Sunday, November 30, 2008

-- Dag, that's a lot of books!

I just checked out Dan's blog post about all the books he's reading (there are 22 on his list!) and exclaimed out loud "Damn, you're reading a lot!" He laughed. "That doesn't even include the magazines and audio books I'm working on!"

wow. My hero.

Here's what I'm currently reading:

The Hummingbird's Daughter, by Luis Alberto Urrea. Set in 1800s Mexico, a charming tale about how a young girl captivates the hearts and minds of the Mexican people. I wasn't turned on by the book jacket description:
"Miracles and passion abound in this mesmerizing novel -- everywhere hailed as a masterwork -- the story of a young woman whose gifts as a healer lend her the aura of a saint, and who must come to terms with a surprising destiny as all of Mexico rises in revolution, crying out her name."
Not only did it not turn me on, but it turned me off -- I'm not big into saints and this just makes the entire thing sound flaky. But I got the book anyway, because I love Urrea and I have not been disappointed. It's absolutely entrancing.

When you are engulfed in flames, David Sedaris

A wolf at the table, Augusten Burroughs -- I stopped reading this at some point though because it's so dark I just needed a break. It's a memoir about Augusten's dark childhood and damaging father. It's the only book of his I have not read though, and I mean to finish it.

Plato and a platypus walk into a bar: Understanding philosophy through jokes.

Diary of an emotional idiot, Maggie Estep. I've abandoned all else to read this nonstop the last few days. I picked it up Thanksgiving day and could not put it down. Set in diary form detailing one woman's fast-paced life filled with dysfunctional lovers and ribald exploits. Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time.

There's also a few pubs: UC Berkeley California's Wellness Letter, Bottom Line Health, The Funny Times, The Week, Oprah (YES I like Oprah, don't make me defend it), Pesticides & You, and our local town paper, the Bowie Blade News. And online: Google news, the stuff in my reader, and the Washington Post (but not everyday, though that's a goal -- that or the NY Times).

Have I mentioned I like to read?

-- more domesticity

You'd think after all I ate on Thanksgiving that I'd put myself on a strict diet of lettuce and lemon rinds for the rest of the year. But nooo. This morning I was in the mood for a feast and made french toast from fresh-baked challah bread (using almond milk instead of regular milk -- it was good!), scrambled eggs and turkey bacon. Mmm! Now I am cleaning the house top to bottom, getting ready for the coming week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

-- home

Lobotomized by mind-numbing traffic, but I am home. Been writing from my phone the past few days and now too, as I don't feel like setting foot near a computer. Hope your Thanksgiving was rich with good food and good times.

Friday, November 28, 2008

-- appropriate after thanksgiving

When the heart is full, the eyes overflow... (In Yiddish: As dos hartz iz ful, gai'en di oigen iber.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

-- not related to thanksgiving, but

Hope you had a happy one anyway. Now I bring you more utter ridiculousness from the supermarket... to which I say *who cares*!

-- home in nj

Traffic was nonexistent. First thanksgiving ever like this.

Monday, November 24, 2008

-- biggest purse you ever saw?

So on movie night, I picked up some takeout and brought it over my friend's house in this special insulated picnic bag. When I walked in with it bulging (here it's empty) he told me later he thought, "Man, that is the biggest purse I have ever seen!"

So maybe I'll start using it. Freak people out. Anyone need a small pony smuggled anywhere?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

-- How sad is that?

I must have been feeling pretty bad about yesterday's lame entry, sent from my phone shortly before midnight in a desperate attempt to meet the day's obligatory NaBloPoMo posting. Because I dreamt last night that I was driving over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, hit an ice patch and went careening off the edge. As I plummeted towards the water, I thought, "omg! I have to blog about this!"

How sad is that??

Friday, November 21, 2008

-- lowen and navarro concert tonight

I'm at a Lowen and Navarro concert now with Dan Navarro (left) and David Glaser (right). If you haven't heard of L&N, they wrote the lyrics to the song "We Belong Together" that Pat Benatar is famous for. I only recently discovered them through a friend and am really enjoying their tunes. I needed so badly to be transported by music tonight and was really grateful for the trip up to Baltimore to hear them sing. I also met them afterwards, they were both so warm and engaging. Time stopped for a little while...

Sample tune: Cold Outside (from Amazon's clips page)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

-- my coming home present

Is a busted internet connection. I'm sending this from my phone. More tomorrow, I need some shuteye.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

-- a day in Deception Pass, WA (pix)

Today we went to Deception Pass to gaze at the waters and walk around. Here are some pix. I'm packing to come home tomorrow so I don't have much time to write, but hopefully pictures will tell the story.

Lake near Deception Pass, Washington state

On the beach

The sun sets over the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Dan gets ready to take more pix

Pebbles on the beach

Me taking pix with my new point-n-shoot!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

-- awards! For me and you.

Wow! What could be more awesome than kicking back on vacation with my email & readings only to see I was nominated for two bloggy awards?

