Bad blogger

I know, I know. But between getting all the new grad students all situated, getting ready to start teaching on Monday (this includes a 6 week calendar and an extensive PowerPoint presentation), and all the GD Twilight I can’t stop reading, I’ve been busy. Not to mention all those domestic things like cooking, laundry, ELLIOT, and oh yeah, my husband too.

I’ve had so many ideas for blog topics but I haven’t felt compelled. But it’s Friday and I’m ready for the freakin’ weekend, yo. We have a birthday party to attend on Saturday and then on Sunday afternoon, I shall be partaking in one of those uber-domestic things: a Pampered Chef “party.” I’m not sure that party is the correct term, but it’ll be fun. I may even buy something. (You rebel, you.) But anyway…

I think to be a successful blogger you need focus. Lately, I haven’t had enough focus in my life to even think about focus on my blog. On some days, I have a certain level of clarity. And when I recognize this, I usually try to put all those energies and clear thinking into my work. I had a particularly good morning yesterday wherein I got most of this one project for teaching out of the way. And I felt so good about it that I spent the rest of the afternoon reading. When really, I should have used the momentum to accomplish even more. I am easily distracted. And without the will power or self-discipline, it becomes a hard task.

So, next week sometime, I am going to revamp and set aside some designated days for certain topics. Maybe this will get me back into the blogging mode. For now, have a great weekend.

In a New York minute, everything can change

A couple weeks ago I was lamenting that life had gotten a little mundane. And I said that eventually, it would cycle around and we’d have things to do every weekend and the busy, yes, we can has it. Starting this past weekend, we got booked up. Friday evening, Ash had Magic to be played so I enjoyed the night to myself by watching Twilight. I was not disappointed because I knew it wasn’t going to be great. But it wasn’t bad. (I know you’re judging me. It’s ok. I can handle it.)

Saturday morning, we decided to hit up the Tallahassee Museum right as it opened so that it was not too hot, though it still got a bit warm. Elliot enjoyed the animals and we’re excited to take him to a real zoo at some point. During nap time (for both baby and daddy) I went to Target and cleaned the house because my parents were scheduled to arrive sometime in the late afternoon, while we were at my friend’s daughter’s first birthday party out in Crawfordville. We didn’t stay too long; I think both Ash and I were annoyed by certain things and Elliot had to get to bed regardless.

Since my parents were here, Ash and I went to a later showing of The Hangover. And you know, it was funny but not nearly as funny as everyone kept saying. I noticed that Ash and I laughed at jokes that no one else seemed to – (picture guys taking shots and proclaiming, “Tastes like college”. Too funny!) – but the whole audience busted a gut when people fell over. I have never been one for slapstick comedy; I don’t usually laugh at people tripping or getting hit in the nuts or anything. So I was somewhat disappointed but happy to get out to a movie.

Sunday, being father’s day and all, we gave cards and gifts (Ash got a shirt and my mom gave my dad flight lessons) and we spent some time outside in the baby pool before going to Osaka for some yummy sushi and hibachi. It was an enjoyable day but we were busy every second of it. I am exhausted this morning.

Here’s a little mosaic of our past couple weekends. Sometimes we’re busy and sometimes we’re straight chillin’, but it’s always always great.

weekend mosaic

New Good Things – 6/19 edition

I just LOL’d at myself because the 4/4 edition of this – from 2008 – is the post that has received the most all-time hits on this here blog. Why? Because I reviewed my then new phone, the Samsung A737. I’m glad to say that the phone is still holding up. Though, if I had to pick a negative, it would be that the battery gets really hot so if you’re talking on it for a while, watch your hand. But I thought it might be nice to revive this trend with some of my newest purchases.

Arrid Clinical Strength deodorant – $5.99, grocery store

I just got this a couple days ago; not because I sweat profusely but because it’s summer here in “Tallahades” and you can’t help but sweat even when you walk from the car to your office, etc. Previously, I was using Secret soft solid – the best kind – and it was working relatively well. I have to say, this deodorant is not keeping me as dry as I would like but I can still smell the “clean mist” scent and I am not as uncomfortable as usual. I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5.

