Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cookies (Round 1)


FD & I frosted them tonight as we listened to Christmas music.

We had a blast.

And when we finished we realized it was snowing out. Hard.

I love winter.

Most special of the cookies: the Law & Order snowman and the red angel with star eyes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Kinda Christmas Story

The urge starts like the jingle of a tiny bell: Tink. Tink. Slowly, it builds like an orchestra. Strings. Horns. Percussion. All together. I have to go; there is no holding. None.

Usually the instance I felt a tingle in my bladder, I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. I was a bed-wetter. I couldn’t be trusted to hold, and I knew better than doing so. I had gotten too used to the hot liquid turning cold fast against my bum, the angry flick of light switches in my bedroom, the bathroom, then the laundry room, the stink of vinegar water on my mattress, the swoosh of sleeping bag against floor, and overwhelming guilt of being a bed-wetter. At home it’s one thing, but around family I never see, it’s completely different.

The Christmas Eve I was seven, my mom and I hitched a ride to Chicago with my grandpa and grandma in their Crown Victoria to visit my uncle and his family. Sure, the whole way there I had to pee, but I was with an old lady who had to pee all the time. For once it wasn’t my fault that we stopped at almost every rest area along snowy the Ohio turnpike. No adult questioned the validity of my bladder’s urge and hushed my requests to stop with “you can hold it until the next one.” Finally, there was an adult who had to go as much as me. It was the first time I had traveled in complete bladder comfort.

That night I slept on the pull-out couch with my cousin Katie and cousin Matt. I could barely sleep thinking of Santa. I tossed and turned, bumping Katie’s reindeer print flannel arm and leg while continually whispering to Matt that he was wimp for not staying up with me. The red, green, and blue outdoor Christmas lights that wrapped around the bushes in their yard and their neighbors cast a warm glow in the sunken den of our room.

Up the stairs of the sunken den was the kitchen, then the great room with the front door and chimney, then a hallway where the three bedrooms were. At the end, the bathroom. My aunt and uncle were the closest to it. I hadn’t seen their bedroom, but I imagined them sound asleep based on the contagious yawns I saw at our early evening arrival. My grandparents were second closest. I pictured them sleeping on Matt’s twin sized beds, each in a separate bed, an arm’s length away from each other. My mom was third closest. I thought I heard her loud eggnog induced snore from Katie’s room, trailing downstairs to me, the farthest person from the bathroom. I found the thought of each family member sleeping in a room much closer to the bathroom than me, not comforting but thoroughly upsetting.

Immediately, my bladder jingled its tiny bell.

I had to get up; there was little time for such a far run. Rolling over Katie, thumping on the floor, that’s exactly the moment I heard it.

Scratch. Scratch. Neigh.

I froze, crouched on the green shag carpet.

Scratch. Neigh. Scratch.

Santa was here.

My first thought was: if he sees me, I’ll scare him away before he sees the picture of Poochie I colored for him, before he eats the special sprinkle cookies, before he sets the shiny presents under the tree. Piss my pants or risk no presents. I’d be damned after how good I had been that year to not get presents. And I certainly did not want my distant relatives glaring back and forth between the present-less, brown pine needle-ridden tree skirt and me. I squeezed my thighs together, squinted my eyes shut, pressed my hands over my ears, and prayed Santa would be quick about his business.

Each second the urge to pee grew. The bell was joined by the strings, the strings joined by the horns, seconds later the percussion section took over until all I could hear under my sweaty palms was the drumming of pain in my bladder, throbbing in every nerve of my body. I tightened my vaginal muscles like the doctor told me. I counted. I breathed. Just like the doctor said. 10. Inhale. Exhale. 11. Inhale. Exhale. The burning sensation began. 12. Inhale. Exhale. I felt a little trickle escape. It was only seconds before my urine made a prison break. I looked to the stairs, consciously clutching my vaginal muscles, preparing my body for movement. I had to chance no gifts. I had to make the break.

I popped up like the little flower I was in the past spring’s play, and when I was up, I ran like never before. I jumped the stairs, my bare feet making sticky noises against the kitchen linoleum. I passed through the great room’s threshold, and zoomed passed the reflection of myself in the front door’s glass. Rounding the 8 foot glimmering Christmas tree, I tripped on the hem on my long flannel nightgown. The hardwood cold underneath me, I crouched for a moment on my palms and knees, gathering myself. So far no leakage. My thighs were still tight. I could make it. I took a deep breath and rose to a slight chuckle.

Looking up, I saw a round belly jiggling slightly, shiny black buttons, a white beard twitching. I literally had stumbled upon Santa, who was looking at our pictures and chewing on a cookie. When we made contact, he winked at me. I know it sounds cliché like something from a holiday movie scene, but I swear he was before me in all his magical flesh. This Santa was not some dude at the mall or my grandpa dressed up. He was the real deal. I could tell by his wink. My grandpa couldn’t wink without closing both eyes. I gave Santa a smile and a curtsey. He motioned his head towards the bathroom. The pain returned swiftly, and again I was racing down the hallway. I flung open the door, slammed it shut. I danced my panties off. I sat on the rim without putting the seat down. I didn’t care. The rush of liquid was exhilarating. It wasn’t until my first orgasm that I realized pissing after holding for a long time feels almost exactly the same.

Of course, Santa was gone when I reentered the great room. Crumbs from his cookies rested on the plate and on the chair. I had triumphantly seen Santa. A tale to tell to make all kids jealous. I was proud tiptoeing my way back to bed, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep after glimpsing the stacks of shimmering paper and perfectly puffed fabric bows. Christmas would happen after all. I wouldn’t be blamed for scaring off Santa, but soon I realized I would never be believed for seeing him.

(Thanks to Ray Ray for helping this essay come to fruition.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Some Things Are Worth Repeating

When I first saw Elf I couldn't get this song out of my head. I thought Zooey Deschanel's voice was amazing. (Thankfully, She & Him came into existence!) I didn't really listen to the lyrics until I burned the Dean Martin version from my mother-in-law. From there, "Baby It's Cold Outside" has taken on this whole new life (in my brain). It will forever be known as "The Christmas Date Rape song." I don't want to spoil your Christmas joy, but once you listen to the lyrics really carefully, you might feel the same way.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

During My Research

This article says everything I've been thinking about.

I wish I had written it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yes, I'm This Obsessed

FD found this spoof on YouTube and shared it with me.

Such a loving husband!

But I was bound to find it since I've been watching scenes from the film on YouTube to get my daily fix.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just So You Know, I'm Totally Kidding

Another obsession: telling cute kids under the age of 3 and my dog that I want to "eat them" and pretending their limbs are corn on the cob.

Bon Appetite: mon Bleu de chien! (Who, apparently would be quite tasty!)

Why on earth would one want to eat their children and/or dog?

For now, I (among others) speculate it may have something to do with the only way to truly consume something is to eat it, ingest it, let it become part of our own bodies. Or maybe those scary European bedtime stories are to blame; you know the ones where two kids are plumped up with candy and then shoved into an oven for a witch's dindin? Or maybe it's because we watch too much FoodTV, which tells that food equals love?

I'm determined to get to the bottom of this sometime soon.

I need to for my own mental and legal safety and the safety of my dog as well as all the cute children in the world with chubby, edible cheeks, legs, and arms.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Goes Around...: A Yoga Reflection

Today I endured countless gripping from students: "Do we have to peer review?" "I don't have a peer review copy. That means I can't peer review."

