Friday, December 31, 2010

heeere's tommy!

"Home for the Holidays: Tommy's Entrance"

One of the few end-of-the-year traditions I hold.


"Madeline Kahn Elevator Rap" [A bit of weird editing here, but, ah, Madeline Kahn.]

Have I mentioned that I'm so not a movie snob? (At this point, you're probably thinking something along the lines of, "Duh.")

"let's hope it's a good one"

"Happy Christmas (War Is Over)"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

"A rock can live for a hundred and fifty years!"


Kind of a random question, but am I the only one who doesn't read blogs from a reader? Just curious.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

commercial tv? no, thanks

A few things I have recently seen on channels I don't usually have access to:

-- My first Snuggies commercial. I decided they make people look like super-fancy Benedictine monks.

-- I watched a man use a Wonder Mop! (or something similarly named) to clean up a spilled drink from the floor. He then wrung out the mop over a glass and declared the drink ready for consumption. Eew.

-- I watched a couple buy a 600ish-square-foot house for $420,000 -- no parking, tiny bedroom, couple hundred dollars-a-month of HOA fees. Oy. Cardo, Pic and I have no plans to move to San Francisco anytime ever.

-- I watched a child who could have been no more than five have her eyebrows waxed.


I have something of a TV addiction and I need to not have this much access to so much junky crap.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

In our home, although the dead insect wasn't a fly but a moth, I believe:

Pic: A fly isn't alive anymore. It's dead. Maybe Kitty took a bite of it.

(And, I have to point out that Snuggles (aka Kitty) is pretty freaked out by most insects, but he loves to chase moths.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

happy (belated) solstice!

Oh, my.

We enjoy a very sedate end-of-the-year holiday season. Nevertheless, by Solstice, I was worn down. Okay, so I was overly tired and didn't properly nourish or hydrate myself until late in the afternoon. Also, Pic and I missed the bus twice -- once because we were just a couple of minutes too late and once because the bus was eight minutes early -- which meant it took three hours to get across town. (Again, ugh.)

We got to Cardo's work and our day brightened when we spotted Auntie C. Pic and I sat and had a nice, long chat with her. Eventually, though, Auntie C had to leave and Pic and I took the car to head out on a quest for Cardo's gift. By that point, we didn't have much time (or much luck) and we returned to Cardo's work giftless. In just moments, I was a weepy mess. Cardo and I were both exhausted, but we ran a few errands and ended the evening by finally buying a tree, decorating it and opening gifts.

The ornaments are a combination of store-bought and handmade, with a few gifted ones.

Pic was the only one to open any gifts on Solstice. She opened a gift card to JoAnn's from Nana and Papa, an easel from us and the gift she insisted we wrap for Snuggles.

I wonder what Snuggles got?! (He got a little remote-control mouse. I'm not sure who was more excited, Pic or Snuggles.)

We're fancy here with our gifts strewn haphazardly about the floor. We finally ran out of a very old roll of wrapping paper and moved onto newspaper.

Wednesday went more smoothly. We dropped Cardo off at work and then ran errands. Pic and I had to make a mall run to get See's candies as a gift for Grandma J. There might be other See's stores in town, but I have no idea where, so we had to go to the mall. Just the thought of going made me tense. I clearly explained to Pic that we were there for one reason only. However, as soon as we walked in, we discovered the new play area the mall owners had installed. "Discovered" in the sense that we talk about 15th- and 16th-century explorers "discovering" the "new world." There was an overwhelming amount of kids all over the place. Just the sight of it filled me with anxiety. Pic, though, was deeply delighted. She asked if she could play for a while. Because I'm such a wonderful person all of the time, I started to snap at her. But, I got over myself and followed after her. I headed to a seat intended for guardians to occupy while keeping close surveillance on their wards (really, the rules state that kids should be closely supervised or the mall might implode...or something). We only stayed for about fifteen minutes, but Pic's face was shining happily. I love that she is so easily pleased; I feel like such a jerk because I'm so easily miffed. We got the candy -- including a few pieces for us, certo -- and headed off to allow Pic to use her gift card and to find Cardo's gift.

Among the items Pic got with her gift card, she chose a painting kit. She painted the little dogs and dressed them up. They now reside in her bedroom.

Yesterday, Pic and I baked, which I might have more to say about later, and then all of us spent an evening at Grandma J's.

Today, Pic and I slept late. We had breakfast at 5th St Bakehouse. Baker D came out to sit with us for a few minutes and he brought Pic a cookie on a little plate. He asked her, "Do you know what that is?"

"A gingerbread man," she replied.

"It's a gingerbread Jabba the Hutt." He proceeded to do a few impressions. So funny!

(I don't think either Cardo or I have ever seen a full Star Wars movie and Pic has never seen even a part of one, but I do get the reference and know what Jabba the Hutt looks like.)

More baking and gift opening happened today, after a nice long walk (yea!). Cardo finished his evening by falling asleep on the couch and Pic and I finished ours with a little painting, using the new easels. After editing (perhaps) and posting this, I'm off to bed with "C" is for Corpse and then some rest.

To all: Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

i give you my heart

Fittingly, I was inspired by Tara's Inspiration Monday to try an origami heart.

I made a mistake at step six because I didn't see how the picture was any different from the picture above and I interpreted the instructions incorrectly.

Ah, well, it still came out as a heart. And, my next attempt was spot on.

My first love note was for Pic and the second I made for Cardo. When I handed Pic's to her, she looked at it, started to unfold it and said, "Thanks. What the heck is it?"

Soon after, she wanted to make one for me and then one for Snuggles (the no-longer covert cat). My first instinct was to tell her, "No, make one for Papi instead; Snuggs can't read," but I refrained. And, Pic got to practice her spelling skills in writing Snuggles's note.

We've decided to make these, perhaps out of newspaper and paint, or maybe wrapping paper from the thrift store, for valentines next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

strangers no more

This song plays a part in my parents' story:

"Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger"

They are now celebrating their 30th anniversary. Thank you Mom and Dad for setting the example of an incredibly loving and in-love couple, showing me what a truly happy, if not always smooth, union can be.

This Barry Mann song, here performed by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, is their song:

"don't know muc by linda ronstadt and aaron neville"

Happy 30th!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

over the interweb and through the ether

(Or something.)

I'm having a weirdly difficult time getting back to "real" blogging here (is there "unreal" blogging? that's what I feel like I've slipped into). Therefore, I'll try to ease my way back in as my tension from the last four months begins to ease.

Yesterday, we had quite a nice snowstorm. I was set to be finished with my paycheck-earning obligations on Thursday, but some other people had different ideas. Instead of being able to stay warmly wrapped up in my cozy, cozy bed, I had to get up early yesterday to turn in a last bit of paperwork. I made it a little way down the snow-covered road before our car very slowly slid out of our lane. I bumped into the curb, but I was going so slowly that no harm was done. I got the car situated at the side of the road and I called Cardo. I turned the car around and went back home. My dearest partner drove me where I needed to go while Pic slept in the backseat. Stuff got taken care of and now I have a few moments to relax before it all starts up again.

