Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AARP, Here I Come!

I got my first old-lady catalog today. Let’s just call it Fight the Heat. And we’re not talking about the environment, either. I almost tossed it before I remembered my age—you know, just like When Harry Met Sally:
Sally: I’m going to be 50! (I know, she said 40; I’m too close to that already)
Harry: When?
Sally: . . . Someday!
So I decided to at least look through it to see what the future holds in store for me.

The models—for dramatic purposes, we’ll say they were all over 60—were attractive but with that I-just-came-from-my-Botox-appointment sparkle. You know the look: skin pulled back tightly giving their unnaturally smooth cheeks and brow that certain shine.

I sighed as I flipped through pages and pages of 21st century muumuus, tummy-reducing/disguising pants, girdles, granny panties and "personal massagers." Wait, what?! Flip, flip back to the center where they proudly feature four pages of personal massagers and other "relationship enhancing" accessories.

They do say that 50 is the new 30, which is a good thing because when my mother was 50, it was the new 80. Whatever it is, I hope my, er, girdle comes in a plain brown box. And that I'll look as good at 40 as these women do at 60.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Feel Sick

We sold our tickets to the Sharks' opening game of the second round. Why? Because the announced time was 6p.m., this Friday.

One babysitter will be starting her 24-hour cancer walk (she is an amazing kid!). The other wouldn't be able to leave work early enough for us to make it to San Jose in time. So yesterday we sold the tickets.

Today, the time has been changed to 7 p.m., plenty of time to get to San Jose, park and make it to our seats. Which now belong to someone else.

I feel sick.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She's Ready for Her Close Up, Mr DeMille

Hannah's new favorite song is Great Big World from Hoodwinked. Anyone know a talent agent?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Where’s My Coffee?

Recently a coffee company ran a promotion offering bloggers a pound of coffee in exchange for information on coffee consumption and, hopefully, a blog review. Given my little problem, I jumped at the chance, happily forking over information on my coffee-drinking habits: How often do you drink it? (Daily) How much per day? (2-4 cups; often more) How do you take it? (With a little milk) Do you drink flavored coffee? (Not if I can help it) If you could invent a flavor, what would it be? (Chocolate tequila. No really! I’ve had a fantastic white chocolate tequila truffle from Gearhart’s Chocolates in Virginia. Try one--they deliver!)

The coffee never came. Which I didn’t realize until last week, when I received an email to update me on the promotion results. They had compiled all of the answers and thoughtfully included a brief note to the effect of “If you haven’t yet received your coffee, don’t panic! It’s on the way!” Which sounds very much like “The check is in the mail.”

I haven’t written them off yet, but I'd think they would be more interested in a nice review of their coffee rather than a not-so-nice review of the company. The coffee wasn’t actually free after all; it was payment for marketing research.

Friday, April 18, 2008

How to Spot an Addiction

Most of us, if we're honest, have at least one addiction. I have at least three:

Caffeine: Here we have the usual symptoms: headache, slight tremor (I said it was an addiction!) and incessant yawning.

The day of Thomas’s triathlon, I was so worried that there wouldn’t be enough parking that I most reluctantly drove past the only Peet’s I’d seen for miles. My reward was a half-empty parking lot and all of the above-mentioned symptoms. I had no caffeine until Thomas had finished the triathlon and grabbed a Red Bull for me. My first. If it weren’t all sugar, I could easily see getting hooked on that—I felt all sparkly after the first, so of course I had a second. I hear there’s a diet version . . .

Chocolate: See above, minus the yawning, add in extreme daily craving.

I grew up a Catholic and, every year, I would give up chocolate for Lent. And every year I would fail. Perhaps subconsciously I knew that I was not, in fact, a Catholic, though a friend of my mother’s tried to convince me that I would make a marvelous nun.

I’ll wait until you’ve finished laughing.

So how bad is the chocolate addiction? Trader Joe’s sells chocolate covered edamame. I saw it for the first time yesterday and, after my initial “Eeww,” I went back and considered. After all, I’ve never had chocolate covered edamame. And it was Chocolate Covered. In the end I decided against it, but not so much because of the Eeww factor, but because I still have a perfectly good box of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Hockey: See above.

I love hockey. Especially playoff hockey. I was in the crowd when the Sharks lost the season opener to the Calgary Flames. It wasn’t great, but it was OK—six games left, and we got to rip the officiating on the way home. The Sharks won game two. But when they lost the third game after blowing a three-goal lead (all three scored on the first three and a half minutes of the first period), I literally felt sick. Not as sick as after the 2004 elections, but sick. Game four, the Sharks scored two goals in the last five minutes for the win. The final goal came with 9.4 seconds left in the game--and when you're curled up in a miserable ball of anxiety lest the Flames score again and send it to overtime, 9.4 seconds feels like an eternity.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when the season is over.

Thank god they don’t make chocolate-covered hockey pucks.

Do they?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Score for Twitter

I've always thought that Twitter was pretty cool, but for one reason and another, I stopped using it. Today, with an incredible example of just how well--and how quickly--it brings people together, I have a great incentive to start Tweeting again.

From William Brand of the Bay Area News Group:
BERKELEY : When Egyptian police scooped up UC Berkeley graduate journalism student James Karl Buck, who was photographing a noisy demonstration, and dumped him in a jail cell last week, they didn't count on Twitter.

