Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted

There must be a million blogs with that title today. Heh. Sorry to be unoriginal. And sorry I am truly the world's worst blogger, having not done so since I don't know when. (Although I take comfort in the knowledge that my brother hasn't updated his blog in even longer. Now and then I would check his just to reassure myself that there was one worse blogger out there.)

So much to discuss...so little time. I still have a freelance project calling my name so I don't have a lot of blogging time once again. The garden...well, that's a subject for a post all its own, complete with depressing pictures. ASH remains fabulous and adorable, interspersed with 2-y-o crankiness and bad behavior. His 2-y-o molars are finally coming in, so I think we can blame some of the crank on that. Poor baby.

And I voted! Ohhh, I was so happy. No lines whatsoever. I love voting. It makes me feel so much civic pride. Which is kind of dorky, but whatever. Democracy rules. No lie, I have been hoping to cast my vote for Obama since his keynote speech at the convention in 2004. It blew me away. I didn't think he'd ever run in 2008 since he wouldn't have enough experience, but then I was thrilled when he did. Watching that speech, I suddenly COMPLETELY understood the Kennedy mystique, which had always escaped me. This is how people felt--filled with hope for the future and excitement about the possibility of real change. Inspired. Charged with the realization (or remembrance) of this country's awesome power for good in the world. I don't know what will happen--who will win, whether he will be a good president, whether he will really be able to make new policies. But I am almost beside myself at the thought of Obama becoming president. I am thrilled to be able to say I saw that speech and recognized his potential. I remember saying I wanted to move to Illinois just so I could vote for that guy. I'd never seen anything like it. I really, really hope he wins.

On the subject of experience, can I say for a moment that I think all this talk of junior senator, no foreign policy knowledge, blah blah blah--it is such utter bullshit!!! Every president since Kennedy has been a GOVERNOR! Not a lot of foreign policy when you're in charge of Arkansas. I mean, has anybody even pointed that out??? I'd say 4 years in the Senate and an obvious awareness of the fact that other countries even exist make Obama more than qualified. And of course we cannot forget that a number of experienced people have been running the country for 8 years now--running it right into the ground. So much for experience. I think experience gets outweighed by being a total idiot asshole, like some people.

And another thing I've been meaning to post about since August: Must Sarah Palin drag that poor little baby out in the middle of the night at every opportunity? Jesus. He's 9 months old. He needs his sleep. He doesn't need to be paraded around like some kind of prop. I can only imagine the horror of being asleep (as he often seems to be at the ends of these speeches or the debate or whatever) and then blearily waking up to a room full of lights and people and TV cameras and pulsating nervous energy, UGH! She could even make a joke, like "Trig [and DON'T get me started on the awfulness of her poor kids' names, oh my God, I've been wanting to blog about that for months too] wanted to be here tonight but he's got important sleeping to do" or something. Sheesh. I pity that poor boy. Please God, let her not become VP for so many reasons, but partly so that kid can have a hope of growing up normal. I am all for women in politics, but I do think a baby that young, particularly one with special needs, needs his mommy. Call me unfeminist if you like. I don't think she can devote the proper amount of time to him and be VP. Not to mention her other kids, they need her time too. I'll concede that I feel sorry for Obama's daughters too, because I don't think they're going to see much dad for a while (well, if he wins, please let it happen) and they are awfully young for that. This is the drawback to a young president, I guess--young children. Still, I hope he'll find a way to make it work. I think he can do it.

OK, should go nervously watch CNN for a bit (as if it can tell me anything, hours before the first polls close) and then on to the freelance work. Be sure to vote, everybody! Preferably for Obama. :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

He said "I Love You"!!!

Yes, I am a big dork, but today my son said "I love you" for the first time. (Well, to me. T. says he's said it already, and I'm like, "Not to meeee!" wah, because I don't think I could have missed that even if I do have terrible hearing.) I'm not really sure if he knows what I love you means, but he said it and that's good enough for me. I managed to coax him to say it a few more times today. Yes, I am shameless.

He had his two-year checkup the other day. Flying colors, happily, as usual. Except he still can't make it out of the 5th-10th percentile in weight. Oh well. He pretty much never stops moving, and T is a slim guy, so I don't think he has any real hope of bulking up. We've also started a gym class for him, which is fun although I didn't like the first class as much as the free trial class I took (big surprise). Oh well, I think he'll still have a good time, and I can use the running around time as well. So far he loves to hang on the uneven parallel bars. My little Olympian! (The gymnastics apparati are really for older kids, but the little ones can play around and get familiar with them.) The only problem is he has applied this newfound skill to hanging off inappropriate things around the house: the pedestal sink, an open kitchen drawer....

