Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Product Updates

The lipstick from the holiday party was DuWop in Private Red, which when asked about it at the party, I replied, "It's BeBop!" (I was on my third glass of wine at this point. Also, I am Old and Out of Touch.) One of my friends corrected me and said, "Do you mean DuWop?" I waved my hand and said, "DuWop, BeBop, something or other." Then I got it out of my purse and lo, she was right. Anyway, I put Smashbox sheer gloss over it to give it shine and together they really looked good. They were both from the Sephora Favorites box in this post, which I bought precisely hoping that it would contain a holiday party red lipstick, so score again Sephora! I've tried almost every lipstick in the box and found two that are just fantastic, like people stop me and compliment me, and one that's a little dark but not bad, and then the clear Smashbox gloss that can go over everything or be worn by itself, so I would call that a success. I'm still working my way through the moisturizer box. I've only tried two because the little samples last so long. The Korres, which I loved, was unfortunately too oily for everyday use on my skin. It smelled like heaven, though, so if you're not a total greasepit like me, you might give it a try. It is "wild rose" scent, and I promise you that it does not smell like anything your grandmother would wear. I thought it smelled like kind of spicy roses. Rock thought it smelled like red hot candies. (He's a romantic. No, you can't have him.) I adored it, but if I used it more than one day in a row, it made my face break out. I've moved on to Philosophy's Hope in a jar. Smells like butt; seems to work. This week will be its ultimate test. I've been using it every day since Saturday (no makeup for a whole week! WHEE!) so we'll see how my skin looks at the end of the week.

Happy New Year everyone! I will be partying it up! (By this I mean, eating too much and sleeping late, of course. See Old, above.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I had a big long update planned for today, but now it's 5:30 and I need to run a few errands on the way home. So here's a brief update.
The endoscopy went well, but I'm waiting to meet with the doctor to hear the results. Could be some serious changes. I'm doing my own little "scientific" experiments. "if I eat this, how do I feel?" "if I don't eat that, how do I feel?" So far, it's been interesting. And yeah, has proven that I definitely did not attend medical school.

I finished reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, which I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. I will have MUCH more to say about this once I have more time.

Our office holiday party was last week and I finally found the perfect red lipstick after a four year search. I got so many compliments on it that I had to get it out of my purse to show people what brand it was. So you know it was good. In fact, here's a picture.


I'm thinking of sending out New Year's cards. I really wanted to send Christmas cards, but I've pretty well missed that deadline. So I think I'll just take a cute picture of the kids over the holidays and find a good card and send them out next week for New Year's. That's acceptable, right?

Happy Holidays to all! Today is my last work day for this week, so I'll be spending the rest of the week resting, doing a little last minute shopping, and opening gifts with my kids! Oh yeah, and eating way too much food.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whiny Friday

So I have to tell you guys what's going on with me today so I can whine about it. I'm having an endoscopy done so that my doctor can figure out why I have constant heartburn and acid reflux. They're going to sedate me, which I hate, but then they're going to stick a tube down my throat and look around and I certainly don't want to be awake for THAT, so I'll take sedation, thankyouverymuch. I'm sure everything is fine, and I'll just have take Prilosec or the Wa!-Mart version forever or whatever, but I can only drink clear liquids until 11:30 this morning and after that I cannot have anything. I cannot eat anything at all today. No, let me whine about that in all caps, because I am starting to get hungry. I CANNOT EAT ANYTHING TODAY. Whine.

Okay, moving on to books because I need to distract myself. I've had a couple great emails lately from girls to whom I sent copies of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo who loved it! That is my favorite part of sharing a book with a friend - hearing that she loved it, too. Have you read anything great lately? Tell me about it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Probably Hypothetical Question

Would it be too much to ask for someone, anyone, who has not seen me in quite some time, to greet me with the phrase, "You've lost some weight!"?? Because I have, damnit! I am officially into the next size down in pants, which is two sizes down from where I started, because I wore the previous size until I looked like a stuffed sausage.

I thought for sure the nurse at the doctor's office would say something the other day, when I climbed onto the scale and my weight was actually measured and recorded RIGHT NEXT to last year's weight, and I'm not sure how much less than last year's weight it was, but at least ten and potentially even 15 pounds less, and that right there warrants a compliment or at least a comment, bitch.

And then today? I had lunch with a friend who hasn't seen me in two months. And did he greet me by commenting on my weight loss? No, no he did not. And while it might be a little irrational to expect someone whom YOU greet with, "God, you look scruffier every time I see you." to return the greeting with a compliment, I still say he could have pulled it off. (And he does look scruffier every time I see him.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quarter Three in Books

What? Q3 only ended two months ago. You do not come here for timely news (thank God). So, here is what I read (and listened to, as that is quickly starting to outnumber the books I've read) in the third quarter and what I thought about them.

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - Very atmospheric Asian novel about two little girls who are friends growing up, have a fight and stop being friends. Good, but kind of mild. The misunderstanding that led to them to not speak for so long was a little lame, in my opinion.

2. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (audio) - Oh, the main character in this annoyed me to no end. And I saw the "surprise" ending coming a mile off. And now I really don't want to see the movie, which I very much wanted to see before, and I absolutely love Kate Winslet. I don't know that I would go so far as to say that I didn't like it. Well, yes, I think I will. I didn't like it. I didn't like the main character - I thought he was a spineless wimp who made some really inexplicable, indefensible decisions. And Kate Winslet's character was woefully underdeveloped. We do not understand why she does one single thing that she does. Ever.

3. Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman - Horrible, horrible book about a woman who willfully gets into an abusive relationship with a man she dated in her past. She leaves a stable marriage for this man! Against the advice of her daughter and all her friends. And then proceeds to totally not notice when he cuts off the phone and gathers up all the mail. Yes, she just DOES NOT NOTICE that the phone doesn't work at all and no mail ever arrives. Even though people tell her that they tried to call and that they mailed her invitations and other things. One of the stupidest books I've ever read. I'm sorry; I rarely criticize books that harshly, but it's true. I think I bought this book for a dollar from a vineyard on the farm tour last year. Yay, I'm so glad I didn't really pay for it.

4. A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George (audio) - I had very high hopes for this because I loved What Came Before He Shot Her so much, but I was really disappointed in this one. It's a murder mystery, and it seemed to me that George really hadn't figured out who the murderer would be before she finished writing the book. Then, as she worked through the plot, she eliminated possible suspects one by one. Upon reaching the end, she realized that she had actually eliminated all possible suspects and had now left herself with no plausible murderer. At which point, she returned to her first, not really plausible, suspect and concocted a terrible not-at-believable motive. There is a good sub-plot with a friend of the murder victim and his aged father. That is this book's only redeeming feature.

5. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson - This is the third novel by Kate Atkinson to feature Jackson Brodie, private detective, who is an awesome and tremendously likable character, and this one is far far better than One Good Turn (the second book), which I thought was very disappointing. Like Case Histories, the novel that introduced Jackson, Good News weaves together several seemingly unrelated crimes and mysteries. Jackson's tangled and tortured personal life gets drug in, too, of course, as the poor man can't figure out how to have a relationship with a woman. I really liked it, as you can definitely tell.

6. The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman (audio) - And here is where I gave up on Alice Hoffman. Ice Queen is the story of a weird girl who wishes that her mother would die in a fit of anger one night and of course, her mother is killed in an auto accident that evening. Later in life, she wishes to be struck by lightning, and gets that wish as well. After that, she falls in love with a man who isn't quite what or whom he seems to be and works to alienate or not alienate her brother and sister-in-law, she can't quite decide which she wants. A very weird character and a very weird book. My final opinion of Hoffman is that she is a very uneven author who doesn't mind at all if her plots are heavy-handed or, y'know, believable.

7. The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (audio) - A cute and almost whimsical tale of a boy who is tormented by bullies at school, lives in a run down motel with his dad, then gets to stay out of school for a time, meets a little girl and goes for walks in the woods where he finds a tiger in a cage. Things kind of go downhill from there, but it's still a cool little story.

8. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (audio) - I absolutely loved this book. It was one of the few audio books that I kept. Four random strangers meet at a tall building on New Year's Eve, each planning to commit suicide. They talk each other out of it for that night, but what comes after that? Very funny, very human.

9. What Comes After Crazy by Sandi Kahn Shelton (audio) - Maz, daughter of a psychic, struggles to get her life together after her husband runs off to New Mexico. Then, just when she's getting it together, he comes back. And her mother comes to visit. A little too "zany". It's funny, it just tries a little too hard.

10. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon (audio) - I love Michael Chabon (author of Wonder Boys, and the absolutely fabulous, Pulitzer Prize winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), so that means that what I'm about to say pains me greatly. The Final Solution is a mystery that features a very old, formerly very famous detective who is supposed to remind you very strongly of Sherlock Holmes. Maybe it's this, because I tend to find all things connected with Sherlock Holmes deadly boring (although I VERY MUCH want to see the upcoming movie - Robert Downey Jr. couldn't be boring if he tried!), or maybe it's just this book itself, but I was bored to tears. I had bought the book years ago, when it first came out, and read the first chapter or so, and couldn't get into it. So I picked it up on audio book, acknowledging the fact that I will probably never go back and read the actual book. The audio book is nearly as boring as the print book, I'm sad to say. It's about a lost parrot. And that's about it.

11. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Yes, I re-read it when the second one came out. What of it? I understood the financial stuff this time around, so who's laughing now? I still love it just as much as I did the first time around.

12. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson - What? You're sick of hearing about how much I love this trilogy? Okay, okay. I will just say that the cliffhanger ending on this one just about killed me dead. And that at one point, I threatened to fly to Sweden, dig up Stieg Larsson, and kick his ass. Then, a few pages later, I forgave him. (I should really get out more, shouldn't I?)

13. Promise Me by Harlan Coben (audio) - Please, please tell me you all read Harlan Coben and I don't need to tell you how wonderful he is. This book was read by the author, which was a treat, because he has a warm, rich, deep voice with a nasally NE accent. He sounded like a big, New England teddy bear which was the perfect sound for his character, Myron Bolitar. In this novel, Myron makes two high school girls promise him that they will call him if they are ever in trouble and need a ride home. He will come get them, no questions asked, and not tell their parents. Which, as we all know, is a tremendously dangerously offer to make to high school girls. Of course one of them takes him up on it. And then vanishes. Coben tends to write twisty, turny, smart books. I've read and listened to four or five now and loved every one.

14. Who By Fire by Diana Spechler - Clever title, lackluster plot. Screwup girl goes to Israel to bring home her uber religious brother. Their mother gets taken in by a con man. Overall, a very forgettable novel.

15. The Last Summer of You and Me by Anne Brashares (audio) - This book hinged on one of those "if the two people had only talked for about 1.5 seconds this misunderstanding wouldn't have happened" plot points that absolutely infuriates me. I hated it with the fire of 10,000 suns.

16. Tara Road by Maeve Binchy (audio) - Out of the 19 discs, more of these were messed up than were not (I checked it out from the library.), yet I still loved it irrationally. It is a huge, sprawling novel that follows Rea over the course of her life, from young woman working in an office and meeting Danny, to marrying and having children, to well, you'd just have to read it, now wouldn't you? Along for the ride are her friends and family, all interesting and well-developed characters in their own rights. I so wish there was a sequel. That says a lot, doesn't it? 19 discs and I wish there was more.

17. Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding (audio) - Um, I know that this was the book that started the whole "chick lit" phenomena and all, but I really wasn't impressed. Way too predictable. Way to yell-y and loud. And I didn't really like Bridget all that much.

18. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan - Discussed here. If you don't want to click, mildly interesting history with a pretty shocking ending. Overall, disturbing.

19. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - Smart chick lit. Really, really liked it. Two friends, road trip, what's not to like?

20. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - First of the Sookie Stackhouse/ True Blood books. Really fun, very campy. No heavy lifting here, but for mindless fluff, you really can't go wrong with the True Blood crew. Decent mystery, good characters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Carols

Well, lest anyone think I'm a total Scrooge, let me just say that there is quite a bit of Christmas music that I like and a few Christmas carols that I like so much that I will stop and listen to them no matter how early I hear them. Yes, Annoying Co-worker has Christmas music playing again. She stopped last week, but I think the fact that it is now Thanksgiving, and a short week, has given her a new lease on Christmas spirit. She turned the Christmas music back on yesterday and it looks like it's here to stay this time. Oh well. At least it's a short week.

Since I was raised in church, I tend to like my Christmas music religious and choral. As the great Bing Crosby sings in "The Christmas Song", "Christmas carols, being sung by a choir" - yes. That is the way it is supposed to be. (Side note - you may notice in this post that I often cannot remember the proper name of Christmas carols. I do a lot of "that one that goes 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire'". Part of it is that I have a lousy memory for song titles and part of it is that I kind of avoid Christmas music as much as I can.) Anyway, I like most church Christmas carols. In fact, I can't think of any I don't like. "Joy to the World", "Silent Night", "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem", "Gloria in Excelsis Deo". Open a church hymnal to the Christmas section and I would be perfectly happy singing any of those songs. (Random fact - On not just Christmas carols, but most well-known church hymns, I can often sing more than one verse from memory. I can do almost all of Amazing Grace. And I have not set foot in a church in over ten years.) Also, one thing about me that you cannot get over a blog - I love to sing and I have a pretty good singing voice. Singing hymns was my favorite part of church and really the only thing I miss. I was in the choir and always in a Christmas program of some form. So I have sung Christmas carols a lot. That's the other hard part about listening to Christmas music - I REALLY want to sing along. When I lived with my mom, we had a deal. I would play the piano and sing while she decorated the Christmas tree. (I hate to decorate the Christmas tree. She can neither play piano or sing.)

Other than church Christmas carols, there are a few Christmas carols that I really love. "The Christmas Song" (that's "chestnuts roasting on an open fire", right?), "Carol of the Bells" ("hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away"), "Mary, Did You Know?" (favorite line - "When you kiss your tiny baby, you kissed the face of God." I think this is true of every baby, not just Jesus. I certainly feel that way about my babies.) "What Child Is This?"

And then there are just the fun Christmas songs. "Step into Christmas" by Elton John. "Happy Christmas" by John Lennon. And the guilty pleasures. The funny Christmas songs - "The 12 Pains of Christmas", "Merry Christmas from the Family" by Robert Earl Keen". The one that makes my husband cringe, but that I own on cd and will proudly admit that I play well into January - "Last Christmas" by Wham!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random

So I've been in a swirl of "too much to say/ not enough to say/ these things are hopelessly unrelated". We've all been sick AGAIN GAH WHAT THE HELL is up this year?! We got over the flu, then got the stomach flu. Got over the stomach flu and now have terrible colds. Just wake me up in May, 'KTHX? I don't even LIKE Christmas all that much. After Halloween, it's all downhill to me. And one of my co-workers is one of those super-Christmas spirit types. My least favorite co-worker, no less. For reals, yo. The other day, she had Christmas music playing out in the main office area. I was out there to talk to someone else for a few minutes and I looked around and said, "If we have to listen to fucking Christmas music from now until Christmas, I will probably go postal. The only thing that will keep me sane is having my own office and my own radio." (I have both. I will be known as the Office Scrooge or the Office Grinch by Christmas. I have no problem with either title. I own both movies.) She's already reading Christmas books. Meanwhile, I'm listening to an absolutely phenomenal book on cd about a serial killer who kills terminally ill people. I think it's safe to say I'm this girl's polar opposite.

The serial killer book is The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe and it's so good that I bought it at the used bookstore the other day before I even finished listening to it on cd. Apparently, Inger Ash Wolfe is a pseudonym for a well-known North American author. He or she must be a Canadian author, because the book is set in Canada and the author seems very familiar with Canadian police procedure, geography, etc. I don't really care if the author wishes to remain anonymous, the only thing that frustrates me is that I would totally buy and read more books by this author RIGHT fricking now if they were available. This is going to be a series, and there is a second book, The Taken, which is available in Canada, but that doesn't help me much, now does it? (Okay, yes, technically, I could order it on the Internet, but I'm trying to curb that habit.) I can't seem to find a US publishing date for it. Whine. Patience is not at all my strong suit.

We finally watched the Clue movie! It is very entertaining! I loved the three possible endings. It's rated PG, so while I wouldn't say it's a "kids movie", there isn't really anything objectionable in it. Most of the "double entendres" flew over my kids' heads and even the murders are pretty tame. Very entertaining for all of us. Thanks for the recommendation, Malnurtured Snay!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Snippets

Ooh, wasn't BlogShare fun! I love hearing other people's secrets!

Some snippets from my life recently....

Took Supergirl to see Where the Wild Things Are yesterday and we both loved it. I was really wondering how they were going to make a picture book with very few sentences into a full-length movie, but they managed it beautifully. They added a lot, of course, as I expected, but it all felt very true to the story. I would have added one scene at the end, but that's just me. It was visually gorgeous, of course.

I finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest over the weekend and it was awesome. My biggest fear was, since Larsson had planned more novels in the series, that this one would not have a decisive ending. That it would leave the story hanging, the way the previous two had. I am so pleased to say that I was wrong - this book very neatly ties up all loose ends. The story could continue, sure. The main character is still alive and will do more and there is more that we could learn about her. But the story can end here satisfyingly.

