Sunday, November 30, 2008

blog sprint

One Minute Writer from October 27th:

If you could have one talent that you don't naturally have, what would it be?

Oh so many...but if I have to choose one now, I'd say the gift of song. Where were my good fairies when I was born? I wonder what "gifts" they bestowed on me? The "gift of insomnia"? The "gift of anxiety"? The "gift of total stressballness"?

Yeah, I need to get some sleep. But first! I must finish reading for tomorrow.

[I couldn't end this month with 92 posts. I needed an odd number. I've been thinking a lot about post numbers lately. The gifts of obsession and compulsion?]


I have a question: how did I ever get into grad school in the first place? What is up with all of these stupid applications? Why do I have to apply twice at every place? Can't they make this easier? I feel like this is never going to happen.

I am frustrated.

Also, it's a good thing I'm not some sort of math/engineering/ecc major, because that was not "a" question.

variations on a theme

Cardo has been working a lot more nights lately, so I've been making dinner for just Pic and myself. I've been a bit beyond tired this semester so I'm always looking to make something simple and quick.

I've been into the angelhair lately because we have it. So, on Thanksgiving, we made capellini con pomodori e formaggio (ha!'s just angelhair with tomatoes and cheese). I cooked the pasta ("noodles" to Pic), drained it, added olive oil and diced tomato and covered it all with parmesan. Tonight, we had basically the same thing, just with peas instead of tomatoes.

What else? On Thursday, Pic and I had yogurt banana splits for lunch. We had banana yogurt topped with sliced strawberries and granola. This was all on top of sliced banana, of course.

Sorry that the pictures are so incredibly crappily blurry.


I haven't quite worked out what I want to say here today. So, why am I even here? I'm working it out.

I'm not the type of person who can open her mouth and spew forth brilliance (or anything with any kind of luster, actually). I take a long time to process and I like to think through composing. I either compose on paper, on the screen or in my head. I often wonder how much of a problem this is going to be for me as I advance in my field, but I'll just have to deal, right? Right.

Although I sometimes focus too much on how many comments I get (or don't) and how dismally low my reader count thing is, I still enjoy blogging. I came into it cautiously back in 2005, after Poke explained to me that, "It's like a journal online. It stands for 'web log.'" I thought the concept was interesting, but a bit weird. I made mention, in my first blog post on my Other blog, in my annoying not-quite-letting-anyone-else-in-on-my-train-of-thought way that the voyeurism is strange. Blogging is so narcissistic and exhibitionist, but I think about these attributes less and less. (I also dislike that these -- narcissism and exhibitionism -- are such negative-sounding traits, but I'm not going to stop and try to find some happy words with which to replace these.) Sometimes I think, "Geez-a-wheeze [as Pic says], I talk about "I" a lot." But, well, what/who else am I going to discuss. I only know me and I don't claim to know me all that well.

Reading others' blogs has been a great way to feel that I'm still connected to people who I don't otherwise check in with all that often. I'm a strong advocate of everyone I know starting a blog...but for pretty selfish reasons. I want to be able to read them. I know that some of my friends aren't into the whole blogging thing and that my parents just aren't completely down with the whole blogging thing, but the blogosphere has been good for me. I still keep my own journal (seventeen years and counting*), but I also like to share some things with the blogosphere. And, I don't have to have anyone looking at me while I do my sharing. I'm not entirely comfortable with other people looking at me (or, actually, with me looking at me either).

This has been one of the hardest years I've ever had to survive and reading about others' tribulations** has helped me. I have yet to share all of my dark and twisty moments and experiences, but I hope to at some point. I feel badly, sometimes, that I don't share as much as I can, because the sense of thanks-be-that-I'm-not-the-only-one has been essential to me this year. Part of what I love about the very small section of the blogosphere that I'm plugged into is the sense of community. (Get ready for some cheese, sorry.) I honestly feel (hope?) that if I ever had the courage to approach some of the bloggers I regularly read, if I ever had the chance to meet them (hello, BlogHer '09), they'd be warm and accepting women (yeah, I still don't read any men least not anyone fessing up to being male).

I'd like to eventually be part of a larger conversation,*** but for now, my little blog here is working just fine, I suppose. So, thank you readers and commenters for reading my drivel for all this time. Thus (pretty much) ends my somewhat sappy and disconnected freewrite.


* What does one do with a lifetime's worth of journals when one comes to the end of one's life? (This "one" of whom I speak is me, of course.) Do I make a provision to have them burned with me? Can I do that? I sure as heckfire**** don't want them available for others to peruse, and judge, after I'm gone...although I will be gone, so I might not care that much.

** Wholesome or otherwise.

*** I've been in grad school for way too long.

**** I've seen Groundhog Day a ridiculous number of times.


I couldn't embed this video ("embedding disabled by request"), but Toby Keith's "Wanna Talk about Me" is running through my head right now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I noticed that my last post was number eighty-eight for the month and it made me think of this song.

For dinner tonight, Pic and I had strawberries and cereal with fat-free half-and-half. Our milk was starting to smell somewhat nasty, so I had to pour that out. It was either the half-and-half or heavy whipping cream.

stuff and things

Okay, so I'm running out of steam here. It's a good thing that tomorrow ends NaBloPoMo. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm ready for a bit of a break. However...

One Minute Writer from 11/12:

If you had the opportunity to write as a career, what would you write?

Blogs. Okay, so less than a minute, I know. I also know that I was just whining about this writing every day thing, but really. I'd be able to read so many more blogs and they often give me inspiration to write. I'd just have to develop a tougher skin because of the possibility of blog trolls.

So, anyhow, my title is "stuff and things." There's more random stuff.

Pic and I started our day with some Pilates. As we practiced on the floor, the covert cats circled us, attempting to lay under our heads and legs. I don't know what it is about our exercising bodies that says to them, "Hey, come on over. How about you get comfortable right where I'm about to rest? Then I can squish you and you can bite me. Sound good?"

After we finished our morning workout (something that extremely rarely happens), we picked up a bit and sang along with Joan Sebastian. Now you can too.

[Okay, so this is Cardo's and my song...not what Pic and I were singing this morning, but same guy.]

I also got to talk to Poke for a good long while today. That was good and I needed it. I still have this fantasy that we'll end up living near one another so that we can see each other's kids grow up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

blog sprint

One Minute Writer for today:

As a kid, what job did you dream you'd have as an adult? What job do you have now?

Okay, so...yeah.

Hell's Angel
Opera Singer
Truck Driver
Country Singer
Cooking Show Host

No, I can't sing. Also, I'm a wreck in the kitchen. And, lots of driving (in unfamiliar places, places where other drivers are jerks, places that are busy...kind of any in-city driving) makes me anxious as all get-out.

Teacher kind of stuck throughout. My mom says that when I was three, I told her I wanted to be a teacher.

Check my occupation on my profile...I sell couch insurance (and I have a low-level thing for John Cusack).

as promised...

We made turkey breast, sweet potato casserole, dijon green beans, rolls and sparkling cider for dinner. Okay, we bought the rolls, but the rest was homemade. Mmm. It was good and we have three million servings of casserole left over. I don't think we'll get to our pie tonight, though, because I'm currently stuffed. Oh, which reminds stuffing. I don't eat stuffing, usually. So, I didn't make any.

Cardo and I are going to relax and watch Wall-E now. Pic and I did not make it through the movie yesterday. All of the explosions freaked her out. We didn't get very far. She was, however, perfectly okay with watching the movie at Costco today. She even told us she wanted to watch it when we got home, but it turns out she didn't.

