Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Once the Cover Speaks for Itself

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana I am not typically a memoir reader. I realize there are a lot of awesome people that have done legitimately amazing things and there are even a few that are actual heroes with stories worth reading, but for every one of those cool cats there's a few dozens crackpots whose wackiest life experience is thinking they are memoir worthy. And the second wackiest is that they have enough money to publish said memoir and trick people into buying it. (Notice I didn't say "reading"?)
Well my point there is that I just don't know where to draw the line. And I like made up stories.

After being lent Zippy's sequel, She Got Up Off the Couch, I had no choice but to look into the first book. My thoughts: I wouldn't go out on a limb and loan a random book unless is was pretty gosh darn spectacular, AND if she managed to publish a sequel about herself it must be pretty entertaining.
I was not let down by my friend or the book. First of all when I read the first few pages it was so odd and dare I say enchanting, I wasn't convinced Haven didn't make the whole thing up. By page 7 I decided I must continue reading to verify the authenticity of this "memoir". (It wasn't a tough decision.) Eventually I decided that the things that happen to Zippy are so random and hilarious they must be true (that sounds awfully cliche, but what can ya do? when it says what ya think...). Growing up in a tiny tiny town in Indiana, Zippy is a real life Ramona Quimby. Seriously. Read it. And then read She Got Up Off the Couch, it's equally entertaining.

She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana

P.S. Only managed glimpses of the eclipse through the clouds. Very. brief. glimpses.

Monday, December 20, 2010

yeah whatever, i came back, and it's my birthday

Ok I have been on accidental hiatus. AGAIN. I am sticking with that term though, partly because I made it up and partly because it's true. Mostly because I made it up. SO while I sit outside at 12:30 AM ON MY BIRTHDAY to watch the lunar eclipse that is happening ON MY BIRTHDAY I am going to binge blog. And then just to trick you wacky people I'm going to store them up in drafts and release them to the world when the time is right
I feel it is my duty to monitor this eclipse for several reasons:

ONE: Everyone else is going to fall asleep before it happens but I will stay awake since IT'S MY BIRTHDAY

TWO: The actual covered up, color changing moon part is supposed to happen within minutes  (MINUTES) of the time when I WAS ACTUALLY BORN

THREE: If ever one was going to have something life changing happen to them (alien abduction, visions of the future, sprouting of a third arm), it will be me. tonight. see number TWO for my reasoning

FOUR: I've never been one of those lovey dovey, oooey gooey, mushy gushy (ok you get the point) people that gazes upon the stars and thinks about my cats (well turned into my parents' cats) living without me but gazing up at the very same stars. BUT tonight they are looking at the very same ECLIPSE! Even better is that my big brother is watching the same eclipse. (Some day I'll bore you all with stories of how I idolized that dude from the day I WAS BORN!) The main difference here is he is watching it from a park. With friends. I am watching it from the driveway. With a computer. Drinking Christmas.

FIVE: I'll take any excuse to wake up the monster in the middle of the night ON MY BIRTHDAY to cuddle. And what's a cooler excuse than so I can tell him he saw the first lunar eclipse to happen on the shortest day of the year since the 1500's. (AND IT HAPPENED ON HIS MOM'S BIRTHDAY!)

Before I leave you all panting with the excitement of my return combined with your enthusiasm for this very special day, I must inform you that it is currently too cloudy to even see the moon. I am not typically a fan of abbreviations subscribing to the league of people who believe in grammar, but WTF.

Also, I have heard a few strange noises. I hope it isn't the aliens. I also hope the noises stop. I don't want to have to tell people I missed the eclipse because I went inside for fear of the aliens.

I think the noises are cats.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel   The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all time favorite books. First of all the main character is a girl that loves books. Margaret Lea and her father have a bookstore and live a pretty pleasant (books and tea and such) but uneventful life when Margaret is summoned by the well known and reclusive author Vida Winter to write her biography. The Tale Miss Winter tells makes it impossible to stop thinking about the story even when the book itself is out of sight.

I came across this a few years back when it just released and put on the Barnes and Noble recommended read of the month list. After reading it once I had immediate intentions of reading through again, but other books came along so I took some time to forget the details before delving back into it. I have to say here that the first time I read it I finished the second half of the book in one sitting. Hours and hours straight through the middle of the night. The second time around I listened to it on cd. The audio version is very well done and read by two separate people to distinguish between the present day as told by Margaret and the past related to us by Miss Winter. I wasn't even through the book before I was thinking of listening (or reading) it again to look for the important details that seemed minor the first (and second) time through.

If you love books for the stories but don't quite as much love the feel and smell and weight of the actual book, don't get bogged down in the first few chapters as Margaret describes herself. Other have told me they had this problem and after not "getting into the story" near the beginning they put the book away and missed out on an interesting tale of a secluded household and it's twins.

