Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Suck At Reading


My impressive bookshelf.

Normally I love to read but I've had a hard time finishing a book lately. Here is a list of books I need to finish before I can justify purchasing George Takei's Oh Myyyy: There Goes the Internet.

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. My all-time favorite book is Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. But Telegraph Avenue is tough. There are so many characters and if you read it sporadically, it's hard to keep track of who's who.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's a great book about fighting the resistance that's keeping you from pursuing your creative dreams. It's an easy enough read but when I feel like I HAVE to read something, I always dawdle.

Blogging Success: Tips for Creating Content, Getting Traffic and Monetizing Your Blog by Holly Reisen Hanna. I got some good ideas about places to list this blog but the advice on monetizing isn't that great. I've yet to make a dime off my ads.

My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller. Chances are you know who Fred Stoller is even if you don't recognize his name. He was a writer on Seinfeld for a year and wrote about it. I just never finished it.
This guy.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. For the same reason I didn't like A Confederacy of Dunces, I can't get into this book. Any time there's a male protagonist that I can't relate to or sympathize with, I lose interest in their story and abandon the book.

Toddler 411 by Ari Brown and Denise Fields. Let's be realistic, we're not supposed to read the ENTIRE parenting book, right? Just the parts we need like eating and sleeping. Medical stuff isn't that important, amirite?

The ABCs of Toddler Discipline by Michelle Smith and Rita Chandler. I couldn't tell you what ABC stands for in this book because to me, it's still Always Be Closing. (Video has salty language)


Me and My Sewing Machine by Kate Haxell. Have I ever told you how bad I am about finishing things I've started? I don't even know where my sewing machine is right now.

Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry. I'm almost done with this one, since I'm starting a new foray in PR. It's a good book but her editor should be fired because of how many times she uses "roll" instead of "role" and "stationary" instead of "stationery."

Other books I have no intention of ever finishing:
Eat. Pray. Love. (No point in reading past the Eat part)
Moby Dick. (I tried to read it more than once. I just can't.)
A Confederacy of Dunces. (The protagonist is a whiny and annoying.)
Potty Training 411. (All you need to know is wait till the kid is ready. Then they practically train themselves.)
Why Have Kids. (She made her point in the first chapter. I agree with her and don't need to read the rest.)
The Corrections. (Over-rated book by an over-rated author)
A Million Little Pieces. (I bought it right before he admitted it was a fraud. Nobody lies to Oprah. NOBODY!)

What books are you reading right now? What book do you have no intention of finishing?



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three is the Magic Number

Her favorite part of her birthday.
L.E. turned three last Sunday. THREE! We made it to the age where what once was considered a "choking hazard" is now just another toy.
We celebrated birthday number three with a weekend full of adult and kid fun.
She had a joint birthday party with a friend two weeks ago so we could spend her real birthday weekend doing just what she wanted to do.
This included:

  • A visit from her aunt
  • Breakfast tacos
  • A brewery tour
  • Dinner at Salt Lick
  • A new train set
  • A too-big-for-now Big Wheel
  • Biscuits and Groovy
  • Bouncing at a bounce house at a church kids' fest around the corner
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • A nice long nap
  • Dinner at her favorite place, Phil's, only to discover that their famed playscape was closed. Luckily, Waterloo Ice House was a nice backup plan
  • Cupcakes
  • Having all of her grandparents sing "Happy Birthday" via FaceTime while she blew out her candles
  • Wishing for a hug from her mommy and daddy