Oh, I was spared the freakishly-early trip to Sears this morning. Cardo went alone and ended up buying more tools instead of a tool chest.

So, I'll leave you with the good-night exchange between Pic and myself. She was upset with me because I told her she could not wear her flowergirl dress up to bed. I make her take it off and leave it with me every night. (Yes, she wears it's really getting gross at this point.)

Pic: I'm afraid of you too. You forever won't be my friend.

Me: I love you.

Pic: I love you too, Ms Grumpy.

Then, Cardo took her up to bed. She is currently talking to her ponies.

dinner... come. We're about to begin cooking our "Thanksgiving" dinner. I'll post pictures and let you know how it goes. It should be okay, because it'll be incredibly simple.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

quick question...

If I'm making pear/applesauce, is it okay that when I open the lid it smells like I'm making some kind of pear wine or something? It smells a bit fermenty in there. We'll see.

Anyhow, I'm making this sauce to use up some of the fruit we've got sitting around. Apparently if I leave fruit around, Pic uses it as toys. I've now found two very sad-looking avocados up in her room.

hello wall-e!

So, Pic and I just put in Wall-E. It starts with a Hello, Dolly! song. Hello! Gotta love the ever-dorky Cornelius. I love it! (Exclamation points abound!)

and all we care about is that people are relatively pleasant-smelling...

...and we might not even strictly adhere to that request.

Here's an invite (supposedly, I was not invited, nor did I attend) to P. Diddy's 29th birthday bash.

"History in the making"? Okaaay.

Well, at least I haven't yet drawn up invites for Pic's fourth birthday party, but be warned people, we may be checking at the door to make sure you've waxed.

white 'chocolate'

I don't really care how it's defined, I'm one of those people who doesn't think of white chocolate as actual chocolate. Chocolate needs cocoa powder, not just cocoa butter. Also, I prefer mine dark (like my men...OH, lame! I know, I just couldn't help it).

However, not calling white chocolate "chocolate" leads to the dilemma of what to call it. All that ever comes to my mind are things like "white...stuff" or "that creamy white stuff" and these suggestions just never sound appropriate for anything other than...Cetaphil.

I think that I might not be so anti-white chocolate if it wasn't always pretending to be chocolate.

So, suggestions for what we should call it? Anyone?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


...yeah, sound it out. Got me? Okay.

We might be participating in the Black Friday madness this year. Of course, I'd much rather sleep, but Cardo is intent on buying a tool chest from Sears. Actually, this was going to be my gift to him this year, but if he's willing to get up waaay before dawn breaks to buy it, I suppose I'll let him get it for himself. Besides, it'll knock about $100 off of the price. He had better let me take a long, long nap later in the day, though.

Now, what am I going to gift him with? A Sylvia, perhaps? A Skyline, maybe? Cha-a, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.


I was just trying to look up a class or two and I came across the following message:

The PDF version of the class schedule is as of the hard copy print date.

Maybe I'm just really tired and this will make sense to me after several hours of sleep, but right now? Something just seems off.

because i'm not sleeping anyway...

...I made the cookies. That's right, the cookies. We all got the recipe from here, and you can trace it back from there. Not that that matters. Only the cookies are important.

Usually when it comes to baking stuff, I feel like I'm dragging out every single dish I own and the clean-up makes me weary. Tonight? One bowl, various measuring cups and spoons, the mixer and my hands. That's it. It's all clean and the cookies are baking.

Mixing up the cookies was super easy, even though I don't have a stand mixer (this makes crafting some dishes a bit more tedious, but that was not the case here). I had everything cleaned before the first batch was out of the oven. It would be nice if I could make more than a dozen at a time, but I only have two baking sheets, so...ah, well.

I already ate two cookies. I probably won't eat more until much later.

So simple, so good.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that, for me, the best chocolate chip cookies cannot be made with semi-sweet morsels, so I used dark chocolate chips. That's the only substitution I made. I also made smaller cookies, like Judy at No Fear mentions. I need to go now and pop more into the oven. Mmmm.


P.S. I only took these on after the wonderfully talented Furie Queene reassured me that I could only mess these up if I burnt them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

in the words of pic

"I just love this movie. It has songs that I like."

I'm taking heart that this means she'll love musicals as much as I do.

P.S. She's watching Strawberry Shortcake Big Country Fun.


A few of her current favorite phrases:

"Mamma/Papi, don't do that ever again." (She usually says this when we tickle her.)

"We must_____." (As in, "We must go home now.")

"You scared my song away." (If we happen to startle her while she is singing.)

"I have tears." (Just in case we didn't notice she was crying.)

what would we do without instructions?

Excerpt from the instruction/information sheet from my box of tampons:

Always remove your used tampon before inserting a new one.

Be sure to remove the last tampon you use at the end of your period.


undeserving of a title

I went to fill my gas tank today. I filled it for less than $16 and I'd had less than a quarter of a tank. I am dreading the day when I wake up and gas has jumped from just below $2/gallon to $5/gallon. I do not trust this ebb in the prices.

After I filled the tank, Pic and I went to check my mailbox at work but what I was hoping was there wasn't. [weary sigh]

We stopped at Hollywood Video, returned Baby Mama, Together Again for the Very First Time and a Strawberry Shortcake movie (I may never really have to grow up, because my childhood is following me into my thirties). We rented Wall-E (for free!) and yet another Strawberry Shortcake movie. I have yet to see Wall-E, because, y'know, I'm so into the whole going to the theatre and spending too much money on tickets, popcorn and iced tea. (Okay, that and when do we have time to actually go to the cinema?)

So, speaking of gas prices and of Wall-E (which I understand to have a bit -- or a lot -- of an environmental message), there was a teenager driving her SUV in perpetual circles in the parking lot. She had apparently already been circling before we arrived and continued to do so after we left, I suppose. The clerks inside the store were getting a laugh from this, but all I could think was, "What a waste of gas. Goodbye ozone, it's been nice." (And, yes, as I mentioned, I was driving my own car, not walking/biking/taking public transportation.)

So, yeah, Pic and I will probably be watching Wall-E on Thursday (I'm assuming it's an okay movie for her to watch and I'm hoping that it isn't anywhere near as saccharine as Care Bears and My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake).

Monday, November 24, 2008


These are from Passive-Aggressive Notes:

[Apparently mine isn't the only school with a toilet paper theft problem.]

i don't care if monday's blue...

...okay, so actually I do. Mondays are hard to get through. I never get enough sleep before I face my really long day. Ugh.

So...on with the random stuff.

This morning, Cardo woke me up by saying, "Mami, it's 6:48." Crap on a stick. We scurried around just as we usually do in the way too early mornings and got to everywhere we needed to be on time. I'll be glad when January rolls around.

While I was rushing around this morning, I, for whatever reason, decided that I'd wear some of my white socks today. Actually, I know the reason. My white socks are thicker than my colored socks and I wanted my feet to be warm enough today. My shoes are light brownish and reminiscent of Mary Janes (much more functional than cute, mind you), so a good part of my sock was not covered by either my pants legs or my shoes. Every time I looked down, I noticed a flash of white. "Hey there, nice bright white sock, how's it going? Oh, look, there's your mate." [You have to sing this next part.] "White socks, white socks, very, very white socks." Yeah...too little sleep equals a very easily-distracted me.

The Saints are right now beating the pants off of the Packers (this is not a literal description of events and thanks be that that is true).

