Tuesday, June 30, 2009

window shopping

I finally bought some organic Earl Grey tea leaves on clearance at Target a few weeks ago. I have yet to brew my tea, though, as I have no strainer-thingie and no nylons to attempt to use instead. So, I was just looking over at Nubius Organics and I found some reusable hemp tea bags. I might buy one of those. I also found this tea mug with a strainer built in so I could brew the tea right in the travel mug. Let's see how long it takes me to give in to this temptation. I only wish it came in green.

By the way, I love Nubius Organics.

Light of Day Organics, which was recommended to me by Kate quite a while back has some wonderfully tasty-sounding tea, but I kind of wanted to try some out before I bought some online. If I like the loose-leaf enough, I'm looking at the cacao mint and the orange assam to start. Mmm.

Monday, June 29, 2009

the anxious greys

Okay, so yes, ther're the blues and the mean reds, but right now, I'm feeling tense and anxious, uncertain and frustrated. It's a bit overwhelming. It's like the mean reds, only worse.

This is leading to me having absolutely nothing to write about and you're welcome. (Really, I apologize, but I've only two more days, including today, and then I can take a break.)

So, for a short list of stuff and then off to figuring out how to just relax already. I'm thinking chocolate or yoga...actually, I'm thinking both.

-- I'm an auntie again. Peecho gave birth to her second daughter (third child) just outside of the hospital at about three this morning. Don't worry, Baby NM wasn't born on the sidewalk, rather she was born in the ambulance. I'm pretty sure everything went well and that all is well now. I haven't yet talked to Peecho -- I called and left a message -- but I'll talk to someone within the next couple of days, I hope.

-- The pool right outside the window I'm currently sitting next to is finally being filled. They started filling it yesterday at around six in the evening, I think. I can't wait for it to open. We've been to the other pool a few times already. Pic is incredibly excited about her floaties and will actually let go of the side of the pool now.

-- Cardo has this crazy plan to go to Tahoe for Independence Day. I think about a bazillion other people probably also have this plan and we'll have to get there (to what part of Tahoe, I have no idea) incredibly early in the day.

-- My apartment is hot. Just thought you shoud know.

-- I bought a pre-made angelfood cake today. I hope it's not disgusting. If it's anywhere close to decent, I'll try making my own.

Okay, wow! That was just about beyond exciting! NOT! (Okay, I'm channeling Wayne and Garth and my carefree adolescent days. I'll stop now.) I'm going to go finish watching Three Men and a Baby now because I'm all about fine film. Oh yeah...and chocolate...and yoga (and yes, I know that I'm probably canceling out any physical benefits of the yoga with the chocolate, but I really can't care about that just now).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

eating...it's what i do

Sometimes all too often, but don't let's talk about that now. Really, I just wanted to share a few more recent meals a la peanut butter sandwiches. Oh wait, I meant to say a la Cooking Light.

First, at some point in May, we made this broccoli, cherry tomato and pasta salad recipe. It was actually pretty simple, especially because I didn't make the dressing. I'm not a fan of buttermilk dressings, although I used to be (strawberries and ranch dressing anyone?). Instead, I used Cardini's Light Greek Vinaigrette. The yield is four servings, but, really, it was more like twenty-five or so. (Hello Hyperbole!) It was a lot.

Next, the night before Poke went into labor, I was talking to her on the phone -- with Pic singing 'This is boring. This is boring,' in the background -- while making cheddar-asparagus potpie. It seriously took me about two hours to make (not counting the baking time). My mind was just elsewhere, but I'm sure if I made it again, it'd go a lot more quickly. The top was a bit weird, as I wasn't sure how it should overlap (yes, forest for the trees and all), but it turned out okay. Actually, I was going to make this the night before, but it turns out you have to let frozen phyllo dough thaw for a ridiculously long time. Now I know.

I'd eat both of these again. They were good. The only problem is that I have hundreds of recipes yet to try, so we might be celebrating our silver anniversary before I get back around to them.

Oh, and I almost forgot that at the very end of last semester, Pic and I made some poptarts (assembled and baked is a much more accurate description, really). We used premade pie crust and Trader Joe's lemon curd and Smuckers Strawberry Spread (not jam, preserves, jelly...it's 'spread') for the filling. We, obviously, tinted the icing. These were good. I'm somewhat averse to poptarts (after the Amway blueberry poptart fiasco), but I'd definitely make our own again. Perhaps when Pic starts having sleepovers.

I got the idea from here at No Fear Entertaining and you can link to several other places from there.

One more note on these. I'm sure that the actual term 'poptart' is trademarked or otherwise owned by whoever makes them, but I really don't know what else to call them. Mini Breakfast Pies That Are More Dessert Than Anything Else? That's kind of a long name, though.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

board games and movies?

