Tuesday, February 27, 2007

[Institches] February Project - Done.

Dear Donk,

I couldn't have been more relieved to see that I wasn't the only one behind schedule on our February project. What is the deal with this month anyway?

For me, the project started out enthusiastically enough. I mean, I marched off to the fabric store way early on in the month and made an enormous PITA of myself at the cutting counter with my four big rolls of fabric and spools of ribbon. I'm pretty sure the guy (Yes, a guy - Holding a ragged scrap of paper and a green zipper. Random.) behind me was muttering not nice words in a foreign language while I instructed the hammerhead with the scissors how to cut my fabric properly.

What a long, long day it was.

But I did feel ahead of the game, all flush with fabric and notions for the sleeping mask and bedside organizer.

Then I realized that despite my enthusiasm (and insistence) for the bedside organizer, it was not to be. No, not with a mile-high temperpedic mattress atop a platform bed. As it turns out, that particular bed configuration leaves no space between which to sandwich an Amy Butler bedside organizer.


So, with a pile of lovely green fabric that I'm sure will appear elsewhere in future projects, I gave up the dream of peaceful evenings free of abrupt hardwood floor remote smashing and redirected my focus to the sleeping mask.

I thought this would be a quick and easy task. One requiring little skill or finesse that would end in fast perfection.

Not exactly.

For one, I didn't realize that quilting involved quite so much skill in the line drawing department. WTF? How do people quilt entire, well, quilts? What a GDF nightmare. I mean, diagonal lines every 1/2 inch? Please, Amy, what do I look like? Some kind of ruler magician?

That part of the project drained my enthusiasm nearly to the core. I had to stop after drawing one million little blue lines on the muslin to the point where everywhere I looked everything looked cross-hatched. The lines were just burned right into my retina.

Luckily (or so I'm choosing to see it), my stumps formerly known as feet were unable to do more than sit at the sewing machine last night due to some overly annoying blisters, so I finally unearthed the cross-hatch nightmare from the craft shelf and managed to run it through the machine and produce this texture known as quilting.

Honestly though, after all my bitching, it actually turned out real nice. Despite the fact that the entire time I was sewing the thing I was thinking, "This is going to look ugly and fucked up and I'm going to have to shamefully show it to all the Instiches -along'ers like the loser that I am."

So as not to make a liar of myself, I put off the embellishment until last when my creativity was at an all-time low resulting in the unoriginal embellishing technique known as "buttons for eyes." No need to say it, I realize that this was a very kindergartner-with-macaroni kind of approach. But, it was the best I could come up with to satisfy the theme while not totally destroying my now-perfect rendition of the sleeping mask. And it gave me an excuse to use some cute buttons that I had hanging around from an old project.


Anyway, I'm ready to start thinking about next month's project now, so bring it on. This month the project(s) are your choice and I promise to come up with a more interesting theme despite my recent uncreative performance. Plus, I'll be sending out a surprise to this month's winner! Perhaps that will redeem me in the eyes of all you sassy crafters.


Friday, February 23, 2007

My Yearly Visitor

Every year about this time, between the end of football season and the beginning of baseball season, my life falls into something of a funk. I get all biggigity and I can't figure out what my friggen problem is. I'm all crabby and not myself, I tend to wander around aimlessly trying to figure out what it is I'm *supposed* to be doing. It's a weird, grey time in Finnyland.

Then I remember, "Oh yeah, it's that time of year again." Like my yearly mental period or something.

So, instead of heading straight to the bottom of a bag of peanut M&Ms, or worse, I walk straight out to my garden to see if salvation is in sight.

I'm happy to report that salvation has arrived.

Now, granted, the peas sprouted a few weeks ago and have been making their awkwardly winding ways toward the pea fence, but it wasn't until today that I saw the first one latch on. This, to me, is the sign of good things to come. Because, for me, good things happen in greatest abundance when the garden is big and buzzing and making uncontrolled progress toward the outer reaches of our property.

A good day starts with a walk out to the garden where I gasp in shocked surprise to see that there are approximately one hundred more tomatoes on the plant than the day before or when I find that the pumpkin plant has started growing into the neighbor's yard. If there happen to be bees covering all the yellow blooms on the cukes, hummingbirds having a death match over the feeder and our yard cat pouncing on an intruding rodent, all the better.

So, now I feel like I can go about my merry way this weekend knowing that when I return from a few days out of town I will have a growing garden to look forward to. Plus, I'm getting ready to order seeds...must...contain...myself...for...a...few...more...days...

