Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - lord it's like a hard candy Christmas

1. Picture me today, driving around belting out Hard Candy Christmas like a less sparkly and much less musically talented Dolly Parton.
2. Merry Christmas, shore house. You're getting updated lighting on the main floor - removing a ceiling fan, moving and replacing another with this one, installing new light over dining room table, installing new mini pendants over long counter where the sink is, and a new light fixture in the kitchen all in hope of improving the light on that floor which is terrible right now. Everything has been ordered, 3/4 of it has arrived, and work is scheduled for January 15. Who's in for some ceiling painting in March? Don't all shout yes at once.

3. I ordered Brite Bite Brushing Sticks that I will gum up with tasty things in an effort to get them to brush their own teeth which I am aware sounds fucking nuts. My I Heart Dogs order got three dog toys for shelter dogs and fed 29 shelter dogs. I love that. I don't love when all dogs swarm my face, which happens daily.
4. Speaking of dogs, I came across this review on Saturday and I was fucking roaring. What the hell is wrong with people.
5. Tis the season to wait impatiently for my nephew's arrival. Not as impatiently as his parents, I'm quite sure. I can't wait!!

6. I'm with this OpEd in USA Today: "A president who'd all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama's presidential library or shine George W. Bush's shoes." Shame on this unfit to be POTUS garbage person tarnishing the office of the POTUS and those on the sidelines cheering it on in some fucked up version of anti-political correctness. Hey...go fuck yourselves. How's that for political correctness?
Exhibit A on the left: the indicator of his attitude towards women that everyone willfully ignored.
Exhibit B on the right: sexual harassment in the workplace.
7. You're goddamn right it is, Merriam Webster.
MFD was in DC again yesterday protesting the Tax Scam and of course he found Senator Warren. This is so MFD of him, to get the picture with the person people want to get the picture with. He went as part of an action, not a day to put himself on the line for arrest. Shocker, he got arrested anyway, for singing This Land is Your Land. The Capitol Police apparently do not like that song being sung in a building the taxpayers own that is inhabited by people who work for us. He was home in time for his Code Blue overnight and home in time this morning to clean off my car because it seems like it might actually be a winter? Anyhoo net neutrality today, people. Get on the phones and tell Congress to stop the FCC.

8. It's not enough to thank black women for keeping a racist, misogynistic, anti-semitic adult man who molested 14 year old girls out of the United States Senate. Amanda sent me the link to Black Women Kept Roy Moore Out of Office. Here's How to Actually Thank Them last night because she knows me so well and knew I'd have an item on this today. My personal donations (I make two on 12/31 every year to send the year out on a good note) will be going to Higher Heights for their #BlackWomenLead campaign and  Woke Vote, grassroots organizers in the south who are registering voters and canvassing neighborhoods. I already donated to Stacey Abrams for GA Governor. Some other ways to turn words of thanks into action that shows true solidarity from Austin Channing:
9. Reminder:
10. Ecard of the week:



Ho-ho-holy shit it's
almost Christmas.




Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter is coming.




The pendulum is swinging.

Double down on efforts. 

Keep showing up. 
Refuse to be silent about things that matter, such as racism, misogyny, xenophobia, LGBTQIA rights, the rule of law, democracy, integrity, respect, education, civil rights. 
Get out the vote, including in the primaries.
Hold government representatives accountable for representing citizens, not their donors or corporations. 
Call them, fax them, write them, tweet them, show up at their offices. 
Put their feet to the fire. They work for you. 
Let sitting Democrats know that if they listen to corporations and donors over constituents, they’re next after we deal with the imminent danger of Republican representatives voting against common decency and people’s lives every day. 
Participate because democracy requires it. If you don’t you’re living under a Lord of the Manor system thinking you have to take what they give you. 
Think critically. 
Do your research. 
Know your rights.
Exercise your rights.
Speak truth to power.
Point out abuse of power. 
Protect the free press.
Care for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the forgotten.
Stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves. 
Help those in need.
Amplify the voices of marginalized groups. 
Thank black women but also support and fund their campaigns because we owe them more than thanks for voting in the best interest of communities nearly 100% of the time - they have by far earned leadership positions in those communities.
Believe women.
Work hard - practice self care and take breaks but don’t for one second think we’re coasting now and the work is done.
Recognize authoritarian overtures and plant yourself on the right side of history. 
Resist.

