Thursday, January 31, 2008

I needs your advice

There are folks all over going absolutely batshit because “Lost” has a new season starting tonight. It seems they took an eight month break and people have been jonesing. I? I have never seen a single episode. I know the basic gist of the plot from all the gazillion promos. And I think they won an Emmy for season one. I just never watched.

So tell me this…is it really that good or are people willing to watch ANYTHING because of the dearth of decent television during the writers strike? Cause I’m a little desperate my ownself and might be persuaded to dive right in.

Also? I need some book advice. I’ve recently finished 1,000 Splendid Suns and T is For Trespass. I’m reading Motherless Brooklyn right now. After that, I have no books waiting in the wings. And I’m going to the beach on a little trip I’ll have a bit of time on my hands in a couple of weeks. I’m looking for LIGHT reading. Shit you don’t have to think too hard about, but not inane. Oh, and must be out in paperback because the Saint gets pissy if my bags are too heavy I try to travel light.

So anyone with sage recommendations on either topic? I yield the floor.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Excellent: 1. Superior 2. Very good of it's kind: eminently good: first class

I don't see "tardy" as one of the definitions, BUT, last Friday New Diva On The Block over at "sAy AnYtHing" gave me my first bloggy award! And I am just now getting around to patting myself on the back letting everyone know. But first let me say that if you don't visit la diva, please do. I check in over there everyday. In fact if you run right now, she's giving stuff away!

Do ya wanna hear what nice things she said?

Next up? Fannie Mae at "This Isn't What I Ordered, some people see the glass as half empty, some see it as half full. I just want to know who the HELL drank my wine". First of all, the title and subtitle alone should be all the proof you need that she is, in fact, excellent. However, when you visit her, you will be equally impressed with her irreverent humor and colorful(in a good way) language."

This might lead you to believe there might be a lot of swearing on this blog; that couldn't be further from the truth that might be a teensy bit true. But in a good way (snort).

Now I'm supposed to pass the torch. I can't remeber the rules, but I'm going to give it a whirl.

First and foremost to Daisy Jo at "He Loves me....He Loves Me Not" and the Drawer Queen at "My Life In A Drawer". Two of the smartest, most well written blogs I read. Sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking, but always witty and insightful.

If you want to be blown away by a woman who can do ANYTHING? Head over to Angie's at "Home Grown". She's running a small farm, raising her kids, and still finds time to write about it. If you go right now, maybe she'll let you have some of that cake she just baked!

When you're done over there, head over here to see what Suburban Correspondent has been up to. She has six children and she home schools. What? Oh yeah, I think she's totally out of her mind, but there's a lot of funny going on over there!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Can I have a drumroll please....

100 Things (with special "surprise" guests)

I know it is old. I know it is tired. But I'm doing it anyway. In honor of my 100th post; 100 things about me. Except I couldn't think of 100 things, so this will be a family project. My nearest and dearest each submitted 25 things. After extracting promises that I would NOT censor in any way. Any editorial comments will be italicized. The first 25 are mine, the next 25 are the Saint's, the next 25 are Precious Oldest's, the last 25 are Precious Youngest's.

  1. I do not own a pair of Crocs or a pair of Uggs

  2. I DO own 47 pairs of shoes, many of which sport heels high enough that folks feel compelled to ask "How can you walk in those"

  3. That number does not include boots or athletic shoes, entirely separate categories in my mind

  4. When I'm at home I rarely wear shoes

  5. I seldom see movies made from books I've enjoyed because they are almost always a disappointment

  6. I have degrees in English and Art History

  7. I prefer the ocean to the mountains

  8. I like gardening and having my hands in the dirt

  9. I love to cook

  10. I love our back yard, it has a fantastic patio and deck

  11. I like living somewhere that has a change of seasons

  12. I hate the short days in winter

  13. I love my husband, he is a good man

  14. Traveling makes me constipated

  15. I used to say I love to travel, but I really I just like being in other places - not the actual travel

  16. I learned to ski before I learned to ride a bike

  17. I love summer days at the lake with my family and friends.

  18. I didn't learn to water ski until I was an adult

  19. I have been to Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Mexico

  20. I want to go to Brazil, Egypt, Greece and Spain

  21. I am constantly awed by my daughters who are are wicked smart and very funny

  22. I enjoy, in this order, Irish Whiskey, Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon. Yet I can't abide Scotch Whiskey