The Accidental Leave of Absence

I had no intention of disappearing back into reality and locking the metaphorical door to my online creative escape (I'll give you a hint here since this sentence is declining into something without meaning, the creative escape is The Owl), but somewhere amidst the pile of a fabric scraps I buried the words that used to compose paragraphs for your reading pleasure. Basically I've been sewing a lot. AND the tiny monster has forced me to keep the computer closed during all his waking hours. And there are LOTS of hours when he is awake. And a few days turns into several days that make a week and two weeks and a month and two months and.... and then the weather (FINALLY) cools off and I sit in the dim light filtering through the overcast gloom and then filtering again through the solar screens on the windows drinking Earl Grey and reading a book that makes me laugh. Out loud. I can't wait to share this book now that it's done that so others can laugh too, but what about the line up books I've been reading and not reporting on. After all, there are 39 people (and their friends) stuck rereading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (although I hope some of my higher achieving readers were able to move on to the sequel without my prompting) waiting ever so hopefully for some literary direction.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Introducing Alter Egos!

I randomly go on a creative streak, but a couple weeks ago I created a doll on a whim for the kid's friend on her birthday. I think this project is going to stick around for awhile (it has to, it's got a brand name and everything!). The inspiration. For a big group birthday party for kiddos turning 1, we drew names out of a hat and gifted Secret Santa style. The kid got his friend Ava and we decided to get her a set of instruments. Two nights before the birthday bash, on a whim, I decided to make her a dancing monster doll to go with the instruments. Limited by an 8x11 sheet of printer paper I drew an outline and went from there with fabric scraps I already had. The Alter Ego name popped into my head as I made AE Ava because her mom and I both happen to refer to our progeny as monsters on their bad days. My little disclaimer is that the Egos have improved along the way owing partly to figuring out improvements and partly to the time crunch on the first two.

Alter Ego Ava
Ava has THE BEST hair that is stick straight and isn't afraid to stand up in the back. She wears her skirt short so it's not in the way as she sprints through the house terrorizing Chihuahuas. Is she waving? Is she dancing? It depends on her mood, but hike up that short skirt and she'll tell you who she is. When she's had enough of you for the day she crawls off displaying her special birthday patch.

Alter Ego Chloe
Chloe is a girl with some serious dance moves. Although she wears her skirt longer, it's loose and flowing to allow maximum hip sway while still swishing to the beat. Her blonde hair can have a mind of its own, but her fancy bow keeps it in check. Talk sweetly and she'll show you her "tattoos".

Alter Ego Lola
Miss Lola loves strutting around waving to friends and showing off her mini, reversible BabyHawk (and her baby). Sometimes she even leaves baby and Hawk at home so the locals can get a better view of her kickin' tutu inspired skirt. Miss Lola has 12 strands of gorgeous dark hair, one for every month of her first year, and if you compliment her bow she might even show you her secret heart.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You have now entered... The Twilight Zone

I feel like I just woke up in the Twilight Zone. Before the nap I was so wiped out my eyes wouldn't open properly. I looked high. Too bad I didn't feel high too, I just felt half dead. SO I stumbled down the hallway and crashed into bed thinking 'I've got 4 million things to do (I counted and that number is precise), but if I don't sleep now while the kid is asleep I'll lose my chance. And otherwise he might look at my eyes and think his momma is on drugs.' So I lie down for awhile. An hour plus. And I know I wasn't asleep the whole time, but I couldn't have been awake the whole time. I thought about things, but I can't remember what they were, so maybe I was dreaming about things? But when I woke up I didn't have that 'I just woke up this second' feeling. And I am just as tired, if not more so, than before the nap.

I am sorry, that was boring. But I am soooo tired and I love the Twilight Zone. The original black & white ones. If you haven't ever seen one you should check it out. They are quite clever. I actually watched about 18 episodes the day I found out about the kid's impending arrival. Maybe he's the one making me feel like this........

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Extra Word on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

So it's come to my attention that several (as in enough that it was discussed on the Today Show) people have had trouble getting through the beginning of the book. I really did not experience this, but I wanted to put it out there that you should FORCE yourself to get through the first 100 pages. It will be worth it. If you this task is too much for you but you do it anyway (because I told you to and you always do as I say) and are NOT satisfied, I'll gladly take the book off your hands. For free. And display it on my own shelves where it can feel the necessary love and affection it deserves.