As an aside, my blisters and I went out on the town for a longer run on Thursday without too many ill effects. I plan to be picking up my training on Monday as though I'd never heard of blisters. Coming soon - full distance training run (6 miles+). Stay tuned for that debacle...

Also, sometime this coming week I'll be finishing and posting my February Institches project. And then I will be getting some much needed shuteye.

Happy weekends, all.

Monday, February 19, 2007

When new shoes aren't the answer

When I come upon one of life's strategically placed stumbling blocks (shitty day at the office, supplemental property tax bill, the last piece of pie that I've been saving has gone bad) protocol indicates that it is time to shop. For shoes.

So, to Zappos I go, to find the 3 1/2" red patent mary janes that will soothe my soul and restore balance in the universe. Or, in the case of my busted hoof, to the fancy pants running store that everyone around here wants to marry to shod myself with something narrow enough for my spaghetti like feet.

Problem solved. Ish.

This morning, all full of myself for being "good" and "resting" my lame paw last week instead of trotting out the training schedule as planned, I bounded off the front porch in my new running shoes ready to get back on track and regain my momentum.

All was right with the world for about two miles. I was prancing along, mouthing the words to The Killers latest album as the the loser I let myself be, feeling all not in pain when I was suddenly alerted to a no-no going on in my shoe.

What is this rubbing sensation happening along the arch of my left foot? Why does it feel like my sock is suddenly made of sandpaper?

Wait! Now what is happening on the arch of my right foot? That sock is ALSO made of sandpaper? I don't recall buying my socks at Home Depot.

Damnit! I know what that feeling is. It's a blister. Make that two blisters. One on each arch. Right where the shoe is most aggressively hugging my tender spaghetti.

Oh for the love. I have blisters on my spaghetti.

Now, contrary to the advice I, like, JUST gave Kelli about running with blisters (technically, it was about running without socks which resulted in blisters) I continued on. Repeating to myself that I was only 1.5 miles from home and could save myself some pain by taking longer strides, thus covering more ground with fewer steps, and looking like some sort of leaping Silly Nanny. When that didn't really help, I decided that loosening my laces might help relieve the strangulation happening on my chaffing arches.

No go.

Tighten the laces so that they are so tight that the shoe couldn't POSSIBLY move enough to rub my feet.


Combine ideas: Loosen the laces way out, lengthen stride until you appear to be practicing ballet rather than running and focus on the street sign that indicates the end of your route with all your might. In case of emergency, imagine how awesome it will be to tear off your shoes and socks and let your searing arches breathe fresh air.

So, in the end, I got my first post-injury run done in record time without re-aggravating the injury, but managed to accumulate two new little annoying "injuries" along the way. As a bonus, my neighbors think I'm off my nut since I spent a five full minutes after my run luxuriating barefoot on the front porch glider as though I was having some sort of run-induced orgasm.

Tomorrow, moleskin.

Friday, February 16, 2007

WTF? + Running Update

Excuse me people, but I thought February was still considered "winter".

I mean, not like I'm complaining. I mostly hate winter and I wholly hate being cold, but for some reason I've been all bent out of shape since I got back from skiing (where there was no F'n snow) and found all the plum and cherry trees alight with spring blooms.

"Gah! What are you doing!? It's not spring! Wait until we've gotten more rain! The summer is going to be bloody scorching if spring comes this soon! Go back in your hole!" I screamed from the car while swerving wildly and waving my naughty finger.

My emotions are three-fold.

On one hand my hope and inner cheer has been restored just by seeing the renewal of spring in this pinkies.

On the other hand, I am filled with dread and horror thinking about what our summer is going to be like if we don't get more rain before spring is upon us.

On the other, other hand I just realized that this happened at the same time last year even though it feels so earrrrrrrrrrrrrrrly.

So, in a nutshell, I'm verklempt and choosing to have a cocktail and stare at the trees.

Running Update:

I've hurt myself somehow. Specifically, my foot.

Sucks, too since I've been kicking some major ass on my training and have actually been enjoying my runs (gasp with me, won't you?) and even looking forward to them. Weird.

And now, DAMNIT, my foot is all jacked. Somehow this happened when I got back from skiing and immediately picked up my training schedule as though I hadn't blown off a week on a snowboard. I ran 3 1/2 (don't laugh, the training schedule tells me what to do) on Monday without a hitch and then hit the pavement Tuesday for my shortie (2 mi.) and somehow busted my hoof.

