Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm a little down this evening.

The kids just got back from their five-day sojourn to Katy, TX (with a day at the beach in Galveston and another at Moody Gardens) with the in-laws. And - I was missing them SO terribly, and was so wanting them to hurry and get back...but, sadly, their return was marred by less-than-glowing reports of the OG's behavior.

Seems the arguing and the sibling rivalry was on in full force, making the weekend difficult for all involved. So, instead of welcoming them back with open arms, I was instead reading her the riot act and rubbing her face in the error of her ways.

I know I should expect this by now, but I was hoping, this time, that she could pull it off. She's come SO FAR at home with us. Seriously, nowadays, at our house, the percentage ratio of which child we want to kill more on any given day is about 60/40, with the "sweet" and "darling" YG on the top.

This has to get better, right? She'll be able to leave my house someday, won't she?

Monday, June 23, 2008

High School?

blog readability test

TV Reviews

Ah, man, this sucks, dude! No, rilly, I'm totally sirrious!

Oh, and The Man's blog, which is about BEER, gets "Graduate School?"

Puh-shaaaw! As iiiff!

I am, like, so gonna go BARF. And call my BFF.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hey, do you wanna watch my vacation slides?

Holy cats, did we have a nice time in San Antone this weekend!

My very dear in-laws agreed to take the children so that we could celebrate our tenth in the style befitting. So, quite some time ago, actually, I bought two tickets to see "Spamalot" at the Majestic Theater, and made reservations for a hotel on the riverwalk that we had always seen and admired, the Omni La Mansion del Rio.

Now, La Mansion is a very nice, three to four-star hotel hotel. It was built in the 1850's, and has really pretty wrought ironwork and big wood beams, French doors in all the rooms, that sort of thing. But, while it's definitely nicer than the Super 8's we typically stay at, compared to some of the other properties in the seriously turista environment that is the San Antonio Riverwalk, I don't think it's very high on the fancy scale.

However, we were definitely excited to stay there; I like hotels, particularly nice ones, and The, likes hotels when we aren't there with the kids, nawhutI'msayin'. But, we talked, and agreed that we just couldn't justify shelling out $50 more per night for a riverview room, so we just decided to go for the basic room with a king-sized bed and probably a view of a brick wall from the building across the way.

When I made our reservations online, I noted on the "comments" part that we were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. I figured that, hell, it's a classy joint, and maybe if the hotel wasn't fully booked, they'd throw us a bone and upgrade our rooms a bit.

So, about a week ago, I got an e-mail from a guy at the hotel, wishing us a happy anniversary, and wondering if we might like a complimentary upgrade...not at La Mansion, but at their sister property across the river, the Omni Watermark?

Now, in my perusals of where to stay, I had definitely checked this place out. However, it is a world-class, FIVE star hotel, and the rooms were WAY more, so I discounted that possibility completely. Needless to say, I said hell to the yes...though, still disappointed that we weren't going to get a river view room.

But, when we got there - after the valet quickly and discreetly whisked our car away to an undisclosed location - the nice man at the front desk greeted us by name, wished us a happy anniversary, and brought us champagne with raspberries. And, waiting for us upstairs, was another, complimentary, iced bottle of champagne...and, lo and behold, they did give us a river view room! With a ginormous sex jacuzzi tub, and a big comfy sex bed, and white fluffy sex robes with slippers...oh, dear readers, it was one little slice o'heaven. AND MY CHILDREN WEREN'T THERE.

We discovered quickly that one feels tempted to indulge in the habits of the rich when one is pretending to be rich, so we ordered their in-room breakfast on Saturday morning. (And, um, on Sunday morning, too.)

I must take this time to state that it is delightful...DELIGHTFUL, I have a lovely hot breakfast brought to you at the time you specify, so that you can sit around and eat at your leisure, in your fluffy white sex robes, while drinking steaming mugs of expensive dark-roast coffee and reading the paper that was also brought to you, desired but unbidden, in a linen newspaper tote bag (so as not to be all ugly and newspaper-y, apparently).

I highly recommend the Watermark, if one can afford it, or if one randomly wins the charity lottery, as I did. It is lovely, classy, and romantic. The rooms are coolly modern, yet the hotel itself is in an old, interesting building. There is a whole host of spa services available (of which we did not partake; we are not financially DELUDED, after all). The whole organization is polished and well-run, and the service was unparalleled. Big thumbs up.

(Disclaimer: I will admit that it's likely that I'm just too used to the cheaper side of things, and that others might not consider it THAT nice of a hotel. However, as I don't really get out much, it passes for opulence in my world...and will have to do for now.)

Outside of the hotel, we ate a bunch, and did some good touristy things, many upon the recommendation of Shannon, our good friend (and Mizzou alum) who grew up there, and is currently married to this guy. Friday night we ate at Boudro's, which is a famous restaurant on the Riverwalk. It was...pretty good, but kind of not as good as the hype suggested it should be. Incredible black bean and white cheese soup, though, and really good prickly pear margaritas.

Saturday, we went to the San Antonio Museum of Art. It's very nice; better than anything we have in Austin, really. (And, it fit The Man's Beer Tourism ethos, as it is in the old Lone Star Brewery building.) We didn't make it even half the way through it before hunger got the best of us. Shannon recommended Liberty Bar...which is this place:

The building, which lists sharply to one side (the history written on the menu describes it as resembling "something assembled by drunken children who immediately changed their minds") has a long and storied history. That in and of itself was reason enough for me to visit, but an added bonus is that the food is really excellent, too. They make everything on site - breads, pastas, desserts - and the menu is interesting, and not too expensive. The service is pleasant, if a bit hipster-laid back. (That's also written on the menu...something like "Our floors are uneven, and so is our service.")

