Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year!

i made tiny pigs in blankets, a couple of dips, and we watched the ball drop in NY.  seeing dick clark made me tear up, though.  i'm glad he's still around and kicking, and doing what he loves, but it still comes as a shock to me that he's aging.  for most of my life he's looked exactly the same! 

also, if i haven't mentioned it before, i hate jenny mcCarthy!  they should have dropped the ball on that ridiculous, plastic injected dimwit. 

and on that happy note, happy new year! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

gearing up for the new year!

tonight i took D out for a grown-up dinner that involved none of the foods eaten over the holiday.  nothing with bacon, potato, chicken, cold cuts, turkey, or lasagna.  where did we go? we went out for sushi, of course.  awesome, awesome sushi.  there's a place in town that has one of those conveyor belts and jesus h. christ, i love those things.  watching little half-rolls of sushi goodness glide by, swooping in for the most delectable looking ones, watching the tiny plates stack's pretty much my favorite thing ever.  the thing about sitting in front of the space-age conveyor is that you think you'll never get full of sushi.  it all slides by and it all looks great, and you think "oh those plates are so tiny...we can eat one more..." and then you get up to go pee and HOLY SHIT you are full of sushi.  it's like magic!  yummy magic.

tomorrow is new year's eve and you know that can mean only one thing: twilight zone marathon on syfy.  i'll pop out of the house at some point to buy some bubbly wine and crescent rolls for the pigs in a blanket (because champagne and hot dogs together are divine, duh), but i plan to spend the rest of the day on the couch, watching rod serling, and knitting.  does anything sound better than that?  um, no.  D will work part of the day, but he'll be home in time to kiss me at midnight and make a goofy hat to celebrate.  plus, as much as he loves me, no one loves that much twilight zone except for me.  he'll probably also get home in time to save me from the kids, who will want to beat me to death by then.  unless i can somehow convince them the twilight zone is awesome, and i don't see that happening.  kids these days don't dig anything in black and white, let me tell you.  too bad i pay for the cable!      

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

things we got for xmas

  • three cookbooks, one all about making your own cheese.
  • an ice cream maker.
  • a deep fryer.
who wants to roll me down the aisle?  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

hey look!

i made a calendar for next year!  it took way too long to make (something like five hours) but i think that's partly because i was just winging it.  if i make another it shouldn't take as long.  D got me the lovely Italian paper the squirrel is cut out of, and this morning i was looking at wall calendars on etsy, and thought, "oh, i should try to make one."  in supplies it cost less (i had everything but the rubber cement), but in time it cost more, that's for sure.  i didn't make too giant a mess either, which makes me happy.  in the end, i think it turned out cute. 

hello, darlings

look at this awesome purse my sainted mother gave me for xmas.  it's giant, it's sturdy, it's covered in sugar skulls and it's got a rad flat bottom so it stands upright (making it perfect for knitting).  it's funny how i rate purses now not just based on awesome looks, but whether or not it can carry my yarn and needles, and how easy it is for me to knit right out of the bag. 

there's an oddities mini-marathon on over at discovery, so i've been working on my missoni blanket and watching.  i think it would be totally worth the price of plane tickets to take the kids to NY to see the place in person.  we could go to some museums too, so it would be all kinds of educational... 

Monday, December 27, 2010

i have a house full of quiet

sigh...D and the kids went to a co-worker's going-away, farewell, bon voyage party, and i opted to stay home.  technically, it's a party for two of his co-workers, one of whom i like, the other one...not so much.  plus, and this sounds Catty, capital C, but he never accompanies me to any work functions, and yet i've met every one of his co-workers, and sometimes that seems a little unfair to me. 

it's nice to have a quiet house for a few hours as well.  i took a whole week off work, and now i kind of wonder if that was the best idea i've ever had.  i need to pick a project (or three) to work on, so i don't go stir-crazy.  my pants feel kind of tight, so taking some walks sound like a good idea (dear xmas, screw all your delicious fatty food!), and maybe i'll finally (FINALLY) clean out and organize my sewing/craft/computer room.  i have some stuff that should go in the mail, some that should go to the thrift store, endless expanses of things that need to be dusted or vacuumed or washed, so finding things to occupy me shouldn't be too difficult.

to be perfectly honest, i had a terrible dream last night and woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  everything is rubbing me the wrong way.  i also miss my dad, and i miss my uncle.  holidays are weird now without them and while i love my mom and aunt, i love D and the kids, i love D's folks and siblings and nieces and nephews, there's just something missing.  plowing through this holiday i just pretended everything was fine and i was okay, but now that i have three minutes alone, i feel...bad.  i think all the weird and stressful dreams are just my brains way of letting off some steam, but waking up every morning with a clenched jaw and roiling stomach has gotten old.  i think while i have some time alone, maybe i'll take a nice long bath, listen to some music, have a good old fashioned cry.  i think i just need to get it out of my system.  i'm sorry, i think now i'm rambling.  i'm not a great big emotional mess, i promise.  i think it just occurred to me that maybe putting my head down and powering through was good for a while but maybe isn't a healthy long-term solution. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

oh my gosh, the holidays happened and stuff

sorry for the quiet, all three of my readers.  we had an awesome fun holiday, with a lot of toys given and gotten, too much food made and consumed, and a lot of visitors and visiting.  whew.  being single made this kind of shit a lot easier, but i didn't get to buy satanic xmas gifts and something called jeggings for my semi-step-children then, either.  and honestly?  that was pretty fun.  holidays and kids really are a nice combination.  i could do without all the fucking wrapping paper, but other than that, i'm happy.  i hope you also had a happy/merry/radical xmas and are gearing up for an equally amazing new year.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

two years ago today...

i was working at haggen, in the deli, and about two hours away from getting off work and going out on my first date with D.  i was a little bit of a nervous wreck; i had to change in the bathroom before i went over to his house, and i was worried i would smell like fried chicken and grease.  i remember i wore my black and silver striped t, my all black work chucks, and this goofy necklace i made out of stuff from michael's crafts.  did i mention i was nervous?  i made some poor girl i worked with hang out with me in the bathroom while i got ready because i was so spastic.

i remember pulling up to his house, and seeing him at the kitchen table with his roommate and i was literally so nervous that i actually thought about driving away.  really.  i had a moment when i thought "i could just drive home right now and he would never know i came by and didn't come inside."  i sucked it up though, after all, i had put on some eyeliner.  i pretended my palms weren't sweaty and knocked on the door.  he hugged me after he opened it, and i thought that was nice.  i brought over a bottle of wine, not knowing that he didn't drink wine, and we ate pork verde and chips with his roommate and his girlfriend.  we got kind of drunk, and after hours of sitting at the table talking and talking, i put some music on his cd player and he swooped in and kissed me.

i distinctly recall thinking "oooh..."  he was (is) a good kisser.  we made out in the kitchen, which seems fitting now, because that is our favorite room in the house.  when we talk about our "dream home" we always start with the kitchen.

we're going out to dinner, and then maybe we'll get to make out some more!  i have to say, it's been a good two years.

Monday, December 20, 2010

really, i don't have a problem

it's just that these are SO fun and easy to make, turn out super cute, and when you hang them on your tree you can almost see the little gnomes creep out of the woodwork.  i love them. 

ha ha...gross

i knit so much this weekend that at one point my mean pea started to throb.  it was actually under there, pulsing away, grossing everyone out. 

i am a hardcore eXtreme knitter, though, so i just took two more advils and got back to work.  there are a million more tiny mushroom that need to be made, and my afghan looks more and more awesome with every passing stitch. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

jingle bells

this is the last weekend before the Big Holiday, and i plan on spending all of it at home, baking some cookies and doing some knitting.  there are a few things i would like to pick up, but i had a kerfuffle with my bank account, and so those last minute presents will be VERY last minute; like xmas eve.  ugh.  i hate putting it off so long, but the legal firm i'm using for my bankruptcy made an accounting mistake and took too much out of my account this month.  the good news is that since they've got it, they'll use it for some other fees that i won't have to worry about later.  D got fussy about it, and i would have too, but the fact remains that i'm using kind of a cheap law firm.  that's what i could afford, and you know, you get what you pay for.  i'm sure they'll handle all the filing and typing and all that jazz just fine, a little accounting mistake hasn't shaken my faith to the core or anything like that.  it throws a kink into my holiday planning, but nothing serious.  i had most everything bought anyhow!

