My friend Leslie has created a new blog, and the link has been updated in my blogroll: Leslie's Life.


Maureen watches too much TV

ETA: Can you give me feedback on this post? I would like to know if you think I should have included a plot synopsis for the episodes...sometimes I forget that other people read this and that it's not just for my own personal enjoyment. Do you think a brief synopsis of the plots of the shows listed below would have improved this post?

It's only Tuesday, and thanks to the magic of the Tifaux, I've watched the following series finales since yesterday:

The Big Bang Theory: I only started watching this after the writer's strike was over. I was recording another show and I caught a snippet of the end of this one, and it made me laugh, so I started watching. It's kind of spotty, humor-wise, and this episode featured one character, Leonard (who is a nerdy science type, although I'm not sure which field he works in) kissed Penny (dumb blonde who lives across the hall whom Leonard has had a crush on), and the studio audience reached Married With Children levels of whooping it up. That bothers me. I do like some of the characters: Raj, who is a computer guy, is adorable and consistently makes me laugh; Howard, an engineer, is creepy-funny, and physicist Sheldon, Leonard's hyper-rational roommate can be hilarious when used in small doses.

How I Met Your Mother: I had to start watching this show. I was a huge fan of both Freaks & Geeks and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and this show has Jason Segel (Nick Andopolis from F&G) and Alyson Hannigan (Willow from Buffy). I like to keep up with the careers of actors from shows I like. This show has moments of absolute brilliance, and I enjoy the out-of-order storytelling. The finale was a little more sentimental than I like, and they may make the character Neil Patrick Harris plays grow and change, which I'm not sure is a good thing, but I trust the writers.

Bones: I watch this one because David Boreanaz was on Buffy and Angel. The finale sucked. It's like the show is being written by fan fic writers. All I can say is that I've guessed who the bad guy is in every single episode I've seen this season. I might have to drop this one.

House: The season finale was the second part of a 2 episode story that started last week. I was a little disappointed last week because I figured out that Amber was the victim the first time House noticed the beautiful woman's necklace, but otherwise, these two episodes featured stellar work from Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, and Anne Dudek, who was radiant in the final episode. RIP, Cutthroat Bitch, you were just too awesome for this world.

Music for a melancholy day



Did you ever have one of those days where you suddenly found out all kinds of secrets about your family? I never realized how completely oblivious I am to what's going on around me.


Ten things about my mother

1. She never says goodbye on the phone. When she's done talking, she just hangs up.
2. She will not accept any presents.
3. If you tell her you like something in her house, she will immediately force you to take it.
4. She has never said "I love you" to any of her children.
5. She has the most lovely singing voice, which she will only rarely share.
6. She once stole a cat and returned it when her mother found out. She then collected the reward for the missing cat.
7. She will drive across state lines for a great pizza.
8. She taught the kids in our neighborhood how to jump double dutch.
9. She made up funny nicknames for teachers she didn't like; the principal of my elementary school, Mr. Reardon, is actually called (according to my mother) Mr. Rearend.
10. She taught me the following rhyme to say to kids I didn't like:

Scab sandwich
pus on top
monkey's vomit
camel's snot
eagle's eyeballs dipped in glue
that's a sandwich made for you

My mom's not perfect, and I can trace certain issues I have back to certain behaviors of hers, but I love her so much. If nothing else, she provides me with some of my best stories.


Monkey is a hog in mud right now, because we are foster parenting two adorable little kittens for the next month.

The sprawled out kitty is Fiona; the curled up one is Candy. When they aren't curled up sleeping, they are climbing furniture, crawling underneath things from which it is hard to get them, and engaging in the impossibly cute things that kitties do.

New to blogroll

Tracy is a bowl of life.


Clinton v. Obama

My .02 on this volatile subject:

I am loathe to tell other people how they should vote, but if you tell me that you will stay home if your preferred candidate doesn't get the nomination, I reserve the right to think that you're a self-centered idiot.

