Jan. 31: Faking it

fakeitSome people have said that seeing me fight cancer was inspiring, the way I attacked it with humor and didn’t let it get me down. I appreciate hearing those words, I really do, but I know the truth. I know what was behind the jokes and silliness. I know that when I didn’t feel like being “up,” I pretended, and what people saw was often me pretending that cancer was nothing but a big joke.

It reminds me of when I first started as a full time software trainer. Every day I’d have a classroom of 12 people who were generally nice and eager to learn. But sometimes there’d be one (or more, when it was a class full of one particular government-agency-that-must-not-be-named) who did nothing but act like a total jackass to me and his/her classmates. I find it difficult to be nice to someone if I don’t like them. I couldn’t dish out the jackassitude in the classroom because I was supposed to be professional, so… I taught myself to act. I learned to act unruffled, to act like every question was NOT the stupidest question I’d ever heard, to act like I was the most patient instructor in the world, to act like I didn’t drink heavily on my lunch hour. And no one knew I was acting because, as Elaine Benes once said, “I was goooood.”

Weird. It’s like working for IBM prepared me to fight cancer.

Or maybe IBM gave me cancer. Hmmm…

Nah, if anyone gave me cancer it was adidas. They hated me there.

When I first got my diagnosis, I made a short-term goal: to get through it alive. I imagined that once I achieved that goal, it’d be smooth sailing—well, normal sailing, anyway. Kinda silly, huh? Because I did achieve that goal, and here on the other side? Not exactly normal. Most of the physical side effects I had while going through chemo linger. People are still super-duper hesitant to ask me to do things. I continue to need naps almost every day. My vision is fine and then terrible and completely unpredictable. I have trouble focusing, concentrating, and prioritizing at work. There are days when my brain seems to be sleeping way longer than the rest of me.

But one of the hardest parts of “not-quite-normal sailing” is fear. It’s really easy to be all HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY after hearing the doctor use the words “complete” and “remission” together. But the likelihood of the lymphoma coming back, or another type of cancer moving in, creates pestering and persistent anxiety in the back of my mind. All. The. Time. I hate that part of post-remission. I believe that positive thinking works wonders, and I’ve done my best to keep myself in la la land over all this. I know how to recognize the darkness before it comes and am learning to stop it in time. But still, that niggling reminder from my oncologist remains: increased risk of recurrence.

So, y’know, the fear thing sucks. It doesn’t change the way I live each day, but it’s a fact of my life right now that I wish wasn’t. My hope is that I can eventually turn that fear into something less anxiety-inducing, and maybe even into something good. I can do that, right? I can totally do that.

I really, really want to. I want to show that fear who’s boss so I can go back to putting my heart and soul into living my life. Those were good days and THEY ARE NOT OVER.

But until then, you may continue to prepare my Oscar award.



Jan. 25: Poker Night haiku

Saturday night was Poker Night for a bunch of us. I think the best way to commemorate the evening is with haiku. (Duh.)


Tasty meal by Jim
We crowd around the table
Eat until it’s gone.
“I can’t stop staring”
Says Chris F about The Beard
He’s so George Clooney.
cards The whipped cream vodka
With orange juice and ice cubes 
Creamsicles? More, please!
The Fancy™ Fam’ly
Makes perfect gin and tonics
And velour tables.
Here is your green chip
It’s worth five hundred dollars!
(Of play money. Pffft.)
Ev’ryone brings snacks
Val shares her communion bread
Oh, the holiness!
Chris B tries to bluff
But Jen has a run of luck
He’s such a baby.
The Beard makes us cry
Yes, it’s the stuff of nightmares
George Clooney nightmares.
Ace/king look pretty
But don’t win. “That’s an Anna
Kournikova.” Ha!
Booze flows. Lori turns.
Falls right off her chair. We laugh.
She looks so confused.
Big and little blinds
Become huge and monster blinds
Where’d all my chips go?
It’s late, time to go.
Jim and Eric split the pot.
We all stumble home.
Can’t wait for next time! 
Let’s do it tomorrow, please
Will The Beard feed us?


