Tuesday, June 27, 2006

single file

more good news on the music front!!

our friends, single file , are part of the warped tour!! very exciting. congratulations to them!

sloan (of the band) and his brother dain designed t's website years ago before sloan became a rock star. and t did an album cover for the band a couple years back.

i won't mention the name of the artist's model.

or the name of the album.

it's too embarrassing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

check it OUT! homegirl DID something! REALLY!!

got a package the other day, and when i picked it up off the floor of the garage, it began making noise. intriguing.

turns out it was my (and t's) copies of the "superman returns" children's books we worked on a few months back. one has 16 amazing sounds, hence the singing package! exciedly, i tore the shrink wrap off the large book, and cracked open the stiff spine.

"art by john paul leon"

now, i love jp to bits (i have to say this, he'll be here in 3 days) and he went to bat for me when he discovered the typo that my name was left off the preliminary print run, but he got all the credit. it was the first real credited work i'd done in ages (not just behind-the-scenes) and i got zilcho credit. y'all know now, when you see this book at your local barnes and noble, to be righteously offended that my name wasn't on it.

luckily on the other book entitled "be a hero" i am credited. but only in the book! on amazon.com it only credits "don curry-editor." but again, folks. really i'm there. really i did something. i swear.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

big girl

our baby is 5.

so hard to believe that she's gotten so big so fast, and that we are so OLD! next is kindergarten, and the beginning of the empty nest.

wednesday was spent on activities chosen by the birthday girl, and first on the list was spending the $70 in birthday money. after dropping h at movie makers camp (where he was busy bustin' a sci-fi move, more on this later) the girl and i shopped 'til we dropped, searching for only the best of the best in fluffy plush dogs. we discovered the gem of the pack at walmart in a pet called "puppy surprise." the surprise? this dog has an unspecified number of puppies tucked in a velcro pouch that she "births" to the lucky owner. ours whelped 3 puppies! it was SO exciting! then, in front of best buy as we waited for the doors to open (had to buy the new elvis costello for t while we were out), the puppies got unborn. that's right, shoved right back in the mama dog and sealed back up again. only to give birth again and again and again. to anyone out there who has actually given birth, this is a horrifying concept. but this mama dog doesn't seem to mind a bit! she keeps the insipid smile and heart stuck to her face through the whole thing. *shudder*

after countless stores, two more stuffed dogs and an ugly doll later, we had the dream birthday lunch at elmo's diner. ham & cheese on white. then for dessert, a scrumptious katie's pretzel... cinnamon sugar with buttercream frosting. couldn't have chosen better myself.

she got to visit with her other 5 year old pals for a bit (see previous post) and then off to get our boy and head to YET ANOTHER walmart in order to get the dream birthday dinner. yes, folks, that's right. all our girl wanted for dinner was walmart fried chicken, baby carrots, and milk. so we ALL had to eat it. not to mention the fine selection of bakery cakes at this establishment! a white cake with big bright red roses was chosen (while i'm thinking of the amount of red dye #42 i'd be consuming) and we had dinner, cake & ice cream, and presents, topped by some leftover fireworks from last fourth of july that sent the dog under my skin.

so, a successful day, and another year of childrearing down.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

like a hurricane

it's come as quite a surprise to many folks in the great state of north carolina that we do, indeed, have a hockey team. the team's been around for some time now, but has been in relative obscurity until recently. oh, i know there'll be naysayers that claim carolina hurricane mania, but guys, i grew up partially in DETROIT where hockey is KING and the redwings RULE so the fanbase here must be hidden. i have discovered that there are hard core fans and that they call themselves "caniacs." really a clever play on words, isn't it? i was impressed; it's way better than those wisconsin cheese heads.

the reason this afore-unbeknownst-to-many team has been flung from the grasp of relative obscurity? they have been, in the past weeks, in the stanley cup finals. and, after playing seven long games against the edmonton oilers, and almost blowing a 3-1 series lead, they won the darn stanley cup.

huh? a team from north carolina, playing a cold northern sport like hockey, in the championships, in JUNE for crying out loud, and WINNING the thing? when it's 90 degrees outside the rink where the final game took place? i'm in awe. it's incongruous! i compare it to a north dakotan beach volleyball team winning the national championships in january. it's simply not feasible. not feasible, but realistic i guess, since the carolina hurricanes just did it.

i wonder how many on the team are native carolinians? just wondering.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

surrounded by music

our life theme of late seems to be of a musical nature; music is a central theme not only of our summer, but particularly this week. i only wish i could post audio clips of the songs in which we've been immersed, but i'm not quite sure how to do that. i'll try to find nice links, but that can be a bit of a pain, and it takes you out of the story.

first was the kids' peter and the wolf dance camp. like an idiot, i forgot the camera for the final performance on friday, but h played a wily wolf, and s was a twittering bird. they enjoyed the week, and will not be in dance again until fall. this music REALLY sticks in your head, and the whole family has been heard humming it for the last few days.

