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!

Posted by Picasa

Day 3 of Blog posts. This is haaarrrdddd.

Wahhhh. Writing every day is hard. That's why I don't usually do it, and consequently have not written the greatest novel of the past century yet. I'm lazy. It's true. Ok, today's update. I worked on the farm in the pouring fracking driving rain for a few hours. Then the misery got the best of everyone and I came home, took a blazing hot shower, put on my pj's and went to bed - at 2 o'clock. Yeah, I have a lot to whine about. I did get up at 5 and go pick up Mags from my 'rents so I wasn't in bed all day. Just half of it. It was rad.

I did finish a book today: A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson - Audio. This book scared the bejesus out of me. You should give it a listen. I hate science but this was really interesting, even if it did contain the names of nearly everyone who had ever discovered anything of consequence during the past ohhh 300 years or so, it was still really good. It scared the crap out of me because apparently at any time, we could be completely be wiped out by an asteroid, and nearly have been on many occasions, and if that isn't scary enough we are due to have the poles shift places (north becomes south etc.) AND for a giant super volcano under Yellowstone to blow up. Great. Maybe I should spend less time napping and more time doing exciting things. You know, before I blow up. Although in the great scheme of things I guess it doesn't matter.

I started another book, but can't remember the name of it right now. It's suspsense/mystery by some British dude. It's good so far but I'm only 50 or so pages in.

I'm going to post some pictures of my driveway now, directly from Picasa - which I think will bing them to new entries, but I'm not sure. Anyway - here goes nothing.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Not a whole lot I care to post on today, due to the fact my mood had been generally annoyed bordering on completely enraged pretty much all day. Here's the dealio: it's raining. Again. Have you been to/read about/talked to someone who lives in Maine this summer? It has sucked. Here's some perspective. Today is July 7. On June 30th, the National weather service posted an announcement that said out of the past 22 days in June there had been 0 minutes of measurable sunshine. That's right ZERO. Zip. Nada. None. Not even a hint of sun peaking through the clouds for a few minutes. This statistic doesn't count the days that turned out mildly meh and then turned incredibly shitty. The weather has killed my garden, made the mosquito and slug population explode and generally sucked my sport dry for the past month. Since they posted that little announcement there have been at least 3 days that have been entirely devoid of sun.

To add insult to injury we had had whopping freaking rain storm last week which washed my driveway completely out. Remember last winter when I was bitching about how much I hated my driveway because of the plowing situation, but the summer would come and make me feel better? Well the universe decided to smack me in the face yet again. We now have to park at the bottom of our driveway and walk up. Wahhhh. Have you seen my driveway? It's really really long. About 1/8 of a mile. Also, I have a kid and tons of stuff to carry. It's going to cost a ton of dough to fix. We don't have a ton of dough to fix it, so we will be hiking up it for quite some time. Hopefully we get it taken care of before winter, because that would be a level of shit I don't think I could get deal with. I have some pictures that I can post later.

I had to go to a meeting for a company I freelance for which could have easily been taken care of over the phone. Not only that, they called me at 9am and basically told me they HAD to meet with me today. I had shit to do. I rearranged my schedule so I could go and sit there for 35 minutes. Boooo.

Then I had to go to a 4 year old's birthday party. Yeah my kid had a good time, I think. Maggie doesn't play super well with this particular girl, I don't know why. They are both great kids, they just bicker and fight constantly. Anyhow it was a long afternoon. Maggie has also been "testing her boundaries" which is a really nice parental way of saying "She won't do a goddamned thing I tell her to and argues with me constantly." It's incredibly waring. In case you were wondering the con column of my list of reasons to/not to have another kid are definitely outweighing the pros this week.

So - here's a big old poopsandwich to you. Hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Action Pants

The list is fluid. The list is ever changing. Especially since I change my mind and reprioritize things constantly. About 4 months ago I started taking karate classes. I know! Right? Pretty crazy huh? Not on the list, but I have been devoting a significant amount of time and energy to it. Karate is something I have always wanted to learn, but just never have gotten around to it. Also, I didn't want to take classes alone, and the class I am in now was totally my friend Erin's idea. I take the class with her, my friend Tabby, Tabby's husband Kevin, and some other random people.

