Monday, August 30, 2010

The Break(Down)

So, I guess I took an unintended week long blogging break.

In all truthfulness, I had been feeling it coming on for a while. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to talk about, it was just that I had no time or brain power to sit down and write about it. I have a confession to make: Despite how it looks, I don't just whip out these blog posts in minutes. I usually have an idea floating around in my head for a few days. I mentally work on it from time to time, seeing if it can 'go anywhere.' If it looks like it can be dragged out into a few paragraphs, then I scribble some notes down on a piece of paper. Then that piece of paper inevitably gets thrown away, so I go to the computer and try to remember everything I had written down. Long story short, a few days later I have a blog post. Then of course there are pictures and links and editing it all, as best as one can self edit. So, it's a process. A process I just haven't had the energy for lately.

Another confession: This summer has kicked me around. Jay has worked a lot and business has been booming. Which is awesome, I'm not complaining. He's doing better here than we ever imagined and his bosses love and appreciate him. Which makes Jay happy, which in turn makes me happy. But also means I've been with the kids. A lot. Really. A LOT. Again, not complaining. They are my kids. I made the choice to have them and I made the choice to stay home with them. I truly love them with all my heart and most of the time I love being with them. But so help me god, if I'm forced to feign interest in one more pointless story that takes 20 minutes to tell and goes absolutely nowhere, I'm going to start stabbing myself with the nearest sharp kitchen utensil. And the eating?!? Why do people so little need to eat sooooo often? I.am.so.sick.of feeding.them. It's gotten to the point where I'm throwing easy things at them like bananas, cereal, yogurt, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, and applesauce cups. And while I'm admitting to being an awful, lazy mother, let me just confess that when my daughter brings me her applesauce cup and asks me to remove the lid, I'm like, "Dammit, do I have to do everything around here?" I know, horrible. (Now is the time when you all chime in and tell me I'm not the only one that feels this way sometimes.)

I think part of the problem is that they don't yet have their own lives here in Oregon. Back in Florida, the boy especially had his buddy that was always at our house and vice versa. When they were around I never had to entertain them, they just did their own thing. The boy hasn't yet found the Oregon version of that kid. (He keeps trying though. Pre teen boys have been traipsing through my apartment and around the pool all summer. The most recent one who was here seems like he may be a winner.)

Also, in an effort to keep everyone busy, we may have overdone it a bit. We've been go, go, going for the last three months. And while it's been fun, I think the kids are ready for their lives to revolve around school and home. Bed times have gotten way too late (I should not still be hearing my daughter's shrill banshee voice at midnight) and eating schedules are off track. Simply put, we are totally off our routine. But the air around here is anticipatory. Both of these kids are so ready for school to start. They are just as sick of being with me as I'm sick of being with them. Which I love. They want to socialize and be with other annoying little people just like themselves. Wonderful. Go, be free.

So, that's why I haven't blogged in a week. When I have had computer time, I used it for something that required far less brain power on my part, like reading your blogs or scrolling through Emmys Red Carpet photos looking for shots of Alec Baldwin. ( I didn't find any, I don't think he was there.) But school starts mid next week, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This week the plan is to gradually get back to normal bedtimes and regular meals. And I think I can handle that.

It's funny, because I started writing this yesterday afternoon during a particularly stressful bout with the kids and I began to feel better almost immediately after I let it out. I shouldn't have avoided the process for a whole week, my funk may have faded sooner. I know I don't say it as often as I should, but thanks for sticking around and thanks for 'listening.'

Monday, August 23, 2010

Listing

Reading:: The Thorn Birds. Initially I was intimidated by the 692 pages of this book, but it's an easy, interesting read. (Plus it's on my List, which I'm slowly getting through.)

Watching:: Henry and June. A very sexy movie. Not to be confused with Benny and Joon, which was not sexy at all.

Drinking:: My beloved pumpkin beer. A sure sign that fall is right around the corner.

Enjoying:: My new-to-me Pyrex.I was so excited when Jay spotted this at Goodwill. It's in great shape and was only $7.99. That's quite a steal around here, I've seen them priced as high as $18, which I'm just not willing to pay.