Here in the 'burbs it is pouring rain and thundering. Not a great situation for getting your kid to nap, but I think he's down now. My poor garden is limping along. I think we might get one more zucchini this year, for a total of, like, 8. Damned cane borers and cucumber beetles. My plan for next year is to spray the hell out of the garden with organic pesticides and/or soap, vs. this year's regime of spraying halfheartedly with pesticide that the guy at the garden store told me was organic but I have my doubts because it smelled like turpentine. It stank, and was a hassle to apply, and T. complained every time and said, Are you sure this is organic? and I defended it but the truth is I was unsure. So let's hope things turn out better next year. Maybe I should also look into whether there are such people as garden-sitters, in case I go on vacation.

Off to go read some more of my latest book and eat a little chocolate. Yay for naptime.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tag! I'm it!

The fabulous Eurydice over at Geeks in Rome tagged me, and I gotta say that I don't know if I have the energy to recount 6 random things about myself, but we shall see.

Here are the tagging rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Post the rules to your blog

3. Write 6 random things about yourself

4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them

5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

I am not actually going to tag anyone (which probably defeats the purpose of all this, but oh well) because the few bloggers I know have either already done this meme or would never do it so there's no point tagging them. Nevertheless.

Here are my 6 random things:

1. I can drive a stick shift. It rocks. If you don't know, you should learn, just as everyone should know how to swim no matter how far they live from water. (A side note--have you ever watched The Amazing Race, a show whose very nature involves driving in countries around the world, and noticed how many people can't drive a stick??? WTF??? Have they never seen the show before? OK, I can see how they might not know, but LEARN BEFORE YOU GO ON THE SHOW! And how to read a map. Jesus. Such a no-brainer, you would think, but apparently not to a lot of these contestants. If you can't tell, T and I have a secret desire to go on this show. But I'm sorry to say that traveling does not bring out my better nature, and I'm terrified I would be edited to be the Crazed, Bitchy Wife--Why Does This Nice Guy Put Up with Her? contestant. Also, if I get hungry I get even more bitchy, and it doesn't look like a show where you get to stop for lunch much.)

2. You already know this, but I speak Italian. It's always a pleasure to see one of those lists of things people want to do before they die, on which "learn Italian" often appears. Ha! Did it!

3. I deeply appreciate my sense of smell. I just read an article that said a lot of people rate this sense as least important, but I think I'd put it at number 2, after sight of course. I have terrible hearing so I don't care so much about my ears, but I think I'd be totally heartbroken if I couldn't smell my son's head ever again, or T's face. I'm sure this sounds weird, but these are two of my favorite smells in the whole world. In more practical terms, I love to cook and eat, so a loss of smell (and consequently most of my sense of taste) would be a death knell there too. The article was by a woman who had lost hers, and she said it was much worse than you would think. It pretty much sucked the joy out of her life. Did you know Michael Hutchence had lost his sense of smell, which is believed to have contributed to his suicidal depression? I didn't, but I believe it.

4. OMG, I really shouldn't be writing so much for each item in this list, or I will be here all day. Anyway. I was on Jeopardy. This is pretty much my claim to fame for the rest of my life. It was a total blast, and would have been even if I hadn't won thousands of dollars. Hah. Came in handy paying for my wedding and house renovations. If I lived near LA I would seriously consider trying out for trivia game shows for a living. To be honest, I think I would clean up. Sorry to brag.

5. OK, only 2 more to go. I can do it. Ummm...when I was about 8 I was the little kid at Sea World who gets to feed Shamu. Let me tell you, no matter how much you wash your hands, you cannot get the smell of fish off for at least a day. I hate fish. (Eating them, that is. Looking at them is lovely.) Although I imagine even people who like eating fish wouldn't care to have the smell of dead ones on their hands.

6. I tried on some Christian Louboutin shoes yesterday. I covet Louboutins so damn bad. The ones I tried were just classic black pumps, but I figure if I am going to spend that much money on shoes they had better last me the rest of my heels-wearing life. Of course, I am not in a financial position to buy 500-dollar shoes. But I looked at myself in the mirror and, Scarlett-like, I swore, "As God is my witness! Someday!!!"

