Wednesday, November 29, 2006

BloomingtonGirl's Christmas Wish List

As promised in my post from earlier this evening, here it is...my Christmas Wish List.
  1. A good small digital video camera
  2. A new small whisk
  3. Fuzzy socks to wear to bed. (Your Bloomingtongirl is so sexy...)
  4. Slippers...UGHs or similar. Size 7
  5. Gloves!! Not fancy ones but a couple of pairs in fun colors. What colors? Glad you asked. I have a red coat, a black coat, a magenta coat and a maroon coat. Use your imagination. And, by the way, is it a couple of pair or a couple of pairs? Neither sounds right, but you get the idea.
  6. A 12-inch non-stick frying pan, preferably Calphalon or All-Clad.
  7. A large stockpot, NOT non-stick, preferably Calphalon anodized aluminum.
  8. An Apple 13" Mac Book. (My husband keeps suggesting I need a new laptop. Who am I to argue with him? I would actually enjoy having a new one for writing.)
  9. Ear muffs - furry ones?
That does it for now. Certainly, I don't expect to get everything on my list, nor do I need any of it. (Except for the small whisk, which, if I don't get, I shall buy for myself.)


Tempur-Pedic & Christmas Presents

Loyal readers, this is such an exciting day!! Today, we got our new Tempur-Pedic mattress!!! Can you tell how excited I am by all of the exclamation points?(!!) I have wanted a new mattress for quite some time and now, the happy day is here. Chris and I slept on one of these during our last visit to NY and decided that we would get one.

Since the timing of this purchase is decidedly close to Christmas, my husband suggested that the Tempur-Pedic be a Christmas present. Because I often agree to do just about whatever my husband suggests I do, I responded that I would be happy to consider the bed to be his Christmas present from me and I thanked him for saving me the trouble of having to shop for him. We usually don't exchange gifts (more on that below) but I figured he must have made the suggestion because he was planning on getting me a gift this year and didn't want me to feel bad if I didn't get him anything. He is so very thoughtful.

Now, on the subject of presents, I admit it - I love to get them just as much as the next person. In the early days of courtship and marriage, my husband made a pretty big effort to get me gifts for holidays/birthdays. I made an effort as well. Over time, though, we stopped exchanging gifts for the most part, especially at Christmas. This was my idea and I'll tell you why. There were two reasons. The first reason for non-exchange is that my husband doesn't especially enjoy getting presents unless it is stuff he needs (socks, underwear and other exciting objects) because he is a guy who really doesn't want anything. By the way, I admire this quality in him but have no intention of emulating it. The second reason I suggested that we not exchange gifts is because it became (painfully) clear over time that it was a bit of an ordeal for him to figure out what to get me and then to go and get it. Don't get me wrong, loyal readers, my husband has no problem with me having whatever (within reason) I want. He just wants me to pick it out and go out and get it for myself. He honestly cannot ever figure out what I would like to have as a gift. And I don't help matters at all because I have this thing - I do not want to be involved in another person's effort to get me a gift. It takes most of the fun out of getting one. Is this a bit bitchy? Perhaps, but it is pretty much the way I am.

However, this year, I am going to change my ways a bit. I am going to post my Christmas list on this very blog, just in case my husband wants to pick me up a little something in exchange for the nice mattress I got for him for Christmas. I know, he probably has already picked up something special for me, but just in case, I wouldn't want him to be at all put out by having to figure out what I want. He rarely reads my blog (can you believe it?) but in case he does, my little list will be here for his viewing. I might even update it if I think of more things.

Off to bed. Sadly, it won't be on the Tempur-Pedic tonight because it needs to "breathe" for a couple of days. Or, to put it into clearer terms...it needs to rid itself of the new odor before I can sleep on it peacefully. We will be in the guest room tonight.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Draco Malfoy and Miscellaneous Commentary

This is Jack pretending to be Draco Malfoy. He really likes to dress up as Harry potter characters and since he looks most like Draco, he enjoys acting the part of him particularly.
Jack is an interesting little guy.

