I think my brain is full

Do you ever get this feeling?  Like there is so much that is pinging around inside your head that you’ve got to let some of it spill out, lest you have some sort of brain blow up/catastrophic memory failure?  No?  Just me?  Anyhow, here’s a sampling of what’s ratting around in the noggin this morning.  I’m hoping that once I share with ya’ll that I’ll free up some room.  It’s worth a shot, right?

  • I ordered another diaper last night.  To my credit, I sold a few diapers Evie has outgrown first (I had to, or else I couldn’t have afforded it!) and this is going to be a present under the tree for her.  And DUDE, it was on SALE.  (These particular diapers virtually NEVER go on sale so this was a big deal.)
  • All our Christmas packages have left the building!  Which means: They are no longer my concern.  Kile was taking them to the post office but I don’t know if he did it before work or if he’s planning to go after.  Either way, they are out of my hair and I can breathe a huge sigh of relief!
  • I think we now have all the presents we purchased for the family that will be here Christmas Day inside the house (minus that new diaper, of course).  Of course, nothing is WRAPPED but baby steps, people.   Thankfully, Santa doesn’t wrap his presents around these parts because I don’t think I have that much paper.
  • My fingers are sore.  What the heck?  I figure it’s due to the knitting (I’ve started a scarf for Harry and a hat for Kile.  GO ME!) but it hurts like heck.  I have to focus on keeping my fingers straight as I sleep or they just get more sore and cramped.
  • I finally have my lab orders!  Now, I just need to be able to go get my blood tested.  I’m thinking maybe on Friday (mah birfday!) since Kile will be home the majority of the day and hence I will have a ride to the lab.  What a birthday present, eh?  UGH.
  • I love Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” and I think I may be in the minority on that one.  But then again, I’ve never purported to have excellent taste in music here either.
    (And yes, I’ve heard about the whole thing with Satriani and yet I still love this song.  I suck?)
  • While I’m in the business of selling out, I may as well go ahead and admit that I really enjoy Shia LeBeouf.  We watched parts of “Disturbia” (again) last night and I’m watching “Surf’s Up” this morning (which he voices) and I’m just further convinced of this love of mine.
  • I’m really tanking in your estimation, aren’t I?  I’m sorry.
  • It’s a Wednesday.  I have to keep reminding myself of that.  Someone wished me happy birthday this morning and I actually had to stop for a minute and make sure that it wasn’t actually my birthday today before a minute there, I wasn’t sure.

Okay, that’s enough.  I have a diaper I need to change.  (What else is new?)  The good news is my head feels a lot emptier now.  (That IS a good thing, right?)

Fa la la la la la

I know I’ve mentioned this (many times) before, but Christmas music is kind of a big deal around here.  We take it very seriously.  And I don’t think a holiday season has gone by on this here blog without me mentioning some of my favorites as well as some of the songs that I loathe with every fiber of my being.  And guess what?  I’m going to do it again.  Because, surely, there are some people reading this year who didn’t read last year and therefore might be under the mistaken assumption that I actually ENJOY Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”.  And I CANNOT LET THAT BE.  And if you have been around, you may have forgotten.  So here’s a refresher course on acceptable (and unacceptable) Christmas music.

Loooooove these songs!

  • The Twelve Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers.
    This brings me such joy.  Particularly the bit about “rigging up the lights”.
  • Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid
    No song makes me feel as tingly and guilty and sad and happy all at once.  And Bono’s line has got to be best line in a Christmas song EVER.  It’s not Christmas until you’ve heard this one.
  • Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson
    Truly the best version of this song.  It was featured in a Gap Christmas ad several years ago, which is where I first was turned onto it’s awesomeness.  And now, it lives on in our canon with it’s “whip cracks” (which is delightful for slapping my dog’s rear) (oh, don’t worry, she likes it).  Just TRY not to get in the mood with this song on.
  • Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack
    Yes, it’s actually Bill Nighy and it’s from the movie “Love Actually” (LOVE that movie!!).  It’s crass and wonderful.  And catchy!  Solid gold shit, maestro!
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Lou Rawls
    I like some of the more melancholy versions of this song too (it’s hard to find a good version of this song) (but I’m sure Paul McCartney could manage it), but this one is my most absolute favorite.  It’s jazzy, swing-y and smokey.  It’s fabulous.  Makes me wanna get my groove on.

