Monday, December 31, 2007

Well, shucks

I was just getting my blubbery goodness in gear to declare and write some New Year's resolutions (math for J and cookies for me), when Norma came to the door kindly bearing a tub full of cookies. Ug. I was trying to gather some fledgling will power and it's been dashed. I was visibly distressed. She said to eat some today as an EOY celebration. Yeah, I could eat a dozen over the course of a day, I could. And that's just the point. My goal isn't to not have cookies all year, it's to have self control about them. However, I went to Subway yesterday and turned my back on the cookies for that trip. I was proud.

So here's to my last hurrah on cookies. I'm sure my son will help me enforce it tomorrow.

And to J's desire to pull up his failing math grade past the C he got it to a mid-term. I can't believe that that's the first thing to pop in his mind, but I'm proud of his intentions.


As I was leaving to go to the dinner on Xmas Day afternoon, I glanced up the street and saw my neighbor. He was quietly standing in the yard holding a coffee mug. I was so freaking glad to see him.

He wasn't due home for three weeks, but the replacement for his job supporting Iraq (was in the Middle East but not in Iraq) came early, so he left early. With no fanfare or warning to his family, he got home on the evening of Dec 22. From the airport, he caught a ride (knowing him, took a bus) and just knocked on his front door.

That's just so him.

They're the SIF couple who have b/g IVF twins turning two in a few weeks.


Also on Xmas Day, there was a real tussle Down South, way south on the Antarctic, which required medical evacuation to New Zealand. Because nobody is fessing up, the buzz is that what happens in Antarctica, stays in Antarctica. Although the article said that the two involved weren't scientists, I guess it was the same outpost as blogger, Julius, who is a wonderful read and great photographer.


Back when I had my big old house and I actually decorated for Xmas, each year I would transform our Xmas tree into a New Year's tree. I would remove the angel and ornaments, leaving the garland and lights. I even sewed a New Year's tree skirt. For the limbs, I'd collected various New Year's decorations, added streamers, and transformed our tree into a new season completely. I got the idea from a little BH&G blurb, but I see someone else has the idea, too.

To be clear, this isn't the traditional version of a New Year Tree. Guess it is the Americanized version.

I always thought that if I had a kid born after Xmas, I'd make this brightly colored tree in celebration. Growing up, both my aunt and her daughter had birthdays a few days after Xmas and it seemed so conflicting. I think a Birthday/New Year's tree would have been great for the transition.


Due to my year end readings, I feel compelled to make a list of some kind. Or two.

According to my account records and the ratings I did after I watched each movie, these are my 5-star earning NetFlix rentals for this year:
American History X
The Story of the Weeping Camel
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Manhattan (for my son)
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Dear Frankie (which I rent every year)
Paper Clips (for both my son and I)
Eddie Izzard: Glorious
The Great Escape

In turn, here are my lowest (2-star) rated rentals:
Schultze Gets the Blues
Mrs. Brown
The Opposite of Sex
Farewell My Concubine
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Velvet Goldmine
Melinda and Melinda
Japanese Story
8 1/2 Women (my only 1-star of the year)

To elaborate about a few of the failures:
Mrs. Brown - I hate period movies, should have never rented it
Velvet Goldmine - when my mother called, I told her I was watching a movie more stupid than Rocky Horror (which I like) and she cringed; I realized that Jonathan Rhys Meyers in glam drag looks exactly like Scarlett Johansson
Melinda and Melinda - could Woody Allen get any more confusing or boring? I was never vested, even though I liked the lead actress in other things before.
Japanese Story - although I love Toni Collette (congrats on the new baby, ol' lady!), she failed miserably on this "love" story
8 1/2 Women - defies words, that ridiculous, although some of the cinematography was beautiful

Wishing you a Happy New Year full of good surprises, lots of love, and masses of personal wealth.

I don't ask for much for my buddies!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pervy Sunday

Posted Sunday, so you're not checking this at work. But then, you're probably not working again until Wednesday anyway. Except you brite of the odd hours.

I wish I'd have thought of this (beyond my cuke fantasy) with my disinterested ex

who was a dickhead when I was married to him. Oh look, here's one now!

