Monday, December 24, 2007

And now we say, Ahhhhhh....

It's an endless chase about with keeping the house tidy. I'll give up after tomorrow. By Feb. 1st we'll be drowning in dust.

Spent a nice yesterday with the family, crying at every Christmas movie (Two versions of A Christmas Carol; the Patrick Stewart one - which is awesome, and the Muppets one,) and then there was a Dead Like Me marathon which had me bawling and finally was the Peter Pan movie that came out in 2003 and I think is fantastic, even though a lot of folks hated it. I've decided to come out and admit: I cry at sad movies. I cry at sad commercials. I'm a sucker for a sob story, but I hate them!! I hate crying!! But so it is. Tiny fucking Tim made me cry twice yesterday.

I've got the cooking mapped out, so it will be a breeze! No frigging brussels sprouts this year - I've banned them. None of us like them so custom and tradition be damned. It's sugar snap peas The house is tidy and all I need to do is get out extra dinner plates and cutlery - I keep a strict dinner set of five in the house otherwise the buggers would just use up every clean plate they found, leaving me the dishes to clean.

Tonite I bought wine, and Husband and I will get the last of the presents wrapped, watch a late movie and then around midnight, Husband and I exchange gifts. Then we fill stockings and sneak off, tipsy, silly and sleepy to our bed for the few hours of sleep we can get before the kids wake up in their Christmas Day exuberance.

Then comes the military precision that is Christmas Countdown.

Wish you all as easy and wonderful a Christmas day - if you take part in that kind of thing, and an even better 26th. The day of peace and quiet and leftovers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crap...

The ToDo list gets longer by the sec. Gasman coming to fix oven's overbite, must wrap gifts, was supposed to review Crystal's book but..well..haven't. I could just say I really really liked it but the ending was too short, but that's doesn't do it justice. I had this fun idea to make mincemeat ice cream...never made it before but how hard could it be?? Nice - just add in a special extra not needed thing to do, Lyv. Must clean house, must clean house, but keep thinking why now as the kids will just trash it before Monday anyways, so just whizz through it all Monday night and Tuesday morning before guests arrive - those kids have to EARN those presents, I say! Duster, mop, sponge - CLEAN!

Sp annoyed I missed the last episode of Project Runway, so I don't know who won in the end. Must trawl the webpages and find out. Also saw last episode of America's Next Top Model (series 8) and I was a bit bummed as I really wanted Natasha to win. She was just so cute and vixenish and sweet! Haha Renee (BitchQueen McNasty) got das boot. I hope Natasha does very well after this show. Although, I know this series must have ended months ago in the States, so she's probably doing well already.

It's so cold here, but as there's Canadians who read this, I always feel like a top Whinger for complaining, but really - Cold.

So much to do to do to do!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Busy busy busy...

I'm just so busy! It's so annoying! All this running here, running there, coping with crowds of pushy middle-aged people and tripping over slow-poke grannies. Hearing "Mommy that man hit my head!" "Mommy that ladies hit me with her bag!" and there's not much I can do but feel pity for the kids because they are at elbow and bag carrying height. And as much as I like to lift weights, hauling about a 30lb kid on my shoulders all afternoon is a big NO. I must do a couple dozen squats just to give the required "Aw Baby!" cuddles and calming measures. Today is the last day of Christmas shopping and then we are done and the wrapping may commence.

Shops are sold out of Mario Galaxy for the Wii, Sold Out of the Lego Star Wars. The girls need tights. I spent £40 on the Christmas ham, it should feed 14 (I'm serving for 10 but like extra for leftovers next day) and is outdoor reared, organic, molassass cured, smoked - it better be damned good is all I'm saying. I've got the menu down, I think. Roasted parsnips in maple syrup, buttered carrots with sesame seeds, roasted potatoes, a couple choices of sausagemeat stuffing and the ham. Chocolate cake or Pavlova for dessert. Cheeseboard and crackers, fancy coffee or port for afters. Takeaway boxes for leftovers. Kids will play lots of playstation away from us adults and not be underfoot. Mother-in-Law will do the dishes. Should be a nice day. I may even crack open that bottle of Champagne I bought last year for my birthday that we never drank. It's still chilled. Hopefully not flat. Does Champagne have a sell by date? Must check.

I got my new oven on Friday, and it doesn't quite fit, but it's working. I need to have a gasman come out and move the pipe at the wall behind the oven as it sticks out too much, so my oven is jutting out proud of the counter by an inch. It WORKS though and it's fucking brilliant. Cooks stuff so fast! I never realised just how shit my old oven was until I got this new one. Just awesome! I highly recommend to anyone who loves to cook, one word: Circotherm! Cooked four big sweet potatoes in under an hour. Old oven would've been nearly two hours. I'll save fortune in running costs on this one.

Kids have two Christmas parties to go to today, I may take pictures and post them later. I really should. I seem to gotten rather lax in taking pics of my kids and shouldn't as they're little for such a short time. I keep looking at Sassy and thinking, where's my wee baby gone? She's such a big girl now. She's too pretty, she's going to be hard work later. I'll get pics later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

These have made me happy...


VideoJug: How To Be The Perfect Boyfriend


VideoJug: How To Be The Perfect Girlfriend


VideoJug: How To Kiss Someone Passionately


VideoJug: How To Hide An Unwanted Erection


VideoJug: The Rules Of Pavement Etiquette

I'm going to be spending my day here I think.

British people: Take Care With Real Christmas Trees!!

Americans and Canadians are going to laugh with horror over this, but British folks just don't seem to know that you have to keep watering real Christmas trees. I'm not kidding!! These folks get real trees, stick them in inappropriate bases and put lights and ornaments on just wait for the fire to start. They have tinder in their living rooms laced with electricity. I keep waiting for the Public Service Announcement that says you must water your live tree to keep it damp so the wood won't dry out and needles won't fall off. I've never heard a one. When I mention it to people they always have that "Really? Wow I never thought about it, but it makes sense..." then they get the horrified expression as they mentally progress to the blazing inferno that would be their living room.

I went to the swimming pool on Saturday for Sassy's lessons and they had a fifteen foot real tree, hammered into a hunk of wood for a base - nowhere to water the thing. It was decked to the nines with lights and everything, and the needles were starting to curl it was so dried out. And they'll probably keep it up for another three to four weeks! It's insane! I complained, we'll see if it's changed this week. If not, I'm calling the Fire Dept to tattle-tale on them.

So, British people (Or anyone who doesn't know this already) who are planning on getting real trees: Water your tree! Get an appropriate base that allows you to put a liter of water in there a couple times a week. You keep cut roses in a vase with water, don't you? Why not the same for a Christmas tree? And if my advice doesn't cause you concern, there's always this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Grr...bleurg

I'm reading. Unless you're here to get me a hot drink and a cookie, I have limited attention available for you. You'll have to wait until I'm done. I'm reading Crystal's Virtually Yours available from Whiskey Creek Press.


So where's my cookie, already?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Phallus Grafitti

Seems everyone likes to scribble willies in the dust. From The Register...

todgerstadium

Magnificent. The outrage in question can be found in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and is a welcome contribution to the "ET go home" genre which includes the Caledonian fuck you, the farmer's huge arse, the 40-metre Yorkshire profanity and the fat Russian cock.

And if the above don't convince unwelcome intruders not to set foot on this world, then they should note that humanity can deploy lethal culinary force if necessary to repulse any invader. ®

I've ordered new running shoes. I'm an optimist. I'll need to get my lung capacity back up from nothing with this chest infection causing such a mess.

I currently feel I could run a marathon, but I know it's the caffeine. I made coffee for the first time in a couple weeks, and it's like injected speed. Funny how fast the body gets used to no caffeine and then WHAM! It's like Hyper-Speed!! I remember why I like coffee, but tolerance makes this kind of rush impossible. Two cups of weak coffee and I feel like I've eaten a whole box of No-Doz. I've been on one cup of caffeine tea in the mornings for ages. Coffee = KaPow!

Must scrub, or vacuum or something.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mom, you can skip this one...

In good news I am getting better. I went to the Dr today and I'm still not ready to go back to work, but much improved. He kindly signed me off work for another week. I'm sure the managers at work are pissed off - to lose a staff member during the busiest time of the year? Yeah, I'll be popular. But I'm no faker, and they'll just have to suck it up. Neener neener har har.

My other "job", which isn't really a job it's more of a service, has been interesting. I test drive sex toys for LoveHoney.com. They send me free toys and I try them out and offer up reviews at The Orgasm Army review site. Sweet! I get to keep them too, which is nice. Not that they'd really want them back after testing...anyways. I was sent a waterproof vibrating bullet to test this week, and it's a bit faulty - gets super hot and doesn't vibrate. Dud Bullet. But those nice folks at LoveHoney, they said they'll take it back (to pull its guts out and find out why its overheating for the sake of science and sexual safety...and for dismantling electronic doo-dads which is always fun.) and would it be ok to send me another one PLUS a new rabbit vibrator. Sure, I said! I'll currently own three rabbits, like a naughty wee bunny farm. I'd like to get one of the cute Hello Kitty keychain vibes they've just got in from Japan - previously only available via J-list. They're just so cute!

Currently frustrated as, remember when I said I was hosting Christmas lunch this year? Well my oven decided to die this week. Well the oven part is ok, but the grill is dead. So we're off to get a new one this weekend, hopefully get it installed before X-mas and therefore allow me to cook without major stress for X-mas day. I'm not stressed. Nope.