next, we showed h "west side story" to inspire him for the wolf dance, and to show him how powerful and masculine dance can be. all the next day he was singing the songs and jumping and twirling like the sharks and the jets. i can't get "one hand, one heart" out of my head now, especially sung by the incomparable and uncredited marni nixon.

t has spent the entire weekend with a bunch of guy friends and an rv at bonnaroo, listening to acts such as tom petty, beck, elvis costello, and radiohead. he even left me a phone message with tom petty singing "learning to fly"-- my favorite t.p. song. it's apparently extremely hot this weekend over yonder, but it's not stopping anyone from having the road trip of their lives.

my girl is lately in the habit of singing her own songs, all day, day in and day out, everywhere we go. it's unfortunate i can't always stop and listen to the lyrics, because when i do, they're quite interesting. i can never remember them to write down; i should probably get the camcorder out and record for posterity.

not to mention the musician under our roof, ari. we came home the other night from a date, only to find the never guys having a band meeting at our house. and ari's writing a soundtrack for a short film... the music he's composing wafts in and out of my brain.

i love to listen to music, i love to sing, but i'm not good at really appreciating music. t can instantly listen to an album and tell you if it will have any successful tracks and which ones they will be. h could listen to the soundtrack to "pee wee's big adventure" at 18 months old and could tell you what part of the film went with the music playing. all this musical ear and talent around me is so enriching! i just wish i knew how to absorb it all.

Monday, June 12, 2006


it's been a few days... first i was away from the 'puter, then the internet crapped out on us, and it was all for the better! sometimes i need a pixel holiday. plus, we're still in the honeymoon phase of summer. breaking eachother in, seeing what the general mood is, and being very busy having fun.

i meant to post on the movie "cars" last friday. i give it a 3 out of 4 "helloes." would one spell that 'hellos' or 'helloes?' anyhow, it was cute and lightly entertaining, nothing out-of-this-world like brad bird's amazing "incredibles." but way way way way better than a piece of garbage like "the wild." the one disclaimer... my 4 year old daughter found it "boring." she was in a bored kind of mood, though, and this could have been the problem.

last night we caravanned (one or two n's?? i'm having issues today) to steak n' shake in burlington with 2 othewr families. the guys followed on their motorcycles for a "joyride" and we got stuck in a brilliant lightning and thunder storm. shoulda seen it coming. steak 'n' shake was worth a wet husband. patty melt.... mmmmm.....

i spent a zillion dollars at walmart this morning replenishing our food stores. we were very depleted. and i always buy more when i can focus... WITHOUT CHILDREN! they have a "peter and the wolf" dance camp every morning this week. h suggested the theme of the camp to the director of the dance school, so i felt somewhat obligated to send them. anyhow, ari needed a ride to town, so i took him with me to pick up the kids and WOW! it turns out he went to high school with miss amanda, the kiddies' dance instructor. small world, eh?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

the last days

from today until august 25th (i think), my kids and i will be celebrating summer! yes, that bittersweet end-of-school time of year is again upon us, bringing both the sadness of leaving another age behind as well as the excitement of summer and achievements to come.

yesterday was the potluck celebration at s's pre-k. the kids all wore their elaborate hand made "thinking caps" and sang some silly songs. each got an award certificate. hers reads: "certificate of achievement to s for recognition of outstanding achievement in playing pretend puppy at preschool 2005-2006 school year." makes a mama proud knowing that her daughter can act like a dog BETTER than at least 20 other children. brings a tear to the eye.

h-man jumped off the bus yesterday, so proud of his getup that he forgot to grab his bag & jacket. for winning the reading contest in his class, he got the COOL "reading star" shirt (there are already plans underway to wear it for the first day of second grade), a pair of ultra-eighties sunglasses on a cord, and a certificate SIGNED BY THE PRINCIPAL. it doesn't get much cooler than that.

today when he gets off the bus after an early dismissal, we'll have a little happy dance celebrating days of sun, pool, beach, and sleeping in past 6:15. life IS good.

Monday, June 05, 2006


it is a day of great and dusty upheaval. sometimes, though, it's good to get all your stuff done in one day, so you can look back at all the work and say, HEY! that wasn't so bad! it only took a day! but when other daunting and time consuming tasks arise, you never think about the big ones that only took a day. you think they'll take FOREVER so you put them off. or at least i do.

today is the day our water softener is being installed (cheers all around)! which hopefully means no more orange toilets and clothing, and no more having to pumice the calcium and lime deposits from our toilet bowl. after 4 years of this, i am SO more than ready. the guys chose a neglected corner of our garage to install the thing, and thus started my frenzy.

i'm cleaning the garage.

yes! mouse nests, dead mantises, cobwebs and old moldy fruit snacks in the corners. caterpillar corpses, dried leaves, and old rusty screws. it's hard to believe it's only been 4 years since it was a virgin garage, untouched by the trashiest people on the block. now it's a haven for cardboard boxes harboring cockroaches and more than a few unflown kites.