Baking:: Vegan Carob Chip Cookies.Just like the oatmeal raisin ones from last week, only I omitted the cinnamon and replaced the raisins with carob chips. I really like the base of this cookie recipe and I think a lot can be done with it. Plus, I love having a vegan go-to recipe.(FYI: Did you know if you keep a slice of bread in the cookie jar with your homemade cookies, it will keep them soft and they won't turn puck-like? Consider that Tammie's Tip of the Day.)

Rekindling my love affair with:: My yoga ball. Since moving to Oregon, it's been living on the back porch. I finally brought it inside and immediately remembered why I love it so much. Just a few stretches over it always knocks my back into place. Plus, doing sit ups on it does wonders for my stomach.

Happy that:: Peppermint scented Dr Bronner's was on sale for half off. Anxiously awaiting:: The first day of school. I'm tired of answering questions like, "Why are you taking pictures of the cookies/that dish/the cleanser?" All of these silly things I like to do can be done much quicker without children around.

How are you filling your days?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Random Thoughts

Summer is winding down so we've been school shopping and enjoying the last few weeks of sleeping in and lazy days. It's been quiet around here, which is good. But there are a few random things that have been on my mind lately.

*Jay and I look forward to watching True Blood every Sunday night. Then on Monday, we look forward to reading the weekly True Blood update over at i09. It's a hilarious pros and cons look at each episode and I love it. If you watch True Blood, you should definitely check out the update.

*Speaking of True Blood, I've been reading the latest Sookie book for what seems like forever now. I used to be able to look past the bad writing and corny plot lines, but I just don't care anymore. I think this is the last one I'll be reading.

*Earlier in the week I made these vegan oatmeal raisin cookies. They're amazing.

*Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live is working on a sketch comedy show called Portlandia, to be made here in the city. (Read more about it here.) I'm excited to watch this so I may have to get over the fact that Fred Armisen totally skeeves me out.

*The Kids in the Hall are back! They have a new eight episode mini series showing on IFC beginning this Friday. This definitely brings back memories for me. When I was in high school I used to race home from the bus stop to catch this show on Comedy Central.

*Over the weekend my daughter dropped a Sigg-type water bottle on my big toe. It immediately swelled up and has been doing some disturbing things since then. Let's just say my big toe could guest star on True Blood and not need makeup.

*And now, I leave you with Catalog Living. Have you ever wondered what life is like for the people who live in your catalogs? Now you can find out.

(Wow. I just realized how TV-heavy this post is. See, I told you it's been slow around here.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Purposeful Sewing

Although there hasn't been a lot of mention of it here on the old blog, I have been sewing fairly regularly. I haven't written about it, because it's been mostly boring stuff like pillow covers and curtains.

Lately, I've noticed a definite mental shift about sewing. I find myself wanting to sew things I need, and not just things I think are pretty. I've really been focused on making things that serve a purpose, things I'll use on a daily basis.

With that in mind, here's some of what I've been making:

The first is this giant tote bag:

I had been wanting a big ol' bag. We go on so many little outings around here-fountain splashing, festivals, etc-I wanted a bag I could fill with all the necessary items and still have room for a towel, my camera, maybe even a change of clothes for the girl. Plus, I wanted it to be able to double as a shopping bag or library tote.

I didn't follow any pattern when I made it-I had an image in my mind of what I wanted it to look like and just sort of went with that. By some stroke of luck it came out looking exactly as I wanted. I love it when that happens. It's made from a heavy duty cotton and is fully lined with the same fabric so it's tough enough to withstand the girl's giant weekly library haul.

The second thing I've been busying myself with are these snack/sandwich bags.
I really hate plastic baggies and want to buy them as rarely as possible. When I saw this tutorial on Angry Chicken, I knew I had to make a slew of them. So this past weekend I made quite a few, all in different sizes and fabrics. I'm still going to have to buy some plastic baggies, because the boy has no interest in using something that will set him apart from his peers, but Jay and the girl will use these almost daily. (Although Jay probably won't be touching the Disney Princess ones.)

And finally, my latest project. For some reason lately we haven't had a lot of luck with dog leashes. Our most recent one was a fancy $35 retractable one and it lasted two months. The other day as I was gathering up our many dog leash parts that we have laying around, it occurred to me that the construction of these things is quite basic and I could probably make one.