2018: expect us.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Show Us Your Books: the gift of reading


How fortuitous that this falls on my Gamma's birthday - one of the people who fostered a love of reading in me early by taking me to the library constantly and not only reading to me, but having me see HER read and talking to me about how much she enjoyed it.

It is so important to kids that we show them that, no? When I spent a day off from work with my niece at the end of October, she handed me my book out of my bag, went to her bookshelf and got her book, and pointed to mine for me to read. Then she picked her book up and did the same. I nearly cried with happiness. She's two. They learn early.

Anyway, last typical SUYB of the year until the Best of/Favorite reads of the year edition, which is Tuesday, December 26. I love seeing what was the best of everyone's reads and have kicked off a few Januarys with a solid library haul based on those recommendations.

Happy Hanukkah to my friends celebrating! 

And can I just say please Lord don't let Alabama put Roy Moore, racist slavery lover, xenophobe, woman hater, and teenage girl predator in the Senate. Amen.


Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next is a special Favorite Reads of 2016 Show Us Your Books on Tuesday, December 26. We pick up in 2018 with the January 9 link up.
Please: 
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me
2. Display the button and/or link back to us on your blog post
2. Visit other blogs who've linked up and talk books as booknerds are wont to do

Here's what I've read since the last linkup.

Engrossing Reads


Two Girls Down by Louise Luna - I could not put this book down. I loved the characters and the quick pace. I’d read many more books with Cap or Vega in them. Free e-copy courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell - I liked this so much. It was sad and weird and lovely all at the same time. And since it's about stuff, it made me think about my stuff more than I usually do, and what I hold onto and why. Philly library hardback

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - Sometimes when I love a book so much I have a hard time talking about it intelligently. Anyone else? I'm all just read it for yourself. I feel like that here, but should comment that it took me longer than normal to read this. Part of that was Thanksgiving weekend and being on the go and part of it was really needing to sit with each chapter in the beginning and think about it - not because it's hard to follow, but just because I found myself needing to. I also referred back to the family tree a zillion times. White people are all tracing lineage back to the freaking dark ages and black people...we've cut them off from that in so many instances. I have feelings for this book. The story itself and the telling are absolutely masterful as well. I've never read anything like it. Philly library hardback
Wonder by R. J. Palacio - I read it in a few hours on Saturday. Like Homegoing, it's one of those that I was like why did I wait so long to read this? I loved the alternating chapters, a few from characters I did not expect to hear from. Good lessons for people of all ages in here. Hardback, own

Passed the Time Just Fine

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - My favorite John Green is Looking for Alaska, which I know is not a popular opinion but nonetheless it's mine. I liked this and it was good, a little bogged down in the way that YA can sometimes get bogged down. Hardcover, own, passed on via mail

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke - I liked the characters and the storyline. Race, crime, old hurts,
the south - the possibilities are endless. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1) by Sharon Bolton - I will pursue this series. I love a flawed but essentially good main character with closets full of secrets. Philly library hardback, Bruce ate the cover so the memory of the fine will outlast the memory of the enjoyment

If Snow Hadn't Fallen (Lacey Flint 1.5) by Sharon Bolton - Damn these authors with their tiny novellas in between big ones in a series - looking at you, Linda Castillo. I must read them because I fear missing something if I don't, but they are really not satisfying. Kindle Amazon purchase

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley - This is different for sure. The main character is quite obviously mad so it was interesting to read from her point of view. She devolved quickly after a big lead up in the first 3/4 of the book. Free e-copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green - I spent Sunday with this one. An easy read that kept me interested enough to start and finish it in one day and made me push off my hausfrauing. The author really threw a lot of shit into the conclusion of this one. Amazon kindle purchase

Not Worth It

Six Little Secrets by Katlyn Duncan - Quick, and mildly interesting, but the ending was nuts and not in the best way. I am not an overall YA lover because you get books like this as well as John Green books. Free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan - What an amazing WWII real life story I had not previously heard of buggered up by the telling of it in a book. Paperback, own, you want to read? I'll send it to you

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy - Is it wrong to only look forward to the very few chapters here and there from the killer's point of view? I thought so. Unfortunately the book started on one, so I thought it would be delicious throughout and turned out stale. free e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Did Not Finish
n/a

And you? What have you been reading? 



Monday, December 11, 2017

TWTW - the one with the snow

One of my favorite events of the year is the Army/Navy Pep Rally in Liberty Place right next to my office. The place is packed and there's a lot of good energy. Video here.
Friday night was a soup and grilled cheese, fall asleep on the couch before 10 kind of night.