My responses: "Peer review is good for you. Do it." And "Run. Right now. Find the closest lab and print out a peer review copy if you want to be considered present today. Do it!"

All the while I kept thinking to myself, "If I was a student, I wouldn't be so whiny and reluctant."

Once again, I eat my words.

During yoga class tonight, I whined and pleaded with my yoga teacher to "please not make me do that pose again." I dished out all the rations of shit I got from my kids today.

The exception is I feel horrible about it. (But, for the record, my teacher handled it with much grace & encouragement.)

I find, though, that the poses I'm most reluctant with are the ones that I feel the most and are the ones that, in the best of ways, challenge me the most. I need a good challenge. Always. For example, Crane & Handstand.

Three notes to self: 1.) Press down in my hands for a sturdy handstand.

2.) In Warrior I & II tuck the pelvis to open up the kidneys. Practice Warrior III more intently for handstand practice, according to Yoga Journal.

3.) Stop being such a wimp about Crane Pose (photo cred: Yoga Journal). Widen the hands, creep up on the toes, tuck the knees deep into back of the armpits, place head on the floor, and press up--pump up through the hands.

I'm noticing a hand theme emerging.

Another challenge lies ahead.

I promise that's NOT a gripe but rather a positive statement.

I Haven't Been This Crazed in a Long While...

Confession: I once sent Josh Hartnett a care package with a mix tape & handmade friendship bracelet after seeing him in The Faculty. If you ever ask me about this, I'll deny it.

I fell hard for New Kids on the Block in 6th grade. So hard I blew probably the equivalent in cash of my whole college education on Big Bopper magazines & tape for plastering my walls. (Not to mention, actual plaster & paint after having to take them all down when we moved.)

Now, as a woman in my 30's, I have a totally new obsession: the movie Twilight. I admit I am/was obsessed with the book series first, but the writing never really made me love them like I love Pride & Prejudice. What made me love them was the plot & drama of it all. What's fantastic about the movie is I get to bypass the long tedious passages for the quick visual & mindlessness of watching hot boys on the big screen. Normally, I prefer the books, but in this case, NO WAY!

I haven't done anything obsessive as send Robert Pattinson a care package or carve a Twilight pumpkin (as found on a Twilight fan page on Facebook). However, I have seen the movie twice, and I can't stop thinking about Edward Cullen, which I consider a bit obsessive at my age.

Of course, all this seems quite innocent, but for some reason I have to turn it into some big deal. I know a lot of popular culture appeals to teens, and I've always been proud of my involvement & support of teen culture and pop culture. I realize that media is valuable mindless pleasure that helps us escape from bills, work, & seemingly trivial life bullshit. And I realize most times my most brilliant writing ideas come after giving myself a break with this mindless pleasure. All of this I'm cool with.

What bothers me most is that I was a Jacob fan while reading the books, and now after seeing the movie, I adore Edward. I was skeptical of Robert Pattinson as Edward, but the more I see the movie, the more I firmly believe he was the perfect choice. He captured the essence of Edward while being extremely easy on the eyes. I was dissatisfied with my poor Jacob. He was cool & friendly, but not what I expected from Jacob. Of course, in Twilight the book, Jacob hasn't really "matured" yet, but still...I'm upset to be swooning so hard for Edward.

And I'm happily married & I realize Edward isn't real, but I care enough about this to blog about it. I find that weird.

Just as NKOTB made a comeback & their sold out shows were mostly packed with 30 year-old fans who never stopped loving them, I think the same, in a sense, is why so many adult fans are in love with Twilight & Edward. The feeling of the book & the movie reminds me of those awkward days when I was 17--unsure I'd meet my soul mate and, more importantly, unsure about myself while being extremely cocky and maybe a bit whiny at the same time. Perhaps it's the ignorance of those days I miss. Or that surprise element of angst-ridden drama. (Though, Lord knows I NEVER want to experience that drama again. But it's cathartic/rewarding watching Bella & the not-so-17 Edward going through it...)

And seeing a movie like Twilight is inspiring, in the sense that, I'm lucky to be married to my own version of Edward & to know that romanticism isn't dead after all--that it just takes hard to work to make a life with your unconditional love and, above all, that movies with bathroom humor can be beat out by a love story, no matter how cheesy that story might be at times.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Day #2

I've been getting periodic phone calls from the Hubs making sure I'm feeling okay after I told him this morning, "I feel like someone has tipped me over and stomped all over my body."

I'm grateful for those phone calls & all his love.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Day #1

As motivation to blog more often and appreciate the happy moments of each day, I'm beginning a "Happy Day" series. (Viva La Fonz!) I'm not going to commit to a year of these posts or anything, but I really believe posting a few would help my morale & blogging frequency.

To kick off the series I have two happy moments to share:

1.) To calm my not-so-bad-but-normal nerves today before my interview for the job I already have (just go with it!), I remembered my lovely dinner date at Revolver with my totally awesome hubby. The food & the love made me feel giddy, which I believe came across fully in my interview.

2.) This morning Babine & I went for an hour long walk. Talking and laughing made my cardio workout fun and made me love Babine even more.

Happy Day Yay!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thinking...

If I get an iPhone & use TwitPic more, then I don't really need a blog.

For example, last night during yet another AWESOME FABULOUS Revolver Restaurant experience, I could have used the iPhone's camera to take a pic, then used wifi to post the pic to TwitPic where I would have written a stellar update about how awesome my food was & how jealous you should be--if you have or have not eaten there! (And you should eat there SOON!) The whole thing would have been faster, easier, & more in the moment than writing a long post here, which unfortunately I'm finding less & less time to do. Like right now, for example, when I need to cook my own fabulous meal for my in-laws, swiffer up all this black dog hair on our wood floors, and visit a dear friend's brother's & dad's calling hours.

Microblogging is the wave of the future
. I just think it might be better for my life than actual blogging at this point. I'm tried of thinking of "catchy" posts, needless time-consuming writing (when I should be creatively or professionally writing), the impersonal internets & feeling guilty about being self indulgent. Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if I was a celeb or a mom or using my blog as a business tool, but I do feel this way right now.

Any other bloggers feeling this way too or am I alone here?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Most Important News on the Eve of Election Day


Good Lord, could he look more like Jeff Tweedy.

We'll miss you, Joaquin. Your music better rock.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Because I opened the Flood Gate

"Witness the fire power of this fully-armed and operational battle station."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More



"The Death Star is almost operational."








Pic from the Toledo Blade.

Guess Who's Visiting BGSU today?


If only it was the Tina Fey version of Palin...

Then I'd be excited, not fearful.












Picture courtesy of FoxNews.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Empty Promises

I haven't abandoned my blog.

But I'm not upkeeping it well either.

Best places to stalk me: Facebook & Twitter.

More soon. I promise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Teaser

The Why & Later Readers at the KBG Bar.

More on my AWESOME trip to NY coming very soon.

Thanks to Carly, Erin, & Kiely for making it extremely special.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

When The Cow Came Home

While obsessing over food this year, I decided to take my meat-buying by the horns. (Lame pun intended.)

I could bore you with the facts about grass-fed beef and its health benefits and supporting local farms and the slow food movement, but I don't have enough time at the moment. (I'm heading off to Detroit then NYC for another soon-to-be-blogged adventure...)

