Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just. Breathe.

Yesterday was one of those days. The kids couldn't get along and it was either too hot or too rainy to send them outside. They were bored with their toys, bored with the TV, bored with the food we had in the house, and bored with me. I had loads of laundry to do and even more to put away. I was on day four of painting the living room green. I had been trying to get a moment to clean the ring off of at least one of the four toilets in the house. My seasonal allergies, which seem now to last through all four seasons, have been awful. And the whole house smelled like the cat's litter box.

When Jay came home from work early I thought surely he'd pitch in. But he seemed to be oblivious to all the clues that something was very wrong. He took a nap in his underwear and then brought a giant floor to ceiling bookcase inside and began tinkering with it in the living room. The half painted living room.

Needless to say, I ended up exploding a short while later and we now have one less dinner plate.

Later on that evening, after I had apologized for acting like a crazy possessed demon and Jay had apologized for being a giant dumb ass, I mentioned I wanted zucchini bread. It was one of those casual, flippant statements that I really didn't think much about. I had been reading a blog at the time, saw some fresh zucchini bread, and just thought it looked really good.

Jay said, "Well babe, tomorrow you are going to wake up to the smell of zucchini bread."

I replied, "Whatever. I'll probably just wake up to the smell of your farts." In saying that, I wasn't trying to be mean, it's just that the idea of Jay getting up, trekking to the store for zucchini, and coming home and baking bread all before having to be to work at 9 AM, just seemed impossible.

But Jay did the impossible. He found my zucchini bread recipe all on his own. He waited outside in the dark for the grocery store to open. He made two loaves of zucchini bread, quietly and in the dark, so as not to wake anyone. Sure enough, I woke up to fresh zucchini bread, and it is delicious.

On that note, I'm taking a bit of a blogging break. I've been feeling a little overextended lately. I won't be gone long, just long enough to clean some toilets, hopefully finish painting the living room, watch the rest of Season One of Weeds on dvd, and eat zucchini bread. I just need to relax for a few days and stop thinking so much. I really can't afford to lose anymore dinner plates.

I'll be back in this space probably towards the middle or end of next week. Before I go, I want to announce that next Monday and Tuesday I'll be a guest blogger over at Krafty Kash. I'm honored and thrilled that Kashoan would ask me to write a few words in her little spot on the internet while she's away on vacation, so please follow me over there. And if you haven't checked her out already, she's having an awesome fabric giveaway right now. Do pay her a visit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about play dough. I love for the girl to have it because I think it can be a great creative outlet. But, there is a certain amount of responsibility that goes along with play dough and this is where my daughter and I tend to butt heads. Every few months I buy play dough only to have it be dry and unusable in a few days because she didn't clean up after herself in a timely manner. Or I find it smashed in the carpet. Or she mixes all the colors and we end up with two pounds of brown dough that no one wants to play with. So I throw it all away and then we begin the cycle all over again a few months later.

Last week after seeing this blog post, we decided to make our own play dough. It was an easy enough recipe to follow and the outcome was so worth the mess in my kitchen. She's been playing with it everyday since we made it.
She loves to have me play with her, but my creative juices just don't flow around play dough. Sadly, I excel only at snake making.
Since she played a small role in the making of it, I think she's a bit more careful with the dough. She's been great about cleaning up after herself and putting everything away before it dries out, which makes me very, very happy. Or maybe she simply learned that lesson because she's getting older and a wee bit more mature every day. She's growing up. Which makes me very, very sad.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gratitude Friday :: A Small Bit of Winning

A few weeks back when I said I never win anything, I wasn't exaggerating. Up until I won the shirt from Mag, I couldn't remember ever winning anything. After much thought, I think my last winning moment was when I was a teenager and entered a writing contest in Sassy magazine. I received honorable mention and won a stack of cd's. (I still regularly listen to one, The Melrose Place Soundtrack. Hey, where else am I going to hear Letters to Cleo?)

