Monday, August 31, 2009

25 things

Okay, so, months and months ago, several people tagged me for this on facebook, but I, being me, had no idea how to get to the notebook feature (or whatever it is) on facebook to respond there. Also, I needed time to come up with twenty-five things about myself (you'd think I don't spend any time with myself or something).

So, finally...

25 things:
1 i don’t like coffee but i like to have a coffeehouse i frequent.
2 someone once told me she knew i was irish because of my accent.
3 pic and i share a middle name (which i got from my aunt, for whom i’m named).
4 i don’t often eat sunflower seeds because a bag of sunflower seeds is like a challenge to me…i want to eat them all in one long sitting (also, my tongue used to peel if i ate too many sunflower seeds).
5 i went shampoo-free for five weeks this summer, but i finally gave up on it (for now, at least).
6 my favorite ben and jerry’s ice cream is s’mores (which was called marsha marsha marshmallow when i first bought it).
7 i won’t look at myself in a mirror in the dark.
8 i can’t leave goodwill without buying books (for me, for pic…).
9 my favorite cookies are the chocolate crinkles my mom makes.
10 for my latest graduation, i bought myself a giant penny press puzzle book.
11 talking on the phone makes me anxious (as does the simple ringing of the phone).
12 i am irked when i come across a blog with no easy access to archives…i detest having to scroll down and click ‘older posts’ repeatedly (which leads me to the following: when i start reading a blog, i begin with the oldest posts and work my way through the archives).
13 i spend a ridiculous amount of time online looking for houses to buy. in any area we’ve ever thought to live.
14 i like to read the harry potter books once a year. (i didn’t start reading the books until goblet of fire came out (i went back and read from the beginning) and i was hooked for life.)
15 it took me a ridiculously embasrrassingly long time to get the ‘upper lip’ joke. (‘something smells.’ ‘it’s your upper lip.’)
16 i am sad that i’ll never have enough time to read everything i want to/will want to read.
17 autumn is my favorite season and october is my favorite month.
18 my left leg is much more flexible than my right.
19 i don’t dust.
20 i refer to the crook of my elbow as a crelbow/krelbow (first time i’ve written it) and the space below my nose and above my mouth as a bnam.
21 i was nocturnal as a newborn.
22 i’ve never all-over colored my hair (i’ve done highlights/weave three times) and i don’t plan on ever coloring it at all again (but, we’ll see).
23 i read my academic reading aloud…most of the time.
24 sono un’astemia, much to the consternation of some others [i’m a tee-totaler].
25 my eyelashes are blonde on the tips (auburny-other than that).

[The list, I compiled elsewhere, which explains, again, the lack of caps.]


Yes, that's a sigh of relief. I have now posted at least once every day for August. I shall not submit any of us to another NaBloPoMo attempt for a while. (I believe I've stated something similar before....)

The first week of August was almost wholly scheduled posts, as we were traveling and I despise having to type and publish posts from Cardo's phone (it's not even an option with my phone). I got in a couple of posts at my parents' house, though. I just wanted to explain the 'blogging lite' week.

So, I'm going through a bit of a rough time here, emotionally, and sometimes writing all of this frivolous fluff kind of helps, meaning in the upcoming months I might be spewing enough words here to make everyone else as crazy as I feel or I might be a lot more silent. I've found, though, that I've come to depend on this catharsis. We'll see.

Although I might be writing less, though, doesn't mean I'll be reading any less, so please, I encourage everyone to write a big bunch. You'll be doing your part to help distract me from the dark corners ('cause that's why you write, right?).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

future project

I like to daydream about oh-so-many things. One thing: sewing projects. I've started buying this Sew Stylish magazine and picking out projects I'd like to attempt. (Now, there's just that pesky little detail of me not being a sewing-person (a sew-er? nah). I need a lot more than a few days of my mom trying to teach me everything that she's learned in the last fifty-plus years. I need lots of practice before I really get something.)

Anyhow, here's one of the things I picked out from the Fall 2009 issue. Eventually, I think I'd like to try it.

(I apologize for the quality of my scan. The fabric is actually a solid.)

Given my short, not-thin stature, though, I think that I'd need to slim down that bow. If I could do it, it could be fun.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

music in the morning

This has been stuck in my head all morning. No particular significance in my life right now, just stuck in my head.

[Nicely Nicely Rocking the Boat]

virtual penny for your thoughts

Dearest Interwebby People,

First off, I don't have enough actual pennies for your thoughts. Cardo and I cashed in our change recently after a couple of years of saving up. So, give me another couple of years and perhaps I'll offer actual pennies. Perhaps not.

