Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer Obsession List 2008

We're recovering from the flu bug that has cut a wide swath through our house.

From what I can tell, it went from Bill and Julie's kids, then to the OG last week. This week, it jumped onto to me, and then, this morning, to the YG. Nothing better than having your four-year-old walk up to you first thing in the morning and announce "My tummy hur...blaaaarrgh!"

She was pretty miserable for a good four hours, throwing up, and then dry heaving, and then throwing up again every time she tried to keep down an ice chip. But, 'round about noon, she sat up, said that she felt better, and demanded graham crackers and noodle soup. Everything was pretty much fine after that; we went to the doctor later just to be sure it wasn't strep, but it's apparently just some nasty little remnant of cold and flu season that's still hanging on. (Note to flu: IT IS 100 effin' degrees outside; time to HANG IT UP.)

It's hung on a bit longer with me, but I can finally breathe and sit upright long enough to publish the SUMMER OBSESSION LIST for 2008. Woop!

1. Orange Nairagi (fish) from Hawaii.

Central Market had this stuff on sale last week. Oh, my, it was tasty; and all I did was pan fry it in a little clarified garlic butter...nothing else. It's like swordfish - I think it's actually a marlin - but it's sustainably harvested. Meaty, toothsome, and deeeelicious.

(For you dewy childbearing youngsters, due props must be given to the fact that it's a high-food-chain fish, and thus presumably is at higher risk for containing mercury...however, I - also presumably - am not pregnant, and teh interwebs say that it's not as high as tuna.)

2. The Wine Cubes at Target:

They are convenient, taste good, and fit our budget-conscious (budget OBSESSED, honey) lifestyle.

However, the convenience makes me a little too willing to keep popping back into the kitchen, because there's not an end, really; they keep going on FOREVER. So, it's not like you're saying, "Huh, the bottle's empty, guess I shouldn't open another one." Instead, you're saying "Whee! I still got LOTSA wine! Another glass? WHY, SURE!!!"

3. The OG Mix on my iPod

I made the OG a mix CD a few months ago, thinking that it was probably time that she transitioned between "kid" music to something more like rock-n-roll. So, I squeezed in a lot of what is, in my opinion, "cool" kid music - e.g. Schoolhouse Rock - with some other stuff I thought she might dig. (Disclaimer: It's my stuff, so it's also stuff I dig. This is possibly not a coincidence.)

Being the OG, who is terribly frightened of anything new, she took them from me, made a face, and ignored them for about six months. However, I had the mix on the iPod, of course, so I began to play it for her in the car when we drove around.

Lo and behold, she finally picked them up and put them in her CD player and her alarm clock (also with CD); she now listens to one every night when she falls asleep, and the other one every morning when she wakes up.

I love that she likes my music. Unfortunately, I think I might have turned her into a nerd, though. There's 64 songs on there at last count, so too many to represent here,'s a sampling:

They Might Be Giants - James K. Polk
Barnes and Barnes - Fish Heads
Brave Combo - The Hokey Pokey
Joe McDermott - Baby Kangaroo
Schoolhouse Rock - Three is a Magic Number
The Shins - Phantom Limb
Coldplay - Clocks
Bowling For Soup - 1985
TMBG - Istanbul not Constantinople
The Go-Gos - We Got The Beat
Lyle Lovett - That's Right (You're Not From Texas)
Green Day - Welcome to Paradise
Cat Stephens - If You Want to Sing Out Sing Out
Barry Louis Polisar - All I Want Is You
Fountains of Wayne - Stacy's Mom
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Matthew Sweet - Scooby Doo (Where Are You?)
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Cameo - Word Up
The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun
The Chipmunks - Witch Doctor (the original Chipmunks; harumph!)

What think you? Have we booked a nonstop flight to Nerddom?

4. Indy mania at our house

Along the lines of number three...I have transformed the OG (and am working on the YG) into a big geeky Indiana Jones fangirl - just like I turned her into a big geeky Harry Potter fangirl, and a big geeky Star Wars fangirl. (She even has the toy whip, which makes my younger self jealous beyond words.)

And...I was afraid I wouldn't, but...I LIKED IT!!! It started off a bit creaky - as do we all, nowadays - but it got going nicely, and by the end was just a lovely bit of fun. Karen Allen! So awesome! And there were winks and nods to the old ones...too cool.

Sing it with me, children..."Dum da dum DAAA...dum da daaa..."

5. Coconut Almond Fudge ice cream

Or gelato. I don't eat a lot of ice cream, but damn, I must have that whenever I see it.

6. Relearning to love Lost

Finally got caught up. Damn. That was a cool season! I have no idea what the hell is going on, but I totally loved it.

