29 November 2010

Haute Couture: Sesame Street Edition

Well, it's more pret-a-porter than haute couture, really, but still: Harper's Bazaar interviews a few Sesame Street style icons.

Side note/spoiler: I'm disappointed at the exclusion of Kermit the Frog. The omission of Miss Piggy is arguably forgivable in that she was specifically a Muppet Show fashionista; I don't know if she ever even made an appearance on Sesame Street. But Kermit? With current industry emphasis on eco-conscious "green" design and production, certainly Kermit is THE indispensable style icon of Muppetry, from Sesame Street to Carnaby Street to any rue in Paris.

28 November 2010

Another night

Well, it's the end of Thanksgiving weekend, and while I can't claim to be completely healed, I am feeling slightly better with a little bit more energy. I'm able to eat things in the 9-12-month-old baby spectrum: mashed up food, applesauce, etc. I had yogurt and watery gruel for dinner. Yay. I wonder if I really have lost weight this weekend.

I'm hoping to be well enough to tackle work tomorrow, and as long as I go to bed and sleep soon, I just might make it. I just really miss food. And brushing my teeth.

News Flash

In a stunning display of understanding of current events, Mr. Al Gore reveals something that no one else has ever known or guessed:
Students in the United States are lagging behind other countries in math and science skills.

Gasp! I'M SO STUNNED! I'm so glad that Mr. Gore is around to provide to the public these shocking revelations.

In other mind-blowing news, Mr. Gore reveals that water is wet and the earth is round.

27 November 2010

Best of chats

Sometimes, I like to chat with friends on instant messaging, whether it is via Windows Live, Facebook, or Gmail chat, or whatever. A recent gem from my friend Victor.

Context: We were discussing epistemology.
why Deb
I am impressed
did you ever take geivett's epistemology class at Talbot?
But I am smarter than I look.
well, you look so simple and innocent
but behind that is a interdisciplinary maniac
I meant braniac
Keep digging, Victor.
it wasn't me
it was a virus

Haha, smooth! I might include this in my upcoming publication, "Reasons Why My Otherwise Great Male Friends Are Still Single".

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pictures

So I mentioned previously that I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 over the weekend. A fun time was had by all. The ladies got together for a picture. Jill was wearing a Prisoner of Azkaban shirt and I was sporting my Ravenclaw pride. [Hey, we can't all be Gryffindors, and some of us prefer it that way.]

However, Bill got to wear a Gryffindor scarf because he IS a Gryffindor. I'm not sure what is the deal with his t-shirt, though.

There were some people in costume, even though it wasn't opening night. We saw a likely Dolores Umbridge talking with someone we thought might be Bellatrix Lestrange.

And there was a possible Hagrid walking around with a guy in a black coat whose face was also painted black. Not sure about either of those, and unfortunately, my picture of them is not good at all. There were actually some pretty good costumes at the theater but I just wasn't fast enough with my camera to capture them.

25 November 2010

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I'm heading toward the end of Day 2 of my great recuperation. The Little Bug is settling down a bit better, but now the hunger is getting to me. You really don't appreciate being able to eat until, well, you are unable to. I have not had real food for more than 48 hours. I don't know how much more applesauce and yogurt I can handle. I am going to be donating money to organizations that provide food to needy people because my situation is temporary but there are millions in this world who suffer from hunger daily.

Meanwhile, in news of thankfulness, I am truly grateful for so many people in my life. I am thankful for Spencer and Amy Tannenbaum, who generously invited us to share Thanksgiving dinner with them. [I partook of soup and some mashed sweet potato, and both were very tasty.] I am thankful for my dad, who came to Ohio to take care of Nathan and me during and after my surgery. I am thankful for my darling Little Bug, who is growing and learning every day, and who teaches me so much about life.

I am also thankful for rest, and a safe place in which to sleep, because sleep is something I'm getting a lot of these days.

24 November 2010

So far so good

Shhh!! The Little Bug has finally quieted down, and I think that the Bapa, who is in sitting with him, may be asleep as well.

I survived the surgery (three total teeth removed, only one impacted) well enough. The general anesthetic is pretty good, in that I just went to sleep and when they called me to wake me up, I felt as if I was waking up from a long nap. So far the pain is manageable, especially with some good medicine.

