Thursday, July 31, 2008

if you have no interest in reading about poop, don't read this

Ugh, I think I deserve a raise. Not in the (kind of) recognized by society as money-deserving jobs. My mamma-pay needs to be increased.

Although Pic and I did devour a pound of cherries yesterday and although Cardo and I try to make sure that plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are ingested by la bambina, Pic has been struggling with constipation these last two days. We've given her a couple of doses of baby laxative and she munched on some prunes just a bit ago. (I remembered after we talked, Poke, that we did buy prunes before we went on vacation.)

So, I was just sitting downstairs, here, cruising the blogosphere when she called me up to her room to let me know, “Mamma, I pooped in my panties.” People, constipation is no longer a problem. We have gone from one extreme to the other.

I cleaned her up and disinfected her bathroom and she’s resting a bit now.

This is going to be a long night.

hair and pictures and pictures of hair

Oh my!

I did, in fact, end up snipping away at my hair the other night. I did wait for Cardo, but I cut it myself (and it's apparent). I was going to wait until Pic could watch and see that the cutting of the hair doesn't necessarily involve pain, but she was asleep and my scissors-finger was itchy. The next morning, though, Pic saw my hair, asked if I had cut it and then, quite genially, agreed to have hers cut. I can see the child's face! The rest of her hair is still a huge mess, of course, but I can see her face! I don't have a great picture, but I'll post what I have.

As for me, I remember now why I don't cut my bangs...I'm practically blind and always tired so I seldom wear my contacts. What does that have to do with the price of eggs in Spain?, you ask. I often wear my glasses and my bangs curl up off the ends of my glasses, the result being wings. My forehead can fly!

I was going to post pictures earlier, but as Pic and I were taking pictures of our cherries, the camera was dropped (nice inactive verbiage for you there) and it got a bit temperamental. All seems to be going well with it now, though (I just knocked wood), so pictures are here).

Yes, Pic's bangs/fringe/ribbons are short. They'll grow. (She refers to her freshly cut hair as either "fringe" or "ribbons." Not quite sure where she got "ribbons," but I love it.)

I'm somewhat averse to normal pictures, so this'll have to do for now. And, no, I couldn't be bothered to put on a shirt, so enjoy the shoulders.

In one final note, Indie has returned home. The visit was short, but fantastic. It had better not be another couple of years before we see each oher again. Not that I need reminding, but I was reminded of just how great of a friend she is and how important a part of my life she is.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

my oh-so-exciting life...

Ugh, I was (and still a bit am) exhausted today. This whole eight a.m. four days a week thing isn’t working for my body. I know, people do this all the time, but they also get some sleep at night. Night is not a time my body likes to sleep. And, I've never been a morning person.

On returning home today, I read a bit, ate lunch and took a nap. On waking up, I stretched out my legs and my muscle in my right calf seized up. Fun stuff.

I walked to pick up Pic from school. Her school is just across the street. Vying, once again, for Mamma of the Year, I served up some Annie’s CinnaBunnies cereal and Rainier cherries for dinner. It was good and simple. We devoured the entire pound of cherries before Papí got home…sorry.

I washed the dishes and then we read six Berenstain Bears books. I love these books, always have. I’m glad that Pic enjoys them with me.

We’re settling down for the night. I’ll plan for tomorrow and then, I hope, I’ll get a bit of sleep. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

spectacular lunch

Ah...Gunma-Gal has posted a picture of our lunch from Friday. It was delicious! It's a privilege to have the talented Ms Gunma cook for you, believe me (she made Ms J's and my birthday cake and homemade ice cream sandwiches for our final last semester).

Check out the picture. Her ravioli dough was beautiful and the asparagus was especially fantastic.

glorious (and sometimes burnt) food

Last week, I think Monday, I set out to make dinner per la mia famiglia. I took on a lot, normal for me, and things didn’t exactly turn out perfectly. All was pretty good, though, so I’m not at all discouraged. I will cook again!

So, let me describe what I made. I cooked one giant chicken breast in the skillet. I used some extra virgin olive oil, freshly-ground pepper and poultry seasoning. The topping was supposed to be something smoother, like pesto. I had a ton of parsley left over and I needed to use it up, but I couldn’t bear to use as much olive oil as was needed for a real pesto (in fact, there wasn’t anything “real” pesto about this). I used the food processor to mince and mix Italian parsley, chopped spinach (I have a lot of chopped spinach in the freezer), olive oil, garlic and a tomato. The topping turned out really thick, but I really like the flavor. It would be good as a stuffing for the chicken.