It's not that I don't try to win. I enter contests left and right and have nothing against filling out forms or surveys to earn the chance at a prize. A few years back I even joined Wondertime Magazine's reader panel because they had drawings for cash prizes. In some horrible twist of fate, I won $50 but was never able to contact the woman in charge to claim my prize. I sent dozen and dozens of emails to her and various others at Wondertime, never to hear back from any of them. As malicious as it sounds, I have to say I felt a small bit of joy when Wondertime folded. I felt like sending that woman an email that read, "Suck it! You have to find a new job!" But she probably wouldn't have read it anyway.

So why am I writing all this? Well, because lately I have been winning. There was the shirt from Mag, and the owl print from Daphne, and then last week I was a winner over at Mommy Coddle. I won a print from Presto Bingo. (In case you're wondering, I chose the Whooo is There print. I seem to have a thing for owls lately.)

As an almost life long loser, I have to say I could get used to this winning thing. Now if only all the luck from my blog world winnings could seep over into my real life, it would be much appreciated.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Definite Success

The boy came into the kitchen when I was prepping the ingredients for the Chocolate Avocado Pie. When he asked me what I was making I replied simply, "chocolate pie."

Then he saw my plate of mashed avocado and looked at me with disgust and snarled, "Why are you ruining it?"

That's when I had to tell him to get the hell out of my kitchen.

Two hours later, after it had cooled and set, he declared it one of the best chocolate pies he's ever eaten.

A few notes on the recipe:

*You can't taste the avocado. I swear.

*The original recipe calls for you to cover the bottom of the pie crust with raspberries. I left those out. My daughter doesn't like a lot of "stuff" in her food and I knew once she saw the berries she'd have no interest in trying the pie. Plus, I was already sneaking avocado into her diet, let's not push it.

*This would be super easy to make vegan, if you were so inclined. Trade the skim milk for soy milk and get your hands on whatever vegan chocolate chip substitute you prefer and Voila it's a vegan pie.

*I'm wondering what it would taste like with a graham cracker crust. I'm betting delicious.

*The recipe says it makes four servings. I say it makes way more. Because of the richness of it, I was pretty full after eating just a sliver.

All in all, I think this is a really awesome pie recipe that I'd love to play around with a bit more to see what variations I can come up with.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things I'm Into Right Now

It's been over a month since I've done a Things I'm Into post. Truth be told, it's been rather difficult for me to find things I'm into lately. There has been a lot of drama with the extended family the past few months that has taken up far too much of my time and mental energy, not too mention probably years off of my life. I'm sure I'll one day write about it all here, because that's how I do things. But right now it's too fresh, the wounds too raw. So for now I'll take my mind off it all by dwelling on some things I love.

*The fact that my daughter has taught herself to play the chorus to Pop Goes the Weasel on the piano. I'm amazed she did it without any help from her brother. She now plays it all day. Which leads me to believe that this exact same paragraph is going to appear in a What Really Grinds My Gears post in about a week.

*Mad Libs
My son loves these and this appears to be the summer of the Mad Libs. Being that I'm the one home the most, I usually get to join in the fun. (Note the tiny smidgen of sarcasm in that last sentence.) I do get a chuckle out of some of the words he chooses:Do you see "penis" and "farting"? Yep, those are favorites. Other go-to words include: humping, anus, vagina, and poop.

When I complained to Dawn about the potty language I had to deal with when playing with an eleven year old boy, she said, "Actually it doesn't sound all that different from playing Mad Libs with a 40 year old man." I think she's on to something.

*Make Your PlaceIf you read Angry Chicken, then this isn't the first time you've seen this book. I bought it after she mentioned it because it seemed like something right up my alley. Plus it was only $5. It's filled with all sorts of earth friendly and inexpensive recipes for gardening, body care, cleansers, and first aid.

Some of it is info I'll probably never use---I doubt I'll ever make tinctures. But I definitely plan on using the bath and body and non toxic cleaning sections until the pages are soft and worn.

*The new law that states that honey sold in Florida can be only that...honey. No pesticides, no additives, sugar, or water. I'm thrilled. There should be such strict standards about all foods.

