Monday, March 31, 2008

My Big Brain

I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't guess it, but I have always liked to think of myself as a rather intelligent and complex person. I don't think this is necessarily so true, but I do enjoy thinking of myself that way! I am the kind of smart, deep thinker who feels good about watching (and enjoying!) the mini-series John Adams on HBO. But I haven't read the book...and even if I had, you know? It was pretty widely read...I don't think I'd be in an elite class even if I had read it! Um, and I didn't. I read a lot, it is true, and that seems smart. But I do read mostly fiction...mostly popular fiction. I'm not on out there discovering fresh, angry poets from Uzbekistan or delving deep into the works of Virgil.

Okay, okay, I am actually getting off the point. Imagine that. What I wanted to get into was how incredibly thought provoking some of the bloggers I am reading right now are. And I am not talking about professional bloggers who are paid to be provocative. I am talking about people who look at their lives and comment on them intelligently and clearly. Most of you reading here would fit the bill, really. One of the posts that gave me pause just today though, came from Furtive Wangler. You should really check out his post on "People of Substance" and what it means to actually leave something of ourselves behind after we are gone. He writes lots of other fun stuff too :-) I wanted to make an intelligent comment on that post, but that didn't exactly come to fruition. Another blogger who made me think is NotFaintHearted at The Journey who writes about "Integrity" and her attempt to find it's meaning in her life. Again, I started to try and talk back about how I feel about the topic, but was unable to be successfully clear, yet I gave up :-) That's how I do...sometimes.

So, this post is the opposite of theirs. It isn't too clear and it doesn't make anyone think much about anything except for the fact that I am pretty good at inserting myself and what I think into other people's good ideas! Wow, this is awful! But so awful that I am forced to laugh at myself. Ah, just read the folks on my blogroll. See how the better half lives.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Old Timey Goodness

Dmarks over at the always interesting Throwawayblog chose this week's Saturday Scavenger Shots word. It is one that can go off in all sorts of directions! This week's word is OLD. I decided to show you some of my OLD children's books. They aren't that OLD and they aren't valuable or anything. They are just books that I saved because I like the illustrations or just the whole idea of them. Take a look:
This is a project from a book called How to Make Presents from Odds and Ends - 1972. It used to be cool to use wood and nails and stuff...I notice kids are not encouraged to play with nails much anymore.

This book is called The Curiosity Book - 1968. It mentions that sometimes women wear pants now, especially for activities that require freedom of movement. The 60's were awesome!

Here is a reading text titled All Through the Year - 1966. I like this perfect family.

This is another reading text. It is called Our Good Neighbors - 1955. If those were my neighbors I would probably complain about the smell of their horse and how their dog barks at all hours. haha!

I love this ABC and 123 book - 1955. I don't know if you can tell, but this page says, "H is for Homemaker. Wonderful mother." Aw!

Here are some pretty deranged looking giraffes. They are riding on The Little Circus Train That Led the Parade - 1955.
This is an illustration of Rumplestiltskin from a book called Favorite Fairy Tales - 1953. This book is actually in remarkably good condtion.

Another book in really good condition for it's age is Tenggren's Farm Stories - 1946. This is the cover and it has all kinds of darling illustrations inside.

Thank you for looking at my OLD books with me! are only as OLD as you feel! See Dmarks for next week's tag!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Goo-bye George Foreman Grill. We Barely Knew Ye.

Here are the tasty dark chocolate M&Ms I am munching while I type. Just because.