And, of course, the flip side of the coin…

HAAAAAAATE these songs:

  • Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney.  I refuse to display this song on my precious blog.  But if you simply must hear it, feel free to click the link.  This is a big reason why I don’t like to listen to the Christmas music stations here locally.  Because once they play “Wonderful Christmastime”, the station becomes dead to me.  It’s like nails on a chalkboard.
  • Christmas Shoes by NewSong.  This song has NO redeeming qualities.  It’s a pile of manipulative, schmaltzy crap.  HATE HATE HATE.  And if you think I display contempt for this song, I’ve got nothing on Kile.  He positively loathes this one.

Those are the big ones, at least.  So what tops your list?  What is your favorite Christmas song/version?  Your least?  (And do you want to tear your ears off whenever you hear “The Little Drummer Boy”, like I do?)

It's in the bag

Warning!  If you are a brother or sister to me (via blood or marriage), I advise you to skip this post.  Unless you really want to have your Christmas gift spoiled.  Turn away now and save the surprise for Christmas morning!

There.  Now that that’s out of the bag, I wanted to share with you the contents of the gift bags we put together for our siblings and their families this holiday season.  Partially so I have a record of the awesomeness we put together this year (direct quote from Harry: “We’ve worked harder on Christmas this year than we ever have before!”), and partially so that if there are any of you who are looking for ideas for homemade, handmade and inexpensive gifts, then maybe this would be an interested read for you.  Anyhow, sorry for the lack of pictures but I was uber-lame and didn’t take pictures of anything before we got it all bagged and boxed up.  Whoops. I’ll try to find links where I can though to make up for it, deal?

  • The first thing is the picture of the three kids in wallet size.  We then matted that on some fancy red and white paper and then put it in a wooden frame that we painted white and decorated with little Christmas baubles.  I also painted wooden “phrases” (such as Believe, Hope, Joy, Noel…etc) and those were glued to the top of the frame.
  • Chocolate molded Christmas tree pretzel rods and chocolate molded Santa Claus’ on a candy cane.  Wrapped up in little candy bags and tied with a bow.
  • Plastic bin filled with homemade peanut brittle
  • Plastic bin filled with homemade fudge
  • Various and sundry handmade ornaments, mostly made by Harry.
  • A Christmas Mix CD compiled by yours truly.  It features some seriously awesome Christmas songs.
  • In the bags that are going to houses where there are little kids, we’ve included the appropriate number of craft kits.  One bag includes a ‘Snowman Making Kit‘ and another includes a couple of flower fairies that I made at a craft day event.
  • Most of the bags include a book or two.  I got a lot of free books this year, some I barely cracked the spine on.  I sent these on to homes I felt were appropriate for them.
  • A fancy-schmancy Christmas card, including our fabulous holiday letter.
  • Each of these items were packed into a new reuseable shopping bag from our local Whole Foods store.  As a bonus, Whole Foods had a special holiday edition of their shopping bag so we got those.

The whole thing was then wrapped up in cellophane and tied closed with a golden ribbon.  Voila!  So what do you think?  Will these make nice presents?  Will the recipients appreciate the effort?  A lot of work though it was, it was kind of fun putting these together.  Maybe we’ll do it again next year.  Maybe we won’t.  We’ll see how these go over first!

Another kind of Christmas song

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.  (On second thought, don’t stop me.) (It’ll only hurt my feelings.)  I found this one through the wonder that is Google’s Reader and it’s so jam packed full of celebrity and comedy goodness that it simply MUST be shared.  ‘Tis the season and all that nonsense.   Share and share alike.  

And remember, don’t be naughty.