In the meantime: snow! While my first instinct is to hibernate when it's cold and snowy outside, that doesn't work for the whole family. Instead, we went sledding.

Who said you need a sled?

Much of the snow was washed away by the rain today, so we went for a good long walk. I love walking for so many reasons. It keeps me mentally and physically healthy (although, to be fair, I'd have to walk about ten hours a day to combat the amount of junk I've been eating lately). Our walks are also a time when Cardo and I dream about the future. And, our walks are times when we can really spend one-on-one-on-one time together. Most of the time, Pic rides along behind us in the wagon, but we often run around at a park or two when on our walks. I think Pic just puts up with us and our meandering ways because of our park outings.

Before the snow bombarded us, we took our annual pajama-clad, hot-chocolate-sipping drive to check out the solstice lights*. We don't have many traditions, but this annual outing has become one. Every year, we spend an evening driving around checking out the decorations on the houses.

This year, we stopped at the grocery store to buy doughnuts. Pic chose yellow cake doughnuts with chocolate frosting. When I asked her if she had eaten her doughnut, she responded from the backseat, "Yeah, I ate my doughnut, but first I played with it. I pretended it was a tire."

I had a tag-along!

We've also done a wee bit of shopping. We got Pic a couple of gifts: an inexpensive tabletop easel and some puzzle erasers (they're little erasers in different forms like animals and food; apparently you can take them apart and put them back together...hence the puzzle part). We didn't want to get one of the fancier tabletop easels with a nice drawer, just in case we ended up with no interest in the whole venture. (I should say that I got an easel for myself also. I asked Cardo if he wanted one, but he said he'd share mine.) We also bought a set of fine-tipped permanent markers to use for artwork at home. We got 36 markers for less than five dollars, which seemed like a fluke, but it turns out they were on clearance (score!). The markers are kind of for us all to use -- a family gift, if you will.

Pic is very excited about the prospect of opening solstice gifts. She and I still have to get something for Papi. He wants either a new pair of Keens or a car jack that's so heavy I can't even begin to lift it (gift card, perhaps?).

"Brady Bunch - Car Jacking"


Anyhow, we finished off our weekend (for us, the weekend is Friday and Saturday) with a trip down to Carson to cheer on the Ace of Spades in a production of Alice in Wonderland, Jr. at the Wild Horse Children's Theatre. The show was fantastic and I'm so glad the snow had cleared and we were able to make it. I can so totally imagine Pic up on stage. Immediately after we left, she started making plans for her own productions.


* Yes, I realize most people probably don't celebrate solstices and equinoxes, but we do (in as much as we celebrate anything). It makes sense to me that the lights on the houses this time of year might be there to celebrate the soon return of more daylight. Maybe they're there to shine some (wonderfully-colorful) light through the dark days.


Wow, apparently I can go on and on. I'll sign off with wishes of warmth and happiness during this festivities-laden season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We need to hire Gary Chang to design a library for us.

"A Tiny Apartment Transforms into 24 Rooms"*

Or, we might hire Dean Proffitt. (I can't find video of the closet with the revolving shoe rack. How can that be, Interweb?)


* I found this on Lovely Listing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

buona notte

I am 92.1875% finished with my current work. The rest will wait. It will have to. Before I can do my part, others should have completed their parts. Uh-huh.

Later today, I will be carrying around enough weight that I might as well have another me-sized person slung over my back. I'm not looking forward to that. I am, however, looking forward to catching up on laundry and dishes. I am looking forward to catching up on some rest.

My family has been (somewhat) incredibly patient with me and we're all ready for my attention to shift in the next few days. I have some wrapping up to do and then I'll have a good several weeks with a much-relaxed schedule.

I'm already feeling nostalgia for things that haven't quite ended. This is dangerous territory, as I have been living so very unhealthfully these last few months. I know it and I don't like it, but I'm quick to forget it. Please, let me not forget it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a little night music

I'm 51.67% finished. I may never, ever sleep again. Argh!

A bit more music as I take a break here.

"Taylor, the Latte Boy - As I Am - Kristin Chenoweth"
Ah, Kristin Chenoweth, aka Ms Noodle. Ah, Elmo, possibly my least favorite muppet.

"Dolly Parton, After the goldrush"
Ah, Dolly Parton, I do so love you.

"You are my sunshine - Elizabeth Mitchell"
Always makes me think of Beaches.

Back to work? Really? Okay.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

working and listening

I have 56.25% more work to do on my current project. Alas and alack! I am restless. We managed a one-hour walk outside today, which was fabulous, but I now need to be walked again. My somewhat sedentary lifestyle paired with my ridiculous sweet-tooth is starting to make me incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin. Ugh.

Anyhow, as I sit here, working*, trying not to snack too much, music plays in the background. So, if you need some tunes to keep you company, I present:

"Don Williams & Emmy Lou Harris - If I Needed You"

"The Seekers - Lemon Tree"

Apparently I'm having a pretty mellow evening. I only wish my emotional state matched the quiet mood of this music. Ah, well.


* Okay, I was working. And, I will be again after I post this. I promise.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"imagine all the people/livin' life in peace"

"I Just Shot John Lennon with lyrics"

And my favorite John Lennon song:

"John Lennon - Imagine"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

all made up

Oh, my child, who is at the same time so like me and so unlike me. She just came in the den to show me this:

She is such a girlie-girl (sometimes). Now, if only Mamma owned eye shadow, she wouldn't have to resort to using washable marker (thanks be she used the washable marker).

I think I must be a very different person now, in many ways, than I was when I was Pic's age. I remember my favorite color was pink. I wanted pink everything: skin, hair, eyes, ecc. I liked dresses and "being fancy" in general. I'm not sure when I grew out of this. Long ago.

Pic's favorite color is black and she doesn't mind getting dirty (I hated being dirty and I still kind of do). However, she loves wearing skirts (while simultaneously wearing several other layers of clothing) and makeup. When she recently spent the night at her friend L's house, she was almost bursting with glee because they got to play with makeup. She's obsessed with weddings and all the frilly stuff that's supposed to go along with them. Just wait until she hears about school dances. (Hmm, school dances? Perhaps we'll have to hold some homeschool dances.)

If she doesn't grow out of this, well, let's just say that if she ever chooses to get married (and, if she's able to) I might be steering very clear of her. I jest...I'll simply keep very quiet and remember that it's not my party. ;)

to stop and breathe

I've been living a lot of "I can't wait until..." lately. Living in the now? Psh, not so much. And, I know me pretty well by now -- I won't stop doing this anytime soon, although I'll continue to lament my ability to be so very happy with the abundance I have right now.

