I realize I’ve been a very, very bad blogger

But the lovely Jackie at A Patchwork Life tagged me as a Versatile Blogger, and it restored all the good fun feelings I had about my blog from back in the day. You remember, the mid-aughts, when blogging was popular and memes were fun!

So the point of this meme is to write 7 things about myself that you couldn’t find somewhere else. I’m gonna assume this means on my blog. You could, of course, find them if you dug around in my brain. Without further ado:

  1. I once downloaded the White Stripes song “Icky Thump” because it reminded me of two of our cats–Icky, aka Ichabod (a cat rescued from a car accident on Halloween and named by our vet); and Hank, aka Wumpus the Thumpus. What can I say we have weird nicknaming patterns in our household. You should have known that already.
  2. I think I probably read fewer books in 2010 than I did in any year since I learned to read when I was a child.
  3. I have almost 4,000 songs on my iTunes. In a possible corollary to item 2, I have spent much more time listening to music in the past year than I have reading.
  4. I had my first-ever meeting this week where someone Skyped in. I was very excited about it. You have no idea how much my life would be improved if I didn’t have to drive to as many meetings as I do.
  5. We’re thinking about becoming a cell-only household. I can’t imagine why we’ve hung on to our landline as long as we have.
  6. If I read the paper in the print edition, I start with the Business section. If it’s online, usually the front page. Why? I don’t know.
  7. Even though it’s already snowed three times this year, I have yet to buy the Potato any snowboots. #momfail



January 8, 2011. memes, the pop culture. 5 comments.

The Power of 8

I was tagged for this meme by Byrning Bunny, whose blog I just recently started reading.

The Rules:

  1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
  2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
  3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
  4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

The Questions:

What was I doing ten years ago?

Well, I was about to turn 30 (guess how old that makes me now?), and landisdad and I were living in CA, planning our wedding.

What are five things on my to do list for today tomorrow?

Calling the place where landisdad & I are having our birthday party; being on three conference calls; making my to-do list; sending out party invites; laundry (is it ever not on the list?)

Snacks I enjoy?

I’m really loving the kettle corn, right now. Fresh from the farmers’ market, yum!

Things I would do if I were a billionaire?

Billionaire? Wow, so much higher-stakes that previous memes! Okay, travel for sure. Also? Buying the best damn election for the Democrats that money can buy. Hell, all the other billionaires do it!

I guess there’s also the whole investing/saving for college/putting money away for retirement thing, too.

Three of my bad habits?

Um, bad money management? Taking on too much. Failure to clean to any reasonable human standard.

Five places I have lived?

New Brunswick, NJ; Boise, ID; Oakland, CA; San Francisco, CA; Union City, CA

Five jobs I have had?

Canvasser, Waitress, Word Processor, Stage Manager, Organizer

Five people I want to know more about:

Jennifer, Mama Em & Mama AFlea, Tracey, & Becky

I would love it if you would choose to add #8 and tell us how you chose your blog’s name.

Well, I’m sorry that’s not a more interesting story. The real story is this–landisdad gave my kids their nicknames on the day that each of them were born, while we were in the hospital. I wish I could take credit for making up my blog name, but I just gave them pseudonyms that they already had as family nicknames.

    June 8, 2008. memes. 2 comments.

    another book meme

    I saw this meme over at Penguin’s place, and had to do it. Here are the directions:

    What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

    I was a fan of LibraryThing, until I realized that to categorize my whole library, I’d have to pay to join. I’m not sure why I’d do that, when I can do it for free on GoodReads. I do like their book recommendation engine though.

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
    Anna Karenina
    Crime and Punishment
    One Hundred Years of Solitude
    Wuthering Heights

    The Silmarillion
    Life of Pi : a novel
    The Name of the Rose
    Don Quixote
    Moby Dick
    Madame Bovary
    The Odyssey
    Pride and Prejudice
    Jane Eyre
    A Tale of Two Cities
    The Brothers Karamazov

    Guns, Germs, and Steel
    War and Peace
    Vanity Fair
    The Time Traveler’s Wife
    The Iliad
    The Blind Assassin
    The Kite Runner
    Mrs. Dalloway
    Great Expectations
    American Gods
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    Atlas Shrugged
    Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
    Memoirs of a Geisha
    Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
    The Canterbury Tales

