Monday, December 31, 2007

JKR Documentary

I know, I know. But it's my blog, so you have to put up with my obsessions. :)

Here's a link to the JKR Documentary that aired in England yesterday.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year's End

New Years Meme-age

Where did you begin 2007?
Singing Driving Down Highway 40 with a bunch of drunken revelers in my living room. I was also menaced by an o'possum.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
What does this mean? Married for almost 2 years.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?

Did you have to go to the hospital?
No, thank God.

Did you have any encounters with the police?

Where did you go on vacation?
No vacation this year. :(

What did you purchase that was over $500?
Yikes. I only spend that much on computers and cars, so nothing.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Several! Congratulations Becki and Jacob, Kim and Sam, Kirby and Erica, and Kim and Ben.

Did you know anybody who passed away?

Did you move anywhere?
No. My moving days are thankfully over for a while.

What sporting events did you attend?

What concerts/shows did you go to?
WE Fest.

Describe your birthday.
I turned 30. Togaliciousness ensued.

What's the one thing you thought you would not do but did in 2007?
Wrote my first novel. Never dreamed I'd do that.

What has been your favorite moment(s)?
It's hard to name a favorite moment. Finishing Deathly Hallows, finishing the novel, celebrating my birthday, poetry readings on the porch...

Any new additions to your family?
Oscar Peterson, the yellow-bellied slider.

What was your best month?
October was pretty good. The drama of the summer had ended, I was writing, we celebrated Halloween in style...

What music will you remember 2007 by?
Depeche Mode and the Smiths ruled my iPod, with honorable mentions by these songs:
Stolen by Dashboard Confessional
Alone by Heart
Save Me by Aimee Mann
Crash by Dave Matthews

Made new friends?
Always. I thrive on friends.

Favorite night out?
Discovering THE Chocolate Cake at Circa with Thomas.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
A very spiky year. Lots of peaks and valleys.

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
At work, of course, with Lula's in a distant 3rd.

Change your hairstyle?
Ha. That only happens once every 3-4 years. This was not one of those years. It's maybe a little redder than usual.

How old did you turn this year?
30. Finally starting to freak about that, a little.

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
My resolution is always to have no resolutions. Whatever happens, happens.

Do anything embarrassing?
Please. This is me were talking about. I do 10 embarrassing things every day.

Buy anything new from eBay?
I love eBay. Every once in a while we have to have an intervention. This year, I mostly bought CDs for the iPod. I remember buying Cloudcuckooland by the Lightning Seeds, God Bless Satan by Mephiskapheles, Apollo 18 by They Might Be Giants...

Get married or divorced?

Get arrested?
Of course not.

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
I adore American Idol. I didn't miss an episode.

Did you get sick this year?
Inevitable when one is an elementary school teacher. But the immune system gets stronger every year.

Been snowboarding?
I don't do snow or sports.

Are you happy to see 2007 go?
Well, I'm looking forward to 2008. 8 is my lucky number.

Additional things:
My parents just left us, so we've finally completed the Christmas season. Everything went really well, and it was great to see them. Here is an update on Christmas loot:

Please check out this amazing bracelet that Thomas bought for me:

Book Lust:
For Christmas, I recieved:
Run by Ann Patchett
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
also working on my new Early Reviewer book: Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb

Happy New Year to everyone. Celebrate fully and safely and best wishes for the year to come.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Talented People Love Me

Thomas saved my life by giving me a wonderful, huge, flat-screen monitor, which could not have come at a better time, as my monitor gave out on Christmas Eve day, and we all know what happens to me when I cannot connect to the internet. Thank God that was averted.

Thomas also gave me the Harry Potter movies box set, which came in a little trunk that I can take with me when I finally get my Hogwarts letter.

Thank you, Thomas.

Two of my favorite gifts were things that people made for me.
Michelle made me the most amazing tablecloth:

My little sister-in-law Jessica made me the Potter Puppet Pals:

I'm humbled to know such giving and talented ladies.

Merry Christmas!

Do I believe my site meter that only one person has visited today? Surely not, as despite the holiday, I've spent the better part of 4 hours online. Yes, I'm sick on Christmas again this year, and consoling myself by spending quality time with the internet.

We had a nice visit with Thomas's family and are home now, presents opened, preparing to launch again into the fray tomorrow, to prepare for my parent's arrival on Thursday.

No matter what, I'm still glad it's Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Counting Down

So, I finished the wrapping today and did some last minute baking for a Christmas party tonight...I think I'm actually going to finish everything in time, so that's good.

Last night, Thomas and I went down to Lula's and hung out with some friends. Thomas was asking, "Who would win in a fight, Little Orphan Annie or Dick Tracy?" (Who would win in a fight is one of our favorite games.) I told him that when I was little, I was always embarrassed to sing "(The Sun Will Come Out) Tomorrow" because it had the word "bottom" in it (as in, "bet your bottom dollar that tomor-rooooo...") so I was convinced that it was dirty.

