Party Tricks

I need a little levity because one of our cats is very ill and we may need to make some uncomfortable, adult decisions this weekend :-/ Note: sometimes being an adult sucks.

Let’s talk party tricks. I have three:

  1. I was ecstatic when Mel posted last Friday that her daughter is becoming very interested in royalty because *I* have been a devoted regiphile (is that even a word?) for decades and can chatter ad nauseam about the British monarchy from William the Conqueror to present, including spouses and fun facts.  I cannot explain the obsession except that deep down in my black, liberal soul is a long-held desire to be a pretty, pretty princess or queen, preferably in more despotic times. I think I’d be a good benevolent despot!
  2. Thanks to taking Old English for my English degree at Meredith, I had to memorize and recite “Caedmon’s Hymn.” A lot of people think Shakespeare is Old English when it is actually modern.  Chaucer is Middle English (we had to memorize and recite part of the “Prologue” to the Canterbury Tales too), so it can be amusing to recite it for people. And pretentious. And I don’t do it much because who cares about a poem written by a supposedly illiterate cow-herd in the 7th Century?
  3. I can stand on my head. My history with dance could be described as tragic due to my body’s inability to demonstrate coordination, grace or a basic sense of rhythm.  However, one class as a preschooler required us to do a routine that included standing on our heads and doing a few movements with our legs. And I could do it! I can still do it!  OK, I admit I haven’t tried it recently although I threaten to, but I bet with a little practice this old body could still do it. Maybe. And hopefully not have a stroke in the process.

There you have my three party tricks! Of course we’d need to leave the house for me to be able to show them off *at* parties.

What are your party tricks?

A Little Bit of Nonsense

I learned some new facts this week.

First of all, I attended mass with Daniel at his school Thursday morning, and the priest began the service by chastising the congregation for taking down their Christmas trees and decorations, especially their manger scenes. I didn’t expect to hear that, so I paid extra close attention. It turns out that the Catholic church celebrates Christmas until Jesus’ baptism day (the Sunday following epiphany). My thoughts immediately turned to my house in which our Christmas tree still stands proudly, fully decorated and lit every night. It’s not every day that I feel virtuous in a church, so I relished the moment.  So take note: if your Christmas decorations are still up, you are not a slacker; you are devout 😉

Secondly, I discovered a variety of apple I had never heard of before: Cripps. My first thought was that was a bold way for the gang to make some legitimate money and market itself. Would you have to launder money made from selling branded apples? I can see it now: “Hey, Aiden’s mom packed him a Cripps apple in his lunchbox! Wish my mom were that cool!”  It turns out, though, that Fresh Market (where I spotted the aforementioned apple) was being cheeky because the Cripps apple is better known by its other name of “Pink Lady.” When I tweeted about it yesterday, my tweetstream soon devolved into Grease references and quotes. A Pink Lady to a Cripps is quite a transformation.

Thirdly, I found a new brand of yogurt.

Quark Yogurt

Sounds yummy!

You see, I’ve always liked quarks. I don’t know why. God knows, I’m no scientist and find physics as mysterious and improbable as others would ghosts or magic. Maybe it’s the word and something delightful about the “qu” combination. Maybe there is something “quirky” about “quarks.” Maybe it’s because the names of the 6 flavors of quarks display a whimsy that you don’t often associate with particle physics. I think I need to buy some of that yogurt.


The three of us are back to work and school and our normal routine this week. Daniel and I are grumpy about it while Jimmy is less so because his “demotion” came through before the holidays, and he now gets to work at home. It’s a good change because we had discovered that some of the household tasks that give us fits – laundry, dishes, etc. – are so much easier when one of us has even a few extra hours at home during the week. While I don’t expect him to become a househusband, it is great knowing that he could do a load of dishes or run to the grocery store every once in a while. We think it will be a huge help although it’s difficult not to be a teensy bit envious as Daniel and I suit up in our school and work clothes while Jimmy gets to stay in his PJs if he wants!

I hope the first full week of 2014 was kind to you!

Jim and KeAnne Paint the Town Red

I occasionally get the impression that family members who live in my hometown think that we lead a very glamorous life in the bustling metropolis of Raleigh: non-stop gourmet meals, evenings at the theater or some cultural event, nights spent playing poker, high-brow book clubs, bunco, block parties, progressive dinners…the sky’s the limit.