I love karate. I seriously love it. Also, it's seriously hard. Which is one of the reasons I love it. I am only a yellow belt, which takes about 4 months to achieve. Within each level, or belt you receive 3 stripes. You test for each stripe about every three weeks. There is a lot of memorization in karate, not only punches, kicks, and blocks but various fighting techniques which are combinations of punches kicks and blocks that you use to fight opponents based on how they attack you. You learn 12 techniques for each belt, and each time you move up you are tested on the new techniques as well as the old. When I test for my orange belt - I will have to perform all 24 techniques as well as demonstrating the aforementioned kicks, punches, and blocks, and also these things called forms. Forms are combinations of blocks combined together in a long sequence. Long story long, by the time someone gets to black belt level, they have put in years of training, and hundreds if not thousands of hours of practicing and memorization.

That's a pretty technical way of explaining karate. Truth be told, we also do a lot of beating the shit out of things. We beat the shit out of these standing up punching bag things, and we beat the shit out of each other while wearing blockers. I have come home from many classes with bloody knuckles from the punching bag. Gross? No way. So fun. This class is also making me super strong. When I first started I could barely do 10 lady-style push ups. Now I can do 6 "man style" - don't laugh pushups are fracking hard. Go try it right now. See? Hard. Ok so 6 man pushups and 44 lady push ups. Take that. I can also do a bunch of other rad things that I couldn't do before but mostly I'm proud of the pushups.

Why else do I love it? Because I want to feel safe. I want to be able to know that if someone messes with me, ever, I will always have the upper hand. Guess who else will be taking karate soon? Maggie. I think that all girls should have to take mandatory karate from age 8 until they are black belts. How many assaults on women would occur they were all trained in karate from the 4th grade? I bet significantly fewer than there are now.

Karate - not on the 30 list, but definitely one of the things on my life list. It rocks. Oh also, because I'm taking karate doesn't mean you should come up to me and punch me on the arm. Seriously, why do people do that? Oh you're taking karate? Punch. That's just stupid. Knock it off.

I'm out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

30 in 30

After abandoning this blog for quite some time, I am going to write 30 posts in 30 days. Why? Because my friend Joe is also doing this. Also, I like the whole do something for 30 days thing. Remember when I wrote a novel in 30 days? Yeah. That was awesome.

So. Here's the news, progress, etc.

Knitting - has been a bit meh, though I did whip up a sweet sweater for my friend Alice's new baby. Knitting is hard to do in the summer, when you are lazy and hot. But if I was industrious I would be working on my X-mas gifts right now instead of waiting until Dec. 15 to start 4 pairs of mittens, 3 hats, and 2 pair of socks - which is precisely what I did last year. Did I learn my lesson? Time will tell, but I am doubtful.

Books - I have read a number of fantastic books as of late. Ok, so when I last wrote a blog I had just finished The Watchmen. Since then I have read or listened to:

American Gods - Neil Gaiman. Fantastic. Basically a bunch of gods from ye olden times live in America and are fighting a war with new gods, such as TV, Internet etc. That description sounds lame, but trust me, it's good.

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter Steve Dublanica - Audio. Poop Sandwich. I almost didn't finish this one. I thought it was going to be stories/essays from a waiter in the trenches. But instead this blog turned memoir really ended up just being some dude's story of how he went from waiter to writer. And honestly I couldn't have cared less. Don't bother. It's suckiness was highlighted because I had just finished -

The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute- Michael Ruhlman. Which is fan-freaking-tastic. Ruhlman (who I learned about because of his bud status with Anthony Bourdain) spends a year at the CIA. No, not that CIA -the other one - the Culinary Institute of America where he - yup you guessed it, trains to be a chef. This book could have been totally boring, but it wasn't. If you are interested at all in chefs, cooking, etc. Read this book.

