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  1. makes me LAUGH

    October 2, 2007 by rebecca

    Since it’s my brother’s birthday today I hopped onto, which I’d read about in the NY Times, and spent a lovely twenty minutes going through the site, especially the “Confessions” section. I’m sorry, but these really get me. Some of you will recognize yourselves!

  2. Tregellys

    October 1, 2007 by rebecca

    My husband wrote a  great post about a lil jaunt we took last weekend with the kids, to Tregelly’s Fiber Farm slash Tibetan village right ‘chere in New England.  Llamas and sheepies and yaks, oh my!  It was actually quite mind-blowing and those of you in the area should check it out:


    Our girls went nuts.  There was a nasty little scene where an old ram came over and… rammed a young spring lamb with his powerful-looking horns, while Six was admiring the little guy.  But other than that, a very peaceful, bucolic scene.

  3. My girl thinks this girl is super-cute

    September 30, 2007 by rebecca

     Her handle is Aznplucky, and she loves Hairspray: The Musical soundtrack too! And for some reason older daughter Six is fascinated by her. Check out her station. Isn’t she cute? We spent the morning drawing her picture. Love the Leila-puffs!

    My girl thinks this girl is super-cute too. Which leads us to wonder: Am I going to be spending my whole day drawing Japanese pop singers in colored pencil?

    And when I was a little girl, I thought this girl was super-cute:

    Oh that poor horse.  Does Cher have any idea what she’s doing up there on it, do you think?  I remember her as being much more naked, and in sharper profile, looking at the camera.  Maybe there’s an image on the other side too, but it took me twenty minutes just to find this picture, so I’m not going back in there!

  4. For my animal-loving friends

    September 25, 2007 by rebecca

    You can see a whole buncha these at I Can Has CheeseburgerJoshilyn says she says they’re called LOLCats.  And she knows ever’thun!

    Don’t get started unless you has time on yer hands.

  5. Mommies Make Bad Literary Critics

    September 24, 2007 by rebecca

    I hate to even tell you how long my four pages took me this morning. That’s all I’m trying to do, before anything else (email, blogging, picking at my toenails): four pages. Four measly little pages. Why are they so hard to fill? Why?

    Ok, here’s something that’s been bothering me: Since becoming the mother of two little girls, I can’t read Lolita anymore.

    I tried. I really did. I brought it to the gym with me, best place of all places to lose oneself in a good book. I’ve read Lolita before, at least a couple of times, and saw the original movie with James whats’-his-name. I loved it. Poor Delores Haze, persecuted brat that she was. I loved how the language in that book works, I loved how he marries poor Shelley Winters only in order to seduce her adolescent daughter. I loved the descriptions of middle America, and road America. I loved how Lolita starts sneaking around with someone even creepier than Humbart Humbart: creepy Peter Sellers as Quilty — Qu’il t’y, “who is it,” as some critic pointed out — and his creepy accomplice Vivian Darkbloom (a near anagram of Vladimir Nabokov, thanks to same critic), who is like freakin’ Morticia Addams directing the high school play, in the middle of all this. And I loved how HH had fallen in love with Lolita by the end of the book, when she is Mrs. Richard Schiller, happy and pregnant; and then we find out that Lolita dies. She’s never allowed to become a fat old mother, like Shelley.

    Oh, the whole thing is so weird and funny and heartbreaking. I couldn’t wait to get back into it.

    And then I started reading. I grew increasingly uncomfortable as I made my way through the first chapter; and then I got to the part where he’s all blissed out because some child had to crawl under the park bench where he was sitting to get a toy…and I had to put it down. Couldn’t do it, just could not. Because the man is an f’in pervert. And where before I could understand it as a GENIUS piece of LITERATURE, and look down at the reactionaries having the reactionary reactions against it, well, I don’t have that anymore. All I can think is, God, what a pervert.

    Which SUCKS! Cuz it really is a great book! But, you know, no. Just…uh-uh. Sorry. My critical days are CLEARLY behind me. Wahh!

  6. Photoblog Thursday

    September 20, 2007 by rebecca

    Today, since I’m supposed to be balancing the accounts and paying the bills instead of writing, a little photo tour around the house.

    First, we have this.

    Does anyone want to take a crack at that? Huh? I don’t even know what to say. Except I LOVE MY KIDS!

    Next up, from the refrigerator, which I found after Andrew came home from work one night:

    Yep, you got it. That’s fresh fruit in a plastic Biohazard bag!

    Lastly, this fun lil network timekiller, which you can play with here: Get your name in Flickr photos!
    R E B E C CA

    L O V e S
    A N for NormandieD Stop R E W

    (Thanks to Everyday Mommy for massive grooviness.)

  7. Days of Awe: Day Two

    September 17, 2007 by rebecca

    …which comes from the word “AWFUL.”  In case you didn’t know.

    So we’re busy over here reflecting and repenting and  ULTRADIETING (brown rice and steamed veggies until you puke) so perhaps it hit me a bit harder than it should when Six came home from school today with a broken heart.