I do wish this annoying shaking would stop though. I feel like a twitchy poodle. The Dr says it'll pass, it's just weakness.

Still learning Japanese, getting better all the time. I'm so damned happy there's so many free language lessons on iTunes! Plus a lot of them are everyday conversations, with real people. None of those nonsense phrases - although a lot them do have several classes about ordering food in a cafe or restaurant which makes me wonder if the Japanese cook for themselves, ever? Currently concerned that fresh fruit and veg is so expensive in Japan, as we eat tons of it. I've read you can pay £4/8$ for one apple. Granted it'll be an apple big enough to feed the family, but still. I'll have to learn to grow my own. In pots. On a small balcony.

I actually posted Christmas cards this year! I even went to the post office and everything and they're on their way to America to family right now. I'm so proud of myself. I need stamps for the rest, but I'm determined. I'll go buy some stamps from the local wee shop tomorrow. I will. Watch me. I'm going to be a proper good person who can send Christmas cards.

Hope you're having a wonderful Humpday!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thanks for all the get wells. Very much appreciated. I am getting better, the lung feels a hundred times better and I can sleep on my right side now. My ear is happy again. I'm still coughing and feel weak, short of breath, get run down easily and have this annoying internal trembling that I'm going to talk to my Dr about later. Today is the last of my antiBs and I'm kind of nervous to be without them now. I don't feel completely better, and don't want this bug to come back. What I feel like is I've just been given asthma. I'm completely committed to the "Take it slow" way of recovery.

Turns out Grandma Betty got the same virus too and called the Dr out to see her at her home (Dr's still do home visits for emergencies here, isn't that nice.) and the pharmacy delivered her medication to her at home so she didn't have to try and drive. Auntie Hagrid has been helping her out while she gets better.

The thing in the news that's got me asking questions and feeling confused and interested is the TeddyBear Teacher in Sudan. My first questions was, Why can't the bear be called Muhammad?
Why is the teacher in trouble when it's the kids who chose the name, shouldn't they know it's not allowed? Didn't their parents/mosque/Koran class ever tell them? Why is naming your teddy bear considered idolatry, but you can name your kids Muhammad with no trouble? Why are mad (as in crazy insane) Muslims running through the city brandishing machetes demanding to behead the teacher? Are they willing to put the class of children (20 out of 23 kids voted to name the bear Muhammad) against the firing wall too, since they were the ones who named the bear and the teacher just said "Great name kids, now what do we know about bears?"

I find Ms. Gibbons very admirable, her outlook through this whole mess has been very calm, understanding and with her sense of humor intact. She only has positive things to say about everyone in Sudan and her time there. But the whole this just seems unreal and out of place. It couldn't really have happened? Could something so ridiculous really happen? Well, sadly, it really has. The good news is, Gibbons is being freed today with a pardon. I'm sure it has a bit more of getting themselves out of the world's scowling gaze and getting her the hell out of Sudan.

We've got the last of Project Runway this week (We're watching series 3) and also America's Next Top Model is getting near the end (series 8) and I've really enjoyed this series. I adore Natasha, isn't she the cutest most fun ever? No one be a shit and ruin it for me though as I know you all already know who wins. When they're over, TV will be dull again. Pooh.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The fastest way to lose 10 pounds...

Get an aggressive chest infection that knocks you on your ass for a week. I have been in my bed completely miserable for three days. I'm on antibiotics for the first time since I was 19, and I can count the amount of times in my life on fingers. The coughing up blood has subsided (I know you folks want to know this stuff) and the pain in my right ribs is clearing too. I honestly prefer the hot running sweats over the unbearable three hour bouts of chills that I endured dressed in double sweats two hats and two heavy quilts. Honestly. I've had to sleep on my left side only for four days, and my poor ear is in agony. It thinks it's abusive behavior to put all the responsibility of supporting my head on its cartilage - No bones! No muscle! It told me so. Often.

Husband has been a wonder, he's taken two days off work to run the house, work from home and keep the kids routines running. He's just wonderful, I love him so much. (Except he keeps bringing me my favourite cookies, and I can't really eat them, but isn't he sweet?)

Now I think I need to get an appointment with the Dr to find out why my immunity is so low. I may be away for a few more days. Sporting an amazing array of wild, sweaty bed head.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sleeping on my feet again...

I'm. So. Tired. Only in the morning though. I'm wide awake all night. I was working last night, felt awful as I've caught Shorty's cold and it's gone right into my chest, which is rare, I never get chesty coughs. Not since I've stopped smoking, anyway. So feeling rough, I had a cup of decaf tea before bedtime, and then went to bed exhausted at 12:45 (I work until midnight) and couldn't fall off too sleep until 2am. Alarm off at 6:30. I just want to cry. Like Sylvana, caffeine is going to be only thing to get me through the next couple months.

I've finished shopping for Husband's Christmas - hail to Amazon! I got him two things off his wish list...he has six of them. Six wishlists. A toys one, a technical book one, a leisure book one, a DVD one and a CD one....and another one for something else. Oh, games. I got him a book and the pre-agreed gift of a iPod shuffle. I love my Nano, oh dear lord I love it so. I feel a bit guilty not returning the favour of a splendid Nano, but he says he'd be really happy with the shuffle as he can use it at work and it's discreet and it's good for the gym...all the excellent reasons for owning a shuffle. We are such Apple whores. The kids' Christmas will be sorted out with a trip to TRU - which is thus-far undeciphered code for Toys R'Us. Sassy wants a Roboquad (already bought) and a couple Ben 10 figures and a game for the Wii, but she can't decide which game. Shorty wants Peppa Pig things so we'll get her the camper van set or maybe the house, and a George with Dinosaur, and pretty dress for herself.

Just finished the Josie Dew two-book travel log of her bicycle tour of Japan. I really enjoyed them, the first one more. I found some of the Amazon reviews scandalous, where she's accused of being racist. I didn't detect any hint of that from reading her books. She shows a genuine love and admiration for Japanese people, but nods to their oddness. More like bows to their oddness, and they bow back her oddness as a woman traveling alone by bike. Anyways, she's not heavy in the visual descriptions of places except when her inner eco-warrior kicks in, but more seeking and explaining the people of the land. I had many moments of laughing out loud, interrupting my Husband to retell a passage from the book and lots of "Wow, how weird and exciting!" moments. Josie Dew, like myself, doesn't like folks who po-poo life. Folks who complain and aren't willing to have-a-go at anything, lay-abouts and ennui ridden black holes of doom. she meets a few of these. Most of them foreigners, who voluntarily have moved to Japan, but hate it's foreignness. If you aren't willing to embrace (or at least understand) the way of the local, then you don't belong in the village. The only hints of "racism" I might agree with, is how many foreigners in Japan hate Japan because it's not like the West. Well duh. Really. Josie uses these people as examples of intolerance. Not her personal intolerance, except of their ignorance.

Lastly, I've talked myself into hosting Christmas lunch at my (small!) house this year. I'll be serving a lunch for eight. I only intended on Grandma and our nephew coming, but the in-laws were invited and have accepted too. So I'll be cacking it a bit until I can get a plan underway that, like last year, will go down with military precision. Last year went well. This one will too. So....what are you serving up for Christmas lunch?

Friday, November 23, 2007

trauma...

smarties
I'm in a wee bit of shock. I shouldn't be. It's guilty shock. I shouldn't notice such things, worse is if I do notice things and I keep them to myself. See, we were watching Electric company, the kids and I, and there was a skit with bill Cosby. I love Bill Cosby. Anyways, it was about "n" words and (well, not the bad "n" word, I mean like not, nut, nip that kind of thing) there was a lady in a giant box of cereal would pull letters out for Bill. The whole time I'm watching this, I'm eye-stuck to Bill's package. I mean, he was wearing - although fashionable for his day - sterilization pants. His knob-end was touching his right hipbone. It Was! No Male camel toe here, it was a tube of smarties down his trousers.

No wonder he had five kids.

Monday, November 19, 2007

So the beat goes on...

Days are dragging on. time is slipping by. I've not got much going on and I'm depressed by that and also relived because I'm not sure I have the energy or inclination to do much. I'm still on the verge of a cold, but I keep taking vitamin C and drinking water so it's not taken hold. the tingle in the back of the throat and I drown it. I hope I can fight it off without succumbing.

Unfortunately, Shorty has it. She's been coughing and has reduced appetite and increased cuddle needs. Her asthma has kicked in and she's needing her inhaler every few hours. I've kept her from school today.

I've got a bit of the autumn blues. It's going around, you can hear it on lots of blogs. I know from, well paying attention to myself over the years, that I get a bit depressed from around September and it continues until about February. When I re-awake in the spring. I can tell I must come from an ancient tribe of pre-humans that must have hibernated. My body rebels every autumn and demands more sleep, more food and definite peace. Not easy to find in a house with children.

Trying to get the energy to get back to the gym is proving really hard. Spirit willing Body exhausted. I know exercise will give me more energy but, I'm just too tired to care. I keep trying to come up with compromises, reduced time, different routines, different classes...new music? Sleep, just give me sleep. I think for the next week, I'm going to try and go to bed - that means no book and lights out - by 9pm (except on work nights) and see if that helps. I also, must cut the caffeine. I have no problem with decaff versions of my favourite drinks, so I'll just have them instead. But the current habit is to chemically pep the exhausted limbs into movement. Not ideal.

