Tuesday, February 27, 2007

End of February blues

Thank god it's nearly March. The weather here is ... dare I say it ... it's fantastic. It is sunny and in the 70s, no humidity.

Yet I'm in a cruddy mood.

It's the 'burbs. It is so not me. We even discussed - briefly - moving into the city. But I think we'd be trading one set of problems for another. I'm not sure I have the energy to deal with schools, security, and safety. The traffic would be different, but traffic, none the less. No carpooling for Gary. Property would cost more (we get a lot of house for our money out here), and property taxes could be even higher. (Folks in Missouri would be stunned if they knew what we pay here in Texas; land of no personal income tax more than makes up for that lack of revenue by sticking it to us in property taxes. They get it from you one way or another, my friends.)

The plan is to stick it out here in the short term; our long-term goal would be to live elsewhere. Where is elsewhere? Not sure, but it's not here. Europe? Maybe ... we shall see.

All the things I see as advantages to Houston are far away. Inside the loop is 30 minutes on a weekend with no traffic, more like 45 minutes to an hour during the week. It is all but inaccessible for me. Makes it tough to take advantage. But with Gary's job being where it is, this is where we need to be on a daily basis.

But I'm really struggling. On a daily basis. Thank goodness for our library (such as it is) and a few good friends. A surprise mid-day phone call can do wonders (thanks, Helen!) Even if it wasn't about me, it was nice to talk to her. And I hope I helped her feel better as she goes through a very stressful time in her life. Illness of a parent is tough.

The trials we all face. I should probably stop complaining and thank my lucky stars I have what I have.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

The envelope, please

It's Oscar night. This is one of those times when I am thrilled to have only daughters - we snuggle up on the sofa, get our snacks, and watch the awards. We enjoy the gowns, the hair, the jewels, and the celebration of all that is Hollywood. It's one of our traditions, and I love it.

(But what was Meryl Streep thinking with that outfit?)

We're big movie people. I have lots of time these days, so I watch a lot of films. Thanks to Netflix, TCM, HBO, and AMC, I see everything. I love the movies ... well, more specificially, I love good movies. I'm not going to sit through something that will waste my time. However, on the right day, I would see that Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves movie, what's it called, The Lake House? Would it entertain me for 90 minutes? Good enough.

I like foreign films, good book adaptations, and quality movies for children. I try not to be elitist about what I like, or arrogant. I just like a good movie.

In short, I'm a fan. So I like to see the best performances honored.

At the same time, I think the Academy Awards are a bunch of crap. What do they really mean, anyway? I can barely remember who won last year - who did win best actor, anyway? Best supporting actress? (It was Rachel Weisz, and I think George Clooney - I know he won one year - but I honestly can't be certain.)

There are so many deserving people who don't win: Felicity Huffman should have won last year, not Reese Witherspoon, and Annette Bening deserved to win for Being Julia over Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby - she was that much better.

And there are bunches of people who should never have won. Helen Hunt? Cher? Marlee Matlin? Don't mean to focus on only women, but those are the ones who spring to mind.

I know the awards are supposed to be for a specific performance, but they aren't always. It's political - Henry Fonda didn't win for Grapes of Wrath, so when he did win - for On Golden Pond - it wasn't about that performance. Jane Fonda didn't win during Vietnam, so she won later. If Martin Scorcese wins tonight, it's not about The Departed.

The list of talented people who have never is very long, full of notable names: Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Burton, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Johnny Depp, Lauren Bacall, Annette Bening, Kevin Bacon (he's underrated), Martin Sheen, William H. Macy, Donald Sutherland, John Cusack, Julianne Moore, John Travolta, Joan Allen, Robert Altman, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorcese (?), Peter O'Toole (?).

And come on - Rocky? over All the President's Men? Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan?

No Citizen Kane?

But I am going to defend Crash over Brokeback Mountain; liked them both, but Crash really was the better film (though the cinematography in Brokeback was breathtaking). And I'm also going to defend Grace Kelly beating Judy Garland, simply because I've loved Grace Kelly ever since visiting Monaco in 1976. Can't help it.

It's all subjective - that's the bottom line. And it's entertainment. Yes, films have value, but they are not as important as they like to think they are. It's just an award. I'll bet no one can name five winners of the Oscars the year they graduated from high school, but you can name every one of your grade school teachers.

Exactly. In the end, they just aren't important. But they're still fun.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Broadway lust

I want to go to New York. I have a stong desire to see this show:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Houston: City of advantages

I knew there was something I liked about Houston. Spring in February must be it.

