Wednesday, May 17, 2006

He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.

I think I have recovered from my case of Blogger’s Clog - here’s a catch-up post full of whatever has caught my fancy in the past few weeks.

I mentioned that my church was holding a book sale, and that I scored big time. Turns out this sale goes on all. summer. long. The rector says there gets to be a point where people stop buying books and start bringing them. So this is most definitely something to keep my eye on.

Books from the church book sale (there were more, a whole shopping bag full, but some were for the boys and some were just, “Hey this is cheap so let’s check it out” titles; these were the big scores):
Stiff and her newest, Spook, by Mary Roach – in pristine hardcover.
Wickett’s Remedy - also in pristine hardcover. Ok, I know I tried to read this before and didn’t care for it, but I LOVED Bee Season and so for a buck I figured I could give this another shot, especially in such great condition, in hardcover!
Caleb Carr’s Killing Time - not that I was so in love with The Alienist, but hey – it was cheap. Also in great shape.
A couple mysteries, including a Ruth Rendell I have not read.

Someone at my church has a seriously bad brand-new-book habit, my sweet little Internet ones, and apparently money to burn. And I am benefiting. Ah.

I started ripping up the carpet in what will soon be the library/computer room, so I can move the bookshelves in there, so I can move the books in there, so I can organize them again, so I can find what I need to read when I want it. Who says I am not organized? Also, time to catalog the fiction.

Those of you who have been following my so-called Holocaust reading: Stones from the River, Leeway Cottage, A Thread of Grace, add to the list After Long Silence by Helen Fremont. ‘An intense read’ barely begins to describe it. The author was raised in the Midwest as a Roman Catholic and finds out in her early thirties that both of her parents are actually Jewish Holocaust survivors. They do not even go by their real names anymore, and they have maintained this façade for well over thirty years. Apparently there’s been some controversy regarding the author’s motives for delving into her parents’ hidden past and for writing this book, and I do understand that viewpoint – her parents still do not acknowledge her findings – but what an incredible, moving, brave saga. Her parents are extraordinary people. There were parts in the book about the author’s sexuality that I found unnecessary and even distracting, and development of minor characters was spotty, but overall, a terrific addition to survivor literature.

On a much lighter note:
Sarah Louise made me buy Eat Cake so I suppose it’s only fair that she be the first to benefit – I am baking her a cake. Pick a flavor, SL. Because this book, in addition to being funny and heartwarming and having the greatest cast of quirky and smart characters that I’ve run across since Bridget Jones? Totally makes you want to bake - and eat - cake.

I am trying to read a book someone’s agent sent to me, but it’s slow going. I promised said agent a review when I finished. So you will also get the review. But I may not finish it. Which right there is a review in itself.


I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. It was pouring rain. And I thought to myself, “Self, the floors must be vacuumed and mopped.” Because it seems as if the Cheerios have been multiplying and migrating during the night, and I am tired of walking around with cereal bits stuck to the soles of my feet. Didn’t Paul Simon write a song about that? Anyhoo – so I made Nutella and English muffin sandwiches, and sliced up banana, and mixed up a bowl of assorted dried fruits, and set the boys up in front of the TV to watch a movie – big treat around here. Perhaps too big, as it is fraught with all sorts of unseen landmines – like I picked the wrong movie. Arguing and screaming ensued. I turned off the TV. Much more, much louder screaming, that woke the sleeping baby. I lost it, did lots of my own screaming, whacked both of the boys on their butts, and sent them to their room. Crying myself, I called H and sobbed about what a horrible failure I am as a mother, that my children are mean and awful and I was just trying to do something nice for them, and what is wrong with them, and what is wrong with me? Blah blah blah, ad nauseum. Then I had a slug of vodka – no, no, that’s what I wished I had done. I mopped and vacuumed and felt a bit better. And then everyone calmed down and eventually they ate most of their lunch, but we did NOT watch a movie.

My Perfect sister-in-law called last night, to tell me that she is going to be the librarian at her boys’ small, private Catholic school. Now, S has her shit together and usually gets what she wants, but, um, how do I say this? I HAD TO GET A MASTER’S DEGREE to be a librarian. H has pointed out to me that I work as a *reference librarian* in a *university* – do I WANT to be a Catholic-school, part-time librarian? No, but my friends, that is not the point. Is it. Apparently the catch is in her title. She can be whatever she wants, for as long as she wants, as long as she is termed the “interim” whatever. And I am not saying she won’t be the best thing that ever happened to that library – if anyone can argue to get Heather Has Two Mommies on the shelves there, S sure can. And she is a fund-raising wiz, not to mention energetic and enthusiastic and smart. [sotto voce: she also has lovely boobs…ahem….boob job…] but *I* have a master’s degree.
Now I just sound like Bill Nye.

