Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's just...not...right?

I'm watching one of our new movies with the kids. It's called Pom Poko and it's about raccoons being pissed off about the deforestation of their habitat for Japanese housing expansion in the 60's. But these raccoon can transform into, well anything really. One thing I noticed, on my quick perusal while shunting about the house doing chores, is the male raccoons have testicles. Now it's not so bad, the kids are kind of young to notice or care really what those things are under the raccoons' bellies. But, I just happened to watch a few minutes of the movie, where the raccoons are fighting against a police SWAT team, and they attack from above on their inflated testicles and bounce-squash the police squad as the narrator says "They used their balls as weapons in a brave kamikaze attack." (The narrator is Brain from Pinky and the Brain)

It's all a bit disturbing really. Makes me giggle a little with a hide my smile flick of the hand, and yet, the kids don't seem to notice, get it or care.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Well I never!

My Husband just called me Petulance: The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. I was merely gearing up for a huff because I (mistakenly I admit) found a toblerone box in the bin and thought he'd eaten all of his toblerone and not shared with me when I had shared some of my chocolates with him last night. I wasn't aware he had saved me some in the fruit bowl (yeah, as if I'm looking for chocolates in the fruit bowl, great place to hide them!), but I hadn't hit actual huffage by the time I got the insulting moniker. I was still in the gathering of facts phase to gauge the level of huff I should display.

This is the problem with being married so long, he can see it coming a mile off now. I miss the good old days where I'd knock him into babbling dismay with a look and a pout. *sigh* Where has the power gone?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Aftermath...

It's a real shame I went and gave this blog address out to so many folks because I have a huge pile of family gossip to spill and I'm not allowed to share because "We don't air out dirty laundry for the world to see!" and I don't even think it's all that dirty, I mean a good soak and handwash scrub would clear it all up. A little care and attention is all that's needed. But what's dirty is the annoying and obsessive "I'm the Martyr here!" "No I am the real martyr, and this is why!" back and forth and it's just getting so tired. There's trouble in paradise. Thank God it's not my paradise that's under threat though, but to have to watch from afar; it's like watching one of those really bad horror films that's kind of funny but the gory bits you have watching through popcorn scented fingers.

We had a great Christmas day, one of the best yet! The kids behaved, mostly. We took account of the presents excitement and sugar overload. Shorty spent most of the day skipping about in her fairy princess costume drowned in pink and purple plastic beads like Mr. T's gold. Sassy was content, once she got her Roboreptile she was in heaven and spent a good part of the day shouting "Don't bite mummy! that's naughty. Naughty robot." with her being the mummy.

We had Great-Grandma over for Christmas lunch for the first time. She's never seen our home before, we always go over to hers. The reason she was with us is all down to the before mentioned drama that I'm allowed to discuss. I'll just say that the original plans to go to my in-laws for lunch fell through and we were all told at 6pm on x-mas eve not to come over. I always prepare way too much food so it was no problem at all for us to accommodate Grandma and she was delighted. I adore Grandma Betty, she and I get along so well and I have the deepest respect for her. She's 86, has one leg and still drives, still has the most beautiful garden and the dirt under her nails to show for it, and she's funny. She's so funny. She has tons of friends that she goes on trips with - I'm looking forward to my 80's because she's shown me how much fun it can be.

Anyways, lunch was honey roast ham, roast potatoes, baked stuffing and carrots with sugar snap peas. Chocolate bombe and cherry pie for dessert (I ruined the pie, the crust was too thick but the filling was nice. It was a dissect-a-pie) mulled wine, red wine and port. The kids ate well, we drank well and everyone was very happy.

Shorty's favorite present was the Barbie airplane, I bought Hubs a gift certificate for a massage (and I'll clarify for you as I did for my various family members that it's a professional, salon massage, not one done by redeemable me with a love coupon.) and I got the DS...which I have to share with everyone. No surprises. Ah well. I'm not too disappointed, I did spend enough on myself to make up for it.

I'm going to get more coffee, do tons of laundry and try and make sure the kids keep their new toys in their own space and not strewn all over the house.

I'm really wanting a cigarette in the post stress holiday downtime.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Sassy-face just got in trouble for telling me a lie. It wasn't even a good lie, you know one that could get her off being in trouble if I didn't fact check every word she utters. It was just an off the cuff, no reason, because I felt like it and couldn't stop myself kind of lie. I despise those!

The conversation went something like this:

Me: How was school today?

Her: Awful!

Me: Awww, why was it awful?

Her: I got PUNCHED in the EYE!

Me: Who hit you? (And let me at 'em!)

Her: David. (Ah, my best friend's son. That complicates things.)

Me: How did it happen?

Her: His fist HIT MY EYE!!

Me: I understand that part. Were you playing together? Was it an accident? Did you tell a teacher.

Her: NoOOOoooOO!! I don't want to talk about it. (My fingers twitch to text my friend)

So then she gets all whiny and sarcastic, shouts at me and I tell her to go sit in her room until she's calm enough to speak nicely and with manners. Ten minutes later she comes down and apologizes.

Me: So, can you tell me what happened?

Her: Well, I was playing tag with Amy and she ran over and slapped me in the eye, shouted "Tag" and then ran away. It really hurt.

Me: Uh-huh, but how did David punch you? (My God they ganged up on her!)

Her: Well, (here we go...) It was really Amy that hit me.

Me: David never hit you?

Her: No.

So I gave her a speech about how no one likes a liar and how she nearly got David in big trouble which would've been really bad as he's got behavior charts that if he gets too many X's he'll lose Christmas - his Mom is tough. But there was no reason to lie, she wasn't protecting Amy, she wasn't protecting herself, it was just...bullshit!

Me: You lied to me. Remember what I said would happen if I caught you in a lie again?

Her: No...(oh she's worried now, she knows full well!)

Me: (walks over to the frige and takes out the Tabasco sauce) Open up and stick out your tongue. (one big drop right in the middle) Don't lie to me again.

Then there was much hilarity as she ran about wanting water. I'm a bit tough, but only as it suits my amusement.

The noise in my head...

Random things going around my brain these days:

1) After reading about poor Chrystal's house burning down, I'm completely paranoid about it happeneing to me and I've planned as many escape routes, scenarios and eventualities as possible so I'll be sharp if it does happen. I wish I had one of those emergency ladders for the kids' room. Are the fire extinguishers still within sell-by date? Would I now how to use it in an emergency? Do the kids know what to do if there's a fire? Do I have the insurance information committed to memory? Have I tested the fire alarms recently? Let me tell you, I'm nervous about even burning toast right now.

2) Sassy-face won't keep her toothbrush in the cup with the rest of the family's toothbrushes and it bugs me. What is she trying to say? Does she not feel like she belongs to even have her toothbrush with ours? Is she already trying to strike out on her own and this is her first showing of independence? Is she a germ freak? I just don't get WHY!

3) Seriously the fear that I'm wetting the bed and everything up to that point has been a dream is driving me bat-shit-crazy.

4) Have I forgotten anyone? Have I found all the presents I've been squirreling away? Did I buy enough sweets for the stockings? Do I really want them to have sweets in the morning? What if I didn't buy enough to put in the stockings and they flop over - that would be awful. But I could at least, for this year, blame Santa, the cheap bastard.

5) I'm losing weight and yet can't manage more than two days at the gym because I keep getting sick. why is that? I shouldn't complain but what if it's something bad?

6) Should I be concerned for the fact my youngest is currently sitting on the sofa eating half a cucumber for her breakfast? I mean she asked for it, and it's healthy, but am I being lazy? Who cares, it's roughage and she's happy.

7) Why can't Quaker Oats make the same flavors of instant oatmeal here as the do in the States? I want some raisin and cinnamon and apple cinnamon - aw hell just anything with cinnamon would do! I have my own cinnamon but it never tastes the same. Is it past date?? I want a Cinnabon!! Bastard should export by now FRANCHISE I say!!

8) I'm toying with the idea of doing a before and after photos post on January 23rd which will be one year since I started the diet and exercise that's done so much for me this year. But I feel pressure to shed at least another 10-15lbs before that just...because.

9) Did I clean the toilet yet?

10) For some reason my curls have gone wild and I'm looking like Yahoo Serious these days.