  23. I am a registered Republican

  24. was married in 1985. I weighed 108 pounds. My wedding dress still fits

  25. I am Catholic. I go to Mass. Even on vacation

  26. I was a debater in high school

  27. I go to the gym at 5:30 AM, 5 days per week, every week of the year

  28. My only interest in sports is college basketball

  29. I am more Irish than almost anyone I meet

  30. I like my steak rarer than any red blooded American

  31. I think a day that starts with champagne can never be bad

  32. I never belonged to a Sorority, and every one who knows me is shocked (not people who know me, people who've recently met me)

  33. Home grown asparagus and tomatoes are my favorite vegetables

  34. I puked from conception to delivery (every freakin' time damn it)

  35. Ireland and Italy are two of my favorite vacation spots - so far

  36. I like to sunbath European style

  37. Manhattan - Jack Daniels - straight up. Three cherries.

  38. I can kick your ass on snow skis

  39. Van Morrison rocks

  40. As does ABBA

  41. I would live in New York City or San Francisco in a minute

  42. I go to church every week

  43. My parents let me go to England for a summer when I was 17

  44. I have been to the church where my great-great grandparents were married (Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland)

  45. Recipes are for Sissy's

  46. Blogging is therapy

  47. Family dinners are important

  48. I love to read

  49. Winter darkness sucks

  50. I shave my legs every day

  51. She is only 29 years old… kind of.

  52. She claims that her favorite color is yellow, but 3 rooms of the house are green, green, green.

  53. She loves the smelly dog more than she lets on.

  54. Her first job was as a milkshake on a street corner. Almost like prostitution, but BETTER.

  55. She loves her gardens; roses are her favorite.

  56. She suffers greatly when she has to vacation without her favorite cabana boy—my father.

  57. If you’d like to be put in the hospital, talk to her before she’s had her first cup of coffee in the morning.

  58. For a very long time, she was a Nancy Drew fanatic.

  59. She hates winter more than just about anything in the world.

  60. She likes the black jelly beans the most.

  61. Despite her best efforts to prove us otherwise, she really does know the difference between Facebook and Myspace. (Myface, my ass.)

  62. She relentlessly captured the annual “first day of school” pictures that will last only until her daughters round them up and BURN THEM.

  63. Her high school Oratory speech that got her to State? Totally about STDs. Classy broad.

  64. She reads Sue Grafton novels like there is no tomorrow. (I also OWN them all)

  65. She was once offered $20 if she wouldn’t kiss the Blarney stone.

  66. Her favorite band to “rock out” to remains, unfortunately, ABBA.

  67. She is the reason that her favorite daughter is an English major.

  68. Every year, she cheats and listens to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

  69. She still doesn’t know how to use anything on her cell phone but “Talk”.

  70. She guesses at the plots of movies (OUT LOUD) before anyone else can even absorb the current scene… She should be ashamed that they are often correct. (What? I'm brilliant)

  71. She will never stop scaring the crap out of my boyfriend. (Not just the current one..ALL of them)

  72. She could be a thousand times better than Rachael Ray if she had her own cooking show.

  73. She was drinking Cosmopolitans way before “Sex and the City.”

  74. It is impossible to beat her at Scrabble.


  76. The boys we bring home are greatly afraid of her (and may they REMAIN so!)

  77. We're more like best friends than mother and daughter

  78. She used to collect roosters and the ones that she has are displayed "proudly" in the kitchen are far above eye-line

  79. Her collection of Santas and Snowmen are obnoxious and she's very picky about where she places them, but she really doesn't notice when we move them around much

