Saturday, December 31, 2005

Crocs for Everyone! & Misc. Other Musings


Crocs for Everyone!
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Happy New Year to all of my loyal readers! It is 6:28 Eastern Standard Time- it is always EST here...Indiana for whatever reason will not go on Central Time (where it belongs) and NEVER falls back or springs forward. It's a wacky place, this Hoosier State.

As I write, Chris and Jack are having their dinners in the living room while they are watching the IU/Ball State game on TV. I am happily sequestered in my bright red office eating my dinner, sipping on a martini and blogging in peace. I spent the day with Jack and even though I adore him, I am delighted to have a bit of a break. Chris had to work all day and has to work all day tomorrow. It stinks but what can you do?

So, what's with the picture, you ask? "Crocs for Everyone!" was our Christmas theme this year. And, in keeping with our theme, we gave Crocs for Christmas gifts to (almost) everyone...our parents, our kids, ourselves, my niece and nephews, our son-in-law, kate's boyfriend, Jack's piano teacher, Jack's preschool teachers, babysitters...you name it. I even got 15% off because I bought so many pairs.

Why? Well, because I love my Crocs. I read a rave review of Crocs in my friend Val's blog and I mistakenly dismissed these fine shoes as being way too trendy for yours truly. Then, one day, for some reason I cannot recall, I decided that they were JUST THE THING! I bought myself a pair of butter colored ones (see photo) and started wearing them all the time in the house. I was hooked immediately! (Val..you were right!) They are so comfortable and lightweight. I think that the people on the receiving end of our little Croc gifts might have been a bit baffled...after all, shoes like this are a bit strange to receive, I guess...but I hope they give them a try. They make great gardening clogs if nothing else. You can just hose them off when they get dirty.

There. That's the end of my CROC commericial.

NORTHEAST GIRL

I realized today that no matter how much I try, I can be no other than the absolute Northeastern Yankee that I am. As much as I love Bloomington, I must admit that I miss the East Coast, especially the Northeast. This is nothing new, I know.

For some reason, it just hit me today that I probably won't be living in my beloved Northeast anytime soon...maybe never. And, while I do accept that fact, it does makes me a little sad. I miss my friends In CT and I miss Chris's old partners and their spouses whom I also count among my friends. I miss being able to get in my car and drive a few hours and see childhood friends and my family. But, what can you do? We moved for a lot of very very good reasons and they remain good reasons. I guess that at the holidays I feel it most. We had to drive about twelve hours (one way!) to visit Chris's family for the holidays and my family is the same distance away in a different direction. Flying takes almost as long because Indy is an hour away and you can't get direct flights to upstate NY (my family) or Williamsburg (Chris's family). I know that these are tiny things compared to what could be wrong, but still, it is hard to be so far away from those you love and enjoy.

Okay, enough of that. On to other things.

I have had some write-in requests from new (but loyal none-the-less) readers. One reader whom I will not name in case she wishes to remain anonymous, asks whether I will be covering penis augmentation as a topic in the future. Further, and more interestingly I think, she asks whether there is such a thing as penis reduction. She also raises the compelling question: Do black people bleach their anuses?

Not to worry, loyal readers. Bloomingtongirl is on the beat and will report on these titilating topics toute-suite. (Is that how one spells that?)

Well, that is all for now. Our soaking tub faucet has recently been repaired (by our favorite plumber to whom we also gave CROCs) and I think that I will give it a try. Then, off to bed early. I have never been one for New Year's Eve revelling. The last time I was up to usher in the new year was for the millenium at a party in CT.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Katie Lou Who


Cindy Lou Who?
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Greetings from Williamsburg, VA. We are visiting Chris's parents for a few days.

We had planned to make the trip in one day but due to crummy weather in the West Virginia Hills (How majestic and how grand, as the anthem goes), we had to break it up and stop on the way in Charleston, West Virginia. Chris grew up there and he was delighted to make Jack and me carsick driving up and down and around some windy roads to show us the two homes of his childhood. Now, I am the first to make fun of West Virginia (What is a hundred yards long and has two teeth? An unemployment line in West Virginia.) But, I have to admit, I was a bit charmed by good old Charleston. The downtown area is well preserved and quite nice. There are some very nice residential areas to boot. Who knows, perhaps Chris will get a wild hair and move us all there next. Think of the material for the Christmas Card... Not having dental insurance would matter not at all. Oops...I jest again. Seriously, it was neat to see where my husband grew up and went to school. And more seriously, we have no intention to get any wild hairs anytime soon.

