Tuesday, April 29, 2008

GT Alums Make Cool Knitted Stuff for Kids

BlaBla is a store created by two Georgia Tech grads (Go Jackets!) that began after the owners took a trip to Peru where they were inspired by local knitters. They use locally grown materials and Peruvian artisans, are committed to fair trade, and their products include everything from sweaters and hats and adorable backpacks to finger puppets, pillows, and mobiles (my favorite!) and almost everything in between. The designs are bright and colorful and fun, and they are based right here in Atlanta! You can read more of their story here.

Best of all, you can win one of their cute Dalmatian hats over at Seven Dogs and a Baby! I'd never heard of these folks before I saw the contest, but now that I have I'm hooked! Their products are bright and fun and modern and yet also handmade! I may just have to make a trip to their store in the Highlands to check them out in person! Has anyone else heard of or seen these cute designs before?


No More TLC

This post is not about my lack of attention. This is about the cable channel. Although, I suppose the two could be related.

We have the most basic cable available. I think we pay something like $13/month just so we don't have to use bunny ears to watch the networks. We also receive at least three local religious stations, two home shopping channels, a couple of Spanish networks, C-Span 1 and 2, and Fox Business, of all things. Not that great.

Well, at the beginning of last month, we noticed we were getting a few extra channels on our new HD television. The magical cable fairy from the land of the addictive glowing screen had bestowed not one, but at least three new premium channels into our box: AMC, ABC Family, and my personal favorite TLC. Somehow, these had slipped passed the almighty television Nazis and were coming through to us, the lowly basic cable subsribers. Gaines knows how it works; I'm still fuzzy on all of that. I wanted to blog about our unexpected gift earlier, but thought that some cable person might see it and decide to take away my TLC because of my hubris.

It doesn't matter anymore because I discovered yesterday that they are gone! (Well, we still have ABC Family but who really watches that?) My TLC channel is now "encrypted," and if I want to keep up with new episodes of Jon & Kate + 8 or watch Clinton and Stacy dole out fashion advice, I'll have to wait until we visit my parents' lake place to get my binge. And I never even took advantage of my chance to see Paige's return on Trading Spaces!

It's true that you never realize how much you'll miss something until it's gone. However, in this case, it may just be a blessing. Too much TLC, in this form, is bad for me. Which is why I'm attacking the laundry monster that has accumulated over the last several weeks...


Friday, April 25, 2008

Win Personalized Note Cards

I've been neglectful in mentioning that I have a little giveaway going on at my other blog. It's been such a busy week I (almost) forgot to let you all know about it.

Since I've been recently encouraged to consider calligraphy as a professional side endeavor, I'm giving away a set of personalized blank note cards. I figure that real mail is in keeping with the celebratory purpose of a party-planning blog. I know I always did a little dance when I got real mail at camp or college (though I'm trying to be better about sending it!). Anyway, the giveaway ends tomorrow morning at 8am, so I'd love for you all to have a chance to win!

To enter the contest, click here.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Race and Christianity

Recordings are now available from the Together For the Gospel 2008 conference. Worthy of special mention is Thabiti Anyabwile's presentation on "Bearing the Image: Identity, the Work of Christ, and the Church." I will shamelessly steal Michael Spencer's summary posted at the Boar's Head Tavern:
Anyabwile’s thesis is that the biological discussion of race is anti-Biblical and a complete distraction from what will cause us to see ourselves and others as descendants of Adam (biologically and spiritually) and in the “one new man/race” reality that actually enables us to build communities that witness to Christ and the Gospel.

This is a very good discussion of "race" from a Christian viewpoint. Listen to it.

(H/T to the BHT)


Weekend Travels

Over the weekend we took a short trip to Alabama.

We stopped at Lake Martin on Friday night to see my parents and celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary! Go Mom and Dad! And we had the best steaks ever at a little out-of-the way place called Poplar Dawg. Jacob enjoyed the smashed potatoes, though wasn't too keen on bits of steak. He will learn in time. Mmmmmm.