Jan. 22: Take me away

I promised Jack months ago that someday we would go on a “no more cancer” Disney cruise. No, Disney’s not coming up with weird theme cruises—this is just something we came up with for ourselves. He went on a Disney cruise in 2003, for Darlene & Wellington’s 40th anniversary, and was about 18 months old then. He hates that he can’t remember a thing about it, and has tried to convince us that the fair thing to do is go again. Silly kid doesn’t realize there’s no need to try to talk us into anything—Victor and I are always ready to do Disney. mickeyears

(You gotta check out that link above, just to look at how cute and little Katie and Jack were on that trip. Whoa. Soooo little.)

Katie, of course, wants to go, but unlike her brother, she seems to think she remembers the 2003 trip. Pretty sure she doesn’t. She was just over three years old. She probably pretends to remember it just to make Jack mad.

So yeah, we’re all wanting to go on a cruise. Being a cancer-free family just gives us a super-awesome reason to celebrate!

This last week the newest Disney ship was christened. It embarks on its first cruise of the Caribbean in a few days. This new ship is something like 40 percent bigger than the one we sailed on twice, and I’m dying to see it. However, it’s scheduled to be in the Caribbean for the next year, at least, and it’s only doing the three- and four-night cruises for now. We really prefer the longer cruises, mostly because the extreme seasickness has time to improve over seven-plus days.

We’re planning a trip to Florida in August, and my guess is that the Caribbean islands are more pleasant during non-August months (our previous visits were in February and April and were mostly lovely). My feeling is that we’d best stay on land during that vacation—which I imagine will be miserable enough, weather-wise.

One of the old Disney ships makes its way through the Panama Canal this month to cruise the Mexican Riviera, and then it heads up the coast in late spring to cruise Alaska for a few months. So I’ve got my eye on an Alaskan cruise now… they’re seven nights long, soon-ish, leave from Vancouver, B.C. (no five-hour flight to get to the port!), and go somewhere we haven’t already been. Those are all good things. If only it was on the new ship. Dang.

So, the big question now is who’s with us?

Check out the schedules and rates at the Disney Cruise Line site, or VacationsToGo.com for its way-deep discounts. Because you know you want to go along. And we need to do this thing before anyone gets cancer again.


Jan. 20: In lieu of a planned post

On my way home from work this afternoon I thought of about 15 things I needed to blog about. Can I remember even ONE of them now? No. And I guarantee you, every single one of the things I thought of was either hilarious or profound. Some were both. It’s true. And now I’m all empty-like in my head. But guess what? I’m not gonna let that stop me, no sirreee! Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I’ve thought about this past week.

thinkerThose super-bright bluish headlights? I hate them. They even make me mad sometimes. I do not know why. I beg of you, please don’t have them or get them or I’ll be mad some more.

Jack got a Nerf dart gun for his birthday and it’s pretty cool. I didn’t realize how cool, though, until I was over at Val’s this weekend. They have four Nerf dart guns, and the whole family gets into it. The darts fa-LY. Y’know that old saying: the family that shoots Nerf dart guns together, roots serf tart buns together. The Fukais are that family. We shall be that family too.

I am not drunk. I’m not.

If I could only watch one TV show for the rest of my life, I’d wish for more wishes because I could never decide on just one.

One thing I hate about working a full day is how tired I am at the end. But the thing I love about that full day not ending until 6pm is how much lighter the traffic is all the way home. Also, the paycheck.

I need glasses, dammit. My vision is all wonky and unpredictable; it goes from being fine to horrible—like OMG-I-think-Stevie-Wonder-just-sideswiped-me-on-the-freeway horrible—to so-so and back to fine. I really shouldn’t be driving. Worse yet, I’ve become that person who asks random people, “Can I try on your glasses?” I hate that person. I’ve already had LASIK twice—shouldn’t my vision be better than this? I sooo do not want to smell my scorching corneas again.

