Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I noticed on my blogger dashboard that yesterday's post was post #99, which would make this one post #100! Wow, who knew. I didn't really know how much I would enjoy blogging, how freeing it would feel to just write whatever I feel like writing, whenever I feel like writing it, and to not really worry much about whether it's good or not. Amazing what a difference that makes, that worry about whether someone will like it or not. But hey, I'm not getting graded, I'm not getting paid, it's just something that I do for me, so I can write whatever I want. I like that. So I'm thinking about how this blog started...my first post was about Thanksgiving. After that I mostly did restaurant reviews, which was my original idea for this blog. It was originally called, Thinking About Food. But then I got bored with writing about restaurants, and wasn't finding myself thinking about food so often, so I started writing about other things...and by January, I had hardly any restaurant reviews, and mostly just posts about what I was thinking. About how I beat my child. About cheating on my husband. Porn. Polygamy. Whatever.

And, along the way, I feel like I'm making a few online friends...which is strange...when you start caring about people that you don't know and will likely never meet...but you DO find yourself caring. I worry about L's son and what Huggy Nun is up to next. I wonder how MIM's move is going, hope she's coping OK. I'm rooting for Bite My Cookie's new business to take off and make her famous in Portland. Wendy's coffee maker is troubling, but at least I know she's got the lyrics in her mind to cope..."Black...black coffee in bed" :) I like reading about Jessica and her family. Then there are the bigger blogs, the two main Bitches in my life, who don't know that I exist, but I love their writing and go there every day, and I care about what goes on with them. And Pony Storm, who comments on my site from time to time. I've made some friends in this odd, disconnected way, and it's nice.

So I guess for now this whole blogging thing is sticking, and I'll keep it up a bit longer. Thanks for stopping by once in awhile.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Communication 101

I was sitting on our beautiful new sofa last night, having a glass of wine, and trying to get sucked into my book. It wasn't working so much last night, and there was nothing on TV, and Ted and Maya were already snoozing, so I was a bit bored. I started going through a drawer, and I found a series of notes between Maya and myself from sometime last year, maybe the year before, I'm not sure. Here's what I remember. I told her to go to bed, and she ignored me. I asked again, and she ignored me. We got in a big fight about it. I told (yelled at) her that she never listens to me. She went to her room and slammed her door, and wrote me this letter. She brought it to me and went back in her room. I wrote my response, etc. I thought you might get a kick out of the sequence of communication in my house...

I love this one for two reasons...1st, I just LOVE the little angry face.
2nd I love that she is so stinking mad, but she still signs it, "love". :)

This is the other side. She asked me to mark
whether I still love her, and return it.

I marked it, and then wrote a note of my own:

This is the last page...if you look at the bottom, you can see that she LOVES me, but still calls me a liar for saying she never listens. And she's right. I am a liar. She does listen. Sometimes.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Yoga thoughts...

A few months ago, during my yoga class, my teacher talked about a philosophy that kind of threw me for a loop. This was before I started my blog, so I didn't write about it then...you all know I can't have a thought without writing these days...and since I have no new thoughts today (outside of sorting girl scout cookies and what's for dinner), I thought I would try to bring some of those lost yogi thoughts back to my conscious mind. Now, I don't know what any of these philosophies were CALLED, because I was doing yoga, not taking notes. So don't ask me.

But...here it is...a lot of yoga, the philosophy, is about removing the pain from life. Living a life without pain, without suffering. If you want to stop causing pain, then the answer is to stop. What that meant to me was that if I want to stop causing myself pain, I should be kinder to myself. Stop beating myself up over mistakes made, goals left unaccomplished, things like that. Cut me some slack. And, if we carry this one step further, we can stop causing pain to those we love by being kinder to them. We don't have to torture ourselves about it, mire ourselves in shame and grief, just stop doing whatever it is that we do to cause them pain. If everyone could do this somehow, if we could ALL stop causing each other so much pain, be kinder to each other, to other nations, to our planet, to our beloved families, everyone. We could alleviate a LOT of the suffering that goes on in this world.

Maybe this is the time when the poets can say it better than I can.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 24, 2006

Where's Tonya Harding when we NEED her?

And no, I'm not actually talking about the olympics. I'm talking about the evil-one-who-must-not-be-named-but-surely-stays-sickeningly-thin-by-injecting-herself-with-her-own-urine. Read on for choice quotes like these: "I think we should have saved the ushers some time and just removed all the ugly people" and ""You don't want the Republicans in power, does that mean you want a dictatorship, gay boy?"

Very nice. I try not to let her get to me, because she's just stupid and not worth it, but it would be easier if she would STOP OPENING HER STUPID MOUTH. I SO want Tonya to take out the evil-one's knee cap.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Cousin...

I have a cousin, Tony, who I only knew as a small child. He was about 10 or 12 years older than me, and I worshiped him. When I was about 4, we moved to a homestead outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, and we really didn't know anything at all about living in that kind of environment. He was raised there, so he came out to stay with us and show us how to do all of the things we had to do...(when I say 'we', I mean my mom...I was, after all, 4). We had no phone, no running water, a coal burning pot bellied stove for heat, a broken down Ford Bronco for transportation, and a sled team that we fed but didn't have pull us around, to my disappointment.

Well, when I was about 6, Tony went away. I don't remember where he went...seems like it was too early yet for it to be pipeline work, though that's what everyone in Alaska did at the time. But he left. I was devistated. Cried and cried and cried, because I KNEW I would never see him again. And I didn't. We lost track of that part of our family when we came back to California, and that was that.

A couple of years ago, I was working on some genealogy stuff, and I 'met' a second cousin online, who is my cousin Tony's niece. I got in touch with my aunt through her, and then with Tony, via snail mail. He is just as wonderful and kind as I remembered. But there's a rub. He's in prison. Maybe forever. When he was very young, probably within a year or two of when I last saw him, he got involved in drugs. Somehow he thought that getting high and robbing a cab would be a good idea. It wasn't. He shot and killed the cab driver. When we came down from his 'high', he couldn't even believe that he had done such a thing, didn't believe it, wouldn't accept it. It took several years for him to come to some kind of terms with his actions, with what it meant to that man and his family, and now to himself and his own family, who must see him rotting away in prison. He's been there ever since. And yet, he still has this gentle, wonderful quality to him that hasn't been squashed out by the horrible circumstances in which he finds himself. Amazing.

