Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Report - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Authour: Ann Brashares
Length: 294 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about: Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

The ending is the most important part: Yes, there were tears, and the ending was wonderful.

Last word:  I know that there are more stories, but I'm good with just this one. I really recommend though.

Spoilers after the jump

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Report - Divergent

Title: Divergent
Authour: Veronica Roth
Length: 487 pages
How long it took me to read: 3 days

What it's about: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

The ending is the most important part: Well, this is a trilogy, so we'll have to see. I liked the ending, but I know that there's more to the story and I can't wait to find out what happens. Alas, I am #79 on the hold list at the library...

Last word: I found myself living in the world Veronica Roth created, and dividing my loved ones into factions; DH is definitely in Candor.

Spoilers after the jump

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Song of the Day - She Won't be Home

As would be expected from me, here is a non-traditional Christmas song.

It's still lovely, pretty, and sad, but not sappy and full of forced cheer.

I really, really love this song.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

All by Myself

One of the things I pride myself on the most is my ability to be alone.

I learned to be alone while on my mission - which is ironic since missionaries are assigned companions that they are to be with every minute of every day. I did not see eye-to-eye with some of my companions and it is a very lonely existence to live with someone day in and day out that you have nothing in common with. After my mission, I lived alone without any roommates and this strengthened my ability to be alone.

I can go to the bathroom, movies, out to eat, etc all by myself. Sometimes I would rather be alone than with other people. I am a total hermit and I feel like this is a good thing.

It gives me a certain freedom to be able to be alone. I am not limited by the availability of my friends in order to see something I want (movie, concert, gallery showing) - I can just go alone. This also gives me the freedom to arrive and leave when I want. If I am not enjoying whatever, I can just up and leave and not have to worry about ruining anyone else's time.

I also feel that this gives me so much freedom when it comes to relationships. I am not tied to a toxic relationship because I don't want to be alone. I have the power to know that I can be alone and love it, so it's not necessary for me to stay in a bad relationship. I am able to walk away.

This really helps me in my marriage because I know that I am in the relationship because I choose to be; not out of fear, or obligation, but because I love DH and I choose to be with him - warts and all. I also know that I would be just fine without him, so I don't need him in order to be a whole person. I feel like this strengthens us both, because I am not dependent on him - this gives us both the freedom to be the individuals that we are. I am in this relationship because I love him.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Report - Someday, Someday Maybe

Title: Someday, Someday, Maybe
Authour: Lauren Graham
Length: 344 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about: Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

The ending is the most important part: Although a little predictable, the ending was tied up in a nice bow, but you were left a little dangling in order to imagine Franny's fate. This is a good thing.

Last word: Lorelai wrote an awesome book! I hope she writes more.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Irony of Growing Up

When I was a kid, I could not wait to be a grown up. I wanted to be on my own; to be able to have my own place, make my own decisions, dress how I wanna dress, eat what I wanna eat, watch what I wanna watch, etc. I wanted to wear grown-up clothes, have grown-up hair, and wear grown-up make-up. I wanted to be able to see any movie I wanted, to listen to any music I wanted to, to be able to go out dancing - even on a school night, and go to clubs to listen to bands. I wanted to have my own car. I wanted to live the Mary Tyler Moore life.

The older I got, the less self-esteem I had, and I felt uncomfortable wearing some of the fun things that the other girls were wearing. I felt self-conscious and like I was both drawing too much attention to myself, and not able to pull the style off, or trying to hard. I want to use the wearing a barrette to slick your bangs down to the side. I felt that look was too 'cutie-pie' and not 'me', so I never did it, even though I thought it was super cute.

Once I was in my mid-to-late twenties, I finally got some confidence to the point where I loved my look and owned my style. I started to wear styles that I liked regardless of how I felt they looked. I kind of reverted to some of the things I was too chicken to wear as a kid - including the bang barrette.

I've kind of stuck in that mind-set, but now I feel like I'm perpetually fourteen-years old. I say things like 'totes', and 'I KNOW, right?' and read Twilight and The Hunger Games and see the movies on premiere night. I still do the bang barrette. I wear Converse sneakers with my skinny jeans and R2-D2 tshirts. I don't think like a grown-up, I fangirl about Wonder Woman and Jennifer Lawrence. I follow Seventeen magazine on Twitter and watch Pretty Little Liars.

Don't get me wrong, I have a full time job and provide for my family. I do all the mom stuff you would expect me to. I feed my family and help the boys with their homework, do the laundry and make them do chores.

But when it comes right down to it, I still think like I did when I was in high school; I still like the same kind of things, and still spaz out over the dumbest things. I honestly still feel like I'm fourteen-years-old in my head.

I just find it weird that I lived my life to be old, but now that I am old, I haven't matured at all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fish Taco Solution

Sorry for whining about the weather, but as I've explained, it's part of my nature, and it's been below freezing for the entire eleven days of this month and it's still Autumn, and I'm a little tired of being cold all the time.

When it snows, sometimes I like to put on surfing music and wear flip flops and floral prints. It helps ease my mind and warms me up a little. At least it makes me smile. I am a beach bum through and through.

I found another solution to surviving the cold and making it seem like summer; the fish taco. The spicy flavour, the fact that it's fish, the fact that it's a taco, the lime; all these things make me think of tropical, easygoing, mahalo, warmness.

I bit into that awesome taco and was transported.

So if you're feeling blue because of this early winter we seem to be experiencing in North America, head out to your favourite taco place and order a fish taco. It will help, and that's a guarantee.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Song of the Day - Joan Jett I Hate Myself for Loving You

It's no secret that I have exponential amounts of love for Joan Jett. Look at her hair! Joan Jett has the best hair.

Also, there is quite the excellent message in this song. Girl power and all that. Joan invented girl power!!

Rock on.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Report - The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Authour: Markus Zusah
Length: 552 pages
How long it took me to read: 3 weeks

What it's about: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

The ending is the most important part: I laughed, I cried, I could not put it down once I got to the end of this book.

Last word: Read it. Everyone should read this book.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, December 5, 2013

That Time My Mum Thought I Was a Guy

Remember that time that I told you about when Toby busted me for sneaking out? Well, I snuck out a lot.

I had a really good friend named Ashley. She went to church with me, but she lived in Abbotsford, an hour's drive away, so I only saw her at church dances mostly. This one time the monthly dance was hosted at my ward building, so we made a plan for Ashley to sleep over at my house after the dance. When we came home from the dance, we planned on sneaking out and going off on our own adventures, hopefully finding some boys on skateboards.

We had come home from the dance, and were changing out of our church dance appropriate clothes into sneaking out of the house and seeking adventures with boys who rode skateboards clothes. We were discussing our plans and options while talking in low voices, when I heard my mom hissing from the top of the stairs; "KELLY!!" Ashley and I exchanged glances, and I went to the bottom of the stairs and stared up at her innocently, "Yes?" "Who's down there with you?" she demanded. I blinked up at her, did she forget Ashley was sleeping over? "Ashley" I responded. My mum put her hands on her hips, cocked her head to the side, and rolled her eyes. "Kelly, who else do you have down there?" I didn't know what she was talking about. "No one!" I answered. "Kelly," she said again, shaking her head, looking exasperated that I thought she was so stupid. "What?" I asked. She was acting as if I was hiding something, which technically I was, because we were planning on heading out soon. She smelled a rat and I could tell, but I knew she was smelling  the wrong rat. "Kelly... do you have a boy down there?" she seemed so annoyed that she had to spell it out for me. "What?" I asked - phew, she could not be more wrong. "Kelly, (she was really annoyed now) I can hear a boy talking down here." It took me a minute to figure out to what she was referring. "Mom,  that was ME!!" I cried. She just put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side again and gave me a sarcasic grimace. I was mortified. My voice sounded like a guys, how lame is that. She still didn't believe me. "Come down and look, Mum, it's just me and Ashley!!" By this time she could tell that I was telling the truth.

