Tuesday, March 31, 2009

beautiful dreamer

There's an episode of Friends shortly after Rachel gives birth to Emma when Emma's asleep and Rachel wants to wake her up. After she does so, she realizes why this is such a horrendous idea, though.

Anyhow, I feel the same way as that naive-Rachel quite often.

It took Pic forever (and ever and ever) to get to sleep tonight. We went for a walk earlier, and I was hoping this would wear her out. (It -- and everything else that I let get to me -- certainly wore me out. I took a nap this evening and, therefore, won't be sleeping tonight.) No dice, people -- she stayed up until after ten. Cardo keeps hinting that she's got my sleep problems and I kind of ignore the suggestion every time, as if not acknowledging it will make it untrue. I wouldn't wish my sleep issues on anyone.

After I read her one last book, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation, she finally crawled into bed. I took a bath in an attempt to relax my nerves/body/ecc and, when I got out, I checked on her. She's tucked into her sleeping bag, clad in pajamas and a somewhat large, fancy purple and black dress, asleep. My first instinct? Aaaw. My second? I should pick her up and hold her.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? Why do I want to risk waking this child who will get up by seven o'clock tomorrow morning anyway, ensuring that she won't have had enough sleep? Um, because I love her and because I can't eat her up so I'd rather settle for some cuddling. Oh, right.

P.S. I have to say that I love that Rachel didn't come home from the hospital with absolutely no baby-belly. I hate depictions of women who give birth and instantly have flat stomachs once again. Sorry to shatter that illusion, but the body is just not that elastic. (Perhaps I'm wrong here? Perhaps others' bodies are just that elastic? I'm not buying it, though.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

black, white, whatever...

I got to this by reading a (different) blog entry on Bitch. Here's where I watched it. Here is where someone from that site got it. And, of course, it is a YouTube video. Such is the linky-goodness of the interweb.

good reads?

Dearest Interweb,

I am looking for a new magazine to read and love. I am very picky about magazines, however, and I enjoy them in stages. For instance, a couple of years ago, I was very into Cooking Light and Parents. More recently, I am into Self and Craft Stylish (okay, so I've only bought that second one twice and I'm not exactly certain about the title).

I know that I will be delving back into the world of books-as-pleasure over the summer, but I would also like to have a new magazine or two to turn to. I devour magazines (as I do most media dealing in the written word), so I usually finish reading a magazine the same day I get it. So, even if I add more than one magazine to my repertoire, it'll be manageable.

Recently, I've tried Time (I'll probably end up subscribing to this, as Coach J assures me it's much less expensive that way), Mother Jones and Bitch. All of these, though, I'm okay with checking out from the library (my library no longer carries Self, and besides, I like having the actual magazine so I can turn back to the various workouts).

Perhaps I should mention that I'm not into Cosmo, People, Glamour, InStyle, US Weekly (I'm not even sure if that is U(nited) S(tates) Weekly or Us Weekly, but I'm guessing the latter, considering the cover...unless it's some weird boast that we here in the USofA are unhealthily interested in the lives of celebrities (I'm not immune to this disease)). I'm not big on any magazine where it is impossible to find an article hidden amongst the ads. I know that makes this search more difficult, but there you have it.

So, now that I've set out some parameters, any suggestions?

Many thanks,

Sunday, March 29, 2009


An almost completely Hey, Coach J! inspired meal tonight. Good stuff.

Blender cauliflower, baked sweet potato circle-things and strawberries. I used Coach J's method for the potatoes. After I cut them up, I tossed them all in olive oil and then seasoned them: half with cinnamon sugar and half with black pepper and sea salt. I baked them at four hundred degrees for almost thirty minutes but ended up putting them back in the oven for a bit so they'd be a bit crunchier.

This semester, Pic and I have been eating dinner without Papi a lot but I still like to eat at the table with the candles. Pic's favorite part of dinner? Blowing out the candles.

building a wall

Sometimes, I feel like the world I so often inhabit, this brick-towered space, only exists to beat me down. Only exists to point out how incredibly inept and unworthy I am of wondering the halls.

I know that anyone who has been a part of my life or blog for at least the last few months knows this about me already, but it's hitting me pretty hard right now.

Today, I received a note that I'm sure was meant as helpful but I read as...degrading? I'm not sure how to put it. I read it and felt, 'Wow. I suck. I quit. I don't want to do this anymore and I'm obviously not good enough to be here.' It started me thinking about the work that I've done in the last (almost) three-and-a-half years and wondering, 'Was any of it really good?' I can't answer that affirmatively. There are so many parts of what I do that I feel like I'm constantly relearning, unlearning, retraining myself to do. I've spread myself so thin and not often enough (or, ever?) let myself come back together as a whole, that I'm reaching a breaking point.

'Why do I choose to stay somewhere that makes me doubt myself so much, makes me feel so low?' I wonder. This is what I know and what I think I usually love. But, is this a healthy choice for me? There have been times when this has almost killed me in many ways and I just want out right now before I slip back there again.

I know that I only have about six or seven weeks left, but can I make it those six or seven weeks? Do I want to?

I think that the answer to both of those questions is 'Yes,' but I wish I knew and didn't just think.

I think that this is a time when I need to ask for help, see if I can lighten my load a bit, but I suck at asking for help. I'm not sure where I filled myself up with belief that I must be so self-sufficient, but I'd like to go back and drop off this unneeded baggage.