the kids are now on xmas break; one of them is out riding his bike, one is reveling in watching tv (since she's been banned from it for weeks now).  i'm going to warm up my cup of coffee, work on more tiny knit mushrooms, an afghan, and maybe a batch of eggnog bread.  i might not leave the house or even change out of my pjs today.  so don't come over!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

making a list!

it's feeling like a holiday kind of day.  the girlchild is dressing the tree (she loves it, and i let her do most of it; partly because i'm lazy, partly because it's just a lot of fun to drink coffee on the couch and tell her how awesome it looks), i'm packing stuff up, working on cleaning my sewing/knitting/computer room, and doing some last-minute gift knitting.  i told the girlchild i'm working on some mittens for my sister, but joke's on her!  the mitts are actually for her, i just don't have time to try to hide the knitting from her.  my mom used to do the same thing to me; every year i'd see her working on something for someone else, and it would end up in a box for me.  i was a dupe as a kid (soooo gullible) i never once caught on.  it happened almost every year, and i know mom thought i was in on her little joke, but i must have been in my 20's by the time i figured it out. 

all that talk of my genius is sometimes overstated, is the point of that anecdote! 

i have been trying to downsize my crafty supplies.  some are from projects i used to work on years ago, and might not get back into.  a lot are taking up valuable space.  i don't know what's come over me the past year, but i'm way more open to getting rid of stuff.  my packrat days are fading.  yeah, i might use that ball of yarn i've been carting from one apartment to another for YEARS to make a hat, but honestly?  if i haven't used it by now, i probably won't.  that's okay.  someone else might get more use out of it, or at the very least it can become part of their stash.  i've got a cup of coffee, my new favorite podcast on, and boxes filling with stuff that's got to get out of my house.  wish me luck! 

Monday, December 06, 2010

holiday crafting!

one of my favorite things to do is watch hoarders while making a mess in my own house crafting.  watching people cram their houses with useless stuff encourages me to clean up after myself. plus, my house looks fucking amazing in comparison. 

my awesome friends the o'neals bought me this equally awesome card making kit from stencil 1! at first i had kind of a hard time using it (i am impatient! i didn't read the instructions very well, and applied way too much paint!), now that i know what i'm doing, i can't stop stenciling everything in sight.   i also want to buy a lot more stencils and put them up all over town.  the stag stencil is a great holiday/xmas card motif; nice and bold without being too sappy.  if you get one for xmas, please act surprised.  i'm sorry i burst the bubble, they are just too rad to keep to myself.

how do atheists spent xmas?

pretty much like everyone else.  i do, anyway.  truth be told, i LOVE christmas music.  my favorite thing to do this time of year is to find one of those "all xmas music, all the time" radio channels and sing along until my lungs bleed.  i know it's weird, but i spent a lot of time believing in god and liking the christmas story, and even though i don't have faith now, doesn't mean i don't appreciate all the awesome holiday accouterments. 

i read this lovely comic by box brown today, and there were parts of it that reminded me of my life.  i also loved anne rice books, read some stuff by sylvia browne in college, and did keg stands.  go check it out!

our christmas tree might go up today!  i'll also be making some holiday cards (hopefully) and turning some of the five million mushrooms i knit this weekend into ornaments.  i have this suspicion i should eschew all this for festivus or something, but what can i say? i'm sucker for a jolly man wearing red who likes to eat cookies. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

we're still knitting a lot of mushrooms

by "we" i mean the boychik is in on it now, as is one of his little friends.  so far the count is 7 'shrooms total, including one stuffed with catnip for lulu.

Friday, December 03, 2010


i really wanted to talk about my awesome book tonight, but it was a strange night and all i ended up doing was drinking a few beers and knitting some mushrooms. 

i don't talk about work a whole ton because a) it's not always real cheerful and b) HIPAA, dudes.  today was a reasonable day at work, followed by a shitty email from a teacher (guess who skipped an IN-CLASS homework assignment?! is she trying to give me an aneurysm?), after which i came home, found some awesome mail, and then went stocking stuffer shopping.  a little retail therapy helps at times.  after that, literally moments after walking in the door, i got a call from my co-worker who said there was an ER case that came in that looked bad.  the hospital called nicely (since we don't work on call; it's one of the weird things about being a contractor) and asked us to come back in (which is super rare), so the patient could get their MRI before being moved to a different,  bigger hospital.  going back into work wasn't a big deal, i live all of five minutes away.  the case was shitty though.  the patient is super sick.  not a little "oh, we can work on this" sick but probably "good luck" sick.  the whole family was there, and it was more than a little heartbreaking.  it made annoying homework issues and home stuff seem downright prosaic and lovely.  after that, i just wanted to come home and hang out with my people and just be here, now.  it's corny, i know it, and i think saying it out loud makes is 500 x cheesier, but i have these moments at work when i realized i need to go home and appreciate everyone here for a few minutes, because right now just doesn't last as long as you want it to.  i wouldn't trade my shittiest days with this family, my family, for anything.  i hope the family i helped tonight are okay.  i hope that things get better for them.

in the meantime i'm going to knit some ridiculous mushrooms and stay up too late.   

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

fruiting body

i'm currently reading city of saints and madmen, which talks a lot about both squids and mushrooms.  needless to say, i am smitten.  i'll tell you more about how much i love this book tomorrow, i just wanted to show you my tiny mushroom before i went to bed.  i woke D up to show up, but oddly enough, he wasn't as pleased as i am.  jeez, you wake your boyfriend to show him how crafty you are, you would think he would be a little more enthusiastic.  or something.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

sleepy sleepy

but not really.  i took a nap after work (give me a break! i'd had five days off, working a whole day was a shock to my system!) and now i'm awake!

listening to X songs on the youtube's.  man, i have a huge crush on john doe.  he's dreamy, he's got a lovely voice, and in this video you can see his bare chest.  squee!  um, i'm also going to say something that is going to get me into punk rock hot water; i like exene, but i don't like her voice with john's.  don't get me wrong, she's awesome, X is awesome, but i kind of wish she didn't sound so atonal.  ahem.

i know, you know, everyone knows that "cyber monday" is BULLSHIT.  black friday, all the holiday shopping trends, also bullshit.  but...i found a pattern for this gorgeous afghan and the yarn was on sale...and dammit.  i consoled myself by thinking about how i'll use the yarn to make a family heirloom.  or something for the cat to nap on.  either is okay with me!

Monday, November 29, 2010

L4 can go to hell!

maybe L5 too...

my back has definitely been feeling out of sorts lately.  that's not big news, it bothers me on and off from time to time.  as a kid i sprained it pretty badly and have the tiniest case of scoliosis known to doctors.  it's enough to get me checked out every time one of them feels me up, but not enough to really trouble me or do anything about (but exercise the damn thing).  i thought a nice long walk today would help work my current kinks out, like it usually does, but i hardly went half a mile before my back started in.  it's not just the pain my lower back, it's the sciatica that gets me.  my left thigh likes to go numb, and sometimes it feels like my hip socket might be lined with shards of glass.  awesome!  i did go a whole mile before i gave up, which felt ridiculous.  a mile?!  that was too short a walk.  i know better than to push it, though; i came home and had some ibuprofen and a warm shower, did some more stretches, and will try again tomorrow.  sometimes my back just needs an afternoon to act like a jackass and then it's fine. 

i will admit, though, i would like to move some of that turkey and gravy out of my system!  thanksgiving lasts a long time in this family, and i might be comprised right now of 25% gravy and pie. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

i love my family

but i'm kind of sick of seeing them.  this holiday extravaganza has lasted about three days too long.  yesterday was the girlchild's birthday, which was fun (she got two pairs of boots!  which made the kid super happy).  we had dinner out with my mom and niece, spent the day goofing off and making a tiny layer cake.  today we have thanksgiving over at D's folks house.  i really want to call out sick to it, not because i don't like them (i love them!) but because OMG how much turkey can a family eat? 

i also miss my pop.  i have a sneaky suspicion that holidays might make me slightly grumpy for a few years, especially if they are nice and drawn-out and give me more opportunities to think about him. 

the only thing keeping me perky and smiling out in public is a little pee-wee herman.  go watch the christmas special and feel the holiday spirit suffuse you with goodness.  or something.   it might help to have a cocktail as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010

i'm kinda busy

i admit, i was curious about the band in the hyundai commercial.  they're cute.  looking them up on the internets, i discovered this little cover they did of lady gaga's telephone.  it made me giggle.  you're welcome!

