Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Chef recap (finally)

I can't believe I haven't blogged about Top Chef this week. I think my mind was spinning from Lost that I couldn't properly focus on Top Chef.

Here's my problem with this season of TC. I already know who's going to win. I knew from episode one. There is no doubt in my mind about who is going to win. And there's no doubt in his mind, either. So there's not as much mystery surrounding this season. It's been very predictable for me.

But wait, you say, how can it be predictable when Stefan ended up with the losers? Well, this episode was different. The chefs' food wasn't being compared to their competitors. It was being compared to the guest competitors from other seasons. So if you lost in your one on one head to head, then you were going to end up on the chopping block.

But let's talk about Jeff. I knew he was going to be eliminated soon. The judges don't like dishes that are so complicated. He should have figured that out by now. I'll miss seeing his blue eyes every week, but I was prepared for his departure. I have to agree with Dave, too, at least he didn't cry. Thank you!

Who will be next? Fabio dodged a major bullet. If he doesn't start producing, though, he's going to pack his knives within the next couple of weeks for sure. Leah always surprises me. She acts so non-chalant and is constantly saying that she doesn't care, but she does manage to cook food that the judges like. Carla got lucky with her challenges this time around. I don't think she has the depth to see it through much longer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


In the thick of a teeming snowfall
I saw my shadow on snow.
I turned and looked back up at the sky,
Where we still look to ask the why
Of everything below.

If I shed such a darkness,
If the reason was in me,
That shadow of mine should show in form
Against the shapeless shadow of storm,
How swarthy I must be.

I turned and looked back upward.
The whole sky was blue;
And the thick flakes floating at a pause
Were but frost knots on an airy gauze,
With the sun shining through.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do you abuse quotation marks?

The Shack

Okay, so I got it. I finally have my copy of The Shack. I should be able to start reading it tonight, though it is Lost and Top Chef night.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Manitoba Childe Roland

Last night a January wind was ripping at the shingles over our house and whistling a wolf song under the eaves.

I sat in a leather rocker and read to a six-year-old girl the Browning poem, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came.

And her eyes had the haze of autumn hills and it was beautiful to her and she could not understand.

A man is crossing a big prairie, says the poem, and nothing happens—and he goes on and on—and it’s all lonesome and empty and nobody home.

And he goes on and on—and nothing happens—and he comes on a horse’s skull, dry bones of a dead horse—and you know more than ever it’s all lonesome and empty and nobody home.

And the man raises a horn to his lips and blows—he fixes a proud neck and forehead toward the empty sky and the empty land—and blows one last wonder-cry.

And as the shuttling automatic memory of man clicks off its results willy-nilly and inevitable as the snick of a mouse-trap or the trajectory of a 42-centimeter projectile,

I flash to the form of a man to his hips in snow drifts of Manitoba and Minnesota—in the sled derby run from Winnipeg to Minneapolis.

He is beaten in the race the first day out of Winnipeg—the lead dog is eaten by four team mates—and the man goes on and on—running while the other racers ride—running while the other racers sleep—

Lost in a blizzard twenty-four hours, repeating a circle of travel hour after hour—fighting the dogs who dig holes in the snow and whimper for sleep—pushing on—running and walking five hundred miles to the end of the race—almost a winner—one toe frozen, feet blistered and frost-bitten.

And I know why a thousand young men of the Northwest meet him in the finishing miles and yell cheers—I know why judges of the race call him a winner and give him a special prize even though he is a loser.

I know he kept under his shirt and around his thudding heart amid the blizzards of five hundred miles that one last wonder-cry of Childe Roland—and I told the six-year-old girl all about it.

And while the January wind was ripping at the shingles and whistling a wolf song under the eaves, her eyes had the haze of autumn hills and it was beautiful to her and she could not understand.

-Carl Sandburg

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where have I been?

Where have I been? I don't know! You read my last blog post. Guess I didn't go online much over the weekend. I did a lot of shopping, which I didn't really enjoy, but it was necessary. Bought new shoes for everyone in the family but me!

Saturday I had lunch with my former staff from Poplar Creek. Only one of them still works there. We convinced Kim to run for the Poplar Creek library board. So I'm helping her with that.