So, I wanted to ask about something quasi-taboo and controversial: homeschooling. I say 'quasi-taboo and controversial' because I know that, often, the term brings up terrible, horrible, no good, very bad connotations, or something.

I'm not saying that I'm going into this homeschooling venture, I'm just interested in hearing more about it. I know that it'd be better to ask questions in a broader venue than here at the pond (ha! I'm hi-lar-ious! 'the pond'! I need sleep, stat), but I wanted some feedback from you all first.

Right now, I'm just wondering what your initial thoughts/reactions are? Do you have any stories to share regarding homeschooling? I don't believe that anyone I know to read this here blog has herself (I only know women to read my writing here) been homeschooled, yet I ask.

So, thoughts? Feel free to include thoughts on any other alternatives to public schooling also. It's getting close to the time that Pic will be in school full-time, so I'm starting to obsess about it...more.

Grazie mille,

Friday, August 28, 2009

name that parent!

Cardo doesn't have a middle name, so he only has two names total. Pic knows that I have four and often adds one of my last names to her own. It seems that she finds the number of names Cardo has to also be lacking, so she decided that he's now Spicy Cardo B.

No doubt, years of jokes can grow from this.

i can see clearly now...

No, this has nothing to do with rain or "rain" as a metaphor for life's fun difficulties. It's just that Cardo and I bought goggles today and for the first time this summer, I could see well at the pool. I didn't have to worry about my glasses getting splashed every couple of seconds. I didn't have to worry about losing a contact in the pool. I could do flipturns because I could see the wall! (Yes, my eyes are that bad.) It was something of a revelatory experience, much like how I felt after getting glasses when I was seven and realizing (or rerealizing) that trees had individual leaves and not just a mass of greenness.

Now, if only the pool-enjoying season wasn't about to end so soon. Ah, well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

dewey, cheatum and howe

On a recent trip to Costco, I noticed a new business. Slamdunkem. Really, I kid you not. It's something to do with bankruptcy and it appears to be a real business.

I don't know if the company name is a bit of levity in the face of overwhelming hardship, but I'd like to think that...I think.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

many sardonic gripes

I was just looking through my bookmarks when I came across this, tucked away in a folder I rarely peruse (I've entitled the folder 'Rainy Day Fun,' if you must know). I only came across one sincere (I believe) review of this toy, the Playmobil Security Check Point. You can check out the rest when you have a multitude of tasks to accomplish but no intention of getting to them anytime soon.

I'm including just one review here:

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger's shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger's scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said "that's the worst security ever!". But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I've heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I'll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the kennedys

I would say something like 'rest in peace,' but I'm not really one to say that. In memoriam then, I suppose, in others' words.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Edward Kennedy

Most of the time, I don't pay enough attention. I need to, perhaps I will. It shouldn't take illness and death for me to pay attention.

all form and no content?

I saw a mention of the following article on a facebook post, so I went to check it out. I'm posting the first three paragraphs here. What do you guys think about Dr Fish's article?

What Should Colleges Teach?

A few years ago, when I was grading papers for a graduate literature course, I became alarmed at the inability of my students to write a clean English sentence. They could manage for about six words and then, almost invariably, the syntax (and everything else) fell apart. I became even more alarmed when I remembered that these same students were instructors in the college’s composition program. What, I wondered, could possibly be going on in their courses?

I decided to find out, and asked to see the lesson plans of the 104 sections. I read them and found that only four emphasized training in the craft of writing. Although the other 100 sections fulfilled the composition requirement, instruction in composition was not their focus. Instead, the students spent much of their time discussing novels, movies, TV shows and essays on a variety of hot-button issues — racism, sexism, immigration, globalization. These artifacts and topics are surely worthy of serious study, but they should have received it in courses that bore their name, if only as a matter of truth-in-advertising.

As I learned more about the world of composition studies, I came to the conclusion that unless writing courses focus exclusively on writing they are a sham, and I advised administrators to insist that all courses listed as courses in composition teach grammar and rhetoric and nothing else. This advice was contemptuously dismissed by the composition establishment, and I was accused of being a reactionary who knew nothing about current trends in research. Now I have received (indirect) support from a source that makes me slightly uncomfortable, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which last week issued its latest white paper, “What Will They Learn? A Report on General Education Requirements at 100 of the Nation’s Leading Colleges and Universities.”

In the article (blog post, actually, I don't know that it makes a difference how I refer to it), here, the ACTA and the white paper are linked, so you'll have to head over to the NYT for the link. The article was posted yesterday.

