Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Book List

Every year since 2007 I've tracked my reading in my little red book.  That book is one of my prize possessions. It's a great resource when I want to give recommendations, or double check if I've read a book or not before buying or putting it on hold at the library.  Plus, it's fun to look back every once in a while and see what I've read.

I have a few rules for my list.  First, it has to be a while book.  If I only read a few chapters or a couple stories out of an anthology it doesn't count.  Also, only books I'm reading for the first time go on the list.  My regular re-reads of The Blue Castle or The Westing Game don't count.  Neither do all those Vorkosigan books that I'm re-reading before starting on the new one.  Without these rules my list would be much, much longer.  But the rules make me happy, and it's my list so what the hell.

Without further ado, my 2010 reading list:

1.  Home Is Where the Wine Is- Laurie Perry
2.  Shiver- Maggie Stiefvater
3.  Skin Trade- Laurell K. Hamilton
4.  Laced With Magic- Barbara Bretton
5.  The Convenient Marriage- Georgette Heyer
6.  The Magic Knot- Helen Scott Taylor
7.  Fired Up- Jayne Ann Krentz
8.  If He's Sinful- Hannah Howell
9.  Divine Misdemeanors- Laurell K. Hamilton
10.  Suite Scarlett- Maureen Johnson
11.  A Matter of Class- Mary Balogh
12.  My Sister the Vampire #1: Switched- Sienna Mercer
13.  Uneven- Anah Crow
14.  The Comeback Kiss- Lani Diane Rich
15.  Once Dead, Twice Shy- Kim Harrison
16.  The Reluctant Widow- Georgette Heyer
17.  Going Gray- Anne Kreamer
18.  The Rules of Gentility- Janet Mullany
19.  Ash- Malinda Lo
20.  Devil's Bride- Stephanie Laurens
21.  A Poisoned Season- Tasha Alexander
22.  Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride- Elizabeth Rolls
23.  Alice I Have Been- Melanie Benjamin
24.  I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It- Adam Selzer
25.  The Abduction of Julia- Karen Hawkins
26.  In Milady's Chamber- Sheri Cobb South
27.  Mr Impossible- Loretta Chase
28.  The Truth About Lord Stoneville- Sabrina Jeffries
29.  A Rake's Vow- Stephanioe Laurens
30.  The Twelve Sacred Traditions of Magnificent Mothers-In-Law- Haywood Smith
31.  The Murder of King Tut- James Patterson
32.  Wild Ride- Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
33.  Lessons in French- Laura Kinsale
34.  Bundle of Trouble- Diana Orgain
35.  Skinwalker- Faith Hunter
36.  Flirt- Laurell K. Hamilton
37.  Intertwined- Gena Showalter
38.  Beyond Heaving Bosoms- Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan
39.  A Touch of Dead- Charlaine Harris
40.  The Reckoning- Kelley Armstrong
41.  What the Librarian Did- Karina Bliss
42.  Last of the Ravens- Linda Winstead Jones
43.  Born of Night- Sherrilyn Kenyon
44.  Blue Diablo- Ann Aguirre
45.  Captive of Sin- Anna Campbell
46.  The Cinderella Deal- Jennifer Crusie
47.  Beautiful Creatures- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
48.  Instant Attraction- Jill Shalvis
49.  Scandal's Bride- Stephanie Laurens
50.  Mistress By Mistake- Maggie Robinson
51.  Blood Cross- Faith Hunter
52.  Darkfever- Karen Marie Moning
53.  Tales of the Otherworld- Kelley Armstrong
54.  The Dead Travel Fast- Deanna Raybourn
55.  The Girl Who Chased the Moon- Sarah Addison Allen
56.  Mistress of the Art of Death- Ariana Franklin
57.  Bloodfever- Karen Marie Moning
58.  Frostbitten- Kelley Armstrong
59.  Faefever- Karen Marie Moning
60.  Dreamfever- Karen Marie Moning
61.  Street Magic- Caitlin Kittredge
62.  The Englor Affair- J. L. Langley
63.  Exit Strategy- Kelley Armstrong
64.  St. Nacho's- Z. A. Maxfield
65.  Wild Heart- Lori Brighton
66.  Handyman- Claire Thompson
67.  Storm Born- Richelle Mead
68.  Exclusively Yours- Shannon Stacey
69.  Something About You- Julie James
70.  Stranded With a Spy- Merline Lovelace
71.  Rules Were Made to Be Broken- Lenore Black
72.  Demonfire- Kate Douglas
73.  What She Deserves- Ellie Marvel
74.  The Last Hellion- Loretta Chase
75.  Made to Be Broken- Kelley Armstrong
76.  The Vorkosigan Companion- Lilian Stewart Carl
77.  Zero at the Bone- Jane Seville
78.  Ten Things I Love About You- Julia Quinn
79.  Changes- Jim Butcher
80.  The Wicked House of Rohan- Anne Stuart
81.  Changeless- Gail Carriger
82.  The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie- Jennifer Ashley
83.  Heart's Sentinel- P.J. Schnyder
84.  Magic Bleeds- Ilona Andrews
85.  Sizzling Sixteen- Janet Evanovich
86.  Dark and Disorderly- Bernita Harris
87.  Maybe This Time- Jennifer Crusie
88.  Bullet- Laurell K. Hamilton
89.  Jungle Heat- Bonnie Dee
90.  Silver Borne- Patricia Briggs
91.  Alien Revealed- Lilly Cain
92.  Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator- Janni Nell
93.  Draw the Dark- Ilsa J. Bick
94.  What She Needs- Anne Calhoun
95.  Burning Up- Sarah Mayberry
96.  Last Night's Scandal- Loretta Chase
97.  Bayou Moon- Ilona Andrews
98.  Menage on a Train- Alice Gaines
99.  Tonight, My Love- Tracie Sommers
100.  Dark Road to Darjeeling- Deanna Raybourn
101.  Savage Sanctuary- Jacqueline Barbary
102.  Butterfly Tattoo- Deidre Knight
103.  Burning Lamp- Amanda Quick
104.  The Lion of Kent- Aleksandr Voinov and Kate Cotoner
105.  Hunger- Jackie Morse Kessler
106.  Dead in the Family- Charlaine Harris
107.  Motor City Fae- cindy Spencer Pape
108.  Penelope and Prince Charming- Jennifer Ashley
109.  Trust Me On This- Jennifer Crusie
110.  Twas the Night- Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen, Kate Holmes
111.  Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake- Sarah MacLean
112. A Christmas to Die For- Marta Perry