    The Historian : a novel (I do have this on my to-be-read shelf, though)
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Love in the Time of Cholera
    Brave New World
    The Fountainhead
    Foucault’s Pendulum

    The Count of Monte Cristo
    A Clockwork Orange
    Anansi Boys

    The Once and Future King
    The Grapes of Wrath
    The Poisonwood Bible
    Angels & Demons

    The Satanic Verses
    Sense and Sensibility
    The Picture of Dorian Gray
    Mansfield Park
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    To the Lighthouse
    Tess of the D’Urbervilles
    Oliver Twist
    Gulliver’s Travels

    Les Misérables
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    The Prince
    The Sound and the Fury
    Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
    The God of Small Things
    A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present

    Cryptonomicon (also on the to-be-read shelf)
    A Confederacy of Dunces

    A Short History of Nearly Everything
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being
    The Scarlet Letter

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves
    The Mists of Avalon
    Oryx and Crake

    Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
    Cloud Atlas
    The Confusion
    Northanger Abbey
    The Catcher in the Rye

    On the Road
    The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
    The Aeneid
    Watership Down
    Gravity’s Rainbow
    The Hobbit
    In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequencesWhite Teeth
    Treasure Island
    David Copperfield

    I guess my tendency to read a book to the end, whether I like it or not, has served me in good stead.

    At least in completing this meme.

    May 22, 2008. books for grown-ups, memes. Leave a comment.

    it’s not exactly a meme…not exactly…

    My favorite dad-blogger, MetroDad, wrote a post last week that I really enjoyed which consisted of questions to other parents. I liked it so much, I’m ripping it off.

    Why does my daughter insist on wearing her batting helmet onto the field when she’s playing softball? Is this a sign that she’s destined to be one of the uncool kids?

    If a four-year-old boy and a gnat are in the same room, which one will get distracted first? What if there are legos in the room? How does the equation change if there are dinosaurs? Train sets?

    Is it wrong for me to refuse to let my children watch the movie Alvin & The Chipmunks in a movie theater, and instead Netflix it so that I don’t have to be in the same room with that singing?

    Is it a sign that I’m getting old that I can no longer listen to my beloved hip hop, because I can’t listen to one more song that references a stripper pole? Didn’t there used to be lots of popular music that didn’t talk about strippers?

    When I’ve repeatedly warned a certain child that she’s going to be late to her softball game if she doesn’t put her cleats on right now, why is it my fault when she actually is late?

    Which of the following scenarios is likely to happen soonest: 1) the parents who decide that it’s okay for them to block the entrance to the daycare with their cars will have a change of heart or 2) the Potato will enter kindergarten and stop going to daycare?

    At what age will I stop carrying crayons with me everywhere that I go?

    When I finally do break down and get a cell phone for my kid (which is still years in the future), what will she set her sights on next, a fake ID?

    Is the rate at which a child outgrows a pair of pants directly related to the amount of money that one spent on those pants?

    If you only have one pen in your purse, and that pen is hot pink and has a Polly Pocket doll on the end, is it acceptable to use that pen in a meeting? with your boss?

    At what age can I expect that my child will use the bathroom when he needs to, instead of insisting that he doesn’t need to pee while hopping up and down in a frantic manner?

    If a child’s friend, when entering one’s house for the first time, exclaims, “this is the messiest house I’ve ever been in!,” is it socially acceptable to send her home with a dust-bunny in her pocket?

    Answers in the comments—or questions of your own—are welcome!

    May 1, 2008. memes, random other things. 7 comments.

    I saw this meme over at Penguin Unearthed, and it looked kind of fun. Write about the first ten blogs you clicked on in Google Reader. Well, I use bloglines, but I guess it still applies. Here goes:

    1. Wonkette is liveblogging the primary results from Super Twosday. Sadly, Ron Paul was not defeated in two primaries tonight.
    2. Alisa Valdes Rodriguez, on her blog Multiplicative Identity, is blogging about a new documentary that looks at Castro’s many escapes from death.
    3. Diana at Diaphanous writes about a jailbreak in her town, and listening to the police scanner to find out what’s going on with the re-capture of the prisoner.
    4. Mocha Mama writes about two high school teachers that made a difference in her life.
    5. Becca from Not Quite Sure writes about her real flaw–the one she’ll never confess in a job interview.
    6. Metrodad writes about taking his daughter skiing for the first time–warning: this post includes pictures of The Peanut that may cause your computer to spontaneously combust, due to the cuteness!
    7. Procrastamom writes about her habit of crying when she sees an ambulance with sirens on–even if she doesn’t know the person in it.
    8. PunditMom writes about today’s virtual march to protest the Bush Administration’s plan to cut funding for after-school programs.
    9. Anjali can’t wait to have the baby (and haven’t we all been there!).
    10. And CamiKaos reacts to seeing The Bridge to Terabithia for the first time.

