Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Celebrity Gossip

I read a lot of celebrity gossip online. I'm not sure why, since it never fails to annoy the living crap out of me. I've decided to start talking back:

Dear Entertainment Journalists:
I guess no one ever told you because they were afraid of hurting your feelings or something, but the term "Bennifer" wasn't all that witty. "Brangelina," "TomKat," and "Paris (squared)" are just sad. Stop it. Stop it now.

Dear Lindsay Lohan:
Please consider eating solid foods again. You look like hell on a plate.

Dear Tom Cruise:
We're glad you like Katie, but you're starting to freak us out. Stop it.

Dear Katie Holmes:

Dear Jennifer Garner:
Congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm sure your baby will be a beautiful child with a sweet personality. I just hope you weren't counting it getting its brains or acting chops from Daddy's side of the family.

Dear Paris Hilton:
Congratulations on your engagement. Now go away.

Dear Amber and "Boston" Rob:
Congratulations on your wedding. It was beautiful. Now go away.

Dear Kevin Federline:
You're disgusting. Now go away.

Dear Britney Spears:
Please get some help before your baby is born. Surely they have rehab for whatever is wrong with you.

Busy day ahead

This morning after the kids leave for school, I will be racing Buster to the vet, then racing to the gym, then racing home to shower, then racing to have my eye exam at 11 am. Crazy. After that I figure I'll be pretty relaxed. It's hard to get much done when your pupils are dialated and you have to wear sunglasses in the house, but hopefully I'll manage :-)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Season Finale Recap

Amazing Race: Good. Really good! I don't care about the whole Rob and Amber thing anymore. The people I liked the best won the race. If it's not cool for it to be a referendum on which team is made up of "good people," it's also not cool to insist that it should be won by the team who "ran the best race." It's about which team hit the mat first, period -- and that was Joyce and Uchenna, period. I'm sending them fertility vibes. Grade: A-

Veronica Mars: Excellent. I have tried to nitpick and have come up short of complaints. It resolved all the key mysteries of the season -- who killed Lily Kane? who drugged and raped Veronica at the 09er party? who is Veronica's father? -- in satisfying ways and set up new conflicts for next season. I'm so glad this show is coming back -- it's the best thing on TV. Grade: A.

Survivor: Horrible. The final two manipulated one poor, stupid, young chump into thinking he owed each of them a level of loyalty no one should reasonably expect in the game. Katie played on the fact that Ian obviously had a crush on her, while Tom, the eventual winner, used the father/son dynamic they'd established to convince Ian to having Tom's respect was worth more than a million dollars. Ian bought it and then Tom cloaked his victory in his own purity and unwillingness to step over the moral divide he'd set for himself in the beginning. Give me a break, Tom. You won because you manipulated your little friend and played the outraged indignation card just right. Enjoy your million buck, you self-righteous turd. Grade: F

Desperate Housewives: Surprisingly good. As with most of the season, I fought against liking this episode and lost. They resolved the Mary Alice mystery in a satisfying way. Lynette got caught messing with Tom's career and he let her have it. Is Rex really dead? Great cliffhanger. I don't really care what happens to Mike and Susan, but the possibility that Mike is Zach's dad is a pretty intriguing one. And what will happen with Gabby pregnant and Carlos in prison? I'll be tuning in in the fall, despite my original thinking that I'd never make it all the way through the first season of this silly show. Grade: B+

Lost: This show is not plotted as well as it thinks it is, and the fact that the all the action in the two-hour season finale could have easily fit into one hour is a prime example. I will keep watching, but there really should be more pay-off per hour than there has been this season. Good cliffhangers for next season, but that's not saying much given that they really didn't resolve much of anything that happened over the course of the first season. Grade: C

CSI: Pretty decent. Watching one of the CSIs dealing with being buried alive made me feel kind of ill, and the closing scene where he visited the daughter of the guy who'd set it all up in prison was totally lame. There was an awesome scene at the beginning where Greg and Hobbs played a Dukes of Hazzard board game though. I give the writers props for that. Grade: B

Are those really all the shows I watch?

Sunday, May 29, 2005


A while back I explained my aversion to the idea of my kids playing soccer. In that post, I claimed that if Will ever asked to play, I'd sign him up. Well, I'm going on record in stating that he has now asked, and I have agreed. The Little League season has come to an end, and last week he was telling me that he doesn't want to play tee ball again next year. I said that was fine -- after all, he can't play tee ball next year, as he'll be too old, and Ryan and I have our doubts about his ability to move up to farm level next year, so it's probably just as well. I asked him what other sports or activities he might like to do instead, and soccer came up. "Soccer is cool," he said, when I asked him if he'd like to play, and for a moment I was worried that he was trying to tell me that he wasn't cool enough to play. But it turned out he was merely expressing his enthusiasm about the idea. Unfortunately (heh heh) it's too late to sign him up for the fall season (Ryan and my friend Sharon's husband, John, expressed surprise when I mentioned this, and Sharon and I exchanged knowing looks. Foolish men! They'd never make it as moms in this town). But he can play next spring, and I've heard the spring season is much less intense than the fall season, so that will probably be a good time for him to start. When Ryan and I discussed it amongst ourselves, he mentioned that Will had said he wanted to play because "you get to move more" than in baseball. That is certainly true.

Anyway, I just wanted to go on record as saying that, unless he changes his mind or is very involved in some other activity by then, my son will be playing soccer next spring. But I still don't think I'm a bad mom for not signing him up earlier.

Cars and Critters

Friday, after I went to the gym, I did one of my favorite things and took my minivan to get the oil changed. I'm sure that sounds strange. Who likes to get their oil changed? Well, it so happens that a friend recommended this awesome place called Sundance Car Wash to get it done. Not only are they cheap ($31) and not only do they have pleasant coffee shop-style area for folks to sit and wait while their cars are being taken care of, and not only do you not even end up sitting in said area very long because unless they're really crowded, they're quite speedy, but they wash the car, dry it off, clean the windows, and vacuum the freaking hell out of it as part of the oil change. Like I suppose you could do better than that? I enjoy this so very much that I take my car there between oil changes and pay them 13 bucks just to get it cleaned up. Heck, if I'd known about this place before I got my current van, it's possible that I might have actually had my old Caravan, which spent it's last year in our possession looking like a family of migrants were living in it, cleaned up there once in a while.