So I did: Honestly, it took maybe an hour. Again, I didn't follow any pattern. I basically just made it like how you'd make bias tape, only wider. I was all out of interfacing to put between the layers so I used a strip of canvas drop cloth that I had to give it some strength. (Don't ask me why a drop cloth made the move to Oregon, but hey, it came in handy.)

In the end, maybe none of these projects are all that impressive, but they're little things I'll use regularly that I didn't have to spend money on. It gives me a cheap thrill to not have to buy something that I'm sort of expected to have to buy, you know? Like I'm stickin' it to the man. I don't know who this man is, but he's out there. And hopefully he feels me stickin' it to him.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saint Cupcake

Jay and I first drove past Saint Cupcake a month or so ago. My first thought was I want to go to there. At that moment though, the timing wasn't right, the kids were home alone, and we were already headed back. But I made a mental note to return. Soon.

Apparently Jay was on the same page as I was because this past Sunday he suggested we make a stop there while running errands. An hour later I returned home with a couple boxes of goodies:
What is it about cupcakes? Just looking at them all lined up in their pretty little boxes waiting to be eaten really makes me smile. And then when you put them on a plate, it's just instant good mood.As much as I love to bake, it's nice when someone else does all the work and I can just sit back and enjoy the view.A few thoughts on the product:

*Not only are they pretty, but they taste good too. I almost hate to say this, but these are even better than homemade. Other people's baked goods tend not to impress me (I'm snooty that way) but I was impressed.

*If by chance you happen to be here locally, check out the 'day-old' section. A box of cupcakes for $5? Yes, please!

*If by chance you aren't local, they deliver. Just sayin'.

(Also:: Maria Rose, the random number generator has selected you as the winner of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Drop me a line with your address and I'll get it out to you soon.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flashback Friday:: School Photo

So, the last time I did Flashback Friday I mentioned that I've had many fe-mullets throughout my life. Today, I thought I'd share the queen of all fe-mullets:

Okay, are you done staring now? Eyes back in your head people. (How fitting is it that I chose to post this on Friday the 13th?)

The details:

*I'm guessing this was my fifth grade photo and that I was about 12. I'm assuming that because of the fact that my teeth are too big for my mouth and my nose has yet to grow into my face, which is the typical look of most twelve year olds. Tweens are easy to spot that way, kinda like guessing the age of a tree by counting the rings.

*The hair: permed on top, straight and halfway to my butt in the back. Nice, huh? The reason it looked this way (other than the fact that this was 1986 and hairstyles such as this were totally bangin') was because my dad wouldn't let me cut it. He was of the opinion that women should have long hair, that it was more feminine. Today, of course I look at this photo and feminine is not the first word to come to mind.

*If you look closely, you can see that my shirt has shoulder pads. Awesome. I remember I used to wear this with shorts. Also, awesome.

*I'm wearing a tank top under my shirt (blouse?) because I was starting to develop boobies and I was scared to get my first bra. I thought I could just get away with a tank top. This little theory though, was proven wrong when a boy told me I needed to wear a bra. Oddly enough, he didn't tell me I needed to do something about my hair.

*Entire outfit most likely purchased at Zayre.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway:: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Warning:: This review contains spoilers. If you want to enter the giveaway but don't want to read the review, scroll down until you see more red text.


From the dust jacket:

On the eve of her ninth birthday Rose Edelstein, a girl on the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers that she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the slice.

Okay, so from the get go we know that this book is going to be quirky and off kilter. Which is fine. In fact it's what initially compelled me to read the book. I'm totally cool with a little bit of magical realism. If it adds to the story. My problem with it in this instance, is that it is the story. The first half of the book is just page after page of Rose eating foods and tasting emotions, with nothing coming of it. She can taste her brother's sadness and her mom's loneliness and boredom. She can taste all the feelings and emotions of cafeteria workers and restaurant chefs. She can even detect that her mom is having an affair. But none of this goes anywhere.