On Friday night, we taught Supergirl to play Clue. Since then, she has been obsessed. We have played Clue every spare second of every day. What's funny is how differently we play when just Supergirl and I play versus when Rock joins in. Rock, being former military, is very strategic. In fact, it took me three or four games to figure out that if I went to a room that I had the card for, I could make them show me a person or weapon card. Since then, I've found myself trying out different ways of controlling the different variables and making them show me certain cards. I caught myself strategizing Clue in the shower this morning.

Perhaps the 7 year old isn't the only one obsessed, is what I'm saying here...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

BlogShare 2009

Every year, -R- at And You Know What Else runs Blog Share, an event in which all the participants write an anonymous post. The posts then get mixed up and sent to different participants and posted anonymously on someone else's blog. So, I wrote a post and sent it to -R-, she forwarded it along to someone else, and they are posting it today. Someone else wrote the post you are about to read, sent it to -R-, and she sent it along to me to post today. Feel free to leave comments for today's guest poster, he or she knows that his or her post is going to be posted here and I'm sure would love to hear your feedback. For more information and a complete list of participants, visit And You Know What Else. And now, please enjoy our anonymous guest post for Blog Share today....

I'm considering have an affair.

It's hard for me to even see the letters written down, but there it is. My life is not fulfilling for me anymore, but no one would ever know looking at the outside. From the outside, we are a very happy, well balanced family. We both work full time, we have 2 amazing children and own a beautiful house. People are always telling me they don't know how I do it. And of course I smile and laugh it off. But I'm NOT laughing. I'm SCREAMING on the inside and no one can hear.

People see me as the one who takes care of my family. Meals are always on time, my house is always clean and my children are happy. My spouse never has to do any domestic chores because I stay up late to take care of it so there is always time for our children.

But I want ME time. I want to be able to curl up with a book and not worry about anyone. I can't remember the last time I did. I'm tired and I want to be pampered. There is a person in the building that I work who has been dropping some not too subtle hints, and I think I'm going to encourage them. I cannot break up my family unit, but I want to be happy. This seems like the only way to do it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Not Winning Mother of the Year This Year

Monday night, I took Supergirl to Target. On our fairly short list was the movie Clue. (A Halloween recommendation from Malnurtured Snay.) We wandered the entire movie section looking for it. As we wandered, Supergirl was drawn to another movie. Not Hello Kitty, or Barbie, or anything else appropriate for a seven year old girl, oh no. Not my daughter. No, she was drawn to the Snoop Doggy Dogg movie. Yeah, the one with "Pimping" written across his forehead. Which she promptly started sounding out. And turned to me and said, "Mommy, what's this word? Pii, piim, piiimp..." Oh. My. Hell. I had about 3.2 seconds to distract her with, "You don't need to know that word, honey. Look over here!" Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Seriously, HOW did a simple trip to Target involve the word PIMPING?" and "Rock is so going to kill me if she comes home from Target and her new word is pimping!"

The other night, I had Wildman convinced that he had a tail. We were having some discussion about animals and how animals had tails and people don't. And I said, "Except some people. Like you kids. You both have tails. You got them from me. I have a tail, too. Tails run in my family. They don't run in your daddy's family." Rock snorted at that one. I'm kind of "that person" in my family - I say weird things to see if the kids will believe me. Supergirl is too old, she doesn't believe my wild stuff anymore. Wildman is still a little susceptible, though. We ran around for a while, shouting about having tails. Then, he decided that he didn't really have a tail and that was pretty much the end of it. Just another way I'm trying to warp my kids.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Both Sides Now

Whew. Sorry for disappearing again. Things have been crazy around here. We've had the flu - not swine flu, I don't think, since it was very mild and only lasted a few days. But we passed it around the house, of course, and there's just not much more depressing than seeing sickness work its way through your children and knowing that you're next and there's just nothing you can do about it. But we lived through it, obviously. And Rock and I were locked in a fight for about a week or so and there were days, I swear, in which I didn't know who I liked less, him or me. And I wanted to change my life, my job, my friends, my family, I wanted to tear it all down with a wreaking ball. And I felt so envious of people around me. They were doing so much more than I was! They were going on trips! They were going back to school! And then. I read blogs. And Hot said, I don't know how other people do more than just work and come home and collapse. And Kalisa wrote a post about feeling unsatisfied and about appreciating the life she had. And I started to breathe a little easier. Because it wasn't just me. I wasn't going crazy, my life didn't suck. I hadn't screwed it all up and should scrap it all and start over. (No, I really didn't believe that one, either. But it kinda felt that way a time or two.) But somehow, it started to ease up. Hearing that other people felt the same way from time to time helped. And I don't know what it was and why I felt so unsatisfied. Or why it passed. But I'm so very grateful that it did. Focusing on my life and the things that were going right helped. Because there is a lot going right. Things at work are going well. Of course I can't tell you much, but I've had a few little successes and little successes are always very buoying. I've had a couple days off, too, which always help me get a little more perspective. And this weekend, I'm heading to Charlotte to get together with a couple girls I've been friends with since college, so that will be a good relaxing weekend. I've lost a little more weight, and I'm very nearly down to the next clothing size and that is making me feel great. I have some small goals on that front and I'm hitting them this time instead of just watching the time go by and wishing I was doing something. It makes me feel more in control of my life, and that's a big step.

Yesterday was my birthday and those of you who know me know that I am like a little kid about my birthday; I love it. I had a great weekend. One of my closest friends took me to the movies and we saw The Informant, which was awesome. I finally got The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Here's the whole story on that. I had told Supergirl how much I liked that series and how excited I was about the new book and she didn't get the part about how it wasn't coming out here until next spring, so she REALLY wanted to get me that for my birthday. Well, Rock told me about that so when I found out that it could be ordered from Amazon.uk, we decided to make that happen. So then, of course, I ordered it, but then had to wait until my birthday to "get it" from her. Anyway, I spent about half the day yesterday reading it, have read the first four chapters and I already think it is fantastic.

So, life, crazy old roller coaster that it is, is on a upswing right now. One of my dearest friends just had a baby (two days before my birthday!), and things just keep getting better and better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Adventures in Shopping

Last Thursday morning, I checked my email and received a invitation to check out Sephora Favorites at Sephora.com. I don't know if these are new or on sale or why they were being brought to my attention, but I clicked on them and on a whim, bought a couple. They're boxed sets of little samples of different types of products (don't worry - I took pictures to help explain). I bought the moisturizer set - it had hope in a jar by philosophy, best skintentions by bliss, one by korres, and several others; a lipstick set; and a pink lipgloss set for Supergirl to play with. Initially, I was worried that the samples would be really tiny - like those little bitty ones they give out in the store. I don't know why I worried about that, but I did. Probably because they were fairly high dollar products for really reasonable prices - all of the boxes were less than $40. I had never shopped on Sephora.com before, but had bought stuff in the store a time or two and liked the atmosphere. My order qualified for free shipping, which as you know always applies to the slowest method of shipping, but I figured, hey, get it to me whenever, Sephora. As I said, I placed the order Thursday morning. Well, it was sitting on my back porch when I got home Friday night. And I live in BFE, North Carlina. Well played, Sephora.com. Well played, indeed. And the boxed sets turned out to be cool as hell. Some of the samples are practically full-sized products! Here is the moisturizer box:

And the samples inside: I started with the Korres moisturizer on the far left, because it is scented with rosewater and it smells divine. I've been using it since Friday night and so far I love it.












The lipstick box:


And the samples inside it. Several of those are nearly full-size! Score!
















As you can tell, I am now a full-fledged Sephora fan.

In the "the Internet is a fabulous place" and "the good you do comes back to you" files, remember when I wanted to send care packages to everyone with copies of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in them? Well, Alice was one of the people who took me up on my offer. When she posted a picture of the small care package I sent her, one of her friends, Malnurtured Snay, commented that it was a good book, that the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, was available in hardcover, and that the third book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which won't be published here until next spring, had just that day become available in the UK and he had ordered it from Amazon.uk. SO! I hopped my happy little fingers on over to Amazon.uk and ordered myself a copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Including shipping, which I was worried was going to be expensive, it was about the same price as walking into a bookstore and buying it brand new in hard cover at full price. And it will arrive next week, just before my birthday! Happy birthday to me, from me.

I also stopped at Wa!-Mart over the weekend and bought tampons and the second Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood book, which, as I observed to Rock, go together in a sick kind of way.

What about you? Any retail therapy lately?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Basics

Okay, enough serious topics, let's go back to books. This post will be a three 'fer - the two you guys picked and a bonus.