So that was Friday. Last night, on Saturday, we had dinner at the Olive Garen, and while we were there, Ryan remarked that our cat, Emma, who lives in the garage, had bitched him out when he was leaving yesterday morning. Ryan is always getting bitched out by Emma. I rarely do -- for one thing, he is usually the first person to see her each day. So first I gave my usual answer to that story: "well, she's an old lady." This is unkind of me, since none of the elderly ladies with whom I am personally aquainted (and both my grandmothers are still with us) are particularly cranky, but let's face it -- we have all encounted cranky old people before. And Emma is an old lady who lives in the garage, so she has more to be cranky about than a lot of old ladies out there. Anyway, I asked if Emma had food, and water, because that's what she's usually complaining about, and Ryan said he had checked, and she had both. That got me worrying for the half a second a day I usually even remember we have a cat out there that there might be something wrong with her geriatric feline body, and then I forgot about it.

On the way home, Rachel rode with Ryan (more on that situation later) and Will rode home with me. It was about 7 pm and still light out, and as we headed west and got a faceful of the setting sun streaming through the windshield, Will said "Mom, look at Emma's footprints on the window!" And there were indeed footprints all over the windshield -- only they weren't Emma's. They were too big, and that means one thing: raccoons. We get raccoons in the garage sometimes -- I've seen them with my own eyes or I wouldn't necessarily believe it, I don't think. They don't seem to hurt Emma in anyway, but when we got home, I looked at the situation and saw all the usual signs -- most of her food was gone, her water was disgusting because they wash the food in it, and then they had left their footprints not only on the windshield but pretty much all over the hood of my car. On the day after I'd gotten it cleaned, damn them! I replaced the food and water and was swearing to myself as I wiped the hood and windshield down with a damp towel as Ryan and Rachel pulled into the garage.

But anyway, at least we figured out what Emma was so pissed about yesterday morning. And really, what old lady wouldn't be cranky after raccoons invaded her house, stole her food and dirtied her beverage, and left footprints all over the place?


Yesterday Rachel kept insisting that Buster needed a bath because he had "brown stuff" all over him. I couldn't see any brown stuff on him, so I asked her what it was. "Poop," she said. He didn't smell great, but he really never does, so I put him in his crate (we were going out) and forgot about it. A few minutes ago, he came and sat with me. I noted that he smelled terrible as usual, but I thought that was because he was breathing on me. Most of his odor issues usually have to do with his teeth, which are being cleaned on Tuesday. But no -- once he settles down at my side and went to sleep, there was still a distinct odor associated with his presence, and his mouth was closed and nowhere near my face. So I fear that Rachel was right and that he did, indeed, roll in poo yesterday. A bath is in order.


And now for our featured item. Yesterday, Ryan bought his stupid car. That's not really an insult, because it's a nice car. It is not, however, a practical car. His last car, which was very nice, was also practical in that it was perfectly comfortable for the four of us to ride around in, if not very often or very far. It was a black Toyota Solara with a leather interior -- very nice, very sporty, but hardly a splurge of self-indulgence, and always meant as merely a stepping stone on Ryan's journey toward owning a car that was truly coolness personified. It also lost a lot of our respect when its water pump blew out last summer -- after all, it was supposed to be a compromise between coolness and practicality, and above all, Toyotas are supposed to be reliable. That it broke down a mere month after its service contract had expired increased our wrath for it. Ever since then, its days in our garage have been numbered.

Ryan's object of desire for the past few years has been the Infiniti G35 coupe. At the time that he bought the Solara, he'd gone in to test-drive the G35 only to be told that it would be at least 6 months before they would have one available for him. He settled on an interim car, the Solara, and then in that interim, two things happened. One was that we started seeing the G35 all over the place, which lessened the coolness of it somewhat. The other is that Ryan discovered that the G35 gets gas mileage that is wholly appalling. We're talking ~15 mpg. "I just can't do that," Ryan told me. "I'm a Democrat!" I appreciated this, though I was disappointed for him. After all, this was his dream car, and he works hard and doesn't indulge himself often, so I wanted him to have the cool car he wanted. I personally couldn't see what it was that made the G35 so appealing to him over other sportscars, but then, I was raised in a strictly practical-about-cars family while Ryan was raised in a strictly insane-about-cars family, and that's the closest thing to a religious difference we encountered when we got married, so I didn't really expect to understand it anyway.

Here's the funny thing. When Ryan first started mentioning the G35, I started taking note of sportscars that I saw on the road for the first time in my life, and there was one model that always caught my eye. Only I would always discover that it was not an Infiniti but an Audi. Well, what do you think Ryan made up his mind to go out and buy yesterday?

Depite growing up in the aforementioned insane-about-cars family, Ryan was very practical about buying the thing. He mentioned it was available yesterday morning and but he wasn't going to buy it because of the cost, and after talking it over, I had to practically chase him out of the house with a frying pan screaming "buy the damn thing!" to get him to even go test-drive it. Despite growing up in the aforementioned practical-about-cars family, I think this one is totally awesome. The kids only just barely fit in the backseat of it, and when you drive it you feel almost like you're sitting on the ground. But still. Last night when I took it for a spin, I blasted the music and thought "wow, so this is what it's like to be cool!" Because Ryan was out by himself purchasing it pretty much all day yesterday, and because he is also going to play golf tomorrow, today is my day, and I am headed out shopping. And guess which car I'm taking?


My baby brother has joined the world of blogging! And evidently because he was inspired by me. He's a funny guy, so check him out: Trespassers Beware. And if you look at the comment I left on the post about muffins, you can see embarrassing childhood pictures of him that I linked to. Because I'm still his older sister, and it's my job to torture him.

Edit: I know the above link doesn't work, and I give up trying to get it to do so. Trespassers Beware is listed in the links to the right, and that link works, so you can use that instead.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Today I submitted an article about "Desperate Housewives" to TeeVee and sent an email to editor I've come across on line asking about her rates to possibly edit my novel. These are small steps but I still feel good about them.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Tracie's 80s Lyrics Challenge

I've seen a few of these online in different places, and ever since I saw the first one, I wanted to do one of my own. So here it is. I spent about a million hours putting it together over the course of a few days last month -- time well spent, no?

Here are some of the others you can find online:

I'm sure it's probably self-explanatory, but just in case it's not, the idea is to guess which 80s song each lyric comes from.

