Saturday, January 31, 2009

not-so-glorious food

I have eaten like a total out-of-control person today. I started out okay with tuna, olive oil, oregano, Italian seasoning and plenty of chopped spinach served on wheat crackers (I'm not a traditional-breakfast-foods person). However, after that, the rest of my eating was shot. I've had two kaiser rolls, two turkey meatballs, some baked steak fries (technically, then, not 'fries' but, I suppose, baked potato wedges), a cookie and some ice cream throughout the day. My body is ready to kick me (herself?). Yeah, vegetables and fruits? Apparently not much of a priority for me today. Sometimes I get like this...I'll eat something crappy and then just eat crappily for the rest of the day. Ugh.

This makes me think, of course, of things like my horribly negative body image. (Self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone?) Every time I think about things like this, I wonder how to not pass this set of neuroses on to Pic. How can I not? Even if I insist that every body is beautiful, just about every other source of information about bodies is telling us othewise. We went to the store tonight and there were these Barbie fairy things that were like freaking twigs [I can't find a picture of these, sorry]. Then, of course, we passed the Barbies and by the time we reached the end of the aisle, we had reached the Bratz dolls. Um, and Disney princesses -- I almost forgot them. Then, there are the images of popular women splashed across the covers of all of the magazines, including some women who used to be more average-sized but who have become emaciated over the years (except their thinness is due to something other than lack of access to nutritional foods and plenty of access to ravaging disease). All that and my very own negative body image. It's not like she'll never pick up on that, right? Don't kids sense things that we think we are hiding oh-so-well? She's picked up on funkiness in our supposed-to-be marital bliss before when she was just a wee(er) lass.

Anyhow, this brings me to two other observations, both media related.

One is Gilmore Girls. I love Gilmore Girls, but I've always hated that these women (mother and daughter, sixteen years apart) eat worse than anyone else ever (except, perhaps, Michael Phelps) and they shun exercise, yet they are both incredibly thin women. What is up with that?

The other: The Women. I watched the 1939 version, which I thought was okay. Then, against the reviews of others, I watched the newer version (because I clearly like wasting my time). At one point, Mary's (Meg Ryan's character) ten-year-old daughter refuses to eat something because it'll cost too many points. As in Weight Watchers points. She declares herself fat. She's a thin little wisp of a girl. While she's told she's not fat (if I recall correctly), no one ever deals with this. This movie was such a disappointment for so many reasons, this being just a small one. (Like, what was up with the [SPOILER ALERT] baby at the end of the movie being a boy and then being passed from hand to hand across a backdrop of a wall painted sky-blue with clouds? Weird savior images abound.) Anyhow, don't watch it. Spare yourself.

Okay, well, so much more can be said about this, but I need to finish reading an article (forthcoming chapter?) on Michel Montaigne's anti-ethnocentrism (which I promptly looked up) and then read Twelfth Night and then read The Tempest and then read part of Stephen Greenblatt's Marvelous Possessions and then read.... (I really want to read Harry Potter again). Please send me some positive vibes (yes, I did just use that phrase) that I make it out of this semester alive...definitely not OD'd on ice cream. Thanks.

Friday, January 30, 2009

sing, sing a song

I came across this while I was browsing around NPR's site. (And, when I type 'came across,' I mean it is listed as Song of the Day.)

It's 'Land, Land, Land,' by Apollo Run.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the stuff of dreams

Is it the end of January yet? No. [sigh]

Here's what I've been dreaming about and desiring lately:

Ice Cream Ireland




from here



from here

These next two, I got from...I know not where. I can't remember. Sorry.




...and, well, Twelfth Night. Yeah, I really need to get going.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

when i was just a little girl...




Today, a friend observed that when I pull my hair back (as it is in the picture), I look like I'm twelve. Then, she revised the thought and said I usually look about fifteen, but with my hair back, I look twelve.

So, yes! I must look like one of the genius kids around the campus. I'm thinking that this will also be to my advantage when I really start to age, many years from now. I'll be able to mess with so many people's minds when introducing my teenage daughter one day.

I, though, never feel that I look very young. It could have something to do with the gigantic, titanic black circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. It could also be my horrible skin...although, come to think of it, that horrible skin might be part of what makes people think I look like a preteen* or a teenager.

Hmm.

* Yes, I'm aware of the term 'tween,' but that doesn't mean I have to accept it.

dream a little dream

Yesterday, I was pretty much dead-tired all day long. I roused myself long enough to take Pic to the library and then to the grocery store (where I forgot to buy sour cream), and then it was home again, home again jiggedy-jog. Upon returning home, both Pic and I immediately reverted to pajama-clad status. We ate lunch and shortly thereafter, I tried to get Pic to get some rest. I needed to (re)finish King Lear and she really needed sleep after having gone to sleep somewhere after eleven the night before. The child resisted the sleep. Finally, I told her to come lay down with me, in hopes that all of the warmth generated by my body, a covert cat's body and the two tattered comforters on my bed would lull her to sleep. Didn't happen. She did, however warm up my freezing nose by resting her face on mine and breathing directly onto said nose. At the same time, she rested her icy feet on my shoulder. (We were both on our sides, facing one another.) My child is bendy in ways that I never was and, no matter the amount of pilates I do, never will be.

So, anyhow, I slept and Pic bounced around and then went into the living room to read books and play with her puzzles. I slept and I dreamed. I dreamt that I crafted a cat out of black modeling clay. This cat resembled one of the covert cats (who is actually a really dark, chocolately brown, but he deceives us by looking black). My clay cat came to life and then I couldn't discern the real cat from the clay cat. This, people, was a terrifying dream. I'm not sure why, but it was.

Perhaps if I got more sleep, my dreams wouldn't scare the living crap out of me (if there is living crap in me). Or, perhaps I have been cooking with mescaline and I haven't realized it. Hmm.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

because everybody should care...

Here's what I had for both lunch and dinner today. Plus, a dinner I had a couple a weeks ago.



I made some tuna with olive oil, oregano, tons of garlic powder and chopped up mesclun.* I like to eat this on saltines (we have the whole wheat ones right now...although it's probably enriched whole wheat flour, but whatever).




I started making this black bean soup at eleven of the clock on Sunday night. I'm sad to say that it takes something like four hours so I didn't get much sleep before I headed out to face Monday. I held off on the blending of the soup until tonight, just before I heated it up for dinner. I used two boxes of organic vegetable stock instead of the five cups of chicken stock and three cups of water (because I needed to use the stock). I used nitrate-/nitrite-/hormone-free turkey bacon and I skipped the onions. I forgot to buy sour cream, so I used cotija cheese and asked Cardo to bring some tortilla strips home from work. I think we'll be eating this for dinner tomorrow night also.




Cardo loves me (yes, yes he does...sing it now!) and made me potato pancakes. I thought that I had posted these before but it seems that I had yet to transfer them from the camera to the computer. So, here they be. (Pic insisted that we get Pirate's Booty today -- except she calls it Pirate Booties -- so I feel the need to occasionally talk like a movie pirate.)


-------------------------

* The spellchecker seems to think that I really ought to have typed 'mescaline' here. Um, maybe next time I make mushroom soup.

Monday, January 26, 2009

stuff and nonsense

Okay, I'm beyond exhausted and my brain is barely functioning. Dear old crazy Lear will have to wait until tomorrow.

I was looking up information on South Carolina when I found this site. Did you know that South Carolina has a state drink? Milk. So, I thought, 'Hey, Nevada's has to be some kind of liquor,' but, alas, we have no state drink (at least not one that is listed). Oh, also SC has a state hospitality beverage: tea.

Oh, wait...Maryland also boasts of milk as the state beverage. And, I might have to move to Massachusetts, which boasts of a state muffin (corn), beverage (cranberry juice), dessert (Boston cream pie) and cookie (chocolate chip). I could do without the dessert and muffin, but I just love that Mass has these.

Ha! Utah has a state cooking pot: the Dutch oven.

