Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Pointless Lists

February 29!  Well, there's something you don't get to write every day.  Since I'm pretty sure Feb. 29 doesn't really exist (even though Eric says it HAS to exist or the months and their corresponding seasons would get all messed up--wow, science is boring), I was hoping that today would be a freebie of sorts, where all kinds of awesome stuff happened.  Like maybe leprechauns would bring me coffee and doughnuts.  Instead, it was the same old damn day I've been having for the past two weeks.  I think Bill Murray needs to look into doing a movie about THAT.

Great.  More snow.  Thanks, February 29!

If I had to sum up February in a word, it would be "freezing."  I can't remember the last time I was actually warm.  I'm thinking wistfully of summer and the garden I am going to have.  And the sandals I am going to wear.

All right.  Enough of that.  List time!

Books read:
My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller.  This is a Kindle Single, and a complete deal and a half at $1.99.  But then, I love Fred Stoller, so I cannot be trusted to be entirely unbiased.  I hope he takes these few chapters and turns them into a book--the parts about his childhood were particularly awesome.  I was a Seinfeld fan back in the day, but I didn't really care so much about that as just listening to this guy talk.  Um, you know what I mean.  He's hilarious.  Totally recommend this if you have a poser device like me.

Hunger GamesCatching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  I LOVE THESE BOOKS.  I started them at the beginning of the month and plowed right through them.  I was going to be good and just read Abby's copies, but I found that I needed my own ebook versions because!  I just do!  So then I spent a week or so just reading my favorite parts, and now I'm rereading the entire series again.  Five stars.  Love, love, love.  They're wonderful, and horrible, and fascinating.  My only regret is that I didn't listen to Abby and read them sooner.  P.S. Abby and I cannot wait for the movie.  Midnight showing, anyone?  P.P.S. We're also Team Peeta, just in case anyone needs to know that sort of thing.  What?  I'm pretty sure it's not wrong of me to say that even if I am 39.

Movies watched:
None are coming to mind.  Well, I take that back.  We've been watching the entire Harry Potter series on DVD lately, except I myself haven't joined in to watch them all.  Sometimes I like to just listen while I play on the computer.  I'd rather read the books, that's why.  Come on, JK!  Release the ebooks already!

Something I never thought I'd hear in the shower:
"Hey Mom, this might be a bad time to ask this, but would you open this molasses for me?" --Abby

Things we learned:
Johanna learned about Empire penguins this month.  "No, really.  We're learning about six types of penguins," she's telling me now.  "You rock, penguins!"

Abby learned that she is too busy to answer my petty questions.  Wow.  I told you 12 is fun!

Eric cannot think of one single thing he's learned this month, and is going so far to say that he hates these types of questions.  Tough crowd tonight.

I learned that I should maybe not have this list header on my Pointless Lists posts.  I also learned that just because you have one weird week, there's no guarantee that the next week is going to be normal.  If anything, it'll probably be weirder.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I need some peace of mind

I invented a new drinking game yesterday.  Every time someone says "MOM," or asks me the same question they just asked three minutes ago, or steps on my toe, I take a drink.  Upside: You could totally get drunk in five minutes playing this game.  Downside: I don't actually drink anything stronger than coffee.  I have nothing against spirits, mind you, it's just that my stomach does.

See, Sunday was a family day.  We knew we were off to a winning start when Abby didn't even want to get into the car. But Johanna needed a new baseball mitt for her upcoming season (whoops, forgot she also needs shoes), so Eric and I were determined to persevere.  Even though we actually hate shopping.*

Because shopping is depressing, that's why.  All that junk.  All those people.

But Eric isn't one to pass up an opportunity, plus we really did need some stuff, so he spent the morning printing online coupons and planning our extravaganza.  We had some stops.  (Note the plural.  The girls sure did.)

Eric found coupons for Omeprazole (what should have cost $23 cost $15.  We got two by checking out separately), and for cheese (um, we got three of those utilizing Abby.  Five smacks for a two-pound brick.  Of good cheese, mind you, because cheap gross cheese is gross).  And he got 20% off of Johanna's mitt and 10% off some racquetball balls.  (That sounds wrong.)  I'm pretty sure he had other coupons, too, but whatever those were for, he must have deemed them unworthy.

