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It's a gorgeous summer day, solstice weekend, and I'm SICK. It's been a comatose day involving naps, zombie-esque football watching, and internet refreshing.

So, let me share some of the gems I have discovered:

Firstly, is a great blog, by a young woman who graduated from high school this week. All the feminism you need when reading Seventeen magazine, with none of the theory and bitter snark that more experienced/older feminists throw around.

Secondly, what do you get when you cross music with fanfic? Snoop Dogg loves him some Sookie Stackhouse/Tru Blood. He has written a banal song called 'Oh Sookie' and you can watch the video here. I could only get through half the video, but the mere premise is highly amusing.
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Watching Australia v Germany. The Aussies are outmatched. Sigh.

It's been a rough day. B is feverish and miserable. Hardly ate. Napped twice. Passed out at 6.45pm. He crawled into 'Bennett cama' (Bennett's bed) of his own choosing at noon and asked to watch cartoons there, so that's what we did. It was sweet. All the business items I'd planned to do will have to wait until after football. I can probably quote Kung Fu Panda line for line.

Poor little guy.

I started reading Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' but I'm not feeling it. I think I've just read too much food writing: I'm the choir to her preaching, and I don't garden.

Leffe brown Belgian beer is really good. As are my mashed potatoes. I discovered the secret: butter FIRST, then milk.
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I suppose it has to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is no image that I can find that just doesn't look ridiculous. In the 90s I never saw an episode and I thought it sounded like the stupidest show ever. When in grad school, after the show had ended, a friend introduced me and I ended up watching all seven seasons in 2 years. The show is camp, which I love. I love the metaphor of horror for teen angst. Like all shows set in high school, the transition out of that safe stereotype was rough. I also had a loathing for Faith (mostly because Eliza Dushku can't act to save her life) and I thought Tara was a wet, moldy blanket. I adored Anya and Willow. I even started to follow the season 8 comic book, but.... I have a hard time with that format. I always want more.
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1:4 Being a girl has nothing to do with being good at sewing. Being a boy has nothing to do with being a skilled warrior. The antidote to arrogance is humility.

1:5 Think outside the box.

1:6 A bison and a buffalo are the same thing.

1:7 Never underestimate the old (also 1:5 here).

1:8 Our ancestors and spirit guides are part of (but not only) ourselves, and they want to help us.
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Firstly, LJ is being weird so I can't access my friends page. Hurrumph.

We watch a lot of Avatar: the Last Airbender in this house. It's B's favorite thing ever. After mama and papa his next most used words are: Appa (Aang's giant flying bison), Momo (Aang's lemur bat), Aang (the Avatar). I've seen every episode multiple times. Believe it or not, I'm not sick of it. It holds up. I've only noticed one inconsistency (season one, episode 3: Iroh says that his favorite tea is ginseng, but ep 2 and later on it is jasmine). For quite a while I've been thinking that a person could write a little book called 'Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from Avatar.' So I'm going to start it.

Here are your lessons, in order, as I re-watch them with Bennett:
Season One - Water
Ep 1: Running away from your problems and duties only makes them worse.

Ep 2: Sometimes what you're looking for doesn't arrive in the form you expected.

Ep 3: Always remember your basics.
Mercy and compassion look like weakness but are always honorable.
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Couple's Retreat is an AWFUL movie. Do not watch, even if you're looking for something light and funny. It's not funny. Just bad. Not even bad funny.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is good fun.

Pizza, wine, and brownies cannot be beat for a lazy weekend meal.

I'm finally reading Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon and it is blowing my mind.

I can't get enough of Sarah Haskins. And I watched this 18 minute Jamie Oliver talk that was great. Jamie Oliver is hot, as well as a bit of a twat, and also right on about food.

My son is so fantastic I can hardly stand it.

Spring is just around the corner.
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Sarah Haskins and Target Women

Want to mock advertising aimed at women? You know you do. These short videos are FABULOUS.

ETA: It's past noon. I MUST leave the house. Hilarity and the internets conspire against me. And tea and bacon sandwiches.
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*I am obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance. I have season 6 (no spoilers!) and I just love it. I would love to take a dance class. I tell myself year after year that I will.... and then I never do.

*For Lent this year I am going to do two things: stop drinking tea or coffee in my house and not buy any alcohol. Currently thanks to our Massive Mega Budget Crunch we are eating super healthily and frugally. I can make one chicken last for 5 meals. The secret? Lots of carrots and whole grains.