See more funny videos at Funny or Die

This one is for Cagey

So in the comments on yesterday’s uber-whiner post, Cagey said she hated posts like that (and so did Michelle, for the record), where I beat myself up (but I’m such an easy target!).  So in an effort to balance everything out nicely, I thought I’d do a post wherein I detail everything that is Totally Awesome about yours truly.   Because while I still believe that in some, way, shape or form that I am a la-hoo-ser, I do recognize that I have some good traits.  Somewhere.  Maybe there in the corner under that layer.  Ahem.  Here goes!

  • I have some really cute kids.  As evidenced by the MONDO picture we picked up yesterday from Sears.  Seriously, ya’ll, it’s adorable.  And you should check out my full review of Sears Portrait Studio while you’re at it. Our Beautiful Kids 
  • I have a fondness for writing that makes up for it’s lack of talent with an excess of enthusiasm.  I may never be a literary genius, but maybe someday I’ll get published.  That’d be awesome. 
  • I love animals.  I always have.  When I was little, before the days of Animal Planet, I used to love to watch those wild animal safari type shows on PBS.  I’ve always loved having pets too.  For a long time, I was a big cat person, but thanks to Tiger, we’re taking a bit of a cat-break right now.  We have our hands full with the dogs now anyhow. 
  • I like to think that I have a decent sense of humor.  This might not be the funniest blog out there and I’m in no way implying that it is.  But I do know funny when I hear (or see) it.  My dad used to always say I had such a great sense of humor.  I love to laugh.  I love to surround myself with funny people. 
  • I love Christmas.  There, I said it.  I know it’s sorta fashionalble anymore to be something of a Scrooge, but I can’t help it.  Tis the Season to be Jolly.  I don’t love the stress associated with the holidays but I absolutely ADORE the wonder.  And I love sharing that wonder with my kids. 
  • In a related vein, I love cold weather.  I love snow and rain and clouds.  I don’t love wind (but then, after living in Nevada you realize it doesn’t need to be cold to be windy).  I can’t wait until this mild weather is gone and we get some real good snow storms.  
  • I’m loyal.  I’m not the sort to ditch out on someone when a “better offer” comes along.  Once I’m a friend with someone, it takes quiet a bit to shake that.  I give my friends the benefit of the doubt in iffy situations.  This has, in the recent past, led to me getting walked over, but I think it’s an important trait to have.  Because if you can’t count on your friends to back you up in times of need, then who can you count on? 
  • I have awesome taste in music and movies.  If I do say so myself.  And I do.  Cuz this is my blog.  And I’m not talking about artsy-fartsy, alternative taste.  Yes, there are some awesome indy movies out there and some fabulous unknown musicians out there.  But I tend towards the mainstream and I love popular movies and music.  It’s the great equalizer.  And look at it this way, I’ll never make you feel bad for loving “Armageddon” (cuz I do too) (but I will hold “The Fast and the Furious” against you because that movie and all it’s spawn are CRAP).  

There you go.  Some of the things that make me awesome.  Don’t you want to be my friend now?

You Need to Read – October 18

Nope, you’re not seeing things.  My YNTR list is back this week!  And, bonus for you, it includes two weeks of linky goodness. I still maintain that I may not be doing this list every week.  But I will when I can and when it’s not going to cause me an undue amount of grief to put it together.   And, as it would happen, this week the grief has not been caused.  It’s a mellow Saturday morning around these parts, Liam is watching “Ratatouille” on cable and Kile is snoring in his recliner.  All is right with the world.

This first post is something I could relate to.  Should I go Mac and never come back? from Mandajuice is much like a similar post I wrote not that long ago.  And, just like myself, she finds herself wooed by the seductive iPhone and repelled by a crappy PC.  I’ll be interested to see what she picks, especially since I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to get a MacBook when the time comes.

And in the “Long-Awaited” category, we have Ezra from amalah . com.   I literally felt my heart swell when I saw this sweet picture and the details on the birth.  She is officially the mom of two boys!  I can’t wait to see how the weeks and months ahead are for her and her family.  Congratulations, Storchs!

