Friday, October 31, 2008

October's book list

Since I don't think I'll finish that book on flower arranging today, here's the list of what I read this month. As always, library books are marked by asterisks. I love the library. It's, except that I helped pay for it. I should start checking books that I actually enjoy. You'll see what I mean.

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. New York: Anchor, 2003.*
I love Atwood. She's a great writer. I thought I would take a break from her books that are typically written from a female perspective and go with something that had a funny name and seemed kind of science-fictionsque. And the central character was a man. And this was a good book, but it took me forever to finish. Too many flashbacks (even for her), too much buildup, and not enough...something. I almost bought this a couple of months ago, but I'm glad I checked it out instead. It was good, but it was just....not particularly riveting (despite tons of tense moments and Very Important Cues That Something Bad Will Happen/Happened) until more than 3/4ths through. Not cool.

Fforde, Jasper. Thursday Next in First Among Sequels. New York: Viking, 2007.*
The most ridiculous one yet. It can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your patience. I'm losing mine.

Herbert, Frank. Heretics of Dune. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1984.*
At first, I thought I didn't 'get' the ending because I was tired and sick and whatever. No. I got it (and I went back and read the last 40 or 50 pages just to be sure), but it was stupid. I mean, really very stupid. I had considered reading the last 2 books of the series, which were actually written by Herbert's son using notes and drafts, but now I know I'm done.

Radosh, Daniel. Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture.
New York: Scribner, 2008.
This one was fun. At times it got a little smarmy, but I can see where that defense mechanism can kick in when one is surrounded by some of 'those people.' I would recommend that everyone read the book, even if it's just to read the mock interview with Stephen Baldwin. It's completely unfair and ridiculous and made me laugh till I cried and started coughing uncontrollably. Good stuff.

Setterfield, Diane. The Thirteenth Tale. New York: Washington, 2007.
Why do I love the British so much? There are plot twists and themes and dialogue that reads like the script for a Lifetime movie--but I promise the book is cooler than that. Probably because it's so unbearably British. We don't even quite know when the story takes place. There's also a whole lot of twin creepiness. Some of it's intentional and some of it's due to the fact that twins, like all familial relationships, can be very strange.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I can't find Dale Bailey!!!

I'm clearly not being called upon to do any work today. I was sifting through a list of scariest movies I've never seen on, and then I went over to and read an interview with Stephen King, and then because it's October and Halloween is tomorrow, I was thinking about horror movies and horror fiction and then I wondered:

"What's Dale Bailey up to these days?"

Let's go back a bit. In the fall semester of 2003, I took a course in American Gothic Literature, along with a whole bunch of people. It was pretty popular, and very few people dropped out. And we read tons of horror fiction. We read essays on horror. We read novels. We read anthologies. And one very special day, the teacher invited a friend of his from grad school to come and speak both in our class, and as part of some series on campus. The friend, whose novel, The Fallen, was required reading, was Dale Bailey.

He was friendly and personable and entertaining. We talked about Anne Rice, and Stephen King, and he told us about his own influences and some of the things in his work that had caused problems for him (theological uncertainties, issues with his dad, balancing writing with his teaching schedule) and things of that nature. Several girls in the class wanted to marry him. Some of those girls wanted to marry him very badly.

Anyway, that night he gave a reading in which we got to find out what he was working on at the time. It was an interesting draft, and it seemed strange that he would read that instead of something from his collection of short stories that had just been released. A couple of my friends bought that book. I was a little poor at the time, and just had him sign his novel that I read for the course. Later, some of us took pictures with him. Yes, little-known authors get star-struck fans, too.

So: back to today. Off to google I went, and there I found my first disconcerting piece of information. His website, which is still the first result you'll get if you google him, has not been updated since 2004. And I'll be honest, it's pretty self-promoting. I was a little put off by the tone. But at the same time, I can see where some of the cockiness might have come from. If you go back to 2002-2004, you will find reviews (in newspapers, blogs, customer reviews even) in which people are tripping all over themselves to write [super adjective here] things about Dale Bailey. There was not a revered horror/fantasy writer to whom he could not be favorably compared. Only the best gushing, superlative-filled praise was good enough.

And then there's nothing. Or next to nothing. A story in a magazine here. A story in a collection there. A book he co-wrote in 2006. But ultimately nothing that would let me know what in the world the man was doing. No myspace. No facebook. No fanpages. No wikipedia entry!

