I need so much to post and tell you everything, EVERYTHING, about the past weekend, which was gloriously filled with excess and joy, with such incredible friends...old and new, from near and far. But I am honestly not recovered yet, here, four full days later, and I'm totally crashing.
However, even if I can't do the recap tonight, I figured you should know...the fait is all accompli. My thirties, my best decade thus far, are over.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We are finally out of the Sick House.
Posted by Mags at 8:10 PM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
No H1N1, just some garden-variety blech.
Posted by Mags at 6:46 PM
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Posted by Mags at 6:50 PM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I would LOVE to tell you about things like MY NEW CAR and how I HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORK next week.
However, that would also involve telling you about how the OG knocked a full beer (mine) onto my laptop, and about how the prognosis for said laptop is iffy at best, and that due to this incredibly expensive mishap, I am sans computer for the time being, and have to share the desktop with The Man, who is most inconveniently "working" when I want to be blogging.
Anyway, it's over at Happy Mac for some CPR. I'm hoping there is life in it yet.
In the meantime, ponder the fact that my clunker has officially been cashed, and that I am now the proud owner of this:
Yes, it's a HYBRID. I am so frackin' thrilled, and promise not to be smug.
What is upsettingly to me, personally, it's also my first non-American car. I feel very bad about this - I was UAW born and bred, and pretty much figured I'd be UAW dead. But, crap, this is a hybrid car that costs well under $20,000...and the dealership is within walking distance of my house!
The Man and I talked about it, and bared our bleeding hearts to each other, and decided to go for it in a moment of quick decision-making. (Well, actually, he had no idea I was doing it, until I called him from the dealership saying "I've got my pen poised above my checkbook; should I buy a car?")
In the end, I figure that this may be our only foreign car we buy. By the time we're in the market for another car, American hybrids will probably have caught up in price and mileage. I bet a Chevy Volt will be in our driveway in five years.
But, I'd be lying if I said I did not l-o-o-o-ve it.
Posted by Mags at 7:09 AM
Thursday, July 30, 2009
- Watching Battlestar Galactica from Netflix. We're almost through Season One. LOVE. I'm actually kind of glad to be watching it this way, as it is so much more gratifying to sit and watch two episodes a night than to have to wait weeks - or whole seasons - in between. (Or, at least it is until some frakkin' geekboy ruins the whole series for me by telling me the ending. Geekboys: Be Warned.)
- Hayao Miyazaki. In the past three days, the girls and I have watched Spirited Away twice, and My Neighbor Totoro once, and Howl's Moving Castle is on hold for me at the library. I am amazed that I've lived this long without seeing these movies, because they are quite incredible, Spirited Away most particularly. It manages to be both highly realistic - with an eye for detail that clearly inspired The Iron Giant, another favorite of mine - and also completely WACK. The story line just takes off, five minutes into the movie, and almost immediately goes absolutely NUTS, and stays there for two, mesmerizing hours. I can only dream of having that kind of creativity. (The kids LOVED it, too, and are begging me to purchase it. I think it may have to happen.)
- William Shatner reading the Palin speeches and Twitters from Conan. Damn, I will always love that man. Ever since I bought Golden Throats back in college - with his versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" - I have thought he was the funniest person alive. He's completely able to be both seriously pompous AND making fun of himself at the same time! He was meta when meta wasn't cool.
- Going to the gym. Five times a week, bitches; 45 minutes of cardio, and 20 minutes of resistance. I can now run a full 10 minutes on the treadmill without having to slow down, and I swam laps for 35 minutes straight - and really only stopped because I realized that I hadn't put on sunscreen (having figured I'd make it 10 minutes tops). I've lost 10 pounds - but, before you get all congratulatory, I'd put on 20, so this is only a market correction. For all this work, I really wish the scale were dipping much lower than this, but, hey, it's a start.
- On the same note, dieting. This is further down on the obsession list, but I'm definitely giving it the old college try. I'm buying soysage and sawdust - erm, I mean "high fiber" - tortillas and bread, and I've pretty much cut out dairy and such. I only wish that the exercising didn't make me so incredibly HUNGRY, because it really makes this part so much harder.
- Stiff by Mary Roach, which is on my bedside table. I am completely fascinated about what happens to our bodies after we die. Oddly enough, it manages to be informative AND hilarious. I highly recommend it, if you have a stomach for such things - although, honestly, she couches things pretty palatably, if you can use a word for such a subject. (For example, she decides at one point that the word "maggot" is too nasty, so she substitutes the word "hacienda" for it.) I love it, although I read with horrible teeming jealousy, because I SO wish I could write that well.
- Improving my poker game. Sadly, I haven't made much progress on this end, because I can't win a game to save my life, but I'd really like to get better. Like SOON, because our annual full-day tournament is coming up in two weeks, and I'm afraid I'm going to SUCK DONKEY.
- The new library branch that just opened up in our hood. Music! Videos! Books on CD! Harry Potter books on CD, which the OG loves, and which cost bajillions of dollars to actually purchase! Reading a book review, and then, on a whim, getting online to reserve it! I'm very happy, and saving considerable jack in the process.
- Organizing my photographs. I have two large boxes of loose photos that date back to when the YG was one, which was - um, FOUR years ago. So far, I've made at least two years of progress, but it is slow going. And, I don't have prints of anything from the past year, so I guess I need to - um, order some? (Actually, answer me this: Do people even ORDER prints anymore, or do we all just look at them online, or on our respective digital devices?)
