Friday, February 29, 2008

The Gashlycrumb Tinies

I'm not condoning child-killing. But I have loved this story ever since I saw the poster at a Grinnell poster sale my sophomore year.

And if you head on over to YouTube and search it, you'll find an animated version of the story that is cute and creepy and fantastic all in one.

(I tried embedding it here, but it's gone now.)


I hereby declare that I am going to make this weekend a productive one. I realize that I do this a lot (and it never really pans out), but by getting off earlier today and having the house to myself for the afternoon, I believe I can get some chores done before Neil gets home; I can't resist snuggling with him even with a list of to-dos a mile long. So--help me, online journal. My goals are here in black and white (Or, I guess, gray-green and black), and crossing things off a list is totally satisfying. Or, turning them a different color. Okay, self? (Okay!)

  • Fill new frames with postcards
  • Finish Specials
  • Eliminate newspaper pile
  • Vacuum
  • Read Feb. 29 EW
  • Finish "Chef!" DVD
  • Open steamer & try it out
  • Make 'major goals' sidebar element
  • Work out financials & tally receipts (and pay any incoming bills)
  • Arrange DVDs by color...that's been bugging me
  • Put together & install new file cabinet
  • Start going through & purging old files to relocate!
As part of clean-up, here's some notes I scribbled down with the intent of recording them somewhere:
  • I am smitten with Caravaggio's "Victorious Love"
  • To estimate one's caloric needs, take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 12.
  • A nice passage, p.3, Fourth Comings: "Dumbly thumbing messages short on characters and character..."
  • And a nice quote from Whitman: "What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life." It reminds me of Neil and his joyous twinkly eyes.
  • My Sprint contract expires on Dec. 22, 2008. AT&T, here I come! (Although I will admit that Sprint customer service wasn't horrific when I called the other day.)
  • Soundtracks & songs to find/download/XTorrent: Jesus He Knows Me (Genesis); Sarah Brown Eyes (Ragtime); Merrily We Roll Along OBC; GoodTimeNation(Behind Me Day); The Boyfriend; Wedding Singer OBC; You Give Love a Bad Name (Blake Lewis performance); tick tick...BOOM
  • Links to find: Rock of Love TwoP forums (elimination teasers); Clay Aiken youtube on Idol; Research Alli costs vs. Sam's; When Specials is finished, look up significance of names, if any; Go to "Links" e-mail for the rest

Thursday, February 28, 2008

NYTX & words

I LOVED the theme for today's puzzle (completed last night, admittedly in just under 1 hour, with a bit of Google help): Antagonyms (words that can mean opposite things...that are the same word.)

Matt Ginsberg, the constructor, gave us Rex-fans a list of words he was consulting for the puzzle. Fascinating:

cleave (join/separate)
clip (attach/separate)
inoculate (protect/infect)
cull (select/reject)
alight (settle/dismount)
went off (start/stop)
ravel (tangle/disentangle)
screen (dispaly/hide)
trim (remove from/add to an xmas tree)
enjoin (direct/forbid)
dust (remove dust from the table, add it to the cake)
secrete (give off, conceal)
can (save peaches, fire worker)
settle (move/stop moving)
garnish (add/take away wages)
snap (break into pieces/fasten together)
wear (last under use/erode under use)
weather (wear/survive)
crop (plant/cut)'
custom (everyone does it/just for you)
go off/went off (made noise/stopped)
left (still here, not here)
strike (hit/not hit)
trip (move gracefully/move clumsily)
mad (enthusiastic/annoyed)
wild (enthusiastic/annoyed)
think better of (to like more/to like less)
wind up (start/stop)
fix (solution/problem -- in a fix)
buckle (attach/bend and break)
bolt (secure/run away)
first degree (most severe murder/least severe burn)
flog (whip/promote)
give out (distribute/stop production)
out (visible stars/invisible lights)
transparent (invisible/obvious)
unbending (rigid/relaxing)
variety (specific type/a general type)
act (pretend/actually do it)
bound (moving to/not moving)
commencement (beginning/end=graduation)
cool (agreeable/less than agreeable)
enduring (long lasting/suffering through)
execute (end a person,start a program)
handicap (edge in sports/disadvantage)
lease (lend/borrow)
lurid (pale/colorful)
original (unchanged/new)
rent (buy/sell)
reservation (confirmation/uncertainty)
seed (add seeds/remove seeds)
stain (color purposefully/purposelessly)
nothing is better
mean (poor,excellent)
was blown away [enjoyed an amazing thrill or suffered a horrible defeat]
kicked around [considered or treated inconsiderately]
foughtwith [battled hand in hand or toe to toe]
knock off [copy or eliminate]
blow up [enlarge or reduce to pieces]
a hell of a time

My musings/memories about NYC earlier today were felt even more sharply when I read Rex's comments and saw how many folks are gearing up for the Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn this weekend. I want to go so bad, someday, and I will, gosh dang it. I know Neil supports me in this hobby, and we're both fans of turning a non-local event (such as a marathon or a tourney or whatever) into a Weekend. Maybe I can earn a trip to Brooklyn by doing this puzzle every day, studying the answers through both Google and Rex's posts, so I won't be in total last place there. I know I won't be much of a contestant--I'm not a 40-year veteran or anything--but it just looks so geeky-fun. Kind of like a Magic tournament without the adolescent mustaches and criminally high loser attendance.
I'm already excited about the prospect of showing him the Museum of Television & Radio (was that it?) in the Bronx, going to Junior's, visiting the Ugly Doll section in FAO Schwartz, seeing the city as the cab drives us into town, people-watching from sidewalk-seating restaurants and from our hotel window, deciding what show he would enjoy, going to the MoMA store, buying a NYC guide book to help us decide what else to discover...

You must be tired from running through my mind all day...

  • "Hopelessly Devoted to You"--Seriously, Alaina, just shut up. You and your gap. "My food piles can't touch each other! Aren't I adorable?!"
  • Amy just wrote and said they're meeting on Tuesday night, so I should get the book picked up and read by then. I just started Specials last night and need to read Twilight since it's on hold...this is beginning to be a chore, this leisure reading. Specials isn't bad so far--I found I was losing myself in the nonstop action and each chapter propelled me into the next one at full-speed. Finally I'm seeing remnants of what I loved so much about Uglies. I still don't think I can feasibly (and enjoyably) read three books by Tuesday, though. Not with my other reading goals of emptying the Trib bag and catching up on EWs.

