whiskey Cheddar, btw).  I had mentioned to him that I had a blue at home already, and we had some heirloom tomatoes, some grapes, some prosciutto.  The cheese woman asked if we had ever tried a Brillat-Savarin and scraped a little out of the center of a wedge.  I picked up a cracker to scrape it off the edge of the cheese blade - it was extremely soft - and she recommended that we just scrape it off with our fingers to better sample the cheese.  I have to admit, I found this disturbing.  Who else had scraped something off this cheese knife with their finger?  Did they lick it off and then scrape/try something else off this same knife?!?!  I was a little grossed out.

But here's the kicker: hey cheese lady, when I say the Brillat-Savarin is a little too tangy for my taste right now, I don't need the little snide look that says I clearly don't have the ability to appreciate a fine French cheese.  I - probably unlike the only other 3 people in this snooty shop - actually know who Brillat Savarin was.  I also don't need your entire attitude to change because I say I want something a little less sharp today, perhaps a little more mild.  Did you notice I'm 16 months pregnant and should maybe regulate my intake of unpasteurized snooty French cheeses?  Oh, and btw, I also don't need you to get even more cold and pretentious because when I did decide to take some of the more mild brie you finally brought me (saying the word "brie" with the same disdain as Alice Waters might say "iceberg lettuce") I wanted a smaller piece than the HALF WEDGE you tried to sell me.  It is also not my fault that when I asked for a small wedge of the cheddar, you cut the top to the right size and then widened the slice as you brought the knife down, so in the end the slice of cheese was almost twice the size of what I had asked for.  And I made you re-cut it.

I truly had not meant to write this much about my 15 minutes in the Cheese Store of Pasadena, but clearly, I am long overdue for a rant.  Needless to say, we were disappointed.  I had high hopes, there are well enough foodies and gourmands in the Pasadena area to make a cheese store successful, but I won't be going back.  Maybe it works for the blue-haired old Pasadena money, but I'd rather go to Say Cheese in Silverlake, or make random selections of cheese I can actually see in my hand (not through a glass closet door) at the Whole Foods.  At least there are labels on the cheese at Whole Foods so I know what it is.   And I'd rather debate Alice Waters about the merits of iceberg lettuce than talk to the snooty cheese lady anytime.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

He Does it to Himself, I Swear

If you saw my son recently, you might think we beat him.

We don't, I swear.  But since the Bug went from toddling to full steam running in the 3 week period surrounding his birthday, its been Bug Gone Wild at our house.  Convinced he is steadier than he really is, he runs from one end of the living room to the other, narrowly avoiding coffee table corners and walls (sometimes).   He will trip over his own feet.   In his excitement last week, he tripped and fell headlong into the corner of the armchair, resulting in a cut on his eyelid.  Currently is bearing the following war scars: the pink spot where the eye scab came off, a bruise on his right cheek (don't know where that came from), a bruise on his right mid-shin, a bruise on his left ankle, and a cut on his left wrist (no, also not us, I swear).

Last Saturday, I took him to the park to meet our weekly mommy group.  We had done a "kiddie potluck" to try to exchange new foods for our picky eaters.  Not only was my kid the only one not interested in food, he insisted on charging through the middle of the blankets and food and mommies and babies to make his way to the playground, where he could happily stand near the playset underneath bigger kids who might fall on him, sucking on a bink covered in mulch (yeah yeah, we're working on breaking him of the pacifier, too). 

He loves the swings.  This particular park has one particular baby swing that is a big, hard plastic seat, designed for babies who may not be sturdy enough to sit up without back support, in addition to all those filmsy rubber swings.  The Bug, seeing a kid jump out of the baby seat, broke free of my struggling grasp and ran towards it.  Unfortunately, the thing was still swinging, and before I could reach him, the plastic seat had swung forward and smacked him in the mouth, knocking him down. 

Screaming ensued, and while I picked him up and soothed him, I realized every parent at the park was looking at me like I had just invoked Satan and beat him with a stick while speaking in tongues.

He does it to himself, I swear.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Start of Harvest

I was looking up an old post on my recipe for Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup and realized how long it has been since I put fingers to keyboard on this blog.

After we came back from Hong Kong, things just got lost.  I attempted working from home with the baby, which was unsuccessful to say the least.  CJ was just beginning to scamper around pretty quickly on his hands and knees, and he needed too much attention.  Inevitably, the phone would ring while I was trying to feed him, or he was crying, or we were cleaning a poopy diaper.  I took him to the office with me at least 3 times a week, when I would go in to pick up and drop off paperwork, and my co-workers would get less work done as we played pass-the-baby, and runs to the office always had to be scheduled around his nap times.  Two weeks after I started to "work from home" I hired a babysitter/part-time nanny.

