Monthly Archives: July 2008

Thar She Reads – 2007

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It occured to me the other day that I had forgotten to write up my reading list for last year. I typically do this early in the new year. I suppose the fact that I am getting around to this in July somehow indicates what kind of life I’m living this year.

All books are listed in the month in which they were finished. Notice the missing months? First time EVER that I have not finished a book at least once a month. In fact there are two consective months missing a finished book. Baby birthing and moving sure take up a bunch of time. Not to mention the paltry numbers in 2007. Again with the Baby.

January 2007

1. Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck **

2. White Teeth: A Novel by Zadie Smith

March 2007

3. Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott

4. March by Geraldine Brooks **

April 2007

5. The New York Trilogy: City of Glass; Ghosts; The Locked Room by Paul Auster **

May 2007

6. The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty

7. Plum Lovin’ (A Stephanie Plum Novel) by Janet Evanovich

August 2007

8. Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen

9. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon

September 2007

10. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

11. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

12. Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Novels) by Janet Evanovich

October 2007

13. Eragon (Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini

14. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer **

November 2007

15. Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry

16. The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield **

December 2007

17. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud **

** books read for bookclub

Past Years

Thar She Reads – 2006 (34 Titles Finished)

Thar She Reads – 2005 (33 Titles Finished)

I didn’t do an entry for 2004 – Stinkers!

2007 stats – 17 titles or 1.42 books a month or about half of my “normal” reading load. Not too bad considering. I am just about back to my normal rate of reading (2.79/month). So far this year I’ve read 14 titles, and I am just about to finish 2 more! Go speed racer go!

Embarassing Moment #1,324,561

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We rented a car during our trip to Kentucky.   If you do not already know this, here’s a good car renting tip:  There are VERY few economy cars in a rental fleet.  No one rents them, so the companies do not really buy them.  Chances are if you book one in advance by the time you get to the counter the one or two they have will be out and you’ll get a free upgrade.
Unless, of course, you really need a bigger car but are too cheap / poor to upgrade yourself and pay the extra cash.

At the Nashville Airport, for the first time in my career as a traveller and car renter-er I was not upgraded.  They actually sent us out the door with an Economy. It was fair, I’m not really complaining.  They were nice about it.  According to the guy behind the counter they had “saved” it for us.

Having never actually driven an Economy car I was unprepared for the acrobatics it would take to pack ALL of the baby shit in it and then the surprise of the absolute lack of engineering in the vehicle.  It was, essentially, a glorified golf cart.  For real.  I’m surprised it didn’t come with a set of clubs.  Not that they would fit.

We were coming out of lunch at the local shit mall and I was lamenting our luck and discussing the finer points of the crappy ass vecicle with my brother-in-law.  Just as I finish my rant and older gentleman comes up, all Southern like, and says:

“Oh, how to you like your Aveo?”

Rob, matching the man’s Southern grace, “Oh, it is nice, it is just not well suited for our needs.  It’s a rental and we are traveling with a baby.”

While this conversation goes on my brother-in-law is elbowing me in the ribs whispering – “Go on, tell him what you really think.”

I kick in all twangy like, “Actually, it’s a piece of crap.  A lawn mower with a body.”

“Oh, well me and the wife just bought one, we thought it was great.” whispers the old man.

Ladies – never listen to your brother-in-law.  He knows you are from the North and that you have no social graces.  He does not have your best interest at heart.  He wants to laugh at you.

Someone just shoot me.

We get in the car and Rob says, “In the South you have to learn to say something but not really say anything”.

For crying in the beers.  Give me New York any day.


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When in doubt post a cute picture of baby.


The other night at dinner she carefully stacked all of her blueberries on her watermelon.  All while singing a little song.

She hums/sings this same song over and over and has for months.  I have no idea what she’s saying or where she picked it up but I cannot WAIT for her to talk better and say the actual words.  We’ll finally know what she’s been singing all these months.


My how we’ve grown.

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So you all got me walking down memory lane. I have spent most of the night looking for old pictures. I am missing a box of really old and funny ones. However, I did find a few to entertain.  Lucky for you all Rob got this for his birthday.  I mostly stuck to pictures of Vin and Brian, in celebration of Vin’s wedding.  I had to limit myself somehow….otherwise you would all be bored to tears.

I challenge you all to post pictures of your “formal” gowns.   Me first.2648567642_3985445d1a

Chad  (my date), me, Janine (Vin’s date), and Vin.  1991… 17 years ago.  Wow.  Check out that dress.  It could do double duty as a curtain!


Here we are again – another dress-up event.  This was the perm stage…  1993… 15 years ago.


Me and Bri, Washington DC, class trip, 1990.  There are so many fashion forward elements in this photo – can you spot them all?


I can date most of these pictures by the glasses I’m wearing.  This was 1994… 14 years ago.  We are due to graduate high school in a few months. 


This didn’t scan so great – but it’s one of my favorite pictures of us.  Taken in 2000, at Brian’s engagement party.  Damn I was skinny. 

If I find that damn box I’ll post the really funny ones.  I know there are a few of me and Jolene in there that are blackmail material.

Thanks for humoring me…now I want to see those dresses!!!

Was it the third shot that did it?

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Vin and Jen – two very beautiful people.

We celebrated the marriage of an old friend of mine, Vinnie, this weekend. We have known each other for – um, 22 years? Our friendships goes back to the days of Jams. I was very fortunate to grow up among people who became my life long friends. We all met in grade school or junior high and are still as close as PB&J. Not all of them were at this wedding but some of the best were.2643753893_3f9c646020

Brian, Me, Vinnie, Jolene and Todd after Vin took his Jack Daniels and spilled it down my ass while we were possing for this picture. Thus christening me a “jackass”. Barrel full of laughs I tell you.