One from Haute Pocket, whose blog name I can never write without also saying it out loud just because it's so much fun, passed on the Super Scribbler Award after winning it herself. Thanks, HP, you are the best! And NO I am not on drugs. You ARE witty and brilliant. I await eagerly for your book. (C'mon now, time's a wasting! Well I'll give you some leeway. You can start on it after the big move.) Readers, if you need a laugh, check out miss HP and you'll be giggling in nine seconds, guaranteed. I love her passionate and hilarious rants, like this list, love at first (nipple) sight, and, a post I've read multiple times when I needed a laugh, sometimes a girl just needs some cock.

The other, the Kreative Blogger Award, from Kimmers for Life, another one of my favorite bloggers and budding authors. I first found Kimmers shortly after she got allergy testing. Her account at the doctor's had me laughing out loud and I was hooked. Sometime after that came her hilarious post on the suckiness of renovation but my alltime favorite, however, is this: kimmer's account of a day at work (short but sweet!). I emailed it to 16 of my friends minutes after she put it up.

So now I am passing these on. (Note, if someone else has already nominated you, I'm trying not to repeat it even if I wanted to anyway...). However, if you have won ONE of these awards and not the other (like Kimmers) then I am nominating you for the other one. Otherwise, I pass on both!
kellygo - she describes even pieces of ordinary life with clarity, feeling and humor. Not to mention she makes the world's most delectable monster cupcakes. I know because I've eaten them. But even if I didn't know her personally, she would still be on my fave list.

isweatbutter - One of the first bloggers I started loyally following, I love this guy. His posts either make me laugh and feel warm inside or make me dive deeper into myself but yet somehow feel less alone. He his deep and funny and because of this, I will forgive him for telling me about head cheese.

kimmers for life - Kimmer's posts read like a best friend's letter -- honest and open and funny. Reading her blog is like taking a short vacation from everyday life into someone else's sharp and unpretentious mind. She is going to be a bestselling author someday but y'all have proof right here: I knew her first!

A day in the life - I stalk his blog for hilarious posts about his unmarried redneck neighbor, food, and himself. I have to keep kleenex handy to wipe my screen (or at least be smart enough not to drink) when reading his wry updates.

Jeepgirl - not only a good blogger but a really interesting person. I called hubby over recently. "Look at her account of her past 10 years, doesn't she sound so cool?" Her writing is honest and fun and she seems like a blast to hang out with, especially on Halloween.

Niffer all grown up - I kick myself for all the times hubby said "you know, I have this really cool coworker we should hang out with" but somehow life got too busy. Except for the one time we did meet up, just before she moved across the country. Her funny and thoughtful posts about raising a family go right to my core.

Another excuse to procrastinate
- Another blogger that makes me feel like I'm hanging out with an old friend. I read her recent post about doing yoga on wii fit and, though I'd never heard of it before, now have to check this out! Libby is sweet and funny and I love reading about her death marches hikes!

The QC report - this blogger is actually writing a book and when it's ready, I am buying it. Several copies. I discovered her blog right after I adopted a kitten and a friend emailed me her kitten post (scroll to "Guest Quarters" or read the whole funny archive). I usually end up emailing snippets to friends with one hand over my mouth stifling my laughter.
Thanks, y'all, for being you. You know I love you all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

-- whale watching in the Pacific Northwest

So yesterday we went whale-watching.
A Dall's porpoise swims gracefully off towards the horizon.

Me on the ferry.

It takes about an hour to go from Whidbey Island to San Juan Island on the ferry (Anacortes to Friday Harbor). The ferry has cozy areas to sit and liquify while gazing out the window. Would be a most awesome commute though it's expensive -- $45 for a roundtrip ferry pass!

Taking pictures on the topside ferry deck.

Dan about to get into the boat. We chose Maya's Whale Watching because we like the more personalized experience of a smaller boat and also because of the great feeling I got when talking to the captain, Jim Maya. He was excellent, could spot eagles and wildlife from afar and was a very warm and interesting person.
Views of the Puget Sound

The water was silky smooth and the temperature a gentle (for this time of year) 50 degrees, a beautiful day to look for cetaceans.

We spotted a minke whale (which looked like a distant blip on my tiny point-n-shoot so I didn't bother) but also ran across a pod of Dall's porpoises.
Dall's porpoises

A Dall's porpoise arcs gracefully out of the water.

Inside the boat, a fellow traveler eyes a whale ID sheet while captain Jim Maya keeps an eagle eye out on ripples and other signs of underwater activity.
Dan could never tire of this.

Video! (20 seconds)

And another (1 minute):

Sunday, November 16, 2008

-- how about where NOT to find them?

Found this in the hotel lobby. I would generally prefer NOT to seek out bears and other beasts that would enjoy dining on my flesh, but maybe that's just me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

-- aerial views from 20,000 feet

I absolutely love flying. Views of the earth from the air are so otherworldly and exquisite that I am consumed with nothing else but their beauty while staring out the window.
View of a dried riverbed in the midwestern plains.

