Wednesday, October 30

Shawn's Birthday

So, circa 1978/'79, Shawn was two years old and his younger brother was nearly one.  And actually, this picture pretty much captures both of their personalities rather well.

On October 28, we celebrated Shawn's 37th with a low-key Enjoy-Autumn day.
When he got home from work (a little early - 6:30AM) - I made his cake and then fixed a big french toast breakfast for the three of us, as french toast is his favorite.
Then it was sleepy time for a while.

Then we got up and had a nice latte and headed to our favorite farm market for some Fall Fun.

It was one of those super-bright, brilliant, crisp and chilly Autumn days with the blowing wind and the smell of leaves in the air and the sun shining.  

A bit fuzzy, but perfect pumpkin doughnuts with cinnamon sugar dusting.  So-so-so good! 

Heading toward the corn maze.  I didn't edit these pictures - that's how brilliant blue and clear the sky really was that day. 
 And it was windy and my hair kept flying in my face. 
 I love seeing the sheep.  They just stare at you all unimpressed while chewing their hay and thinking "I am smarter than you."
I used the photo on the left and turned it into the crappy meme on the right, laughing like a jack-ass the whole time because when I get over-tired and hopped up on sugar, this is the kind of thing I find amusing. 

Running chicken.
(I had one of a hen hanging out in the big tree, but it didn't come out very well.) 
I bought carrots, onions, and potatoes for the stew I'm making tomorrow (actually today, now).
We didn't get hot cider this year as we'd both just finished our lattes from the coffee shop, but we did get a 1/2 gallon of Honeycrisp cider - it's so delicious. 
 Heading out, last shot. 

After that we drove around in the downtown neighborhoods and admired all the houses and Halloween decorations, then went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for an alarm clock and I got overly excited seeing all the Christmas stuff.  Because I kind of have no self control about how excited I get for Christmas.  And finally, we went to dinner and he got a candle in his dessert: 
It was french toast (I told you it's his favorite) bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and caramel.

Our waiter was really awesome and nobody sang (awesome!).  We hit Target to get some necessities (because I consider a new pair of tweezers when the old ones are dull a definite necessity, okay?) and then headed home.  And of course, we were too stuffed to even think about having any of the pumpkin-spice cake I'd made him that morning, so we had it for breakfast the next day.  Score ten points for cake for breakfast.
Oh, did I not mention that between the doughnuts and the cake and the cider and the birthday dinner out that my diet has not even been close to healthy this past weekend?  Yeah.  Enjoyed every minute of it. 

Wednesday, October 23

Movies From Back in the Day: Adult Horror Films Viewed as a Kid

Of course I am going to be doing a horror movie post for October!
There have been plenty of movies that have scared me over the years, but this collection is "adult audience" (not camp or satire or kid's horror) genuine horror movies that I saw before hitting puberty, so they had a particularly strong impact on me.

1.) JAWS

So, the first time I saw this movie was shortly after I turned 5 - yes, FIVE.  The scene that upset me the most was this one:

I woke up drenched in sweat and screaming my lungs out having nightmares of this scene.  I ended up sleeping on the couch for a week before I finally stopped dreaming about being eaten by a giant shark.

2.) Flatliners

My mom loved this movie and this was a favorite to watch on rainy days while sat in her favorite chair knitting something.

3.) Hellraiser

To this day, the cenobites are some of the scariest creatures ever.  If you're wondering "what the hell was that girl doing watching such a movie when she was 9 years old?" - well, now so am I, actually.  But hey.

Chucky doesn't need batteries! Was there anything creepier than this in 1988?  Not for me there wasn't.  Especially with my brother running around with his damn "My Buddy" doll.  Oy. 
The trauma of childhood.

What 'grown-up' movies scared the crap out of you?

Sunday, October 20

Here are some unexciting notes from my life:

1.) We got new uniform shirts at work.  Previously it was just blue polos, but now it's the Official Polo (and not a common Navy Blue, either, but freaking in-your-face-Cult-Blue) that has been made out of the fabric of nightmares.  It's like some polyester/demon hybrid that doesn't shrink, sure...but also doesn't stretch - (hello, my boobs need some room, dammit!) - at all.  This shirt barely moves, period.
ugh annoyed eye roll cry baby

2.) Today was early morning staff meeting day, and I delightfully left the car lights on all freaking day so yeah....dead battery.  Thank God for friends and jumper cables.

3.) I have been up and down with the eating healthy thing.  Shark week and such.  Yesterday was bad.  I wanted to punch a wall and also cuddle, I wanted to cry and tell Shawn to pay more attention to me! and also, to yell at him to leave me alone because I am moody and no, dammit, you're not doing anything wrong and stop snapping at me! - Oh, I shouldn't be so whiny and selfish but...act more concerned, damn you!

