Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stream Of Consciousness: On Fear

I have been living inside my head too much lately. It's a side-effect of being home alone too often. TCBIM is gone 5 nights out of 7 and I'm left here to think, stew, feel, get myself in a tizzy and over what? Sometimes it's something big, sometimes it's nothing at all.

Watching the BBC news last night, seeing the statistics that 1 in 3 Iraqis are living without running water, decent nutrition and sanitation. Seeing the liquid brown eyes of small children, living 10 to a room, fathers, brothers, uncles, gone, no door, cooking facilities outside and yet their eyes are so trusting, so solemn, boring into my soul, making me cry, making me rail, making me quiver with sorrow and anger, making me clutch my babies close to me.

Boo, not understanding my tears, says "You cry, Mama? It's ok, I here, it's ok," as she pats my shoulder with her chubby, well-fed hands and even though we are struggling, we are behind on the mortgage, on the light bill, we have food. We have a roof. We have each other, all together, healthy, whole, not shell-shocked by war, not having to cook on a stove outside because there is no kitchen, just a room with a bed. We are safe.

Hearing of this child left in a car, accidentally, by a parent, these girls raped and murdered in their home, the next horror perpetuated on a small, defenseless person, a person who didn't ask for these things to happen, who just wants love and safety and someone to trust in and it breaks my heart wide open, the pain almost visceral as I hear stories, stories I try to avoid (don't watch the news, don't watch the news, a mantra in my head), knowing what they do to me, how they rip me apart, exposing that naked quick, the part of me that cries and clings to my children, hoping, begging, pleading for nothing to ever happen to them because what if? What if? What ifs keep me awake at night, keep me hanging over the crib, keep me sitting on the edges of beds, watching them breathe, keep me walking close behind them, fear knotting my stomach as the possibilities for injury, for hurt, for anything, everything unfold in my head, making it hard to stand upright at times, making my brain scramble and whirl, making my knees turn to jelly, my heart aching just at the thought.

Fear makes me bolt upright in the middle of the night, makes me prowl the house after dark, making sure doors are locked, ovens are shut off, children are safe in their beds. I thought, foolishly, that as my children got older, got a little less reliant on me, that I would fear less. Instead, fear and I are bosom enemies, uneasy bedfellows. Fear that if the fear stops, if the unthinkable happens, I will surely go mad. Fear that the fear itself will drive me mad. Fear has given me Red Shoes, has taken me into its arms for an endless dance, a dance I don't know how to end, a dance I do, day and night, not knowing how to stop, unsure that I will survive.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Gimme A Bucket

I don't think I've ever had the flu before but I have something now.

My stomach is queasy. Every time I stand up, I feel like I'm going to puke. My head is spinning. I'm exhausted - like, take a three hour nap and feel like I need to go back to bed half an hour later. I ache all over.

I've been like this for two days now and it's getting old. It's too hot to feel like shit. It also really sucks to feel like this when you have two little kids running all over the place.


For Shannon And Kerri

And the rest of you, of course.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

High And Dry (This Post Has Too Much Information)

Y'know, sometimes I don't know why I even bother.

My husband and I were on the same page tonight. Things were clicking. We'd gone to a party, we'd had a good time and we were both ready to go home at the same time. It only took a couple of glances at each other on the ride home to realize that we were both ready to get hot and heavy. He even bought batteries (I'll wait while you go there).

He was laying on the couch (not suggestively, not even close) and I got up to get a glass of water. Not use the bathroom, not to go slip into something more comfortable, it was a glass of water. I was gone for all of 30 seconds. When I get back to the living room, he's freakin' snoring on the couch. I tried to wake him up but he shoved my hands away and rolled over, face into the back cushions.

Sorry, dood. You snooze, you lose. I'm going to bed. And I'm taking B.O.B. with me.

Meet BOB.
Bob and I are going to be good friends, I can tell.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No More Bat Boy!

Where will I get the latest news of Bat Boy?

Who else could have discovered that Abe Lincoln was a woman?

Who's going to run the Saddam/Osama gay wedding stories now?

This is probably why they're shutting down. They found out the truth.

It's the end of an era.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HP Miscellania

  • I wouldn't want to say I'm obsessed or anything, but I did take Harry Potter 7 with me when I went to see Harry Potter 5 (for the second time) with O last weekend. I read it while waiting in line and while waiting for the movie to start.

