Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hairy Potter and Spandex

I really need to finish this book. For many reasons.
  1. I would like to start going to bed at a decent hour. It's impossible to do this when you are so glued to your book that you find it impossible to put down.
  2. I would like to be able to watch TV, browse the internet, and talk to people without having to be wary of Potter or Rowling references. I need to be able to go through life without jumping, sticking my fingers in my ears and saying, "No, no, no! I haven't read it yet! I don't want to know anything!"
  3. I would like to be able to concentrate on things again, instead of always wondering way in the back of my mind, "Where, exactly, did Ron go when he disapparated away from Harry and Hermione?" and "What clues did Dumbledore leave that I'm missing?"
  4. I need to have something to blog about other than Harry Potter, or my friends and acquantainces will start thinking of me how I think of Trekkies.

Speaking of...we were watching another episode the other night and there was a Federation Commissioner of Intergalactic Peace, Love and Harmony or some such nonsense. Basically, she was an ambassador. But she was dressed reasonably normally and had the cutest hair and gloves...both throwbacks to the 60s, of course, since that's when the original Star Trek series was filmed.

It made me think about how women don't wear gloves anymore, and I think that's a shame because it just finishes a look. Of course, women don't wear pillbox hats anymore either. It amazes me how, in just 40 or 50 short years, what's "acceptable" as far as daily fashion goes has changed. Back then, ladies didn't leave the house without gloves and cute little handbags and pumps. Now, I'm not saying I want to go back to that time, as we all know that I'm a firm believer in equal rights and the power of women and all that, and I loves me some pants and hates me some aprons.

I just think it was nice when there was a little more refinement. A little more polish. A little more class. I know Stef is screaming right now, but let me explain. I don't necessarily think we need to go back to gloves and pillbox hats and vacuuming in dresses and pearls. But low-rise pants, exposed thongs, bare midriffs, plunging cleavage...all those can go. I'd settle for neatly tucked-in shirts with cute belts and the like (such as what Map Girl wore on our last day in A2). Spandex should stay in the gym, and shouldn't even be produced in anything over a size 8. Full-length mirrors by the front door should be standard in every home, so people can check to see if their backsides are hanging out before inflicting their cellulite on the rest of us.

I just want a little decorum, people. Please.

Monday, July 30, 2007

HP is in da house!

Finally! I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night (well, this morning, really, sometime around 2 a.m.) and so started on the final book (HP and the Deathly Hallows) over breakfast. I'm only 17 pages into it and already I'm hooked. J.K. Rowling is a fantastic writer, and even though I'm barely into Deathly Hallows I can't wait to see what she comes out with now that Potter's finished.

Reading all seven back to back has been great, but I'm noticing that it's coloring how I view the world and even my vocabulary. I'm now predisposed to call the trashcan the "dustbin" and am even referring to some people as Muggles. You Muggles, you know who you are. I told M that Max and Tachi are animagi (or animaguses...what's the plural?), which is a wizard who can transfigure into an animal at will. He got a kick out of that and has been calling Max "animagus" ever since. The other day I called someone a "complete git," and, not being British and all, I don't even know precisely what that means, but it sounded good.

While I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, like many others, I'd like to clarify that I'm not a Harry Potter Freak. And by Freak I mean those folks who, like Trekkies, feel it necessary as adults to parade around in costume and who believe they really do live in a land of make-believe. Stef, Nicole, M and I went to a Borders in A2 the night Deathly Hallows was released, simply to see it. "It" being, of course, Potter Mania. Figured with this being the last book and all, it was my last chance to see some of the hype. The kids were great...I love love love to see children taking such an interest in reading in this day of television and video games. What's not adorable about kids dressed up as Harry and Hermione and even the Weasley twins, excited because yet another book about their favorite characters is coming out?

The adults, however, who were there by themselves with lightening bolt scars Sharpied onto their foreheads, who had a distinctive otherworldly (and not in a good way...I mean like they live on another planet) air about them freaked me out a bit.

I was reminded of that old SNL skit where William Shatner attended a Trekkie convention and yelled at the crowd full of Spocks and Scotties to get a life. Great skit, that.

