Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Walking in L.A.

Okay, so there's not much of that. Walking, I mean. But we did wait for 90 minutes in line at Pink's{-------->}

for hot dogs! They even made it into the WSJ (or NYT?) yesterday (3/31, now) in an effort to name the country's greatest dogs. But the line-waiting wasn't terrible. We're fun people, and good with lines. The Great Muny Rain-Out of 2002 Or So will never be forgotten!

....Tonight on the way to aforementioned Dog Stand, I asked Lily to stop by this medical marijuana place on Santa Monica Boulevard I had seen that day, called the Farmacy. The sign I wanted to take a photo of wasn't on, so Joe took a photo of it unlit, but Steve (bless his heart), saw a dude in the store so he bounced out of the car and went to ask him to turn it on for us for a minute. And he did! This isn't the photo we took, but it is the actual sign:

Isn't that just a kick?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tired already

...And it's only 9:03 AM! I've even had my energy drink/OJ combo. It's just the prospect of today, I think, when all I want is a nap and to watch indulgent TV.

After my packed day of errands, I keep telling myself. Maybe I'll even lie down a bit during lunch.

I'm really bad at putting too much on my plate these days. (Literally and figuratively, I guess.) I know I can't possibly get everything done today that I want to, but I like having a list to work from (and remind me of things that have to get done). I was really proud of myself this morning for getting the pot roast started, and looking at my favorite bra's label to note which model I should look for at Macy's today.

And...I can always return blocked books and Netflix DVDs without "consuming" them. I'll just stick 'em on the wait lists again!


-Leave Neil my DBRL library card in case anything comes in. Leave out soon-to-be-blocked items in case they need to be returned. (Add to itinerary notes)

-Add to itinerary notes: Let him know that when running the dishwasher, run water hot first.

-Look through Various Artists CDs at home to add to iPod?

-Bring address book/stamps to LA

-Look up Stephen Fry on XTorrent. He reads HP??

-Write SarahJC& AmyZ before I go

Wednesday musts

A To-Do list for myself:
  • Buy crickets (after picking Neil up at 5)
  • Stop at Dad's to see how tubs fit, drop off sleeping materials, test Fire thing on Joe's laptop, work on Easter (after dropping Neil back off after lunch)
  • Grocery shop? (After crickets/before Idol)
  • Macy's (After Dad's)
  • Fakespeare's: 6 cups (After Macy's)
  • Finish a Netflix DVD (After erranding)
  • Check iPod to make sure all discs transferred (anytime)
  • Return book/CDs to DBRL (or Thursday)
  • Get halfway through blocked DBRL book
  • Watch The Bachelor (On anytime)
  • Try on questionable clothes for trip (capris, short sleeved shirts) (anytime)
  • Do financials (anytime)
  • Other music for iPod? (at work)
  • Shower before bed

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday gloom

Wet, wet, wet. I told Neil it reminded me of the days we spent in Bath last May.
Work and erranding have been busy, and I'm tired so early these days, that I need to play catch-up! I'm even changing my schedule a bit this week so I can get more done (working mornings--also necessary because we only have one car at the moment).
1. Sean is eating like crazy! 20 crickets a day, plus greens whenever we drop them in. He's doing really good. Also really CUTE.
2. I like having Neil around in the mornings before work...his cute little face makes waking up early not so hard.
3. I went to bed with Neil last night, and it was fun being goofy in bed. Maybe this will help me conform to a better schedule. (He wondered how many number of mild Taco Bell sauce packets I would trade him for.)
4. However annoying the wetness has been, I do love rainy mornings.
5. Neil joined the ARC, and I'm looking forward to going swimming with him. He's one I can share a lane with!!
6. I found a great site to buy water aerobics supplies. I got excited just looking at everything they have, last night.
7. Both Sarah and Em will be in town this weekend, but I'll miss 'em, dangit!
8. I am going to get so much done this afternoon. I swear.
  • A bit of shopping
  • Go through a Netflix DVD
  • Begin overdue DBRL book to return by Friday
  • Open Oz boxes for selling
  • Put away/reload dishwasher
  • Begin Neil's packet
  • Call/visit Macy's?

I'll leave it at that. I'm so restless to get started!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekend goods

I'm exhausted (at just after 11:30?! Whaa?) so this'll be a mere list:

1. I was so proud watching my men run the St. Patty's Day 5K downtown Saturday morning. Joe even got an award!

2. We got Sean today in StL! At first we were afraid there weren't going to be any colorful beardeds, but finally came upon a breeder. I picked the first one that caught my eye--the big one with a little green tinge on his back and orange shades on his side ruffles. He's very active and seems to be okay with his new environment. At one point we were across the room (after we got him home) and I said "Sean!" and he totally lifted his head, like he knew it was him.

3. We got home fairly early, before 3, because the convention had everything we needed: food, hide object, and climbing driftwood. So it wasn't a totally gone Sunday when we got back. It was actually a pretty good Sunday, all told.

