Thursday, July 31, 2008

August

July's done. I'm not sure what happened, but it's over today and I hadn't even gotten used to it yet. I don't have my book list with me, so I can't tell you about that just yet (that, and I want to pad the numbers a little by finishing a book tonight), so let's take a look at the exciting things that are happening in the month of August.

1: Pay rent
2: We'll celebrate Sara's birthday at Laine and Robert's new apartment!
2-3: Casey will return to the state. Since Cody's helping out with this, he's missing Sara's birthday party. Naturally, this offense has gotten him banned from next year's party as well.
4: The day Sara was born. You will wish her a happy birthday or suffer the consequences. She doesn't play around with her birthday.
4: My student loan payment is due.
8: Levi flies in!
8: We celebrate Jessi's birthday!
9: We have Mom and Dad's anniversary party in my apartment. There will be presents and maybe cake.
10: This is the day Jessi was born. Observe accordingly.
10: This is the day we send Levi back.
11: I'll get an allergy shot.
12: This is when Mom and Dad have their anniversary. They will have been married 30 years!
13: Honda payment is due.
16: The Science of Sleep plays Soundstage in Conway at 8. I want to make a new t-shirt for this. Possibly something with bunnies. (Option 2: black tee, white letters: "I love you. Don't take drugs." Why? Because I'm embarrassing.)
17 or so: Six months' worth of car and renter's insurance is due.
23: My Morning Jacket at the Palladium in Dallas! I've got my tickets.
24: Return from Dallas.
25: Begin hating life because it's never going to be as awesome as an MMJ show, except for when I go to more MMJ shows.

Other things that need to happen in August: I need to schedule dentist appointments for Cody and me, have a small cavity filled, get glasses for days that my contacts bug me, get a check-up, and generally get things good and organized before things start picking up at work. We will probably visit Cody's grandma at least twice. I will buy 5-8 cards and a new photo album. I will take pictures at every event listed above with the exception of putting Levi on a plane, the monthly allergy shot (!!!), and the bill payments.

Also, I would like a bathroom break somewhere in here.

And: we have warm water at work. Hooray!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend

Spectacular things about the past weekend:
  • Sara got to see my apartment
  • I had Mt. Dew with my chicken strips at the restaurant
  • I think Cody is finally beginning to understand the importance of Sara's birthday
  • Waffle House date with the parents turned into bowling
  • We found out Levi's coming in for my parents' anniversary
  • I watched Okonokos again
  • We canned tomatoes
  • Canning tomatoes wasn't particularly hard and we're totally going to do it again
  • I took naps
  • I ate Coldstone. Twice

Now it's Monday and I'm tired and I can't type. But the work day's almost over. Plan-making for next weekend has already begun. I may give blood tomorrow. We're having cherry chicken for dinner tonight (I don't know what that is). Ironing awaits. I may take another nap instead.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just to let you know

Just letting you know......

My parents might be more excited than I am about the fabulous new development in my asthma/allergy status. After talking with Mom, I discovered that I had my first asthma attack at 13 months (I thought I was 2 years old or so). Mom remembers this because it was a big deal, and also because she was pregnant with Laine, but was still carrying me pretty easily. (Laine and I are 18 months apart.)

I need to let Mamaw know about this. She'll be pretty excited. (The last time we visited, I caught her telling Cody the very old story, "She was such a sick little girl....It just broke my heart to see that baby so sick. etc. etc.") Now she can say things like, "She's such a vibrant young woman. We're so glad she seems to be in the prime of life. etc. etc."

Mom was the same age I am now when she was 5 months pregnant and treating her 13 month-old for asthma.

Being the age I am now and dealing with children with health problems who would turn out to be Laine and me seems like a terrifying prospect. Especially when you throw children who were Sara and Levi into the mix. Fortunately for our parents, they didn't know we'd turn out to be .....um, us while they were raising us. I think they may have had some idea, though.

(I feel the need to use this picture every chance I get. I love it! Look at my baby fat! Ha. Also, that reminds me: I was weighed yesterday at the doctor's office and it turns out I've gained a pound. Cody said he was proud of me.)