Though I hate the drive to get here, being here at my in-laws is completely relaxing. As I have mentioned before, I am one of the lucky minority with excellent in-laws.

Today I am going shopping - something we have just about none of in Bloomington. Williamsburg has great outlets and excellent sales right after the holidays. I do my annual stocking up while here. My heart isn't in it like it was last year because Katie is not here to inspire me. Katie was here with us last year and we shopped together. Her birthday is coming up and this may be just the time to get her a little something for it...

Well, that is enough of this newsy and not at all edgy or interesting post. We drive back tomorrow (eleven plus agonizing hours but who's counting). Chris has to work the weekend which STINKS but what can you do?

Cheers to all. More from Bloomington.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Phil & Kate


Phil & Kate
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Happy Christmas to all.

I am absolutely exhausted but I couldn't resist posting this picture of Phil and Kate before I hit the hay.

It goes without saying that I adore Katie and I just love Phil and Kate as a couple. If Kate doesn't marry him someday, I will have adopt him to keep him in the family. They have known each other for years from summer camp and started dating about three and a half years ago.

I will blog more this week about our holiday and about life in general. This Christmas was a good one...Jack was a gem. He actually got a little overcome with emotion when he opened his new T-Rex plush toy that Santa gave him. It was incredibly sweet.

Tomorrow we drive eleven hours to see Chris's parents. I am not looking forward to the drive but I always enjoy visiting them. It is relaxing.

I will write from the road. I have missed blogging.

Friday, December 16, 2005

She isn't so special...

Since we are living in the (very) predominantly Christian heartland, I thought that Jack should be aware that Christmas wasn't just about Santa but rather was ostensibly Jesus's birthday. Of course, this required an explanation of who Jesus was. Where to begin? I told him that Jesus was a very special and wise man who lived many years ago and that some people, lots of them actually, believed that Jesus was the son of God and sort of a god himself. Chris and I are more or less Zen Buddhists, so Jack isn't being brought up with the traditional Christian veiw of Jesus.

Anyway, after this discussion, Jack would, from time to time, ask, "Who is that special guy again?"

Once he said, "Mommy, I don't believe that Jesus was the son of God but if you really wanted to know, you would have to ask the mommy. The one who was the mommy with God. She would know." I considered bring good old Mary up but didn't want to get into the whole virgin birth thing with my five year old.

****************************************************

We ran into a friend of mine the other day and I introduced Jack. Afterward, I remarked to Jack that my friend was a very special person.

"She isn't so special, mommy."

"Yes, she is."

"Well, are they going to make a holiday for HER when she dies?" He asked this a little sarcastically as if to prove his point.

***********************************************


In other news, like almost everyone else I know, I have been busy with getting ready for Christmas (yes, we still celebrate it complete with a tree and santa and all the commerical traditions). I am stunned and happy to report that the card is almost completed and the goal is to have it mailed out by the end of the weekend. If you want to be on our list and think that you are not, please email me your address or leave it on comments. Every year it gets harder. And every year, I swear it is the last one. But, I have to admit, that as soon as it goes out, I am thinking about what to do for next year's card.

Well, that is enough for now. Must put Jack to bed. More later and I hope it is witty.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Move Over Andy Warhol


Photo 24
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
My new computer has this feature called "I-Sight" and some supporting software called photo booth. Essentially, there is a built in camera right above the screen and you can take pictures of yourself all day long if you want. You can also click on different effects and get some really goofy stuff. For more of said goofy stuff, you may visit my flickr.com account where I have posted a few. You just click on this photo and you will automatically go there.

As I write, I am drinking a martini and eating Pizzelles. I made the Pizzelles today at Jack's request and it was a huge mistake for my so called diet. I could eat these like chips. Okay, I DO eat these like chips. Some days, like today, I just say fuck it and eat whatever I like. I always regret it the next day but in the scheme of things, how important is it really?

I still have not found out if the guy at the Y died or not. I didn't check the obits today but I thought it would be too soon anyway. Tomorrow I will look. Nobody at the Y is talking. Damn. I really want to know. For some reason, it means something to me. The experience made me think of how ghastly it must be to be in a war zone and to see death and maiming all around.

Enough of that. This blog is supposed to be entertaining, right? I could always start another blog for heavy social commentary. If I do, I shall notify those readers who have the stomach for it. You know who you are.

