Memories of Meals

Before I gave up red meat at 12 (and later all meat at 17), our family ate  a lot of –

Pot Roast (meat, potatoes, carrots)

Steak (which my sister and I dipped in Western dressing. This was originally her tasty idea. Do they make Western dressing anymore?)

Turkey Tetrazzini

Something comprised of toast, melted cheese, ham, asparagus, and yes, Western dressing. This was a favorite.

Pork chops.


I also often strongly encouraged having breakfast for dinner. French Toast was a favorite.

These are the meals my daughter will have memories of (because she only likes about 8 things)–

Fake chicken burgers with a fake chicken patty, ketchup, and a white bun

Egg “tacos” –a white flour tortilla, scrambled egg, and fake bacon

Annie’s Mac and Cheese box dinner with the cheese packet (although she now says she is sick of this)

Spaghetti with marinara

Noodles in butter with parmesan cheese

Fake meat corn dogs

Cheese Pizza

Seasoned tofu and sticky rice (mostly eaten at her best friend’s house. Her best friend’s mother is Thai and she’s a wonderful cook and makes perfect sticky rice).

She will sometimes eat broccoli. She’ll eat carrots if she can dip them in ranch dressing. Cucumbers too. But salad is pretty much against her religion.



this photo makes me laugh

this photo makes me laugh

these two ladies like to compete for my attention. one cannot stand if the other is receiving love and she is not. two old ladies. betsy the dog and edith the cat. i love them, the shits.

Saturday Night

She likes to eat dry cereal (with a glass of soy milk on the side) and watch Pokemon movies. Sometimes at the same time she’ll play a game on the iPad and work on some sort of list that makes no sense to me (words with numbers next to them). She likes to make lists just like her dad. She’s like him in other ways, too. They make the same expression when they are concentrating and they have a thing for sequences and systems. 

I’m wrapping presents, eating cereal (with the soy milk in it) and listening to one of my Pandora stations. Dinosaur Jr. sings, “I feel the pain of everyone. And sometimes I feel nothing.” I know how it is. 

My chubby beagle looks at me from the couch, her chin resting on arm. She wants to be with me always. Her love is infinite. 

Dulcie got a ukelele for her birthday in August. I wish she and her dad would learn to play it already. It would be nice to hear some Ukelele around here. 

the days go by so fast

I don’t remember last week. Or the week before that. I don’t remember being 31 or 32. Last night was like most nights. I watched TV. I read some. I ate cheese tortellini for dinner. The kiddo didn’t want to work on her homework and got frustrated that she couldn’t play her video games. 

This is my life. I eat a lot of cheese tortellini. Some other nights I eat spaghetti. There is a lot of sameness. I have my ears pierced but I rarely remember to put earrings in. 

Today I remembered to wear a necklace. I was hoping it would be the start of something new and special. Alison remembering to think about her appearance! Alison will start exercising! Alison will eat more greens! Alison will finish her novel!

The days are going by and in just over a year I will be forty and I know it is going to be hard because I’m going to think MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!? Or rather, MY GOD WHAT HAVEN’T I DONE? The answer is, a lot.

AT the same time, I hate hate hate to be thinking like this because, for really reals, life is good. I have all my limbs! My kid is a good kid. My husband cooks most of my meals and gets up and shovels the walk on snow days. Plus he’s cute. I have a good job. I like my job. I make a difference in people’s lives! I love my house and my animals and my family and there really isn’t anything preventing me from getting exercise and eating better and finishing my novel except my own laziness.

And isn’t it ok not to be great? I think it is. We have to be OK with not being nobel prize winners and famous authors and wealthy and breathtakingly beautiful. I think we do. I tell myself I do. I do most of the time. 

I wear a necklace and I guess it is a small thing to help the day be different and more special. Because they go so fast and I don’t remember all the little things. I don’t want it to be that way. Even if I don’t figure it all out and get it all together and have greatness. I want it to matter anyway. 


Top 100 all time favorite movies (I think) because Nathan Bransford Said So

I’m a big fan of Nathan Bransford’s blog (etc.) and I love movies and this sort of honors my hubby too, because he is such a list freak.

So here are 100 of my favorite movies. I’m listing them with numbers, but I’m thinking that after 20 or so they can be somewhat interchangeable.

1. The Apartment (Wilder)

2. Rushmore (Wes Anderson)

3. Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich)

4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg)

5. 2001 (Kubrick)

6. Splendor in the Grass (Kazan)

7. Days of Heaven (Malick)

8.Blue Velvet (Lynch)

9. The Piano (Campion)

10. Ordinary People (Redford)

11. A Room with a View (Ivory)

12. Exotica (Egoyan)

13. an angel at my table (Campion)

14. Jesus’ Son (MacLean)

15. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Soderbergh)

16. East of Eden (Kazan)

17. North by Northwest (Hitchcock)

18. Being John Malkovich (Jonze)

19. Crumb (Zwigoff)

20. Harold and Maude (Ashby)

21. You Can Count on Me (Lonergan)

22.. Annie Hall (Allen)

23. Mulholland Drive (D. Lynch)

24. Buffalo 66 (Gallo)

25. Bottle Rocket (W. Anderson)

26. My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki)

27. The Shining (S. Kubrick)

28. Persuasion (Michell)

29.Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski)

30. The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson)

31. Irma Vep (Assayas)

32. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir)

