Sunday, October 25, 2009

Well, okay, so I didn't do the promised vacation blogging. Suffice to say, it was a great trip, we had a wonderful time, blisters and all.

Life is just so busy, and so blessedly full, and blogging doesn't seem to get squeezed in very often, so I'm on hiatus for the near future. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Drive-by Blogging

Okay, is anybody besides me surprised that there's no internet access in Yosemite? Seriously, I think I thought I'd be able to whip out the laptop on any random hike. Turns out, not so much. Right now I'm on my 15 minutes of alloted internet time at the Yosemite Park Library, where they have an actual CARD CATALOG. Like, with cards.

So here's the deal: having a great time, this place is gorgeous, survived backpacking, wish you were here.

More to come, with pictures out the wazoo.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oh, I'm IN The Blogging Spirit Now

Okay, taking a quick break from packing to say . . .

WTF, America? Seriously? The myriad of problems in the world, and we have to fight about Obama -- AKA Potus, AKA Leader-of-the-Free-World-and-Therefore-a-Pretty-Important-Person-Whether-You-Like-It-Or-Not -- addressing the school kids of the nation to talk about improving the SCHOOLS?!

And I had to say a big ol' no-fucking-way when I read a boatload of online comments about how inappropriate it is that Obama interrupt MATH to address the kids. I don't think math is what we have to worry about; I mean, obviously we have done a nationwide turnaround in our math skills; it seems that now we can actually count up a MAJORITY correctly.

I did give some thought to whether I would feel the same way if A)I had a child myself; and B) it was GWB addressing said child. And I came to the conclusion that I would not object to my child hearing the address.

And when said child got home, I would say, "Said Child, that man that addressed your class today? That man is a moron -- no, really, a MORON. And in this house, we don't vote for morons. Now go practice your violin."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brush Off the Cobwebs and Come On In

Hello? Hello? Is anybody here?

Whew! It sure is dusty around the ol' blog. I haven't been here in an age. I've been suffering from a little blog fatigue, I think, and am trying to decide what, if anything, I want and plan for Around the Subject. Partly I wonder if you are tired of reading about my life, and partly I'm tired of writing about it. Partly I've let the blog become more of a day-to-day-what-I'm-doing kind of thing than I intended originally. Partly I want to stop thinking and talking about writing fiction and start writing fiction.

In the immediate moment, though, I am getting ready to go on vacation, and I really like doing vacation updates, . . . SO, if there's anybody still around these parts, check back in the next ten days or so, and I'll try to have some fun stories and pictures.

Oh, and on this vacation, I will be BACKPACKING for two nights. As in, PEE IN THE WOODS-type backpacking. If nothing else, you'll want to hear about that, right?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Working on Career #2

I finished my one year of violin lessons as required by my 101 Things list, and while I knew I definitely wanted to continue with lessons, I wasn't particularly sold on the specific lessons I was taking. Over the past year, I saw two things which made me really want to do MORE on the violin than what I was doing. The first was the TOTALLY ROCKIN' electric violin player with the Led Zeppelin cover band. Man, was she the coolest.

The second was Ben Sollee, who is ONLY the most awesome, kick-all-kinda-ass cellist I've ever seen. He was the co-coolest, definitely.

So, as of last week, I started with a new violin teacher, who is letting me do some celtic music, lots of fun duets, and is generally helping me with being a musician, rather than just playing a bunch of notes. I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm thinking someday, when I'm . . . oh, maybe 50-ish . . . I can be in my own heavy metal-bluegrass-celtic jam band, and I'll have my own electric violin, and I will be the coolest, too.

You'll all come see me, won't you?

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're All Friends Here, Aren't We?

So . . . if you're one of my two, maybe three loyal readers, you will have noticed that Around the Subject was locked up tight and inaccessible for awhile. Yeah. I have reason to believe that a defendant I have been prosecuting for nearly four years found this blog, and it bothered me a bit. But, after considering things four a few weeks, I decided that what damage was done was done already, and also, that I'm not really ashamed of anything I put on this blog. Trust me, things I am ashamed of are not displayed here for the world (or my three loyal readers) to see.

Seriously, do you think I would be silly enough to tell you on this blog that I ate out of a bowl the other night that Penny had licked, without realizing it at first, but then even after I realized it I decided that yes, the damage had already been done, and I might as well finish what I was eating? 'Cause I'm a little ashamed of that.

Are you sensing a theme here? A damage-has-already-been-done theme? Me, too. So it shouldn't surprise you that since the chips-salsa-margarita damage was already done this afternoon, I may as well do some chocolate cookie damage later on.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Don't Know About You, But I Would Be Inspired . . .

Overheard in Sunday School:

Sunday School teacher: Do you know what "inspirational" means?

Kindergarten kid: That means that Jesus can buy everyone a new car.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finding a Little More Me

Starting when I was an angsty adolescent, and all the way through college, it seemed to me that I "thought" in poetry. That's not really impressive, because my poetry was always of the free verse variety -- it's not like I was speaking in iambic pentameter or anything.

But somewhere along the line, after college, I sort of lost that thought process, and I've spent all the years since alternating between accepting that as something in my past and trying desperately to get it back.

So imagine my surprise when suddenly, this week, little snippets have been coming along. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I was composing a poem, and I kept thinking, "I should get up and write that down." Of course, I didn't, and of course, this morning, I couldn't remember it at all.

