Thursday, January 31, 2008

Daytime TV

So for the past week I've been in the burbs playing mommy to the same 3 young girls with whom I spend a lot of my girly time. Their parents are in Mexico. Well, are about to be on a plane on their way back from Mexico. It's been fun. Homework, movies, dinosaurs (at the Heard Museum in McKinney)...


Lots of homework. I'd forgotten how much time homework takes up....oh wait, no I didn't. I just did my homework during my other classes. Yeah. I was that girl. Today one of the twins is home with something unpleasant. She's laying on a large pink bean bag watching the Price is Right. Forget that we've got two giant-screened imacs with sidereel at her disposal. She could be watch Syndey White right now. But now, she's watching Drew Carey and some guy in faded jeans and a black t-shirt talk about 100 calorie popcorn packs. I may never understand 12 year olds.

In other news, I've ditched the second novel that I was toying around with. I couldn't get the plot straight in my head and I think I was trying too hard with it. So I've shelved that concept for now and moved on. As soon as I jumped the shark (can you jump the shark before you've even written an outline?) it all started to flow nicely. I've created a little group of main characters who are (not surprisingly) 15 and 16. Because I'm perpetually 15. I've got a plot and the beginnings of the information that makes these characters 3d. It's amazing what a little change of perspective makes. Yay me!

I've also decided that I like this shirt. I might even buy one, since I live in fear of the big SC. Not the one with Posh, though, because she skeeves me out.

Alright, time to administer OJ. And Advil.

Happy Day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The 100 Mile Diet

Or, as it's becoming known: Being a *Locavore.* Yeah. I heard an interview with two crazy folks who jumped head first into a year of eating locally. They're Canadian. People do crazy things in Canada. I heard it a long time (a year? more?) ago on NPR...which stands for Nerdy People Rock, by the way. And I've been intrigued ever since. Surely, there's something to this eating local thing - supporting local farmers when farm subsidies are drying up, etc etc. And you know where your food comes from so you've got a better chance of knowing what 's in it. No High-Fructose Corn Syrup, or, as I like to call it, Devil Spawn. And for those of you who would like to point to my Coke habit, I then point you to the fact that not only is it in a Glass bottle, but it was bottled in Mexico -using SUGAR. The only other time that occurs is at passover because HFCS is not kosher.

But now I'm all inspired again -- toxins, please see previous post -- and I've looked up on their website how to get started. Problem is, when you put in my zip code - or my moms - there's no 100 mile radius listed for it.

No problem, that's what google maps is for, right? Which puts Dallas in the center of a tiny circle that doesn't include much that hasn't been built up. There are maybe a couple of lakes. I like catfish, but this means SUSHI is off the menu. I don't even plan to give that up when I'm carrying a fetus around. Seriously.

So that's what's holding me up. Things I like too much to live without. Coke. Sushi. Cheese...although the Mozzarella cheese company is just down the street...I can say my coffee is local because the roaster is in Addison. And related.

But I do buy local when it's an option - produce, for instance. Cheese. Um...ok that's about all I can think of offhand but since we mostly cook from scratch and my local butcher just explained the process of beef to me in terms even a cretin could understand so I'm never buying meat elsewhere....maybe I should shift from agonizing over food miles (because who can do that math?) to buying and eating seasonal food. I did, after all, stock up on pomegranates and freeze the seeds so they'll last longer than their 3 months season. Yum.

If you go to the farmer's market page and click on "what's for sale" and then "produce" and then "what's in season" you can see that there are a variety of yummy foods available year round. And if I eat from that list, then that means fewer and fewer hothouses working to bring me strawberries when strawberries just didn't want to be brought. And then maybe I'll finally be motivated to learn how to can/make preserves. Maybe.

Anyone want to undertake this with me? I promise to share recipes!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger, Toxins, and Hyperlinks

Heath Ledger kicked the proverbial bucket today. This makes me sad because it's not very often you hear about the kids from Perth hitting it big and I've had a crush on him ever since he intimidated the pants off the nerdy kids in 10 Things I Hate About You. You can read all about it here. He died from a pill overdose - over the counter pills. This leads me (or my new BFF Dr. House) to believe that he had some kind of pre-existing heart condition that he wasn't aware of and was just trying to relax for his massage. Took one too many and boom: cardiac arrest. He was in the middle of filming the new Terry Gilliam movie. That's enough to put anyone on the 'luudes.