1. We stick together ‘cause we’re strong

2. I don’t understand the wicked things we do

3. Don’t leave your destiny to chance

4. You say that you love me, and that you always will

5. She got a turned-up nose

6. Baby’s gone, all alone

7. You’d better forget it, you’ll never get it

8. Kind hearts don’t grab any glory

9. Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive

10. I couldn’t really put it much plainer

11. Come on and touch that place in me that’s calling out your name

12.‘Cause if you’re hungry, take a bite of me

13. Most peculiar, Mama

14. You know you make me feel so strong

15. Called me names and you called your dad

16. But loving you’s the harder part

17. I’m gonna try with all my might to make the storyline come true

18. Frame me and hang me on the wall

19. The sun is bursting right out of the sky

20. Candles, they light the dark

21. Choose my color, find a star

22. As long as we abuse it we are never going to lose it

23. You wanna martyr me too

24. Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside

25. Add me to the broken hearts you’ve collected

28. He could pretend to give her everything

29. You were the one that they said was so weird

30. But I know which way I’d run to if the choice was mine

31. Lose yourself in wild romance

32. Is there so much hate for the ones we love?

33. Every minute of every hour

34. I’ve always worked for my living

35. I go crazy wondering what there is to really see

36. You know you satisfy everything in me

37. But it just might save your life

38. Hi guys, by the way

39. The voice of reason is one I left so far behind

40. And in her eyes, two sapphires blue

41. We remain tender together

42. It’s just a step up to paradise

43. One to one, man to man

44. You’re obliged to conform when there’s no other course

45. Carry your cup in your hand

46. It was smellin’ like a locker room

47. Always wanting more, he’d leave you longing for

48. Well don’t wait any longer

49. A leader speaks, that leader dies

50. Raise a glass, enjoy the scenery

51. You, me, and all that stuff we’re so scared of

52. Remember when the words were so new

53. I’m a man with a mission in two or three editions

54. I like to tease them

55. I’ve got a real nice place to go

56. What is this madness that makes my motor run?

57. It’s make-believe until it’s only a matter of time

58. I love your precious heart

59. It's a game of give and take

60. Step into a life of maybe

61. We’re just following ancient history

62. Just a little uncertainty can bring you down

63. It isn’t safe to walk the city streets alone

64. When you hear temptation call

65. ‘Cause what would they say if they ever knew

66. That’s where you belong, in my arms, baby, yeah

67. Here today, built to last

68. I know what it means to work hard on machines

69. Take a ride in a big yellow taxi

70. How can our love grow?

71. I can’t believe you do what you do

72. Some guys do nothing but complain

73. We’re gonna live forever

74. ‘Cause we seem to understand the urgency

75. Was it a boy when you wanted a girl?

76. In the midnight hour, I can feel your power

77. You can shoot me straight to the top

78. Turned you into someone new

79. You’ll say anything to avoid a fight

80. Don’t you wonder what we’ll find?

81. My head is full of magic, baby

82. Have we become a habit?

83. Without a noise, without my pride

84. She wants to multiply

85. And it’s hard to keep a good man down

86. Always the same theme

87. But no other man’s gonna do

88. I believe there’s so much to believe in

89. It’s too hot to handle so I got to get up and go

90. Pushing the day into the night time

91. No one can blame you for running to him

92. And you leave me, making me blue

93. Instead you laid still in the grass, all coiled up and hissing

94. But on a midnight watch I realized why twice you ran away

95. And now they’re after me

96. I’m caught up in the magic I see in you

96. You look like you’re lots of fun

97. It felt like the world would freeze

98. Then one day she came back

99. No stars are out tonight, but we’re shining our own light

100. I never thought I’d realize what love was, what love was, what love was

50 Book Challenge: #18 - Hallelujah!

18. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (BC*)

I finally finished this thing! And don't get me wrong, I really liked it -- it was just long. And I'm not sure I really understood it really well, so I'm looking forward to our book club discussion about it.

Now I've started The Mommy Myth, about "the new momism" that's supposed to make women feel like having children is the highest calling possible for them at the same time it sets standards for childrearing that no mother could possibly measure up to. Very interesting, but if it starts getting me too angry, I may have to set it aside for something lighter. I've got 6 or 8 books sitting on the shelf waiting to be read right now, so there's a lot to choose from :-)
I just spent (wasted) several hours looking at the website AwfulPlasticSurgery.com to see what the stars are all doing to their faces. Naturally, all of the expected culprits were there: Tara Reid and her boob job, Farrah Fawcett looking like someone's been beating her about the face regularly for the last 20 years, Melanie Griffith and her horrifying lips. What I found shocking were most of the other people listed there. Sure, breast implants get all the press, but did you know that there is one acceptable nose shape in the entertainment industry -- one with a well-defined but narrow bridge and a tip that protrudes just a bit? And did you know that practically everyone you might see in a movie these days has had surgery to get it? Even stunningly beautiful women like Natalie Portman and Halle Berry have had rhinoplasty. WTF?

Anyhoo, I have concluded that there is one very good, very compelling reason not to have plastic surgery, at least not to one's face in an attempt to stall the aging process. And it's not the old rigmarole about how people should age naturally because natural is beautiful and all that. As I approach my 35th birthday, aging naturally is my plan, though I really don't know how I'll feel 10 or 20 years from now. I would never say never, though at this moment I would say "most likely not." Anyway, really, the most compelling reason I can think of to avoid botox, face lifts, cheek implants, brow lifts (I don't even understand what that is), nose jobs and collagen lips (God no, please!) is that there is a strong possibility that they will make your face look weird. And bad. And unnatural. And not younger, just more plastic. Older people with smooth foreheads and tight skin around the sides of their eyes and overly-defined cheekbones that didn't used to be there? Don't look younger. They look like older people who have had plastic surgery. Occasionally the results are nice, but for the most part, even on the ones who don't end up with an odd, artificial sheen to their skin or that perpetually surprised look that screams "face lift!", the work still doesn't do what it's intended to do, which is to make the person look like they did when they were younger.

Don't get me wrong -- I am not against correcting something you've always hated about your body or face. I myself still consider have lipo on my thighs from time to time, just because no amount of weight loss seems to really get rid of the extra-ass-cheek equivalent I have on each outer thigh. I could also live with the bags under my eyes that I've had since I was a toddler, though I can't imagine risky surgery in that area of my face to correct them. And again, I don't have any moral objection to people trying to delay the aging process -- I just object to what people are doing to their faces in the process. I'm not saying, just accept the aging process because the real thing is inner beauty and your natural face and all that crap -- I merely want to suggest accepting that the state of our current surgical technology is not what it might someday be, and giving some serious thought to whether it's worth it to risk coming out looking like the Joker.

I will state without qualification that collagen injections to the lips need to stop NOW. I'm not kidding. Stop it! Inflamation is not sexy, people. It's just gross.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Rachel Rocks! and William is a thespian

Tonight was the Montgomery Elementary School Talent Show, and both my kids participated. Will appeared in a little play called "How Courage Learned to Fly" -- he played Father Robin, and he was very cute patting each of his "eggs" before they hatched. Rachel and her friend Allyn, Beatles fans that they are, sang the song "I'll Follow the Sun," and they were so good! A lot of the kids who sang didn't sing loudly or clearly enough into the microphones, but Rachel and Allyn came through loud and clear. When they sang the line "And now the time has come, and so, my love, I must go," everyone kind of laughed, and it was kind of funny. Anyway, I teared up a little, and since the last time I teared up during a performance of Rachel's, I ended up totally losing it (this was back in kindergarten), I forced myself to get it together before I put on another embarrassing display.