  • After waiting impatiently for TCBIM to hurry up and finish the damned book already, we both had the same quibbles and thoughts on the book, so the discussion I was so looking forward to turned out to be a case of "Oh, me too!" So, y'know, nice that we're on the same page (arf!) about the book, but it doesn't make for a scintillating conversation.

  • I spoke with a friend of mine last night (Hi, L!) about the Harry Potter stuff and in trying to give her a synopsis, I realized that I really suck at that. I kept forgetting the order of things, kept having to back track and I didn't even TRY to explain the three hallows thing to her. I was confusing myself - I can't even imagine what I did to her.

  • I was watching Keith (my imaginary boyfriend) Olbermann last night and he ran part of an interview that Meredith Viera (I really don't like her - never have. I'm not a big Today Show watcher, but I much preferred Katie Couric.) did with JK Rowling. There is going to be an 8th book; it's going to be an encyclopedia-type thing, similar to what Tolkein did with the LOTR books. It's going to tie up some loose ends, according to Rowling. That would be nice, because there were enough loose ends in there that I could make a sweater with them.

OK, I think this is it for Harry Potter posts. Even I'm getting sick of talking about it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Harry Potter (no spoilers)

TCBIM started reading the new Harry Potter last night. He had to finish re-reading Order Of The Phoenix first, thus the slight delay.

He took it to work with him last night. He works in a bar on Sunday nights - a bar that gets a decent amount of customers on a Sunday - and he managed to read about 200 pages while there (plus the 100 or so pages he had left to read in TOOTP).

Today, he got up at 7, showered, checked his work email and announced that he didn't have to leave the house until 10. He then sat down and read feverishly for about 2 hours. Left for his appointment and where he'd normally just drive to his next appointment and wait, he decided to come home and read. Twice. (He doesn't take the book with him because he knows I'd have his head if he ever lost it or got it dirty.)

It's cracking me up. He loves the Harry Potter books almost as much as I do, but I never expected him to read at work or race home for 20 minutes so he could get a few more pages in. It's kind of cute.

I just hope he finished the damned thing SOON because I'm going to burst soon if I don't get to discuss this with him.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Seven Hours

And I'm done with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

It was excellent.

And I'm very, very sad that this series is done.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More Olbermann Love

I feel like standing and cheering every time I hear one of these.

I even have my oldest daughter watching these special comments.

Ninety Minutes

That's how much sleep I got last night. I think I finally dropped off around 5 a.m. - it was starting to get light out, last I remember - and then the baby woke up at 6:30.

I fucking hate nights like that. I got up, went in the other room, watched a bit of TV til I felt sleepy, read for a bit, all the usual things I do that usually allow me to fall asleep. They all failed last night.

I feel like someone's poured the contents of a sandbox into my eyes and my head feels like it's in vice grips. If I don't get a nap in today, there's a distinct possibility that I might kill someone. Probably myself.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

MotherTalk Review: Lost And Found

I signed on to do the Mother-Talk Blog book tour because, hey, free books? And you want to pay me a little something to spout my opinion on them? Dood. Where do I sign?

The first book to come my way was Lost And Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. The basic plot is following contestants on a reality TV show. Now, I say I’m not much of a reality TV fan, since I don’t watch things like American Idol, Big Brother or America’s Next Top Model. In fact, I get kind of sneery about those shows. Scratch the surface, though, and I will, somewhat shamefacedly, admit to thoroughly enjoying Project Runway, Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. I kid myself that because the first two are on Bravo and the third features a British chef, that they must be a cut above those other shows. You can snicker, it’s ok. I know I’m ridiculous.

I wasn’t sure about this book initially. I didn’t really want to know all the ins and outs behind a reality TV show. I was concerned that the book would be dull. It was anything but.

In Lost and Found, Ms. Parkhurst writes about several pairs of contestants. Some are fleshed out more than others – the first few couples eliminated are just bare bones, no real development to their characters, which is fine. The characters who are well drawn do fall into a few stereotypes, but I felt this was appropriate, given that all reality TV shows do this same thing.

(Spoiler Alert!) Laura and Cassie are a mother-daughter team with a secret – Cassie, the teen-aged daughter, has had a baby girl that she’s given up for adoption. Her mother didn’t find out about the pregnancy until Cassie had delivered the baby. In their attic. Alone. The scenes relaying the aftermath of that birth and subsequent flashbacks that fill in the details of the adoption were painful for me to read. They were well-written and brought tears to my eyes more than once. Ms. Parkhurst is very good at portraying the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, the miscommunications, the pain and the joy that comes from dealing with a teen-aged daughter.