I've been hobbling around with this clubfoot all week and people have been staring at me in weird ways. It's like having a mean little carpet knife jabbing me in the outer arch every time I take a step. So, clearly, I haven't run since Tuesday and I'm bummed.

But I'm soaking and icing and heating and crossing fingers. And tomorrow I'm going to the running store to see if they have a better idea of the shoes I should be wearing.

Cross your fingers, too, won't you? No need to soak or ice anything though.

I'll also be working on my project for this month's In Stitches assignment. And just in time, too, since last night I nearly passed away when the remote control fell off the bed (or was likely kicked by Fat Rocket) and hit the hardwood floor like a shot. These nightly shocks are starting to take their toll on me and I can't help thinking that it's taking years off my life every time it happens.

So I'll be sewing and crossing fingers and drinking G&T for three days. Perhaps my next post will be a recap of my injuries.

Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So, we're not doing anything, right?

We were sitting at dinner on the last night of our vacation having one of those "only on vacation" kind of dinners that include a lot of wine, dessert even though we're full and inappropriate conversation about the people around us.

Around the time we start contemplating the many methods by which one can stifle a child's mind-numbing screams, we touch on the topic of Valentine's Day, the eyebrow raisingest holiday of them all. Quickly we dismiss it by agreeing that we "weren't doing anything." And then call the meal sitting in front of us "Our Valentine's Dinner", so that we can go back to making fun of the drunken louts sitting behind us who are trying to be all fancy with their wine choosing. Perfection.

At this point, the holiday starts to conspire against our non-plans by sending us subversive signals and basically just stalking us.
  • We get home from vacation and find Valentines from both our moms in the mailbox
  • One of which included a gift card to See's for a 1 lb box of chocolate
  • Wine club called to tell us our February bottles were ready for pick up
  • I ordered something random for Bubba a few weeks ago and it showed up while we were on vacay
Bubba, obviously confused by all these mixed signals, asks me all plain faced if we were, indeed, still "not doing anything" for VD (it has taken on a less appealing acronym in our house). You know, even though we have a big box of chocolate, two bottles of wine, pink hearty cards and a big red box sitting on our dining room table.

Of course I say, "No Bubba, don't worry. No plans." And I mean it.

But then the morning of said hated holiday rolls around and I tell him I am making tacos for dinner. To which he replies, "Valen-tacos?" in a lewd and suggestive tone that convinces me to make this small change of plans thinking that our holiday requirements are paid in full now and I was free to then go on with my day.

I spend a proud part of my morning telling people that we are "doing nothing" for Valentine's Day as though it is perfectly fine with me (which it is). Although I do tell at least one person that I am making Valen-tacos for dinner, to which I did not recieve the same childish giggles in return so I think it must have been the way I said it.

Feeling all proud of us for not falling prey to the Satan of All Holidays, I go back to work, trying to catch up from my week off.

Then 4pm rolls around.

(via AIM)
Bubba: Have you gotten anything yet?
Me: Uh, some cake from the party (there was a work party )
Bubba: Not what I had in mind.
Me: Then, no.
Bubba: DAMNIT *&*^*%&%^%
Me: Hmmm...

5pm a big bouquet of flowers arrive. (Squeeeeeee!)

But still, we're not "doing anything" for VD so I'm not going to get all giddy like a fucking psychopath. I am wearing black. I am aloof. I am arranging my flowers in their upgraded vase as though they arrive daily and I can simply admire their beauty without secretly wishing that they last forever and the cleaning lady never (finally) throws them away because they've turned brown and nasty from being admired on my desk for three weeks.

I hug my flowers good-bye and drive home, pausing only briefly to call Bubba and ask him to pick up a few things for the Valen-tacos.

Apparently, as he was going about his innocent way at the store, comparing the merits of taco shells and refried beans, IT got him, too. I find this out as I'm going to set the table (read: get a lot of napkins piled up on the coffee table for the moment when I inevitably spill dinner everywhere) and find a big red envelope with my nickname scrawled in Bubba-hand. It's all cute with a funny joke inside. There's pot-bellied dinosaurs on the front. I laugh (snort) and say, "Rowr!" with the normal intensity.

But then I realize...

IT's everywhere! IT's in my racoon wounds! The call, IT's coming from inside the house! You can't escape IT! IT knows where you live! Heegotcha!