Since we were out anyway, we attempted to go to the new brew shop, except it was closed.  Then we went into a furniture store because SOMEDAY I'm going to redo my living room, but it wasn't exactly filled with anything I couldn't live without.  Or, more to the point, what I felt I could live with.  But the girls found these electric massaging heated chairs, so that was a hit.  Jo asked if we could come back every year.  (Because that's about how often we get out, apparently.)

So of course our children, being themselves, had to fight at every turn, and call my name to tell on the other, and ask something I am pretty sure I'd already answered fifty times, and stand so close that every time I turned around, I was tripping over at least one of them.  The bells went off when I spied some mini-bottles of wine--in a six pack, no less--at the drug store.  Um, what?  Who buys this stuff?  People playing drinking games in need of portable beverage, that's who.  When your children are your drinking game, you need the convenience of that wine six pack.  (That's a marketing strategy for someone.  You're welcome!)

It's too bad I can't drink.  Small bottles of wine in a six pack.  What could possibly go wrong with that?

Eric says I should be "grateful" that the girls "want to be around me."  Because we all know in just five months Abby starts teenager-hood, and it's probably all downhill from there.  And I try, I really do.  But wow, I'm definitely enjoying my four hours of quiet this fine Monday morning, except Skilly is attempting to eat my knee cap, which isn't as much fun as you'd think it would be.  IT NEVER ENDS.

Skilly is a ninja.

P.S. Aside from our family shopping day, my weekend consisted of sleeping in, taking naps, and reading.  It. Was. Awesome.

*Okay, fine, I'll admit it, I have discovered I like clothes shopping just a little too much.  But we weren't clothes shopping.  I am willfully, mindfully not clothes shopping.  Until, you know, spring actually gets here...

Breaking Benjamin, Had Enough.  This song reminds me of shopping for some reason, even though the lyrics maybe point to just a really bad breakup.  Fun fact: This is one of the first songs I downloaded when I got my iPod.

Friday, February 24, 2012

But Friday never hesitate

FRIDAY.  Thank God.

This has been the craziest, busiest week I think I've ever had at work.  It's just been nuts.  I'm pretty sure there is something in the water, or maybe everyone has decided to take drugs.  Where's Nancy Reagan when you need her?  Just say no, people.  Or at least pretend to work with me.

And I've been trying to write about it for the past two days, but honestly, it's just coming out snarky and mean instead of whimsical and funny, and that's not how I want to remember this week.  Because I do not want to remember this week at all.

Well, not all of it has been bad, I guess.  I started the Occupy Trisha movement at work a couple of moths ago, and it's really catching on.  Lately I've been transcribing bits out of the 1912 archive for an upcoming special issue.  They were not so much into concise sentences in 1912.  Apparently they never had Mr. Dills for English.

And the girls have been most entertaining.  They've been trying to figure out what to give up for Lent.  Jo keeps changing hers.  First she was going to eat only healthy stuff for six weeks (um, Lent doesn't even last that long), and then she was going to give up technology, except not the iPad or the computer.  Which is all the technology she uses, just FYI. Now I think she's just giving up sitting down, so we're par for the course, really.  Abby is trying not to snack between meals unless it's a fruit or a veggie.  That's hard for a kid.  Oh, and no video games.  Or maybe she's limiting herself to 15 minutes a day?  I have a feeling the further we get into this ordeal, the more changes that will be made.

Did I mention I promised to take Johanna to Skate Night tonight?  Yeah, didn't think THAT one through.  Crowds of noisy children on wheels.  Good lord, HOW is that a good idea?  For anybody?

The Cure, Friday I'm in Love.  You know what I'm in love with?  Sleeping in on Saturday morning.  And Robert Smith still, a little bit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Over my shoulder a piano falls

"Open up, you stupid box of stupidness!" --Abby, 
showing the cereal who's boss this morning.

