Sep. 30: Just a dozen, please

meme I stole this meme from Jen E at Momma Blogs a Lot.

Saw this fun new meme at Jean’s blog. Just answer the following twelve random questions to play along. Link your answers up at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

  1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.
    First, we need a new, big TV. Then we’d have to have a more comfortable couch. Once those things are in place, I’d watch this movie cuddled up with Victor on the couch. The kids wouldn’t be home, so we would turn the surround sound on. Oh, yeah; we know how to do it up riiiight. [rolls eyes]
  2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?
    It’s been a long time since I’ve given it much thought, but there was a time when I had some good ideas of the kinds of readings and music I wanted. I can’t say I care too much anymore, but whether I die tomorrow or live for another 50 years, I’ll want the songs I’ve always wanted: The Dance and Wind Beneath My Wings.
  3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?
    I like to think I’m more of a giver, but I think that’s everyone’s ideal, isn’t it? How true it is about me, I don’t know.
  4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?
    It depends on where we are and who we’re with. There are good things about both kinds of vacations.
  5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?
    The stovetop. Doesn’t matter how often it gets cleaned, it always seems greasy and the burner pans are full of junk.
  6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.
    I’ll support causes that want to educate people on why gay marriage is not going to destroy our society. I also appreciate the work done by animal rescues.
  7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?
    Regular old peanut butter and jelly is just fine with me, though I prefer homemade strawberry jam over jelly.
  8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?
    I don’t usually eat if I’m nervous.
  9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of tooth brushing and jammies?
    Pretty much just the basics. ‘Cept when I have to sleep sitting up; then I have to arrange all the pillows and heating pad and ottoman, use my eye drops, put on my wrist braces or I wake up with numb fingers from hanging over the side of the couch, and make sure there’s a clear path to the bathroom in case I have to get up during the night. FML.
  10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?
    The beauty of it being MY blog is that I can delete those regrets.
  11. trishayearwood Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?
    There was a time when I was frequently told I looked like Trisha Yearwood. Too lazy to scan a photo of myself, but it was the early nineties. I definitely had her hair (yikes). I also heard comparisons to Helen Hunt, though less often, in the mid-years of Mad About You’s run. I think that was because of the hairstyle and thin lips and because she was always freaking out about something insignificant.
  12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?
    The song Victor and I both crack up over is “Close to You,” by The Carpenters. It’s kind of our song, at least of songs that can occasionally be heard on the radio. Our real song is “Every Road Leads Back to You” (from For The Boys), which Sherrice sang at our wedding and my dad bawled through. It’s very “us.”

    ‘Every Road Leads Back to You’ (right-click to download)

Anyone else want to share their answers? Do it in a comment below or on your own blog.


Sep. 30: Bad, bad books

Dang-it, my plan to post a photo description of my state of mind has already failed. I don’t have an in-betweener pic to use. Oh sure, I could probably find or Photoshop one, but I’m too lazy. Maybe I should look for a pic of me with my eyes half open, drool collecting in my chin dent, watching a Law & Order marathon. That could be my “too lazy” indicator. It’d have to be a good pic, though, because I think I’d be using it a LOT.

bannedbooks Powell’s Books posted a link in honor of Banned Books Week that describes the stories behind some of this year’s book bans and challenges. I love reading these lists, especially from a parent’s point of view, because it makes me more sure than ever that I’m not one of those nut-job moms who thinks she has the answer for ALL moms. (Don’t get me wrong—I’m brilliant and full of good ideas for which everyone should thank me, but I know that there are a lot of people in the world too dumb to recognize that brilliance. They lose.)

Reading descriptions of these banned books, I can certainly see why some parents find them unsuitable for children. I mean, the parents who want to raise their kids in an environment of racism and prejudice are certainly going to find pa-lenty to disagree with in a book like To Kill a Mockingbird. Powells’ introduction to the list mentions some of the complaints people have had about banned books over the years:

  • “references to stuffing and snapping bras”
  • “being ‘happily nonphallocentric’”
  • “presenting homosexuality in a non-judgmental context”

Like many people who object to censorship, I don’t want decisions made for me about what books I should or should not be able to read. Join me this week in reading one of these naughty, naughty books, won’t you? Just promise me you won’t learn anything from it. That’d be silly. smiley


Sep. 29: The crazy is making me crazy

straitjacket Y’know how sometimes people look kinda crazy (not crazy like “funny” but crazy like “off their rocker”) and you immediately know that you shouldn’t take anything they say seriously because they’re obviously off the medication that allows them to function like a normal person?

I sometimes think I should accompany each of my blog posts with a photo of myself taken at the time the post was written so you can see how sane (or otherwise) I look. This way you might have a better understanding of why some most posts have no point. Because until someone develops a computer in which buttons that post to public forums can sense insanity in the person attached to the clicking finger—and until I get one of those computers—we as an Internet public are subject to all sorts o’ batshit crazy. For instance:

