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Here we are, mid winter break.  We’ve just returned from Christmas in Delaware.  I did not get to see Hazel, because SOMEone didn’t want to schlepp a week old baby through the traffic for 7 hours.  wah wah wah.  Sounds like there’s more than one baby in Ohio.  Sigh.  I really want to sniff her head and put her feet in my mouf.  Not enough to go to Cleveland, you understand, but still.

We had a nice xmas.  Justin and his kids came over on xmas eve, which my kids loved.  Dean and Ben had a blast.  Lily totally loved playing with Madison and Miranda.

Christmas day, Tash came over with Mikayla and Emma, so it was just cousins non-stop, which they loved.  Gifts were exchanged, paper was ripped.  Steve got me an ipod (yay!) so maybe I’ll go to the gym again.  but maybe not.  It’s the Nano, my last one was like a concrete brick compared to this.  It’s the size and color of a breath strip.   It’d probably just dissolve if I sweated on it, so I should just stay home.  yeah.  That’s best.

I just ordered holiday photo cards b/c I just gt a decent photo.  But I probably won’t ever mail them out, so here:

Happy Holidays!

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I try not to think that how one wakes is a portent for the day. Most days, I stagger out, make coffee via our complicated but oh-so-necessary coffee making system, lurch over to the laptop and read mail and sip my lifesblood until my pulse quickens enough to go wake the children. And then the day, also, is comfortingly mundane. I have no problem with this. I’m not one of those folks that needs excitement, needs that adrenaline rush. And yet…So I woke for the first time at 3:45 am when my phone rang. Calls at that time are NEVER good news. No one asks you out for brunch or offers to commission a really expensive yet simple handbag. It was an 877 number, so I figured it was a wayward fax and just went off to the bathroom. Steve was there when I came out. Hey, he wasn’t in bed after all. And I’d snatched up the phone to keep it from waking him. And it was HE who made the phone ring…something to do with Amazon, I seem to recall. But he’s still asleep b/c apparently he was up all night. Anyway, eventually the “OMG who’s dead?” adrenaline subsided and I lapsed back into slumber. Woke up at a more civilized hour, staggered to the kitchen, made coffee in the aforementioned way, lurched over to laptop. Next to my laptop is a tank of mice. They were there every other day, but I didn’t mention them b/c normally they’re still sleeping at this point. But this morning, it’s flippin’ Antietam in there. Mouse bodies strewn about, open wounds…WTF? This? This is not how I like to wake up, fishing out still-warm carcasses and body parts. Where there were five, now there are two. Sleek, well nourished in the way that only cannibalism provides. . The cats are a little bitter, frankly. Ally is of the opinion that if mice are going to be dispensed, they ought to at least play with her a little first. Just a waste, really. Maggie…well, she was locked in the basement all night, eating purple tulle which she vomited up in the family room about 2 minutes ago. Slimy little tulle sausages. And now I’m thinking that the rest of the day is called into question. I think I’ll just…nap maybe. It just doesn’t seem to be a good omen, you know?

Andi had a yummy baby! Hazel Lillian Whitaker was born yesterday morning. Stroke, Admire, Sniff!

just a little nibble....please?

I hope her momma can keep from gobbling her up so I can have a bite.

In honor of my new niece, some Kurt Vonnegut:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

Welcome to the world and the family, sweetie. Aunt Deana loves you already.

Thanks for the tilda advice, very-soon-to-be-new-mom Andi! Tonight was tapas from the Andalucia region. Holy moly, it was good. We had patatas bravas, ajillo mushrooms, queso de cabra con tomate, and tomates cherry en salsa de torta del casar. Or, for you English speakers, fried potato chunks with a tomato sauce, lemon garlic mushrooms, goat cheese in tomato sauce, and cherry tomatoes in a yummy stinky cheese. They were all fabulous, but the patatas bravas were definitely the group favorite. Julianna did prefer the tomatoes in stinky cheese, but even she–who doesn’t like potatoes–like them. Lily even ate some, after moving on to cheese sticks. Steve, bless him, declare that it may have been the best meal I’ve ever made. So there you go, folks, good chow.

