Monday, December 31, 2007
2. Children of Men - I read the book years ago and still can have nightmares about it. I was unsure how the movie would compare - some marked differences, but held true to the theme and very good in its own right. Clive Owen was superb and the world created was so real and so frightening.
3. Waitress - truly wonderful little independent movie with tons of laughs (and Andy Griffith!)
4. Transformers - a big budget popcorn movie that did not disappoint - loads of fun!
5. Confessions of a Memory Eater by Pagan Kennedy - not written in 2007, but when I read it. The novel has so much to say about truth, relationships, memory and reality - keeps one thinking long after the book is put back on the shelf.
6. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan - short novel about a young couple's wedding night in the early '60s - quite thought provoking.
7. Smile by Lily Allen - I know Amy Winehouse gets all the press, but this was definitely the best song of the year (and especially by a young Brit woman).
9. Robin Hood on BBC America - I keep watching and watching the reruns - wonderful adaptation of an old (and sometimes tired) story. Jonas Armstrong and Lucy Griffiths have great chemistry and breath life into the main characters; interesting stories, dialogue and fun.
10. Moonlight - CBS (new shows whenever the writer's strike is over); modern day vamp in LA with sexy Australian in the lead alongside spunky young Brit (how can others do American accents so well, and we stink - with the exception of Gwyneth Paltrow and Renee Zellwegger?)
11. 30 Rock and The Office - the two best sitcoms on tv, hands down
12. Gilmore Girls - the final two seasons were not the best, but they sent them off well, and for that - I will always be grateful
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
I have continued the tradition with my own twist. I usually put one word that reminds me of that particular child. One present under our tree is labeled "TIGHT" because Sonny Boy's wrestling uniform is tight. Another is labeled "RED" because Princess' Chinese name before she came home with us meant red, hot, popular. (Yes, we did choose a different Chinese name, because who wants a teenage daughter one day whose name means red, hot and popular?)
Princess started getting into making and wrapping presents last year. She decided to try her own codes. Well, this year she has trumped both Mom and me. She has been taking Chinese language all semester and her labels are written in Chinese characters. I only hope the package that smells like chocolate is for me.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
1. Refrain from talking. does this include the toddlers? and how can I keep my mouth shut with so much hilarity in front of me (intentional or not)?
2. Refrain from unwrapping noisy candy wrappers during the performance. I leaned over to my mom and whispered, does it count if the candy wrapper is not considered noisy?
3. Turn off all pagers, cell phones and watch alarms. I particularly liked the rap song ringer that went off during Calypso Gloria
4. Do not wave to your child during the concert. Can you point a finger and give him the evil eye if he's cutting up on stage?
5. Do not take flash photography. what if the flash accidentally goes off? those darned digital cameras are beyond most middle aged parents
6. Please do not walk down the center aisle with your video camera. Can you walk down the aisle just to get a loudly whispering child to the bathroom or water fountain?
7. Do not leave as soon as your child's portion of the concert is over. I pointed this out to my Mom as she did this, but she just gave me the evil eye (guess it runs in the family).
8. Applaud at appropriate times. huh?
9. Do not leave the concert during the music. guess this rules out #6
10. Go to the concert expecting the best. You bet - some of the best laughs I've had in a while!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
There are those moments when inherent gender differences seem to come to light. Yesterday was one of those moments. I sat with one of the other moms - as clueless as I was about the sport. We watched the boys in their little spandex getups rolling around all over each other, trying to pin the shoulder blades to the mat. It was just plain weird. And a little gross. But the boys love it. They won't ever hug each other, but they will be all over each other in little outfits for competition's sake.
I voiced my total support for Sonny Boy. I am proud of how hard he is working in this sport, and I am trying to learn the basic rules. Yet, I don't think I will ever quite get the love that males have for it. Just not made that way...
