Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The S Is Silent

A random sampling of what's happening and not happening here.

I'm still losing weight.  An hour on the elliptical each day absolves a multitude of sins including a supper consisting of one Sonic small chocolate malted inhaled on the fly between kid activities and a quarter bag of Brachs Candy Corn.  Please note that I'm keeping track now.  It's not a whole bag or even a half.  That quarter is significant.

And most days, I'm still eating whole grain, beans, lean protein and wearing a somewhat surly, sugar deprived expression.

MathMan's job has changed some.  He's stopped screaming in his sleep so that's nice.

Nathan and his baseball buddies have been doing things suggested by Tosh.0 involving Icy Hot.  I'm convinced that hearing about group testosterone activities makes life worth living.

Sophie, who isn't the least bit interested in the typical tween definition of cool, is in both the middle school band and an active member of its Academic Team.  Her siblings are worried that she's committing social suicide.

"Mom, don't let her do it." Comes the plea from Nate.  He's afraid of  being tainted with Nerdism by association.

"I hardly think that anyone willing to smear Icy Hot on his butt before running in a pack of fools around the ball field is an arbiter of good social sense," I bite out at him.  He shakes his head and limps away.

"But, Mother, it's going to follow her," moans Chloe who had to endure her younger bother's near undoing of her perfect student legacy.

I cluck my tongue at her.  "Seriously?  You link arms with other girls and sing sorority songs and you think Sophie's on the wrong track?" I huff.  "When I was in college, I would have thought you were a total loser.  And so would all of my artsy fartsy punky friends."

MathMan hung with a crowd who mocked the Greek system by calling themselves the Pi Rhos.  In between drinking beer straight from the pitcher and cleverly seducing him hours after I met him (slurring I'd do you in a second into his ear), I obtained clarification on his status vis a vis the Greek system.  I may have been slutty, but I did not fuck frat boys.  I had my standards.

But I digress.  In fact, I rethink.  Maybe if I'd married one of those frat boys, I wouldn't be Brokey McBrokenstein today.  Nope.  I'd have a nice alimony settlement, the condo, a plastic surgeon on speed dial, my half of the Country Club membership and a sporty little convertible. Damn it.  Hoisted by my own reverse snobby petard.  Pretty in Pink indeed.

Cripes. Where was I?  Oh, right. Sophie.  So she's on the Academic Team and those kids are kicking butt and rocking those team polo shirts.  Yesterday I attended the meet and got a little frustrated and stabby (hence the comfort malted later).  The person reading the questions and giving out correct answers when necessary was didn't know how to pronounce some key words like almondine.   Yes I'm an elitist snob.  So what?  At least I didn't elbow my way over to the desk, rip the question sheets from the woman's hands and yell "For goodness sake, let someone who knows how to pronounce bas relief do this, okay?"

No, I just sat fidgeting in my seat, fantasizing about doing that and checking Twitter on my phone.

I think I've paralyzed myself again with too much information about the publishing world.  Every time I pick up the manuscript to work on it, I get all itchy and nervous sweaty.  As an antidote, I've been reading a lot.  I've got two books I'm reading, one that I'm listening to the audio version of when I'm in the car and two in the queue to read.  I scored Jonathan Franzen's Freedom at the library and put it on my To Read stack.  The thing is so dang huge, though, so I picked the audio version up at the library and have decided to give it a listen because I'm such a slow reader, but a fast listener.

I'm enjoying the audio book of Water for Elephants so far except the parts narrated by the ninety-something Jacob Jankowski freak me out a little bit.  That could have something to do with the fact that my birthday is hurtling toward me and I'm going to be half-way to ninety.  When I consider how quickly this forty-five years has gone and then remember that as you age, time seems to go even more quickly (something to do with percentages), well, it sets my brain spinning. Plus it reminds me that I need to reiterate to my children that I would prefer to be taken to a field and shot and left to become part of the circle of life rather than put into a nursing home should I not be able to care for myself.  I am not of the prolong my life at any cost crowd.  Once my quality of life is gone, just end it.  I'll leave a permission slip to placate the authorities.