Here's what I just learned: You should not blog while you are cooking bacon.  I know this, and yet.  On the upside, my kitchen smells like bacon!  On the downside, there's a bit of a haze looming about.

Today is Fat Tuesday (well, that's what we call it, even if Mardi Gras sounds way cooler), which is why I'm cooking bacon.  We're going all out tonight for dinner--BLTs, fries, apple pie and whipped cream.  You know why?  Because we've got five lean weeks coming.  Lent is not the most fun a person can have.

Anyway, this is the sort of meal that I can't just whip up after work, so I'm starting early.  Really early, since I made the pie last night.  It's too bad the girls missed out on the bacon plume, though.  I think they would have enjoyed that.

Side note: I hate making pie crust.

Too much food talk for a season of fasting, perhaps.  Although honestly, Eric and I don't find Lenten fasting that difficult.  I mean, yes, it sucks, and it's supposed to.  But you are able to do it because you know what you're doing it for.  I was trying to explain this to a couple of non-Catholics at work who are going to give something up this year, one for the first time.  I'm not sure if they understood what I meant, but Eric did when I was telling him about it.  Preaching to the choir, I suppose.

Okay, fine, just one more food paragraph: Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday (not my favorite, but not as bad as Good Friday), which means pancakes for dinner.  I think that's how my in-laws rolled when Eric was growing up, and now it's a tradition for our family, too.  Eric takes it to the extreme and just eats a couple of pancakes, practically devoid of all topping, but I make the girls (and myself, I won't lie) eggs and hashbrowns, too.  Well, they're 12 and seven, for crying out loud.  And I... get cranky when I'm really hungry, so I figure it's my gift to the world to eat a full dinner after a day of half-meals and no snacks.

And just FYI, today marks my one-year anniversary at the paper.  Wow, that was fast.  And I still love it, so there you go.  Yesterday I got to do some writing, and was answering the phone like a champ, and talking with my co-workers, and I was like, I could be at home doing laundry and being all depressed.  Eric is quite thrilled with my check, of course, but for me, it's the getting the hell out of the house every day that cinches the awesomeness.

R.E.M., The Great Beyond.  (Well, it made sense in my head, anyway.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

This could be messy

Updates below.

People!  Best Friday night EVER!

I totally cleaned my glass shower doors, that's why.  Eric came in to make fun of me, because apparently it's "sad" to spend your Friday night "cleaning the shower."  Well, whatever, Eric.  We'll see who's laughing tomorrow.

(Probably Eric, because I've totally ODed on chocolate, and I'm dizzy as heck, and I'm afeared.  Why, why, why can't I behave?)

So here's what happened, because clearly you need the full story: I was on Pinterest, looking at Everything.  And there was this pin for a homemade shower cleaner.  One part white vinegar, one part dish soap.   Supposedly it's magic.  Zillions of people said so, because zillions of people are on Pinterest commenting on this sort of thing.  Well, you can only be on Facebook for so long before you've read it all and need something else to do to avoid your children.  Um, so I hear.

Click here for page link because
I'm awesome that way.

I've been making my own cleaners since the beginning of January, I guess, and I tell you what, I am ALL about homemade cleaners.  No harsh smell, no chemicals to wash off your hands, no plastic to recycle when it's all gone.  I could come up with more reasons, but whatever, either you're with me or you're not.

I feel a list coming on:
  1. Search the house for a spray bottle I could reuse.
  2. Get the big huge jug o' white vinegar out of the laundry room.  
  3. Get the container of unscented castile soap because that's what I use for everything now that I'm all homemade cleaner poser awesome.  
  4. Heat 12 ounces of white vinegar in the microwave.  
  5. Add two ounces of castile soap even though I supposedly should have added up to six, except castile soap is highly concentrated so I didn't think I'd need that much, and it turns out I was right, which ruled.  
  6. Discover that castile soap clumps like a son of a gun when mixed directly into vinegar.
  7. Add a little warm water just for kicks to see if it helps, then pat myself on the back because I'm a genius and the clumping action?  Totally gone. 
  8. Hop in the shower and go to town spraying everything in sight.

