Happy Birthday, Michael!

The twenty-ninth of December is my brother’s birthday.  I was going to make him these awesome crab cakes to celebrate, until he decided to inform me that he doesn’t like crab.  Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?  In any case, I stuck two candles (worth 7.5 years each) in my brother’s favorite dessert and sang to him very, very loudly.  Of course, my mother thought this would be the best time to take photos.  Like this one:

He got an adorable cover for his kindle and a year membership to my gym.  Happy birthday, Mike!

The Place Where Music Goes

A professor once asked my class where music went when it was finished playing.  At the time, I remembered wondering if it mattered whether or not the music was live.  Was concert music different from recorded music?  It feels different, but I’m sure my professor wasn’t hoping we’d spend the rest of class debating this aspect of her question.  Regardless, I realized after picturing concerts I had gone to, and music I listen to while I write, that she was still talking, and I was somehow missing thirty-two minutes of my life. I tend to think a lot about the questions that aren’t important.

Since then, I think a lot about time, music, memories, love and other things that disappear from our grasp without every physically touching us.  Where does it go?  When I ponder this, I picture a woman in a loose, spider-webby kind of white dress, sitting on a stage, playing a violin.  Music is visually flowing from the vibrating strings, like smoke from a candle through the air, towards the place where it goes.  That place. I follow it at first with my eyes, because it would be rude of me to get up in the middle of such a nice performance.  But I know the music is going to end soon, and I want to find out where it’s going before it’s gone.  So I follow it to a dark place behind the stage where I am following the chords with another part of my body, one that can see in the dark.  Perhaps this is my soul.  And then I am there.

I think it’s the place where seconds go when we finish living them, where memories reside when we’ve forgotten them.  It’s a room, like Hermione’s bag, endless, and forever filling with children’s laughter, strange dreams, sorrow and smiles.  Perhaps it’s where unicorns and dragons have decided to remain until time itself is finished and has been stuffed inside the room like uncoiled ribbon.  I think this room is found in that careful space between awake and sleeping, where dreams are just beginning to spark into existence.  It is kept safe between the lips of lovers and squeezed between the sighs of ecstasy that escape one’s lips during an orgasm.

If when we die we get to go to our own personal Heaven, I think I would like to go to this room, if only to visit it for a little while.  I can almost imagine the bliss of wrapping music around myself like passionate hugs from friends you haven’t seen in a very, very long time.  I picture the joy of seeing millions of film projectors playing memories that have been forgotten and abandoned.  And oh my stars, the library of discarded books that must be there.  Works of literature left behind, tossed away, unknown to the readers of the future–this room’s walls would be made of every ounce of happiness every felt by a human being.  It would be lit with every wish made on a star, in front of lit candles, and at specified moments during the night.  To die, and to stand in this room, watching every wonder and work from the first moment the universe ticked into being…perfection.

This is what I think about all the time.

Dear Ice,

Dude.  Seriously?  I needed to make a full stop at that stop sign, not skid through it.  Thank the sweet, sweet potato Gods that there were no other cars there.  I wasn’t even going twenty!  Please do us all a favor and just evaporate.  Thanks.  Also, you suck.  Did I mention that yet?


The Chick in the Black Corolla

The Last Words of Will Wolfkin

The Last Words of Will Wolfkin

Steven Knight

The novel tells the story of a boy named Toby, who is born completely paralyzed.  He’s raised in a Carmelite convent and lives his days imagining adventures on the moon with his cat Shipley.  One night, Shipley turns into a person (of the Fel race) and informs Toby he’s heir to the Fel throne.  Suddenly Toby can walk and speak, and that’s only the very start of his adventures.

Let me just say: what a book!  From the very beginning, the story captures the imagination and sympathies of the reader.  Toby is a great character, and I wanted him to succeed every moment of the book.  I thought Egil and Toby made a great team, and I think I might put them in the big box of “best characters ever.”  Emma, Toby’s half-sister, was okay.  At first I really disliked her, but as the story continued and her flaws and strengths were revealed, I found myself liking her more.  She had nothing on Toby though.

The ending was very predictable, even the disappointing epilogue.  I guessed it from about page 5.  Speaking of the ending, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.  It isn’t the happiest of endings, but it’s a real ending.  I’m torn between liking the reality of how the story concludes and disliking the harsh truth.  I think reality might win.  In the sea of disappointment, however, there is a glimmer of happiness and hope.

In the end, though I found the story to be more predictable than my lunch choices, I adored Toby, the Fel world, Egil and Sister Mary enough to give this novel 4.5/5.  Go read it!

Snow Day!

Everyone knows I hate winter.  I hate winter the way lobsters hate pots of boiling water.  It is physically painful for me to endure temperatures cold enough to make me put on my penguin jacket.  I hate that jacket!  However, sometimes nature does something really cool.  Like bury us in several feet of snow!  I went to check the mailbox and instead, saw this:

I can't even open the door. Wait, where are the steps?

Yes, that mound of snow in the front is pressed against the glass door.  I hope the mailpeople have the day off from work too.  I was so excited that the first snow of the season was this epic.  Nature, you win!

Simon and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to run around outside while my brother shoveled everything.  Don’t feel bad!  I shoveled the front of the house while Simon guarded me from cars.  Because of his valiant efforts (not the 45 thousand feet of snow between me and the road), no cars got anywhere near me.  Good job, Simon.

Here’s some photos of our adventures.  You can play find the dog:

Note the street in the upper left corner. Simon is floating on a giant wall of snow.

