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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in amanda_mary's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010
2:22 pm
MaryAlice has been nursing less and less frequently since she turned two, which doesn't make me feel especially wistful, really. I'm confident that this represents the natural course for our nursing relationship (whereas, with Stuart, my pregnancy likely prompted his "self-weaning" at 15 months).

That doesn't mean that I'm not slightly offended that she opted to cut this morning's nursing session short because she was more interested in watching Sponge Bob.

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
4:25 pm
I am unreasonably anxious that I flubbed the date on the "Stone Soup Luncheon" (whereat the children prepare a meal for parents and other adult guests), hosted by Stuart's preschool. I could have sworn the parents of the Tuesday and Thursday morning class kids were meeting at 11:00 on Thursday.

Now I'm second-guessing myself. Why would Stuart have asked for a potato and onion to bring to school this morning? I mean, presumably so the teachers could do all the necessary peeling and dicing without eight three-to-five-year-olds underfoot. Still, I'm second-guessing.

Somehow, these things have become Very! Important! It's oddly centering.

I don't think I even need to explain the impetus for my tattoo.

Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye ...Collapse )

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
9:52 am
From Livejournal's (sponsored) "Writer's Block" prompt:

Secretariat is the impossible true story of one of the greatest athletes of all time and the extraordinary woman who believed in him...

For those of you who don't know, here is Secretariat.

Oh, Writer's Block. Where do I even begin to deconstruct this? The spurious use of the term "athlete"? The fact that this is being pitched as yet another "stand by your man" story, but, even more degradingly, the man in question is a horse?!


Current Mood: amused
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
3:58 pm
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is sponsoring a children's Halloween costume contest again this year, which means that I'm going to be spamming everyone with vote requests soon. So steel yourselves for that.

In the meantime, please help me decide which image of Stuart dressed as Max from Where the Wild Things Are (apparently a popular costume due to Halloween's coincidence with the release of the film adaptation of the book) to submit.

Your choices are ...Collapse )

Current Mood: busy
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
11:04 am
I made a Waldorf-style doll for MaryAlice's second birthday (this past Saturday). This was something I'd wanted to have finished for her birthday last year. Then it was pushed up to Christmas. It finally existed as something other than a disembodied, hairless head around early August when I decided to buckle down and complete a little bit of it whenever I could steal an hour or two from myself.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the way it came out ... although some elements of the construction process continue to baffle and frustrate me. (How do you eliminate the chin-puckering? I even tried to "inject" additional wool batting, through a hidden slit, in a macabre, reverse-doll-liposuction procedure!). I tend to have my own, somewhat circuitous approach to projects like these; so I imagine a lot of my frustrations could be solved if I just, you know, followed my internet tutorials more faithfully. Traditional modes of spatial reasoning are not my strong-suit, I guess.

There are a couple of hastily-captured pictures beneath the cut. I'm thinking of putting the hair into buns, á la Bamboletta, because it tends to get a little bit out-of-control when MaryAlice actually, like, plays with the doll. Other than that, I think I've shown admirable restraint in nit-picking avoidance!

Also accepting name suggestions! MaryAlice came up with the mildly prosaic "Dolly".Collapse )

Stuart has requested a "boy doll" for his birthday (in December). So it looks like I'll be taking another crack at it! And, while we're on the subject: if anyone has great insights on boy doll wig-making, I'm all ears ... .

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
10:14 am
Stuart: "Mommy, you are my son."

Me: "You are my son, Stuart. I'm your mommy."

Stuart: "No, no -- you are my sun. Like the song you sang to me when I was a baby. You are my sunshine/My only sunshine ... ."

Me: (*melts*)

Current Mood: touched
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
1:52 pm
The fact that this thread, on the IMDb message board for The Human Centipede, is ten pages long kind of warms my heart.

"Being in a human centipede is a team effort, people!"

NB: Best not to read while eating. Or, for those with weak stomachs, ever.

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
1:51 pm
I watch the vegancooking community, and recently started tracking trashy_eats (after it was featured in the Community Spotlight), too.


Talk about "... and never the twain shall meet."

Current Mood: amused
Friday, August 13th, 2010
10:20 am
Thursday, August 12th, 2010
11:45 am
This is going to sound completely whack-a-doo to folks whose thought processes aren't as rigid as mine (read: most of the population, probably), but I've had two epiphanies in the kitchen recently, in the the form of a roasting pan (if you follow that hyperlink -- oh my god! I hope mine didn't cost $199! I received it as a gift a while back) and a box grater. I even used both, in tandem, last night when I made Mark Bittman's oven roasted hash browns!

My lack of roasting pan experience is a little more understandable (maybe?), because I had always associated roasting with meat; and meat and I parted ways a number of years ago. But, sometime this spring, I realized that roasting vegetables was, you know, a thing. So now it's pretty much, "Hey! What manner of preparation would suit [given foodstuff]? How about roasting?" (Even on days when the heat index is 105. Because I'm smart like that). In addition to vegetables, I've given marinated tofu and seitan a whirl (a sedentary whirl) in the roasting pan with great results.

My sad, sad neglect of the box grater is more absurd. Sure, we'd used it before. For shredding cheese, and ... cheese. Then, last month, we had a small bounty of zucchini that was risking relegation to the compost bin. I was thumbing through a cookbook (Bittman again. He's a good one for not assuming culinary genius in his readership) and found a recipe for Korean-style squash pancakes that could be easily veganized for the Stu-boo. The recipe called for, let's say, two cups of zucchini, "shredded with the grating disc of a food processor (don't have one at the moment) or with a hand grater."