So, the moral of the story here is that even if you plan to ignore made up holidays, they will sneak into your house in the form of less objectionable objects like chocolate, flowers, wine, gifts, fancy cards and thematic food.

There's apparently no avoiding it. Your weapons are useless against it. The best thing to do is just quietly give in and get really drunk.

Then, in secret, get all squeaky and excited because you got flowers at work.

Tee hee hee hee

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A day late, plus road trip games

Of course our ski trip was fun.

I mean, there were road-trip games (more on these in a sec), consecutive days of skiing, the living out of lifelong dreams, QT with Bubba, lots of drinks, vacation food, uninterrupted Howard listening time between states and all the usual misbehaving and shunning of work responsibilities that come with most good vacations.

But there was no snow.

I mean, not in the usual February in Utah and Wyoming way of snow.

It was like spring in Tahoe for Pete's sake. We were in fleeces and T-shirts instead of balaclavas and parkas. There was a distinct slushing noise as we came down the mountain instead of the orgasmic silence of my board sliding effortlessly over knee high powder.

Until the days we left, of course. I say "days" because it happened at both mountains: Targhee and Park City.

And who says there's no such thing as global warming? Even the 8 year old on the gondola with us was pointing his tiny gloved finger in that direction.


At least we got in a handful of days on the groom and spent a good amount of time perfecting our road game skills.

See - I've looped back. Phew! I know.

I thought I'd share a few road games with those of you with a trip coming up. Or, for those of you that just like mindless immature amusement. Most of these games don't even require a road trip, just two of the immature minds I mentioned before.

Game 1: Hey!
# of Participants:1 or more
Tools required: Functioning eyeballs or a partner with not so functioning eyeballs, an odd sense of humor, the ability to be easily amused
Object of the game: To account for any hay (as in the hay that horses and cows eat) you see while driving or otherwise and to trick your partner (if you are playing with someone else) into thinking you've discovered something interesting and are trying to call their attention to it.
How to play: When you see a bale, stack, barnyard, truckload or other instance of hay you scream, "Hey!" to bring it to the other person's attention while pointing in the direction of the hay and smiling victoriously as your partner realizes that you didn't actually see anything cool, you're just pointing out some actual hay. Hardy har har.
Rules of the game
: There really aren't any rules except that you have to be able to see the hay when you call it.
How to win
: There is only a very lax point scoring method in this game. In fact, we don't usually even award Hay points unless someone spots a unique instance of hay (see below). For the most part, the only goal with hay is to make sure that all hay on your trip is accounted for by one of the people in your party. So, to win, you can get nice and drunk after your trip and call it even. Personally, we spend most of our time coming up with interesting titles for our Hay finds:
  • Distant Hay: hay that is far away
  • Alternative Prisoner Housing Hay: Long rows of hay stacked high alongside a highway with roadsigns advising "Federal Prison. Do not stop for hitchhikers."
  • Fancy Hay: hay that is rolled rather than square baled
  • Random Hay: hay that has been dropped at random intervals over a wide field
  • Hay on the Move: hay on a truck
  • Hidden Hay: hay under a tarp
  • Ugly hay: hay that's ugly (see, this isn't a mind bender)
  • Blogging Hay!: Farmgirl and Dan the donkey play along without even knowing it from the farm in Missouri
You get the idea. So far two of my favorite Hay's were "Urban Hay" which I spotted on the side of 880 in Oakland and "Cell Hay" which was when I sent Bubba a photo of "Hay on the Move" from my cell phone while we were on separate road trips.

Ah, we're so easily amused.

Game 2: Chip Off
# of Participants: 2 or more
Tools required: Two bags of chips and some time to kill while the chick at Quiznos makes your sandwich (or wherever you're eating).
Object of the game: To eat your bag of chips at a normal pace, but still faster than your partner and before your sandwich is ready.
How to play: Order your sandwich combo (We like Quiznos, but any random sub shop will work), choose your chips and begin eating your chips.
Rules of the game
: Start eating chips at the same time. That's it.
How to win
: Finish first - but without shoveling them into your mouth like a friggen animal. To spice it up, try to make this happen before your sandwich is ready.

See, I told you we were easily amused. We're also impatient, so this helps kill time while the employees at the sandwich place play grab-ass instead of making your food under sanitary conditions. However simple this game may seem, I am here to say that I never win. Despite the fact that Bubba has crowned me the Queen of Snacks, it appears I'm more of an Endurance Snacker than a Sprint Snacker, which he clearly is. Meaning I can snack all the live long day, while he's getting it out of the way in a matter of seconds. Either way, it provides enough diversion so that I'm not staring down the retards behind the counter as they pile on a mountain of lettuce, against my wishes, which I'll end up dumping all over myself as soon as I rescue my sandwich from the clutches of the yard-long wrapper. See, I'm mostly unfit to be around.

