Thursday, September 20, 2007

Monolith Festival

Saturday was SO much fun! It would have been great to go to both days of the festival, but one was good too. We got there pretty early and were surprised that the place was fairly empty for awhile. It did have 5 stages, so I guess people were pretty spaced out (no pun intended). First we saw Bob Log III on one of the smaller stages. He's freaking hilarious and a good blues man to boot. You've gotta appreciate a one-man-band, even if you don't like the music, but he was good. And I love a man that asks me to put my boob in his scotch.

Next we checked out Forget Cassettes on one of the indoor smaller stages (ahhh...air conditioning). They were interesting. I love the fact that all 3 players play not only their "main" instrument, but also keyboards. The singer/guitarist is a teeny little thing with a huge voice--a la Cat Power, sorta. And the bassist and drummer are both good boy eye candy. Me-rowr!

After that we hit the main stage and never really left. We had awesome 3rd row, almost center seats and didn't want to lose them. I'm kind of bummed about missing a few of the other acts on the smaller stages, like Matt and Kim.

First up was Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos. I enjoyed them. I like bands with lots of people in them and especially if they have a trumpet.

Next was Brian Jonestown Massacre. They were great. There was some drama, but nothing too over the top. A few restarts on songs and some Anton yelling at the band to tune their instruments. And that poor roadie, Travis--aka Anton's little bitch--he yelled at Travis constantly (who is seen here in a post from a fan on Anton's myspace). I've got a weird fascination/pseudo-obsession with Anton now. Before my view of him was only that which Dig! gave me. Yeah, he's a pompous asshole and a genius musician and definitely insane....but there's something about his eyes that intrigues me....Anyways, their set was really good when they were playing--a few sound problems at the end. Highlights included Anton yelling at the crowd to shut up when they were tuning, not realizing people were cheering because Wayne Coyne had stuck his head out wearing the Capt. America mask. They had some great psychedelic freak out/rock out moments and I especially loved the little Smiths "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" take-off that Anton threw into one song--a little play on "I've seen it happen in other people's lives and now it's happening in mine." I should also mention that Anton had at least one full outfit change in the set. Who does he think he is? Britney Spears? :) I do love a rocker man in skin tight black jeans, so I wasn't complaining. They were the only band I saw with 2 full bottles of liquor on stage: a bottle of vodka for Anton and a bottle of whiskey for everybody else.

Next up was Art Brut, who were so much fucking fun! I really wanna hang out and drink with them. Not long into the set, Eddie Argos took off into the crowd (I touched his arm!). He's got the perfect 80's English student look down. Floppy hair, a bit pudgy, blue oxford shirt, untucked, of course. He is a hilarious front man and really knows how to get the crowd going. I absolutely LOVE the adorable bass player--she looked like she was having so much fun. The rest of the band were fun and rocked out too. Definitely check them out live if you ever get a chance. B is not really into them and he loved their show too.

Next up was Spoon. Ya know, they're good and I can appreciate them, but they just don't excite me. No particular reason.

The Flaming Lips put on their consistently fun, happy show. Santas on one side of the stage, aliens on the other, roadies in superhero costumes. Wayne came out in the bubble, which was awesome. They released a ton of big green balls and of course cannon load after cannon load of confetti and Wayne's streamer "gun." Lots of sing along moments. Fun background videos. The crowd was so into it and it was just such a happy, fun show. Absolute highlight of the evening was they played Mountain Side! OMG, I love that song and they played it well.

During their set, Wayne mentioned the "BJM meltdown," not sure what he was referring to. At another point, he told Anton (who was right in front, center) that he "didn't want any trouble." I didn't see what preceded that. Also, Anton was dancing (or something) a couple rows in front of us with a laptop. I never figured out exactly what he was doing.

Downsides of the day:
1) the drunk bitch that asked me how far along I was and touched my belly(!). I told her "No, I'm just fat, honey." Erggg... Dumb cunt.
2)the drunk asshole behind me that got in a fight over seats and spilled an entire beer all over me. I shit you not, I was covered from my neck down to the bottom of my skirt. Sticky and stinky. Fun times.

Other than those 2 assholes, the crowd seemed really laid back and cool. Oh yeah, maybe I should add a (3) for my calves hurting like hell for two days after from climbing the stairs (basically up a mountain) several times. But maybe that's a good thing, since I haven't been to the gym this week.

So we also happened to get the "UFOs at the Zoo" DVD from the library this week and were watching it with the boys. We told them "that's what mommy and daddy did on Saturday." They were absolutely riveted. Later, Miles kept singing Yoshimi and told us that when he grows up he's going to "help out and play with the band called The Flaming Lips." He also said he's going to eat lots of healthy food so that he can "beat the robots." Hey, we must be doing something right! Maybe next time we'll take the kids. I did see some people with a kid that was about 10 years old.

Oh yeah, Wayne said they tried to bring the UFO to Monolith, but it got confiscated by the government because the lights were from Russia and possibly had contamination from Chernobyl. True or not? You be the judge. Who knows.

Some sites with good pics/reviews of the festival:

Flickr 1
Wyo Beat
Bass Geek

Friday, September 14, 2007

This New Blog

I finally got around to shutting down my old blog and setting up this new one. Obviously a lot of stuff to do here, but at least I have my old posts archived. Maybe once I get it looking all purty, I'll be reinvigorated to post more (ha). Basically, I didn't like the fact that the old one was connected to my family's blog and blogger wouldn't let me separate them (bastards). I couldn't bitch about anyone--family, friends, colleagues, etc. for fear that they'd read it. >:-)

So lots going on. We broke down and bought a minivan. It fucking rocks.

Tonight I'm taking my mom for a girl's night out to Cafe Brazil. Yummmmmmm....It's also to thank her for babysitting the boys all day tomorrow, while B and I go to the Monolith Festival. Anybody know where I can get some weed? J/K!!!! I'm totally looking forward to it, especially Brian Jonestown Massacre (we can only hope for some drama), The Flaming Lips (of course), and my new favorite band Art Brut. OMG, can I gush a bit about how much I love them? Just listen to the song "Modern Art" here. And I don't care what they say, they sound like The Fall. I know it, everybody knows it, they know it. Hey, if you gotta sound like someone, it may as well be them.

God, I used to love The Fall. I haven't listened to them much over the last few years, but recently checked out their new album , which is actually pretty good.

Funnily enough, I actually hung out with Brix Smith, formerly of The Fall, when I worked at the Dominion Theater in London. She was dating the violinist, Nigel Kennedy, at the time. She would hang out with us in the box office, presumably from boredom. She talked a LOT--my main memory of her. At the time, however, I really wasn't into The Fall. If I'd only known....

So I have digressed very far. Tomorrow I will be rockin' it out like a teenager. Yippee!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


More Random Ramblings

Man, I have a hard time blogging these days. I really think it's the "new blogger." I hate it and I just don't feel inspired these days. Our summer has been terribly busy, which is good for the most part. Tons of birthday parties, barbeques, soccer things, school things, etc. We've only managed to get to the cabin once, which stinks. And it looks like we won't get back there until Labor Day weekend. Bummer.

Here are some random things I'm into right now:

1) Izze Sparkling Clementine drink: it's not pop, but juice mixed w/sparkling water. I just finished one. Deeeeelish! And only 135 calories for the whole bottle.

2) Brain Gyms: I don't completely understand them yet, but they're easy exercises/activities you can do to get your brain to work better. I just read "Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head" by Carla Hannaford and it was truly fascinating. The boys' school is really into Brain Gyms and they recommended that M start working one on one with their "expert" who studies with Hannaford. The idea is to help his brain and senses work better together to make up for his hearing loss. It's great for kids with learning disabilities, special needs, and anyone, whether they have issues or not. It helps you relax, focus, and learn better. I'm going to try to do more with boys and do them on my own, especially when I'm on the computer too much at work and feeling "brain dead." Check out

3) Golden City Brewery: Golden's SECOND largest brewery. 10 points to whoever gets what the largest is first. It's a little house that has been converted into a brewery. There are tables set up outside and they serve awesome beer. They close early (7 pm) due to the fact that it's in a residential neighborhood. The beer is awesome, there's a wooden train for the kiddos to play on, the setting is totaly relaxed and so Colorado, and best of all, before closing the beer slinger comes out and sings Irish drinking songs. It rules!