Me: "Simon, we need a cute picture to show everyone. Look cute!" Simon: *sits* Me: Eh, good enough.

So there you have it.  While I stood in snow up to my knees, Simon ran around and got stuck in the snow.  I had to rescue him from my footprints twice because he fell in and couldn’t hop out.  Before I end this, here’s a short video of Simon running around.  Enjoy the snow!

Christmas Lights

Last night I went out with two friends, my brother and the puppy to leave surprises on the doors of the houses I thought decorated the best.  We only had three rules: A house couldn’t win if they had music, blow-up decorations or all-white lights.  We drove around for almost two hours before deciding on the houses that would take 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.  We left the mugs filled with chocolate, rang the doorbell and then sped away.

When we got home, we found a person from one of the houses had already posted about it on facebook:D’aww.  This made my Christmas.  Next year, we’re going to do it even better!

Dear Woman Who Asked for “Conservative” Biographies On The Founding Fathers,

Not only did I stare at you because you asked your question as awkwardly as humanly possible, but also because soon after, you tried to explain your request by saying, “You know, I don’t want any of that liberal slander.”  Uhm.  What?  I think if you want to find books for your child with a strong Christian message, you should ask for it that way.  Also, thanks for taking EVERY biography we have on EVERY founding father and leaving them all on the table in the formation I like to call “the explosion.”  Very considerate of you.


The chick giving you the look of extreme confusion

The Perfect Vagina

I recently saw this documentary, which was written by (and features) Lisa Rogers.  The whole documentary follows her as she tries to discover why so many young girls in the UK are going under the knife for a labiaplasty (a word spell-check doesn’t recognize).  For those who aren’t sure what that is, a labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to remove ( or “fix”) the labia minora.

The documentary explores what would drive women to such lengths to find the “perfect vagina” as well as checking out some of the alternatives to surgery.  I couldn’t believe women would actually go through such a procedure–and after watching one done in the film, I don’t think there is anything in this world that would make me go through that.  At first I was shocked by the things I was seeing and hearing.  Here were these young girls who sincerely thought their bodies were ugly and disfigured, who were teased for the way their labia looked by boyfriends, siblings and doctors.  They thought the only way they could be happy would be to literally cut the problem out of their life.  Then I started to get angry.

Who are these people that are dictating what a vagina should look like?  What gives them the right to say anything at all?  And why aren’t girls being educated on how different bodies can be?  And most important to me, why are women so eager to listen to these shouts for change?  If a boyfriend doesn’t like what he sees, isn’t it his loss if he won’t fiddle with it?

The documentary brought up a lot of these questions, and answered just a few.  In the end, it was obvious that society, women and the vagina was a tangled web of sore feelings, hesitation and uncertainty.  There wasn’t an easy fix to this problem or a simple answer to the “why?” that continued to crop up.  Most of the time women used cute nicknames for their “lady bits” and talk of it made the men in their lives uncomfortable.  When male strangers were consulted regarding whether or not women should do something about their labia, the answers made me want to claw my eyes out.

I liked this documentary because after I watched it, I felt the need to talk about it, to write about it and to do research regarding the growing trend.  The questions I had stayed in my mind for a long time after watching this film, and it made me think about my own feelings towards my body.  If women’s rights and the relationship between women and their body is something that interests you, then I highly recommend you watch this film.

Old Bethpage Candlelight Christmas

Tonight I went to Old Bethpage (the restoration town) for their candlelight event.  Firstly, the area is gorgeous and I am eternally grateful that places like Old Bethpage exist.  When we first got there and started walking around, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly cold it was.  I had a nice handmade scarf and a warm coat, but I forgot gloves and my fingers were like ice pops in minutes!  After I got over the shocking weather, I was able to look up at the batrillions of stars twinkling in the sky.  Everything was lit by candles, so there was no light pollution.  It reminded me very much of upstate NY.  It was beautiful.  Almost magical.  It was beaugical.

In the town, several of the houses were open for visiting.  One of the shops featured a very good looking man making a yuletide broom.  Another had a woman singing Christmas carols with the audience while explaining the meaning behind parts of famous songs (I will never look at holly and ivy the same way again).  The school house was transformed into a concert hall for a man from my hometown and this young boy.  They played the fiddle like they were born with the instrument between their fingers.  My favorite was the bigger shop which featured a woman playing the organ while a man with a very deep and rumbly voice sang songs.  He had a very handsome vest on, and seemed so jolly that had I been younger, I might have believed he was actually Santa.  Before coming home we stopped by the reception house for a magic lantern show, which was cute and funny.

Of course, being by Old Country Rd meant we had to stop at Red Mango for some frozen yogurt.  They have a new dark chocolate flavor that nearly made fireworks explode out of the top of my head.  It was delicious.  Overall, I enjoyed Bethpage very much.  When we were first walking down the path into the town it felt a lot like I was visiting a haunted house.  I found myself tensing up and worrying some random person was going to pop out of the bushes.  Good job, October.  Way to scar me for life.

I rate Old Bethpage’s candlelit night a 4/5.  Stop by and support the historical town!

Week Twenty-Nine

Hello lovelies!

This week I lost 1.2, for a total of 41.8 pounds.  I lost my sixth baby!  I wonder what this equals in terms of one child.  Let’s find out.  According to some weight chart I just found, I have lost the weight of an average six-year old.  That’s right, you kindergartener, get off!

At the moment, I am watching this terrifying documentary–I will probably write about it later.  Beyond that, I am editing like a loony for Margo and trying to keep up with reading.  That’s all I have to report for now.  Have a grand week, everyone!