The worst part is dealing with the Bug. It's difficult because I'm a very "hands-on" mommy, and it's our custom to do a lot of physical stuff, like rough-housing and rolling around on the ground. He often sleeps next to me in bed, and he still nurses almost every night. The poor Little Bug has had all of his routines and comforts interrupted, and he can't understand why.

Well, I'm off to get ready for bed so that I can get the rest I need.

Tackle-it Tuesday

Today, I had to try and make sure that my insurance was in order.
  • It was the last day to effect any changes for my 2011 benefit choices.
  • I was trying to juggle information from dental insurance, medical insurance, and the oral surgery center in order to confirm coverage for tomorrow's scheduled removal of wisdom teeth. Should be loads of fun.

Fun times ahead

Wow, I am really failing at keeping up with NaBloPoMo. The bottom line is that I keep falling asleep while putting the Little Bug to bed, which means that my amount of sleep is getting rather pleasing, but I'm getting nothing done in the evening. For example, I still haven't done all my dishes from the weekend.

21 November 2010

Saturday Catch-up

So, I didn't post yesterday. Sorry. I was just out really late watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

It's hard to provide any sort of feedback or review of the movie because it really is unfinished. All I can say is that so far, the film has been less emotionally riveting than the book was, but there were still moments that got me in the gut.

It was just special to be able take time and go see it with Potter-loving friends.

Tackle-it Sunday

Clean kitchen
Scoop litter
Take out trash
Set out clothes
Put stuff in car
Upload pics
Post on blog
Clean front room
Return stuff to Target

19 November 2010


First, a note about "Calvin and Hobbes". The artist/writer, Bill Watterson, has never licensed or merchandised his comic strip. Never purchase anything except a book of "Calvin and Hobbes", as anything else (t-shirt, sticker, decal) is an illegal and inferior knock-off.

Second, I bought a craft table! I got it on sale at Target (thanks for letting me know about the sale, Debbie) and I'm quite excited about it. I'm going with my friend who has an SUV to pick it up tomorrow because it wouldn't fit in my car.

18 November 2010

Calvin and Hobbes

Happy Anniversary, "Calvin and Hobbes"! Apparently, it is the 25th anniversary of the great comic strip.

I have always loved "Calvin and Hobbes". Watterson managed to capture flawlessly the zany inner life of an imaginative child, and did it without being either condescending or overly cutesy. I love almost every strip he ever wrote. Yet when I recently discovered that Watterson is actually from Ohio, it added a whole new layer of meaning for me. The scenes where Calvin deals with snow and sledding, the colorful leaves in prints of autumn woods... all these things had seemed as fantastic to me as the adventures of Spaceman Spiff or Stupendous Man. Aside from spending a year and a half in Chicago area when I was quite young and well before "Calvin and Hobbes" started running, I had never lived in a climate that experienced real seasons with any sort of regularity or intensity. When I moved to Ohio, I discovered such things through the eyes of an adult but they served to illuminate so much about Watterson's writing and drawing. I loved it so much before, but love understanding it better now.

But I think that may just be me reacting to genius.

I know you'll never read my blog, but thank you, Bill Watterson! You and your work touched and changed my life and made it truly better. Wherever you are, you should know that your fans respect and treasure what you have given us.

Furniture Update

I still have not yet obtained more furniture. A few people recommended looking into World Market, as they have a 25% off coupon for furniture this week. I did browse their collections online, and they are not selling anything that fits my needs or coordinates with my overall furniture look. So, I'm still looking more toward Target and Big Lots, and I hope I can get to them tomorrow while sales are still on.

17 November 2010

Still Thankful

I'm posting now because I'm putting the Little Bug to bed and I just might fall asleep here.

And tonight I am grateful to the Lord for a comfy bed in a warm home. So many people don't have those things.

16 November 2010

Tackle-It Tuesday

No new furniture purchased for me so far. However, I did look online for a sofa bed, and I received a hot tip about folding craft tables being on sale at Target this week.

Wow, real-life proverbial illustration

Everything but the kitchen sink. Literally.

Price is good, though.

Hazards of the Profession

Missed another day. Sorry!

