Friday, December 30, 2005

Finally - the latest books

Well, I won't get to 50, but I might get to 40! Here are the latest:
Book #36 - The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander - To be added to the pile of books I'd like to read with my kids -another fun adventure!
Book #37 - Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman. Mom lent this to me to read years ago. The format was kind of interesting, all the various interactions and documents rather than just a narration. The whole issue of rules that exist only for rules' sake and the bureaucracy that keeps her from really getting a chance to TEACH came up over the holiday, too, but I can't remember how. I didn't quite see what finally made up her mind, I thought that was what she'd do, but didn't really see the why from the story. I do plan to lend this to a friend who teaches - she'll probably identify with it even more closely.
Book #38 - Shopgirl by Steve Martin. While I liked his story and his characters, I found the writing style way to simple and pretty distracting. I had the existence of the movie in mind as I read it and that meshed, because the book seemed to read more like a script to me. The "backstory" and character development was very disjointed from the action - much like asides or setup paragraphs before a scene. That said, the movie might be cute - I'll add it to my very long queue.
Book #39 - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - another re-read spurred by a film, but I actually got to this 2 days before seeing the flick. I really enjoyed these books as a kid. As with Coraline, this is high on my list for books for my kids and it too has more depth than The Black Cauldron. I found the movie an excellent interpretation, which kept much of the same tone of the original. One thing the movie didn't do that the book did, and I'm grateful to the movie for this, was the trumped up "court" speech of the 4 right before they find their way back to the Wardrobe. That was annoying. Plan to reread Prince Caspian soon.

In the midst of chaos, peace

We had a marvellous holiday, that's not over quite yet for J and I - we do our Christmas celebration late because we separate to our respective families on the actual holiday. Some memorable moments:
Tipsy Turkey -deep fried turkey, yummy corn casserole, and all sorts of other goodies plus excellent company, as always at a Jenny event
At least a day and a half baking in the kitchen - trying new things along with carrying out long-standing traditions (since 3rd grade I've made white bread every Christmas eve) - and enjoying the happy faces of those eating the results!
Time with family, both at Mom's and at our house - I hosted my first Christmas day and I think it went really well! :)
Delaying the Christmas card until I could get a decent shot of Murphy and Molasses getting along!
Eagerly awaiting a night of baked brie, caviar, and other treats, in front of the fire, opening and giving gifts with J and the kittens....

:)This time of year always makes me smile!

It's about time!

I feel like it's been forever since I've written and have a ton to tell - I'll likely break it into several small posts throughout the day....

First, an update on the kittens! The tension has eased immensely. They still fight and it can get a bit vicious -we often find Molasses with Murphy fur in his claws or teeth - but not so bad that the attitude/ lifestyle of either is cramped in any way. Most of the craziness happens as I get ready for work and right before bed. They're good guys and I think my family really took to them on Christmas (that's the next post). I'll post pics later, too....

Murphy is very intrepid. As I was putting lights on the Christmas tree about eye level, the tree shook a bit and suddenly there was a ball of orange fuzz at that very spot! He's not scared by much... Molasses is a super sweetie who's determined not to let his little brother out kitten him....

It's interesting, we're learning quite a bit from them - things that get us thinking about how we might parent. I also see strong echoes of childhood past - where siblings, despite more than a dozen "favorite" toys laying about, have to play with the exact same one at the same time, for example.

Friday, December 09, 2005


We brought Molasses home last night. The extremely mellow, quiet guy J had met showed his true "I'm still a kitten" stripes - we had a pony romping around the house and meowing constantly for attention. Sweet, crazy little Murphy kitten was not his usual self - very cautious, on guard - even though it looked like he had the spunk to take Molasses down, despite size.

Mom had said they'd fight.
Given our mushy hearts, though, we stressed. That we might have lost the Murphy we had just gotten to know. That Molasses wouldn't bond with us. That the two would never get along and we'd be stuck monitoring 2 nervous wrecks with claws from here on out.

I slept on the loveseat to keep Molasses company downstairs. J got the bed and Murphy upstairs.

