Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bizarre Foods: I Want This Job

Lately I've been tuning in to The Travel Channel's food shows. Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations is one of my favorites, second only to Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods.

Zimmern travels the world, tasting delicacies that we'd be kind of grossed out over. In the episode above, the waiter slew that cobra, fed Zimmern the still-beating heart, then proceeded to slice & dice the rest and whip up all kinds of dishes that Grandma used to make.

I think Zimmern needs a sidekick! A cohort. A female straight-man. Oh, pick me, pick me! I want to be Kathy Lee to his Regis! Gracie to his George! Ed McMahon to his...oh, you know what I mean! If the crew of Bizarre Foods ever rolls through town, I will camp out on the sidewalk to audition (working beforehand, of course, to overcome my fear of television cameras).

I want to travel the world and eat grasshopper (chupalines) tostadas, and smile approvingly, and say "Mmm, nutty! These are quite good, actually." And I want to go into people's kitchens, and learn how to properly fry grubs, after I knock down banana leaves with my machete to find them. I'd eat whole crunchy little birds, and guinea pigs, and armadillos cooked right in the armadillo shell—they cut it out of the shell, and then put it back in, just like a little armadillo crockpot!

Come 'n get it!

I swear, I'll even be a trooper when fermented-in-a-hot-van-for-four-days beef and egg dishes are passed. I'd take Zimmern's cue, and say, pleasantly, "I have to agree with you, Andrew, this is the stinkiest thing I've ever eaten, and it tastes just like it smells."

Seriously, can it be any worse than tripe? (Yes, I have eaten tripe. It taste like a pig farm smells.)

MMMmm. Stomach chambers.

I'll practice on beets, the one food that triggers my gag reflex. If I can get to a point in which I can smile through a slice of pickled beet, I'm a shoe-in for this job...this job that I just made up.

Gulp. Blurp.

While I busy myself writing the network suggesting they hire me, tell me this:

1. How adventurous is your sense of taste?

2. What's the most bizarre thing you've ever eaten?

3. What could I rope you into tasting? C'mon, there's gotta be ONE thing you'd give in on. Broaden your horizons! Life's too short!

And don't you go applying for my job. I'm not choking down all these beets for nuthin'!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cheerio Necklace and an Up & Coming Hero

I've been blessed, lately, with more frequent phone calls from Brian. He's been sending more photos lately, also, and a few movies, which I'll post later, with accompanying Mommy-thoughts. For today, though, here's one I got today, of Brian and a beautiful necklace he made. I don't know if it's for me, or if he ate it, but I'll keep checking the mail, just in case. I love handmade jewelry.

Always nice to see a picture of my smiling ki...wait...is it just the light, or does it look like he has a black eye? His right eye? Does that look like a shiner to you? Well. Hmph. I'm going to have to check into that. Maybe Moore punched him after reading my blog and finding out who planted the rubber spider.

I have to tell you about a special event that I'm attending next Saturday, and hoping Brian will attend with me, best he can. I could wait and tell you after the fact, but this is so good that I want you to look forward to it with me.

There is a young man named Noah, that is turning 9 next Saturday. I haven't met him yet, but I've been invited to his birthday party.

Noah is giving up birthday presents at his party. He has instead asked each friend and family member to bring a soccer ball. Noah, for his 9th birthday, is sending soccer balls to soldiers on the Toys for Troops mailing list, so that they can hand them out to the children in Iraq.

And I'm going to show up with posters and photos, and try not to get all squooshy when I tell him and his friends what a difference they're making.

And don't tell him because we're not sure we can make this happen, but Noah might get a special phone call from a soldier in Iraq, in the middle of the party. Brian is checking his schedule, and going to do all he can to make a near-midnight (his time) phone call next Saturday night, that will fall in the middle of Noah's (afternoon here) party.

I figure a thank you from a soldier is a pretty good way to sneak in a gift to a kid that's giving his up.

Wish us luck making this happen; I am so excited. With his mother's permission, I'll try to post a photo of the day.

Can't you just hardly wait?!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Answer

Ok. That last entry was totally fun. If you haven't commented yet, do so, I'm fascinated with every answer!

I work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., though I'm 10 minute late to work most days, so I have to work 10 minutes after.

I have a 30-minute break from 12:30 to 1:00, that I either spend in my cubicle, or run frenzied errands, which, really, is just nuts.