Since this is the best Friday night EVER, you've probably already deduced that it worked.  IT WORKED!  I was generous with the spray, that is true, but I just wiped it off with a damp cloth and that was that.

Then, since that was so incredibly great, I started in on the rest of the shower.  It cleaned just fine, but I've got some stubborn soap scummy junk on the floor and walls and whatever, and it wasn't really working as well as I'd hoped it would.  So I got out and sprayed the heck out of the whole thing and thought maybe I'd leave it on overnight except now I'm thinking I don't want to wait that long*, so I'll probably do it after I'm done here.  Because there's still some Friday night left.

Warning: Unscented castile soap and white vinegar?  SMELL TERRIBLE.  It's funny because the smell hasn't bothered me before--I make an all purpose cleaner out of water, a dash of castile and a dash of vinegar, and about ten drops of tea tree oil--but when I sprayed this on the shower door, it about knocked my socks off.  I got used to it pretty quickly, and it definitely wasn't as horrible as the chemical smell of some of the cleaners I have tried.  But wow.  Turn a fan on, truly.

*And THAT is why I don't want to wait overnight.

Oh, and since I had such great success with the shower doors, I immediately whipped up another batch, only this time I didn't warm up the vinegar.  And it failed!  Lots and lots and LOTS of clumping, even when I added water.  So I poured it out and nuked it and put it back and it was fine.  So yeah, you do have to warm up your vinegar to get this to work.  Good to know.

Oh, and the castile has risen to the top of the vinegar, so it'll need a good shake before I use it again, not that THAT is the end of the world or anything.

I just checked my shower doors and I've got some water spots on the glass now, but I suppose that's less offensive than soap scum.  I cannot believe the soap scum just disappeared like that.  I've tried countless store-bought cleaners trying to get that stuff off the doors, and nothing has worked, no matter how chemically potent.  Even a magic eraser and an SOS pad get all junked up and make it hard to get much accomplished.  Even if this only works as a shower door cleaner?  TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Thank you, Pinterest.

Alanis Morissette, Hands Clean.  Get it?  Ah, the wit.

UPDATE 2/21: I played with this cleaner all weekend, since obviously just Friday night wasn't pathetic enough.  I learned a couple of things, which I feel compelled to pass along.

The mixture works the best when the vinegar is warm--makes the soap scum melt, as it were.  The smell really is gross.  Not sure if it would be any better if I were to use the prescribed dishwashing liquid.  I added some tea tree oil to my second batch in an attempt to scent it up, but to no avail.  It does work on the entire shower, although it helps to have something nice and scrubby around.  This works the same or better than the store cleaners I've tried, so I feel like it was worth it.   And I will be using it again, smell be damned.

UPDATE 2/27: Well, this weekend I broke down and bought a bottle of Dawn, feeling like an environmental loser, if you want to know the truth, but also intrigued enough by the whole clean-shower concept to want to give it a whirl.  Conclusion: Stays on the shower door better, not even remotely as smelly, works like a charm.  I didn't have to scrub like I did with the Castile soap.  But!  I still have watermarks on the door.  Maybe I just have to live with that.  I was sort of hoping that would come off with the soap scum.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    The wheel breaks the butterfly

    I tried to write yesterday, what with it being Valentine's Day and all, but I just couldn't seem to get 'er done.  Here's the thing: Valentine's Day is special in our household because it's the day Eric proposed.  Seventeen years ago, thanks for asking, and yes, we're old.  But it's also a hard day.  Because it's the day that Eric's grandma passed away four years ago, and the day my Aunt Letty passed away just last year.  Add to this the fact that my favorite aunt had her first chemo treatment yesterday (hi, Ann!), and you've got just a lot fighting up there in my little brain.

    My mother says you can choose to have a happy heart, though, so that's what I'm attempting to do here, okay Internet?  (Still that echo, even after six months.  You'd think I'd mind, and yet, not so much.)


    Being completely and utterly lame, Eric and I usually don't do anything for Valentine's Day.  Well, sometimes we attempt to go out to dinner, I guess, although we don't really care if it's the day or not.  Let's face it: We're never going to top Proposal Valentine's Day 1995, so really, the pressure is off.

