30 November 2010

More old stuff from my mom's garage, and a little digression for good measure

Even though the comments look kinda paltry around here, I do get in-person comments fairly often about the blog. Usualy 3-4 times a week. Mostly because I ask my sister "Did you read my blog post about that thing?" and she says "Uh-huh. It was good." I count that.

When Languishing was a paper thing, a zine you could hold in your hands (that would not appear properly on your iPod or iPad or iPoodle [great. now I want an iPoodle]), I LOVED getting comments from random people: I'd be introduced to someone, we'd chat a bit, and somehow it would come out that "Holy crap! You're the one who puts Languishing together? I've read every issue!" No lie. That happened to me. Twice. It was fantastic. When that happens now, though, I tend to get shy. The blog, somehow, feels more exposing. Maybe it's because there're more pictures of me and mine, or because it's more frequent (at it's height, paper Languishing came out just 6 times a year), or because I have met two or three people in the last 10 years that I hope to never see or hear from again, and being online reduces my invisibility to them (though at least one of them is still institutionalized, I'm pretty sure). (Do they have the interweb in institutional settings? I suppose it depends...). At any rate, in the end, I love hearing the words "I read about that on your blog..." Even if you  think I'm a doofus, I'm glad to know you're reading.

Whew. I said all that to tell you that I got a compliment on a recent post today, and so I'm going to post more pictures of old crap from my mom's garage. See, if you hated that post and didn't tell me, I have only the compliment to go on. You can change the content of the internet if you just tell me what you like and what you don't like. In the end, this is your fault.

The titles are properly capitalized after each photo.

Chain and Metal Sheets
 Calumet Baking Powder, et al
I love the greenish tint of the mason jars and the orange-brown of the tall bottle.
 Garden Stakes, Fishing Net, Handsaw, Leaves.
I adore how human hands cause wear on tools. The flash here obscures some of that, but I also like how my family just hangs all kinds of stuff from the same nail.
 Another shot of the bottles, in different light, with a different camera, from a different angle. I like the milk jar in the back. I call this one Still Life with Water Stains.
The brown glass bottle reads "Juicy Orange Brand" Orange Flavored Beverage Base. And as you can see, it has no pulp. The rock (or hunk of cement, I'm not sure) I had hoped was a skull: my father had a habit of bringing home animal bones, especially during spring plowing. Part of the joy of my May birthday was I got many a deer jaw as a gift. I call this one Hunting Knife.

There you have it, gentle readers. A second round of photos from one little garage in the heart of the Red River Valley.

29 November 2010

List #8: Places from fiction I wish I could visit

My travelling post made me think of....travelling. Shocking. But beyond that, I want to be an English nerd and work literature into the post as well, so here're places from fiction I wish I could visit.

1. Tolkein's Middle Earth. Duh. I guess I could try going here.

2. Alice's Wonderland. Since V's Alice obsession, it's hard not to find the place compelling. For grown up trivia, this site is entertaining. When V first saw the well-known Disney version of Alice, we had to have a long talk about Baby Jessica and how rabbit holes and wells and other dark places were not really meant for little girls to go falling into. Not surprisingly, V was terribly disappointed.

3. The Fabulon Midway in Geek Love. I love me a good circus sideshow, and the Binewskis did it up right. In a horrific, godforsaken sort of way.

4. Yoknapatawpha County. William Faulkner created not just an imaginary home, or neighborhood, or city. He made up a whole damn county. And it's a spooky, creepy, southern mess of a county. And I love that it's a whole mini-universe (ps: I hate Wikipedia. But it's the best link I could find today).

5. Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory: another nod to one of V's obsessions, I have long loved the idea of the factory from the original film. The chocolate river (Augustus!!), the golden geese eggs, the fizzy lifting drinks...Gene Wilder....Awesome.

6. Oz. What child doesn't dream of waking up in a magical land full of witches and munchkins and flying monkeys and talking tinmen and scarecrows? It's certainly why I so love the book Wicked, and Son of a Witch, and the one about the lion that's been on my nightstand for months because I don't have time to read anything but papers.  Of course, I believed for YEARS that the Wicked Witch of the West lived under my bed. (And she was married to the Incredible Hulk). But I still would love to go over the rainbow.