Sometimes, in my writing, I allow myself to get so bogged down in the horrible negativity (as in, um, now), but this is how I release. I think, though, this might not be helping so much at this time, so I'm taking a hiatus on writing about this vague craptastic topic. I'm going to try to detach myself a lot, for the next six or seven weeks, from everything having to do with area of my life. I'm not new at this shutting a part of myself off experiment and I just hope that the barricade holds until I can tear it down.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I may one day be desperate for a job, but, please, let me never be this desperate:

I have lots of painful hair removal experience. I've even been a training model for estheticians who have never performed a bikini wax.

(From a review of an epilator. Don't even ask why I'm reading it. I'm awake, that's why.)

things that make you go "hmm"...

Why would anyone need a room for gift-wrapping? A whole entire freaking room?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

let me tell you 'bout the bears and the babies

Pic and I were just reading The Berenstain Bears' New Baby and Pic asked me, 'How's the baby going to get out of her uterus?'

'Well...,' I hesitated, 'The baby's going to come out of her...'

'Mouth?' Pic asked.

I laughed a bit but then told her, 'That's a good guess, but the baby's going to come out of Mama's vagina?'


'So she can be out in the world with us.'

Pic looked a little concerned but I told her babies are small and vaginal openings get bigger. I made the whole process seem a lot easier than it is, but I don't think I needed to be more detailed than that. What I told her is probably already way more than a lot of parents would have told their children, but I don't want her to grow up with some weird notion that babies emerge from mamma's mouths or bellybuttons or fully-formed from their fathers heads (although this explanation flashed into my head, I suppressed it).

So yes, this is what I get for reading these kinds of books to Pic. She's known for a long time now that a baby (or babies) reside in the mamma's uterus when they're still inside the mamma but this is the first time she's asked me about the baby's emergence.

Anyhow, in the book, Papa Bear and Small Bear (Brother's name before the '80s basically) go out into the woods to make Brother a bed because he's outgrown his bed just in time...when they get back, Mama has given birth (at home? alone?) and is up and around again. It's been a while since I've read it, but The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five seems to portray a much more realistic picture of the process (nothing too in-depth, of course) -- at least the reality that many people I know experienced. (Of course, my mom did give birth to me in our home, but she was not alone.) I just couldn't let the storyline of The New Baby alone because, really, who gives birth at home, alone and then is back up a couple of hours later? And, yes, I know it's a kids' book and we're talking about cartoonish bears here, but I couldn't let it be. Although, now that I think about it, this must be what the birthing process seemed like to a lot of men (my dad not included because he was also at home when I was born) at that time and earlier when they waited in the waiting room, passing out cigars. Pregnant Mamma goes into the hospital room and Mamma and Baby come out.

So, I didn't mean for this post to be so long and rambly, but, well, here you have it. Pic'll probably end up asking some random question about growing vaginas to Papi and he'll be rightly perplexed and probably a bit concerned. I might just have ensured that I never have grandkidlets but I'd rather tell her what I know to be true than have her learn the really hard way. And, I avoided the c-section conversation altogether because 1) I doubt that Mama performed a do-it-yourself c-section and 2) I have no idea how to explain that without scaring my child half-to-death.

up all night

I have somehow almost managed to forget that I only got two-and-a-half hours of sleep last night. I was writing in my journal and formulating new questions about the presentation I saw yesterday and the book I've been reading for one of my classes (same awesome scholar on both works).

I'm not going to go into much detail here now (and perhaps I'll never get around to it, like I never told you about our most recent trip to Monterey or Poke's visit or my sister's dream that I'm pregnant...WHICH I'M NOT), but my interest was sparked and then the bellows were squeezed* and my enthusiasm became a raging campfire (I don't think it's quite reached bonfire levels yet).

I love moments like these, when I have a renewed passion for what it is that I am proposing spending the rest of my life dedicated to (aside from living beings, certo). So, I'm going to rest and then toil away il quest weekend and emerge in the next few weeks/months as a more rested, normal-seeming person.


I wanted that conjugation to come out 'squozen' (long 'o'). Can I just have that? Please?

Monday, March 23, 2009

10 years later...

Holy crapola-on-a-stick. It's been almost ten years since I graduated high school. Some don't believe this, but it's true. So, I kind of wanted to throw a question out there, at the end of this, to you loverly Interweb-dwellers. First off, though, some rambling (like you've never gotten that here before).

I've been weirdly obsessed with my ten-year reunion since, well, about graduation. I know, I'm probably so messed up that even I can't fathom my problems. But, high school was a good time in my life. I was definitely not popular, cool, rad, hip, happenin' or anything of the sort. I was still the same geek that I am now. I didn't have a lot of friends, I didn't go to a glamorous school, nothing revelatory happened to me in high school. So, what the crap was so great about high school?

By the time I reached high school, I had known and been friends with some of the other kids since elementary school. By the time I graduated, I had been in classes with some of the same people all four years. By the time I graduated, I had a sense of place, a sense of belonging. After the hell that was middle school, high school felt right. Not to say that there weren't dicey times (kids putting deodorant on chairs as a gag (I still compulsively check my seats before I sit); not knowing how to express my amorous feelings toward anyone; not knowing how to kiss (go ahead, judge me); explaining to my parents that, no, I was not on drugs; wearing a bathing suit in front of many, many other people), but overall, I was in love.