Okay, that's it for now. I need to blog about books sometime. I've been reading a lot. But now I'm off....


Out on the Town with KG

As I stated in my previous post, KG was here last week and we had a fun weekend with too much alcohol. I took Friday off and we went to Boulder, where we had sushi and strolled the Pearl Street mall. We took it easy that evening. Saturday night we went a little crazy. Had microbrews and tequila at some Irish bar with Jim, our new favorite bartender/encyclopedia of knowledge, then dinner and mojitos at Cafe Brazil. she just sent us some pics. I like the yellow lighting of them:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We all regretted it the next day, but went to her nephew's first birthday party.

Saturday, B and I have a sitter once again (2 weekends in a row!) and are going to see Dinosaur Jr., if we can figure out where the hell they are playing. The last time I saw them was a million years ago on a double bill with My Bloody Valentine. It was great! Have you seen recent pictures of J Mascis? WTF?


Oh Happy Day

I just bought tickets to go see this at Red Rocks. Yippee! Just a few months left to find a babysitter...

So blogger still sucks, but I'm back again (for today anyway). KG is back in town and I'm looking forward to hanging out with her. I even have a sitter for Saturday night!

Mexico was awesome. Missouri sucked (but it didn't suck more than I thought it would, so I guess that's a plus). I've been sick as a dog since before I went to MO and it just won't go away. Ever have that feeling you've swallowed barbed wire? I've had it since May 27. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off to hopefully get some rest in the early part of the day and get some fun in the evening with KG.

Things I like right now:

1) Frozen lemonade bars: Take 18 low fat graham cracker squares and crush them up. Mix with 1/3 C melted butter in the bottom of a square cake pan. In a separate bowl, combine 1 quart of vanilla frozen yogurt (slightly melted) and 6 oz. of frozen lemonade. Spread mixture over graham cracker crust. Freeze overnight. Best when topped with fresh raspberries. Mmmmm.....

2) Hommus and pita chips (it's gotta be the chips, not the regular bread). I could OD on this stuff.

3) Locally grown organic food. I just finished "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver, and it has kicked my butt to become more diligent about eating locally as much as possible. Luckily for me, it's Farmer's Market season. After talking to B, we decided that we're going to use some of our new income to eat with more of a conscience. Plus it's damn healthier. Read the book: it rocks.

4) My new Tweezerman tweezers. I could turn into a browless freak with these. They're addicting. Amazingly superior to your average tweezer.

5) LOL80's. This site made laugh HARD.

6) Mamapop! These girls love the same crap that I do. One of the few sites that I usually check several times a day.

7) Saynotocrack. More funny stuff.


I Like...

...that I finally got a damn Allure Beauty Box--after 2 hours and 45 minutes of trying! I am absurdly excited over this. It better have been worth it. new haircut: short and sassy! new housecleaner. No need for explanation.

...visits from relatives. My parents were here last weekend and B's parents and sister will be here Thursday. They boys are so excited.

...that I finally got a duvet cover for Jack's bed that matches Miles'. I've been looking on ebay for months.

...that it will be in the 70's here this weekend. Now if we can just get over today's snow...

Currently reading:

"Queen of the Oddballs: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan" by Hillary Carlip: Just finished this one. What a fun book. A quick read too. She's led an interesting life.

Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen: I'm listening to this one on CD. It's about a guy who loses his parents and joins a circus. So far it's really good.

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel" by Lisa See: I'm also listening to this one on CD, but had to take a break when it was due at the library. It's pretty good, but not really living up to the hype, IMO. It's about a Chinese girl who lives in the era of foot binding.



We're going to Mexico! Woohoo! It's not booked yet, but we're planning on doing it in May. This will be the first vacation we've had in years that didn't involve visiting family (and I don't consider the surgery trips to be vacations). I think we're going to Puerto Vallarta to stay at the Crown Paradise Club Hotel, which caters to families with kids. I can't wait.

We went and applied for passports yesterday for me (since mine is long expired), Miles and Jack, and it cost $550! I couldn't believe it. Absolutely ridiculous.

We've been having lots of fun lately thinking about spending our new income, LOL. Thankfully, other than the trip, we're being careful not to spend to much of it....yet. We've test driven some....(gasp)....minivans. We'll probably go with the Honda Odyssey when it comes time. I know, I know, how god-awfully suburban. One of the big lessons I've learned as a parent is never say never. So far I've broken a ton of my "nevers:" I know live in suburbia and I'm thinking about buying a minivan.

We also went to some open houses this weekend. We're trying to decide if in a couple of years we should move to a bigger place or if we should add on and remodel our place. Our place is nice, but just a tad too small--especially in the dining room and kitchen. B is really pushing to stay and do tons of home improvement. I'm not convinced yet. It sounds like a total PITA, but then so does moving. And who knows if we could find the "perfect" place. The houses we saw this weekend didn't impress us a whole lot. But it was just a cursory tour of what's out there.

I haven't read anything worth blogging lately. Mostly a lot of crap.


Stupid Fucking Blogger

I am pissed as hell. Blogger made me switch to their new version and now my header and cutsie stuff are all gone. In addition, it now is associated with Miles' blog and all the profile stuff I had for this one is gone. If they don't fix the problems, I'm going to restart this one elsewhere. Such a PITA. I've put so much work into this one. Goddammit!

We've been dealing with lots of illness. Last weekend we visited my grandmother and she is doing so poorly. Unfortunately, we're at that point now where we have to view every visit as possibly the last one. It's so sad to see someone you love in such bad shape. The day after we left they moved her to a nursing home. Hopefully they will be able to take better care of her there.

We are still adjusting to our new schedule and it's tough! Last week, Jack was very ill--a bad cold with high fevers. So I had to take 3 days off work and Brian had to take 1 to stay home with him. Now I feel like I'm getting sick, but I really can't take off more time now. This sucks.

Brian and I celebrated a late Valentines Day on Saturday and went to Zengo, a latin-asian fusion restaurant. OMG, one of the best meals I've ever had. I have to chronicle it here, just so I can remember it:

Ceviche Camaron with shrimp, tomatillo, green mango, yuzu, and red onion. I think it also had sesame. Awesome!

Steamed Gyoza Dumplings with foie gras, pork, shrimp, won bok, and ponzu~truffle sauce. Delish!

Angry Zengo sushi roll with spicy yellowfin tuna, avocado, sesame~chipotle rouille, and wasabi tobiko. The rice was an odd texture for sushi, but the flavor made it not really matter. One of my favorite dishes of the night.

Roasted plantains, the only disappointment of the evening.

Chile Ancho Grilled Prawns with pozole gouda fondue and won bok. This also came with an amazing asian slaw. My only complaint is that the dish was too small.

For drinks I had one of their amazing margaritas, their free green tea mojito they gave us in celebration of the Chinese New Year, and a "Blushing Geisha" with Ketel One vodka, sake, brandied cherries, and lime. All yummy!

This place is definitely something we can only do for special occasions, but it's now one of my favorite places.


Recent Reads: A sort of Asian theme this post.

"The Teahouse Fire" by Ellis Avery: I'm not sure why I finished this one. I guess because of the great reviews and the subject matter, but frankly it was a little boring and took me forever to finish. It's about French-American girl who goes to Japan in the late 1800s with her abusive uncle. Once she gets there she runs away and lives with a family who runs one of the venerated teahouses that specializes in Temae, the formal tea cermony. If you are interested in this subject, I would suggest instead "Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto" by Victoria Abbott Riccardi, which I read a year or two ago and really enjoyed. It's a woman's memoir about living in Japan and studying kaiseki, the refined form of cooking that accompanies the formal Japanese tea ceremony.

"Midnight At The Dragon Café" by Judy Fong Bates: I'm half way through this novel about a young girl who moves with her mother to join her father in Canada, where they run a Chinese restaurant. Things get dramatic when her older brother, who is her father's son from another marriage and about the same age as her mother, moves in.

