Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mo Willems Captions

Do you know Mo Willems? He wrote Knuffle Bunny (a MetaToddler favorite) and the Pigeon books after winning 6 Emmys for his writing for Sesame Street.

Needless to say, he knows funny. He knows kids, too, but that's another post.

He's teamed up with NPR's All Things Considered for a caption contest. He drew and captioned four cartoons, but anyone can take a look and submit a caption of their own. It's cute and fun, so go on and check it out if you're looking for a few minutes of amusement :-)

Music: Two of a Kind

Sometimes, you feel fooled and tricked for no good reason.

Today's trickery involves music of the indie nature.

A while back, a friend of mine turned me on to The Postal Service. I love their album and listened to it again, and again, and again. MetaDaddy's favorite trick, but not really mine. So this album, Give Up, is a favorite indeed. But they haven't come out with a second, so I've had to settle with nothing new for a while.

My favorite radio station, KCRW, tends to play a great variety of music. I kept hearing this one band and thinking "they came out with a new album!!" only to find out that it wasn't The Postal Service, but some other band called Death Cab for Cutie. So they've grown on me, even though they still confuse the bejeesus out of me.

Get this, my friend just realized that the lead singer in both bands is Ben Gibbard. That's right, the same person...both bands...singing. Ugh!! No wonder I was so frustrated!!!

I'm annoyed, but relieved to know that I'm not crazy or paranoid. Well, not crazy. Well, at least...

Whatever, they tricked me. And I can still claim the pregnancy hormone card, so I deserve an apology!!

I'll be here when you're ready, Ben Gibbard.

Dancing Toddler with the Pink Stroller

Dancing in his high chair. Why? Because of something he heard me playing on You Tube. A rather malicious "friend" sent me a link to a NKOTB video. Don't know the anacronym? You obviously didn't grow up a girl in the late 80s/early 90s.

So, it's bad enough that it played on my computer. I'm embarrassed for myself, and the only other person here was MetaToddler. Which brings me to my point of concern. Whatever about the pink piano, or the pink stroller. How much should I worry when my little boy starts dancing to NKOTB?!?

Here, you try. Play it for your toddler and see what happens. You can blame my evil "friend" for whatever happens ;-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

LA's Earthquake

Did you hear? There was an earthquake in the Los Angeles area yesterday. It was initially reported to be 5.8 in magnitude, but has since been downgraded to 5.4.

Of all places, we were in a shopping center in the Valley, very near the dreaded Northridge of the 1994 Northridge Quake fame. Worse still, the car was in a parking structure, the last place you want to be in the event of an earthquake.

When the shaking started, I was walking around with MetaToddler. I wasn't sure if the rumbling was normal (e.g., truck driving by), but a sales associate gasped "it's an earthquake. Everyone to the counter." I looked around and decided she was right. There were a lot of wonky racks and shelves, but there were no fixed structures other than the counter. I calmly picked him up and walked over there, so he remained pretty calm, in turn. When it was over, I saw a lot of people rushing to the exit, but our choices were essentially:

(1) stay in the department store next to the glass doors,
(2) go outside the building and stand in the parking structure,
(3) go down to the first floor and stand outside the building, or
(4) go to your car and leave.

When I saw that there wasn't a huge exodus in the parking lot, I chose to leave. It seemed the best of the four unpleasant options. I hurried (as much as I can these days) to the car, and we were out of the structure in a few minutes. The ironic thing is I always try to avoid parking structures, but in this case, this was the only parking option. Figures.

The most frustrating part was that I couldn't to make calls on my cell because they kept failing. I heard today that the network was overloaded. This was a big problem all over, apparently.
"Sprint Nextel Corp. reported a spike of 800 percent right after the quake and Verizon Wireless saw the volume jump by 400 percent over that of a typical day. It wasn't clear how long the systems were overloaded but they were back to normal Wednesday."
Overall, nerves were shaken, but very little damage has been reported. Personally, I heard one glass item crash in the department store, but nothing was out of place when we got home. MetaDaddy's dry erase markers fell to the floor. Not bad.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Clothes

Oh, how time flies.

I was digging out some of MetaToddler's old clothes for M2 and I've come to a few conclusions.
  1. I can't believe he was ever that small.