What am I waiting for? Time. Much more time with Pic. Real time with her, not just stressful time near her. Time with Cardo. Time to take nice long, leisurely two-hour walks (as we did this past weekend! so very needed). Time to read, write, take pictures, think, sleep.

I tend to go through cycles of stress and boredom. It's as if I don't know how to live in the middle, with just enough to keep me busy. If my plate isn't overly full, it's missing. Right now, things are falling off my plate all over the place. I'm afraid, though, that I'll forget this feeling in two weeks. I'll have slipped into not-enough-to-do (as far as I'm concerned) ennui and I'll be pushing to once again take on too much.

When we decided to not send Pic off to school, I was still a bit unsure about our decision and so I set myself up with too much to do to do anything really well (did you follow that?). I'm feeling so much more confident in and excited about our decision now, but I've locked myself into obligations for the next several months. I (mostly) enjoy these obligations, but I'm unable to balance between outside obligations and family time and togetherness.

I had thought that my life would be in a comfortable rhythm by now, but I still seem to be figuring it all out. I think I might be bored if nothing ever changed, but I push too far, too much, too often. (I feel silly even saying that, as I know many, many people who successfully do so much more than I do.)

I've got about a month of tricky scheduling ahead and then several months of needing to really work on a rhythm.

As for that month, though, I plan on traveling, reading, sleeping, crafting (perhaps), cooking, baking, planning, walking, picture taking, ecc, ecc, ecc.

I'd be interested in hearing others' plans for finishing out the year.


Speaking of picture taking, I haven't posted any pictures in a woefully long time. I haven't carried my camera with me as much and I've been lax about uploading my pictures to my computer. However, I do have some shots awaiting their display here. I usually don't take pictures in shops, but I couldn't pass this up:

I was inordinately happy to see this in Goodwill recently.

"I'm throwing out Hug-a-Canada!" (embedding has been disabled by request.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

blog bliss

I often think it might be nice if the some of the bloggers I read stopped blogging. Not "nice" in that I don't thoroughly enjoy reading these blogs, but "nice" in that I'd have a bit more time to do other things (find new blogs?). However, when people do stop writing, I can't help but feel a bit sad.*

Anyhow, a blog I really enjoy recently seemed to come to an end. I kept checking back, just in case, but the blog seemed to have turned into something of a pit of spam. This morning, though? Blankie Chronicles is back in a new incarnation: A Life Like This One! Yea!


* I'm looking at you, Coach J, although I'm happy for you that you no longer need the outlet -- but I sincerely enjoy your writing.


Edited to add: Oh, no! It looks like Good Things Catered also no longer exists. I'm glad I saved so many of her recipes. I thought it might be coming as she was posting less and less. I'm sure I have plenty of other food blogs on my blog roll, but I'll miss Katie's posts. [12/7/10]

from the mouth of the babe...

I was being whiny about people not using their turn signals today and Pic, in her infinite wisdom, remarked, "It's so easy to use your turn sigal,* you just click it and you're done."

Ah, a new slogan for turn signals.


* That's how she pronounces it. I always wonder if this is how it sounds to her when I say it. She also says "cuvvard" for "cupboard."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

today in five acts

* sleep!

* potato-sage soup at 5th St. Bakehouse (mmm)

* walking! (and walking! and walking!)

* cooking at home

* and now? reading and planning, planning and reading

i'm dreaming of...

* built-in bookcases

* solar tubes

* fruit trees

* colorful walls

* a warm hearth

* a front porch

* time spent enjoying the above

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

twice-told tunes: "slight of hand and twist of fate"

Last one for a while. Probably.

"U2 - With Or Without You"

"With or Without You - Breathe Carolina"

ArrivederLa Novembre

twice-told tunes: for indie

Okay, one more for tonight. I couldn't resist.

"neil diamond red red wine"

"UB40 - Red Red Wine"

To: Lil
From: Phil

Monday, November 29, 2010

twice-told tunes: i'll have this dance

"Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself"

"Dancing With Myself-The Donnas (9 years old version XD)"

middle o' the night musings*

Right now, I feel like I'll never sleep again. I'm agitated, anxious, awake. I keep pulling on my hair and I'll be lucky to have any left by daylight. I keep telling myself that I just have to make it through the next three weeks and then I'll be able to get back to all the things I've been neglecting: writing, cooking, cleaning. Spending time with my child, actually with her and not just near her. Spending time with my partner. Letting go, relaxing. Sleeping without feeling guilty for having slept.

I'm tired. I'm tired of this period of my life. I'm tired of berating myself for getting myself into this situation. I'm tired of being too afraid to do what I want.

In the meantime, I'm going through intense periods of productivity and idleness. Over the course of two days, I've watched enough television and movies to rot away a bazillion brain cells. However, during each hour of viewing, my mind was constantly torn between the screen and somewhere else. Not that I really need to give my full attention to Jumping Jack Flash (what? I'm truly a purveyor of fine film, yes?), but still.

I have hours of work to do still and it's closer to the end of the night than it is to the beginning of the night.

Three more weeks.

In the meantime, this is keeping me company:

"Hey Marseilles - Rio (Official Video)"


* I have a friend who claims to despise the word "musings" so I hesitate to use it, but I'm a sucker for alliteration.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

Over the weekend, while Pic and her friend L were in the car, they were discussing what happens when L loses her teeth. L told Pic she leaves her teeth for the tooth fairy.

"What does the Tooth Fairy leave you?" Pic asked.


"A bunny?!"

Pic was incredulous. Cardo and I have been laughing about this since. Pic is under the impression that once Mamma isn't working as much, we'll be getting a bunny. So, give us another six or so months and we might be the happy new adoptive family of a Human Society bunny. We'll see.


On Friday, we were out and about. I have been looking for practical yet cute (enough) boots to replace my old ones. (I've got snow boots that I plan on keeping until I die, if they'll last that long, but I need some better boots for work.) We didn't find any boots (I'm picky and I freak out about spending too much money on any one (or one pair of) item(s)*). Our outing wasn't a bust, though.

We have been wanting to take Pic to a movie for some time, but she's not a fan of the dark and hasn't wanted to go yet. Also, she is convinced that most movies are scary. However, when I asked her Friday morning if she wanted to see Tangled (the new Disney animated movie-version of Rapunzel), she agreed. We ended up at a cinema across town, not one we usually go to. We were walking toward our theatre when I heard my name. The voice was unfamiliar, so I figured there was another v there and I continued on. Finally, I did turn around and I was the one being called. It turns out that my godparents and their family were also at that showing of Tangled. They had come to the earlier viewing, but it was sold out, so they returned to the one we attended. Pic ended up getting to sit next someone her own age and next to an older girl she adores. My godparents and the older girl's sister also sat in that row. Cardo and I sat several rows higher, with my friend (my godparents' granddaughter) and her mom.