    It seems that one of her BFFs BFF’d with another.  There was sitting really close together and looking away when spoken to.  Changing the rules of the game so no one else would know how to play.  Widespread reports of exclusiveness and non-inclusion.   The usual torments of the heart.

    There were, I am sorry to say, tears.

    Oh it just hit too close to home today.   For some reason I have recently been pondering my own folly at bringing sentient beings into the world.  They were so innocent, so happy, those simple sex cells.  They did not ask for this, no they did not.  They only wanted to swim and play and gambol about in the safety of their own viscous membranes.  But we had to go and get ‘em together.  Who do I think I am, God?

    Strangely enough, my dinner of brown rice and an ULTRASHAKE did nothing to dispel these feelings of gloom.  With any luck, though, the ULTRABATH I shall run for myself later tonight will.  Or the ULTRAGINANDTONIC that I will have to make myself, if all else fails…

  8. Steamin’ and Daytimin’ and Rockin’ Out

    September 12, 2007 by rebecca

    If you haven’t already done so in the past six months — or, like moi, EVER — run out to yer Price Chopper or Piggly Wiggly and rent yourself a steam cleaner!!

    Holy bejeebus! What an unbelievable experience!

    It was truly one of the most satisfying afternoons of my whole summer. My mom was here and we both marveled, and gagged a little, as I dumped bucket after bucket of filthy, filthy water into the sink. I just couldn’t believe we’d been living with such dirty carpets, of which there are only a few, but still. Yeeeecccchhh!!!


    Personal organizer update: I ended up buying a new Daytimer on eBay, and ordering the refill pages directly from the Daytimer web site. The binder arrived today, and it’s a bit cheapish, like maybe it was bought at Staples or something, but it’ll do the trick. It’s leather, it’s brown, it’s small but not too small (like that Filofax turned out to be). My Daytimer pages are now at the FedEx “sortation” center in Virginia, according to my tracking number. Do you know what those are called, when they close down? Ex-sortation centers. Heh heh heh.

    GOD I miss Beavis & Butthead! Remember them?

    Anyway, I think we saw our way through the personal organizer situation, and we can all breathe easy now. Thanks for your support during these trying times.


    If you want a treat, and I know you do, login to and type in “Aimee Mann” as your artist. (To make it even easier, you can just copy Aimee Mann here, and paste it in!) I listened for maybe six hours yesterday, and was never once disappointed. It was amazing how wonderful each and every song was. I even discovered a new artist I heart, who goes by the name of …nope, it’s gone. I’ll have to poke around and see if I can find it. FEIST, that’s it. Kind of a Nellie McKay vibe. rocks, and I’m really, really peeved that Robert won’t join it with me. Unless, of course, he has, and is just waiting to release it as one of his SITES OF THE MONTH. OH,kiss my grits, you can see what I’m listening to, right over there!

    ACK! ACK! SPIT IT OUT, SPIT IT OUT! JUST as I was typing this, threw up Big & Rich at me! Eeeeeek, what is THAT shit doing on my Aimee Mann list? I’d rather swallow a gallon of carpet steamer runoff! Mommy, make it stop!

  9. This Sunday’s New York Times Book Review — Actually Worth Reading!

    September 10, 2007 by rebecca

    First of all, I’d like to announce that I will now be using Porochista Khakpour’s author photo as MY author photo.

    I will also be using Porochista Khakpour’s age (29) as MY age. I will find out where she got that lovely liquid eyeliner and begin using it myself. Actually Porochista Khakpour looks like the love child of my friend Marisa and Cher, doesn’t she? (OH that link is gonna make Blobby so happy!)

    And I will, naturally, be assuming the name Porochista Khakpour. You can call me Chista, of course. Hey Chista! you can yell. Get yer keister over here, Chista!

    Note to self: More boobage in the next author photo shoot. Actually, that’s a note to KEVIN.  Boobie it up, man!

    Also in the Sunday NYTimes Book Review: a review of THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, by the wonderful Diane Ackerman. And Diane, we DO love you, we do…but WHY did you use this construction for the title of your otherwise-tantalizing-sounding book? Has it not been used enough? The this’s that. The whoseit’s whatsit. I know she did not choose this title for her book; I think her editor just could not resist it, given the popularity of those other titles. But really; we’re done with that.  Until, of course, I write THE AUTHOR’S MAIN CHARACTER.

    Hey, I kind of like that!