PNY 4 Gb Flash Drive – $17.99, Best Buy

After my thumb drive died a few months back, as you may recall, I had to run out and quickly replace, because I rely heavily on this portable storage for all things I do in my office. My Sandisk lasted 6 months before it crapped out. This one has been going strong for 2 and so far, I like it. It had no pre-loaded crap on it, which I also appreciated. Thanks, PNY. Since it could still die any moment, I give it a 4 of 5.

Batman: Streets of Gotham – issue #1 – Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen – $3.99

In this new Batman:Reborn thing that DC is doing, they’ve gotten Dini – one of the all-time best writers (in my opinion) – to pen two of the new titles: this and Gotham City Sirens. I’m actually passing on that one for now but this week I picked up SoG and was not disappointed. At first, I was slightly opposed to the art style – a little too cartoony – but it proved to be a fairly good read. They introduce a new villain to occupy Batman’s time and then they bring in Tommy Elliot. “Hush”, as he’s also known, is a big-time Batman adversary and since he now looks like Bruce (creepy in the aftermath of Bruce’s so-called death) it’s a very interesting twist that we see him playing chess with, of all people, Damian. I’m looking forward to where this goes and the evolution of things. The last page made me want moar! 4.5 out of 5.d and d

Queensland chicken salad – Outback restaurants, $10.99

Normally, we’re creatures of habit, Ash and I. We get the Outback special (sirloin, 9 ounce) every. single. time. But last Friday, I was not feeling red meat and opted for this salad instead. It contains: lettuce, bacon, boiled egg, blue cheese crumbles, almond pieces and their chicken, which is cold on top but seasoned and SO yummy. This is the kind of salad that makes you think about it later, lovingly, fondly, lustfully. I couldn’t stop. So when Ash suggested Outback take-out again last night, I was In Like Flynn (Now, I know you think it’s Flint but the original catchphrase was Flynn, like Errol). Again, this salad did not disappoint. I didn’t eat it all at 8 when we had dinner but around 10:30, I revisited it and let me tell you: just as good. 5 out of 5 and two enthusiastic thumbs up.

That’s all for now. Have you recently purchased something you want to gush or rant about? Lemme know!

In dreams

I have not been having very vivid dreams lately. I normally do and remember them soon as I wake. Seems that I have been all too exhausted and sleeping right on through ’til morning, never waking to remember the scenes played out in my subconscious. But this morning, when the alarm sent me bolting up in my bed, I was jolted from a rather horrific and all-too real dream.

I was giving birth to a second child. The dream began with me actually in the hospital delivering it right then and there. I don’t think that part took place but I know I had the baby, they took it away from me and then brought it back some time later. When the nurse brought it to me, it was a boy and I distinctly remember feeling disappointed. This shocked me even in the dream because I felt like I wanted a girl. And to be honest, I never ever thought I did. But the weirder thing about this baby was that he was not an infant.

This kid had a lot of hair and as many teeth as Elliot and he was already 30 inches long. Put it this way: Elliot was about 19 when he was born. So my first assumption was that they swapped my baby for this kid. I put in a complaint – I remember feeling very distraught – and a woman said I would have to wait in a line to give the baby back. I was suddenly outside and waiting in a long line of people, in a switchback line (like at Disney) and I was still holding this boy. Frustrated, I made the decision to enter the woods behind said line.

And that’s where the dream changed course. The baby was gone and I was in a group of people who appeared to be traveling together, a caravan. Not really paying attention, looking down as I walked, I saw some strange green boots. And I looked up to see Green Arrow:green arrow

There were others: Hawkman, Wonder Woman, and a slew of Justice League members. I stayed in the group, walking towards an unknown place. We came upon a structure, not unlike a ziggurat, and from a door at the top stepped a menacing figure to, presumably, kill us all:

menacing sladeAnd that is when I awoke.

It was one of those dreams where you are kind of freaked out once conscious and the dream swirls through your head all fuzzy and you are appalled at the events. I remember being scared when Deathstroke the Terminator appeared before us, even though he’s by far my favorite DC villain. (And he can be kinda sexy at times. I mean, hello!)

sexy slade

But the dream freaked me right the heck out due to the baby part.