7. Watching movies again (!)

I've also got my Netflix constipation moving through, and I've finally - FINALLY - watched King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. Oh, peeps, you should rent that one. It is one awesome documentary, and it is about the contest for the world record in Donkey Kong. Seriously. You cannot write a story like this, and it's true. There is an apple-cheeked hero, a Snidely Whiplash villain, and a whole lot of Donkey Kong. What could be better?

I also watched The Girl in the Cafe, with Bill Nighy. That was very good, also. A lonely English businessmen/attache to the Prime Minister meets a girl - um, in a cafe - and impulsively invites her to accompany him to a (fictionalized) G8 summit in Reykjavik. Quiet and desperately romantic, but with a sudden, sharp, activism.

8. News

Man, I am glued solid to the news these days. TV, NPR, newspaper, what have you. And Keith Olbermann, and Stewart/Colbert, and SNL News...I am just really into the coverage of this election. Is it me, or has this all been WAY more interesting than it's ever been, at least in my awareness years?

My mom remembers plenty of other wild rides, so it's good to talk to her about these things - helps keep things in perspective. However, in my memory, things have all been decided well before this point. Hasn't it been cool that these down-calendar primary states have suddenly been so important? Even Texas was important! That made me super-thrilled; coming out to that caucus that night, and feeling the energy.

There's plenty of time to get depressed - things are bound to get ugly in the general - but, right now, I feel really, really positive about what I'm feeling in the streets. (True, I live in Austin; this may - MAY - color my view of what the outside world is going through. )

Anyway, I like this mood. I hope it lasts.

And, I want no comments from the peanut gallery, but I'm glad Hillary was here. She is the most viable female candidate we have ever seen as of yet, and I'm proud that she effectively tied him in votes. I hope her people come back to our side, because I do think that she was treated unfairly at times, and I justify (some) of their anger.

(Oh, and mom's softening a bit. A BIT. Just today. So, good news. She insists that WE all are to do the phone banking, now, however.)

9. Dentyne Ice Gum

I've never chewed gum in my life, but when I started dieting again - and I started keeping gum around to help with the OG's sensory issues - I started going though several pieces a day.

Now? I feel like I have a small cigarette habit. Seriously. I start noticing when we're low on gum, and think, "Hmm...need more gum." Odd.

and, to make it a round number...

10: Mormons

I just finished Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer...the one about the FLDS Church? Oh, my, god, that was a good book. If you haven't, do. It is - they are - FASCINATING.

This whole notion of this major religion, forming in our time, in recorded history? With all the really freaky-sounding origins - however, objectively, no freakier-sounding than any other religion - that people believe, in massive numbers? And then, the perversion of this religion into the FLDS, who basically believe, in so many words, that if you want to do something - e.g. bang fifteen-year-old girls - then, it MUST be holy, so you should do it! And declare it doctrine!

Given this line of thinking, it should probably not come as any shock that a few of these guys - the patriarchs are the priests, by the way - decided that taking drugs, drinking, and murdering one of the few free-thinking women they knew (along with her fifteen-month-old daughter) was also divine writ.

I'm not saying that FLDS has the monopoly on religious nutjobs, by any means. (Nor am I saying I paint all Mormons with that brush. The only Mormon I've ever been close friends with - my friend Sue, in college - was one of the best people I've met in my, funny, laid-back, and the essence of cool.) Krakauer does a good job of pointing out that these freaks are just another example of fundamentalism. Whatever the stripe, be it Muslim or Christian or Joseph Smith-ian, it is, to me, completely terrifying. These folks, however, are home-grown.

Personally, right now, I feel like going to steal a few of my daughter's peanut butter cups. So, thankfully, I've incorporated enough of what I've learned to know that it's OK to go get them. Because I want them, they must be what God wants me to have, and it's OK to do whatever I want in the pursuit of them.

Mmmm! TQHS*: "Sacrelicious!"

*to quote Homer Simpson


Badger said...

If you and OG are music nerds, the boy child and I are right there with you. (In other words, not only did I recognize WAY too many songs on that playlist, I could ... er, sing them to you. Whether you like it or not.)

Hope y'all are over the plague soon. I am SO not kissing you on the lips right now.

Karla May said...

Praise be to the Mighty Wine Cube!!

Anonymous said...

For the record, nerddom can be fun and profitable! This is from a scientist who makes a living from nerdy pursuits.

Mags, your inner nerd is beautiful! Accept and love her!

You're in good company.
Remember what (Lewis?) in 'the revenge of the nerds' said to the popular crowd? "There are more of us than there are of you." Amen. That movie ROCKED. (insert Lewis' nerdy laugh here)