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Sunday book review, movie round-up & anything else i can throw in here. Happy 2015!

January 11th, 2015

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“We are the night ocean filled
with glints of light. We are the space
between the fish and the moon,
while we sit here together.”

– Rumi

“Bottom line is we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect,” film director Richard Linklater, accepting his Golden Globe award for directing, “I want to dedicate this to parents that are evolving everywhere and families that are just passing through this world and doing their best.”

I’ll see how many categories I can hit here… Ready? Ready-steady-go!

* Pacific Ocean: It’s beautiful. It makes me happy, i love my negative ions i get from the ocean, and the wildlife is so fun to watch. The sea lions in that picture are making what’s called a “raft.” They all hold onto each other and float around. Hippies :)

* Book review? Here’s what on my nightstand (and on the Kindle): Re-read “Wild,” re-reading “Torch,” re-reading Carol Shields magnum opus, “Unless,” reading “Quiet” and learning all kinds of stuff about introverts, extroverts, high reactives and the modern age, just finishing Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy,” genius, and… that’s all I can think of.

* Recipes:

Oven-Fried Spuds (excellent, best potato recipe ever)
Soup! (Steve’s recipe. This one clears up your head, fast)

1 onion, sliced thin
1 bulb garlic
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 cups water

Saute onion and garlic (I like whole cloves, but you can chop or press) on low until soft. Add bouillon cubes and squish. Add water and bring to boil. Can be garnished with fresh slices of jalapeno for an extra sinus kick. Wasabi would be good, too.

Reduce water and bouillon by half to thicken.

* Work… is going well. Super well. I love working at a school (computer lab again this year), I’m with the best staff and boss in the universe (no I’m not saying that because they might read this — they really are gifted, funny, smart, wonderful with the students and everything else I was hoping for) and I love that my students are willing to work on my Spanish with me. #yohabloespanolmasomenos

* My own kids… are great. Whoever said, “Eh, you think that when they’re little they really need you, but when they’re teenagers? That’s when they really need you,” that person was so smart. (Seriously, probably 20 people said that to me when the kids were toddlers, and I thought they were joking.)

* Nekkid Neighborsremember them?

* Sex? Not at work, people, keep that in mind, always. Or with the Nekkid Neighbors. Just a bad idea, aight? Lol. We’ve been watching Californication on Netflix, and swear to God, every time I watch it, I feel like I’ve been in an orgy, and it was kind of great, but equally horrible. Yeah.

* Speaking of pop culturemovies. We saw “Wild,” loved it, “Nebraska,” also great, “Boyhood,” one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.

* Holidays: How can 2015 be a real year? It’s so space-age sounding.

* And in the category of Pets, Stupid… Our sweet, loving, funny Wacky Cat 2 passed away last month. I keep looking for him, thinking I see him, missing him. It just sucks.

* Houses & Homes: We’re cleaning & rearranging & opposite-of-hoarding like mad right now because we’re moving again.

In five years.

But, as one of my 80-something-year-old neighbors told me after New Year’s, “Every year, I don’t know what it is. The days go slower and the years go faster.” Then he gave me a big smile, I smiled back, and he pedaled off on his bike. I know just what he means.

All for now, xo,

wm

Why Go Big When You Could Go Home?

October 26th, 2014

That’s my question for the daredevils in the crowd. I get it. I ask, Why? You ask, Why not?

Great episode of Oregon Field Guide, featuring our own Mt. St. Helens.

Open letter to Seth MacFarlane and the Onion

February 25th, 2013

Hey smarmy Seth MacFarlane and idiots from the Onion,

You want to fight? Sure. How about you go out in the street and practice falling down for awhile, first.

Like we used to say in my old neighborhood: Two hits. Me hitting you and you hitting the floor. It wouldn’t even take a hit. I could tap you with my finger and you’d fall down go boom. Or you’d call me a name, let’s say, the “c” word.

Abby: Did you call me?
Roy: What?
Abby: I heard dumb bitch. I assumed you were talking to me.
Roy: I was talking to her.
Abby: Your name is dumb bitch TOO? No wonder I keep getting all of your mail! You know, we could be related. There are a lot of us dumb bitches here in LA.