Or, how about board games made into movies. When I first heard this story on NPR the other day, my first thought was, 'Seriously?! Um, no thanks.'

The topic?: Turning board games into movies. They (whoever they were, I don't remember and I'm not going back to listen to the whole segment now) were talking about Monopoly, Battleship and Candy Land (as Ridley mentions in that link above). I loathe the game Monopoly. I don't have the attention span for it, or something. Not the original game or any of the versions that have come out since. I used to think that I liked Battleship, and I even owned (own?) it, but every time I sat down to play it, I really just wanted to make patterns with the pegs (I loved the Lite-Brite). Candy Land, I loved. At least I remember loving it. And, I'm sure that Pic might very much enjoy a movie based on it, granted it be incredibly cheesy. (She might not recognize the characters because we've only played a few times. She only wants to get the character cards, even if it means she has to move back. A co-worker once told me to just wait until Cardo and I started stacking the deck to make sure Pic won, and quickly.)

But, really, how are these movies supposed to work? Monopoly? 'Yes! I bought up all the property in Atlantic City!...Oh, wait, that's probably a bad thing. Anyone know where I can get a bailout?' Battleship? I can't even envision this. 'How many missiles will we waste by guessing where the enemies crafts are?' Hmm, no thanks. Candy Land? A group of gingerbread-looking kids go off to find The Big Rock Candy Mountain? And they meet gumdrop and candy cane people on the way? Sure, why not.

All this doubt expressed, though, but I almost forgot that when I was little, I watched Clue about a billion times. Then, I kept watching it on occasion as I got older. I'd still watch it now. Not because I think it's a great mystery movie or anything, but because I know it so well (even after all this time). So, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), I have to say that Cardo and I will probably continue to avoid the cinemas. Ah, well.

Actually, to make a long story even longer, I'll leave you with one of the comments left on the NPR story:

(Using my best deep movie announcer voice...)
Coming this summer...
In a world where everything is Black and Red... Checkers, the Movie. King Me!

Plus, this 4th of July...
They said it would be More Fun...
Barrel of Monkeys.

And don't miss.... Solitaire!
This time it's personal.

And coming this Holiday Season...
Literature has given us stories of Great Hunters -
The 19th Century gave us Ahab and The Great White Whale...
The 20th Century gave us Quint and The Great White Shark...
Now it's the 21st Century and Samuel L. Jackson is hunting.... THREES! Go Fish!

And...good night.

Friday, June 26, 2009

a little night music

I'm sorting through my vast pile-up of e-mails and listening to my vast pile-up of music-to-be-listened-to. This isn't a video, so you can just start it up, listen and work on something that actually needs to be done.

And, here's Vashti Bunyan singing the song. Again, no real video, just an image.

My parents had the Red Hot + Blue album and Peecho and I listened to that somewhat constantly growing up.

Click here to read more about the Red Hot Organization.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

dinner and a movie

Today, I felt pretty useless. I'm hoping for some decent sleep tonight. We went to the pool for the first time since they filled it (they filled it a couple of weeks ago, but we were away).

Anyhow, I was pretty freaking hungry, which usually results in us eating something less than healthy or something not prepared by us. Instead, tonight we made dinner. I've been passing time marking recipes in my Cooking Light cookbooks, so I thought we'd try some out. So, we fired up the grill (or Cardo did, rather) and we put dinner together. Grilled corn on the cob, baked triple-bean pot, herb-and-citrus turkey burgers. Both of the Cooking Light recipes were really easy, especially the beans, which took about three minutes to put together. Also, both were really good. And, we have leftovers (Pic barely ate her turkey, which is normal for her...not eating much at all).

So, Cardo had to go in to work tonight and I'm sitting here watching On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. It's almost over and then I'll do dishes and (please please please) rest.

(By the way, when I have plants, I talk to them also, but all they want to do is die. It's a little off-putting.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

tired of being tired

I haven’t slept for the last three weeks. I was pretty sure that when the semester ended, I would be able to get some semblance of normal sleep, but that hasn’t been true.

The first week, Pic and I were both sick and barely got any sleep. By the next week, I was already used to not sleeping. This past week, Pic has not been sleeping through the night. It’s been like having an infant all over again. I think she’s been having nightmares. Either that or she’s waking herself up with all of the moving around she does at night. She sleeps on the floor…all over the floor, because she falls out of the bed.

Anyhow, my new bedtime has become sometime around four a.m. I can’t do this much longer. I’ve become a useless lump of absolute exhaustion. I really need some sleep and soon, so here’s hoping Pic will actually sleep through tonight (that is, after she goes to sleep in the first place).


So, while I don't sleep, here's what Cardo and I are watching. (I couldn't embed the video.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

um, no

I just came across this piece on 'The Occasional Wife' over here.