I wonder if Jamie-Lynn used one of these?

They learn young.

Sorry, it's 3am and I'm a little punchy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Seeking happiness

Saturday Scavenger word: happy

Following is a case of overkill, admittedly. I am really good at faking happiness and here I am trying a little too hard, the overachiever in me showing. But doing this made me feel happier, so good for me.

These things make me happy...

painting rocks into houses
doing soft pastel still lifes
painting with soft pastels outdoors
that I didn't give away this painting to someone I thought was going to be my BIL
that the limb crashing down on my car didn't make me lose control during the storm and
that my son was not in his usual place in the far back seat when the glass shattered
seeing a volcano erupt
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
a good stogiehaving my son and motherhood, as I wonder why I waited until I was 35 and limited my chances
volunteering, even when it made my son mournful to share me
Janie Betta, who would wag her tail in excitement whenever I came to visit
my babies loving each other
Spencie, who scratches where he should
Memphie, Super Vampire Cat
Boomer/Boumer, who slathers me with true puppy love
and this SeaWorld dolphin who makes me smile back.

Friday, December 28, 2007

2008: 365

To blog or not to blog. That is the question.

Although I celebrated and discussed NaMoBloMo during November, I quietly kept up daily writing for December, too. Now I see there's the opportunity for doing it as a group all next year as well. I am deciding if I'm up for it. Let me know if you are going to do it.

The "rules" are a little more lax than the November version. You can blog offline (handwritten even!!!) in an emergency and insert it where it should go when given the chance. I think that would work for during our cruise - there could be a daily photo gallery in retrospect.

I have come to realize that I like my blog a lot more when I post often; others seems to like it more, too, because I get additional readers and extra comments. Primarily, I want it as a personal record and frequent blogging is the only way for me to not broadly cast things in a blur. Blogging also helps me remember pertinent details, very important to my stickler personality. So, perhaps I've talked myself into it here?

Want to join me in the daily blather? Or misc pictures? Or YouTube treasures? Or inane memes?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the road again

We're in full travel mode. Earlier this month, I got my passport renewed. Amazingly, it took less than 10 days total turnaround. Today we're going to the PO to get J's first one. I wish him a lifetime of travel! (Did you know that even babies are required to have passports now? I looked it up on a whim, never expecting J to need one.)

This new one is my third passport. I got my first when I was 21 and going to Europe for a month on a (drunken) college trip. For my renewal in 1997, I was pregnant and going to visit ex when he was stationed in Germany. That one expired in March and my third is for our cruise during Spring Break.

I rarely talk about my travels here, but I would like to take the opportunity to share now. My favorite things to do here and abroad are to see architecture and visit art museums. I've been to most of the major art museums in Europe, something I am so proud to have prioritized in my youth. I also love to go to grand cathedrals and am a sucker for stained glass and carved stone, so castles work, too. Hence, Caribbean travel, well, it's just not what this city sightseer prefers, but of course I'll gladly do it. heh

For the record, all of this is personal travel, not business. Only four trips were due to military conjugal visits - 2 to Germany, 2 to Korea. I travel on the cheap, so none were extravagant. That's how I accomplish so much, I think. The trip to Scotland, England, and Wales in 1993, I did on my own with a backpack.

Here's my list of countries visited in order of destination:
Canada (many times)
England (2x)
France (2x)
Germany (both as West Germany and Plain Germany, 3x)
South Korea (2x)
North Korea
Mexico (2x)



Belize City


Roatan Port

Grand Cayman

Stingray City - see the stingrays?

Costa Rica

Arenal (Exceedingly Hot) Volcanic Springs

I really want to go to Prague and Vienna (either one for Thanksgiving one year - I want to see the Klimt stuff in Vienna especially), plus some place in South America - I'm flexible. And Morocco, although it seems very dangerous.

What countries have you visited? What am I missing? What would you like to reminisce about? Where do you dream of going? What do you especially like to see when you travel?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday hangover. Not really.