"The Tenth Circle: A Novel: by Jodi Picoult: I'm about a third of the way listening to this on CD. It's about a girl who gets raped. Or did she? I think she thinks it was a rape and the boy thinks it was consensual. It's not my favorite of Picoult's works, but I'll finish it.


A Total Lifestyle Change

Fabulous news! Brian got a job. This is earlier than we planned, but it's one of those things that came up, he interviewed just for the heck of it (he even told me he was just doing it for the practice, LOL), and he got it, so we've got to take it. He just called me that he was able to negotiate an extra two grand a year, and get the 7-4 shift that he wanted, and we thought was unavailable. This will help our situation somewhat with daycare/preschool for the boys.

So now we are searching for daycare for Jack. This will probably be the biggest change. I really think he's going to like the social aspects of it. We had planned on enrolling him in Miles' preschool this Summer or Fall, and still will, but in the mean time we have to find a place for him and fast. The company wants him to start a week from Monday, if we can find the daycare. Ack! So I'm kind of nervous about that.

This is going to just totally change our lifestyle. Currently, I have it pretty good. Since I work and he's the stay-at-home parent, he gets Miles ready in the morning, cooks dinner, and does the majority of the house cleaning and shopping. Now we're going to have split that. He'll work 7-4 and will pick up the kids and most likely fix dinner. I'll have to get both kids in the morning and drop them off and will probably work 8:30-5:30. I'm going to have get up extra early to get them ready in addition to myself. Plus, if I want to continue exercising in the morning, I'll REALLY have to get up early. And I am SO not a morning person.

We'll have to split the cleaning and shopping. I really want to hire someone to come in once every one or two weeks to do major stuff. I figure we'll have all this extra money we're not used to, so we may as well spend it on something that gives us more time together, which will seriously be cut short. I'll also have to figure out a routine where maybe we do a couple of housework things each evening, so that we don't have to spend the entire weekend cleaning. We'll have to be better about planning shopping trips, so that we don't have to run to the store so often. We'll probably join Costco too to get stuff in bulk.

The best thing about this is that we'll have more money! We'll almost double our income. It's going to be so wonderful to have cash again. I am DAMN excited about that.

So, I'm excited and nervous. This is going to effect so many things, in good and bad ways. Hopefully mostly good.

To celebrate we're getting a sitter Saturday night and going out for a fancy dinner: a Brazilian place that my coworker's say has the best food in town and makes a mean mojito. I can't wait!

Recent Reads:

"But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous" by Jancee Dunn: This is a memoir in the form of a collection of essays by a former (maybe current) Rolling Stone writer. It was very entertaining. She wrote about interviewing various uber-celebrities from Bono to Madonna to Dolly Parton. She also wrote about growing up in sheltered NJ and transitioning to a "hip" New York Rolling Store writer, something she never felt quite comfortable with. A fun addition to the book are her scattered "hints" about how to interview a celebrity. She's a funny writer, and I laughed out loud a few times.

"Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be: A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale" by Jen Trynin: Funny how I get these little mini-themes in my reading. Apparently this one was rock and roll memoirs. This is the story of a woman who rocketed to indie/pop fame-dom only to suddenly lose popularity and her record tale. This book got great reviews and some of it I really liked: particularly the stories of being on the road. But a big portion of the book was minutiae about the dealings with the record companies and executives who were involved in the bidding war for her. And, OMG, she never let you forget about the fact that she sparked one of the biggest bidding wars of her time. And she whined too damn much about how hard everything was. And constantly talked about how little she knew about popular music artists. Whatever. So some of the book was really good and some was really annoying. I skimmed a fair portion of it.

"Tabloid Love: Looking for Mr. Right in All the Wrong Places" by Bridgett Harrison: London girl moves to NYC and becomes a writer for the NY Post. Girl gets "Sex and the City" type column, writing about being 30 and dating in the big city. But girl yearns for her editor boss. Girl gets boss. Can she keep him? Sounds like the ultimate cliche in chick lit, right? But get this: it's a memoir! One big difference between this and chick lit: I'm not quite done with this book, but I'm not sure it's going to have the usual chick lit happy ending. I guess we'll see. It's a light, easy read and I'm really enjoying it.

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak: I'm listening to this one on CD (and BTW the reader is fabulous). This is a book about a girl growing up as a foster child in Nazi Germany. It's narrated by Death and tells of her and foster family's trials and tribulations as they hide a young Jewish man in their basement. She loves reading, and you can tell from the title how she gets her books. It focuses on her relationship with her foster parents, including her absolutely lovely "Papa," the Jew, and her best friend, a young boy who is madly in love with her. I had no idea until I was well into it and totally in love that this is considered a "young adult" book. I think that's a dumb move. It was originally published as an adult novel in Australia, and I think that labeling it as YA will turn potential readers off here. I know I wouldn't have picked it up, if I'd known. It's about a young girl, but it really is material that adults will enjoy. In addition, it's about very sensitive subjects that I think would be a bit difficult for young readers and the characters swear constantly (in German). The writer has the most beautiful way with words; he's an absolute master of simile and metaphor. I've got 3 CDS to go, but I suspect I will be bawling at the end of this one. Go get it, now!



I am so FREAKING sick of people with Ph.D.s being unable to follow simple instructions! I am about ready to tear my hair out. I swear to God they are worse than my preschoolers. Why are people with "lesser" degrees able to do simple tasks, but they can't? I'm sure glad I only got my Masters and not my Ph.D., since the possession of one seems to make you fundamentally STUPID.

ETA: and if they're not too stupid to follow instructions (or maybe in addition to), then they think they are ABOVE the rules. Hello, this is for a request for something that will benefit YOU, really no one else. You'd think if you really want it, you'd be smart enough to follow instructions. Dumb fucks.


You Win Some, You Lose Some

Well, this has been a week of good bargains and not-so-good bargains. And you all know that I am a bargain-lovin' mama. First, I won something! Apparently I won something! I won some Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer from Allure magazine, and it's worth $150!!!! I REALLY want to keep it and use it and see what $150 face cream is like, but then I realized I'd rather make some cashola off it! They're going for $50 - $80 on ebay. So I have it up as a BIN auction for $80 with a "best offer" chance--something I've never tried on there before. I've received an offer for $45, but I really want at least $50, so we'll see what else comes in. Or maybe I'll just try again later and list it for less without the "best offer" option. I love winning free crap!

ETA: the cream sold for $68 + shipping! Woohoo!

We've made over $200 from selling our CDs on We've got tons more. If you haven't seen our "online garage sale" and like indie music, then email me at mpcsmommy @ yahoo dot com for a link to our 300+ CDs that are listed there. Most of them (with exceptions for ones that are rare and valuable) are listed quite cheap. We also sold the boys' race car bed on craigslist (since they got bunk beds for Christmas).

So my not so good bargain: the boys didn't get the movie "Cars" for Christmas, like we thought they would, so we bought it for them on The DVD we got is obviously a pirated copy! I'm so pissed. Lesson learned: I should have actually read the guy's feedback. Although it was mostly good and he had a high rating, many of the comments noted that they received bootlegs. I'm going to try to get our money back and refuse to pay to ship it back to him (I'm not spending MORE money on this thing). If he doesn't pay to ship it back and give us all of our money back, I'm turning his ass in. The thing was only $11, so I'll lose that if I have to, just to get him. Fucker.

Update: the guy gave me a full refund and told me to just toss the DVD. Said he was getting out of the "shady business." I hope he's telling the truth.

I've had fun hitting the after-Christmas sales. We all got some Christmas money, so I bought the boys a buttload of winter clothes, which they desperately needed; and a sled. I got some winter boots and slippers and B got some slippers. After months without shopping, it was great!

The weather here sucks ass. B loves it. But I hate it. I loved the first blizzard. But now we're on the 3rd huge snow storm and I am SO over it. We've always had mild winters here. What happened? We all have major cabin fever and I HATE driving in it. We haven't even had that much sun lately, which makes me feel depressed, tired, and hungry. I totally go into hibernation mode. Blah.

