Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Obsession List

Hey! It's time for the annual Summer Obsession List! I'd have gotten to it sooner, except for the first item on the list:

  • 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.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part of My World

Tomorrow is, also, the stage debut of the YG. She is playing Ariel at "Little Mermaid Camp" for teeny chillun. I am super-proud of her, and she is very excited to get to show her little prima-donna self to the world.

(And, though I am very happy for her, I did have to roll my eyes a bit when she got the part. Before class the first day, she was all "I want to play Ariel!" and I'm all "Well, sweetie, ALL the little girls want to play Ariel, you may not get it, they may want someone else or an older girl," yadda yadda yadda. You know, the steeling of your child for the harsh realities of the world, that thing we do. Then, that day, after camp, I picked her up, and she waltzes out and shouts "I got Ariel!" Like, there was no question in her mind, why the hell was there any in yours?

In any case, tonight, I pulled out the video camera to make sure it was charged up for the big play. I realized that the hard drive on it is pretty much full, and I needed to transfer some of it off to DVD so that I could be sure to have enough time left to film the play tomorrow. (Oh, sure, you people with all your technical knowledge can digitize all your movies. I'm not TOTALLY there yet. I could be, but I haven't had time to learn. So, at the moment, I'm just rerecording them via my DVD recorder.)

So, for the past hour, I've been watching a lot of old movies from the past three years, and melting a little bit with every passing second due to the images of my children being so young. Absolutely CRUSHING, I tell you.

Anyway, the beginning portion of the tape has a lot of the YG as a two- to three-year-old child. And - I exaggerate NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY - about HALF of the footage of her involves her either singing the Ariel song, or playing with her Ariel dolls, or making up songs ABOUT Ariel.

Eh; I think she's right. I'll step out of her limelight. She was born to do it.
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Oh, dudes, the OG gets back from camp tomorrow. I'm so ready to see her, I just cannot tell you. I was so excited that I pre-bought tickets to see Harry Potter at the Alamo Drafthouse tomorrow. They're serving butterbeer and pumpkin pasties! We are SO geeking out. Can. Not. Wait.

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Speaking of geeking out, The Man and I are getting into Battlestar Galactica. We watched the mini-series, and are now about eight episodes into the first season. It's some good sci-fi, man. And it is TOTALLY the way to go to watch it on DVD. It really helps to watch them in rapid succession.

I am, however, a little alarmed at how hot he is for that damn Cylon.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Status:

Sunday evening.


Pondering a semi-large work-related decision. (Not changing jobs, just possibly worksites.) There are pros and cons, as is the way of such things. To change would involve working closer to home and potentially saving money on after-school care; to stay would include me keeping my SWEET office with a whole wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that I've occupied for the past year.

Going to work this week, but should not be too stressful. Summer work is calmer. Not as much breathing down of the neck. Thinking about using the money I earn to get an iPhone.

No wine tonight - dieting again, GD it all - but a quiet house is nearly as intoxicating. The OG has gone to Girl Scout camp again, and the YG has uncharacteristically agreed to bedtime this evening without a fight. It's only The Man and I, and we are slumped into a silent stupor on the sofa.

(Oh, and on the subject of the OG: How, WHY is it that she can drive me bat guano crazy for days on end during the summer, but when she leaves for camp, I miss her HORRIBLY and cannot WAIT for her to come back? Sadly, I'm sure what's going to happen is that I'll be so completely excited to see her on Friday when she gets back, and then we'll be in a fight in like the first five minutes.

Just got through with the first four episodes of Battlestar Galactica from Netflix. I am enjoying it so far, I must say. It's Star Trek mixed with Lost, with a bit of a Joss Whedon sensibility to it. (Reminiscent of Firefly, of course, but without quite as much whacked-out syntax.) I am highly amused at the phones with cords, and the dot-matrix printers, and the odd hexagonal shapes of all their paper. In any case, I'm still interested, and that's saying something these days.

Saw The Hangover last night on a real date night with The Man. It was very funny. Zach Galifinakis is one of the awesomest comedians on the planet. I need to sit down and watch all of his specials, like, right now. And, I dearly love Ed Helms, and am glad to see he can handle a big leading role in a movie. Afterwards we went to this place, which is a fairly new and happenin' little place Karla May showed us to downtown that specializes in "old cocktails," like Harvey Wallbangers and the like. (I like the "Bees Knees," which involves Tanqueray, lemon juice, and honey.)

And...oh, yes, I am MELTING. Because it is ONE HUNDRED AND EFFING SIX DEGREES out there every day this week. (I like the heat, man, but this is kinda sick. It's like living in a kiln.)



Friday, July 10, 2009

Do you wanna watch my vacation slides?