*Also in the spirit of Lent: being more focused with my time online. I really don't need to check in with Facebook all that often. No, really I don't.

*Bennett is 34 inches tall and 27.5 pounds at 20 months.
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Ok. So I'm entering week #3 of being ill and I'm on virus #2. This week I begin going back to work, illness or no. I went to the doctor on Friday, just to make sure I didn't have something unusual or requiring medication, and she was only concerned that I was so pale. Everything just needs rest. Or a good cold snap to kill of the crud that's been making the rounds. What sucks is that while your immune system is low fighting off one bug, you're vulnerable for the next. Bah, I say.

I have been spending my time watching a lot of 'tv' - by that I mean tv on the internet. Adam and I have started watching Freaks and Geeks, which is pretty good. The new show that gets my vote, and frankly kicks Glee's confused, sorry ass (even though I so want it to work) is Community. Really funny, quite smart, and that main dude is hot. That always helps. I also discovered Sesame Street online, which has been very helpful with the downpours that Wales has been getting lately. Bennett and I watch clips, which we can arrange in themes - like, numbers, feelings, letters, etc. We make it interactive and it's fun.

I've also recently discovered Lady Gaga. She's a good singer, with brainless, forgettable, but ok music. But what a freaking FABULOUS performance artist. She's like a mainstream Bjork, without the amazing music. I am more than a little in love her Bad Romance video. The zombie dancing just slays me. I think I am going to have to watch every single video she's made.

ETA: I also wanted to add these bits but forgot. I also watched Away We Go which is sweet, but enh. However, the best bits are the Maggie Gyllenhall-Ultra AP satire. I've been recognizing a lot of my hypocrisy and other attractive traits lately, and I recognized more than I'd like to admit in this section. You can see bits here and here.
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Inspired by [ profile] bravenewcentury

1. Avatar: the Last Airbender Seriously, this is my new favorite tv show. Possibly of all time. It's whimsical, it's deep, it's developing, it's spiritual. I care about the characters. Adam and I can watch it with Bennett - it's completely age appropriate for all. I''m only half way through season 2 (of 3) and it just keeps getting better and better.

2. Autumn I love the brown and yellow leaves on the ground. I love the chill and damp and grey. I love the lengthening nights. The air feels comfortable, cozy.

3. Lampeter It's seriously beautiful here, and peaceful. I love walking out my door and seeing the rooftops of the town at the bottom of the hill. I love seeing the white dots of sheep on the surrounding hills and the wood across the valley. I like the gentle hum of the high street and the rhythms of the town.

4. Tea I am drinking copious amounts of tea these days. Green, black, herbal, you name it. It goes hand in hand with numbers 2 and 3. I live in a tea culture but the warm soothing liquid is also so appropriate to the weather. And, the caffeine doesn't hurt when I'm constantly fighting a cold.

5. Adam has work This improves his mood and I know we have money coming in. Maybe more of a relief than anything else!

6. The new couches We got a blue couch and chair yesterday! All of a sudden our house is now a home. I can hang out in the living room comfortably! We had people over today and they didn't have to sit on the floor! I can't explain it but our house is transformed. I couldn't be more happy - I was getting tired of constantly sitting in the kitchen.

7. The sound of rain Right this second I can hear the rain coming down on the roof and the street outside. Just outside the window the drip drip drip off the gutter is trickling. The wind gusts through the trees. Between the dark and the rain I get flashbacks to Octobers past as a kid in Alaska. All I need is the woodstove...

8. Bennett Even when this kid drives me nuts because he hates having a diaper put on or he won't go to bed, he is the cutest, most snuggly and happy guy. We have so much fun together. Crawling into bed at night and feeling him warm and soft snuggling up to me is just about the best feeling. And, I think he's going to learn to use a toilet soon. Tonight he was running around naked for a while and he pointed at his penis and made a sound. I said "Are you going to pee?" "yeah," he said. I asked if he wanted to use the potty and he said "yeah" and ran to the bathroom. I sat him on the toilet and he proceeded to hang out there for a good 15 minutes. No action yet, but he did flush the toilet when he was done!