7. The cave from the Goonies. Even if Sean Astin isn't there to kiss me, it would be an awesome place to play. Remind me to bring along someone with lots of life-saving inventions strapped to themselves, though.

8. The island where the Swiss Family Robinson lived. Alternately, if that's not available, I'll take the island in The Blue Lagoon. For both, I would like to get to the island after the characters have all left, because otherwise I'm just a tourist, and not experiencing the island like I want to (plus, Christopher Atkins creeps me out). At the same time, I hope they leave behind their lovely buildings and machetes and coconut and banana trees. Yum.

9. The Addam's Family house, from the TV show. I love the greenhouse thing, and the nooses, and the gables, and the decor, and....well, all of it. The one(s?) in the movies are quite lovely, too, but the original one makes me giggle.

Howsabout you? Just like on my movie list, I'm sure you, gentle readers, will come up with 15 places that make me hit myself and say "How could I forget THAT?". Bring it on. Let the headsmacking begin.

27 November 2010

Rocket loves Shaun

I love dogs. Love, love, love, love, love them. My whole life, I've had beloved dogs: Toosk, Josh & Cookie, Toosk II & Zoe Johnson, Zuul & Egon....I love how they smell, how they show devotion, how they play fetch. I love dogs.

But ever since Egon, we've been a pet-free home.  And I don't like it. But, I mean, I understand the positives, too: During the school year, I work all the damn time, and though Shaun likes dogs okay, he does not have the love love love that I do for them.  It's much easier not having to train a dog, or clean up during the training, or being home every 4 hours or finding someone else who can be.  But man, I miss having a furball curled up behind my knees (besides Shaun, I mean). I miss slobbery dog kisses and playing tug with rope toys.

Enter Rocket: my sister's family's sweet dog. He looks like an ewok, hardly ever barks, and is a loving ball of chewing fur. And having a dog nephew is almost the best of both worlds: we get to love him up whenever we're at Jess', and we aren't responsible for his training, grooming, or chewing. And once in awhile, when we're lucky, he comes to visit at our house. And snuggles in behind my knees. Ah. It's not as good as my own sweet pupdog, but it's a whole lot better than nothin'.

26 November 2010

Old Stuff in my Mom's Garage, with 3 different cameras.

This Thanksgiving, I wandered out to Myra's garage to take pictures of some stuff. I used my current camera as camera #1, which has a bit too much shake for close ups, Myra's cool little Olympus (I think it's an Olympus) as camera #2,  and Jess' fancy-schmancy camera for camera #3. Mostly, I just like taking pictures of old rusty things. It was just fortunate that I had all those cameras at my disposal.

This is, I think, an oxen yoke. Or it might be for horses. I have no horses or oxen to try it on. It hangs in our garage and has been hanging there my whole life. This photo is with camera #1, with no flash.
By the time I made it to the garage with camera 3, it was dark outside, and I couldn't figure out how to turn off the flash, anyway.
 This is camera #2, and Dad's old ice skates.
 Camera #3, as evidenced by the flash.
 I'm kind of in love with close ups and strange angles. And old ice skates. And camera #3.
 Camera #1, and a banana box my parents "borrowed" from my grandparent's store. They're marvelous, and with a nice thick sheet of plexiglass they'd be awesome coffee tables. But my mother won't let me take them out of the garage. Which is probably for the best, since I don't have room for a coffee table.
Camera #3. I love that the box says "Fargo, N.D. St. Paul, Mn." and "return to warehouse promptly."

22 November 2010

List #7: Things I wish my students knew

I'm probably never going back to college. I mean, I might take a class or something someday, but full time studenthood is all in my past. Still, if I ever do find myself on the other side of the desk, there are some things I would be sure to remember and do differently than I did when I was in school. And some things I knew better than to do when I was in school. This list is for my dear, dear students.

1. Be on time to class. Every time. Don't skip. The instructor notices if you skip. And don't text during class, or sleep. We notice that, too.

2. Be prepared. Every time. Faking the reading does not work in college.

3. Do not assume the teacher doesn't like you/doesn't have time to help you.  Ask questions.

4. Do not assume the teacher likes you and has all the time in the world to help you.  Ask questions, but be polite. And gracious.