I try to force myself to be in bed by midnight. Sometimes I make it, sometimes no. The alarm goes off at 6:45, at which time I swear that tonight I will be in bed by 10 p.m. I get out of bed around 7:15.

My weeknight evenings: I just joined the gym, so I try to get in there a few evenings a week. That's easy; I can see the place from my front door (if you knock down the building across the street). Change shoes, and I'm there in 2 minutes.

My (winter) evenings are usually busy. Cooking (I prefer cooking to eating out, even if it's just something simple) and cleaning up after. Answering e-mails, cleaning the house, sorting thru photos, working on Toys for Troops stuff, reading blogs, designing posters, and working on a freelance project here or there. And brainstorming. Always that. Summer: throw in yardwork, and that jazz.

Clint has odd hours, 24 hours on, 48 hours off. We skip between our two houses, based on the agenda du jour. Until yesterday, his oven didn't work, so if dinner needed baking, it's been served at my house. We roll with it. I do pretty much the same things in either of our homes, on an average evening: Putter.

Between us we have a lot of friends, so we're running out for social functions an average of twice a week. Sundays are spent getting Mom settled for the upcoming week: lunch, then groceries, and filling Rx, etc.

So, why DID I ask? I've been contemplative about time management. As much as I have going in my life, I still want to incorporate more. Is it possible, I wondered? How much structure do people have in their lives? How much can people get done? How do people watch so much TV that they know what's on every single night at any given hour?! How do people do most of what I do, and factor 2-3 kids into the story?!!

Your answers were interesting and varied, reflecting on so many different phases of our lives. Kids, no kids, single, married, dating, working in the home, working out of it.

Thanks for playing along. Keep playing...

In the meantime, I'm going to figure out where in the heck, in this house, I can fit my easel, and where, in a week, I can schedule an hour. If that's all I can find, it's one hour more than I've been painting. And darlings, I tire of just talking about painting. It's time to put up or shut up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Curious

What time to you go to bed?

What time do you wake up in the morning?

Which hours do you work, on an average workday?

How many hours do you have to yourself, at the end of each day, before retiring?

What do you do to fill that time, that time after work and before bedtime, most weeknights? Work out? Fix dinner, do dishes, and get the kids their bath? Work on hobbies?

Do you get stuff accomplished most days, or do you save the big stuff for the weekends?

Inquiring mind, mine.

Blogging Plagiarism


Click below for a jaw-dropping story from Absolutely Bananas.

http://www.absolutelybananas.com/2008/01/in-which-i-confront-dirty-rotten.html

(Image from salon.com)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tell Me Theme: Your Cherished Gifts

Ok. No more arguing. Tsk; it is simply not constructive, I tire of it.

Let's play tell me.

After being an avid coffee drinker for about 20 years or so, I seem to have, overnight, lost a taste for it entirely. It just, one afternoon in November, didn't sound good to me, and I ordered tea, instead. Chai with milk, or black tea. With honey, if I'm splurging, but usually with splenda.

I've been buying loose tea at the Walnut Street Tea Co. (that's on Walnut Street), and steeping it in a cast iron teapot similar to this one:

The teapot was a gift from my friend, Lori, years ago, and I love pulling it out. It is one of those items in my home that I cherish. It is solid, and warm, and functional and beautiful, and it comforts me to use it, thinking of the friend that gave it to me.

Tell me: What cherished gifts have you received from friends or loved ones that you use regularly, or that just comfort you?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

An Addendum and An Apology

I mentioned recently that I do not post everything I write here. In a like manner, I nearly did not post the last entry about the initial media coverage of a fallen soldier, and the response we received from it. I sat on it.

One more email rolled in, however (ah, the e-mail that broke the camel's back!) and I posted.
I document my encounters here, or privately, and hope someday to bring all that's happened in the last few years into a book. Even if it's a printing of 1, for Brian's kids to read some day. So, I gotta jot it down.

So much has happened in the last couple of years, and even though I have done a lot to bring myself and our organization into the limelight, a phone call from the media always surprises me. I don't consider myself a source of information; heck, I've done interviews admitting how little I know! When will your kid be home? I don't know!

I also don't underestimate how much the guys and gals in the media have done for us. One of the things that made me hesitate about posting the last entry was that I've met so many nice people doing what these people were doing last week: their jobs.

