Dad's journey into retirement has been a lot smoother then I thought (other then him battling various bureaucratic offices daily to get his retirement paperwork straight). At first I was really worried he would just be BORED. As Mum is on a 3 week vacation with her sister to Greece, his being alone all the time had me doubly anxious (do you notice I worry a lot?). But so far, he says he doesn't miss the hour commute to and from work (he used to wake up at 4 am and work 10 hours a day to get Friday off). And he keeps busy attending to daily errands (getting the car battery changed, etc etc etc) and planning various trips to visit my sister in San Francisco. Still I wonder if he's annoyed that I call him every night...
"How are you dad? What did you do today? Are you doing okay? Are you sure? What did you eat today? Are you sure? Are you sure?"
Because I married an Irish-American boy, the kids are bi-racial (with hyphenated last names Chen-O'Shaughnessy clan in da hauz!!!! (not our actual surname, but similarly quite a mouthful)). As Daughter is now 11, I've wondered which "cultural side" she feels more comfortable with socially...the Asian side or the Caucasian side. Surprisingly, she hangs out with the Asian kids in her grade, and they are a tight knit group. I am the complete opposite...I feel more comfortable palling around with Caucasian people (mostly white males because I can boss them around and mock their manhood). Actually I prefer to be a hermit, but since Daughter is graced with way more social skills as compared to me back at that age (which I am extremely grateful for), she has a solid group of friends she can identify with.
"Do you feel like you fit in when we eat a Chinese restaurant?" she asked me the other day.
"Yes and no," I answered. "I used to care more speaking only Cantonese to the waiters in the restaurant, but now I don't really care as much. They speak English, so why not just order the food in English."
"Well you fit in more because you look Chinese," she said.
"Eh, it doesn't matter anymore, nobody cares about that stuff. You are just you here."
Still, it is interesting to discover her feelings about her bi-racial heritage.
BTW thank Jehosaphat for the Internet, I've decided I want to make it a lifetime goal to collect all of Stella Gibbon's out of print books. She is best known for Cold Comfort Farm (if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for????). So hunting down various editions via ebay, amazon etc is quite exciting and fun as I get to interface with booksellers as far as the UK...that is like so cool!!!! I know, I'm easily amused.
Nothing makes me happier then getting a package in the mail, and today's DING DING DING is this LBD from the lovely etsy seller Joan (aka Catbooks). With the recent weight loss, this dress looks so awesome!!!! I'm so happy!! Now all I need is some black stiletto sex kitten fuck me now RAWRRRRRRR heels!
Got this direct mailer from Brian Bilbray, some noob politician today...
Saw the picture in the lower right corner (see that snazzy red circle, I did that in photoshop, how awesome is that)...and I was like OMG that picture is from istockphoto!!! Like I totally recognize it!!! I do because I've used that picture in a document too...
And more proof that I'm a total nerd when it comes to this...I've taken a pic of the website and linked it in my blog!!!
In my years of reading romances, my fervent interest in some authors have waned because they went off on some odd tangent writing wise, and they were no longer automatic buys for me. Sandra Brown, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Julia Quinn are a few. The only one for me who has stood the test of time is the ever-fabulous Lisa Kleypas (automatic amazon pre-order overnight shipping baby).
So it was a bit of a pleasant surprise when I recently saw this new book promo video for Julia Quinn's upcoming release.
While a bit cheesy and with the terrible Brit accent, it's actually a pretty innovative and creative attempt to promote her book, even though many people think the quality of her writing has diminished in recent years. I wonder sometimes if you are under grueling pressure to churn out quality, top-selling material year after year, if that wears on a writer...and sometimes the writing suffers.
Still, I'll probably buy the book when it comes out because. Nothing like a completely engaging story to while away an afternoon. Hopefully, none of the protagonists will run away from each other as a lame crutch to soup up the ending, no love scenes where all they do is repeat each other's name endlessly...
"Oh John!" an excited whisper.
"Oh Mary!" Reverently as he takes her dainties off.
"Oh John," High pitched squeal, cuz he touched her THERE.
"OH MARY," He growls manfully as he starts getting into it.
"John!!!!" She cannot believe this is happening to her, doing the nasty for the first time and of course she is in love with him. 2 seconds later, she comes.
"MARRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" He's done, and it shows he's emotionally vulnerable for this second, but later is going to be a total asshole to her and she's going to take it like a bitch. Get ready for one of them to run away to some remote estate because one of them has a stick up their butt.
Gah I'm totally being bitchy right now, its probably PMS, anyways. In the meantime check out this latest video from Taylor Swift, pretty cool.
I was supposed to visit my parents in LA this weekend, but major stress from a project at work prompted a panicked call to Mum, and we agreed to meet for dinner in the OC (Orange County) instead. It is the median distance my parents' house and mine, so I was glad they agreed to come. I miss them and I wanted to do a pre-Mom's day celebration with them. Dad has just retired after 24 years at the same company. He'd been doing the rounds with the farewell dinners/luncheons...and seeing him tonight...he seemed sad. And tired. I guess after a major life change such as retirement, one is bound to be a little sad. Mom was worried about him of course, "He's got ants in his pants, he can't sit still...work was his life...now what is he going to do for retirement?" She's afraid of a steady decline if he doesn't keep himself busy...and of course me being my mother's child, took this worry and immediately made it my own.
Working through this in my mind...first attempt to compliment him...
"Hey, Dad you look great! Have you lost weight?" I ask chattily.
"Uh...no...I don't think so," says he.
"Oh...well your pallor looks good Dad!"
I wonder how, me living about 2 hours away from the parents, and busy with my own family and job and such...would attempt to keep Dad and Mum closely connected.....
"So Dad, let's like travel this summer! The kids don't have summer camp...seriously we could drive to San Francisco every weekend if you wanted to."
He brightened, and agreed it was possibly a good idea.
Mom goes on a 16 day vacation with her sister to Greece soon. I tell myself I am going to call him every couple of days, invite him to dinner again in the OC.
Watching your parents get older is difficult sometimes.
Remember when I said I wanted to be more crafty? Well here it is. I found this Sock & Glove book on amazon.com, and it looked fairly simple to do and cute (as all Japanese stuff is). The dog here on the cover is a good approximation of what the finished project is supposed to look like:
So, I found some brown Dickie gloves from Walmart (6 for $4.49) and sacrificed 2 to make this...Bart the Zombie Dog....
I cut one of his legs off prematurely, so I had to sew it back on. I have no idea of how to sew the spot over his eye, so there was my botched attempt. He's hanging out in the Marian Keyes section of my ginormous bookshelf. So if you are Marian Keyes, I love your books and Bart the Zombie Dog is currently guarding them until I send him off to a co-worker for a belated birthday present.