That's it.  That's all she read.  I may knock off a little Doctor Who winter freebie while the house is quiet this afternoon.  If so, I'll come back and add it to the list.  If not, there's always next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


It's New Year's Resolution time, and as Crusie would say, I got nothin'.  No specific goals.  Nothing special I want to do in the coming year.  Maybe I'm just tired.

Resolutions, ideally, should be a mixture of things we know we can do but just haven't done yet, and things we aren't sure we can do, but we're willing to try.  Right now I have many things that I don't even want to admit I want because it's just setting myself up for failure, and other things that I genuinely have no interest in.

For example, saying I want to write a book would be setting myself up for failure, because right now I barely have the attention span to finish a blog post, let alone a book.  I'm not going to resolve to lose weight, even though I really, really need to, because routine errands outside the house exhaust me.  The thought of doing the kind of exercise required for weight loss makes me want to roll over and go back to sleep.

So instead, there are a few things I'm going to try to do, when I think about it.  I'm going to turn off the computer and read more books, when I think about it.  I'm going to blog more, when I think about it.  I'm going to use the Wii to move a little more, when I think about it.  I'm going to try to be better about keeping up with friends, when I think about it.  I'm going to work on my beaded scarf and sock yarn blankie, when I think about it.  I'm going to put away some of the crap still lingering in the corners of my room from the move, when I think about it.  (You'd think that living with the boxes and suitcases 24/7 would keep this particular project in the front of my mind.  You'd be wrong.  Fibro fog has eaten my brain.)