11)My heel pain has returned and I'm worried I'll not be able to run for much longer. I was hoping to get trained up for a 10k by spring, but it's not looking very likely, unless I agree to have the steroid injections into my foot, which have no garantee of working but I'm told hurt like awful bad!

12) I want to be good at logic puzzles but can't find any playbooks to practice with. It annoys me!!

13) Is it wrong to make pasta three times a week? I mean the kids eat it, it's easy and doesn't make too much of a mess.

14) I have to go and there's so much more I could add. But I have THINGS TO DO!!! And never enough sleep to do them well. Last night was a taste of insomnia so things aren't looking good.

15) I'm going to be 35 in ten days' time and I just know how this happened? I remember folks telling me 35 wasn't old and I didn't believe them but I don't feel old at all. I still feel like I'm 19.

16) I have wrinkles on my forehead. They started in my chicken pox scars. I wish I'd never picked my chicken pox but you can't tell a three year old anything when they're itchy!! Now look at me!!!

17)I have to GO! Stop talking to me or I'll be late...

18) Ok I'm back. Now, I've found the coffee pot alarm clock for caffeine addicts. It helps if your name is Heathcliff too. They're pretty cool really.

19) Seriously, why can't the house just clean itself? Why does dust have to be everywhere? Why do kids have to crumble bagels onto the carpet? Why does coffee and tea have to spill on my counters? Just stay in the damned cup!! RAISINS - they end up dropped, rolled along the bottom of a shoe and then resemble mouse poops so I keep thinking I have mice but no - it's just raisins. Toothpaste spit on the sink - it's just unnecessary!

20) I bought some of those toaster sandwich bags and they're GREAT! I love them. I just had a cream cheese and pate toastie. I know I'm kind of supposed to put cheddar or something meltable in it but leave me alone - it's my lunch!

21) I found white hairs where I don't think I should have white hairs. Should I dye them to match? Tweeze? Ignore and just get over it? I don't fancy the Brazilian look, or feel.

22) I have a bald spot on one of my eyebrows as if I had it pierced and took it out. I've never pierced there, so I have no idea why there's a baldie bit and I hate having to pencil in the gap.

I'm sure I'll have more before the day is out. Give me some mulling over time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Egads and Argggh!

Who has time for blogging when there's Crimbo just around the corner!?!? I've been out and about trying to get he last presents, wrapping them up, getting the food for next two weeks, because honestly who wants to be in a grocery store right now?? Not me. It's vicious and mean and cruel. Bad enough I have to work in the local Tesco and be bullied about by anxious, stressed and disgruntled shoppers. "Where have you moved the shortbread?" "Where are the Christmas cards" (seriously it's getting a bit late for cards don't you think?) and that kind of stuff. I had a grumpy woman complaining to me because we don't have any French mustard - I offered her Dijon mustard and she said "It's not French mustard." oookay then I offered her French's Mustard and she walked away. Some people!

So I've been wrapping gifts and my back is sore from bending over the packages and sitting on the floor; when did sitting on the floor become so uncomfortable? I've also still got this tummy bug lurking about, it acts up when I'm run down and attacks me in inconvenient places, like the mall. Nothing worse than runny poop in public toilets - deeply humiliating. Accompanied by thunderous gas that reverberates off the tiling. I'm rather fed up with all. Worst of all is the anticipation of someone else getting ill too because I hate having to clean up the kids' poop/vomit when everything I smell makes me nauseous. (And no, I'm not pregnant.)

My anxiety is a bit out of control and I'm having to stop, think and then talk myself down from the mountain a few times a day. The annoying problem right now is if I need to have a wee, the second I sit and let it flow I have a gripping thought "What if I'm really sleeping and wetting the bed right now?!" It's driving me crazy because I know I'm awake, but now I'm worried that if I got to bed without a completely empty bladder I may wet the bed; and being a new mattress it would be disastrous! I keep checking my shoes for spiders, checking the fridge door is closed and making sure we have enough tins of food in the cupboards - for some reason I'm in holocaust mode stocking up for a famine and it's all tins.

I've decided to stock up on crossword puzzles for a while too because with school break coming I'll not have much of a shot at the TV and will need something to entertain me. I probably should go and get a stack of books for the fortnight too. I got a normal crossword book, an easy cryptic crossword book - because I've always wanted to be good at these, and then a suduko one. Because let's be honest I'll not have a shot at the DS for ages as it's a "Family Gift" I feel so suckered.

So I'm rambling along, getting things done and trying to keep my chin up, because it looks like I have two when I slump my head forward and it's not pretty. I wonder if my forehead wrinkles should be botoxed, and my cute, chubby cheeks will turn into hound gowls and flop about on my collarbones.

...speaking of which have I taken my meds today...Where's the decaff and a cookie and...Have I cleaned the bathroom yet? Wait I have mail I haven't read yet oh geez there's just so much to do!!!

I hope you lot are having a much better pre holiday scramble than I am - much love!!

Friday, December 15, 2006


I'm grumpy. A bit hacked off and annoyed because it's my own fault I'm grumpy and I can't do anything to fix it anymore. I've waited too long and the time limit has expired. I should've complained, spoken up or mentioned doubts ages ago but no, I stewed. I waited to see if I'd change my mind but I haven't and now I have to live with an unsatisfactory decision of indecision.

One thing is, I'm not going to have an "expected" present this year for Christmas. Usually I get asked what I'd like, and then I get it. No surprises, no disappointment. Don't think for a minute I don't have guilt about feeling this way, because it's not the spirit of the holiday and I should be happy with anything, right? But like PBW shows, and many agree, some present really do become a burden. This year, all I've really wanted was some money to get new clothes, because I'm wearing a wardrobe that's too big for me now.

So when back in October, Husband says "Why don't we pull our Christmas money together and get ourselves a Nintendo DS with a few games!" I was a bit, no fucking way, and a bit gee look how excited he is about this, I should just give in and let him be happy. It's 'crismiss right? So I did. This means I have to fork over my holiday cash for this DS. I don't think I'll even play with it, I'm not interested in these really, not handheld games. I play on the gamecube a few times a week but it's not something I get to enjoy because I'm always interrupted.

So, I've been buying myself presents. Not always the best idea, but there it is. And I've already opened them. Of course. I bought both Amy Winehouse CDs, a new non-stick titanium Peking wok, a book and new gymwear. It's just, not, exciting.

What I'd like is to be surprised with a wonderful present. Something that really shows I'm loved, appreciated and understood. A present that I didn't even know I'd love. Something I didn't expect to be the perfect gift. And maybe the DS will be that, but I'm not making any wagers. An actual surprise would be nice.

See, I had planned on getting this rather expensive, perfect present for Hubs. But he's really upset me recently and I've not bought it. I think he's been too naughty to get the big present. I've been pouting and giving the cold shoulder, but he's just waiting out my huff until it dissipates. He's not even apologized. Here's what he did...

Last Friday Sassy-Face was in her room playing with Gomez, it was 8:25 and I called up to her to say she needed to brush her hair before going to school "Fuck OFF!" I get as a response. She got an earfull, grounded for a week and told if she ever says that to me again she'll get a mouthful of Tabasco sauce. (She says she wasn't saying to me, but because she was mad she couldn't keep playing, either way, not good) I phone Hubs at work and told him what she'd done and he's upset. When he comes home at night he gives her a masterful guilt trip that leaves her in tears. Properly chastised, united front from the parents. He and I talk about how we'll have watch what we say from now on, lead by example...

Saturday mornings are busy. I have an hour to wake the girls, get them breakfasted, dressed and ready to go out for swimming lessons. It always seems no matter how much I prepare, we never get ready in time. Hubs will usually lie in bed while I'm racing about, agitated and shouting at the kids and it pisses me off. I've worked until midnight, gone to bed at one in the morning and up at seven again and I hate that he stays in bed until almost quarter to eight, and then hogs the bathroom when the rest of us are needing to brush our teeth, getting huffy that we're bullying his toilet time. So, last week it was mayhem, we were to leave in five minutes and I didn't have a snackbox packed or drinks made up and was still getting everything together with kids shouting and fighting, and he starts yelling at the kids for being unruly. I shouted back at him that if he got up earlier he'd be a better help than just shouting at the kids. "Stop nagging me and just fuck off!"

It took a lot of control not to kill him right there on the spot. Completely undermined not only me but himself and his wonderful speech the night before. He showed his kids he's just full of shit and that I'm not worthy of any respect. Icy is what he's received ever since. I'm not talking to him if I can help it, I'm not initiating affection, forget it. He's not getting the nice present either. He's beyond grounded. Still no apology, either. He's such an ass.