A couple of things. First, I thought I was a wife, y'know being a woman married to a man and all. At least I've on occasion thought of myself as such. Apparently, though, I'm not. Not really. I perform about two of the tasks listed above: personal shopping (but only kind of because Cardo and I grocery shop and clothes shop together, I don't really buy personal items for him) and running errands (of course, almost all of the time they're my errands...except, well, yesterday Pic and I did pick up his heart medication for him).

Second, if these are the tasks a 'wife' (yes, I want the quotes there) performs, and I don't really do these, does that mean I get to be a husband too? Do I get a different title?

Well, I'll leave this here. I'm exhausted after getting only four hours of sleep last night. Except, wait, I just looked at the logo again and the byline is 'The Modern Solution To Your Busy Life.' What's modern about this? The fact that the person (I'm guessing only women?) is paid for her work? That she's called a 'wife' and not a 'servant' or a 'housekeeper'?

One last quick comment. I'd never fulfill the ideal of 'wife' presented here anyway because I do not wear heels, a cocktail dress, a frilly apron and jewelry to get my 'wifely-duties' accomplished. The other day, I washed dishes in a towel and slippers (my clothes were in the dryer). Just a few minutes ago, I washed dishes in lounge-shorts and a fifteen-year-old tank top.

calling all biggest little citians...

Dearest All,

First off: Ha! I created a word...kind of.

Anyhow, I was wondering if any of you in this here Biggest Little City have a bit of time to hang out so I can basically whine and sound unsure of myself. Sounds like fun, no?

Actually, I need some level-headed advice and I'm really not even close to level-headed (ever).

And, I know it's been over a month since I've graduated, but I'm finally starting to try to get things into some kind of sense of normalcy. I apologize to all that I've kind of sucked this last month. I hope all is well with everyone else.

Thanks in advance for your sage words of wisdom,

Monday, June 22, 2009

still sorting through the years of piled-up crap

So, today in further sorting through the huge piles of paperwork and such that have accumulated in our offices/libraries over the years, here are a couple of things I've found.

Yet another credit card that I never activated. It expired over a year ago. Yes, as you can tell, we use our credit cards ALL OF THE TIME.

A statement for Pic's bank account addressed to Pic B/A minor by Cardo B. Really? 'A minor by....' What a weird phrase. I think they should address it something like, 'Pic B/The fruit of Cardo B's loins'. Or, 'Pic B/A product of the sperm of Cardo B and the egg of v B'.

Yes, apparently I need to remove myself from the piles of junk now...I'm getting loopy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

oh, happy day

Y'know, Happy Father's Day! And, Happy Solstice!

Pic and I gave Cardo his mugs today, but he kind of saw one of them yesterday. Oops. Pic also chose a card for him that says something like 'God must really love me for giving me a daddy like you.' I crossed out 'daddy' and wrote in 'papi.' I didn't cross out 'God' but I did find it funny that that's the card he ended up with. He loved the card and the mugs.

Also, I finally decided that we were going to make the sugar cookies today. First, Pic and I read this summer solstice book and then we made the cookies. They're actually really easy and they're the best sugar cookies I've ever had. They have lemon zest and almond extract and just the smell of them is tempting me to eat all of the rest of them tonight. Anyhow, I say, that they're 'actually really easy' because it took us about an hour to make them, and that's not counting baking time. I'm a seriously slow cook and baker and it slows me down even more when Pic helps out (but it does make the process much more fun). I kind of wanted to ice the cookies with nice vibrantly-colored icing, but I prefer them uniced (which is a really strange-looking word). Pic and I might ice some tomorrow.

We ended up with dogs, butterflies, music notes and suns (yes, suns...here's where the icing might help). The dough kept sticking to the cutting board so things are a bit squished, but I'm not making these to sell, so I really only care that they taste great.

Here's Pic waiting for the cookies to bake. She decided she'd rather have a popsicle than a cookie. We bought the popsicle molds today and poured in some pink lemonade. She was a vision in pink tonight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

happy solstice!

[Image from here.]

I'm not quite sure yet what I'm going to make for solstice. I'm thinking sugar cookies (the recipe I use has lemon, nice and summery). Or, I could make dark chocolate/orange cupcakes like I did two years ago. I'll figure it out and seek Pic's assistance.

Happy freezing summer to us all (really, it's cold right now...I had to close the windows and pull out the blankets).

Friday, June 19, 2009

10 years, no reunion

I'm not sure how I feel about not being able to make my 10-year high school reunion. The last time I posted about it, I was all for going. I was excited. However, it was strangely like I needed to write about it here to get it out of my system -- after I wrote about it, I wasn't so excited about it anymore (and, no, this does not at all mean that I did any growing up).

