Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
I'm thankful that the election cycle is over and the mudslinging will (hopefully) stop for a while.
I'm thankful for Texas cold fronts.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to rebuild a friendship based on 20+ years of history.
I'm thankful for fall traditions, especially pumpkin carving, high school football, and apple cider.
I'm thankful for anticipation: Christmas is coming!
I'm thankful for bacon, fresh pineapple, and chocolate chip pancakes with real whipped cream.
I'm thankful for my wonderful, handsome, growing-up-too-fast godson.
I'm thankful that I have the ability to love so much it hurts.
I'm thankful for those who foster animals and those who work with animal rescue.
I'm thankful for fuzzy blankets and good books on rainy days.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
This is my favorite passage from the book:
"And I'm not just talking about love. I mean any kind of love. You don't mess around. You don't walk away. You can't."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Get a pen and write in the journal!
Pick up a book and read!
I'm about to turn 36, and I'm tired as hell of being introspective. Since I know it's not possible to change my nature, this post is a get-your-happy-ass-in-gear message to myself.
I've gained weight, and it sucks. Instead of feeling bad about myself, or whining to J. about how none of my clothes fit, I ordered a bike trainer. I'm going to buy a bike this weekend and I'm going to ride it in the mornings and/or evenings while reading a book.
March 2012 is the first month in a very long time that I didn't finish a single book. Nothing held my interest. I set aside three books: The Night Circus, Devil in the White City, and 11/22/63. All these are well-reviewed books, and one of them *should* have grabbed my attention, but none did. I think the biggest reason for this is that I have too many distractions at home now: tv, computer, J., the cats, eating dinner, etc. I am going to make time for reading by doing it while I'm riding my bike each day.
I'm just sick to death of talking about doing things - making a plan for doing things - but then not actually *doing* them! That is going to change. And since we're at the beginning of April, I'm calling these my April Resolutions:
I will read one book per week.
I will ride my bike each day.
I will write in my journal at least once per week.
I will turn off the tv/get off the computer and *do* something.
I will quit smoking.
We'll see how it goes.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
~ Nothing specific, but I hope that J. and I will get out and experience some of the things that Dallas has to offer during the summer.
2. How many times have you been in love?
~ Four: my high school boyfriend, M.M. - my first adult boyfriend, R.S. - my first husband, R.J. - and, of course, J.
3. What's your favorite thing to cook?
~ I love to cook lots of things, and I love to bake, but my favorite is probably lasagna. J. loves my lasagna so much, and since I show love with food, it makes me really happy to see him enjoy it!
4. How often do you exercise?
~ Unless you count walking up one flight of stairs in the parking garage at work, never. I need to improve on that.
5. Are you happy?
~ Very. More than that, I'm content - not complacent, but just extremely happy with where I am, and where J. and I are together, right now.
6. What are five of your hobbies?
~ Reading, watching tv/movies, playing online, writing this blog, and spending time with friends
7. What's your favorite current tv show?
~ I love "Modern Family."
8. Name one of your random dream dates.
~ I really want J. and I to take a tropical vacation someday - that would be an extended dream date!
9. Do you play any mobile/computer/video games? Favorites?
~ No, I'm not into games.
10. How often do you deprive yourself of something?
~ Very, very rarely. See #4.
11. What is your favorite way to relax?
~ Talking with J.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Looking back at your resume, what job experience do you think would make the best book?
From December 2007 to June 2008, I worked for an outsourcing company answering customer service phone calls for AmEx. The things I heard on those phone calls would make a pretty entertaining book! One example: the guy who told me that he needed to cancel his card because it had been stolen by the Peruvian prostitute with whom he'd spent the evening before. Really, man - you could've just said you lost it while traveling!!!
How would you improve the grocery store experience?
I'd require all grocery stores to stock their shelves in the same order. They wouldn't have to carry exactly the same brands/products, but if bread is on aisle 1, then it's on aisle 1 in every store. And if peanut butter goes next to coffee, then it's the same in every store. (Can you tell I hate not being able to find things in the grocery store?)
What’s one book you think every student should read before graduating?
The novel We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver has been on my mind lately. I was able to snag it for a quarter for the Kindle last week, which has made me want to re-read it very soon.