9. The Mists of Avalon I'm re-reading it and it's as good as I remember it being.

10. My life in general I am so blessed. My life is amazing and rich and I couldn't be happier. ...Ok, I could be. If my sister and her girls moved in down the street I would probably explode with joy. But that would be messy.
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Starting to feel the lack of close friends nearby. This must mean I'm getting settled in. I'm also pretty tired of running so much energy - energy to figure things out, energy to be present with all the change and a little boy who's teething molars and is SUPERHIGHENERGY and must nurse ALLTHEDAMNTIME, energy to sit still for several hours a time and think Deep Thoughts, energy to run more errands, energy to muster self-care.

Most evenings we just sit around and watch tv altogether. We're on a Glee and Avatar kick here. I really want Glee to work its kinks out. There is so very much to love about it, and hot holy shit can they sing. But the writers have bitten off a little bit more than they can chew. We just finished episode 5, so I'm hoping this is just first season kinks. Hope springs eternal.

And what is there to say about Avatar? It may be the perfect tv program. Bennett even has his own hand sign for it. He walks up, makes the sign and points to the computer room. Do you think a stuffed Apa exists? (pauses to google that - why, yes, they do!)

Speaking of spiritual stuff, I sang in chapel with the choir today for the first time. How boring is the Anglican service? Snoozefest. Some of it is really beautiful. I really like the priest, he is sincere and smart and has a wonderful speaking voice. But why must Anglicans be so serious and formal all time? And why do the readers sound like they're reading a dry academic tome? Especially when reading about shouting for joy at the wonders God has made! It was the first time in.... I can't even remember, that I attended a non-Orthodox service. Of course, it's been a long time since I went to church period. I realized sitting there today that I can't even 'translate' the creeds anymore. I am not 'over' Christianity, not by a long shot, but I am certainly no Christian anymore.
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What have I been doing with my time in Santee? Reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris! I give a huge shout out to snowcalla for the recommendation! I even got my sister hooked on them. I have now read all that are available in paperback and I think I'm going to go out and by the most recent in hardback. Gotta finish before I move abroad!

Book review, may contain some spoilers )
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Adam and I have started watching True Blood, HBO's show based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. I haven't read the novels - I only see them in mass market form and I'm a snob and rarely read anything that's not in trade paperback. However, the show is great. It's a wonderful soap opera (because really, that's what modern television mostly is), and it kicks Twilight's ass in so many ways that I lost count half way through the first episode.

Has anyone both read the book and seen the show?
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I just finished watching the two part interview with Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show. While I don't want him to be president and I don't quite agree with the way he framed his perspective on pro-life, I have to say that I really love Gov. Huckabee. No really, I do. I think he is thoughtful, articulate, patient, slow to inflame and has a great sense of humor. While no new ground was covered in this interview (which was all about pro-life), it's a great example that not all pro-lifers or Public Christians or politicians or Republicans etc etc are nutjobs.

Mike Huckabee can come have dinner at my house any day of the week.

....and Bennett just dumped out a box of matches. Whee!
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The only negatives today are that I'm tired, not well slept, thanks to B's near constant nursing last night. He also is not rested - he had only 2 half hour naps today! That not nearly enough rest, for either of us.

But where can I begin with the goodness? First, Bennett is such a delightful kid. I'm really truly in love my family. Being with them is just about the best thing ever. Secondly, two friends came over this morning. Had I been with it I would have made lunch. I miss having cheese and crackers or tasty things to nibble on. Australians seem to have this down. Americans, not so much. I aspire to this level of generosity. But in any case I enjoyed discussing all things Feri and baby with them. I was able to give them a car load of baby stuff. it feels so good to help out another couple in the baby department! We were so blessed by generous folk and I'm glad we can do the same for some one else. The friends brought this wooden drum for B and it is GREAT! He loves it, and so do we. He's hardly put down the mallet.

During B's second "nap" we saw a teaser episode of the new show "Nurse Jackie" on Netflix. The show doesn't open until June on Showtime. Holy cow, it was good! Really really good. Dark, funny, complicated, interesting. I'll definitely get it when it's made available on Netflix.

Then later in the afternoon we walked all together to the grocery store, seeing friends on the way, enjoying the smell of jasmine in the sun. When we got home I got a phone call from a friend of Adam's who asked to have lunch together this week. She said "I always want to get to know you better every time I see you." I feel a little like I was "asked out" - and it feels good.

I am now cooking potatoes gratin, roasted carrots and garlic salad for dinner. Adam is on Bennett duty and they're watching the Cavs/Magic game.