It was supposed to be a restful getaway, but Jacob woke up at 2:30 local time and didn't want to go back to sleep until about 8:00 that morning. Thankfully, my mom took over for a bit so I could nap. My Aunt Bertha arrived and we ate a delicious lunch at Oskar's, and hopped back in the car. Jacob finally slept. It was a beautiful drive in the Alabama countryside, with rolling green farms and forests on either side of the highway. Good times.

That afternoon, we traveled up to Sylacauga to see Gaines' grandparents. Really, one of the main reasons we came was to see them (or, more accurately, for them to see Jacob). As a bonus, Gaines volunteered to stay with Jacob at their house while I went with my family to attend my second cousin's wedding. We spent summers together at camp when we were small and ended up attending the same college, so I was excited to see her and her family again.

The wedding took place at Foxhall Farm, owned by a friend of the bride's family, and was unlike any farm I have ever seen. Imagine a tree-covered hillside with green lawns and gardens nestled between two large houses overlooking a lake (though they called one a bunkhouse, it was a far cry from any bunkhouse I've stayed in. Definitely not summer camp!). The atmosphere was quite casual and my family and I arrived early, so we had plenty of time to sip some beverages and mingle before the ceremony began.

The wedding took place in the evening, on a small circular patio overlooking the dock and the lake. My dad noticed some ducks flying off as the bride walked down the path to her groom. A beautiful ceremony, but I have to say I think that's the first time I've ever attended a wedding wearing flowered pink flip flops. (The flip flops were a brilliant idea--they provided a basketfull for all of us ladies in heels to wear because we kept getting stuck in the pine straw!) All of the guests stood around on the hillside to watch the procession. My cousin Elizabeth looked gorgeous, and her sisters and bridesmaids were all beautiful in their soft green gowns.

This wedding was quite the interesting affair. Someone commented at dinner that it was the first time he could recall saying the Lord's prayer while holding a beer. (I opted for champagne. Still, a first for me, too.) The groom's side were all from New York and I'm sure they received a large dose of Southern hospitality over the weekend! The groom is a personal trainer and we spotted a few semi-famous faces in the crowd (think reality TV + models). The buffet reception included delicious Southern specialties like fried green tomatoes, potato salad, and red velvet cake. It felt a bit like a dressed-up Sunday potluck, but I didn't mind at all!

I enjoyed myself immensely, yet I felt quite strange without Gaines by my side. I think this was my first "solo" wedding post-marriage, though technically I was tagging along with my parents. I did get to chat with some folks I knew from Birmingham-Southern and catch up with the many extended cousins and family that I rarely get to see, some I hadn't seen in over 15 years. I vaguely remembered some of the more distant relatives from family reunions and Christmas card photos and kept having to rack my brain for the connections. I really needed a large flow chart or at least this diagram. It was great seeing everyone nonetheless.

On the drive home, every car was stopped at a police checkpoint on the road leading back to the main highway. I think the small-town officers needed to meet a quota or just didn't have anything better to do on a Saturday night--there were at least 5 police cars parked along the road.

Thankfully, I was dropped off at the grandparents' safely after bidding adieu to my parents and aunts. I found that Jacob had enjoyed large servings of mashed potatoes at dinner and was soundly asleep. He actually slept eight hours straight, which is a good night for him. One day we will enjoy those ten-hour uninterrupted nights again, but it is not to be right now.

Sunday we enjoyed a lazy morning and drove home around midday, stopping a few times to give Jacob a break from the hot car and to soothe his sore gums. We could see the Atlanta skyline when he finally broke down, but I think it was due to overtiredness, because he promptly fell asleep once we got to the Perimeter. All in all, in was a great weekend spent with family and now we are home and back to the weekly routine.