  80. She's very good at water sports like skiing and knee boarding

  81. One of the only movie candies that she accepts are Good & Plenty

  82. She has a crazy boss who's daughter should make her appreciate her own much more

  83. She uses Clinique "Happy"

  84. She was an English major and hopefully I will break the trend

  85. She hates the stupid damn dog

  86. She bites her fork when she eats and trust me, its really annoying

  87. She's a BIG COOK

  88. She absolutely hates camping (just that there's no room service)

  89. She's very good at being boat candy

  90. She enjoys Ben Folds and has been to two of his concerts

  91. At Elders concerts she pretends she can Irish dance and bounces around obnoxiously, usually hurting her bad knee (Whaa? I can too Irish Dance)

  92. She has a bad knee from a skiing accident caused by one of the youngest male cousins, though she went many many years being a great skier without injury. Actually, she was bragging about that just before it happened...

  93. She did girl scouts and was our troop leader

  94. She likes to pretend the sun room is her lake house and that the lawn mowers are just Sea-Doos

  95. She has very small ugly step sister feet

  96. She often takes trips to various countries leaving her children at home alone and sad

  97. The good thing about these trips are the shot glasses she brings back for her children (classy, right?)

  98. She's having a secret love affair with Horatio from CSI Miami

  99. Her dance moves to ABBA'S Dancing Queen are sensational and really turn heads

  100. She often uses "E.V.O.O." much to the dismay of the sister (she hates the phrase, not the oil!)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Last Saturday Evening

Saint: "We need to go right now or we'll lose our reservation."

Me: comfy on the couch, using his laptop "Hang on, I'll be right there."

Saint: "Seriously, what are you doing that's so important?"

Me: "I'm checking in with the Internets, just one more minute."

Saint: "What Internets?"

Me: "You know, my bloggy friends. For pete's sake, hold on a second!"

Saint: "Well, I'm going to wait in the car. And from now on I'm calling them your bleeps."

Last Night At Dinner

prompted by this post I'd read earlier in the day

Me: "So, in the movie Juno, did you think the step-mother should have offered to raise Juno's baby?"

Precious Youngest: puzzled "No, why?"

Me: "Oh, I've just heard a few discussions where some teen aged girls thought the step-mother raising the baby along side Liberty Belle could have been a solution."

Precious Youngest: dumbfounded and momentarily speechless.... "I thought getting pregnant before I got married was NOT an option?"

This Morning

I'm in the shower having already braved sub-zero temperatures to go to the gym. The Saint comes into the bathroom and leaves door WIDE OPEN.

Me: shrieking "Close the damn door, you're letting all the cold air in!"

Saint: "Sometimes I do things just so you'll have to talk to me before 8 AM."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Three Weeks

Three weeks from today I'm going to be on a beach in Mexico.

Three weeks from today I'm going to be on a beach in Mexico at a lovely resort.

Three weeks from today I'm going to be on a beach in Mexico at a lovely resort, with the Saint.

Three weeks from today I'm going to be on a beach in Mexico at a lovely resort, with the Saint, on a trip that someone else is paying for.

Winter? Can just

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Weekend

The Saint and I had a truly excellent weekend. We went to dinner, we saw a movie (Juno, loved it.), we did some shopping, we went to lunch, we saw another movie (Charlie Wilson’s War, also very good), we met friends for dinner, and just generally relaxed.

The weather was frigid, still is, so there was a lot of dropping this princess off at various doors so she wouldn’t freeze to death walking from point A to point B. We had lunch on Saturday at this quasi Italian place. (What? It was close to the movie theater.) I was seated while the Saint was parking and the earnest young server brought water and asked if I’d like a drink. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “I’ll have a Campari Soda.”

Server: blank stare, whaaa?

Me: making eye contact and speaking clearly, “I’ll have a Campari and soda with a lime.”

Server: “I’m sorry?”

Me: slowly and with great emphasis “I’ll.Have.A.Campari.And.Club.Soda.With.A.Lime.”

Server: nodding “Sure thing.”