Does this mean I will have a boy but be disappotined? I wouldn’t have guessed that. Freaky. I’m tired now and didn’t have time to get coffee after my early dentist appointment. It’s gonna be a rough day. What have you dreamed about lately??

Birth Control: pros, cons, lack of care

If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, it’s no secret that Ash and I are attempting to create another little monster, much like Elliot. (On most days this seems like a great idea. On some, I curl up into a ball and cry, “Two? I can’t handle two!!) The last time, I was off the pill a mere week before Elliot was conceived. I know, I’m a modern miracle. But since I have been off it for about six months this time, I have had the chance to notice the differences. Here’s a list of the goods and bads of being off of it.

Pro: I don’t have to remember to take it. Though, it was never that hard for me in the first place. I just set an alarm on my phone. What would we do without cell phones though, you know?

Con: My random outbreaks of acne are not as in check. It doesn’t happen often but when I was taking it, I never really had any. Now, every month I get some. Blah. I’m not 13 anymore!

Pro: (Warning: TMI realm approaching)  Birth control tends to suppress your, uh, sexual appetite.  I really used to notice this and it was frustrating and sad. Now off it, well, let’s just say that’s not a problem anymore and it’s official that once we have the second kid, Ash will be getting a vasectomy and we’ll say goodbye to birth control forever. In some ways, I am actually kind of thankful for this. ;)

Con: I guess this is a stretch but being off gives you this subconscious idea that you will indeed get pregnant. And since that has not happened, it’s been disappointing.

Pro: I save ten bucks a month. This is obviously reassigned to more necessary things, like vanilla lattes and comics.

I guess there weren’t as many as I thought. Maybe I am just trying to say, in a round about way, that the progress of our household becoming 4 instead of 3 is sort of a stand-still and I am getting, well, not annoyed but almost lackadaisical about it. I’m wondering why the fates have seen fit to put it off this long; are Elliot and this baby meant to be even further apart than I had hoped/imagined?  Perhaps that’s going to end up being better/easier? Whatever the case, I guess I’ll need to just learn to accept it as it is. And stop worrying so damn much.

Sacrifices

Last night, I had mowed the rest of the lawn (called on account of a freak thunderstorm on Sunday) and worked out, showered and gotten all ready to sit down and write. I was feeling it too, really motivated. Got out ye olde laptop, sat down on the couch, and that’s when Ash got home from mountain biking. Laptop down, made him a sandwich because he was beat. Granted, it was 100 degrees out there and the boys DID bike for almost three entire hours. He handed me his Under Armour – soaked through with sweat – and went to get cleaned up. Sigh. Laundry started, sandwich on the table, he turned on Jon and Kate plus 8 (UGH, I refuse to watch that anymore) and I tried to start writing.

“Whatchya writin’?”

“Just some fiction”, I replied. Which was true.

“Can I read it?”

“Um, no.”

Only slightly crushed, Ash went back to watching TV but began commenting on everything he changed it to: NBA Finals sucked, What happened to TLC’s programming?!?, All new 16 And Pregnant!, Three months of no sports now… And that is when I closed the laptop and went into my room to read. There are very few times anymore when I am that pumped up to write, when I am in the groove. And I could clearly see that it was not going to happen.

But this is a sacrifice I make.

And I was thinking this weekend, as we were moving the TV out from the wall to install  a new cable, that as a spouse, you “allow” a lot of things. You are understanding about certain things because it helps keep the house balanced and harmonious. Another example is that of the Ugly Asian Statues.

ugly statues

Do you see them on top of our television? I really do not like them. I’m not into that type of art really, but the thing that bugs me about them is their height and placement. They’re meant for side tables or something but not where we have them, which is the only place to have them. And Ash would have it no other way. They were his mother’s. Even though they bug the hell out of me and sometimes get wobbly and threaten to go crashing to the floor if you so much as breathe near them, I allow and accept them.

I suppose in some ways, Ash must do the same with me. Though I can’t think of anything that may annoy him that much. Admittedly, though I keep our house really neat and clean at almost all times, I have one downfall, one hidden “Monica closet” (if you get that, high fives!). On the side of my bed, where you cannot see from the door, I tend to pile clothes. Usually it’s a shirt I intend to wear again or some shorts that are clearly not dirty. But it can get out of control. And sometimes he mentions it in passing. This is the balance.