Yesterday, I took him to a birthday party to which 19 kids were invited. The amazing couple that threw the shindig for their six year-old girl baked and assembled- in advance- gingerbread houses for the kids to decorate. Each family got to decorate one and take it home. Siblings worked together and only children, like Jack, worked by themselves. Bowls of candy were laid out and each "family" was given a plastic bag filled with icing. Kids were instructed (with firm authority by the completely impressive dad of the birthday girl) that the candy was for decorating only and NOT for eating. Miraculously, not one kid ate any candy. The only person who ate some was the dad next to me - a funny and charming fellow originally from Connecticut (no surprise).

It was a mixed experience, going to this party. On one hand, I completely enjoyed the well organized event and savored watching all the kids interact. On the other hand, I was completely put to shame by these walk-on-water parents. Sadly, though, I can't even feel any envy or jealousy over their parenting and kid-party-throwing skills because I really like these people.

For Jack's seventh birthday, I shall prepare by reading Martha Stewart, Mr. Rogers and Miss Manners. That should help. And if all else fails, I shall take the Fairfield County route and do something like hire a magician.

In other news, I just made travel reservations to go to Herkimer to see my parents on the weekend of December 8, my father's 77th birthday. I shall diet with great determination in preparation for this trip which promises to be filled with all variations on my mother's cooking scheme of spaghetti and meatballs. I wonder whether my repertoire will narrow to that one dish as I age. If memory serves- and at age 44 I hope to God it still does- my mom actually did used to cook other things. But, now, every time I come to visit, she asks if I want her to make "sauce". What can I do but say yes?

In other other news, a working mother friend of mine asked me an important question last week.

"What do you do all day?"

She was curious what the mother of an only child (in school all day) did with her time. She had wanted to ask me some time ago, but thought she should wait until she knew me better so that I wouldn't take it the wrong way. She is the mother of two boys, ages 4 and 6 and is also a full-time teacher. She works hard both at work and at home. Her husband works at a demanding job full time and is an artist/writer besides. Her plate is completely full and I admire her a whole lot. (I do try not to compare myself to her very often because nobody likes to feel like a slacker. )

I gave her a verbal outline of my typical week-day but it didn't seem complete. To answer that question for her (and for me) in a thorough way, I decided that it was necessary to keep a written account for an entire week of what I did all day while my husband was at work and my son was at school. I started today. If it is at all interesting, loyal readers, I shall share it right here in this very blog. (Don't hold your breath...I imagine it won't be at all interesting.) I do think that it is a good exercise. It might even prompt me to get a part time job or to do some volunteer work.

Well, that's all I can write for tonight. I am off to bed to read Clarissa. Man, is that a LONG tome.

PS...I have been determined to use every last ounce of the nineteen pound turkey I cooked for Thanksgiving and so far, I have been quite successful. I plan to post the recipes on my recipe blog when I am finished. I feel like such a mighty homemaker.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Brief



Left top: Jack casts a Harry Potter inspired magic spell on the bird before roasting.

Left middle: Wow! A picture of the bird midway through the roasting shows that the spell is indeed working.

Left bottom: Happy guests enjoy delicious pies and wine. Left to right around the table: John Whikehart, Linda Whikehart, Jenny Nobel-Kuchera, my wonderful husband, Peter Nobel-Kuchera, Glee Nobel. Unfortunately, the picture does not show the beautiful and talented chef nor does it show how elegant the table was before the festivities began.)

The party was a success. I had that wonderful "I-gave-a-great-party" afterglow all day on Friday.

I would love to go on and on about it, but because I have been pretty much been solely in Jack's company Friday, Saturday and today (Chris had to work), I have little intelligence left to write anything else. Don't get me wrong, I love my kid. I'm just a little saturated with playing Harry Potter and Star Wars to be able to think like an adult. I know that my loyal readers will forgive their BloomingtonGirl if she signs off without writing more about the holiday. Tomorrow, Jack returns to school and I can resume my normal routine. So, stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Things are Looking Up

This is Jack at his piano recital. I wanted to post the picture of him with two fancy little girls at his side, but I didn't want to do that without their moms' permission. So, here is Jack, solo. I can't believe how big he is getting.

Jack and I play simple duets on the piano now. It is much fun for me and somewhat of a chore for him, since he hates to practice. I actually enjoy practicing but don't make enough time to do it. At the recital, there were two kids, ages nine and eleven, who were far better players than I am. Nothing inspires me more to practice! It is refreshing when my old competitive side rears its ugly head. Yes, I always act as if I am not at all competitive, but I am. There, know you know.

