happy birthday, nephew L

brother G and SILM”s youngest is 5 today. happy birthday, L!

as a fellow third child, i feel quite connected to this little man, even if he lives on the west coast and i live on the east. even if he’s got the awesomest curly hair and mine is stick straight. even if he’s a boy and i’m a girl. even if he’s 5 and i’m, well, not. even if he’s short and i’m tall (he’s predicted to be well over 6 feet tall, so i have to use this while i still can.) even if he’s just starting school and i’ve been done with all levels longer than he’s been alive. even if he likes pineapple and i don’t. even if he’s wicked good at video games and i’m not.

okay, so maybe the only things we have in common are our genes, our birth order, and our lack of bravery when it comes to trying new foods.

either way, he’s a grand kid and i truly hope his year 5 is as unique as his fashion sense:


happy day, L!! i can’t wait to give you a proper birthday hug next month.


belated mother’s day

as you’re all aware, mother’s day was on 5/12, but we didn’t celebrate it until 5/26 because that’s when sister J, sister E, and myself had all invaded mom’s house and could offer hugs and kisses and breakfast in bed* like proper daughters.

*by breakfast in bed, i mean dinner at the dining room table.

i’ve written about my mom a lot on this blog, so much so, it would take me hours to link to all the posts, but here are some of my favorites. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven posts, plus one more that includes a bunch more links inside. however, just linking to the posts seems like a bit of the lazy woman’s way to say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM. YOU ROCK AND ARE THE AWESOMEST AND COOLEST AND HIPPEST MOM EVER.

and so, i’ll see you those eight posts and raise you one more. (my mom likes cards, i have to stick with that metaphor.) (cards, yes. gambling, no.) (unless she has a secret gambling addiction she’s kept professionally hidden all these years?)

where was i?

oh yes, my mom.

she’s the person i’ve known the longest in my life. i’ve known her longer than i even remember, but the memories we’ve made since i’ve been a so-called adult have been my favorites. she still manages to be there in a motherly fashion when i need her but those times are interspersed with moments where i’d call her my friend. it’s one of the few side effects of adulthood i actually enjoy.

in fact, mom, as friends, we should probably invent a secret handshake or something. maybe like this:

thanks for being my mom and my friend and willing to drink a bottle of wine or a cup of coffee and taking walks and cracking jokes and eating dinner and making dinner and listening to me and dispensing advice and pushing me out of my comfort zone and letting me dream and encouraging me and always being there. at the risk of repeating myself: YOU ROCK AND ARE THE AWESOMEST AND COOLEST AND HIPPEST MOM EVER. i love you.


foreign pearls of wisdom

because i only speak english, i’ve long been enchanted by foreign idioms. i love the word play of literal vs. figurative and how a combination of seemingly normal words can mean something totally different.

bulgarian: big cloud, little rain. (translation: all bark, no bite.)

brazilian: i have nothing to do with the fish. (translation: beats me.)

montana: all hat, no cattle. (translation: all bark, no bite.)

german: aller anfang ist schwer. (translation: all beginnings are difficult. the first step is the hardest.)

argentine: es un papa. (literal translation: it’s a potato.) (figurative translation: piece of cake.)

italian: in bocca al lupo. (literal translation: into the wolf’s mouth.) (figurative translation: good luck! break a leg!)

french: coup de foudre (literal translation: a bolt or flash of lightning.) (figurative translation: love at first sight.)

do YOU (yes, you) have any sayings i can add to my vocabulary?

book club

BOOK HUNGRY: gone girl

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

GONE GIRL by gillian flynn

what it’s about from amazon: 

Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

my opinion:

this book is SO not up my alley. it’s darker and seedier and more haunting and less laugh inducing than the books i normally choose to read. plain and simple, this book is unbelievably effed up and i hated the characters, but I FREAKING LOVED THIS STORY.

the characters are so vivid and unrelenting and flawed and malicious and wild and raw and not nice, but they remain entirely true to form throughout the whole book. it’s something i value — when the author lets the characters shine through which in turn blots out any hint of their own voice or agenda. these characters are mean and ugly and hideous and i’m sure they were delicious and horrible for gillian flynn to write. it takes some major guts to write characters that are this unlikeable and unrelatable. BRAVO, gillian flynn. BRAVO.

my very favorite part is the ending. it’s completely creepy, but absolutely spot on and exactly how the characters should/would/could have acted. i might have laughed* when it was over because i couldn’t believe flynn pulled off something this insane, this intense.

(*said laugh was of the menacing variety and also one born out of relief because if the book had gone on, it would have crossed a very dark line and i don’t know if i would have recovered from that.)

if you want a book that will take you on an incredible ride (from part II on), read this.

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convos with strangers

books and beyond

to reiterate my last post, i love books. i was amazed by stories of people’s first library cards then and now, i’m amazed by what books can inspire others to do.

introducing: margot wood, fauxtographer extraordinaire.

i first learned of her where i learn about everything, the twitter. someone had retweeted one of her fauxtos, which is to say, one of the scenes from a YA book she recreated and then captured on film. even i, a photography dunce, could tell the picture was stunning. granted, i’ve read or heard of most of the books that inspire her photos which makes it even more fun for me, but you don’t have to have read the book to appreciate her genius because she gives a non-spoilery account of what scene the image came from, who her model/s is/are, why she chose that scene, and any other juicy tidbits from the photo shoot.

she also has a wicked sense of humor, as is evidence by our twitter exchange with mindy mcginnis, author of the (much touted) upcoming novel NOT A DROP TO DRINK.

funny convo 1

funny convo 2

yet another reason why i love the twitter. it introduces me to the most extraordinarily creative, not to mention, like-minded people.

since mindy’s book isn’t out yet, let’s all sit back and enjoy margot’s fauxtographs!