Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'd like to stay and taste my first champagne

I'm giving up blogging, and as much of the web as possible, for Lent.

The next time you see me--or don't see me, as the case may be--I hope to be 12 pounds lighter and roughly halfway through revising my novel.

I will be logging my diet and workouts at, doing the 2007 Self Challenge and jump-starting it with a Self "Reach Your Goal" program of losing 8 lbs. in the next four weeks. I have a new diet plan: I eat yogurt and granola for breakfast and lunch, then (as the Slimfast commercials used to say) a sensible dinner. As of day 3 it's working pretty well. I love yogurt and granola very much.

A bientot!

Monday, February 19, 2007

I didn't even have to head for the cheatin' side of town

With R and the two big kids away, I've been indulging in an orgy of television every night.

Now when he returns I'll have to tell him that I've fallen in love with Patrick Verona (I know, I'm awfully late to this party).

And that my new full-time job is The Infamous Chill Sisters.

Wheeeee! Sliding down to the bottom of the bookmarks on my completion neurosis

When I left you (aside from my brief visit to post the gorgeous Dooce-style [forgive the cliche but, Not!] photo of my poor ice-laden dogwood tree), Hannibal was crossing the Alps courtesy of Look and Learn.

Want a "Trust Snape" t-shirt? Visit the Etsy shop of Bookshelves of Doom, and while you're at it, visit the bookshelves themselves, especially if you're like me, never grew up, and like to keep on top of young adult literature. Luckily for me I can pretend I'm vetting the stuff for my kids. Bwa ha ha ha ha! I'm thinking of opening an Etsy shop once I finish the sleeves and hood of my second knitted baby jacket. Or the left sleeve of my first. About the Trust Snape shirt, I fit into my boys' XL right now, but I hope to fit into it more attractively soon. If you're bigger than me, I suggest e-mailing Leila Roy and urging her to branch out into adult size t-shirts.

This next one is awesome, on a level with the snowblower purchase. Map a running route around your neighborhood (or anywhere) and find out what distance it is! It may initially be somewhat disheartening, when you find out your 3-mile loop is a measly 2.4, but ultimately a very useful tool.

While you're out there running, drop a book somewhere noticeable, but not before you've registered it with BookCrossing. Then, with any luck, you'll be able to track its fascinating progress through the world.

More in the category of things I haven't tried yet, but plan to (thus they are not installed in the folders of oblivion):

*A soup swap party (courtesy of NotMartha)
*A magazine purse (but with Look and Learn illustrations from the vintage book that brought me to the website)
*Trying to like people better (and Lent is a good time for this)
*Two from the Sampler: Dorset buttons for the baby jackets, and a washer necklace
*Opening up my black brocade high school diary (from Pearl River Mart) at Cringe. First I'm going to have to dig it out of my parents' house, but I'm sure there's some good stuff in there. For starters, I recall an elaborate plan to copy my personal style from Ally Sheedy's character in St. Elmo's Fire. Oh my.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Winter Wonderland

More Links for You

Let's see. Last time we left off at Shanghai, for which I was roundly abused by another supposedly recovered addict. In the interim, I tried both the Easy Cheese "Crackers," which were a huge success (although I would specify 3.5 minutes in the microwave rather than 3), and the Lara-type bars, less so (dates and cashews worked nicely enough; dates, banana, walnut and a lot of desperately dumped-in coconut to try to dry things out not so much).

Bags Unlimited probably has something you could pack your "crackers" and Lara-type bars in after you made them. I like them for their CD sleeves. Cheap Ribbons has lots of, you guessed it, cheap ribbon; my sister-in-law clued me in to the possibilities of tulle for great-looking packages even if you're not a great bow-tier.

If you know me and you've had a baby recently, you know I am a huge fan of the Hug and Hold Baby as a "Sorry you have a new sibling" present. Whoops, that's "Congratulations on having a new sibling!" Most things this cute and useful (and obscure) cost way more than $20.

Terry Teachout introduced me to the NameVoyager, at which one can waste nearly as much time as at Songfacts or Shanghai (okay, not even close, but it is a timewaster). FYI: the popularity of my name peaked in the 1910s, which finally explains why both my grandmothers had the name but no one else I've ever met does.

Ergo, we only have 3 and a half months left to learn to dance like Napoleon Dynamite for Reunions.

I love illustration art. Here's a depiction of Hannibal crossing the Alps. And you can send it as an e-card. How about "I'd do anything for you, honey. Except cross the Alps with elephants. Happy Valentine's Day!"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sometimes I love the modern world

R. frequently comes up with a stunner on his way out the door in the morning. Today (I'm condensing a conversation here) it was the pronouncement that we (meaning I) must buy a snowblower today.

"But...but..."I said.
"There's going to be six inches, and I'm thinking about your parents, too." (Side note: my father was recently diagnosed with serious heart disease and will not be doing a lot of shoveling in the future.)
"But...but..." and then I realized what was really bothering me. I have no problem driving somewhere and loading a snowblower into the van. Okay, I do have a problem with that but I'll do it if I have to (especially since I know a guy will bring the snowblower out to my van and heave it in there). No, my main problem was in picking out the correct snowblower. I am often accused of going cheap in major purchases. My most frequent accuser will remain nameless, but his initials are NSBR. "Unless you buy one and bring it home on the train, we're not getting one today," I shouted lovingly. I had not had my coffee yet.

But then! But then! I went online and discovered that snowblowers (which are now called snow throwers--were they always?) are on sale at Sears. I sent R. an email with the link and said if he picked the thing out, I would go pick it up.

And! And! He got the email on his Blackjack, went to the website, picked out the model, and emailed me back--from the train--and I just ordered the snowthrower and will soon pick it up!

How cool is that?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

May I Offer You Some Links?

I've been cleaning up my bookmarks, which consists mostly of corralling (sp?) all the things I bookmarked recently into categorized bookmark folders, where I will never look at them again. I do periodically go through the "shopping" folder and delete all the things I'm never going to buy and no longer want, but does that stop me from buying stuff on impulse, realizing that if you wait long enough you won't want the thing? No.

But I digress. I thought I might share a few of my finds with you, my readers:

If you are a parental type (approximately half my readers, I believe, are) you will definitely find an aha! tip at Parenthacks, "a collaborative weblog of practical parenting wisdom." I myself cannot wait to try the easy cheese "crackers" for my poor carb-deprived boy.

Speaking of snacks, I love Larabars. Unfortunately, they cost a gajillion dollars apiece, and I like to spend my money on impulsive online shopping. Fortunately, I found this helpful recipe at Bunnyfoot so I can try making my own. Then I will inflict them on my children, who have been spared Larabars recently for the cheaper and less natural South Beach and Kashi bars on the market.

I recently referenced Songfacts in Ergo's comments. If there's anything in which I am an expert, it is wasting time online. So believe me when I tell you that if you like music at all, and whether or not you like Pina Coladas, Songfacts is an excellent place to lose hours of your life.

I have another nasty habit. I like to play Shanghai. We were apart for many years, Shanghai and I: ever since my Powerbook gave up the ghost. But now we are together again, and it reminds me of when Dave Foley blew the SATs for a high score on Stargate Defender for the second time on NewsRadio: "It's been a long time, Stargate Defender."

That's all for today. If you're good, I'll give you more links tomorrow.