Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Think I Need a Sunrise...

The internets have been boring lately. 


People don't seem to be updating their blogs as frequently, and the few on my blogroll that are getting updated are primarily blogs of people I don't actually know, and am only occasionally interested in browsing. 


Facebook has gotten dull since my cousin Sara went to Chile, which seems to imply that she was the only one of my friends who ever did anything on there! It is true that Sara posts significantly more often than most of my friends do, but I wouldn't have thought all Facebook activity would grind to a halt because she's on vacation. 


Bridesmaid dress shopping is proving difficult, as it always does, since we have four very differently-shaped bridesmaids to accommodate. I'm ridiculously excited for Megan's wedding, though, so the important thing is to keep that in mind. It's wedding planning, after all, which by definition takes a long time. Everything will work out eventually!


And, finally, it is clear that certain babies I know did not receive the memo informing them that today was supposed to be National Cooperative Babies Day. Lana and Liron seem to feed off each other's fussiness, so that where one of them was fine a minute ago, suddenly I have two crying babies at the same time for no reason. This is puzzling. Also, they are both clearly exhausted, and yet neither will sleep. This is not optimal. 


The bright side (ironically) is that today is my favorite kind of weather in the entire world--cooler, rainy, dark and overcast (hence the irony of it being the bright side), and absolutely beautiful! I am so excited at this first sign of fall. I can't wait for the cooler weather, the sweaters, the Halloween party we will hopefully be having again, the Muppet Christmas Carol party we will definitely be having again, and all the other amazing things that come with this wonderful season!


As it is still August, I may be getting excited prematurely... But oh well. To be totally honest, I've been waiting for fall since May. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Triumph!

Ahahahaha! I win at last!


As you may have noticed, my friends, I have turned on comment moderation. Believe me--I did not want to do this. I absolutely prefer having your comments be published as soon as you make them. 


However, you may remember these spam comments (that's a link to my post about them, not a spam link) which have been plaguing my blog for some time now. Enabling word verification didn't help, but it turns out comment moderation does; and so, my dear blog friends, I will have to keep it this way until I find something else that works. 


Huzzah.

More Things to Consider When Apartment Hunting:

School zones. This morning, for the first time, I fully grasped the significance of living directly across the street from an elementary school (and .4 miles from the middle school down the street, which is relevant only in that it means we can't escape the school zone by going the other direction and circling around). 


So I had a bit of a crummy morning today. The school zone added a solid five minutes to my five-minute drive to work, general school traffic/waiting for buses to pick up children added another five, and voila! There you have it, my morning commute tripled.


Yeah, I know. It isn't actually that bad. It just happened that this morning, the alarm on my phone--which has been going down the tube gradually for about a year now--went off silently, so that I didn't wake up until 6:39 (which is when I'm supposed to leave to be at work by 6:45). 


Why is my alarm going off silently? I don't know. For one thing, even when my phone is on silent, the alarm still sounds. But my phone isn't on silent, and I tested it twice last night to make sure it would go off (because last week it didn't). This morning I woke up to find the phone flashing, but with no sounds. Blig blag blargh.


So I got dressed in six minutes, was late to work, and then had to go back and pick up Mike to take him to work--which also took ten minutes longer than usual, so that he barely made it there on time. (He likes to get there early so he can get his truck ready before it's time to leave for the day's route.)


Also, this was all done in one of my parents' cars, because our Corolla is sitting dead in the parking lot of Mike's office. Today I have to call the insurance company and get them to tow it to an auto repair place, where in turn they will fix it and charge us ten million dollars, at which point we will have to sell all our belongings and begin living in the car.


Happy Monday, everyone! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Movies to See Because My Favorite Actors are In Them

(Not in order of favoriteness... Just thrown in randomly.)


