Bloghopping Challenge

As I was trying to catch up on some favorite blogs, I ran into this post at Presenting Lenore, about a Bloghopping Challenge.  The idea is to visit 10 blogs you’ve never visited before and leave comments on posts that interest you.  This is a carryover from BBAW (one of the many things I never had time for, because there are only so many hours in a day, and I have kids and a house and work and responsibilities- oh, and books to read- lots ‘o books).  Click here for the full list of instructions. 

I don’t have time to do 10 today, so this will be a “Part 1” post.  I have been visiting tons of blogs lately that are new to me for my recruiting efforts to find tour hosts for TLC.  I’m coordinating a tour for Abigail Carter, author of The Alchemy of Loss, and checking out all different types of blogs. 

First, I’d like to talk about Abby’s blog, The Alchemy of Loss.  Abby lost her husband Arron in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.  Abby writes in such a clear, straightforward manner.  I really enjoy her posts, because they give me a lot to think about, and I love the fact that she’s discovered all of us “blog people”.  Her latest post, titled The Quick Rip, has her wondering about death, and which type is worse: “The quick “no goodbye” death, or the slow decline of one’s body? Is it like Band Aids? The quick rip, preferable to the slow pull?”  Read more here.  

Have you seen People Reading?  The author posts pictures of people reading all around San Francisco and then asks them a question about what they’re reading.  Garbage men, business women, soccer moms, college students, homeless people; everyone in the whole city seems to be reading!  It gives a unique portrait of the city and gives me hope that there really are tons of readers out there.  This blog really appeals to the voyeur in me, and since I’ve just purchased a brand new camera, it’s given me some ideas! 

Another really cool blog is Sassymonkey Reads (where she claims reading is better in bed- I’d agree).  She recently moved her blog and this is the new location.  She’s got tons of great reviews, and she’s also a contributing editor at BlogHer.  

Ok, blogging time has run out for me, and I only got through 3 blogs!  I’m coordinating the Scholastic Book Fair next month for my daughters’ school and I’ve got about a zillion copies to make and details to take care of.  Ah, the life of a chronic volunteer.  The important thing is for me to get it all done today so that tonight I can do something I’ve been waiting to do for 4 months- veg out in front of the tv and find out what’s going on with my friends at Dunder Mifflin on the 1 hour season premiere of my favorite show, The Office!  I heart Jim and Pam.  (“Kiss her, kiss her good.”)

To be continued…  

A Dazzling Opening

The eyes of the world are watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing today.  In a  breathtaking display of beauty, art, symbolism, and technology, the Chinese really put on a show.  

Am I the only weirdo who cried a little bit?

Our family is most looking forward to the gymnastics, swimming, diving, and track and field events.  

What are you looking forward to?

It’s Almost Here..

If you do not have a daughter between the ages of 7 and 13, this may come as news to you, but if you DO have a ‘tween than you surely know that CAMP ROCK PREMIERES TOMORROW, JUNE 20th!

My kids have been waiting for this for weeks!  Joe Jonas and his Bros. star in this new Disney Channel musical, which also features the soon to be wildly famous Demi Lovato.  There are plenty of squeaky clean teens and positive messages (follow your dreams, believe in yourself) in this surefire hit.  Here’s the preview:

American Idol Crown- Who will take it?

Some of you may know I’m a rabid American Idol fan, and “my” idol this season has been David Cook, HOWEVER..  tonight it was all about the other David- the young, cute, and enormously talented David Archuleta.  What a voice this 17 year old kid has! I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win.

Who do you think will take the Idol crown tomorrow night?  I still like David Cook, and I predict he’ll have a big future, but David Archuleta is pure talent.

He Is Awesome

Wow.  Just wow.

The Office Returns: It’s Getting Hot in Here

The Office is Back!!  Thursday nights are fun again!  

My Idol Favorite

David Cook is amazing with this mesmerizing version of Billie Jean.