There were also two child stars, Juliet and Dallas. Dallas was fairly one-dimensional, just a goofy guy who didn’t seem to care that he wasn’t at the top of the ratings. Juliet was another story. She desperately wanted to be back in the limelight, having been in it her entire life. She spent most of the contest, and book, making sure she was seen in the best light and was easily the most manipulative of the bunch. She does sort of redeem herself towards the end of the book, but I was left doubting the sincerity of her change of heart, as, it seemed, was Cassie, the person who witnessed this change.

Carl and Jeff are two brothers. Both are nice and Jeff is definitely the class clown, but I didn’t find either one all that interesting. Nice, but sort of forgettable. They were chosen to be on the show because Carl’s young son was born with a serious liver defect and Carl donated part of his liver to keep his son alive. The medical upheaval that the child went through contributed to the end of Carl’s marriage.

The most interesting, and maddening, couple (after Laura and Cassie) were Justin and Abby. Both were “reformed” gay people, having joined a Christian group called Redemption that claims it can make gay people straight. Abby is fairly honest with herself when she has thoughts about other women, but Justin is in complete denial and rails, vociferously, against homosexuality. I found him to be one of the least likable characters in the book, which, I’m sure, was the intention. He has a pretty spectacular fall that results in a tense, if somewhat predictable, scene towards the end of the book. I was almost glad to see him fall apart like that, since it showed the folly of trying to redirect someone away from being gay, from denying who they are. I found myself hoping that he’d learn to accept who he was rather than continue down this guilt-ridden path he thought would lead him to heaven.

I thought this book was very well-written. I whipped through it because the plot and the characters grabbed me; I cared about them which made me want to read another page, just one more chapter, in order to find out what happened next. I liked the way Ms. Parkhurst blended the “reality” and the reality, showing hints of how these kinds of shows are manipulated and molded to make sure every last ounce of drama is wrung from them, how audiences are played to root for one team over another and how real drama and real feelings are exploited for ratings. She did an excellent job of showing that reality TV isn’t about reality. It’s about ratings, contestants be damned.

There is a very good interview with Carolyn Parkhurst here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What would you do...

...if you had three-quarters of a book left to read, a book you were going to get a small payment for reviewing? A review that's due on Wednesday. And, oh, by the way, I've never written a book review in my life.

Well, if you were me, you'd watch a recorded episode of Good Eats ('cause I do love me some AB). You'd email back and forth with Beth, who so kindly offered to knock up a new blog layout for you, exchanging ideas and pictures, for a good two hours. And you'd work on a post in which you attempt to wax lyrical about how you were up reading (The Order of the Phoenix - most definitely NOT the book I'm supposed to be reviewing) until 2 a.m. and when you shut off your handy dandy book light, you noticed that a couple of fire flies had some how invaded your kitchen and were currently doing the tango in your bedroom doorway.

Procrastination, thy name is Julia.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

The movie was good, as its own movie. However, a lot of stuff was missing. I understand that they need to cut things in order to keep the movie from being 8 hours long. However, it pisses me off when they cut things but then ADD stuff that wasn't even in the books.

  • You never see Ron and Hermione get their prefects badges - there's no mention of them being prefects at all.
  • You don't see Fred and George have their big blowout, where they create a swamp in the hallway before they leave school. They have a blowout, but it's not nearly the same.
  • Cho is the one who squeals on Dumbledore's Army rather than the girl from the book (can't remember her name). And it's done with Veritaserum rather than the spell that Hermione or Ginny does. (Again, can't remember - I'm re-reading the book right now - I'll have to look it up.)
  • The opening scene is weird. In the book, Harry's at a park that's got a fence around it. In my head, it was a park in the town, with trees and stuff. In the movie, it was in the middle of a cornfield. It was bizarre, like something out of a horror movie. And Harry and Dudley met the dementors in a tunnel thing rather than an alley. It was unnecessarily scary. Like they wanted to up the fear quotient.
  • Grimmauld Place (I LOVE the name of that, btw. Great pun.) was in a swanky town house rather than in a run down part of town, as described in the book. When they were flying there, they flew right thru London and didn't try to hide themselves - I thought that was against the rules. It looked cool, but it wasn't true to the whole separation of magic and Muggle world.
  • There was no Howler sent to Petunia after the dementors attacked Harry and Dudley, either, which is a HUGE part of the story line and we still don't know why he said "Remember My Last."