This book is slow at first, but amazingly powerful. I think it should be a must-read before a person decides whether or not to have children. While I understand that it is a novel, and that the outcome presented is only one of an infinite number of possible outcomes, the unfolding story of this family is one that every potential parent should witness.
Monday, March 12, 2012
First of all, Monkey has plenty of time. No matter how I encourage, nag, or yell, none of these cats will find gainful employment. So I keep them in food and toys, while I try to figure out my reward. But I've gotten off topic...
Monkey and Bo spend the majority of their day here:
They're sitting on a shelf in our bathroom window. We're on the second floor, and this window looks down on a (mostly) quiet courtyard with a large tree. Sitting here, they can watch the birds and squirrels. Occasionally, squirrels get on our balcony or on the outer windowsill, which really drives Monkey crazy. His body starts to twitch, and he makes tense little noises in his throat. It's very, very cute.
He will occasionally run from his perch in the window to the back door, which opens onto a balcony with stairs going down into the courtyard. Today, he began running to the door and trying to turn the doorknob with his paws.
I'm pretty sure that damn cat can read.
Friday, March 9, 2012
When someone asks if you’ve read a book, and you’ve actually listened to the audiobook version, do you point that out when answering?
~ I don’t listen to audiobooks, so no. But if I did, and someone asked, “Did you read X?” I would probably answer, “I listened to it.”
Tomorrow is Middle Name Pride Day. If you could re-middle-name yourself, what new name would you choose?
~ This is easy, since I *did* re-middle-name myself. I was born Carol Elaine D---. When I married the first time, I dropped Elaine, and legally changed my middle name to my maiden name. Now that J. and I are married, my maiden name is my legal middle name, and my last name matches J’s.
You have to install a coin-operated arcade game wherever you are right now. For that specific spot, what game would be the most successful?
~ I’m at home, and since this was/is J’s favorite arcade game, I’ll say Super Mario Bros. He just told me that if we had that game and an Addams Family pinball machine, he’d be playing one or the other right now.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic by Kathleen Valentine (novella) - Rating: 3
Freaks by Tess Gerritsen (Kindle single) - Rating: 3
Almost Perfect: the True Story of the Crawford Family Murders by Greg Fogarty - Rating: N/A
The Five Love Languages: the Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman - Rating: N/A
Mile 81 by Stephen King (Kindle single) - Rating: 3
Are You Lonesome Tonight? by Mishka Shubaly (Kindle single ) - Rating: 4
Friday, February 17, 2012
(Now that I actually have followers of my blog, I’d love to see your responses in the comments here. Tell me what you think, friends!)
What was your favorite magazine as a kid?
~ I *loved* Cricket magazine. Thanks to my grandparents, I had a subscription for many years. I can remember at one point having a stack of issues in my closet about three feet tall! In high school, I read Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Games. Today, I subscribe to Redbook, Glamour, Everyday with Rachael Ray, O: the Oprah Magazine, Smithsonian, and Discover. What can I say? I love magazines!
Do you have a (true) story about scattering a person’s ashes somewhere special?
~ No, but I intend to be cremated and to have my ashes scattered in a very special place. Where that very special place is, I haven’t decided yet.
What historical pairings would you like to read more about?
~ I wish I knew more about Socrates and Plato, and about Plato and Aristotle.
What’s the silliest thing that scares your pet?
~ Oh, my sweet Monkey is scared of *everything.* Let’s see…plastic grocery sacks, people, his kitty sisters, dry cleaning bags, paper sacks, newspapers…I think I’ll stop there, lest I embarrass the boy.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Daily tasks can be really annoying when you're having hand tremors.
Let me back up. I've been doing extremely well on my treatment for depression since May 2011; I was stable on 225 mg of Effexor. But over the last month or so, I've noticed mood swings. A couple of weeks ago I came home to find that John had made cookies - the same cookies I'd been promising to make him for several weeks. I instantly burst into tears, and by the next morning, I realized it was time to add a mood stabilizer. My doctor had mentioned that I might need to add one when I started the Effexor, since I'd had to take one before to maintain level emotions, but we decided to wait until I needed it.