But the author really lost me about three-fourths of the way through when Rose discovers that her brother, Joseph, has a secret trick of his own. For years now he's been mysteriously disappearing only to return out of the blue, with little explanation as to where he had gone. During one such disappearance Rose goes to his apartment to check on him, finally finding him up in his room looking sickly. Upon further inspection she sees that where his legs are supposed to be, he now has the legs of a chair. He can disappear into furniture, becoming whatever piece of furniture he's gone into.

This was my WTF!? moment. I literally read and re-read the same few pages over and over again trying to make sense of it all, but there was no making sense of it. The author had just turned the brother into a chair and there was nothing I could do about it.

(As a minor side note: I was also bothered by Rose's reaction to this. She's clearly shook up and people keep asking her what she saw but she never tells anyone. There's a whole lot of, I just can't say or The words are in me but not coming out or The words to describe this are buried in me. Blah. I hate that. I always get so irritated when a character keeps something inside that we all know they should share. Had that been me, I would have been telling everyone about chair boy. There would have been a blog post the next day describing how I saw someone turn into a chair.)

Again, none of this probably would have bugged me if there had been more explanation or answers as to why these things happened. At the end of the story, we read that Rose's dad has some minor insight into it, but not really enough to answer all the questions. At best, this book felt unfinished, like maybe an outline of a story-to-be. At worst, it felt juvenile and silly.

Whenever I have strong feelings for a book, I like to look up reviews to see if anyone else felt the same way I did. I was shocked to see that a lot of folks really loved this book, finding it whimsical and charming. How do you think you'd feel about it? If you want to find out, then let me know in the comments and I'll pop the book in the mail to you. But there's a catch: You have to promise to share your thoughts about the book on your blog. In the event that more than one person wants the book, I'll choose someone randomly and announce the winner on Monday. Peggy got the ball rolling with this idea. If you want to read her thoughts on the book, go here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ten on Ten:: August

Jay and I have this expression: "jammed up." As in "I'm feeling jammed up." Or, "Back it up, you all are jamming me up." Jammed up is that feeling you get when it seems as if your surroundings are closing in on you, the kids are extra needy, the noise level in your house is so high that you can't even think, the pets won't leave you alone, your to-do list is a mile long, and even just your significant other wanting a hug seems like a demand you have no desire to fulfill.

Yesterday, I was jammed up and in no mood to do Ten on Ten. Plus, it was overcast most of the day so I really had to work to get some decent pictures. I'm glad I stuck with it though, because now I can see that yesterday had a few good moments:

A finished book. (Review to come soon for this very weird story.)
Among the stacks. (I finally got a library card. Yay.)Snack.Back porch gardening. Some of the girls pots are filled with little more than weeds and dirt at this point, but she dutifully cares for them.Climbing into a messy bed to read some of our haul.Sadie. This damn chihuahua was definitely doing her part to contribute to my jammed up feeling. Every time I turned around she was underfoot.Late lunch/early dinner made by Jay. I've been craving vegetables lately.The bane of my existence. And I was just saying the other day how I felt like I had the laundry under control. Famous last words.Afternoon tea.
IKEA instructions. (Love the expressions they put on the faces.) Since it appears that we may be in this apartment longer than anticipated, we decided to make the most of it and better utilize the tiny amount of space we have, so bunk beds were purchased. As I type this, the children are quietly enjoying their new beds. I hope the novelty of this purchase doesn't wear off anytime soon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Self Portrait:: August

This month's portrait was taken not by me, but by Jay at The Bite yesterday.I had just sat down to eat this:
And then....going in for that first bite:I don't love any of these pictures. For various reasons I just didn't feel like I was looking my best this day. But they do show me being me, which is the point of this little exercise. Plus, I was having a good time. As Jay said, "Look at you smiling at that cheesecake!" Had I been alone with the cheesecake, I may have started talking dirty to it. But really, who doesn't want cheesecake and wine at 10 AM on a Sunday morning? Can you think of a better breakfast?

Interesting tidbit: After I finished the breakfast of champions, we sat at the table while the boy ate something meat related. A few moments later a woman came up to me and asked if she could take a picture of my hair. She'd been trying to get a pixie cut but has had trouble communicating what she wanted to her hairdresser. I found this very cool. It wasn't that long ago that I lived in a town where people made fun of my hair. I know it's kinda silly and trivial, but this was just one more instance in which I was reminded how comfortable I am here and how I feel as if we're with our people.