Who turned out to be fabulous (no you cannot have her name until CJ goes into daycare full time).  But my little house is so small, we couldn't all be here together.  It was too distracting for CJ to see me around the house, but out of reach.  It was too distracting for me to try to get work done while CJ was nearby.  It was making it too difficult for the nanny to deal with CJ while I was around.  Two days after I hired the part-time nanny, I started to pack my work files, binders and laptop and head to Borders Books while she was here.  I had to work somewhere, and I needed a wi-fi connection!

In any case, since I last wrote, we've had a few milestones:

I discovered CJ likes popsicles. 

He crawled into and fell out of his toy box.  A few times. 

He learned to wave....

And then to stand...

Today, my husband plucked these gorgeous berries from plants I put in the ground last spring, before the CJ was even born, and they were just as sweet as they look!  

Two weeks ago, we pulled our first batch of homegrown garlic from the ground, and tonight, my son took two solid steps by himself before falling on his knees and crawling away.  In eleven days he will turn one whole year old, and after 6 years in this house, my old tangerine tree is dripping with fruit that is finally sweet and tart, just like life itself. 

I'm harvesting an abundance of blessings.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hong Kong Phooey, Part 3

Dumplings at the Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong.  Caleb can eat at least one whole one, and he especially loved the spoon in the kiddie set they gave him.  If you don't yet know the pleasures of a good xiao lung bao, please call me so we can arrange to have lunch at the Din Tai Fung in Arcadia.  Seriously.

Hong Kong - long known in Asia for making movies since the early 1930's, but probably best known in the west for its genre of cop movies in the 80's & 90's - has its own Avenue of the Stars along the waterfront in Kowloon.

Temple Street Night Market.  Every night, about a mile of Temple Street is closed for this market, which has little tented vendors selling everything from tchokes to knock-off clothes (I loved the Paul Frank pj shorts, in which the monkey is winking), to purses, baby clothes, golf bags, cell phone accessories... you name it, you can bargain for it here. 

There are also these little open-air "restaurants" (and I use that term loosely) where you can choose fresh seafood and watch them cook it in a wok right there on the street.  Seating is these little tables and kid stools.  It means you take turns eating while one of you holds the squirming baby (the aisles of the night market are too narrow for a stroller - Wil has strong arms), but on a warm night, the atmosphere of the crowded market, some spicy flash fried shrimp and a cold Tsing Tao feels like the essence of Hong Kong.

And lastly, this is why I now know what the inside of a hospital in Hong Kong looks like.  Two days before we left, CJ began running a low-grade fever.  We battled it with the Motrin I had brought with me for his teething, but it hoovered around the 100 degree mark, occasionally spiking as high as 102.5.  One night I wound up in a cool bath with him at 2am.  I was nervous about trying to get on a 12-hour flight home with him like this - in Hong Kong as you are leaving the airport, the last thing they do after you clear customs and immigration and are headed for a taxi/subway, is this: a man in scrubs and a paper face masks shoots your baby's forehead for his temperature before they let you out (hey, this is a country where SARS started, after all).

We couldn't get the fever down and I was running out of Motrin.  Apparently, ibuprofen is not sold over the counter in Hong Kong.  I didn't want to risk 1) not being let on the plane and 2) his fever spiking over 102 while on the plane, so we jumped in a taxi and headed to St. Theresa's, which is probably the nicest hospital I've ever been in (just in case you are ever in HK and need a good hospital!).

So that was the end of our trip.  He just wouldn't be my kid if we didn't get to tour the hospital too!

Hong Kong Phooey, Part 2

The view from Victoria Peak.  In the back you can see the Kowloon side of the harbour.  Unfortunately it was an overcast day when we went.  This is clearest picture I took.

We also took a short half-day trip to Macau, the "Las Vegas" of Asia.  Well, it started off as short, ended as long when the Turbo Jet bringing us back to Hong Kong stalled trying to get out of the dock.  We had to disembark and get crammed onto another Turbo Jet.  It was a long day and CJ was not happy, which resulted in some close-quarter screaming on the jet.  Only mildly horrifying.  This is the facade of St Peter's Cathedral.  Its actually all that remains of the original structure.

This is the view from the facade.  Its funky, you walk up this cobblestone lined street filled with shops and crowds of people, and all of a sudden at the top of the street, you are greeted by the base of the facade.

Caleb and his Great Grandmother.

This is the day the rest of my family left for Taiwan, and we had 2 more days alone in Hong Kong.  Everybody naps.

View of the Hong Kong side from the Kowloon harbour.  This is the same view from our hotel room, which is only slightly less overcast in real life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Its 3:48am

Day 2 of being home, and I cannot get to sleep.

I am actually thrilled, because it is 3:48am and this is the first night since we got home that da Bug has slept 4 hours in a row, when the sun is down.  Twenty minutes ago, I actually heard him stir, whine a bit, and then miraculously put himself back to sleep.  Oh Lord, please let him sleep another two hours!