So, while I'm not as gung-ho about it as I was, I'm still disappointed that I won't be able to make it. There are people I would have liked to have caught up with. Why? I'm not sure. I still talk to a few people (although sometimes infrequently) and I'm not sure there'd be anything else for me there. Huh.

Anyhow, it's in October (my favorite month, by the way). So, those of you going, have a splash of cranberry juice for me. Take some pictures and take good notes and write about it. Please and thank you.

Now, I'm off to, um...sleep. Yeah, that'd probably be a good thing to do at 2:52 in the morning, right?


Speaking of reunions (or, rather, remembrances) it's Juneteenth today.

Also, my parents are heading out to the K family reunion today. My mom's pretty excited about seeing aunts, uncles and cousins she hasn't seen in years (and, there'll probably be some family members she's never met before).

Also, also, in just one more month, Cardo and I will have been married for six years and our dearly beloved friends will have been married for one. More on all that later...or not.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

blog sprint

Tuesday's One Minute Writer:

Tomorrow you get the mail, and in it you find the best letter you can imagine. What does it say?

Dear v,

You have worked pretty strenuously this last decade, so we've been thinking...how about you don't worry about paying back your student loans.

You're incredibly welcome,
The Loan Holders

from the mouth of the babe...

After jumping on the trampoline:

'My heart is bumping like an elephant pounding on the door to get in.'

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

biting my thumb...

...or thumbing my nose. I couldn't choose which I wanted to use, so there we go with both.

I was listening to NPR today and there was a segment on the 15-year-old winner of some text messaging contest. You can read a very brief bit on it here. I'm not a texter. It costs me $.20 each time I send or receive texts (even if I don't open the freaking things). I suck at text-ese (or whatever it's called) and I refuse to learn it. I really don't care to spend my time typing out messages on my phone, which doesn't have a qwerty keyboard, by the way.

However, should I really be shunning the practice? When there is a possibility of winning $50,000 for being superhumanly fast at it? Yes, that's right, Kate Moore won $50,000 for being the text messaging champion. It's a mad mad mad mad world, all right.

Oh, one more piece of texting information: In the 8 June Time, I read that 2,272 is the "Number of text messages sent and received by the average American teen every month, according to the Nielsen Co. -- almost 80 messages a day." I'm not looking forward to that. I'm pretty sure it will make me completely pazza if Pic is constantly on the phone, texting people. I'm wondering how long we're going to hold off in getting her a phone, period (we aren't even considering it yet, in case you were wondering).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

interrupting cow

I should preface this by saying that I am calling NO ONE in the following a cow. There, now that’s out of the way.

So, are you familiar with the joke?

 Knock, Knock.
 Who’s there?
 Interrupting cow.
 Interrupting cow wh—
 MOO!!!

Okay, so I didn’t say it was a knee-slapper (althought I do think it's funny once in a while), but it has been on something of a constant replay in my head lately. Pic has a problem with interrupting. She just doesn’t really get the concept of waiting politely for a break in the conversation before she jumps in. She also doesn’t really get the whole saying, ‘Excuse me,’ to politely break in. I might be able to get her to say, ‘Excuse me,’ but she doesn’t then politely wait to be addressed, she just plows on.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Hello, she’s four,’ but, really I’m trying to teach her somewhat decent manners and I REALLY don’t think that four is too early to teach her this. And, I don’t think that this would be too much of an issue for me, except…other people aren’t helping.

Here’s the thing: Whenever I’m talking with someone and Pic wants to interrupt and I tell her she has to say ‘Excuse me’ and then wait, almost always, the other person either turns to her or responds to her anyway. This is not helpful. I completely understand if the other person is trying not to be rude to her, but I’m never going to be able to teach her not to interrupt if this is how things continue.

Also, I’m really pretty sure that it’s not just other people. I probably do the same freaking thing, without realizing it. (Oh, sometimes it’s so much easier to notice flaws in others…sometimes.) However, I’ve really started concentrating on how I respond in these situations so that I won’t stop the conversation the second she starts talking.

So, a warning: If you and I are having a conversation and Pic suddenly wants to tell me about her wedding shoes or about her ladies, prepare yourself for a sidetracked lesson on interrupting and using our manners. ah, well, at some point in her life, I’ll have figured this out. They don’t just give out these Perfect Parent awards for nothing, you know.

Monday, June 15, 2009

ah, tv...and food

I have temporary access to a multitude of channels I don't normally have. (Actually, I'm not even certain how many channels we have access to on our sets, but I think it's probably somewhere around...five...ish? And then we have all these weird channels like 5.1, 5.2, 5.3. Okay, then.)