His experience, or what I know of it, has opened my eyes a bit to the world of a criminal. How someone can do something so horrid, so inexcusable as murder, and find redemption. How others live on the outside and do horrid things every day, and get away with them. It's not simple, easy, or defined for me. I feel very conflicted about the whole thing. What I know is, he's my cousin, and I love him very much.

If you're interested in reading some of his stuff, you can read a column here. It's from '98. I don't know if he's written anything lately. Muh.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thoughts on Reading...

I've seen this posted a few places, most notably here and here. You fill in the blank, either on your blog or in the comments section. Everybody should read _____________________.

So, here's my list of things everybody should read:
1. This Post, from Angry Black Bitch
2. Chrysanthemum
3. The Lorax
4. The 100 Dresses
5. The Red Tent
6. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
7. Bel Canto
8. A Wrinkle in Time
9. The Handmaids Tale
10. The Mists of Avalon
11. The Forgotten Door
12. The Grapes of Wrath
13. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
14. Invisible Man

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Does this Bother You?

It bothers me. There's a story on Yahoo today about a computer system you can use to check what your kids are eating at school. And you can limit what they can or cannot eat, how often, etc. I have a couple of thoughts on this.

  1. If we don't want our kids eating crap at school, STOP SELLING CRAP AT SCHOOL.
  2. If you don't want your kids eating crap at school, and the school sells crap, pack them a lunch. Better yet, do it with them, so they can see what healthy choices are. Tell them, it's good to have some protein, some carbs, some calcium, some fruit, veggies, etc. Get them involved in the process. (Not that I do this, really, but we have talked about why I pack what I pack).
  3. If kids don't have some practice making their own food choices, when are they supposed to learn? So, if the school serves only healthy options, the kids learn within those options. If the school also serves crap, the kids learn within those options. You can discuss nutrition with your children, talk to them about healthy choices, an acceptable amount of junk to include in a 'healthy' diet, etc. But at some point, they need to be able to make their own choices.
  4. Our culture is already SO obsessed with food...do we really need to be doing this to our kids?
  5. If you have nothing better to do than spy on your kids' lunch decisions, get a life.
Sigh. Sometimes the world is too weird for me.

Dream symbolism?

Has anyone seen "The Straight Story", about a guy who drives his lawnmower a couple of states over to visit his estranged brother? Well, I kind of had that dream last night, except my lawnmower thing was smaller than this one, with no trailer, and I wasn't going to visit my estranged brother (I have a brother, but we're not estranged, even in weird David Lynch type dreams). I was driving across the country, which I have done a few times, but usually in a normal car. With stopping for food and sleep, the drive from SF to Philly takes about 4 days. Well, in my dream it was already day 2, and I had only gotten to Sacramento or Tahoe or something like that. I stopped to ditch the mower and rent a real car, and maybe get a job waitressing at a diner while I was stopped over...what could this all mean? I'm thinking it's a spicy milange, composed of Maya's report on the Donner Party, the TV show Alice, and maybe the aforementioned "The Straight Story". Which is a pretty good movie, by the way. You should rent it. It's rated G, so the kids can watch, but it's not a kids movie. Way too much talk talk talk blah blah blah for most little ones. FYI.

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was jam packed with fun.

Got to leave work early on Friday, in celebration of the long weekend. :) I went home and started dinner, which was fancy tuna sandwiches. We went to Ted's brother's house to eat dinner and watch Battlestar Galactica, which we do every Friday now. We don't get Sci-Fi channel on our cable, but his brother has satellite or something. We can't get it, because of the trees near our house, and we're too cheap to pay for the expensive cable that would come with the channel. But it's fun anyway.

Saturday was cleaning day. Ugh. My kitchen was so disgusting, it was embarrasing. My stove has been accumulating grease for ages now, and we have hardly any hot water in the kitchen (I keep saying I'll call a plumber, but we never do), so it's hard to do properly. So Saturday I filled the sink with hot soapy water from a tea kettle and took an SOS pad to the stove. I scrubbed and scrubbed. I climbed on the counters and cleaned the cabinets. Well, getting the whole kitchen ship-shape took HOURS. In that time, Ted and Maya cleaned the whole rest of the house. Then Ted went to play his drums, and I went to the grocery store. I had some lovely friends coming over for a little appitizer/girl party. :) We had lots of yummy food, including smoked salmon tea sandwiches, turkey tea sandwiches, carmelized onion dip, brie/pear/filo tarts, and fruit and carrots to round it out. Ted and Maya went to a movie (Eight Below, which is based on a Japanese Documentary called Antartica, and was better than expected...), while we had girl talk and fun.

Sunday we had ice cream for lunch, which was a mistake. Didn't feel too well after that. We had a healthy dinner to make up for it, thankfully. Thanks once again to Ina Garten's cookbook, Barefoot Contessa, because it was a mighty tasty roasted chicken. Then we watched part of Kings and Queen, which was interesting...it's a French film, and the characters aren't really what they seem at first. Peeled onion, that's all I have to say. That doesn't mean it will make you cry...just means that it has layers. I couldn't watch it all on Sunday night, though, so I finished it on Monday morning.

Yesterday was so nice...it was great to have a third day off. I think we should have that EVERY week. Anyone want to vote on that one? We just hung out in the morning. Then we met Ted's brother for lunch (CA Pizza Kitchen). Then we hung out at the book store for a little while. Ted had a drum lesson, so we went home. Maya watched TV, and I did some ironing upstairs while I watched Buffy DVDs on the computer. Then Ted cooked dinner (Lamb Curry...mmm), we ate, and so on. There was homework in there somewhere, too, Sunday and Monday. At some point we watched the first episode of Dead Like Me, which we got from Netflix. It was a really nice weekend, over all. Hope yours was equally groovy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Baby, Then and Now

This is Maya at 15 days old, and Maya 15 days ago. She looks the same to me....my baby.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Letter to the Dinosaurs

When Maya was 4 years old, she was REALLY into Dinosaurs. My brother bought her a DVD called "Walking with Dinosaurs" that she had seen on the Discovery Channel, and she LOVED it. Except the end, where the asteroid comes and wipes out 90% of life on Earth, including the Dinosaurs. So she wrote them this letter (dictated, obviously, but the picture she drew...her favorite dinosaur was the diplodocous...she was 4 1/2). This was written in November of 2000, when she was getting ready to go to Autumn's birthday party. Click on the image to make it bigger and easier to read.