Oh and since most books seem to leave wishing that I live in another world, time period, etc, etc. You should know this one did not. I wanted to clarify. When you read the book you'll know why clarification was required. Happy reading and good day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo   So I am pretty sure you've heard the hype or at least recognize the cover or title of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I am here to reaffirm what people literally around the world have been saying. This book is good. Suck you in, forget about life, ignore your baby good. As you know I tend to do a lot more listening and less reading than the typical person. Actually I am going to correct that because I bet in a "bad reading year" for me I read at least triple (probably more like 10 times. minimum) the average number of books as the majority of Americans. Forget that. I listen a ton and read read a little less. This book I bought (kindle edition) last Wednesday and finished it tonight. Like I said, ignore the world good. Often I avoid the crazy popular titles and then eventually give in to see what the fuss is about and am usually happily surprised. Think Twilight series, Harry Potter. There's probably more. And occasionally I read a book just prior to the craze and make sure everyone knows. Yes. It IS important to me that I read a "great book" before everyone else had ever heard of it.

I'm not really going to say much about the plot of the book because I went into it knowing pretty much nothing other than the title. I did find the title to be an interesting choice because it's pretty eye (ear?) catching but Stieg only refers to that specific tattoo like once. But, yes, there is a girl with a dragon tattoo. I will put out the disclaimer that there are some graphic/disturbing scenes. Depending on your personal level of tolerance, extremely graphic portions. Other than that the last book I was so thoroughly sucked into was the 1980 publication Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. A "prehistorical" novel whose follow-ups digressed from the highly interesting (someone did their research) and entertaining first book (Cave Bear) into the interesting but less and less realistic, almost romance novel, The Valley of Horses. I didn't make it past that one (mostly because I borrowed the first 2 and made no effort to seek out the last 2). Anyway, the dude was about 6 weeks old at the time (so time frame was almost exactly 1 year ago) and let's just say there was a LOT of feeding/holding/laying next to sleeping (maybe crying) baby with book in hand.

Twilight (The Twilight Saga)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter)The Clan of the Cave BearThe Valley of Horses

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

World Without End

World Without EndWorld Without End I used up my amazing middle ages descriptive skills on The Pillars of the Earth so take what I said in that post, spring forward two hundred years, change some characters, add the plague and WHA-LA! you have World Without End, Ken's second masterpiece. Seriously not fair that he has two masterpieces. Most people don't even get ONE. I don't have a masterpiece yet so I hope he didn't steal my one chance.

So far I have made it sound like WWE is awfully similar to Pillars, but it's not. It is in the sense that it rocks and I was sad when it was over, but different in that it includes THE PLAGUE. I don't know about you guys but throw a crazy deadly epidemic in and I'll read just about anything. Ok. So I am seriously not doing this one justice. Pretty much my sentences trying to make it sound great are making it sound lame. So if you have not a good impression so far, think the opposite. Although, after listening to both books back to back, I might recommend reading something in between so you don't get confused. For example, in Pillars there is Alfred and in WWE there is Alfric. Practically the same name with practically the same personality. Overall, it's a solid read and I am glad it was there to pick me up out of the bumbling depression that set in when The Pillars of the Earth ended.

Ooh ooh! I almost forgot to mention.... I was pretty much addicted to this book. If I was awake I was listening to it (thank goodness the kid doesn't quite understand all the English language yet or his innocent little ears would've been in for a special kind of treat). I mentioned the plague runs rampant through Europe...Well one night after falling asleep with Ken I dreamed the plague had wiped out most of the population. I had plans to live in a van with a couple other chicks. Things were dark and pretty desperate since we were afraid to raid the grocery stores because of the dead plague victims lying in the aisles. Back to real life. Did you know the plague still exists in some areas of the U.S.? Not really a problem since an easy bacteria to treat, but in the western states there are (groundhogs?) with the type of flea that can potentially carry the plague. According to college epidemiology professor some of them do. So if you want the full middle ages experience....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)The Pillars of the Earth Unabridged on 32 CDs [41 Hours]The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is an amazing book. I am not even close to being the first to put that out there as Oprah beat me to it a few years back. But for those non-Oprah fans, this book is amazing. How does Oprah pick her "Oprah books"? I will be kind and assume that she, herself, does actually read the book before declaring it be Oprah-worthy (or do you think someone reads it aloud to her?). But really, does she browse the bookstore, pick up something, and every 5th or 10th or whatever-th book "touches" her? Hehe maybe she only has time to read a few books a year and the ones she finishes makes the list. Then "the masses" think the book must be life changing if Oprah read it aaaaand....... sorry I completely digress(ed?).

I read this a few years ago after my friend Alicia (remember her from the garden post?) recommended it. I loved it then and looked forward to the day when I would read it again. I cheated (it's not cheating!) and listened to it this time. The reader, John Lee, does an awesome job. He also reads the sequel which I will talk about later. I will be looking for others narrations by him.