Hopefully, these teeth that are giving Jacob trouble will emerge soon. We all could use a little more rest.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Everything is Better with Ice Cream

Every year, Edy's Ice Cream sponsors their Slow-Churned Neighborhood Salute! We have always been big fans of community-building here at Team Redd, and what better way to get to know someone that over a big bowl of Edy's Ice Cream? All you have to do is write a 350 word essay (or less) on why you think your neighborhood should win! They give the grand prize to 1,500 winners, so if you are creative and original in your essay, you have a good chance to win! The contest runs now through May 30th and the winners are revealed in July.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Links

  • If you read my lengthy post on plastics (good for you!), then you might be surprised to learn that due to all the negative publicity, Nalgene has announced a new website to promote their new BPA-free plastic containers. Um, good for them, I think. They're catching on!

  • I just discovered the The Typo Eradication Advancement League. I want to join! Can I make my own little correction kit? If I'd known about this when they were in Atlanta, I would've sent them to Birmingham instead of Montgomery next. Poor, sad deserted Montgomery malls. Or I could've at least sent them toward some friendly relatives! They could've had a hey-day in my hometown. Or the Florida Panhandle. I guess Mobile is close enough. (HT to Rocks in My Dryer).

  • Barb linked to this neat rescue center in Georgia called Noah's Ark that houses children as well as animals, and uses each to help rehabilitate the other. Apparently, they are rehabilitating a Zebra and were featured on the local news last week.

  • Finally, I turned on the news this morning to see my grad school Shakespeare professor, Dr. Paul Voss, interviewed because he and his family (5 children!) are off to see the Pope. It'll be his third time meeting the man, and the story of his chutzpah on a school trip to the Vatican is priceless.

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    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    Concert Review: Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken - 4/11/08

    Who: Derek Webb / Sandra McCracken
    When: 4/11/08
    Where: Eddie's Attic (Decatur, GA)

    Live music has always been a Team Redd staple. We've eased back on our concert-going lately, since we get plenty of free entertainment from Jacob. But when we saw that Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken (two of our favorite artists) were coming back to Eddie's Attic (one of our favorite concert venues), we couldn't pass it up. Since we've lauded Eddie's in numerous previous posts, I'll simply note that the venue is one of the best places ever to hear singer/songwriters. They always book great acts, the listening room is cozy, and the audiences are super-attentive. Allison and I braved the brewing April storms and trekked down to Decatur, met up with some friends, and braced ourselves for some fantastic music.

    For the uninitiated, Derek Webb is a former member of the band Caedmon's Call, and he has released a string of terrific albums since striking out on his own. Sandra McCracken is Derek's wife and a phenomenal singer/songwriter in her own right. Each has released an impressive discography as a solo artist. But the real magic happens when they collaborate together, especially in a live setting. There's just something about their performances together that isn't always apparent on the albums (as great as they are). We went to the first of two shows they played last night. Unfortunately, a late start meant a shorter show, since they had to clear us out in time for the second show. Nevertheless, fun was had by all.

    They opened the show with Sandra's "Last Goodbye." The first set consisted mostly of Sandra's songs with a few of the duets from their new Ampersand EP. On all but one ("Springtime, Indiana"), Derek provided guitar and vocal backup. Unfortunately, Derek was recovering from being sick, so he was having some issues with the high notes. But it still sounded good. (Digression - I think the last time we saw them perform, Sandra was sick. Maybe next time we'll get both of them healthy!)

    Sandra played a good sampling from her albums, with the notable exception of The Builder and the Architect (probably due to time constraints). They played three songs from Ampersand, including a version of Dylan's "If Not For You." She also played a couple of new songs. I thought it was funny that whenever Derek talks about his "new" songs, he's referring to songs from his latest album. For Sandra, however, "new" songs are those she hasn't yet recorded. She said she had written about nine songs for a new album, which is very cool news. I'm amazed at how prolific a writer she is, even moreso since she writes such quality songs. The two new ones were great, with an especially poignant one called "Tie That Binds," which beautifully juxtaposed lyrics about a dying child with references to Jesus and the empty tomb.