Sunday Funnies

Source: New Yorker Magazine 2006 Cartoon Calendar.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Have an extra $5? Looking for good Karma points?

Then click over here. POW has a good idea...Read the story, click the COTA page, and do what you can. Just a thought.

Happy Friday!!

Why I'm Moving to Vancouver....

I was walking the other day, listening to a podcast on my beloved iPod. The podcast was of an NPR show, To the Best of our Knowledge, and it was about Canada. One of the segments was with a sociologist, Michael Adams, who wrote this book. It's all about how the values of the United States are not the same as the values of Canada, and how that is becomming more and more the case as time goes by. For example:

  • In the mid-1950's, 60% of Canadians told pollsters they went to church each Sunday: the proportion in the U.S. was only 50%. Today, only 22% of Canadians claim weekly church attendance , whereas the proportion in the U.S. is 42%.

  • In 1996, 46% of Americans polled agreed with the statement, "The father of the family must be master in his own home." This number was 22% in Canada. In 2000, the numbers had changed to 49%/18%.

  • 25% of Americans believe that men are naturally superior to woman. 10% of Canadians believe this.

  • 25% of Americans feel that violence is a normal part of ones daily routine, and an acceptable way to get what you want, vs. 10% in Canada.

  • Americans brag about the new car they just bought; Canadians are more likely to boast about the trips they have taken.

  • Canadians are far more sceptical (27% more) than Americans regarding advertising.

  • Americans give more to religious institutions while Canadians give to health and social service institutions.

  • By the 1990s television was absorbing almost 40% of the average American's leisure time, a third more than in the 1960s, for a total of 4 hours a day, or 28 hours per week. The number of sixth-graders with a TV set in their bedroom grew from 6% in 1970 to 77% in 1999, and that two American kids in three ages 8 to 18 say that the TV is usually on during meals in the homes.

  • A 2002 Pew Research Center poll of more the 38,000 people in 44 countries found Canada to be the only nation where a majority, in this case a very strong majority of 77%, said that immigrants have a good influence on their country, well ahead of the United States where only 49% felt the same way.

  • Canada now spends 45% of its gross domestic product on government services, which is close to the average for the countries of the European Union. The United States, spends 35% -including double the amount spent by the entire European Union on defence.

    Adams feels that this difference is due to our patriarchal beliefs, our religious beliefs, and the American Dream, that Americans like to identify ourselves, to judge our country with the greatest among us...we like to think that if Bill Gates can start out in his garage, and end up richer than God, then so can we, we all have that chance. Canadians like to judge the country by how the least among them are doing...by the treatment received by the poor, the elderly, the children. I don't see one thing here that I feel closer to America than I do to Canada. Did you read The Handmaids Tale? It's a creepy world where we find ourselves these days.

    Within Canada? I choose Vancouver, because it's the closest to my family. Mom & brother in Juneau, Sister in Seattle, Sister and Dad in Portland. Plus I've heard it's a GREAT city. When you come visit us, pack an umbrella.
  • Thursday, February 16, 2006

    This Book Is Stressing Me Out

    I decided to read this book because Maya has a couple of his children's books, and they are really clever and well written and smart. So I thought I would try one of his novels for adults. This book is pretty amazing, especially since it's written by a man. That sounds like a pretty sweeping statement, I know, but he really seems to GET a lot of the nuances of being a woman, especially about the pressures put on us by men regarding sexuality and so on. I mentioned some of this in an earlier post. Well, I am now at the part of the book where she is being beaten by her husband. For 17 years. Ugh. Broken bones, teeth, cuts, hair pulled out of her scalp, horrid, horrid stuff. Kicking and beatings and rape. Just bad. And none of it is graphic or gratuitous or anything like that, but he again really shows the mindset of the victim...of a woman and how she got to be here. He's an amazing author. I'm going to read some fluff novels after this, and then maybe tackle another of his books, and see if it's as gritty and real.

    (UPDATE: I finished the book last night...he started in on the oldest daughter, and the woman in the story cleaned his clock with a frying pan, and kicked him out. He never came back. What a relief. I mean, the story is told in flashbacks, and you KNOW from the first page that 1. She has kicked him out, and 2. He's been killed, but I was definately wondering what brought her to it, if 17 years of constant beatings wouldn't do it. One of the saddest things about the book is that she says she would have told anyone who asked, any of the doctors or nurses, what was going on, so they could help her. But in 17 years of trips to the hospital, no one ever asked her what happened. Not once. Sad.)

    One horrible thing that this book has done is made me remember when I was a girl...one of the worst, if not the worst, memories of my childhood. My mom and I were coming home from the grocery store, and all of the neighbors were standing in front of their houses, looking down the street. We looked to see what was going on. There was a woman, hanging on for dear life to the puny little tree in her front yard. She was screaming for help, while her husband tried to pull her off of the tree and bring her back into the house, so he could finish what he had started. All of these neighbors, big strong men, standing there, saying, "It's none of my business, I'm not getting involved". God, it makes me sick to even remember it. My mom and I went into the house, and she called the police. I remember seeing the impotent fury in her face, knowing that she wanted to DO something, but didn't know how or what. I'm not a big strong person, and my mom is smaller than me even (though she may have still been taller than me at that point, but not for long). I remember feeling guilty, that maybe if I were to run across the street and try to help, maybe that would galvanize one of the big strong men to get involved, to help that woman. But I didn't do it.

    The next day, I went to 7-11 for something, and she was there. She worked there. She was telling another woman about how sorry he was, how he cried and begged her to forgive him. She said, "He's always SO SORRY", with such bitterness in her voice. I'll never forget that day. I wish I could.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    Sometimes I Miss Philly

    You may never hear me say this again, because it doesn't happen often, but sometimes I miss Philadelphia. We only lived there for 2 years, from 1994-1996, and I never considered it 'home', so when I say I don't miss it often, I'm not saying it isn't a great city. It is. But when we lived there, I spent a lot of time being homesick for San Francisco. We would come home for Christmas, and we would both just hate the idea of going back to Philly, with its cold, cold winters, and the humid, sultry summers, so far away from our friends and family.

    But after awhile, we started to get used to the place. We sometimes wonder if we had stayed, how our lives would be different. I wonder, if we had realized that we weren't going to live in SF again (at least not yet), but were going to be stuck in the 'burbs, if we would have come back to CA at all. Probably, because we have family here. But maybe we'd be living in a little house in Narberth, a suburb of Philly, with a Weeping Cherry tree in our yard.