As we cackled over my childhood obsession with Annie and my apparent fear of the word bottom, Thomas pointed out that I'd been singing a weird song around the house lately.

I should note that I spend 99% of my time (while not at work) singing. I sing in the shower; I sing while I cook and clean; I sing in the car. I'm mostly singing whatever played last on my iPod, but lately I've been singing a lot of Christmas songs. I really miss caroling.

Anyway, he was like, "Yeah, it was something really odd, like Radar Love." I looked at him with disdain and announced that I would never sing Radar Love. Then I thought about it for a while and realized that I had been singing Hot Blooded the other day while baking, and Thomas confirmed that he was, in fact, remembering Hot Blooded.

"Why were you singing Hot Blooded?" he asked.

"I don't know. It was hot in the kitchen from the oven."

Apparently now I just choose songs by free association.

In other news, I'm pretty seriously considering attending Portus this year. Ashley, want to meet me in Dallas?

Friday, December 21, 2007

On Break

So, it's my first day of Christmas vacation, and the dogs woke me up at 5:50. Which is fine, I guess. It was at least 20 minutes after I would have usually gotten up. For once, I did not go out and get obliterated on my first night off, so today I'm reasonably prepared to do the 8,000 things still on my to do list. This will be one of the least restful breaks I've ever had--there are at least 2 major things to take care of on every single day of the 12 days I have off, but I'm still happy to be in my pajamas right now.

Last night I watched the movie Once. It was as wistful and lovely as everyone said it would be. Then I read the rest of Olive Kitteridge and felt wrapped in the comforting arms of art. A good book came in the mail yesterday. And I scored another Early Reviewer book for December, so I'm feeling that at least my intake of other worlds is high right now. I'm having trouble writing, but I think that has, for once, to do with my breakneck schedule, and not my terrible procrastination. I've been dabbling in several projects, but I have one that seems to be about to supercede the rest. I'm going to try to wait until January to begin it, though. The holidays are going to be hard enough.

Today's list includes:
Shopping for Christmas dinner
Wrapping all the presents
Taking a good friend to the airport
and...hopefully? A beer or 4.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Deck the Halls with Gasoline...Fa La La La La!

Last year's Christmas post makes me ashamed. Yes, I am still baking 10 batches of cookies for an ever-growing list of people which, I am sad to say, does not include our waitress at Golden Corral this year, but does now include our Fed Ex Delivery Guy, and would include the mailman if he were not prohibited by law from taking my cookies. That sounded dirty.

Yes, I am mostly done shopping, and the tree is up...but I have no Christmas spirit whatsoever. What I have is a migraine, and a terrible dread of the days to come. Days in which I will bitch and moan and snap at my family, even though I love them and can't wait to see them. Blarg.

The week before Christmas with 6 year olds is trying, and I feel very tried. Tried and found weak and lacking. My feet hurt. My eyes hurt. WAAAAAAAHHHHH!

In good news, I am finally reviewing a book for LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program that is AWE-SOME. Awesome. It is called Olive Kitteridge, by Elisabeth Strout, and I am loving it. Which is really nice, because so far the count had been:
Nay: 4.5 Yay: .5

Sunday, December 16, 2007

When the Cows Come Home

The Cow Is BACK! And she's dressed for Christmas!

I nearly drove off the road, I was so excited to see her. Thomas kindly took me to the cow to photograph her today. I think we'll do our Christmas picture with the cow this year.

In further returns, the OPOSSUM is BACK! Thomas spotted it tonight. Pictures to follow if we can get any. *Shudder*

Also, it is Poem Sunday.

1989 by Ron Koertge

Because AIDS was slaughtering people left and right,
I went to a lot of memorial services that year.
There were so many, I'd pencil them in between
a movie or a sale at Macy's. The other thing that
made them tolerable was the funny stories people
got up and told about the deceased: the time he
hurled a mushroom frittata across a crowded room,
those green huaraches he refused to throw away,
the joke about the flight attendant and the banana
that cracked him up every time.

But this funeral was for a blind friend of my wife's
who merely died. And the interesting thing
about it was the guide dogs; with all the harness
and the sniffing around, the vestibule of the church
looked like the starting line of the Iditarod. But
nobody got up to talk. We just sat there
and the pastor read the King James version. Then he
said someday we would see Robert and he us.

Throughout the service, the dogs slumped beside their
masters. But when the soloist stood and launched
into a screechy rendition of "Abide with Me," they sank
into the carpet. A few put their paws over their ears.
Someone whispered to one of the blind guys; he told
another, and the laughter started to spread. People
in the back looked around, startled and embarassed,
until they spotted all those chunky Labradors
flattened out like animals in a cartoon about
steamrollers. Then they started, too.

That was more like it. That was what I was used to--
a roomful of people laughing and crying, taking off
their sunglasses to blot their inconsolable eyes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I had a friend named David when I was in graduate school, a very smart and very talented friend, who told me once that it is impossible to write an unlikable narrator in the first person.

