Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oooo, book meme to keep me from starting paper for new class and springboard off of my last bloggy thing...

What are you reading now?
Okay, maybe it wasn't a good time to start this because what I'm actually reading is the textbook for my Theories of Personality class, which is imaginatively titled the same. However, I just finished Dream when you're feeling blueby Elizabeth Berg. I gotta tell you -- I am a sucker for a twist ending. In the movies, in books -- if I didn't see it coming (and I rarely do because I'm pretty dense) then it makes me like the book/movie more. The book is set in the 1940's during WWII but it's also written as if the author were in the 1940's. You don't see that very often in books that are set in the somewhat recent past. So, it took a little adapting because all of the golly gee and de facto sexism were a bit hard to swallow. But, the main character Kitty is a pleasant melange of confusion and the twist really did take me by surprise. Especially since I thought the book was pretty well over when it happened. I recommend it.

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you're done with that?
Okay, so when I'm done reading my text book I will have at least a month, maybe two between classes. Plus I have like 12 days off for the holidays, so I'm definitely going to be trying to read some stuff. I've been on an Elizabeth Berg kick, but I have been compiling a list of things I would like to read so will likely pick something off of there. Margaret Atwood's name has popped up several times in a blog I like to read (Ms. Mac - from whom I stole this), so maybe I'll read another one of her novels. Then I can cross one of those 1001 books off my list.

What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
Hm. I wasn't good about finishing the books that I was forced to read. I just fudged my way through the tests based on class discussions. I remember taking a particular dislike to Billy Budd. And I was too young when they made us read Siddhartha, there was no way I could appreciate that in the 9th grade.

What's one book you always recommend to just about anyone?
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. This is the story of young Will Tweedy set in the turn of the century. His grandmother has recently died, and his grandpa sets the town in an uproar when 3 days later he decides to marry the amazingly lovely Miss Love. Gradually we learn why Grandpa decided to marry Miss Love and Will becomes a big defender of their relationship. (Partially stolen from the review at Amazon, but better summary then I could have come up with.) I just love this book. It's wonderful. I loan it to everyone I know and hope they love it as much I do.

Admit it, sadly the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don't they?
Sadly, they don't because I don't read fast enough to utilize the library.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?
Yup. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Maybe it's the title. Maybe it's the somewhat depressing nature of the story. It's Dave Eggers story of how, when he was 22, he was "orphaned" by his parent's deaths. They died within 5 months of each other, each of a different kind of cancer. Dave is forced to become the custodial parent of his 8-year-old brother and the antics begin. I love it for its self-deprecation and, well, it's heartbreaking genius.

Do you read books while you eat?
Sure, sometimes. Are there people who don't?

While you bathe?
Bathing would involve cleaning the tub and I would be losing reading time by cleaning the tub.

While you listen to music?
No, I can't even walk and chew gum.

While you're on the computer?
This is a very strange question. I don't get it.

When you were little did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Hmmm. Did they? I don't think so. I mean, I read a lot as a kid, but not to the detriment of socializing. I didn't read while I was on the phone, which was pretty much all the time.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
One would think the answer would be the last Harry Potter. But in fact, I went to bed shortly after getting out of line. I can't remember the answer to this. I don't have the stamina to stay up half the night any more. But, I did read Harry Potter for 14 hours the next day, so I think this should still count since the affect of the lost time was similar.

Okay. The end of the meme. FUN!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

When all of the blogs are a little random-like, should I bother to call them random thoughts? I feel like it's self-explanatory. But, then that pressing need to have some bold title perserveres...

I recently stumbled across the 1001 Books you must read before you die. I don't think this guy created it, I think it is supposed to be a compilation from critics suggestions or something. Frankly, I have never heard of many, many of these. Then, when I saw what they were -- I thought, if I have to read these before I die, I guess this means I am not allowed to die. Most of the books that I have read, I read because I had to in school. It got me thinking that if I had to create a list of books that you must read, what would be on it? I'm not sure. So, I think this is going to be a future blog topic. Keep in mind, I am not a scholar so don't think you'll find Moby Gone with the Tess of the Baskervilles or whatever that book was...

In other randomness, it's hard to have pregnant friends because I wind up putting this pressure on myself. The family pressure. The baby pressure. It's so fucked up. I can't imagine myself being responsible for some young person. Being responsible period, really. But yet, I just can't commit to not having kids. I can't imagine that my family would not eventually be traditional. And a woman who does not want to have children is a societal anathema. When I was in one of my many stages of flux on this decision, I was on a 2 year plan. I was going to wait until after Scott's 40th and a possible trip to Amsterdam and then I was going to take the plunge. I would be 35, so it's not crazy.

And I remember that I told this plan to a friend of mine and shortly afterwards, we were around some folks who were giving me a hard time about when I was going to get on board and she said something like it was okay, I had a plan.

As if it's NOT okay for me to not have kids and not have a plan. I don't know.

It's hardest to commit to this decision when I'm around little blonde haired boys, because I think that is what our baby son would look like. I was naturally blonde as a little kid and I guess I just think this will translate over and somehow it causes the longing.

