Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Show and tell

My mother did a pretty spectacular job of documenting my childhood. My baby book is thick with school assignments, art work, report cards, newspaper clippings, even the x-ray the doctor used to diagnose me with pneumonia. She has seven photo albums packed with pictures of swimming lessons, ball games, dance recitals, birthdays, twirling competitions, trips to the fair, camp fire activities, school programs, holidays, vacations, family gatherings -- if it is something I did growing up, it's in there.

She also collected everything I have ever written. That autobiography I wrote in second grade? Kept it. All the terrible poetry I wrote in high school? It's there, too. Things I thought I had thrown away or lost outright all mysteriously found their way into a folder of collected works.

Several such folders were returned to me earlier today. Apparently, Mom found them last night in her cedar chest and thought I might like to have them. Of course, she wouldn't hand them over until I swore on my daughter's life that I wouldn't throw any of the contents away. And rightly so, the smarty. Had I been able to skim the contents before making such a promise, a large portion of them would have found their way to the nearest trash can. Again.

Happily, it wasn't all bad. I found this painting from my fifth grade art class sandwiched in between some papers.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Happy birthday, Rickus!

This is Rick. (say hi, Rick) He is one of my closest friends.

Today is Rick's BIRTHDAY! He's 259.. in dog years.

For his birthday, he was treated to a wine tasting at Tidal School Vineyards, spring rolls and a Great Wall of Chocolate at P.F. Chang's, and, get this! he scored an iPod Nano (which is muuuch better than the ecard I sent, and the 37 pieces of bubble gum and the Hostess cupcake I considered boxing up - but that is SO eleven years ago).

Drop by Prairie Knitta's blog and wish him a


self-portrait kind of day

My mother taught me that it is not at all polite to invite yourself to tag along or join in, but I have been assured by a certain Prairie Knitter that any ol' Nanda with a blog and camera could participate in Self-Portrait Sunday. So, taking her at her word, I have a portrait of my own to contribute this week.

I missed church (again) this morning, so I listened to the lastest podcast of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly instead. Church. Podcast. Same difference. Except the podcast usually generates more thought than the service.

It's been another in a series of pleasantly lazy Sundays. I think I'm going to go read for a bit, or take a nap...

Friday, January 27, 2006


Because it's Friday

I have not been tagged to do this. But I am hopelessly addicted to online quizzes, questionnaires, and memes, so I'm completing it anyway. Besides, it's Friday afternoon and I don't want to work.

Ten Things You Never Knew About Me

1. Anytime I pass by a gumball machine I have to stop and get gum. I always secretly hope for a yellow one, but am happy with most any color the machine delivers. Except white. I'm not all that keen on the white ones.

2. When I was much younger and found myself in a new place surrounded by people I had never met before, I sometimes spoke in another accent (usually British or Australian) and pretended to be from out of town. Way out of town.

3. I really like the smell of leather. There used to be a store at the mall that primarily sold leather jackets. I would often stop in there for a quick sniff of the merchandise.

4. It REALLY bothers me to sit in front of a window at night that has no blinds or curtains. Really.

5. I have never been to Boston. This will be remedied next month, though, when we fly out to visit the biggest entertainment couple New England has ever seen.

6. One of the things my elementary school self wanted to be when she grew up was an author. She also wanted to turn the garage at her house in Blackwell into a bookstore.

7. In fifth grade, I took first place in a tri-county writing contest for my short story My Life as a Tire. It was probably the best story I've written to date.

8. I have a terrible memory. It's not uncommon for me to have the exact same conversation with someone multiple times, nearly word for word, without realising it. So, if you pop off or say something snotty to me and I say I'll remember that, don't worry. I probably won't.

9. I ran away once. When I was six or seven(ish), I grabbed a blanket, crammed my little Strawberry Shortcake suitcase full of oatmeal creme pies and a juice box and went to the living room to tell my mother I was running away. I then hopped on my bike, rode once around the block, and hid out in a cluster of trees by the garage. I sat on my blanket, ate my oatmeal creme pies and then went back in the house.

10. I don't like Radiohead as much as I know I should. I dig their earlier stuff, and really like the music on their more recent releases, but Thom Yorke's "pained" vocals get on my nerves after a bit.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Bad night

What NOT to do at 3 o'clock in the morning:
*think about breast cancer
*think about dying
*think about breast cancer in conjunction with dying
*think that researching breast cancer at that hour is a good idea
*actually GO to WebMD and pull up information about breast cancer

None of these things are really conducive to getting you back to sleep if you find yourself suddenly awake in the middle of the night. And the idea of cancer becomes instantly more frightening while lying there in the dark with only your mind for company.