It takes me a long time to come out of my shell. I feel that I'm just starting, in the last two years, or maybe even only year-and-a-half, to come out of my shell here and I've been here for almost a freaking decade. The stability of having the same core of classmates (my school, although in a large city, was a small school) over my four-year stint there was freaking awesome. I can't and I won't list all of the people I felt close to, all of the people whose presence(s?) helped me through -- mainly because some of these people I don't talk to anymore so I don't feel like sharing intimate feelings about them online -- but high school was a bonding time, a time to cement my relationships with Poke and Indie and so many others.

So, while I know that I will never be able to recover those feelings, especially not at a one weekend event, and while I know that I am really happy with most aspects of my life right now (when I take a moment to review them), I still want to go to my reunion. I want to reconnect with people who I slacked off on keeping up with. I want to hear what people have been doing since I last saw them all those years ago. (I'm not sure that I really want to let them all know that, hey, I've been in the same place since then, but, ah well....)

At the same time that I want to go to my reunion, I think that I idealize it tremendously. I have no idea what happens at reunions. I've only ever 'experienced' them through films (think Romy and Michelle and Grosse Point Blank). I suck at small talk. What if I don't recognize people? What if people are mean? (This is a constant fear of mine, because, well, sometimes people are mean.) What if there isn't anyone there I know? What if I have a great two days and then cry for a week afterward as I am wont to do?

What if I'm clinging to something I really shouldn't be clinging to anymore? (Um, actually, there are so many instances of this nostalgia in my life that this post doesn't even scratch the surface...scary, huh? This is why there are therapists, right?)

Anyhow, none of this will make any difference if I can't make it to my reunion. Details are tentatively promised within the next two weeks and then...we'll see.

So, what do you all think of the idea of class reunions? Have any of you gone? Do any of you plan to go? Do any of you want to go to mine? (I'm only kind of kidding.)


P.S. Is it weird that typing this post filled me with anxiety? Maybe this is a sign?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

countdown: eight weeks

Summer reading (I cannot wait...but I suppose I must):

Bringing up Ben and Birdy...again. I've already read this entirely through twice, but I think I'll read it again.

In Defense of Food

In the meantime: Dictionary of National Biography

things that make you go "hmm"...

Sometimes, I forget that I've eaten ten stalks of sparrow-grass with dinner...and then I go pee and it all comes back to me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

happy spring!

Spring has sprung. There has been much outside time had by myself and various companions* (and many, many others, no doubt...duh). I'm feeling a bit happier, a bit more relaxed.

[I got this image from Google Images, but it's originally from this site. I love mandalas.]

Happy Vernal Equinox! We took Pic for a trike ride to the park and back and then we went out for dinner. I think we should plant something to celebrate. Perhaps we'll try planting little beans in our yogurt cups (we already ate the yogurt...I'm not that inept when it comes to plants). This will be an experiment in how long it takes me to kill them. Poor, unsuspecting beans.

Now, I need to jump back into reading Paradise Lost. It's nice and cheery, what with the fiery lakes and the incest and all. (I'm only two books in.)


* Take that, active voice!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Who needs a normalized system of spelling anyway?

Anyhow, wow, I think it might be in large part due to the lack of sleep, but I'm having some sort of weird lethargic panic attack. I can't explain it. It's slow-mo or something. I can feel myself tensing up and freaking out and I don't know what to do about it.

I feel like I've reached the end of a diving board in my life and I have no idea if there is a pool full of water (or something soft, like marshmallow fluff) beneath me. I kind of feel like I'm six again and people are going to start asking me, 'What do you want to do when you grow up?' I have no idea. Actually, that's not true. I have plenty of ideas. The problem lies in me needing to be gainfully employed (as in I need to eventually make some money so that Cardo can have a little space to maneuver in his own career). So, yes, I have ideas and I have ideals, but I have no solidly-formed ideas (I can't think of any other way to phrase that right now) about how I'm going to reach a point where I'll be happy and earning a decent paycheck.

My whole life, so far, has pretty much been school. I've always just kind of moved on to the next step without giving much thought to what I was doing. So, apparently I'm full of sweet little lies this morn, because I doubt I've ever done anything without giving whatever it is much thought. What I really mean is that I didn't stretch myself, I just stuck with what was easy and/or safe. However, that is no longer an option. I'm being forced to make some major changes -- and I mean that 'forced' not in some violent way, but I've reached the end of what I can do here. I'm not one who's comfortable with change so you can surmise how I am with MAJOR change. Meltdowny, insomnia-plagued, randomly bursting-into-tearness = my state. No matter how much I keep telling myself that I only have two months left until this enormous current pressure eases up considerably. And, anyhow, I keep switching back and forth between 'one day at a time' (or 'inch by inch') and 'let's paint a great big mural and look at that.'

I always get antsy at this point in the semester. You'd think I'd have some kind of a handle on this by now. I'm only in my eight-billionth semester here. I always want assurances. I want to know that I'll come out of this successfully, but there is no knowing that. I want to not be seen. I want the pressure of others' gazes to not be squashing me into the ground. However, there is no way to finish up this part of my journey (or whatever) without others being aware of most of the moves I make. I hate this kind of scrutiny. So, perhaps this would be a good time to hold off on any 'How's it going?'s and 'How are you?'s. Unless, however, you don't mind mumbled responses of insincere 'Fine's or not-quite-held-back tears.

