Archives for November 2008

Saturday Nine – Dreams

1. What did you dream about last night?
I actually remember my dreams – or bits and pieces of them. Hard to explain though. They’ll make sense to certain people.

2. Do you often have nightmares?
Very rarely. I had a weird dream the other night that I was climbing a ladder into an airplane. Just kept climbing and climbing. I couldn’t get there. I don’t know why it freaked me out like it did… but… it did.

3. Do you have any special talents?
No. Probably not.

4. Who is the most talent person that you know?
Actually, lots of people are talented for many different reasons. My best friend is crazy talented with crafty stuff (where I suck), I have friends who sing beautifully, friends who take amazing pictures. I have friends who are amazingly logical thinkers and can work intense-problem solving magic. My dad’s an awesome musician. I’ve kind of purposefully surrounded myself with amazing people.

5. What did you watch on TV last?
Blue’s Clues with my girls.

6. Is there a new TV show that you would recommend?
Nothing I can think of offhand that’s new.

7. Who was the last person you phoned and why?
I have no idea. I tend to not make a whole lot of phone calls because my house is cell phone black hole hell.

8. Who was the last person who phoned you and why?
A friend of mine who was not at the movie last night called to say, “I’m not there.” It cracked me up.

9. What was the last snail mail letter that you received?
Pout. I have NO idea. But that reminds me, I have to write one for the person whose name I drew for Envisage 365. Some of us are exchanging letters for Christmas. The real kind. That’s awesome.

Old Dog –> New Tricks

Every Thursday in my Thursday Ten post, I tend to blab a bit about my guitar lesson, what I’m learning – Bach, Beethoven, Lynrd Skynrd (That totally looks spelled wrong – but you know who I mean), Blue Oyster Cult, blah blah blah. Then sometimes maybe I talk a little bit about chords, or about strumming or strings. I think I have yet to talk about the fact that I am getting calluses on my finger tips, or my quest to find the perfect thickness of guitar pick (and it really DOES matter).

Having said that, I really am enjoying my guitar lessons. Thursdays are a good day for me anyway – both daughters at school, able to get work done, able to pick up around the house somewhat, able to hear myself think. But the highlight of my day is usually my guitar lesson. Though my lesson is only 30 minutes and I spend longer driving to and from, and longer wishing I hadn’t forgotten to eat lunch (yet again!), I really enjoy the time that I’m there. I like learning something new, and I love the way it challenges my brain and my hands to do something different.

I already knew how to read music, but reading music for guitar is different – instead of using the five-lined staff for treble or bass, guitar involves reading tablature. It’s different, and sometimes it’s hard to wrap my mind around. Then sometimes I figure something out and it sounds less like choking cats and I’m so proud of myself. And I love having something to be proud about.

I am a words and music person. Those are the things that appeal to me most of all, and so I love that I’m giving that part of my brain a chance to work some magic and taking some time for myself. I love that even though I hate not instantly being able to grasp something, and I get frustrated by learning curves, and frustrated by not just BEING GOOD from the very first time I put the guitar in my hands, despite all that, I still am enjoying myself. Even when I can’t play an F chord I’m still happy to even try.

So while I won’t be going on tour any time soon (REALLY), and while I’m certainly not the prodigy I would have hoped to be, I am absolutely enjoying myself and am going to keep up with taking the lessons. It’s been a long time since I’ve challenged myself to do anything, and a long time since I felt like I was doing something just for myself. But I’m so so glad I did.

And Some Friday Fill In Magic…

1. The last band I saw live was Counting Crows and Maroon 5 (Maroon 5 performed last, so technically Maroon 5 is the answer).

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is the food. And I’d be lying if I said anything else.

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is in progress. I have nearly finished shopping for my daughters, only so that when they start in with the “I want, I want” I can say, “Sorry, already done. Shhhhhhhhhh.”

4. Thoughts of me-time fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear flip flops, but frankly it’s gonna be too cold for that around here for awhile.

6. Bagpipes look like they’d be heavy. (WHAT AN ODDBALL QUESTION).

7. As for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to a movie with my mom and sister, tomorrow my plans include possibly a baking day with my BFF (we may have to cancel) and Sunday, I want to not make dinner.

