Friday, June 30, 2006


This morning was rough enough without the Starbucks guy calling me "ma'am."

I'm usually a bit of a homebody and definitely an early-to-bed girl. Even on a Saturday night, I'm tucked in by eleven. But last night, I went with LostinTexas and her friend T to a Boy Band Sing-Along. It started at 9.45 p.m. A time at which I should be in bed, placing my bookmark, patting Rowen goodnight, turning off the lights, and cursing the elephants who live above me and lay in wait for me to turn off my lights so that they can start slamming every friggin door in their apartment and invite their clogging class over to practice. Instead, I was in a theater with a couple hundred other girls (and a few brave boys), singing along to NKOTB and Backstreet Boys. (And blowing my diet with sangria and cheese fries.)

It's been a long time since I've had that much fun.

Or stayed out that late. I got home around midnight, and of course was too wound up to go straight to bed, so I stayed up almost an hour longer, watching random television. (Staying up turned out to be a good move because at about 12.30, some woman started calling---loudly---for "Pumpkin," who I think is her cat. Had I been asleep when this happened, I would have been initially freaked and subsequently very annoyed. As it was, I was just really amused.)

So I'm feeling a little fuzzy this morning. My throat hurts from singing and cheering and my head hurts from everyone else singing and cheering and if I may offer a little advice: When moving, make sure you know where you packed your painkillers of choice. Because you really don't want to wake up one morning bleary eyed and sleep deprived with the rude realization that, despite the previous night's behavior, you are no longer 13 or even 23 and not know which box contains those precious pills. Particularly because you will not possess the dexterity to handle a knife to open those boxes. Or the wherewithal to search for more than 30 seconds before looking dolefully at your dog and asking her in all seriousness if she could run up the road for some Advil and Starbucks. And she will ignore you (smart puppy!).

But it was so worth it.

And I've got just under eight hours until a four-day weekend! I'm taking Monday off because . . . well, because I can.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

On the Pile

Is fiction getting worse or am I getting curmudgeonly? Because it’s been a long time since I’ve read any fiction that I’ve really liked. Even stuff that gets rave reviews, I’m kind of meh about. Since March, I’ve only read two fiction books that I’ve truly enjoyed: The Dead Fish Museum and A Dirty Job. Well, three if you count Deogratias, but that was a graphic novel and I consider those separately.

Part of the problem could be the conditions under which I’m reading these books, that is, hurrying to meet deadlines.

But I think there’s also a lot of overhyped bad writing getting a pass by lazy and/or cowardly reviewers who don’t want to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Not that I’m the end-all and be-all of reviewers, mind you.

And, of course, it could just be that my interests and tastes are changing and I’m more of a nonfiction reader now.

Finished: Theft by Peter Carey. This is one of those aforementioned books that received heaps of praise that I’m not sure it deserved. But because it received all that praise, I’m questioning my own judgment of it. Am I just cranky and depressed? Am I too unsophisticated or unschooled to appreciate it? What am I missing that everyone else sees? Carey won a Booker for a previous book, which further leads me to believe that I’m just not smart enough for this book. But then I remember that DBC Pierre also got a Booker---for the abomination that is Vernon God Little, one of the few books that I’ve actually wanted to physically harm. So . . .

Not that Theft was an entirely awful book. It had it’s moments. And it had potential as a satire of art-world pretentiousness or as a clever Hitchcockian how-done-it. But overall, I found it pretentious, artless, and unsatisfying. None of the characters were at all sympathetic and the plot dragged. Another disappointment.

Currently Reading: Somebodies and Nobodies by Robert W. Fuller. He had me hooked---for about five pages---but only 15 pages in, he’s already circled back on his point so many times that I’m saying “Alright already. I get it!”

On Deck: Not sure. This pile needs some reshuffling. I have scads of review books, some of which I’m just going to have to accept that I won’t get to review, as well as prep reading for school and library books.

Added to the Pile: That’s it. For the month of July, I’m banned from requesting review books or going to the library for any reason other than to return books.

For Review
Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston
Tomorrow They Will Kiss by Eduardo Santiago

From the Library
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Keeping It Cool, Puppy-style

I haven't been the most faithful blogger lately. But I haven't had much to write about, either. Other than counting down the days until I'm finished at work or until I can have a real meal again. And I'm fairly certain no one wants to read an extended whine about how tired I am of drinking my lunch.