Loving Frank - Nancy Horan - the winner of the book poll. My biggest question about this book was, "Is it true?" And the answer to that is yes, mostly. Obviously, Frank Lloyd Wright really existed. So did Mamah (pronounced "Maymah") Borthwick Cheney. They really did have an affair. They really did leave their spouses and children and live together in Wisconsin. (Romantic, right?! Just kidding, Wisconsin friends!) Mamah really did divorce her husband. Frank really did not divorce his wife. The why's and thoughts and feelings are conjecture, though based on personal letters. The book is well-written and at first, fairly suspenseful and engaging. It lags in the middle as the main conflict is the newspaper smear campaign that Frank and Mamah face. In fact, I got really bored and almost quit reading it. It picks up again with conflict between Mamah and Frank over finances and then springs a truly shocking ending out of nowhere. Overall - engaging and a piece of history that you would probably never hear about unless you lived in Oak Park, Illinois.

Best Friends Forever - Jennifer Weiner - So many things in just one book. Such a great story of a friendship, gone wrong, and coming back together. I would like to send a copy to my ex-bff with a note telling her how much I still think about her. It makes so many of the same points I've made on here, how the two girls grew up across the street from each other, in each other's lives and house all day, all the time, yet how much they didn't know, didn't see, didn't realize about the other one. There were so many quotes I would like to highlight and send along to Heather. This is what I wish would happen in my situation. Also a story of personal growth, of a woman growing, changing, realizing that she isn't waiting on her life to improve, on a man to rescue her, that she can do it herself. As I'm sure you can tell, I liked it. A lot.

Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris - The first in the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series. Call me prejudiced, but I will probably never call a vampire series high literature. The True Blood series, however, is good fun. And I already like them approximately 750, 000 times better than the Twilight series (sorry to my Twilight-loving friends!) Reasons why:
  • The 100 year old vampire isn't a virgin who insists on being married before losing his virginity. Really, a 100-yr-old vampire placing any stock in any human institution is just stupid. I have no problem with religious values, but the last place they belong is in a vampire novel. I would have been less offended if Bella had been the one insisting on being married, but Edward? Please.
  • Sookie. Dumb name aside, she's a great character. She's independent and can take care of herself, even in a fight. One of the first scenes is her saving Bill from some vampire drainers! But she's not an indestructible kickass and she has no problem calling in Bill when she needs him. *coughunlikeBellacough* She feels no need to go out and make herself roadkill to avoid inconveniencing her precious vampires. (I swear, I was neither Team Edward nor Team Jacob, I was Team Victoria!) Sookie's a virgin, but not for religious reasons. She can read minds and every time she's gotten close to sleeping with a guy, she's heard what he thought about her. Or her body. After hearing what one of my high school boyfriends said about me after we broke up, I was plenty glad I didn't sleep with him. So I can totally see how that would get in the way of gettin it on. (Speaking of gettin it on, Sookie can't read Bill's mind, so they get it on. And on. And on. It's practically a romance novel.)

Anyway, it's a quick read with a good mystery at the heart and fun, quirky characters. Will definitely be reading more of this series.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Things I Would Say On Twitter, If I Had It

Subtitled: Reasons My Friday Morning Has Sucked.

Things you should not say to a co-worker:

"Oh, I'm sorry. Perhaps you misunderstood. I meant RIGHT MOTHERFUCKING NOW."

Things you should not say to a customer:

"Why yes, I am here to take your abuse. Please continue to be rude and abrasive."
"Actually, I DON'T give much of a shit about your problem. It sucks that you have a problem, but your attitude and rude behavior precludes me from really caring."

Thank God it's lunchtime!

Edited to Add: These are things I thought but did not say. These are not things that were said to me. God, that would have been awful. Sorry for any confusion.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Follow-Up

So, wow, that was kind of a tailspin at the end of last week, wasn't it? Still pretty screwed up about my mom and my ex-BFF, huh?

BIG thank you to Hyphen Mama, who hit it right on the head with her comment. Here's her comment:
Oh! I just finished reading a book about setting Personal Boundaries (Anne Katherine)... and it talks so much about these kinds of relationships. They totally violated YOUR boundaries, and would you expect that if a new relationship formed that you'd be able to set very specific boundaries with them? If you don't think you can do that (I am SO NOT ABLE TO SET BOUNDARIES!!), then it probably wouldn't work out the way you want. I, too, have several friends who've had to be broken up with over the years.
Trolling FB has made me all kinds of nostalgic to reconnect with them (I even drove past one of their houses a few weeks ago, wondering if I should just stop and say "hi".) It's hard, because we have expectations going into it... and what if it doesn't turn out the way you need it to? It's like breaking up all over again.
I swear I gasped when I read that comment because it was SPOT ON. SPOT ON, people. Boundaries. THAT is what I've been trying to say for so long. THAT is the point I've been trying to get across to those two for 20*mumblemumble*years. Oh my God, that is IT. Boundaries. Wait, let me read that sentence again, "They totally violated YOUR boundaries". Basking in the truth of that. Basking. Basking. Okay, I'm better now. On to part two of that sentence, "and would you expect that if a new relationship formed that you'd be able to set very specific boundaries with them?" No, I do not. And here's why. I tried for years, YEARS, to set boundaries. And they walked right the hello over me. So to answer that question and the question at the end of the last post, no. No, I don't believe I can create a relationship in which personal boundaries are respected.

And then the next paragraph!! Yes, the Facebook nostalgia! It has made me reconnect with several old friends! In most cases, it has worked out really well. But yes, FB makes me want to be! friends! with! everyone!

This is why I put my thoughts out on the Internet. Because when I feel thoroughly confused and conflicted, someone makes a comment like that and I feel like the sun has shone through a stand of trees. Like there's light at the end of my tunnel. Thank you to all of you, my Internet friends. Your support and encouragement has gotten me through my miscarriage and helped me work through some of the tough issues in my past. I really can't say how much I appreciate it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rainy Day Women

I've written here before about my former best friend, Heather. We grew up together. She was the closest I ever had to a sister. But she and my mother always acted like they had to tell me what to do and keep me in line and eventually, I stopped talking to them. Breaking away from Heather was really the test run for breaking away from my mother. I felt, for a very long time, that I would eventually break contact with my mother. Our relationship was never good and as I got older it got worse and worse. Heather would often "report" back to my mother on different things about me. For example, she met Rock a few weeks before my mother did and called my mom on her way home to tell her all about him. I realized that if I ever did break contact with Mom, I couldn't stay friends with Heather. She was my mom's friend, not mine. I tried, in each instance, to let the other person keep the mutual friends. The main reason is that I felt bad about breaking contact and didn't want to inflict more harm by trying to take more friends away. I also didn't want to put any of my friends in the uncomfortable position of choosing between me and Heather or me and my mother, so I tried to just bow out gracefully. I also didn't want to talk about why I was breaking contact, because at that point, I really couldn't put it into words and felt like if I was questioned too closely, I would cave in. So in addition to breaking contact with my mother and Heather, I broke contact with several other friends. Well, yesterday, one of those mutual friends contacted me on Facebook. She and I wrote back and forth a few times, catching up on life. This morning, I saw that Heather had written on her blog last night, "Found a very, very giant trigger of my very own just a short time ago. Former best friend on Facebook. Seeing her face and her words on a mutual friend's wall just triggered a lot. It's a lot more complex than just "seeing her name was triggery", and yet not more complex than that. I'll just leave it at that for now, because I need to not think about the triggery before bed." Very cryptic. And it makes me.....sad. and confused. I wonder what she feels about it. When she says "trigger" I wonder what she means. I wonder what she thinks about when she thinks about me. I know that a lot of her opinion of me is bad. But we had a lot of good times, too. I miss her, a lot. There are so many childhood things that we shared that I don't share with anyone else. I watched Steel Magnolias again recently and I swear, I missed her so bad it hurt. We were Clairee and Weezer. (She was Weezer.) We were going to be friends for life and then be old, bickering, best friends just like those two characters. I want to reach out to her, but I don't want the old friendship that we used to have. We made the mistake that a lot of people who know each other for a very long time make - we thought that we knew everything there was to know about each other. She thought she knew everything about my childhood and my parents' marriage. I thought I knew everything about her family. She told me once that she thought she had been depressed her whole childhood. And I'm sure I smiled and nodded while she talked, but I didn't believe her for a second. Because I had BEEN THERE. I knew her as a child and she wasn't a bit depressed. But maybe she was. Because as close as we were, I didn't know everything about her. If she says she was depressed, then she probably was. But I didn't even stop to give her the benefit of the doubt. I just didn't believe her. And she did the same to me. Is there a way to form a new friendship with someone with whom I have this much history? A different friendship, in which we don't try to fit each other into the roles we played as children? I find myself equal parts hopeful, wanting to try and convinced that it's impossible. Should I reach out to her, try to make peace with my past, try to find a new way forward. Is it possible to create a relationship with her and then with my mother, in which they respect me? Or should I just leave it all alone and try to find a way to co-exist?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Facebook Funnies

Yesterday, one of my friends posted "RIP Patrick Swayze...I hate you lung cancer."
One of her friends corrected her, "I hate lung cancer too, but he had pancreatic cancer."