Earlier this year, one of his stories was included in anthology of apocalyptic fiction. The story is "The End of the World as We Know It" and it's the draft that he read 5 years ago.

I think we all know what's happening here. Promising academician with an interest in mythology and literature steeped in the supernatural is on the cusp of greatness uncovers a terrible, long-lost secret, and either loses his mind or gets transported to a horrible alternate universe or Cthulhu pops out of nowhere and destroys him. Sometimes all three.

Think I'm wrong? Dig up something on him for me. It's really bothering me.

Here is a timeline for you:
June 1999: A revision of Bailey's doctoral thesis is published as American Nightmares: The Haunted House in American Popular Fiction

November 2002: The Fallen is published

November 2003: Dale Bailey visits the University of the Ozarks
The Resurrection Man's Legacy: And Other Stories is published

December 2003: House of Bones is released

June 2006: Sleeping Policeman (co-written with Jack Slay Jr.) is published

January 2008: "The End of the World as We Know It" is published in Wasteland: Stories of the Apocalypse

Present day:

(Photo stolen from

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be Aware

Do you remember when I said I'd write some posts about breast cancer? It was at the beginning of this month (October is Breast Cancer Awareness, in case you somehow had no clue) and I was full of good intentions to educate and warn you about breast cancer.

But then I didn't do it because I didn't want to. I hate breast cancer. I hate all cancer. But the prevalence of all those women in all those pink t-shirts doesn't fill me with hope or admiration. I don't want to go up to them and tell them how "brave" they are. I don't even want to tell them I'm glad they're well now.

They just make me want to cry.

There are so many of them.

I feel a little overwhelmed and afraid and helpless.

And I realize that's the point of all that fund raising--breast cancer (re: AIDS, famine, world hunger, cancer, Alzheimer's, domestic violence) is common and should be stopped. More money = more research and possible solutions. And even though there are tons of different types of it, treatment can be incredibly successful if you detect it early. But I've already told you about early detection.

So now I'm going to talk about giving away your money.

For me, it's a lot easier to give a yearly check to the Susan G. Komen Foundation (or to the American Cancer Society) than to look for products with the pink label and buy them when I'd rather purchase the item based on its price or.....I don't know, say, whether or not I want it. (This past year, a friend who's a breast cancer survivor got married and requested that instead of gifts, people could give donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It was a happy reason to make a donation in honor of a new marriage.)

So, I'm going to parrot back to you this handy little pamphlet I got in the mail from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It's titled "Five Questions You Should Ask Before Supporting a Corporate Cause-Related Marketing Program."

  1. Is the corporate sponsor committed?
  2. How is the program structured?
  3. Who does the program benefit?
  4. How will the nonprofit organization use the funds raised?
  5. Is the program meaningful to you?
So here's my (completely not-smarmy) additions to these supergood questions.

Is the corporate sponsor committed?
Alternate question: Or are they just doing it because it's [Cause] Awareness Month? Give your money to some other worthwhile cause if the one you're researching seems a little bit like a fad.

How is the program structured?
How much is going to the cause? Is there a minimum or maximum amount? I quit buying Yoplait yogurt with the pink lids because they have a $100,000 limit on what they'll donate. Um, I think if they can get however many gazillion people to mail in their pink lids (and pay postage), they should donate as much money as they can possibly raise, because you know they spent more money than that on their ad campaign telling you to mail in your pink lids.

Who does the program benefit?
Check the organization's website. Ask your friends. The pamphlet also suggests checking out the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (

How will the nonprofit organization use the funds raised?
Does the money go to research? Raising awareness? Free mammograms? Or useless merchandise covered in pink/red/yellow/something? It's your money--you may as well like where it's going.

Is the program meaningful to you?
Sadly, you probably know someone who has, or had, breast cancer. Or you know someone profoundly affected by it. And I'm also pretty sure that there are plenty of other causes that are meaningful to you. Like I said before, it's your money and you've worked for it and you may as well send it somewhere worthwhile.

There are plenty of good causes: feeding people, housing people, building wells for clean water, rebuilding New Orleans, putting music in classrooms, recycling, mission work, surgeries for kids with cleft lips in poor countries, and picking up the tab when you're out to lunch with a friend are all great ways to part with your money.

Every week, Cody puts a few dollars in the jar at his work for the Arkansas Diabetes Association. That means a lot to him.

