Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006: The Year in Books Meme

BerryBird over at Lake Loop has posted a list of all the books she read in 2006. Unfortunately, I stopped maintaining my list in April. So the following list is in order of having been read through the beginning of April:

Buster Midnight’s CafĂ© by Sandra Dallas
A House In Sicily by Daphne Phelps
Until the Real Thing Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg
A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
Grave Secrets by Kathy Reichs

Ciao, America! By Beppe Severgnini
Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E Turner
The Secret Hour by Luanne Rice

The Reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran

I may try to put together a random assortment of other books I've read in 2006 by looking around the house, but I make no promises.

Edited to include in random order:

Drop City by T.C. Boyle
For Love by Sue Miller
The Secret Hour by Luanne Rice
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
New Mercies by Sandra Dallas
The Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Past

I would like to wish everyone who celebrates Christmas a very merry one! And a happy holidays in general.

I originally posted this picture back in
May in honor of Mother's Day, but I think it would be appropriate again now.

My first Christmas, 1976.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Movies and Books

The Sound of Music was on last night. I know, most of you are probably sighing and rolling your eyes, but I Love! Love! Love! The Sound of Music. It is absolutely and without a doubt my favorite movie. I don't get to watch it that often because of the singing, but my fiance was out finishing up some Christmas shopping and then cooking dinner (yes, at 10:45pm), so I got to watch the last couple hours.

I find Captain Von Trapp to be incredibly alluring. He has such a presence. I wonder if his character has contributed over the years to my attraction to men in the military. That's the kind of thing that goes through my mind as I try to fall asleep at night.

On to the books portion of this post, I finally finished The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. It was the third of her books that I've read, and for the most part, I enjoyed it even more than My Antonia and O Pioneers!. It did drag a bit near the end, but the rest of it more than made up for that.

Now I've started reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. It definitely falls in the "musty old British lit" category that I love so much. This one caught my interest right from the get go, and I found myself trying to read it during commercials the last couple nights. It's so nice to be able to read recreationally again (now that class is over), but I am obviously still short on time and energy since the house is sucking up both of those.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Early Christmas Present

As you can see the Beta creature has finally decided I am worthy. I haven't had a chance to play and tweak yet, what with the whole painting career. I plan on taking tonight off from the fumes, so I might play then. Or I might acknowledge that Christmas is only 3 days away and go shopping.

Today feels a bit like Christmas to me. The carpet is being installed and every time I think about it a little bit of excitement leaps up inside of me. New! Carpet! It's like a big, expensive present to myself. I can't wait to rush over there after work and see my New! Carpet!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


OK, I just have to say that I am feeling slighted by this Beta creature. I got the offer to switch one day last week or the week before, but I didn't have time to play that day or the next, so I didn't. Then the day after that, the offer was retracted and has not reappeared.

Did I anger you Beta creature? Am I not worthy?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Progress Report

If you are wondering why you are being blessed with another post from me on the same day, it is because my computer at home is being evil. Best take advantage of one's lunch hour, eh?

  • I finished the trim in the masterbedroom.
  • My sister, my fiance, and I pulled the old carpet out of the livingroom.
  • I finished painting the walls in the kitchen (mostly).
  • I did the second coat on the ceiling in the livingroom and hall but haven't tackled the mysterious sand business yet.
  • I painted the walls in the livingroom.
  • Between my stepmom and me, we've almost finished the first coat on the trim in the livingroom.
  • my fiance has laid the carpet pad in both of the small bedrooms.

  • Did I forget anything?

    Plan for tonight: more trim and possibly painting the hall (that would involve buying more paint).

    I have Wednesday off, and the carpet will be installed on Thursday. I'm not panicking yet, I promise.

    The Wondrous New Diet

    I have everyone's solution to weight loss...

    Start with extreme stress and then add two ten to twelve hour days spent somewhere with no running water (and therefore no toilet). This will seriously cut down on food and beverage consumption.