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Since I fancy myself something of a Lorelai Gilmore, I have taken to calling him Obi Wan. We were in the grocery store the other night and he was dragging behind, so I loudly called, "Hey Obi Wan, catch up!" I would not normally provide so much entertainment for the masses, but the opportunity to embarrass my kid was too great to resist.
Last night Obi and I went to a women's college bball game (my school versus a local one in Gboro). Not a big crowd, so Sonny Boy spotted his least favorite teacher from last year across the stands. I acted like we were going over to say hi at half time. The hood then came up and would not be removed. As we were leaving the gym later, I made sure to walk very quickly and was only about 2 feet behind said teacher. Obi was really dragging his feet and hanging his head under his hoodie, hoping she would not notice him. I had no intention of speaking to her (at one point last year I called her - not to her face - a dried up ol' prune) - but I had a blast freaking out Sonny Boy. He thinks his Obi Wan imitation saved him, but the Force was really with me and not the cool hoodie.
Friday, November 30, 2007
With the writer's strike, my tv viewing is just about nothing right now. So imagine my joy when I found out that NBC is revving up AG again! Sometime in the dead of winter, I will be able to witness the next reincarnation of this classic "reality" show and I am sure, will not be disappointed. Tune in!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I am a slave sitting under a tree
I wish I was free
Oh, look there's a bird!
He just dropped a turd!
He said the class (very diverse group of students) all thought his was the best. 13 year old taste...
Monday, November 26, 2007
*wake up, shower, eat breakfast, rush family out door for church
*teach rowdy senior high Sunday School class
*try to worship while Hubby and Sonny Boy kept elbowing each other and snickering
*go to Costco with family and shop for basics among the hordes of people
*let kids have Churros from Costco for lunch
*go home, change clothes, dust - while Hubby is leisurely watching Duke game
*fix real lunch of pasta and homemade cheese sauce
*clean house some more
*pet kitty with injured foot
*take dogs for intense walk in cold
*make homemade vegetable soup and homemade mayonnaise rolls (Granny's recipe)
*fuss at children about getting work done
*eat dinner and force kids to eat veggies
*eat leftover pumpkin pie (yum!)
*fuss at children about studying
*go to grocery store
*use "discretionary money" for peppermint hot cocoa at Starbucks in grocery store (definitely high point of day)
*have Starbucks worker force free muffin on me (yum!)
*go home, unload groceries while fussing at daughter to get in bed
*fuss at son to finish getting read for week
*make homemade pumpkin pancakes for breakfast couple times during the week
*pack kids' lunches
*iron my clothes
*fuss at son to get to bed
*watch Iron Chef America's holiday dessert battle (yum! yum!!)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
*really sunshiny days
*dark chocolate with almonds
*dark chocolate with rasperries
*lots of books
*LL Bean gift certificates from my mom
*dark chocolate with blueberries
*dark chocolate with dark chocolate
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
But anyway...it's two years later, and I am quite happy to report that Greensboro elected its first black mayor yesterday! And not only that, she is a woman. Yvonne Johnson is well-qualified and has many goals and ideals I can actively embrace. I was not thrilled about the result of our District candidate to City Council, but overall feel pretty good about the At-large results.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
As the reception was nearing a close, the groom was ready to toss the garter. All Sonny Boy knew was that single guys were supposed to stand in a group and catch the garter. Always the competitor, the boy went after it and no one else had a chance. Conversation in the van afterwards:
SB: So, what is a garter?
Mom: Many years ago they were used to hold up women's stockings, because the stockings just went to a person's thigh.
SB: Huh... Well, where did this come from?
Mom: The bride's leg.
SB: (looking a little uncertain) And why does the groom throw it?
Mom: It's a tradition - whoever catches it will be the next guy there to be married.
SB: Married? Hmmm. You know, Mom, I'm going to marry someone who's rich.
Mom: Honey, money doesn't matter. Why do you think you need to marry someone who's rich?
SB: 'Cause I know I will marry someone who's hot, and all the hot girls I know are rich.
Let's hope Sonny Boy's wedding is many years away...