Scrapbooked on Monday, but I still have to glue everything down. Will post photos once I get that done. Did pictures from Hannah's birthday trip to Medieval Times. It turned out awesome!

Tuesday night was flute choir and various other musical duties at church.

Tonight is the return of LOST!! Yay! I'm excited about that, but not sure if I'm going to have time to watch Top Chef tonight or not. So don't tell me what happens!!

Seems like we're never on FB at the same time anymore. I miss you (Maria)!!! I'm starting to go a little crazy!

Been practicing the piano A LOT! Band solo competition is in 45 days. Unfortunately, I don't have all the music yet. Hope there's nothing too long and hard. The band director doesn't think we'll have that many kids go to competition. He says all the middle schoolers are lazy this year. So I've been nagging Hannah to practice really hard and blow him away!

Our Friday night plans just got canceled. We were supposed to go out with another couple for German food, but one of them is pretty sick with the flu, so we thought we had better postpone.

Boy this is an uninteresting blog post for the rest of you, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Photo Story

Photo 1 a butterfly visits the lattice work of the back porch
Photo 2 my bike
Photo 3 the stained glass panels window from the front hall
Photo 4 my porch swing

Monday, January 19, 2009


Every time I happen to look up and see the clock read 6:39, I heave a sorrowful sigh.
I have personal moment of silence in memory of my childhood home whose address was 639 Sycamore St.
Sadly, 639 was torn down in 1993 by eminent domain to build a football field for the junior high across the street.

A few days ago, Julie asked me to write a description of my childhood home.
I have a vivid and vast recollection of that home and its furnishings.
I will share however just a basic sketch of what I recall.
The front porch held my porch swing where I waited for my daddy and many a visitor.
As you entered the front door there was a small entry hall.
I remember when my mother redid the hall by adding new rugs, wall paper and stained glass panes.
She was HGTV before it existed
I inherited both the porch swing and the window with the stained glass panes she put in herself.
I shared a large bedroom with my sister. We divided that room in half as sisters do.
Our room had tall windows that went from floor to 8 feet or so up.
The living room had a light blue and green shag carpet and a gold velvet sleeper couch.
We watched TV there often fighting over both the show and who got to use the green vinyl bean bag.
639 had one bathroom with no shower only a tub.
The bathroom opened to 3 rooms: my brothers room, my parents' room, and the dining room.
People who visited got stressed out trying to get all those doors shut!
Our dining room was used for mostly entertaining which happened quite often in our home.
The dining room led to the kitchen.
The kitchen had red patterned carpet and an avocado green refrigerator. We ate most meals there.
What really stays in my mind though was going out the wood framed screen door from our kitchen to our back yard.
Going out that door with baskets of wet laundry to hang up on the line.
Going out that door to pick strawberries from the patch in the back.
Going out that door to get my pink, flowered banana seat bike off the white lattice covered back porch.
I can both hear and see it all in my mind as the house no longer stands.
Before the home was taken by wrecking ball, Rick and my mom stole over in the dark of night and removed the house numbers for me.
Just numbers.
Numbers that gave my home an address and a place to reside in my mind.
NOTE: The sketch above was an assignment for me in 7th grade art

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Observations on a weekend

The thing that bugs me most about working someplace "perfect" is everyone freaks out when one little thing goes wrong.

I love buy one get one half off -- especially when it comes to shoes.

I can't believe I picked out boots for my 13 year old without her opinion -- and she loves them!

Saturday mornings are for SLEEPING IN!!!!

There's nothing like a long lunch with good friends. Mixed in with a little local politics!

How can someone claim to be into contemporary praise music and not know "I could sing of Your love forever"?

It's pretty hard to mess up lasagna. If I can make it, anyone can!

Sunday mornings can be for sleeping in, too, once in a while.

Mmmmm, scrambled eggs.....

If the economy is so bad, why is it still so hard to find a parking space at the mall on a Sunday afternoon?

I also love buy one get one half off at Limited Too.

You know you're from Chicago when suddenly 13 degrees feels like a heat wave.

You just can't browse the clothing department at Target with a shopping cart.