  • I started out my day having slept just a few hours. I woke up repeatedly throughout the night with pain shooting up one leg and one side of my back, and nothing I did and no words I yelled made any difference.
  • I turned on my computer this morning to find an e-mail containing distressing news from a dear friend. I feel helpless and am trying to decide the best response to let this friend know how much I care.
  • Either our cable line or both of our TiVos are farked up and the TV picture occasionally freezes or scrambles, even when I’m not watching the naughty stations. Neighbors out there, please tell me yours is doing the same thing. IT IS TOTALLY PISSING ME OFF. I was hoping it might be because of all the digging going on in our neighborhood right now but that’s probably just wishful thinking.
  • There’s no school tomorrow. I don’t know why schools have to have teacher in-service days. My guess is that the teachers are tired of trying to keep our kids busy, so they’re turning it back on us so WE have to figure out what to do with them for a day in the middle of the week. Wow. Teachers be smart.
  • Every day that I’ve taken a walk has evolved into me waking in the middle of the night with intense pain. My professional opinion is that even small amounts of exercise are bad for me right now. I shall drown my sorrows in many, many Advil, because Vicodin stopped doing any good a long time ago, and the small amount of rum I poured in my Coke the other day ended up giving me a huge headache. Is it possible I just needed more? Hm. So Advil or rum, either way… And now pretty soon I’m gonna need new kidneys. Little help?
  • Tonight Jack told me that he wants to start showering in the mornings so he can wake up faster. I told him about how my dad used to throw a cup of water to wake me up when he thought I’d slept enough, and Jack thought that story was awesome. Funny, because Kathy’s and my memories of Dad doing that are anything but awesome. Anyway, as Jack wandered off to bed, he said, “If Grandpa Curt was alive I would ask him if he remembers that and if he thought it was funny and if he would do it to me.” And I burst into tears the second he walked out of the room because I hate that Jack doesn’t remember Grandpa Curt, only that he should.

See what I mean? I’m a mess. Physical pain can do a real number on us, and combined with miscellaneous (and sometimes stupid) frustrations, can cause totally unexpected emotions to surface, huh? Yikes. I need to stay off the computer, keep my finger away from “post” buttons, all that. But I’ve never been one to make good decisions. Instead, I acted like an idiot over on Facebook all day. Seriously—if you’re my friend and you can see the shit I wrote everywhere, you’ll go SHE WAS SOOOO NOT KIDDING!

Oh lord, she's hideous! Alright, so here’s the picture that best describes my state of mind right now. Notice I have no lipstick on. I couldn’t wear eye makeup for months after I fell last summer, but you won’t catch me dead leaving the house without lipstick. The only stronger indicator that something isn’t quite right with me is if I have lipstick smeared all over my mouth and teeth. That kinda means that for anyone, though.

My hair’s half ponytailed, half frizzy—no one’s best look. My just-off-center cowlick is doing its best to uglify my hairline. Any eye makeup you see is left over from yesterday, and lodged/smeared in the bags under my eyes. The dent in my chin is from the fall before that other fall. I know, you’re probably thinking “Girlfriend needs an old priest and a young priest!”

She appears to be in her right mind.And let’s just say Princess Jen will be the “I’m alright” post photo:

So, is it a deal? Pictures speak a thousand words, right? Just think how much time you’ll save, not having to read a bunch of crap to find a purpose where there almost never is one. You’ll see the photo at the top and immediately know if you want to read the words under it.

Oh, you don’t have to thank me.

That horrified look on your face is thanks enough.


Sep. 29: “Predominantly disparaging”

Whoa. I just ran into the oddest thing in one of those how-the-hell-did-I-get-here? Google searches. This appears to be a translation of a translation of a translation of my August 9 post.

9: Catching up
It doesn’t remind one of hunger to carp out of the closet of the apparel of blogging regularly. I didn’t duty anything yesterday or all broad broad daylight today and I’m sitting here, reasoning I should duty something but I remind one of in nothing personal to I acquainted with of like letter nigh and that means-lucky you-it’s point conducive to a bulleted laundry list. predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging For the heretofore conterminous with days I’ve been collecting music conducive to our 2009 Christmas compilation CD. Please extend suggestions if there’s something you’d like conducive to us to frame of mind on it this year. So follow I’ve contrariwise got limerick mumbo-jumbo knock someone for six and I need more.

Last year I was thrilled to be that Partridge Family melody, and the Bobby Sherman limerick was a nerd hardly ever emolument. Know this: I when one pleases not frame of mind on anything about Mariah Carey or Jessica Simpson or Celine Dion moderate down although they all remind one of in Christmas albums, because I detestation them. I become no promises when it comes to Neil Diamond and The Jackson 5. She’s on a hardly ever vacation on her own in Portland and I felt exceedingly chartered to be a employment on her itinerary. predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging Yesterday morning I met my escort Sheila conducive to breakfast. We had a wonderful take in that would’ve been contrariwise pint-sized less haler had it not included bacon.

And I did not make an issue of the VD wart-like things on my arm on her, no enigma what she tells you. I catchword him grab out of the closet of the canopy window of a parked pickup as I was walking into the restaurant, and he started contest all settled the parking a load and then headed out of the closet to a exceedingly flamboyant avenue. predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging Call me a effects instrumentality do-er; I saved a dog. I grabbed his collar and another consumer went into the restaurant and establish the proprietress.

The guy was surprised to remind one of his dog at the restaurant door, and exceedingly appreciative that I caught him. If I *did* remind one of in VD warts I thoroughly would’ve rubbed them on her). (Sheila was no puzzle at all. predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging I do not remind one of in VD warts. Well, I don’t create that’s what they are.

It doesn’t puzzle that I can’t give up scratching at them. I’m bonny unfailing they’re honest grub bites, but they look grosser than acceptable ol’ mosquito bites. I look like a skanky meth nut whose teeth remind one of in not in time to come fallen out of the closet. predominantly disparaging predominantly disparaging We done up a effects part of yesterday at Loveliest Lori’s establishment in Salem.