Yeah.  Yesterday I was a total crazy person.  Between me and the Tigers losing to the Red Sox, I'm fairly certain it was the worst day of Shawn's year.

The point of this story is not that Shawn deserves a prize for keeping his cool and never once telling me to "get over it" or that "it's all in my head" - but that during this whole time, I am even more of an emotional eater than normal.  Tonight I ate Burger King for dinner.

Ugh.  No more of that.  Talk about your reminders of how shitty fast food can make you feel.  Ugh.  Eat shit, feel like shit.  So at least I learn from my mistakes....after perhaps the 875th time I make the exact same one, that is.

4.) I saw a spider walking on the floor at work today.  Stepped on him.  Felt really guilty.  Wondered if I should've had a spider funeral?  <<<<(Not being sarcastic.)  Still feeling kinda guilty, since even though I hate spiders, it's not like he was doing anything wrong.  He was probably on his way back home from running spider errands and got caught up in traffic - i.e., our receiving and processing area.

So yeah.  That's all the super excitement right now.
What's new for you?

A to Z Book Survey

So this bad boy has been floating around the internet and of course I must do it, because - books.

So far, two bloggers I follow (Meg and Nova,) have done it and I can't wait any longer.

Author you've read the most books from:
In terms of just numbers, my whole life, probably R.L. Stine, because I read Goosebumps and Fear Street like it was my job back in the day.  Otherwise probably John Irving?

Best sequel ever:
Probably Shopaholic Takes Manhattan - which isn't exactly the best sequel ever, but it is a sequel that made me laugh out loud and I didn't want to beat the author over the head with a copy of the book for having written it.  (I haven't read George R.R. Martin yet, so no bitching, either.  It's on The List.)

Currently reading:
This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong.  (Which incidentally, is a sequel, so...)

Drink of choice while reading:
Whatever I'm thirsty for.

E-reader or physical book?
All around, I prefer physical books.  I like to break the spines and make notes and such.

Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:
Dude, seriously?  Neville Longbottom.  Because let's talk about how cool I was in high school.  Though of course I would've had a crush on frickin' Fred & George Weasley.

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Um....all of them?

Hidden Gem Book:
Velma Still Cooks in Leeway by Vinita Hampton Wright - A surprising amount of depth is shown in the daily life of a midwestern woman.

Important moment in your reading life:
One would be when I read Catch-22 for the first time in junior high.  I was blown away.

Just finished:
The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster

Kinds of books you won't read:
Two words: vampire. romance.  Ugh.

Longest book you've read:
I don't know; it's hard to say with fonts and paperback vs. hardback and crap.  Probably either Goblet of Fire or The StandLast Night in Twisted River by John Irving FELT the longest.

Major book hangover because of:
Death Be Not Proud (memoir) by John Gunther.  I cried hard, heaving sobs while reading this book and it left me emotionally drained by the end.  Worth it.

Number of bookcases you own:
One tall one.  I am an avid library user and also I try only to keep the books I really-really want.

One book you have read multiple times:
Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding.  I despised it the first time I tried to read it.  The second time around, I laughed my ass off and fell in love.  Now I read it an average of once a year, usually in winter, because for some reason I associate Bridget Jones with winter time and I always need a laugh.

Preferred place to read:
Wherever.  On the couch.  Waiting for a friend at a coffee place. 

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
Oh, bloody hell.  Let's see....dude, it's hard.  I don't really memorize books, that's why I underline things.  One line I never forgot is actually only part of a sentence: "...soothe my shattered self."  From Life of Pi.

Reading Regret:
Over the Holidays was a pretty awful excuse for a book and I could've lived without that experience.

Series you started and need to finish (all books in series are out):
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson; I've read the first but not the second two yet.

Three of your all-time favorite books:
This is hard because I tend to qualify things by category, e.g., chick-lit, horror, memoir, etc.  In general though....(thinking, staring at bookshelf....) nope, can't be done.  Sorry.

Unapologetic fan girl for:
Harry Potter.  Yes, really.

Very excited for this release more than all the others:
I don't know.  I'm not really waiting for anything at the moment.

Worst bookish habit:
Reading too many books at once, or starting and stopping one because I got distracted by another. 

X marks the spot - start at the top left of your bookshelf and find the 27th book:
(Side note: why not the 24th book, which would make more sense for X marking the spot?)
The 27th book: The Zombie Survival Guide. 
And the 24th book: John Dies at the End by David Wong

Your latest book purchase:
This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up way late):
World War Z, definitely.  I read it when it first came out in like, two days and I had dry, bloodshot eyes from staring at the pages and I ended up with crazy nightmares whenever I'd sleep.  