Ok, more games later. You know, once you've regained your respect for me as a human being of normal intelligence.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

As good as it gets, for now

There are a lot of random things I keep on my mental mind list which I want to do someday.

Some of which I've done: shark diving, fly fishing, becoming financially independent of my parents, eating candy on the way home from the dentist, knitting...

Some of which I've only dreamed of: Moving to a foreign country, becoming a horticulturalist, going into one of my favorite stores and pointing to a big fancy display and saying, "Wrap it up", running a long distance race (btw, long distance = more than the distance from my place of business to the departing train)...

Well, I'm happy to say that today I can officially check off a "Something that I've always wanted to do": dogsledding.

Sort of, anyway. It's a start. I mean, my real dream is to learn how to drive a team of dogs, on my own, out into the cold wilderness to explore areas I'd never see otherwise.

I've read pretty much every book written on the subject and fantasized plenty about the idea, but having never been hitched to a team of dogs and dragged across the snow, it's hard to know if I'd really be as into it in person as I was while reading along from the warm safety of my couch.

Turns out, I'm irretrievably hooked. And that's after only one ride in the warm (34 or so degrees) starry wilderness around Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming. From inside the sled bag, I rode along cradling an Alaskan ale, laughing and smiling the whole way as a team of 12 dogs (Wick, Jelly Bean, Anna, Roe Sham Bo, Governor, Briggs, Big Way, Gretel, Rusty and 3 more that I can't remember no matter how hard I try) happily pulled my driver (Justin) and I around about 10 miles of snowy Wyoming mountainside.

Clearly there's a lot more to it than this. As Laura can probably explain better than I, this is a very intense sport involving very low temps (dogs apparently run best at about 20 below - yeesh), incredible dedication and knowledge for animal care, the ability to survive solely on Snickers bars if necessary, etc.

All those nitty details aside, I am still more in love with it than ever. All from the comfort of a lovely slopeside condo.

For now...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

World Nutella Day is today!

Think I'm kidding? Nuh-uh.

Think I made this up during a sugar-induced spoon-a-thon? Nope. Not me.

I'm just a willing (yuh think?) participant here to share with you, what will certainly become, the most glamorously delicious cocktail party hors' dourve ever in honor of World Nutella Day AND a photo montage of Nutella on the Road.

Move over stupid fondue - Nutella is the Nu-Fondue:

Clearly, presenting Nutella is it's most impressive form (6.61 lb holiday tub) is the ideal way to showcase this gastronomic masterpiece. However, I'm sure that sprinkling smaller jars or the highly coveted Nutella juice glasses of the spread around your party or get together wouldn't go unnoticed either. Or ignored for that matter. And, like the inferior chocolate fondue, you can put Nutella on just about anything.

Really, the point is just to find a vehicle with which to transport Nutella into your face. Bread, pretzel, banana, finger, spoon, old shoe - it hardly matters.


Feel free to use my wildly complicated recipe (did I even include a recipe here?) for your next get together. Your guests will go home happy, jittery and maybe a little sticky - depending on the kind of party you're throwing.


Speaking of which, maybe you want to serve up a subtle side dish of moist towelettes (Oh, guh. I hate that word, moist. Isn't it just so nasty?)

And to showcase my dedication to Nutella, here are a few photos from vacation (the one I'm on right at this moment) with Bubba and my handy travel Nutella:

Nutella with an honest-to-goodness Idaho potato

Nutella at Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Wyoming, ready to hit the slopes

Nutella enjoying a burger and a beer at the Trap Bar at Targhee

Nutella enjoying a sunny rest area in Nevada - home of the Early Man
Happy spooning folks.

Friday, February 02, 2007

You and your fancy pants

Dear Donk,

Excuse me, Ms. Fancy -Already-Done-Kimono-Robe, I thought we were doing this "along" with one another! And here you are, flauting your fabulous robe all over the place. HUH!

Kidding. I do love it. So much so that when we decide to fold it into the ~along with another project that I'm pretty sure that I'll choose it myself. Love!

Oh, and the shabby-chicness is just right. Not too overdone. Not too shabby, one might say. Honestly, I can't believe you're giving it away.