4. I finished New Moon today. Another bittersweet ending because I don't immediately have the next (Eclipse) to begin. And I can't imagine any of my other books in the DBRL-due-queue to be nearly as good.
A mini-review:
First off, I wish we learned more of how Bella smoothed things over with Charlie from when she said terrible things to him in Twilight. At this point it's inconsequential, but I want all those details. (It's like when I grew resentful that Ramona or Laura celebrated a birthday, or had scarlet fever, without me.)

But. I loved how empty Bella's life became without Edward in it. It was, really, the only way to make this book just as torturous as Twilight. I cried again and again, because I can see how truly empty and nothing I would be without Neil. I keep telling him...I thought I'd been in love before, but I didn't even know what it was. Like an orgasm.

When the few months after September passed in a series of near-blank pages, I was totally impressed at how Bella's emptiness was "written." There was nothing to say. We couldn't have a few chapters on how sad she felt, because she was just numb, going through the motions of life. We can't have a story without a narrator, and our narrator for all intents and purposes was lost. When Alice later asked Charlie how those months had been, I found that I was at first intrigued as the eavesdropping Bella, but soon I knew it didn't matter. I knew already.

I wasn't really looking forward to Jacob's presence in this novel, but was surprised at how likable he was and though I knew it would be a mistake if Bella ever let herself be involved romantically with him, I didn't care. I was like her--this was a way to put a Band-Aid on the emptiness, so I'll take it. I didn't even mind at how obvious it was that he was a werewolf from the moment Bella looked in his eyes and thought of Jacob, when she was in the meadow with Laurent.

I rushed through the last hundred or so pages as fast as my eyes could fly over the words. I know I'll reread them all sometime, so details are pretty unimportant...just like HP7. I couldn't tell you more than 4 people who died in the last scene of that one, though I know there were many more important characters. I was just too rushed, and not in a bad way. To be exhilarated by a novel so that you literally cannot let yourself put it down, even when sleepiness is calling and you know you have to wake up again in four hours...that happens so rarely!
I'm glad I timed it this weekend so I could enjoy it without having to wake up for work the next day.

Now, how will I fill the next weeks, days, whatever, until Eclipse comes in? Magazines and books about Christmas romances seem so trite now! (And of course, they are, but in a great way.)
Now, on to the list...

5. I've never had a reuben on rye--just white. It drives Dad nuts! But today I did, at Arby's. It was marble. And it was so, so, so good.

6. During our drive home, at the closing note of "Long Road to Ruin," Neil and I crossed our arms in front of our faces at the same time, just like Davy Grolton.

7. I love how my new haircut brings out my wavies. My ponytail is so curly!

8. There were more than 7 good things about this weekend. But I have to go.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What a great series...

I can't wait for baseball to start up again, so I checked out a Cards DVD from DBRL, one, I think, that include all the games leading up to their Series win in 2006. I'm sitting here while it's sorta background noise and sorta the mainstage show, reminiscent of so many warm evenings like this in previous years. There's something about the silence of baseball that doesn't happen in any other sport (and no, golf doesn't count. That's not a damned sport), and makes for a pleasant evening no matter what's happening onscreen. It's sad to see Eckstein and Edmonds and Rolen play so well when they'll be gone this season, and all the red Spiezio stick-on goatees in the audience. But I'm glad this set of DVDs is out there. If I ever see it cheap, I'm gonna get it. For now, I'll settle for the free rental, piddling around doing my NYTX (it's Saturday, so I'll never mind the distraction), listening to Joe Buck's dulcet tones, and knowing in just a few short weeks the Cards will be back for another go. (And I love watching Yadi in his therapist-mode when a pitcher isn't doing very well. I like to think that's a part of the reason they cast people as catchers. "He squats like his thighs are made of iron, Bob, but lemme ask you this: does he give a good comforting bottom-slap?")

The goods for today:
1. Just submitted the Saturday NYTX. And it wasn't terrible! This was definitely my best Saturday ever--completed a whole corner and a lot of one half before going to Google/Wiki. It always surprises me that if you keep at it, answers will come to you even if you glossed over them the first time with a "huh?" or a "I don't even know what that word means." I learned that from Dad, I think--don't stop just because you think you don't know any more. This one had all kinds of clever clues like "Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli" and "Football coaching figures" [GAYICONS and XSANDOS]...and who wouldn't smile at "'Family Ties' family"? Makes me want to bump up Season 3 on the ol' Netflix queue.
2. Worked extra-long at work to make up for next Friday. Not a bad day there.
3. The weather was gorgeous as I left work--over 60 and flip-flops abounded (not mine, after yesterday's betrayal. But my windows were open).
4. The P.O. gave me some hope for Steve's refund. I'm not going to trust anything they say yet, but at least it sounds better.
5. We watched a couple of "Freaks and Geeks" with our Taco Bell, and people pop up on almost every episode that we know from somewhere else. It's very satisfying to realize where I know them, or find them online and solve the mystery.

Friday & Beyond...