Now that I've done my HP Freak rant, I do wholly recommend reading them, no matter what your age. The characters are well-developed, the plot lines are interesting and exciting, and it's hard to put them down. There are things in there for every age, which I think is what has contributed to the overwhelming success of the series. Parents and grandparents don't mind at all reading them with their children and grandchildren. It's like a grand book club for the ages.

I'm thrilled that I've managed to avoid all media and other HP readers who might've spoiled the ending of this last book. (That is not an open invitation to any of you to write in with spoilers...if you do, I'll Bat-Bogey Hex you. Or something like that.) There are several folks here at work who are reading it as well, and my plan is to fly through it like I did the others so as to finish first, thereby ensuring no spoilers ruin it. Wish me luck!

(P.S. I just looked up "git" in the on-line Merriam-Webster dictionary, and it's British for "a foolish or worthless person." Huh, whaddyaknow...I used it correctly last week!)
(P.P.S. Yes, M, I stayed up until 2 a.m. And I still got up in plenty of time - and with only minor grumpies - this morning. So there!)

Friday, July 27, 2007

You are who you hang out with

I had a conversation this morning with some women who had read an article in the New York Times about how if you hang out with overweight people, you yourself are more likely to be overweight. According to the research, however, the reverse is not true. You can't hang out with skinny people and expect to be skinny.

At first blush, this logic is distasteful to those of us who struggle with weight. Oh, great, I can gain weight simply because of who I hang out with, but I can't lose it?

Yes, I do realize that I not only hang around with a very trim and fit person, I am married to him, but he's got that whole kick-ass metabolism thing going for him to where he can have a relatively inactive lifestyle (see months of post-surgery recovery) and not gain an ounce. This is incredibly frustrating to a chunky girl who merely thinks about brownies and gains four pounds. So for the purpose of this discussion, we shall disregard M and his fit, trim body that can consume strawberry rhubarb pie on a daily basis and be none the worse for it.

I thought about the research some more and decided I disagree with that theory. Research be damned! While there are all kinds of things that contribute to weight gain or loss, including heredity factors and how you were raised, lifestyle is a huge component of whether or not you are healthy (or fat vs. skinny).

For instance, I know if I lived anywhere near Stef, I'd be thin. Or at least thinner. That girl is more active than anyone else I know, and it's contagious. I'm not a big player of sports, but she makes it fun. Don't get me wrong, playing sports with M is fun, too, but he puts so much freakin' English on every ball he hits/throws (whether it's ping pong, tennis, volleyball, whatever) that it's easy to get frustrated and want to stop playing. The boy can't help himself...he just can't. I'll yell at him to stop (just cut me some slack for a bit already), and he does, for about two or three plays. Then he goes right back to it.

He loves to play sports, too, so it kills me that he hasn't realized that I'd play a heck of a lot more with him if he could just back off the English a little bit. (And now that I've written it twice, I'm wondering why, exactly, the term for putting spin on a ball is called "putting a little English on it.") Let me also just say that it's frustrating to be average to below-average when it comes to sports skills, and be married to Hermes (the Greek god of sports). I'm no freakin' Nike, in case you haven't noticed. M is so inately talented when it comes to all thing sports that it's quite intimidating.

Once, when we were in college, I got myself some rollerblades (you know, back in the day when they first came out and were quite popular). I practiced and practiced, thinking, "Ooooo, I'll be able to get really good before M gets some, and I'll at least be better for a little while." I had those things for something like six months before he got his. The first day he strapped 'em on, he went zooming around me like he was born with 'em, while I still wobbled around and headed for soft, grassy areas to land. I had the urge to chuck my wrist guards at his head. I comfort myself by thinking, "Yeah, but he can't make photographs like I can!"

Anyway, normally my idea of vacation wouldn't include kayaking and playing tennis and such. That isn't something I would plan for myself. I am Spa Girl after all. However, I like to be open to trying different things, and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how great it felt to be active. Even though I got frustrated with tennis and wanted to chuck my new racket at M because he was Englishing all over himself again, it felt good to be moving.