I can DEFINITELY relate to The Hot Fuss™* and Me from temporarily me.  In fact, I may have thought these very words myself on more than one occasion in the last week or so.  Or the last month or so.  Or the last six months or so.  Sometimes, a bad mood just gets ahold of you and you can’t shake it.  And sometimes, your kid wants to be superglued to your side.  And when the two meet?  Well… that’s when you get a post like this.

And I know you’re probably sick of me talking about it already, but Her New Hobby from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman made me cackle a little bit because The Power of the iPhone can grip ANYBODY, even housewives who live out in the country. And the text messages from her daughter were just too darned funny. I think someone likes “Napoleon Dynamite”!

On the flip side, we have My Grandpa: October 5, 1921- October 14, 2008 from Joy Unexpected. This was a touching and sad post about her grandfather who passed away this last week. It’s been a long time since all of my grandparents passed, but I could keenly feel her loss through her words. I hope she finds peace, now that her grandfather has found his. My sympathies to her and her family.

Being a Reno citizen as well, I can appreciate Fall Where? from EmilyPie. I love her summation of the season here in our town, and how schizophrenic they often tend to be. However, I do disagree with her assessment of summer and the need for air conditioning (I am sure I would perish without it). I love winter, always have, always will. But yes. Fall is like a week long around here. I could do with some more fall, to be honest.

This post gets filed under the “ZOMG” category. ZOMG! Twilight Soundtrack Playlist Just Released! from MamaPop shares with us the fantabulous news of the new “Twilight” movie soundtrack. Can you believe I already have some of these songs on my iTunes? BEFORE this list was released? Oh, I’m a hardcore fan, ya’ll. And you can bet I’ll have the rest of these songs when the soundtrack is released. I cannot WAIT to hear the one recorded by Robert Pattinson.

Enough is Enough from Queen of Spain Blog is a post about the turn in tone the political race has taken lately. And I wish I could say in the intervening days since she first posted this that the voices of hate have toned down but I really don’t think they have. I think they may have gotten worse. But I definitely share her feelings and hope that people settle the heck down. And lets find some decency in all of this, please? Aren’t we better than this? Please tell me that we are.

Lastly, we have My Husband is Not My Keeper, also from temporarily me. This spoke to me because I have often had these very same feelings. Being a stay at home mom, and not having any of my own income, I often feel like my voice is dimmed somewhat. I think that’s pretty common. And it’s as much my fault as any one else’s. But all the time, this is an impassioned, important post. You should all read it.

So there we go.  Another week’s list in the hopper.  This should be enough to keep you out of trouble this weekend.  As for me, we have a baby costume to find and a pumpkin to pick out (nope, we don’t have that yet either).  Should be fun!  Happy Weekend, ya’ll.


Times are rough right now.  The economy is in the shitter, the election has people more divided and crazy than ever (I feel a post about that is coming, breaking my political silence!) and it seems like everyone’s lives are spinning off course.  It’s easy to let it all drag you down into the pits.

I heard this song the other evening and it reminded me of the spring and fall of 2004.  Those were some very rough times for me.  Possibly the darkest times I’ve ever experienced.  I was still reeling from the loss of Jackson and having a hard time finding the optimism in my everyday life.  I listened to this cd from Shania Twain a lot during that time, whenever I was on the road, often when driving Harry to and from preschool.  A lot of the songs spoke to me, but this was the one song that gave me a shred of hope to hold onto.  I wanted more than anything to believe that we could only go up from here.  And this song was so peppy and upbeat that I couldn’t help but be cheered, if even for only a little less than three minutes.

So maybe this song will help right now.  If you’re having a hard time finding the good, maybe this song can give you a shred of hope too.