I could sit here and reflect on how the last three years of parenthood have changed me but I feel like that would be wasted space. I've done plenty of self-reflection lately and it hasn't been pretty.
I like to think that like my daughter has moved from toddler to preschooler with all of the grace and dignity of a baby triceratops, I've moved from somewhat-self-assured career woman to a work-from-home writer who barely changes out of her yoga pants.
When I decided to take this opportunity write a ton and to find my voice, I though it would have been easier. I would have written a post that got picked up by a national syndicate and gone viral. Legions of adoring fans, advertisers begging for endorsements and a book deal would have been quick to follow.
I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I have one chapter done in a proposed parenting book that I just can't seem to push out as quickly as I like.
I struggle with motivation because I feel like a failure.
I feel like a failure because I have yet to be paid for a writing job.
I have some prospects that I'm really excited about. But until I see a check, I will still feel anxiety every time I tell Dr. T that I need to take more money out of savings to pay for groceries.
I feel like I disappointed him by leaving a steady job.
Yet, I still write. Because there are people out there who have the same insecurities I do and I want them to know that they're not alone. It's ok to feel guilty and to be anxious about money and to not always be on top of everything.
It's what makes us human.
I feel better about myself when I write and when I look at my blogger stats and see that if only ten people read it, then that's ten people who cared enough to give me a click.
Thank you.
So yes, the last three years have definitely changed me. I've said many times that being a parent has made me a better person. But it's also made me a better writer and able to find my voice.
As you can see, that voice sometimes rambles so far beyond her original point that you can't help but wonder if she's off her meds again...



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top Ten More Signs You're a Terrible Stay-At-Home-Mom

My last Top 10 was so fun that I've come up with 10 more reasons why I should find more paid work.

10. Your child still goes to preschool.

9. You spent 20 minutes telling your husband about the battle of wills you got into with a spider named Herman.

8. You now have a pet spider named Herman.

7. You cursed the Swiffer as being "the most over-rated cleaning product ever," and then realized you'd been using it without putting a dry cloth on it.

6. Your husband refers to "the time you used to to work," with the same longing tone he uses to tell the story of that one time he saw Phoebe Cates in an airport.

5. You post a pic of your child's "art" on Facebook because you don't know what it is.

North America? Eur-Asia? A gnome sodomizing a bear?


4. You ask your husband to pick up your child on his way home because you're in the middle of scrubbing the grout but really, it's because you're finally showering.

3. You make of the workouts people are doing at the Crossfit place down the street. (Really? Moving boxes is "working out?") Usually, you're eating tater tots when you see them.

2.  You go back to sleep for a few hours after the husband and child leave.

1. When your husband comes home, you ask him, "What's for dinner?" and complain about how tired you are.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What We Did on our Spring Break

Today on Austin Moms Blog, I gave a recap of all the fun things L.E. and I did while on Spring Break.
There were sharks, haircuts and baby goats.

Srsly.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yum Yum: Deconstructed Moussaka

I love Greek food so much. But with my recent weight struggles, I've had to sacrifice the richness that "real" moussaka provides. So I found a Weight Watchers version of it that is more like a pasta topped with meat than a traditional lasagna-type moussaka. Sadly, the bechamel sauce is only but a distant memory.


Easy Moussaka
adapted from Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste
3/4 c reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp tomato paste
12 oz linguine (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
Parmesan cheese

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. 

Meanwhile, spray a medium saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes. 
Add the ground lamb and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add the oregano, cinnamon, salt, and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the broth and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with warm water, and serve with the sauce and Parmesan cheese. 
Yields 1⁄2 cup sauce, 1⁄2 cup pasta, and 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese per serving.
Enjoy!




Monday, March 18, 2013

Decompression

Last week was my first ever spring break experience with my child. We made the most of it; I am exhausted and happy she's back in school.
Here is a list of things I should be doing right now:

  • Laundry
  • Vacuuming
  • Changing the light bulb that's been out for 10 days in the playroom
  • Following up with possible sponsored posts/guest bloggers
  • Looking for a job (still)
  • Finding the little puppy toy L.E. lost
  • Dusting
  • Showering
  • Working out
  • Figuring out a meal plan for the week
  • Remembering to take the reusable bags out to the car (Damn you, Austin bag ban!)
  • Making the guest room livable for my sister's visit this week
  • Figuring out what to get L.E. for her birthday
  • Posting work samples online
  • Watching videos of Justin Timberlake's SXSW performance
  • Watching videos of Prince's SXSW performance
  • Watching videos of Vampire Weekend's SXSW performance
  • Figuring out which lab takes my insurance
  • Finding a dentist
  • Cleaning out my closet and drawers. Again.
  • Calculating the Weight Watchers Points from my gluttonous breakfast


This is as far as I've gotten.