We also had the remaining green beans from the refrigerator. I made these with garlic and dijon mustard. I made carrots with a bit of butter and a bit of honey. Finally, I made blender cauliflower. It was a good vegetably meal. At one point, though, as I was doing too much at once, I noticed a strange smell and I realized that the carrots were burning (note the color). I think that I don’t really know how to make carrots, but I’ll continue to make them the same way anyway, because most of the time they don’t burn.

As for tonight, I made something simple. I’m big on build-your-own kinds of meals. Once, for my birthday party, my mom made a few small cakes and we each decorated our own. I think it was that same birthday that we built our own pizzas, too. This is the kind of thing I love. Tonight was a repeat of something I’ve already posted. We eat a lot of the same foods over and over again…I just usually like to post only pictures of previously un-featured meals. However, I think tonight’s oatmeal pictures trump my previous one. I used old-fashioned rolled oats (not steel-cut because I didn’t have enough time), cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, applesauce, fresh blueberries and a touch of maple syrup. Oh, and a handful of Trader Joe’s granola and berry stuff. We topped it with a sprinkle of wheat germ. It was good. Pic helped me cook, which is always fun. (As for the picture, I know, I know, it looks like a tiny amount, but I ate a very large amount of cherries before dinner. And, if you doubt my cherry-eating capabilities, just ask Poke and her mom about the Rainier cherries at the cabin. Also, I’ll be snacking later, I’m sure.)

Also, in case anyone is wondering...the ingredients in my pumpking pie spice: spice. Seriously, that is what the label says under "ingredients." Elsewhere on the label, the actual spice are listed, though.

it's just hair

In a back issue of Self I was recently reading is a quick tip on cutting your own bangs. I'm so tempted to do this, and yet, I know it's probably such a bad idea. The process sounds simple enough and goes (something) like this: gather the part that will be the fringe in the fingertips of one hand, thumb facing your nose; cut around the thumb-tip in a kind of upside-down "u" shape. Voila! Oh, wait, there was something about making sure that you could still see your thumb or that your thumb touched your nose or something, so that the hair doesn't end up entirely too short.

Once, my second year here, I let my roommate cut my hair. She kept asking if I was sure. "Yeah, it's just hair," I answered. I kind of realized that the haircut wasn't top-notch (she went to school for psychology, not cosmetology), but I didn't go to a professional to have it fixed until months later. When I sat down, the woman who was to cut my hair was a bit quiet, a concerned look on her face. "I let my roommate cut it," I confessed. A sigh of relief was exhaled and we chatted as she evened out the mess.

Here's the thing: I'd let (un)said friend cut my hair again. So, what's the big deal if I cut my own hair? I can see all of what would be going on in the front, at least. Maybe after Cardo returns home from work tonight...

Now that I've waxed on unnecessarily about my locks, the real news (yes, news!): Auntie Jan is here! I realized today that it's been about two years since I last saw her. Entirely too long. (That sentence fragment just sparked an idea I can employ this coming week. Score!)

The requisite new picture has been snapped by Auntie Jan, to replace the somewhat freaky "action picture" of Pic on Auntie Jan's webpage. You're welcome, Poke! :)

Tahoe will be visited on Tuesday (such is the plan) and the Stella run may be executed. (I'm slowly whittling down that 101/1001 list. Speaking of the list, I'm ever-so-slowly catching up on State of Grace. It's funny, though, because I'm reading about the first BlogHer when the third one just wrapped up. It's like the scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry -- I believe it's him -- is watching the Quidditch match through the replay on his dvr-like binoculars and he misses what's happening in real time.)

mean people suck

I remember this as a t-shirt logo. Anyone else remember this?

I've been told by two people in the last two days to check out As you might have read here, previously, I like to catch up on the archives of a blog when I start reading it. I have to believe that the people who write for this site (or, who wrote for it, if they don't both still do it) have gotten less horribly mean over time. Reading the 2004 posts is a bit excruciating. The site feels catty (not Katty, mind you) and a bit like middle school. I've always only been "cute" at best (and yes, I do mean to put that in quotes) and the hurtful words on these pages create this weird cringing insecurity in me. I mean, hello, yes, sometimes even celebrities are captured on film when they don't look their best. At least in the early posts, the commentary seems downright mean, not so much in good fun.

I'll continue to scroll through, though, and trust that things mellow out a bit.

just in case the sunny d wasn't gross enough

Ah-ha! I've been looking for this site again for quite some time.

Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974. What is with the mousse/jellied food-theme? Thanks be that I don't eat salmon or frankfurters (even if they are spectacular) or mackerel.

Buon appetito!


Tonight, I learned something I never wanted to know. Sunny D, a drink that has never been a favorite of mine, but one that I’ve imbibed on occasion growing up, is nasty for a reason. Someone (aside from Ms A, Ms K and Mr E) guess what the especially special ingredient is. (Okay, I’m sure there’re be plenty of you googling it, but try to guess first. It makes it more fun that way.)