– “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”

You’d be all, “C word!” and I’d turn around and say, Perdon? and you would… dissipate. Spontaneously combust, or maybe just implode. There would be a little pile of lint, that’s all that would be left of you.

You’re wussies, that’s why. Not just those garden-variety wussies, either. You’re the next level of wuss, my friends. Remember that trucker from “Thelma and Louise”? Now, he was your garden-variety wussie boy.

Thelma: I mean really! That business with your tongue. What is that? That’s disgusting!

Louise: And, oh my God, that other thing, that pointing to your lap? What’s that supposed to mean exactly? Does that mean pull over, I want to show you what a big fat slob I am or…

Thelma: Does that mean suck my dick?

Trucker: You women are crazy!

Louise: You got that right.

You’re the kind of wussies who make certain people (moms, women, little girls, men who aren’t wussies) totally lose their shit. “Oh, what, you don’t have a sense of humor?”

Yeah, I like jokes.

When they’re funny.

1) You guys aren’t funny. You’re assholes and…

2) You can run, son, but you can’t hide.

Here’s a New Yorker article, because it’s all on the damn record now, isn’t it?

And then the Culture Vulture weighs in.

Also, a thoughtful post from Happy (or whatever).

On the one hand, I would like to pretend, like I have so very many times before, that this was just another bad date. You called me a slut, I went on my way, but you know what? We need to have this conversation, right here, right now. On the record. Because I’m not going anywhere.

But you are.

You guys said what you said, and acted like you acted, and it was bullshit. Old boys’ network and bwah-ha-ha and jokes about Jack Nicholson’s house and women’s “boobs” and calling a sweet little girl a horrible name… And really? Fucking really? More of this shit?

The difference this time is…

Everyone knows. And your way (the old way) is on the way out.

And that gives me, and my sisters, and our daughters, and all of those guys who aren’t wussies like you, a really good gift…

Hope.

And a big smile.

So head on out to the street now, would you?

love,

nancy

post #2,078

December 19th, 2012

from “Arrested Development” (“Let ‘Em Eat Cake”):

Michael: Dad sold houses to the Iraqis, didn’t he? This is what you kept from me so I could take the polygraph test. Tell me the truth, okay? ‘Cause there’s been a lot of lying in this family.

Lucille: And a lot of love.

Michael: More lies.

qotd: Arrested Development

September 9th, 2012

Michael: “And you finished off the whole bottle?”
Lindsay Funke: “I had to, it’s vodka. It goes bad once it’s opened.”
Michael: “I think that’s another of mom’s fibs, like ‘I’ll sacrifice anything for my children.’”

Loud & Proud: “An American Family” + Honey Boo Boo Child

September 6th, 2012

Watching this week:

“Television ate my family.” — Lance Loud

We came up with the best way ever to spend our wedding anniversary this year: watching the Loud family implode on PBS’s “An American Family.” Me to Steve: “Don’t get any ideas.” His response: “Don’t even worry.”

I remember my ma telling me that she and my dad spent hour after hour, week after week, watching the documentary (the first “reality” TV program) when it first aired in 1973. I didn’t know what to expect, really, but I wanted to watch “Cinema Verite” (with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins as Pat and Bill Loud, and James Gandolfini as the series’s producer, Craig Gilbert). Didn’t feel like it was fair to the Louds to watch the fictional filming of their documentary, or the “behind-the-scenes-making-of” film of the film of the documentary (it all gets a little wiggy) without watching their documentary — the real one, which began shooting in 1971 — first. Now I want to give them all a hug, especially Lance, who I just adore, but he is gone now.

Also we’ve been watching non-stop “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” over here and Lord, does my head hurt now. It’s all good TV, people. Have you watched any of these films/shows? If so, what did you think? Gimme the Louds over the Kardashians any day, and gimme Honey Boo Boo any day over “Survivor,” woooooooooooooo-hoooooooooooo :) We love that little firecracker, she’s a pistol. She fractures me, I am not even kidding.

No, I’m not getting much writing done, but I need that once in awhile.

OK, I have to go to bed. More on all of this later. Much.

some random thoughts

February 24th, 2012

* watching General Hospital. I’ve never really liked Patrick all that much. OK, I’ve never really liked him one bit. But now, I’m kind of hating his guts because He Is Wuss. Also, where’s the hospital chaplain?

* why didn’t Sonny just shoot Anthony when he had the chance?