But, since I have no children--sick, in utero, or otherwise--Cody and I do things people with kids might not want to do. Like spend a wild Tuesday night making blackberry jam. Yes, we totally did! Two whole batches. We only had two jars let us down with the sealing process. One didn't seal properly because it was overflowing and some of the jam spilled onto the countertop. Good news: Cody licked the jar and said it tasted good. I'm relieved.

So: with the exception of the fighting, Cody's left-handedness (it really was a problem), and the time I spilled sugar all over the stove, our first attempt at canning on our own was a success! We'll be opening the jar that didn't 'pop' and try out some toast soon. I'm ready to try this with something else now.

We don't know where we'll be storing the jam. 11 or so jars are just sitting on our bar, looking awkward. Maybe I'll store them with the other Christmas presents. Yes, you're probably getting jam for Christmas. Sara's birthday is coming up soon. She might be getting some then, and I don't think she even likes blackberry. Tough luck. I'm sure the Hannah Montana pajamas I plan on getting her will smooth over things well enough.

Sara will be 22, by the way. No, she does not suffer from developmental delays. She just really likes enjoying music that will annoy those around her. This is her modeling some fabulous Hannah Montana sunglasses in a store. I don't remember if she bought these or not, but I know she did go ahead and get some Hannah Montana socks.



Last night, we went to Conway to see The Science of Sleep play at Soundstage. I didn't take pictures because it was pretty dark in there, what with that place not having any lights and all. But they did a pretty good job and sounded better than they did the times before. Cody and I have been to every one of their shows. Okay, so that's only three. But still. After we talked to Spencer for a little bit, we went home and had ice cream.

I have been informed, by someone I trust a great deal, that Christian Bale's mom was a circus clown at one point. Yes. I don't know what I can infer from this, but it seems important.

Lastly, this is one of my new favorite pictures. Go Team Bridesmaids!

And I'm going to see Batman tonight. And eating BBQ beforehand. Hooray!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I feel great

This is mostly an announcement for family, but read on if you're so inclined.

I have had my allergy appointment and things look good. Really, really, really good.

My lung function has improved, and I got a 450 consistently on the peak-flow meter thingy.

The doctor and I discussed the fact that I'd been off of Advair and Singular for 2 months now with very little detriment to my health and.........I get to stay off of them. I'm off prescription maintenance medication with my allergist's blessing. Holy smokes!!!!

But wait! It gets better.

As we discussed how long I'd been getting allergy shots (7 years with this doctor, 20 years overall), she asked if I'd thought about going off shots altogether.

Only since I first started getting them and every day after that!!!!!!

As I've spent (wasted) countless hours in waiting rooms to get my allergy shots, I've thought about (among other things) how many allergy shots I've gotten. It evens out to something like a shot a week my entire life. I know this doesn't compare to something like having diabetes or a vitamin deficiency or even getting a tattoo, but still. Going without allergy shots is a working definition of the perfect life for me. The skin on my upper arms is ..... 'different' and I can't feel anything in some places. And there are some times when the injection site swells too much and the little hole left by the needle gets stretched and I get little rips in the skin that look like tiny cuts for about a week afterwards. I've have used countless bandaids to keep from bleeding on my clothes and then irritated my skin when I had to rip them off (I have a little problem with adhesive. Or a big problem if I forget I'm wearing a bandaid and leave it on there till the next day. That leaves a mark.) This could stop entirely!

The plan for now is to go from getting shots every two weeks, to every four weeks. They'll make a note in my file so that they won't try to build me up to maintenance if I go a few weeks without coming in. If everything is going well at the end of the year, I could maybe try stopping forever. If I get sicker, I'll go back to shots every two weeks and get retested. Here's hoping for the former.

In conclusion, my lungs sound great and are very powerful, my nose and throat look good, my heart sounds good, and my arms could be doing very well in the near future. She wrote me a prescription for a rescue inhaler, which she usually does, and said that OTC decongestants and a Neti pot sound like a good course of action.

And because I know you're wondering Mom: her kids are great, and about to go into second and seventh grades (time has really flown!); and they all just back from Disneyland yesterday and had a really good time. She was glad to hear that everyone was doing well.

I'm great. I feel really great. I think I could fly or something. This is mostly because I'm excited. But I could be so close to good health! Normal! And even if I don't get to work my way up to normal good health, I could still cut down the number of shots, which would still be amazing and pleasant.