Cupcakes from the Kroger bakery made in the shape of the pink ribbon aren't quite the same. They don't help anyone, they don't raise awareness as they sit on your dining room table, and all proceeds from your purchase go directly to Kroger. Also, being overweight is a risk factor for all cancers.

So if you can part with your money (and most of us can--at least a little bit here and there), please ask these questions first and then donate responsibly and with a giving spirit.

And stay away from the cancer cupcakes. They're just weird.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm talking about music!

Remember when I said that I hated people who talked about music? Me neither. I mean, I remember saying it, but I don't remember when that happened. Anyway, I felt like sharing and am doing so with the full awareness of how obnoxious and wrong I may seem to you. But I was thinking the other day about songs I really like and why. I can't really list them, but here are three. They're the first three I could think of (the list was far more complete when I was sitting in traffic this morning), and here they are in no particular order.

"The Story" Brandi Carlile
Yes, this is obvious (it was on Grey's Anatomy) and not-fitting. I have no lines across my face, and even if I did, I would be the one telling you the story of who I am. But it's a great song, and I love the line "But these stories don't mean anything when you've got no one to tell them to" because Cody and I tell each other a lot of stories. And when we first became friends, we didn't have a lot to respond with when one asked the other "How have you been?" (Answer: I went to class, I watched 5 hours of VH1, I worked, I went to the library, I read, and I fell asleep. Riveting.) and so we really got to know each other by telling stories about our families, how we'd come to know our friends, and our mutually ridiculous break-up experiences. I get really excited whenever someone tells me "I have the most [adjective] story to tell you about [event]." Also, I'm a gigantic book-nerd. How can I not get excited about a song about heart-felt stories? And I'm in love with Brandi Carlile's voice.

"3 Libras" A Perfect Circle
The first time I ever heard this song, I hit the 'record' button on my radio/tape player. Yes, I kept a blank tape in there for moments such as this. You think we had high-speed Internet for downloading way out in the sticks in the late 90s? Please. So I taped things. I still have 30 or so tapes in boxes in my closet. Goodness. So anyway, I heard the first few seconds of this song and figured I would like it. And I did. Strings. Maynard's voice. Themes of loneliness and isolation (did I mention I was 16 or 17 when this was released? I was.). What's not to love? It's a beautiful, haunting, and self-pitying ballad that is wonderful for belting out in the car with the volume way up. I'm not sure why this is still one of my favorite songs, but I remember when I got Laine to like this. She fixed me with a meaningful look. "Jen," she said (and said it like it meant .... something) "You listen to songs where the words don't rhyme."

"Librarian" My Morning Jacket
You know when you see Hallmark commercials, or that UPS commercial where Dale Jarrett races the big, brown truck and you should just say, "Oh, that's so great!" and go on about your day, but instead you stop whatever you're doing, stand perfectly still, and let yourself start tearing up and you feel all warm and fuzzy and stupid? That's what this song does to me. It tells a tiny part of what is probably a really sad story, and instead of being creepy it's all fragile and sweet and thoughtful. And it makes me think of Cody. He's smart, he's sweet, and he wears glasses. He is a man of many wonderful and subtle layers even when he's straightforward. I have the biggest crush on him. I feel warm and fuzzy and stupid now. Ahem.

Okay, there you go. Just thought I'd share.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This weekend and this week's plans

So, it's Monday and I don't know what to say. I had a lovely weekend, and had thought about writing a post about all of the funny things I heard and saw this weekend. But then I couldn't think of that many. Then I was thinking about how I really hoped that this week would be better than last week, and thought about writing a post about violence against women, or even violence in general. But I don't have the heart to look up the statistics or type it out, so I'm just going to ask that you be careful and if someone seems dangerous to cut that person out of your life completely. Know your surroundings, protect yourself, follow your instincts but be smart, and pray that nothing bad happens to you.

So I thought I'd just tell you about my weekend.

On Friday, we ate Chinese food and rented movies. It was a nice, low-key time.

On Saturday, we went to the farmer's market and bought some produce. We also ate at the restaurant and caught up on some family things. Then we went back home, ate a little, watched some TV on DVD, etc. I joined my mom and sisters at the mall and we had a nice girl afternoon. It was very hilarious and fun, even though we didn't do a lot of shopping. We had some nice discussions about underwear and shoes and purses and hair products and health and then we just gossiped and got loud and rowdy in a Starbucks. Good times all around. I'm also pretty sure that Mom was trying to avoid us in Target. It's okay, we found her. I even got to talk to Levi that night.