And that's it for that, as ASH is now awake from his nap. Early. Isn't it always the way?


Been a while, no? Lots has happened, some good, some bad. The bad news, an important relative of my husband's died, so we've been away for a week visiting his family. The good news, we had a nice time hanging out with them, and ASH spent all day every day running around, playing in dirt, visiting his uncle's horses and chickens, riding a tractor (not alone), etc. Rural good times. He slept like a champ all week, not surprisingly.

Good news--well, ASH is just trucking along growing up, and it's fun to see. He seems to have made a language jump--perhaps this developmental leap is to what we can attribute the bad temper and poor sleeping of a couple weeks ago. Now he's through and is being extra cute lately. New words: happy (how gratifying!), fun, run, bike, kite, and the names of his uncle and aunt. Conveniently, T's brother and my brother have the same name, so if we can get him to learn my bro's wife's name we'll be all set. Bro and SIL arrive tomorrow to rest up before they move into an apt a few miles away, so ASH's timing of his new knowledge is perfect. We are psyched to have bro and SIL living nearby! Yeah! Although we will miss visiting them in NYC, it'll be great to have them around. They are major food-lovers, so I hope to glom onto them as they explore local restaurants.

The garden...mpmh. The cherry tomatoes, both colors, are doing great. By failing to adequately stake one of my large tomatoes, I have allowed the main stem to break and I think it may be a goner. I'm peeved because I planned to taste-test it and compare to the other large tomato to see which I might want to plant next year, and I haven't done it yet. Maybe I already know that I won't plant another Brandywine. It is an heirloom variety, but I learned online that a lot of tomatoes go by that name, and you can't really be sure which you are getting. This one looks beautiful when cut and doesn't have big seed pockets, which is nice, but the flavor and color--eh. Not that really WOW red or acidic flavor. Might just be a little too mild for me. Better luck next year.

The zucchini...so sad. After the trauma of cane borers, arrived the heartbreak of powdery mildew. F, man, I am so sick of this. The one year I get to take summer vacation (we tend to be spring/fall vacationers, for some reason, which means never getting to lie on a beach in the hot sun), and it happens to be the year I decide to start a garden, and, boy, if you have a garden I do not think you are allowed to take a weeklong vacation because misery is unleashed while you are gone. Sigh. Well, I am learning. I am half-tempted to abandon gardening altogether but then I will feel too guilty about the hundreds of dollars we spent on wood for the container boxes, etc., which we justified with the knowledge that it was just the startup costs and we would reap the benefits in saving equivalently hundreds of dollars at the farmer's market. Mpmh. Not so much. So far, though.

The broccoli seems to be growing like crazy, but just the leaves. Where are the actual broccoli heads? My SIL in the mid-Atlantic, where we were this past week, has already seen hers come and go. I am hopeful that means mine are only a couple weeks away, but I dunno. Maybe I got a late-harvesting variety.

Happily, the eggplant is growing beautifully [my ordinarily wonderful and supportive husband refers to this as the "one success story" of the garden. Thanks a lot! There are plenty of other sucess stories, mister. Just look at the cherry tomatoes.], although I haven't a clue how to tell when it's ready to pick. It's so much firmer than a supermarket eggplant that I don't know if it's still underripe or if this is what they're like when they're super-fresh. How much knowledge of our agrarian heritage we have lost!

And the hyssop I had sort of given up on since it wasn't flowering or doing anything interesting, has decided to flower. Reprive! It is mixed in with lavender, and and I was thinking of ripping it out and replacing with more lavender so I can have a mini version of a luxuriant Provence-like border. But now I guess I won't. A nice thing is that the lavender flowers in the spring, but the hyssop flowers now, so there's something happening in two different seasons. This is the sort of event I aim for in the garden but rarely achieve.

OK, that's enough for one post, isn't it? I have been tagged! but I will put that in another post.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bad blogger

Having never been good at keeping a paper journal, I don't know what made me think I'd be better at the online version. Ah, well. We were on vacation for a week in beautiful Kennebunk, ME, then we had family visiting, then the lying-around-on-the-couch-recovering-from-family-visiting period, etc. etc. Plus I was doing a freelance project that ate into my normal blogging time. I guess part of my problem is that whilst blogging I always have the feeling that I should be emptying the dishwasher, doing laundry, other good housewifey things. Or, to be honest, sometimes I am lying around reading and being lazy instead. Reading other people's words is so much less effort than creating one's own.