As I was sitting in the Starbucks chatting with Peecho, er, conducting very important and much-used office hours, I listened in on the group sitting at the table next to me. For a while, they (verbally) bashed their parents for being too airheaded. One said her father only let her put Chevron gasoline in the car. Another said his mom had no idea what kind of gas to put in the car. He continued on by doing a very unflattering impression of his mother. Another mentioned that the first person's dad really had no way of knowing what kind of gas she put in the car. Someone mentioned that there was no difference between Chevron's gas and anyone else's. Yet another person (yes, it was a group of about six) said something along the lines of, "You're only supposed to put it in every two weeks or every month or something. You're not supposed to put it in every day."* Um, yeah. Who fills her tank every day? Let me extend my pity to that person, depends on what she's doing to use up all of that gas.

A bit later, one of the group had to leave. As soon as the door closed behind him, the volume of the conversation at the table dropped a notch. You know that conspiratorial tone people use when discussing someone else? Yeah, that's it. They began (verbally) bashing this friend, talking about how annoying he is and how much they couldn't stand him.

They seem like a great bunch of friends. True friends, you know. It almost made me wonder what people say about me when I leave, but I realized that I'd rather believe that it's all good. I have enough insecurities to deal with to worry about this. I hope, though, that the guy who left will find a group of friends who will accept him and care enough about him to treat him well both when he's present and when he's not.

The beginning of the conversation also made me think, "What will Pic be saying about Cardo and me when she's independent and omniscient?"

Okay, so I guess that's the end of the random stuff for today.


* That's what she said.**

** I had to say it. It's not something I say. It's from a show I don't watch. But, it felt appropriate. I miss Ms K, and it was a tribute to her.

bright white socks...

...this is about all that I can think about today.

More of this and other nonsense later.

For now: grocery shopping and returning a dolly (the wheeled-kind, not the baby-doll kind) we borrowed when we moved (ahem) six months ago.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

lucas wants money, lots of money, joe's money

On Friday, before I watched What Not To Wear, I caught some of Say Yes To the Dress. I’ve seen this show once before so I don’t know why I watched it again. I become so annoyed with these people that I end up having full-on conversations with these women (okay, to the conversations are one-sided, but I do talk to them a lot). Also, the family members and friends who come along for the dress-shopping trip make me crazy.

Most of the time, though, it wasn’t actually the shoppers who made me crazy but the prices that made me crazy. Some of these people were spending more on a wedding dress, a dress that will be worn for a few hours for one day, than I spent on my car. My car that I’ve used for the last seven years. On the most recent episode I watched, there was a woman who was having a Muslim ceremony one day and a Christian ceremony the next. She had a dress for her Muslim ceremony and was buying one for her Christian one. That dress cost $11,000 (more than my car, people). Later, she came back for yet another dress because she needed a dress to put on when she changed out of her wedding dress. So, she bought another wedding dress. It doesn’t really matter how much the second (ahem, third) one cost because the other one was $11.000!

I’m sure that these amounts of money seem like nothing to some people, but I can barely comprehend being able to do that. In fact, I can’t comprehend it.

Often, Cardo and I muse about the possibility of being stinking rich one day (this isn’t one of our goals and neither of us are on the path of getting us there, but we sometimes wonder about it anyway). We wonder, “How much will we change if one day we are rich?” (And, our ideas of what rich is, is tremendously different. Cardo has much loftier ideas about what rich is than I do.)

Will we still buy our big furniture items from Craigslist and Goodwill? Will we still clothes shop at Savers? Will we continue to mainly only buy used books? Will we still buy store-brand (Kirkland Signature) toilet paper at Costco?

I think that we will. This kind of second-hand and bulk buying is just a part of how I live.

I think that what would change the most is our current lack of travel. I would love to travel to so many places and that’s just not all that possible for us right now. Oh, and I’d like to be able to pay for all of Pic’s college (if she goes and as long as she’s putting in the effort). I, possibly somewhat hugely naively, believe that our everyday lives would be pretty much the same.

Oh, I almost forgot, though…I’d finally get my hybrid (or other alternatively-fueled car).

What would change for you guys if you were suddenly stinking rich?

moving on...but, why?

Today, Coach J, Destructor, Pic and I went to hang out for a bit. Coach J had invited me to go see HMS Pinafore last night, but I was slightly freaking out about the mess here and the reading and packing that needed to be done. I was thinking to bail on today's outing also, but I thought, "I'm going to need to get out of the apartment tomorrow, regardless." So, we went.

The kids were great. They shared sips (one of Destructor's new words in his enormously-speedily growing vocabulary) of apple juice and bites of a lemon poppyseed scone. We walk around and gifts for an upcoming birthday were bought. Then, we took the kids to Williams Sonoma where we salivated over kitchen gadgets we might not ever be able to afford (we found a copper KitchenAid mixer I love, but it costs $899!). After window shopping a bit more, we ended up at Johnny Carino's for lunch. The kids sat next to each other and shared toys and food.

I needed to get out and I'm glad that we went.

It's been so great being able to see Destructor grow from, well, fetus (okay, so I didn't actually see this...other than the sonogram pictures on Coach J's fridge) to the running around, talking, active boy he is now. Most of the time, the kids get along pretty well. And, while the kids play, I get to hang out with my friend, which is always good.

So, after days like this, I wonder what I'm thinking moving. I know that people say that I'll form a new support group wherever I end up next, but really, it's taken me so ridiculously long to form the one I have here. I hate the thought of Pic and I spending most of our time with just the two of us because I tend to be a hermit.* I also hate the thought of being three years in before I form a new support group and then having to move two years later anyway. Sometimes I wonder why I even form attachments anyway.

Okay, so that last thought is horribly pessimistic, I know. I'm just not a huge fan of the whole uprooting thing right now. Part of this is just nervousness about me having to start somewhere new and unknown. I'll get over it, I suppose I will (because I'm the queen of wishful thinking).


P.S. Yes, I know that I whine about this upcoming move a lot, but, well, this is my blog, so I'll whine about it as much as I please.


* I recently spent an entire semester using the term "eremite" because I couldn't for the life of me remember the freaking word "hermit." Sleep is a beautiful thing and I obviously need more of it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Does anyone else have those moments of pure irrational breakdown.

Something along the lines of, "I can't find my friggin' book. Screw it, I quit grad school"? Hmm? Something like that?

A couple of weeks ago, I was frantically searching for my book for class. I put it aside, I swear I had just seen it and then, suddenly, poof!, the friggin' thing was gone. I frantically searched for about forty-five minutes before I decided I was making myself way crazier than I should be. I was so entirely not amused with myself.

Losing my book is clearly a rational reason to chuck it all, no?

I have a feeling I'll be having plenty more of these days in the very immediate future.

home means nevada

The RN&R has a feature on holiday gifts we can buy from "local, indie businesses." One of the first items listed is a "Nevada-shaped copper cookie cutter, ($12.95) -- for all those raging Nevada Day parties, we suppose."

Back when I first started on my current path to mental breakdown and utter exhaustion, I took a class with Dr Turkey in the Straw (such a better pseudonym is needed, I know this). He was a bit hung up on his baking skills, which were fabulous, by the way. At the end of the semester, he made us cupcakes topped with piped-icing flowers. He also made us un-iced, wonderful sugar cookies, in the shape of Nevada. Someone had bought him one of the above-mentioned cookie cutters and he had wanted to try it out.