Oh, lawd. Can I tell you about yesterday evening? It isn't pretty. I got home from work and many people were sitting around the livingroom. Kick Back Dude and the gang, Girlie Girl, Handsome Lad, and WTG as well. Everyone was just chatting and then WTG decides to tell one of his very obnoxious racist jokes. I don't want to sound all tightassed and stuff, but I really hate racist humor. It just makes me cringe and he knows it. Anyway, he got up to go in the other room and without even thinking about it, I flipped him off behind his back. That was wrong, wrong, wrong on a few different levels, but it was impulsive and I didn't give it much thought at the time. No one even commented, the moment just passed and the evening continued. WTG and Handsome Lad went out to get themselves some dinner, the rest of us ate and started watching American Idol (I know). Okay, then WTG and HL get back...they came in through the kitchen door and WTG calls for me to come in the kitchen and goes off completely. Handsome Lad told his dad that I'd flipped him off behind his back. It caught me by surprise, although it shouldn't have and I just kind of laughed and said, "Oh, geez, I'm sorry. I was just goofing off." He was out of control, yelling...he knocked the coffeemaker over and that made quite a mess and then he swept the George Foreman grill into the sink where some dishes were soaking. Fortunately it wasn't plugged in, but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to get wet. Kick Back Dude stepped in the room briefly when it all started and made a calming effort, but I don't think WTG even registered him. He quietly packed up his family and left, in a wise move. Meanwhile Handsome Lad and Girlie Girl are hearing all of this in the next room. He yelled for several minutes and I didn't really say much because I could see in his eyes that it wouldn't be useful. Eventually, he went back out the kitchen door into the backyard. Girlie Girl was crying and wanting to leave, Handsome Lad was hiding out in his room, I was trying to act like no big deal. Everyone just went to bed.
Anyway, just awhile ago WTG called me and apologized for overreacting. He said he gets the feeling a lot that people are against him and he takes everything very personally. I just told him we need to find some way to both be able to live our lives without these high dramas. And that was pretty much that.
I warned you it wasn't pretty. It wasn't even that interesting or different. I guess I am just writing this all down so that I never relax so much that I forget what a psycho he is. Now, tell me what YOU think!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not Tonight, Dear...

Can you complete that sentence? That's right! I have a headache. It is a brutal mofo, too. Drifter gave me two aspirin...nothing. Maybe I need acetaminophen or ibuprofen...who takes aspirin anymore? Earlier in the day, I hoped it might be a hunger headache, but eating lunch didn't cure me either! Now that I stop to consider it, it is probably everything else in my life.
I will close now, as I don't like to complain. I'll be fine, don't give it another thought. No, you kids go ahead and have fun! If I pass out, I'm sure the carpet will cushion my fall. (That, btw, is my selfless mom bit! Do you like it?)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tara!!!

Tara, Queen of Fun over at Eclectic Spaghetti is having a birthday today! Yay Tara!!! You always take the time to find the perfect cake for our birthdays, so here is one from me to you.Cat cake! Don't worry, it isn't really made out of cat :-) It is your favorite flavor cutely decorated, so eat up!

Happy Birthday, Tara...and many, many, many more!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

When I Feel Best

Yesterday, Easter, was one of those days when I feel best. As my kids have gotten older I find that we are all more seldom than you'd think in the same place at the same time. Everyone has their own stuff. Luckily, they are all still pretty good about setting aside other activities in lieu of holidays as a family. Yesterday between everyone traveling we took four cars and headed off to my dad and step-mom's house. They have a beautiful place in Malibu. They aren't on the beach, but rather in the know, where they have the fires almost every year? Anyway, we all got out, my mom, and Girlie Girl in one car, Kick Back Dude and his clan, plus WTG's mom in their car, WTG and the other three boys in Secret Agent Man's car, and finally my sister and nephew in their car. So, with all of them, plus my dad and step-mom, I felt like...complete and completely happy. Okay, I could have done without WTG. But there were no problems, problem!
Handsome Lad will be eleven in a couple of months and is sort of in-between on all the holiday activity, he still enjoys an Easter egg hunt, but then again, he likes to look cool in front of his older sibs and not be on the same level as three year old Miss Personality. He got around it by hunting eggs to sort of assist Miss Personality. Face saved, fun had, and much adoration from niece to uncle. We all ate like pigs. Um, ham, coincidentally, was one of the much, much more. The weather was hot and gorgeous and they have this whole set up by their pool and can do all of their cooking right there. So, we egg hunted and ate and flew kites and ate and played with bubbles and ate and took lots of pictures...well, not me because I hardly ever take pictures, but hopefully people will send me some! If they do, I will show you some of them...ones where, say, I am not sitting there shoving a forkful of apple pie into my pie hole.....
It was a happy Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Surprises Here :-)

This week's Saturday Scavenger Shots word was chosen by MrManuel of Manuel's View. He chose a great word, I think. In fact, he chose a PERFECT word!