I argued with myself, though: Should that keep me from posting my opinions? Be true to yourself, and all that jazz, and hit that Publish Post button.

Tsk.

I received an email yesterday morning, from one reporter that had received angry letters, as a result of my blog.

Upset he was, and apologetic. There was no tease on his station, he said. I was mistaken, and he wanted to clear it up. He sent me transcripts. I volleyed, and respectfully disagreed: there was a tease; it left me baffled and annoyed, and friends and family panicked.

I wrote the blog to tell the story, and express my own response to condolences not meant for us. Yes, I grumbled about the tease, but truth is, I dislike those tease-bits on any tv show. I dislike a drumroll. I understand that piquing public curiosity and pulling viewers in is pretty darned important for the livelihood of any television show, but they somehow insult me, the way that removing clocks in department stores insults me.

I received another email: It started out: "Sorry to be a pain I just feel passionate about the integrity of my news gathering and [his TV station] ."

He went on to tell me that yes, there was a tease, but it was followed up by a brief story with more information.

Okay. Maybe it was only 5 minutes, or just a commercial break. I didn't see it. I didn't see clarification until 10:00 PM, and know only that others panicked and ran to the phones prematurely, also.

Most of all, I'm more than a little embarrassed that we've "bickered" ridiculously when there is a much larger, overall picture: the loss of a soldier. This particular reporter that called me on Thursday did say that he was trying to keep the feelings of the family first and foremost, and was phoning me for information so as to stay out of their hair. I'm sorry that I omitted that fact; I didn't honestly know how much he had to do with the show that aired, if anything.

I believe that the guy that's taken some heat here really does care, and that he meant to protect the interests of the family of our local fallen soldier. Fiercely.

And I have utmost respect for anyone that stands up and backs up the integrity of his own character, and this one did just that. He was respectful, and adamant, and kind.

God. Enough already, shut me up! With no further ado:
To RF:

I sincerely apologize.








Friday, January 18, 2008

Too much

Television reporters called my workplace yesterday, to see if I could shed light on this community's fallen soldier. Could I at least verify his name? they asked me. I could not. Any information, any at all? I could tell them only that the Department of Defense had not released names, as of yet.

They went ahead with the news anyway. Standing in front of the Champaign Police Department, the breaking news at 6:00 was that an officer's son had fallen. Details to come, they announced. When they knew something.

I wonder how many officers at CPD have kids serving in Iraq. I know of 2 more. Jeff's phone rang off the hook: fearful friends and family wanting to know: Is it your son?

And e-mails came to me, today:
" I saw the News last night and I must tell you when they said a Champaign Police Officer Son my heart stopped."
I don't know if you can understand how difficult it is, to say, "No. It was not." It is buckling to tag up to phone calls and condolences and concerns that aren't yours, and that you never, ever want to own. To get a taste of what will happen if. To know, even though you already know, who will be right by your side.

If.

The fallen soldier's name, Danny Kimme, was announced 4 hours later, on the 10:00 news—along with Brian's military stats. Did they need the story so badly that any facts would do?

I know it's the reporters job, to get the story. But what is this "somebody died, and we have no idea who it is" crap? Yes. Somebody did die. Get his name. Get his wife's name, and his father's name, and his mother's name, and cry a million tears for him. Let the world know who just did what, while serving this country.

And in the meantime, don't refer to him anonymously. Have a little respect, and hold out for freakin' 4 hours, and encourage people to memorize one more: Danny Kimme, age 27. He leaves behind a wife, and a daughter, due in 3 months.




My son was deployed 10 months ago. This is the 4th soldier this community has lost, in that time.

It is too much.

It is too much.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Grief. Again.

A secret: I write a lot here, that I just save, and never post. I might vent, and worry that I'm bitchy. I might complain, and worry that I'm tedious. I might say "fuck" and worry that I'm potty-mouthed. I sometimes consider who's reading, and become intimidated. I have, sometimes, hit SEND anyway, and though I've never been sorry, I still fret.

Here's an entry I started yesterday, and side-lined:
Brian sent me another round of pictures, yesterday. I hate for him to read this, but hey, I just got the thumb's up from him to "blog your heart out, Mom," so I'm going to tell you: Opening that pic of him, his clear skin and blue eyes, it crumbled me yesterday.