A couple of quick thoughts:
- How do we teach writing without some kind of content?
- I believe that the more I read and the more I do my own writing and thinking and the more feeback I get on my work, the better my writing becomes (although, it doesn't necessarily help me avoid passive tense...ah, well). I believe the same is true for my students.
- There is more to what goes on in a classroom than what is listed on lesson plans. I'm just going to put that out there.
- How does a person even find the time to read ten to fifteen weeks' worth of lesson plans for 104 courses?
- I cannot teach at least twenty-two students to perfectly compose in a class that meets for 150 minutes a week for sixteen weeks. The entire burden does not rest on one single instructor, nor does it ever rest entirely on the instructor.
- Good writing is defined in part on the context in which that writing happens.

I could go on (and on and on), but I won't. I'm interested in how experience might hone or change my views on this article. Perhaps I'll save it and come back to it in thirty years.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Pic sang the following song to me today:

-- Carole King, "Chicken Soup with Rice"

This one she told me she was practicing so she could sing it every day.

This next one, we sang together:

-- Bert and Ernie, "La La La"

And, now that I'm on Sesame Street stuff anyhow:

-- Sesame Street: Feist Sings "1, 2, 3, 4"

And, finally:

-- Bert & Ernie -- "Dance Myself to Sleep"

Aw, poor Bert!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

screen shopping

Kind of like window shopping, but from my chair in my office.

-- a journal from lulumagoo

-- from IceCreamCandy

-- from dottiesdream

Saturday, August 22, 2009

summer wanes

It's a few minutes before nine o'clock and as I look out my window here, I see a brightly lit pool but a dark, dark sky. Just a few weeks ago, we might have just been rounding up our evening walk, returning to the car to drive home, sometimes by way of the grocery store for a treat. Tonight, our walk ended at least forty minutes ago and it was already getting a bit late-seeming then.

Summer, you have a good month left in you. It's days like today, when we spend the waning hours of the day on our walk, only to come home and realize it's barely past eight that I start to yearn for your friend Autumn. (Actually, I don't know that Summer and Autumn really are friends. Hmm.)

School starts soon (next week for most everyone I know) and it's strange to not be going back. It's strange to still feel so uncertain about what comes next. And, although autumn is my favorite season, I don't know that I'm looking forward to this one as much. I don't have a reason to go back to the place I've been going for the last decade. The friendships that took me so long to cultivate, for lack of a better word, seem to be slipping away and this makes me sad.

Part of this could be my living too long in my own head this summer. Part of this definitely is that, in living so much in my own head and dwelling in my own doubts and insecurities, I've been lax in my end of the friendship deal. I've not been available enough to my friends and, for that, I apologize. Sometimes I let the dark, foggy state so envelope me that I just can't find the energy to reach out. And, if I do, I don't make that many efforts. Any time I reach out and there isn't anyone immediately at the other end of my reach, I start to assume that my grasp is unwanted and then I wallow in more doubt and insecurity. I don't mean to be like this, but I've spent the last almost three decades becoming this way. I'm working on it, if only right now by acknowledging it.

So, anyhow, although I'm feeling this overwhelming sense of sadness, I'm sending this out instead:

I'll be walking in the park if you need to know where to find me. And, even more importantly, if anyone else is feeling some of what I didn't intend to share above, please do reach out and I'll make the effort, that really isn't any effort at all, to be waiting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

you know, that one movie

The other night, Cardo and I were playing Trivial Pursuit and there was a question something like: 'What was Uma Thurman wearing on her feet for most of Pulp Fiction?' (I probably got most of that question wrong, but whatever.)

'Nothing!' I gleefully shouted (only very quietly, because Pic was sleeping).

'Right, she was barefoot,' Cardo responded, 'How'd you know that?'

'You watched the movie the other day when we were housesitting.'

Cardo sat there looking confused.

'You know,' I went on, 'The nasty movie where the women were always fighting each other...covered in blood...snatching eyeballs out.' [Pardon me while I vomit.]

'That was Kill Bill.'

'Oh, right, oops. But I still got it right.'

So, I'm not really at all, not even a little a Quentin Tarantino fan. Sorry. I'll leave his work for others. But, I got my little wedge for my gamepiece.


P.S. At one point, I was more of a Tarantino fan, but I just can't stomach the violence anymore. I'm not sure that all of his films have so much violence but I choose not to find out. It seems that the more I tune in to the actual violence in the world, the less interested I am in watching it on the screen.

P.P.S. I knew that it wasn't Pulp Fiction that Cardo had been watching -- doesn't that film have John Travolta? -- but all too often I speak before I think.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

carpe diem...

...or a plea to just give it up already. Regardless, it is (would have been, rather) Robert Herrick's birthday today. And, this has been in my head because Coach J recently quoted part of it.*

by Robert Herrick

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.