I had the very best massage I have ever had in my life today. I made the appointment because, as reported right here in this very blog, I have had an aching back for several days now. I am happy to report that I feel SO much better after having the massage, that I almost cannot believe it. This massage therapist is also a practioner of Thai Massage, which is a stretching thing...sort of like having Yoga done to you. Stretching without the effort. Sign me up, man. But, I am going to wait a few weeks for my back to return completely to normal. For now, I am just happy to be able to stand up without looking like a ninety-year old.

In other news, I received one of the nicest compliments from a friend today. She had a bit of a set-back on a project she is doing and she said that she really needed a laugh so she went to my blog to find one. There have been many times I have devalued my writing because it isn't scholarly in content or in form. I do realize that I am not a really good writer, after all, but I do think from time to time that I have a good wit. It is nice to know that I can make people laugh. After all, what is more fun than that? Many things are as fun but nothing is more fun than a good laugh. I guess this blog has a purpose after all.

I feel happy about that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Performance Anxiety

Your BloomingtonGirl is having performance anxiety over Thanksgiving Dinner! Used to be that I got to have performance anxiety over something much more fun than dinner, but, alas, loyal readers, times have changed.

I don't know why I make myself such a wreck when I plan to entertain. I didn't used to be this way when we lived in CT. I threw great dinner parties (those loyal readers who attended such, go ahead and comment favorably please) for my dearest friends. Okay, so they might not have been culinarily perfect, but a good time was had by all and nobody left hungry and few left completely sober.


Since we live a gazillion miles from our families and can't travel this year because Chris has to work on Fri/Sat/Sun, we are having friends/aquaintances for Thanksgiving Dinner. There are two couples coming. One couple I know pretty well, the other not so well. There is a third couple that might come. The couples don't know each other, which could be interesting or not so good. Everyone has nice kids and I am planning a kids table, complete with little kid activities so that they are somewhat directed in their play. I have the menu planned and I am letting my guests bring stuff so that I don't make myself crazy. I have all day tomorrow and Wednesday to get things ready. My napkins are already pressed, my tablecloth laundered and I am consulting the Martha Stewart website almost on an hourly basis.

I keep telling myself that it will all work out just fine and be fun, but I am worried that it won't. I realize it is rediculous to worry because first of all, to be invited to someone else's home and NOT have to do the cooking yourself is enough to make it a great day for any guest (unless of course, your hostess and hosts are horrible cooks and terrible entertainers, which I can confidently say we are not). But, still, I worry that all the kids won't get along (and of course they won't...they range in age from three to six) and I worry that some of our guests will not have a good time or that they won't like each other. I worry that the food won't be that great, or will take too long to cook...etc...etc.

Since when did I get so neurotic about throwing a party???

I have no conclusions to draw about this post other than I shall soldier on and hope for the best. What is the worst thing that can happen? Everyone gets food poisoning? Geez, that would be bad, especially when I am a Food Scientist. Oy.

Well, that is all of my ramblings for the day. Tomorrow I shall post my party preparation progress along with my menu.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Is Your Betty Ready?

I would not dream of letting my loyal readers down by not reporting on this important new product. After all, we know how interested BloomingtonGirl has been in the hair "down there". Now, ladies - and men, I suppose - you have another way to beautify your pubes...you can safely dye them the color of your choice! The new product line that makes this possible is called Betty Beauty. Betty has a selection of different colors for your netherhair - Brown Betty, Blond Betty, Auburn Betty, Black Betty and, the color I can't wait to try - Fun Betty!

This innovative product was developed by Nancy Jarecki, who while at a hair salon in Rome, observed patrons leaving with a discreet paper bag after their color treatments. She asked what was in the bag and was told that it was extra color for "the hair down there - so it would match". Inspired by the absolute necessity of such a product in her home market, she rushed to develop a line for the US.

On the Betty website, Jarecki tells about the research she did in the US to determine how very much pubic hair dye was needed here. She tells us that her salon-owner friend said that her clients would use the product and that she would indeed use it herself! She loved the idea of her pubes matching her chestnut head hair and "she confessed" that she desperately needed something to cover the gray hairs she had recently discovered down below. Horrors!