Maybe it was just my mood, or maybe it was just not seeing my son's face for 5 months, and knowing I'll have to wait 5 more. We talk on the phone, and send a few lines back and forth on email, and check in on one another's MySpace accounts. He's in my heart, as I mail one care package, tape up another box, and start filling it the same day, for the next week's mailing.

There are some days that I actually think, "this isn't so bad. Brian's doing pretty good. I'm doing pretty good."

But it's also true that a few times a week, I'll be driving along, or mindlessly pushing a cart through the grocery store, and I think, "Holy Mother of God! My kid is on the other side of the world!! He is serving in a WAR!" It hits me as if it is the first I've heard of it. My heart skips a beat, every single time...and all I can do is take a deep breath, and keep moving.

So, I keep moving, as do thousands of other parents and spouses and siblings and friends. Chin up, move forward, rah rah rah...there's my kid's face in an email oh my god, he's beautiful oh my god I miss him.


That's it, I started crying and decided not to post.



Champaign has lost another.

It has not yet been announced. Jeff called me this morning: A Champaign Police Officer's son was killed in Iraq.

This morning.

He just wanted me to hear it, before. Before. Before I heard it on the news. He told me, and I lost the wind in my body. God. Okay. Okay. God. Okay. He just wanted me to know. Ok. Thanks. Thanks for calling.

Brian's father is a Champaign Police officer. It is one of his "Brothers in Blue" that just lost a son, today.

And I got the call. And I put on my coat, and left my office. I ran to Di's house. My friend for 26 years, who, last time she heard I cried alone, said "Dammit, next time you call me!" I did it. I called her. She wasn't home, but baby, she turned her car around, and she was waiting in her kitchen when I got there, with open arms and a box of kleenex. She let me cry until I could cry no more. Then, she fixed me coffee.

And once again, a soldier dies, and I go back to work.

Fuck.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My MySpace Space

I'm finally getting on board with MySpace. Kind of. I created the account ages ago, as one more means of connecting with my son, and also of staying connected to his friends/my other sons. They can run, but they can't hide.

It's just been in the last week or two that I accidentally linked through and found one of the soldiers that we send toys and gifts to, and through him, several others. At last, I am communicating regularly with a few of the guys that and gals that are working with us, in Iraq, and elsewhere.

I am, thus far, merely figuring things out as I go, and half the time I can't remember how I got there from here, or how to get back (logging off and back in works, now and again).

Anyway, if you want to add me as a friend, my MySpace name is: Gnightgirl. Heh.

www.myspace.com/gnightgirl


Come on over. Be my friend.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Brian Update

First of all, Brian is fine. I found it somehow appropriate to write nothing during the moment of prayer pictured, but hadn't counted on scaring the bejeezus out of a few readers, wondering if Brian was the one being prayed for. I modified the title to make it (hopefully) clearer, and write now to ease your wondering minds. I am so sorry.

I spoke to Brian yesterday; he was in good spirits. The workload has eased up for now. He seems to fluctuate between exhaustion and boredom. Our conversation was definitely more upbeat, he being more rested than other times he's called.

It's cold, and they have new uniforms made of Nomex, which is nice and flame retardant, and also breathes. Fabric that breaths: Nice when it's hot. COLD when it's not; the wind whips right through their uniforms. Overcoats are not allowed, any insulating has to be done via layering under their uniforms.

SO. I'll be trekking out to Champaign Surplus tomorrow, to look for black long-johns, for him and his gunner, Steven Moore (pictured below).

I have been instructed to help take care of Mr. PFC Steven Moore (age 20), also; he has apparently saved my son's life more than once, though exact details are not forthcoming. Steven sits on a turret atop Brian's humvee, and, while Brian stays warm inside the truck, Steven is outside, in the wind and cold, for the majority of each mission's time.

When I tell Brian I'm sending him a pillow, it is "send one for Moore, too, he's saves my ass" that he tells me. Enough said, kid. Anyone that saves my kid's life gets pillows and long johns and space heaters, and anything else he needs to be alert and comfy while he's doing it.

Sounds like Brian is acquiring brothers, while he's there, and Moore is one of them.

I personally bonded with Moore, from across the world, when Brian told me that he's terrified of spiders. "Even more than I am," he added.

He cackled maniacally then, telling of a practical joke that he played on him, placing a rubber spider the size of a man's hand just under the 50-cal (that's Moore's gun) on the turret.