Nebraska has a state soft drink: Kool-Aid (aka two cups of nasty-flavored sugar with a few drops of water mixed in).

Okay, so there's more. A bunch of states, actually, prefer milk and square dancing. There's a blueberry muffin honored in one state and the bolo tie as state neckwear in another. And more.

So, sorry to have replaced the useful information in your brains with this bunk (as one of my English teachers referred to such things). This was my pathetic attempt to surf the wavy web in hopes of finding something fun. I got bored pretty quickly and stopped with the states.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

mundanity strikes

So, yes. I have other things to be doing right now. I am running out of steam for this whole January NaBloPoMo. Aren't you also gleeful that I'm almost finished? Not as much as I am.

I am in the midst of doing multiple things because that whole, stupid multitasking thing has long been ingrained into me. So, I'm just going to tell you about my evening and leave it there.

-- Have weary reaction to child's sobbing...send her to her room until she calms down and tells me, 'I need a cuddle.' After this, she admits that just answering me in the first place would have been much easier. We get her cleaned up for bed, call Papi to tell him buona notte, we sing and sign 'ABCs' and then 'Twinkle.' She's asleep by eight (for the first time in lived memory).

All other activities going on somewhat simultaneously:

-- Finish up my tv watching for the semester by watching the end of season two of The Gilmore Girls.

-- Idealize fictional small-town life.

-- Wash dishes.

-- Wash laundry.

-- Fold laundry.

-- Make bean soup (although I have no idea what I am supposed to be sorting out when 'sorting and washing' said beans. Ask husband when he gets home and his response is 'rocks.' Mm-kay).

-- Read (for the ninety-seventh time) King Lear.

-- Forget how to spell 'eavesdropping.'

-- Drink forty-ounces of water an hour.

-- Do multiple pee dances while I try to finish just one more thing.

-- Brace myself for the nasty, nasty eye-gouging and -crushing scene.

-- Plan for the next week's worth of classes.

-- Create and print out more class materials.

-- Throw a bra insert thingy for the covert cat so he can fetch it.

-- Add to my course design (the project by which I will be judged for all time...or for my Master's work, whichever).

-- Post this.

-- Consider the merits of Mother's Little Helper.

-- Hang my head and cry.

-- Don't, under any circumstances, sleep.

Good night and please enjoy a moment's shut-eye for me.

happiness is...





----------------

P.S. It's 'Macintosh Computer Day' so Happy Day to our computers!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

biodegradable me

So, I was reading this article in the Reno New & Review (yes, I still read the RN&R because it's here) about green burial practices. It was interesting and got me thinking, once again, of my own impending doom.

Once again, Cardo and I both confirmed that we each want to be cremated.*

I know that the whole taking care of the dead process is expensive, but reading this article made me realize just how expensive it really is. Here's a paragraph from late in the article:

For example, a biodegradable casket begins around $1,900 compared to $2,800 for a bronze or copper casket. Cremation, which Fanelli considers the greenest funeral service, is also the cheapest. And Northern Nevada Memorial carries a variety of biodegradable containers and urns for the ashes, from recycled paper to hemp.


Twenty-eight hundred dollars?! Really? Holy freaking crap. Not that this was the option I was considering in the first place, but, well, now I'm really not. Besides, after biology in high school, with the dissection of the pig hearts (and then Bio II with the dissection of the fetal pigs...I really hope Pic has the option of computer programs for this stuff**), I know that I hate the smell of formaldehyde. Okay, so, yes, I'll be dead and most likely not smelling the crap they'd potentially fill me up with, but I don't even like the thought of formaldehyde and such in my body. Anyway, if they did pump me full of that crap, they'd have no choice but to put my body into some titanium (or something) coffin because otherwise I'd leach that crap into the earth. There're just so many things I find wrong with that whole concept. I can't believe in, and teach Pic about, cycles in life if the cycle is abruptly cut off when our bodies are filled with toxins (moreso than they are when we eat and whatnot) and we're buried in mini-fallout shelters in big park-like areas.

So, anyway, I told Cardo, 'Geez, just dig a hole and bury me in the yard.' Or, you know, have me cremated.

I know, though, that death is a touchy subject. I know that some people want to preserve what they remember. I know that many (most?) people have different views on what happens after we die. A bit earlier in the article, Kerlin acknowledges this with the following:

While many like to feel their loved one is protected in an enclosed vault where they can always visit them, others are looking for ways that complement natural cycles.


I don't believe that my loved ones would be visiting me, rather they'd just be visiting my body. And, well, this brings me to another point. Things like preserving the body or memorial services, even, are more for the living than the dead in many cases. At least they seem to be. I just hope that my loved ones will be able to accept that I loathe the thought of my formaldehyde-ridden body being locked away in a plushy casket (because my dead self would need to be comfortable, right?) for all eternity.
--------------

* Every time I type 'cremated,' I first type 'creamated.' As if I'll be turned into some tasty dessert to be served alongside Mrs Lovett's meat pies.

** I actually didn't give that much thought to the animal parts we used for dissection in high school. I'm not sure why. My views have shifted since then, though. I can't say that I see the value in having high school students use actual animal parts...especially when most of us weren't going on to becoming doctors anyway. I'm sorry little Babes.

--------------

P.S. I know that I seem to make light of death and all things involved with it. I don't mean to offend anyone. Death freaks me out, sometimes to the point where I can't sleep. I've always been this way. I've experienced death in my own family. I watched my uncle die in my living room. I had to say goodbye to my beautiful Grammie almost five years ago. There's been more, just as everyone else experiences. It's not a subject that I take lightly, but I use humor to deal.

Friday, January 23, 2009

blog sprint

One Minute Writer from inauguration day: If your walls could talk, what would they say?

Um, probably, 'Put on some pants.' Ha! I refuse...unless it's really cold.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the beginnings of a panic attack

Okay, so yesterday was my first real day back. I don't have any school activities scheduled for Tuesdays so I got a late start this week. (This also means that my Monday class doesn't start until next week and somehow this makes me feel like I'm behind.)

Yesterday, I met with Dr Chair. (Still needs a better pseudonym, no? Dr Syrah? Dr Sirrah? I'll think about it.) Just before that, I met with Dr Jones. On top of taking two seminars and teaching one class, I'm also completing my final MA project. Most people know this as the comps process, but I'm designing a course. I'm going for something like English Renaissance Literature: Sex in the Renaissance (thanks for the suggestion from Dr Syrah). I also have an apartment, a husband, some covert cats and a very-soon-to-be four-year-old (which means birthday party planning). I've restarted regular Pilates workouts and Cardo and I are planning to join the climbing gym February 1st. In order to use our membership wisely, we'll need to go at least three times a week.

Okay, this may not seem like much -- the list is long, but these are normal things -- but yesterday, things got added to this list. Both Dr Jones and a friend informed me of impending Renaissance Mafia meetings. We are planning to meet once a week to discuss the larger issues regarding English Renaissance literature (it's so easy to get bogged down in the minutia of the texts that we are looking for that good ol' Ren forest here). Also, Blood, Love and Rhetoric is scheduled to start up again this semester. I told Dr Syrah that I would be interested in organizing one, but he said that he'd be perfectly okay to do it this semester (very nice). We're planning four plays, but I'll have to report back later on what these are (I can only recall Merry Wives of Windsor and The Devil Is an Ass (which I think we already did)). Dr Syrah also said he was thinking to initiate a Renaissance film night (films of productions of Renaissance plays and such...obviously not films from the English Renaissance...just thought I'd clear that up). I might be able to squeeze one of those in (especially if I bring a book and a book light). Finally, a friend (who will remain nameless unless she cares to identify herself*), suggested a knitting/crocheting group. I'd really like to learn either of these skills, and both would be great. It'd be nice to be able to do either of these while I watched tv (y'know, when I can begin doing that again in earnest after this semester is over), instead of reading while watching tv which makes concentrating on either medium difficult.