Then there's the thing about me having a sore back for a while because the mattress is old and not as supportive as it used to be. I complained about eight months ago but Hubs said a new mattress was too expensive right now and we'll suffer it , besides he doesn't have any back trouble. So I spent months doing loads of extra abdominal exercises to build up core strength, because I thought it was just me. He recently gets a sore back for a couple weeks and Lo, we have a new mattress. Although I'm happy to have a new mattress, I still feel like punching him.

So...yeah. I'm grumpy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

*shrug* I was bored.

I found this on Corrina's blog and thought, stealing would be good for content. Save it up for an uninspired week. That's what these things are for, aren't they.

1. The phone rings. Who do you want it to be?

Eccentric millionaire willing to share their fortunes with the first person to answer the randomly dialed phone number.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?

Almost always, unless it's raining and the trolley depot is way far away. I'll at least leave it somewhere safe and unobstructive.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
In the beginning, I'm a listener. After a few drinks, I'm a talker, and a Divine Creature.

4. Do you take compliments well?
I'm learning to.

5. Are you an active person?
Very much so.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, do you survive?

I have the instinct to do so, so I think I'd try. Anyone who sits and cries about it just bear food.

7. Do you like to ride horses?

No, I don't trust horses.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?

Every summer from the age of 5-14 years old. We used to go family camping at the same camp every weekend so for a while, I spent every day of my summer at the same camp (Camp Yomechas in Middleborough Massachusetts, nice place if you ever fancy it.) I even went back at 20 and became a counselor at that camp.

9. What was your favorite game as a kid?

Husker Du!! No, Pitfall!

10. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was married would you?

Would I what? Be pursued? Perhaps a little, but that's it. You know, enough to get a couple free lunches out of the deal, without breaking any vows or trusts. His folly really.

11. Are you judgmental?
Yes. But sneaky with it.

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?

Sure, I have no religion of my own so I'm easy-ozey on the whole thing. Unless they're a freak about it because I'm not interested in zealots.

13. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
I don't know, I've always pursued, but it might be nice to get pursued for a change, not in a stalkerish way but in a sweetly adoring way. Yeah I could like that.

14. Use three words to describe yourself:
Reliable, Responsible, Bratty

15. If you had to choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?
Deaf. I couldn't stand to not see my kids grow up.

16. Are you continuing your education?
Every minute of every day. We are a progressive species.

17. Do you know how to shoot a gun?

When I was ten my Dad let me fire a shotgun. I was thrown back about three feet and landed on my ass. It was scary, loud and exciting, but I'll not ever do it again.

18. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you tried to save?
My kids of course.

19. How often do you read books?
daily, but only one at a time.

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future?

All of the above in fairly equal measure. All causing anxiety that requires medication.

21. What is your favorite children’s book?
Horton Hatches the Egg. or any Peanuts Gang.

22. Have you kissed any of your Blog friends?
Nope, never even met any of them.

23. How tall are you?
Five foot eight.

24. Where is your ideal house located?
You mean someone's already built it and I'm supposed to Find it?? Better not be in frikkin Greenland or anything like that!!

25. Boxers, briefs, thongs, panties, or grannies?

I like those girlie boy-shorts styled ones. Does that mean briefs? Because mine don't have the ventilation at the front.

26. Last person you talked to?


27. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes. Not for fun though, always for an I.D. of some sort be it gym card, license or passport.

28. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
I've never been to an Olive Garden.

29. What are your keys on your key chain for?
Keys and keyrings. I also do have a six inch chain that I can use as a weapon.

30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today?

I haven't left the house yet, but I plan on going about 15 miles away later.

31. Where is your current pain at?
Sitting on the sofa watching cartoons.

32. Do you like mustard?
yeah, why?

33. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Sleep., sleep. I'll have to get back to you on that one...

34. Do you look like your mom or dad?

It changes but mostly both and neither.

35. How long does it take you in the shower?
Depends on how tense I am. Anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes.

36. Can you do a split?
Nope. Never, I'm not meant to be bendy. Well that's not true, I can wrap my leg around my neck.

37. What movie do you want to see right now?

Oooo, I'm really in the mood for a Jerry Lewis Marathon, all those great funny movies from the 50's and 60's with or without Dean Martin. Bring them all on!

38. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats?

We have no pets. Especially no bald pets.

39. What did you do for New Year’s?
It hasn't come yet, but as it's my Birthday, I'll say eating cake and opening a present or two, or at least I had better be..

40. Do you think “The Grudge” was scary?
I have no clue what you're talking about.

41. What was the cause of your last accident?
My own feet.

42. How much money do you have on you right now?
about 11 pounds in small change.

43. What are you drinking?

Coffee. With soy milk.

44. Was your mom a cheerleader?
My mom's graduating class consisted of five girls. There wasn't even a team to cheer for.

45. What’s the last letter of your middle name?
I don't have a middle name, my folks didn't give me one. I use my maiden name instead, but not as a double-barreled surnamed. So I guess, R.

46. Who did you vote for on American Idol?
Our votes didn't count in the UK, and we don't have Pop Idol anymore (Why not British Idol, I don't know) but I kind of like Chris the Rocker.

47. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
depends, either five or nine depending on the night. I work some nights.

48. Do you like Carebears?
No. I don't like anything so disgustingly cute. Don't trust anything that hides its teeth. Like chickens and ducks.

49. What do you buy at the movies?

In America it has to be Junior Mints, but in the UK it's peanut M&Ms

50. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes. I mean no, never...want to teach me? I have all this change here...

51. Do you wear your seat belt?

52. What do you wear to sleep?

Cotton top, satin bottoms.

53. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?

54. How many meals do you eat a day?
Five. Three main and two snacks. Ok...perhaps a few more than two snacks.

55. Is your tongue pierced?
No. Too chicken to do that, Ew.

56. Do you trust the news reported by the local paper?


57. What’s you favorite NFL team?

Not that I get to watch any of the games anymore, but I'll still root for the home team, N.E. Patriots.

58. Do you like funny or serious people better?

I'm often serious, so funny. What are you laughing at?

59. Ever been to Vegas?
No. But I'm not one for crowded casinos either.

60. Did you eat a cookie today?

Yes, the last two from the variety box. I think it was a chocolate coated coconut thing.

61. Do you use cuss words in other languages?

Pig Latin UkFay Ouyay. and that police letter speak, Foxtrot Oscar and the like.

62. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
I don't download. I like having the original CD, the whole package, with the words, acknowledgments and pictures. Call me old fashioned.

63. Do you hate chocolate?
Yes, how dare it be so delicious and yet so very bad for me.

64. What do you and your parents fight about the most?

I don't fight with my parents anymore. I'm pretty much left to just carry on being me.

65. Is anyone mad at or irritated with you right now?

Sure thing. My Sister hasn't spoken to me since last May. Ahhh, Family.

66. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
I keep saying the kids can have a present on Eve, but they end up desperate to get to sleep and forget.

67. What’s your favorite preparation for eggs?
poached. then again I'm partial to a nice meringue too.

68. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what would it be?
A Judge.

69. Are you easy to get along with?
No. Yes. Well it depends on you, really. I am what I am, take me or leave me.

70. What is your favorite time of day?
First thing in the morning, predawn. Sunrise. Where you can see the colours break on the horizon and the last few bright stars and planets left in the sky.

71. Who was your best girlfriend/boyfriend?
My Husband. He's lasted the longest. So far.

72. Who do you hate?

I don't think I "hate" anyone in particular. Hate is very strong. I dislike most people though for one reason or another. I'm sure they dislike me too and they have the right to do so.

73. Would you ever date your first love again?
No. I do often think about this scenario however and perhaps I should write some fiction on it.

74. Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?

I’m married so I guess that means yes, unless we're talking hermaphrodites then no.

75. Current mood?
Hungry and harrassed.

Borrowed from Corrina.

Yay! It works!! Now...where's the mascara?

You may catch me live at any point during the day. I'll give this a go and see how it works out for me. If anything, like I said, it'll encourage me to start taking better care of my appearance. If you catch me today - look - I'm wearing lipstick!! Should I get one of those shout box things too? Or is that too much? I need to restyle the blog again I think. It gets a bit boring day after day.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Curses, foiled again.