And, geez, who is it that allows me to post stuff in the middle of the dark (the dark of the night and the dark of my soul...I've been reading too many sonnets)? I don't drink, so there'll never be any drunk-blogging, but there is plenty of blues-blogging. My apologies.

I just need to remind myself that I make everything harder than it really is. I've been doing most of the stuff I'm faced with for so long that I should be able to do some of it in my sleep (should I happen to get any). I also need to remember that there's a whole lot more world out there, outside of the ivy-covered brick.

Also, and above all: I need sleep. So, buona notte.

i vow...

as a teacher, i vow that i will always try to hear every voice. of course, this doesn’t mean that i’ll let someone spew hate-filled words, but barring that, i’ll try to hear every voice. i will try to always make sure that my students feel they can speak in my class, participate in discussion and feel that what they have said has been valued. we don’t always have time to explore each comment, but that doesn’t mean that i don’t appreciate that a comment has been made.

i never want one of my students to feel as if she or he has been brushed aside, ignored.

i know that there have been and will be more personality clashes. there will be students who just don’t like me. there will be students who i just don’t like. regardless, i’m in the front, or the unintended focal point of the circle for a reason. sometimes, i just see myself as moderator. it doesn’t matter how i feel personally about a student, his or her voice should be heard during discussion (as long as he or she is adhering to my stipulation that discussion remain respectful…and we can discuss any topic while maintaining respect for all involved, because i said so). even if it nothing more than a simple, ‘okay,’ i will try to acknowledge every contribution made. this may sound like some vast task i’m setting for myself, but really, it’s not. (you can’t count all of the side conversations, i’m only talking about discussion points that have been shared with the group as a whole). if nothing else, i want my students to feel confident raising their voices in my class. if i could extend this to their entire college careers, i would, but i can’t.

i know that i have screwed up in this area and i will again, but i will be more conscious of it from here on, i vow.

[i typed this up elsewhere and i don't use capitalization when i'm my only audience, but i'm not going to go back through inserting letters from the upper case.]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

dear helpful people of the interweb...

I kind of want to cancel my account on my Other site. I don't want to lose my blog entries there, though, and I like to have the connection to others I'm otherwise not connected to.

What do y'all think? To cancel or not to cancel?

(Also, if I do cancel my account, how do I save my blog entries?)

Okay, one more quick question: How fast do y'all think I can read Paradise Lost? It's about three hundred pages. I still have plenty of reading to do this semester and I haven't even begun the writing process for my two final papers. So, how many licks does it take to get to the center of Paradise Lost...or something?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I promise that, one day, I'll stop with all of this whining and woe. I think I'm just so bogged down in this semester (in this life) that I'm having a hard time seeing the proverbial light. I'll get there. In the meanwhile, I'll continue to intersperse my gloomy musings with fun stuff I mooch off of other blogs.

7-up and twizzlers

The weather is pretty freaking nice right now. Pic and I just took a little walk to the mailroom and I'm thinking we'll try walking to the library later. We'll see. This is the kind of weather that makes me restless. Not only do I want to get outside and walk and play, I want to go somewhere new. I don't know where I got this constant yearning, but it's been with me for as long as I can remember.

I think that when the weather starts to warm and we restart our family walks, Cardo braces himself. As we walk down the tree-lined streets, I look at the houses and wonder what life is like inside.

'I want a house,' is my springtime and summertime refrain. (Oh, wait, that actually bleeds into autumn, also, when it's still warm enough to go for our walks.) Cardo wants a house also. However, I'm not so sure that he appreciates me constantly reminding him that I want what we can't have. It's like I have no mute button for this phrase, though. I want a house.

However, all of this wanting amounts to, well, nothing at all. We just aren't ready to buy a house. Buying a house would mean settling down and I'm not yet ready to do that. I'm getting ready to begin the next five-year stage of Get v a Career. There are plenty of other reasons we're not yet ready for a house. One has to do with that career I was just mentioning, because, hi, I have no career and, come mid-May, I'll no longer even have a job (not the paying kind...unless someone wants to pay me to raise this awesome kidlet I've spawned? no? no takers?). Even if I were to continue at my current rate of pay, we'd never be able to afford a house. Anyhow, I'm much more interested in not attempting to lead us up a mountain of insurmountable debt than I am in getting a house...most days. And just finding a new line of work? Hello again, I am qualified for absolutely nothing. I have just about no skills (and no skillz).

So, for now, I'll be content with what we have. I have no idea why I feel like I need more anyway. Our apartment is certainly big enough for our family. We live in a nice part of town, with a library and several parks within walking distance. If the refrigerator breaks, we call the office and they take care of it, we don't have to go out and buy a new one. We've got access to not one but two pools. We like it here.

Even after all of that, though, I want a house.

Monday, March 16, 2009

only the important issues, like, seriously

The First First Lady Fashion Show from The Daily Show.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

ennui; or, the black bile dominates

I'm...waiting for things to happen. I'm slowly getting along. In the meantime...

Today, I got fed up with the general stuck-insideness that has been the past few days. Pic and I went for a walk. We went to one of the parks we've frequented since she was much more wee than she is today. It was a bit cold and the wind didn't help, but we donned our jackets and braved the outside world...and it was worth it. Pic has been suffering from cabin fever so badly that if she knew how to type, I'm sure I'd catch her in here, in the middle of the night, typing forth 'All work and no play makes Pic a dull girl.'