Recent Reads: More non-fiction than usual!

"Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back" by Norah Vincent: Norah went undercover as "Ned" for 18 months, joining bowling leagues, a monastery, men's retreats, etc. This was a very interesting book, that explored the psychological differences between the sexes. I had to see a video of her after reading the book to see how she did as a man. I found this. She's pretty good. It helps that she's a tall, fairly "masculine" lesbian. Anyway, great book with some interesting food for thought.

"The Lost Painting" by Jonathan Harr: I could NOT put this book down. It was great and even kept me up late reading. It's a true story about the search for a missing Caravaggio masterpiece, "The Taking of the Christ." I was surprised by how interesting this book is, and even though it doesn't sound like my typical kind of book, I'm going to have to pick up the author's other book "A Civil Action."

"Literacy and Longing in L.A." by Jennifer Kaufmann & Karen Mack: My one fiction book from the break. This was pretty good. It's kind of like chick lit with a brain and is about a woman who deals with her depression and problems by holing up and reading books for days at a time. It comes with a handy dandy list of the all the books discussed at the end.

Currently reading: "Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir" by Stephanie Klein: Ms. Klein is another blogger, one I haven't read yet. Awww, looking at her blog, it looks like she just had twins. Anyways, I've just started this and am having a little trouble getting into it, but it's about her joining the dating ranks again after a divorce. It's accurately described as "Sex and the City" for divorcees.


Happy New Year!

I've been terrible about blogging lately. Should I make it a NY resolution to blog more? Nah. I don't believe in resolutions; I just break them.

We've been stuck inside too much due to the two blizzards and cabin fever has been running high. I'm actually excited to go back to work. Okay, not "excited," but looking forward to a change of pace. Is there such a thing as too much togetherness? Oh yeah, there is. I love my family, but we were all ready to get away from eachother. Ask me next week, and I'm sure my answer will change.

New Year's was uneventful. We bought a bottle of bubbly, which gave me a headache and ate a lot of shrimp and baked brie. Yummmm. Hope yours was good!



I have made $120 off craigslist and about $115 off of ebay and in the last week. Woohoo! We're in the process of listing all of our CDs on B listed just a few yesterday and 3 already sold.

Also, B got a contracting job. We ain't gonna be so po' no mo'!



I'm reading "Shopgirl" by Steve Martin--a book I got off of I just finished the page where the couple sleeps together, turned the page to finish the scene, and there was a phony (obviously) $1 million bill. Around the edge in fine print, it basically tells me that I'm going to hell:

"The million-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, adulterer-at-heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell..."

WTF? Does the person who sent this book look up sex passages and then stick these little "bookmarks" in them before sending the book to someone?


Silly and Girly

I was just cleaning my keyboard with canned "air." It has one of the coffee straw things that you put in the nozzle to direct the air. The "air" forced the straw out, which hit my keyboard and ricocheted onto my face, where it stuck to my lip gloss.

I'm still giggling a little....


Yay, Me!

I worked out yesterday and this morning. I'm eating low fat chicken salad for lunch and fresh pineapple. I'm trying to ignore the homemade butterscotch oatmeal cookies that I put in my lunch...

ETA: The cookies are gone.


My Husband, The Hero

Yesterday morning, we received a phone call at 6:15 am. My alarm had just gone off and I was in that hazy place between sleep and wakefulness. When I answered a woman was crying hysterically on the other side of the phone. I didn't recognize the voice at first and my heart dropped, as it does with any abnormally-timed phone call, and I thought it was my mother or sister, and the unthinkable must have happened.

It turns out, thank god, that it was my next door neighbor, a divorced, single mother. I figured out something about a flood and she needed a mop. I sent my hero over to save the day, mop in hand. I assumed her pipes had broken, but it was actually a cracked water filter under her kitchen sink. It flooded her kitchen and the ceiling of her finished basement is destroyed. Brian says some of it actually fell down right after he'd been standing under that area! My superhero helped her a good portion of the day until the professionals arrived. He even went back to check on her in the evening and she was in much better spirits, now that she realized the catastrophe was going to get her a new kitchen floor, refinished basement, new carpet, and maybe even new kitchen cabinets (after her $1000 deductible, of course).

Brian is neighbor of the year, I tell you. I feel sorry for her. I certainly couldn't keep up with a whole house and would have moved to a condo by now. Brian helps her out a lot--mows her lawn occasionaly, etc. She, in turn, feeds our cat while we're gone and stuff like that.

New subject (for lack of a better segue): I think I'm suffering from SAD. LOL, Queen of the Hypochondriacs strikes again! But seriously, when we moved here from the midwest, I could feel a huge difference in the way I felt during the winter. Much more energy, generally happier, etc. It's amazing what a huge difference sun makes.

Lately, it's been more overcast than usual, and damn cold. We got almost a foot of snow the other day, and two days later it hasn't melted at all: a rare occurrence for our area. I am turning into a blah, fat, lazy pig. I can't seem to get the motivation to get up and work out anymore. I used to be so good at it, but now I can't get out of bed in time in the morning. I. Just. Can't. I know, you're saying, what do you mean you can't? Just get off your lazy ass and do it. I know this inherently, but I physically cannot move in the mornings until it is absolutely necessary. I'm also not eating like I should (i.e. eating a lot of crap) and just generally feel kind of down. Hopefully the Christmas spirit will hit me soon and give me some Joy.

Our finances may be part of it. We've been very lucky and always lived comfortably, even when we needed to be frugal. Well, for the first time, since we've been married, we actually lived just barely to our paycheck. The consequences of having a single income have finally hit us and hit us hard. We actually just about cleared out our cupboards, frig, and freezer this last month and didn't have money to go grocery shopping until payday (yesterday), blessed payday. We should NOT have gone to Phoenix...dumbasses. And we spent too much money on home improvements this summer. Now we're paying for it. And what a time to be broke: the holidays.

It will be nice when we have 2 incomes again--hopefully less than a year away. Then we're going to have to spend some time digging ourselves out of the debt we created. I sure hope our kiddos appreciate it. Do I kid myself that they will? Nah.

This weekend we're going to buy a cheap Christmas tree and maybe get the boys' hair cuts. They are looking shaggy. Oh the excitement of our lives....

Recent reads:

"Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach: I picked this up, because I recently saw her latest book, "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife" and wanted to read it, but thought I should read her former book first. I had heard of the former before, and had heard it was good. It was ummm...gross. Cha! I skimmed about half of it, but some of it was quite interesting. I've got "Spook" in my TBR ("to be read") pile now.

I'm currently reading "Death by Pad Thai and Other Unforgettable Meals," a collection of famous authors' essays on memorable meals: meals that aren't necessarily memorable because of the food, but because of the occasion. I'm about half way through and enjoying it.

I'm almost done listening to "When Madeline Was Young" by Jane Hamilton on CD. I'm not sure why I' ve finished it, because it's a bit boring, despite a good premise. But I'm almost done and will finish it now. It's told by the son of a couple who care for the husband's first wife, who was mentally damaged in an accident. She is raised as one of the couple's children, along side their "real" children. It's about family relationships and conservativism vs. liberalism.



Well, I never got around to updating the last entry with the books I wanted to, so I'll do it now, with a few more thrown in.

I'll try to update the family blog with news from last week soon, if not today.

Okay, on to books:

I just realized I never reviewed Caprice Crane's "Stupid and Contagious," as I meant to after my October 9 post. It's a cutesy chick lit book about a zany PR executive who loses her job and then hooks up with her neighbor. It was entertaining and made me laugh out loud a few times. I recommend it, but don't expect great art here. But hey, I enjoy a good chick lit novel.

"Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table" by Ruth Reichl: I know I've sung her praises before, but god, I love Ruth Reichl. I wish she'd write more books. This is the memoir I should have read before her other two, as it is the beginning, starting with her childhood with a manic depressive mother, going through the beginning of her first marriage. I've read all her memoirs in reverse chronological order. I think she is one of the best memoirists and food writers of our time. Love, love, love her.