What I'm actually doing right now:

  • Facebook
  • Blogging
  • Staring off into space
  • Yawning
  • Picking the green nail polish off of my fingertips
  • Sipping a cup of coffee from 8am
  • Being tempted to watch Downton Abbey


Happy Decompression from Spring Break, everyone!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Warts, Jewels and Faerie Houses


This is a Faerie House.

I thought today was going to be different. But when the day started with 4 am screaming, I should have realized it wasn’t going to get better.
I always think it’s going to be fun. And manageable. But then the reality of life with an almost-three-year-old sets in…unpredictability reigns.
It’s beautiful out. And I was running out of ideas. I suggested we go to the botanical gardens and see the “faerie homes” show. L.E. seemed excited. I wanted to wait until the weather warmed up a little bit so we watched Wreck-It Ralph first. I dressed her during the end of the movie. She was so happy to be wearing shorts!
We got to the botanical gardens without incident. I asked her to carry her backpack – with the diaper pouch – and she refused.
*Foreshadowing*
We saw so many faerie houses and L.E. loved them so much she wanted to touch them. She found a bamboo stick – not a faerie house part, we swear – and pretended it was a microphone.
Then she saw the gate.
If there ever was something I would consider my mortal enemy, besides a bagel, it’s a locked fence that L.E. can reach. She shook the gate again and again. I said we had to keep walking. She screamed and kicked as I dragged her away.
She begged me to carry her. The whole park heard her beg. I could only carry her five minutes at a time. After I carried her around downtown yesterday, I wasn’t feeling as strong. Plus the path was pretty uneven. We saw a waterfall and a dinosaur statue. She calmed down. Everything seemed OK until she uttered the words no parent in the throes of potty-training ever wants to hear: I’m pooping.
I scooped her up. Thoughts of “Why didn’t I put a diaper on her? Why didn’t I bring diapers with us?” ran through my head. I didn’t notice any poop in her undies but I knew it was only a matter of time. I ran while carrying her to the bathroom. (How many Weight Watchers Points do I get back for that?) She was clean and even peed in the potty.
I stuck a diaper back on her, just in case.
All was well. She said she wanted some lunch. I knew of a place nearby that had a playground. We ordered our food; she wanted to go outside. I said we had to wait till our food was ready. The tears started again. We got the food and went outside. She ran head-first into the playscape. The tears continued. She played for all of five minutes when she came running back over.
This time it wasn’t a drill; she really had pooped.
I took her to the car and cleaned her up, and I soon realized we didn’t have any spare plastic bags. (Damn you, Austin bag ban!) Did I mention I had to carry our food with us because I was worried it would get thrown away? Nobody really wants to carry lunch in one hand and a diaper in the other. Luckily there was a garbage can not too far away and I had my trusty hand-sanitizer.
L.E. wanted to play some more. I agreed, against my better judgment. As we headed back to the playground, a little girl ran past us and smacked into the table we were walking by, spilling a man’s drink. He gave me the dirtiest look you can imagine. I said, “I had nothing to do with that one, sir.” You could hear his eyes rolling in disgust.
I almost lost it on him. Deep breath. 3…2…1…
Five more minutes of eating my sweet potato fries and I hear the all-too-familiar screams on the other side of the playscape. She’s hanging on the climbing part, with a guilty-looking little boy nearby. He said, “I’m sorry,” and ran off.
I carried L.E. to the car. No more fries or nuggets. No milkshake. The day is over.
She fell asleep in the car. I saw her sweet sleeping face in the rearview mirror and immediately felt awash with guilt.
She’s an amazing little girl. I am lucky to be her mom.
The CEO of the last major corporation where I worked once talked about discerning between the warts and the jewels. It was an expression I’d never heard before and I thought it was quite ugly when she was referring to employees being laid off. But now I realize that’s the best way to describe parenting. Some days are warts. And some days are jewels. I guess what I need to keep in mind is that they all can’t be jewels.
Today was a wart.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Liebster Award


So this has happened a few times so I figured I'd finally acknowledge it. A few weeks ago, Tracy from Newlywed Diaries nominated me for the Liebster Award. I don't know if I get a trophy, but it's very nice of her just the same. And it means I can now put "award-winning blogger" on my resume.

