Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Foot Binding and Mr. Bachelor

So I'm reading Peony in Love, and I'm getting acquainted with the long lost (thank goodness) practice of foot binding. I understand that beauty trends come and go, but come on. Back in the day, these women actually used to break the bones in their feet, wrap them up tightly with bandages, and try to make their feet look like they were about three inches big!

Foot binding isn't something I know much about, so I did a bit of research on google and saw some pictures. Frightening. Disturbing. Makes me want to run to my couch, curl my feet under my bottom and wrap up in a quilt all the way up to my neck! No touching the feet! And I claim mine are ugly, but I still don't want them broken! Yikes!

I don't care to know much more about foot binding, but something I would like to learn more about is that scrumptious Brad Womack, Bachelor Extraordinaire! I haven't watched "The Bachelor" in a few years because the girls on the show disgusted me. I could only watch so many of them prance around drunk in their bikinis vying for the guy's attention for so long, and what's worse, is that the guy always fell for it! He'd always choose a handful of flirty, giggly girls who relied on their boobs and bar dancing skills to try to reel in the guy, but leave the cute girl with some brains and a bit of class over in the corner. I had to quit watching.

But last night, I just happened to flip to that channel and stumbled upon 34-year-old Brad from Texas, and I admit to being a bit stunned. Granted, he may be like the rest, but evidence thus far shows that this guy may indeed value something other than a blonde with a nice rack. True, he did give a rose to Mallory who said, "I think you should take off your pants," but he did hand out the first impression rose to Jeni, a dancer from the Phoenix Suns, because he liked her laugh. Aside from all of that, Mr. Womack is H-O-T. They weren't kidding when they called him the hottest bachelor ever. It's true. And, he's a millionaire! What's not to love?

I should probably take a moment to say that A) I have nothing against blondes (Evidenced by the five best friends of mine who are blonde and the blonde highlights I pay the Hair God to give life to my swampy-brown-colored hair) and B) I have nothing against big boobs. In fact, if I had them, I'm sure I would use them to my advantage. I would just be sure to use my brain first. And Finally, C) I have nothing against occasional drunkenness either. I did once jump off a pontoon boat and swim amongst potential predators in the intercoastal waterways of Florida after drinking too much Guinness.

Anyway, the Bachelor is now on my TV lineup. He's too hot to miss. But, Kyle Chandler is still my new official TV boyfriend, followed closely by Wentworth Miller. Thank goodness for all the television hotties! WAHOO!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bitter, party of one ...

your table is now available.

Yep. That's where I've been lately. Lost in the Land of Bitter, sitting by myself at the table. And I have to say, it was quite lonely there. Everyone else around me has been happy and peppy and full of warm, fuzzy thoughts. I'm glad and thankful that I've been tolerated by everyone, even though I'm sure my grumpiness was quite annoying. But, you can all relax. The Bookworm has returned, happy and optimistic once again.

It all started with the Edward Cullen book signing party ending before it even began. Cousin broke her foot, so we couldn't go to the signing. Obviously, her foot was and still is the main priority, but we were both quite pouty and bummed about the cancellation of our road trip to Cinncinati. And we even got our shirts! The "Bite Me" fan club shirts arrived the day before, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Cousin is still healing and isn't happy about the foot, but she is doing quite well despite her boot and crutches. She's getting out and about, heading to the library and bookstore, and maybe soon ... a mall! We'll see about that one. :)

I started sending out queries again, which is always draining. It's a long process, and I'm definitely happiest when writing, not when I'm sending out letters to total strangers hoping, really, really, really, hoping that they will be interested enough to ask for a partial or full manuscript. Rejections are expected, and believe me, they come. Luckily I've had success in the past and have gotten requests. I try to stay positive and tell myself that persistence will pay off, bringing more requests in the future. Still, even though I expect rejections, even though I know it's part of the process, and yes, even though I'm aware that some of the great writers of all time were rejected multiple times ... it still stinks and makes me grumpy.

When I wasn't pouting about the road trip or the queries, I was busy finishing the first season of "Friday Night Lights." I know I've said it a gazillion times, but seriously, I LOVE this show. It's definitely my new favorite, and I'm so thankful to author Sarah Dessen for talking about it on her blog. It's a show I hadn't really considered in the past, and I'm so glad I found it. There is something admirable about each character, and I love each member of the ensemble cast, particularly Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami. And I have to say, that Kyle Chandler is something else. How have I not noticed how adorable he is before? I am definitely trading in McDreamy as my boyfriend for the coach. Now you know I love this show!