Actualy, I have a problem committing to decisions in general. I just can't say I am going to do THIS and then feel comfortable sticking to it. After I lost 50 pounds, I had 30 more to go. But I just couldn't get motivated and got stuck. So, I decided to stay where I was and focus on maintenance so I wouldn't put the 50 pounds back on while I was trying to get motivated to lose the rest. But, I've put on 3-5 pounds lately and I can't commit to even working hard enough to get that off. I say to myself that I'm just going to be happy and learn to live with my weight. Do the best I can. Then five minutes later I'm reading stories about alli and Jenny Craig and thinking maybe I'll do that.

Can't commit.

Can't commit to one topic and finishing this catch up entry. But I'm gonna now!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reel Sad

I'm looking for a good, old-fashioned inspiring movie. Or at least something that doesn't make me bored.

Perhasp I've been watching too many movie critics lately and I'm being overly picky. I know I definitely used to be a big old movie whore. Give me a rolling hillside and a British accent or some creepy confusing plotlines or both and I was set.

Recently I've seen the new Bourne thingy (Ultimatum?), Mr. Brooks, and Becoming Jane. None of which were anything to write home about. Ultimatum was probably the best because it doesn't really disappoint. It's a Bourne thingy and that's lots of crazy unrealistic car chases and government conspiracies and it's just good clean fun.

Mr. Brooks came out somewhat recently, can't remember when. Kevin Costner is a high level box company owner and apparently he has an alternate personality that's played by William Hurt. Mr. Brooks has an addiction to killing. I'm no good at plot summaries unless I'm truly inspired and this is not one of those times. There are just too, too many twists and turns that seem to be there solely for the point of twisting and turning. One or two of them may have been good but there were too many of them for any of them to be well-developed so it's like the movie that tried to be like five other movies about serial killers. For my money, I think that further developing the role of the daughter and leaving out the Mr. Smith guy and the TOTALLY pointless wife character may have really done some wonders for this movie. That and not casting Kevin Costner. A lot of critics don't really like Kevin Costner, and it's a good point that he's kind of always the same, but it's just that he had me at Field of Dreams and I have a hard time just letting that go. Even after all this time.

Oh, and Mr. Brooks -- you like killing. Just own it. That whole struggle with trying not to is just really silly and a further waste of time.

Tonight it was Becoming Jane. I have seen too many reviews bemoaning its mediocrity to have high hopes and I was not pleasantly surprised. There was always that hope. I think that movies I am meant to see with my godmother are just doomed. I completely agree with whomever said that it's completely ludicrous to assume that Jane Austen's life was some reflection of her novels. Whatever. And in those times, that her parents would say that they wanted her to marry for love and not money. Her father to say that, further. Whatever squared. And should that I be so poor that my house is strewn with Oriental rugs and have a piano in my conservatory and a two story cottage on however many acres... Oh, the rough rustic life.

God love Jane Austen, but I doubt that she would have remained single if she looked like Anne Hathaway.

Better to mire oneself in the Big Brother Backdoor-a-palooza than try to have hopes for decent movies in the summer. Even old ones.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I guess I'm not meant to understand

I don't get the fences and barriers we put up between us. It seems like the more possibilities there are for sameness, the more we try to find our differences and put ourselves in these little cubbyholes.

I do it, I'm guilty.

Black. White. Asian. Republican. Democrat. Christian. Jew. Muslim. American. Everyone else. Likes dogs. Likes cats. Hates all living things. Has an mp3 player. Drives an SUV. Drives a hybrid. Vegetarian. Carnivore. Skinny. Fat. Oily skin. Dry skin. Pretty people. Ugly people. Party people. Librarians. Librarians who party. Pro-choice. Pro-no-choice. Gets their news from The Daily Show. Gets their news from Fox. Left-handed. Right-handed. Gay. Straight. Confused.

I just get the most frustrated with the racial labels My neighbor going on about a young man visiting her daughter. The young man is going to a school that is predominantly black and when he comes to visit he sighs "It's so nice to be around white people." My grandmother talking about my uncle's wife and saying that "she may be black but she's a good woman." As if this is normally exclusive. My husband saying that I take these things too seriously. Or live with my head in the sand or something.

I get that we like to be around people who are like us. But it never fails to frustrate me. Even in my own behavior. I'm not any better -- I just reach a teeny bit outside of my own box. But even I for all of my soap-boxing have no close friends who are truly different from me.

And why not?

I guess it's the comfy blanket. It's easier to wrap yourself in views that are the same as yours, so you can comfort yourself in their authenticity. No matter how crazy we think the other guys way of thinking or acting or being or doing is, he thinks the same thing about us. We think we have it down. We think our way is the best and if only he had it like we did, then it would all be good.

Don't you think he thinks that too?

I just don't understand what it's going to take for us to all be on this same page. How does it start? Does it just have to ebb away gradually over time? In another 2000 years, will we finally see that we all have one thing in common across the board --

we all think we are right.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Princess Keeper of the Things

I've got to come up with a better Ya-Ya name, but this is something what I'm like. I have the things that people want. I have a large collection and it seems to be a jumbled mess, but I'm the only one who knows where the things are.