I guess I kind of like feeling that we both have exceptions to rules and forgive each other for these minor infractions, annoying though they may be. Just like karma, what goes around comes around. It pays to allow these things for it always comes back to you. I get to go to a Pampered Chef party in two weeks when Ash would normally be playing Magic.

Do you have an item in your house that you can’t stand and/or a specific behaviour of your significant other that bugs the hell out of you? Please, do tell.

Weekend in bullets

  • On Friday, Ash was really tired so I let him take a nap and Elliot and I went to Target. When we got back and E was in bed, Ash and I laid in bed ’til 8 when I got us Outback takeout and we didn’t work out and we just hung around and watched TV. Gotta have nights like that now and then.
  • Saturday consisted of grocery shopping, napping, reading, going into work(!), Buying the new Rolling Stone with Adam Lambert on the cover, Max Payne (which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be), and another trip to Target, of course. I had to wait in line but when I got up there, the barista had already made my drink. This may be a sign that I have a problem.
  • On Sunday, Elliot and I went to the mall and Old Navy and he got some t-shirts – I found nothing for me! – and we had some pool time. I didn’t watch most of the Magic/Lakers game; it was too depressing. We watched Dark Knight instead because Ash hadn’t seen it in a while. I had to control my geek-out moments and it wasn’t easy.
  • I took Zyrtec all 3 nights of the weekend and woke each morning feeling like a zombie and needing copious amounts of caffeine.
  • I’m really struggling to produce anything today because I cannot focus. So I apologize for the bad entry. Tomorrow, more substance.

The post that took me all week

Why is it that I can have this seemingly awesome idea for a blog post and then when it’s time to actually write it, it doesn’t seem so great anymore? I guess ideas tend to be like that. Has something to do with that brief moment you discover them. Like when I suddenly realized that when Batman died, his sons (except Damian) all became orphans for the *second* time. Messed up! But then, of course, I realized how many other people have probably already realized that and it’s not even that cool.

But I guess I’ll proceed with the post I was thinking about last night, for the hell of it. I had just finished watching Teen Titans and the episode of JLU didn’t look interesting so I flipped it to the music stations. On DirecTV you get XM radio as well. I landed on the Chill station, where they play artists like: Moby, Eno, Thievery Corporation, Zero 7, Chemical Brothers, and Air. It’s laid back and great for taking a nap by. Or, as I was thinking last night, it’d be great to have on while you’re getting high.

Now, I would not consider myself highly experienced when it comes to drugs. Like any teenager, I took the chances when I had them. I knew some people in high school who were dropping acid all the time. I was a lightweight and kind of a wuss when it came to getting in trouble for things so the extent of my substance usage was limited to getting kinda drunk with my friends watching old Pee Wee’s Playhouse episodes. Sure, we smoked cloves in mass quantities when we drank coffee at Denny’s but other than that, I didn’t even mess around with stuff until college.

The first time I smoked pot, I was sitting in a car with a couple guys I’d known in high school and some other random people – I don’t recall it now. I was nervous but had jumped at the chance because – and this is sad – I knew it would piss off my goody-goody roommates. As they passed the joint around, all I remember feeling was hungry. The guy to my left was sniffing a deck of cards – I remember this clearly – and he kept saying how great they smelled.

There were a few other times but the time I remember with the most fondness was in 2005. We were having some people over; maybe just seven or eight, and we had been playing Circle of Death and drinking beer. Somehow, this turned into that Never Have I Ever game and our friend, Kelly, said he’d never smoked pot. Of course, our friend, Chris, jumped on that opportunity, made a quick trip, and was back before we knew it. Some people had passed out already so me, Ash, Chris, Kelly, Randy and this other girl went to our back porch to light up.

I recall now the feeling of drifting away. Being aware I was still on said porch in a circle of friends and hazey cloud hanging over us. But I felt far away, removed from the actual reality. At times I worried – briefly – that we were going to get in trouble. But with whom?  I don’t know. Then someone said something funny – I guess – and someone else replied. “Mmm hmm.” And then we kept saying that over and over and laughing hysterically. These were good times. When I was 24. And didn’t have a kid or a full-time job.

