Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

The summer before last and into the winter, the fiance and I went on a used book extravaganza. That was before we acquired a record player so we put all of our hunting and collecting efforts into seeing out new used books stores, some even hidden away in seedy neighborhood was grating on the windows, and seeking out new books all the while realizing that life is too short to actually read the books we have housed in our closets and offices. When I came across Be Cool at one of these used book stores, I bought it. (I think, at least. I can’t seem to find it.) Be Cool is one of my favorite movies even though it’s a sequel. I’ve only seen Get Shorty once but I had to find the book. Believe it or not, it took months for me to come across it. I did. I bought it. I put it on my bookshelf, which is prime real estate. Then I started playing that game where I was going to read it one day but not today.

Apparently, all you have to do to get to the top of my reading stack is die. Who knew?

I’m glad that I made time for this one, though. Leonard has a great way of writing, something like a more amusing and vulgar Hemingway. The writing is simple, not flowery, and perfectly suits this kind of story. If I had to categorize it, I would call it a comedic frolic through crime and Hollywood.

The main character, Chili, is a shylock out of Miami when his past catches up to him in the form of Ray Bones, a man he gave a scar on the forehead with a bullet a few years earlier. One of Chili’s clients, Leo, has failed to pay up due to death but Ray sends Chili to talk to the wife about a settlement. That’s when Chili discovers that Leo isn’t dead but has faked his death and ripped off an airline company, and then his wife, for $300k. Chili chases him first to Vegas, then to L.A. where he decides that he just might like to be in movies. And that’s where things get crazy.

Add in a script that everybody wants, a story that some people think would be better than the script, a spoiled movie star, an alcoholic director, an aged ex-horror/sci-fi starlet, a couple of limo guys who are into a shady business of their own, and you have a romp that it hilarious and exciting and an all around good time.

This isn’t something that I would usually read but I’m glad I gave it a chance. By the way, best last line in a book ever.


Homemade Floor Cleaner

I pinned this on Pinterest a while ago but this morning I actually did it.

If you know me in the real world, you have probably heard me bitch ceaselessly about my entryway tile.  It’s lovely tile.  Or, at least, it was lovely tile.  It does not belong in an entryway, especially if you are the type of people who have a German shepherd that comes in and puts its big muddy paws on walls.  (Seriously.  When I moved in there was a paw print of mud on a wall and there were clumps of German shepherd hair so thick that we thought we had mold.)  What I’m saying about this tile is that it’s fucking dirty and it drives me nuts.  It has all these little pockets that just collect dirt and, again, drive me nuts.

So, today I took initiative.  I went to my Pinterest and I whipped up an imprecise batch of this cleaner in a spray bottle.  Water, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.  DON’T SHAKE IT.  My spray bottle almost exploded when I did that.  The directions are to spray it on and leave it for an hour but I just sprayed and scrubbed.  Oh, it’s touted as a grout cleaner but I just went for it.  The dirt that came off those tiles was magnificent!  It may not be perfect but never let the perfect get in the way of the  good.

Now go clean shit!

Under Pressure

This is how my morning has gone…

One thing that I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks is making one or two little goals every day.  My success has been phenomenal.  I cleaned two shelves in the fridge.  I took a load to the Goodwill.  All of these little things make a big difference.  Cleaning off the top of the bar because that’s all that I have time to do in one day is still more than if I spit on such a small task.  It took me two weeks to clean the basement but it is clean.  If I hadn’t done a little bit here and there, it wouldn’t be done at all and I wouldn’t feel so damn good about it.

The problem is that I got a bit cocky.

I took my first load to the Goodwill yesterday and when I came home I loaded my trunk again for today.  The fiance’s back has been bothering him so I thought that a good goal for today would be to clean the leftover shower stuff off the guest room bed.  Of course, it wouldn’t be too much to pick up the entryway, either.  Really, that’s just taking a few loads downstairs and throwing the rug in the wash.  If I had time tonight I could vacuum along the baseboards but that could wait.  While cleaning off the bed (which I didn’t finish), I found a pile of stuff that needed to go to my mom’s.  “Well,” I thought.  “I could leave 15 minutes early for work and take those towels and the extra vacuum to Mom’s.  Then I can run up to Goodwill and still be to work 15 minutes early so I can leave early so we can meet with our DJ.”