In order to protect myself from an onslaught of evil thoughts from those in the Midwestern tundra, I'll not say what the temperature is here today. Suffice it to say, the mercury has climbed high enough for me to feel very, very good. I need a good pedicure - any pedicure, for that matter - before I'll be seen in sandals (which I could be wearing today, if I chose). But I'll settle for tennis shoes.

The weather, however, is the only thing I'm liking about Houston these days.

We've been here for a year. Hard to believe. And it's hard to believe I feel as unsettled as I do. This is not home. It's where I live, but it's not my home. Where that is, exactly, I can't say. But this ain't it.

But I can find things to like:

• The theatre. There's a reason people love the theatre. And we're not talking community theatre - the professionals, baby. Not just down in the city (though we have tickets for 12 Angry Men Friday; where else can you see washed-up TV talent like George Wendt and Richard Thomas? Kidding, kidding ... seriously, I think Richard Thomas is seriously under-rated as an actor. Several years on a television series will do that to you.), but out here in the 'burbs, where we have season tickets to the Texas Repertory Theatre. Their production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged" had me rolling in the aisles. Loved it so much that I'm going again, taking my parents and my husband, who gave up his seat for Alison.
Anyway, bit city, big names, big shows. We're jazzed to see Spamalot; we'd see Wicked, but Alison and I are going to meet friends in Chicago.

• The opera. We have tickets for Aida in April - another show I can't wait to see. Should be amazing. Haven't done season tickets yet, but I'm thinking about it ...

• The symphony. In a smaller city the symphony is OK, but here? In Houston? It's amazing. And they have a full pops program - I LOVE the pops. Shallow, maybe, but I love it still.

• The Progressive Forum. They bring in big names on big issues a few times each year. We've seen Al Gore and Molly Ivins, missed Frank Rich (weeknight - it's tough with kids), and I'm passing on Garrison Keillor, only because a) already seen him and b) it's a weeknight. But whoever they bring in is thoughtful, relevant, and worth the ticket price.

• Concerts. Last year, had I cared to, we could have seen Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, or Steve Miller perform. We saw none of them - we have three children, you know, and $85 tickets are hard to justify these days. But it's nice to know they come here. If I ever hear of someone I am just DYING to see, I'll fork over the cash. I'll know when the time is right.

• Shopping. What does Houston have? The easier question would be what does Houston not have? Out here by us, the mall is slightly more upscale than the Tippecanoe Mall (more like Keystone in Indy), with Williams Sonoma and Ann Taylor, along with the other standard mall fare. (The Galleria is supposed to be really high-end, but that must mean their Kirklands is bigger than ours - the Galleria has all the same bourgeois mall stores, juxtaposed with Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Prada, and the Hello Kitty emporium.) Over in Champions they have World Market and the Container Store - I feel as if I've gone to heaven.

On the downside, many of these events are - you guessed it - down inside the loop, a 30-minute drive without traffic. Indy was an hour, but I never felt as if it was in the same city. Sometimes I feel as if I am being deceived; yes, we're part of Houston, but we're not really IN Houston. It's a cruel hoax.

But the best thing, the thing that I see every day? The Houston Chronicle. Two full op-ed pages every day, a full section on weekends. Parade magazine. Two sections of world/national news some days. The Star section with four pages of comics/puzzles. Miss Manners on Thursday.

It's a catch-22, though, as the Chronicle is what informs me of all the events I live too far away from.

Cruel, cruel world.

Monday, February 19, 2007


It's official: I've resigned as editor of Cy-Fair Magazine. And all I can say is: Whew. It's as if a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Since January I've been filled with a sense of impending dread, and now it's over. I can move on (already have, in fact, since I turned in some freelance work last week).

There are details - ugly and complex and unpleasant - with which I won't bore you (some of you lucky folks already know). Suffice it to say it's not been a good fit for me. I put on my game face and tried, but it was not to be. But life is full of these little ups and downs, and it has certainly been a learning experience, one that I won't forget. Plus, it will help prepare me for my next venture ... whatever that may be.

So, this week I am taking it easy. Funny - I've been planning this resignation for a month. And when I sat down to write this post - at last, for I've been thinking of doing it with some anticipation - I was almost buoyant. But now it is hitting me and I am feeling a little deflated. The tears may even hit eventually. But I know I've made the right choice, so after a transitional phase, I'll be fine, better than ever.


