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You can never have enough light switches

The new house has a large kitchen.  In this kitchen are ten (yes, 10!) light switches.  Thirteen if you count the ones in the attached laundry area.  And one of those is taped "permanently" in the on position; it was like that when we moved in.  I may need an electrician to figure them all out; and I'm just plain scared of the one taped "on." 

Oh, and I walked into the "chandelier" in the (empty) dining room today.  Fortunately, neither of us were seriously injured. 


Bringing Back the Blog

OK.  After 7 months of radio silence, I am back.  And hopefully I will stay back because I am way out of touch with too many people and this is cheaper than therapy.

So greetings from the land of bubble wrap and boxes.  That's right. We finally bought a new house.  It only took 6+ years of looking.  Apparently, all I had to do was tell my husband I no longer wanted to buy a house because of the economic downturn.  Never underestimate the power of reverse psychology even if it is unintentional.  It was quite a process, & I hope to fill you all in with future postings.

The short story is that we are still in the same town; kids still in the same school.  We moved about a week and a half ago.  All the essentials are in place: washer & dryer, kids rooms mostly unpacked, and most important, TV/phone/cable/internet.  Oh, and DH has has the TV of his dreams, ie, HUGE! I figure it will start to feel like home in a year or so. 

We have one small issue to resolve (stay tuned for more details) and then we can bring in the painters.  After that, I can unpack and organize in earnest.  And God willing, I will never have to move again.

Signing off while be serenaded by cicadas!


NY Comic Con: Day 2

Can I just say that going in to NYCC yesterday and scoping the place out in advance was probably the second smartest thing I've every done.  [The first, of course, was marrying my DH.  Yes, I'm still sucking up because I DO want to go back tomorrow. ;)]  It was crowded yesterday, but today was insane.  In a good way.  I accomplished all the things on my list and even got in a few bonus items.  I also managed to make an idiot of myself several times; I think I may need some social skills training too.

1. Kim Harrison signingHere"s the proof.Collapse )  Yes, I was a completely inarticulate idiot when I talked with her (maybe 5 words of utter gibberish); although I might have seemed normal during my brief discussion with the guy in the leather jacket.

2. Anton Strout.  You'll just have to take my word for it.  His formal signing was last night so I figured I was out of luck and didn't bring Dead to Me with me.  So I was pretty excited when I say they still had ARCs of Deader Still.  And I nearly jumped out of my boots when I heard some say "I can sign that for you."   I talked so fast I could barely understand myself and was beyond geeky.  But he was gracious and still signed my book.

3. Sherrilyn Kenyon signing:  .  Thank god for SK.  This is the 2nd time I've had her sign something and she always makes you feel like you are her best friend.  She is just made of all kinds of awesomey goodness.  This could have been the only time I sounded sane all day.

4. Sci-Fi, Supernatural and Fantasy Panel discussion with Kim Harrison, Carrie Vaughn, Vicki Petterson, Jackie Kessler and many others whose (please forgive me) names escape me now.  It didn't help that I missed the first few minutes of this one when they were doing the introductions.  Very fun and lively; lots of laughs.

5. Caitlin Kittredge and Jackie Kessler signing of Black and White.  I also picked up Mirrored Heavens (signed by David J. Williams) while I was waiting for the B & W signing.  I think "goofy" probably describes my attempt at conversation here.

6. Jonathan Maberry signing of Patient Zero.  I was still basking in SK goodness, so I think I was coherent for this one.  It's a zombie book and I got to read a bit while I was there.  Sounds good.

7. I picked up a copy of 101 Ways to Kill Your Boss (Graham Roumieu) for the DH.  Autographed and complete with picture of the DH's boss ;)!

8. Four Bionicle books for The Boy.

9. Take a Chance # 1 from CE Murphy et al.  Awesome (as is related userpic).

10. Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex which is a parody of Goodnight Moon and priceless.  If The Munchkins had there way I'd still be upstairs reading them this over and over again.

