Author of the Queen City Boys books

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that’s what it is

I'll tell you what love is, love is leaving for work and discovering that your best friend has left you a package for V-Day, which contains your favorite candy and Starship Troopers on DVD.  That's real love, people.

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bright stars shine on NYE

The Lucero show was great, despite the fact that I have actual injuries.  One second I was moving forward to tell some asshole to fuck off, and the next thing I knew I was on the floor with like four guys on top of me, all of whom were trying to punch the asshole I was going to tell off.  I didn't feel bad the time, but this morning I'm all bruised and I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my leg.  Still, tons of fun was had by all.  No one argued or made drama (amongst my friends anyway, I'm sure there was plenty of drama at the show and the after party we went to), everyone got to do what they wanted and I think everyone is glad they made the drive to Memphis.

Now I'm watching silly romantic comedies with Hols and cursing myself for turning the heat off while we were out of town since it's fucking snowing now in Nashville.

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it’s over, bring on the new year

My family is now on their way to the airport.  They are all about quick goodbyes and no drama, although my sister started crying, which made me cry. And my mom hugged me a little too long.  Ugh, if I think about it too much I’ll start crying again.

We had a pretty good visit, with minimal fighting and lecturing etc.  It was maybe a day too long of a visit, only because of my exhaustion from trying to keep them entertained though, not because they were awful or anything.

Christmas went well, I made dinner and it turned out alright: roast duck, carrots, potatoes and salad.  I’m pretty please with how the duck came out.  The carrots I made with the recipe we use at the Wash and that came out perfectly. It was a surprisingly easy/low-key event, doing all the cooking.

I believe everyone very much liked the gifts I gave.  Budgeting makes me more thoughtful and I think it worked out for me.  My parents weren’t budgeting at all and got me both a new digital camera and a new laptop, which I am gleefully typing on right now.  Everything on it all works so well!  So shiny and fast and awesome.  I’m a nerd, I know, but man, nothing is really quite so happy making as a new computer.  I’m reformatting and cleaning up the old one, such as it is, to give to Jami to use basically as an internet machine.  Hopefully it has enough life left it in it to be useful to her for a bit.

The camera is a 7.1 megapixel Canon PowerShot and wow does it take great pictures for such a little guy.  I might try and get most of my jewelry photographed and up online this weekend (although I might just clean up a little then sit and stare for hours because my family’s visit took a lot out of me).  I am very excited to play with though.  Also I figured out how to make it chirp like a bird instead of beep.  So cute!

David came out to dinner with my family last night which was great because a) they already know and like him and b) it took some of the pressure off me.  They came down to the Wash as I was getting off shift and ate, drank and laughed a lot.  Met everyone I work with and, I think, generally had a great time.  David gave me a little, green, carved soapstone hippo with squeazles painted on it.  It’s so cute I don’t even want to put it with the other hippos in the collection, I just want to carry it in my pocket all the time.

There’s lots to say about my family’s visit, our tour of Nashville, visit to Memphis, how grown up my sister is, and all but I’m so tired and I have so much else to do today (much of which includes staring off into space and pretending I have no responsibilities–right now that’s very important).

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merry xmas

Gift giving went swimmingly.  Family seems happy.  I made Xmas dinner almost all by myself: roast duck, fingerling potatoes roasted with olive oil, carrots and shallots cooked in white wine, butter and thyme and salad, baby greens with almonds, blue cheese, warm poached pears and basalmic vinegar.  Mom made the salad.  It was all delicious.  Especially the carrots.  And the duck.  The skin was perfect.

I got a new digital camera for xmas, so I took pictures.  Will upload once I've actually figured the thing out. 

Tomorrow is apparently shopping day.  Only my family would decide to go shopping the day after Xmas.

Visit is, so far going very well.  Am sitting around the living room right now with the whole family watching Love Actually.   We watched A Christmas Story last night (family tradition) and Saved! earlier. Before that we walked all around Vanderbilt and Centennial park and drove all around town. And before that was breakfast and opening of presents.  Not a bad Xmas day so far.

Two days into their visit and I've only been subjected to a very teeny tiny (acceptable) bit of prying into my private life and one short lecture about my career and what I should be doing with my life.