It’s ’bout as bad as it could be
Seems everybody’s buggin’ me
Like nothing wants to go my way–
Yeah, it just ain’t been my day
Nothin’s comin’ easily

Even my skin is acting weird
I wish that I could grow a beard
Then I could cover up my spots
Not play connect the dots
I just wanna disappear

Can only go up from here
Where the clouds gonna clear
There’s no way but up from here

Even something as simple as
Forgettin’ to fill up on gas
There ain’t no explanation why–
Things like that can make you cry
Just gotta learn to have a laugh

[repeat chorus]

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah…

When everything is goin’ wrong
Don’t worry, it won’t last for long
Yeah, it’s all gonna come around
Don’t go let it get you down
You gotta keep on holding on

It’s ’bout as bad as it could be
Seems everybody’s buggin’ me
Like nothing want to go my way–
Yeah, it just ain’t been my day
Nothin’s comin’ easily

[repeat chorus]

Oh– I’m going up [4x]
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah…

Following the crowd

I’ve always been easily influenced by hype.  I remember back in 1989 when the first “Batman” movie came out, the massive marketing campaign easily sucked me in.  I gobbled up magazine articles about the movie, would spaz out when movie trailers showed on the television, and purchased t-shirts and other merchandise before the movie even CAME OUT.  The media told me this was a movie I was going to love and far be it from me to argue.

I’ve gotten a little more discretionary over the years, but not much.  I tried to resist the “Twilight” phenomenon, but when I saw that all my favorite bloggers loved it, well, that was no match for me.  Could all these fabulous people be WRONG?  I didn’t think so (and, as it would happen, they weren’t wrong.  “Twilight” rocks).  I let myself get sucked in and I happily follow the crowd on this one.  Because Edward is so worth it.

But, there are other things which I have refused over the years to get into just because everyone else loves it and I have never regretted it.  Here are some of the television shows I have turned my back on because I have refused to let the crowd influence me:

  • America’s Next Top Model
  • Gossip Girl
  • The Hills
  • Entourage
  • Project Runway
  • Mad Men
  • The Sopranos
  • Six Feet Under
  • Big Love
  • Sex and the City
  • Weeds
  • X-Files
  • CSI (any incarnation thereof)
  • Law and Order (any incarnation thereof)

Wow, I’m realizing that I could have easily gone on there.  EASILY.  There are a lot of television shows that I have refused to get sucked into and have never regreted not getting sucked into.  My life has somehow managed to be full and wonderful WITHOUT these shows.

I also don’t get and refuse to buy into a lot of music hype.  I used to say it was because I didn’t really like music but I know now that’s not really true.  I love music, but I like to discover it on my own.  And I’m not the sort that likes to read about bands or musicians in magazines or follow them around on concert tours or whatever else.  I like to enjoy my music when I am able to (usually in the car) and I find a lot of music hugely inspiring, but I don’t get obsessed about it.  And I rarely ever get into an artist that everyone else oohs and ahhs over.  Like I said, I prefer to discover music on my own.

Are there any fads that you have resisted (MIchelle, I already know you are resisting “Twilight”, so don’t feel the need to bring that up AGAIN cuz it’s only gonna make me feel ornery!)?  How about fads that you tried to resist only to find out they were truly awesome?  And what fads have you bought into hook, line and sinker?

Thoughts inspired by road trip songs

We finally traveled home to Reno this afternoon.  By the time we left, I was in a rather MOOD, if you didn’t notice.  Leaving San Fransisco and BlogHer the way we did, was rather stressful and was really starting to take it’s toll on me.  I’m hoping that tomorrow I get a good chance to write about the whole thing in my standard wrap-up post.  Not to be confused with my standard link post which will include all links to all the business cards I gathered.  I’ll be doing that too, but maybe not until Tuesday.  Yes, you’re just going to have to be patient.

I can say that I’m rather glad I didn’t have to fly because it sounds like people are having a HELL of a time with delayed/cancelled/etc flights.  I would probably have had an anuerism.

Ahem, I’m totally getting off track here, aren’t I?

Listening to the MP3s on my cell phone on the way home (piped through the car’s stereo, of course), I had some thoughts that I felt I needed to share with you all.  Because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want.