*Liz Lemon and banana peels.She has taken to stealing them out of the compost and then playing with them. I suppose this behaviour is actually naughty and I should get on to her for it, but there is just something about her racing around the back yard with a banana peel in her mouth that makes me chuckle. I don't know which of us is more easily amused, Lemon for playing with them, or me for getting such enjoyment out of watching it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Review::One Hundred Demons

I've always been fascinated by Lynda Barry. As a teenager I would read Sassy magazine and it seems as if she was mentioned in almost every issue. The cool girls read Lynda Barry. I wasn't cool. (Big shocker, huh?) I read Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews books.

Last year I read my first Lynda Barry book, Cruddy. It was very dark and incredibly emotional. I don't think I ever reviewed it here because once I finished it, I didn't want to discuss it anymore. I thought it was a great, yet horrific and violent piece of literature. Words and images of that nature tend to stick with me in a way I don't enjoy so I did my best to put it behind me.

Anyway, ever since then I've been on the lookout for some lighter Barry. Last time I was at the library I nearly did a little happy dance in between the stacks when I saw One Hundred Demons. The title of the book comes from a painting exercise of the same name and each of the seventeen sections in the book deal with a specific 'demon'.

The first demon is called "Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend" and is rumoured to be about Ira Glass of public radio fame. When, while working as a volunteer teacher, Lynda catches head lice, she's faced with having to go home and tell her snobby, intellectual boyfriend that he probably has lice too. Needless to say the relationship didn't last and there are numerous reasons why she equates him with a louse.

A lot of the stories deal with childhood and growing up. One that struck me as particularly poignant was "Magic." Lynda talks about her best friend who was two years younger than she was. This didn't matter until she turned 13 and then there was just no way they could be friends because it was "weird and lame." The adult Lynda says, "I did this 31 years ago but my stomach still knots up when I think of it."

I can relate. I can think of at least three friends that I ditched in the early years of high school. The reasons why really aren't important. Maybe they had an annoying laugh or they smelled like Cool Ranch Doritos. Whatever the reason, the deserved better treatment. They didn't deserve to be dumped by me just because I wanted to try to revamp my image.

Actually, I can relate to quite a few of the demons mentioned in the book. Even if I don't feel a direct connection to one, I can easily put myself in the story. Lynda Barry doesn't sugarcoat anything, the people she draws aren't pretty, and she's really good at being brutally honest.

As a rule, I try to not purchase many graphic novels or comic books. They get read quickly and then sit on the bookshelf collecting dust. But I can totally see myself buying this book in the future when money is less of an issue. Or maybe I'll just do another happy dance in the middle of the library.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Few Random Notes

*Saturday was the boy's eleventh birthday. He had asked for a green trifle. I complied.This giant bowl of green goo certainly isn't what I would have picked for my personal trifle, but he's an eleven year old boy. Things that look like snot and boogers appeal to him.

The layers of this are as follows: cake, pudding, crushed Oreos, gummy worms. Repeat. Then top with whipped cream. While I remain faithful to the tried and true trifle recipe of cake, pudding, and fruit, I must say that the crushed cookies in this one made for an interesting texture.

I won't even begin to mention how much food coloring was used for this trifle. I think next time one of the kids wants brightly colored baked goods, I might just go and get my hands on some of that Wilton Color Spray that Betts is always going on about. I have fantasies about the possibilities of that stuff.

*Since we are on the subject of baking, has anyone ever made a Chocolate Avocado Pie? I saw this briefly mentioned in a movie Jay and I were watching this weekend and I'm intrigued. It looks easy enough and requires no baking.

*Do you remember a few weeks ago I was upset because the neighborhood stray cat disappeared? That jerk showed up yesterday after an almost three week disappearance looking quite fat. I think he's just living somewhere that serves canned cat food. Asshole. I can't believe I wasted time worrying about him.