On the plus, I'm really mellow. I'm not sure I've ever been so laid back. I have a "It's not worth the bother" attitude towards things. Not in a bad way, of course. My house is still clean, I bathe, the family is fed and the kids get love and attention. I'm just not stressing. Which is nice, if a bit weird. And this is all without medication. Not bad at all.

I'm still having the morbid thoughts, they've been pretty heavy lately to be honest. I'm forever telling my head to shut up. Just shut up. All this disappearing and murdered children in the news lately doesn't help. Falling bridges. The unknown around the corner. Inability to predict the future. Seriously, it's not worth the bother. Just shut up.

Yoga is helping me in many ways. I'm falling in love with it. Pregnancy caused my tendons to tighten up painfully in both of my hips, but the right one is worse. That's because Sassyface was a lopsided pregnancy. She lumped over onto the right side and cut the blood flow to my leg which causes it to swell to almost double the size. I had oedema on that leg too - pretty gross but also neat to press a thumb against my shin and it'd leave a deep imprint. So that hip hasn't been the same since. Always too tight. But the yoga has helped me stretch it out so it's not causing me pain anymore. Although the stretching fucking hurts, it's getting better. I have a lot more mobility in that hip. Stretching on my shoulders is proving painful too, and I hope to see the benefits soon. I want to be able to do the bridge again.

I'm currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. It's a great read so far. Where other books annoy me when the characters waffle, this book is nothing but completely entertaining waffle. It's waffle that fits. It's surreal to find such a thing. It's a hard read though as the font is quite small, and I often think I've read a lot, and then notice I haven't.

Work tonight. Very tired. Will endure.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half Full Is Too Much?

I've been eating semolina for breakfast this week. Weird stuff this semolina. You put a little bit in a bowl, add hot water and it greedily sucks the water up and grows to fill half a large bowl. I'm completely stymied over how to properly portion this stuff. I think I've been over-eating it. It doesn't seem to upset my digestion like other wheat things do, such as wholegrain breads or crackers. Doesn't seem to be gluteney and sticky. It becomes more jelly-like when cold. Anyways, I'm having fun playing with my food.

This issue over portions is becoming an obsession with me: what is a portion of something. It's hard to say. One cup of this, a fist size of that, mls, grams, ozs? I discovered, much to my embarrassment and horror that I've been overeating rice for ages. It says almost everywhere half a cup of rice is a portion. They left out the important word: cooked. Half a cup of COOKED rice is a portion. Why can't the portion information people get easy shit like that straight for dumb, greedy folks like me who just want to eat? Some places say to eat all the fruit and veg you want. Never say that to someone like me. You really need to be concise and direct with folks like me. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as your stomach capacity can comfortably handle. Otherwise...all day grazing of peas and carrots and hummus filled lettuce leaves will see me gain weight.

Today I bunked the gym due to fatigue. Again. Yesterday I forced myself to the gym through the fatigue and it was awful. So this isn't my body being lazy, there's something going on. I'm fighting a bug or something and it's making me really tired. I even went to bed early last night. I still have all my walking to do today, so it's not like I'm idle, and then to work tonight.

I still took Shorty to the creche and read and did some homework in the lobby of the sport center, but I got so tired I was yawning and my eyes were closing. I went out and walked down to the local garage to grab a coffee and a snack (They have a cafe there) I got a large black coffee and (naughty, I know) a chocolate croissant. I got the croissant as I was hungry, and it was the smallest thing there. I say smallest, but it was the biggest damned croissant I've ever seen. It was longer than the full length of my hand and as wide. It got me thinking, no fucking wonder I'm messed up over portion sizes when this kind of thing is being present to me. Am I to assume this is a portion for one? No way!

The sandwiches would've have fed my family of four. They were huge sarnies, I can't even imagine what the bread was baked in as the slices were about six inches square. All of the food seemed monstrously out of proportion as a meal for one person. And they were promoting meal deals! Buy one sandwich meal (huge sarnie, large soda and crisps) and get another half price. Scary stuff.

you go to the movie theatre and the portion sizes are huge - the big bucket of popcorn, the big bag of M&Ms the double fill your bladder drinks. Madness. I want to see a movie, not listen to a dozens of people crinkle wrappers, chew and slurp in the dark. Plus after all those big drinks, they have to get up halfway through the movie to pee and end up missing the flick! the whole point of being there is to see a movie not wait in queue to pee.

Anyways, the thing that started to set me off on this annoyance is I saw an advert last night for Marks and Spencer food over Christmas with LuLu wandering about the shops talking about the Big Meal. I just know, don't you know, they don't eat a big meal. Those celebrity types don't have big meals, ever. They know portion sizes. It's been ingrained into them since Drama school, but they must know that the more we eat and the fatter we get and they stay slim and pick...oh it starts to make me bitter. Cannibals will pass me up, I'm so bitter.

I was watching a show about a woman who was miserable, fat and struggling to overcome her eating troubles. She'd had a gastric band put in a few years ago, lost weight. But she'd never changed how much she ate and the behavior of over-eating so she manages to re-stretch her stomach to a larger size. That takes some determined eating to manage. Why was she never told a new diet was how she was supposed to live with this smaller stomach? Why didn't she get counseling to learn to manage her detrimental behaviors? Did she try and learn about portions and like me, has been four portions of rice? Did she assume, like a lot of us that companies would, of course - sell us a portion for one? Did you know a bagel is two portions? Yeah - half a bagel is one portion. Why don't they sell single portioned bagels?

So anyways, this portioning stuff is weird. Portion of meat = Deck of cards? Weird. One cup of broccoli - but what about the airspaces? Why not a weighted portion instead? One liter of water or three per day? I may need more as I sweat a lot (Two hours in the gym, folks.) How do I know if I'm low in salt? How do I know if it's too much sugar? What if after my 5-6 carrot sticks, I'm still hungry? And I mean actual growling stomach hunger not cravings.

Is it any wonder people just give up and eat mindlessly? the thing is, I'm beginning to become paranoid that those companies out there want us to overeat all that stuff. They want us to, of course so we'll buy more. Eat more, get giant stomachs that need filled up. So what if it's killing us? We are being encouraged to force feed ourselves - to death. For profit. Do you ever wonder what a Foie Gras goose feels like - eat a super-sized anything, then you'll know. The only thing is, the goose doesn't have a choice. You do. I do too.

I found this great website that talks more about reducing waste and paying attention to portions. It also talks about controlling the impulse to overbuy food, "Buy one get one free!" "Three for the price of two!" and so on. It's called Love Food Hate Waste Scotland. It makes sense about hitting the wallet, reducing the amount of wasted food each house tosses out - and I hate wasting food. I bought that! I cooked that! I don't want to throw it away.

anyways, It's a mad mad mad mad world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We're gonna turn it on...

We're gonna give you the power! Oh yes, I did. I bought it. I bought the Electric Company Boxset!
EClogo

What a blast from the past! These shows are fantastic. My first exposure to Spiderman, learning to read (No wonder I was a word wizz from a young age.) and it's just plain funny. The kids have been enjoying them so far, but I think me more than them. They're a bit tripped out by it. The accents are so strange to them, as only Mommy has said things like that before and I'm sure they've just thought I was weird, not NorthEast. As if they have any clue what NorthEast is.

That's about it. Nothing more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

SBD: I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan

I went to get this book out from the library after reading Doug's post about his literature choices for his 12 year old homeschooled son. (I can't find the post to link to...oh wait here it is.) and I figured, if it's good enough for a twelve year old, I should be ok with it.

The story is about Lucifer, who gets on last chance at redemption and gets to live as a human for one month, with all the pleasures and joys and senses that we humans possess. He certainly does enjoy senses, does Satan.

The disappointing side is the body God's chosen to put Lucifer in is that of Declan Gunn, a fairly depressed (Actually suicidal, as he was about to slash his wrists in the bathtub when the possession took place) not successful enough writer whose broken hearted and dull and annoyingly average. Don't despair! I've always said it's confidence that's most attractive in a man, and Lucifer has plenty of that.

Now the thing about this book is, is it's told first person, by Lucifer, as it's his story told by him, through Gunn's body (Bragging bastard talks of typing 400 words per minute) and; he does prattle on a bit. Actually a lot. I began skimming almost immediately. Waffle, prattle on and on....yawn. Can you believe that?? Lucifer - yawn. They just shouldn't go together really should they. The plot would work itself back in occasionally and pull me from my skimming snooze through. About how Lucifer was going to make a success of this month (money, women, men, drugs, drink and smoke are all ticked off his to do list) and get his story out there; books movies everything. He can still read minds (Which is something I thought the Devil couldn't do. I thought God could read minds but Satan couldn't...oh well. Here, he can.)

There were many pages I just skipped. I didn't really care about the retelling of the crucifixion with Pilate and his wife. I also skipped the witch burning of a pregnant woman who was innocent (They were all innocent, let's be honest), Eden was interesting (Where he makes a very good argument that God created temptation, not him. That apple tree: All God. Lucifer was just an enabler.) but really I just kept wanting him to come back into the now. Granted, Lucifer apologizes a lot for his rambles; which did leave me feeling I was visiting an elderly distant relative in a nursing home. Someone I hoped would be interesting, but just wasn't. How unfair.

