It's Embrace the Lame Day!

Dreamt up by Dave and explained more fully here, Embrace the Lame Day is that day on which we reveal the aspects of ourselves that we believe others might view as, well, lame. Like, if you have a soft spot for Mariah Carey I would imagine that would make your list. It would make mine, anyway. This day helps us not only to laugh at ourselves, but to realize that maybe we're not as lame as we think, because a lot of people are finding characteristics of their own showing up on other peoples' lists. Or something like that. Also, it allows us to point at each other and laugh. Let the pointing begin.

1. I'm almost embarrassed to admit this even here. I collect Sunfire Romance books. Avidly. I loved them in junior high, and I like to say I'm collecting them for future daughters (and I am, because they're historical and clean), but the truth is that I default to them whenever I want to read but I'm too tired to follow a plot.

2. Along the same lines, I've read the Christy Miller books repeatedly. They're pretty badly written (the main guy is usually described as having "screaming silver-blue eyes"), but there it is. They're set in Newport Beach, and I'm a sucker for books set in places I love.

3. I give out fake names at Starbucks when I order coffee. Clint got me started on this. It's usually just funny, but I go to the same Starbucks every Wednesday and Sunday, and not only do the people there know my drink (grande caramel mocha), they also know that my name is Stella and routinely yell "Stella!" at me in their best Marlon Brando imitations. And I can't use my ATM card there, because it would reveal to them that my name is really Kristin. And then I'd feel really dumb.

4. In the personal "selling out" category: I've given in to those stupid pseudo-Italian size designations at Starbucks and actually order talls, grandes, and ventis. I'm totally ashamed of myself for this. I swore I'd never do it.

5. I saw Titanic in the theater 13 times. THIRTEEN TIMES! That's roughly $110 and 45 hours of my life spent on one movie. And then I bought it on video.

6. I will do almost anything for macaroni and cheese and will eat it cold. I've also been known to eat spaghettios straight out of the can.

7. I read Harry Potter fan fiction. I dare any one of you to tell me that's not the lamest thing you've EVER heard anyone admit.

8. I sing out loud LOUDLY to Beastie Boys and Sublime songs. I act all gangsta-tough when I'm really just a little white girl from the OC.

9. Even though I'm not superstitious, I have this thing about fortune cookies. I love them, and I won't read the fortune until I've eaten half of the cookie. It's an old thing my friend Joy started in highschool, saying the fortune won't come true unless you do it this way, and I can't break myself of the habit.

10. I watched Little House on the Prairie on DVD today. The episode where Mary goes blind. And I actually got a lump in my throat watching Pa Ingalls cry and listening to the sappy, dramatic 70s violin music.

There. That's enough lameness for this year.


Just one lemming in a sea of lemmings

Is it my fault that Barbara always posts the cool blog things before I discover them? And since Barbara and I have such similar tastes and interests, I'm always open to copying from her. This one's about books. Surprise!

Review the following list of books. Boldface the books you've read, italicize those you might read, cross out the ones you won't, put an asterisk beside the ones on your bookshelves, and place brackets around the ones you've never even heard of. (Except that I'm lame and can't figure out how to cross things out on this template. However, the alternate designation should be obvious.)

The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - Crossed Out (see? I told you!) Call me the weaker brother (or sister), but I just can't see spending my time on something that I see as so anti what I believe. The same way I can't listen to Depeche Mode's Blasphemous Rumours. I can't separate myself from it enough to tolerate it.
*The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
*The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
*The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
*To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) But I prefer the alternate title, Tequila Mockingbird. If my dream ever comes true and I open a coffehouse/used bookstore, this is what it will be called. Maybe.
*The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) I've heard lots of good about this series, so I may check it out someday...
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)
[The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)]
*Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (George Orwell)
*Catch 22 (Joseph Heller) I'm currently reading this one off and on. Though I've been off for so long I'll probably have to start over.
*The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) I've really only read one part of this book so far, and it was the night I got to be the "Guest Reader" for my nieces, Morgan and Lindsay. I felt so famous!
[The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon)] I know Barbara's going to kill me for saying I've never heard of this one.
*Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
*Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
*1984 (George Orwell) I was reading this until I discovered that my copy (bought at the LM library book sale) was missing the last I don't know how many pages.
*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
*One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) So, so good! "The world is round, like an orange!"
Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
[The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)]
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) Borrowed it from a friend, such a weird story. Very creepy.
Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut) Barbara, you're forgiven. I've stopped having nightmares. Now I'm having nightmares about the war scenes in Correlli's Mandolin (book's way better than the movie, by the way. If you read the book you don't have to endure Penelope Cruz's and Nicolas Cage's horrible fake accents).
[The Secret History (Donna Tartt)]
*Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
[Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)]
[Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)]
*Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
*Atonement (Ian McEwan) This book is worth it for its use of descriptive language alone. If anyone could ever create a whole mood in one word, it's McEwan.
[The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)]
*The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway) You just have to be in the right mood for Hemingway, you know? And that mood hits me roughly once every 7 years.
The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) I've always wanted to read this and just haven't gotten to it somehow.
[Dune (Frank Herbert)]
Sula (Toni Morrison) -Crossed Out. I was one of the ones offended by Toni Morrison, though it was The Bluest Eye that got me. I can stand offensive content if it's there for a reason. That book, I felt, was an instance of using a good theme to pedal total trash.
Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier) - Crossed Out. Just doesn't interest me.
[The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)]
[White Teeth (Zadie Smith) ]
*The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton) Poor Lily Bart. I LOVE Edith Wharton, and have read almost everything she wrote. The best, in my opinion, is The Glimpses of the Moon. Also, I think it's the only one that ends happily. You'd think that The House of Mirth would be a funny book, but it's not. The same way that Little Dorrit isn't a little book. It actually weighs more than the Olsen twins put together.