We still snuck out after that, but the fun was sucked out of the adventure because I realized that I sound like a guy.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's up?

What's up? I'm on vacation right now. I'm not on holiday, but I'm off work. I usually take the first week of December off so that I can get all organized and ready for Christmas so that I can enjoy the season and relax. Everyone keeps asking me where I'm going for my vacation. Am I totally weird for not going anywhere? Last year I went home and that was totally excellent, but I made the right choice by staying home this year.

I've been pretending that I don't work anymore and that I'm a stay at home mom, which is my ultimate fantasy. It's been great for the most part. I get up with the boys every morning and get them ready for school, come home, have some personal time, and then work on deep cleaning the house. I got the tree up on Monday, yesterday I got rid of all the dog hair, piles of magazines in my room, and organized my shoes. I've finished three books, wrote some blog posts, gotten the Christmas shopping done, and even had a nooner with DH.

It's been really great, but the house is still cluttered. I'm no where near where I want to be, and I have to go back to work in a few days, so now I'm all depressed. I haven't done anything this morning because I just felt like I needed to take a break, but I have that nagging nittering feeling in the back of my mind reminding me of all the things I still need to do and that I'm running out of time. I hate that feeling. It's like the White Rabbit running through my brain reminding me that I'm going to be late!!

I've loved being home. I really have. I've been able to get a lot accomplished. It was really amazing when I got up this morning and I didn't trip over the pile of magazines by my bed. I can look out of the sparkling clean windows and watch the snow melt. I hate that I have to go back to work. I feel like I haven't gotten enough accomplished, and that I haven't had enough time off. It's so depressing to have to go back to the old routine where I have zero time to myself, and barely get the dishes and the laundry done. I've loved being able to watch Huey walk down the street towards his bus stop, and come home after dropping Dewey at school, and seeing how happy Orso is to have someone home with him. I've loved the peace and quiet as I eat my breakfast and look outside. I love listening to music while I work around the house and not being interrupted by anyone wrestling, fighting, or asking me for help or to tell them where something is. I love having this alone time during the day. I love that I can get bored, but that there's so much to do,  that the feeling soon passes as I am able to busy myself with the many projects that nag at me. The greatest thing is that I've been able to attack the project and actually complete it, instead of start on it, run out of time, and have to come back to it some other time , and who knows when that will be?

I've been thinking how awesome it would be to just be home all the time, but now I worry that I would feel guilty for just sitting and taking a break. Like I am now. I feel guilty because I'm not cleaning the bathroom and DH will be home in half an hour and ask me what I've done all day. If I wasn't working full-time, and this was my full-time job, then if I took a break, would I be acting lazy?

Ugh, I hate that my over-thinking everything ruins all my fun.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Song of the Day - Platinum Blonde Not in Love

Here's another Canadian band that you need to know about, but they're a total throw back to 1983.

The other day I was walking up the stairs and this song popped into my head for the first time in thirty years. I loved these guys so much. You should too.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Report: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Authour: Sherman Alexie
Length: 230 pages
How long it took me to read: 4 days

What it's about: In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

The ending is the most important part: The ending was sweet and wonderful. I loved it.

Last word: This book was funny and sweet and cute and I really enjoyed it. It also made me want to save all the aboriginal people everywhere. I am also cursing my whiteness.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, November 28, 2013

That Time That Toby Totally Told on Me.

I one hundred percent was not going for alliteration up there, but what can you do?

So I used to do this thing where I would sneak out in the middle of the night and go off on little adventures. I would go for drives with my friends, go to Mac's, hang out, walk around, go to the beach. Fairly harmless stuff, but it was awesome because it was the middle of the night. I did it a lot.

My bedroom was in the basement and there was a door down there that lead to the backyard, so I didn't have to worry about going upstairs and risk waking up my parents. I would just go out the back door, through the gate, through the carport, down the driveway, and then either to the top or bottom of the street to meet whomever I was meeting to go off on my adventure. It was a great setup.

My stepfather was a Teamster and left for work really early in the morning - 4:30 am. My goal was to be home before Stepfather left for work. Many times, I was tip-toeing through the carport and I would hear the shower running.

This one time when I came home, THE BASEMENT DOOR WAS LOCKED.

I could hear Stepfather in the shower, so it was guaranteed that my mum was up making his lunch, so there was no way I was going to be able to come in the kitchen door. I had no choice but to come in one of the basement windows.

We lived in this older house and the windows in the basement were wood and didn't open very freely. The one in the family room was the easiest to open and didn't have a screen on it, so I used that one. As I was attempting to open the window, it was sticking and scraping and making much more noise than I wanted it to. As this was happening, our Sheltie/Poodle mix, Toby, discovered me and started barking at me. I whispered, "Toby, it's ME!" to try to quiet him down, but he would not lay off. It wasn't until I was in the house and he could smell me that he calmed down. I managed to close the window silently and make it to my room. By this time, my mother heard me and called to me asking what the dog was barking at. I told her it was me, that I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and he freaked out. She gave me this weird look from the top of the stairs like she didn't believe me. It had been very lightly drizzling outside. She said, "Let me feel your hair." Of course I knew I was busted, so I explained myself and earned a week's worth of grounding.

Thanks a lot dog.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Is it Me or Did Christmas Come Early This Year?

I've whined before about the fact that I'm a Humbug, but this year seems particularly bad.

Half our neighborhood is already lit up. I'm okay with putting your lights up while the weather's not freezing, but do you have to turn them on already? No. The answer is no. No you don't.

Last weekend, Huey was watching a Christmas movie, and DH was listening to Christmas music. I had to leave the room.

Dewey came home from school today and was singing Christmas song.


Why are we rushing things so much this year?

Before I grew up, I used to impose this rule on my family that we would not decorate until after my birthday, which is December 8. (cards and love welcome, of course.) I didn't think I was being unreasonable as no one else had to compete with a holiday for their birthday, and I had to wait all year for my birthday. I felt it was just a matter of respect for me that we waited to celebrate Christmas until after my birthday.

Now that I'm an adult, I'm fine with decorating at Thanksgiving since I have the four days off and if I wait until after my birthday things are just too crazy and I end up putting the tree up on Christmas Eve.

I'm still a Scrooge about celebrating too early though. Let's just take the holidays one at a time, shall we?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Song of the Day - Sloan Underwhelmed

This is one of those Canadian bands that you should know about. You just need to.

This song is one of the most excellently written songs I have ever heard. The lines about the story about her life totally inspire me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Desperately seeking NSLP

The definition of NSLP has been explained wonderfully over at hellogiggles.

For those of you not interested in links, NSLP stands for Non-Sexual Life Partner.

I have wonderful friends whom I love dearly, but they all live far, far away. Berit lives in New Mexico, Jenn in Las Vegas, Stef and Tara in Canada (along with my mum and sisters and many others), and Kate in New Zealand. I would walk five thousand miles or take a bullet or donate a gallon of blood for any of those girls, but the problem is, those girls are not here. I can't call them and be with them in an instant.