So, I'll just say that I thought I was doing pretty well without watching so much tv last semester (I really didn't have time what with being the crazy freak I was), and, really, I was right. I don't really miss the idiot box all that much. Well, except for cooking shows. We do have some on PBS that Cardo has taken to watching, but usually I'm too restless to sit down and watch them. Today, however, taking advantage of my temporary television time (alliteration rocks, thank you!), I watched some Food Network. I watched Giada make raspberry, mozzarella panini and I wanted to go out, buy the ingredients and make them right then. However, my laziness won out over my desire for food, and I ate two small bean burritos (consisting of flour tortillas and canned refried beans) instead. I am a wonder in the kitchen, people. Really, it's astounding.

Seriously, though, I'll be making those panini in the very near future, hoping that I don't screw them up. I'll let you know how it goes. And, oh yeah, she made some apple iced tea also which sounded very good and I'll try that also. I've been making myself lots of black iced tea with lemon and Earl Grey iced tea lately, because, hello, I could make it at home for about twenty cents and bit of time, or walk down to Starbucks* and pay $2.25 or so.


* They're finally going to open yet another coffeehouse across from the Starbucks. I can't remember how long the old place has been closed, but I'm actually looking forward to the new place opening. I can go down and buy expensive iced tea and hang out maybe once this summer.

lullaby and good night…mare

Last week, Pic, Cardo and I went to storytime at the library, as usual. One of the songs they sang was a kind of medley of ‘It’s Raining, It’s Pouring’ and ‘Itsy- Bitsy Spider.’ This got me thinking about kids’ verse. (A subject I’d already given entirely too much thought to anyhow.)

Why is it that even when there aren’t somewhat veiled allusions to to-be-beheaded monarchs and the plague and such that kids’ verse can be so disturbing?

The way I learned the ‘It’s Raining’ song is as follows:

It’s raining, it’s pouring,
The old man is snoring,
He bumped his head,
When he went to bed,
And he couldn’t wake up in the morning.

I always thought, even as a child, ‘Somehow he slipped, smacked his head on the headboard…and then he died.’ So, yes, this probably isn’t what this song is saying, but what is it saying? Are there more verses I just don’t know? What is the point of the song? Just in case you couldn’t tell, this song has been haunting me for a good deal of my life.

Of course, there’s also

Rock-a-bye baby,
In the tree top,
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
Down will come baby,
Cradle and all.

What kind of a nightmarish song is that to sing to a baby? Huh? First, why is the baby’s cradle hanging in a tree? Second, seriously?! I have a suspicion that an older sibling invented this ditty for a new baby in the family that seemed nothing more than a nuisance.

Finally, perhaps a weird one:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King’s horses
And all the King’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

For a few reasons this has always disturbed me. One is the imagery associated with Humpty Dumpty. Every time I see depictions of HD, he’s an egg. Usually an egg with pants. This image bothers me. Why is he an egg? Is that part of the original concept, or was someone just tyring to make sense of the rhyme. Also, and again, what kind of a verse is this to recite to children? Is this a warning against hanging out on the wall? ‘Don’t hang out on the wall. You might fall and your body will shatter beyond repair.’ Um…?

Well, what do you all think? About both these and other verse?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

cleanliness is next to…pic

Sometimes people react to me as if i’m a bit off when I tell them Pic cleans her own room. When Cardo comes home and Pic’s room is clean, he usually asks me if I have cleaned it. In the words of Cher (not that one), ‘As if!’

Pic has been cleaning up after herself for almost three years now. (I’ve had some pretty startled responses to that too.) Of course, I don’t mean that she has always cleaned up everything on her own. An eighteen-month-old obviously is going to need help with some things, but she was good even then about neatening things up.

The other night, I was looking through an old file of writing and I came across this tidbit from just before she started school

She has taken a liking to raisin bran cereal, so we share a bowl – with each other and with the floor. She loves to be the one to put the dishes in the kitchen, so she holds the bowl while I carry her across the living room and over the fence for her to make her deposit. – from 7 August 2006

First off, we were giving a bunch of those baby fences when Pic was just tiny. We loved those up for a while and I have the pictures to prove it. There was just too much that we thought she might get into. Now, though, she has access to pretty much everything (of course, now she’s four and a grown-up (according to herself, thank you very much)).

Second: Yes, my child my take forever to get around to it, but she is perfectly capable of picking up after herself. And, yes, evil mamma that I might be, I refuse to clean her room.

Is it strange to any of you that I make my four-year-old clean her own room?

I don’t remember others ever cleaning my room, but this might be a trick of selective memory. Who knows?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

a pox upon us

I’ve been feeling under the weather lately (you know, rather than over it…or something) and this condition has made me reflect on other times I’ve been sick.

First off, though, I wanted to point out that I didn’t really get sick during my last semester. The semester I figured I’d be sick the entire time because my body was so ravaged with stress and lack of sleep. I showed this stress in many other ways, but not in being sick. Huh.