Read by moonlight if you have to

Today is both World Book and Copyright Day and the beginning of National Dark-Sky Week in the U.S. The idea for World Book Day is pretty obvious. Dark-Sky Week is about turning off all unnecessary lights so that we can lessen light pollution and see the night sky better. So I guess what you have to do is grab a candle and a good book and settle in for the evening. It's a good night for that. I'll be reading Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani, a good clean non-subversive book, lest I offend anyone.


Summertime (almost), and the livin' is easy...

Judah is taking a nap. While this is not an unusual occurance around our house these days, the almost four hours he's been asleep today is. I'm usually lucky if I get an hour and a half out of him. He's been cranky and miserable all day today, so I guess he really needed the sleep! Here's what I've gotten done in the last four hours:
1. Wrote a reply to Barbara about yucky people
2. Talked to Christi about how she's NOT pregnant...
3. Emptied the dishwasher
4. Loaded the dishwasher
5. Ate 2 mini Cadbury eggs
6. Thought about sweeping the kitchen floor
7. Checked on Judah to make sure he's still alive
8. Played an unspeakable number of rounds of minesweeper
9. Decided it's time to update my blog

So here I am. It's been a little crazy around here lately. That was mostly because of my decision to take part in our church's Easter play again this year. Every year during rehearsals I moan and groan and tell Nathan to remind me never to do this again, but then every year during the performance I realize it's been worth all the work and it's a really great experience. I didn't have a speaking part, I was just part of the choir. My moment in the spotlight was when I took my mom to Jesus so that he could heal her leprous hands. For the rest of the play I just sang and walked around, and during the market scenes I got to "buy" stuff, so I spent a while chasing down my favorite piece of prop bread (a round flat loaf with a bite taken out of it) and hoping that the audience wouldn't notice that all the bread we were using was leavened, when it was supposed to be the Passover. Hole in the plot. So the play went off with very few hitches on Easter, and now the crazy rehearsal schedule is done.

In the middle of it all, Nathan and I managed to get to our first baseball game of the season, which means it's officially summer, no matter what the calendar says. It was an Angels game, and fun even though we lost to the Rangers 11-3. We also had one of our all-too-infrequent date nights and went to Stubriks. Stubriks! It was so good. I hadn't been there in so long. We ate steak and squaw bread and mashed potatoes and chatted with our favorite waitress, Daphne, who is still working there. (On a side note, I always loved Daphne because she never seemed to want me to pay for my own meal. She always put my food on someone else's bill, and seemed to know when to go from having Scott pay it to having Clint pay it to having Nathan pay it. Thanks for all the food, Clint. I totally owe you.) After dinner we went to see a movie, and I talked Nathan into seeing She's the Man. It totally sucked, and now he gets to choose the movies from now to eternity. In my defense, I honestly thought it would be good because it's based on a Shakespeare play. Ten Things I Hate About You was good....She's the Man was in a different league. The bottom one.

In Judah news....I think I forgot to mention that he turned one! Such a big boy. He's definitely learning things fast these days. He has a whole bag full of tricks: when asked to he will make funny noises with his tongue, "roar," bonk your head with his, hold his arms up to indicate how big he is, do a muscle man pose when asked how strong he is, and clap his hands when we say "Yay!" For those of you who don't have kids yet, some day you will realize that these things are the most important things in the world and your child must be a genius. Just two days ago Judah finally learnned how to feed himself, and yesterday he took his very first steps. Exciting! Oh, and he can say kitty.

That's about it for now.....you're all caught up! And Judah's finally awake, so I'm signing off.


I like to think that I'm eclectic, but it may be that I'm just schizophrenic.

I looked around my bathroom today and realized that just about every usable inch of counter space was covered with books. And then I looked at the large Chinese urn sitting next to the bathtub and realized that the pile of books balanced precariously on top of it is almost taller than the urn itself. I keep books in the bathroom because the bathtub is, of course, the absolute best place in the world to read. At least, it's my location of choice after a long day. I'm in the middle of no less than six books at the moment, which is a little high even for me. And it's not so much the number that makes me think I'm crazy, but the various titles and genres. Here's what I'm reading:

The Bible (my one year Bible - I'm currently about 10 days behind, which is the most caught up I've ever been)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (this is such a good cathartic book, because it's easy to read, but impossible for me to read without crying, on average, every other chapter)
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (won the Newbery award in 1936. My mom spent my entire childhood trying to get me to read this book, and I never did. So I'm making up for it now...)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (because I felt like I should. But I may have to postpone: we're past the time change, and Russian lit isn't really spring or summer reading. It's more like for fall or winter. In the dark. With bread and water. And no heat. And a gun at the ready for suicide when it gets too depressing to bear anymore.)
Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel (amazing stories of the Oregon and California trails. It's so crazy and a little heartbreaking to think that it used to take 6 to 8 months to get from Missouri to Oregon and now it takes 5 hours.)
The Biographer's Tale by A. S. Byatt (amazing author, but it's taking me FOREVER to get into this one)

That's the list at the moment. And there are three more books still in the bathroom that I've either finished or given up on. Time to do some cleaning up, I think. And if you need to find me, you know where I'll be.


Tough guys

This is Judah and Caleb hanging out on Friday. While I was filling in for Nathan's receptionist, Aimee taught Judah and Caleb how to look intimidating, and also how to panhandle! Useful skills, I think. We're going to set Judah up outside the 7-11 tonight to see if he can make us some money. We owe a lot to the IRS this year, and he needs to do his share.