This is so exciting!!!!!!

Books

Books bought at the FOCAL Used Book Sale:

How to Clean Practically Anything
, with a comprehensive stain-removal chart
House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III
About A Boy, Nick Hornby
The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. I, from 1979
A Book of the Short Story, from 1934
The Norton Anthology of British Literature, Vol. I, from 1962
Stop Burning Your Money: The Intelligent Homeowner's Guide to Household Energy Savings
The Red Tent
, Anita Dramant
Dune Messiah (Book 2), Frank Herbert
Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean, Linda Cobb
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of God: Women, Sexuality, and the Catholic Church
The Midwife's Tale, Gretchen Moran Laskas
The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious Living
Women and Religion: A Feminist Sourcebook of Christian Thought
The French Lieutenant's Women,
John Fowles

Not included in this list: Cody's paltry 3 book selections. Way to make me look like a big, fat, greedy bibliophile with absolutely no discernment.

The books I'm most excited about: all of the fiction, the cleaning guides, and the etiquette book (copyrighted in 1960). Who doesn't get excited about gracious living?

Currently living in my purse: Dune Messiah.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend o' fun

My weekend included, but was not limited to:
  • Visiting
    • The Tarkintons and their new house!
    • Cody's Memaw Agnes
    • Cody's mom and brother
    • The dozen or so people in and out of the Tarkintons' house
    • People at the canning class
  • Eating
    • Calico beans
    • Pickles
    • Cookies
    • Nachos
    • Grapes
    • Pizza
    • Frito chili pie at the Dairyette
  • Playing
    • Navigator (one day, one of us will learn to read a map)
    • Cranium--my team won!
    • At being a person who cans: pickling is fun, by the way
  • Sleeping
    • In my bed
    • In Travis and Alana's guest bedroom
    • In the car
    • On Mrs. Dicy's couch
  • Getting
    • Books! (Complete list tomorrow)
    • A Camp Ozark t-shirt
    • Pickles
  • Talking about
    • Houses
    • Going into to various business ventures with one another
    • Concerts
    • Movies
    • Casey coming back to Arkansas
    • The horrible questions in the What If? game
    • Other ridiculous hypothetical questions
    • Road trips
    • Hair
    • Animals
    • Books
    • Pictures
    • Sustainable living
    • Batman, the person
    • Laine's triathlon adventure on the phone with Mom
    • Laine's triathlon adventure on the phone with Laine

Laine and Robert

Today is Laine and Robert's one-year anniversary!

Congratulations, you crazy kids.





Friday, July 18, 2008

Laine is in a triathlon tomorrow

Since I can't be there, I made this really supportive sign with my paintbrush skills.

Good luck!

And please imagine that all of the grayish-silverish parts are glitter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Slice of Life

Just some odds and ends

  • I should have shared this fantastic news with you sooner, but I just found out this morning. The library sale is this weekend! As always, paperbacks are 50¢ and hardbacks are $1.00. It's going on in the basement of the main library from 10-4 on Friday and Saturday, and 1-4 on Sunday. This does not fit my schedule at all, but I'm going to make it happen. Proceeds go to local reading programs.
  • Diane just got back from Vegas. She bought key chains to give to various co-workers. I picked out the one that looks like the "Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas" sign. It's cute. I overheard her (you can't help but overhear her) talking to a friend about the vacation on the phone Monday (ignore that convoluted sentence structure). Apparently, Bette Midler was great, they lost some money gambling, and saw some other shows. This part particularly jumped out at me: "We went to a topless revue, but it just seemed so tame. It didn't seem raunchy at all." What exactly a group of retired schoolteachers is looking for in a topless revue was never made clear, but I'm glad to know that what happens in Vegas gets reported to those who couldn't make the trip.
  • Kierre's Kounty Kitchen has switched to Pepsi products due to problems with the Coca-Cola suppliers and that elixir of awesome, Mt. Dew. I can now enjoy Mt. Dew with my biscuits and gravy, chicken strips, and soup with a sandwich (the only things I eat there). I haven't gotten to do this yet, but when I do, I'm confident that it's going to be glorious.
  • Please let me know if you'd like cans of milk. Or cans of sweetened condensed milk. I have enough to share.
  • I'm going to Mt. Ida this weekend!
  • I got another A.S. Byatt book at the library this week.
  • We might be buying a small bookshelf soon.
  • Did you hear about that beef recall Kroger did a week or so ago? We didn't, and so we ate some Hamburger Helper and then we were kind of sick. Yup. It was awful.
  • Work is the same, only with more furtive whispering.
  • I wish I had a garden.
  • My marigolds in the boy house's flowerbed are finally blooming. Their front yard looks so pretty right now.
  • I showered last night, and even though I fixed my hair this morning, I look a little scruffy. Glad to know I'll be super-presentable when we visit Cody's Memaw Bennett tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weddings, Cleaning, Friends, Canning, Scrabble