So instead, you get puppy pictures from a playday at Town Lake.

A rare moment of quiet before playtime.

Waiting for the throw . . .

Fetching the stick . . .

Noshing on the stick . . .

Posing with the ball as she decides whether to bring it to me (not likely) or hide it in the woods (her favorite trick).

And as a bonus: A puppy video!

Look at her go!

(Okay, so Coppola I'm not.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Don’t Drink and Diet

Really. Don’t. Because after a week of diet shakes and miniscule dinners, one (admittedly strong) rum and Coke will make you feel like you did a dozen shots and danced until the wee hours. But I needed something to soothe my nerves after Rowen ran off again.

Up until about a week ago, her behavior was getting steadily better, to the point that I would let her off her leash to go potty because I knew that she would stay in the grassy area and would come when I called her. But then, last week, as I took her leash off, she spotted someone walking across the parking lot. And before I could react, Rowen was running across the parking lot, around a building, and under a fence. By the time I got to her, she was doing her second lap around the golf course behind the apartment complex.

So that was the end of letting her off the leash anywhere but the dog park.

Now we’re in the new apartment and she’s being even more of a brat. And it doesn’t help that I have a neighbor who has two dogs who aren’t kept on a leash. And one of those dogs likes nothing more than to antagonize Rowen. With Rowen acting like she’s never had a day of training her in life, this is bad news.

Last night, I was trying to wrangle Rowen while balancing my purse, my keys, and a bag of liquor that I had presciently stopped to buy when the neighbor let out her two dogs. And they made a beeline for Rowen. Who proceeded to become absolutely spastic, despite having just spent an hour swimming and playing chase at the park. In retrospect, there are a lot of things I could have done differently: put Rowen back in the car until I had taken everything into the apartment, put the bag and purse back in the car until I got Rowen in the apartment, at least have put the bag down while unlocking my door so I wasn’t balancing quite so many things at one time. But I didn’t do any of those things. So while I was trying to hold onto Rowen’s leash and unlock the door and not drop a bottle of rum and a six-pack of Coke, the neighbor’s dog continued to bait Rowen and Rowen lunged and I lost my hold on the leash. And Rowen? She’s fast and agile. I’m pretty sure she’s part Greyhound or Whippet. When she gets the devil in her, you’d have a better chance at roping a wild horse than of catching her.

Rowen did a couple laps around the parking lot before shooting off into the lot next door and taking a tour of the grounds. Fortunately, she does still respond to genuine panic in my voice and eventually let me catch her. And I was big-time panicked because we’re on a busy street and across the street is a steep incline into a creek. And Rowen loves water more than anything. I’m very surprised that she didn’t bolt right to the creek.

Needless to say, at the end of this I was furious (at Rowen, at the other dog, and at my neighbor) and nerve wracked and definitely ready for a drink. I did manage to keep my temper in check while “politely” asking that my neighbor keep her dogs on a leash. Yes, I know they don’t run off. But they do antagonize my dog (and one of them repeatedly went into my apartment when I was moving in; I had the door propped open and even though the neighbor was right there and had to have heard me ordering her dog out, she did nothing to help remove him).

So after giving Rowen a couple of raps on the nose and ordering her to stay out of my sight, I made myself a very strong drink. Which was all it took to set the room spinning. And for me to wake up feeling wrecked this morning. It’s taking all my will not to curl up under my desk for a nice nap.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the Pile

The reading slow-down continued this week due to the introduction of cable television into my life and the need to finish knitting an afghan in the next six weeks (i.e., prior to my sister’s wedding). Oh, and Seasons 6 and 7 of the best television show ever (i.e., Homicide) came out.

Finished: Despite the distractions, I did finish Voodoo Heart. Which I really liked. At first. I thought it was quirky and clever and thought-provoking. But then it got too clever and quirky and slid into David Lynch freak show territory, which I can only take in small doses. Each story was progressively weaker, as the symbolism became less subtle and the author’s “cleverness” more intrusive. Rather disappointing.

Currently Reading: Theft finally came off the bench, although I’m only a few pages in. And I’m trying to start Steps to An Ecology of Mind, but my mushy brain can’t make it past the introduction.

On Deck: Oh, Anne. I also hope to start Burning Rainbow Farm very soon.