- Planning for my big 4-0, which is fast approaching. Finances have prevented me from heading to Cancun or Cozumel, so it'll be a party in the A-Tex for me. I really hope we can swing a big, fun one, at the very least.
- Plotting for my iPhone. Oh, I don't have it yet, but I will. Someday, I will. And then...and ONLY then...will I be complete.
Posted by Mags at 7:48 PM
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Posted by Mags at 8:31 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Posted by Mags at 7:17 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009
Posted by Mags at 5:26 PM
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Posted by Mags at 6:45 PM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Not so's you'd notice - given my recent not-postingness - but I'm on a two- to three-week summer blogging hiatus whilst I deal with summer issues.
However, my summer resolution is to actually begin writing again, so look for me back at the end of June and beginning of July.
(Come to think of it, though, that'll be the part of my summer when actually NOTHING will be happening of earth-shattering interest to write ABOUT, so please look forward to a lot of "We went to the pool today. And, um, got a Jim-Jim's Water Ice.")
Posted by Mags at 6:08 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2009
My work is KILLLLING ME. This is the year that WILL NOT END.
Seriously, dudes, I have never worked from home, this much, EVER. We're talking nights and weekends, and through lunch. My wrists ACHE and my thumb is about to FALL the fuck off from typing so much.
And there is SO much pressure this year. Do you know - DO YOU KNOW - that this week, I will be in meetings, literally ALL day long on some days? And that someone is pissed in nearly EVERY single one of them?
Do you know that I had tears in my eyes at three different points in the day, at my workplace, yesterday? And that I thought, very seriously, about sneaking out the window of my office and just driving away, far away, where nobody could find me to bitch at me?
Ah, yes. I see it all clearly now. This is why our parents' generation took those little yellow pills!
Oh, by the way, wine country was awwwwsome. Forgot my g.d. camera, though.
However, this was possibly a blessing, especially on Night One when we arrived, and John the Rogue Wine Pourer from White Oak Vineyard got me (and everybody else) EFFED UP beyond recognition.
It was seriously kind of sad, because the next day, when we were going on our actual wine bus tour, half of us - including Ms. Noxious, the birthday girl - were too hung over to have nearly as much fun as we should have. (I, however, had like Hobbit-style three breakfasts at our B&B, so I was pretty much fine.)
I really can't look at wine again yet, though.
Posted by Mags at 6:43 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Oh, hellz yes, we are headed out for a SPANKIN good time, thanks to a free credit card miles ticket and a golden opportunity to head out to Ms. Noxious's 40th birthday celebration.
Good idea? Not in the slightest. Even on the cheap, it's not gonna be free, and we're broke as all get out. And, in six years on this job, I have never, ever, EVER been this busy.
But there it is. Plane ticket is in my hand. And I believe I have some things to drink about.
Posted by Mags at 7:54 PM
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Fuck yeah! Except!
The slow morph of cool mornings (haw!) into warm (haw haw! Heat index of 102 tomorrow, bitches!) represents the most horrendous time of the year for me, work-wise. I'll attempt to blog here and there, but the next four weeks are going to completely murder me.
I know, I know, it's the breaks for having a job that allows me to take summers off. I'll take it; the reward is worth it. But this month never gets any easier. Sometimes - and this is between you and me, I swear, I'll kill you if you repeat this - I miss teaching...BUT, ONLY because, this time of year, with TAKS over and the kiddos pretty much in free-fall, THEY get to kind of chill and slack a bit. I, on the other hand, work on deadlines...and, my deadline coincides, pretty much, with the end of the school year. And eff me if they don't want everything done, right now, with a tidy bow on it.
Two large manila folders sit beside me, on my cool new aqua couch. I worked on the assignments contained therein last night, and I worked on them until 5:00 today. However, they are still not done, because of the constantly replenishing supply of meetings. And, they were due, um, yesterday, and today.
Am I working on them? Um...well, clearly, no. No, I'm not. I'm too fried. I can't even open them.
Please, somebody, reassure me that deadlines don't mean that someone is actually going to DIE if they don't see my hyperintelligent prose on a piece of paper tomorrow.
Because I'm gonna watch Jon Stewart now. I'm GOING TO WATCH JON STEWART, do you hear me, stupid fat manila folders?
Hey, though, wanna see the spring pictures?
Cute, huh? Sears! And I didn't even kill them too much this time!
Gulp...look at that little one. Not quite so little anymore. In fact, tomorrow is...wait for it...KINDERGARTEN ROUNDUP. I am extremely thrilled - as she is also - but am so frakkin' sad, too. I will miss my chirpy li'l preschool cherub.
Posted by Mags at 7:43 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Scenario one: Easter Sunday
OG (gesturing furtively towards The Man): "Daddy, I need to ask you a question."
TM: "What is it, honey?"
OG: "Is fuck a dirty word?"
TM: "Well, honey, it is a bad word and -"
OG (interrupting, panicked): "OH, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I didn't know! I'm sorry!"
TM: "I'm not mad at you, honey. Relax."
OG: "Oh, um, OK. Um...what does it mean?
TM: "Well, it's - "
OG: "NO, no, don't tell me, I don't want to know!"
TM: "Um, then -"
OG: "No, wait, tell me."
TM: "Well, it's another word for having sex with someone."
OG: "Oh. OK. Thanks." (Runs away.)
