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A Weird Post About Nothing, plus Pictures March 31, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I wrote an awesome American Idol Recap post, with a section at the beginning about the Detroit man who’s “On strike” because his wife won’t stop sleeping with their two month old baby or take their two year old’s pacifier away. That link is here. I had all the contestants, and what they sang, and how they sounded, and how Lisa was voted off. It took about an hour to write.

And then, I opened a new window and googled one of the artists who’s song was sung last night, and the page I was directed to started loading and then started flashing. Flashing! I didn’t know if I was getting a computer virus or what, so I panicked and hit ctrl-alt-delete, and clicked the task manager to stop the program from running, but I didn’t save the American Idol post first, and all the windows closed.

My post went bye-bye.

You didn’t hear me screaming NOOOooooo, like the lady in those Best Buy Geek Squad ads? Only I didn’t have someone drop from a helicopter and fix it. So, pictures instead.

Yes, I have a double chin, dammit. But Chris and Kate look cute. Taken by Ryan.

This is what Kaitlyn really thinks of the carseat. At least it’s warm enough that she doesn’t have to wear the evil snowsuit of evil. She loves playing with these linking rings. They hold a pacifier (“ha”, she says, “you’ll never get me to use that pacifier, Mom. NEVER.”), and a loop of teething beads too. Fun!

Okay, I know you’re not supposed to give sharp pokey toys to babies, but if she’s going to live in this house she might as well get to know Bionicles. If you don’t know, they are these creatures made by Lego. There’s an extremely detailed story about the Bionicle world, and every year Lego puts out a new “race” of Bionicles. Ryan and Nathan probably have close to 50 0f them, and not a day goes by that they don’t take them apart and re-build them into new creatures of their own design. This one was laying on the couch.

The boys didn’t even mind when I told them she had this one in her mouth. Looks like I’ll have to figure out a way to disinfect the thousand or so teeny pieces. 50 Bionicles x 50 pieces each =holy crap that’s a lot of tiny connectors plus theparts that make the arms and legs and bodies.

Even the cat doesn’t understand third grade math. I was trying to help Ryan, only I was telling him the wrong formula for calculating the area of a triange (length x width divided by two) so all our answers were wrong. Can I help it if third grade was…oh my God…THIRTY ONE years ago?

So sorry no Recap, there are excellent ones at Televisionwithoutpity.com and Idolonfox.com.

Go there, because I suck.


Cookie Porn, ’cause I love my Blog Friends March 29, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I don’t dream about bloggers like I’ve read some people do, but I think about them. I think about their posts, what problems they’re having or what they’re worrying about. When you commit yourself to becoming part of a community, when you start letting people get a glimpse of your life and start peeking into theirs, you start to feel like you really know them. You start to see that you are not alone in the world, that there is a shared pool of experiences from which we all draw. Before I got involved with blogging, how would I have ever known that someone else on the other side of the country feels the same way I do about things? It’s not ego, or selfishness, it’s just that one tends to think that they are the only one who, for example, imagines cars crashing into them when they drive or has daymares about their husband dying and how they would utterly and completely fall apart if one of their children got kidnapped. I knew one in five women struggle with depression but it really hit home when blog friend after blog friend wrote about it. I worry about people I only know from their blogs, like they were right here in front of me.

My point is that I’ve noticed a general malaise among bloggers lately; most everyone is sick of gloomy weather and desperate for Spring, people write about how they just can’t think of anything to write about and would rather lay on the couch and eat cookies. Well, ask, and ye shall receive, I give you…Cookie Porn. I hope this puts a smile on someone’s face today.

I love to make, and eat, cookies. And so does my family. So last night after dinner I dug a bag of Nestle Toll House Mini Morsels out of the pantry and got to work. I used to make the regular kind of Toll House until they came out with the Mini Morsels. It’s the same amount of chips by weight, but the pieces are much smaller so that the cookies are infused with chips. Yum. As you’ll see from the pictures I’ve been playing around with flash settings and not doing a very good job, so some of the shots came out too dark. But you’ll get the idea.