Although this weekend seems like it'll be busy, it's not overly so. Neil's run Saturday morning won't last more than a couple hours, and our trip to StL on Sunday will be a short visit, I hope. So I should have some time to get things done.

(Yes, I will forever make lists, despite my own admission a mere week ago that it's fruitless. Because it's not always fruitless.)

  1. Finish New Moon before the week begins and I'm at the mercy of a schedule
  2. Finish "Bourne" DVD & mail back
  3. Pick up DBRL book, on hold
  4. Transfer books-on-cd to iPod
  5. Begin making to-do list for LA travel (and/or packing list)
  6. Go to Sam's
  7. Begin Neil's instruction packet
  8. Look through new swimming book
  9. Take some photos of Oz items to put on eBay
  10. Try on Dansko shoes at Dryer's
  11. Get Neil's poster on eBay
  12. Begin new DBRL DVD
  13. Call Post Office again
  14. Find "The Bachelor Where Are They Now" that I missed
  15. Go through EW page markers & be done with magazine
  16. Finish Harrison Ford EW
  17. Throw out a few Trib sections, or put in travel cage for Sean

That's a lot. We'll see how much I do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A nice little Hump Day

It got to almost 80 today, and I was psyched to give the Merrills and Charms Suckers socks a half-day off and switch to my Orange tweedy zories after swimming. I know the flip-flop weather won't stay long, but it was so wonderful to feel my toesies get some outside air after being cooped up in Socktown all winter. I even got my own lap for 12 minutes of my workout, so I only had to dodge the kiddies in their inner tubes for half the normal time.

Neil was home early, and we rested awhile before he went running and I tried sleeping more. I couldn't, but maybe that will make me go to bed earlier tonight.

I finished my new Organize magazine this morning and am excited all over about organizing, clearing out, and reading my Real I went through some Oz stuff and stowed it in temporary holding places to get it ready to post on eBay when I get back from L.A.

NYTX sucked for Thursday. It was what they call a rebus one (though nothing like what I knew as a rebus), where more than one letter goes in certain boxes. I figured that must be it, but they don't make it easy to solve in competition mode and I was finally so frustrated that I gave up.

I got a note from Sarah JC, which brightened me up a bit, but Neil noticed I was still sad. It's similar to having trouble in a romantic relationship, in a way--and I'm starting to realize I may have been in this alone for longer than I thought. Okay, "alone" is dramatic. But unfortunately I don't see myself getting over this easily. Damn my own grudges.

On the bright side, David Hernandez was surprisingly kicked off Idol tonight--just moments after I realized he reminded me of Doofus Nathan. Which reminds me--I have a hold book to pick up!

I have enough time tonight for Chef! and New Moon, while importing my loaned books-on-CD to iTunes so Neil can put them on his old iPod for me for the trip. This was a big thing on my to-do list so it's nice to get it done so early.

Cleaning up the sidebar: Removal of Minor Accomplishments Page Element

It bothers me that these things always have such a long stretch of unused room on the sides. I like Em's idea, on Noah's blog, of tracking his milestones, but my life is pretty mellow now and not really worthy of major updates. So maybe this space will be devoted to, in the spirit of this site's title, very minor accomplishments and progressions that weren't mentioned in the main section.

*Shot of fruit vitamins this morning
*After work, mailed 4 PBS books and the cds for Neil's brothers
*Got tickets to Hal Holbrook's "Mark Twain Tonight" at Jesse in April. This way, if Neil doesn't want to go, Joe, Dad, or Roger can. I didn't even know he was still doing the show.
*Talked to darling Emily on the phone! I feel for her so bad these days. She says it's so hard going back to school.

*Continued with the new fruit-supplement shot this morning.
*And some orange juice. I'm inadvertantly sticking to Karen Mal's "nothing but fruit before noon" rule.

*Took a shot this morning of this new I-don't-eat-my-daily-recommended-amount-of-
fruits-and-veggies supplement. It wasn't half bad, kind of like a liquefied Flintstones vitamin. Now that they're saying you need something like 8 servings a day, I don't have a prayer without some help.
*Stopped by Linens N Things to get the other half of Dad's gift
*Bought cherry extract, an old-skool ice cream scoop for cupcake batter, and $1 pierogies at Schnucks. ONE DOLLAR, people!
*Called Sprint to see when each of our contracts expired, then e-mailed the fam en masse to let them know
*Bought a replacement black ink cartridge at Office Depot. It's supposed to be three times the ink of a normal one. We seem to go through them like water, so we'll see.
*Put away & reloaded dishwasher...does this count?

*Played Scrabble with Neil--our first-ever game together. Isn't getting over 500 total points pretty good?

*40-hour timesheet turned in...made up all my hours this pay period!
*Cleared one caddy in the scrap-storage area by consolidating large packaged boards (like chipboard & plastic letters)
*Read a few Trib sections
*Unloaded & reloaded dishwasher
*Wiped off a dirty stove
*Bought milk, to avoid a later breakdown, since apparently that's what I do now
*Finished bland lasagna at lunch
*Picked up mail at Dad's and told him about wedding plans

This is a really great book.