  • Those things aside, the movie had some great stuff in it. The Ministry Of Magic wasn't quite how I'd pictured it, but the fountain in the middle was impressive. The fight scene in the Ministry was good, although again, not quite as I'd pictured it. The Ministry was more modern than I'd imagined, but it was good.
  • Bellatrix LeStrange was friggin' creepy. Dolores Umbridge wasn't quite as I'd imagined, either, but the actress playing her did a great job. She was vile.
  • The girl who played Luna was fantastic. She just about stole the movie.
  • The scene in The Hog's Head, when they convince Harry to form Dubledore's Army, was great - although they left out the coins bit, which is a bummer. I liked that.
  • I liked the movie, but I'm still trying to divorce the movie from the book and it's not easy. TCBIM and I talked about it last night and agreed that it would have been better if they'd left more original stuff in and made it longer. It was 138 minutes, including previews and it felt a bit rushed. When you consider how many people sat thru 3.5 hours of each LOTR movie, I'm sure people would do the same for these last three HP movies. It should have been longer and they should have included more detail from the book.

Edited to add this link from Salon.com about the screenwriting process for OOTP, with thanks to my friend Timna for the heads up on it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Am A Cook Book Slut (and a link to a funny, funny post)

I am linking to SueBob's blog because, well, the title says it all.

And you should all go over here, because this is one of the funniest things I've read in a while.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


What is linkware? And once I've downloaded the zip files of said linkware, what the hell do I do with it?

So many posts in one day, this must be a record....

More Excited Than A Kid On Christmas Eve


I'm going to see Harry Potter tomorrow night! I reserved tickets at the theatre down the road. One of the nice things about a locally owned theatre - you can call up and talk to a person and reserve tickets.

I cannot wait. Can. Not. Wait.

Tomorrow night with TCBIM and then next week with O.

I don't know if I'll be able to stand seeing Alan Rickman AND Helena Bonham Carter at the same time. Where to look, where to look?

Although she's fucking scary looking here.

I much prefer her like this:

*sigh* Much better.

And then the book on the 21st.

It's going to be a very Harry July. (Sorry. God, even I'm finding that one awful.)

Time For A Change

I think I want to change my blog template. I like the little monkey, but I'm not loving the turquoise. I've never really liked that colour so the fact that I've put up with it for as long as I have is a testament to the monkey love.

I'd also like two sidebars. I don't like how cluttered mine looks right now and I don't have the option of putting things down the right side with this template.

I have a page over at TuDiabetes (which, by the way, is just about the most useful social networking site ever) that has an awesome header. I'd love something like that over here. Not identical, but similar. I really love Art Deco things - there's something about the clean lines and uncluttered curves that really appeal to me.

What I want is something that reflects me a bit more. The tiki thing is only one aspect and it's been there for a year now. Time for something different.

I'm more this

than this.

More this (oooooh, how I love this building. Love, love, love it.)

Than this.

More this

Than this.

More Deco than decadent, more Brubeck than Baroque, more Agatha Christie than Patricia Cornwell.

What do you thing? Too tall an order?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Worry Wort

I was reading this post by Beck, over at Frog And Toad Are Still Friends (you should be reading her blog, it's fantastic and her writing makes me green with envy, she's so good). Anyway. She was worrying about some possibly scary test results she was waiting on regarding her daughter and commented that she comes from a long line of worriers.

I know what that's like. I worry all the time. If Boo is outside, running around, I get this swoopy, sickening feeling in my stomach because I'm worried that she's going to fall. I don't hover over her, I let her do her thing, but my hand clenches involuntarily over my heart as I watch her race around, oblivious, shrieking and running with wild abandon. When she does inevitably fall, I don't ever say "I told you not to do X," I just bandage up the scrapes, wipe away the tears and send her on her way again. I admonish her to be careful and she solemnly nods and says "Yes, mama," and is off again, climbing and running and dashing hither and yon.

If O has had a string of high blood sugars, I worry. I worry about complications, I worry that maybe she's sneaking food, I worry that maybe I'm not paying close enough attention to her diabetes care. I worry that the mess with her father is going to mess her up badly, even though she's handling it well. I worry that she's going to be like me, obsessing over weight and over-eating when she's down. Even though we talk about it, I still worry. I don't want her having the horrible body image that I have. I want her to be comfortable in her skin, not anxious and embarrassed and ashamed.

The Bug has started to drop down on the height and weight charts, which is another new worry. She's very small - 11 months old and only 18.5 lbs. I worry when she pees thru her diaper, seeing diabetes at every turn. I worry that she still only has two teeth.