See what I mean? Just. Plain. Weird. I have to point out my favoritest parts:

From “Last year I was thrilled to find that Partridge Family song, and the Bobby Sherman one was a silly little bonus” came this:

Last year I was thrilled to be that Partridge Family melody, and the Bobby Sherman limerick was a nerd hardly ever emolument.

Somehow, from “…he started running all over the parking lot and then headed out to a very busy road” was interpreted as:

…then headed out of the closet to a exceedingly flamboyant avenue

From “I do not have VD warts. Well, I don’t think that’s what they are. I’m pretty sure they’re just bug bites, but they look grosser than regular ol’ mosquito bites,” well, the translation bonny unfails me:

I do not remind one of in VD warts. Well, I don’t create that’s what they are… I’m bonny unfailing they’re honest grub bites, but they look grosser than acceptable ol’ mosquito bites.

From “We spent a good portion of yesterday at Loveliest Lori’s house in Salem” came the sillyish:

We done up a effects part of yesterday at Loveliest Lori’s establishment in Salem.

(OK, I just put that last one in for my sister’s benefit, because I like to occasionally mention how I’ve been to her BFF’s new house many times and she still hasn’t been there at all. Neeners! Also, I’m super-drugged up right now and even though the drugs are doing nothing for my pain and making me bawl over the horrible things that happen in the course of a Law & Order: SVU marathon—seriously, how do Benson and Stabler deal with this stuff week after week?—I should not be held responsible for my actions because I’m on no sleep—no sleep!—and on the verge of puking my guts up. Now aren’t you sorry you asked “what the eff is wrong with this girl???”)

I apologize for the italics overusage. It’s predominantly disparaging.

…or something else that might trick you into thinking my brain is working just fine right now…


Sep. 29: Bacon makes it better?

Another good kind of bacon I haven’t done a Plinky prompt in a while. I thought about it last week, when one day’s prompt asked what kind of technology I could live without for a month, but then I couldn’t come up with a good answer because I don’t think anyone really calls my toaster “technology.” And now that I really think about it, I’d rather not live without my toaster for a month. Unlike my friends Cassie and Dina, I don’t LOVE LOVE LOVE toast like OH MY GOD it’s the most amazing thing EVER, but I do kinda like it when I need to eat and nothing else sounds appetizing. So, never mind.

Today’s Plinky prompt is totally easy:

True or false: bacon makes it better.


Duh! True.


And is there really any discussion necessary here? I mean, we all know that bacon is one of very few things that proves God exists AND that She wants us to eat pigs or why else would She have made them so delicious?

Maybe the next Plinky prompt could be something about how bloggers can alienate their vegetarian and Christian friends. Because, um, I totally know.


Sep. 28: The funny is oh-so-good

(not Mother Mary) I drove I-205 between Sunnyside Road and Washington Street at least four times today, possibly more. So why can’t I remember? These are just a few of the things that happened to me today:

  • I hurried out of the house this morning and found a truck and trailer blocking our driveway and a weird piece of machinery set up next to my car. I blame the guys who are tearing up all the yards in the neighborhood right now.
  • I got to the school just in time to train volunteers about our school safety procedures but-cept no volunteers showed up. Oh well. They’ll be calling me in a panic after they’ve committed to chaperoning a field trip in a couple weeks, and I’ll tell them I was there and they weren’t, and maybe, if I can find some time, I’ll run another training session, but only if I can find some time. Or maybe I’ll not be a bitch and train them whenever they need to be trained.
  • That “poem” I wrote about second graders? I forwarded it to Jack’s teacher. Just as I clicked “send” I remembered that I called one of Jack’s classmates an a-hole. Sharing this “poem” with Jack’s teacher was probably not my wisest decision ever.
  • I saw a dude walking on Sunnyside with a long, white fluffy tail. Sunshine said she’s seen him before too. So many questions. I know not where to begin.
  • I went to work and the office door was locked. It was kinda like a sign that maybe I was not meant to do any work today. Victor thinks I only believe in God when it’s convenient for me. I say he should probably keep those thoughts to himself, because God is vengeful and She’ll be coming after him if he’s wrong.
  • My mom got lost in the parking lot in which I said I’d meet her, and I swear she climbed a cyclone fence and then told me she totally didn’t. I don’t believe her but she treated me to lunch so I think I’ll forgive the transgression. But it kinda took me by surprise; when was the last time your mom climbed a fence and then lied about it? (Kath, I gotcher answer right here.)

Can you see why I’m a little bit scattered today?

OK, so the driving back and forth, back and forth. The nice thing about being on the road a lot, especially without the kids, is that I take the opportunity to listen to David Sedaris on tape (mp3, CD, whatev). And one particular piece, Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle, in which he reads to an audience about sitting next to a woman on a plane who immediately hates his guts, made me LOL. In fact, it almost made me ROFLMAO but I was driving so the ROF part would be a bit of an exaggeration. Stuff that makes me LOL and/or ROFLMAO is stuff that, of course, I need to share with you. This whole thing is about 20 minutes long; you can listen to it by clicking the PLAY button below, or you can download and listen to it when you have time—but I do suggest you make time, because it’s so awesome. And for you folks with little ears nearby, get your headphones.


Right-click to download ‘Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle’


You’ll be glad you did.