Equally annoying was how a hundred pages in, I got the feeling the author wanted this to be about him. Like he wanted to be the one who played host to Satan's vacation. The constant talk about Gunn started to get a bit weird (The issues about penis size were become a recurring theme that carry through the whole book. Never mentions his inches, but get the clear picture of frustrated averageness.) Until I noticed, Declan Gunn was an anagram of Glen Duncan. Oh, how utterly egocentric and weird. That's not confidence, that's just...wrong.

The other archangels all make cameos and the kind of angelic history is neat. Lucifer is very sarcastic, and seems a bit poncey. I found myself hearing him as Richard E. Grant a la Withnail and I. with his my loves and darlings. Condescending and tedious. I don't think even he realized he was transparent and dull at times. And when he did notice, he didn't care, onward the prattle went. Obsession with smelling and tasting things. The weird recurrence of dog shit as stimulus. The constant reference to vadge. One bit I did find amusing and very well written as Lucifer's experience with acid. A hallucinating super-being trapped in a man's body, that's a trip and half.

I didn't hate the book, but I was a bit meh by it. The views of how he just couldn't cope with having to pay constant love and homage to God, how he was curious and that wasn't acceptable. How he really just talked himself down to rebellion on a teenage level. Petulant and bratty with delusions of grandeur. How does one make the second most powerful being in the universe look like they have delusions of grandeur?There were times I did think he'd be an interesting person to have lunch with, but then he'll delicately remind everyone that he'd also delight in watching us all have our skins flayed from our flesh. Don't forget who's talking , after all.

I don't want to come across that I didn't like this book, I really did. A rarity to be sure. I laughed out loud at couple points. The writing was easy to read (Except when Lucifer was in the thrall of his past) and intelligent. I imagine it has to be a challenge to portray the Devil in all his very Fallen Angel ways. Trying to mix in the myths and religious stories, trying to create someone who you could almost like and even trust but somehow know if you let your guard down they'd turn on you. I've known cats like that, "Pet me, pet me, oh that's wonderful; purr purr, I so love you, I mean it. More please, I must lie down, stretch and: Did you just touch my belly? You touched my BELLY?! Well take this *Bearhugbite**swat**swipe*" and you watch them lick your blood off their claws and then look at you with those fill my bowl now, eyes. On this, Gunn...no Glenn, er Duncan! Gets it all right. Shame he let Lucifer waffle so long.

I still cannot get past the anagram thing.

***Don't you just hate weird coincidences? While walking back from dropping Shorty off at school I listened to this song, "The Day Before you came", an ABBA original, with the timely name edit (Marilyn French for Declan Gunn). Come home to find out The Real Tuesday Weld are big fans of I, Lucifer. Actually, the band members are close friends with Glenn Duncan and here you can listen to musical podcasts narrated by him.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The way of the snail...

Everything is in slow motion it seems. Except the weather which is definitely making it's wintery voice heard. And felt. Darned chilly today, I even wore a hat. I hate hats. they flatten out my curls and give me awful hat-hair.

Am I doing NaNoWriMo? Maybe. I could be, it would explain my kind of quiet over the past few days. I could also be wallowing in gelatinous pile of wobbly misery over the fact I have a bit too much...wobble. BUT, nah, writing a short story in 30 days sounds like much more fun that pouting over cake aversion.

Mother, Daughter and the foreign pen-pal. That's what the story is about. The mother is a hyperactive anxiety ridden control freak, the daughter is a laid back teenage genius the pen-pal is a red herring...or is she?! and maybe her hot uncle who happens to live in the same city will come around for a visit too...I just don't know yet. That's kind of the whole point, right?? But if I get told one more damned time "Do you have to pound the shit out of the keyboard all the time?" I'll just go crazy.

Oh, you know, I've not checked my google-mail for ages! That's rather bad of me... Whew! No major misses, just a reply to Doug, and a cutie sweet set of pictures from Maja.

So in other news, my job is annoying me, my manager is seriously annoying me, and because I don't actually need the job I've been having a great time winding her up. If she wasn't such a scatterbrain, disorganized wreck of a manager (although, at the heart a very nice person) it would be a different story. But she is all of those things. A pillowcase who tries to be a iron block. A creampuff who tries to be a 16oz sirloin. A twinkleshine fairy trying to be a despot. But lately she's being snappish, bossy (In a not very nice way I don't care is she's the boss) and counter productive.

Last week she was talking to the Italian Stallion who was hired a week ahead of me. (A point I comment on often as we were in a group interview together and he was hired ahead of me, and has been a frigging nightmare ever since. I am an Angel, of course.) They were discussing his shares options as he'd qualified for them because of his length of time with the company. She then came over to me and began talking to me about the benefits but then stopped, "Oh but you won't qualify as you've not been here long enough. Sorry." she said with a sweet smile. I looked at her and then said,

"Simone's been here a week longer than I have, and he qualifies?"

"Yes."

"Why is that?"

"It's how the dates worked out."

"And you've been here telling me about all these benefits I'll not be able to take advantage of because...?"

"I...uhm...thought you should be informed of our benefits."

"Oh. Right. Not rubbing my nose in the fact that you hired him a week ahead of me and I'm out of luck as a result of poor timing, then."

"It's just unfortunate."

"On so many levels." I said and went back to work.

Now I wasn't too bothered about this as I already knew the whole spiel from mailings sent to me from the company's finance office. Her ignorance of my position, her delivery of the information and airy-fairy goofiness annoyed me. There's been more, mostly around her inability to ever have the correct information. And she's a goof. And not in a good goofy way. I'm a good goofy, she's a menace.

Last week I noticed we still had a ton of the exact same product and it was taking a lot of storage space. The product wasn't on promotion and there wasn't any reason for us to have cases and cases of it. I mentioned this to her and got a haughty reply, "Why didn't you tell us about this weeks ago when we asked all the departments to inform us of excess stock so we could clear it from the warehouse?" I told her it was the first I'd heard of any reporting excess stocks, but I'm doing so now. She rolled her eyes, sighed and stomped off saying she'd put it in her report, making it very apparent that I was not in her favour. I later found out this request was only made to night staff (as in the 10pm-6am shift) and not my midnight shift. Then I mentioned it to my co-worker, Avril, who does night shifts and she went red in the face mad because she DID report those items and our manager forgot! So I get the shit, again, for something she's not really thought about.

OH, yeah. She calls me Fiona, too.

At the moment I'm making a mental catalog of the incidents, so when and if I get pulled up I can rail them off. the fact that in the 12 months I've worked there and never once had a performance review, should also work in my favour as I'm supposed to have had them quarterly.

Write more, Lyvvie. Just write more.

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's been a slow week...

I've not been as busy as normal this week. I've taken time off the gym to let the bruise heal. But don't think I've done nothing, I've been doing yoga at home to keep supple and I'm convinced it's helped speed along the healing process. It's amazing how fast the body can heal itself from an injury. On Wednesday we all went to the Turkish Baths, which has three swimming pools, a steam room, sauna and freezing plunge pool. It's a waterlover's heaven. We spent over two hours pampering ourselves into limp noodles. Beats trick or treating any day.

Walking has been very important for me this week, thank goodness there's been no rain. Well, not much rain and not really on me. I've had niggling worries about blood clots and think lots of walking will be a good idea. I read a book once when I was a teenager, a horror story called Carrion, and I have no clue who wrote it and It's not come up on a google search so it may be long-lost and forgotten, except for me. But it was about this magician who find some magic spell that brings the dead back to life, only they're not quite the nice people they were before. they're rather grumpy and short tempered re-animated corpses (But thankfully not brain eating zombies!) Oh, and their bodies are still dead so they end up decaying and unhappy about their smell and gooeyness, so they seek out the magician to kill him. One of the dead-brought-back-to-life ladies had died from a bruise on her leg that didn't seem to heal, and turned out to be blood clot. That's stuck with me forever and I'm not always worrisome over big bruises. (OH wait! I found it with Carrion, horror novel, out of print)

I've been practicing more Japanese, and the kids now only want to watch their movies in Japanese. I'm quite shocked by that, but they really enjoy it, and I encourage it. I swear between the incoherentness, they say "Schenectady" a lot and I wonder if it's a subliminal way of encouraging New York tourism.

Still reading "A Ride in the Neon Sun" by Josie Dew and really enjoying it. Apparently she has a part two book as well that I'll have to fine. That one she travels to Hong Kong for a bit and then back to Japan for more.

Can't believe it's already 11 am. where's the morning gone?!

Look, a Rainbow!
Rainbows!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hmmm...

I could've sworn I'd done a post for today. Where did it go? I admit it was somewhat boring and a bit of diarist filler, but still. An update to say Sassy's tooth is now fixed and looks fine. Dentist even says she should have no long term trouble and the difference in length may be so slight she could get away without cosmetic fixtures as an adult. He thinks once the teeth are done growing in, he could just shape them to match and remove any sharp edges. I got the impression that all kids have rabbit teeth that wear down with age anyways, she's only sped up the process a bit.

The bruise seems to have reached a peak of purpleness, and the red is fading away. I'm just waiting for the healing signs of yellow and green to appear. It hurts much less, but itches like crazy. I can't scratch it though, because then it really hurts, so a bit of gentle buffing with my trouserleg across the itchy bit.