And I don’t know what the point of all this was except I look back on my past with fondness. And I don’t miss those days. But I sure like that chill music. It definitely suits my weekend naps a lot better than smoking a joint.

And yes, it really did take me all week to write that. I kept opening wordpress and then closing it and writing something else, you know, actually working. The week was busy and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, if it could ever be so with a toddler around. So peace out, folks. Feel free to share any memories you have that you look back on with only fondness and warm fuzziness.

Momentum

Monday afternoon, when I was running out of steam and decided to close all my Word documents and stop grading papers, I did a search on my blog for the phrase “night rain”, because I know I once wrote about it.

March 2, 2007:

I have always liked the words “night rain” together. They sound so poetic. We were surrounded by horrific storms all last night as they swept across the panhandle of Florida and lower regions of Alabama and Georgia. Around 12:30, the wind began to pick up, sending various bits of loose tree branches across our wooden deck and crashing down onto our roof. Soon after, the booming thunder began to rumble.

I remember this time; I was newly pregnant – just about 2 months – and my life was simpler and I felt more poetic about things like storms and such. I often wrote what I was thinking in an actual journal. In fact, up until about maybe five months ago, I still occasionally did. I’ve drifted from this lately, due in part to the lack of desire and my carpal tunnel.

**************

When I woke this morning and was driving Elliot to school, “Only Time Will Tell” by Asia came on the 80s on 8 xm station. The sound of the song – Asia has a tendency to play big, epic sounds – made me think of my past in a sort of warm fuzzy way. As always, I go in cycles of feeling this way and I embrace them; picturing brief moments, like snapshots.

On my way back from lunch, I saw various kids in the neighbourhood outside, in their yards and driveways, lazily shooting hoops or trying tricks on boards, and I remember those summers when I could do just that: nothing.

All this is leading up to me actually feeling compelled to write, and not just saying in my blog that I want to. Because I have done that numerous times! I opened a Word document today and stared at it a while, actually getting some really good ideas. But then work caught up with me and I have been busy ever since. I am jealous of people who actually carve out time in their days to write. I could do this, surely, after Elliot is in bed. But I am usually busy with: laundry, dishes, working out, TV (ok, you gotta give me some veg out time), and/or other various things that don’t include sitting at a computer, which I happened to have done ALL DAY. And now, since Ash’s motherboard died and my processor is on the outs, we’re sharing the one backup machine and my god, I don’t know how other folks do it. I think we’re spoiled.

And as I bring this post to a close, I begin to type the first few sentences of this new document… that will hopefully turn into something. Wish me luck…

Status: overloaded

I am feeling slightly overwhelmed. I need a very large, concise list of everything I should not forget to do and yet, making this list seems like the hardest thing. I keep forgetting to do little things for my job. Nothing that would lead to a disaster; just small “oh shit” moments.

The weekend was a nice break that included: woodsy trail walking, throwing sticks off a bridge, playground playing, sidewalk chalk scribbling, cauliflower and ranch dressing, tacos, Slumdog Millionaire, Up, TCBY, laundry, budget-making, and naps. I got a nap both Saturday AND Sunday, which was wonderful. I have been kind of sleepy lately, even though I would say I have also been working out more, which I thought might boost my energy levels. Alas, I feel like I JUST worked out… all the time.

But yes, overloaded. I have about six books of which I have read approximately 35 pages of each. I have run out of bookmarks. There are household tasks piling up in my mind (paint baseboards, new carpet, clean out closets). We have two first birthday parties to attend soon, which means presents will need to be procured.

I just went back and read some older blog entries and I am feeling rather nostalgic for the days before kids. I love Elliot; there has been no greater, more fulfilling time in my life – honest to God. But I sometimes miss the days when I could wake up whenever and do whatever. It’s not worse now, just different. And even when I felt like my life was so very full up with STUFF, it was nothing compared to how it is with a child. And I can only imagine what two will be like. And yet, every month since December, I have been hoping and praying I find out that I am pregnant. Sigh.

What are you currently hoping for?