Sep. 27: Emmy pride

When I was little my best pal was a neighbor boy, Seth. There was just a couple weeks’ difference in our ages, and apparently we got along well from the very beginning (my mom’s memory of this time is much better than mine, as we were not even two years old when we “met”). One of the most enduring memories of my childhood is that Seth and I were, for a time, inseparable. I was seven when we moved away from Medford but we still visited frequently and continued to be friends. Over the years we grew apart, although I’ve kept in touch with Seth’s parents.

My mom told me this morning that an article about Seth was published in today’s Medford Mail Tribune: Medford native honored for 9/11 documentary. He won three Emmy awards at this year’s ceremonies for his work on 102 Minutes That Changed America. I easily found the video of this documentary piece, split into two parts:

I think it was a couple years ago that I watched a 9/11 documentary and saw Seth’s name roll past in the end credits. What an unexpected surprise! Now, looking at his IMDB page, I assume it was National Geographic: Inside 9/11 that I had seen. I’m fascinated by the many amateur video compilations of that day, and that particular one was especially well done.

Odd, but I feel enormous pride that Seth has worked on projects like this—as if it has anything to do with me. But isn’t that how we always are, when people from our past show up in a very public and non-scandalicious way?

And here I thought the Emmys were all about Neil Patrick Harris and questionable fashion choices. Turns out they’re also about congratulations to long-lost friends.


Sep. 26: Thirteen ways of looking at these second graders

I’ve spent enough time in Jack’s classroom now that I feel qualified to make some observations about this year’s second graders. So, with apologies to Wallace Stevens, here they are.

schoolhouse Among twenty-three students,
The mind-bending names begin
With Hailey, Bailey, and Kailee.

There are two lines
For the pencil sharpeners
Over which the second graders fight.

The second grader fell in the lunch stampede.
It was a small part of the day’s injuries.

A second grader and a field trip permission form
Are one.
A second grader and a field trip permission form and a forgotten take-home folder
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
That a kid noticed “too” was misspelled
Or that he said a comma belonged before it.
Do I love that kid
Or is he a brown-nosing a-hole?

Students filled their huge backpacks
With barbaric trash.
The shadow of the parent
Crossed it, to and fro.
The irritation
(Why does so much get sent home?)
An indecipherable answer.

VII (why I’m never asked to lead reading groups)
O small child of second grade,
Why can’t you read the word “moon”?
Do you not see how much you
Forgot to learn in kindergarten?
Maybe you should go back.

I know noble parents
And noisy, potty-mouthed kids;
But I know, too,
That that one student (you know who)
Is involved in it all.

When the second grader moved out of sight,
It was clear
He was about to get his name on the board.

At the sight of the glue bottle
Being used as a squirt gun,
Even the most patient of parent helpers
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over the grade school
In a hot air balloon.
Once, an arrow pierced him
Because he mistook
That second grader
For a bad shot.

The hallway reeks.
The second grader must be farting.

It was a long afternoon.
It was raining
And it was going to rain.
The second grader whined
During Mommy’s quiet time.


Sep. 25: Meme-iness

meme Another stolen meme. Jen E posted this on Facebook but there were a lot of the same questions from a meme we did a few weeks ago so I zapped those.

  1. Who was the last person to call you babe?
    I don’t think anyone calls me ‘babe.’ I’m sure I get called *A* babe all the time, but… [cough, cough]… they prob’ly mean ‘Babe,’ as in the pig in that movie.
  2. Would you consider yourself a jock/prep/goth/emo/gangster?
    Definitely a prep, and proudly so.
  3. Have you ever been to the emergency room?
    More times this year than in all my years previous. See what turning 40 does to ya?
  4. Do you like hot or cold weather more?
    I hate this kind of question—not a fan of the extremes.
  5. How many different kinds of meat have you eaten?
    Beef, pork, venison, rabbit, lamb, turkey, chicken, seafood, parakeet.
  6. Do (did) you pass all your classes?
    I think I dropped them before I failed them, so YES.
  7. Do you like winter?
  8. Have you stuck gum under your desk?
    No no no! So gross.
  9. Would you get plastic surgery?
  10. Who do you text the most?
    Yesterday, Sunshine. But probably Kathy or Lori on normal days. I’m not much of a texter yet, but I love it.
  11. Do you wish you had smaller feet?
  12. Has a rumor been spread about you?
    I doubt it.
  13. Have you written a secret admirer letter?
    My friends and I all crushed on this one guy in high school. We called ourselves The Ravaged Five (wishful thinking) and our logo—yes, we had a logo—was an upside-down heart with a five inside it. We drew this symbol in lipstick on the guy’s side-view mirror and on all the notes we left on his windshield. At graduation our junior year we gave him a note and admitted who we were. He was not even a little bit surprised.
  14. Ever fallen for your best friend?
    Yes, and then I married him.
  15. Eaten deer meat?
  16. Would you pretend to like something to please your partner?
    No pretending. That’s just kooky talk.
  17. Favorite ex?
    Isn’t this like asking me to name the best cold sore I ever had?
  18. Are you insecure about your weight?
    I hate mirrors.
  19. Ever had a stupid situation turn out great?
  20. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
    Both are pretty awesome.
  21. Do you look like your mom or dad?
  22. How long does it take you in the shower?
    Ten minutes, unless I’m shaving my legs. Then it takes an hour and three new blades.
  23. Do you watch reality TV?
    As little as possible.
  24. What movie do you want to see right now?
    That new one with Vince Vaughn and the other one with Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey.
  25. Do you illegally burn music?
    [hangs head in shame]
  26. What did you do for New Year’s Eve?
    Can’t remember. The kids stayed up and we toasted at midnight, but I don’t remember what we did before that.
  27. Last sporting event attended?
    Mariners-Yankees game on Sunday. Before that, I can’t remember.
  28. Have you been to an IMAX theater?
  29. Was your mom a cheerleader?
    I don’t think so. She was a majorette, though, and we’ve got the marching band pictures to prove it. She can still twirl a baton like nobody’s business, and she used to be able to toss one (can you still do that, Mom?).
  30. Were you a planned pregnancy for your parents?
    I like to think so. My sister will insist otherwise.
  31. What is your brother’s mom’s name?
    No bro.
  32. How old was your mom when she gave birth to you?
  33. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
  34. Last time you gave someone a hug?
    I hug the kids every night before bed.
  35. What do you buy at the movies?
    Usually nothing, but if I get snacks it’s popcorn. Sometimes Junior Mints.
  36. Do you know how to play poker?
  37. Do you wear your seatbelt?
  38. What do you wear to sleep?
    Since I’ve been sleeping sitting up, it’s hard to keep covered so I wear jammies. When I slept in a bed—which I hope to do again someday—I wear much less.
  39. Anything big ever happen in your town?
    Mt. St. Helens erupted over us a few times. Most of the news-worthy stuff has very little pride associated with it (Tonya Harding, Bob Packwood, etc.).
  40. Is your hair straight or curly?
    It’s mostly naturally curly, but I often dry it straight. Throughout the day it ends up curly and frizzy and unattractive because there are places where it’s naturally stick-straight. Stupid hair.
  41. Is your tongue pierced?
  42. What is your favorite sushi?
    “Favorite” and “sushi” don’t go together in my vocabulary.
  43. Do you like funny or serious people better?
    Funny. I likes me the funny.
  44. Ever been to Hollywood?
  45. Any plans for tonight?
    Nothing big.
  46. Last party attended?
    Sophie’s birthday.
  47. Do you hate chocolate?
  48. Are you a gullible person?
  49. Ever go to a theme or costume party?
  50. If you could have any job what would it be?
    I think I’d make a really good billionaire.
  51. Are you easy to get along with?
    Ask the people who have to get along with me.
  52. What is your favorite time of day?
    Evening, after the kids have gone to bed, when Vic and I can finally talk uninterrupted.
  53. Are you a generally happy person?
    I like to think so.