That's about it, I guess.  If I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and maybe make a little bit of progress on the good days, I'll count 2011 as a success.  I guess that's pretty much the definition of success for everyone.  I just have to remember to keep adjusting my ideas of "progress" and "good days" so I can get there, too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Swear I'm Not Pregnant

I felt a little off this morning.  Not particularly hungry.  And then this afternoon I was making a batch of toffee for my mom, and all of the sudden I was so nauseous.  The smell of the butter cooking was just killing me.  I ended up pulling it off the heat about 20 degrees early and sitting down with a few pretzels and a ginger ale.  Once I settled down a bit I went back into the kitchen to finish up and raced right back out again.

While I'd been in the kitchen, Mom had been cleaning the bathrooms.  I didn't get more than two steps into the bathroom before the smell of bleach chased me back out again, trying not to retch.

I got a little something in me at dinner and went back to my room.  Mom wanted to make coleslaw for tomorrow night's dinner, and she was worried the vinegar would bother me.  When I came back out a couple hours later to decorate the Christmas tree, I didn't notice any vinegar smell at all.  But the cabbage smell was enough to gag a maggot.

I've got my period right now, and that always makes my Crohn's flare up a bit.  Nausea and other unpleasant digestive symptoms aren't exactly unusual.  But I've never had this sensitivity to smell before.  I hope it goes away overnight, because I can't imagine the next few days will be pleasant if I keep feeling this way.


The Christmas knitting!  It is done!

Those are the two pair of socks I knit for my father for Christmas.  I finished the last one about 5 minutes ago.  I still need to weave in a few ends on the face cloths I made for my mom and on the scarves I made for my brother's in-laws, but that shouldn't take long.  I hope to take care of the face cloths tonight before I go to bed.  The scarves I can work on tomorrow in front of the rest of the fam, since the in-laws won't be there.

Done, done, finito, done!

Also, I know my hair looks like it survived a recent encounter with a pair of hair clippers, but I promise, it's just pulled back in a pony tail.  It's as long and snarly and multi-colored as it's always been.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last fall, in a burst of creative desperation, I took Lani/Lucy's Discovery class.  I'd just moved away from the home I loved to live with my parents on the other side of the country.  The yankee side.  The class was my attempt to hang on to my image of who I was as a person before my health trampled me.

It wasn't a terribly successful venture, not through any fault of Lani's.  The day after I arrived in Massachusetts my parents got an offer on their house.  What might have been difficult suddenly became impossible.  I attended all the classes, but there was no time or space or energy to do the assignments or participate in any meaningful way.

At about the same time I got the idea for the book review blog, and suddenly my attention was split even further.  About a month ago I decided that I really wanted to get serious about the blog.  I want the reviews to go up like clockwork.  I want to have interesting reading related essays at least a couple times a month.  Good steady content will drive more people to the site and increase comments.  Eventually, it will become what I want it to be: a conversation about books among people who love them.  But that relies on me reading and reviewing at a steady rate, at least once a week.  My current reading project, which should wrap up next week I hope, hasn't allowed that.  But after the first of the year I want to be going great guns.

The desire to review, the personal train wreck of the class, and the fact that I've done basically no fiction writing in the last four years led me to the idea that fiction writing wasn't the dream for me anymore.  I decided to quietly shelve the idea.  Nothing else about my life was what I'd dreamed or hoped or even wanted.  Walking away seemed like the right thing to do.

That, of course, is when the itch returned.  The idea, the very, very small idea.  Someone laughing.  They're happy.  I have not the tiniest clue who they are or what their story might be.  But I think I want to write it.  Just for me.  Not for a publisher.  Not for my imagined future adoring fans.  Just for me. 

My happiest times writing were back when I first started.  Every night I'd come home from work, eat dinner, and then sit down to write on my word processor.  (Did you ever use one of those?  It was like the bastard child of a typewriter and a Speak & Spell.)  Every night I'd work on my story.  I wasn't picturing the beta readers, I wasn't wondering what some editor or agent might think.  I was just telling my story to a very interested party-- me.  I want to go back to that.  I want to write because it's fun and I like it, and damn what anyone else thinks.  But first I need a story.  So I'm going to do Discovery again.