BTW, I apologize in advance for not hyperlinking anything in this post. Cf. lazy above.

ASH turned 2 on August 1. Hard to believe 2 years ago at this time I was suffering the agonies of sore nipples and sleep deprivation and the deep terror that comes with the realization that you are entirely responsible for this little creature's well-being, and you'd better not fuck up. ASH today is the sweetest, friendliest, most gorgeous child you could ever hope to meet. Lately we've had a preview of terrible-two-ness (sample: Me: "Do you want some edamame?" ASH: "No!" [ASH then takes edamame and eats it.]) but it's easier to handle (at least so far, check back with me later and perhaps I'll be selling him on Craigslist) when I know it's all part of his developmental phase, and when at other times he runs full tilt at my legs and then gives them a hug, saying, "Ohhhhhhh, pat pat pat" because that's what we say when we hug him and he hugs back and pats us the way we do him. It's all too insanely cute for words. I still marvel at my incredible good fortune in being given this amazing child.

I think I'm appreciating him more this week because we are poised to leave him with my dad and stepmother for the weekend while T and I go to New York to catch a Yankees game in the last season before they tear down Yankee Stadium. Sigh. (As good Red Sox fans, we of course plan to root for Kansas City. I am trying to decide whether to be a jerk and wear my Red Sox hat to the game. Heh.) I am simultaneously excited to have a couples weekend and heartbroken at the thought of leaving him behind. This will be the first time we have done so for more than one night since he was born. It'll only be 2 nights, but it feels like a big deal. (His only other overnight was a year ago when my best friend got married and ASH stayed with my dad, with T and me saying we might come back and pick him up that night. Umm, didn't happen.) I know he will be fine but I am still going to miss him like CRAZY.

But we will enjoy baby-free-in-New-York time. We plan to eat with my brother and his wife at Les Halles (home of Anthony Bourdain, although I doubt he's ever in the kitchen anymore, what with gallivanting about for the Travel Channel and being a Top Chef guest judge and all. Fame, so time-consuming. There are always a million things I want to do in NYC and we never do any of them. And now my bro is moving up here to Boston to go to grad school, so it's goodbye, exquisite coop in the West Village. Sigh. I feel like we will never visit New York again without them there, which is of course untrue, but it's just so nice to visit them and New York at the same time. And did I mention their apartment is exquisite? View of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings? Ohhhhh...
In other news--the garden, she ails. My once-mighty zucchini plants were attacked by the dreaded cane borer, a hideous white segmented worm that eats the stems from the inside out. Then the whole plant dies. This has happened to 6 of my 12 plants. Supposedly you can slit the stem, dig out the borer, and then cover up the stem with dirt so it can heal and the plant recovers, but I dunno. Suffice it to say we have not been having the zucchini overload I had anticipated. I get one serving of zucchini about every couple of weeks. Alas.

Not helping matters is the ridiculous amount of rain we've had lately. When we came back from vacation I actually found a small FROG in the garden. No lie. I can't imagine where he came from. I thought at first it was one of those hideous Darth-Vader-like squash bugs, and I was squaring my shoulders at the thought of the murder I was going to have to commit, when I looked closer and saw what it really was. I wonder what's happened to him now that it's a little drier. When it's too wet I also have the problem that my insecticide and fertilizer are made to be dissolved in water and sprayed on, so I have to either water a garden that desperately doesn't need it so I can kill bugs or feed the plants, or...not.

The tomatoes are doing OK so far, although a number of the leaves have brown spots and I don't know if it's OK or some kind of death knell for my only happy plants. The orange cherry tomatoes are the best producers at this point. The red cherries are poky, as well as really too big for optimum pop-in-your-mouth eating. The Brandywine tomatoes are HUGE, and the one that's nearly ripe is already cracking, which I think is bad although I'm not sure. I hope it doesn't rot or fall off the vine while we're gone. Maybe I should bring it to my dad. That's an idea. And my eggplant! She is so pretty! Swelling like a woman in the 3rd trimester. And I haven't checked lately, but I think another eggplant is on the way. I hope there isn't some kind of eggplant borer no one's told me about. Sigh. This whole garden thing is really more trouble than I was led to believe, Mr. Square Foot Gardening. Better luck next year, I hope.