He scurries off and the Saint comes in and is seated. Now, I can see the bar over the Saint’s shoulder from where I’m sitting. I watch the bartender fix my drink and also realize that he has a look of concern on his face. For that matter so does the server. They both examine the bottle of Campari. They both sniff the bottle. Then the server smells my drink and passes it back to the bartender who does the same. I start laughing. I say to the Saint, “Oh my God, they think the bottle turned!”

Now the bartender pours a wee draught into a glass. The server tastes it and is very much convinced that this can not possibly be what it’s supposed to smell or taste like. (In fairness, Campari looks a lot like Grenadine but it tastes…well…NOTHING like Grenadine.)

I’m still finding the entire scene endlessly amusing. The server shrugs, shakes his head and with much trepidation approaches the table. Before he can even set the drink down the Saint calmly remarks, “Dude, don’t worry, it’s SUPPOSED to smell like that.”

My hero.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Six Inconsequential Things Meme

I have been tagged by the talented TX Poppet over at Canned Laughter for a Six Things/Habits/Quirks About Me MeMe. I am honored she feels I'm up to the technological challenges as she's had to help me out in the past.

Here are The Rules:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
  4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
  5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So without further ado; six quirks/habits about me that are just plain strange:

  1. I have an irrational fear of escalators. I can not bring myself to get on an escalator if I don’t have at least one hand firmly grasping the handrail. My children find this hilarious and are constantly daring me to just “get on with no hands already!”
  2. I have no desire whatsoever to scuba dive. Well, that’s not entirely true; I’d love to but I just can’t. I’m a good swimmer, love lakes and oceans, and have enjoyed numerous snorkeling adventures. But with scuba diving, the thought of all that water on top of me? Creeps me out.
  3. I shave my legs every day. 365 days a year. For the past thirty years. (The occasional camping trip and a few stays in OB Comp are the only exceptions.)
  4. I do not consider myself a superstitious person; but I believe the first house we owned here in Whoville was haunted. So much so that, against the advice of our realtor, I disclosed it to the buyers.
  5. I don’t like to be touched when I’m trying to go to sleep. One crossed ankle is all the Saint gets
  6. I don't like for other people to touch my face and so for that reason I've had exactly two facials in my whole life. However as my forty five year old face is beginning to resemble your grandmother's alligator pocketbook, I may have to suck it up already.

Now I will demonstrate my mad linking skills by randomly tagging:

Daisy Jo over at He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (Least likely to participate)

Mary Alice at From the Front Lines (Always food for thought)

Shelly from I Miss My Sanity (Most likely to participate)

Hotfessional over at My Life As A Hotfessional (She needs fodder for her 365 Blog Challenge)

Suburban Correspondent from The More The Messier (We're bonding over our love of teenagers)

Vanessa over at Random Rambling About My Crazy Life (A new friend also sharing her life with "terrorists")

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Oh.My.God. Precious Oldest has returned to the Princeton on the Prairie. Precious Youngest is in a van driving across that same frozen prairie on her way to the State Debate tournament. Many, many, many miles from here. Hours and hours from here. She will not return until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Do you see where this is going? Do you? Do you really?

I came home from work to an eerily quiet house. And it hit me. No one here but me and the Saint for the next forty eight hours! My, my isn't that nice!* Whatever shall we do?

* Editor's note: Bonus points to anyone who understand this reference.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Precious Oldest went back to school yesterday

These things made me smile:

Meeting her for lunch

The note she left for us

The phone ringing when I was fixing dinner. Precious Youngest answered. It was her sister calling to say she had arrived safely. I only heard one end of the conversation:



"I'll tell them"

"I love you too"

This fantastic outfit worn by Precious Youngest whilst doing "pots".

Going upstairs to find that......

* Precious Oldest had cleaned her room......

The bed was made...

The trash can was empty.

Maybe there's hope for us yet!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My ass is sore, part deux

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. And for those of you showoffs for whom "gentle reminders" work? I think I'd have to be holding a bat in one hand while I did the "reminding" for that to be effective. ;)

I have in recent years tried the "shut the door" approach. Hell, they live on another FLOOR. The entire upstairs is theirs, and I don't go up there very often any more. But here's the thing, every once in awhile I DO go up. To check in. To bring fresh rolls of toilet paper and boxes of Kleenex. Or after a Target run with shampoo, deodorant and sundry erm... female...erm...products. And what I see makes me nuts.