I had the idea that I wanted to have a live video feed on my blog. Just a small window that shows what goes on when I'm at the computer. I don't think it would be interesting for folks to watch my forehead while I type, bite my nails, shout at the kids or pick my nose or to find anything else remotely interesting, but I just had the notion and so I'm keen to see if it can be done.

I've been trying to find something that will work for hours now and I'm having no luck. I registered with but it's not working. Seriously annoying. It says it should work, but it doesn't.

I figured I could just keep the page up all the time, while working in another page so it would be used quite a bit. I'm attached to this machine for a few hours each day. Damn that sounds lame. But Still! I want a window over there on the right with a live webcam stream. I just want to know that I can do it, and I'm in a pissy mood because it's not being easy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I remember the television we (actually it was my Grandmother's, she lived in the apartment upstairs.) had when I was a kid. It was a piece of furniture all its own. It was covered in wood, about 28 inches and we could display family photos and dried flower arrangements on top of it. It was a centerpiece. It was a focal point. It had to be polished with pledge and kept out of the sun so the wood wouldn't fade. It was beautiful. It was from the 60's, lasted her until she passed away in the 80's, then my brother used it until he moved away in the 90's and I used it for a bit after that.

That TV was use for the better part of twenty years before it was so completely replaced by new technology that it was left ignored. In fact in its end it became the TV stand for it's trendy replacement - talk about insult.

It's funny how fashion has changed over the years. First the TV was in a decorative wooden box surround, and then it was supposed to sit on top of a wooden display stand. Then Anne Maurice comes along and says we shouldn't ever use the TV as a focal point so we have to close it away inside a wooden box, but now we don't have to have a wooden box at all. TV is now wall art. Flat panel TVs and pull down projection screen are the new way to go. We use the flat screens like hung (hanged?) artwork. Again, a focal point.

I kind of miss the old 60's styled big tube, woodbox surround TV where you could put family photos and floral arrangements on it. Actually, I like some of the spaceage looking TVs from the 50's with their white and red or whatever colour cases. Those wee ones that dangled on a chain in the 70's. In the 40's they came in a suitcase; early portables.

Modern TVs just aren't fun anymore.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ambrrr Tagged Meme.

Well I think this Meme is very timely because I was going to post about the awful 48 hour stomach bug I've endured, but perhaps a nice meme about 6 weird things about me (Only six??) would be kinder reading. Although, I am much better now, and one good thing about about having a germ induced clear out is, it means I can start a detox program! Always looking at the bright side of everything, me. I've started the 4321 day and night detox. I have no clue if it'll work, but hey, I felt like giving it a try.

The rules

According to the rules…Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog. I was tagged by Ambrrr.

1.) I have short hair, but I've always wanted long hair, but when I've had long hair I always wore it up in a twist or ponytail because I hate having it blow across my face and stick to my lipgloss, or tickle my face or get stuck down under my coat or shut it in car doors, or pull it when I roll over in my sleep. For all that I'm obviously a short hair kind of person, I still wish I could have long, luxurious, shimmering tresses. I blame fairy tales and L'Oreal commercials. And Cosmopolitan. And Penelope Cruz, the bitch has perfect hair.

2.) I have a strange fear/dread/disgust of broken glass. Or breaking glass. It's more the handling of glass that I could drop and then have it shatter around my feet. I hate broken glass. So much so that I don't use glasses to drink out of, only plastic tumblers. I'm ok with porcelain or crockery, but it's just the annoying way that when glass breaks it splinters into teeny weenie bits that are always looking to lodge themselves into my feet. No matter how well I think I've cleaned it up, I always miss a piece. We don't even have wine glasses, I can't find any nice ones in plastic. We drink wine out of tumblers. When we drink wine, we don't drink wine often. We do have glass shot glasses because the Husband won't drink whiskey out of a plastic cup; it's sacrilege.

3.) Socks are virgins when new, when you first wear them they are created into a right sock or a left sock. From that time on you must look for the sock puck; where the big toe stretches the sock into its rightness or leftness. Wearing a left sock of your right foot can cause blisters due to excess saggy sock fabric wrinkling over the piggie toe. This makes sock matching a real chore when trying to match socks for a family of four.

4.) I pick fights and then get "sad" and accuse the other person of starting it. I do it for attention and out of boredom. I also like to see how fast it takes the other person to get wound up. My Husband has figured this ploy out, but I can still, usually, get a free lunch out of the guilt. I know that if I just asked "Husband, (bat the eyelashes a little) take me out for lunch, please?" he'd say yes, but my way is more fun.

5.) I have a small OCD about flushed toilets. I always forget if I just flushed, and then flush again, then I worry if anything may be left so I have to check. Then I forget if I checked, so I check again, but I give the bowl a good dose of bleach to be sure it's clean. I do often wish public toilets had bleach available so I could be sure of that bowl's hygiene. This only became an issue after I caught my kids playing in the toilet bowl. (Have I mentioned that I used to fill hypodermic needles with toilet water and squirt it at my brother? We weren't allowed water pistols as kids, and since my Dad was diabetic, we had lots of syringes around.)

6.) I asked the Husband to do this one, I thought it only fair to get an
outside opinion on my weirdness. He first said "Weird? You're not so much weird as annoying, but that could be just me. There's that sock thing of course, and being a Laundry Nazi as a whole (I am the master of the laundry, do not even try to fold a thing in my house because you will do it wrong. I've had extensive Gap training, I know what I'm talking about.) I guess the thing that gets me the most is your "Oh look it's that guy from that movie, you know, from California!" and I'm supposed to know."

Yes, I do that. It's a faulty switch in the brain. My brain locks down on the exact information I want to convey, it's bullying really. My recall just goes "Oh you want this person's name? well, you can't have it! Neener neener haha! And you just forget about the movie they were in too!" We were watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High last night and it was just awful, I was trying to name the man Pheobe Cates married, "You know, that guy from A Fish Called Wanda, the funny one!" Thankfully, the Hubs guessed first time.

So there you go. I think I'll have a try at tagging Doug, Beth, Kate Chryscat, NWJR and Maja. all of these folks I'm sure have some delightful weirdness (Doug especially) that will titilate the masses.

***Edit note: Fast Time at Ridgemont High is not an awful movie, it's a great movie, but the forgetting names thing is awful.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Death by Melting. SBD

I've just, JUST finished Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Thank God I'm done with it, I'm now going to flush it down the toilet. Drown bad book drown!

It's a complete crime, really. The book has such an excellent premise, a writer's dream of an idea: To tell the life story of the Wicked Witch of the West. Was she born bad? What was she like as child, a teenager? Why is she green? What did her parents do when she was born? Was she bullied as a kid? Did she always have magic, or did she have to learn it? Did she ever find love? What ultimately made her so evil?

Well, according to this, Elphaba Thropp (The WWW), wasn't evil, she was misunderstood. She was straightforward, painfully honest and more than a bit prickly. She didn't let people get too close, well duh - she was called a monster for most of her life so she wouldn't exactly be the trusting sort, now would she? I found I really did want to like her. She was sparky, political and passionate in her beliefs. A bit of a conspiracy theorist but enlightened. She fought for Animal rights and then became something of an underground rebel in a fight to bring down the Wizard who was becoming the despot of Oz.

Although we all know how the story ends, the thing that really annoyed me was that poor old Elphie failed in everything she put her hand to. The darling just couldn't catch a break. Friends belittled her, Her favorite teacher - a Goat is murdered, she ends up being a pretty bad assassin seeing as the person she's trying to kill was already dead when she got around to finding them but decided to bash their head in anyways for good measure. The man she falls in love with is married, and then he's murdered in her apartment. She tries to confess to his widow and beg forgiveness and the woman won't listen, but decides to keep Elphie and her bastard son at their castle. Her sister is loved more by her dad...oh dear it just goes on! Then when Dorothy arrives, she sends her 90something Nanny to set the table and invite them in for dinner - a very civilized meal "So, I hear you've come to kill me, how very unfriendly. More cheese? Now, about those shoes..." before being melted on the spot and having her broom stolen.

