Friday, May 30, 2008

Memo to Today:

You can suck it.

You really can.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

While I'm At It...

Well I'm thrilled that there are three women in the finale of Top Chef. We've had our money on Stephanie all season and are rooting for her to be the first woman to take the title.

Another aspect of being so busy that really bothers me is not having time to cook like I like to. I'm often not home at dinnertime or just exhausted and can barely boil water.

Tonight I somehow gathered the energy to use up some left over broiled salmon to make a fennel/caper cream sauce to which I added the salmon and some spices:And of course our standard salad:
And just for the hell of it, a lemon cake with lemon/ginger glaze, whipped cream and delicious, in-season strawberries:

Last weekend we had to say goodbye to a really special group of students from Indonesia. They were so sweet, so funny, and so wonderful that all of us at work grew quite fond of them. A few weeks into their stay, they discovered yard sales (or as one student mistakenly, but awesomely, referred to them, "garbage markets") as a great way to buy things really cheap. So on their last day in Arkansas I drove a bunch of them around to various yard sales. Then I took them to our house for ice cream. Here they are piled into our music room, listening to D. play guitar:
And outside making flower wreaths:
And snuggling with Chicklet:

Now if only I had money and time to visit them on each of their islands.....

More Of The Same

I've been insane with work, stress, neck pain, parenting, blah blah...you know the drill.

I was sad to hear the Sidney Pollack had died. I liked him as an actor (especially in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives) and liked him even more as a director. He directed one of my all-time favorite films, Out of Africa. That film remains one of my favorites because it doesn't try too hard. It just tells a compelling story. It doesn't hurt that the scenery is incredibly and two of the best American actors star in it. I encourage everyone to watch it again and see what the film has to say about male and female communication. I think this film expertly shows why we're drawn to each other and, paradoxically, how we drive each other away. Now that I think about it, Pollack might have been a genius at demonstrating gender issues on screen, because he also directed Tootsie, another of my favorites.

Last weekend I said goodbye a group of students and this weekend I'll say hello to a new group, with new dynamics and challenges and personalities. Turn, turn, turn.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Let No Man Put Asunder

Yesterday we went to the first of the four weddings (so far) that we've been invited to this year. No one ever told me how much fun it is to go to weddings with a significant other. That is, if you can make it to the wedding without killing each other. Let's just say that last minute primping-induced burned hair and forgotten directions do not for a stress-free drive to the chapel make. "Next time we go to a wedding, we're going on my time," D. said. Ha! Silly men...don't they realize that they can threaten all they want about "their time" but if a woman isn't ready, she just isn't ready?

Luckily Amy and Todd were also just sliding into the pews as the organist began. Okay, so actually they beat us by like two minutes, bu still....it helped us feel less alone in our tardiness.

Martha and Justin's wedding was very sweet and touching. I'm so incredibly happy for her. And for him. For the whole dang family.


This photo doesn't do Martha's dress justice. It was handmade and absolutely gorgeous.






D. doesn't approve of these longer-exposed photos, but I like how it shows the hustle and bustle around the bride and her beaming, full-faced grin.

Sally Quinn. Justin's daughter and flower girl.

Hmm. What sort of advice do you suppose Amy is being given here?

Amy, Martha, and me.




This last one is my favorite! Yay for true love and weddings!

Friday, May 16, 2008

TGIF

This week began with a day-long meeting/training on Monday. Within the first hour, a co-worker bumped into my glass of orange juice, spilling it all over my notes and me (corduroy = perfect fabric for retaining every sticky bit of pulp). It was a complete accident, but it set the bar for the rest of the week.

This week has ended with a hot gel-pack thing wrapped around my neck and shoulders, wincing every time I turn my head and send hot needles of pure unadulterated pain down into the bones and muscles of my upper half.

And those were the fun parts!