Another of my friends posted, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!"

ETA: One of her friends replied, "Amen and again I say Amen." Cannot. Stop. Laughing.

No, really, please come find me in hell. I'll be the one in the back corner, with the booze.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Books by Quarter

So, I just realized that I never posted the books I read in the second quarter. I'll be remedying that right now.

1. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George - SO SO GOOD. This falls into a subset of books that I love. The ones that warn you, from the title or the basic setup or whatever, that they WILL NOT have a happy ending, but are so beautifully written and make you care so deeply for the characters that you hope and pray for a happy ending anyway. I mean, the title of this book is What Came Before He Shot Her, so you know there's going to be a murder. But the book details a year in the life of a young boy before he commits a very serious crime. The murder in the title doesn't take place until page six hundred and something, so there is a LOT of "What Came Before". (Other great books in this subset - Bel Canto and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)

2. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons - Dark, gritty and not very good.

3. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman - Do you read Laura Lippman? Because you totally should. Her books are fantastic. Life Sentences is about a writer, mining her past for a story to tell. She remembers that a girl she was friends with in middle school went to prison for killing her baby, so she decides to investigate that.

4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson - Recommended by Janssen. Completely chilling story of two girls with eating disorders. One is bulimic, one is anorexic. One lives, one dies. The book is excellent.

5. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman - This is the first in her series about detective Tess Monaghan and it's great. I plan to pick up the rest of the series and read them as soon as I can.

6. City of Thieves by David Benioff - I saw the movie of 25th Hour, based on his novel, and was very impressed. City of Thieves is good, but has a disappointing ending.

7. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski - I think the simplest thing to say here is that on Goodreads, there are 142 posts about this book in the Books You Loathed thread. It's not that the novel is bad, because it's not. It's very well written. It's that the author makes some major choices that really anger readers. Including me.

8. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud - YAWN. Bor-ing.

9. The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner - Nowhere near as interesting as it could have been. Good premise, bad delivery.

10. The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee - Fluffy, fun chick lit. Entertaining.

11. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - OMG, SO GOOD. I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. Claire and Henry are one of my all-time favorite couples.

12. The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee - Again, fluffy fun chick lit. Very cute, good characters.

13. The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag (audio) - This was the first audio book I listened to. It was a good mystery, although the conclusion is really far-fetched and unbelievable.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hair Update With Pictures!

So, Shelly Overlook and Alice both requested hair pictures. I took some in the office bathroom with my new camera phone, which I am still learning how to use. So, please excuse the poor lighting and poor quality of the pictures. And the fact that you really can't tell much about my hair in these pictures. BUT, these are pictures I took just an hour or so ago, and now they are here! Behold, the speed of the Internet.

Hair in front of shoulders, which is usually the best way to show the waves:



















View from the back:



















What most people see most of the time, hair behind shoulders:

So! There you go - this is my new hairstyle.

Friday, September 4, 2009

State of My World

You all are awesome! Thanks so much for voting in my book poll. The winner was Loving Frank, so I'll be starting that this weekend. Second place was a tie between Best Friends Forever and Julie and Julia, so I'll start one of them after I finish Loving Frank. (Wait, that sounded dirty.) And I think some of you voted in the comments and not in the actual poll, because several people mentioned Odd Thomas, but it only had one vote in the poll, so I'll put it in the "to read soon" pile.

Random updates on frivolous things I have talked about before:
The too-small purse: Still too small, but I'm kind of making it work. I'm nothing if not stubborn. (And lazy - I really don't want to move all my stuff over to another purse.) It's still a challenge if I want to, y'know, get anything out of my purse, but it looks good and that's all that matters, right?

My hair: I recently made a change I never would have thought I'd be bold enough to try - I'm letting most of my hair air-dry. And going to work. To me, this is scandalous. (Yes, I should get out more.) One of my co-workers did it the other day and her hair is very similar to mine. Long, very wavy, with bangs. She had styled her bangs and let the rest air-dry. It was still wet when she got to work. So I thought, "Hell, if she can do it, why can't I?" So the next morning, I dried my bangs, styled them, sprayed leave-in conditioner on the rest and went to work. No one pointed and laughed, or said, "Really? You couldn't even brush your hair this morning?", so I've worn it that way the last 3 days. I asked a couple of my friends and they've all said it looks good, so I think I've pulled off a major coup here. I don't have to spend 20 minutes straightening and styling my hair every morning. Shhh...don't tell. I do need a good product to make it not be fuzzy, though. That's the only thing that needs improvement on this look. So if you have suggestions, please let me know.

I'm totally in a care package mood right now and I want to buy copies of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and send them to everyone I know, so if you want a copy of the book and a small care package, email me your name and address and I'll put one together for you.

I'm going to a baby shower this weekend for the friend who told me she was pregnant 6 days after my miscarriage. I think it's going to be okay, because I really am to the point where I can be happy, even for her, even though every time I think about her pregnancy in specific it brings back thoughts of my miscarriage. I think since my miscarriage, I've been in a slight depression. Not bad, I really didn't even notice until it lifted last week. I just felt kind of blah, kind of boring and not interested in anything, really. I didn't have anything to say, on here or in person and when I did talk, I felt like all I did was bitch. Last week, I suddenly realized that I felt more awake, more alive and wanted to reach out more. I started posting more here, which I'm really enjoying and randomly decided to send a care package to Shelly Overlook, just because she's always so nice. And I don't say that to brag on myself or anything, just to show how different I feel. I feel lighter and like a fog has lifted. I appreciate my friends and the people around me. So that's another reason why I'm not worried about going to my friend's shower. I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Poll!

Okay, I'm floundering around about what to read next, which is rare for me. I think it's because The Girl Who Played With Fire was so good that I can't move on. I want to still be reading IT, so nothing else sounds appealing. I've read one book since I finished it, Who By Fire, which was fine, but I don't think I would have been impressed by it even if it hadn't followed Girl, though that certainly didn't help matters. I have recently been to Barnes and Noble (um, and a local used book store) (um, and the library) (um, and Target) (WHAT? It's not an addiction. I can quit anytime I want.), so I have LOTS of choices. In fact, that's kind of the problem. I have too many books that sound so good that I can't choose which one to read next. Fiona used to have polls asking everyone to pick what she read next and since I always thought that was a good idea (and because I'm a big ole copycat), I'm going to do the same. I've added a poll on the right, under my personal info, of books to choose from. Please vote and please choose two. I would promise that they would be the next two books I read, but some of these are series books and if I love them, I might read the whole series, so the second book might get pushed back....oh, screw it. You know what I mean.

Here are your choices:
  • Best Friends Forever - the new Jennifer Weiner book. Weiner usually writes whip-smart chick lit and I love her books. This one sounds really interesting.
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout - this one won the Pultizer last year and sounds really great. It's a book of short stories, all featuring the title character, a retired librarian (I think).
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz - this is the first in the Odd Thomas series. I picked up the fourth one in the grocery store one day, not realizing that it was the fourth one. I recently bought the first three at a used book store, so I now have the whole series. This series has gotten good reviews from Fiona and Tess, so I am excited to read them.
  • Julie and Julia by Julie Powell - both book and movie have gotten rave reviews. I also picked up My Time in France by Julia Child, so if it gets picked, I might read it right after Julie and Julia.
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan - is the true story of a woman who had an affair with Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk - I just love Chuck Palahniuk. He's so weird. If you've never heard of him, he wrote Fight Club.
  • The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
  • Q&A by Vikas Swarup - perhaps you've heard of the movie made from this book, Slumdog Millionaire?

Friday, August 28, 2009

One More

Tess' comment reminded me of another story:

One time, Rock and I were involved in a situation in which every possible thing was fucked up. He just leaned over to me and quietly said,

"That poor goat."

Reason number 4652.