    Derek played his set solo, starting with "Lover" and winding through selections from all his solo albums (with the absence of I See Things Upside Down). He also threw in "Faith My Eyes" (from Caedmon's 40 Acres album) as a crowd request. As someone who has seen Derek many times, I found the most interesting performances were songs from his latest album ("Name" and "I Wanna Marry You All Over Again" from The Ringing Bell). On the album, these tracks are full-band rockers, but last night they were stripped-down and bluesier -- a completely different feel, but it worked. Derek closed the night with "This Too Will Be Made Right," a hopeful note that was even more appropriate given the menacing storm that was rolling into the area by the end of the show.

    In between songs, Derek exhibited his typical banter. He noted that just a few days prior, he was terribly sick and motionless on his couch, unsure whether he would even be playing at Eddie's. But then Sandra put on the DVD of Back to the Future, which restored him. (At one point between songs, Derek had a brief coughing fit, and Sandra jokingly asked if she should put the DVD on the in-house video monitor for him.) After a brief disagreement on the setlist, Derek explained that he and Sandra try to have all their arguments on-stage, noting that "it's cheaper than going to a marriage counselor, and the audience gets a little extra entertainment." He bemusedly described how the biggest "hit" he's had since going solo is a song that got used on Grey's Anatomy -- "over a montage of fornicating doctors." And finally, as usual, Derek implored the audience to show their love to the good folks behind the bar. "Remember, their love language is beer sales." Quips like these help flesh out Derek as a weird, funny little guy, which makes him all the more endearing.

    All in all, Derek and Sandra put on another great show, as expected. They are definitely two of best singer/songwriters around these days, and all the more so when they join each other on the stage. If they are playing anywhere in your vicinity, don't miss them.

    Setlist (semi-complete and somewhat in order)

    Sandra (with Derek)
    Last Goodbye
    Long Way Home
    Trade My Love
    When the Summer's Gone
    If Not For You
    Springtime Indiana (solo)
    new song
    Tie That Binds
    No More Tears

    Nobody Loves Me
    A New Law
    King and a Kingdom
    Faith My Eyes
    I Wanna Marry You All Over Again
    Wedding Dress
    This Too Shall Be Made Right


    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Plastic, Plastic, Everywhere...

    and nary a safe kind to drink from!

    Other title possibility: "Thank you, Science Olympiad!"

    When I was a senior in high school, our Science Olympiad team won the state championship and we got to fly to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the National Competition.

    I was in multiple events; we were a small town high school with a small team. (We were also WAY out of our league. Thank you, South Carolina for coming in dead last, just below us!) Some of my favorite events from my years on the team, stretching all the way back to junior high, were Rocks, Minerals and Fossils, Name that Organism, Write It/Do It, and the one I excelled in: Designer Genes. (I still have nightmares about getting lost in the woods on some nature idetification event that tested your orienteering skills. I have probably blocked that event name from my memory.) But perhaps the most useful, though I wouldn't have thought it to be at the time, was a new event that year called Polymer Detectives.

    Basically, I got to be the guinea pig for this new event that was all about plastics. When I was a participant, they gave you little pieces of plastics to test to try to identify their properties. You could see if they floated, bend them, and touch them, though I don't remember being able to burn them, though we probably did. I burned lots of things in high school.

    For the event, my partner and I had to memorize the properties of all 7 types of plastics and be able to identify them from tiny samples. One example -- if you could tell that the piece was from a plastic milk bottle, you knew it was Type 2, HDPE, and could go on to answer questions about its properties. (Not that I was any good at the event, really--most of the time I think it felt like we were just guessing.)

    But I am thankful for some of that Plastic Detective knowledge now, because today it helped me identify some harmful plastics in my own home!

    There have been many studies released recently about dangerous chemicals in some polycarbonate plastics, called BPA's, that can leach out into whatever you put in them, possibly due to heat. That's why you should never microwave plastic containers, and some are still not safe to clean in the dishwasher. They have found levels of these BPA chemicals in the urine of pregnant and nursing moms and kids. I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I want some crazy chemicals leaching into my body. This morning, they highlighted unsafe drinking bottles and cups on the Today show (Click here to see a video segement.)