Added to the Pile: Frema sent me an excellent package with a Babysitter’s Club book, two Sweet Valley High books, and an Archie comic book. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down the titles.

For Review
The Heartless Stone by Tom Zoellner
But I Like It by Joe Sacco
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
(I feel like I’m forgetting some. Oh well.)

For School
The Marx-Engles Reader ed. by R.C. Tucker
From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology ed. by H. Berth and C. Wright Mills

ETA: And I just got in the two books I'm reviewing for Bookslut---All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity by Robert W. Fuller and So This is Love: Lollipop and Other Stories by Gilbert Reid.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Craft Day

Despite the moving craziness, I have managed to get some more craft projects done.

I'm still working on my pile of t-shirts. This one started as a plain purple-ish crew neck. I cut about an inch off the bottom and cut the top off under the arms to make a tube top. Then poked holes front and back for straps. Originally, I tried using the discarded material to make the straps, but we've discussed my lack of cutting skills; the straps came out all sorts of nasty. But I managed to find just the right shade of ribbon at the craft store.

For the "starburst" detail, I traced a stencil and then did a basic backstitch with silver embroidery thread. Let me state for the record that I will never again use metallic thread. It was a huge pain to thread through the needle. In the center are clear Swarovski crystals, also stitched on with the silver thread. (It looks better than the picture makes it look, really!)

After all the frustration with the silver thread and the crystals, I desperately wanted a project that I could finish quickly and easily. Fortunately, I had a Subversive Cross Stitch kit on hand.

And finally, a new favorite project: pillows! I got this idea from the Crafty Chica site. It's a fantastically simple, instant-gratification project. Take two linen napkins, wrap them around a pillow form, and glue the edges with fabric glue. I added a trim, which I glued in between the two napkins so I wouldn't have to bother with "cornering" it. I made another one with different napkins in similar colors, but I packed it before I thought to take a picture.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


So about forever and a day ago, LostInTexas posted an alphabet meme, and I begged offered to play along. And I really have meant to get to it. But I’ve been having problems stringing monosyllabic grunts into anything resembling a sentence. My brain decided that it was much overdue for a vacation and absconded to a remote beach where it is drinking entirely too much rum and getting a nice tan. A lack of a brain, however, is hardly a good excuse not to write. Ann Coulter does it all the time. So here it goes: 10 words beginning with the letter “C.”

I suspect that Lost assigned me “C” so that I’d write about Catholicism. I’ve let that subject drop after my previous post. Partly because I’m still sorting through how I feel about the issue of spirituality and religion. Partly because I’ve had so many other things on my mind: moving, grad school, Rowen’s refusal to pee, overdue book reviews. I’m in a spiritual limbo at the moment---craving some spiritual connection or direction but not sure what I’m seeking or where or how to find it.

Of course, perhaps if I took more time to seek that spiritual direction, I might not be so Confused. I feel like everything in my life is up for grabs at the moment, and I’m very confused about what I want versus what I’ve been told to want versus what I think others want from me. I’m not sure if the decisions I’m making are the right ones. Do I really want to get a degree in anthropology? Should I be going to library school? Is grad school even the right choice? What about writing? What do I want to be when I grow up? Will I ever grow up? The questions go on and on.

Thinking about all this is making me seriously Cranky. That’s been my default mood for months. I don’t want to deal with anyone or anything; even my dear, sweet Rowen has been on my last nerve lately. I’m cranky about other drivers, about work, about the people at the grocery store, about the cost of groceries, about the people who try to answer the above questions because I’m very, very tired of hearing what everyone else thinks I “should” do. I just want to stay in bed and eat cookies and ice cream.

But unfortunately, I do have bills to pay. And those cookies and ice cream have serious Carbs, which I’m trying to avoid. At least until after The Wedding. It’s not even my freakin’ wedding. But I’ve put on some weight since buying my bridesmaid dress, and I need to lose at least 5 to 10 lbs for it to fit well. I can get it on; I just can’t breathe in it. Those few pounds are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Since moving to Austin two years ago, I’ve gained about 45 lbs. I’ve gone up three dress sizes. And I’ve tried everything short of a clinical eating disorder to get those pounds off. I’ve tried training for a marathon (but pulled out about two months before the mary due to multiple setbacks including two bouts of bronchitis). I’ve given up processed foods, high-carb foods, high-fat foods. I’ve gone to a physician, a therapist, and a nutritionist. I’ve had endless people tell me all about what worked for them, which is all well and good, except that guess what? I’ve tried it and it didn’t work for me. And I’m not you. So shut up. (And there’s the cranky again.) But having been called fat in private by my mother and in public by my sister, I’m making one last-ditch effort to drop a few pounds before the wedding. And, no, I’m not doing it in any way that could be at all construed as healthy or maintainable. But I don’t really care.