-- from


* Actually, now that I've gone back to get that link, I remember that she didn't just quote it, she used it in a creative way, because that's what she does, and so nicely too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the mean reds...

...again, I know.

Today has been something of a blah day. Actually, I guess the entire day hasn't been so bad, it just feels like it has at this point. I couldn't sleep last night (big shock, yes, I know), so it feels like pretty much the moment I did manage to get to sleep, it was time to get up and take Cardo to work. Pic and I had some errands today, so we preferred access to the car. I'm sure, though, that my overall funk has to do with too little sleep, too much stress and a definite need for a break.

I know that there are people who would think, 'What exactly do you need a break from?' (or, even, 'From what exactly do you need a break?' if you want to have fancy syntax that really makes no difference, but which still haunts me). I need a break from constant Mamma-Pic time. I love it, I cherish it, I'm happy and grateful that I have, it, but sometimes Pic and I just need our space from one another. And, it doesn't matter that I know this and that I believe it to be healthy and normal (taking a break from the person I spend ALL of my waking hours with), I still feel guilty and sucky about it. And, it doesn't help that when I'm this far sunk in my funk (ha!), and I try to talk to Cardo about it, he just doesn't get it. At all. And how can I expect him to? He's never been the one to be at home because, hello, we need money for things like rent and food. But I was just so irked tonight by the way he seemed so dismissive of my frustration, of my restlessness. It was kind of like, 'Sorry. But if things work out, you'll be spending all of your time with her anyway.' Which just isn't true. I'll be somewhere with people my own age a few times a week while she'll be elsewhere with people her own age a few times a week. That, it seems obvious to me, is different.

Anyhow, I can't expend any more energy on this right now. I'm the one who's made my choices. No one forced me to do things this way. And, overall, I'm happy. I just currently happen to be happy in a burnt-out kind of way.

All of that, I needed to get out, but I also felt I needed to set up the general state of mean-redness to somehow justify the amount of tv watching that went on here today because that has to do with the rest of what I wanted to share.

After Pic and I went to gather Cardo from work, she wanted to go swimming. I was not in the mood (at freaking all...I just wanted to sleep), so I asked Cardo if he'd feel comfortable taking her on his own. He wasn't. He's not a swimmer and I understand that he doesn't want to risk anything happening. So, we all suited up, Pic tucked into her floaties, and went to the pool where I never put more than my feet in.

One of our neighbors, who adores kids, was there. He was asking Pic what her favorite show was. 'Is it SpongeBob?' She shook her head, 'no.' We are not a SpongeBob watching household. Then, he asked her, 'Is it iCarly.' Again, with the headshake. Okay, so we're neither a Nickelodeon nor a Disney Channel household. Partly because we don't have those channels anymore (since December, we've had about four channels), but mainly because most shows I've come across on those channels annoy me. 'I like PBS Kids,' she told him, 'They have Dinosaur Train. It's going to start next month.' She's been very excited about this upcoming show.

Pic and I are both pretty enamored of PBS Kids. Actually, we both also like PBS Kids Go (the children's programing in the afternoon). I feel lucky that we have so many shows available, and I love the set-up: preschool/early grade school programing in the mornings and shows for older kids in the afternoons. I've been very into Sid the Science Kid lately. I'd have to say that Pic's current favorite is either Super WHY! or Word Girl (apparently she has a thing for superheros). So, yes, about all the tv today. We watched part of Sid the Science Kid, then Super WHY!, Clifford the Big Red Dog and, finally (I know) part of Sesame Street (until Elmo's World came on and it was time for us to go...except, she later watched an episode of Elmo's World on a DVD that was gifted to Pic). Ugh. If we don't get back to what I consider a normal schedule (school for the both of us) soon, we're close to becoming a pair of Helen Sharps, obsessively watching tv while using our fingers to eat frosting from plastic containers.

house hunting

This makes me giggle. So fun. Too bad we're not really in the market yet.

I'm only through mid-August of last year. This is a complete time-suck, but it's oh-so-much fun, including the captions.

The following are all from different houses.

Monday, August 17, 2009

surfin' the crimson wave

I just ordered my first set of cloth pads from a seller on etsy. Poke* sent me a couple of links and I finally decided to just order them already. I've been wanting to, but the price thing always holds me up. I know that this reason is completely illogical because, really, the price of regular pads adds up much more quickly. If I like them, I'll share the name of the seller here. (If I don't, I'm sure it'll probably just be a me issue, so I won't go blaming other people.)