Saturday 
I did some food prep, hung with the dogs, painted my nails (Zoya Pandora, ho hum neutral), and laughed at Bruce experiencing snow for the first time. He was mystified and also tearing ass all over the yard.
Debbie and I went on guided street art walking tour in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philly with Conrad from Streets Dept blog. Tours are over for the winter, but if you like public art, check back with him in the spring! I love street art, and we both really enjoyed it. It was a beautiful winter wonderland but walking around in wet snow for two hours was fucking cold. I shared some more of the art on Instagram in this post and this post.
The drive back to the northeast was mildly treacherous so I was happy to get home. MFD was Clark Griswolding it up, baking peanut butter cookies, listening to Christmas music, and photographing his outdoor Christmas shit in the snow. ho ho ho. I made stuffed pepper soup and we watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I read Wonder starting in the morning and finishing at night. 
Sunday
After throwing beef stew in the crockpot, which involved searing the meat, I jetted over to get a himalayan pink salt massage, smelling of stew. Charming. Otherwise I read a book, ran the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen, did the laundry, and hung with the dogs. I'd like to tell you I cleaned out my health and beauty aids, cleaned up the shit from the shore that had taken residence on the spare room bed, and changed the bedding in there, which I've been meaning to do for 407 months now but alas I read a book from start to finish and did none of that shit. We did watch Superbad and I ordered the light fixtures for electrical work we're getting done at the shore in January. Merry Christmas, shore house!

Weekly food prep
Breakfast is kodiak waffles with syrup; snacks are hard boiled eggs and honey crisp apples; lunch is stuffed pepper soup; dinner is beef stew over egg noodles and turkey thighs with mashed sweet potatoes and snap peas. 





Happy birthday to my dear long-time friend Meem today!

Two weeks from today, it'll be Christmas. Tomorrow, it'll be Show Us Your Books.

See you back here for that! 

Friday, December 8, 2017

New Christmas Carol: The Errand Song


On the first errand of last night the universe gave to me
A missing ship to store package Home Depot comedy.

On the second errand of last night the universe gave to me 
Zero cans of Mae’s food I had called about previously.

On the third errand of last night the universe gave to me 
No high maintenance person organic creamer for my coffee.
(who am I?)

On the fourth errand of last night the universe gave to me
Driving the wrong way on two one ways to tap MAC for money. 

On the fifth errand of last night the universe gave to me
A loudly arguing about not suitable for public things family.

This post could also be titled Five Reasons I Get Everything Delivered. 

Happy weekend my friends. May you not have any verses to add to this song. 


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday Thoughts - the room was togged out gorgeous with mistletoe and shawls

1. When I was little (for sure too little for caffeine) and it got cold, my Mom Mom would give me tea with two spoons of sugar, thaw some frozen fresh strawberries gotten at Styer Orchards that summer (back when strawberries were not regularly like frankenberries) and set out a little sugar for dipping and say we were having a little taste of summer. I will never move away from the foods of my childhood.

2. Hell is in Southern California. The fires are absolutely devastating. I know we are all tight this month. If you have anything to spare here’s how to help victims of the Southern California wildfires.

3. MFD was in DC Tuesday protesting this fucking Tax Scam (he was arrested in the same group as two of the women who organized the Women's March, Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland - I was fangirling via text, hello not appropriate). We are of the John Lewis school when it comes to civil disobedience. Seeing comments on facebook leads me to believe that people think being arrested on a charge for civil disobedience means you languish in a Washington DC jail cell for days until someone springs you and you have to go to court and be branded a thug criminal/drain on society for life. That's not how it works - Capitol police process you in and out. Just in case you need to know. With the way we're going, it seems like more of the electorate is going to have to put their bodies on the line before this is all said and done. Know the process and your rights. Do not resist arrest. Do continue to resist authoritarianism and bullshit from the government.

4. To do list for the next few days if you are of my political persuasion although I believe the tax bill and net neutrality should be making citizens on both sides of the line raise holy hell but I have actually seen people defend tax cuts to billionaires on their own backs...you can’t make this shit up, it’s a fucking crazy world right now: call your House reps about the tax scam - as this opEd states, it's not quite a done deal. Call everyone about passing a Clean Dream Act and saving net neutrality (we have until December 14). Email Time to thank them for making the silence breakers the People of the Year. Even if you do zero of the above, repeat out loud once a day every day that this shit is not normal. None of it is normal.