I had to nominate 11 people, as well, and I could only come up with 8.

I was also nominated by Sugar Plums and Lollipops. Both posts from these gals had different rules. I'm going to be nice and answer both sets of 11 questions as opposed to including fun facts. I already did the fun facts thing recently. Twice.

My 11 questions from Tracy : 
1.  Tattoos? Have or want? I have one; it's a tramp stamp of a sun with a swirly under it. 
2.  Boys with blonde hair and blue eyes or dark hair and brown eyes? If they listen, does it matter?
3.  Stripes or Florals? Stripes! I hope my striped shortie friend is happy with this choice.
4.  What is your dream vacation? I really want to go to Florence, Italy
5.  What is your biggest social networking obsession?  (Oh instagram). Am I old-school if I say Facebook? I'm nosey and want to see what everyone is up to. 
6.  Why do you blog? Because I love to write and I have a lot to say. Most of the time, it won't piss you off.
7.  Flats or heels?  Or chucks? Wedges or boots
8.  Tell me about your family! My parents don't know I write about them as much as I do. My husband and daughter are my favorites.
9.   If you could live anywhere in the world, where and why? Home is where ever I'm with you.
10.  What is your all time favorite song?  "Leave" by R.E.M
11.  Sun or Snow?! I only like snow when it's sunny.

My 11 questions from Sugar Plums and Lollipops:
1. What is the most recent book that you've read and how would you rate it? World War Z. Excellent
2. Where is the one destination that you have or would love to visit? Florence, Italy
3.  What is your #1 pet peeve? Being ignored, whether it's by salespeople or anybody else.
4. What is your favorite holiday and why? Thanksgiving because I love to eat.
5. Favorite movie of all time? Trainspotting
6. What was the make and color of your first car? 1980 Ford Mustang. It was brown with aesbestos-orange interior
7.  The most embarrassing  thing that has ever happened to you? Puking on the floor of my favorite bar the first time I was out with all of my new co-workers.
8.  What is your biggest fear? My kid will need therapy because of me
9.  If you could have one super power what would it be? The power to take on any super power I want
10.  What was the last song that you listened to today? The theme song from Abby's Flying Fairy School. (Is spring break over yet?)
11.  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? As much wood as a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

My 11 questions for my nominees:
1.  Where do you live?
2.  What's your favorite movie?
3.  How are you feeling today?
4.  What's your favorite part about blogging?
5.  What kind of craft would you recommend for someone who hates crafts?
6.  What's your favorite snack?
7.  Tiramisu or Death by Chocolate?
8.  What book can you read over and over again?
9.  What's your dream job?
10.  How do you find balance?
11.  What about you isn't what it seems?

My Nominees:


