Wednesday, October 06, 2010

cross blogging

Trying to stay positive. It's hard on a succession of gray rainy days.
I posted on my other, once-every-six-months-or-a-year blog today instead:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010



Friday, August 20, 2010

WORD to your sistah

Man oh man has this chica got a good thing going on....
I wish I had time to do something similar with my blog. But that would involve specializing, instead of being a repository for all things that fallout from my brain.
Something to muse on....

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today feels like failure on multiple levels.

I actually had to leave the office because the noise was too much. A loud person on a conference call less than 18 inches from me--my headphones and white noise didn't do the trick. I felt like clawing out my eyes. So I am home, listening to the hum of the computers instead. Much more peaceful but I miss the camaraderie of the office.

It has been suggested to me that my increased noise sensitivity could be migraine-related. I have seen somewhat of a correlation between noise bothering me and then getting a migraine a day or two later. I am trying to track this pattern.

It will be a bitter pill, spending $300 on the latest noise-cancelling headphones (Bose Q15), but I might just have to in order to function at work. Lunchtime regularly makes me feel like I could climb the walls. All that crunching.... I hate crunchy foods. They taste good, but I hate the noise I make when I eat them, let alone when others do. The other day I got all over DH for eating grapes too loudly. I now know that I have a problem. I really do want to get better. I just have to figure out how.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What I Read in 2010

I decided to add the newest ones to the top, rather than the bottom, to save scrolling for frequent (ahem) readers. Duh. Blog architecture 101. 

In the interest of trying to keep an updated list before the next year starts (ha!), here is what I have read so far:

29. Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. A good thriller but ultimately forgettable. Everything is starting to look the same by Patterson. Maybe it's time to find a new thriller author to read.

28. The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. Jacobs has again mined the depth of his waking mind to deliver a memoir that is worth reading and worth, in fact, digesting. After the success of reading the Encyclopedia from cover to cover, Jacobs decides he needs a new quest, and sets out to live by the Bible for one year. He visits various evangelical and liberal sects of differing religions--from the Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn to snake handlers in some place I'm too lazy to look up at the moment. He spends nine months in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) and three in the New. In his quest of checking off commandments, Jacobs finds himself transformed from self-effacing "clueless agnostic" to reverent agnostic, and his journey enlightens--himself and his readers.

27. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. A little on the slow side to start but overall a good read. Hornby does well enough getting inside an almost-forty-year-old's mind, and captures Duncan, the protagonist's not-husband, and all his quirks with a practiced hand. The plot, while more than implausible, is clever. Since I always struggle with plot in my own writing, I wanted to file away the device he used to bring two unlike characters together to reappropriate in some form in my own work, if need be. I wish there had been a soundtrack to go along with the book. The echoes of music I have yet to hear emanated in my mind as I read and I kept wanting to load them up on my ipod, to really see which one of the couple I would have agreed with, and why.

26. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis. This is more of an intellectual look at how the program came to be, as well as biographical information about lots of key stakeholders behind the scenes, rather than a pop-culture look at the history of the program. I was intrigued by how many of the production and management teams came from Captain Kangaroo, and I didn't know that Noggin, which has now unfortunately merged with Nickelodeon, was a CTW channel. I didn't feel like there was quite enough Henson in the book; and the resolution of the Disney/Muppet ownership rights fell flat. It was built up as an epic struggle and then somewhat summarily dismissed. Joan Ganz Cooney comes out looking like she could do no wrong, but I'm sure some of the other team members would have loved to have given their two cents (sadly, many have died in the past two decades--who knew?). I can see how Zoe was a contrived creation and was not allowed a genesis similar to her older muppet counterparts. I wanted more about Kevin Clash... but I guess there's a book for that.

25. Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger. Pure, unadulterated brain candy, but just what I needed to escape from my life for 48 hours. I liked this one as much as The Devil Wears Prada, and it was much better than Everyone Worth Knowing. Predictable, of course, but seeing how the predictability played out was fun. And I love that her characters use "fuck" as much as I do.

24. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. I watched the movie a few weeks ago and I was curious about the source material. Several people saw me reading the book and asked me my opinion. I hate turning people off to reading--reading anything--but I wanted to be honest. And I honestly thought the movie was better. Julie wasn't a truly likeable "character" in the book (as much as one can be a character in a memoir). She fared much better in the movie version of her life (and who wouldn't?). I wanted to like it, I really really did, especially since I liked the film a lot. But it left me a little cold. Maybe if I had read it as a blog, as she was writing it. It did make me question the supposed-new genre of "blog fiction" that seems to be in the back of every writer's mind. Not all blogs will translate well to larger works of fiction, and I think that is something the Big Six need to keep in mind when they are shopping in the near future.

23. Kabbalah: A Love Story by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. I started and couldn't finish. It had to go back to the library and I wasn't sad enough to see it go to find it on paperbackswap. Interesting premise of a plot, but a little too "preachy" for fiction.

22. The Guynd by Belinda Rathbone. A little slow to start, but a well-written memoir of an ex-pat who moves to Scotland with her boyfriend, a laird. She learns that loving the man means also loving his family home and the quirks of class life in Scotland. It gives new meaning to the phrase "house-poor."

21. A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages by Kristin Chenoweth and Joni Rodgers. Just started this one today. It's cute and chatty, and gives some insight into Chenoweth's background and choices in her career thus far. I'm sure it won't be earth-shattering, but it should be an entertaining read.
ETA: entertaining; decent insight into the whole Studio Sixty on the Sunset Strip debacle of Chenoweth on The 700 Club. And like the clueless idiot I am, I had no idea she dated/dates Aaron Sorkin.

20. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory--better than The Other Queen. Gregory did a much better job developing three distinct but believable voices in this one. The first person POV didn't bother me in this one. Definitely a page-turner.

19. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory--this was my least favorite of the historical fiction I have read by Gregory so far. The novel rotates between three narrators--George, the Earl of Shrewsbury; Bess, a new-monied lady who married George (he is her fourth husband); and Mary Queen of Scots, the ousted queen who vied for the English throne while Elizabeth I held it. The voices are definitive in a trite kind of way, and I just felt that the story was plodding along. Gregory employs first person and it is tiresome to read for so many pages. Admittedly it works well in some of her other novels, but not this one.