I had my last visit with the physio today. My shoulders are showing improvements and my therapy has been left in my own capable hands. In case you forgot (Or maybe I never mentioned, it is possible) I have impingements on both shoulders due to overly tight pectorals, and a weaker back - the muscles in between the shoulder blades in particular. I've done a whole lot of: shoulders back and down, tits out and hold.

I passed the hairstylist who last cut my hair, and she gave me smile, said hello and then gave me a funny look like "That's not my work." Very true it's not her work, I didn't quite like her work, she gave me a mini-mullet. So I pulled out my clippers and tidied it up at the back with a comb extension. I've had compliments ever since.

That's about it. Sassyface is off to a Halloween party tonight. I'm not looking forward the weeks of sugar rush coming our way.

Bruise update picture:
Peak of Purpleness.

Monday, October 29, 2007

SBD: The Stupidest Angel review

I was supposed to review this last week but I was distracted by other things. I'm sure you know how that gets sometimes. If you don't then: Get a life! And preferably a busier one so you will understand. Anyways...The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore.

This was bought for me at Christmas time by my brother who is a big fan of Christopher Moore. He sent me two books actually, and I never got around to reading either until now. I'm kind of like that. He's asked me many times "Have you read those books yet?" uhm...no *blush* sorry. It's because I'm a sucker for the New Shiny Book! And if a newer shinier book crosses my path I must have it. This happens a lot at the library, and with book reviews I read online. I just buy and then read and toss aside looking for a new shiny.

I did start this book when I got it back in December. I got to the middle of chapter two, as told by my bookmark, and then forgot about it. I remember why I put it down now: The writer has a thing for smilies. They were obnoxiously placed in every paragraph it seemed in the early part of the story. Examples, page three on describing a Charity Santa's ringing bells "..they rang their bells like they were going for dog-spit gold at the Pavlov Olympics." next paragraph as someone walks by the Santa who previously promised to donate on exit " ...he blew by her kettle like she was using it to render tallow from the building inspectors' butts and he needed to escape the stench."oh and my personal favourite on page 55 "Lena jumped back and screamed like a bunny in a blender." ...how would you know...I don't want to know.

Now I don't mind the odd one here or there, but in the beginning it was becoming a distraction and I was begging the writer to just tell me how something really was and not how something was like something else totally ridiculous, because it's killing the flow! Thankfully, that stuff petered out by chapter four and I could get into the story.

It's about small town California at Christmas and this town, full of amazingly weird and very well created characters, goes insane and are put through hell. First off, a rat bastard gets killed in the woods accidentally by his ex-wife while he's dressed as Santa and a wee boy sees thinks: Santa's dead! Christmas is hosed! (Hosed being his words, not mine.) The ex-wife kind of freaks, but as luck would have it, a rather laid back, kind-of out there ultra-calm...remember the model, Hansel, Owen Wilson plays in Zoolander? Well he shows up at just the right time to calm Lena down, let her see the funny side of this situation and, while helping her bury the body, asks her out on a date. Tuck totally reminds me of Hansel, only he has a pet fruit bat, that wears little pink ray-ban sunglasses. I'm sure Hansel would find that totally surreal and awesome.

The town constable is married to a former actress who was a Xena type character and is a bit crazy, but she goes off her anti-psychotic meds to save money to buy hubby a nice X-mas present. The conversations she has with her "voices" are wonderful. Actually, I found her adventures the most interesting of the whole book.

There's also a big, very beautifully handsome man wandering the town, looking a bit Goth asking where the nearest child is. He soon becomes public enemy number one as everyone thinks he's some sicko pedophile. But he's not, odd things happen with this guy, like he can't be killed, even when run over by a car. Twice.

The story is very fast paced and easy to read. I did have a few laugh out loud moments until I got to: The Zombies. I'm sure my brother knows I have nightmares from anything zombie, why would he send me a book with zombies in it?? Brain eating zombies at that?! Brain eating zombies - at Christmas! Does he not know about the years of self induced insomnia during my college years after watching Night of the Living Dead and it's subsequent nightmares?? I can't even watch the Thriller video these days! But really! A Christmas story with murder, fruit bats, pot smoking cops and brain eating zombies?! So, of course I read on...

I admit I liked this book. Really. Zombies aside, for at least they are funny zombies. The rest is just wild. (As if that's not wild enough) The Author's note at the start of the book, is quite promising: "If you're buying this book for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex. Don't blame me. I told you." And he didn't lie either.

That's all I'm going to say on it. It's just so involved and has many interesting subplots "By the purple horn of Nigoth, I command you to boil!" screeched the Warrior Babe. What good was a higher power, after all, if he wouldn't help you cook your ramen noodles?" Seriously, Molly is my favourite. I do recommend, if you want a bit of fun and crazy from a very well paced, plotted story with brilliantly created characters, get this one. It's a super quick read, took me a day, couldn't put it down. That had some to do with the good story, and also to do with a child who thinks it's funny to pull out my bookmarks while I'm away.

So, as soon as I'm done with my Josie Dew: A Gaijin in Japan; a travel book from her bicycle tour of Japan which I'm enjoying Very Much, I'll read the other book my brother gave me, Fluke


Bruise update: colours are coming in, swelling is down, still hurts. I'll have a great time in work tonight not being able to kneel, and I may not be able to pull a heavy cage as the muscles in my calf are really sore, they feel like they're about to spring into cramp at any second. Sassy has an appointment this afternoon to get her tooth fixed, fingers crossed it'll go easy-peasy. Big bruise is blooming nicely.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Three Strikes.

We decided to go to Scone Palace (Pronounced "Scoon" not scone as in the pastry) because they were having a Halloween ghost/history tour of the grounds. We didn't tell the kids where we going, only that they should get their costumes, and a surprise would be in store.

The weather was beautiful; cool, breezy and gorgeous sunshine. We were quite relieved really as it had blown a scary gale last night with pouring rain. The first thing I saw were a pair of albino peacocks walking near the parking lot. The palace as several peacocks on the grounds, but the white ones were new to us. they were just as brave as the others though and in no time were nudging hands for treats.

We'd arrived just before the 11:00 and to quick get the girls into their costumes and join the group for the ghost tour. Sassy-face was beyond excited, all high animation and big smiles. When we were ready, she bolted for the gates. "Don't run!" I shouted, as she was in a parking lot, but undeterred she ran on, right for the blocked gate and WHAM! I watched her face hit the metal bar, her feet fly up from under her and she landed hard on her back. We ran over and I watched her spit teeth. All we could think was "OH Fuck! My Baby!" and we both ran to her just as she realized what had happened and burst into tears. She quickly became hysterical when she figured out her tooth was broken. I did what every mother would do, I picked her up; my eight year old, no longer light as a feather baby and was going to carry her to the picnic tables nearby to calm her down. Just as I was about to lift her, I put my foot in the wrong place and lost the lower half of my leg down the cattle grid.

To say it hurt was an understatement, but by this time the adrenaline was surging through all of us, so with a "For Fuck's sake!" I pulled my leg out, picked up my hysterical baby and fast-walked her to a seat. Lots of hugs, lots of kisses, close looks: Not too bad, just the bottom of the left front tooth was sheared off, but no blood, no root exposed, not even a fat lip. She must have been smiling as she was running, and she says she never saw the bar. Her neck was fine, her back was fine, no sign of concussion. WHEW! (Is it wrong that I picked up the bits of spat out tooth and pocketed them?)My leg was a bit sore, but just a couple of scratches on each side, I'd just walk it off.

And undeterred, with a bit of a whimper and a lot of "Don't worry, we'll call the dentist in the morning." supportive hugs "You're still beautiful." "Just looks like the tooth is growing in still, darling. Not noticeable at all." We joined the group on the ghost walk only missing a little bit. We had a lovely time with the ghost tour, and it was fun. Death (A teenager in goth boots and a black cape and balaclava) walked up to Sassy and tapped her on the shoulder, and she just looked back at him, even though she'd been told she would be turned to stone if she did...brave kid. Shorty proceeded to stare intently at my shoulder as I held her; she was taking no chances at looking at Death.

After the tour, which ended with a mini-movie, dunking ("Dookin'") for apples and eating treacle scones off bits of string with arms held behind the back, we had a wander around the grounds on our own. A nice walk through the pinetum in search of warblers and pretty cones. The ground was a bit boggy, and they must have had the gales and rain like we did the night before. Just on our way to check out the new young trees I said to shorty "Stop!" in a firm voice as she was about to walk through a grass covered puddle. Now stop in a firm voice almost always works, as this a most obliging kid, but not today. Today stop meant run. And she ran into the puddle and almost like deja vu the feet flipped out from under her and she landed flat on her back. In a cold, muddy puddle. "I'm Soaking!" She cried and I read her the riot act as I walked her to the nearest bench to redress her in dry clothes. I still carry a spare outfit, just in case.

Three strikes. We decided not to risk Husband's luck and made our way to the car to get home. Once at the car I decided to look at my leg, as it was getting a wee bit sore now. On lifting my trouser leg up, I saw the biggest bruise I've ever had in my life. Almost the size of my hand and was raised on the inside of my calf and getting hot. I laughed. What else can I do? Bag of frozen peas when I get home.

So far, Husband remains unharmed. The stress of watching his girls get hurt and soaked have done enough for his stress levels to warrant we all get one more day of vacation tomorrow. But that can't be arranged. So I bought cake instead. Cake heals a lot of wounds.