I don't get a lot of back up on this issue. The Saint grew up with a brother who, now in his late forties, still moves every four or five years when his place gets so deplorable even HE can't stand it. So the Saint's idea of squalor is a tad different than mine. I think this is where the ambivalence comes in. I am always the "nag". Raining on the collective parade with my "expectations". So I back off and try to ignore things. But the reality is I swallow the disappointment (turned irritation, turned anger) until so much pressure has built up that I explode.

So I think I'll accept the recommendations of Suburban Correspondent and Mary Alice; a "specific list" of must do's and "ride their ass like a monkey until new organized energetic clean synapses form in their brains". I feel better already!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My ass is sore from sitting on this fence

If you do not want to hear about the vagaries of raising teenagers, by all means please stop reading. But I'm going to go on a little rant, vent a bit, and get this out of my system before I hurt someone. And then I will ask for advice. I submit the following:

Exhibit A
For the Precious Daughters, school is their job. That is their main focus. We have decreed it so. As such, we do not expect very much from them around the house. A few daily chores, the dishes after dinner, a load or two of laundry every week (their own, God forbid we'd ask more) . And for the love of all that is holy KEEP THEIR ROOMS CLEAN. This is not a space mucked up by other people. They each have a room of their own. So why? WHY? is it that the beds are not made? The clothes not hung up? The laundry not put away? The trash cans over flowing? The closet doors gaping open?

Exhibit B
The Precious Daughters are academically excellent. They don't party. They have nice friends. They work their plans around our family dinners. Their extracurricular activities include, but are not limited to, debate, choir, robotics, recreational volleyball & basketball, and teaching CCD. They work part-time jobs and don't ask us for money beyond their monthly allowance. (Which ain't much folks!) They don't miss curfew. They tell us they love us at least once a day.

So tell me people; bring down the hammer or cut them some slack? Because seriously? My ass is killing me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Resolutions, part 2

If you love New Year's resolutions STOP READING.

If you made a New Year's Resolution to lose weight and exercise STOP READING.

Seriously, are you still here?

No? Good. OK let me begin by saying my gym (which I've gone to for almost twenty years) has a particular rhythm. On Mondays and Tuesdays attendance is decent, classes are full. Wednesdays are insane. People who didn't get into spin are bitching and moaning, I have to say a prayer the cardio machine I want is open, general mayhem occurs on the basketball court. At 6 o'clock in the fucking morning dudes! Thursday? I don't know what the deal is. It's near deserted. Weird right? Because Friday? Is back to Monday and Tuesday levels.

These days I go to the gym before the crack of dawn, but back when I was living the life of Riley as a kept woman and would hit the doors at 8 a.m.? Same deal. Same week day rhythm.

I told you all that to emphasis this: THE RESOLUTION PEOPLE ARE SCREWING WITH THE DAMN RHYTHM! It happens every year. Without fail. Not on January 1st. Not necessarily January 2nd. No, the first Monday after New Year's Day. (It's like trying to figure out when Easter is; you know the whole firstSundayafterthefirstfull moonafterthespringequinox, but less complicated.) Oh my holy god! Going the wrong way on the track. Dropping barbells. Failing to yield between sets on the weight machines. And USING MY PIECE OF CARDIO EQUIPMENT. The one I hop on and he just knows where to set things. I don't have to push his buttons. He reads my mind, I swear. Just the right amount of time, the correct level of difficulty. (Even when I'm a teensy bit hung over I have a headache and he has to take it easy on me.)

So for the next month or so it's going to be a crap shoot every morning as to whether or not I'll get through my work out without being annoyed to the point of contemplating murdercommitting bodily assault. (And remember, I am not a "morning person".)