We're processing a bunch of children's books, which I haven't really given a chance in a long time. Once in awhile you get a Stinky Cheese Man or a Jolly Postman, but I'm never really blown away. But THIS!

It is hilarious, the artwork is amazing and mixed-media (I'm such a sucker for mixed-media), and teaches an important lesson: if you eat books for your own personal gain, no one else gets to read that book.

I want this book! (I also want FitFlops.)

This, that. License plates.

Why do car owners feel this is a good idea? I was driving to work this morning when a light green GT passed me, with the license plate "GT2005". The car was clearly marked as a GT in other places, and even I, possessing minimal auto knowledge, can see that it was a newish model. So why klunk me on the head with a license plate label that only makes you look like a complete tool? You're spending extra dollars every year to put something entirely redundant on your car, a space that could be put otherwise to very good use. I prefer plates like mine, that people might have to look at for a second before they get, then give a little chuckle when they figure it out. Some may opt for the initials oeuvre for sentimental reasons, or to tag their car as theirs if Jack has the exact same car as his wife Eileen. Sports teams (or high school mascots: "QP FROG" represent) are fine and dandy if that's your passion. Pretentious though it may be, I was wholly impressed by the "ERUDYT" plate I saw tooling around town a few years ago.

But come on. "HUMMER" on your Hummer? "RT TURBO" on your Stealth R/T Turbo? "MY FORD" on your Ford? I know it's yours.

I do admit that this type of plate has been done well, on exactly one occasion. Years ago, in Illinois or something, I saw a Odyssey minivan with the plate "ILIAD."

No good: Gas in Columbia went over the $3.00 mark yesterday, to $3.09/gallon. We held off for so long!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not a great day...

So I'll try and focus on the goods:

  • Got a lane to myself this morning at the one point, all three lanes!
  • Returned The 1940s House to DBRL tonight. I love getting rid of things!
  • Spent the lunch hour with my Neil
  • Made Neil an Orange Supreme cake with my icing!
  • The Top 12 Idols show was on tonight with Beatles songs. It was all over the place, for sure!
  • Worked an extra hour at Stephens to start building up time for next Friday, when I'm not working
  • Finished the Wed NYTX, but with help. Every clue began with a C. Weird.
  • Extra nice weather today...about 60 degrees at its highest. Tomorrow will be the same, but then I hear it goes back to wintryness.
  • Got a cute e-mail from AmyZ this afternoon. She's always an upper. :)
I can't shake the icky feelings this week, and today didn't make it any better. I know we'll be fine, but it's a bit overwhelming for right now. I shouldn't even be wasting time on here right now, when I could be unearthing more Oz things for Ebay. I hope they'll sell well even though it isn't Christmas. I'm just in a funk...and it's only Tuesday! I'm so exhausted, already, from the week. It's so stupid. And I hate my ultra-sensitivity.

Off to find a few things, then settle in for a slice of cake and Golden Girls. Or Chef!. Or New Moon. One of 'em.

I wish I could make a bunch of space under here for dramatic effect. Time/date posts just aren't a satisfying ending.

Unless I hit return a bunch of times and put a final, meaningless sentence at the end.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Twitter archive

Just what it says. I'm deleting my account.

Isn't Eli Manning the most? I luv his little hair-curlies.

Sam's was a madhouse today...Neil pushed some lady idiot's cart RIGHT out of my way! What a shining-armored knight.
I've been cataloging DVDs for 2 days now, and it's gettin' old. Shouldn't librarians be working with BOOKS??! Durn technology advances.
61 to 14 degrees within less than half a day...come on, global warming, do yer stuff!
Had a great evening playing Moods and Password with the fam (try Moods if you don't know it! It's AWESOME!)...but I still hate Sun. nights.
Is it possible to look at Michael Cera and NOT go "Awwww...." ?
Yes! I hope the SC primaries are a predictor of what's to come...
Paczkis. Oh, paczkis. I had to order them special because I don't like the fruity ones, but they were worth the trouble.
Yay! Steve's home and Shakespeare's is for dinner! Steve drinks milk with it tho. Yuk.
My DBRL-owned 21 Jump Street is waiting to be played in the DVD player, but somehow I keep watching Frasier on Lifetime. Golden Girls next!
Entering the 10 Minutes of Hell at work. Why is it that the last ten minutes always seem to last longer than any ten minutes ever have?


Why is it almost invariable that the second in a trilogy sucks so hard? (P.S. While doing research for this post on Wikipedia, I found so many I didn't even know had sequels. Wow. "Angels in the Outfield"? "Starship Troopers"?)

I am just beginning New Moon, and only 72 pages in I had to face the very real possibility that this could be a book with no Edward Cullen. A short summary on the verso told me this would focus on Jacob and some culty thing. I'm not really looking forward to it.