* I don’t like Kate much (Sonny’s old/new girlfriend). Or Maxie (the new one or the old one), Spinelli/Spicoli, who else?? I like Monica, Tracy, Luke. Dante, when he’s not w/ Lulu; Olivia, but not Steve Hardy; Lizzie, but only when she’s an artist not a nurse; Carly, Sean, Sean, Carly… I think that’s it for now.

* had a nice lunch with Steve — Indian buffet. oh, yum. i like having a little time alone with my husband, it’s cool. In May, it will be fifteen years since our first date. We went out for… Indian food! I dropped my naan in my water glass, I was so nervous ;)

* I’m trying to ease up on the coffee (one cup a day, #canshedoit) and switch to tea. Trying… trying… I do love my tea. Didn’t used to love coffee this much, but I’ve become quite the little addict over the years.

* speaking of giving things up… booze. It’s been ten months since I stopped drinking. Feels good every day. Clear-headed. The writing is going well, too.

* It’s hard for me to read the blogs and Facebook now, when everyone’s all, Is it cocktail hour? Is 10 a.m. too early for a drinkie? Moms’ Night, Wine, wooooooooooo-hooooooooooooooooo!!! Mommy Wants Booze, etc. Then they’re dissin’ on Whitney for being weak. Are you diabetic, or bordering on, but you still drink alcohol? Are you on anti-depressants and you drink with them? Are you depressed and you drink to feel better? (Alcohol is a depressant, keep that in mind, would ya?) Do you “need” that drink or do you just want one? Are you having a couple of drinks (or more) and then driving? Yeah, let’s not talk about addiction, America. I’d rather not have that conversation with you.

* All for now. Oh, yeah… I love this picture. Happy Friday, everyone.

– wm

"that tree"

(Photo by Steve)

“pre-” (“there is no such thing as pre-!!!”) diabetes and me and Paula Deen

January 23rd, 2012

Oh, Paula Deen, Paula Deen. Jamie and Bobbie… You get over here, too, please, so we can have a little chat.

The Op-Ed pieces are arriving, so here’s mine along with the rest of the flood. She has known for three years she has Type 2 diabetes, and the woman who shares her life, “Y’all, I have to tell ya…” didn’t tell us.

Then she makes a deal with a pharmaceutical company to rep for them, and her son gets his “low-cal” cooking show going and… there ya have it, y’all. Step right up and have a fried treat. Only in moderation. (cough, choke.) Here, try this:

Compose yourself
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Fried Twinkies are just never a good idea. Not even on a dare. “Once you’ve had one, you’ll never go back.” For that matter, donuts instead of buns on a cheeseburger? Equally lousy idea. Cheeseburgers, just your standard cheeseburgers, are a lousy idea all by their lone. Having one once in awhile is OK. If by “once in awhile” you mean “maybe twice a year.” I still prefer mine the way I did when I was a kid — no cheese, no bacon, light on the condiments and lots of pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Then I would eat about half the burger (one patty, not two or three or four) and feed the rest to the dog.

After we lost Good Dog Gus, the first time we went out for a burger I started to set mine aside for him like always. Steve asked, Who u gonna feed your burger to now? (He eats veggie burgers, as do the kids.) (OK, make that veggie nuggets for them, or just french fries and ketchup.)

I like her shows and her family’s cookbooks, but damn. I like them in a i am hypnotized by you gah, gah, gah way.

* It is possible to make greens without ham and bacon grease.
* Just eat a damn Twinkie if you want one — don’t fry it up.
* Ribs? Once a year, if that, gaaahhhhhh…

Anthony Bourdain called her “the worst, most dangerous person” in America. Yeah, obesity and diabetes and just generally livin’ large and congratulating ourselves for it truly are the worst problems in America, in my opinion. That kind of thinking leads you to health problems, a huge deficit and war. Deen retaliates by saying, “…not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills.”

You’re worried about the grocery bill? Stop eating meat and substitute beans and rice. Anytime I buy meat, fish or chicken at the store, I go into sticker shock and swear I’m never buying it again. Yesterday, for instance, I was craving salmon cakes. Ten dollars for two of them. And salmon grows here. It isn’t like I’m having it shipped in from Europe.

Why not have some beets, instead? They’re cheaper… and really pretty.

