Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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December 2009
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Recent Movies

I’ve seen a a few current movies in theatres recently. Saw The Blind Side a couple of weeks ago. It’s a chick flick with football– how can you go wrong?!?

Saw Up in the Air on Christmas with John. I really enjoyed it, but it was a little bit sad. George Clooney is, as always, very pretty. So pretty that I suggested New Years Eve be an Ocean’s movie fest with John (I bought all 4 for Xmas for him in one of those 4-pack dealies).

And last night, because $20 for a 2-hour movie was much cheaper than spending 2 more hours at the cold craps tables, I saw Sherlock Holmes, which was an excellent movie. Lots of fighting– Robert Downey Jr gets beat up a lot, which is always a plus (c’mon– audiences love to see RDJ take one in the kisser! The man takes a punch like nobody else). Lots of clever little things going on. A little bit unsubtle for a Sherlock Holmes story, but overall, I enjoyed it a great deal.

There is no cuddling, however. I had read an article in one of the awful rags that suggested that there was some light cuddling and bed-sharing between Holmes and Watson. There is none in this movie, and I’m a little saddened by that (not terribly– the relationship between the two is strong enough to carry the movie without it). As portrayed in the film, they are definitely in the “homosocial” scale of male interactions, but the subtext is all subtext. Too bad– it would have been nice to have a really out portrayal of Victorian bisexuality (both Holmes and Watson in this movie have female love interests as well).

Excellent News!

The Krismas presents (now arriving for birthdays) have been found! It turns out my sister lives on the West portion of her road, and they were delivered to East (they were addressed to just her road– no direction because I did not know there was an East/West). Sis left a note on Christmas Eve for the neighbor at East, and got a call today– they were out of town when she left her note, but they have the package.

Mind you, they didn’t return the package to sender. Apparently, they did not realize that you can, in fact, return packages that are misdelivered from FedEx. All you do is call the 1-800 number that’s on the package. I know, I know– too taxing.

Anyway, Sis can’t actually pick up the package yet because of the several feet of snow that landed on her street Christmas morning (which also meant my mother hasn’t been over for Christmas with the grandkids, either).

So, the good news is that the package of gifties has been located and will reach my sister at some time in the future.

In other excellent news, despite being so tired my eyelid is twitching, I hauled my sorry, cookie-laden butt out to workout this evening, and had an excellent, heart-pumping workout.

I also walked 7 miles yesterday (and 3 miles the day before) just going out and about with friends.

Thieves of Knitted Goods Have a Special Place in Hell

Pardon the swearing. But not really.

My sister’s Krismas present was marked delivered on the FedEx tracking site about 10 days ago. However, today I was on the phone with my sis, talking about the birthday presents (which arrived today) and I said “and in the other box, there should be…” and she said “what other box?”

As it turns out, the other box, the one with the cute, pink, completely original handknitted hat and armwarmers for Lizzie and the neat, unique crocheted alien slippers for Austin was “delivered” and then disappeared. FedEx claims to not have any deliveries to her house in the last 2 weeks (this is BS: she also ordered something for one of the kids that went FedEx).

And I, of course, in my stupidity, threw away the tracking numbers, because I was cleaning up and overwhelmed by paper and I thought “I’ve verified that these arrived through the website.” Oh, yes, I own that stupid moment, thanks.

I am seriously pissed off and hope that whoever stole these beautiful presents finds no joy in them and is plagued by guilt and shame. But I know better. People who steal Christmas presents from children don’t have the shame gene and they aren’t reading this blog anyway.

However, if you know someone who steals Christmas presents, even if they weren’t my Christmas presents, would you please punch them in the neck for me? Even if they’re, like, family or someone you normally turn a blind eye towards– turn that eye on them and say “Mortaine’s beloved niece and nephew aren’t getting Krismas presents from her this year because of asshats like you.” And then punch them in the neck.

Lizzie’s stolen hat and arm warmers:

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Austin’s stolen slippers:

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Sweet….

