Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life goes on.

Huh. Guess everything Scott Westerfeld writes isn't meant for young adults, huh? Who knew? Here I was expecting a nice story about angst ridden teens in space, and what I got was rough and rowdy butt sex. That is, I didn't actually have butt sex myself, I mean, the characters in the book did. It was a good story anyway. Not that I have anything against butt sex. Especially if I'm not having it. To each their own.


The baby is busy climbing up things she can't get down from. Actually, I lie, that part only takes a minute. The baby is busy crying because she can't get down from what she has crawled up on. I am busy getting her down so she can do it again in another spot. I have tried moving her little legs in some kind of attempt to teach her that crawling works up AND down, but she's too busy crying to pay attention.

Boy is busy talking on the phone. Everyday after dinner the phone rings. Neither Simon nor I so much as look at the phone. It will not be for us. We don't giggle nonstop. We don't wonder whether she likes us, has asked so and so out, is going to be asked out by so and so, can be connived into saying "Yes" when asked, etc. We don't have a prank to play on someone over the phone, such as pretending the connection isn't working. Above all, even if we did, we couldn't make conversations about all this last for several hours every single night. Which is why we're not teenagers, I guess. I'm not complaining. About being a teen, that is; I am complaining about this addiction to the phone.

The Bean is busy being terribly cute. She is especially fond of stories just now, and if we're not reading one to her, she is reading one to the baby, or the dog, or the world at large. I don't know how to impress upon you how cute this is, because I don't have words for it and fonts don't come with a cute button. Imagine a "Hello Kitty" font, then imagine me using it to type "She's soooo cute!". That cute.

I have an idea!... wait a sec... there!

See? Told you she was cute.

The Simon is busy working. Six days a week, every week. But when he's done, six days a week, he pulls onto our street and I tell the girls he's home**. The dog starts barking, and I let her out to start the parade. Then the Bean says "Oh! Poppy!" and goes to day hi. Once he's in the door and the baby realizes what's going on, she crawls over at her fastest speed- thumpthumpthump -and says "HAI!". It's an event. Maybe it makes up for the working, at least a little bit.

I am busy being housewiferly. I made jam. I had never canned anything before, and we had these grapes we didn't know what to do with, and now we have deep purple delight in many, many little jars. I like it. I just may do it again. Boy is awed by the notion that Simon is making our bread and I am making the jam that goes on it; in short, he's amazed that food can be made by hand.

I also made chili sauce with a box of Gorgeous chilies that my NSES* sent. Yummy. And I roasted some, and am drying some. And I cut up and froze a mess of peppers and some leeks. And dried the leek leaves to use like chives. And made soup for lunch with radishes, leeks and miso, which gave me the wind so bad I like to died, which is probly TMI. And then I went to library, the bank, the store where I pick up milk and veggies, the grocery store and the farm where I get meat, all whilst toting the girls.

This morning I am so tired I poured granola into my coffee instead of milk. Oh, how I wish I were joking about that.

Going to pour herself a less chewy cup***,

*Not So Evil Stepmom.
**His truck needs some muffler work.
*** Of course I drank it! I couldn't waste a whole cup, now, could I.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Lately I've been indulging myself in children's lit. Simon thought it was bad that I'd been reading YA, but I've regressed even further. I'm a sucker for STORY, man, give me some STORY, STORY is where it's at. Adult fiction writers generally go light on the story and heavy on the, ummm, introspection? Contemplation? Navel gazing? and when I finish the book I can't recognise whether I got the point or not. I do understand that one is meant to have a certain ambiguity there. It's meant to be art, something that you look at that fires the neurons and acts as fuel for thinking, and yet, sometimes I just want them to tell me what the hell it is they're trying to say.

I abandonded the family last night and went wandering in the stacks. It's a new library to me. Soon I'll be able to tell what row I'm in by the colors of the covers, but just now it's like a cross between a shopping spree and a reunion. Hi Orson Scott Card, see you're still using that tacky cover art. Howdy do, Mr Foer, the movie turned out well, didn't it. And who are you, my little pretty, with your Japanese name and a clockwork elephant on the cover... The truth is, when you're browsing the aisles all you have to go on is the title, name and cover art.

This time I found myself skipping entire shelves because I felt like I'd read one too many male names there. Nothing deep, I'm just in a mood. I want to read something by a woman that isn't, ummm, romantic? Soap Opery? Anything Renee Zelwiger would want to act in? I want an interesting story written by a woman, and it can't have dragons, corsets, political intrigue or hot breathy moments in it. It can't be about women falling for men who are cunning sleuths and fierce street fighters and grand master chess players and award winning chefs and geologists and lovers (I particularly loathe that kind of book...) I want a good story, lots of plot, heavy on the wit and clever, and a big dash of surprise. With a spoon. Gosh, if I could find some books like that I might need a bib.