Yesterday, people, was wondrous. I slept for twelve hours. Yes, that beautiful number, twelve! Apparently my body was tired of the lack of sleep (yes, I get how obvious that statement is) and decided to take matters into her own (who else’s?) hands. Woke up, drove almost to Dayton with Cardo and Pic, looked at an engine, hung out at Ms A’s for a bit, ate, ran errands. Then, it got better. A friend’s in for a millisecond, on a last-minute trip. She’ll be gone entirely too soon, but I only think that because I’m selfish about friends.

Okay, so today is an especially important day…Indie is coming to town! (More friends from places far and near!) I’m incredibly excited and I wish that I was completely free this week. Alas and alack, money-making calls. Fortunately my money-making endeavors are part-time and I have a great deal of time to hang out with one of the best people to have ever come into my life!

Well, I’m trying to type this and watch Freaky Friday at the same time, so I’ll sign off here for now. Thanks for all of the recent blog recommendations. (Oh, if you’re concerned about the drama…I’m completely recovered from my deletion of my blog bookmark folder. I’ve survived!) (Please note all of the exclamation points! Aren’t they obnoxious?!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

disaster!...on a totally nerdy scale

I just had a mini heart-stopping experience. Okay, so mini is so not the term. My cool was definitely misplaced and I think it's still hiding under the desk here.

I was trying to add Waiter Rant to my "blogs" bookmark and my mouse was being a pita. I kept trying to get the ball to scroll, but it wouldn't. The next thing I know, I'd erased my freaking, fracking "blogs" bookmark. I'll give you a moment to take that in.


Okay, breathe. There is no going back, here, people. There is no way to retrieve this.

As evidenced by a very recent post, blogs are kind of my obsession ("you're an obsession, you're my obsession") at the moment and to lose all of my freaking folder makes me want to cry in a dark bathroom.

I know, I know, I have my blogroll, but that's only part of the story. I keep others handy, to check out later or to catch up on. I rarely put a blog on my blogroll that I haven't already read all of. Argh!

I believe that I am only missing about five blogs from the list, none that I read compulsively. I might not ever remember what those were, and, soon enough, I'll find others to fill in the blanks. (Just rememebered another...ah, I'm breathing a tiny sigh of relief.)

Alrighty, I just needed to share my moment of panic. I'm finished. Life goes on. I've copies all of the addresses and sent them to myself in e-mail. I suppose that I could just add them all to my blogroll, but I really can't. There's a method to what I do here and it pains me to deviate from it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

happiness is...

A good day has so far been had. Thanks be for that…I love the good days.

Entirely too early this morning, I joined some friendly office mates in our daily quest in Comp instruction. After, I took off to enjoy a date with the love of my life. We partook in the cuisine of the Stonehouse Café, our first time. We had calamari strips for an appetizer and then Cardo enjoyed crab quesadillas. Lately, I’ve been craving a BLT, so I ordered the BLT&A. For the longest time, I was a seriously deluded person who thought that avocado was gross, but I’ve recovered. Toasted wheat bread, no mayonnaise and thick, crunchy bacon. My sandwich was good. We indulged in tiramisu for dessert. The Stonehouse Café is definitely a treat we won’t partake in very often (a bit on the expensive side for us).

We came home, played a board game and I took a nap. After picking Pic up from school, we played in the pool (one perk of living in the apartments again), ate and took a walk to the park. I just put Pic to bed and Cardo is sleeping on the couch. I’m also ready for rest.

Before that, though, I’ll take a moment to link to two recent blog entries I particularly enjoyed. The first is by my all-time favorite blogger ever, ever, Catherine Newman. I’d love to raise Pic alongside her raising her kids. The second [entry for 7/23/08] is by Glamour blogger Christine Coppa. She is about to realize my current dream-job. My if-I-ever-left-my-field-backup-dream. In bocca al lupo.

As for my 101/1001 list, I’m slooowly chipping away at that. I just counted and realized I have thirty-eight more months of State of Grace to read before I’m caught up, though, and I’m a little daunted by that. Ah, well, one must read on.

Monday, July 21, 2008

hopelessly devoted

I am beyond in love with blogs. I could dive into the blogosphere and swim around for all eternity.

As always, I'm taking suggestions on any blogs you all are currently luxuriating in. Ms A recommended Greek Tragedy and Hey, Coach J! recommended No Fear Entertaining. I'm digging into these, but I just did a very dangerous thing...I visited the BlogHer site and started browsing the categories there and the blogs within them. I had to force my head above the surface before I grew fins and gills and stayed.