18. The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory--more bodice-ripping, albeit with historical implications. Now I'd like to find out how much of the Elizabeth I loved Robert Dudley and was counseled by William Cecil is true. Guess I need to find a good biography to read. Gregory lists some source materials in her bibliography, and one of them is by Alison Weir, whose stuff I have read before and liked. I thought, however, that it was all fictional. I'll have to take another look. Interesting folks, those Tudors.

17. Fool by Christopher Moore--Oh the irony of reading two foolish books one after the other while on holiday in London. This was a phenomenal read. I think Moore is so clever; that I love Shakespeare only served to augment my amusement. Regan as a complete slut, Goneril as overweight and overwrought, Cordelia as conniving, and France and Burgundy as gay lovers. Oh my stars, what a romp!

16. The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory--well, I was going to say a bodice-ripper in historical fiction duds, but I think that's a bit redundant. I am such a sucker for historical fiction. This did not disappoint. I enjoyed that the main character was Jewish, and the portrayal of England becoming Catholic, then Anglican/Protestant, then Catholic, etc., was very enlightening. I think I finally get it now.

15. Limitations by Scott Turow--see, here's my problem with Scott Turow. I often think I have found a new book by him and start to read it, only to realize I have read it before. Sometimes I get to the end and realize, no, this is actually a new story. Sometimes I read to the end and confirm, oh yes, I remember this twist. Still other times I read and I remember some of the characters but not the plot, and at the end I'm not sure if I've read it already or not. It's a little annoying. I don't think his books have gotten more interesting as he's gotten more seasoned. I do like the ones that feature Sandy Stern more than the others. This one was okay. Short and sweet, but I kept having the impression I'd read it before and when I finished it, I still wasn't sure if I had.

14. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire--very slow to start but an interesting twist on the typical Snow White tale. I didn't like it as much as Wicked and Son of a Witch.

13. Disobedience by Jane Hamilton--I've tried this twice and just can't get into it. Maybe it's the author's note in the beginning, forecasting the story for me. Maybe it's the unrealistic 17-year-old boy narrator's voice (sorry, Ms. Hamilton). Or maybe it's just that the characters are annoying. I can't find anything redeeming in what I've read so far and I have no desire to continue. And that's big for me. It's rare that I don't finish a book.

12. The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford--this was a great find. I think I heard Ford on NPR sometime and decided to read the book based on his interview. It was a fascinating for me to read about the prejudices between Japanese and Chinese immigrants (even in a fictionalized way) in the 1940s during the time of the Japanese internment in the U.S. I had no idea such tensions even existed, or if I ever knew, I had definitely forgotten. The politics don't get in the way of the story, though, which is important. And Ford doesn't take sides or preach. I wish I could meet Henry, Sheldon, and Keiko and give them all hugs.

11. Eden Close by Anita Shreve--very slow to start but got interesting halfway through. Definitely "women's literature."

10. Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter by Phoebe Damrosch--succulent and juicy. It's a play-by-play of being hired, trained at, backserving, and serving at a four-star restaurant in NYC. Fascinating stuff, even for someone like me who never waited tables.

9. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin--I approached this one with trepidation, despite having heard the co-authors speak at the Dayton Peace Prize awards a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure I wanted the "heavy-heavy" of a true story about girls in Pakistan. I was expecting graphic blow-by-blows of physical violence against girls, and how they struggle to achieve any sort of life in a repressive society. I could not have been more wrong. Mortenson and Relin frame the journey around Mortenson's climbing adventures. I have never been remotely interested in climbing mountains. The journey opens with Mortenson's failure on K2, and the "ephiphanic moment" (thanks A.M. Foley) he has barely making it back down the mountain alive. He makes a promise and takes a hell of a long time to keep it, but the way he does is amazing. The book also shed some light on the conflict in Afghanistan and the U.S. involvement in it. That was helpful to me. I was afraid of encountering words like "infidel" and "mujahadeen" but I learned a little more about why insurgents turn to extremism. It was a thought-provoking journey--one that I encourage everyone to make along with Mortenson.

8. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart--part memoir, part "ode to joy," Carhart combines two of my favorite entities--music and Paris. I seem to be reading a lot of American expats in France (from last year's list and this year's). If I had to complain about anything, it would be that the memoir parts are not seamlessly integrated into the technical parts about pianos themselves. I definitely received a good background on different piano manufacturers and their pros and cons (but in an interesting way). His portrait of Luc, the man who inherits the atelier to restore the pianos, is exquisitely drawn. If nothing else, the tome makes me want to get off my duff, find a decent secondhand or restored piano, and get back to it. The descriptions of musical technique made me miss my voice lessons terribly. I know what Carhart means when he describes elements of musical creation, where you're present but not, and the music takes over. It looks and sounds effortless if it's done right, and the techinque falls away, allowing you to fly on your own voice (or keyboard). Trying to decide whether it's a good one to loan my father, an avocational pianist and clarinetist. He might find it tedious. I'll offer. If you love music, or Paris, or both, seek it out.

7. Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews--a somewhat interesting, somewhat indulgent read. Andrews had an interesting early life. I was disappointed that the memoir only covered up until she was cast as Mary Poppins (lots of My Fair Lady on both sides of the Atlantic, and on Camelot). Maybe there will be sequel, or a second volume. And I have to see, reading Andrews' euphemisms for female anatomy, reproduction, and menstruation are just funny. She is just as delicate as she appears to be.

6. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger--I really liked this one. It was sad and creepy and heart-warming and weird, all at the same time. Definitely a page-turner. It felt different from The Time Traveler's Wife, which was hyped to me and was okay, in my opinion, but not phenomenal. I was a little disappointed in the ending--saw the first twist coming, but not the second one.

5. The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs--so freaking funny. Seriously, he has inspired me to try to be more in the moment in my daily life. I won't go as far as saying "I am brushing my teeth. I am rinsing my mouth," as he does, but still. Mindfulness is helpful when it all comes crashing down around you.

4. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier--another quick read. Nice stationary bike fodder. If I had read one more reference to "plowing" a woman, however, I would have set the damn thing on fire. Not sure if I like her writing from a male perspective. I also now realize that she is essentially a romance writer with a small attempt at higher-brow fiction by being historical in nature. I probably won't read any more Chevalier unless someone highly recommends a book by her.

3. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs--I haven't finished and I can't decide if I'm going to. It's fairly depressing and I can just feel where it's going, and I don't know if I can stomach it. It's a little like why I've avoided Dave Pelzer and most of Mary Kerr.

2. Dave Barry Slept Here by Dave Berry--meh. Funny in places, especially since I somewhat-recently edited an American history textbook. He was funniest when he wasn't trying so hard to be funny. I'll probably hold onto it as long as I'm editing history curriculum, just to keep a sense of humor about the seriousness of "women and minority" contributions.

1. Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier--quick read. Not as predictable as I thought it would be. Intriguing story. I'm a sucker for good historical fiction.

I am going to keep updating throughout the year... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


This picture made me chuckle today.
As today's reading is all about the Inca and the Aztecs, I needed a chuckle.

Monday, June 07, 2010

gorillas, peanut butter, and sex--oh my!

It has been a fascinating 24 hours in my house.

Scene: dinner table. Mom, dad, seven-year-old, and four-year-old are sitting around the table. In between fighting over bites of vegetables and impending dessert arrival time, four-year-old asks:

FYO: Who were the first people?
SYO: Adam and Eve! Duh!
FYO: So everyone comes from Adam and Eve?
D: Sure. Eat your cucumber.
FYO: I don't want to eat my cucumber.
D: Eat your cucumber.
FYO: So who created Adam and Eve?
SYO: God did.
FYO: Okay. Did God create everyone?
SYO: No. God created Adam and Eve, and then they created people, and those people created Moses and other people from the Bible. Right Daddy?
D: Sure. Eat your cucumber.
SYO: I ate my cucumber. I want dessert.
M: So, kiddos, that's one way of looking at it--God creating Adam and Eve and so on. But other people believe that we all come from apes. And gorillas.
FYO: Really? Our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents were gorillas?
M: That's what some people think.
SYO: So who's right?
D: No one knows. Scientists are still trying to figure it out. Now eat your cucumber.

(12 hours later, at the same table, SYO is eating a waffle and M is making a peanut butter sandwich)
SYO (picking up a baby toy lying on the table): I thought we were giving this away.
M: I wanted to save it. My mom bought me one when I was a baby, and I bought you one when you were a baby, and I want to save it to give to you when you have a baby--if you choose to have a baby.
SYO: Choose?
M: (closing peanut butter jar) Yes.
SYO: You can choose to have a baby?
M: Yes. Not everyone has babies.
SYO: Really? How do you choose?
M: Some people decide they want to have children, and other people decide they don't.
SYO: Yes, but how do you choose to have one?
M: You just do.
SYO: You're not answering my question.
M: Oh. You want to know how it happens.
SYO: Yes.
M: Ummm, okay, well, let me see (nervous giggle).
SYO: It's okay Mom, if you don't know the answer.
M: I know the answer! I'm just trying to think of the best way to answer the question without giving you too much information that you don't need.
SYO: It's okay if you don't want to answer it.
M: I do. Okay, so when two people love each other very much, they decide to have a baby.
SYO: How?
M: Well, a woman has an egg inside her and a man has sperm inside him. And the egg and the sperm get together, and the baby grows inside the woman's tummy for nine months.
SYO: (sighing loudly) Mom, you aren't hearing my question. You aren't answering my question.
M: You want to know how the egg and the sperm get together?
SYO: Yes!
(long beat)
M: The man puts his penis inside the woman's vagina and the sperm goes to find the egg. Okay?
SYO: Okay.
M: Do you have any other questions?
SYO: No.
M: Because if you do you can ask me. I'd rather give you the information than you learning it from your friends at school... or a book.
SYO (rolling her eyes): Mom.
(long beat)
M: So, do you want applesauce or oranges in your lunch today?


I can't make this stuff up. Really.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Now I'm Hungry

Just finished watching Julie and Julia, the movie from the memoir by Julie Powell about cooking 524 of Child's recipes in one year. I loved it! I thought it would be slow and boring but it was charming. I did not realize that Nora Ephron wrote the screenplay. I should have known I would love it just from that--she wrote When Harry Met Sally..., one of my favorite movies of all time (yes, I'm a sap).

I think my favorite scene is at the end, when an image of Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian Institute (I have seen this, but now feel like I need to go back and view it again) dissolves into a scene with Child receiving her published book in the mail. Unless the production company was able to film on location at the Smithsonian, their set dressers did an outstanding job. I haven't researched enough to know where they filmed.

Streep was a class act (big surprise). And Amy Adams was wonderful--no trace of Giselle from Enchantment anywhere. What a sweet film, and a great way to start a long weekend.

Annette's Life Work

Well, one of many of her life's work. She has a husband, a son, three stepdaughters, has published a memoir, writes on a regular basis, maintains a yoga practice, and volunteers with too many organizations to list. I miss her!
Read about her latest venture--touching the lives of those with Alzheimers through the power of writing--and throw some positive vibes her way. Not that she needs them, but they're always good to have!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Yoga Experiment

Everyday, I pass by a yoga studio called Down Dog Yoga. The sign for the studio has a cute puppy on it. As an on-again, off-again yoga-doer (yogi?), I was happy to see a yoga studio within walking distance of work. I checked out the studio online for class offerings and pricing, ventured in the doors to observe the facility itself, and ultimately decided to enroll in a one-week free trial session.

That cute puppy is very, very deceiving.

That cute puppy is a devil dog in disguise.

I left my office fifteen minutes before class was scheduled to start. It was raining, I was walking. I lugged my gym bag, yoga mat, and ashtanga mat through the rain to the studio, filled out the requisite paperwork, and headed to the changing room. That was somewhat of a misnomer--the site claimed the studio had changing facilities and showers. The studio had, in fact, what amounted to one oversized bathroom designed to handle someone in a wheelchair, with cubbies attached to one wall. There was one toilet stall, and one shower tucked into the corner. At least it was clean, if not private.

