Friday, January 26, 2007

Another Tag -- Six strange things about me

You know, when it rains, it pours :-) Just as I finally got around to do the 10 things for Lesley, before I was done I got tagged by Monica to do six strange things about me. I'm happy to oblige.

1. I can wiggle my ears. It's said that this is quite uncommon since the muscles that control the ear wiggling are not active in most people. (by the way, Monica, my son is eight and his blog link is the second on the right -- Otter World. There isn't much going on there since he doesn't write a whole lot yet, but if he knows there is an audience I'm sure he'll be much more motivated to update more often.)

2. Given the opportunity, I can be completely addicted to romance novels, and I always cry buckets at the sad part of the story (there is always at least one).

3. I read old newspaper and magazines. The oldest paper in my current stack is from September, and I have New Yorkers from the late 90s that are still waiting in queue to be read one day.

4. I have close to 9,000 unread emails in one of my accounts, down from over 12,000. I will eventually go through all of them and delete most.

5. I'm completely anal about things going to the right place, especially in my kitchen. Just last night I was brewing over my inlaws putting dishes in the wrong places. I should be glad that they spend time with Henry and even wash dishes for me, but it bugs me to no end to find lids on the wrong pot and soup spoons stacked with tea spoons.

6. I can only talk about my work in English but if I need to memorize numbers they are in Chinese.

Ten things I say to my kids all the time

Are you getting ready for school? The signature of our morning routine, or morning battle. What on earth can you do to get a kid moving in the morning without losing it? Henry gets up very early, mind you, he reads for at least half an hour before getting out of bed, then wonders around, plays, hugs the dogs, then starts changing only when I nag him. I'd find him fooling around downstairs five minutes before leaving, still hasn't packed his lunch, nor eaten breakfast, nor collected jacket and shoes. Does it look like I'm busy? Say it when Henry bugs me to do something I don't think is very important, such as helping him locate something in the garage while I'm cooking dinner. Occasionally he'd catch me saying that when I play on the computer, but let's hope he doesn't read this. Right, Henry? The correct answer is, Yes Mother, You are absolutely right. In a small family like ours, sometimes we have two against one, and more often than not I'm the One and I'd use my motherly authority to recruit Henry to my side. Works especially well when Henry can't make up his mind which side he should be on, and Bill is too much a gentleman to argue with me. Mommy's not home. Another thing to say when Henry bugs me. Eat you dinner! Anything that doesn't look and taste like mac & cheese requires this sentence repeated at least ten times during the meal. Try a bite, it's not going to kill you. See above. Applies to any meat product (except for chicken nuggets and hot dog) and vegetable (except for green beans and carrots). Go ahead and do it. Henry is a very cautious person. He has to be absolutely sure about what's going on and what's expected of him before taking actions. He requires constant encouragement and patience of a saint from his mentors. Give me a reason why .... He has to convince me if he wants something, good practice for his logical and verbal skills. What's your dad doing? They know they are both in trouble. (This last one is for the dogs since they are my kids too) Take care of the house, take care of each other, be nice to Kat (or Grandpa and Grandma, depending on who's going to pick up Henry later in the day), have a good nap, see you guys later ... It's a big ramble I say to the dogs when I leave the house in the morning, as I'm usually the last to leave and have to close the door in front of the little black noses. The guys think I'm nuts, but I feel better having the last chat with the pups before seeing them again in ten hours.

Recent Reads

I'm on a Bill Bryson spree, a run down of what I have listened to and what's coming:

1. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, read by the author. I liked this book so much that I'm making everyone in the book club read it for our February meeting. Wonder if guys still wonder around the house bottomless in middle America?

2. A Walk in the Woods -- a perfect companion for highway 17 commute. I listened to this book a few years ago and it always brings me a great deal of interest in the Smokey Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Carolinas, Maine, and of course the Appalachian Trail itself. Bill's family is from South Carolina, but something about visiting relatives makes me hesitate a trip east; and Henry is not quite ready for a hike in the woods yet.

3. Neither Here Nor There, read by the author. His tour in Europe as an adult, with many reference to his earlier travels and his travel companion and high school buddy, Stephen Katz, who was also in the other two books above.

4. Sunburned Country, have the book in the car and yet to be listened to. Another one I listened to a few years ago, a fun travel log of Aussie land. (Larrisa, I'd love to hear what you think of this book.)

5. Notes from a Small Island. Waiting to get the book from the library.

Also listened to recently:

1. Marley and Me, by John Grogan. A memoir about a dog and his people. Every dog person has a book like this, and it's always a sad ending. Interesting enough Grogan's favorite author is Bill Bryson.

2. The Jane Austen Book Club. Just finished it this morning, a fiction about a Jane Austen book club (what else!). Not terribly well written, but I might just start reading Austen again. I've read some of them in high school, in Chinese, so it's worthwhile to do it over in English.

Which brings me to some books waiting to be listened to:
1. Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey
2. Dean and Me, by Jerry Lewis. Bill took me to see Rat Pack over the holidays so I picked up this book in the library the other day, good chance to get to know a bit about Dean Martin and his days.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quick Update

Henry's eyes are OK. Everything checked out just fine, no glasses, no therapy, no surgery (my biggest fear). My knitting is updated on Coat Knit Along. Pictures to come. See Henry's blog for the latest with him. The crabs' dad (that's my husband, not Henry) did an amazing job setting up the new crab house. Feels like Trinket's first night home, we didn't sleep for a week! Work is busy, pulling some twelve hour days. Not complaining, it's what I asked for. The commute time gives me a great chance catching up on audio books. Love it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year, New Worry

I'm not good at making new year's resolutions, largely because I can't seem to keep them. A few weeks down the road I look back and know I haven't done anything that I made up my mind to do on January 1st -- be it walking every day, spend less money, get more work done -- it just makes me feel like a big failure. Not exactly the best thing to do to oneself. Henry has been complaining about double vision. Given the history of the eye problems in my family, I'm very concerned of course. He's been reading a lot in the past year, sometimes getting up very early in the morning and read in the dark for an hour before we beg him to get ready for school. I made an appointment for him to see my eye doctor in couple of weeks. In the mean time we'll just stick with Mad-eye Moody jokes and pretend Henry has a magic eye as well. He doesn't seem to have a "weaker eye" like mine, so that's a blessing.