On Sunday, we overslept and got really confused because Cody's clock is weird and anyway....we went out to the house and ate chili and played with the dog and had a nice sit-down dinner with the family. Yay! We also watched the race, and helped Mom get rid of some things on the bookshelves and......I GOT ANOTHER BOOKCASE! It's 3 shelves, maybe 4' high, and we're going to paint it green and put it between our two chairs in the living room. I think it's going to hold cookbooks and comics. This is very exciting. Also exciting: looking through a couple of photo albums from the late '90s. We look different! I was about 5 pounds heavier than I am now. You wouldn't think that would make much of a difference, but it was apparently all in my face. Laine and Sara have really overcome a lot in the haircut department. Levi grew about 2 feet and gained 5 pounds. Craziness.

Here are my plans for this week:
  • Work
  • Pay student loan
  • Read some more books
  • Go to the library
  • Paint that bookcase, baby!
  • Make jam
  • Knit some more scarves
  • .......[This is stunned silence] I was going to say "Reorganize [something]" but I think I've done everything in the last couple of months
  • Clean out the silverware drawer. That'll work
  • Enjoy fall
  • Buy Halloween candy
  • Eat all the Halloween candy

I'm going to hold off on the film negatives filing project because I'm scared of it.

How are you?

Friday, October 24, 2008

It seems like I should say something

  • The week is nearly over and we're really happy about it
  • I would like to set up some kind of organization project where I file all of my photo negatives and CDs by year. We're talking 1995 to Monday night! That would be a lot of boxes
  • I hate diet ads. Dear Diet Ad People: I do not have any interest in losing 60 pounds, as that would probably kill me. But thanks for trying anyway to prey on any body-image insecurities I may have.
  • Baby tally--Sarah: boy, Joanna: boy, Whitney: girl
  • We had chicken noodle soup last night
  • I have an insane number of scarves. I've worn a different one to work every day this week
  • It's chilly outside
  • It's pretty chilly inside, too
  • The elevators at work are very scary
  • Cody heard the new Nickelback song yesterday. He said it was amazing, but I don't think he meant it
  • I'm listening to the new Nickelback song right at this very moment
  • I've started making a Christmas list in my head
  • The Christmas list will probably be on paper by this evening
  • I will not be purchasing the newest Oxford American. Blah, blah, blah--I get it. New Orleans is a big, fat deal. Southern food is a big, fat deal. But a whole issue devoted to New Orleans cuisine?! Give me a break. Call me when you make a decent music issue
  • You're dang skippy I'm bitter! Last year's awful, ridiculous, and paltry music issue absolutely broke my heart
  • I will listen to this Nickelback song a few more times for consolation
  • As some of you may know, I turn to Nickelback whenever I'm upset or stressed
  • Factoring heavily into my stress and un-ease: A couple of weeks ago, Jim James (rock god and lead singer of my very favorite band, My Morning Jacket) injured himself by falling off of a stage. Some reports said he hit his head, while the band said he had severe injuries to his torso. Either way, they cancelled the next two weeks of shows. But then, this past week, they cancelled their entire European tour and have nothing scheduled until the end of the year. I don't like this
  • If I had anywhere to go, I'd probably do some stress-buying of more yarn
  • I think I get paid today
  • I think I might need to get my hair trimmed
  • I think what I really want is to have my hair washed and fussed over and played with and get my ends trimmed. Hair people usually tell me I have really pretty and healthy hair, and I like that
  • I still haven't worn contacts since getting my glasses
  • I love being able to rub my eyes when I'm tired
  • We're using the phrase "We'll see..." around here a lot lately
  • I wish people would check before forwarding emails and bulletins
  • Ummmm, I have leftover soup for lunch. Chicken noodle
  • I almost don't want to start my next A.S. Byatt book

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trip pictures!

Here are my pictures from my trip, all jumbled and out of order:

The ballroom where we had our lunch on Thursday.
I need this wallpaper.

Out by the shuttles at the airport.

Hotel room.

Amazing ceiling of the amazing lobby at the amazing hotel.

Kinsey was a big fan of downtown.

Her cousin, Patrick, might be a fan of everything.

Amazing hotel bathroom and amazing hotel bathrobe.