No pictures of the broken tooth allowed (I asked, she says no) but here's the beginnings of a gorgeous bruise. I'll update the colours tomorrow. The big one looks a bit like a butterfly, and the small one on the other side shows my leg fell right up to the knee. I'm very lucky I didn't break my leg. (And yes, I have chicken skin, shut up.)

Big BruiseSmall bruise.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The best things come...

...not always in small packages.

What is this?!
Worst scissors ever.
Aha!
Ta Dah!

(Can you tell the kids are still on Fall break? I swear I just tidied all that crap away.)

It's the cookbook I won in Doug's contest last month. Thank you Doug! Pictures of baking will follow soon. *HUG*

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ha! See, it's not just me.

I'm just ahead of the game, as usual. Hat tip to Chrys for this link: Sex with Robots!!

Have no clue what I'm talking about (It's not uncommon, really) then read the last paragraph of my previous post.

OH! And just so you now after several weeks of trying out WordPress, I've decided: It sucks. It would be fine if I was using my own webspace, but I'm not so it's just a pain. blogger is far easier to use. So I'm coming back. To all of you folks who changed your blogrolls to accomodate my Wordpress change: Sorry!!! I'm such a fickle bitch.

Kidnapped! by Jo Leigh review

I bought Kidnapped!, a Harlequin Blaze - forbidden fantasies read, on the advice of Paperback Writer who raved about the tight plot and technically insane mastery that let her be absorbed into the story (So no talking to the author on this one, unlike my experiences with Jed) which is just what I needed so out came the maestro card and to amazon I went. Sad thing is, the book took nearly three weeks to arrive, when it did, I'd forgotten I'd ordered it - must watch finances and impulse shopping urges closer!

Kidnapped is about New York Socialite Tate Baxter who lives her life in a high security bubble. She suffers with agoraphobia and has intense fears of being kidnapped for ransom and murdered. She's gotten away from murderous kidnappers once before, but who knows about next time. So she has a lot of high tech, but invisible, security. Not so invisible is her chauffeur, Michael Caulfield. Mikey is a highly trained ex-CIA special expert guy. He's tough, focussed and hot with gorgeous blue eyes.

Tate's shrink offers up a suggestion to help her get over her fears of getting kidnapped by planning and enacting her own kidnap with help of specialist acting kidnappers. Yeah! That sounds good, we'll fake a kidnapping and you can work through your breathing techniques and coping mechanisms and shit, remember your happy place, find your happy place...got it, great. Except something goes wrong and she ends up kidnapped for real, thinking it's the staged kidnap. Michael, also thinking it's the staged kidnapping, lets her go. Uhm...shit!

So there she is, really kidnapped, terrified, sucking wind in mid-panic attack and the fucking actors aren't listening to her code word (which is: Stop. I found this lacking in originality. I'm sure S&M couples come up with better safe words than Stop, like "Armageddon" or "Spunk Monkey" but then if you are in the middle of a panic attack, stop may be the only word one can utter...so I let it go.) Lucky for her, Michael has her hooked up to GPS (in her handbag, I was expecting the under-wiring of her bra, but I digress) so he's able to follow and find her. He never calls anyone though, because he still doesn't know it's real and not fake, and Tate made him promise not to tell her Dad.

They both end up captive and there's a lot of worry talk about how they'll die, and how well Tate's dealing with this. Handcuffed together in a small bed, kind of cozy really, and then, well....confession time. Mikey is pretty good with a comb and gets out of his handcuffs, and the two manage a few passionate end of the world "Armageddon!" no no...sorry...ahem, yes they get jiggy in the waves on the boat of captive lurve. But did they handcuff each other or make us of said handcuffs? No. Forbidden fantasies pishaw! Ok ok, there was that detail about Tate having cut wrists from the handcuffs, so it's not S&M erotica, but she could've clamped up Mikey at least once! Oh, yeah wait - it's not me, it's Tate and she's got panic issues. *sigh* ok she gets the warm comforting cuddles under the duvet to the peaceful sway of the ocean.

The bad guys are bad, a wee bit cliche gangster types but acceptable. I kept expecting the big chef guy to be a double agent, but no, just a gangster with a penchant for French cuisine. Anyways, we spend a lot of time in Tate's head where she's building herself up, refocusing her confidence, as she's not had a heart attack or anything and she's coping well, and maybe she'll get a few kicks in before they toss her overboard. Bolstering reminiscences of pilates classes, yoga and self-defense coaching as well as a lot of supportive noises from Michael hint to me that an ass kicking turn about is coming Tate's way and I want to read about it!

***Spoiler coming!!!***

I don't know how much more I can get into without revealing the story, as it is a 243 page story so the action is boom, boom, boom. They ultimately end up in the Cayman Islands where Tate has a bank account full of millions that the kidnappers want, and the plans for getting her to sign over her money all seems a bit thin, but works in the end. I kept thinking, Tate can just get into the office and say "Fuck you, I'm in a safe place. neener neener, I'm going shopping," and then kung-fu his kidnapper's ass all over the bank's fancy entrance. But then the kidnappers kept Micheal on the boat and threatened to kill him if she didn't sign over the money, so that was a bust. No, she goes in, signs everything like a good compliant wee chicken.

But, I was right to expect an ass kicking scene! And it came, and it was: A kick to the balls and a temper tantrum. What?! That's it?? I wanted a bit more damage than that. A Yoga strengthened high kick to the face followed by a few rabbit punches and a high heeled shoe piercing the bad guy's big toe. Something more! All that training and the bad guy is brought down by a knee to the nads. That was only one of two things that irked me, but they were both minor irks. The second one was they didn't mention a reward for Tate's safe return until the very end. I think that should've had a small mention somewhere earlier in the story when the Best Friend and Daddy Baxter have a conversation.

***End Spoiler***

So it's rather good, for a quick read. It's something that could've been spread out and made even more intense, but I understand the market it was written for has it's stringent rules on word counts. I think it's a good sign that I wanted more from the story, that I could see it going further. It was very good with the uncertain outcomes, and kept me reading. Anyone want it? I'll post it to whoever e-mails me first at lyvvie at gmail.com.

Now for something completely different...

What the hell is this?!? (I love the music, BTW) I mean, it doesn't look sexy, it doesn't look comfortable, it doesn't look...right. It's just not right! And it's expensive!! Then there's this creepy mannequin that invites you to rub her and turn her knobs, and she rewards you with moans of pleasure. How long have women been saying "Are you trying to tune the radio or turn me on? Because you're failing at both." So Moaning Lisa isn't helping those inept nipple tuners one bit. When are they (Hey! Sex toy manufacturers, listen up!) going to get around to making a Cherry 2000 because I want a Barry 2000. No, no a George (Clooney!) 2000 with perfected mischievous smirk. Tell me, who would you want as your robot love slave? I can't be the only one who had Data fantasies after hearing about his extensive programming in many ways of pleasuring.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Share Your Tears

My friend Sarah is an amazing talent and started this project a couple years ago. Asking women to photograph themselves when crying, to show the exposed beauty in moments of pain. (I sent her a picture of Shorty. She's in the group.)

Show Sarah some love over at her blog, Sarah's Art Blog.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

He cracks me up.

I'm not a toker, acutally I don't do any drugs. I rarely drink, it's just not my thing. But I can't help but laugh at Chong; he's just so kind of cute. His other vlog posts are fun too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For now...

I'm running the blog from Wordpress. I'm not going to delete this one, because if WordPress pisses me off enough, then I want it here to come back to.

Lyvvie at WordPress

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I knew I was Young at Heart!

I always say I don't feel any older than I did at 19 and now I have proof. My stepUncle sent me an e-mail to do some online health quiz, and it was really neat to see how different things I do in my life make such a dramatic difference to my life expectancy. I started out putting in my 35 years and it automatically added in the average life expectancy of 74. Then through a series of questions the numbers get further apart, or closer together.

It was great to see, at the end of the test, I have a "Real age" of 20 years old, and a life expectancy of 89. I'm aiming for a 100th birthday, and I want to to be able to walk up to, cut and chew my own birthday cake (although my own teeth is optional, I'm thinking after 100 years they'll have been replaced with fine and dandy new ones) so I'm going to just keep on doing whatever I'm doing.

You take the test too!! http://www.poodwaddle.com/realage.swf

I don't know why poodwaddle but hey. I liked the answers. Considering I have another 54 years to get my novel finished, I feel a whole lot more relaxed this morning. Also, I'm not even "middle aged" yet! Woohoo!

Saw this stuff advertised on QVC a year ago or something and thought it was disgusting, but so cool! you just leave it on your feet and then after a time you can scrape off liquefied layers of gross, yellow dead skin. Oh it turns my stomach but makes me eager to try it. So for the ultimate ick factor: I bought some. I may even share pictures of the grodiness, Halloween is coming, after all.

Still getting along on WordPress, it's all so different! It's not as easy as Blogger by a long shot. I've been spoiled with the ability to hack away at Blogger templates with my own HTML and links. Not as simple to achieve, and it's taking a lot of slogging through its forums to figure out how it's done. I have a supportive Husband who offers his expertise and I hope to get settled in over the months. It's good to learn new things! I just don't know yet if it'll have been worth the effort. I mean, I did have to pay $15 for the customize CSS option which felt like a wasteful parting of cash.

