Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movie night

We tried to have a movie night last night. Complete failure. I borrowed movies from the library, feeling proud for being so frugal. But five minutes into the first one we realized we'd already seen it ("The dad fell in the well," Steve said, before there had been any mention of a dad or a well). And the second one was simply too bizarre to follow (apparently we lack either eternal sunshine or spotless minds.)

We switched over to DVR'd episodes of Leverage, a show that's ridiculous, but entertaining. I want to be the blond girl who can leap from high places, but I'm not sure a few highlights are enough to make that happen. Then we transitioned to Friday Night Lights. Holy misery, that show has gotten grim. It's good that they have so many low buildings in Dillon, TX or there would be a whole lot of jumping from buildings by non-blonds.

By that point, I was a little past tired, flying headlong into punchy. Steve and I actually had an entire conversation about creating THAT DOG a Twitter account, speculating about the multitudes that might follow. Truth be told, she knows the key to the happy life. Right now she's curled up in a ball on a pile of blankets at the foot of the bed. Later today she'll chew up a few tissues, chase a squirrel across the back yard, and engage me in a game of hide-and-seek with a rawhide chew (why does this ploy work on me? I don't even want the chew...) She's got leadership skills. If she only knew how to type...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

(Missed) Photo op

I gave a talk at one of my favorite churches on Sunday. It was so fun. The topic was "Traveling Light"-- how we can walk out forgiveness and not be defined or weighed down by things from the past. As most of you know, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I'm always surprised by how sharing my messy, awkward history can be both funny and hopeful.

Our friend Moses was in the back of the room taking pictures while I spoke. The results were hysterical. I should have warned him, as it's not his fault: last year on my book tour, I learned the hard way that I make a bizarre array of weird faces when I speak, rendering me utterly unphotogenic. Put me in front of an audience and suddenly my face is like Jim Carey in The Mask.

Here's one of the "better" shots...

One can only imagine what the rest looked like!
(For those of you that know me--do I do this all the time when I talk??? Nevermind...not sure I want to know!)
Still though, it was totally fun.

What's the worst picture you've ever had taken?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mauving on

He Loves Me He Loves Me Not has a new cover for the paperback edition (now available for pre-order on Amazon.) I didn't pick it, but I guess it's nice trip down memory lane for those of us who wore dusty pink to the prom.

In other news, I'm twittering now. Or trying to twitter. Struggling not to make internal jokes about how this makes me a twit.

Any advice? You can follow me here. So far we haven't gone anywhere yet, but I expect the bus to leave soon!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Going to the Dogs

We took the niece and nephew to see Hotel for Dogs this weekend. (Oh, to be under ten and have your whole body react to the sugar infusion of a few sips of root beer!) We had fun and they were very brave during the scary parts.

Me? Not so much.

WHAT is the deal with the plucky orphan theme in kid's entertainment??? (And don't even get me started about the sad death of that Golden Retriever at the pound...) THIS is why I my favorite movie is How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Nobody dies. Is that too much to ask for?

Monday, February 16, 2009

To All the Presidents, Everywhere

Happy President's Day!

I'll confess that this holiday doesn't make me think of our nation's top executive so much as it reminds me of my friend Ned. From the time he was a little kid, Ned wanted to be president. The best training for this, he believed, was to be president of smaller things so that when the time came to run the country, he'd be ready. So...

Ned was president of his junior high drama club, the math team, and his high school student council. As an adult he's been elected top dog of his local chamber of commerce and the committee to bring Christmas trees to kids in the hospital. He runs his condo association, a businessman's breakfast group, and the board of a local animal shelter. If you ever want to know who's in charge, look for the guy with the name tag that says "Hi, I'm NED."

I'm not sure he'll ever reach his ultimate goal, but still, I love what he's done. Setting his sights high inspired Ned to take on a lot of things he might not have bothered with otherwise, and I think the people who know him have benefited from his courage. I love the idea that we can still pursue wacky and outlandish dreams even once we're grown up.

