Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A bit more about that book.

Interestingly enough, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was originally called Men who Hate Women. In Swedish, of course, but that's the title. The Girl who played with fire was called that in the original, and then the last one, The Girl who kicked the Hornet's Nest was The Air Castle that Blew Up, which maybe makes more sense in Swedish. Is that castles in the air? Or more literally those bouncy castle/bounce houses for kids?

I guess when they translated them, they sort of re-branded them with the emphasis on the girl in all the titles.

headache-inducing family


After last night's struggle to get DS2 to do his homework and his stomping and pouting and refusing to brush his teeth when I said that we weren't going to have ice cream.

Then this morning, it took DS1 10+e minutes to get dressed and then still didn't have his shoes on and we were already late and they were talking really loudly in the hall and woke DD up and I left her with DH who went back to sleep, leaving the toddler roaming the house alone.

Then DH basically blew off (again) my pleas for him to come home before bedtime, because by that time of night, I need help with the kids. Well, maybe he'll do something and change the work schedule that he sets HIMSELF so that he sees his children (and me) during the week. He didn't commit to anything.

And then I was a little late getting the boys from school because DD had just woken from a nap and if I'm 5 minutes late leaving the house, it takes me 10 minutes longer because I have to go past the high school which is just getting out, too.

So instead of going to the pick-up loop out front, they weren't there, so I went to the pick-up loop at the side where DS1's classroom is and there they were. Only they weren't waiting to be picked up, they were bouncing playground balls. The loop teacher person called to them and told me to go around again so I wouldn't hold up traffic like half of the other parents do when picking up their kids. I did, but then they were gone. To the front loop. Basically, I idled for ten minutes because I was 3 minutes late.

And then we got home and when the toilet didn't flush right and was about to overflow, DS2 flushed it again and ewwwwwwwwwww. So the rug and a towel washing on hot with a bit of bleach.

And the Toddler is trying to get milkies so I'm typing with my left hand and she just bit me and so I put her down and there's lots of screaming.

And DH won't be home until who-knows-when again tonight.

reading a good book!

I'm about halfway through The Girl Who Played With Fire by ummm... that Swedish dude. Larsson? Nielssen? Stieg somebody. Stieg Larsson. It's the second book, after The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

So far, I like this one better, because though nothing really happens for the first 150 pages, just like in the first one, there are hints that things are going to happen. Maybe I just think so because I know what happened in the last book, so I just assume something wild will happen in this one, too. There's a lot more sex in this one: like secondary characters whose sex lives have nothing to do with anything, as far as anyone can tell.

Apparently, there's a third book that will come out in the US next June, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. They already have it in the UK and yes, it's tempting... He turned all three manuscripts in to be published and then died.

I "love" apostrophes

"Sarah Palin" "wrote" a "memoir".

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well, they do try to predict it.

It's supposed to be 100-ish tomorrow, then 89 Monday, and then 74 (seventy-four!!) Tuesday - and 52 overnight.

I'm glad I don't have to try to tell anyone what to pack to come visit this week.

Though anyone who does want to come visit, it looks like Tuesday on will be good weather. hint hint.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Or... not.

Well, it was good to know that almost everyone else showed up at the soccer class even though the coach had canceled due to heat so I wasn't the only bad parent who didn't check the hotline...

It was hot, but was it much hotter than last week, really? I looked at and it says it was only 90 last Thursday, so I guess it was, since it was 98 on my car thermometer when we arrived and 100 when we left. It's supposed to cool off next week - fingers crossed.

The good thing was that because it was a couple of the dads who organized the kids and because DS1 wasn't in karate, he got to play, too.

UPDATE: I know my car's thermometer is off - it reads hotter than what the official temps are, though some of that is heat radiating from roads and parking lots, I know. But yesterday's official high temp was 93. It was forecast to be 98 or so, so I do understand why the soccer coach called it off, but still, 3 whole degrees more?

It's supposed to be in the low 80's by next week.

Almost time to go

DS1 decided to not go to karate today and go tomorrow instead so that we wouldn't have to drive around like maniacs this afternoon. When DS2 started soccer last week, it was a case of driving back and forth as fast as I could to do the drop offs and pick ups.