Lani leaves the class recording up and available to class members.  Tonight I downloaded them.  Maybe next week or maybe sometime after the first of the year I'm going to go through them again.  I want to find out who that laughing person is.  I want to know why they were laughing.  And I want to laugh along with them. 

Ordinarily I'd wonder if I was setting myself up for another fall, to do this again after failing so recently.  But you know, it's funny.  It was only two months ago, but it feels like a lifetime.  Like I was a different person then than I am now.  I think there's value for me in those lessons if I just play around with it, take it at my own pace, and see what happens.

I still intend to pull my act together with the book blog.  I feel bad that I haven't been as steady and organized as I would have liked.  (Also, with only two of us reviewing, the work load is much heavier than I anticipated.  If anyone else would like to write a review or two, please let me know.)  I think if I can develop a routine for all of my writing, and that includes blogging here, too, the whole process will smooth out.

It's the getting started that's hard.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Little Mysteries

Something the wonderful Julie said in her comments the other day got me thinking about this.  The odd, random stuff that comes up in conversation sometimes.  The little things that you never would have guessed about someone-- even someone you know well.  I decided to dig around in my personal closet and see if I can find a few to share.

I was in the marching band in high school.  I played the flute.  I still have it, but I don't play it much anymore.  Whenever I do, it scares the cat.  In my four years we won the state competition twice and marched in two national parades-- the Orange Bowl parade and the Fiesta Bowl parade.

My favorite TV show as a kid was The Dukes of Hazzard.  The Best Christmas Ever was the year when it fell on a Friday, and therefore it was both Christmas and Dukes of Hazzard day all in one.  (Although I don't remember actually watching the show that day.  But I sure do remember being excited about it!)  I had the hugest crush on Bo Duke.

I finaled in the first RWA chapter contest I ever entered-- West Houston RWA's Emily.  I was 22 and at my first RWA meeting.  Everyone kept talking about the Emily, but no one actually said what it was.  As the meeting broke up I approached someone-- it turned out to be a pre-published NYT Bestselling Author Kerrelyn Sparks-- and asked what the Emily was.  She said, "It's our chapter contest.  You have to enter!"  So I did.  One judge gave me a perfect score.  Another wrote in the comments that she felt I was ready for publication.  Almost 15 years later and it's still the most success I've had with my writing.  I never did finish that book.

My grandmother was one of the first people ever on TV.  She worked in Philadelphia for a company that was developing the technology.  They needed something to broadcast, so they got their employees together and had a talent show.  My grandmother sang.  (When she wasn't typing or running a switchboard at her day job, she was a professional church soloist.)  Somewhere we have an album with the group photo from her television performance.  Based on the family stories I did a little googling, and I think this is what she did.  I'm pretty sure she worked for Philco.  I'd ask my parents to be sure, but they're asleep right now. ;p

I inherited musical talent from the other side of the family, too.  My great grandfather was an orchestra leader in Philadelphia.  One day he was walking down the street with his wife when he said, "Someday I'm going to play trumpet in that church."  Her response was reportedly, "Honey, that's not our church.  Plus, you don't play the trumpet."  So he learned.  And damned if he didn't play trumpet there professionally one day.

I've been in, I believe 36 out of 50 states.  I've lived in 5 of them-- Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, and Massachusetts.  I've lived in two of them twice-- Indiana and Texas.  I've made brief forays into the edges of Canada and Mexico (pre-9/11, when you didn't need a passport to cross the border), but other than that I've never left the country.  If I could go anywhere in the world, and silly things like cost, my physical limitations, and the political situation were no barrier, I'd go to see the monuments of Egypt.  It would be cool to see England someday, too.  But if I could only go one place, it would be Egypt.

I never met my paternal grandmother.  She died shortly before I was born.  But she did come to me once, in a dream.  My grandfather, who had died a couple years before, was with her.  I was in high school and one of my best friends had died.  In the dream Mom Mom and Pop Pop were holding hands, and they told me that it was OK, that I didn't have to worry anymore.  Jasper was there, he was safe, and they were looking out for him.  I woke up crying.