Let's see....
Friday: we attended the Fridell-Tice wedding in Searcy. It was at Downtown Church of Christ, which I love because it's gorgeous. Simply elegant. The bride's dress was beautiful, the bridesmaids' dresses were beautiful, the groom was one of the happiest I've seen in a long time, the ceremony was very sweet. We didn't stick around for cake (which, by the way, looked really cool), but the reception was really pretty, and there were lovebirds by the gift table--one of which the groom had given the bride a few Valentine's Days ago. You'd think it would seem so saccharine that you'd throw up, but it was actually really cool. Love birds! That they already had on hand! Brilliant!

Out in the parking lot, we exchanged some stuff with Mom and Laine (we'd left Cody's iPod in Mom's car last weekend, and taken home 3 identical copies of a DVD with 7 episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show.) and headed home. But we were still awake, and dressed up, so what else could we do but go watch Hancock? Seriously, that's what we did. Jason joined us for the 10 p.m. showing. We went in our wedding clothes. It's a good movie. I liked it. We eventually went home and went to bed.

Saturday: we slept in. Cody took care of some recycling and old clothes while I cleaned house. I must have cleaned house a lot. I remember vacuuming and crossing off nearly every entry on my to-do list. Anyway, we got cleaned up and went to Cody's cousin's wedding. Actually, we stopped by the house and got Spencer, who did not wear that same Lamb of God shirt that he wears at all times to all events. It started raining. Then it stormed. Then we were driving very slowly through standing water on the interstate. But then we got there okay. "There" was Sherwood Forest. Cody was able to find a parking spot without being accosted by singing thieves. I was disappointed by this.

This was another beautiful wedding with a great wedding gown and amazing bridesmaids' dresses. This time we did stick around for food, which was catered by Kierre's Kountry Kitchen. Surprised? No? Okay. For a while, my job was to stand by the mini corn dogs (for the children--there were a million of them) and say "Those are mini corn dogs" to nearly every person who walked by, paused, and asked, "Now, what are these?" Aside from the part where Cody nearly backed over his own mother with her own catering van (sidenote: I got to ride in the catering van!), things went smoothly.

Maggie (Cody's cousin) seemed really happy, and she had a wonderful ceremony and lots of friends and family on hand to celebrate the day with her. After we left, because Cody was apparently really sociable this past weekend, we remembered that Jason has mentioned something about lasagna at the boy house on Saturday night, so I called and asked if we could come over. After the longest pause ever, he said we could. We brought baked potatoes from the reception as our contribution. (: We met Mandy, maker of lasagna. And we wore wedding clothes once again. Cody took off his dress shirt before eating the lasagna.

Sunday: more sleeping in! We were surprised we were still in the weekend at this point. I didn't feel so great, so after watching The Count of Monte Cristo (horrible), I took a nap. I got mad at Cody when he sat on my hair while he was trying to wake me up. I was in an okay mood by the time we got to canning class, though. Yes, we're taking a canning class. We both sort of knew/remembered how to can, but weren't quite confident enough to just do it ourselves in our kitchen without supervision. So yesterday, we made peach preserves and met some new people. Hooray! Next week: bread and butter pickles. The week after that: tomatoes. Cody's already thinking up other things he wants to can.

And he was still a social butterfly, so we went to his mom's house to give her a jar of peach preserves, and so he could download his podcasts. He had just finished loading everything on there when the power went out unexpectedly. Spencer and I were in the middle of a game of Scrabble. Let me tell you: candlelit Scrabble is much more difficult than regular Scrabble. I still won. Ha ha HA! We eventually went home and went to sleep.