Beets me!
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Costs? Budget? Don’t forget to budget in the health costs of cigarettes, sodapop, junk food and Pixie Sticks. Who can afford $500 a month for diabetes medicine? Get some exercise, eat right and try to rein that diabetes in if you can. It’s treatable, so much of the time. (No, I am not a medical professional, that’s my disclaimer, what do I know? But that’s what I’ve heard. The docs say that losing even 5 percent of your body weight can get your blood sugars under control. Also, people who are cutting back on or cutting out meat/dairy/eggs seem to be having luck combating diabetes.)

For those of you concerned about my innocent, growing children, “You must feed them meat!” Yeah… that. I would, you know. If they’d eat it. If they weren’t vegetarians. We do multi-vits and cook using cast-iron. Their calcium, protein, B12 and iron levels are just fine. We try to eat right and mostly do OK with it. We could do better.

I do feel a little defensive sometimes, when I hear the voices of critics, or my Dear Late Granny in my head. (I finally finished the recipes and story for her cookbook/memoir, by the way. Go me. It only took me… uh… six years? Lots of bacon, fear not. Feel free to omit it. Also lots of veggie recipes from Steve, me and our family and friends. And 100 dessert recipes. Gawd. I’ll post the link when we’re done editing and get it bound — probably a month or two down the road? #famouslastwords…)

Back to Bourdain… he seems to prefer street food in Vietnam to $650 bottles of wine. When he’s asked, Aren’t you worried about getting sick? He says, You’re more likely to get food poisoning from a buffet in America. True that.

You know what makes you sick? Eating a whole ton of greasy, fried everything. It makes your tummy sick, your skin sick, and it can make you bloated, fat and miserable. I can speak freely now cuz God love her, she’s gone, but I used to be one unhappy chick after I ate a big Sunday meal at Granny’s. Someone would scoop out three-fourths of the bacon grease from a pot of beans, and she would add in another two cups the next time she walked by.

My mom and dad cooked everything simply, without a lot of salt and hardly any grease. We joke that we’d have two or three baked pork chops on a plate, pass them around and around, and there would still be two left over. We didn’t have a lot of money and ate out only occasionally. My friends were all fast food and candy junkies. Doritos, frozen pizza, sodapop and deep-fried burritos left me grimacing. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, though, and liked to bake.

This, by the way, is not moderation:

cake pops

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

I have had a thyroid condition since I was 12 or 13. It alternates between hypo- and hyper- (cold/hot, down/up, sluggish/restless) so I never had to worry about my weight much until I hit my thirties. Even though I only gained 25 pounds with my first kid, I lost 50 after. Doesn’t that sound great? Nope. God, I was sick. The doctor had my thyroid dose racheted way too high, and between that and nursing my baby, I was dropping a pound a day. I used to joke, Want to lose a pound a day? Ask me how.

I almost bled to death and was exhausted. With our second baby, I gained 33 pounds, and took better care of myself, after. (Both kids were 10-pounders, but I didn’t get gestational diabetes. We grow ‘em big in our families.)

The sugar blues hit during the first pregnancy, once the morning sickness lifted (I was actually sick for most of both pregnancies, except for the first and ninth months). Mad, mad cravings like I’ve never had before. Pepsi, Orange Crush, ice cream, cookies, cake. Dreaming about sugar, baking more than I’ve ever baked in my life. Then we shifted into “kid diet”: mac and cheese, goldfish crackers, apple and grape juice, birthday cakes, Easter candy, Halloween candy… Next thing you know, I’m swooping down into sugar crashes, not eating enough vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, and I’m comforting myself with white wine or vodka. (We bloggers have not done anyone any favors with our “Mama deserves a drinkie” mentality. We’re the new version of the drunk ’50s housewife, partying with her friends and waiting for the men to come home.)

I’ve put on too many pounds.

So I quit drinking last April — it was becoming a crutch, I was worried about diabetes, I didn’t want to set a bad example for my kids. Thyroid/diabetes issues seem to go hand-in-hand, all that hormonal/endocrine stuff ties together. I finally had the surgery I’d been putting off. Two years later, I work out almost every day (half hour yoga, plus an hour on the treadmill, water aerobics — when I make it there– and walks around our hilly neighborhood). I have loads of energy and don’t end up in the ER anymore for health complications (knock wood twice, good Lord).