    When I climbed on the scale this morning (something I rarely do, not being all that interested in the results), I saw a number that I have not seen since high school. A number that is about 7 pounds lighter than when I last weighed myself and 13 pounds lighter than a number that I used to see regularly.

    Interesting, yes, but we need to consider the fact that exercise has been entirely eliminated from my life for the last several months because of the house situation.

    Plus, this fabulous new diet may also leave you open to illness, as I now feel great amounts of snot pressing at my sinuses. Take that into consideration before rushing out and trying it yourself.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Sense of Humor

    I thought it was funny, but when I told my fiance the story he wasn't amused at all. So we'll see how you all feel about it.

    My cell phone rang in the mid-afternoon at work yesterday. Remember how I have no reception whatsoever in my office building? Well, I saw it was my doctor's office so I answered and ran for the lobby. The call didn't drop! Amazing.

    "Hi, this is B, calling from Dr S' office. I'm calling to schedule your surgery."

    Pause. Nervous laughter. "No, I don't think so."

    We went through the whole name, birth date, address, and she did indeed have my file in front of her to schedule a surgery.

    Uh? WTF?

    She was highly uncomfortable and embarrassed. Poor dear. Not her fault. So hopefully, someone will call me back today and tell me it was all a big mistake.

    Hmn, still seems funny to me. What, not to you? Well, lighten up.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Volunteers? Anyone?

    I know you are all dying for an update on the home improvements.

    Unfortunately, I have very little progress to report.

    The trim in the master bedroom is almost done.

    The livingroom is primed and ready to be painted. As soon as I pick a color. And do the second coat of ceiling paint. Which means fixing the spot where all the paint peeled off. I am sooo looking forward to messing around with the sand.

    The kitchen walls have one coat of primer. But we're thinking two might be required.

    We're meeting with the carpet people this afternoon to pick a flavor. But we can't schedule to have it installed until the walls, ceiling, and trim get painted. Which means we have to pull up the old carpet. Gak.

    The dumpster is almost full and will probably need to be pulled soon. Because we got plenty more where that came from. Like the old carpet, for example.

    Someone hit the mailbox and broke off the door. Because I really needed one more thing to deal with. (I suspect the across the street neighbors.)

    Oh yeah, and why does primer smell so much worse than paint?

    But at least I have tomorrow off. I barely know where to start. Not that it matters because I'm sure I will accomplish practically nothing. As usual.

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    More Reasons

    As I surfed through my daily reads this morning, I ran across another reason to be disillusioned over at Journey to Elena. It looks like the likelihood of one of my dreams becoming a reality will be taking a serious beating very soon.

    China's new restrictions on adopting:

  • New Info:Married couples only.

  • No singles starting May 2007.

  • New marriage/divorce time restrictions.

  • Parents must be 30 to 50 years old.

  • No history of infectious disease, mental illness (including depression and anxiety), blindness, and/or serious disease or disability.

  • Parents must have a BMI under 40.

  • Net assets must be over $80,000.

  • No criminal record.

  • There will be an increase in fees.
  • I Never Did Like Quizzes

    Proof that you shouldn't take quizzes when you are feeling crabby and disillusioned...

    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

    Well, he's not that old. A bit over two years, is all.

    And frankly, it's not really about tricks. It's not sitting, nor rolling over that is the issue here.

    Paulie does not like the snow. At all. Sometimes he flat out refuses to venture forth. Sometimes he goes, but then refuses to perform any of his assigned tasks. This dog should really live in Florida.

    And then there's the sleeping. Mine, that is. This morning he started whining and yipping at 6:51am. I finally gave up around 8am and got up. This particularly sucks on account of how busy I am right now and how much I really need my beauty sleep.

    The nighttime behavior has improved in the months since we've had him, but what are we going to do when there's 2 feet of snow outside instead of 4 inches?

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Outsider Again

    During my first semester at Small Green School I felt like an outsider.

    I was commuting from home as a non-matriculated undergrad after withdrawing from Boston University. All the kids in my classes had already had a semester together to bond.

    I took four classes that semester and didn't make a single friend.