    The most surprising thing I learned from the Today Show segment (and confirmed on the Z Report) was that Nalgene bottles, those staples of my college years, are actually high in BPA's!

    So, look at the labels before you buy! This morning on the Today Show, they boiled it down to a pretty simple formula:

    NEVER use Type 3, 6, or 7 plastics for drinking or eating.

    Type 1 plastics: Only use once, then take to a recycling center. Do not re-use, because washing and cleaning with harsh chemicals can release BPA's into what your drink.

    The rest should be okay, especially if they are labeled BPA free, like Born Free bottles.

    Better yet, use glass or metal! Glass baby bottles are making a comeback. And so are aluminum sippy cups.

    But, if you have lots of plastic kids' cups and can't find a plastic label or are unsure about the BPA content, then this site is a great resource for finding out if your children's products are harmful:

    The Z Report on BPA in Children's Feeding Products

    The above report even has a mobile number you can call to find out information about plastic products when you are out shopping. I would recommend at least checking it out to see if any of the products you have are made by the companies listed as "Fair" or "Poor."

    As soon as I watched the report this morning, I checked my son's sippy cups. I had just bought a set of 5 cups and 2 bowls with lids on sale for only $10, thinking that surely those would be unsafe. (They are made in China, but that's a different story.) They were Type 5, and labeled dishwasher and microwave safe. Ok.

    But, I picked up my son's Gerber Fun Grips Soft Starter Spill Proof Cup (the one with the two handles) to examine it. There was no plastic type insignia. No label at all. And here is where my former glory as a Science Olympian came in handy...it looked a bit like type 3 plastic to me. I couldn't be sure without damaging the cup, so I checked the Z Report. Sure enough, although many of the Gerber cups ARE safe, the Fun Grips Cup with the double handles is not BPA-free.

    Bye, bye, Gerber cup, and good riddance! We never liked you anyway because your two handles make it too easy to sling around milk everywhere. I'm hoping to replace it soon with either a SIGG kid's bottle, Kleen Kanteen or Foogoo by Thermos Sippy Cup. Or maybe all three!

    I hope this has been an entertaining and informative public service announcement. Parents, go check out your kids' cups!


    I Have a Shelf Full of School Notebooks

    I keep them because they remind me of who I think I am, the person I would like to develop into, but who I might possibly never be. I can’t let go of them, though, because they represent something in me I can’t quite name. I’ve never wanted to embrace the fact that I remain in the “potential” stage, but the folders and files prove to me that I am still firmly quite there. And that drives me crazy.

    The above is from an article about "Kept Objects" at Catapult mag. I most appreciated this last one by Megan, since it resonated with me. I have folders filled with things I wrote from middle school up through college and graduate school and I just can't part with them.

    You may think it's just silly, especially all you professional organizers, but I know they are there and sometimes I take them out and read through them to remember who I was before, who I am becoming, as well as who I want to be. I am always in transition, and though I may never be a professional writer or an ESOL teacher or an artist, those dreams still linger, and they remain part of who I am today. Thanks for the reminder, Megan.

    Now, about some other stuff I do need to get rid of...


    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    Brewer. Patriot. Poisoner?

    Watch out! That bottle of Sam Adams may be full of killer glass shards!

    Okay, not really. But the brewery has just issued a "voluntary product recall" due to recently-discovered bottling defects. I read this in the news last night and went to the fridge to discover ... yep, those Cream Stouts were included in the recall. The website has instructions for getting a refund for the recalled goods and all that, but the question remains: do I really want to toss those unopened bottles?


    Further Proof That I Was a Geek In Jr. High

    As if you didn't know that already.

    So, I'm perusing the Eddie's Attic website in order to buy our tickets for the Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken show this Friday night, (Yay! A date!) and who do I happen to notice on the upcoming shows for tonight?

