Looks Like it’s Time for a Meme…

I came across this meme on my friend Carla’s blog, and I thought I’d bring it over here.  I’ve read some good books I could tell you about.  I went to see my Grandma again, and I could tell you about that.   I could even dredge up some thoughts on the horrid flooding in Texas and the horrid drought here, and tell you how it doesn’t rain in California this time of year, so if we DO get any, it will be tiny amounts and not help in the greater sense at all.  No real rain until September if we’re lucky, more likely November or December.

But no, all you get is a meme.  Sometimes my brain just works that way.  As in, hardly working at all, lazy lazy brain.  So, here goes.  The rule for this meme is that you must come up with an answer to each silly ‘question’, and the answer must begin with the first letter of your first name.  So all of my answers will start with J.

  1. First name : My first name?  Or just A first name?  My first name is J.  Duh. Or, as we used to (so eloquently say in Jr. High, “No Doy”. Or is that spelled, “No Doi”?)
  2. An animal: Jaguar.  Jackal.  Jackass.  Jellyfish.  Have I told you about the time Maya and I found a jellyfish washed up on the beach in San Francisco, and I could see its pulse (which makes no sense, because I don’t know that they have a heart),  and Maya convinced me to pick it up and get it back to the water.  I used a plastic bag to protect myself if it should sting me.  SF has now banned plastic bags, so I don’t know what would happen today.  Or if the bag would have proteted me if it had stung.  But it was a happy moment, watching it float away on the tide.
  3. A boy’s name:  Justin. Or Jack.  My two nephews. 🙂  There’s also Jeff, and Jason. Or my friend Cherry’s son, Jacob.  Or Tracy’s son, Jeremy.
  4. A girl’s name:  Julia.  Janet. Janice.  Jane.  I know, I’m only supposed to give one.  So what. My blog, my rules. My great-great aunt, for whom I was named, was Julia.  One of my most darling best friends is Janet.  Maya used to have a toy cat named Jane, who had wings.
  5. An occupation:  Judge. Janitor. Jailer.  Justice of the Peace.  Jelly maker.  Journalist. Juggler.  Jockey.  There were a few years there that I really wanted to be a jockey, despite not having spent time around horses.  Or, not enough time.
  6. A color:   Jaundice.  Is that a color?  Jet.  Jade.
  7. Something you wear:  Jeans.  Not Jeggings.  Never Jeggings.  Jackets and Jodhpurs and Jewelery.
  8. A drink: Julep.  Jagermeister.   Blech to both, though I’ve never had a julep, so I shouldn’t speak to that.  I don’t think I’ve ever had Jagermeister, either, actually.  Let’s stick with some lovely chardonnay by J vineyards, shall we?
  9. A type of food:  Japanese.  Jello.  Jam.  Jerky.  Jalapeno.
  10. Something found in the bathroom:  Jean Nate after bath splash.  OK, not MY bathroom, but there was a time when I was a kid that I used to buy this for my mom.  I don’t know if she actually liked it, or just used it to make me happy.  And my Great Aunt has some in her bathroom that is probably 30 years old.  I’ll bet that smells lovely.  As in, not.
  11. A place:  Jet plane.  On a jet plane, on my way to Paris or Milan or somewhere wonderful and lovely.  Or, conversely, Joliet Illinois, which I remember passing on I-80 on our drive from San Francisco to Philadelphia, back in ’94.  Jerusalem.  Japan. Jaipur.  Jamaica.
  12. A reason to be late:  Stuck in Joliet.  Not a GOOD reason, but a reason certainly.  Or perhaps, stuck in a traffic Jam.  Or, Just because.
  13. Something you shout out:  JESUS!  If you’re Christian, it could be, “PRAISE JESUS!”  If you’re not, it could be something you shout out in exasperation when someone almost rear-ends you on the freeway.  Or something you say at the end of ‘Planet of the Apes.’

That’s my list of J.  Perhaps not worth much, but at least it got me to post something.  Whew.

Book Meme

I grabbed this one from Facebook, and I wrote about it there, so if you’re a FB friend, you’ve already read (or ignored) this. I believe I’ve written about all of these books here before, but man, they’re worth it. So I’m writing again. Here’s the meme.

Rules: In your status line, list 10 books that have stayed with you. Don’t take more than a few minutes; don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be great works, just the ones that have touched you.

The Blood of Others ~ Simone de Beauvoir. (something about reading this one and then seeing “Glory” hit me kind of hard back in college.)

Little House on the Prairie ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder. The whole series. If you haven’t read them, or if you’re not me, perhaps you don’t get it. But there is so much humanity, simple goodness and kindness and wisdom here, it’s worthwhile.

The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Gah, I hated this book. It broke my heart in too many ways. I’d like to not count it, but it stuck with me.

The Bean Trees ~ Barbara Kingsolver. This one forced me to write a fan letter to the author, which I have never done before or since. She wrote back.

Poetry by e. e. cummings. I don’t know the name of a book specifically, but his poetry touched me in many was.

The Dead ~ James Joyce. Wow, what a short story. It starts out seeming silly and perhaps useless, and ends up breaking your heart.

The Road ~ Cormac McCarthy. This one almost killed me, and there’s no way I could face the movie.

Gone With the Wind ~ Margaret Mitchell. Where I learned to flirt and that it’s possible for a woman to be an idiot and still have the heart of a lion.