My parents were both juniors.  So when they got married they decided that their children would not be named after anyone.  I am Rebecca Lynn and my brother is Jeremy Daniel.  (I insisted on the Daniel.  In fact, according to my parents, I never called him anything but My Jeremy Daniel for the first year of his life.)  Being their first child, Mom and Dad recorded the calls they made to friends and family announcing my birth.  Somewhere, in one of these million and a half boxes we just hauled half way across the country, there is a recording of some great aunt somewhere saying, "Rebecca Lynn?  What kind of name is Rebecca Lynn?"

When I was a kid my dad used to tease me and tell me that he'd wanted to name me Agnella Blossom, but my mom wouldn't let him.

Every year we put our Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve.  (Except for this year when we're going to do it a few days early to make things a little less stressful.)  When we were little Santa put up the tree.  Once we got a little older we were allowed to help put up the tree as a way to help Santa out.  All those millions of other kids to get to, you know.

My brother believed in Santa until late in his elementary years.  In fact, at 32 I still haven't ever heard him admit that he isn't a real, flesh and blood man who comes down the chimney to deliver presents once a year.  (Hey, my brother ain't dumb.  As the pillow sitting on my couch right now says, "Those who don't believe get underwear.")

I learned the basics of knitting from my grandmother as a kid.  She also took a stab at teaching me to crochet the summer before she died.  I wouldn't say it was all that successful if my aim was to learn to crochet.  But as a way to spend time together and be close, it was excellent.

The summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college I started picking up large print books my grandparents at the library.  The first time it was the whim of a moment, and I wasn't really sure what they would like.  So I got an assortment of books, whatever caught my eye.  They loved it.  It turned out they liked "the cat books" best.  (I think they were The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun.)  What they liked even better, though, was that their granddaughter was interested enough to pick up books for them.  Every week or two I'd pick up the old ones and come back with some new stuff.  There always had to be at least three.  Granddad read faster than Grandmom did, and with only two books they'd fight over who got to read what, when.  They were pills.

Well, that's... quite a lot actually about me and my family.  I don't know if they really rise to the level of mysteries.  They're perfectly well known to me, obviously.  But I thought they were interesting tidbits, at least.

What about you?  Anything interesting you'd like to share?  Write your own blog post if you'd like, and then give us the link in the comments.  I'd love to hear something new and mysterious about you, too!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sometimes I'm a Jerk, Too

This weekend I did a thoughtless thing, and now I feel like a shithead.

I went out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law on Friday night.  We laughed and had a really good time.  My brother took my dad to a train show on Saturday (he used to collect N-gauge trains and put up an elaborate train platform every year at Christmas).  And then they sat with my parents at church on Sunday.  It doesn't totally make up for everything that's happened in the last six weeks or so, but it was a big step in the right direction.

So anyway, on Friday night, right in front of my SIL, I told my brother that Mom was making everyone's favorite Christmas cookie and asked him what kind he wanted.  But I didn't ask her what she wanted.  It was thoughtless and rude, and I can't believe I did it.

It seems like a little thing, but I still feel bad about it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh, brother

I'm a bit cheesed off with my brother right now.  It started the weekend we moved in.  The movers delivered everything on Friday, and understandably he had to work.  But instead of coming over on Saturday to help (keeping in mind that this was for his 71 yr old father with Parkinson's, his 63 yr old mother with a not-100%-successful knee replacement, and his 35 yr old sister with pretty significant medical restrictions of my own), he decided to spend the day with his father-in-law, helping him with his model trains.

I can't be the only one who thinks that's shitty.

Since then he's come by probably twice a week on average.  One Saturday he helped us move some stuff to storage.  One evening he helped us buy TVs, and one night later that week he helped us set them up.  (This is more or less what he does for a living.)  Every other time he's come by it's been to hang out, eat a meal that my mother fixed, and go home.  With the exception of the one Saturday and the night we bought the TVs, these have all been nights of his choosing.  No one is demanding his presence.