I do, however, have a moment to welcome home Rudy, our grass-fed quarter of beef from Luginbill Family Farms.

As you can see, Bleu was just as excited as us to have many cuts of beef to choose from.

One of the happiest moments I've had in a long time was picking up our meat from the processor. As geeky as it sounds, I'm beyond ecstatic to know where our cow was raised and slaughtered. I still can't stop smiling at the fact that every cut of meat in our deep freezer bears my name.

How cool is that?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bleu's Halloween Costume

Can you imagine?

Thanks, KJ, for sending this to me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

♪ "Weather the Weather" ♪

Not only am I fan of The Postmarks song "Weather the Weather," I also am a fan of the weather.

So much so that I've actually considered "going back to school" to become a meteorologist.

This week at BGSU's annual Learning Fair hosted by the Study Skills Center, I was beyond ecstatic to meet the one & only "Blizzard" Bill Spencer, Toledo's fabulous local meteorologist.

Blizzard Bill
talked with first-year students about his job experiences and shared with them the benefits of "not giving up, no matter what." I was kinda jealous of the way the students were memorized by him. If only I had that kind of magic in the classroom...However, my spouse has been been sucked up into a tornado and I've been the only person in a tv station during a tornado.

As you can see, tornadoes played a big part in his presentation.

Here are some other highlights I jotted down:

On moving from ABC from NBC: "They're into theme parks, not strip malls."

Why Toledo: "Because Toledo is where the weather action is."

On his first wife: "A tornado sucked my first wife into its funnel. After that our relationship was never the same."

On chasing tornadoes: "Being on scene 30 seconds after a tornado is the one memory that stays with me. Seeing people's lives spread all around the neighborhood and them crying, devastated by their losses, motivates me to be the best weatherman I can be."

His talk was the highlight of my week, especially because the weather has been so boring here: sunny and 70s every day.

I could use a good storm.

Some local weather drama would be nice.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A New Hope (*MAYBE* It's As Cool As Star Wars)

When I said I needed some hope I wasn't lying.

And when the Wick Poetry Center delivered, I became a true believer.

For the first time in probably years, I actually feel like a worthwhile writer & contributor to the Creative Writing community.

And I must say it feels pretty good.

Don't get me wrong, I've been doing readings & loving every minute of them, but something about being back in Kent & coming full circle from the kid who went to the readings to being the kid reading meant the world to me. And it motivated me in ways I'm not ready to articulate.

Apart from the fact that I got to spend time with some of my favorite kids who made me feel "oh-so-ready-to-pop-one-out."

Now that I'm home do I still feel that way?

No...Yes...Maybe...No...

But what I feel like is writing. Which can be like having a baby. Good enough for now.

I'm not doing my trip any justice...Just know that the readings were phenomenal. The panel was lively & rigorous at times. And I was always my usual freak-show self.

Once more links become available I'll be posting.

Until & between then I'll be writing.

I really wish I had some pics...

My new fav heros: Tony, Arlan, Carly, & Katherine.

Confession: I cried so HARD when Katherine & I said our good-byes I looked like an idiot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two (or More) for Tuesday

A homecoming is in my horizon.

Tomorrow I visit Kent State to celebrate the Wick Poetry Center 25th Anniversary by reading with past scholarship winners/some dear friends I haven't seen in a while as well as reading as part of the Why & Later anthology with benefit yoga classes.

If you can make it out Wednesday the 17th at 7:30 in the Honors College (Johnson Hall) is the Why & Later reading. Thursday the 18th from 11-12:15 p.m. is the benefit yoga class at the KSU Student Rec Center. Thursday the 18th at 8:00 p.m. in the Kiva is the Past Scholarship Winner Reading.

I'm beyond excited. In fact, I'm so excited I can't decide on what to wear.

Looks like I'll have to study the wardrobe binder intently tonight.

~

In other news, I've offended almost all of my friends by declaring my presence a politics-free zone. I care. But, more so, I don't. Usually during this time every 4 years I'm all fired up and ready to talk shop with propaganda pins neatly attached to my denim jacket and stickers attached to my bike helmet. Not this time. Really what difference would be had if I did care? Every candidate declares change, but there never is one. I don't have the emotional energy to deal with another loss or the brain occupancy to deal with bickering about something that will be over in two months. I easily could turn this blog into a rant about both sides. But being that I declared this a politics-free zone, that would go against the whole idea. I will say, though, my dream is to see Nader or Perot on the ballot. Again.

~

In more uplifting (or not) news, the Big Bang Experiment seems to be going well.

~

Thank God I'm going to Kent. Looks like a reunion is just what my spirit needs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Really Need to Stop Thinking So Much

Normally on Twitter my 140 character updates come pretty easily.

Today it was different. I had several different things I wanted to say and they all got jumbled so I just said I had several things to say and I figured I post them here because I don't have a character limit.

Being that I have such a rich online life is a blessing. I'm keeping in touch with old friends I dearly love who live far, far away from me. (The fabulous picture was taken by my great friend E.Waters who posted it to Facebook today! How rad to be able to keep in touch with her!) I get to meet new friends from all around the globe. And I get to feel pretty smart being in the know about all the new techy stuff. And Web 2.0 has several important education benefits that have enriched my teaching career.

With that said, the downside is sometimes my online life makes me feel like a huge loser. I thinking about the times I write on a friend's Facebook wall & he/she doesn't respond to me but he/she responds to all these other people & I have to see how much he/she loves his/her other friends on my News Feed. Or when I try to reach out & respond to a Tweet, I get silence in return. Or worst is seeing how awesomely exciting and action-packed everyone else's lives are & all the cool shit I'm missing out on.

I think the reason I felt so jumbled on Twitter is because if I Twitter what I love about the internets, then I come across as a loving, normal person, which is exactly what I want to portray to the online community. However, if I tweet about feeling like a loser, I come across as a whiny, sad, lonely, unhappy hermit. Which is NOT the case. It's just that internets sometimes brings out my self-conscious side, and I want to be able to express that feeling without feeling like even more of a loser.

(But I'm probably looking more like a loser by talking about how I sometimes feel like a loser but I don't want peeps to think I'm a loser.)

For the most part, I don't care what people think. But then again I must if I'm thinking about all the unanswered wall writings, unanswered tweets, unanswered phone calls, unanswered blog posts, etc. etc. etc.

But the other side of the coin is this: we're all freaking crazy busy. How on earth could we respond to every little internet interaction?! If we did we'd go bonkers! And what about all the wall posts, blog comments, tweets, etc. I've left unanswered? Did I cause someone to feel like a loser? Like I don't have time for them? Like I don't care about them?

Now I'm a happy, go-lucky, loser asshole.

In other words, I've been over-thinking the internets and internet friends way too much, and this little psychotic rant is just a taste of a few minutes inside my head. NOT fun.

But let me be clear, I LOVE my online life and my actual life. In fact, I find my actual life quite rich and beyond satisfying. I'm not convinced I'm an all-out loser. I just can see why so many creative-minded people I know avoid having an online life; obviously, they don't want to feel all this rush of crazies every few days (or few minutes).

I wonder how you cope with your online life vs your actual life. Does any one else feel this discord? If you do, how do you avoid it?

It's very possible starting the new semester has awoken by brain a little too much.