Granted, there are other factors that contribute to my sedentary lifestyle that I managed to leave behind on vacation. I do have a small child to care for, so we can't come home and grab our rackets and go play for a couple of hours, nor do we really want to, as those couple of hours after work are the bulk of our Zoe Time during the week and neither of us wants to give that up.

So while I realize that my current life doesn't enable me to have as active a lifestyle as Stef, what I'd like to do is maintain enough activity to keep me interested in doing things, and to remind me of how great it feels to be active. The overall goal is that when Zoe is old enough to putz around on the tennis courts with us I'm not 800 pounds of blubber who wheezes just going to get the mail.

I think maybe I just need to hang out with more skinny people. (Not skinnier people, just more people who are skinny.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

When in doubt, throw it out!

M went to the ballgame last night with his ma, and so Zozo and I had Girls Night at home. We read lots of books, ate dinner, took a bath, and then Zozo went to bed while Mommy got to work. Cleaned up the kitchen and dining room, put some things away, wrote some notes, arranged for babysitting for Zozo Saturday night so we can catch the ballgame with Marty and Megan...the usual never-ending chore list of a mother. Also got to catch up with Beano on the phone, which was great.

Then, just when I was getting ready to sit down with a book and relax, I walked into our bedroom. Big mistake. Huge. Because there sat a basket of clean, folded laundry that needed to be put away. Sigh. Okay, this should only take a few minutes.

As I pulled the stack of t-shirts out and prepared to cram them in my already-stuffed drawers, I remembered seeing Stef's t-shirt drawer: a marvel of order and organization. She folds her t-shirts in such a way that every single shirt is visible when you open the drawer, and they don't get wadded up and wrinkled. You know me, I'm all about doing things efficiently. "Wow!" I had exclaimed, "That looks great! Show me!"

This is one of the many, many times that Stef wonders why on earth she's chosen me to be her best friend. I mean, really, who gets jazzed over the organization of a t-shirt drawer?

Being the good friend she is, though, she didn't roll her eyes (that I could see, anyway) and patiently showed me her system.

So when I looked at my heap of crumpled t-shirts last night, and pulled out the messy drawer, you know I just had to fix it. Yep, every single t-shirt came out, got folded The Stef Way, and was placed back in the drawer. You have no idea how much this pleases me. What's more, the t-shirts that had been crammed into two drawers now fit neatly within only one, freeing up a whole other drawer for the pile of clean bedsheets that I've been transferring from our bed to the top of my jewelry armoire and back for more time than I'd care to admit.

Well, I was on a roll after that. Couldn't stop with one measly drawer...no way! My closet was then sorted and cleaned out and straightened, with a huge stack placed in the car to be brought into work today for Dress For Success, and then I set my sights on M's closet.

It amazes me how men can continue to wear clothes, year after year, with no real visible decline in appearance. I mean, he has sport shirts in his closet from before we were married (10 years ago this October!) that he still wears, and that look fine and are still (reasonably) in fashion. Granted, you can't do that with everything (refer to my father-in-law's clunky black eyeglass frames), but Dockers will always be okay, as will Polo shirts. Other than a few of his shirts missing buttons (and one missing three), he's doing just fine.

Women...not so much. I finally parted with a beloved camel-colored wool suit (with a black velvet collar!) that I've had since college, that I adored back in the day but will probably not be back in style for another 10 years, at which time I'd be willing to bet cash money I won't be able to fit into (not that I can now, either, which is why it was the first thing to come out and go in the DFS pile).

So, the t-shirt drawer has been tackled, the closets are cleaned out...feels good. I'm definitely in the throes of one of my "We have too much crap!" phases. A conversation with Stef this past weekend revealed the insight that it's a good thing when you can clean out both your physical house and your emotional house. I think they're tied together, at least for me. I know my psyche is much healthier when I'm not surrounded by a lot physically.

I think this is the point where M starts to hide things, just to ensure their safety.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

STL to DTW and back

Home again!

Jeez, the four of us (me, M, Stef and Nicole) need another four days of vacation to rest up from the jam-packed four days of fun we just completed. I'm still awed and impressed that the three of them managed to get Couch Potato Girl up off her arse and into a kayak, not to mention on the tennis courts three days running.