Once he had plans to take my father to a meeting, which he cancelled last minute.  Dad tried to go by himself.  My mother was terrified the whole time because Dad's night driving has really gone down hill in the last six months.  (I don't know how much longer it's going to be before we're going to have to take away the keys.)  Dad was back home about 20 minutes later.  He knew which intersection he was supposed to be at, but he somehow ended up in the wrong place anyway.  When he couldn't find the building he just came home.  So Dad had the pleasure of being dumped last minute by his son, feeling like crap because he couldn't find a place that he should have been able to find with no problems, and missing a meeting he was really looking forward to.  What was my brother doing that was so important?  Dinking around at church.  And again, no one asked him to make these plans with Dad.  It was his idea, and then he backed out.

Earlier this week he came to dinner and announced what the Christmas plans would be.  Mom was not happy about them, and she questioned him.  In the past, the story has always been that since his MIL's birthday is the 24th, it was super important for them to be down there for Christmas Eve.  She had expected that they'd go down for the 24th and come back to spend Christmas day with us.  Nope.  Just the opposite.  We get Christmas Eve (although they won't be going to Christmas Eve service-- the most important thing for my dad-- because his wife doesn't want to) and an hour or two Christmas morning, and then they're driving down to spend two and a half days with her parents.  Mom, lacking input from them up to this point, had started making plans based on what she thought they might want to do.  The in-laws, on the other hand, were consulted, and my brother and his wife made their plans based on what worked best for that side of the family.  When Mom pushed back on this, questioning the plans, my brother told her that she needed to learn to "compromise".  Excuse me?  I thought compromise was two people sacrificing to come to a mutually acceptable solution.  I'm pretty sure it's not one side telling the other side to shut up and take it.

The next day I called him for something completely unrelated, and the topic wandered into Mom and Dad.  (Mostly Mom, because she does all the talking for the two of them, so she's the one he resents the most.)  I let him know that his making plans and not keeping them was upsetting Mom and Dad.  (He'd also made plans to have dinner with us last Saturday night, knowing Mom was going to make her annual Hanukkah meal (ie: piles of yummy yummy latkes!).  She had announced that she wanted to make the meal and let him pick the night that was best for him.  Then he backed out to go to a party.)  He said he considers all plans tentative.  What that says to me and Mom and Dad is that he's willing to make plans with us until and unless something better comes along.  He's mad that we aren't perfectly fine with him dumping us.  He thinks we should understand that "I will be there" really means "I'll think about it."

There was some other stuff about how he has a life of his own, and he didn't really want Mom and Dad (and presumably by extension, me) moving here.  (Buddy, if you think I want to be here, you've got another think coming.  I hate Indiana.)  He doesn't think he should have drop everything any time they call, and that they should be doing more stuff for themselves. 

Never mind that they kill themselves trying to do stuff before breaking down and asking, and when they do they always fall all over themselves assuring that it works with your plans and schedule, never mind what works best for them.

What I didn't say, but wanted to, was: "They came here to be close to you, you little ass wipe.  If you didn't want them here you should have spoken up sometime in the last year or so, since that's how long you've known they planned to retire here.  And they wouldn't ask for your help (not that you can be bothered to follow through and give it) if they didn't really need it.  They've started hiring people to do some of this stuff because they're sick of waiting for you to get around to doing what you say you're going to do."  Can you tell I was pissed?

I did a lot of deep breathing last night, and watched a lot of Christmas specials, and eventually I calmed down.

Today I emailed him to warn him that if he was thinking about getting Mom an oven thermometer for Christmas (she's been talking about it A LOT for the last few days) that he might want to hold off, because she was talking about getting one this afternoon.  Also, I asked for his Christmas list again.  (Before we moved into deeper waters in our conversation yesterday, he'd told me he was making a list at an online musician's store.)  The guitar place he likes to shop at is running a sale this weekend, so why pay more next week?  He emailed back that he'd already sent us his Amazon list (he did, it has 7 items on it, 5 of which are expensive electronics), and other than that all he wanted was gift certificates to the guitar store.

Right now I'd like nothing better than to tromp over to his house in my steel toed boots and kick him in the taint.