Thursday, February 15, 2007


How is it that I am home all day, yet hardly find time to get anything important done? Like play on the computer?

I wanted to watch Ugly Betty tonight in Real Time. Which means the girls have to have all the homework done. I could see it wasn't going to happen, so I figured we would watch it at 8, after homework, baths. But I didn't realize that I would be writing Maddie's homework. So, rather than finishing up this article I am writing (to send a draft to someone to look over tonight) I had to write out a social studies project.

After that was done, the girls hit the tub while I came upstairs to finish my article. It's only 600 words, so it's not a tough job. I was up to 700, though, so I had to do some editing. Sent it off and - crap - it was 20 after 8, time to pick up Alison from Tae Kwon Do (my husband is gone this week). Got her, came back, and realized the dishwasher hadn't been loaded, trash needs to be collected, and Sylvia needs new sheets on her bed. Plus, there are clothes all over the floor in all three kids' rooms. Grrrrrr.

In short, no Ugly Betty tonight. I'll watch it here in a minute, after I take out the trash.

Something in my fridge is smelling ... must go find out what it is. Put sheets on my bed. And I'm dying to read more of my book.

Good night!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On waiting rooms, hauling kids

Most of my day was spent in the car, hauling kids here, there, and, well, you know. It was the day Maddie was to see the orthopaedist, so I started the day by calling to see how I was to pick up the X-rays at the hospital. Allow 30 minutes, they said. So I picked those up, then went to get Maddie from school. **Please note this is Houston, a city that covers over 600 square miles - nothing is close to us. Even things that are close mean 20 or 30 minutes in the car. It doesn't help that we live at what feels like the northernmost edge of the city, of civilization as we know it. The suburbs - or, more appropriately, where the city leaves off and hell begins.

But I digress. I picked up Maddie and treated her to lunch (I pulled her out of school early, so she missed PE class - where she can't participate anyway - sue me), then we were off to the orthopaedist. He was backed way up; he was to leave early today but they squeezed us in. Long story short, the injury is not a fracture, but it is an injury to the growth plate. In an adult, the bone would have snapped; for Maddie, it occurred in an area where there is cartlidge, where the bones have not yet fused together. However, they consider it a break and treat it the same way.

Upon hearing that she needed a cast, Maddie had only one question: Did she get to choose the color?

Her arm is ensconced in a lime green cast for the next four weeks (well, longer, as four weeks falls during spring break, and we'll be out of town). She seems animated, almost giddy about her cast; she went back to school and DI practice wielding Sharpies. All her DI friends have already signed - she even let me and her sisters have a go.

I've never had a broken bone; I have three brothers, and growing up, no broken bones. This is our first one. I'd never seen a cast put on, and it was certainly interesting. That said, it's an experience I don't need to repeat.

So. I took Sylvia to soccer. It was fre-e-e-e-e-zing out there - 45 and windy - and I"ll get no sympathy from friends in Indiana, Illinois, or Missouri. Sorry, but your reality is what it is. And for me, 45 and windy is cold. Tomorrow will be even colder. Brrr.

But I also had to pick up Maddie from DI at 7, take Alison to Tae Kwon Do at 7.20, and pick up at 8.20. Gary is out of town this week; however, even if he were here, he wouldn't be of much help. However, even with all the running around, sitting and waiting, I finished a book I started yesterday and read the new Newsweek. So all in all, not a total waste.

But I'm done. Good night, all.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rain, Grammys, blah, blah, blah

Just an ordinary day here. It's supposed to be warm, but in fact is chilly and rainy. Which is OK - it is February, after all, so I can live with it. Plus I have tons of crap to do today, so I don't need nice weather distracting me.

Among the to-do items: Tidy up (as always), do some laundry, get groceries, make sure bills are paid, return the Netflix films ... ordinary stuff, nothing exciting. Such is the life of a suburban mom.

I already called to make an interview appointment with the subject of an article I've been assigned. OK - that is probaby less typical. And I called the orthopaedist to make an appointment to have Maddie's arm looked at. Yep, the middle child fell in PE class Friday and fractured her wrist. She complained that it hurt Friday but didn't want to rush off to the ER; we did that another time, a soccer injury, and it was just a sprain. Though I would have taken her. Saturday morning when it still hurt Gary took her while I picked up Girl Scout cookies (it's that time of year, and we had to go pick up our troop order).