Renee Zellweger
One True Thing (Meryl Streep, Lauren Graham)
My One and Only
Chicago
White Oleander
Jerry Maguire


Need to watch again--New in Town, Leatherheads


Meryl Streep
One True Thing
Lions for Lambs
The Manchurian Candidate
Dancing at Lughnasa
Postcards from the Edge
Music of the Heart
Evening


Need to watch again--The Devil Wears Prada


Jeff Goldblum
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Cate Blanchett)
The Switch (Jason Bateman)


Robert Downey, Jr.
U.S. Marshals
Richard III
Chaplin


Need to watch again--Good Night and Good Luck


Alec Baldwin
The Shadow
Ghosts of Mississippi 


Need to watch again--Elizabethtown, Notting Hill


Alan Rickman
The Search for John Gissing
Mesmer
Quigley Down Under


Need to watch again--Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves


Emma Thompson
Last Chance Harvey (Dustin Hoffman)
An Education (Alfred Molina)
Brideshead Revisited
Howards End (Helena Bonham Carter)


Cate Blanchett
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (?)
Bandits
Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Jude Law, Matt Damon)
Charlotte Gray


Minnie Driver
Hope Springs (Colin Firth)
Beautiful


Need to watch again--Return to Me, Circle of Friends (Colin Firth)


Nicole Kidman
Cold Mountain (Renee Zellweger, Jude Law)
The Portrait of a Lady (Christian Bale)
My Life
Nine (Sophia Loren)


Need to watch again--The Invasion (Daniel Craig), Practical Magic (Sandra Bullock), Batman Forever


Katharine Hepburn
Alice Adams
On Golden Pond (Henry Fonda)
The Glass Menagerie
The Trojan Women
The Iron Petticoat

Need to watch again--Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Desk Set


Adrien Brody
The Pianist
Solo (?)
The Darjeeling Limited


Need to watch again--The Village, Angels in the Outfield

Friday, August 20, 2010

Behind Every Man...

I've been noticing a trend in books lately, as I've browsed through the shelves at bookstores and libraries. There is a ridiculous number of books that have the word daughter or wife in the title, and no comparable trend involving the words husband and son. Take these, for example, which are all titles that I have personally seen on the shelves in the last two or three weeks:


Galileo's Daughter--Dava Sobel
Burger's Daughter--Nadine Gordimer
The Memory-Keeper's Daughter--Kim Edwards
The Time Traveler's Wife--Audrey Niffenegger
The Pilot's Wife--Anita Shreve
Pilate's Wife--Antoinette May
The Diplomat's Wife--Pam Jenoff
The Senator's Wife--Sue Miller
The Doctor's Wife--Elizabeth Brundage
The Wizard's Daughter--Barbara Michaels
The Storekeeper's Daughter/The Bishop's Daughter/The Quilter's Daughter--Wanda E. Brunstetter
The Apothecary's Daughter--Julie Klassen
The Zookeeper's Wife--Diane Ackerman
The Widow's War--Mary Mackey
The Widow's War--Sally Gunning
American Wife--Curtis Sittenfeld
The Kitchen God's Wife--Amy Tan
The Prodigal Wife--Marcia Willett 
The French Lieutenant's Woman--John Fowles
General Winston's Daughter--Sharon Shinn
Cleopatra's Daughter--Michelle Moran


And these, which popped up instantly in a search on Amazon:


A Reliable Wife--Robert Goolrick
The 19th Wife--David Ebershoff
An Inconvenient Wife--Megan Chance
The Surrendered Wife--Laura Doyle
The Wife's Tale--Lori Lansens
The Wife--Meg Wolitzer
The Dopeman's Wife--JaQuavis Coleman
The Twentieth Wife--Indu Sundaresan
The Country Wife--William Wycherly
The Centurion's Wife--T. Davis Bunn
The Saturday Wife--Naomi Ragen
Yankee Wife--Linda Lael Miller


I had to stop; there were just too many to list them all. As you can see, I included a couple variations (woman instead of wife, and widow, which serves the same literary function as wife). Also, this list does not include the countless numbers of romance novels that have similar titles--Wizard's Daughter, Devil's Daughter, The Heiress Bride, The Hellion Bride, The Ideal Wife--which I left out because, as such a ridiculous niche, they are in a category of their own. (You can find significantly more books with groom and bride in the titles of that genre than you can in mainstream literature.)