3:00 out of school
twiddle thumbs, play on karate mat, go to library, or whatever
4:00 DS1's karate starts
4:20 DS2's soccer starts (15-ish minutes away)
4:45 DS1's karate ends. Give him a few minutes to get his clothes back on.
5:20 DS2's soccer ends

So today we're not doing that. I appreciate DS1 not doing karate today, but don't suppose that he'll go every Friday instead of Thursday from now through the beginning of November...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

talkie, stinky pits, and screamie

I'm not in a great mood this evening.

DS1 and DS2 were wriggling around all over when they were allegedly listening to me read from Harry Potter #4. I just don't feel respected you know? DS1 at least kept track of what was going on, but DS2 reverted to "who? who's Cedric? What are they champions of?" and chatting and talking to DD who was wandering around.

Last night, DS1 took a bath and I specifically told him to wash his hair because it gets greasy. So he came out and got his PJs on and then lay down on my bed as I was reading Junie B. Jones to DS2 and he put his hands behind his head and wheeeewwwwwww. His pits stink. Another sign of adolescence. And how does one take a bath and wash all over without washing one's armpits? Yeah well, he's going to have to remember from now on.

And screamie is DD, who has decided that it is the best way to get people to do what she wants. Tyranny, party of one, your table is OVER THERE IN THE CORNER AND NO I'M NOT LISTENING.

And mostly, I'm tired of DH working away from home and instead of working during, oh, say, working hours, he goes in at noon and comes home at 9. Or, like tonight, he's still not home at almost 10. He doesn't do it every night, but it's often enough that I'm feeding the kids and putting them to bed by myself 3 or so times a week and I don't like it.

and some older pictures that I didn't put up right away

DS2's soccer gear.

Boys playing outside in the dark in a dry wading pool.

My little financial consultant with her cell phone, paying the bills

Lasagna for dinner, yogurt for dessert. (DS2's navel)

and a movie....

Like watching TV

The plot's a little thin, but there's a lot of action.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sony 505 eReader review - part deux

So. The test drive of my Sony reader 505 is almost over. Do I want to keep it for my very own?

No. Yes. Maybe.

Can carry a whole stack of books in one, slim package
Can stay up all night reading without getting up to go get another book (not that I should – I have to get my kids to school in the morning)
Can get classic, out-of-print, out-of-copyright books free from the Gutenberg Project, etc
There are offers and bargains out there for free or cheap eBooks – generally a few months old from Harlequin to a few years old from other publishers

The reader itself is expensive
EBooks are usually full price. Why are they not cheaper than hard copies that have to be printed and shipped?
I can get new releases and older books from the library for free or from the used book store for $4
My library's ebook selection is pitiful and random and half are in an incompatible format.
If a book really stinks, I can't get $2 from the used book store for it or donate it to the library friends book sale for a small tax deduction
I can't share books with friends and family
How long before this technology is obsolete? Will I still be reading my e-Books in 20 or 30 years, as I am my paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice (that I got for 50 cents used) or my ancient Jane Eyre (hardback from my grandparents' bookshelf)?

To be honest, I haven't touched the eReader in a couple of weeks now. No, wait, I downloaded a book from the library and installed it about a week ago, but haven't turned it on since then.

Of course, if I knew for sure that I was keeping the Reader, I would probably buy more books. The ones I have bought are on my hard drive in .pdf format so I can read them again no matter what – until my computer crashes. I might also mess around with cracking the DRM on incompatible formats.

When will I get one?
When the price of the reader comes down – I don't know, to $50? $100?
When I have more selection – especially new releases – from the library, my primary source of reading materials
When I feel that I won't lose access to my eBooks because they decided to change the software and my keeper shelf will just zap away into the ether.

Now just wait a minute!

I sent this review in and the same day, SB Sarah said we can buy our eReaders for $125.

So I am back to square one. Keep it? Don’t keep it? What do you think?

Finders, keepers

Today, I organized my closet a bit and sorted through baby clothes and such.

I found:
  • 3 pairs jeans that now fit, since I've finally lost quite a bit of baby weight (1 with lots of holes that will need to be cut off for shorts and the butt repaired)
  • 1 pair linen capris that now fit again
  • the book that I lost 2 months ago - in a box with a lid that latches shut that DD can't get into and I was surprised that it was where I put it (YES!)
  • the Consumer Reports with the washing machines in it (YES!)
  • some books that I got for the kids ages ago really really cheaply and forgot about
  • loads of baby clothes that don't fit the Toddler anymore. the boyish and neutral stuff went to ds2's teacher's baby, the girlish stuff to go on freecycle because ds1's former teacher's baby is almost as big as the Toddler even though she's 6+ months younger
  • a baby carrier that I haven't used in months, to be put on freecycle or maybe attempt to sell with 2 others