Please, oh please, play along.


Sep. 24: Michael Bublé

I’m not a huge Michael Bublé fan—I like him just fine, but he’s like Harry Connick, Jr. to me in that way that he’s just not Frank Sinatra—but I gotta have this new album for at least two reasons:

  1. That Van Morrison song, “Crazy Love”? It’s from one of my favorite John Hughes movies, She’s Having a Baby. Such sweet scenes over which that song plays!
  2. “Cry Me a River.” I love this song. The first time I ever heard it was when my uncle’s band did it—I was young and had no idea it was an old song—and it brings back happy memories whenever I hear it.

Complete track listing:

  1. Cry Me A River
  2. All Of Me
  3. Georgia On My Mind
  4. Crazy Love
  5. Haven’t Met You Yet
  6. All I Do Is Dream Of You
  7. Hold On
  8. Heartache Tonight
  9. You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
  10. Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)
  11. At This Moment
  12. Stardust
  13. Whatever It Takes (bonus track)

Release date is October 9. “Exclusive fan edition” with bunches of extra goodies is available at Michael Bublé’s fan site.


Sep. 24: Miscellanea

Quickly. I’ve got PTO stuff today.

  • Yesterday I was in excruciating pain and thought I’d take a walk to see if it helped at all. I went up to the kids’ bus stop and back (approximately a half mile round trip), and it didn’t help at all. But it didn’t make me hurt worse! This is good. This is very good. I might just walk to my PTO activity later this morning. Maybe it’ll make up for the 7-layer bar I ate for breakfast.
  • This is how most orders look. Vic's was waaaay more garlicky. When we were at Safeco Field on Sunday we all got Garlic Fries. They were tasty and very, very garlicky. I think Victor’s order was from the bottom of the pot because you could barely see the fries through all the garlic. Monday night he said to me, “Everything that came out of me today smelled so bad!” Now, my husband’s an intelligent person, so why on EARTH would he say something like that to a person who has a blog? Especially when that person’s blog posts tend to contain a lot of here’s-what-a-dork-my-husband-is stories! And that person is me! (Boundaries? I know not what that word means.)
  • Wanna know how lucky I am? I’ll tell ya. My mom is teaching a class on WWU’s Portland campus this quarter, so she’s flying up every other Monday and that means I HAVE A STANDING LUNCH DATE WITH MY MOMMA. Since the WWU Portland campus is adjacent to the hospital in which I often work on Mondays, it could not be more convenient. She said if Victor behaves that he could join us occasionally. We’ll see.
  • Sherilee sent me a book for my birthday, and so far it is spectacular. I’ll dedicate an entire post to the book soon. It’s so nice to start reading something that I immediately know I’m going to love—I’ve run into some real chuckers lately.
  • Last night I watched the season premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and about halfway through I found myself getting angry because two major characters were making Benson and Stabler look like they sucked at their jobs. So I said to Vic that I didn’t like how those two characters were bothering “my peeps.” Then I hit my chest with the side of my fist twice, like the rappers do. And Vic said, “Don’t do that.” Like I can’t pull that off. Like it looks dumb. And ya know what? He’s totally right. I can’t pull that off. I knew this, of course, but I thought he was being kinda mean. So now I have to do it over and over, just to bug the hell out of him. Heh heh heh… that’ll show him to tell me when I look like an idiot even though he’s right and really only doing it for my own good.
  • Tuesday was Picture Day at the school and I survived. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that on Picture Day, my anxiety level goes to 11. Last year was hellish. The year before I wrote about where most of my Picture Day anxiety comes from—third grade. Sunshine and I were sharing Picture Day horror stories Monday night and she had some real doozies—thank goodness she’s a blogger, because now you can read about them too!