Let’s see if we can keep this joyfest going. What’s another word that just makes me squee with glee? I know: Celibacy. Let’s talk about when I last went on a date. Or not. Because I don’t think I can count that high. I only have so many fingers, people. Suffice it to say, it’s been a long time. As in years. Guinness just called and I officially have the World’s Longest Dry Spell. Admittedly, an overweight cranky introvert with no direction in her life and an inability to commit to a zip code probably isn’t the girl of most guys’ dreams.

But I do have my redeeming qualities: I can knit a mean scarf. I have a cute dog. I don’t mind if a guy wants to spend his Sunday watching football games (so long as he doesn’t mind me cross-stitching while I watch!). And I’m getting better at Cooking. I’m not a naturally good cook, but I’m learning. Cooking just makes me very nervous. There are so many things to pay attention to and so much that can go wrong. And I’m terrible with the timing thing. If I’m making three items---say fish, rice, and a vegetable---one thing will be done way too early and another right on time and another way late so that I wind up with soggy rice, dried-out fish, and an undercooked vegetable. I’m usually too tired when I get home to want to deal with all the prep and the clean-up. I’d much rather nuke some soup or pick up sushi to-go. I’m trying to improve, though. I’ve got a couple of dishes down well-enough that I’d feel comfortable serving them to guests, and I’m practicing some others.

I’m just not the domestic sort. I don’t like cooking. And I really don’t like Cleaning. Especially the bathroom. A confession: I once hired a housekeeping service to clean my one-bedroom apartment every two weeks. I justified it because at the time I was working at an intense job where I averaged 60-hour weeks and traveled several times a month. And even though I know it’s a ridiculous expense, I would do it again.

The one “domestic” area that I do enjoy is Crafting. I picked up knitting and cross stitch during my year in Africa. I needed something to occupy me during the evenings and weekends, time I once spent watching television, going to museums, hanging out with friends and now was spending in hiding from my housemates. I also got a sense of accomplishment---a feeling of having done something well---that I wasn’t getting from my volunteer work as a teacher. I was a terrible teacher. I don’t have the disposition---the patience, love, and humility---for it. Then, when I first arrived in Austin and I didn’t know a soul and I didn’t have a job, crafting was a way to pass the time. I kept knitting and cross stitching, and I also took up papercrafts, primarily book making. I’m not the most artistic person, but I enjoy learning new things and I like to imagine that I could be artistic, so I keep taking on new projects. I, however, seem to have developed some sort of adult-onset ADD so I have a growing pile of half-completed and “someday” projects! I’ve been feeling inspired to learn how to sew, mostly by the beautiful creations of Crystal and Amy, but I don’t know that I have the patience and skill for it (I can’t do anything in a straight line!).

Speaking of domestic issues, let’s chat about Children. I like children. I enjoy spending time with children. I think children are a blessing. But I don’t want any of my own. I’m quite happy to hang with them for a few hours and then send them home with their parents. I’m too selfish for children. I’m probably too selfish for marriage. I like my space and my quiet and my routine. I like being able to watch whatever goofy thing I want on the television. I like being able to decide that I’m too tired to cook so I’m having cereal for dinner. And I like being able to leave the dish in the sink afterward. I like going to bed when I choose and I like sleeping through the night. I don’t like being woken up for any reason short of a natural disaster or death. I don’t adapt well to changes in my routine, especially those imposed on me by others. I get frustrated to the point of tears when Rowen won’t go potty so I can go to bed; I was a wreck the first week that I had her because she cried all night every night that week. I’ve heard all the lines: It’s different when it’s your own child. You say that now, but you’ll change your mind. You’ll regret it if you don’t. And perhaps I will regret not having children. But I’m 30 years old. I think I know myself enough to know that I don’t want children. And if I ever do reach a point where I feel like I could be a good parent or I strongly regret not having that experience, there are other options---becoming a foster parent, mentoring a child, and such. So, sorry Mom, no grandkids from me!