Well, it is time to go and work on the Christmas card. No small feat, believe you me.

More later on the all blog network.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Strange, Sad Day

Chris worked this weekend. I had a babysitter come early today so that I could work out and get some shopping done. I went straight to the Y after the babysitter arrived, intent on doing a cardio workout followed by an abbreviated swim. There is only one cardio machine I like out of the bazillion that are there and today it was occupied. Being in a bad mood to start (truth be told, loyal readers, BloomingtonGirl has been a bit blue these past few days for reasons not even worth thinking about after what happened today.) Irritated that I couldn't use the machine I had planned on right away, I changed into my swimsuit. The pool was sort of empty and I had a nice swim. During my last lap, I heard the lifeguard whistle blow. I looked around and couldn't figure out what had happened. There might have been five of us in the pool at the most. Finally, across the pool, I saw a man slumped over a lifeguard, who had apparently jumped in for him. Another lifeguard helped haul him out and then they started to work on him, doing what appeared to be CPR. I couldn't see his face but strangely, I reccognized his swim trunks. I remember swimming with him before, maybe several times, but couldn't recall who he was. I think that he had a heart attack and in retrospect, I would guess that he was probably dead when they got him out. The guards were young women, probably trained in rescue but ill prepared to deal with such an emergency. It was just awful. I ran to get some towels because all I could think of was that the guy must be cold. They left his feet dangling in the water, which bothered me a lot for some reason. He was probaby unconcious but I wanted to go over and hold him and tell him that it was okay and for lack of a better way to describe it, give him love. I didn't know him but I didn't want him to die with strangers who weren't connecting with him. I know, it is weird, but that is how I felt. But, I didn't interfere other than to give a stack of Y towels to one of the girls taking care of him. They cleared the pool area and I went to shower. I was completely shaken up by the whole experience and couldn't stop crying. I called the Y later to see how the guy did but they said they weren't allowed to give out any information, which, lead me to believe that maybe he hadn't made it. I still don't know.

The image of the man lying on the floor at the edge of the pool will remain with me for some time. It reminds me how thin the membrane separating life and death is. How silently we can cross over. How rapidly. On my way out, I heard the desk staff scrambling to figure out what the man's last name was, probably to notify the family. How I would have hated to be on the other end of that call. How quickly everything in your life can change. It would be helpful for the quality of my life if I can just remember that always. What do I have really to complain about?

Well, I am off to bed. I am just so sad about what happened.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Blast from the Past and A Blast of Snow, Boob Jobs and War and Peace


Magilla
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Jack watched an old episode of Magilla Gorilla today. He was charmed. He keeps asking why Mr. Peebles (or is it Peeples?) doesn't like Magilla so much. I don't know why but I speculate that he wants to sell him so he doesn't have to feed him. Or something like that. I remember liking the cartoon as a child but my favorite cartoon was certainly the Flinstones. Yabadabadoo!

We got a bunch of snow today and it is still coming down. It is pretty and all that but frankly, I can do without it. I grew up in a snow belt and even was on a ski team but I have lost interest. Jack was completely jazzed and couldn't wait to go out and play after school. I was so grateful that Chris was here to go outside with him. I hate to "play" in the snow with Jack. I also hate to play hide and seek or tag. There, I said it. Think whatever you want of my mothering.

While Chris was out with Jack the phone rang. Our nextdoor neighbor Doug was calling from his car for Chris. He wasn't going to be able to get home very quickly given the road situation so he wanted Chris to go next door and help his wife with some kind of pipe break/water flood disaster in progress. I told Doug that I would send Chris over pronto and assured him that we were glad to help. But I can be bone honest with you, dear readers. I wasn't happy about it. It meant that I would have to go out and play with my kid in the windy cold snow. I resentfully donned my snow gear - well, I borrowed a snow jacket from Chris because someone took my jacket last year and never returned it. I won't mention that someone's name so to protect my younger daughter's identity. I went outside and assumed a cheery voice with Jack and we did a some sled runs down our little hill in back. The runs consisted of me running down the hill as fast as I could while pulling Jack on the sled behind me. The hill is barely a hill and so unfortunately, one has to assist gravity in order to get up some speed. After several runs, I asked Jack if he was ready to go inside. NO! was his answer. I did a couple more runs with him out of some sense of moral motherhood obligation. What kind of person would I be to deprive my kid of happy play in the fresh snow? After a while, I asked again. NO! Well, this wasn't getting the desired result. I would have to try a different approach.