So far I've been okay with not having a local bestie. I have DH, and I rarely have free time, so I don't have a lot of time to be lonely, and I really don't mind going places alone and doing things by myself. I'm not one of these girls that can't go to the bathroom by themselves.

It's just that sometimes I need someone to do the things that I love that DH has no desire in doing with me. Like geeking out over certain books or movies. Or nail polish; or Barbies, or shoes, or Superman. I know that the internet is great for connecting with people who have like interests, but sometimes you want to go to a book signing, or comic-con and it's more fun to do that in person, and with someone else. I got together with some girls in my neighbourhood to see a screening of Austenland where there was a question and answer with Shannon Hale. We all went to dinner beforehand and had a BLAST. The movie was HILARIOUS, we ate cookies from the Blue Lemon, and we enjoyed blasting all the critics that said the movie was junk afterwards. I need more of that.

Sometimes it's good for me to get out of my cave and interact with other female humans, so this is what I need:

Applicants need not be married, or have children, but it's nice to have that in common.
Must be available when I'm available.
Must tolerate sarcasm and biting wit.
Must be able to endure the things that come out of my mouth that will totally be embarrassing to us both.
Must realize that while I am an active and participating member of the LDS Church, I occasionally swear, tell naughty jokes, yell at my kids, and drink Dr. Pepper, and needs to be okay with this and not judge me nor tell me that I won't get into the celestial kingdom for acting like I do, and then not be shocked when I'm reverent and respectful and bear my testimony.
Must either a) understand that I speak in a language of cultural references, or b) get all the cultural references. I tend to quote the following on a regular basis: Monty Python, Gilmore Girls, Absolutely Fabulous, and Twilight. (sorry, I'm not sorry) I also quote lines from songs from both popular and alternative music.
I will assign you a song; that song will make me think of you every time I hear it, and I may sing that song every time you see me. In turn, you can sing the Kelly, Kelly, Kelly song from Cheers to me. If I don't know a song, I will make one up. It may or may not be stupid, but you still have to put up with it.
Know that I get crushes on other people and things, but they will never, ever take the place of my Darling Husband. He's stuck with me for eternity. You don't need to worry about this, even if it looks like you do.
Things come in threes for me. I have issue with things that do not come in threes.
I appear fearless, but I am a big, fat, yellow chicken. I need someone who will see past the bravado and understand that there are times when I will thank you for taking me by the hand and dragging me to do certain things, like shop at M.A.C. or help me to find the perfect black trousers. On the other hand, I need you to respect that I'm a chicken, and not ready for many experiences, but I'm also open minded, so I'll eventually come around, but if it's something YOU are afraid to do and need a friend, then I am SO there for you, sister!
We don't need to be the same age, but it will help if you get all the things that I'm talking about that are from the seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond. Sometimes I'm nostalgic for the forties, fifties, and sixties too, even though I wasn't born yet. I'm a weirdo.
I contradict myself all the time. Get used to it, and don't call me a hypocrite.
I say what I mean and I mean what I say, but I reserve the right to go back on my word when it comes to my opinion. If I tell you I will do something for you though, I will do it. Just maybe not according to your time table.
I am a Class A flake. I hate this about myself, but I'm not sure I can fix it. I will try my hardest for you though, because you will put up with my crap and you understand me.
I love all dogs; you cannot be a cat person/dog hater.

I am superficial, shallow and really hard to get to know. I appear open but am in fact super closed. If you can see past this and be patient, you will have a loyal friend for LIFE.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

SUP-er Rantgirl!

I've ranted and whined about my desire to be supernatural once or twice. Well since all things come in threes (especially when you're dealing with me), I'm going to whine about my need for superpowers.

If Rantgirl were a super hero, what would her powers be? I'm so glad you asked!

1) Invisibility. This is my number one wish. If I could have only one power, it would be this. I need this for the bad hair days, and for the times that I can't function in public, but I have to go out in public because I have other people that I'm responsible for. I also need this so that I can know what people are saying when I'm not in the room.

2) Jeanie-blink. (or for those born after the seventies, this could be also known as Disapparating) I would love to be able to just fold my arms, blink my eyes, and , boink, be somewhere else. It's not that I mind travelling, sometimes I just don't have the time to fly to Paris, and I would love to see the Eiffel Tower and put my lock on that fence.
This would be especially helpful for those moments when I say something terrible that I wish wouldn't have flown out of my mouth. I could just Jeanie-blink out of there and maybe everyone would just forget that I was even standing there.

I would also like to be able to open doors with my mind so that I can make a grand entrance. I would like to be able to speak any language. You know, like C-3PO. Then I would like to have the power to download my brain. I wish I could just take a USB cord and pop it into someone else's head because my powers of communication aren't the best.

Oh, and time travel. That would be cool too.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Performance Anxiety

I have really dense, naturally wavy hair. It is not so curly that I can't have a straight 'do without difficulty, and it's wavy enough to hold a curl for days. It's a massive forest of hair; when it's long, you can brush it for hours, run your fingers through it, and it's really soft, pretty and beautiful. I'm sorry that I'm being such a braggart, but my hair is one of my defining features. I really, really, love my hair.

When I was little, I had blonde hair, similar to the colour it is now. I have a big, huge cowlick in the front which prevents me from ever having normal looking bangs, but that is the only flaw. It was a pretty, flowing, golden blonde mane that was so thick and pretty. One day my Grama told my Mum that she needed to cut my hair because I was too lethargic and "it was sapping my energy". My mother didn't believe her, but because it was heavy, hard to take care of, and she had two other children to take care of, she cut it off. Apparently afterwards I seemed lighter and so much cheerier that she ended up believing that it really was all that hair.

I have had long hair only a couple of times in my life, and I can add my testimony to that of my mother's that my hair does sap my energy. It's long, heavy, and gives me a headache. It doesn't hang straight, so it covers me like a cape (or Cousin It), and is very, very hot. I hate having long hair because of what a hassle it is, but it's so pretty, it seems like such a waste to not have long hair and show it off.

I am a really good public speaker. I've won speech contests, debates, and student council elections based on my ability to speak in public. I'm also entertaining, funny, and quick on my feet. In a nutshell, I'm good in front of an audience. Really good.

I really hate being in public.

I get all kinds of anxiety leading up to the "performance", I'm not nice to be around, and I find it hard to function in regular life. Afterwards I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained and usually have to spent time alone in a quiet, dark room in order to recover. Why is this? This really bugs me. Why am I good at something, like, really good, that is so taxing on me? Once I'm "on the podium" so to speak, I'm safe, the podium protects me - it gives me my power, but the times before and after are terrible. This is really hard for me to wrap my head around. A friend of mine posted on Facebook an article about creative people and one of the points was that creative people are both introverted and extroverted. I find this to be so totally true, and explains a lot. Many creative people are also crazy, which explains a lot too, but I'm not talking about that right now.

I identify as an introvert, and for the most part, I am, but every person I tell this to calls me a liar because they see me in public when I'm "performing". I still hate this about myself. I'm still trying to figure this out, but the point I'm trying to make with this rant is, WHY? I just don't get how, like my hair, something so wonderful and beautiful like a talent, can be so hard on a person. If it's a talent, shouldn't it come naturally? Shouldn't it be easy? (it is easy, like I said once I get up there, but the preparation and let down SUCKS) If I went the mentally healthy direction, I would never ever go out in public, but isn't that putting one's talent under a bushel? I have short hair for my health, and when people see pictures of my long hair, jealousy is usually expressed and the question asked why I don't have long hair. The answer, always, is me tilting my head backwards as if I'm being weighed down by my pony tail which is literally how I feel when I have long hair.