Every time I have had my blood sugar levels measured, even when I’m feeling my crummiest, “oh you’re fine! and besides, there is no thing as being pre-diabetic… you’re either diabetic or not! and you’re not!” Afterwards, I used to celebrate by stopping by *$$$ for a 500-calorie fancy drink and a 500-calorie slice of poundcake (or gingerbread, scone or cooky). Then one day I read the calorie card they keep behind the counter and now I only go there once in awhile instead of constantly.

Smoking? I quit 26 years ago this coming June. I had smoked for 10 years. I’ll be 50 in two years. You do all that math.

We eat better now, we don’t eat out that often, and I’m trying (trying) to reach for a piece of fruit instead of a cooky.

Finally ripening
(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Oh yeah, and I’m hooked on those “House Hunters” shows now more than the food shows.

I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, and would be happy to ditch 5, 10, or 15 more. Grateful that it’s not a bigger number than that, but if it was? I’d deal with it. Look, I’m not telling you all this personal information to be all nyah-nyah — I’ve worked hard, and I’ve faced some pretty tough challenges with all of this health crap. You know when I reach for more snacks? At night, when I’m watching TV and mmmmm big steak mmmmmmm onion rings mmmmmmm ice cream sundaes.

As a society, we’re bombarded with this. I want to feel good, not crummy. That’s what motivates me. I want the same for Steve and the kids.

So Deens… I don’t think you’ve ever set a good example, foodwise, and I don’t think you’re helping much, now. Give some credit to those of us who are trying. C’mon… step right up.

The Wacky Mommy Book Review That Will Not Be: “Wildwood,” “The Marriage Plot” and… that other one. That great book I just read and took back to the library and what was the name of it???? Gah. Oh, right. “STORI Telling” (Tori Spelling’s memoir) (one of ‘em)

January 12th, 2012

Man, I loved Tori Spelling’s memoir. Yeah, she had a writer help her with it, but it’s her voice, her stories, all Tori, all the time. I love that girl. Yes, I was a big 90210 and Melrose Place fan, back in the olden days before there was high-def TV. Her dad was just a crazy writing, producing, Hollywood machine gun of a guy, and her mom is named Candy and loves to buy shit and… The Spellings are as close as we have to royalty in this country we call the U.S. of A., no? Steve and I think her husband, Dean McDermott, is funny as hell, too, cuz he played Stan Ryckman in one of our favorite TV shows ever, The Tournament. (It’s a Canadian show about hockey, it’s as if they designed it just for us.) I love those two, and their kids, and their other kids (their goats) and that’s all. xoxoxoxoxox to you and your family, Tori. Next?

Oh, yes. Next is the bad news. I tried to read Jeffrey Eugenides’s (“The Virgin Suicides”) latest, “The Marriage Plot.” Made it through the first 71 pages. Yeah, you take a pee. Whatever. (This is an “adult” book.) You do not “pee with taurine force” (p. 59.) (Yeah, your guess is correct. “Like a bull.”) You have breasts. You may even have pale breasts. But a “pale, quiet, Episcopalian breast”? (p. 71.) Now you’re just trying to show off wif your writing, boy. Eh.

Next? “Wildwood,” by Colin Meloy (from the band the Decemberists, and that one episode of the TV show “Portlandia”) and his lovely wolf, Carson Ellis. Was it named for Wildwood restaurant, the fancy-shmancy place in Northwest Portland? Maybe they like to eat there or something. I do not know. Oh! It’s named for the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park, no doubt. There you go.

I do love Ellis’s art — she has done illustrations for Lemony Snicket and Florence Parry Heide and (one of my favorites) Trenton Lee Stewart (“The Mysterious Benedict Society”). She, Meloy and their kid, who is, I’m sure, adorable, as kids usually are, live in Portland, Ore. They are referred to as “hipsters.” (Ellis-Meloy, that is.) Their young adult novel has been getting rave reviews and lots o’ press and wow, what a book, etc. Babies, all I could think about was “Portlandia,” and a ways into the book, I became convinced that Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, who I know, I know, a lot of you find as adorable as the Ellis-Meloy kid is, no doubt… I started thinking that they wrote the book, even though of course they didn’t, it’s Mr. Meloy and Ms. Ellis’s book and chicken people, no, crows, crow people and St. Johns in North Portland oh-my-gawd it’s so hip I could die, and gah…

gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc. gah argh gah blech arrrrr etc.