Anyhow, when either Cardo or I am sick, the sick one will sleep on the couch, so as not to contaminate the other person. However, when Pic isn’t feeling well, we all tend to gather in the living room. On the nights when she just can’t sleep for coughing or throwing up or whatever other unpleasantness, we will all converge on the living room floor and endure the night together.

I don’t know what is normal in other families, and I’m sure the range of ‘normal’ is vast, but I feel that we may be a bit off in this situation.

Oh, also, we only spend nights together in the living room when Pic is feeling so badly that she cannot sleep. On these nights, she’ll stay up pretty much all night watching tv while Cardo and I attempt to sleep. Yes, that’s right, we’re awaiting out Parents of the Year awards any moment now. Really, though, Pic gets so hysterical sometimes that the soothing brain-numbingness of the idiot-box is the only thing that keeps her calm. And, when we’ve already been dealing with a sick child and we’re running on fumes and have to work or continue to care for said sick child the next day, we’ll pretty much go with what works. (And, yes, I understand that we are lucky to have problems so easily solved and to have a tv set at our disposal.)

Anyhow, what about the rest of you? Do you prefer solitude when you’re sick or would you rather have someone nearby?

Friday, June 12, 2009

green foods

There’s a sandwich place nearby that Pic and I like to occasion (we don’t frequent it, so yeah…). They used to have styrofoam cups, which made me a little crazy, but we went the other day, and they gave me a plastic cup for my drink. (It’s the first time I’ve ordered a drink there in a long time.) The new cups are compostable. Cool beans! (Hello early nineties.)

I wonder how much more expensive these cups are than others? I wonder if other places couldn’t start stocking them also?

Hmm, just something to mull over.

magic day

Apparently today is Magic Day. It seems fitting that I just finished the Harry Potter series...again.

Actually, I recently realized that I had only read Deathly Hallows once, when it came out. I missed reading the series last year. I barely remembered anything that had happened, so it was pretty much like the first time I was reading it. I was getting toward the end after Pic went to bed, but before Cardo got off work. When he got here, he asked how I was feeling (I've been sick) and I told him I was feeling much better. I know that I sounded worse, but I explained to him that I had just been crying because of the book. This is something about me that he will never really understand. He told me, 'Why? It's just a book. It's not real.' Yes, I get this. I also get that just about everything makes me cry and, of course, many parts of many books bring on the tears. There are definitely times when Cardo and I seem to prove that inane 'opposites attract' theory.

Anyhow, now I'm up and I've nothing new to read. Later today I'll have to remedy that. I have several books checked out from the library awaiting me, but I strangely feel in the mood to read A Keeper of Sheep, which I haven't read in several years because I've had a difficult time tracking it down. I bought it from an amazon seller once, but that was at the time that people were stealing mail from our mailroom and the book never made it to me. Ah, well.

Okay, so, um, rambling over.

Happy Magic Day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Hey, I finally got around to checking and I'm definitely on the June blogroll, so I added the cute badge over there on the right. I got it from the NaBloPoMo website, June badges, comments section, here.

Now, let me just hope I keep up with writing every day for the remainder of the month.

beginnings, endings and...abrupt endings

Okay, I just realized that I never actually posted the end of the 'beginnings, endings and possible false-starts' entry. I don't know how I managed to lose it in the transfer. It's there now.

I've had a sketchy interweb connection for a few days, but I think I've got it figured out now.

Just a couple of Pic-related things to share and then off to finish Deathly Hallows for me.

Earlier, Pic walked up to me and announced, 'There's just one thing.'

'What one thing,' I asked.

'There's just one thing I have to tell you...I used to be a chicken.'

Of course! That explains...well, nothing, really, but it might be handy information in the future.

Earlier than that, as I was reading The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp, I was reading Grizzly Bob's part and Pic suddenly said, 'That's just like Papa!' I looked at her a bit confused and she told me, 'That's just like Papa's voice!'

Apparently I need to work on my range of bear voices.

Okay, that's all for now. I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on and then I have to finish my book.

cutting back

During a recent storytime, I found out just how bad things are getting for the local library. I knew that several branches and the mobile library would be closed, but I didn’t know how badly my library (I feel very possessive of it) would be affected. It turns out that we are losing two days of library operation and Family Nights. Two days! (That’s an incredulous, not a happy exclamation point, certo.)

We also just found out that a friend’s mom has been laid off. My own parents have been worrying about the state of their jobs. We have a friend who is conducting a multi-state job search. I myself am, once again, unemployed and worrying about long-term job-having.

Because I’m trying to hold onto this ignorance-is-bliss stance, I’m trying not to think too much about all of this (although, I’m obviously not doing that great of a job, right?), I’ll sum this up with one word: UGH.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

beginnings, endings and possible false-starts

[Edited to add the 'false-starts' part that I somehow never actually posted...oops.]