Totally unrelated: I just did that thing where you turn on the wrong burner and then walk away. And then I'm sitting in the office blogging and chatting and I think "why does it smell like something's on fire?" And I go to investigate to find that I had turned on the wrong burner and what was sitting on that burner was the cast iron skillet with just enough oil in it to smoke like the dickens. So I've opened all my windows and I did a little air-out dance in the hopes that the smoke will leave before the smoke alarm goes off and the whole building evacuates. It's a LOT of freaking smoke. I'm completely brain-missing.

So my daily reads are Treehugger and Ecorazzi as well as the Daily Intelligencer and whatever else strikes my fancy. And I've run across a lot of evidence that the toxins in our everyday lives leach in the uterus/placenta/umbilical cord of babies. Not Cool. Now, I've always been a bit of a hippie but when we brought home our kitties, with their depressed immune systems, and the vet reminded me that I should be careful about keeping the floors, etc, clean because residue on the floor gets on their paws and then they lick their see where this is going. So out went the toxic cleaners and in came vinegar/citrus/sand cleaners and scrubs and my home has been clean and relatively toxin free ever since.

And now that the green light has been given for the attempts to reproduce - ok - almost been given - I'm all freaked out about lead and asbestos and...VOCs and all of the other shit that I encounter on a daily basis. I have a chain smoking boss and a couple of clients with whom he sees to race through cigarettes. At least once a week I walk onto a job site and the subs are wearing face masks and I'm high within a minute of being there. And then there's the stuff that quietly, softly, in it's very own odor-free way off-gasses carcinogens as long as it exists. PVC, anyone? I've picked up some books and done some research and let's just say that while I am still focused on the Big 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) and all of that...Greening my potential baby has jumped to the top of the list. Does this mean I'm giving up potentially mercury laden sushi and alcohol-containing drinks? Hells No. It just means that my chain smoking boss is going to have to move downwind whenever he needs to smoke.

Ok, so now the smoke is clearing out and Steve has started dinner. He said something about from-scratch mac and cheese with pancetta and stomach is growling already!

PS - have you noticed my use of hyperlinks? Steve showed me how to do it a while ago, but I just remembered. I feel like a blogging rock star :-D

Friday, January 18, 2008


In case you didn't know, that's my evil laugh. I'm probably going to hell for being so smug this morning but damn it was amusing.

So. Story:

I leave a job site and on my way to the office I swing by the La Madeline on Lemmon for a chocolate croissant (YUM) and a coke. I'm feeling kinda swanky eskimo because this morning I decided I was sick of jeans and cold be damned so I put on my tweedy miniskirt (the one with pockets) and thick black tights and a bright blue turtleneck sweater and my uggs (I'm sick of jeans, not insane. It did snow today and I was walking around in it.) I even did hair and makeup. Of course, given the weather I then tossed my father's old peacoat over it. It's longer than the skirt. yeah.

Anyway - back to the story. So I get my little bagged croissant and take my cup over to the fountain to fill it with two lemon wedges, a bit of ice and a LOT of caffeine. Yum. On my way I see a guy sitting at a table filling out a form of some sort. He's looking a little lost but very familiar. As I'm picking up a lemon with those little plastic tong things it hits me: This is none other than Very Hot Guy from high school! I was so surprised that I over-squeezed and shot my lemon wedge into the ice reject pan. So, in middle school, when I met VHG he was, in fact, Very Hot. Blonde and charming and popular and talented (theatre) and nice. He was always nice to me when we had classes together and he'd say hi in the hallway...etc etc. However, he shot me down cold the couple of times I got the courage up to ask him out (I said he was popular right? Well, nice is nice, but popular is popular and when you're 13 popular wins. Every time. Plus I was awkward and geeky and ridiculously weird. I'm still weird, but now I've embraced it. If only I were so confident 16 years ago...) Also the girls he hung out with were MEAN. Grade A bitches, they were. At one point accused me of stalking VHG. This was sophomore year when my cool factor went up half a point by the grace of being on Drill Team (not a popularity contest.) I think I killed the half point when my only response to that was to snort derisively and say "If I was stalking him, he'd already be dead." Yeah. I've got mad skills.

Fast forward to now. Essentially 14 years since I've spent any time with him (our last class together was sophomore year before we were all diluted into the senior high) and while I have gotten hotter and hotter (see previous entry where I've announced that my goal is to be a MILF who looks 36 but is actually 43) he has swelled. And lost a good amount of hair. And was sitting alone in a La Madeline at 10am on a Friday filling out a form. My awesome powers of deduction have led me to believe that he was filling out a form for the modeling agency that is housed in the same building. Having worked closely with the owner of said agency (Incubator shows) I know her taste. And let's all cross our fingers that his charm hasn't faded.