Pic did pretty well at the movie. At one point, she headed up to our row. We thought the theatre had become too dark or that she had become scared, but she walked up to Cardo and announced, not too quietly, "I just need gummies!" (We hadn't quite divided up our snacks very well before the movie.)

Anyhow, Pic ended up enjoying her first cinema experience. And, she talked her way into spending the night at her friend's house that night. (Let's see if you're following the family tree: Pic's friend is my godparents' great-granddaughter, L.) And, because we were child-free for the night (which never feels right to us), Cardo and I went to see another movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. I'm always kind of weirded out when things aren't the same as they are in my imagination and seeing the movie really made me want to read the books again. Actually, Cardo said he really wanted to read the books, too, now that we saw that movie. Give me three weeks, and I might start them over again. Twice in one year? I'm down with that.


* Was that complicated enough? Then, with the asterisk, even more complicated?

music: restyled

I keep trying to come up with a better title for these posts. I cannot. Ah, well. I'll eventually think of something in the middle of the deep, dark night.

I love the cover here. It's fun and funny. I think it works. (I also know very, very little about music, but I'm sticking with my story on this one.)

"Burning Down the House" by The Talking Heads (embedding has been disabled)


"The Cardigans ft. Tom Jones - Burning Down The House (HD Official Video)"

(I only just watched that second video. Above, I was commenting on the songs only.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

thoughts on a cold day

[I wrote this on Tuesday morning.]

I’ve been sitting in a warm coffeehouse for the last two hours. Outside the glass doors, the snow is blowing from west to east. I don’t see any actually falling – it’s just swirling around.

To my left, someone sings loudly and off-key. A minute ago, he declared to his friend that the War of 1812 was fought “on the Pacific coast” and that it was “fought between America and Spain.” His friend is creating US history worksheets for a high school class. “I might be wrong about that, though,” the singer concedes. I think the War of 1812 is the war in which the British burned the White House. I make a mental note to look up the war when I get home. I think the Madisons were the White House residents at the time.

“Hallelujah” plays on the overhead speakers. I want to sing along, but I don’t know the words well enough.

I should be doing more work, but I’m contemplating my future. I’m back to wondering what my dream job is and if I can, or want to, pursue it.

I wonder who might pay me to be a scholar? Who might pay me to read? Who might pay me to write?

I hope I live to old age, especially because it might take me many, many more years to figure this all out.

I look out the doors again and the wind is more blustery. I want to be at home before dark tonight, but I know that won’t happen. I’m not looking forward to my walk back down to my building. I have my coat, scarf and gloves today. I wore my snow boots. Cardo is trying to pawn his snow bots off on me, but I’m happy with mine. In an attempt to curb the volume of my possessions, I’ve vowed to give away a similar item whenever I get something new (books excepted, of course). If I get his boots, I have to give mine away.

Anyhow, I should be working, not staring off into space. I’ve got a long night ahead. I’ve reached the part of my work schedule where I only sleep every other night. This makes Cardo crazy. For the collective sanity of my family, I’ve vowed to not set myself up in a similar situation next year. Now I’m back to pondering dream jobs.

And, now, I’m heading back into the Land of Productivity.


"Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen"

"Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (Original Studio Version)"

Monday, November 22, 2010

this is my dance space

Watching this clip* just now, I finally realized Baby's mom is Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop).

And, yet, again, I wish I could dance.

Also, I should go to bed. We're entering a tough week of getting up extra early to accomodate Cardo's schedule. But, we do have a Blueberry Apple Crumble pie from 5th St. Bakehouse to look forward to, so that's something.


* Embedding has been disabled.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

snow day? no way

I'm in a bit of a restless mood lately. I'm ready to just get in the car and go. Where? Chissa. Somewhere. However, I have quite a few obligations to attend to here. And, winter is making a few timid appearances.

At the end of last week, we were thinking we would be getting about a foot of snow in the valley. Ha! Ha ha! Um, didn't happen. We got a tiny bit on Friday night/Saturday morning. And, today, we got a bit more, but it was already melting in the morning.

I'm pondering whether I need to wear snow boots tomorrow and how incredibly early we'll have to get up so we'll make it to our respective places. When it's cold and snowy outside (and downright chilly inside), all I really want to do is hibernate. I could spend hours in some warm clothes, bundled under the blankets with plenty of good books on hand. Ah, yes. If only.

Until it's possible for me to hole up during the winter months, we're going about business as usual. However, that doesn't mean we don't have big plans for the future brewing. Because, oh yes, we do.

For now, though, I'm off to climb into a nest of blankets and continue with my necessary work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

dance party!

"Bedtime" around here might just go something like this:

"Bert & Ernie - Dance Myself to Sleep (vintage sesame street)"

Cardo, trying to sleep, Pic and I (me especially) just warming up for the day. Fun times (just ask Cardo). :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the golden rule

One Minute Writer from Sunday: How do you treat the books that you read?

We don't have many rules in our home. In fact, if you're a person who loves rules, you might just want to stay far, far away, because we'd probably make you very, very uncomfortable. However, I do ask that our books be treated well, overall.

I have a few probably weird rules about my own use of books. If a book is purely a for-pleasure book (my amateur detective novels, my HPs, ecc), I don't write in them. Not that I don't want to; when I see a line I enjoy, I really want to underline it and scribble a star next to it, but I refrain. However, if I feel the book is a "school" text in any way, I'm right in there with a pencil. (I guess the weird part is my internal distinctions between kinds of books.)

I've fine-tuned my reading marks and marginalia over the years. First, I limit myself to pencil. If I come back to the book, I want to be able to erase any markings I no longer find necessary. I underline what I find good or useful in some way. I make a vertical line along the side of the text to draw my eye to these parts. I make a little star next to parts I find especially important. I bracket words or terms I need to look up and draw a little magnifying glass in the margins. When I do look up the term, I add the meaning in brackets in the margin.

I have a really hard time reading most things without a pencil in hand. I feel compelled to mark up texts. This part of the reason I have such an especially difficult time reading on a computer screen. Typing notes or digitally highlighting text just isn't the same, for me, as actually writing on a text.

I also like to catalogue my books. I have one catalogue for my books and one for Pic's books. There isn't a perfectly clear delineation between our books, but I already started this system.

One day, far in the future, when I have more time and when we have many, many more bookcases or (better yet) built-in shelving, I'll have a better shelving system. I try now, but our books get so mixed up. We really do need a card catalogue and a system of categorization. For instance, there are times I want a bunch of books on autumn, and I might pull Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's Apples Apples Apples. However, I might also pull that when looking for books on food. Or, when looking for books by her. Or, when looking for books in which I want to specifically focus on the artwork. (By the way, I love Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's books, if for no other reason, than for perusing her artwork.)