Here are the books I've found that have comparable titles for men, and Ava's Man is the only one I've seen in person. The others I found by getting on Amazon and specifically searching for books with 's husband or 's son in the title--and I had to scroll through several pages to find even this many.


Ava's Man--Rick Bragg
Senator's Son--Luke S. Larson
Coal Miner's Son--Tom Cable
The Boxmaker's Son--Donald Smurthwaite
Another Woman's Husband--Angel Mechelle
His Widow's Husband--Jacinto Benavente (which I'm not even sure counts because it has widow in the title, too)


I am irritated with this trend. Why are these women interesting enough to be the subjects of all these books, yet identified only through their relationships to someone else--particularly the men in their lives? Why are men almost never subjected to this kind of outside definition?  


I will tell you why. Because they don't allow it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Christmas List 2010: First Edition

I have been anxious to make my Christmas list ever since Dafni posted hers, like, a month ago. For decorating and music I have a strict after-Thanksgiving policy, but I don't think my wish list needs to be confined to the same rules. Here it is... The first edition.


  

  



(and Standing Up and I Walked on the Moon)

Babies Overboard

My blog has been really boring lately! I was so busy last week with Dan and Candice being here that I hardly got online or read or did any of the things I normally blog about. And the essay contest has been dominating the Lovely Blog, so I haven't even had to write anything over there! I am now going to make myself get back into the swing of things.


So first of all, the essay contest. It was fantastic. We got some really excellent submissions and are almost done posting them, so the voting will be soon--this weekend, maybe, or the beginning of next week. I'm excited to see how it turns out. 


I started watching my baby cousin Liron this week, since his dad is a doctor and his mom is starting school again, and both are very busy. The week has gone really well, and today is the first day that I am watching both him and Lana at the same time--which I can already tell is going to be an adventure! For one thing, Lana is not a small baby, but Liron makes her seem practically dainty. She weighs 21 pounds last I checked, and even though Liron is three months younger, he's got to be close to 30 pounds. Thus far, my main goal is just to not take them both anywhere that means I have to carry them. :)


As you may have seen in my sidebar, I've been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck. I've been working on The Omnivore's Dilemma for a really long time, so I've made a rule that I must read 40 pages per day until I finally finish it. It's a really fantastic book, I've just been really busy and haven't been able to devote large chunks of time to it like I normally would. The fact that I haven't finished a book in almost two weeks is making me feel like I've been stuck in some sort of limbo, so it will be lovely when I can check it off my list--and start reading Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See, which is up next. That will be followed by Mrs. Dalloway, whenever I can get a hold of it at one of my libraries--I did not expect this to be difficult to find, but every copy has been checked out every time I've looked! I watched The Hours a couple weeks ago and have been wanting to read it ever since. (I love that movie.)


I think that's all I have to say for now. Both babies are sleeping for the moment, but Liron's naps are shorter than Lana's so now I have to figure out how to keep him from waking her up when he gets up. 'Twill be tricky, since he's been kind of fussy today...


Fin.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rambling

Things have been pretty rough lately. Generally my blog posts range from funny to happy to irritated--but it's been a while since they've been consistently depressed. I was sick last week and am finally getting over it today, and physically I have felt very run down for the last several days. This level of tiredness just makes me feel a little more vulnerable to all the things that have been going on. 


In other news, my reading has been slowed down a bit because of how busy the past week and a half was, but I've been really enjoying the things I'm reading. This 10/10/10 challenge was a fantastic idea for me. And it's almost comic how much I love recommending books to people and talking about them--I end up sending Facebook comments to people I went to high school with but never even talked to, just because I saw that they were asking for book recommendations. 