No matter how hard you try, it seems like you always need something from Jewel.

Mr. Mom will always be one of my favorite movies of all time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Incentive to "Move Forward"

Here are the photos of of my new desk!
I love my husband!
This desk was purchased to help me move forward technologically.
Our district is moving to computer generated report cards.
In order for me to interview each child and be able to input the data needed for each report card I needed this set up.
So my attendance incentive money went for the desk this year.
I also had enough to buy a one touch 25 sheet stapler.
I love that thing!
So soon I will be set up and I will be off and running!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wired and waiting for the crash

What am I doing still up? I should be going to bed, but I'm just too wired.

Top Chef was like sticking a knife in my heart. Sad that they sacrifice someone for the sake of drama on the show. But that's how Lisa managed to hang on for so long last season. IMHO. I really thought Carla would go, but I believe she made the same dish that she made on the Thanksgiving episode and they loved it then. She doesn't have the depth to last too much longer.

I think the following chefs are in trouble and will fall pretty quickly: Carla, Radika, Jeff, Jamie, and Fabio. I think the final three will be Hosea, Stefan and Leah. Wouldn't that make for some drama? (Maybe Fabio or Jamie will make it instead of Leah, but I doubt it.)

The one thing I really did not enjoy was seeing the chefs walking around with the animals. I kept thinking that they were handling all those animals and then they were going to cook while wearing the same shirts. Ick.

I also hate it when the chefs describe their dishes by naming every single ingredient that went into the dish. Just call it what it is and let everyone eat.

I also did not like that there were three winners. Not right - it's Top Chef, not top team. They can't all win.

Oh, to the other half of the post title. Waiting for the crash.

I'm sure that I'm going to crash from so much going on this week. Earlier tonight, Hannah and I went to the high school for the first freshman orientation night. It was kind of a crazy mob, but lots of good information. I'm glad Hannah ran into several friends there. So she will know people when she starts there.

Tomorrow morning I'm taking Michelle to the orthodontist to get braces put on. Poor kid. I'm so afraid that the tooth extractions she had two weeks ago have scarred her for life. The tooth extractions I had as a kid definitely scarred me for life. I keep telling her that braces will be nothing compared to that.

Then I''m working the late shift - literally. This week the library is staying open later than usual to provide a "late night study hall" for community high school students. We close at 9 pm like normal, but allow high school students who are studying for finals this week to stay until 11 pm. Each department head took a turn to stay late and tomorrow night is my turn.

Friday night is Bunco night and Saturday I'm having lunch with the gals from my old job and playing piano in the evening. So by Saturday night, I'm going to be out of energy.

Out of Commission

Going out of his way (25 minutes), my wonderful husband, Rick came to my school yesterday to put together a desk for me.
It is a sleek glass and metal L shaped desk.
I will try to post a picture from home later today.
The headache started around 2:30 and continued to worsen.
We got home at 6:00 and they all ate and I lay in the dark room and stayed still.
My head hurt so much, I could not lift my head.
I missed dinner with my family and my Tuesday night small group with the girls.
I was completly out of commission.
Good thing Rick was there to save the day and that I called in dinner!
Some days are like that!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Calling in Dinner!

This morning, I was slow and rather late to get going.
I competely forgot to put the roast in the crock pot.
A quick call home to #2 daughter and voila' ... dinner is simmering.
And you thought I was going to order carry out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Changing It Up

Governor's State University uses the school where I teach kindergarten as a language arts lab site.
Each semester, I get to mentor a new elementary education student.
The professor also asks me to make a presentation to her new students about storytelling in the classroom.
I keep the bare bones outline of the presentation each time but change props and stories out. This keeps it interesting for me and the professor.
This time I am doing a poem entitled Talking by Judith Viorst.
I will also be doing the book, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.
I really like the interaction with the college students and would be teachers.
I enjoy presenting.
This experience seems to point me in the direction of teaching at the college level someday as a professor of early childhood education perhaps.
Right now life is as busy and full as I want it to be with me as wife, mother, kindergarten teacher and serving God as He wills and asks me.
No need to change that up at all.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My grandmother

Last Friday night, my last living grandparent passed away. This was my mother's mother, Irma Nothwehr. Many nice people have given me condolences, but I was not close to my grandmother. I was not close to any of my grandparents, really.