Oh, I could so be a recluse, happy to spend my days with my books.


And, yeah, that took me longer than one minute to type. I was inspired! (And, I babble.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

putting out fires...

...whether you like it or not.

I was recently introduced to this commercial:

"2007 Super Bowl Commercials - Coca Cola, Video Game"
(Yeah, I don't watch the Super Bowl)

And, all I could think was, "Hey, you put out someone's heat source!" Perhaps the trash in the can was only just on fire, but I was thinking it was it was a deliberately-set fire, made to keep some of those people warm. (However, it doesn't really seem like a chilly day.)

(And, yes, I do overthink, um, everything, perhaps.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

psa: thrift sale

Tomorrow, Savers is hosting one of its 50%-off sales on clothes, shoes, accessories and bed & bath items. Books, sadly, are not on sale. That's okay, though, I much prefer to buy my books at Goodwill or at library book sales. (I can't wait to read what I picked up last Sunday!)

We might be picking up some warm clothes for Pic tomorrow.

We're getting to the time of year I really would like to hibernate in my warm bed. Yesterday morning, we woke up and the thermostat read 48 degrees. Yikes! I was, once again, thankful we live inside and also that I could turn on the heat to warm up the condo a bit.

Tomorrow is, of course, Veterans Day, nee Armistice Day. I'm never quite sure how to observe such days, other than send silent "peace be with you"s for those who have fought in and those who have lost their lives in military service. I will never understand war, really, no matter how much I learn about its causes, but I still grieve for those who have lost their lives and for those who have to/choose to partake in such endeavors.

I didn't mean to completely shift there, but I find it interesting that we use special occasions as opportune times for sales. I'm glad I'll be able to buy inexpensive clothes at an even lower price, but I'm not really sure how hosting/attending a sale is observing such occasions.


I only need to get through about thirty-nine more days until I can indulge in a day of complete relaxation. What I'm looking forward to:

* staying in my pajamas all day (unless we indulge in a little 5th St. Bakehouse, then I'll get dressed)
* breaking out a new word puzzle book
* reading many, many books with Pic
* not planning, responding, evaluating, gathering materials for the upcoming days

Of course, about forty days from now, all that stuff in the last bullet point starts all over again. Ah, well.


When I think about daydreaming (whoa!* how very metacognitive), this song gets stuck in my head:

"daydreamin (the ostrich song)"


* In my head, that "whoa!" is a la Joey from Blossom. -- Now, I think I've proved I'm entirely too tired to function well right now. Off to bed. G'night.

Monday, November 8, 2010

musical monday

I had to post it at some point, no?

"Patsy Cline - Walkin' After Midnight"

I can't remember the last time I took a middle of the night walk. It had to have been in high school sometime. However, we do walk very, very often. And, certo, I think of this song often (in case you hadn't noticed).

I thank my parents for introducing me to the music of Patsy Cline.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

il quest weekend, in five acts

-- photo shoot at Tahoe (with fabulous friends)

-- 5th St. Bakehouse

-- Mamma's Night

-- booksale!

-- Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths


P.S. Half-off day at the Friends of Washoe County Library Booksale Bonanza today. (I thought it was $6/bag day, but it doesn't seem to be so. Ah, well.)


Edited to add: It was $6/bag day! I wonder when Cardo is going to start having nightmares that our books are closing in on him?

in fair verona

I was reminded of this tonight:

"Romeo and Juliet Trailer"

I haven't seen this in a long, long time. I think I need to watch it again.

And, can I just say, I love Claire Danes? Yes, I can. I love Claire Danes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

sssomebody ssstop me

Oh, no, I'm quoting Jim Carrey (from some movie, although I'm not sure which -- something I've long repressed, no doubt). But, seriously, I'm pretty intent on eating every unhealthy thing we have in our home. Why do we even have such things, when I know I'm bound to eat and then eat some more when I'm stressed?

I'm counting down the days until my current obligation is over while Pic is literally bounding off of the furniture. (Yes, literally.) She just took a tumble off the back of the couch, scraping her leg on a bookcase on the way down. Not a happy time. Not to worry, though, she's okay now. I, on the other hand, am thinking that there's a dish of chemically-sweet candy corn on the counter and perhaps I would like to devour the contents right. this. minute. I, perhaps, am not okay. Ah, well.

Anyhow, speaking of "literally," I have been exposed to a lot of literal movie trailers lately, so I'll share one here. Something to keep my mind off of the TJ's hot chocolate waiting for me in the cupboard. Argh.

"LITERAL Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Parody HD"

Okay, and a music video I'm pretty sure I haven't shared before.

"White Wedding: Literal Video Version"

Yeah, I should be doing other things. Ta.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

election night

Polls just closed here. Well, those in line can still vote and the final counts, of course, won't be in for a while. I'm overly tired and am feeling just worn out by this election cycle. I have now voted in five elections (three presidential and two mid-term years) and I get more and more wrapped up in the process each time. (I should clarify: emotionally wrapped up.)

I was thinking, last Thursday when I voted (we have early voting available here), "Okay. Now, I just have to wait it out until Tuesday, or early Wednesday." I anxiously await poll results. However, I've done all that I'm going to do: I voted. I feel like I haven't done enough.

I've never been good at presenting my convictions. What if there is more information I'm missing? What if, in the instances of elections, there's a candidate I like almost completely? What about the parts of his or her positions I don't like or agree with? When I think of volunteering for a political campaign, I feel a bit anxious. I imagine people from all the other sides berating me and bullying me and that makes me completely uncomfortable. Where do I get these ideas?

So, I'm wondering, have any of you ever volunteered with a political campaign? Was it worth it? If you haven't, would you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

we go out walking

Today, Cardo dropped Pic off with me and she and I took the bus home. After dropping off my too many pounds of books and stuff, she and I headed back out. The wagon is in the car, so Pic opted to take her bike while I walked and we headed down to a familiar, friendly food establishment. It took us about an hour to get down there an about an hour to get back.

Walking with Pic is always an adventure (small though it may be). We stop to look at giant dandelions and collect capless acorns. I was starting to drag by the time we were almost home. I always want to rush and just get back, take off my shoes and relax. No matter how tired she is, though, Pic never minds stopping to observe anything that catches her eye.

Today, by the end of our walk, I was pushing the bike along while Pic, still helmet-clad, was wandering along beside (sometimes behind) me. We were so close to home when she spied a cat across the street we were on and, of course, we had to cross and spend some time with the cat. I tried not to push us along.

When we were ready to go, Pic told the cat, "Be careful for dogs."

"And," I added, "be careful for cars."