Things that rock:
$88 roundtrip tickets, STL to DTW
Comerica Park (home of the Detroit Tigers)
Phase 10, the card game
Ypsi photo opps
The Largest Art Fair in the World
Nicole's cooking
(salmon, asparagus, and whipped sweet potatoes,
not to mention her strawberry shortcake)
Laughing so hard your stomach aches
Kitties who still chase milk rings
$14 tennis rackets from Target
Grandparents (and Aunt KK and Cousin Joey)
who show Zozo such a great time,
she doesn't even miss Mommy and Daddy
Things that don't rock:
Delayed planes
Rookie travelers
Crappy half-days of work
Missing your child so much your heart aches
Realizing that you were much better at tennis when you were 12
Losing your contacts (again) in the pool
Eating so much you could explode, and yet...(damn you, cheese!)
The cattle call that is Southwest Airlines
Turning your condo into a B&B for over a week
So much more to comment on, so much more to say...and yet, I'm still tired, and anxious to get home to my little girl. I've sufficiently dug out of my "on vacation" pile enough to leave, and so leave I will. More later!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Art art art

Went to Art Fair today...wow. It's absolutely amazing. I do believe it's larger than even I ever thought it could be. It's enormous. We walked around for hours and saw only a fraction of it. Stef really didn't do it justice when she told me, "It's huge." I mean, really, "huge" could mean any number of things. She really could have been more descriptive.

Despite walking myself silly, I did get a piece of art. Real art. How cool is that? It's a photograph by Xavier Nuez (pronounced "noo-ez") and it rocks. Here's his website. Go there and look at Alleys and Fire Escapes, then scroll down and find "Alleys and Fire Escapes #60 - Canyons." That's what I got. In 8x10 matted out to 11x14, thanks to Stef, who contributed a goodly portion as my birfday present. LOVE that! (Thank you, Pookie! You rock!)

So now we're back at Stef's, playing cards and drinking beer (more of the latter, actually), and just chilling. We were going to head up to Borders to check out the Harry Potter-mania that is taking place tonight, but based on how much we're all drinking, I do believe that we'll have to forgo it. I would like to state right here, right now, that I'm kicking major ass at Phase 10, even under the influence of Sol.

By the way, Stef got, as her birfday present, an awesome print by Roger Napier. If you check out his Web site, the print she got should pop up on the first page. It's the little green tree frog with the big red eyes. If it doesn't come up, click on "Gallery" and it'll be the second shot. Trust me, you can't miss it. It's fantastic, and I was happy to buy it for her birfday present. This will probably be the only time ever in our friendship that I got her a birfday present early.

Called back to The Lou and checked on Zozo, who is being thoroughly spoiled rotten by the first set of Grandparents to have her this weekend. It's hard to figure out who has the better deal...as I think that the Grandparents are in their glory.

Okay, gotta get back to my peeps. And by peeps I mean M, Stef, and Nicole, who is WAY cooler than I even imagined, which is pretty good considering that I knew already she was way cool. She even uses a Mac. Love her!

More tomorrow!

1st Day of Vaca

I'm expanding my blogging capabilities, having taken over Stef's laptop here in Michigan.

We arrived last night an hour late, which is fantastic by our normal standards, which have included arriving at 2 a.m. and at 6 a.m., when we were supposed to arrive at 9 the night before.

It's cool here in Ann Arbor, which is blissful after the blistering humidity of the Lou. We slept with the windows open and it got down into the mid-50s. Listened to the leaves rustling and thought about how we're many miles from home and with virtually no obligations...

We've already become fast friends with Topo and Copper, Stef's cats, and have made ourselves at home (meaning, yours truly has spread her 500 pounds of bathroom crap all over the vanity). Stef is a true friend: she had a giant new box of Froot Loops waiting for me this morning.

Today we're hitting the celebrated Art Fair and just hanging out. Might hit a Harry Potter party this evening at Borders, seeing as how A2 is where Bohrders started and all. It's so nice to say, "Huh...whatcha feel like doing?" Instead of, "We have to be here at this time."