Scenario two: This evening
YG (standing in the hallway, after being reprimanded slightly for spilling a bunch of water that I specifically told her not to spill, and redirected instead to brush her teeth):
"This is a BAD DAY. I didn't even have anyone nice at school today. And now you're not nice to me. This is a STUPID day. I HATE this day. I want this day to be OVER. This is the WORST day of my life. Why is this day SO BAD?"
Me: "Some days are like that. Um...would you like to finish your Gatorade before you brush your teeth?"
YG (brightly): "OK!"
Scenario three: Composing Thank-You Notes:
YG (at my prompting to dictate her response):
"Dear Anna. Thank you for the lovely Barbie doll. You are so loving. You made the party a big fairy. That means you are a blast of a friend. Thank you for your lovingness and your good friendness. And I will go to your party and I will bring magic fairy dust to bring out all the love in the land. And the kindness. So, thank you very much. And have a a nice day."
OG (sitting next to us on the couch, slapping her hands over her ears): "AAAAAHH! PLEASE SAVE ME!"
Posted by Mags at 8:06 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
1. The YG is FIVE! Hurray, and ZOMG, when did that happen?
In honor of what is - potentially - the last year of when she'll be, as Karla May put it so succinctly,
"the girliest girl in Girltown," we sprung for a Tinkerbell party at the studio that she takes dance at. (Specifically, it was a "Tinkerbell and the Sparkle Fairies Ballet and High Tea Party.")
She had a fantastic time. I was sad we had to limit the attendance, to tell you the truth, because I honestly think she could have had 20 girls there dancing with her, and she would have been in complete bliss.
2. The aftermath of the party (and, let's face it, far too many years of spoiling).
The YG has now, no fewer than TWENTY-SEVEN Barbie dolls or Barbie-doll impersonators. And, according to her, she loves ALL of them more than ANYTHING in the world, and there is no POSSIBLE way we can winnow any of them down.
3. I got to babysit Simon!
Man, I forgot how much work they are when they are young and unformed. With the bottles, and the diapers, and the burping, and all that? I will opine that there are some distinct advantages to having older children.
HOWEVER, he is undeniably one cute customer.
He was WAY less fussy when Eric came to get him. Figures.
4. Girl Scout Camp! Yes, again!
Yes, I grow weary of it. But, she loves, loves, LOVES it. So, there it is. And, the YG is not far behind, after she starts school this fall. Thus, I grudgingly accept my fate, for the time being
5. Work! I don't have pictures of my work! Because it's suckish and frighteningly busy right now! So there is no time for pictures! Everything is due, and I'm running late on EVERYTHING, and nobody can help me, because they're all in the same boat! And that boat? That boat is taking on water! Quickly!
6. Heading out to the Malcontent Mama's swank trailer in the woods for a real-live Hill Country party yesterday:
Now, is that some Texas right there, I ask you?
The girls had a high old time, running around the creekbed, picking up cool rocks (and bones,) and playing with a variety of well-behaved and appropriately filthy children. The Man and I enjoyed some good conversation, and quite a bit of good beer.
How good a time? Well, I must ask those of you that know me well - how do I, typically, feel about unpaved roads? Like, I'd rather die than take one, right? But, I tell ya, I'm coming around. I - yes, I - was the one doing the encouragement to The Man to come out there! And, I'm planning yet ANOTHER camping trip to our annual swing dance, coming up soon!
I've changed, folks; look at me! I am SO much better able to handle hardships - like, say, being more than five minutes away from an art house movie theater - than I used to be!
Oh, and there were cascarones, too:
My children have never known an Easter without confetti-related egg violence. Texans through and through. (Do other people do these, now?)
Hey, speaking of the jaunt out west, I'm going to put a serious plug in for Opie's Barbecue in Spicewood. I daresay they are putting Cooper's to the test. Have the spicy barbecued ribs and the Tater Tot Casserole. Word.
There's more, but I'm crashing hard. Couldn't be the sugar, or the incredible effort that was expended today while cooking the delicious pork roast with adobo and Sazon or the Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche Buttercream frosting.
Hope your day went well. I'm out.
Posted by Mags at 7:47 PM
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Let me be clear: I HATE the TAKS test.
To be a teacher in Texas is to have to live with the TAKS test, a.k.a. the Sword of Damocles, hanging over your head, once a year. And, when one is a teacher in a poor school in Texas - which I was, for seven years - you are reminded of it, every day, all year long.
Because, of course, in Texas, we believe in the high-stakes testing. The good folks of this state have put their faith in the (*cough* Republican) leaders of our state educational system, and these esteemed ladies and gentleman have assured us that pegging our kiddos' school performance on these measures is OK.
Why? Surely, performance on these measures must provide a good prediction of success in college. What, no? Then, clearly they must be good measures of academic proficiency, then? Yes, OK, that is true, to some degree. However, they also measure several unintended variables: first, it measures one's ability to take multiple-choice tests, or to "game" the system (e.g. to weed out the two stupid answers, to look at the two possible answers, and then to figure out which one of those is the "trick."). The other, secondary skill that it measures is attention, or stamina. Some kiddos, no matter how much they want to do so, just don't sit, and sustain attention, in this dry, silent, LONG, testing session that is the typical format of TAKS.
Now, I KNOW all this. I also know a lot about testing, about criterion vs. standardized testing, about predictive value, and about what Republican assfaces the State Board of Education are. I would never, NEVER, emphasize TAKS as a reason to make - oh, any decisions whatsoever, PARTICULARLY not making it the sole criteria regarding retention in the third or fifth grade. It's stupid to do so, and that's all there is to it.