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo - Audio - Steig Larrson. Holy crap this was good. Good and suspenseful and surprising. I read a lot of mysteries, suspense etc. It is hard to pull one over on me or get me to be actually surprised. This one did the trick. It has a totally atypical heroine, takes place in Sweden, and is about finding a murdered girl forty or so years after the fact. That is basically all I can tell you without giving it away. Give it a try. The audio version was great. I also was happy to learn that this is part of a trilogy, the second one - The Girl Who Played with Fire - will be out on July 28. Huzzah!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Mark Haddon Ok, I loved this one too. This was a great read, and super fast. Told through the eyes of an autistic 14 year old boy, I was a bit reluctant to read it at first, but am super glad I did. Christopher tries to solve the mystery of his neighbor's murdered dog, and ends up uncovering layers of unpleasantness that any person would have a hard time dealing with, but his autism makes it even harder. Super. Read it.

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuck. Still haven't seen the movie. I loved this book. Another super short read. It was quite disturbing but well worth my time. It's about a dude who creates a bunch of fight clubs and also causes tons of trouble all over Seattle. It has a great twist and is well written. You should read this even if you have seen the movie.

I think that's it. I'm almost finished with The Brief History of Everything, which is totally freaking me out, but I'll blog about it when I'm finished. This puts me at 15 books, or half way though my goal for the year, which is about right. I have started listening to audio books when I take walks in the morning, so I have been rolling through them pretty quickly.

I'm outta here. Cya tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fire and Lubrication.

Nice title eh? That's what's called a hook. Anyhow, I just wanted to share an analogy I came up with this weekend after a couple of beers, and after mulling it over in a sober brain for a few days, still feel it's one of the best I've come up with in quite some time.

First a little background. In case you don't know me, my life situation is this: I am a stay at home mom. Sure I do some piece work writing from time to time, and consider myself a writer, but I make just barely enough to pay for yarn and karate class. My husband is the one who brings home the bacon. (Although, in literal terms I am the one who brings home actual bacon as I work at a farm in the summer in exchange for a veggie and pork share). This husband of mine works super hard at a job he likes fairly well. Now, this whole stay at home mom thing is a pretty sweet deal. I get to watch my kid all day - even though at times she's super super annoying and it's really hard to not just stick her in daycare and run off to something, anything that won't make me want to rip my hair out - and for the most part we do cool stuff, like go to the library, beach, play dates, walks, other cool stuff. I also do some stuff that is kinda sucky, like clean, and go grocery shopping. I tell you this because it is important to note that being a stay at home mom is neither always sucky or always awesome. In too many articles I've read it leans way far over one way or the other.

For quite some time, due to my own predilection to analyzing everything I do, and the ongoing "mommy wars" (In case you don't know there's a war waging over who is right - stay at homers or worker moms. I think they both are. Anyway if you want to know more about it google it. It can get pretty damn nasty.) I sometimes feel like my role is not as important as Mike's. Not because of anything he has said or done, but lets face it, if he didn't have the job he does we would be screwed. It pays the bills, keeps us fed, he is in essence the provider for us. How does taking care of Mags and vacuuming compare to keeping a roof over our heads?

This is where the sweet analogy came in. I love it. It makes me super happy and feel peaceful about my job. Without further adieu here it is: Our family unit is an engine. Mike provides the fuel to keep it going, and I provide the oil to make sure everything runs smoothly. Since an engine can't run without either, both are equal in importance. If we run out of gas we are dead on the side of the road, no oil and the engine seizes.

How perfect is this analogy? I'm totally gloating about it. I love it. It was, as Oprah would say, an AHA! moment for me. Anyhow, I would love to hear what y'all think of it. I could probably write more on this topic but I have things to do. And really, I just wanted to get the idea down and out there.

Peace out, my people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who's Watching Me?