We had a lovely day yesterday. I took J to his dad's at noon. Calling as we were enroute, they were quite impatiently waiting for him, as they were holding off opening gifts. J and his 17yo step brother both got gaming chairs which were great hits. I'm glad when they do things together. I got ex and J wrist walkie talkies for hiking, but the boys put them to good use yesterday, especially while gaming in different rooms. When I talked to ex today, he seemed to appreciate his gifts. I told him I'd gotten him the camel back for when they hike or camp, as he doesn't usually run far enough to need one. He replied that there was another reason for it: the desert. I agreed that it had occurred to me as well.

After dropping off J, I went to see the Dewey Cox movie. It was good, not great. I figured my pervy self would enjoy it more. The "Let's Duet" song was a riot, although reading it you don't hear the necessary pauses. The movie did, however, reinforce one thing for me: John C. is one ugly mofo. Yeah, and I kept flashing to his distasteful rape jokes from this video.

Later I went to an Xmas singles dinner. A delicious surprise, filet mignon was the main course . There were about a dozen of us and we played games after dinner. I am good at games, smarty pants that I am, so I really enjoyed that part. I stayed 4:30 to 12:30, so I was well ocuppied. And no alpha females or exes were there, thank goodness.

I forgot to post this yesterday, so continued greetings of the season...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

First round

We had our first round of gift opening a few hours ago.

J picked out gifts for me to open and vice versa.

I tore into the fuzzy black slippers and now I oddly feel like I am wearing my cats on my feet. Meow.

J's very much enjoyed the GI Joes I got him, the desert soldier in particular. Little does he know what the future potentially holds. Ex thought he would hear back from his high powered friend on Friday, didn't, and wonders if the friend is trying to spare his Xmas.

Another gift J had me open was a heavy, tiny box. It felt like a dense bar of soap; I absolutely love smelly bars of soap. As I was slashing though the paper, I saw "Pour Homme" written on the box and almost laughed, but restrained myself. Ex (or his wife, I think, was in charge of this) always lets J pick gifts without guidance, whereas I steer or just go ahead and pick for him. Ex's system is how I got the four foot tall wooden giraffe a few years ago, J insisting that I collect giraffes and ex knowing that my sister is the one.

When J saw the bottle, he got disappointed on his own, lamenting, "That's cologne, isn't it, Mom." I smiled and showed him the "Pour Homme" on the box and said it's no wonder, because he doesn't speak French. I told him, however, that I often like colognes, how one of my favorite perfumes I wear is actually a unisex cologne. I love how fresh and clean they smell, reminding me of a man being around.

Thanks, Celine. Yours passes muster. It works for both of us.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Xmas meme

From Modobs at:
What’s love got to do with it ?
Why modern women don’t find their Mr.Right

What do you really want for Christmas but you know nobody will get it for you?
Laid. It is my longest dry spell in memory, enough to make me contemplate that I should remove libidinous from my byline.

What do you not want for Christmas but you know that somebody will get it for you?
I first read this as what I do want, so here's that answer: I put in an order for fuzzy slippers. J actually remembered to tell his step mom, who told ex, who called me for the scoop. Very sweet. I understand I was listened to because a little birdie slipped and said they're black.

Prior to this, I also wanted the new release of The Sound of Music, was afraid it would be lost in translation, ordered it for myself, and slipped it to impoverished ex to give back to me. I'm good at helping others save face.

What do I not want: well, as a single mom living away from family and, further, as a mom in general, I usually get about two gifts. (I was so disappointed when I was with P, as I was very good to him and his daughter for holidays and I would get two little things in return. Or one bigger thing chosen by the couch potato who listened to the jewelry commercials on TV too much.) I'm not up to turning any away (except for that stupid, miniscule diamond necklace plastered on TV and sucker purchased by said couch potato two years ago), however, I really don't want the check that's waiting in that envelope from my dad. I will feel indebted to him somehow. Warped family. As it stands, it's the only gift I have here. As it stands, my son has 18 wrapped presents out, plus another unwrapped five hidden that will be from Santa. I sense a disparity. Again, the trials of a single mom. So I bought myself two art books this month. Oh yeah, my exMIL is a honey and sends me $20 to Bath and Body Works each year, so I will probably get some new perfume.

When do you open your gifts (Christmas eve or Christmas morning)?
Both. With my son leaving at noon on Xmas, I have learned to shift things to Xmas Eve. For the first time this year, however, everything but Santa will be opened before Xmas.

