things that please me lately

Because I can't seem to make Thursday Thirteen about anything other than me, here are my [occasionally shallow] blessings during the past week:
  1. Lunch out & pedicure with my sweetpea daughter
  2. Watching my Cub Scout boy proudly race his Pinewood Derby car
  3. Best friend making delicious dinner for everyone Monday night
  4. Warmth in my classroom (at least in the vicinity of the space heaters; midroom can still be rather chilly)
  5. 32 short story students (23 male, aged 15-17) under reasonable control and actually participating in class for two days in a row
  6. Finally cleaning up my secret hideaway/kids' playroom/Christmas gift-wrapping central
  7. Continued awe about No Country for Old Men
  8. Downloaded the soundtrack to Juno, an absolute delight
  9. LOST resumes tonight! (Even though the title now refers to me and my grasp of the storyline...)
  10. Good husband doing all of the dishes
  11. Three new books to read
  12. Being the Mystery Reader in my daughter's 2nd grade class
  13. This. Sheer, hysterical brilliance:



Another fun something from e-mail (my range of resources is vast, no?). I do love the game Scattergories but most people I know hate to play with me; something about my immensely trivial brain. Haters. So I play alone. (We can call this a meme if someone else wants to run with it...Just post your participation in comments).

Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things and nothing made up! Don't use your own name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name? Stephanie
4-Letter Word: SMRT (It's a Simpsons joke...)
Vehicle: Subway
City: Shanghai
Boy Name: Seth
Girl Name: Sandra
Alcoholic Drink: Singapore Sling (two points!)
Occupation: Superstar
Something you wear: slippers
Celebrity: Salma Hayek
Food: strawberries
Something found in a bathroom: soap
Reason for Being Late: slept in
Cartoon Character: Speed Racer
Something You Shout: Silencio!
Animal: salamander
Body part: shin
Word to describe you: special


blast from the past

I got this list of horrifying facts (the only consolation I can find is that obviously many others did these same exact things) in an e-mail entitled "If You Were A Girl in the 70s." Enjoy cringing.
  • You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it. That's so eerily true.
  • You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels. I had both the normal (safe) kind that were like boots and the Death in the Afternoon version that shakily buckled onto my shoes.
  • You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute. Sigh, Fred Grandy.
  • You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie" or the "Dorothy Hamill." People sometimes thought you were a boy. And I bought the Short & Sassy shampoo to go with it
  • You owned "Klick-Klacks" and smacked yourself in the face more than once! They totally rocked; I wish I still had them.
  • You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers. Possibly all in the same day.
  • You begged Santa for the electronic game Simon. And I got it! Then mastered it! What?
  • You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once. Emphasis on the "at least."
  • You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). Ugh. And I wasn't even forced to get them.
  • You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink! Alas, it was not. But I was awesome at skating backwards, just in case.
  • Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it pretty with the comb in your back pocket. I clearly remember my little pink plastic Goody. Good times.
  • You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. And their nemesis the evil Purple Pie Man! Which is pretty creepy when you think about it - was he trying to PUT THEM IN PIES?
  • You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird pot holders made on a plastic loom. Um, that would be the Loom Looper, people. And my grandma LOVED her pot holders.
  • You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts. Then I ironed my name in felt letters on the back of the t-shirts...
  • You used to tape record songs off the radio (or tv) by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker. See these posts for documentation.
  • You had subscriptions to "Dynamite" and "Tiger Beat." How else would I have covered every square inch of wall space in my bedroom?
  • You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs. How about all of the above?
  • You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer. Desperately.
  • You glopped your lips in Strawberry Roll-on lip-gloss till it almost dripped off. That was in preparation for the first kiss at the roller rink. Duh.

