Friday, August 31, 2007

"Courtney Love continues her attack on Steve Coogan" is a headline I didn't expect to see today. I am woefully behind on the Owen Wilson suicide attempt. In fact, I didn't know about it til yesterday. I've tried to ignore all the hype, and actually it seems as though the media is somewhat respecting his wish for privacy (I said SOMEWHAT). But now that my boy Steve Coogan has been indicted...well, I might need to find out more.

I do hope Owen is doing ok and healing. He's a funny little guy, and an actor I admire.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I just read the word "goop" in a NYTImes headline. The goop in question is a substance sprayed on expensive homes threatened by wildfires. Boy, if you thought the end of days was a myth...this week has been literally hell on earth. The story of the Greek teacher who gathered her children in her arms as the flames engulfed them was a serious downer this morning, but also a reminder of the power of a woman whose children are in danger. The beautiful, unreal Greek antiquities and sites we saw on our honeymoon are apparently not immune to destruction. And frankly, my yard might as well have been burned. The grass crunches like Pringles when you walk on it. We lost a Carolina jasmine this week, a plant that had grown so busy and wild (like the children, who were only tiny sprouts when we planted the jasmine) it seemed completely inpenetrable. But no. And likewise a dogwood, maybe two. The drought is a hard, awful thing. The heat that comes with it makes me lethargic and grumpy. The book "The Last Hard Time" about the dust bowl was one of our book club selections this year and I truly wonder about the emotional state of those who lived through it. If I'm this much of a wuss about a dry, torrid August in North Carolina, how would I have survived five or more years in the middle of nowhere, plus massive dirt walls that filled the skies every few days? Yeah, I'm not of that midwestern stock. I'm tired of relying on air conditioning for my sleep and on Gatorade for my energy level. This wave has got to break.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Many questions about my summer playlist:

Why that Shout Out Louds song? The cut is from a 2007 EP & I was trying to include summer 07 releases...I don't usually like EPs but I like the Shout Out Louds. My brother-in-law gave me a copy of Howl Howl Gaff Gaff from...2005, I think...and I am trying to listen to it over the loud weirdness that transpires on car rides with my children. Maybe after school starts I'll be able to hear it more fully.

No White Stripes? Oops. I do have them on all the children's mixes - they like "Rag and Bone" (and to hear my son, after I say a curse word, reprimand me with "Aw, Belle don't be rude!", is really something.) and "I'm Slowly Turning Into You"....I have a fondness for "Conquest". But maybe the "300 mph Torrential...etc. whatever" song is best for my mix.

Where's the leaked Rilo Kiley? Yeah, I...I just haven't been able to love Jenny like I should. I think that I will add "Silver Lining", but since the jury is out on the new stuff, I'm reluctant.

Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but I really don't see the big deal about Putin & his racy pictures. So the man has guns. And a nicely formed torso. I'm sure all the working out helps lower his stress levels.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My daughter is currently, despite the 99 degree heat, rocking a beret. I tried, quite incorrectly it seems, to give a brief history and overview of a beret. She could care less, but she does wonder why artists wear them.

ATL was a great end-of-season trip. Much quality family time, the Braves (though we missed the game of the season, which took place yesterday.....still, we heard Skip announce it in the car and that is a time-honored tradition for my spouse and me), the World of Coke where I tried Inca Kola and Beverly (foul language, be warned), and non-stop farm fun.

My HSM2 review will be forthcoming - there has been a high demand for it, so be patient. My time is at a premium with school starting next week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It will be hot. It will be sticky. The beer will cost $12 and up. But thanks to my kind brother-in-law and his wife, tix have been secured for Friday's night's Braves game. My husband is delighted (his birthday is in a couple of weeks - what better way to celebrate?). The urchins have their red and blue gear ready. And I'm taking binoculars.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My summer 2007 playlist is just about complete. Here's what I've got:

Never Again - Kelly Clarkson (pressure from the children, but you know I gotta give props to Kel)

Ooh La - The Kooks

My Moon My Man -Feist

Tonight I Have to Leave It-Shout Out Louds

Listen Up!-The Gossip (I bought this and the Justice song below - only to see them offered as free downloads on iTunes.)

Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)- Noisettes

Do I Disappoint You-Rufus Wainwright


Secret Spell- Tori Amos (Not really a Tori fan, but credit where credit is due)

Mistaken for Strangers - The National

Innocence- Björk (I am just not listening to Volta the way I usually would with a Björk release...why?)