When Parents Die ~ Edward Myers. I received a few books when my mom died. It was a horrific time, and I suspect that people gave me the books that helped them the most at horrific times in their own lives. This was the one that helped me the most. I’ve (sadly) given it a time or two. I don’t know if it helped or not.

The Tale of One Bad Rat ~ Bryan Talbot. Perhaps the first graphic novel to break my heart.

Monday Meme – 48 Things

I saw this one over at Issa’s place, and shockingly enough, I don’t think I’ve answered more than 10 of these here before.   So, in the spirit of over sharing, here we go.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Yes.  My great aunt was SO amazingly important to my mom.  She took her in when she was having trouble at home, made her feel like there wasn’t anything wrong with her after all, encouraged her that life in college would be far better than life in high school had been.   Sadly, she died before I was born, so I never met her.  Her name was Julia, but she hated being teased and called ‘Julius Caesar’ as a girl, so my mom went with Julie.   Yvonne is my middle name, and what my Great Aunt Julia would have named her daughter, if she had had one.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I was going to say I don’t remember, and then I remembered a particular episode of Downton Abbey that had me practically sobbing recently.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?*
Yes, I do like my handwriting! My cousin and I used to create fake forms for fun, just so we could fill them in and practice our handwriting. Silly, but we both have good handwriting now.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Salami.  Yum.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
I have kid.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I like to think so, yes.  Though if I ate all of my chips and fries off of my plate, that might bug me.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Not an undue amount, but it’s not unheard of either.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No way.  I’m far too smart to do that to my back.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Favorite as in what do I eat?  Shredded Wheat.  Favorite as in what is amazing and delicious?  Toss up between Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, and Frosted Flakes.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Yes.  Too hard to get them on again if I don’t.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
There was a time when I would have said no, but the last few years have taught me that the answer is YES.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Cherry, Black Cherry, or Coffee.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their smile.

15. RED OR PINK?
Um….what?  Pink I guess, because it’s in the sunrise.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I have trouble letting things go sometimes.   Sometimes. Ha.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My mom.  And Gen.

18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Flipping an omelet in a pan like Jacques Pepin.  Wow.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Black

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Pizza and salad.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
My daughter downstairs laughing with her friend.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Forest Green

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Honeysuckle flowers.  Salt water.  Dinner.

24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Very.

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Beach house, so I can smell the ocean and hear the waves.  Though I wouldn’t say no to a house up in Tahoe, I’ll tell you that much.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Horseracing

27. HAIR COLOR?
Dyed blonde.  Natural color is dark blonde, almost brown.

28. EYE COLOR?
Brown and/or green.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Yes.  I love them.

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Pasta, potato chips, bread and butter, white wine.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The Help.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Brownish I guess.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter.  Summer here is TOO HOT.

35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Ice Cream

36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Strength

37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
I have to choose?  Computer.

38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Lincoln, by Gore Vidal.  I know, that’s not what my sidebar says I’m reading.  I’m lazy I guess.

39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Don’t use one.  I have one in a drawer somewhere with Curious George on it.  I love Curious George.

40. FAVORITE SOUND?
Ted and Maya laughing over something silly.

41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
Alternative or Classical.

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Paris

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I am the finder of lost things in this house.  And I’m not a bad cook.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Somewhere in the general Bay Area.  I had this answered, but I’m changing it based on the fear of identity theft.

45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
East of Berkeley, but not much.

46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Brown shingles.  I dislike shingles.

47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Silver

48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
Clearly, or else why would I waste my time?

*I copied and pasted this list from Issa, and HA! forgot to change this one. Which led to Ted asking me, “When did you get shoulder surgery? How did I not know about this, after 25 years together?” It’s fixed now.

The “Reader Appreciation Award” Meme

Ally from The Spectacled Bean has tagged me for a meme.  I’m supposed to answer the questions, then tag those of my readers who comment, and they can answer the questions on their blogs, and send it forward, and so on.  I don’t have a problem answering the questions, though I’ll confess the book ones were a little difficult.  I do have a problem tagging, because I don’t know if my most loyal commenters are likely to want to do a meme or not.  Let’s start with the questions, and see where we get from there, shall we?

:: The Questions ::

Where do you do most of your writing/blogging?
My laptop computer, which Richard bought for my mom when she was moving to California.  I inherited it when she died.  It sits on our dining room table most of the time, though sometimes I have it on my lap in front of the computer, and sometimes Maya has it in her room writing papers for school.  I put a big cushion on my lap, though, because I’ve decided that having a laptop right on my lap will probably give me ovarian cancer or something.  I know, I’m paranoid.

What books were your childhood favorites?
The Little House books, The Narnia Chronicles, the Black Stallion books, and assorted books that were not parts of a series.  Some favorites were: Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine, The Endless Steppe, Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl, The Forgotten Door, A Ring of Endless Light, and A Wrinkle In Time (I know, “Ring” and “Wrinkle” were both parts of series, but these were my favorites in the series’.  Maybe.  Maybe, actually, I loved them all.