    But anyway, Abby had a basketball game at 5 p.m. on Valentine's Day, and we knew that even a "sit around the dinner table over a special meal and open Valentines" with the girls wasn't going to happen.  So on Sunday, we surprised them.  It was really pretty epic, now that I think about it, and totally unlike us in that we made an actual effort.

    The girls got ice cream gift certificates for Christmas from my in-laws, and they were in the mood to use them up.  We sort of put them off for a while, and then, right before dinnertime, we're all like, you know, we're actually not hungry for dinner just yet, so let's go get that ice cream.  We can eat later.  And the girls were like, really?

    But they didn't question our insanity.

    The ice cream parlor is in the middle of an open-air mall (or as close to a mall as our town is ever gonna see), and right next door?  Abby's favorite pizza parlor.  Wow, there's a lot of parlors going on, aren't there?  I'd go grab a thesaurus, but I'm too lazy.

    So we're walking in the general direction of the ice cream parlor and Abby's like, I wish we could get pizza.  But not in a whiny "hey, I want pizza!" kind of way, because she might be 12 and angsty, but she's not a brat.  Plus, she's used to our lameness and doesn't even question it anymore.  I had Johanna's hand, and I walked into the pizza place without a backwards glance.  Abby thought I'd just made a mistake at first, until Eric and I were all like, Happy Valentine's Day!  Surprise! and the girls were like, no kidding?  Thank you!

    I realize it's sad that our kids are so downtrodden that this sort of thing is a surprise and a treat.  I suppose they're not too worse for wear, all things considered.

    I totally brought the camera to document the awesome.  I think this one of Jo really represents our time together as a family:

    The good news: We survived.

    After pizza came ice cream.  Which I could not eat, but hey, it's not like I thought I could and then was disappointed.  It was really cool, though--self serve, and then you pick from a crazy-big variety of toppings.  Johanna got chocolate with sprinkles.  Abby got chocolate with M&Ms, crushed cookies, hot fudge, hot caramel, sprinkles, strawberries and chocolate chips.  And I can't remember what Eric got because I'd just discovered the mini fireplace they had plugged into the wall and it reminded me of the one my grandparents have in their living room.

    So that was how we celebrated Valentine's Day this year.  It was quite pleasant.

    You can't tell, but Abby is ELATED.

    On Actual Valentine's Day, we watched Abby's team win 34-11 against a local middle school.  Um, it was sort of nuts, especially since the girls have lost their last four games by rather large margins.  Abby ended up popping her knee out a little in a jump ball-dog pile, so she was out for part of the last quarter.  It was cute because one of her teammates got her an ice pack before I could get out of my seat to assess the damage.  Abby was like, is this the sort of dry ice you're not supposed to put on skin?  And I was like, are you kidding me?  PUT THAT ON YOUR KNEE.

    She's sore this morning, by the way, and limping a bit, but wow, that could have been bad--Dad offered his crutches from his basketball days, and I was thinking we'd probably have to take him up on that.  But no.  Thank heavens.

    And then we came home, and opened Valentines from my parents (Mom saved ALL of the cards I ever received, so she gave everyone a recycled Valentine.  Mine was from my first Valentine's Day from Aunt Ann and Uncle Mark.  That was kind of sweet, if you want to know the truth, although I'm pretty sure Mark wasn't the one who picked out the Raggedy Ann card) and had dinner (hamburgers and fries I'd made before work) and then Eric and the girls started looking through his high school scrapbook (that was a riot, for multiple reasons) while I played the Sims.

    Oh, and apparently they'd exchanged Valentines during Johanna's after-school care program.  I learned this when Johanna brought out a second envelope stuffed with cards and candy that evening.  I was like, I didn't know you were going to do that! and Jo was all, yeah, me neither.  Oops.  Just when you think I can't possibly get lamer, BAM!  What do these people expect me to do, go through my kid's backpack?  Totally unreasonable.