I just feel like the second in a trilogy is a space-waster. An excuse for the author to put in those stories he didn't have room for in the first, and the third installment is too exciting and denouement-y to include them either. So the crappy middle child gets it.

And we, the loyal readers who were hooked by the invariably engaging #1, fall for it every time. No one skips Anne of Avonlea on their way to Anne of the Island (nor should they; this is a definite exception to my rule). I couldn't bear to Netflix "Ocean's Thirteen" until Neil and I slogged through "12" (not actually as bad as people say, but maybe because we were expecting it to be terrible).

I'm spending the remainder of my evening finishing up "The 1940s House" and then continuing on with New Moon. I'm hoping I don't have to add another image to this post when I finish.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Anne of Green Stupids

I can't get enough of the Anne-girl, so on my Netflix list are several DVDs of different versions of her story, animated, live-action, anything my search produced. It is *such* a pleasant, mellow, perfectly musically scored tale, and it charms my socks off every time. So I was excited to get my first one the other day.

But here it is, on as background noise, because they have turned my adorable L.M. Montgomery journey into a fracking action-adventure story, with an evil orphanage owner, a talking squirrel, and a hot air balloon with a settee instead of a basket. It is pure sacrilege. And, mercifully, almost over. I haven't yet been able to stop watching a DVD, as I have finally been able to put aside a book I am not liking, but that's only really because it can so easily be "watched" in the background while I do other useful things (like bitch about it online, I guess).

It sounds like Rachel Lynde's voice is the same as the quintessential PBS actress', and they have clearly modeled Matthew after Richard Farnsworth, but the similarities end there. She's even pals with Gilbert. GARRGGHYHHHHHHRGHGH!!!

I think I'm going to bust out the steamer while "The 1940s House" is playing after this wretchedness is over.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Last Night at the Lobster

At just 146 pages, this one went by fast as lightning. I love hearing about, or reading, food-service establishment stories. It brings back so many memories of that strange world of waitressing, at TGIFriday's (but more clearly, Pickle's).

Is it an exciting world, or a pathetic one? This story tells it in a depressing way, but it was still so nostalgic, and entertaining, and fast-paced, to read about this Red Lobster's last lunch shift with the typical bratty kids, oldsters who don't tip, delays in the kitchen, cigarette-smoking employees, and the feeling of looking at an empty, shining restaurant first thing (or last thing) on a shift.

The snow outside on the walk frosted red from the red neon Red Lobster sign...the peaceable quiet of prepping the sides for the day's lunch with a fellow cook...the detailed descriptions were what made this little book so imminently readable.

I did wonder what had happened with Manny and Jacquie, though I know that the book left out detail after detail on purpose. When the leftover employees were sitting in the dark swapping stories about their lives in that room, the book listed names we'd never heard. Who were they? What made Fat Kathy so crazy? But it didn't matter. In every restaurant, there's such a huge turnover that it's natural to hear about past staff, and there's so much of it that you don't need to know who they were. Unless they start working there again, it just doesn't matter.

Understated, delightful, and bleak (though I almost hesitate with using that adjective, if it would make people avoid the book). We never even know where this place is, although a few terms might make someone guess (UConn, New England). I would wonder if someone with no food service history (and who among us has none??) would follow the mundanity of Manny's day with as much relish I did, but I think I'll look up some reviews (EW recommended it to me, so it shouldn't be tough) to find out.

A great read, a short one, and that made my pissy-mooded Saturday absolutely better.


Like most women, I guess, I love to make lists. I wasn't always like this--I think as I get older and realize my brain can't remember more than three things I need at the grocery store, I have gradually gotten into the mode, which now encompasses the To-Do List, Packing List, Planning List, Major Goals list, etc. as well. I can never turn back, nor do I wish to.

However, it troubles me that my attention span has seemed to grow shorter and shorter in relation to said lists. It happens very rarely that I make a list and keep up with it until everything on it is completed (with the possible exception of Packing Lists, particularly when I'm headed out of the country). On this journal alone, I've posted several lists, most of which I don't even go back to to check off. I even put them here so that I would. So that it would be here, in typewritten words, which are always way more impressive than scraps of paper with scribbled notes on them (even when they're written with a really high-quality pen). I bought my Franklin Covey planner system with Neil, totally intending to turn my life around and keep up with the planner nightly and throughout the work day, as he does. I don't believe I've cracked it since Jan. 13th, and that was only because I hadn't yet replaced the old year's weeks with the new.

I also have this thing with starting projects, then not completing them and moving on to another. I know this isn't a rare situation...but even for the tiniest of things. Like today, I was leaving the apartment to go back to work after swimming, and I slid on the first Merrill shoe. Then I said "Oh, since we're going to Sam's after work, let's make a list!" and raced over to the grocery-list section of our counter and began the list.

With one shoe on. I cannot even complete a stupid task like putting my slip-on shoes on before flitting to get started on the next idea.