My station all day Thursday.
I took lots of notes.
There were lots of handouts.

The Capitol.
Kinsey's eating garnish in this picture.

This is when they were taking me back to my hotel.

Me on the last day.
I was sick, and ready to go home.
But I knew I would miss the robe.
And I still do.

Floors of the hotel.

Dome of the Capitol.

From inside the dome!

Higher up inside the dome.

The amazing lobby of the amazing hotel.
Fresh flowers every day.
High tea every afternoon.
I saw it one time: there were petit fours.

Yes, those are snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Capitol Books, a used bookstore.
I bought a book there.

The Tattered Cover, another bookstore downtown.

Did I mention it was a two-story bookstore?!
It was.
I really, really, really did not want to leave.

I forgot the name of this building.
We had our Friday morning sessions here.

Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. Disposable cameras aren't too great at indoor picture-taking. And perhaps Patrick was right: maybe they are 'little kid' cameras. Okay, no camera probably would have been able to do the bookstores justice. But still. Good trip.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I still love Nickelback

I heard the new Nickelback song for the first time last week.

I had two reactions to it. The reactions were simultaneous. They were the same reactions I usually have to new Nickelback songs:

1. This is terrible!
2. I love it!

It's been nearly five years since I was first informed by people who care about this sort of thing that Nickelback is, in fact, horrible, wretched, and not really music. I knew people who didn't like them, but didn't think too very much about it. After all, sometimes you like a band and sometimes you don't, right? Right?


Or so I was told. It was September 2003. The Long Road was about to be released. I was incredibly excited. I was sharing my excitement with my friend and classmate, Kelly. (We were in the class Christianity and the Modern World. It was shortly before 1 p.m. Yes, the moment was that definitive.) My friends Jeff and Cody were sitting in front of us. They turned around. Cody asked if I was serious about looking forward to the new CD. I enthusiastically assured him that I was, and then probably said something about making a special trip to Wal-Mart the very day it came out.

Jeff made some kind of noise.

Cody made some kind of noise.

They both looked at me like I had just pooped on the floor.

No, really. That is the look you give someone when s/he poops on the floor and says, "Look what I did!" in a proud voice. Just trust me.

Having just broken up with a guy who'd spent the past two years telling me that Nickelback was the worst thing to ever happen to Canada, radio, and music, I wasn't too very concerned about their opinions until Jeff started acting like it was a character flaw.

So what if they're playing the same song over and over? So what if you don't like them? Are you really going to mention Bill Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love again? I know my arguments weren't that great, but they were mine. And I generally don't apologize for liking what I like. Cody came to my defense, saying that one of their songs from the last album wasn't too bad (in retrospect, he might have been doing this because he liked me) and Jeff started to look like he was pretending to agree with him (in retrospect, it may have had something to do with the look Cody gave him because he liked me). Then class started.

In the years that followed, I still didn't apologize for liking the music I like. And I continued to buy every sucessively worse album and enjoy it. But I did start to feel a little embarrassed. And the sense of embarrassment would grow a little more with every song. Rhyming couplets? Really? And now Chad Kroeger's flat-ironing his hair? What? Why? And did you ever hear that second song he did with Santana? It had almost no words!

And today, now that I've had the chance to listen to their new song, "Gotta Be Somebody" at least 15 times (no, I'm not kidding. I really like listening to the same song over and over, even when it puts my well-being in peril), I am convinced of several things:

  • This single is a ridiculous pile of Canadian drivel
  • This single will sell bajillions of copies
  • The next time I make Cody a mix tape of mortifyingly sentimental and awful "love" songs, this single will be on it
  • This song makes me want to dance
  • The new album comes out November 18
  • I need this album
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to the song a few more times. Just 2 or 3 times. I mean it.


I'm back! Did you miss me? Did you know I was gone?

I was.

I went on my very first big-girl business trip adventure.

I attended a conference for editors and met other editors (soooo many cardigans and glasses--they blur together!) and learned about editing and stayed in a hotel with a king-size bed (I slept in it all alone and sideways) and wore a fluffy robe...

...and got really sick.