Do you prefer gifts wrapped or in gift bags?
I like things to be wrapped; that extends it a bit. That's not to say I don't give gift bags, as they are so fucking easy. I would never use a gift bag on J, too risky, so all his are wrapped, no tag or bow though. That'd make it entirely too much work.

Did you regift anything this year?
Not this year. Oh! Makes me remember something I should regift just to get rid of it. A Lenox something or other from a neighbor two years ago that I think was a regift. I don't decorate anymore, so don't need more clutter. I bet ex's wife would like it.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

The Ref

What’s your favorite Christmas TV special?


My very favorite Xmas song is an overlooked classic, Burl Ives singing Christmas Mouse. Listen and tell me how much you love it!

Do you like egg nog?
Yes, but in moderation. Actually, although I buy the stuff twice weekly, I couldn't wrangle a serving out of my son's greedy hands if I wanted to. He's getting a pudge and wafts of cinnamon just like Memphie.

Real tree or fake tree, which do you prefer?
None. Pain in the ass.

Would you actually use one of those fireplace DVDs if you don’t have a fireplace?
I'd rather have a warm cat. Or kid. Or see #1.

Are you sick of Christmas music yet?
Always. In advance.

When was the last time you sat on Santa’s lap?
I should scan the picture. I was a Girl Scout in my little hat and uniform, 11 years old. Very cute.

You're tagged if you're interested....

Merry Christmas, uncharacteristically spelled out by me just for Ron

Ex just brought my gifts by. It made me smile. They had me open my five gift cards, one to the movies and four to restaurants, because J and I are going to the movies this afternoon. In addition to the gift cards, people, I now actually have gifts to open!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Spirited collection

The Saturday Scavenger theme of the day is "spirit."

My first thought for this concept was a fluffy little cat J has his heart set on; her name is Spirit:

He whispers her name to me daily.

Of course this theme would not be complete without spirits. These are a few, my favorites, which are in the house:

(although I do not prefer light, I prefer draft)

We also have a lot of team spirit around here:
(and a bit of ham)

and have been known to have some holiday spirit, or at least to pretend:

Plus some Spirit of 76:

With some pioneering spirit from my immigrant gr, gr, gr, gr grandfather:

And we had some eerie dead cat spirit here this year with an incident that defies my belief system:
Can't resist on the Smells like Teen Spirit:

with the epitome of mean-spiritedness, my exBIL:
Changing gears, J doubled up Scouting Spirit and School Spirit:
Here's nearly my favorite kind of spirit, mineral spirits, in front of an oil I'm not ready to declare finished:

Ending in a spirit of hope:
from time when his favorite movie was Spirited Away...

See not fainthearted's sidebar for more participants.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pix and pox

I got a wink thing from this guy. He's about 3 years younger than me, so he makes better sense age-wise than the last contact. He seems like an okay guy, although he has some caveats that make him sound like he's been burnt. He's human, I guess. However, something is really odd.

I've been on this site for about 5 years. I guess my newer readers don't know the reasons I choose the dating sites I do, but that's not for me to go into now. Suffice it to say I choose them with much thought and consideration.

Now this guy I've seen him on this site for years. Years. I remember him because of his very stoic, cold, distant picture which accompanies this disclaimer: "DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER LADIES! Don't let the picture fool ya, I love to smile and laugh! If you don't believe me, the ntake a chance and meet me and find out for yoursedlf."

Do you not think that the guy could have a different picture taken in all this time? Is he that technologically limited? Or did his overall appearance change drastically and he doesn't want to show the current him? Or does he just have bad teeth? Or is citing a disclaimer about your picture sort of a badge of honor?

I just don't get it.

My, dating is entertaining.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Seasonal abodes

Check out this link to an Asheville NC inn that has an annual gingerbread house competition. There is a slideshow and a video. 300 houses are on display this year. Look for the fountain. It is to behold.

We usually make a gingerbread house each year. If I'm dating someone with kids, I make an extra one with them as a bonding opportunity. This year, I do not have the stirrings to do it. Literally.

We made this one last year...
Not really! But close!