I don't think Obama is the savior of the Democratic Party, or that Clinton is the only one who can defeat McCain. I don't expect either one of the them to be perfect; if I had my druthers, we would have a truly progressive candidate instead of two mushy centrists to choose between. But if you can't see that either of them is better than the alternative, you need more than the services of a good opthalmologist - you need to ignore the past 8 years, pretend that the 2000 election never happened, and think so highly of your own personal take on the political situation that you can't fathom that maybe you don't have all the answers.

Choir Update

Way back in November, if you recall, I left the Congregational church where I sang for 7 years, along with the choir director and the accompaniest, and started singing at a Catholic church with them. The new choir was...not good, to put it as succintly as possible, and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue with them.

I just wanted to share that huge leaps and bounds of progress have been made with the choir. I'm really proud of my section in particular, since we have a committed group of altos who are there every week and put in the work to make our part as good as we can.

In addition to vast improvements in our sightreading and musicality, I've grown to love the people in this choir. They are kind, generous, warm...just a lovely group of people. So I think I'll be continuing with them for a while.


I saw it, so I'm tagged

Meme via Angelos

1) Ten years ago I was...
Working at Cox Communications, at about this time of the year, I was promoted to work in their new telephony department as a Broadband Analyst. I worked kind of insane hours, but I loved the job. Although, if I hadn't gotten the promotion, I would have been laid off in a great economy, with a year's severence. I would have gotten another job and 2 years salary in one year's time. I regret that, sometimes.

2) Five things on today's (tomorrow's) to-do list:
Buy eggs
Do some yoga
walk the dog
finish the book I'm reading

3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off all my debts
Set aside money for Monkey and Sio
Give a big chunk of change to my parents, my siblings, my father-in-law, my aunt-in-law and my sister-in-law
Quit my job so I could go to school full-time and get my damn degree already
Travel around the world
Buy a house in Ireland
Find a way to use my money to help create the kind of world I want to live in

4) Three bad habits:

5) Five places I've lived:
Hebron, CT
Meriden, CT
Yalesville, CT
Portland, CT
Glastonbury, CT

6) Six jobs I've had in my life:
Meat wrapper
video store clerk
grocery store cashier
retail wage slave
waitress/sandwich maker

Exactly how I feel

D. Aristophanes at Sadly, No! has captured my opinion of the Clinton v. Obama slugfest. Indeed, I could have written the same post, word for word, if A. I wasn't too lazy to write that much at one time and B. excepted the parts about interblog fighting, because I don't really do that.


Invitation to the Dance

Ferdy on Films is running a blogathon called Invitation to the Dance. The subject is dance in the movies. Check out the site for links. There are some great videos out there, too. And this gives me an opportunity to share, again, one of my favorite dance scenes from the movies: the dance battle between Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall in My Sister Eileen.

I'm a huge fan of dance battles, and I think we should consider resolving all the world problems with dance battles.

While I was looking up this video, I noticed that several people have taken a video of Gwen Verdon and two other women doing what I describe as a K-Tel Records Easy Listening Songs of the 70's dance, choreo'd by Bob Fosse, and set it to some rather more contemporary songs. For example:

Damn, I love the internet.

Birthday and hiccups

Monkey opened up some cool presents tonight. She got a couple of books (A Wrinkle In Time and Gossamer, the latter of which caused her to jump up and down with happiness); some chocolate, a new bathing suit, some unmentionables* that she refused to open even in front of Loki, and a boombox (and that's what it's called, because it was in the aisle marked "Audio - MP3 - Boombox").

I made a homemade pizza, which is always an adventure because no two doughs ever come out the same. The last one I made didn't want to rise; this one wouldn't stop rising. It was a fluffy crust, which is not my preference, but it did mean that one piece was enough for me. For dessert, we had birthday cake. As per Monkey's request, we had an ice cream cake, and rather than buying a Carvel ice cream cake at the grocery store, I MADE an ice cream cake. I liked a Pyrex bowl with parchment paper, then put a layer of Breyer's Vanilla. I let that freeze up a bit, then I added half a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie, a layer of cookie crumbles, and then a layer of fudge. I let that all freeze a bit, and then I added a whole pint of Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie, and then the remaider of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie went on the bottom.

It was pretty awesome.