As you can probably assess from my blogroll, I mainly focus on mommy blogs and food blogs. For a moment, I felt...bad, or something for all of the blogs I wasn't reading, for all of the subjects I was ignoring. However, the gigantically, enormously humongous number of blogs afloat in the world shows me it's impossible to devote myself to all of them. This being typed, feel free to recommend any and all spectacular blogs you've got.

So, blog goddesses and gods, thank you.


I can't close without mention of the wedding we participated in this past weekend. There are only a couple of pictures on a previous post, but there will probably be more later. It was beautiful and perfect (even when one of the co-officiants referred to the bride and groom as Adam and Eve) and fun. There were so many people in attendance, but the wedding didn't ever feel overwhelming to me. We still can't believe our little Auntie C is married! Except, we can. Although they're young, Auntie C and Uncle A have been through a lot together and I hope that they're happier and more in love every day from here to eternity.


Okay, one more. Today is the one-year anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (I never did grasp why they didn't wait a few days and release the books on Harry's birthday.) Speaking of goddesses...thank you J.K. Rowling.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

helllooo nurse!

Okay, so many pictures today, I know. However, I was flipping through a magazine while waiting for the other posts to post and I can't resist posting this (post, post, post...I think I've typed that enough).

This is from the August '08 issue of In Style. my number 3!

...and more

picture pages

Saturday, July 19, 2008

five years...and growing

This morning found me sitting outside a hair salon at ten to eight. I munched on fruit and cheese and sipped an Arnold Palmer as I impatiently waiting for the group appointment I was there for. The storefront to the left displayed a variety of vitamins and other supplements (“Having trouble sleeping? Try tryptophan!”). The storefront to the right boasted of Latin American goods (“Encomiendos de Guatemala!”).

After the hairdressers showed up (twenty minutes late), I quickly volunteered to have my hair styled first. My last experience having my hair styled involved no less than two full hours (I believe it was more), and I wasn’t looking forward to this again. It turned out that I was out by ten to nine. Now, I just hope my hair will hold the curl until at least seven this evening (any bets on the table, people?) when pictures will all have been taken.

Today is the wedding of our dearly beloved friends. We’ve been there since the beginning of the relationship – since before there even was a relationship, actually – and are honored to be a part of their celebration today.

I’m a little nervous about how I’ll hold up today. I’m emotional (as in crying during the news) on a calm day. On this day, when almost three hundred people will be in some state of joyful emotional upheaval, things could get floody. Also, Pic, Cardo and I are all in the actual wedding party, so there will be no extra pair of strong arms to scoop Pic up and whisk her off when she becomes overly-rowdy. This is what makes me the most nervous. Our friends’ pastor yesterday asked everyone in attendance to be accepting of the fact that there are three-year-olds in the wedding and that there will be many other children at the ceremony. There were only about thirty of us there, yesterday, though. Today, with so many, I’m fearing there will be many who will be much less indulgent. And, I have to remind myself, Pic was invited, she’s a part of the wedding. The gorgeous bride, our dear, dear friend, repeatedly told us yesterday “Pic’s going to do what she’s going to do…I’m not worried about it.”

So, today, I’ll be practicing my Zen “be in the moment”-ness, I hope. I’ll enjoy the wedding and try not to worry too much about the fact that the flower girl and the ring bearer are playing tag while the mothers of the bride and groom are lighting the tapers for the unity candle.

I’ll post pictures after the fête.

[Image from Google, our friends aren't having a Halloween in July theme, I just happen to be infatuated with Halloween.]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

food notes

There are just a couple of things I'll impart here.

First is an issue I suppose I should address. More than one person has asked me, concerned, if the pictures of my food depicts all I eat. Sometimes the portions seem small. Some assume that I'm showing pictures of Pic's food. For those of you who have seen me recently, you know that I'm certainly not lacking in caloric intake. I just don't like my different food items to touch one another. I like to prepare a nice, neat plate. However, most of the time, I eat more than is pictured, while still trying to watch my typical American, humungous serving sizes. When you actually look at serving sizes on packages of food or pay attention to serving sizes of foods such as proteins, fruits, vegetables and grains, we tend to eat incredibly more than we "should." If I stick strictly to serving sizes, I'm usually hungry. Sometimes I'll way overcompensate and eat a disgusting amount of food (especially if it's already unhealthy to begin with). Over the years, I've been able to adjust my mindset toward food, and I continue to work on this. If only I could just now convince myself to eat more fruits and vegetables instead of eating various unhealthy treats throughout the day...