My usual blogging time is in the evening, after the Little Bug is in bed and before I myself stagger off to lay myself down in a horizontal position and drift into unconsciousness for a few hours.

Unfortunately, last night, I was putting the Bug to bed as usual, and I fell asleep. This happens on a rather frequent basis, and while I don't appreciate it (because I get nothing done and then I have a messy apartment in the morning AND I have to shower and do all kinds of stuff that I typically do the night before) I do realize that I probably really need the sleep.

Tackle-It Tuesday

I've been keeping up with a lot of responsibilities in my life, as per usual, but haven't taken advantage of posting anything for Tackle-It Tuesday. Today, I've decided to confront some pressing furniture needs that are looming in my life. I desperately need a few items, and would like to invest in some other items that would simply make my life easier and more productive.

New dresser - My current dresser is in a lamentable state of disrepair. It is more than 20 years old, having been the dresser that my parents bought for me when we moved to the US in 1990. It has been moved more times than I care to calculate at this time, and has been slowly disintegrating for at least 5 years. The lowest drawer does not really work any more; the front has detached from the rest of the drawer, and that bottom cardboard piece has fallen out. I've tried to repair with tacks and wood glue, but it hasn't really worked. Now, the bottom has fallen out of the top drawer. I think this dresser has had a good life, and I can replace it, in good conscience.
New shelves - I own some working bookshelves, but my largest set literally fell apart on my most recent move.
Work table - I don't have any place where I can spread out crafts or work with my sewing machine. The dining room table is where we eat and where lots of action happens, so there is no place for getting creative. I set up the back bedroom as a work/play room, and if I get a folding table, it will be very useful.
Sofa bed or futon - All I have right now is a loveseat that sits maybe two adults comfortably. I have no chairs for guests except my dining room chairs. And if I get a sofa that is multi-functional, then it will also serve as a place for guests to sleep if they visit overnight. I'm thinking of putting the loveseat as a comfy spot in my work/play room and having the newer (longer) sofa in the front room.

And, of course, I have to shop for and obtain all of these items at some point during my lunch breaks, because it is just really difficult shopping for high-stress items with the Bug in tow. Oh, and I have to find useful strong people who are willing to help me bring home, move, and rearrange furniture. Usually, offering food as compensation is a key point in the latter endeavor.

I'll keep you all updated.

14 November 2010

14 Nov

Here we are: Another post for today, so I'm caught up!

First of all, I wish a very happy birthday to my dearest Elizabeth! I lament the fact that she is far away in Texas, but I hope I can see her some time in the next few months.

Second, I must admit that I am very tired. I'm sure everyone is bored reading my lists of "what I did today", but I enjoy posting them because they give me a sense of accomplishment. Today:
  • posted on blog twice
  • went to church
  • went to grocery store
  • made lunch and dinner
  • put the Little Bug down for his nap
  • sorted through some computer files, doing electronic decluttering
  • washed dishes and did the dishwasher and put away dishes
  • added bedding to my worm compost
  • moved compost bins to the garage
  • did laundry
  • bathed the Bug, clipped his nails, and put him to bed
  • baked cinnamon rolls
  • made lunches for tomorrow
  • folded laundry, put it away
  • set out clothes for tomorrow
  • showered and got ready for bed
  • took out the trash
  • called my BFF
I'm sure I did more, but I can't recall. It is nearly midnight here, so you'll have to wait till tomorrow for any more tales of my housewifely splendor.

13 Nov

I fell asleep before posting yesterday. Sorry! I ruined NaBloPoMo. If I post twice today, it's all good, right?

We had a good and productive Saturday. I spent the morning doing chores while the Bug played with his toys. We took a little nap mid-day, then went out to run errands in the afternoon. The weather was glorious (sunny and high 60s F) for mid-November, so we went to the park to run around. Our friend Bill met us there with one of his dogs and we walked partway around the Big Circle. Then we went home and ate a hodge-podge of food for dinner because we were cleaning out the fridge. Then we went to bed because a full busy day of chore-doing, errand-running, and park-going can really take it out of you.