Well, this turned into quite the long post! Are you still with me? I still have one more word and it’s going to be Comments. I live for them. I’m needy and insecure. I crave validation. And I’m not above begging for it. So leave a few thoughts of your own.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

On the Pile

My brain is mush. Reading anything more complicated than the mini-reviews in Entertainment Weekly has become impossible. With the crash diet (which seriously crashed yesterday---peanut M&Ms and an iced chai latte and a cupcake [but it was free!] and pizza [because I’ve packed all my kitchen stuff]---but I burned off at least the M&Ms and possibly the chai [it was nonfat] by moving the first carload of stuff to the new apartment), the anxiety attacks, and the sheer exhaustion of moving, I can barely concentrate long enough to finish this sentence. Forget trying to read something.

Yet try I do.

Finished: Fax from Sarajevo. Disappointing. The author comes from the old-school superhero comics, and he tells this story very much in that manner---sound effects, choppy narrative, a chiseled hero. Except that this is a true story with real people and events and is plenty dramatic enough (a graphic artist is trapped in Sarajevo during the Serbian invasion and spends more than a year trying to get himself and his family out, often risking his life to do it) without the added whiz-bang effects. The “comic” approach detracts from the story and, in a way, cheapens it.

Currently Reading: Voodoo Heart. Yes, still. See above re: ability to concentrate. Also reading Food Politics by Marion Nestle. Or trying to.

On Deck: It makes me sad even to think about this category.

Added to the Pile: I’m moving. I already have entirely too many boxes of books. So what do I do? I get more books, of course. Some library books, a review book. And after six months of not buying any books---one of two resolutions I’ve actually kept!---I bought some books for school.

From the Library
30-Minute Get Real Meals by Rachael Ray
Dr. Atkins’ Quick and Easy New Diet Cookbook by Robert C. Atkins
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

For Review
The Body Hunters by Sonia Shah

For School
Coming of Age in Somoa by Margaret Mead
Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas
Myth and Meaning by Claude Levi-Strauss
Steps to an Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Let's Play Hide & Seek!

Rowen, where are you? Where could you be?

Well, now. What do we have here. What do I see?

There's my Rowen! You're so silly!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Can My Eating Disorder Wait Until After I Move?

So after I found out how much it was going to cost to have a hitch and all the things that go with it attached to my car and after a friend scared the bejeesus out of me with what will happen to my car if I go more than 45 mph while towing a trailer (basically, my transmission would blow up, leading to a $5,000 [minimum] repair), I decided that I wasn't going to tow a trailer to Madison. So now I'm in a total panic because I need to pare way, way, way down. Because anything that can't fit in my car will have to be shipped.

I've been sticking with my diet so far---the only chocolate to pass these lips in more than a week has come from a Slimfast can---but I'm exhausted and headachy and I could really, really use a chocolate-chip cookie. Or a donut. Or a brownie. Or a cupcake. Or pretty much anything laden with sugar and fat.

Both of these suitcases are large enough for me to fit inside. I also have two slightly smaller suitcases full of clothes, one filled just with clothes that are three sizes too small. Because one day, I will get into them again.

I think I might have too many clothes. And too much denial.

This pile is actually two-layers deep. And all but one of the boxes is at least 75% books. And I'm still packing books.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Fourth and Fifth Thoughts

And now for the latest round of "Am I Doing the Right Thing?"

I'm interested in anthropology. And I was excited enough about the program to go through the whole application process---begging for recommendations, digging up writing samples, taking the GRE. I actually managed to get into a program at a good school. I've given my notice at work; I've put a deposit on an apartment in Madison.

So why am I still thinking, Maybe I should go to library school instead?

Finding out that I was a borderline candidate hasn't help get rid of the niggling doubts. I spoke with my advisor earlier this week, and apparently I barely made it into the program and was admitted primarly because they have a new faculty member who specializes in Malawi and I spent a year there. The advisor wasn't trying to be mean---I don't think. She was being candid and trying to help me by letting me know where I stand and what I need to do to catch up with my classmates, namely, reading ahead over the summer. But the conversation brought to the front a whole bunch of nagging thoughts: Have I really thought this through? Is this really what I want to do? Am I in denial about what I really want? Or is the alternative just a "safe" escape from what I want but find too scary and intimidating? Is this going to be a $50,000 mistake?

