Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas (or whatever you happen to celebrate)

Tony really went all out this Christmas, like a crazy man. I'm spoiled. (Mostly, I think he's trying to make up for all the travel he did this past year--but we're working on that -- that's why we're moving)

He stood in line forever to get me a deluxe Scrabble edition (though he may be regretting that now since I kicked his butt on our old Scrabble set last night) and found an artist that makes these really cool wire horses to make one for me. I'll have to take a picture of it later. It's really beautiful. I've been wanting one since we saw them at an art show a couple of years ago. Then the really big gift that was totally unexpected -- a new desktop media PC. We've been needing one, but I kind of just thought we'd get one after we moved and had things like cable again, even though my old desktop was sooooo slllooooowwwww. The new one is really cool and really fast. I'm typing on it right now. It'll be really, really cool once we get it all hooked up to a real sound system and our projector and whatnot. Really really. We'll have to stock up on popcorn for movie nights.

My big gift to him was a really nice copper saute pan. Mauviel from Williams Sonoma. I'm going to slowly replace all his old pans with nice new ones. Though now I wish I'd gotten him two pans instead of just one. But I also got him something that isn't here yet (so I won't say what it is in case he reads this) and some other miscellaneous stuff. The pan was the big thing.

Mom sent a bunch of old pictures, which made me all teary, especially some baby ones with me and dad. I don't think I'd even seen some of them before. And two photo albums to put them in, so I'll have to go through and organize them. I had serious coconut head (i.e. fuzzy Asian-baby hair) when I was little. Dad called me coconut head.

Lisa got me a covered casserole dish that's part of the set of China that I inherited from Grandma. Very pretty piece. It's not at all our style of china, but it was Grandma's, so it is special to me. I want to get enough pieces together (Grandma started me off with a complete set of plates, a sugar dish, and a creamer) to do Thanksgiving with. I'd already bought two pieces last year -- a gravy dish and a platter. So I'm getting there.

And Pam sent a cute little "catikin" (wooden cat manikin) that goes along with my human figure one. Maybe it'll help when I paint Gracie and Harley...or not, since Grace has that huge layer of blubber over the top of everything. And she also got me a candy thermometer (you know, so I know exactly when the hard ball stage is).

The relatives also sent wonderful fun stuff too -- beef jerky (that Harley got into, the jerk -- but I managed to save most of it) and cookbooks from Auntie Dot & Uncle Ray, a pretty t-shirt from Uncle Jensen, a restaurant gift certificate and some dish towels from Auntie Es & Uncle Herb, and a wine tool set from Uncle Wil & Auntie B.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something. That was the big big stuff though. It was a good Christmas. But mostly, I'm just thankful that Tony is home. He's going to have to work this week after all, but at least it sounds like he'll be working from home. So that's something. That's all I really want - time with my hubby.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday's Child

It doesn't really feel like Christmas time to me yet. Maybe it's because of Tony being gone so much traveling. Or the general unsettled feeling I have. Or the fact that I'm having a very un-inspired shopping year. Or maybe just because I can't seem to sleep at night anymore. No idea.

I really, really need to do some shopping though. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow. It's really gross out today. But, its supposed to be gross out tomorrow too. It isn't that cold, but it is rainy and just generally dreary.

I have a few more things to mail too -- I guess I can get those ready today and then send them out tomorrow. I need to check the PO Box anyway, since we asked that some things be shipped there so wouldn't have to worry about packages being left out on the porch. Someone stole two boxes of padded envelopes the other day. I'm sure it wasn't what they were expecting to get. I didn't even report, though I know I should. I've just given up. The police never respond unless it's something serious -- so if no gun was involved, you might as well just give it up.