It just seems like such a waste of talent, but is the expense of mental and physical energy worth it? I'm most definitely not an extrovert, so should I leave the extrovertedness to the extroverts? This is so frustrating to me.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Report: Zen and the Art of Faking it

Title: Zen and the Art of Faking It
Authour: Jordan Sonneblick
Length: 264 pages
How long it took me to read: A week.

What it's about: When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn't try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different. When he accidentally answers too many questions in World History on Zen (only because he just had Ancient Religions two schools ago) all heads turn and San has his answer: he's a Zen Master. And just when he thinks everyone (including the cute girl he can't stop thinking about) is on to him, everyone believes him . . . in a major Zen way

The ending is the most important part: The ending was nice and neat and fine.

Last word: I wanted to like this book, it was fine, but not terrific. I wanted to give Jordan Sonneblick a second chance since Drums was his first book, but I guess I'm just not a fan.

Spoilers after the jump

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not good at talking unless I'm talking about myself and then I can't shut up

The other day I went visiting teaching. My companion was running late, so I had to go in by myself. We've only visited this girl one other time, so I don't know her very well. Ironically, she's the one that thought she knew me from somewhere else and I reacted so badly.

So we got over the how are you, how's work stuff really quickly, and she sat there, looking at me expectantly. I drew a blank completely and had nothing to say either. I started fumbling for things to say and feeling really awkward. I apologized for being so weird, explaining that I'm not the most socially talented person. I just felt weird because I didn't know when my companion was coming, so I wasn't sure if I should just share the message and take off, or wait, or what and I couldn't remember a lot of what we had talked about the visit prior, so I couldn't follow up on that.

I ended up bringing up how we should figure out how we really know each other. She laughed and explained that she realized that I remind her of a friend of hers and that we don't really know each other. I explained to her how I have not been blonde for a long time which was one of the things that tripped me up on our first meeting which led into a fifteen minute monologue on the history of my hair, which included two side tangent stories, also related to my hair.

By this time my companion had showed up and we talked some more. I was warmed up to the point that I couldn't stop talking. This must have looked so weird, because I went from not being able to talk at all, to not being able to shut up.

When I was on my mission, I had this companion who was really good at the asking the get to know you questions and getting people to open up, but I found her style to be so invasive. She wouldn't let up and asked really personal questions, but the weird thing is, people answered her, and they seemed to not mind.

I'm such a respecter of people's privacy, I figure if someone wanted me to know something, they would tell me. I don't like to pry. I feel more comfortable talking about myself, because 1) I can control what I share, 2) I can avoid probing questions, and 3) I know I'm not getting too personal with a person by asking them questions that they are uncomfortable answering. The last thing I want to do is make a person feel uncomfortable (unless I don't like them, then I don't care), so I just feel more comfortable talking about myself.

This is why I'm a terrible listener.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Group Costume

I know that it's three weeks past Halloween, but I've been busy, Okay? I just want to tell you this most awesome thing that happened.

Halloween is my other favourite holiday. I love dressing up. When I was a kid, I would have my next year's Halloween costume planned before this Halloween. O who am I kidding? I'm still like that. I think I have three or four years planned.

You know what I love even more than Halloween costumes? GROUP Halloween costumes. As if you have to ask, the explanation is that with group costumes, you have even more costumes! And they coordinate! Yay!

One year my friend Bill leaned over to me in sacrament meeting in our single's ward and said, "You should be Wilma Flintstone for Halloween." He was so right! I loved the idea. He told me that Berit should be Betty and BAM! Group costume was born.
Berit and Me 1992

I used to coordinate my Mum and Step-father's costume for the Halloween party that his soccer club would have every year. One year they were a shower and a bar of soap. My mother replicated the Ivory logo on a cardboard box exactly. I thought she was a genius.

Another thing about growing up was that we always made our costumes. My mother is very talented in the sewing/being creative/make it work categories. Also, we were poor, so we couldn't afford cheap store-bought plasic costumes. We also has this trunk, called the costume box, where we would chuck any of our old, weird stuff; stuff from plays, Baby Sister's skating costumes, Step-father's old hippy clothes, old Halloween costumes. Every year we would dig through the costume box and figure out what we could add to whatever we found in the box in order to make an awesome Halloween costume.

DH's mom is a brilliant seamstress also, so he always had home-made costumes.

When I got engaged to DH, I was so excited to finally have someone to dress up with!! One year I tried to be Mulder and Scully with him, I even dyed my hair copper-penny red, and made FBI badges, but at the last minute he pulled out claiming that a) Mulder doesn't wear glasses, and b) the kids at the school we were volunteering at wouldn't 'get' our costumes. Bummer pout.

Finally, Huey came along, and he was a baby and therefore unable to speak up for himself. When he was three months old I was a vampire and he was the world's chubbiest bat. The next year he was a wolf and I was Little Red Riding-hood. That year I convinced DH to wear a plaid flannel shirt as "The huntsman" and I was in heaven!! Yay for family costumes! The year after that Huey was a lion, I was Dorothy, and because I ran out of time, DH was not the tin man (much to his relief). The next year we had gone to see Toy Story on Ice and he got a perfect Woody hat, so he was Woody, and I was too tired to make a Buzz and Jessie costume. The year after that Huey discovered Star Wars, so he was Anakin Skywaker, and Dewey was a newborn, so his costume was bought by DH at a store.

Since then, life became what it is and costumes were purchased. Huey is very similar to DH in the no desire to dress up department, and a both are Halloween Humbugs. I try to get the boys to commit to costumes by Sept 1 so that I can make them, and let my creative juices flow, but they just wanted to be Power Rangers, or Clones, or Bumblebee, and I don't have a ton of time to put into Halloween costumes, so there you go.

A couple years ago DH whined about how his mom always made his costumes, so we came to the agreement that I would start making the costumes again and the Sept 1 rule was put in place, to be pushed back to Oct 1 because no one could decide on a costume. That year I made an AMAZING Steam Boat Willie costume for Huey that he didn't wear because no one could figure out what he was, so he just took off all the costume bits and went as 'the colour black'. I wish I was kidding, because I spent hours on that costume.

Dewey loves Halloween like I do, so he's been all on board with costume planning. This year we read Harry Potter together, so he decided to be Harry Potter and I was going to be Luna Lovegood and it was so fun to plan. We had our costumes all coordinated and bought the minute the Halloween stores opened up.

At three forty-five on the night of the ward Halloween party which started at six thirty and Huey had to help set up, Huey called me and said, "Mom, what can I dress up for the ward party?" I wanted to kill him. I have been asking him what he wants to dress up as and trying to talk him out of trick-or-treating because he's too old simultaneously since the middle of September!! He had a few ideas, but when I asked him if he wanted to join in on the Harry Potter theme with Dewey and I, he didn't even let me finish my sentence and interrupted by asking me if I would buy some red hairspray so he could be Ron.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I could not have been happier. Huey already had a Gryffindor tie from the time he was Harry Potter for Halloween in grade five, he has a grey sweater, white dress shirt and Converse. I ran by the grocery store on the way home for the red spray and voila - five minute costume. I was elated as the stress of a last minute costume was allieviated in five minutes, and, you guys, GROUP COSTUME!!
Best. Family. Photo. Ever.
Where was DH in all of this you ask? He wasn't there, he was working, but with his glasses, dark hair, and cowlick, he could have easily been James Potter. I wouldn't even have had to tell him he was dressed up, I would have just told other people.