So, why cloth pads? Several reasons, in no particular order:
- I'm not a big fan of tampons, but I'm not sure that I really want to try any of the various menstrual cups out there. Maybe one day.
- I would really like to have something reusable. I hate throwing away that much plastic. One of my biggest guilt issues in raising Pic (there aren't many of these issues) is not cloth diapering. Cardo refused to go along with it no matter the reassurances that no, we wouldn't be using something akin to giant cloth napkins affixed with giant safety pins. I tried to get him to agree to cloth diapers, but I still feel I could have done more. Ah, well. She's long out of diapers now, so I should just let it go, right? Anyhow, I plan on having my period for the next several decades at least, so I can at least stop using disposable products.
- I loathe regular disposable pads. I hate feeling like I'm wearing a diaper.
- My living/money situation is most likely soon to change and I'd like to save money where I can. It's funny how so often doing something that is (at least supposed to be) good for the environment can seem so expensive at first until I look a little further. I don't want to buy expensive cleaning products, for instance, so I use vinegar and baking soda. I don't have the money to buy any of the organic cotton or bamboo clothing I've so far found (I really can't get over that sticker shock), so we buy used clothes. I'm hoping that I'll soon get it through my head that buying a set of reusable pads will very quickly prove to be less costly than monthly buying disposable ones.

So, anyhow, I'll let you know.


* Poke will very soon be (might already be) cloth diapering Baby B. (Baby B has to be big enough to fit into the diapers, but then they'll last throughout her diapered days.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

file under 'ridiculous'

-- Brain Makeover, from sciencecheerleader

Saturday, August 15, 2009

blog summer night

One Minute Writer from some days ago (I think two days ago): What would be your perfect night out?

Arriving at the Blue Park and running around in the shade, listening to the river. Unpacking the stroller or tricycle from the trunk and setting out for one of our walks. If there's time, we head to the Lion Park and take an interesting detour on the way back. If there isn't time, we head down several random streets.

It's evening, there's a breeze, the sun is getting low and the light is getting glowy. People are starting to turn on their lamps inside. We can smell dinner being prepared.

Today, Cardo asked, 'I wonder if the people who live around here think we live here because we walk here so often?'

We don't live there, we just dream there.

[Okay that was two minutes, but I don't type that fast.]

Friday, August 14, 2009

today, in other non-news

If we had a newspaper (probably more like a newsletter) about our family life, the headline for today would be something like 'These are weepy, sleepless times.'

No, I don't profess to be anything of a catchy-title-writing genius, of course, but the above blurb describes our (okay, my) state right about now. The weepiness and the sleeplessness are playing off of one another. Fun times, fun times.

More later, perhaps?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the puzzles of advertising

I was just elsewhere on this here interweb and the following ad was up on the screen:

I didn't click on the ad, other than to right-click and save the image, and I have no intention of ever doing so. Let's, for now, put aside the issue of a one rule miracle cure for dealing with unwanted body mass. Really, who is this ad supposed to convince? When you really take a moment to look at it? First off, I'm not at all sure about that whole twenty-five pounds of stomach fat. (This makes me curious about how much my stomach fat weighs.) Where is this stomach fat? Maybe it's just me, but this woman doesn't look like she has twenty-five pounds worth of stomach fat. (She could maybe lose twenty-five pounds overall, but I wonder how thin (too thin?) this would make her.) My biggest issue though, because I really don't know what twenty-five pounds of stomach fat looks like, is the before/after pictures. Yes, we can definitely tell that she has lost weight based on that second picture of only her head, right? Right? Okay, so she got a tan and darkened her hair (I'm assuming that's the same woman, although I know the perils of assumption), and this is supposed to prove...?

Anyhow, I have other things to be doing right now rather than overanalyze this ad.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

gush or gripe?

I have this bad habit of reading the negative reviews of books on amazon. I call it a bad habit because it annoys me that I do this because I remember lots of little, negative details. I try to keep myself from doing this, but I just did it again.

Right now, I'm reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I've barely started and, so far, it's likeable enough (for me). The amazon ratings are pretty evenly spread out from one (worst) to five (best). Of course, I immediately clicked on the one-star icon and began reading about how the characters were so flat, completely underdeveloped, about how the main plot points are completely contrived, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I didn't stop with the one-star reviews this time, though. In fact, I didn't even read them all, although I was tempted to. After a short bit, I switched to the five-star ratings. One of the first I found there raved about how well developed the characters are.

Of course.

This is part of why I have such a difficult time giving my own opinion. I never want to give it as authoritative. I want to hedge, I want to qualify with a 'to me,' or some such phrase. One of the most common pieces of criticism I get in my Other writing is that I use these qualifying phrases and I'm not supposed to. I'm supposed to just go out and assert stuff and pretend that what I say is some kind of dogma. I'm pretty incapable of this. I feel like such an imposter, because I don't know anything for sure (something I've been thinking more about, but I don't want to go too much into that right now). Right?