Another food-related note: My body is not yet adjusting well to this semester. I know that I'm only three days in, but there are only twenty total days. I'm not a morning person, so I'm still not getting enough sleep before I have to pop out of bed and ready myself for my day. Also, my food intake is somewhat off. I've been eating breakfast, but I'm starving by the time I get home. Today, I fell asleep for a good while, after I got home and I woke up starving. I had to pick up Pic and then I took her to the pool. After that, I continued in my efforts to secure the title of World's Best Mamma, and I just heated canned food on the stove for dinner (no pictures, it wasn't worthy). Pic had left-over chicken. We both had cannellini and Trader Joe's no-salt-added corn. (I really like this canned corn. The niblets (sweet niblets!) are crunchy, not gummy like some canned corn.) I had been thinking to stop at the grocery store and pick up some fresh vegetables, but I was (and am) just too exhausted. Over the next few days, we'll be very busy, anyway, and I don't want any more fresh food rotting in my fridge*. After Pic goes to bed in a few minutes here, I'll probably make myself a very boring salad of mesclun and dressing...maybe some tuna depending on my laziness level.

* It has always seemed strange to me that when we abbreviate 'refrigerator,' we throw in the 'd': fridge. Why do we do that?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

my first (and possibly last) 101 in 1001

Oh my good freaking gracious, people. I haven't posted in the last few days because I've been obsessing over this list Poke posted. I am also a fan of lists, so I thought, "Sure, what the crud, let's make a list, why don't we?" Do any of you (aside from Poke) know how excruciatingly hard it is to come up with 101 things you want to do. Apparently I am weakly-ambitioned. I ended up prowling* others' lists for ideas. If you peruse others' lists, you'll see many similarities on mine, 'cause I'm a thief.

So, here're the rules and stuff. Don't count on seeing a listy like this from my anytime again in this lifetime.

The Mission [should you choose to accept...and just like Inspector Gadget, I where's Penny?]: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching [and, yes, for me spending money on things is stretching, so lay off of my "purchases" section]

Why 1001 Days?: 1001 days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organization and timing some tasks such as overseas trips [or over-the-border trips] or outdoor activities.

This is where Poke believes the list originated. There are many other lists here to should you choose to create your own and need pilfering grounds.

Start Date: Tuesday 15 July 2008
Finish Date: Tuesday 12 April 2011

1. complete the Yoga Basics class [9/08]
2. purge my two file drawers at work [8/25/08]
3. stick to a 3-days-a-week Pilates routine for a month [12/28/08-1/31/09]
4. meditate or do breathing exercises three times a week for one month
5. give a great deal of thought to the idea of ever creating one of these lists again
6. purge my files of old bills/receipts and other random junk
7. find a new artist's music to enjoy and buy the album
8. put course work (taking and teaching) in separate binders
9. catalogue 100 more of Pic's books
10. catalogue 100 more of my own books
11. see a show at the Pioneer Center [2/27/10, Avenue Q]
12. see a show at Bruka
13. plan and go on a "ladies' day" with Pic
14. find a new blog to absolutely love [cake wrecks, among others]
15. have my hair styled for no special reason (yes, I'm incapable of styling my own hair...and, yes, I was still a girl last I checked)
16. go ice skating
17. do a Stella run at Tahoe
18. have friends over for dinner [several times]
19. get a skin cancer check
20. go to dentist (I feel my anxiety rising already) for two cleanings a year
21. take a community education class for fun
22. attend a reading at Sundance
23. take a relaxing bath once a month [7,8,9,10,11,12/08 and 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12/09 and 1,2/10 so far...i'm good at being lazy]
24. purge my closet of formal gowns I'll never wear again (anyone need a wedding dress?)...take most to a prom closet (probably not the aforementioned wedding gown)
25. see the Sex and the City movie [10/08]
26. purge my drawers of holey socks and underwear (they drive Cardo crazy and I'm not all that fond of them myself)

Glorious books:
27. teach Pic to read (then, she can read to me for a change) [it'll be a while before she's reading me Harry Potter, though]
28. update address book
29. subscribe to Self [sometime in 2009, i think...i'm still getting it]
30. read more new-to-me books from the list of shame
31. finish reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
32. catch up on reading State of Grace [8/13/08]
33. read Tao-te-Ching (in English)

Glorious food:
34. make fruit soup
35. bake challah
36. make pumpkin pancakes with cranberry-topping
37. make strawberry pie
38. begin a loose-leaf tea collection [sometime in 2009, only early grey so far, but it's oh-so-good]
39. keep Italian parsley alive in my own little kitchen
40. make salad dressing that isn't honey mustard and that isn't disgusting
41. join a CSA
42. make homemade ice cream [must make more, minus the scrambled eggs]
43. make enough meals to freeze to fill the outside freezer
44. eat at three local restaurants I have yet to experience [Red's Old 395 Grill...yes, Carson is local, 7/20/08; Stonehouse Cafe, 7/23/08; Dish Cafe 10/08]