Didn't Jack want to go in to have hot chocolate? NO! We can have it later! A couple more runs. Aren't you getting cold? You must be getting really cold. Wow. Look at all the snow getting up your sleeves. Bet your wrists are cold. Bet they hurt, don't they? Finally, I broke him. In we went. Victory was mine.

In other news, my slight obsession with plastic surgery has surfaced again, this time with my interest split between two areas. Breast augmentations and the String Face Lift. (I will report on the so called String Lift in a future blog.) I am busy researching these procedures and poring over before and after photos. I have no idea what provokes me to do this. It is sort of like watching a car wreck. I can't take my eyes off the view even while being completely mortified. (N.B. I exclude breast reduction from my list of elective plastic surgery because I totally understand why someone would do that. Those of my readers who have felt me up - and you know who you are of course - know that I do not speak from experience on this. But, I just wanted to clarify that I make a huge distinction between a boob job and a necessary and benefical breast reduction. Just for the record.)

I found an interesting website tonight called something like "Find-a-Doc.com". You type in what kind of plastic surgery you want and what state you are in. What comes up is this bizzare list of doctors. Bizarre because on the left side of the page is a before photo and an after photo of the type of surgery you're interested in. I looked up boob jobs so those were the photos I saw. Then, next to the photos in the middle of the page, there was some text describing what you were seeing. I'll give an example:

Category: Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants) Age: 22
Weight: 126
Height: 5'2"
Gender: Female
Skin Tone: Medium
Description: Bilateral Augmentation Mammoplasty

Most descriptions were like the one above. But when I searched in North Dakota, I noticed that what the docs wrote for the "description" line was a bit different. (I looked at several different states to see if there was a marked difference in the age of patients and the after cup size.) The North Dakota descriptions did not refer to the surgery but to the patients' feelings afterward.

"Thrilled"
"Extremely Pleased"
or my favorite:

"Petite asian woman looking for larger breasts" Sort of like some strange personal ad, isn't it?

To the right of the text, is a photo of the smiling (usually male) doctor who performed the surgery with all of his contact information. It was like little business cards for merchants hawking their wares.

I found it interesting that Connecticut was not listed among the states one could browse. There is surely no shortage of plastic surgeons there. It must be that they have their own websites and are not in need of such a service.

Anyway, I know that this is a strange pastime but I really am riveted by plastic surgery. I find it horrifying and seductive all at the same time.

It made me sad to see some of the before pictures because manhy of the women were SO young, some in their late teens, and had perfectly fine breasts. Even better than perfectly fine. Did the doctors inform them that the implants might make mamograms harder to read? I wonder.

Okay, enough of my ramblings. I am off to bed to read MISS MAPP. I heard a radio program commemorating the WAR AND PEACE marathon reading on Pacifica radio thirty years ago (took them many days to finish it) and I was inspired to read it again. I actually loved it the first time. I bought the Penguin Classic version, complete with lots of supplemental essays, or so I guess from the size of it compared with the version I read many years ago. When Chris saw it he laughed his knowing laugh at me. So now I HAVE to read it. Or at least pretend to in his company. It actually shouldn't be hard because it is an awfully good read. When Tolstoy isn't describing war anyway. I sort of skim those sections. The peace part is much more interesting. Battles bore me to tears.

I hope that this blog didn't bore you to tears...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The News in Brief

Flew into Indy last night in row behind awful Hoosier family complete with fragrant carry-on fast food feast and completely wired wild and crazy small child. Small child attmepts to play peekabo repeatedly with BloomingtonGirl over seat back while small child's mommy finishes her Nathan's hotdog and fries and digs into enormous Cinnabon. BloomingtonGirl smiles painfully at small child while thinking, turn around you little brat so I can read to my own well-behaved kid. Ignored them as much as possible could while being Miss Manners style polite.

Freezing rain on ground. Car covered wtih sheets of ice. Should have tipped us off.

Got home without incident. Didn't check cell phone or home messages. Turned out to be not so great for Zoe.