Anyhow, I'm on an extended break from my required reading lists. I've needed it. It's like I've been detoxing il quest estate. This brings me to another point. Sometimes, I feel like people read books expecting every one to live up to their standards of great literature, whatever those standards may be. I think (ha! another of my doomed phrases) that we need to be realistic about why a book is written. What's its purpose? Who's it audience? Did I expect The Friday Night Knitting Club to be some esoteric intellectual exercise? No. I'm reading it because I want to enjoy it. I want to escape from my own anxiety-filled life and focus on the people in this novel. I want to not have to look up every twentieth word. I do enough reading of great (or 'great') works of theory and literature nine months a year, and now I want a break.

So, on with the 'frivolous' books and screw the reviews.


I'm feeling stressed and frustrated and ready to climb back into the little walled-off space I've so carefully created for myself all of these years. I'm resisting but, y'know, sometimes resistance is futile, or something.

I'm pretty sure that I just need to get a decent amount of sleep tonight (Cardo and I tossed around all freaking night last night, finally falling asleep well after three only to wake up at 6:45) and clean the apartment (continue with the purge and all). I also might need some chocolate.

By the way, the ice cream was actually good, really, really soft, but good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I had a teacher who once asked the class something like, 'If you won a million dollars and could fill one room, what would you buy?' We were to write the answers down. The first thing that came to me (big shock coming) was books. I wrote down 'books' and then sat there. He was still waiting for us, so I decided to add a chair or two, some lamps and perhaps some shelves, but that was really it.

The question had been some kind of test, some kind of gauge determining our tastes or something. People with high-class tastes (again, or something, because I can't remember the exact distinctions) chose one or two expensive items while people with lower-class tastes chose lots of items.

The books I had imagined were nothing like original illuminated manuscripts from the sixteen-century, mind you, they were just books. Books bought second-hand so I could buy more. Books on topics that interest me in both my academic and non-academic lives.

At first, I felt that I had somehow failed the test, but now I just figure, eh, I'd still buy tons and tons of books, 'frivolous' and 'serious' alike.

What about you guys? If you could fill one room and money wasn't really an object, what would you like to possess?

Monday, August 10, 2009

today and tomorrow

I know that 'routine' was last month's NaBloPoMo theme, but I feel like returning to it anyhow. So, today...

Pic got up this morning to join us in our bed. She's been doing this for the last couple of days and it's been wonderful. I'm glad that she sleeps in her own sleeping bag (she's slept in it almost every single night since we gave it to her for her birthday), but it's nice to snuggle with her first thing in the morning. She and Cardo got up shortly after she came in this morning, though; she didn't want to sleep any longer. She did come to cuddle with me later and it was nice to have her tucked into the crook of my arm. I rubbed her head and gazed into her eyes and was reminded of the days (the many, many days) of breastfeeding. I didn't have the usual pang of sad nostalgia this time though, only happiness.

When I finally got up, Cardo went out to work on his car. It's been squeaking for the past ninety years but he finally got it to stop today. Hooray! I ate breakfast (a toasted bagel with tzatziki and sliced ham accompanied by a glass of water) and showered while Pic played some games on the PBS Kids website (yes, finally at four, we started letting her play on the computer a bit -- I'm just glad she's so far satisfied with PBS Kids). Then, we joined Cardo outside where Pic clipped on her helmet and rode her tricycle around a bit.

We came back in and, for a moment, I thought I was going to have some time to myself while Cardo and Pic went to wash the car, but Cardo decided that Pic should stay home and then he ended up not going either. I was really hoping that they'd just go. I haven't had any daytime just for myself since May. I suppose it's a good thing I'm not a single parent because I'd be whining a whole lot more. I've tried not to dwell here. I love being with Pic, but that doesn't change that every once in a while, I want a minute to have alone time to read uninterrupted. This is part of the reason I don't sleep. ANYHOW...

The three of us prepared the mix for some ice cream. So long after the owning-an-ice-cream-maker-is-in thing, we finally bought one. So, this afternoon, we donned our aprons and made a bit of a mess. We also managed to scramble the egg a bit. Ugh. I was going on about how we had to temper the egg so it wouldn't scramble and we were doing okay, but then we added the tempered egg back in too quickly et voile, chocolate scrambled egg ice cream mix. Can't wait.