  • Tonight is Idol elimination. Neil and I both think it will be Skunk (Jason Yeager) and Robbie Carrico, though he wouldn't complain if Danny Noriega left. I think he's funny and he grated me less than last week, plus Steve saw him in Brookstone with Ramiele. We disagree slightly on the girls--I say Amanda and Alaina, Neil says Amanda and Kady (update: he just e-mailed and said Amanda and Alexandrea). With such a below-average week, it's anybody's guess, I think. Amanda was horrid, though.
  • Oh, cute: "Forget About the Boy" is on! I fell asleep at the Fox when Dad, Joe, and I went to see "Millie" there, but this song is so cute. I 'specially love when they say "Ha-lay-loo." Why those good-for-nothings! They cut the song short for "The Lonely Goatherd"! I guess it fits "Ha-lay-loo" for a "Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo."

  • Just came across this strip on an Oxford classmate's blog...LOVE it:

About this time in 2000, Mom, Steve, Patty and I were headed to NYC for my very first visit there. It was truly magical, and I'm so grateful that Mom was thoughtful enough to include me on the trip (ostensibly because I didn't get a fancy trip on my 16th birthday).

It was just perfect. That breathless moment seeing the lights of the city across the water driving in from JFK...

...marvelling at the NYC-bags-o-trash with Patty

...checking into our adorable little hotel just off Times Square, with the cozy and homey breakfast area downstairs

...visiting the Today Show set that very night, too excited to go to bed, where Steve worked his charm to get us into the actual indoor set

...the next morning, frigid and rainy, waiting outside of the same set to see Riverdance and get on TV (we left after a couple of hours)

...going on the cheesy-but-informative NBC Experience tour the next day (they let us sit in the SNL stadium seats!

...walking around the NYU area and stumbling upon the cutest, funniest shops on side streets, that I was never again able to find

...seeing a different musical each night ("Jekyll and Hyde" with Jack Wagner, "Chicago" with Mr. Carossi himself, Ernie Sabella, and the reason for the trip, Steve's buddy Tim Shew as Jean Valjean in "Les Mis." He left great tickets for us at the box office, met us after the show, and took us backstage. He offered Steve some used mic batteries, but I believe that was turned down)

...laughing at virtually everything that came out of Patty's mouth (Signs were everywhere saying "Honk only when in danger" or something, but of course cabbies honk just as regularly as they step on the gas, so every time we heard honking Patty would say in a nervous voice, "Danger!")

...watching Steve-O and Patty re-enact musical scenes as we walked around the city ("West Side" and "Singin' in the Rain")

...our dee-lish lunch at Hard Rock Cafe with the waitress that the boys went gaga over

...walking around Central Park (it must have been temperate, as my outerwear consisted only of my "Fall into the Gap, a'ight" green jacket)

...going to Times Square late at night with the boys where Steve chased down a nervous black-market watch dealer in search of a fake Rolex, then returning to the room and spying on a prostitute from their window (and I believe Patty threw pennies at the building across the street)

...eating & people-watching at HoJo's in Times Square, where some cheese from his cheeseburger migrated onto a fry and Patty said, pleasantly surprised, "Free cheese fry!"

..."buying" TGIFriday's flair like crazy at souvenir shops, including a Taxicab-themed suspender set for that blond girl who liked hippos (I believe I also purchased my Macy's propeller-topped beanie on this trip)

...blatantly standing underneath the "NO standing or stopping" signs posted everywhere

...Mom getting nervous about the flight home, so the bartender at the airport put her Bloody Mary into a to-go coffee cup so she could take it with her...

Without a doubt, the most fun trip I've ever taken. Thanks, mama.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Oh, how lovely to plug in TheatreRadio and be hit by two "Mamma Mia" songs in the first three numbers! Even when it's "Thank you for the Music"...somehow, in the show context, it doesn't bug me as much as on Abba Gold. Maybe because the lead's voice is totally cute. (Of course, they've been interspersed with "Miss Saigon" songs, which can go straight to hell, but whatevs. "I'm gonna buy you a girl"/"You can buy me a beer."--what a pussy! "But I know, I have a heart like the sea/A million dreams are in me/Jesus, John, who is she?"...Who SAYS that?? This song is completely going to be in my head all damned day.)
I found a site this morning that totally stole my idea, The Book Spoiler. I've yet to spend much time on it, but as far as I can tell so far, it spoils only current bestsellers. However, I don't see a browsing option, nor too many books that have been recapped--yet it seems the site gets a lot of traffic. I don't like how The Movie Spoiler is laid out, either, so maybe it's navigable and I just need to find out how. Nope...49 books recapped. Give me a break.
Since I'm already drinking an odd concoction these mornings, I decided to up the ante this AM and added apple cider vinegar to my OJ/energy drink Bengals cup. It gave the whole thing a nice tart taste, that any normal human being might find too much for 9:00 in the morning, but that I really dug. I believe this shall continue.
I've been practicing my duet with Steve, "Sarah Brown Eyes." I will be singing, naturally, Coalhouse. He doesn't know about it yet, but I think I'll bust it out during dinner one night when we go to LA. I was inspired by a Youtube video of an extremely awkward performance between a girl and her brother singing this very tune at her vocal recital. When they danced, it was like you could hear them saying "Right leg back. Left foot to left corner. Right foot meet left." And when they were finished and walked off, into the sunset I guess, toward the back of the stage, they had their arms around each other as the audience "roared." Then the brother took his arm off the sister but she was still in character, so she was still hugging him. Then when he figured out they weren't done yet, he put his arm around her but she'd taken hers off. It looked so stupid.
I remember being in about 8th grade and telling Dad I knew I'd gotten older because snow was more an annoyance than fun stuff to play in. I thought that was totally deep. Now I'm just cranky about it. Why am I living in a place where I hate the weather over 6 months of the year? Is there a place where it's eternally autumn? When people say they're entering "the autumn of life," I can't imagine that would be a bad thing.
Shelly stopped by and we had a "These kids today, no work ethic" conversation. Is it true that they're getting worse, or were we just as bad? I don't remember ever pulling a no-call no-show at so much as a work-study job.
I also just found out that The Office will have several shows starting at April's end. Yay! It's definitely a spring to look forward to. Which reminds me, I need to catch up on Ugly Betty. So many things to watch.
Oh, and I didn't snack last night after Neil went to bed! That was progress for me.
Goals for tonight/today:
  • Watch some DVD this afternoon during lunch--"Frontier House"? "Chef!"? "Dame Edna"?
  • Start Specials--finally.
  • Eat up some leftovers.
  • Open up/sort all mail.
  • Complete financials & receipt tally.

