Monday, September 21, 2009

please excuse this moment of sappy clicheness

(Yeah, 'clicheness' is so not a word, but there it is.)

I don't recommend watching the video because the sound is all off, but you can listen while browsing elsewhere. Oh, and it suddenly cuts off. A bit obnoxious, but the other videos I found are...not what I want either. Anyhow, you'll get the point.

-- John Denver: Leaving on a Jet Plane

My bags are packed, one stuffed full and one with only two pairs of shoes and my black coat. Um, yeah, who knows what I'll be forgetting. I'll be back at some point and I hope by then I'll have it all figured out. Suddenly, in this moment, this whole prospect seems so unreal.

I'll check in when I can. Please continue to send along your good thoughts. (Hey, with those and a bit of pixie dust, I can just skip the plane in my flight, right?)

losing it

I totally lost my cool today. What little cool I pretend to have. I have been beyond stressed out, not sleeping, worrying every moment for the past three-plus months.

Here's, very briefly, what I haven't been writing about.

I applied for a Master's program (or, programme) at King's College London and was offered a place. I applied in January or February, I think. I can't even remember at this point. I heard back at the end of June. I was already stressing at that point. Many other stresses followed: passport (not that bad, actually), housing (still majorly sucking), visa (ugh, except for the incredible woman who processed my visa), financial aid, plane tickets, hotels (I think a somewhat disgusting dive is in store for me...yea), ecc, ecc, ecc.

I can't begin to explain the lack of sleep, the tremendous doubt, the anxiety, the fear. I wish all of that was past, but it's not.

I got word on Friday that I would be getting my visa. I received said visa (well, my passport with the visa page all filled in) two hours ago. I fly out tomorrow afternoon. I will miss enrolment and I'm hoping that I won't miss induction for my department. I will have to enrol late, next week.

Pic will not be coming with me on this initial trip. In some ways, this is better. I can go find housing for us. I can find a school for her. I can figure out where the grocery stores are, I can set up a bank account, I can start getting into the swing of my classes.

I am planning (please, please) to come back and retrieve Pic in about a month's time. I have never been away from her for more than two nights in a row.

I will miss her. I will miss Cardo. I will miss the covert cat. Yeah, there're a lot of things and there're plenty of people I'll miss.

I'm nervous and scared. I've never done anything like this. I feel, once again, like a kid, and I don't like it. I'd much prefer to have someone come with me, show me the ropes, help me find a place to live. This isn't going to happen.

Anyhow, this is my last full day here and Cardo's at work (he couldn't get any time off because everything is so last minute). I wanted to spend some time with Pic, heading to our local coffeehouse, walking around, just being together, but she didn't want to turn off the tv. When I turned it off, she went directly to her room to cry and we began to argue. Our nerves are frayed, like the electrical cords the rabbit used to chew. Tempers are sparking. I actually slammed Pic's door, because I'm the mature one here. I went into my room and pounded on my mattress and threw my pajamas at the wall.

Things have calmed down between the two of us. She's getting dressed. We're headed out for one last day of mini-adventures. I am, as I have been all these long months, on the verge of tears.

I half want to back out, except I know that I could do excellently well in this program. It's just the getting there and getting settled in that's causing me to feel like I'm going to throw up although I have yet to eat today.

Please, wish me luck. Offer me any advice you have. Tell me you have a relative in London who is just dying to rent Pic and myself a room for ten months.

I'm sorry that I haven't shared more. I just haven't been able to. And, now, everything has (almost) come together in the last couple of days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

autumnal equinox... in two days. I'm not sure how we'll celebrate, but I'm thinking with food. I always want to celebrate with food. (You could say I am obsessed.)

So, what food says autumn to me? Squash. I'm thinking I could make pumpkin cake and acorn squash. I'll probably make the cake without frosting this time, because it really doesn't need it. As for the squash, I might make two: one savory and one sweet.

We'll also celebrate by (wait for it...wait for it) walking. Wow, something we never do, right? I know, it seems like all we ever do around here is walk, but it keeps me sane. And, our walks lately have been pretty close to divine, if I may. A nice cool breeze, the setting sun, and I've actually been a bit happier getting home by around eight o'clock again and not well after nine.