  2. I can't believe how lucky we've been with his wardrobe. Between gifts and hand-me-downs from his younger cousin (ya, he's way bigger), we've had very little stress in keeping him well clothed. We love the one piece footed outfits from Ireland because they're well-made, soft, cotton, inexpensive, and adorable. I've found similar items here at much higher prices, so we've tried to get him new ones every time we go back to Dublin. That said, he's at that cusp where we can't find footed ones that fit him any more. The footed ones are particularly beneficial in keeping him from climbing out of his crib because he climbs much better in his bare feet. He can't get a proper foothold when he's bound in his jammies.

  3. We hardly need anything for M2. We've got clothes, toys, etc. aplenty. Unfortunately, no excuses for shopping. Eh, I'm sure I'll find something. We always need something when it's particularly cute ;-)

  4. I'm really excited to revisit some of the things that I really loved seeing MetaToddler wear. The opposite of that sad feeling you get when you admit to yourself that your child no longer fits into that little shirt that you love seeing him in. That's what today did for me. Gave me a big sense of "awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....I forgot how much I loved this shirt!!!"
Now, the unpleasant part. Laundry.

Friday, July 25, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: You Call Those Toys?!?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

So as MetaToddler's birthday approaches, I'm sure he'll get some gifts. Since I'm debating birthday party ideas, and I'm hoping to follow through with a party of some sort (cross your fingers for us), that's all the more reason to expect gifts. We just have to time it right so that he gets a party, preferably before M2 arrives. Eep!!

With gifts on my mind, I'm reminded of my prior inclination against an abundance of cheap, plastic toys. I've mentioned reasons why here and here, and a few alternate gift ideas here.

As time goes by, I'm only more and more convinced that he doesn't need the big, plastic, fancy, flashing, noise-makers. Why do I say that? Here are a couple of his favorite toys these days.

A red plastic box that his Lego-like bricks came in. The box is usually empty, so he climbs on it, wears it like a hat to play peek-a-boo (usually resulting in walking into walls, as in the photo), rides it like a fire truck, etc. Other times, he fills it with toys, empties it, fills it, empties it, and so on.

And his other favorite? Empty cardboard containers that he wears on his head like a crown. At those times, we refer to him as King MetaToddler.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Never Buy from

So, I'm closing in on 37 weeks. About time to start nesting, n'est pas?

The crib we have for MetaToddler converts into a toddler bed, so he'll be keeping that one. We'll need a new bed for our new Wee one, which we'll call M2 (as in Meta 2) for now. Thought about Wee 2, or W2, but that seemed to close to Wii...which might confuse some people (you know who you are).

Anyway, I order the crib online at I've heard of the site in a few places, they've been around for a while, and I know they sell through Amazon, so I thought "why not." Free shipping, no tax, and the crib retails for the same price everywhere. Once I placed my order, I saw a strange pop up message that requested more information in order to fulfill my order. I click on it, and it requested the last four digits of my social security number and my year of birth. That screams alarm bells, but I'd already placed my order at that point. I decide to ignore it and see what happens.

The next day, I receive an email message asking that I call Baby Age in order to provide some information before they can complete my order.


I call, but I'm already annoyed. Sure enough, they ask me for my social and year of birth. I ask them why they need it, and they say that this is risk management because I'm making a large purchase. *Just the other day I stopped a fraudulent order by doing this* blah, blah. I say "I'm not comfortable providing that information. Are you saying that I can either provide my private information or cancel my order?" He said "yes." So, I canceled my order.


I then called American Express, and they said:

1) I was right to not provide the vendor with that information.
2) Vendors can ask for things like the security code on the card or your zip code, but not your SSN or year of birth.
3) BabyAge already put a charge through on my card, so keep an eye on the card to make sure they cancel it immediately.

Unfortunately, when I found out that the charge had been put through, it was too late to call Baby Age again. However, I will follow up with them to assure they have canceled my order and refunded my card. I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that the credit will not be a problem. That said, American Express has been great when dealing with shady vendors and/or charges in the past, so I'm expecting them to be just as great this time :-)

Of course, after the fact I search on Google and find they make a practice of asking for credit card holder's social security number. How is this not phishing? Baby Age didn't have this info to verify it against my answers. How is this managing risk? After providing this info, they would have had my name, address, phone, email, credit card, last four of my SSN, and my year of birth. What else would they need to steal my identity? After all, American Express only asks for the last four of my SSN in order to access my account history.