*If you haven't gotten a chance to read through the comments on Saturday's post, please do. I love reading about what everyone is keeping in/cutting out of their budget.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gratitude Friday (A Day Late Yet Again) :: Movies and Drinks

At the beginning of the year when Jay and I made our money plan, we decided we'd keep a few fun things in the budget. I'm referring specifically to alcohol and movie rentals.

Obviously, we don't need these things, but they are relatively inexpensive and they keep us sane. At the end of the day, when I sip my wine or my vodka tonic, I'm not thinking about money. In fact, I've found it's hard to worry about anything with a wine glass in your hand. (Oh, thank you wine.)

If I'm going to be totally honest, I should tell you that when I first subscribed to an online movie rental service, it was with Blockbuster.com because at that time Alec was doing the voice overs in the commercials. (This, people, is indicative of how the mind of a crazy person works.) We were with Blockbuster almost a year, but the service was crappy, the selection sucked, and we were always getting cracked dvd's in the mail. Recently, we switched to Netflix and it is so much better. The movies come quickly and the selection is huge. It's so nice to be able to type in the name of a small, independent documentary, and have Netflix know exactly what I'm talking about. Plus, the movies they suggest to us are much more in line with our personal tastes. I'm still not sure why Blockbuster thought I would want to watch Beerfest.

Jay and I aren't the only ones that benefit from Netflix. Our kids are so far apart in age that they rarely want to see the same movie. Plus, the girl is kind of a loud mouth, so we never get to go to the movie theatre as a family. With the movies coming right to our house, we can plan a family movie night easier, or we can schedule one for each kid.

I realize I'm starting to sound like a commercial for Netflix, and that wasn't my intention. It's just that movie rentals are one more way in which we've made the spending stoppage seem less ominous, and for only about $10 a month. I'm sure that $10 could be better spent paying off a credit card quicker, or the bill for someones broken arm. (Yes, that bill still haunts me. It's the gift that keeps on giving.) But at what cost? In the grand scheme of things, that $10 isn't going to make a huge difference in whether I pay off a bill now, or in six months.

I think every person, and probably every family, has a few things they try to hold on to even when money gets tight. I'd be interested in hearing what little splurges you rely on to keep you happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Listing

Eating:: Honey Nutters Have you made these? You should. They taste like peanut butter cookie dough. But healthier. Sort of.

Anxiously Awaiting:: September 22. This is the release date of not only the third season of 30 Rock, but also Lymelife. Don't expect much from me that week people. I'll be sitting in front of my TV staring at Alec Baldwin for hours on end. I may even be scantily clad. Who am I kidding, we all know I'll be scantily clad.

Amazed by:: The awesome zig zag stitch created by this spider.Do you see the spider, all yellow and big? Pretty amazing, huh? Yeah....he's still about to die though. Sorry, but he's creepy and big.

Missing::
My husband. He's been working a lot of long days lately so we haven't had any time together. Fortunately, he's off of work for the next two days. Thank goodness! There are spiders around here that need to be killed.

Reading::
Foxtrot comics. Whenever I start feeling stressed, I read comics. I'm simple that way.

Celebrating::
Our twelfth wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hooters

Yesterday was an awesome mail day.

First up, I got a care package from Dawn. Aside from being filled with some great thread and large bottles of my favorite shampoo and conditioner, there was a tiny gag gift tucked inside.

The last time Dawn went to Hooters she went into the bathroom and thought she saw the largest tampon machine known to womankind. Upon further inspection she realized it wasn't a tampon machine but a pantyhose machine. In case you've never been to a Hooters before, first off, you aren't missing much. Secondly, I feel I should describe the wardrobe of the waitresses, aka "Hooters Girls." Your typical Hooters Girl wears teeny orange shorts, a shirt showcasing her hooters, and pantyhose. Oh and top it all off with a pair of scrunch socks. It's quite a look.

I imagine the pantyhose machine in the bathroom is for the waitresses, in case one were to get a snag in her hose while doing her job. Apparently the higher ups at Hooters are quite particular about the wardrobe of their girls. Anyway, Dawn thought it would be just hilarious to buy me some footless pantyhose.
When we were discussing them on the phone yesterday she apologized for getting me the wrong size. You know, as if there would have been even the slightest possibility of me wearing them outside of the house anyway.