With background established, the OG took her very first reading TAKS this year, that extremely important third grade year. You know, the OG? The one that was reading chapter books when she was four? The one that topped their reading assessments when she was in the first grade? And, yes, the one that is also extremely hyperactive, and duly medicated as such?
Well, of course, she did pass the damn thing. She only missed four, which is just fine. But, here's the thing: If she'd missed three, she'd have made "commended performance." And...god damn it, out of 78 kids in her grade, she is one of only 13 kids that DID NOT get "commended performance."
So, do you think - given my extensive knowledge of this subject, and personal experience with extremely smart kiddos that were just too spazzy to sit and take this test with anything like full committment - that I would:
a) blow it off, because this is a silly, artificial construct, designed to do nothing more than make parents feel better than other parents, and I know that she's hyper and a ferociously good reader ANYWAY, or:
b) berate her for not trying harder, and make my already anxiety-ridden daughter feel worse about herself after all of her friends have pranced up to her, saying, "I got a 100!" "I got a 100 too!"
You would think I would have naturally gone to the first option, wouldn't you?
Sadly, no. No, I didn't.
The good news is that I didn't actually end up DOING it. I wisely called The Man and Christie, my former reading teacher friend, who both emphatically insisted that I step away from this ledge and swallow all of my bilious ravings before I drive my child (more) insane.
So, I let it go with a couple of questions about what went wrong, if we could do anything to improve her focus next time, that sort of thing. We had a little attitude adjustment session about her already fatalistic attitude towards math, our Next Big Test at the end of the month. And I let. it. go.
Next morning, I run into her teacher at school. First thing out of her mouth: "I can't BELIEVE that the OG didn't get commended performance!"
Posted by Mags at 5:32 PM
Monday, March 23, 2009
- The Decemberists and Gomez at the free show at Pangaea. Fantastic. Worth every bit of the two hours in line to get the pass, and the hour and a half in line to get in. Free ticket, free open bar, GREAT sound and a classy joint to boot, and some of the best music, bar none, that I've ever heard at a South By show. Thanks to Bookhart for being my date!
- Over the Hills and Far Away - the doc on autism that I was raving about down an entry.
- The Chris Gaffney tribute at Continental Club on Thursday night (with Dave Alvin, Ponty Bone, Cindy Cashdollar, Lisa Pankratz, etc.) I'd heard of most of these people, but had no idea how incredible this show would be. Super tight and rocking fabulous.
- The Mighty Stef at Mojo's Mayhem at the Continental Club on Saturday morning. Cyuuute Irish lads with a taste for Americana. Good enough for me to buy a CD, which I NEVER do.
- The Bloody Marys at Mojo's Mayhem at the Continental Club on Saturday morning. Mmmm. They make me feel positively healthy, I tell you.
- Free sushi at Kenichi at the Shurman party. Again, with the mmmm. They make this one thing? That's like a sushi nacho? I think, tuna with a wasabi sauce on a fried wonton chip? Fraaaack. Great band, too. West Texas meets Son Volt.
- The weather. Warm, sunny, awesome, sexy, Austin springtime weather. Men in their western shirts with the sleeves cut off, girls in sundresses and cowboy boots.
- Having my mother in town for a week to watch the girls. Score!!!
- Best Worst Movie at the Paramount. It's about the, supposed, worst movie ever made, Troll 2, and the Rocky Horror-like cult following it has developed. Just delightful.
- Vast vats of cheap, or free, beer. Everywhere. For no damn good reason.
- Pizza from Home Slice.
- Hanging out with several awesome friends, including some I don't get to see often enough. Nice to hang with not only Bookhart, but also Milena.
- Attempting to go to the Dog and Duck for St. Patrick's Day. HORRIFIC crowds, endless lines, hot as shit, twenty minutes in line for a beer. Yeah, no. Won't do that again.
- The absolute shit service we got at Sagra, the newish Italian restaurant around the corner from the Dog and Duck, wherein the lovely Bookhart and I were roundly ignored (!) to the point that both she and I - she being the most genteel person that I know, BTW - agreed that we actually had to get up and WALK OUT. (History: I NEVER do that.) My parting shot? "This? Is JUST NOT WORKING OUT." Hmph! I am so boss sometimes! However, happy ending in the way of the Clay Pit, spicy Tikka Masala, and cherry-pistachio naan, served with a cold beer by a flirty and attentive waiter who loved us. So, kiss my butt, Sagra.
- Missing way too many movies. Didn't see Humpday, Winnebago Man, The Way We Get By, I Love You Man, Observe and Report, Trimpin, Objectified, or the actual Troll 2. I hear I screwed up totally by not seeing these.
- The nearly all-day hangover I had on Friday.
- Missing not only Mick, but also St. Murse, completely, during the whole GD week. Mick was ill; the Murse was a buzzing bee of activity.
- Almost completely ignoring the mountain of work that I brought home to do. (Oh, wait, that was actually awesome, the incredible suckage of today not withstanding. Fuck, who works on vacation, anyway?)
- Where my money was? Is empty now.
- Haven't gotten on the scale yet.
Posted by Mags at 7:47 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hey, hi there, you SXSW-types! Welcome to Austin!