But this afternoon, I DID stop and write down a snippet, and damned if it didn't turn into a whole poem -- the first in years.

Granted, it's a very bad poem. But it IS a poem, and it has a little of that voice that I used to have, and that makes me happy. That makes me feel like I've reconnected with an old friend.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On Cheating on My Blog

That damn Facebook. I resisted for so long, even after creating my profile, and just recently I've gotten hooked. Now I find myself thinking in Facebook-speak:

Kara Lewis is watching TV.

Kara Lewis is blogging.

Kara Lewis is wondering why she didn't eat some chocolate cake earlier.

Kara Lewis is wishing it was Friday already.

Kara Lewis is ready for bed.

Kara Lewis is going to bed now.

Kara Lewis is really going this time.

You get the idea. Aside from being just generally annoying, such thoughts make me think I am channeling Bob Dole, which is just scary.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Stupid Book Covers

This past Sunday afternoon I had a rare opportunity to mosey around a bookstore with absolutely nowhere else I was "supposed" to be. Why I picked the worst bookstore in town for that outing, I don't know.

As I usually do, in recent years, anyway, I went to the sci-fi section first. I swear, every time I look around the sci-fi section of a bookstore or library I realize why I resisted my natural sci-fi leanings for so long:

It's the covers. Man, the covers of sci-fi novels suck. There are two kinds. Either a woman in a ren-fair costume with long, flowing hair and a heaving bosom, or a big bunch of spaceship and metal. Both equally embarassing.

On this trip, I was really excited to find a book by Robert Heinlein, since he's one of my favorite classic sci-fi guys, and a lot of his books are out of print. This was a single volume of two new-to-me novellas, one featuring a favorite character from some of his other novels. It seemed like a no-brainer.

But the cover? It featured an idyllic, Utopian landscape, with a man and woman dressed up like Trekkies lounging on the grass (the man in a Thinker-like pose), seemingly in earnest conversation with a short, furry and vaguely humanoid creature. In the background -- a huge spaceship.

Aside from the fact that I kept having to hide the damn cover everywhere I took the book, it totally ruined the reading experience for me. Because wouldn't you know it, I had to read about four fifths of that book before I got to the damn creature, and the whole time, all I could think was, "WHERE IS THE CREATURE?"

Sheesh. I might as well chuck it and read romance novels.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This Catch-Up Sounds Kind of Depressing, But I Swear I'm Not Actually Depressed

Wow, it's been a while since I've been around this blog, hasn't it? I think I have some blog ennui going on. It's a strange combination of running out of blogging ideas, and increasingly wanting to work on other projects . . . oh, and having a migraine every day for the past 12 days.

Yeah, migraines. I watched the season finale of The Medium the other night and was totally jealous of Allison's completely operable and non-malignant brain tumor. Yes, I realize such envy is tempting the fates and all that, but if you've ever had this many migraines in a row, you understand.

I'm busy being a trial widow for what will probably be most of June, while Todd is doing a capital trial in Hardin County. Sam, Penny, and Tom and I are lonely. Tom especially, since he STILL does not in any way consider himself my cat, even though we've lived together now for nearly six years.

Speaking of long relationships, the priest-stalker, who I've been prosecuting for three and a half LONG years, was found incompetent to stand trial last week and is now foot-loose and fancy-free. I have warned my minister that she is not any kind of new church member that we want, should she turn up. Un-Christian of me, I know.

I handled a case today of a woman who refused to regularly take her child to school. I swear, I can handle thugs and drug-dealers and shoplifters all day, but a damn crappy parent just pisses me off. Interestingly enough, it was the only case I've ever done that everyone in the courtroom, defense counsel, law enforcement, and prosecutors alike, felt should be in jail. I guess nobody likes bad parents.

It's 11:00 p.m., and so far, my poor little brain is not writhing around in its shell, trying to escape through my eyeball. I'm going to bed with all my fingers and toes crossed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

S'more Heaven

Against all weather odds, Todd and I went camping this past weekend. The forecasts were pretty dire, including rain, rain, and more rain, then oh! it's Sunday and you're ready to come home, so, dry.

But we totally got lucky, because the only rain was on Saturday morning at about 5:00 a.m., when we were snug as two bugs in our tent. It's amazing to me, when I consider the me that I was before I started dating Todd, that I actually enjoy camping, but with Todd, I really do. It's such a quiet activity. We don't take radios or anything that makes noise, and we putter around our little campsite, and cook, and sit by the fire until I fall asleep in my chair, then we snuggle into sleeping bags. What's not to like?

This trip was a bit different because a couple of our good friends met us for half of the trip, bringing their almost-four-year old with them. He's a hilarious kid, who says "Yikes!" alot, and my new favorite expression: "You can say that again don't say that again." Hilarious. The only thing is, if he tells you I fed him pizza with pickles and macaroni on it, it's a total lie. It was peppers and pepperoni, I swear.

We're back to civilization today and already scheming about our next trip. Civilization sucks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

101 Things: Day 400

Well, since I am woefully behind on blogging these days, it shouldn't surprise you that I am writing my Day 400 post about a week late. But really, when you're talking about 1,001 days, what is a few days?

Unfortunately, the past 100 days haven't been very productive. (Obama has accomplished WAY more than me. I am a slacker.)