*yes, I am the kind of mother who buys things like underwear and socks for birthdays and Christmas. If I'm buying something, I like buying something that will get used.

Oh, hiccups. I've been getting them a lot over the past couple of days, usually at night before bed and in the morning when I wake up. It's extremely annoying.

Eleven Years Ago Today

I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. I thought I was wetting the bed, but my water had not so much broken as sprung a leak. I felt the first contraction, and called Loki, who was at work. While I waited for him to come home, I turned on the TV and watched the movie Party Girl, where Parker Posey plays a Club Kid who discovers a love of the Dewey Decimal system.

We got to the hospital around 7, I was having contractions, but they were all over the place: 13 minutes apart, then 6 minutes apart, then 12 minutes apart, etc. But they admitted me, and soon enough, the contractions were coming hard and heavy. And back to back, which meant that I would have 2 minutes of contraction, and then 30 seconds in between to recover.

Sidebar: Everyone always makes jokes about pushing the baby out, but the part of labor and delivery that is hardest, in my opinion, are the contractions. They feel like the worst menstrual cramp you've ever had, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Pushing the baby out is sweet relief after that.

It wasn't easy, but it was fast: at 11:08 a.m., Maeve was born. She weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz., and was 18 inches long. When we went for her first checkup, a week later, she had lost a whole pound, and it took her 2 months to gain that one pound back. So my time off from work was spent going to the doctor every other day, getting tons of tests done on a tiny screaming baby, all the while knowing in my heart that she was just fine.

So Happy Birthday, my Monkey.


This post brought to you by the letter M

Generically tagged by Toast for this "meme" (I really hate that term). All answers start with the first letter of your first name.

What is your name? Maureen

A four-letter word: math

A vehicle: motorcycle

A city: Montreal

A boy's name: Michael

A girl's name: Margaret

Alcoholic drink: martini

An occupation: mayor

Something you wear: mittens

A celebrity: Marilyn Monroe

A food: mussels

Something found in a bathroom: mess

Reason for being late: migraine

Something you shout: MAEVE!

An animal: monkey

A body part: mouth

The inserts are getting weird

I don't subscribe to any newspapers, but our office subscribes to three: The Hartford Courant, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. (We also get Newsweek, The Economist, and, oddly enough, Glamour). I'm the first one in on Mondays, so I picked up the papers, and when I took them out of their bags, I found an interesting insert in all three of them.

The top of the page says GODS Planet Earth ForEver Isaiah 44-24. Then there's a picture of a woman making the Home Alone face next to a title that says IT'S BACK. IT'S LIVE. next to a picture of the logo for The Connecticut Forum.

Below that is a paragraph with the title Journalism. I'm typing the paragraph as it is written on the insert.

As Some Of My Coworkers In Freedom Of The Press*Try To Play Hillary Against Barack*And Try To Play Obama Against Clinton*Please Stay Focused*That Hillary And Barack Isnt The Problem*The Problem Is The bush Administration*Over One Million Human Beings Have Been Killed*Over One Million Human Beings Have Been Injured*And Over Two Million Human Beings Have Been Made Homeless Because Of The bush Administration*Not To Omit That 90 Percent Of Those Human Beings*Were UnarMed Innocent Ladies*Unarmed Innocent Women*UnarMed Innocent Children*Unarmed Innocent GentlemaNs*And Unarmed Innocent Men*Corrupt Politician george bush Is A War Criminal*Guilty Of War CriMes Against Creation And Humanity John 8-32*Yes Now You Have The Truth Humanity*And The Truth Can Set Human Beings Free John 8-32**

I'm pretty sure that this wasn't a paid insert.


In A Funk

That's where I am these days. We've had some cold and wet weather, which is bad for my hip, and I'm still coughing because I haven't been able to get to the doctor, and I'm slightly stressed out about money because I have three birthdays to shop for this month, one of them on Wednesday, when my Monkey turns 11, and I STILL have no idea what I'm going to get her, and I'm trying to eat right and stay on top of the cleaning I've done recently and get a good night's sleep, and it's all sort of turning me into a cranky and kind of anxious person, and I hate feeling that way. Or being that way.

Which is why I haven't posted.