Who is your favorite fictional character?
Oh, I know I should say Meg Murray, and truthfully, I do adore her.   I could say one Taylor Greer, from Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees.  She is a character who has stuck in my head for years.  But if we’re being honest, I’ll admit that it’s Scarlet O’Hara, much as I fear I will lose your respect.  She’s such a product of her age, racist and foolish and cruel in turn.  But I love how she always does the most selfish thing when what’s at stake doesn’t really matter (coming out of mourning scandalously soon, dancing with Rhett at the fund raising bazaar, things that she has been raised to think are sins earning dire reproach), and yet, she always does the most generous thing when it matters a lot (staying to deliver Melly’s baby when she could have run, feeding the defeated soldiers as they make their way home across the south, though there is barely enough food for her family…her family, who she supports without complaining (much), when she could easily play the role of the Southern Belle and quietly starve.)  She doesn’t see that she’s good, doesn’t really care that she’s bad.  And she’s so immensely loyal. I love her.

What is your favorite time of day and why?
I’m not sure how to answer this one.  Morning, because I have a lot of energy and I can go for a walk or whatever.  Evening, because I like how the day winds down.  I like cooking dinner, listening to music, having a glass of wine.

Have you ever Googled yourself and been surprised at what you’ve found?
No, there aren’t any surprises that I’ve found.  Before I did the blog thing, I worked for awhile on my family genealogy, which meant going on some message boards and so on.  So it’s mostly the genealogy and the blog, with some Facebook and LinkedIn thrown in for fun.

Who would play me in a movie of my life?
Laura Dern would be my first choice.  She takes chances, she’s talented, and there is a resemblance.

One material possession I could not live without?
Could not live without?  My contact lenses, I guess.  Or my toothbrush.  Boring, I know, but imagine going around with nasty breath all day, or being unable to see?  No thanks.

Have you ever been naked in public?
Um…skinny dipping once when I was 19.  Don’t tell Maya.

What is your dream car?
When I was younger, it would have been a Jaguar.  Forest green with cream leather interior.  Now, I covet a Mini Cooper.  Not sure what color.  Not that I’d say no to the green Jag, mind you.  I am also very happy with both of our cars.

What/who/where was your first proper kiss?
My first boyfriend, Mike.  I didn’t know him well at all, but my best friend was going with his best friend, so we were sort of set up together.  It was in the parking lot after seeing a movie.  I have no idea what the movie might have been.

Tagging:  OK, here goes.  I am going to go ahead and tag Nance and VGrrrl, though I don’t think memes are really their bag, baby.  No worries if you ladies don’t want to play. 🙂  I’ll tag Cherry and Issa, because even though they don’t stop by and comment often, I know they’re doing NaBloPoMo.  Wait, Issa bailed.  Oh well, Issa, if you’d like to do this one, consider yourself tagged.  I’ll also tag Simon and Ben, because they stop by from time to time with a comment, and Jen for the same reason.  If I didn’t tag you, and you wish I had, go for it.  Let me know, though, because I don’t always get pingbacks…Wordpress SAYS it does, but it doesn’t.

Thursday 13

Trying to think of a quick blog post for today, before I run out the door. 🙂 So here it is, 13 Things I did (or shall do) on my Summer Vacation.  Graphic from the ‘official’ Thursday 13 page.

  1. Getting my hair done today.
  2. Took Maya to the airport yesterday for her first solo flight…to L.A. to visit her cousin.  I hope she has a GREAT time.
  3. Went to visit Cherry and her new baby, Jacob, and her old baby (2 year old) Elizabeth.  They live near the airport, so that was a two-fer.
  4. Mailed some packages I didn’t have time to mail before now.
  5. Did some work.  Not much, don’t worry, but I’d rather nip some things in the bud than let them wait until I get back.
  6. Going to Santa Cruz to see The Fixx on Friday, I hope.
  7. Maybe going into the City to see a movie this weekend.
  8. Maybe going to the Music and Market tonight, which is a Farmers’ Market with live music.
  9. Went to meet Heidi and her friend Ken in San Francisco last Saturday.
  10. Finished my book, which I loved.
  11. Starting a new book later today.  It’s waiting for me at the library.
  12. Going to breakfast in a few minutes with Ted.
  13. Thinking we’ll have salmon for dinner tonight.  With garlic and tomatoes.

That’s it…also thinking some thoughts about other blog posts I might work on.  Also watched a ton of Buffy episodes.  We have them all on DVD, and I’ve been sucked in, yet again.

Ray of Sunshine meme

I haven’t done a meme in a long time. Perhaps years. I found this one at The Spectacled Bean. 🙂
The rules are as follows: 1. Thank the person who gave me this award; 2. Answer the questions below – its all about favorite things; 3. Pass on the award to other sunshine-y bloggers and tell them about it.

1. The Thank You

Thank you Ally Bean for this one. I’ve been following her blogs for years now. She has a lot of common sense, combined with a whimsical and caring heart. A wonderful combination in a person…I wish we could meet in real life, over iced tea or a drink perhaps.

###
2. The Questions

Favorite color

Green. Sometimes I like a deep, lush green, like a summer day in Philadelphia. Other times it’s a pale green, like a tiny frog or a lizard. It’s a color of life to me.

Favorite animal

Horses. They’re so damn pretty and smart and wonderful, strong and noble and gorgeous, and that little ridge along their mane is just begging to be scratched. I don’t do so well with the riding…maybe I’d do well with a miniature horse as a pet? A close second would be dogs, because they’re friendly and happy and comforting. I’m more likely to own a dog than a horse, though, not only because their poop is much smaller and easier to clean up. Also, because they can sleep next to your bed.