45. actually send gifts I purchase for others
46. move into an appealing one-story dwelling [12/08]
47. take a day to actually celebrate an anniversary with Cardo [we should do that more often]
48. do a photographic project (how did you find this Poke?)
49. get my hair cut [cut own hair on...7/28/08 I believe. Would still like to have more cut off.]
50. complete a NaBloPoMo [11/08]
51. begin Solstice and Equinox traditions to celebrate with Pic
52. go to an adult bookstore (do they really sell books there?)
53. dress up for Halloween
54. organize our emergency supplies
55. write will
56. actually write down our list of dream-home requirements
57. open a 529 for Pic
58. send at least one tangible piece of correspondence once a month for a year [1/09]
59. donate blood
60. choose one charity to donate a bit of money to ("a bit" because I'm not exactly rolling in much other than stress and books)
61. find a theme song
62. actually print out pictures and fill in the photo albums
63. change my name on my driver's license (I know, I know, it's just a hyphen, but it's not mine) [attempted, but NV automatically adds the hyphen, didn't cause any passport problems anyhow]
64. renew my a low-key ceremony-type-thing that we plan for us, not others
65. frame my Ben Jonson page
66. buy a bus pass and use it [8/27/08]
67. vote for president (and, if I could control this: have the person I vote for actually become president) [10/29/08...and, yea! hello future son-in-law]
68. try a shampoo bar [Blue House Soaps, love it!]
69. apply to three PhD programs
70. pay off both credit cards completely [10/ and 12/08]
71. finish entering watermark information into spreadsheet [forty years later]
72. apply for master's program at King's College [um, yeah...]

73. Alabama Stitch Book
74. How to Cook Everything [10/08]
75. a wonderful, though expensive, pair of Keens of to replace other shoes [perhaps 9/08]
76. new earrings (and actually wear them) [thanks for the graduation gift, Mom!]
77. three new work outfits (clothing made of natural fibers/materials)

78. leggere e capire un libro in italiano
79. leer y entender un libro en español
80. take a sewing class
81. make one Simplicity clothing item for myself
82. make one Simplicity clothing item for Pic
83. learn the names and locations of every country in the world (now, if only these things were static)
84. make a quilt
85. learn to (apartment) compost (as I have no backyard)
86. go climbing [8/2/08]
87. make skirt using Alabama Stitch Book

88. go to Apple Hill for autumn foods [10/08]
89. go to the ocean (pick an ocean, any ocean) [1/08...the peaceful one]
90. take a day-trip on a random day off [10/08 trip to Roseville]
91. visit another country [must do more, under less stress, and with family]
92. actually really got to HSB
93. attend Strawberry Festival
94. attend a Nevada Day parade
95. visit Oregon
96. go on a Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk
97. go camping outside and make some freaking s'mores [thanks, Coach J!]
98. take a train ride
99. hike/walk the trail in Tahoe City
100. attend my 10-year high school reunion [well, this isn't going to happen, unless I do a bit of time travel]
101. go geocaching

* Does Grease 2 come to anyone else's mind when they hear the word "prowlin'"?

[Edit: Accomplished tasks will be dark blue because I can't figure out how to cross them off. Works in progress will be in light blue.]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

sleep, or something like it

Ugh, people. I apologize for the complete downer of a post I last posted. I don't mean to spread my negativity, I just write to purge. (Also, no, I haven't suddenly been whisked back to the '60s or '70s...I just feel badly about putting bad vibes "out there," which is why I only share a little here.) I've had a tiny bit of rest, after falling asleep at five yesterday morning (I finally closed my book, switched off the light and tried some breathing exercises and it worked) and I'm starting to pick up the pieces here.

Anyhow, I'm posting here something that originated a couple of years ago on another blog (possibly even somewhere else). I read it on Poke's blog, and I'm just spreading the word.

For anyone who has experienced infertility or who is currently experiencing infertility. For anyone who has suffered through pregnancy loss. For those who have conceived naturally, utilized treatments, adopted, used third-party reproduction, or chose to live child-free: a movement.

It all began when Paz lamented that there should be a secret handshake for those who have experienced or are currently experiencing infertility. She was finally pregnant after multiple miscarriages and she wanted infertile women to know when looking at her pregnant belly that she was one of them still--in heart and mind. She was open to questions and to passing along any information she had obtained along the way.This led to a lengthy discussion about a signal we could give one another as well as a tangible object that would invite questions and subsequently discussion about infertility. The conversation jumped from idea to idea--a pomegranate-shaped charm, a Livestrong-esque bracelet--until it finally settled on a simple thread.

With the idea being that it was an item that was easy to obtain no matter where you lived. It posed a minimal cost. It could be ornamented or braided any way the wearer chose. It could be sent through the mail. It was simple. It was discreet. We picked the embroidery floss #814 because it was the colour of pomegranates. Which was one of the fertility symbols considered along the way.