The readers will identify with him, he said, no matter how terrible you try to make him. They will see themselves in him and they will love him.

I just finished the last season of the Sopranos.

All I have to say is: I am the mobster, and the mobster is me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

T4: Back For More

I almost missed poem Sunday, due to putting the Christmas tree up today. I'm too tired to post pictures, so I'll do that tomorrow. But I do want to give a special Thank You to Velocibadgergirl for naming our Christmas tree this year.

What Would Freud Say?
by Bob Hicok

Wasn't on purpose that I drilled
through my finger or the nurse
laughed. She apologized
three times and gave me a shot
of something that was a lusher
apology. The person
who drove me home
said my smile was a smeared
totem that followed
his body that night as it arced
over a cliff in a dream.
He's always flying
in his dreams and lands
on cruise ships or hovers
over Atlanta with an erection.
He put me to bed and the drugs
wore off and I woke
to cannibals at my extremities.
I woke with a sense
of what nails in the palms
might do to a spirit
temporarily confined to flesh.
That too was an accident
if you believe Judas
merely wanted to be loved.
To be loved by God,
Urban the 8th
had heads cut off
that were inadequately
bowed by dogma. To be loved
by Blondie, Dagwood
gets nothing right
except the hallucinogenic
architecture of sandwiches.
He would have drilled
through a finger too
while making a case for books
on home repair and health.
Drilling through my finger's
not the dumbest thing
I've done. Second place
was approaching
a frozen gas-cap with lighter
in hand while thinking
heat melts ice and not
explosion kills asshole. First
place was passing
through a bedroom door
and removing silk that did not
belong to my wife.
Making a bookcase is not
the extent of my apology.
I've also been beaten up
in a bar for saying huevos
rancheros in a way
insulting to the patrons'
ethnicity. I've also lost
my job because lying
face down on the couch
didn't jibe with my employer's
definition of home
office. I wanted her to come
through the door on Sunday
and see the bookcase
she'd asked me to build
for a year and be impressed
that it didn't lean
or wobble even though
I've only leaned and often
wobbled. Now it's half
done but certainly
a better gift with its map
of my unfaithful blood.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Scar Tissue

Tonight I was talking to my sister who recently took a bad tumble with her bike. She was telling me that the bruising took some days to reach the surface, as a really bad bruise will.

I reminded her of the time I fell down and skinned my knee on my way to my first day of a new job ("Hi, I'm the new girl, and I'm bleeding, so I have to go now...")

and the time I slipped while dancing, landed on a box and got a hematoma in my butt, necessitating a donut pillow. Classy.

I said, "Did you know that sometimes when you bruise yourself that badly, you get a little knot of scar tissue deep inside you?"

"Yes," she said, and reminded me that that's sometimes a beginning problem in breast cancer.

It reminded me of a long ago time in which my mom, Ali and I were walking along Water Street downtown. It was pouring rain, and we were making for high ground, heading up the hill to Front Street. My mom turned and marveled at how fast the water was rising and I turned to look---

and ran full-tilt-boogie into a parking meter. With my boob.

Oh, god, the pain. It was brilliant, shining pain.

And my mom said, "You'll want to remember that later, if you get breast cancer."

Thanks, Mom.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hey! I Had My Tonsils Out!

Tonight I was talking to Thomas when I suddenly realized that it's December 4th, and on December 4th, 1988, I had my tonsils out.

I said, "Hey! I had my tonsils out--" and then I paused (for probably longer than an elementary school teacher should have to) to figure out how many years it had been.

Thomas looked at me with amusement and repeated, "Hey! I had my tonsils out!" And I realized it sounded to him as if I were relating some startling revelation.

I've been giggling ever since.

For those who have been kind enough to comment, I'm working on the gray in the background. Hopefully by the end of the week it will be kinder to the eyes, or else I'll give up in disgust and we'll all go blind. Whoot!

I was generally disappointed in the Heroes finale last night, for many of the same lazy, sloppy reasons I've been complaining about. I mean, come on now. Why couldn't Peter have just read Adam's mind? And he had like, 8 different ways to get through that door at the end, not the least of which would have been to phase through it, as he and Adam did to get out of the prison.

Because I am such a Potter-head, I kept thinking, "But Peter is a superb Legilimens!"

Dork, dork, dorkitude.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Megs in Blue

I loved the peach, but after a year, I was ready for a change.

There went Sunday night. :)

It's poem Sunday again, but I'm tired, so it's going to be a little one.

Tired Sex by Chana Bloch

We're trying to strike a match in a matchbook
that has lain all winter under the woodpile:
damp sulphur
on sodden cardboard.
I catch myself yawning. Through the window
I watch that sparrow the cat
keeps batting around.

Like turning the pages of a book the teacher assigned --

You ought to read it, she said.
It's great literature.