Have you read the Watchmen? No? It's pretty good. I recommend you do so. Yes, it's a graphic novel, yes I'm over 30. Who cares? I give it a Woot! The Watchmen, if you don't know, is about a bunch of former super heroes who reunite (sort of) to find out who is killing former masked heroes (sort of). But it is also a cautionary moralistic tale, about sacrificing your morals for a greater good. I think what I just wrote there is probably one of the biggest cliches ever when it comes to reviews, but it really is. Can I get a what what from you other Watchmen readers? This will be my 8th book of the year, since I forgot to include The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell in my last blog. I listened to the audio version, and really liked it. Our forefathers were a bunch of religious nuts. I mean really. It's good to listen to stuff like that once in awhile and remind yourself from whence we came. There was a lot of banishment and eye for an eye behaviour. It also gets a Woot!

In other news, I have signed up for the Script Frenzy which starts on April 1. I recommend you do too. After lurking around on their message boards, I learned that most folks use Celtx for their script writing software, and that it's free! I downloaded a copy post haste. Let me know if you sign up. We can be writing buddies. I probably won't let you see mine though. I'm like that.

I have been doing a bit of reading about blogs that get the most views, and are "successful". In case you were wondering, this one isn't. I can tell you why too. 1. Don't update often enough. 2. Isn't organized. 3. Not enough pictures. I am toying with the idea of putting my blog on a schedule, i.e. Monday: Books Tues: Knitting Weds. 5k Training (Ha! We'll see). You get the drift. I also need to address the photo situation pronto.

In other other news, I am pretty sure I'm going to fire the Klog back up. The Klog was my old blog where I complained about news. The format will be a bit revised, AND I'm going to add a fun new feature. If I actually do it, y'all will be the first to know.

I almost forgot, I watched The Comedians of Comedy the other night. What a disappointment. I was hoping it would be either funny, or informative, or both. Alas, it was neither. If you want to see a good documentary about being a comedian, watch The Comedian - by Jerry Seinfeld. Much better. Comedians of Comedy = Poop Sandwich.

That's all for now. I think I might even get around to updating my graphs today! I'm still looking for some cooler ones though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

....And We're Back!

Hello, hello! Are you wondering where I've been for two fracking months? Well we lost our Internet. I really won't go into it too much, but basically Hughesnet is a company comprised of a bunch of lying, incompetent jerks with the worst customer service I have ever experienced. For future reference, the only way to get them to actually fix your problem is to send them an e-mail threatening to report them to the Better Business Bureau via the Attorney General's office. Worked like a charm.

So, haven't been blogging but I have been completing tasks. Since I don't want this to be a zillion pages long, and I'm sure you don't either, let me break it down for you:


1. My Heart Belongs to You - Dean Koontz - Meh.
2. Free Range Knitter - Stephanie Pearl McPhee - Woot!
3. Fray - Joss Whedon - Double Woot! (Yes I know it's a graphic novel. Don't judge me.)
4. Case Histories - Kate Atkinson - Double Woot!
5. One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson - Double Woot!

I started Dear American Airlines which according to reviews, critics, etc. I'm supposed to love. Let me tell you right now - snooze fest. I'm sick of reading book comprised of nothing but people whining and ranting. If I want to read whining and ranting I can simply read my own blog. Thank you very much. I am currently reading The Watchmen. I am sort of on a graphic novel kick. Oh and by the way, can someone explain to me the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel? No one seems to be able to. Mike says "pride". I tend to agree.


1. Versatility (Scarf/Shawl Thing)
2. Shalom (Cardigan)
3. Maine Morning Mitts - (Fingerless Gloves) Me
4. Maine Morning Mitts - Maggie
5. Maine Morning Mitts - Tabby
6. 3 Hour Sweater - Total Fail - Fits Maggie.

I am slowly finishing a pair of socks I started for my mom's birthday. On January 7th. I have a bad case of second sock syndrome. This is a condition in which a knitter starts a project, usually a pair of something, whizzes through the first item and then takes forever on the second. This often happens with sleeves as well. Sorry mom!

Um, we got TV back so it's been Lost and BSG o'clock. Lost is kind of meh this season. But BSG - holy frack is it good! If you don't watch it you should. I mean it. Start with the mini-series though.