My family says Mini Morsels are the best, so that’s what I make

Almost more chips than dough.

I end up covered in flour every time. I don’t even own an apron.

I use a really big cookie sheet, because a dozen is never enough.

These needed to go back in for a few more minutes.

Mmmm, cookies. Nothing like a little sugary treat right before bed.

That big bowl of dough goes back in the fridge, and I’ll make another 16 today and tomorrow which should use up whatever dough we haven’t eaten raw – I know, it’s bad for you, raw eggs and all, but everyone who opens the fridge sneaks a chunk so what can I do?

The cookies are also good at 10:30 in the morning with a second cup of coffee, or um, so I’ve heard.

Have a good day, everybody. This morning, a sunbeam burst through my heavy living room drapes and shot right down to the floor. The boys and I stood there for a minute, transfixed, passing our hands through the beam and feeling the teeny bit of warmth it brought. Spring is really coming, I promise.

A Cold Tuesday Morning March 28, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

This morning I Googled myself

Thanks to everybody who left a comment about changing my URL in their blogroll. You may also be getting an email from me which you can obviously disregard. I’m much happier with my new address now that it has the name of the blog in it. I googled my blog name, have you done that? I used to be the very first listing for the words “table for five” but I’ve been bumped down to fifth place after a bunch of listings for a movie called Table For Five from 1983 starring Jon Voight. Google’s ranking is based on the number of times a phrase is searched for, right? So all I have to do is Google it over and over and I should move right back up. I mean come on, if you had told me a year ago that something I created would be anywhere on a Google search I wouldn’t have believed it.

I made a Mix CD

A while back I wrote a post about how out-of-touch I felt regarding new music. I felt I was stuck in a rut of old familiar songs and wasn’t learning what else was out there. Jess hooked me up with her latest mix cd, and I was happy to learn that there was music being made in this decade that I actually enjoyed. In fact, “Your Cover’s Blown” by Belle & Sebastian is my new favorite song to play while I drive around doing errands.

The best part is that I re-invited music back into my life. I had fallen into the habit of listening to talk radio in the car. I tuned into “This American Life” and “Living on Earth”, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “What Do You Know?”, “Car Talk” and “The Splendid Table”. These are all outstanding programs to listen to, but there’s something about hearing a good song on the radio that is really uplifting. So I dug out a stack of old CDs and reacquainted myself with the bands and solo artists I’ve been listening to for years. And I realized that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying old music. These songs and artists have been around for twenty or even thirty years for a reason. With that in mind, I put together a group of songs that represent the best of what Chris and I have been listening to for most of our adult lives. The albums these songs are on are what we take in the car for road trips, what we wash dishes to, what Chris listens to while building furniture. Here’s the playlist:

And She Was……………….Talking Heads
Ruby Baby…………………..Donald Fagen
True Fine Love……………Steve Miller Band
Money Can’t Buy It……. Annie Lennox
Helplessly Hoping………. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
FM (No Static At All)….. Steely Dan
Water of Love………………Dire Straits
Kiss of Life……………………Sade
Seven Bridges Road…… .Eagles
Right By Your Side………Eurythmics
Diamonds on the
Soles of her Shoes………. Paul Simon
Free Fallin’ ………………….Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
I’d be happy to make a copy for anyone who’s interested. Email me your home or office address and I’ll get them out by the end of the week. Oh, and the title of the CD? Not sure. Maybe I should call it my “Road trippin’ Dish washin’ Furniture Buildin’ Mix”.

Here I Am! March 27, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Well I’ll be darned. It worked just like Blogger said it would. Here I am in my new address and everything. Now I just have to send a few dozen emails, change my address with Technorati, SiteMeter, BlogMad, and TTLB (shoot, am I forgetting anyone?), and get some new posts ready.