I’m telling you. Hell hath no fury like a native-born and -grown Portland girl who can’t live there anymore cuz it’s not her people anymore and…

Where was I? Oh, yeah. “What right do you have to even review books? Who are you, anyway, Little Miss Astor Butt?”

I. Love. Books. I have a B.A. in English, I write and edit, my kids and husband are all big readers, I come from a family of big readers on both sides, mom’s and dad’s, and… right. I’m a librarian, too, in my free time. You know what a book needs to do? Move me. And these last two just didn’t, fancy words, gushing accolades, pretty covers, what have you. So gimme Tori Spelling. She’s funny, she’s real, and she’s not trying to impress me. She’s self-deprecating as hell. She does something kooky, things don’t turn out well, and she says, Surprise, surprise…

You can keep your hip references and wordy-wordiness, alright? Please, for the love of Mike, don’t be pretentious.

(PS — I purchased “Wildwood” for my kids. They do like Portlandia, but refuse to read this book that I plunked down $17.99 for. The other two I checked out from the library. No disclaimer needed. Although I did get hungry for apple pie, reading “The Marriage Plot.” Two of the characters are discussing when pie used to arrive with a slice of cheddar on top, yeah, I remember that, one of the characters says, followed by no, actually I don’t. So I put the books aside and baked a pie. It was delicious. So there’s my disclaimer.)

all for now,

wm

from Zoot and Sarah and others…

December 30th, 2011

King Woogie takes a nap
(photo by Steve Rawley)

thanks for the writing prompt, y’all.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Started working out every day.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I always pledge to get more writing done, and this year I did.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My girlfriend C! She had a little girl. Happy mama of four now. And K’s mommy had a little boy. Sweet babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.

5. What countries did you visit? USA and that’s it. Would like to travel to Canada next year and check out Butchart Gardens.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? World peace. Again.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmmm — the kids’ birthdays, probably. And Steve’s and mine, too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my first novel published. Also I quit drinking. Christmas Eve made eight months for me. It feels really good, and we’re saving a load of money, too.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not going there.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, knock wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My kids’. They make me proud every day.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? People who are in charge who should not be.

14. Where did most of your money go? House and food and utility bills. And gas.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Planting our first garden at the new house.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? Probably “Forget You,” by Cee Lo Green.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, for sure.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? More content, that’s all I care about.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Played.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaned house.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home. It was peaceful and good, and we had good food to eat (in spite of a broken stove). For New Year’s Eve, we told the kids to invite their friends over for a kids-only party. Should be lively.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Man, I fall in love with Steve all over again every day. Thank God, cuz otherwise we’d throttle each other.

22. What were your favorite TV programs? Revenge, New Girl, Raising Hope, Glee

23. What was the best book you read? Whatever one I’m reading right now. Today, it’s Ruth Reichl’s memoir, “Garlic and Sapphires.” Funny and wicked.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? Pop music! The kids have established full and complete musical domination over us.

25. What did you want and get? Love and time with Steve and the kids.

26. What did you want and not get? For all of my friends (and for me, too) to get (and keep) jobs. Also for everyone to stay healthy and for no one to die.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? The final Harry Potter.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 47. My family made me homemade ravioli and cake poppers, it was awesome. We celebrated at home, and we celebrated after the fact, but for some reason, this just made it more special. Awww…

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If it had worked out at my last job. But it didn’t. Next!

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Work-out attire, 101.

31. What kept you sane? Walking on my treadmill daily, doing yoga, meditating.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Occupy protesters.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? Occupy and everything they’re doing to give our country a shove in the right direction.

34. Who did you miss? (Same answer as Zoot’s) As always: My Dad. My friend Frank. And, for our entire community cuz we’re all missing him, Rob. Frank and Rob’s families are in my thoughts daily.

35. Who was the best new person you met? My friend A, who I hope to spend more time with in 2012.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Drinking makes you depressed. Who knew? hahaha.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year you can’t get out of your head.

“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, outrun my gun.
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet.”

Cheerful, no? Music is a sign of the times, that’s all.

Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone.

– wm

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