We’re doing Poker Night at Jim & Tina’s this weekend, possibly tournament-style! I don’t really care how we play, because my favorite part of Poker Night has very little to do with the cards. If I could win just one hand, though, that’d be rockin’ awesome. Just one.

Stanford’s went and changed their Henry’s Beer Cheese Soup day to Wednesdays, but Wendy and I didn’t know that when we went on Tuesday specifically to have the Henry’s Beer Cheese Soup. How dare they change their menu four months ago! We’ll go in NEXT Wednesday, then. Pfft.



Jan. 17: Daybook


Outside my window... the sky is a bit blue and a bit bright, not the usual grey. My doctor suggested I may have seasonal depression—common in the northwest, or so I hear—and I should get more light. This morning I have the blinds open more than usual, and honestly, the light is kinda burning into my brain. How is that helpful? I think it’s making me stupid. I actually just typed an ‘e’ on the end of ‘brain.’ That is not good.

This weekend, I… shopped for prizes for the upcoming school carnival, read a little bit, napped some, did concessions at the school’s movie night, and tried to get the scent of theater popcorn off me. Two thorough showers later, and I swear I can still smell it.

I am thinking... about the happy news we got the other day: Victor’s sister and her family are moving back to the states! Over the past several years they’ve lived in Montreal, Yokohama, Brussels, Paris, and Shenzhen, and we’re thrilled that they’re finally coming home to Seattle.

I am thankful... that the forecasted snow never came last week. There was some freezing rain, but it wasn’t bad in Clackamas. I am not a fan of the super-cold weather, nor am I a fan of snow days, and the weather gods finally listened to me last week. ALL HAIL JEN, I believe was exactly what they said.

I am working on... my school carnival doodies and a big project at work. Bizzy bee.

Can I tell you something? I love this cereal box game—you can guess why. Thanks for sharing a pic, April!


I am going... to have to find a positive-thinking way of dealing with my port-flush. Every 4-6 weeks I’m supposed to go to the oncologist’s office and sit in the chemo room so a nurse can inject my port with saline. This is done to keep it clean and accessible, so as long as I have the port (which could be the rest of my life), I have to have it flushed regularly. Last week was my first time, and can I just tell you? I HATED being back in the chemo room. It was so depressing. Yes, it’s only for a few minutes at a time and much less often than the chemo schedule I was on, but I just want to be DONE with all things chemo, y’know? It’s not easy to put a positive spin on being in that room—I spent a year there that I sooo want to put behind me.

Around the house... it smells delicious! There’s a pot roast in the crock pot that’s surrounded by carrots, potatoes and mushrooms. It’s almost overflowing, in a totally good, this-is-gonna-last-several-meals way. Yum.

One of my favorite things... is the fabulosity of my friends. Yesterday Val texted me and insisted I get to her house right that instant. Of course, I did, because when Val says “JUMP!” I ask “How high?” Winking smile Victor and the kids joined us, and later Val demanded Sunshine and her fam get over there too. The first thing Sunshine said to Val was “Why can’t I say ‘no’ to you?” (See, I’m not the only one!) We all ended up spending an impromptu many hours together. I L-O-V-E love those folk.

Plans for the rest of the week: Lots of work at school and lots of work at work. PTO meeting on Wednesday. Poker night on Saturday. In other words, all good things. Happy things.

Here’s a link I want to share: The Monkeys You Ordered. You remember the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine goes to the New Yorker, demanding to know why one of its comics is funny? That’s pretty much what this site is about. Here’s how Comics Alliance describes it:

Because science has determined that no more than 23% of New Yorker cartoons are comprehensible to humans, the good people at The Monkeys You Ordered have repurposed that unexplainable material into something more helpful and entertaining to everybody. Updating weekly, The Monkeys You Ordered studies the latest variously mystifying New Yorker cartoons and gleans through an algorithmic process the artwork's true meaning. From there, they simply caption the cartoon accordingly.

Have a great week, youse!

Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Jan. 11: Wicked yet subtle hint

The husbands like when the wives go away for a weekend together, right? Because we come back all renewed and refreshed and they know how important that is, right? And they know how much we girls love getting dressed up and going out to flirt like mad with bartenders flash our wedding bands? And that whenever it’s just us girls, we tend to get in big ol’ catfight-y arguments about whose husband is better and which of us is the luckiest wife? And the husbands know that because of all these things, money is no object when it comes to making the wives happy?

Yes, I’m pretty sure I have that right.

On a totally unrelated note, I got this email today:

Wicked Girls Getaway 2011
New York, NY
May 5 - 8 , 2011

Back by popular demand! Broadway Across America Travel is proud to announce the return of this very special Broadway weekend   With an emphasis on escaping from the everyday and an elegant level of service, this package is our ultimate “Girls Getaway” to New York City. 

First introduced in 2008, this trip has been quickly adopted as an annual tradition. Mothers and daughters, sisters, girlfriends as well as couples are invited to take a memorable excursion to the excitement and glamour of the Big Apple.   For 2011, we once again offer two weekends to choose from with our July option designed to make this package a good fit for high school and college-aged children.

Limited to just 30 guests in May (we also have another getaway scheduled for July, see left), your trip is highlighted by orchestra seating to Broadway’s huge sensation Wicked and two other shows, a welcome cocktail reception with fellow guests, elegant 4-diamond accommodations, an optional luxurious spa session, private town car service, round trip airfare, a meet-and-greet lunch at Sardi’s and a few behind-the-scenes exclusives including a look into the inner workings of WICKED.

There’s no need to put off that trip to New York City any longer.  Get the girls together or take that special someone for that “ultimate getaway” and come and experience a weekend you won’t soon forget!
Please find the details below.

Yes, please.



Jan. 10: Daybook


Outside my window... it’s beautiful and sunny but I know that’s just that nasty bitch Mother Nature trying to distract me from the forecast. We’re supposed to get nine inches of snow tomorrow night. While I love to look at snow, I do not like when I have to drive in it or people I love have to drive in it—nobody around here knows how to drive in snow because we so rarely have any (thank GOD). I’m also not super fond of the snow keeping my kids home from school, although that’s never as bad as I expect it to be. And this year we have toboggans, so it might actually be fun. The hill around the corner is perfect for sledding. OK, maybe the anticipation of the snow is actually worse than the snow itself. I’ll let you know.

This weekend, I… broke the PTO web site and then fixed it again. Took me almost all day Saturday. Technology is just pffft sometimes. Yesterday I worked on more PTO-related things and in the evening I went to a surprise birthday party for Jenn K. She wasn’t totally surprised, but it was still lots of fun. Plus there were super-cool people there. And there was a shower in all the bathrooms. McMenamins Edgefield is a strange place. Anyway, a blast was had by all. I’ve got some really fun friends, I do.


Jen, Sunshine, Dina, Birthday Girl Jenn K, Wendy


All of the above, plus Teresa

I am reading... that Gregory Maguire book I mentioned last week. I’m having a hard time getting into it, and still not sure I’m going to stick with it. The description sounds intriguing, but it’s moving awfully slow.

I am thankful... for many things, but especially those girls in the pics above. Yes.

One of my favorite things... is how much the little penguin in this video makes me laugh:

Goofy little bird

Plans for the rest of the week: a couple doctor appointments, a couple meetings, a couple days’ for-pay work, probably a snow day or two.

Here’s another video I want to share:

Back to it.

Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Jan. 7: IDCEAYWTPFriday

fridayIt’s Friday, and that means you get a post called I Don’t Care Enough About You to Write in Transitioning Paragraphs Friday. This is a short edition because I’m super-duper tired.

