Monthly Archives: February 2009

Today’s fun Google search (or why I love writing YA)

Here’s today’s search:

retro homecoming dresses

You didn’t really think I’d leave Camy in that hoop skirt, did you?


Filed under Misc, Writing

Outlook: sunny with a chance

Recovery mode: on!
Snark mode: off (mostly)
Health: improving
Word count: better, if only by 600 words
Goal: 500 words/day or 2,500/week

The above is my post for JaNo this month. My only post for JaNo this month. I am beyond the  prodigal daughter at this point as far as that’s concerned. But! No one’s cut off my access, so I decided to post over there as well.

This post also marks my 300th post on WordPress. Ah, WordPress, how I love you. You’re a blogging platform! You’re a website! You’re lunch!

And we (as in Darcy and I) hope that very soon, we’ll be giving you more WordPress goodness–but it’s all super secret double probation at this point. But stay tuned …

Now that everyone here can go to school/work, pay attention to/be aware of their surroundings, we’ll be in catch-up mode too. I even went to the grocery story yesterday. I walked around kind of dazed, sort of like I was a Muscovite GUM shopper circa 1984 who was suddenly transported to the glories of the decadent west.

It was great.

Now, off to visit my heroine where I left her, which was in a very large hoop skirt with lots of ruffles.


Filed under Misc, Writing

That BBC book list

I searched around to see if I could find the source of this BBC list. Its origins, like much on the Internet, are murky and mysterious. I found a list that was almost, but not quite, the same. Anyway, apparently the BBC assumes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books on the list. This seems odd to me. “Most people” as in “most people who don’t read?” “Most people who live under a rock?”

Clarity, BBC. Clarity.


1) Bold those you have read.
2) Star the ones you loved.*
3) Italicize those you plan on reading.
4) (my addition) Underline those you have partially read (series) or gave the OCT (Old College Try)

001 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen*

002 The Lord of the Rings– JRR Tolkien

003 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte*

004 Harry Potter series– JK Rowling

005 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee*

006 The Bible

007 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

008 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell*

009 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

010 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

011 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott*

012 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

013 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

014 Complete Works of Shakespeare (How about the incomplete works of Shakespeare?)

015 Rebecca– Daphne Du Maurier*

016 The Hobbit– JRR Tolkien

017 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

018 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

019 The Time Traveller’s Wife– Audrey Niffenegger*

020 Middlemarch – George Eliot

021 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

022 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald*

023 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

024 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

025 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams*

026 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

027 Crime and Punishment– Fyodor Dostoyevsky OTC-I tried, and tried to read this

028 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

029 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll*

030 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

031 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

032 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

033 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis*

034 Emma – Jane Austen

035 Persuasion – Jane Austen

036 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis* (Didn’t we cover Narnia? Never mind.)

037 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

038 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

039 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

040 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

041 Animal Farm – George Orwell

042 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown up to page 79, then I stopped.

043 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

044 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

045 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

046 Anne of Green Gables– LM Montgomery*

047 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

048 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

049 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

050 Atonement – Ian McEwan

051 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

052 Dune – Frank Herbert

053 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons I made it halfway through.

054 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

055 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

056 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

057 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

058 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

059 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

060 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

061 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

062 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

063 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

064 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

065 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

066 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

067 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

068 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

069 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

070 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

071 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

072 Dracula – Bram Stoker

073 The Secret Garden– Frances Hodgson Burnett*

074 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

075 Ulysses – James Joyce

076 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

077 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

078 Germinal – Emile Zola

079 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

080 Possession– AS Byatt I have this book, somewhere.

081 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

082 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

083 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

084 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

085 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

086 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

087 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

088 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

089 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

090 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

091 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

092 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

093 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

094 Watership Down – Richard Adams

095 A Confederacy of Dunces– John Kennedy Toole

096 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

097 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

098 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

099 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


Filed under Books

Recovery train: not at the station

Well, I thought yesterday evening the recovery train had pulled all the way into the station. Bob made crock pot rouladen. It was really good. And I was really hungry. At last.

Then, my fever returned last night. Not bad, but I’m officially sick of drinking Gatorade and tea, and I’m officially sick of being sick. While I did read most of the weekend (man, I haven’t done that forever), I’d like to do something else now. So, white blood cells: get back to work.

And memo to the coworker who took the entire box of tissues from the women’s restroom: Dude. Couldn’t you haven’t taken a few back to your desk like the rest of us were doing? And speaking of the rest of us. We’re forming a posse. If we find you and the hoarded tissue box, you’re in trouble.