Lose 20 pounds. Woohoo! I am on my way. I had really hoped to get to the "lose 30 pounds" mark during this 100 days, but alas, it was not meant to be. I was on a big roll, and then after vacation -- although, oddly not WHILE on vacation -- I hit a big crash and burn and then had to deal with the same 3 pounds going off then coming back on for nearly two months. Bummer. I think I'm on track now, I've actually lost 23.6, so I'm really, really hopeful that by Day 500 I'll be at 40 pounds lost.

Take at least 3 yoga classes. I've mentioned this one a few times, already. I am a semi-regular yoga-class-taker now, and have bought my own mat which I am anxious to use. I like yoga, I like it a lot. And even if the guy who teaches my class does freakily resemble a pretzel at times, I am determined to keep on keepin' on.

And, yeah, that's it. But seriously, there are so many things in the works, I have great expectations for the next 100 days. I'm still going through the Artist's Way program, and I'm THIS close to settling on my novel idea (frightening!). In June, I will have completed my one year of violin lessons (and I'm going to keep going). I've been trying and trying to go on my Cave Hill Cemetary walk, and I think I'll get it in soon, probably combined with my little solo picnic. My roller blades are sitting out ready to go, and best of all? I am SO going to see Mellencamp in July.

So watch out, Day 500, I'm gonna kick your ass!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This Post Doesn't Even Have a Title

I wish I were going to write something beautiful and insightful tonight, but yeah, I don't think that's happening. It's Derby Week in the Hall of Justice, which means light dockets and lots of leaving early. Last week was kind of a hard week, both work-wise and social-commitment-wise, so I'm taking it easy this week.

Here are some things I am loving this week:

Yoga. Believe it or not, I like it, and I think it's even exercise.

Korean food. Had it for the first time tonight, and it was mighty tasty. I ate a fermented black bean, and I would totally do it again.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Two. I'm rewatching, since I got Seasons One and Two for my birthday. Ahh, the good old days, when Angel was hot, Buffy was a virgin, and Spike was still deliciously bad.

Dollhouse. Oh, Joss Whedon, how I love you. You have made me love yet another show, even though you made the poor choice of Eliza Dushku as the star.

My new air popcorn-popper. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'm super excited about it, since I'm a weirdo who likes neither butter, oil, or salt on my popcorn.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Think I'm Just Lounging About, But It's SO Not True

I'm so very tired, you're only getting a skeleton-y post today with a smidge of what I've been up to . . .

1. Canoeing on Saturday. Not the best exercise in the world, but such a gorgeous day. Canoeing, and even more so kayaking, are two things that Todd introduced me to that I have really loved.

2. Easter Sunday. Big church crowd. Lots of brass fanfare-ing. Lots of bad food-eating at Brunch. Tried a walk in the park later, but it didn't make up for all those bazillion points.

3. Skipped Weight Watchers meeting for first time since January 1. (See above re: Easter brunch.) Back on the wagon now.

4. Saw foot doctor on Monday. Bad, very bad. More shots, maybe surgery.

5. Today, yoga. Holy Namast-oly, was that hard. I fully expect to be dead by tomorrow morning.

6. Also today -- I broke a nail while swimming. Don't ask.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Brief Addendum to Yesterday's Post

I've been saying that my legs are really achy, and I don't think my husband believes me. Last night they were SO achy, I dreamed they had been cut off and reattached.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Joining the Club

A few years ago, I decided I was going to walk a 4K race, one of the Polar Bear Grand Prix races they have here in the Winter. I don't really know why I thought this was a good idea, I know I didn't do much work to get ready for it.

So on the morning of the race, I start out walking, and realize that there is no one, and I do mean no one, who walks as slow as me. I panic, and decide that I don't want to be last, so I'll RUN the race. I reasoned to myself that people always talk about the adrenaline, etc., and I figured that would get me through the race and maybe I would beat at least a few of the slowest walkers.

Well, adrenaline got me through about three fourths of one of the four Ks, and I called Todd to come get me.

After that, I very publicly denounced the whole "race" culture, and swore that I'd never attempt to walk one again, and in fact would never run anywhere unless there was something really big and scary chasing me -- like maybe that #41 from the UConn women's basketball team.

But recently it's started to bug me, that while I have surprised myself with bike riding, and swimming, and kayaking, and camping, and a whole host of things, I have never gotten over that hump of at least being able to run around the block.

Then I was told by more than one person that running will "melt the pounds off like butter," and that it is a "brutally effecient" exercise that gets big results fast.

Since I'm going for that 77-pound weight loss in one week, I figure I should give it a try. So I've been doing the Couch to 5K program.

The first week I handled the 60 second running intervals okay, and even increased my speed a little. Today I did the first day of week 2, which moves up to 90 second running intervals. And let me tell you, those extra 30 seconds KICKED MY ASS.

I thought I was going to have to apologize to the woman on the treadmill next to me for breathing so loud, then I realized she was wearing headphones, so maybe that muffled my gasping a little.

And a few times I felt myself moving farther and farther toward the end of the treadmill, and had to make myself use enough umph to not fall off the back. I often seem to veer off to the side a bit, too, so I'm thinking my run is not the most attractive-looking thing in the workout room.

And I absolutely cannot imagine running for a WHOLE 5K. Or even for three minute intervals, which I think comes up next week. So all you readers out there, all FOUR of you, please keep your fingers crossed that I can get through the whole two-month program without breaking a leg, or having a stroke or something. And I'll let you know when I hit that 77-pound week.