Oh, and Cardo will be taking a class this semester also. He's finally beginning to take some automotive classes, which he's wanted to do for quite some time now.

I joked to Ms B yesterday, after class, that if I can just make it through the next four months without sleeping, I'll take a nice long nap this summer.

So, to totally bastardize a prayer I've known my whole life:

Grant me the serenity to make it through this semester without melting down,
Grant me the courage to make it through this semester with some confidence,
And grant me the wisdom to earn a freaking Master's degree.

It's going to be a long one, baby.

--------------------------

* I'm only not identifying this person because she was convinced that we were going to laugh at her suggestion. I think it's a great suggestion, but just in case, I'll let her choose whether or not to out herself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

things that make you go "hmm"...

Why is Humpty-Dumpty usually portrayed as an egg? (Is he ever not?) Why does this make him even more freaky to me? I'm not a fan of this impossible-to-reassemble character.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

pop open the bubbly

Okay, so in our case that bubbly is sparkling cider, but whatever. So, as soon as we can get the munchkin to bed, Cardo and I are going to sip our cider and watch the incoming of Obama and Biden. A nice way to relax before I start what should be my last semester here.

As for said munchkin, I'm ready to bundle her in some soft, cushy blankets, stuff her in a box and send her to anyone willing to take her. I'm trying not to engage in the The Great Food Battle, but argh this child makes me in-freaking-sane. It takes her seventy-five years to finish dinner. I'm about to give up on having any dessert-type items because that's all she really cares about. Believe you me, I'm all sorts of cheesy when it comes to promoting the healthier fare. 'Mmm! Broccoli! It's so great! Isn't it great?!' I'll also share stories with Pic about how sometimes you have to try a certain food a lot of times before you like it. I tell her that she has to at least taste everything we put before her. There are many nights when she ends up not having a treat and I tell her, in a not-exactly-nice tone, 'If you're hungry later, that's what you're eating,' while pointing to her largely-untouched dinner plate. I am tired and now I'm battling with myself. I keep thinking, 'I don't care. I don't care what she eats. I don't care if she ever eats dinner again. Just give her what she wants so the crying stops.' But, ha! I refuse to travel that road.

To be fair, the crying is a seldomly-heard occurrence. I try to remain calm. I'll tell her, 'It's time to eat dinner, so please eat. That's the end of the conversation.' (I know those final words there will come back to haunt me all-too-soon.) I'd like to think that my veneer hasn't cracked yet, but underneath, I'm seething. I'm thinking my parents might have felt the same with me and I remain one of the pickiest eaters ever, but I still eat my freaking healthy food (or my 'grow food' as Pic refers to it).

I know that I don't want to make food a huge issue with Pic, like it is with me. I just don't know how to do that. I know that others have it much worse than we do. Our child does not solely consume boxed pasta with powdered cheese sauce (excuse me while I retch). She loves fruit and some vegetables ('leaves' for example...her word for spinach (and thanks to Ms J for bringing some raw spinach over because now we know Pic likes it)). She doesn't complain that I only let her have one cup of watered-down juice a day. It's just that, at the end of the day, I'm tired and my patience has worn thin and I just want her to eat what's on her plate.

Please just remind me that consistency now is worth it no matter how much I just want to go to sleep and let her eat whatever. Thanks.

That's the end of my pathetic, whiny rant...for now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

p.s.

One Minute Writer for today: You find yourself somehow sitting next to Barack Obama on a plane, the day before his inauguration. What do you say to him?

'Hello future son-in-law, how do you feel about polygamy?'

from the mouth of the babe

'When I get big, like Barack Obama, he's going to marry me.'

Sorry, Michelle.

------------

So, it might be blogging lite around here for the remainder of my NaBloPoMo. I've got this not sleeping until four a.m. thing going on and I'm dying here people (although not literally, which is a fun new thing I had to explain to Pic). Ugh.

Oh, also, I think it might be nice to spare you, a bit. I might, however, change my mind about this in the very near future.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

shoulda, coulda...

Oh, also, as J and I were pulling up in front of her house last night, we were coming up with our own fabulous responses was should have lobbed in the direction of our very own fabulist.

'Yeah, well, my husband, the astrophysicist...'

'...just flew to Pluto and back...'

'...and he owns Tahoe.'*

-------------------

* OVOF informed us that he doesn't like Tahoe. Something about it being too big, yet too small.

fabulous!

So, last night I was a part of a birthday celebration for Dr Chair. It was in a bar! That is a house! It's a bar that's a house! Um, yeah, nevermind.

Ms J and I headed over together, with our Papyrus card and bottle of Syrah complete with new label fashioned by the incredible Ms J. The bartender's nice and the drunk guy at the counter was better left ignored, as far as I was concerned.

The first time I saw J take a glance at her watch, I asked her the time. We'd already been there an hour. That went quickly. The second time, I was sure she'd say another hour had passed, but only half that had. What? Of course, there was an explanation for this sudden inability of time to passat a normal speed, as J pointed out. So, the reason? Our very own fabulist.

'I have a friend who only sleeps every other day, and then for only five hours.'

'How does he get by?'

'Oh, he does...of course, he's kind of crazy. He made his first million before he turned nineteen. He did that with his own money, although his parents are millionaires [of course]. For graduation, they bought him an island in Alaska. They had visited and he had liked it. [Oh, mm-hmm, yes, of course.] Then, he went on to work with a Nobel Laureate in chemistry. [More fantastic stories of Sr Insomnia here.]...in China, which is where he lives now.'

I believe this was after the story about a former girlfriend of his who, at thirteen, was being sought out by Princeton. She wasn't ready to leave home so she stayed local. However, she's now earning a number of Master's degrees in some mathy thing and planning on continuing on to a PhD in sociology. Apparently, prestigious institutions are constantly calling her to woo her away from wherever it is she is now.

J actually asked him if he wasn't lyin' when he should be truthin.' [Okay, of course she didn't really phrase it that way, it's just that Nancy Sinatra, singing about her boots, was piping through Savers today.] Our very own fabulist assured us that he was telling it like it T-I-Is. Finally, people started leaving, and because we were sitting in the back corner near the (house's!) back door, we were interrupted.

Hugs were exchanged, plans were tentatively made. Food was eaten (the chicken, which probably barely registered spicy for anyone else, burned my lips and throat...I'm a spice-wimp) and 'Happy Birthday' was spontaneously sung at one point. It was nice and most of the people seemed nice (note, J and I mainly stayed in our back corner, so we didn't actually meet everyone). Y'know what else is nice, though? To come home, bearing bruschette from the party for Cardo and tucking a still-awake Pic to bed.

Oh, one final note. As J and I were discussing the evening on our way back to her place, we both said, 'I'll have to blog about this.' Yes, we've drunk the koolaid and caught the fever. It's beyond official now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

i see me, and i like what i see

That line does not apply to myself. I just like Death Becomes Her. Besides, my dad's in it.

I was talking with a friend about aging with grace and I wonder if I will be able to do this. I started thinking about it again because of this momversation (still not a fan of the title).



Where do I draw the line? I don't color my hair now. The greys hide in the rest, for now. I've had it highlighted twice, but it's been almost six years. I have this weird superstition that if I ever dye it completely, it'll never grow back the same color and I actually like my hair color. I don't do Botox or anything like that (I doubt that will change because the thought of injecting something into my face freaks me right out). Hell, I don't even pluck my eyebrows (now you'll all be staring at my unruly brows, won't you?). I do wear make-up. I have been wearing it for about a year now. I wear Bare Minerals foundation stuff. (Soon, it'll be a much more affordable drugstore brand, but I'm still using my first little pot of Bare Minerals.) I occasionally get my hair cut and this alters my appearance, of course. I own this Olay eye gel stuff, but I only used it about seven times and that was last summer. I try to wear clothes that hide my flaws, but I'm not so good at this.