She was what you would expect for a farmer's wife. A hard worker who had a beautiful vegetable garden. But I don't remember her teaching me to sew, knit, or anything like that. I do remember her sending me into the dreaded chicken coop to get the eggs. I was already afraid of chickens and I couldn't do it. I think I exasperated her because of this.

When I was a kid, and we would go out to the farm, my older brother and my Dad would go out in the fields with my grandfather, or else they would go pheasant hunting or something like that. My mother would cook with my grandmother, or something. I don't really know what they did, but it didn't involve me, so my younger brother and I would just roam the farm together, exploring the barns, climbing on the old rusted farm equipment and playing in the corn crib.

The one thing I do remember doing with my grandmother is playing cards. We grew up playing a lot of 10 point pitch and my grandmother was usually too busy to play. However, once in a while she would join in. I do remember one time in particular, when we were playing 5 handed pitch, where one person can go it alone and win the whole game where she had a great hand and surprised us all by totally beating all of us.

So it's a going to be a strange sort of farewell at her funeral Tuesday, saying goodbye to a woman that I really didn't know.

A Toast to My Dad

My father was a restauranter.
The first restaurant I recall his involvement was Sap's in Greenwood.
As a little girl, I loved to go and visit him there.
We would come in the back door entrance which came right into the kitchen.
There my father would often be standing frying potatoes on a large grill.
I loved those potatoes.
We would then go through the swinging door into the dining room.
I would often sit down to the counter with my red ponytails swishing and order butterscotch pudding or buttered toast.
The pudding came out of the small pass through fridge in the wall.
For the toast, however, I watched carefully each detail of the preparation.
They took the white bread and put it into the 4 slot toaster.
When it popped up, they would take a small ladle of melted butter and pour it over each piece of toast.
They cut into triangles and served it to little me waiting at the counter.
I love buttered toast to this day.
I could eat it all day.
When I order breakfast out, my favorite part of the meal is always the buttered toast.
I could even eat it for supper which is what I did tonight.
Toast tonight in memory of my daddy whose 71st birthday would have been yesterday.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

eight God given minutes

Last night I decided to sneak in a hot bath before I went to the basketball game.
In order for this to work, I had to do my eye medication while in the tub.
I have to time my eye drops. 5 minutes for the first drop and 3 minutes for the second.
I forgot the timer in bedroom so #1 daughter went to get it for me.
She kindly set the timer for me and stayed to chat.
She shared her day and we talked the time away while I soaked.
I try hard not to be negative about doing my eye drops. They really do however, cramp my style often times.
6:00 pm and the drops have to go in ... no matter where I am. I will have to do it for the rest of my life.
(6;00am also with three drops taking 13 minutes.)
I complained to my #1 daughter about it.
She came back at me with my own words...
"Better than going blind, mom, " she yelled over her shoulder as the timer rang and she took off down the stairs.
Yes, it is.
Thanks be to God for my eye specialist.
Thanks be to God for my eye medication that works.
And today ... I am thankful for the eight minutes that God gave me with my teenager.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The waiting game

I am still waiting for my turn for The Shack. I am on hold for multiple copies of this book at multiple libraries.

At my work library I am on hold for three different copies: hardbound, paperback and large print. In the queue of holds I am #22, #17, and #6, respectively. The problem is that at work, my hold priority is low, so that if a resident places a hold, they are automatically bumped ahead of me because I am merely a lowly staff member and do not pay taxes to this community.

At my home library I am on hold for two copies. I guess they only have the hardbound and large print versions. I am #11 and #3 in the holds queue there, respectively.

So how long will I have to wait? Who knows?

There is one library catalog system out there that has the ability to "guess" how long you will have to wait for your hold based on the circulation periods and the number of holds. Like, if there is one copy of a book, and it circulates for three weeks and there are two people ahead of you, you will probably have to wait about 6 weeks. It gets more complicated when a library has several copies of the book and lots of holds.

I think this would be nice, in theory, to let people know about how long they may have to wait. The problem is, there are always those jerks out there who will come back and say "It's been three weeks, why don't I have my book yet?"