Later that night, we went to the Blue Star Brewery (and bike shop!) after which The Man looked like this:

That evening, we ate at Pesca, which is the Watermark's seafood restaurant. I had the best peppered ahi tuna steak I have ever had in my life, bar none. High marks to that place. Later on we saw "Spamalot," which was very cute. I didn't realize how much of it is taken verbatim from the movie; I enjoyed those parts almost more than the updates.

Today, we hit the pool and hot tub, then visited the Mercado, at which we purchased crap we didn't need, because that is what you do there. Afterwards, we ate at Tito's Mexican Restaurant down in the artsy King William district, wherein The Man had some mighty tasty poblano cream enchiladas.

And tonight? We're back in Austin, with still no children, all refreshed and lovey-like in front of a warm TiFaux. Best anniversary ever!
Here's some more pictures....this is the view from our room:

Here's The Man at the rooftop pool:
(It's kind of high. Up there, I mean. And the fence is not very high. It's kinda freaky for the height-phobic, if you're right there at the edge. It's one of those "hey, that's a cool view, BUT I think I'll step back now" things.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

I need your input

First of all, go here to see two candidates for a new French ad campaign to fight AIDS.

Next, tell me what you think of the "male" and "female" pictures.

Then come back here and take my poll.


Now THAT's hard to believe.

Happy First Big Round Number Anniversary, honey!

(And to add to our nostalgia, it's just as frickin' hot outside today as it was on that blissful day in 1998. Ah, the sweet, sweaty memories...)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stupid Blogger, and the World's Most Annoyed Cat

I wrote a really nice post yesterday, which Blogger LOST.

I shall try to recreate it later.

In the meantime, watch this, and laugh your effin' heads off.

Sigh. I miss Molly!

Monday, June 16, 2008


That song? On the last post? Was NUMBER ONE in Poland...THIS YEAR.

And all the teenagers in Poland want to dance like Beard Guy.


And here are the lyrics in English.

I'm obsessed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken Fried

We're back from our annual trip to Schlitterbahn.

Sun up to sun down. When we go, we open and close the place, bitches. It shall never be said that the Mags household does not do their waterpark festivities hardcore.

I missed the Master Blaster this year - it being Father's Day, and all, I let him take the OG on it while I sat with the YG and the Noxious girl in the kiddie areas. I did get on some of the river chutes and on the more gentle slides that the YG is big enough for - good on her; she's feeling a lot more brave this year. (Next year, no holds barred. I'm tired of the kiddie areas; she's going on all the big stuff, whether she WANTS TO OR NOT. Because we're there to have FUN. GOT IT?)

A good time was had by all, but the OG and I - despite solid and repeated efforts to avoid it - are pretty significantly sunburned. And, it was most certainly not the best idea to go there - a park stretched over several city blocks - before me ankle was completely healed up. It's in a world of hurt of its own right now.

I shall limp, whimpering, off to bed, now.

Oh, except I have to show It's from Bill S.

What do you think the beard guy's job is, besides provide the best dance moves ever? And, more to the point, who is the guy at 2:02?

I just don't know about this. I just. Don't. Know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Only two things that money can't buy...

And that's true love and home-grown tomatoes.

Thanks be to the fates; I have both.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Which Sex and the City Character am I?

Depends on the quiz, apparently.

I'm Carrie!

Which Sex and the City Character Are You?

You are Carrie. You know what you want out of a relationship and you're not afraid to keep moving until you get it. Wit and charm are your biggest turn-ons, and you like guys who appreciate you for your mind as much as your body. You have fun playing the dating game, but secretly you just can't wait to find the guy who sweeps you off your feet and carries you into the sunset.

Find Your Character @

No, wait, I'm Miranda!

Darn it all to heck, now I'm Carrie again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Oh, and...

In addition to the Summer Obsession List 2008:

11. Dare Lemon Creme cookies

I found these at Central Market, whilst I was shopping for "pool snacks," i.e. things I generally do not eat, and am thus fairly safe (diet-wise) to carry around with me for the kids (e.g. graham crackers, anything in the gummy "fruit" snack oeuvre).

Unfortunately, these are TOO FABULOUS to stay out of. Two nice and thick shortbread cookies with a (real) lemon cream filling. Yummmmmm.

They also make maple cream cookies...something I would also not normally be interested in. However, I am now intrigued.

Damn you, Central Market! Foiled again!

12. Gay Republican Playing Cards

The Man got me these from the Democratic Convention.

You envy me, no?

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

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


OMG, ppl. I am sick AGAIN.

What is that, like, three times this year? Unprecedented, I tell you. UNPRECEDENTED.

I have the mysterious illness that is apparently circulating around Austin. This is the one in which you start out all sniffly and congested for several days, and you go about doing the Austin-typical whining about how the mold/pollen/otherwise unspecified organic smut in the air must be really bad right now.

And then? Without warning? COMES THE VOMITING. And horrible stomach cramps. And debilitating weakness.

I cannot even believe that I am not feeling the enormous joy that is summer vacation. I have no works until August...AUGUST...and I am not even doing the little superiority dance I always do on this day. (Hey, perhaps it's karma!)

Tomorrow, I shall attempt to sit upright, and post; of summer obsession lists, or Democrats, or ill-advised uses of credit card airline mileage, or some cool meme...anything, I swear, besides my gastrointestinal tract and/or mucous membranes.

Tonight, though, that's what I got.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Somebody buy me this shirt RIGHT NOW

Thanks! I'll just looove it!

Hey, look at it this way; you're getting off easy. I promise that you don't EVER have to buy me these...and that's a HUGE sacrifice, as they ARE the latest shoes in Japan:

OK. Footbinding, anyone?