Back to Pillars. The story is the culmination of decades of research and dreaming by Ken (a spy(?)-type novelist) and all I can say is it was worth it. To the point that I wish I could meet the guy just to tell him thanks for writing the book. Or, congrats your crazy idea worked out. Or, write me into your next novel, but put me in the middle ages, too. Hmmmmm. I am going to have to think harder about the one sentence I will say to Ken when we meet. I feel like it's gotta be something clever. Ideas? Give me ideas. I will use your clever creativity when I meet him and then when you meet him you'll have nothing to say. Hehe except the clever one-liner that he's heard before (I feel like evil laughter should interject at this point, but that is probably just the late hour beginning to take over my mind. I think I am a different person late at night. So if you're reading this during the day ignore this part. Night-readers, I give you license to laugh villainously. Aloud.)

The story. Okay I never really share much about the story, I pretty much just tell you to pick it up and start reading. (Oh and this book has a nice intro by the author so start there.) The story takes place in the 1100's and is about the building of a cathedral (do not turn away at the mention of a church, less-religious folks, you WILL enjoy this book). Sounds boring, especially when you see that it's a thousand pages of cathedral building, but it's full of greed, corruption, love, politics, starvation, wealth...... and now disclaimer time. There's also a lot of sex and raping and pillaging. I shouldn't have to put that in there, I mean it is like the Middle Ages (it is, right? I know I should know that or at least look it up before I say that, but there ya go. I'm a mom with minimal sleep and overused brain energy so I'm allowed to make-up the *scuzz I don't know for sure. Go with it.) *Notice my purposeful avoidance of pirate language? (a.k.a. curse words, but it's more fun to talk about pirates) I just didn't want to hear that anyone was offended or accidentally listened with an English speaking kid around.

Alright, I'll wrap this up (can you tell I haven't been writing enough lately? I am just chock FULL of words.). Basically the book makes me wish it was still 1100 A.D. I have had the wild desire to drive to the mountains, get out of the car, and just start walking (with Knox strapped on my back, of course he gets to come to the middle ages, too).  It's made me feel exhausted with all the STUFF in the world and frustrated that I'll probably never live with woods in my backyard. Or walk 3 days to hear monks chanting in the most beautiful stone, handcrafted building in the land. Or drink wine like it's water (not to mention mead).... you get the idea.

And for your benefit (well, mine really, cuz I like being right) I just did some impromptu research and it IS the middle ages. Also, in the 10 minutes of reading I just did, I was freshly amazed at how well Ken incorporated actual historical stuff.

Read it. Or listen to it. And then tell me that you did to make me smile

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Feline Situation

I like cats. A lot. If you don't like cats go drink a glass of water and come back later, because you won't enjoy this. That's me being nice because I don't have much tolerance for cat haters. The main reason is because of the stupid reasons people give for not liking cats. Number one reason I hear, "I hate cats, I'm allergic." You have no idea what this does to me. It's okay to be allergic to something and avoid it. I have allergic friends that just don't go out of there way to wipe their tears on fluffy cat fur, but there's no hatred. I am allergic to milk (all kinds of fun itchy throat, occasional breathing trouble allergic) but I don't deny myself the pleasure of an occasional scoop of ice cream. Or slice of pizza.

Back to my original point. I like cats. I have four of my own (Homer- Homer Wells from The Cider House Rules, Emma- Emma Oastler frome Until I Find You, Tomasina- from the Disney The Nine Lives of Thomasina, and Angel- the pretty but dumb, but sometimes clever one that once ate a sewing needle and some  thread). Plus some extras, but we'll get to that. So we moved to this house a year ago and were told there were some cats in the area so we'd fit in well. We had no idea how many cats they were talking about. They are everywhere. These are pier and beam house built mostly in the late 40's and the poor homeless, feral cats live and multiply under them. Even I can say there are too many cats. (I am tired and my italics don't seem to convey the tone of voice my head is using but it's the closest I can get.) I name them. From a distance. There's Kevin, a territorial black and white. Some other, less interesting ones. And then there's Black Bob. Good ol' Bob became friendly towards me a few months back (actually let me touch him) so I made the "mistake" of feeding him on the porch of the abandoned house next door (all kinds of fun around here, more on that house later). Bob and I are buddies now. Well little Black Betty noticed Bob was livin' the high life and moved onto my porch last week. With her babies. Three scrawny little scuzzbuckets with big bat ears. I know first hand the starving, dying of thirst feeling of a nursing momma so how could I turn her down? I couldn't. She loves me for it. Thus the "extras".