Thursday Ten: Where Did Time GO?! Edition

1. I was in guitar lesson today and my teacher and I realized it was the 20th already. The 20th. My god, where did November go?! And Christmas is right around the corner. I have still got a lot to do before Christmas comes.

2. Speaking of Christmas… caught a sneak preview of “Four Christmases” last night. Was it rocket science? No. Does that matter? No. I still love Vince Vaughn and still loved the movie and I laughed so hard at some parts (and oh my god I didn’t even recognize Tim McGraw as Vince Vaughn’s brother. Wow).

3. Music this week… Well, I bought the whole soundtrack to “Twilight” which is actually pretty good (songs weren’t available individually – I almost never buy complete albums anymore). Also bought three tracks from David Cook’s cd. I’m a bit iffy on those – I like them but they seem pretty formulaic, radio-friendly, nothing new. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

4. Today, I started learning Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” on guitar. She’s teaching me two parts so we can do a duet of sorts (for no good reason other than to teach me how to play when someone else is playing at the same time). She also started teaching me “Rodeo Clowns” by Jack Johnson which involves four chords I just learned today.

Seeing as how all four are barre chords and my fingers just don’t have the strength yet it may take me awhile. The good news is that the chords all have the same basic shape – it’s just a matter of moving them to different frets. I’ll get it. I’m determined and I hate not being good at things.

5. I think we’re finally done with getting our basement drywalled. Which is good, because you know, we finished our basement three and a half years ago and there was no good reason for it to be torn up now. So I’m not in love with this basement project. Now, I’ll have to figure out which leftover paint color to paint it down there. Blah.

6. Supposed to see “Twilight” this weekend with my mom and sis. Hello movie month. That will bring November’s total to… Five? Six if I take The Princess to see “Bolt” next week, which I fully plan on because… why not?

7. This weekend is also the BAKING EXTRAVAGANZA with my BFF and her sister in law and so that ought to be fun. I’m hoping to not eat my weight in powdered sugar or whatever it is that we’re making. One of the things we’re making is chocolate covered pretzels and that will DO ME IN because I love them. A lot. More than I should. Yum.

8. Actual conversation with my mom:
Me: “Well, I found that out from her Facebook status message.”
Mom: “Why won’t you check MY Facebook? Why do you check HER Facebook but you won’t check mine?”
Me: “Because you don’t HAVE Facebook, mom.”
My mom did just sign up for MySpace last week – because she can’t fight the overwhelming urge to see what everyone is up to. My MySpace account pretty much just sits there, though. (My quote on my MS is “She’s like the DaVinci code. Except harder to crack.” Points to whoever can figure out what movie it’s from.)

9. Sometimes I have a very difficult time talking about myself in third person. I notice it when I’m trying to write witty status messages, or having to write my Blissfully Domestic bio earlier in the week. I start writing in third person and all I can think of is this guy I knew in college who would get so drunk and start referring to himself in third person: “Jay is really tired now. Jay had too much to drink. Jay thinks he needs to go home now.” Fun times.

10. Anyone watching the new Top Chef? It’s taking me awhile to get into it. Of course, I was only half paying attention to it last night because I was just zoning.

Thank U India, Thank U Terror

Today I volunteered in The Princess’s school – an activity that you know that I don’t adore. I have been feeling very tired lately and I woke up this morning brainstorming excuses for not showing up. All of those were vetoed when I realized what a schmuck that would make me, cancelling on my daughter’s teacher, cancelling on being there in her classroom helping out. I mean, Who does that?!

So, I got up and got the kids bundled up – sent The Princess outside to wait for the bus and as soon as the bus pulled up, I took Pumpkin to daycare. Upon leaving daycare, even though I was short on time I stopped to get some coffee (warm + caffeine = a very GOOD idea), and arrived about ten minutes late to the school. Already, I was feeling like a bit of a jerk and I hadn’t even bailed on them!

I had about fifteen minutes in the classroom until the kids all ventured out to PE. Usually the teacher doesn’t have anything for me to do while they’re gone – which is part of the reason I hate volunteering so much: the thirty minutes of twiddling my thumbs while the kids are at PE (I lie – I totally don’t twiddle my thumbs – I’m on my phone checking email, sending texts, and scoping Twitter – so, for those of you so inclined – every other Tuesday morning is a FANTASTIC time to send me mail! I’ll read it while I wait). Today, however, the teacher had a project for me. And that project involved TURKEYS.