In other acutal life news, my students are great, teaching is going well, Bleu is doing well, and I'm seriously considering applying for the reality tv show Big Brother.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Farwell, my dear friend, Time.*

I like to think I have a sunny disposition. That I'm happy, warm, lovable.

That I spread my joy to all who know me.

Until this week. (Don't worry, next week I'll be fine.)

This week, though, is my last week of summer. And today is the only day that is going to be totally mine. Therefore, I must make it count. I will cross off these six things on my to-do list today: swim, finish reading Rachel Zucker's The Bad Wife Handbook, finish the first draft of a new chapbook, dry the Blue Basil leaves I have no idea what to do with, wrap FD's bday presents while snacking on cheddar cheese and NutThins or raw baby carrots (I'm not much of snacker but I LOVE cheese, to put it mildly), oh, yeah, and complete this blog tag** from Stokes.

Easy enough.

10 years ago I was entering my 4th year of undergrad, just taking filler classes like yoga and ice skating because I finished all my major classes in 3 years and I was going to the gay bars to dance my off ass because I didn't want to be worried with being assaulted by drunken frat boys and I was discovering the world of poetry. It's funny to think today I'm the teacher, preparing for the first-year writing students, who dances around my house while dusting, a Swiffer as my imaginary microphone, and who knows full-well that the world of poetry isn't all that magical.

It's this last week of summer, though, that makes me wish I was a billionaire. That I could teach a few classes here and there when I felt like it. And set up a pretty fat retirement plan for me and FD as well as for both of our families too. And build my prefab dream house with a guest house and two detached offices (one for me and one for FD) all with the arty, expensive appliances and furniture I see in Dwell each month. And give money to worthwhile foundations like Alicia's Voice. And travel to cool places like Japan and India. And do yoga whenever and whereever I want. And hire a cleaning staff, a chef, and, because if I was rich why not have kids and hire a few nannies. Finally, of course, I would be a shareholder of The Grey Colt and wear extra fabulous clothes all the time.

Yeah, that'd be the life. But then if I was billionaire, would I really appreciate the days when I cleaned residential construction sites, sweeping wood and dust into piles and shop vacuuming it all up? Or when I cleaned model homes, how I adored making perfect vacuum lines in the never-used carpets? Or when I worked for a cleaning service and scrubbed the settled cigarette smoke off cheap vinyl floors in some office that could totally be in a 70s sit-com, even though clearly we were in the 90s? (God, no wonder I'm a clean freak!) Or when I managed Hons' clothing resale shop & every Thursday Stokes & I would go to Applebees for dinner & drinks b/c she got a discount there. Or how about when I was the women's clothing department manager at Off Fifth & I went into debt buying hoity toity designer clothes. (No wonder I'm a label whore!) Or my days struggling as a TA, trying to figure out what kind of poet/teacher/woman/person I wanted to be until I finally figured out & became the poet/teacher/woman/person I always wanted to be.

Really would all that be lost if I became a billionaire? How would my values change? Or how would I teach my children values, that is if I decided to have kids?

Maybe it's simpler knowing I start teaching again next Monday and life will regain it's schedule, a schedule that I know & have come to love.

That doesn't mean I won't dream of living on Captiva Island, FL; or in Portland, OR; or Martha's Vineyard; Napa Valley; Boulder, CO; Ireland; Scotland; or even just plain ol' Clevelend, OH.

I guess as much as I don't want to, I need to look on the sunny side of this summer, the good times had, the time that I wasted doing God-knows-what.

Last week of summer, please treat me well. Be kind to me. Help me accomplish my to-do list in the best of moods. And help me smile when I wake up in the morning of the 25th, ready for school to begin again.

*Said in a unbearably tight hug that turns into a sloppy sob fest 08.
**I tag SEM, Chop, & C.L. Jones.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Last of It

It all began with the shoes.

The desire to see each pair without opening the box. (Thank you countless fashionistas in NYC & Martha Stewart.)

Campers are precious shoes that deserve full exposure.

Now the masterpiece is almost complete. Closet domination!

After going to bed I realized I hadn't taken pics of my favorite accessories. And I realized I hadn't showered.

This morning I took those pics & will be adding the accessory photos with stories to the closet binder very shortly. After taking a shower.

(Side note: Walgreens online photo center is the BOMB. Easy to upload photos & easy to pick them up at your local store after receiving the photos-are-ready email.)

Looking at this first pic my closet looks like a mess. But it's small & cramped. (One day my dream of California Closets will come true!) For now, I promise you, dear reader, it is well-organized & exceptionally neat.

For the shoes that are boxless, such as my Orla Kiely wellies and Coleman hiking boots, I hung their pics on the top shelf as reminders.

The only things I would do differently are write stories on the back of the shoe photos, take photos of every t-shirt and tank, take photos of my winter sweaters too (which I can do during winter break...), and print doubles of shoes so one set can go in binder (which I can do during winter break too).

I was thinking this little project is perfect for organization & outfit preparation, but on a morbid note, it's good for insurance purposes & casket attire too. (If that sounds weird to you, clearly you don't know how weird I am.)

From Tuesday night to Thursday morning. Not bad. For pics with stories, outfit suggestions, and level of love codes.

According to my closet, the most loved designers are Orla Kiely, Johnny Was, Lilly Pulitzer, Free People, Boden, and Gap Demin.

The best deals were $188 Blue Cult jeans for $19.99; $130 Campers for $25; and countless of designer (Juicy Couture, Lilly Pulitzer, etc.) finds by Hons at the resale shops in Ft. Myers, FL.

I'm serious about hiring myself out as an organizer. If you're interested leave a comment with your email & we'll discuss.

I just might have a new calling in life.

But before I answer that calling I need a shower & a great summer outfit.

Oh NO She Didn't...!!!

28 hours later. I'm done.

Booya! I am motivated after all.

After 3 hours of taking pictures of my wardrobe.

4 hours after uploading pics to Walgreens, petting Bleu in between uploads (approximately 20 minutes for each 12 pic set of 136 pics).

2 1/2 hours waiting for Walgreens to call on my order.

4 1/2 put together time. (Well, calculate in 45 mins of Project Runway [We have the original DVR TIVO]. Thank God for Tim Gunn giving me a break while firing me up!)

AT 12:30, here I type, should-be-drunk-on-wine-but-exhausted-and-accomplished-yet-still- looking-for-some-pics-that-seem-to-be -missing.

Each pic in the binder contains the buttons & tags as well as the story behind the garment.

If only I was this motivated & OCD about my writing. Maybe one day...Maybe...

However, b/c I'm a label & money whore I'd be willing to this for your closet at a fair price. Fair being a very subjective word depending on your warobe & care of it...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun in the Sun

New Buffalo, MI. Harbor Country.

I met up with a very close friend from grad school, KLA, recently for a girls' getaway--something we both really needed. (Thanks for a great time KLA! You rock!)

Of all the pics I took this one was my fav. I took it from the balcony of our room at the Harbor Grand. The hotel was exceptionally clean and comfortably spacious, and its central location made getting around town on-foot or bike a cinch. The pool area was goregous too! However, the staff were not-so friendly or informative. I would recommend Harbor Grand if you know the area and/or don't use the concierge service much. If you rely on the concierge, I suggest finding another hotel with better customer service or figuring out your way around BEFORE staying there. The concierge at Harbor Grand were force-ably nice, not reliable, & a little put-out with our questions and requests that were not of of the ordinary and were encouraged by their website.