Scenes From a Marriage

Reason number 5012 why I married him:
Last night, we went to the Verizon store and got new phones. That's a story in itself, but I don't want to go into into it. Suffice it to say that it was a total goatscrew, but I walked out of there with (nearly) everything I wanted. The rest I can fix online or through customer service. It did cost an arm and a leg and take nearly two hours to resolve, but what the hell right? How else ya gonna spend a Thursday night? ANYWAY, long introduction to say that we were planning to go out to dinner after going to the Verizon store, but after the two hours there, the dinner word of the day was "drive-through" and the price point was "fast food". So we stopped at Wendy's. We placed our order, they told us it would be a few minutes and asked us to pull forward. While we waited, Rock made the comment that they better not give him old, cold fries since we had to wait on our sandwiches. About that time, they brought the food to our car. Rock immediately popped a french fry in his mouth and promptly started gasping in air. I turned to him, smiled sweetly, and said, "What? Didn't get the old fries, honey?" He replied, "If those french fries are old, their previous residence was hell."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rock and Roll

Stolen from Hot, because I didn't think I could do it.
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.
Are you Male or Female?
Black Country Woman
Describe Yourself:
Fool in the Rain
How Do You Feel?
Dazed and Confused
Where Do You Live?
Houses of the Holy
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
Down By the Seaside
Favorite Form Of Transportation?
South Bound Saurez
Your Best Friend?
Heartbreaker
Describe you and your best friends:
Good Times, Bad Times
Describe The Weather:
White Summer
Favorite Time Of Day?
Bring it on Home
If they made a TV show of your life, what would they call it?
Hey Hey What Can I Do
What is life to you?
Dancing Days
Describe an ex-relationship:
Livin Lovin Maid
Describe your current relationship:
All of My Love
Describe your job:
What is and What Should Never Be
Your Fear?
Gallows Pole
How would you like to die?
Stairway to Heaven
What is the state of your soul right now?
In the Light
Best Advice?
Your Time is Gonna Come
Thought Of The Day:
The Song Remains the Same
Motto:
Nobody's Fault But Mine

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No, I Don't Know Why I Wrote This, Either

An Ode to My New Purse

This new purse is too small
For all the shit I carry

This makes me sad,
For I love it -
Its fat, round shape
The smell of the new leather,
The fat round shoulder straps
The basic black that goes with everything
The way there's just enough room
Between the straps and the opening of the purse
To still reach into the purse
When it's on my shoulder

I tried to pare down,
Put less stuff in
Only the essentials
But the purse
Is still too full
Stuff bulges out the top

I've carried it for three days now
So far nothing has fallen out
But I think that's just luck
Not a sign that the purse
Will work long-term

Monday, August 24, 2009

WAY Inappropriate

Well, hello there! Look, I finally remembered my blog. So, how've you been? Your hair looks great - did you get it cut?

Random Celeb/ News Roundup:
  • That model that was found dead with her teeth pulled out and fingers cut off to slow identification of her body? They identified her by the serial number of her breast implants.
  • Thieves stole $1 million dollars in jewelry and clothes. They were sophisticated and broke into the store from the roof and covered their faces. But what store did they choose? JC Penney's. Yeah, that wouldn't have been my first choice, either.
  • Tori Spelling is hawking Q-Tips. No wait! The Q-Tips are in pretty little boxes. Doesn't that make you want to run out and buy them? No? Me either.
  • Courtney Love posted a picture of herself with a turtle on her head on Twitter. No, I don't know why. Let's look on the bright side - it could have been something way worse. This IS Courtney Love we're talking about. Although that turtle will probably want to take a long hot bath right about now.

BONUS Nerd's Corner: Um, there's a Facebook page for Lisbeth Salander (title character from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire). I cannot decide if this is cool and I want to friend her, or if it's hopelessly dorky and I should resist the temptation to friend her. Hmmm...to limit my friend list to people who actually exist or not....

Speaking of which, I finished The Girl Who Played With Fire over the weekend and O!M!G! What a great book. Lisbeth Salander could be my favorite heroine of all time. How is it possible that we have to wait until next year to read the next book and how is it possible that Stieg Larsson is dead and there will not be any more books after the third one when he was planning a 10 book series. 10 books, people! Do you KNOW what I would do for there to be 10 books in this series?! I'd..I'd, well, I'd do a lot, that's what.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Random Random

Nerd out:
Friday night, we went out to dinner. As we got back in the car afterwards, Rock looked at me and said, "I know where you want to go.", grinned, and started driving. I didn't have anything on my mind, so I honestly had no idea where we were going. But I didn't say anything. (Shelly's Rules of Staying Happily Married #1 - Shut Your Mouth. Especially when he's doing something nice for you.) He got on the highway and drove for a few exits. Then, he pulled into the exit lane. I looked over and saw the big shopping center that has a Barnes and Noble. THEN I got excited. Because he remembered. I had told him that The Girl Who Played With Fire (sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) was out and that I wanted to buy it as soon as possible, but I wasn't thinking about it right then. But he was. Because he remembered how important it was to me. Such a great guy.

To prepare to read The Girl Who Played With Fire, I'm re-reading Dragon Tattoo. Which would have been more beneficial had I thought of that BEFORE Fire came out. (Will be mercilessly shortening these titles from now on. GD, Stieg Larsson, maybe you could have thought that through a bit more.) Now, I'm just dying to start the new one.

I listened to the BEST book on cd last week. It was A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby. It was read by three different voice actors, and because it was unabridged it was about 8 or 9 cds long. It was wonderful. In fact, (and I NEVER thought I would say this sentence) I think it was BETTER on cd than in print. Because the characters were so real. And having different voices and personalities made them so real. It had kind of a weak ending, but part of that may have been my disappointment that it was ending.

There are lots of pregnant ladies in the blogosphere right now. Big congrats to Mona, Sarah, Erin (who is having a GIRL!) and Devan (who is also having a GIRL!) And one of my RL friends just posted pictures of his newborn son on Facebook. He's got that stunned, "wow, how did I get HERE?" look and brought to mind Swistle's description of "newborn with bird limbs and woodland-creature eyes". Oh newborns! Sigh. I want one and don't want one in almost equal measure. But I'm to the point where I can be truly happy for others in their pregnancies/births. That's progress, for sure.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

MORE on Exerise and Weight

Y'all, I think this blog is a bad luck charm. Yesterday, after I posted that I had lost weight, I went to lunch and a guy asked me if I was pregnant. Actually, it was worse than that. He asked HOW FAR ALONG I WAS. I kind of coldly said, "I'm not pregnant." He hastily apologized. Then there was an awkward silence. Then he said, "I'm really sorry about that." Longer awkward silence. Finally, I directed the conversation back to the business we were discussing. Yeah. Hate that. I always think to myself, "...and when I get home, I'm going to burn this shirt."
In totally related news, I went to a dance/aerobics class at the gym last night. And I'm going again tonight. I've discovered something interesting about exercise, which will come as a revelation to exactly one person (that person being me). Each person has to find the type of exercise that they enjoy in order to stick with it. For so long, I just tagged along with any of my friends to whatever they wanted to go to, or took whatever class was offered at the apartment complex gym (when I was single and lived in an apartment). I figured that exercise sucked and I hated all of it, so what did it matter if I went to kickboxing or yoga or Pilate's. But then. One of my friends told me about Zumba, which is latin inspired dance/aerobics. I took tap and ballet when I was a kid and I've always really enjoyed dancing. So Zumba sounded like something I'd actually like. And I won't lie to you - the first class kicked my ass. And for the first few months, I seriously thought about leaving at the 30 minute mark. (And sometimes, I still do.) But it's such a great class, and it's structured so that there's a different routine to each song, so every 3 minutes or so, you're doing something different. And somehow, every time I want to leave, one of my favorite songs comes on and I think, "Oh, but I love this one. I'll get back out there." Then, somehow, ten minutes passes and there's only 20 minutes left to go, and well, I can make it through 20 more minutes, because the last 5 or so is the cool down, so it's really only 15 minutes and I can totally do that. And at the end, while I'm tired and sweaty and gross, I feel good. I feel like I've *gasp* had fun, which is a totally new and foreign concept to me when it comes to exercise. And I've tried to tell my workout buddy Carol about Zumba and how I think she would like it, but recently I realized that she wouldn't like it AT ALL. In fact, she would fucking hate Zumba. I figured this out because I often go to her house and take my The Firm dvd and we do the workout together. (It's way easier to work out WITHOUT small children dancing between your feet.) It's half dance-based aerobics and half strength training with weights. Carol HATES the dance sections, mainly because the routine keeps changing. Her comment was, "Just when I get it figured out, she's on to something else!" So yeah, she'd despise Zumba. But the funny part is? I hate the strength training/weights sections. It seems so repetitive and boring to me. So I help her through the dance parts and she helps me through the weight parts. And that's how I figured out that we each have to find the workout we don't hate. Some people are runners and some people are weightlifters and some people are yogis and that's the way things should be. Me, I'm a dancer. (And a swimmer. I went swimming last Friday, and it was awesome. Must. find. pool.) It feels really good to have found something I don't hate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time

Okay, I deleted that last post. I thought about how I would feel if my friend wrote that about me and it would make me want to put my head in the oven. So, thank you all for your advice and comments, but I'd feel really horrible if my friend ever found that, so I took it down.