I know I never did the t-shirt Show-and-Tell. I apologize profusely, if not earnestly. But I only wear boring t-shirts – race shirts and old fraternity party shirts - so I was going to use the boys as models and have them wear their favorites. Only I could never get all three clean at the same time, to take the photo. So I will tell you that Primo’s favorite t-shirt is a tie between a very ugly blue-and-yellow shirt with the planets printed on it, and his grey Batman t-shirt that came with the Underoos he got for Christmas. Segundo’s favorite t-shirt is a Pittsburgh Penguins t-shirt with Sidney Crosby’s name and number on the back. The baby doesn’t know it but his favorite t-shirt is a white long-sleeved shirt from BabyGap with a badly-drawn picture of a puppy on the front. Now you know. As if you care.

I found this on a Craig’s List listing:
Brown leather Ikea sofa. Sofa has a rustic appearance. Can send a pic via cell phone. It's about 6-7 years old and was not used much. I do not watch TV and I never had a party while I used this sofa in my living room. I never had sex on it either. Once I spilled a bowl of cereal on it and it wiped right up.

I named my Mother’s Day pig.
Wait for it.
Francis Bacon

I was eating chocolate-covered pretzels the other day and had a brilliant idea: salted chocolate. Yes?


My apologies ahead of time to L, whose dear little dog is often gussied up in these crazy get-ups. Ingrid is sweet and beautiful, and I don’t mean her when I poke fun. I swear! Although this dress? May just push me over the top:

And dudes? The velour dog hoodie. Actually sorta cute, I guess.

The two-piece bathing suit, though? Just wrong.

And this? How does the dog go to the bathroom?

This is what the well-dressed dog wears to cruise in San Fran…

Do I look fat in this?
Is this not sort of…redundant?
Not to mention it looks more like a fuzzy heart.
Veins in, arteries out…maybe it looks better on...

Now this is actually funny.

But still so wrong.


It’s the end of the world as I know it.
(But I feel fine.)

I don't know about you but I just want to take a BITE out of one of those delicious baby thighs.


andrea said...

holy cow! not only do we desperately need to go out, but we also have to get the kiddos together again asap because you know, avi and terzo are finally big enough to like, do stuff!

Joke said...

Women who pack plastic are a dealbreaker.


P.S. When I have to issue smackage unto the boys, I call my wife also. To gloat, usually.

Badger said...

Dude! I was totally thinking, "mmm, edible baby thighs" when I scrolled down and saw your comment right below the picture! Are you a head sniffer, too?

Oh, and salted chocolate? Is AWESOME. Preferably some decent dark chocolate and some seasoned sea salt that your husband brought you back from France. As me how I know.

Badger said...

Er, ASK me how I know.

Damn, I haven't even had a drink. Yet.

Lazy cow said...

Urgh, I've just had one of those mornings of which you speak. Lots of yelling and bulging of veins and threats of smacks - oh I wanted to so badly). Blasted children. Here I am trying to pack for our holiday and they just won't leave me the hell alone. AND they got to watch Madagascar on DVD (which makes them hyper, why don't I learn?)
You make sure you buy as many of those new books as possible. My envy knows no bounds.

blackbird said...

baby meat.

I care about the tee shirts. still.

I have two salted chocolates in my bag from Blackbird (the restaurant).

I would totally get the photo of that couch, people on CL tend to be very honest - I sold my apartment there, and look at me.

okay, don't.

Sarah Louise said...

Alternating between, I feel so honored--a cake? for me?

and rolling in the aisles laughter.

fave lines: "my sweet little Internet ones;" "sotto voice...;" "do I look fat in this?"

But I don't understand why you sound like Bill Nye...

I'll go consult my copy of EC to see which cake I want...

Amy said...

holy cripes, you do NOT have bloggers' block!! That was a mouthful and a half! So much to say, so many to comment on...

I hate the library, I have to share (I just feel I should be upfront about that) but one of my dearest friends was a reference librarian and so I try to enjoy the library as much as possible. I try. I'm not good at it, but I'm trying.

Enjoy the books! Enjoy the cakes! You're a great mom. You're a funny writer and I'm glad I found your blog.

Katya said...

Leeway Cottage -- I haven't heard of that one. Do you think I would like it? The church book sale lasts ALL summer!? That's what I need -- a really good book sale.

Amy! How can you not like the library -- free books!

Carolyn said...

Well since your block passed, maybe mine will too.

I love baby thighs and chubby little baby bottoms.

I saw a saying about cake today that I enjoyed. It was "I love you like a fat kid loves cake."

I too get very unhappy when someone wakes the sleeping "baby" here. (He's still a baby to me!)

Peg said...

In my family we call those baby thighs "pork chop legs." Lord is he ever a cute kid. You saved the best photo for last, of course.