5. If you have to miss class, how you word follow-up questions is very important. "Did I miss anything?" is profoundly different from "What did I miss?"

6. If your shit is hitting the fan this semester, do not point the fan at your instructor. Manage your stuff, and if you find you can't get your work done properly while your life falls to pieces, consider withdrawing. I will work with you, but I tell you from experience it is really, really hard to get things back under control once you've spun out. It's okay to drop a class. It's okay to get a C. Or worse. If you're going to be deported if you fail my course, realize that maybe you should've thought of that before you missed 6 weeks in a row.

7. Do not write me e-mails from your hotmail account. All your friends may call you HotCupcake93, but I will not. In fact, I delete all e-mails with the name "hot" or "cupcake," as a rule.

8. I will not get your paper graded in 24 hours. If you ask me, I will put your paper on the very bottom of my grading pile, where it will languish for months.

9. As a follow up to point #6, above, if you do have a personal crisis and you have no one to talk to about it, come to me. I'm not a counsellor, but I know where their offices are, and I will help you find help if you need it. I will keep your secrets, and will fight for you if that's what you need. I teach because I love my students, even if that's not always evident.

We have a winner!

Are you ready? Are you? Ready?
Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-11-22 20:23:39 UTC

This means that Jennifer Hines is Languishing's 400 Posts 1st place winner! She will receive a 5x7 of one of my photographs, and her very own Languishing Beastie (or perhaps 2 small ones, since she has 2 small ones to keep the peace between). Jen, this might mean we have to actually see each other for the first time in 3 years. Even though we only live 16 blocks apart. Crazy. (Pick a photo, too, or give me an idea of what you'd like).

And for second place:

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2010-11-22 20:27:04 UTC

That's Lesley! She wins our second place prize of an 5x7 of one of my photos! Which one do you want, Lesley? I'll have to order it and it will take a little while to arrive, but you can choose.

I found myself not wanting to go the Random Number Generator, because I don't like it when someone doesn't win. Frankly, I suck at Monopoly because I always make trades and sales I shouldn't. I'm a lousy capitalist. But I promised, and Jen and Lesley are our winners! Hurrah! Thanks for reading, everyone, and for those of you who didn't win, know that you're winners in my wee socialist heart.
Come back later today for yet another list.

18 November 2010

List #6: Places I've Been

I am not a widely-traveled woman, nor will I ever likely be. I've always lived within a 150 mile radius of my hometown, and I'll probably die a Minnesotan, ornery and cold. I was just thinking today about how my grandfather moved here from Sweden 90 years ago, when he was 19, and how that move alone marked his life as entirely different from mine.

But I do like to travel, at least in theory, and though I've never been off this continent (except one time when I jumped really high), there have been a few places in my travels that remain close to my heart.

1. New York City: I first went here in college, and we stayed in a relatively abandoned dorm, two vans full of students with the Lutheran Campus Ministries. We went to Harlem and some fantastic church that had a Sunday late afternoon service and rode the subway. We were a bunch of Minnesota kids in awe of this giant city, and it was great. I got to see my first Broadway Show, Miss Saigon, with my sister, and I wore my favorite blue flannel shirt and we sat next to someone in a fur stole. I loved it. Our pastor wore his collar, so everyone thought he was a priest, and he repeatedly said inappropriate things to the young women in our group to see what passersby would do. Much later, I turned 28 in New York, and had a magically good time with Shaun while we visited Dan and Tenessa and Jeni and David and Kelly. I bought flowers in the street and felt very Carrie Bradshaw long before Carrie Bradshaw.

2. Washington DC: another Lutheran Campus Ministries spring break trip, we drove through Pennsylvania in an enormous ice storm that had semis jackknifing around us and the ice built up so thick on our wiper blades I had to reach out the window and snap it off. Jess was with on this trip, too, and during the worst of the storm we ended up in different vans, and I started hyperventilating, getting all Buddy Holly/Ritchie Valens over the situation. We visited Gettysburg, created our own mixed drink (named the Minnesota Monument, after the Minnesota Infantry who suffered 82% casualties but still held the line), and saw the great opulence and poverty that is our nation's capital. On this trip, we slept on thin, hard mattresses in a church basement, and ate peanut butter sandwiches and a small green apple for lunch everyday. It was a good way to see the city.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana: I've been to N'awlins twice, both times with my college jazz band, the second time with my kid sister. I totally fell in love with this city, so different from anywhere else on earth, with its own culture and history and stifling humidity. Getting to play jazz in this city will remain one of the greatest honors of my life. We saw the Mississippi Delta, mansions and shotgun houses and razor wire and big dogs that threw themselves at the courtyard gates as we walked by. It drips of decadence and history and it's very, very sexy. It is one of the places I most want to go back to.