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sea World and Me


I've always loved Sea World. LOVED it! Yes, I grew up in Pittsburgh but here's a little-known fact: there used to be a Sea World just outside of Cleveland, OH. I know, pretty far from the sea but still...SEA WORLD!
We would go every year. I remember hating when my dad would go because it meant an obligatory visit to his Uncle Jim and Aunt Ginger. Don't get me wrong; I understand the importance of family and all that. But this was cutting into my Shamu time. So I always preferred it when my grandparents took me or my mom and I went.
Pap, of course, was always the best person to go with. He would always buy me whatever I wanted – a real Hawaiian coral necklace – and liked to eat at the actual sit-down restaurant instead of the grab-n-go food stands. He loved that because Sea World was owned by Anheuser Busch, he could drink his wine all day long.
Pap also loved a good schedule and at Sea World, it's important to stick with a show schedule. Otherwise, you're spending a lot of time in the Penguin Encounter and it kinda stinks in there.
During my teens, the grandparents' trips tapered off so it was up to my mom to continue to take me. Not that she would ever complain about it; she loved Sea World just as much as I did. I still remember driving there with her when I was 16 while we listened to Genesis and Madonna non-stop. That was the year she bought me a camera before the trip and let me get the Japanese oysters that were guaranteed to have pearls in them. The one I picked had two! (I had a thing for aquatic-based jewelry. No judging.)
My affinity for coral and pearls was nothing compared to my love of sea mammals. I know it was a "thing" to love dolphins in the 90s much like owls are a "thing" now. But this was different. I truly felt that what I was meant to do on this earth was work with dolphins and whales. I even pseudo-stalked a trainer after a Shamu show to ask her how I could be a trainer some day. She made it seem easy; you needed a degree in either marine biology or psychology, had to be a fit and strong swimmer, had to be able to dive down 25+ feet of frigid water. I was game.
The first school I applied to was UNC-Wilmington because they had a great marine biology department. At my campus tour, I was told that only 1% of students in that program had a chance at working with marine mammals. I was looking at a future full of fish. This was before Finding Nemo made fish cool.
I don't think I even finished my application to UNCW.
I still loved Sea World, though.
When we moved to Austin, I was excited to be in a days' drive distance to the Sea World in San Antonio. I took L.E. on Monday, the first day of spring break. It had all of the elements I loved about the Ohio one: Shamu the killer whale, Clyde & Seamore with their sea lion show, belugas, the smelly Penguin Encounter plus the added bonus of a Sesame Street-themed kiddieland.
I didn't take a bazillion photos because the look on L.E.'s face when she saw Shamu leap out of the water was absolutely priceless. I'm glad I saw it for real and not through a camera lens. She clapped and laughed with the rest of the crowd and couldn't wait to see more animals. She actually sat pretty still through all of the shows. The only time she grew impatient was while we were in line for the Grover carousel.
If you ask her what her favorite part was, she will tell you it was the sharks.

Not gonna lie. I had a Jaws 3 moment.

The downside is now Sea World is really expensive. Also, and I don't know if it's because I was just at Universal Studios in Orlando so my theme-park expectations were super high (Universal is an amazing park; lots of food stands and bathrooms) but there seemed to be very little options when it came time for lunch. Every stand had a HUGE line. So we made do with junk food like popcorn and ice cream. L.E. was just fine with that.
It's not often that I get weirdly sentimental but I'm so happy that I have this one tradition to carry on with my daughter. I'm sure Dr. T. will come along to Sea World – without dragging us to see family like my dad did – but I'll always treasure the first time it was just L.E. and me.
I'm really looking forward to bringing my mom, too.
But no Genesis or sea-based jewelry...



Saturday, March 9, 2013

ICYMI: Week in Review – 3-9-2013

Wow, being out of town really distracted me from my In Case You Missed It posts! Time to step into the Way-Back Machine.

When I got my February Birchbox, the body wash sample reminded me of my uncle and so that's I reviewed it. I had no idea he was still alive.

Did you know I collect stamps? Find out more random facts here.

Over on Austin Moms Blog, I wrote about whether or not L.E. is going to kill me in my sleep.
Side note: the little tiny robot that's pictured did not survive the trip to my parents' house. I'm sure Mom's vacuum cleaner will find it eventually. So far, L.E. has forgiven me. So far.

Yes, we took a trip to see Mee Maw and Pap Pap. Getting there was a nightmare but I have an amazing daughter who saw it as an adventure and told me to relax while I was in a heated discussion with a Southwest Airlines gate agent.

We met their pet alligator.












My recipe for kale chips set off a Pinterest-frenzy so I rounded up all of my recipe posts and put them in  one neat convenient location. Which reminds me, I need to do a recipe post next week.

We got back home and I realized my baby girl grew up.

Then I had the best dream date ever.

I anticipated the chaos that is SXSW during Spring Break, while touting 13 bands worth checking out.

Lastly, I participated in a Bloggin' Old School link up.

That's a lot to catch up on! As always, thanks for reading.
Finally, here is this week's Squee of the Week, a goat on the roof:





















Friday, March 8, 2013

13 Bands for SXSW 2013

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed about who to see during SXSW.
So here's a snazzy infographic of 13 up-and-coming bands worth checking out. They were selected based on their social media growth over the last year. Which goes to show that if you're in a band, you better get on Twitter.
I'm surprised Ume wasn't one of the top three because they appeared on the Austin episode of No Reservations, where they got to eat at Barley Swine with Anthony Bourdain.