there is another reason to clean the garage today, and that is i decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. yes, that's right, the refrigerator delivery guys are ALSO coming today! which means my OLD refrigerator/freezer will need a new home in said garage as of later today.

this leads me to the next project of moving furniture so the new fridge will make it into the kitchen, then cleaning and scrubbing under each item. i took everthing out of the fridge, and luckily had cleaned the WHOLE THING last week, therein avoiding yet another icky project. that's okay-- i don't have running water for the day anyway!! (no shower)

although there is no real reason that the floor and the baseboards behind and under any refrigerator really SHOULD be clean, i get a sense of calm satisfaction knowing that they ARE clean. and later on today, in it's place, there'll be a virgin refrigerator, unsullied by our filthy ways. and outside, a clean garage. sigh. does life get any better than that? and i'll only be sneezing my brains out for the next 2 days.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

overnight coffee cake

i'm channeling susan for this post, however, i could never presume to make any food look even half as appetizing as she does! plus, i'm a short order chef, and the love and care she uses to create food is enviable.
mom is also to thank for this recipe, which she made many many sundays of my formative years. i'm proud to say i've gotten many people hooked on it, and maybe a few more with this post.
here goes: the recipe for overnight coffee cake!
first of all, as the name implies, you must leave it to rise overnight, thus making it THE NIGHT BEFORE. but don't fret! it takes about 5 minutes to put together, then you can sleep and dream of buttery, gooey sweetness until the next morning.
you need:
18 frozen white dinner rolls
1 small package of jell-o COOK & SERVE vanilla pudding. not instant. you'll regret it.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick melted butter
grease a bundt pan and arrange the 18 frozen rolls in the bottom. evenly pour the melted butter over the top. in a medium bowl, mix the pudding mix, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. sprinkle this mixture over the buttered rolls. leave it overnight to rise.
in the morning, preheat the oven to 350 and bake the risen rolls for 30 minutes. line a platter with aluminum foil, and immediately invert the cake onto the plate (i always place the plate on top of the bundt pan, then grab the whole thing and FLIP!). it can get a little messy, but that's the point. below is the unappetizing photo of the finished cake, but it had already been picked at, so i had no chance to get a better photo.

mmmmmm! gooey goodness for a sunday morning, or any of those brunchy functions.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"The Confessions of Max Tivoli" by Andrew Sean Greer

“The Confessions of Max Tivoli” first came to my attention while reading an interview with Khaled Hosseini, the author of “The Kite Runner.” I had been so blown away by that book, and so impressed with the style of the author, that I could only imagine how moving a book that made even Khaled Hosseini weep would be to me! I stuck it on my bookcrossing wishlist, thinking that maybe some errant rabck-er (random acts of bookcrossing kindness) or bookcrosser would hear my plea. Otherwise, I’d keep scanning the thrift shop shelves. Barely a day later, the ever-faithful Lotus e-mailed that she had the book and would be happy to send it to me. WOW! Thank you thank you as always, Lotus.

I put it near the top of my stack, and finally got to bite into it when we returned from England a few weeks ago. Immediately, I began to draw comparisons between this book and “The Time Traveller’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. They would make good comparative literature, for anyone who is interested. Both books combine a supernatural element—almost fantastic—into an otherwise basic love story. In “The Time Traveller’s Wife,” the main character randomly drops out of sight, leaving only his clothes behind, and travels to another point in his lifetime. In “Max Tivoli,” Max is born as an old man, and ages backwards until infancy.

The idea of finding the love of your life several times throughout your lifetime and them not recognizing you each time is intriguing, but just didn’t ring true to me from the outset. I saw a woman at the park one day, about 15 years and 1000 miles from when I’d last seen her, and I knew immediately who it was. So why wouldn’t a life love recognize the other in the same amount of time? Well, anyways, I found the prose a bit too lofty, the detail a bit lacking, and never felt as though I knew a single character thoroughly.

Overall it was an entertaining book, but not one that will stay with me past tomorrow. I think with a little more time, care, and detail, this idea could have made an amazingly heartbreaking and truly unique love story, but I was left a little cold.

Please email me if you'd like to read it... I'd be happy to send it to anyone willing to post a comment on bookcrossing and pass it along to yet another friend.

Friday, June 02, 2006

zero to five in sixty seconds!

s has had two friends quite literally since she was born. here they are as newborns-- 6, 2 and 4 weeks old, respectively. our sweetheart is the toad in the middle.here they are at 9 months....three years... and now they're all turning five. brings a tear to the eye!

about last night...

got flowers from my husband for no reason.

got a backrub, too.

happy wife.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


while in the car today returning home, s was doing her usual... singing original songs and asking me what was my favorite part.

she was actually pretty cohesive today, rhyming and everything, so it took me by surprise when she sang,

"i was walking through the park one day
in the merry month of may
but i missed my children
and it was very hot
so i went back home
and sat on the pot!"

no question as to my favorite part. i missed my children! oh, what am i going to do when she's in kindergarten all day????