proof that i really am english

i've discovered that i love monty python.  like, a lot.  i could watch it all day long.  lucky for me, they've been playing it a lot on IFC.  there's nothing better than knitting a hat and watching monty python for hours.  trust me. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

kind of late, but still.  when i went to bed last night, we had quite the guest list.  woke up this morning to snow still falling and a few inches on the ground, and a short time later our list was considerably smaller.  i admit i was bummed out that my mom, sister and aunt weren't coming over, but we had an awesome day anyway.  D's parents came over, the kids were both in happy moods, we made way too much food, and then took naps in the living room after eating our way through it.  it was nice.  i was sad mom was stuck at home, but she was happy to be cozy with her dog and knitting, and not trying to navigate icy roads and ridiculous washington drivers.  she might still come up this weekend to eat leftovers with us! 

we just nibbled a bit on leftovers as we cleaned up, watched some ridiculous tv (ancient astronauts, anyone?!) and now the boys are in the living room watching something called "prank" and cracking up.  i hope you all had a great day.  i know once i stopped being disappointed about everyone getting snowed in, i ended up really enjoying the snow and getting ready with my little family.  it was a small, intimate thanksgiving dinner, which was different for us.  we still have one more thanksgiving celebrations to attend this weekend, and maybe an impromptu party or two this weekend, and enough food to eat leftovers for weeks.  i have a long weekend ahead of me (i don't go back to work until next tuesday!) so i plan on getting my lounge on and doing some serious knitting and cleaning.  or just knitting.  we'll see! 

Monday, November 22, 2010


i had two options for today: go to the dentist to have some old fillings pulled and re-filled (which feels the same as just getting a damn cavity filled), or go to the girlchild's parent-teacher conference.  normally i'd do anything to get out of going to the dentist, including crying, faking my death, barfing, etc,  but today that actually sounded like the better option.  so now i have a face full of numb, and D had to deal with the teachers all by his lonesome.

i love the girlchild.  i think she's funny and interesting and sweet, but her grades this year have been abhorrent.  the kind of stuff she brought home at the last progress report would have gotten me grounded for YEARS.  i know i've mentioned it before, but there are times when my parenting style differs from D's, and this proved to be one of those times.  he didn't want to make her feel bad, and i never wanted her to be able to leave the house again.  we've been working together to figure out what's going on, why her grades are this bad (it's not because she's dumb, i'll give her that), and what we can do, all together, to make them better.  it is exhausting work, and i have to say it's disheartening to work all day at my actual job and then spend hours arguing with an 11 year old who KNOWS EVERYTHING ALREADY (GOD!), and trying to help her get her work done.  it's been a trying few weeks, and i'm still figuring out a good way to help her, without doing the work for her (or getting conned into doing more than i should be).  teaching self-reliance and responsibility while trying to help is tougher than i thought it would be.

i know going to the dentist instead of going to the school probably isn't the best thing i could have done (if i had been on top of stuff i would have just moved my appointment), but i am sick of talking/thinking/working on this subject.  there have also been a few times that i've clearly stepped on D's toes, and i want to give him some space to work on this by himself as well.  i'm also a little tired of being the Hammer Of Consequences (i.e. the Wicked Stepmother), and if i put off this dental appointment, i'd never go.

things are slowly righting themselves, and i think our girl understands that we really aren't trying to be assholes, but it's hard work.  i hope the meeting went well today, and that D comes home with nothing but good news, and that my mouth co-operates while i try to drink a cup of tea.  we also got snow today, and i am freezing.

p.s.  if you live in the skagit valley and are looking for a dentist, i highly recommend dr. matterand.  i always call him dr. matterhorn in my head, but trust me, he's awesome.  i am nervous and sketchy and usually require medication to visit the dentist, but this guy makes everything easy and painless.  i have yet to feel a needle going into my gums.  good times.  his staff is also awesome, and the kids see dr. forsythe and love him too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


this year thanksgiving is at our house.  i did this for a few reasons, one of which being that even though my mom lives only an hour or so away, i'm a bit sick of driving out to the island.  there's also something kind of exciting about being grown-up enough to host a holiday.  to get ready, today we did a whole lot of work around the house.  things were vacuumed, bleach spray was used liberally in the bathroom, the carport was cleaned out, and i bought a slipcover for the couch.  whew.  then i took a long ass nap.  i'm really not so domestic, it took a lot out of me.

i'm also working on a lap-afghan that no one loves but me.  see it up there!  it's loud and ridiculous and soft and cozy.  i maybe knit a bit too much this weekend, my mean pea is acting up and my left wrist is unhappy with me.  tomorrow i get to go to the dentist and maybe the girlchild's parent-teacher conference.  i say maybe because D might have to go without me, depending on how long the dentist takes.  honestly, i could do without both, but what are you going to do?  i need to have a filling replaced, and we need to get a handle on why getting homework done is such an issue for the girl.  good times!  we'll also get to do a little more shipping for thanksgiving day supplies, and i might bust out the new tablecloth.  ooh, la la. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

did i mention i have the weekend off?

because although i know i did, i don't think i told you why that was at all important and/or interesting.  the thing is, since earlier this summer i've been working with a co-worker's daughter two mornings a weekend.  not such a huge deal, as i have three day weekends i always had a day to myself.  however, it's been about six months, and i'm now trying to honestly get married, and i was spending upward of six hours a weekend being responsible and having a standard appointment set up.  it meant needing to make arrangements when i wanted to go somewhere overnight or have a weekend "off," and it cut my weekend days into weird little chunks.  i'm not complaining; what i was doing was awesome and i felt like i was helping out a family i truly like.  at the same time, i'd forgotten what three whole days full of fuck-all were like, and you know what?  three whole days to myself, to do what i want, when i want to do it, are pretty fucking awesome.  yesterday i spent the whole day with the girlchild, shopping and goofing and going to a fall festival at her school.  we bought expensive lip balms and ate out for dinner.  we rented penelope (which was charming) and stayed up late waiting for her father to come home.  this morning i slept in and am now having a cup of coffee with both half & half and sugar in it.  i'm not trying to convince you i'm a badass when i say i usually take my coffee black, it's just i grew up drinking it that way and am lazy in the morning.  i just need it in my cup, and hot, and that's enough.  however, cream and sugar are delightful, and i think i'm going to spend all day drinking coffee and wandering around the house working on crafty shit.  there is a good chance my pj's will be on all day, and that makes me impossibly happy.

what's your favorite thing to do when you have a weekend day with nothing on the agenda?  do you get stuff done or just laze about?  is there something special, like coffee with cream, you save for those days?      

Saturday, November 13, 2010

shoppy stuff

i just got a whole ton of xmas shopping done over on etsy.  nothing feels better than looking at a list and checking stuff off!  what i love about etsy (and i'm sure i've mentioned this before) is that you can get handmade, unique stuff, at totally reasonable prices.  i love it. 

this is the first weekend in quite a while where i haven't had anything to do.  the agenda holds a whole lot of nothing, and after a ridiculous amount of sleep last night (think double digits, baby), i'm feeling all kinds of productive. 

it was also decided last night that thanksgiving this year will be at my house.  that is a first.  i was talking to D the other day when i asked him how he would feel if we just stayed home this year.  i love my family, but i do kind of hate having to drive all over on the holidays, and i thought there might be a way of just keeping to home this year.  i brought it up with my mom yesterday and was surprised to hear her say she thought that was an awesome idea, and that she would much rather come over here.  my sister said the same thing.  our house is the biggest, and while our kitchen isn't the best (that honor would go to my mother), we have been here long enough to know how to work with it.  i'm kind of excited to be grown-up enough to host a family holiday.  i think deciding on a menu and working on the meal together will also be good practice for D and i vis-a-vis wedding planning and stuff.  we think we work well together in the kitchen, because at home we do, but on a larger scale? who knows.  one of us might be a culinary dictator and not even know it. 

i think now i'll wash my hair, then venture out to get a trim.  i'm getting a bit shaggy.  although i did have a terrible dream last night that i went to get an inch cut off and they gave me a bob that made me cry.  do you think that's a sign? in that dream i also ran into my favorite babysitter as a child, who was a hot young man named jay, and tried to get him to make out with me.  even though i was a grown-up in the dream, he declined, saying he couldn't kiss a girl he'd babysat.  i was bummed. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

whoa, slow down

i just put an alchemy request up over on etsy, for help designing my save the date cards.  in like five minutes i had five bids!  crazy!  it's exciting, though.  while i'm crafty, my computer skills aren't always the best, and i don't have access to photoshop or illustrator or even any fancy microsoft stuff.  instead of beating my head against my computer and coming up with something retarded looking, i thought "i can ask for help with this."  help indeed!  it's too bad i have to go back to work, i could look at invites and bids all day. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

quiet monday

i had such plans for yesterday!  i was going to work on all sorts of crafty things, i was going to do some laundry and some cleaning, i was going to make some sort of delicious dinner.  then D and i went out to breakfast, i had the world's worst bloody mary, and all my ambition kind of slipped away.  i napped, lazed about in my track pants*, then ate what D made for dinner and passed out on the couch watching cartoons. 

so far today i've already gotten more done than yesterday, which isn't too hard since yesterday i did NOTHING.  i'm hoping to keep my productive streak going, using daylight savings time to my advantage.  i want to start working on save the dates, and get some stuff done around the house while the kids are at school.  this is why i love mondays, the house is quiet, D and i get to goof around, and if you get up early enough you have the pleasure of seeing the whole day spread out before you, waiting for you to do all sorts of things. 