12 November 2010


November has the distinction of being known for a few things: "fall back" time change, predominantly dreary weather in most places in the northern hemisphere, and US Thanksgiving. I like the time change, myself, because I enjoy having more light in the mornings and also the fact that we have returned to actual normal time. However, I have never been a fan of autumn or winter, and particularly not the weather. So far, November is a draw. But one thing I can say is good about November is that many people make it a point to focus on things for which they are thankful.

I know I am very thankful for the job that God provided for me more than a year and a half ago. It is not easy to be focused on productivity, and I fail often. However, I know I am very fortunate to have a job at all, much less one that I truly enjoy much of the time. This past week was very stressful, not because of anything related to my tasks at work, but because this was the week that we had to select our benefits for 2011. So many options! What plan should I select? What is the best decision to make for the Little Bug and me?! I must admit that having a child really bumps up the pressure to make the right choice. But amid the pressure, I forgot that even having the opportunity to make the choice at all is such a blessing at a time when so many are without employment and/or insurance.

Fortunately, it is all over now, and I am trusting to the Lord that I did make all the correct decisions. Our health and our finances are in His hands every moment, and while we should make use of resources He has given us, ultimately, He will provide and protect and He doesn't need paperwork.

11 November 2010

Marketing 2

For the first time EVER, the Little Bug actually ASKED to wear pajama pants! They have Thomas on them, of course.

Now I have high hopes regarding the Thomas bedding that Meema Debbie is sending him for his special new big boy bed... He may soon be ready to sleep on his own!

10 November 2010


Inspiration is failing me.

My day was long and in some ways productive.

It's late enough and I'm tired enough for me to just want to go to bed and sleep... without showering even. Wow.

09 November 2010


Conventional wisdom would have us believe that the marketing of popular children's characters is aimed at children. Seems reasonable. However, my theory is that much of the marketing is actually directed toward parents. Case in point: Thomas the Tank Engine outfits from Wal-Mart. I bought three sets (shirt and pants) as winter clothes for the Little Bug. True, they cost $1 or $2 more per set than would a more generic non-branded product. HOWEVER, from a parenting point of view, this relatively tiny markup is MORE THAN WORTH IT. If the Bug has Thomas on his shirt and pants, his resistance to getting dressed in the morning is greatly reduced. It's worth $2 to me just to have one easy morning. Amortizing this cost over an entire winter? PRICELESS!

VALUE isn't just a question of how much something costs in money; it's a question of how much money and effort and some other intangibles are required in outlay, versus utility (and even enjoyment) you will obtain from it, and the appropriate cost-to-use ratio that you yourself are willing to assign. Nobody else can assign value on your behalf. And that's a beautiful part of being a wise and responsible consumer.

08 November 2010

Which Harry Potter Character Are You?

The Potter-related question of today is, which character would you be?

Clearly, I am Hermione Granger. I first watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in a Talbot class, and by circumstance, my older brother was also in the class. Hermione is quite a little girl in that film, and is a Muggle-born witch whose first trip to Hogwarts is also her first experience ever in the magical world. She tries to make up for her insecurities by being a perfectionist and an insufferable know-it-all. When she first came on the scene, my brother leaned over to me and hissed, "Hey, Deb, THAT'S YOU!" I guess he would know. But one of the great pleasures of the Harry Potter books (and to a lesser degree, the films) is the experience of seeing Hermione grow through both the horrors of encountering ultimate evil (though her cool head gives her ability to handle the frights, I think) and the even-more-terrifying trials of adolescence (not to mention occasional forays into social justice, teen romance, and organized rebellion) into a self-possessed young lady who kind of does know it all but puts her formidable brain to work in service of loyalty and the greater good. I hope I could do even half as well in my own life.

Photo courtesy of emma-watson-pictures.blogspot.com

07 November 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

Kneading the dough for some rolls.
They're never too young to start learning how to cook!

06 November 2010


I'm really tired and can't think of much of anything to post.

I made plans today to go see the upcoming Harry Potter film on 20 Nov. So exciting! Should I dress up for the occasion? As what, do you think?

05 November 2010

Remember, Remember

The Fifth of November!

If I lived in the UK, I'd be readying my bonfire right about now. Those of us who are Stateside might wonder, what is Guy Fawkes Day all about?
Gunpowder, treason, and plot!