    None other than Tony Lucca. He's a singer/songwriter from LA who you may have seen in People magazine once when he dated Keri Russell, of Felicity fame.

    Here I reveal my ultimate dorkiness in that I know this guy best from his time as a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel's updated 1990's version of the Mickey Mouse Club called MMC. I think I watched every episode of every season. Twice.

    MMC starred, among others, Keri Russell, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and JC Chavez from N'Sync. But Tony Lucca was always my favorite.

    Somehow you knew, even though he was singing cheesy covers of popular tunes like "Runaway Train" and "She Moves in Mysterious Ways" and playing corny roles in soap-opera-esque shorts that he would one day write his own songs and make it big. Because, well, he played guitar. It was the ultimate sign of coolness.

    I may have to give his music a listen. Although, truth be told, the one sample song I heard on the website, though bluesy and kinda rockin', just didn't sound that good to me.

    Excuse me, I must now go burn my homemade MMC fan club membership card for such heresy.


    My New Favorite Lunch

    Yesterday, I had everything on hand to make this tuna cranberry salad recipe courtesy of Mommy, Esquire.

    Then, I rolled it up in one of these surprisingly not-too-thin and delicious Cedar's Whole Wheat Wraps I found at our local warehouse store, which I had bought with something like this in mind. Or homemade mini rectangular pizzas.

    I enjoyed my rolled sandwich with Triscuits and cheese and fruit, with Crystal Light Peach Tea. Almost as good as going to Roly-Poly. Almost.

    Healthy and delicious and simple. Who knew? And normally I'm not a big tuna person (which is why I've had two cans in my pantry for who knows how long). I usually just add crushed pineapple to my tuna, but this is much better.

    One tip: let it sit for a while so the cranberries can soak up the juice and mayo.

    It's so good, I'm having it again today.


    Monday, April 07, 2008

    Our Not-So Chunky Monkey?

    I've alluded to this in previous posts, but Jacob weighed in at 17 lbs 7 oz at his yearly well-check last month. He was diagnosed as "failure-to-thrive" and we had to have blood work and tests and the doctor gave advice that put me, the primary caretaker and nutritionist, in a bit of a panic. Seeing that diagnosis written out in black and white just did not make me feel like a good mom, even though I knew I'd been doing everything right. Everyone (especially Gaines) has been very reassuring, since of course Jacob looks and acts healthy! And he's so active!

    I've been hearing more stories from relatives about how my dad and my cousins all were skinny little as children, like I was. One cousin was apparently only 12 lbs at a year! I was a preemie, and I'm not sure I was even that much at a year, but I always thought I was an exception. Apparently, all of my dad's side of the family were nothing but sticks and bones as little kids.

    We arrived at the doctor's office for his follow-up appointment a good fifteen minutes early this morning, probably due to my excitement. I had forgotten my checkbook, but it didn't matter anyway because I didn't have to pay.

    Why not? Well, apparently, my appointment was for NEXT Monday. But how could I be so confused, you ask? It is a case of Mommy Brain/Momnesia? Nope! The receptionist had written down the wrong date! I did have second thoughts over the weekend because they usually call a day ahead to remind me, but once before they DIDN'T call and I missed the appointment (apparently she'd written that date down incorrectly on the card then, too!). Normally I would've just waited for the doctor to see us, but today is Monday. There were already 5 people in the waiting room and the office had just opened. It could've been hours!

    Thankfully, the wonderful nurse let me weigh him anyway, since we were already there and I pleaded my case. I wanted to know how much he weiged on their scale! (Over the weekend, I got him to sit on our bathroom scale, and it said he'd gained a pound but you know you can never trust your home scale.) So, we put him on the scale and he made this cute awkward pouty face at being cold and naked in front of onlookers. But I was beaming!

    Jacob weighs a grand total of 19 pounds! Woo-hoo!

    Our little guy has gained 25 ounces in 4 weeks! Yay! That's still below the 5th percentile, but at least he's gaining weight! I'm hoping for a couple more ounces next week. At least he has a great appetite.

