Thursday, August 28, 2008
It was the Disintegration tour. I know. How cool is that? I've heard that's the best album ever from a pretty reliable source!
We saw them in Toronto. I know. Cool, especially for 2 girls from Buffalo.
It's hard to believe but it gets even better: The Pixies and Love and Rockets were the opening bands. I KNOW! It was so cool.
Every year C. makes sure to get in contact on August 28th so we can relive our brush with coolness, our attendance at one of the greatest concerts ever. And sure enough, this morning she'd left me a facebook message.
It's hard to believe it's been 19 years. I was a wee lass in 1989, only 14 years old. How cool was C.'s mom for taking us all the way to Toronto? How cool were my parents for letting me go? It was a most excellent adventure. I've seen a bunch of concerts in my day....everyone from Weird Al to the Dead Milkmen to Rush to Ben Folds (all great shows, by the way), but The Cure's Disintegration Tour is still one of my all time favorites.
Thanks, Cher, for sharing that awesome experience with me. And for celebrating our anniversary each year.
So what have your favorite concerts been? Has anyone else seen The Cure? Anyone else in love with Robert Smith? What's your favorite Cure song?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
TK is helping me learn about how to play with changing up the look of my blog. And by that I mean: I say, "wouldn't it be neat if I could do x" and then a half hour later he says, "here's how you do x." There are just so many benefits to marrying a computer geek.
This isn't my long term blog plan, but just a quickie to get the feel of what I'm doing. So, did I make any mistakes? Does anything run off your screen, or look otherwise crazy?
Random unrelated thought: I stumbled across a brand-new blog (okay, I was checking sitemeter yet again. And I noticed a click through from her blog). So pop over and check her...she's got TWO sets of twins. Yes, you read that right, TWO. That's a lot of kid in the house! And leave her a comment...for you non-bloggers out there, comments are sunshine on a bloggy day. And for those of you who are bloggers, well, she thinks *I'm* famous...imagine if those of you who actually are famous leave her a comment!
Bonus random unrelated thought: TK was bringing dishes to the sink after dinner, and I said, "Can I give you a hand?" He turned to look at me and I held up a Mr. Potato Head arm. Then I fell on the floor laughing because I'm my best audience. Then two minutes later I sent N-man over to TK with the Potato Head arm to make the same joke. We all cracked up. So five minutes later, when I was cleaning up the stove, B-man came over and said, "Mommy, can I give you an ear?" He held up a Potato Head ear and laughed uproariously. So did I.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
1) He's been sneaking down in the middle of the night, scaling the television to get up to the DVD player, and putting in The Lord of the Rings. Hey, those were pretty good movies, so I guess I understand the draw.
Or, 2) He's channeling ringwraiths, which begs the question, where did TK get my engagement ring???
Seriously, though, I don't know why people discount YA fiction. A lot of it is really inventive and well done. Some, of course, is shlocky and worthless, but since most YA fiction tends to be short, at least you haven't invested too much time in a loser. YA fiction isn't "dumbed down" at all, at least not when it's well done. It deals with all the same themes and topics as you'll find in regular adult literature. Mostly all it's missing is gratuitous sex. Oh, there's still sex in some YA books, it just tends to be less gratuitous than in some novels aimed at adults. But don't worry, all's not lost: there still tends to be plenty of gratuitous violence in YA fiction!
But here's my problem. I'm a quick reader. I'm not saying that to "brag"...ooo, I know you're all super impressed with my speed reading superpower, I say sarcastically. It's just a fact. But with a YA book, with their huge typeface and gigantic margins, it gets a bit ridiculous. I have to turn the page like every 30 seconds it feels like. It's distracting.
So here's my suggestion: you know how some books that were originally written for an adult audience are re-released as a YA book? Generally the only changes are cosmetic: a new cover, a larger type size, and big margins. Well, I wish they'd do the same thing in reverse. Take a book originally released as YA and repackage it for adults: Get some less embarrassing cover art, and shrink those margins and type. Oh, and if they feel like it, maybe they could add some gratuitous sex. Because I just read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and you know what, a little sex would have perked that book up during the kind of slow middle of the book.
Random related thought: I just listened to Eragon by Christopher Paolini on CD. I'm really excited the third book in The Inheritance series is coming out soon...this is a fun series. However, it was a bit rough to listen to on CD. First, the reader was okay, but lets face it, he was no Jim Dale (the awesome reader of the Harry Potter series). Most distrubing however, was that hearing it aloud kind of brought some of the weaknesses of the prose to the forefront. As I said earlier, I'm a fast reader and as a result, I can easily overlook weak phrasing while I'm reading, as long as it isn't glaring. I'm moved by STORY, not WORDS in general. I appreciate brilliant writing, but it's not a necessity for me to enjoy a book. But when you listen to a book, it's just far too obvious. And it was distracting when listening to Eragon. But I loved the story. I mean, it's highly derivative of the whole high fantasy genre, but who cares? It's still a great story, and if you haven't read a lot of high fantasy, you won't even notice.