Another one from Silver Dollar City:


This coffin has been there since I was a kid. It's right outside of "Grandfather's Mansion," an old-school tilty house. (As a side note, I can apparently no longer go into a tilty house. Perhaps the Meniere's Disease has taken its toll on my central nervous system, but I was sick for HOURS afterwards.)

You know, as far as amusement parks go, SDC is one of the best. Though it has most of the ride conventions of your generic Six Flags - e.g. roller coasters, water rides, "kiddie areas," et al. - it also has actual hills and trees, and some semblance of Ozark-y culture, such as the peanut brittle making pictured in the last post. (Oh, and BY FAR the best amusement park food you will EVER have. Like, real pies, and big huge wok pans filled with sweet potatoes and sausage, or fresh green beans, corn, and grilled chicken.

And the rides - especially the new ones - are, in fact, pretty high quality. The old ones touch my nostalgic heart, but they're pretty cheesy animatronic stuff, truth be told. However, the OG and I were absolutely terrified - and I am not one to be easily swayed by rides, mind you - by one of the new rides, which is nothing more than a ginormous barn swing. THAT GOES ONE HUNDRED FEET IN THE AIR and OH MY GOD do not EVER look straight down at the ground from that height as you are hurtling towards it.

Anyways, though you may have an impression of Branson as the Fat White Redneck Vegas - and you would not be entirely wrong - there are many reasons to stop in. I highly recommend spending a day at Silver Dollar City, eating at a little old diner in town (as opposed to "on the strip,") and going to this particular waterslide, which has been in business 34 years. Strange; I actually remember the year that it opened.


Once again, kickin' it la escuela vieja. Cut into the side of the hill, and you slide down on mats. Again, hasn't changed one iota, but it's still pretty damn fun, and you don't get waterslide wedgies.

There's The Man, looking hunkalicious at the end of the slide. I must have misplaced the photo of me in my bathing suit.

After SDC, we went back to Fayetteville, where The Man covered a track meet, and I went with the girls and Trish and her boys to another of the kick-a sculpture parks.


I swear, I TRY to get her to pose normal.

After Fayetteville, we drove to Kansas City. Here's a shot from the SECOND amusement park of the trip, Worlds of Fun:


...and a snap of tiny baby Sara, the newest addition to the kid cadre of my closest friends:


Connie and Brian and The Man and I took an overnight trip to Columbia, MO, home of our alma mater. Here's Connie in the bizarro (but nice) northwestern-themed hotel we stayed at:


This is the front of the house Connie and I lived in in 1990:
Does it look nice? Well, it was abjectly NOT; it was disgusting. The carpet was so horrifically, monumentally filthy (deep down filthy, not not-vacuumed filthy) that if you spilled water on it and tried to dry it up, the towel would turn BROWN. And there was a basement of epic freaky proportions; it had tiny, dark, unlit portions behind doors that locked from the INSIDE. And I'm not even going into the wolf spiders.

Aaah, but I loved it. I miss college.

After seeing many awesome old friends - Trish, Erin, Connie, Anita, and even Tom and Sue Savage - and my mother and sister and extended family for a week, we headed back to Austin, and shortly thereafter took our now-annual trip to Port Aransas.


See? I didn't JUST drink, I did occasionally make contact with my children. With a drink.

This is my Big Head picture (for Karla) on the dolphin cruise out into the Gulf:


Because one should always wear a tiara; even while swimming:


Or just walking around the house:


A'ight? We square? We caught up now?




Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hey! Hi! I have a blog!

Oh, god, I HATE dieting.

HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT.

Oh, for the days when I could just give up beer and desserts for three weeks and lose twenty pounds.

And, for that body I used to have - you know, that body I used to have when I thought I was fat? That body? I feel as though I would literally kill for it. (Well, maybe not a person, but...um, at least a goldfish. An old goldfish. That was depressed.)

Hey, everyone, I'm back. Re-blogging commenced. Sorry I'm depressed and fat.

It's been a busy summer so far. The Reader's Digest version: Right after school got out, we drove to Fayetteville, AR, for a lovely visit with Trish and Mike, and their two beautiful boys.

Here's the YG and the OG in a pretty Fayetteville park with a super-cool outside sculpture/playscape fixture:



We swung in to swingin' Branson, Missouri for a two-night stay at a hotel with! A waterpark! Right in the hotel! (And, we went to Silver Dollar City, wherein my children were finally met with the penance promised them after the twelve-hour car ride:)


Oh, sure, you laugh at us, in Branson, with you all off on your Paris or London jaunts. But did YOU get hand-made peanut brittle?

I didn't think so.

Tomorrow: Kansas City! And Port Aransas!

Glad to be back, everyone. I've missed this. Forgotten how therapeutic it is. I'd actually go on more this evening, but we're FINALLY FINALLY getting to watch Battlestar Galactica from Netflix, (starting with the mini-series; I've missed it all) and if I don't watch it now, my window is closed.

Must go get my geek on now...