So, what is PERFECT to me? Aw, how could I resist?

Is this not the absolute PERFECT way for a three year old to look at her birthday party? My little Miss Personality.

Here is my PERFECT little baby bunny. Say hello to Love Bug. Say it!

Thank you for coming by to witness my visions of PERFECTion. You know, I think you are all kinda PERFECT too! For next week's Saturday Scavenger Shots word, go see Dmarks over at Throwawayblog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Easter Candy Are You?

In honor of our upcoming holiday. Bunnies, and eggs, and candy...oh, my!

You Are an Easter Egg

You're so sweet, you don't need candy. You much prefer the taste of artificial coloring instead.

What Flower Are You?

In honor of the First Day of Spring!

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.

People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.

You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.

Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The First Step is Admitting You Need Help


Hello. My name is laura b. and I am a cheesy competitive performance reality show addict. Right now I am on American Idol...and if that wasn't bad enough my dealer just got me back into Dancing with the Stars. I know you are probably furrowing your brow and shaking your head now, perhaps muttering, "Oh, laura b. this breaks my heart! You need to get a life!" And you'd be right! I know, I know! There are so many worthwhile things I could be doing with the time I spent strung out on reality shows...not to mention what all of this is no doubt doing to my brain cells. But much as I can see that this hurts you, I don't feel ready just yet to give it up. Maybe someday when I am stronger. Until then, try not to think of me as only an addict. Think of me first as a human being, however flawed. After all, everyone has an addiction of some sort, don't they? Come on, you can tell me yours. I promise not to judge you (like, oh, Simon or Len!) and you will have my complete discretion. Sing it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grumpy Bunny

Here is Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" as a grumpy bunny. I, too, am feeling like a grumpy bunny...but much less adorable than Ralphie.

I have no idea what my problem is, but I have been so tired and grouchy for the past couple of days! I know it is just hormonal or chemical or whatever. Every passing mood basically is...and that kind of pisses me off too! I do have what feel like legitimate complaints about certain things that are going on in my life at the moment. And I know a lot of it has to do with feeling so left out of Handsome Lad's life since WTG sort of stole his soul. I am trying to just sort of move forward though. My gut instinct tells me that making this an issue in Handsome Lad's eyes, as much as I would like to, would just be bad, bad juju for everyone. A kid his age shouldn't need to feel pulled between his lame-ass parents. Seriously, though, the issue is taking its toll on me. I try not to let it. I am all about the power of positive thinking. Sometimes, though, I am just not feeling it. So, hopefully my grumpy bunny skin is less apparent than Ralphie's. I don't want to take my bad stuff out on anyone else...and I sort of did here just by this accept my apologies and my thanks for reading in spite of it all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Faith and Beggorah!

Here I am looking all St. Patrick's Day-ish. Working in Children's Services means that it is sort of nice to observe each and every holiday that comes around if at all possible. Today it was easy enough to wear green (note the fabulous shamrock necklace included in my ensemble!) and to make sure to notice the kids also wearing their green. My kind of holiday, actually. I have some Irish blood in me somewhere, mixed in with my other mutt blood. My coloring is sort of Irish-y. Not a huge cornbeef and cabbage affecionado. I might have some green beer or a wee bit o' whisky if pressed. And...I guess that's all I have to say about that! Huh.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hot or Not?

Our candidate for nothing, AlienCG, chose this week's Saturday Scavenger Shots word - HOT. Good word! And let's just face it, some things are HOT and some are not. Let's look at some examples:
Weather can be HOTOr not.Your sustenance can be HOTOr not.Even Angie J.'s husbands (or almost husbands) can be HOTOr HOTterOr...not.I admit, I didn't take those last three pictures, but I did hunt them down on Google images all by myself!