While it's been annoying to wait so long between books in this series, I'm glad the author has given himself time to write. And I'm not particularly one to blame the weaknesses on his youth (good golly, he was only 15 when he wrote Eragon), but I hope that at the ripe old age of, oh, 25 or so, he's gained a maturity that will improve his writing. We'll see on September 20!
And while you're waiting, go pick up Eragon. The print version. Not the audio. Then come back and tell me what you thought. And if you've already read it, please do tell me your opinion. Anyone else anxiously awaiting Brisingr?
While you're busy commenting, what are your favorite YA books? Let me know!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Of course, I'm doing my best not to place any value judgments on which of these states is better, but other people do. Ah well, it's hard to have a sibling sometimes, and it's extra hard when it's a same-age sibling.
I'm reading The No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I thought it was going to be about how to keep ME from crying. Ha, just kidding. I guess I was going about it all wrong with the rolled up newspaper smacks to the nose.* I'm not finding the book all that useful, although it does reinforce my opinion that N-man wasn't quite ready for potty training yet. So we'll try again soon.
In unrelated news, the boys start preschool in just over a week. I can hardly believe it. I know it goes fast, but this is ridiculous!
Random unrelated thought: I've been od'ing on YA Vampire fiction. I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and then Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. Both were enjoyable, although Peeps was more up my alley. In Peeps, the "vampirism" is really a parasitic infection. Every other chapter is a description of a real-world parasite. I know, that sounds odd, but it really works and is so interesting.
I'm off to the library now...
*I'm always worried people don't get me. I'm just kidding.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
TK and I went downstairs and I started puttering in the kitchen. TK went into the bathroom, and a second later, called to me, "Honey, you better come here. We have a pest problem in the bathroom."
Oh crap. We had carpenter ants in our bathroom last year and it was disgusting, annoying, and a big ol' pain. So I went into the bathroom. As I got there, TK said, "our bathroom has been invaded by dinosaurs."
Sure enough, sometime during clean up, one (or both?) of the boys had snuck in and lined up about 25 toy dinosaurs along the sink and tub.
So if anyone know a good dinosaur-control expert, please let us know. We'd like to get our bathroom back one day, but don't want to risk annoying those tiny-ranosauruses.
Monday, August 18, 2008
So today I decided it was time to head out to our friendly neighborhood children's hair salon. Okay, that "friendly" is a stretch, as it's actually a vaguely disturbing, slightly annoying chain of children's hair salons that I go to only because they're extremely accepting of children who have a HUGE melt down starting the minute they walk through the door. Geez, I need a stiff drink on these hair cut days!
Anyway, I got to the hair salon and got the boys out of the car. We were walking along the sidewalk, and I'll admit, not going super-fast as N-man especially likes to admire every stick, weed, or speck of dirt he sees. I hear another mom coming up behind me as we near the door to the salon, and wouldn't you know, she pushed right by us, practically ran to the door, and went in right before me. In order to do this, she had to leave her two children behind! She was carrying the youngest, who was probably 18 months old, and the two others were yelling, "Mommy, wait for us!" She ignored them. They were probably about 4 and 6 years old, so while not super young, not old enough (in my opinion) to walk unattended in a busy parking lot, even if it was on the sidewalk. And clearly they were distressed at being left behind by their mother.
All that to beat me into the hair salon?
I couldn't believe it. My jaw was hanging open as I opened the door (which I held for her kids and waited for them to make it in. I didn't want her kids to get hurt or more disturbed by her behavior!) And I saw the most beautiful sight: the store was MOBBED. I mean, so crowded there was absolutely no place to sit down. I counted 12 kids waiting, and there were only two hairdressers working. That means it was, at the very least, an hour wait for this woman.
That's what you pushed in front of me for? That's what you were so ill-mannered toward me and my kids and unfeeling toward your own children for? That's what you were such a poor role model for? Ha! I didn't even need to get my kids' hair cut today. It was only a slight problem for me, as I had to go across the street anyway to get my watch fixed. So it wasn't even a wasted trip for me, even though we didn't get hair cuts. I just left, but not before I laughed triumphantly.
That's what you get, babe. I call it karma. I hope you enjoyed your 1 hour wait, crazy mean mom.