    So, what do I miss about Philly? I used to like waking up at 5am and looking out the window, seeing the snow falling. Going to sleep knowing that it would probably be melted before I really had to deal with it. And dealing meant driving on it, since we lived in a big apartment building, so we didn't have to shovel or anything like that.

    I liked sitting on our balcony on the 4th of July, watching fireworks over the neighboring towns. We were 16 floors up, so we could see 3 or 4 towns' fireworks going off, without dealing with mosquitoes or crowds.

    I liked going to Dmitri's for dinner. You could get really good softshell crab there. They were BYO, a term foreign to Californians, but what it meant was you got to bring your own wine, which they would chill for you and serve, without the markup that you would get at most restaurants, and no corkage fee. A lot of the smaller restaurants in Philly don't have liquor licenses, so that's how they deal with it. They didn't take reservations, so you would go in, drop off your bottle of wine, leave your name with the hostess, and go to the bar across the street for a drink. They would come and get you when your table was ready. It was great. And the crab was very yummy and crispy.

    I liked taking walks in the evening, in the summer, with Maya in her stroller, and seeing the lighting bugs (fireflys) come out. I hope Maya can see that sometime.

    I liked being able to drive to Washington DC or New York, go to museums there, that kind of thing. The East Coast is so much older than the West Coast, and they have so much more...culture. I used to resent it when people would say that, but it's true.

    I liked having world class museums right there. We were walking distance from the Barnes Foundation, which was a house maybe 1/2 mile from our apt, with an amazing collection of art, as well as a really beautiful arboretum.

    I liked the history of Philadelphia. I liked that it was the first capital of our nation. That the Declaration of Independence was signed there, that our nation's forefathers wrote the Constitution there. That you could stand in the footprints of Abraham Lincoln and JFK, in front of Independence Hall. I even liked the Liberty Bell. It was really cool to be so close to so much history, to so many things that I had studied in school, but which seemed so remote while I was studying them.

    I liked the cobbled streets in Center City, and the movie theaters showing Independent Films with all of the retired folks going in the middle of the afternoon.

    I also liked going to Longwoods Gardens, which was about 40 minutes from our place, but really beautiful and a nice way to while away an afternoon.

    I liked driving to work in the morning, through Fairmount Park and Boathouse Row (above, with the snow), and the Art Museum (where Rocky famously ran up the steps).

    I liked buying fruits and veggies from the Amish who came in and dealt with us 'English' once in awhile.

    I liked going to work at the University of Pennsylvania, walking down Locust Walk to my office.

    I liked Roasty Toasty pretzels with mustard, really good hoagies, lemon flavored water-ice on a hot day, and how GREEN everything was. I especially miss that when California turns brown.

    I miss living close to Rosemary (Chadds Ford, near the DE border) and Janet (NYC). I miss the new friendships Ted and I made there that have fallen by the wayside, because we don't live close anymore, and it's been 10 years since we've seen those people.

    There's a lot to miss. It's where we moved about a year after getting married. It's where we depended solely upon each other. It's where Maya was born.

    Today is one of those days, when I kind of miss Philly. Maybe I'm ready for an East Coast vacation...to New York, Philly, maybe DC. Maybe even Boston, which I've never seen, but many of my ancestors are from that general area. I could go and look at their graves or something.

    Don't get me started on the things I DON'T miss about Philly, though. I could write a book.

    My Thoughts, Exactly.

    Or, close, since I didn't know about the dinner. But there's a pattern here. Anyway, Echidne of the Snakes, a lovely liberal blogger, has a great post about the Hunting Accident, which sums it up pretty well, I think.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Maybe it's time to stop with the jokes?

    The second story, when combined with the first, make for some pretty bad timing, wouldn't you say?

    Hunter Shot by Cheney Has Heart Attack

    White House Finds Humor in Hunting Mishap

    Happy Valentine's Day

    Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day? Is it so Hallmark, FTD, and See's can make money? I think it's right behind Christmas and Mother's Day as big money makers for the retail industry. You can't turn on the radio without hearing ads telling you to buy your wife a pearl, diamond, or ruby. If you're not married yet, the pressure is to get engaged, NOW, on Valentine's day. Mostly, though, it's a completely manufactured holiday, full of all of the pressure of shopping and buying, reservations at fancy restaurants and romance. Now I know these things don't have to be stressful...but for many people, they are, and the burdon seems to fall heavily on men. Get your girlfriend/wife a gift and a card, or you're toast. Why? Because it's a day for LOVERS. Don't you love her? Come on, fella, buy buy buy! Wouldn't it be nicer to take it easy on V-Day? Give your sweetie a nice kiss and a hug. Celebrate if you wish, buy some flowers and a card, but not the $100 roses. Something simple.

    I pretty much feel conflicted about Valentine's day. On the one hand, it's nice. It's nice to remind my husband and my daughter that I love them. But boy, I'm sick of people on the radio/tv/newspaper telling me what it's supposed to be, diamonds, roses, fancy dinner, and romance. As if you can't have romance without those things. As if you can't have romance any day of the year. Do I celebrate Valentine's Day? Yes, sure I do. My husband and I said our first "I Love Yous" close to Valentine's day all those years ago, and I have a smushy spot in my heart for the holiday because of it. But it's because of that time, and because I feel fortunate that I still have him in my life, that I like to celebrate. Not because Tom Shane tells me I need new pearls.

    If you're all out of ideas, though, how about plastic surgery?

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Weekend Wrap Up

    This was a lovely weekend, which started with a brand new Sofa and Mattress set on Friday afternoon. Yay! The sad story of our old mattress is that it was a King, but to get it up the stairs of our low-ceilinged townhome, you had to kind of bend it...which may be part of why it was hurting our backs, that it got damaged somehow when we moved in. Or, it could just be that it was about time for it to die....it was about 9 years old. So, new mattress came, King size, a week ago, but it couldn't fit up the stairs. :( So they took it away. We went around looking for another, but we finally decided that what we really wanted was the bed we had picked out...a beautiful, fancy, Chattam and Wells, SOOOO COMFY. So we got it in a Queen. Well, that came on Friday, and Friday night was kind of difficult sleeping. I was afraid I was going to fall off of the bed. Saturday and Sunday were better, though. Whew. Our sofa was 10 years old, and it was definately time for it to be put out to pasture. The Salvation Army wouldn't take it (too many faded spots, etc.), so we had to pay the garbage collection people extra money for them to take it. Bye sofa! Our new one came on Friday, with the bed, and it's SO comfy. Yay! We haven't had any new furniture in years, so it was pretty exciting.