It's also so nice to roll over in the morning and look at the clock and realize, "I don't have to get up and feed anyone but myself today!"

Gotta go jump into the shower, as M has asked me twice now, "So, are you going to get in the shower?" which is his M way of saying, "Get in the damn shower already!" Not sure what the hurry is...we're on vacation after all...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Spinners and floaters

I've recently learned, thanks to Michelle and Ryan, that there are new wheels out on the market that are just as cool as spinners.

For those of you who don't know, I have a strange fascination with spinners. I know, I know. I'm a middle-aged white mom in suburbia. And yet, if I had money to burn, I'd put spinners on my four-door mom-mobile sedan. They crack me up to no end. I saw some today on a big ol' SUV and darn near wrecked because I was so mesmerized by them.

Let me clarify that I only like the good spinners. Not those cheapo ones that get hung up and spin only sometimes and just generally look like crap. Nope. I like me the real expensive kind, that are smoooooth.

Anyway, there are new wheels now called floaters. They do the opposite of spinners, which, of course, spin even when the car is not moving (hence the name). Floaters don't move, at all, no matter how fast the car is going. So it looks like your car is gliding down the highway.

How fun is that?!

I haven't had a chance to google them yet, and really see them, nor have I seen any, you know, in real life. For all I know, Michelle and Ryan are cracking up laughing as they read this, squealing, "Wahhhh haaaa haaa! She bought it!" There may be no such thing as a floating wheel. But it sounds great, doesn't it?

I asked M if I could get spinners on one side of my car and floaters on the other side. Or spinners in the back and floaters on the front. He said no. Party pooper.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The riddle solved

Okay, so I'm rather disappointed that my riddle didn't stump more people. Everyone who has responded has gotten it right. Perhaps those who haven't responded don't know the answer, and in that case, it's quite a good riddle, because many people didn't respond.

The answer is the letter "D." Although my father-in-law submitted that the letter "A" could also work. He gets extra credit.

Spent almost all day yesterday at our Chesterfield location, hence no post. Cleaned up all the marketing materials out there, among other things. Left feeling very tired and grungy, but with that satisfied air of "ahhh, simplicity!"

Tomorrow night we're heading to Ann Arbor! My excitement for the trip is tinged with anxiety about leaving Zozo. Don't get me wrong...I'm not worried about her. I'm worried about me, being away from her. She'll be fine, making the rounds with all three sets of her grandparents. It's like her own little vacation away from Mommy and Daddy, getting to spend four blissed-out days with the big people who let her do/have anything she wants. Thankfully I'll be getting to spend four blissed-out days with M and Stef and Nicole, doing/having anything I want. (Have you guys stocked up on the Dr. Pepper yet?!)

Blasted through the third Harry Potter and will start book 4 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) today at lunch. I really think if I didn't have to work and be a mother and a wife, I'd have made it to my goal of whipping through them all before the new release Saturday. Alas!

That's about it for now. Must get ready to meet with our new customer service manager to review all things marketing. I had something very clever to post yesterday afternoon, but have since forgotten. Huh.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Only one person has responded to my riddle posted Friday, and that's Nicole. She not only responded, she got it right! She's a smartypants, that girl. I'll leave you all dangling a bit longer, as I'm curious to see if anyone else can get the answer.

Today at lunch I bit my tongue. Granted, in the grand scheme of things this really isn't that big of an issue, but damn, it hurt. Have you ever done that? You're chewing along, enjoying your food, and wham! Searing pain in your mouth. Tears spring to your eyes, and you desperately try to not yelp in pain, grab the side of your mouth, and writhe around in the booth like you're having a fit. I have no idea what my friend Chris said for the five minutes after I did it, because all I was doing was thinking things like, "Man, that really hurts. Did I actually bite part of my tongue off? I think it's already swelling. Yep, it's swelling. %^&$#. Is that blood? Am I tasting blood? Crikey."

Weekend was good. Floated in a lake Saturday and a pool Sunday, and cranked through the second Harry Potter when on dry land. Am roughly 60 pages into the third one. I don't think I'm going to make my goal of getting them all read before the new one is released this weekend, but at least I'll be a goodly way there.