I think that's it.   Back again tomorrow, which looks to be even busier.  Oasis Spa has a massage booth set up that I might have to visit. It's Kids Day, too.  Is it wrong to hip-check a child to get a better spot in line for an autograph?  Although there were some very cute kiddies there today in costume.  Mini-wolverine=too cute.  And they were all being really good too.  Almost makes me want to bring my munchkins.  Almost.  And some really interesting adult costumes too.  Sorry, no pics of those.  Maybe tomorrow if I'm feeling brave.

I'm exhausted so I can only imagine how wiped the people and writers who were working must be.  Thanks to all of them.

Geek, out.

Getting My Geek On!

Well I am no longer a Con virgin.  Today I ventured into NYC to check out NY Comic Con.  That's comic as in comic books not comedy, as I've had to explain to more that one friend lately.  Its a large comic conference but also includes science fiction, fantasy, anime, manga, etc.  Being a big reader of urban fantasy, my number 1 reason for attending is the presence of these authors* (in no particular order):

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Kim Harrison
Jeaniene Frost
Vicki Petterson
Jocelyn Drake
Caitlin Kittredge
Jackie Kessler
Anton Strout
Carrie Vaughn
Mo Willems (The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!)
Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)

And The Boy is a big fan of Superheroes and Star Wars so that's another great reason to go....I already brought him home a cool Marvel poster.

I ran in quickly today to get the lay of the land.  I was only able to stay an hour or so, but it was time well spent.  I figured out where I could stash my stuff and take a break.  I found the autographing and panel areas and feel a lot more comfortable about getting around tomorrow and Sunday which should be much more crowded.

There were lots of interesting/cool costumes.  Many people were taking pictures with assorted characters.  I'll have to bring my camera tomorrow in case I get up my nerve to ask for a picture with Chewy or a clone trooper or someone more exotic.

I'm obviously a newbie since I did get the "this your first con?" question.  Perhaps the dazed and confused expression on my face gave me away.

Initial Observations:

1. Most people were very friendly.  Things were a bit unorganized at first and some attendees were a frustrated, but it didn't bother me.  Patience and tolerance are natural by-products of having twins.  Add a few special needs to the equation and I fully understand a snafu here or there or running behind schedule.

2. I hadn't been to NY in awhile. I love the city, but some things never change.  The security staff could use a little social skills training:
Security: "Not through here."  [rudely, abruptly]
Confused attendee (no,  not me): "What do you mean?"  [politely, probably from out of town]
Security: "What I said;  not through here!"  [even more rudely and abruptly] 

Let me translate that last line for you: "Sorry, folks.  This is an exit.  The entrance is over there."  I know they're not there to socialize per se, but a little courtesy never hurts.

3. There was also a Travel Professionals Convention of some sort going on at the same time in the Javits Center.  I think those poor folks were really confused by everything.  Imagine a group of people in conservative suits watching 2 women dressed as Jabba the Hutt's slave girls take a picture with Spiderman.

I'm looking forward to going back tomorrow and will be toting in a ton of books to get signed.  There will be more time to just wander around and only 2-3 scheduled things that have to take place at a given time.  On Sunday, I have a list of about 8 things I want to do, several of which happen simultaneously.  Maybe someone can clone me? :)

Kudos to the DH.  This has been a very busy week for me (8 meetings), and he's been acting as the primary parent all week; but I still get to go tomorrow and Sunday. <3 <3 <3

*I've probably forgotten almost as many as I've listed.


Fear of Books

OK, how weird is this?  I have a book that I am afraid to read.  Afraid of how good I think it will be.  Afraid of that, "I need more" feeling when it ends.  I thinks know I have a problem.  Does this happen to anyone else or just me?

Don't worry.  I will read it.  I have a chance to meet the author next month and am determined to have read it by then.



Why do I keep thinking I can do origami?

Is wrong to drink the beer I got for my husband for Christmas via the "Beer of the Month" club?

