So, maybe you want me around as a backup, but I'm no Jack Bauer, here.
A decent score.
I thought this might be worse! Or better, depending on your perspective...
And that concludes todays quizzes.
I hope each and every one of you US readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent about two days cooking all of our favorites - candied yams, stuffing, roast turkey, pumpkin bread pudding, cranberry salad - and propped the little ones up on stools with great big spoons and aprons. They love it! My three year old's favorite show is The Barefoot Contessa and she gets really indignant when Ina doesn't use all the butter, which is admittedly rare. She loved the Thanksgiving episode where Ina puts the herb rub under the turkey's skin and was dismayed that she didn't get to pry up the skin with her little fingers this year. Sometimes I wonder who's daughter she is. I like my meat in little styrofoam packages with plastic wrap. Or better yet, fully cooked.
This year, we made a "thankful tree" on the table. The girls collected twigs and we put them in an old olive oil bottle with ribbon tied around it. We had a pen on the table and little leaves we'd printed and each of us wrote something we were thankful for on the leaf and tied it to the tree with ribbon.
It's easy to come up with things to be thankful for. In fact, my heart has been a little heavy this season as I've come across so many sad stories of children suffering with attitudes better than mine is at dinner time on an average weekday - kids with a debilitating type of dwarfism in Iraq, a little girl who is afraid of being snatched by human traffickers on her way to school in Albania, a mother in Albania whose kitchen doubles as the only bathroom in the flat.
But at some point in the dinner, it occurred to us that while it's pretty easy to come up with things we are thankful for, a more important question is who we are thankful to. I'm 34 and this is the first Thanksgiving that I've expressly thought about that. So I encourage all of you to thank him, her, them or Him. Whomever you owe thanks to this wonderful season - and maybe if you can spare the time or the resources, give someone a reason to be thankful to you.
** Note: the painting is the work of Morgan Weistling and can be found here.
It's November in Seattle which means that by now most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and congealed into a common mass by the incessant rain. At Westmont, I would be lying on the beach getting a suntan. I can't imagine why I liked it there so much.
But, I digress...
Kids don't stop wiggling just because it's cold out, so we've all bundled up and are exploring the wet autumnscape. The little man is sleeping and the big man is working out so I have the girls looking for leaves to dry out and make a collage. And running. I made them run first. A lot. I just caught the little one halfway up a tree trying to get the very last leaf from the very top branch. I helped her pluck it off, then put her boots back on her feet and told her to stay on solid ground.
Huey is out keeping me company. I think he needs a scarf.
A quote from The Last Tycoon:
I like people, and I like them to like me. But I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside.
Today I'm experimenting to see if I can survive solely on chocolate covered cherries - not the kind with the gooey center, the dried fruit kind, not that it really matters but as long as I'm conducting a scientific experiment, I should be precise.
So far so good.
This has been a long day. Possibly I'd have more stamina if I varied my diet today. Oh well. So, my brain is too fried to come up with much of anything myself and so I am leaving you with my quote of the day from the fabulous Katharine Hepburn:
"Only the really plain people know about love -- the very fascinating ones try so hard to create an impression that they soon exhaust their talents." Katharine Hepburn Look Magazine 2-18-58
I love that quote - so much to think about. It doesn't say much about her happiness, since I think she was strikingly beautful, but it's the sort of thing I'd love to explore in a character.
As an aside, I think it's horrifying that when I typed in Katharine to my google search bar, Katharine McPhee came up before Katharine Hepburn. What is the world coming to?!
Or... inside the mind of a three year old
We're driving. She's in the back seat chatting in her cartoony, lilting, little voice, as usual...
Her: Mom? How big are my teeth?
Me: Pretty little.
Her: NO! I mean how BIG!
Me: I'd say about half a centimeter. (I have no idea)
Her: Oh. Someday I will have a loof toof (loose tooth). How will it get loof?
Me: The adult tooth pushes it out of the way, then it gets loose and falls out.
Her: Oh. Then we put it under the pillow for the toof fairy and she will bwing me a beautiful twinket? (trinket)
Me: Ah... yes?
Her: Mom, what's a twinket?
Me: Um, it's a little shiny toy or doll or.... maybe a quarter... (how do you define trinket?)