But since I'm wide f-ing awake, I thought I might as well share some of our Hong Kong adventures.  After all, I only have to work tomorrow and try to acclimate a jet lagged baby... who needs sleep for me?!?!

This is CJ on the red-eye flight out, in his bassinet carrier.  If you are traveling with an infant under 30" and less than 45 lbs, you should definitely request the bulkhead seats with the bassinet.  Not only is there more leg room, but holding a child - sleeping or otherwise - during a flight of any duration is painful at best.  We acutally had enough room to sit him on the floor between us, allowing him to pull himself to standing and hang out with us.  Okay, I should have put a blanket on the floor, but hey... it was 15 1/2 hours.  You do whatcha gotta do.

This is a photo of my grandmother at the Pooi To Middle School back in the day.  She was the Assistant Principal, 4th from the right.  They recently razed and rebuilt the entire facility - this was the excuse reason for our trip - they were opening the new campus and had invited her for the ceremonies (she lives in LA with my mom).  At her retirement 40-odd years ago, they had given her a gold Bible, which she brought to give back to the school.

da Bug and his Great Grandma.  Did I mention she is 100? 

This is Lantau Island, home to a monastery and the largest Buddha statue in the world.  You take a cable car ride from the island up into the mountain to reach the monastery.  Yes, it sways in the wind.  Those buildings are actually apartments.  Like anthills.

I wasn't kidding when I said "in the world".  275 tons.  And as Wil will tell you... 313 steps from the base to the top (holding an 18 lb weight, no less).

Caleb is the Monkey King!

View from the feet of the Buddha.

Oh my, is that sleep I feel coming on....?  I guess this qualifies as Part 1...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Little Appreciation Goes A Long Way

I have worked with some real assholes.

This is going to be true of anyone in any profession.  There is no screening process, and one person's asshole is another's best friend.  Its just with all the inflated egos - justified or not - in my industry, there seem to be so many more of them.  And the fact that we transition from film to film and you may or may not see any of these people ever again make it more likely that you can be a douche bag and 1) you will never see these people again or 2) by the time you do, you'll both be farther along in your careers and will pretend like it never happened.

A few years ago, I worked on a really really really big movie.  Now, I've worked on movies of all sizes (hello, anyone see Southland Tales?  I hope not, we made it for a quarter and it sucked), and when we made this one, I knew it was big, but I really didn't think it was going to be biggest-box-office-of-all-time kind of big.  This movie was several years in the making, and while they continued to call me with a trickle of needs for almost 2 years, I was pretty much off this movie almost three years ago. 

In the last three months, I have received at least a few emails from the producer of the BIG movie.  If I never receive an email from a producer while we are shooting the movie, that is a good sign, you know?   I am low-man lost on the totem pole, there is no reason a producer should be emailing me.  But this producer has sent out a few emails to the entire crew of the BIG movie over the last few months, letting us know about its progress, even sending us a picture once when he and the director of the BIG movie took it to the troops in the Middle East.  In all of his emails, he continually repeats this sentiment: "this film would not have been possible without you... with my sincerest appreciation... thank you."

This is not something that happens often in my industry, at least not at this level.  You finish a movie, you move on, and maybe down the road you work with some of these crew members again, or even these producers again.  Maybe they remember you and maybe they don't.  You get a "thanks for a great show" and a handshake at the end and you go on to the next one or file for unemployement.

So it has been lovely and refreshing to receive these occasional emails from the BIG producer, even if I am only one of 4,000 people he has probably sent it to.  It has been nice to think that in the journey to great film-dom that the BIG movie has made, maybe this one producer really remembers that his laboring crew of transient carnies is the back that the BIG movie is built on. 

We received his last email today, on the eve of the Academy Awards, and it gave me a little hope, that maybe in the world of pretty, false pretenses we as a business create for the rest of the world, there still exists a little real magic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's a Bird.. It's a Plane... It's Supercrank!

Aaargh!  I have been trying for 3 days now to post, and every night when I have the residual energy, Blogger has taken so long to load that I have given up and gone to bed instead.

Because I am exhausted.  I am so tired each night that I actually dream, and this morning, for the first time in at least 2 years, I did not notice when my husband got up and left for work.  I awoke at 6:04am and looked at the clock in panic, thinking, "OMG I HAVE TO SHOWER BEFORE THE BUG WAKES UP!  OTHERWISE THE DAY IS LOST!!" 

I'm feeling extra tired for a few reasons. 

First of all, the Bug has started to crawl in earnest.  Its still mostly the "arm-y crawl" where he drags himself around by his arms, which we think is much easier here given that we have hardwood floors and he can slide around pretty quick.  He is getting his belly up once in a while, but it seems so much easier to give a good pull and slide along on his tiny Buddha belly.  I spend a lot more time vacuuming now, and peering over to see if that's a dust bunny in his mouth, or what other gross thing he has found under the couch.