I'm just afraid that I will freak out as I age. It's not like we have a lot of examples of women aging naturally. Images of older women are constantly touched up. (We recently saw a billboard with Donna Sommer, who's in her sixties, and she looked about thirty. Look at any other older woman in the media and the results are about the same or same-ish.) And, how much of this surgical upkeep can you do before your body just says, 'Hey, I'm getting older, let me do my thing'? The whole thing reeks of The Picture of Dorian Gray in a way that I can't fully fathom.

And, I just feel that it's not fair. Our bodies are supposed to age. We lose color, we get wrinkles. It's like proof that we've lived, that we're actually people with pasts. I have a hard time with all of this growing up stuff, but I've never wanted to be young forever (I am still young, so ask me about this in another few decades). I think it's freaky for women to want to look exactly like their teenage daughters.

I actually like the lines on my face. I'm attempting to continue to like them. (I can't believe that I'm admitting to you, Interweb, that there are parts of me that I like.) I hope that I will be able to embrace the aging process, but I doubt that that will happen. We need some good role models for this. Okay, enough for now, because I'm starting to miss my Grammie who had grey hair and wrinkles for as long as I knew her and she was beautiful. I'll keep her in mind.

Still, I wonder what tune I'll be humming ten, twenty, thirty-plus years from now?

----------------

P.S. I wrote most of this post in previous days. In the meantime, Ms J has posted about a recent body affirming experience (sorry that sounds so new agey, I'm just tired). It's a good post, read it. Let the feeling rub off on you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

a little night music



Jamie Lidell -- All I Want To Do

buy a pape, mistah?

Yes, I did watch Newsies again this break.

Anyhow, I was recently reading another little town's free weekly paper and I remember thinking, 'Hey, I actually like the writing in this.' Let me explain. We have an atrocious local paper. I can't abide by it. I occasionally purchase it so I can 'shop' in the Sunday ads (lately, I've just been checking out the ads in the library's paper). We have also have our free weekly alternative paper (FREE EVERY THURSDAY, the stands announce and I always think, 'How much does it cost all the other days?...because, yes, I'm a total geek). I get this almost every week. I always thought most of it was okay, but I didn't love it.

Currently, there's one writer's writing that I really don't love at all. Now, before I link to this author's article I most recently read, I need to hem and haw a bit (or something). I hate being critical of others for so many reasons. One, though, is that I have nothing spectacular -- or even mediocre -- to offer instead. Here, I write a bunch of crap (sometimes daily...I won't subject anyone to another NaBloPoMo for a while, I promise). When I write elsewhere, the result isn't all that much improved. I sincerely wish it was, but it isn't, no matter the practice I put in. Perhaps in a few more decades....

I also kind of hate to compliment people on things. I'm always afraid that if I tell someone, 'I love your hair,' she'll look at me and think, 'Jeez-o, I need to change my hair because that person who looks like she barely even brushes hers likes mine.' And, yes, I think about myself entirely too much (hello, blog). Back to the point, no?

I read this article last week or so and, once again, I was disappointed with Williams's writing. (If she ever read my blog, she'd, no doubt, be at least equally disappointed with my writing.) Here is an excerpt from her writing. (In the article, she was giving an overview of the memorable moments of 2008.)

The 2008 presidential election was the major event of the year. It was a historical race for many reasons, and it will be remembered for a long time to come. It was not memorable only because of the people running and the environment in which they were running, but because the election was a circus.

The ringleader was none other than Barack Obama. In his campaign, there were songs with his name in them, video games with his picture, even T-shirts in malls. It was a spectacle like nothing this country had seen before. It went beyond policies and ideas to become what seemed a popularity contest—no substance, only style.

In hearing Three 6 Mafia scream the words, “Like Barack Obama said, ‘Yeah it’s time for a change,'” I was overcome with a sense of shame. What our Founding Fathers had built for us was turned into a joke, a three-ring circus, and it was heartbreaking. Barack Obama took this election by storm, not because of his ideas, but because he was the more fashionable candidate. I believe 2008 will be a landmark year for this country because that was the year our Founding Fathers rolled over in their graves. They stood for the ideas of individual responsibility, small government and low taxes, and the election was proof positive that people disregarded everything these men stood for, and they decided they would rather vote in a popularity contest than they would in an election.


I know that I am not this writer's audience. When she writes that "people disregarded everything these men stood for," I know that she is sneering at me. However, I take serious issue with the argument here. (Or serious 'tissue' in the words of Pic.) I did not vote for Obama because he seemed like the popular choice. I voted Obama/Biden because my ideals more closely align with those represented by this ticket. Sure, some people had other reasons for voting for him, but that's always the case. During the first election in which I was old enough to, and did, vote (a presidential election), I heard people say, 'I voted for Bush because my dad did' and 'I voted for Bush because he's cuter.' There were probably people saying the same about Gore, although I'd like to leave the argument of who's cuter far behind, thanks much. There is always the element of popularity contest. One candidate may be more popular in someone's family or in the country as a whole, but damn it, I voted for Obama because I agreed more with what he'd like to do here. (What he will be able to do...quissa?) And, anyhow, the Republicans were offering up Palin. Palin?! Seriously. I don't think I could any longer respect myself if I voted her into any kind of office. I feel for the people who wanted McCain and the right's values but were stuck with Palin. I don't understand the people who actually wanted Palin.

Anyhow, I'm even more disappointed with this piece because it's the third or fourth I've read by her that feels like the exact same article being slightly revised and reprinted. Give us something new. I wasn't fond of the right-leaning writer who wrote in this space before her, but at least I could respect his position, while I totally disagreed with 99% of it. I can't get past Williams's writing and repetition enough to take her seriously.

So, as I said, I give you this drivel, nothing profound or great in it's place. My writing will probably never be fantastic, but it's my best means of expression (you should hear me try to explain my thoughts aloud...it's not pretty).

note to self

In next month's Self, there's a little article "Celebrate Your Happy Weight." The article ends with a list of "10 ways to know you're at your happy weight."

Number 1? "You hear yourself say to your sweetie, 'Come to bed, hon...and why don't we leave all the lights on this time?'"

Ha! In La Casa B, it's more like, 'You look like you might want to kiss me, turn the lights off.'

My family members once teased me because I said I never wanted anyone to see me naked.* They asked me how I was ever going to have kids (I kind of always knew I wanted kids) if I never let a guy see me naked. My response? I don't have to be naked to have sex.

----------------------

* Speaking of having kids and nudity, there is no real modesty during the childbirthing process or shortly thereafter. There were only two other people -- aside from Cardo, me and then Pic -- in the delivery room, a nurse and my doctor. Over the next couple of days, though, several nurses and some nursing students came in to check out what was going on with the swelling in my nice hospital-provided mesh panties. 'Hey sure, come on in and have a look in my underwear. Anyone else out there not get a good look? Send her or him in, too.'

Also, while I still don't let Cardo see me in the light while we're having sex (which makes daylight-hours sex interesting), we've got a relatively naked household. Seriously, if it's warm and I'm inside, pants just aren't a priority. Cardo laughs because both Pic and I will walk in the door and start casting off clothing. Now, folks, my daily quota of TMI has been fulfilled and you're welcome.

walking in our women's underwear

The other day, I was getting Pic ready for school. She walked out to the living room where I had her clothes and told me, 'I've got my johns on.'

I have no idea why, but that makes me want to squeeze her even more. She's so cute. Now, when we're getting ready and I want her to put her longjohns on, I ask her to go get her johns.

No, people, it doesn't take much to make me happy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

let's make a date

I know that it's only January, but who's got plans in July? I really want to go to BlogHer. Unfortunate as it may be for me (who was hoping it'd be in San Francisco), it's going to be in Chicago. Anyone interested in saving up all of her extra (ha HA!) money and going?

Think about it.

'scuse me while i kiss this guy

Pic and I were watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast today. There's a part, at the beginning where the townfolk are singing and a woman with an armful of babies sings, 'I made success,' and the guy next to her responds, 'That's too expensive.' Except...