In the opening, the girls come to the realization that if there are 3 of them, that means only one will not be in the bottom two at judging. And people think models are dumb. Please. Jaslene shows up to introduce the Covergirl challenge, which usually means seeing who can’t remember how to say “Easy Breezy Beautiful.” But again I am floored by the stick insectness of our deaf transvestite darling. Honey, have a sandwich. Her legs make me feel queasy. And even Karen Carpenter is saying, Damn, girl is THIN.

They have to push some horrid fruity lipgloss. Because apparently they’re in jr. high. They have to describe it as “virtually sticky free” which, in addition to being grammatically clunky, tells me that this product is sticky. Sticky, stinky, shiney Cover Girl! They all need at least a dozen takes and look cheesy. They go to panel for the traditional “Tell us why you’re great/who will you throw under a train” discussion. Jenah is the only one that doesn’t throw Jenah under. They others think that her arrogance, rather than her scary teeth are the reason to send her home.

Tyra critcizes Saleisha’s ennunciation in the commercial, but I think Danielle and Jaslene have shown us that a mouth full of marbles is one of the best assets of a Top Model. Jenah has the best commercial, but b/c she’s been dubbed “the ironic one,” they tell her that she looks like she’s making fun of the product. On this show, you get your label and that’s that. Saleisha is commercial. Chantal is untrained. Jenah is sarcastic. Meh. I really think this might be the last season for me. No, really. Tyra poked and poked at Jenah about why she seems defensive–was it because you were deprived of a normal childhood? You always had to be strong? And then has that smug, I-am-Martin-Luther-Oprah! look…Dude, she’s sleep deprived, stressed, and on the chopping block. They are ALL on the verge of tears. You are nothing. Shut UP. You did not give her self-awareness as a consolation prize. You just booted her. From a game show.

The runway show was predictably stupid. I don’t think they even bothered to pretend it was real this time. There was no audience, just 500 guys in costumes. Horrible. Ugly clothes, stupid gimmicks with people on stilts, one of whom tripped on Chantal’s costume. Dumb, useless, whatever. Let’s end this, shall we?

Saleisha, who went to Tyra’s T-zone camp, got the “edgy” haircut that Tyra emmulated, and got to say the signature line in their CoverGirl ad, is the winner. I know, knock me over. You’ll have to watch on your own, henceforth. Without Janice Dickinson to bring the crazy bitch edge, it’s just hollow and dull. Deana out, y’all.

Tonight to Valencia for Paella. I made a vegetarian version and, like always, home paella is never as good as at a restaurant. The rice was a tad goopy. I’m not sure why restaurants need so much notice for paella, I mean, rice just doesn’t take THAT long, even with the traditional risotto methods. You can really only get the heat so low. Maybe they make the rice really angry or give it a virus so that its internal temp just goes up a bit. Whatever it is, it works better than what I do. We also had Hazelnut Soup, which wasn’t as good as it sounds. So, tonight was not a huge success. Live and learn.

Tonight, in honor of the final night of the Festival of Lights, we ate the food of the Sephardic Jews. Spanish Lentil soup was met with mixed enthusiasm. Ben an I gobbled it down. Julianna and Steve ate politely. Lily tried to get it away from her as if it might become sentient and attack. Sephardic Spinach Patties or Croquetas de Espinaca were beloved by all but Ben. Apparently in some Spanish Jewish houses, these are made instead of latkes. Which is just nuts, as they taste not at all like french fries.