Normally, I wouldn't care about the shower situation, but I was heading back to work after my "power hour" class.

I should have stopped myself at the words "power hour." I should know better than to try anything that mixes power and yoga. But I couldn't help it. I took Jennifer Gleason's yoga class at the YMCA in Dayton twice a week for almost a year, and Jen had the mix of power and yoga down to a science. There was enough vinyasa, or flow, to make it count for a cardio workout and enough ashtanga options to keep it interesting and keep me working. But the core of yoga--the idea of moving with breath and intention, becoming mindful--was still front and center in Jen's class. I keep trying to find a replica in this area and I keep coming up short.

I should add here that I have been practicing yoga for more than nine years off and on. I would hardly consider myself an expert, but I have been through my fair share of teachers and styles. My introduction to yoga was via VHS tape: Patricia Walden's Yoga for Beginners produced by Gaiam. My foray into yoga was solid, and I recommend the tape and all of its offspring for anyone looking to begin a yoga practice. Walden is a follower of Iyengar yoga, which focuses on making sure you understand the pose, how to get into it, how to get out of it, and most importantly, how to align your body correctly and use props if you need to.

After countless hours working on poses in my family room, and kicking the couch over and over again, I decided to try a class at a now-defunct studio in Cincinnati. I cannot remember the instructor's name, but I remember being floored that the doughy woman in front of me had the strength and flexibility to wrap her body in specific ways and complete advanced poses. The classes were not expensive, but they weren't very convenient.

The second class I attended was at my high school alma mater. It was taught in the old wrestling room by a woman that was probably as old as the mats that cushioned our bodies beneath the poses. Her name was Winnie, and she was wiry. I think I found the class through the continuing education program at the school; it regularly drew more than fifty participants, which could have been because Winnie was a great teacher, but was probably most likely due to the fact that she never took attendance, and thus we were never charged for her class. We were supposed to be on the honor system, signing up on some website, paying by the quarter. I don't think many people did.

I was probably my most flexible under Winnie's tutelage. She pushed us gently but firmly to find our edges and roll through them if we could. She also believed that all of life's ailments were due to the body's basic elements being out of whack. She regularly said to her students: "That belly? That's because you have too much fire in your being." She was older so people let it slide. It was in Winnie's class that I learned that farting can be a big part of yoga. The smells of the old wrestling room and its mats, with years of high school boys' sweat ground into their fibers, along with the sweating and occasionally farting bodies of the fifty plus people in the class, made for a mix I won't forget in a hurry.

I wanted more so I attended a class at Winnie's condo, but the experience creeped me out. Around that time, I became pregnant with my first child, and decided that rolling over my edges probably wasn't such a great idea.

I found Cincinnati Yoga School (which appears to have changed hands since I attended classes there) across from my gym at the time. The classes weren't cheap, but I wasn't sure how to go about exercising while pregnant, and the prenatal yoga class instructor seemed to have it all figured out. I loved my prenatal yoga, with all its props and gentle stretches. It was the only time in nine months that I got to lie on my back, and it was heaven. Unfortunately, the advice I got while practicing there was not to do any cardio--that yoga would be enough to keep me in shape while I was pregnant. Um, not if you have oreo cravings. I continued throughout my pregnancy and even took my infant daughter to postnatal, Mommy and Me, yoga classes, but I found that I really wanted the time I spent on the mat to focus inward, not to glance over my shoulder from triangle pose and wonder if my infant was about to wake up or needed a diaper change.

I continued to try to take classes at CYS when I could find the time. I also tried other classes, including power yoga at Bally Total Fitness (the gym I was a member from about 1990 to 200something). I hated the power yoga at the gym because it was more like an exercise class with yoga poses thrown in once in a while for strength training. It wasn't yoga. I tried a pilates mat class there too, and I felt too uncoordinated to do my body any good.

I started running, and yoga fell by the wayside. I would occasionally practice a little to relieve aching, but I didn't make it a regular thing. I got pregnant with my second child and kept doing as much cardio as I could, determined not to gain as much weight as I did with my first. I dropped into the occasional prenatal yoga class at CYS, hoping to regain my bliss, but it was hard to find the time to do it, what with writing and parenting my two-and-a-half-year-old.

Then we moved to Dayton, and I found Jen and the right balance between running and yoga. And writing. I was writing a ton. All was well in my world (as well as could be expected with two children under the age of three).

Then we moved to Fairfax.

I tried to find a  yoga studio that would give me an experience like Jen's class. Fortunately, there was one a few minutes down the road from my house: Sun and Moon Yoga Studio. They also had a work-exchange program, which fit right into my lifestyle at the time. I worked a shift on Sunday night, from 5:45 to 8 or so, and in exchange, I earned two hours of class time. I dropped into different classes, trying to find one that fit. Sun and Moon is a Hatha studio--it is more like Iyengar than anything else I've seen, so I thought it might be a good fit and bring me back to my roots. The first class I tried was just boring--I almost fell asleep. I clearly needed something more challenging. I ramped up to a higher-level class and found the arm balances and held inversion poses to be too much. I wanted to be challenged but not feel like I was completely out of my depth.

I found Audra's class--a Vinyasa class that was a good fit, providing me the flow I wanted with the stillness and introspection I needed. Unfortunately, her schedule changed and I was no longer able to make her class. I decided to throw myself into an adult tap dancing class instead, but my husband's schedule made regular attendance next to impossible. And I was the most advanced student in the class, which is really saying something (not a positive something either).

To sum up, Down Dog appeared and I walked around the idea for several months, wondering if I was ready to get back to the mat. Some days, by the luck of the schedule, the only time I have to work out is actually during work. So I haul my bag into work, change, and do a couple of laps outside around the building complex. How cool would it be, I thought to myself, to be able to fill in with a yoga class on nonrunning days? And a yoga class that's across from work, that I could walk to, and not have to schedule a babysitter or make sure that my husband was available to watch the kids.

I squared my shoulders and entered the studio. And was hit with a blast of hot air. Not warm air--hot air. Apparently, this trend--adding heat to exercise to make it cleansing--it not new. I have several Facebook friends who practice Bikram yoga and profess to love it. Bikram is hot yoga. In this case, the studio was between 90 and 95 degrees. I took a few minutes to try to acclimate myself to the heat, wondering if it was dry or wet heat, wondering if I would be able to do regular yoga breathing in the room.