Thursday, October 17

A Day in the Life - Day Shift

I usually work afternoon/evening shifts, so I either sleep in or else by the time I remember to take pictures, the day is half over.  But recently I've had a few more morning/day shifts, so I fixed on getting this project done once and for all.
Are you ready to get jealous of my exciting rock-star life?

 7:20AM: wake, coffee & Prozac first thing while I watch Scrubs on Netflix as I come to.

8:10AM: Now it's time to shower and be disappointed with my hair no matter what combination of shampoo & conditioner I use.

8:40AM: I am showered and (mostly) dressed for work, so now it's time for breakfast.  Protein shake made with chocolate protein powder, almond milk, and a few crushed nuts with a slice of whole wheat toast.
Not pictured: I have Scooby Doo on in the background.

9AM: A quick blow-dry since my hair is still wet.
Finish getting ready for work: put on work - brush teeth, put on shirt, etc.

9:35AM: Leave for work.

1.) 10AM: clock in
2.) 1:05PM: break
3.) 4PM: clock out, heading home

 4:20PM: Every day when I get home, Isabelle comes to greet me and cries at me for the above mentioned cuddles.  And if you think I just put that label up there on the photo to hide my heavy arms - you're absolutely correct.

4:25PM: Change into lounge pants & a tank top

4:50PM: I forgot to pack a snack for work, so I'm hungry.  Grilled turkey & provolone with mustard, MORE COFFEE! and a computer-streamed viewing of Evil Dead 2 because Shawn is still asleep.  I also spend movie time doing my nails on both hands and feet (after I'm done eating, of course).
Not shown: 5:30PM - Shawn gets up and starts his day.

 6:35PM: I decide I really do have to exercise if I ever want to be in better shape.

7:30PM: Time for another shower to rinse off all the sweat!

7:45PM: Ugh.  Laundry.

8:10PM: Making "brinner" - scrambled eggs with green onions, bacon bits, and a shit-ton of spinach.  I serve Shawn's with toast, but I've had enough bread for one day.

8:50PM: Dishes....yay.....

9:10PM: Catch up on my blogs for a bit, then peruse pinterest and recipe sights for interesting stuff I might make later; after about an hour and a half of that, I switch to just screwing around and wasting time on the internet.
Not pictured: 10PM - Shawn leaves for work.

12AM: Only my bedside light is on, all tucked in and reading This Book is Full of Spiders before bed.

12:15AM: Isabelle hates when I'm trying to get pictures of her with my phone; she hates anything near her face, really.  But she's laying on my tummy and purring and it's time to turn out the light.

Tuesday, October 8

Grrr.....Pink Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
yay, I guess.  Whatever.

I have had a non-specific problem with BCA month for many long years now.  Ever since I was a teen, it would annoy the crap out of me when I'd go to pick up an October "Marie Claire" hoping for cute fall fashion I could never afford or a "Glamour" that had an awesome cover interviewee only to find the whole damn thing chock full of pink-pink-pink-pink-pink-pink.  In my head, it was something like this:

So am I pro-breast cancer, terrorism, Stalin, and cockroaches? No, 
okay. I am not pro creepy bugs, senseless violence OR cancer.
But I am pro thinking about things.
Just as the idea that feminism is for white women gave me a lot to 
think about, I've had a lot to think about the past few years with the 
increased public Breast Cancer Awareness.
My issues all started with a minor complaint to my husband:
"Why don't we have Testicular Cancer Awareness Month?"
Also: consider these nuggets I highlighted:
Image cropped from a screen shot of Testicular Awareness
Which leads me to the inevitable question: why don't we have a Save the Balls 
campaign like Save the Ta-Tas? 
But I have to wonder, does ball cancer not get as much attention as 
breast cancer because these statements are - while entirely possible - 
a lot less likely to happen:
Director to struggling actor: "If you don't take off your boxers and 
show your balls, you'll never work in this town again." (Maybe if he 
was a weirdly shy Evan Stone?) Or how about two teenagers talking
about a movie they just saw "Yeah, it was really good! I loved it 
when Nic Cage showed his balls!" Or the possible: "You know, 
Orlando Bloom isn't that hot, but he does have a great pair of balls!" 