I am so tired I can barely think of a smart thing to type.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

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two left feet, two right shoes

This morning, whether we like it or not we are braving the mall.  This is utterly necessary because my dad brought two right shoes with him instead of a match pair. I refrained from actually laughing at him, because while he is hilarious, this is one of his unintentional hilarities. It is quite funny.  Though not as funny as hearing him say, in a carefully measured way, "Say, what are you talking about, Willis?"  Which makes my sister cringe and insist that he can't say it like that.  My dad in turn assures us it's the proper Scandinavian way of expressing the sentiment.  Teenageness seems to have made my sister slightly embarrassed by dad about half the time.  Which is good, I guess, since it's not 100% of the time.  Mostly she thinks he's funny too.

The big downside of going to the mall is that Dad will drive.  Even though he doesn't know his way around the city.  I will 'navigate' and my mom will 'help.'  This is extra fun because Dad is a little hard of hearing and mom just doesn't listen and thinks she's knows something, but doesn't so often gives incorrect directions. At the most crucial point my my sister will interrupt to tell us we are all annoying, and cause Dad to miss an important instruction and make, most likely, an illegal u-turn and starting the whole process all over again. I know the way, where we are going, which lane to be in etc.  but no driving for me, presumably because I am not The Dad.  Maybe I can change all that on this trip since I guarantee Dad won't like Nashville drivers.

Am generally looking forward to their visit.  I expect to spend the whole day shopping.  Hopefully that will divert from the other stuff.  Mom is already making pointed comments about people with southern accents (Ma, we are IN the South) and Dad is complaining about wine prices (Pop, it's room service is a $200 a night hotel, of course there's a mark up).

Now, I am off to Jami's to shower.  Luckily the plumber is here now, so hopefully I will have my own hot water soon.  And bless the plumber for coming, I wish I had a present for him.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating.  I hope you have at least a little joy in your hearts.  I have a lot so I'll share if you need.

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the waiting IS the hardest part

My family's flight is still delayed in St. Louis. Ugh.  My sister was complaining on the phone, my dad says the airport there is so nice he doesn't mind staying, in fact he might just move there.  To the airport.  Yeah, I don't know either.

So everything is ready for their impending arrival, and I'm just puttering around the empty house, waiting.

My cousin Joe called me.  The whole rest of my family is at his parent's house right now drinking and being rowdy.  My aunt got the leg lamp from A Christmas Story in the family gift exchange.  She asked me if I thought she was going to hell for putting it in the Nativity. I love my family. Really a lot.

My sister just texted to tell me they made it on to a plane, but the plane has been sitting on the runway for 30 minutes and they don't know why. Ugh.  At least they are on a plane.  That makes it less likely that they will not be spending the night in St. Louis.

Here are pictures of my Shrinky Dinks from today.  The first is pre-shrinking, though unfortunately that one didn't turn out (I didn't heat it long enough and when I went to seal it the art smudged. Boo.)  The second one didn't smudge but was all warped.  I liked it anyway and I know the recipient will too (Dinos in love!) The second came out better, it's a Victorian pattern drawn on the front, shrunk, and then the back was painted red.  It actually looks really cool in real life.  Neither photographed very well.  I am very happy with my tiny dinosaurs though.  They are cute as can be.

The Shrinky Dink learning curve isn't very big, so I expect to be making some damn groovy stuff out of it soon. I have an awesome idea for charm bracelets, we'll see how it goes.  I'd go to the craft store right now if it was open.  Would definitely be better than just sitting around here.

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because it isn’t a holiday without some disaster

So we got up today to finish cleaning the house for the impeding arrival of my parents and discovered that we had no hot water. One sad call to the landlord later and it looks like we are getting a new hot water heater tomorrow.  But really? On a Sunday is bad enough, the day before Xmas eve is even worse.  So luckily my parents are staying in a hotel and I can shower at Jami's.  But UGH.

The house is clean.  I was crafty all day mostly finished the rest of the presents I had to make. My new crafting venture? Shrinky Dinks!!  Yes, you heard me.  Most awesome necklace pendants ever.  Oh yes there will be pictures!!

Now off to take miss Hols to port of air, make hotel reservations for New Year's and go meet my folks.

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It's miserable here.  Rainy and dark and grim.  I nearly died coming back to work on the interstate at lunch.  HOWEVER.