Royalyne stepped forward and got the ball rolling with a write up that we tweaked until it became this statement:

Pomegranates, a longstanding symbol of fertility, serve as a strong analogy to those suffering through infertility. Though each pomegranate skin is unique in colour and texture, the seeds inside are remarkably similar from fruit to fruit. Though our diagnosis is unique—endometriosis, low sperm count, luteal phase defect, or causes unknown—the emotions, those seeds on the inside, are the same from person to person. Infertility creates frustration, anger, depression, guilt, and loneliness. Compounding these emotions is the shame that drives people suffering from infertility to retreat into silence.

In addition, the seeds represent the multitude of ways one can build their family: natural conception, treatments, adoption, third-party reproduction, or even choosing to live child-free.The pomegranate thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through A.R.T., families created through adoption, or couples trying to conceive during infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community. At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility.Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware.

Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasing this pomegranate-coloured thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Walmart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others.

Finally, the '70s comment reminded me of something. Last night, we stopped at Jack's (I think) in Bishop for dinner. I loved the place. The food was simple and good and the people who worked there were welcoming. I tried strawberry-rhubarb pie for the first time and, believe you me, Cardo and Pic were lucky I shared. Anyway, Cardo had a porkchop and applesauce with his dinner. He totally didn't get, though, why I was giggling uncontrollably and repeating "porkchopsh and appleshaush."

Saturday, July 12, 2008


From a website of writing prompts, I came across this:

"July 12 
Today is “Paper Bag Day.” It marks the day that the paper bag manufacturing machine was patented. If you were given a paper bag, what you put in the bag and why?"

Into my giant paper bag (I’d need a giant one), I’d put the anxiety, the doubt, the depression. I’d toss in the insomnia. The clutter would follow. The inhibitions. The over-analyzing.

Tonight (this morning, actually), all of these are rampant, swirling around in my head so quickly I feel nauseated.

We just returned from vacation. On this trip, I heard Cardo tell someone, my aunt, I think, that we’ve decided to settle down here. Only, did we? We talked about it. I fantasize about it. Settling down here, though, feels more like settling. It feels like copping out, giving up, shutting down.

“If we stay, what will I do? Will I stay home with Pic?” I asked him on the drive home.

“You could find a job,” he answers. “Whatever you want to do. It’s up to you.”

I couldn’t even imagine a life without moving on. Actually, I could and I have, just not a complete life. What would I do? What would I be? Who would I be?

I try to imagine how we would manage with me gone for the better part of three years and I can’t. I try to imagine how we would manage with me taking Pic with me to work on my PhD for the better part of three years (racing through and attempting to write a dissertation away from my school) and all I see for her is upheaval. I know he’ll come with me wherever I go, but I also know that the idea of being able to settle down here is so appealing to him. He sees how tired, how worn, I am and he wants us to stay and he wants me to rest. I don’t know that I’m capable.

On the drive home, I thought about his comment about us deciding to stay here where we have a tiny support network, and all I could think was that I’d be the ultimate failure. I’ll have never tried anything in my life...

list of shame

Okay, so yes, I'm an English Lit major and yes, there are about a billion books that I should have read by now that I have not read. Such is life. I recently decided that I'll just have to accept my somewhat sketchy taste and my incompleteness. I recently read The Road because I should have read it, but I don't feel any better of a person for it. (I forced myself to finish it just before we left for vacation, but I also decided that I'll leave off of the Cormac McCarthy for the rest of this lifetime.) However, I'm also currently reading Eat, Pray, Love and I'm loving it so far. So, this is just a rambling preamble (haha) to a list posted by and borrowed from Poke. I was going to wait until I was rested and coherent, but I wanted to post a booksale notice.

Grassroots books is having a sale this weekend. We might go again if we're not zombie people.

Anyway, here's my list. The bolded ones, I've read. The italicized ones, I've not finished. (Notice that I don't have many that I've begun and not finished. One of my compulsions is finishing books I've started even if I dislike or despise them...see my The Road comment above. (I'll take The Handmaid's Tale any day.) I recently started reading The Secret Garden to Pic and it will take forever until we're finished.) Oh, and according to Poke's blog: The average adult has read only 6 of the following books!

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I’ve read a lot of the plays and ALL of the sonnets…thanks to class a year ago)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
37. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell
41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
47. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

49. Atonement - Ian McEwan
50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
51. Dune - Frank Herbert
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
67. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
68. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker
72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
74. Ulysses - James Joyce
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
77. Germinal - Emile Zola
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
79. Possession - AS Byatt
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
86. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

P.S. That this list is only 98 long bothers me. At least it could be 99, which is the number of a very good year.
P.P.S. Who put this list together? Why are some books on here while others are missing?
P.P.P.S. Anyone who knows how to change the text color within a post (other than for links) please let me know. I can't figure it out right now. I'm beyond exhausted. I can barely type this right now. Grazie mille.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

off we go...