Unfortunately, Huey could not be talked out of not going trick-or-treating as he had plans to go with his buddies. Also unfortunate, dressing as Ron Weasley was too 2007 for Huey, so he still needed another costume. I had done some research as I know my son and I knew I had to have a contingency plan, so I ended up on Halloween night putting the finishing touches on a Rubik's cube costume.

Fortunately, Huey has already planned with his pals to be a greaser next year, so I have visions of a Cherry Valance costume for myself, and Dewey and DH can be Johnny and Sodapop...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now both my boys hate me

Dewey just had his birthday, now he's nine years old, and the following has happened:

We were at the grocery store, and I said, "This way, Booboo." He stage-whispered with clenched teeth and in the keep-it-on-the-down-low position, "Mo-om, don't call me that in public!"

We were at church and he had a mosquito bite on the webbing between his pinky and his ring finger that was super itchy, painful, and swelling like crazy. It was starting to hurt, and I'm allergic to them too, so I know how it is, so I took him out of sacrament meeting to go into the kitchen to put some ice on it to alleviate some of the pain. I was holding his hand in the hallway because I was being a Mommy and taking care of the boo-boo (not to be confused with the aforementioned Booboo). He saw one of his buddies in the hallway and immediately dropped my hand - like it was on fire or something.

Sad face.

Huey was much more independent than Dewey. He had me rejected in Grade two (age seven). I was hosting his class' Halloween party that year and he told me to not let any of his classmates know that I was his mom for fear I might embarrass him. Dewey has always been more tolerant of my antics and had more self confidence to know that having a weird mom was no reflection on him as a person. I knew this time was coming, the time where he cuts the apron strings and becomes a man, but, ouch! I miss my sugar bear.
Dewey refusing to take a photo with me on his birthday while at the Pizza Pie Cafe

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll

This is the last song in my Halloween music series. I will be posting and excellent Halloween playlist closer to the holiday of holidays. (as it is my favorite)

This song is just so excellent.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Report - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Authour: Johnathan Safran Foer
Length: 326 pages
How long it took me to read: Three Weeks

What it's about: Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

The ending is the most important part: I'm very glad this book ended. I kept reading this book with the hopes that it would get better. It only got a little better in that some loose ends were tied up, but not enough.

Last word: I totally hated this book. It was torture reading it. It jumped around too much, was confusing, and the pictures were weird. I do not recommend this book at all.

Spoilers after the jump

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Thin, White, Duke

The other night as we were sitting around the dinner table (a very rare occurrence), I asked Huey how his crazy hair worked out. It was crazy hair day at the Jr. High, and he had tried sleeping with a hat on to give himself crazy hair, but it didn't work out so well. He was born with perfect hair: parted down the side with lovely waves, and the most gorgeous golden blonde. He rarely has bed head, and when he does, it usually calms down after an hour. I have the same issue. My hair pretty much stays the way I put it too. We can't relate to Harry Potter in this way at all.

The conversation led to DH asking what the next day's theme was, and Huey couldn't remember. We looked it up and it was Music. The kids were supposed to wear a music tshirt. Huey doesn't have any band tshirts, so he had to turn to his parents. DH has a number of Chicago and Steve Martin tshirts, but they would be huge on Huey, not that he would have minded the size, he was just not interested. I mentioned that I have a number of old concert tshirts, maybe one of them would work out?

There was a little discussion about these shirts as far as how did no one know that these existed, and a wager regarding whether or not I could find them. I went straight down to my craft room, moved a couple of boxes, and came upstairs - triumphant. Huey decided to wear my Cult shirt from when I saw them open up for Metallica in 1989.

Two things came out of this:

  1. I got up from the table and said, "I have a ton of old concert shirts downstairs, I'm sure you wouldn't be interested in the Duran Duran ones, but maybe something from INXS, or David Bowie?" Huey said, "Who's David Bowie?" What? How could this happen? How could my child not know who David Bowie is? Where did I go wrong? The Let's Dance album was the first album I ever owned!! I instructed DH to educate him immediately while I ran downstairs to obtain the box of shirts. There were many YouTube videos, I couldn't find my Sound and Vision shirt, and my The Glass Spider Tour was too small, so he went with The Cult.
  2. Huey had one of those moments where he got to get a view of his mother from before she was a mom. I'm pretty open and share lots of stories with my boys, but without evidence, I'm sure they are not very tangible. Plus, now that he's older, he gets it a little more. Watching him look at my shirts in wonder, and seeing his dad's reaction, and observing him soaking everything in was cool. I could see the gears ticking in his head and realizing that I had a life before I was a mom. That I was an actual person, not just someone who made him sandwiches and took every available opportunity to embarrass him. He may have been a little jealous that I had seen so many concerts. I've offered to take him to see concerts, but he's always passed, or his grades have not been up to par.
This reminded me of the time that I realized my mother was cool when she was a teenager. I was in Grade Ten and had just learned the jive in P.E. and was teaching it to my sister in the kitchen. My mum saw us and taught us a couple of moves, and then proceeded to tell us about how she and her brother used to win swing contests all the time when she was a kid. I was in awe, I couldn't believe that she had a life before us! The thing that drove this home for me was when we were at my cousin's wedding and I saw my mum and uncle dancing together like the old days. They were really good. I'd seen my mum dancing before, but never like that.

I just love that I got to blow my kid's mind. He's pretty cocky and thinks he knows everything, so it's very excellent when I show him that I can still show him a thing or two.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lady Gaga - Teeth

In keeping with my Halloween music theme, Lady Gaga is appropriate. The Mother Monster herself.

This song makes me think of Vampires.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm Back, Baby!

I know that I wrote about September sucking, and I really meant it.

I've been doing this thing this year where I've been looking at the number of blog posts last year and trying to beat each month. So far, I've totally done that and I'm so proud. I noticed that my posts were really low last year in Sept and there were none in Oct.

Usually when I go through a period of radio silence it's because I'm going through a blue period and I can't function in public. My mum calls it "going into (my) cave". I'm sure other people who deal with depression do the same thing. I go through these periods where it's really hard to get out of bed and difficult to function and I feel like I just should not be around humans. Nothing sounds good, I'm completely unmotivated, and it's all I can do to get up, go to work, and make sure the boys stay alive by feeding and clothing them. I don't feel like anything; reading, eating, getting dressed, writing, nail polish, etc. Listening to music is painful; nothing sounds good, there are no good songs, and I can't get out of my funk.

So far, the only cure is tie a knot and hold on, and time. Hopefully I will be able to figure out a better resolution, but this is what has worked for me for the last forty years or so.

I'm happy to report that I'm out of that - the evidence is in the library hold list. When I'm blue, I can't read. It's just not interesting, and I find my mind wanders too much and my brain starts to cycle and I can't pay attention any way, so I just give up. Just recently, I got inspired to read again, and I have 5 books on hold at the library, and three on my night stand. The books on hold are ones that are already checked out, so I have to wait my turn, which is fine, I like to use the library hold system as a lottery system; whichever book comes off hold first is the winner and therefore the one I read next. I actually went for several months where I was waiting for nothing on hold. It was a weird experience.