Because I've taken Abilify before, the doctor started me on 10 mg and we made an appointment to follow up one week later. My appointment was on January 30. At the appointment, I told him that I was already starting to feel better, so we kept the Abilify as-is. Since I really want to quit smoking, he also started me on 150 mg of Wellbutrin. (I know, I'm a walking crazy-pill pharmacy.) I've taken Wellbutrin before, and stopped because it gave me hand tremors, but since that was almost 10 years ago, I decided to try again.
Yeah...I have tremors. They're not debilitating, but they're irritating the hell out of me! I need steady hands for lots of things I do, more than I realized. Some of these things:
~ Putting in and taking out contact lenses
~ Painting my toenails - this is already not my best skill, but hand tremors make it so much worse. I just get my toenails covered and clean up the mess around them after they're dry.
~ Writing in my journal - I *just* started writing in a journal again, and now it's difficult to do that. My handwriting is already atrocious; that's why I wanted to keep a hand-written journal. But I'm not giving up; I'm going to keep writing and hope it gets better.
~ Typing - proofreading is even more important to me now, since I make about a gazillion errors in every paragraph I type. I don't necessarily think this one is the fault of the tremors, though. There seems to be a short somewhere between my brain and my hands, causing my hands to type incorrect letters. Occasionally I forget how to spell a word. On Friday I was trying to type the word "doubt," but I typed "dought." I knew it was wrong, but it took me a few seconds to remember WHY it was wrong, and how to spell it correctly.
I am still taking the Wellbutrin, and don't intend to stop, at least for now. I'm hopeful that these side effects will pass, but if they don't, I think they'll be manageable. I should only have to be on the Wellbutrin for three to six months, as long as I can stay off the cigarettes. We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Kelle's photographs are amazing, and it always surprises me how seeing photos of her girls can make me happy. I'm not a kid person, but Nella's huge, cheeseball smiles never fail to make me smile. And Kelle has a way of saying things that makes me think, "Yes! That's the feeling I've been trying to put into words!!!"
Yesterday, she did it better than ever. Here's a quote: "...Because if there's one thing I have a problem with, it's joy-suckers. Don't suck my joy. Don't suck someone else's joy. You think I don't know what's ahead?"
The only way to do justice is to share Kelle's post with you. Please, enjoy Joan of Arc on Enjoying the Small Things.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo - Rating: N/A
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - Rating: 5
World Without End by Ken Follett – Rating: 4.5
Friday, January 27, 2012
What is your all-time favorite fact?
~ Best useless trivia ever: Chevy Chase was the original drummer for the band that later became Steely Dan.
If you had to add a non-traditional pet to your life — no cats, dogs, fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters, or anything you’ve ever owned before — what would you choose, and what would you name it?
~ In addition to cats and dogs, I will someday have pygmy goats, donkeys, and a raccoon. Ooooh, and maybe a hedgehog! No idea what any of them will be named; I have to wait and see what name fits each animal.
What is the one niche subject you believe you know more about than anyone else reading this post?
~ Eh, these questions are always so hard to answer; I’m sure it would be much easier for my friends to answer this for me. Hmm…oh! I am the queen of random movie quotes.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
A while back I bought a book of exercises for training your brain to write. I may do some of those and post the results here. I'm also going to start writing in a journal again, and I may translate some of those musings into posts. And I've got some other ideas to jump-start my writing, including working with some of my favorite quotes.
I don't want the few followers I have to give up on me. Not that I have anything especially important to say, but I like knowing that when I put up a new post, one (or more) of my friends might read it. If you have suggestions for me, I'm all ears. I hope you'll stay tuned...I'll try to give you something soon.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
~ Had a really awesome Christmas with J. I found him some amazing stocking stuffers online, and was so excited to give him all his gifts. The best part was that I had a large credit with Amazon, so I got everything for very little cash.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
~ I don’t make resolutions, but I am going to quit smoking this year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
~ Yes, a close friend finally had a boy (after having two girls).
4. Did anyone close to you die?
~ I lost my grandmother on November 2. It has been difficult for all of us, and we’re still adjusting, but I can already see that some good has come from her illness. My family is closer than we’ve been in at least ten years.