    I have more to say, but I think this is long enough, plus I'm running out of time--I need to get ready for work.  Which reminds me, I had to fill out a self-evaluation form last week because I've been working there for a year (on Feb. 21... time goes fast) and that about killed me.  I'm a good worker, I know that, and I'm also sort of awesome, but not completely awesome, so how do you rate that?  Anyway, I'm supposed to go over it with the Publisher... but he's been gone the past few days, so maybe today is the day I get to sit through an awkward meeting discussing why I gave myself 3.5s instead of 4s?  Here's hoping.

    Coldplay, Paradise.  I saw them perform this on the Grammys and immediately downloaded it.  No joke.  It's just lovely, that's why.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    The Cracker Project: Wheat Thins

    I'll bet you thought I forgot all about my supposed Cracker Project, didn't you?  Well, honestly, I'd like to forget, but!  For some reason I feel compelled to follow through on my pointless resolutions, and anyway, it would sort of rock to actually be able to make a decent cracker.  The Goldfish from January were good, but they weren't crackers.

    Well, no one said this was going to be easy.

    I found this wheat-cracker recipe while stumbling around on StumbleUpon.  A quick Google search tells me that it was adapted from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook, so I probably shouldn't post the recipe.  I don't know, copyright infringement or plagiarism or something.  So just Google "Wheat Thins Cracker Recipe" and see what comes up, okay?  I've given you plenty of clues to figure it out.

    Um, so anyway, these crackers contain whole wheat flour--except I just used unbleached because my IBS is not compatible with "whole" and "wheat"--and sugar, salt, paprika, butter, water and vanilla.  Oooh, one cool thing, the recipe had me grate the butter into the flour with a cheese grater.  Worked like a CHAMP.  I might do that from now on.  Because my pastry cutter is whack, that's why.

    This time I was determined to make nice, thin crackers, so I rolled the dough between two lightly floured sheets of parchment, trying to tell myself that my environmental impact would be minimal because paper is... compost-friendly?  I guess?  Seriously, I feel guilty about all that parchment.  I did get some nice thin crackers, though, I tell you what.  Dividing the dough into quarters helped, too.  Less dough to flatten or something.

    And again, I am not a professional photographer and I know this looks terrible, okay?  I'm posting more for the proof of the thing.

    I sprinkled the crackers with some finishing salt that I found in the bulk section of my favorite grocery store.  Made me feel all cool and awesome, mostly because I haven't really had anything to sprinkle before now.

    Anyway, the dough I thought I had rolled out nice and thin was apparently not thin enough, because those crackers are a little puffy.  The crackers I knew I rolled out nice and thin LOOK LIKE CRACKERS.  Hallelujah, it's a miracle!  I almost don't even care about what they taste like.

    EXCEPT!  They're actually good and crunchy.  I wonder if that's because of my super-skillz at rolling dough (cough) or the fact that I baked them 12 minutes instead of 10?  Even the puffier ones crunch.

    That sort of looks like a Wheat Thin, right?

    My only mistake: Between batches, I should have put the extra dough in the refrigerator.  Because when it was time to roll out my second batch, it wasn't as easy as the first time around.

    Anyway, now that the crackers are out of the oven and cooled down a bit, the fam has descended upon them.  Eric says they taste just like Wheat Thins, which might be overdoing it a bit.  The girls are coming back for seconds and thirds.  Lesson learned from January: Just let them eat the crackers while they're fresh.  Because tomorrow they may be cat food.  And anyway, right now, they're good.


    The end.

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Cool enough to not quite see it

    Johanna has a friend coming over today around 1 p.m., which means that I have been on a cleaning spree for the past three hours.  I tell you what, we should have people over more often because then the house would always stay clean.  Or I need to quit reading, but obviously that is just crazy talk.

    Or I could just clean regularly, I guess, but that seems sort of like overkill.

    Lo and behold, though, things are looking pretty good.  The upside of having a 12-year-old is that you can unload some of your chores.  So Abby cleaned the guest bath, which is practically a science experiment at this point, and she did a good job, although who cares because I didn't have to do it.

