30 January 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

Beth took this picture and I stole it to post here ... looks a lot different from when we were swimming there over Labor Day!

The electricity is out in Indiahoma, but luckily Beth has power (and two days off school so far) so she was able to upload photos for my enjoyment! It's bitterly cold here, but no precipitation to speak of. We had beautiful snowfall on Thursday (?), and now just cold cold temperatures.

There's more basketball on TV than I can watch, but I'm enjoying what I can. We're also big NYU women's basketball fans (it's almost ridiculous how much I love that team), so it was great to watch them win last night.

However, it was "Tear it Up" night, which is when the university gives the students free food and T-shirts to lure them to an athletic event. It's kind of humiliating that it's the only reason the kids show up.

Even worse -- about 4 minutes left in the game and the entire student body stands up to line up for the free food. They had to stop the game because the students spilled onto the floor. I confess that I actually like it BETTER when there are fewer people in the stands -- easier to stretch out/be comfortable AND there aren't any entitled little butt wipes sitting behind us making snide comments about the irony that they, hipster doofus kings, are at a sporting event. Oh brother.

There's a game tomorrow that should be less crowded, and hopefully we can see the team earn another W. In the meantime I'm going to try to make progress on my crochet projects. Can't wait to share the finished products here!

27 January 2010

View From My Computer



It's not an iPad, but it's certainly got the best view on either side of the Mississippi.

Reviews: On Writing and Mighty Queens

On Writing On Writing by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Re-read this book after reading a couple King books on vacation in December. Inspired to apply his writing advice. I think my problem is idea generation, so maybe I'm not really a writer? Continuing to ponder, and keeping this book on my shelf for reference (has a great reading list in the back).


The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the People Who Raised Them The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the People Who Raised Them by Amy Dickinson


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received this as a gift from my MIL. Love, love, loved it. A memoir in the form of essays. The author, who's "Ask Amy" of newspaper fame, grew up in a town just as tiny as Indiahoma and went on to live around the world and international fame. My favorite chapter was about her experiences with the Freeville United Methodist Church, an essay that I first read in a magazine last year (or the year before?) that led me to put the book on my Amazon wish list in the first place! Going to loan my copy to my Gran, because it's a book I think she'll enjoy too.

View all my reviews

26 January 2010

Take It Easy

-- I said to the guy I rode the elevator up with. What a D-Word thing to say, right? He didn't respond, but that's mostly because of my croaky throat.

Beth was right that I should expect relapses. This cold/whatever has come back, although certainly not as fierce as it was the first time around.

Related: after church, the lady sitting in front of us told me she liked my singing voice and enjoyed listening to me. (The songs we sang were familiar, so I was really getting into it.) Part of that was the deepening of my voice due to phlegm, but I'll take what I can get!

Last night we went to dinner with the church young adult group to all-you-can-eat BBQ. It was really tasty food, and the company was good overall. A few glitches in the conversation, especially when talking about the lettuce incident, the only other interaction I've had with anyone in the group. Apparently many of the people who go to the free lunch program aren't homeless, so they would have a fridge to keep the lettuce viable and/or a kitchen to prepare it as a salad or otherwise. We were invited to come back and volunteer again, but we'll see.

Coughing spell hitting me hard, so signing off for now. After dinner, maybe some tea and early to bed. But we'll see how that plan works out!

25 January 2010

Say Anything



Also: "She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen."

A while back this movie was everywhere because of the 20th anniversary release on DVD -- Saturday Night Live even did a sketch about it, which was random.

I was 8 or 9 when the movie was first released, so not the target audience, although I did discover and fall in love with it in college/continuing through grad school. I think my fondness for the movie is mainly the dorkitude of both main characters and the sweet love story. And it didn't hurt that John Cusack was the lead actor!

21 January 2010

Time Travel, Train Style

9:04 a.m. -– writing this well before I’ll have internet access to post. It is unbearably hot on this train. A far cry from a trip almost a year ago when the car wasn’t heated at all during an early March snow storm.

I would be freshly awake if I were at home, but today I’ve already been awake for more than four hours. It is ridiculous and tonight I’ll be crashing early, at least that’s the plan..

I read the New York Times, including an article about bird houses that I intend to clip for Aunt Lee Ann, assuming I don’t forget and toss/recycle the entire paper at Union Station. I wonder if she’s burned out on bird houses yet. She got a lot of them for Christmas!

2:15 p.m. –- delayed return train makes it a bit of a drag. I have crochet and a downloaded iTunes movie.

6:41 p.m. -- made it home and exhausted. going to sleep early tonight. going to post this just for the fun of it.

19 January 2010

A Love Song

Today was the day where it never ended. I had to call it quits a little after six because my propensity for errors was catching up with me, and I needed some exercise and time out of the apartment.