I wish I had some orange shorts and scrunch socks to complete the outfit for you, my dear readers. But I've never been a Hooters Girl. (I know!? Hard to believe what with my ample bosom and sunny disposition.)

The second bit of awesome mail was this hooter of a different variety:
This is a print based on a painting done by Daphne. Last month she had a quiz on her blog with the prize being one of her owl prints. Even though I totally flunked her quiz, she sent out prints to all the participants anyway. Isn't she the best? I chose the blue background because it's the exact same color as the trim in my bedroom so it looks just lovely. I like the idea of having art in my bedroom that was done by my friend. It gives me something happy to wake up to.

A few random notes:

*Dawn isn't a regular at Hooters. She didn't tell me to add that but I'm sure she'd want me to clarify it.

*When I mentioned to Jay that the pantyhose were probably going to make it into the blog, he jokingly suggested he model them. I said no. You can all thank me later.

*The shade of my pantyhose is Suntan. Just in case you were wondering. And if you were wondering, don't tell me because I'd rather not know. They can be bought at Peavey Hosiery, which appears to be the official hosiery company of professionals.

*Isn't it nice how in the above picture my bed is unmade, my daughter is in her nightshirt, and my floor is disgusting? I know how to Keep It Real.

*I've begun the tedious process of going through all the old posts and re-labeling them a bit. My labels as they are right now are very vague and it's difficult to find things. I've learned this the hard way when I want to link to an old post and I have to look through a years worth of archives under the not-so-helpful label of "Family." So if things look a little weird here over the next couple of days, or a post disappears for a few moments, don't be alarmed. It's just me doing some housekeeping.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quilted Pillow

Sunday I ignored the girl for three hours so that I could make a pillow.I know that sounds terrible. But it was just one of those days where the thought of playing Candy Land or reading a story or doing any of the things she usually requires of me, seemed about as fun as root canal. Actually, today seems like one of those days too but we won't get into that.

I quilted the front, which was something I had never done before. I've always been scared.
Usually when I do patchwork I just sew it all together and then add the appropriate amount of top stictching. But after looking at these pillows at Wise Craft and the manner in which they were quilted, I thought I'd give it a try.

I love the outcome and there is something quite relaxing about quilting. The repetitiveness of it perhaps? There are definite plans for a few more. Jay wants big pillows for when we're sitting up in bed reading.

Now if only I can keep that bed hog Liz Lemon off of it:(Yes, she was asleep and yes, she was snoring.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mood Swing

Do you remember Mag over at Mood Swing? She's the awesome gal that prompted my truthfulness last week. Well, she was having a giveaway with the prize being a Mood Swing tee shirt from Darling Mummy. And guess who was the winner winner chicken dinner? That's right, yours truly.

I was quite shocked when I won because I never win anything. Jay would argue that twelve years ago I won him, but it is at times debatable whether or not he counts as a prize.

When Mag mentioned that there were limited sizes and all she had was an XL, I thought for sure that this would be sleep shirt sized, especially on me---an active member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. But yay it fits! Plus, it has the added bonus of being able to disguise the empty baby house without looking frumpy.Considering I'm not buying any new clothes this year, it was nice to get a shirt to add to the mix. Thanks again Mag!

(Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the above photo was taken at Jay's store, not at my house. I don't have insole displays and stacks of shoes in my house.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gratitude Friday (A Day Late) :: Homebodies

Yesterday we went on a mini day trip to Jacksonville. Our destination was Whole Foods. We don't have a Whole Foods here in Gainesville and I had been itching to check it out. So we threw the cooler in the trunk, loaded the kids into the car, and then drove two hours to go grocery shopping.

Admittedly, the kids didn't like this trip that much. The girl likes our usual grocery store where she can get a free cookie from the bakery, and the boy was disappointed to see that Whole Foods was filled with "healthy organic stuff." (We had kept that part a secret from him.) But you know what? Not everything is about the kids. Jay and I wanted fancy cheese, dammit!