Anyway, I'm just totally excited and proud of both kids. Here is a picture of the two of them, with Allyn:

They did so great!

I'm So Immature

Normally on school days, I get the kids off to school and then, unless I have something else to stop me, I go to the gym or for a run. Today I had something else to stop me -- I was driving on Will's class field trip, which turned out to be to the Entomology department museum at UCD. So I put on my workout clothes (and a lovely ensemble that is) and my running shoes and packed up my book and my water to ensure that after my field trip duties were over, I got right over to the gym and worked out.

It's a beautiful day today, and being on campus always makes me want to spend more time there. Campus is a special place -- everywhere you look, people are just kind of, you know, loitering. Oh sure, some of them have textbooks open or are discussing coursework with their companions or what have you -- but really, it's all just glorified loitering. Some of them have even given up all pretense of making good use of their time between classes and are asleep. I always thought campus would be just the perfect place to hang out and spend all my time if only I didn't have, you know, classes and work and stuff to deal with. So now, here I am, no pesky classes or job to gum up my schedule, and do I ever go to campus? No. Today I had to buy a $6 parking pass, and it lasted all day, and since it was so gorgeous out, naturally I started thinking about how I should come back and -- what? Run on campus? Walk around campus? And then it hit me like a water balloon in the middle of the desert -- my bike! I could ride my bike to campus! And suddenly my day was all full of sunshine, both literal and figurative.

Getting excited about riding my bike and wanting to be on campus more got me thinking about my mental age again. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in my blog or not, but a few years ago in therapy, my therapist mentioned that there's a theory of the mind that in our own self-image, we mature to a certain age and then continue to experience ourselves at that age for the rest of our lives. I glommed right on to this idea because I often feel like a teenager masquerading as an adult. I've expected this feeling to lift over time, but it really hasn't. I guess I thought that at some point, I would realize that I was really, finally, totally grown up and mature, and I even had an epiphany that I was an adult once, at Lucky in El Cerrito back in 1985, when I was walking down the baking aisle searching for a container of Chinese Five Spices with Rachel in the backpack on my back. But now, thinking back on it, I realize that although my thought at that moment was "I'm really an adult now," what was really happening was that I was doing things that an adult would do. And now, 10 years later, when I've done all kinds of things that adults do, like signing loan papers and driving carpools and exciting things like that, I still check back once in a while and think, nope -- I still don't really feel like a grown-up. And days like today, when I look back and yearn for my college years, when I get giddy about the idea riding my bike just like I was 8 years old again, on these days, it's hammered home again that I still don't feel like an adult. Maybe I never will. But maybe that's okay.

Ten Minutes to Kill

In a few minutes I have to head over to the school to drive Will's class on a field trip, so I thought I'd post quickly. It's another busy day ahead -- field trip, gym, home to shower and dress, pick up kids, then at 4:15 I'm over at the school setting up the used book sale for Montgomery Days and working there for the first hour. After that, we'll hopefully get to spend some time with Ryan before he does his voluteer job, and after the carnival is over, it's time for the talent show! It's going to be a lot of fun :-)

Goals for this weekend: finish East of Eden, patch the holes in the walls in all three bathrooms, buy paint for the kids' bathroom, and maybe even get started painting it. I've settled on a tangerine-type color, and I think it's going to look great. I'd like to replace the mirror in there as well, but first things first!

I'm off to school...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My life this week: this and that

1) I rejoined WW this past Saturday and I'm excited about weighing in the day after tomorrow. I feel like I've done pretty well and I really hope to see evidence on the scale. And I also really hope that I don't feel discouraged if that evidence isn't there, or is small. I really want to stick with this!

2) Busy with school stuff this week! Yesterday, I drove on a field trip for Rachel's class to Columbia State Park, where they learn about the Gold Rush. The place was waaaaaay out in BFE, and is part historical experience, part tourist trap. The buildings there are old and authentic, but they sure have a lot of shops selling the usual souvenir crap. Rachel's class ate it up! They especially liked the candy store, which isn't surprising. Ryan still remembers that candy store fondly from his own fourth grade trip to Columbia 25 years ago.

Today: talent show practice after school, 2:35-?, then a tee ball game (please please PLEASE get rained out!) and a campfire meeting, which Ryan is going to attend. He's a good guy.

Tomorrow: possibly driving on a field trip for Will's class in the morning, I can't remember where they're going. In the afternoon, I will help set up the Used Book Sale for the Montgomery Days carnival at the school and work there for the first 45 minutes. Then Ryan will work at the bean bag toss booth for 45 minutes. And then later in the evening, the talent show will happen at last. I know both kids are looking forward to it and I'm proud of them, but I'm looking forward to the end of it too.

3) I'm trudging through East of Eden for book club. It's quite good and I'm enjoying it, but it's long. I'm starting to worry a little about making my 50-Book goal by the end of the year, but then, I'll probably be able to blow through quite a few books over the summer. I realized the other day how good the mix of books I'm getting from being in two book clubs in addition to making my own choices is for me. I look forward to starting each new book with the same anticipation I used to feel as a kid, when I would come home from the library with a stack of 25 books every week and read 3 or 4 of them simultaneously :-)

4) Going to lunch with Ryan today. I am determined to make good choices!

5) I'm still liking my new haircut. I discovered it's really easy to blow dry it flipped out and some days it doesn't even new curling iron correction beyond that. Good stuff. Still no picture...

6) I took a stability ball class at the gym this morning -- first one in 4 or 5 weeks -- and my ass is going to be sore tomorrow. I mean that literally...

7) A few weeks ago I started thinking about what a pain it'll be to remodel the kitchen and tried to do some reorganizing and repair to see how long I could live with the current one. I told myself, I don't use all the stuff we already have -- why do I need more storage. This week I'm coming back around to the remodelling idea. Quantity of storage is not the problem -- it's the arrangement and accessibility of the storage we have. So now I'm thinking more in terms of getting what we want but keeping it as simple as possible. I'm hoping we can do it the IKEA way to contain costs and keep the chaos to a minimum, but I guess we'll have to see.

