29 May 2008

What happened to this week?

This feeling doesn't happen to me often (enough?), but it seems like it was just Memorial Day Monday. Maybe it was the long, holiday weekend that made a busy week seem busier or maybe it was just that busy. Let's see...

Tuesday I went to work as usual, had back-to-back meetings most of the day and then left an hour early to pick up Zoe and bring her to her gymnastics "show." It was the last class of the semester and the class puts on a performance. I have to say it wasn't my favorite one of these things. Zoe was still tired from staying up too late over the weekend and I think a lot of the kids felt similarly because the whole thing was low energy and I just wanted it to be over.

Wednesday I went to work as usual. Had back-to-back meetings in the morning, shopped for a dress for Zoe for the upcoming wedding (where she's to be the ring leader) at lunchtime, worked all afternoon meeting-free and actually got stuff done, and had dinner at my Dad's.

This morning (Thursday) I got a 4AM wake-up from Zoe who was sick to her stomach. (I don't think it was Dad's cooking...) So, I worked from home today which sounds like it should make for a low-key day, but it completely did not. I started working earlier than usual because I didn't have to get Zoe on the bus and drive to work, I took a break at lunch time and got the 3 of us out of the house, but then as soon as we got back I got right back to work and didn't look up again until after 4. Then a truly amazing event occurred -- I cooked dinner. I don't mean I microwaved something either. I'm not sure where the idea came from -- the planets must be mis-aligned today, but it turned out pretty well and it was a nice enough evening to eat outside. A few hours ago I realized that I haven't written a blog post or really looked at my blog since Saturday. And finally here I am recounting the tales of my hectic week and coming to the beautiful realization that tomorrow is Friday.

24 May 2008

The kind of blogger I am not

It is only Saturday night and already 3 people have recommended I read the cover story of this week's Sunday NY Times magazine. For those who can't access it, it was written by Emily Gould who gained some kind of fame -- enough to get her this wikipedia entry at least -- about her experience blogging for Gawker.com. I believe the reason the article was recommended is because these 3 people know that I have a blog and that I enjoy blogging as well as reading other blogs. I just finished reading the article and I am kind of annoyed.

Beyond the word blogging my experience with blogging and Ms. Gould's have very, very little in common. I am slightly distressed to think that people who know I blog will come to the conclusion that I blog for similar reasons as described in this article. What I find more distressing is the fact that this article only propagates the same problems Ms. Gould was faced with when blogging about her private life publicly. The same secrets are now appearing on actual physical pages as well as the internet being the only difference. She says herself:
I understand that by writing here about how I revealed my intimate life online, I’ve now revealed even more about what happened during the period when I was most exposed. Well, I’m an oversharer — it’s not like I’m entirely reformed.

Frankly, she is not at all reformed. She has just found, in the NY Times, an even broader audience for her own brand of psychological issue of "oversharing." I don't blame her for anything but being young, naive and allowing others to continually take advantage of her, but her story reminds me of a much, much less publicized Monica Lewinsky story. She cannot help constantly exposing herself. If my boyfriend won't love me, maybe you will. It is both sad and compelling in the same ways.

Every time I write something for my blog I ask myself, is this something I would want my Mom to read? What about my boss? What about someone interviewing me for a job? And, of course, what about my blog's namesake? (I have already decided that in a couple more years or less I will have to re-name this blog for her sake.) Sometimes the answer is easy and I click "Publish post" and sometimes I have to do some editing (read: deleting). Some thoughts, feelings and actions are just better left unsaid. Apparently that is a hard lesson for some.

(Stepping down from soapbox now.)

19 May 2008

Ring leader

Some friends of ours are getting married in just a couple of weeks. They are having a very small ceremony which I am looking forward to very much. They have a daughter, Sarah, who is Zoë's age. We all became friends because our daughters were friends from the same daycare class. When they called the other day to confirm the wedding plans Sarah wanted to talk to Zoë. I only heard one side of the conversation (Zoë's) and it went something like this:

Hi Sarah!

You're the flower girl?

Who is the ring leader?

The ring leader.

Can I be the ring leader?

And then turning to me she said, "Mom, Sarah said I can be the ring leader at her Mom's wedding."

I couldn't help but laugh because I already know she is a great ring leader. She was very disappointed when I told her that assigning the job of ring bearer wasn't up to Sarah.

18 May 2008

A few hundred of her closest friends

The other day it was Zoë was playing in her room and it was unusually quiet. After awhile I went upstairs to find that she had lined up just about every single one of her stuffed animals on her bed. She has been sleeping with all of them for the last few nights and she insisted I take a picture.

I have often said she has enough stuffed animals to fill a zoo and I think you can tell from this picture (even though you can't even see all the animals) that I do not exaggerate.

