Sunday, January 17, 2010

Moving Again

Hi. New Projects. New Blog. Now back over here:

See Ya over there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'll admit it, I'm a huge fracking snob. Especially about food. Yeah, I'm one of those types. I belong to a CSA, and shop almost exclusively at the farmers' market or the local food co-op. More than half the food in this house is organic, and very little of it is packaged. I see a holistic nutritionist about various ailments. I avoid sugar and caffeine and processed food. Do you hate me yet? Well check this out.

Usually when I'm in the mood for a coffee - (decaf - of course) I go to the local coffee shop that sells locally roasted, fair trade organic coffee. Yeah, it's like 4.00 a cup. But dudes, it's so tasty. For real. Well, here's the thing. Finances, man, finances are tight. So this week when the temps climbed into the 80's and I had the hankering for an iced coffee I found myself at the local drive-thrus of two huge chains. I lived to tell about it. This is my story.

First stop - Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts coffee usually gives me the Hurries. I don't think I need to explain to you what the Hurries are, it's a family term. Here's a hint - at my house the DD motto is "Everyone gets the runs from Dunkin". Anyhow, for some reason, this only applies to hot coffee, I seem to tolerate iced fairly well. It has been a long long time since I bought a coffee from DD, so when I ordered a large I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When the girl at the window passed it through I was embarrassed. Yeah, it's an embarrassing amount of coffee. I just looked it up - it's 24 ozs. Let's put that in perspective - a liter is 33 ounces, so it's only 90zs. or one just under one cup shy of a liter. That's a lot of goddamned coffee. But, whatever, I was going to the local beach. The free one that is a bit ghetto, to meet my friend. A friend who wouldn't judge a sistah for bringing a half gallon of iced coffee to the beach. After I got out of the car, wrestled my daughter, and all of our beach stuff out of the car, large coffee carefully clutched to my chest so I didn't drop it, who should I run into? My holistic nutritionist. The woman I pay quite a bit of money to tell me what to eat so I don't feel like shit. For the record, Dunkin Donuts anything is not on my list of good things to eat. I wanted to yell out Hey! It's not mine! Or, it's ok, it's decaf! But no, I said nothing and guzzled my huge coffee in shame on the other side of the beach. For the record, it took me almost all day to drink it. So I guess that's a good thing? 2.50 and you have enough coffee to last all day.

Next cheap coffee excursion took me to the heart of the beast. That's right - McDonald's. What? What am I doing purchasing something from the local McDonald's? Haven't I read Fast Food Nation? (yes) Didn't I bite into an undercooked quarter pounder at that very same establishment and swear it off forever five years ago (yes). My addiction to iced coffee, decaf or not, is strong. When I need an iced coffee, I need an iced coffee damnit. And besides, McDonald's, though they are part of the evil empire, at least serve Newman's Organic Coffee. Their large is much more reasonably sized and the coffee tastes far far better. That said, you must tell them when you order NO SUGAR! Otherwise they pump your drink so full of that liquid sugar crap that it tastes more like melted coffee icecream than a delicious refreshing beverage of formerly caffeinated goodness. If you tell them you need no sugar AFTER they have put sugar in your drink it is likely the person behind the counter will react in the following way: SSSSSsiiiiiiiiiiiiigggggggggghhhhhhhhh. Roll Eyes. Snatch coffee - dump hastily into sink. You can't hold it against them though, they work at fracking McDonald's for christsakes. Dream job it is not. Anyhow the coffee there is 2.39 and it's seriously delicious. Now the trick will be to order just the coffee and nothing else. Actually it's not that tricky. The food there is disgusting.

What is the moral of this story? This long long story? It's this: time and time again my snobbery with TV shows, Movies, Books, and now eating establishments has kept me from numerous nuggets of goodness, that I usually kick myself for after realizing that avoiding them for the sake of being a snob has kept me from something delicious. Even if it is cheap. Don't be a snob kids. You'll miss out on the good stuff.

Booky Booky

Quick update on the book front -

The Hour I first Believed by Wally Lamb. Look, I 'll just come clean here. Wally Lamb is one of my all time favorites. I know I say that a lot, but for real you guys! Mr. Lamb also wrote She's Come Undone which is one of my top 10 favorites AND I Know This Much is True, which is probably in my top 20. And here is his third book The Hour I First Believed. What are you doing right now? Oh wait, reading my blog. Because I was going to tell you to stop it and go get this book. But, then you won't be able to read my glowing review of it. If this book hadn't been written by Mr. Lamb, I probably wouldn't have picked it up at the library. Why? Because it's about Columbine and how a teacher who was there deals with the aftermath of the event, and a dude's discovery of his family history. Not something that sounds appealing to me in the least. But since I have great faith in Mr. Lamb I picked it up, and wow. This is one of those books that you literally can not put down. Yes it's about Columbine and the events following it, but so much more, it is an epic examination of a families history. Lamb completely embodies his character in a fantastically believable way. In true Wally Lamb form the book is super depressing, and yet you finish it feeling enlightened and hopeful. How does he do that? I'm not sure. But I'm glad he does. So right after you read my blog go get this book, clear your schedule, and sit down with this book. If you hadn't already guessed, I give it a double woot.