After polling her salon-owner friend, Jarecki asked her gynocologist what percentage of her patients "matched". Jarecki exclaims, "it turned out that almost nobody matched!" Fancy that, loyal readers. A tragedy and a market waiting to happen!

After this penetrating market research, Jarecki figured that "Sophisticated women, who spent time and lots of money getting their hair color just right, had no solution for coloring the hair down there. They were totally overlooking this crucial beauty area." (Crucial beauty area? Or did she mean crucial profit area?) Jarecki added "We even found some blondes who had tried to do it themselves using off-the-shelf products with terrible results!" Apparently one doesn't have to be a natural blonde to be a dumb one. Jarecki concluded that "It was clear that women (and even some men!) were desperate for a product like this." (Desperate? Wow.)

The Betty kits are $20 each and it is recommended that you touch up your downstairs do each time you color your upstairs do. Or you can "Reapply the color anytime you feel it needs a boost." And, if you want to go back to your original color, you just use the Betty kit that most closely matches it. I guess that you can't just let it grow out...that would be neglecting this crucial beauty area and as we know, that just won't do.


Interested readers may go to the website www.bettybeauty.com
and take a look for themselves. You can also order some T-shirts to proclaim the new you:



In the spirit of full disclosure - and you know your BloomingtonGirl loves to fully disclothes, I must inform you that my down do has always matched my up do, except for that brief unfortunate month when I dyed my hair platinum. But, as I age, I am finding that I am not matching quite as well. You see, my up do is graying at a faster rate than my down do. If I continue with my plan not to dye my up do, I will soon need a Gray Betty (or more accurately, a Salt & Pepper Betty) for my down do. This is very discouraging. Will I never escape being a slave to beauty?

I suppose that I could solve the color problem entirely by getting an extreme wax...you know, the removal of every last hair from front to back - the Kojack - if you will. It is a toss-up, loyal readers. One option makes me a slave to hair color once again and the other option might necessitate a labia lift.

I think that I should sleep on it before making a hasty decision. After all, one doesn't want to rush to action when such a crucial beauty area is involved.

Evolution

Don't fret, conservative readers . This picture is not meant to kick off a debate on creationism vs. evolution, though I did lift it from a most interesting site which sells tapes on topics like why the Earth is only 6000 year old. But, that is a topic for another time and place.

When I saw this picture, I thought of my own evolution since Thursday morning, when I was about as upright as the far left fellow. This morning, I feel somewhere between the slightly hunched and the upright apes. Perhaps if I build a little altar to Darwin and pray and genuflect (in a limited way, of course, due to my back), my own evolution will proceed more rapidly. I'll let you know what the results of that endeavor are.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Latest Love Affair...

Is with a brand of nail enamel. OPI, to be specific. It is just theee best nail enamel EVER. You can't really see the color in the picture but it is called "Oh to be Twenty-Five Again". Isn't that a wonderful name for a nail polish color? My favorite color is "Lincoln Park After Dark", a deep deep purple that appears almost black. But, one can't wear the same color day in, day out, can one? So, I thought I would give this new shade a chance. After all, I want to have equal opportunity nails.

Some of my loyal readers will realize that BloomingtonGirl does not normally wear nail polish and you may be surprised at this change. You may also worry that I am going a bit soft in the head, writing about my feelings for OPI nail enamel. But, then you will remember how I get onto these silly kicks (this time it's painting my nails) and how I have been practically flat on my back for two days (going a bit crazy) and you will forgive my silliness and weirdness.

It is 9:30 PM and Chris is at the IU basketball game with our neighbor. I didn't go because I knew I couldn't stand sitting on the bleachers for two hours. Jack is in bed and the house is quiet - the way I like it. In a few minutes - as soon as my nails dry - I shall shut down my computer, get ready for bed, take a muscle relaxer and tuck myself in with my book. I didn't take the medicine today because it made me so dopey yesterday. The good news is that I seem to be improving just with the ibuprofen.

In other news, I have actually submitted two pieces to two different publications in the last two days!! And, the really great thing about it is that I am not all freaked out about what happens next. I don't expect to get a reply back, much less get published and I think that's the best attitude to have. You will be kept posted, of course.