16 May 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

It is a rainy Friday night and I went searching for a meme. I found this one called Friday Fill-Ins.

1. There is absolutely NO way you can get me to eat seafood!
2. Seeing the pool open reminds me that summer is almost here!
3. I cannot live without my Mac.
4. Snow shoeing and the new Ben & Jerry's flavor Imagine Whirled Peace are two things I'd like to try.
5. When life hands you lemons make lemon drop martinis.
6. Realizing I could read is my favorite childhood memory.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging on the couch, tomorrow my plans include dinner out with friends Tracie and Becky and Sunday, I want to sleep late!

15 May 2008

A sense of humor is born

Yesterday Zoë was drawing at her little table and I was just in the other room when we had this conversation:

Zoë: Mom! Do you want to see my drawing?

Me: Of course I do (not looking up from my book)

Zoë: Look! (Suddenly she is standing right in front of me holding a blank piece of paper.)

Me: (Looking hard at the paper to make sure I'm not missing something) Honey, what I am supposed to be looking at?

Zoë: This! (Holding the paper higher.)

Me: Um, I don't see anything.

Zoë: You're looking at a polar bear in a snow storm.

Me: What?

Zoë: A polar bear in a snow storm! (followed by maniacal laughter)

Me: (finally getting the joke) Very, very funny!

I laughed quite hard once I realized it was a joke and the joke was on me. Up until recently Zoë has basically had no sense of humor -- it was bad (and badly told) knock-knock jokes or nothing. I love to tease and I have had to work hard at not teasing her because she doesn't take it well at all. So to have Zoë tell a joke like that is huge step towards an actual sense of humor. I know she still isn't ready for real teasing, but there is a glimmer of hope.

13 May 2008


Every year towards the end of February I get really sick and tired of feeling cold and I start to look forward to summer like a child anticipates opening presents on Christmas morning. In my neck of the woods spring is now unfolding into summer in such a delightfully slow way that I don't even want summer to come yet. It should stay the equivalent of December 24th a little longer. I want to keep on being teased by a warm, beautiful day followed by a chilly evening here, a balmy night after a day of rain there for a few extra weeks.

Summer is my favorite time of year because I always feel freer in the warm weather. I love being able to sit outside, to leave the house without a jacket, to enjoy the long evenings. I seem to do more in the summers -- both work and play.

There are lots of activities going on in and around my house in preparation for summer and it is getting really exciting. Today the pool was unwrapped from it's winter coat and it is nice to see the gurgling water again. The lilacs are just beginning their brief stint as star of the show, the outdoor furniture has begun its migration to the backyard and Zoë has started leaving a ring around the tub again. Usually I am in such a hurry to get to the full-on summer that I hardly notice spring, but this year I am trying not to rush.

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

11 May 2008

Fun costs...

...and here is where you start paying. In sweat. [Props to anyone who gets that reference.]

I found all kinds of delightful ways to spend money this weekend.

It started Friday night with cocktails at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC with good friends and fellow bloggers including Becky, Emily, Chris, and my newest friend Dorr. A couple of rounds of drinks, dinner, and a final glass of wine made for a really terrific (if somewhat damp) evening and a perfect start to the weekend. Of course, none of the 3 different checks were under 3 digits.

His original plan had been to work all day and night, but due to some snafu Rob ended up not having to work at all on Saturday. Because of that I was able to alter my Saturday plans to include some shopping (gotta love buying new jeans in a smaller size!) and a pedicure. Saturday night we took Zoë to the carnival at her school. The carnival is a fund raiser for the school so we brought cash to drop and drop it we did. I'm not sure how, but somewhere between the squirt game and the hit the balloon with the dart game we realized we only had $5 left! We definitely did our part for Riverfield School that night. Zoë had a great time and even took home a new friend, a stuffed Penguin named Pengwinny, of course.

Between gifts and meals I haven't even wanted to add up what today cost. I am a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Mother's Day, but I still managed to have some fun. Zoë did not repeat her behavior of last weekend and was actually quite well-behaved and very, very sweet. The highlight of the fun was definitely when my nephew hurled a bowl of ice cream on the floor of the restaurant. He is too cute and since I'm not his Mom it made me laugh. And I did get some great gifts (including several Zoë masterpieces) so I can't complain about that.

All-in-all it was an expensive, but really nice weekend. Which only makes Monday morning that much harder to face.

07 May 2008

My flip-flops are speaking

After yesterday's fun creative mind test, I was in the mood for some more silliness. Of course I chose the one about shoes!

According to this quiz, my flip-flops speak to my personality...

What Your Flip Flops Say About You

You are a warm, friendly person who simply enjoys life.