Planning for our trip this weekend to see Stef in A2! Many thanks in advance to the team of grandparents who are watching Zo for us. I've been pulling together all the necessary Zoe Information for the weekend, and I think I've got it all down, including a bulleted list of things it might be handy to know, such as "when she hands you a book, turns around and sticks her tushie at you, she wants you to guide her butt into your lap so you can read the book to her." She's a pretty easy-going kid, though, so I'm not real worried about it.

This will be our first trip somewhere, just the two of us, since Zoe was born. I have the excitement-tinged-with-anxiety thing going. Thanks to The Grandparents, though, the excitement part is whalloping the anxious part over the head, and winning handily.

Secret message to Pookie: hang in there, kiddo. It won't last forever, and she's not using real bullets, and she can't kill you and eat you. Hold on...we're comin'!! We love you!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A riddle (wrapped in an enigma)

You can find me in darkness but never in light. I am present in daytime but absent in night. In the deepest of shadows, I hide in plain sight. What am I?

Just a little something to ponder over the weekend.


"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
-Nelson Mandela

Isn't this true? So very, very true. It can be on a macro level, as I'm sure Mr. Mandela experienced after his incarceration, but I think it can also be on a micro level, too. Like when you return home after a long day and your house feels different than when you left. It's not the house that's changed...it's you. You perceive the same things differently, might notice something that you wouldn't have earlier in the day.

I think the concept of change in people is very interesting. Some folks are afraid of change, and that's okay, but what they don't realize is that change is constant. We are not who we were yesterday. In fact, we are not who we were five minutes ago. Things happen around you that change forever how you view the world. I think that's so cool. I love that I'm not who I was even 30 seconds ago.

I guess what I'm saying is that it is impossible to not react to your environment.

What is amazing, if you think about it, is that despite all this changing going on, people can stay married for years and years and years. M and I will be married 10 years this October 25, and will have been together as a couple 15 years this October 18. Fifteen years I've known this boy, and he's known me. I sure as hell am not the same person I was 15 years ago, and I think it's incredible that not only does he still love me after all this change, but that he actually loves me more. We didn't know, 15 long years ago, what type of people we'd be now, but we signed up anyway.

Sometimes you may think that you haven't changed, or that you changed and then went back. Like when I was a photographer, then I wasn't, then I became one again. However, I'm not the photographer now that I was all those years ago. And not because I got new gear, or because I learned how to use it better, but because I see differently now. I see through the filter of being a woman in her thirties, with a husband and a child at home, which would have been impossible when I started, a mere girl with the miseries of high school weighing on her. All the experiences I've had since then, all the people I've met, the places I've been...all that adds up to create the person I am today, and which colors my work in both obvious and imperceptible ways.

So, yeah, change is cool. Cool, man, cool.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hocus Pocus

My cousin Angie was in town recently, and reading a Harry Potter book. I don't remember which one specifically, but I know it was one of the later ones because it was pretty thick. She said she was re-reading all of them in anticipation of the upcoming new (and final) book. See, so much happens in each Harry Potter book that picking one up out of sequence, or when you haven't read its predecessor in a couple years, can leave you a bit muddled. There are references back to the previous books, and you sorta feel left out while you struggle to remember what happened.

Angie is forestalling that by re-reading the entire series right before the release of the new one.

"What a great idea!" thought I.

And so now, at the last minute, almost the final hour, I find myself slogging through my Harry Potter books.

I started late Tuesday night and should finish up the first one tonight, with plenty of time to get a good jump on the second one.

I was pretty pleased with myself until I realized that of course the first one would go quickly, it's the shortest at 309 pages. The second one is only 341, so that'll fall easily, too. It's the next few that may bungle up my well-laid plans. Number three runs 448 pages, and they go up from there. Yikes.

See, here is also what I'm afraid will happen. I'm afraid that before I can get to the new (last) one, the plot will be spoiled. One of the main characters is supposed to be killed off. I do not want to know what happens until I read it myself. Plot spoilers (and surprise spoilers) really, really hack me off. Surprises can be really, really wonderful, and tipping people off, well, that's akin to high treason in my book.