Across the Nightingale Floor -Lian Hearn- Audio - This is a book about feudal Japan. And I was happy to just learn that it's apparently book one of a series. Since I started taking Karate I'm a lot more interested in Japanese history, art, philosiphy etc. Across the Nightingale Floor has all the elements of classic Japanese lit - the orphan of great ability seeking revenge. Evil overloard, kind benevolent teacher. Waring clans. You get the picture. Classic. Easy to read. Fun. It's like a samurai movie for your brain. You can bet I'll be reading the others in this series.

This puts me at 18 books or over half way to my goal. Suh-weet. I promise to do more blogging and less cataloging of book reading. Indeed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hat trick.

I think I have used this for the title of a post before, when I knit three hats. Yes, I know it's a hockey term. But since it's one of the only sports related terms that I know, besides the usual Homerun, Or Strike, so I like to use it a lot. This particular hat trick involves the completion of 3 books since my last blog post. Booya!

I liked all three ok, and will attempt to make you interested in them now by horribly reviewing them.

1. Into the Blue - Robert Goddard I'm gonna give it a meh. Murder Mystery - It was pretty good, but I knew who the murderer was not even a quarter of the way through it but the writing was good enough, and there were enough plot twists (the big one I also predicted) to keep me reading until the end. Basically the story is this - kind of losery older guy lives in Greece as the caretaker to his successful friend (a Minister in Parliament)'s house. A young woman who is visiting the house disappears, the caretaker guy is the main suspect and has to figure out what happened.

Robert Goddard was Stephen King's number one recommended author for 2008. Did I already tell you guys I'm trying to read all the books on SK's list? The only problem is my little tiny library often has these books on hold or out for long periods of time, which sucks. However, I have read a number of books by the same authors and am pleased to have been introduced to some new ones. As is the case with the next book.

2. Hollywood Station - Joseph Wambaugh - This book was fantastic. Double Woot. A super fast paced novel about the LAPD-Hollywood division. It's got clear edgy writing, excellent description without being overly wordy, and fast paced plotting. Apparently Wambaugh has written a bunch of books about the LAPD and if the reviews of them are to be trusted all are equally fantastic. Cop books are not usually my thing, I prefer to watch them on tv :) but I will definitely be reading more of these. The plot is pretty simple, a bunch of LAPD Hollywood cops out busting people and stuff. It also follows a couple of tweaky meth heads as well. Which gave me the fear. I hope to god my daughter never tries drugs, especially Meth. Scary scary shit. There is a diamond heist and ATM stick up that also thread through the book to the end, which adds cohesiveness.

3. The Graveyard Book -Neil Gaiman Ok, yeah this book just won a bunch of awards and stuff but I gotta say, though I like it, it's going to get just a single woot. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. But it felt a bit like Harry Potter lite. Let me explain - the story is about a boy whose family is murdered when he is a baby. He ends up living in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts, a vampire, and a werewolf. The story has a bit of a disjointed feel to it as many of his adventures seem to be almost like stories unto themselves. I also would have liked to have seen a lot more description and elaboration on various events. I have a feeling that if Jo Rowling had written it, it would have been twice as long. I listened to this book on my ipod, and it was read by the author, which is always a treat. But give it a listen anyway, you'll only be mildly disappointed.

I think that puts me at 20 books. Boy am I lax about recording stuff this year. Oh and yeah I know I didn't even come close to 30 posts. I got no excuses - except that it was hard, and I'm lazy. Even though this summer has been basically one continuous rain storm I haven't done much in the way of knitting. I kinda lost my mojo for a bit, but I just printed out a pattern for some cool socks I'm going to whip up for my dad's birthday. I have until the 19th of august to finish them, and by the power of Greyskull I will.

Hope y'all haven't drown in the rain.

P.S. I'm thinking of signing up for goodreads - anyone on there? Lemme know.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Home School Blues.

Oh homeschooling. I have gone back and forth on the subject almost daily for the past two years. The question of course, whether or not home school my daughter. Here are the pros - educating my kid in a way that I see fit and allowing her to explore and expand on things that she is interested in, giving her as much or as little guidance as she needs. Not having to participate in all the BS that goes on in public schools. Being able to travel and have a lot of her education outside. (This may not seem like a big deal, but for me - it is.) I would say probably half of my friends are considering or actively homeschooling their kids, so there is a fantastic support network and lots of things to do in the area. Cons - She will miss out on the whole school experience, which actually is a pro/con. I'm really terrible at math and am scared to death of being responsible for teaching it to my daughter. And even though many people have said it doesn't really matter, I am worried about socialization.