Goals by next week:

  • Vacuum house. My sheddy hairs are getting ridiculous.
  • Use lint roller on bathroom rugs.
  • Put together new file cabinet.
  • Catch up with EW reading (1.5 to go).
  • Finish reading pile of newspapers.
  • Get some frozen items from Dad's.
  • Go swimming.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Oh, David.
Damn you, American Idol! Damn you, soulful version of "Imagine"! Damn you, Paula, and your runny nose, which indicated to me that it was okay to be brought to tears by a televised performance starring a 17-year-old.
I feel like there's not even a competition now. At least they made him go last. When they recapped the other performers, several of whom I thought did fairly well, I was all, "Amateurs."

Michael Johns didn't do that well, I thought, but his votes will come in for his past performances rather than for tonight's. Jason Castro will make it in part due to a completely endearing intro where he says he's no good at interviews, and several dozens of takes prove his statement. Luke Menard was the surprise of the night...a guy I didn't care for at all last week, and was sure would get the boot. He sung Killer Queen, in his gorge-o a cappella-trained voice, and his falsetto was beautiful. I was able to vote for him, lots, very easily, so I fear for his life. David Cook was a sexpot strumming his electric guitar during "All Right Now," but the best part of his performance was his admission during his "tape" (as Simon referred to it) that he's a Word Nerd who loves crossword puzzles and big words. Neil asked if I might leave him for David, but I assured him I'd never leave the best person on Earth.
Then, after a fairly decent evening, fracking David Archuleta steps in to steal the show. Simon said something like "There are 19 very miserable contestants tonight," and I do hope he's right. It just wasn't even fair.

So, wow. That was terrific. Tomorrow will be fine, I'm sure, but whatever.

I worked a short day again today...I left at 1:30, stopped at Gerbes for Dijon mustard (for pierogie sauce) and Totino's for another Feast Night sometime soon, and went home to watch the final 90210 ep on the DVD ("Anaconda"--James Pickens jr. at his hottest!) and take a nap before Neil got home. I also downloaded about eleven more hidden object games, but this will be the last batch, since Neil has downloaded Leopard from work, and Windows is next!

Off to work on Wednesday's NYTX (but I think I'll pee first). It's been a good week for these.

Hidden Object Games

Why do I love these games so? I know that I used to relish the page of Highlights where you had to find things, but I don't remember being as obsessed as I am now. Since I don't want to pay $20 to beat a game I could do in several hours, though, I have to download free-trial games here and there, hardly ever finishing them before the hour-limit runs out on all the different servers that offer it free. Just now I'm almost done with "Interpol" and can't wait til Neil downloads Leopard on our Mac so I can get my fix on MSN games, where there's a glitch that lets you play the game until you win it if you never quit out.

Also, why aren't there more font options on here? This is so close to Times, which I've never liked, and the others are just Arial and Arial imitators, and they can go straight to hell.

But onto things that were good about today:

  • Super fast work-day! (Although I suspect my boss's ticked because she thinks I gave her the flu. If I had sick days, this wouldn't be an issue.)
  • Got a lot accomplished, errand-wise, and found a cheap ice-cream scoop with the springy thing to load cupcake batter.
  • Neil came home early from the dentist, so we had a couple extra hours together. And he was awful cute.
  • Technically, it was 50 degrees outside. Technically.
  • We really didn't watch any TV.
  • I finished the Monday NYTX in...5:50, I think? I also finished all but two letters on Tuesday. Both clues were about obscure types of hats. HATS.
  • I discovered a new and delicious morning beverage: clear SF energy drink mixed with equal part orange juice. Yu-UM! Fizzy and fruity and filling!
  • Neil's new vintage Nike kicks came in today, and he looked totally cute-hot in them, with his (my) matching green Packers sweatshirt.
  • Just finished my green 8-glasses jug o' water.
  • I'm definitely on the mend.
Not-so-goods: ['cause it's always fun to bitch a little...]
  • It was so icky outside. It's a shame because we got this nice temp change, but when everything is so soggy and gray, with snow still on the ground, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.
  • Emily had to go back to work today. That must have been super, super hard.
  • I had a weird wave of nausea hit early this evening and had to lay-down-and-not-move for awhile.
  • I don't feel very desirable
  • The stupid gabby clerk at Linens N Things totally left my impulse-purchase small measuring cup out of the bag (it was only 99 cents, but I'm ticked because I know exactly why she left it out--she was gossiping to her fellow cashier instead of paying any attention to what she should have been).
  • I didn't get to go swimming today, because I was hesitant to leave work without Bossie there to make sure it was okay to leave Tech Serv unmanned. And she never told me she was calling in sick.

Monday, February 25, 2008


You know that EW I vowed to finish over the weekend? I made it to the last page this morning, always an editorial from one of several fairly esteemed writers (Stephen King, Dalton Ross, and, this time, Diablo Cody), and had mixed feelings when I read the pull-quote, something about how butterflies flew around her lower torso when she learned that the New Kids on the Block may be reuniting for a tour. I had a glimmer of excitement at first, then quickly realized this was probably one of those sarcastic "I hated NKOTB so much" articles from alt-grunge chicks who never jumped on the bandwagon and couldn't see what millions of obsessed girls could possibly find appealing about them.

How awesome, then, to read on and see that Ms. Cody WAS an NKOTB fan, *just* as obsessed as me, Sarah, and Alena, and to top it off, was a JOEY girl! She rattled off trivia so well that it gave me goosebumps--she knew his middle name is Mulrey! That he's one of nine kids! That his idol is Frank Sinatra! I haven't ever read a mature, NKOTB-loving article, particularly by this brand of person (an indie screenwriter who wore a leopard-print halterish dress showing off her large tattoo last night at the Oscars), and how refreshing it was! This is definitely an article to go in the page-protected binder.

I mean, come on...boy bands are specific to *every* generation. Why are NKOTB lovers so shat on? These groups provide a common obsession point to girls in the awkward tween-and-early-teen phase, bringing together friends who aren't really mature enough to discuss serious issues but need something in common to squeal over. And since every boy band has five different brands of boy in it (the Donnie lover is a sexy rebel, the Jonathan fan is the kind of girl who dates gay men because they're so sweetly sensitive, the Jordan obsessor likes her men generically handsome and musical, the Joey squealer likes 'em cute and bubbly, and the Danny lusters...erm...sorry, Danny lusters? Any Danny lusters out there?), any girl can find her favorite.