(restless - need to hear your boy's garter story!)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
But where the heck is fall?????!!!!!! October and November are my favorite months. I LOVE fall - the cooler nights, sunny days, beautiful leaves, long walks, and all the Snicker bites I can want from my kids' confiscated Halloween candy. I still feel like it's summer, but with the usual first two months of school hangover (that's how my job always feels come Fall Break). I want all four seasons. I need fall. Please come soon!!! (or I will be forced to use mutiple exclamation points for an indefinite period of time)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This is for Restless, who has yet to hear Sara Evan's latest. Restless and I had the great pleasure of seeing Sara perform for 1 1/2 hours at Bele Chere one evening a few years ago (when she was due to give birth in a few weeks). Didn't pay a dime, and one of the best musical performances I have ever seen. She was absolutely incredible! Just love her. Of course, then Restless and I went out for a beer and had a really weird and lonely (understandably) middle-aged man trying to pick us up. Why is it that all the weirdos hit on me when I am with Restless? It never (and I mean never) happens with my other friends. Hmmmmm.....
Friday, September 28, 2007
Easy Chinese Moon CakesIngredients: • 1/4 cup sugar • 2 egg yolks • 1/2 cup salted butter • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1 cup strawberry (or your favorite) jam (traditionally red bean paste is used so if you want a more authentic version, you can use a can of red bean paste instead of the jam).Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 2. Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk and stir. 3. Mix in the flour. 4. Form the dough into one large ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. 5. Refrigerate dough for half an hour. 6. Unwrap the chilled dough and form small balls in the palms of your hand. 7. Make a hole with your thumb in the center of each mooncake and fill with about half a teaspoon of jam. 8. Brush each cake with the other beaten egg yolk and place on a cookie sheet. (We didn't have a brush to do this, so skipped the brushing step) 9. Bake for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown 10. Makes 24
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
"You know you really have to write this stuff down in your planner. You won't remember your homework unless you write it down, and they're not going to tell us the assignment more than once. We're in 8th grade now."
I'm just speechless. After all these years and all this fussing, is he actually listening to me now?!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Then I worked at my desk all morning until it was time to walk across campus to teach my class. It's one of those gorgeous fall days - cool breeze, sunny sky, just perfect. I'm walking along, thinking what a perfect day, and just thankful I can be out in it for a few minutes. Then an acorn dropped on my head. I reached up to knock it off, but instead my hand was damp. Then I noticed that the sleeve on my cardigan had bird poop all over it. Well, it is Monday, so what else should I expect?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Do people not know what a good movie is these days? I need escapism, heroes, quite good acting, the ultimate ideal man in a soldiers' outfit, action that doesn't take over a movie and isn't too gory, a reincarnation of Xena warrior princess, and some humor to ensure the movie doesn't take itself too seriously.
And that was what I got. If I have watched Kull the Conqueror 5 times (and I have, and I even paid at a movie theater - but my Mom was with me), then you can bet I'll see The Last Legion more times in the future when I am given the opportunity. My grade - a solid B.
Check out the trailer, and then rent it if it doesn't come to a theater near you.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I had the great joy of being with a small group of people to meet and interact with her one day. I was 23 years old and a student at Duke Divinity School. Ms. L'Engle was a guest speaker. She visited some classes and spoke, and then she was in our Divinity School chapel (a small, wood-filled rectangular room) for conversation. She was wearing a flowing dress (think Ab-Lib in Asheville), dangling earrings, and sandals. I thought she looked so cool. All the students were in chairs with her chair in front of the wooden table that served as an altar. She was having problems seeing all of us from the same level, so she plopped her behind on the altar and talked with us from there. Naturally, some people were scandalized and talked of nothing else for days. But for me, it was one of the most enjoyable memories I had from my three years there. I'm sure she will continue to be an inspiration for me and many others for years to come.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Last night was a very memorable night at the US Open. My beloved Carlos Moya made it to the Quarters, 9 years after the last time he was there. Unfortunately, he had to meet Novak Djokovic, a 20 year old Serb who beat Roddick, Nadal and even Federer in consecutive matches this summer. Djokovic certainly has game - big time - but he also has personality. Commentators are speculating that he may be the first Eastern European player that Americans really take to during the time on tour. (I know we love Martina know, but back in her day American fans were always pulling for Chrissie.) At the end of last night's match, the best tennis interviewer ever, Michael Barkann, asked Djokovic for a couple imitations. The kid does have a lot of personality and is becoming known for his gift of imitation. He had Nadal and Sharapova down to every little tic. Definitely one of the most memorable events of the US Open in a number of years!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The US Open in NYC continues for this second week. The fashion is not quite as exciting as last week when it was all new, but Bethanie Mattek knows how to keep things interesting. She was defeated in the second round of singles, but thanks to her doubles game, she has been able to reveal more interesting outfits (among other things she reveals).