The area is fantastic, though! AB FAB!

Best memory of our trip: The first night there as a horrible storm where lightning struck one of the marina's piers, creating a human-sized sparkler. Of course we gawked from our patio door with it open & our heads hanging out. Then the tornado siren went off. Instead of huddling down in the lowest level of the hotel (a 1/2 flight of stairs down from us), we braved it in our room, swearing (literally dropping f-bombs) & swearing to dive into the bath tub if we see any twister action. It was AWESOME. I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time!

If you find yourself in New Buffalo or Harbor Country, check out these great restaurants or places of interest:

Redamak's: Great for lunch, especially if you're hungover. Burgers are the specialty. Milkshakes are grainy in that powdered-milk way, so avoid those. They only accept cash. Remember to bring cash. ;)

Timothy's: AWESOME for a swank dinner out while wearing casual attire. It's a seafood place, so know they're not the best at cooking filet mignon. Portions are huge and the food is intoxicatingly delectable. Prices are good. Homemade blueberry martinis are a MUST!

Gordon Beach Inn: Where Timothy's is located. This inn has a woodsy, homey vibe. Definitely a place worth investigating for future stays.

Bentwood Tavern: Rumor has it that one should be asked to sit on the roof of this marina restaurant.

The Stray Dog: No Black Dog Tavern but decent food in a beachy setting. Again large portions.

Vickers Theater: KLA & I talked about going here just b/c it looks purely radical. However, why see a movie when there's so much to catch up on? Therefore, I plan on going there with FDR sometime.

Go to the Beach: Of course!

And explore all the fun that can be had in MI!

In the words of Sufjan Stevens, "Say Yes to M!CH!GAN!"

And said YES to MI we have! KLA & I both loved the area so much we're planning next year's trip with ourselves, husbands, and dogs. I can't wait! Lounging on the beach, swimming in Lake Michigan, and eating at fabulous restaurants like Timothy's with good friends sounds beyond fabulous.

I just wish we were going this week. But, no, a year from now.

This week is dedicated to lesson planning, uploading Blackboard sites, and general readying for the semster, not fun in the sun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Book Review: Zucker's _Eating in the Underworld_

Eating in the Underworld (Wesleyan Poetry Series) Eating in the Underworld by Rachel Zucker

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I worship Rachel Zucker.

I wouldn't say I worship _Eating in the Underworld_, though.

This poetry collection was beautifully crafted, perfectly lyrical, and all-around well-written, but it wasn't exactly for me.

I like that Zucker puts a new spin on the Persephone/Hades myth, but sometimes it felt more like a project than a book that could change my life forever. However, without this book and the grappling between mother and daughter/child I'm not sure _The Last Clear Narrative_ would have been so life changing.

If anything _Underworld_ gives me hope that my younger poems are building towards something grand.

I'm happy I've read and I own _Underworld_. It is after all written by one of my fav poets...


View all my reviews.

Book Review: Bonomo's _Installations_

Installations (Poets, Penguin) Installations by Joe Bonomo



rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bonomo's _Installations_ is mysteriously gorgeous and intellectually haunting. Each prose poem (beginning with the lines: "A large, well-lit, white-walled room. You walk to a red line painted on the floor.") serves as an installation art piece that is examined by a "you." These pieces (the poems/prose/memoir) replicate the art pieces in an innovative way--one that realistically enacts viewing art into written word. Like viewing art sometimes I just moved on to the next piece without hesitation, sometimes I lingered, other times I obsessed and forgot the time, and almost always I acknowledged rigorous thought and felt some kind of emotion.



Note to self: One emotion I felt several times was jealousy (over the form, language, concept) but, of course, the kind that is from the most loving place.



Like minimalist contemporary art some of the pieces "seemed" easy or underwhelmed or repetitive in a non-repetitive way. Though these qualities could be viewed as shortcomings, they appear to be intentional, at least in my reads. These are aspects I would like to hear Bonomo discuss, though.



The pieces (as identified by their last lines) that I gravitated towards were: "6:47," "Planes and birds glide in eternal gravity," "Your body, in mourning and great reluctance, received you back," "With history in front of you, you feel a tingle at the back of your neck, and you turn around," and "You want to open that drawer."



My all-time fav for its ability to articulate my own art viewing emotions most closely: "What is that small bloom of dread in your chest that you can't name?"



_Installations_ is full of real and surreal surprises, lockets of images, and invitations to join in. And join in, you should.






View all my reviews.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Just Might Be A Dog: A Tribute to Bleu

As Bleu and I rounded the corner onto our block this morning during our walk, I remembered being called a "dog" by my middle school bullies.

Based on how much I love BooBoo, I'd now take being called a dog a compliment.

~

Last night I bawled my brains out when Sam the Dog in I Am Legend died. As GLM pointed out too, I'd much rather see humans die than dogs. What has happened to me?

To comfort me, FDR paused the movie and said, "It's ok. You now just get 'it.' You're now a dog person."

I'm a big black lab person who also loves a mouth-less white kitty.

Oh, the pangs of being a Gemini...

~

The only other living creature I know who is as food-obsessed as me is my dog.

~

In the past 7 months we've spent enough on Bleu to qualify his furry ass as a smooth-bottomed baby:

environmentally-friendly premium dog bed for the living room (check), dog bed for our bedroom (check), specialty collar (check), back-up designer collar (check), Gentle Leader (check) all-natural, allergy-free food (check), 20 vet visits to get rid of parasites picked up from his birth kennel and to figure out his food allergy (check), throwing out the food that he had allergic reactions to (check), new vet (check), flea, tick, heartworm, & other monthly meds (check), pet shampoo & wipes (check), obedience lessons and puppy playdates (check), dog art & bed time books (check), an XL kennel for when he grew out of his L kennel (check), eco-friendly poop bags (and Mama's favorite dog store!!!) (check), deshedding brush (check), pet vac (check), hunting gear (check), countless supposedly "indestructible" toys that we have thrown away (check), Nylabones: the only indestructible toys (check), self-help dog books and dog owner memoirs (check), brake-fast® dog bowl (check), countless-other things-I-can't-remember-b/c-there's-just-too-many-of-them (check). A good $1000 or more.

Bleu resting his little-big head on my feet while I write this blog post; Bleu licking my tears away during I Am Legend; Bleu wagging his butt when he prances out of his kennel when we come home from errands; Bleu swimming like a little gator; Bleu performing any command perfectly for an ice cube; Bleu play-bowing at the words "walk," "eat," and "hunting"; Bleu carefully watching bunnies hop across the yard; Bleu barking to guard his mama from the mailman; Bleu rolling over so I can scratch his belly even more; Bleu trying to sleep in my lap like when he was a puppy; Bleu flopping down and sighing before taking a nap in the shower; Bleu snoring. Priceless.

~

At nine months I couldn't be more proud of my canine best friend. He's still a crazy pup-pup, but he's starting to mature into a handsome dogus.

Happy 9th month birthday, my little moose!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (updated edition) Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain


Review of Kitchen Confidential


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Written in the sarcastic, harshly honest, vulgarly funny tone that viewers of "No Reservations" have grown accustomed to, _Kitchen Confidential_ is nothing short of fabulous. Of all the chefs out there, I trust his opinion on what knives to buy--mostly because he's leave pot or pan unturned in this memoir. The only draw back for me was that it felt a little repetitive at times--perhaps that was intentional. Regardless, a must read for those interested in food, travel, and hilarity.