In the meantime, I have finished the Maximum Ride series (well, I'm on hold for the "fourth" one) and am moving on to Orbiting the Giant Hairball, while waiting for The Shack.

Snow Memories

When I was little, I remember there being lots of snow.
Winters were both cold and white.
I also remember blizards shutting down Columbus for 2 or 3 days.
This winter seems much like the winters of my "youth".
While no blizzard has shut things down for long, there still seems to be lots more snow. Cold winds blowing snow!
I love to be warm and when I was little I would go and sit on or stand over the large floor registers in our home. I would stay there until it shut off.
I would even dry my freshly washed hair over those registers.
Now, I take a hot bath and have a hair dryer.
Ahh... "progress".

Thursday, January 08, 2009


This brief update is being written to appease a dear reader...
who does not follow my status on Facebook.
I did make glazed pork chops.
Today, I wore brown not black socks.
The bills are paid.
The calendar is still blank.

I hate to say I told you so...

Wait a minute, I LOVE to say I told you so!

Well, only sort of. I predicted even before we started watching Top Chef last night that Gene and Melissa would be packing their knives and going. I didn't even have to see the episode. I knew it would be their time.

Then again, anyone who has been watching Top Chef this season could have called that one, so it's not like I pulled off anything stupendous.

But who will be next to go? It's that middle point of the show now where the people who really didn't have any business being there are gone and the mediocre chefs who have been able to hide in the middle are going to hit the chopping block.

So who's next? No fair saying Carla, we knew she was doomed from the get go. Radhika? Fabio? Ariane? Jamie? Leah?

I can't wait until next week to see what Hung is doing back on the show!

Maria at Peace

Tonight, Rick and I get to go back to our small group Bible study.
I have missed it so much.
We are studying Heaven.
It has been both eye opening and a review of the great things ahead of me.
I have stuggled with major grief in my life with the earthly loss of my grandparents and my dear mother and father. This study has eased my soul.
What a comfort and a joy to be with my friends again tonight as we reunite.
After a month off, it will feel great to be back in prayer and the Word tonight.
I know my negativity will be shaken and I will feel so much more at peace.
Thank you God for friends to pray with and study your Word.
I am happy just thinking of it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Use of libraries in tough economic times

This is the new mantra in the library world. Even the Freakonomics guys are jumping on the bandwagon.

I'm still waiting to check our local statistics to see if they support this idea that library use goes up when the economy goes down.

I did write this for our newsletter:
Do you love the library? You’re not alone. The statistics show that library use, especially in tough economic times, just keeps going up. If you took the number of books checked out at the Smallsville Public Library in 2008 and laid them end to end, they would stretch from Carol Stream to downtown Chicago and back. If you took the number of DVDs checked out at the Smallsville Public Library in 2008 and laid them end to end, they would stretch from Carol Stream to Lombard.

Some staff members thought I should have included the actual numbers with the story, but let's face it, numbers are boring. Descriptions are interesting.

Black Socks

We have a division of labor in our home.
Rick does the yard/outdoor duties, the laundry and the dishes.
The girls all have tasks.
I have other jobs.
(I will let you believe that they are too numerous to mention here.)
As I was getting ready for school this morning,
I opened the sock drawer to see my last pair of black socks.
This was bad news.
I wear black socks everyday to work.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught THE sock basket.
good news: clean socks
bad news: not sorted.
Over the years we have tried to streamline the sort.
We have tried to individualize the socks by one style and two colors per person.
We have paid the children by the pair to sort.
(We pay children for no other job in our home.)
We even tried plastic rings sold by Tupperware to hold dirty pairs together in the wash.
We have thrown away all unmatched socks and bought all new socks.
(We really did this and I am not ashamed. Desperate people do desperate things.)
All paths have met the same end.... the dreaded SOCK basket.
Please do not write in with ideas to combat this.
Feel free, however, to commiserate, sort and bring over socks.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to crafts

My recent scrapbooking activities have gotten me motivated again.

It's been several months since I last did any new scrapbook pages. The last think I scrapped was the June Disneyworld trip. And I've done virtually nothing in the past couple of years in terms of birthdays and any other trips we took.