More of me and my walking around wine:(Is it just me, or does that chick standing behind me in the above picture sorta look like Crystal from Elsewhere Living? Crystal, if you read this, are you stalking me? If not, someone in Oregon stole your face.)

There were a lot of runners in the city that morning and there was also a bike-a-thon about to begin. In fact, we had to cross in front of hundreds of bikers to enter the park, which made me feel momentarily guilty. You know, Back it up athletically minded people, make way so the fatties can get to their food.

Other photos:

The girl and her first of probably many fruity, umbrella-topped drinks:Of course the boy had to visit the Voodoo Donut van.
This would be the Old Dirty Bastard. It's crushed Oreos and peanut butter. I didn't taste it but I'm guessing from the moans at the table, it was pretty good.

I have a few more pictures but they are mainly of the men folk eating various meat. Meat on a bun, meat on a stick, etc. We went home very full.

Note: Just as a reminder, tomorrow is Ten on Ten. I was lazy last month but I hope to participate this time around.

Friday, August 6, 2010

List Five: Ten Clothing Items that Make Me Cringe

Yesterday was a long day and I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to devote to my list. I had hoped to end the week with something a bit more thought provoking, but by nine o'clock last night, I still didn't have anything that pleased me. I've kept a notebook though of all my lists-in-progress (including your suggestions from yesterday), so don't be surprised if a list pops up in this space from time to time.

1. Jorts (Don't know what jorts are? Go here. Or just move to Florida where jorts are part of the state uniform.)

2. Pleated pants or shorts. (pleated jorts? THE WORST.)

3. Jeggings. True Story: About a month ago I sort of casually mentioned to Jay that I wanted some leggings. Jay, being the awesome guy that he is, said he'd look around for some the next day when he went to work. (He works in an outlet mall.) I said, "Hey thanks. Just don't let anyone talk you into any jeggings." Then I had to explain to Jay that jeggings are the bastard child of jeans and leggings. Anyway, the next day Jay goes into one of the stores and asks the sales associate if they had any leggings, to which she said, "Oh yeah. Come look at the cute new jeggings we just got in." I was so glad he had been forewarned. (This may just be a me thing though because jeggings are everywhere right now. I don't know....I think they just look like ill fitting jeans. )

4. Mom jeans.(LOVE that video clip.) See also pleated pants and jorts.

5. White pants. So good in theory yet so very unflattering on me. Always. Plus, I'm sure if I did find a nice pair, I'd spill coffee on them or sit on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What a stressful article of clothing! I'm going to continue to just avoid it.

6. Sweat pants with ass writing. Why.do.women.wear.these?!

7. Tee shirts with Disney characters on them. Often can be seen paired with jorts.

8. Gladiator sandals

9. Skirts or dresses made of sweat-pants material. I've actually owned a few of these and I never quite know what to do with them. I always feel both overdressed yet dumpy at the same time.

10. High waisted pants. See also mom jeans.

What articles of clothing make you cringe?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

List Four: Ten Random Things I Can't Stop Thinking About

1. Fall. I even dreamt about it the other night. The girl and I were in the car and we came across a pumpkin patch and we stopped and picked out our pumpkin. As I was paying for it, I said to the man in charge, "Wow, you guys do Fall early here in Oregon."

2. Back to School time. Normally, I start to feel sort of bittersweet around this time of year. This year, I'm just bitter. I want these kids out of the house.

3. My new winter coat. This is my first winter coat purchase ever. I can't wait for the first cold day. I love it even more because I got a good deal at a pre-season sale and ended up paying half price.

4. The Bite of Oregon. My family has been discussing this almost daily for the last two weeks. We'll be sitting around the dinner table, sadly looking at our boring, everyday food and someone will say something like "I can't wait for The Bite" or "The Bite is going to be so awesome. I'm going to tear that place up." Is it possible to have a food hangover? I guess I'll know on Monday morning.