Thanks for playing along! Find out from AlienCG who he is tagging to chose for next week. You are sooooo HOT!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Experiments in International Dining

At Chinese New Year, last month, all the city employees were given $10 gift certificates to a local Chinese restaurant by the city's Chinese Association. Very generous. Just a couple days ago I had passed mine on to Milly, because the expiration date was quickly approaching and it didn't look like I was going to have a chance to use it. Today, though, she suggested that we go there for lunch together. I always like having lunch with her, but I was especially glad to have her as my guide on this little adventure. I had had some Dim Sum dishes before, but never served in this traditional style. Once you are seated, servers come by with their carts of stuff, lifting lids and asking you if you want some of whatever they have...given that I didn't know for sure what I was looking at most of the time, I might have had a hard time putting together a reasonable meal on my own. Milly chose some nice dishes for us...nothing too adventurous, as she knows I am not a very daring eater :-) She asked me before the food came if I needed a fork instead of chopsticks. I was all, no, no, I can use chopsticks! Well, I do know how to use chopsticks, really. But a lot of the dim sum dishes are sort of...mushy? I couldn't hold on to stuff...I ended up having to use the inelegant fork. How embarrassing. All in all, I really enjoyed the food and getting to try a variety of little dishes. Have any of you had Dim Sum? Or have you ever been to a restaurant and been sort of lost? Or am I the only one quite so bumpkin-ish? Tell me about it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Flowers and Friends

I am a day or two behind here, but please still consider this post to be a Taraday celebration.

First things first...I just got some flowers and here they are sitting on my desk!One of my little storytime people gave them to me this morning. The mom said she hoped I had a garden I could put them in. Technically I do have a garden. I just neglect it quite a bit. Still I can always stick these in the ground and see what happens. For now they are looking and smelling purty on my desk.

Second, reading Tara's "First Best Friend" post made me nostalgic. Now I want to reminisce about my first best friend. NT was my across the street neighbor. She had an older brother, who I had a crush on at various times growing up, and an older sister, who was sort of a hippie chick. She eventually had a daughter and named her Sunshine, okay? Anyway, I met NT when I was about three...she was a year older and several years wiser. It always seemed like she knew everything about everything! She was so daring, especially compared to me...I was always the one afraid of getting caught or hurt or in some sort of terrible trouble :-) For years, NT, me and my younger sister were inseparable pals. NT was the leader and my sister and I were her loyal followers. Her parents were that brand that seems to be somewhat particular to growing up in the 70's...very, like, swinging or something. Not too terribly attentive. NT was allowed to spend as much time as she wanted at our house, basically. We pretended we were all real sisters...oddly, I was often the one called out on it. My sister and NT had more similar coloring and somehow looked more like genuine siblings. Although NT and I stayed friends throughout our school careers, by the time we even hit Jr High we were not quite as close. Her maturity and daredevil behavior began to seem less...harmless, shall we say, once we reached a certain age. She and I began hanging out with pretty different crowds, but remained friends. By high school the ties were even more tenuous, but still existed for us. We both ended up getting married really young. I didn't have an actual wedding wedding, but she did and my sister and I were both bridesmaids. Later, she and her family moved...first to Arizona, then Colorado. Not so far, but with young families we basically didn't see each other or even talk all that often. It has actually been quite a while since we spoke. I know she is divorced and living in Colorado. Since her daughter and son are in the age range of my oldest sons, they are grown...but that is really about all I know. It is funny how incredibly clearly I can picture her face as a young girl. At one time, I probably knew her better than I knew myself. But that was a long time ago.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's Your Problem?

My problem is in the past...chemistry. It's sort of futuristic See, okay...this is more or less completely humiliating, but if I can't humiliate myself here, then where?

Um, okay. I lead a fairly solitary life as far as, shall we say, adult activities are concerned. I have been single for some years now and in all that time haven't had an actual relationship. No boyfriend, no real dating to speak of, no steady man. You get the picture. It just isn't exactly feasible given my living situation, which is more or less my choice, so whatever. I'm not precisely celibate, as I have had the, casual (but safe, I promise!) experience. Also there is Team C, a long time friend, who sort of appears now and again just when I am about to go off the deep end. We have great chemistry, I trust him, he trusts me, but it is a very limited sort of "relationship". This is all sort of rambly and not even exactly my point.