Everyone’s a Critic

oscar-awards-2008-show-2248-35-a.jpg

“Mom, What’s wrong with her face?” asks my 10 year old, L.

“What do you mean?  I don’t see anything wrong with her face,” I say.

“Exactly.  That’s what I mean.  It’s too perfect.  It doesn’t look real.”

“How so?”

“Well, why is she so white?”

“She’s a redhead.  Redheads are very fair.”

“And why is she so, like, shiny and smooth.  She looks like she’s made out of marble.”

“I don’t know.  She’s an actress.  Maybe she’s had some work done.”

“What do you mean, work?”

“Maybe Botox or plastic surgery or something.  Or maybe she eats all the right food and drinks a lot of water and gets massages.”

“How old is she?  She looks young and old at the same time.”

“I think she’s 40.  That’s not so old.”

“It’s not so young either.  Shouldn’t she have some lines or something?  What is that necklace?  That looks kinda stupid.”

“I think a jeweler loaned it to her to wear just for tonight.  That thing is worth millions.”

“Ok, but it still looks stupid, doesn’t it?  Why is it so long?”

 “I don’t know, but she’s very famous and rich and she has people who help her dress.”

“WHAT??  She doesn’t know how to get dressed by herself?”

“Ugh, don’t be silly, of course she does.  She has a stylist who helps her pick stuff out.  The dress and jewelry.  And someone does her makeup and hair.”

“You think she paid someone to do her hair like THAT?”

“What’s wrong with her hair?”

“I don’t like it.  It’s kind of flat on the one side and just looks kind of blah.  It should be fancier or something, shouldn’t it?”

 “I think it looks alright.  She’s beautiful.”

“Hmph.  I guess.” 

Weekend Update: Vegas with the Old Guy

A few posts ago, I did a Travel Reading Meme to get some ideas for reading material for a road trip to Vegas, celebrating the old guy’s big birthday, but at the last minute, we decided to fly. It’s such a quick trip from Long Beach that I hardly did any reading at all, taking advantage instead of Jet Blue’s nice comfy seats and satellite tv.

I watched a hilarious Millionaire Matchmaking show on Bravo (a channel we don’t get at home), laughing at the way these bimbos were pimping themselves out to the highest bidder. It kind of went like this: “I’m a beauty with giant boobs, and I have expensive tastes, so I deserve a man with money.” And the guys.. “I have no personality or fashion sense, and I’m not very good looking, but I have a lot of money. I want a beautiful woman with giant boobs!” Not a love match, perhaps, but a match nonetheless.

We arrived in Vegas in the early evening. The city was pulsating with people and lights and energy, and we got really caught up in it. As soon as we checked in at our hotel downtown, we tossed our bags into our room and hit the casino. GACK&^%$%# the smoke was nasty!! It was so poorly ventilated in the main casino that you could see the smoke hanging in the air. It stung my eyes and made it hard to breathe, and I just could not be there. We found another area near the sports book that was better, situated close to a door that was open to Fremont Street. I parked myself at a blackjack table and hardly moved all weekend.

My brother arrived Saturday and we had fun playing black jack together. He plays like I do (the RIGHT way) so he was not annoying to be with at the table, unlike the old guy, who splits 10s and stays on soft 14. We cannot play at the same table because his life is in danger from the possibility that I might KILL him!

My brother was able to get tickets for The Ultimate Fighting Challenge at the Mandalay Bay Saturday night, so he and the old guy went. Apparently it was a BIG DEAL fight (?) with Brock somebody or other who was famous for something else (you can see how much attention I paid to the two of them as they babbled on about it). It’s too violent and testosterone-laden for me, so I stayed behind at the black jack tables. Please don’t feel sorry for me for being left behind. I had a blast and even won a few hundred dollars.