Part of it, too, is probably stress about the move. Staying put would just be so much easier. I wouldn't have to worry about finding someone to help me move or worry about whether my car is up to hauling a trailer across a half dozen states or go into massive debt just trying to get from here to there. The move is really just starting to wear on me and the first, little one is still a week away. The big one is two months away!

I wish I felt more certain about all this---that I felt confident that I am doing the right thing. Why can't life come with a map and a handy guide?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

On the Pile

I didn’t get nearly as much reading done as I thought I would last weekend. Mostly because my parents have this really cool box with a glass front that shows colorful moving pictures when you press a button. And there was a Benson marathon on. And my father has the first season of CSI on DVD. I did almost finish a dishcloth, though.

Finished: Persepolis 2. Just as good as the first. Better in some ways because it was more emotionally honest and I could relate to so much of it. Not the drug dealing part so much. But the feeling alienated from your peers and the worrying about what your family and friends will say after you “fail” at something.

Currently Reading: Voodoo Heart. I’ve finished the first story, which is this fun, quirky, interesting story that has all these layers that are stuck in my brain. Is his girlfriend really on the blimp or is he chasing a symbol of her? Are the objects that he finds really hers or just things that remind him of her? Is it ironic that he’s trained to spot signs of potential danger but doesn’t see any signs that his girlfriend is leaving him? The more I think about the story, the more there is to think about.

Oh, and the author, Scott Snyder, has come by my site twice. Which rocks. Hey, Scott, if you're reading this---please explain!

Also have started The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which is making me feel incredibly stupid because Campbell writes in these long, convoluted sentences that take in all these references and disciplines. I have to read every passage three times and then backtrack every couple of pages.

And reading Fax From Sarajevo---yet another graphic novel about war and genocide. Now, this statement is going to get me in big trouble, but . . . Sometimes I think Americans are a bit . . . overdramatic. We’re so freaked out about terrorists. You’d think we were the first and only place to have ever suffered from a terrorist attack. But then I read about these places where people lived every day in real fear for their lives. Where hundreds of thousands of people have died. And I think, We really need to get over ourselves. We’re hiding under the bed from the boogeyman while people who have known real, immediate terror get on with their lives.

On Deck: Poor Anne and Peter. They’ve been on deck for ages. And I still really, really want to read the new Armstrong.

Added to the Pile:

What is Mine by Anne Holt
My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
Nuer Dilemmas: Coping with Money, War, and the State by Sharon Hutchinson
Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, andRepresentation ed. by Roy R. Grinker

I also got a list of books from my graduate program advisor who strongly recommends that I start reading ahead over the summer to make up for my lack of actual background in anthropology, so I’m off to the bookstore this afternoon to start looking for them. I’m allowed to buy them under my need-for-school clause because they are listed on the syllabus for her course, which I’m planning to take in the fall.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yo, Mama

I love the girls of Go Fug Yourself more than ever.

I'm Ashamed Bush is from Texas, Too

On a happier note, I've listened to the new Dixie Chicks CD about a bazillion times in the past week and LOVE it. I think "The Long Way Around" may replace "Wide Open Spaces" as my personal theme song.

I've been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
But I've always found my way somehow

By taking the long way
Taking the long way around
By taking the long way
Taking the long way around

Warning: Entering the Cranky Zone

So there's nothing like being called fat in public to get your week off to a great start. This time, my sister was the culprit. That's the thanks I get for all the time and effort---and cash---I put into her bridal shower. Not to mention putting up with my aunt for three days. I was left alone with her for one afternoon and it was seriously like living with Rain Man. She would bring a dress down to show me and then, while holding it mere feet from me in a well-lit room, say "So this is black and white and has flowers on it." Because apparently I had been struck blind.

Then my flights back were delayed because of weather. And despite my careful packing so that I'd only have a carry-on, I had to check one of my bags because the rest of the passengers are a bunch of selfish jerks. I know I get entirely too worked up about the carry-on issue, but really. I follow the rules; why can't everyone else? I bring one small wheely bag that fits perfectly into the little size checker and fits nicely in the overhead compartment with plenty of space left for the others in my row and I have an "overnight" bag that I put under my seat. And men are the worst offenders with this. They carry on these ginormous garment bags AND a "laptop case" that's usually bigger than my wheely. Grrrr. So instead of just walking out of the airport, I had to wait for my bag. So I didn't get home until nearly 2 a.m. on Monday morning. Only to find that the apartment parking lot was nearly full. Apparently everyone in the complex got an extra car over the weekend and invited their extended family to stay because that's the only way that lot should be that full. I had to park about eight buildings away from mine.