Please spend a lot of money here; while the economy here isn't as bad as most other places, we could still use it. We have incredibly fine and cheap Mexican food, and most of us are happy to point out the local favorites. (I, myself, had to have a come-to-Jesus conversation with some young French psychedelic country musicians the other night, who were extolling the virtues of the fabulous Mexican dinner they had just had at...BABY ACAPULCO'S. "Friends from across the pond," says I, "please let me direct you to Juan in a Million. And Taqueria Arandas. Joe's Bakery, Cisco's, and even Nuevo Leon. And that's just for breakfast.")
However, there are some ground rules, which I, over the course of the past few days of gadding about the film festival, have seen broken. So, let's have a brief rundown, mmkay?
1. You there. Yeah, you, with the hip eyewear and the pegged black jeans? No, not you, the other guy. NO, behind him. Yes, YOU.
OK, you see that cigarette? The one that you were smoking right in front of me in line, and that I was gracious enough to not even shoot you a dirty look about? Which you then THREW ON THE GROUND, still lit?
We don't do that here. That is littering, Bryton or Braden or Aidan or whatever your name is. Did you not hear that you are not supposed to mess with Texas? And methinks it will not help you get lucky from hip little Austin girls that you are tweeting or twitting. (Twatting?) So pick up your damn butt and we will all have a much better time.
2. When one is in a crowded movie theater, and one decides to eat a Five Guys hamburger, it everyone around you smell nothing but onions for two hours. And it is incredibly distracting, even from a completely OUTSTANDING documentary about a local family's journey to, literally, outer Mongolia, in search of a cure for their autistic son. Run, don't walk, to see this, especially if autism has touched you in any way. Magnificent and goose-bump inducing.
But still, about the onions. Really, try to hold off until afterward.
3. You really should have a cheeseburger at Casino El Camino. I just had one, for the first time, even though that club's been around for like 10 years. Frig, it was fantastic. I recommend the blue cheese with buffalo sauce.
Great vibe, too. It is undeniably the kind of place I would have hung out at in college. Edgy but still friendly, decent beer on tap, and hand-cut french fries. Nice.
4. If one puts forth even a modicum of effort, one can drink for free every single day of SXSW, and can see some completely kickass music without dropping a dime. Just a tip. A visit over to Bob Noxious's site, or the Austinist, or Done Waiting, will probably get you started.
5. Go see some films while you're in town. If you come to Austin without a visit to an Alamo Drafthouse, you are missing a huge part of the experience. There is a reason that Entertainment Weekly named it the best movie theater in the country; trust me on this. And, when better than South By, when all the Drafthouses are full of some super-good docs that you may never get to see again?
Yeah, yeah, there are features, too. Honestly, they are rarely that good. I share Mick's philosophy that if a feature film is worth it, it will make it to wide release, but the docs almost never do. Seriously, some of the best docs ever were premiered here...like "Spellbound," "Crawford," and "Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns," just to name a few off the top of my head.
And, that brings me to:
6. Your texting, while you are sitting next to me, in movies, is nearly as distracting as you talking on your cell phone. STOP IT. Play with your iPhone when you get out. You are not that important, and nobody NEEDS to know exactly where you are for the next hour and a half.
Now, back off to downtown. My mother, happily, is caretaking for the children this week, effectively giving me license to throw down hard. (I got into the free Decemberists show tonight at Pangaea, one of the rare clubs in Austin that have a dress code and a velvet rope. I am intimidated. But, as there is also an open - FREE - bar, I feel relatively assured I can mitigate this anxiety forthwith.)
I will check in later with more rules as they occur to me.
Posted by Mags at 11:22 AM
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Do you know who came to Austin, last night, on their tour? DO YOU?
Ohmigaw, I got to see THE ORIGINAL MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 CREW - well, most of them, anyway - LIVE, ON STAGE, making fun of a movie! For reals!
Actually, they aren't calling themselves MST3K anymore. Some of them split off into separate factions; this part of the group, which is the majority of the original players, is called Cinematic Titanic. And, if last night was any indication, I'll be buying, like, all of their DVDs, because they were freaking THE BEST THING EVER since the original show went off the air.
First off, there was a brief warmup by Dave "Gruber" Allan, whom the awesomest among you will remember as Lindsay's long-haired teacher from Freaks and Geeks. (A lot of those guys were on that show, too...I know Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu were, at least. I'm presuming they are all tight.) He was HYSTERICAL.
Then, the guys (and Mary Jo Pehl, who is an Austinite) came out, and riffed on this godawful movie from the poster above, The Dynamite Brothers.
And, oh, lordy, what a bad movie it was. Near as I can figure, this movie, uncertain if it wanted to be kung fu or blaxploitation, ultimately just threw up its hands and said "Fuck it, let's just make this thing about extended shots of guys running down hills." (As Trace said at one point, "I'll bet the cutting room floor was as clean as a whistle.") I have not laughed so hard in months, MONTHS, I tell you.
It was a fabulous time, even though it was nearly derailed by a violent onset of something I shall delicately refer to as the "stomach flu," a.k.a. "the reason I was tearfully standing in the Congress Avenue CVS store twenty minutes before showtime begging to be led to the Imodium*."
Now, off to bed. I'm still wicked tired and weak from whatever-the-hell-this-was, but am actually a little glad to have some desire to sleep on this, the "spring-forward" Sunday night, on which I'm usually up 'til like 1 AM.