*i bought them for walking, which i do use them for, but have found that when i'm not in scrubs lately, i'm in a pair of track pants and a sweatshirts.  it's like my weekend uniform.  gross.

Friday, November 05, 2010

movie talk

i just watched get him to the greek, the unrated version, with the girlchild.  i kept saying, "may! this is inappropriate!  INAPPROPRIATE.  please disregard the last scene."  as though she's a jury i can bully. ha! 

the boychik and i are getting ready to watch splice.  after that, i'll apologize for parenting while drinking wine, and fall asleep.  we all win.  or something.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

hell yes!

since i've gotten the button maker, you may have noticed i've been kind of quiet about it.  to be honest, it wasn't working.  or rather, it worked one out of four or five times.  we tried everything to fix it, and finally decided to wait until we got some new parts before we thought about sending it back.  D and i ordered parts from two other companies, and a set showed up last night, just as i was taking dinner out of the oven.  HOLY SHIT.  the difference is amazing.  the machine isn't sticking, it isn't smooshing stuff, it's doing what it's supposed to do.  granted, there are still a few boo-boo buttons on occasion, but from what i've read, that's totally normal.  one out of ten or twenty is an okay number by me, and honestly, some of those were user error (like forgetting to put in a piece of mylar).

can i tell you how excited i am?!  i've been cutting up cute old japanese stationery and paper, magazine photos, and have a cute little assembly line set up at the kitchen table.  the plans i have!  the buttons i want to make!  i honestly think i might even need a simple version of photoshop, but i'll wait until after the holidays for that.  maybe.  i am having so much fun playing with it that there's always a chance i'll order sooner...  i might put some of the buttons up on etsy in sets, but more than anything i just want to make all the buttons i think of in my head, and put them on all my clothes, on the kids clothes, on D, on the cat, on the busdriver and postman, etc.  if you want me to send you one at random, let me know!  i want to share the button-y love.  send me an email at pinprick (at) gmail (dot) com!  

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

more talk of centipedes

it's awful, but i am the type of kid to tell my mother about something as gross as the human centipede.  while at her house on saturday, i told both her and my aunt about it, and while my aunt was aghast (because, duh) my mom went from being shocked to being seriously curious.  she wanted to know where she could rent it, and if i didn't know any better, i'd say there's a good chance that at some point my mother will view that movie all on her own. 

in other news, my mother is awesome.

my sinuses, however, not so awesome.  i actually took the day off work today to blow copious amounts of mucus out of my face and lay around moaning about how much my head hurts.  thanks to a handful of sudafed, my head feels better, albeit floating three feet above my neck.  i'm trying to make the house tidy (ha!), and getting ready for a walk over to the post office.  i sold some stuff on amazon this week to appease D, and to make some room.  for four people, there sure is a lot of stuff in this house, and most of it is mine.  no, that's not quite it.  about half of it is mine, and that's still too much! 

i missed the premiere of the walking dead this weekend, i'm not sure how that happened, so i'm going to try to hunt it down in re-runs or on the computer this week too.  the boychik and i need to see it.  i'm also going to play around with save-the-date ideas and using a printer with my mac.  i have an idea for a linocut too i want to mess around with.  days off are great for this sort of thing, even if it does come with snot and a headache.  

Monday, November 01, 2010

hooray for november!

rexville grange, represent
the month of october just ran on by, i'm hoping i get a chance to slow things down and enjoy november more.  so far it's off to a good start, and the end of october was pretty rad.  i had a birthday, which was fun (we went to port townsend for the day and just wandered around), there was halloween and all the candy, and we found a place to get married next year.  that's it, up there. 

i really loved the laconner flats, and getting married there in the rose garden sounded pretty fucking amazing.  however, we are going to have a lot of wedding guests.  that is something i've come to terms with: D's got a big family, and he just isn't okay with the idea of a little ceremony with hardly anyone there.  having the wedding at the flats meant we needed to rent a tent, or two, some heaters, chairs and tables and you can see where this is heading, right?  all that money for rentals was eating into our budget, and at the end of the day we'd have an awesome looking wedding with pigs in a blanket as appetizers.  i like pigs in a blanket, but was hoping for more on my wedding day.  there's also the whole issue of the two of use being kind of into food, and when we sat down and talked about what was important to us on our wedding day, we agreed that making sure our guests were fed and happy was a big thing. 

whew.  to that end, we postponed stuff.  obviously.  i started looking around at different venues, and stumbled across a website about washington state granges.  one we've driven past on many a sunday is the rexville grange.  i sent over an email to get some more information, and yesterday D and i drove our there to take a peek.  holy shit.  the place is HUGE (i mean it, it's massive), has a great old history, comes with tables and chairs aplenty, and has a beautiful outdoor area that we can also use if the weather holds.  it's also seriously reasonably priced, and you get the whole place from friday night to sunday.  the day of the wedding you get to just relax and focus on being wed, because you have the day before to set up, and the day after to tear down.   

a lot of what was stressing us both out about the wedding is now taken care of.  i don't have to rent anything, i don't have to do a lot more in the way of logistics, and can focus on fun stuff, like invites and decorations.  D is still in charge of the food (for the most part), and instead of a sit-down dinner we're thinking about going the nibbles route.  good nibbles, of course, but lots of delicious finger foods and pie and cake rather than a buffet or something more formal.  the weather in northwest washington in the month of may can also be lovely or rainy, so it's nice to know that we have indoor and outdoor options, and no matter what, people will be dry and comfortable.  we have plenty of time to work on the rest, thanks to already having a good idea of what we want, and starting work on it earlier.  having the site nailed down (again) and the date set (also, again) is a relief.  i did tell D if he tries to postpone again, i'm going to kill him, if my mom doesn't get to him first.  no wedding is ever perfect, and i think after our first try planning one, he's gotten that.  hopefully he'll relax and just enjoy setting this one up, because if he doesn't? i'm going to insist on elopement or staying shacked up forever.  it was disappointing to call off the wedding, and i don't think i can go through that again, even if it wasn't because of cold feet and was just all about the planning and timing, and even if it was nice to have more time.  one postponement is enough for this girl, thank you very much. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

the human centipede

yes, i watched it.  i had to, i live with a 16 year old boy who practically squealed with delight when he saw it was at the redbox.  i told him we had to be quiet about it, and never tell anyone we watched it, but here i am already breaking that rule.  for one thing, it was quite possibly a million times better than i expected, and i wasn't even drunk.  the bad guy was so deliciously creepy and evil with just a hint of camp, and it had all the "oh my god don't go in there!" moments i love in a horror film.  for a movie about people being sewn together ass-to-mouth, it was well done.  nicely shot, nicely cast, creepy and subversive and ridiculous.  i suppose i expected so little that i might just be surprised that it wasn't the worst thing ever, but honestly? if you dig on gross horror films, you'll like it.  watch it for the creepy guy, and you won't regret it.  he reminds me of a euro-version of christopher walken.  that, my friends, is high praise.   