Even better, it was a sing-a-long. I forgot to tell TK about that part, so when the whole theater burst into song right along with Kermit, he burst into laughter.
The boys were really good. N-man was really enamored by the movie. It helps that he's in love with rainbows. I mean, he LOVES rainbows. So he was pretty excited to see a movie with rainbows. His favorite, though, was Rowlf. When Rowlf came on, he announced loudly, "It's a DOG, Mommy. A DOG! Playing piano!" I know, dear, it's pure genius.
B-man loved the movie theater seats. He loved getting folded in half by them, as he wasn't really heavy enough to weigh down the seat. He loved jumping out of the seat and seeing it fold up all by itself. And then unfolding it. Geez, he must have annoyed the other movie-goers. Oh dear, well, he only did it a few times.
Anyway, it was a very fun day, and felt like a big milestone. I guess we're ready to start giving newer movies a try. Like something from the 80's. I don't want to rush into this whole Turn of the Century thing.
Friday, August 15, 2008
My boys have always been very different in personality, even before they were born. B-man was the wild child, staying up all night kicking me and doing somersaults in the middle of ultrasounds while N-man quietly got into the proper position and just waited patiently for it to be time to be born.
With sleep issues, I always said it was lucky we didn't just have N-man. He's been such a good sleeper...we never had to do any sleep training with him. He just slept through the night. If he was our only baby, I probably would have been unbearable, bragging how easy it was to get him to sleep through the night. But luckily, we also have B-man, who has NEVER slept well. Ever. Up to and including today, at over 3 years old. He never let me get too much of a big head about my skills at getting kids to sleep. But on the flip side, I never felt too badly that he was so difficult. Since we had N-man, I knew that a lot of it was luck. Some kids either sleep well, or react well to your own parenting styles. They're easy, if you will. While other kids don't sleep well, or need you to try out a parenting style that perhaps isn't as comfortable for you.
We're having the same issue with potty training. We put the boys in underwear on Monday. Today is Friday. B-man has only had one accident in all that time. We said, "It's time to use potties now instead of diapers", and he was like, "sure, great idea." It was so easy. What's the big deal with potty training? That was SIMPLE!
Then we have N-man. He's only used the potty TWICE since Monday, and I'm pretty sure one of those was a mistake since he just couldn't hold it long enough to get up and go on the floor. That's a lot of cleaning up I've done this week. A lot of laundry. A lot of floor scrubbing. A lot of frustration for N-man and me. We put him back in diapers today as he's started crying when we try to make him wear underwear or sit on the potty. He's clearly not ready, and I can't think of anything to entice him to use the potty (we've tried bribing with many things...no luck).
So there we go, once again the boys have made sure I didn't get off too easily; that I didn't mistakenly think I was good at this parenting thing. But don't worry, I don't think I'm that terrible at it either. I guess I'm about 50% good, which isn't all bad :)
Random related thought: Did you guys see GWYNETH PALTROW left a message on my blog? Can you believe it? What? It wasn't the real Gwyneth Paltrow? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure she's taking time out of her busy Apple-raising schedule to give me potty training advice...
Random unrelated thought: Did you notice I changed up my blog list so that it sorts by most recently updated? I'm liking it better than my former alphabetical listing. It just seems more egalitarian. Says the girl who goes by What A Card, and always ends up at the bottom of those alphabetical lists :)
It's not a huge surprise, but the flavor of the lamb and the mint went together perfectly. And the sauce was a perfect accompaniment. It was really outstanding. TK ate a phenomenal quantity. If we're being honest, so did I :) Even N-man enjoyed them.
- 6 ears of corn
- 3 cucumbers
- 4 squash
- 2 purple-y, greenish peppers
- 2 eggplant
- 2 bunches tatsoi
- 1/2 lb onions
- 6 lbs of tomatoes
- Plus you-pick stuff:
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 2 pints of the other you-pick tomatoes
- Green and yellow beans
- 4 hot peppers
- 2 Tomatillos (we could have picked a pint, but we couldn't really find any that were ready)
- Herbs: Basil, Thai Basil, Cilantro, Dill
The scale at the CSA was kind of tilted...when you'd put things in it, they had a tendancy to fall out. One of the tomatoes fell out and broke its skin a little (the big purplish tomato near the tatsoi in the picture). So after we got the kids in bed, we threw together a late-night snack of insalata tricolore. Tomato, fresh mozzarella, and just-picked basil, with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So yummy!
