Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Battle of the Skimmed Milks

Give them an inch, and they buy 2 percent milk.

I, like any figure-conscious woman, drink skim. Duh. My health-clueless husband thinks he's fit enough to drink full fat milk. Uh... yeah. Since I do most of the shopping, I graciously began buying 1 % rather than skim for our cereal; I am not an unreasonable woman. Well, I guess I sent the wrong message with that. Now, my husband thinks he's too good for one percent.

Yesterday I bought milk because I figured we were almost out; turns out he did, too. This morning, I debated using the already-opened 2 % or... nope.  I opened another completely full bottle of milk-- the 1%--, just to spite him.

Don't buy me 2 % freakin' milk. That's the message I wanted to send.
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guitar Hero: Obsolete Obsession?

Original post: November 2008 I am turning into a total teenager. No, that's not true. A lot of adults play this video game, and Rolling Stone says it's a fixture on many bands' tour buses. All I can think about today is that video game: Guitar Hero.
Guitar Hero, where do I start. I met you in Woodstock, NY. I was afraid to try you, because I could tell I was going to get sucked in. I was right. The second I got back to CT, I talked about you until I got you for my birthday.

Details are fuzzy, but I conquered easy in a breeze, and medium after a few hours. Sometimes, when I arrived home and had to shower and leave in 20 minutes, I'd turn you on really fast, play one song, turn you off, and run upstairs. That burst of happiness was worth having to hurry.

Then, difficult level: the addition of the orange fret. That wasn't easy. I bombed out every time. I even sucked at the tutorials. Even in super slo-mo, I couldn't get my pinky to the orange fret and still get my pointer back to the green. I set you aside, knowing it would take hours to become competent, knowing I didn't have those hours.

This weekend, we were together again, and it flowed. Orange fret? Got it! Somehow I knew where to slide my hand; I could find the green. Maybe the 80's version was easier. Whatever. All I know is, now I can do the orange fret, and now I can start to try the difficult level... when I have a whole day to play. I'm obsessive like that.

A new game called Rock Band is out. It's by the same company who made Guitar Hero. Wired hails Rock Band as the next big thing, improving on GH enough to make it obsolete. Rock Band has four parts: vocals streaming across the top, guitar and bass just like GH, but with the addition of drums. It's only 170 $, and it's on my wishlist. Even though Wired says RB makes GH obsolete, I still want a 2nd GH guitar and the 80's version of GH. Before you buy me all that stuff, though, let me do some research.

Update: I got the '80s version, but I haven't been playing lately because I'm doing my other blog constantly and watching TONS of television. I'm also working full-time and tutoring, and I have a husband to pay attention to, and unfortunately, he does not like playing Guitar Hero. And, since I never play GH anymore, I haven't bothered to research Rock Band. I do have faith that GH will rise again in this household.
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Proposal For Keyboard Makers

I have a suggestion about the question mark key. How 'bout you put the question mark on the bottom, so I don't have hit shift every time I want to use it? Do you think people really use the slash more than the question mark key? I don't think so. Did you see any slashes in this normal, conversational-style paragraph? I didn't think so. Why don't you think about it and get back to me.
I'm not sure how we'll get this change made... but I think if Apple does it, the rest of the world will follow. Original post date 10/19.
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New Love

Original post date: November 2007. Two summers ago, I took a writing course for teachers. At that point, my nephew was two years old; since then, I have another nephew and now a brand new niece. I went to see them last month in Mississippi, and now I'm home, and I can hardly look at pictures of them without wanting to cry. I wish I lived closer. That reminded me of a poem I wrote for the course, about the idea that you can love someone so much; not that you love them more than the rest of your family. It's that they are brand new, so the love is brand new and hard to miss. I'd almost call it shocking. I was surprised by that. I knew it would be fun to have nieces and nephews, but I had no idea I'd feel this attached. Parents always say kids change your life, and I thought well duh, but I didn't know they meant this type of life-changing love.

Single at 30

No commitments to keep me home
I drive the length of New Jersey
once a month,
to meet with my crush
to flirt, to woo, to kiss and hug and hold.

After he was born
I knew I had to break up with my boyfriend
who couldn’t match
this unforeseen love
in a tiny form
I could pick up and carry around.

My sister got mad
when she overheard me call him
my favorite person
but it’s true-
he’s perfect,
in the way only babies are.

At 530 am
I hear his faint babbling through my closed door
and spring out of bed
to begin my ministrations.

At the onset of language
I document every word:
18 months:
Mama Dada Ball
No ( “no noooo, no noooo”) Up Hat
Bus Dirt Hoop
Juice Cheese House
22 months:
mall dog eat
Elmo Bert Ernie
clock knee mow
spatula pancake
Kristine (DIS-deen)
pasta pizza
baseball but-ball (football)
mmmuhnuhmuhnuhmuhnuh (translation: M&M)
23 months:
mad sad
pop tart
crack eggs
first sentence: “Call Dada. More milk.”
last updated June 27, 2005

As the spinster aunt,
I watch my sister mother well
for this time
to be irrationally in love
to be not a mom yet

Disclaimer: the boyfriend I am talking about is not my husband. He obviously did match the unforeseen love.
Note: The pic is only of the above-mentioned nephew, taken last month in photobooth; nothing personal to my other nephew and niece, it's just that this pic was the only one where you couldn't totally see them. I try to keep my blog life a bit anonymous, even though to
you all it's obvious it's me. I wouldn't mind if a stranger read all this, but I don't want them knowing what I look like. I might change my mind as the blog gets older and I get more famous, but we'll see.
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Awake Early: Me and Magritte

Original post date= 10/15. I have a room in my house, an addition on the back that has windows on all three sides. It's like an enclosed deck; it's all windows. As sunrise is getting later, I get to be up to watch it get lighter. I love that because it means I'm up early, in the comfort of my own home, getting stuff done- I consider blogging to be productive.

This morning I crept out of bed, crept into the kitchen- I have to creep to avoid waking the dog, who'll want to go out, which will ruin the flow of my morning writing- and looked out the back window. Perfect timing. Sun nowhere near up, but creeping from behind the trees- making a blue background that backlights the trees to make them black. My neighbor's kitchen light was on; someone was awake with me. That's my kind of morning. If it's not summer, I'll take fall, with a crisp in the air, black trees, and sun on the way.

The line between night and morning reminded me of my first few years of teaching when I'd get up early to go in to get ready. Getting off the highway at 6, 610, 630 am, especialy in the winter, when it was officially dark, and entering the neighborhood near the school, I felt so grateful to the few houses with lights on. That meant other people were awake, and it made me feel less alone.

Working from home this year, I'm glad I'll get to experience more mornings like this. I'm a morning person, so what to some people is a terrible thought- waking up before sunrise- makes me feel like I'm starting my day off right.

Maybe this is why I loved the Magritte paintings I saw in Rome. He's famous for the picture of the man in the black bowler hat with the apple over his face, but he also has incredible paintings of houses and trees that are backlit just like this morning. He somehow captures that perfectly, and it's one of the many reasons (speaks French, has odd ideas) that Magritte is my favorite painter.

Thank you to the husband, who just walked the dog.
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