Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paris Daydreams

A Facebook friend of mine (the incomparable Muffy Bolding) is looking for a sublet and a friend of hers suggested a site in which he invested start-up money, airbnb.
I decided to check it out because I have quite liked the idea of home stays rather than hotels for a while now.
Of course, for the destination I entered the one place I will always choose to go if it's totally up to me: Paris. BIG mistake. I'm about to take the joint AmEx and run away for a week or two or five.
The windows, the balconies, the tucked-in-the-eaves garrets with exposed rough-hewn beams and tiny kitchens tucked in corners and handheld showers in teeny tiny tubs and the artist's flare for decorating that many people who sublet because they travel a lot seem to have, especially when they travel with their ballet or theater company or antiquing journeys across Europe for their boutiques as many of the subletters seem to mention. The Nutella and croissant and baguette and cheeses displayed in many of the artfully arranged kitchen pictures. The views of Parisian rooftops and La Tour Eiffel and canals and La Seine and Notre Dame de Paris. The little cobbled lanes one must travel to reach the flats.
MUST. Go. Back.

Like a Laser Beam

This morning I did not go to bed until the men were all leaving for the day. I always marvel at how my men--and I do mean all three of them--can stand around or wander around aimlessly while waiting for others to be ready to leave the house, but as soon as it's time to actually leave, one or more of them suddenly remember seventeen things they need to do. Many mornings, I hear Nate (who drives the boys to school because it's on his way to work) say this: "I'm leaving with or without you." This is after many "clock" warnings and with much impatience, of course.

This is how my men are with many things in life, not just getting out of the house. School projects, homework, cleaning up after themselves, completing chores and errands and on and on. Much "wandering around aimlessly" and a flurry of activity at the end that threatens to derail the whole task at hand.

But if they get a project in their heads about which they are excited. BAM! The "focus laser" comes on and nothing can deter them.

My youngest came home today and proceeded to gather supplies from around the house and work on his Halloween costume for quite a while without getting distracted before he was done. And then? He cleaned up after himself!! Wacky, wild and weird in this household, let me tell you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

blahg-er is blah

Words haven't been floating around in my head so much the past week or so. Images, ideas, pictures, maybe other people's words if I feel like reading for a bit but I'm just not chatty. Not in real life, not on paper, not on the screen. Or in a box with a fox eating lox.
I think the stressing out over the lady parts and the fact that I fucked up and missed my ultrasound on Wednesday and now have to wait until Election Day for the damn thing is just too much to think about so my brain has decided to just not think the way it normally does. Or I had a stroke. (Ah, just kidding. )
So Election Day promises to be... interesting? As I've said before, I do not have the good luck with which my husband has been blessed. For him November 2 is a promising day. For me? It's a terrifying prospect of Republithugs and hysterectomies.
On the other hand, if they see something during my ultrasound, even if it's not good, at least I'll have an answer and hopefully a treatment will be decided for me. Because if they see nothing then I have to decide if I want to roll the dice on a hysterectomy since "it may or may not help with the pain of unknown causes." I'll probably vote no; Nate feels the same. But we are both also hoping for an answer. Ack! This whole thing is just one big-ass conundrum. I don't want to have something "wrong" with me, but I know something is wrong because I don't feel "right." But the doctors--so far--say it is nothing, basically.

As a side note: I finally disconnected my Tumblr account from my Facebook account because I was overwhelming too many people with posts. I know I'm usually too prolific for some people, so the addition of tumblahgblahgblahg to my normal load of blergh scared some people off from reading my page at all anymore.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Addendum

As a child we did have some family dinners at my Grandma and Grandpa Taylor's house and, usually, it was spaghetti if it wasn't a picnic or a holiday.
There was always a bag of sliced bread (often Vim), a tub of margarine (Parkay, maybe?), the crock full of spaghetti sauce and a Fire King Tulip motif mixing bowl full of San Giorgio spaghetti.

When I was older and living on my own--maybe even after I had my own children--I asked my grandma for her spaghetti sauce recipe, because I remembered how much I loved those meals.
It was then I learned that frying up some burger, tossing it in some Ragu, doctoring it with several "salts"--you know: celery, garlic and onion--and letting it simmer for a while, maybe even in a crockpot was a simple thing that could make your grandchildren think you were a real Italian chef.

Simple Things

I am a great lover of good food. From a hunk of cheese with a hunk of bread and some wine to an elaborate multi-course tasting menu, I love good food.
But sometimes, for me, good food is not always snob-worthy. Some of my favorite comfort meals in the world:
  • American cheese grilled on potato bread with a can of Campbell's tomato soup
  • Fried up burger in jarred red sauce over boxed spaghetti with Kraft grated Parmesan and a slice of packaged bread with--wait for it--Country Crock spread on it (I'm sure this is due to the overwhelming presence of margarine in my childhood. I find non-butter "butter" comforting.)
  • Reallyreally rich mashed potatoes with heaping helpings of sauerkraut on top of them
  • Harvard beets forked right from the jar
  • large curd, full fat cottage cheese on Triscuits with Fresca or TaB or ginger ale

Other than the beets, these are all, in one way or another, a remnant of my childhood. I don't have any particularly fond or poor memories of these foods; I simply remember these simple things. And I enjoy them shamelessly.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

In re: last post

  • This is Tubeland; this is Tableland. You tell me who's more fun; I know I made my decision.
  • Apparently, that hawt picture does not exist at all anymore. I Googled "adventures in tubeland" and that picture does not come up at all. Strange. There's a conspiracy there somewhere, but I don't know what it is yet. Any of my fellow theorists have anything for me?
  • I forgot to mention this post also used to be the near the top Google Image results for Jayne Mansfield. Now it no longer appears at all. Wassup with that, yo?