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pursuant to an emailed conversation my mom and I had

*knock wood* we haven't been to the ER yet for the boys. (we went once for DH who broke his wrist on a holiday weekend)

Urgent trips to the doctor's office? check. Urgent trip to urgent care? check.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

happy naps, sad naps, confused naps

Generally, The Toddler takes one nap a day. Far too frequently lately, though, she has taken a very very short nap at 10:30 or so and then wouldn't go back to sleep and then has screamed and shouted for a couple of hours and then finally settled down to a real nap, just in time to go get the boys from school.

Today, she managed to settle in at about 1:30, so she'll get about an hour before I have to put her in the car and then she won't go back to sleep and then she's going to be cranky this evening and DH is working onsite again today and didn't leave until noon or so and so won't be home until bedtime AGAIN.

When she's rested and fed, she's such a joy.

And when she was bad, she was horrid.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I was weighed and measured today at Curves. I lost only 2.5 lbs last month. Of course, that's a little off because I had pizza and hot wings for dinner last night.

In 5 months, I've lost 2.5 inches off my waist and 13.8 lbs overall. I've also gone down by 5% of my body fat. About 5% more and I'll be in the healthy range. Sigh.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blurry Monday evening

I had enough caffeine that I wasn't too blurry for the rest of the day. I was tired, though, and then we went shopping for cleats, etc.

I won't tell you how many sport shoe stores in the mall did not have cleats. Anyway, the shin guards rang up at 99 cents, so big, huge savings there. Cleats and socks finally found at Big 5 Sporting Goods a bit up the road from the mall. Shoulda just gone there. Only if we had, The Toddler wouldn't have been able to play for a while in the mall play area and the boys chase after her.

DS2 very worried about guns they sell in Big 5. "Why do they sell guns there if shooting's not a sport?" Well, some people say it is. Target shooting, hunting, etc. Trying so very hard not to editorialize too much.

Now DS2 running around the house and yard in his new shoes. At least they'll be broken in, right?

DS1 has been loud and attention-seeking all afternoon and into the evening. Some of his friends are going for a sleepover with one of the boys, apparently on a houseboat. DS1 not invited and other boys talking about it in front of him. And the afternoon was all about finding shoes for DS2. Rough day for a nine year old.

DD only slept for about an hour earlier and is tired tired tired. Bed time sooner than usual, I think. Especially for me.

Blurry Monday

I'm totally lethargic and dragging today. TMI time: it's that time of the month. Lucky for you, it's PMS (accent on the Pre-) and I'm not half as cranky today as I was yesterday. I might even not be a total insomniac tonight. The symptoms just keep coming! Yay!

So anyway, I don't usually get coffee before I take the boys to school. I made it a bit after I got home and the filter basket fell when I took the carafe out and sloppy hot grounds went all over. Splat.

I went to the Sears Outlet store to look at washers and the prices there weren't so fabulous as all that. They didn't have much selection and it just made me wonder if the ones they had there were the cr*ppy ones. I can't find the latest Consumer Reports with washers. I probably recycled it, not knowing I'd need it. I have the annual report around here somewhere. I also called the repair/rehab/resell place and they have a couple that they're working on, so I need to get back in touch with them later this week.

And I signed DS2 (the 7 yo) up for a soccer program. It's not a team, just a class-like thing for eight Thursdays. I need to get him some cleats and shin guards now. DS1's due for new shoes, so we might as well make a day of it. Whee! The mall!

Right. It's time to get the boysies.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nice day :)

It started out chilly - the Toddler woke up a few times during the night because she just won't keep the covers on and she got cold. It was sunny and lovely and cool, though. Now it's cloudy and lovely and cool. DS2 filled the wading pool and quickly discovered that Mommy was right and it was a bit chilly for playing in it, since it was in the low 70's at the time. But wey-hey he filled it ALL the way.

It might rain a bit tonight.

It's supposed to shoot back up to mid-90's in the next few days, though, so oh well, so much for autumn.

And so that's the report on our weekend :)

Whoever did this must really know me

From I can haz Cheesburger

Saturday, September 12, 2009

what's that book?

I just started reading Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase and am once again stymied.... I read another romance novel set in Egypt and now can't remember the author. I know that the first time I read Mr. Impossible, I thought it was this other book until I started it.... and now I don't know what it is.