"I Am Not the New Me" by Wendy McClure: This is a memoir from a blogger I like, created from the blog. She's also the one who wrote "The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan:Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s," one of the funniest dang books I've read in awhile. Her memoir also includes some of the notorious recipe cards. Anyway, she used her old blog posts and refashioned them to make a really good book. The blog started as a sort of weight loss diary and chronicles her struggles with body issues, weight watchers, and relationships. She has the ability to write seriously and make you laugh out loud. I hope she has more books in the future. She's also a contributing writer to "Television Without Pity," another hilarious website.

So there you go: two books for your Thanksgiving reading: one about eating well and one about losing weight. Happy Thanksgiving!

Currently reading:

"Vince and Joy" by Lisa Jewell: I'm only about half way through this one, but will write a little bit about it. Jewell is one of my favorite of the chick lit authors and I've anxiously been awaiting the US release of this book. Unfortunately, it's not quite living up to my own self-imposed hype. Don't get me wrong, it's very entertaining, and probably one of her longest books, but it's just not as good as her others, in my opinion. Who knows, maybe it will live up to my expectations in the end.


Mine Is Better Than Yours

Yesterday there was drama on the microtia board, and believe it or not, I stayed out of it. It was hard though, because one comment really pissed me off. Now don't get me wrong, I love internet drama (as most of you know) (okay...I love drama period), but I strongly feel that the microtia board is not the place for it. Yet lately, people get offended at anything and pick on others. It's just so....wrong.

So this poster actually had the audacity to write that a mother's child had "one of the mildest afflictions" on the board, implying that therefore she had no right to post her opinion on something. I haven't been that offended by someone on the internet in awhile. But you'll be so proud of me (or maybe you won't): I started to rip off a pissed off reply and then stopped. Didn't want to keep the stupid argument going.

This comment made me so angry because it reminds me of the way I felt when I was looking for local support and went to a local About Face meeting. I got the impression that people felt that our issue just wasn't big enough to matter.

I also used to really hate it when people would say, "Oh, it could be worse. There are kids that are dying you know." Well, no shit. You think I didn't know that? You think I'm not grateful that I have a healthy child?

By saying that, all you are saying is that my own pain doesn't count. Every parent that has a child that has something that may cause them some difficulty or pain later in life is going to be upset. There's just no sense in comparing it to something different or "worse." Their pain is their pain and support them. Don't belittle it.

Recent Reads:

"Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" by Julie Powell: Julie decided to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year and blog her experiences. Meanwhile she also dealt with a major move and a small NY apartment with many problems. I really liked this book, although some of the recipes were disgusting. I not-so-secretly long to be a foodie, but I'm not sure I'm up to aspic (made with bone marrow--the extraction was particularly horrifying) or brains. Can you be a foodie and not like organs? I know Tony Bourdain says you can't. It was a really fun book, and I'll follow her blog now (another added to my already too long list). It got a little slow in the middle, but picked up again, and by the end I was sad to see the 365 days end.

Gotta run: will add two more books later.


Just Vote, Dammit

If you haven't already, get your ass out there and vote, there's still a few hours left.

I have been trying to get onto blogger for ages and now finally did, but have only a few minutes to write. Argh... I hate it when the internet doesn't work, LOL. It must be all those people who have signed up to blog everyday for the month of November (not me!).

Our vacation was great, despite feeling crappy from colds most of the time. It was very relaxing, despite the fact that we were staying in a "55+" community full of crotchety 70+ year olds. That place is so full of rules or "covenants," that you can barely breathe. And those old people love to tattle on you. We got kicked out of the pool one day because we had the kids there at the wrong time. I heard the old bitties actually laugh at us as we left. B and I were sleeping in my parents' RV because there wasn't enough room in the "house" (i.e. single wide). This too is against the rules, so we had to sneak in and out, in case the neighbors saw us and tattled. Could I roll my eyes any further back in my head?

We didn't do a whole lot. We swam, went to the train park, the botanic garden, and IKEA. We went trick or treating and did some "fall" activities--very odd when you're wearing shorts. We celebrated B's 39th birthday by having the afteroon/evening off to ourselves. We went to Taliesin West and a mediocre Greek restaurant. Pics from the vacay are on our other blog.

I hardly watched any TV and had no internet access. It was great! I barely went through any withdrawal at all...Surprisingly I only got 3 1/2 books read. I took five and thought I'd get through all. Oh well, I must be losing my touch.

Recent Reads:

"Happiness Sold Separately" by Lolly Winston: I liked this book a lot, even though I can see how Laina didn't, seeing as she's pregnant and all. I wouldn't have liked it when pg either. It's about a woman who discovers that her husband is cheating on her and their rocky relationship as they struggle to conceive via fertility treatments. It had an odd, abrupt ending.

"Isabel's Daughter" by Judith Hendricks: I liked this story about a girl who has been "given up" for adoption by being abandoned in a basement. Later as a grown woman, she discovers a painting of her mother (and knows it's her because they look exactly alike). However, it seemed a bit forced and left several questions unanswered like: why did her mother abandon her? Was her mother murdered or not? It felt like the author got distracted there at the end or something. I liked the author's other book "Bread Alone" much better. I think it has a sequel, so I need to pick it up. It's on my wish list at, so maybe I'll get it one of these days.

"Earless" by Tyler Mennsen: Tyler is a young man with Goldenhar Syndrome and bilateral microtia. This is a series of essays, many of which deal with having facial differences, like no ears and a crooked jaw. He's not a great writer, but he's young, and it was nice to read his book. For his age, he's pretty darn good. Two things stood out to me: 1) I'm glad we didn't do the prosthetic ear with Miles (something I've always wondered if we should have pursued) and 2) If Miles does end up needing jaw surgery, I will probably become psychotic.

ETA: Since the link to this blog post got posted on my microtia board from a Google update (Got to find out how to sign up for those. It was so bizarre to see my "Just Vote, Dammit" title posted there, LOL), I should probably explain myself here. Also, I have some more time today. Was quite rushed last night, as we had parents' night at Miles' school. I'm glad we didn't do the prosthetic because of the many incidents Tyler describes where he lost his ear during swimming or playing with his nephew, for example. However, he was very proud of his prosthetics and said they were wonderful. He described his prostheticist as a true artist (don't remember her name) and extolled her talents.

I said what I did about the jaw surgery because he described the horrible pain associated with it. Also, I just watched Nip/Tuck (which I probably should stop) where they showed other bone extension surgeries (legs and hands); one of which was on a baby and was very upsetting.

Currently reading: "Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen." I love blogs, I love books about food, what's not to like?


That Little Butthead!

Oh....Miles is so funny. That kid is just something else. Last night, he came out of his room after bedtime, as he often does, this time requesting Pip, his little duck. I remembered that he had left it in my car that morning when I dropped him off at school (Pip is too young for school). So I said, "Okay, I'll get it, but first you have to say 'You're the best mommy in the whole world.'" Miles dutifully did the needful, and when I came back in, I noticed that Brian was laughing. I gave Pip to Miles and he went back to bed (the polite little guy did thank me).

So Brian tells me that after I walked out, Miles said, "But you still spank me." What? That little butthead! Number one, I'm not a spanker, although I have threatened on occasion. Number two, what a sneaky little dude! He may be a butthead, but he cracks me up.

Today is school pictures and he was not happy that we "helped" him pick out his outfit. He loves to pick out his clothes and usually comes up with something like this.

This weekend is his school's Halloween Party. We'll see what the boys pick out to wear. Not sure they'll choose the same things that they wore to the Pumpkin Patch or not. Then we leave for a week vacation in Sunny Arizona. I can't wait! We've gotten way too much snow here already (4-10 more inches tonight!).

Mostly we'll just hang out, but we plan to go trick or treating and do "Boo at the Zoo." We'll do the train park and also celebrate Brian's birthday: the big 3-9.

I plan to take him away from the kids for a day and visit Taliesin. Then maybe dinner and a movie. We're both very excited about the former.