8) I put the URL for this blog in my email signature like I've been thinking about doing for a while, so maybe we'll get some more traffic through here. That would be nice :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

So, is there anyone else out there who thinks of numbers and letters as having genders? Ever since I was a little girl:

Female:A, B, H, K, M, N, Q, R, S, 2, 3 and 6
Male:C, D, E, F, G, I, J, L, O, P, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9

I never wrote it out like that before and I'm a little disappointed that the male ones outnumber the female ones. It's hardly a feminist issue, but I wonder why my little girl mind devised it that way?

We have a new look!

I've wanted to change the look of this blog pretty much since I started it. I wasn't particularly in love with the old look -- I just picked the greenest of the templates Blogger had, and I never did like the greens in it -- they were yellower greens and I tend to like my greens bluer. Tonight, with assistance from Becky (thank you!), I was able to figure out how to the change the HTML code to alter the colors, and after I futzed around with the template I was already using for a while, I chose a much simpler one, located my ideal shade of green (for this week -- I could easily change it on a frequent basis if I so choose!), added white text, and voila! In the Green House is now a more pleasing green. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

I chose the name In the Green House because my blog needed a title and my house is green and green is my favorite color. It didn't occur to me until just now that there is also such a thing as a greenhouse where you grow plants. I do have a dead African violet upstairs in the new room :-) If I was another sort of blogger, I might come up with some dippy metaphor about how our house is a greenhouse of ideas and imagination, or young minds, or whatever, but that kind of thing = yuckness to me. Yay!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Crap! I made garlic parmesan bread in the bread machine today. I bragged about it in chat. The house began to smell divine. And then after 4 1/2 long hours, the timer went off, and I opened the bread machine, and -- didn't rise hardly at all. I was supposed to get a medium-sized loaf, but the thing is only 2 1/2 inches high. No doubt it'll still be delicious, but I am definitely disappointed.

Shrek 2

Okay, I loved the first "Shrek," and I particularly loved the end where Fiona is an ogre and she's all "I don't understand -- I'm supposed to be beautiful" and Shrek is all "But you are beautiful" and they're all happy and in love and all that hooey. Good stuff. Shrek 2 is cute but just not as good -- in the ranks of CGI movies, "Toy Story" and "Shrek" being the top of the heap and "Shark Tale" being the bottom, I'd put it somewhere around the lower middle -- in there with "Ice Age" and "Robots" maybe. Here's the thing -- human Shrek is hot. I mean, I was really struck by this. I don't know how human Fiona ranks with guys -- I'm thinking way below Jessica Rabbit in terms of boinkable cartoon characters -- but human Shrek? Yum. And you know what? I just didn't buy that there was any compelling reason why the two of them couldn't remain good-looking humans at the end of that movie. They loved each other no matter what, right? They still had the same personalities -- Shrek was still a big, gross, rude ogre on the inside, and it was demonstrated that Fiona was the same in either form in the first movie. There was no reason they couldn't still go back and live happily in their swamp even if they were humans.

I'm not saying there was anything wrong with them being green and ogre-y, just that the message at the end of the movie seemed to be that there was something superior about it, and I don't buy that. Sure, it's what's on the inside that counts, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with being hot. Besides, Shrek had some inferiority issues based on how people treated him because of his looks. He had the love of a good woman to show him he had inner beauty and all the crap, so how exactly was a really good makeover going to hurt? Especially since then he could go and be more comfortable when he visited his in-laws.

It would be different if I could see being an ogre as more of an ethnic thing, where he didn't want to change his identity to fit into another group. But he wasn't part of a group of ogres either, and it didn't seem like he really liked being one all that much to begin with. It wasn't like he was having trouble adjusting to him human body either -- that didn't even come up. I think the point of the resolution of the first movie was that on the inside, Shrek and Fiona were two good-hearted, rowdy, fun-loving people who could love each other regardless of what was on the outside. They knew they had that together. Fiona accepted her ogre form and found happiness in the swamp with Shrek -- I argue they would have gone on just as happily ever after as a couple of good-looking humans who happened to live in a quaint little rustic cabin in the swamp and who enjoyed a good mud bath from time to time. And I know I wouldn't have thought any less of them if they'd made that choice. All else being equal -- who wouldn't prefer to be attractive?

But I guess the scriptwriter or whoever didn't think that would be a very PC ending. Which is ironic, since the movie industry is constantly sending us exactly the opposite of that "beauty is on the inside" message...
Generally I'm not that thrilled to wake up on a morning in mid-May to gray, showery-looking skies, but today was a perfect day for running. I went about 10 am, and it was so nice! It was cool but not cold, and there was a bit of a breeze (particularly when I was moving north-south or vice versa) but not enough to give me an earache. And it sprinkled on and off while I was out there, but only enough for me to feel pleasant little cool splashes on my arms.

I've been going out extra-unencumbered when I can. My mp3 player hasn't been working, so I haven't had that and my earphones. I don't take my fanny pack and water bottle when I'm not running to the gym, and this morning I didn't even take glasses since it wasn't sunny enough for me to need my sunglasses and my regular ones get fogged up -- it's easier to just be blind. I was wearing a tee shirt and my long-sleeved running pants, and it all just felt good. Did the whole 3 1/2 miles (or whatever it is) feeling really nice and peaceful.
"Arrested Development" is coming back next year! That means both of the shows I was worried about (the other being "Veronica Mars") are out of danger and I will get to enjoy them for another year :-)

My kids are spoiled

I was going to walk to school to pick up the kids today, but then I was heading back from the other side of town a little late, and it was kind of sprinkling on and off, and I ended up just driving over and picking them up instead. So they were spared that big long 1/8 of a mile walk. What a relief, huh?

Monday, May 16, 2005

I talked to Rachel's pediatrician today. She said she wasn't surprised Rachel's fingernail came off, and also said it would take about 6 months to grow a new one. So yay! Now we get to look at that thing for the next 6 months...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Okay, so I generally do pretty well with the ickier parts of parenting. There was the aforementioned squirting of the private area in the bathroom of Airport Beach in Maui. When Rachel gets migraines, I have to give her a suppositories. I have assisted in the final stages of bad constipation in both my children. And this past week, I dealt with Rachel's infected finger pretty well. I squeezed stuff out of it with my own fingers a few times, even. But that situation has finally confronted me with parenting ickiness I am finding it tough to abide. The final chapter in the infected finger saga (I hope!) is that the finger nail has come off. Ew! Ew! Ew!

Unfortunately our first inkling of this came last night when we were having dinner with our friends Lisa and Paul and their children. Lisa is the most squeamish person I know, and as Rachel and I had a short discussion of her finger beginning with her disturbing announcement that her nail was coming off and ending with my gasping and putting my hands over my mouth after she showed me how it could flip up like a car hood, Lisa, who is close to 9 months pregnant, turned a color comparing to that of printer paper. Not fun.