She has a hairline fracture of her right wrist, so I have to take her tomorrow and get it Xrayed again, have the specialist take a look at it. I'm sure she'll be fine, but it hurts a bit. And since it's her right hand, she can't write. Last night she dictated and I wrote her homework; this morning I brushed her hair, put on her shoes and socks, loaded up her backpack. She'll be lucky if she can go to the restroom quickly. I e-mailed all her teachers and explained the situation, as she's not going to be able to write in class. A couple have responded nicely.

And I'm a single parent this week; Gary left for Germany yesterday. Which meand I'm alone for Valentine's Day. But I have the girls, so we'll have some fun. It could be worse.

The Dixie Chicks won at the Grammys! I'm not too into the Grammys; like all those awards shows, some deserving people win, many deserving people don't, and a lot of real nobodies take home awards. (Surely you're all familiar with the best new artist award of 1978, legendary in its selection of A Taste of Honey, the disco one-hit wonder that beat out, among others, Elvis Cosello and The Cars; it's a notorious Grammy screw-up.) But it's still recognition. I was never a huge Dixie Chicks fan, but I like them now. After their comments about W, I immediately bought their stuff. And I like it ... or maybe it's because I like their politics? Either way, I'm glad they won.

I ordered myself some music over the weekend, stuff I have on vinyl but want on CD: Alex Chilton (High Priest, Feudalist Tarts), Steve, Bob & Rich (who knew their early LP, pre-Rainmakers, was on CD? For only $14.99? Wow), and REM's Life's Rich Pageant (my Best Of CD does not include the song Superman, and sometimes, I just need to hear it). Alex Chilton never won a Grammy to my knowledge, but he rocks. Can't wait til they arrive; using the turn table is a drag.

Friday, February 09, 2007


She was a bimbo, an idiot, frankly, someone who was famous merely for being famous.

She's getting as much press as Gerald Ford got when he died, more than Molly Ivins, more than Milton Friedman. She contributed much less to society than any of the three.

Like many people, I am strangely sad, touched by the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

I wasn't a fan; I never found her all that interesting, or even worth discussing. But yesterday when I saw the news, I was stunned.

Maybe it's that her life just seemed so sad. She had a lot of money, but money doesn't buy class or sophistication, wisdom or happiness. It might be able to rent it for a time, but not permanently.

Any bit of happiness she might have had seemed fleeting.

It's sort of strange, being interested in the over-the-top life, and now death, of this quasi-celebrity.

I suppose it's because, no matter how flakey she was, she didn't deserve to die so young.

Sad, I guess, is the only word that aptly describes the sentiment. Sad.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Housework is not my thing. Hiring someone to clean is not a luxury, but a necessity. It's not that housework is beneath me, I just don't like to do it.

Yet there are some tasks no one can for you, unless you have a live-in housekeeper. Or you're an heiress, or a princess. I am neither.

I was ready to start the dishwasher and realized it wasn't quite full. This, I figured, means it is an excellent time to clear all the Tupperware out of the refrigerator - all those leftovers we don't throw out because that would be wasteful, so we load it into unmarked containers and let it properly age before tossing it.

The things I found were getting scary, the way things shoved way to the back of the icebox tend to be. (Note to self: I really should tackle this more often.) I'll spare you the graphic descriptions, but trust me, it wasn't pretty.

One container I opened was so green, I couldn't even tell what its original form had been. I quickly dumped it down the disposal.

Ooops - it was guacamole from Sunday.


My mind is plagued with questions today. Why are some in the current administration denying global warming, even when the world's scientists tend to agree the phenomenon is real?

Why did Annette Bening get overlooked in the race for this year's Oscar? Why did she lose to Hilary Swank two years ago?

What will I feed my children tonight?

Why is my Internet connection so slow today?

These and other thoughts are floating around inside my head, begging answers. Alas, I have none.

It's been a quiet, uneventful day. Spent much of the morning on the phone with my favorite friend; together we lamented the fact that it's now long distance, so we have to pay to commiserate about our errant children. We've planned a weekend getaway in Chicago, in April. Tickets for Wicked have been purchased. It will be wonderful, and it will be too short, of this I am certain.

Sylvia came home from school exhausted. She has had a cold and did not feel up to gymnastics. I'm happy to stay home with her, though I kind of like going; it's an hour when I can sit and read. Generally I do this uninterrupted, but last week someone found me. And she is chatty. It's OK; I think she and I could be friends. But since I don't know her that well, I was eyeing my book and my Newsweek longingly.

So why would I be bothered that she sat and talked at me? It's another question to ponder ... I"ll get back to you.