I'm really looking forward to reading some things that I can really love and sink my teeth into. Books that take less than a week to read because I actually have the desire to make the time to read.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Report - It's Kind of a Funny Story

Title: It's Kind of a Funny Story
Authour: Ned Vizzini
Length: 444 pages
How long it took me to read: a week and a half

What it's about: Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy.

The ending is the most important part: The ending was perfect. So hopeful, so joyous. Just lovely and perfect.

Last word: Read this book. Especially if you have or love someone with depression. This book was so excellent. I closed it with a satisfied smile on my face.

Spoilers after the jump

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Mommy Wars - Rantgirl Weighs in‏

I'm mad. I'm mad and I'm sad. I'm Smad. (Bonus points if you get the reference.)

How is it that in 2013, there are still people who ask the question of Stay at Home Moms: "What do you do all day?" Is this a joke? How is this still happening? I can only assume that the people that are asking the questions are not experienced in the realm of motherhood and are therefore completely ignorant and are legitimately seeking the answer to their question. I mean seriously, how is this still a topic? Did they not have mothers?

People are so stupid.

Can't we all just agree that it's ALL work? Working is work, and being home is work and anyone who has spent any time at all around children knows that children are work. Right? So how is this still an issue?

I want to tell the stay at home mommies to shut the heck up sometimes when they cry about not being recognized as "working". Listen, girls, we all know that you work, okay?

I wonder if we have a jealousy thing going on. The ones who stay home are jealous of the ones that get to leave their house and wear pantyhose and talk to other adults, while the ones who work are jealous of the ones who get to stay home and wear yoga pants, don't necessarily have to shower that day and can kiss the smooshy faces of their babies whenever they want.

I know that I'm jealous. When I have those days where getting out of bed is a chore and I'm having a bad hair day and I hate all my clothes, I still have to get up and leave my bed and shower and get dressed in something "professional" because guess what happens if I don't? I don't get paid. If I do it often enough? I get fired and never get paid. And then I can't feed my children. I'm pretty sure that's an important thing in the role of a mother - to feed your children.

You want to talk about jealousy? How about the working mom who works from home, but hires a nanny to come and play with her children so that she can work? Those moms don't get to join in the conversation. I want to punch those moms.

Maybe I have the wrong friends, but I keep seeing these "Heck ya, I work, I stay home" type of posts and it makes me wonder about the working mom. What about her? Where is her voice? Well, for one, she's too busy to pipe up. She goes to work and works all day only to come home and work all night (or vice versa). What about those moms? What about the moms who leave their babies and go to work and hate themselves because all they want to do is stay at home with said babies?

I can't even talk about single moms who have no choice but to work. Single moms have a special place reserved for them in heaven. This one time DH and I took Huey and my two nephews to the beach; they were all around three years old at the time. Oldest nephew lived on an island and was best friends with the ocean, so tore off as far from us as possible and dove head first into the roaring surf. Huey and DH skipped along in the tide pools, wandering along at their own pace, stopping to look at crabs and weird seaweed and anything else that caught their fancy. Youngest nephew lagged far behind because he had tripped in a tide pool, got tangled up in seaweed, and was paralyzed with fear. O.N. was too far away to hear my shrieking pleas for him to return, and Y.N. was freaking out, so knowing that my son was perfectly safe with his father, and fearing for the lives of the sons of my sisters, I ran back, scooped Y.N. into my arms and raced to the surf to haul O.N. out of the ocean and to play within a safe distance. Just as I was walking towards DH and Huey, dripping wet, dragging a soaking O.N. by the hand and carrying a sobbing, drenched Y.N. in my arms, my mother and brother arrived with towels and her famous beach bag. She was laughing at me and said, "Can you imagine? I did this with FOUR of you all by myself! What was I thinking? It's amazing none of you drowned." Like I said, MAJOR props to the single moms.

Back to the working moms; what about them? The ones who get up and get their kids ready for their day while getting ready for their own day, to go to work and do things all day for other people only to come home and make the dinner and do the laundry and clean the dishes and supervise the homework and read the books and put the ones to bed. Forget it if there's a sporting event, musical instrument concert, or scout meeting to attend. What about those amazing jugglers who sometimes don't even manage to get out of their pantyhose until ten o'clock at night? Pantyhose can be itchy, you guys; it's annoying and ugly and expected for you to wear if you want to look like a professional.

When Huey was two I changed jobs and we had no choice but to enroll him in preschool. Every day for a year when I took him into school he cried. His teacher would have to peel him off me every day. Then I would go into my car and cry; every day for a year.

When I went back to work after Dewey was born, he wouldn't take a bottle. He would scream and scream, but he would not take that bottle. One time DH called me at work, I could hear Dewey screaming in the background and my milk let down immediately. "Just come home as soon as you can." He said, and hung up. I hung up, told my boss that I had to go home, she understood what I was going through, and raced home. I could hear Dewey panic-crying from the elevator. I rushed down the hallway, unbuttoning my blouse as I went. After some intense internet research, DH figured out how to get Dewey to take a bottle and things got better, but I can't tell you the guilt I felt for having to leave my baby every day.

I'm only going to mention the humiliation of trying to find a discreet place to pump so that my children wouldn't have to have formula.

We were blessed where DH and I worked opposite shifts for the most part, so I mostly left my baby boys with their daddy. This lessened my guilt a little, but only a little. What kind of a mother leaves her children for hours every day? I wished so much I could just be with them. I wished that I was the one changing their diapers and watching The Bear in the Big Blue House and Blues Clues and Thomas and Bob the Builder. I wanted to be the one to play blocks and trains and cars and make forts and puppet shows. I would get up every morning and look over at my sleeping boys and be so jealous of their father who got to spend all day with them.

DH and I fight constantly because the house is a mess, but I don't have the energy to clean after working all day and then attempting to be there for my boys all night. I admit that my guilt drove my over compensating. I would come home from work and just do whatever the little ones wanted because I felt so guilty for leaving them all day. We would play and read and watch movies. There would be some semblance of dinner, but my little boys were my first priority. Dishes and laundry could wait, but then DH and I would fight about how nothing got done around the house.

You stay at home moms who get the "what did you do all day?" question? You're not alone. I would get it too. DH would go to work at 3pm when I got home. He would come home for dinner at 7:30 and see that the house was still a mess and that there was no dinner yet, and he would ask, "What have you been doing for the last four hours?" The answer is I've been paying attention to my boys to make up for all the time I've missed today! Now that he's home and he sees what my evenings are like, he's backed off a little, but we still fight about this and Huey is thirteen!

Our babies are only babies for so long. The time goes quickly and I feel like I missed out on so much of my babies being babies. Dewey is nine and perfectly capable of taking care of himself. My guilt has lessened somewhat now that they are both in school while I am at work, so I don't miss out on being with them during the day. There are still those times when they're home sick or on school holiday that I can't be with them during the day and I hate it. I still wish I could be a stay at home mom.

Sometimes I feel like our children need us more when they're teens and trying to navigate themselves into adulthood than when they're little.

I've taken vacation time just to stay home and live the life of a stay at home mom. I still can't get everything done. It may just be me, but my vote is that raising children is all encompassing, and it's work.