    Saturday we went to lunch at Chow in Lafayette. I had a really yummy thai chicken salad, which was just what I wanted. It had chili pepper in it, and red and yellow bell peppers, spicy arugala leaves, celery (blech), and some chicken and nuts. Perfect. Ted had a Cobb Salad, which he really liked, and Maya had a 'good hot dog'. That's what it said on the menu...."good hot dog". So we all enjoyed our lunch, and then we went into the city to look at drum parts. We ended up going to a place called Sam Adato's Drum Shop, on 9th street. The guy was very professional, and very helpful with getting Ted just what he needed. :) I had a stranger on the street tell me he was in love with me, and a very gay guy in a shop tell me I'm beautiful. I'm telling you, I'm moving back to San Francisco! When I lived in Stockton, if some guy on the street had told me he was in love with me, I would have been afraid that he would stalk me or something. He would have followed me down the street, asking for my number or something creepy. But in the City, it just means that you washed your hair that week, and the weather is gorgous, and everyone is feeling fine and frisky. Nice. We came home, and I made a lovely pasta dish with sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Mmmm. I climbed in bed that night and tried to watch a DVD on the computer in our room, but that didn't work too well....I passed out. That's one good reason not to have a TV in your bedroom, folks. Here's another.

    Sunday was breakfast with Ted's friend, Scott, who was down from Reno. We went to our neighborhood joint, Cafe Heavanly. Then ironing and watching the same DVD from Saturday night, while Ted and Maya did some more drum shopping. Sunday evening, we went to dinner at Pat and his beautiful S.O.'s house, where they spoiled us with Heirloom Tomatoes (In February??? Amazing), REALLY yummy shrimp, and a HUGE bowl of pesto. Mmmm. Plus homemade chocolate cake, ice cream, and more wine than you could shake a stick at. I don't know why you'd want to shake a stick at wine, when it's so much nicer to drink it and enjoy, but hey, if you're so inclined, don't let me stop you.

    That was the weekend. Hope yours was equally lovely, full of friends, great weather, wine and laughter. :)

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    Trifecta of Neuroses....

    Sunday afternoon, I watched a DVD and did some ironing. I hate ironing. But I hate that pile of unironed clothes even more, so...anyway, I watched part 2 in the trifecta of woman's neuroses, "Babyfever". These movies can be kind of scary, when you realize just HOW neurotic some women are about food, babies, and I'm assuming, shopping. Maybe we all are to some extent. On a small sidetrack, I read a book a couple of years ago called "Wasted", about an anoretic and her experiences, and the two things that struck me the most were her comment that she STILL doesn't know any women who are completely normal about food...and I'm not sure I do either, myself definately included. The other thing was that she wrote this book, had this revalation about how she was wasting her life, and then when I looked on the internet, it seems she's still suffering from it. Sad, really.

    Anyway, back to the movies. The comments are from Amazon or Yahoo movies. The comments in () are mine.

    Part I is called Eating, circa 1990: A sophisticated modern comedy about women, love, neuroses and the food that binds them all… Henry Jaglom’s EATING! At a fashionable party in Southern California, a parade of women hilariously mingle and muse on their body image hang-ups, eating disorders, and the love-hate relationship between femmes and food.
    (Best line: I just wish I could find a man who excites me as much as a good baked potato. Now, I am happy to say that my husband is better than ANY potato, but boy, a good baked potato CAN make me pretty darned happy.)

    Part II, Babyfever, circa 1994: This time Jaglom's real-life wife and cowriter, Victoria Foyt, frets over a pregnancy with a man she is not sure she loves. The setting is a baby shower in Malibu, where a roomful of women shares angst over their biological clocks and the terrors and delights of mommyhood. Jaglom has much to say, but his trademark humor is less apparent than usual and Foyt's performance borders on the shrill. The subplot, involving Zack Norman as an executive desperately trying to raise money, is superfluous. This fictionalized documentary is one of Jaglom's more indulgent efforts, but a Jaglom production is always worth the effort, even when he is not in top form.
    (This one kind of freaked me out. These women were OUT there. But there was definately a kernal of truth to it all. I remember wanting to get pregnant very badly, starting when I was about 25...so if I had continually felt that way until I was almost 40, maybe I would be as shrill as these women. Who knows.)

    Part III, Going Shoping circa 2005: Holly G. is a successful clothing designer with her own boutique. In the course of a tumultuous Mother's Day weekend she is confronted with deceit, elation, desperation, kleptomania, rebellion, addiction and passion. All this while under pressure to save her business and her family in just three days!
    (I don't know if this film will be in the same format as the other two, with women confessing their feelings to the camera. It just came out in '05, so I'm waiting for Netflix. I'm expecting a lot of neurotic upper class women, though.)

    I got tagged...

    I got tagged for a brand new MEME by L. Here goes:

    1) What was the last thing you prayed for?
    I prayed for Autumn's Mom's Mom to get a job. I am an athiest, so I don't know how much it will help. But I prayed for my mom to get a job, and she did, so I figure, it can't hurt.

    2) What was the nicest thing you ever did for someone else?
    I gave birth to my daughter. How can you top that, giving someone life? I try to be a nice person, generally, but I don't know how much I succeed.

    3) What do you think about to cheer yourself up when you`re down about something?
    Depends. If I'm pissed off at someone, I like to think of them suffering, maybe dying in some horrid way.
    If I'm generally blue, I count my blessings. I have plenty, so it takes awhile. That I have plenty is one of the blessings, actually.

    Autumn's Mom, did you see on L's blog that you got tagged? Hop to it, missy.


    I had a dream last night, that Maya was at a Girl Scout sleepover, and the parents were all there chatting, snacking, drinking and having a party. There were also people there from an old job I had, and other kids/parents from the school, that aren't in the Scouts. Well, at one point, Ted said, I wonder how Maya's doing, and I went outside to check. I saw two kids from the school, Robert and Chanel, and I said, "Have you seen Maya?" Robert said, "She's in the corner of the yard with the rest of the girl scouts, lighting up." So I went over to see what was going on, and she was smoking cigarettes with the other scouts, and one of the school moms was showing them how! What kind of a badge do they get for that, I wonder? Well, I went over and took Maya by the hand, and pulled her out of there. I went inside and told the other moms, and they went and got their daughters, and that was one SHORT sleepover. And as we were on our way out, and Ted was telling her why she shouldn't smoke, and she should know better, and we KNOW that it was a parent teaching them, but she shouldn't listen to everything the parents say. I was thinking about how quickly kids get addicted, and how i hoped this one cig hadn't started some sort of addiction, and she wasn't going to turn out being a smoker...and then I thought....I'm going to have to blog about this.