    Her solution for cleaning her room?  Shutting the door.  Can't argue with that logic.

    Johanna organized the coat closet.  She was pretty ticked that I picked that as her chore because "no one even sees this!"  Um, not the point.  I'm just trying to keep you occupied, kid, so you'll quit asking when you're friend is going to get here.

    Noted: The coat closet does, in fact, stink, just as Johanna claimed (loudly) the entire time.  Well, shoes and all.  That explains that.

    Also noted: Seven-year-olds have little in the way of time perception.

    So that's been our morning.

    Last night, just FYI, we went to watch our nephews play basketball.  The frosh game was in the upper gym, where Eric tried to teach me how to spike a volleyball back in '89, and the varsity game was in the lower, where Eric could have thrown me out at first base but chose to throw the ball to second instead.  We weren't dating or really even talking at that point in our lives, but I did have a crush on him, so I remember these things.  It's too bad he was our PE aide my junior year.  Having him witness my physical humiliation every day was not as fun as you'd think it'd be.

    Wait, what was I talking about?

    Oh, right.  So anyway, both boys lost their games because the other team was amazing, but I think the real point here is that I didn't break out my Kindle AT ALL, but actually watched them play.  Maybe because basketball is really the only sport I understand.  Or maybe because Johanna was jumping around like a maniac and I was trying to sort of keep her on the down-low, which, if you've ever met Johanna, is not something she's terribly familiar with.

    I noticed that the kids in the band were either reading books, or playing on their phones, or talking to each other between rousing variations of our fight song.  Eric pointed out that I probably should not be judging, what with me being me and all, but I was like, no!  I'm ever so proud!  What I could have done with an iPod back in the day!

    Oh, and I'm still paging through my favorite parts of The Hunger Games series, and I still haven't downloaded the second and third e-books to my Kindle yet, but I'm pretty sure today is the day.  Well, I'll need something to do now that the house is clean and the blog is updated, right?  My public (hi, Mom!) has had the flu since Monday, so I haven't even gotten in trouble for being lax lately.

    P.S. Quick Johanna story: She filled out her Valentines Thursday evening (apparently you can't just get a basic box of Valentines anymore--you have to buy boxes of individually-wrapped candy.  What the hell?), and she ended up with a few left over.  She made one for her best friend, who isn't in her class, and then one for Eric and Abby.  Since I cannot eat that sort of candy, she just made me a card, which I thought was sweet.  Anyway, then she's all, I have an extra one!  And I'm going to make it to my instincts!  

    Okay, then.  More candy for you, I guess.

    Smashing Pumpkins, Mayonaise.  Um, because Abby is making herself a sandwich RIGHT NOW.  And also, I really love guitars.  "Fool enough to almost be it / and cool enough to not quite see it / and old enough to always feel this / always old, I'll always feel this."  Now that I'm THIS CLOSE to 40, I gotta tell you, that sort of stings a little.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    It doesn't even matter how hard you try

    I am despairing and despondent, people.

    Because I just finished The Hunger Games series.  And it was SO GOOD.  And I am not ready to let it go just yet.  Good lord!  What a crazy, horrible, wonderful story.  I'd like to think there's no way our world could ever come to that.  Although really, I guess it already has.

    I'm totally going to read it again.  RIGHT NOW.

    P.S. Abby has wanted me to read these books for ages, and then I do, and then she's mad when I go on Wikipedia to find story synopsis' (synopsi?) and even read ahead.  Why is she surprised?  She knows I'm OCD.  And I needed to make sure those kids were okay, even though I knew that couldn't really happen.

    Here's something that I learned: I much prefer reading on my Kindle than a real book.  I haven't read a real book in quite a while, but Abby had them in print, so.  You might find that sad, or you might find that smacking of poser, and probably it's both.  But the thing is my Kindle is so light and I don't have to struggle to keep the pages open.  Or remember what page I'm on.  Or even find a bookmark.