Oh, I did a 4 page layout of "2007 - year in review" which turned out great, but I want to focus on some of the other aspects of our lives, too. (Not just our obsession with Disneyworld.)

I got three new scrapbooking sets from Close to My Heart for Christmas, too, so I'm looking forward to digging into those as well.

I hate to tempt fate, but we have nothing on the calendar for this Saturday. I believe I will not sit around and read this weekend, but I will get busy and get some scrapbooking done.

(There, if I say I will do it, then Maria will ask me if I actually followed through with it......)

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Carl Sandburg.

by: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders: They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse, and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Easing on into this New Year!

With a six o clock arrival home last night...
(I am normally home by 3:05).
With a lack of planning and organization...
With frozen meat and nothing in the crock pot...
With my bad attitude and adjustment to being back in the saddle again...
Dinner seemed impossible.
Impossible until I thought of Wendy's.
For under $20 I fed my family and got a chili for my lunch today.
Today I will do better.
Pork chops are thawing as I type.
Maybe I will even glaze them... yummmmm...
I might even get around to adding a date or two to the calendar tonight.
Or perhaps I may pay the bills.
Or maybe panfried porkchops, applesauce, and stir fry vegetables are enough for me tonight.
After all I really should ease back into this Mommy thing.

Monday, January 05, 2009

How can it be 8:12 p.m. already?

Time to get one of my kids off to bed.

Is 8:30 p.m. to early of a bed time for a 5th grader? I do not think so. My kids catch the bus at 7:15 a.m. and school starts at 7:45 a.m. so I feel this warrants an early bedtime.

Plus, Tuesdays and Thursdays the girls have band at 7:00 a.m. so they have to be out the door no later than 6:45 a.m. (Speaking of band, I'd better make sure the band instruments are ready to go...)

We finally let Hannah move her bed time to 9:00 p.m. this year. She tried it last year, but truthfully, she was tired by 8:30 p.m.

Oh yeah, I know where the night went. I took Hannah to get her ears pierced this evening. It went pretty well, though it cost a little more than I was expecting. But the gal at Claire's was very matter of fact and made it go very smoothly.

Happy New Year to Me!

Since no one else is posting...
I thought I might try it.
I am back at school today after two weeks off.
It was an easy day.
I really love my job and usually do not mind coming to work.
Today, however, I did not want to get out of bed.
Moreover... it is hard to get back into Mommy routine.
Making dinner and so forth is proving hard to do.
The 2009 calendar remains blank.
Tablu Rasse.
I do not want to marr it's pristine sheets.
However, an unmarked calendar means chaos will insue.
So events, practices, parties, concerts and what have you will soon fill it's too tiny squares.
My back and neck tension will return and our family will be off and running.
Happy New Year to me.
Oh and to you too.

Friday, January 02, 2009

An evening with no children

Both children are at a sleep over tonight. So what shall the grownups do?

I'm bringing home three movies from the library: Sideways, The Prestige, and Disturbia.

Honestly, I could care less about any of these movies. If it were up to me, I'd spend an hour playing Wii and then the rest of the evening reading.

The last movies that I brought home for Dave and I to watch were Juno and Thank you for smoking. I really liked Thank you for smoking because I thought it was very smart, but I thought Juno was just kind of weird. But I wanted to know what all the buzz was about.

The movies I'd really like to watch would be: When Harry met Sally, because that's my New Year's Eve movie and I didn't get to watch it this New Year's Eve; or, Lord of the Rings -- the entire trilogy. I don't think Dave has watched any LOTR movies from beginning to end.

Part of me feels like we should make the effort to get together with other child-free friends, but I just don't feel like making the effort to make conversation. We went out to dinner Tuesday with another couple and we had members of Dave's family over New Year's Eve, so I'm all conversationed out. Nobody wants to talk about things I find interesting anyway. Nobody has read the books I have read, either (other than my 2-person book club) so it's hard to find common ground.

Speaking of the 2-person book club -- got a book suggestion? I have no idea what's good in fiction, though I am listening to The Wite Tiger on CD and enjoying it very much.