The reality is that Jimmy and I are both lazy and hermit-like. We seldom leave the house, and if we do, there needs to be a very compelling reason to do so. We’re homebodies who like to barricade ourselves in our house and change into what we call our “comfie-cozies” as soon as we arrive home.

Last Saturday, however, Daniel spent the night with his grandparents and Jimmy and I left the house! Intentionally! Granted, it did feel a bit like the poor sod emerging from Plato’s cave, but we ventured out into society and returned mostly unscathed.

The first thing we did was brave the grocery store to do our weekly shopping, including a vigorous debate on the merits of store-brand vs name-brand hotdog buns.  We were delighted to see that the store had stocked a new type of cat litter. When you have 3 cats, you have extreme needs.


After putting the groceries away, I tackled the chaos of the toys in the kitchen.  I intended to sweep but was overwhelmed by the disaster area that is my house. I said, “screw it” and took a nap. After all, we were going out to eat, and I needed my beauty sleep.

Before dinner, we visited the Apple store at the 9th level of Hell known as Crabtree Mall to do a little transacting.  We fondled the new iPhones, and I realized the store was infested with hipsters in skinny jeans. Even the staff, including the grandmother who waited on us. Except for that one customer whose shorts were so short and tight that I almost developed a sympathy UTI. I am so not cool enough for the Apple store and felt like the embodiment of “one of these things is not like the other” – the one thing being me of course!  The brief detour to the mall, already crowded for the Saturday evening mating ritual, also reminded us that we are misanthropes at heart and to start our holiday shopping online NOW.

We ate dinner at Fleming’s. Jimmy eats there when work forces him to go to Charlotte, and he was so excited to find out there was one in Raleigh.

Flemings, Crabtree Mall, exterior

We started with drinks: a Rusty Nail for Jimmy and Vodka Collins for me.

rusty nail, vodka collins

Then we had crab cakes for an appetizer. The crab cakes could have easily been entrees and were some of the best I’ve had. Very little breading and lightly cooked, so the ingredients came through (am I on Chopped? I was one moment away to referring to its “flavor profile”)

crab cakes

For our entree, we had New Zealand lamb chops, polenta fingers, garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans. The green beans were a bit greasy, yet charred, but everything else, including the sauces were really good. I confess that I ate the rest of Jimmy’s polenta fingers.

lamb chops, polenta, potatoes and green beans

Oh and Pinot Noir to drink.

wine, pinot noir

Maybe we liked Sideways a little too much.

Dinner was really good, and it was a meal worth leaving the house for.  They have HUGE steaks at Fleming’s.  That night they debuted a 20 oz New York Strip and a 37 oz steak that they called “The Tomahawk” because it came with a huge bone in it.  We saw a few being brought out to customers, and they were ginormous!

After dinner, we drove home, feeling smug and were back in our pajamas by 9. We’re a lively bunch.

There you have it:  Jim and KeAnne’s raucous night on the town. Two stars to the grocery store. Three stars to the Apple store, and four stars to Flemings. And no one got arrested or embarrassed him or herself. I’d say it was a successful evening. God knows when we’ll do it again.

20 Questions: More Than You Wanted to Know

PAIL is hosting a meme designed to get to know us better.  They may regret that 😉  Here are my answers to the 20 questions!

1. What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?

The greasy paper towel on which I microwaved pre-cooked bacon for breakfast this morning.  I had 5 pieces (4 really because I gave one to Daniel), yet it wasn’t very filling.  Kind of like eating bacon-flavored sawdust.

2.  What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

“Last Resort” by Papa Roach.  It’s the first song on my Ire playlist.  I love the part where the singer howls in frustration, “I. Can’t. Go. On. Living. This. Way.” I’m not sure what that says about me; maybe I need to take up yoga?

3. What is your favorite quote?

Just one? Impossible.

“Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think” (Walpole)

“The world is too much with us” (Wordsworth)

“Can’t talk to a psycho like a normal human being” (Poe – there’s a life lesson there)

4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Is “all of them” an acceptable answer?  Truthfully, cleaning the litter box.  We have geriatric cats who view the litter box as optional, especially when it crosses the line of their (nebulous) cleanliness threshold.