Skimpy outfits, animal prints, shiny metallics... I think this would be enough to make Sonny Boy a fan.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
As the days went by, I have been able to flesh out what "awesome" really meant. He does like the freedom of changing classes and figuring out the combo lock on his locker. He's always thought he was a grown adult, so this suits him well. But I think what really makes school awesome are the hot 13 year old girls. (It hurts just to type that!) Friday evening we were watching the US Open on tv and he suddenly burst out, "Guess what happened today Mom! It was great." I'm thinking it must be that he did well in class. "This hot girl, Alexa, came up and said she remembered me from Promenade." (Yes, I made him do the 6 week session of Promenade to learn some manners and how to dance and not look like Napoleon Dynamite.) "She told me I was a good dancer."
"Honey, was that so great because a hot girl spoke to you, because she remembered you, or because she thought you were a good dancer?" He thought for a moment, the eyes twinkled, he grinned and said, "I guess all three!"
Whatever it takes...
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Fashion and NYC go hand in hand, and this is no exception at the US Open. Every year the discussion seems to focus more on some of the women's apparel than their actual game. The men have previously been left in the dust when it came to fashion discussion. My favorite example of this was a few years ago when Tommy Haas was told that he could not wear a sleeveless shirt because it did not fit within the guidelines of what was acceptable. Mind you, this was the same year when Serena was wearing her black cat suit. Sexist? You betcha. But thank goodness times have changed. If not for Tommy, we probably wouldn't see Nadal's guns.
So this year, Sharapova continues her reign as the fashion maven in her red crystal embedded dress. I kinda like it - even though I know I would look utterly ridiculous in it. Think Snape in Neville's grandmother's attire. However, the man who is perhaps the greatest men's tennis player of all time, Roger Federer himself, has been making some noise in the world of style. He appeared last night in an all black Nike ensemble, including tuxedo shorts, socks and monogrammed shoes. One should know that Anna Wintour, of Vogue fame, luuvvvs the Federer Express, so perhaps she talked him into it. Ted Robinson and John McEnroe spent more time commenting on Federer's attire last night than his complete domination of the game. They had never seen him in all black, thought it was almost unrecognizable, and joked that it was his gangsta attire. Those poor guys - they really missed the point. They should have gotten Tracy Austin back in the booth. She could have told them the real story - the man just looked plain hot on a hot night in NYC. Stylin' is not just for the women alone!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
And speaking of books, I found a bookstore on Emerald Isle and got there about 10:30 Saturday morning. A good chunk of the day was spent reading this final installment of a truly great series. I could have finished it in that day if I didn't interact with my family or cook them dinner - but some things have to be done. I did finish Sunday morning. I started crying on page 53. I will mourn some deaths for some time to come. And the big twist at the end. Wow. Guess I can't really say anything else without giving stuff away. I just need to wait for the next two movies now, and reread the Hallows whenever Hubby finishes it.
Thank you, JK Rowling, for a truly great series and many countless hours of enjoyment.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Hubby had just gotten off the cell phone when I smelled chocolate in the vicinity. I quickly followed my nose to Hubby's face. I went from there to the cell phone (just a few weeks old), which was also covered in smushed m & ms.