"Well, that seems far too challenging!" I thought.

Um, it's not. A little time-consuming, sure. (It took me about eight minutes to peel and grate two pounds of potatoes for yeterday's hash browns). And it would probably be bad, bad news for carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers. On the whole, though, I was shocked by how fool-proof this method was. Now, I know I'll probably tempt fate and grate the last nub of turnip just a little too far and end up with bloody knuckles. The honeymoon phase has to end some day.

Until then: root vegetable party at my place!

Current Mood: silly
Friday, August 6th, 2010
11:59 am
(The hyperlinked image contains partial, albeit artful, nudity).

We have a framed postcard of this Adolph de Meyer photograph (the original is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is where I got the postcard), hanging in our bathroom.

Okay, yes. It's creepy. The mask pretty much seals the deal. So I get why MaryAlice was a little frightened of it this morning.

What I don't understand is why she was referring to the figure in the photograph as, "Daddy."

Current Mood: amused
Friday, July 30th, 2010
10:32 am
So this has got to be a remake of the excellent 1998 French film The Dinner Game, right?

Not. Necessary.

Unless you're majorly subtitle-averse (and the only legitimate excuse for that, in my mind, is if you have difficulty reading, period), there is nothing-nothing-nothing about the original that is inaccessible ... or even particularly challenging. It's good. Classic. Humor (featuring a slight moral undercurrent, a mid-point shift in the audience's allegiances, plenty of physical gaffes, etcetera). Now I'm in the mood to rent it again!

Current Mood: okay
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
4:11 pm
Because a number of people requested it, here is a link to my Amazon Marketplace storefront.

Before you peruse my inventory, I feel I must offer the following PSA: if any of you recognize an item listed as one that you lent us, and you don't want me to sell it, please speak up! With as many books and DVDs as we have, keeping track of their origins is often ... challenging.

(This was all spurred by a conversation Cullen and I had the other day.

Cullen: "Uh, when did you buy this Rush - R30 DVD?"

Amanda: "I didn't. I thought it was yours ... ."

In other news: Derek, we have your Rush - R30 DVD).

On the other hand, if you do want me to try to sell your "borrowed" (probably a euphemism for "stolen" at this point!) and pass along whatever meager profit might come from the sale, that's cool, too.

Remember that, after the first of the year, it's open season on all the remainders (except the more expensive art books)!

Current Mood: busy
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
11:13 am
Oh. Am I still doing this?

30-day TV Survey: Days 16 - 21Collapse )

Current Mood: working
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
8:38 pm
We are liquidating a huge portion of our book and DVD "holdings" (as I said on Facebook, it's too haphazard to even be considered a collection) by way of Amazon Marketplace. Before you swoop in and suggest another venue, understand that I am willing to "pay" -- or, more accurately, lose out on profit -- for convenience. Everything is priced so that we'll make at least a dollar per item after seller's fees and shipping costs are factored in. But, although making a little money is a good side-effect of this effort, it isn't the driving force behind the decision.

Basically, we have too much ... stuff. Books and DVDs sit on shelves, unread or unviewed for years, simply because (and I'm only speaking for myself) they're like proud, little external manifestations of the complexity of my personal tastes, the diversity of my background. For example, I'm parting with a lot of the source material for major critical essays and research papers I did in grad school. The De-Moralization of Society stays (mostly because I'm still gobsmacked that Gertrude Himmelfarb's scholarship was at all relevant to my thesis), as do The Other Victorians and Armstrong's Victorian Poetry. And I'm keeping the majority of the referenced literature (except in the case of duplicate copies. Anyone need a spare Cranford?). Plus way more Adelaide Anne Procter than any non-academic should ever have, really. In other words, you can still look at our bookshelves and say, "Here resides a person who enjoys the work of Victorian-era women writers." But I have come to terms with the fact that I don't need to woo any (theoretical) potential friends ... or Mr. Rooter ... with a heap of impressive-sounding (or provocative-sounding: au revoir, Straight Sex) titles. No. One. Cares.

In part, too, I've kept all of it for as long as I have because I want to remind myself that my interests were once, well, "interesting" -- and maybe can be again. A lot of these have had to be sublimated (if not completely erased) in order to let parenting take the front seat for the time-being. I'm not crying over this, because I know it isn't a Forever thing ... which means that my kids' childhoods aren't, either. And that does make me a little misty-eyed. I guess I have this fear of being discovered as one of those moms, you know? And I am a bit ambivalent about that identity. I do put a lot of stock in my role as a parent and don't think I should be derided and called a "moo" because of it. But, again, this degree of being needed by the kids is transitory; I don't want my self-image to be completely wrapped up in mommyhood, only to be left out in the cold as Stuart and MaryAlice mature. It's a big old ouroboros is what it is.

In any case, I'm setting a deadline of January 1 to sell all my existing "stock," at which point everything but the more esoteric art books -- and perhaps others with a potentially high resale value -- will be offered up to friends, and anything left over shipped off to charity.

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
1:34 pm
30-day TV Survey: Days 14 - 15Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
8:41 am
Monday, July 12th, 2010
2:49 pm
30-day TV Survey: Days 11 - 13Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
Friday, July 9th, 2010
3:55 pm
30-day TV Survey: Day 10Collapse )

Current Mood: not working
Thursday, July 8th, 2010
12:22 pm
30-day TV Survey: Days 8 and 9Collapse )

Current Mood: tired
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