The characters have a very Charles Dickens inspired ignorance and cruelty, but with no comeuppance to satisfy the moral reader. There's a lot of political intrigue that could've been good if not left dangling limply for several chapters while being bored to death with description of marshlands, drought and mountains. I did not care about the geology, I wanted more about the people, the characters and something a bit more fleshed out than "They were ignorant and didn't know any better." There's a bunch of warble about Oz religions as well, and *yawn* *sigh* it's just tedious. I have no clue if Maguire was wanting to make a political statement, a religious statement or was he just trying to create a decent work of fiction. In any case he failed on all three.

The thing that seriously ticked me off is how this book is the equivalent of a bad lover. It starts great, good rhythm and momentum, but then it kind of gets full of itself and wanders off the point. It comes back and, okay here we go, this is going to get good again, and, It's not. Next chapter? New scenery? Why don't we just skip ahead to the meat of it shall we? Here we go again, that's good, getting better and almost there...oh no...he's describing lame ass scenery to me again! and what happened to the plot? What the hell are you doing? Why are you fiddling over there when the good stuff is obviously over here?? By the last quarter of the book I was thinking "Just finish already and let me go and do something useful instead - I'm bored!" It's unforgivable in a lover, and in an author.

For the first time in my life, I'm not so mad at a book for being bad that I give up on books for ages. Instead I have to begin reading something else right away to get the very bad taste out of my mouth, and q-tip clean its stench from my memory.

Elphaba, you deserved so much better.

Smart Bitches Day is a Monday contribution, and is hosted by the Beautiful and Spring Fresh Beth. She lists the rules for SBD on her site, so if you have something to contribute, just leave her a comment and she'll link you in with the rest of us bitchy bitches. Although as rule #2 states "Step 2: Write it. It can be ill-tempered or gushing with praise or somewhere in between. The only ABSOLUTE requirement* is that you are thoroughly honest. Kindness is not discouraged, but if ever you must make the choice between politesse and honesty, SBD requires you to ditch your nice-girl side and get down and dirty with the truth.

*Foul language is not a requirement, though it is strongly encouraged and soundly enjoyed.

I know lots more of you read, so have a try, we'll all love you more for it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

For Doug

Doug did a Thursday Thirteen where he talks about his thirteen Fuck-ups and a lot of them involved him being a Jr. Scientist. Well Doug, my brother sent me this and I thought it was right up your inquiring mind's alley. We get to have fun with "Will it Blend?"

May I suggest the rake, 50 marbles, and the cola can. Let's just hope he's never heard the joke "What's red and green and goes a thousand miles and hour?"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Because I love it...

...and why should I just give away good blog ideas to others??

Go see this and smile, lots.

I'm a Junkie too...

Sometimes it's good not to be in America, where all the temptation is just so close. There's enough here for me to contend with and do daily battles against Id and sweet tooth, but to know that this exists out there somewhere is killing me right now. I'm twitching with need, aching with desire and drooling in anticipation.

You know, thinking about it, if they can sell eight caramel apples, as gourmet as a caramel apple can be, for $70 then perhaps I've found my UK niche market. Just have to try and not eat the profits.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bitching and Damn I'm a Meanie.

On Jennifer Crusie's Fast Women and my Evil talent for Mothering.

So, I finished Fast Women and it was ok. It was about a divorcee who plucks up and gets herself a job as a secretary for a P.I. She's whizzbang awesome at organising and does both of the bosses. Not at the same time, though. Shame, it may have sparked the story up some.

I don't want to be unfair, but I wasn't a big fan of this story. It again, had far too many people in it to keep track of, all of these brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, ex wives and their kids. The story couldn't figure out if it wanted to be a romance, or a murder mystery and unfortunatley, fell flat on both. This time however, I loved the Heroine Nell, she was good fun, spunky and unpredictable so was her confidante...uhm...I forget her name. But the Hero was bland and characterless. If Crusie had written a story with Nell and Phin from Welcome to Tempatation she'd have had a hot winner. Hell yeah. She seemed more interested in telling me about the Hero, Gabe's, cousin/business partner Riley. He had all the charm, sass and sexy backtalk. I kept thinking, How could Nell fall for Gabe when Riley is obviously the sexier man?? Is she demented? She should've booted her confidante's (best friends hooking up with cousins, cozy.) ass out of the way and continued that affair, not just settled for a one night stand. Jeez! And to get Grumpy Gabe as a prize - tcha. The mental picture I had was hot, sexy, and determined redhead pairs off with Fraiser's Dad. that's just not my thing.

This didn't have the fun, the spark or interest as Temptation did. I'm willing to try one more Crusie, so I'll take suggestions from folks as to which one I should read. As my library only has the two Crusie's, this means I'll have to fork over actual cash for one, so be sure and recommend a good one for me ok. This is probably a lame ass review, but when I actually had to go and get the book to look up Riley's name because I'd already forgotten it, that there has to be a sign.

So there you go; a lackluster review for a lackluster story. I was rooting for it to get better, it just couldn't. Spread too thin and over extended.

Now, onto why I'm the meanest Mommy. I got a call from the school principal telling me Sassy was in trouble. She was found two days in a row scavenging through the other kid's schoolbags looking for food. She told the principal that her Mommy, that would be me, didn't give her any breakfast and she was hungry. She also didn't have any snacks in her bag. So she was left with no alternative but to steal candy from her classmate's schoolbags.

Now, I have blogged many times about the fights and struggles I go through to get Sassy to eat breakfast, I have actual documented proof that not only do I feed her breakfast but that she is the one who fights and says she's not hungry. I also put extra snacks in her bag so I know she has something to eat if she gets hungry; things like cereal bars, fruit and occasionally a packet of potato chips. Let me assure you, as I have assured her principal, on both days Sassy did eat breakfast, and she did leave with snacks. Sassy is a candy junkie. What she was doing was going through bags in search of a fix.

I sat her down, we had a long talk about the evils of stealing and the evils of candy. Her punishment was to write out 50 times "I will not steal" and she is banned from all sweets for a whole week. She is also to write a letter of apology to her friend who's candy she nicked, and to me for lying about my depriving her of meals. And I didn't yell once. She seems sufficiently cowed.

So I was out doing some grocery shopping and Christmas shopping yesterday. Bought lots of healthy things because all of us need to cut the sugar out, we've been naughty for weeks. So it was lots of veg, fruit and healthy snacks. I even splashed out on this treat I've been wanting to try for months but couldn't justify the cost. I got some Wasabi Beans which is a nice, crunchy burn to the nosehairs savoury snack. Excellent in salads or mixed into chex mix type snacks. So when I got them home I, of course opened them and had some; nippy, crunchy and hot! I then shared with the Hubs who also thought they were great, in small amounts.

I left the packet on the counter while I was putting away the rest of the shopping. Sassy walked in and saw me eating the beans from the bag. I said "MMmmm these are really good." and she walked away. I finished the shopping, and with a smug smile on my face, went to sit next to the Hubs on the sofa. Sassy went into the kitchen. I began to giggle. "What's so funny?" the Hubs asks me. "Sassy is about to sneak a few beans in her mouth, thinking they're yogurt covered raisins or something." "You're not going to stop her?" He asked "Hell no!" and just then we hear the sound of spitting and a bean skitter across the floor. Sassy races out of the kitchen and up the stairs right into the bathroom. "Everything ok sweetie?" I shout. "You are mean." chuckles the husband.

Later we asked her what she thought of the beans "Those are horrible! Disgusting! Mean Mummy, leaving them out." but she had an embarrassed smile on her face and damn it was worth it. I am a Mean Mummy.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Enduring non sequitur

I was looking about in my site meter and I've noticed I get a few regular visitors that I just don't know who they are. There's someone from Edinburgh University who always visits via Beth's blog, which would be neat to know who they/you are as you're/they're nearby and I've never met someone from blogland. I get someone from Europe based Sun peeking in occasionally and someone from California Sun peeking in, and neither of them are my husband. So you sun folks - what are interested in (And I know kind of what the Italian guy is looking for because he's peeked in Flickr a few times)? Then there's Innocent, who doesn't bother to update his own blog but spares a few minutes to read in on me - you're very sweet. Now update your blog and stop making love to your blackberry.

I was trawling about some of everyone's sidebar links and I was reading Rosina Lippi's page where she's posted up a wee meme that I'm going to steal because it's short and sweet.