    Well, that’s it for tonight folks. Thanks to everyone who sent lice-killing vibes. I don’t want to jinx us, but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about that whole project.

    March 4, 2008. memes. 3 comments.

    2007–the year in review

    I did this meme last year, and I thought it was kind of cool, so I’m resurrecting it. Basically, the first sentence of the first post from every month of the last year.


    I know, I promised a vacation post, but it’s unpacking day here at Chez Landisville.


    The Potato is a very inquisitive boy.


    I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to be the PTA president.


    I’ve never been the kind of person to play April Fool’s jokes.


    I’m happy to report that for four of the last five days, the Potato has gone to bed wearing underwear, instead of a pull-up.*


    A friend emailed me this article from the NY Times today (read it quick before it goes behind the TimesSelect wall).


    I think that the Bee has finally come to terms with riding a two-wheeler.


    We got a new kitten today–she’s quite adorable.


    Last year, I hosted a blog carnival on Labor Day weekend called Blog for Workers’ Rights.


    Dear Bee, 8 years ago yesterday, landisdad and I were in the hospital, wondering what we had just gotten ourselves into.


    Too much, evidently.


    because god knows, I spent enough money this weekend.

    *Sigh. It’s now January 2008, and the boy is still in pullups at night.

    January 1, 2008. memes. 2 comments.

    good books and good works

    I was tagged by Britt from Have Fun Do Good with this Book Meme last week.

    Total number of books I own:

    A lot. No really, imagine a lot of books. Now imagine that they reproduced. Asexually.

    Last book I read:

    Not For Bread Alone by Moe Foner. A really interesting, quick read memoir the guy who founded SEIU 1199’s Bread and Roses Project. Not a polished author, but a subject matter near and dear to my heart.

    Last book I bought:

    Hmmm. I bought a first edition of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard at a book sale last month. I think that was it.

    5 Meaningful Books

    I have to say, I’m having a hard time limiting myself to five. I’m picking five non-fiction, but there are many meaningful novels in my past, too.

    Hey Waitress! The USA from the Other Side of the Tray by Allison Owings

    Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon

    Red Diapers: Growing Up in the Communist Left  by Linn Shapiro

    Dispatches by Michael Herr

    Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol

    …and of course, the tagging it forward:



    Doppelganger (has there ever been a book blog I didn’t tag you with?)



    Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!

    October 30, 2007. books for grown-ups, memes. 3 comments.

    Happy (belated) anniversary, honey!

    I saw this meme at Jennifer’s, and while I didn’t forget my anniversary, I am posting it late. So I guess there’s something going around. And I have forgotten my anniversary in the past, so I could see how that could happen.

    The mysterious husband

    1. Who is your man?
    well, if I’m landismom, he’s got to be landisdad

    2. How long have you been together?

    Coming up on 14 years–but it was just our ninth wedding anniversary.

    3. How long did you date?

    Hmm, I guess it was about six months before we moved in together, although we knew each other before we dated.

    4. How old is your man?


    5. Who eats more?

    It depends. If the question is “who eats more healthy food?” it’s definitely him. If it’s just sheer volume? I guess it could be either of us.

    6. Who said “I love you” first?

    I honestly don’t remember.

    7. Who is taller?

    He is — but not by much.

    8. Who sings better?

    Probably me. He’s not really a singer.

    9. Who is smarter?

    I’m irritated by this question, and I’m not gonna answer it.

    10. Whose temper is worse?

    No contest. Mine.

    11. Who does the laundry?

    I do, although he throws in a load of whites now and again. Usually when he needs an gi for aikido.

    12. Who takes out the garbage?

    We share garbage duty on trash night, but I think he takes out the kitchen garbage more often than I do.

    13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

    He does.

    14. Who pays the bills?

    Me. It’s all about the Money, Power, Respect for me.