Roses doing great. I can see now that the sad little new ones that weren't doing well--all they needed was more water. Oops. They are so much happier now. At least somebody is!
And finally--TV check-in. I was happy Joshua won So You Think You Can Dance, although I TOTALLY thought it would be Twitch. I mean, come on! Josh was great but not (for me) nearly as entertaining. Still, I was happy. We are completely behind on Project Runway and have yet to form opinions much, although I loved Suede's winning dress in the green challenge, even though Suede himself seems like a total tool. (I mean, "SUEDE"? WTF kind of name is that?) In Olympics thoughts, it is TOTALLY TOTALLY unfair that women's beach volleyball players have to wear these itsy little bikinis and the men wear the most hideously unflattering, body-hiding singlet-type things. Give me some bare chests! And shorter shorts! (When I was saying this yesterday, T pointed out, "Hey, this isn't Top Gun." Well, it SHOULD be.) Don't get my wrong, the bikinis are cute, and the women look great in them, and I guess the scantiness is fairly appropriate in this context. I would just like equal-opportunity scanty. Get on that for 2012, London, OK? At least for swimming and diving there is some good ogling potential.

That's all for now. Got to go pack for the weekend. For some reason I don't have much trouble packing for the whole family to go somewhere, but packing for ASH to go one place and me another is somehow defeating me. I'm terrified I will forget to pack something major. Like diapers. Luckily, I'm pretty sure my dad knows where to buy them. ;-)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Teh Runway

Oh yeah! Project Runway is back! The initial eps are always a bit slow, but looks promising so far. Fun to see Austin back! He was always one of my favorites. You gotta love a guy who will wear makeup and be no-holds-barred gay gay gay on national television. I see him as someone who has found his place in life to be who he really is, and it's beautiful. Sorry to get all sentimental there for a moment, but really, if you were some gay kid in East Nowheresville, suffering the jerks in high schiool (well, wait, didn't we all suffer jerks in high school? but I digress), well, I can just picture that kid seeing Austin and thinking, Man, there is hope for me. When I get to New York I am going to let it all out! I gotta be me, I just gotta be me! I hope that kid has cable.

Anyway. Tim's awesomeness continues. Heidi looks gorgeous as always, although it looked at one point like she forgot her pants. Sure, if you are a super-hot supermodel you can wear a short dress, 3 kids or no 3 kids, but somehow this just didn't work for me.

I was pretty surprised at who went home. I thought it would be the other guy. I think here we have a clear case of good-TV-potential outweighing designing talent. And how crazy is that crazy lady? She makes Ms. Spit-Mark from last season look like Walter Cronkite.

Can't wait to see what's up this week!


Such was my response to Kherington getting voted off of SY last week. Sigh. I had a soft spot for her. Oh well, gives Comfort a little more time to shake her thing, although I don't think she's got a lot more time left. Am loving the mixing up of the couples, and how about that Joshua? That man be workin' it. I realized that with Gev gone all the guys left are my faves, so I am pretty happy from now on. Especially if they take off their shirts. Not to be too shameless. I have never been a big Courtney fan, so once she is gone the other girls are also ones I like. But maybe Courtney is growing on me. They should tell her to lay off the self-tanner when she's standing next to, say, pasty-white Gev. I guess the only white (ish) guy left is Mark so at least they won't have that problem anymore. I do think the wardrobe department has gone completely insane this season. Maybe they're taking advice from Mary Murphy. (shudder)

My garden is trucking along. I'm having trouble lately with how to keep it properly fertilized without overwatering. We've had plenty of rain, but the fertilizers are designed to be dissolved in water, so I don't know what to do. A bona fide little eggplant is hanging out at the base of a stem. It's so cute! The yellow cherry tomatoes are coming along and I've harvested a few. It really makes you realize what giant farms the people who sell at the farmer's market must have, to be able to sell quarts upon quarts of tomatoes or blueberries, because from my one plant I get about two ripe cherry tomatoes at a time, once or twice a week. The red cherry tomatoes are like in stasis or something, along with the big tomatoes and my many zucchini plants. I'm hoping August will bring more production. Blossom-end rot, chipmunks, and cucumber beetles are still my big nemeses.

Speaking of Latin plurals, is there a fitness instructor anywhere in the country who knows that the singular of "vertebrae" is "vertebra"? If I hear one more person tell me to "roll up one vertebrae at a time" I am going to lose it. I don't think that would go over too well in yoga class. And the teacher is otherwise super great, so. Perhaps best not to piss her off.