Super Bowl Sunday is the one day all year that I’m a football fan, and it was fabulous!! What a game! We didn’t attend the party that our hotel put on (standing room only) but instead found comfy fat leather seats in a noisy bar adjacent to the sports book and watched the game there. We took the Giants with the points and were thrilled to see them win. My ears are still ringing from the old guy screaming into them (he gets worked up over football). I briefly felt a tiny bit bad for Tom Brady and the Patriots for blowing their history making undefeated season… until we cashed in our winnings.. then it was back to celebrating!

On Sunday night we saw a weirdly cool show at the Wynn called Le Reve. It was part theater, part acrobatics, part water show, synchronized swimming, pyrotechnics, lights, smoke, angels, devils, heaven and hell… fabulous!! At first we were trying to understand it, analyzing the symbolism and trying to figure out the message, but we were making ourselves crazy. At some point we each decided (I found out later) to stop trying to figure it all out and just enjoy it. It was quite something, but I’m not entirely sure what!

The kids (oh, yeah, I forgot I had kids!) stayed with Grandma, and by Sunday night were missing us pretty badly. L. invented a leg injury at bedtime and called me crying about it. I got her calmed down and feeling better, then K. got on the phone. She was fine and was chuckling about L. getting upset, so I said, “She’s ok, she just misses me.” and K. said, “I miss you too, Mama!” and burst into tears. If I hadn’t been all liquored up from the Super Bowl, I might have been more sympathetic, but it was hard not to laugh (of course, I didn’t laugh out loud at my babies-I did it silently, in my head, and again with the old guy after I hung up with them!) This is the longest I’ve ever been away from them.

We had a great time, but on Monday we were ready to come home. I love Vegas in small doses and 3 days is enough. It was good to get away, though. The kids survived and it was fun to just be a couple for a few days. The old guy and I decided we need to get away more often.

Cravings for Chocolate and Books

Last night I had such a craving for chocolate. It was an out of control, GOTTA HAVE IT craving. B. worked late and wasn’t home or I would have sent him to Dairy Queen. The kids were already in bed so I couldn’t go myself. I went through my pantry, hoping for a stray leftover Christmas cookie, or one of those chocolate covered granola bars, anything! But all I could find was a can of chocolate fudge frosting. I came dangerously close to whipping it open and eating half of it. After a mental tug-of-war, and some quick calculations of how many hours I’d have to spend on the treadmill to work off oh, 900 calories or so, I went to bed (patting myself on the back), but it was a really close call!! When none of your clothes fit, the last thing you need is half a can of fudge frosting. In the harsh light of day, it occurs to me I really should throw it in the trash. (Ha, like that will happen!)

A couple of days ago I finished Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2000. I’ll probably write a review later today. I’m still thinking it over and deciding how much I liked it. Sometimes it takes me a few days to let it settle in my brain, if that makes sense. My kids are home sick today (which may explain some of the moodiness of the last few days) so in between waiting on them and doing extra laundry, I might write a review.

I started The Girls by Lori Lansens Sunday night, and it’s not what I expected. It’s about twin sisters conjoined at the head; interesting characters but so far the book is rather slow moving. Or maybe it’s just me. I’m trying to get into it.

My book club is reading The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler for our February discussion. I haven’t picked it up yet but need to start it soon. Masterpiece Theater on PBS is having a series of Jane Austen movies on Sundays. It began last weekend with “Persuasion”. See the schedule HERE.

I haven’t read any Jane Austen, ever, nor have I seen any of the movies. I’m not sure how I got through school without reading any Jane Austen, but somehow I did. For that reason, I worried that I might not be able to really appreciate our book club choice, but I’ve been assured by another book clubber (and huge Austen fan) that I don’t need to be familiar with her work to enjoy this book. I’ve been told that once I start reading Austen, I won’t want to stop. Is she really that addicting? Will I crave Austen books the way I do chocolate?

Well, I’m being summoned by the sickies. At times it feels like I work here rather than live here! Any other moms ever feel that way?