Just one more quick note: What are you guys reading? I cannot get into anything at all lately. I'm a lost cause. Help. And, thank you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the book of counted sorrows

This has been stuck in my head. It is not a reflection of how I feel, but it's lingering anyhow. I think at least one other person might recognize it and share in a bit of nostalgia.

The hounds, the hounds
Come baying at his heels.
The hounds! The hounds!
The breath of death he feels.

-- DRK

Friday, September 18, 2009

pause for reflection

Not much to report on today. I didn't make the kale thing. A friend offered to have Pic spend the night, so Cardo and I went out to dinner and then for a late, dark walk. It was nice, but it was strange to go for our nightly walk without Pic.

I've been so restless lately that I feel that at any moment I might spontaneously combust (wouldn't that be disgusting?). I feel like I have to be in some kind of motion, so, for this summer, it's been walking. What I'd really like is to be in a more figurative kind of motion, slowly moving toward some of my Big Life Goals (they deserve capitalization). And, I'm getting there. The thing is that I have to keep reminding myself of this. My Big Life Goals are pretty long-term and I know that it'll be years before we even reach them, but, geez, I can be impatient. Cardo is always calmly reminding me that we just have to be patient and I want to growl in frustration at him when he says this. But, I know he's right. There is no easy way to jump ahead and suddenly, magically, have the things I want. The things we want.

So, I have two...personal growth type goals for myself for right now. One: stop procrastinating so much on everything. Sure, I won't get that last-minute adrenaline rush thing, but I'll also be a lot more calm (and, I hope, confident) along the way. Two: Be patient. Appreciate where I am now and really understand how that will lead to me reaching my goals.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

dream school

This is Cardo's dream school:

Kettering University (Flint, Michigan)
Best value for: Post-GM auto geeks
Tuition: $27,584 (first year)
This top engineering school offers a four-year professional co-op where students alternate semesters in class and on the job—earning as much as $26 an hour. Plus, you can minor in Fuel Cells and Hybrid Technology.

I found this in Mother Jones.

Now, I can spend my time looking up jobs and houses and schools for Pic and myself near/in Flint, Michigan. This is what I do with my non-sleeping hours of darkness.

and on we eat

Okay, so let me just apologize in advance for the food reviews and for the pictures: I apologize.

Alright, that said.

Tuesday night was cauliflower fritters and more broccoli. The recipe for the former was from Every Day with Rachael Ray. I'm not sure why I thought that I would like these, or why I thought they'd be a good idea. It turns out that I don't like fried food all that much and that I like to prepare it even less. I always become somewhat irked at the oil when it pops at me. (Really. I yell at it. It helps me.) I also don't like my apartment to smell like fried stuff. Cardo says that's how it should smell -- like we cook here -- but I always want the smell to immediately dissipate. Blech. It also turns out that not only does Cardo not really like broccoli, he also doesn't really like cauliflower. Pic, as I thought, wasn't too into it either, but that's just how she eats. I have to say that she did eat some of it, though.

Okay, so let me admit that I thought these would be a decent idea because the recipe is featured in the Take 5! section: the recipes contain five or fewer ingredients (not counting olive oil, salt and pepper). Yes, I'm lazy. No, I won't make these again. I'd much rather have either steamed cauliflower or blender cauliflower.

However, we did eat these on a blanket in the grass at the park. Right next to a row of leafy trees and, beyond them, the river. And, the weather was beautiful.

Last night, Cardo made dinner. He was scheduled to make chicken taquitos, which he did make, even though we had no lettuce or sour cream. Our taquitos looked so sad, so unadorned. They were simple but good enough. The color palette for our meal, though, consisted of corn and cornmeal (why are there so many paint colors named for food?). The carrots barely added a splash of color. Again, I apologize.

Nothing more fried this week please. Thank you.

So, tomorrow, I get to make that kale, potato, tomato thing. Oh, wait, that's Friday, I think. Tomorrow, we're having something like zucchini dip and broccoli, I believe. We probably need to eat our (store-bought) hummus, too. I suppose it'll be a dip-filled evening. Good for picnicking, though. Picnicking to be followed by an hour-long walk into the fading moments of summer.