So a friend of mine says, "Hey! Now you just need a Black Bart (like the pirate)." And guess what. Not 24 hours later Black Betty brought her friend, Black Bart! (who turned out to be a girl, but you got a name? too bad, you're stuck with it Bart) I'm preeeetty sure Black Bart's been gettin' it on with Kevin and Bob sooooo...... the moral of this story is FREE KITTENS! Three now, possibly more later. Oh and the friendly neighbor's got some kittens under her house, too. MORE FREE KITTENS!
I know most of you don't live within my kitten delivery driving radius of 25 miles, but I am more than willing to board a plane with the soon to be precious scuzzbucket of your own and fly the tiny bundle to you. FREE KITTENS with purchase of round-trip airfare.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Spot of Bother

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeA Spot of Bother (Vintage)I LOVE A Spot of Bother. I have read it three times and typically (listening to a repeat aside) I do not do this. There are several books I would not mind, might actually really enjoy re-reading, but people keep writing new books and I just can't keep up! Okay back to this book. A Spot of Bother is funny. Like freakin' hilarious.The author, Mark Haddon, wrote the much more known (does that make sense?) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It's pretty great as well so I threw out a cover picture (judge a book by a cover and I swear at least 75% of the time you will have judged correctly, and aren't these covers sweet?). Okay, so the main dude in Spot is late middle-aged with a cheating wife, a daughter with a less-than-fantastic fiance, a gay son, and a skin 'spot'. Basically his life is heading into the crapper and he starts to lose it just a little. Then, just a lot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Plum Vision

I am quite the procrastinator so I apologize to those of you with small children who have been missing out on something awesome because of my failure to share. Plum-vision. The best thing on the internet (other than the owl). My husband discovered this about 6 months ago in a desperate attempt to entertain the Knox. It's like Baby Einstein which we also worship. Literally. It's 7 am Sunday morning after some drinks the night before and the little monster who went to bed 6 hours before we did is ready to play and that multi-colored caterpillar crawls across the screen and saves us all. Anyway, plum-vision is like Baby Einstein with music and the whole "board book on tv" idea except it's British. And random objects float amidst a cloudy sky and a disembodied British voice says the name of the object. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that if we play it enough our kid will at least have a British accent when he says 'bucket'. Oh and he loves it. Spontaneous screams and waving arms. So if you have a little monster (I mean angel) yourself, check it out. If you don't have kids you should totally check it out anyway, I've seen many an adult unable to look away. And IT'S FREE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is so faar past due I don't even know what to call it...

I have been gone so long I don't know where to start, so I'll just ask... are you watching Last Comic Standing? Cuz you should be. Unlike it's obnoxious counterparts this show exploits actual comedians that are actually hilarious. No idiotic 20-somethings that are much much less attractive than they think they are... no one with an amazing voice (says their mother)... and no random talents. I have to butt in here and say I dislike talent contests because I am good at a lot of s*#$ but none of it qualifies as a talent. At least not in my book. As a kid I feared (quivered in mah sneakers) the age-old get to know you question "what's your hidden talent?". If I had some random awesome talent you can be dang sure I would have been sharing it without being asked!

You may have noticed my comic strip expletive. We'll see how this goes. My loving husband was offended by the use of my very favorite curse word in my previous post. Apparently he has never actually had a conversation with me. So no offense, Chris. (Haha I thought it would be really fun to add "but f^%* off" right here, but in order to remain married, I staid my twitching fingers.)

I spent the last two weeks sitting through alternative teaching certification. For those non-Texans, this is to become a teacher via an alternate method not learning to teach in alternative ways (or in an alternate universe :(  ). I hate that it is nearly impossible to use a smiley face near a parenthesis, because what better way is there to boldly share your emotion with the world than by smushing together some punctuation. (Side not: occasionally I "lose words" in my head and sadly I just had to ask Chris (dang! when I just mocked him) for 'punctuation'.)

There will be much more to come on those classes and the other class inhabitants (you may not know this but people are WEIRD). In the mean time I have to mention the storm in the gulf. I have two things to say here.
1. I think it is awesome that not only do storms have names but they are used as if one is speaking of another human being. "Alex has increased in strength today." Way to go buddy.
2. The media seems to be always searching for new and original catch phrases. Everything has to be named or whatever. You know what I'm talking about, no reason to keep rambling. Anyway, this afternoon one particularly helpful weatherman let me know that I am living in the "Three Day Cone of Uncertainty". What?!? Thanks? The only thing that could make that make more sense is if it was spoken in a booming, ethereal, God-like voice.

Last thing for today. I have this great cat. (Four great cats). But this one specifically is very pretty (white Persian) but lives up to the pretty and dumb stereotype. However, occasionally she surprises us all. Exhibit A. It took her all of 24 hours to figure out the cat door at my parents house. (It goes laundry room to garage). Unfortunately, then she was stuck on the other side (in the garage) and terrified for hours. Exhibit B. Knox has become quite adept at catching the cats in the few days we've been back. He can only crawl, but figured out how to corner them and then dive when they run past. Mid-dive he gets two handholds of fur and flesh, sits down, and gently (ha!) drags them into his lap squealing insanely. So tonight Angel (the pretty blonde) outsmarts him by jumping backwards into the pack 'n play when she's cornered against it. The remainder of the evening she sits quietly watching his every move. Knox goes to bed. A couple hours pass. Chris comes home, walks through the living room, "Angel! Get out of there!", lifts and tosses the poor thing on the floor. Yep. She'd been stuck again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lazy Days