Her: Will it be from the toof fairy?
Me: Maybe, or maybe it'll be from me!
Her: Mom? Is the toof fairy weal (real) or just make belive?
Me: She's mostly make believe, but if you put your tooth under the pillow, you will get a trinket! Or... maybe a quarter.
Her: Oh. Mom? When will I be a dragon?
First off, that last post was #200!! Happy blog anniversary!!
Now, for the main event, today is my birthday. I had a wonderful party thrown by my wonderful hubby with lots of gifts from everyone. The girls each got me an ornament - the little one got me a heart, for love, and the big one got me a snowflake that I've been getting lots and lots of hints about. :) I also got some great mysteries that I'll talk about in another post.
What you all need to know is that my parents surprised me with a NETBOOK!!!!! WOOO!!!!!!
It's the cutest thing ever. It is very tiny, about the size of my little one's Barbie laptop that teaches her letters.
His name is Huey, and expect to see lots of pictures of and from Huey. Hueycam.
Now I can work in the living room while DH is watching football or some documentary on social ills. I'm so much better at feigning interest while typing. ;)
This came at an excellent time-- I got accupuncture today and a cortizone shot to fix the tendonitis and now it's so much worse I can't hold a mouse. Ouch. Hooray for Huey!
I went to college at one of the most beautiful places on Earth. My senior year of high school we visited a school in Chicago and were snowed in - in April - then went straight to Westmont, and I knew it was home as soon as I saw it. It was intellectual without being stuffy, protective without being stifling, freeing without being scary, and religous without being dogmatic. I value the four years I spent there every day.
The school is nestled into the hills above Santa Barbara in a little village called Montecito. It's full of old Hollywood history, and I one day rode my little red scooter to see where the marriage of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable took place. The bouganvilla are always in bloom, and in the summers, mist hangd over the beaches. It had cute boys, caring profs, and faithful friends.
Later, when I'd feel overwhelmed with life - with a new baby, or job losses, or just too much laundry, I'd always dream of Santa Barbara. There would be a lingering thought in the back of my dreaming mind that I should be worried about something, but then I'd think, "I'm at Westmont, what could possibly be wrong."
But today, something is very wrong at Westmont. And while I'm not a demonstrative person, I've been fighting back tears all day. My freshman dorm has burned, just missing the suite I stayed in, but taking down our "brother suite." I know many other buildings have burned and I pray that the dorm I spent three years in and the wonderfully charming Reynold's Hall where I took all of my literature classes is in tact. Sadly, I know we lost about a dozen faculty houses. In a place as expenisve as Montecity, faculty housing is incredibly important.
Thankfully, no students or employees were hurt, though I think they spent some scary time in the gym on cots.
If you have a moment to pray for those involved, I'd really appreciate it.
Here are some places you can track the story for those interested:
My Own Worst Enemy has been cancelled. Just pass the kleenex. It's by far my favorite new show of the season. It had intrigue and philosophical questions and nothing was as it seemed and... Christian Slater whom I've always loved. Really. I admit it. It's like Daybreak all over again or The Black Donnelleys, where they tease you with the set up, you think it's so cool, and then they yank it out from under you.
Television is a risky medium to follow, my friends, do so at your own peril.
I've been curious about steampunk for a while, since Kimber An has mentioned it a few times with fun graphics - then Agent Kristen talked about it tonight and I thought I should finally figure out what the heck it is.
Sadly, my first thought was to post "What the heck is Steampunk, people?!" But my second thought was google, and now I know. For those of you who don't - it appears to be stories set in an era where steam was the main source of power (think Victorian England) with cool technology layered on top. I love that stuff and I didn't even know it had a name! If you need a visual, I found this one and I love it. If I had more time and my own computer I might even mod it myself.
In case you'd like to, I found a how to. I kid you not!!!
And that is my contribution for the day. I'm off to get my ipod loaded up with Christmas music, write the next chapter of my WIP, and hopefully see a little bit of The Biggest Loser. It's high drama this year, folks! Will Heba prevail? Will Amy P silently steal the title? Will Vicki continue in her Lady MacBeth ways?!
Continuing on in the preschool report card theme I have going I bring you tonight's post.