After juggling what seemed like a million different things and projects both long term and immediate, my mistake filled day was capped when I misspelled a guy's name. Luckily not to his face and before the thing went out, but still. Credibility and attention to details. Pshaw. Work overall left a bad taste in my mouth, and I felt yech on leaving for the gym.

My hair is "growing" on me, although my hair would look OK as long as it's flattened no matter what the cut. It's still a bad haircut and a triangular shape that's not so good for my round Moon Pie face.

The laundry is piled up ... I think I'm out of socks for tomorrow.

I let myself get so hungry that the idea of making dinner is feeling daunting.

But on the walk back from the gym, I realized this: any day that I get to have the one I love the most love me back is a pretty good day.

Statistically Speaking

Ten years ago I was taking statistics. I killed that class.

Last week I signed up for a Feedburner e-mail feed as part of a contest, and it said "welcome back" and "check your feeds," so I did. I realized my blog has quite a few subscribers. However, when I checked I realized most of those are from FriendFeed, so I went there and pretty sure the people following me don't actually read ... it's just noise/a way that FF is boosting subscriber count for its users. So that doesn't seem to be any big deal, but still weird. Especially because I don't actually follow anyone on FF. I just shoot out all my stuff there. It would be a stalker's delight, with almost all my online activity in one handy feed. Maybe I should rethink that ...

A few weeks ago I looked at my Google Analytics, and my Anastasia afghan post with pictures was a huge draw on a specific day in November -- more than 200 hits. But the referring information didn't give many clues as to why the traffic spike ... I have a feeling it may have been included in an email, because a lot of the referring information seemed to be related to email servers. Odd!

Started this post on 1/14, but publishing after work on 1/19. Such is life.

15 January 2010

Upgrade You

I got a new phone, how about that? And how cool are the purple keys (it's a light thing)? In the process I downgraded our monthly minutes (saving some cash), because now that I have a work phone I don't have to spend personal cell minutes on work related calls!

The phone has GPS, PTT and internet, and the buttons for those are all right near keys I would need to use regularly (i.e. a good chance I'll make mistakes and get charged for services I don't want). But one e-mail to AT&T customer service and got those services turned off. The only downside is I can't receive picture messages, but I never received any of those anyway. I still have a lot to learn about the phone though. Switched from LG to Nokia, and it's a totally different OS. Eh.

After about 2 hours of work/setting up I did finally figure out how to get the photos from my old phone to my computer. It should be a similar Bluetooth set up to move some Owen pics over to this new phone. It will have to tide me over until the phone and Owen are in the same place so I can get a fresh batch of Owen shots!

12 January 2010

Resolving Sentimentality

Although we're almost half-way through January, I've started thinking about resolutions. I've got them into categories, and most I started before 2009 ended but never really codified them. I won't detail them here, but the general categories are Fitness (i.e. gym going and healthier eating), Savings ($$$), Giving (also $$$), Crochet (baby boom underway for people in all parts of my life!) and the ever-present struggle Organization (both workwise and personally).

This was in my Upper Room email this week, and I liked it, want to save it here because it goes with my fitness resolution and how that is really the impetus for a more-than-a-resolution focus on my faith: "Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future."-1 Timothy 4:8 (TEV)

As I was putting away Christmas stuff I found myself losing some sentimentality. This year I tossed almost all of our received cards. Then I found that last year I had saved every single one, but the chain was broken and I had to throw these out too. The pack rat in me says "I would love to look at these from year to year, you've thrown out something priceless" and the clutter-busting girl in me says "Good job." (That's also what Shawn said when I told him.) I saved the picture cards -- with babies and such. My mom had a Christmas book (probably still does) with picture cards she had received that we always liked to look through each year, even if we didn't know the people/they were friends from her pre-Oklahoma days. So I guess I can still do that. Or am I just a grinch and should have saved everything?! Too late now.

Aunt Lee Ann gave Shawn this Mensa puzzle-a-day calendar that we have been LOVING. I am good at the word puzzles and Shawn, of course, kills the number/math ones. Together we're a pretty good team (and not just at Mensa puzzles, mind you).

This is my seven hundredth post, since that first one in Boston from the 2005 WAM conference I went to with Katrina, then grad school friend, now Facebook friend.

11 January 2010

Spaz-tastic

Still battling a bit of a cough but feeling much better. I'm still a mess though. I coughed coffee (say that three times fast) and it spewed in my hands, on my lap, on my desk and splashed onto the computer screen. Geek-a-licious, I know. And in addition to the spattered screen I've also got a wet lap. But I JUST did laundry and want to limit my dirty clothes, so just waiting for these jeans to dry. It's not like anyone sees me -- gym people don't care what I wear and poor Shawn is just happy when I get dressed!