5. What is your favorite form of exercise?

I keep two 10 LB free weights in the closet, and I do tricep and bicep work before I get dressed most mornings.  Sadly, you can’t tell because I appear to lack muscle in general.

6. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Time of day: 7:45 PM for story time with Daniel.  It’s the calmest part of our evening.

Day of the week: Saturday. Hopefully I’ve had a chance to catch up on sleep, yet I still have another day off.

Month: October because Fall is in full swing and you have the anticipation of the holidays, but life hasn’t become too hectic yet.

7. What is on your bedside table?

Daniel’s books for story time, a stack of my own books to read, coasters, a book light and a creature that in theory plays soothing music for infants but terrified Daniel.  Jimmy, however, loved it.  We call it the “Kraken.”

8. What is your favorite body part?

Hmm. Maybe my legs because they are long and look nice in dresses and skirts.  Maybe my shoulders because they are broad. Is hair a body part? If so, maybe my hair because of its color.

9. Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.

I’d like to say for good, but I’d probably use it to sneak around and eavesdrop.

10.  If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

Probably my current age of 35.  I feel like I have experience and wisdom but am neither too young nor too old.  My body hasn’t completely crapped out yet, but I have the scars from our infertility journey.  I can’t imagine wanting to stay an age in which Daniel didn’t exist yet.

11. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Faint. Then book a trip for the three of us to Europe.

12. What is your biggest pet peeve?

I’d like to stay stupidity, but it goes beyond a pet peeve.  People who can’t get to the point or who complain all the time.

13. If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

Is there life after death?

14. At what age did you become an adult

Birth. Just kidding. Sort of. Um…21.  After I graduated college, I decided not to teach, which meant I had to pay back my $25K scholarship.  I decided that paying it back myself and finding my own way was more important than doing something that would ultimately make me unhappy.

15.  Recommend a book, movie or television show in three sentences or less.

That’s tough.  Breaking Bad for its tragic study of the common, modern man. Law & Order because there are 20 seasons to keep you occupied and provide food for thought. The Emperor of All Maladies to make you realize how far we still have to go for a cure for cancer.  Far from the Tree to highlight various ways in which children are alienated from their families. BBC’s Pride & Prejudice because Colin Firth (duh).

16. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I was a perfect child 😉 I sneaked out of the house and rode down the street on my tricycle when I was 3ish.

17.  What was the first album you bought with your own money?

I think Pearl Jam’s Vs. My cassette (!) still had the original title of “Five Against One” on it.

18. If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

Not as smart as she thinks she is.

19. What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?

My birth story. The doctors had to break my mother’s tail bone, and I always feel guilty about that.  Also, the story about putting a wet diaper on my head to cure my cradle cap.

20. True or False: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.

I’m tempted to say the unicorn, especially since I am one (unicornuate ute) 😉  I dunno.  Being me, I spent 20 minutes Googling “mythical creatures” so I could make an informed decision. Wow, there are a lot of mythical creatures.  Unicorns are cool and all, but what do they do except symbolize purity? I like the griffin. I think “chupacabra” is fun to say. Or maybe a chimera? She sounds pretty bad ass.  Fun fact: did you know that there are human chimeras?  Look up a documentary called “I Am My Own Twin.”

My apologies if you wish you could unread this post.

Blathering: Mercury Retrograde

Last week I was joking with some folks on Twitter that some of the craziness we have seen must be due to Mercury Retrograde.  And it turns out I was correct. In case you aren’t familiar with Mercury Retrograde or aren’t as nutty as I am, things go a bit crazy when Mercury retrogrades.  Nothing goes smoothly, especially in transportation and communication. Technically, I’m supposed to be horrifically impacted by Mercury Retrograde because my sun sign is Virgo (ruled by Mercury), my rising sign is Gemini (ruled by Mercury) and Mercury resides in Virgo in my chart.  In short, it’s a lot of damn Mercury, and I’m screwed.