    I confirmed next week's appointment, but the next time I schedule a visit I am going to call a couple of days beforehand just to make sure of the correct day! Especially since I missed the 21 minute free parking today by about, oh, 5 minutes. But that $4 parking for a weigh-in was WELL worth my peace of mind.

    We came home in time for Jacob to catch a mid-morning nap. I couldn't resist a photo. Isn't he just adorable?! He looks so quiet and calm and peaceful when he's sleeping...and look at those cheeks! Not quite his 6-month chubby face, but at least it's something!


    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    eBay Updates and Other Team Redd News

    I'm taking a cue from my friend Mary and making a bulleted list. We've been busy.

  • eBay: This evening I finally got back to listing our old CD's on eBay. We are hoping to move into a new apartment this summer, and so I would really like to clear out the two large boxes of old CD's before we move. I do NOT want to pack them up and take them with us!

    Does anyone remember the duo Wilshire? Or Chasing Furies? Along with some other CCM classics, those are up for grabs. Be sure to check out our eBay page. I am pulling out some old-school CD's here folks. Please don't judge me.

  • Jury Duty: I was not chosen for jury duty last Monday, and that is just fine with me. Basically, I got a morning off! I went in like last time, waited around (though a little longer this time...until 12:30 p.m.), read some chapters of Dutch, chatted with my neighbors about Miss Guided and the way they choose who serves, especially in a county as diverse as ours.

    Apparently, all the attorneys skipped right over me, but it was a light day anyway since it was the end of the month and the end of the calendar. One man out of the three sitting near me was chosen, but the rest got to leave before me. I'm not sure why I was kept waiting, but eventually they told those of us left to go home. Even though the chairs were uncomfortable, the video at least kept me awake, and I picked up Willy's burritos for lunch. Eating out and uninterrupted reading time? It was like a mini-vacation!

  • On the tube: I'm taping Part 2 of Masterpiece Theater's Sense and Sensibility tonight. I highly enjoyed Part 1, except for the overly sexualized opening scene that I thought was just unnecessary, though I know will be important for the second half of the book. Anyone else watching? I hope to post a complete review soon...

    I'm also looking forward to the Masterpiece adaption of A Room with a View next Sunday, which is a favorite book by one of my favorite British authors, E.M. Forster. (He's behind Miss Austen, of course. And Tolkien.)

    I have to tape the above because Gaines and I both want to see the new (to us) episodes of Psych and Monk that are airing on NBC, also tonight! We don't have USA on our basic cable, so we've only been able to catch these on DVD in the past, so this is a welcome treat!

    Also, we are glad that Thursday night NBC shows are back with new episodes. Comedy Done Right, we've missed you! In honor of this, we watched the first season of The Office again over the weekend. I've forgotten how very painful it is right from the beginning, but I still love it. Doug Wilson's take on The Office as a morality play is a thought-provoking look at an otherwise silly show.

  • Health and Home: Team Redd has been suffering through various incarnations of colds and allergies and sinus infections over the past month or so, and it feels like the torrential rains this weekend cleared up the pollen a bit. We'll see how long it lasts. I hope we're all getting better. (Poor little snotty Jacob who wakes up from naps in a puddle of nose goo.) I really love all the trees in our complex until pollen season hits, which turns my car and everything else a bright yellow and makes me sneezy.

    As it IS spring, and I feel like our apartment desperately needs some large doses of spring cleaning, I am trying to do an hour a day, one area a week, using these helpful printouts and cleaning tips from The Motherload. I'm ashamed to post before pictures, but perhaps I'll get some after shots.

    But that routine begins after I take Jacob to the doctor tomorrow for a follow-up appointment on his previous "failure to thrive" diagnosis (we just think he's a skinny kid, like I was. And his dad. And his grandfather Buddy.) I'll let you know tomorrow if we've fattened him up enough this month. :) Avacados, sweet potatoes, whole milk...do your best!

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    So Long, Moses

    Charlton Heston, dead at 84