The night before we leave we're having a sitter and going to a Halloween party--woohoo! Too bad we have to get up early the next day. Oh well, that will make us keep the sitter costs down. We're being unoriginal and using a costume we used in the past. Something very similar to this:

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Currently Reading: "Happiness Sold Separately" by Lolly Winston. I just started it, but loved her first novel, so am looking forward to it.

Recent Reads: "The Rug Merchant" by Meg Mullins. I "read" this one as a CD book. What an absolutely lovely and sad book. Her writing is gorgeous. It's about an Iranian man who has come to America to support his wife and mother by selling rugs in NYC. His wife leaves him and the book chronicles his sadness and ensuing relationships with a young Barnard student and an older society matron customer.

"This is Not a Love Song" by Sarahbeth Purcell: I didn't like this as much as her first book "Love is the Drug." But I still enjoyed it. This is about a girl whose boyfriend has left her and mostly through letters and diary entries chronicles her relationship with the boyfriend and her relationship with her best friend, who is an alcoholic. A decent book about hipsters (but not TOO hip) who listen to My Bloody Valentine. Bonus points for that.

"The Guy Not Taken: Stories" by Jennifer Weiner: I usually like Weiner's books (although I thought the murder mystery one was just "eh."), but I wasn't fond of this and found myself rushing to get through it. To give her credit, I am surprisingly not fond of short stories. Not sure why. Maybe I just prefer the investment of a lengthier novel.


In Honor of Halloween...

and because I'm so behind in updating this blog, I leave you this:

Is your town haunted?


Freaky People at the Library

Okay, I love the town I work in. I wish I could afford to live in it. I'm lucky that I live close. I love the mountains, the river walk, and the fact that I can walk to funky restaurants, shops, outdoor art, and the library. But it is full of freaks. Mountain people are cool, but they can be freaky.

Today I decided to go to the library to pick up some holds (some potty training books and videos....Go, Jack!) and read my book, "Stupid and Contagious," which is due tomorrow. First of all, this book has some pretty laugh out loud moments, so I was having a hard time not giggling as I sat there. Suddenly I hear the most godawful noise, kind of like a sniffling, sucking sound and definitely coming from someone's nose. It's the older guy behind me on the left. So I give him a few dirty looks to no avail. But this is not your normal is he doing? I finally turn around to really see what he's up to (and he's completely oblivious to me staring at him just 4 feet away), and I discover that he is doing this thing where he sticks out his lips and sucks his upper lip into his nostrils. DISGUSTING! Just try doing it (without laughing, because you can't do it and laugh) and hear the loud gross noise it makes.

So now I'm really annoyed, but I'm also starting to get the giggles. I mean what is wrong with this guy? He didn't look like he was mentally challenged or anything. How can you do something like that in a quiet library and be completely oblivious that it's annoying and gross?

Finally I had to leave before I busted up and really disturbed everyone. Lunch hour officially disturbed.

Remind me to tell you about The Man Who Said "Mah" sometime.


Date Night!

Well, we found four--count 'em four--babysitters who are very nice and with good references. I plan on sharing them with some colleagues who have young kids too. Our first night out will be tomorrow night. A very big event at my institution that I have coordinated will be done, so we're going out for margis and mexican--woohoo! It won't be a late night, but should still be fun.

We'll have built in babysitters later this week too, when my parents come to visit. They'll be here Thursday through Sunday just for the heck of it. On Saturday we plan on going to the Pumpkin Festival that we go to every year. On Sunday, we've got tickets to see the Ringling Bros. Circus. I hope the kids will like it.

We had a low key weekend since I had to work. We now have our hot tub up and have enjoyed it every night since, except for last night. We even let the kids go in for a short while Saturday evening. They loved it. Don't worry, it has locks, so they can't get in it on their own.

The weekend before last, we went to visit my grandmother before they move her to an assisted living home about 8 hours away from us. Very sad. I feel so sorry for her: she feels like she's lost all control of her life, and she has. But I truly believe it is the best thing for her. I just wish it wasn't so far away.

I felt really bad because she kept trying to give me stuff that I just didn't want. I took some things to make her feel better, but at some point you just have to say "no." I don't really want anything that she picked up at a garage sale and has no family significance. Sigh. Getting old is a fucking bitch.

Speaking of which, Brian's dad has cancer. Luckily, it is a very treatable kind, but it's still scary. Sometimes I feel like all of my loved ones are falling apart on me. :-(

Just had an endocrinologist appointment. My thyroid levels were still a bit high, so they decreased my dosage again. I don't think we're ever going to get them levelled out. It's been a YEAR for god's sake.

Blah. Can you see why I haven't blogged much lately?


Recent Reads:

"Paint It Black" by Janet Fitch: God, she writes beautifully. She's the same author who wrote "White Oleander." A very sad book that also beautifully and vividly depicts LA in the 80's. I'd kill to have half her talent. It's about a punk rock girl from "the wrong side of the tracks" whose wealthy, troubled artist boyfriend commits suicide. Then her relationship with his mother after the death.

"Rise and Shine" by Anna Quindlen: Another book about two sisters (there seem to be a lot of these on my blog lately)--one of whom is a famous morning news anchor. She says an expletive on air, hurting her career and changing her life. Quindlen is one of those authors that is dependable. I always like her books a lot, but I wouldn't say I love them. I think she's cool as hell though.

Next up on my list: "Stupid and Contagious" by Caprice Crane--looking forward to this one!


Relief is in Sight

I haven't blogged much, because it truly would be blah blah blogging. Don't know if it's the recent change in weather or the cold I had, but I have just been blah. Today, I finally feel a bit better.

So, we are biting the bullet and looking for a baby sitter. We desperately need to have some couple time without the kids. I'm interviewing a college student on Monday. She already sent references and sounds nice on the phone. Let's hope it works out! It's scary leaving your kids with someone you don't really know.

We were supposed to go visit my parents this weekend, but they're both sick. So now we have nothing to do. Sounds good to me! Every weekend is just too dang busy; we rarely relax. B wanted to paint the house this weekend, but since it might actually snow (!) that's not going to happen. So hopefully we can go visit my parents next weekend and then they can babysit. The following Monday is our 8th anniversary! And since we probably won't have a babysitter in place yet, it would be nice to go out that weekend.

Our anniversary present? We're buying my parents hot tub. Woot!
Recent Reads:

"The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s" by Wendy McClure: Wendy is a blogger I follow (although I haven't been able to get on her site lately--maybe she's too popular), and this book is freaking hilarious! She found some weight watcher diet cards from the 1970's and the book consists of pictures of the cards with her sarcastic comments. I know why Weight Watchers worked in the 70's: because the food was so disgusting! Check out the website, even if you don't check out the book. It's a very quick read and will have you rolling. I may be listing it on soon, if I can bear to part with it. Remember to use me as a reference (mpcsmommy) if you sign up!

"A Tale of Two Sisters" by Anna Maxted: a lovely book about...well...the relationship between 2 sisters.

"The Alchemists Daughter" by Katharine Mcmahon: I listened to this one on CD (I love listening to books in the car). I liked it until the end, which was so ridiculously abrupt. It left you hanging, saying, "that's it?"

Currently reading:

"The Things Between Us: A Memoir" by Lee Montgomery: a book about a family dealing with their mom's alcoholism and father's cancer. Uplifting! How bad is that when I read the part about her mom waking up and lifting 3 fingers to indicate the number of ounces of gin she wanted, made me want to go fix myself a gin and tonic! LOL. I'm so bad.

"The Ghost Orchid" by Carol Goodman: I'm listening to this one on CD. I've done all her books on CD and prefer them that way. She has a very formulaic approach to her novels, but I like them anyway. They generally involve water, art, upstate NY, and a mystery.


Lie A Tay In Da Wayn

We have trees! We broke our promise to stop spending money due to the great sales at Home Depot this Labor Day weekend. I can't even write how much we spent, because I just might throw up.

Anyways, we got TONS of paint: enough to paint the outside of the house, the dining room, living room, kitchen, and "loft" area. Paint was 25% off after rebate, so we went for it.