Favorite number

Three. It’s a magic number.

Favorite drink

Chardonnay. Or, perhaps, a really good Cabernet. The thing is, I love the taste and complexity of Cabernet more, but I’m more likely to get a headache. Chardonnay is easier the next day for me.

Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. I’ve never tried Twitter, so of course it seems like a huge waste of time to me. Just like blogging did. Just like Facebook did.

Your passion

Cooking and reading. I love figuring out new recipes and what to make for dinner. I’m not inventive, I can’t make them up on my own. But I do enjoy figuring out something to make and hoping it will turn out well. Reading, because I love being drawn into a totally new world, one that sits simmering in my brain when I’m away, working or cooking or sleeping, but that boils up when I’m actually reading the novel. Love it.

Giving or receiving presents?

I really enjoy giving presents. I like thinking about what the person would like, and why, and trying to find it. Wrapping it, making it pretty, giving it to them, watching them and seeing their face when they open it.

I less like trying to think of what I’d like when someone asks. That’s difficult.

Favorite day

Of the week? Saturday. You’ve slept in, but you still have practically the whole weekend before you. Of the year? July 3, my wedding anniversary. I don’t care much what we do, but I love my husband very much, and I enjoy the memories of that day.

Favorite flower

Tulips mostly. White or yellow or purple. Lilies, but not the really fragrant ones. Roses, but mostly the really fragrant ones. Peonies or Zinnias, just because they’re gorgeous.

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3. The Award Ceremony

Who to pass this one to? Well Cherry is an obvious choice, because she’s my dear friend, but hasn’t blogged since January (busy with a toddler and another on the way). Another would be Starshine, though she’s busy with a toddler and a preschooler, so who knows if she’ll find time either. Then there’s Chrissy, again, mother of a toddler. I need to tag older friends, clearly. Still, I’d like to hear what these three have to say. Anyone else who’s interested, let me know.

I’m good at…

Good enough
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a meme. That part of blogging seems to have fallen away, like so much. Blogging has changed SO much. Anyway, I liked this idea, so I’m copying it from Issa at Issa’s Crazy World.

I’m good at…
~ Cooking dinner

~ Loving my family

~ Being true to myself

~ Going to the store for paper towels and lunch meat, then coming home with $100 worth of groceries, and still, nothing for dinner

~ Being a friend…most of the time

~ Being a wife…most of the time

~ Being a mom…most of the time

~ Overreacting when someone upsets me

~ Getting over it

~ Saying I’m sorry

~ Loading the dishwasher

~ Swimming

~ Finding things around the house

~ Staying on top of the laundry situation

~ Keeping the house relatively clean, though don’t open any closets, because they’re overflowing with crap

~ Being involved in my daughter’s life, to an appropriate degree

~ Staying in touch with family and friends who are far away.  Hi Grandma!

~ Letting go of grudges…most of the time

~ Letting family and friends know how much they mean to me

~ Spoiling my dog. Can’t help it. She’s a baby.

~ Work for my job, which I don’t really talk about on the blog. Not the appropriate place for it. But still, I like a lot of what I do, and the stuff I don’t like, I try to get through quickly.

~ Taking care of my body. As Gilad says, “It’s where your mind, your heart, and your soul live”. This doesn’t mean I’m in perfect shape. Far from it. But I mostly give it nutritious food, and I exercise 4 to 6 days a week. And I get all of the necessary exams and vaccinations.

~ Enjoying quiet time

~ Appreciating the gifts I have been given…a wonderful family, a healthy body, amazing friends, and a decent job that pays enough for us to get by. Not much more, but enough. 😉 And I know, that’s something to appreciate.

~ Grammar.  Not great, but good.

~ Remembering birthdays

~ Multi-tasking

~ Balancing my checkbook

~ Napping

~ Keeping my priorities in order

Your turn…what are you good at?

Monday Meme

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a meme, but in honor of my SIL, from whom I have never received one of these before, I decided to bring the Monday Meme back to life. And FYI, she watches What Not to Wear. I never knew. I pink puffy heart that show, though I haven’t seen it in quite awhile. Here goes:

Three names I am called:

1. Julie
2. Jules
3. MYOB (no, I’m not called MYOB, but I’m not telling the world Ted’s pet name for me. Some of you know. The rest of you, MYOB.)

Three jobs I have had in my life:
1. Cleaning out stalls at a horse stable
2. Front desk clerk for a hotel
3. Business Systems Analyst at a few software companies, under varying titles.

Three places I have lived:
1. San Francisco, California
2. Fairbanks, Alaska
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(also Stockton, CA, Campbell, CA, and Walnut Creek, CA, FYI…plus Berkeley and a few others)

Three things I like to watch on TV:
1. Big Love
2. Lost
3. Check Please, Bay Area

Three places I have been:
1. Paris, France (where we honeymooned, and had the best meal of my life)
2. Belleville, Ontario, Canada (where Ted was born)
3. Las Vegas, Nevada (where I have zero desire to ever return)

Three people who email me regularly:
I’m not sure anyone emails me ‘regularly’ anymore. More facebook and IM these days, I guess. And of course, the blog.

Three of my favorite foods:
1. Potatoes. Chips, fries, baked, twice baked (um…Kathy, I’m ready), home fries, scalloped, mashed, sliced and roasted, whatever. I love potatoes.
2. Wine. Is that a food?
3. Soda. I know. Not a food. Not something of which to be proud. I’ve mostly given up my diet coke, but I still want it. Stupid.