I submitted a re-write of an earlier piece entitled "The Napkin Note" to one magazine and a re-write of "The Varieties of Beauticious Experience" to Salon.com. In a few weeks I will forget all about them and submit some more stuff to different places. It is kind of fun now that I don't feel all that self criticism and pressure.

In other other news, I actually had to go to the grocery store today - I walked at a snail's pace and didn't buy anything that weighed over a pound - and I was irritated to see that The Salvation Army guy was already ringing away, shooting me the guilt look. And, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet! Geez. Can't they wait until the official Christmas season to start making me feel bad on the way in and on the way out of every store?

Bah humbug...or maybe it's just Back Humbug.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Decrepitude Calls While the Tea Kettle Whistles


I don't know why this is writing in underline style and I can't seem to change it. But, that is the least of my little problems today, loyal readers. The day before yesterday, I worked out and did some yoga stretches afterward. I was surprised at how limber I was and pushed the stretches farther than I had ever before. Looking back, I can see that perhaps it was a mistake. My back got a bit sore that night and continued to get stiffer yesterday. I went to my weekly Yoga class hoping that the stretching would loosen things up (HA!) and took it very easy. Nothing seemed to get worse so I thought that by today, I would be almost ship shape. Wrong. Earlier this morning as I bent down to pick up one of Jack's toys, disaster struck. My lower back seized up and I was condemned to the floor, wondering how I would make it to the phone to call my friend Mary and cancel our lunch date. I crawled from the den to our bedroom - no tiny distance in this McMansion - to get the nearest phone and much to my horror, it wasn't there. (Those cordless phones are such mixed bag, are they not??) I lay on the floor for awhile after several excruciating minutes trying to find a pain free position. Then, the teakettle started screaming from the kitchen. I have a teakettle that has an actual harmonica in the whistle so when it goes off, it sounds like a train is coming. The sounds makes me feel that I must urgently get to the stove and turn it off. It isn't rational - after all if the whistle is still sounding, there is water in the pot, so there is no rush. Even so, that urgent whistle added to my stress as I crawled on my belly to the kitchen. I then decided to hoist myself into my computer chair because it has wheels and use it as a means to roll around the downstairs. Worked like a dream once I got it over the threshhold between my office and the kitchen. I wheeled over to get some muscle relaxers and some anti-inflamatory capsules and here I am. Doped up and de-flamed.

Later:

It is now evening and I actually made it through the day but I am a hurtin' buckeroo. Besides not curing my back, the muscle relaxer makes my mouth dry, makes me feel sort of dopey and makes me want to eat everything. However, it does not make laugh at anything and everything, which is a shame.

My advice, loyal readers is to never pick up after your children. See what happens?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This picture, taken five minutes ago, shows that I still have my sense of humor and that I am still a slave to beauty.

Just thought you might want to know.

Monday, November 13, 2006

What Next?

This is Jack, posing for the built-in camera on my computer. Note the scar and glasses. He thinks he is Harry Potter.

Right now, Jack is in bed, reading aloud to himself. I am listening to him on the monitor from my office, finishing a glass of red wine, thinking (in vain) of things to write and feeling midly relieved to be alone. I feel a bit guilty that I am not watching Bill Maher with my husband, but I just don't have the energy for listening to people rant about their political views, even if it is funny. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I'm in a bit of a funk. Nothing too serious, just an underwhelming sense of BLAH. I've noticed this mood is seasonal since we have lived in Indiana. The late fall and winter here is overwhelmingly gray and I think it affects me slightly. Or, it could just be my midlife crisis. Only, I am too medium in mood to experience it as a crisis.

I was thinking as I was driving to writing class yesterday morning about how life is a series of things that you look forward to getting or achieving. When you are young, they are smaller things - like what Santa will bring, a band concert, the school play, tests, summer vacation, homecoming weekend, the prom, graduation. Then, you look forward to college. Then, getting a job or getting into graduate school. Then, marriage. Then, kids. Then, you give up your career (in my case) and pretty much your whole self to raise the kids. Then, your kids grow up, or grow up enough not to need you 24/7, and there you are. Or, more to the point...here I am. I gave up my career - gladly, I should add - to parent Kate, Meg and Jack at a time when it was imperative that someone was at home. I think that I knew at the time I wouldn't go back. I spent many years completely absorbed in being a mom. But, now the girls are grown and gone and Jack is at school full time. Yes, he is only six, but the dynamic is completely different.