We also got 2 trees for the front yard (they were only $30 each, we had too!). We got

A flowering Crab tree:

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and an Autumn Blaze Maple:

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Yeah, yeah, I know. This is the most boring blog ever....


Me In Threes

Ah, shit, I've been tagged. Thanks a lot, Laina.

1. Three things that scare me:

The current political situation
Something happening to my kid(s)
Spiders, centipedes, various creepy crawlies

2. Three people who make me laugh:


3. Three things I hate the most:

People who can dish it out, but not take it
Bush and others like him

4. Three things I don't understand:

Conservative Republicans
Religions that are sure they are "right" and the only ones going to heaven, or whatever they believe in
Any kind of evil towards others, especially children and animals

5. Three things I'm doing right now:

Doing this meme
Thinking about my to do list
Needing to pee, but too lazy to get off my butt

6. Three things I want to do before I die:

Play with my grand children
Go to a world class restaurant and order a many course meal with lots of wine courses and not feel intimidated or worried about money
Go to Asia

7. Three things I can do:

Read faster than just about anyone I know (except Bridgett)
Ace standardized tests
Make my hands "fart"

8. Three ways to describe my personality:

Control freak

9. Three things I can't do:

Relax when things aren't cleaned up properly. (Me too, Laina)
Resist a good bargain
Burp "Sally Jesse Raphael" (I can get all but the last syllable out)

10. Three things I think you should listen to:

Scientists that truly know what they're talking about

11. Three things you should never listen to (okay, Laina's are so good, that I'm stealing all of them):

Rap. Sorry, I'll never get it.
People who tell you you aren't important.
Those diet commercials that tell you can take a magic pill and eat what you want and never exercise and still lose weight. You CAN, but at what cost?

12. Three things I'd like to learn:

Rock climbing
More cooking techniques
How to swim properly

13. Three favorite foods:

Anything with lime
Anything with basil
Anything with chocolate

14. Three beverages I drink regularly:


15. Three shows I watched as a kid:

Electric Company
Mork and Mindy
Sesame Street

16. Three people I'm tagging (to do this):

Anybody else who feels so inclined


Le Swing Est Arrive

But oops, the chain is too short. You get the idea anyway:

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Brian is off to Home Depot to purchase more chain. Meanwhile, we'll just jump into it.

ETA: LMAO, I just saw it IRL and the pic doesn't do it justice. It literally comes to above my waistline: I couldn't even jump into it! I'd have to stand on a chair to get in it. I don't know what the company is thinking; our porch roof is not abnormally high.


Our House, Part 2


WTH is going on with blogger? I can't get on and then finally do to find out that my last post ("Bargain Mama") is up 4 times? I deleted 3, and hope I didn't mess something up.

Anyways, we had a very low key weekend. We continue to do more work around the house. B put up a pot rack (that he got at a garage sale for $3, but my precious little Bargain Papa) above the bar between the kitchen and dining room. Here it is. I did not clean out the sink before taking the pic, LOL:

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We also just ordered the following porch swing--on sale and free shipping, woohoo! I can't wait to get it and laze on it with a good book.

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We are thinking about doing the dining room/family room/kitchen (since it's all kind of one area) in the following colors by Behr: ryegrass and outback. If you're actually interested, you'll have to go to the Behr website to see them.

Oh, and here is our new bedroom. Yes, the really messy night stand is my side.

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Bargain Mama

I'm so excited that since it's a little cooler today, I finally get to wear my new Nine & Company jacket that I got at Kohls for $3.75...originally $69! What a deal. Here's a picture I nabbed from the net. It's a little funky and has a retro feel to it.

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On my lunch, I plan to stop at Starbucks for my free iced drink, then go to Target to get my free Loreal makeup (not sure I really need it, since it's not BE, but it's free, baby).

I'm even teaching Brian well. Yesterday he picked up a fancy paper shredder for $8.


Our House the middle of our street. This will be a very boring post to anyone reading this but me.

First, my flowers. The guy before us planted NOTHING. So we have a very clean slate to work with. Unfortunately, I am a very inexperienced gardener. Here is my little garden in the front. It's mostly perennials, with a few annuals, and of course, my Mother's Day rock, which I love. I hope to put more in as time goes on (both rocks and flowers).

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I really love that grass behind the rock. Unfortunately, it's an annual, so I'll have to redo each year.

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One of my 3 clematis on the front fence:

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My sunflowers in the back yard. I especially love these red ones. I have to find them again next year:

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I also have an herb garden, tomatoes, and forget-me-nots in the back. I hope to do more vegetables next year.

In addition, to not planting anything, the guy had all white walls. We are just starting the process of changing that. We bought some bedding for our room recently. Here is the pic from the site:

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We were able to get everything except for the chocolate brown big pillow shams in the back. I've ordered them twice, only to have the orders cancelled due to none in stock. We painted the room similar to the edging on the 2nd set of pillows, next to the chocolate brown ones. I was a little worried about it, afraid it would be too dark, but it looks really good and contemporary. Brian calls it chocolate milk, I think it looks a bit like peanut butter. Now, I think the room needs a bit more color. Dare I put in a few orange accents?

Recent Reads:

"Love is the Drug" by Sarahbeth Purcell: I really loved this book. It's about a young woman struggling with alcoholism and obsessed with lists. I think one reason I loved it is because many of her lists include obscure music and movies that I enjoy. Very hip, enjoyable read.

"The Perfect Elizabeth: A Tale of Two Sisters" by Libby Schmais: Also an excellent book. About 2 sisters (duh), one of which (the narrator) that struggles with depression and moving forward with her life. This book, although short, took a long time for me to read, but I think it's because I savored it--certainly not because it was boring or difficult to read.

"The Ivy Chronicles" by Karen Quinn: Fairly typical "chick lit" a la "The Nanny Diaries," but never the less an enjoyable read. It's about a woman who loses her job and starts a business helping New York's elite get into the top preschools.

"London is the Best City in America" by Laura Dave: I had a hard time getting into this book and almost abandoned it half way through, but in the end, I like it. It's also about a young woman having a hard time moving forward with her life. There were a bit too many familial coincidences, though--a bit far fetched.

"Comfort Me With Apples" by Ruth Reichl: I am in the middle of this one, but I absolutely love Ruth Reichl: an ex-hippie turned foodie/restaurant critic and now editor-in-chief of "Gourmet" magazine. This book is another memoir, chronicling her beginnings as a restaurant critic. Can I just say that I totally envy her life?

By the way, I have several of the books above posted and available on, a really cool site that allows you to trade books with other members for free. If I inspire you to join, will you please use me as a referral? My user name is mpcsmommy. Thanks!


Vacation Update

I've been wanting to blog here forever, but home and work have been so busy, I haven't had any time. Anyway, I'll write what I can remember from our vacation, which seems so long ago! Some pictures are posted on the boys' blog. It was a really fun trip, but completely exhausting.

The first day we flew into Columbus, but then had to drive all the way to Toledo, so it was a full day of travelling. The rental car company upgraded us to a minivan, which was nice. We just hung out with the family that evening. The kids saw lightning bugs for the first time--I sure do miss them!

The next day we went to the park with the grandparents and hit our favorite local ice cream joint. That evening, we met our good good friend Phoebe at our old local dive 21 West. It kind of sucked, LOL. It's gross and stinky and our old bartender is gone. So then we went to the 19th Hole, which also sucked. Same bartender, same shit hole, same white trash getting into that one didn't last long either. We ended up at a cheesy place called Ralphie's, but it really didn't matter, because the company was good. And it was cheap! Our bill came to $15 and some change for 3 margaritas, 3 beers, and 2 appetizers. Only in Toledo!

The next day I met 5 moms and 9 kids from my mommy board at the Toledo Zoo. It was so much fun to meet all these people that I've talked to for several years now, but never met in real life. We saw 2 polar bears, 2 seals, and some fish, LOL. We should have just met at a park. It just took so long to wrangle 11 kids, plus we ate lunch. We finally ended up just letting them run loose on a playground, so we could at least attempt to talk.