If the reunion happens, we are so there. I recorded "Hangin' Tough" and "Hangin' Tough Live" on DVD for Emily as part of her Christmas present, and had a grand old time watching those relics again. Joey lip-synching "Please Don't Go Girl" because his voice had changed long ago...Jon's half-hearted pelvic thrusts during the group "Hey Hey, I feel all right" flirt...Jordan rakishly spinning his fedora around during the dull-as-dishwater "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)"...Joey's hat with the top cut out that I seriously loved because it showed his curly head, forgetting, I guess, the purpose of a hat...Jordan's timely "Batman" puffy jacket...the ridiculous homoerotic dances (like when they flipped each other up on their backs while Donnie sang "Cover Girl" or something)...girls with crunchy, curly bangs bawling in the audience every time a New Kid made eye contact or shouted something like "This one goes out to all you beautiful girls out there" in their adorable Bostonian accents...

I'll stop here because I could go on for hours and, basically, recap the whole thing line by line.

(P.S. The picture above is not from the Hangin' Tough Live era, but maybe a year later. Joey is older now and realizes he's got the golden ticket to a million easy lays should he want them, and Donnie's in full rebel-unwashed mode. Jordan is uncomfortably beginning to realize he is maybe not cut out for this boy band stuff after all, as he is a huge homosexual, and Jon has the same sickly look. Danny's actually not half-bad in this photo...the tan and fortunate angle agree with him.)

What a sickly, busy weekend!

I didn't get nearly enough done this weekend, yet I never really lazily sat about doing nothing either (unless you count the two episodes of "90210" I watched, "Party Fish" Saturday and "Summer Storm" Sunday, after Neil went to bed). Two days off always sounds like such a vast amount of time all through the week, but then it goes by in a flash. I was so busy yesterday with errands and Oscar preparations that it didn't seem like a weekend day at all.

But, our little get-together was a good time. I made coleslaw and sugar cookies during the day, and decorated the cookies with icing-writers (like little paintbrushes--not icing--much, much harder than it sounds, like too-soft watercolor brushes with not enough paint on them) to take over, in between studying my EW for my picks. (I lost big time last year after relying on this same prediction, but since I didn't do research online like I have in the past, I had to hurry it up.) I went over to Dad's a little before six to set up, and Dad was making turkey, mashed potatoes, country peas, and crescent rolls. I put out the M&M's bingo, ballots, and Hollywood-themed napkins and plates (still kicking after 3 Oscar parties now!), and got to work on the wall decor. It wouldn't be as fancy as years past--the film-reel tinsel garland and the little swirly shiny hangy decorations were left in the bag, as was the 'red carpet'--had to choose my battles since I didn't plan too well and was still feeling rotten. So the cardboard painted Oscar dad made went up, near the TV, and the Jon-Stewart-on Marilyn's-head posters were tacked up, one by the TV and one on the front door. It was just going to be Brad and Amanda as guests, so I felt it was an okay year for skimping.

And it was a good night. Jon Stewart did great (though I think Dad's right when he says he's a little too edgy for the Academy; Ellen was a much safer choice) and there were no really shocking surprises--unless you count the fact that Ingmar Bergman may have gotten more applause during the death montage (always my favorite!) than Heath Ledger, and Brad Renfro wasn't even included. We thought of a good game for next year: name as many people as you can who'll make an appearance there. Because you totally forgot who died, don't you?

Braden won M&Ms bingo, scoring two tins of Altoids, and *I* won the pool! Amanda and Brad bought in with a $10 Culver's gift certificate, and Neil didn't have cash so Dad fronted him $5, so really what I got was $5 and a trip to Culver's. I haven't won in like 2 years though!

Cookie quiz that I made (any film on the Oscar ballot is eligible):

1. Green pine trees with an arrow pointing "in" them

2. Face with an eye missing

3. "XII"

4. A yellow directional device

5. The letters "USA" with a red line through it (Neil's!)

6. A stick figure of a girl with an arrow pointed outward

7. A big red droplet, with an arrow pointed at it

8. A [shaky] drawing of a certain frigid state, with a star marked as its capital, and an arrow pointed at the star

9. Two mountains with an arrow pointing at the space between them labelled "Elah's"

10. A yellow king's headpiece

11. A plain cookie with "SURF" written at the very top

12. An unmarked clock with the hands pointing to a midafternoon time

1. Into the Wild
2. I'm Not There
3. Twelve
4. The Golden Compass
5. No Country [for old men]
6. Away From Her
7. There Will be Blood
8. Juneau [juno]--this one was my personal favorite
9. In the Valley of Elah
10. La Corona
11. Surf's Up
12. 3:10 to Yuma

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A long week, over.

I guess I figured today's workday would be tough: 7 hours straight cataloging, no time for a swim break, and still nursing this wretched cold.
Well, it was definitely no picnic (I don't really like picnics...all that sun, and all those ants? Igh. I'll amend this statement)--okay, it was definitely no yoga-on-the-balcony-in-perfect-68 -degree-weather-under-the-sky-as-it-looks- just-before-a-storm, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My boss had a ton of meetings, and I took frequent breaks to journal and e-mail, while still getting a lot of the cart done. Since she kept saying I should go home if I was sick, I challenged myself to stick it out in order to make up the hours. So 4:30 wasn't so long coming.

Other good things about the day:

Taco Bell with my Neil. We also stopped by Schnuck's to get milk, icing, and various flavoring extracts.

Nice visit with papa on the way home from work. He's doing so much with the house--now he's totally re-doing the living room.

Cute e-mail from SarahB wishing me a happy Oscar weekend. She knows me so well. I'm lucky to have such a sweet person in my life.

Watched the super-informative and interesting filmmaker commentary for King of Kong (it made me mad at Billy Mitchell all over again, but I can't help but feel GREAT that America is now attacking him after the film's release despite his claims that the story has a bunch of holes. Billy, dude, they can't fake the words that came out of your mouth).

Finished up the rest of the DVD after Neil Christian went to bed. I love finishing things!

Watched the third-to-last episode of "As Time Goes By" tonight too. I
want to make them last. But also, I think I'd just like to buy them. It's
such a perfect late-night show, not unlike "Golden Girls."

Also finished, during my lunch break at work, the EW I was working on and have begun the next-most recent, so I'm only one behind now.

I like that it is no longer at all a problem to drink my 8-glasses-equivalent jugs of water every day. I read in forums about how hard it is for people who were never water-drinkers, and while it did take me awhile to truly appreciate always having a bottle of water on hand, I'm glad I've come to the point where I really need it.