Hopefully you don't have to deal with any vendors like these, but always be on the lookout for people who ask too much information. Never, ever give out any digits of your social or your year of birth, which is harder to get than the day and month of your birth. And never provide any information to people who call you. I once had Aetna call me to verify who I was. I asked them "I need to verify who you are first!"


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer at the Farmers' Market

Oh, how I love the farmers' market during the summer. Well, I love it and hate it. There's so much beautiful food, that I have to work hard to stay on my list. It's really quite easy to overspend. My summer downfall: fruit.

Cherry season is about mother's day through father's day, so they're long gone. But they overlapped nicely with peaches, my current obsession.

My favorite peach stand has the best peaches, nectarines, plums I've ever had. Ever. High end local restaurants haul away crates of Fitz's fruit, but he always has time to shoot the breeze and answer my silly questions. He's big into grilling his peaches these days. His recommendation is to take a full-flavored peach, which is usually a yellow fleshed peach; their acid content provides a more balanced flavor than white peaches, which tend to be much sweeter. Cut it in half, and take the pit out. Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar and smear it on the flesh. Put the peach flesh side down on the grill and cook it for 3-5 minutes. Flip it and cook it on the skin side for another 3-5 minutes. Feel free to add a few more drops of balsamic vinegar, and serve.

When we grill peaches, we don't bother with the balsamic. Honestly, they're so good they just don't need it. We grill them, and if you have some pound cake lying around, toast some up on the grill. Pour over a little honey, syrup, cream, ice cream...whatever floats your boat. The result...O...M...G...So simple, so easy, so delicious. How did I not know about this sooner? I'd be bitter if I wasn't so happy.

But now I find out Fitz is only expecting to be at the market for another couple of weeks. This saddens me. Last year, I went cold turkey on peaches when his season ended. I actually did a little dance when I saw him this year, and I've been loyal all summer. I suspect I'll be peachless again once his season ends. He's truly spoiled me with those Carmen Mirandas nectarines.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jib Jab - Time for Some Campaignin'

Oh, so excited! I've been looking forward to some new Jib Jab for a while, and here we are!!

Time for Some Campaignin'

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ice Cream for Dessert

Speaking of dessert (I'm sure someone's speaking of dessert somewhere, right?), here's my current relationship with ice cream.

I love several flavors of Ben & Jerry's. Ah, don't we all. My current flavor of choice (i.e., the flavor in the fridge) is Phish Food. But I'm starting to think Half Baked wouldn't go down bad right now. However, vanilla is a pretty good flavor, one very easily dressed up. So I'm always in favor of...well, I'm in favor of those flavors.

Looking around at ice cream at the grocery store, I noticed that Breyers has a nice list of ingredients that I can actually pronounce (e.g., sugar, cream). And it turns out that Breyers vanilla is much lighter and fluffier than the Ben & Jerry's, so a 1/2 cup serving of Breyers vanilla is nearly 1/2 the calories of the B & J.

Breyers Vanilla - 1/2 cup = 140 calories; 7g fat; 14 g carbohydrates
Ben & Jerry's Phish Food - 1/2 cup = 270 calories; 12 g fat; 37 g carbohydrates
Ben & Jerry's Half Baked - 1/2 cup = 270 calories; 13g fat; 33g carbohydrates

So if you'd like an ice cream treat, you might be better off going for the Breyers if you're going the all natural but low calorie route. Even better, add a couple of slices of fresh fruit like banana, strawberry, berries, some nuts and call it a deconstructed banana split :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Google: Jerks or Fumblers?

Google stock is down today in after hours trading. Personally, I'd say it's because they're jerks (see below). But no, it's just that their second-quarter earnings that fell below analysts' expectations.

Why are Google heads jerks?