Our solution last night was to just leave the nail on there, held on by a bandage, but at some point in the night I decided that might not be sanitary, so a little while ago we took off the nail, rinsed the finger, and recovered it with a fresh bandage. While doing so, I got to feeling a little faint but made it through. But it was horrifying. Fingers are meant to have nails on them, y'all. Please, don't try this at home!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Well, crap -- I just looked and it turns out my post did go through the other day. Since I wrote the follow-up/replacement post, I just left the picture of Rachel singing her solo up for that one. Oh well, I guess I suck.

Rachel's Finger, or: Holy Crap, California History is Boring! (2nd attempt)

Tuesday I wrote this long post about Rachel's show and and Rachel's finger and it wasn't really that funny so I'm kind of glad it ended up floating around somewhere in cyberspace instead of on my blog. In it, I went on and on about how boring the 4th grade show, "California Alive!" is and how this is the second year I've seen it and *snore* and all that. And really, you know, they're 9 and 10 years old, and through no fault of their own, they live in a state with a really boring history and attend a school where part of the 4th grade curriculum is immortalizing said boring history in song. And this year, violin solos. Whatever. They worked hard and did a good job, so kudos to the 4th grade at Montgomery. Another rite of passage fulfilled.

The thing that really sucked about the show was that Rachel lives for this kind of thing but she didn't enjoy performing in this one at all because she has this infected finger. She's been chewing on her fingers a lot lately and her left index finger ended up infected around the cuticle, and Sunday and Monday it got pretty painful. On Monday afternoon I took her to the doctor and she was put on antibiotics with instructions to soak it and bring her back Wednesday if it wasn't better. Tuesday morning, I kept her home from school because it was big and gross and painful, and I even took a picture of it, which became part of the blog entry that wasn't. Which was stupid because a) who wants to look at that?, b) it wasn't a good enough picture that you could really tell what it looked like, and c) by afternoon it looked about 10 times worse anyway. First thing Wednesday, I made an appointment to take her to see the doctor again.

We hadn't seen our regular ped on Monday, and when she saw Rachel's finger for the first time on Wednesday, she stared at it, frowning. She mentioned getting another ped in to slice it open, but then decided to just try poking it herself, which she did, and which opened it up just fine. She squeezed most of the stuff out of it and took a sample to send to the lab, and Rachel was great and calm and everything, even though the ped kept re-poking it to open it more and all. Then she totally freaked out and cried and cried when they gave her a shot of antibiotics in the butt, and I felt horrible and took her out to lunch and to the video store and then I ordered her some used Beatles cassettes off Amazon.

I wanted to send her to school today even though I knew I was going to have to pull her out for an hour or so to take her back to the doctor for a re-check, but this morning the finger was looking pus-filled again and it wasn't draining and she was insisting it hurt to much to hold a pencil, so I kept her home again (that's 9 days she's been out in the past few weeks :-/), and here we are. I don't know if the antibiotics she's taking are helping in the least, and I don't want it to be staph but at least if it is, that would explain why it doesn't seem to be getting better. I guess we'll find out around 11:20 this morning. I hope so, because right now, in addition to being home from school, she has a finger that looks like it belongs a corpse that's been pulled out of the water after 3 or 4 days :-P

My hair

I had my hair cut last Friday. The whole time we were in Hawaii, it looked gruesome and knowing that I had an appointment to get it colored and cut the day after we got home was very psychologically helpful to me. I went in and told my hairdresser I wanted it off, and she and I discussed it and then she started cutting and I ended up with a short layered cut that I liked a lot, something I thought was pretty different from what I had before.

And then, over the next several days, I saw lots and lots of people I know, and maybe 2 of them said anything about it.

Naturally, after a couple of days, I started to get paranoid. I began to worry that it was such a hideous new 'do that everyone had noticed and no one wanted to say anything. I knew this was stupid because of all the times I've told people I liked their new haircuts (or outfits or shoes or whatever) when I really didn't but I'm a nice person and they had a new haircut (or a new outfit or new shoes) and having a compliment about it would make them feel good. And I knew that even if people didn't think my new haircut was wonderful, there was no way it was so horrible that people were just averting their eyes as though I'd been disfigured in some way.

In any case, obviously the truth is that, in spite of how different this haircut feels to me, it's not different enough for most people I encounter at school or whatever have even noticed. Even my good friend I ran into last night said "I like your hair -- it's different, right?" Uh, yeah. *sigh* It seems the rest of the world is not as obsessed with the state of my hair as I am...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I would post over at Television Without Pity where this kind of stuff belongs except that they are soooo picky on the forums. God forbid anyone says what anyone else has said already. I can understand there is a bandwidth reason over there -- that's fine -- I'm choosing not to participate is what I'm saying.

Anyway, the "Veronica Mars" finale last night -- awesome! Actually, the last two episodes were great. I'm really excited this show got renewed. Watch it, people! Watch the DVDs of season one and tell me that's not better that 99% of what's on TV these days. Seriously, you won't be disappointed.

"The Amazing Race" -- woo hoo! The best team wins, again! You couldn't ask for nicer people who would appreciate their winnings more than Uchenna and Joyce. They were so lovely to each other and to everyone else, and when they said they were going for another baby, I almost burst into tears. They seemed like their lives really and truly had been changed. Now, I'm actually not a hater of Rob and Amber like many. I didn't root for them on Survivor and I didn't want them to win here, but I totally give them props for always treating each other well, throughout the race, no matter how hairy things got. Rob may well be a self-important jackass prick, but there is no doubt that he is nuts about Amber, and the one time he got testy with her, in this last episode, he immediately apologized for it. I think they actually have a pretty good chance of having a happy life together and I wish them well with it. And I cannot stand the teams that turn on each other in times of great stress, in large part because I worry that that's how I would be if Ryan and I ever did something like this show together.

Anyway, last night was a good night on TV, so yay! And now my Tuesday night TV/activities-outside-the-house conflict is over for a while, so that's good too. Which is not to say that I'm not counting the days till my two favorite shows in the world start their new seasons!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Rachel's Finger, or: Holy Crap, California History is Boring!

Here's a picture of Rachel when she sang her little solo:

Too bad I didn't know how to zoom in with my camera till I was looking through the manual this morning, huh?

Maui: the last two days

I've actually been home about 5 days now, but I did decent job of journalling while we were over there so I want to finish the job.