We didn't spend much time outside, but it was enough. It is so incredibly easy, at this point, to make my child happy. Being able to make her happy so easily brings me to tears (okay, so everything brings me to tears, I know). I know it won't always be this easy. Sometimes, it isn't this easy, even. But I want to hold on to these times, I don't want to take them for granted.

I haven't yet even had an actual day off for 'Spring' Break, so expect the sappiness, melancholy and reflecting to continue.

In the meantime, this is what I've been listening to repeatedly as I catch up on reading my news stories here on the Superhighway. It's Brad Paisley's 'Broken in Two.' This is the first I've heard of Paisley, but I think I'll check out what else he's got out there (someday).

here you are...they'll entertain you

The Ukulele Orchestra covering 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

Friday, March 13, 2009

fuzzy food pictures

Okay, so not fuzzy food, but fuzzy pictures of food. My camera and my computer still don't get along all that well, so I'm stuck with even crappier pictures than I start with. (Seriously, I need tips on taking pictures of food. And, no, I won't change the dishes -- my grammie picked bought these from our wedding registry.)

I'm not really going to try to put these in order, and I suppose that seeing my food pictures in chronological order would be a concern to no one other than myself. So, here we go.

A mix of capellini and spaghetti with a sort-of sauce, what was a ton of spinach (in tons of pasta), some tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Simple fare, folks.

Risi e bisi con pollo e funghi (because I can, that's why). Also, some roasted cauliflower (no, I don't know how to say that in Italian and I'm not looking it up -- I think it's time for a trip al'Italia).

The title under which I saved this picture is 'mundane dinner.' Chicken from Cardo's work, boxed mashed potatoes that I bought in 1972 (time travel rocks), sparrow-grass and multigrain batard from Trader Joe's.

Magic purple oatmeal. Pic and I kind of eat oatmeal for dinner often. I'm lazy like that. This oatmeal is topped with homemade applesauce (I'm still lazy, applesauce is incredibly easy to make), frozen blueberries and a bit of maple syrup. When we stirred it up, the blueberries turned the cereal purple.

Nothing spectacular here, folks. Again, TJ has saved us from mild hunger. Trader Joe's Perline Pasta and Prosciutto topped with our own mozzarella (as in we already owned it, not as in we made it).

Working dinner. Spinach and strawberry salad with raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Whole wheat toast with avocado. (Actually, I could go for some of that toast right now.) Served up with a side of Greenblatt, cultural history and a guide for those who are curious about researching. (My photography skills are so great I can't even put into words their utter greatness.)

Strawberry, avocado, spinach salad with a bit of crushed black pepper. Next time I'll probably add a side of the raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Served up in my beautiful new glass storage containers. I love Costco.

More strawberry and spinach salad. Pic and I also made apple pizza with whole wheat dough from (you guessed it), TJ's.

So, yes, I'll try to not do this again. I just needed to get all of these posted before we actually prepared food again and more pictures backed up.

I'll be needing to eat again in the future and I'm open to ideas. What are you all eating?


P.S. In case you're interested: reverse alphabetical order based on the titles under which I saved my pictures.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

time-wasting hilarity

I came across this headlines site while working my way through sweetney. Here are a couple of picks (and pics) for you.

The first one is for Coach J, just in case you need a new race to train for.

In my spare time (ha! what the crap is that?), I like to browse for houses online. Here are some new possibilities to add to my list: one that should come with a warning and one inspired by Alice and her Wonderland adventures.

I often daydream about what Pic's school-life will be like. Will there be field-trips and such? Perhaps a mother-daughter event? Something like this, perhaps?

I suppose that means we could invite Cardo along also.

Finally, one of my favorite parts in all of The Addams Family (aside from Raul Julia in general) is when the Girl Scout and Wednesday are bargaining their wares. The Girl Scout asks if the lemonade Wednesday and Pugsley are peddling is made of real lemons and Wednesday returns by asking if the cookies are made with real Girl Scouts (I still quote this every time I come across Girl Scout cookies...although I do so quietly and mainly to myself). So, here's something in a similar vein.


For those of you (who are not me), I just came across this deal on Blissfully Domestic. It's a year of Glamour magazine for $1.50. The deal ends on Sunday, though, so subscribe soon if you're interested.

(I read Storked! on Glamour's website, but I'm not a fan of fashion magazines. Big shock, I know.)

...and now, i may never eat fast food again

Oh, this is so disgusting. So, so disgusting.

New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

[Also a link from sweetney.]


Okay, so now I'm even less inclined to trust elevators. This video made me anxious and brought on some tears. (And, I so would have peed in that elevator at least a few times by then).

I'm still reading through sweetney's archives and this is where I came across this New Yorker video.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sleep deprivation

When I only get about three hours of sleep every other night, things are bound to go wrong, right?

When I was growing up, there were times when my younger sister and I had to get up when it was still dark so Mom could take us to the sitter's or to daycare. The night before, we'd pack our backpacks and our lunchboxes (my lunchbox being a dark pink plastic Barbie and the Rockers Thermos version). We'd lay out our clothes. We'd set the table with bowls, spoons and cereal boxes. We'd fill the cream pitchers with milk and leave them in the refrigerator. In the morning, everything was good to go.