My mind is plagued with questions today. Why are some in the current administration denying global warming, even when the world's scientists tend to agree the phenomenon is real?

Why did Annette Bening get overlooked in the race for this year's Oscar? Why did she lose to Hilary Swank two years ago?

What will I feed my children tonight?

Why is my Internet connection so slow today?

These and other thoughts are floating around inside my head, begging answers. Alas, I have none.

It's been a quiet, uneventful day. Spent much of the morning on the phone with my favorite friend; together we lamented the fact that it's now long distance, so we have to pay to commiserate about our errant children. We've planned a weekend getaway in Chicago, in April. Tickets for Wicked have been purchased. It will be wonderful, and it will be too short, of this I am certain.

Sylvia came home from school exhausted. She has had a cold and did not feel up to gymnastics. I'm happy to stay home with her, though I kind of like going; it's an hour when I can sit and read. Generally I do this uninterrupted, but last week someone found me. And she is chatty. It's OK; I think she and I could be friends. But since I don't know her that well, I was eyeing my book and my Newsweek longingly.

So why would I be bothered that she sat and talked at me? It's another question to ponder ... I"ll get back to you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A day of what?

Not much. I love how the task fits the time allotted. Today, since I had very little on the agenda, I made doing very little fit all day. I had a hair appointment (I wish someone would come blow dry my hair for me every day), and I did some laundry. And since I had some time, I watched The Mirror Had Two Faces. I put it on my Netflix Queue after I read an interesting bio of Barbra last summer; it's a good movie to watch when Gary's not around. We get three movies at a time with Netflix, so I get one for the kids, one for me and Gary (a grownup movie), and one for just me - a classic, or something Gary won't like.

Next up: Marty. 1955 Oscar winner with Ernest Borgnine. (And, for you trivia buffs, the answer to the question Herb Stempel had to throw in the Quiz Show scandal of the 1950s.)

In Lafayette today, a two-hour delay for schools, due to the cold weather. It is 70 here today. I hesitate to point this out, for fear of upsetting friends in Lafayette. But I'm just saying how it is; can't help it. Don't worry, we'll get ours this summer when it's near 100 and humid.

Gary is out of town, at a meeting in Peoria. It is very cold there; he had to dig around and find some gloves and a scarf. Me, I haven't worn gloves since we moved here.

Our governor, Ranger Rick Perry, has signed an executive order requiring girls entering sixth grade to get the HPV immunization. He's getting flack from the right wing, who say it will encourage early sexual activity. I am so tired of abstinence-only folks, who want to use scare tactics to discourage kids from having sex. The problem with this attitude is that kids will one day become sexually active; it is normal and, in the right circumstances, healthy. Thus I think education is the better tool.

But my concern with the HPV vaccination is about the motivation. Why are people not looking closer at the ties of Perry's aides to big pharmaceuticals? Merck & Co. is bankrolling efforts to pass these laws, requiring girls to get their vaccine; it costs $120 a shot and takes a three-shot regimen.

And Merck has hired a lobbyist: none other than Mike Toomey, who once served as Republican Perry's chief of staff. Any conflcit of interest here?

Merck stands to make millions. There's no doubt that protecting girls from cervical cancer is a good thing. But I don't think the motives here are entirely altruistic. Plus, this vaccine is relatively new, and I'm not sure enough time has elapsed to expose so many young girls, when we don't know for certain what the future implications are. In the late 50s and early 60s thousands of women took the sedative thalidomide to combat morning sickness; nearly 10,000 children were born with severe malformities. Perhaps an ounce of discretion might be in order.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Random on Monday

I finally - finally - made it to the post office today, to mail some odd-sized envelopes. Nothing pressing, just on the list of things to do. The line is always so lo-o-ong. And it's not as if no one is working; they had four windows open. You have to wonder what some of those people are doing there. As I was leaving I overheard some woman say to her son: This won't take long. So I leaned over and said, Don't mislead him.

It is sunny and nearly 70 today. Lifts my spirits. On Friday the teacher told me they've been staying in for recess because it's so cold out. Cold? IT WAS 50! Good grief - these people wouldn't last 10 minutes in the midwest.

And the Colts won the Superbowl - yippee! Though I'm not that into it and don't really care. I watched the ending, the awarding of the trophies. I like Tony Dungy, but I didn't like that he said the Colts won by the grace of God or something like that. What does that mean, anyway? Did the players pray harder? The fans? Or does God play favorites and doesn't like the Bears? I find comments like that insulting and I think they belie the true purpose of religion.