Three friends I think will respond:
Who knows. Since I’m not sending this in an email, I hope some of my bloggy friends and Facebook friends will choose to do it. Via whatever medium you might choose. Perhaps my cousin Jenny, if she gets near a computer in the near future.

Three things I am looking forward to:
1. Going to see “Wicked” tonight!
2. Going to Portland to see family this summer.
3. Taking Ted to Alaska someday. After all these years, and he still hasn’t been. It’s so beautiful, it’s a crime.

Tagging? No, not tagging anyone. If you feel like doing this one, let me know. My ‘who links here’ thing is broken, so I don’t know when people link to my blog. So if you don’t leave a comment, I won’t know you mentioned me. 🙂

Honest Scrap Award

honest_scrap_award

I’m tickled pink (an expression I very rarely use, VERY rarely) to receive this award from the lovely and overworked Chrissy, a lovely woman living on a little island up in Ontario, on a farm with her husband and her beautiful baby.  Anyone who thinks farm life is easy has never read any good farm books (Like the Little House books, for me), and doesn’t read any farm blogs.  Chrissy’s is a good one.  She is also a champion blogger…last year, during NaBloPoMo, she honored that commitment, blogging every day that month, even though she was sent to the hospital in the hopes of keeping her baby inside of her a bit longer, and blogged the day she gave birth to her baby (I think her husband may have helped out on that one), and from the Neonatal unit where her extremely premature baby had to stay until she was strong enough to come home.  Don’t fret, come home she did, and she’s a healthy, happy, beautiful baby, soon to be 1.   Chrissy writes her blog with absolute honesty and truth, so I can see how she earned this award.  To read her blog, I suspect, is to know her in person.  I admire that in a blogger.

OK, the rules of this award are that I now have to say 10 honest things about myself, and then tag 7 bloggy friends who I think are honest and true with what they have to say.  Sigh.  The hard part.  OK, first things first.  10 honest things.  This might be difficult, because I think you all know everything already.  I mean, isn’t that what the award is about, being honest and spilling my guts?

  1. I have recently given up Diet Coke.  Again.  Know what?  I miss it.  But I keep hearing how bad all of those chemicals are for you, and I do get tired of having that monkey on my back.  Wondering, ‘do I need to go buy diet coke?’  I know, get a real problem, lady.
  2. So I’m switching to tea in the mornings.  I’m not ready to decide whether to give up caffeine or not.  I don’t really like tea that much.  Guess I need to start trying different kinds and find one that I like.
  3. Drinking tea in the morning does make me stop and remember when Ted and I were dating…I used to have to work early in the mornings, and he would get up early and make me tea and toast for breakfast before driving me to my 6am shift.  Took me awhile to confess to him that food that early kind of grossed me out, because it was such a generous and sweet gesture.
  4. Everyone is in love with True Blood, but I haven’t gotten sucked in yet.  I think it’s just that much too violent for me.  Though the scene on right now is hilarious.
  5. I get sinus headaches when the weather changes, mostly when the barometric pressure quickly drops.  Not always, but much more often than I would like.  Blech.
  6. I don’t consider myself to be superstitious, but: I won’t walk under a ladder.  I don’t like to see an umbrella open in the house.  I wish on white horses.  But I’ll say whatever I want about things, and not worry about jinxing myself.
  7. I think Carter is right, and that Joe Wilson wouldn’t have yelled out like that to a white President.  The underlying fear in white America of a black President is disturbing.  Yes, we all have the right to disagree with our leaders.  But the hatred and fear mongering going on lately (for the last year, really) is pure ugly.
  8. A lot of my posts are time stamped 4:23.  That’s my small way of letting my mom know that I’m thinking of her, since her birthday was April 23rd.
  9. My favorite color is green, because I love trees and grass and all of the growing things.  Second favorite would probably be blue, for the beautiful ocean and sky.
  10. OK, last one.  Something meaningful now, huh?  Sorry, I got nothing.  I’ve done too many memes in my day, and I’ve told you everything.  I will tell you that I’m drooling over the remastered Beatles albums.  But you know what?  I really liked their greatest hits compilations…the red and blue albums, as they were called.  I wish they had remastered those.

OK, that’s 10 honest things, though I don’t know that they’re the least bit interesting.  Now, 7 bloggers I would like to give this award to. (To whom I would like to bestow this award…that’s a lame rule of grammar, isn’t it?  We’re not speaking Latin here, who cares if my infinitives are split?)