But -- boy howdy, are my legs sore.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And You Thought I Wasn't Interested in Basketball

I have watched one basketball game all year . . . hell, one sporting event all year, period. Apparently I am bad luck because SHEESH. This UL/UCONN game is pretty depressing.

And since we all know that I know nothing about sports, let me just say this: HOLY CRAP THAT ONE PLAYER FROM UCONN IS SCARY! That #41? If I had ever been inclined toward dating women, she would scare that notion right out of me.

That is SO not nice, I know. But, really. Someone should tell her that she would benefit greatly from a nice hairstyling and a deftly applied smoky eye. And the color of that uniform? It does NOTHING for her.

See? I CAN have an intelligent conversation about sports.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Stuff

1. Today, because my violin playing was so bad, Hannah (my teacher) decided to "cheer me up" by playing for me the next song in my line-up to "show me what I have to look forward to." Two lines into the song, I started laughing. I thought it was a joke, see, because it was SO RIDICULOUS to think I could play that. I even said, "Really, do you think I'm ready for that?" Luckily, my current song is so hard I will likely be 40 before I get finished with it. Oh, and can I just say that Vivaldi sucks all kinds of violin ass?

2. At Weight Watchers tonight, I lost 3.8 pounds. And I was TOTALLY not happy with that. You know why? Because I was hoping for more. Just 77 more pounds tonight, and I would have been done.

3. If I have one weakness as a cook, it is that I never remember that more is not always better. I made a Pampered Chef recipe for a chicken club pizza that I had at my party last week, and put waaay too much chicken and cheese and bacon on it. Now I feel like I need to just go eat lemons until sometime around Wednesday. Blech.

4. I went back to the holdover today to talk to a pro se defendant, and another defendant said to me, "Are you a lawyer?" When I said yes, he asked, "Are you a public one or a REAL one?" Hooh, boy, was that the wrong thing to say to me! So I said to him, "Boy, was that the wrong thing to say to me." Then I told him that I'm a prosecutor and that I'll be watching out for his case.

5. I am once again trying to work my way through The Artist's Way. The first few weeks demand that I figure out who is to blame for my stagnant creativity. I'm pretty convinced that it was that college poetry writing professor who laughed so hard at my poem, then at the end of the semester, asked me to read it again so she could laugh at it some more. Yeah, I'm thinking it's totally her fault that I didn't write Harry Potter.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Keeping the Parties Straight is Half the Battle

Often, I love my job. It can get stressful and annoying, like any other job, but seriously, I can't think of any other place I could work that would have the equal measures of drama and comedy.

Just the other day, a woman comes to the door of our conference room, and asks, as people do a hundred times per day, "Has my case been called?"

One of my co-workers began the endless process of trying to get out of her which of the 200 cases on the docket was "hers."

"Are you the defendant?"


"Do you have charges against you today?"


This is the point at which I usually get thoroughly exasperated and turn the whole mess over to someone else. This time, the woman got exasperated first:

"Look," she said, in a tone that clearly showed she thought we were all totally dense, "I'm the VICTIM . . . NOT the vic-TOR."

Oh, yeah. Courtroom comedy. I couldn't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Highs and Woes of Weight Watching

Okay, I recognize that you might eventually get a wee bit tired of hearing about my weight loss efforts, but you know what?

I get a wee bit tired of my weight loss efforts.

When last we visited this topic, I was most unhappy because I had gained four tenths of a pound. In the week following that tragedy, I worked pretty hard, even foregoing ice cream when Little and I went to see Cirque du Soleil (which was FABULOUS, by the way). Because I had been so worried about missing a meeting on the upcoming vacation, I went all the way across town to go to a DIFFERENT meeting the day before we left.

And a wonderful meeting it was, because I lost 3.5 pounds. Cool. Sunshine and rainbows, and all that.

So I go off on my vacation, in which I not only figured out where the hotel gym was, but actually went INTO it and WORKED OUT. ON VACATION. Never have I done such a thing. Then, when Todd went on his Eagle Scouts-only backpacking trip, I walked SIX miles of the South Rim Trail. I have to admit, though, I ate a lot of what I wanted to eat, and by Friday, had given up counting points altogether.

When we got back? I lost ANOTHER 3.5 pounds. Boy howdy, we were talking SERIOUS sunshine and rainbows at that point.

So, for those of you still reading along . . . last week was hard. It was the final week of Lewis Birthday Stretch-Out, and it involved one drinks with friends, one doughnuts with coworkers, one dinner with hubby, one dinner with dad, one cookies with coworkers, a second dinner with hubby, a dinner with niece, and a dinner with brother and sister-in-law. I tried, I really tried, but apparently I did not try hard enough, because . . .

Is the suspense killing you? Hello? Is anyone still there?

Anyway. I gained four pounds. No, not four tenths, FOUR POUNDS. One, two, three FOUR pounds. Huh. Didn't see that one coming.

There are no sunshine and no rainbows around here this week. No, sir, just rain and clouds and carrot sticks and water. Birthday Stretch-Out is officially over.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about vacation (and then I promise I won't talk about vacation anymore) is vacation reading. I always use it as an excuse to go on a book-buying spree, and I try never to go on a trip of any significant length without at least four books, and truthfully, five or six is better. (Whoa, long sentence there.)

So with my vacation reading, and one post-vacation splurge read, I feel like I have lots to report.