Secondly, he's starting to give up his 3rd nap.  This means that around 4:30p or so, he throws off his good baby Clark Kent glasses, grows a cape and boots and becomes SUPERCRANK.  Supercrank's amazing powers include the inability to go sleep, the loss of ability to amuse oneself, and the insistence that one be carried in several different positions while struggling, kicking and smacking mom's head with the flat of his hand while she lovingly coos, "Gentle, Caleb, gentle...".  I LOVE SUPERCRANK!

The bonus of the arrival of Supercrank is that Supercrank crashes by 7pm, head lolling back, arms akimbo, and all is quiet.  This is especially important because....

I have gone back to work.  Sort of.

Its still been super-slow production wise in LA, so my plan of going back to work in January was thwarted by the fact that there really hasn't been any work.  My boss had a couple of reshoots come up, and was willing to let me work from home, so I jumped at the chance to break out my awesome office and phone skills and put some hours into my pension and medical coverage plans.  Unfortunately, the cabana that we set up as my office is freezing in the winter, and was set up as an office for me... not really for me and crawling Supercrank.  So instead, I took over the dining table (yes, that's a second printer, sitting on a dining chair).

Wil has been very patient about the fact that we now eat on the couch with the ottoman serving as a soft table surface, and we no longer eat meals that require a knife and a fork.  Oh, and we usually eat those meals at 9pm.  His patience is due to the fact that he's a loving and understanding husband, and he's been putting in 70 hour work weeks, so he is also usually too tired to eat, much less complain about anything.

My projects will keep me busy through March, and my boss has been kind enough to let me work, even though we will be gone for a week on family trip to Hong Kong.  From the last three weeks I have put in, I have learned the following:
  • Its REALLY REALLY REALLY nice to make a paycheck.
  • You can only get the baby in and out of the car seat X number of times per day.  Planning must be strategic.
  • I can get an awful lot done between the hours of 8pm and midnight.
  • I do like and miss my job.  Somewhat.
  • I am not quite ready to go back to full-time work.
  • You can't have it all, but being really really close is really really fulfilling... not to mention stressful and tiring!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Dad is Cliff Huxtable

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we learn to parent.

In a conversation about television families once, someone remarked that The Cosby Show was an unrealistic portrait of American family life, and that Roseanne was how "real" families interacted.  I remember being annoyed and a little offended at this comment because it was probably mostly true but....

Well, I was a little offended because, well, because my parents sorta were like the Cosbys, and the comment seemed to discount my upbringing as unrealistic and therefore invalid.  The implication was that since our parents were able to give us more, we hadn't worked as hard for what we had.  It had just been given to us (which is untrue, btw).  We were way more like the Cosbys than the Conners, and it had more to do with my Dad than with money.

I was in high school and my father and I were in a grocery store at 11pm one night when I think I realized it.  I had left him to go find something, and when I found him, he was in the cereal aisle by himself, doing what can only be called the Cliff Huxtable dance.  You know, the one in the opening montage, where he bends his knees and juts out his chin and sort of spasms to an internal Count Basie.  Dad was doing this in front of some Raisin Bran, and that's when it hit me:  my dad was a cross between Cliff Huxtable and Howard Cunningham.

When I thought about it, it made sense.  My father immigrated to LA in 1969, leaving his parents behind in Taiwan.  He now likes to give me little mini-lectures now about things like tooth care, as he now deals with the consequence of things he says his parents never taught him (i.e. the importance of good dental hygiene - in fairness, I don't think it was their top priority in China in the 1940's).  When we were kids in the 70's and 80's, my dad didn't have any family in California, much less his own parents, and well... he was in the United States.  My dad learned to be an "American" parent from tv.

Is it really that bad when you think about it?  I mean, he could have had worse role models.  If we're looking to tv now for guidance, who is there?  I'm seriously asking, I don't know.  My television habits are now extremely adult (Criminal Minds, Fringe) or Ni Hao Kai-Lan and Yo Gabba Gabba.  Sitcoms aren't the same anymore, so what family role models do we and our kids have?  Reality television?  The Hills and Gossip Girl?  God forbid, The Jersey Shore?!?!  Here's my other question - chicken or egg?  Is reality tv a reflection of how kids are really growing up, or are kids trying to be what they see on tv?  These are things I think about as I try to limit the amount of psycho therapy my kid might need in the future to a year or two, instead of a lifetime of Prozac.

Granted my Dad wasn't always camera perfect.  After all, I never saw Cliff slam his fist into the wall next to Theo's head, and Dad's "sex talk" (yes, I got it from my dad, not my mom) basically consisted of three sentences: Don't get pregnant.  Don't get any diseases.  If you don't, come to me; don't tell your mother.

But given the choices we seem to have these days... I'll watch reruns all day long.