You know, for the amount of time I spend on this blog, and believe me if I didn’t have Kaitlyn it would pretty much be all damn day, I should really be earning some money with it. I know I don’t have anywhere near enough unique visits to warrant AdSense, I get in a week what some bloggers get in half a day. But there should be some way to make a little spending money, don’t you think? A lousy twelve bucks to pay for Weight Watchers meetings? 48 dollars might not seem like much, but it’s costing Chris that much a week to drive to his new job and back.

Did you know that a study showed that Moms, whether they stay home or work an outside job as well, should be paid $130,000 a year? That’s for all the jobs we do i.e. chauffeur, events planner, housekeeper, food service manager, accountant, nurse. Take the average salary for each of those jobs, prorate it based on what percentage of our day is spent doing each, and it comes to $130,000. Huh. Would I be happy if the government gave me free health care instead? You bet your ass I would.

Oh-KAY! Enough ranting for one post, geez. I’m off to start emailing everyone I know.

SHIT! Shit! I left a post at the old address that says the new address is table4five.com AND IT’S NOT!!!!! It’s table4five.blogspot.com! And now I can’t change it because blogger doesn’t recognize the old address anymore. I thought the old address would take me to the “URL not recognized” page, but it doesn’t. So now visitors to the old address will see a link to a page that is not me. That’s what I get for not proof-reading the damn thing first. And see how I am reduced to cursing like a sailor? I don’t have a clue what to do now. Shit.

Okay, I need to just calm the f__ down. If I had read my email first, I would have seen Chelle’s suggestion to re-register the old address under a different name and leave the correct new address there. God Elizabeth, have a little more coffee in the morning why don’tcha?

Hooray! March 24, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Ta DA! Introducing my all-new, redesigned, more-bang-for-your-buck blog! I am just beside myself about how good this looks. And it’s all thanks to the lovely, talented, charming, fun to chat with on the phone Michelle Patterson, a/k/a Chelle, formerly Tigerlily. She will tell you it was just a fun way for her to practice what she learned reading “HTML for Dummies” but it was much more than that. She picked me to practice on, and I will be forever grateful.

I love the look of the header. I said to Chelle, “I want a table, four chairs and a highchair, two coffee cups, two juice boxes and a bottle of formula”. I had no idea she would put together this amazing table, the windows with their view taken from an airplane, and the cute highchair. All that , and so much more:

New colors

New fonts

New texts

New pull-down blogroll menu

In a few days I will be moving this site to a new URL. It’s my understanding that Blogger will replace this blog with the new one, so I’m not sure what you will see if you come to this address. I will try leaving an “I have moved” message. I’ll probably send an email to as many people as I can with the new URL; if you have me in your blogroll I’d sure appreciate it if you’d change that link as well. I’d hate to “disappear”!

That’s all for tonight, Chris wants to shut the network down to do some updating. ‘Night!

American Idol Recap March 23, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

You have no idea how good it feels to be able to sit down and write my Thursday American Idol Recap instead of the weekly who’s-sick-this-week report. Both the boys went to school today, Ryan’s ear still hurts a little but as long as they don’t overdo it I think they’ll be fine. I’m dreading what their backpacks will look like when they get home though. Ryan missed a total of 4 and half days of school, Nathan missed 3.

BUT, American Idol. So. You know I’ve only been watching the men compete because I really want a man to win this one. I watched clips of the women’s performances on idolonfox.com and have to say they really impressed me. I think this was the best week so far. The songs from the 50s really seemed to suit everyone’s voices and styles. Here’s a rundown:

Mandisa sang “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”. The judges are speechless, and rightfully so. From what I heard she belted it right out. Although apparently Simon said she moved like a “stripper”. So?

Bucky sang Buddy Holly’s “Oh Boy”. I thought he gave it a nice country-rock feel, although he had trouble reaching some lower notes.

Paris sang “Fever”. The song was a great fit for her. I know everyone loves her, but I wonder how her voice will hold up throughout the rest of the competition. I don’t doubt that she’ll end up with some kind of record contract no matter how she does on AI.