On Day Care, Google Makes a Rare Fumble
"Parents who had been paying $1,425 a month for infant care would see their costs rise to nearly $2,500 — well above the market rate. For parents with toddlers and preschoolers, who were charged less, the price increases were equally eye-popping. Under the new plan, parents with two kids in Google day care would most likely see their annual day care bill grow to more than $57,000 from around $33,000."
It's essentially a ridiculous tale where Google kept one-upping its day care facilities, and before it knew it, they had an over-the-top program that it was subsidizing to the tune of $37K per child per year. The price increase served to fix their other problem, too: the ridiculously long wait list.
"Google has also started charging people several hundred dollars to stay on the waiting list; as a result the list has dropped to around 300 parents. By next fall, Google plans to open new facilities with another 300 places. See? No more waiting list."
Just to drive the point home, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was reported to have said "he had no sympathy for the parents, and that he was tired of “Googlers” who felt entitled to perks like 'bottled water and M&Ms.'"

Since when has day care been equatable to a packet of "free" M&Ms?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Italian Toddler

MetaToddler's speech is regressing. He went from being close to pronouncing a few words correctly (in English) to making them sound just that little bit more Italian.

Actual word --> Former Pronunciation --> Current Pronunciation

Down --> Dow --> Downah
Green --> Geen --> Geenah
Spoon --> Pooh --> Poonah
Brown --> Bwow --> Bwownah

I don't even speak to him in Italian. I speak to him in Spanish. Where's the Spanish?!?

I shutter to think of what's next. Greek? German? Swahili?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Response: No Mo Mama Drama

My buddy, Mama Geek, over at What Works for Us has had a hard week. Think floods and other assorted summer mayhem. I seriously feel for her, and I'll be partaking in dessert on her behalf ;-)

So, my turn to commiserate.

MetaDaddy goes into the closet where the water heater is housed, only to notice a slight bit of water pooled underneath. We couldn't tell if it was a leak or condensation. So, I call the plumber the next day, and he comes out. Leak. Replace. Better still, they no longer make the same version, so we had to buy the fancy new insulated model, which happens to be twice the price. Bye, bye three car payments!

Plumber comes the following day to install the gi-normous thing...upstairs. He and his assistant were seriously struggling. I would have offered to help...but well, I'm no use to anyone these days :-P

Day 3: A little something needed to be readjusted from the installation, so the plumber had to come back the following day.

Plumbing finally all up to snuff. A couple of days later, we find a leak in the bathroom. I'm destined to be best friends with our plumber. Time to call again.

We have top-down-bottom-up blinds in a large window, and they're wonderful. They allow us to pull the blinds all the way up to maximize light and exposure. And for those times when we prefer a bit more privacy, we can pull the blinds partially down and still get warmth and sunshine, along with a pleasant breeze. It's the perfect compromise for us because I prefer sun with privacy, and MetaDaddy prefers all sunshine all the time. I think it's the Irish in him. Have I mentioned that he gets kinda depressed when it rains here? Specifically here in Los Angeles. He could care less if it rains when we're traveling. I think he feels "I didn't move half way across the world for rain." Anywho, the only downside to the blinds is that the string that runs through the mechanism works overtime in holding up the full weight of the blinds. And the more it's used, the more likely something will go wrong. Today, one of the strings either broke or untied, or whatever. So we had to take it down, with the aid of a ladder, and we're going to see about getting it fixed. Obviously, I didn't hike up the ladder, but I was totally there for moral support.

That's all for now. I'm hoping that in writing this list, nothing else will magically break. I really can't handle much more right now.

Right, so where's that cake?

Friday, July 11, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: OCD in the Making

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I've probably mentioned a few little OCD habits I have. I chalk it up to being a Virgo, but others chalk it up to my being slightly anal. Eh, whatever. So I love my label maker. And I live and die by my lists. We all have our quirks :-)

But is it innate or learned?

MetaToddler was in his class, and with all the toys out to play, guess what he chose to do?

Yes, he lined those up...all by himself.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The 11 Best Foods You Aren't Eating

A NY Times article listing The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating. The nice thing about it is that it's a nice brief list of nutritious foods that you can see about slowly integrating into your diet without a major overhaul of your cooking routine. A sprinkle of this, a tossing of that. It's all good!

We actually really like beets in salads, but after seeing what they did to MetaToddler's diapers, we wrote them off. To be fair, we were eating red beets, and there are lighter colors to choose from. So perhaps we'll give it another try with golden beets.