What is surprisingly missing: Smurfs, Happy Days, having a crush on Barbarino from Welcome Back, Kotter, my first album ("Thriller"), Hello Kitty everything, dressing like Cyndi Lauper, rainbow suspenders a la Mork from Ork (not to mention saying "Nanu Nanu" to my friends and laughing uproariously), shamelessly 'smoking' candy cigarettes, movies with intermissions (and drive-in theaters), playing marbles & jacks, and sliding across the slick vinyl backseat of my parents' car because seatbelts were not required. Ah, youth.

I'm breaking the law and posting this as my Thursday Thirteen anyway (it's only six off...).

Go see others here.

thirteen prized possessions in my immediate vicinity

#1-4 Whiteboard/bulletin board; necessary lists (surprise!) about being happy, loving yourself (it's not naughty, sorry), and things I want to do before I die; charming photo of a Hobbit-like residence in Ireland; dry erase pens for recording important notes (like "BUY MOM CHOCOLATE")

#5-8 Stuffed Velveteen Rabbit from an antique store; little stuffed girl who just makes me smile, I can't explain it; jar of pencils (even though I never use these - it's more of a visual thing); framed Susan Branch print about heaven being within me (she must not know about my bad momness)

#9 - 11 Ceramic mug with roses and vines - I bought it with my very own money at a swanky gift store while in high school and felt very grown-up about it; funky multi-colored mug handpainted by my daughter - a recent present, it makes me feel very Alice in Wonderland; more pencils - the blue & white ones in the back are vintage, one features the LA Rams and the other St. Louis Cardinals (for you non-football people, those are long gone NFL teams)

#12 - 13 Handy (and humble) journal - spiral binding a must; coaster for my cup of tea (and occasional glass of wine), from a set bought as a reminder of our whirlwind trip to London - they have cool drawings of pubs around the city

thirteen things i'm looking forward to this year

With pictures! Woohoo!

1. Vegas, baby. Technically we're going for a friend's wedding, but I'm cramming as much sinful citying as possible in a weekend.

2. Loads of good books (beyond the scores I already have lying around the house & classroom). I am Legend-reader.

3. A clawfoot tub for reading all those books in bubbly luxury. Look! It comes with a magazine rack! And it's clean...

4. And the award goes to...My Oscar party! I love the movies, the dresses, the hype, the Jon Stewart and I celebrate it all with my indulgent friends. I even have a red carpet & SWAG. You should come.

5. Wii will rock you. After thumbing my nose in its general video gamer direction, I played at my parents' house and became infatuated. The fact that they're creating a fitness module that sounds like it could make exercise tolerable for me puts it on my must-have list. (Don't tell my kids).

6. My Mexican boyfriend must be coming out with a new movie soon...Ay, I miss him mucho.

7. BlogHer conference in San Francisco! I've registered and booked a room and almost booked my flight! I can almost talk about going without using exclamation points! So exciting. (Does my desperation for a girls' weekend getaway after school is out show?)

8. Speaking of BlogHer - THIS is where we're staying! (More exclamations, sorry). When I say "we," I mean whomever I beg & badger enough to attend with me. So far my cyber bff Kate and real life bff Lisa are *thisclose* to saying yes; Mrs. G. has expressed interest but I think I've scared her a tad with my enthusiasm...But this hotel has HEAVENLY BEDS it says! Even Heavenly DOG beds; I kind of want to adopt a pet for that weekend. (But does it have a Heavenly poop scooper?)

9. And speaking of scaring with enthusiasm. I keep stalking checking the Fountains of Wayne website to see if they've added any Portland or Seattle shows for 2008. I have to look online because they still haven't answered any of my e-mails. Weird.

10. Treehouse family vacation - I'm totally serious. These babies are in southern Oregon, and my kids will love me forever for agreeing to go sleep forty feet in the air. But someone else is driving.

11. James McAvoy, doing anything I can watch. *sigh*

12. And whatever he does, too. Hi, Paul. You look tired, weyou should lie down...

13. A kindler, gentler me in the end.


'twas a good year

More good stuff at Wordless Wednesday