It's only 11 months to December.  Do the Christmas decorations have to go back into the closet?  Can't I just leave the boxes in the basement like I did last year?

Why aren't there rainbows when it's sunny and snowy at the same time (from The Girl)?

I want to go to Iceland with my mom.

I can't decide which of the 12 new books I bought to read first.  I think I'm going to have to resort to "eeny meeny miny mo."

I know I'm biased, but I think my kids are really cute.

The artificial pre-lit Christmas tree I bought has to go back.  I've never seen pine needles in nature that even remotely resemble the ones on the tree.  Sigh.  Will send it back tomorrow, weather permitting (6-11" of snow predicted).

Wish the husband would get better soon. It's just a virus, but it's been a week already.  He doesn't handle being sick well; he keeps saying he has dysentery!

I want a pet.  Specifically a cat or a dog.

Enough for now. TTFN.

Note To Self

I have just returned from the big holiday "food" shop.  For some reason they don't call it grocery shopping in NJ; just another part of the Jersey mystique.  I am so tired but have a ton of things to do.  However, they can all be lumped together in the cleaning category *shivers in horror.*  But truly I am not procrastinating.  I am starting to feel the stress of the holidays and need to take a quick and therapeutic break.  So a few quick notes for me to remember:

1. My house will not be perfect for the holidays.  In fact it will make the Island of Misfit Toys look like a barren wasteland.  But it is filled with love too.  And my inlaws have all seen it all before.  And my beloved brother-in-law will be bringing wine.  And my sister-in-law is bringing cookies.  She makes the world's best cookies.

2. The holidays will be tough for The Boy and therefore tough for me.  Tougher than the typical day is, which of late, is pretty tough.  The Boy is doing great in school, but the second he sets eyes on me he's a whole different kid.  His teacher witnessed it for the first time this week and was flabbergasted. (Usually, one of the aide's delivers him to me at pick up time).  He tries to sit on the floor, or spins, or says he wants to stay at school.  It's a struggle to get him out of the building, but I've become so used to it that it seemed normal to me. (I have a really great set of blinders.)  His teacher is going to try and think up some strategies to improve his behavior at home during the break.  Which reminds me of something else:

3. Ask for help.  It is OK to ask for help.  People want to help.  Ask for help.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

4. The Girl is only 6.  God bless her; sometimes she acts like a mini-mom for The Boy.  She really seems to enjoy it, but I need to remember she's still little too.  She gets to act 6; she gets to melt down sometimes too.  She should be enjoying the holidays (& she is); not trying to help me manage The Boy.  I need to remember to give her a fair share of the attention and try to limit any stress she may pick up on.  (See #'s 1-3.)

5. Take DEEP breaths.  Take them often.

Now, the key is to remember these things over the next few weeks.  That, and schedule LOTS and LOTS of playdates.

Happy Holidays!  Stay sane and stay safe.

Ooooh.  And read FATHOM by Cherie Priest. 

Holiday Hodge-podge

16 days to Christmas. 16!  I'm not ready, of course.  I'm just not in the mood.  Perhaps I was more traumatized by last year's Christmas light fiasco than I thought.   Hmmmm.....never did get that pre-lit tree!  Maybe that explains the procrastination.  No tree.  No wreath.  I did manage to get the Advent calendar out for the kids.  The Girl can never remember how to say "Advent."  I think she called it the convent calendar once.  But motivated or not, I will find my holiday spirit.  I will.....tomorrow.

Quick update since I have been MIA for a while:

Thanksgiving was good.  It is my favorite holiday; and I do have a lot to be thankful for.  There are of course the serious things (family, friends, etc), but let's not forget to be thankful for pie.  I LOVE pie.  I made 5.  I gave two of them to the crew at the local coffee house who had to work on Thanksgiving.  I took the rest to the in-laws.  I married into the right family.  We ended up with one pie per person.  And I came home with 3.  Of course my fondness for pie may be linked to the fact that pumpkin pie is one of the few foods The Boy likes.  And it has pumpkin, milk and eggs in it.  Its practically health food.  Yes, I'm channeling Bill Cosby here.