I really should pull out some old pictures of us in junior high. I suspect that the only thing that has changed is the amount of weight we’re carrying. Because we, clearly, haven’t matured any.

As I mentioned a few days ago, Vin is one of the reasons why being back “home” is so much sweeter. He has watched us all pair off through the years and now it is his turn. I adore his bride. She is kind, genuine and loves to laugh. I am pretty protective of him and it relieves me to know that he has someone by his side who truly cares for him.


The wedding event was a nice excuse for Rob and I to get away for a night. This group of people parties pretty hard and while I have never been a huge drinker or partier these folks seem to bring out the reckless side of me. We all stayed at the Inn where the reception was held. Recipe. For. Disaster.

Here is a photo-log of my demise.


4:30 pm – Post wedding, pre-reception. Stone Sober.


5:57 pm – Pre-dinner. The bar has been open for over an hour. The announcements have just begun. Not sober, Not drunk.


9:42 pm – Post-dinner. Dancing has commenced and clearly I did not need that shot.  That’s Becky, Brian’s (pictured above) wife – she was smart to decline this round.


12:00 am – Post-reception, we migrated to the Tiki Bar next door (the reception was on a lake).  I was feeling pretty great right about now…


12:09 am – Rob sends me to bed. Vin and Jen are on their way back out to the bar. As it turns out the whole lot of them were out until 2:30am – clearly I am a light weight.

It was a GREAT weekend. I love weddings.  And it was super nice to be with Rob for the whole event.  It was awesome.








So Happy Together

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I actually put on make-up and did my hair. He was actually ready on time.2644510658_260d67b5c6

July 5, 2008 – Right before Vinnie’s Wedding Ceremony.

This was the start of not only our first night away from baby – but our first date in a looooong time.


Baby was excited to get rid of us – she had a keg hidden in the garage.


Happy Independence Day!

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A perfect day to jump on a bandwagon…

Where was I ten years ago – July 4, 1998.  Washington, DC.  My first 4th in Washington.  If you have never done it – you should.  It’s kick ass.  A moving and wonderful way to spend the holiday.  I had finished college in January earlier that year.  Finished in 3.5 years and spent my last semester “working” full time for a professor.  Ha!  In May I had  moved to Manassas, VA, I lived in an old carriage house in the Manassas National Battlefield (that would be the Battle of Bull Run to us northerners).  This was by far one of my most favorite places I lived.  That park moved me in many ways.  You could literally feel the history there.   I was there as part of an Student Conservation Association / Americorps internship.  I worked to help restore some of the natural ecology of the park while still keep the historical landscape intact – not an easy task.  I was dating a very weird boy (completely lost track of him, I wonder where he is) and nursing a broken heart.   I was generally having a good time in DC.  Life was good.

Five things on Today’s to-do list – well it’s late and my day is done so I’ll do tomorrows.

1.  sleep in (Sophia didn’t sleep much while we were gone, therefore neither did i)

2.   spend time with Sophia who will hopefully not be as grumpy as she has been these last few days. (see number 1 above)

3.  go to the wedding of one of my nearest and dearest – Vinnie.  We have known eachother since we were 12 (?) – 20 years.  We grew up together and managed (along with a few other mutual friends) to stay close.  He is one of the reasons why coming back home was more pleasant.  It’s amazing to watch your childhood friends become adults and turn in to more incredible people every day.

4.  go to the wedding reception – rob and i are spending the night at the inn where the reception is located.  initially this was supposed to be our first “weekend” away since having baby.  but our trip to kentucky had to take place and the weekend was cut to a night.  we’re only going a short distance from our home….but it’s long enough to warrent a night at the inn.  it’s on a lake and we’ll be able to have a bit more fun this way.  i hope.

5.  Relax and be young.   It’s really a shame that we have to remind ourselves to do this.  But, there it is – relax and be young.  You should put it on your to-do list as well!

Snacks I enjoy.

I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  I inherited it from my Dad, who inherited it from his mom, who likely inherited it from her parents.  Damn Italians.  It’s bad – but not out of control.  Lately (and most of the time) ice-cream kicks it…but I also love chocolate, store bought cake, fruit (especially strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and mangos), fresh cannolis (they cannot be old, I destest old cannolis).

Funny story about my Grandma.  When we were cleaning out her kitchen cupboards after she passed away we found a box filled with chocolate bars hidden up on a top shelf.  hehehe.  None of us were surprised.  We all had similar ones in our cupboards.  We learned from the master!

Things I would do if I was a billionaire.

Blah, blah, blah.  I really don’t have anything new to offer here.  I would pay off my debts and the debts of those close to me.  I would quit work and start a foundation to help disadvantaged women in my city.  I would travel.  A lot.  But I would bring Sophia’s entire bedroom set and walls with me wherever we went so that she would sleep and I could sleep and we could all sleep and that sleep would bring us happiness and bliss and non-sleepy days and sleep filled nights.  Man, that would be great.

Places I have lived.

(in order of appearance, with duplicates removed)

1.  Dallas, TX  – where i was borned until i was 9 months

2.  Rural upstate NY, outside of Rochester, NY – from when i was 9 months until i was  11

3.  Suburbs outside of Rochester, NY – from when i was 11 until i went to college at 18

4.  Oxford , Ohio – during four years of undergraduate

5.  Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – for a semester of undergraduate

6.  Manassas, VA – for nine months after undergraduate

7.  Athens, GA – for two years during graduate school

8.  Boston, MA – for six years after graduate school

Guess where my heart still is?

Jobs I have had

babysitter, pizza parlor worker, waitress, camp counselor,  garden store worker, fund raiser, research assistant, lab tech, national park service intern, database manager, nanny, teacher, environmental scientist, research manager

That’s all – enjoy the long weekend..