    The next year I matriculated and made friends with the incoming freshmen. As a result, throughout my college career, the majority of my friends were a year behind me.

    My experience this semester has been reminiscent of that first semester at Small Green School. I've felt like an outsider in a class full of first year grad students, virtually the only person left silent during downtime. In addition, it turns out that some of the girls in my class are as snarky as high schoolers. Shouldn't they have outgrown that by now?

    Not only has this class made me less inclined towards Library Science, it has also made me appreciate how lucky I was to have had the experience I had at Small Green School. It leads me to wonder if I were to pursue graduate work there if I would find the environment to be as hospitable a second time around.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Bah Humbug

    I've decided there will be no Christmas this year.

    I had my heart set on being in the new house by Christmas. And I just don't have confidence that it will happen. Everything takes so long.

    I refuse to make the effort to decorate the old house when I don't even want to be living there anymore. Yesterday I bought one of the houses for our Christmas village, but only because I was too embarrassed to put just two foam paint brushes on my credit card while at the small hardware store. I set it up when I got home, and unless we get moved before the 25th, that will be the extent of my holiday spirit.

    I am listening to Christmas carols on the radio in the car because I love them.

    And as far as gifts go, I've done my best to inform people that this year the offerings will be meager at best.

    All I want for Christmas is to celebrate it in my new house.


    I just got an email from my first "real" boyfriend that his wife is pregnant. Due in June. Yay!

    Congrats S&S!!!

    That will be one smart cookie with parents like you!

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    In Brief

    I'm too tired for much more than a brief update.

    The toilet is still not fixed. Three days in a row my fiance's busted his hump working on it. That's three days he could've been working at the new house. Nice. And it's still leaking water all over the floor. It's one of those things you just take for granted. A working toilet is a wonderful thing. Or so I hear.

    We picked out and purchased some very nice ceramic tiles from the closeouts section. Made in Italy and everything. Maybe we can replace the linoleum by the front door with another batch of closeouts.

    After 8 1/2 hours at the new house today, I have completed the walls and ceiling of two (only two!) rooms. All the trim still needs to be done though. So that's next on my to-do list, along with painting the ceiling in the hall and living room.
    I'm trying not to be discouraged by how long everything takes. I still feel motivated. If only I didn't have to work.

    Last night I took the first of my two quizzes due on Wednesday. Yes, that's right folks, my big Saturday night activity consisted of doing homework. Wa-hoo. One down, one to go.

    And lastly, Paulie's little medical situation seems to be almost all cleared up. Phew.

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    It's Like Camping

    In the midst of all the action at the new house and the end-of-semester crunch, kaboomy at our current place of residence. The wax seal went out on the one and only toilet in this very small ranch. Have I mention how much I hate ranches? No? Well, I shall spare you that tirade (for now).

    There was lots of mopping up of nasty, smelly water with old towels and rags. After work yesterday, my fiance tackled the task while I was at the new house painting (where else would I be?). He replaced the wax seal and reset the toilet with no problem whatsoever, but then there was a leak from the pipe at the back. Imagine lots of cursing and sweating. Apparently the whole piping or something with the shut-off valve is just completely shot due to being absolutely archaic.

    By that time, it was so late that the trusty hardware store was closed, so we've been "flushing" the toilet with pots of water from the shower. Classy, eh? Bet you wanna come right over and hang out with us.

    So now I've got to go pry him out of bed so he can go get parts and fix the plumbing early enough so we can still make it to the tile store which closes obscenely early.

    Damn Murphy always messing with things.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Because I Know You've Been Wondering

    My consult with the doctor was very brief, but it was reassuring. So I guess it was worth leaving work two hours early.

    She said that since I don't have all of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she doesn't think it will prevent conception. She said that after six months of trying "seriously," if I do not get pregnant, then we will try clomid. Basically, she emphasized that as long as I'm getting my period regularly, I should be ovulating.

    And nothing can be done about my awful, horrible acne because the meds for those are evil and not something you want in your body when contemplating pregnancy.

    And I have to go back in four months for another sonogram. Joy.

    And relief.

    Any questions?