Friday, October 29, 2010


tonight the girlchild is off at a sleepover, where they will be watching scary movies and probably not sleeping all night long.  D is working, so the boychik and i rented a few creepy movies ourselves, ordered a pizza, and bought cheetos.  i might also be imbibing an adult beverage or two, because you know, i'm a grown up and i love watching vampires and spooks while tipsy.

tomorrow is my 33rd birthday, and i have high hopes for this year.  it sounds corny, but i like really like the sound of thirty-three.  it's such a nice number, that i'm sure it's also going to be a nice year.  tomorrow D and i go see some of my aunties and my mom on the island, then we'll spend the rest of the day goofing off.  i also have a trunk full of pumpkins that need to be carved, and the button machine is finally working okay.  there are still some kinks to be worked out, and some research i need to do, but for the most part, it's up and running. 

oh, the buttons i have planned for you.  go watch something creepy with your loved ones, i'll talk to you soon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

buttons and hookers

the day charlie sheen stops hiring hookers is the day he dies.  or i lose interest.  whichever comes first.  truth be told, i know i should think he's a cad, but i find him a delightful scamp.  what gives? why does the feminist part of my brain go on vacation when i read these stories?  i should be outraged or irritated, but instead i'm all "oh! that charlie! what will he do next?"  he's not dennis the menace, he's obviously a misogynistic alcoholic, but i can't imagine him any other way.     

also!  my sweet D bought me a button maker for my birthday and it showed up early!  that's the good news.  the bad news, either i am retarded and can't make it work, or it's cursed because it is not working.  i got two or three buttons out of it, then a piece of paper got stuck, and now it seems irrevocably fubar-ed.  it didn't come with instructions, so i've been using the internets to figure it out, but i have a feeling it really isn't supposed to be as hard to use and shouldn't be frustrating me quite this much.  i should just be making BUTTONS.  shit.  i'm thrilled that my boyfriend is so awesome, but annoyed at the machine.  no matter what happens i know this: if this machine doesn't work out, i'm buying another one because the few buttons i did get made are AWESOME.  the end.  (how have i not bought one before now?)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

hey look!

not only do i knit hats for awesome boys (dave and cary, to be exact), but i make the same face in each photo of the finished product.  i guess i think i have a good side, and i'm sticking to it.

this one is D's
this one is for D and is made out of some seriously luxurious yarn.  alpaca with a twist recently came out with highlander, which is merino, baby alpaca and just a smidge of microfiber.  it's a bit spendy, so i couldn't make him something big like a sweater out of it, but for a hat it wasn't too much at all.  besides, i still think he shouldn't get a sweater until he marries me, which is ridiculously old-fashioned for a girl who is shacked up with her boyfriend.  what can i say? i'm only traditional about stupid things.  i found the pattern over on ravelry, from a yarn store up in canada.  i liked the honeycomb cable pattern; it gives it an interesting texture without being too fussy. 
after i finished this one tonight, i decided it should be sent to cary.  he's living with my favorite portland family right now, and this hat should keep his noggin warm through his first oregon fall and winter.  he's originally from arizona, so he's still getting acclimated to our odd, damp, dark weather.  it's from an awesome pattern i also found over on ravelry, and is made with my favorite acrylic, vanna's choice.  it's warm, but can be thrown in the washer and drier when it needs it, without him having to worry about it.  it reminds me of tiger stripes.  i liked working the pattern, too, so i think i'll be making a few more before the holiday season is through.

nothing makes me feel craftier than starting and finishing a project in a weekend, and hats are perfect for that!  i want to make myself a new one, but it's like the scarf dilemma; so many hats, only one head to wear them on.  such is the trouble all knitters have... 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

one down, a million to go

parenting milestone being met tonight:

first time cleaning up kid puke!  not spit up, not cat barf, but honest-to-goodness, vomit in a bucket. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

back in the saddle baby

i went for my first walk after the half marathon tonight.  my blisters are healed (some are still kind of gross looking, though), and the only pain i have left is this weird spot on my right heel that got rubbed pretty raw by my shoe.  i've been keeping it covered this week, and put a little moleskin over the bandaid tonight before i went out, and that seemed to work fine.  it felt good to be outside for a while.  i only did 2 miles, and it's amazing how short a walk that felt. 

i was listening to elliott smith's XO, as i cruised around the park.  the album has a few waltzes on it, and one came on as i rounded a corner.  the sun was beginning to go down, the light was all reddish and golden, and there were a group of kids rehearsing for a quinceañera.  the waltzes matched up almost perfectly.  it was lovely.  if it weren't such a sad song, i'd have waltz #2 at the wedding for sure.  maybe i still will, who knows!  i might be able to sneak it in as background noise during the reception...

Monday, October 18, 2010

what's funny is that i have a cardigan just like this

thank you natalie dee for summing this up so well!

i might be sick in the head...

but your friend amanda just signed up for two more half marathons.  one is in january, and is close to home and a small affair.  i figure it's kind of nice to have something to keep in shape for.  the other is the portland half again; i had an amazing time in the city with my friends, and the race was hard, but also awesome.  i'm surprise at how much i enjoyed it.  my official time was 4 hours and 17 minutes, which is INSANE and makes me want to keep training.  technically, that time should read something closer to 4 hours and 30-45 minutes, so if i can keep up with the four and seventeen, i'll be a happy girl.

who the hell am i becoming?  crazy.  it feels good, though, and i have to say, just thinking about training makes me smile.  i hate you, endorphins.  look at what you've turned me into!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the schedule for tonight

involves eating clam chowder for dinner and taste testing a variety of apple ciders.  that's why i love D; sometimes we'll see something interesting at the store (like hard apple ciders) and decide we need to buy a few and try them next to each other while taking goofy notes and saying ridiculous, foodie things that would get you kicked anywhere else.  plus, i like that he always makes his chowder, instead of buying it in a can.  he's so dreamy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

i succumbed to the cowl fad

i suppose things could be worse, i could be into sexting or frotage, or whatever the kids are doing these days.  although to be honest, i probably don't need the five hundred or so scarves i've made, bought or inherited over the years.  i bet three would suffice.  if you get some sort of neck-warming-device any time soon from me, i'd like to apologize in advance.  some of them might have to go... 

i had to work at a "women's fair" today, manning a booth that let ladies know our hospital provides MRIs and PET/CT imaging.  it was thrilling.  by thrilling, i mean i started and finished another cowl, read a magazine, and heard way too many women talk about their various diets for hours on end.  lunch was good, though.  they had goat cheese sandwiches and lentil soup.  no one liked the soup but me, and i loved it.  i don't know why lentils get such a bad rap, they are delicious.

i think after that yoni-fest (which D and i decided was the flip side of a sausage-fest) i need a nap, and then i will frost some delicious vanilla cupcakes i made and start cooking dinner.  tonight we are having roasted chicken and squash with mashed potatoes. i love that the cooler weather lends itself to roasting stuff in the oven.     

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

my feet are still kinda fat

this is what 13 miles looks like
i still kind of can't believe i did that half-marathon.  it's an understatement to say that i am really, seriously, truly not built for extreme feats of exercise.  i suppose to a real athelete, 13.1 miles is child's play, but for a girl who loves her couch and won't hustle to answer the phone, 13 miles was a hell of a long walk.

part of the reason i wanted to do this race was to raise money for LLS, but i was also curious to see if i could do it.  my first piercing was also done in the same spirit ("can i really endure a needle through the tongue?"), i learned how to drive a stick because i thought it would be too hard, i moved far away from home because i kinda thought it would kill me, and we all remember that time i lived on a fishing boat because i might never get a chance to do so again.  evidently i am all about making myself uncomfortable in the name of "broadening my horizons."  for someone who is usually so anxious and weird, i sure do a lot of things that seem ridiculous even to me.  in any case, i believe that this is one of those things i did once as a lark, but will keep on doing.  kind of like the piercing and driving a standard shift.

i have a new respect for my body and what i can do.  training for the race showed me how all that talk of exercise and endorphins might not be a lie that thin people tell fat people to make us feel like shit.  spending time out in the world, listening to music and taking in the sights is a fun way to spend an hour or two alone.  i can also feel better about the upcoming zombie apocalypse, because now i have the stamina to get out of the way.  i don't think i'll ever be a racer who cares much about beating other racers, i'm not that competitive; but i can see myself trying to beat my own times, and enjoying doing more walks like this one.

things you won't ever see me doing: throwing my water cup on the ground like a lot of asshole walkers.  that part i didn't get.  i wasn't at the head of the pack, slowing down to throw my cup in the trashcan did not add precious seconds onto my time that i couldn't recover from, so if you were ahead of me and threw your cup on the ground, i thought you were a dick.  if i didn't need to do it, you didn't need to do it either.  you won't ever see me in a super-coordinated, cute running set, unless you think black pants a t-shirt are the height of fashion.  you won't ever see my sneering at other runners or walkers if they get in my way for a fraction of a second.  you won't see me eating one of those energy goo things; they look weird and i can't imagine eating them without looking retarded.  you also won't ever see me throw my clif bar wrapper on the ground because i'm so busy walking fast and can't stuff it back in my stupid fanny pack.  you will probably see me in a fanny pack, though, because as dumb as they look, they really are useful.  after the race, you will probably also have to hear about how my feet hurt and my toes look like vienna sausages.  because guess what? my feet hurt and my toes are swollen little nubs of pain.  in fact, i think i'll go put them up and ice them again!

thanks to everyone who sent me nice thoughts, money, and comments.  it was amazing to have such support, and it sounds cliché, but i couldn't have done this without you!  thank you, thank you, thank you!  