True, this morning the chase was more playful, less evil and they spent more time setting, only slightly on edge, in the same room. I keep telling myself to give it a bit of time before stressing, but I also see it breaking J's heart.

Here's hoping we can draw up a treaty tonight.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who did I get mad?

The evening was going well. It was a long insane day, but I felt good as I picked up a few things at the grocery store. Then it all changed.
I rang up my basket - $30. I had $15 in cash, but couldn't find my credit card. Thinking it might have gotten loose in my work bag, I headed back to the car.
There, I went through my bag several times, no card. It had been left out at home after trying to buy something online.
So, I head back into the store to cut my order back within what I could pay in cash. That settled, I can finally get home for the evening.
At my car, my keys are safely locked inside, as is my cell.
I trudge back to the store (oh, yeah, it's about 20 degrees out) and suddenly have to throw out my hands against the hood of a minivan that's intending to pull through ME to park.
She apologizes. I ask if she has a cell, but no. I contiue on.
She finds me in the store trying to figure out how to find the number for AAA and offers me a ride home to get the spare key. Round trip made, car breached, home for the night, everything's finally OK.

This morning, I head downstairs for breakfast while J showers. My slippers slide and I fall down a good portion of the main stair on my butt/back. Good morning!
J dallies, but is always 2 minutes from the shower, so I can't get in until way late. Shower and then can't find the clothes I'd planned to wear. Every combo I can find looks horrible and I end up leaving 5 minutes before my first meeting of the day still not pleased with my outfit. I have two other wardrobe "incidents" before I even get to my desk.

So, the question is, who did I tick off and how can I fix it?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Molasses arrives home tomorrow - Thursday. First pictures Friday!

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Roelle Kids outing, a successful opening, and INTRODUCING....

Murphy Tahoe Byam!

Isn't he a cutie! After giving him little food for several days, someone drove up near Cathy's family's place and dumped him - in freezing cold weather. Her cousins' kids found him in the wheel-well of their parents Chevy Tahoe, hence the middle name. Luckily he was dumped where he was, because he was brought in and fussed and fawned over. Everyone fell in love and Cathy realized he'd be perfect for us - even though we weren't sure we were ready yet.
He's a Stealth Bomber - loves to hide when you're coming - and a love, when he wants attention, he'll keep walking over your feet.
He's so small - at 3 months he's probably just a couple of pounds - though he loves to eat, so we'll see how big he gets.
His purr sounds like crickets.

And he's getting a brother. When shopping for food for Murphy, J met and fell in love with Molasses. He's black, 7 months, and another big guy. He arrives later this week and I'll post more on him then.

Last week, Sonny had an opening in Baltimore that resulted in 11 sales, 4 commissions, and 2 new gallery bookings! Way cool - check out his Flickr site for some of the latest - pretty incredible. And I hear a rumor that he has a show in LA in Jan - most excellent!

Saturday, the 3 of us went to see Serenity. Pretty good movie and always fun to hang with the bros. Sonny and Murphy bonded a bit, too.

Book #34 - Hard Times by Charles Dickens - I enjoyed this quite a bit. It's been a long time since I've read Dickens and I feared the dry, over-bearing Victorian norm. Not only did this read a whole lot better, but I thought the tale and the endictment excellent. Sissy Jupe's responses to the hard Facts drilling questions in school and her despair over her "stupidity" kinda' remind me of my interactions with some folk who insist that I'm not following the conversation when I take different perspectives. I would have liked to see Loo more satisfied in love - but this is Dickens, after all. Still, very enjoyable.

Book #35 - Censored:2001 - An interesting read, but with way too much of a "corporations are evil and will kill all sorts of people in their greed and the government and its agencies just go along" conspiracy thing for me. I did find it interesting that some stories from the top 10 Censored stories of 1976 and 1977 are still censored, non-publicized stories in 2001. I know they're still publishing, but I wonder how the rise of CGM and the blogosphere and satellite radio has impacted things. I think it's much easier to get "non-corporate media" news nowadays and that indy news sources can have a ton of impact - look at the impact big bloggers have had in the past 2 years.