I decided to give myself over to the practice and not judge. I would adapt. I'd been with enough instructors, tried enough classes and styles--whatever it was, I would be fine.

Not so in evil Down devil Dog world.

The tiny blonde teacher, Alison, entered the room with a smile on her face. Her lean body didn't betray a wiggle as she lowered herself to her mat and turned off the music. "Why so serious?" she questioned the woman next to me, who had clearly been through this before. There was no centering, no cleansing breath. In a word, we were up on our feet and reaching for the sky.

Alison looked small and mighty but sounded like Jack Kerouac teaching yoga:
"Go with it, man."
"Just dig where you are."
"Open your body. Feel the flow."
"It's now. It's right here, in this room."

If you haven't already, go back and reread those lines in a surfer/stoner voice in your head. For sixty minutes.

She alternated this monologue with calling out poses, rapid-fire. "Bend and fold. Back to plank. Lower to shattaranga, hold, BREATHE. Up dog. Inhale. Exhale. Down dog."

"Five!" she would bark. "Lift the right leg and roll the hip open. Four! Open your body to the breath flowing through it. Three! Feel the stretch between your two legs, grinding into the floor, man. TWO! Feel it, feel it... ONE! Release your leg back to the mat." Her voice deepened with each descending number.

On and on it went, through vinyasa after vinyasa. Sweat poured off my head, and rolled down into my eyes or onto my ashtanga mat. We covered sun salutations and the warrior series. We moved from triangle to chair to high and low lunges, side angle to revolved triangle, eagle and tree. Seated poses provided no relief--bow, pigeon, wheel, bridge--each pose four times or more. Alison's voice droning, counting off, pushing us to find more stretch in our bodies, reminding us to breathe.

Finally, after a series of core strengthening crunches that had nothing to do with yoga, alternated with progressive bridge and wheel poses, and an inversion thrown in for good measure, it was time for savasana--corpse pose. Aptly named. Five minutes of silence, five minutes of breathing. Five minutes of wondering why in the hell I walked through the door of the studio in the first place.

And then it was over, as quickly as it began. Students were clapping, applauding the torture. The woman behind me told me that she taught classes there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, that the "Power Hour" I had just finished was a 90-minute class crammed into 60 minutes. The instructor wandered over to me and told me that I did a great job, and then held my gaze. "And you're coming back on Wednesday, right? And Friday?"

I entertained the notion. After all, I had a free week. Despite the sweat and the grunting and the general insanity of the class, I felt pretty good. I was a survivor.

And then I woke up the next morning (yesterday). When the alarm went off at 6:20, I decided to go for a quick run--again, the only time during the day I could squeeze it in--and I failed. A mile and a half in, I bagged it completely and crawled over to the bike, hoping to finish my cardio there. Just getting on the bike hurt. It hurt to lift my towel and dry my hair. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand. Even my feet hurt, begging to be released from the confines of my shoes (as I write this, my sandals are under my desk and my feet are reveling in their open-air freedom).

Today, I gave myself a pass. As it stands, my triceps are rebelling against the length of this entry. I am "resting," hoping my body comes back for my run tomorrow. Saturday is my first race in almost 18 months. I figured a quick yoga class on Monday wouldn't interfere. How wrong I was....

What have I learned? "Power" and "yoga" do not belong in the same sentence if I am going to be a happy camper. Tiny people can have huge, army drill-sergeant voices. And never, never, ever trust a cute dog on a logo.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Award Finalist!

The book I helped edit is up for an award!

Sure it would be nice to win, but as heard ad infinitum during Oscar week, "it's a honor to be nominated."

Monday, May 03, 2010

Why I Love My Son

We spent all day Sunday together, which hasn't happened in a very long time, and I had a great time with him and his sister (shout out to the friends we hung out with all day, ensuring the kiddos had buddies to play with).

My favorite moment? My son is getting out of the backseat of the car and leans over, holding a pose similar to Warrior 3, but with his standing leg bent and his arms out to the sides instead of over his head. He then says, "Mom, look! I'm a fossil!"

"A fossil?" I query, trying hard not to laugh.

"Yes," he replies. "A deinonychus fossil."


Then, five minutes later.

"Mom, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?"


"A praying mantis."

Even now, I'm laughing. Oh, to be four and believe that you could grow up to be an insect! :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am so over pollen

In honor of being home sick with some sort of sinus almost-infection, I am going to indulge in a rant. If you don't care to read, you can hit "Next Blog" at the top of the page, and I won't be offended. I promise.

You have been warned.

I am so over pollen.
I am so over mold that grows inside and outside.
I am so over everything that makes me sneeze and makes me feel like I am hearing/seeing/feeling things in a tunnel.

I am so over my closer-to-five-than-four-year-old not pooping on the potty. And my husband's attitude toward it, which will probably send my son to therapy and me back to therapy with him. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I was hoping not to fuck my kids up this early on.

I am so over my job and the silent treatment from certain members of my team, who would prefer that I find commas and misplaced modifiers and leave the thinking to them, since they are so superior and learned and have been at the company so much longer than me. Know what? Just because it's the way it's always been doesn't mean it's right.

I am so over QCing test migrations, which is even more brainless than finding comma faults.

And I am ETERNALLY over the pimp getting $13 for every hour I work, for doing nothing except getting me the job nearly two years ago.

I am over the politicking that permeates this city, the people who don't want to look at you if you don't have a master's degree or top-secret security clearance.

I miss my writing circle and having the time to write. It is unbelievably frustrating to be stuck at a desk for seven hours a day, keys under your fingers, and not write.

I am over the dirty-borderline-disgusting bathrooms in our house that no one will clean except for me. Hint: wiping down the vanity with a baby wipe does not count as cleaning.

I am so over my hip and my body not letting me run the distances I used to be able to run.

I am so over hipsters who come up with new words like "fupa," giving me yet another thing to obsess over.

I am over soccer practice, dance recitals, and dinosaur songs. I'm over cooking things within my points allowance, eating lettuce twice a day, and getting my 60 minutes in because the ACE says I should.