Click to Enlarge Image


13 Emerging Bands for 2013 Infographic by Sonicbids

Kickin' It Old School


My friend over at Genie in a Blog is linked up to some bloggers who are going Old School and passing around a fun Q&A. So here are my answers.

If you want to join in the fun, visit The Miss Elaine-ous Life.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living in Reno and working at the best place I have ever worked: John Ascuaga's Nugget. It was so fun doing design for a casino, especially one that hosted the Best in the West Rib Cook-off. Five solid days of rib-bliss.
Todd and I had just started the kitchen remodel on our first house. I was attending classes at night at UNR.

2. What 5 things are on your to-do list?
Mail birthday gifts
Buy one more birthday gift before mailing
Write another chapter of my book
Clean
Laundry

3. What 5 snacks do you enjoy?
Cheese
Crackers for cheese
These weird cheese cookie thingies that you can only buy at Wal-Mart, which is why I won't shop at Wal-Mart. (Yes, I did just Google them.)
Queso

4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Put a bunch away for L.E.'s Ivy League education.
Buy a beach house.
Travel.
Write.
Take care of our parents.

5. Name some places you have lived.
Pittsburgh, PA: 1976-1995
Albuquerque, NM: 1995-1997
Reno, NV: 1997-2000
Tri-Cities, WA: 2000-2001
Reno, NV: 2001-2012
Austin, TX: 2012-present





6. Name some of your bad habits.
I'm lazy and a procrastinator. 
Sometimes instead of taking the clothes out of the dryer, I'll keep turning it back on to "fluff" until Dr. T. just does it himself. 
I'll even confess to re-running the dishwasher so I won't have to empty it.
I'll ignore my daughter to check my Blogger stats.

7. Name some jobs you have had.
I've been a busgirl, hostess and food server at three different places. I was a reservations agent for Radisson Hotels. I've been a production artist or designer at four different places.
Now I'm a blogger, writer, social media marketer and anything else that I can get paid doing while wearing my sweatpants. 
Future possibilities: PR intern, bestselling author, Oscar-winning screenplay, international spy.






Thursday, March 7, 2013

SXSW-Spring-Break-a-Palooza


South By Southwest is next week. If you don't know what that is, can we please trade lives for a week? Because it's all a little overwhelming.
Austinites either love or loathe the SXSW festival. It brings in thousands and thousands of tech-savvy music elitists and nerds to check out some pretty amazing music, whether it's a band you loved 20 years ago or a band that will be huge in two years. It's hipster heaven, in a sea of hipsters.
I'm not a hipster.
But I love music and I can't ignore the fact that one of the country's biggest festivals is happening right under my nose. I took advantage of the locals' deal and got a music wristband for $150. This band will get me into something ridiculous like 5000 different gigs. I most want to see Vampire Weekend but I'm pretty sure that one will be hard to get into.
A good friend, who is also one of the biggest music-aficionados I know, is coming in from Reno. This is his big vacation every year. So instead of meticulously building a schedule, I'm putting all of my faith in his music prowess and will follow him around where ever he tells me to go.
Plus he's staying in a downtown hotel and can hopefully get a parking pass.
Sounds like a really awesome and exciting time, right?
Yes and no.
Next week is Spring Break. L.E.'s school, which is a pre-school mind you, is closed for the week. So I'll have my hands full with her during the day. That greatly cuts into my wandering-around-downtown-in-the-hopes-of-bumping-into-Justin-Timberlake time. See, those fuckers at SXSW are smart like that; they time the festival with UT's spring break so there isn't any sort of music nerd on school nerd crime. The UT kids go off to the beach at South Padre or where ever the best place is to do keg stands and flash their boobs while us more refined types run amok on 6th St and try not to get peed on.
It sounds fun and horrible at the same time.
So yes, I'm excited to do something different and fun. But since most of the shows don't start till midnight, it's going to be really late nights followed by really early mornings. L.E. still doesn't understand the concept of, "Mommy and Daddy were out late. Can't you play with the iPad by yourself?"
I'm hoping I can find lots to do with her while she's off. There are some SXKids type-things that we'll check out, including tons of stuff on here. L.E. LOVES live music and she's always the crazy little kid jumping up and down in the front row. Ask any performer at Mueller Farmers' Market and they'll know who you're talking about.
I'm going to take as much advantage of public transportation as I can. Traffic and parking are bad enough in this town without 25,000 extra people wandering around. Good thing L.E. likes train rides and buses. Apparently you can ride the bus in Austin and not get stabbed. That's a novelty considering all of the other places I've lived where bus-riders got stabby.
Plus the Ikea in Round Rock has free face painting. Maybe they can make me a hipster kitty!
Am I crazy for wanting to embrace SXSW? Or should I just stay away in my little suburban utopia?