"Hubby, how on earth did you get mashed m & ms all over your cell phone, and did you know that they are all over the side of your face now?" I felt like Hermoine when she first meets Ron and points out the dirt on the side of his nose.
"Huh?" he responded as he walked to the bathroom to clean his face. "How did that happen?"
"You have crushed m & ms all over your new cell phone." He looked puzzled for a few minutes, and then pulled an open bag of m & ms out of his pocket. Apparently he put them in his pocket during the movie we had just seen and decided his cell phone belonged in the same pocket.
You just never know what will happen at my house.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
"If you haven't grown up by the time you're middle-aged, it means you don't have to."
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Yet, this past Sunday, the Concert for Diana was on the telly. I couldn't take my eyes off it. Diana was a few years older than I, and we had similar tastes in music. And I have always loved many of the Brit singers - you can get a glimpse of the wonderful Lily Allen at an earlier post. And can I say that Take That has aged quite well in the 10 years I have not seen them? And did you know Duran Duran's Rio was written for me?
I think what was a little scary was that I knew who all the Brits were who seemed obscure to most the American audience. I also understood the entirety of Ricky Gervais' routine (and laughed hysterically).
The Princes did a great job. They raised a lot of money for a number of good causes, and I know their mum would be quite proud.
And did I mention I ended up spending an hour on the elliptical?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I had some wonderful public entertainment while in Bath. It was a beautiful Saturday, and in the park beside the river Avon there was a wedding party and their guests assembled. A large number of us were observing while they spent a fair amount of time trying to take pictures. I was particularly fascinated by the bride's attendants' attire. Olive green corset tops with white polyester, low ride, stretch pants. If one were skinny enough to pull off wearing the pants, then the upper regions were a little too sparse for the corset top. And of course if they filled out the top nicely, the pants were not the most flattering. Yet, I found the most interesting part of the ensemble was the baby blue caps perched jauntily on the side of their heads.
I sure hope this was not an indication of the usual bridal party attire in Britain. But I did appreciate the free public entertainment.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Here are some sights of London you might not normally see. The first is a statue of Boadecia - the pagan warrior who, along with her four daughters, led the native Britons to fight the invading Romans. She was the original Xena, warrior princess, in my view.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Princess is still in her Chinese Folk Dance class. It is a class taught by a wonderful woman with the Greensboro Chinese Association. Most of the girls come from native Chinese families, but the GCA has graciously invited adopted girls to participate as well. Ms. Shirley not only teaches a variety of dances to a variety of ages, but she also makes all the costumes.
The girl performed at a Multicultural Festival in Lexington this past weekend. It was a lot of fun and Princess did a great job!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Well, that morning he decided that rompers were no longer cool. He started saying rather loudly, "I don't wike wompers!!" I tried to explain this was a Sunday outfit and continued to get it on his struggling little body. He kept up with his exclamation and proceeded to rip the button off the strap - he was not going to wear a romper that day. I decided I didn't care - we found a tshirt and shorts. If people wanted to talk about the preacher's kid not being dressed nicely for church, let them.
So now he's 13 and thinks he is destined for a career as a professional snow boarder. He's also thinking when he is world famous for this career, Dancing with the Stars will ask him to be on the show. One of the very few stores that carries appropriately snowboarder cool clothing is Old Navy. Since I shop there so often, I decided to get one of the ON credit cards - I figured the extra coupons they sent were worth it.
Last week, I received a plastic bag in the mail - everything stuffed in it would be an extra 25% off with the use of my card. Sonny Boy was growing again, so off we went. We arrived at the counter with five shirts, four pairs of shorts (all big enough for a 5'5, 110 lb boy) and one little sundress for Princess. The cashier apolegetically told me that the clothes actually had to be in the bag for the discount. Sonny Boy and I started laughing rather loudly, and then removed all the coat hangers and crammed every bit of clothing into the small bag. The bag had a couple rips, but the clothes were in. The cashier then took each item out, rung it up, folded it nicely into a large bag and put all the coat hangers in the bag as well.