This morning was the first in over two weeks that I woke up and felt refreshed and had energy to start the morning, so I think I'm finally free of this damned bug that's plagued me. I'm still congested, and have sore sinuses but I'm not exhausted which was a feeling of hope. Downside: Husband now seems to have caught it.

I've spent a lot of time writing this week, dedicated at least an hour and a half to just writing, with an average half hour of faffing about: That's a huge improvement! The difference is not to write in the house. I find if I start to write in the house, I'm immediately distracted by all those things I normally try to avoid: like laundry, toilet bowl scrubbing and mopping floors. Why is it when I begin to write those tasks become so much more demanding and easier to finish? So I've been writing in the local cafe, where the owner is a lovely girl who has the same name as me and she buys soya milk just for me to indulge in lattes of extortionate prices. But she is so nice, I don't mind. I'll find a way to cut money elsewhere to support my writing and soy latte habit. But I've finished the first re write of chapter one and I'm rather proud of myself.

I bought a new perfume recently and now...don't like it. It smells like L'Eau D'Executive Riche, or Office Yuppie Chic. It's sweet and sharp. I don't really do sweet or sharp. Then it dries to more powdery softness. I don't do powdery softness, either. It kind of smells like White Linen with a mix of posh hand lotion, whereas my favourite perfume is Coco Chanel. Good thing I didn't spend a fortune on it. I'm now trying to think who I can give it to...Any Pheromone fans? NOW wait...don't go there...it's not "pheromone" perfume. It's called that. I bought it on the strength of many reviews and that it's got Egyptian stuff about it and my all time favourite scent was a $2 bottle of Egyptian musk oil I bought at the flea market in 1990. Yes, I still have it. Yes it still smells great. I often get grabbed by women who demand to know what it is. I guess I should try out the new one for a bit and see how I like it, but just now I'm disappointed. Plus, my nose isn't working properly yet and could just be I'm not smelling it properly.

That's me done for the spending spree. Time to knuckle back down and save money for, ugh, Christmas presents. Sassy already has a list 12 items long. We're sticking to the five present limit again for the kids.

If I go back to full time work, I want to get a job with these people because they have so much fun! I was looking for what to use in my erotic story...I may have to use, The Professor!

Hey! My ear just popped! I can hear out the left side again! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Moving out...

I started blogger three years ago on the suggestion from my husband that I keep an online diary to try and keep my mind busy while I adjust to life outside of work. I'd just had Shorty, was really missing my work and friends and it was the kind of thing that kept me from hours of boring Sims play and MahJong.

So I blogged. And it's been great. But I think I'd like a bit more from my blog now. So I'm moving content over to WordPress. I'll keep this here for...well to avoid the pillaging of my blog title, so for as long as I want to. But my new home, which is still under construction, so I'll be blog hopping for a bit is: http://lyvvie.wordpress.com/

Hope to see everyone there soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yummy!

Just baked some amazing banana strawberry muffins. I always make muffins because tiny cakes are cool. I do have a mini loaf cake tin too, but muffins are what the kids love most. I made this recipe because I had brown spotty bananas that the kids said "EW!" too and strawberries that will probably be hairy by tomorrow. They have come out fantastic.

Banana Strawberry Muffins

2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tbs vegetable oil
1 cup soy milk
2 pureed smooth very ripe bananas
4-5 sliced strawberries (Too many and the muffins will be mushy in the middle)
Demerara sugar or large crystal sugar for topping (It discourages muffin penis)...yes that was my muffin, and muffin pan.

Mix dry ingredients, and then add wet and roughly mix together until mostly wet. Do not overmix, as a lumpy, slightly thick consistency is best. Pour mixture into lightly oiled muffin pan (I use a silicone pan). Add in 4-5 slices of strawberry and bury into the mix and top with a little demerara sugar. Bake in the oven on medium/high heat until a knife put in the middle pulls out clean(About 20 minutes). If using silicone, wait until you see the muffin pulling away from the sides of the pan.

These are wonderful. The best part is no worries about letting the kids lick the bowl as no eggs to worry about salmonella. It'll be hard to keep a few for Husband and Sassyface as gluttony urges are high just now. And I'm out of ripe bananas and can't make more. Will Be Good!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Beginnings?

I don't have an SBD post for today because I'm in the middle of a few books and haven't actually finished one. I should just grab one, and read it until the end, but the attention span is distracted by the new and shiny, or if I get to a slower bit of a chapter I swap over. It's not fair, it's wrong, and yet I do it all the time. It's why it takes me so long to finish anything as I live my life this way. I get halfway through most tasks and then am distracted into something else. Usually one of my kids provides the distractions. I often wish I could post-it note the previous thing I was doing on my chest as a reminder "Washing dishes, water still running in sink!" once the child's emergency is finished.

It's also why I'm not the most disciplined writer. Especially as I write on the same computer that I also internet from. I really should buy some old junker laptop and purely write from that where it has no internet access at all. I remember the days when I envied my friend and her brand new Smith Corona word processor, which looked like a monster sized electric typewriter. Because she could type away her stories and have them. Done. There. The bliss. I have an iMac and find distractions it provides so seductive. It usually starts with something simple like a word check on Dictionary.com or a fact check that turns into a three hour immersion session on...fucking about. Plain and simple: it's all fucking about. Not literally, but just the supreme way to waste time.

I've recently decided I'm going to scrap the first three chapters of my novel. It's the same novel I started writing three years ago when I had lots more time available. Shorty was just a newborn and slept lots so i would have windows of a couple hours to get a couple pages typed. But that stopped by the time she was eight months old and the morning naps disappeared. Since then it's been one long distraction. I've been trained by motherhood to be easily distracted. I never used to be like this. At least I don't think I was, I think as far as hobbies went I could be fairly involved. So anyways, with Shorty starting pre-school I pulled out the old files and have been re-reading everything. It's been a lot of fun. On reading the first chapter again, I slashed out so much, it was obvious it needed renewal. Why so much description? Who cares about that? My worst habits: present and past tenses mixed together. First person or omniscient, I can't seem to break so it's my editing nightmare.

I still like the story. I still like my characters, and how patient they've been with me all these months. But the first three chapters are hard. They are busy, intricate and overdone. I made the Hero/Heroine's first meeting so convoluted it's no wonder I put the story away for so long. It was intimidating! I'm very thankful I recently read Johanna Lindsey, because she makes first meetings so easy, believable and uncomplicated it made me see: I'm trying too hard.

So I'm keeping a bit ("Kill your darlings" so say the masters), but I'm also untying the knots and freeing up the story flow so it's easier and not so smack, smack, smack with events. I must have been paranoid about having the story be exciting and interesting so just crammed a ton of action into it. Poor readers would've been getting a headache.

I feel good about this. Nervous; always nervous. I don't remember being nervous as a teenager about writing. I thought everything I wrote then was gold, baby! Pure Gold! But I'm far more apprehensive now. Downright cagey. Not as cagey as some *coughBethcough*, but now with a much needed humbleness.

Want to see the old first chapter? It's rather awful, I warn you. It reads more like a character bio than a chapter. I think it's where I was in the writing, getting to know my characters better, so it comes across in the story. It's why I decided it needed to be completely changed; it's not really a chapter. It doesn't lay out anything of the story I want to tell. But for a laugh, go ahead. I started up the old writing blog again just for this purpose. Read it here

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Guilty.

I've committed a Lyvvieism. I think a lot of people must do this kind of thing, where they have busy minds, busy lives and occasionally a bit of information is absorbed mentally that somehow gets mashed and misunderstood. But it's so realistic that it becomes a factoid in the mind. This happened to me on Thursday.

Thursday morning at 6:30am the alarm goes off and the three beeps to tell me the BBC is about to give the news headlines.I am rather ill, have a serious head cold and mild fever, feel like crap. News starts off with a death notice. I'm bleary but always have attention to recent deaths, well don't we all really? A morbid indulgence and yet selfish all the same as the death may impact on me in some way. I hear that Liberace has passed away at the age of 71.

SparkleMan

What a shame, and yet I've not heard much of him in recent years. Poor Liberace, what a brilliant pianist he was! A real showman, prime of his day. I saw him lots as a real young kid, along with tormented memories of ballroom dancing and bubble machines (What was that show, I know it was polka big band but I can't remember for the life of me!) I'm kind of touched by that report. Poor Liberace who always is viewed as gay and yet denies it so strongly. Have to admire his tenacity, and pity his denial. Ah well. The day must go on. I'll blog about it later, find a couple nice pics. Yeah that'll be good.

I go about the day, rather ill and can't manage much, phone in to say I'll not make it to work and then grab several DVDs to play on the PS2 while entertaining Shorty, as I can't walk her to school. I spend the day in bed half asleep. Friday is exactly the same.

Saturday I'm feeling much better and manage to follow the family along to the pool, visit Grandma Betty; who dishes up a major guilt trip and asks me plainly to please go to Auntie Hagrid's wedding. Not to worry about not finding a dress as I can go in jeans, be myself if I want to, but to be there is most important to her, she is 87 and wants to see her family, the whole family, happy. Damn it, Betty. Fine. I'll go to the fucking ingrate's wedding. Seeing as I have found a dress. Not that I bought it for the wedding, I bought it for my anniversary coming up in a couple weeks. But fine.