They say knowledge is empowering, though, and I suppose I can take comfort in some of the information I found at the site. For instance, breast cancer, when detected early, is 90% curable. Find a lump? Don't panic. 80% of all breast lumps are benign. Most cancerous tumors (41%) are found in the upper outer portion of the breast, and that's not where my lumpy something is. And, a family history doesn't necessarily mean that you're destined for a diagnosis. Only 5-10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family member who had it. So, there you go. Strength in numbers.

I still have two weeks of worry before I go to the doctor. Any happy thoughts you could send my way would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006



Fifty exclusive Sundance shorts. Tickets not required.


My version is better..

So, this afternoon I was sitting at my desk, minding my own, when out of nowhere I start humming Africa by Toto. My co-worker plays her radio during the day, and KBEZ had included the soft rock favorite as part of their daily line up. This song always makes me smile, if not outright laugh. You see, it harbors my most favorite of all my lyrical flub ups.

I'm sure you've heard it. Catchy tune. The chorus goes a little something like this:

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Only, growing up, I always sang it like this:

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men ON MARS could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

I didn't realise just how wrong I had been until Justin kindly corrected me years later - in the mid 90s. Good times. Turns out, I'm not alone in my mistake. I still think my version is better than the original.


Pardon my progress

I am constantly amazed by my friends. They're all so freakishly talented and creative. And driven. They decide to do things (whether it's building a table top to accomodate guests, translating ideas to film, painting, examining the self, making soap, writing, learning to knit, acting, melding music, designing furniture, tackling mountains, or directing phenomenal plays) and, you know, actually do them.

I am not really all that creative. I have a gross "super power" (don't ask), but don't really have any hidden abilities. And if I do, they're so hidden that I have yet to discover them. There are no artistic bones in my body. I appreciate music a bundle, but would be at an absolute loss to craft a song of my own. (If you need someone to sing in the shower, though, I'm your gal.) I adore movies but lack the vision to create films. Theater? Too inhibited. Anyway, you get the idea.

Limitations and flimsy objections aside, I have decided to seek out a creative niche for myself. This blog was actually a small step in that process. The next step, I think, will be the purchase of a book, say, Digital Photography for Dummies. It's about time I learned how to take a proper photograph.

In the meantime, I'll bask in the craftiness of my friends.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


It's all a waste of time again

I do very little on Saturdays. I never exactly set out to do nothing. It's just that nothing is what always seems to get done. I wake up each Saturday morning with the best of intentions, only to have these intentions fall by the wayside somewhere between breakfast and the early afternoon.

This Saturday was no different. Maya woke up, slid out of bed and pitter pattered into our room, oh, 7:30-ish. She grunted an 'up', and then wallowed her sleepy parents until they finally consented to get up, as is her custom. After breakfast, I followed Maya around the house while my more productive-minded husband slunk away to the garage to make a small table for little girl's new Dora the Explorer television and matching DVD playah (courtesy of Grandpa Joe). We napped from noon until two, little girl and I. And between 4:00 and 5:00, I finally peeled off my pj's, showered, and pulled on some clean clothes. By this time, the day was basically shot.

I did manage to read Brokeback Mountain today. I saw the movie last weekend and was somewhat disappointed (just somewhat! calm down!). I have a habit of enthusiastically anticipating certain releases. I think if I hadn't gone into the theater with such great expectations I would have enjoyed it more (or as much as you can enjoy a movie about two people who are desparately in love yet not allowed to be together). Maybe I was just distracted the night we saw it, but actually reading the narrative helped me get a better sense of Ennis and Jack and their story. I think sometimes there is a level of intimacy that one can achieve through the written word that isn't there when you watch a story unfold on the big screen. Anyway, I found the short story much more to my liking.

And with that, I really should go crawl into bed or I'll find myself doing nothing again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Maybe cheaters can win afterall.

This morning I received an email from eDiets (the bastards) with info about some new fangled diet - the Cheaters Diet. Created by a weight loss guru by the name of Dr. Paul Rivas, the diet supposedly allows you to indulge while you slim.

A Mediterranean-style diet of seafood, vegetables, lean cuts of meat, olive oil, salads and berries is encouraged during the weekdays, and then on the weekend you can choose from the recommended "cheat foods" (pizza, chocolate, wine, beer and other 'comfort food'). This basically sounds like what I'm (trying) to do now. I just need to move my cheating ways to the weekend instead of indulging a bit each day.