So, for the good news: Poke’s daughter was born early Saturday morning. Poke’s labor wasn’t easy and she ended up having an emergency c-section. I found this out hours later when Poke called me at five-forty-five in the morning to give me an update. I had been worried and feeling completely useless. I had been worried that I was going to lose her and it was, to employ enormous understatement, a scary thought.

Anyhow, Baby B and her mamma’s writing about her can, of course, be found here.

As for endings: Pic’s last day of school was last Friday. I can’t believe that she’s not going back. She went there for three years. I feel incredible guilt for taking her out. If only she could have stayed one more year, at least, leading up to her kindergarten year.

I was something of a weepy mess on Friday. My emotions were supercharged (I knew that Poke was in the hospital…and, of course, I knew that it was Pic’s last day at school) and pretty much everything was bringing me to tears. Cardo kept offhandedly saying things like, ‘Wow, she’s been going there for so long!’ (Okay, perhaps my husband didn’t actually say, ‘Wow!, but he did seem more amazed than saddened by the fact.)

We sent Pic to school with sandwiches and apple slices that we had assembled that morning and cupcakes we had bought the day before. We wanted it to be something like a party for Pic.

She’s taking things rather well, so far, but pretty soon, she’ll be asking me when she gets to go back to school and play with her friends. Just typing this is dredging up the guilt and doubt that have been plaguing me.

These emotions have a bit to do with taking Pic out of school, but more to do with the reason I’ve taken her out. Yes, I have graduated (yet again…geez), but I STILL have no future plans. Long ago I came to a decision that I haven’t yet shared, but that I’ll go ahead and get out there now: I’ve given up hope on the London program. This is a defensive move. This way, if it doesn’t happen, hey, what’ve I lost? If it does, great, I wasn’t expecting it. (Of course, this mind game isn’t quite convincing me, but I keep it up.) I’ve become weary telling people the same thing over and over: If Pic and I go to London….I still don’t have confirmation….If we can afford the program. I’m tired of explaining. I’m tired of pointing out, again and again, my own shortcomings to people who are filled with good intentions.

So, wow, I don’t mean to end this on such a sour note. Quick, divert your attention. Look, over there, adorable baby pictures!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

do you want to know a secret?

It's a secret Pic can tell...

Seriously, my child will tell you.

The other day, she and I went to The Clay Canvas for the first (and possibly the last) time. (Our experience was really rather nice, but I have this touch-texture issue and the feel of the naked bisque is making me shudder and gag right now and I'm not even touching a bare piece of pottery.) I thought it might be cute, although completely unoriginal, for us to make a mug (or two) for Cardo for Father's Day. Yes, Father's Day is a couple of weeks away and I knew there would be some risk involved letting Pic in on the gift, but he's her dad, not mine ('cause, you know, that would be somewhat awkward), so the gift is, of course, from her. I'd rather she knew about it and took part in making it.

Anyhow, to make a long story short (TOO LATE!), we made the mugs and we'll be able to pick them up next Thursday. These will be the most expensive mugs we own, but, it's okay for a one-time deal, I think. I'll post pictures of our arty brilliance after we pick the mugs up.

Monday, June 8, 2009

family ties

In a fit of utter frustration today, Pic yelled at me, 'I'm not your mamma anymore!'

Ah...really? Too bad.

It's decidedly difficult to keep a straight face when she says things like this.

And, earlier, we were jumping on a trampoline when she started explaining to me about her 'conservation,' which, it turns out is 'when you jump like this and then like that.' (Imagine two jumps pretty straight up into the air...two jumps that looked the same to me.)

Anyhow, I'm still pecking along with Cardo's phone here, so I'll have to wait to share the good news tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

breathing easier

Things are better now that I hear others are breathing easier today. Good news to come.

In our nonnews for today: Pic took her first shower today...by herself! (Yes, that's right...visit me here and I'll share thrilling news about my family's hygeine. Yeah!)

We got to spend some time with our dearly beloved friends today, and it's definitely been too long. It was a wonderfully relaxing day.

As I'm typing this on Cardo's phone and it is driving me pazza, I'm going to have to sign off here (and delve even further into Half-Blood Prince).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

disappearing act

I need a break. I'm pretty sure. I'll write more when I feel like writing.

Friday, June 5, 2009

10 years ago...

Ten years ago, today, I graduated from high school. There are times this feels so recent and times when it feels forever ago. I'll wax nostalgic later...maybe.

paler than an albino ferret

I'm not talking about Malfoy.

Anyhow, we recently cared for Dr Jones's son's ferret. L the Ferret came to stay at our apartment for a few days. When Dr Jones dropped him off, Pic commented that this albino ferret, "is white like Mamma."

Then, "Actually, he's darker white than Mamma."