    Anyway, I know, whatever, what a stupid thing to be going on about, although when you think about it rationally, that IS sort of the whole point of this very pointless endeavor (the blog, in case it didn't translate).  All I'm saying is that I only have the first book on my Kindle (because we were out and about on Saturday, and I had some downtime, and no book, so I succumbed), and I am fighting the urge to download the other two, even though we all know how this is going to end, and that it's an incredible waste of willpower, really.

    Oh, and also I have pleurisy.  Probably.  Eric's been fighting a cold for two weeks, and I figured that the girls and I had dodged a bullet, but yesterday Abby and I realized we're not feeling so great.  Johanna has been running around screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO BE INFECTED!"  And also claiming she has the worst case of diabetes ever, which makes me wonder what the hell they're teaching in that school of hers.  Fun fact: Eric had no idea anything called "pleurisy" even existed.  I tell you what, he's led a sheltered life.

    Well anyway.  That's why I haven't written in a while.  I've been occupied elsewhere.  Reading.  The house is in complete disarray.  Not that THAT is really any different from usual, just that I had something to blame it on.  Eric is suggesting hopefully that I wait awhile before I start a new book, which I suppose is easy enough to promise because I'm just going back and rereading three old books.  Right?

    P.S. again, please tell me those aren't ice pellets falling from the sky...

    Linkin Park, In the End.  It just seems very Hunger Games appropriate.  This is actually the first song of theirs I ever heard.  And it is still one of my favorites, although I'm hopelessly biased where Linkin Park is concerned.  "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter."  I know, Chester.  I know.  (They look so young in this video...)

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Going nowhere

    I meant to write on Groundhog's Day, because obviously that's a holiday for the books, but I had to watch 30 Rock and Parks and Rec* and The Office, so there went that.  Thursday is the big TV day in our household.  It's handy that all our favorite shows are on the same night.

    Except for Chuck, I guess, but now it's over, and I'm in denial about that, even if we only caught it once this season because we kept forgetting it had moved to Friday nights.  Don't do that to us, NBC!

    Um, never mind.

    Groundhog's Day Quote of the Day (wow, that does not flow, does it?)
    "How often do we put a rodent on a pedestal and make it predict the weather?" --The UPS guy.

    ...And now for something completely different:
    Abby had a basketball game in the hinterlands, and Mom and Eric carpooled together.  Johanna and I stayed home, mostly because the game was smack in the middle of school and work and whatnot.  And fine, I find basketball stressful, okay?  So while I'm happy to watch the weekend games wherever they may be, I'm okay with letting Eric go solo to the games during the week under the guise of "work" and "school."

    Anyway, Eric and Mom met at my office, so around 3 p.m. she came in to chat a bit while she waited.  Who should be in the office but Cranky Steve!  Cranky Steve is all about meeting people, so I'm like, hey, have you met my Mom?  And he was all, I don't think so.  So I was like, Mom!  This is Cranky Steve!  And Steve was all, hi!  And Mom was all, nice to meet you!  And it was all really rather heartwarming, if you want to know the truth.

    And then Mom turned to me and said, I don't know what you're talking about, he's delightful!  That made Steve laugh.  It also made Stacey and I laugh, since we'd been subjected to his crankiness all afternoon.

    Oh, and P.S. Steve apparently had fried potatoes and five brownies for breakfast.  Stacey thought he needed to work in a vegetable for dinner, but he was all, at my age, you don't worry about that sort of thing.  Personally, I think five brownies for breakfast sounds reasonable.  That is a diet I could get behind.  If I didn't die every time I ate too much sugar or fat or basically anything delicious.

    And then I picked up my happy little Johanna from school, and we had a nice dinner together, and she played a lot of Temple Run on the poser iPad while I cleaned the kitchen, and then Eric and Abby came home all excited because Abby's team won (19-9) and Abby made two baskets and her gross toenail (did I ever write about that?) is looking more gray now than black because it was bleeding or something.  The lesson there is that when you're a post and under the basket a lot, you're not the only one jumping on your feet.


    Snow update:

    Hey, we have grass!

    Adam Lambert, Mad World.  Abby and I are all about this particular version lately.  Nothing like a good isolation song to get you going in the morning.  Angst is fun!