The book I was most excited to read, and the one I devoured almost as soon as we got off the plane, was Replay, by Ken Grimwood. I have something of an obsession with time-travel novels and short stories; it all started with that damn Christopher Reeve movie, and just keeps going. This book was tons of fun and led to some great vacation conversations. It's about a man who is repeatedly sent back to himself at age 18 to live his life over again; he has full memory each time, so his experience build and build on one another. I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out what I would do in such a situation. Think about it, it's a tough one.

My other reading selections were total vacation fluff. At least they were supposed to be. I made the mistake of picking what looked like a silly little fantasy tale, Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story. Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? A story about Cinderella's fairy godmother and her life after Cinderella? Well, it was TOTALLY not HARMLESS at all. Turns out, it wasn't about a fairy godmother at all, and instead was about an elderly woman who has so much guilt over an incident in her youth that she goes crazy, lives a lonely life, and kills herself in the end! Yeah, that was NOT what I wanted out of vacation reading. Sheesh. I know I just spoiled it for you if you were planning on reading it, but I consider it a Public Service Announcement.

The other book I just finished, well, I'm not going to spoil it for you because it's part of a series by a pretty popular writer, and I don't want to put you off the whole series on the off chance that you plan to read it. Let's just say that I picked up what was supposed to be a lighthearted mystery, only to have the main character's husband DIE AT THE END. There's no other way to say it, that just sucked ass. I swear, I think I'm going to write the auther a letter, just to say, "Dude, what the fuck?"

Anyway, since my Spring fluff reading is getting kind of depressing, I think I'll just go ahead and finish that new Joyce Carol Oates novel that I got. You know, the one based on the Jon-Benet Ramsey murder? It should be a real laugh a minute.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Did You Miss Me?

Well, the sad fact is, all good vacations must come to an end, and this was definitely a good one.

Las Vegas was, well, Vegas. Unrelentingly tacky, ridiculously nouveau riche and an all-around assault on the senses. The best thing about Vegas is that it is on the way to the Grand Canyon.

Because the Grand Canyon is as beautiful and serene as Vegas is ugly and obnoxious. Really, you can't take a bad picture at that place. If there's a complaint to be had, it's that you run out of ways to say, "Wow."

Todd being Todd, he did an overnight backpacking trip to the bottom of the canyon. Myself, I figure you can see the bottom from the top and there's nothing down there except more dirt and a muddy river. I stayed on the Rim and walked and shopped and got horribly sun-burnt . . . and was exceptionally glad that my husband came back alive.

Yes indeedy, I like vacation.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Please Stand By

When I was a kid, we had whatever the regular ol' TV was, before cable and satellite and such nonsense. Pretty frequently, there would be a message that popped up on a blank screen like so: "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by." The part of me that was destined to be an English major used to think the wording was a little odd, like it was telling me to stand next to the TV in order to fix the problem. (I also am never comfortable with the sign that says "Bridges Freeze Before Roadway," because it sounds like the "before" is a spatial issue, not a temporal one, but that's another post entirely.)

Anyway, the point is, we are experiencing technical difficulties here at Around the Subject, which just means that all our computers are broke-ass. That's one reason posting has been a bit infrequent, lately. Hopefully the situation will be resolved soon.

In the meantime, we are drowning our electronic device woes by GOING ON VACATION! Woo-hoo! We'll be in Vegas for two nights, then the Grand Canyon for three, then a stop at Boulder City for one night before home. I somehow doubt that the Grand Canyon is a wireless internet mecca, so I'm not expecting to do much posting while I'm gone.

Try to carry on without me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Can a Girl Get a Break Around Here?

I tell you what, it is definitely Monday around here, at least it was between 5:30 and 7:00. First, I had a terrible violin lesson -- I swear, sometimes I think my teacher thinks I am playing badly just to annoy her. That is NOT the case; I would, in fact, love to be able to play double stops AND vibrato EVERY SINGLE DAMN TIME, but it does not yet seem to be in the cards for me.

Second, I experienced the ultimate Weight Watcher tragedy -- I GAINED .4 pounds this week. Combined with my stunning loss last week of .4 pounds, it seems that in the past two weeks I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Okay, I'm taking deep breaths now.

On a happier note, on this day just 39 years ago, a teeny little baby was born, and wouldn't you know? He was just destined to "come live with me and be my love."

Happy Birthday, Todd! (Even if it IS Monday.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Next I Might Experiment With Prison Tats

I'm coming back around to blogland after being in a funk most of last week. Why? Heck, I don't know. I just started feeling old and washed up on Tuesday night and stayed that way until sometime last night. Weird.

I'm hoping that Sephora has a lenient return policy, because I discovered that the worst thing to do when you're in a funk and feeling old is go to a makeup store. There were two choices: go the way of the expensive, anti-aging face creams, or toward the funky, gothy, makeup.

And if you know me at all, you won't be surprised that I came home with a so-purple-it's-almost-black lipstick and an eyeshadow combo with the catchy name of "Demon Lover."

Yeah. So, it turns out that Demon Lover eyeshadow and purply-black lipstick aren't the best look for going to play in your church orchestra. Luckily, I figured this out before I actually left the house.

Sigh. I blame it all on the fact that Eminence High School never had a goth set among the students. And now, at 35 (and no, I'm not even acknowledging that 36 is coming up in March) I yearn to be goth. I long for black makeup and combat boots the way other women covet those little blue boxes from Tiffany's. It's a heartbreak, I tell you.

Of course, I also long for red cowboy boots, and I came very close to buying a $12, pleather biker jacket the other day. And, many times since Halloween, I have fantasized about going to work wearing my snazzy blue wig.