    See, even in my DREAMS, nothing happens to me without me thinking of blogging...not a thought or an experience or a whim, that doesn't end up here for you people to read. It's kind of pathetic, sometimes 4 posts in one day. I need help. I need medication for....blogarreah.

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Welcome to Good Burger

    Thursday nights are yoga nights for me...which means that sometimes Ted cooks, but usually he takes Maya out to dinner, and then comes home and brings me something to eat from wherever he went, and I eat it when I get back from yoga. Mmmm. Dinner, yoga, and Lost on TV (recorded from Wednesday night)...my favorite night of the week.

    Well, this week he brought me back a burger from Mel's on Main Street (sounds like we live in Happy Day's land or something). I have to tell you, it was the BEST BURGER I've had in FOREVER. Sooooo good. Still hot, which means they must have gotten home right before I did. Crispy, tasty fries. But the burger...wow. I don't know if I've ever had a burger at Mel's before, so I don't know if they're always that good or not. Juicy, tasty, nice mix on the sauce, nice bun, everything perfect. I was a very happy girl. So, if you want to take yoga, come home, watch Lost and eat a burger, I suggest you have Ted get you a Good Burger (w/ Cheese, of course) from Mels. A word of warning for the non-cow eaters in the crowd...Ted got the veggie burger, and it was "so-so". Consider yourself warned.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Maya's Mom

    Since I live in California, I am contractually obligated to take a yoga class, so I do. I don't want to fall behind on my committments, and then have to pay some fine or something. Well, I've been taking yoga for almost 2 years now, just once a week, and I love it. Thursday night is my favorite night of the week. My teacher not only gets us all bendy and twisty, she teaches us some pretty cool stuff about the philosophies of yoga. I've taken yoga before, at the gym, and none of the other classes I've taken actually take 10 minutes at the beginning of class to talk to us about our intentions, or about trying to let go of certain unhealthy behaviors, or about the many different levels of consciousness. It's great. I love it. And I come home so relaxed, so happy. All this, without even a glass of wine! It's amazing.

    Anyway, a few Thursdays ago, I said something to my teacher before class about my daughter, and she looked at me, surprised, and said, "I didn't know you had a daughter!" Can I tell you how much this shook me? I thought I went around with a flashing light on my forehead that said, "MAYA'S MOM!!!" I mean, being a parent has changed me so fundimentally, so much more than anything else I have done, that I just ASSUMED that everyone knew with a glance, "Oh, that's Julie. She's Maya's mom." It's not by any means ALL that I am. I am many things besides Maya's mom. I am a friend, a wife, a worker bee, a person who loves to read and listen to NPR and take walks in the rain. I am a person who likes to think about important issues like politics and human rights, but doesn't really enjoy discussing them. I still like horses, and I like to read childrens books. I don't like brussels sprouts, and I hate George Bush. I like to notice the sunrise in the morning, and the way that the oak trees look when they don't have any leaves. I don't live close to my family, which hurts almost every day. I like ballet movies, and stupid comedies, and independent films, and the occasional blockbuster. I like to swim. I love dogs, but not as much as my husband does. (He loves them all, I think). I am happily married, and I understand what a gift that is. I am me. But I am also, Maya's Mom. Shocking that she didn't see that about me. What else doesn't the world know, I wonder?

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    What will $1,030,000 buy around here?

    After I ate lunch at my desk, I thought I would get outside and enjoy this beautiful springlike weather we've been having, so I went to the store and got some M&Ms (peanut, if you care), and walked around the block. I remember when this house was renovating their yard last summer...looks like they did the inside too. It's a very pretty house...but come on, it's just a house. In the suburbs. If you have a cool million + some change, it can be yours.

    And what about this fancy 'staging' and website? Wow...real estate can be pretty intimidating, yeah?

    Blame Canada?

    Recently, Maya was working on a report about the California Missions for school, and we were reading about how the early explorers of 'Alta California' were looking for a passage between the Pacific and the Atlantic, which would be VERY valuable to them in getting wealth from the area back to Spain. They never found a route, though, and instead colonized California.

    Cut to the modern day: We have found a passage, through the Artic Ocean, called the Northwest Passage. It is seldom used because it is frozen over for much of the year, and the route is exteremly hazardous. One consequence of global warming appears to be that in as little as 10 years, the Northwest Passage could be free enough from ice in the summer to become a viable route between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Ships can save about 4,000 km between Europe and Asia by using the Northwest Passage. So, does this mean we will be having disputes with Canada over these waters? The new Prime Minister of Canada is reasserting the Canadian claim to the area, while the U.S. claims that these are International Waters.

    So, could war break out between the U.S. and Canada? Will they join the 'Axis of Evil'? Nah, I don't think so either. But it's kind of scary to think of global warming melting so much ice, and what that will mean to Earth's climate (not to mention the Polar Bears).

    Looking for an Interesting Read? Or Listen?

    I was walking the dog this morning, in the dark, waiting for her to poop, (carrying my bag, and yes, I cleaned it up after), and listening to my beautiful little iPod Nano. I love listening to music, but even more, I like listening to podcasts. So I was listening to an NPR show that I downloaded from Audible.com, To the Best Of Our Knowledge. This show was called Fact or Fiction, and the first guest was a woman named Christine Wicker, who has gone out and interviewed people about their beliefs in magic. People who actually think they are vampires, werewolves, whatever. It was pretty interesting. So, if you're into that kind of thing, either go to the link and listen, or go pick up the book at your local library. Personally, I don't think I'll buy the book. I prefer the little glimpse that I got from the show...don't need the whole shebang.

    It's fun having a 9 year old...

    Maya: I like looking at pictures.
    Mama: Pictures of family?
    Maya: All pictures.
    Mama: Pictures of flowers?
    Mama: Pictures of buttholes?
    Maya: That's it! You're Going Down!
    (commence the tickle fight...)

    Then again...she has always been fun. When she was about 5, and I was tickling her, she came out with this:
    "Get your hands off of me, you Damn Dirty Ape!"
    (that stopped the tickling...I was laughing too hard.)