Oh, and I had leftover baked ziti for breakfast today. It was good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

around the world in eighty days, kind of

I recently watched part of Around the World in 80 Days* with Cardo. Phileas Fogg's is racing around the world, duh, and toward the end, he is repeatedly on the verge of giving up. I don't know about the rest of the movie, because I didn't watch it. I remember how annoyed I was with this character who was so close to his goal but so ready to just give up, again and again.

I was annoyed at this character, but also, um, I've been impersonating him, I suppose. There's a somewhat big goal on my own horizen and not much about trying to reach it this summer has been easy. All too often, I've been ready to just give it up, to call it off. I'm so sick of myself, it makes me sick (ha!). I'm not quite yet ready to give up on said goal, even though I still have this gargantuan nagging doubt, and I'm giving it one last big effort.

Wish me luck. Please.


P. S. Yes, I'm weirdly superstitious about some things, hence the vague references to a goal and no specific details. Sorry.


* Herein, I'm only referring to the Jackie Chan flick. I've never seen another version, nor have I ever read Verne's book.

apron strings

Yesterday had a brilliant stretch but ended with some trying bits. Pic and I had a fabulous time walking to the grocery store to pay the power bill (note: I said the walking was good). We walked back home, stopping at both the park and our coffeehouse. I’d thought we wouldn’t spend very long at the park, but I stopped looking at my watch. I watched Pic ‘surf’ down the slide and remembered doing the same myself. We ran barefoot through the thick blades of dark green grass, laughing hysterically. At the coffeehouse, we shared some peach iced tea and tomato soup. She devoured most of a muffin while I ate half of a sandwich and some fantastic salad. I read a set of kids’ books they have there…twice. We built castles with the blocks. We walked home, Pic barefoot still, checked the mail (no great news) and came home. We rested a bit, made dinner, put away clean clothes, ate and read some more.

At one point, while I was washing dishes, Pic came over, her face full of heartbreak, her little lips trembling, tears filling her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she told me she was sad. ‘When I was in your uterus, I couldn’t see you,’ she told me. I agreed that, no, she couldn’t see me, but I reassured her that she was safe and warm and protected while she was there. I didn’t know how else to respond.

Later, she clung to me, sad, not wanting to leave me for a moment. Getting her to bed tonight was seemingly impossible. I finally went in, in a huge huff, and laid down beside her on the floor. I rubbed her back and head and calmed us both down. She went to sleep after a few minutes of this, after repeatedly coming out of her room and us leading her back in.

I’m not sure what this was about yesterday, but it worries me to see her sad for reasons she can’t always explain. I wouldn’t wish the depression and anxiety I feel on anyone and I really did hope that Pic would be like Cardo emotional- and mental-health wise. Perhaps I’m over-worrying about this (that’s what I do), but I’m worried nonetheless. I don’t remember melancholy setting in until I hit puberty. I could be forgetting.

Here’s to hoping this was just a fluke bit of melancholy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

quiet monday

So, Pic and I made the ziti tonight. Yea! So far, we're one for one on this menu planning thing.

Thanks to both Ms K and Coach J for their ziti input. I kind of did an easy hybrid of the two ideas. All of my meals for the week are meat-free (Cardo's in charge of the chicken taquitos and he's getting cooked chicken for that). I just tend to not cook meat. However, after reading Ms K's recipe, I know that next time I make ziti, I'll add in some ground turkey.

Pic and I did add in some shredded zucchini (per Ms K's suggestion) and shredded carrots to the pasta sauce. We really need to use the vegetables we have on hand. We're not always so good at this.

We did halve Ms K's recipe, and it's a good thing. Pic ate a noodle. Yes, people, a single solitary oh-so-lonely in her digestive tract noodle. She did eventually also eat the tops off of all of her broccoli, too, so there's that. She loves to help me cook, she just doesn't so much love to reap the rewards of it. So much for all of those people out there praising the whole 'get your kids to help you in the kitchen to pique their interests in foods and actually get them to eat' idea. Ah, well. I'll keep at it. Only in the last few years have I started to really like foods I never really liked before (squash of various sorts, watermelon, asparagus, avocado, ecc), so I have hope for her.

Anyhow, I'll definitely be making ziti again. I'll also definitely be eating ziti for various other meals in the very near future.