Buck, 29, a former Oakland Tribune multimedia intern, used the ubiquitous short messaging service to tap out a single word on his cellular phone: ARRESTED. The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti-government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.

The next day, he walked out a free man with an Egyptian attorney hired by UC Berkeley at his side and the U.S. Embassy on the phone.

Twitter, the micro-blogging service for cell phone users, allows messages up to 140 characters long. Twitter users can allow anyone they wish to join their network and receive all their messages. Buck has a large network, so Twitter gave him an instant link to the outside world.

He recalls advice from his Twitter friends came in mounds of terse messages, "It was a combination of things, my Egyptian friends told me to play the "American bitch" and try to force my way out. " They also told him that it was no big deal and to just stay calm.

"They use Twitter sort of like an instant wire service," he said. "It's the way they keep in touch with each other. They go to an event and Twitter what's happening.

Meanwhile, U.S. friends on his Twitter net called the university and the American Embassy.

They also alerted the Associated Press, the International Herald Tribune and other media, which helped put the heat on the Egyptian authorities. He was released on Friday and returned home on Sunday.

Back home in Berkeley last night he said he's still worried about his interpreter and friend, Mohammed Salah Ahmed Maree, who was arrested with him and is still being held incommunicado by Egyptian authorities. Unlike Buck, he didn't have the muscle of the U.S. Embassy and UC Berkeley. (read more)

Pretty fantastic. Now how to get Maree out? Go sign the online petition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Color Me Proud

Thomas completed his first triathlon, the ICE Breaker Triathlon at Granite Bay, CA, on Sunday. He's written a great post about the first part on his blog, Triathlon For TK, but I had the camera and he's out of town, so I'm going to scoop him on the photos.

The place was already a hive of activity well before the girls and I arrived at 8:00 (and only for Thomas would I be up, bathed, dressed, packed and on the road by 7:30 in the morning. If that's not love . . . :)

Getting ready for the swim . . .

which was 1/3 mile from the transition area (uncounted in the official run, of course):

In the transition area, getting ready for the bike ride:

Hannah waited patiently:

Ready to run!

Just 100 yards from the finish! Go, Thomas, go!

And now he's officially a triathlete!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hold the Soap, Please!

According to the Cuss-O-Meter, my potty mouth is not as bad as I thought--at least not in "print."

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Thanks, !

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Words Escape Me

I just found this on the website of a company that sells school supplies:

Choose from Isles and Isles of In-Stock Items!
Our Prices the Lowest, our Quality the Highest
and our Stock the Broadest!

The Downside of Speech Therapy

Over the past couple of weeks, Charlotte has experienced an explosive growth in her verbal ability, going from one word and a couple of signs to three word, spoken sentences. We've heard "Thank you, Mommy/Daddy/Haha*," "Help me, please," "Where ball go?," "My book, open," and more. While it may not seem like a big deal, to us it is HUGE. After so long, I will confess it quietly here, I sometimes thought that she would never speak.

And now, sometimes I wish she wouldn't.

At Peet's today, she pointed at another customer, motioned to a chair and said rather loudly, "Girl! Shit! Shit, Girl!"

And to think I was once embarrassed when Hannah kept pointing out the tattoos of random biker chicks.

*"Haha" is Charlotte's new name for Hannah. She had been "Nana" ever since Charlotte started talking but in speech therapy, they use "nana" to get her to "BAnana." Charlotte realized that Hannah was not, in fact, a banana and so would need another name. So Haha it is.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Went to the Gym Yesterday . . .

Apparently "Pilates" is Greek for "I have muscles where??"

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Maybe Attorney General?

John Edwards said today that he would decline a nomination to become the next vice president. He didn't say why, but I wouldn't be surprised if one big reason is that he doesn't much care for the way the candidates have been conducting themselves of late. He's certainly more intelligent and better qualified than a couple of the AGs we've had in the past few years.

Random Question of the Day

Is it odd that a Republican, in the midst of a process in which he must eliminate 19, refer to that process as being "in the embryonic stages"?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Don’t Mess With Jane. Please.

I’ve had a huge girl crush on Jane Austen for many, many years. This crush led me to take a semester-long course on her life and work. The course also included the various necessary-to-make-it count-for-credit types of literary criticism thereof. So imagine my dismay when I recently came across yet another book billed as the sequel to Pride and Prejudice. As ever, my initial reaction was: How dare you?

It’s one thing to make a movie of Pride and Prejudice, or, indeed, any of the novels; the PBS Complete Jane Austen series has sent me running back to the books to marvel at how much of the dialog was lifted directly from those pages—it still sparkles after almost 200 years. But to attempt to co-opt two of the most popular characters in English literary history? How dare you?* So yet again, I’m forced to reject a book by its cover and bet that it will not be remembered 10 years from now, much less 200.

I'm not including in this the "loosely inspired by" works such as Bridget Jones's Diary, and not only because I think I would be drawn and quartered by that work's legions of fans.

Thank You

Thank you to all who emailed to see if I was still here and doing OK. You know what the yawning gaps in posts usually means; I hope you know just how much your concern means to me. But LCM is back, and maybe even with a few Dammits up her sleeve!