Apparently Moore got halfway into that turret one night, and found himself face to face with the hairy thing. "Hold on!" he yelled, "Hold up! Hold on!" Brian innocently responded, " 'Sup, Moore? We gotta roll out!" "JUST HOLD ON!!" he yelled back, trying to decide which direction to head, slowly pulling out his flashlight, to further assess the situation. After another minute, Brian heard "SOMEONE'S GOING TO GET THEIR ASS KICKED!"

Brian laughed, on the phone, and I could hear Moore in the background, laughing also.

E-mails, and MySpace and phone calls are all good...but I can't tell you hearing the sound of my kid laughing lifts my spirits. I can hardly wait til he gets home, and, of course, brings Moore and his wife over for spaghetti.

I will then bond with Moore further by sharing war stories with him: I will regale him with tales of Brian, as a child, placing a hairy rubber spider between the sheets, and re-making my bed, or placing the thing in the silverware drawer, or in the microwave. We will smoke cigars, and drink whiskey, and reminisce: Ahh, how many times did I almost dropped dinner on the floor, mindlessly turning around to put the rice in the microwave.

And Brian. We will make him wait on us hand and foot, refilling our drinks and buffing our nails, and cleaning our ashtrays. I'll start shopping for a little French maid's outfit right now. Paybacks are hell, and we, the Arachnid-ly-traumatized, will seek our revenge.

Ohhh, this is going to be good.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hot Mama's Know: Clean up that Mascara Wand



Ladies, it's Hot Mama time again. Thought it's normally on the first day of the month, Absolutely Bananas gave us a 1-week reprieve so that we could recover from New Year's ever festivities.

The champagne's worn off, and the holidays are over. We're worn out, but we don't have to look like we're worn out. Blink. Blink. Blink.

It never seems to matter, if it's cheap drugstore mascara or expensive cosmetic counter mascara, that the stupid mascara wand occasionally gloms up. Who the heck can smear mascara on eye-hair when the wand looks like THIS?!!


I bought this waterproof mascara just 3 weeks ago. Seriously, I spread that mess on my eyelashes, I'm going to have one big, disgusting, chunk o lashes. This is not a Hot Mama look:



No worries though; here's a tip I made up years ago.

Run out to the local beauty supply store, and buy a box of those little tissue papers that hairdressers use when they're administering perms.

Grab one of those things, and give your wand a quick swipe. It removes excess without leaving fuzzy bits that tissue or kleenex would.


Voila! The brush is still loaded, but without the excess stuff to gunk up your eyelashes. Yes, you might lose a bit of paint off that wand, but the alternative—smearing that stuff so heavily over your lashes that it dries and flakes all over your face—isn't so hot. This allows a clean, even coat of mascara to all of your lashes.



Got it? Now clean up those lashes, and go bat them at someone.

Jury: Update & Incessant Talkers

Anticlimactic jury today: The defendant, after months of pre-trial hub-bub, walked in and plead guilty this morning.

The judge, shocked at the turn of events tried to talk him into going ahead with a trial; it was a meth case, the guy was going to prison for 10 years, and at least he'd have a shot at smoke & mirrors, with a jury. And there were, after all, 42 people waiting to get a chance to hear him out.

We waited in uncomfortable chairs for 2-1/2 hours, but the judge was unable to convince Mr. Meth to go through with the trial. So we were sent home, and may or may not be called back. I was happy to get back to work.

Not a Morning Person

Did I say 2-1/2 hours?

And can I just add, that there had to be 2 people, in that room of 42, that felt a need to keep a constant, loud conversation going for the entire time? Cutting up and yuk-yukking and giving every single detail of every movie they ever loved, and when they got to sleep and what time they woke up and what they had for breakfast, and what would we get for lunch, and be careful don't trip over that cord they might make you pay for it har har, and how long it took for them to get over their last cold, and
How can you possibly talk about yourself for over 2 hours to complete strangers? Shut up, shut up, shut UP.

I know we can all carry on from time to time, but it's cute when we do it, because we are drunk interesting. We know we're interesting, because, we pause, and everyone at the table says "Please. Do Go On." When ya don't get the "do go on," but instead a collective sigh of relief from everyone around you, then it's shut-up time.

In fact, I think I've reached shut-up time myself, just now.

Incessant talkers: Observe.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Jury


So. I've been called to Federal Jury Duty, from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. I have to report tomorrow morning, I am Juror #117.