The hero in it is dyslexic and, like Mr. I, the heroine's the one who's the hieroglyphics genius. And now I'm totally conflating it with Mr. I and don't know anything else for sure.



I heard it raining at one point during the night. This morning, it has been sprinkling off and on and really raining (not pouring, just steady) for short times. Others in the area have reported thunder, but I haven't heard any.

Very gray out there right now.

Nice and cool this morning, too, but they're still predicting mid-90's for later. yay for humidity.

The boys have been arguing for most of the morning. DS2 wants to go in DS1's room. DS1 wants to be alone. And then he invades DS2's room to show 'what it feels like' instead of being a good example of respecting other peoples' privacy.

I asked them to take apart the boat/fort of 2 couches and all the cushions, but then they put it all back together and wandered off. ARG.

And our next door neighbors are moving out today. *snif*

It's about time for DD's happy nap. Maybe for mine, too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

And of course

A moment of silence for the lives lost on Sept 11, 2001.

We lived in London and I was at the park with DS1 who was about 1 1/2. I overheard someone on a cell phone saying something about people jumping from buildings on Wall Street and was confused. When I got home, the phone was ri nging and it was my MIL asking what I thought and I said I didn't know.

I went and tuned the TV on and watched the towers collapse.

We lived a mile or so North of the Thames, which is one of the main flight paths for the approach to Heathrow. We could go out to the park and watch - and hear the roar - the Concorde land. For the next week or so, they diverted the air traffic over our house and then had it make a sharp right at the river for the rest of the approach so that they didn't have 100 planes a day flying over Parliament.

An English friend's husband worked as something financial in an insurance company and they lost just about everyone from their New York office. An American friend was in the airport in Portland, Maine and saw the terrorists - made eye contact with Mohammed Atta who looked pretty angry - before they got on their planes. The same friend lost a friend in one of the planes. My mother was flying home from Alaska where my sister was stationed in the Army and instead of changing planes in St Louis, she stayed there while my dad drove out and picked her up (about a 5 or 6 hour drive and one he knows well, since he's from St Louis). My brother sent me an email that said, in its entirety, "holy shit."

Duran and books and stuff

I really liked Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran. It didn't grab me and thrill me as much as her first book, Duke of Shadows, but it was pretty good.

I have also finally read Suzanne Brockmann's latest book, Hot Pursuit and it was OK. I wasn't thrilled. It was fairly short and had pretty large print and was hardback, so I would have been disappointed if I had bought it. She's only doing one more in the Troubleshooters series - "for now" she says and I think it's good that she'll take a hiatus and either start something new or come back to these with a fresh outlook.

I really don't want to read them and think, "whatta piece of c***," the way I have with the past 5 or 6 or more of Janet Evanovich's Plum mysteries (which I only ever get from the library now, because I got burned by buying a really awful one brand new on a whim).

I have a book to read for Monday's book group and should do that one next. By the woman who wrote Chocolat and it's something about oranges. Five quarters of the orange? Something like that.

And i have the next book for my other book blub. The loop? That's next week.

And speaking of loups, My next free choice book is the latest Patricia Briggs werewolf novel. Ooooh.

And I need to start reading my books on Victorian America. I want to have some background in mind when I start writing on Nov 1st.

my poor washing machine (part 2)

The day after the repair guy said it might last 3 to 6 months? But that the parts and labor would be more than the cost of a new one?

Broke. Still agitates, but doesn't spin.

So time for a new one. Or a refurbished one.

Any suggestions?

And my mom just replaced the washer they bought 20+ years ago, so why did mine, which is 3 or 4 years old break? Stupid machine.

UPDATE: It's still spinning when I use the power wash. I didn't think it was, but PHEW! So it's all power wash until I decide what I'm getting next.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the new books are here!

I'm starting Meredith Duran's 3rd book tonight, Written on Your Skin.

Just when I was despairing that freaking Borders and freaking FedEx were conspiring to never let me have one of my orders, it arrived, having been turned over to the USPS for delivery. And I say: "huh?"

But hey. Four books: I am eager to read all of them. Duran is at the top of the list.

I might be up late...

my poor washing machine

Apparently, it's terminal.

The repair guy (Nice Kiwi chap. Looks like he might've played rugger back in the day. Mate.) said he gave it 3 to 6 months. And he told me that to extend its life was more expensive than a new one and even then might not work for long. There's a leak somewhere in the tub and the transmission is spitting grease and rumbling.