And this reminds me that I meant to post a review of two local mozzarellas. On Tuesday, I went a little cheese-happy (I made insalata tricolore that night, too). I picked up a ball of Fiore di Nonno mozzarella at the Lexington Farmers' Market and a ball of Maplebrook Farm mozzarella at Verrill Farm. TK and I used both to make our salad. We loved them both: chosing between them is like trying to choose between Fenway Fudge ice cream and coffee/chocolate swirl ice cream. However, we both thought the Fiore Di Nonno was slightly better. It has a little more resistance when you bite into it, and a slightly more buttery flavor. I think it might be the difference in that the Fiore Di Nonno was made the morning we ate it, while the Maplebrook Farm cheese came from Vermont. When we ate the leftover cheese last night (Thursday), the difference wasn't quite as noticable.
If you see either Fiore Di Nonno or Maplebrook Farm mozzarella, I'd recommend picking them up. But the Fiore Di Nonno is worth a trip to one of the farmers' markets where it's sold...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Here's what we got this week:
- 6 ears of corn (yummy, for the first time of the CSA corn)
- 4 cucumbers
- 2 (or was it 2.5?) lbs of mixed squash, including ZUCCHINI!
- 4 eggplant (we could have chose some chard instead)
- 1 bunch tatsoi (we could have picked a green pepper instead...no way!)
- 4 onions
- 4 lbs (or was it 5?) of tomatoes
- Plus you-pick stuff:
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 3 serrano peppers
- Green and yellow beans (we just got a few)
- Miscellaneous herbs, we got regular and Thai basil, mint, and thyme
I was tagged by Nancy over at The Zimmer Zoo. So here goes:
The subject is….
“6 UN-spectacular things about me”
As with everything in life there are rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they've been tagged.
1) I'm a hypochondriac. Kind of. I mean, I don't really commit to it, but my mind always jumps to odd diseases.
2) I love sci-fi and fantasy. Books, movies, TV...I'm addicted. And it doesn't even bother me if it's super cheesy.
3) I watch more TV than I'd like. And unfortunately, the shows I love don't seem to do well, and then they get canceled, and then I'm sad. Sadder than would be appropriate for the cancellation of a TV show. I'm still mouring the loss of Firefly and Veronica Mars.
4) I can't spell. Why, in the world, would "canceled" have one l but "cancellation" have 2 l's? That doesn't make any sense.
5) I'm not a big fan of hot, sunny, humid days. I'd choose overcast, or better yet, snowy days anytime. We lived in Atlanta for 5 years, and my poor husband had to listen to me complain about the weather pretty much every day from May through October. And then in the winter, too, since it never snowed enough for my taste.
6) I'm shy in large groups, and get anxious in social situations. My idea of hell is having to make small talk in a large group. But I try to get out and do it anyway, although I fear that people walking away thinking, "gee, she's weird, and not in a fun good way but in an odd, off-putting way".
So, now on to who to tag. I hate this part. I don't want to leave out people who want to be tagged, but I don't want to tag people who DON'T want to be tagged. So if I tag you, feel free to ignore it with no worries. Here goes:
Mary Ellen at Snacks, Please
Writer Dad, with the caveat that you beat up on yourself often enough so limit yourself to QUIRKS!
A certain sarcastic secret blogger who won't let me link in her blog, much to my dismay.
Anyone else who feels like it. I'm bad at counting. Is that six yet??
One of my boys hasn't had a single accident in three days, and the other has only made it to the potty ONCE in three days. Ugh. What would you do? Stop potty training the one with little interest? Keep trying? I think I'll give it until the beginning of next week, but I really am READY to have them potty trained. I know, it's not up to me.
I'm not big into the stay-at-home vs. working mom thing...each have good parts and bad parts and I think people should do what works for them. Having said that, though, let me admit for one of the first times in three years, I'm really second guessing my decision to stay home. Is it wrong to go back to work just so I can get a break from potty training??? Hee!
Monday, August 11, 2008
We were sitting at the dinner table with all my inlaws, and N-man touches B-man's head, tugs on a curl, and says, "B-man has lots of bumps on his head."
"Yes, he does. We call those bumps curls."
Then N-man shares, "He has all those because he falls on his head so much."
So now we know how someone ends up with curly (aka "bumpy") hair.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Joshua to win it all, Katee in second, Twitch in third, and Courtney in fourth. Although I have to say I really like Courtney, I think the most of all of them.
General comments: I thought they all looked glassy eyed and drugged. Or maybe just extremely tired. I always feel bad for them by the end of the year.
Joshua and Twitch's Russian dance: Gay Pirate much?
I enjoyed Joshua and Courtney's Jive the most of all, even though it was the only dance panned by the judges. I don't care...it was fun and entertaining!