We are busier than ever at work, with a project that will print next November. It's not necessarily a good time. My boss is annoyed, at best. I've offered to work weekends, and make up whatever time I miss...naively hoping, under the circumstances, that they'll smile and pass me on, having once been married to a cop. And dated another, but we won't get into sordid circumstances, unless it gets me back to work for the day.

I did a Google Image Search for "federal jury champaign" and turned up....seemingly nothing that had anything to do with Federal Jury in Champaign. 10,700 images and nothing Champaign'ish until page 7 or so, and that just of an interstate.

At any rate, I have my parking pass, and a book to read, and no cell phones allowed, I'll leave mine at home, and can I bring water, and what if I wear jeans, and I'm praying that O.J. Simpson steers clear of Bubble City. Seriously. I'd be ruined.

What a way to start the year, ay?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What's in (Your) Name?



Some years ago, my friend Diane and I had the pleasure of introducing ourselves, at our local coffee shop, to a man from the Ivory Coast, studying here at the University of Illinois. He was a real, live, African Chief, who had to turn over responsibility of his village to someone before coming here to finish his studies. He told of how he was frowned upon, for leaving his Mother in charge. A woman! For 4 years?!

His name was Yao.

Yao told us another story, one day, about his name, Yao. It means Thursday. He was born on a Thursday. All men born on a Thursday, at the time he was born, were named Yao.

(This next paragraph is kind of true, and kind of B.S., as I forget a lot of the particulars, and don't have time to research them. There, I said it. I'm a bimbo, so what?)


The reason for this began initially when the British (there's a detail I don't remember; was it the French? he spoke French) were essentially "drafting" the "elite" young men to come and study, and live in their country.

It seems it was something they were forced to do. Naming everyone by the day they were born, then, served to make the "promising" a bit more difficult to discern. Kind of like the star-belly sneetch story, isn't it?

But.

Yao went on to tell me his "real" name. His "Chief" name. It was about 22 names long, and in Ivory Coast speak, revealed to the world who he really was. I remember only that part of the name translated into something like "warrior that eats raw meat."

"My name," he told me, "is a labyrinth of the history of my family, for hundreds of years." He proceeded to write out and unfold the labyrinth, while I sat dumbstruck, for several minutes.

When he was done, I told him, "My name is Lori because my Grandmother hated that name, and my father wanted to annoy her."

We sat in silence, then, while I waited out HIS dumb stare.

Finally, he said, "You ahd not seedy-ous."

Yes, I am serious, jack. In FACT, my Grandmother wanted me to be named "Starla Kay," and when I was 8 years old and found that out, I was all kinds of furious with my parents. STARla! Imagine it, what a GREAT name! Oh, GOD, I wanted to be named Starla, instead of Lori. I was all for doing whatever it took to change my name. STunning STarla STewart!

In retrospect, I'm pretty happy that my parents didn't give in to my footstomping. Starla. Starla Stewart. Stupid Starla Stewart.

Tell me about your name.

How did you come about it? Were you named after someone? Would you choose another name?

I'll sign off, then, with the alternate name I would have chosen for myself.
Love, Jerry

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008: The Resolution

Besides "Drink more Water," a resolution that's become an annual tradition for me, here's what we resolved to do, in '08:


No more plastic bags for us. Clint and I ran into County Market for a few New Year's items yesterday, and realized that we left the cloth bags in the back of my car.

It was 12 degrees outside, and no one really wanted to run back to the car, parked in Timbuktu. Still, we were determined to turn over a new leaf! We'd made resolutions! On our honor, We will do our best, to do our duty, to God and our country...

...we bought 2 more cloth bags. Yeah, I see how this is going to work.

We bought 2 bottles of (cheap) champagne, chicken, veggies, dishwasher soap, bread, peanut sauce, and oh, I don't know what else. What I do know is this:

All of that stuff was packed into ONE cloth bag.

We calculated the number of bags we would have otherwise walked out with: Each bottle of champaign wrapped in a bag, and placed together in another...there's 3. Soap separate from everything else, there's 4, and the rest would have been split into probably 2 more.

One cloth bag versus 6 plastic ones! We felt so smug and self-righteous upon leaving the store, carrying one stuffed bag, and 1 empty, for future use.

So, 2008 will bring recycling back into my home (it's not offered in my neighborhood), and heightened awareness of all things green, and some things organic.

Any resolutions for you?