5. Creme Brulee. (I wonder if I can get some at The Bite?)

6. Hot Tub Time Machine. We watched this on Monday and it was much, much funnier than I expected. Jay and I have been quoting slightly filthy lines from it all week.

7. Season four of 30 Rock comes out on dvd September 21.

8. Daniel Baldwin, brother of my Baldwin, has a home in Lake Oswego, just one town over from me. In fact, I do a lot of my shopping in Lake Oswego. A Baldwin sighting is no longer a far off fantasy anymore people, it could really happen.

9. All week long I've had that sort of smug satisfactory feeling you get when you accomplish a lot of minor tasks and errands. You know, all those small things that always seem to be on the mental to-do list but have yet to reach that I NEED TO DO THIS NOW point. I took the kids to the doctor and got them both up to date on their immunizations. (Um, they were embarrassingly behind. Like, so behind that I would have to home school them if I didn't hurry up and get their shots.) Then a few days later I drove back to the doctor's office to get the immunization records that I neglected to get the first time I was there. I made some curtains for the girl's room and sewed three covers for the throw pillows on my bed. I've begun buying back to school clothes and I have the boy's school supply list so I can even get started on that. And school doesn't even start for another month. For the first time in a long time, I feel ahead of the game. And that feels good.

10. Football season. I'm not a fan of the sport, but the man is. And he is suffering wicked withdrawal. It will all be here soon though. I know this because the coverage has begun and I've heard Brett Favre's name about 100 times in the last three days.

Also thinking of: Um...what will tomorrow's list be about? Any suggestions? If I don't think of something soon I may have to do a sort of compilation post of all the lists I've been toying with all week that never panned out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

List Three: Free or Inexpensive Things That Make Me Happy

1. Spongebob Squarepants. I cannot begin to imagine life without Spongebob.

2. Rainy Days

3. The first cup of coffee in the morning

4. Sharpie Pens

5. Netflix

6. Mountains. I still get so excited when I'm driving and I see a mountain off in the distance. My children have already grown tired of me pointing out that mountain that, of course, never moves. I'm happy that seeing them is their everyday reality.

7. Toms ShoesAveraging about $50 a pair (but they can get much higher), this is definitely the most expensive thing on this list, but I wear them often and will probably do so until they have toe holes, so cost per wear is minimal. What is it I like about these so much? Maybe the non-fussy canvas? (These days I really try to avoid too much leather in my sneakers.) The fact that when you buy a pair they give a pair to a needy kid? I couldn't say, but I do love them. I love to see them on other people too, especially if they are all beat to hell and it's apparent that person loves their Toms as much as I love mine.

8. A new bottle of wine

9. Being in the car and hearing two favorite songs back to back

10. Fountain splashing. (We've been continuing our tour of Portland area fountains. These photos were taken at Jamison Square.) 11. Stationery

12. Taco Bell. I know, kinda gross. But I love the place.

13. Clean, line dried sheets.

14. Cake. Baking it and eating it.

15. The fact that, thanks to Bear in the Big Blue House, my daughter refers to the moon as 'Luna', and every night before bed has to look out her window in search of Luna.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

List Two: Things I Want To Do In the Next Five Years

I had no idea how to set the time frame for this list. Obviously a lot of the following things I could begin to do immediately. But others are larger and involve more work, planning, or saving. I finally decided on five years because I'm very low stress these days.

1. Take a dance class. Nothing real intense-just a casual, fun dance class. And nothing stripper-y. (So Jay if you're reading this and thinking of gifting me with pole dancing lessons, scrap that idea.)

2. Sew one garment (from a pattern) for myself. And wear it.

3. Eat in a restaurant by myself. I'm definitely a solitary individual and I don't mind being alone, but I've never eaten in a restaurant-other than a coffee shop-by myself. Have any of you ever done this? If so, did you bring along paperwork or a book or did you just sit there and focus on your meal? Did you have to work to avoid making eye contact with other diners? What did you do while you were waiting for your meal to arrive?

4. Buy a fancy dress (Loving the ones from here.) and wear it while out on a date with Jay. We have date night all too rarely around here. And when we do, our dates are usually pretty quick, casual, and over before the sun goes down. I want to get dressed up, put on some high heels and go somewhere nice after dark.