Sonny Boy and I laughed all the way to the car. I'm sure the manager didn't appreciate us too much that night, but we did provide some entertainment for the other customers.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The campus ministers had a service of remembrance and hope this morning here at UNCG. The house was packed (even media), and fortunately God was with us so that people found the service meaningful. One of my colleagues, Zach, wrote a reflection that you must read. They are words we need to hear
Monday, April 16, 2007
A couple women behind me (who were about my mom's age) started talking about the good looks of several of the tennis players. Then they decided that entire Spanish contingent was really hot. I decided to chime in at that point. "Especially Feliciano Lopez," I added. "I haven't minded watching him play at all!"
Then from behind me I heard a voice, "Talking about the hot Spanish players again?" I turned to see Hubby holding popcorn, and then rolled my eyes.
"What makes you think that?"
"You had a particular grin on your face." I rolled my eyes again and let my fellow waiters know that this man was Hubby. Hubby laughed.
"I swear I didn't start the conversation. I just joined in." And throughout the afternoon, anytime I took the binoculars during Lopez's match, Hubby started laughing again. You'd think a women's bathroom line would be a safe place to talk.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
When I was in high school, most the girls I knew took home ec. I didn't want to waste my time - I wanted to get all the AP courses I could and besides, surely someone else would cook and sew for me. But we all know what happens to our best plans.
I have learned to cook (fairly well, I think) over the years. I can follow directions, and I do love my cookbooks. Sewing has been a different story. I still save hems and buttons for my mom. Mom has taught Princess to sew. She even bought her a sewing machine for her birthday last August. I have quite a collection of pillows now.
Last Friday I reached a crisis with the window covering in our guest room. The cheap blind (which came with the house) had finally fallen apart. I went to the discount bed and bath store (Anna's Linens) but could not see anything at all that I liked. A fabric store was right next door, so I walked in and immediately saw the perfect fabric. How hard could it be to make a basic panel? I bought the material I thought I needed and had them point out the correct thread. I had Princess thread the machine later that day. And then while she spent the next day Geocaching with the Girl Scouts, I had a pleasant day of sewing. Well, perhaps except for the carpal tunnel, the couple desperate phone calls to a student who sews and a friend who was carting around 3 feuding girls all day, a flung bobbin or two (who the heck ever named those ridiculous things bobbins?), a flung instruction book, and a few choice words mumbled here and there.
And didn't it turn out well? (and please, never look too closely when you come to the house)
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
"Ya'll, this is just a perfect night. That moon is just gooorrrgeous!"
HJ responded, "Kinda feels a little like a slasher movie, doesn't it?"
"No way! This is a buddy chick movie!" We all continued to talk until we were about halfway along the old bridge to Jacksonville. BM took the wine bottle, held it up in the moonlight, saying "Well, here are all our wishes! Let's hope they come true before someone finds this bottle." She then flung it with full force into the ebb of the tide.
"Sure wish I could have used that original wish," I quietly said.
"Rio, one hot night with Mr. Darcy is not something that could actually happen. These are really our intentions." A sigh escaped my lips.
As we walked back to the car, we began to flesh out our buddy chick movie (and it would be far superior to Wild Hogs, trust me). I called dibs on Kate Winslet playing me. That British connection might actually get me one step closer :)
Saturday, March 03, 2007
So here is a picture of Corky, with little Lizzie (who we look forward to meeting in a couple months), wearing the championship belt - "Rook Goddess." Congrads Corky, but watch your back next year...