We were watching the movie with the captions on. Apparently she's saying, 'I need six eggs.' I always thought she was talking about popping another child out and the guy's response seemed appropriate enough.

This reminds me. In Disney's The Little Mermaid, there's a part where Sebastian's all up in arms* (how exactly did we develop that phrase?) about Ariel. I always thought he was saying, in a very distressed manner, 'My legs are short' (in his island accent, of course). Turns out he's saying, 'My nerves are shot.' My line works just as well, though...I mean, his legs are short. I just never understood why he felt that he needed to point it out just then.

-----------

* Perhaps he's all up in legs?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

gli occhiali

Okay, so I made the trip all the way over to Costco today where the best eye doctor ever holds court (or something). I had a quick eye exam. He showed me the difference between my old prescription and my new. If my eyes keep going at this rate, I'll be counting steps (more than I do) and memorizing people's scents in a matter of mere years. Ugh.

I actually made Cardo come with me for the picking out of the frames, though. I found some I really liked -- thin, purple wire frames for which I could have gotten magnetic clip on sunglasses (have I mentioned my ultracool rep? have I mentioned that my eyes are extrememly light sensitive?), but then I remembered my lenses are today's equivalent of coke-bottle lenses. I can't get the thin wire frames. Actually, I might be able to, but the lenses are about seventy-nine million times the thickness of the frames. Even when I get the thick plastic frames my lenses bulge out over the sides. Again, ugh. So, I picked a pair of green plastic frames with which I'm kind of okay. My choices are even further limited because of my gigantic head. Seriously, people.

Now, I just have to wait two weeks for my glasses to come in. The cashier looked incredibly apologetic when she told me this, but I told her I was used to it. I'm not one of those people who can order glasses or contacts and pick them up immediately. They have to specially make my corrective lenses in far-flung reaches of the world...like Ireland.

I was looking at the package for my contacts and it was stamped 'Made in Ireland.' Kind of like various parts of me. You could tell because of my accent, right. (That'd be funnier -- maybe not funny, but funnier -- if you could hear me, no?) Once, when I was in sixth grade, I was waiting for the bus and the woman sitting next to me asked, 'Are you Irish?' When I answered in the affirmative, she told me, 'I could tell because of your accent.' By the way, not a hint of Irish accent escapes my lips, even when I try.

So, about my Irish parts (heh, the term 'lady parts' immediately comes to mind, but please direct your mind's eye back to the more PG body parts now that I have distracted you). I have green eyes! Who would have guessed? Maybe other people, but I have this habit of not looking too closely at myself. When I wear my glasses, which is most of the time, I don't notice my eyes. Now that I've been wearing my contacts for a couple of days, I've remembered that I have actual eyes under all of that plastic lens. And, because my poor, poor glasses suck right now, I've had to keep my contacts in way past the point of my eyes being comfortable which means I no longer have whites of my eyes, rather I have reds of my eyes. And the red offsets the green. I have weird demony eyes right now. Send over your young and I'll fill their heads with nightmares. Or, you know, don't.

Well, while I'm sure you think the subject of my glasses and completely bloodshot eyes is beyond fascinating (so far beyond that it's just really not, right?), I have to go read some more. And then some more and more after that.

it's come to this



I told Cardo that I could just say I'm in my Harry-Potter-pre-Hagrid's-appearance-and-the-explanation-of-all-the-magic stage.*

I am supposed to try to get a walk-in spot at the optometrist's** office later today (oh Sleep, how you've abandoned me). I have to go alone, which I kind of hate, but oh well. So, I'll probably end up with some ill-fitting glasses (I don't mean that they won't fit my giant head,*** I just mean that I'm sure I'll somehow pick a pair that somehow doesn't favor my coloring or my face shape (whatever shape that might be) or my personality or something (and stuff)). Wow.

-------------------------

* I have now used up all of the hyphens. My most sincere apologies.
** The optometrist always remembers us -- Cardo because of where he works and me because of my atrocious eyesight.
*** I often can't figure out how Pic resembles me****, but, well, she definitely was blessed with my big head. Sorry, babycakes.

****


You might be thinking, "Duh, the resemblance is obvious," but I suck at this game. Anyhow, I'm too busy thinking, "I sincerely hope, at least for Cardo's sake, that that's not how I actually look pre-buss. *****

***** Ha! It seems that one last hyphen remained. However, I have now definitely used up all of the asterisks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

when i woke up this morning...

...you were on my mind.

Yes, another song, you're welcome.

Okay, so no offense or anything (or at least that's what I'd have you believe), but you weren't on my mind this morning. What was on my mind? My glasses. They weren't where they were supposed to be, so I asked Pic to find them for me. She picked them up off of the floor for me.

"They're broken. I did not break them," she told me.

Ugh, people. I'm among the almost-blind. I don't want to get new glasses until late this summer. I did want to start wearing my contacts more often anyway, so I'm wearing them now (apparently I was lying about that whole being among the almost-blind thing), but I haven't been getting enough sleep lately (ha!) and my eyes want to close over my dry contacts so I can take a nap. Ah, well.

Cardo has my car because his is rotting in the garage (I don't want to talk about it), so Pic and I walked to our various late morning and early afternoon destinations. We stopped by a local drug store and bought some superglue that didn't adhere the pieces of my glasses back together (apparently the frames are made from the one kind of plastic, polyethylene, on which this glue doesn't work...or something).* I have a pair of glasses from a couple of years ago (I keep my old glasses around in case something like this happens) but wearing old glasses is somewhat trippy. My eyes felt somewhat disjointed (please, just go with it...I know my eyes have no joints) so Pic helped me dig my contacts out of the box of bathroom stuff we still haven't unpacked.

So, how did my glasses get broken and move several feet away from where I put them last night? Quissa? I asked Cardo if he stepped on them when he was getting ready for work this morning, but he said he didn't. I always put my glasses down with the lenses facing up (two decades worth of wearing glasses has taught me never to put my glasses lens-side down) so it's possible that one of the covert cats stepped on them in just the wrong spot, causing them to snap. Perhaps I've begun sleepwalking again. I don't believe that I've done this since I was just a wee lass, but I don't think I'd remember even if I was traipsing around the apartment during one of my brief moments of sleep. At any rate, I'm hoping that I can get the pieces of the frame to stick together. Otherwise, there's always tape right? It's not like I have some sort of ultracool rep to protect, right? I thought not.

----------
* I did manage to get one of the pieces of the frame to adhere to my finger, though. I thought that I hadn't touched anywhere near the glue, but that didn't seem to be the case. I frantically swung my hand around until the frame unattached itself, but now I have a hard spot of glue on my hand.

Monday, January 12, 2009

narcissism



Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.


-------------------
This comic from The Nietzsche Family Circus seems especially fitting, no? Now, I'm off to ponder the symbolism of that ghost. Or, I'm off to fall asleep as I'm running on four hours of sleep and I've not been up for fifteen hours. Enough!, I say.

me and my friend blogger

It seems that we might once again be getting along. Possibly. She's letting me post pictures. So, here are the long-ago meals of the past.



I made this as a late lunch one day. Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough, olive oil, mozzarella, apple slices, walnuts, sweetened dried cranberries. It was seriously tasty.




We actually made a holiday meal or two last year. We invited friends over for Christ-tide (friends who refer to the day as Christmas, or, rather, Navidad) and cooked up some wonderfully garlicky turkey breast, some sweet potato casserole (of course -- Cardo insists), some sparrowgrass and we even heated some store-bought rolls. Our friends, Ms F, Mr S and Baby A brought pasta salad and dessert. So, the one time we actually make a meal for this holyday and I don't take a picture. Above, however, are the leftovers. Tasty stuff.




Forever and a year ago, I bought a spaghetti squash, so I finally got around to cooking it up. Topped with some somewhat old parmesan (it's a wonder we're still alive, no?) and olive oil. I smashed up some potatoes with some milk and stuff. Basic salad mix with Ken's wonderful salad dressing (Coach J introduced me to this and I've found that I can actually enjoy dressing). Oh, and of course, green juice of the gods (at least I'm figuring that's why it so expensive).