Am I just scatterbrained? Short-attention-spanned? I generally get the original project completed...the groceries get put away after I wipe the bathroom counters; the fridge door gets closed after I mark my PBS book mailed in the system...and I didn't go to work half sock-footed today. Maybe I'm just more flighty than I used to be. I should consider that a cute quality, embrace it, and move on.

{I also don't like how a comma can replace the word "that," in some sentences, but it can also be construed by less lingual readers as a run-on sentence (as in, "My mom had so many friends, her funeral was S.R.O"). I'm completely paranoid that it will be misinterpreted and, though I am loath to use extraneous words that don't look pretty (like "that"), I generally put it in there just to be on the safe side. Isn't that silly?}

Friday, March 7, 2008


I have that icky headache from lying down too long--I thought I was over those! I've been all muddly in the head for over an hour now.

So I'm a bit grumpy tonight.

Luckily, this was a good day in all other ways, so I'm trying to focus on those elements. Work was busy busy, which made it go by fast, and there were no interruptions so I was actually able to get things done, for once. I went swim/walking this morning, and took a couple of floaty laps around the Lazy River after I put in the requisite 30 minutes, just enjoying myself in the water. The brutal wind outside wasn't nice against my wet swimsuit, though.

I went home after work, and not 15 minutes later, dear Neil came home an hour early! He took a nap while I finished the Friday NYTX (got lots of help, but it actually was probably my best Friday in terms of non-helped answers), so we went on our errands before it got too late. By some stroke of luck, New Moon came in today at DBRL, and I simply couldn't wait until this weekend to pick it up, so we stopped by on the way to Sam's and I grabbed it up. Then we dashed into Lowe's to get suet (we've been out, so no birds lately), to Sam's to get a few things, and then to Culver's to spend Amanda's gift card she used to buy into the Oscars pool.

After dinner (I think it's so cute how Neil likes his fast food plated. It gives it a classier quality) we put in "Bourne Identity," which though a bit confusing, as all action movies are to me, went by in a flash.

It was, for the most part, a good day and a great evening--I love getting the weekend off to a good start. But I can't keep myself from being disappointed on the friend front--for more reasons than the aforementioned. My mom had so many friends, her funeral was S.R.O., and it makes me sad that even if I had the resources for a big wedding, my side would be woefully sparse. I see Em's list of friends--and even then, only friends who have blogs--and I know I have never had that many. I'm not saying that I want a huge circle of friends and a buzzing social life. I don't even like to talk on the phone, so keeping up with everyone would be against my nature...I guess I like my social life as it is, pretty much. But there are definitely times when I wonder why I'm not the sort of person that people want to befriend, and why I myself don't have the instincts that enjoy making new friends and expanding outside my horizons.

Damn. I'm sad.

To-dos this weekend:

Begin purging files
Finish 1st 1940s House episode

Pay bills/sort out financials
Get out steamer & try it out on clothes
Finish Oscars EW
Read a few Trib sections
Install suets
Begin next book: New Moon or Lobster

Yee-haw! Productive weekend!

A Regular Feature?

Review #2:

(I should have done this for Acito...)

I am melancholy that Twilight is over, but excited that my experience with this series is only just beginning. The chapter of New Moon at the end of this book was a short teaser, but it told me enough--this would be a similarly gripping story. I'm first on the hold list for it, thanks be to god.

I was beginning to worry, at the baseball game (oh, and was the ball really invisible? or just really fast?), that the tone of the book was turning and I wouldn't like it. The whole reason this book has surprised and delighted me was for its slow, torturous pace, its placement of the extraordinary creature of Edward into Bella's every-day life. The very reason I so easily understood Harry's world, and even the lives of the X-Men kids. I don't like when fantasies /magical stories begin within the supernatural context, like in Bag-End (well, I would have liked it better, I suppose, if we'd been able to stay with the hobbits for longer) or the Narnia sequels. The exception to this preference is the world of The Uglies, which I probably would have given up on had I not known the premise and wanted to know what would happen to Tally. But, strangely, though I was loving the ordinary atmosphere of Bella's "human" life, I grew impatient with her interactions with Jessica, Mike, etc waiting on tenterhooks to see when she'd encounter Edward next--in other words, I now preferred the supernatural presences to the mundane.

Still, when James & co. showed up, I thought "Oh man. Here we go, no more delicious days for Edward & Bella to endure biology class, resist the impulse to make out, watch Bella as she stammers out her deepest thoughts without actually saying the words, leaving the exact phrase for us to figure's all going to be ruined." Here comes the action/adventure part, I knew. It's not that I don't like a good exciting part in a book, but I could have read about Bella and Edward in that meadow for a thousand pages, and I didn't like my peaceful, immense pleasure taken away.