1. Three songs you can — and do — listen to again and again.

Last Goodbye Jeff Buckley

Dream a Little Dream - Mama Cass

This is the life - Weird Al Yankovic

2. Three movies you can — and do — watch over and over.

The Princess Bride

Defending Your Life

Pride and Prejudice (The BBC series)

3. Three dishes you would choose for your last meal.

Mashed potato with tons of butter and chunky beef gravy.

Pizzaria Uno's Spinoccoli pizza pie.

Cherry cheesecake.

4. Three most relaxing vacation spots you've ever visited.

Geneva Switzerland

Any beach, anywhere so long as it's warm.

Canoeing up the Nemasket river to swim (illegally) in Lake Assawompset (it's a resivoir)

5. Three books that you consider great reads.

Pride and Prejudice. (Watch Beth gag and sputter in disappointment)

To Kill a Mockingbird.

Any Calvin and Hobbes collection. Actually, add any Bloom County collections in there too. I love that penguin.

6. Three shows that you consider the best on television, past and present.

Gilligan's Island, was my childhood favourite.

Any episode of Columbo. (I like to shout "He did it he did it Columbo!!" because we always see the murder first. Is there any other show where you know who-done-it before the hero?)


Hope you enjoyed. Now - I have just spent an obscene amount of money on exercise underwear. Yes, why they charge a fortune for these things I'll never know - probably because there's someone like me suckered into paying it. But with the breasts getting into such nice shape, I don't want to risk sagging. I splashed out on a couple of Enell bras They are designed for larger sizes that do bouncy workouts. They're also designed for those who've had implants, but I at least qualify in the first part. I'm quite happy that even though I've gone from a 38FF to a 34E I've not got any sagging or skin puckering. As you can see from the link, this is a bulletproof bra, and I'll tell you now: Nothing bounces in it. It's very, VERY comfortable, I love it. Worth every penny. I also bought new underpants that won't creep up my asscheeks in it's aspirations to become a thong, or creep down my ass trying to escape. Sloggi are the best - the most comfortable, the longest lasting (I have some that are 7 years old and still awesome) and they stay put. Well worth the dosh. I'll not say how much I spent in case the Husband looks and has a coronary. But it was worth it. So worth it.

Last night I was having sucky dreams about sucky people and I'm in a sucky mood because of it. don't you wish there were people from your past you could just erase from memory, but the subconcious likes to kick you the gut with a dream of upset and humiliation. I hate that, so much. Dream bastard - you know who you are - Get out of my head you spunkmonkey!

So did you all have a nice Thanksgiving? I didn't partake, and went to work last night. Made chicken pasta for easy meal, and am now swilling back a big pot of decaff coffee. I'll switch the real stuff at around 3pm before I go off for the late shift again tonight.

Nanowrimo has been a bust this year. Between dead computers, Mom's visit and the new job it just wasn't going to happen. I couldn't cram another 30k words in the last few days if I tried. I shall be better prepares next year. OR I may have my own private nanowrimo in March or something.

not sure how to wrap up this, so I'll just stop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Eighties don't belong in the Noughties

I want this to be neat, cool and great. But I'm feeling that, "oh hell, am I really getting old?" feeling again...kind of like when I saw the bespangled former singer of Van Halen (He Who Shall Not Be Named) doing a ho-down version of Jump. I cried I tell ya, cried like a wee baby. I used to fancy Roth (Oh hell I named him, tabasco on the tongue for me.) when I was teeniebopper. Now It's just shameful - is it any wonder our teenagers think we're a bunch of losers?? "Omigawd Ma, you liked David Lee Roth - Ewww in the extreme. You may not ever comment on any of my boyfriends." and she'd be justified (Also in reality she wouldn't know who he was and is more likely say "Who?" like I did through every episode of Laverne and Shirley about Fabian). I feel I owe a sincere apology to all of my friends in school who prefered Duran Duran, because they have aged much better...even if they do still wear make up and have blonde highlights and ruffled shirts, the pansies. (Duran Duran I mean, not my friends, well I dunno, they might wear make-up, highlights and ruffled shirts, but seeing as they're real, actual girls they don't count as pansies)

But damn, Billy still looks a bit sexy. Just corny in a "Darn I wish a Rat Packer!" way. Far cry indeed from Fly Me to the Moon to White Wedding.

No wait...Bing-bada-Bing sang White Christmas didn't he, and he wasn't a Rat Packer...I'm just all befuddled. White Christmas with the wicked lip curl; I need a brandy.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Stuff and Bitching

We said goodbye to Mom at the airport this morning. the girls were crying. It was sad. We've had a wonderful visit, one of the best yet. Shortie is over delighted with her new pretty dresses Gramma brought her, and Sassy just loved having her Gramma here for tons of cuddles and a new ear to tell her stories to.

It's always weird to back to the house after she's left, and I walk about trying to find proof that she was really here at all - I need mementos, leftovers, forgotten things to covet for a bit while I get over my own "My Mommy's gone." sadness. I have found her bra, and a pair of socks. Not quite the mementos I was looking for but it's proof that she was here. So are the five packs of Marlboros she left. I'll have to find friends who smoke to palm them off to; for my own good.

I've lost my wedding ring. I'm crushed about it. I've not been wearing it much because it's too big now and falls off my finger, so I think it may have fallen out of my pocket at some point two weeks ago. I'll have to call the insurance company and go through the process of sorting it out. I'm sad though, I just want my ring back.

We're sitting around the house waiting for the UPS man to arrive with the Mac. It should be here today, or tomorrow, but the tracking service says today. It's on the truck. So long as they don't close the bridge due to gales or anything (I have an image of a merry parade of men and women named Gale/Gail/Gayle etc blocking traffic, playing music and dancing like Gay Pride, but Gail Pride instead.) Husband is bored and twitchy, he's trying to find ways to occupy his time but I keep catching him peering out the window looking for the first sign of the brown van coming down our street.

I have read Jennifer Crusie's Welcome to Temptation. It's a slow starter, but follows my cardinal rule of no cheap sex before page 100, she gets it in on page 110. The story starts out slow, and I found the introduction of so many characters a bit confusing and I got them all mixed up. Things like, why was the hot, handsome but smug news anchor doing shagging the old woman from the car crash?? But it was a different woman, not the old woman at all. I just couldn't keep them all straight, and even thought about writing out a character key to keep me right, but that would be too much effort, and not really my job. I put the book down a few times in the first 100 pages because my bad-book warning bells kept going off when Hero and Heroine kept saying over and over again, in thought italics, how much they didn't like, trust or want to be with that man/that woman. It felt like I was being reminded that they hated and distrusted each other at least every five pages.

It seems everyone has a bad side in this book, except the Hero, Phin. He's set up as over perfection, a well experienced sex god and patiently helpful Mayor of the small town of Temptation and good Dad, Good Son. Sophie, his Heroine, is bland. I just didn't like her at all. she fussed and worried and moaned the whole time. She's sneaky, sly and quite cowardly. The only time she showed some chutzpah was in the sack - Crusie can write excellent sex. Sophie was more interesting as a con artist, than a terrified good citizen/good girl.

The story is ok, there's a murder, that was a bit too easy to figure out and the visual descriptions were good. Lots of small town gossip that I can relate to, but the story still felt rough. It needed to lose a few characters, gain a bit more plot and add a lot more flirtation, because Phin was great at it. Dialogue was great, and I laughed out loud a couple times ("Come on Virginia, even Jello wiggles when you eat it." shocking and wonderful) I loved that they said "Fuck" instead of soppy love making talk - it was gritty, naughty, raw and sexy.

Despite what may sound like a depressing review of this book, I have to admit I liked it. I really did. It's flaws are forgiven for the dialogue and quotable gems. I thought it was funny how the story magically started to get easy and flow after the first sex scene, the writing was tense before that release. It was funny and entertaining and did it's job at keeping me from chewing my nails and overeating. I did find myself wanting to hurry up and finish chores/tasks/shopping so I could get back to my book. Since about halfway through, I've had this song stuck in my head. If they ever make a movie from this, they must use this song-it just fits. (I'm all Buffy nostalgic now...)

I'll read a few more Crusie books to get a full flavour of her style, just started Fast Women which has gotten off to a great start, save for the similar problem of so many characters thrown at me too soon. I may preempt my frustrations by getting a character key - there's far too many sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws already.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pop it

I love popcorn. It's becoming one of my number one treats. I used to love it as a teenager too, but gave it up for one reason or another, be it diet or poverty. But I've re-discovered my love of popcorn, and what an amazing difference in the microwave varieties there is now. I remember those bags that only half of the kernels popped and were coated in grease. My friend and I would fight over the half-popped kernels because they were the best and we'd both be tough, crunching our halfpops loudly between our teeth. Smug in fashion and boasting each of us had the better kernel. It was game on in the popcorn arena.

Once, I was rushing about trying to catch up on the new storylines of General Hospital when I flung a popcorn bag in the microwave, but didn't pay attention the buttons I was pushing. I ended up burning it. the popcorn on the outer edges of the bag were ok, and the middle was charcoal. But it's the small layer in between that caught my attention. Now, I ate as much of that bag as I could, because waste of popcorn is not allowed. I discovered the perfect pieces of popcorn were the ones that were ever-so-slightly burnt, with just a tinge of char, a whisper of black over the crispy white mounds of corn. That was awesome popcorn.

It's like how the perfect toasted marshmallow is just brown and shiny, not black, but melted in the middle enough to be soft, but not melted to the stick so you end up pulling bits of bark off with it. It's a exercise in precision. So I've spent some time trying to find the precision with which to get a perfect bag of almost burnt popcorn. It's taken me a while, several years of research and many, many bags of charred snacks that set of fire alarms and got me scolded by parents and dormitory PAs. But I have found the secret.

See, it is a lesson in patience and attention. Ten seconds too long and it's all ruined, ten seconds too short and it's just a normal bag of popcorn. But put that bag in for two minutes and forty seconds and you get the perfection in the middle. Two minutes and forty seconds. Ten seconds longer is being greedy and over burns the middle bits, and I've had to learn that you can't play with the times too much - this is popcorn not chili. I have a 850watt microwave and the times works for both salt and sweet bags. For some reason buttered are never able to get a good burn on them, they may be just too greasy; which goes some to explaining the many failures I suffered in my youth. It's amazing what time, flavor technology, geneticlly engineered corn and patience can bring you when a dream is trying to be achieved.

I've also discovered the absolute best popcorn is Orville Redenbacher's Salt and Sweet. It's just awesome. It hits all the oral g-spots and the second it's swallowed you'll be cramming another handful into your mouth: it's that good. I've found it once, at Tesco about two weeks ago, have I found it again since? No! Can I find it on their website? No! Am I freaking the fuck out about it YES! I'm going to see if it's at Costco this weekend, because I've made due with mixing a bag of Butterkist salt with another of bag of just sweet, but it's not the same. Orville's got it best, the teasing bastard.

So there you are, the best popcorn, the best method and mouth joy guaranteed. Unless you're one of those pusspies who won't eat popcorn because it gets stuck in your teeth, because I find that all part of the charm, myself. An extra popcorn surprise that shows up when you least expect it. You can keep your bloody gums and dentistry nightmare stories to yourselves too. I'll only reply with: Two minutes and forty seconds.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm never satisfied.

I've got my new sneakers, if you remember, they look like this And I love them, they are great. I'm a wonderful bouncy jogger now just springing down the road.

Except now I see what my Mom wears for sneakers, and I'm jealous. My sneakers look lame and tacky compared to hers. Hers cost more than twice what mine did. She's trotting (as much as woman can trot with a newly replaced hip) about in these. And now I want some. They are dead ugly, I know they're very fashionable among the geriatrics of Florida but come on - they're like space shoes! How fun will it be to bounce-jog down the road? I bet Spielberg is wishing he'd used them in Back to the Future II.

I'll get them next year. Then, let people laugh, I'll be having fun. In my space-agey, geriatric-chic sneaks.

I give in.

Well, the computer died again. This time it was the graphics card. Having to re-boot several times per session and then having it crash while trying to do something important once it got its shit together was just a cry in the daylight that its time had come. We've let it go.

So I'm on the laptop again. Mom is here and do I really think I'm going to complete nanowrimo now? Yeah right.

Husband took the day off yesterday to get Mom from the airport with me (well for me as I don't drive) and he was quietly happy that the PC died. "Oh no. Darn. Guess we have to buy a new one now. heh heh heh." but he began his confusing spin out of, do we buy this bit or that bit will this work blah blah. Finally I just said the words he's been desperate to hear for years "Just buy the Mac."

"What'd you say?"

"Just do it. Buy the Mac. The big one. The £1400 one. Just go and buy it."

"Don't tease me woman, are you sure about this?" (who could say no to the childish gleam of new toy joy and excitement in his eyes)

"Yup. Go do it now if you want. You have the day off, so just go buy it."

"No, I'll order it up online and get this blah blah that blah...."

Well he's never been happier. He's reassured me we'll pay it off in a year. I'm not sure which one it is, all I know is its got all of its guts in the 24" monitor and a super good graphics card that's Doom3 worthy (it's how we judge the quality of such things - is it able to play Doom?) So now I'm sure LBB and NWJR will be happy to welcome a new Mac family member, and you'll have to share your hints and tips and helpful websites for me to visit.

I just know the house is going to look silly with a 24 inch monitor next to a 28 inch TV. It just screams nerdy-dorkishness and a lack of decorative design flair. But it's done. And it'll be delivered around the 22nd.

I'm off to the gym this morning. I need it very, very much. In my new sneakers too dontchyaknow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Mom's here. Flight went well. All is well. Everything's fine. I've resisted the urge to double up the meds, and I've not had any wine. The kids are wild and excited, but behaving. All is well.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Smart Bitches Day

I haven't done one in ages, due to the fact that I've lack any kind of originality and I haven't read anything too challenging for ages, just the Harry Potter series. So I was trawling about the internet slinging my hook for some ideas as to what to write.

I peeked in onto the nanowrimo website to feel guilty because I've not typed anything for a few days, but I have handwritten lots. I haven't a word count though, how anal would that be to word count whilst creating a story - UberNerd of the Savant calibre. So on the website, I read a minute snippet about a writer who is also a mystic. she gets story ideas by reading tarot cards. I said "Hey! I do that too!" and thought how neat it was that someone else did. I don't think I've ever mentioned that I can read tarot cards. Probably because if you are someone who can read tarot, but doesn't do it for a living, you become a target for tarot scroungers. Folks will ask you to parties and add "Oh, and bring your cards!" and at that point you are no longer an invited a guest, but part of the entertainment for the evening. Not fun.

But from a writing perspective, they really are a useful tool. Now let me just preface this all with: I do not believe that tarot cards allow someone to speak with the dead, I do not attribute them any kind of mystical, magical connection to the unseen universes and nor do I think they are instruments of evil. They are cards; paper and ink. They have a story attached to each card. When you line up a few cards together, the story unfolds into a longer story. You can have multiple characters, tragedies, excitements, sex, adventure, parenthood and travel all in there. The fact that when you read these card in front of someone and they see themselves in the storyline, really speaks volumes about where they feel they are in this world. I think tarot card reading is hogwash, and hoaxism. I like them for their storytelling.

I will usually do a simple three card spread, and try to find the hidden story between them: there is always one. This helps to keep the creative juices flowing, it also helps if I get stuck on a storyline or feel it's a bit dull. If I find the story has more to tell I'll add another card. I don't do any of these classic card spreads, but I could, I suppose to find personality elaborations. I find the cards open up my own ability to create. I'm the kind of person who gets bogged down on details and lose the flow of the story. This card reading kind of breaks the spell of repetitive spellchecking and grammar attacks.

I'll offer up an example three card spread. I'm using the The Quick and Easy deck because it has all of the descriptions on the cards - cheating, sure but it's quick and easy you see. I've just pulled out (Was going to say laid but I know what some of you would've thought - not that "pulled out" is much better) Strength(upside down), Knight of Swords, and The King of Wands. So what does this tell me. Well I simply read the cards first (literally, because the answers are written on them)...

Strength (usd) - You are tempted to abuse power and to take immoral actions. you are your own worst enemy. You have a weak character, and pessimistic attitude. Lack of courage causes lost opportunities. Personality flaws cause disaster in both love and business. Angry outbursts and lost composure compromises your reputation. Beware of a selfish woman.

Knight of Swords
- A man under forty is about to enter your life. Conceals his emotions. Has a military demeanor. Disciplined. Supremely confident. Has courage and a good heart. Responsible, shrewd and alert. Planner, engineer, designer, builder or architect.