Our summer days would not have been near as lazy so far if we weren't being washed away in torrents of rainfall (is that even proper phrasing?). Today alone we got 4.3 INCHES in about 4.3 hours. This was the 3rd day (in 2 weeks) since I have been been visiting/hanging out with/working for my old nanny kiddoes of rain. Not the everyday pool adventure I had dreamed of. Stupid me, I literally half imagined my 10 month old would be swimming at the end of the visit. Maybe in the backyard. The incessant rain and the kid's insane obsession with wheels is what led to this
We were just hanging out on the porch watching the rain and he couldn't stand that truck being 15 feet away and stationary. You can imagine endless days of either 95 degrees or non-stop rain can get a little wearisome with 3 kids in the house so first chance I got I tried my best to lower the opposition's numbers and take one down.  OK not really, but I was ever so innocently playing catch in the country club pool with a 6 six year old and gave him a bloody nose. In front of several mothers. That I know. That know 6 year old's mother. Oops. I tried to keep him from freaking out as I carried him from the pool and told him that "No buddy, you aren't bleeding, I just want to wipe the water off your face" but the random kids walking by shouting "Hey MOM! That kid is BLEEDING!" were really fucking up my plan. It all worked out and the mothers above mentioned to 6 year old's mother how well I handled the blood with 3 kids (apparently they hadn't noticed I had inflicted the injury- all part of my plan to set myself up to look good) and how great I looked in my bikini. Brag about me blog time!  (Not rude because every mom who spends their days sans makeup chasing an infant needs a boost of self-confidence) And by the way 6 year old's mother thought it was hilarious.

I apologize now for the long delay between posts (I'm sure you were beside yourselves trying to figure out what I was doing!) but even though I've spent several days inside, 10 feet from my computer, I have also played approximately 30 hours of monopoly. Wish this was an exaggeration. It is not. I can quote every "Chance" and "Community Chest" card if you give me the first word. I can also spout out most of the rental fees. I am looking forward to returning home to my husband and playing him just to show off my new skills. And I now offer my services to you. Any familial monopoly disputes? Bring them to the table, I am a walking rule book. You may now advance to the nearest railroad. If unowned you may buy it from the bank. If owned, pay owner twice the rent to which they are entitled.

Also, I hope my hiatus has allowed everyone to check out some other awesome blogs (blogflow anyone?) and I promise to gradually return the favor and check out some new sites!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Because I am Busy

Because I am busy chasing around THREE kiddoes this week I am copy and pasting an old post from my previous (and now abandoned) blog. Also it's (kind of) about my personal, real life friend who I just converted to an official blogstalker (her words!) so I thought I'd celebrate. If I am not too whipped tonight I will tell you about the time (Wednesday) that I tried to do away with one of said kids.

Just for You (Assuming 'You' are Alicia)
Originally posted May 6, 2010

"I think I am also over/underwatering... so what did you do to correct? My garden is puny. Stunted. And retarded. I think I planted too soon, over/underwatered, and secrete some sort of mysterious plant-killing enzyme from my fingernails. " ~Alicia

I thought this question/comment was entertaining. Not "haha funny" at Alicia's expense, but side of the mouth smirk at her cleverness. AND since she's one of two followers I can do this. Follow me and maybe you can have your own post too.

After I took my laughably little squash (the guy at the nursery really did laugh at it) home with me I followed the nursery dude's advice. Side note. My squash was so small I forgot it in the car. It ended up in the driver's seat where it was sat on repeatedly and then found a few days later unharmed. I stuck my finger straight in the ground near the base of the plant up to my hand. A whole finger length. This was to see if the soil was wet all the way down. Apparently squash are binge drinkers. Think me in college. Sober much of the time, but sloshed at the weekend toga party/luau/football game. See below.

Back to the squash. They like the soil to be completely dry, then water a lot. Water the entire area that the plant covers. But DO NOT WATER THE LEAVES. Then leave it alone until the dirt is dry again. But DO NOT WATER THE LEAVES. I had read in all three of my gardening books and been told by the nursery man to water under the leaves. We followed these instructions all the while wondering if I needed to purchase some yellow rubber rain hats for my demanding foliage. Even though we're in South Texas, it's going to rain at some point. One day it did. Lots. Thousands of big wet rain drop landed and remained on the large leaves of my squash. No big deal. It's a plant. Plants need rain. A few days later the leaves were covered in powdery white fungus. It had been mentioned so casually I didn't think much of it until the leaves turned yellow and started to die. F***! Right when I was getting the whole drunken squash, sober sober sober squash thing down. We clipped the dead leaves and sprayed the rest of the plant with a baking soda solution (3 tablespoons baking soda to 1 gallon water) and that seems to have worked. BS is a natural fungal inhibitor or something so we now keep it on hand for the deluge.