  1. Tracy, from The Starshine Report.  Because I’ve met her a few times in real life, consider her a friend, but got to know her here first.  And the Tracy she presents in her blog is the Tracy you meet in real life.   She is just who she says she is.
  2. Karen Meg, from A Day in the Life.  Because even though I haven’t met her in real life, I feel like I have.  She’s so honest and true to herself in her writing.
  3. Dana, from Katie, Bar the Door.  She’s been through a hell of a lot this past year, and she has put as much of it as is safe and possible out on her blog.  She is the epitome of truth in advertising.  With her, what you see is what you get, in spades.
  4. Dad, from Dad Who Writes.  The honesty this guy puts on a page is raw and right at the surface.  That honesty is what brings me back, again and again.
  5. CK, from Curiosity Killer.  I love reading her tales of making a life in Hong Kong as a mucho talented musician.
  6. Michelle, from Scribbit.  I met Michelle when I was in Anchorage last year, when my mom was in the hospital there.  She took me to lunch one day, I think the day before my mom’s surgery.  One of the last ‘normal’ days for me.  She is who she writes herself to be, if that makes sense.  A kind and giving person, devoted to her family.  She has wonderful recipes, and if you’re crafty, she has a lot of wonderful crafts.  I’m not crafty, but they look fun.  She also tells stories of life in Alaska, and having lived there, though far from Anchorage and long ago, they still resonate with me.
  7. Amurin, from Stop and Wander.  Because she’s a wonderful writer, really knows how to turn a phrase.  And again, honest as can be.  We haven’t met, but I’d like to.  I think she’d be a great person to sit down and have a cup of tea or a glass of wine with.

Thursday 13 ~ Some things I’m glad I can do, some things I haven’t bothered to learn, a few I wish I could do.

Thursday 13

    (Things I can do)

  1. Ride a horse.   Maybe not well (yet), but I’m not afraid of them, and I’m glad that I feel confident enough when I ride that I don’t need someone there guiding me.
  2. Swim.  I love swimming.  I know people who are afraid of the water, never learned to swim, and it makes me sad.  Such a free feeling, and a way to feel your body in a totally alien environment.
  3. Cook a nice meal.  I truly enjoy cooking, and I’m thankful to my mom for making Richard and me start chipping in with that chore when we were in High School.  That gave me some time to get comfortable with it before moving out on my own.
  4. Ride a bike.  I know a couple of people who can’t ride a bike without falling down, and I’m so glad I can ride!  I love to ride my bike, and maybe next year, after I’ve recovered from the financial burden of being unemployed for about 6 months this year, after Ted was unemployed for half of last year, I’ll upgrade to the bike I want again.
  5. Read and write.  I know, basic, right?  But there are so many people in this world who have not been able to acquire these skills.  I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t read especially, or what kind of job I could get without writing.
  6. Basic math. I can balance my checkbook to the penny, and any math that has ever been required for me for a job, I can handle. Calculus? Not so much.
    (Things I cannot do, and it’s OK)
  7. Knit. Maya was part of a knitting group in 3rd grade, and I tried to learn in order to help her with that. She put up a bit of a protest, complaining that I was trying to take over ‘her thing’. Which made me thankful that she is so open and able to communicate, because I didn’t really want to learn in the first place.
  8. Be super crafty.  There are people out there, some of whom I am friends with, who will see a game or a picture or a greeting card, and they say, “I’ll bet I could do that”, and they do.  Really, not interested.  I’ll buy your stuff, though, and I truly admire your efforts and skills.
  9. Bake.  OK, I sort of lie, because I can make a basic lopsided birthday cake from a box, or a yummy crisp, but when it comes to the finer points of baking?  Not interested in the least.
  10. Write stories. I’ve tried my hand at this, and I suck. And it doesn’t bother me in the least. All you writers out there need someone to buy your books and read them, right? I’m your gal.
  11. Do a cartwheel.  I’ve tried, it’s scary, and I don’t care anymore.
    (Things I would like to be able to do, but don’t know if I lack the skill or the patience to learn)
  12. Paint. I think it would be awesome to be able to paint a beautiful picture like the impressionist painters. I’ve thought of taking a class, but I’m afraid my skills and the expense are a deadly combination.
  13. Play a musical instrument.  I’m sure I could learn something, but what I want is instant skill.  Sit down at the piano and PLAY, not have to work on strengthening my fingers, figuring things out, all of that.  Well, it’s not going to happen.  The only way to play piano, or any other instrument, is to work on it.  Oh well.

How about you?  Any things you’re glad you know how to do?  Don’t care about missing out on?  Wish you could learn?

Lie to Me(me) ~ Seven Deadly Sins

seven

(graphic from movie ‘seven’ found here)

Amuirin tagged me for this delicious meme, one where we get to have a little fun, as long as we tell no truth.

Here are the rules:
Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you.
Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up.
If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me.

Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie.

Pride
What is your biggest contribution to the world?
I invented the question mark.

Envy
What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours?
A desk next to mine, so they can be close to me.

Gluttony
What did you eat last night?
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Lust
What really lights your fire?
Cowboys that don’t bathe, and who chew with their mouths open. Especially if they are enjoying their ‘chaw’. Yum-O. You can spit my way, anytime.

Anger
What is the last thing that really pissed you off?
The end of Star Trek, when they whipped around the Sun in order to go back in time *again* and fix things *again*, and they crashed the Enterprise into Superman, who was going back in time *again* to fix things *again*. I hate when that happens.

Greed
Name something you hoard and keep from others:
Celery. Because it’s just SO DARNED GOOD. Also, Liver and Onions, for exactly the same reason.

Sloth
What’s the laziest thing you ever did?
Slept through my wedding. Was that wrong?

Now it’s your turn:
Autumn’s Mom
Jess Riley
Amy Sue Nathan
La Luna
V-Grrrl
Greeblemonkey
Deb

Thirteen Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging

Sorry for the bloggy silence this week. I guess I just haven’t been motivated. I have had a few ideas, but couldn’t be bothered to suss them out enough to write about them. Swine flu? Torture prosecution? Pirates? Obama’s first 100 days? Yawn to all of it. I suspect that no one cares what I think about any of these things, and there is plenty written in the news media on the subjects, so why bother, right? But, so you don’t think I’ve been hit by swine flu myself, or am being held hostage by Somali pirates, here’s what I have been doing, rather than blogging.