That evening we went to my all time favorite sushi place, Kotobuki, with Lance & Amy and Phoebe. It has doubled in size, but other than that it is pretty much the same. Same menu, same waitress, and yes, Dennis is still hot! I got me some gomae, which I have never been able to find anywhere else, and ate sushi until I was about ready to explode. Yummmm.... okay, now I'm hungry. Then we went to Rocky's, which is where we should have gone the night before, but I thought it had been levelled for the new Costco. I'm so bummed that Westgate is gone, but Rocky's is hanging in there for now. This picture from that night, makes me really happy:

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The following day we met our old friend Karen and her son Joshua and our friend Hannah and her 2 children at a metropark. Miles and Joshua got along famously! I wish we lived closer so they could play more often. We also met Hannah's boyfriend, who I was surprised to learn is a high school hero of mine! The drummer from Minor Threat--how cool is that? Phoebe told me on the sly and I desperately tried to get it out of him by asking leading questions, but no go. He did admit to being co-owner of Dischord records, but not his band past. I guess I don't blame him; he probably gets sick of the adoring fans, young and old. They are the most influential straight edge hard core band of all time, in my opinion; and I can't even count the number of times I listened to their records. I still do sometimes. Anyway, he was just a nice, unassuming guy.

That evening we had dinner at The Beirut, my favorite Middle Eastern place. I could die for their baba ganoush and Lebanese garlic bread. Then B and I went to a bar that has become popular since we left Toledo, Mickey Finn's. As luck would have it, our friend Alan's band, WEe, was playing, and they were really fun. Brian and I were also very pleased to see that the bar served Bell's Oberon on tap. We now live in the land of good microbrews, but nothing tops this beer, and we can't find it out here. We saw lots of old friends and had a great time.

Our friend Alan gave us one of the best compliments ever: he said that our old band, The Mouthfuls, was his all-time favorite local band, because we were so "pure and true." Wow, what a compliment! I recently listened to some old stuff and some was decent, and a lot was awful, LOL. But it sure was fun. I miss making music.

The following day it was off to Columbus, where we stayed at Brian's sister's house. After spending the day there, we all went to our best friends, Eric & Erika's house for dinner and hanging out. I have known Erika since 1987 and we've been together through thick and thin. Here we are in our matching Cramps tank tops (yep, we're dorks!).

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The next day B's parents came down from Toledo and Janice & Andy had a BBQ that Eric, Erika, and kiddos were invited to. Lots of yummy food and great company.

The next day, we all had a picnic in the park in the pic above, then dinner with Janice & Andy, then over to E&E's house to hang out for a short while before saying goodbye.

We came home last Tuesday and it was the trip from hell--and surprisingly not due to the security measures. Our plane was broken, so we ended up spending 8 hours in the Columbus airport. We got upgraded to first class on the 2nd leg of our trip, but it didn't really make up for the crappy trip. I must say the free gin was a nice touch, though. I could get used to that.

Now we're home, and one week later, we are still tired.

8/7/06 little time. I feel like I can't keep up! Flashback to last weekend. KG came and it was a blast. We did not go to Red Rocks to try to get tix to the Flaming Lips, we figured it was a lost cause. Had her and her brother and sister in law over for a bbq. They brought their 6 week old baby--so cute! Then Brian, KG, and I went out to some local bars. It was fun. KG introduced me to my new favorite: Jameson's with a Sprite back. Deeelish! The next night we went to dinner and then she came over and we pored over old photos. Too fun. We were such wild women, LOL.

Some funny ones of me:

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This weekend we focused on packing for our upcoming trip to Ohio and went to Splash water park yesterday. It was the perfect day there; it was totally empty. I guess because it was cloudy in the morning? Colorado people are so weird. It was really nice in the afternoon. I'm not complaining, though....Brian and I took turns watching the kids while the other went down the water slides.

Tomorrow we leave for Ohio. It will be a long day of travelling. We fly into Columbus then drive to Toledo, stay there until Saturday morning, then back to Columbus. Then fly home on Tuesday. There are so many people to see; we're not going to have enough time to spend with all of them. But it will be so good to see them even just a little bit.

The next time I write will probably be after we get back. Bon voyage.



I am exhausted! I haven't posted much because we've been so busy. I took a "mini vacation"--i.e. a 4 day weekend, and we "did" Denver. In those four days, we did Lakeside amusement park, Splash water park, a movie, and Six Flags.

Lakeside is funny and retro. It's considered the "ghetto" park in town. Pretty cheap ($2 to get in and about fifty cents/ride). They had an accident on one of the big rides this weekend. Thankfully one we didn't go on and not while we were there. Yikes!

Elitch's (Six Flags) was fun, but horribly hot. And we didn't get to spend as much time at the water park area as we wanted to.

Hopefully I will post pictures of the weekend events on Miles' blog soon.

Health wise, I'm just so-so. Last time I saw my endocrinologist, he said that my levels were borderline high, but he didn't want to change my meds. I had some symptoms, but had just returned from the surgery, so thought it may be due to stress. I'm not sleeping, grinding my teeth, shaking, feeling generally anxious. So I called and they lowered my med levels, but I'm still feeling cruddy. I just need some damn sleep.

I saw my GP for a physical today and basically she feels bad for me. Not much she can do right now until we get the thyroid levels regulated. She did up my anxiety meds to hopefully help me get some sleep. I also have to get a mammogram (God, I'm so old!)...I'm REALLY looking forward to that one. And, once I'm off the accutane, we need to test for diabetes. Woopee.

Okay, now that I'm feeling really ancient, I need to switch gears and talk about my childish weekend that is coming up. My good friend KG from Ohio is coming to town to visit family and we are planning on hooking up. She, Brian, and I used to be in a band together, and that lucky girl is still in a band--a really good one too. If you know me, check out my myspace account and you'll hear a song from them.

Anyways, on Saturday evening, we really want to see the Flaming Lips play at Red Rocks. We've been trying to get tickets on ebay, but they are going for $150 - $200!!!!! Hard to believe that a band I once paid $2 to see at a crappy Toledo bar and even met is now so sought after! I am totally kicking myself in the butt for not buying tickets before they sold out. We decided to wait because we didn't have a sitter. Well, we could have unloaded them for a fortune on ebay! Hind sight is 20/20. And, of course, now we have a sitter, which is really cool....but no tickets.

So KG has suggested that we go "hang" in the parking lot and try to "score" some tickets, LOL (more words, not hers--can't blame my dorkiness on someone else). I really hope we can get in, but if not, we can always go hang out in Morrison, which is a fun foothills town, once the concert starts. So I get to have a night where I can pretend I'm 24, fun, fun.

Last night was exciting. Dr. Reinisch came to our house along with five other families who have either had surgery or are considering surgery. He said that Miles' ear looks great and we are probably done with surgeries. What a relief! I'll write more on Miles' blog about the visit soon, but I wanted to write here about some embarassing events of the night.

1) Dr. R. mentioned that he had heard about the controversy over this blog. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably don't need to know. Anyway, the shit stirrers aren't worth talking about.

2) Miles peed his pants. Huh? What's up with that? He never does that anymore. He was so excited to have all the people there and I think he just didn't think to take time out to go to the bathroom.

3) Thankfully, I didn't hear this, but Brian told me that at the end of the night after everyone but Dr. R. and his wife (who is just a lovely person) had left and we were all talking, Miles let out a 15-20 second fart. Just lovely. I hope that since I didn't hear it, the Reinisch's didn't either.

Another funny thing: after they left, Brian said, "Wow, we just had a rock star from the doctor world in our house." Too funny!

Alright, I have tons more to catch up on, but I need to mosey.


Where Am I?

You can find me on an almost daily basis at And yes, I spelled that correctly.

"Parenting is a hard job. You have to feed your children, occasionally speak to them, and even play with them every other week. That's why after parenting, we suggest pa[rant]ing. Our community is a place where you can put away the good manners you use at playgroups, stop the false "you look great" lines you give at mom's night out, and finally quit lying when you say "Suzie, your little Tommy is so cute" as you gasp at the horror that is Tommy. So kick back, grab a beer and release your inner bitch. You know you want to!"