At any rate, when I figured out who it was it was all I could do not to burst out laughing at my perceived reversal of roles. So instead of saying "Hey, VHG, how've you been? Remember me? We were in school together!" I filled up my coke, bit my lip, collected myself and strolled past him, thankful that my legs still err on the side of chicken.

I did google him as soon as I got home, though. To no avail. He shares the same first and surname as a football player, a comic book artist, some politicans, a PhD...the list goes on and on. And if he's on myspace he doesn't go by VHG and his profile is set to private.

Aside: while I was trolling myspace I did run across another guy on whom I had a crush...we'll call him Orange Crush... and he's married with a kid/kids and according to the single photo he has up he's still hot.

Once I got to the senior high I managed to find someone else to have a MADDENING crush on, as well as some very rewarding and functional relationships. :-D Hmm.. think I'll go google the OTHER VHG and see what turns up. Maybe there's an actual pot-belly involved! Mwa-ah-ah-aaahhhh!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why do people have to be so shitty?

I'm speaking on many many levels, here.

1st - Guiliani has lost any potential support I might have had for him. I know what you're thinking: "Emily, you're rather liberal to be supporting an old Republican guy." And you're right...but I thought he was a funny little man who did some good - if shady - things for NYC and up until roughly 5 hours ago I liked him to most of the GOP candidates. And then he opens his mouth on the subject of women's rights and I want to drop kick him back to the prehistory when it was ok for men to dictate what happens to a woman's body. Oh wait, it wasn't even ok then because she would have CLUBBED HIM with the leg bone of the wooly mammoth she just barbecued up for him. Assuming that with fire came some self-awareness. Putting a Justice on the court who will overturn Roe v. Wade should the chance come to him is NOT being very forward thinking. It's bad enough that the hardest decisions a woman has to make are already regulated by a bunch of men she's never met. So my last words to Mr. "No I didn't cut my hair to get rid of my lame-ass combover" are BACK OFF you little Gnome!

How did this even come up, you ask? The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is Tuesday. I get all warm and squishy when I think about how far the women's movement got us. Contraception, the opportunity for jobs outside of the home, The right not to wear a bra and live with our sag...the right to deal with what our bodies are doing to us and only consult those to whom it matters most: our own conscience, our husband/partner, a parent if one choses, your Doctor, your God, your minister...the LAW needs to stay out of it.

This is on my Top Five Reasons to Leave the Country list. It's right under "some fuckwit thinks he can re-write the constitution to put God into it," "Leaf Blowers are more efficient than rakes and brooms", "Marijuana is a gateway drug", and chain restaurants. Ok, it's neck and neck with Marijuana laws.

Confession: Emily Smokes Out. Um...more accurately, Emily Has Been Known to Smoke Out." Not since July, thanks to the brain swell. And also it fucks with your ovulation so I'm holding off. Although there was a time when the Lyrica was unbearable that I almost put in a large order. If we lived in Cali, or if my Doctor hadn't left his practice in the middle of all of this, I would have. And Husband was actually the first to suggest it. We didn't, though, mostly because of said doctor absenteeism. In my opinion (and I'm actually quoting the late Ted Demme) If Tequila is legal, pot should be legal. Anyway...

So here's a little story. I've known this chick...we'll call her Spare...since 8th grade. We were close for a while and then not close and then close and then not - all depending on what our lives were doing at the time. In the past several years, she's had many many many many dramatic events. To the point that at least once a week there was a lecture happening on how Stupid she was being regarding her heart, her body...on-and-off relationships, repeated know the type. She moves and doesn't tell me. (myspace revealed that one) She's home at the holidays and doesn't tell me (again...) But then there's a drama and she calls not only my phone, but Husbands as well (she assumes that I don't answer my phone because I'm with him and she can call him to get to me. Except that I was at work and we got married, not conjoined) and when I call and leave a message she doesn't return it and when I send her a text she calls and leaves a loooong message and then doesn't tell me she's not coming back for the weekend...

Listen up, Spare. I am not your ambulance. You have plenty of people that you rotate through your top myspace friends (and bed) that you can lean on. I might have been the lone voice of reason in your crazy little life but I am forever silent on the topic of you. Particularly now that I've gone and gotten my venting out of the way. Oh, and how did I tell you? Check your myspace friends list, bitch.

Wow, I'm all kinds of fiesty today. Must have been the snow flurries.

Ok, back to what I was doing...hunting down an agent. Wish me luck! I'm engrossed in Weeds (thank God for streaming video and a not-ghetto computer) and I just want to say that Mary Louise Parker is 43. I thought she was a good ten years younger. Fingers crossed that in 15 years I will be a MILF. For Reals. Because woman is enviably gorgeous. Must be the sunscreen....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

No Small Feat

I picked up a copy of Reunion 9 with some of my Christmas cash - which means that finally (FINALLY) I'll be able to make some sense and have a time line of all of the family names, dates, stories, etc that I've been absorbing for as long as I can remember. Luckily, my mother was long elected as the family archivist so she's got a nice little stash of photos and notes and important paraphernalia (but not the family bible, that is in an archival box under the bed in my Grandfather's guest room - along with P-Boo's scrapbooks from her Graduate Studies in the early 20s.) There are meticulous notes on some of the photos and coupled with the powers of the interweb I've been able to scrounge up interesting little tidbits - like contact information for the church my great-grandfather helped found in 1921 in Rock Hill, S.C. And since googlemaps is so thorough now I can even see the sites of the homes my ancestors (so odd to use that word, yet so appropriate) lived in.

I've got some odd names up in the branches of the tree - my great-great-great-great-great (?) Grandmother liked to give her girls multiple names: Katherine Margaret Rosalie and Hermine Helene Julianna Antoinette. But it was the 1860s and neither of them survived more than a few months. No cause of death that I've found. Steve speculates poverty, but actually the family fortune hadn't been squandered, yet. I like knowing all of these little tidbits. I like knowing where we came from. Mostly I've just done my Maternal Grandfather's side. My Maternal Grandmother's side goes back pre-revolution (this will all be used to get me in the DAR, eventually) and that makes me tired just thinking about it.

I've got an ulterior motive in all of this, too. Well...maybe it's a side-motive? It's not the primary objective, but it's in the top 5 for sure: figure out what the hell is going on in my husband's family. There's a branch very close to his (1st cousins) which is filled with people we can't keep straight. So I'll start up a file for that family here in the near future and get that sorted so that my nephew will know who he's talking to at the large family gatherings. Clearly I've got time if that's my reasoning for embarking on that little project.

Who knows - maybe in the process of all of this I'll uncover something exciting. Well, more exciting than my great-great-great-grandmother being a double agent in the civil war, that is ;-)

Ok...back to scanning and archiving...

Will leave you with the song I've had stuck in my head all day:

Friday, January 11, 2008

Little Boxes

This is perhaps my favorite version of the opening song (which is totally stuck in my head) from my current favorite television show...which of course I watch on DVD. This is Death Cab. They rock.

Completely unrelated: next week is a nuthin' but heels week. I think the major demo is over for right now so it'll be safe to totter around job sites. In order to work out my calves for such an undertaking, I'll be tottering around in my Doris Day mules all weekend. You know you're jealous ;-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Like a Refrigerator

Withdrawal happens in three main parts:

1) Not much happens the first couple of days, which lulls you into a false sense of security.

2) The tip of your nose tickles incessantly and you get a slight rebound headache.

3) The medication starts to vacate your body like rats from a ship and you hum with the vibrations of millions of tiny little rat feet running over your nerve endings. Put your hand to a refrigerator while the compressor is on. Now imagine your entire body doing that for DAYS. Add in a headache, some dizziness and nausea....and you've got a cranky, cranky Emily all weekend. Poor Steve. It's a good thing we're already married because I was Heather Chandler all weekend. (My Damage? Withdrawal) I canceled plans and even though the people on whom I canceled just felt shafted, they have no idea how much the quality of their evenings improved without my presence. There will be penance baking, I just know it.

It's finally wearing off. Just my scalp tingles a bit now, but I assume that's because the concentration of the medication was there - you know, keeping my membranes from re-inflaming themselves.

The googlepage has been infuriatingly slow and free-thinking lately but I think I wrangled it into submission. Check it out for some New Year Week in Conroe Highlights. Not pictured: Howard and Leigh. But we did have lunch with them Sunday and we did finally meet Leigh and I do genuinely like her. So there's that. For what it's worth.

It's on the vacation page of the googlepage. Follow the link at right.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Resolutions. And Clothes.

Ok, so in an effort to spend less crazily (this feels like the same new year’s resolution I make every year...spend more thoughtfully....of course, I feel like I am making fewer impulse purchases so something must be working) I’m going to do a full-on closet inventory and then purchase the basics I’m missing. You know, round things out a bit. This only sounds easy. You have to take into account the fact that it took me two years to find a pair of brown boots that I like. Love. Adore. Wear all the time. It’s like a hunt for me. Not looking for the bargain, really. What I’m looking for is a pair of boots that will make even the bums outside the library sit up and take notice. (This pair did exactly that, by the way)

I’ve stolen a list from a blog I just discovered (yay google!) - if you want the exact link it’s this:

and the list is this: (in () are my comments)


1) A well-fitting bra and well-fitting underwear (duh - this should include slips and shapers)
2) A fitted black jacket
3) A basic white button down
4) A great pair of jeans (or 3 if you have my job.)
5) A tailored pair of slightly wide-leg black trousers (or more - gray, brown, and navy should be on this list as well)
6) A cashmere cardigan
7) High quality black, navy, white and brown turtlenecks (MUST BUY)
8) A little black dress (or 2 or 3....what was it Madame Coco said...?)
9) A silk camisole in a pretty jewel tone
10) A black pencil skirt
11) A trench coat (I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to take myself seriously in a trench coat...)
12) Hanes plain white tees (I actually prefer Mossimo from Target. They’re soft and not see through. The $5 Ts at Forever 21 are also nice to have in many colors)
13) Ballet flats
14) Classic pumps
15) Classic tall boots (brown and black - need black)
16) A great handbag
17) A peacoat
18) Belt (a few of these - sometimes a funky belt is all it takes to keep an all-black outfit on the chic side of funeral chic.)

Great extras:

1) A classic watch
2) Pearl necklace
3) Diamond studs
4) A gold chain (Silver if you don’t wear gold)
5) A vintage rock and roll t-shirt (fake vintage works, too. Hello, Target)
6) A trapeze/swing jacket
7) Oversized Jackie O sunglasses (Not necessarily in black. Mine are cream)
8) A classic tote bag
9) A gorgeous cocktail dress
10) A leopard print coat (less seriously than a trench coat. I couldn’t even be ironic in this)
11) Jeweled cuff
12) A beautiful clutch
13) A v-neck sweater
14) A black and white striped t-shirt (what...for convict-chic?)
15) Wrap dress (YES)
16) Neutral pumps or slingbacks
17) A pashmina
18) A sequin tunic (this is so fall of 07 - can we move on already?)
19) Leggings (NO. NO. NO. If you are old enough to have worn the trend the first time around...)

So my list is fairly short. And in two more years, it’ll be complete. Yippie!

What are my other resolutions, you ask? Surely it can't just be the same one year after year, can it...? No, it's not. In addition to making the wardrobe make sense there is:

1) Floss. Regularly and as directed.
2) Regain my pre-brain-swell workout routine (this coincides nicely with being off the pills. I'm not able to downward dog just yet, but perhaps in another week or so....)
3) Be more organized in general - cooking, grocery shopping, general storage. I've been in enough houses by now to know how easily it all gets away from you. I've actually got a client who doesn't know what's in half of her closets, up in her attic, in her garage, in storage...she just keeps collecting stuff and then not remember what she's got. And it's not because she's old and forgetful. It's because she's got tons of stuff. I don't know how many times she's wanted to see the inventory list from the storage facility and I've handed it to her and all it says - apart from furniture pieces - is "1 box, packed by client. 12x12x2" with varying numbers and sizes. She has no idea what's in those boxes and they're unlabeled. She's paid well over a grand in the past year to store all of her shit. If that's not a cautionary tale, I don't know what is.

Anyway, I should start dinner. Something with fish. And maybe pasta....?


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Free to Be Drug Free!

That's right, folks. Pill #The Last was consumed yesterday morning. I've been clean for going on 30 hours and so far just a little headache by way of withdrawal. I'm not writing it off, though. I anticipate general crumminess to ensue any time now....

The New Year came in with a bang for us - freezing our fingers off in Conroe setting off fireworks. I'll get those images edited and up on the googlepage soon. You're excited. Admit it.

So that's all I've got right now. It's definitely lunch time.

PS - Steve is playing Welcome to the Jungle on the Guitar Hero III.....the word you're looking for is "addict" ;-)