Cardo loves sweet acorn squash, so I indulged him. A bit of brown sugar and butter. And, some roasted red potatoes that were supposed to be garlicky, but apparently I should have used garlic powder because none of the minced garlic actually stayed on the potatoes. Good all the same.

So, yes, I can once again post freaking pictures. It's not exactly as easy as it was and I might forget how to do it, but there you go. What are you guys eating? Because I need to be inspired to cook at home from here to eternity.

tell me...who are you?

Yes, you have to sing that. You must.

It's Delurking Day...as far as I can tell. So, please leave a comment. I'm working my way through leaving comments various places, but I also have actual serious work to get done.

can't look at this...

...but thought I'd post it here for you to look at. You're welcome. Really. Um, first brace yourself because these photos freak me out.

I got this from an old fussy post.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

to sleep...perchance to sleep

No, I meant it that way.

One Minute Writer for yesterday: If you could hire a full-time assistant, what would her duties be?

I'd have her sleep for me. Wouldn't that be loverly? For the last few days, I've been on the verge of some major panic/anxiety, so my sleep has been screwy. Finally, last night, Insomnia hit me over the head with a frying pan with all of her might. Why? Why did she feel this was necessary? I didn't get to sleep until four. Ugh.

So, I woke up forever late today and dragged myself through the day. I bought school supplies as Target. Buying school supplies has always been one of my most favorite things. I have been this way since we used to get those lists in elementary school (tissue, pencil box, 8-pack crayons, ecc). I don't really approach any other kind of shopping this way.

Then, Pic and I went to Goodwill and Savers, in search of Minnie Mouse's pink dress. Of course. Pic has been enthralled with The Three Musketeers lately and this particular dress is her new fixation (well, that and Belle's yellow wedding dress...they're all wedding dresses to her, so just accept it). We often head over to these thrift stores in search of 'wedding' dresses. Today, we bought several new books, of course, but that's about it.

We had taken Cardo to work today, because the car is no longer fixed or even 'fixed.' Recently, he replaced the working-perfectly spark plugs with some worthless-lumps-of-metal-and-stuff spark plugs. Why he did this, I'm still not sure because I thought that he and Mr M had decided that the spark plugs were the problem before. The car was working just fine. The working plugs have been replaced but now he suspects that the fuel injectors need to be replaced. Ugh. Ughity-ugh.

Anyhow, Pic and I had eaten at about eleven. We dropped Cardo off a bit after one-thirty. By the time all of our errands had been run, it was five. We had oatmeal for dinner and we didn't eat until almost six. And, let me tell you all the secret to getting my very light eater to actually eat: starve her for about six hours. We had beverages, but no food in that time. By the time we got back to the apartment, I was getting a bit loopy (having had peanut butter toast and water for breakfast). We had oatmeal with (homemade) applesauce, granola and a bit of maple syrup for dinner. She never finishes her entire bowl of oatmeal, but she did tonight.

Ah, Supermamma strikes again!

Anyhow, I'm in for another long night, I think. (When can I just give up on this whole sleep thing?) So, here's what's keeping me company:

fussy archives

Pitchfork's 100 best songs of 2008

Signs of Life in the USA

Saturday, January 10, 2009

and the lack of proper words

I'm at a loss for the words I need here. What the crap is wrong with Ann Coulter? I have to admit that I'm not a big follower of many public figures, so I've managed, mostly, to avoid Coulter's venom, but I saw this on Storked! What...? I just don't have the words, people. Then, I went to Ann Coulter's website (a huge mistake). I couldn't stay for long. There is an advertisement for a t-shirt that says, "I'D RATHER BE WATERBOARDING." So, now I'm going to be sick. I just don't understand.



--------------

Edit: Okay, I'm still watching this. B. Hussein Obama? Really? This is how she's going to refer to him? Yes, we get that that's his middle name, no one was hiding that.

Also, the point I'm at now, near the end, she's grateful that Bush has kept us safe for the last eight years. Um, yeah, except that whole September 11th thing.* Except taking us into war.

Also, maybe the problem isn't single mothers (duh) but the way our society views families as a whole. The way we don't really have the 'it takes a village' attitude about raising kids. We're kind of on our own, needing to force our ways into communities of support. We're so individualistic. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think that single mothers are to blame, I think that there is a deeper-lying problem.

Argh. My whole body is tense now. It's a good thing I'm almost finished watching this. I have to say that I love that Matt Lauer is also so riled up.

* I use the term 'thing' because I'm upset with Coulter. Please read that sardonically.

ah, words

Okay, so there's this entry in No One Cares What You Had for Lunch (which I finally now actually own), asking which phrases of old we'd like to see back in vogue. So, I'm just choosing whatever phrases/words I choose, no matter the age. Here goes.

I have been reading (very slowly, yet determinedly) Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and at one point, the awkward servants from the North were reported to say 'sparrowgrass' instead of 'asparagus.' So, henceforth, I shall be indulging in makes-my-pee-smell-funny sparrowgrass.

I was watching There's Something about Mary yesterday (don't ask, it was on...we were in a land where cable was to be had), and we must have been watching it on TBS or something because the expletives had been replaced in a sometimes highly amusing way. At one point, Ben Stiller's character accuses another character of being a 'frogging ashpole!' Alrighty, then. I'm pretty certain that wasn't was he originally said, no?

I was just reading one of the blogs I frequent and the blogger ends her most recent post with 'it just doesn't cut the mustard.' This is a phrase from my childhood, and there's a little nostalgia pot inside of me that is stirred up when I hear this phrase (y'know...or something).

So, another one from my childhood. When I very prematurely forced my way out of my mother's womb (sorry Mom), and my parents saw that they had a girl, my dad told my mom that he was 'happier than a pig in shit.' My mom had to confirm that that was a good thing.

Okay, one more example for now. If Cardo or I startle Pic, she'll tell us, 'You scared my life' or 'You scared my heart.' We now all use these phrases.

What about youse guys? Any contenders?

Friday, January 9, 2009

ah, flashbacks

Once, when I was in elementary school, we were doing some kind of 'what if?' game. If I had to choose between losing my sight and losing my hearing which would I choose? I always hated this question. Why would I have to make such a choice? What kind of weird supernatural weapon would be aimed at my temple making such a decision necessary?

Anyhow, a recent One Minute Writer posed the question of which sense I'd choose, among my five, to get rid of if I had to. So, I suppose I'll play along.

I never wanted to get rid of my sight. I think it's because my sight is already so completely screwed up (and, yes, it was already bad in elementary school...I've been wearing corrective lenses since I was seven) that I'm afraid to lose what little I have left. I love food too much to want to give up taste. Smell is so connected with memory -- or so it seems -- that I think I'll keep that one also. It might be weird to not have a sense of touch, so that leaves me with sound. It would be weird to live in a silent world, I think, after I've had so many years of hearing. However, I know a little sign language* and if the music is loud enough, I'll be able to feel the rhythm of the music anyway, right?

------------------------------------

* Granted, I'd have to learn more than just the alphabet and a few random signs in ASL, right? Probably. Or, I could just take sticky-notes with me everywhere I go and use those in conversation (ah, Grey's Anatomy, one thing I might miss with this whole fuzzy tv thing...except for the Izzie and Denny plot, otherwise known as the Grey's-Anatomy-jumps-the-shark plot).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

again with the tampon box

Okay, so, yes I read the side of the tampon box. I can't help it. I read just about anything (especially if it's seemingly useless).

Anyhow, there is a chart on the back that describes the absorbency of the tampons and the range of menstrual fluids that are absorbed by each tampon. For example, the ones I have here are 'regular' absorbency and they absorb '6-9 grams.' We're supposed to be concerned about this because of the possible risk of toxic shock syndrome. I'd really like to know, though, who the crap measures her menstrual flow? (You might be thinking that I wouldn't like to know this, but I do. I didn't say that I wanted to watch her perform the measurement, now did I?)