Pic had the last word with, "Yeah, and cars. And, be careful for stuff that will eat you."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

paper or plastic?*

I am, once again, considering closing one of my credit accounts. I have two credit cards and I don't want either of them, but I'm strangely afraid to not have any credit cards. So, I'm asking for opinions today: should I close the account that has the higher (oh-so-freaking-sky-high) interest rate? Are there any arguments for keeping open credit card accounts? All I keep thinking is, "What if I need that credit card for something?"

As far as I know, my parents haven't had/used credit cards for about fifteen years (I could be wrong), so I know it's possible to get by without. Let me step back a moment, so I don't sound entirely too silly: I know there are many, many people who don't have credit cards. It's just that I don't usually talk to people about their finances. I hope I'm not asking something too uncomfortable here, but I feel like I need some more input before I cancel the account and cut up the card.

I thank you in advance for any input. Grazie, gracias, thanks!


* We tend to use our debit cards more often than we use cash, but "plastic or plastic?" just doesn't quite work. So, for the purposes of this, let us pretend that plastic = credit cards and paper = debit/cash. I thank you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the next question goes to...

I am watching the Reid-Angle Nevada Senate Debate. We listened to this on KUNR, which means we had audio only, of course. Yes, I already voted, I'm just a nerd.

Oh, politicians, all of you I've heard, I'm begging, "Answer the question, please." There are times I think you have to learn a special kind of speaking rhetoric to be a politician. Politicians must have some kind of internal sensor that sounds the alarm, "Warning! Do not, under any circumstances, answer that question. Divert to approved topic."

Okay, perhaps I'm a bit jaded. (When did that happen? I'm too young to be jaded, no? Maybe I just need to "man up"* and get used to it. Ugh.)


* Oh, geez, "man up." Really? Because only real men can participate in government business? What a strange comment to come from a female candidate. I don't want to hear that from anyone, male or female.


Okay, now I have to stop typing and listening. As I was just explaining to Pic today, I can do one thing well or more than one thing not so well. Let's hear it for monotasking! (Unitasking?)


Both the message and the animation held me enthralled.*

"RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms"

I feel like I've heard this talk before. Otherwise, I'm so wrapped up in absorbing similar information that it's familiar to me. I'll have to look around some of the blogs I read to see if I did, in fact, here this elsewhere.


* Can I be "held entralled"? Is that how that term works? From the OED:

1. trans. To reduce to the condition of a thrall; to hold in thrall; to enslave, bring into bondage. Now rare in lit. sense.
2. fig. To ‘enslave’ mentally or morally. Now chiefly, to captivate, hold spellbound, by pleasing qualities.

Maybe I was held in thrall? But, wow, I don't know that I ever knew the connections with enslavement.

And, why yes, I do obsess much. Language is least for me.


P.S. I've definitely seen Sir Ken Robinson speak before. Now, to figure out who linked to video.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

to live vicariously

I saw this posted on dooce. This video makes me a little nauseated, especially the part with the guy who does some kind of handstand before diving into the pool.


been there, done that...

...still figuring out what comes next.

"So you Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities"

(A friend posted this on Facebook. Sometimes I love Facebook.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

on voting often, voting early...

...or late, if you're voting from the Great Beyond.

I posted the following a couple of years ago. I might just repost it every two years, as I think of it every election season.

[I originally posted this on 15 October 2008.]


On yonder hillside, bleak and barren,
Lies many a friend of William Sharon,
Who in election's hurly-burly,
Voted often, voted early.
But since old Sharon went to glory
The younger Billy bosses Storey,
And at his beck those sons of witches
Rise, to vote without their britches.
To take a hand in the election
And bustle back without detection.
As we recall those mem'ries hoary,
Let's bless the graveyard vote of Storey.

-- Sam Davis, newspaperman (ca 1880s?)

The preceding has been stuck in my head lately. Nice theme for October and election season.

I used to have this copied out and hung on my dorm room wall. This is from Barbara and Myrick Land's A Short History of Reno.

Monday, October 25, 2010

voter prep

I am looking at some candidate websites right now, as I confirm my choices for the various open positions here. I thought I'd share a couple of observations, because, um, I like to procrastinate, and I should be doing other things. (Oh, and I just learned to take screenshots -- I finally just looked up how, duh -- and how can I not put that to use?)

When I was fully entrenched* in academia, I consistently had a difficult time not qualifying my arguments with phrases such as "it seems" or "I think." I was told to just be assertive, put my argument firmly out there (wherever that may be). I don't like using language that asserts I know all the answers, that I've eliminated all other possibilities, that what I'm saying is the ultimate word in a conversation. And, I don't know that was the point of academic writing, but I felt it was part of the point. I wanted to acknowledge, though, that there may be something else "out there" I wasn't aware of, or that someone else might have had a different experience.

Here's what made me think of this when I was looking at the websites:


Reid (from the first example) talks about his first-hand experience. The Angle writer asserts that no one is more committed to education. That just irks me. Because, really? There is no one more committed to education? I have a hard time getting behind this kind of superlative. However, I've often felt on the outside (of something) because this kind of language doesn't sit well with me. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will argue that they want their candidates to be just as assertive as Angle is presented here. Or, perhaps, I should say she's confident.

Of course, I'm nitpicking, not because I want to be petty, but because the language made me think of some of my own issues (and, well, I apparently like to write about myself...a lot).

I'm off to further explore websites. Remember, November 2nd is Election Day. (I'll be voting in three days because Nevada offers early voting.)

[In case you didn't catch it, I included links to the candidates' sites. Check them out before they're gone.]


* Was grad school like war? I'm not making that comparison. I've never been to war, so I wouldn't know what that is like. "Entrenched" is the word that felt best there. When grad school was over, I did feel as if I was slowly climbing out of some deep, dark hole. (Now, if only I weren't in a new hole. Ah, well.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a little (un)holyday music

Every year, in this, my favorite month, I'm reminded of elementary school music class with Ms T. I picture our little selves in the classroom with brown industrial carpet. The bass drum has a picture of Garfield on it. Ms T plays us recordings of Banshee squeals (perhaps there was a song that I just don't remember). Ah, Elementary School, you're one of the reasons it was so difficult to decide homeschooling was best for us. So, I'll be Ms T for Pic. Here's some of what I'm sharing with her:

"H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N Spells Halloween" -- I did not like the video (hence my not embedding it), but I had a hard time finding the song otherwise.

"There Was an Old Woman All Skin and Bones" -- The version I sang looks like Martin Sutton's from February 10, 2007 (scroll down to see it). There is a lot of variety to this song.

"Bette Midler - I Put A Spell On You"
This isn't from elementary school music class, but I have been watching this movie yearly since just after elementary school.