  1. Walking the dog around Heather Farm, where this week I have seen a turtle and the first goslings of the year, in addition to the usual suspects.
  2. Taking yoga classes, though I have the chance to go twice a week, I seem to be only making it there once a week.
  3. Sort of looking for work.  I have an interview tomorrow for the job I want, which has taken the motivation out of looking for other, less desirable jobs.  Which is stupid, I know.  But there really isn’t much out there right now.
  4. Trying to remember about slopes and Y intercepts, because that’s Maya’s math homework this week, and I seem to have forgotten some important details in the 25 years since I saw them last.
  5. Getting a massage.  Had a knot in my back that was keeping me awake, so I went to get a massage yesterday to beat it into submission.
  6. Riding my bike along with Maya while she jogs.  She has discovered that jogging alone with your iPod is a totally different experience than running around the track with a bunch of other kids in P.E.  But Ted and I have noticed some sketchy characters out on the trail over the last few months, so we don’t really want her jogging alone.  And my knees don’t jog well.  So I ride my bike up and back and kind of keep an eye out, without cramping her style too much.  I hope.
  7. Cooking.  I like to cook, and I like having the time to make yummy and good for you meals.  When I go back to work, we’ll have to start eating later, I guess.   Believe it or not, Ted and I have never both had 8-5 jobs at the same time before.  Someone has always been home early enough that it really hasn’t been an issue before.  That might be changing soonish.
  8. I’d like to say that I’ve been reading books, but I haven’t really gotten into my new book yet.  I get the feeling that once I do, I’m going to love it.  But I’m easily distracted lately.
  9. Reading your blogs.  And commenting.  Sometimes.
  10. Napping.  One of the privileges of unemployment is the afternoon nap.
  11. Whitening my teeth, the cheapo way.  I read somewhere that if you swish peroxide (3%) around in your mouth for a few minutes, and follow that up with brushing your teeth with baking soda, you get the same results as the drugstore whitening kits, for about $2.  I’ve been doing this for about 5 days now, and I haven’t really noticed a difference yet, though my teeth do FEEL a lot cleaner.  I used white strips once, and I didn’t notice a difference then, either, except that my teeth got very sensitive.  Supposedly this method doesn’t have that drawback, which is a bonus.
  12. Manicure/pedicure.  I’m going for that today.  I haven’t had a professional one in almost a year, I don’t think.  I want to look as polished and put together as possible for my interview tomorrow.  That’s the manicure.  The pedicure is just because I LOVE a pedicure.  Who knows, I might get some reading done on my book while I’m at it.
  13. Trying to prepare for the drought.  CA got a decent amount of rain in February, but not enough to make up for the two very dry previous years, or a very dry January and March, so it’s a drought.  What sucks about droughts, besides the short showers, is that you cut back on your water usage, and because people are conserving, the water companies can’t make enough to cover their expenses, so they raise the rates.  It feels like you’re being punished for doing the right thing.  Which you kind of are, but kind of not.  It sucks.  Anyway, in preparation, I went to our local water district and picked up a free low flow shower head, a thing for our hose (which doesn’t fit, because the end of our hose is old and mangy, and we just need a new one), and some coupons for $175 each off of the price of a high efficiency toilet or two.  OK, two.  But we haven’t gotten around to going out and buying the toilets yet, or installing the shower head.  I guess we should work on that soonish.  As long as it doesn’t interfere with my naps.

So now you know why I haven’t been around here writing much. I’ll figure it out soonish, I guess. 🙂 Right now, though, gotta finish the laundry, take out the recycling, and get ready to go get my nails done. Oh, and try not to stress about the interview tomorrow.

ABC Meme

abc

I was tagged for this on Facebook, but I decided to try it here as well.  I mean, what are memes for, if not for blogging?

A – Age:43

B – Bed size: Queen

C – Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathtub

D – Dog’s name: Genevieve

E – Essential start your day item: Diet Coke for caffeine.

F – Favorite color: Green.  I love the trees and the grass and the plants of spring.

G – Gold or Silver: Gold

H – Height: 5’4″

I – Instruments you play(ed): None. 🙁

J – Job title: Currently between jobs.

K – Kid(s): 1.  Maya, age 13.

L – Living arrangements: Condo/townhouse in my hometown, with my husband and daughter.

M – Mom’s name: Joycelyn. Today would have been her 67th birthday. Sigh.

N – Nicknames: Jules

O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth:  Other than my birth?  Giving birth.  None otherwise.

P – Pet Peeve:  Really Bad Grammar.

Q – Quote from a movie: “If you can’t dress crazy as a teenager, when can you?” – Nicholas Cage, “Peggy Sue Got Married”

R – Right or left handed: Right

S – Siblings:  One brother, two sisters.

T – Time you wake up: 6:30ish am

U- Underwear:  MYOB

V – Vegetable you dislike: Cauliflower.  Unless it’s in Aloo Gobi.  Then, yum!

W – Ways you run late: Me, late?  Only if I’m dragging someone else with me.