You guys, being a mother is WORK. We are all mothers. We need to love and support one another in our roles as mothers. I'm not saying that anyone has it any better or worse than anyone else. We all have it hard. I just wanted to give a voice to the moms who have to leave their children every day in order to put food on the table.

I don't want to fight. I'm too tired to fight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lamb - Heaven

This song is so hauntingly lovely. I love the mellow vibe. I just sit an groove when I play this song. Enjoy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Report - Ballet Shoes

Title: Ballet Shoes
Authour: Noel Streatfeild
Length: 233 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 weeks

What it's about: Pauline, Petrova and Posy are orphans determined to help out their new family by joining the Children's Academy of Dancing and Stage Training. But when they vow to make a name for themselves, they have no idea it's going to be such hard work! They launch themselves into the world of show business, complete with working papers, the glare of the spotlight, and practice, practice, practice! Pauline is destined for the movies. Posy is a born dancer. But practical Petrova finds she'd rather pilot a plane than perform a pirouette. Each girl must find the courage to follow her dream.

The ending is the most important part: This book ended with all loose ends tied up.

Last word: I'm indifferent to this book. There were some lovely parts, and it's well written, and I recommend this to every little girl in the world. I just wish I'd read it when I was younger.

Spoilers after the jump:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So. September Sucked.‏

I have decided that I hate September and I'm really mad about it.

Like, I can't believe it's already October 10. Wasn't it summer like two minutes ago?

Just when I made up with Snow, and Summer, now I have to break up with September. What's the deal? September used to be that month where you were all done with summer and ready for the new school year. Even after I was all done with school, I still used September as a renewal month to set new goals and look forward to a new year.

Now September is still hot and I'm not ready to let go of summer, but there's school and homework and routine and I'm not ready yet! How did September sneak up on me so fast? This summer went by too fast and it felt like we didn't do anything awesome. I wasn't ready for summer to leave this year and September was so weird. Hot one day, snowing the next. September, you were one moody beeotch this year. I guess I just got caught off guard this year, but it's been happening the last couple of years and it needs to stop.

I have found that February, April and September are the worst months for me. This has been bothering me for awhile, so of course I've been thinking and thinking and tossing it around in my brain for some time. I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons that these months affect me so much is that they are so wonderful in BC and so not like that here in Utah. I'm trying so hard to bloom where I'm planted, but it's hard sometimes.

Since I'm whining about September, I'll talk about September and leave the other months for some other time. September in Vancouver is sunny, crisp, fall colours, and rain. You are instantly inspired to snuggle up in your tights and boots and sweaters. It is so beautiful. The weather changes, and it stays that way. There is none of this yo-yo scalding shorts and flip flops one day, snowing the next. There's too much whiplash weather here in the in-between seasons. In Vancouver you are eased into to the miserable weather and it rains a lot more. Here, it's summer one day, and winter the next. I hate it.

Did I mention I hate it? I had such a hard time this year. Getting into the routine of school and homework was like a slap in the face this year. Huey is doing a little better this year, but it's still a struggle. If I only had him to focus on, it would be okay, but Dewey is still at the point where I have to sit with him and listen to him read and help with math and by the time I'm done with all that, I'm too tired to fight with Huey.

I also struggled with finding time to do anything that gave me joy. I couldn't get myself inspired to blog, so I didn't make the time to write, and that was a bad idea. I've been composing this post in my head for three weeks, but just could never take the time to sit down and get it out of my brain. Reading seemed like such a drag too. I dunno if it was the book I was reading, or just the time of year, but the book was nice enough, I just couldn't get motivated to take the time to read when there were so many other things to do. Forget about sewing or doing anything else creative. My craft room looks like a bomb hit it and I just want to cry every time I think about it.

I just feel like time is racing away from me right now. Soon enough it will be Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It feels like time is going faster and faster and I have no way of catching up. I need to take a break and regroup, but I'm so worried that if I even take the time to breathe, that so much time will have passed that I'll be even further behind!

I don't feel organized and on top of things. I can't stop to rest until my chores are done and I just can't get caught up. I need some peace and quiet so that I can get myself back in order, but time is racing by so quickly that I just don't have the time to get in order. I need to make the time, but I just can't figure out when!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

I decided to use Halloween-y type music for the month of October.

Crazy Train pretty much explains my life. I love to play this really loud in the morning to get myself going.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: A little head-achy and allergy, no gym.

Emotionally: Relieved last week was over.

Spiritually: Need to read my scriptures more often, but still good.

Goal: I don't have a goal. Life is too stressful to add one more 'to-do' like a goal. I'm trying to re-think this whole weekly check-in thing. I like the idea of a weekly check-in, but I want to change the format.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Book Report - Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Title: Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie
Authour: Jordan Sonnenblick
Length: 273 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about:
Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece. Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis.

The ending is the most important part: Everything is wrapped up very neatly. I ended this book with a smile

Last word: I'm really glad that I read this after Dewey got the "all clear" at his five year cancer treatment check-up, otherwise this book would have upset me. It was funny, and sweet, and true. I really enjoyed it.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Most likely to set the world's next fashion trend

You know that thing in high school where everyone is voted Most Likely to Fill-in the Blank? I was voted Most Likely to Set the World's Next Fashion Trend.

Haven't heard of me? That's because I have yet to accomplish this feat, however, I'm still working on it - I'm not dead yet!!

I can't tell you how honoured and awesome I felt when this happened to me. To be the most fashionable person in my high school. My high school with a graduating class of 160. My high school in a town called Cloverdale. Yep, was hard work competing with all those turkey farmers for "most fashionable".

Sarcasm aside, I was still really pleased with the results of how others perceived me.

I gotta tell you the story behind the reason that I was voted to set the World's next fashion trend.

Some background:

  • I learned how to sew when I was six and my mum taught me some basic pattern skills so that I could make clothes for my Barbies, but she refused to teach me how to use a sewing machine because she wanted me to wait until I got to high school so I could be taught "the right way". 
  • Things changed somewhat between the sixties and the eighties (imagine that?). By the time I got to Home-Ec, things had changed so much so that my teacher was one of the English teachers who just happened to know how to sew. There was no 'real' sewing teacher. She basically had us go buy basic patterns and follow the instructions in the pattern and she was there to answer questions. When my mother heard that, she said, "Well, I could have taught you that!"
  • When I took sewing in grade nine, we had to make a shirt because we had to learn how to do button-holes, and we had to make a skirt or pants because we had to learn how to sew in a zipper. This was 1986 and big, oversized, floral shirts were in style. I really wanted to make a big shirt, but didn't have a lot of money for fabric. My mum helped me by searching through her "stash". (Every woman who sews knows what I'm talking about - it's like the fabric multiplies on its own!) I found this fabric with big yellow, pink and turquoise roses on it that I thought was perfect. When I pulled it out, my mum informed me that was not fabric, but a sheet set. I didn't care, I loved the fabric. When my teacher found out that I was using vintage sheets for my fabric, she flipped out that I was so creative and inventive to use sheets. I made a shirt, skirt, and shorts out of the sheets. They were so fabulous I wore them all the time. I would wear the skirt and shirt together with either a pink or turquoise tank top underneath with the shirt belted at the waist, but I never wore the shirt and the shorts together, that would clash. I wish I had a photo to share with you...
  • I also had taken a basic shirt pattern that my mum had from the seventies and manipulated it so that it would be oversized. I figured all of this out on my own. If I didn't like the style of the pattern, I would change it to fit my needs.
  • Anyway, from that moment on my teacher thought I was a genius, and would come to me for suggestions and tips instead of the other way around. She would not shut up about how amazed she was that I thought to use a sheet for fabric. (a vintage sheet - but the term vintage had not been coined yet)
  • Did I mention that my sewing teacher wore fabulous clothes and I was totally intimidated by her at first because her style was so impeccable? I was so honoured to be her pet student.
So cut to grade Eleven. I had seen my friend Kate's older and very stylish sister wearing these East Indian inspired pants with a high waistband, many pleats, and a drop crotch. I thought the were so cool. I waited awhile to try to copy them because they were not something that I thought I was confident enough to wear. I figured out a pattern, and made a pair of navy blue ones, and a pair of bright green ones. The navy ones had a wide navy and white striped waistband. I sucked up my courage and wore them to school on the first day of grade Eleven. O. My. Gosh! The mocking. The stares. The jokes about how I pooped my pants. It went on and on, but by then I had the confidence to know that those stupid kids had no clue about fashion, they were from Cloverdale for crying out loud, so I ignored them. (again, I wish I had pictures...) 