Caught part of School Ties on TV today - I love that movie. I like Brendan Frasier, like those prep-school-in-the-50s movies, like Dead Poets Society. But not that stupid one with Julia Roberts, Mona Lisa Smile. It was stupid.

My Land's End order arrived today. This is what we get for purchasing beds in Germany: an obligation to special-order bed sheets. Not convenient.

That's the excitment around here today. Only nine days til Valentine's Day! Will you be mine?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Go, Colts!

Yippee - the Colts won the Super Bowl!

Except that, secretly - or not - I'm not so into the NFL. I like NCAA sports, and I kind of like MLB. But as for the NBA or the NFL ... not so much. Even the prospect of Super Bowl commercials doesn't turn me on.

But I rooted for the Colts, out of loyalty more than an actual preference. But only barely. Though I did tell Sylvia's friend - they're from Chicago - that if she kept showing a preference for da Bears that I might not let Sylvia play with her anymore ... hahaha.

Today was beautiful outside. I assisted in the assembling of our swing set (we didn't get official neighborhood approval - ssshhh). We've been here nearly a year, and it's just now going up. To be fair, pool construction waylaid us a bit. But for the other seven months of delay? Laziness is my guess. But it's getting done; best to do it before Sylvie outgrows it.

I managed to squeeze in finishing one of those stupid Anita Shreve books. Sometimes she's OK, but this one was a dud. The Last Time They Met; I'll spare you the plot spoilers, but it didn't live up to the hype. Not sure I'll read anything else by her. I need to get this predilection for bad literature out of my system.

On a side note, I really appreciated the anonymous comment from a couple weeks ago. Not sure who left it, but it was very sweet and very flattering. I'll just bask in the glory and wonder privately who is secretly following my expurgated exploits.

Though if these are exploits, then my life is secretly very dull. Ah well, better than the alternative.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Welcome to February

Winter in Houston must mean rain. The days are grey, the weather is dreary.

But it's really not all that bad, not in the way that bone-numbing cold is. I'm from the Midwest, and we're a hearty stock. We're used to temps in the single digits, those days when the cold and wind are so sharp that it takes your breath away. I grew up this way; i can handle it. But I don't miss it. It will be 50 today, and that is a chilly day. It's cool enough for me to wear my sweaters and haul out the leather jackets, cool enough to enjoy a hot beverage and using the fireplace. But I don't have to wear gloves, and my children wear hoodies instead of jackets, much less coats. I held onto my dress coat, but if we stay here long-term, I'm not sure I want to dedicate the space (closet space being a valuable commodity ... and if you saw how big our closet is, and even heard the suggestion that it isn't big enough, you would be horrified ...)

We began the month by getting up early early early (before 6 - that is early for me) to attend Maddie's honor roll breakfast (which consisted of: donuts AND donut holes - what happened to healthy eating? Blech). It was nice - not so much the food, but the idea that they had it, and that all her friends were there, and we were both there. I like her to know that we care. At the high school they do nothing for honor roll kids; too bad, because they need some recognition, too.

Little Sylvia was a grouch; she doesn't usually get up until 7, but today she had to go next door at 7, so she was up around 20 til. She was in a snit because the sweatpants she wanted to wear were not clean (she wore them Tuesday, and the other pair yesterday). But I had all her Brownie stuff together, got her breakfast, her toothbrush, and her friend next door was excited to have her. (When I told her and Isabelle on Tuesday that Sylvia would go over there and catch the bus with Isabelle on Thursday, Isabelle said, you might want to call my mom and tell her - funny girls!). But Sylvie was better when Gary dropped her off.

Gary is off to Denver on a quickie trip, some business this and that. I would move to Denver in a minute, but I didn't tell him that; don't need him to appear over-eager in the meeting (!). Then I would definitely need my coat.

Snippy e-mails from my boss. However, to balance that out, I got a freelance recommendation. I think I can handle the karma trade-off.

So here I am, trying to decide whether to go to the movies today, or get my writing clips in order. Tough call ... seriously.

Ugly Betty tonight - a new one. Wheee. And Gary is gone, so it's girls' night, which I love. Girls Inc. has Ugly Betty t-shirts; I may order them for the girls for Valentines Day. Gary may have a business trip, so I'll be without a Valentine. Not the first time since I've known him, but for the most part, I've had a Valentine every year since 1985, and it will be sad to not have him here.

He'll owe me. Big time.

And February is off to a rockin' start.