I'm still pretty much like this. I pack mine and Pic's lunches the night before (okay, so it's usually around one, the morning of) and most of the time I'll lay out my clothes. (Pic's clothes are still pretty much hung up by the outfit, so we can usually just grab a clothing-laden hanger and a pair of socks and be set.) I definitely make sure to pack my fifty pounds worth of school paraphernalia*. Until the no-longer-wee hours of this morning, I was reading for class. Before I dozed off, I made sure to get up and put my book with my school stuff...or so I thought. This morning, as is usual for Wednesdays, Pic and I were somewhat rushed in getting out of the apartment and I didn't recheck my bag before I left. On the walk up to school today (I drive, but I have to walk to my building), I was quickly rooting through my bag and I couldn't find my book. I freaked out for a moment, rearranged my whole day and then grumbled all the way up to the building about, 'How can my friggin' backpack way so friggin' much if my book isn't here?'

Long story brought to an abrupt halt: My book was in my bag. It's just that I carry so much other crap that I actually didn't see it in there. (This is my tote that I carry in addition to my backpack. And, today, in addition to my purse. That's another fun story. The night before class, I always take the pertinent items out of my purse and put them with my school stuff so I don't have to carry my purse, but as I was getting Pic and myself into the car today, I realized that my perfectly pointless purse was in my freaking hand.)

Spring Break, oh how I crave your pseudo-laid-back goodness.

Now, I'm off to read.


* This is the spelling that Blogger's spellcheck gave me, but I'm somewhat suspect that the second 'r' belongs. It just looks funny. Is it a silent 'r'? Mayhap, this is another side effect of my lack of sleep: I can no longer distinguish whether words are real or some sort of weird muppet-sounding words. Meh-nom-meh-nah.

This part made Pic laugh aloud uncontrollably and therefore I love it even more (than I did the week before...).

Monday, March 9, 2009

snow dance

I'm pretty sure that this morning, Nature is laughing at us silly mortals with our 'spring' ahead notions of Daylight Savings. She's giggling at our ideas that we can control time, somehow, by the solely symbolic move of spinning the hands on our clocks around. (I'm sure she's also snickering at our quaint little Groundhog Day ritual.)

I woke up this morning to a lot of very powdery snow covering the outside world (okay, a very small part of the world). I was able to drive a whole fifteen miles an hour for most of the drive and between thirty and forty miles an hour for the rest (this is on the freeway, mind you). I did, however, find a decent parking spot, though, which is a change.

I'm pretty sure that Nature is sitting back, telling us, 'It'll be spring when I say it's spring.'


P.S. Yes, I do realize that not everywhere in the time-changing world is it snowy.

in the summertime...

Reading list [to be added to, certo]:

"Snow, Glass, Apples" -- Neil Gaiman

Harry Potter, years 1-7 (I never got around to reading them in 2008)

she's going the distance

At least, that's the plan. I had a minor freak-out this weekend (one I'm sure I'll have many more weekends and weekdays): What if my parents come up here in May for no reason? What if not everything goes as planned?

It's funny, because at the same time that my brain won't turn off (as I'd like it to do when it turns to the above topics), it also wouldn't seem to turn on this weekend. I have been so useless since right after I taught on Friday. Cardo and I ran a few errands and, after that, I don't remember much of this weekend. I know that I got almost all of the laundry finished (there are still a few items in the dryer and they'll have to stay there until after school). I washed the dishes today and I actually made dinner for me and Pic (oatmeal, but I still think it counts). Mostly, though, I remember sleeping. I took a four-hour-long nap on Friday (which might not count as a nap considering I had only gotten about three hours of sleep before I faced Friday). I slept late on both Saturday and yesterday mornings. I've barely been able to stay awake, it seems. I've gotten not much at all accomplished, which is so incredibly not good at this point. I think I ate like crap, but I can barely remember what I ate (except, I know that I ate a ridiculous amount of cookies one of the days). I didn't exercise at all on Friday or Saturday, which exacerbated my lethargy and my overall feeling of funkiness.

I'm burnt out. But, wait! I can't be burnt out. We aren't even half-way through this semester. This has to be temporary.

So, I got off my lazy rear and did some pilates in the living room (I'm sure the people across the way love watching this) while Pic chased one of the covert cats around with a balloon from Trader Joe's. I also later did some arm work, and let me tell you, I should have much better arm muscles, I think, after carrying around either fifty pounds worth of school crap or a thirty-pound child all of the time. Why are my arms so weak? Hmm. I got all of the reading for two of my classes finished (one I'm taking and one I'm teaching). I've done most of my planning for most of the week. I'm still behind, but I am confident that I'll catch up (at least enough). I'm so very much needing next week and spring break (and I'd really like my 'spring' ahead hour back, please). I foresee long, long days of reading and playing catch-up (not to be confused with either catsup or ketchup).

So, I think I might have kicked my ennui back to the recesses of my mind, for now. I'm looking forward to the Ides of May like a feend.

Friday, March 6, 2009

tp or not tp, that is the question...

So sorry, dear Will.

Anyhow, I just read this really small snippet on American toilet paper. Here at La Casa B, we use 2-ply Kirkland Signature (Costco's brand). It's inexpensive, but on top of all the other considerations, each roll is individually wrapped.

I've been thinking about toilet paper a lot lately because of the comments on this post (an earlier one of my posts).