Off to read a few more sections of old newspapers. By the end of the weekend, that bag will be empty.
Other to-dos:
Finish currently-reading EW
Shop at Sam's
Buy file cabinet for dining area
Pick up held books at DBRL
Go to Goody's, maybe (JC)
Hang up red heart
Linens n Things for Dad's gift
Take back supplies to Dad's
Replace light bulb in track lighting & see if we have halogen bulb for kooky light

{I'll gray 'em out as they get done.}

Friday, February 22, 2008

Various Things

1. I like finding anagrams. I'm not one of those wordsmiths who see a person's name and immediately think about what anagrams they can make of them, but I like stumbling upon them--like prenatal and parental, which is even better because it makes sense that they have the same letters. I fear that if I begin actively looking for them, it will become an OCD thing and I'll never stop, and every word I see will have to be anagrammatized, much like how in my younger days I had to count syllables until they ended in a multiple of five. I made imaginary five-pointed stars for most of my adolescent reading life, counting syllables.

2. I'm really good at Kakuro. I wonder if there's a competition somewhere that I could earn $250 at or something. And Set. Is there money in this? (Although Joe seems to be as good. Damn that kid.)

3. I love that there are misplaced-apostrophe blogs around. I haven't proofread a play program with Dad in a long time. That was fun, especially in Macon where business owners generally don't have a degree (in English or otherwise) and their ads provided excellent, more than ample pre-show entertainment.

4. I struggle with what I can handle in stage musicals. My opinions are, I'm the first to admit, hypocritical. I *know* boys snapping in time while unironically jete-ing around NYC should be cheesy, but why does it just look beautiful to me, and/or hot, while I cannot stand the condescension (and cheesiness) of the narrator's knowing smile all through Joseph and the Stupid Coat? Could it be that I truly can tell the difference between a well-made musical and a poorly written one? I can only trust my own passion for the show. Is there a logical reason why I still watch Oklahoma when it descends upon the midwest every few years, and get caught up in the o-k-l-a-h-o-m-a spelling at the end just as much as I always did, or see Fiddler each of the three dozen times my siblings are in it and still get choked up at Do You Love Me? (and good lord, I was sobbing like a baby during Kirk's ridiculous turn as Tevye on Gilmore) yet could probably never sit through A Chorus Line again?


It was last year sometime, months ago, when Neil and I were walking downtown and passed Butterfly Tattoo, a cool little quirky shop on the corner of Walnut and 9th. They had a sign up saying they carried UglyDolls, and a few of their little felt-looking faces peeked out the window. I thought they were cute and something I might have collected as a singleton, but didn't really think much more of it.

Then, in December, we were again downtown spending some Christmas money my relatives had sent. Neil had been mentioning UglyDolls for a bit, so I asked if he wanted to take some of the money and get himself one. He was totally excited, so we walked over to the shop. They just had a few, including a green Ox and a large IceBat. Neil chose the giant-sized IceBat, and I thought I'd like to get Ox one day, largely because I thought his eyes--a big "O" and a big "X"--were a great naming device. And he was green.
Neil started doing research, and he found a whole huge underground fan base of these things, with limited editions, homemade versions, new releases, and a bunch of characters we hadn't seen. So, when we went to St. Louis the next weekend to shop in the Delmar Loop, get a glimpse of Emily's baby, celebrate Christmas with the Marlowes, and bring Lily back home, Neil and I were psyched to see the window of Star Clipper on Delmar lined with a new series of Uglies--Ice Lodge (all white) and Secret Mission (all black).

While the kids and Dad went to Ragorama, we descended upon Star Clipper. Neil was SO excited standing in front of their UglyDoll section...they even had two huge 6-foot versions in the window. We picked out a couple to take home (little Abima, little Ice Bat, maybe...we went three times in about a week and a half so I can't be positive), and then the obsession really began. We decided to bestow little Uglies on Neil's family (ostensibly for Paul's birthday, but mostly we just wanted to pick out more, I think) and, on the way to Pigeon Forge to meet them for a post-Christmas week, stopped again at Star Clipper (after a filling meal at Fitz's which included FRIED PICKLE SLICES!) and picked out little green Target for Meme and Papa, Tray for Mark, Wedgehead for Becca, Ox for Stacy, Big Toe for Jacob, and Ugly Worm for PP. We also got Secret Mission Ox, and Secret Mission Ugly Dog for Jordan.

Then, on the way back, we got Ice Lodge Ice Bat. We figured that might be it for awhile.

When Steve's birthday drew near, I thought it might be a fun gift for him, since he sometimes shares my love for quirky toys (like Cigar Smoking Sam from the seashell-sculpture store in Pensacola). Butterfly Tattoo had a small selection, but Jeero looked cute, so we got that for him and even made an accompanying mix CD, called "Jeero Mix for Steve." I had ordered green Ox and Big Toe, but they didn't arrive at the store in time, so we just had to pick those up later to keep for us (darn). THEN, Neil was checking out the Giant Robot store site, and they occasionally have limited-editions for sale there, I guess so people not living in LA have a shot at getting them. We leaped on the Sleepy Chilly Ice Bats, pink and brown, who wear party hats with faces on them and angel-wing mittens.

I went to St. Louis the weekend before Valentine's day, and knew I couldn't pass Star Clipper without just checking. So, on Saturday morning on my way out of town, a gorgeous day, I parked and walked in the sunshine to the store's propped-open door.

Wow. Not only were they entirely restocked, they had the two most recent releases, brown Cinko and Suntan Target--AND everything was on sale. I was so excited. I bought 3 littles and 3 regulars: little Cinko and big Cinko, since the new one's legs were different; little Sailor Babo, because he had a cute hat; regular Abima, since he's Neil's favorite; little Peaco--okay, because I really wanted him--; and Suntan Target. I couldn't WAIT to give them to Neil for Valentine's day. So, I didn't, exactly--I gave him Abima that night. But he had no idea there were five more waiting for him on the Thursday after that!

Sometime during the next couple days, I was determining what to do with a pair of Magic Pants that Neil had rubbed raw. Their "pilling" had migrated to the inside layer, so I didn't like to wear them, but they weren't rough enough anymore for Neil to use, so I looked at them and thought "Hey. I could totally try and make an UglyDoll out of these." They're a neat gray-pinstripe color, and could look vintage.