Really, the courthouse is pretty dreary, visually speaking. A nice blue wig might cheer the place up a bit.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Do Not Despair

That last post down there? Kind of depressing, and I just had to pop back in to say I'm actually not depressed at all, because I LOST 2.4 POUNDS THIS WEEK! Woo-to-the-hoo!

From the Department of Making You Feel Better About Your Life

So, I handled a case today with a 19-year old defendant. As in, born in 1990. I was having a hearing on charges of Attempted Murder from an incident in which he (okay, allegedly) shot a guy "thrice" (and yes, that's what the officer put in the report) over a dice game.

Last week this dude was indicted on a Murder charge.

Some time ago, he was indicted on charges of Assault in the First Degree. Each incident was entirely separate, no relation between any of them.

Did I mention he's 19 years old?

Suddenly, I don't even feel guilty about the pile of laundry I'm ignoring.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ah, Memories

So, Valentine's Day is coming up, and I'm desperately trying to think of something besides chocolate, chocolate, CHOCOLATE. It would help if Tastespotting would do some pictures of a nice green salad, or some steamed broccoli, just every once in awhile.

Valentine's Day is weird. No one really LIKES it. Men feel forced to perform (I'm talking about flowers and chocolate here, so get your mind out of the gutter) and women feel pressured to have a man who does the "right" thing.

Me? I've got a husband who has pulled out some fantastic V-days. One year I got a piano. Seriously. And the next year I got an engagement ring. No kidding. Poor guy, I think I gave him a Literary Edition Trivial Pursuit game, or something lame like that.

But the Valentine's Day to beat all time had to be last year. I briefly posted about our trip to Key Largo, which happened to fall on V-day, but I don't think I really told the story of that actual day.

We got up early, kayaked eight miles off the coast of the Keys to a tiny little deserted island with only the teeniest strip of beach, just big enough for a tent. The weather was gorgeous; we splashed around in the Sound to cool off, and tramped through the mangroves on the island. We cooked our campfire dinner and carried it to the end of the little pier to eat it. We sat on the pier and leaned against each other to watch the sunset.

Then the sun went down. Then I said, "What was that noise?" Then Todd said, "It's a rat, over there." Then I said, "They're everywhere!" Because they totally were. They were everywhere. Tiny little nocturnal rats came swarming out of the mangroves we had walked through to our beach. Ballsy little suckers, they would walk right past the fire and sit down next to you, and I SHIT YOU NOT, ask if you were really going to eat that s'more, or if they could have just a taste.

I admit, I cried. At my insistance, we zipped ourselves up in the tent and huddled there all night. When we got back home, we discovered that the Key Largo Wood Rat had been deliberately placed on that island because it was endangered. They were trying to SAVE THE DAMN RAT. And Todd thought that was the coolest thing ever.

And somehow, that sums up why I think Todd is the coolest thing ever.

Hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day, completely rat-free!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Think Someone Stole My Saturday

Oh, for pete's sake, it's Monday. I don't know how that happens so FAST! Here's some randomness for you and your own personal Monday . . .

1. At my Weight Watchers meeting tonight, I lost 1.2 pounds. Todd cannot understand the misery that comes with being told you have lost 1.2 pounds when you hoped for, at minimum, 2.2 pounds, which would put you into a "new" set of numbers, or, even better, 4 pounds, which would earn you another five pound gold sticker.

2. I have discovered that there is a strong inverse relationship between how hard I practice the violin and how happy I am with my playing during the week and how much I suck at my actual lesson. (Or is that a direct correlation? Anyway, if I do good during the week, I suck ass at the lesson.)

3. I have officially given up on finishing Todd's Christmas scarf this winter. Goodbye, poor beautiful, cable- and bobble-filled scarf, I will see you in the Fall and you will be ready for Christmas 2009, I swear.

4. Edgar Sawtelle never did start to suck. It was beautiful and heartbreaking right until the end. I balanced out all the heartbreak with the latest in a fabulous werecat series. Ah, trashy supernatural romance novels, how I love you.

5. In organizing some files at work this afternoon, I realized that I have been prosecuting the priest-stalker since August 2006. When I started her case, I wasn't even married yet. Sheesh, priest-stalker, can't you give me a break?

6. This Friday, the latest Joss Whedon show debuts on Fox. Who is Joss Whedon, you ask? He's ONLY the creator of the best TV show in the history of TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So I am sure you can imagine my excitement.

7. Little and I went to a "Solve the Sherlock Holmes Mystery" event thingy at the Frazier Historical Museum a few weeks ago. We failed utterly at solving it. I felt so guilty about our performance that I'm reading some Sherlock Holmes stories for the first time ever. He was a wee bit pompous, wasn't he?

8. After making fun of them mercilessly on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, I am listen to The Ting Tings incessantly. They make me want to put on my blue wig and dance.

8. I have a new dress from Old Navy that I got for $9.99, and it's totally cool. (Told you this post was going to be random.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Maybe I Should Invest in a Nice Kazoo

I tell you what, if you want to learn to play a musical instrument, I hope you are still under the age of eight years old, because that will make it a heck of a lot easier.

I started learning to play the piano when I was, oh, maybe seven? And honestly, I don't remember those first little plunks on the keyboard. I'm sure they were horrid, but what I really remember is how after about ten years of lessons, at age seventeen, I was actually pretty good. The getting from horrid to pretty good is all a blur.