After the 9/11 attacks and Katrina, I was starting to feel a little like the cosmos was trying to wipe every major city Jess and I had visited off the map. Which was kind of freaky. She assured me this was not the case. Probably.

4. Las Vegas: faithful readers, you know how I feel about Sin City: I've been three times, and each time got its own blog post or two. And I understand the artifice, and the wastefulness, and the ridiculousness of it all. There are those who love Vegas, and those who can't stand it, and not a lot of inbetween types. By god, I'm glad to be in the lovin' it camp. There is nothing better than being in Vegas with a little money in your pocket, people you like to be with, and a good lipgloss. Nothing better on earth.

There have been other cities, of course: Minneapolis & St. Paul, Winnipeg, Chicago, Estes Park, Colorado...but those first four above were momentous trips, trips I'll be talking about as an old woman, trips that make me want to pack up the Scion and drive. Maybe I'll send you a postcard, sometime.

Where have your favorite places been?

(Oh, and don't forget, there's still time for you to enter the FABULOUS 400th POST giveaway. Comment on that post, not this one. You know you want to. You could WIN!)

17 November 2010


Oh, my darlings. Today is momentous because it is my 400th post on Languishing: the Blog. In my time in blogland, I've seen blogs rise and fall, seen many friends start blogs just to post pictures (which is awesome), seen a few friends kick themselves for not posting more often (which just means they care too much: be like me! Say crap! It's all good), and considered all sorts of pros and cons and ins and outs and stalagmites and stalagtites. I still sometimes read posts old out loud to Shaun and giggle, or shake my head and hover over the delete button, but here we are at Four. Hundred. Posts. That's more than one a day for a year. Except it took me almost 5 years. But still! That's an average of 80 posts a year! Which is more than one a week! Which is a lot better than I'd thought I'd do, considering my extreme laziness and determination to fail at most things.

To celebrate FOUR. HUNDRED. POSTS, I'm hosting a giveaway. It is not enormous, because we here at Languishing are not wealthy people. We are simple people with simple needs, and assume our readers are also simple. So you will get a 5x7 print of one of my photographs, a yet-to-be-determined stuffed creature (do you like voo-doo dolls? Or snails? Because that's what I've got, pretty much), a pair of lovingly handcrafted earrings, and probably some glitter if I can fit any in the envelope I send to you. To win, leave a comment on THIS post, and I will use the Random Number Generator to chose a winner.  One entry per person, please, because we play fair here in Languishingland. Comments will close at 11:59pm on Friday, November 19th, 2010.

But WAIT! Because this is the Four Hundreth Post, I'm going to give away not one but TWO prizes. The second prize will be another copy of one of my 5x7 prints, and extra glitter. TWO PRIZES! 400 POSTS! I was told there would be no math.

To get a bonus entry (BONUS ENTRY!), in your comment, give me an idea for a future post: what do you want me to write about? What is it about Languishing that you've always wanted to know but were afraid to ask? If you give me an idea, any idea, even if it's lame, I will count your entry twice (twice!) and, on a lovely piece of stationery, keep track of it all so the Random Number Generator can do its magic and you will have twice (twice!) the chance to win. I'll explain the details of the Lovely Piece of Stationery later, and probably post a photo, too, so no one accuses us of anything untoward.

I love the word untoward.

Anyhoo, get commenting! Big prizes! No whammies! Please, I do this blog for you, gentle readers. Let me give two of you presents for reading. Leave me a comment (with some way I can reach you, if I don't have that already). FOUR HUNDRED POSTS. Seriously. Let's party.

ps: You can win even if you're related to me, because I always think that's sad when employees and families of employees can't win. Plus, I'm addicted to comments.