In unrelated nonnews, we kind of went to see the balloons this weekend. We didn't start going to the Reno Balloon Races until the year before last. Pic loves it. I enjoy it, also, but mainly because she enjoys it. Also, there's a nostalgia factor. I remember getting up ridiculously early when I was younger, my sister and me stuffing ourselves into puffy jackets, going to see a similar event in Vegas. I also remember once Peecho got a hot pepper seed in her eye. That memory will always be linked to hot air balloons for me.

So, yesterday, we had all these lofty plans to get up at four (in the morning...I know), meet our dearly beloved friends and enjoy the Glow Show and Dawn Patrol. This, however, was not to be. It's been related to me that a certain male person woke me at 5:20 (oops, already) and told me how late it was. I then, reportedly, said 'Oh' and promptly fell back asleep. I do remember waking up at 6:47 and seeing light seep in through our curtains. Crap. We rushed around getting ready and made it out just in time for Mass Ascension (which sounds like some sort of Catholic ritual, but it (probably) isn't). Although we were late and I was afraid Pic would be really disappointed, everything turned out okay. Great, even.

I've been working diligently on really being in the moment when I'm spending time with my family (which is every waking minute of my life, I know...except for the hours between about midnight and four, when I'm the only one awake in the apartment). I'm really good at letting my mind wander and letting all the big, dark, scary thoughts overtake any bit of sanity I have. This summer has been an experiment in shutting out said scary thoughts. The results of this experiment have been varied, as you can tell from reading my babbling here, but I'm making some progress.

Wow. I meant, really, to only post about the pasta, but then I realized that I hadn't posted about our almost miss with the balloon races. Then...chissa? I 'talk' a lot.


P.S. I just read La Furie Queene's ziti recipe comment also. Next time, I'll throw in both turkey and ricotta. We might be eating lots and lots o' ziti in the coming months.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

we might be eating

In an attempt to both motivate myself to actually cook and to save money by doing so, I have crafted a dinner menu plan for this week. It's been ages since I've done so and I've threatened multiple times since to once again commit meal ideas to paper. I think I'm up to once this year. Maybe twice. We'll see how this goes.

Here's what it's supposed to look like at our dinner table this week:

Mon: baked ziti and broccoli (now, if only I knew how to make baked ziti...anyone? anyone?)

Tue: cauliflower fritters, cannellini, broccoli (why yes, we do have a vast amount of broccoli)

Wed: chicken taquitos (to be made by Cardo)

Thu: zuke-a-ganoush, brussels sprouts (maybe some broccoli)

Fri: Mélange of Kale, Potatoes, and Tomatoes with Parmesan (I'll probably have enough kale left to make kale chips)

Sat: pizza (most likely of the from-the-freezer variety)

So, here's hoping that I actually stick with this. I'll post pictures as I make the dishes, as usual.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

walking away the mean reds

So, yes, I finally did get out for a walk today. (I sound like I'm a dog.) Pic was whisked away to the excitement of a birthday party complete with piñata and goodie bags, so Cardo and I were left to our own devices. I was going to watch Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, but the disk is broken. Instead, I ended up watching an episode-and-a-half of Gilmore Girls. Then, I started reading The Other Boleyn Girl as I soaked in the tub. Cardo was rotating the tires on his car. When he got back, I talked him into a walk with me.

We didn't do our usual walk, we stayed pretty close to home. We walked a path we haven't walked together for almost five years. The last time we ambled this way was October of 2004. It was freezing. My ears were so cold, they felt afire. It was dusk then too. I was about five months along with Pic.

So, tonight. I've been feeling in and out of a funk lately, and it's as if my soul needs to be out. My soul needs to be walked. Really, it does. Unless you don't believe in souls. Then something deep and indescribable inside of me needs to be out of the apartment. Cardo and I walked for an hour and it was truly restorative.*


* I just looked up 'restorative' and the example sentence fragment was, 'The restorative power of long walks.' I'm so wonderfully cliché.

rainy day

It's actually raining here. Again. I love, love, love the rain. This has been a trippy summer, for many reasons.

I want to get out and walk so badly, but I'm also cold and not feeling so hot (ha!), so I'm going back and forth on this walking thing. I'd also like to take a trip to the mall (gasp!) so I can see if there's anything fabulous on sale at Papyrus.