Monday: um, we slept in. I got to work a little late. And my shoes are giving me blisters and I have to get an allergy shot after work. I guess the crazy good times had to end eventually. At least later this week we'll be visiting Cody's Memaw Bennett at the nursing home. We might even get to meet her roommate, who wears a helmet. That's neat, right?

Now you're caught up. How was your weekend?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh, Cody.

I like happy lists and Cody makes me laugh. So here's a list of hilarious things he's said at any given time. Sometimes these things come out of nowhere and sometimes they're in response to hilarious questions. I'll provide the context, depending on whether I feel like typing or not.

  • He probably didn't invite me to his wedding because he hates you.
  • Oh, you wanna hear something interesting?
  • Oh, so you wanna hear something disgusting?
  • Oh, you wanna hear something funny?
  • Oh, so I heard the most horrible thing today (then proceeds to tell me something horrible I didn't want to know, especially when it's smack in the middle of a nice conversation about something like someone's cute niece, or what I had for lunch, or a letter from my grandma)...
  • So funny story: I rented Walk Hard and Nancy Drew (I can't believe I remembered you wanted to see that. I'm so proud of myself.) and went up to the thing and the guy looked at them and was like, "If you have kids, you shouldn't let them watch this one [Walk Hard]." and I said, "Oh no, Nancy Drew is for my wife." and then he just kind of gave me this look.
  • Oh my gosh, the bread's baking. I feel such a sense of accomplishment!
  • Isn't this so exciting?! (Usually with regards to a new recipe.)
  • I don't think I want to learn how to hold a chicken.
  • (Waves hands in an exasperated fashion) Look, I don't know what I'm doing, okay? Just...gah!
  • Jen, no. Stop. Jen! Jen! Jennifer Renee Short, that is disgusting. You are just....I'm going to go over here and get some broccoli. [sighs] I wish you liked peas. (I made a joke in Kroger. He felt it was inappropriate. I also don't like peas.)
  • Can I pick up hitchhikers if you're riding with me? (Answer: I'd rather you didn't.)
  • Moms give me bad looks when I hold your hand at the mall. It makes me feel bad. (I never noticed the looks.)
  • I told him we'd get him drunk. (No, he didn't really. This was in response to a joke I made about Jeff, Cody, and Spencer going to the Prairie Home Companion show this Saturday and making a manly road trip out of it. When Jeff pointed out that Spencer was only 17, Cody replied, "I know. It'll be cheap!" Cody doesn't really drink by the way, or contribute to the delinquency of minors. That's what makes it funny.)
  • She looks so sweet, like she's going to bring you a plate of cookies that she made for you. (He wasn't talking about me.)
  • She looks cute in that picture. (Again, not talking about me. We were watching a news feature on the Eliot Spitzer prostitute chick and they showed a picture from her myspace profile.)
  • If you ever got pregnant, I would be so scared. Not because we were having a baby, but because you couldn't have caffeine. I mean, I'd be concerned about having a baby, but I think you'd just turn into some kind of monster if you couldn't have caffeine. I'd fear for my safety.
  • You know, I think you just need to cheer up. (We were about to go to my grandmother's visitation, he'd somehow stepped in gum and gotten it all over my purse, and he had done something to my order at Wendy's that made me unhappy. Laine and Levi stopped breathing until I burst out laughing. Still one of my favorite memories.)
  • You know I'm not joking about making jerky on our back porch, right?
  • Someday, if we ever have a house with a basement, I want to make cheese. Wouldn't that be great?
  • That is so, so hurtful.
  • Look, it's not like I listen to Radio Disney all the time. I don't know why people make it sound like it's all I listen to. Sometimes, when I have a hard day and I feel stressed, I like to listen to it because it plays positive music. It's very uplifting.
  • Ah, peroxide. So much fun.
  • We could make cheese if only I could we could find a cave.
  • Did you know you could rent caves?
  • It's going to be too humid to try to hang strips of raw meat behind our apartment. That's upsetting. I'm disappointed.
  • She's happy. The only thing that could possibly make her happier would be peanut butter.
  • This is such a good day.
  • So, I was reading The New York Times today, and I read an article that was talking about what you need to do to make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.
  • Oh, that's [pauses, shakes head], that's unfortunate.
  • This is the prettiest pie I've ever made. You should take a picture of it before we cut it.
  • Come on! I'm mature for my age (after I'd turned him down for a date. He was 19, and joking. Somewhat. I think.).
  • It was bound to happen, Jen. I had to be right some time. (I'd lost an argument about the location of the Arctic Ocean. Dang it.)
  • Yeah, it's because I'm hot.
  • You looked really hot. I wasn't sure if I could say it at the time (time = our wedding day. I apparently looked hot in my wedding gown. Just what I was going for!).
  • Aren't you excited about canning?!
  • Oh yeah, Jen and I were probably gonna get out there and shake our groove thing.
  • Oh, thank God! I thought that thing had been on your back this entire time and I was just now noticing it! (About a mosquito bite on my shoulder.)
  • Yes, I do hate your pictures.
  • You know, I don't know if it's because I don't get out of Arkansas enough, but these mountains look amazing.
  • I know! I've been working on growing some of that arm hair for 12 years! (After the Grill Incident.)
  • Whatever, you know I'm hot.
  • That's hot.
  • Don't you want to make pickles?!
We have amazing conversations.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Some July pictures