I worry about car accidents, almost obsessively. I can imagine horrible things happening and there are times that it nearly paralyzes me. I imagine one of the kids falling down the stairs when we're at my mother's, I can see them smashing their face on the hearth when they play in the living room. It makes me nuts that I can't shut those fears off.

I try not to let these worries show, try not to imbue my fears upon my kids. I don't want them to be scared children, I really don't want them to become scared adults. I don't want them becoming like me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Awards Season

Thank goodness it's not fancy dress.

WI Mommy awarded me a Rockin' Blogger Chick award.

This is a pay it forward award, so if you're so inclined, feel free to pass it along to anyone you think rocks.

I'm passing it along to:

1. Kim, over at All Consuming, because she is amazing. She had a baby a week ago - her fourth boy, by the way - and she's posting and parenting and cooking meals and fucking VACUUMING. already. Hell. Bug is 11 months old and I'm STILL not doing that shit.

2. Andrea at Little Bald Doctors because...well, just because. She just rocks. Her posts often make me laugh and cry in rapid succession.

3. Kerri at Six Until Me. She is what I hope my daughter becomes when she's an adult. Kerri has type 1 diabetes but doesn't let it define her life. She's a spitfire with a smile as wide as Texas. She's wickedly funny and she loves Eddie Izzard, quite possibly as much as I do.

Allison, over at Lemonade Life, gave me a Thinking Blogger Award. If you aren't familiar with her blog and you have or know someone who has diabetes, go check her out. She's a font of information and support.

I'm glad you liked that post, Allison, although if you'd seen Boo the last couple of days, you might be rethinking your desire for motherhood. I have a HUGE post brewing about that but at the moment, it mostly consists of me saying "What the fu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-huck?" and beating my head against the nearest wall. Oy. So now I have to pay this one forward, too. Difficult, again, because there are so many great bloggers out there and so many posts that leave me speechless with their beauty or clarity or power.

1. Zaz at Zazen In The Moonlight. She's struggled with both physical and mental problems but has always been honest about them on her blog. She's not afraid to say when she's faltering or frightened. She's also talented; her blog templates change with the seasons and they're always gorgeous. I always look forward to her posts.

2. Lara at Life: The Ongoing Education. I know she's received this award at least once already, but I'm giving it to her again. Another painfully honest blogger, sharing her highest of highs and lowest of lows with grace and style and a killer pair of gams. Her posts about her mother are beautiful.

3. KittenPie over at Life of Pie. I just love her blog. It's like being invited to peek thru her windows and listen to bits and pieces of her life.

Your Turn:

This is a tagged-only meme. You must be tagged by someone in order to participate.

If any of the above bloggers choose to participate, they should:

1. Write a post with links to blogs that make them think.

2. Email them to let them know they have been selected.

3. Link to my post so your readers can find the origin of your award.

4. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (there is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

This award was began by ilker yoldas at The Thinking Blog.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I'm blogsitting over at Chicky Chicky Baby today.

Tomorrow is awards day. It's taken me forever, but I think I've got it figured out.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I really do rock

WI Mommy said so.

But right now, I'm oscillating between puking my guts up and moaning on the couch, so I'll have to a.) figure out how to get that button code later (when I can sit up for more than 30 seconds) and b.) pass the award along to other people.

More later, once I've recovered from whatever-the-fuck sickness I have this time.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Reason 11,942 Why I Love Keith Olbermann

Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people.” - Archibald Cox

Happy Independence Day

Monday, July 02, 2007

Snotty McBoogernose


I'm still sick. I think it's a sinus infection. I have a fever (again) and my nose. Jesus, it's disgusting.

And! My tooth is fucking. killing. me. I got some stuff from CVS that is used as a temporary filling. It's helping some but every step sends throbbing pain thru my head. It's agony.

I called the local community college about getting this looked at, but they're on break until the fall. Great. I hope to hell I can hold out until then. I need a root canal. I don't have money for a root canal. What I'll probably wind up doing is babying this filling as long as possible, then having the tooth pulled and getting a crown/bridge/whatever at some point down the road. Lovely. At least it's a back tooth.

My friend B won tickets to tomorrow's Red Sox game and asked me to go along. Yay! I hope my head is better tomorrow. I may just dope myself up with anti-histimines and Motrin and cross my fingers that it all goes well. Wonder if I can sneak a nip bottle in to spike my soda.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Am (not) Canadian

But my husband is....

Happy Canada Day!

the thank you is priceless....