I must go; the PTO calls. Lately the PTO calls a LOT.


Sep. 23: Salad deliciousness

When I worked in downtown Portland I frequently had lunch at California Crisp, a made-to-order salad place at the Pioneer Place food court. My favorite menu item was their Tostada Salad, which I re-created at home to critical acclaim. No, I don’t think that makes me a special kinda culinary artiste, but having watched them make my salad every time I ordered it, I’da had to be a dummy not to figger out the ingredients.

We’ve been making this for years now, and tweaked it to our liking so it’s pretty close to perfect. It’s hearty, and especially nice when we’re on a high protein diet, because cutting quite a few of the carbs will still leave you with a very tasty salad.

tacosalad 006

We made the salad for dinner tonight and I thought it was time for a photo. (Loveliest Lori, if you think this looks like it’s already been eaten once, feel free to keep that to yourself this time. Thanks!)

Jen & Vic’s Taco Salad

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Thousand island dressing
  • Browned, seasoned ground beef—cooled (we like it super-spicy)
  • Shredded cheddar-jack cheese
  • Kidney beans
  • Sliced black olives
  • Chopped avocado or guacamole
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips

Toss lettuce with dressing, then add and toss the rest of the ingredients. Add the chips just before serving.


Sep. 23: And now I need more Xanax

Warning: I’m going to complain about my back pain again.

Dr. Nick, who graduated from the Hollywood Upstairs Medical School I saw my doctor again after he did some chiropractic adjustments a couple weeks ago and said adjustments helped not even a little tiny bit. He told me to see my rheumatologist about my back, because he’s “certain” (his word) that my back trouble has something to do with my connective tissue problems. (‘Member, I have that weird not-quite-lupus, not-quite-rheumatoid-arthritis thing.)

I’m “certain” (my word) that my rheumatologist will not have the answer. I’m quite certain, in fact, that my back pain is from an injury, and has little or nothing to do with my connective tissue disease. However, I’ll see my rheumatologist because he’s not going to throw up his hands and push me off to someone else like my primary care physician seems to have been happy to do. My rheumatologist is a good guy and will refer me to specialists, if necessary, until this pain is treated. He also knows that while my connective tissue problems may be contributing to the back pain, they are not necessarily the cause.

Dr. Good Guy’s first available appointment, I found out this morning, is in November. Grrr.

I’ve been living with this pain for much of the year now, but in the last three months it’s gotten progressively worse. And in the last week it’s gone from being unbearable only when lying down to being nearly unbearable at all times.

My smile, if you’ve seen one on me? Fakeity fake fake fake.

While I’m on the subject of medical frustrations and general pissed-off-ed-ness, can I tell you how much I hate mail-order pharmacies? I swear, they go out of their way to I know, can you believe I actually found a picture of a turtle in a rowboat?make their service as inconvenient as possible. You mean I have to physically MAIL written prescriptions? (Is that required for anything else these days? I don’t think so.) I’m pretty sure when they receive these snail-mailed written prescriptions that they sit on them (along with their thumbs) for days before processing them. I would wonder if they played computer games all day, but these companies are obviously run by abacus, not computers. And when they finally ship orders, they send them by tortoises. In rowboats. “Oh, these are going from New Jersey to Oregon, so the fastest way is through the Panama Canal.” Of course, our prescription insurance coverage—yes, the one provided by the friggin’ hospital where we work!—won’t let us fill orders at local pharmacies so we are left pissed off AND unmedicated. Grrr again.

It would be wise for me to stop blogging now. I don’t think y’all need to dirty up your thoughts with the things I am so very tempted to write, unless you have some good drugs that can make you wipe the filth away from your brain afterward, in which case can I be your very best friend?


Sep. 21: Awards show fashions

Emmy Award In my opinion, one of the best parts of watching awards shows is commenting on the gowns. This is most fun while sitting with someone who’s willing to play along, or in the case of last year’s Oscars ceremonies, live-chatting with Loveliest Lori throughout the show. I so enjoy reading Go Fug Yourself—“the Fug girls” are as catty and cruel as I tend to be while sitting on my couch in jammies and a ponytail, stuffing my face with highly fattening snacks.

I missed most of last night’s Emmy Awards telecast because we were driving home from Seattle. I watched the tail end of it when I got home and am slowly catching up on what I missed, thanks to that beautiful thing called the Internet, this morning.

Yahoo! TV did an awards show fashions report card—61 photos of celebrities in their Emmy wear. The way the photos appear on my laptop, I have to scroll down to see the grade they gave each ensemble, so I started playing a game; I’d look at the photo and try to guess the grade they’d give it. And I swear, I was wrong more than half the time! And more than half of those times, I was not only wrong, but way off! Like, by several letters!

“Ooh, that one’s gorgeous! They’ll give it an A for sure!”

Scroll down, and they say, “Booooring! D+.”

This is one of many reasons, my friends, that I do not work in the fashion industry.