This week was bizarre, y’all.  Major llama, llama office drama: my boss resigned unexpectedly.  I hosted a team member’s retirement party on Tuesday and was still getting my shit together for it literally minutes before it started. On Wednesday, class let out unexpectedly early, and I was summoned to the office for an emergency meeting for my entire group with our executive director. On Thursday I ran from meeting to meeting to meeting.  After work, traffic was backed up on the route I take to pick up Daniel thanks to a wreck, and when I got to day care, I discovered it was on lock-down because a man had robbed the bank up the street.  Thankfully they let us quickly get our children and leave.

I haven’t been sleeping well either, waking up at 3:30 every day as you probably deduced if you follow me on Twitter.  Actually, no one in the house has been sleeping well.  Daniel has woken up super early almost every day.  The cats can sense when my eyes open, and our geriatric cat Bit starts yowling loudly at our door because she knows we’ll let her in instead of risking her waking up Daniel.  Then she yowls to be put on the bed and she yowls until I rub her.  She falls asleep cuddling my leg (which is kind of nice) but leaving me locked on my side of the bed.

We are so ready for this week to be over.  I was ready for it to be over on Wednesday.  And today begins a new month.  That’s nice because February was weird.  At the beginning of the month, I looked out my dining room window to discover crime scene tape and police cars at my neighbor’s house across the street.  When I couldn’t detect any sense of urgency from the officers, I began to fear the worst and another neighbor confirmed it: my neighbor had committed suicide.  His wife had left him, taking their daughter.  We had noticed moving vans there the weekend before.

For weeks his truck sat in the driveway until I noticed a few days ago that it was gone.  So was the wreath on the front door.  I can’t imagine how sad the wife and child must be feeling and how horrible it must have been to return to that house and finish cleaning it out.  It seems silly, but when I drive by the house, it has an air of sadness and loneliness.  What happens to houses after something like that?  Will anyone live in it again?  What kind of psychic energy has been left behind?

I don’t want to end the post on a down note, so here are a few lighter notes:


A few days ago, we were going over his behavior chart for the day before bed, and Bit (the aforementioned “yowler”) meowed loudly because SHE wanted to be fed.  Daniel leaned over to her, held out his hand in classic “talk to the hand” pose and said, “Hold on, Bitty-Boo.”  We rolled.  I almost cried I was laughing so hard.

Listen to Your Mother

I am humbled and awed and amazed to report that we received 41 submissions.  41!  I would have been thrilled with 20!  Marty and I had to add an extra day for auditions next week.  And the submissions….oh, it’s going to be difficult to narrow down to around 13-14.  We have amazing writers in this area. The Raleigh-Durham show is going to be awesome!


I wore my Lady Gaga socks to work today.  It felt good to wear a new pair of fun socks 🙂 Granted, I wore them with jeans, so it was appropriate.  Next time, I’m wearing them with black pants!

Lady Gaga Socks

She was born this way apparently

Marissa Mayer

In case you missed it, Yahoo’s CEO caused a storm of controversy by mandating that every employee needed to be in the office and rescinding working from home privileges.  My first reaction was, “Thanks for the vote of confidence and support from one working mom to another,” but given the challenges she faces, I think she did the right thing.  It takes commitment to rebuild a culture, and it will be difficult to achieve that if the workforce is dispersed.  Unsurprisingly, her decision has been a hot topic in the blogosphere.  Here are a few of my favorite posts on the issue:

And then there’s this article: “The Quest to Find Realistic Role Models for Working Mothers.” Yes, yes, yes!!!  This article hits on my uneasiness with Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer. I volunteered to read Sandberg’s book Lean In and write a review of it for Liberating Working Moms because I’m genuinely curious what she has to say.  I also empathize with Mayer’s position as a powerful CEO of childbearing age who carries the weight of a generation and gender on her shoulders and finds her every action scrutinized from a variety of perspectives (but who also has a nursery attached to her office).  I respect Slaughter’s opinion, yet I wonder if her generation and my generation experience the workforce differently.  And this quote from the above article articulated everything I had been feeling:

When working mother success is defined by the achievements, struggles, and angst of an elite group of women, it overlooks what Judith Warner articulated in Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety as the ability to “accommodate the more average kind of ambition with motherhood. The kind of ambition that most women and men have: to work a sufficient number of hours, at work they find interesting, meaningful, or enjoyable to earn enough money to buy their families a sufficiently good standard of living.”