Thursday, March 01, 2007
"Oh, no!" She said. "Not Charlie Brown. That guy in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
In other words, Johnny Depp looking really, really weird. Thanks a lot.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Well, tomorrow is one of those birthdays that end in zero. 40 to be more precise. I actually think that it sounds better than 39 - everyone thinks I'm really in my 40s and lying about my age. I haven't had much time to fret over where my life may or may not be at this particular age (like I did at 30 - you would have thought chasing 3 year old wild boy all day would have kept me from having time for such reflections). For years now, I've thought that the 40s were supposed to be the best decade. Kids would be old enough that I wouldn't be changing diapers. I would be fairly stable in a career. I would have a decent home and good friends. These things actually seem to be true - wow, who would have thought?
An added bonus to the day is that people seem compelled to give me really nice birthday presents - Sonny Boy is a little jealous! And then on the actual day, I get to head to Amelia Island with my Asheville book group buddies for our annual beach trip. Can't wait. No kids, no husbands - just friends, food and fun.
Getting old could be much, much worse...
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Here is a song from the Thermals that is quite appropriate for the season of Lent. I also like this group because they were offered $50,000 to allow Hummer to use one of their songs in a commercial - certainly a good amount of money for a little indy band. But - they could not in good conscience support a product that is so bad for the environment. My kind of band...
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday was Chinese New Year - the year of the Pig. Princess danced in the downtown New Year's Celebration with the Greensboro Chinese Association. (She's in the long green dress.) Sonny Boy taped this. He said the time he taped the floor was when the girls threw candy to the crowd and he bent to pick up some. Enjoy!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I have been trying in the past 20 months to seek comfort reading instead of comfort food. Thus, I have reread P & P about 6 times in those months (even a bit much for me). Last spring, I decided to venture one of the Austen imitators. I picked up the first book of Pamela Aiden's Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series. The next two in the trilogy eventually came out in the following months. I liked the first one - it held true to the world Austen created and seemed to illuminate the story I held dear. The second one got just a touch weird - the author obviously had to try her own Northanger Abbey. Yet, it was still an enjoyable book. I must say I was getting tired of the lovey-doveyness that never seemed to end between Darcy and Georgiana. If he said, "Dearest" one more time to her, I thought I might gag. I found the final book about a month ago, and felt like Aiden had done well. The story was completed beautifully. I would recommend these to any Austen lover.
After all my years of suspicion ending so well, I picked up Elizabeth Aston's Mr. Darcy's Daughters. Now, my one big pet peeve is lack of consistency with characters (do you hear that people at Gilmore Girls?) Aston obviously has no problem with it. Otherwise, how could Darcy and Elizabeth end up being very neglectful, oblivious parents? How could Col. Fitzwilliam end up being a sex-obsessed, brutish boor? How else could vapid airhead Lydia get some observation skills and shrewdly make her way in society? And how on earth else could the very bright Caroline Bingley fill her life with junior high high-jinks?
Aston's book was one big soap opera. None of the daughters were likable. They were doomed to making very bad decisions after the apparent abandonment of their parents. One could only hope the book would end. Aston does create the world quite nicely and writes well. It was just a ridiculous, soapy story.
Aiden - B+, Aston - D+
I'm through with this experiment. Only the real thing (Austen herself) for me from now on.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Well, I finally saw some snow. It wasn't much and it was gone by the end of the day, but it had been two years - so I'll take anything I can get. I still haven't had anywhere near enough. Hopefully a lot more will come, and very soon. I am in desperate need of a snow day (or even two). But doesn't my house look pretty with just a little bit of snow?
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Those ladies were great. Every Saturday morning I would see them running to the the door about 9:45 for the 10am opening. They had really, really nice cars - one even had a Mercedes convertible. I was usually in my '78 Fiesta, waiting for them to arrive and unlock the building. I would get out of the car and meet them at the door. I couldn't wait to see what they were wearing. Such great dresses, skirts, tops, dress pants. And the shoes - oh my! I could not wait until I stopped buying shoes at Payless.
