Let’s put our addiction to good use!

reading and writing
are easier to do with
things like books, pencils

OK. So I’ve been thinking about this whole "I want to go to Office Depot and roll around in all of their spiral notebooks" problem I have. I’ve decided that instead of going somewhere and spending a boatload of money on school supplies for myself, I will spend a tiny bit of money on school supplies for myself (just to feed the beast, you know) and the rest I will donate to a couple of Texas classrooms who really, really need the help.

I’ve spent the evening reading through so many proposals that teachers have posted on Donorschoose.org, and really, it’s overwhelming. The fact that teachers have to go online and beg for basic supplies – pencils, notebooks, etc. – because there isn’t funding for it, breaks my heart. So, my fellow blog readers and writers, let’s do something about it. All we need to do is to raise $267.18 and we can buy three sets of novels for a 4th grade classroom in Brownsville. Books like Ramona Quimby: Age 8!

We can help do this. Can’t we?

Click on the "donors choose" button to the left and you can see more about the proposal I’ve chosen. God knows I want to choose more. There are teachers who need books to send home with their pre-K kids because the kids’ families don’t own any books to read to them… teachers who need money for construction paper… it’s crazy.

But maybe we can make a difference. Together we can raise a little money for these kids, can’t we? It’s money we’d all spend on new staplers we don’t really need anyway, right?

Come on, we have until September 30th to raise $267.18 (and if we do that, maybe we can also raise another $200 to buy supplies for a 10th grade creative writing class).

Who’s with me?

I’ve got the dorky tingles

moldy basement smell
dank shelves lining dark hallways
my favorite place

This time of year I get all tingly. I have to sit on my hands, and hide my car keys so that I don’t go out and spend $500 on books. I love it when school starts. I miss it.

In college, when others were plodding down the stairs of the UT Co-op to whine about how much textbooks cost, I was taking the stairs two at time, breathless at the thought of another semester’s worth of reading materials. I would spend hours prowling the hallways, buying my books and looking at the books of other classes. Many, many times, based on the books I saw, I would drop or add a class, or make plans to beg a professor to let me join a class that was full. Sometimes I’d even buy the books for a full class because even if I didn’t get in I still wanted to read them.

So, man, when this time of year rolls around I get the book buying itch. In fact, for the past three years I’ve bought "How to take the GRE" books with every intention of taking the test and spending the next few months figuring out what I need to do to get into graduate school during the next school year. I’ve finally given up on the grad school thing, though… with kiddos to take care of and books to write there’s no time for grad school. Plus, I think I’d like to get my MA in Art History (which is what my degree is in) and that means if I got accepted, I’d have to get special permission to take undergrad Russian language courses so that I’d have proficiency and I could study the works I’m most interested in. Most Art History graduate-level programs require reading and writing proficiency in French or German. I, of course, took classes in Italian and Russian. Alas, I just don’t have the time to jump through the hoops I’d need to. Of course, there are always graduate studies in writing, but I kind of hate to do that. I’ve always shunned taking creative writing courses. To me, writing is so personal and natural, it’d be like taking a course on how to breathe. Sure I might learn how breathe better or more efficiently, but I have my own way of breathing right now, and I like it very much.

Anyway, I have the book buying itch. Not that I have time to really read anything, but still. I’ve scratched my itch a bit by buying some fun middle grade and YA books – Evan Kuhlman’s Wolf Boy, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Eoin Colfer’s Half-Moon Investigations. I’d like to get some graphic novels – some of the Y: Last Man series and some more Runaways. And it’s always fun to buy books that, you know, might teach you things, too. Last year I bought about a million LBJ books. I’m still reading them.

Oh! I haven’t even mentioned the school supplies! Even though there is no school to go to, I can’t resist buying huge packages of spiral notebooks. Plus, pens of every color. Still need to go do that…

Sigh. I am such a dork. But I will always love school and its accompanying accoutrements. Maybe I’ll try to teach a class at the UT extension learning program: How To Write Haiku (Not the Real Kind).

That would be fun.

we went for a walk

promising reprieve
so worth waking up early
to smell trees again

And lo the rain fell to the scorching earth.

And inhabitants of said earth peered meekly from their doorways wondering what the hell was going on.

And the rain was cooling.

And the inhabitants dusted off the jogging stroller and big wheel.

Lo, there was walking and pedaling.

And there was happiness even though everyone had been awake since 4:45am because of the thunder.

And it is still only 73 degrees.

And it is good.


extremely long post
for extremely long awards
hours of TV fun

This is also posted on my other blog, in case you were wondering.