I am filled with joy and xmas spirit and happiness.  Holiday shopping nearly done.  Think I did a good job.  Am now excited about my parents' impending visit. (And not just because Dad said he was too lazy to ship stuff and thus was taking me shopping instead which could mean fabulous, expensive, new cowboy boots for me, woo!)  And my mom got me the desk I wanted, shipped to my house in a clearly marked box, so I might put that together today so it looks extra nice in the house when the familia arrives.

Anyhooo, have given over stressing about xmas and am just excited now. Giddy, bouncing like Tigger.  I also resisted buying myself stuff while shopping.  Except Ghiradelli mint dark chocolates.  But I feel that's my necessary reward for shopping so frugally and well. GO ME!

But let's just see how I am after another night of xmas music at the restaurant tonight. The Charlie Brown Christmas stuff was great, the rest? Not so tolerable. Especially when played rock musicians who think they funny or clever.  I love them dearly, but I am full of fear at the xmas "xtravaganza" planned for this evening.  All I can say is the customers better be full of the joy of the season and tipping like it's going out of style.

The only question now is, do I walk out in the rain, half a block down to my car, and get those mint chocolates out of the trunk?

Also today is Timmy Mac’s birthday.  Which makes it a great day, because he is great and we should all celebrate his existence in the world.

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I see the utterly awesome necklace is still for sale.  I'm just sayin' if you were perhaps at loss for ideas for me…

For my own part, I can not figure out what to get for my dad.  His Amazon list is lackluster and my mom has bought most of it anyway.  I got cool stuff for the rest of the family, but I'm stumped here.  He likes wine and golf and chocolate and college football.  Honestly I don't know enough about any of those things to get him anything good or that he doesn't already have.  Right now I'm leaning towards Tennessee wines, a CD off his wishlist and uh, I dunno.  Something else? ACK!

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notes from the underground

Two of my friends got married last Sunday.  They didn't tell anyone until Saturday, and then just a few of us.  They had their families meet them in the middle of the pedestrian bridge downtown and had a surprise wedding right there (their families had no idea).  I saw the pictures, everyone looks so happy, so beautiful.  Both of them are still glowing.

I'm a little surprised at myself at how not jealous I am.  I feel full of love and happiness for them, which comes with a lump in my throat and sort of a longing ache in my heart, but the feelings are completely pure and with out malice or negativity (I don't think the mild sadness for my own loneliness is negative, it just is).

At work yesterday there was a little presentation, a thank you for all your hard work to the staff.  Envelopes were handed out with bonuses, such as they are. Except I didn't get one.  My boss is sure he addressed one to me and simply misplaced it. And while that's probably true, it sort sums my current relationship to my job.  I work hard for them, they thank me and then fail to follow through with making the work worth my while. I have been actively looking for a new job, but it's so not easy this time of year and I am quite overwhelmed with other goings on.

My lovely boyfriend remains the one thing I want for Xmas, but I probably won't even see him until the end of January.  UGH.  I need a job with much more money and flexibilty for travel.  While I'm at it I'd like a pony and world peace.

My intern just came in a gave me a very sweet little present that she made.  I almost burst into tears.  I'm a little overwrought about everything right now.  Maybe I'll take a long lunch and try and finish some of my holiday shopping.

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oh the weather outside is…completely wrong for this

It seems really weird to post about the holidays when it's positively spring-like outside.  Perhaps I should hold off until the temp drops back into the 30s on Thursday?

We got our tiny, tiny, tiny tree last night.  And then we decorated it with tiny ornaments and tiny tinsel and a tiny star.  I don't know why this all amuses me so much, but it really does.

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happiness is a warm fuzzy

Is there anything better than someone going to Starbucks and bringing you back something? Especially if it's a hot, tasty coffee drink when your office is cold, cold, cold?

I am sitting at my desk in a giant fuzzy scarf and cable-knit handwarmers. My toes are cold.

Etsy is freaking


There's so much stuff on there I could browse forever. I was talking to Jed about it last night and she said that problem with it is that you spend forever browsing it, and often in the time you spent browsing, you could have made yourself half the items you were eyeing! So true, but also filled with cool, cool handmade stuff I could never make. I have a growing favorites list over there. What I very most want is this necklace. How are people so clever and creative that they think of things like that? Totally beyond me. So who else is on Etsy? Let's all 'heart' each other over there!

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