Oh, and I just checked out that Bathroom Sprayers website that David mentioned in the comments and the sprayers are not as expensive or as invasive as I was thinking (I was thinking something along the lines of installing a new toilet fixture). Actually, they are like our flosser, which is hooked up to our showerhead.

awake...and now nauseated

I'm having a hard time responding to an assignment I gave my students. I need to go back and give more instruction. They need to go back and read instructions. /deep sigh/

Anyhow, here I am. I just read this blog post. The first ad (the Burger King one)...I hate. First of all, just the name 'Burger Shots' makes me want to hurl. Blech. On a more serious note, this commercial reminds me of those Axe body spray commercials where incredibly (standardly) good-looking women become mindless idiots when on the same continent as a man wearing the body spray.

I love Tringali's response to the Burger King ad [obviously, it helps if you watch the ad -- it's embedded in that post]:

Where do I even begin? Let’s start with the idea that women are so baby-obsessed that they think everything small is a baby. Which leads us to the even weirder idea that when women think they are in the presence of a baby, they make orgasm sounds and want to do whoever is holding said baby/small thing/BK burger shot. But what offends me most is the assumption that hamburgers are so alien to women that they don’t even know you’re supposed to eat them.

Some days, things like this ad bother me more than other days. This seems to be one of the first type of days.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

barbie, ink

When I sign on (sometimes) 'news' stories pop up on my server's homepage. The following is the most recent story to be featured [I'm copying it in full here because it's short]:

Tattooed Barbie Rocks the Web
by Mike Krumboltz
March 5, 2009 01:01:24 PM

Barbie has changed quite a bit over her 50 years. She's been a princess, a mermaid, and most alarmingly, a NASCAR fan. But she's never gotten inked up...until now. That's right, kids. America's sweetheart now comes with tattoos, and some parents are outraged.

The Buzz is alive with articles on "Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie." Some parents remarked that they wouldn't buy a Barbie with tattoos, as it encourages girls to show off their bodies. To be fair, the blond bombshell doesn't come with tattoos already applied. It's up to the kids to attach the stickers where they see fit. The tattoos look to be the standard collection of hearts, stars, and butterflies. Sadly, there are no "Death Before Dishonor" or "Semper Fi" tattoos.

The doll also comes with temporary tats that kids can attach to Barbie's clothing or to themselves with a handy-dandy applicator. Despite the outrage, Barbie-maker Mattel has no plans to discontinue the doll. In fact, tatted-up Barbie is selling well. Searches are also moving at a brisk pace. Over the past day, queries on "tattoo barbie" and "buy tattoo barbie" have taken off.

It's also worth noting that this isn't the first time Barbie has done something controversial. A few years ago, Barbie's best friend Midge was pregnant. After parents complained, Wal-Mart pulled the doll. Stay tuned to see if tattooed Barbie suffers the same cruel fate, or if Mattel keeps it real.

[This is the picture from the article. Also, click on the story link if you want access to Krumboltz's links -- they don't transfer in the cut-and-paste. Here's his link for the pregnant Midge story, though.]

First of all, I never knew about the whole pregnancy controversy. I'll have to look that up in a minute. Second, have these parents seen the kinds of clothes Barbie wears? Because it's not as if she (and her cohorts) weren't showing off their bodies before. I don't understand how the tattoos any more than the clothes will persuade girls to show off their bodies more.

I am dreading the day when Pic decides she wants to wear ultra-lowrise jeans and low-cut tops. Or thongs! Geez, what fun to look forward to. Maybe I'll start wearing those styles and then she'll shun them, not wanting to dress like her mom. (Then again...I couldn't torture anyone like that, so I'll have to think of another plan.)


Okay, just one more thing on this topic and then I'll let it go (maybe). Here's a link to some radio conversation about pregnant Midge. (I can't listen to the broadcast on my computer.) The conversation is, um, older (note the Saddam Hussein reference). There are just a couple of small snippets I'd like to briefly comment on (Shakespeare isn't going to wait for me much longer...I have more pressing reading to be doing).

Krystle:...I think knocked up Midge is just wrong. It glamorizes being pregnant — as if everything’s right there in the box like an accessory, like having kids doesn’t cost money. Like when you’re eight months, you’re going to have skinny ankles and wear three-inch stilettos.

I agree that pregnant Midge isn't exactly an accurate depiction of what most pregnant women I've seen look like (you know, if you don't look at any pregnant celebrity). Also, um, yes having a kid costs money, but, hello, so does looking like a Barbie doll. Regular Barbie dolls glamorize an unattainable body-type.

Krystle: I found out that Midge can actually deliver the baby. You can pull the tiny curled up baby from under Midge’s detachable stomach. It’s like real childbirth minus the graphic details.

Why do I get the feeling Krystle has never herself experienced childbirth and has never seen the process either? Childbirth would probably be incredibly more graphic if an entire part of our bodies were removed to grant access to the uterus.

I feel compelled to mention that Pic has two 'Barbie' dolls. I use the quotes because one is Ariel and the other is Barbie-as-Rapunzel. I try to make sure she knows that these are just dolls and everyone looks different and that really no one looks like Barbie & Co (although some people might come close).

Okay, now I really must stop responding to this ridiculousness and get back to my normal completely stressed-out state.


Pilates makes me crave chocolate. I swear, every day when I finish my pilates routine, I want chocolate. This is so counterintuitive...I guess my body's just not thinking, there is some miscommunication between my reasoning (which rarely wins out in conscious debates) and my impulses. What is that about?