View all my reviews.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

♪♪ Because The World Is Round ♪♪

With my morning cranberry juice I enjoy catching up my friends' blogs. It's kinda like my private time in the morning. The quiet before doctor appointments, puppy playdates, errands, cleaning, get-togethers, blah, blah, blah, etc.

After an usually up-and-down-day yesterday I'm been feeling frustrated, unsatisfied, bored, & generally pissed off to the point I restrained myself from physically bitch-slapping quite a few people.

I considered writing a rant-post about my yesterday. But after reading this post I realized I needed to focus on the things I love. Thanks, Lemon.

So I selected The Beatles' Abbey Road, pressed the round play button on my iTunes, and began this lovely blog-rant.

1.) My husband is by far the only person who "gets" me on every level. His love leaves me speechless in the best ways possible. I would have lost my mind long ago if not for his level-headedness that always pulls me back to the core of our lives & myself.

2.) As crazy as that moose-puppy Bleu can be, in the mornings when he snuggles under the bed covers and curls up in the crook of my stacked legs, I feel such tenderness for him, even to the point that I love him even when he's butt-tucking through the house after his bath shaking water all over the walls and furniture.

3.) I love the joy the freshly cut flowers I got at our Farmers Market brings me. In fact I love the Farmers Market period. I'm learning to be more creative with food, and it makes me feel happy and healthy to know I'm part of a food community.

4.) One great thing yesterday was that I got to talk to a couple of women who've I respected and adored from a distance for quite some time. Talking with them helped me realize afterward that I need to focus more creating a local community of friends, and that there are like-minded people nearer than I thought.

5.) Each day is a blessing, and thankfully each day starts new. And today I'm not going to obsess about yesterday. I'm going to move forward today. I'm going to create something new, worthwhile, and use all this new day's freshness to my best ability. No point in wasting it on non-love. Today is full of love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

I've been wondering about the expression "The Dog Days of Summer" for quite some time.

After continually asking FD where the expression came from he told me in btw-fashion the other night that it comes from the constellation Sirius the Dog rising and setting with the sun during July through September.

I easily could have looked this up on Wikipedia but I would much rather hear from FD. It trust his sources more.

We're finding ourselves in the Dog Days of Summer with many visits to friends' and families' places and visits from family and friends. It's wonderful catching up with our loved ones and enjoy the last few weeks before the semester begins. However, it doesn't leave much time for blogging.

Quickly, though, a list of good things to check out from our adventures:

My bro turned 30! Celebrating with him was awesome!

Bell's Brewery: Great microbrews & healthy bar food for a change.

Food Dance: I could live there and eat there all three meals a day every day. And 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right, Gary? Thanks for taking us there, man.

Perrysburg Farmers Market
: Buying almost all of our food sans dairy at the market has been food heaven. I'm dreading winter.

Luginbill Farms
: The BEST lamb chops we've ever had. Find them at the Perrysburg Farmers Market on Thursdays 3-8 p.m.

Bass Pro: Awesome if it's your thing. An hour there is good by me. FD needs 10 hours.

I feel like I'm forgetting a whole lot of good things and related stories. Oh well...

More adventures to come as well as some reflections on finding old friends online, writing, random thoughts on the direction of my blog, etc.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Omnivore's Dilemma The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
While I want to buy this book I'm scared to.



Pollan's _The Omnivore's Dilemma_ is an informative and thoughtful reflection on food and where it comes from in our modern culture. Pollan splices journalistic accounts of his own experiences buying food, working on a farm, hunting and gathering and buying a cow with countless other sources to help credit his arguments and with historical information about food to inform us of the four meals possible in our culture: the processed, organic, grass-fed, and hunted/gathered.



Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the processed, organic, and grass-fed sections, I wasn't as much of a fan of the hunted/gathered section. This particular section seemed a bit over the top for me, especially as a wife of a hunter and fisherman. I've become accustomed to seeing my meal in its dead form as well as in the necessary butchering stage so it can be eaten and discussing it during the meal in terms of the exact hunt, location, weather, circumstances related to the specific day that meal was caught. So when Pollan talks about hunting it's a little over-sensationalized for me. However, I appreciate his newly found respect for hunting.



Some of my fav passages which I'm putting in the review because I couldn't mark up the library book:



page 215 Arthur Koestler's definition of "holon": "an entity that from one perspective appears self-contained whole, and from another a different part."



page 248 The Weston Price Foundation



page 254 "A protest of what exactly is harder to pin down...expense to opt out...distrusting Walmart...wanting to keep their food dollars in town..."



page 257 "Local food, as opposed to organic, implies a new economy as well as a new agriculture--new social and economic relationships as well as ecological ones. It's a lot more complicated."



page 264 descriptions of the grass-fed meal.



page 281 description of his food journey in the simplest of terms "...to look into the food chains that support us as I could look, and recover the fundamental biological realities that the complexities of modern industrialized eating keep from our view."



page 285 "'Nature,' as Woody Allen character says in _Love and Death_, 'is like an enormous restaurant."



By far the most hopeful and mind-blowing part of the book hands-down belongs to the Grass-fed section. I can't explain how I would irrationally move to Virginia just to be near to Polyface Farms even though I have found my own quite fabulous grass-farmer here in Ohio--Luginbill Farms.



Why would I be scared to own this book? Because it's made me so much in-the-know that I can't go to the grocery store without being hyper-sensitive and critical about what I'm putting in my cart, emotionally, politically, and psychologically, which then led me to become obsessed with the food I eat at the wide variety of restaurants we patron. The only time I feel content eating now is after we visit the Farmers Market and return with our local fruits and veggies or at Revolver Restaurant where they tell patrons on the menu which farms the food came from. While I'm not sure all the food we buy at the Farmers Markets grows on sustainable farms, I do feel better about buying food straight from our local farmers.



My recommendation is this: If you sincerely want to know what is happening in America's food culture, read this book. You'll be forever changed.



If you want to be able to happily eat whatever you wish without thinking about it, don't read this book. You'll be in the dark, and that will be a happy, easy place to remain.



As much as I sometimes wish I was in the dark, especially so I could enjoy restaurant eating again, I'm happy I'm in-the-know.






View all my reviews.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reverend Chicos: Part Deux

After many heated comments from Reverend Chicos' supporters on my first blog review of the restaurant, I've decided to swallow my pride and give it another try.

While it did impress me in some ways, in other ways it still failed me.

Good things first: The service has much improved. Our waitress was very kind, quick, and helpful. She knowledgeably answered our questions about popular drinks, on-tap beers, and popular dishes. She checked up on us consistently but not annoyingly, and she was friendly in her small talk.

The ambiance of the joint was still clean, contemporary, and spacious. In fact, I find the exposed brick walls and tall top seating quite nice.

The drinks were AMAZING! I had a Blue Caribbean martini and a Sangria-tini. Both were delicious and filled with the right amount of booze. Also, my husband couldn't stop singing the praises of microbrews they have on tap. Clearly, Reverend Chicos is a place for young professionals to meet up after work, have a drink and relax, which is cool--BG does need an upscale bar like this.

However, let me qualify the food review by saying that I have become a food snob and Revolver Restaurant has spoiled me.