You're way nicer than me. I hoard things.

So, first things first - the dresses that your mom fixed up for the girls? GEEZ. I need to make up at least one of those for Ms. Emma's #1 birthday. Can you believe? I know. It's the whole "babies grow up so fast thing." Anyway, where did this pattern come from? How long would it take your mom to get here from TX? Yes, thank you.

Oh, and about the prizes -- yes you're right. I have wandered through the Flickr pool (see how fancy I'm getting with the Flickr? Barely retarded anymore.) and I'm multo impressed. Especially because so many talented ladies came up with alternatives to the fucking grommet puncher. Beeooteeful!

Let's talk - I have an idea in mind.

Oh, and the theme this month is on you, girlfriend. Officially, the projects are either the Sleeping Mask OR the Bedside Organizer. Or both, for you big fat overacheivers out there. Donk - you decide how we're theme-ing, k?

And soon -- I want to get started!

We just brought HDTV into our bedroom and I've found myself awakening beneath piles of remotes.


I wish I could come over this weekend and swim in the pool while drinking margaritas. Where I'm going it's awfully cold, snowy and remote. I will be wearing everything I own.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

[Book Club] Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky, Sandra Smith (Translator)

I will admit, albeit sheepishly, that I still don't know how to properly pronounce the title of this book. But you'll be glad to know, I'm sure, that it has not stopped me from trying out every possible variation while I suggested it to everyone under the sun. As it turns out, even the so-called French speakers that surround me in my daily life can't consistently pronounce the book's name, so I have stopped feeling guilty and started just being happy that I came across Suite Francaise in the first place.

I was totally drawn in by the history of the book before I even ordered it. I had been doing my usual prowl around Amazon, testing the whole "Recommendations for You" business and finding it mostly horseshitty since it was making recommendations based on kids movies I'd bought for my little cousins and books that had previously been Recommended for Me and had sucked the bag. For some reason (unadulterated procrastination) I went through and did some fixing up of my recommendations (marking Not Interested next to Batman Begins, for instance) and a scant hour later, I was actually able to see some marked improvement. Oh, so this thing does work. Huh.

And the title that kept floating to the top, a recommendation based on books I'd actually liked, turned out to be a total keeper.

To me, Suite Francaise has nearly all the elements that I find enjoyable in a read. Rich history, an interesting author, elements of history that I can recall from my neglected childhood textbooks, mild voyeurism, deranged behavior, blatant humanity and murder.

Had the book been perched on a chocolate cake and made me laugh out loud, I probably would have married it.

I thought the unbiased mirroring of individuals fleeing their homeland (France) during the German invasion of WWII was simply stare-worthy. I'm sure there were times that Bubba looked across the living room at me and instead of seeing his wife, saw a bug-eyed, slack-jawed drooling fiend thumbing page corners anxiously while waiting to flip.

I simply couldn't look away. Like sitting in an airport watching all the freaks go by in their bizarre flying attire (why tie so many sweaters around your waist?), I was just riveted by the raw representation of the characters and their many personal flaws. Not to mention the fact that the author was ripped from her home and shipped to Auschwitz before she was able to finish the third, and what I'd imagine would be, the most excruciating section of the book, never left my mind.

BTW, did anyone else find the section with the priest horrifyingly fresh? No neat happy endings around here.

A quote from her journal a few weeks before she was arrested and taken to Auschwitz, read that she meant to describe " daily life, the emotional life and especially the comedy it provides."

Now, there isn't much comedy lying around in the stories of WWII, fleeing of homelands, loss of life during war, genocide, etc. But there's plenty of irony. And so, perhaps this is more of a "Haha ironic" kind of comedy rather than "Haha funny". That's just me though. I've been known to miss a joke or two before.

The section (Dolce) that she devoted to unmasking the lives of people living under German occupation was bold and honest. At no point in the book did I feel like she was siding with one viewpoint or another, simply pulling back the curtain on reality and what people do to survive and maintain their sanity. I totally appreciated that. I never felt pandered to. And there was some stuff in there that wasn't all that pretty.

In the end, I felt more like I was watching the sections of the book from a second story window than flipping through pages of a novel. Wretchedly honest and unforgiving, she gives you an authentic feeling for what people go through during situations as severe as escaping invasion and enduring occupation.

And with that under our belts, I'm ready for something weird.

And no one does weird like Christopher Moore.

You Suck: A Love Story

See you in a month and a half (let's say 3/15). Happy honking.