Here are the things that saved me from running away and hitchhiking to Mexico:
  • The most thoughtful, beautiful, awesome, and delicious gifts from Stephanie's recent trip to Europe. She could teach workshops in gift-buying. They were that good and perfect.
  • The unexpected gift of several pounds of organic carrots. What does one do with such a gift? This one made curried carrot/ginger soup that kicked my taste buds' asses. Sunshine in a bowl, I'm tellin' ya.
  • Talking with my grandmother. She is amazing. Take my word for it.
  • Watching Across the Universe with Stella, hearing her sing along with my favorite songs, and both of us wiping away tears at the end.
  • Evening walks by myself. I close my eyes and breathe deeply, paying attention to every sight, sound, and smell. I found a hatched robin egg and thought about taking a trash bag to pick up litter next time. I never do.
  • Instant-messaging with Lori and my sister Kate.
  • Driving past the Equine Center pastures for the sole purpose of staring at the newborn foals.
  • D. I've been a stressed-out, emotionally-saturated basket case and he claims to still love me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Because I Don't Have Time to Write Anything of Substance

Face blurred to protect the guilty - guilty of striking my favorite ever senior picture pose! Afro Moon (oops. Dead giveaway), you're my idol:
I used scampered around this hillside a lot growing up:

Post-parade dance party at Basin Spring Park:

Friday afternoon:

Step-sisters:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yahoo News Is Sometimes Actually Informative

And sometimes it even brings a story to my attention that really moves me.

Like today.

Please read this short article about Irena Sendler and her incredible life and acts of courage. I love the accompanying picture of her. She looks like the perfect embodiment of love, doesn't she? What an amazing woman.

I almost wish I believed in heaven so I could imagine her there now, resting peacefully in all eternity....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This Just In!

I think SNL might be funny again!

There Are Better Ways to Pass a Saturday

I am a hormonal nutjob.

Then again, I do not recommend watching Pan's Labyrinth during a thunderstorm and then reading Ann Hood's essay on loss and maternal renewal on the eve of Mother's Day when you're estranged from your mother and feeling more and more estranged from your daughter every day.

Trust me.

I need to go sit in the sun for a while now.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

At The Speed of Hummingbird Wings

The past few weeks my mind has felt like a bird feeder where my thoughts are the birds that flutter around and alight for only a few minutes.

A few I can recall:

  • "I never expected to like this fig incense so much. Well whaddya know."
  • "Thank god no one ever comes over and discovers what slobs we can be."
  • "Why do I feel obligated to eat this quinoa salad and shepherd's pie? How old are these anyway?
  • Four days old?
  • Five?
  • Because they're leftovers, Alannah, and as you well know...throwing away food is like slapping a starving orphan."
  • "Jason Castro - stoned or just stupid?"
  • "Ha. Kinda funny how Michigan & Florida wanted those early primaries because they more of a say...and if they hadn't moved them they really could."
  • "Madonna must have made some sort of Crossroads-type deal...she looks better and sounds worse with each new record. But does it really even matter what she sounds like at this point?"
  • "I wonder if I need another Mexican muscle relaxer....my neck is killing me"
  • "Hey, remember when I used to make things and have time to myself?"
  • "How did I get so lucky? Life is good."
  • "I need to live where mangoes and avocados are in season year-round."
  • "Oh shit! I forgot to call/email/file/curse/pick up/schedule/pay for/order/punch/ x, y, and z."
  • "I want to go shoe shopping. New sandals would fix a lot of what's wrong"
  • "New moral guide - What Would Marty Do?"
  • "I wish the students wouldn't always comment on how fast-paced America is. It only reminds me that it's not like this in other places. Damn them!"
  • "How can I realistically eradicate all toxins from my life?"
  • "You can't."
  • "But that shouldn't stop me from trying."
  • "I'm so tired of grocery shopping. I want to imagine food and have it appear in my pantry. I don't want to look for things."
  • "But if you didn't grocery shop then you wouldn't run into Amy and then you wouldn't meet for margaritas and then you wouldn't decide you wanted get a card game going afterwards and get all sorts of fun people together."
  • "Maybe you're right - the grocery store doesn't have to be the dingy flourescent screaming baby hellhole I make it out to be! Plus that's where I always get to hear that same Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis song."
  • "I thought you hated that song."
  • "I do. But sometimes I get sentimental about things I know I can depend on."
  • "You're weird."
  • "So exactly what's a cyclone again? Hurricane or tornado or both or neither?"
  • "Oooh, I really like that song in the iPod commerical. I need to get me some peppy music."
A little scary, huh? This peek inside my bird brain?