Sore throat. Runny nose. Sinus pressure headaches. My ears nearly imploded on the plane ride back. I speed-walked (sped-walk?) from one end of the LR airport to the other in under two minutes to get back to Cody. The trip was great, except for getting sick and a harrowing period of time (53 hours) where I had no Mt. Dew, but I was happy to be back for several reasons:

1. I missed Cody
2. The way this state works is not so bad
3. If I had to listen to that Canadian guy talk about Canada, I would have lost my mind or said something rude to him. I think I dislike Canadians. There. The dirty secret is out

Another reason is that you always want to go home when you don't feel good. So I was very happy to return to my quilts, my pajamas, my husband, my updraft machine, and all of the other things that make me feel better. We stopped at a store to get some nighttime/daytime cold medicine on the way home from the airport.

Here's what was great about the trip:
1. The hotel: This was probably the nicest hotel I've ever been in--in my entire life! I'm not bragging, but I've stayed in some really nice hotels. And this was impressive. Old. Beautiful. Turn-down service. Did I mention the robe? I got attached. It's featured pretty prominently in my disposable camera pictures. I'll try to develop them tonight.
2. I flew and everything turned out Just Fine: After I went to the Department of Transportation's website and printed off the rules for packing liquids, and made another one of my idiotic phone calls about travel to my dad (I get panicked and call Dad and ask really, really stupid questions. As an incredibly well-traveled guy, these are probably not proud moments for him), I felt pretty ready. I made it through security both times. I got my boarding pass. I only yelled at the automated machine once (it asked me if I wanted to go on stand-by. I freaked out a little.), and used the map of the airport, and got places on time.
3. I saw Kari, Stephen, and Kinsey!: I met up with the lovely family--and their nephew, Patrick, who is Spiderman--and had some Cheesecake Factory (another first!) and caught up on things. Let me see....Stephen's preaching at an English-speaking church now, they don't have to commute as much, Kinsey loves princesses and is very weird, Kaci is expecting again, Adam is sick with mono, Kimberly and her husband have another 4 years in Vienna and still like it, Kathy is doing great and keeping up with all of her grandkids and she almost got to come to dinner, but something came up, but wouldn't that have been cool if I'd gotten to see her? Patrick and Kinsey, both 3, were incredibly funny, and (fortunately) everyone in the booths around us was also loud so they didn't draw too much uneanted attention. That was a lovely, wonderful time.
4. I was surrounded by editing people. We explained what we did to each other, but not in the way that we have to explain what we do in general. It was quite the gathering of nerds. I might not have even been the youngest person there. It was actually a pretty diverse group of people, and it was really neat to learn how things are done in other states.
5. I came back with tons of handouts and notes and brochures and manuals. Tons! Cody was very interested and excited to see everything I brought back. I also brought him back a magnet. It was what he asked for, really! It's a mama bear with two cubs. Sadly, they are not polar bears.

Some things I discovered upon coming back home:
1. Pain in my ears like I haven't felt since I was ..... much younger and still having massive ear infections.
2. Cody can manage without me. Not only did he vacuum, but he disinfected the countertops in preparation for my return! What is this madness?! He also had a lovely time eating sauerkraut one night, and going out with his brothers another. He assures me that he likes it better when I'm home, though. Good.
3. They managed to get by without me at work, too!
4. My updraft machine is still really important.
5. Sleep cures everything.
6. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.....
7. Routines are great.

Now I'm back. It's a nice place to be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wasp Sting in Great Detail

This is my stung hand 24 hours after the fact.

This is what both of my hands usually look like.

This is a side-by-side comparison.

This is what things looked like by the time I got to the doctor.

I'm only slightly exaggerating. I wish I'd taken pictures, but I'm kind of glad I didn't. It looked a little monstrous.

Pictures of things

Look! Putt putt.
I don't know what's going on here,
but it looks very serious.

He's having a blast.

We went to Starbucks afterwards.

Bennetts' backyard.

You know I love a good burn pile.


Twin high chair.
Their grandpa made it for them.

I got stung.
24 hours afterward.

This is what my hand usually looks like.

Side by side.

Cody is dark and brooding.

Purple potatoes.

And a shallot.

Apples and pears and my cute kitchen.

Cody at Vino's.
Please imagine death metal playing in the background.
Or maybe thrash metal.
I obviously don't know the difference.
The pizza was good.

It's Spencer, all blurry and stuff.


Not so bad.

But see what happens when you use the flash?!
You see underwear.

Not so awful.
Yes, that one kid always wears a cape. No, I'm not sure why that kid in the green shirt is just sitting there. Yes, I did have a good time at the show. We even met one guy's grandma. No, she did not mosh.