Pic's at a birthday party, with a friend of ours. I'm not sure when she's due home.

I'm off to settle on a book and soak in the bathtub.

I can't find a book I really want to read and I think it's because by this point in September, I'm always heavy into school reading. Not right now, though, and it just doesn't feel right. I'm restless as far as reading goes. Last night, I could not, could not, go to bed because I couldn't find something I wanted to read. Yes, I own hundreds of books, but, no, I could not find a single one that felt right for reading last night. What did I finally pick before I fell, utterly exhausted, into bed? My Italian textbook.

Salve! Mi chiamo v. Sono pazza. Io lo so.

personal growth...stunted

I'm STILL slowly sifting through the decades' worth of crap that is bogging down our office. I just came across a quasi-autobiographical piece, dated 27 February 1997, from which I've extracted the first sentence:

Okay, so I'm almost done with my sophomore year in high school and I still don't know in which direction I want to lead my life.

The rest is weird and then I realize I was writing some story that was basically about my life but with names changed to protect the innocent, or something. I've taken a lot of years off of writing weird crap (which is what it always seems like to me), but I might be slowly getting back to it.

Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, yes, por supuesto. My real-life self, twelve years later, still finds that above statement to ring entirely too true.

Ah, well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

blog sprint

Yesterday's One Minute Writer: If you were to design a personal coat of arms, what symbols representing you would it include?

-- a bookshelf full of books
-- a duck
-- a path by the river
-- a pen
-- a computer screen
-- ice cream

Okay, time's up. I might change that if I gave it more thought. I'd add in some kind of flags, no doubt. A dragonfly, perhaps. Hmm, now if only I could draw...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

wanting: one tooth faerie

Cardo and I went to have our teeth cleaned today. Cardo had one tiny cavity. *I* the lucky ducky, however, am in need of one crown (to match the one on the other side), three extractons (goodbye 'wisdom' teeth) and an unspecified number of fillings. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to brush and use the waterflosser.

In related nonnews, Cardo slathered his toothbrush in triple antibiotic ointment this morning. Lucky for him, he realized this just before he started to brush.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

checking in

Am posting from cellular telephone device STOP Not ideal STOP Just saw Julie & Julia STOP Love Meryl Streep STOP Want to read Child's memoir STOP Am annoyed that edition sold at Costco only has photos of Streep on cover, want to read it anyhow STOP G'night STOP

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

some weekend highlights

-- learning that Coach J toasts marshmallows like I open wrapped gifts, only with my tastier results (I think...I didn't end up eating any marshmallows toasted by her)

-- watching Uncle A, Mr M and Cardo play hacky sack

-- watching Pic slyly stretch her arm around X as he drove the Power Wheels Jeep around

-- laughing hysterically as Cardo attempted to stay on his half of the air mattress while I changed into my pajama shorts

-- sharing a peach with Baby K

-- marvelling at how often the people from the group camp site drove down for showers

-- gathering around the grill burner for s'mores

-- seeing the moonglow light up the sky

-- spending time with dearest friends and family

Friday, September 4, 2009

quick psa

The next Savers sale is Labor Day, September 7th. Half-off used items. I'm planning on being there. Whether I'll actually buy anything remains to be seen. I don't know that I really need anything, I just like to go.

Also, Grassroots Books has moved to Grove Street, very near Costco. I like this location much better than the last -- it's larger and seems less chaotic. We went last weekend and Cardo said we could spend $10. He meant total, but we spend $24 or $22 or something, which comes out to less than $10-a-person, which is nice. We got nine new books: one for Cardo, five for me, three for Pic.

The next Booksale Bonanza for the Friends of the Washoe County Library is October 30-November 8 (the 7th is the half-off day and the 8th is the $6/bag day).

And, now, Cardo is probably cringing in his sleep, sensing that I'm even thinking about buying 'new' books.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

pick your battles

Let me start by saying that I have a weird relationship with war metaphors and war references, but I'll stick with the title.