Speaking of chocolate, though (mmm). I recently bought Safeway's O (organic line) Hot Chocolate mix. Actually, because I am wooed by Safeway's sales, I bought two (it was a two for $5 deal). I was thinking along these lines, "Hey, Safeway's really close to here so I could buy hot chocolate mix often. Hey, this is cheaper than the hot chocolate mix I get at Trader Joe's [if only it were possible to have a love affair with a place...].' Guess what, though. I don't like the Safeway O (oh, no!) hot chocolate. It's too weirdly creamy with too much of a vanilla flavor. I get the fair-trade dark hot chocolate mix and the organic mint hot chocolate mix at Trader Joe's and the flavors of both are so...clean? crisp? I can't define it exactly, but they are not thick. So, now I have a whole big bunch of Safeway brand hot chocolate mix left over, unless...

So, this seems like one of those times when someone says, "Blech*, this tastes like dead people's feet....Taste it!" But, I contest that it's not one of those moments. If you like creamier hot chocolate (and if you live very near me or if I will be seeing you in the somewhat near future), the unopened container is yours. Let me know.


* I don't know that anyone actually says 'blech,' but there you have it. I have scripted it as such.


P.S. Speaking of chocolate (I just capitalized that, and I suppose it is deserving, so...Chocolate), there is a kid's book, The Chocolate Touch, in which the author, Patrick Skene Catling, uses description fabulously. I'd bring it in for teaching 'show, don't tell' in one of my classes except I don't think my students would take well to me bringing in a book I read to Pic when she was three-and-a-half. [We have an older edition of this book...and this is where ISBNs come in handy for quickly identifying the exact book (I knew I had a reason...except if the book is too old, there might not be an ISBN, but I digress).]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I think that all animals who hibernate have the right idea. It's been somewhat dark and wet for the past couple of days and I just want to curl up under my blankets and sleep. Alas, I have many pages to read before I sleep (...many miles to go before I sleep).

In the meantime (basically covering any time from here until the middle of May), I feel like I'm in something of a dreamlike state. Time is passing and I'm both hyper-aware of this and, at the same time, barely noticing. I don't have time to stop and think, to figure much out. So, in this middle time of sleep deprivation, I will dream about what I will do when my life has been returned to me -- things I'll do after my initial (and possibly on-going) freak-out because I have absolutely no idea what my next step is.

I like to pretend, for every single year that I can remember, that summer break will be this glorious time of actually getting fun things done (and 'fun' is relative). My list is rarely ever even dented, but I mentally build anyway. Here're some of the things I'm dreaming about for this coming summer (I'm not, by any means including all that I hope to get accomplished -- part of the fun is letting the dream linger and develop):

-- watch Real Genius (now that it's been on my mind, I've been wanting to watch it)
-- sort through and organize the office
-- catalogue all of Pic's and my book so I can know what we have so I can buy more
-- relearn to sew
-- go to the parks and library as many days as possible
-- travel to Vegas to greet a new life

Okay, I'll stop there. Remember, I said 'fun' was relative. Organization is fun to me. A kind of fervent, must be done in a precise manner type of fun, but still.

I need to get back to Shakespeare in Parts and Amoretti and and and..., but first:
What about you all? What are your big or not-so-big plans for this upcoming break? For those of you who don't live in this world of school time, what are you planning for your next break?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

reusable bags

Okay, because I obviously have nothing better to be doing with my time (oh, wait, that's not true), I was checking through my inbox and came across this

I think I'm in love. I'm strangely addicted to reusable bags. I wonder if they will have these newer Chico Bags at the Earth Day festival this month. I'm hoping yes.

we are living in a digital world

Okay, so at 3:13 is what I was looking for when I posted the last (apropos) post.

I'm just imagining this without the classroom even. Everyone in her or his own little sphere (bathroom, bed, park, whatever) with a laptop. Possibly some video conferencing, possibly not even that.

Okay, I'm off to read some Walter Benjamin (to be pronounced Ben-ya-meen...or thereabouts).

my sentiments exactly

This is pretty much exactly how I feel right now (except that if I wake up the kidlet, I'll be in an even worse situation). Also, this is how I imagine everyone sitting around the table tomorrow evening would react.

Cardo just reminded me that this is almost over. I just reminded him that I still have to get through it before it ends, though.

I'll just keep thinking about long walks in the park, browsing the library for hours for books to read FOR FREAKING FUN, spending ten whole minutes with my child without saying, 'Okay, Mamma has to go read now.'


In unrelated non-news, Pic and I took Cardo to Mimi's for lunch yesterday for his birthday. He chose the place. He says that he's going to take us out for breakfast this week (on his actual birthday). When I asked Pic earlier where we should go for Papi's birthday breakfast, she told me, 'I want to go on the airplane and go far away and eat breakfast in the castle with the princesses.' Keep dreaming big, kiddo.

shampoo bars

Hello, all. Long time no post. (Yes, I understand how incredibly unfunny I am.)

Anyhow, I'm going to order a shampoo bar (my very first!) from Blue House Soaps. I'm planning to get the Sunshine shampoo (orange scent...I absolutely love citrus scents). I e-mailed Melissa (one half of the owning couple) to ask whether my hair length is an issue and she e-mailed me back very quickly with personal recommendations.

Would anyone (near me) like to add anything to my order? Please let me know and we can just order it all at once and save on shipping. I'll probably give this a week or so. I have plenty of shampoo right now to get me through about a month or so.

Okay, so check it out and let me know please.

...Now, I'm really off to do some more reading.