Y’see, the kids brainstormed all kinds of pre-Thanksgiving ideas for things they were thankful for. The teacher put them all on these little leaves (see below), and then each kiddarooni made their own turkey. My job was to hang up all the individual turkeys. Fun times, right?
But it was interesting to read these as I hung them up. As you can see from the below – these kids have much of the religious angle covered – they are thankful for God, Jesus, Mary and Moses. They have the family angle covered: Mom, Dad, siblings. They’re thankful for water, houses, land, and heaven. It’s the other stuff that cracks me up. It’s the cats and bats and ladybugs. It’s the sharks and owls. Kids crack me up.

And it made me smile, because I was so close to missing the moment of hanging up turkeys and having my kid give me a big hug so happy to see me in her classroom. I walked into The Princess’s class today and she was upset because she’d worn her boots and had forgotten to pack regular shoes (despite me saying last night, “Did you put your other shoes in your bag?” and her responding, “Yup! I already did it!”). I said, “Looks like we’re wearing boots today, kiddo” and she said, “Why can’t you just go home and bring my shoes back?” I told her, that no, mom had stuff to do today and that maybe tomorrow she’ll remember how hot her feet feel and remember to pack her other shoes, and she smiled and said in her know-it-all-cuz-I’m-six voice, “I knooooooooooow.”

(I really hope that title isn’t wasted and someone catches the reference)

Procrastination RULES!

I have work to do.

I don’t want to do it.

I have caught up on my Google Reader (whoo!).

I watched “Prison Break”.

I’ve killed time on Twitter.

Back to work I go.

At 10:30 p.m. I am a GENIUS.

A Call For Help…

So, my treadmill is making funny noises. The exercise bike makes me want to snooze. Tonight, I broke out the Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease DVDs for my workout and did this:

And while it was entertaining, the workout itself is pretty short (it’s longer than the 2 minute clip here, but… still: short workout) and I don’t want to keep explaining to my kids that yeah, she meant for her pants to look like that. Oh, and the jogging in place at the end? I totally don’t get that.

Until I replace my treadmill, I guess I’m stuck with my exercise bike and workout DVDs. Any recommendations?

And it’s Monday night and the “I Am Blissfully Domestic” linky night – so hi to any BD folks. If you click on the little jobby-do down there, you can pop on over to Blissfully Domestic to see what other folks have going on this week.

The Santa Mythology

So, we’re midway through November and I’m already filled with that stupid “wish my legs were longer so I could kick my own ass” feeling. I get this every year, without fail, since my children have been born. Why?

Because we told them there was a thing called SANTA CLAUS. And we told them Santa brings presents.

Sure, part of me thinks it’s great for kids to have something magical and mythical and super great to believe in (especially someone that brings presents! Whee! Cool dude, right?) – but my goodness, if the whole Santa thing doesn’t just create a whole mess more work for me.

I have to make sure I get special “Santa” paper. Now that The Princess knows my handwriting, I have go get even trickier with gift tags for Santa presents. I have to hide the Santa presents just a little bit better, lest I burst anyone’s bubble. Christmas Eve, I have to sit watch and wait for the kids to zonk out to somehow stealthily sneak the Fat Dude’s presents down under the tree.

And it’s all a BIG FAT LIE.

Why did I do this to myself?

I’m not entirely sure how heartbroken my kids would be without the whole Santa deal. I mean, the presents are still coming from the same place. I’d still do stockings (I love that my mom still fills a stocking for me and I do for her – I think that’s awesome). But I could do it without all the lies.

No more baking cookies and not being able to eat them in front of the kids because they were “for Santa” (I’m going to eat them no matter what – but am I eating them at 5 p.m. or am I eating them at 10 p.m.? That makes the difference). No more long lines at the mall to sit on Santa’s lap only to have my kids freak out after forty minutes of waiting and upon reaching the front of the line because they really don’t want to sit on his lap (that part should relieve me, right?).