Speaking of this, the first time I ever heard of TSS was when we were having our health education class in fifth grade. I always thought that it would suck if my tombstone (you can buy a little marker for someone who has been cremated, by the way) said 'Here lies v, who died because she didn't change her tampon often enough.' Of course, I didn't start using tampons until I was on the swim team in high school, but I had this thought nonetheless.

Ah, it's a wonderful day for TMI, no? I thought so.

--------------------------------------

P.S. This was inspired by Coach J's recent post on curling irons and such. Read it, it's fun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

food

Okay, so I figured that I needed to live up to the whole food part of this here blog, so here's some food that we've recently prepared and eaten. You're welcome.

We have a tendency to buy food out to bring home. It's not like we eat out every night. (Although, honestly, sometimes I think that I'd like to eat out more often. Then, when we do, I inevitably feel like I've eaten a week's worth of meals in one evening. Ugh.) So, yes, this is part of our devious plan to prepare food at home and save a little freaking money. The genius runs in the family (even though 'runs in the family' doesn't really work in this case, of course).

Curses, foiled again. Blogger hates my pictures. I have no idea what I did to Blogger. Blogger, I sincerely apologize.

I'll try to post pictures later.

I have other things to be doing right now and I should also say that it will be blog-lite around here for the next several days. I'll elaborate more on that later. I'm off to play with the freaking picture issue for a few more minutes and then I'm off to pound my head, repeatedly, against a wall.

------------------------

Edited to add:



Blogger is still not my best friend (as Pic might say), but she is allowing me to post a single, solitary picture. This was dinner last night. I got the recipe from the abfab Catherine Newman over at Dalai Mama Dishes. This is corn chowder. It just sounded good to me, and it turned out to be good, thank goodness (okay, enough of the good, I get it).

I used extra lean turkey bacon (but then had to add some olive oil because, duh, there wasn't really any fat to cook off in which to saute the celery. I skipped the onion because I'm not a fan. I also used some mysterious green dried herb from the cupboard because I didn't have thyme. At least, I think I didn't. As I said, the herb was mysterious. Oh, and because we survived, it's obvious that, yes, I can still use the half-and-half that I opened for the sweet potatoes I made for Christ-tide dinner.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

picture pages

So, I finally figured out how to get the pictures from the camera here onto the computer here. Let me let you in on the secret. Connect the cable to the camera. Connect the other end to the computer. Push OK on the camera. People, I'm telling you, I'm a technological genius.

So...



That's one of the covert cats taking a rest inside my junior prom dress. (Yes, my junior prom dress. I refuse to put it away because any day now, I'll be giving it away. Any day. Sometimes we just like to collect crap around La Casa B so we can cram the car full of no-longer-useful-to-us stuff and haul it all down to the Goodwill Donation Center.)

Okay, so one picture! Actually, the size of the pictures this camera takes is apparently astronomical so I have to save my pictures to a smaller size first and then post them here. This annoys me, so it will be a bit before I post more pictures. Ah, well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

things that make you go "hmm"...



Or, 'mmmkay??' or something. I think I'll still pass on prison, thanks. And what happens when it all fades to black? I wouldn't want to be that one 'woman.'


Also, why are Starbucks sizes 'tall,' 'grande' and 'venti?' I've been wondering this for a long time now, but I've never gotten around to asking. So, I'm asking you? Did someone not know how to say 'tall' in Italian? And, really, 'venti?' Because somehow 'twenty' (or 'winds') denotes something monstrous, so much bigger than 'grande' (which I keep saying aloud, complete with the trilling of the 'r'). Why not 'dodici,' 'dicisei' and 'venti,' hmm? Why not 'small,' 'medium' and 'large?' Why not? [I know, you come here for the really important issues.]



I love the end of this video with John Goodman's voiceover (well, or someone else who sounds much like him). Because, y'know, 'latte' is English. Wait, what's that? Oh.

if there was any question...

...and sometimes there is. Sometimes I wonder who this small person who lives in the room across from this one is. She's so different from me, sometimes, that it's hard to see myself in her.

This was the case today, when we returned from her school and she decided that what she wanted to watch was something like Frosty and Friends Sing-Along Songs. Ugh. Christmas tunes, my very favorite in all the world. And, then, during her viewing of this spectacular (but pleasantly short) video, she started talking about weddings...AGAIN.

My child is obsessed with weddings. I have no idea why. I've never suffered this fever, not even when it came to my own wedding. It must be something with the dresses and the bounce houses (our dearly beloved friends rented one of these for their wedding this summer). So, yes, I blame this obsession on freaking Disney princesses and on those same dearly beloved friends who asked Pic to be a flowergirl in their wedding (the wedding was fabulous, by the way).

So, on and on she yammers about the wedding.

"Who's wedding," I ask.

"My wedding," she replies.

"Who are you going to marry?"

"S." [The ringbearer at the wedding.]

"Why S?"

"Because he said 'Yes' when I asked him."

And, ah, there it is. This is definitely my child.

"Papi said 'Yes' when I asked him, too," I told her.

--------------------------------------

In other non-news, I was tired and out-of-sorts (to put it nicely) today. I was immediately annoyed with Cardo when he came home. (Screw you and your full-time job that takes you out of these walls that I so often allow to close in around me.) I tried to hold my temper. I asked him, as usual, "How was work today?" "Slow." ...

No, "How was your day?" or anything. Although, he did ask me later, "What did you do today? Nothing?"

Yes, fathead, I did nothing. I sat here in my mangy pajamas and drooled. I was so pissed at him that I told him, "Yes." Sure, I do nothing here. I got Pic up and fed and dressed, teeth brushed, lunch made, hair combed. I helped her into her big puffy jacket and walked her to school. I washed the dishes (by hand, I prefer this to the dishwasher) and folded and put away the laundry. I fed myself. I picked up. I read. I blogged. I made dinner. Damn it all to hell and back, dinner was almost finished by the time he came home, so it's not like I started it after he got here. So, yes, aside from that, I did nothing.

Now, I'm not saying that all of that is anything extraordinary. I didn't scrub toilets or cure cancer, but it sure as crap wasn't nothing. I hate that he assumes this. The man only occasionally washes dishes and no longer does his own laundry. He barely spends any one-on-one time with Pic, so most of the bringing up of the kidlet is done by me and her teachers.* It's not like he ever cleans the cat pan and I can't remember the last time he gave Pic her bath. I know that he goes to work a ridiculous amount of hours a week, but he still has two full days off. I appreciate what he does for this family, but I feel like he all-too-often assumes that I do, well, nothing. I'd love to trade him for a week. I'd hate doing his job, but I think that he'd equally hate doing mine.

So, anyhow, sorry. Or not. I just needed to vent. We'll just spend the rest of the evening quietly avoiding each other, reading our own books. Then, I'll put away the clean dishes and wash the dinner dishes. Then, tomorrow, he'll be off to work again and I'll bath, dress and feed our child. I'll take her on our regular outing, we'll grocery shop a tad, I'll read to her, wash more dishes, clean the cat pan, take out the trash and make more dinner. All of which, y'know, is...nothing.

The end.

-------

P.S. I know that the tones of those two parts didn't quite match, but I didn't want to create two separate posts.

-------

* I'm not saying that he doesn't play an active role in her upbringing. I'm just saying, well, what I already said. I spend more one-on-one time with her. I could try to explain myself some more, but I'll spare you.

blog sprint

One Minute Writer for today: What are you waiting for?

I'm waiting by the phone...waiting for you to call me up and tell me I'm not alone.

Ha...uh, yeah, just kidding.

I'm most of the time waiting to feel like an actual grown-up. I know, I know, I've been out of high school for almost a decade and I have a kid and a sigot (significant other) of my very own. I own a car. It took me almost six years to pay it off, but, a little over a year ago, I did. I have a 'job.' I put that in quotes because I can't seem to take myself seriously. I still feel like a freakin' kid, which explains the whole thing I'm waiting for.