Okay, so some of my pictures from this roll of film didn't turn out too well. The heat and humidity made me stupid and sleepy and slow and I took pictures of people looking stupid and sleepy and slow. So these are some of the more passable ones.

Berries have antioxidants.
I want to be healthful, but don't really like berries.
Obviously, antioxidants with the calcium in ice cream was a genius plan.

Betty, Dad, Mom.

Glenn and Gabriel.
I think he's Gabe now.

Games.

Heh heh.
Glenn and Jolene.
Cody was excited when she said she bought those shirts from Mardel's.

Glenn likes to hunt.

This is the next day at the Braum's in Miami, OK.

E.A. is old now.

He made this.
Then Mamaw played with it.

Cody likes to visit.

Oh, kitchen windowsill.

I really like this picture.

Juice glass.
Mamaw said she got them from E.A.'s mom.

She made this.

I didn't want to go.

They've adopted him now.

One of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Revise

So. I'd kind of been thinking about this for a while and then things really kind of came to a head for me when I checked this one blog I read nearly ever day, only to find out that the man who writes it is going to make it private. I never commented on there, and I didn't always agree with his political views, but he's from my old church and there was something about reading his reactions to news events, the presidential race, and family life that I enjoyed. But now, because he's tired of dealing with the criticisms from co-workers, commenters, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, he's limiting his blog viewership to invitation only, and is only wanting about 100 or so commenters so that open discourse can actually take place.

This stinks.

I like blogging because I like to let you (whoever is reading this) know what's going on with my life. I'm not the kind of person who calls my parents and siblings and friends and relatives every day....or every few days.....or every week to just call and catch up. It gets tedious. Cody and I don't tend to have a lot of excitement or news-worthy things going on, but I do like to share thoughts on books or whatever just so you know what we're doing this weekend, that my sinuses are bothering, or that Cody and I really and truly had a fight about whether or not he vacuumed (I swear, he did and he just doesn't remember it). That's all. Nothing big or particularly philosophical. If we haven't seen each other in a while and you have the time, you can read what's going on and leave a comment or not. I might reply might. More than likely I won't. That's just how it is. I like reading other people's blogs for the same reason.

If my friend Erin were to call and tell me all about her as-yet-unborn son's weight and length after every doctor's appointment, I'd probably hang up on her. If Jeff were to do his birthday review at his actual birthday parties, I'd probably leave the room faster than if he'd whipped out a guitar and started singing. I mean, if I were to call Mom and tell her about my weekend and just started listing things off in a list format, I think she'd hand the phone over to her dog. Like letters and emails, blogs can be dealt with on one's own schedule. And they don't involve vocal pauses. And you can skip the parts you don't care about. And I'm too lazy to talk sometimes and I just like to do this.

But for the past few weeks (months, even? Good grief.), I've been holding some stuff back. Sometimes it was big stuff that would fall into the category of "Things You Don't Talk About to Every Single Person Who Asks You How Things Are Going" and sometimes it was just random, small stuff and I didn't want to make a big deal about it. Sidenote: Please do not call or message or pull me aside at some point and express your concern. Everything is fine. Life is never perfect, but things are fine. We are not pregnant. We are not sick. We are not unemployed, on fire, or moving, and that is wonderful. End. But it would bug me when I couldn't say exactly what I wanted about things for fear of maybe offending someone or bringing something to someone's attention that would seem somewhat divisive or ..... just whatever.