Looks like I’ll be changing blog clients, as ecto no longer appears to actually save or post the text of my blog posts anymore. *sigh*

Anyway, here’s what’s going on:

IMG_1800.JPGLast weekend, my friend Inga came into town. We had a great time shopping and hanging out. And on Saturday, the night before she left, a random stranger gave us two free tickets to the Andrea Bocelli performance. It was awesome and beautiful, and we were about half an hour late, but the 5 encores made up for it.

I like my job and I like the people I work with. I like being respected at work, and I like being worthy of respect. It’s a refreshing change.

I had 4 automatic sick days when I started, and they don’t roll over to 2010, so I took today off to go to the DMV and get my drivers license. Well, you have to register your vehicles at the same time as you do your license. Our car didn’t pass smog, so we have to go back on the 30th, which is also a sick day for me. I’m really looking forward to it. From what I hear, Nevada DMVs are mini-portals to hell. Perhaps there will be zombies. I’ll be sure to bring my board-with-rusty-nail.

I finished a pair of socks:

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Also on the needles are a couple of hats, a sweater for John, and a vest. And an “I’m thinking of casting on” for a pair of socks in gray yarn. I can’t really wear my handknit socks to work every day– they show in my work shoes, and I’m going for “business attire” Monday through Thursday. Bright stripey socks doesn’t quite go with the muted grays and blues of my work wardrobe. But I can knit gray socks with lace patterns and have comfy socks to wear with my business clothes– that I can definitely do!

Today, I got an email from my publisher about a great review of my novella “Hunter.” It’s very motivating to have someone say “I hope she writes more.”

Also motivational: I screwed up my back this week and it’s been just stabbing pain in the lower back for several days. As you know, I’m overweight and under-exercised, which of course cause and contribute to the back pain. But this week has just been really hard on my back. Today, I took myself off to Curves and signed up for a year. Merry Krismas to my body. I also did the circuit workout and didn’t hate it. I think the gal signing me up wasn’t thrilled when I told her I would be happy to still be shopping at Lane Bryant by the end of next year, as long as my back wasn’t killing me. But she also kind of understood, as she’s lost over 100 lbs. and has over 100 still to go. When the really obese get together to talk about this process, we know that a single year won’t mean reaching the finish line.

The Curves membership is my own Krismas present to my body. I deserve to be healthy, don’t you think?

Note to Givers

Someone reminded me of this recently, so I’ll remind everyone of it:

Food stamps do not pay for hygiene products, like soap and shampoo.

Many families are on food stamps. Whether they have one parent or two, a lot of families have accepted a little help in feeding their kids.

If your kids go to school dirty, someone will eventually call DCFS. This seems a little unfair– if you need help feeding your kids, don’t you also need help keeping them clean?

If you have people on your gift list who might be on food stamps, ask if they’d like some nice soaps and bath products for the holidays.

If you have kids on your gift list who you know are on food stamps, don’t bother asking– get them some kid-focused soaps and shampoos (stuff that’s blue or you can paint the bathtub with is good). Toothpaste, brushes, floss; these are all good items as well and make excellent stocking stuffers.

Really, stockings should just be filled with personal products, and then about 10% candy content, right? I know that advertisers want you to think “stocking stuffer” equals “$600 GPS,” but we know better, right?

Also, for families on food stamps, please remember that white vinegar can clean almost anything, including your clothes and hair. Whatever white vinegar can’t clean, baking soda can. Mayonnaise is a decent hair conditioner (not raw eggs, as I discovered…. you have to mix it with olive oil and make mayo first). White vinegar, baking soda, and mayo can all be purchased with your food stamps.

And if you have a washer and dryer, note that Consumer Reports’ conclusion about laundry soaps and laundry stone/ball thingies was that your clothes are just as clean if you run them through a washer without soap as if you wash them with soap. Your mileage may vary if you have hard water– if that’s the case, add vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle, and you’ll be good to go.

For feminine hygiene products, the Diva cup and similar reusable products are an excellent investment. $30 once for a feminine product that lasts years, compared to about $5 in products (which, again, you can’t use food stamps to buy) each month.

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