It's crazy the things that I am supposed to know what they are and where they are. Partly because I do. But partly because that's the part of his brain that Scott assigned to me. We have 700,000 wires lying around our house in some sort of crazy, puzzling tangle or another. We are not allowed to throw any of them away because we are going to need them one day. Yet, when the time comes to find the illustrious cord -- he expects me to know where it is and what it is.

Excuse me, I am the one who wanted all these cords out of here in the first place. I begged, I pleaded. Some of them are missing specifically because I hid them from you to see just how long it was going to be before you asked me where they are. And it was a long time ago buddy!

I have countless theories on why this is the way it is but really it's just to boil down to my only child theory again. Just search for that, it's all that.

I don't have time to tell you about it, because I think I just remembered where I put that cord...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oh yes, it was ladies' night

There is so infrequently a ladies' night that it's actually a blog topic. It was a mini holiday. Crazy!

Friday was a long work day. I didn't get a lot of sleep Thursday night. Everyone that sits around me is off work on Fridays, so no social interaction to help me get through it. The weater was threatening to do terrible things. And we're all broke.

It just seemed like the factors were going against us.

But, Tina had a hall pass and Kay was in denial of just how badly she needed a pick me up. And, me -- I just wanted to be around high voices, as Julia would say.

So, we pushed through and decided to make a go of it.

Tina and I went to Kay's and had a pre-dinner nip. Tina and I had the added thrill of Kay having possession of the 1978 yearbook from the high school where we both had also graduated from -- some years later than that... Then, we decided to walk to the Thai restaurant I had insisted we eat at.

I love Thai food. The combinations of the flavors and the way the spices just creep up... It's awesome. I think the soup was actually my favorite thing. It was this coconut milk with hot chili sauce and cilantro and shrimp. The heat just kept rising slowly but stopped at a nice level. It was just awesome. I know, I'm saying awesome a lot, but it just was.

Then we decided to go to walk down Granby Street and wound up at this new club called Club 7. Another friend of mine wants to go there for her birthday in September, so it was partly curiousity on my part.

I haven't had that much fun dancing since a bachelorette weekend! We met this older gay couple when we first got there and for some reason, they were just really taken with me. We really hit it off and and were just having a blast. They bought our first round of martinis.

The club has 3 levels. The first level is just for chilling, the second is supposed to be techno and then the top level is hip hop. We went up to the techno level and there was music playing but no one there at all. So, Tina and I put on a show for ourselves. Some of the body guards from the other levels would come in and watch for a while. Kay didn't dance, but she was having a laugh riot watching us.

Then we went to the hip hop level... It was like Junior High. The boys were on one side, the girls were on the other. Minimal interaction and NO dancing. We got out as soon as we got there and started dancing. Grabbed some dudes from the sidelines and pulled them in to the show. I tried several times to get people from the sidelines on the floor dancing. Sometimes I was successful, but most of the time not. I was like a cruise director for the club or something.

I do not understand why things have to wait until midnight to start happening. If that's when you've had enough to drink to let your inhibitions loose then you either have too many inhibitions or you just need to start drinking earlier. It's that simple.

Anyways, it's taken me too long to try to record the events. They're not as fresh anymore. We had a wonderful time, and I can't wait to go out and be in the company of high voices again.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yeah, so I've been playing with Flickr and so have been terrible about writing.

As usual.

Latest topic of note is that we are losing a tenant in the condo AGAIN. Oy. It's a combo factor of her being a bit of an idiot and sending a text message to Scott explaining that the rent would be late (again) and that she would pay on the 16th and would call later to explain.

I mean, why not just call?

This did not hit Scott well, as it was 5am on a Monday morning and has basically had it up to the roof with his job and people in general taking advantage of his generosity. Or something. At least, this is how it was summed up to me when he explained that he asked her to pack up by text message. And she agreed, having no concept of her rights as a tenant whatsoever.

I mean, Jesus.

So, once again can't keep someone in there til the end of their lease. And I'm in full on panic mode. I tried to call her myself and work it out but she didn't want to "stress anyone out" and she needed to get a roof over her child's head.

Um, sorry -- but if that was so important, how come the rent was always late? Am I just naive?

Oy. So, that's a bit of a stressor.

But, that's okay. I have lately put on about 5 pounds, so I can afford to skip a meal. Which not having any rental income may get me in the position to do.

Actually, about the 5 pounds. I don't remember gaining weight being this painful before. I must have bought new clothes every 10 pounds in a bigger size. My clothes are so tight and I come home every day with a button tattoo on my belly. I just feel like a Macy's float. And I KNOW that 5 lbs does not look like much to other people because I have borne witness to many people who said they needed to lose 5 lbs and then did and I swear I never saw the difference.

Crazy. I mean, when I quite WW, I had about 30 lbs to go to my goal. I was okay with that though because I had clothes that fit. This is not good.

And I don't understand, because I'm not exercising much and I'm not eating right and I'm drinking extra glasses of wine... WHY can't I get this weight off? It's just a mystery!

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