Salad, obviously. That said, napa cabbage works well in stir fries. I wonder if all cabbage would work, too.

Swiss Chard
Neither of us really like swiss chard. Something about the texture just doesn't please us, so um...ya. Maybe we'll try it again, but I might just as easily forget about it, too.

This is a tricky one in the MetaHome. MetaDaddy doesn't like cinnamon in his coffee, and he feels it's overused in desserts, especially those containing apples. So when I bake, I omit cinnamon and go straight for the nutmeg, which we both love. Then he says "well, I don't hate cinnamon. You can use it in some things." Ah, but which! The saga rages on.

Pomegranate Juice
Honestly, I don't like pomegranate juice. It's unpleasantly sweet, even when diluted. I'd prefer to just eat a pomegranate. I did make a syrup a while back, and it was nice mixed in plain yogurt. It would probably work on pancakes, too, but well...ick!

Dried Plums
As is. Yum!!

Pumpkin Seeds
I mix roasted pumpkin seeds with a few other wonderfully tasty nuts and unsweetened dried fruit for a trail mix that I know I'll like. What usually makes the cut? Almonds, walnuts, black currants, cranberries, raw sunflower seeds, and of course, pumpkin seeds.

After reading the health benefits of sardines, I'm seriously thinking about giving them another try. But it's really hard. I've slowly comes around to enjoying fish, and sardines...well, that's a tough one. Super salty, fishy, packed in oil. I can hardly watch MetaDaddy eat sardines on toast without gagging. Obviously, he'll have to introduce MetaToddler to that culinary treat. I'll work on coming around, but no promises.

I always have turmeric in my pantry, but I seldom use it. I don't remember the last time I even opened the tin! I'm going to work at sprinkling it around a bit more.

We're lucky enough to get fresh blueberries at the farmers' market right now. Nothing beats fresh, tasty blueberries just bursting with flavor. Most are so bland and watery, that it's easy to think you don't like blueberries at all. Just go find a good one and see what you're missing.

I tend to use frozen blueberries in muffins (when I'm feeling energetic), but it does throw the water content a bit off if you're not careful. The tip that's worked for me is keep them frozen until you mix them in, lightly coat with flour, and gently mix into the batter. This tends to prevent bleeding in the batter, too.

Canned Pumpkin
Hmmm...I don't know about this one. I'll think about it, but I'd prefer to have roasted squash. I chop it up and to toss it in when baking a chicken or something, and it makes for great leftovers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How to Find An Ideal Husband

An interesting, yet amusing analysis of how to find "an ideal husband" by Maureen Dowd in the NY Times.

She interviewed Father Pat Connor, a 79-year-old Catholic priest born in Australia and based in Bordentown, N.J., who has spent many, many years in the field of marriage counseling. He summed it all up in a lecture he gives to high school seniors, which was then neatly wrapped up in this article.

A sample tip:
“Steer clear of someone whose life you can run, who never makes demands counter to yours. It’s good to have a doormat in the home, but not if it’s your husband."
The list is brief and to the point, and filled with common sense tips to keep in mind before you fall in love. That said, Father Connor says “after I regale a group with this talk, the despairing cry goes up: ‘But you’ve eliminated everyone!’ Life is unfair.”

Monday, July 7, 2008

Recipe: Grilled Corn & Arugula Salad

When you're cemented to braces, certain foods are out of the question. Corn on the cob, for example. It's an awful, tragic shame to walk past beautiful, fresh, sweet corn at the farmers' market. Cheap and all, but what's the point when you know you can't eat it. Or can you?

So, in an effort to satiate my corn impulses, I've found a couple of salad recipes that use the corn kernels. One of them is particularly tasty, uses leftover grilled corn (great for all of that leftover corn from your most recent bar-b-que), and is quick to assemble. I got the recipe for Grilled Corn & Arugula Salad from Russ Parson's How to Pick a Peach. I had a few of the ingredients on hand, but not others, so my variation of the recipe was as follows. I halved the dressing because we tend to like a lighter coat of dressing on our salads. Also, keep in mind that you can use any lettuce or lettuce mix. However, the pepperiness of the arugula is a nice contrast to the other flavors, so it's more a flavor component than a backdrop to everything else.