No.  No, I can’t.  That actually is not even possible if I were on top of my game.  I would only be 5 minutes early.

Anyway, I looked at the clock and realized it was 8:15 and I hadn’t ate yet.  The only thing I wanted to eat was a chicken salad sandwich.  I had to make chicken salad, then the sandwich, then eat it.  It was 8:30.  I needed to leave in 15 minutes.  In that amount of time I needed to do my hair and makeup, clean the litter and feed and water the cats, and get my bag together for work.  No.  Not happening.  I actually ended up leaving at 8:50 which got me to work 15 minutes early but I didn’t get to stop at the Goodwill and I didn’t even load the stuff for my mom.

As I neared work I got that horrible gut wrenching feeling.  Here I will be able to do nothing.  I didn’t complete anything this morning.  My night is full.  I had such good intentions and I failed.  At work this is my slow time and I have so little to do while I am here that I feel even worse about all of the stuff I have to do OUT THERE.  Instead of enjoying my lunch today, I will run to the Goodwill.  Instead of enjoying my night, I will fret over what I should be doing and I’ll feel bad about having to eat out given my mini goals for the week.  (See yesterday.)

I could have cried.  I could still cry.  Because underneath all of that is the realization that I don’t want to work anymore.  I love my job and if I have to work I don’t want to do anything else…. but I don’t want to work.  I want the life my mother had.  I want the lives of all the women who come traipsing through the library and I feel that it is utterly unfair that I can’t have it.  Something inside me is beating on my chest walls like a caged animal, “Let me out!  I don’t want to do this!  This isn’t me!”

And that?  That’s fucking scary.

Down and Out in Leftovers

Like I said, I am not challenging myself this month because I have enough shit going on.

However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not still challenging myself.

My goal this week is to not spend money on food until Friday.  The fridge is full.  We have tons of meat.  There are fruits and vegetables.  There are soups and frozen meals.  There are, basically, zero reasons for me to stop and get my favorite baked potato this week.  There is no reason for me to eat out more than having my weekly lunch with my mom.  We’re out of eggs but I probably wouldn’t have eaten them during the week anyway.  We have leftovers that are still good and I’ll be damned if I’m throwing them away.  That happens waaaay to often.

I don’t remember if I told you guys about the Great Reorganization or not but a couple of weeks ago I kicked myself in the ass about cleaning and organizing.  The house FEELS horrible.  Anyway, it took two weeks but I am done with the main part of the basement.  I alphabetized the records.  I took everything out of the bar, wiped it down, and put everything back in a way more organized manner.  I moved all of the furniture and vacuumed under it, then vacuumed it, then did the corners.  It looks so much better that I actually thought I had been robbed this morning before I remembered that I had finished yesterday.  Next I tackle the entry and stairs.  I’m just going to keep going on this for however long it takes.  I’m doing it because it makes me feel better.

I’m also trying to stay on top of: workouts, reading, writing, and wedding stuff.



Dear Triscuits, I misjudged you.

When I was a kid, my best friend was S.  S was and is awesome.  We don’t talk much anymore and I haven’t seen her in years because she lives out of state (actually in a warm place which makes me ever so bitter and I’m pretty sure she has a pool which makes me even more bitter).  Still, she’s a solid girl who has written me after I’ve been through harsh break ups and was excited about my wedding and when the fourth in our group dumped us she replied with, “Whatever.”  That just shows awesomeness.

When we were growing up, S was skinny and I was fat and so I was always fascinated with how she ate.  Her mother was full of helpful tips for me.  It wasn’t what I ate, it was how much I ate and I ate a lot because I ate too quickly.  As an adult, these are actually valid points still.  As a kid I was all, “That’s nice.  Can I have the Doritos back now?”

S loved Triscuits.  I would chomp away happily on my Doritos and she would eat Triscuits.  I thought that was the grossest thing ever.  Triscuits are basically shredded grains.  They aren’t a cracker, they are a cereal.  She tried many times to entice me into eating them.  She even dipped them in ranch.  (Ranch, by the way, is the gravy of the Gods.  If a food is missing something, it is usually ranch.  I eat it on my bread, pizza, chicken, salads, and burgers.  I imagine I could eat it on more.)  I remember being so grossed out by the whole thing that I couldn’t even watch her eat.