Pic and I sat at the dining room table where she read me the comics for forty minutes. Then, she and I started to gather the toys she no longer plays with so we can give them away. I had her pick out three things today and we'll keep up with the three things deal for a bit. She's got tons of toys. She's been given plenty, but we also have a bad habit of picking up something at Goodwill or Savers very often. Then, I slept. I asked her if she minded if I rested on her sleeping bag and pillow and she didn't mind. I rested for a bit and then I slept. A bit later, Cardo joined me and we both slept on Pic's floor. (Super Parents strike again!) I eventually got up with Pic because she was going a little stir crazy and I didn't want her to wake Cardo, however, I just came out to the living room with her, where I went to sleep again. I was awoken by her little face in mine announcing, 'It's time to eat!' Cardo had made enchiladas again.

We ate and then headed out for a walk. We went to the Blue Park and brought Pic's tricycle with us. After we played catch for a while with those velcro hand pad thingies and a little tennis ball, we set out for the Lion Park. Pic was so incredibly happy to just be on her tricycle. Cardo and I walked/jogged (or wogged, as a friend calls it) along behind her as she tooted her horn and rang her bell anytime a car came anywhere near us. By the time we got back, it was dark and time to come home. One of my favorite things is to walk in the evening, a cool breeze, the streetlights coming on, the smell of other peoples' dinners floating out to the sidewalk.

Ah, but here I go with the nostalgia again and I have a book and some Sleepytime tea awaiting me.

Tomorrow: chocolate scrambled egg ice cream. I'll let you know how that goes.


all different sizes

I'm watching a show right now and a character (a well-known female runway model) just said, 'Give me a size eight and shove me out there.' Something like that, anyway.

Really? A size eight? Models seem to have shrunk in the last two decades.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

who's on first

A couple of days ago, while we were on vacation:

Pic: Is there, like, fruit in the frigerator?

Cardo: Yeah, there's your bean burrito.

Pic: No, fruit.

Cardo: That is food.

Pic: Fruuuuit.

Cardo: Food?

Pic: Fruuuuuit!

Me (cracking up): FRUIT!

We eventually got there, people.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

p.p.s more food


Wow, that last post was incredibly time consuming. Here I go again.

such an easy dinner (for me): Cardo grilled the chicken and the corn and we had leftover baked triple-bean pot beans (I'll be making these again this week)

ah, portabella burgers, it's been far too long -- Cardo also oversaw Pic and I making guacamole and, of course, there're strawberries and cherries [I just realized this picture is sideways, but I don't really care to make it unsideways...sorry]

'enchilada' (I was informed this is not how you make enchiladas, but I was also told that if I made them this way again, they would still be eaten)

ENCHILADAS (to be said in a robust voice) made by Cardo, along with leftover guacamole and Cardo's fancy schmancy plating

Pic serving up some of the ENCHILADAS (again with the robust voice)

a plea concerning cooking; or, the quinoa picture post

Dearest Interweb,

What are your go-to dishes?

I asked this question of Coach J recently, while she and I took turns grating a block of frozen cheese so she could make quesadillas (at my apartment...I'm the host with the most, no?). We're slowly getting better about eating in and actually eating the food that we buy (geez, the problems of the privileged 'first-worlders', I know).

Anyhow, I'm looking for quick(ish), relatively inexpensive items to make for dinner (recipes that leave enough for breakfast or lunch another day are especially welcome).

Here are my go-to meals I can think of right now:
-- oatmeal (with a bit of TJ's maple syrup, homemade applesauce, pumpkin pie spice usually...otherwise with whatever dried fruit we have on hand, except the other day when we didn't have anything suitable and I used strawberry preserves) (also, usually, I make regular (not instant) rolled oats, but I make steel-cut when I have way more time)
-- risi e bisi (rice and peas) (I'm not a white rice fan, so I use brown rice, basmati or wild)
-- rice and beans (see above rice note)
-- soup (stock, garlic, spinach, beans, small pasta, other veggies, possibly meat, spices, herbs)
-- baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli

There are others, but, really, they're things like cereal; cream of wheat (my ultimate comfort food, which I rarely eat, to which I only add milk and sugar); toasted cheese; spinach and tomato sandwiches; peanut butter, apple, waffle sandwiches; other sandwiches; whatever random assortment of beans and other vegetables make it onto our plates; bean and cheese burritos; frozen pizza; homemade pizza on store-bought dough; blah, blah, blah.

So, what about you guys? Any suggestions for me, please?