Farmland, midwestern plains.

I love the textures of the land. More farmland.
Look at the tiny town -- who lives there?
What must life be like in a place
so separate from the rest of the country?

The land starts to get some texture
as we get closer to Colorado.

The mountains are so fractal in nature.

Passing over clouds, they look like giant swaths of cotton batting.

Getting closer to the mountains
of Denver, Colorado.


This looked like a road from the air
but I can't be sure it's not railroad tracks.

And the sun sets.

Friday, November 14, 2008

-- protest tomorrow, prop 8

Tomorrow there will be protests all across the country about California's backward slide into ignorance. Lets not rest until gay ppl are recognized as equal...

-- tornado shelter?

In the Denver airport, something I never really think about...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

-- sudden notice, but I'm flying to Seattle tomorrow

Hoping this is me in a few days...

Dan's in Washington state on a business trip and we realized I could fly out for free on a frequent flyer extra plane ticket. Yay! I'm leaving in the morning. Will try to keep up with NaBloPoMo via phone if I don't have internet access. Final destination: Whidbey Island (in the Puget Sound, not too far from Vancouver, Canada).

I was here six years ago and absolutely LOVED it. Here are some of Dan's photos from that last trip:
Whale watching, can you tell I was a wee bit chilly?

Bizzaro statue in a strip mall parking lot. wtf?
I am totally going to look for this,
see if it's still there.

Hiking on Third Beach, Olympic peninsula.

Sunset over the Pacific. I love the wildness of the shore here. Having grown up with the Jersey shore's very tame and developed beaches, I am drawn like a magnet to the opposite side of the country with its magnificent cliffs, jagged rocks and secluded coastline. I love the Northwest.

Perched on an overlook,
writing at Deception Pass State Park.

It's 11:30pm, maybe I should start packing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

-- exercise in brevity: answer these in one word

I'm grabbing this idea from Kellygo, the rules are to answer these in one word. One more day for NaBloPoMo!

Where is your cell phone? backpack
Where is your significant other? Washington (state)
Your hair color? brownish
Your mother? NJ
Your father? NJ
Your favorite thing? sleep
Your dream last night? awesome
Your dream/goal? creativity
The room you’re in? bedroom
Your hobby? writing
Your fear? loss
Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
Where were you last night? Home
What you’re not? cold-hearted
One of your wish-list items? keyboard
Where you lived? Jerseyshore (fine, I cheated, that's technically two words)
The last thing you did? sang
What are you wearing? skirt
Your TV? dislike
Your pet? mammals
Your computer? Rocks
Your mood? Content
Missing someone? Always
Your car? Honda
Something you’re not wearing? hairspray
Favorite store? Amazon
Your summer? sucked
Love someone? Lots
Your favorite color? sunset
When is the last time you laughed? Today
Last time you cried? Friday

Your turn!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

-- kitten update, Sita gets a treat!

So far our quest to make Sita enjoy being held by tossing gobs of greasy treats down her throat is working. She doesn't really like extended cuddling sessions (unless they involve thousands of calories of chicken skin) but we're getting there...

Monday, November 10, 2008

-- keep out! (now and then)

My coworkers are awesome! They surprised me with birthday-halloween decorations to my cube. You're the best web peeps a girl could ever ask for. :)

The janitor has been taking the sign quite seriously though. He doesn't want to venture past the fringe into the unknown to clean. Obviously this is the sign I needed as a teen when I fervently wished for privacy.

Like the time I was utterly exhausted from a heavy school schedule and late-night shifts at a restaurant. I hadn't had a single break in four months. My first day off was approaching and I was GOING to sleep late, dammit. This was when I was living with my dad, stepmom and stepbrother who are all early risers. No problem, I thought, I'll just warn them. I got home from around 2am from work, long after everyone was asleep and wrote, with huge markers, "ENTER AND DIE" on sign, posted it to my door and retired blissfully into a deep slumber, peacefully imagining no interruptions to my bruised and battered bodily clock. I would wake whenever I was ready.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. At 7:00 a.m. EVERY member of the household busted down the door. "DID YOU SEE THE RUBBER BANDS?" "My hamster's loose!" "The realtors are coming, wakeup!" "You left the hall light on last night!"

I wanted to scream!

Instead, I drew a crude cartoon. (Apologies for the crappy scan, the text didn't show that well so I had to redo it.)

In college, I learned how to sleep through disturbances, however. When determined enough, I will not wake up no matter what. My old roomie would blast the radio and use her hair dryer 4 feet from my head and I managed to sleep through it. Not blissfully, but I took what I could get!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

-- I wouldn't call it bliss, but it is domestic (painting kitchen)

Once again the house is a wreck.
Our glacially-slow kitchen project
finally entered the painting stages.

Thank goodness for the Habitat for Sanity folks!

Who bring not only energy but fun.

Removing blinds to begin.

Me painting the front door.

Even the dog got some playtime!

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