Then I met the fiance.

He likes Triscuits.  I watched him eat the in disgust for a while but then one day he brought home cracked pepper Triscuits.  My God.  I Love Pepper!  I ate the crap out of those crackers.  Now I eat them with everything.  I just had soup for breakfast and I finished up some roasted tomato Triscuits with it.  I don’t know if they just sucked when we were kids but I love them now.  We usually have two different flavors in the house at all times.  We eat them with spinach dip, cheese, hummus.

I am willing to admit that I’m wrong.  So this one goes out to S who may have figured some food stuffs out before I did.  Sorry for all of those disgusted looks!

Right Now- Cue the Van Halen

I think a lot.  Lately I have been thinking a lot about the future.  I had been feeling pretty down and crying a lot and poor poor fiance probably thought that I was mad.  Let’s face it, you don’t want your fiance to be sobbing uncontrollably more than once a week when there’s only a month before your wedding.  You start to wonder, I’m sure.  The problem, though, was that I was just so effing miserable in the present.  In the present I was running around and trying to accomplish things and getting nowhere.  I was feeling fat and lethargic.  I was ever aware that everything I owned was dirty and/or out of order.  Then I started thinking about the future.

I am EXCITED about the future.  I cannot wait for the wedding.  I cannot wait to be married.  I cannot wait to go on a honeymoon.  I cannot wait to get back into some state of normalcy.  I cannot wait to have a Halloween party and a New Years party and to tackle the new year.  Seriously, I am looking that far ahead.  Looking that far ahead got me into thinking about what I really really want out of life, my writing and reading and a big old farmhouse with great gardens and a vegetable patch and fresh herbs.  I want to sew and cook and clean and be domestic because that really is the kind of person I am.  I want these things and seeing them laid out in front of me made me realize that I can’t just WAIT for the future, I have to make steps towards it now.

Of course, some of the steps that I have to take are BIG steps with LOTS of planning.  Like, I need a budget.  I need some savings.  I need to fix up my house so I can sell it when I am ready to.  Those are big big things to take on and right now is not the time.  Next month would be better.

Realizing these limits has opened me up to a different thought though.  If I can’t take on the big stuff right now, aren’t there some little things that I can take on?  I started cleaning and organizing with no real idea of a completion date.  Usually I do these things in a week and I never actually finish and then I feel like a loser.  This time, I cleaned out the laundry room.  I organized the “listening lounge” in the basement.  I cleaned out the bar.  Those three jobs took me a week, a whole week of stolen five minutes.  But they’re done and that feels pretty good.  Monday I asked, “What can I do today that will make me feel better?”  I cleaned out two shelves worth of fridge.  I still feel good about that.  Today I asked, “What can I do that will make me feel better today?”  The answer was, “I’ve been meaning to spray around the foundation for bugs.  That would take, what?  Five minutes?  I’ve put it off for a month?”  BAM!  I did it this morning and I feel better already.

This is probably just the magic of mania but it feels good.  Today I feel like I am on a roll.  I feel pleasant and charming and in control.  Those are great ways to feel. What can you do today to make yourself feel better in five minutes or less?

Challenges, remastered

I need some help.

See, my whole point was to have challenges every month to push myself.   My challenge this month is to not go crazy.  I think that’s fair considering that I’m getting married next month.  Next month’s goal will be to CHILL THE EFF OUT.  Last month…. Well, I give myself a B- on the photo challenge and a B+ on the reading.  That seems fair.  I just almost finished the photos and didn’t read nearly enough for the challenge to even make sense.

I’ve been thinking about a BIG challenge.  I was thinking about taking on the Shakespeare in a Year challenge.  (That’s at )  But I’m scared.  After everything I had to say about doing the things that scare you…  I’m just afraid or getting sick of Shakespeare.

The other challenge I  have been considering is spending a year reading only what I own.  I own a lot.  I need to read those books.

What do you guys think?