Exactly.  I have ambition.  I want to do a good job and advance.  I like working, but I don’t want to be CEO of any corporation.  My ambitions and goals as a working mother are very different from Sandberg’s, Mayer’s and Slaughter’s.  We need more “normal” working mothers speaking and writing and advising (that’s critical) about what it’s really like to be an average working mother and what we really need.

How was your week?  Is Mercury Retrograde screwing you over too?

Perfect Vision, Shedding and What I Learned Over the Holidays

My new supply of contact lenses for my left eye came in yesterday, and I cannot express adequately how much better it feels to have both eyes corrected appropriately.  It literally makes me see 2013 differently.  That might be a bit of hyperbole based on my euphoria at not having to squint or hold my head a certain way to avoid eye strain, but I almost did cartwheels down the hallway at work this morning after I put in the new left contact.  I’m fairly certain that doing so would have ended up badly, especially since our hallways are narrow and I haven’t done a cartwheel in years.  Feel free to picture me doing cartwheels though.  Beautiful, straight-legged cartwheels much better than anything I ever did in reality.

While our 17 days off were hellacious, they weren’t doom and gloom every minute.  Since we declared our independence from the scourge known as Time-Warner cable, we have been taking advantage of the free shows on Amazon Streaming and watched a ton of great programs over the holidays.  And bonus, they were primarily educational!  We got in some learnin’.   It’s funny because I used to scorn Nova on PBS when we had cable, but now the 8 seasons available are our go-to viewing.  I was also excited to find out that several seasons of Deadly Women as well as Infested were available for free as well.   Here are a few things I learned over the holidays:

  • All of our heavy metals came from space
  • If you start to detect iron from a dying star, get out of the way because it’s about to collapse and may go supernova on you.
  • Humans have only 23,000 genes.  Ears of corn have more genes.
  • It is possible to injure the brain in such a way that you no longer dream
  • It’s possible our brain cases expanded, allowing our brains to grow larger because in humans, the gene for a strong jaw was deactivated unlike in primates
  • If you live in an apartment complex infested with cockroaches and only one apartment refuses treatment, that’s enough to allow the infestation to grow no matter how much the complex is treated
  • Saturn’s rings are made up of the remnants of an early moon ripped apart by the planet’s gravity
  • Time does slow down slightly if you are moving
  • If you discover multiple life insurance policies on you of which you were unaware or your spouse has been married several times and is vague about their whereabouts, you might want to check into it
  • Pluto will always be a planet in our house, damn it

In all seriousness, I highly recommend Nova’s 2-hour episode “What Darwin Never Knew.”  It is fascinating and mind blowing.


I didn’t come up with resolutions for 2013.  I have some specific ideas of what I want to accomplish and/or change, but I don’t want to codify them.  Some friends have come up with a word or theme to describe their focus for 2013 and after thinking about it, I decided my theme is “to shed”:

  • Shed weight
  • Shed negativity
  • Shed doubt
  • Shed baggage
  • Shed distractions

Usually I dislike January because it is such a come-down after the holidays but this year, I like it.  I appreciate how squeaky clean and new it is.  It makes be believe I can bathe myself in it and wash 2012 away.  It makes me think I can have a better year than last.  It makes me think of snow and how pristine and cleansing snow is.

Three days into the new year, and I already feel better.



Rambling About Coupling

Last night we hooked up the most adorable piece of equipment I’ve ever seen: the Roku.  It is adorable!  So tiny and cute and precious.  It needs a name.  We’re a family that names and nicknames everything: children, cats, cars, dishwashers, everything.  It should be called something like “Tiny” or “Sweet Pea” or “Cutie Pie” or “My Preciousssss.”

All of that is a long way of saying that we are now a family sans cable.  Jimmy worked from home today, so I didn’t have the terror of coming home and not knowing how to access programming, but that day is coming.  Probably tomorrow.  Tonight, it took us a few minutes to decide what to watch on Amazon Streaming, but we decided on season 2 of Coupling.