So for the next few days, with Dad's immense help, I did. I had Ugly Dog at Dad's to use for reference, used Mom's craft felt for eyes, mouth, and teeth, and made a pattern inspired by the one-of-a-kind BaboTrain UglyDoll Neil had shown me as a long-ago prototype online. I named it BoinkyTrain (since we call each other "Binky" and "Bonky"), gave it six appendages and two ears, and finished stuffing it on February 14th. I sewed red felt hearts on every new UglyDoll, writing BoinkyTrain's new name on his with fabric paint, and carted them home. I still had work to do, though. I debated how to present this to Neil, knowing he'd be so excited, and I wanted him to find them rather than have them all out waiting. I worked out a scavenger hunt all through the apartment, positioning all six dolls peeking out in and around the boxes in our outdoor storage closet.

It was awesome, if I do say so myself, and he FREAKED when he opened that door.

And how cute was part of my gift, he gave me little Babo and Wage, who are best friends--and he'd really wanted to find Peaco. The Babo he gave me was regular, not sailor, so we didn't overlap in gifts. It was a great day.

I guess we should be slowing down a bit in our UglyDoll purchases. I might slip a bit next month, when I visit LA with Dad and Joe (if the Giant Robot store is nearby), but I'm sure Neil won't be too mad if I bring home some new kids. :)

My coughs make my head hurt :(

Man, I am loving this "Behind Me Day" song from GoodTimeNation on my trusty TheatreRadio (okay, maybe not so trusty, as it often stops without warning and won't let me access it again for the rest of the day. But trusty in its selections, anyway).

Also, my defroster is one hard worker. This morning, my car was covered in two days' worth of snow and ice, and my car was clear well before either of the two other dudes, both of whom had begun de-icing before I even got outside. I jacked it up to high, brushed off the top layer of snow, and by the time I was finished scraping off the side windows, the back and front had big pieces of ice sliding off them. It was totally satisfying, and a better start than I imagined for a sickly day.

Enrique Iglesias was on "Today" this morning (in Miami, those bitches), and it was weird to me how he kept giving the mic to the audience to sing the next lyrics. I guess he got off on the fact that the audience knew the lyrics, but what's the point of a concert if the star performer isn't even singing? I don't go to concerts to hear the vocal stylings of Patti Dewhurst of Milwaukee who's visiting her Great Aunt Mabel for the weekend.

I give a lot of thought to negativity these days. I have been told my entire life that I'm a negative person, and it's starting to make me sad. I really do try not to focus so much on things I don't like, which is one of the reasons I try to list things daily on this forum that did go well about the day. And part of the reason I embraced the neg, in my younger days, was because I knew I was making people laugh when I said [things like] I wanted a pillow embroidered with "I remember every bad thing everyone has ever done to me," like the crotchety old maiden aunt in a memoir I once read. But I'm beginning to question everything--can these former critiquers give me a chance to change? Have I really changed, like I like to think I have, or am I doomed to forever be a pessimist? Because I really don't think I am. I really do believe the best of things and that people are generally innocent until proven otherwise--like, it was hard for me to believe O.J.Simpson really did it despite what I guess was obvious evidence. But with loved ones around me constantly teasing me about how difficult, impatient, and critical I am, how can I believe that I'm not that way anymore? Especially given that there are definitely grumpy days where everything really does tick me off and I revel in that feeling that everything sucks.

Maybe I've only partially changed. My positive side, perhaps, has flourished (particularly since Neil has come into my life), but that negative grouchy side still lurks under the happiness, coming out of its slumber every once in awhile to remind me that I'm still inherently a bitch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A bit of a crap day

So, yeah. I guess frustrations and little niggling annoyances are catching up to me this week, resulting in a not-so-great, boring day. I didn't feel good again this morning, so I didn't go to work--I think I needed to be away from work for today anyway, but this does mean a long day tomorrow if I want to make up the hours. I've been wanting to catch up with a few friends this week, but haven't received replies to any of the four e-mails I've sent out. I know folks are busy, and don't have time for a leisurely e-mail stream of consciousness, but to go zero and 4 is just depressing.

(Slight Positive Digression: I did, however, make a tiny dent in the Star Clipper Tribune bag, and watched the rest of "Spellbound." It doesn't hold a candle to "Mad Hot," of course, but I've wanted to see it for a good long time.)

Then, I have had grand plans to make Shepherd's Pie for, like, weeks, and finally decided tonight was the night, and got started on it at 5:30 so I wouldn't even come close to running into "Idol" time (I generally dislike cooking, but especially when it prevents me from watching what I like to on prime time). The onions wouldn't chop up in my fancy chopper, so I had to do it by hand, wasting like ten minutes. I sauteed them with butter for ten, then added the ground beef, which despite being in the fridge for about a day was still frozen, so browning that took a lot longer than I had figured for. The meat and onions were a bit too much for the frying pan, and kept almost going over the edge, but I kept it under control. I was growing increasingly frustrated by each obstacle, but not enough to really freak out, just little "Agh!"s. I was almost done, just making the batch of mashed potatoes to put on top, after more than an hour and a half of cooking. I glopped them on....and despite what the recipe said, quickly realized the pie would require twice the amount of potatoes that it was supposed to. But we're out of milk, now, and the half and half is a month over the sell-by date and does not smell so good, so I can't make more mashed potatoes.

At this point, I just lose it. And cry for awhile.
I guess that sounds stupid. It's just 1 1/4 cups milk. But I'd tried so hard to do this new recipe, encountering little roadblocks but pushing past them, and it's looking and smelling good, and I can see the end! And a stupid cup of milk brings me down. I suppose it was also because the weather's terrible outside, and running to the store to get milk would require bundling up and de-icing the car, and I'd miss most of "Idol" by the time I got back...if it were a gorgeous night, I might pull Neil up for a nice walk to Schnuck's and it would just be a cute little moment. But it wasn't.

I'm not a cook...I try because it's part of my duties, and I sometimes do okay, but I am not a cook. Neil's really super at saying when he likes things and encouraging me to buy what I need to make the job easier, but it's just not my nature. I'm hoping that changes someday. I'd love to lovingly pull each strand of homemade pasta through the maker, lay it out to dry, and experiment with different spices in my homemade sauce while I'm waiting to cook the drying pasta. But just now I take as many shortcuts as I can (you think those potatoes weren't instant??) and get the job done as fast as possible. I relish recipes or kits that let me mix everything in the kit together, put the pan in the oven, and not pay it a lick of attention until the timer dings that it's finished. But, financially, I know it's better to use actual ingredients.

And I have to admit that when the Shepherd's Pie finally, finally came out of the oven, it was delicious.