I know all my actions have repercussions. I can't say whatever I want, and I should probably say a lot less at times. But the point is, I don't worry about making my parents disapproving of something (they don't, or at least have stopped bothering to try and change me at this late date) or embarrassing my siblings (impossible). And Cody doesn't even read my blogs, even though sometimes someone will tip him off if I'm being especially unflattering. I know some other relatives are reading these things every now and then, and I think my mother-in-law knows what I say. And that's fine. What's that Dr. Seuss quote about being yourself or whatever? "Those who matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter" or something like that? I don't feel like looking it up. Bottom line, I was worrying about offending the occasional reader with a random posting here or there, which is stupid. I felt like I was hiding, which I hate.

So when I cut loose with the posting about the frustrations I had with my job a while back it felt great. I was smiling almost the entire time I was typing it. I was saying exactly what I felt, even if it was a little exaggerated and one-sided. But it was something I could talk about and so I did. It was awesome, even though I think some people from work may have seen it. I may be paranoid. I may feel guilty about such harsh condemnation. I'm not sure.

But it beat trying to put a happy face on things when I wasn't happy.

So here's the deal. I'll talk about books and my family and friends and good stories and DIY cleaning, and post pictures of dogs and family and Cody's cooking projects and that time I went to the movies with friends. I won't worry about what you think. If you don't like it, don't tell me about it. Just please stop looking. The end. For those of you who enjoy reading this, bless your hearts. And I still owe you a post on why I really hated Juno.

Fabulous Things!

  • I spent the 4th of July in Oklahoma! We went and visited a bunch of old friends that my family knew in Miami (I don't remember living there, just going back to visit), and stayed with the lovely Schmidts one night and my adopted grandparents the next.
  • Pictures were viewed.
  • I ate watermelon.
  • There was a really intense game of Pictionary, which somehow divided nearly every married couple on top of some parent-child stuff. Lots of screaming. It was spectacular!
  • I like Pictionary.
  • Cody is really good at Pictionary.
  • Cody still hates Pictionary.
  • Everybody liked Cody.
  • I hugged at least 20 people.
  • I saw a baby.
  • We went to a flea market (I love flea markets).
  • We bought a cookie jar!
  • I have a superawesome retro-esque purse. Maybe vintage. Probably retro.
  • We met new people.
  • We went to my favorite place on earth: Mamaw and E.A.'s!!!!!
  • Cody didn't have to sleep on the couch bed this time. He got to sleep in the guest room with me (although I felt crowded in 'my' bed).
  • Cody got to see my very first church.
  • I got to stare at the really old lights and ceiling fans throughout church.
  • Cody got Mamaw's recipe for sweet pickles.
  • Glen gave Cody and Mom lots of cucumbers and squash and zucchinis.
  • I see pickles in our future.
  • Upon giving Mom back to Dad (he was there for part of the adventure, but then left in my car to teach Sunday school, and we came back in Mom's car, etc. etc. etc. this family moves around too much), I had Starbucks.
  • Chad got to have his first trips to Starbucks and Waffle House on the same day.
  • Chad ordered hashbrowns with everything on his very first visit to Waffle House and I got to see his face afterwards. I. love. Chad.
  • Sara saw my Razorback flip flops (and gave me a compliment on my footwear, which is very rare), but did not steal them.
  • 3 out of our 5 siblings moved this weekend and we didn't have to help any of them!
  • Shorts, Smiths, Coxes, Kings, Schmidts, and Schenks! I can't stress this enough!
  • Cody is still getting called 'Colby' sometimes. I love this.
  • Because my car is so spectacularly fuel efficient and magical, I've discovered we may as well make pit stops at Starbucks because they have cleaner bathrooms and Starbucks!

I am so, so, so happy.

Pictures will be developed tonight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In other news...

The Saturn is running.

I bought a new picture frame and put these photos in it:




It's a very 'real' collection of pictures.

I have a four-day work week this week!