Oh, Coupling.  What a great show.  We caught episodes on BBC America several years ago, and for Christmas one year, I bought Jimmy the complete series.  If you’ve never seen the series, I urge you to right away.  Coupling ran from 2000-2004 and is about a group of friends a la Friends only much, much funnier and raunchier.  If you can watch only one episode, I urge you to watch “Lesbian Spank Inferno.”  Every time we see it (and we’re watching it as I type this), we are on the ground laughing

Most of the cast is unknown to American audiences, but two of them stand out.  Steve, the lead, is played by Jack Davenport.  If you’ve seen any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, then you have seen him as Norrington.  You can also see him in Smash. Jane, Steve’s wacky ex, is played by Gina Bellman who currently stars in Leverage on TNT.


Tonight is the next Powerball drawing.  I’ve antied up at work for a ticket pool and Jimmy has as well.  I would love to win $500 million.  I have no illusions about its likelihood, but it is fun to imagine how we would spend it.  Do you do that?  Do you ever think about what you would do if you suddenly had millions of dollars?  The funny thing is that when I was a child, $1 million seemed like a lot of money.  Now, however, $1 million would not be enough to majorly impact our lifestyle  No, I wouldn’t turn down a cool million if it were offered to me (not in any kind of Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal kind of terms although that might be wishful thinking on my part), but after taxes, you’d probably have $500K left.  I’d probably put it in the bank and let it grow.  And that’s your lottery advice from me tonight.


I’ve been adding a lot of books to my Amazon wish list.  My wish list functions as an online Post It note for me.  It’s where I add things I want to remember like books for me or books or toys for Daniel.  I’m thinking about starting Far From the Tree next.  Have any of you heard about it or started to read it?  There have been several books I’ve had to ignore because I can’t read them due to the fact I’m a parent now.  Books like Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio that is about a 3 year old named Daniel who disappears one day while his mother is at work.  Sure, it’s set in the 30s but no,no, no, no, no!

OK, that’s enough babbling.  I can’t believe there are only a couple days left in November.  How is your holiday decorating going?  How do you stay centered during the insanity that is December?

Mayan Apocalypse Bucket List - I wonder if the Mayans predicted the end of their civilization as accurately as they are predicting the end of the world

Friends, the time is nigh.  We have less than a month before Dec. 21 arrives and the world ends…how?  In fire? In ice?  Yes, I’m talking about the much-hyped Mayan apocalypse.  The problem is that those wily Mayans didn’t give us any help in figuring out how the world would end.  Their calendar simply ended and since they weren’t considerate enough to leave a Post-It for us, we don’t know if they ever got around to starting a new calendar (you know, environmental disasters, a collapsing civilization and being invaded tend to prevent mundane tasks like paying bills, making calendars etc) or how we should interpret the lack of a calendar.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I’ve read the theories that Dec. 21, 2012 means only the end of one cycle and beginning of the next, but aren’t conspiracy theories about impending cataclysms much more amusing?

Since we (possibly) have very little time left on this blue orb, it might be nice to come up with a list of things I want to do before we collectively shuffle off this mortal coil.  I present to you my Mayan Apocalypse Bucket List:

  1. Win Powerball (current jackpot estimated at $500 million.  That’s half a billion dollars!)
  2. Tell the annoying guy at work exactly what I think of him
  3. Disavow current atheism and frantically find religion
  4. Let Daniel dress in Thomas & Friends pajamas every day for the next month
  5. Let Daniel eat Bagel Bites and Kit Kats every day or until he gets tired of them, whichever comes first
  6. Buy Jimmy front-row tickets to the next scheduled Lady Gaga concert (I might need #1 first)
  7. Fly to Europe in first class
  8. Gorge on salt & vinegar potato chips (who cares about weight when the world is ending!)
  9. Get a 4th cat
  10. Hire a housekeeper to clean up after 4 cats
  11. Get the really expensive pedicure that involves hot lava stones, cabana boys and champagne
  12. Finish the 50 Shades of Gray trilogy (just kidding)
  13. Quit work and write Trixie Belden fan fiction full time. Jim & Trixie 4Eva!
  14. Tell Gwyneth Paltrow how insufferable I find her
  15. Download all the books I want to my iPad just in case the world doesn’t end immediately and we have some time to kill
  16. Vodka.  Or wine.  Or both.  I know…champagne!
  17. Call up former friends and tell them what spineless pieces of crap they are
  18. Prepare time capsule for discovery by aliens or future races.  Time capsule contains a Blackberry, Twilight saga, a can of Red Bull and a ColdPlay CD. Giggle at thought of aliens’ befuddlement.
  19. Go to the beach one last time and hope it won’t be like that scene in Deep Impact with Tea Leoni and her father on the beach.  I’m afraid of tidal waves.
  20. Hugs.  Hugs to everyone but especially my guys.