  • I’m glad the week is over. We’ve got a few things going on this weekend, but nothing that’s going to make me crazy (I hope). This was a hectic and stressful week at work and school, and I hope to sleep in tomorrow and enjoy some slow-moving weekend activities. Maybe I’ll even find a L&O marathon to watch. Or quiet time to read a book or nap. That would be bliss.
  • I love the story about the homeless man with “the gift of voice” and all the offers he’s getting for jobs and a home and all sorts of stuff. It’s just one of those things that makes you smile.
  • Did you read my post the other day about the resolutions? The guy who wrote them (writer/performer Andy Ross) commented on my post. Don’t tell, but now I kinda have a crush on him, because, y’know, I loves me the funny.
  • The next big PTO event is February 5, and it’s our big one for the year: WinterFest. It’s a carnival type of event, and always sooo much fun. WinterFest requires much planning and organization, and I hope the next month doesn’t make me crazy-kooky-silly with the busy-ness of it all.  Today we met with T-shirt printers, and I got just a glimpse of the insanity yet to come. I shall do my best to stay on track.
  • Today I had, like, the best lunch date EVER. Kim F’n invited me to join her, Cindi, Sunshine and Val. It was two fantastic hours of fun and laughs and rants and threats and promises and if you don’t know these girls, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. They are all-around fabulous. No doubt about it.

  • It’s late and I’ve been on the go all day and I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed now.


Jan. 6: Milestone

So much for trying to post more regularly again. It’s the first week of the year and I’m already off to a terrible start. I went back to work this week, though, for the first time in six weeks or so. At first it was hard to get back in the swing of it, but once I did, I couldn’t stop. I was a programming madwoman!

I love my job. I really, really do. I maintain several databases that I created from scratch, and those are my babies. I love seeing them grow and do great things. I work with others that I manage but didn’t create—those are the challenging ones. Those I inherited are like giant puzzles sometimes, and I have to figure out what the original programmer had in mind and why things were done a certain way. I’m like Sherlock Holmes but I’m a girl. And I use a computer. And I don’t have a sidekick. But am I the biggest nerd ever? I think I just might be.

Anyway, I have a couple of large projects ahead of me at work, and I’m excited to get going on them. But first I’m catching up on the not-working-for-six-weeks thing. Then I can move on to the really fun stuff. Happy happy.

Work is my excuse for not posting more this week, because I’ve been away from home much more than what had become normal. But there’s a milestone I passed the other day that I think deserves a mention.

chemogradchickTuesday—the day before yesterday—marked three weeks since my last chemotherapy treatment. I was on the three-week chemo schedule, and went in faithfully every third Tuesday for more than a year. Now that I’ve missed a third Tuesday, I feel like I’m really moving beyond cancer treatment. I’m hoping to get rid of most of the nasty, lingering chemo side effects and start feeling like me again—less fatigued, less achy, more energetic and overall just plain happier. Get out of my way!

Open-mouthed smile

It’s a cool thing, having kicked cancer’s ass.

I shall enjoy the rest of my life even more now, thankyouverymuch.


Jan. 4: Some guy’s resolutions

hnySherilee shared this little gem of a link on Facebook last night and since some of you are not her FB friend (and why the hell not, I should ask?), I decided to post it here so you don’t miss it. I really don’t want you to miss it. It’s a good one, especially if you’re like me and think resolutions are stupid and silly and why are you such a rotten person by the time December comes that you have to make so many changes in January, hm? Sheesh.

Wait For It… » New Year’s Resolutions

Some people only make one New Year’s resolution. That’s a lot of pressure to either succeed or fail. I make a ton of resolutions. That way, even if I forget what I resolved to do/not do, I’ll probably keep at least one or two of my New Year’s resolutions. Just through sheer luck. (It was actually my resolution last year to make more resolutions this year.)

Take a minute to read through more posts on this guy’s blog. I promise you’ll get a chuckle. OK, I don’t actually promise anything, but give it a chance. I did, and now my goal for today is to work the phrase “anti-chafing Juliamax™ technology” into a conversation. I’m also going to work, but my first priority? That phrase.

And I don’t mean to harp about it, but for reals, why aren’t you friends with Sherilee? She’s delightful. And totally not a leper.