Try this for yourself and see how you do. If you watched any of the red carpet pre-shows last night you’ll already have an idea of what people thought, but it’s still fun. For the record:

  • I said DARTH VADER! out loud when I saw Kristen Wiig’s gown. Score one for Jen! I love that girl, but the embellishments on that dress were horrible.
  • Sarah Silverman, why are you dressed (and acting) like Dakota Fanning?
  • Holly Hunter? Stunning. Sigourney Weaver too.
  • Sandra Oh’s look was simple and beautiful. Better than I’ve seen her in a long time.
  • Jon Cryer looked like an idiot. And did Cicely Tyson fire her stylist?
  • Loved Alicia Witt’s look.
  • Phoebe Price, WTF? You too, Victoria Rowell.

Where my opinion differed most from the “experts” at Yahoo! TV:

  • I thought Neil Patrick Harris was Fab.U.Lous. Missed most of his hosting, but what I saw was good. Loves me some Doogie!
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt—too prom-like, and kinda boring. Just “meh.” She’s never one to push the envelope, though.
  • Tina Fey was gorgeous. I loved her hair.
  • Toni Collette—like her and think she’s a great actress, but hated the pink and hated the ruffly stuff. Puke-us maximus.
  • Those Kardashian girls. If we stop looking at them, will they go away?
  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Ugh. Not a fan of that style of gown.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin. Hated the color and the style of that dress. Hate how she spells her name. Adorable girl, but icky look last night.
  • Mariska Hargitay always looks gorgeous.
  • Kate Walsh. I don’t get what was so great about her gown, except that she probably didn’t have to hold in her stomach most the night.
  • Padma Lakshmi looked bold and beautiful, IMO. I don’t love that purple, but she wore it well.
  • Christina Hendricks’ gown made her head look too tiny for her body. Or is that not an illusion? I don’t know.
  • I thought Jon Hamm was a cutie in his “nerdy bow tie.”
  • Giuliana Rancic is a friggin’ bobblehead. I have never understood why people think she’s attractive.

As for the awards, I was about half and half on the winners. Alec Baldwin definitely deserved his Emmy, but 30 Rock should have gone home with more than they did. Jon Stewart = yummy. Justin Timberlake = yes, please! smiley


Sep. 20: Baseball happiness

We got up early this morning and drove up I-5 to see the Mariners play the Yankees in Seattle. It had been a few years since Victor and I were last at Safeco Field, so it was exciting to see a game again. But it was also somewhat bittersweet, as the Yankees were my dad’s favorite baseball team. Of course, they are now mine as well, unless they’re playing Seattle. When they play Seattle I am very, very torn.

We took Dad to a Mariners-Yankees game about ten years ago. Everyone around us was irritated by his cheering against Seattle; I was more concerned about Dad starting a fight. I’d never been to a major league game with him before, and had no idea just how far he was willing to go to prove his longtime love for his team. Thank goodness, we all left in the same number of pieces in which we arrived.

During that game, I rooted for the Mariners just to make Dad mad because yes, I was that daughter. I don’t remember who won the game, but it was probably the Yankees. I think it didn’t matter much to Dad, really; he had a good time just seeing them play. He said he’d been to Yankees games a bunch of times, but we don’t know if that’s true or just his wishful thinking and “creative” boasting. Whatever. I have happy memories of being at that game with him.

So today, I was kind of doing that “Peacemaker Mom” thing: “As long as everyone played their best and had a good time, we all win!” I know, blech.

The thing is, it’s always nice when the home team wins. Crowds are happier. People don’t leave at the seventh inning stretch. There’s lots of cheering and fewer fights. It makes for a pleasant few hours when the home team does well. In this game, the Mariners scored twice in the first inning and five times in the second. The Yankees got one run in the sixth.

In spite of this, a fight almost broke out near our seats. A guy just below us decided to stand while Ken Griffey, Jr. was at bat late in the game. This bothered some people behind us (he wasn’t in our way, so we didn’t care), and they started yelling at him to sit down. He turned around and said something like, “It’s Junior!” and continued to stand. Peanuts started flying. More people started yelling. One of Mr. Standing Guy’s buddies turned around and told everyone to shut up, and then it escalated. And OH! The name-calling! The panic for those of us sitting between the yellers! Mr. Standing Guy finally sat down, and he and his buddies left soon after. Whew.

A few other tidbits:

  • Alex Rodriguez got booed every time he was at bat. Seattle really hates him (and rightfully so). I don’t know if I’ve ever been at a game when that’s happened—‘course, I never saw John Rocker play. Anyway, we all thought it was hilarious because A-Rod’s such a dick. Even Wellington loved it.
  • The Garlic Fries at Safeco are yummy but OH MY BUDDHA, they are garlicky. I feel sorry for anyone who’ll be around us for the next few days, as I know garlic seeps through the skin and smells for a long, long time. On the up side, garlic is supposedly a good cold-fighter so we oughta be healthy for a while. And no vampires either!
  • Seeing Junior play again was beyond awesome.
  • I totally forgot a Sharpie, so I couldn’t ask Derek Jeter to sign either or both of my boobs. Dammit.
  • Katie enjoyed the game—she loved the music, games on the screen, etc.—and Jack got bored fast. Still, he says he wants to be a professional baseball player so he can make lots of money and not work very hard. He ought to get real far with that attitude, hm?

About halfway through the game, the sun was on most of the field and it was just perfect. Proof:

Safeco Field, September 20, 2009

‘Twas a good day.