So anyway, I started out in the adult fiction, grabbed some Pratchett in spite of myself, wandered through some nonfiction which brought me around the corner and back to YA, what the hell, so I grabbed some graphic novels. At least I didn't end up in the children's section.

Hey, I know several of you guys have youngsters of your own. If you're looking for a creepy Halloween read, might I suggest Coraline, Rosemary's Witch (Please ignore the atrocious cover art on the Amazon site, it's a good book in spite of that:) , and/or Well Witched . All of these are seriously spooky, so I think they should be read alouds for the 7-10 set, especially if they are of a sensitive nature. I'm especially fond of Rosemary's Witch. It's super creepy, yet there is a possibility of redemption in the story which you don't often see. Well Witched has that going for it too.

If you've got olders, say, 10/11 and up, I can recommend Baltimore. Very gruesome and scary. Boy loved it. The only complaint I have is that the three narrators are supposed to be very different people, but their voice is the same. The sailor who had no real education sounds the same as the dude who grew up posh. Ah well, no book is perfect.

I checked out The Graveyard Book, I'll fill you in on it the next time I write.

And with that, I'm off to wash dishes. If you've got some book recs for me, feel free to share. Not that I need to spend more time reading, but if I'm going to neglect the housework anyway, it's probably time I was doing it in the name of reading grownup books.

Heigh ho, heigh ho,

Friday, October 03, 2008


SO he says, I'm out of dishes to wash, HA!, like that EVER happens, and I'm all what about the ones on the table, and he's saying there aren't any on the table, and I'm saying what about the salad spinner and the pan , I mean, if you wouldn't eat off it it needs to be washed! GAH!, and he's saying but they blend in, and I'm saying, you mean, with the other dishes that need washing? on the table? the table that you said you couldn't find anything to wash on? and he says, Isn't there anything to wash that isn't a pan?

And he starts to complain about how many dishes he's having to wash, and how low I've stooped to have him wash them all, and I ask him if he really has any idea how much he scared us last night. To which he says, no, but all of them? And I say, You know what? and he says no, nevermind, I take it back, forget I said anything.

Damn straight,

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Baby steps.

Why do I persist on forgetting that the key to accomplishing any large task, especially when you have small children, is to work on them a little at a time? Hell, I'd go so far as to say it's the key to accomplishing small tasks too, because the little boogers always need rescuing from sisters who are attempting to inflate them with bicycle pumps, or someone to get them another glass of juice-not-milk-no-no-no-NOT-MILK-fine-if-it's-all-I'm-going-to-get-milk, or someone to go get their bike from the police station because they forgot the combination and the guy at the Y shooed off the little fuckers who were trying to steal it before snipping the lock and sending it away with the cops. And yet, every damn day I forget this and wake up in a tizzy wondering how in the heck I'm going to finish putting-stuff-away-caulk-the-windows-put-up-the-drapes-make-pants-for-the-Bean-that-don't-fall-off-get-the-"cooking once a week"-thing-going-etc-etc-etc-etc.

Maybe it's because I like to start a thing and finish a thing. I enjoy finishing a task. When I'm interrupted, by the very children I may have been performing the task for, I get Very Annoyed. It's silly and it's stoopid and I wonder how long it is going to take me to learn to take baby steps. I have to believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Probly, the truth is I've got PMS and I just need to get over myself.

On another note, imagine that you fastidiously keep your real world name off the internet because you've gotten some gruesome hate mail before, and it's shaken your faith in your fellow man. Then imagine that on the one video you have on You Tube, a video of your littlest baby, you receive the comment "I know where you live, (Real Name Here)" You look at the user name and you don't recognize it. The choice of favorited videos makes you think it's a teen aged boy, but the age given is 33. You double check all the profiles you can think of, but your given name isn't on any of them. You send a polite email asking the person if you know them, but inside you're dying to think that some creep would post this on a video of your baby. Your baby!

Then your son gets home and, thinking it might be one of his friends, you ask him if he recognizes the user name.

"Oh yeah, that's mine."

So you explain in graphic detail how scared he made you feel, and explain why it was STOOPID, and why it isn't funny, and why you don't use someone's real name online, and why he can go wash all the dishes without a single tiny thought of a complaint whilst you rest on your laurels and contemplate why a boy as smart as he is does dumb shit like this.

Firmly believing he'll learn to use his powers for good, and wishing her daughter wouldn't try to drink milk with a spoon,