So this is just a sad little update for you. Overall everything is OK though.

10 January 2010

Officially Scattered

Today I officially joined the church I've been attending for two years. Seems more administrative than anything, but I know it has to be more than that/I need to become more involved and deliberate about my faith journey. Becoming part of a community is ... difficult for me, given my temperament, personality and feeling of impermanence.

The pastor who is my age is great, and everything else is the same as it was before the official "new member Sunday" took place. (I find it odd that you can't become a member whenever you want but have to wait for specific Sundays ... that's not the case in pretty much every other church I've attended, although this is the first one I've transferred to since Stillwater.)

I stood in line for coffee hour after church, and it was just weird. Some people my age said hello to me (and congratulations ... isn't "congratulations" a weird thing to say? I'd have expected "welcome" instead), but then they turned around and had a bland conversation without including me. Shawn said it's just New York for you, and whatever it was it didn't hurt my feelings. (Just like it hasn't hurt my feelings that I've been attending for two years and no one really knows me ... but also that's on me for not seeking out conversations and getting to know anyone else ... two-way street and all that.)

I didn't stay long, although I do intend to join the Young Adult group, and Shawn and I can do some of their activities together (an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner sounds up our alley!), and I'd like to make the conscious decision to participate in a regular Bible study. I am doing some of that on my own (reading through the one year Bible and an Upper Room reflection calendar), but I've already got questions and had WTF? moments re-reading Abraham's story.

A super moment during the sermon/service was the line "God loves you, and there's nothing you can do about it." And then we each turned to the people around us and said that to each other. Isn't that the greatest thing? And you, reading, anonymous or family or whoever: God loves YOU and there's nothing you can do about it!

08 January 2010

Reviews: Forever, Erma and Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Forever, Erma: Best-Loved Writing from America's Favorite Humorist Forever, Erma: Best-Loved Writing from America's Favorite Humorist by Erma Bombeck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finished this book en route to Wichita Falls, TX, Target on New Year's Eve with my mom and sister. The end section with tributes to Erma was touching. I think all bloggers should read Erma, because she was doing it right before the format was even invented!



Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1) Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Big print and small pages made this a super fast read. Although the book sets up the characters differently than the TV show (which I've watched obsessively in the last year or so), I was able to enjoy the story and writing without needing to cling too much to the TV-created personas. However, no one but MCH could play Dexter in my mind! I also was surprised that Deborah wasn't spelled Debra. Wonder why I thought about her name spelling at all. Like my mom says, these books contain a bit of gore, and some bad language, so not for everyone. But DEFINITELY for me!

View all my reviews

06 January 2010

Effectively Silenced

What was going around when I was in Oklahoma has landed on me. I don't have the cough as much as my mom, sister, Dad and Owen did, but that may come. I've got a REALLY sore throat, which makes me sound like a frog if I try to talk. (I'm sure Shawn's loving the quiet!) And I'm tired and have a general sense of malaise (how much of that is due to being sick is hard to say).

My mom/Beth sent me my phone charger in a special rush package. It's the wrong charger/not the one for my phone, so I'm still without cell. Not a big deal, as no one really calls me on it and if I need to make calls I have a "land" line. Just another way that fits into the "effectively silenced" theme along with my sore throat/missing voice. But I do wonder where my phone charger is ...

Happy Epiphany!

05 January 2010

Abby's Scarf

I got confirmation that Abby opened her Christmas gift (the snow kept our full family present opening from happening at Gran's). So I can post the photo here, although I'm also 100% sure that Abby doesn't read this blog, but I'm cautious like that I guess.

Anyway, this worked up so beautifully, using two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun, and made a really cool ruffle. I added a fifth row of DC ruffle to the free LB pattern: North Pole Ruffle. I was able to create this in an afternoon, the particularly snowy Saturday before Christmas break. I still wish I'd been able to find the sparkly holiday yarn, but this "Hepplewhite" yarn looked really nice too.

I used the top/front of a Christmas card with a safety pin to include the name of the pattern, the care instructions from the yarn sleeve and the type/color name of yarn used. The leftover yarn made a nice pom pom to add to the box as wrapping garnish!


Abby Scarf
Originally uploaded by silvermari

04 January 2010

Snow Baby


Owen's snow angel, love the little butt print!


A funny blue tongue ... CANDY!


New Year's Eve!


I couldn't pick which I liked best!


On Christmas, we were unprepared for the snow, so we improvised snow boots with Wal-Mart bags. Smart! We didn't last long because Owen didn't have gloves though.
More photos being added and processed in the Christmas 2009 Flickr set. We may need to be connected on that site for you to see the images, but let me know if we're not and you'd like to see them. We can either connect or I can make some of the images public.

