Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This summer has been pretty uneventful. You know, I'm still trying to get my house in order. We finally finished all of our building inspections and passed them and now we're getting a fence and a yard together instead of a pile of dirt. We have a bunch of little, piddly annoying things left to do, but in all, it's totally habitable. I even have a nice porch where I have a pepper plant and some mint and basil and I've been loving being able to go out there and pick mint for my iced tea. Nothing is more refreshing in this heat than iced tea with lemon and mint and it has made me so happy. It's the little things, as they say.

Next week we're going on vacation. Baby Lawns is going to Millpond, among other places. She'll take her first plane ride, plus a ferry ride, plus a long car ride. We're going to Millpond to see the family, then to New Jersey to see friends and then we're off to Rhode Island to see family on my husband's side and I am beyond excited about that because I've always wanted to see the New England coast in the summer (mainly because of lobsters). We'll be gone over two weeks and I think it's going to be a big adventure. Traveling with a baby. Hmm. I was nervous and then I decided not to be because my baby is pretty flexible and easy going and seems to actually like being out and about and seeing the world. I also keep telling myself that I really don't need to pack a bazillion things because I am not going to a third world country and there are Targets in the Northeast. Imagine that. I can just buy whatever I forget or need. Miraculous, isn't it?

I have been all up in a book for the past couple weeks. People kept telling me to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and it just didn't sound like something I'd be into. Finally, I read a sample of it just to see and wow, just wow wow wow. A reader described this book to me as stunning and devastating and I can't think of any better adjectives. You have to read this book. I'm not kidding you. It was on many top ten lists this year and for very good reason and it's stories like this that actually make me believe in God. Yeah, it's that good.

For people who have already read about Henrietta and her HeLa cells, another book I think you'd enjoy is Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. I had to read this for school, had zero interest and complained about having to read it until I actually read it. Again, what could be so interesting about a Hmong child with epilepsy? I thought I'd hate it, but I loved it and it shares many similar themes as Henrietta Lacks' story. Read them both right now and you'll be glad you did.

I finally broke down and bobbed my hair that I'd been complaining about and I really love it. I got a layered bob this time and it's not flat and it's not giving me a hard time with styling. I got some of those decorative headbands that seem to be all the rage now and I'm liking that look too. Maybe I'll just keep it short from now on and break the endless hair-hating cycle.

This fall it looks like I'm going to be teaching a memoir class in West Palm Beach. It's a fun class, not one of those for credit, college classes. If you're in the area and interested, email me and I'll give you the information. There will be two, six week classes. One starts in September and the other in November and they'll be great because, well, I am the teacher of course!

That's about it. Not much else has been going on around here, although there was some kind of elaborate crime scene behind my house Saturday evening and no one knows what on earth happened.

I discovered a new blog that I liked because he linked to me last week. You must read Wag the Dad. This is my kind of parenting blog and he cusses more than I do. I found myself wondering if he's hot. I bet he is.

That's all I got for you all today. The baby is asleep, my house is almost presentable and that means I can watch some of the trash I have on my DVR, and without getting off on a rant, is it me or is this summer's TV just sucking total ass? I am so disappointed in Curb Your Enthusiasm so far and that used to be my favorite show. Likewise with True Blood. Sultry vampires can't make me over look this fairy land crap - I don't care how many times Eric takes off his shirt or how many steamy lesbian sex scenes they throw in.

So, anyone with book recommendations, tips on traveling with babies, new blogs I need to read or TV shows that don't suck? Please comment. Yes, I am comment whoring. I'm lonely as hell over here with the RSS broken and my traffic down. Give me some love people.


Anonymous said...

Well, if you have never watched the tv show Friday Night Lights you should start there. Trust me. You trust me, don't you? -Papatya

Anonymous said...

On travelling with babies...

Just keep in mind that you can't cram as many activities into a day as you could when travelling solo or as a couple. Don't let self-imposed schedules push you around and leave yourself plenty of time for things that can't be missed (flights).