An extra special Alicia note. Alicia is awesome and half the reason I even bother to use the internet to post anything is to see what comment she can come up with. I wish I was kidding but she gave voice to pictures of my sleeping newborn. The girl has a gift for captions.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Works of Arthur Conan Doyle. (200+ Works) The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes, The Professor Challenger Works, The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard and more (mobi)The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arcturus Paperback Classics)

So I am hoping this review does not detract from my amazing (not so great, actually) "review" of alabaster cow. So if you are reading this and did not read that, you better keep scrolling when you finish this shit. I'll know if you don't. Thanks :)    I am so far behind and claim to be a book review blog but am slacking. And I had coffee at 7:30 PM.

I know this is not some hot off the presses new novel by any means. By like 100 years. But Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the shit. The original shit. Sherlock is one of those guys I've thought most of my life I would have to tackle at some point. I only wish I had known that the as I dove in for the tackle I would quickly fall in love and spend the rest of my days trying to conjure the dude into real life. So he could be my best friend. My personal gumshoe.

When I saw movie previews back about 6 months ago, I knew the time had come and I checked The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes out of the local library. Surprise, surprise! It was an easy, straightforward read. None of the wordy, overly descriptive prose I was expecting. Instead Sir Arthur opens chapter one with a mystery and by the end of the chapter it's solved! Chapter two, repeat! So when I got a Kindle for Christmas I downloaded the entire Works of Arthur Conan Doyle for less than 5 bucks. Months later, I am only 13% of the way through and dreading the day I hit 100%. And just a fun fact (teensy spoiler alert). Sir Arthur was not as fond of Sherlock as his readers and once tried to kill him off. It didn't work. ALSO, like I said I have only read 13% (which is a complete novel about one mystery and at least 30 short story mysteries) and only ONCE has Sherlock used the term "elementary" and it was not in conjunction with "my dear, Watson" which is only rarely used on other occasions. Sooo read it. But when you're done find your own personal gumshoe, cuz this cat's taken.

alabaster cow... my world. I am obsessively grammatically correct, (ok I try my darndest) but lower-cased the title in honor of one of my very favorite blog writers. Actually, she's my favorite. She was pretty much my favorite to begin with and THEN she featured me on her blog. Made my month. That's a big deal considering in the last month my kid (coolest boy in the universe, just sayin') learned to crawl, cruise the furniture, and got 4 teeth this month. So THANK YOU ERICKA AT ALABASTER COW!!!!!!!

If I am being honest (and I am always honest which is why you like me, right? Seriously I have decided I am honest to a fault- more on that later) I will admit to you folks that I have been meaning to tell you about Ericka's blog for weeks. WEEKS. I repeat for emphasis. She is funny. FUNNY. (ok that time I was making a joke with the caps) But she is freakin' hilarious. And she is an actual writer of novels. This is one of my dreams, but lately I have realized that I am too damn lazy to write a whole book. (More on that later, too) Also, I had been writing my kids blog from his point of view for months and had been iffy about my own. Ericka inspired me. Mostly because she cusses a lot and I like to cuss. If you're betting on my kids first word put your money on 'fuck'. But she is incredibly honest. To the point that I wish I could say some of the things she does, but I can't bring myself to do it. Yet. I also discovered through her that I can write and people will actually read it! Like more than my husband (whom I made a follower by logging in, using his e-mail address, and attaching a photo. And I am not convinced he reads it.) and a friend or two that I pay on a post by post basis.

I can't quite describe what alabaster cow is about because my mind has yet to grasp its awesomeness in its entirety, but according to E there is chihuahua shit and periods. And one of the top babies of all time (Ava is amazing. And beautiful. And on the list of women Knox is allowed to date in a few years). And BOOZE. Yummmmmm. Alcohol speak distracts me, so just go read it for yourself. Start with the part where she writes about me (and manages to make me sound so good I want to be friends with myself).

Hey! Did I mention she made me a button??????? SHE DID!!!!!!! So grab it and go. Go read her wittiness but don't forget to come back!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Brought the Cookies

Sushi and Sex in the City. Sweet combo. I went with Amy tonight and did both. She mixed and pack martinis for the movie. Another friend of hers came along and she too packed drinks. Crap. All I brought were cookies.

When did I turn into the girl that only brings a cookie? A few shorts months ago I planned a big expedition to Alice in Wonderland (once again with Amy) complete with dinner and drinks beforehand. That time the drinks were too plentiful and we kind of forgot about the movie plans. A and I went hungover the next morning. Apparently, I just miss the bullseye. Too little or too much. Next time I'll just remember that with alcohol you can't go wrong.

Enough of my rambling, I am sure you are just dying to hear about the movie. It was a good story. I'd watch it again if it was on T.V  mid channel-surf. Quite a bit of (almost awkward) one-liners and a couple times Lucille Ball popped into mind. The most entertaining part of the experience was quite possibly the other women. The theatre was packed and we were not the only ones imbibing There was a "screamer" and a "cackler" down in front and at the most dramatic moment a collective gasp.