So here's to you, Mr. President!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

He's just that into her

Right now, as I type this blog post, there are two raccoons up on the three-story house across the street...balanced on top of the chimney...making the next generation of raccoons. It's like some bizarre, pay-per-view circus act. I mean, not only are they working without a net, they're perched over a 110ft. shoot that will plunge them into a fiery furnace if they slip. Yikes.

I called my sister, because she's the nature lover in the family (the only girl I know who did her bridal registry at L.L.Bean) She offered a different perspective: Valentine's Day is coming up, she said. Maybe watching the sun rise over the Boston skyline is the new "it" date in the romantic lives of small city mammals?

She has a point. The view must be spectacular. (Do you think they saw one of those articles about "keeping it hot" and took things a bit too literally?) And I thought the squirrel was strange...

Monday, February 09, 2009

One Random Thing

Have you seen that thing on Facebook, 25 Random Things About Me? I'm a fan of random things, so at first I loved it. But then the lists stared to pile up. Soon I had approximately 9,457,38 random things swimming in my head, and I lost track of who wants to join the rodeo, who eats cold hamburger for breakfast, and who went to kindergarten with one of the Backstreet Boys. So I decided to break this down into more managable information chunks:

Tell me ONE random thing about yourself. Funny, memorable, embarrassing, dull, pick.

Here's mine: I just read this article by Peggy Orenstein about how paranoid we've gotten as a society about trying to keep kids "safe." It made me realize how glad I am that I grew up in a time before bike helmets, car seats, and the sad belief that salt and fat are bad for us (I still think they're delicious gifts from heaven designed to make our lives happy, but I know I'm in the minority....)

What's your one random thing?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thinking Long Term

I meant to put up a new post yesterday, but I kept seeing the bit about Gladys and it made me laugh so hard I couldn't think of anything else to write. Steve and I agree that at some point, we're going to get a puppy or a fish or a gerbil and name it Gladys, so we'll think daily of this woman. "I love Jesus, but I drink a little..." Priceless.

(Okay, I'm pretty sure we won't get a gerbil. Rodents gross me out.)

I'm reading this book right now, which is a pretty amazing piece of work. The author, Caroline Knapp, lived here in Cambridge. When I first discovered her writing I was thrilled about this, and immediately began plotting ways to meet her. You can imagine my sadness to discover that she died several years ago, at the age of 42. But as glum as this made me--when you read a memoir, and then discover the person is no longer with us, it's a bit like losing a friend-- I was astonished by the productivity in her life, and how her work has outlived her. She has four books still in print. (And one you can get for $19 from "certain sellers" on Amazon). That's impressive.

So what's my point in telling you this? I'm not sure, exactly. Except perhaps that Gladys and Caroline have me thinking about what makes life--however much of it we have--work. I think a key for me is keeping a sense of humor, and building towards something that matters on most days. (Last night I attempted to make meatloaf for dinner, and I'm counting it in both categories.)

What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Gospel According to Gladys

"I love Jesus but I drink a little."

What can I possibly add to that? Now I know what to write for "religious preferences" on my Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Truth In Marketing

I was at the hairdresser's the other day when the rep for their new hair care line came in to check on inventory. I mentioned to Andrea, the genius who wrestles my hair into submission every six weeks, how I liked the smell of the shampoo. She told me something about the type of protein in this product, and how it's better for your hair because it comes from humans, rather than vegetables. Overhearing us, the Rep came over and joined our conversation, describing how vegetable protein can build up on hair and damage it. "It's much better to use protein that comes from humans, so you don't have a problem with overproteination."

"I've never thought to worry about overproteination," I admitted, struggling to keep a straight face. Then I asked what seemed like the next logical question: "How do you get the human protein?"

Silence. A panicked look crossed his face.

Me: "Are there rooms filled with women in third-world countries, all sitting over bowls and wringing the protein out of their hair to sell to Americans?" He didn't find that funny. Then the lady next to me said something about boiling hair to get the protein out, after which another hairdresser piped in with, "I thought they harvested it from dead bodies?"

The poor rep looked like he was going to pass out. I'm pretty sure he spent the weekend memorizing his fact sheets for "Answering Tough Product Questions." Really, though, he shouldn't worry too much. My favorite moisturizer "Contains the proteins found in young, healthy skin!"

Makes you wonder what they mean by "found"...