There you have it folks. My Irishness searing eyes with my whiter than an albino ferret self. Ah, well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

sleep, or something completely unlike it

Hello people who were probably resting nicely as I type this. Am I sleeping also (sleep-typing?...the typing somnambulist?)? Perhaps by the time you're reading this, but, oh ho, not at 2:25 in the morning. So, what are you missing out on?

Hey, you could be baking cookies. For no reason other than the dough has been waiting patiently, all nice and mixed up. And even though the other cookies haven't been entirely consumed yet, these cookies need to be made. Or, you could be reading through the archives of finslippy. It's addicting. Or, you could be reading through Order of the Phoenix, which is also rather addicting*. Or, you could be, um, worrying about...everything, which you do so well. Oh, wait, that's me. But those other things...you could be doing those things.

So, Sleep and I have not yet become bosom buddies. We've barely made it to being on a first-name basis, actually. Ugh.


* Unless you're Poke. The more pissy Harry gets, the more I think of you. [This isn't a bad thing, people, really.]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

saying goodye...to all of my junk

Okay, at least some of my junk. So, just what am I getting rid of?

-- paychecks from 2003. $87.01 a week. Whoo-hoo!

-- a credit card that was issued to me in 2003 and that expired in 2006. I never actually activated it, or even opened the envelope...oops.

-- History of the Language quizzes from Spring 2004

-- a move-out receipt from December 2002

-- whoa! my W-2s from 1999 and 2000

More to come in the following weeks. Oh so much more.

music video hell

I don't watch music television. In fact, I'm pretty sure we have no access to music television (barring the interweb, of course, and I haven't checked). I'll occasionally watch videos online, but mainly, I listen to the music while I have another window open so I can read blogs.

Anyhow, I've never been much of a fan of music videos. At least not mainstream videos. Often, they're disturbing. I don't need to see mainly naked women being sold as fantasies (yes, this makes it hard to watch television and movies and read magazines, ecc, I know).

I came across the following video today (I didn't watch the longer video, just what I'm embedding below) and now, I'm even more glad that this is not my scene. I even more want to protect Pic from this supposedly cool culture. Right now, I'm battling the princess frenzy, but soon enough, this is what she'll have to face (I'm hoping not too soon, but I have no real clue just how early kids are introduced to this crap now).

Before you watch this video, if you do, I have to warn you that it makes me physically ill. Nauseated. Especially the end.

I got this here. "Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

it's a brand new day...

...with a shiny new Australia.

(Brand New Day, from Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog)

Monday, June 1, 2009

stuff and things

Just a few notes here before I head off to dreamland (I would hope that would conjure up the B-52s' song in your heads, but it's probably just me).

-- So begins Pic's last week of school. This is a bitterish (not 'bittersweet') time for me. She's been going there for three years now. I feel incredibly conflicted taking her out and I'm trying to avoid those feelings, so I'll stop this commentary here.

-- I made the chocolate chip cookies (with dark chocolate chips, of course) last night. So freaking easy and so freaking good. Why do I always assume it's much more difficult to bake than it is? It's not like I ever tackle the complex stuff. I leave that up to the Furie Queene.

-- Speaking of Ms FQ, Pic, N and I got to hang out with her Friday Saturday evening. It was nice and laid-back. N, Pic and I were actually going to watch FQ's bout but it actually rained here (holy unexpectedness...if you lived here, you'd get it). So, the bout was called off so we'll have to see her another time, but, as I said, hanging out was good (until Pic got restless and spilled the multiple plastic ramekins of butter and parmesan cheese powder stuff...yeah, it was definitely time to go).

-- I kind of want to participate in the NaBloPoMo, but I have not much at all to say about heroes. I'm pretty sure I will not stick to the theme at all, if I even manage to stick to writing every day.

-- I made it through an upper-body balance ball routine just now that I tried earlier in the week but had to stop because Pic was having nightmares. I had a crappy week of exercising the week before last, but I'm trying to not lose my momentum (or whatever I should refer to it as).

-- I'm about to be a stay-at-home-mamma again (see the first point in this list) with nowhere to send Pic off a few days a week for the first time in a long time. Yes, I know, I already said this, above, but it really kind of hit me the other day and it'll be interesting. Again, I won't go into anything in detail, but I hope that I don't suck. I'll leave it at that.

-- I have no clue when Father's Day is, but I've already got a card for my own dad and for Cardo. I'll let Pic choose a card for Papi also, which means he'll probably end up with another Disney Princess card.

-- Disney Princesses = me gagging. They're freaking everywhere. Even at the thrift stores which is mainly where we get Pic's toys. Although, Saturday, Cardo did let Pic get a Princess purse/book thing from Costco. Sometimes I give in too, although I always regret it. I can't really explain my anguish in this situation, but...argh!

-- Cardo wants me to come lay down with him now, so I must be off. I need to finish Goblet of Fire anyhow.