[Image from Google Image]

We are about to embark on a family vacation. We didn't do this last year, so I'm very much looking forward to this one. I'm only hoping we can afford it. First stop is Apple Hill, then San Francisco and finally down to my hometown for some camping. I'll update on how everything goes after it's all been done.

We were hoping to stop by the Monterey Bay Aquarium again on this trip (we went for a few hours over winter break), but what with the fires and smoke, that's not happening. Anyone know anything interesting to do in Fresno?

Speaking of the smoke, our sky is pretty bad again today. It cleared up a bit for a couple of days, but today we had the acrid smell and smoggy air again (although, I know it's nothing compared to what Californians are experiencing). We still took Pic to the pool a bit today and then we went for a walk to the park. While we were in the pool, I asked Pic if she wanted to bring her inflatable pool toy with us when we go camping. She thought for a moment and asked me, "Is there water at camping?" Sometimes, I think I'll be sad when her English is more "correct." I answered, "Yes, there is a lake." "I don't like the lake," she returned. After I told her the lake was like a humongous swimming pool, though, she seemed much more interested in it.

I'm especially looking forward to camping because s'mores make me ridiculously happy. I've been eating my s'mores with dark chocolate for a while now, but I'm looking forward to another small twist. Dark chocolate, toasted marshmallows and cinnamon graham crackers. Mmm. Must devour s'mores soon.

For the time being, I need to print out my calendar for my summer work, continue to do the laundry and wash the dishes. Fun, fun stuff.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

stuff and things

Today is Compliment Your Mirror Day. We're weirdos.

Speaking of weird, ABC Family has an ad now that says "ABC Family celebrates America with Harry Potter." How exactly is that celebrating America? I doubt that the British are really that into celebrating us on tomorrow's holiday.

Today, I found out that four days is the normal length for a period. Now, why haven't I (or my body) ever been informed of this before?

A little bit of Indiana will be coming to Nevada in twenty-fours days!

Finally...lunch. A great big baked potato (didn't potatoes used to be smaller?) with a little bit of butter, a lot of cheese, broccoli and carrot. (Some of the cheese is white and therefore hard to see here.) Mmm. I'm starving now.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

and so we eat again

One of these dinners is from a bit ago. The second is from tonight (yesterday by the time I get this posted). Mmm, tonight's dinner was so good.

Dinner: Trader Joe's gnocchi, Trader Joe's garlic fries, strawberries. No secret prep. Little color. Not outrageously healthy. We were cleaning out the freezer.

Dinner: Cannellini and mozzarella bruschetta; mesclun, carrot and tuna salad. I always use S&W beans because I like the seasoning they add. I got a day-old loaf of parmesan-basil bread from House of Bread. I added dried basil because we don't have any fresh basil or parsley in the apartment. For the salad, I mixed canned tuna with O Tuscan Dressing. (O is Safeway's organic line. Actually, I don't know if it's Safeway's or not, I just know they sell it.) I added dijon mustard (we don't have yellow, but I liked the dijon) and freshly ground black pepper. I bought the bag-your-own mesclun and grated carrot onto it. No dessert. :(

jolly 'olidays

Today is Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day. Now I want ice cream (okay, so I almost always want ice cream). Pic and I went to Recycled Records today and it’s located right next to Swenson’s. It was all I could do to not go to Swenson’s afterward.

“It was all I/he/she/etc could do” is one of those phrases I’ve had a weird relationship with over the years. I’ve always wanted to know the rest of the story. What was all someone could do? What else did said person try before reaching the all-important “it”?

Speaking of such phrases…recently I went on a daytrip with friends. On the road, we discussed pet-peeve phrases/words. Included was “I could care less.” Apparently I’m not the only one bothered by the phrase. “Really?” I want to ask, “how much less could you care?” Actually, I could probably not care less how much less someone else could care. (Did you follow that?)

One I didn’t bring up but that was cemented in my head (literally) when I was young, is “It was in the last place I looked.” I remember that my dad has always taken issue with this phrase. When I was old enough to understand, I had to agree. I’ve heard a stand-up comic rant on this subject, about who continues to look after she’s found her item.

One other phrase I have a secret relationship with (okay, so Lil shares this) is “To make a long story short….” I always want to yell out “Too late!” (Watch Clue, you’ll get it.)

Okay, so before I forget, I’d just like to mention that tomorrow is Mullet Day. That reminds me, I’d like a haircut.

Listening to: The Guess Who and the B-52s.