I am over American Idol running long and my DVR cutting off the end of Glee,
Assholes in pick-up trucks in Reston who curse at me for accidentally rolling forward while trying to reverse up a hill,
Dreams where I have to watch my mother die again,
Stupid kids' shows
dirty laundry
diet soda
grass clippings
people who jet to italy for business meetings
taking vacations that aren't vacations
and this rant.

Now why don't I feel better?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


From the Washington Post Politics newsletter (cited as the quote of the day):

Sarah Palin, speaking at a tea party rally in Boston:

"Is this what their change is all about? We'll tell 'em, 'Nah, we'll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and our religion. You can keep the change."

Don'tcha just love her?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Now, Now Mr. Biden

Vice President Joe Biden to President Obama, shortly before the president
signed the health-care bill into law:

"This is a big f**kin' deal."

This is from the Washington Post: Politics newsletter.
It just makes me smile.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Obama to speak at George Mason University

A progression of thoughts flew through my head this morning as I headed to work down Braddock Rd. In some semblance of an order they were:
1. Man, it's gorgeous out and it sucks that I have to be in the office today (I normally work from home on Fridays and can escape during the noon hour for a bit of sunshine).
2. Man, it sucks that I have to fight rush hour traffic on a Friday morning full of sunshine.
3. Why in the hell is rush hour traffic this stacked on Braddock Rd.?
4. Oh yeah, didn't I see something about a discussion of health care at George Mason this week?
5. Today? That's today? I wanted to tune into that. Crap. I have to work.
6. Wait, Obama is actually going to be at George Mason this morning?

Numerous signs posted around the entrance to campus reminded people of "heavy event traffic" in the area. The ginormous electronic billboard outside GMU somehow managed to capture the president's likeness, and the words "9 a.m. Health Care" loomed somewhere in the text below the image. I glanced at the dash. 8:28 a.m. Sigh. Sigh for forgetting that the discussion was happening (and thus planning accordingly, as it was open to the public and it would have been nice to have been there, as it was a Friday, and I don't usually go into the office on Fridays (see #1 above)) and for forgetting to take an alternate route to work.

7. Why are there people holding signs on the street corner outside GMU?
8. Oh yeah, there are people who don't like the legislation that is being debated.
9. Dear god, I hope they're not birthers. Are there any birthers out there still? I read a headline about Hawaii having new stringent rules about birth certificates because of the birthers.
10. Hawaii. That would be a nice place to visit sometime. But it's way expensive. And I don't snorkel.
11. Oh, it's only a few people--no massive protest. People in this area are relatively bright and understand that health care needs to be reformed.

I watch the succession of lights turn green, inch the car forward, turn red, and stop the car.

12. A few more inches and I will actually be able to read these hand-letter signs.
13. "Gerry + Pelosi = Conspiracy" What? Gerry? Oh, Connolly. Conspiracy? Seriously? Dude, whatever.
14. "Bigger government means smaller Americans." Okay, if you say so. These aren't...
15. Wait a minute. Holy crap. What is that?

Three people, one clearly a just-graduated or fairly young college student, presumably with his parents, come around the corner holding posterboards with a face on them. At first glance, it appears the face is that of Obama in white face.

16. Well, that's offensive. Can you imagine if someone put Bush in black face? I can't believe that they would... oh wait. That's supposed to be the Joker. As in, Heath Ledger's Joker. I can tell by the different-colored mouth. That's kind of stupid. Insulting, yes, but stupid. What if people read this as Obama in white face? And he's being called a cracker or an oreo or something?
17. Why am I spending so much time on these damn signs?
18. This traffic sucks.
19. [on sign with Obama as Joker] "Health care is not a right."

I slam on the brakes, narrowly missing the car in front of me.

20. What? What?! I'm sorry, what? Do you not have a grown child standing next to you? Is that child alive and well because you probably have health insurance and were able to take him to the doctor for preventive care and as well as when he got sick? What? Health care is not a right?!!!!
21. Let me out of this car. I will give this idiot a piece of my mind.
22. Damn, green light.
23. Damn, I'm so pissed, I could spit nails. Literally. Spit nails.
24. Health care is not a right? Seriously?

I drive for ten minutes, half-listening to NPR.

25. Since when is health care not a right?

Another ten minutes. Steve Inskeep is on assignment. Renee Montaigne is taking his spot.

26. Every person in this country has a right to be healthy. It's up to them whether or not they make healthy choices. And thus, every person a right to health care.

I pull into the parking lot at work, gather my computer, purse, lunch bag, and sanity.

27. I hope this bill passes. I hope we can move forward. I hope the man who thinks that health care is not a right never finds himself on the opposite side of the fence, being denied services in a timely manner because his insurance has lapsed or he can no longer afford the premiums.
28. Let's end this endless debate and move the HELL on.

Edited to add: Apparently, the image is old news and I am not at the cutting edge of the blogosphere. Now there's a surprise.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why I love

Who else would write this stuff?

Egyptian Cotton 800 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set


  • + shipping
Cover your bed in Egyptian cotton! Warning: if you’ve got an Israeli mattress, they’ll be thrown off in about about six days.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Best thing I found on the internet today

Okay, now I have to go reread Book 7.

March 1st, 2010

Staffer 1: So after surviving five heart attacks we’ve realized that Dick Cheney is immortal, correct?
Staffer 2: No, we’ve decided that there are only two horcruxes left.
Staffer 1: Where’s Neville when you need him?
–DC Think Tank

I love Eavesdrop DC.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today, I was her

Today I was "her" at the gym.
You know.
The one who sweats and stinks.
You can see her clammy skin.
The beads of sweat on her bare shoulders,
Taunting you on your treadmill,
Saying "You should be working harder--
Like her."