So, yeah, the Emmy’s are on Sunday, August 27th. There seems to be a
lot of animosity towards the awards this year because shows like Lost
and Desperate Housewives were completely ignored. This doesn’t bother
me. My animosity towards the Emmy voters has always been about shows
like The Wire being completely and utterly ignored. And yet… I’m
totally sucked into the award show zeitgeist. Award shows rock. And,
actually, I think this years Emmy nominees represent an interesting mix
of what was on the (usually) crappy tube of 2005.

can only hope that next year Emmy voters will watch shows like Weeds
and Deadwood (which wasn’t eligible for the 2005 awards), The Wire,
Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, and the like. But don’t hold your breath.

OK. On to the picks!

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series nominees are:
Steve Carell for The Office
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kevin James, The King of Queens
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Charlie Sheen, Two and Half Head Shakes That This Show Gets Nominated For Anything

As. I. Painfully. Ignore. The. Fact. That. Kevin Nealon. Was. Snubbed. I’m gonna guess that Steve Carell
wins this one hands down. I know I shouldn’t admit this, but he FRIGGIN
ANNOYS THE HELL OUT OF ME IN THE OFFICE so much so that I can’t watch
the show. I want to like it. I’ve tried to like it. But I just can’t.
Maybe he’s too good of an actor, I don’t know. But his character is so
grating, he makes me want to kick the TV so hard it eats my shoe a la
Mr. Mom. I can’t stand it. But I bet he wins.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nominees are:
Stockard Channing, Out of Practice
Jane Kascmericouldneverspellthisinamillionyears, Malcom in the Middle
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Elaine, I mean, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of This Show’s Title Is Too Long
Debra Messing, Will & Grace

I’m gonna guess Lisa Kudrow
takes this one. Dark horse, I know. But she’s a fine actress and in the
show she’s a fine actress acting like a bad actress acting like a
washed up diva. Sounds like Emmy to me. It would be nice to see Jane
Whatshername get an award, though. She was a great TV mom.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominees are:
Will Arnett, Arrested Development. Seriously. He got nominated! See, you can’t hate the voters all THAT much.
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men. Wait. Yes, you can.
Bryan Cranston, Malcom in the Middle
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace
Jeremy Piven, Entourage

much as I love Will Arnett and as funny as he is, I have to say that
Jeremy Piven’s character is more well-rounded (I know, I know) so I’m
picking good ol’ J.P. Don’t like it? Hug it out.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominees are:
Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Elizabeth "Super Bitch That You Hate To Love" Perkins, Weeds
Megan Mullalllaallaly, Will & Grace
Alfre Woodard, Desperate Housewives

is such a strange conglomeration of actresses. Seriously. Alfre
Woodard? Do comedy Emmy’s go to people who act dramatically in comedy
series? Weird. I’m gonna go with my heart on this one. And though I
love Elizabeth Perkins in Weeds, I really, really want Jaime Pressly to win. She is hoo-larious in Earl.

Comedy Series nominees are:
Arrested Development
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
Two And a Half Gonna Sweep The Friggin’ Emmy’s Because It Sucks So Bad

I choose Arrested Development,
duh. It is hands down the funniest show ever to be on television. It’s
smart, multi-layered, well-acted, and wait. I change my mind. Any show that good will never win. I choose, instead, The Office. It has all the buzz.

Lead Actor in Dramatic Series nominees are:
Keifer! 24
Peter Krause, Six Feet under
Denis Leary, Rescue Me From A Name Spelled Almost The Same as Penis
Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU
Martin Sheen, The West Wing

I’m gonna go with Martin Sheen
on this one. Not because he’s my favorite, but he’s the one I think
will win. Really, no one here is my favorite, though I have a sweet
spot for Keifer! because of the way he acts with no facial expressions
at all.

Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series nominees are:
Geena Davis, Commander in Sorry We Totally Screwed Up This Show By Firing Rod Lurie
Francis Conroy, Six Feet Under
"Don’t ask me about my mom" Hargitay (or TayHargi, if you’re trying to
translate it from pig latin), Law & Order: SVU
Allison Janney, The West Wing
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

I’m going with Kyra
as the dork horse. Funny accents in dramatic shows, plus ho-hos =
insert your own joke here. I think she might just win. Though Geena
Davis had an AWESOME acceptance speech last year, so if she wins, I’ll
be OK with it. And also, as the president, she was strangely hot to me.

Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series nominees are:
Alan Alda, The West Wing
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
Gregory Itzin, 24
Oliver Creepy Platt, Huff
WHY LORD WHY Shatner, Boston Legal

Platt should win because his character is the best acted on Huff. He’s
funny and dirty and gross and great, and I applaud what Ollie does with
his lines. But I think Itzin has this one in the bag as the
duplicitous president in 24. No one in Hollywood likes our real-life
duplicitous president, so they’re going to vote for Itzin to put The
Man on notice.

Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series nominees are:
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Blythe Danner, Huff
Sandra Oh Why Am I The Only One Who Isn’t So Crazy About Her Acting, Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart, 24
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy

category has a lot of really great nominees. I can really see any of
them winning – and deserving it. I have my reservations about Sandra
Oh, but she’s sort of growing on me. He character is actually becoming
a wee bit more three-dimensional on GA, so I’ll reserve judgement.
haha. I think Jean Smart will take this, and she was fantastic.
But I want Chandra Wilson to win. Her character is nuanced, and her
acting is funny and charming. She, of course, doesn’t have a chance in
H-E-Double hockey sticks.

Dramatic Series nominees are:
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos
The West Wing

are funky times in TVLand. House gets no acting nods. The Sopranos gets
one. Yet they get series nods. If we’re going to play the game THAT
way, why not nominate The Wire for series?

I’m going with House
as the winner here. The West Wing could take it for sentimental
reasons, but I think House wins even though I’ve never seen the show.
Should I admit that?

So there you have it, friends.
CurlyHairedTVDork’s Emmy predictions. Right ’em down, cause they’re
probably all wrong and you’ll want to mock me on Monday morning.

is that snow?

put away dark clothes
something wicked this way comes
evil cradle cap

I must preface this story with the fact that we’ve suddenly found ourselves combating some pretty gnarly cradle cap that’s settled in on the wee-er one’s head. In order to win the battle, I’ve been greasing up her head with olive oil like she’s a Sunday goose. It’s hell on MY complexion (nuzzling olive oil = crazy ass zits) but it seems to be working against the Gross Head Stuff.

Anyway, this morning, the wee-er one is in her swing and the wee one is playing with his "indoor sandbox" (a shoebox partially filled with really old Rice Krispies and some spoons) and I decided it seemed like a good time to go to the bathroom.

When I get back, the wee one is smirking. I take note of the smirk but I don’t question him. I do, however, notice that his sister is awake. I grab her up out of the swing to nurse her and I notice that the vaguely pasta-ish smell she’s had since we began the olive oil regimen is now a kind of fruity smell. Huh.

Then the wee one comes over and pats her head. I notice his hand kind of sticks there. He smiles at me. I give him that sideways, "Whatchoo been up to, Willis," look. Then he says brightly, "I put fruit punch in her hair so her head will be soft."


my mamas

my sore back is had
by a village of mamas
I have their backs, too

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself I forget how truly lucky I am. Not only do I have a support system of family and close friends, I have my mamas.

When the wee-er one was born, our family had meals brought to us twice a week for a month – from people we had never met face-to-face. These mamas made sure we had food, and that the kiddos and I had someone to talk to during those crazy first weeks.

And now that the crazy first weeks have turned into the crazy next weeks, my mamas are still there. They goad me into coming to a fun happy hour (which I enjoyed in a surgical strike – I ran in, all wide-eyed and crazy. I chatted like a person starved for adult conversation. I drank a Coke. Then I sped back home, only 20 minutes late for the wee-er one’s nightly meltdown.).

My mamas answer my repetitive questions. They offer support when it seems like the world is out to get me – and they offer congratulations when it seems like the world is NOT out to get me. They are like a force field, protecting me, well, mostly from myself.

The most amazing thing, though, is that I haven’t actually met most of these mamas in real life. We only know each other through our local listserv. But finally, as I shake off my silly worry of being a social dork (I am one. period. I have to just get over it.), I’m starting to go to more outings. The kiddos and I are venturing out to get togethers. We’re having more playdates. And even when it’s miserable – like the Should Have Known It Was Too Soon Playgroup Disaster of ’06 from last week, it’s nice to know that there’s commiseration – not irritation.

My mamas help keep me sane. They make me laugh. They make me cry. Sometimes they make me mad, but most of the time they offer a circle of protectiveness and love.

What a rare and lucky thing to have.

things I keep forgetting to tell you

1) I saw Quentin Tarantino last weekend, in the lobby of the downtown Omni. He was surrounded by a bevy of Betty Page lookalikes who made me feel very uncool, and he was very tall.

2) The wee one has his first self-administered haircut and his scissors are in time-out on top of the fridge. When he was done "layering" his hair he came out of the bathroom, confessed to what he’d done and then said – I swear this is what he said – "I guess I should leave hair-cutting to the trained professionals, huh, mommy?"

3) I just finished reading KING DORK by Dr. Frank. And though I lamely admit to not really knowing much about his music, his book was highly entertaining. It’s worth the read for all the band names alone. Now, it did make me have nightmares about various dorks (including myself) from high school, but the quasi-mystery and the descriptions of the "subnormal/drama" kids and others are really swell. Frank Portman has created a fabulous voice in Tom/Moe/Chi-Mo, a voice that I wish I had created. It’s just right on.

4) There was something else, but I have, of course, forgotten it.