Monday, October 11, 2010

four and half hours, baby!

i survived!  i actually did better than i thought i would.  i also got my period that morning, got lost, and it rained so hard that i ended up with blistered feet (forgot dry socks!) and wearing five hundred pounds of waterlogged clothing.

i am totally, and completely amazed.  it was hard, but the nap i had after the race was sublime, and eating pizza later that afternoon i felt all blissed out and happy.  the o'neals were excellent hosts, as always, and while i'm glad to be home with my people, i still think we all live too far away from each other.

photos and details to come!  right now i'm going to go soak my poor feets, which are swollen to an obscene extreme, but oddly enough, the only part of me that hurts.  my legs, my back, my hips, all still feel rad.  i was better prepared in some ways, not so much in others, i guess.  i had to buy some old man slippers yesterday because my feet were literally too big for all my shoes.  oh, you should see them.  they are a sad, sad sight.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

pre-race jitters

tonight was the pre-race dinner for team in training runners/walkers.  a lot of the people there were very PUMPED and talking a lot about their times and stuff.  honestly, i am one of those people who just hopes i can finish without getting sick or embarrassing myself.  i thought all the talk of pre-race jitters was ridiculous. 

now of course, i should be sleeping, but am awake and a little nervous.  my fanny pack is all ready to go, my clothes are laid out, my taxi cab reservation has been made, and i know in my head i'm as ready as i'm going to get, but my brain wants to stay up and fret.  i took a few benadryls because the dogs here do make me itch a touch, but mostly to get me to sleep sooner.  i'm a dork!

the other weird thing about this is that today i already started thinking about doing this half-marathon next year.  what's become of me? 


can you guess which one is mine?

my race is tomorrow.  i am trying to set up my cheap-ass pay-as-you-go cell phone so i can update you while barfing in port-o-potties.  ha! i joke.  i will not be using my cell phone while puking.  i really, really hope i don't vomit.  we went to get my race day stuff today, and i have to say, all those serious marathon runners in one place gave me hives.  they were very SERIOUS and WALKING BRISKLY.  there were also a million people in one place, all hot but wet because it was pouring out, so collectively we were a steamy mess.  needless to say, i was glad to get out of there. 

so far my portland trip has been awesome; lots of great food, some treats bought for my people, a visit to a yarn store (!), and now i'm getting ready to carbo load and then go to bed early.  if i die tomorrow in the race, please make sure you remember me fondly, and that no one makes any reference to my failure on my tombstone.  okay, thanks!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

i fixed the goddamn stereo in the car

but it took me way too long, i had to do an exhaustive research on the internets, and i had to deal with a very polite juggalo TWICE at the auto zone down the road.  i also beat the shit out of my hand prying the damn fuses out, one by one, so i could figure out which one had blown.  it was worth it though, because tomorrow i will be spending a lot of time in my car driving to portland, and i can't listen to my thoughts for more than 15 minutes before i go bat-shit crazy. 

whew.  after all that work i need a sandwich. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

please feel free to disagree, but please back your comments up with examples!

i picked up a copy of "the corrections" two weeks ago because so many reviews of franzen's latest book have been published.  there's the whole talk of "is this as big a masterpiece as the last?" and frankly, it made me want to know what all the fuss was about.  an old co-worker of mine and i decided to read it, as our own mini, email book club.  i'm about 100 pages in, and here are my thoughts so far:
  • some passages are terribly, awfully overwrought.  like franzen just got a thesaurus and is using it to make certain sentences as fussy as possible.  using big words to obfuscate* or otherwise confuse the reader, and give the ones who can follow it an undeserved pat on the back for their genius.  i imagine it also causes a lot of readers to act like the emperor's advisers, talk a lot about how genius it all is, when really it's just awkwardly written.
  • which isn't to say i don't enjoy reading novels that make you work for it, that aren't spare in style like say, Margaret Atwood or Kent Haruf.  even j.d. salinger is sometimes over-the-top, and packs a lot into sentences than run on, but at least he makes an effort to make make them readable.
  • the shrill, martyring, passive-aggressive mom archetype? again?  that just always makes me think an author has mommy issues.  maybe that's why franzen was such a dick to oprah.  (although given a chance, i might also act like an impudent child with oprah myself. i can see the appeal.)
  • it must be so hard to be so well-read, so well-educated, and so rich.  poor, poor lamberts.
 i still might change my mind about all this.  just so you know.

*i know, right?! i'm a dick!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

the downside of fall

is that i never want to go to bed because there are too many awesome things to do.  tonight i made a rad dinner (stewy goodness), baked these crazy cute mini pumpkin cakes (which are being frosted right now), got some grocery shopping done, painted my nails, painted my toenails, tidied up the kitchen i destroyed with all the baking and cooking, watched an episode of SVU and now i'm blogging.  i never, ever, ever want to go to bed.

also, why is it that i never want to bake before 9 p.m.?  is there a name for this nocturnal baking?  it's like my favorite thing.   

Sunday, October 03, 2010

at the risk of sounding corny...

tonight i made homemade potstickers for dinner.  as you can see, i also made peanut noodles with stir-fry broccoli and porky goodness as well.  this was a huge platter of food. partly because we have a 16 year old boy, partly so we would have some leftovers.  by "some" i mean noodles; potstickers never stand a chance in this house.

after i took this photo, and watched everyone settle down to eat, i realized why i had spent way too much time today making this whole thing by hand.  the kids would eat a store-bought potsticker, i know it and you know it, the trouble is, the kids are little foodies just like D and me.  i make dinners like this because i absolutely love how everyone reacts.  i love watching dinner get decimated.  i love having kids come in for tastes while i cook.  i love it when the kids friends come over and swoon over homemade anything.  i like hearing them boast about how awesome dinner was.  i'm an absolute sucker for their praise.  what it boils down to is this: i like making them dinner because they like to eat it.  my favorite part of being some one's semi-step-mom is feeding them and watching them be happy.  i've always loved feeding people i love, but this? is awesome in a way i couldn't have explained before.  i'm sad sometimes when i see photos of my kids when they were younger and knowing i missed that, but it feels really awesome (super-ultra-mega-awesome) to know i'm making them dinners they enjoy and ask for again and again.

i'm really not much of an evil step-mother.  sure, i bitch when they don't do their chores and homework, but overall, i'm a softie who wants to make them dinner and hug them goodnight.  dammit.  there goes my indie cred...

hello, october!

my favorite month is upon us!  the weather is getting cooler and the days a bit shorter, and halloween and my birthday are coming.  this year my birthday falls on a saturday, which is nice.  it means i don't have to take the day off work.  :-)

there's battle of the bands going on in my house at the moment; D is in our room, listening to led zeppelin, and the girlchild is in her room, listening to some top 40 radio.  katy perry and robert plant, oh my.  i'm sandwiched in the middle, in the computer room, kind of hating my life.  both are cleaning, and both are in less-than-stellar mood.  whoo!

i have one last week to kind of get ready for this half-marathon.  i know i'm not going to pass out or die during the race, thanks to my internal laziness (i wouldn't really know how to push myself too hard, physically), and also thanks to there being medical professionals and water stations at this thing.  i'm not going to do great, though.  at this point, however, survival totally trumps excellence.  you'll get to hear all about how sore i am next week, i promise.  i bet you can't wait!