Jan. 3: In the fully-clothed kitchen

Did you have the Maurice Sendak book, In the Night Kitchen, when you were a kid? I didn’t; my best friend did. He had Where the Wild Things Are, too, but that one was scary to me. In the Night Kitchen was cute and funny and I liked it much better. One of the most memorable things about that book is that the little boy is naked on several pages, which is probably just about every kid’s most prominent memory of that book, I’m sure.

I remember us pointing and giggling at his naked parts every time we read the story, which was often. I didn’t have any picture books with nudity, and here was one with a naked kid on more than one page! How cool was that?

Maurice Sendak’s books, and that one in particular, have held a special place in my book-loving heart for as long as I can remember. Imagine my delight when, in 1999, I found an entire section of a San Francisco shopping center that was Maurice Sendak-themed. The Metreon was brand new and had a play area and restaurant that brought lots of those childhood memories back. I was pregnant with Katie at the time, and I bought several of Sendak’s picture books in the gift shop—I wanted our kids to enjoy some of the same stories I once had. I took bunches of photos that day and I have no idea where they are or I’d scan them to share. It was really a cute attraction. Here is the first in a series of videos someone posted on YouTube. (The Metreon has since been converted into a boring mall; according to this Wikipedia page, all the Sendak stuff is gone. Bummer.)

When I worked the book fair at the kids’ school this past fall, I picked In the Night Kitchen off the shelf and was shocked at what I found—so shocked, in fact, that I had to take pictures. Mickey had underpants!


This is the unedited version:



I took more pictures…



Mickey got all covered up, thanks to a Sharpie. I don’t know if these unders were courtesy of the librarian, a concerned parent, or a nerdy kid who thought Mickey’s free-swingin’, free-wheelin’ attitude was too much for his classmates. But I’ll be honest—it bugged me a little to see this book censored. It’s innocent; why’d they have to “fix” it? I searched the ‘net for “Maurice Sendak censorship” and found that this happens frequently. I also found out about some subtle and not-so-subtle messages in his stories, not unlike Dr. Seuss’s books (this is just one of many reasons I still find children’s literature so fascinating, naked kids or no).

Looking back, I don’t know if it was a conscious choice of my parents that I didn’t have my own copy of In the Night Kitchen, but if they were trying to protect me I think this is the right time to tell the world that my mom gave Jack a book for Christmas called The Day My Butt Went Psycho.

I’m just sayin’. Eye rolling smile


Jan. 3: Daybook

Happy new year!


Outside my window... it’s beautiful and sunny and clear… and FF!! At 9:30 am it was only 27°, and that, my friends, is FF—or more accurately, F’nF’n. But not F’n like Kim F’n. Toooootally different kind of F’n.

This weekend, I… sprouted a giant zit on my forehead that looks like herpes. Can people get herpes on their foreheads? I also relaxed a lot, because I think this is the kind of zit that zaps all of one’s energy. That’s how I justified laying around so much, anyway. I watched the first half of Season 2 of Flight of the Conchords on DVD—so, so funny. I cleaned up my desk and got caught up with the PTO accounting. I made a list of things to get done this morning, which was very, very long and means this Daybook is gonna be a quick one.

I am thinking... about paint. When we moved our office stuff into Jack’s old room, we decided not to re-paint because there’s nothing wrong with this paint. Here’s the thing, though: this dark royal blue color was fine when all of Jack’s pirate décor was in here, but now? Now I hate it. It’s dark, and it’s not mine. I want to choose the color for this room, because that will make it feel more like mine, right? Right. Now, how on earth am I ever going to choose the perfect color? PANTONE says the color of 2011 is honeysuckle. (<—You gotta click that link to see what PANTONE calls “honeysuckle.” That is soooo not going on my walls.)

I am thankful... that we got all our Christmas things taken down. As much as I hate to see the season end, it’s nice to move forward with the new year, knowing that I’m free of Christmas for at least another few months.

I am going... to run errands like a madwoman this morning. It’s very nice (for me) to have the kids back in school.

Around the house... it no longer looks like Christmas. The house doesn’t have a look of anything right now, really, but-cept that it’s neat-ish. I like. I like very much.

Plans for the rest of the week: I’ve got lots of PTO doodies and some for-pay work, there’s much reorganizing to be done in my too-crowded office, and I’ll relax a bit to watch the rest of FOTC.

Here’s an image I stole from someone else that I want to share with you:


This is just like the light fixture we got Katie for Christmas. Victor installed it yesterday, and it looks so sweet in her room. The colors of the beads go perfectly with everything in there. Best of all, she’s super-excited about it. I love that part.


Want to blog your own Daybook? Here’s the info: The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Jan. 1: IDCEAYWTPFriday on Saturday

nsfwsaturdayYesterday was too busy and fun for me to pause—even for a moment—to blog. LOVE those days. Here, for your reading pleasure, is IDCEAYWTPFriday: The Day Late Version.

  • See how I scared you a little with that image over on the right? I made you think I was going to show you something NOT SAFE FOR WORK, but I’m not. I just wanted to entice you a little. Evil.
  • One of my new year’s resolutions is not to lie on my blog anymore.
  • (Ha!)
  • Yesterday was full of many good things. I’m going to tell you about them.
    • First, I got a text from Sunshine that made me worry less. Not a lot less, just a little, but it was still good.
    • I met up with Sherilee, who came to Portland for a few hours. We did some shopping and lunched at Gustav’s. Most importantly, we got caught up on all the busy-ness of each other’s lives. Sherilee is one amazing woman, and such a good friend.
    • I got a nap. I loves me my naps.
    • Dawn sent over some yummy little cheesy goodness—delicious!
    • The Castañedas joined us for our New Year’s Eve celebration. We played Pictureka and poker, and drank and ate many things. Just before midnight we found Dick Clark on the TV (oh, how painful it is to watch that man—somebody, please, stick a fork in him) and toasted champagne. I think our kids might have kissed each other. It’s a little foggy, but it was fun to ring in the new year with such delightful people.
    • Dina and Jenn K stopped by while on rounds of the neighborhood and tried unsuccessfully to hide their public drunkenness. Thanks for the champagne, girls!
  • I’m very excited about several new books. Get ready for another sub-bulleted list.
    • Earth (The Book), by Jon Stewart and a bunch of other very funny people. If you liked America (The Book), you’ll like this one too. Just don’t be like Tina and open the book to that one page. (Trust me—you’ll know it when you see it.) Thanks to the Nienhuises for this very fun gift.
    • The Crying Tree, by Naseem Rakha. Here’s a video trailer. Although I usually avoid books in which a child dies, I like the idea of the forgiveness aspect of the story. I became familiar with Rakha when I joined her Facebook group “Women Going to Hell,” which is for the women who did not support the choice of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate a few years back. (Palin famously announced in a 2008 speech that “there’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t support women.'” In other words, ‘if you don’t support my candidacy, watch out.’ Yikes, right?) Victor gave me this book for Christmas.
    • The Next Queen of Heaven, by Gregory Maguire. This is something a little different from the author of the Wicked series and numerous other re-spun fairy tales. I hope it’s as good as it sounds.
  • “Hopalong Asshat”? Really? How perfect is that nickname for a certain someone we know? Veeeeery perfect. Winking smile  Thanks, Cristina. I shall use it frequently.
  • I got my hair cut the other day. It was getting a little shaggy around the edges. I’m letting the top grow and just getting the ends trimmed, and it’s actually attaining a style. Still, I look forward to not needing a barber anymore, and maybe even graduating from my very practical Janet Reno comb to something normal people (non-former attorney generals) use.
  • Today we’re taking down our Christmas décor. This is always my least favorite part of the holidays. It’s not the task of boxing everything up that I hate so much as seeing it all go away for 11 months. Bummer.
  • I ran across this quote today and I think it’s a lovely wish for the new year:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make art - write or draw or build or sing or live only as you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” (Neil Gaiman)

Gotta go. Things to do. Happy new year!!



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