4 visits. Her alzheimers is strange. Good one day, the other day, no clue. One weird thing I've noticed is that her Alzheimers seems to be spawning some sort of weird OCD, and also making her more religious. Figure that out. For example, we like to eat at a local restaruant which happens to have a very pregnant hostess. Pregnant ladies in public drive my grandmother bonko. The last time we were at the restarunt she said " Well, I suppose that girl is pregnant!"
To which I replied, "Um, yeah."
"Well, she should really cover that up! I don't need to see that!" Said my grandmother.

You see, pregnant ladies mean that people are having sex! It's right there out in the open! Oh my god! But really then aren't all of our mere presences proof that somewhere at sometime someone had sex? It's true. We should probably all hide. The next time we go to the restaurant, repeat senario. Keep repeating senario until girl is no longer at the restaurant. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to freak out and either 1. Yell at my grandmother or 2. Bang my head against the table. I don't do either because I know it's not her fault that's she's bonko and I'm not a total bitch. At least it's mildly entertaining.

Have a made any progress in other areas? Hmm. I don't think so. Oh wait, I did get my car inspected and registered. Only because it's illegal not to though.

So, progress is being made. That's it for now. Peace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Progress already

There are some things I have learned from doing the list last year that, as I said previously, are going to be a bit different. One of them being I'm not going to be as strict about the "limbo" projects. The limbo projects, are things I started prior to Jan. 6th but finished after. Things like the sweater I finished last night. Last year, I wouldn't have counted it on the list. This year - you betcha.

Also, I know I don't have any evidence yet - and I am honestly trying to figure something out - I have been cooking things and taking pictures of what I've made. So far - Pizza, Cookies, and Muffins - all from cookbooks. All huge successes. Additionally, I had a restaurant review for the Dry Dock in the works, but lost my mojo after not posting the pics. Plus my sister works there so maybe it's not the best idea anyway. I have been reading a lot of food books and blogs lately. I am intrigued by cooking, eating, growing food, and of course writing about it. It may be time - we shall see - I step into the ring.

About the pictures, and blogging and whatnot. Yeah you've heard it before - I ain't got no high-speed internets out here in the boondocks. I have the satellite which *allegedly* is just as good, but doesn't even have enough balls to load a youtube video smoothly. What I envision for 09 - probably starting in April - is me - getting an iphone and then smoothly uploading stuff to my blog on a regular basis. But this might be as likely as a unicorn emerging from the forrest. We shall see. I really cannot be doing this: take a picture, wait for Mike to upload it into his computer, take computer to office - upload pics using the high-speed there, logging in, finding what I want, uploading it, then blogging about. You see what a pain in the ass this is? Are you sick of me bitching about my Internet connection? Do I care? It is truly the bane of my existence and you can be sure I'm going to continue bitching about it until the problem is solved.

Enough wit' that. I'm still looking for a good blog/log/widget tracker. I got a lead on one - joesgoals.com but I hate the graph. In fact the graph is really stupid and lame. The tracking software is good, but whoever you are - Joe - listen - you can do better than that. How about a freakin' bar graph at least? Hmm. This may be a good project for Mike.

Books and Movies so far this year - I've already burned through a few so I wont' be giving you to much detail - sorry:


In Her Shoes: I give it a Woot. It's totally a chick movie. But I give it a WQot because it portrays how sisters treat each other in a pretty accurate light. Also, I watched the DVD extras about making the movie. I found them pretty interesting and probably skewed my opinion of the film in a more positive light.

Elizabethtown: Poopsandwich. As I said to Mike "This movie was way too long. And then it continued for another 15 minutes." Plus, it was a sort of cheesy idealistic love/coming of age story which I don't usually like, and this movie was no different. There were big huge holes in the plot. It contained Free Bird. The whole song. For a whole huge long scene. It was agonizing. Note to directors, music score selectors etc. DO NOT PUT FREEBIRD IN A MOVIE. Seriously. Move on.

A note about the next two movies - last year I did not include any of the numerous kids movies I watched, this year I'm gonna. So there.

Corpse Bride: Double Woot! Tim Burton + Claymation = Awesome.