"Takes criticism well - not a comment that applies to you." Says my DH. Guess what, defending yourself against the charge that you don't take criticism well opens up a huge can of worms. Which I tell him, which makes him laugh. Good -- conversation over. :)
But really, do you see my problem here? It's like war games where the computer finally admits there cannot be a winner. So then I'm inspired to do something truly adult and stick out my tongue. This bodes well for the editing process, doesn't it?
In other news... I've made some progress on my WIP - FINALLY!
I was just doing a little research on the street layout in Downtown Seattle for my WIP. I grew up here in the Seattle area, but don't live smack downtown and I've always struggled with directions down there. Honestly, I've been known to get lost driving to the mall which is three tenths of a mile away, so getting turned around in Seattle is par for the course. Still, I think Seattle is particularly difficult. I remember when I moved to Santa Barbara and marveled that the blocks were all exactly the same size - and straight! Unbelievable!!!
But now, I finally know WHY the city is so difficult. First off, here's a description of the street layout, compliments of Wikipedia:
The old town of Seattle is bounded by Elliott Bay on the west, Yesler Way on the south, Denny Way on the north, and Broadway on the east, which encompasses all of Downtown, Belltown, the Denny Regrade, and parts of Pioneer Square and First Hill. The grid is oriented 32 degrees west of north from Yesler Way north to Stewart Street from Alaskan Way east to 3rd Avenue, Olive Way from 3rd Avenue east to 7th Avenue, and to Howell Street from 7th Avenue east to Denny Way. North of there, but south of Denny Way, the grid is oriented 49 degrees west of north.
Um, yeah.... so, the reason why I go downtown and have to check my nav, my compass, and stop and ask for directions three times and then call my sister and double check the directions is because the three guys who founded the city couldn't agree on a grid. So, what do they do? They each make their own grid on their own piece of land and we now have three grids that orient completely different ways and confuse the heck out of people like me who have been known to drive from Seattle to Northgate via Queen Anne Hill to the west and maybe even end up on the 520 bridge headed to Bellevue. It happens.
Plays well with others - it's important, folks!
We had CNN on all night - in the background while I was trying to make lowfat chicken stroganoff, and my 3 year old was making "soup" out of cinamoon sugar, tomatoes, blackberry juice, and parmesan cheese, and my 7 year old was reciting memory work and the little man was pulling everything out of every drawer...
We paused it for dinner, then watched some more, bathed the kids, put them to bed, then my oldest tiptoed down the stairs to inform us that her sister was asleep as she tried to steal a few moments of special adult time.
We let her stay up to watch Barack Obama's acceptance speech. We asked her if she understood what was going on, and she said she did - that history would be made either way by having a woman or an African American in the white house.
Often, watching CNN or any other sort of news and especially politics makes me want to hide my head and pretend I live somewhere else at some other time. Hence the fiction writing. But tonight, I was really glad to be an American living at this time and in this place. After listening to both speeches I was inspired by the character of both men. They were gracious, heartfelt speeches and I really believed both of them when they said that they put others above themselves, that they would work together for the good of America. John McCain proved it in Hanoi. Obama's about to.
It's a good night to be an American.
Yes, I'm voting today, let's just get that out of the way. Much like I used to want to vote for Josiah Bartlett, I now find myself wanting to vote for Tina Fey. Possibly this is tied into my issue with getting swept up in fiction. Hmmm.... In typical Robin fashion, I had to go online to find my polling place because it could have been in any one of at least four cities, and I was thinking it was the farthest one. I lucked out - it's only about fifteen minutes away. Woo!!!!
This is especially good because I'm driving a rental while they patch up my poor, smushed Durango. I have a Dodge Caliber that is brand new and has red racing stripes and shiny red metallic plates on the inside. The girls and I are loving it. Poor DH doesn't fit. Not enough room. So sad. ;)
Also, I'm having a really hard time making significant progress on my WIP. Anybody have any advice? Could it just be exhaustion from this whole "put the boy in his crib" project I have going on? Possibly. It also could have to do with plotting out the book. I think it makes the plot tighter, but it also might steal the joy. I'm gonna have to think about that. I need all the joy I can get.