What is on your Mayan Apocalypse Bucket List?

Braindead Blather

‘Twas the night after the election…

No.  Just…no.

I’m rather brain dead tonight, so you will be treated to rambling and nonsense. Sorry.

  • My household is very happy with the outcome of the election (obviously).  I really hope that magically we can restore some civility to our discourse and not call the President of the United States very thinly veiled racial slurs or cast doubt upon his citizenship or devotion to this country any longer.  I also hope that somehow a sense of bipartisanship permeates DC.  I can dream, right?
  • I’m attending the Internet Summit tomorrow, so you might want to mute me for a bit because I will likely tweet a lot, but it probably won’t be snarky.  Maybe.  Depends on the speakers.  I’m excited to attend because I attended the first few years but missed the last 2, so it’s good to be back.  I love learning about the latest in social media, search and email.  And I’m out of the office.  What’s not to love?
  • Daniel and I had a delightful conversation tonight about what he wants Santa to bring him.  His mind is getting so complex!  I love discovering his little personality.  I wish we could buy him everything.  I know that would likely be a disaster, but oh, the urge to give him everything his little heart desires is strong.
  • Remember how on Sunday I extolled how our first day with the time change had been fine?  Well, then the work week started.  It’s dark when we leave daycare, which is jarring, and Daniel has been much closer to melting down since he’s had no nap and is up a little bit longer than he normally would be.  It’s like walking a tightrope, but so far we’re handling the change OK and avoiding horrific meltdowns.  Our hope is that by the weekend, he will have  adjusted to the time change. Pretty, pretty please with whipped cream and cherries on top.  Truthfully, I think that we’re going to have to split up daycare duties sooner rather than later and have Jimmy take him to daycare while I pick him up so that I can leave earlier.  It felt like we had so little time with him in the evenings already, but the time change has really exacerbated it.
  • We really, really, really want to see Lincoln.  Maybe we can see it over Thanksgiving.
  • I wish North Carolina had gone for Obama like in 2008, but I’m OK with the outcome although I am a little concerned at what the newly-elected state government will do to education.  Again, prayers for good sense and compassion would be welcome.
  • I need a new fiction book to read.  Any recommendations?

I think that’s all the blather I have.  I hope to resume more interesting and substantive posts tomorrow.  Have an awesome Thursday!


Magic Fall: The Blathering

There’s a lot of crap swirling in my head, but when I woke up this morning, I felt cheeky and staccato, so I thought maybe another blathering post was in order.  Brain dump, commence!

  • I took 10 minutes and brought out my Fall decorations last week.  OK, let’s talk capitalization.  I know that technically, you are not supposed to capitalize the seasons, but I think that rule is asinine.  You can get away with not capitalizing spring, summer and winter (even though I bet the majority of the world will think you are making a mistake by NOT capitalizing them) and be fairly certain that readers will understand you are referring to the seasons even though they might think you are a moron.  Fall, however, could very easily be confused with usage other than the season.  Plus, it offends me on some level not to capitalize the seasons.  Let’s agree that on this blog, seasons will be capitalized, rules be damned.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  My Fall decorations.  They are on display, and it makes me happy to see them.  It also makes Daniel happy because he can climb on a chair and grab one of the pumpkin lanterns.  Like his mother, he’s a sucker for Fall and Halloween decorations, especially pumpkins.
  • Speaking of Fall (I rather like my new rule of capitalization), it’s like the trees finally got the message and are starting to change colors en masse.  I love it.  I love pointing out the colors to Daniel on our way to and from daycare.  My campus is really beautiful this time of year too.  Trees in front of buildings are turning flaming red.  The trees around the lake are changing too.  Right now, it’s just a hint of what’s to come, but in a week or two, it will be a stunning backdrop to the water.  I don’t really think I can explain it, but Fall thrills me.  The way the intensity of the sun has dimmed, giving a slight sepia cast to the days; the way the blue sky is so intensely blue but golden as well.  The vivid leaves.  I can feel my body respond and almost hum.  Some energy that courses through the changing environment calls to me.  I feel it and I welcome it.  I feel alive, which is interesting since in a way Fall is the last gasp of a dying year.  I know.  That’s weird.  I’m weird.  I guess Fall makes me feel connected to the environment.  It’s elemental.
  • We bought pumpkins.  We have Daddy, Mommy and Daniel pumpkins as well as a bunch of little pumpkins.  We’ll likely carve the Mommy and Daddy pumpkins and call it a day.  Despite our best efforts, we’re always carving at practically the last minute.  As for the rest of the pumpkins, Daniel has claimed 4 as his; I still maintain hopes of creating something decorative with the rest.  Don’t hold your breath.