Other reflections as of late:

1) Little boys talk about poop. A lot. The Little Man is always claiming he smells poop. Or he sees poop everywhere. Of course it's not poop at all. It's a piece of dirt, a leaf, or even a small toy. He knows it's not poop, and I know it's not poop. Still, that doesn't matter much when he yells, "Look at that POOP over there by that milk" in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. Any time he announces the presence of random poop out in public, innocent bystanders either A) stare at him like he's a freak or B) stare at me like I'm a horrible mother or C) look at the floor for the mysterious poop or D) do what all adults know they shouldn't do when a small child says something inappropriate ... they laugh. This, of course, is the goal for the Little Man. He loves when people laugh at his poop remarks. I, of course, do not.

2) Kids don't understand the concept of phlegm. My Big Girl has her first cold of the season and when she wakes up, coughs and snorts around for the entire 45 minutes we have together before she gets on the bus. I've explained before what the stuff is that she coughs up, but still, seeing as it's been many months since she dealt with the "nasty stuff gagging" her, it's a mystery again. My solution to this problem was vitamins, cough syrup, and hot chocolate. She went along with this plan, but she still asked, "Mom, can I just get my lungs taken out?" I laughed, which offended her for a second as she said, "Mom, I'm serious. This is getting annoring." (And no, annoring is not a typo. That's actually how she says the word.) She was frustrated (and I was grossed out) by her phlegm, but hey, it was a teachable moment. We then had a discussion about human anatomy and the value of a healthy set of lungs.

3) I read three wonderful books. I love them all so much I wish I could rush right out and buy them for everyone I know. The first was Looking for Alaska by John Green. The second was I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. And finally, today I finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. I absolutely loved all of them and am certain the narrators of these stories (Pudge, Ed Kennedy, and Blue) will stay with me a long time. If you want more specific information about each book, post a comment and I'll answer them. I would recommend any of them and would happily discuss them.

Thinking about these three novels made me think about my reading this year, and I have to say, it's been great. I always love to read, but this year I've been lucky to find many favorites, stories I know I'll want to read again and pass on to my children someday. Have you read anything similar? Any favorites you've read lately that you would like to share about?

Must go for now, but check later this week for an exciting post about the Bluffton "Free" Street Fair (we spent $60 in less than three hours) and an educational parenting piece on mashed potatoes.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Call the Press!

I worked out! My padonk-a-donk was actually moving just moments ago!

It's strange that I've been struggling so much to exercise. Those of you who know me well understand that I have a long obsession with working out. I've done my aerobics tapes so many times that I say, "Eight more! Come on, Girls!" before Denise Austin even opens her mouth. I know every step, lunge, and eight count on those tapes, and as stated above, know every word Denise or Kathy Smith politely and happily shout from my television. And I've ran my padonker all over the streets of Gwood preparing for those half-marathons. So many blisters, miles, aches, and shoes I've gone through, yet for some reason, I can't seem to make myself do it lately. Why is this?

The only thing I can come up with is the writing. I'm not going to give it up because I love it, and it's my dream. I'm going to keep at it as long as it takes (I think),but it takes time, sometimes several hours, and when I'm done, there's just no time left for my booty.

Today though, something wonderful happened that inspired me. It rained. Hard. This is good for two reasons: Number one: it made it cool off outside. Number two: it made the mosquitos vanish. This is short-lived I'm sure, but for thirty five glorious minutes today, Little Man and I went on a power walk without almost passing out and being eaten alive by pesky bloodsuckers!

We go on small walks every day, but the humidity and mosquitos have made it impossible for us to go past our cul de sac. But today, we went forever, and we went FAST. Seriously, if you haven't seen the Little Man on his Big Wheel, you probably don't understand just how fast the man can move, but trust me, it's like Nascar. He's already a legend on our street for his speed and amazing control, and if you think you can keep up with that little short stack, think again. I was in flip flops, speed-walking and sometimes running to catch up with him, and I was sweating and my hair was blowing and I swear, I could feel my butt shrinking with every step!

Not really, but still, I was moving, and the best part of it was, we were having fun together. I've decided that this is our new plan. We're going to go every day, and since I found the one bottle of mosquito spray left in the entire city at Target this morning, we may even be able to survive the bugs.

Last night I watched three more episodes of Friday Night Lights. Still loving it. I'm also still reading Looking for Alaska by John Green. It reminds me a bit of Catcher in the Rye except it's more modern and makes me laugh even more than Holden Caufield did. Some people were afraid of him, but I enjoyed him immensely. Not sure what that says about me.

Little Man was excited about school today and told me all about the new TV they got in his classroom. I was a bit concerned. I am, after all, the self-proclaimed TV nazi when it comes to my kids and what they watch. And I certainly don't want them watching TV at school, unless it is for educational purposes of course. According to my man, all TV viewing was purely educational as they watched and learned about Yoga! Now this makes me happy. I, of course, have several yoga tapes, so we can exercise again! I'm going to be the skinniest person alive! Move over Nicole Richie! Kate Bosworth step aside! Wahoo!