Lately, I find myself thinking, Now what? I had this pipe-dream for awhile that I was going to pursue some kind of writing career but I've come to my senses. I still may submit stuff for publication from time to time, but the fantasy about writing a book or being some sort of success as an author has ended for me. And this, to be quite honest, has left a void. A void that seems to need filling. Filling with ideas and ambitions (or salty snacks such as Doritos, but that's a topic for another time). Unfortunately, I have no ideas or ambitions at the moment.

So, this leaves me living what my friend calls the quiet life. And, most of me is okay with that. But, there is a part of me that nags at me...you should be doing something. Something important or at least something that looks important. What I am doing is keeping house, doing (lots of) laundry, cooking (I made the best vegetarian chili EVER tonight, by the way), taking out the trash, putting polish on my nails, getting my legs waxed, letting my hair grow in gray rather than coloring it, baking brownies - 460 in all - for a benefit for Jack's school, planning Thanksgiving dinner, eating too much, shopping for Lego Star Wars items on Ebay on Santa's behalf and thinking about how to decorate this house if we end up staying here. Oh, and I am reading Clarissa, which is no small task. And, I think about what I should be doing. I contemplate getting a graduate degree. But, in what? I think about getting a job and then I immediately decide against it. I can't think of anything I really want to do.

If these sound like the ramblings of a priveledged woman, it is because they are. That isn't lost on me. And, I might add, I am grateful every single day of my life for this freedom. I am not complaining about my lot in life. I really have nothing to complain about. And, I'm not bored. I just don't know what my next thing is going to be. Or, if I need to have a next thing at all. Maybe one of the gifts of getting older is to be okay with either alternative...having a next thing or not.

I do know this much. My next thing for this evening is to transfer a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, wash my face and brush my teeth and get into bed and read Clarissa.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I LOVE Mondays

Mondays on which Jack goes to school, that is. Sadly, tomorrow isn't one of those wonderful weekend ending Mondays. Jack does not have school tomorrow, nor did he have it on Friday. That, for those people weak in basic math, adds up to a long, long, LONG four day weekend with my six-year old.

My loyal readers know that I love my son beyond reason. But, let's face it. School starts at age five for a reason...and it isn't because the kids are ready. The MOMs are ready to have a few hours a day in which they don't incessantly hear "MOMMY!" called and in which they are not badgered with requests, demands and complaints large and small. Back in the day, all my mother had to do - and she did it often - was say, "Go outside and play" and that was that until dinner time, when she yelled for us. In we went, from playing with the other kids in our neighborhood, completely unsupervised. Ah, those were the days.

I started this post a couple of hours ago and now am picking it up again. Jack is occupied with his "play date", a cute little girl from his kindergarten class. I am so grateful to have a few moments to myself. They are in the backyard playing. Jack always gets some sort of costume on when a friend comes over. Today, it was a makeshift Harry Potter get up, complete with a red scar drawn in marker (!!) on his forehead, a black cape and a pair of old sunglasses from which he removed the lenses. Oh, yes, and a Nimbus 2000 broom on which to fly and a wand. I wonder what the other moms think when they drop off their own seemingly normal kids.

Play dates are for the most part, wonderful because your child is out of your hair (selfish happiness!) while he is having fun and learning how to interact with a peer (guilt relief!). But, they are also fraught with anxiety for your dear BloomingtonGirl. You see, and I share this in absolute confidence, I am intimidated by kids. Yes, it is true. I am overly worried about whether they are having a good time, worried that they are picking up bad habits from my kid, worried that they might go home and tell their mothers something that would be a tip off to what a clueless mother I am. I don't want Jack to be either the kid who's boring and weird or the kid whom other mom's think is a bad influence because he has too many violent toys (star wars light sabers, lazer guns, swords), too many toys, period and watches inappropriate movies like Star Wars. Oy. Talk about neurotic. I am going to go back to being obsessed with my body fat level the size of my pores. That's much more manageable than worrying about my kid.

Later this afternoon, I have to go and meet with Jack's teachers for our parent teacher conference. Since when did kindergarten necessitate a parent teacher conference? I don't mind, actually, because I really like Jack's teachers and I haven't been out all day. Chris gets out of it because the unlucky guy woke up with some kind of bronchitis relapse and pink eye this morning. Poor guy.