14 November 2010

List #5: Things I love about V

That last list was kind of a downer, wasn't it? Let's try a more upbeat topic this time.

I know that most every parent thinks their child is the best one yet, at least some of the time. We're no different. Here are some of my favorite things about V lately.

1. She can read really, really well. She uses inflection and reads dynamically and it's really fun to hear.

2. She loves dancing. She just loves to spin and swing her arms and stomp her feet. I know in a couple of years she'll be too self-conscious to dance like that, but for now it's just absolutely beautiful.

3. She draws in that perfect 5 year old way right now. She's just started adding fingers to the circles she calls hands. I very much want to have one of her self-portraits from the last year or so tattooed on my ankle.

4. When she says she really, really wants something (like a new toy), she's completely satisfied if I tell her we'll put it on her birthday or Christmas list.

5. She plays things obsessively, over and over. She's still loving Alice in Wonderland, and lately we've been playing Spirited Away meets Alice in Wonderland meets everybody in the whole world. As you can imagine, with such a large cast, these conversations can go on and on and on and on and on.

6. She is usually kind. She likes to talk about all the people she loves, and we've been working on our holiday gift list lately. She is gentle more often than not, and I love that.

7. She's the least picky eater I know. She's not crazy about chicken, unless it's a chicken leg, but otherwise she'll eat most foods most of the time. Carrots, peas, spinach, potatoes, apples, kiwi, strawberries, bananas, cheeseburgers, smoothies...plus, she's almost always hungry, so this flexibility is helpful.

8. She has an amazing memory. She remembers things clearly from 2 years ago, when she was only 3, which freaks me out a little. She remembers people she's met only once, and places we visited for just a short time.

9. She thinks her Daddy and I are the best people on earth. I have no illusions that this will last forever, but as for right now, it's a tremendous honor. She thinks we know all the answers. I wish we did, for her.

She drives me crazy sometimes, sure. She is an only child, and usually certain the whole world waits for her to show up. But she is gentle and hilarious and silly, and she is ours, and we are so lucky.

13 November 2010

List #4: Things at which I suck

Since no one objected to list #3, and it actually received (gasp!) comments, welcome to list #4.

One of my greatest joys of reading blogs is also my greatest annoyance: I love to see all the cool stuff people do with their homes, lives, hobbies, kids, etc., but it sometimes makes me feel inadequate and lazy. I mean, apparently, while I'm sitting around reading about organization and creativity, other people are busy PRACTICING these things. And in blogs, these little bite-sized pieces of shiny lives, it can sometimes feel like my grungy self is just too lame for blogland.  I don't want you to feel like my life is all glamorous and magical compared to yours.

I originally was going to title this list "Things I love about V" (and I'll do that one sometime, probably), until I realized it would be kinda sappy, and too much  sappy makes me tired. So here's a non-sappy list to help you feel better about your lives.

1. Purging stuff. Actually, I like cleaning (scrubbing the kitchen sink is a favorite activity), but I rarely take the time to do it, partly because I have so much unorganized stuff. When my friend Johanna first came over, her response was "I just want to buy you some baskets or something." I like stuff. I like to have it around me, like a cocoon. A bare kitchen table tends to make me a little nervous. Now, having said that, I know that this clutter is not what's best for the whole family. I'm working on it.

2.  Patience.  I truly am one of the most impatient people I know. When I'm waiting for a train (which is almost every day, in this town), I have to get all meditative and remind myself to take deep breaths. Or do a U-turn and drive 20 blocks to the nearest underpass. And I have to literally sit on my hands when V's learning something new (like zipping her coat) to allow her the extra time it takes to do it. What's wrong with me?

3. Names. I used to be awesome at names. When I first started teaching, I could learn 125 names in a week and remember them all semester and beyond. Now, I'm lucky if I learn 125 names in the whole term, and the day I turn in grades, all those names fall right out of my brain. I still care for my students the same amount: I still desperately want them to succeed and have full rich lives and all that. I just cannot remember their names. The women are usually Amanda or Heather, and the men are all Jake. At least in my mind.

