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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Books Read in June

I'm feeling very happy with myself this month because I actually got some "adult" reading in-- and I'm not talking the genre. I'm talking a book with more than 15 pages. WooHoo!

Oh! And, make that TWO books of more than 15 pages.

I finally, after deciding that I simply could not wait to find out what happens in Eclipse, decided to start reading the series. It took some doing because a friend of mine had loaned me the last three books in the series, but not the first one. Luckily, I was able to borrow that from another friend (finally) and start reading. Of course, by this time, Eclipse was opening in the theaters, but that's no matter because once I opened and started reading I never looked back.

Books read this month are (drum roll please...)


I really liked them both, but think that seeing the movies first was better this time. Reading the books gives you a fuller picture of the story, but doing it in reverse (seeing before reading) made me realize how good a job the screenwriter that did the adaptation did. There are moments in the movie that you realize 100-150 pages are encapsulated into a single moment, without losing anything of the story. It was cool to read the book and go, "Wow... that was genius!"

Maybe it's like that all the time. I usually read the book first and then get grumpy when my favorite parts are missing. Either way, I enjoy the movies and I really enjoyed the first two books.

Now onto the second two!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Photo 177 - Zoo and Rose Garden

Every Christmas, my sister gets us a gift certificate to the Oregon Zoo, which I take and turn into a yearly membership. This year, due to funding, I had to wait a bit to make up the difference. Man oh man, by the time we finally got it, Short Person and I were excited. The wait was worth it too. Nearly every animal was out and close to the windows and looking relaxed.

In between looking at the animals we also took a train ride through the zoo and into Washington Park. Short Person had never been to the Rose Garden before, so we hopped down for a quick tour before catching the train again.

It was a beautiful day and we were wiped out when we came home.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Photo 176 - Garden Art Show

This weekend, I booth sat for my mom at one of the art shows she does. It was my first time doing it and I was nervous. Actually, worried might be a more appropriate term. 75% of the day flew by without me selling even one thing.

Luckily, after that things started picking up and I actually managed to seal the deal on a few things. YAY!

Here's a photo of her booth all set up and ready to go.

It is next to impossible to not look around at all the other things people do and create. I loved this guy. Although totally impractical for our yard, I still couldn't resist snapping a photo and text messaging it to my husband with a plea to bring it home.

Didn't fly with the man. Oh well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Photo 175 - Emily's Birthday

Today was Emily's birthday party, and we got to discover a whole new park to play in! Plus, it was fun getting to see friends of Short Person's from both Preschool and Kindergarten. Lately, every party we've gone too has had the most adorable cupcakes at it. I find myself wishing that I could have creativity like this. And uh, yeah... the ability to cook would be nice too.

I'm not sure why, but when Short Person got dressed this morning for the party, the antenna were an intricate part of her outfit. She simply needed to wear them. They look cute though.

One of the other things at the new park was a water feature. It is so awesome and quickly became one of our favorite places to play in the water. Not only does it have the jets from the floor that you see here, but there is a wall that follows alongside the road (seems like sort of a barrier, which was a good thing) that has water flowing out of it in waterfalls. All in all, a totally sweet place to play and get wet. It was a bit chilly today, but that didn't stop Short Person or Emily. They were drenched when it was time to leave.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What do Tarantulas and Bats have in Common?

I'm going to fully blame the following post on my husband. The trauma associated with what happened is his fault too. Just because I got sucked into his evil plot does not make me a party to it. I claim plausible deniability.

We had just sat down for dinner. An informal one as we were all eating in the living room, save LJS who was in the garage cooking. He was deep-frying, a new recipe that he'd been looking forward to trying of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and chives wrapped in a wonton wrapper. It was delicious, especially when dipped into the sauce.

Anyway, as I said, we'd just sat down to dinner. LJS had started watching this new show with Short Person called "Bizarre Food". He said he was doing it as a way of proving to her that what we attempt to get her to eat is not that bad. If you've never seen it, the show features a man who essentially travels the world tasting bizarre food. If you ask me, they could have called the show Disgusting Eats and accomplished the same audience base.

Tonight's show was on location in Cambodia. I should have known better than to watch, but I was eating and too lazy to get up and find the remote-- and of course, LJS had decided on the TV program and he was going to come back soon. He'd be mad if the channel was changed. Manly remote thing going on, right? If only I'd been brave enough to just do it. Change the channel. But no...

The show floated in and out of my brain as I only marginally paid attention, that is, until he decided to try a new dish. Deep Fried Tarantulas. Even now, the mere thought of it brings the rise of bile in my throat and the overwhelming desire to hide and think of lovely things like... anything other than spiders.

Spiders. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I can't stand the creepy, crawly things. The sight of them makes me dart for cover, so you can imagine how I'd react to a discussion of hunting, cooking, and EATing them.

I stared in rapt fascination as they talked about how they found them and put them into a bucket or sack or somesuch. Then watched in shock as they talked about removing their fangs, coated them with seasoning, and then tossed them in to a skillet of oil-- still alive. If that weren't enough, they then explained that during cooking you had to stand back because they EXPLODED. Since I was near puke point by now-- and he hadn't even started eating them yet-- I may have lost some of the explanation, but I think the exploding had to do with the venom sack overheating and boiling or something.