Oh, and I love my hair. I no longer look like a skunk. Still have many colors, but they are blended nicely. And he did something I swore I would never do: I have a few LAYERS. This was something I thought to be impossible when it comes to my hair, but it is actually working. As King Hair Stud said, "it's just going to give it movement, sweetie." Yes. This is precisely what I was thinking to myself as I was racing through my neighborhood with my hair whipping around much like Pamela Anderson's does while she struts on the beach. Yes, I have movement. In many places on my body unfortunately, but the hair is movin too!

Oh, and my "Bite Me" t-shirt still has not come in. Super Nice Cousin/Driver/Counselor Friend of Mine is certain they will arrive today. If not, we'll be getting out the puffy paint. Yikes!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Obsession

Yesterday, I was having a small pity party for myself because my Big Girl, the one that I thought was now doing okay with her transition to a new school, drew me a picture of a sad little girl standing under a tree with a tear sliding down her cheek. She was the girl, and her name was Lonely. The title of the picture? Sadness Is in the Air.

You can imagine how this bothered me tremendously. Add the fact that our neighbor girl wasn't on the bus yesterday morning (which always bums her out), and I was feeling pretty emotional. Yes, I kept saying to myself what Big Girl's teacher told me ...you give her the wings, but she has to fly. This may be true, but it still breaks my heart. I know that when she is at school she has fun and is doing well. Mostly, I suspect she misses me during the day. She mentioned this when I asked her why she was lonely in the picture, and some of the dramatics exist to get attention from Mom. And of course I know that we all need to be patient. We may be enjoying ourselves tremendously up here in the fort, but still, there are times when my heart strings are tugged at a bit. I miss seeing people from "home" regularly, but I also miss random things, and I suspect she does as well. I would say that at this point, it appears as if she is happy and worry-free about the move 90% of the time. The other 10% breaks my heart.

All day yesterday, until I saw her again, I felt the way a mom feels when you drop your toddler off at preschool or take them to the church nursery and they scream as you leave. Deep down inside, you know this is good for them and that they have to be independent, even if it's only just a bit because they are small. You know they will be okay, but it still hurts. And yesterday, I was melancholy, worrying about her because you know, well, that's my job. So, of course, I headed straight to the one place on this planet that can soothe me in a way no other place can ...


And I bought myself a treat because I deserved it. Right? I was emotional and needed help, so I purchased a bag of Sun Chips and the first season of Friday Night Lights on DVD, all for myself! Big Girl ended up just fine when she came home, so after I got her and the Little Man into bed, I watched four episodes, and now I'm obsessed! It is so, so, soooooo good. Seriously, I'm more excited about this show than I am Grey's Anatomy, and that's definitely saying something. I want to loan out my DVDs to all my friends so they can catch up and watch it with me. Even if they are a season behind, I'm going to recommend it to everyone. It's a great, great show.

My Little Man continues to do very well at preschool. He loves his teacher and the hermit crabs in his classroom. His teachers tell me every day how well he is doing, how nice he is to the other kids, how he makes up and sings songs for everyone, and how he loves to do the "waterfalls" project. The best part for me is that I work there, and I get to watch him out the window every day when he is at recess. It's so fun to watch him play in the little house as he marches in and out the door. He loves to open the shutters and stick his head in and out, but mostly, he walks around at recess picking flowers. For me. :) Every day I get a new bundle of beautiful weeds and the biggest hug when we reunite. I can't believe how much he has grown up. It's fun, but if I had my way, he would stay just the same as he is right now.

The Stephenie Meyer book signing is just four days away! WAHOO! The only problem is that our "Bite Me" t-shirts have not arrived. This means that we're going to have to be creative and make some which is quite stressful. I've seen the pictures of other fans at her signings, and they all have very cool shirts with original designs. This is something I do not specialize in. Evidence of this exists in our hall closet, where my 7th grade cheerleading sweatshirt is hanging. We found it when we moved, and I couldn't get rid of it. It smells like dust and mildew, but that can't disguise the fact that it is plain and boring. Granted, there were five of us who designed the sweatshirt, but still, I was in on the plan. And it is white, saying our names, our school, and our grade in block letters. Very boring, I assure you. Of course this was a long time ago, but my clothing design skills have not improved in the long time span between 7th grade and now. What can I create to show my undying love and devotion for my favorite little vampire? I'm stressed! Not really, but I do want to have something fun. Perhaps I'll think of that today when I get my hair done!

Yes, it's true! I haven't visited a salon since April, and now I'm going to see Dean who is going to make me look like a supermodel. Okay, maybe not a supermodel, but at least I will hopefully come out looking better with my hair one color instead of like a skunk with bad roots.

What I'm reading: Looking for Alaska by John Green
Miles to run: Still haven't managed that. Hey, I wrote 8,230 words on Tuesday! Give me a break!