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Surfing in the Bay Area?

    I don't surf, and I don't really watch people surf, but if you're not from around here, you may not have heard about an annual surfing contest called Maverick's. The contest first started in 1999, and is held once a year. When conditions are right to create the huge (up to 50 feet) swells, the word goes out, and participants have about 24 hours to get here and get their game on. If you're a surfing geek and kind of interested in what is so unique about this area that creates such huge waves, read all about it on SFGate. By the way, if you're NOT from here, the waves often suck, so don't make a special trip or anything.

    Another Useless Bit of Trivia....

    Ted's friend/sometimes coworker, Ramzi, called Ted last night to ask him who wrote the lyrics to "New York, New York". Somehow, I thought that song was OLD. Like from the 1940s or 1950's or something. Nope. I never knew it was written for the 1977 (ok, still almost 30 years old, but really, not what I meant) film, New York, New York, and starring Robert De Niro and Liza Minelli, directed by Martin Scorcese. Actually, I never knew that such a movie existed. Live and learn.

    Thanks Ramzi, for the question, and thanks to NPR for the info. :)

    Proof of the Apocolypse?

    Or maybe I just found everyone's Christmas gifts this year? Hmmm. I'll have to think about it. Maybe both. In the meantime, ponder this: Old Silly Putty Face (As I used to call him when I was 10) has a new album of old songs from the 50s, and it is #1 on Billboard's Pop Album chart. Wow.

    I Love California

    High: 70°
    Low: 43°

    Ignore the Earthquakes, Traffic, Mudslides, Droughts, $600,000 Condos, Poverty in the Valley, etc. On a day like this, it's just a great place to be. I mean, come on....It's FEBRUARY.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    I Miss Bill Clinton

    I was in the car listening to Talk of the Nation on NPR, and there was a segment on the funeral services for Coretta Scott King. They played the speaches of President Bush and President Clinton one after the other, and the difference was amazing. Bush sounded so forced and uncomfortable...Clinton sounded so relaxed, like he was at home. I don't think it's because Bush doesn't respect King or her legacy. I just don't think he's a good speaker. And Clinton is a gifted speaker, able to sound like a regular person without 'dumbing himself down' or anything like that.

    I don't know if Bush dumbs himself down, or if he is as stupid as he sounds, or maybe somewhere in the middle of that...but Clinton sounded so REAL, so ENGAGED,
    so ALIVE, that it made Bush seem like a wax figure in comparison.


    We recently found out that Maya did well on her GATE assessment exam...that's Gifted and Talented Education program, for those of you who aren't parents around here. For kids her age, that means she gets to miss three days of school in March and go to a Nature Center close by. For kids in middle school, there are several options, including a Literary Magazine, Model United Nations, Mock Legislature, Newscope, and Sixth Grade Science Seminars. In High School they learn about Writing the College Essay. I don't know if that means writing essays for college applications, or the much more useful skill of writing papers for college. Ted is a professor (sans students at the moment), and the writing skills of the students are a constant source of horror for him. I don't know whether her being in GATE now means that she stays in GATE through HS, or if she gets re-tested every year, or what. But in this world of horrid standardized testing testing testing, I am relieved that she has the skill to get through it, and that she can feel confident in those skills. Kind of a relief, since I know so many REALLY smart, bright, confident people who just do not test well, and I hate what our current educational system does to these kids. But that's another post. This one is to say that I'm proud of my daughter. :)


    Is this the winter of our discontent? Distempter? I don't know. Maya told me this morning that she doesn't want to go to school today, because she feels 'queasy'. I wasn't sure what to do, because the LAST time she felt queasy, she was definately sick. But she could also just be tired, because Saturday night she was at a sleepover with a bunch of girlscout friends, and yesterday she went on a field trip on a boat on the Delta, and we didn't get home until about 6:30, and she was tired. Would she fake it? She's not much of a faker, but I could see her getting herself worked up that she doesn't feel like going to school today, and making herself queasy. I've been known to do that to myself, especially when I didn't really feel like going to school. So I told her, since we were almost at school anyway, that we should go in and take her temperature in the office. She said she felt better then. I wasn't sure if she was really feeling better, or just embarrased about having her temp taken in the office. Or resigned that her evil mother was going to make her go to school no matter what. So she's at school. I hope she's really better, and that I didn't make my sick child go to school and infect the other kids and basically suffer all day. Ah, the guilt of parenthood.

    Water Babies...

    I like this picture. It's so different from swimming lessons that Maya has taken...

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    The Trouble with Boys? Or the Trouble with Schools?

    Have you read about Newsweek's article on "The Trouble with Boys"? Well, BitchPhD had some interesting points to make, and I can't say it any better than she did, so I'll just say, "Go, Bitch, Go!"

    Weekend Wrap Up

    Saturday, I went to the movies with Autumn's Mom. We went to see "Walk the Line". I've never been a big Johnny Cash fan, mostly because I'm not really into country music. Nothing against him. So, not being a fan, I didn't know anything about him, except that he wore a lot of black, was married to June Carter (I only knew that because they died so close together a couple of years ago), and that he....well, that's all I knew.

    The movie was really good...I definately enjoyed it. Very interesting, very well done. Did he come off looking perfect? No, far from it. It's the story of his romancing June Carter, and the beginning of his career, with some of the relationship with his father thrown in for good measure. Boy, his father was a jerk. But he told the truth sometimes, too. Sometimes. Without going into too much detail and ruining the movie for you, let me say, it's a good movie, and you might want to consider seeing it. It's Oscar worthy, I think.

    If you're going to see a movie, by the way, why not increase your amusement by sitting a few seats down from a drunk and/or high chick, who likes to talk during the movie? Seriously, she was cracking us up. She didn't talk enough to REALLY piss us off...but just enough to make us think, hmmmm....she's drunk and/or high. Any time something 'touched' her, she would say, "Awwwww"....When Johnny got in a big fight with his wife, and the kids are standing there crying, she said, "BASTARD!", and when a woman confronted June Carter in a hardware store about the "Abomonation" of divorce, she said, "THE IGNORANCE!" I loved her. At one point, she pulled out her pocket knife so she could cut the top off of her straw. She wore bells on a chain on her pants, so when she got up to RUN to the bathroom (three times), she sounded like Santa's reindeer. I swear, I wish I knew her movie schedule. I'd go sit down the aisle from her every time.