Well, that took a rather macabre turn, didn't it?  Sorry about that.  Let's have a song and dance on out of here. Before you go, please tell us how's your Wednesday? What's new? What are you reading these days?  Does my butt look smaller?


  1. Happy Wednesday to you!

    The Academic Team is the coolest--they just don't know it yet (but they will). :)

    Candy corn is one of my guilty pleasures, too...I go crazy for it. They apparently don't have it in Canada (or at least in BC)--I recently got a couple of Canadian friends hooked on it. I am now their candy corn dealer.

    I just finished reading Aimee Bender's collection of very short, very surreal stories (called "Willful Creatures")--SO GOOD!!

    Have a great day today!

  2. We are heading into crunch time for family wedding, out of state. I began the search for the Mother of the groom dress several months ago... the husband just emailed, saying he really should get something together for wedding clothes. Yes, dear, you really should!
    We tried several months ago, a trip to J.C. Penny's for a suit. The sleeves were short & the pleated pants puckered. The size he needed was out of stock & the sale would end. That's as far as we got.
    My plan is to ship wedding clothes & shoes & stuff ahead so we don't have to schlep them on a multi destination flight trip.
    Besides, the airlines charge $25 for the first checked in bag, $35 for an additional bag.
    Plus you still pay that amount even if the bastards lose your luggage for a few days.
    No. I'm putting it in the hands of Fed X & will insure it to the hilt. If they screw it up, I'll have 5 times the amount to find a replacement something or other.
    Honestly, doing a multiple family visit & wedding for a "vacation" is weird.
    I'm going to need a real vacation next year.
    I'm thinking a deserted island somewhere far far away.....

  3. Your butt totally looks smaller.

    I'm so with you on the concept of longevity being overrated.

    Reading? The Empire of Liberty covering US History from 1789-1815. It's pretty exciting!

    Next? Ardah's Germany and the Germans, Morton's A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888 - 1889, Palmer's Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Francis Joseph, and of course, Brook-Shepherd's The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey.

    But I promise not to speak or blog about any of it :-).

  4. I know my butt doesn't look smaller - but I have worked out every weekday since last Monday - and I think apple picking and closet cleaning count for the weekend, right?

  5. * Your butt looks much smaller but I may have the telescope turned wrong way round again.

    I'm still going for 5 mile walks almost every day in an effort to stay away from the construction. I think the landlord owes us some money for time we can't spend here. On the other hand, we're both getting more fit so I guess it works out.

    I can't find Hershey Dark Chocolate Nuggets here so have been test buying bars of European dark chocolate to find one that isn't too waxy.. or is that the cocoa butter? Have I become addicted to chemical additives and never noticed? Oh, the shame..

    I'm reading from the single shelf collection of books we agreed to unpack. After our adventures in apartment hunting once we arrived we want to be very sure before filling the shelves. In the meanwhile I'm just finishing re-reading 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency'. Douglas Adam's was a genius I'm very pleased to have met when he did a book signing at Powell's years ago. It was right after we moved to Portland and since all our books were packed then too we bought some books by Charles Dickens and had Douglas Adam's sign them 'DON'T PANIC, CHUCK'. He thought we were weird which pleased us a lot.

    * sorry :-), couldn't resist

  6. Candy corn's all well and good, but, to be a true con-noy-soo-er, you gotta eat those candy pumpkins and cornstalks, too.

    Reading materials? Almost done with that Kafka gig, then this, then this, then some Mad Libs.

  7. Stop agonizing about the publishing world and start hurling that manuscript over some transoms. You're overthinking the process.

  8. Congratulations on sticking to your plan! I committed a lot of social suicide in junior high and high school (drama geek, academic geek, choir geek), but I found it to be the best thing for me. I applaud you for encouraging your daughter in what interests HER, not in what other kids think is cool.

    Most of the "geeks" I knew in JH and HS have great jobs now as teachers, inventors, computer programmers, musicians, more teachers, etc., while the "cool" kids my age are still working at Starbucks (and I'm 27).