Just sayin’.


Filed under Misc

The tale of the three faux fur blankets

Since they’ve been putting in yeoman’s work lately (well, inasmuch as blankets actually perform labor), I thought I’d highlight the unsung heroes of our house: the three faux fur blankets.


This was the first faux fur blanket we bought. Actually, Bob bought it a few years back at a Target after-Christmas sale, when they were trying to dump all the winter stuff. It’s faux fur on one side and faux suede on the other and it’s nothing but fauxy goodness.  The only downside is it’s more of a throw than a full blanket. It currently resides on Andrew’s bed.

Bob searched all over for another blanket like this one (and he often mentions how he wishes he’d bought all the ones on clearance). We thought: wouldn’t it be great to get a faux fur blanket, only in bedspread size for the winter. We tried and ended up with our second faux fur blanket:


In theory, good. However, the great synthetic beast from which this fur came obviously saw her stylist one too many times. She’s a tad over-processed with far too many highlights. The underside wasn’t so much faux suede as generic material. And on the bed? Well, let’s just say this blanket now resides in Kyra’s room.

However, as you can see, it is cat-approved.

About two years ago, I bought this blanket as a Christmas gift:


This is the diva star of our faux fur blankets (and she knows it). One side is that really soft almost-feels-real faux fur and the other side is … down. Is it warm? It. Is. Warm. It currently resides on my side of the bed. All. Winter. Long. because I am Always. Cold. Downside? It’s also throw-size, but we deal.


Filed under Misc, The cat


Yes, that’s the sign they’re going to nail to the front of our door at any moment. Kyra’s been sick for three days now. Andrew succumbed last night and this morning can’t even watch TV because he can’t stand the sight of cartoon food, never mind the real thing.

So, we woke up at five this morning. Then the kids fell back asleep after about an hour. Andrew is still asleep. Miss B, industrious even in ill health, is drawing and coloring pictures, cutting paper and so on. It’s a good thing she can do this all day long. She is also learning Chinese. No, really. She is. She doesn’t take being sick lying down.

(Full disclosure: it’s a TV show ala Dora the Explorer, only instead of Spanish, it’s Chinese.)


Filed under Kids

Thank you very much, Mr. Earworm

I don’t know where Andrew picked up on this insidious bit of 80s music. He’s been singing: “Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto” for a week now, over and over again. So I finally asked, “Have you heard the entire song?”

He hadn’t.

YouTube to the rescue! But first, a little background. From Wikipedia:

The song tells part of the fictitious story of Robert Orin Charles Kilroy (ROCK), in the rock opera Kilroy Was Here. The song is performed by Kilroy (as played by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung), a rock and roll performer who was placed in a futuristic prison for “rock and roll misfits” by the anti-rock-and-roll group the Majority for Musical Morality (MMM) and its founder Dr. Everett Righteous (played by guitarist James Young).

The Roboto is a model robot which does menial jobs in the prison. Kilroy escapes the prison by overtaking a Roboto prison guard and hiding inside the emptied-out metal shell. When Jonathan Chance finally meets Kilroy, at the very end of the song, Kilroy says,I am Kilroy! Kilroy! ending the song.

Aren’t you glad you asked? Okay, I realize you hadn’t. Enough, then. I’ll leave you with the musical stylings of Styx:


Filed under Kids, Video

Best. House. Ever.


Go on. You know you want a house with a laser tag arena, not to mention a grand BR (for bathroom).  True, there’s no living room, but who needs that when you have a pool with water slides and a lazy river, plus a hot tub and two saunas. And a game room. I think there’s enough “living” going on in this house. You can even play tennis!

Do you like Andrew’s token nod to academics with the homework room on the left there? I asked him about it and he said, “Well, you need someplace to do it.”

I guess so.


Filed under Kids

Rubik’s Cube conundrum

So, we’re watching the Super Bowl halftime show (was it me, or was The Boss a bit winded, and dude, what’s with the soul patch, but I digress), when Kyra helpfully hands Andrew his Rubik’s Cube.

Kyra: Here you go, Andrew, I mixed it up for you.
Andrew (almost too stunned for words): Wha–? KyRA! How could you?
Kyra (innocently, but maybe not): I wanted to help you.
Andrew: Oh, NO! I have to give this kid at school a cookie every time just to solve it.

I had no idea a cookie was the going rate for the Rubik’s Cube solution, did you?


Filed under Kids