So, my mission, since I've chosen to accept it, is to read the entire Harry Potter series in about two weeks. It would help considerably if I weren't an ordinary Muggle.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A poem

Dover Beach
by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; - on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by the distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Goat and goo-goo goggles, G - g - G

I found my favorite nail polish! In looking for something completely unrelated last night, I discovered the bottle stuffed between the cushions of the couch. Definitely a product of Zoe craftiness. She's been loving crawling all over the couch lately.

The other night, we were all hanging out in the library, playing. Zoe walked out, apparently going on one of her Zozo trips (to put Hoot somewhere, or deposit some Lego bricks in her bed - a current favorite activity, or chase a cat, etc.). We waited a few moments, and thought we heard her heading down the hallway. Ahhh, the Lego bricks. After a bit I got up and went after her. Halfway down the hallway I realized she wasn't down there. I turned around, and there was this perfect little Zoe head looking over the back of the couch at me from the living room. She was just hangin' out on the couch, by herself. It was so incongruous and not at all what I expected that I cracked up laughing.

One of Zozo's favorite books is Dr. Seuss's ABCs. She loves it. She will sit through an entire reading of it (which is rare for a toddler) multiple times a day. This is the one book that M really doesn't care for, as it has things like duck-dogs and lions licking lollipops and ten tired turtles on a tuttle tuttle tree, and those just don't exist in his logical engineer world. To top it off, it's one of the longest books she owns. So, of course, I get a kick out of sending Zoe over to him with this particular book in her hand. Last night was no exception. So there she went, and as soon as I saw the look on his face when he saw the title, I started laughing. And couldn't stop.

It was one of those instances where the more you try to stop laughing, the harder you laugh. I had tears squirting out of my eyes and, at one point, couldn't even catch my breath. It didn't help that M was reading with mock hilarity and on the verge of cracking up himself. I'd just get myself under control and he'd start up with "Big F, little f, what begins with F? Four fluffy feathers on a fiffer feffer feff!" Hearing my engineer husband say "fiffer feffer feff" just about does me in.

Needless to say, Zozo thought her mommy was having some sort of attack and worked herself into a lather, and so we had to hug and pat each other until we were both back under control.

Given that outcome, I doubt M will ever read Dr. Seuss's ABCs again, and I'll be the one stuck with Aunt Annie's alligator, itchy itchy Ichabod, mice in the moonlight, etc.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Full House

Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well.
-Josh Billings

I've been Zoe'd. I am missing my most favorite bottle of nail polish. It's been missing for quite some time, so who knows where she's stashed it. I've given up hope of finding it anytime soon, so I've replaced it with a similar color, which is lovely but not my favorite. Unfortunately, my favorite was a limited edition color, so I can't just get a new one. I guess I'll just have to keep looking.

Her new favorite place to stash things is our paper shredder bin, which, unfortunately, sits in the kitchen for convenience. Turns out it's not so convenient to have to dig her toys out of the bin every day. And she's sneaky about it, too. Most of the time we don't even realize she's stuffed something in there until we're either missing something and looking all over for it (no, the nail polish isn't in there) or I happen to catch a glimpse of bright color amongst the white and cream colored shred.

Also, last night, while I watched, she reached up and was able to touch/press the paddle that allows our fridge to dispense water. Uh oh. This means that she can also reach the paddle that dispenses ice. Either paddle has the potential to wreak havoc upon our kitchen, and quite possibly our daughter since her noggin is located directly within gravity's reach of the dispensed items. For the first time in the history of our fridge (which is like 8 or 9 years now), I enabled the button marked "Lock" on the keypad for the water/icemaker controls. Those people who built locks into appliances are so freakin' smart.

I love the fact that I have to check my paper shredder for children's toys, and that I have to use the lock feature on my appliances. I love that, because it means the best feeling in the world when I get home and have little arms wrapped around me (and a tiny hand patting my back, as she is wont to do now, maternal instincts kicking in at 22 months). All this happens, and I think, "How did I get so lucky?"

Monday, July 09, 2007

Where's the rainbow?