So is that the reason we have a lacking in Testicle Awareness - a lack
of mainstream sex appeal because sex sells? If that's the case, then the
kidneys and liver are just screwed forever.
This point has actually been addressed:
Save the People, Not the Boobies
While yes, sex sells, the main issues raised tend to be:
1.) It raises awareness of breast cancer via the slippery slope of 
objectifying and making a woman's value be about her tits as opposed
to the fact that she is a life and
2.) There is the implied sense that O-M-G---you are twenty years old
and you have titties and therefore you too, could be a victim! Which is 
technically true, in the most basic sense. Anyone can get breast cancer.
But statistically speaking, the average age of diagnoses is significantly older 
than the women depicted in the ads. The shirts should read more like:
'save a life: grope your mother or your grandmother, or perhaps your aunt.'
(Which doesn't rhyme and isn't at all creepy.)

But not everyone uses sexy boobs to remind us of Breast Cancer.
Everyone now knows that October is for Breast Cancer Awareness 
and for those of us who just freaking love Halloween, all that pepto-pink 
tends to clash with our black, orange, green and purple sentiments. 
I'm not saying pink ribbons should be gone from my sight! or anything like 
that, but seriously? Couldn't BCA month be something more appropriate 
when we need some color in our lives - like March or April? (Okay, first 
world problem rant over.)
Back to fundraising and the pink ribbon problem:
The problem is how many companies take advantage of the pink color and 
the pink ribbon logo. 
Consider this:
Read full page at Think Before You
So you got it.  Here at KitchenAid's Cook For the Cure site, if you go to the bottom and read the fine print, it says: 

The underlined portion reads: "In 2013, KitchenAid will donate $450,000 or more to Susan J. Komen through the Cook for the Cure program to support the fight against breast cancer.  Product sales will not affect this donation."

The point of this is: 
Yay for donations!  Yay for philanthropy from all sources big and small because just like every vote (ostensibly) counts, so does every donation. However, if you buy pink or pink ribbon-ed stuff to help without considering all sides, you may find yourself seeing red later on.  Yes, it's good that cosmetics companies do good things like helping promote breast cancer awareness.  But then again...that would be kind of like if Iams was raising money for the ASPCA, right?  (Hint: hypocrisy.)

Finally, I'd like to raise issue with the fact that we have Breast Cancer Awareness month and unless you exist in a vacuum, you're aware that it's October.
But Lung Cancer actually kills more women (and men) than breast cancer.  And heart disease kills even more.  (It's the number one killer of women.)  So do we have a heart disease awareness month?  Yes, I had to look it up - it's February.  Did anyone know that off the top of their head?  
And November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.  So here is my point:

Cancer sucks.  It is awful.  It is a dreadful, terrifying thing.  Breast cancer is terrifying and yes, if someone told me I had it, I would cry and be scared and worry that I was facing my own death, even if it had been caught early, and no matter what the treatment was - something non-invasive or if I had to have multiple operations - I would be terrified and wimpy and I know that my entire world would be jumbled upside down.  I have been so fortunate that as yet, in 33 years, I haven't had cancer. 
I have 3 friends who are breast cancer survivors and I am so thankful they survived and even in their darkest moments of fear and anger, they handled it with grace and strength that I'm sure I do not possess myself.  I want everyone to know that in no way, shape, or form am I trying to diminish how horrible breast cancer is. 

What I am saying is that ALL Cancer is awful, and while I am truly glad when I see people doing everything they can to fight something so heinous, I'd also like to see people running around with shirts that show black lungs with giant tumors because - lung cancer awareness, yo.  Let's wear white or grey ribbons for the cure.  I'd like to see breast cancer awareness be more a recognition of what a complex and awful thing it is, as opposed to a campaign to save second base.  I'd like to see people running around with toy plush faux-beating anatomically correct hearts where proceeds go to the cure for cholesterol in February.  I'd like to see people baking testicle cookies and selling them in front of stores to raise money for testicular cancer awareness. I want the NFL to wear lime green for lymphoma awareness.  And finally, on a personal note, I'd like to say this:

Here are some good resources and pages and I really do hope you will check some of these out:
Charity Navigator  (there are several charity rating sites, but I found this one easiest to navigate and understand) 
CNN: America's Worst Charities (a quick reference list) 

 Also, see this blog, which is far more eloquent and simple than my ramblings.

Monday, October 7


October 7, 2006 

So this is one of my favorite pics from our wedding day.  Our photographer thought it would be nice to get a few shots by this tree, but she had to check on something, so we were there waiting, laughing, hugging, and generally being happy with post-ceremony joy. After several minutes of this, we were all "Dude, is she coming back or what?"  Then we turned to look for her and saw she was already shooting away and had been for some time.  So this is one of my favorites because it was actually taken when we thought no one was watching. 

~Happy Anniversary, Shawn.~