Wednesday was our last full day in Maui. I'd planned to rent some snorkling equipment for our last beach visit, but when returning Ryan's rental Miata ended up taking longer than expected, I decided to scrap those plans so we could all just get out to the beach as soon as we could. We headed back to Airport Beach and spent probably 2 hours there, floating and swimming and enjoying the water. The surf was gentle enough that the kids enjoyed kind of rolling around in it, which was fun for them, but -- it meant that Rachel and I ended up back in the bathroom with her naked and me squirting her with a water bottle once again. Bleah. At least this time we caught it early enough that she was able to go back out in the water for a while after that.

When everyone was ready to head back to the condo, we packed up, rinsed off, and headed back. We went in the pool for a while to get all the sand off and then cleaned up and rested for a while in the condo. Mid-afternoon, we drove into Lahaina for lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise. The good news: no cruise ship docked offshore today, so Lahaina wasn't too crowded. Bad news: it was HOT. And humid. Having showered felt pointless. Even though CiP is open-air, it was pleasant due to getting the breeze off the water, and we had a good lunch there. Walking around Lahaina afterward was less than pleasant though. I was looking for gifts for a few of my friends, Rachel was looking for a tee shirt, Ryan was trying to sneak off to a jewelry store and buy me a Mother's Day gift, and it just seemed like we could hardly get anywhere. We did take the kids to the Celebrities gallery to see the Beatles exhibit, but it wasn't quite the same without them playing Beatles music, and the kids were so hot and crabby by the time we got there that they didn't get much out of it. We got some ice cream, made our purchases, and slogged our way back to the car, and as soon as we got back to the condo, Dana and the kids and I jumped in out swimsuits and headed out to the pool. Weird weather out there. Suddenly it was cold, with the sun behind the clouds. The kids swam and Dana and I went in the hot tub, then sat out on lounges. But as soon as the sun came back out, it felt like it was searing our skin. We spent about half an hour out there and then said goodbye to the pool for the final time. We spent the evening hanging out, finishing what we could of the leftover food, and getting organized and packed up. I was the last to go to bed, around 10, after I finished the book I was reading.

The next morning we were up around 6:30 and we mostly bustled around packing up. Left in plenty of time to get to the airport, drop off the rental, check in, etc -- IF we hadn't gotten behind the slowest driver ever on the highway back to Kahului. Also, Will got carsick and we ended up stop to let him throw up by the side of the road. Long story short: what should have been a 30-minute drive took an hour. We pulled up to the car rental return in a state of silent anxiety, grabbed our stuff, hopped the shuttle to the airport, and happily walked right up to the counter to check in with North American. Dana got in line to wait to check in at United, but since her flight left more than an hour after ours, that was fine. Little did we know they were going to make a federal case out of the can of Off! in one of our suitcases. We told them to just pull it out and throw it away, but they still insisted on filling out paperwork and getting a bunch of signatures before they let us go. We were still kind of freaking out about getting to the plane on time, even though it was 45 minutes till it was supposed to take off, mostly because we hadn't seen what the security line looked like yet and we knew it was potentially long, and the airline people were just taking their time, la la la. Finally they let us go and we sprinted off toward the gate (gate 39 in an airport with 39 gates, naturally). The kids were asking questions and we were telling them to stop, and for some reason Ryan blurted out that "our plane is getting ready to leave." OMG, I could have killed him. Will immediately bursts into hysterical sobs, which only slows him more, and we're both trying to calm him. I'm not sure if Ryan even noticed that I didn't speak to him for the next hour or so.

Well, the security line was nothing, and we hiked all the way to our gate at the opposite end of the airport, where the nice airline people told us to relax while we sat and filled out our boarding passes for this part of the flight -- we boarded in plenty of time and I read HP4 to Will for the length of the 18-minute flight to Honolulu. Once we got there, we had an hour layover and actually had to get off the plane -- we had lunch, picked up a few things, reboarded, and flew back to Oakland. Once again, we rented the digital TV thing, and after Will had a nap, he watched "Racing Stripes" with Rachel while Ryan and I read and I napped. We got in on time at about 10 pm, waited a bit for our luggage, waited forever for our shuttle back to the La Quinta motel where our car was parked (we later discovered that Rachel left her backpack on that shuttle -- Ryan went back to Oakland to get it on Saturday) and got on the road. Were in our own beds in Davis by 1 am -- but it only felt like 10.

All in all, great vacation. I can't wait to do it again!

50 Book Challenge: #17

Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman (BC)

Enh. I like the idea of a stay-at-home mom who gets so bored that she starts solving crimes/mysteries, but this one didn't really grab me. I didn't like the way her daughter and parenting skills were written. The husband who is home all the time was a convenience I found hard to swallow as well. Also, I figured out who the killer was quite a while before the heroine did, so that was kind of annoying. I don't see this one generating much discussion at book club, which is fine since I didn't spend much on it and it only took me a day to read. Am now plowing through East of Eden by Steinbeck. It's long and kind of dense but I'm moving through it pretty quickly and I'll look forward to the discussion.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

50 Book Challenge - #16

16. Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman (*)

These books are preposterous, and badly written besides, but I eat them up. He's the only mystery writer whose books I always read, and I always go along rolling my eyes at the writing and eating up the story. The man can weave an intriguing tale! Ironically, the next book on my list is also a mystery -- a book club selection, looks fairly flimsy but I'll probably enjoy it. I have another, Rape in Paradise, a true crime book I picked up at Costco the other day, that I can start on the plane tomorrow if I blow through the book club mystery, but when I get home I probably have to start right in on East of Eden, which is my other book club selection for May and is pretty damn long.

Maui: Losing track of the Days!

I'm way behind here but I'm going to try to catch up -- briefly at least!

Sunday: not a beach day, as we were heading back to Kahului to pick Dana up at the airport. We checked her flight online and found it was running about 30 minutes late, but we were ready to leave by 9:30 so we went ahead and did so. Stopped by Hilo Hattie's in Lahaina to pick up a few things, including a new Hawaiian shirt for Ryan, as the one he was wearing had a little altercation with Will's elbow and the pocket got half ripped off :-) We enjoyed most of a can of butter toffee-covered macadamia nuts on the way to the airport. We were going to make a KMart run once we got to Kahului but that ended up not happening, so once we met Dana, we went to KMart and picked up a few more things, then had lunch at a sketchy but delicious little Mexican place by the aquarium, then hit Safeway (and Maui Dive Shop for a new swim shirt for Will) on the way back to the condo. We spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool, then watched some of the ultimately doomed Kings/Sonics game. Ryan grilled steaks out by the pool for dinner, and we hung out on the balcony for the rest of the evening. At some point, Dana bravely disappeared upstairs with the kids. She is so laid back! It doesn't seem to bother her one bit to be up there with them, in the heat, with Will insisting on sleeping in the smaller of the two beds *with* her and their stuff *everywhere*. I guess she is still used to it from growing up with all those brothers.