5. Have a picnic in Washington Park.

6. Walk the streets of Portland by myself.

7. Take the family to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

8. Take a baking/cooking class. It's strange, but when I think about the me of the future, I'm usually baking. I wonder if this is the me of now trying to tell myself something?

9. Walk more. Realistically, I could walk to the grocery store, the park, possibly even the library or the fountain the girl loves to splash in. But I usually take the car. When did a mile or two start seeming like such a long distance?

10. Learn more about my camera.

11. Make creme brulee. This will involve buying and skillfully using a chef's torch. (I actually can't stop thinking about this one and it may be the first to get crossed off the list.)

12. See an Improv show at The Brody Theater. Yay improv.

13. Get better at crochet. (I want to make a table runner like Jodi's and pot holders like Dani's.)

14. Bake cookies and share them with all the people living in my building.

15. Make sushi at home.

16. Get a job outside of taking care of the children. Most days, I love being with them. But I've been doing this gig for a while now and am definitely wanting more for myself. I don't even care what kind of job it is, I just miss interacting with other adults-even the ones that are assholes.

17. Have something I've written published somewhere other than this blog. There are a lot of really good zines and small publications out there that are always asking for submissions. (I'm thinking I could do a book review. Maybe?) This is sometimes in the back of my mind as I sit here and pound out my silly thoughts. I have no idea if I'm cut out for it though. Of all the things on the list, this is probably the one I'm most terrified of because it will involve putting myself out there in a way I'm not entirely comfortable with.

18. Visit the San Francisco area.

19. Visit Seattle.

20. Own an English bulldog.

Monday, August 2, 2010

List One: Ten Cheesy Songs I Love

1. Rocket Man by Elton John. The rest of this list is in no particular order, but I had to give Rocket Man the number one spot. What it's about, I couldn't say. But I'll keep singing it loud and proud. And when it's over, I'll back it up and play it again.

2. Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan. This is the only song on the list that I'm actually kind of embarrassed to admit to liking. (Here's the video. Be warned: It's wicked bad.)

3. New Moon on Monday by Duran Duran. Oh Duran Duran, I love you and all of your completely indecipherable, make-no-sense lyrics. This particular song made the list though because Simon Le Bon actually utters the phrase, "I couldn't really put it much plainer." Um, Simon, yeah, I think you could put it much, much plainer. But that's ok, I still heart you. (Bizarre-o lyrics are here.)

4. Rock DJ by Robbie Williams. Corny lyrics (I got the gift, gonna stick it in the goal....HA!) and a dance beat. I should totally hate this song. But I don't. In fact I love everything Robbie Williams does. He's cheeky and clever and he dances like my husband. Here's the video, which you should definitely watch because even though it's almost ten years old now, it's still awesome and weird. But be warned, the last minute or so is kinda icky. (Confession: I just watched it five times. I like icky.)

5.Sister Golden Hair by America. I love a lot of cheesy 70's songs, but I almost always have this one going through my head.

6.Pleasant Valley Sunday by The Monkees. How could I not have The Monkees on the list? This particular one made the cut though because of the happy music/slightly gloomy lyrics combo. (Lyrics here.)

7. A Different Drum by Linda Ronstadt. Sigh. I want a voice like Linda's. Interesting tidbit: This song was written by a man, Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Which probably explains why Linda creepily refers to the man she's singing to as "pretty." (Here's the song.)

8. Mandy by Barry Manilow. Stop judging me.

9. Oh L'amour by Erasure. My devotion to Erasure has led Jay to ask me numerous times if perhaps I'm a gay man trapped in the body of a woman. This song is best when played in the car at top volume because it makes my son want to hurl himself from the vehicle. Extra points can be earned if I open the windows and drive by his school. The video is here. It's a re-mix, which I usually hate. But this one is Flaming and Fabulous. (Honorable mention goes to their song Star, because I love Andy Bell's white boy rap about God. Video here.)

10. Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Possibly more evidence of my inner gay man? What can I say, my parents were country music fans. And, it's just a great song and Dolly is the best. (Video here.)

Make me feel less like a freak and tell me what cheesy songs you love.