The next phase was fast-moving and fun, and I liked that Bella was still tortured by Edward. The pages still flew by. For the first time since HP 7 (Okay, that wasn't long ago, but that was a rarity as well), I honestly couldn't predict how the book would end. Of course Edward Zani (different Edward!) would find a way to go to Juilliard....of course Tally would save New Pretty Town from Dr. Cable's evil ways...of course Betta will find a way through her grief by the end of Berg's Year of Pleasures. But here--don't you want Bella to be a vampire? Won't that ultimately be the end of the series, leaving the possibility for sequels and spin-offs, as the Uglies books have done? I certainly don't want a stupid Tuck Everlasting ending, that's for god damned sure. So, even though I was pretty sure Bella would be wouldn't be awful if she wasn't. Just like when Harry sacrificed himself to get rid of Voldemort. It seemed wrong, but it was also heartbreakingly right. And as a bonus, forever-times with Eddie! (Oh, he's so not an Eddie. Sorry.)

Okay, this is ridiculous:
(and, I suppose, just what I deserved for trying to find a good image for this post)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I know I'm late for the bus here, but I'm finally getting around to reading this. I started on Tuesday, and last night I couldn't stop. I had to, of course, but I was angry that it wasn't the weekend so I couldn't stay up all night and finish it as I wanted to. I should probably just order the rest of them--it will be hard enough returning this copy to DBRL without immediately rereading it.
I went to bed in a daze, smiling at my Neil who was half-awake and rubbing his pillow (the texture is his favorite), forgetting to do basic things like shutting off lights, bringing an extra bottle of water in with me when I had deliberately done so earlier so I wouldn't have to remember later, and leaving my fracking contacts in so I awoke this morning to a disorientingly clear world.

So what is it lately with these astoundingly awesome books? I'm on such a good roll. I don't want to lose it. Acito, Uglies, Berg, Binchy, now this....come on! What's going on with the universe not to have some unsatisfying reads every now and then? (Perhaps my unsolicited mss from Harlequin were my payment.) But I have around 50 pending DBRL-owned books on my dresser, and I know they can't all be spectacular, so I'm bound to get disgusted with one some time.

{There there, Negative Nelly. You'll be disappointed soon.}

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


My feelings are changing about a few people around me, in good ways and bad (unfortunately, mostly bad). So I wonder: when that realization sets in, that you maybe don't like someone so much who you previously had liked, is it too late? Are they forever lost? Because certainly feelings can change the opposite way, i.e. thinking you don't like a person from the start, then realizing later how great they are. But when you've been disillusioned, can you ever go back? Is it negative of me to think that I can't? It's not like I'm happy about this revelation--I'd love to go back to looking forward to seeing B., having a friendship with S., etc. But especially in a couple situations, I can't avoid this person due to work/family/friend obligations. So wouldn't it be great if I could knock some sense into myself and say "Okay, self, I know you don't like her"--and yes, it's pretty much always a her; boys are much easier to get along with--"but you have to deal with her a lot, so get over it and see her good side"? I never did with D. last year, I think because I knew my acquaintanceship with her had a deadline, and now all that's left is bitterness, residual jealousy, and a wholehearted wish to never see her again.

(P.S.--dear reader, this specific person isn't you! The specific person I'm thinking of wouldn't ever read this.)

When I'm reading Harlequins, it is a major issue for me if the to-be-lovers ever find one another "irritating" (before they get together, in the requisite we-don't-like-each-other/Oh-good-lord-I-love-her realization), because for me, "irritating" is it. Once I find someone irritating, they are forever pretty much unappealing.

Anyway. I went swimming today, had a fruit shot, OJ, vinegar, the works! (Except leftover pizza for lunch. Oh well.) Neil came home when I was leaving again for work, and it was cute seeing him in the middle of the day. The boys are on "Idol" tonight--always the most entertaining night.

I've been nearly completing NYTX lately, maybe with a few squares of help from Google, but really just so I learn more answers to put in my already-stuffed head. That kid Tyler won the tourney again this year; shouldn't he step aside some time and let others win it? Isn't he like 23? Should the title be monopolized for the next 70 years?

Daylight Savings Time is this weekend. There is nothing good about this one. Why can't the good one be now--the fall time is already perfect; we don't need an extra hour of sleep. We need one *now*.

My to-dos for the week/end include:
-Finish Oscars EW
-Get a good start on "Twilight"
-Either get a start on "The 1940s House" DVD or finish "Chef!" DVD
-Finish Anne DVD
-Eliminate a few Trib sections (I've about given up on completely reading the pile in a certain amount of time)
-Swim every weekday (W, Th, F left)
-Complete every NYTXword, even with help
-Begin going through files to put in new pretty cabinet

Okay, I'll stop before I think of new ones and make this list absolutely, instead of nearly, impossible.

Monday, March 3, 2008

About today...

Had a fun evening celebrating Dad's birthday with Shakespeare's Pizza (on wheat), cherry chip cupcakes (with my homemade icing! Messy, but yum), a hearty game of Moods in which I kicked, and my lame-sounding gifts (dessert cups and coasters), especially next to Joe's beautiful collage frame filled with family photos.

Not-so-good: this "As Time Goes By" interview segment with Moira (Judy) and Philip (Alistair). I knew there was a reason they're my least favorite characters on the show.