04 November 2010

It's Curtains for Us

I'm not the most gifted person when it comes to domestic arts, but I am definitely excited about my recent purchase: tension rods and thermal curtain panels from Target. It gets cold out here in central Ohio, and the apartment doesn't have high-efficiency windows, which means that we lose a lot of heat through the windows during the autumn and winter. By placing thermal insulators over the windows, I should be able to retain more heat, thus lowering my heating bill and increasing my comfort level and overall satisfaction with life.

03 November 2010

Expecto Patronum!

First of all, in NaBloPoMo news, I'd like to point out that I posted my review of Repo! on Nov 2, but since I began the post on Nov 1, my blog thinks it should put that date on it, and I'm too lazy to change it right now.

Second of all, I'm shamelessly copying Jennie with today's post. She is celebrating 30 days of Harry Potter over on her blog, and wonders what everybody's Patronus would be.

This is a tough question for some of us. Harry's, of course, is a stag, reflecting, among other things, his strong spiritual relationship with his father. Hermione's Patronus, curiously enough, is an otter, which seems unusually playful for a young person of her serious and scholarly temperament. I could not easily discern what my own Patronus would be, so I had to take myself mentally into Hogwarts and imagine casting the spell. "Expecto Patronum!" I had been hoping for an owl, but sensed that since birds are rather rare among Patroni (Dumbledore's phoenix--if one even considers a phoenix to be a type of bird--and Cho Chang's swan being the only ones mentioned, I believe), I would end up with a furry creature, and probably not even a large and intimidating one. Sure enough, what came out was none other than a cat! Not quite an ordinary domestic cat, but rather a Pallas' cat. Cute and fluffy but can probably inflict some damage. Good enough!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

What about you, dear readers? Find the Room of Requirement, cast the spell, and let us know in the comments how you fared.

01 November 2010

Review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

There are some works of human endeavor that present and represent ideas, whether good or bad. A philosophical treatise probably does so blatantly, whereas a piece of fiction or a work of art may do so more subtly. Repo! The Genetic Opera is a filmed rock opera that wrestles with such hefty themes as free will versus determinism, good versus evil, and the human condition. If I had to pinpoint just one Big Idea around which to wrap Repo!, however, I'd have to say that it provides the viewer with a pared-down but graphic view of the hideous realities of human trafficking. A bit of a stretch? Perhaps, but how else should I regard a production wherein human beings are clearly depicted as nothing more than sources of profit, and when the profit fails, the human beings are utterly dispensable?

Repo! is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic not-too-distant future. People can purchase organs if needed for survival or desired merely for some kind of upgrade. The leading organ company, GeneCo, eventually dominates the market and then the world. You get your organs on a financing plan, but if you miss a payment... your organ is repossessed! Who must perform the grisly work of repossession? Why would he or she stoop to do such a thing? Could there be any good in such a person? And could anyone love such a monster?!

We learn about the extremes to which some people must go for sacrifice and redemption, and how others rise above their seemingly omnipotent determinative genetics to seize opportunities to choose ultimate good (grace and forgiveness) above seductive evil. We also see that one can be the most powerful man in the world, but without love and respect given to or received from his children, he is revealed to be a pitiable fool with nothing for which he truly desires to live.

Repo! is not appropriate viewing for everyone. There is gore aplenty, although in truth, much of it is presented in a stylized, almost cartoonish, way. There is also some foul language, brief nudity, and a few rather suggestive scenes (although illicit sexual content is always presented as a hallmark of depravity, and not glorified as being desirable). Ultimately, however, a viewer should not see Repo! unless prepared to have heart and mind stirred to consider some truly heavy issues.

I would need to see Repo! again to appreciate more of the visuals and the musical score. There are some catchy tunes but most of the music is very tied to the narrative, so it is difficult to extract any particular song as being notable. I suspect that repeat viewings will remedy this, but for now, I can simply state that I found nothing unappealing about the musical stylings, and while not all performers were of the same caliber, all acquitted themselves at least competently, if not excellently. Standouts were Anthony Stewart Head, Alexa Vega, and Sarah Brightman, with special mention for Terrance Zdunich, who performed a pivotal role (the Graverobber) but also was one of the writers and composers.
So. It's NaNoWriMo, which translates to NaBloPoMo for those of us who are underachievers. Let us see how I fare...