On to happier topics! I have a weight loss milestone to share with you all. I've debating putting my weight out there, but I've decided that my happiness outweighs (HA!) my embarrassment. If you're horrified by how much I weigh, just don't tell me, 'k? Last Wednesday, I finally broke below the 200 mark! My weight begins with a 1! (Granted, I'm still at about 197, but that's still less than 200, damnit.) I need to step up my workouts and right now that's something I'm struggling with. I have such a hard time finding time to work out. I've mentioned that I commute a hour each way to work, so that lets out working out before work. There is no way I'm getting up any earlier than I already do. (Although, I have thought about getting up a couple minutes earlier and doing a 10 or 15 minute workout. If I can figure out how to do that without waking everyone else up, I may.) I've been going to the mall at lunch and walking a little bit a few days a week. Once a week, I go over to a friend's house and we work out to the The Firm dvds for about an hour. And I go to a Zumba class at the gym one night a week. I guess the real problem I struggle with is laziness. Even just typing all this, I think, "Oh, I don't want to do ANY of that." So tell me, how do you fit in workouts? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Audio Books

So I recently discovered audio books. Why hello, 20th century! What other marvels will you bring me? No, I don't have an ipod. Or a blackberry, why do you ask? Anyway, back to audio books. They have changed my life. I commute an hour each way to my office, so that's 10 hours in the car every week. Turning that into "reading" time is awesome. It's especially nice in the mornings, when there's no one to call and talk to. I'm on my third audio book and it's so nice to feel like I'm being told a story as I drive to work and home. Here the part where you come in. Please recommend books that you've read recently that I can listen to on my drives. Any suggestions welcome, but especially older books that I can find on cd at used book stores. Thanks!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Litmus Tests

HA! HAHAHAHA! So Swistle linked to me (YOU KNOW which post!) and suddenly I had tons of new people reading and commenting. I have 50 comments on that one post, which is 25 (!) from other people and 25 from me. Which is the most I've ever had. On a post that, while I thought the situation was very funny, I didn't really want more than my usual handful of people to read. Oh naivete, how fun you were! So! Ah, welcome, to anyone who came for the p0rn and stayed for everything else. Should you, by some horrible chance, know me in real life, or have figured out who my father is, how about you just keep that fact to yourself, mmmkay? I have delusions of anonymity on this blog, so let's don't blow that, 'kay?
Let's move on to less embarrassing facts about my life, shall we?
Last week, I loaned my copy of The Usual Suspects to a work friend. Today, I came in and the movie was on my desk with a post-it note saying, "LOVED it. Thanks!" While I'm thrilled that she liked it, I'm also relieved. Because if she hadn't, it would have damaged our friendship. See, The Usual Suspects is one of my litmus tests for friends. If you hate The Usual Suspects, you and I probably cannot be friends. Another big test is Monty Python. If you hate Monty Python, I will think you are stupid. Not in a mean way; just in a "Oh, you don't get it" way. My ex-BFF hated Monty Python, and for years I couldn't figure out why that made me think less of her. Finally, Rock pointed out that she probably didn't get most of the Monty Python jokes, because she's really not that bright. Mean, yes, but also true. Mike Myer's Austin Powers movies are another one. Yes, there is a lot of juvenile, bathroom type humor in them, and if you can't at least loosen up and laugh a little, I will think you are a tightass. I'm not a crude person, by anyone's standards, but I think the Austin Powers movies are brilliant (esp. Goldmember). I will also hold it against you if you like the really cheesy and awful chick flicks. If Maid in Manhattan or Must Like Dogs is your all-time favorite movie, please do not sit beside me. Okay, this is starting to make me feel like a real asshole, so please tell me I'm not the only one. What are your dealbreakers for friends?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If It Ain't Broke...

Subtitled: The Un-Brake Problem.
So, on Thursday, my car started making a horrible noise. It was coming from the front passenger tire and started as soon as I backed the car up to leave for work Thursday morning. Rock happened to be up and came out to the back porch when I stopped the car almost immediately and got out to look at the tires. I told him what was going on, he listened to the noise as I backed out of the drive, but since the car was driving fine, I decided to go on to work and deal with the noise later. I talked to Rock most of the way to work, trying to describe when the noise was louder, when it went away, etc. He thought it was probably a wheel bearing. He had me check the tire when I got to work to make sure it wasn't too hot. (I was supposed to check it at lunch, too, but I had the radio up too loud to hear anything then.) It did make the noise most of the way home Thursday night, though. Friday, Rock and I went to out to test the car and see if we could narrow down what the problem was and where we should take it for repairs. We put the car in reverse and it made the noise again, then we dropped it into neutral and let it roll forward. It made the noise again. This time, Rock decided that it must be the brakes. Since it was the brakes, we weren't willing to take the car just anywhere to be fixed. I don't know about where you live, but around here, brake jobs are the single biggest rip-off in car repairs. No matter what, if you take a car in for brake repairs, the mechanic is going to fix the brakes, then tell you that the brake pads were "worn clean through to the rotors" and "It was scraping metal on metal" and that they had to replace the rotors, too. (Please hear this in my best imitation of a redneck drawl.) After hearing this bullshit for three or four brake jobs, I am not interested in being ripped off again. The only place I will take my car for brake repair is the Best Mechanic on Earth. BME lives three houses up from my mom and I've known him since I was 14. His garage is behind his house and his dad lives next door to him. In bad weather or power outages, he rounds up the older neighbors and takes them to his dad's house, where they have a generator. In short, most honest mechanic ever. So, on Friday I called BME and asked him when he could take a look at my car. Yesterday was his earliest appointment, so we dropped the car off Sunday night and he worked on it yesterday. I called him about 5:00 last night to make sure the car was ready. His reply, "Yeah, I think I got ya ready to roll. Ya ain't gonna to believe what was makin that noise. Ya had ya a rock, stuck between the rotor and the brake guard, scraping against both of 'em. I flipped that outta there, and it was fine." We picked the car up last night. Total charge? $28, for the oil change he did.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update

Well, the p0rn is no longer coming to my house. Thank God. Apparently, my dad decided to give it to a young, single guy he knows. So my dad will no longer be the king of p0rn. What a relief.

In other news, I have a three hour conference call today that starts at noon. Could this day suck any worse? Wait, don't answer that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bow Chicka Bow Wow

Subtitled: The Post My Husband Doesn't Want Me to Write.
But really. Surreal stuff like this does not happen to me very often, so I have to capitalize on it when it does. On Saturday, I received a very strange phone call from my dad. Seems he had a favor to ask of me.
Little backstory here to explain this request. My dad is a minister. He's at a location in which he has more than one church. One of his churches is not pleased with him. I won't say any more to avoid giving identifying details. Suffice it say, he's in a delicate situation with one of his churches. The other churches support him completely.
So. The favor my dad needed to ask of me. He, ah, wants me to store some stuff for him during the summer. See, it's some video tapes and dvd's and he doesn't want to put them in storage because the heat would ruin them. But he really needs to get them out of his house right now because of the church situation. Yep, you guessed it, my dad wants me to store his p0rn collection. Yes, me - mother of two small children.
But wait - it gets better. See, there's 10 boxes of movies.
My father wants me to store his 10 box p0rn collection. Hold me.
I mean, really, WHO has 10 boxes of p0rn? Oh, wait, that would be my dad.
Before you ask, yes, I will count the tapes. Yes, I will take pictures. Yes, I will post them. Rock is having a field day with this. He says he's going to take pictures and show them to his friends and when they ask what it is, he's going to say, "My preacher father-in-law's p0rn collection".
10 BOXES!
All weekend, we've been playing the, "if they're small boxes and only hold 10 tapes, that's still 100 tapes." "if they're big boxes and hold 20 tapes, that's 200 tapes!" O!M!G!
Rock says he didn't know anyone in the military who had that much p0rn and that my dad would be the p0rn god. That makes me the daughter of the p0rn god. Hold me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

RIP, Michael Jackson

Whatever his personal problems, and God knows he had many, he sure did make some awesome music, didn't he? One of our local stations has been playing Michael almost exclusively this morning, and wow, talk about the soundtrack of my childhood. Thriller came out in 1984 and I was 8. It was the first record I owned. I played it to death, knew every word to every song, and it was all over the radio. There were so many great songs, not just on Thriller, but throughout the '80's and early '90's. "Smooth Criminal", "Bad", "Dirty Diana". Man, it was like taking a walk back through some of my earliest musical memories.

Thank you, Michael, for the music.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Inspiration

Inspirational quote for the day:
There is something I know about you that you may not even know about yourself. You have within you more resources of energy than have ever been tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than has ever been tested and more to give than you have ever given.