  9. Your butt definitely looks smaller and I haven't even seen it ;~)

    I am listening to Freedom too on audio. I have Monsters of Men and Will Grayson, Will Grayson to read next.

  10. I think your daughter being a nerd is great!!!

  11. I don't know if your butt looks smaller, but can I have the other half (or is it three-quarter's?) of the bag of candy corn?

    My brother and I both did Academic Team (under a different title) when we were in high school. Like Sophie, I don't think we bothered to register if it was cool or not.

    Freedom may be a big book, but it moves extremely quickly. I finished it in two or three days. I'm amazed that you could already "score" it from the library. Or does its assocation with President Obama taint it for many Georgia residents? LOVED it; so excited that you are going to read it. Or is that listen to it? Who reads the audio version?

  12. Just realized what the title of this post refers to! ha ha
    Did the woman pronounce it as "bass" or "baz?" relief?

  13. Wait, doesn't candy corn count as a vegetable?

  14. Your daughter is hereby invited to EOTGW this weekend. She is more than welcome to march in the Ag Parade with my daughter, as part of the Kiwanis Kids Club.

    They'll be throwing chocolate. :)

    I read "The Bishop" by Steven James over the weekend. I have now moved up to "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" by Chelsea Handler. We all have our own versions of "The Classics", I reckon.

  15. Sophie is too cool to be shunned for being smart and in band. Kudos to her. As for your instructions to your kids re: nursing homes, I tell my nephew and nieces that if I ever reach a place where someone thinks it's nice to say "why you can't even tell you're wearing a diaper," my estate will go to the first one who holds the pillow over my face. My nephew assured me that he has my back.

  16. Your butt does look smaller! (I'm guessing *hee hee*)

    Anyway, I'm glad your daughter is sticking to her guns and enjoying her time as a tween nerd. :) She needs to know that it's okay to be whoever she is.

    Now stop worrying so much about that manuscript! The Universe is working on getting it sold for you, I'm sure of it. :) (And please give Iwanski the same advice, would ya'? *smiles*)

  17. I was an anti-frat girl too, Lisa, though not lucky enough to have one of MY, um, partners, fall in love with me. To be perfectly honest, I was lucky if I got a phone call...

    Great on the losing weight. Enjoy the fun of the transformation and the compliments! I've been this weight for 10 years yet yesterday someone at my exercise class told me I have a Brazilian body, which I think means I have a gigantic butt and no breasts. Oh well.

  18. This post gave me a lot of anxiety and it's not even my life. Cripes is right.

    Also, I was in a sorority and while there was a lot of idiocy, I met some really cool women. And it gave me a sense of belonging at a school that was too big for me. There's a lot to mock, but there's a lot of potential good as well. Cripes again. I can't believe I'm sticking up for sororities. OK. I go now.

  19. your butt looks so small theologians are grappling with the question, How many lisabutts would fit on the head of a pin? it looks so small the next sub-atomic particle is slated to be named lisabutt. "Lisa's butt looks smaller", nine out of ten lake pirates agree.

  20. My dear, each of your butt cheeks is the size, shape, and firmness of a small cantaloupe. Do I win the contest? Oh wait, there's no contest. That's okay. I still enjoyed reading all about the goings on in your house, especially the part about being "the arbiter of good social sense." Cuz lord knows, that's MY job.

  21. Lisa, have I introduced you to my friend Jacqueline Houtman, she who wrote The Reinvention of Edison Thomas? As a writer, I know she's suffered from similar angst about all of those writing things and is going through it again with a new WIP.

    OK, what am I reading? A whole stack of books with amazing sewing projects in them. Reading those is pure torture, because of course I have no time to do anything right now, and won't until I'm done with f*cking grad school! But I really read them, not just look at the pictures. And I think, "hmmm, I could make that except I'd change it a bit" and "I wonder if I could just put an itty bitty bit more on the VISA and buy some of that gorgeous English fabric from that store in NYC?"

    I'm also reading the newest Terry Pratchett book, "I Shall Wear Midnight" which is the 4th in his YA series about a girl named Tiffany Aching. You should read them!

    And btw, you've got a leg-up on the competition cause you've got your own Grindrod.


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