4. Resisting temptation. Though #1 on my list is a need to purge stuff, I am constantly tempted by the lovely thrift shops in our area. I'm also troubled by people who don't subscribe to my thrift store passion. I mean, I don't understand them. My sister points out that when you need something specific for your kids, thrift stores are not the most efficient way to get it, necessarily. But for example, in early October, she and I were both looking for winter gear for our kids. She found two lovely snowsuits (actually coats and snowpants sets) at TJ Maxx for her son and daughter, at around $30 a piece. But I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much. That same evening, I went to Saver's by myself and found brand new (still with tags) snowpants, in the exact size V needs, for $4. I know I was lucky, and this doesn't happen every time (she's still wearing last year's coat, for example, until I find one to go with the $4 pants), but I totally felt like I won. The key is to only buy what we need, and not just embrace every bargain/cool thing I run into. Ach.

5. Voices. This may seem like a small thing, but in this house, the ability to mimic is tremendously valued. Shaun has this skill, and V is exhibiting it quite early. I, on the other hand, can't even do a decent British accent. Or a southern accent. Or anything but a Minnesota accent. Shaun reads to V before bed most nights, and they develop these elaborate characters with which, when it's my turn to read, I just can't compete. Sigh.

6. Practicing Creativity. Well, I don't really suck at this. I just haven't been able to find much time for it. I should sew every day, should be elbow-deep in Christmas gift makings, but instead I just write silly blogposts. In all likelihood, I'll wait to start my gift making marathon until grades are turned in, around December 17th. It is unlikely to end well.

7. Optimism. I'm actually excellent at this, but it often trips me up, because I think it'll all work out in the end, and sometimes it doesn't. This is why I'm disappointed every single time a student cheats, because I'm so certain they won't do it. This time.

8. Coming up with 9 things I suck at. How much does that suck, to suck at describing what I suck at?

There, see? Don't you feel better? Yeah, me neither.

10 November 2010

Makeover reveal

We've done this before. And it was fine. But every time we go from this

 to this
I get a little nervous. It's just...it's such a big change. But man, she STILL hates having her hair combed, and it was starting to get rat-nesty, and her shorter hair is adorable and makes her look like she's ten years old or something crazy. When I was five, and got my long hair all cut off (and I mean ALL), I wanted long hair again for the next ten years. Before falling asleep every night, after I'd said my prayers, I'd wish for a genie to offer me three wishes, and my first one was always, always to have waist-length hair again.

But V is not me (though I hated having my hair combed, too), and though she says she likes her hair, she really just doesn't seem to notice much. She's got her father's vanity, maybe, or penchant for low-maintainence. Whichever. I'm just thankful we don't have to try to struggle through hairbrushing anymore, and she's not obsessively thinking of a magic genie.

At least, I don't think she is.

08 November 2010

List #3: Films I Could Watch Over and Over

What, you're tired of lists already? No? Good. Me neither.

1. The Princess Bride: I know it's a cliche, and I don't care. When I first met Shaun, he had never seen this, and while we were watching it, he poked fun at something or other, and I blew up at him. Apparently I'm terribly protective of my favorite movies.

2. Strictly Ballroom: a gorgeous movie. Truly. Australian. Ballroom dancing. If you haven't seen it, you really should. Fran is so a grand heroine.

3. Harold and Maude: Okay, so not everyone loves this movie, but everyone should. Like The Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Wizard of Oz, we should all watch this movie at least once a year. It's kind of like Dead Poet's Society, but better. Much better.

4. West Side Story: I mean, obviously. Music, dancing, New York City, Jets and Sharks....

5. Frida: I love Salma Hayek, and I love Frida Kahlo even more. I know this movie is not perfect, but I think it's lovely in many, many ways. I love the gold powder on the trolley.

6. Like Water for Chocolate: A critique of tradition, and in some ways of romantic love. This movie makes me happy when I have time to sit down and enjoy it: the musicality, the humor, the food...

7. Raise the Red Lantern: I saw this in college; it was my first subtitled movie. It is gorgeous and haunting and sad and Chinese.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird: There's not much sexier than Atticus Finch shooting a rabid dog. Or maybe that's just me.

9. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: All the others were so serious, I had to add a comedy. This one is so over the top ridiculous, it's hard not to laugh all through this movie. My favorite is how Ron Burgundy curses. For example, "Great Odin's Raven!"  It's brilliant.