So being right back to horrid on a musical instrument, at age 35, is excrutiating. I just started violin lessons again in June, after taking a few years off (I got in a snit over learning third position, which everyone HAS to do, and quit), and I'm liking the whole process quite a bit.

Then my teacher said that not only do I really HAVE to learn third position, but I also have to learn VIBRATO, the really cool wah-wah sound that makes a violin sound like a REAL violin.

Well, I tell you what, my vibrato sucks ass. It's been sucking ass for weeks on end now. A few weeks ago, Hannah, my teacher, gave me a book to work on which has me do fun exercises called "wavy arms" and "sticky taps," and calls for me to put a drop of superglue -- the book stresses that it should be imaginary superglue -- on my fingers. And in the process of these exercises, I figured out a way to sort of do a fake vibrato, which sounds fantastic, and which I apparently have a natural talent for, but which isn't technically correct.

In fact, it's so technically incorrect, that I'm not allowed to do it anymore.

So I'm back to practicing wah-wahs with the metronome, and fighting the urge to wack myself over the head with the violin and take up macrame or something.

Ah, the indignity of it all. Isn't it bad enough that I am the only student at the WHOLE music school over the age of ten? And that every week, I discuss my progress with a few third-graders while their moms look on indulgently? I guess not.

To make matters worse, I recently finished the Suzuki Book Three, and the first day I showed up to a lesson with Book Four, I apologized for getting the wrong thing, as Book Four was OBVIOUSLY so much harder than Book Three that I had clearly missed Book Three-and-a-Half.

But you know what? There IS no Book Three-and-a-Half. Poor Todd, I should probably get him some nice ear plugs for his birthday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What's Making Me Cry More Than an Episode of Charmed

My name is Kara, and I am a compulsive book-club-joiner.

No, not the ones where you meet up with friends once a month and pretend to talk about a book while drinking wine from a box, but the ones where you get FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR and then have to buy two more to "fulfill your commitment." I've joined and gotten out of them several times, and they always get me back with that FIVE BOOKS FOR A DOLLAR promise. Seriously. Five books. For a dollar. Who could resist?

So the only problem with these book clubs is that you have to decline that "featured selection" every month or they send it to you automatically. I forget this sometimes. Okay, a LOT. And I get a LOT of books that I didn't mean to order; some are crap and some are pretty good.

Last month I got one such shipment of books and tossed them aside, but came back to them this week when I ran out of reading material. What I found was a book of such wonderful fabulousness that, even though I'm only halfway through it, I have to tell you about it.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. This is nothing I would have picked up on my own. I don't know if you've noticed, over there on the sidebar, but I tend to read a lot of books of the same type. A friend of mine told me that she was looking through the list one day and clicked on the one that sounded the least supernatural and sci-fi-ey, only to find that To Sail Beyond the Sunset is actually a sci-fi classic about time travel.

I don't think I can really tell you what Edgar Sawtelle is about. There's a boy who is normal in every single way except that he can't talk, can't make any sound at all. There's a dog-breeding farm that breeds dogs of no particular type that are all, every single one, extraordinary. There are dogs who can make murderers confess and dogs who can read sign language. There's a perfect little family, and each member has his or her own secrets.

This book is captivating. So much so, that a while ago, I was lying on the couch reading, and came to a scene so heartbreaking that I actually caught my breath, put the book down, sat up, reached for it, then decided I should do something else for awhile, because crying gives me migraines.

I've about reached the halfway point, so I suppose there's still time for the book to start to suck. But what I'm more afraid of is that it's not going to ever start sucking, and when I'm finished with it, I'm going to miss those damn characters like my best friend moved out of town. It's a perilous business, this reading of books, and you don't always come away unscathed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

101 Things -- Day 300-ish

Day 300 came and went last week during The Great Ice Storm/Power Outage of Louisville 2009, so I missed blogging about it. Not that I lost power and COULDN'T blog, I just didn't. Something about being snowed in makes me feel extraordinarily lazy. I spent the days wandering around the house, watching a little TV, reading a little, playing a few notes on the violin, then taking a nap to recover from the hardship of it all.


So, Day 300. I haven't been the most industrious 101 Thing-er lately, but chill out, dude, I still have 701 days. Here's what I DID do:

Work on a political campaign. Okay, so I didn't sit around at some candidate's headquarters for weeks on end lettering signs and scheduling stump speeches, like in the movies. What I did do was make two days' worth of phone calls at one of the Louisville Democratic Party offices for Bruce Lunsford, John Yarmuth and Barack Obama. It wasn't much, but that, combined with my teeny little financial contribution, t-shirt wearing, and yard sign-having, made me feel like I was invested in the campaign. And what a campaign it was! For the first time in a long time, I think people were voting FOR something, rather than just AGAINST something else. And DAMN, did it feel good.

Lose 10 pounds. For fuck's sake, I've only been working on this one since, oh, THE VERY FIRST DAY OF THE 1001, but I finally accomplished it. Back in the first week of January, I posted about my New Year's Weight Watchers Ritual. Believe it or not, I have stuck to it since then. That's four whole weeks! I'm not gonna lie, often I feel like a barely sober alcoholic who's scared to walk past a liquor store, but I'm hanging on. I would love, love, love, to be able to mark off the 20 and 30 pounds lost by Day 400.