Toy Story 2: Woot! Really, I liked it quite a bit. It did not make a bunch of weird sexual innuendo jokes with a wink wink at the parents that kid movies sometimes do. These jokes inevitably don't work and just make me uncomfortable. Toy Story 2, despite being a kids movie - and a sequel - which usually signals an eminent poopsandwich - had a good plot, was funny, not too scary, but not dumb either. Perfect to watch with your 3 year old and not want to gouge your eyes out. Actually, I think even grownups without kids would like this movie.


I Like You. Hospitality Under the Influence - Amy Sedaris: Double Woot! This is an entertaining/cookbook and by entertaining I mean - having parties at your house. But, it also entertaining, as in fun to read, good times etc. It is hilarious. A good, funny read with recipes - what more can you ask for? We made the Oatmeal Cookies (from the Lumberjacks section) the night I bought the book. Mike ate a pan of them as soon as they were cool enough to not burn his mouth. Stop reading this blog and go buy this book right now. You will not regret it. And yes, buy it. Don't just go get it from the library. You will keep it for too long, or end up stealing it, and that just upsets the old ladies that work there.

That's it for now. Stay Warm peoples. It's -14 here. Ridiculous, I know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Drumroll Please....

It looks kind of gross over there on the side doesn't it? I'm working on it. I really need to figure out a new goal tracking system for 2009 - if you have any suggestions for improvement such as a slick app or some sort of widget please let me know. Currently I keep track of my stuff on an Excel spreadsheet, then I have to manually enter my numbers in two places in this rickety HTML code in the back-end of this blog. It's a pain and far too much work. This is why I failed to keep track of a lot of my things last year. Excuses excuses - I know.

Moving right along. My list contains 31 items this year. As you can see I had some returns, but the majority of things on the list are new. Many of them are one or two shot deals. Seems like I'm aiming lower? Higher? I don't know. You probably noticed a number of personal grooming/taking care of Kate type items. Seems like I'm pretty gross right? Yeah I am. True confession - although I bitch and complain incessantly about how expensive our health/dental insurance is I NEVER utilize it. I seriously have not been to the doc. or the dentist for like two years. This is the stuff I don't get around to. The stuff that has to be done that I reschedule over and over.

Doing the list last year I realized that saying you are going to do something ever day is ridiculous. It's just not going to happen for me. Maybe you can, but I have things going on. My life is willy nilly, things come up. Which is why some things like write 200k words are just variations on doing something daily for 30 minutes. I can keep track and keep up with a 200k word goal, but once those minutes start adding up and slipping away, I'm dunzo.

Did you see that I want to double my income?! Yeah, that shouldn't be hard considering I made very little money last year. Like, under 5k. So doubling that even in the worst recession in nine million years shouldn't be that hard. Hopefully it will increase due to accepted submissions.

This year I have also done a bit of preparation for my tasks coming up. I queued up a bunch of knitting projects and ordered up some yarn. I have a pretty good idea of the books I will be reading this year. And movies are no problem as my Netflix list has like 300 items in it.

I think that's all I have time for right now. You may also notice - though not on the list - I'm going to try and clean up ye olde salty language. Swearing is too easy. I need to exercise my brain and my vocabulary and find other ways to call things shitty.

I'm out.

Bear With Me.

While I move all the crap from over here --->

Over Here

  • Knitting :: 100%
  • 30 Blog Entries :: 110%
  • 30 Books :: 100%
  • 30 House Projects :: 85%
  • 30 Hours of Volunteering :: 50%
  • 30 Mins. Less TV :: 100%
  • 30 Mins. Exercise :: 25%
  • 30 Mins. Cleaning :: 100%
  • 30 Movies :: 140%
  • 30 Recipes :: 100%
  • 30 New Things ::30%
  • 30 Words Eng. :: 20%
  • 30 Words Other :: 1%
  • 30 oz. water :: 15%
  • 30 Acts of Kindness :: 6%
  • 30 Submissions :: 120%
  • 30 Visits with Grands. :: 85%
  • 30 Birds ID'd :: 47%
  • 30 New Tunes :: 100%
  • 30 lbs lost:: 27%
  • Household Expenses less 30% :: 100%
  • Spend $30 less per week :: 100%
  • 30% less waste :: 100%
  • $30 on local foods :: 120%
  • 30 mins. of writing :: 100%
  • Give Away 30 Things :: 100%
  • 30 Things I've been meaning to do :: 63%
  • 30 New Articles of Clothing::100%
  • Drive 30 Miles Less pw. :: 75%
  • 30 Visits With Friends:: 100%

Ok, I think that's it. If you have a burning desire to see my 08 movie or book lists just email me and you can see them. But for now they are ditched.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hurray for Accounting Errors!