another great thing about october? all the horror movies on tv.  i've been going out of my way to rent kid-friendly movies for the girlchild as often as i can, because what's fun for the boychik and i is fun for no one else.  we get away with it when D's at work and she goes to bed, but i don't want her feeling left out of the fun.  i'm also using this time to pass on valuable parental advice.  like, in all horror films, the girls going wild in the movies always die first.  i told her that having fun at parties when she gets older is one thing, but if she takes it too far, the psycho in the woods with a hook for a hand is going to come for her first, so she better be careful.  i got an eyeroll for that, but also a giggle.  i know when i was her age, i hated scary movies, so i'm keeping that in mind when i go rent something.  for every copy of slash and bleed that comes into the house, some ridiculous comedy comes in as well.  it's only fair!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 1/2

i got to see my niece this weekend, who i hadn't seen in weeks.  i took some photos (as usual) and  uploaded them to flickr the other day.  while putting them in my "baby" album, i realized how many photos of her i have, and how much she's changed since she was an actual baby.  she's over four and a half now, almost five.  talking to her this weekend really drove that point home.  she's suddenly become super-verbal, and tells you what she's thinking and comes up with weird little ideas and theories on her own.  we were talking about the babies at her daycare when she told me how much she disliked them because they want to play with her toys and they (gasp!) drool on them.  she was seriously horrified by their bad manners.  i pointed out that sharing is nice, and that someday her mama might have another baby and she'll have to share with that baby.  she said mama could get the baby their own toys.  i pointed out that even if the baby does, maggie might have toys that the baby would want to play with anyway.  she thought about it for a moment, then told me she didn't need to worry about it because she's the baby, and mama could only make one in her belly to begin with, and maggie was that baby.  "mama already made her baby, and i'm it."  i pointed at grammy and said, "yeah, but grammy made two babies; mama and me."  maggie just smiled sweetly at me and said again, "but i'm the baby."  you can't really argue with that.  so i asked her, "what if i have a baby? would you share with my baby?"  she said she wouldn't, but that was okay too, because she was my baby.  "you can't have a baby, i'm your baby."  then she does this thing that is infuriating and adorable, where she puts her hands on both sides of your face, then leans in super close, so she has your entire attention.  "mama's not going to have any more babies."  case closed.  if my sister ever does have another child, maggie's world might be rocked. 

it was a sweet weekend, though.  four is not the easiest age (two has nothing on four!), but she was a cuddly monster, at least.  one morning we were all lying in my mom's big bed, and maggie got in the middle (she likes to be the bologna in the sandwich), and she was rolling around in there, and telling us how much she loves us.  she looked pretty blissed out; right in the middle like she likes, warm and cozy and happy.  we played with some flashcards of famous/historical places, and she got really excited about the pyramids.  she told me everything she knows about mummies, and how she wanted to go to egypt to see them.  "we'll go to the pyramids and visit the mummies," she tells me.  i tell her that you can't see them in the actual pyramids, you need to be an egyptologist or archaeologist for that.  she tells me that the mummies are just in there, walking around, they can come out and see us.  i gently suggest that they don't actually walk around like people anymore.  "there are people in there, under all the toilet paper."  yes, but maybe not live ones.  this throws her for a loop, but she went with it.  she decided that seeing mummies in the museum might be enough, and that if she wants to study them in college, she can go inside the pyramids then.  i made a mental note to buy her some kid's egypt books.  i want to encourage any nerdy goodness that comes my way.

it might not be obvious here, but i really like being an aunt.  looking at all the hundreds of photos of baby i've taken over the years, and T and H and all the boys, and i think, "man, this is a good gig."  kids that keep getting sweeter and funnier and smarter, and i get to buy them books and have conversations with them, and feed them treats.  who could ask for more? 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

one more thing...

remember that marathon i'm doing in a few weeks?  if you've been waiting to donate, you can do so now.  you know, no pressure!  but if you'd like to throw a few bucks my way, donating to an awesome cause and helping raise money for cancer research, you should do it this week.  i guess the deadline for funds is this friday.  huh.  i thought i had longer, but i don't! 

check it out over here, my friends.  i can't prove it, but donating money to chubby girls who plan to walk way too long to raise money for a disease that sucks ass will probably get you into the heaven of your choice.  just saying...


oh my goodness, i had no idea how much a bite guard would change my life.  i know it sounds like hyperbole, but DAMN.  after the dentist pointed out where i was messing up my teeth with the grinding, he offered to make me a custom bite guard.  it was like a million dollars.  i politely declined, and said i'd try an over the counter one first.  after looking at reviews on amazon, i picked out this one.  it was easy to mold, not too uncomfortable to wear, and when i woke up this morning i realized how much the bruxism has been messing up  my sleep.  i felt ridiculously well-rested.  it was insane.  yeah, wearing the guard isn't cool looking, and i sound silly while talking in it, but it's worth it.  the sleep i had last night was superb.  if you're looking for a mouth guard, i'd recommend the one by dental hygiene preferred. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

sicky sickertons

we've all had a touch of something the past few days, and i think my particular bug is just beginning to sink its claws in.  i feel really poopy.  i wish there were a better description, aside from just...bleh.  gross and tired and with a funky tummy.  D had the barfs yesterday, so i'm just glad i'm not vomiting (yet! knock on wood!).  spent the day cleaning and making bean stew, along with hours spent reading the latest stephen king book, under the dome.  i like stephen king.  i always feel like i need to justify this in some way, because he's not a "serious" author, and he sells a lot of books, but i just like the way he tells a story.  when his books are good, i can hardly put them down, and when they're mediocre, i still usually enjoy myself enough to finish.  i know i'm not going to win any points with readers of serious Literature-With-A-Capital-L, but it was fun to be able to cozy up with D this afternoon and just read.  afternoons where we just lie in bed, reading and talking and snoozing a bit, are pretty much my favorite thing ever.  i also adore the fact that he never makes fun of me when i say, "i need to watch some cartoons now."  he's a good guy, and if i had to be sickly with a bad tummy, there's no one else i'd rather be peaked with.   

Saturday, September 25, 2010

that was so funny!

i have become pretty much the biggest fan of redbox movies lately.  for one thing, you can rent them online, and then go pick them up and get beer and chips at the same time.  they are only a dollar a day.  no one judges my terrible taste in movies except my little family, who has come to realize i will only rent the seriously retarded or gory.  you can take them back anywhere, so if i rent them at fred's, i can take them back to 7-11 and get a slushie to treat myself.  it really is love.  the other day D even asked if we should shut off the cable because we're watching a lot of movies lately.  i told him the movie thing might just be an infatuation, so we should wait.  plus, i still love watching movies on IFC, sundance and TCM.  you never know what they'll show. 

this weekend i made sure i rented something the girlchild could watch with us without hiding her hands.  date night was surprisingly funny and smart, and i have to admit, i really do like steve carrell and tina fey.  i'm pretty sure i'd watch them do just about anything.  it wasn't high art, but it was totally enjoyable.  legion was the same; enjoyable, fun to watch, kind of badass, but i think the "good guy" might have a brain injury.  all the actors were pretty okay (some hammier than others) but jeep?  mildly retarded.

i'm supposed to go to the dentist on monday to have some old fillings pulled and some new ones put in, but i think i might cancel.  i went in last week for a cleaning and my mouth was sore for a few days.  holding it open while they wrench things out is pretty much my least favorite thing ever.  i like how my mouth feels sparkly at the end, but i forget how much the dentist really does freak me out.  as a child i had some asshole dentist who used to say "open alligator wide" before shoving both his meaty hands in as far as they could go.  i always left there bruised and squirrelly.  thinking about it makes me shudder.  this is why my dental visits are so few and far between, and why i never argue with flossing because it keeps me out of the chair.  i'll get those fillings taken care of, but maybe in another week, when i've forgotten how much i hate going.

i've slept like shit all week, not a wink over 6 hours, and usually less, so i really should be in bed now.  remind me to tell you about the book i'm reading, and the boychik's messed up molars.  that story is actually kind of fun.  in a dental way.   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

screw you, calories

i mentioned the health bowl earlier this week, and how i'm keeping a food diary and all that jazz.  i kind of hate the food diary for a few reasons, one of them being; it's weird and uncomfortable to look at an entry and realize "holy shit, most of my calories today came from beer and cheetos."  i also feel weird about calculating my every calorie, and writing it all down; it feels way too self-absorbed to be good for you.  however, something about it must work because i've totally been a bit more mindful about what i've been eating.  i haven't cut much out all together, but i have been including a lot more veggies and fruit into my meals, and have cut down on the beer and sweets.  i don't want to think of this as a diet because i don't really want to be a woman on a diet.  i don't even want to talk about "diets" unless we're talking about paleo-people and seeds and nuts and bison meat. 

i made a deal with myself to do the health bowl thing honestly.  sure, the points are awesome and i want to win stuff, but i am honestly interested in how some of this might impact me.  the first day of this thing, last friday, i went over to the ER and used their old school scale to weigh myself as a starting point, and was kind of shocked.  i came home and said to D, "congratulations!  you are now dating the Fattest Amanda Ever!"  the numbers were a bit high, if you know what i mean.  it would be easy for me to lie and say i'm not doing this thing to see if i can lose some of that weight, that i want to be healthier only (and i do want to be healthier!), but the truth is, if becoming healthier makes me lose a little of this chub, then i'll be a happy girl.

technically my weigh-in with myself isn't until tomorrow, but i was feeling itchy and the scale was right there...and DUDE.  i lost seven pounds.  in one week.  i know that most of that is water weight, and that when you've got a substantial amount to lose, it comes of quicker at the beginning, but DAMN.  seven pounds!  that's like a lot of weight.  especially considering i mainly just ate more veggies, and drank a lot less beer.  i didn't really walk a lot, and i don't think i did anything that would count as aerobic, so i'm stunned.  veggies!  shit.  i had no idea.  i feel pretty good about losing a few pounds, too.  i hope this doesn't mean i was drinking too much to start with, if just cutting back on beers and eating some carrots are any indication, but part of me doesn't even care because i am now longer The Fattest Amanda Ever.  i'm still Kind of Chubby But Cute Amanda, but my sideshow days might be numbered. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Gets Better: Dan and Terry

this made me so happy! even if you aren't a huge fan of dan savage, and/or savage love, this video and channel is awesome.

and honestly? "it gets better" is good advice for all teens.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

herbal essences, take me away

it's official: i am now grey enough to feel the need to dye my hair.  at first i only had a few stray strands, close enough to my part that i would just pluck them out.  they've started to multiply, though, and i don't really want to pluck a bald patch in my hair.  i picked up some herbal essences dye the other day at the store, and am glad to say that i'm done with plucking.  plus, now my hair is extra shiny!  although it did feel weird to dye my hair a "normal" color.  the kids even seemed disappointed that i wasn't putting in weirdo stripes or going back to the ronald mcdonald red.  what can i say?  i need my job. 

oh god, this totally means i'm growing up or something.  ack.  someone call my mother, she'll be so pleased. 

D made sushi tonight, and now i have a belly full of rice and veggies.  it was delicious.  i'm also excited to have leftovers for lunches this week.  they're doing a health bowl at work, as part of the healthiest state competition.  part of what you do when you're involved in it is keep a food and activity diary.  they give you one free when you sign up and i have to say it's more illuminating than i would have thought.  you really do pay a bit more attention when you're writing it all down.  in any case, sushi was a bit of a stumper for me.  sure, there were veggies involved, but i bet dinner was mostly rice and nori.  i'll have to look up the calories on that. 

dude, calorie counting and dying out the grey.  shit!  sorry you had to read about that.  i promise next time for more exciting fare. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010


i've done nothing so far this weekend but rent scary movies and freak myself out a little.  good times.  i have the house to myself for a bit, so i'm going to go watch a zombie movie and get cozy on the couch with a beer.  D came home last night and found the boychik and i watching daybreakers (which, incidentally, was much better than i expected.  it was like a cross between all the things i love in zombie and vampire movies!), and rolled his eyes at me, but i pointed out that he's damn lucky to have a girlfriend who likes the occasion horror film, rather than one who drags his ass to every julia roberts movie ever made. 

although to be honest, D really loves the romantic comedies.  he wears the mustache in this relationship, but i wield the chainshaw.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

good afternoon, my dears

this morning i found my boyfriend/fiancé asleep on the couch.  this was notable for a few reasons, one of them being that i am retarded enough in the morning to have not even noticed he wasn't in bed with me, and the only reason i discovered on the couch is because in my sightless state (i was sans glasses), i heard the cat meowing at me and i walked over to pet her.  needless to say, i was surprised to find D sprawled out, in his bathrobe and nothing else.  even stranger, there was a jar of mayonnaise on the side table next to him.  just D, the cat, his porn-tacular mustache and robe, and a giant, costco sized jar of mayo.  good morning, thursday.  evidently he'd gotten up in the middle of the night hungry, and had made himself a sandwich then passed out.  which is kind of funny on it's own, but i liked the vagueness of what was going on before i figured it out. 

i broke down and bought a martha stewart wedding magazine today.  not because i'm buying into any of that wedding-industrial-complex or completely-DIY-or-DIE shit, but because i like to see what's out there, and steal ideas and make them my own.  if we're going to have a wedding, it might be nice to know what kind.  maybe preparing for it in advance will also cut down on some of the stress.  or i could just end up getting tipsy on wine and rolling my eyes so far back in my head they freeze that way.  if you see me tomorrow and i look crazy, you'll know why. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


the boychik is taking a class this year in school called "epic and heroic literature."  he's fairly excited to read some more greek myths, and the teacher includes comic books as well (yay!), but i was stoked to see catcher in the rye on there.  i tried to mention it in an offhand way, like "oh, i have that book."  i know as well as anyone who lives with a teenager, that the best way to get him to automatically hate something is to talk about how much i LOVE it.  take neil gaiman for instance; i've tried to get the boychik to check out his work, and he just rolls his eyes at me and makes "gay-man" jokes.  so for now i'm all hush-hush about how good the book is, and how i think he'll appreciate holden's contempt for phonies.

i have to admit, though, that the first few times i read catcher, i hated it.  or rather, i found the writing oddly stiff and holden insufferable.  i actually read it three times before i realized i liked it, which i know sounds weird ("why re-read a book you hated?") but as much as holden made me crazy, the story and certain lines from it would stick around in my head, or come back to me at odd times (like the chorus of Copa Cabana), and i would pick the book up again.  i knew that the fact that i couldn't just brush it off meant something.  after having an "a ha!" moment with catcher, realizing i liked it more than i thought, i read everything else i could get my hands on.  talking about the boychik's class and catcher with my sister has got me all stirred up about salinger again.  i'm reading franny and zooey again, and have done a little reading about the upcoming salinger biography.  part of me wonders if i'll even want to read it; the mystery around salinger, his reticence, is oddly compelling.  people who like salinger kind of like that in real life he was a bit of a weirdo hermit.  personally, what could be more romantic than a great writer at home in his little hovel, working away, with no thought to publication or fame?  of course, salinger was famous, and was able to spend a great part of his life working at writing (instead of working at some office job) because of his literary success.  he was far from some pure artist writing in the woods.  i also don't think neil gaiman's openness via his blog diminishes his work at all, so what's the difference with salinger?  i suspect my curiosity will win out in the end.  although it might wait until the book comes out in paperback...       

Sunday, September 12, 2010

happy homemaker

yesterday, for the first time in forever, i pulled out my sewing machine for a project.  about six or so months ago (i think it was longer, but can't be certain) we stopped buying paper towels and napkins.  the only paper we buy now is for our bottoms.  we've been using regular old dishtowels as napkins, which were fine, but a little too big to use comfortably.  i did like how absorbent and soft they were, though, in comparison to the cloth napkins i saw in stores.  the last time we were at ikea, i picked up some new dishtowels to convert into napkins.  all i did was cut them in half and hem them, but the size feels a lot more comfortable in your lap.  i know it's not much of a sewing project, but i was glad that my machine is still in awesome working order, and last night i got all crafty while drinking tea and watching lockup.  that felt pretty awesome as well. 

yesterday i also did kind of a jerky thing.  i called out from working with my co-worker's autistic daughter.  i like the work i do with her, and i think the play therapy is doing wonders for her, but i admit to feeling a little burnt out.  so far, i'm the only volunteer working with her.  they were supposed to get more lined up, but it's been over three months and i don't see anyone new stepping in to help out any time soon.  yesterday was also just a really nice day out; probably one of the last nice days we'll have for a while.  the girlchild was selling her grandpa's dahlias out front (she's got a flower stand!), the sun was shining, D had the morning off work and there was a music festival going on in the park across the way.  i just really wanted to stay home with my people and do nothing.  the girlchild and i sat out front with the flowers, listening to the music and working with watercolors; D came out and joined us for a while to soak up some sun, and the boychik was in and out all day with his friends in a goofy, happy mood.  i just couldn't, and didn't want to, leave them.  i spend a lot of time working with my co-worker's daughter, planning out new games, working on new ways to get her to interact, spending time with her and her sisters, one-on-one.  i also give up a lot of my free time, and the ability to go anywhere on the weekends, because i have to work around that schedule. i'm torn, because i think what i'm doing is helping, and i honestly like and care about this family, but i also want more time with my people.  i don't like feeling like i'm the only one working on this as well.  if there were other volunteers to pick up some of the slack, i would feel a lot better.  i know i just need to sit down and tell them how i feel, and maybe take some time off, or make it so i only use one of my days off for this.  i don't know.  taking the day off yesterday to play hooky with the kids and D was probably a jackass thing to do, but it felt really good.  not all weekends are as glorious, and i'm glad i spent it with the kids.