I don't know that I can think of another instance of a prof baking for my classmates and me [not "I" but "me" thank you very much]. Although, Dr Jones did bring in some cookies one of his students had baked for him once. Tainted cookies.

Hmm. I'm going to go peruse the rest of the article.

Friday, November 21, 2008

mind numbing

Once, when Poke and I were in high school, we were hanging out at her house with her mom. This was pretty common. Poke's mom owns a massive amount of movies. Seriously...she could open up a video rental program from her home. Anyhow, we were sitting around, enjoying some quiet time, I suppose (what's quiet time? please tell me it will return someday), when Poke's mom decided she wanted to watch a movie.

A stupid movie.

Yes, this is the desire she voiced. Poke and I totally didn't get it, but we went along with it. After several minutes of searching, we pulled out Johnny Mnemonic. We popped the neon orange tape into the VCR and began to watch the movie. Poke and I were somewhat at a loss for words due to the utter stupidity of the movie. However, I guess that stupidity was the point, yes? I'm pretty sure Poke and I never finished watching the movie.*

Tonight, I rented Baby Mama. I need mind-numbingly stupid and I already know I can't handle the Keanu Reeves flick. We'll see how this works.


*Although, one night, I spent the night at Poke's house and we started watching Biodome rather late in the night. Poke was smart enough to fall asleep, but I watched the whole moronic movie...which probably makes me a moron.

take a look at my girlfriend

season's greetings

I just wasted a bit of precious nap time playing with Vista Print's holiday card maker. Poke sent out caricature cards like these, from Vista Print a couple of years ago. They were very cute.

Apparently I don't really know what my family looks like, though. Oh, and messy, unstyled hair was not an option for either me or Pic. Oh, and Pic's somewhere between "baby" and "girl" in their categories, so I stuck with baby.

Also, too (haha...okay), that's me sticking my tongue out because I'm not good with serious pictures, even when I'm a cartoon. And, Pic doesn't have twigs growing out of the side of her head, that's her hair. The end.

another week over, a new one not yet begun

Okay, sorry John.


Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with garlic powder. Olive oil drizzle, not butter, on the bread. (I suppose that I could have done garlic bread, duh, but my brain doesn't work that well on two hours of sleep.)

Chopped apple, spinach, toasted walnut salad. I oh-so-stupidly added dressing to this. Why can't I remember that I'm not a huge fan of dressing? At least I added very little, but I could still taste it. Now, if it was the salad dressing I had recently at Coach J's I would have been happy. I really need to figure out what that was and think about getting some myself.

I'm tired, so I'm going to nap and then clean for the rest of all eternity.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the clock is ticking

I did a somewhat unintelligent thing yesterday. I drove through the neighborhood where we very recently lived. We were renting a house, so we always knew that the arrangement would be short-term, but we didn’t figure that the term would be so, well, short. However, there’s this little housing market crisis thing going on…you might have heard about it.

So, now, we’re back in an apartment (soon to be a bigger apartment, but still an apartment) and I’m back to constantly daydreaming about owning my own home. I’m so cliché with that whole American dream of owning a house. (I’m not so into many other American dreams, including that whole get-rich-quick thing or that whole being famous thing, but the house, I want.) I could probably deal without the white picket fence and the dog (and I could definitely do without the 2.5 kids), but I want the house.

Recently, Cardo has been hinting around about us settling down. I don’t know how much of this has to do with his heart problem, but he does seem to be a bit more thoughtful lately. He even said to me, the other day, “It’d be nice if you could get your PhD somewhere else and then come back and work here. We could buy a house here.” I’m much too impressionable for him to be throwing these suggestions my way. Sounds great to me, sign me up. There’s just the issue of the next five years of our lives and how we will live them.

Will we live together, or not? If we don’t, how am I going to earn my PhD, raise a child who will grow from a pre-schooler to an almost-middle-schooler and maintain my mental health? (There is no question about who Pic would stay with.)

We’re kind of really dependent on the paycheck that Cardo pulls in from this job he’s been at for almost a decade now. In these incredibly uncertain times, we’re both nervous about both of us trying to find new sources of income (well…income for him, pocket change for me).

Anyhow, I’m feeling this pull for some sort of stable domesticity. Who knows how long before I reach this. Hmm.

the very first time

One Minute Writer for today:

Describe a "first day" in your life (first day of marriage, of school, at a new job, etc.)

Here we go...

The night before the first day I ever really taught, I called my mom to tell her just how uncomfortable I was with the idea that all of my students would be looking at me. Right at me. Probably even for most of the class (when they could tear their eyes away from their crotches where they "hide" their IMing devices). My mom still finds this funny. I still find the prospect of so many people looking right at me a bit terrifying. But, only a bit. I still get nervous before each new first day, but not as much as I used to.

So, yeah...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

all the news that's fit to air

Sometimes I have a somewhat hostile reaction to the news. I talk to the tv, informing the producers or whoever that the news they are giving me is not only undesirable, but also insufficient. Tonight, for example, there was much hubbub about the evil budget cuts. Then, there was mention of libraries and parks. The end.

Um, what about the libraries? What about the parks? These are two institutions we depend heavily on over here at La Casa B. I'm especially concerned about cuts concerning the libraries. We depend on those programs. We shop at Secondhand Prose and the FWCL sales, thus giving the libraries a bit more of our financial support. (Oh, and sometimes I have to pay late fees. Here's my .35, please don't cut our programs.) We sometimes put money in the wishing well. We need to do this more often.

We'll see what comes about due to these cuts. Money just frustrates me beyond...other stuff. There seems to be so much, yet never enough.


oh god, the guilt

I especially love what Rebecca says about in order to be the best version of ourselves as mothers, we need to be the best version of ourselves as women. Because even if we are mothers, we're always also more.

After Pic was born, I went through this weird identity crisis. I was so entirely excited to be her mamma, but I started to define myself solely as such. My voicemail on my phone said something like, "Hi, you've reached Pic's mamma, also known as v." Totally lame, I know. More importantly, totally not the way I want to define myself. Of course, I am her mamma, but I'm also more (I hope).

So, this was actually a conversation I loved. More of this would be great.

more random stuff

I'm sitting here, eating Kashi mushroom spinach pizza, reading Dooce's pregnancy announcement and listening to NPR. I just heard one of the blurbs for a show that will be on later (I think, I didn't quite catch that) and the woman said that woolly mammoth DNA has been decoded and we might be able to clone them soon. (My mind is going in a couple of different directions, but I believe this is what I heard.)

Um, why? Why would we clone a woolly mammoth? Haven't these people read/seen Jurassic Park? Okay, though, on a serious note...why?

On an opposite-of-serious note, the following is the song that came to mind and, are the Chipmunks.

And, actually, I've never thought much about this song, but someone explain it to me. While you're at it, explain the following video to me, please.

Matty told Hatty
'Bout a thing she saw
Two big pizzas
That'll fill your jaw.
[Little Caesar's pizza, anyone? Does anyone else remember this or did I make it up when I was little?]

things that make you go "hmm"...

I was wondering about this. [Listen to the audio.] I was annoyed that Hahn suddenly disappeared. I was thinking, "She'll come back," but if they wrote her out, maybe not. (Yes, I watch Grey's Anatomy. Seriously.)

blog sprint

One Minute Writer for today:

Listen. Write about what you hear, right now.

I hear the whir of the computer I'm using to post this. I also hear the weird hum of the light above me. Other than those things and the thoughts racing through my head, that's about it. It'll be pretty quiet for another few minutes.