I should go on a wrapping spree. Half of the stuff under the tree isn't wrapped since it's stuff we got from people in the mail and I didn't want to open the boxes in case they weren't wrapped (I know the stuff Pam sent isn't; she's not a wrapper). One thing has already been unwrapped, and it wasn't my fault. Auntie Dot sent some Chinese beef jerky (love that stuff) and I didn't realize that's what it was until I discovered that Harley had helped himself. He went through the wrapping paper and the plastic. The little bugger. I should know better, but I didn't get any hint through the sniff test. He's sneaky.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Still not asleep

Still not asleep, but messing around with Photoshop. Okay, seriously, I'm going back to bed (again).

I kind of wish...

I kind of wish it were snowing. Maybe it will snow for Christmas this year. This is me and dad, when I was approximately 3-ish, during our brief time in Arkansas living on top of a mountain on a rabbit farm. Those are bread wrappers on my feet (over the top of a pair of my socks, a pair of my mom's socks, a pair of Lisa's socks, and a pair of dad's socks -- or so I've been told).

Obviously, I'm not yet asleep.

Intemperate as ever

Shhhhhhh...It's Oh So Quiet....shhhhh....shhhhhh...It's Oh So Stale....Shhhhhhhh...

I haven't slept yet tonight. Can't sleep. Desperately want to. It's pretty much morning, now. I've taken another set of pills, hopefully they will push me over the Sandman's ledge and my eyes will...close.

That's Bjork up there, by the way.

And, of course, tonight is one of those nights where the house is all creaky. And Tony isn't home. And I have five million things I need to do tomorrow, including mailing Christmas presents so they hopefully get where they are going in time.

Happily, tomorrow is the last day of the steroid pack of pills I'm on for my back. I think they are the root of my insomnia. I've had trouble sleeping at night since I started taking them (5 days-ish ago). I think they've helped the back problem -- though it's a little hard to tell, in a way -- and I won't know for sure until after a while. At which point I have to see the Dr. again and decide whether to go for the epidural treatment.

But I'd really like to sleep right now.

I did catch some Zzzzzz's today/(technically) yesterday morning after I dropped Tony off at the airport. I wanted to make sure I'd catch the UPS guy, so I slept on the couch, fitfully, but did not fall off. But, hoo-boy, what weird dreams! I think that must be another side effect. It wasn't specifically listed, but "possible psychotic episodes" was, so hey, weird dreams aren't exactly unlikely.

I'm so ready to move.

Not ready in the "everything packed and set to go" sense, but ready in the "Louisville has ground me down and I can't take it anymore" sense. I don't think I ever want to live Southern again. I knew it from that stint in Mississippi, but I didn't have a choice then being as I was just a teenager. And yes, I know that Florida is technically about as South as you get for the U.S., but there's a big difference between Florida and Kentucky.

Trust me.

Some of it is unreasonable of me, I know. But once I'm done...well, I'm just done. Stick a fork in me and all that.

I really, really want to go to sleep.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Princess Izzy and King Dork

I don't write about books too often in this blog since I've got an entire website and another blog devoted to that very topic. But I finished King Dork last night and it's a thought-provoking little book. Princess Izzy and the E-Street Shuffle I finished earlier in the week.

I like King Dork. A lot, actually. It's a book that kind of defies description though. I'm not sure how I'm going to review it. It's kind of like...say a parent/author comes proudly wheeling in their newest offspring. "Isn't she a beauty," they gush. And rightly so. But you're looking at this baby and you notice that the poor sucker's head is a little bigger than it should be. Or maybe a little lopsided. And you're thinking, well, everyone thinks their baby is the prettiest baby out there, but that baby...hmmmm but then you look closer and actually, that big head on that baby kind of goes. It's distinctive. Interesting. Perhaps the kind of baby that you'd like to get to know, versus one you'd just kitchey-coo at and forget all about the next day. But this -- this is a baby you won't easily forget. This is a baby with some intriguing stuff rattling around in that big head. You'd just bet on it.

Anyway, I liked it. Good book. I'll put together an actual coherent review for the website instead of that baby drivel.