Happy early-late sleeping to everyone, and may you not be completely foul grouchy bastards this week. (However, in my experience, it's probably best to expect that everybody ELSE at your workplace will be a completely foul grouchy bastard this week.)
*And, on that subject, mad props to Imodium, y'all. That is some wondrous medication right there. I have no idea how it works - though I imagine all sorts of weird visuals in my head, like tiny little microscopic elves erecting barriers with poured concrete, singing "Hi Ho" - but I'm just glad it did.
Posted by Mags at 8:02 PM
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Hello, blog. I'm so sorry I've neglected you.
I do still have feelings for you I really do. But, I have to admit, you are not as sexy as you once were. You're...kind of...bulky. And high-maintenance.
At least compared to - well, YOU know.
That other site; the one that lets you just type a sentence, and feel like you've connected with a hundred or more of your friends with one fell swoop. Hell, it won't even let you type much more than two short sentences; it practically ENCOURAGES slacking. It - well, it's not as demanding. It just lets me be myself, lets me do my own thing, you know?
No, baby, it's not like that. I'm not abandoning you. We're committed, you and I. And I don't walk away from these things lightly. But, I gotta admit, I've strayed, and I've strayed hard.
What's a girl to do, to put the spark back into my relationship with my blog? I guess I need to try a little harder, communicate a little more. Give it some attention. Put on my figurative writing negligee and get in bed with it with gusto.
Tomorrow night. Because, you know, long day. I'm tired. Kiss kiss!
Posted by Mags at 6:39 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
The OG turned nine, everybody!
So, this weekend, we had our very first slumber party, because I'm a cheap bastard and didn't want to take everyone to Main Event or Austin Park and Pizza or whatever else the hell is the going rate of cool for the third-grade set.
It was, I hear, a smashing success. It was loosely "Harry Potter" themed, so I put my extremely creatively challenged mind to the task of making up a few games. Um...let's see...oh, we made "butterbeer" with fizzy water and butterscotch syrup (mine came from a special bottle with a pressurized cork, because, well, I didn't want to drink all THEIR awesomeness). We made "potions" with Kool-Aid, and "cauldron cakes" with cupcakes AND whipped cream AND frosting AND sprinkles, and "magic wands" (pretzels dipped in chocolate).
For some reason, they were hyper after that, and so we had a dance party, in which I was told that the song "Pocketful of Sunshine" is the BEST SONG EVER; I countered that with Brave Combo's version of "Hokey Pokey." HA. Take THAT, nine-year-olds.
We played "Find the Sorcerer's Stone," where they found garden rocks I'd hidden in the living room. (Lee opined that, if we get any poorer, that's what we'll have to do for Easter. "Go on, kids, find all the rocks!") And, we played violent, monstrously competitive games of Twister that went on and ON and ON. Children are very bendy creatures, as it turns out.
Eventually, they chilled and watched a movie. I'd hoped for quiet time after that, but there was a brief interlude in which they all ran outside at 11:00 to jump on the trampoline with their glowsticks. (I had to intervene, but it WAS actually pretty cool.) Eventually, they crashed, and, between, oh, 12:30 and 6:30, there was actual sleeping going on. Very bright and early Sunday morning, we were up again, for the chocolate chip pancakes.
Man, I am really glad she had an awesome time, because I am NOT doing that again. It's two days later, and I am still completely wasted tired. I was barely able to raise my head during the Academy Awards, which is one of the most sacred evenings of the year for me. (So sad this year that all I saw was "Slumdog" and "The Dark Knight," and almost nothing else that wasn't animated. But, I thought the show was great. Hugh Jackman? Consider yourself on my list.)
I hate that the OG looks so pretty and so grown up in the picture (self-portrait, natch) at the top of this post.
P.S. OH...and, she won a first place ribbon at the Regional Science Fair! Woohoo! (It's "a" first place ribbon, not "the" first place ribbon - in that there were some with first place ribbons, some with second place ribbons, and some without any. But, nonetheless, there is a damn blue ribbon on her project, and she is BESIDE herself with joy.)
Posted by Mags at 7:24 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
If one needs a sweet bebeh fix, one should go no further than over to Christie and Eric's new blog,
Sigh. I remember the days when I documented every smile. Now, they're all elbows and bony legs and pants getting to be high-waters after no time at all.
(Admittedly, the fact that they no longer poop in their pants is a plus, but still.)
Posted by Mags at 7:21 PM
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's time once again for the Mags Obsession List - Winter! 2009!!! Top Ten Edition!
1. My 12" cast-iron skillet. Laws, I don't know how I ever cooked without one, EVER. I will NEVER go back to crappy scratchy Alzheimers-inducing non-stick ever again for anything except eggs.
I have seasoned it just so, and never even looked at it with a bottle 0f dish soap in my hand, just as the online cast-iron fanatics have instructed me. (And, as it turns out, there are many cast-iron fanatics online. MANY.)
It's funny, though; the cast-iron skillet was always my dad's favorite cooking utensil, but they always sort of grossed me out due the non-soap issue. And, he was a damn good breakfast cook, so I probably should have listened to him. But, no, it took me until I was nearly forty years old to go get one of my own. Foolish rebellion of youth! (shakes fist)
Now, though, I think of my dad almost every day, whilst I'm lovingly scraping and salting and seasoning my beloved pan after the evening meal. (Tonight was tortilla soup...in the skillet, diced onions and garlic, and then boneless/skinless chicken breasts in olive oil with sea salt and cumin, all chopped up and thrown into last week's chicken broth with some Chili-Spiced Rotels and leftover tortilla chips. It was a total "freezer-diving" and leftover-salvaging crapshoot, but damn if it didn't turn out super fantastico with a twist of lime and some cheddar cheese.)