What is my point? Ugh. Well, it is just that now and then I am struck by what feels like overwhelming loneliness. Sometimes this loneliness is in the form of a sort of intellectual or spiritual type of crisis. I wish for a partner. Someone to share all the joys and sorrows of life with me. I practically admire myself when I am lonely like that! It feels sort of bittersweet and hopeful in some way. But there is that other loneliness that is just physical. It is hard to feel proud or hopeful or much of anything besides vaguely embarrassed for that brand of lonely. Sometimes I am worried that I am one day going to approach some stranger on the street and beg them to hold me. Seriously.

Again, what is my point? Damn. Just...I am truly, truly pathetic. And I hate the way it feels. But talking about it, though embarrassing, is also sort of cathartic. So, thanks.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I've Abandoned My Child!

Girlie Girl and I went to see this yesterday. All I can say is - Wow. Have you guys seen it?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

I was lucky enough to be tagged to chose this week's Saturday Scavenger Shots word. As you hopefully know, I chose CHEMISTRY. It seemed like one of those words that could go lots of ways, and I think that it has!

My fondest wish would be to focus on my favorite kind of CHEMISTRY...personal CHEMISTRY. That chemical reaction between two people that creates sparks and fire. However, I have virtually no photographic record of such a thing occuring in my life. *sigh*

So then I thought, what have I got to show the people? I decided to just show a couple of examples of CHEMISTRY as it pertains to me on a daily basis.

Some people like to drink bottled water, because they fear the chemicals that might turn up in their tap water. Personally, I tend to believe it all comes from the same place. I call this the CHEMISTRY of reality.

Let us call this the CHEMISTRY of cheese. If you sprinkle nice parmesan cheese on regular Spaghettios the taste is measurably more delicious. And have some apple juice with that...why not?

I don't do so well without some ground coffee beans and hot water. I call it the CHEMISTRY of survival in a cold, cruel world.

I am so glad that the CHEMISTRY between us is good enough for you to stop by my blog. For next week, I will tag...AlienCG...and I, for one, welcome our new Alien overlords.... (^.^)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fat Thursday

Today was the first day since Milly got back from Hungary that our schedules have permitted lunch at the same time. We decided to celebrate, as most friends would I'm sure, by going to Wienerschnitzel.
Did you know that right now you can get five chili dogs for $5? It's true. So we did...and we each ate 2.5. They were really messy and delicious and went down more easily than you would imagine. But now I am sitting here thinking to myself, "You just ate 2 and a half chili dogs for lunch, you crazy beeyotch!" I don't deny being an eater, but that was a bit much! Never say that laura b. don't know how to party, man. There may even be a hangover involved...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Winner, and Still Champion....

...laura b.!!!! Heh heh heh! Because I guessed where Mrs. Big Hairy Woman was blogging from this morning, I am now the proud displayer of....
...the Fuzz Buster! Symbol of rough mornings everywhere! Yay! Eat your heart's out, fellow bloggers! Man, it is so hard to stay humble...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Soles Worn Thin

See this paprika? Even this 50 g. is more well traveled than I am. It doesn't blog though.

I know that inside me lurks the heart of a traveler. No, I won't give it back! It is mine now. However, I am the traveler who never travels. The armchair traveler, if you will. Well, even that isn't strictly accurate, because I don't read a lot of travel books. I am more of, say, a Flickr traveler! I look at traveling friends' vacation photos and put myself right there on location. That's some awesome mind power right there, um-hm. And I read your blogs. I know that some of you have these huge lists of places to which you have traveled. I can only read down your lists and sigh with envy. Still I remain confident that at some point in my life, I will have the time, opportunity, and resources for travel. Until then, I will spice up my life with my genuine Hungarian paprika and dream. 'Cause dreaming is free. And so is genuine Hungarian paprika if your BFF brings it back from genuine Hungary as a souvenir.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Word to Your Mother!

Yay! I have been tagged by Tara to choose this week's Saturday Scavenger Hunt word. I had to give it a good bit of thought, so I hope you can all have some fun with it. Let us try...CHEMISTRY. And....go!