Category Archives: blogging

lessons from my parents

(Meme stolen from Mighty Girl)

Anything [band here] is doing was done first, and better, by Led Zeppelin.

It’s okay that you don’t type well. That means you can’t get a job as a secretary.

A car is a tool, not a toy.

Your perfume should leave a hint, not a punch.

All generalizations are false.

Offer a firm handshake.

I can sing a rainbow.

Dress nicely for an interview. (You would think this was hella obvious, but some of the people I’ve seen…)

If you can’t make it good, make it big. If you can’t make it big, make it red.

My all-time, absolute, penultimate favorite: Look it up.


Filed under blogging, family

catching up

It’s been brought to my attention that I haven’t been writing on my regular schedule. My apologies, and thanks for noticing! Here’s a quick rundown:

My cracked tooth was successfully pulled, and did indeed leave a tunnel into my sinus cavity. The surgeon did whatever it was he had to do to fix that (I was sedated and I’m fuzzy on what he explained), and I have spent the last days spending quality time with ice packs, Vicodin, ibuprofen, salt water, and squishy food. I have a follow-up appointment on Tuesday to make sure everything is healing properly, in spite of my sneezing a few days before I was “allowed” to.

I’m back under contract with my ex-employer for another week. Which is great, because I have yet to collect an unemployment check! Colorado makes it hard to actually get that first payout. I have received the paperwork warning me that I have to call and request each payment, and if I call too late, I’ll miss it, but if I call too early, my entire app will be tossed and I’ll have to start over. However, there is no paperwork telling me when it is that I’m supposed to call! Yikes!

I made good progress on Costume One yesterday, and am now done with the sewing portion. I still need to practice hair/makeup, and figure out footwear (the shoes donated by Alison just aren’t what I had in mind), but it’s SO CLOSE. Costume Two got a late start, however, and next weekend will be a flurry of catch-up activity.

Now, back to work!

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Filed under blogging, Halloween, sewing, the office

The Big Read

Ren: Hey, Jasper. Where’s Phil?
Jasper the Pup: I told you, they put him to sleep.
Ren: So wake him up.
Jasper the Pup: You don’t wake up from the *big* sleep.
Stimpy: What’s the big sleep, Ren?
Ren: He’s DEAD! DEAD you idiot! You know what DEAD is? Just like we’ll be if we don’t get out of here!

I nabbed this meme from Inherent Passion. My mom is a librarian, and instilled in me from an early age a deep love for books. Still, I only came in at 40 (in part because I got tired of checking IMDb to see which Austen or Brontë film was which).

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The program was created in response to the National Endowment for the Arts report Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, which identified a critical decline in literary reading among American adults. In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, this study, with a sample size of 17,000, revealed the following about literary reading in the U.S.:

  • Less than half of the adult American population now reads literature. (In this survey, literature is defined as any novels, short stories, poetry, or drama, with no distinctions made for quality or length.)
  • The percentage of the U.S. adult population reading any book has declined by seven percent over the past decade.
  • Literary reading is declining among all age groups, but the steepest decline is in the youngest age groups.

As Mrs. Passion (heh heh) points out, there are some discrepancies on the list. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe are listed separately. Same with The Complete Works of Shakespeare and Hamlet. For me, this causes a quandary. I’ve read a bit of Shakespeare, but not everything he’s ever written. I read Chronicles as a kid, or rather, my sister read it to me, but I don’t think we finished the series. I’m not fully convinced that this particular list came directly from the NEA, as it isn’t the sort of organization that would miss such an error. Also, as I browse through official site, there are a number of books mentioned that I personally feel are, if not “better” than some on this list, then perhaps more classic. Fahrenheit 451, anyone? Still, it’s fun.

Look at the list and:
1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you own.
3) Underline the books you have seen a movie or TV production of.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
8 Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (I started to read this is a kid, but never got into it. I suppose I should try again.)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Not complete, no.)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Is there an EXTRA bold I could use?)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (Does everyone start singing Lazy Sunday to themselves when they see this title, or is it just me?)
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (Okay, seriously, enough with the Jane Austen. Another reason I don’t believe this list comes from the NEA.)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson (That is, I think I own it. I have a bunch of Bryson’s books scattered around the house.)
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (My dad is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I’ve read/seen some, but not all.)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (I’ve seen Apocalypse Now, which I think should count.)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Bank
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Now go to your local library. If you don’t already have a library card, get one. They’re free. Take some books home. Also free. Borrow a few DVDs while you’re at it. Those are free as well. Or stay at the library, find a nice quiet space, and stare out the window. (My favorite window seat at my local library looks out over a grassy field filled with romping prairie dogs.) A lot of libraries even have their own coffee shops now. Go get a latté and a brownie. They’re not free, but they’re probably tasty.