5. Mark and Sarah came to hang with the dogs Tuesday and I worked from home Wednesday since MFD had to go to the shore to do his part in closing up the house. The water gets turned off tomorrow. I'm not well. Anyhoo for a time it was just me and my dog squad and they made the most of it: Gus and Mae got baths on Wednesday which prompted Gus to rage shit on the floor. Bruce destroyed the window lights, two more picture frames, and continued work on his destruction of the tree. I also washed certain pieces of the couch twice. Just a regular day. Bruce's destruction of three of the five frames on the bottom of the entertainment center have prompted me to finally do something I've been meaning to do - change the photos. They're at least six years old, and since the glass frames are not puppy shatterproof I have some canvases of photos I've taken on vacations on the way to fill the spots. Merry household Christmas. Our gift is replacement of things our dogs have destroyed. ho ho ho mofos

6. You know I can't stand Elf on the Shelf, but I can get behind this use.  Even though picky me wants it to read You've got to and...leave it alone, grammar police. Do you guys follow the I Ain't Doin' It Lady? She's a fucking riot and she did an Elf on the Shelf video. I'm with her.

7. I tried a new Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics that they sent me for free. The smell is good, my hair feels clean, and it lathers well which is not always the case with cruelty-free products. It's also safe for color treated hair which is a total must for me. I really need the corresponding conditioner to see if this is something I'll continue using when this bottle is done. Maybe Santa will leave a bottle of that in my stocking. Check out their free samples program.

8. Show Us Your Books is Tuesday! Spoiler alert: I finished Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi on Monday night and was just floored by it in the best possible reader way. Jana and I are also hosting a bonus Show Us Your Books on 12/26 about favorite reads of the year. I'm trying to prepare that now so I'm not scrambling at Christmas.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecard of the week: The past few Christmas Eves have been grossly warm and humid for Pennsylvania at the end of December.




What's New With You

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I never thought I'd be so casual about poop incidents


Saturday Laura called me as I was pulling into my neighborhood on my way home from the shore. I ran into the house and right upstairs to pee because best friends can talk on the phone while they're peeing.

Gus had followed me up. Gus is 12. Gus is an incontinent walking pooper. Gus was so excited I was home that he did the walking pooping. Bruce Springsteen stepped in a piece and held his foot up like an alien had taken control of it. I cleaned the poop up, tossed it into the toilet, said my goodbyes without even mentioning this poopscapade, and further scarred the puppy by cleaning him off with water.

To reiterate: a dog pooped in the hallway, another dog stepped in it, and I was so unfazed that I didn't even yelp or mention it on the phone. When I came down and told MFD what transpired, he barely acknowledged it before we started talking about dinner.

I could regal you with so many stories that are absurd and hilarious, but that's probably enough grossness for one morning.

If you would have told me before I got dogs that I'd be like oh there's poop in the house, let me clean that up and go about my business, I would have laughed in your face.

But here I am, on a Wednesday in December 2017, offering it up to the Internet that I am a person who has become totally casual about poop incidents. This is what you get when I just post off the cuff, topical to my life right now blog posts.

Is it wrong to wish my Dad and Carol a happy 20th anniversary at the bottom of a poop post? Sorry guys. Love you and happy anniversary!

So how's your day going?


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Stop hitting me in the ass with your cart - we all need the lights, Sharon.

It's poor form to begin a blog post about one subject with a tangent about another, but my form has never been good. I love the memes using women's names, usually featuring pets. Don't you? They crack me the fuck up. If you ever see one and it's funny, tag me. Do not tag me in not funny shit. 
Anyway.

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to Target on Sunday at 2:30 pm. I was cruising along through most of the underpopulated portions of the store, humming to myself. I saw Christmas lights straight ahead so I made my way into that aisle. 

Annnd stop. 

Carts on both sides gumming up the works while their women drivers were very busy locking hungry eyes with items on shelves like they were Johnny Castle in his cabana after pulling off the dance at the Sheldrake Hotel with Baby. No problem ladies, carry on in your sensual eye dance with prospective mantel decor. I will go around. 

I did a cart K-turn which I hate even more than an automobile K-turn and headed down the next aisle over. I parked a discreet distance away, hoping I'd be in and out of the light section in a flash and thinking it would be easier without my cart. 