    15. Who is better with the computer?

    Toss up.

    16. Who mows the lawn?

    Frank’s guys.

    17. Who cooks dinner?

    He does. Thank god!

    18. Who drives when you are together?

    Depends on where we are going, whose car it is, how long a trip.

    19. Who pays when you go out?

    Who goes out?

    20. Who is most stubborn?

    How long have you been reading this blog? Okay, it’s me.

    21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?

    I think both of us do this if the other one is calling us on something. Other than that, I’m not sure.

    22. Whose parents do you see the most?

    Well, technically my dad lives the closest, but since I haven’t talked to him in 4.5 years, that doesn’t matter much. We see his mom probably the most frequently, then his dad, then my mom.

    23. Who kissed who first?

    He kissed me.

    24. Who asked who out?

    Eh, it wasn’t like that at all.

    25. Who proposed?

    I proposed the idea of starting a family. He proposed that getting married might be a good first step.

    26. Who is more sensitive?

    Moody bitch that I am, I’m going to have to say me.

    27. Who has more friends?

    I have more friends, he has more long-term relationships that date to childhood/adolescence.

    28. Who has more siblings?

    Including step-siblings (we both have them), I’m the clear winner (I have three brothers, three step-brothers and three step-sisters)–he has one brother, one step-brother and one step-sister.

    29. Who wears the pants in the family?

    The Bee.

    October 26, 2007. memes. 2 comments.

    Premio Blog Solidario


    Alexandra from the great blog Building Bridges just gave me a Premio Blog Solidario award. I was really flattered, because she writes a great blog that mixes travel writing, academic blogging, and personal stories. She’s also a wonderful photographer, and her blog often features pictures of things I want to eat, or places I’d like to visit.

    I’ve got the sobering duty of passing on this award to some other bloggers–so here we go. In the category of parenting blog, I’m going to give it to Jo(e) from Writing as Jo(e). Like Alexandra, Jo(e) is in academia, and is a wonderful photographer. In addition to her enormous creativity in creating anonymity for her kids and others, Jo(e) is a lyrical writer who actually makes me want to go camping again.

    Another parenting blog that I really like is Sandra’s Here in Korea. Sandra lives the ex-patriate life with her husband and kids. I’m often struck by her humor, as she negotiates life in a foreign country, and the fact that her kids are a few years older than mine is helpful too.

    So if you’re not reading this blogs regularly, you really should check them out.

    And speaking of irregularity, I’ve got to apologize for mine, of late. I’ve been attending a gazillion conferences, and have had very sporadic internet access.

    September 16, 2007. memes, meta. 3 comments.


    So, first, let me say thanks to Kimberly and CamiKaos for their responses to yesterday’s post–we’ve decided to name our kitten Grace O’Malley. Landisdad thought she looked like a pirate, because she has one black eyepatch.

    This is going to be a post full of randomness. There’s not going to be a connection between these things, so don’t be looking for one.

    I got tagged by Ashley before I went on vacation, and I’m embarrassed that I haven’t acknowledged it yet. It’s ironic that I got tagged as a schmoozy blogger (I think it’s a compliment), right before I went offline for 10 days, but hey. Anyway, I’m supposed to tag five more folks, so here goes: you, you, you, you, and oh yeah, you.

    Bitch PhD is asking folks to post pictures of what their living spaces look like before they clean them up for company. Here’s mine. That’s my desk, in what was once our dining room, and is now my office. Although after the arrival of today’s Ikea catalog in the Sunday paper, I may be moving my office to the basement, and buying some modernist storage. Then it will all be orderly. (Yeah, keep telling yourself that, LM.)

    Also in photoblogging news, two of my favorite bookblogs, Doppelganger and Kimbooktu, posted recently about collecting pictures of people’s home libraries. This is a picture of my favorite bookshelf, it’s hinged in the middle to fit in a corner. When it’s empty, you can fold the whole thing in half.

    Finally, Elizabeth posted a link to this site that rates your neighborhood’s walkability. I’m happy to say that ours scored 82 (out of a possible 100). However, as I pointed out on Elizabeth’s blog, one of the reasons that our neighborhood scored so high is that they’re listing the free movies in the part that our town shows during the summer as a movie theater, which is not exactly accurate. And certainly not first-run.

    What are you doing online these days?

    August 5, 2007. family life, memes, meta. 1 comment.

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