Chris sang “Walk The Line”. Televisionwithoutpity.com called it “the Stappiest version of a country song you could ever possibly imagine”, Scott Stapp is the lead singer for Creed, remember them? I don’t know. I like Chris, I’d like to see him go far in this, but he should stick to rocking out and not do ballads. I’m just saying.

Katharine sang “Come Rain or Come Shine”. She sang the heck out of that song. This was a great performance for her, and she moved really comfortably around the stage.

Taylor sang “Not Fade Away”. Sigh. I like Taylor less and less every week. I just don’t think his voice is that strong, and that jerky dance thing he does was quirky at first; now it’s just annoying. I can see him doing dinner shows in Vegas, but not as the American Idol. Sorry.

Lisa sang “Why Do Fools Fall In Love”. She was adorable and seemed to have fun singing the song. I don’t know about the outfit though, it was a little costumey for me.

Kevin sang “When I Fall In Love”. Was this song ever used in a Disney movie? That’s what it sounded like to me. I thought Kevin sang this well, his performance was better than Bucky’s. I was surprised he was voted off. He should sue Seacrest for that dumb “Chicken Little” comment.

Elliott sang “Teach Me Tonight”. I didn’t like it, it didn’t seem like a good fit for his voice. That’s really all I can say about that, it was just okay.

Kellie sang “Walking After Midnight”. I don’t like the high pitch of her voice, it’s a little nasally. She looked pretty in her yellow top but that bleached platinum hair-overdone. It’s not an audtion for “Laguna Beach” after all.

Ace sang “In The Still Of The Night”. I have to admit to being less enthusiastic about Ace than I was at the beginning. That falsetto thing he can do is cool and all, but he uses it in every song and he really needs to start showing more range. Also, he closes his eyes when he sings, which is a no-no. But I’d still do him if he showed up at my door, don’t get me wrong.

Overall, a good week for most contestants. If I were the men, though, I’d be watching Mandisa very closely. They’d better step it up big time or I’m afraid it will be another win for the ladies.

Side note: On “Live With Regis And Kelly”, Regis just held up a newspaper photo of Kevin next to a shot of Gelman ( his producer), and they look so much alike it’s uncanny. Maybe Reeg should give Kevin a job.

In Michigan It’s Pronounced “Blahg” March 22, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

As I work with Chelle on the site redesign, contemplating colors and fonts and header sizes and such, I’ve been spending a lot more time actually looking at my own blog. Usually I just check to make sure a new post is up, or to go through my blogroll. I know, I should get Bloglines, I know.

Anyway, I’ve also been thinking a lot about why I blog, and what I’m getting out of it. I started my blog last August, after we had settled into our new house and I was pretty much waiting out my pregnancy. I was reading blogs, and found myself starting to think in terms of what I would write about if I had a blog. My experience with journal-writing has been spotty at best. I had journals, or diaries if you will, and I would occasionally write in them, but it was never a pour-my-heart-out kind of thing. More like once in a while I would pick it up, try to think of what interesting thing had happened to me, and write it down with lots of exclamation points.

So I was skeptical about my chances for actually keeping a blog going. I figured I would write a few posts, forget about it, and then remember months later that I even started it at all. Instead, I found myself getting seriously addicted to the whole thing. Yes, I said addicted. I don’t have any other vices-almost never drink alcohol, don’t smoke anymore, don’t gamble or shop compulsively. I needed something. Something that I could call mine.

I love being a “Professional Mom”, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been doing it for 7 years now and can’t imagine doing anything else. But one thing I’ve always thought was missing from my life was something that defined me. When I filled out message board profiles I always got stuck on the question about my hobbies. Hobbies? Other than coming up with 7 dinners a week that everyone in my family will like and won’t take more than 30 minutes to cook? Other than paying the bills and keeping the checkbook balanced? Does reading for a few minutes before passing out on my pillow at night count?