Sep. 19: A birthday in review

Wanna hear how much fun I had yesterday? Alright!

  • 7:30 a.m.: Katie and Jack present me with cards and a gift—the Fiddler on the Roof DVD—and don’t even do a lot of bickering before they leave for school. It’s Mommy’s favorite kind of treat.
  • 8:05 a.m.: The kids are out the door and I can eat one of my Mickey Mouse birthday cookies, so I do. It is the perfect amount of chewy, with a frosting-to-cookie ratio that cannot be beat.
  • 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.: I receive numerous happy birthday wishes in the form of emails, text messages, Facebook messages and phone calls. Some even have extra exclamation points, which is just fine!!!!! These notices come through on my phone all day, and are a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have the friends and family that I do.
  • 11:00 a.m.: I go up to the hospital to work. Janet gives me a funny card, sings to me until I stop her, and dumps two handfuls of mini candy bars in my purse before I leave.
  • 12:00 noon: Victor and I go to Burgerville for lunch. Burgerville is oh-so-yummy. And lunch with my husband? Even better.
  • 1:00 p.m.: I arrive home to find a delivery of gorgeous oriental lilies and chocolates from my seester! Everything in the house smells so good, especially combined with what’s left of the cookie bouquet.
  • 1:02 p.m.: Sunshine calls and we meet at Peet’s Coffee where she treats me to an hour of conversation and beverages. As we say goodbye she presents me with a gift bag from The Blue Butterfly—a fancy-schmancy gift store that I LOVE—and it’s got some fun little goodies inside with a couple of my favorite sayings (“I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world” and “‘A really good friend,’ she said, ‘makes you snort when you laugh, and will still hang out with you when you do it in public’”). There is also a pot of yummy bon-bon lip stuff that I’ve been trying not to eat, and a very sweet card. This hour with Sunshine is one of my favorite parts of the whole day. Her’s a sweetheart!
  • 2:00 p.m.: I get my first chance to sit down with my new DVD. Just as Tevye begins to describe his dream to Golde, Katie and Jack get home from school. I pause the movie and watch it between their interruptions over the rest of the afternoon.
  • 5:30 p.m.: We order pizza from Bellagio’s, a fab local pizza place. Chewy crust, basil-y sauce. Mmmmm.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Dina and Jenn K and some other people I don’t know call and sing a very loud birthday song over the phone. Dina tells me Jack is at her house and we do the “it’s OK with me if it’s OK with you” mom dance.
  • 7:40 p.m.: I walk outside to find Dina’s son at our house. I walk up to Dina’s to let her know this, and the boys follow me so by the time I get there I have nothing to say. But Jenn K is yelling at me to STAY DON’T GO NO YOU HAVE TO STAY WHERE’S VICTOR CALL HIM SO HE CAN COME UP HERE TOO SIT DOWN HAVE A DRINK. Jenn K can sometimes be very loud.
  • 7:45 p.m.: I am introduced to the people I didn’t know who sang to me earlier. They all seem very nice. Someone asks how old I am now, and when I tell them, they use very loud and profane words to say they don’t believe me. I’m pretty sure they’re just being nice. I know I look my age. Also, now the entire neighborhood knows my age.
  • 8:00 p.m.: Victor joins us. Katie disappears inside to watch a movie with the kids. We grown-ups sit on Dina’s front porch and drink refreshing grown-up beverages. Some of us get louder.
  • 8:30 – 10:00 p.m.: In order to protect the embarrassed, I shall go into no more detail about what went on over the next couple hours. However, the evening involved a great deal of fun (for most of us), a little mystery, and a whole bunch of uneaten food. But good news; the need for a mop was minimal and everyone’s clothes stayed on.
  • 10:00 p.m. – midnight: Victor and I watch Fiddler again. I fall asleep sometime after Chava is disowned and before everyone’s run out of Anatevka. It’s a long movie.

Thank you to everyone who sent their birthday wishes, in whatever form they arrived! I sure do loves me some nice people.


Sep. 18: Party wit’ me!

Today’s celebration isn’t much of a milestone—I’m turning a very unexciting 41—but it’s still a birthday and where I come from, birthdays are meant to be celebrated. Sit down for a drink, won’t you? We’ve got…

  …lemon drops…
…my favorite Midori cocktails…
mojito …Christina’s mojitos…
…oh, just go ahead and order whatever you want, it’s an open bar. (Mom, please watch that other daughter of yours, won’t you?)

There’s lots of food, too, all lovingly and deliciously prepared by my friend Dawn.

Push the balloons out of the way if they bother you. Sorry there are so many; I love how they make everything look fun and festive. There are lots of other party things too, if you feel like throwing things or making noise…
Loveliest Lori, can you keep an eye on the aquarium and make sure nobody taps on the glass? Thanks.
Music is provided by the very talented band The Rouge. They’re in such high demand these days; we were lucky to book them. (Pssst… I dare you to ask them to do “Polly Wolly Doodle.”)
Hey, who’s in charge of Kathy? Someone keeps filling her glass and she just stole Ed’s shoes. Alright, fine. Just make sure she puts this on…
…and these too, just in case… 1suspenders
…and if she just can’t keep her pants on, make sure you get pictures. Someday this photo evidence might finally embarrass her into staying dressed an entire party long (we can hope).
Time for cupcakes!

Now, don’t hurry off; we’ll be partying all day! Have fun, and thanks so much for helping me celebrate today!



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