The sun is brightly shining and it's pouring down rain.

I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before.

Pretty cool.

Who needs teeth, anyway?

Have you ever gotten sick of being sick?

That's where I am. I had my head cold that morphed into flu-like symptoms, that I haven't quite been able to shake, despite a visit to the doctor, an antibiotic, and multiple over-the-counter meds. Grrrrr.

I spent the majority of the weekend in bed. Again. I hate this. I hate feeling this way. I have one stinkin' life and I don't want to spend it in bed. Although my bed is quite lovely, and during weekend days the soft light filtering through the shutters just beckons for a nap.

So I decided this morning that I'm simply done being sick. I will not be sick any more. The sickness is gone. Adios. I will be well.

The other thing I need to do is get rid of my funky dreams. I've been having some doozies, mostly stemming from those Star Trek episodes we've been watching. At one point I was undergoing a court martial (in response, I'm sure, to Spock's court martial for taking over the Enterprise without Kirk's approval).

Last night I was losing my teeth. They were loose, and I could feel they were loose, and so I finally got tired of babying them and decided to just pull them. One at a time. Slowly. During a business luncheon that my father-in-law also happened to be attending. I know, I know. What crack was I smoking before bed? So I pulled a bunch of my teeth out and hid them in a Kleenex, saving them for God only knows what purpose, and by the end of the luncheon they were all gone on the right side and in front, and very few remained on the left side. And when I took out my compact to check out the damage, I could see that all would be fine as I had new teeth already growing in (which, I concluded, had made my existing teeth loose to begin with). I would be forced to simply gum soft food until they were in.

This last one I attribute to subconscious worrying that my daughter may not, indeed, have all her teeth by the time she starts high school.

Upon hearing about this last dream, M told me to blog about it so "everyone will know what a freak I'm living with." I can so feel the love.

Not too much else to talk about. Have been unbelievably productive this morning already, in response to deciding to be well again. Feels good. I mean, it's not as good as I'm sure Saara feels, having biked 150 miles over two days for the MS150 (you go, girl!) or as good as Amy feels, having made the leap into the world of digital photography (you go, too, girl!), or as good as Stef feels, having now been mentioned on the blog yet again (because if I don't mention her when I mention my other friends, she pouts and whines and guilts me to no end), but it feels good nonetheless.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'm baaaaack

Sorry I've been a little incognito lately. We took a few days off, and I really took them off. No work. No blog. Just fun.

We went to the zoo, Grant's Farm, a ballgame and a bridal shower. We went swimming, took pictures, read books and played. We saw family members in from out of town, fireworks and enough food to feed a small army. We napped, lounged, and couch potato'd to our hearts' content.

All in all, it was pretty great.

Some notes:
  1. Zozo likes the goats at the zoo, and hates the goats at Grant's Farm. The goats at the zoo are lovely little creatures who might nibble on your shorts or your shirt sleeve, but all in all are quite passive and friendly. The goats at Grant's Farm are ravenous little beasties who will knock over a grown man in their efforts to get at a bottle of milk.
  2. Do not trust your cousin who, during a game of spoons, uses Spoon Trickery to win. And by Spoon Trickery I mean that he makes you laugh so hard you can't focus on actually playing the game, which relies on cat-like reflexes and fierce concentration for victory.
  3. Zozo enjoys playing with her toys by herself, until she sees you reading your own, adult book. At that point, all toys are dropped and "Go Dog Go" or "Dr. Seuss's ABCs" gets thrust at you. She then turns around and aims her little butt in your direction while backing up, forcing you to guide her into a sitting position on your lap for a little light reading. Do not attempt to return to your own reading after completing these tomes, for she's got a veritable library of books and isn't afraid to use them.
  4. People who think that the original Star Trek series with William Shatner is nerdy haven't watched them. They're really quite good. And Spock is sexy in his own logical, pointy-eared way.
  5. If you are married to a Star Wars/Star Trek nerd for long enough, you eventually become assimilated into Dork Nation. I believe I have achieved full citizen status.

That's it for now. I have some great pix from the last five days...I'll try to get them up reasonably soon.

Happy belated Independence Day!