But it’s not just Santa. It’s the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and probably more asinine figments of our imagination that I’m forgetting at the moment. I really do try hard to be honest with my kids (even if it leads to embarassing moments like using anatomically correct words loudly in public places), so the act of so purposefully lying to them, in a lie that creates so much work – well, it just makes me crazy. And when all is said and done, they don’t really remember who gave them what? Santa? Well, he was here. What did he bring? Oh, something over there.

Someone talk me out of my Santa-hating tree.

Saturday Nine, On Sunday

I found a new blog (new to me) that does a MeMe of 9 questions every Saturday. Damn you Google reader for giving me more stuff to read that I’ll inevitably just mark as read to make it go away!

1. Where is the furthest place that you have traveled and how far away from home is it?
Hawaii, most likely. I’m not particularly well-traveled, but that’s probably the farthest. It was a long time in the air (but I still have the bottle of champagne I won on the flight).

2. What is a blog that you would recommend for us to read and why?
Duh! Envisage 365. I love looking at our pictures.

3. What is the biggest surprise you ever have had and was it a good one?
Finding out that The Princess was going to be a girl. Even though I had a gut feeling I was having a girl, there are sure a lot of boys in Hubby’s family and so I kind of thought they only made boys (hee hee). Thankfully, though, I’ve got my two girls – GREAT surprise!

4. What is your favorite quote? (We know we’ve asked this recently. But there is always another great quote! 🙂
“If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.” Yeah, I love it, but often forget it.

5. Have you ever been hospitalized for a major health situation?
Never. I’ve spent 3 nights in the hospital (two when The Princess was born, one for Pumpkin). That’s it.

6. Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

7. What was your favorite amusement park ride growing up?
Rollercoasters. Oh, and spinny rides. I can go on rides that twirl and spin all day and not get sick.

8. How long do you talk on your phone on a typical day?
Really not much – my house is the black hole of cell signal.

9. Other than Saturday 9, what is your favorite meme to do each week?
The Friday Fill in time waster.

Okay, So 21 Was 11 Years Ago

For the past week-ish, my BFF and I have been making plans because LUCKY girl, her husband and kids were away this weekend and she was totally kicking it Bachelorette style (that is, if you consider Bachelorette style wearing your husband’s shirt and wishing he were home! They’re still like newlyweds so it’s kinda cute. Kinda. Me? I’d totally have been standing on my living room sofa doing a little dance… but… that’s me).

We picked dinner based on drinks and dessert – the original plan was for margaritas and brownie sundaes, so we planned to go to On The Border for dinner, drinks and much sugar. I met her at her house after stopping at Starbucks for a cappuccino (with an EXTRA SHOT please) and jamming to my iPod all the way there. Yesterday, after taking the kids through the McD’s drive thru, the girls got Madagascar 2 toys (Gloria, AGAIN), which put the old Laura Brannigan “Gloria” song in my head… which means that I was singing it all day (And OH YEAH, I think I have the alias that you’ve been living under). Which means that I had to go download it from iTunes before heading out. Which means, aw yeah, I was listening to “Gloria” on the way to her house.

After some chatty-chat, we headed to the restaurant and found out that we had a FORTY FIVE minute wait. That sucked, but it’s fun to talk and people watch. I knew at that point though that I’d be so hungry, I’d do some serious damage to chips and salsa. Was I wrong? Unfortunately, no.

We got to our table finally and she ordered a margarita and I opted instead for a mojito. But then our waitress committed the cardinal sin: She didn’t card us. Y’know, I realize that I haven’t been able to pass for 21 for awhile, but would it have killed her to appeal to our vanity? Short answer: NO. Which is why even after dinner, even after the fantabulous dessert, even after I had paid my bill, it had still stuck in my head. So I left her a note.

Collage – see my BFF in the top left – oh yeah, she’s holding our oh-so-cool little pager dealy bob. You know, the one that isn’t blinking with pretty lights telling us our table was ready. Dang. Waiting sucks. Then, chips, sugar and my love note to our waitress.

I woke up finally feeling less like throwing up from massive food consumption, and glad to have had the time to hang with my best friend and just chill and just be. Even if I am apparently too old to even make someone question whether or not I am old enough for my mojito.