Filed under blogging, family

a continuing lack of shoes

No no no, it’s not that I don’t have any, it’s simply that I still haven’t photographed them. They’re neatly lined up in the hallway, awaiting their turns in the limelight. But I got home from work, made some disappointing curry, watched three episodes of The Tudors*, read news reports about the historic flooding in Cedar Rapids and the deadly tornado that killed four Scouts in the western part of the state. And I completely forgot about the shoes.

I hope that the knowledge that I have typed this post with only one hand, because a cat is sitting on the other, earns some points back for me in your hearts. Next week, I promise: shoes. Have yourself a good weekend, kids. Stay dry if you can.


*A co-worker told me that I look like Natalie Dormer, the actress who plays Ann Boleyn. Huge compliment! Oh, to be that close to Jonathan Rhys Meyers! Yeah, he’s on The List. (Click on the photo for a much larger photo)


Filed under blogging

Another New Start

I have registered a new domain. I expect it will take me about ten months to get around to doing anything about it… like, say, redirecting this blog there. Tiddleywink is really my business name, and it gets confusing on my end to be running a personal blog under that moniker. Not that I’m doing much of anything else over at, but I still don’t want to share the space. Besides, the new name (should I ever get around to using it) will be easier to spell.

Off topic: My topical brush with fame. You may have heard of Iron Man, current smash blockbuster hit. And you may already be familiar with Terrence Howard, the actor who plays Jim Rhodes in that film. Well, Mr. Howard spent some time as an engineering student at Pratt during my stint there, and while I have no recollection of him, my (fantastically talented) friend Jason assures me that we all ran in the same social circle. I don’t recall hanging with any of the engineering students, but I trust Jason. Sorry that I don’t remember you, Terrence. Congrats on your successful acting career.


Filed under blogging, friends


Yes, as a matter of fact, it does look like fish food. But furikake is actually a seasoning for rice, and it comes in even more varieties than fish food does. And thank goodness for that, because when I made my decision to go mostly vegetarian, it occurred to me that a basic ingredient in furikake is bonito flakes. Enter: yasai fumi furikake. Vegetarian furikake! And, can I tell you? Delicious. Absofrikkinlutely delicious. I’m oddly fond of rice in the first place, but this stuff is like rice-crack. Available at your local Asian grocer, I buy mine from Pacific Ocean Marketplace for $2.99/jar.

I’m heading off to the wilds of semi-rural New Jersey for a few days, so I’m taking this moment to predict that I may not create a Friday post. Then again, I may. Woo, can you handle the suspense?


Filed under blogging, family is going to be the death of me, food

Vaya sin Dios

Go without God (addressing the plural). Watch how I start with dinner, and manage to come back around to this:

I enjoyed a lovely (and stuffing) Indian meal with some blogger gals. Ladies, if you will. We talked about lots of things. Husbands (theirs), kids (theirs), jobs, careers, ex-boyfriends, pickles’ association with disco,* blogging, stalkers, Henry Rollins… At one point during the evening, one chum said, about me, “She doesn’t like Christians.”


She was joking, of course, but it did give me pause as I drove home… I’m an atheist. It’s my own choice, within my own set of beliefs. But are there really people out there who think I want to recruit them? Like some sort of deranged missionary? “Euw, you believe in God? How gross. C’mon, believe in yourself, it’s what all the cool kids do. Don’t you want to be cool?”

But, because I am who I am, the part of this internal dialogue (monologue?) that really intrigued me is the etymology of “atheist.” Greek. A=without, theos=god. That part is totally clear. The part that puzzles me is the phrasing. I am an atheist. Not “I am atheist.” I am without god. I am an without god. I mean, euw, gross, what horrible syntax. But, atheist is a noun. Also, atheism is a noun. Atheistic is the associative adjective, and I think it’s clunky. -ist is a suffix that usually forms a noun, but can form an adjective. Sexist is, unfortunately, the only example that I can think of at this precise moment. Or rather, it’s the only example that the OAD can give me right now, because I am too tired to think of even one.

And whether you’re Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Jewish, or Wiccan… I don’t really care what theistic or non-theistic beliefs you hold dear.** Your beliefs are precious to you, and you can keep them. Just as I’ll keep mine right here in this pocket, and oh, look, a dollar! Bonus!


So anyway. I joined Brightkite and thirty-something bloggers. Because yeah, I have time for more social networking. HOW do you ladies do it?


*If anybody can explain this, please do.

**Except maybe for those people who believe that certain celebrities (and many non-celebs) are actually lizards. Yeah, I do have a bit of a problem with that. If you’re one of those people, and you read my blog, you may now boycott me. I understand.


Filed under blogging, friends