Tonight was my monthly trip in to Lily’s class to teach them about a famous artist and make a huge artist-inspired mess. Today was Jackson Pollack, which meant an ENORmous mess. Much paint slinging. I showed them a youtube video of Pollack in action. I figured they’d zero in on how he was just winging the paint all over the place or at least the fact that he had a cigarette in his mouth. But no. “Wow! He has a big nose!” and then much exclaiming about the nose. And one little boy who kept moaning, “His shoes! Look at his shoes!” It was kind of funny in light of the fact that Converse had a Chuck Taylor ad featuring Pollack, wearing his Chucks, painting. I always thought “An enormous tool that makes, let’s face it, hideous art, wears your shoes? I must have them!” Seriously, it’s not exactly “James Dean wore khakis” now is it?

No clue how to do a tilda over that n. Imagine it and rolll with it. So tonight we begin our Spanish Cuisine week. At Andi’s insistence, I made Tortilla Espanola, which was, as promised, utterly yummers. Like eating in a diner in Madrid. We also had Escalivado Tostadas, essentially roasted veggies on toasted baguette. Again, yummy. To round it out, a lovely Manchego Cheese. The kids liked it all in varying degrees. Lily liked the tortilla served with a red sauce (traditionally sofrito. Tonight, marinara). People, if you’re in a rut, I highly recommend this exercise. There’s just so MUCH good food out there, there’s no excuse to eat the same 10 dishes night after night.

It is the penultimate night of Hanukkah (you know I’m posting that just to use penultimate), and it has mostly gone well. For the benefit of those with similarly aged kids, I’ll post what they got…And, you know, so that I’ll remember in two weeks.

Lily got: Pop up flower fairy book, stuffed otter (upon rejecting the doll clothes), T-shirt from Threadless and slippers, Creature Creator for the Leap Pad (and I’m suddenly plagued with the fear that a grand parent bought that too…I hope not…), a Schleich horse set, a stuffed horse for the horrible rejected dolls to ride (hmpf), a pair of Breyer ponies, and tomorrow’s big gift will be a full set of Blendy pens and pad of paper.

Ben got: a Star Wars graphic novel (fancy comic book), old Pokedex from ebay,a Tshirt from Threadless and slippers, Pokemon Fire Red and Leaf Green for the GBA,a Pokemon Movie, a new Pokedex, a box of Pokemon cards (are you sensing a theme this year?), and the big gift tomorrow is a Lego Star Wars MTT.

Julianna got: a Bad Cat calendar (full of really, really lame jokes. Some of them more inappropriate than I noticed when I looked at it in the bookstore. She thinks it’s hilarious), a drawing set (replacing the horrible doll clothes), a Tshirt from Threadless and slippers (it’s cold people, and I’m not turning up the heat. Oil is a billion dollars a thimblefull), the game Drawn to Life for the DS, Schleich elves on horseback, a medium sized Breyer horse, a big Breyer horse, and tomorrow’s gift will be a tabletop easel, paints, and canvasses.

Tonight, in addition to the regular gift, Steve gave them each a box of old Topps Little Shop of Horrors Trading Cards. Complete with 22 year old bubblegum. Which probably tastes no different than it did in 1986. Ah, trading card gum, pink flavored glass dusted with powdered sugar. But you should have heard them geeking out as they went through the cards. /Comic Book Guy voice/ Look, this one shows a picture that was in the never-released original ending! /Comic Book Guy voice/ The geek genes are strong in this clan.

Just now with Lily:

Lily: Mommy, what does what mean?

Me, not sure I’d heard correctly: What?

Lily: yes.

Me: yes what?

Lily: yes. what.

Me:

Lily: What does what mean?

Me: the word “what?”

Lily: yes.

Me: It means “sorry, I didn’t hear that” when you use it that way.

Lily dances off, happy. I think, “I’m headed for the blog with this one.”

Just in case anyone thought that I was missing out on tasty treats by being a vegetarian–fear not. I can eat a facsimile of any nasty crap you can eat. Even the stuff you don’t eat because it’s the stuff that we in the developed world throw away.

Behold: Vegetarian ear. yummers.

a

Stalked!
December 2007
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