I'm looking forward to January when I will have the many voices of others to be listening to at this point in my day.

So, yeah, electric humming and voices in my head. Not exciting. I can't wait to go home and take a nap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

yeah, about that chef comment...

Okay, so I couldn't make dinner and neglect to include pictures...because it's not dinner without pictures, right? That's our thinking.

And, yeah, I'm pretty sure that I refered to rice cookers as rice makers. I'm not even sure if "rice cooker" is the correct term. Rice steamer? Whatever. Here. You're welcome. The end.


P.S. Here are the cute mugs I got at the Savers sale.

as the pan burns

I'm freaking exhausted, but cannot sleep (it's only 4:23 in the afternoon...but if Pic weren't here -- or if Cardo were here also -- I'd totally be asleep).

Anyhow, I'm also hungry. What's cheap and easy and is made of what we have on hand? Beans and rice? Okay. I set out to make some rice and I thought, "Why do people have rice makers? How hard can it be to make rice?" (I don't often make white rice, it's not one of my favorite things, but that's what I'm making. I think I've made it all of twice before in my life.)

Fifteen minutes later...I've managed to burn a thin layer of grains to the bottom of the pan. Score! I should quit what I'm doing and become a chef, no? Mm, I thought not.

Well, I have to go finish scorching the rest of the rice, add some butter, lemon and pepper and toss it with some beans.

more cover mania

This song actually came up in discussion yesterday. Just now, I was looking for Mabel (because, y'know, she's the bomb), but I came across this instead.

99 luft balons -- nena*

99 red balloons -- nena

99 red balloons -- goldfinger

* I realized earlier that without some kind of marker for what the video is supposed to be, I won't have a clue if these videos evenutally disappear. I'm must follow my train of thought.

Monday, November 17, 2008

guilty pleasures of my very own

Blogs - all I really want is blogs
And in the morning it's blogs
Cause in the evening it's blogs
[And, wouldn't it be awesome if they did my dishes and cleaned up my room?]

What more? What more could I need? Ice cream, that's what. Right now, Coldstone has gingerbread ice cream and dark chocolate peppermint ice cream and pumpkin ice cream and (as usual) strawberry ice cream. Mmmm (to the infinite power).

Penny Press puzzle books. I only feel guilty about these because I tend to get really obsessed with these and neglect school work (and then I don't sleep because I'm doing my school work). Otherwise, woohoo for mental exercise!

This idea has been stolen today from one of Poke's previous posts. [Score one for alliteration!]

sex after giving birth?..., no thanks.

I just watched this and, oh girl, the memories. Not only did I not want to have sex for many, many months after Pic joined us out here, I didn't want to have sex while I was pregnant with her. I never understood those women who said that sex during pregnancy was the best sex they'd ever had. I felt like my body was saying, "Um, hello, we're closed during construction." (I guess I should be thanking the sex gods that sex during pregnancy wasn't the best sex ever for me, considering that time comprised only a short nine months and I don't plan on going through it again.)

Before I got pregnant, Cardo and I were pretty prolific, I think. Now, well.... Things are definitely different. I don't know how much of this is wrapped up in the being parents thing and how much is wrapped up in everything else. I'm constantly stressed out and when I'm like this, I'm something of a live wire...Cardo might not want to touch me for fear that he gets the crap shocked out of him. I'm constantly tired, and this turns out to be a libido-slayer. Also, the relationship just isn't exactly new anymore. We had a good couple of years and, well, then baby made three. Things were starting to pick back up, but then Cardo's heart decided that it was just so sad and now I'm a little afraid of Cardo exerting himself too much. (Cardo wasn't so much least, not about this topic.) I'm really hoping that as Pic grows older, things will really start picking up again.

Oh, yeah, maybe I should have warned you at the beginning about the TMIness of this, but, ha!, I didn't.

nonstop history channel

Cardo is a bit obsessed with the History Channel. He's been watching that and the Discovery Channel somewhat nonstop lately. I'm a little burnt out on both. Ah, well.

Anyhow, he just finished watching an episode of Cities of the Underworld [the episode entitled "Secret Sin City"].

Let me just insert a graphic here.

Yes, that's right, we're picky about how you pronounce it. It makes a difference to us. So, please, when you do an entire show on the "underworld" of our state, make sure that you are pronouncing the name correctly.* Thank you.

Also, the host never mentioned the name "Boulder Dam" during his whole segment on the Hoover Dam. Hmm.

* Yes, I get that Nevada is a Spanish word, but we disregard that and pronounce it with a short 'a' anyway.

sweet music

Okay, the man is putting the child to bed (after, I hope, brushing her teeth), so I have to post quickly before he returns downstairs and reclaims the computer.

This is how I got my day rolling (minus the Let It Be/Letter B and the Jolenes, because I posted those here over the summer).

Hurt by Nine Inch Nails (the embedding has been disabled by request).

Hurt by Johnny Cash (again, the embedding has been disabled).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

apparently i'm a godawful time

Okay, so this is about the time that I get up. Well, this is after the time that I get up. On the days I have to actually start my day at eight in the morning, that is.

Otherwise, this is usually the time when I've been asleep for less than four hours. (Okay, so that otherwise doesn't really apply.)

Oh, and that whole "peaceful" thing...that's just a front.

I got this from Poke's blog.


All things pumpkin this evening.

Pic and I had oatmeal with pumpkin, homemade applesauce, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.

Pic and I made pumpkin cake. 

This is the Cooking Light recipe I made last year, minus the frosting. Oh, but plus some dark chocolate chips (no measurement for that; I just filled up Pic's hands and she dumped them in the batter). As you can see, I dusted one with powdered sugar and, for the other, I made some maple buttercream glazy stuff. I don't think it was supposed to be quite so glazy, but I didn't have cream on hand and the only milk we have is fat free.

Pic wolfed down her oatmeal and then ate her cake with her hands.

Alrighty, then, back to Quintilian.

blog sprint

One Minute Writer for today:

What bad habit would you like to change?

Lack of self-confidence. This comes to mind first because I'm reading Quintilian now (well, not right now, but today) and he talks about hexis (which has to do with habit). I have a habit of practicing my very little self-confidence.

I've been working on this for several semesters -- years, even. Instead of making it a goal to speak up at least once a week in class (my classes usually only meet once a week), my new goal has, of late, become to speak often in each class. I choose talking points while I do my reading and try to bring them up during discussion. Often, though, I still mumble, turn red or talk to the table. I hate that I talk to the table, but sometimes I just can't lift my eyes to meets someone else's because I keep imagining that everyone is thinking, "Oh, god, she's talking again. And, as usual, she's rambling on about...what? Please make her shut up." (Because, no, other people aren't thinking about what they could possibly share, they're thinking about me. The world revolves around me, no? No? I spend too much time in my own head.) Part of my rambling is nervousness. If no one else is talking, I feel that someone needs to say something, so I start talking.

Also, often I act like I have nothing to add to the discussion because I'm sure that what I have to say is so obvious or inane that my professors will start to doubt that I'm fit to be in the brick tower (no ivory here, folks).

Recently I've been thinking that my confidence has gone up, because I've been spending a lot of time with those I know and I'm comfortable with. However, the other night, I was confronted with someone I rarely see and suddenly I wanted to retreat. I wanted to keep my head down and bow out of the conversation. I hate this about myself, but I'm not sure how to change it. I suddenly felt very self-conscious and under scrutiny and I do not like this feeling.