After shopping and eating an overpriced lunch at the Whole Foods Cafe, we headed home. When we arrived, the boy raced through the front door yelling, "I love this house!" I knew he was frustrated about being in the car most of the day, but this proclamation still surprised me. You see, I don't love this house. It's a fixer upper that I'm tired of fixing up. The amount of projects coupled with the down turn in the economy have taken it's toll on me and I'm worn out. Plus, it's too big. I'm a small house girl. I want a tiny cottage. I appreciate my house, it sure beats being homeless...but I don't love it.

While I was putting away the food I thought about what he said and I realized that it isn't really this house he loves, but what it represents: security, family, fun, pets, restfulness, relaxation. He has a different perspective than I do. When I look around my house I see a frustrating amount of unfinished projects, floors that need to be swept, a living room that desperately needs to be painted, a couch with umpteen strange smells emanating from it, and so on. The boy sees none of that and he doesn't notice the smells coming from the couch.

When Jay and I decided to stop using credit cards and halt most of our unnecessary spending, something unexpected happened: Our family became closer and our house became a happier place. We've never wanted the kids to feel like they were having to sacrifice their fun because we want to pay down debt, so we don't give them a chance to think about it. We make being at home fun. We play a lot of games and watch a lot movies. We stay busy at home. We just hang out together.

Life certainly isn't perfect. There are still a lot of things the kids want that they can't have. There are a lot of things I want that I can't have. We have our problems.....but right now, being home isn't one of them.
********************************************************************
(My opinion of Whole Foods: Way out of my budget for general, everyday grocery shopping, but perfect for the occasional cooler full of fancy cheese.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Random Thoughts

*Some of you may remember me talking about the asshole stray cat that sometimes lives with me. He's shown up quite a few times in this space. (Most notably here.) Well, he's missing. I haven't seen him in about a week. Even though he wasn't my cat (believe me he was owned by no one---he was his own man), I still miss him. He was quirky and feisty. As much as I tried to keep him in the house, he just wouldn't stay. He was a street cat through and through. He'll be missed.

*My kids have gotten along surprisingly well lately. Oh there have been fights, tears, and bruises. But there have also been long stretches of time where they've played together nicely and cooperatively. The boy taught his little sister to play video games and he's been including her in the very low budget movies that he shoots in our back yard. The movies center around a super hero that has to protect the citizens of BackyardVille.My daughter is usually the "victim" but then she has to don a hat and sweatshirt to portray the "bad guy."And yes, unless my son has a friend over, I'm usually recruited to be the camera person. This is one of the many reasons I haven't had time to mop my floors in three weeks.

*Growing up, one of the few things my mom regularly baked was shortbread. For whatever reason, I had never made it myself. Until Monday.Because it's so simple, I thought I'd post the recipe here. (I don't know if this is actually my mom's recipe, I don't know the origins of it. But it's the one she's always used.)

Shortbread

* 1 cup butter, softened (Don't even think of getting unsalted butter. You need the sweet/salty combo. Trust me.)

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar

* 2 cups all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in flour. Spread/pat in an ungreased 13x9 pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. You'll know it's done when it begins to brown around the edges.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's the Best Policy

Honesty, that is.Maggie over at Sitting on the Mood Swing at the Playground has given me an award. The rules state that I have to link back to the person who gave the award, list ten truths about myself, and then pass it on. Let the fun begin.

1. My first crush ever was in kindergarten. The object of my affection was the smartest boy in class, Moses. Sadly for me, it was a case of unrequited love. Even sadder for me, this was precedent setting, as most future crushes would prove to be one sided.

2. I'm honest to a fault. If I say something, it's the truth---or at the very least what I believe to be the truth at that time. I'm never manipulative when it comes to what I say and I never play mind games. I just can't be dishonest. It's not who I am. I expect the same of those around me.