It was really hard to walk up steep steps with my crotch at my knees, but, you know, no pain is too great for the sake of fashion...

A year later, a rapper called MC Hammer wore the EXACT same pants, but in gold. People would come up to me and tell me about that and about how I wore it first. "Remember last year how we used to make fun of you for those poopy pants? Well now that rapper MC Hammer is wearing them! You're so cool to be ahead of the style!"

THAT, my friends, is validation.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Report - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authour: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Length: 274 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about:
“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

The ending is the most important part: Very satisfying. Definitely a happy ever after.

Last word: Now I want to go to Guernsey!

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never forget

Twelve years ago DH, Huey and I went on a family vacation and met with DH's parents, sister, her husband, and their daughter who is nine months older than Huey to Bend, OR. The weather was beautiful, the children were adorable, and we had a lovely time.

One night after Huey was nursed and put to bed, DH and I took the opportunity to go out and have a date. Huey was only 13 Months old at the time, and since we don't have any family in Salt Lake, we rarely left Huey with a sitter. We drove around Bend aimlessly for a time when we found a movie theatre and decided that was what we would do. We ended up seeing The Princess Diaries because that was what was playing next and I had wanted to see it and DH has a mild crush on Anne Hathaway.

I loved the movie, but what added to the experience was that when we returned to the condo, Huey was sound asleep, safe and sound. I had been stressing so much that he would wake and freak out when we weren't there. This was the first time we had left with someone else to watch him. I was elated to come home and find him totally fine.

We returned home on Monday. The following Tuesday morning I was watching the news and nursing Huey when Ron Bird of channel two news reported that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Just this summer, I read The Princess Diaries, loved it, and was cruising Meg Cabot's website when she related her September 11th story. In remembrance of this day of infamy, I suggest you follow the link, but be prepared to cry. She was living in New York and watched the whole thing. It is a very well written moving take.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Charlie Sexton

O. My. GOSH, you guys. You have my sister Mrs. Bowie to thank for this. Welcome to 1986!

My sister posted on my wall in Facebook asking:

Who was that awesome British musician Charlie Sexton?
I sent her several links, including the one above, freaked out for a little bit at the wonderful memory, corrected Mrs. Bowie by informing her that he is a Texan, and not British, spent half an hour on YouTube watching videos, posted a Song of the Day on Facebook, spent twenty bucks on iTunes buying music, including the Pictures for Pleasure album, spent even MORE time on Wikipedia and IMDB, and dug this out:

You guys, I was so obsessed with Charlie Sexton! I had the 45" of this song and I played it over and over and OVER and over. I swear I was the only person in the world who knew who he was. I just loved him. I thought he was so perfectly handsome and gorgeous and everything. Like a combination of David Bowie, John Taylor, Robert Smith, and Matt Dillon. I didn't know he was only sixteen when he produced Pictures for Pleasure!! Had I known, I would have been even more obsessed because he was only two years older than I. We could have totally gotten married!

He's still producing music and still awesome. He's aged wonderfully away from the spotlight.

I have been listening to the album non-stop since last Monday.

Here he is in Thelma and Louise. I think I'm going to have to watch this over and over again. Sorry it's in Spanish.

Sigh, turns out I still love him.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: Normal. No pain, no headaches, but no gym. Same as last week.

Emotionally: Still stressed and worried, but working on it.

Spiritually: Better this week, but still could be better.

Goal: Last week's goal was to complete a project. It took me all week to do it, but I got the pantry cleaned out and re-organized.

My goal this week is to complete another project.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Report - Rapunzel Untangled

Title: Rapunzel Untangled
Authour: Cindy C. Bennett
Length: 293 pages
How long it took me to read: 3 days

What it's about:
Rapunzel is not your average teenager.

For one thing, she has a serious illness that keeps her inside the mysterious Gothel Mansion. And for another, her hair is 15 feet long. Not to mention that she’s also the key to ultimately saving the world from certain destruction. But then she meets a boy named Fane, who changes all she has ever known, and she decides to risk everything familiar to find out who she really is.

Filled with romance, adventure, and mystery, Rapunzel Untangled is one story you won’t want to put down. Discover the true meaning of love and friendship in this modern twist to the classic fairytale.

The ending is the most important part: Definitely a happy ever after.

Last word: This was an easy, cute, fun read. Fane was adorable.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What do you want on your tombstone?

When I was in grade Twelve, I took English Literature. It was rumoured to be a really hard class, and the teacher, Mr. Kelly, had a reputation of being a really difficult teacher. We didn't have AP classes in my high school, but this was the closest thing to AP English. There were only twelve kids in the class and we were all girls; we were also some of the most brilliant in our class. It was an honour to be able to take the class.

Turned out that Mr. Kelly was excellent and had a really low tolerance for teenage B.S., which is why students thought he was so tough. I loved Mr. Kelly. He was one of my all time favourite teachers ever.

There was this one assignment that I just couldn't wrap my head around; we had to write our own eulogy.

I have this thing about death. It terrifies me. It's the worst thing that could happen. I hate it when people die. It's so permanent. It's so unknown. It's so inevidable. I hate death and I totally don't ever want to die, so thinking of what I want to have said at my funeral was something that I one hundred percent did not want to ever never want to ponder, let alone write a paper for.

So I didn't do the assignment. I never turned it in. I couldn't do it. This failure has plagued me for twenty-five years. I have thought about it many, many times over the years. I am so disappointed that I couldn't complete the assignment.

I still can't even think of my eulogy other than I want that poem that Matthew read at Gareth's funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral: W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues. I demand for there to not be a dry eye in the place for my death will be a tragedy and the world will be a worse place when I am not here to grace the face of it. (mostly kidding)

Anyway, other than the Auden poem, and the fact that I want to be chopped up and fed to the sharks so that I can be in the ocean forever, and I want a bench with a plaque on it underneath a cherry tree, I still can't think of the words that I want. I can't write the words.

I have narrowed it down to two:

Here lies Rantgirl 12-8-1971 Death Date
Mother Sister Daughter Wife
That girl had integrity


Here lies Rantgirl 12-8-1971 Death Date
Mother Sister Daughter Wife
She had a way with words.
I wish I could figure out how to combine "That girl had integrity" with "She had a way with words", but inspiration has yet to strike. Considering I have mastered neither - integrity nor words, I suppose there's no rush.