Also, a more grown-up version of the "Skin and Bone" song. (The woman is turning tricks? I'm not sure if his lady is the lonely old woman.) [Don Shearer - "Skin and Bone"]


And, Nevada's birthday falls on Halloween. I also learned "Home Means Nevada" in elementary school and I still sing it to myself often. (Should I admit that? Ah, well, too late.)

"home means nevada w/lyrics" -- I included this video because it looks like something Auntie Peecho and I would have done at this age had we access to this kind of technology. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

from the mouth of the babe...

The other day, I actually sat down to watch Disney's Hercules with Pic. There's a scene when Pegasus is trying to squeeze through a small opening and his rear end is prominently displayed on the screen.

"Is Pegasus a boy or a girl, Mamma?" Pic asked.

"What do you think?"

"A girl, I think. I don't see a penis...unless it's really short."

Good thinking.


A couple of nights ago, I was telling Pic that I hope to get old one day. She responded that she'd also like to get old. Then, she told me, "Then, I'll get to be part of the soil. I'm so excited!"

I've been afraid of death since I can remember, but my child, who always amazes me, looks forward to the prospect of decomposing into the soil. It's like she just gets that, yes, death is a natural part of the life cycle. I'm thinking that, when she starts reading Harry Potter on her own, she'll appreciate Dumbledore's take on death. I, on the other hand, will probably end up hanging out with the likes of Nearly Headless Nick.

Friday, October 22, 2010

not perfect, but it's a start

"President Obama: It Gets Better"

I am loving that this is becoming a national discussion. I love that he says we need to change the idea that bullying is just a natural part of growing up. That idea is horrible. Bullying is not okay. It's not character-building, it's devastating, as some of us know, as we have all seen.

it's alive!...


I have dived (oh, please let that be correct...I have doven, um, no) into water so deep and murky that I cannot see the surface. Okay, I'm being entirely too over-dramatic here. I could probably very easily keep my head above water, if only I stopped a moment to stand up and take a breath. However, I feel that I've been on a kind of drone-autopilot setting for the last couple of months. I am not happy with the situation and I'm thinking about ways to make some changes. Suggestions for someone who is entirely over-educated and under-experienced for just about anything are welcome. And, when I call for suggestions, I am looking for ways I can provide a tiny bit financially for our tiny family. I am used to making tiny, pretty-much-inconsequential amounts of money, but I do need to be able to make enough to pay for my vast amounts of highly-relevant-to-all-aspects-of-my-life education. (I kind of kid. I enjoyed my time in higher education. I just wonder, sometimes, if I should have done a lot very differently. Then, I remind myself that isn't even a choice, so I should focus on right now. Yes.)

I plan to be in a much different position next year and for many of the following years. I want to be able to embrace the ideas we've decided are best for our family, instead of freaking out and deciding to take on entirely too much of what I don't want because that is what's familiar to me. Ugh.

On the life learning front, by the end of this month, I will have much to share. October has been, and will continue to be, full of homeschool-group activities. Thanks be for our homeschooling group. We would not have traveled in this direction had we not found and been embraced by the group.

For the next many months, though, I'll be back to my old standby of counting down the days until I'm finished with my current obligations. In high school, my teachers would consult with me about how many days we had remaining of the year. I didn't mind the countdowns then. Now, though, I realize I'm not living life the way I want to be, I'm almost constantly focused on either tiny bits of the present or on our big dreams for the future. I'd like to be back in a place where I'm focusing on the big picture that represents right freaking now.


I would add some music to this post, as I've had a bit of a soundtrack going through my head as I've whined and fretted, but I'm using not-my-computer and I can't get the audio to work, so I can't hear the songs first to confirm they're the ones I want. I'll include the songs later...maybe.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"chase your shadow 'til the sun goes down"

"Sia - Bring Night (from We Are Born)" - no video, just the still there

I just learned, looking up how to post this song, there was a soundtrack to the World Cup. Huh. How did that work? Were the soundtrack songs performed during half-time breaks or something? Anyhow...

love and be loved*

"My Princess Boy"

I love that the mom in this story, Cheryl Kilodavis, ends the segment with talk of acceptance. I'm not a fan of the word tolerance, as in, "We should tolerate others [or, Others]." That word -- tolerance -- always makes me think of something we're disdaining, something we don't want in our presence, but something we're putting up with nonetheless.

I'm still not a huge fan of the terms "princess boy" and "tomboy," but I'm glad to see this discussion made public. I doubt it's easy for these parents and this community to work against what seems right (but what is only "right" because we, as a society, think that boys who dress in dresses are inherently broken or wrong). I am constantly reaffirming for Pic that people dress differently to express themselves differently. I'm pretty sure she's heard countless times, from me, that it's okay if a boy wants to wear a dress, too, because maybe he likes the way it looks on him, just the same as Pic loving the way her dresses look on her. I've always thought it was unfair for boys and men that they aren't "allowed" to wear dresses and make-up and high heels because that somehow makes them less male.


* I somehow forgot to title this, so I threw something on there hours after I hit "publish post." Oops.

Friday, October 15, 2010

star-gazing unschoolers

It's been a bit of tough going as far as scheduling and whatnot here in La Casa B. So, it's days like today that help me get through this. First off, I had an interesting discussion with an acquaintance today. He told me about the pressure he feels to follow the oft-prescribed path and about what he's actually passionate about. I told him we unschool and he didn't look at me as if I am crazy (who knows what he thought).

Later this afternoon and evening? The main event. We have regular park days with our homeschooling group and we met up with them today at a new park. I've been feeling very under the weather, so while Pic played in her first kickball game, I napped on the grass. (I was waiting for someone to ask me to move or something.) After the park, we headed way, way out to one of the group's family's houses (please tell me all of that sentence worked out).

The location was fabulous and the company was too. One of our group members brought his telescope and we were able to see craters on the moon and Uranus and its moons (yes, that sentence is like a middle-school dream). We had dinner and the kids ran around like the rambunctious littles they are. Our host had so thought-fully provided those little glow-sticks for the kids to wear so we wouldn't lose any kids in the dark. We had to cut out a little early because my body was hurting and I was tired. And, we have another big homeschooling outing planned for tomorrow.

Perhaps I'll even remember the camera.

Monday, October 11, 2010

c is for cookie

Pic is right now eating a Halloween sugar cookie, covered in orange sugar crystals. She just came to tell me, "It's a ghost! It's so cute! It wants to get in my tummy."

Oh, child.

musical monday: "time to get your crayons and your pencils"

"Picture Pages"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'campo chirurgico'

I've mentioned I'm catching up on old episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Just came across this. (Yes, yes, I'm also getting actual work done today, too.)

"Callie and Bailey 6x18 moments"
So funny. (And, with Italian captioning!)

parenting fail: holey, holey teeth

I hate to be told I'm bad at something. I tell myself enough that I'm bad at all kinds of things, so when others jump on that wagon, I tend to get really (quietly) defensive.