33. Magnolia (P.T. Anderson)

34. Touch of Evil (Welles)

35. A Bug’s Life

36. American Movie (Smith)

37. The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)

38. Manhattan (Allen)

39. Slacker (Linklater)

40. The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles)

41. The 400 Blows (Truffaut)

42. there will be blood (Anderson)

43. Before Sunrise (Linklater)

44. Young Frankenstein (Brooks)

45. Breaking the Waves (von Trier)

46. My Sex Life—Or How I Got Into an Argument (Desplechin)

47. The Night of the Hunter (Laughton)

48. Hannah and Her Sisters (Allen)

49. Sweetie (Campion)

50. Beau Travail (Denis)

51. Kicking and Screaming (Baumbach)

52. Tootsie (Pollack)

53.  The Red Shoes (Powell, Pressburger)

54. Bringing Up Baby (Hawks)

55. Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick)

56. True Grit (Coen Brothers)

57. The Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)

58. Rebel Without a Cause (Ray)

59. Raising Arizona (Coens)

60. Flirting with Disaster (D. O. Russell)

61. Adaptation (Jonze)

62. Ghost World (Zwigoff)

63. West Side Story (Robbins, Wise)

64. A Separation (Farhadi)

65. Moonrise Kingdom (Anderson)

66. This is Spinal Tap (Reiner)

67. The Big Lebowski (Coens)

68. Mutual Appreciation (Bujalski)

69. The White Ribbon (Haneke)

70. Masculin Feminin (Godard)

71. Memento (Nolan)

72. Some Like It Hot (Wilder)

73. Trouble in Paradise (Lubitsch)

74. Metropolitan (Stillman)

75. The Host (Bong Joon-Ho)

76. The Squid and the Whale (Baumbach)

77. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry)

78. Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai)

79. Vanya on 42nd St (Malle)

80. Red (Kieslowski)

81. Election (Payne)

82. Barcelona (Stillman)

83. Talk to Her (Almodovar)

84. Bad Santa (Zwigoff)

85. Shock Corridor (S. Fuller)

86. Donnie Darko (Kelly)

87.  empire of the sun (Spielberg)

88. Vertigo (Hitchcock)

89. The Best Intentions (August)

90. Naked (Leigh)

91. The Exorcist (Friedkin)

92. Stand by Me (Reiner)

93. E.T. (Spielberg)

94. Cache (Haneke)

95. L’Atalante (Vigo)

96. Duck Soup (McCarey)

97. Fight Club (Fincher)

98. Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)

99. A Place in the Sun (Stevens)

100. Say Anything (Crow)



I thought I just hated Mondays, but today I don’t much care for Thursday, either.



I like this. Loobylu had it posted on her site and I was all over it. I need to get my creativity on more, I really, really do. Also, I miss picture books. I miss bringing that huge pile of delicious looking stories and pictures home from the library. I miss discovering some truly beautiful, precious, inspiring, neato-benito, cool, artsy books for the little ones. Oliver Jeffers, Kevin Henkes, Martin Waddell, the list goes on.

Like Ever

Taylor Swift has done it again. Her songs are so catchy that once I hear them they live in my head for a long time, playing and replaying like a broken record. I don’t even relate to them–not really. Perhaps some far away self of mine with crushes on boys, but even then, I was never a Juliet or girl in the bleachers or whatever. And for sure I’ve never had an on again off again relationship (unless you can’t Ben from 5th-7th grade). 

I don’t mind Taylor Swift though. I like the tunes. The lyrics are fine. Girl power!

on death

I’m about to get philosophical. Here we go.


Being human is being aware of one’s death. I wonder about animals, if they have an awareness of their own end. Of course a rabbit runs from the fox afraid of being eaten, it’s her instinct. But if the fox never came would she think about the days and months passing by? Would she fear death?

It’s a weird thing to know about. I will someday not be here. Sometimes it’s not so bad to think about, after all, life can be quite exhausting. And when you’re old and your body doesn’t work as well and your friends and family have left you behind, I imagine it is a comfort to think of everlasting peace.

But because we don’t know what happens next the idea of never existing AT ALL, at least with consciousness, is too weird to ponder.

But I don’t think what gets us all so freaked out is actually death itself, because we can’t really comprehend that. What we can comprehend, however, is 2 things: 1, pain and 2, not mattering.

Pain sucks. Pain is scary. Pain makes us feel helpless and powerless and other than to protect us from danger (so we don’t put forks in our eyes) there’s not much good about it. When we fear the stranger coming into our house with a butcher knife it isn’t because we don’t want to lose consciousness, it’s because we don’t want to experience getting stabbed!

Jumping out of airplanes and walking on tightropes seem so scary because our natural preservation instinct kicks in. We are meant to stay alive as long as possible. Like the rabbit.

Not mattering is something most of us think about often, realizing it or not. The drive to be rich and famous is a drive to matter. The worship of youth is because we think they matter more. Being beautiful, thin, important, powerful, and here is all about mattering. And when we think about getting old we think about being forgotten and invisible. That’s the pain of feeling ugly and damaged–it feels like you are invisible, less important, and easily forgotten.

With death, with nothing left behind (a book, a child, a legacy) what is to prove we were ever here? And beyond that, that we made a difference? That people care about our absence?

How do we make sense of our lives if we don’t feel our own importance to others?

fall is here

I would share a photo but I’m having trouble figuring out photos. I know it isn’t officially fall yet. Not for another week. But school is in session and the football games are happening and there are even some leaves changing. Bless fall. Bless it! It makes me giddy.


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