You don't complicate things for yourself. Life is too short!

You have a super optimistic attitude, and you have figured out how to be happy.

Everyone wants to know your secret... and it's a lot more simple than they might think.

Your ideal warm weather place: San Diego

I definitely don't have a super optimistic attitude, but I do love San Diego.

06 May 2008

How my brain is wired (?)

I saw this silly quiz on Emily's blog so I naturally had to rush right over and confirm what I suspected...she is more creative than me.


I have no idea what basis this assessment is made on, but I am always a sucker for these kinds of things.

05 May 2008

Top 106 Unread Books on LibraryThing

I considered myself tagged for this one by Chris.

Below is a list of the top 106 books tagged “unread” on LibraryThing. The rules:
bold = what you’ve read,
italics = books you started but couldn’t finish
crossed out = books you hated
* = you’ve read more than once
underline = books you own but haven’t read yourself

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez*
  4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  7. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  9. The Odyssey by Homer
  10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I just can't get into the Russians.)
  11. Ulysses by James Joyce
  12. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  13. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
  15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  16. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  18. The Iliad by Homer
  19. Emma by Jane Austen
  20. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  21. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  22. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  23. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  24. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*
  25. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  26. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  27. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  28. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  29. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  30. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  31. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  32. Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
  33. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  34. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  35. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (This seems strange on this list.)
  36. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  37. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  38. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  39. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  40. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  42. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  43. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (Hate all Faulkner.)
  44. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
  45. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
  46. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  47. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  48. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  49. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  50. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  51. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde</li>
  52. Dune by Frank Herbert
  53. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  54. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  55. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen*
  56. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  57. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (I started this as an audio book, but the CDs I'd borrowed from the library were damaged and I never tried to get it again in any format.)
  58. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  59. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  60. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  61. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  62. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  63. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  64. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  65. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  66. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  68. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  69. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  70. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  71. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  72. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  73. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  74. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  75. Dubliners by James Joyce
  76. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  77. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  78. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  79. Collapse by Jared Diamond
  80. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  81. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  82. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  83. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  84. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  85. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  86. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  87. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
  88. Beowulf by Anonymous
  89. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  90. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  91. The Aeneid by Virgil
  92. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  93. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  94. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  95. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  96. Possession by A.S. Byatt
  97. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  98. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  99. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  100. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  101. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  102. Candide, or Optimism by Voltaire
  103. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  104. The Plague by Albert Camus
  105. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  106. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

read: 34
started, but did not finish: 6
hated: 2
read more than once: 5
own, but not yet read: 6

I'm not sure what these results say about me, if anything at all, but it was fun none-the-less.

So, if you're reading this and you weren't tagged by Chris, consider yourself tagged by me!

04 May 2008

I'll have the Belgian waffles!

About a hundred years ago when Rob and I were dating and still quite ga-ga over each other we used to have breakfast at a diner most Sunday mornings. We didn't have a usual spot, we'd pick different places depending on where we were headed that day. One day we were at some diner we'd never been to before (and haven't been back to since) happily ensconced in a booth awaiting our pancakes and eggs and other yummy diner breakfast treats when a family of five sat down at the booth behind us. The husband and wife sat on one side and the three children crowded into the other side. It was a tight fit, but it worked.

They were a loud family so we couldn't help overhearing much of what was going on at the table. The mother declared loudly that she was getting the Belgian waffles with whipped cream and when one of the kids asked if they could have that too she said, "No, there's too much sugar in that for you. You'll be crazy all day."

Rob and I were a little surprised that she would do that, but the bigger shock came a few minutes later when after the kids were arguing over space on their side of the booth the father asked the oldest boy, who was maybe 10 years old, to go sit by himself at the counter. The look on that boy's face broke my heart. "No," he whined. "I don't want to sit by myself." His father tried to convince him it wasn't that far away and they would all be more comfortable, but the boy just said nothing and didn't get up. At this Rob and I were appalled. That poor boy. We were sure he would grow up to murder his father one day.

Throughout the rest of the meal we kept catching other nasty comments the parents were making to and about their kids and we couldn't help ourselves in feeling that we would never be that way with our own children. We have often recalled that breakfast and how horrible we thought those parents were and we have often felt that we could never/would never be like that.

Today I felt my first shred of sympathy for those parents. Zoë was just relentlessly badly behaved for most of this weekend. She is normally a talkative, energetic kid who has a little trouble listening and sitting still, but it was as if someone turned all those behaviors on high this weekend. I don't know what it was, but by this afternoon Rob and I both had pretty much had it and while we were waiting in line for our lunch I turned to Rob and said, "I'll have the Belgian waffles." He knew exactly what I meant.