See? See how this is hard? Last year we had totally made up our minds to home school and then this year we totally made up our minds to send her to school and signed up for preschool at the local Montessori place. I feel like rainman. I go back and forth and am virtually obsessed with the topic. My biggest fear - which is not listed in the cons is that which ever I chose will not be the choice that is right for her. That my decision will be based on what is right for me. If she is homeschooled am I doing it because it's right for her, or because I don't want to let go of my little girl? If I send her to school is it because it's right for her, or because I want more time for myself?

In being a nutbag about this, I have come across a couple of pretty cool sites/blogs by moms who are homeschooling their kids. Here are my two favorites:

Handmade Homeschool
Pioneer Woman

This is a tough one. Thoughts are appreciated.

_oe you totally inspired this. I started writing comments on your blog and then just said screw it, this should be a separate blog :)

Later Taters.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Only the Good Die Young

Yeah, I missed posting yesterday, so I will do two today. Don't cry. This morning I'm up bright and early preparing to go for a walk, but first I will give you this list of the Top 6 TV shows canceled before their time. I'm sure there are a lot of other people out there with similar lists, but trust me this is the best one. You should probably cancel all of your plans for this weekend and rent them all.
Here we go:

6. Pushing Daisies. This one just bit the dust after just two seasons. Although this was one of those "mystery solving" shows, Pushing Daisies was completely original. This guy Ned has the ability to bring people back to life by touching them, but only for 60 seconds. Then he has to touch them again so that they die, or else someone else will. Anyhow, he also runs a pie shop and has a PI company where he solves crimes by going to the morgue and asking dead people who killed them. I know this sounds confusing, but it's really good. The whole show is done in this weird surreal like theme, everything is bright colors and kind of 60s/Willy Wonka-ish. The narration for the show is in rhyme. It's a lot like that movie Big Fish.

5. Carnivale. HBO killed this bad boy, also after only 2 seasons. It won 5 emmys. That's right - 5, and was supposed to have run for 6 seasons. It had the highest rated opening ever for an HBO series. So what happened? I don't know. People are stupid I guess. This was a story about a Carnival - duh - during the depression. However it's also a story about a battle between good and evil. There is the scariest freaking preacher dude ever in this show, his nemesis is a guy in the Carnival who can heal people. It's beautifully written and beautifully shot. It was only two seasons and I don't want to give to much away.

4. Dead Like Me. Ohhh this was a good show. Another 2 season-er. Coolest premise ever. Ok so there's this young woman - Georgia - who dies. She then ends up becoming a Grim Reaper and hanging out with other Grim Reapers, who's job it is to release people's souls. But here's the thing, even though they are Grim Reapers, they don't get any special benefits and still have live among us common folk, and have jobs etc. Fantastic. Hilarious. So sad it was cancelled.

3. Arrested Develoment. Arrested got 3 seasons before it was toasted, during which time it received 6 emmys and a golden globe. WTF people, really? Why are all these fantastic shows cancelled? Oh because the American public wants American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Sorry, I forgot. Anyway, I would be willing to say, publicly that Arrested Development is the funniest show to have ever been on TV. It follows the Bluth family, who own an ailing housing development corp, through their antics. This show has so many little jokes and twists, it's amazing. Nothing is ever left hanging, it's all tied up and brought back around. This show will make you laugh out loud, well it did me anyway and that's hard to do when watching a TV show. I just read that a movie is being made from the show, so that's good I guess.

2. Veronica Mars. Why is this little girl-PI story so close to the top? In the number 2 spot?! Because it's fracking awesome, that's why. Oh Veronica. Such good writing. Such good plotting. Keeps you guessing all season. Veronica is a high-school and then college girl who works for her dad, the former sheriff, now PI, solving mysteries. Sounds super lame right? It's not. This show has some of the best writing I've seen since, well, since Buffy. If you liked Buffy, you will love Veronica. In fact, a lot of the old faces you loved from Buffy and Angel are players in Veronica as well. Allegedly a movie of this show is also in the works. It still won't heal my broken broken heart that it got cancelled.

1. Firefly. Of course. One season. Killed. Best TV show that has been on TV ever, at anytime, and all we get is one lousy season? Fuck you Fox. Seriously. Not only did they cancel it, but their poor treatment/promotion/placement of this show is stuff of legend. They aired the episodes out of order, they changed the time slots. They did little to no promotion for it. And STILL when it got cancelled people freaked out. Assholes. Joss Whedon wrote/created this show which is a space western. That's right, a Space Western. It's fantastic. A band of outlaws cruising around in a spaceship doing crime. There's a movie too - Serenity.

Ok, I did a horrible job describing these shows. Clearly I need more practice. Also I want to get out of here and take a walk. Which is why I posted the wiki links for all the shows. Despite my horrible efforts, watch these Mmmk?

I'm out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Driveway Magic.

Here's a shot of the most extensively damaged area. It's about halfway down. It's pretty deep. I don't care to estimate.

And here you can see a long shot of the driveway - that's my car at the bottom. This shows the river bed that was carved out when the storm happend. For those of you who that haven't seen my driveway before this is the "bottom half". We now have to park and walk up and down when we leave. Again - wahhhhhh!

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Oldies but Goodies: