Old Photo Tuesday! What has it been, two months? I suck.
Anyway. This is a silly little photo taken back in 2002, I think, in Stingray City off Grand Cayman Island. I had so much fun with those stingrays. I had no idea, at the time, that they could Steve Irwin you.
I look completely goofy above, yes, and I'm not quite sure that my eyes are open, but I found this photo notable because of what it lacks.
See? No tongue.
That's a real life, actual, honest-to-goodness smile, folks.
I am currently:
dealing with a lot of poop;
thinking about how to round out my list of things I want to do in '09, for posting here;
dropping deep thoughts on other people's blogs, whilst neglecting my own;
craving tuna tartare;
unable to come up with a title for this worthless post.
Just thought you'd like to know. If you didn't, keep it to yourself. Tomorrow, crazy holiday party pictures. Guaranteed to embarrass many, but probably not you! I promise!
1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Though last year’s resolutions were vague and never put into writing, I’m pleased that I wanted to get into some sort of fitness routine, and I’ve achieved that. And in lieu of making resolutions this year, I’m making a list of things I want to do in ’09. I realize that’s sort of the same, except for how it’s not. When I post it, you’ll see.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
While I’m certain that as soon as I hit “post”, somebody I am forgetting will come out the woodwork and glare menacingly, I’m going with “No”.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Still none. That is so depressing.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It’s all a blur.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting into a regular exercise routine.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I’m still pretty crappy at time management. I’m also pretty crappy about getting down on myself about things like being crappy at time management.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My gym membership.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My children, always.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Political extremists – on the right and the left. The State of California. I refuse to let anything a celebrity does affect my mood. Fortunately, nobody I actually know.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The usual suspects. No changes there.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I can’t come up with anything for this. Hmph.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Katy Perry, “Hot N Cold”
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, generally.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? I don't really know. Richer, probably. (Yes! I love this question.)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Take more pictures.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family, serendipitously in our pajamas all day.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I think it’s still “Chuck”. I also really, really dug “So You Think You Can Dance” again this year. And am I the only person on the planet watching “
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Still no! Hate sucks, yo.
24. What was the best book you read?
I’m having a very hard time rating my popular media this year. Yes, I got pulled into the “Twilight” saga, though I’d have a hard time calling it the best book. Let’s see… I finally got around to reading the old classic “Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier, and enjoyed it. “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan really got the neurons firing. But these days, getting around to finishing a book is a victory.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
26. What did you want and get?
Sirius satellite radio, and I seriously want to make out with it.
27. What did you want and not get?
A Blackberry Storm. And my
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Ugh. I always hate this question. “Iron Man”, I guess? I just didn’t get too excited about any movies. Sorry.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Girls weekend at the beach. I’m 34.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was pretty satisfying, all around. I’m not interested in second guessing it.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Get your shit together, girl. What would Stacy and Clinton say?
32. What kept you sane?
Exercising regularly. The Backyardigans. My stroller.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Still can’t answer this one. Still cool with that.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
A lot. This year, I shook off the apathy and really started thinking. First, I’d say that while I liked a good deal of the things Barack Obama campaigned on and felt stirred pretty much whenever he opened his mouth, I was very put off by the whole cult of personality thing surrounding him and his campaign. I knew he would be elected President as soon as I saw this, and it irritated me, because it’s pretty much a fucking Gap ad. (For the record, it’s not just a political thing. The same cult of personality and slick marketing thing is what turns me off of Apple.) Second, I’m firm in my belief that both unborn children and gay people deserve the same rights that I get, and both are being denied and told they don’t matter. And I’m having a hard time reconciling that the proponents for both groups are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
35. Who did you miss?
As always, my parents and sister in Colorado.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Don’t try to make everything into a valuable life lesson. Speak up when you’re stirred about something – even if nobody agrees, you’ll feel better in the end.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong
And if you’re trying to paint a picture
But you’re not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong
And if you’re strung out like a kite
Or stung awake in the night
It’s alright to be frightened
When there’s a light (what light)
There’s a light (one light)
There’s a light (white light)
Inside of you
"What Light", Wilco
A week or so late, maybe, but I love being late to a party. Here, in a vague sort of order, are my favorite songs from 2008. Also, I could only come up with 9. Wow, I kinda suck at this.
9. The Ting-Tings, "Shut Up and Let Me Go". I like this one despite the unfortunate use in an iPod ad.
8. Flo Rida, "Low". I know. Boots with the fur? Kills me. Love it.
7. Finger Eleven, "Paralyzer"
6. O.A.R., "Shattered". This was an end of the year addition for me. Now, it's a shower favorite.
5. Estelle/Kanye West, "American Boy". I think Kanye West is a total douche. But he happens to be a talented douche.
6. T-Pain, "Church". "Some bitches think they're hard, so why they think I'm not?" This one is always a mood lifter.
5. Matt Nathanson, "Come On Get Higher". Just yummy.
4. Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours". Despite that needing a dictionary thing, this song is a keeper.
3. Katy Perry, "Hot and Cold". I tried to stay away from this one, to stay away from Katy Perry in general. But it can't be stopped. This one gets the whole house rocking, and the whole family jumping. You can keep your "I Kissed A Girl" - I don't care for it.
2. This may be cheating, but the whole album "Feed The Animals", by Girl Talk. I love a good mash-up.
1. Weezer, "Pork and Beans". "Working out at the gym to fit my underwear." Genius.
Open fire? Roaring.
Stockings? Filled and hung with care.
Cookies left for Santa? Eaten by nobody who is 'fessing up.
Last gift that I scrambled around the house for, assumed was incorrectly wrapped, looked for under all sofas until I finally, randomly decided to check the desk drawer into which I was tossing everything in sight in my mad dash pre-party cleaning Saturday? Found, wrapped and under the tree.
Bed? Yes, please.
(No, I did not really roast chestnuts. Come on, now.)
Another kid sick. I think they are trying to kill me.
Still not done Christmas shopping.
In crunch mode for this weekend's party prep.
Through circumstances other than my own laziness, haven't made it to the gym much lately. And I think it's actually made me feel pretty crappy.
I will not be getting my Storm for Christmas.
Totally behind on cards, but still intending to push it through.
Still maybe wallowing a bit on the bra thing, but sincere apologies for putting you through it and it's all tamped back down on the inside now (I mean emotionally, of course. There is no actual physical tamping.) Business as usual.
(Is tamping a word?)
(Yes, whew, of course it is. But I'm disgusted that I had a moment of doubt.)
Took the kids to see Santa and they both loved. it. Which is a milestone for us.
I am very much in Christmas special/movie watching mode.
Many, many things have been crossed off the to-do list.
I no longer believe that there is a spider in my ear. I do think, however, that I'm getting an ear infection in my other ear. This is most likely karma kicking my ass for trying to kill the spider I thought was in the first ear.
I think I love "The Polar Express" even more than my kids do.
I think I once had some fun things to say today, maybe, except that they've all been lost to my mind-numbing depression following an ill-conceived bra shopping expedition. Had I known all the symbolic suckitude that would come from this task, I would have skipped it and put some duct tape on my last two hanging-on-by-a-thread bras. Seriously.
I think this is where I'm supposed to be all feminist rah-rah bullshit and badge of honor, I am woman, mamas are beautiful PONIES RAINBOWS UNICORNS GIRL POWER. Instead I would prefer to sulk like a teenager. Maybe I'll go light some candles. I'm pretty sure I've got some Sarah McLachlan or Tori Amos laying around somewhere.
You see it everywhere. "Made in China". This summer, eating lunch at the park with my children, I took a glance at the "R.W. Knudsen 100% Organic Apple Juice" boxes I'd gotten to go with my kid's grilled cheeses from Panera. Guess what I saw? China. I even see it imprinted, in reverse, on the bottom of my transparent plastic drinking cup right this minute. China.
I'd love to pledge that I'm going to go 100% green. All natural, all local. I try a little more every day - more things go in the recycle bin, more local shops are visited, more farmer's markets worshiped. But - you knew there was a but - it's tough to resist the siren song of Target. I can't help it. I like Target. And it's hard to beat back a lifetime of processed food and additives and imports and the local supermarket where, it turns out, nothing is local at all. But really, that's a tangent for another time.
No, I'm here to talk about toys. And Big Corporation vs. Little Guy. And choice. And what that means for you, and for me.
We've all heard the news about lead, BPA, phthalates and any number of chemicals now found to be (with varying degrees of certainty) harmful in our plastic food containers, our cosmetics and lotions and bath products, our food itself, and the toys our children play with and frequently put in their mouths. The good news is that Congress recently passed legislation tightening safety standards. The bad news is that, well-meaning though the law may be, it could essentially shut down independent (read: small business or artisan) makers of nearly all children's products, including toys, bedding, clothing, cloth diapers, hair accessories, jewelry, and bath products. Which, unfortunately, are the folks who've pretty much been trying to get it right all along.
Happy Christmas, John Lennon. Thank you for writing one of my favorite Christmas songs. Oh, and for that whole Beatles thing.