3. I could watch Spongebob Squarepants over and over again. Day after day. I find it very relaxing.

4. Whenever Jay and the boy clean out the car, they always bring me all the candy they found behind and under the seats and they dare me to eat it. I usually do. Especially if it's Skittles.

5. I don't believe in god anymore. I feel I should say more about this....I don't want it to seem as if I'm just throwing that statement out there to elicit a certain reaction or to start a discussion. I have no interest in arguing theology with anyone. The experiences I've had in my life have led me to my conclusion. Others may have experiences that lead them somewhere else and that's fine. It just isn't the path for me. I spent half my life having faith. It got me nowhere and gave me nothing but a bad feeling. I've now moved on. (I hope my more spiritual readers aren't offended by this because that's certainly not my intention. To each his own, live and let live, etc...)

6. I would love to someday vacation in the Hamptons. (A week in any of these homes would be fine.)

7. I think Chuck Schumer is the sexiest US Senator.

8. I'm incredibly impatient.

9. My best friend in the third grade was a girl named Amber. I stopped being friends with her when I saw her pick her nose and wipe it on the underside of her desk.

10. I can almost fit into my eleven year old son's jeans. Jay joked that if I jogged more and gave up booze I could probably wear them. That's never gonna happen.

Well, there you have it. I'm an impatient, godless, liberal lush. If there was ever a blog post that was buying me a one way ticket straight to hell, I suppose this would be it. I'm not going to tag anyone because I know some of you don't like this type of thing but if you want to play along, please do. I'd love to know more about you. Who do you think is the sexiest US Senator?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Listing

Eating :: Anything that doesn't require the use of the oven. Giada's popcorn, black eyed peas salad, and this salt and vinegar potato salad have all been recent hits. Also, the boy can usually sweet talk me into turning the oven on long enough to make a cobbler of some sort.When served with organic, fat free yogurt it becomes healthy, right?

Working on :: The french doors that have sat unpainted since being installed over a year ago.Two doors. Fifteen glass panels on each side. That's a lot of taping and a lot of painting with a very small brush. I'm pleased to announce that the side facing the kitchen/dining room is now complete. It took me only three days.

(Jay and I are slowly trying to tackle all the small, inexpensive projects that will need to be done before we put the house on the market. This particular project should really have been finished a long time ago. It wasn't that difficult, just tedious.)

Playing around with :: Diptychs.

As if I needed yet another reason to sit at the computer ignoring the children.

(This Flickr group has some beautiful examples of diptychs.)

Reading :: All Together Dead. This is the seventh book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I usually enjoy these books. They are mindless, silly reading. I don't like to over analyze them but I must say this one is about to put me over the edge. A lot of it seems too silly and implausible. Plus, the introduction of characters from another dimension is just too much for me. I'm going to keep reading though because the author writes sex scenes really well.

Living in :: Squalor apparently. These children have destroyed my house. I'm anxiously awaiting fall.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gratitude Friday :: Cigar Aficionado

Jay has taken up smoking the occasional cigar. I have no problem with this. I think there is something quite sexy about a man holding a cigar:Well, a certain type of man anyway.

Jay is very patient with me when it comes to my silly obsession with Alec. He sits through all the movies (even the girlie ones), buys DVDs for me, and quietly listens to me when I start talking about all things Baldwin related. He even chuckles when I point to the picture of Alec on our refrigerator and tell the kids to refer to Mr. Baldwin as "daddy number two."

Jay is totally confident and secure in the knowledge that he's the only man for me. Oh, he knows I'm a fan. But he's also aware that I exaggerate it a bit for laughs. He gets the joke.

The other evening Jay was sitting outside reading a book, drinking Scotch, and smoking his cigar. I popped out and asked him if he felt like Alec Baldwin. Without missing a beat he quickly scoffed, "Alec Baldwin feels like me."

And there you have it. That's why I love this man.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Project that Probably Wasn't Worth My Time

Do you want to know where my ass is right now? Sittin' on these taxi cabs:(Hmmm.....those are two sentences I've never written before.)