More good things about today, now that I've spent a million words on the bad:

  • Leif Garrett kid got voted off, along with Colton. Good stuff!

  • The weird shellacky-haired Amy with the god-awful tone-deaf voice did too!

  • Neil did some good talking with PP. Things are far from solved, but at least the family's on the same page.

  • I brought up our October nuptials, and we decided that we're not going to let our families' preferences or casual commitments decide where we have it. While we'd love everybody to come, wherever it may be, we need to make decisions and base them on what would make us happy (and not put us in the poorhouse!) instead of accommodating everyone else. So it's definitely St. Louis or Columbia. I still really want Roger to officiate!

  • The cupcakes are still really good.

  • NYTX wasn't...and it's just been a bad week overall for this, hasn't it?...but I like that I'm trying every day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I ate a vegetable! (Well, a fruit.)

I tried ground turkey in the Hamburger Helper tonight, and for my helping cut up a full (small) tomato and put it in there for a little extra zing. I can't wait for tomatoes to come in season again.

I didn't swim today. My cold got the better of me and my head felt so heavy that I took off after 4 hours of work and went home to sleep. It really rejuvenated me--enough so I made cupcakes tonight with buttercream-PB icing. My first-ever attempt!

It wasn't a great day at work either. I felt like my boss was grumpy. It always surprises me when normally cheery or pleasant people have grumpy days...usually I don't even realize it until later and I think "Good lord, what the hell kind of stick was up their ass today?" That's why I find it so funny/cute whenever BFF Emily warns me that her blood sugar is low and needs to eat soon, and that she's getting grumpy. I *never* see it. Maybe I don't see it because her warning makes me prepare for the worst (i.e., ME when I'm grouchy) and so when she says something like "I'm getting a little tired of waiting for a table" with a quiet sigh, that's maybe her version of bad-mood-speak, quite different than my own. Anyway, I'm glad I was feeling under the weather all day at work, because I don't think Boss' ickiness even registered in my muddled head, til I got home, got some sleep, and realized later what a bitch she had been.

The 2-hour "Idol" tonight was all 12 girls, a night that always drags, because...well, girls are boring singers. I think they think since they have more of a vocal range, they can stand there and sing and they're giving a good show based on vocals alone, and don't even try to mix it up with different arrangements (and if they do, it's always slower than the original). I love Amanda, the rocker/nurse, because she just totally gives no shit about the judge's comments or the crowd's cheers or anything. She is truly in this to see if she can get a record deal, and could not give a damn about the accompanying fame or kissing anyone's ass. I love it. It seems like she stands up there and listens to the judges because she's supposed to, but gives only the obligatory "thanks" after their gushings. I like that she doesn't sit there like a fool holding up four fingers in an alternative or cutesy way to beg people to call and vote for her...she knows if she was liked, they'll call, and she doesn't need to pull out the pouty/cutes "It's my birfday tomorrow, Ryan, and I'd love to stay here as my birthday present! Also some shoes."

I guess life is pretty slow and dull right now. As much as I try and shake things up with vows to get out of debt, stay on a workout schedule, read and toss all serials in the house, eat better, do scrapbook projects, start purging our home of all the extras, earn more money by putting things on eBay, and keep the house sparkling, all I manage to do is do a bunch of surface cleaning (so it looks good, but don't eat off the kitchen floor), rearrange boxes only when it's convenient (like as I searched for Valentine's Day decorations last week), let the newspapers pile up higher in their little bag every week, and eat one tomato.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More things, good and bad

I couldn't find the Tabasco sauce, which is required to make a cheap Totino's Pizza Night into a feast!

Totino's pizza, in any form, is better than no Totino's pizza. Where else can a dollar buy you such magnificence? (And don't throw that Dollar Menu crap at me. It isn't a pizza.)

That Leif Garrett kid's performance on "Idol."

David Archuleta, as I knew he would be. And the Blue Springs, MO kid singing one of my favorite makes-me-cheery songs, "Happy Together," in an unexpected rocker-y way.

I am so, so far behind in my Entertainment Weekly reading. It's becoming a chore. I seriously just finished the What to Watch section about this great new "American Gladiators" show "coming soon" to NBC. I have to read every bit of it (except the music part--that, I skim), and I need to work things out with myself to let it stay unread, and even thrown out partially unread. But it just seems like such a waste of money to do that! I have a Star Clipper bag full of Tribunes, a big green box full of New Yorkers, Janes, and Grinnell magazines, a shelf of unread scrapbooking magazines, Real Simples, and now Organize....and all I want to do is reread Laura Ingalls Wilder and go to bed.

Um. February is over half gone?

Off to try my hand at Wednesday's NYTXword. They have to cut us a break here. But you can be sure you'll be hearing from me if they don't.

Just thought of another Good:
The NYT games site has online Set now! It's not as good as the real thing, of course; cards aren't eliminated and quick thinking really doesn't come into play, which is my specialty. But it's still gnarly.

More goods:

1. My Nina Ricci perfume. It's supposed to smell like apples and toffee. But I don't give a diggety-damn what it resembles. I love it, no matter what.

2. Building up my hardcover Lemony Snicket collection via PBS. I could have done so much with this site through the years had I known about it sooner! And I like seeing Mom's spiritual-healing books go to homes of women who I know will love them (and who will love not spending tons of money on them). I also (finally!) got the Welcome to Junior's cookbook I've had my eye on for years. If I actually use it in the near future is another question, but for now it's orange and white striped, even the page-block!

3. I got a new combination lock today, of letters! That I can custom-make the solution word to! It was totally easy to fix up--the hardest part was getting the damned hard-plastic-no-perforated-opening packaging off. Haven't enough people complained about this? Why haven't they stopped doing it?

And a bad:
They said we would get a break today. 40 degrees, they said, followed by 5 days of miserable-ness, but 40 today for sure! It never got above 16. Damn you, Eric Aldrich. Damn you to hell!

Okay, bedtime. I was so exhausted after the day today that I know I have to get as much sleep as I can. NYTX went all right--finished a bunch, and when I was stumped I didn't just give up, but kept going and filled in a bit more. I still didn't get totally done, but at least I persevered a bit more than I would have another day.

P.S. Do all little kids do this? When I was a youngster, I had to press every drink-type button down on the McDonald's cups, push my finger through every bit of plastic covering the toilet paper tubes on a new package of TP, peel anything peeling as much off as I could (wallpaper, plastic coating on schoolbooks, loose skin) this a disorder? I think my mama liked to press bruises. Could it stem from that?