1/2 garlic clove, minced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 pound arugula
1/2 pound roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
2 ears corn, grilled & cooled, kernels sliced off

Whisk the dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Lightly coat the arugula with some dressing in another bowl.

Finally, mix the tomatoes, scallions, and corn kernels in a small bowl. Coat with the remaining dressing.

To assemble, place some arugula on a plate. Spoon on the corn mixture.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Blue, as in blueberries, MetaToddler's favorite fruity snack.

Blue, as in MetaToddler's favorite animated dog.

Blue, as in the sea he gets ever-so-excited about when we walk on the beach.

Blue, as in the lightning bolt marks (aka veins) covering the pale part of my arms (the inside) and legs, which happen to be significantly paler than MetaDaddy's...and he's true Irish pale! (I saw a picture of myself in shorts the other day, and they actually reflected light.)

Blue, as in blue screen of death wife, my new name after errantly not saving an Excel spreadsheet MetaDaddy was working on. In my defense, I'm pregnant.

Friday, July 4, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: Santa Monica Parade

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

We don't get some things here in Santa Monica. Parades are one of those things. I guess someone figured that we needed to partake in parade season. So for the second year in a row, the Annual Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade. MetaDaddy led the way with MetaToddler, and we got lost in the fray, so I didn't get to see the wee little reactions. But I know they were probably entertaining. I mean, the kid goes nuts when he sees a mee maw (i.e., fire truck) driving quietly down the street. Nevermind when the sirens are blaring.

On that note, our humble little parade.

That Santa Monica tractor being put to good use again.

And the requisite Prius for all Santa Monica events. Sometimes, I think there are more Priuses than residents in Santa Monica.

And of course, no parade is complete without a "mee maw."

Hope you all had a great July 4th!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Andy Rooney: Women over 40

I like Andy Rooney. He's grumpy, like me. That said, I'm grumpier these days.

It doesn't help when I see someone driving and talking on a cell phone, even though it's been banned in California as of July 1, 2008.

It also doesn't help that I'm officially running hot these days. I'm the kind of person who wears a sweater when it's 80 degrees out. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I yam what I yam. The last time I was pregnant, I would drive to work at 7AM (~65 F), and find myself opening all of the car windows in a desperate attempt to cool off. I went from hating my desk under the vent, to asking if the air could be adjusted colder. Now, I find myself second-guessing if MetaToddler is hot or cold because I can't trust my comfort level any more. I also find myself using a lot more sunscreen because I'm exposing myself to the sun more than usual. And despite that, I still have a watch tan. Blagh.

But I digress. My point is Andy Rooney is fun because he's as grumpy as a pregnant woman in the middle of a Los Angeles summer. Need proof? Here's a great description of what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40.

It starts...

"A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think."

...and it goes on from there.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reassessing Property Taxes

Appraisers get it wrong. I had to deal with the Los Angeles County Assessor's office when resolving an issue at work, and...well, I should have been a dentist. (translation = I had to pull many, many teeth for many, many months)

FMF posted a while back on how to have your property taxes reassessed in some states. Definitely something worth looking into if you were unfortunate enough to buy property at the height of the market.

Property taxes in California, however, are different. They are tied to the purchase price of the property, as opposed to market value as in FMF's post. Why? This LA Times article on Property Tax Reassessment says:
"Property tax reductions due to falling home values were established by Proposition 8, which was approved by voters in November 1978 as an amendment to the tax-limiting Proposition 13, which passed in June of that year."
Here's the scoop:
"Assessors in the five-county Los Angeles area are now in the process of cutting property taxes on more than half a million homes because of plunging home values. Notifications will go out this month and next to lucky homeowners.
Keep in mind,
"Homes bought before 2004 are not being automatically reviewed because of the way property values are set.
When a home is sold, the taxable value is set at the sale price. After that, it can rise no more than 2% a year.

Because the market value of most homes sold before 2004 increased far more than 2% annually in the first part of the decade, those properties are probably still worth more than their taxable value, even when the recent slump is considered."
So if you think you're overpaying, check out the article to see how to try to have your taxes reassessed. And be very, very patient. They're not in the business of reducing their income.