It is not that I don't applaud the effort. I'm all for staying in shape, keeping stress in check, and being healthy. But I can tell you with 99.9% accuracy that only one in twenty of these folks are going to be here in a month. I've witnessed the phenomenon for a very long time. But it does make me wonder. If I WERE a morning person and not a bitch? Would they keep coming back?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Overheard last weekend

Saint: "Do you want to see a movie?"

Me: meh, but OK "Sure, what do you want to see?"

The Saint: "Is Michael Clayton still playing?"

Me: now giddy with excitement "Yes, yes, Michael Clayton!"

Saint: thoughtfully "We could see Juno."

Me: panting "Oh no, I'd see ANYTHING that has George Clooney in it! SIGH! He's dreamy."

Saint: puzzled "What about what's his name?"

Me: "Oh, I'd still totally do Sean Connery."

Precious Oldest: shrieking in horror from upstairs "MOM! You can NOT have a LIST!"

25 things that shit me to tears**

I say when you can't be creative your ownself steal. (**I stole this from blackbird; I think she found inspiration elsewhere so I hope she won't mind. ) Please note these are not in any particular order.
  1. Anything peach scented
  2. Drivers who don't use turn signals
  3. Diet soda
  4. Anyone who makes my girls feel sad or anxious
  5. Bell peppers
  6. People who have "good" dishes, stemware and flatware, but never have an occasion "good enough" to use them
  7. Wool next to my bare skin, even cashmere
  8. That smoking is bad for my health
  9. Scotch
  10. The person in my office who thinks she's in a forty hour a week group therapy session.
  11. Short days in winter
  12. Folding laundry
  13. Genetic diseases that have no cure
  14. Chipped nail polish
  15. Cellulite
  16. Decaffeinated coffee
  17. People who are always late
  18. Rain on vacation
  19. Perimenopause
  20. Unmade beds
  21. Carnations
  22. Trying on jeans
  23. My handwriting
  24. "Well done" steak
  25. Taylor ham without rye bread

Friday, January 4, 2008

Random Friday

I have to start by sharing my laugh for yesterday. If you have a weak stomach, or a hair trigger gag reflex, stop reading now. If not, go read this post at "Laughing Always Helps".

No, really, I'll wait......

If you did NOT laugh out loud I do NOT want to hear about it. It would imply my sense of humor is juvenile and scatological in orientation, when really I'm quite sophisticated.

In other news, KU won the Orange Bowl last night! I am in shock. Despite an 11-1 season I was merely "cautiously optimistic". We supposedly played a weak schedule and Virginia Tech came in ranked 5th and we were 8th. But the Hawks prevailed and now I can concentrate on the much more important sport of college basketball.

As you were.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I’ve never been one for resolutions. I’m too practical. How much can one old fart change? But at the same time I am cognizant of the fact that I could be a better person. A better wife. A better mother. A better friend. Less sharp edges and judgment. More tolerance and empathy.

I’ve been in a very self-centered place for months and months. A place called survival mode. Not seeing much more than twenty four hours ahead. Head down, teeth gritted, getting it done. I'd like to get out of this place and out of my own head. A little more glass half full. I'd like to laugh out loud at least once every day. Guess what? I started last night.

Setting: The dinner table in Whoville

The Saint: "I saw an invitation to the Mother Daughter Fashion Show for that school we already pay too much for*, are you guys going?"

Precious Oldest: a bit too quickly and cheerily "I think I'm back at school by then."

Precious Youngest: sinking in her chair, not making eye contact

The Saint: puzzled, don't they think this shit is fun? "Hey, just tell me if I need to write a check."

Me: slowly and thoughtfully, the spirit of Christmas still in my heart "Well you know, I think Miss Crabbypants Down the Street* is in the fashion show, and SOME girls like to go to this event!"

Precious Youngest: "Yeah well, SOME girls flunk out of school, is that OK now?"

Precious Oldest: milk, coming out of her nose "I miss family dinner SO MUCH!"

* some names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

The champagne is gone; the black eyed peas consumed. I feel ambivalent about 2007. I hope 2008 is better. I haven't made a New Year's Resolution. Have you?