FWD: HANDBOOK for 2010

This was forwarded by Fern, my great aunt in Kansas. Instead of e-mailing it to people, I'm putting it here, AND it gets me a post closer to my 2010 goal of 300. (Not cheating, since I make the rules!)

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for at least 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes to walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32. Do the right thing! Trust God for everything.
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything. In HIS own time.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come. Wait and See.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it. You have work to do.
39. Your Inner most is always happy... so, be happy!

Last but not the least:
40. Send this to those you care about.....we just did!

03 January 2010

Home Again

I've written this post, or variations on it, as many times as I've come home from Oklahoma, although most times it would be written in my hard-copy journal. Things seem a mess here. My arms feel empty and I keep finding things to tell Beth and Mama. I know time will heal this ache, but I ALSO know that tomorrow, when I'm home working alone, it will be the worst. Today has been busy and Shawn is around, so I'm buffered a bit. Maybe it won't be as bad as I think.

Travel back was relatively easy. I expected to be much more delayed than we were -- thinking that the flight from O'Hare to New York would be ridonkulous, but it was not. We almost missed the connection: once we landed from OKC (early), we had to wait until our gate was cleared, then another plane was broken down in our path. Finally on the NYC-bound flight, I thonk our seat mate on the head with my coat in my haste to put up my suitcase (she was very nice about it, but I spent the whole time fretting), and of course we sit at the gate and then on the runway for a long time. (Fueling, then needing the number of suitcases to prepare the flight path!) Finally landed and got a quick taxi home (surly driver, but who wouldn't be at 12:30 am on a freezing cold January night?).

Our mailbox was empty, so we spent the night thinking we didn't get ANY more Christmas cards. Luckily the doormen had held our mail, but the doorman on night duty (who made me cry the first time I met him) couldn't be bothered. So all is well with the mail, but blimey.

In the stupidest-thing-I've-done-so-far-in-2010 category, I left my dadgum cell phone charger in OK, so I have a dead cell. We have the land line and I have a work number now so probably not a problem for work, but still. Beth is sending it to me tomorrow, so I should have it by the end of the week.

Today was a good church service and basketball game, and we came home to make cauliflower-hamburger soup. Pretty good, but of course I burn my tongue. THEN I try to order FreshDirect and all the slots for tomorrow are taken. There are instructions to call (I pay for an unlimited delivery pass, and one of the benefits is always being able to get a slot), and so now I'm waiting for a call back, hoping I can get my order delivered tomorrow. Otherwise, it'll be a Tuesday delivery for our groceries. Gretch!

Read a couple more books on the plane that I will add to Good Reads and here. Otherwise, it will be a work week getting everything back in order. We'll see how that goes!

FWD: 1909

Like all forwards, I never know what's true BUT it all makes sense to me. Sorry to my mom/main reader, since she's the one who forwarded this to me in the first place! (All comments are from the original forward)

THE YEAR 1909

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1909.
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1909:

The average life expectancy was 47 years.
Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!

Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from

Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea Hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school..

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'

( Shocking? DUH! )

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A.!

Plus one more sad thought; 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist in 1909

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD - all in a matter of seconds!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

IT STAGGERS THE MIND

02 January 2010

Dateline OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY--At the airport today, screening took mere minutes, as there was no line and the security personnel were on top of things. So here I sit, enjoying free Google WiFi, with almost an hour to kill before boarding. Shawn went to get some food (an in-airport Sonic!) and my laptop is on mostly because I need to charge my iPod (how dumb that they don't come with wall chargers? but even dumber, if they had I would have left it on American Airlines flight from Miami last month).

Vacation at home was fun times. Owen is a card and always keeps things funny. Today was lunch at MeMe's. It was so bright and pretty cold, but the snow is melting finally. Not sure if they'll see any more in the season. It's snowing in NYC now, which worries me about getting home. I'm always a stressed traveller, even though we have a built-in buffer day should anything go wrong. I certainly hope we arrive home tonight, so tomorrow can be resting and NYU women's basketball. Go Violets!

Owen and I made a little video today at the airport, and I have other photos and things to put together on Flickr.

There's a crazy woman talking quite loudly on her phone here -- I'm hearing all about her car accident, medical maladies, etc. etc. It's wearing me out.

Good news: I did not get sick while we were home. However, it's quite possible that I'm contracting the *whatever-it-is* en route home. No real symptoms (my mom, Beth and Owen were all coughing the entire time we were home plus sneezing, sore throat, etc.), but there's just something about my head that feels "off." I took vitamin C, echinacea and my multivitamin. I should have been drinking more water (Sonic drinks overtake me!) ... when I wasn't working I got plenty of rest by sleeping in. Maybe it's just the exhaustion of travel and all that jazz.