I don't get to go to movies very often, so when I do, I'm mostly just happy to be out at a bona fide theater. I enjoyed Beverly Hills Chihuahua, for heaven's sake. But these nine are all very, very dear to my heart. What're your favorite movies?

07 November 2010

List #2: Things I Love About Tenessa

My dearest friend turns 35 today. We had a campaign kick-off for her run for president (which, as you know, you can't be unless you're at least 35) last night, with cheese and cupcakes and meatballs and pumpkin cake rolls and Strongbow. It was all I'd ever dreamed of for a presidential campaign, and I think she has a good shot to win in 2012.

Anyway, I wanted to write another list post today, but every other topic seems silly, since it's TG's birthday and whatnot.

1. She had a Simpson's Rainbow wedding. Really. I didn't get to be a bridesmaid, but still...
2. She and her husband introduced me to Shaun. and Liz Phair. and fresh mozzerella. and Tenacious D. and cider. and our friends Susanne, and Carla, and Andrea, and Kelly, and Sarah, and Robby, and...the list goes on and on.
3. The day I fell in love with her, we were in our Margaret Atwood class and she was wearing a hunter green shirt with dogs all over it. On purpose.
4. When she lived in NYC, she had Margaret Atwood sign a copy of Oryx and Crake for me.
5. When I'm with her, I often laugh until my stomach hurts and my face aches from grinning.
6. When I'm freaking out (which doesn't happen as often as you might think, surprisingly), I can call her (even at work) and she will make me feel better. Every. time.
7. She really loves V, and vice versa.
8. She's in the process of raising 2 awesome sons. They love V too.
9. She's cool, tall, vulnerable, and luscious.

Happy birthday, my friend. Don't forget us when you're President.

02 November 2010

List #1: Inanimate objects that always make me smile

Inspired by this post, from a blog I've just recently stumbled upon. I'm going to make some lists.

1. Our Scion. I can't help it. I feel bad almost everytime it makes me smile, because I think "Love people, use things." But I love that car.

2. Sandalwood candles. It's more about the smell than the sight, here, but I enjoy a nice sandalwood.

3. The peony in our backyard. It means summer has arrived.

4. V's school pictures. I love some of the pictures I or others take of her, but there's something so timeless about school photos, it melts my heart.

5. My sister's family's dog, Rocket. (He's not at all inanimate, but c'mon...). Someday, we're going to get us a dog. Someday.

6. Dead squirrels. I know that this probably means I'll have life-long bad karma, and I don't care.

7. My mother-in-law's massive lotion collection. It changes every time we go there, because she uses it everyday. She has an intervention-worthy obsession with lotion, I swear.

8. A big field of sunflowers.

9. The number 9. It's been my favorite number since 5th grade, when I was student #9 on our classroom list, where we would take the little disc with our name and number on it and move it if we went to the restroom or to get a drink or whatever else we could do unattended in 5th grade. I like it because it's 3 squared, and it's not seven, which is an obvious lucky number, and it's not 10, which is boring. Don't you think?

Trick or Treat, dammit.

This year, again, V and I went to Hendrum to trick-or-treat. Actually, last year I just dropped her off: so this year, I got to go along. I suppose it's normal, since Hendrum is the only town I ever trick or treated in, but it just doesn't seem like Hallween to me if we're not there.
First we had pizza at Jess and Brad's, and then we got costumed up, and struggled to take a group picture (V's feeding Emmy pretend candy).
And then we went. Alice in Wonderland, a dragon, and a puppy ran up and down the wee town's deserted streets, stormed into people's houses (which is okay, since we all know each other, but a little weird), usually said "Thank you" and laughed and ate and said together "Trick-or-Treat!" in that cute sing-songy little kid way.

No, I didn't make V's costume, and I have plenty of mama guilt for it, thankyouverymuch. But we bought it Menard's (you know, the costume mecca) for $9, and I cannot sew a dress for that kind of money, seriously. Besides, she clearly has a bad attitude. I can't be expected to wrangle that AND sew a costume.

My dear little hometown came through with a sweet, fun, candy-laden Halloween once again. Hope yours was good, too!