So…my very first post was August 29, 2005. I was shocked when I got 3 whole comments, one from our very own MotherGooseMouse; thanks again J! I tried my hardest to make my posts interesting, and witty, and funny if I could. I decided not to use the profanity that usually graces my speech because I didn’t want to offend anyone (and then I got to know Dawn 😉 Much to my surprise I found the same people commenting each time I posted, so I commented on their posts, and so on and so on. I was so happy to be part of a community.

Chelle suggested I write about how I felt the first time I figured out how to make my blog my own. I wanted a blogroll so badly. I wanted to recognize the blogs I loved, and the people who had made me feel welcome and appreciated. I just was terrified to mess with the template. I was sure that I would do the wrong thing and crash the whole system or something. One night I asked my personal Computer Support Technician, aka my husband, if he would help me figure out the blogroll thing. We worked through it slowly, step by step so that I would be able to do it myself eventually, and let me tell you when I saw the link appear on my site, I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe that I had actually created something that was appearing on the Internet for everyone to see. I had conquered my fear of trying new things and failing, because I hadn’t failed. It was a big moment for me and my feelings of self-worth.

I know there are a lot of really good blogs out there. Almost every day I find one that blows me away; today for example I found The Reign of Ellen and wanted to stay and read all her archives in one sitting. I know I am just one tiny blog, and I am starting to understand the fluidity of the blogosphere. People read your blog, maybe more than once, maybe they leave a comment or two, and then they move on to other blogs, and it’s nothing personal. I know this.

And yet, it still bugs me when someone seems like they’re becoming a regular reader, commenting and even emailing me, and then they disappear. I want to send them a note like in Junior High: “Do you like me? Check One Box: Yes No Maybe”. I worry that I offended them in some way, with something I wrote about, with a comment I made that was supposed to be funny but was offensive instead. Not that I think I’ve ever been offensive, but who knows?

I’ll keep blogging, not for the comments but for me. It lets me get things off my chest, work out problems and solutions, record what’s happening in my life. I can’t remember what happened last week let alone last year; now I have a written record to remind me. It’s like the diary I always meant to start. I won’t stop pouring my heart out this time, and I’ll try not to use too many exclamation points either.

I SO Deserved This After The Day I Had March 21, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

That screaming sound you just heard? Was me discovering that DirecTV has added a UPN channel to their programming. A UPN channel. The channel that shows VERONICA MARS.

I can start watching VERONICA MARS AS OF TONIGHT.

Did I type that loud enough for ya?

Blog News and a Request For Info March 21, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I am starting a new blog with Blogger, because I don’t want my old URL anymore. It has our family’s last name in it, and since I use our real first names here, I just think it would be better to have a little bit of privacy.

Here’s my question: Blogger Help says all I have to do is change the URL field and republish the blog and everything will transfer. But I am obviously a little scared that the old blog will disappear and the new blog will be blank. I know Blogger says an address is never deleted, but what about my comments, archives, etc.? Anyone else ever done this?

I’ll be leaving a message on the old blog that says “I’ve moved, my new address is…” When that happens, I’d really REALLY appreciate it if everybody who has me in their blogroll would please change the URL to the new one. I’ll have to re-register with Technorati, and BlogMad, and TTLB, etc. etc.

Last, when you do see that message and go to the new blog, you are going to see one hell of a kick-ass redesign, pardon my French. Shell, formerly Tigerlily, is completely redesigning everything from the background color to the header to the tag line. You won’t believe your eyes!

This Just In March 20, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Jennifer Granholm will sign a bill requiring abortion providers to give pregnant women the option to see ultrasound images of their fetuses, a spokeswoman says.

I’ve started two separate posts on this and deleted both of them. The gist of both entries went something like this: I am Pro-Choice, I’ve never had an abortion, but I imagine it’s hard enough to drive to Planned Parenthood itself without being asked if you want to see your fetus on an ultrasound. I’m sure there were all kinds of reasons why the bill passed, but I still don’t like it.

That’s all I’m going to say about that. Here’s the complete link to the news story:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060320/ap_on_re_us/abortion_ultrasound