2. Robert Sinskey Merlot. I had waay too much of this the other night, because we were at a FREE! Steak dinner! At a schmantsy new steakhouse at The Domain! Because my husband is a total media whore! Whee!
It was goo-ood. Supple, velvety, drinkable to the point of lunacy. The Man got me a bottle for Valentine's Day, too. Good man!
3. Serial dramas. Lost, Big Love, and probably now Dollhouse, I am your bitch.
4. University of Missouri basketball. Number 11? Really? Probably won't last, but it's the cue for a fair-weather fan like me to crawl out of the woodwork waving my battered black-and-gold pom-poms.
5. Nostalgia. Facebook is wrecking my life, because I am now actually missing people that I never thought I'd ever hear from ever again.
I am actually checking - fairly regularly - a group made up of people who used to hang out at the crappy wanna-be punk bar I used to hang out at in college. If you had asked me a year ago if I'd ever want to step back into that shitty, drippy, smelly hole, I would have recoiled in horror.
Now, though? I'd throw down a watery Long Island Iced Tea in a plastic cup, briefly make out with some guy, and then stagger out on the dance floor as soon as I hear the opening strains of "Bela Lugosi's Dead," in a hot second.
6. Wonkette and Daily Beast. These have become my go-to websites at work. The earnest nature of my job requires me to imbibe in at least thrice-daily injections of erudite snark (Wonkette) and just plain entertaining Facts That I Need to Know (Daily Beast).
7. Austin's Single-Stream Recycling. Man, do you know that we, in Austin, just get to throw everything, EVERYTHING, that I want to recycle - glass, aluminum, pressed paperboard, PLASTIC TUBS, what have you - into one big, ginormous trash can? No sorting, no bagging, NOTHING, but tossing it into the can?
I am so in love with this service that I am recycling every freaking thing I can get my hands on. I'm seriously bringing my Lean Cuisine trays and boxes home from work every day.
This is a good town sometimes, you know?
8. Tiki Cat cat food (found at Bark-n-Purr). This is some SERIOUSLY fishy stuff, folks. It's like little chunks of whole sushi for my cats, and they loooove it.
I'd love to give it to them regularly, but it is some hella pricey cat food, you know?
9. Brussels Sprouts. Steamed if I'm dieting; roasted with oil, garlic, and kosher salt if I'm not.
I think that brussels sprouts are the new asparagus.
10. Cinematic Titanic. The original Mystery Science Theater guys - or several of them, anyway - are touring LIVE...and we have tickets to see them in Austin in March! I squealed like a punctured geek girl when I heard they were coming. (We couldn't afford the good seats, but, hey, it's the Paramount, it's not all THAT big.)
Finally, my chance to run away with Joel Hodgson! Don't tell Lee...
Posted by Mags at 6:20 PM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Actually, it has worked very well up 'til now, but I cannot keep a GD wireless signal for more than two minutes at a stretch, and it is PISSING ME OFF to the point that I am, at the very least, not capable of posting to my neglected blog, and, at worst, going to THROW THIS laptop through the screen of my crappy old tube TV.
Talk amongst yourselves. Oh, and you should watch these five minutes of Colbert from the other night, which made me laugh far harder than anything else has this week.
Posted by Mags at 8:59 PM
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Hey, hi! Sorry to leave you staring at my dream reverie posting, as I'm fairly certain that hearing about other people's dreams falls somewhere on the "looking at other people's vacation slides" boring scale.
(And, how old am I, that I even know what "vacation slides" are? Man, we have so many of those damn things back in Kansas City. I should probably have them all transferred to DVD for my mom's birthday.)
Not much to relate here. I recovered from the Evil Virus of 2009, or nearly so; just a little lingering cough/sore throat and a bit of residual goo left. Those of you with kids, beware; I know it is hitting the schools hard.
We had a fun time at the Noxious's Super Bowl party, as always. I made green chile sour cream enchiladas to represent the Arizona team. I generally do these fabulously when I make the enchilada sauce from scratch (or at least from whole canned Hatch chiles,) but the size of the order forced me to rely partially on canned enchilada sauce. So, while very tasty, they weren't quite as perfect as usual.
To represent the Pittsburgh team, Cristen and I combined to create the famous Primanti Brothers sandwich...the hot deli sandwich with the french fries and the cole slaw on top. Being as we've neither one ever had this sandwich, I think we did a pretty good job. Cristen heated up pastrami, cheese, and proscuitto, and layered it all on Italian bread. We topped it with this slaw I made and waffle-cut french fries, and I must say, it is probably a good thing I did not know about this sandwich up until now, because I would otherwise be roughly the size of my house by now.
Oh, my gaw, though, this coleslaw I made? I looked it up on line, 'cause it was supposed to be close to the Primanti Brothers recipe...not a mayonnaise-based slaw, but a vinegar slaw? Was HEAVEN. And I don't particularly like coleslaw of any kind! I just finished the last of it, and it represents, by far, the largest amount of coleslaw that I have ever voluntarily eaten, ever...probably combined. Yum yum yum. Who knew that all it would take to make raw cabbage palatable to me was a full cup of sugar and some organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar?