X – X-rays you’ve had: Only teeth so far.

Y – Yummy food you make:  Pasta mostly.  And enchiladas. I make lots of yummy food.  I like food.

Z – Zoo favorite: Zoos suck. Giraffes are cool, though. I liked the giraffes at the Honolulu zoo.

Being a Mom

Being a Mom

KarenMEG over at A Day in the Life was tagged for this meme, which got me thinking. It was started by Her Bad Mother, who wants to know about 5 things you love about being a mom, at the same time acknowledging that it’s not all buttercups and milkshakes. That many of us feel ambivalent about the day to day frustrations in parenting, while at the same time deeply understanding the gifts that it bestows upon us.

Like KarenMEG, and I suspect many parents, I am much more interested in my own child than in yours. Sorry, it’s just true. I wasn’t really interested in kids before I had Maya, except that I desperately wanted one of my own. Sort of like a southern belle in Gone With The Wind, working so very hard to land a husband and get married, without any real understanding of what marriage means.

Examples of the struggles of my parenthood can be found here on my blog. Like here, where I lost my temper and scared her, because she thought I was going to hit her. Others occurred before I started blogging, like her 5 months of colic. The teething. The missing out on movies because getting a babysitter can be a pain in the butt. The changes to marriage, some good, some not.

But the joys of being a mom overwhelm the frustrations. I could probably write a book on things I love about being a mom. Or, at least, about being Maya’s mom. I’ve never been mom to anyone else, so I can’t speak to that.

  1. I loved the days when she was a baby, and we would bring her into our bed with us in the mornings on weekends, in order to get a few more hours of sleep.  Such a sweet, simple time.
  2. I loved when she got old enough to come downstairs and make herself breakfast and watch TV by herself, allowing us to sleep in longer.  At the same time, I missed those weekend morning cuddles.
  3. I love that even now, once in a while, she will come and give us a cuddle.  Much less often with a 13 year old, but so sweet nonetheless.
  4. I love how she and Ted laugh at something wicked, something that would probably not occur to me and my rather dry sense of humor, but that makes us all laugh nonetheless.
  5. I love watching her learn about the world.  The stars, the ocean, all of it.  Sometimes it’s hard, as she gets older, and learns about the cruelty found every day, the absolute horrors.  But the absolute beauties are fun to discover with her.

I’m supposed to tag five other moms, and we’re supposed to see if this little meme can travel the world in 80 clicks. I’m going to take a more organic approach, and say, if you would like to participate, tell what you love about being a mom (or dad!), and go tell Her Bad Mother, as they are tracking the geographic progress of this meme. Especially go tell them if you’re participating, and you don’t live in the United States or Canada.

Firsts Meme

Jelly Bug, my first car

I’ve had a few complaints lately, about the paucity of new posts around here.  I know, it’s disturbing.  I’m blogstipated.  Feel like everything I want to say, I’ve said.  Don’t worry, this has happened to me before.  Plenty of fiber, and I’ll be fine again soon.  In the meantime, to get certain people off my back, here’s a meme.  Don’t complain, you wanted a post, you got a post.  No one said it had to be good.

Stole this from Dot’s Facebook page.

FIRSTS MEME

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?

John Crespi.  Only prom date, as I only went once.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

No.  I would if I bumped into him, just never bump into him.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Budweiser.  Ugh.  Though it may have actually been cold duck.  Double ugh.

4. What was your FIRST job?

Two pronged answer:

1. I used to clean out stalls in exchange for horse riding privileges at a stable near my house.

2. First paying job, Hostess, then waitress, at Mr. Steak.

5. What was your FIRST car?

1966 Candy Apple Red VW Bug.  Loved that car.

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?

I don’t text.

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?

My husband.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?

Sorry, I don’t remember her name.  Edie?  I went to a hippy school where we called our teachers by their first names.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

California to Alaska

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and do you still talk?

Maybe Julie Ragins, and I hear she’s a musician now.  I have her CD.  But I haven’t heard from her since I was about 6 or 7.  We went to Montessori together, and my mom was our teacher. (Julie, if you ever google yourself and find me here, I was Julie Gipson then.)

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over?

No idea.  Probably Amy Derocher’s house, in Fairbanks.  Or my Grandparents house, if you’re counting that sort of thing.

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?

My husband.

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?

David and Stephani’s

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?

Got dressed, brushed teeth, put in contacts, went for a nice walk with my husband and our dog.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?

Simon and Garfunkel with Rosemary, Mr. Ponder, and maybe Mr. Cornet.  They were awesome and fun math teachers.

16. What was the FIRST record/tape?

Not sure.  Maybe Abbey Road?  Probably more like Air Supply.

17. FIRST hospitalization?

Giving Birth…and today was her due date, though she waited almost 2 more weeks to be evicted.

18. FIRST foreign country you’ve been to?

Tijuana, Mexico.  Then London, England.

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?

Some Disney movie, I think.  But I don’t remember which one.  Lady and the Tramp, maybe?

20. When was your FIRST detention?

Never had that problem.  I’m a goody goody. 😉

21. Where did you FIRST meet your spouse/partner now?

First day of speech 100 at SF State.

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?

Troy Butler.  He was a pretty great roomie, too.

23. What did you do with your FIRST paycheck?

Cashed it and spent it!  I don’t remember if I bought clothes or records, but it surely wasn’t big enough to get both!