So I woke up yesterday exhausted and emotionally wrecked. And absolutely certain that I will have neither children nor a husband because three days in a house with other people was more than I could take. I just don't live well with others. I'm not good with patience. Or compromise. When I wake up, I want to be able to get into my bathroom. Right then. I don't want to wait. When I'm watching television, I want to watch it in peace and not be interrupted by a fashion show for the visually challenged or have someone sit next me to and talk on the phone.

Anyway, so I took the day off yesterday. But today, I had to face the inevitable: Returning to work. And all was going mostly well. I woke up a little late because I had trouble sleeping, but I showered and dressed quickly and was ready to go at my usual time. All that was left was taking Rowen outside for her potty. Well . . . it took an hour and three trips outside before Rowen would actually go potty. Which meant that I was leaving the apartment an hour later than usual. Which meant that I was leaving the apartment right at the peak of morning rush hour instead of just a little ahead of it. Which meant that I had to deal with all the idiot Texas drivers who think the laws of physics don't apply to them.

All of which is more than enough to make me very cranky. But I'm also attempting one last crash diet so I can fit into the bridesmaid dress, which somehow shrunk while sitting in my mother's closet. I can get the skirt on and zipped; I just can't breathe at the same time. And, well, I'd like to avoid having any more family members call me fat. Because the way things are going, they'll probably have the DJ announce it: "Please clear the floor so Lisa and her fat ass can have this dance."

So I'm hungry, tired, and supercranky. And the week is just getting started.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blame Bearette

You Are Bert
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

Your Deadly Sins
Sloth: 60%
Envy: 20%
Greed: 20%
Gluttony: 0%
Lust: 0%
Pride: 0%
Wrath: 0%
Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%
You will get bugs, because you're too lazy to shoo them off. And then you'll die.

On the Pile

Preparations for Move #1 have cut into my reading time---and reminded me of just how many books I have to read.* Even with not buying any books for five months, giving away books as I read them, and selling some books that aren’t good enough to give away or I’ve admitted I’m never going to read, I still have way too many books. And every time I turn around, I find more! The “to review” pile keeps growing and I’ve been wearing out my library card again. Is there such a thing as Books Anonymous?

Finished: This Voice in My Heart by Gilbert Tuhabonye. An amazing book. I read it in two days. Tuhabonye grew up in Burundi and was the sole survivor of a horrific massacre that was part of the ongoing conflicts between Hutus and Tutsis in that region (the same conflicts that led to the genocide in Rwanda). Because Tuhabonye had achieved national fame for his running (even though he was still in high school at the time!), he was particularly targeted and still cannot return to his homeland because of threats to his life. A really interesting story. Some of the events are a little hard to follow because the political history is woven into his story and not clearly explained, and someone needs to do a little fact checking---names and dates change at random. Also, the book bogs down a little at the end, when Tuhabonye comes to the States, because he wants to acknowledge everyone who helped him. Which is sweet, but cumbersome. Still, I’d recommend this one.

Currently Reading: Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi. The critics didn’t seem to like this one as much as the first, but I’m loving it. I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime the past three nights to read it.** I'm jealous of Satrapi's ability to be so absolutely honest about herself and her life. I’ve also started Voodoo Heart by Scott Snyder. I’m only a few pages into the first story, but he’s got me hooked. Based on the seven pages I’ve read, I’d say he reminds me of Steven King and J.J. Abrams.

On Deck: I’m trying to be good and only taking a couple of books with me for the weekend. So other than what I’m currently reading, I’ve got Fax from Sarajevo, plus a couple of magazines.

Added to the Pile: I liked The Omnivore’s Dilemma so much and enjoyed the author’s reading so much that I went straight from the reading to the library to check out The Botany of Desire. I was also inspired to learn more about the U.S. food system and sustainable eating, so I checked out Food Politics by Marion Nestle. I also got in Confessions of a Memory Eater by Pagan Kennedy for review.

*Anyone in Austin want to lend a hand on June 17?
**Okay, two of those nights I was reading and one of them I was packing for my trip this weekend and watching S.W.A.T.