The food still did not impress me. After asking the waitress what the most popular items on the menu were, I chose the Cuban Panini sandwich from her list. And while it was good, it didn't blow my mind. I had hoped the bread part would be crunchy. Instead the bread became soggy and was tasteless. The mustard overwhelmed the sandwich too.

The cheese on my husband's Chimi-chico was congealed and greasy, and the wrap of it literally consumed the other flavors within it; it was so thick the chicken was lost in it. The rice, sauce, and wrap seemed to be the 3 major components.

I just feel the food lacks passion or care or that "umph" that restaurant food should have. It just isn't as thoughtful as I like my meals to be.

Let me be clear: I do think Reverend Chicos is worth supporting, but my argument is it's a better bar than restaurant. The food just feels generic and much like an afterthought in comparison to their drinks.

The desserts were quite tasty, especially the brownie with fried ice cream. Beware, though, our friend KB who joined us for dindin and ordered the key lime pie found it to be more like a cheesecake than key lime pie. My husband liked his flan well enough.

Honestly, I feel like this review is half-hearted much like our experience was.

I gave it another try, dear Reverend Chicos' fans, and I just can't join your team.

After spending $52 including tip I just felt dismal and I realized would have rather spent that money at Trotters where it's clear they are passionate about their Brown Jug Steak.

I give it 2 1/2 stars out of 5, and I would go back for drinks but not dinner (or any food for that matter).

This is just my humble opinion. I respect if your opinion of the restaurant is different. We all don't like to eat the same things, and we all have different palates. But if you feel the urge to leave a scathing comment, please think twice. Why not try a restaurant like Revolver and see what I deem as thoughtful, meaningful food? Then we can have a real conversation about restaurants, OK?

~

PS: The Aftermath of Reverend Chicos (through Twitter):

8 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

11:00 p.m.

11:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m. About 6 Tums

6:00 a.m. Finally able to sleep

8:45 a.m. Surmised that Reverend Chicos possibly uses MSG. Was bloated/swollen, nauseous, had headache, and spend much of the night in the bathroom. Trust me, it wasn't from the drinks; my buzz wore off 15 minutes after dinner when I had about a gallon of water.

Be careful if you have a sensitive system and if you choose to eat there.

♫ "Will You Still Need Me; Will You Still Feed Me When I'm 64?" ♫

Seriously, this is why Helen Mirren rocks!

63 and she's still hot.

Here's to you, Helen!

You're an inspiration, lady!

(*sigh* I really need to work out more often...)

Thanks to Plattitude for posting this pic to Facebook and props to Mail Online for the pic.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Heaven isn't too far away; Wish we could go to Revolver Restaurant every day!" (My Tribute Song to Revolver)

To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary we went to our FAVORITE restaurant in Findlay: Revolver Restaurant.

On the revolver last night was Jimi Hendrix and not exactly the poppy Hendrix you'd hear on an oldies station. It was all-out experimentive guitar solos. RAD!

We decided we'd be pigs and eat 3 courses instead of the regular 2 AND have dessert.

Oh my, we were pigs. The portions have gotten MUCH bigger. But we kept eating. And after dinner during the car ride home we actually talked about turning the car around and doing it again. Seriously, we love it that much. We barely slept the night before. All day long we verbally were counting down the minutes until we could leave. And to boot we left the house early because we couldn't stand it anymore. Going to Revolver, for us, is like Christmas Eve combo'ed with the eve of going to Cedar Point.

Chef Micheal Bulkowski yet again delivered the food we dream about:

Rabbit with baby carrots (the humor of this dish nearly killed us--us eating rabbit who ate carrots ! Love it!)

"Lake Erie Perch with fondant potatoes, spring peas, & parmesan-lemon-thyme broth"--writing this makes my mouth water. I was in heaven while eating it. In case you don't know I'm a huge fan of Lake Erie!

The apps were out-of-control great and again HUGE portions: FD got pork belly (Oh-so good!) and I got "house cured bresaola" with goat cheese and crackers. And I haven't even begun talking about the cucumber gazpacho and my organic greens salad.

Better yet what about dessert? I forgot to take a picture before it was too late...

The only disappointment: that Debi Bulkowski wasn't there. She's such a fabulous hostess-with-the-mostest!

Another Fab dinner.

And we got all this for $100 with a glass of wine and beer. C'mon! That's stealing, especially in NY where a burger alone can cost $20.

The other thing I MUST mention, too, is that Revolver is seriously "homemade," in my humble opinion: we can see the chefs in the kitchen, they use organic goods, and, for toppers, on the menu they list the LOCAL FARMS they buy the food from!

Again, heaven.

Or at least the white light I hope to see when I go there...Well, obviously I would be in hell if there wasn't Revolver.

Best part of the whole dinner: sharing the experience with my husband and best friend.

I totally can't wait to go there again in August with our good friends from Detroit!!

For more pictures of our experience, visit my Flickr page.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dot in the Universe Dot in the Universe by Lucy Ellmann


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
Once I started understanding and appreciating the experimentation of the blur between first and third person narration, I couldn't put this book down.



The themes/discussions of birth, life, death, love, lust, consumerism, and everything else (I'm leaving out a lot) are incredibly well written.



I laughed many times and other times thought Lucy Ellman actually had entered my brain, especially during Dot's realization and reflection on death and bodily functions.



This book is hardcore, I'd say. Not for the weak in stomach or mind. If you read it, be ready for the vulgar and embrace it. Once you embrace it the book becomes an accurate account of the human experience in its most honest form.


View all my reviews.

Here's to 3 Years and a Lifetime More

Monday, July 7, 2008

RAD


And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Com-pa-ny products are now on my Christmas list.

Yes, I start my Christmas list in July.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A MUST SEE!!!


THE BEST indy film I've seen in 4-ever!!!

Rent it or Own it! ASAP!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When It's This Hot Outside...

...why not become a "shower pig" and hang out where it's nice and cool?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Weird" followed by *Silence*

FD & I have a tradition of talking before we hit the hay.

Last night I told him I don't have anything to say when he asked about my blog and writing.

Because I'm the new secretary for Alicia's Voice, I've been working on projects the help the cause. But this past weekend E., our president, asked if I wanted to read the police report for Alicia's murder. Of course, I knew the story, but I didn't know the story as recorded for public record. The report has been haunting my sleep and keeping me quiet with many inarticulate thoughts--usually how I get before I start writing.

While in Utah this past October FD, Nate, and I had dinner with Tung-Hui Hu (aka Hui Hui) who said a lot of the writers he knows don't like blogging because it takes away from their "writing" time. For me blogging has always helped my writing. But I feel a change in the tide coming. Blogging is great for my essay writing, but I fear it's not-so great for my poetry writing.

While I would like my poems to work as non-fiction and my non-fiction to work like poems, which I always imagined them to be, I'm discovering they are quite different processes. More to explore.

Anyways I may be slower between posts while I'm digesting things and working out a few new poems in the process. It's nice to be at this point again. I kinda missed writing poetry...

Off-topic, in food news, I found a grass-fed organic animal farm. Monday FD & I are going to pick up some "meats" (said in an orch voice). Today we're going to look at deep freezers. I want to damn all those food books I'm reading as well as hug their authors, tightly, very tightly.