Yikes! I just peeked out the window and saw Jack's little friend holding a garden hose over our charcoal grill, spraying water everywhere. Great. Now her mom will arrive and find her soaked. I guess I'll rethink that campaign for mother of the year I was considering.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

BloomingtonGirl Weighs In

Not on a scale, of course. That would be too scary right now. I am finally weighing in on the election results. Here in my district, Baron Hill - Democrat - beat incumbent, Mike Sodrel, the anti-flag burning, ten-commandments in the courtroom, anti-gay marriage, don't let Hollywood liberals take over our government guy. From the fliers we were bombarded with, I concluded that those were his key issues. Not one sensible word on the war in Iraq, national security, our dangerous dependence on oil, the impending national health care crisis and oh, yes, last but not least, our HUGE deficit. I voted for Hill - no surprise - but it was tough to do it. He initially ran on the completely stupid "I will lower your gas prices" platform, one that I oppose utterly. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, he returned Kerry's $1000 campaign contribution because of Kerry's unfortunate remarks. The contest was, in my opinion, a choice of the lesser of two asses. I imagine that many other contests in the country were like this. But, I am quite happy that the Dems will control the congress because it's high time to have some checks on this runaway train we call an administration. I just hope that the Democrats do some good and act as a force for some unity. Time will tell and I am watching with interest. I am disgusted with both parties. I think that it is time for the emergence of a third party - a progressive party that believes everything I do. After all, isn't it all about me?

The picture on this post is of my most favorite kind of voting machine. My dad is in charge of the machines in my home town and he is responsible for working on them, making sure they are ship-shape and not tampered with. (He does this with his Democrat counterpart, of course.) We have talked about the change to electronic machines and he has convinced me that these lever machines are the way to go. From what he says, the possibility of them screwing up is almost nil and they really can't be tampered with. They don't need special storage conditions either, like the computerized ones do. We have computer screens in our district and I never feel as if I have really voted. (My mother also works at the elections...she is the Republican person who signs voters in. In addition to feeling as if she is doing her duty for her party and her country, she gets all the great gossip in our hometown and a hundred fifty bucks to boot!)

In non-political news, we went out last night and Ellis, the cute swim instructor from last summer, babysat for Jack. I suppose if we can have great looking young women parading through here babysitting for Jack, it is only fair that we have an occasional yummy looking young man. We went out for Japanese food and then to see The Crucible at IU. I had never read it nor had I seen it. What a timeless play it is.

More later, when I can think of something witty to say.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Do Your Duty

Get out there and vote today, Loyal Readers.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Jack's New Haircut

Just wanted to post a picture of Jack without the mop he has been sporting for months now. I can't help it if he is the most gorgeous kid on Earth.

Chris and I watched part of Reds tonight. I didn't remember how slow moving it was and how very much of a love story the first half is. No matter. I'd pay to watch Warren Beatty read the phone book. What is it about him?

Off to bed to read half a page of Clarissa before I fall asleep.

My Hip New Boots

Are these not the bees' knees? The cat's meow? I first laid eyes on these boots a couple of months back and have thought about buying them since. Yesterday, I marched right over to the store, put them on and claimed them as my own. Yes, I realize that they are not for everyone, but neither am I for that matter. I wore them to the IU basketball game today and I felt like a complete fashion plate, even though I was wearing jeans and an oversized Hoosier T-shirt. Simply put, these boots rock.

It is 4 PM and I am cozy in my office while Jack watches a movie and Chris is at the gym working out. Oops...movie just ended so probably Jack will be looking in on me soon with some request for food, more TV or to play some kind of game he made up that I (or anyone else he might play) can never understand the rules, much less win.

Tomorrow night is my writing group's public read-around in which each woman in the group reads a five minute piece. I think that I will read my post on Hydrotherapy, partly because I think it is funny and partly because I have nothing else to read at present. Perhaps something will inspire me tonight and I will come up with something new. Not likely, though.