I know this topic may not seem like a bad habit, but, well, I consider it one.

Anyway, I need to go rear a child.

Not exactly a sprint -- or one minute -- but it'll do.


I was searching through Cake Wrecks for one of my favorite wrecks. Here it is.

Do y'all think I have to wait eleven more years to make Pic a cake like this for her birthday?

Also, as I was searching through, I was reminded of these disgusting doughnut sandwiches. Blech!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

two quick notes

I just turned around and the giant frogman was in another commercial (Cardo is watching Now and Then).

Also, one of the covert cats just made a forty-minute phone call...with his butt.

let me edutain you

...or not.

I hate this commercial. I hate the message. I hate the idea.

I love books. I love the idea of kids getting into and loving books. But, this commercial just irks me (as if you couldn't tell).

The weird giant frog asks the kids which is more fun: reading Sponge Bob, Kung Fu Panda and Disney Princess stuff using this technology or reading the Journal of Amphibious Species (I think that's about what he said). He goes on to talk about how with Leap Pad Tag, the "reading" is done in the character's voices and how this will help kids learn to love reading for life.

Okay. But, um, books aren't always "read" to us adults. And, are our only choices these very big business texts? It's like one giant techno-corporate orgy.

What about Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? What about Old Black Witch? What about Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs? What about Blackberry Ink (or Halloween ABC)? What about sitting down with our kidlets and reading a book to them (it really doesn't take that long to read a picture matter how long I try to draw it out so that suddenly, hey look, it might be Pic's bedtime). (And traditional books are so much more affordable, what with libraries and all of the places we can buy used books.)

I'm not saying that I outright hate the idea of the Leap Pad Tag thing (although I'm pretty sure I'll never ever buy one). When I was younger, I had those read-along stories on record (y'know, the ones that chime when you're supposed to turn the page...I know they have different versions of those now). I also had plenty of regular books and we went to the library (both with family and at school). Also, Pic does have this (horrible, terrible, no good, very bad) fascination with Disney princesses. I just try to temper that by giving her so many options for other things to be obsessed with, other options to round out her views of where she should fit into this world (take The Paper Bag Princess for example).

So no, I'm not saying that I hate this Tag thing or that I would outright ban it, I just hate the commercial and the commerciality of the product. I hate that the commercial (does what commercials do and) makes it seem like what we have is so inadequate, like regular ink/paint-on-paper books are so pointless and boring. Um, hello, that Journal the frogman was using as a comparison was more like an encyclopedia. There didn't look to be any narrative (on the two pages shown) in the reptile book. That being noted, Pic chooses dinosaur books designed with this same format somewhat often. We look at these books together and then either she or I, or both of us, make up our own narratives to go with the pictures. Oh, yeah, there's that imagination thing. Let's not be too hasty to kill that off, okay?


P.S. I hate this whole "edutainment" craze. Why can't some things for kids just be fun?

the 'fixed' car...

...might actually be the fixed (sans quotation marks, mind you), now. At least, this is what I'm hoping. Thanks to Mr M's assistance, Cardo's car has actually started more than once today. We didn't take it out on any drives, though, so tomorrow will be the real test. I'm hoping to not be shaken awake at 7:30 when this man realizes that his car is no longer fixed. I'd like to have my car at my own disposal sometime soon, although I really haven't been using it, or even needing it, all that much lately (yesterday would have been a perfectly great time to have had my car, but yesterday is yesterday, no?).

I'll update on the car situation tomorrow, just because I have been chronicling the saga of the "fixed" car for over a month now. Can't stop now.

happiness is...

This book is now mine. Thank you Costco. I got it for $19.something on an impulse when I went to buy tampons today. (Yes, I still have yet to try this alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products...what's so feminine about pads and tampons anyway?)

blog sprint

One Minute Writer for today:

What past clothing trend do you think should never come back in style?

Big shoulder pads, nipped in waists, pleated and tapered pants with frilly socks and pumps. Frilly white socks and black pumps.

M C Hammer pants. Fanny packs. Jellies (hello Crocs). (I had the stinkiest feet ever when I was little and Jellies were in. Oh poor everyone around me who was subjected to my stinky feet clad in plasticky, rubbery badness.)

Pretty much anything you see in Working Girl. Especially Joan Cusack's hair and makeup.

After I've mentioned all of this, I should probably add anything that I wear. I'm not exactly stylish (take the California Raisin shirt I was wearing there wasn't actually a picture of a CR on it, but, well, people comment on that shirt a lot and yet I still wear it).

Friday, November 14, 2008

oh yes it's ladies' night...

Today got off to a somewhat less than spectacular start. Pic got up at five-thirty (if I hadn't been there when she emerged from my body, I'd question if she was my very own child). I somewhat woke up but drifted back to sleep until, oops, 6:40. I wanted to leave at a bit before seven, so, yeah, that was out. I rushed to take a shower and get dressed, thinking that Cardo would take Pic to school later in the morning because he was going in late today. Not so. Although Cardo fixed his car last night, it turns out he only really "fixed" it. (Actually, he's out in the garage right now "fixing" it some more.) I wasn't late for my morning duties, but I would have liked to have been there a good half-hour earlier.

Things went well enough throughout the day. I'll not chronicle those events. Ms B was gracious enough to drop me off at home (grazie Ms B). I ate soup and a hunk of bread and did some reading. I was freaking exhausted, though, and fell asleep until almost five. Oops. When I woke up, it was dark, I was still exhausted and I was annoyed. I was supposed to go out tonight, which I had talked to Cardo about, but he ended up working a later shift. Mr M was going to watch Pic until Cardo could come pick her up, but there was the problem of me getting Pic, feeding us and then walking over to Ms J and Mr M's house. I called Cardo and told him I was thinking to not go. I didn't feel like walking in the cold, dark autumn night. I was tired and cranky.

Because the Fairy of All That Is Gracious must have visited me, Ms J offered to pick Pic and me up, which she did. We got food from a local Chinese place (that also serves sushi, although we didn't get any) and all ate dinner together at Ms J's place. Ms J and I left a bit later and met up with Ms L and Ms B for an evening of Much Ado About Nothing. The theme was (loosely, I think) Reno casino and the masque was a Halloween party (complete with "Happy Halloween" projected on the back screen lest we not catch that). It was definitely fun to go out and support Barrister E as she performed a great Beatrice (or such is my opinion of her performance).

It was fun. It was great being out. It was great going to the theatre (although it did bring back frosh and soph memories, including memories of my first college crush). Cardo and Pic have been driving me to distraction with their bickering with one another, so it was nice to have a break from that. Of course, I kept thinking about how well they were getting along, but I figured Pic would be going to sleep shortly after Cardo picked her up.

Next time, it'd be great to maybe get in some more hanging out time to go along with catching a show. At the same time, I was thinking how great it would be to have a freaking date with my husband that consisted of more than just dinner and then rushing home. Dinner would be great, but it would be better followed by some slow dancing. I think the last time we slow danced was for a moment at Auntie C and Uncle A's wedding. Before that? Poke's wedding? In 2006. Previously...Peecho's wedding in 2005. Then our own wedding in 2003. Hey, apparently more people need to get married (or at least pretend to) so I can rest my head on my husband's shoulder and slip my hand into his while we sway from side to side.

Well, this is getting sad. I always have this weird comedown after going out. It doesn't help that this time I felt guilty about going out, either. So, anyhow, I need to get out more (ha! as if there's all this, what do you call it?...time) and shut off my freaking analytical machinery more.

window shopping

I'm not so big on t-shirts anymore, but I'd like this shirt. [Image the link.]

blog sprint

One Minute Writer's prompt for today is...