Mia, Mia, Mia. Kilts? Well, at least you finished out the season with one more stupid dance.
So what are your predictions??
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So, I had to come up with some cheese-free dishes, as I'm not big into cheese-replacements (I mean, I love soy and I love cheese, but soy cheese is one unholy union. And nutritional yeast? Doesn't taste like parmesan cheese, no matter what you try to tell me.)
I made a ratatouille and a delightful corn and black bean salsa and a salad. I thought it all turned out pretty well, although the ratatouille could have used some Parmesan and the salad desperately needed some crumbled bleu cheese.
Then, after dinner, do you know what my friend told me? That he doesn't eat vegetables very often. Oh dear. Did I just out-vegetable a vegan?
It was a very fun visit although it's so hard to believe it's been over ten years since we graduated from college. He hasn't changed a bit, and I highly approve of his girlfriend, who would have fit right in to our college group.
I don't know if you're reading, Vegan Dude, but it was great to see you and Effectively Vegan Girlfriend. Do you like the nickname I gave you? It could be abbreviated as VD. Hee, I said VD.
Totally related random thought: Another of my college friends has started a blog, Writer Dad. He's a writer. And a new dad. And he's blogging about writing. And being a dad. Good blog name choice, huh? Anyway, he's one of the best writers I know, far better than I am, so check him out. Just don't bother reporting back that I'm right, he is a better writer. I know. I took a creative writing class with him in college where he turned in vast quantities of highly polished prose while I churned out a bunch of shlocky garbage. Although in my defense, I wasn't the worst writer in the class. That distinction was won by Cliche Girl, who wrote completely autobiographical pieces and then tried to pass it off as fiction. "Oh, it wasn't Cliche Girl. I meant to say it was PLEESHAY Girl." That's what her readings were like. My favorite cliche she used:
I, oops, I mean SHE, was happier than a pig in shit.*I'm not sure if Writer Dad (or Vegan Dude, who was also in the class) even noticed, though, as Cliche Girl was actually Extremely Good Looking Cliche Girl. I'm not sure the boys ever made it past the "extremely good looking" part.
*Note: she didn't actually write in the first person corrected to the third person. That actually would have been funny and kind of interesting if she had.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I was at a shopping center today with my boys when I was accosted in the parking lot by a woman there advocating child safety. Or, more specifically, trying to sell child ID cards for ridiculous sums of money. Okay, in and of itself, that's fine. I'm all in favor of my kids being safe, even if it costs ridiculous sums of money.
But here was the thing: she had her table set up in the emergency vehicle lane of a busy parking lot. Not on the nearby sidewalk, but right out in the parking lot. Okay, I guess in the event of an emergency, she could drag her table out of the way pretty quickly, strewing D.A.R.E. swag as she ran, but it just seemed an odd choice. Especially because, as I've already mentioned, IT'S A BUSY PARKING LOT! She was talking to me. Did she really think I was paying attention? Heck no. I was too busy trying to make sure that my three year olds didn't run out into traffic.
You know, basic children's safety. Like she wanted me to pay for. I think, instead, I'll just avoid crazy people who have set up children's safety tables in the middle of busy parking lots. That's my efforts to keep my kids safe today.
Random unrelated thought: It's been a while since I've talked about books, which is odd because I've been reading a lot of good ones recently. But one I have to mention is John Adams by David McCullough. I've had this book sitting in my to-read pile for quite some time. I'd heard it was good, but 1) it's approximately two thousand pages long (okay, fine, 768 pages but that's still pretty dense, heavy reading for summer!), and 2) it's about John Adams. Not exactly my preferred subject matter. But the book was so engaging and really interesting. Highly recommended, and not just to American History buffs, since I am, by no stretch of the imagination, especially buffy about American History.
Now I'm reading Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, our book group selection this month. It's a fiction novel set during the Holocaust, and while I'm not far into it at the moment, it grabbed me from nearly the first page.
What are you reading? Anything good?
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Two things are significant about this. First, isn't that kind of cool? Second, I uploaded my pictures, and that day I'd taken more pictures of the dragonfly than I did of my children. I guess it's true...by the time they're three years old, you stop with the obsessive, non-stop picture taking.
And in unrelated news, I bought an organic cilantro plant to replace our original cilantro plant, which had bolted*. I've had a recurring urge to go buy non-organic fertilizers to sprinkle all over the cilantro while cackling maniacally. Does that make me crazy?
*Bolting doesn't mean the plant grew legs and ran away, although that would be really cool. Bolting, I learned, is the term for when the plant flowers, produces seeds, and stops producing the delicious leaves. It's not just cilantro...my parsley is currently bolting as well.