- lowwall

Melissa said...

I am presently reading "My Year With Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock. It's a light, fun and funny read and I am highly recommending it. :)

jtn said...

The podcasts at are my latest obsession. I listen to them all the time when I travel.

Kerry said...

Have a great trip!

TV this summer does suck. That's what NetFlix is for, right?

Head Ant said...

I am waiting so patiently for Dexter to start. Which is filmed in California now instead of Miami.

I have a little balcony garden that isn't producing anything edible except some rosemary, basil and a gigantic bowl of mint, including catnip. Only one of the cats likes catnip which I give to him hoping that he will stop acting crazy at night.

Dawn said...

I am slightly embarrassed to admit I am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying Bethenny Frankel's book, A Place of Yes.

I just stared a food/recipe blog this week in an effort to document all my favorites and give me an excuse to write. I would be honored if you checked it out!

I have started a cooking/recipe blog because I'm a bored housewife with too much time on her hands. Anyway, I wanted to share the link with you and a few friends, AKA my public!

I would be happy to hear any feedback, positive or negative.

rosie-b said...

Hmmm, traveling with a baby. . . I go to the Middle East every year with the kids and the best thing to do with them is to try to get them to sleep as much as possible. With a baby one of those front-pack soft carriers (Baby Bjorn, Ergo) is great. They can sleep on your chest and you still have full use of both your arms. Of course, they never want to sleep on a plane but it's worth a try. If she's old enough to be interested in new toys, you can buy 5 or 6 for the journey. Don't let her see them until she starts getting bored. Fun little surprises go a long way. Snacks are great too. Good luck!

Jan Blawat said...

Traveling with my baby was the easiest before he was two. After that he had an opinion. I haven't had a TV for 15 years, but have recently been enjoying DVDs of old shows like FarScape, Firefly, and an old Disney series made in Australia called 5 Mile Creek.

Living in Muddy Waters said...

If you have Netflix, the English comedy Coupling was pretty funny for all but the last few episodes. Don't watch the American version, it was horrid.

I am about to start Ken Follet's book, Pillars of the Earth. Have you read it? Is it worth it? I've been reading Wicked (most pompously bombastic book ever but I can't seem to stop reading it)

Wag the Dad said...

I'm reading Alias Grace right now, by Margaret Atwood. Not that this has any bearing on what you've just written, it's just that I'm into books about the 19th century involving penitentiaries, asylums, and venereal disease.

And BTW I am totally hot. Don't look at any of my pictures, I'm not photogenic and real life is always disappointing when set up against fantasy.

Thanks for mentioning me!

JoeinVegas said...

After seeing it in Costco I started on the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Pretty good, if you can remember all the similar names.

Wide Lawns said...

Ok, I didn't notice that Wag the Dad had pictures of himself on his blog. Guess what? He really is hot. I knew it.

jen h said...

i'm reading infinite jest by david foster wallace right now. it's big and kinda daunting, but hilarious and sad all at the same time. pretty much one of the best books i've ever read.

as for current tv, louie, jon benjamin has a van, and breaking bad are all topping my list.

greyspasm said...

I'll have to try Henrietta Lacks, once the long waiting list at my library dwindles down. Your other suggestions were right on target.

Jen, I also love Breaking Bad and Louie. Louie can be too vulgar for some, but if you can look past that (OK, I love the vulgar parts too) you'll find a genuine comedy with a lot of heart.

And of course, there's the whole storage unit auction genre to keep us entertained until Fall...

Sarah said...

I'm a bit late here as I only just realised that your rss feed isn't working!

I love me a bit of non-fiction and recommend a book called "Clean: An Unsanitized History of Washing". It is awesome and interesting to learn how compared to our ancestors our fastidious obsession with cleanliness is kind of weird.

Jenny @ Fondant is Gross said...

Big Bang Theory is a smart, funny sitcom from CBS. My husband and I love it!

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