Write about three realistic goals you'd like to achieve in your lifetime. [As opposed to all of those goals I'll achieve in others' lifetimes. I doubt that I'll enjoy posthumous fame.]

Okay, I can at least type those out in one minute (except my tendency to elaborate, often in parenthetical form, might cause me to only get through part of one before my little bell rings).

1. Actually get a job that I hope is at the end of this very long, very freaking expensive road.

2. Buy a house. Not just any house, but a perfect house (not just any kiss, the kiss of true love). Okay, so I'm, of course, setting myself up for failure here, but I've had so long to daydream that I have all of these specifications about what our house will be like. Here are just a few examples. The house needs a library, like a room we take you into and say, "This is our library." We won't own any fancy books that cost thousands-upon-thousands of dollars, but we will have thousands-upon-thousands of books (oh, that's right, we already do). I want a pantry. I want yards with trees, particularly fruit-bearing trees, please. I don't want a brand new, built-for-me house. I want someone else to have lived in the house before us. I could go, and have gone, on and on about this.

3. Learn to sew my own clothes. This is my project for this coming summer. I so want to be able to make my own slacks because I'm so tired of polyester pants, it's not even funny.

Okay, so those first two might not really count as realistic (because, no, I haven't been living in a bomb shelter in my backyard for several years...I don't even have a backyard, hence #2), but I like to pretend that they are.

among other things...

...automatic flush toilet are something I just cannot stand. I can flush my own toilet, thank you very much. If I don't flush the toilet, it's because I've chosen not to, and I don't choose not to if I'm in public. (Hey, it's TMIF.)

I'm paranoid about public bathrooms. This runs in my family and I'm successfully passing this neurosis on to Pic. When I was very young -- and finally tall enough -- my mom taught me to hover. That's right, I avoid actually sitting on the seats in public bathrooms. (When it comes to private bathrooms, I have much more faith. There's just something so unknown and so, I don't know, public, I guess, about public bathrooms.) As far as I know, the nether-regions of all of the females in my family have not touched a public toilet from the moment we all reached hoverable height (so not a phrase, but I think you get it).

Just a bit ago, I went to use the restroom. I was rezipping and rebuttoning my pants* when the stupid toilet flushed. Argh! I hate that. Haven't the people who designed these stupid toilets ever heard that statistic about the contents of the toilet being able to jump six feet when the toilet is flushed. Normally, I redress, unlock the door and then flush the toilet with my shoe-clad foot...then I immediately flee the stall.

What I also don't understand is when automatic flush toilets aren't flushed. The stupid things always flush on me while I'm still standing in the stupid stall. How can you just not flush those things?

Well, I suppose that's enough bathroom commentary for now. You're welcome.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

pork chopsh and...

...okay, so there was applesauce, but no pork chops. Yes, that's right, I'm posting a picture of a mug containing applesauce. "Why?" you might ask. "Because," I might then respond, "I made this applesauce."

That's right. I'm pretending to be domestic and I made the applesauce. Okay, so applesauce has to be one of the easiest things to make, but still...

I peeled and quartered the apples and cut out the cores. I added a bit of water to our big soup pot, added the apples, put the lid on, turned on the stove and then kind of forgot about the apples. Oops. When I remembered about them, the water was boiling, so I removed the lid and stirred the apples around a bit. They were already breaking up by then. I left them for about a half-hour more and they were sauce. After they'd cooled, I added a bit of maple syrup (because, why not?), but I can't really taste it.

I only had five Granny Smith apples, so that's what I used. Okay, so I had six, but Pic swiped one before I got started. This was actually the perfect amount because the finished product easily fit into one of our containers. Next time, I'll probably make more and I'll use a variety of apples. Oh, and if I have a food mill by then, I'll cook the apples with all of their parts still attached and run the cooked apples through the mill.

I got the, um, recipe (more like the technique, I suppose) from How to Cook Everything. Oh! Looking that up, I see that there's 10th anniversary edition! Yea!

now more narcissistic than ever!

I've been completely wasting my time playing with these for the last half-hour. Ha! Sorry to pass them on.


You can't add any foundation-type-makeup to this (that I can find, at least), which means in my final picture, I have plenty of makeup and plenty of acne. Fun stuff. When I showed Cardo my "after" picture, he said, "You look funny." Hey, it's not my fault the blush is applied to like half of my face! I tried to remedy it.

My Virtual Model

This one's a little frustrating because I can't readjust specific body parts. Also, I don't look at my underwear-clad self in the mirror, so looking at the depiction here is somewhat depressing. I haven't figured out how to "shop" with this thing, but I wasted enough time and I have things to do (like find out why it smells like feet right here).

blog sprint

Here's the One Minute Writer prompt for today:

What modern technology would you have trouble living without?

Because printing isn't exactly modern, I'm okay on that part (although I know the technique has been modernized...let's just say I get to keep my books the way they are.) So, what couldn't I live without?

I'm tempted to say computers. That might be more accurate than I think because computers are embedded into so many things the mind boggles. And, without computers, I wouldn't be here. This writing (not today's, but some day's) is like therapy to me. So, yeah, maybe computers.

...Or whatever technology goes into making ice cream.

[My one minute was up while I was mistyping "accurate," so I'm done here.]

P.S. After all that, I was just quickly rereading my post and I realize the prompt was which technology I would have trouble living without, not which one could I just not at all live without. Ah, well. No changes, thanks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Freaking earthquakes.


I know that no one cares what I had for lunch, but here it is anyway. A baked potato with mozzarella cheese and the rest of the green beans from this dinner. I was basically using up what we had handy. Oh, yeah, and I forgot to take a picture before I cut it all up. Sorry. I'm sure Peecho will let me know that it looks like upchuck (my mom uses this word and it cracks me up every time).

Okay, because I subjected you to my lunch, I'll include a picture of Pic. This is her new favorite look. Too small flower girl dress, monkey-ear headband and one of my kerchiefs.

grand illusion

Before I came to college (oh so many, many years ago), I had definite ideas of what it would be like. First, it wouldn't be like high school. People'd actually want to be there and they'd all major geeks like me. Second, pertaining to the first, I'd finally find a place where my geekiness actually helped me fit in. Third, I'd excel in college. Fourth, I'd build a community of people to support me and who I'd support. When Thanksgiving came around, we'd all gather at a professor's home and feel like family.

Okay, so yes, I'm a huge dork. I watched too many movies about private schools or grad programs where people actually were a lot more focused on school, where every aspect of their lives had something to do with school. Those who didn't take school seriously, or who just didn't care, wouldn't be there. I still tend to live in my own little world very often.

I think about these weird expectations every time Thanksgiving rolls around. I haven't spent a Thanksgiving with my parents and siblings since 1998. Ten years. We don't really do much (well, anything, actually) for Thanksgiving because Cardo works. And, then it's over. It just doesn't feel right to celebrate it on the Friday after (The Day We're Too Bloated To Deal with Work and Besides We Have To Get Up at 4am To Go Shopping at Best Buy*...aka "Family Day"). For a while, it was just me and Cardo and for some of that time, we were both working at the same place, where working Thanksgiving is mandatory. Even now, there're only three of us. There's no way I'm roasting a huge turkey for only us. (Okay, so I'll probably never, ever roast a whole turkey for any reason). This year, we'll probably have turkey breast, sweet potato casserole (because Cardo loves it and won't let me not make it), green beans and bread. Nothing fancy, and we may not do that.