Last night, Pic went to bed angry with me. Our dearly beloved friends, Auntie C and Uncle A, had come over to hang out, eat and discuss weekend plans. Pic was so excited they were there, she was having a difficult time winding down for the evening. She had barely eaten dinner, but she had eaten a Dum-Dum lollipop. It was cotton candy flavored and a deep blue. We were trying to get her calmed down and ready for bed, so I told her it was time to brush her teeth. First, she flat-out refused. Then, she hid under the living room table. Then, she came with me to the bathroom but began dancing around on her chair, ignoring me telling her to brush her teeth. I told her a few times and still she insisted on wiggling her butt around and avoiding looking at me. Finally, I told her she could either brush her teeth and come sit with us for a few more minutes or she could go straight to bed. More ignoring, more butt-wiggling, more toothbrush-topped-with-toothpaste sitting unemployed on the edge of the sink. So...I walked her back through the living room, told everyone she was going to bed and deposited her in her room with a 'Buona notte, I love you.' The sentiment wasn't returned, big shocker. She knocked around in her room for a bit and then eventually got quiet. After Auntie C and Uncle A left, I went to check on Pic. She was tucked into her sleeping bag, still wearing the shirt and skirt she wore both yesterday and Tuesday, her sleep-mask pulled down over her eyes. I stroked her hair, kissed her goodnight, sighed and left her room. I had 'won' that 'battle.'

At three this morning, just after I had finally settled into bed to read, I heard her call out, 'Mamma, come here. Mamma?' I went to check on her. She wanted some water to drink and help finding her sleep-mask. I got my goodnight cuddle and she went back to sleep.

So, of course, all is still well with us. She brushed her stained-blue teeth and tongue this morning. She finally got out of her pink shirt and patterned skirt. Right now, she's having some 'quiet' time with the covert cat.

Sometimes, very often, I understand why it's so easy to just give in. But, whoever said bringing up a child is easy?

reading notes

If only my reading notes were this entertaining. Ah, well.

A small excerpt:

Polonius says Hamlet's crazy ... crazy in love!

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.

Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.

Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Ophelia removed "moody princes" from her interests.

Hamlet posted an event: A Play That's Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family

The king commented on Hamlet's play: "What is wrong with you?"

Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.

Polonius is no longer online.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

you say it's your birthday?!

Okay, so it's not anyone's birthday here at La Casa B, except possibly the covert cat's*, but I did just watch one of the recent momversation (yes, I'm still taking issue with the name) episodes in which the moms discuss birthday parties.

I'm curious about you all. What were birthday parties, if you had them, like when you were kids? What about birthday parties for your own kids?

For us, I remember having a choice. On our birthdays, we could either choose to have a party with several people at home or invite one person and then we could go out. At home, the party decorations were always two colors of crepe paper twisted together and taped across the dining room ceiling. There were clusters of balloons taped in the corners. I think I mainly remember store-bought sheet cake, although I could be wrong there (my mom and grammie cooked a lot at home). Dinner was something simple. We'd play with water balloons in the front yard and then watch movies and play Nintendo (Super Mario Bros. 1,2, and 3, tennis or track and field) and giggle and run around the house all night long.

Some stand-outs: When I turned eight, we had a piñata**. Once, we made individual pizzas on Boboli shells. Another time, my mom made small cakes and the guests decorated them. A couple of 'surprise' parties (sorry, I knew) and going to Marriage Can Be Murder at The Egg and I.

If we chose to invite only one guest, we'd go to the Orleans to eat lunch at the buffet and then we'd see a matinee movie at the cinema in the Orleans. (Yes, I did most of my childhood-years' growing up in Vegas.) Then, that guest could spend the night. I'm pretty sure I'm remembering this right.

As for Pic...well, she hasn't at all been a part of the party planning yet. I can't imagine that, at four, she might have already been. Maybe when she's six? I don't know.

For one, two and three, I made cakes. The first was a box mix with frosting from a platic container, but the second two were from-scratch. I don't bake very often, so it's fun to once in a while go all out, although my cakes do end up pretty wrecky. They're made with love (like Subarus, apparently). I didn't make a cake this past year. I might never get over the guilt (I'm serious).

Pic shares her birthday with an (un)holyday, so for two, three and four, the parties at school were enough to cover the 'friend party.' We might one day allow her to invite other kids over, but the thought of having to basically babysit a bunch of other people's kids appeals to neither Cardo nor myself. (Expect an invite that stipulates 'Adults must stay to supervise their wards.') We're nice and social like that.