For the last couple of weeks, Pic has been telling us that her back, bottom left tooth is hurting. We decided it was finally time to take her to the dentist. (I know, I know. However, Cardo's first visit to the dentist was incredibly late in his life and I have a lifelong history of scary, painful, entirely unpleasant dentist office experiences.)

So, last week was Pic's first dental visit. All went well except the four cavities in the four corners of her mouth, gaping like little Grand Canyons in miniature. The dental hygienist was awesome. She was so patient and cheery and really connected with Pic. I never had a visit like this when I was little. (There had to have been pediatric dentistry back then, no?) Then, the dentist came over. He was more businesslike, which I think is partly due to his job. He came, inspected Pic's mouth and spouted off a bunch of numbers and letters and ominous-sounding terms I don't even remember but which sounded like we'd need to get her a set of tiny dentures or something.

After Dr Dentum* performed his exam, he told informed us of the evils of snacking. Then he listed a huge amount of foods that lead to sugar build-up on teeth. Most of the foods -- Gatorade, soda, Cheetos, chips, ecc, ecc, ecc** -- Pic doesn't eat. He finally got around to candy, though. She does like herself some M&Ms. Also, she and I have majorly (holey) sweet teeth***. Dr Dentum admitted that telling his patients the evils of snacking doesn't cause them to stop snacking, rather he was informing us so we could choose to do something about it. We're choosing to brush our teeth many, many more times a day. He also suggested not bringing forbidden fruit into our home, which would work best for me personally...if I had any willpower whatsoever.

We go back in a couple of weeks for some pretty serious (and pretty friggin' expensive) dental work. I sincerely hope we've learned from this experience. I don't want to go back in six months or a year or two (or ever) and learn that we've failed in the dental hygiene area once more. I also don't want Pic to be in any more pain.


* Not his name.

** ecc is the Italian equivalent of etc. ecc = eccetera. I like to use it in my informal writing.

*** Can we pluralize "sweet tooth"? Hmm.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"just you wait, henry higgins, just you wait"

"Pygmalion" This is a pretty fun video, although the text goes past pretty quickly.

Friday, October 8, 2010

notes from the cocoon

Argh and ugh and all that jazz. I'm in the middle of constantly rethinking the decisions I made a few short months ago. I'm swamped and exhausted and losing motivation by the day. It's showing in small ways. However, I feel like there are cracks in a wall that's holding back a mountain of dirt and boulders all too willing to bury me. The small ways feel they're about to become much bigger.

In the meantime, to numb my anxiety, I've been escaping to Seattle Grace. I've been watching previous seasons of Grey's Anatomy. I guess I've missed the last two years of this show, although I didn't realize it's been so long since I've seen it. Any thoughts I have on it have most likely been discussed ad nauseam months or even years ago. But...

What the crap is up with season six? Actually, season five was bad enough. I loved George O'Malley, but he kind of started disappearing from the show. (And, then he finished disappearing. Alas.) Why? If anyone is still watching the show: Is it worth it without O'Malley? (Okay, so you have to think it's worth it in the first place, to answer that question, of course.)

And, season six is just sad.

Ah, well. Perhaps this is why I don't watch much tv.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Monday, October 4, 2010

musical monday

"Billie Jean - The University of Michigan GMen"

blog sprint: fire

One Minute Writer for today: Write about a memory you have related to a campfire. (If you don't have any such memories, write about any fire-related memory.)

Staying up to talk. Pouring water on the fire until it seems to be out. Smokey says, “Stir the ashes,” right? We stir the ashes and the fire springs back up. Laughing so hysterically that we’re on the verge of peeing our pants. Wondering how we aren’t making enough noise to wake everyone in the campgrounds. Where are the people who know what they’re doing with the fire, huh?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

we go out walking

Yes, we're still at it. Walking. We're not out as much as I'd like, but I'm making an effort to keep up with it because it keeps me healthy both physically and emotionally. Cardo has even admitted that all this walking helps him. Pic? Well, she's along for the ride, but she's not yet asked why we're the boring people who do not much more than walking. Ah, Pic, how we love you so.

So, enough waxing on? A look at a recent walk? All righty, then.

Before we set off, I noticed this group of acorn tops. I imagine a group of feasting faeries fled just before I arrived.

Mamma gets a ride!

Birds on a wire (or two).

A gathering.

Not exactly clear, no, but the lights were lit! A Christmas house -- a year-round Christmas house! Oh, so funny.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

there once was a woman...

...who was supposed to be responding to a stack of papers, but who was very distracted by this:

"The Pajama Game - There Once Was a Man"

I love the yodely-twang of this. (Yes, I'm making up words now.) It's so goofy.

This movie, in general kind of makes me laugh. The women who work in the pajama factory are wearing heels. These leading lovers take about four moments to each realize they love the other. Oh, so much fun and I'm only thirty minutes in (I had to pull that video from youtube although I haven't reached that part of the movie yet.)

I'm also fond of "Steam Heat," and probably some other songs I also haven't gotten to yet.

"The Pajama Game - Steam Heat"

Monday, September 27, 2010

do you have the time...

Have been reading about this

Green Day's "Basket Case" [embedding has been disabled]

and this

Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends" [embedding has been disabled]


Blast from the past.

necessary simplicity

A couple of weeks ago, I set myself up for a ridiculously busy week. I hope that I have learned from it: next time around (next year?) plan better...duh. I made it through that week, but I was incredibly exhausted. All last week, I still felt like I was recovering. I just felt like I couldn't catch up. This week has had a much more promising start (let's hope that continues throughout the week, please).

I have needed a lot of simplicity in a lot of areas of my life because I've gone and overwhelmed myself in just enough ways. This morning, I woke up at a decent hour and then I closed my eyes again. The next time I looked at the clock, it was two hours later. Who knows how long Cardo and Pic had been up by then. I took my time making and eating breakfast (Pic requested cold cereal and I made myself cream of wheat, one of my ultimate comfort foods). Then, I started to get set up for the day. Pic wanted to go outside and play with her hula hoop. I've grown weary (already) of having to continuously tell her, "Mamma made an iffy decision a couple of months ago and you constantly have to wait, sorry," so we moved our operation outside. Well, first I got dressed at some late hour in the day. Pic got to hoop, run around in the grass and climb a tree. I got to read and prepare for the coming week. I even got to play with the hula hoop for a while.

When we returned home, we had a very, very simple dinner. Pic had cheese and grapes and I had mini bagels with cream cheese and tomatoes.

I needed this day to be full of this quiet and simplicity. And, I need many more days of listening to and responding to Pic's and my needs. And, I need to learn to work out some satisfactory balance in my life. And, I need to learn my limits and accept them (unless I really feel like pushing them).

And, I need sleep.

I hope you are finding peaceful, simple moments in your own lives. G'night.