King of Wands
- Denotes a handsome, charismatic and bold man over forty who has a commanding presence and strong convictions. Strong leadership skills. Attracts attention wherever he goes. Takes action and gets results. A creative, innovative man who is open to new concepts.

So now the fun begins. Strength is our heroine, and what a piece of work she sounds like. Hotheaded, selfish and immature. She lacks courage, so there must be a vulnerable, frightened part of her that she covers up with bark and bravado. She's had a hard life and some hard knocks have taught her not to trust anyone. Beware a selfish woman...who could that be? A sister? Her Mother? A highschool former BFF who was seriously cheesed off Stregth had the nerve to snog her Danny on prom night?! Perhaps this is the root of her distrust and bleak outlook on life. Sounds to me like she needs someone to help her. someone like...

Well look here we have two very good contenders for her heart don't we. One who is youthful, organised and earthy and another who is more show-offy and confident. Which one will suit her personality better? Which one will love her and respect her? Which one will try and control her and bend her to his will? Does she even want rescued? What if she is actually trying to get into business with the King and is using her seductive powers to achieve her ends, but his son, the Knight, can see through her ploys and tries to save the family business and somehow he finds this other woman who will be Strength's downfall. Yeah, he uses some his former military training to become a P.I. and investigates her background. it's a mystery? Crime novel? OOoooo a murder mystery crime novel with a smidgeon of romance! Endless options.

This is how the stories start. The plotlines begin to jump out at you, you can almost see these people in your mind's eye already. They're not real people, or ghosties. They are fictional, and have been shone into existence by the amazing creativity of the card wielder(Oh yes I have ego well you know). This is no different than using the phone book to find interesting character names.

The great part is, if you don't like how a story is playing out, just shuffle and try again. Shuffle away and then let a story come to you that needs to be told.

Smart Bitches Day is hosted by the beautiful and charming Beth, have something to say about books, writing or have a book review to share then post it up and let Beth know so you'll be added to list.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


From Beth's Blog (one of my daily reads, sometimes I click it two or three because I love her so much.)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Boston

You definitely have a Boston accent, even if you think you don't. Of course, that doesn't mean you are from the Boston area, you may also be from New Hampshire or Maine.

The Midland
The West
The Northeast
North Central
The South
The Inland North
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

I guess 11 years in Scotland hasn't changed me too much. But I no longer say "Wicked Pissa", they just don't get it. Read this for more about Bostonians, it's fab. This one is a bit more for the linguist in you, and I know there is one. there's one in all of us. Stop iugnoring your inner linguist, you'll piss them off and they'll make you stutter or make Freudian slips as punishment.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Too much_____is never enough

Insert the word of your choice. For me it's going to be sleep. I've had two nights of great sleep and I still wake up feeling exhausted and crabby. I'm getting the feeling if left alone to sleep uninterrupted I'd be out for over 12 hours. that is not like me, not at all. I'm a morning person, i usually wake up at the first signs of daylight, which is why i have insomnia over the summer months. Now that it's winter I'm just begging for a hibernation period.

So i had a great sleep last night and even got treated to a nice dream! It was great, one of my favourites: the falling in love dream. boy meets girl and there's sparks and attraction that comes right out from the soul and the polite and friendly flirtations that scream purity of heart. He asks her out and her heart just swells as she blushes and says "Yeah, sure. That'd be great." He's the strong silent type who shows he's nervous despite how much he wants to disguise it. (Actually in my dream he was The Rock which is someone I've never thought about him in that way but, evidently the subconscious has other ideas.) and it was all that sweet and innocent falling love and getting to know each other phase that was great. I love that bit. I'll be floating about on the memory of those emotions for the rest of the day.("I'd like to take you for a steak dinner on Friday if you're free." he asked me. I thought, wow. Steak. But the company will be better. I said yes. I was, at the time, climbing over a wall with Rosie O'donnell (that'll be LBB's fault) because a van was blocking the only exit to the road, and we were sitting on the top of the wall when he just showed up and asked me all sweet and shy but with firm voice bravado. It was nice.)

I've overdone the weights this week and I'm really sore. I've not been able to jog because my pecs ache when my breasts bounce. Don't laugh at me - it's not very funny. It's all owie and sore. I'm just having an hour of cardio today and no weights. I'll use the other hour to rough up some more of Garfalo. I got a page and a half typed last night on the laptop, but have handwritten many more, almost the first chapter. so far so good. I don't hate any of my characters yet and none of them are rebelling against my plotlines.

Husband managed to fix the PC in less than a minute last night. He pulled out a faulty memory stick and bing, click, whirr it was working again. i knew that would happen. The PC, all of them since the beginning of time, break when I get near them. I have a very scatty aura that send machines haywire. Ask my Husband, he'll tell you. I'm a technology jinx. No really. lets see if I can list the things that've broken in the past 11 years. We've had three televisions, eight computer upgrades at least, three washing machines, four coffee makers, four alarm clocks, three hair dryers, three microwaves, three vacuums, three toasters, two hair straighteners....I could go on but I think you get the idea. It's not like I'm a klutz who drops these things or abuses them in any way, they just don't like me. What tends to happen is I try and use them and they won't work no matter what I do. I leave it for a couple hours, break the bad news to Husband who simply turns the thing on and it works again. This causes me extreme frustration. It's a mean trick of my life. I have a strict no touching rule when i go to other people's homes because I don't want to break their stuff too.

So, cardio only today, writing in the notebook, some typing later on, dinner ready before four and them I'm out to work tonight. busy busy!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I forgot the Rabbits again!!

I forgot to say "Rabbits Rabbits" first thing this morning for a whole month of luck, so that'll explain why the PC decided to fall over dead this morning. It's been giving us small hiccups and strokes for about a week now. We think it's the graphics card, or maybe the motherboard. Either way it decided to give up the fight this morning. Yes, just as NaNoWriMo begins with an exultant dawn with trumpets blaring, and energy crackling. What an early morning anti-climax to motivation to have the PC not even get past the memory check.

I will soldier on though, this is what life is about right? Writing is like this. We give our characters a challenge, and then throw a few problems at them to see how they get around it. Obviously my author has decided to toss rocks at me instead, thanks, but I'll get through it. I still have my laptop, even though I despise it. It's awful for word processing because I can't stop my thumbs from dragging across the little doodle pad thing and I'll notice I've moved the cursor two paragraphs up and am now inserting new text into it - makes this an editing nightmare. I'll have to figure out how to disable the scribble pad, but I'm too lazy or just can't be bothered and decided to just suffer it which is dumb really because who needs that frustration? Certainly not me, nuh-uh no way.

So, I've decided to go with my children's book which is something of a Mozart/Little Man Tate meets Harry Potter/Matilda, of course having just finished HP(and Matilda as I've been chapter reading it to SassyFace) has inspired this decision, but I have been working on it for about six months off and on. It came to me in a dream to be honest, just a boy, his Sassy-face-esque attitude and his name; Garfalo Crummie. I don't know why but I love this name, and how neat it came to me in a dream! That's like Kismet that is, it'd be a sin not to use it.

So I'll probably be ink-n-papering a lot of the story and then typing it until I stroke out from frustration on the laptop. It'll Garfalo, his Mom, a good guy, a bad guy who may be Garfalo's dad or uncle or something but certainly a blood relative (I feel torn about this because I don't like dead mother stories and so don't want to write a dead Father story because that would be hypocritical, but JKR did it with perfection, Harry's Mom died in such a noble, brave way that I accept it completely. It's not like she just died and everyone forgot about her. If I could get that to work, I'll do it.)

Now, on a positive note, I've been doing lots of weights exercises concentrating on the supportive muscles around the breasts. Pectorals, shoulders, traps and upper arms. Can I just say that two months of effort has made a shocking change. I'm sporting a top rack, let me tell you! And as much as I'd love to show them off in all their glory, because my pride is deep, I'm not going to. But I pass the pencil test now - that's all I'm saying, and I've not been able to do that since....ever. I once was able to hold a desk sized stapler under there. I've now got perky. I hop about singing the perky song and dancing the perky dance.

Awright Garfalo, it's just you and me for the next four weeks.

***Edit - Shorty is learning her colours. She was going through a box of markers and pulling each one out and announcing its colour to my hearty approval and applause, when she picks up a turquoise marker and shouts "Look Mummy, look: A Tortoise! Tortoise Mummy!"

Aren't kids great.