The good doctor has a book explaining how you, too, can cheat yourself thin. It all sounds silly and simple and a little too good to be true. But, I think this diet would easily be the least difficult for me to stick with. I'd especially excell at the cheating. Of course, I'm too skeptical (and cheap) to fork over the $12.89 for the book, so I'll keep rocking along on my current course of diet and exercize and hope for the best.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Silent stupidity

Every woman should regularly do a breast self-exam. You know this. I know this. And yet, I miserably confess, I rarely (if ever) do them. For one thing, BSEs are awkward strange. Mashing around on my breasts once a month in search of scary irregularities and lumps is not exactly my idea of a good time. For another, I am L.A.Z.Y. Things just don't always occur to me, especially things regarding my health, and when they do, I certainly can't be bothered with them. I'm also apparently still stuck in that irresponsible 'invincible me' phase. Cancer schmancer. 27-year-olds don't get cancer. Or at least not this 27-year-old. Pass me the aspertame!

About a month ago, it occurred to me that it had been a goodly amount of time since I last felt myself up. So, I decided to conduct a self-exam that night before I nodded off to sleep. And wouldn't you know, a few pokes and mashes later, I find something. Or think I've found something. A lumpy something in the lower part of my left breast.

Now, I don't do this with any regularity whatsoever, so I have NO IDEA what is normal and what is not. And, as a quick internet search on the subject will tell you, most women have some lumps all the time. That's why you are supposed to familiarize yourself with the way they normally look and feel. So you won't panic. This makes sense to any rational, clear thinking person. But I can assure you, if you think you've found a lumpy something that has absolutely NO business being in your body, rational and clear thinking are a far cry from what you are.

So, over the last month I have been silently freaking the fuck out. Until, Monday, I really couldn't take it anymore and I called Dr. Miller for an appointment. I was supposed to see him back in June or July, but after all the pregnancy-related poking and prodding I endured the year before, I thought to heck with that! and never made the call. I'm a smartee. What can I say?

My appointment is February 8 in the afternoon. That leaves me a few weeks to obsess and scare myself silly. I've done this to myself before and it was nothing. I'm sure it's nothing this time, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


B-O-O-T-S. Boots!

I have been singing this song by Laurie Berkner to myself all the live long day. I picked it up watching Noggin with Maya and now I can't seem to shake it. It follows me to the bathroom (B-O-O-T-S. BOOTS!). It is with me on the phone (B-O-O-T-S. BOOTS!). It invited itself to lunch (Red Boots!). And has apparently decided to stick around all afternoon (in my boots STOMP! STOMP! in my boots STOMP! STOMP!). I suppose it could be worse. It could have been Banana Phone (doo doo dah doo dah doo!).

Who knew children's songs could be so infectious?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Watch out. She spits.

Maya has become quite the little high pointer around the house lately. Her early climbing aspirations were small and easily managed. We would often discover her inching her way onto the couch, squirming into her stroller or unoccupied chair, or in the last stages of scrambling onto the coffee table (upon which she would promptly stand and do a victory stomp before one of her parents returned her safely to the floor).

Over the last week or so, she has set her sights a little higher. Bar stools, window ledges, and boxes are now sized up for climbing expeditions. Her most ambitious climb yet -- the two stacked storage bins that house the clothes we have no intention of wearing, but can't seem to part with. To make the ascent, she has to crawl onto the boxes we abandoned in the corner after unpacking the rest of the house. From there, she has to pull herself onto the nightstand and then clamber onto the storage bins to make the summit. She accomplished this feet in record time this afternoon accompanied by, appropriately enough, Dora the Explorer.

There was no victory stomp once she reached her perch. Oh, no. She just looked at me, peeked into the trash can, and pretended to spit. And then I returned her safely to the ground.

I was both amused and incredibly embarrassed by this action. You see, by pretending to spit in the trash can, she was actually, um, immitating me. During my pregnancy, I was plagued by phlegm. Horrible, nasty, gloopy globs of it. A noisy clearing of the throat followed by a semi-satisfying spit, became part of my morning ritual. This problem never completely went away after Maya was born. So, I regularly still have to contend with the muck. And I do this by expectorating into whatever is handy: a tissue, sink, or, yes, the trash.

It's nice to know I can instill bad habits without really even trying... I can't WAIT until she starts swearing like a sailor.


Conversation heard round the lego pile this morning

"Are you trippin' on your weeble?"

"...wasn't that some weird saying from the 60's?"

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Cheaters never win

I kind of put myself on a diet earlier this week. And every day this week, I have kind of, well, cheated on it. I seem to do all right early in the day (my stomach isn't much of a morning person). But in the afternoon, I get all snacky and start looking for things to munch. Unfortunately, our office is rarely in short supply of things to nibble. Friday, it was a ginormous plate of fudge. Thursday, a lemon bundt cake. Wednesday, vanilla ice cream and rootbeer were set out to make floats. Tuesday, some angel food cake/whip cream/cherry pie filling monstrosity. Monday, ah - you get the idea.

This afternoon, we are motoring over to Tulsa to see the 3:55 showing of Brokeback Mountain. Immediately following the movie, we are dining on a delectable dinner of fondue at The Melting Pot. (I'm amazed at the calm I was able to exhibit while typing that sentence.. no capitalization, no exclamation of holy heck! nothing.)

If I don't eat anything between now and 7:00, I should be able to eat my fondue feast without going over my 1300 calorie limit for the day.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Slacker by design

When I was growing up, I used to stay at my grandparents' house for a few days each year during summer vacation. At that time, they lived in an old country school house which had been converted to a home. I always enjoyed spending time at their house because it was so -- different. At our house, you couldn't hear the crickets for the cars. Our yard was not thick with lightning bugs at dusk and our night skies were not cluttered with nearly as many stars. There were no owls incessantly making inquiry about who you were, no croaking frogs, no goldfish in goldfish ponds, and certainly no cows to answer you as you stood atop the 'fraidy hole' mooing as loud as you possibly could.

I didn't ever watch a lot of television during my visits. Cable wasn't available, so viewing was limited to the local ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS affiliates, a few religious channels, or nothing. Though I think PBS is wicked cool now, I was not particularly interested in their programming back then. The alphabet channels weren't much more appealing with their talk shows and soap operas and under no uncertain terms was I going to listen to preaching outside of church (and usually not even then - I was too preoccupied with 'church games' during the sermon). That said, I still occasionally flipped through the channels (using a dial, of course) in the hopes that I might find something, anything, to watch for a bit.

About mid-week during one visit, I had grown particularly tired of watching hummingbirds, seeking out creepy crawly things, and conversing with cows. So I turned on the television in my grandparents' back bedroom and started flipping through the morning programs. After a few clicks of the dial, I stumbled across an aerobics program - and stopped. I stood, staring, while three women in color coordinated leotards, tights, leg warmers and headbands completed their workout. Not once did I participate. I simply stood there and watched. The next day, I watched it again. And the next. Every morning for the remainder of the vacation, I tuned in to watch the same three women do the same routine, and not once did I get up and exercize myself.

This evening, after a yummy yet not particularly healthy meal at Hernandez Mexican Restaurant, I decided I was going to make good on the first item on my list of resolutions for 2006 (see less of myself) by...exercizing. So, I located my Slim by Six DVD, dusted it off, and slid it into the DVD player on the Mac. Little girl entered the room just as Debbie was congratulating me on the committment I was making. She walked over to the computer, climbed up in the chair, and inched as close to the screen as she could get. Bottle in hand, she simply stood there and watched as three annoyingly fit folks smiled through the workout. I smiled knowingly.

She may look more like her father than she looks like me, but she definitely seems to have my penchant for television viewing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Deep breath

I do not usually make resolutions for the new year. Sure, there's always a smallish list of 'secret' goals, some little self-improvement or three fashioned around the first of the year for me to work on, but nothing formalized in writing and definitely not something I ever felt obligated to actually complete. This year, however, was different. Not only did I foolishly create a physical list of resolutions, I actually SHARED it with another person. Worse still was the inclusion of item 12 - Create. a. blog.

I have wanted to start a blog for quite a while now and have threatened to do just that on several occasions. But, each time my friends have rightly called my bluff. And so, I went about my business, or everyone else's, rather, pouring over the latest updates at all my most favorite blogs.

But that was before the resolution. This time, it's serious. The account has been created (after the temporary setback of finding a suitable user name - who knew someone else would not only claim Nanda for their own, but also NandaJo, Manders, Manda, and Mondo?!?), a template chosen, the blog named, and the first post has (nearly) been shakily composed. With the tiniest of tiny clicks, I will have published my first entry.

Now, if only I can screw up enough courage to tell someone I've finally entered the blogosphere. Perhaps that will be one of my resolutions for next year..

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