So, like a beloved pet, we are going to let it live out its (leaky, rumbly, sometimes doesn't spinny) life and limp along until it is in too much pain and must be put down.

So back to Consumer Reports. And heck, why not just buy a used one again, since the brand new one only lasted 3 or 4 years, which is about how long the cheaper used one lasted when we had a used one before?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

hokey smokes!

I went to a meeting this evening at the school about a field trip. Not just any field trip, but a mondo-mego-planning field trip.

The 4th grade is going to Sutter's Fort. In costume. Learning to bake and sew and such authentically. Basically, the number of adults they need for all the stations is the same as the kids - 40-ish. And the adults have to dress in costume, too.

Oh, and the people in charge of fires have to buy or find someone to donate a half a cord of wood. And the kitchen crew will have to find or have donated all the food and then teach the kids to cook it.

And then they spend the night in their inauthentic sleeping bags on an authentic wood floor. They'll be there for about 24 hours.

1847 style, baybee.

I signed up to help with the quilting, which they might just do as an in-class activity.

It's a fabulous thing, but usually they do it in the spring. Apparently, though, our school was way way down the lottery and so they got a call last weekend saying they got December 3rd (8th? Something) and oh hey, the training is next weekend. So they're scrambling like crazy. And everyone's going to freeze their behinds off. And no, I can't stay from 9 am until 10 pm or even all night, I have a baby at home. Yeah, she'll live that long, but she's still breastfed and all day - 9 to 5 - is likely to be a big, big deal, so I'm not going to push that back any further than that, thanks.

And yeesh.

PMS a bit early

I know, I know - too much information.

But today as I was reading emails and looking at facebook and so on, I kept having these mean thoughts.

Like "is that your husband's usual hair style? What does he use, Crisco?"

And "You know what I'd change on that birth announcement? The baby's name. It's stupid."

And "You'd think that when you got older, you'd have matured a bit."

And "Do you even have a mind in there that you could open?"

All of which means I need to go work on book instead of drifting around on the internet.

Maybe my bitchy streak will make me more ruthless in cutting useless scenes.

P.S. Now that i think about it, it's not PMS early as I'm coming up on that time of the month. Does someone have an anti-sarcasm pill I can take? I'm feeling waspish.

Monday, September 7, 2009

now, if i were a book

- say, for a hypothetical example, a book of Dorothy Sayers short stories - and someone had put me up high where a small child couldn't get me because she had already torn one of my almost-40-year-old pages, then where could I possibly be?

I've renewed it twice and it's an old hardback, so I might be paying through the nose for its replacement if I don't find it in the next month or so. Though they have it reprinted, but in paperback and I can get it $14.40 from B&N.

And then once I pay for it, I'll find it, right?

So geeeeeeeez where did I put it??

labor days and mondays alwayyyyyys get me dowwwwwn

Sorry. Not quite how the song goes, but hey, my brain works in wondrous ways.

I call earworm! Mouhahahhaha!

And besides, I'm not down, so never mind.

Anyway, I just spent a couple of hours playing UNO with my kids. MIL sent a Harry Potter UNO deck. The instructions were in 4 languages, none of them English. Good thing I'm mostly fluent in French, because it's been a long time since I played UNO and the cards don't have words like "skip" or "reverse" or whatever on them, they just have symbols so it took a little interpreting. So anyway, it's a good time. The toddler got up from her nap part way through and I fed her lunch while she watched us play. After that, it was a bit of a struggle to keep her off the table and from grabbing cards, but she finally wandered off to see what Daddy was doing.

We went to the grocery this morning at 9 am. We were out of milk. We got donuts and a bagel and ate before doing the rest of the shopping. They behaved pretty well, which isn't always a given, plus it wasn't crowded, which also helps with the behavior. Beef and bread for dinner tonight.

And that's about it.

I need to work my way through the next chapter here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Is it really only Thursday?

Tuesday felt like Monday, but today felt like Friday. I guess it means I'm ready for a long weekend.

Oh hey! What luck! Long weekend coming up!

Of course, the 100 degree weather for the last couple days has made the days drag a bit. It's supposed to be in the 80's over the weekend. YAY!

DS1 had to write a poem of sorts for his homework. I'm going to help him type it up...

Well, he read me the 2nd stanza of 3 and then decided he wanted to type the 3rd one himself. Homework almost done. Just some formatting and then we'll print it out.