Just as I thought...here's Jack....gotta go!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

BloomingtonGirl Thinks about Paint Colors and Politics

Wouldn't you know it? After we decided that we are probably going to stay in this house rather than sell it, we get a call from a realtor who wants to show it. I don't know why I agreed to it...I guess I was thinking that if someone were to offer the right price, we really should sell it for all of the reasons we first put it on the market. The interested couple came yesterday at noon - after I spent the entire morning making the place spotless - and they stayed twice as long as most of the other potential buyers have. Yikes! The rest of the day, I got anxious every time the phone rang, hoping it wasn't an offer.

Fortunately, we heard nothing from them. Our contract with the listing realtor expires on November 18 and it is unlikely we will get any more showings, given the time of year. If we take the house off the market early, we have to sign papers and deal with some hassle. So, we'll just leave it on until the contract expires and let it go at that.

The picture in this post is, of course, our kitchen. Imagine if you will, the white walls being awash in an eye-catching green. Those who imagine it looking bad may not comment here, by the way. I am going to try some different shades, select one and hire the painter to get it done. I shall post the picture when it is finished.

In other matters, your BloomingtonGirl wrote a letter to Baron Hill this morning. I actually sent him Tom Friedman's editorial from the NY Times this week and a little note with my opinion on one of Hill's recent activities. Hill is the Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Mike Sodrel for this district's congressional seat. I can't stand Sodrel but I don't much like Hill, either. This past week, Hill returned a contribution campaign from John Kerry in protest of Kerry's mangled and ill-chosen comments about the troops in Iraq. I was so disgusted that Hill gave into this nonsense rather than just discussing the real issue - the actual war in Iraq - and not what John Kerry said. The sad thing is, whatever Kerry meant, the guy is right-on with what he actually said. Most of the soldiers who are joining our military these days - most not all - are people who are on the low socio-economic rung of the ladder and don't have better options.

Speaking of politics, we have been invited to an Election Night Dinner party to "watch the returns come in". This is a new thing for us, having never been invited to such a party. It is a mixed crowd politically, but all of the people coming are reasonable and can discuss their different viewpoints without going up into flames. So, I am actually looking forward to it. Other than our district's congressional race, I am most interested in the CT races - Lieberman's and Shay's particularly.

Well, I am off to bed. More later on the BloomingtonGirl Station.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I figured it out!



I figured out how to post photos to this new blog format (obviously) so I thought I would post this lovely photo of my brilliant work yesterday. This is the display for my brownies that was shown at Jack's school yesterday.

That's all for now. More exciting changes on this very blog soon!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Settled

We've had two house showings in the past three weeks. It is surprising because we fully expected that we would get no traffic after school started here. The housing market in Bloomington, as I have mentioned before, is very seasonal. In this price range especially, since there is a small group of potential buyers to begin with.

Over the past week, Chris and I have decided that we aren't even interested in selling the place, mostly because we are too lazy to move. And, I guess we have faced the fact that we are REALLY too lazy to build a house, which is what we had thought about doing in the first place. So, since it looks as if we'll be staying here, I decided to get a few things done to the house that I have been thinking of doing, like painting the kitchen, master bath and master bath built-in vanity. The vanity is cherry and sort of masculine and puts me in mind of a country & western bar. I don't know whether I should do a shot of tequilla or brush my teeth at night. Really, the style of the vanity's makes the room cry out for a dart board. (I suppose if it were placed strategically, it would obviate the need for magazines.) But, the vanity is a big piece, taking up an entire wall, and to remove or replace it would be way more money than is practical to spend. So, I thought we could have it professionally painted white and see if that made it look more bathroomy.

The painter came and gave his estimates and he can start in early December. The kitchen, currently white, will be painted green - sort of a startling citrus-ey green. Trust me on this one, loyal readers. It is going to be divine with the white cabinets and black counter tops. In other nesting news, I ordered a new bookshelf, which arrived today from Crate and Barrel. It matches one already in the living room. I rearranged the furniture in the room and realized I needed a second bookshelf to balance the room. I shall put it together tomorrow while I play Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman". I can't operate a power screwdriver without Helen singing that song in the background.

In other news, I have a few pictures I want to post to the blog but I switched over to a new version of the program here on Blogger and I can't figure out how to do it in that format yet. I will attempt to learn it over the weekend.

Well, that is all for now. Off to bed to read that huge novel. I got through a whopping four pages last night. I hope I live long enough to finish it.