The Munchkins both participated in separate Thanksgiving shows at their school.  The Boy said he didn't want me to come to  his (he never does!).  But that meant I could go to The Girl's program without feeling conflicted.  As per usual, I managed to NOT get it on tape.  But I did get pictures.  Check out their awesome pilgrim costumes.

I made those.  NO, really, I did!

The Boy scored major bonus points with DH because he was overjoyed to see him at his show.  Of course, then he asked Steve where I was {sigh}.  One of these days they'll perfect that cloning thing and I'll be all set.

And on a totally unrelated note, I still have a major crush on Timothy Hutton.  However, I was relieved to find out I'm not the only one.  And I think that is much more appropriate than having a crush an appreciation for the hottie at the coffee house who is young enough to be my son.

Now I MUST go do some Christmas shopping.  Cheers!

To Tree or Not to Tree?

Well, that WAS the question....

After searching for a house for 5+ years, we finally made an offer.  This house (House A as we'll call it) is a ranch on a completely flat lot with no trees.  OK, there are 2 but there are so far from the house they are practically in the street.  We had a verbal yes on our offer, but before the paperwork was signed, the seller said they had received another, higher bid.  Did we want to change our offer, they asked.  While we were considering this, the house next door to House A came on the market.  This house (House B) is a colonial.  It has is a relatively flat lot, a moderate amount of green lawn in the back yard, and then a slightly (IMO) wooded area.  House B has a nicer kitchen than House A, but it is listed at about 100K more than our formerly accepted offer on House A.

And this prompted the Great Tree Debate of 2008.  Forget the presidential debates, this is the stuff you really want to see.

Regarding House A:
DH:  Look at that flat lot.  No trees at all.  It's perfect.
Me:  The first thing I was going to do was plant trees.......
DH: [Looking horrified].   Uh....wait there are 2 trees right there.  I was planning to have those chopped down.  Maybe we could keep them?
Me: [Disgusted silence]

Regarding House B:
DH: We'd need to complete plow under the entire back yard.
Me: What! Why?
DH:  It's a forest.  All those big trees; all those spindly little trees.  You can't even walk through it.
Me:  Look at this nice stretch of lawn in the back yard.  They have a swing set and plenty enough room to kick or toss a ball back a forth.  And I'm sure my father would LOVE to come out with his chain saw and take care of all those spindly little trees.  But even with them, there is plenty of room to walk and play back here, even in the wooded part.
DH: You're crazy.
Me: But you keep telling me "it's all about the children," and the children LOVE trees.  I've seen them hug them. They've brought home seedlings from school that I am struggling to keep alive just so we can plant them "when we buy a new house."
DH: [Stubborn silence]

Of course, then the world came to an end and we decided to not do anything at all.  So the ranch will probably be sold to the people who put in the higher bid.  In time, the economy might stabilize, and House B might come down in price.  And I might convince my husbanded he is a frustrated woodsman.  Ha!


Fun Friday: Picture Day

cross posted from Spark of Denville

I’ll try and do a general blog here every Friday, but you all know how life is; so bear with me.

Today is picture day and you all are my witnesses.  My daughter picked her own outfit today for school pictures.  It was pink, naturally.  She also insisted on wearing a headband in her hair.  This sounds fine, but she insisted on wearing incorrectly.  It’s sitting about halfway back on her head but not pulling any hair back.  Nope, just sitting there on top of her head. I tried to convince her to wear it differently or not wear it all, but she insisted.  I believe in letting her express her little 6-year old self.  And I believe in picking my battles, especially 5 minutes before we have to leave from school.  BUT I know someday in the future she’s going to ask me why I styled her hair that way for pictures.  I’m sure she won’t believe that it was her idea…I’m counting on you to back me up on this!

Have a great weekend.