My favorite part of Blogger is the stats page.

I don't know how long the stats tab has existed on Blogger, but I only came across in the beginning of September when I started trying to be an active blogger again. I learn so much from this tab that I like to check it even on days I haven't actually blogged.

I do use Feedjit on my homepage, but that shows me my own views and I have to click a few times if I want to see where from where people are arriving. The stats page puts that all within on or two clicks and doesn't track my own pageviews.

So my favorite things I have learned over the past month:

  1. If my post title sounds confessional or dirty pageviews zooooom!
  2. Despite how hipster everyone always seems to want to sound when discussing their computer usage, check out the following: 48% of my audience uses Internet Explorer. The other 52% is split between a dozen other browsers. (Congrats to that one person who is the sole Java web browser member of my audience. Who knew there was a Java web browser? I had to Google it to be sure it was a real thing.)
  3. Again, the hipster quotient is blown to bits: 73% of you use Windows operating systems. The rest? Macintosh (12%), iPhone (6%), Other Unix (5%), BlackBerry (1%)
  4. Much of my audience arrives here from NetworkedBlogs on Facebook, so I'm glad I installed that. Thanks FB friends for reading.

A few things I learned from Feedjit, but I love so much that I have to share:

  1. A lot of my traffic also arrives from Zen Comix whose author has included me on his blogroll, so thanks to him! Check out Dave Dugan's funny and timely political cartoons and political musings.
  2. On Google, I am the third listing when you search for "hey hey you get into my car" which is a lyric from a Billy Ocean song from the '80s. To be honest, I don't even remember why I titled this post "Hey! (Hey!) You (You!): Get into my car!" but I did, so there you go.
  3. For a very long while, if you Googled "24 hour pH study" on Google images, my HAAAAAWT picture from "Adventures in Tubeland" was the number one image. The Google started their "instant result" bullshit and this picture disappeared entirely from the results. Like, that day. What's up with that, yo? (By the way, even if you Google 24 hour ph study hawt the picture does not exist, but a lot of non-hawt pictures do. Weeeeeiiiirrrrrrd...)

And something I learned a long time ago, but alwaysalways forget until it's too late. (This has nothing to do with Google, Blogger or Feedjit. Or anything else in this post. But it is bothering RIGHT NOW, so I will share it anyway.) When you give you dog's horse hooves to chew on, your house will smell slightly like horse piss and horse manure until they finish them. Apparently that whole sterilizing thing they do to the the hooves can't even remove that stank.

PS Blogger's spellcheck thinks "hawt" is not a word, but "ha wt" is a totally acceptable substitute. Also? Tubeland does not exist, but "Tableland" does. Huh, go figure. I wonder how you get there...

PPS Blogger's spellcheck has also never heard of Facebook, blogroll, or BlackBerry. Get with it, Blogger's spellcheck!!

Monday, October 04, 2010

I did a bad, bad thing.

Today I have been chilly. Unusually chilly even for my cold-blooded self. The dampness on top of it was doing my joints no good, either. So I checked the temperature of our house and the thermostat said 62°! That is low by most people's standards I would think.

So that's when I did a bad, bad thing. I turned the heat on on October 3rd.

Don't tell Nate. I'll just let him think the hissing of the radiator is my nose since my allergies are acting up.

Cucumbers smell good, but not as good as madeleines, apparently.

I forgot to sleep again.

I have been keeping vampire hours, but I have also been getting a solid eight hours most "nights." Last night, however, I just never got sleepy. So, once again, I am going to power through the day and hope for an early bedtime. No more than a two hour nap, no later than noon. Last time I tried this I still ended up staying awake until well past midnight and had mild hallucinations, but hey, it's worth another shot. The hallucinations, I mean. I have a TaB, a bunch of lit ginger/citrus candles, all of the downstairs lights on (it's rather gloomy out there today), loud '80s music and the promise of a hyyyyyooooooooge mug of coffee once I hit "Publish Post," so I think I will be good until about 10, when I will definitely require that nap.

I was still trying to read all of the Internet when Nate's alarm went off. I told him I'm halfway done as he made his way to the kitchen to make dinner in one of our myriad Crockpots. (I am the world's worst unemployed wife. I don't ask him to cook, though, he just does, so I guess I shouldn't feel quite so guilty.) He had pureed some mangoes this weekend unbeknownst to me and had taken chicken out of the freezer last night, so this morning he chopped up a few cucumbers and added some other ingredients and we will be having Caribbean chicken with rice for supper tonight.

My whole house now smells beautifully of cucumbers. There have always been cucumbers in my life; it's one of the few vegetables my mother's family seems to like fresh. So I was hoping the smell would bring to mind some writerly musings on my life. Alas, my brain is collapsing in on itself due to its vast emptiness.

I did want to write a short post about a few things I miss from my childhood, but said post will be neither profound nor literary, so I'll save that for later.

And now, WE DRINK. (Coffee...)

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