On-topic, The Center for Access to Safety and Justice, a collaboration of Wood County agencies working together in one location to assist those affected by domestic violence, will have its Grand Opening on July 1. The ceremony will be held at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Please RSVP at aliciasvoice@yahoo.com by Friday, June 27. Together we can!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cursed

Yes, I'm addicted to a pink whale, my pink pants, and a not-so-pink young adult series of novels about vampires.

Those are things that have been preoccupying me lately. A lot.

Well, those and Alicia's Voice.

And a little black lab puppy who likes to eat the plastic food/water dish in his kennel and poop and puke it out for 3 days straight. Good times.

Seriously, though, Bleu's been awesome lately; I'm really proud of how he's mellowing in his almost-ninth month. Maybe mellowing is too strong of a word, but you get my drift.

Now if only I could stop being addicted to vampire stories and clothes I can't afford. Oh, the joys of consumerism's curse!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ride On


Cedar Point: The Top 10 List

1.) I look like I'm from NY, according to a lady from MA with a Lily Pulitzer polo shirt. When I told her I was from OH, she frowned. But it's nice to hear on my birthday, "You have way better style than someone from Ohio."


2.) Cedar Point is a tutorial in tattoos: What NOT to get and Where NOT to get it.


3.) At the Point I saw way too many "hot" chicks looking at "old" men who were looking at "hot" chicks.


4.) Translation of #3: If there were a Cedar Point show it would be a special edition of Dateline mixed with What Not To Wear mixed with The Hills.


5.) Park food is disgusting. Barbara Kingsolver would frown. A lot. After lunch at the 50s dinner by Top Thrill Dragster I wanted to die. Or throw up.


6.) Found a beautiful $168 Tommy Bahama bathing suit at the Hotel Breakers clothing store. I showed it to FD. He frowned. Then he shook his head NO.


7.) Best Food on the park campus: Bay Harbor. FD and I smiled a lot during dinner. Though I thought they could use local veggies...


8.) The TGIF bar in Hotel Breakers is very shapely and a great place for a night cap after riding rides for about 12 hours.


9.) My new arch-enemy: Top Thrill Dragster. In the late morning we waited an hour and half only to make it to the gate on the platform while nervously anticipating the thrill that was to be ours next and hear, "TTD will closed indefinitely due to high winds. Enjoy your day at Cedar Point." Then we were only disappointed again to have the crew tell us after the thunderstorms, "There's no way it will reopen tonight." Only to see car after car go on it while we riding the Millennium Force for the 4the time...


10.) If it storms, STAY at the Point. Go have dinner. Take a break. After the storms there's no wait for rides. We walked on the Millennium Force 3 times and the Maverick twice. AWESOME!

~

The Rides Ridden List (in order)
Maverick
Mean Streak
Millennium Force
Waited in line for Top Thrill Dragster for an hour and a half.
(Horrible lunch break. Next year I'm going to bring my lunch or eat at the Sports Grill by Raptor or I'm going out of the park.)
Raptor
Blue Streak
Magnum (2 times)
Gemini
Mine Ride
(Dinner and Storm Break. Good times!)
Last hour park was open. Yes, we rode the following rides in ONE hour:
Millennium Force (3 times)
Maverick (2 times)
Millennium Force (Last train of the night)


RAD!!!


While there was a little frowning here and there FD and I laughed and had a great time! It's just hard to go to such a consumeristic place and not become a little depressed by American culture and behavior. I just had to remember it's a dream come true for me to be at Cedar Point on my bday with my totally RAD hubby!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Absolutely Delightful

Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange by Kevin Griffith


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
An absolutely delightful collection of poems.



Smart and accessible.



Fresh and funny.



Lighthearted and thoughtful.



I adore it. Totally.



While reading I kept thinking if there was a band that could put these poems to music it would be Magnetic Fields.



The highlights: "Your Pants Look Disappointed," "The Kite," "Marriage," and "Coffee."



I whole heartedly recommend this book to those serious about poetry and those who want to like poetry but claim they don't "understand it."






View all my reviews.

Locavore Whore

It took me a month to get through Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.
Which means I didn't devour it.

Which must mean I savored it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book with its thoughtful personal essays, well-researched history of food passages, and the fabulous recipes.

Honestly, this book does live up to the hype. I learned a lot about American food culture, how I can be a smarter consumer, and that I'm destined to be become a local foodie (aka locavore). Some of the best parts of the book for me were learning about Slow Food International's Thanksgiving turkey project and Cheesemaking homemade-style, testing the delectable recipes within the book, and reading Chapter 14 about harvesting animals (Yummo!).

With that said sometimes I wanted more from this book. What? I'm not sure. But something I can't quite put my finger on. In the last few chapters, Kingsolver mentions a few items their family still bought at the grocery store, which reassured me that I could trust her as a non-fiction writer. Of course, I trusted her all along, but something about the book seemed off. I told a friend on the phone last night that sometimes I felt like the book was "on par with those new-moms who tell the very-edited birthing story that neglects all the pain, suffering, and grossness." Of course, Kingsolver does fill us in some of the deets regarding animal harvesting, animal cruelty on factory farms, and turkey mating, but sometimes I felt like the book made it sound really easy to be a farmer. What about the crops that didn't go? Or what about getting through the craving of oranges and citrus? I guess I just wanted to see some failure or some loss of hope. The skeptic in me questioned Kingsolver's undying optimism. If she really is that optimistic, then rad; I'd love to meet her and have her rub off on me.

Apart from my skepticism, so much can be gained from this book. It's motivated me to buy local even more than I already was and to rethink the produce or goods I must buy at the store (i.e. flour and sugar) as well as the wanted items I need to learn to not buy (i.e. Reese's cups). I mean just look at this all local food asparagus and feta cheese frittata FD and I made for lunch the other day; it was gorgeous, tasty, and filled me with pride that I knew where our food came from and love for our Ohio farmers and animal harvesters! I honestly could taste the difference in quality, even in the eggs. I'm committed to continue buying from our local farmers markets in BG, Perrysburg, Findlay, Toledo, and other Ohio farms all summer and fall as well as hopefully from certain farms throughout the winter. Also, my new goals are to buy veggies only that are season and not ones shipped from FL or CA that are out of season locally AND to find and buy grass-fed animals.

I think what the book failed to focus on (though, it was mentioned a few times in Hopps contributions) that created a little crook of void for me was do what you can where you are. I'd love to start a veggie patch and garden more, but right now it's not realistically possible. However, there's always community gardens to look into as a start. While one day I know I will garden, today I know for sure I can support local farms, buy canned good from Toledo canneries, and reassess what I buy at the grocery or even rethink which grocery store I choose to buy from. Little steps are sometimes just as important as an all out huge commitment. I'm pretty good with my food practices: we haven't eaten fast food (besides Qdoba, which I can't give up) for almost one year; we've been buying organic for several years; we're thoughtful about how each food comes to our table. We're starting and we're trying. I just feel like it would be too extreme & set us up for failure to swear off all "corporate food" or restaurants that don't serve local ingredients. However, we will start requesting local ingredients on comment cards and supporting more local restaurants that use local ingredients such as Revolver Restaurant.

One day I know we'll really be off and running, and by that I mean I hope (fingers crossed) our green thumbs work and our turkeys hatch babies.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle earns five farm-conscious Hello Kittys. Just be prepared to become obsessed with food and the rethinking of food while reading this book.