Here's how this past birthday went for Pic. Cardo and I asked her what she wanted to do and she told us she wanted to eat at the buffet at the Grand Sierra Resort (don't even ask***). So, the morning of her birthday, we got her up to open her gifts. Cardo and I got her a sleeping bag. (I have this one gift thing. Sure, it makes it a bit more difficult to find the 'perfect' gift, but I just don't find it necessary to buy her a ton of gifts for each birthday -- she receives plenty all year long. Okay, this parenthetical note is becoming its own post, I know. I just feel Weird and Different when it comes to this.) She also had gifts from a few other family members. Then, we took her to ice skate at the rink downtown. This was successful for about one trip around, but it was great. Finally, we lunched at the good ol' GSR buffet. The day was more about being with her and celebrating her and our relationship with her than worrying over party details and gifts and all the things that make big parties so unfun for me.

That was it. It was fantastic...but I still wish I had made a cake. Although, come to think of it, Pic would only have eaten the frosting anyhow, so perhaps I should have just mixed up some buttercream frosting, tinted it pink and stuck a spoon in it. Well, there's always next year.

As she gets older, we might have to take on the more traditional party. I'm not talking hired performers and bouncy castles here, I'm talking pizzas and squealing elementary/middle school/high school kids. We'll deal with that when we get to it.

She has slept in this sleeping bag every night we've spent at home since her birthday, excepting the days I wash it. I have to wash it in the bathtub and hang it on the shower curtain rod to dry.

Nana made the outfit, the booties and a bib for this little Cabbage Patch Doll. The doll was also a gift. She also made the swaddling blanket (or the 'baby burrito' blanket as I refer to it) in Pic's hands in this picture. And, she made Pic a bedspread with her name embroidered on each corner on the front. I don't have a good picture of that, though. Yes, Nana is awe-inspiring.

So, as I asked above, what does 'birthday party' mean to you?

* We adopted him in March 2004 and they thought he was about six months old then, so...September 2003.

** I have no idea how to insert the tilde without opening a Word file, going to Insert Symbol, clicking on the tilde-d n there, copying it and pasting it here. Any help?

*** Okay, so two, maybe three times, we had eaten at the Hilton (now, the GSR) at the buffet for the two-for-one locals night. Pic was free because she was a wee bairn. That was months and months before her birthday this year. She's strange and we're still getting to know this strangeness every day.


P.S. (Oh. my. god. Could this post be any longer?) I only read part of the first comment for that momversation, but the commenter talked about doing a craft project instead of goodie bags. I didn't plan on doing goodie bags, but I love the idea of a crafty project or putting on a skit or making a wacky music video. (I can hear the future Pic screaming in embarrassment.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

amazon anonymous

I was listening to this today on NPR. It's a segment pondering what reviews the 'classics' (ah, the classics, ah the canon) would have gotten when they first came out. It's an interesting notion, but it gives me an entirely large procrastination project. Now, I want to go look up some of these 'classics' and find out what people have to say about them.

Anyhow, here's one of Queenan's 'reviews' for Deuteronomy:

"Deuteronomy," for example. Average reader's rating: three stars. I don't get it, Queenan's fanciful reviewer posts. I've read most of the books in this series and they totally kick butt, but this one leaves me scratching my head. Is there a story here? Am I missing something? Why so much talk about clean and unclean beasts? The author really got on a roll with "Genesis" and "Exodus," and I was on the edge of my seat when I read "The Book of Numbers." But this one runs out of gas early. Now, I'm glad I skipped "Leviticus."

Now, I'm off to explore the depths of amazon (huh).


P.S. Here's the Wall Street Journal article. The comments, so far, are...interesting.


Okay, so the NaBloPoMo theme for the month is 'beautiful' and, suddenly, I'm thinking that I may take it on again. I know, I know, and I probably won't anyhow, but I really like the theme and the focus on something so positive. I like the thought of seeking out beauty every day for a month, especially to offset some of the gloom. Also, I'm great at finding what I consider to be beautiful in almost everything and everyone, excepting myself (and I'm working on that).

Anyone else taking this on, or are you thinking about waiting until November (or wondering about how much time I must have to be able to post every day)?