    And imagine my hyperventilating excitement when I turned the page and saw an ad for the New York Times Literary Brunch featuring these authors:

    Alan Alda
    Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself (Random House)
    Stephen L. Carter
    New England White (Alfred A. Knopf)
    Chris Matthews
    Life’s a Campaign (Random House)
    Ann Patchett
    Run (HarperCollins Publishers)
    Tom Perrotta
    The Abstinence Teacher (St. Martin’s Press)

    Tom Perrotta, people! Ann Patchett! ALAN ALDA! Then, if you possibly can, and many of you will not be able physically to reach this level of excitement, imagine what I felt when I got to the web site to see if there were possibly any tickets left to this event (which happens to correspond with the out-of-town trip my husband needs to take) when I saw that this had been added at the last minute, because not to include her in the ad that ran would have been absolute madness:

    Amy Bloom
    Away (Random House)

    Amy BLOOOOOOOM!! My hands shook, shook I tells ya, as I typed in my credit card information. But the darn thing wouldn’t let me buy two tickets, so when I returned to the selection screen, it told me that there might not be any left! Shriek! Luckily I thought to pick up the phone and call the 800 number, PRAYING that there were some left (now I know how Blobby felt trying to score those Madge tickets in NYC), and lo and behold, by the time the INCREDIBLY SLOW TYPING person got done taking my info, I was able to purchase my two seats to this event.

    Which is a HUGE DEAL and I am SO EXCITED! I mean, just being in the same room with, with…ALAN ALDA!

    He looks just like my Dad, btw. If Alan Alda had a baby with Sean Connery, anyway.

  10. How to make a writer’s day

    September 9, 2007 by rebecca

    So, if you really really really want to make a writer’s day, send her an email with this in the subject header line:

    I loved loved loved your book…

    It will not only make said writer burst into immediate tears of gratefulness, but also ensure that yours is the FIRST email she opens at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. And if you wanted to make that writer weep even HARDER you could mention that the writing is “beautiful” and “thoughtful and original” and the metaphors are “fantastic,” the “characters” “real and fresh and funny” … oh, hellsapoppin, how about I just give you the whole thing!

    …and I loved reading about the DC I used to live in, one that had almost nothing to do with the Hill and everything to do with odd personalities and tiny mom and pop businesses (and Safeway…)

    OK, frankly: that’s it. That’s why we do this, am I wrong? I’m not. NOTHING feels that good. OK, getting an agent and a contract DID feel that good, I’m not going to lie. But you have to figure that’s not purely about the writing, if you know what I mean. You make someone stay in bed reading all morning, though — PRICELESS. Thanks Paige! Everyone, go visit Paige’s blog and see how wonderful she is! And not just because she — everyone, say it together! — loved loved loved my book, but because she has a great blog going on there.

    And if you really want to IMPRESS a writer, here’s what you do: Be an actress!

    I’m sorry, what I MEANT was, be a hilariously funny, charming, sweet-faced actress, who is VERY VERY BRAVE (direct quote from famous actor I’m not at liberty to divulge!)!

    It’s not (much of!) a stretch. She’s all this in real life too — it’s just…doing it on a STAGE?? In front of people, probably the same people who are always waiting there in wings, secretly judging you? This is my friend Dana — as you will see from the absence of a hotlink she has NO WEB PRESENCE, WHICH MUST BE RECTIFIED IMMEDIATELY — and she was the BELLE of Shakespeare & Company this summer, her very first season. She had a part in Moliere’s Scapin as Nerine, the maid, who to me OWNED that show by the rollicking end of it. The girl also has VERY YOUNG children, did I mention that?? She has been nursing and shuttling to school and basically losing it every other second like the rest of us shlubs for the past six years, but then she went and got all shiny shiny and found some incredible source of energy and vitality and just went up and made a huge scene in front of everybody. She had an even better role (in my HMO, which is, for the record, Tufts PPO) in a staged reading for the directors of the company — they only had two weeks to rehearse, and the actors mostly carried their scripts — but NOT D! Oh no, she had her (many, many) lines memorized, and where she did THAT in between performing Scapin and her duties as House Manager and MOMMY, I do not know. Presumably that came out of Marc’s column; but I’m not going to ask.

    Anyway, she was SO GOOD in this staged reading — she was all over the place, in the physical comedy dept. We kept thinking about Lucille Ball and oh, who’s that super-bendy one? Auntie Mame and the Cary Grant Girl Friday movie — Rosalind Russell! Thanks, IMDB! She had that quality of being totally inside the character and going going going with it — she even fell off the stage at one point, and it was totally in-keeping with her character but given Marc’s reaction I wasn’t sure it was planned — and it was the freakin’ highlight of the proceedings, may I add — and also the precise moment that I thought, How do you DO this? How do you get up there and just let it fly like that? No idea. I would just be up there with my sphincter in a twist, worrying about passing gas. Honestly, that is what I think about, ninety percent of the time I’m in a theatrical performance: Please, please dear God don’t let anyone pass gas. Because I would just DIE WITH MORTIFICATION for whoever did it and right there and then I would have to open my purse and throw all my cash at them and scream, “Flee, flee now, wretched soul, disappear into the darkness of night!!”

    Anyway, this isn’t about gas. It’s about ME. Let’s not lose sight of that, okay? And *I* (damn, I wish I could capitalize that) was impressed that I knew a girl who could haul herself up in front of people and just charm the socks offa the house. WITHOUT passing gas, too, I’d like to point out.

    Or, not so’s you noticed, anyway.