From FISH! attributed to John Gardner (may or may not be a real person. I found several in a google search, but none that sounded right.)
I read that quote this morning and it just really struck me. It makes me want to do more with my life. Get out and exercise and lose this annoying weight. Do more with my photography. More that I can't even think of right now. Just more. I've felt bored recently, stuck in a rut. I like my job fine, but I certainly don't leap out of bed excited to come to work. I have plenty of work and a few challenges, but it is a fairly routine job, with the same tasks each week. Rock and I have a good relationship, but it seems like even we are in a rut of sorts. We need new topics of conversation. New things to do to spend time together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Of the Awk

Two awkward situations have cropped up recently. First, one of my coworkers, whom I do consider a friend, invited me to join Twitter. Of course, she doesn't know about this blog. Nor do I want her to. So I can either join Twitter with my real name and not mention my blog, or join Twitter but not friend her (or whatever you do on Twitter). So far, I've ignored her invitation and she hasn't asked about it. Whew.

Second, remember this guy? The college boyfriend who wanted to meet for lunch to catch up? Well, he's emailed me randomly a time or two since friending me and is getting progressively weirder each time. The last time, he sent me an email saying that he had had a dream that something bad happened to my father, and just wanted to make sure he was okay. So I wrote back and said, okay, that's pretty weird, yes, my dad is fine. Then, he asked me some questions about kids (he and his wife just had their first), all of which I answered. And can I just say here that I have never, in all my life, had a dream about an ex's father? I thought that was a little suspicious, but whatevs. That was back in April and I hadn't heard from him since. Until yesterday. See, yesterday was his birthday. (Which I wouldn't have remembered except for the little FB notice thingy.) So I left a message on his profile wall saying, "Happy Birthday - hope it's great!", which is my standard birthday greeting for friends. I logged in later and had the following email from him:

"Shelly-I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to wish me a Happy Birthday. I am not quite sure why, but it means a great deal to me that you would do that. I hope that some day you will be comfortable enough to catch up sometime. I would really like that. I think of you and your family so often. My Very Best- [Ex-Boyfriend]"

Oh Lord. WHAT am I supposed to do with this? What does he want? I swear, I want to write back and just say, "WHY? Why do you think of me and my family so often? I don't think about you at all. Ever." And the "comfortable enough" line! I would be perfectly comfortable around him. I just have no interest. I can't begin to imagine what we would talk about. I talked to one of my friends about it last night and she said that he needs closure, but that there's no way that I can provide that for him, so I should cut off contact. What do you think? Is she right? I'm trying to be the kinder, gentler Shelly here and not cut off contact with people just because they piss me off, so I'm hesitant to cut off contact except as a last resort. But if there's truly no way I can help him, I don't want to prolong this any more than it already has been (10 years, people!), so if cutting off contact will help him get closure, then I'll do it.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nerd Out

Check out this Entertainment Weekly poll of most hotly anticipated book of the summer:
http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2009/06/must-list-poll-whats-the-must-book-of-the-summer-.html

Jennifer Weiner vs. Stieg Larsson vs. Richard Russo vs. Pat Conroy?! I may have to take to my bed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

As The Uterus Turns

First things first - Hair update:
Important things I have learned in the past week:
  • The actual purpose of blow-drying. Before, I thought blow-drying was just to get the water out of my hair. Then I styled it with a curling iron or flat iron to create a "style" (we'll be using that term loosely - this is me we're talking about and nothing about me can be called stylish.) In the past week, though, I have realized that I can use the hair dryer to create the shell of the style I want. In fact, the shell I create through blow-drying is the style I get, regardless of how badly I screw it up. If I don't get it right the first time, I might as well go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head.

  • The usefulness of leave-in conditioner and straightening gel. Rock uses leave-in conditioner on Supergirl's hair and has always told me I should use it, too. But I've always disdained using any products in my hair, so I resisted. I tried it the other morning and managed to create a curly hair style that stayed all day and didn't get frizzy. Yes, Rock gloated. A lot. And today, I'm trying some old straightening gel that I found in my cabinet and am rocking a straight style. It's after lunchtime and it still looks pretty good, so I suppose I can qualify that as a success, too.

So, I swore (to myself), that I wasn't going to discuss this subject again. But I really can't resist. It does help to write things out. Plus, you guys are awesome and totally supportive and I want to make out with all of you. Yesterday, after a day or two of denial, I counted the days to see if my period was, in fact, late. It is. Today makes three days late. I did this in the middle of the day yesterday which was a terrible idea, because then I spent the rest of the day trying not to freak out at work. Because holy conflicted emotions, Batman! One the one hand, I would be thrilled to be pregnant again. But on the other hand, I would be terrified to be pregnant again. On the third hand, (what? it's just for the sake of argument - no one really has three hands.) I would be annoyed to be pregnant. I would really like to lose some weight before getting pregnant again, and have finally started making some progress in that area, so admittedly, I would be annoyed to have that interrupted. So I would be relieved to not be pregnant, except that I would be disappointed to not be pregnant, because, you know, I WOULDN'T BE PREGNANT. How's THAT for a no-win situation? Or y'know, win-win, cause I'd actually be pretty happy either way. Well, thank god for those cheap, early pregnancy tests, because I took one last night at 10:00 (negative) and then took another first thing this morning (also negative) because I realized that taking a pregnancy test at 10:00 after drinking water all day might not be the most effective way to get an answer to this question. So. Not pregnant, yet no period. Whatevs. At least I know I'm not pregnant so I can stop freaking out. And, y'know, have a glass of wine or two with my friends this weekend.

Snarky Facebook comment of the day (ie. Comment I would like to leave on a friend's status):
If you think of high school as "the best times ever", you probably need to get out more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random

I have several ideas of things to write about in my head right now, so this will probably end up being one of those really disjointed, bulleted list posts. (You: And that's different from your usual posts HOW?) Lots of bloggers are talking about really interesting things, so I'll piggy back on a couple great posts.

Molly, at Les Cadeaux, asserts that a bad haircut is worse than bad sex. I agree. I have bangs right now, for the first time in years, and I go back and forth on them. Some days, I really like them. They frame my face better and prevent fivehead, which I am way prone to. However, they are a bitch to style and I have a cowlick right in the middle of the bangs that I have to style them around. The days I don't succeed, I wind up with my bangs flipping out in each direction from the dead middle. Also, for some reason, my hair is no longer getting along with my curling iron. I curl my hair in the morning, and by the time I get to work, it's a frizzy mess that looks like I didn't style it at all. My other option is straightening, which to straighten my wavy hair requires the hottest flat iron I've ever found on its highest setting. Is it possible that because I've been straightening my hair lately, and because the curling iron is cooler than the flat iron, then my hair doesn't respond to the curling iron?

I won't tell you how bad my evening was last night, but let's just say that this morning I want to list vacation destinations I would like to see in my lifetime (possibly alone).

  • Hawaii
  • Scotland - I want to take my dad. This is our ancestry, so he would love it.
  • Vienna - I went after college and really want to go back and take the kids.
  • London
  • Paris
  • Sweden

So tell me, where do you want to go on vacation?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Parenting FAIL

So last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I was playing with Wildman and happened to look in his mouth. Y'know, because I LOVE baby teeth. There is something awesome about those little, teeny tiny teeth that makes me just want to snorfle him up with my nose. Anyway, as I looked at his teeth, I noticed that his molars had what looked like black spots on their surfaces and immediately freaked the freak out:

Oh my God, he has cavities! Huge, black cavities on both molars on that side. Let me check the other side - oh God, there are cavities on that side, too! He's only two and his teeth are going to rot and fall out and he'll be gumming his food for the rest of life! I have failed and my child will be toothless like an old man before he can speak clearly!

...Or are those crumbs from the Oreos he ate 15 minutes ago? Oh. Let me brush his teeth and see. Oh, look, shiny clean teeth with no cavities.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tidbits

Side note: Fiona, you're right - Tidbits is a satisfying little word. And yes, it sounds like cat food.

Another way I'm weird: sometimes I'm psychic about which elevator will come. There are three elevators in our office building - you push one button, one of three will soon open. Sometimes I feel strongly that one certain elevator will be the one to open. Typical of me - I'm psychic about something lame, like which elevator will open, rather than something useful like lottery numbers or when my children are about to swallow something dangerous.

Rock and I have two friends who are going through difficult situations. The good news is that apparently, he and I are the reliable friends who can be turned to in times of crisis and be counted on for advice and assistance. This makes me feel good about us. We're solid and people trust us. OMG, I think we're grownups.

And I know, I KNOW, this is mean, but I'm truly surprised that some of the people I was friends with in school have turned into "Praise the Lord" Christians who post wacky religious stuff on Facebook. One of them just posted, "Another great day in my life - Thanks God for looking after me!!!" A few months ago, he said something about waiting on God's big "O" moment and I could.not.stop.laughing. No no, don't worry about me - I've been going to hell for years.


I'm almost to 200 posts! What should we do to commemorate that? Have a contest, ask me questions, what? I hit 100 posts last year and posted pictures of the whole family. What would you like to see this year?