Now, for Princess Izzy. I'm not sure I'm going to review that one for the website. It isn't a bad book, but I didn't particularly care for it. It was hard to -- you'd think, from the cover and the back copy, that -- hey, this is a book about Princess Izzy and her crazy, dizzy life and the love(s) of her life -- but you'd ultimately be wrong. No, it's a book written by a possibly jilted woman who's husband was possibly murdered or possibly not. A character who you quite easily guess who it is, even though they spend half the book pretending to be all un-biased (snort). Even when they are complimenting someone, they aren't. It was just hard to care about any of the characters, since they all might be adulterers or murderers or just plain stupid but then again they might not. Maybe they're just misunderstood. And the authorial presence hinges everything on circumstance but never actually asks. Because they'd rather not really know. You know, in case it isn't what they want. But ultimately, as a reader, I finally just didn't care. I just wanted it to all be over with so they could all go back to self-congratulating themselves and influencing fashion in bad ways.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Super Freaky

I started a new book last night. Not that I wanted to start anything before we moved or that I have time to think about it, but I had some bits I had to get down on paper. Or screen. Whatever. Wound up writing 1,600 words between about 1:30 AM and 3:00 AM. Kinda like it.

It originally started out as an idea for what I could do to change my little vampire book into something that didn't have vampires in it, but I think I like it better as an idea just on its own. It's actually Dan Ehrenhaft's fault I started it. ;-) He'd emailed me about how it was going, etc., and that got me started thinking about this idea I'd had, etc....

Anyway, I think I like it. Will probably do some exercises around it to flesh out the characters a bit. Maybe think about some names, since I just trolled through my playlist to get some (so there's a Nick as in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and a Nina ala Nina Sky).

Don't really want to put too much down about it since I'm not sure where its headed -- it could go a few different ways.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Last nights

Bits of randomness...

Tomorrow Tony is off again to Chicago. We have a lot of last nights now -- though, on the bright side, that also means we have a lot of first nights when he comes back.

We've been watching a lot of Netflix movies lately. The other night we watched Tortilla Soup, which I hadn't realized was essentially the exact same movie (just Latino vs. Japanese) as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Kind of surreal to see them both, especially since it wasn't long ago that we saw the other one. There were things I liked about both versions, though I'd probably recommend the Tortilla Soup one to English speakers since you don't have to muddle through the sub-titles that way.

Last night, we watched the Director's Cut of Bladerunner. I hadn't seen the movie in so long I couldn't really point out the differences. Still, a great picture. Someday I need to read the book.

Tony is still working on the puzzle that Lisa got him for his birthday. It's called the Shipper's Dillemna. You have to fit 3 different sized blocks of wood into one cube without any left over. He's gotten close, but not quite there yet. Good thing he likes puzzles.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It's December. How can it be December? Yikes. As I get older, the time just goes faster and faster. There's never enough time.

We've shown the house to a few groups of people. We were thinking of doing an open house this weekend but Tony had too much work to do, so we didn't. The relocation people are supposed to call soon, so things may start moving faster once that happens. The flyers from the info tube have been disappearing at a regular rate. I keep wondering if I should add some more pictures. If people have seen other houses in the neighborhood, they might not realize how much better shape this one is in. We'll see. I guess I'll wait to see what the relocation people have to say.

I've been working on the art show stuff and on the Cybils nominees and some reviews for TokyoPop. I've got a TON of reviews to catch up on and a bunch of prize books to mail out. It's neverending sometimes.

The visit with Pedro and Jamie was really nice. We did all kinds of stuff -- checked out the Zoo (bigger than we'd thought it would be), did the Woodford tour, went to Morton's and Lynn' was fun. It was great to see them again. Nice to be able to do stuff with people. There aren't many people we do things with in Louisville, other than Rich and Bob next door. Moving to Chicago will be a huge improvement, since Tony already knows so many people up there. Maybe we'll actually have parties again! :-)

I got the Christmas cards almost all finished this weekend. Just a few more addresses I need to get and then I'll be done. Tony, of course, worked all weekend.