    Interesting use of baby pumpkins

  • I had a lot of meetings this week.  I realized that the rest of October and quite a bit of November will be full of meetings as well.  When I told my staff that I’ll likely be in and out due to meetings, my newest staff member asked, “Why do you have to go to so many meetings?”  I wanted to tell her, “because I’m a masochist,” but I didn’t want to scare her off.  I get through the meetings by doodling copiously and irreverently:

    My doodles tend to be seasonal

  • This week I discovered that the construction area along my commute to work is going to be a new Sheetz.  I am thrilled by this because I love Sheetz.  Sheetz is like the anti-gas station.  It’s clean.  It has great coffee and genuine food options.  It’s colorful.  It’s mecca.  I’ve gone from hardly ever encountering a Sheetz to passing TWO on my commute to work.  Someone is throwing me a bone.
  • I started and finished Tana French’s Broken Harbor this week.  This is the 4th book in her…Ireland detective series?  The characters are loosely connected from novel to novel; she often has a minor character in one mystery who goes on to become the main character in the next.  I love her books because they are moody, lyrical and dark; the story grim and gripping.  Ireland is as much of a character as any person.  That said, I didn’t like Broken Harbor as much as the previous three.  It’s definitely worth a read, but it just didn’t work as well as all the elements in the previous three.   If you like UK mysteries, I also highly recommend Elizabeth George’s mysteries.  Very, very good.
  • The State Fair is in Raleigh this week, and we haven’t gone and probably won’t go.  I thought that maybe this was the year to take Daniel to see the animals and eat some fun fair food but then I decided against it because of the crowds and logistical nightmare of getting there and parking.  I also that he doesn’t know the fair exists, so maybe I shouldn’t borrow trouble before I need to.  There’s also the 40+ pesky cases of E.coli that have been reported. Then I felt guilty and decided I was denying him some vital experience but realized that due to schedules, I may have missed our window of opportunity to go.  Now I’m back to trying to convince myself that he doesn’t know what he’s missing and it’s OK.  Also, E.coli.
  • Along with the rest of the world (so it seemed), we watched Felix Baumgartner’s jump last weekend.  Jimmy and I were riveted, and we told Daniel that Felix was making history.  Daniel’s response? “Skip!” he commanded, the same command he utters when he wants us to skip a section in a movie.  The world?  Seriously awed by Felix.  My three-year-old?  Not so much.  Tough audience.

    What’s so special about him, Mommy?

  • The governor of North Carolina was the keynote speaker at one of the meetings I attended this week.  I happened to be sitting on the aisle, and as she passed by, greeting people, she clasped my shoulder and said, “hi.”  That’s my brush with greatness this week.
  • We may have quit soccer due to life.  By that I mean, car trouble, rain, hacking coughs, etc.  There is one more session and then the “skills showcase” next weekend.  My guilt says, “GO!”  My brain says, “Just stop and don’t worry about it.  Life is too crazy right now and Daniel won’t really care.”  Talk me down, people.  Please.
  • We have 3 elderly, increasingly crotchety felines whom we adore.  All I can say is that I hope Daniel takes as good care of us when we’re that old.  Lucky pusses!

How was your week?  Am I insane?