Make a fleece blanket for myself. I should probably have a picture of this, but I don't. Just take my word for it that the blanket is quite pretty, all in shades of turquoise blue and brown, very snuggly, and very warm. It was fortuitously finished just before the above-mentioned Ice Storm of 2009, and was an integral part of all those snow-day naps.

I don't know about you, but I'm already looking forward to the next 100 days!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


My, how time does fly! The post-Christmas letdown has been totally wiped out by the insanity, joy and amazement of inauguration day. Wow. I didn't realize that I was holding my breath until it actually happened, and I could let it out.

There were so many fabulous moments of the day . . . the worldwide "Yes, we did" celebrations . . . the second-littlest Obama taking pictures and getting Joe Biden to take one for her . . . the power and solemnity of his speech . . . the joy on his face as he walked with his wife in a parade . . . it was all just fantastic.

Okay, I'm out of adjectives. But you get the picture.

Wednesday morning, Todd informed me that if I didn't get out of bed, I was really going to be late. I replied, "The country is in good hands and I'm going to sleep late."

And yesterday and today, it's been fun to get in my car after work, listen to the day's executive orders, and know that I agreed with each and every one.

It's a new era, people, if you haven't already, get the hell out there and celebrate!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Showing Off, A Bit

It occurred to me that I never posted any of the pictures Todd took with his fancy new camera of all the Christmas baking and sewing I did. He's been doing some really cool stuff with it.

Does this look like a food magazine, or what?

A montage, if you will, of all the yummy stuff that got sent around to various people:

Christmas sewing, for my nieces, sister, and sister-in-law (they're zippered bags for makeup and other things that need to go in zippered bags):

And while I look just hideous in this photo (I was a wee bit tired), Todd loves it so much I thought I'd post it, anyway. We like to call it, "The Dark Side of Holiday Baking":

Friday, January 9, 2009

Drive-by Blogging

- - - - - -> screeching into blog on the way out the door to work . . .

1. While waiting for my violin lesson, I heard a little boy ask his mom, "Are the years getting shorter?" She wearily replied, "Yes, shorter ever year."

2. Individually wrapped Dove dark chocolate is 1 point per piece. I consider this knowledge crucial to my survival this week.

3. One thing you shouldn't say to a prosecutor if you are hoping to "get out of" your possession of marijuana charge: "Wadn't nuttin' but a couple-a joints."

4. The success of a Sigg water bottle, even a fancy purple and gold one, is totally dependant on said bottle's owner closing the top before puttling it in her purse.

5. You people out there must be really good at thoughts and prayers, because Hank is doing much better and there is some cautious talk of actually going home!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's That Time Again . . .

I know I said just yesterday that the holidays were over, but I nearly forgot about the one last holiday wrap-up ritual that I celebrate every year: the January Weight Watchers meeting.

I admit, I am a Weight Watchers snob. I have been known to change meetings lickety-split if I don't like the meeting leader, and woe be to the Weight Watchers leader who has lost less than fifty, okay, I'll be honest, one hundred pounds. I can't tell you how many intros I've sat through, only to roll my eyes when ol' Sally Skinny-ass earnestly tells me that she's managed to keep off a whopping twenty pounds for two years.

My favorite leaders have been the ones who deal with the kinds of issues I deal with. There was Debbie, who cut the elastic on all her underwear because they were digging into her legs. And Jean, who ate an entire bag of chocolate covered pretzels while grocery-shopping, and had to stand at the check-out lane while the clerk called a manager to find out how to charge her for something that could no longer be weighed.

And my favorite, Angie, who decided that she was just NOT going to be tempted any longer by the Halloween candy she had bought, so she "pitched" it out of the car as she drove down the road. Then she got pulled over for littering, and the cop made her go pick up all the candy. (This same leader also confessed that she had thrown away candy she had just bought at Kroger when she ran into a WW member in the parking lot.)

These are women I can relate to.

So I was pretty pleased when the leader tonight informed us that she had lost 103 pounds, that sometimes she has to use three days worth of journal pages to fill in all the food she ate in one day, and that she was so cheap with her points that she preferred to buy the "nasty" Kroger plain oatmeal so she could eat more of it (with copious amounts of the aforementioned Sweet 'n Low). Oh, and this Christmas, she ate a whole sweet potato pie -- by herself.

Yeah, I could get to like this woman.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Singin' the End of Holiday Blues

I suppose since I have to go to work tomorrow and work a WHOLE WEEK, as in five days straight without a day off, that Christmas is officially over. Here's some randomness to get me back in the regular blogging spirit . . .

1. I am not making resolutions this year, just sticking to my list of 101 things. There are a couple of things I want to do more of this year, like violin practice, baking, and making fun stuff, but no resolutions.

2. A church member this morning informed me that she was googling our church name and this site is one that comes up. Do you think that means I need to clean things up around here? Naaaah.

3. My lovely, lovely stepfather has been dreadfully sick and in the hospital since just after Christmas. Today, things seem to have taken a turn for the better, but it's been rough for him and my mom. If you are the praying sort, I know they'd appreciate it.

4. I discovered the Negotiator books over the holiday, and LOVED THEM. It's always great to find a book that you really like and then discover that it's the first of a series. I finished those up and have moved on to an earlier series by the same writer, The Walker Papers.

5. Those pecan squares I made for Christmas? The ones by Ina Garten, with nine sticks of butter? Totally not worth it. Next year I think I'll make just five batches of peanut butter kisses and be done with it.