I knew I was lucky. While most of my 18 year old friends donned a McDonald's uniform and worked until the wee hours of the night, my after school job was quite different. I dressed nicely each day and was always finished by 5:30. On Saturday mornings I could easily watch "Alvin and the Chipmunks" before leaving for work, once again finished by dinner so I could enjoy my Saturday nights. And the store was never opened on Sunday. I had the good fortune to be employed at a gift and card shop in the "Village." That little shop has been owned and operated for many years by a number of well-to-do women who wanted some fun thing to do on the side.
Saturdays were always the best. They would sit in their glorious outfits, sip on Bloody Marys (they made virgin ones for me) and talk over the social exploits of the previous week. Their friends would come in to order stationary or to exchange interesting tid-bits. Occasionally, a teenage or college-age child of theirs would pop by. These women were having the time of their lives. They looked incredible! They were always having fun! They had great friends and families they loved!
On the other hand, I resided in high school hell. I was a smart girl, made to sit through that ridiculous movie they showed us every year about how high school was meant to be the best time of our lives. The movie showed all these beautiful teens in cheerleader outfits or football uniforms, laughing together in absolute bliss. I would simmer through those movies, muttering under my breath, "This is NOT meant to be the best time of my life! How pathetic!"
Each Saturday morning I had a glimpse of what else was out there. They were smart women in their 40s who had control of their lives. They always looked great, because they were happy and not entertaining the fashion whims of the world. They were comfortable with friends and family. They had a certain amount of peace. As I sat there fuming in that high school auditorium when the yearly viewing of the movie ended, I knew this was not the best time of my life. I didn't expect to be miserable for many years to come - but I knew the 40s would probably be the best. As I anticipate my 40th next month, I cherish this vision that the best time is still yet to come.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Nowadays, all I have to do is leave the list of who gave what and they do the notes themselves. I still address the outside, just out of consideration for the postal service. Sonny Boy finished and mailed all his Christmas thank yous last week. Princess is still working on hers. She takes more time and tries to make each one individual - which is really good.
After she did several last week, I looked over them before putting them into envelopes and addressing them. She had written one to my parents. The words were very nice. At the bottom of the note, she had drawn some pretty symbols - how thoughtful of her! She had drawn a hand with a finger pointing up and the letter "I" written on it. Just under it was a heart, and then just under that was the letter "U." How sweet! Then I looked more closely. The hand with the fingers was well drawn, but the finger that was held up was actually the middle finger.
I was about on the floor I was laughing so hard. I definitely mailed it to my parents. Mom agreed it was unlike any other thank you note she had ever received. I'm sure it's been a while since someone shot them a bird, and definitely a first from a grandchild.
If Princess does some more thank you notes, I'll have to be more selective as to who gets that kind of drawing...
Friday, January 05, 2007
One of the things I have always enjoyed about living in a mid-Atlantic state (particularly when I was in the mountains), was having four actual seasons. Each season came and went, and with it all the joys of that season. I like each season (fall the best), and they normally lasted just long enough.
And so today is Jan 5, and we are still in the midst of record setting high temps. It's currently about 60 degrees and raining. Yes, raining. Not snowing or threatening it - but just rain. I dressed in a turtleneck, light sweater and rain jacket this morning - and have been burning up.
I want winter. I want to get at least an inch or two of snow (I haven't seen any in two years now). I want the ground to freeze so that all the fleas will finally die, so that mosquitoes will not keep me inside all summer, and so that the crocus buds will stop and not see an early and short life. I want winter!!
It's been tough in recent days. Every time I am driving around town, and I want to ram into every Hummer I see. Like someone needs to drive a Hummer in the middle of Greensboro - those potholes sure can be hard to navigate. It's their fault!! Global warming is here, and it's 60 and raining today!! I do realize that ramming my '91 Nissan into a Hummer isn't wise - so I have chosen not to do it. Perhaps I just will make a bumper sticker - "SUVs - It's your fault we don't have winter anymore!!" or "Kyoto - Who Cares? Bring on the heat!"
I've never considered moving north (or to Colorado), but I might have to do so to experience four seasons once again.