Monday -- up early, of course, and we were at the beach (Kapalua again) by 9. At first the water was frighteningly cold and I didn't think I was going to be able to stay in it, but then it got nicer and we were out there a long time. Dana and I ultimately headed up the beach to read (and/or nap) in the sun, but Ryan stayed out in the water with the kids for what seemed like forever! When they finally came in, they were ready to head back to the condo. It was 11:30! We knew they were going to be *zonked*. When we got back, Dana, the kids and I jumped in the pool to cool off/get the sand off before going back to the condo to shower, and after lunch Ryan took the kids down to the pool while Dana and I went shopping :-) I bought a Fresh Produce tank top (way too expensive but I couldn't resist) and then found the cutest dress -- knit, periwinkle blue with a turtle design on the front (yeah, there's a dolphin too, but I don't really care about that :-)), and it was actually cut in such a way as to be flattering on me! It had stupid pockets but I knew I could take care of them. So I was pleased with that. We went back to the condo and I spent about an hour doing surgery on the dress, and then Ryan called a cab and he and I headed into Lahaina for our "date" while Dana stayed with the kids. We had dinner at a nice little place where we could sit on the patio, then wandered, shopped, had another drink, shopped some more, and got some ice cream. I bought my mom a necklace for Mother's Day (and two for myself!), and we went into the Celebrities gallery, which we'd read had a Beatles thing going on. It was very cool and we are definitely planning to get the kids over there today (our last day :-() We were in a cab headed back to the condo by 8:30 pm -- so much for late night! We had fun though. When we got back, Dana and the kids had already headed upstairs for the evening, and Ryan and I sat on the balcony and enjoyed the evening air for while before going to bed.

Tuesday morning, I took Ryan and his golf clubs over to a car rental place early and he headed off for a day of golf. When we were all ready, Dana, the kids and I went to the aquarium. It was kind of muggy and the kids were a little punchy, but it was a nice little aquarium and we had a nice time. I loved the sea turtles and I could have hung with them a while longer. Dana and I both also really liked the dark room with the jellyfish tank in the middle. I could have sat there with them all day! After we were done there, we got some ice cream and headed back to the condo for lunch. Watched about half "The Incredibles" before Dana and Will started picking on each other and then it was time to hit the pool. We spent about an hour and half down there. The kids were really good even though Dana and I didn't spend much time actually in the pool with them -- there were lots of kids in there, and Will's swimming skills are really coming along (though I was glad he had hit noodle). We came back to the condo and the kids and I showered -- then we hung out and watched Oprah till Ryan got home and wanted to watch the Kings game. I fixed burritos for dinner and we ate and Ryan bitched about the way the game was going, and Dana and I busted out the Arbor Mist, and I just read and read. I don't think I've ever blown through a Jonathan Kellerman mystery in 2 1/2 days before, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, the Kings season is over (it's a building year, people!) and we sat on the balcony drinking and laughing for a while, and then Dana disappeared and Ryan went to bed and I wanted to finish my book but I kept falling asleep on the couch. Finally sat up and made myself finish it.

That brings us to this morning. Plans for the day -- head to the beach, and I want to rent some snorkle equipment on the way -- then come back here, clean up, go to Lahaina for lunch/dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise and take the kids to see the Beatles thing at the Celebrities gallery. And then come back here and start packing up, as we have to head to the airport tomorrow morning. I KNEW this trip was going to go by too fast! I comfort myself with a few things:
1) it's pretty humid here, and I miss the mild spring weather and air conditioning at home
2) my hair is disgusting, and it's been freeing to just let it go and not worry what it looks like, but I have an appointment to have it colored and cut off short on the morning after we get home
3) I miss my car. The one we have here sucks.

None of this is to say that I wouldn't extend our trip by a few days, given the choice, but you have to find the silver lining where you can, no?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

More 50 Book Challenge

14. Drop City by T.C. Boyle (BC, *)
15. The Beatles by Hunter Davies

I haven't decided whether I would recommend this Beatles book quite yet. It goes into minute detail about how the group came together and rose to fame, but it was originally written in 1968 and only has updates since then. They hadn't even done their last couple of albums by the time the original book was finished, so it feels incomplete. At the same time, it had so much detail, so many comments from the Beatles themselves, and was so British and engrossing, that I want to give it a thumbs-up. I'll have to read some more books about them before I form a full opinion about this one. I'm particularly interested in reading about their individual lives after the band broke up, and about the music itself and the creative process behind writing the songs.

Drop City was a fun, if lengthy, read about a 70s commune, which I read for one of my book clubs. Now I've started a Jonathan Kellerman page-turner. Definitely beach reading :-)

Maui, Day 3

Yesterday was a really nice day! We were all up around 5 am again, of course, and after eating breakfast, hanging out, etc, around 7 am, Will and I headed out to find our beach for the day. It was frustrating -- we couldn't hardly find beach access among all the condos, and we came back feeling like it had been a useless trip. But we all headed off in our swimsuits with towels in the car, planning to go back to Airport Beach, where we'd been the day before, but we went north first, in search of the ABC Store I *swore* I'd seen. We didn't find it, but we did find access to Kapalua (sp?) beach, so we decided to check it out. And it was great! We went there the first day on our last trip, but for some reason we hadn't really enjoyed it, and had ended up spending the rest of our beach-going days at Airport. This time I think it will be the opposite. We spent about 2 hours there, mostly floating beyond the surf, but also collecting coral and rocks, then headed home to shower and have lunch. We decided to eat at Hula Grill, where we had lunch one day wit my parents, and as we were pulling into the parking garage at Whaler's Village, we noticed how tired we all were. Floating around out there seems really relaxing, but it's amazingly tiring! The kids barely stayed awake through lunch. We were going to do a little shopping before heading back, but we ended up nixing that so we could head right back to the condo to nap. Naturally, Will fell asleep in the car on the way back, and I was the only one who actually ended up napping when we got back. Around 4 pm, the 4 of us headed down to the pool for about an hour, and then we came back to the condo. I fixed the kids some mac & cheese for dinner, and Ryan fixed taquitoes for the two of us, which we ate out on the balcony after it cooled off a little. The kids watched a Rugrats DVD for what seemed like several hours while we sat on the balcony, hanging out, talking and reading. They went to bed at some point, and we came inside. Ryan zonked out on the couch for quite a while and I read and read till past 10. It felt like quite an accomplishment! I'm very near the end of this book about the Beatles I'm reading, and it's so interesting, I just could hardly put it down. Anyway, this morning we will be headed back into Kahului (sp?) to pick up Dana at the airport, and we will probably go to the aquarium while we are out that way as well. Should be another fun day!