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Me and Hugh Jackman

I especially liked the way he said, "I'll get you another cocktail, darling."
Dreams are weird.
Last night, I dreamt that I went to see a live performance of Les Miserables with my date, and apparently new boyfriend, Hugh Jackman. Now in real life, I'm kind of indifferent to Hugh Jackman. He seems like a nice enough guy, loves his wife and kids despite the gay rumors and generally seems to be a happy person who loves life. Plus, when Jennifer Lawrence fell while going to receive her Best Actress Oscar, he jumped up to help her. He's sexy but I've never had him on my list or anything. So it's strange to have him pop up in my dream as my suave and debonair date to a live musical. Yes, ladies, he is just as hot in dream-life as he is in the movies.
Hugh and I arrived via Cap Metro (sooooo Austin) and went to our really crappy seats in what looked like an attic with a window cut out to see the stage. This whole time, Hugh was super nice and friendly. He held my hand and joked with the people next to us. I asked if he was going to sing along to all of Jean Valjean's songs and he laughed as if it was the funniest thing he's ever heard. We talked about our kids and how much fun they had together. He kept bringing me drinks, too.
Apologies to Dr. T., but it was one of the nicest dates I'd ever been on in a dream! Definitely better than that time Eminem took me to a biker bar or Ben Roethlisberger (pre-rape-allegations) took me to a sports bar for a wing-eating contest. OK, maybe that was a pretty good dream-date, too.
I'm pretty sure I once dreamt about being in a strip club with Jeremy Piven, but that could have been real as well.
Dreaming about celebrities is such a bizarre thing. One time, at the height of Bennifer, I had a dream that Jennifer Lopez was sobbing to me because I didn't like her. Then there was that time that Sandra Bullock and I were eating cheesecake. (Maybe that could really happen because of her Austin restaurants!)
I have no idea how Hugh Jackman and I ended up in a dream-relationship. The only trigger I can think of besides the Oscars is we saw an ad for Rise of the Guardians and he's a voice in that. Weird that I didn't end up dating Alec Baldwin or Chris Pine....
Do you ever have weird dreams with celebrities? Do they ever get dirty? Mine don't; my sex dreams usually involve people I know which makes for some awkwardness the next time I see them.



Monday, March 4, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened When I Wasn't Looking

Sitting down at breakfast. Hands folded. Please and Thank You.
L.E. has grown up.
She makes demands with her little voice instead of just by crying and screaming.
She asks questions.
She gives answers.
She loves a string of "whys?"
She hates, "Because I said so, that's why."
She announced to me that she's tired of diapers.
She is now wearing underpants.
She asks to use the potty every hour.
I did not train her to do this.
She asks to please watch a movie, please play with her toys, please go outside.
She responds with a "thank you."
She throws her arms around me and just says, "Mommy." with all of the cuteness she can muster.
She survived nine days away from her daddy and only asked for him a bunch towards the end of the trip.
She puts her toys away. Usually.
She gave up her binky without too much trouble.
She comes into our bedroom to wake us up instead of yelling from her bed.
She likes to nap in our bed because hers is "for babies."
She will sit at the dinner table for at least ten minutes before asking to be excused.
Yes, she asks to be excused.
Today she's going to the dentist.
I'm sure she will handle it with the same dignity and grace she handled an unexpected 24-hour delay in our trip to see her grandparents.
She will see it as an adventure.
Or she will handle it the same way she handles getting dressed every morning.
A full-on flailing fit while screaming she wants to stay in her fishy pjs.
One day last week, she took off the clothes I wrestled onto her and demanded I put her fishy pjs back on her.
Maybe she isn't growing up quite yet....