Life feels really sweet tonight.
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Lakers vs Cavs, Cavs take it 4-2.
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Yesterday was a marvelous day, and today hasn't been too bad either. Bennett had one block of 6 hour sleep each night. The woman who is looking after B is wonderful and I met her and B at the park yesterday when I got off work. The weather has been autumnal perfection. Adam is fantastic. The 20 - at most 22 - year old gay boy who cut my hair today was so cute I totally have a crush on him, and the hair cut is pretty fab also. If some asshat hadn't stolen my lap top I would totally take a picture and show you.

Tonight B went to bed without a single fuss. This is God's way of letting me know I'm Her favorite.

But really, what I want to post about is Kenneth on 30 Rock (if you don't watch this, please do so, you'll thank me). I LOVE Kenneth and want him to be my BFF. His complete sincerity charms me to no end. I want to sit on a park bench with him, eating sandwiches, and smile at passersby, sing show tunes, and discuss our favorite holiday traditions.
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Surely I should be doing something more productive with my time. Meditating. Reading something of depth. Reading anything to my boy.

But no. I have B in a swing. He puked on me. Twice. (It was awesome actually. And hilarious.) I made my delicious red pepper, lentil and kidney bean chili with brown rice. I wanted to eat it in one sitting.

And. I discovered Buffy episodes on Hulu. Oh sweet lord, my life is lost.

ETA: recipe in comments!
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The day is pretty much a wash when I got the most done between 6 and 8am. Feeling out of sorts. Benn is cranky. Although, his cranky still puts him in the easiest baby in the world category (thank you god!).

Now, it's red wine and So You Think You Can Dance finale spliced with The Daily Show during commercials. SYTYCD makes me want to get off my ass and move. There is a gym opening a block down the street from me on Monday. They offer Muy Thai kick boxing, which I did for about a year and a half in college. I think I'm going to start up again. I like hitting. A lot.

ETA: I don't watch SYTYCD all that often, but whoa. This show is weird. What kind of show features a popping battle (face off between two dancers of a street form of dance that sort of reminds me of break dancing and video games) AND the freakin' Jonas Brothers. It disturbs me that I even know who these boys are.
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After being awake at 5:45, teaching two classes yesterday, and then spending the evening with [ profile] alizarin71, [ profile] hrafntinna, and Adam, I was bone achingly tired. I woke up this morning feeling sick - just wiped out. Not hungry. Achy. Unable to mentally function until close to noon. Ugh. The teaching and dinner were worth it though. Great food, great company, great conversation.

Work was hard. I barely had 5 minutes to compose myself. The only quiet time was first thing in the morning. Thankfully this was the time my 3 yr old niece in Anchorage decided to call me. Apparently she woke up and wanted to tell me that she missed me and loved me much. I thought I would die from cuteness! But then work took over. Prepping for our conference on Sunday. And..... having a pow-wow with the Executive and Founding Directors over this problematic coworker. I will not be present at her review and I don't know what they will decide. My gut tells me that she won't be let go. I just want there to be some resolution. The whole situation is emotionally taxing. However, I walked away from our meeting feeling heard, respected and valued. Moments like this make me want to stay with this organization forever. I feel very honored to work for such a healthy workplace, to have such supportive coworkers, and to be a part of something vibrant in the Jewish community here. I feel very lucky to be part of this rich community as a non-Jew.

To complicate my day even more, Adam and I left work early to go to a midwife appointment in SF. I was beat, but got so giddy afterwards. I haven't gained as much weight as I thought I had! I have gotten larger in the belly, but I've only gained 4 lbs this month, putting me at 27 lbs total. I thought it was closer to 30! I'm healthy, measuring about 26 weeks (I am actually 27weeks, 4 days), and little Bennett is kicking up a storm with a strong heartbeat. Adam was so excited to hear his heartbeat. I feel closer than ever to Adam. It's really beautiful.

The last upper of the day was getting my first installment of cloth diapering supplies. Who knew diapers could be so fun?! I got 8 brightly colored prefolds and some plain covers.

The last downer of the day is that the Golden State Warriors (the Bay Area basketball team) did not make into the play offs.

[OMG, I'm watching tv and I just saw an ad for Al Gore's new nonprofit, We, and the commercial features Rev. Al Sharpton AND Pat Robertson on a couch together cracking jokes about being left and right and how it's important to agree on caring for the planet. WHOA.]


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October 2010



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