Today I was her.
In sweat, if not in body or in glances.
Inside, I was a lithe ironwoman
with 10% bodyfat,
racing in the wind,
perfect stride,
hair billowing freely behind me,
muscles glistening.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

britelite 6

So my SIL (love ya!) told me about this cool SAD-busting light. I ordered it and was so excited when it came. When I took it out of the box, however, only one side worked. I paid for 10,000 lux and I only got 5000. So I am sending it back to Philips. I hope it won't take them two weeks to send me a replacement. It might be my imagination but I did have slightly more energy last night after two 30-minute bouts with 5000 lux.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

my favorite thing of the day

Tooth fairy fail

Funny because we too have dropped the ball when it comes to retrieving the teeth. The backpedaling when you forget is tough, believe me. I have even had to email the tooth fairy to ask her to come.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

Photos from DCist show just how nuts everyone in the Washington Metropolitan area has become.

We hit the Burke Target today on the way home (around 11:30 a.m., when the snow was just starting to stick) and found plenty on the shelves. Granted, it doesn't have a full grocery section, but still. Plenty of chocolate and other necessities for three days of being shut in.

No show shovels, winter boots, or sleds to be had, however. DS will have to cope with rain boots if he chooses to play in the snow. If we choose to sled, it might be on a trash can lid, which isn't very smooth (handle). Thankfully, I have two shovels in the garage, ready to go tomorrow.

Staying warm, calm, playing games, and hoping the power stays on....

Has he been watching Grey's Anatomy?

Akio Toyoda apologizes....

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


I am fighting a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and in my heart. I don't know why--nothing specific has happened other than the snow. Today was very gray and that never helps. We are supposed to get more than a foot more snow this weekend. It's DH's birthday on Saturday and he doesn't want to do anything special. We looked for a play or musical to go see and couldn't find anything we both liked. Since he has to be so careful with diet and exercise, he doesn't want a cake or a special meal. How are we supposed to celebrate?

I didn't sleep well, which never helps. DS crawled into bed with us at some untold hour in the early morning, and from 6 a.m. on, he tossed and turned and kept his toes in the waistband of my pajamas, right in my butt crack. What a lovely way to wake up. When he finally left, DH rolled over and pinned me on my quarter of the bed. No sleep for me. And since there was no school, and there was shoveling, and daycare, and shorter daycare hours, there was no workout today, which also never helps.

I know, there are legions of people who regularly rise before 6 a.m. and don't want to hear my bitching. I am not one of those people. I have trouble functioning on less than eight hours of sleep. I have had all sorts of body chemistry tests done to make sure that hormones and other physical issues are not to blame for my lack of functioning on less than 8 hours of sleep. They aren't. It's all good. I'm just quirky and weird.

I hate winter.

The kids whined when they had to go to daycare this morning. DS said, "But I want to stay home with you!" So I worked and ran errands quickly to try to pick them up a little early. I figure, I listened, right? They requested and I tried to oblige. When I picked them up, all I got were complaints about having picked them up early. "I didn't get a snack." "I didn't get to finish my game," etc. Sod it. I'm tired of trying to cater to everyone else in the family.

And I am sick to death of cleaning up other people's messes. At what age are people capable of learning to pick up after themselves? Reason #12,481 why I would never get a dog or a cat....

One more lesson to edit and then I can go make dinner. Yippee.

Maybe this feeling will go away with sleep.Or yoga. Or deep breathing. Or a good, rattle my bones cry.

I wish I knew the answer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Catching Rye in the Sky

J.D. Salinger has left the building. The Catcher in the Rye had a profound effect on me when I read it in high school. I'm sure there are millions of others around the world saying the same thing. It was one of the first pieces of literature I really "clicked" with, and Salinger's use of Holden's voice made me realize on some level that it was okay for me to write, to narrate. Like Holden, I wanted to save my younger sibling from the bad words and the scary rides on the carousel. Like Holden, life got in the way and we all grew up.

According to the article, Salinger has 12 novels locked up in a box in N.H. Wonder if we'll ever get to read them?

In related news, Nicholas Sarkozy and the French are arguing over whether or not to move Albert Camus' grave from Provence to the Pantheon in Paris. Academics want him to stay in his grave in the small town where he was buried, as they say those were his wishes. Sarkozy wants to bring him up to the big leagues and inter him with Victor Hugo et al. Critics are calling foul, saying Sarkozy is using the 50th anniversary of Camus' death (Jan. 2010) to generate political capital.

I didn't realize he died at 46 in a car wreck. Makes me want to reread The Stranger, for some reason.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I want one!
But the add-ons add to price--dock, keyboard dock, carrying case and it's $130 extra for 3G network access. Unlimited data for $30/month; no contract required.
Full newspapers, books in color, touchpad interface--sigh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One look I will be avoiding for spring

I'm hardly a fashion maven, but even I know to avoid pleats if you have a stomach. This model clearly, while admittedly not having a stomach, does not. I can't believe that this "look" is considered hot for spring. Please, please... let's avoid cropped, pleated, tapered pants at ALL costs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am a machine

According to someone at work.

She probably thought she was giving me a compliment--saying that I work hard, fast, and reliably. That has translated into project managers giving me lots of tasks outside of my "typical" editing work. It's nice to know that someone appreciates my speed and accuracy; being called a "machine" is probably not the best way to acknowledge that. But the woman in question is not an editor and probably doesn't choose her words as carefully as I choose mine.

I know--shut up and take the compliment, right?

Some days I wish I could be a machine and get by on less sleep. These days, I find that I am at my best after nine hours, which isn't always practical with my life and schedule. I was asleep by 10:30 last night and I woke up on my own, without an alarm at 5:15 this morning. It was too early to really be cognizant of anything, so I rolled up and was rudely awakened by the beeping of my alarm at 6:45. I was so groggy! That leads me to believe that perhaps I slept too much--my circadian rhythms are off. Maybe they will reset when we stop saving daylight.

Enough navel-gazing.

My children have two completely different noses. Neither nose is one to be envied. I don't recognize either one as being mine. My son's looks a bit like my husband's. Maybe he'll grow into his nose. I suppose there is always rhinoplasty, if it bothers him. I think it's cute--now. Trying to imagine my four-year-old at 12, or even 10, is tough.