Am I totally off base here?  Am I being way to sensitive here, or is being a real little shit?

Fa La La La La

The Christmas spirit is finally creeping into Huddleston Drive.  Yesterday, with out meaning to, all of my TV was holiday themed.  I watched Tuesday night's episode of Glee, which was entertaining but weird.  Why were Puck and Rachel so enthusiastically going along with all the Christmas music?  Puck, in his own skewed, Puckish way, is very proud of his Jewish heritage.  So why would he shut up now?  And Sue playing out the Grinch story was so hackneyed I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  The bit about Coach Beast and Artie's present from Santa made me cry a little, though.  (But why was she Santa?  That part was straight out of bizarre-ville, too.)

And then Mom wanted to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  Always a favorite around our house.  It was followed up by a Prep and Landing short that was really cute.  Dad slept through the whole thing, and Mom dozed off and on.  I finished the scarf I've been working on for my brother's father-in-law.  Yay!

After they went to bed I took the bag of Christmas refrigerator decorations that Mom found the other day and put them up.  (It wasn't quite the ninja decorating I've been doing so far.  They knew I was going to put them up, they just didn't know I was going to do it last night.)

And then to top off the festivities, I got 6 Christmas cards in the mail yesterday.  It was just the tip of the domestic Christmas card iceberg-- there are many more to go.  (The international cards went out on Monday.  Fingers crossed that the recipients get them before New Year's.)  But it was progress.

Last night, after the not-quite-ninja decorating I sat down and took a good look at the calendar.  Then I took a look at the knitting that has to be done in the next two weeks.  After I stopped hyperventilating, I made a list.  If I stick to the schedule, I should be able to finish all my knitting in time for the big day.  Fortunately for my schedule, my traditional, gotta get it done Christmas movie will be on TV next Friday-- A Very Brady Christmas.  I don't know what it is about that movie, but I always seem to do my best last minute crafting while watching it.  Thank you, TV Programmers!

Today I start with a tissue sweater for my great aunt.  (It's a cozy for those little packs of tissues you put in your purse.)  It looks to be a quickie project, so there should be no problem whipping it up and then doing another half a dozen or so cards.  Maybe I'll even get a jump start on tomorrow's knitting!

It's a hope.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Poor Man's Blog Post

I have many things on my mind right now, but no energy to express them.  So I'm making a list.

1. Long Term Disability called.  They've decided I could work, I just choose not to.  Fuck them.
2. Talked to more medical insurance people today.  I am too fat to qualify for insurance.  Fuck them, too.
3. Talked to old apt manager.  They decided to charge me $135 to clean an apartment that was fully emptied, with nothing more than normal wear and tear, and is scheduled to be completely remodeled, anyway.  Fuck all y'all.
4.  My brother declared at dinner tonight that he and his wife will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with us, and then they're leaving at 11:00am to drive down for Christmas brunch and dinner with the in laws.  Since my brother's idea of "morning" is 1:00pm, I don't think we're going to see much of them on Christmas day.  Mom didn't say too much about it at the time, but I know I'm going to get an earful tomorrow.
5.  My 71 year old father kicked ass on Wii Bowling tonight.  He scored a 189!
6.  I'm pretty sure I officially have all my Christmas shopping done.
7.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through doing my Christmas cards.
8.  I received my first three Christmas cards today!  I'm going to hang them on my door as soon as I find the scotch tape.
9.  It's freaking cold in Indiana.  There is snow.  I would like to go home now.
10.  I'm reading an historical romance right now.  There's some fairly improbable stuff going down, but everything else is so good that you don't notice so much.
11.  I have many more bookish things to say, but I'm having trouble finding the motivation to say them.
12.  Same goes here.  This blog has been shamefully neglected in the last month or so.
13.  I should make a commitment to write on one of the blogs every day, but I know I won't do it.  Maybe I'll try that when it gets closer to New Year's.  I always get excited about new projects and old stuff gets reinvigorated then.

So, that's the Readers' Digest version of what's going on in my head right now.  Aren't you glad you asked?