I forgot to bring Mt. Dew to work.

On a more positive note, the vending machine downstairs had powdered donuts.

June's book list

This month's book list was pretty great. I enjoyed myself, and will continue to take a break from the Chronicles of Narnia.

Bombeck, Erma. Family: The Ties That Bind...And Gag!. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1987. Erma Bombeck is hilarious and insightful and awesome. Some of the stuff is a little dated now, but that's the best we're going to get. So I enjoyed her and laughed out loud for the better part of a weekend while reading this.

Byatt, A.S. Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice. New York: Random House, 1998.* The quest to read every A.S. Byatt book in the Main Library continues.

Gilbert, Sandra and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979.* Once upon a time, when I was taking British Novel as a terrified young sophomore, Dr. Prewitt assigned several chunks of this work as additional reading and would recommend it to us when we were writing papers and doing the dreaded student-teaching portions of the class (I picked one of the weeks we covered Middlemarch. I was an idiot.). I was really impressed with Gilbert and Gubar and the way they looked at writers and characters and always wanted to read the book in its entirety. I didn't have time in college, and then I couldn't find a copy after graduation. Finally, 5 years later, everything fell into place and the library had its copy on the shelves on the day I was there. So I checked it out and began reading.....and finished it Sunday, 3 months after checking it out and renewing several times. It's great. It's interesting. It was my first exposure to feminist criticism and so I'll always hold it up pretty high just for that. But it's a really good source to think about when reading anything by or about women, or when examining the assumptions surrounding creative women and what those assumptions mean. This gets a really long write-up because it was a really long book (over 750 pages with the endnotes and index). Yes, I'm bragging.

Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha. Trans. Hilda Rosner. 1922. New York: MJF Books, 1992. Well, I'd seen several cool kids list this as a favorite book on their myspaces, so I'd figured it was either a great book, or the type of thing you want people to think you read. Either way, I was interested in it because I could've sworn I'd heard important things about Hesse somewhere and couldn't remember why he was important. So I bought the book on a Barnes & Noble date after yet another pointless trip to Lowe's and stuck it in my purse and began reading it. It was good. That's really all I can say. Am I cool, yet? No? Okay then.

Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Trans. Michael Henry Heim. 1984. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. Again, this was one of those books that I'd heard good things about and didn't remember what the good things were. But: we got some money for Christmas from my parents and bought books that weren't on sale with some of the funds. Since I'd seen Kevin Brockmeier reference it in a few interviews as being great, and I liked the cover and title, I bought it and just now read it. I started it on the trip to North Carolina and finished it a week later. It was touching. It's about too many things for me to say what it's about, but it's a few love stories and touches on civil unrest and Communism and self-perception and there's a dog, too. There's a reason it's on Kevin Brockmeier's top fifty list (yes, I have a copy. He was giving them out to anyone who was interested at the literary festival a few years ago.).

Simon, Leslie and Trevor Kelley. Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture. New York: Harper Entertainment, 2007. Cody borrowed this from Spencer, and then I stole it from Cody so that I could read it before he did. I know this is supposed to be funny, but I was a little irritated with it for a few reasons. One of the reasons was that I dislike emo things. I don't really enjoy the hair, the clothes, the music, or the constant need for attention that you try to get through showcasing your emotions in a really passionate and annoying way. (This is also why I'm scared of praise and worship services.) As a result, the super exhaustive, yet tongue-in-cheek, overview seemed a little tedious.

The second, and more horrifying, reason was because I recognized nearly. every. single. band. they talked about. We're not just talking about the stuff that made to the soundtrack of The O.C. No. Nearly everything. Why? Because sometimes my CDs wind up in Cody's CD case, and I have to flip through his stuff to get to mine and I can't avert my eyes entirely. We won't even talk about the car trips together where he tries to force that lifestyle on me. But yes, even though I'd denied it ever since we started dating (I didn't even know husky kids could be emo! His size made him seem too substantial for that kind of pitiful behavior.), but yeah, Cody is a little emo. Or maybe he just likes the music. Either way, I'm just grateful that he doesn't wear eyeliner. Gah. Funny book. I hope we haven't lost it. Because we can't find it now. Sorry!

There you have it: June's book list in MLA format. As always, library books are marked by an asterisk.