Stuck in the car for an hour and a half on the way back home because of bridgeworks, and don't think after two recent bridge collapses that that doesn't make me brick it completely, the news reports Pavarotti's funeral. Pavarotti too!? What a frigging nightmare, two great artists in one day, and they died on the same day! And were the same age! What a coincidence. No news about Liberace's funeral, huh, must be private. I mentioned this to Husband who nods and looks contemplative. We talk about Liberace doing a Muppets episode, but did Pavarotti? No we don't think so. Did he even do a SNL? Yeah, I think so! Can you imagine the two of them in the afterlife, hanging out and stuff, Liberace playing for Pavarotti, they'd be great pals for sure.

I went to work that night, talked about how the two died the same day with a few co-workers - how tragic. Wow? Really? That is shocking. Wow.

So this morning, Sunday, I'm on the Wiki for Liberace, to get some information for my blog post. It tells me, he died...in 1987. What? But I know I heard Liberace reported dead only on Thursday. I did. Frigging Wiki is crap, must be a hackjob. Fucking hackers! I'll check around, IMDB will have the truth. Ah. Well. How did this happen? I'm very confused now. Plus my whole post is shot to hell.

Pavarotti

It wasn't until I heard Pavarotti's name said in full that it made sense. To an ill, exhausted sufferer of a thumping head cold, woken at the awful hour of 6:30AM, Luciano Pavarotti could easily be mashed into: Liberace.

Yes it fucking well could. I only hope those who I mentioned it to will forget before I see them again...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I'm a tosser

Aughra made a wee mention that a friend of hers likes to take pictures while tossing her camera in the air for the whirl-winded effects. So of course I had to try it. I did it first with my Minolta but was way to nervous about dropping it so would only hold onto the strap. Even then I felt I was tempting fate way too much. So I snuck into the kid's room and borrowed Sassy-face's wee 2.0 megapixel toy camera. Her one works a million times better! For one thing, my one I think, snaps pics way too clean and fast. Sassy's one, makes it up as it flies in the air. Examples, My Minolta:
tossing minoltaMinolta tossed, boring.

Oh look, its grass. Oh look it's an upside down flower pot. Ho hum. Now, standing in the same spot but using Sassy's camera:

spun on its neck straptossedTossed self portraitTossed

What a difference! This camera has always given us a laugh because it warps the pictures and makes them all wavy even when you aren't throwing it around. Now, I have an excuse to appreciate them. Apart from the obvious fact that photos from my children are complete gold and works of utter genius.

Wanting a t-shirt now that says "I'm a Tosser"

There's a blog about it
And a Flickr community

Blah.

I have a cold. I hate colds. I've not had one for ages and this one was really sneaky. I suspect it's been working itself into a proper cold for a couple weeks as I've noticed I've become more tired and then a bit snuffly and then achey and now full blown cold. It's the stinging attack in my sinuses I really object to, as it makes me sneeze a lot. As a hold over from being pregnant, I hate sneezing as it makes me panic about wetting myself. I've kegeled my bits into buffness so it doesn't happen, but you know, one violent unannounced sneeze and anyone can wet themselves.

I feel really run down, which is annoying as Ive missed the gym. I can't face going, although a good sweat would probably kick the shit out of the cold. But I'm feeling rather miserable and just want coziness in the big chair with a blanket, cup of tea and the remote. I'm back in the gym tomorrow. I've spent the past two days cleaning my house and doing laundry. I got dressed this morning; I just can't stand lounging in pajamas today, and cleared the cupboards of out of date stuff. Actually went well as what I did find was only out of date in August. There was a lot of guilt thrown away too, crap I bought in moments of weakness but couldn't bring myself to eat all of it, so it's out in the bin.

My appetite isn't there, so I just put a butternut squash in the oven to slow cook for a couple hours, on the hopes that the smell will work its magic and get me hungry by then. I still have to go out and take Shorty to school this afternoon, and then go pick them both up after school. No no lounging about wallowing in illness for me, as much as I'd love it. I'd actually just love a day all to myself. No worries, no stress.

Shorty can't stop sneezing now.

We got the wedding invitation from Auntie Hagrid today. I can't possibly say a thing about it without coming across as a total bitch. But it's lame. Home made, with pattern cutting scissors and stickers and glue sticks. The information inside the card is crooked, not a little but a lot. And at the bottom is an added on sticker that says "Oopps, it's the 14th October, 2007" oh yes, she forgot to put the date of the wedding in the original printout. You want to see it? You do? Ok...but only because you asked.
Hagridsinvitehagridsinvite2

We can all see how very important that trampoline was now. I had a brief conversation with my mother-in-law about the trampoline. She agrees is terrible, but she's not said anything. See it's all Lurch, apparently. He did the whole thing without Hagrid's knowledge. My counter to this was "so what's stopping her now? Why didn't she defend her grandmother?" which was as much to her as it was to Hagrid as it's her Mom's garden. I'm still not really allowed to get involved.

Oh I feel better just sharing all of that, and the house now smells amazing and I'm getting a bit hungry, so I'm going to have my lunch, er...brunch. Elevenses, as it were.

Monday, September 03, 2007

SBD: Battle of the Books!

I was a bit obsessed with reading this weekend, just decided to have a read and read and read. So I read three books, but two were romances. the other one was the science one from Richard Dawkins.

These two romance books were both written in the same year, 2004, by accomplished authors. They are very different. One of them I liked, the other one I didn't.

A Loving Scoundrel by Johanna Lindsey and The Waitress by Melissa Nathan. I read The Waitress first, it's about a group of Londoners who all have messed up love lives and struggle to get by in a modern world. Our heroine, Katie, is working as a waitress is a dull cafe that caters to the commuter crowd. It's dead end until she can figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She is 24 at this point. The story starts at the engagement party of one her pals where she meets Dan, the ex of one of her friends. They are tipsy and have lots of in-depth drink induced chat that leads to a fabulous kiss. Oh yes, a kiss, a kiss to beat all kisses, a kiss that makes Buttercup and Wesley look like snogging teens: A Glittery Tongue Tangle as opposed to a Glittery Hoo-ha. I mean it was so good, he didn't even have to cop a feel to make her toes curl. Cor, that be some top tongue action going on between those lips.

They have a disaterous first date where she has a panic attack and walks out of the restaurant while he's in the toilet. Later, he and his partner buy out the owner of her cafe and Lo! Dan is her new boss. He's a bit bitter about the mid-date dump, especially after the GTT.

It's at this point I started to feel a bit let down in the story, a great build up and I wanted some top dialouge and reparte that lead to a passionate reunion, but what I got treated to was an exercise in "How to write Beta Heroes and their friends" where suddenly everyone became soppy, self-involved and over-emotional. I mean all the men cry, and not even over something serious like someone's death but over stress and being dumped. Big sobbing boo-hoos. the women all seem bitter and decidedly bitchy (except the family members) scheming and not ever to be trusted; even the best friend. It becomes such a tangle in inner-city "Mememe!" isms that I was flipping pages to skim to the dialogue muttering to myself "Get to the point, love." but it all got a bit washed out. Problem was: Too many people who didn't have a good reason to exist, too many subplots that didn't have anything to do with the main couple. It was too much like having lunch with a pal hopped up amphetamines intent on gossiping about people you've never met.

There is a HEE, which is fine. But all we ever get in one more drunken kiss. Yes they only seem able to have the GTT when drink is introduced. But the ending isn't any kind of permanent commitment, it's more: We're free to date now! I kept up with it for 500 pages so they could date freely. I just kept wanting a bit more Alpha in both of them.

Which is where I scored with my Lindsey. I've always loved Johanna Lindsey novels, and have read many. This is another installment of the Malory saga, here we've got Jeremy Malory, the son of James the Gentleman Pirate. He needs to help his pal Percy recover some jewelry he lost in a bet so they decided they'll need to steal the items and the best way to do that is to find a top thief. Which they catch, a young boy who sneaks into their room and tries to nick Percy's wallet. Yet, like his dad, Jeremy can tell this "boy" is nothing of the sort. It's of course, our heroine, Danny.

There's a lot of excellent banter between these two, a touch of Eliza Doolittle and there's the passion. Now, Lindsey shows us how you can have sex and passion in a romance novel without it becoming lewd and distracting. It's all about the saucy talk, the knowing glances, the averted eyes, and blushes; there's a lot of blushing in this one, Danny should just tell people she's sunburned.

Where this one also has too many characters, it's not a problem, because each of them actually help propel the plot and enrich the story. Not merely because it's full of cameos from the previous Malory stories, but even as a stand alone book, it works. The story isn't overworked with too many subplots and they all have a very a, b, c easy resolution.

My only concern was that it was easy to figure out whodunnit, and it did rely heavily on coincidence. I also found the constant reassertion that Danny was The Most Beautiful in the World Ever a bit much, and likewise, Jeremy was just The Most Handsome. Honestly, I could figure that out myself, I didn't need reminding every three pages.

Neither book is exactly what you call challenging, but fall into the category of fun quick reads. I was able to walk to work and read at the same time, and finished both in a day and a half. I think it's obvious I preferred the Lindsey and it's just that the characters are more my kind of people; strong of mind, word and spirit. I get enough of whimpering betas in real life to last me a lifetime.

(To alleviate my guilt about giving a negative review of Melissa's book, as she sadly died in 2006 of cancer, I've donated a wee bit to Cancer Research)