Another problem with celebrating this holiday is that I just start to shut down at this time of the year. It seems like everyone is rushing off to spend time with their families or their families are rushing here to spend time with them. We can't get away and it makes no sense for all of the other people in our families (all million people) to come here (anyhow, a good part of La Familia B is Mexican and, therefore, doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving). It's kind of a defensive move on my part that I just pretend that these upcoming holiday days aren't special, so I let them come and go, paying them little attention. And, every year, Cardo worries about my mental and emotional state because I always become quieter, a little more depressed.

Maybe this year will be different, and we'll have a nice quiet dinner with just the three of us, when Cardo returns from work. Maybe not. I'm already imagining all of the overtime he'll work that day and I'm already beginning to feel frustrated about it. This is how holidays have always been for me and how I expect they always will be.

[I'll try not to post on holidays for the rest of the year. I just started typing and it all just poured out. I hope that the rest of you enjoy whatever holidays you celebrate, as you should. I'll be here with my head in the sand.]

* I really think there is no merit in calling the day after Thanksgiving a holiday. Basically, I think it's a day for us to be lazy without really admitting it. At the same time, I appreciate the day off. I do not, though, participate in the Black Friday events. I'm not that into buying Christmas gifts (or that into Christmas, for that matter) and crabby, pushy swarms of people freak me out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

europe...where's that?

Here's a prompt I just came across:

This week is “National Geography Awareness Week.” Why do you think Americans have such a difficult time locating the United States on a map? What can be done to help change this?

I'm not sure how old this prompt is, but, anyway, it prompted the following memory to pop into my head.

When I was in high school, I knew a few foreign exchange students. One insisted on walking me home from school a couple of times. On one of these occasions, I was making small talk (something I'm still not good at), so I was asking him about his home country. He was from the Czech Republic, which I knew, but I think he just wanted to make sure I knew where it was (which I did).

Anyhow, he was going to explain to me where it was anyway and the first thing said was, "It's in Europe. Do you know where Europe is?"

*Blink. Blink*

"Um, yeah. Who doesn't?"

Apparently I'd be surprised at how many people asked him, "Where's Europe?"

Now, there's plenty that I don't know. Plenty that I've decided that I'll just never know, but I know where Europe is, thank you very much.

And, for all the things I don't know, I can rely on this here trusty interweb, no? The Constant Giver of Valid and Trustworthy Information, no? Well, I can look most things up and pretend that these things represent Truth.

By the way, I can also look up the official site of the Czech Republic. Just in case you're interested.

hey there, lonely meal

I have other food pictures, but I have about zero idea where they are. Therefore, you are being regaled with Sunday night's dinner. I got turkey breast cutlets on some super-sale at the grocery store, so I cooked some up (because raw meat, not so much). What else is on that plate? (I can't see the picture as I'm typing this.) Oh, baked chunks of sweet potato (they aren't fried and they don't resemble fries, really, so there you go). I roughly chopped up a sweet potato and tossed the chunks (oh, how wrong, I know) in olive oil, salt and pepper. I put them on a baking sheet and shoved it into the oven while I cooked the turkey on the rangetop (do people use that term?). I also made some garlic and very dijon green beans. (Pic helped me to squeeze the mustard into the skillet, so yes, very dijon.) Actually, the green beans turned out really good, but I'll definitely scrape some of the mustard out next time if we end up with so much.

Anyhow, this was my dinner on Sunday. Pic, on the other hand, had a scrambled egg with mozzarella, some fruit and some raw (undijoned) green beans. I didn't mean to make two different dinners (and she did graze from my plate a bit), but I was laying on the couch in a stupor, somewhat focused on Bye, Bye Birdie when Pic came down from resting and let me know she was hungry. I made her something to eat, but she was still working on it much later when I finished the rest.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Okay, so I added a labels list over there on the right. I much prefer those that are arranged in a little square, if you know what I'm talking about. Anyone know how I go about acquiring one of those instead of the huge long list I have here?

more muppets and a sale

Faboo title, I know. (I had forgotten about Wakko's penchant for "faboo" until I was trolling through those Animaniacs clips.)

Anyhow, this is one of the songs on our Sesame Street album [the beginning is a bit cut off, though]:

And, this, is just one of my favorite Sesame Street songs, although I'm not sure why:

As for the rest of my post, I bought those pants for Pic last weekend at Savers. They kind of crack me up. Anyhow, this is not just gratuitous flashing of the funny pants...Savers is having a 50%-off all used items sale tomorrow in honor of Veterans' Day (we're so weird..."let us celebrate the service some men and women have performed for our country with discounted prices on linens and clothing and used stuff"...oh my).


Wow, I can't believe I've never used that for a title before. Anyhow, I'm deliriously exhausted. I'm sitting here, intermittently typing and then wrapping my hands around my hot mug filled with steamy Sleepytime tea sweetened with a bit of honey. When I'm finished with this post, I'm going to lay on the couch and pretend to sleep.

I don't want to be here long, so I'm going to take the One Minute Writer prompt and run/type/whatever with it. Today's prompt is "Where is your favorite place in your home?" Here goes...

So, I don't really have a favorite place. If we had a fireplace, I'd say there. I'm just so restless all of the time, so I'm never in one place for any good amount of time. It drives Cardo and the covert cats crazy. If I were forced to pick a place...well, I just wouldn't. I'm not good at this game. Wow, three seconds left. There's the buzzer.

Right, something better next time, I kinda-sorta promise.


am tired. am crazy. am losing my...books.

also, am getting sick, again.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

p.s. on s.s.

Because I live in this weird past-time (not pastime) in the blogosphere, I'm reading way old entries on finslippy. Oddly enough, I just came across this Sesame Street-related entry.

Then, I read all of the comments to this entry, too. One person posted a link to, uh, Grover fan fiction.

can you tell me how to get... to get to Sesame Street?

My favorite character ever, the very cute and adorable Grover.

Tomorrow is the 39th birthday of Sesame Street. Wow.

I have to say, that I didn't watch a lot of it when I was growing up. I must have watched it sometimes, because I remember it, but I wasn't one of those kids who watched it daily or anything (although I kind of wanted to be). I don't know where I was. Maybe it just aired during my naptime or something. I'm pretty certain we had a tv when I was a toddler and preschooler, although I can't remember watching tv until I was in elementary school. Then, as I've mentioned, I was busy watching Reading Rainbow, Mr Rogers' Neighborhood, Murder, She Wrote, MacGuyver and horror and science fiction movies.

Now that I have my very own kidlet, though, I've been watching a lot more Sesame Street. I can't remember when Pic started watching it...2006, I guess, maybe last year. All I know is that I remember enjoying Sesame Street a lot more when I was younger. The show didn't seem so formulaic (and, I don't think it was). By the time Pic started watching it, I could map out the whole episode, in general terms, before we started watching it. I'd really like to be able to buy "Sesame Street: The Complete Season 1-39" or something. I want to watch the older episodes.

I wonder if, when we were all younger, my parents felt about Sesame Street the way I feel about it now. Maybe they didn't enjoy it. Maybe that's why I didn't watch it so much. I just keep telling myself that it was definitely better in years gone by.

What do you guys think? Do you remember Sesame Street being better than it is? (Um, yes, I realize that most of you probably don't watch the're not really missing much, unless you enjoy enduring at least, at least, twenty minutes of Elmo a day.)