I'm waiting to not be so afraid of everything in life.

Oh, I'm also waiting for a time when Sleep and I are pretty good pals.

I'll have another post later, one of nostalgia and stuff, but I don't feel like writing it now. So, now, my dear three readers, you have your very own thing to wait for.

In the meantime, a ditty for you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

loving up the locals...parte due

Okay, so now for tales in bookshop fun. Or something. (My mind is half on this and half on an old podcast on moneymaking on these here blog-things.)

Pic and I went in search of a book. I had no idea what the exact title of the book was. I didn't know who wrote it. I had not a clue who illustrated it. In swoops the friendly bookstore clerk at Sundance. Two seconds after my mumbled request, she was leading me to the shelves and we found it!

So, I bought Pic a board book today. She really has very few of these and I feel almost silly buying it for her (for whatever reason, I feel like I'm not allowed to buy an almost-four-year-old a board book), but she reads this one at school every day now...or so she tells us. And, hey, I'm all for the buying of more books, thanks much.

The book that was something like the mouse? and the strawberry? That?



The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. [Hey, lookie here, it also comes in freaking-expensive paperback.]

I also bought Hope from the sale rack. We have yet to read it.



For myself, I got Miss Alcott's E-mail and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. I'm wondering if the latter could somehow be good, useful, fun, ecc for my upcoming class. Oh, and it's signed by the author, a residual copy from a recent signing.





I also ordered (again) No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, which is supposed to be here by Tuesday. I never got the copy I ordered the first time because some people like to commit felonies.



Oh, oh, and I finally used my $10 reward thingy for semi-frequently buying books from this wonderful independent establishment.

------------

P.S. Yes, I thought that y'all really needed to see little pictures of the covers, as found on amazon (which I won't link (again) because, hey, it's amazon...although why it's called such, I haven't the foggiest, as my mom would say).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

things that make you go "hmm"...

So, I just read this over on Storked! Good words for thought, I think. I just thought I'd put it out there, but I'll not comment on it now.

oh, and...

I want to participate in a NaBloPoMo this year and I don't know that I will be able to commit myself to November. So, I'll get an early start on the trying (there might be a couple of sketchy days if we actually make it for a mini-holiday, so we'll see).

Besides, how cute is the badge? (It's over there on the right --->.)

gearing up for next semester

I was telling Poke tonight that come a bit-over-a-fortnight from now, I'll be teaching a class themed in American popular culture. After I uttered that, we both had the same thought: I'll get to learn plenty about what American popular culture is. Sure, I can tell my students about things like blogs and Twitter and Flicker (the latter two services I have yet to join and use because I know that I'd never update anything on them and then I'd feel guilty about it). If anyone other than me is interested, I could tell them plenty about 'mommyblogs' (in quotes because I know some people loathe the label, but there it is for lack of something better). However, beyond that, I'm pretty clueless. I listen to classic rock and NPR. The only magazines I currently even open are Self and Cooking Light. The only tv I watch anymore is fuzzy PBS Kids.* I buy clothes at Goodwill and Savers. I own the cheapest cell phone available (it doesn't flip, it doesn't take pictures, it's not a fancy color). I kind of abhor text messaging. I still hyphenate 'e-mail' (I actually had an internal debate about this and We decided that We would continue with the hyphen). I don't know that many books, if any at all, will fall into the realm of popular culture. I'm just a bit out of touch. Regardless, I think that next semester should be fun and a good learning experience for me.

Some questions I'm thinking to ask my students at the beginning of the semester:

* How do you/we define 'popular culture'?
* What are some examples of things/people/places/ideas that fall into this realm?

The first essay in our text is 'The More Factor' (from The Hunger for More: Searching for Values in an Age of Greed, 1989) by Laurence Shames. In it, Shames discusses our notions of 'frontier' and how that term now describes the economy and the possibilities for personal wealth, rather than 'frontier' indicating the great and wild west. Shames discusses how we measure success in the quantity of things we buy, even if the quality of those things is not great. I plan to also ask my students the following:

* How do you/we define success?

This question, one I contemplate often, always makes me think of high school Senior Superlatives from the yearbook. 'Most likely to succeed.' First of all, I always feel that that phrase is somewhat filled with hopelessness. 'As a group, you probably won't succeed, but of you, these two are most likely to do so.' Anyhow, my weird, inane thoughts aside, I always wondered what 'success' the choosers had in mind. At our school, the guy and gal with the highest GPAs were chosen, and I think that this is probably how it usually works. But, what did the voters have in mind? These two would, of course because of their successes as shown by grades in high school classes, go on to lead full and rich lives? Lives full of expensive cars and vacation homes? What?

So, anyhow, I'm interested in finding out what my students have to say.

I could go into an entire discussion about my own thoughts about my own level of 'success' and how I hate that I too often base it on my (meagre) paycheck, but I'll spare you...for now.

Okay, so I'll leave you with one more quote from the essay. This comes after Shames has discussed how we (Americans), from our inception, have always been wanting, well, more.

If the supply of more went on forever, perhaps that wouldn't matter very much. Expansion could remain a goal unto itself, and would continue to generate a value system based on bulk rather than on nuance, on quantities of money rather than on quality of life, on 'progress' itself rather than on a sense of what the progress was for. But what if, over time, there was less more to be had?

That is the essential situation of America today.

Let's keep things in proportion: The country is not running out of wealth, drive, savvy, or opportunities. We are not facing imminent ruin, and neither panic nor gloom is called for. But there have been ample indications over the past two decades that we are running out of more.


Again, please keep in mind that the book from which this is taken was published in 1989. But, wow. We could almost get by with removing all of the negatives from that last paragraph of the quote, no?

--------------------------

* This is a very recent development. I used to watch perfectly unfuzzy PBS Kids, Monk, sometimes Psych, House, M.D., Grey's Anatomy and What Not To Wear on a regular basis.

Friday, January 2, 2009

things that make you go "hmm"...

Right, then.

Is there really any wonder where I got this? Old sweetney post.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

oh the cheese

So, I figured that Pic is old enough, and sensible enough, to sit down and watch The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking and enjoy it. She did seem to enjoy it, at times. The other times? "I hope this is over. It's making my tummy hurt."



Really, how Peecho and I watched this so freaking many times when we were little, I have no idea. Do kids not have discerning palates when it comes to anything? We eat stuff like macaroni and cheese from a box. Oh, and hot dogs. Or, in my case Vienna sausages (hello choking hazards). We watch stuff like the above-mentioned movie (which, I myself, was alternately enjoying and, well, not-so-much enjoying) and Care Bears.

Okay, so I still don't have a well-developed sense of taste where anything is concerned, but I've moved past some things I never thought I'd give up when I was just a little girl. Ah, well.

Speaking of cheese, though [see: the second cake down]. I totally don't get why the Cheez-Whiz. Oh, this does remind me, though, that I had a scarily alcoholic aquaintance when I first moved to college who was especially fond of cheese-in-a-can. It took me ages to figure out just what that was. I suppose that all of that beer deadens the taste-buds, maybe.

Oh, and there's been a lot of this lately in La Casa B. Seriously, has anyone seen the beginning of this (I don't think I've ever read Monsieur Andersen's tale). Out of a flower springs a fully-grown, albeit tiny, woman who speaks English and greets the first creature (a woman) she sees with "Hello, Mother." Um. Okay. I have to admit, though, that the songs are kind of catchy. I don't understand all of the intent on cross-species marriage, though.



It's incredibly cute to listen to Pic sing along with this.

-----------------------------------------

P.S. It took me incredibly too long to realize that Jodi Benson is the voice of Thumbelina.

from the mouth of the babe

Me: How old will you be on your next birthday?

Pic: Uh...[killer cute smile on face] I don't know.

Me: How old are you now?

Pic: FREE YEARS OLD!

Me: What comes after three?

Pic: FREE-AND-A-HAF!

Pure genius, people.