We saw The Other Guys and Dinner for Schmucks (the title of which I cannot say around my mom, because she gets offended; "schmuck" is a quite vulgar Yiddish word) last night and they were both somehow hysterically funny and mildly disappointing at the same time, with a dose each of disturbing creepiness. I have not laughed that hard in a very long time though, especially not in public. Unfortunately, I can't recommend Dinner for Schmucks to anyone who doesn't like inappropriateness in movies; The Other Guys has a few distasteful moments but isn't bad. 


I'm considering making the guitar and Hebrew my projects for next year, after I finish this 10/10/10 challenge. It turns out I really miss learning--I actually just got out my notebook from my History of the English Language class in college, and have been relearning everything that I've forgotten. It's really exciting to be learning things again, especially subjects that I love so much.


Going to play Boggle with the siblings now. Hopefully more fun things later, including some pictures!



Friday, August 13, 2010

Come Back to Texas

I'd like to start by saying that the title of this post is inaccurate, since I am about to write about how Dan (Mike's brother) and Candice and the kids have been visiting us in Texas, and in fact have not left Texas as of this writing. But it is the song that came into my head when I cast my mental fishing line in search of a post title, so there it is. And now, we move on. 

Last Sunday, Dan, Candice, Kennedy, Mia, Cillian, and Foxx Shorten arrived in Wylie. They went to Oklahoma on Monday to visit some other relatives (at which time I sang, quite appropriately, the aforementioned titular song to them), but except for those sixteen hours, they have been in Texas since then, and will be until tomorrow morning. 

It's been really great having them here. Mike even said at one point, if you can believe it, that it was "kind of fun having such a full house," which is something coming from him! We have been having a lot of fun. I have taken lots of pictures and will be posting them when I get a chance to more fully enumerate the adventures of this week. (That was a hint that I am not going to be finishing talking about it now--did you get it?)


We are at my parents' house and Foxx is screaming bloody murder and Mike is on his way back to the office so I have to go pick him up, so it is ta ta for now. Don't give up on my blog, I shall be updating again when my houseguests have gone.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Retraction

Nothing like Hebrew singalongs with an adorable baby to cheer you up. :)

Whine.

Ugh, getting bummed out really easily lately. It must be the lack of sleep. Mike's hours are really long right now, too--I guess I don't love having him get home at 9:30. It was really fun last night with Dan and Candice, but they went to Oklahoma today to visit some relatives and won't be back until about midnight tonight. The rest of the week should be great though, so I'm looking forward to that. It's been fun with my family, too, but tiring. As usual. :)


Mike's going to be on his way home from Fort Worth soon. I'm getting frustrated with things that look like they're going to be really great, and then end up having some hidden downside. Like this morning: He texted me to tell me that he had a shorter route than usual today, so although it was all the way in Fort Worth, he would still probably get off a bit earlier (which he had requested for this week, since Dan and Candice were going to be here but he isn't allowed to ask off yet). Then he texted me a few minutes later to tell me that he had to get an oil change in his truck today, and it was a two hour wait at the only place he's allowed to take it. So now it's 8:45, and he's just finishing up.


This is also due to the fact that he gets lost a lot around there. We really need to get him a GPS, because he spends 15-20 minutes looking up each house in the Mapsco and writing down the directions, and then sometimes 15-30 getting lost or driving in the wrong direction or something else ridiculous. He doesn't know this area at all, and has never used a Mapsco before, so it's kind of rough. I found a TomTom on Amazon that's refurbished so it's only $68, and I think we're going to get that on his next payday.


Boo.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tired.

I am tired. I can't seem to get enough sleep. I was on the verge of tears for most of yesterday. I have a lingering headache that nags, rather than stabbing or pounding. My back aches from supporting my body. The good news is that my body seems to have decided it likes afternoon naps again (as opposed to feeling absolutely destroyed when I wake up from them). The bad news is that even naps don't leave me feeling rested. I feel worn down. Am wondering if some sort of sickness is coming on.