Grazie mille,

P.S. Of course, I can't post about food without sharing recent pictures. I can't believe it's been over a month since I've posted food pictures. Oops. I can't get more than five pictures in a post, so I'll post some pictures here and some in another 'p.s.' post.

sauteed chicken, very lemony spinach (oops), plain quinoa, corn (this is the first time I'd ever made quinoa and I didn't know what it tasted like or what to do with it, hence it being plain here)

quinoa and spinach from previous dinner, mixed...very tasty

quinoa bowl: quinoa, black beans, queso fresco casero, avocado (so good) -- I got the recipe idea from dalai mama dishes and I'm sure I'll eat it often in the future (I omitted a bunch due to laziness and lack of ingredients, but I still loved it)

bean and cheese burrito and quinoa with melted cheddar (I really had to use up the quinoa before we went out of town and it turns out Cardo's not too fond of it so he wasn't really helping me it it...Pic's iffy on it) the next morning, I had quinoa, bean and cheese burritos for breakfast

my iced tea cupcake from Retro Bakery in Vegas: lemon cupcake with iced tea buttercream frosting with a candy garnish (that Pic ate) -- this was really good and the service was great and it's too bad they're so far away (except, perhaps it isn't too bad because I don't need an extra extra twenty pounds)

Friday, August 7, 2009


...I really don't have any words, except: enjoy!

-- 80's Dances: How to Learn the Running Man

'scuse me while i kiss this guy

I'm not really sure of the actual words to the following song and I really don't feel like looking them up (because I'll just stick with my version, thanks):

Went to a dance
Looking for a man
Saw Barbara Ann
So I thought I'd take a chance

There are so many more, but that's what's been running through my head lately.

[There'll probably be much less blogging lite very soon here...not that there is anything of great import to report, just less trivial.]


Home again, home again, jiggety friggin' jog.

Big sigh of relief.

And, the weather is nice and our windows are open and I am not wearing any pants.

It's good to be home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

things that make you go 'huh?'


You seem always to be a bit screwy with your ideas for good advertising and spreading your message, and this game is more of the same. How is this even supposed to be challenging? 'Hmm, is that a squirrel or a particularly large pair of breasts that are entirely too big for the top they're squeezed into?'


P. S.

'Veggie Love': PETA's Banned Super Bowl Ad

Really? 'Vegetarians Have Better Sex'...with their vegetables? I don't think that's the definition of vegetarian.

(Yes, I know the ad isn't new, but I didn't want to post too many examples of PETA's wackiness here.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

tomorrow's resort?

Can I just begin this by saying I love me some Marlon Brando (even when his Brother Sky* so irritatingly refers to women as 'dolls'). Yes, I can? Okay, then.

So, how about the next time Cardo and I celebrate an anniversary (and the next time we're millionaires), we stay at The Brando? (You have to click on the press release, at least at the time I'm posting this. I'm not sure when the site will be updated.)


* Or, perhaps, Damon Runyon's Sky Masterson. Whoever...the words come out of Brando's mouth in the movie version I've seen countless times.


P. S. I have never seen any of the Godfather films. :gasp!:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Is this the future of amusement parks? I'm not quite sure what this site's (what I've linked) purpose is. Perhaps, though, this is an alternative to Disneyland, somewhere to take Pic when we are ready to try out the amusement park thing.

By the way, I think the name needs some rethinking.

Monday, August 3, 2009

men, men, men, men, manly men

I love this Target Women video.

Although Haskins is discussing commercials here, I've had this complaint about sitcoms for quite some time now. I'm annoyed with the idea that the wives in the sitcoms I've seen seem so with-it. They're good looking, in shape and intelligent. Their counterparts however? Bumbling, emotionally-stunted, often much less fit than the women. I'd hate to be a man watching these shows. It's been a while since I've watched any sitcoms but I have a feeling not much has changed.

One other thing, from here. I won't add to the comments. Just something to think about.


P.S. I have watched Two and a Half Men, hence my title here, but the show made me so crazy that I finally realized how much of my time I was wasting with it and gave it up.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

summer vacation...

This year, I've been seeing an abundance of wordplay with the word 'vacation,' and I find it all annoying. I don't know why I'm so irked, but I am. Here are the ones I've recently seen:

- staycation
- breakation
- spacation
- minication

All annoying.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

metaphorically speaking

The other day, Pic and I were out for a walk and a snack. The conversation turned to our friends Coach J and Destructor. (Pic was asking if Destructor was coming over to our place.) I was telling Pic that Coach J had run a marathon in October and Pic responded, 'I'm running a marathon.'

'Oh, really?' I asked.

'Yes, I'm my fousand kids' mother, remember.'

[I think I have forgotten to mention the 'fousand kids' somehow. Recenty, Pic has decided that she has a thousand kids, go figure. They come almost everywhere with us. She went around and asked a bunch of people if she could take their kids off their hands and they all said yes. This is how she tells it anyhow.]