EW!! I'm trying so hard to write this and be okay, but... EW! I'm traumatized. Because once they were cooked, evenly seasoned and crisp, still looking all-together too much like a very large spider, he ATE a leg.

I barely made it through the segment. My appetite having left abruptly during the tarantula bit, came back little by little. I still wasn't smart enough to change the channel. And I should have because what came next was almost worse.

Next, was deep fried bats. Their mouths gaping open in horror. Fruit bats do not look any less menacing than their relatives-- the evil, vampire-changing kind with fanged teeth. By the end of that segment, I couldn't eat any more. I wasn't sure I'd ever eat again. The mere thought of it nearly my undoing.

And, what they say about taste, sight, and smell having memory retention is true. That great recipe LJS found and cooked is forever linked with tarantulas and fried bats. A common link for the ages. Memories of the damned.

Short Person, who sat calmly on the couch playing Nintendo and only listening with half an ear, is totally fine and still considers hamburger the bane of all existence, and us cruel parents for making her try bites of food at dinner. Wonder what she'd do if I plopped a deep fried bug in front of her!

The things we do in the name of parenting, eh?

Photo 174 - IHOP

In preparation for an interview I have in a few days, I drove out to Hillsboro to make sure I knew where I was going and where the building was that I needed to be at. While we were in Hillsboro, I decided that it would be a perfect time to take Short Person to IHOP since we've never been before and with the great selection of pancakes... Well, I figured we'd have a great time.

My crazy daughter ordered a cheese omelet. She doesn't even like eggs!! But, it came with one solitary plain pancake. I couldn't even talk her into having chocolate chip ones. Sheesh!

Since she doesn't like eggs, but she likes cheese, she decided she'd lick the cheese off so that she didn't have to worry about eating the eggs.

In the end, I was way disappointed. The food was not that great-- at least, not to the degree I was expecting-- and it really felt like they couldn't get you seated, fed, and out fast enough. One more point for our usual favorite Lil' Cooperstown. Did I mention that they were a lot more money than our usual too? All in all a disappointing experience.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Photo 173 - Papa, Momma, Baby Bear

I got done cleaning the kitchen tonight, and as usual our water cups were sitting on the counter for midnight refills. As I was walking away, I realized how much they looked like they might resemble something found in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears".

I think it just made a cool snapshot of our tendencies. Something to look back on and remember.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo 172 - Hadassah's Birthday

Today we went to the birthday party for one of Short Person's classmates. It was a lot of fun to watch her receive a new bike-- one that was sitting out the entire time under a tree and she didn't have the foggiest idea it was for her.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photo 171 - Airport Waiting

My Cousin Cathy needed a ride to and from the airport over the last several days and when I went to pick her up, I found this extraordinary place to sit and wait for her. Nevermind that it is called the "Cell Phone Waiting Area", the vantage point was SWEET!

When I was younger, pre-September 11th, going to the airport and watching the planes take off and land was one of my favorite past times. I used to take my nieces up there, or go up to the airport to go shopping and hang out. But then, after September 11th access to the terminals was strictly limited to passengers. No more plane watching.

I tried for several years to find a cool vantage point by the river or from a hotel or restaurant, but there's no where great to park by the river and in a hotel people look at you weird if you are loitering. So you can imaging how excited I was to discover a whole village of shops and restaurants tucked away to the side of the airport just waiting for spectators. (Not really, I know. Accidental consequence, I'm sure.)

You can watch the planes come in, drop down low, and land. You can watch the taxi of the runway, the roar of the engines, and see the planes lift as they take off.

Pure bliss. And I'm so glad I found the area and can resume a favorite past-time for myself and introduce it to my daughter.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Photo 170 - Hair Do's

Short Person and I like taking turns doing eachother's hair. I think it's good practice for her for later in life, and way too obvious I have no practice. It is something that happens frequently here, and I since I don't remember documenting it I decided to do so now.

This is Short Person's styling on me.

And my styling of her. Wish I could figure out how to not make her look so much like Medusa when I braid her hair.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Photo 169 - More Art by Short Person

Short Person recently spent some time with her Grandma Linda, and as almost always happens she came home with a pile of stuff. Some things long wanted (like one of those Hamster things) and others... questionable. Questionable as in I don't even know what they heck it is.

This time the item in question looks like a bunch of little Styrofoam balls with pink and silver mixed with some sort of really weird sticky stuff. I literally haven't got a clue what it is, but it seems fun. You can mold it and make it into a bunch of shapes and generally just have fun with it.

It just so happens that it also became the... victim is not the right word, primary subject maybe? Okay. It just so happens that it became the primary subject in some more of Short Person's art. This time when she called us into the dining room to look at her newest design, even her dad was struck by how out of the ordinary impressive it was. Never in a million years would my brain work like this. I'm just in awe.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Books Read in May

Okay, I'm really starting to get discouraged now. I didn't read anything this month.

On the upside, I did create two scrapbook albums and coordinate donations and gifts for three teachers. So, win some months, lose some months, right?

Of the children's books knocked down, Short Person and I got through "Nubs", "I Knew an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bat", "I Knew an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bell", "Duck on a Bike", and "Dooby Dooby Moo".

I have to say that I love the Moo books. Click, Clack Moo may have been my favorite though.

Here's to June!