Back to good: I went to the ARC today and walked against the Lazy River about a million times, avoiding Little Swimmers and old people wanting to go the normal way. But I might just be back on track.

Finished Specials! I really liked this one much better. But I'm glad I can now move on to Twilight. I hate to think that How I Paid For College is almost over. And I hate to think I almost read it instead of enjoying the genius that is Jeff Woodman reading it to me.

After a terrifically leisurely treat that was "As Time Goes By," I'm finished with the series. I think there are one or two extra DVDs to be watched, but it's bittersweet knowing the story is over. Luckily, they're eminently re-watchable.


So this morning, I have the Today Show on, as usual, as background (and also to make sure I never leave on the dot of 9:10 A.M. Damn you, Joy's Fit Club!). One feel-good story was about this high-school basketball player, Porter Ellett, who only plays with one arm, as his other had been amputated the year before. He was described, by the narrator, as having a "disarming" sense of humor.

I had to think about that one for a moment. It sounded exactly like something Mama would say when she was being wickedly funny--not the warm-voiced "Today Show" segment narrator.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The hated Sunday night

There have been only select few times in my life where Sunday evenings don't suck: those summers working/interning at professional theatre companies where Sundays mean a matinee to get through and then nothing again until Tuesday, since Mondays are always dark.

This is not one of those times.

Even with a pretty relaxing schedule, a low-stress job, no work to take home, and a glorious fiance to snuggle with, Sundays never seem to lose their dreadful nature. I always mean to make a fun plan for every Sunday night--have a nice dinner out, play games with the fam, meet up with friends, etc., but nothing works.

Today was another fabulously-weathered day, with 73-degree temps, sunshine, birds a-flutter and the day stretched in front of me like an endless sea. Then, it became 3:00. Then 4:30. Then it's 7:30, and I'm listlessly restless, tired after putting together the sonuvabitch file cabinet and realizing it's dark outside and I never even set my foot out there past the balcony. And it's covered in birdie poop.

Last year around this time, Sunday evenings were even worse because it meant the end of a weekend with Neil. I can't believe I used to do this, but I'd sleep there, wake up at about 5:00 Monday morning, drive back to Columbia from Springfield, and take a nap before I had to be at work at 1:00. I think that deep, very very deep down, I *may* be a morning person. I know that in Shakespeare class, I'd understand those awful history plays much better when I put off reading the assigned acts until the morning before class. I just wish my body would recognize this, and catch up with my morning-person brain.

Unfortunately I didn't do as much reading as I wanted, though I picked up Specials every chance I got to read. I can't say this weekend was a waste, or lazy--I think I just go into weekends assuming I'll work my butt off every hour and forget that I mostly just like to sleep in or
laze around.

Anyway. It's a new week tomorrow...we're fully into March, Daddy's birthday is Monday, and I think we're getting a bearded dragon in two weeks' time. Yay! (Warning: "It's" alert...)

Good things to think about today:
1. My fingernails are fairly even--not long enough to be annoying, and not to the quick
2. I dusted today! Swiffer dusters are unbeatable.
3. Someday, I think I can separate our books into colors, and different shelves around the house will be filled with the same color range
4. Our financials, for the moment, are okay
5. The color of our new file cabinet uncannily matches the dining-room furniture that it sits near

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A great day!

March 1st came in with a bang today with 73-degree weather, the True/False Film Festival all over town, and citizens coming outside in droves to enjoy the day. Neil got up (much) earlier than I did, and went running, where he said the trail was packed. Dad played tennis with Doug, for the first time in a while, and we even saw them playing at Southwest as we passed the courts on Stadium.

Last Saturday afternoon, I was irritable and restless, so it was a great change to feel excited and motivated to make something out of today. Neil and I set out to get some sports equipment (swimming and running-related), first to Red Weir and then, when that proved to be very shrunken from the store I remember as a soccer-playing pre-teen, drove over to Tryathletics for a much better sports-shopping experience. They had the most awesome bike I have ever seen: a shiny, light-seafoamy green metal, with brown stitched-contrast leather seat and handlebars. It sounds weird, but it totally worked: kinda retro and striking and new all at once.

Then, we went on to a couple of pet stores for mice, but really also checking out their animals and accessories. It all renewed my longing to get a bearded dragon, and we figured that with our existing materials, it wouldn't really be a big deal to get it set up sometime soon. I'd really like one of those brightly colored ones, so Neil might take a day trip to St Louis while I'm in LA to that reptile convention we attended last year to get one.

To cap off our outings, we picked up Dad for his birthday dinner at Bangkok Gardens, and met Joe downtown. It was so delicious--Neil and Dad had Phat Thai, and I had this weird coconut milk chicken soup that was sublime. I also tried a crock (I don't know a better word for it) of Asian-pear flavored sake. Very strong, that stuff!

Currently Neil is watching the big UFC fight as I prepare for the Sunday NYTX adventure. What a terrific day, this March 1st!