Kinda crappy post. I literally spent a good portion of the movie writing this in my mind. Must've left those ideas under the seat, but it's late and I'm pumping. Too much info, people, I know. Too much info.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Feel Clever, oh So Clever

Much to my husband's chagrin, I HATE throwing things away. Almost everything can be used for something or passed on to someone else. I occasionally watch Hoarders just to keep myself in check. I have friends who are baffled by the show and the lives it's people lead, but I live in fear of becoming them. Although I am no where near that crazy, the large canvas bag of baby food jars in the corner of the kitchen begs to differ.

It's not my fault, I am claiming genetics and blaming my brother. My brother taught me to save things from a very young age. Get your favorite candy trick-or-treating? Don't eat it, because you just might want it later and then it will be gone. This led to the candy never getting eaten and my mom throwing it away (with the uneaten Easter candy) within weeks of the next year's Halloween. I still feel bad about all those uneaten Bite-Sized Snickers. Maybe this is why I have no control over myself when I see a bowl of candy lying around these days. Back to my brother. This idea seemed to have been built into him. As a toddler he would actually hide dirty Kleenexes behind the couch because he didn't want to throw them away. That has amused me my entire life.

I have entirely digressed from the point I was trying to make. And I have completely destroyed the argument I was trying to make- that this ninja is clever.

I mostly cloth diaper my kid so I refused to purchase a Diaper Genie (even though my husband asked several times, "When are we going to get one of those diaper trashcan things?". I used several DG's and their equivalent in my nannying days, but there was no point for the extra expense and space for those few disposables we use. I love the Arm-n-Hammer tiny scented plastic bags, but those cost money (that we don't have). Recently I discovered something that works just as well. The produce bags from the grocery store are PERFECT. I use the ones I actually bring veggies home in, but go ahead, unroll yourself a few extra. No one will notice. Also great are the bags newspapers come in (steal your neighbors and then hand deliver their paper to the door- they'll think your a saint! Especially if you occasionally hand it off with a hot cup o' jo). And these are so long you can tie one crappy diaper in the bottom and save it for the next one. I know I give myself too much credit, but I just had to share.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm a Ninja

I just killed a fly. With. my. BARE HANDS! It was perched on the edge of the table and *SMACK* down it went to the floor. Then it jumped and I killed it again. That's the second one I've gotten this fly season. Pretty sure that makes me an official ninja. Then as I carried the corpse to the trashcan I stubbed my toe on a toy train. Must've used up all the ninja skills on the fly. Freakin' train bringing me back to reality. Or maybe the universe was just getting me back for committing a tiny murder (and my ninja skills are still intact).

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Went for a Run (just once)

Last weekend I ran a marathon. Ok I lied. I ran part of a marathon. But it was a relay, I didn't cheat. Once upon a time I was an athlete. A pretty badass athlete actually (and where, other than your very own blog, can you brag openly about yourself?). But that was a few years back. Since then I have 1) had my ankle reconstructed with a tendon from my thigh 2) dislocated my elbow (I'll tell you about that sometime, it was classic) 3) fractured my back (another classic story- this one even involves alcohol and party shoes) and been told by experts (a.k.a doctors) that my body wasn't built for pounding the pavement. I love having this excuse for my hatred of jogging around the block more than once.

Back to marathon. So about 6 weeks back I get a call from Amy, "Hey! We need someone for our Beach to Bay team. Interested? I'll fill you in later." So later included drinks and I'm going to blame the combination of alcohol and my good conscience (I don't want to let anybody down) on my agreement to run. Flash forward 5 weeks during which I am constantly wondering if I really agreed to this or if maybe Amy forgot since we haven't spoken of it since. And I am afraid to bring up the subject. One week before the big event it is confirmed that yes, I AM on the team and signed up for the longest leg, 4.7 miles. What luck!

The big Saturday arrives and I had not run in at least 2 years (except 1.5 miles +.5 mile walk ON MONDAY). I arrive at my post well ahead of schedule and it is raining. The rain quickly turns into a full blown storm complete with thunder and lightning. I stood there cold and wet in the storm for an hour (hardcore, I know). But just before Amy arrives to hand off the baton (8 inches of PVC pipe) the rain lightens enough for me to bust out the ipod and Alexander McCall Smith's book on cd reads me to the finish line. 51 minutes with an average heart rate of 188.

Or what I thought was the finish line. Apparently cars weren't allowed anywhere near the naval base that my leg of the race was run on so instead of waiting with 200+ people for a bus (busload of wet, sweaty people- gross) I walked. And walked. An additional 2 miles. Like I said, "Just my luck."

This highly attractive photo of me is my proof. Seriously. You have to work to look this hot.