In morning, dog guy called. Zoe spent night at doggie ER getting stitches in her head due to losing fast fight with larger dog in regrettable incident at doggie hotel. Picked up Zoe with impressive new zig-zag Frankenstein scar on her head. Jack rides home with hat over entire head so he doesn't have to see Zoe's scar. Upon arrival home, Chris in his haste to get Zoe into backyard to avoid doggie accident in car or on driveway slips on glare ice and fortunately does not break fall with one of his previously broken wrists. Does cut shin though (same place he cut it on Jack's first birthday) and has to elevate bleeding wound for the morning due to still being on blood thinners. Also injured finger but probably not broken. Later in day, burns hand on the oven element, causing brief flash of pleasant flesh burning odor and resulting in white scar on back of hand. In denial, he resists suggestions to go to APA meeting. (Accident Prone Annonymous)

BloomingtonGirl not injured but very tired. Wonders if there is APAAnon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

S.S. Minnow


captain
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This happy photo was taken some time after we ran up on a sand bar because we didn't understand how to stay in the "channel". We learned pretty quickly after that, you can be sure.

It was a beautiful, if slightly brisk, day today here. We rented a little boat and went out for a three-hour cruise. Jack was fairly well behaved but after about two hours, he was clearly ready to pack it in. I enjoyed it but I prefer a sailboat to a motor boat.

We spent the rest of the day on the beach and checked out the place where we considered staying and perhaps should have stayed on this trip. It is very nice and I think that if we return here, we will stay there.

On our beach walk today I found myself wondering if I might run into my college boyfriend's parents, who have a place just down the beach from where we are staying. I didn't see them which is probably just as well because his mom never liked me much. I don't blame her a bit. I wouldn't like it if Jack brought home someone like me to meet me either. I am sure that in college I appeared to be an unpleasant combination of sort of arrogant and not very polished. Why? Because I was that. Hard to believe that I evolved into such a perfectly poised, humble grown-up.

Not much else to report. I got quite a bit of sun today and I am pooped. We return to Indiana tomorrow and though I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, I have to say that I could take a few more days of this. I haven't been this relaxed in quite some time. There is just something about a change of scene that does one good.

Off to bed to start MISS MAPP, a new book I am trying out. I finished PORTRAIT OF A LADY and I loved it more the second time around even than the first. I was sorry to see it end.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I admit it....I was wrong


orchid
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
About this place, that is. Truth be told, we would actually consider vacationing here again at some point. Surprised? Me, too. But, things have turned around very much since the beginning of the week and we have discovered many charms here.

First of all, the fact that we had an interesting and pleasant day yesterday doing something sort of unusual was a big plus. Then, to follow it with a superb dinner was another check on the positive side. Yes, the beach is a bit chilly, but one has to admit that the sand is perfect - powdery and almost white - and the shell hunting at low tide makes for relaxing walks for us and great excitement for Jack, who loves beachcombing. Where we are staying is quiet and the beach is not crowded. I am sure it is because it is off season, but it is pleasant just the same. We probably wouldn't stay at this place again just because it offers little in the way of amenities and our little unit does not have a private patio with outdoor space. On the other hand, it was VERY reasonable for what we are getting ( A perfectly stocked kitchen, two full baths, a bedroom and a living room) . It is, and I do NOT exaggerate, the cleanest place I have ever stayed. They won a white glove award last year and it was well deserved. We do wonder what toxic chemicals they use to get things so pure after every tenant, though. Or how they find hourly labor to scrub so thoroughly. One of the mysteries of life. Every once and awhile, one of us exclaims, "MY! THIS PLACE IS SO CLEAN!" It cracks us up.

Today was delightful. Jack slept in until 7:30 (the usual wake up call from our dear little one is at 6AM). After a leisurely breakfast, we all went down to the beach for a walk. Afterward, we had an early lunch and headed out to the Marie Selby Botanical Garden (or Titanical Garden, as Jack calls it). Of course, some of my readers (and I know who you are) would think that we are torturing Jack with cruel and unusual methods by taking him to such a place on a vacation. Well, I am happy to say that not only did he learn a little something, he had a great time. And, so did we. The place was incredibly impressive and beautiful.

Tonight we will eat at a Peruvian restaurant that has gotten good reviews and tomorrow we have reserved a boat for rental so we can motor around the area. Tomorrow night, we will return to that wonderful Italian restaurant.

What I don't like about this place is the traffic, but the fact is, you don't have to be much in it, if you plan it correctly. I suspect that it might be unbearable when the season is full blast.

Well, Jack is clamoring for a shower and I am going to read PORTRAIT OF A LADY while he has one. I think it is one of my very favorite books and I highly recommend it.

Bye for now from the girl who was wrong about her vacation.