(Along those lines, I must make a note to myself to put organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar into every recipe I make from now on, ever. NOW I understand why six dollars for a bottle of friggin' vinegar. I kind of wish I didn't know. Gawd, I could go drink it right now.)
OH...it's not really my news to share, but I'm so excited...my friends Christie and Eric adopted a baby! A baby boy...whose name I shall not reveal here BUT which was my second all-time (unused, obviously) favorite baby boy name of all time AND is that of my most beloved celebrity crush 4-EVAH. I am so delighted for them that I just want to burst. They are going to be - they ARE - the best parents ever. Yah!!!
Spending too much time on Facebook.
Was doing really really well on the exercise until I got sick, and now am slowly getting back on the horse (or the crosstrainer, if you will). I feel stronger, am smaller (according to my clothes and my husband and my measurements,) but still weigh the goddamn same.
Thinking about my kids' upcoming birthdays, and not thinking I want to really do very much for them. Wondering if that makes me the worst mother in the world.
Falling behind on Lost. Seriously looking forward to Dollhouse, the latest Joss Whedon development, which starts next Friday night.
Wishing Bookhart and Badger had never brought up fresh-baked sourdough bread, because that is the LAST thing I need, and yet ALL I can think about lately.
Still haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Benjamin Button, or damn near anything that isn't animated, at the theater. Finally saw (and loved) Tropic Thunder. Am going to watch Hamlet 2 THIS WEEKEND, damn it. Kind of am in love with Steve Coogan.
Currently? Watching the UT/MU basketball game with The Man and a very cuddly Iris. Feeling rather glum regarding all sports involving my team and UT. (In my best Cartman voice, I hate those guys. Seriously.)
Es todo. Y tu?
Posted by Mags at 6:57 PM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
One of the recurring dreams I'm having lately is about houses.
It's always my house in the dream, but it's not my ACTUAL house, which is smallish, rather nondescript and single-story. When I dream this dream, I have sold my current house and have moved into this other place. I seem to usually be taking someone on a tour of my new house.
The details of this house vary, but it seems that it is either multi-leveled or with multiple, curving hallways. On this tour that I'm giving, it is occurring to me that I have perhaps made a serious mistake in selling my (real) house to purchase this new place. It's clearly bigger, and I seem to be trying to talk myself into believing that the floor space alone was a good reason to buy it. And, a few of the rooms seem OK; brightly lit, with decent furniture.
But, as I'm touring the place with this person, I am suddenly very aware that there are places where the paint is peeling, and there are boards showing through the drywall. There's been water damage, and the floorboards are spongy and smell of mold.
In one incarnation of the dream, I go down to the basement, and there are rooms down there that someone left without emptying, with, like, old beer cans and cigarette butts and dirty laundry that have sat there for years, untouched. In another version, I am walking down one of the twisty hallways, thinking, "Geez, who thought up this floor plan? I don't think I even know where this one GOES!" And, when I get to the end, it's another of these shabby, shitty rooms.
The rooms aren't scary, exactly, but they are very - um, unsettling. It's not like there's a murderer or a dead body in them...it's more like I get this sinking feeling when I open the door, like, "Oh, crap, that room needs a LOT of cleaning up." I always kind of start to pick up a few things, and then it's just too much for me, and I leave the room. And that's about it.
I'm sure this is all very fraught with symbolism. Anyone do dream analysis? I'm sure it's something along the lines of the house being a symbol for the self, and that I'm probably need to cleanse my psyche of all my buried, inner trauma.
I really think I just need to clean my house, though.
The other dream I keep having is of kissing people I know. Co-workers, acquaintances, old friends, current friends. There does not seem to be a correlation between whom I kiss and who (in the real world) that I actually find attractive. It's not really passionate kissing, either, and it doesn't lead to anything sexual. (And, oddly, I'm never cheating on Lee, as it's either just fine with him, or it's like before I met him.) It's just kissing that flummoxes me, even in my dream. I've even kissed girls in my dreams, and I'm super-boringly straight in real life.
It really doesn't pain me, I suppose, but I always feel somewhat guilty in the morning, not to mention a little weird the next time I see that person. (Last night's was a poker person. And no, I won't tell you who.)
Help me, doc! Am I a dream lip-slut?
And ZOMG, oh no she did NOT say that!
(As found over at Teetering Between, an awesome blog I need to add to my roll to the right.)
Posted by Mags at 6:59 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
You REALLY haven't seen the Star Wars Trilogy?
Could you do better than this?
The Star Wars Trilogy (As Retold by Someone Who Hasn't Seen It)
Thanks, Arky Trish! You know me well. (Should, though, what's it been, like 30 years or something absurd like that?)
Posted by Mags at 5:09 PM
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tomorrow, the work begins.
I am suddenly struck by the enormity of the task ahead of us, and of the impossibly high expectations that BHO faces. As the great philosopher Daniel Ash once said, when you're down, it's a long way up. And, of course, when you're up, it's a long way down.
I'm terrified for his safety, and may be holding my breath and crossing my fingers - and desperately hoping that his security detail is made up of hundreds of individual Batmans on Adderall - for the next four years.
Tonight, though, I crack the pinot noir, and toast my new president, and my beautiful first lady. (And, Jill Biden? Wearing that red dress with the Eff Me Boots? You kick ass!)
Your steady snark drip returns tomorrow. Peace out.
Posted by Mags at 6:48 PM