Dudes, I have been reading/knitting furiously for the past few days, and was getting a bit down last night realizing I have to finish a book and a knitting project (which I will get to in a second) before Tuesday. Which is tomorrow. Then I started reviewing my lists of books I have read and realized, I forgot to record one! Cell - by Stephen King, which I think I even wrote about in here. Anyway BOO YA 30 books down.

Then this morning, as I was sitting here furiously knitting a sweater, oh yeah, instead of knitting a nice simple pair of mittens or hat which would have been too easy for me the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to cast on this sweater about two days ago. Yes, I am an experienced enough knitter to know that there is NFW that sweater only takes 3 hours. Especially with the size and weight of the needles and yarn. It is however a very cute sweater - that pic doesn't do it justice at all. But I would say more accurately that each side - i.e. the front and back take about 6 hours a piece. Which is still phenomenally quick. I really like this pattern and will probably knit it again, with some mods. Next time I will probably knit it on circular needles instead of straights, that will also add to making it super speedy. ANYWAY, what I was going to say is that there was little hope that this would be completed by tomorrow, and was getting ready to cast on a nice hat or pair of mittens in bulky weight yarn to even up the score, when I had a completely unrelated conversation with a friend of mine this morning. A friend who has a baby who is not yet one year old, a baby for whom I knit a sweater when she was a few weeks old. AHA! I forgot to count her sweater! Which means - yes kids- 30 knit items down. Hells Yeah.

As you can see from the graph - 100% or more on 17 of my goals! Holy crap. When I made this list a year ago, I said I would be thrilled if I made 30% on 30 of them :) I cannot accurately describe how this list has changed my life. For reals. Setting goals and keeping track of them in such a public way motivated me to achieve like never before. Apparently for me public humiliation is an excellent motivator. I feel pretty cheesy using the term "life changing" or "eye opening" but I did. So there.

I have the list for next year finished and will post it either tomorrow or the 7th. I need to figure out how to preserve this year's list - probably take a screen shot and post it - because the list and widgets you see over here - are seperate HTML items that will go away when I add the new stuff. Either that or leave it and have a super massive scroll down thing. Which I find annoying, so screen shot it probably will be.

In any case thanks for reading, and next year this blog will be Bigger! Better! Faster! Stronger! With 100% More Excitement!

BTW- this is the 50th blog post this year. Just thought you might be interested.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Sooooo Close

I should have some pics. to post for you later today, but honestly who am I kidding - most likely not until tomorrow or the next day. Anyhow, I am sooooo close to having 30 knitted items and 30 books done - the only two I am really pushing to get finished by next week.

I finished the socks for my dad - AND a hat over the last week so I am now at 29 knitted items. I also read The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain over the holidays. I have probably mentioned this before but I love Anthony Bourdain. He has a fantastic travel/food show on the travel channel and has written a bunch of books which are fantastic. He became famous a few years ago when he wrote Kitchen Confidential which is one of my favorite books. The Nasty Bits is a collection of essays/articles that he has written over the past few years highlighting some of the places he's visited, thoughts on various food trends and celebrity chefs and is a very quick and interesting read. Included is an essay he wrote about his four favorite books which I am including in my list of thirty books to read for 09.

In the next 4 days I need to knit one more item and read one more book. PFFT. Easy Peasy. I'm having lunch with my grandmother today which will be fun, and counts towards my goal as well.

Hope y'all are having a good New Year thus far and have recovered from any ill effects from NYE alcohol consumption.

Oldies but Goodies: