Friday, December 29, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: KIEFER SUTHERLAND



Mr. Man is a prizewinning rodeo cowboy, and he goes for 24 hours. That'll do it.

DINNER LIST: LEONARD PITTS



Leonard Pitts is the bomb. Intelligent, erudite, insightful. Plus, he's not above taking the stuffing out of pretentious people who can't shut their pieholes about topics they know nothing about. Won a Pulitzer for commentary in '04. And he's a hell of a lot of fun to read. Check out his stuff at the Miami Herald.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Mamahood

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BIL asks me the other day, "How long do you have to be married before you can give your wife a major appliance for Christmas?"

I can't speak for the statute of limitations at his house, but I'm happy this is arriving today:
Ice and water in the door. No more pitchers. And I have a place to keep drinks outside so the door won't be opening/closing/opening/closing all summer long. Yay!

Diamond jewelry is so overrated.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

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The last three items on my son's Christmas list were priceless. After the litany of electronic everything--he is nine, after all--he asked for:
  • A new bone for my dog.
  • A bell from your sleigh.
  • Peace on Earth.
Can't help much with that last item, but these found their way to the bottom of his and his sister's stockings:


Later on, he said he really didn't care about what he did or didn't show up from his letter to Santa. "The best things about Christmas," he says, "are Jesus being born and being with the family."

I agree. My blessings are a wonderful husband and two kids who think of other people first. Lucky, lucky me. If I didn't have a thing to unwrap, those would be enough.

Believe!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: PETER KRAUSE



A&E's blanketing its network with promos for Six Feet Under, which it will show in the spring. What is it with A&E and recycled HBO series? But I digress. In the forefront, the very sexy Peter Krause. That's KROW-zuh, to you and me. But Six Feet fans are way behind. I've appreciated this guy since the late, great Sports Night, a little piece which also introduced us to Desperate Housewife Felicity "Lynette" Huffman and gave us a chance to see how Nuwanda grew up. Krause? Yowza.

DINNER LIST: AARON SORKIN



If he does nothing else in his career, Aaron Sorkin has hit the trifecta with three things: Sports Night, The West Wing, and best yet, The American President. Quite the impressive resume. The guy who teaches American Government across the hall from me shows The American President to his kids every year because it raises serious political issues about elections, bills, lobbying, etc. in a light and very funny way. But I'd watch it again and again for the speech that ends, "We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I *am* the President." Methinks more real Presidents should put this one on the Netflix queue.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Grey Lady Down

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So I'm at my mom's house on guard duty yesterday (she was recovering from an outpatient surgery), and amidst floor cleaning with my new toy, I get sucked into the Project Runway marathon on Bravo. Keep in mind that DH and I haven't had real cable for a while, so I've never watched before.

Some things I learned: Heidi Klum is a real person, not a fembot. "Fashion" and I have a nodding acquaintance (still not too fond of outfits that look like they've been through a crosscut shredder first). And reality shows really do bring out the absolute worst in people.

Case in point: Wendy Pepper. Nice mom from Middleburg, VA, we think...until she gets on the show and starts scheming in order to win. Commentary I've read names her the show's Cruella De Vil.
She's very straightforward about it, too, and says she'll do whatever it takes to make the final three.

I admit I was interested in Wendy initially because we're more of an age than most of the wunderkind designers--most of whom are way telegenic. But her personal look gave me pause.
She had a big white streak of hair near her part. At first, I thought it was grey, but later found out there had been a makeover involved. (Wonder if Kara Saun was thinking subliminally about Cruella during the process?) There was no doubt that Wendy looked older than all the other contestants. But a couple of them were 37 to her 39/40 (she must have had a birthday during the filming), yet they looked much younger.

All of this is a long preview to the real point: going grey. You see, my hair is turning grey much faster than most folks I know. My dad's hair was practically white when he was fifty. I'm Daddy's girl. And since it's been a while since I did my roots, I'm noticing that the white is exploding all over my head. It doesn't help much that the last time I colored, I tried a new type. The box said "Permanent." It was two weeks' worth of permanent, maybe. The color just sheeted off my new greys--which are white--and left me with a Bonnie Raitt streak right along my part.

So now I have a quandary. Do I go back to coloring, or do I go ahead and let nature take its course? Turns out the color I've been using (Medium Golden Brown) isn't even close to my natural color, which is decidedly cooler in tone. But my natural color, increasingly, is white. Badly-dyed white hair doesn't look like anything but badly-dyed white hair. And there is no way I'm ever going blonde. A problem, n'est-ce pas?

I'm young at heart. Very. I am outright silly with the kids at church--how many "grownups" do you know will pin on a towel cape for Superhero Night? I wear Christmas Chucks to school. I drive a Beetle convertible, for heaven's sake. But my hair isn't lying about my actual chronology. So should I help it, or give in? One part of me says I should just give in, but decades of beauty advice scream otherwise. Is it possible to be a MILF if you have grey hair? Can you be grey and curly and keep it long without looking like a granola girl? Or should I give in and keep the Garnier gods in business a while longer?

Heidi--for all her fabulousness--is no help. She's a blonde. I'm navigating these waters alone, and they're kind of freaking me out. Suggestions?

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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BED LIST: DANIEL CRAIG



Two words: James Bond. Go see Casino Royale if you need convincing. Woof!

DINNER LIST: AL GORE



Personally, I don't care what kind of involvement he had with the Internet. This is one very intelligent man, and I love me some smart men. Plus, he's finally got the country talking about environmental impact, and as a Floridian, I can respect that. Plus, Tipper is a hoot. I'd invite her, too, as long as they weren't doing the lip-lock thing at the table.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Survey!

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This gem's making the rounds. Join in with your answers...

  1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate, of course!
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? He sets them under the tree so you know they're from him. The wrapped ones are from family.
  3. Colored lights on house/tree or white? Colored--but white, red, and green only.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? Why bother? There's already tons of it in the oak trees over my house.
  5. When do you put your decorations up? A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving, because they stay up until Epiphany (Jan. 6)
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Lately, prime rib and Yorkshire pudding. And broccoli casserole.
  7. Favorite holiday memory from childhood: Waiting upstairs until Granddaddy turned on the Christmas tree so we could come down and see what Santa brought--no peeking and NO going downstairs until the tree is on.
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can't remember, so it must not have been traumatic.
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Absolutely NOT.
  10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights, wooden bead garlands, decorated balls, apples, family/unique ornaments.
  11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it in pictures. It was fun to play in when I was a kid, but I can't imagine liking having to drive in it as a grownup.
  12. Can you ice skate? Nope.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Probably the year my sister and I got new bikes. But we were in SC for the holiday rather than Florida, so Santa left us Barbies with Barbie bikes to play with until we got home.
  14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Being with family.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? My stepmom's gingersnaps
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going to midnight services on Christmas Eve
  17. What tops your tree? An angel
  18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving!
  19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (song); It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (carol)
  20. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one by Chuck Jones, featuring Thurl Ravenscroft singing "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch")

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ah, Romance...

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Some thoughts on romance, courtesy of Stephan Pastis, creator of "Pearls Before Swine":


Ain't THAT the truth!

Check out the full comic published on Sunday, December 10 by United Features Syndicate at http://www.comics.com/comics/pearls/

Sunday, December 10, 2006

O Christmas Tree!

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Fresh Fraser Fir: $82
Roast beef dinner for family and two MILs: $47
New string of red Christmas lights: $2
Having the darned thing decorated without fisticuffs breaking out: Priceless

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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Back to the men! Now that the craziness of NaNo has subsided, I can refocus on what's important.

BED LIST: JOHN STAMOS



I haven't watched ER in ages, mainly because TV and I are nodding acquaintances rather than BFFs, but I understand that John Stamos is responsible for plenty of raised temperatures at Cook County General these days. He's been cute for years, but he's the kind of man who needs a few years' seasoning to reach his full potential. Plus, I think we can forgive him for having to act in that show with those goggle-eyed twins now.

DINNER LIST: CHARLIE CRIST



Behold, my soon-to-be governor. I would lurve to get one-on-one with Charlie Crist if for no other reason than to get him to get a real state of Florida education update from someone who has more than a remembered acquaintance with a classroom from which to draw an opinion. He'd better be ready for a looooooong dinner. As in, would probably last until breakfast. But he's a personable kind of guy. I think he could handle it.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Go Gators!

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The BCS computers have spoken, and it'll be the Florida Gators facing the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship. This'll be an interesting game to watch personally, since I lived in Westerville, OH when I was a kid. Daddy got transferred there. (We personally think of it as the exile in the wilderness for a number of reasons, flat Midwestern accents, dinner at 5:30 pm, and -40 wind chill being some of them.)

I remember being polled by some boy in my 5th grade class about that year's Ohio State-Michigan game and telling him "Michigan" just to be difficult (people who know me are not surprised in the least). But there's no doubt this year about my pick. The Buckeyes may have a great team, but I'm hoping the Gators CHOMP 'EM.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo Debriefing

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I've had a day or so to come off my NaNo high, so here are some thoughts about the experience.
  • A 50,000 word first draft in one month is not an impossible task.
  • A 50,000 word draft in a month takes consistent output.
  • Taking notes and thinking quite a bit about the story before starting the writing (following the NaNo rules) was very helpful. When November 1 hit, I was raring to go.
  • Robin Perini, I owe you one. Your plot diagram from this summer's Discovering Story Magic workshop at RWA National saved my butt.
  • Having to work that quickly stifles my picky internal editor, which in my case is a good thing.
  • It is very difficult for me to type messily. I keep wanting to go back and futz with stuff.
  • When it was 10:00 pm on the last day of NaNo and I had about 2,000 words still to go, I was able to smack that typing-corrector into submission, thank God.
  • In college, I read an essay about the creative process that said that Mozart would compose everything in his head, rethinking and testing combinations of instruments, notes, etc. When he was happy with the result, he would sit down with paper and ink and transcribe the whole thing. I'm no Mozart, but my process is very similar. I was thinking about the story much of the time, but not actually writing anything down. Until the last day, that is.I finished NaNo and won by writing 13,203 words in a 24-hour period. That's a hell of a kick.
  • The sky really doesn't fall in if you let the housekeeping go for a month. But it is a good thing that Target's open every day until 10 in case you need new underwear. Ha!
I'm really pleased with what happened this past month. I'm going to let the draft percolate during the holidays, then tackle the mess in the new year. Dream Agent says to go ahead and send a polished proposal, so that'll be job one. At least I know the main story, so the synopsis will be a piece of cake! The Five Step Plan is very rough, and I have about four single-spaced pages of notes to myself of things I need to go back, review, and change before it hits the light of day. But one thing I have now that I didn't have on Halloween is something to work with. I hadn't been productive in some time, and NaNo helped me clear the logjam. Who knows? Maybe this is how I'll write a novel every year. Can't hurt!

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Did It!

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Official count: 50,127 words.
Official statement: I. Am. Whipped.
I'll post more about the NaNoWriMo experience after a good sleep, since I sure haven't had much the past couple of days. Can you say, "Procrastinator"?
My wrists are killing me! Where's the chocolate??

 

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