The folks that make inexpensive computer desk chairs don't do that great of a job. I know this for a fact because at least twice a week I see a chair, or what use to be a chair, out by the curb waiting for the trash man. I also know that the folks that make computer desk chairs don't want you to reupholster them. I learned that this afternoon.
Our chair was fine structurally, but starting to look rough. The back and seat were quite worn and ragged. Instead of going to Target and spending the $35-$50 on a new chair like say, everyone else in the world, I got it in my head to fix the problem myself.

To re-cover the various parts, you have to take them out of the cheap plastic molded area. Easy enough. Putting them back in the cheap plastic molded area is not as easy. I may have to sweet talk the husband into neatening up the edges for me.
I should probably also share with him the four screws I had "leftover" after putting it all back together.

Yeah, probably.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book Review :: Whistling in the Dark

Ugh. This book. I really had high hopes for it. It could have been so much more.

The bones of the story are good. Not great, but compelling enough to make you want to read to the last page. It centers around Sally and Troo O'Malley. Their father is dead, their mom is in the hospital, and they are left with their abusive, drunk stepfather. Oh and a murderer/child molester is on the loose. Sounds interesting, right? It could have been.

My main problem with the book is the fact that the author spends so much time reminding us that the story is set in the 1950's. Let me say that again: The story is set in the 1950's. How about a few more times? The story is set in the 1950's. The story is set in the 1950's. It gets annoying doesn't it? That's what it was like reading this book. On almost every page there was a reference to an obviously '50s era product, person, song, etc. After a while it just seemed silly, as if the author sat around with back issues of Life magazine trying to see what was popular at that time. I understand she was trying to set the scene, but most of the time it was unnecessary. For instance when Sally mentions the smell of her father's Aqua Velva, she could have just as easily referred to it as "aftershave". What ten year old girl even knows what brand of aftershave her dad wears? These types of references were on almost every page. The kids eat oleo on Wonder Bread and drink Ovaltine. Can't we just say margarine, bread, and chocolate milk? Or can't we just leave that part out altogether? Really, it doesn't add anything to the story.

Then there are all the obvious 1950's names: Dottie, Fast Suzie, Nell, Troo, Junie, Sally O'Malley. I kept waiting for Wally and The Beav to show up. Or maybe the Fonz. OH OH OH, and don't even let me forget the "Indian" girl that lives four houses down from Mary Lane....do you want to know what her name is? Judy Big Head. I swear to god...Judy Big Head.

Which brings me to the stereotypes: families with a lot of kids must be Catholic, Italians are hairy, and so on. Again, I know it was the 1950's and prejudices existed that just wouldn't fly today, but it got so old after a while and added nothing to the story.

As I mentioned, the two main characters are Sally and Troo O'Malley, the two most unrealistic little girls in the history of literature. The author is horrible at writing in a child's voice. From reading this book, I would assume that the author thinks that kids speak just like adults only they say comin' instead of coming and musta instead of must have. Anyone who has been around a child knows this isn't true. You cannot make a character be a child just by giving them a poor vocabulary and improper language skills.

About three fourths of the way through the book I was able to overlook some of the more irritating parts, and I tried to just focus on the who-done-it aspect of the story. Hmmm....Who could the murderer/molester be? The author sets up the possibility of it being any number of people: the juvenile delinquents in the neighborhood, the slightly creepy brain damaged uncle, the 'light in the loafers' man visiting from California. (But no, it wasn't him. He ran off with the cross dressing gay Catholic priest. Of course there's a cross dressing gay priest! This woman left out not a single cultural stereotype.)

So which one did it? None of them! The murderer/molester ends up being a very minor character that was only mentioned briefly once or twice throughout the book. I think the author committed a heinous sin by having the killer be this completely undeveloped character.

Despite all my complaints, Whistling in the Dark isn't the worst book I've ever read. I feel like it was a really good idea for a story that ultimately ended up being boring and unimaginative. This was the authors first book though, so maybe there's hope. She definitely left herself a lot of room for improvement.