Surprise! There are now 203948203482384 varieties of white lights. I took a minute to look over my options, and in that minute, four different women hit me with their carts. I'm bad at math, but that's like someone hitting me every 20 seconds. No,15. Whatever, the point is what is it about the holidays that makes people lose all control in stores? It's like zombies focused on one thing. Everything and everyone else is just in the way.

Sharons, we all need the lights and we're all going to get the goddamn lights and we don't need to run each other over in the process. Chill. And buy yourself a box of brownie mix on the way out because damnit you deserve it.

Monday, December 4, 2017

TWTW - the one without rest

Did you ever get to Sunday night and think now what the fuck happened Friday? That's me this weekend. I eventually recalled that I got home and half assed started Christmassing while the house was a wreck and the puppy was in zoom mode. Not smart. I gave up, put laundry away, packed my bag and the car, and headed to the shore. Once there I made the bed and started going through shit that can't stay there over the winter because it will freeze and reconstitute into dreck. 

I went to bed at midnight with the sinking feeling the Tax Scam would pass the Senate and woke up Saturday to find out that it had. PLEASE call your House of Representatives rep about this bill. There is still time - the House and Senate bills must be reconciled and they must hear from us from both sides of the aisle. We're not rich. This is going to hurt us in the long run while it helps people who don't need it

Saturday 
Up by 6 for a glorious sunrise, although likely my last of this season which is never a good feeling.
I had some coffee at Drip N Scoop before I finished cleaning out both fridges and pantry food and packed up clothes and health and beauty aids. I went up and down a million stairs a million times. I took my last bike ride to finish my Christmas shopping on Asbury Avenue at B&B and my favorite Blue Lotus. I also rode up to the boardwalk and got some peanut butter fudge at Shriver's so I could eat my feelings about closing up the house until March. One of the best things about the off season: no one locks up their bikes. I left in the early afternoon and I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry on the way home.
No rest for the weary back at home, I started a ton of shore laundry so MFD can take it back this week and carried on Christmassing. We moved furniture around, MFD put the tree up, and a million more up and down the stairs ferrying Christmas shit and regular shit all over before dashing out to HomeGoods to fill some decor holes. When I got back I reintegrated the shore dog and pantry stuff into the house before falling out at midnight. Help from the dogs: zero.

Sunday
Bruce Springsteen slept in until 6:30. I jumped into weekly food prep and laundry. While cooking at 7 am I had two awesome blog ideas that I was sure I'd remember a half hour later but of course they're gone with the wind. Aside from weekly food prep, Sunday was errands ($5 flowers and Target), futzing with Christmas shit, laundry, nails (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Set Sail and Grape Shifter) and putting shit away. I swear I didn't sit down for more than 10 minutes all day until 5 pm and I didn't even finish my first cup of coffee until 11:30. And while the weekend in total felt short, the day felt oddly long, which is great when you have a lot of shit to do. 
Bruce drug the dog bed over to the Christmas tree and I thought oh, how cute. No. Not cute. He pulled it over there so he could lay on his back and eat it in comfort. The aesthetic in Gus's photo is how I'd color Christmas (pink, blue, white, silver, sparkly) if I didn't live with Clark Griswold the red gold and green traditionalist. 
Sunday night Clark Griswold did his window with Mae barking merrily. I cried because she was a chorus for Geege's bark and I was missing that fiercely. I never thought I'd miss that cacophony. 

Weekly food prep
Can we discuss how perfectly the pineapple corer works? I'm sad I have wasted previous time wrestling with the slippery bark of pineapples. Breakfast this week is scrambled eggs with a side of pineapple. Lunch is ham chowder, the stock came from a hambone I had in the freezer and was a few hour process. Dinner is chicken enchilada pasta made with homemade enchilada sauce and topped with black olives - I roasted the chicken thighs, yellow peppers, and onions I used in this and it deepened the flavor and it's fucking fab. I had extra enchilada sauce that I froze. I also made a huge ass vat of veggie meat sauce - it has mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, onions, and ground beef. I froze all of that. Aubrey and Stephen will take some of the ham chowder and veggie meat sauce after the baby gets here. 



I experienced some holiday lunacy in Target. I will not enter stores during the day anymore. My favorite thing about the commercialism of the season is being able to get in and out of stores earlier and in relative peace.

Happy birthday to my uncle Billy today!

How was your weekend?  

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