5. What countries did you visit?
~ I did not travel outside the U.S.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
~ I would like for my stepsons to be a part of our life.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
~ I don’t know that any dates will stick in my mind, but I’ll always remember being forced to move because our lives were threatened by our landlord, and dealing with my grandmother’s illness and death.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
~ Making a good impression on three different bosses. I started the year under a property manager I’d been with since November 2010. In August, I was moved under an interim property manager. She can’t say enough good things about me, and wants very much to see my career advance. In September, the interim manager was replaced by the new manager. She has also been very impressed with me, and began talking about me being promoted within a week of beginning to work with me.
9. What was your biggest failure?
~ I don’t know if it is really a failure, but I’m having an extremely hard time being patient with my mom. She handled my grandmother’s illness so well, and I let myself believe that she was not going to fall apart the way I had feared. As the numbness has worn off and reality has begun to set in, her mood swings are off the charts, and I’m having a very hard time dealing with it.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
~ Nothing serious. I had a tooth pulled in July, and the recovery was much more difficult than anticipated.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
~ J. was my rock in 2011. From the recurrence of depression in the spring, to my recovery from having a tooth pulled, to my grandmother’s passing, he was by my side. I am continually amazed by how very much he loves me, and how good our relationship is.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
~ My mom’s. I’ll have to talk about that later.
14. Where did most of your money go?
~ Bills and things we needed. Each of us lost a lot in our divorces, and the first two years of our relationship, we had zero extra money. In 2011, we were finally able to get things we really needed: a computer, new clothes, and a few things for our home.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
~ J. got me a Kindle for Christmas, and I’m still very excited about that! I love it even more than I thought I would, and it has made me fall even more in love with reading.
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
~ “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? ~ Happier
b) thinner or fatter? ~ About the same
c) richer or poorer? ~ Richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
~ Taking time for myself
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
~ We were not able to travel for Christmas in 2011, as we originally planned. However, several of the things that prevented us from going this year are now out of the way (or will be by Christmas 2012), so we have already re-booked our trip.
We spent Christmas 2011 at our home with the kitties. We opened presents, played with the cats’ new toys, and watched season one of Dexter all day. It was wonderful!
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
~ Yes, I fell even more in love with J.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
~ “Modern Family”
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
~ No. Hatred only hurts the hater; the person who is hated doesn’t care. I do my best to work through and let go of negative feelings about others.
25. What was the best book you read?
~ Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
~ I didn’t fall in love with any new artists in 2011. I’m getting to the age where all the new music just sounds like crap, so I’m listening to old favorites almost exclusively.
27. What did you want and get?
~ Another year with J. Even though there were some stressful times during the year, our marriage is strong, and we are happy – individually and together. Nothing else matters.
28. What did you want and not get?
~ To become fabulously wealthy
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
~ We watch lots of movies that I like, so I don’t know if I could pick one. I’ll answer this way: we went to one movie in the theater in 2011 (our first time going to the theater together). We saw “127 Hours.”
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
~ I turned 35 in April. We went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant with J.’s sister and brother-in-law and some other friends.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
~ See #28.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
~ Comfortable and classic – I don’t like fashion.
33. What kept you sane?
~ J., as always
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
~ Princess Catherine
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
~ It wasn’t an issue, but a person. Texas governor Rick Perry is running for the GOP nomination. A rotten tomato would be a better choice for President. I believe that he is not just incompetent, but dangerous. It seems that the rest of the country agrees with me, since he’s currently dead last in the polls.
36. Who did you miss?
~ My Mema
37. Who was the best new person you met?
~ My current boss
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
~ I learned that sometimes - when you get the chance to say goodbye, and you know the person is ready to go - letting a loved one pass into the next life can feel like a (bittersweet) celebration.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
~ From “Crazy Girl” by Eli Young Band:
“I wouldn't last a single day
I'd probably just fade away
Without you I'd lose my mind
Before you ever came along
I was living life all wrong
The smartest thing I ever did was make you all mine”
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich - Rating: 4.5
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry - Rating: 5
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – Rating: 5
Micro by Michael Crichton & Richard Preston – Rating: 4
Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris - Rating: 4