    It was a double feature, but we decided to take it easy and skip the second flik (Capote...I know, it's getting great reviews, and we probably should have stayed...) to maybe get some dinner. Autumn's mom decided she wasn't hungry, but I ate some Split Pea Soup that was mighty tasty. We chatted until after 11:00, which means she probably missed seeing Prince on SNL. Sorry Missy! It was a lovely evening. :)

    Sunday was breakfast at Katy's Korner, which is always good. They have many interesting items on the menu...yummy banana pancakes, trout and eggs, a lot of different versions of eggs benedict, lots of things. You should try it. Very good. Then we went to the grocery store, and then to Ted's parents' house for the Super Bowl. I made a very yummy appitizer, Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches.

    So that was my weekend. Hope yours was lovely as well. If you get lucky, maybe you can go to the movies and sit by the drunk/high girl.

    Saturday, February 04, 2006

    The Man Owns Us....

    Just finished the taxes. I feel kind of like this guy...not the bull, the other one.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Why My Daughter is "Underprivileged"...thankfully

    From the truly nausiating world of people-with-more-money-than-God-who-should-learn-about-charity-or-savings-or-maybe-just-give-me-some-of-it, comes this column from Salon, on the hyperconsumeristic spending habits of very wealthy parents of overindulged infants.

    My favorite quote? "...and what's more anxiety-provoking than, My god, I have a baby?"

    Or maybe: "I have never seen a clearer acknowledgement that children have been reduced to accessories."

    I believe you have to have a subscription to Salon to read the whole article, so I'll copy and paste it into my 'comments' section, in case you're interested. :)

    And I know what you'll say..."My goodness, who cares." And you're right, except for the editorial comment that I feel sorry for these poor kids, and the parents should get a life.

    Rambling Thoughts on MySpace, et. al.

    I was listening to my favorite radio station this morning, and they were talking about "MySpace.com", and whether it is dangerous for kids or not. One man called in and said that he doesn't think that legislating or policing the site is the ultimate answer, because kids are smarter than we are, and if they're going to do something, they're going to do it. So, the key is to TEACH your kids what is safe, what isn't, and why. Teach them why they shouldn't want to do something, like go meet people that they've only met online, because it might not be safe. Coincidentally, I just started a new book, called "The Woman Who Walked Into Doors". At this point in the story, she's not yet a woman, no longer a girl...meaning she's just started high school, and the pressure is enormous. The character in the book is feeling so much pressure from all directions, and the pressure is that everyone is trying to define her by her sexuality. And by define, I mean, is she a 'whore', or is she 'frigid'. Those are the only choices. There is no winning in this situation. And she's so young to be having this thrust upon her. The teachers, the other students, all trying to grope her and find out if she is game for that kind of thing. It makes her bitter and tough....much tougher than she has any real desire to be.

    I don't know what it's like growing up in working class Ireland, which is where the story takes place, but I do know what it's like growing up in not-quite-working class Stockton, which is where I lived when I went to High School. And I couldn't walk to 7-11 to get a Pepsi without some guy snooping around, trying to pick me up. "Are you a model?" they'd ask (trying to appeal to my vanity, I suppose, but come on...pretty obvious line). Like a model would live in that neighborhood, where 1/2 of the people were on welfare, there were bars on the windows, and you might have your house 'tagged' at any time. Right. So if I talked to them, they thought I was 'interested', meaning, yeah, you know. If I ignored them, I was a 'bitch', and 'frigid'. So I know a little bit of what this character is talking about, and I'll bet my 3 or 4 female readers do as well. At least my teachers and fellow students never tried to grope me.

    But the whole MySpace thing got me to thinking about the judgement of teenagers...like when I was 17, and my brother and I cut school to see "Return of the Jedi" on opening day...I had to go to work at Mr. Steak for a couple of hours, so he stayed at the theater and held our place in line. While I was walking to the old Steak house, a guy pulled over and told me that he just HAD to get my phone number because of how I looked in my blue and white striped shorts. I talked to him. I flirted a bit. Such a feeling of power, to have a guy who is obviously 25 or older, talking to you, interested in you. It's crazy. I gave him my phone number. I left and went to Mr. Steak, then back to see the dumb ass movie. Well, the guy called. He called and called. He told me he'd like me to go on a date. He told me that I should bring my nightgown. He FREAKED ME OUT. Very scary. BUT...he was honest about what he wanted. He didn't pretend to be someone he wasn't, and when I eventually got up the guts to blow him off, he went away. I was 17 already, not a 14 or 15 year old...I had SOME judgement. But might I have gone to meet someone that I met online, if they seemed safe and secure and friendly? If I thought he was my age, or thought he was just a girl wanting to hang out and get coffee? I don't know. Not if my mom had taught me about the dangers involved. If she had talked to me about it and told me that there are dangerous people out there, who only want sex, or who want more than that, who want to hurt you. Of course, we didn't have the internet back in '83, so she didn't have to tell me any of this. But those of us with kids today, both boys and girls, we have to be much more careful, and teach our children to be open and honest with us, and to keep themselves safe.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    I Really Liked This Book

    Love Walked In
    From Powell's Books website:
    For thirty-one-year old Cornelia Brown, life is a series of movie moments, and "Jimmy Stewart is always and indisputably the best man in the world, unless Cary Grant should happen to show up."

    So imagine Cornelia's delight when her very own Cary Grant walks through the door of the hip Philadelphia café she manages. Handsome and debonair, Martin Grace sweeps Cornelia off her feet, becoming Cary Grant to Cornelia's Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable to her Joan Crawford.
    Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. With no one to turn to, Clare seeks out her estranged father, and when the two of them show up at Cornelia's café, the lives of Cornelia and Clare are changed in drastic and unexpected ways.

    A cinematic and heartfelt debut that pays homage to the classic Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, Love Walked In is sure to win over critics and readers of contemporary fiction.
    I really liked this book. It's chic lit, it's an easy read. But it does take some deep issues and explore them, like what it means to be a parent, that kind of thing. I was hooked from the first page, and I was sad last night when I finished it. So...if you're interested, pick up a copy. I can loan you mine, if you promise it won't end up under the coffee table. ;)

    Apropos of yesterday's post....

    Looks like HBO has a new show coming out about a polygemous family...I wonder if I can buy it on iTunes, like Ted does with Battlestar Galactica? I doubt it. Probably I'll have to wait for the DVD. I'll be interested to hear if it's any good, though. HBO Rocks.