  • Bad Medicine” is my favorite-est Bon Jovi song EVAH.  Closely followed by “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” (in that order), but still.  It’s the best.  Hands down.
  • I miss “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” so bad.  And I still love love love the musical episode, especially the song “Walk Through the Fire“.
  • Wynonna Judd’s “Testify to Love” STILL gives me chills.
  • According to my 8 year old, “Enter Sandman” is cool because it’s a “Rock Band” song (and pretty much for no other reason).
  • Even though I’m no great fan of the Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice” makes me wanna pump my fist in the air.  You go, girls!
  • Anywhere” is the best song by Evanescence, without a doubt.  I don’t care to entertain arguments to the contrary, either.
  • How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat??
  • I pretty much pink puffy heart love the entire Moulin Rouge soundtrack and don’t care who knows it. (Especially this song right here. Oh, and this one too.)
  • We listen to a pretty freakin’ strange variety of music.

And there you have it.  TIME FOR BED.

It must be Friday

I’m not entirely sure, as my inventory of days seems to be COMPLETELY out of whack lately.  (Evie is officially three months old today?  It’s a Friday?  It’s JUNE??)  But I’m going to take everyone’s word for it.  As it is, I am having a hard time formulating coherent thoughts and will rely on a couple of good ol’ standbys for today’s post: a meme and some photos.  Woot!

First up, I found this over at Joys in my Life and couldn’t resist.  I don’t have an iPod, or even an MP3 player, but I do have Winamp on my laptop so I figured it would do.  As long as it could “shuffle”, right?  So here goes:

  1. Put your iTunes/music player on “Shuffle”
  2. For each question, press the “Next” button to get your answer
  3. You MUST write down the name of THAT SONG no matter what. (aka NO CHEATING!)

Ready?  Set?  GO!

“Tainted Love” (by The Cure) – cuz that makes sense.

“Albuquerque” (by Weird Al Yankovic) – HA!

“I Will Always Return” (by Bryan Adams) – I guess?  Being there does help.

“Time of Your Life” (by Green Day) – Okay, yeah.  I can agree with this.

“You Give Love a Bad Name” (by Bon Jovi) – Now that isn’t even TRUE.

“Apologize” (by One Republic) – Hmm.  Not a bad motto, actually.

“The Reason Why” (by Vince Gill) – Uhm…

“This Ain’t a Scene It’s an Arm’s Race” (by Fall Out Boy) – Oh boy.

“Black Horse and The Cherry Tree” (by KT Tunstall) – I guess this works… or not.

“testing 1,2,3” (by Barenaked Ladies) – Ha!  Sorry, Michelle.

“More than That” (by Backstreet Boys) – say it with me: “Aww….”

“Beautiful Liar” (by Beyonce and Shakira) – I, in now way shape or form, resemble this remark.  As if.

“Waiting on the World to Change” (by John Mayer) – OMG.  Can you believe how ON that is?

“Authority Song” (by John Cougar Mellencamp) – Hee.

“Crush” (by Jennifer Page) – Yeah.  No.

“This Kiss” (by Faith Hill) – Eerie.  i think we may have actually danced to this.  Or it was played.  It wasn’t our first dance though.

“A New Day Has Come” (by Celine Dion) – Wow, pretty intuitive if not right on.

“Angel Eyes” (by Jeff Healy Band) – Now if only this was the “dance at the wedding song” one… we almost picked this as our first dance.)

“Rockstar” (by Nickleback) – Hoo hoo!  Yeah.  RIGHT.

“867-5309” (by Tommy Tutone) – I’m sorry, I’m too busy laughing.

“Fields of Gold” (by Eva Cassidy) – Except I’m so not going to.

Was that fun for you too?  I have some strange songs on my laptop, that’s for sure.  If I haven’t totally aliented you by now, I’m going to post up some pictures.  Who doesn’t love pictures??

Sitting Style
I used to sit just like this when I was little.  Not “indian-style”, always like this.

Little Hands
Look at those rolls on her wrist!  CHUNKY-NESS!

Big Brother, Little Sister
Can you tell he just dotes on her?

Kicked Back
And can you tell just why he does?