Last night, as I was puttering around getting ready for bed, I went into Bedroom #2 to put my laundry in the hamper. I glanced at Phoenix's cage, as is automatic for me, and he was doing the cutest thing. (Now, I know snakes aren't really the cutest of creatures. And Steve was right when he came home after being gone a year and said "Genny, I can't believe YOU of all people have a snake!" considering that all he'd have to do to freak me out in junior high was put a rubber snake outside my bedroom door. But I digress.)

Anyway, so when Neil feeds Pheenie his fuzzies, he always puts them on this flat rock for him to find. I think it's funny that even though the fuzzies are ALWAYS already dead, and not looking alive whatsoever (I mean, would you expect a thawed-out dead thing to fight back if you tried to eat it?) Pheenie stalks around them like a predator, ever-so-slowly approaching them for the kill. I know it's his nature, but I still get a kick out of it.
So, at various times yesterday, Pheenie was poking his little snout out of his homemade hole, hovering a few inches of his body over his substrate. Neil told me he was probably hungry and looking for food, since he's been inordinately shy these days and wouldn't do this for social reasons. But last night, I see him and not only is he halfway out his hole, but he's staring at the mouse-rock intensely. Like if he stays still enough, fuzzies will appear. It's totally logical, but it still made me giggle.

Oh, and Tuesday's NYTX was a little tough. I didn't finish it. It was a golf theme, so maybe that tainted my stick-to-itiveness. Yawn.

Though my check-out list from DBRL is a mile long, I have a list of re-reads I want to get on. The thing with goal re-reads, though, is how do you validate reading books you've already read when you have dozens and dozens you haven't stacked in your closet? Maybe I shouldn't look at it that way. Just read the library books, then get started on some of these:

  • Harry Potter 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Judy Blume: all adolescent lit (to prepare for "Everything I know I learned from Judy Blume" chick lit)
  • Anne of Green Gables series
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder series
  • Lemony Snicket series

Things running through my head today:

-That All I Have to Give song by the Back Street Boys. Why? Why? It certainly wasn't on 102.3 when I woke up today.

-I went swimming today at the ARC for the first time in a few years. It was heavenly. I took the last lap as an extra-slow breast stroke so I could watch my hands glide through the water. I'm a little beat, but I have arranged my schedule so this can be a daily thing. I'll get used to it. Oh, and I saw Royda there as I was signing up....she's changing up the dreary life here for India on Saturday. I don't know if I'd prefer that. :)

Good things about today:

1. All those yummy tomatoes on my chicken sandwich
2. The feel of chlorinated water all around me
3. A surprisingly lower weight on the scale this morning
4. Twelve boys performing on "Idol" tonight. Yayyy, David Archuleta!
5. I finished Pretties last night. (But I didn't love how it ended.) And, in a quite timely manner, I got a DBRL notice that Specials came in for me today.
I liked Uglies much better. I hate Shay as a Pretty, as I'm sure we're supposed to, and feel like Tally did a shit job of being there for her friend in this new world that Tally forced her to be a part of. I don't understand too well about the lesions, but I don't want to go back and find that passage with Maddy and Az (and P.S.--what's with all the names? Do they have meaning? Why wouldn't Tally have heard of the name "David" before? I don't want to look it up until I've finished with the last book in the trilogy so I can avoid spoilers) and clarify. They said people like doctors and firefighters had the lesions removed when it was discovered they had a knack for those jobs--but if so, why do all these honorable people stay in a brainwashed society? Wouldn't they, like Tally & co., want to leave? Or are only some of the lesions removed, making sure they don't realize what is really going on? (This is a long shot, I think.) Second, I don't get why Shay is a Special. She seems dumb as ever. Why do people get picked for it? I thought I knew, when Cable confronted Tally about it, but Shay's ditzy ass showing up as one makes that assumption null and void. I have to admit I'm not really looking forward to Specials, but I'll read it, of course. Just please, no more reservations...though I know Tally's sworn to go back and free those folks. I wonder if I shouldn't read another book in between now and when I pick up Specials (avoiding, of course, the DBRL-ers I don't want to run into) this weekend. Maybe I should just catch up on magazine-reading, or choose a book that has nothing to do with teen angst (so, no Twilight just yet).

Not great things:

1. Where did this bloody cut on my right-ring-finger knuckle come from?
2. I have to stop picking/biting at my cuticles. The resolution is here and now.
3. I had to catalog "Grizzly Man," a film I never wanted to know about or see. That guy is crazy. And not in the cute "Aw, emz, you so crazy!" kind of way.
4. The way my swim goggles pushed the dark circles under my eyes into scary prominence. I mean, I always know they're there, but...goodness!

I'm tired. Is this the best time for a first post?

I'm really trying to do the NYT crossword every day now. At least stab at it for awhile, make it worth the whopping $39.95 a year it takes from our debt-repayment plan. And YESTERDAY'S was truly a disappointment. Mondays, in NYT-Xword land, generally come as a relief. (And, to clarify, I usually do every day's puzzle the night before the actual day. It confuses my poor Neil.)

You probably didn't dent Friday's or Saturday's, maybe made a few strides on the difficult Sunday, even using Google when possible. But Mondays are a breeze. Not so easy as those boringly simple 5x8 "FUN N EASY CROSSWORDS" books you see on the racks at Gerbes, but for a clever puzzle, you know it'll be a good time.

Not Monday, February 18. Yuck. I won't bore with the details (Rex does all that, in spades), but man. I'll do Tuesday before an early bedtime and hope it brings more satisfaction.

Five things I like about today:
1. Dancing to "Long Road to Ruin" and "Gone Gone Gone" before Neil got home
2. Vermonty Python Ben & Jerry's, especially those gobs of chocolately cookie crumbles
3. Seeing Lars Ulrich's and James Hetfield's cute little kids in a work-assigned documentary I had to skim
4. Neil in a smiley mood before bed
5. Reading Pretties with aforementioned fiance in companionable silence before he retired for the night
*bonus likes*
6. How this thing autosaves all the dang time
7. Neil in his cute gray half-zip sweater, home from work
8. Roger's belated Valentine's message
9. The way the mail splits into two do-able shifts on no-mail Mondays. Tomorrow I'll get the other half of the bulk.

Three things that bug me:
1. February's slow, gray drag
2. How they treated Steve Weibe (who is totally Steve Weddle) in "King of Kong"
3. The lasagna was bland tonight (you won't be purchased again, On-Cor, no matter how cheap-per-serving you were)