TV & Me - Mando Diao

1234 - Feist (More pressure from the children...they love the video)

The Illiad- Tapes 'n Tapes

Direct Hit - Art Brut

Paranoia In B Major - The Avett Brothers (thanks MP!)

Don't You Evah-Spoon

Take Me to the Riot-Stars

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Having recently entertained my niece and nephew for about 30 hours straight, and every snack and mealtime being somewhat of a struggle, I was interested in this article about eating together called, appropriately,The Benefits of Eating Together. There are things I learned from this - including to keep the mood light when it comes to manners instruction. There is many a night when I screech (quite heavily, nothing light about it) at someone to quit scraping their fork against their teeth or to stop with the slurping. My job and now soccer will ensure that there are nights when we don't eat together. Also: it will not be me who teaches my children to cook. Other friends do it beautifully - making cookies together, their urchins sneaking in the kitchen to prepare a surprise birthday cake...but I'm just not that good at it so I suck as a model and teacher.

That said, my daughter made pesto this week and my son scrambled an egg this morning. Maybe I should just avoid baking...which I do anyway!

I do feel like my children are open to trying new things, and they definitely go from strong dislike to acceptance after several introductions to a given food. They still have strong preferences, especially for packed lunches at school, but as long as it is healthy and well-balanced I usually give in to a certain whim.

Just don't say, "I hate this" or "I don't want any of that" at my table. I work far too hard shopping, planning and preparing to hear that crap.

By the way, the above article is from a fun site that is helping me track my exercise...Spark People. It has been sort of fun, for now, anyway, to see my progress. Try it out.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's hot. Like, so totally my 11th grade summer, lifeguarding at the YWCA hot, sticky vinyl front seat of my 1976 Toyota Corolla hot. The children and I just blended ice cream and watermelon for a completely refreshing treat, but I'd also like to try this: Mango Watermelon Shake.

And also? What do you do with YOUR dead digital cameras?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Our Cruise-azy soccer coach is at it again: three email messages in one day! He is ready to start practicing, he has scheduled two additional practices in addition to the two a week we already have next week (thank GOD we're out of town), he got each member of the team a subscription to a soccer mag, and he has already booked our hotel rooms for our tourneys in August October! Beyond that, he has given the players daily homework, and he has signed up our team to provide fruit baskets and ball girl services for a college team that is coming to the area for a tournament. Did I mention the players are NINE? Did I need to? It is this kind of thing that makes August the cruelest month (that and the freaking 101 degree heat, not counting the dreaded heat indices). I know, I asked for all this, I encouraged my daughter's talent, etc. but I truly wonder how our society ran so amuck in the first place. Is it because of Tiger Woods & his grotesquely early start? Is it because people have technology and can thus get more organized and plan things more quickly and thoroughly? Do we really hate hanging around the house with our kids that much? Do the organizers of all these leagues, tourneys, activities, fundraisers feel as though they missed out on their childhoods? We may never know.

So I'm ramping up. Soccer mom yet again. At least I'll have the other moms to commiserate with about the money, time, and pressure.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Ink Stain Removal Cleaning Tips are the very things for which I revere this tangled web each and every day.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Been recuperating from yet another expensive gum graft, and really mad at self for not learning the first time that I need not lean over my reclining son to hug him good night, for he will raise up, hard, and clock me in my tender jaw.

Surgery was well-timed, for my girl is at camp, and my son had his only day camp (a golfing one), and HP 7 came out. I read it, I was well satisfied, I cried a few times, and I will say no more in the event you haven't yet read it.

I've had so much to post about, but not enough drive. This inherent laziness that is one of my qualities has risen to a creamy, frothy head this summer. I'm succumbing to it, knowing that Fall and the First Day of School will soon force my hand.

At the very least, I encourage you to see the three movies I've seen this summer (in the theatre, anyway - we've rented no end of fun things): Waitress with the dearly departed Adrienne Shelly (what a tragic, horrific tale) and my favorite Cheryl Hines plus Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly and Serenity; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with all kinds of dark, evil doings and a highly effective cameo by Helena (just as I had hoped); and Once, a tiny little film with all kinds of appealing features, the least of all the soundtrack. I've blogged about it before, but I keep coming back to the music and I do hope you'll see it if you've not already. Listen here, especially to Falling Slowly.