The machine has had its break and must now resume operations.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

timoune from the tree

"Oh, Gods
Oh, Gods
Are you there?
What can I do to get you to look down
And give in?
Oh, Gods
Oh, Gods
Hear my prayer
I'm here in the field
With my feet on the ground
And my fate in the air
Waiting for life to begin"

How did I get from waiting for my life to begin to spending Sunday evenings playing bejeweled blitz on facebook and doing laundry, planning menus for the week, figuring out when to schedule workouts, and wondering just how much longer I can put in at this contract position before my brain starts to go and I start to actually care about shit like serial commas, correct capitalization, and fuck-it-all hyphenation?

I miss writing. Or maybe I miss the idea of writing. But the mere thought of starting to wade back through files of crap, fastwrites, my novella, my performance pieces... I shiver. So amateur. It's just bad, right? It's been so so long, and I feel completely invalidated about the whole process. I miss Women Writing and the openness and support of the circle. 

I listened to an interview, or a piece of one, today on my way back from the gym, with Tracy Chevalier, who wrote, among other things, Girl with the Pearl Earring. It was somewhat fated, as I was looking for something else to read--I was biking today and biking=boredom unless there is something entertaining to read--and I picked up Chevalier's book off my shelf, and thought, "Hmmm... this looks light and easy for stationary bike fodder." And it was. And some higher force must have been in action since I randomly chose the book, and the author was on NPR. Granted, it was a Diane Rehm clip show from the week, but still, I was in the car for all of five minutes in driving between the J and my house, and there she was, talking about her process.

It seems Chevalier likes the research part of writing better than the actual writing. She said that once she starts drafting, she has to make decisions such as "Will she be blonde or brunette? What kinds of clothes will she wear? What kind of job will he have?" In the research phase, for her, all of that is wide-open. Well, I suppose as wide open as it can be when you're writing historical fiction. Griete is hardly going to sport skinny jeans and an ipod in 1665. But still, she sees all of that as "open" when she starts to draft.

Me, I'm the opposite. My characters are mostly formed in my head before they ever hit the page. They "tell" me what they look like, in the nonverbal, noninsane way that characters talk to their authors. They yell at me when I force their hand in the desperate attempt at plot construction--always my downfall. Maya, the main character from one of my pieces actually stopped me cold in my head and said, "I would never, and I mean never, ever, do something as stupid as that. I might be forgetful and I might have ADD, but I would never lock my keys and my cell phone in my car." I had to disagree with her because it was a key plot point for her to do so. I think she eventually forgave me, but last I wrote, she is languishing in a female jail, trying to figure out where she went wrong, if she still has a marriage, and who is picking up her 22-month-old daughter from the sitter. And she's going through caffeine withdrawl with a cellmate who runs some organization called "PUTAIN," which is a joke so far inside that I'm going to have to cut it and rewrite because the only people who will get it will be the ones I explain it to, and where's the fun in that?

But maybe that's the key. Maybe I've been too linear (now, there's a surprise. I'm always linear in narrative and nonlinear in drama, and I write drama much better than I write narrative. Hmmm.) and maybe the plot should start in jail, and the central conflict is how to get out, and it's only by looking backward that she can begin to move forward. Trite, maybe, but as a character, Maya is anything but. She's completely wacked out and insane, but in a loveable way. I initially modeled her after Leopold Bloom but decided I liked her too much to go that route. Bloom jangles keys. He's a little boring. And he's stuck in his own head. And she can be too, but she dialogues outwardly to her BFF in the way that Bloom stays inside. And instead of alcohol, she's always looking for the next caffeine hit.

Okay, maybe I'm unstuck now. Maybe, for the first time since the whole "moving to D.C." process began, my life is settled enough to write. Maybe I can carve out an hour or two between workouts, preschool and school commitments, errands, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and work (I shouldn't have listed it all out) I can do this. Maybe this "settling" into the groove, where I'm processing subconsciously by playing this dumbass game, is just what I've needed to acclimate and to get ready for my next big step.

Thanks, Gods, I needed that.

What I Read in 2009

I wish I had kept a list during the year, but it became too tedious to do so. I will try to recreate, just to get an idea for myself. These are in no particular order. I may add annotations later.

Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs--bizarre fiction. Definitely like his memoir stuff better.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown--predictable, inhalable, forgettable

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson--Cross becomes human. It was nice to see.

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde--love his stuff. Prefer the other series (Thursday Next) but he's so damned clever it doesn't seem to make a difference.

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde--read this out of order but still liked it.

Couples by John Updike (didn't finish)--couldn't finish. too boring

Swimsuit by James Patterson

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

The 8th Confession by James Patterson

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull--so good. I could really relate.

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy--indulgent and fun.

The Know-It-All : One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs--loved it. He is so freaking funny. Can't wait to read the rest of his stuff.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout--weird story but I like the style and the set-up. That's why she won the prize--not because of the content.

The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman--I liked this series better than the Golden Compass series.

The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman

Secret Lives Of The First Ladies: What Your Teachers Never Told You About The Women of The White House by Cormac O'Brien--the book on the presidents was better

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld--poor Laura Bush!

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Run for Your Life by James Patterson

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde--loved this one. It had Hamlet as a major character, which is always a plus in my book.

Why I'm Like This: True Stories by Cynthia Kaplan--meh. just okay.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire--felt like filler between Wicked and the next one, which I have yet to read. Kinda like the second Matrix movie.

To My Dearest Friends by Patricia Volk--I should read it again in 30 years. I was too young this time.

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell--second time I read it. Didn't remember reading it. There's a reason for that.

The Night Villa by Carol Goodman--beautiful

The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips

The Gate House by Nelson DeMille

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs--funny

Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille

When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris--I love him. Everything he touches turns to funny.

I'm sure there are others, but this is a start. Thirty-two. I expected more. But again, I might be missing some.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


can't believe we're heading into the playoffs with a 37-0 loss (and wait, it's not over yet!). and it's going to be the same team. in less than a week.

ran tonight. only marginal stiffness. put together kitchen pantry-like cabinety things. yeay. logged more than 14,000 steps today. drove to ikea for the second weekend in a row to get pieces that were missing for the new bed.

oh, and found this pic of the fam while i was browsing for pics for dd's time line assignment:

it's from last summer but still cute, i think. we all look shiny and happy. i wish it were beach weather here. it hasn't gotten above 30 in days!

and this one of me and my dad:

happy times all around!