Friday, 30 November 2007

Shapely Prose

So, there's this blog called Shapely Prose, that I think is very enlightening, and want you to go check it out. NOW.

As it is the last day of NaBloPoMo, (and we will not speak of the Missing Day) I also wanted to thank my readers for reading -- of course -- and commenting and joining in with the spirit of November writing month.

I think I'll do this next year, but don't quote me on that. I may go for NaNoWriMo instead. I live on the edge.





Thursday, 29 November 2007

What I should have posted yesterday. Now today.

Last night was another pre-audition rehearsal for The Mikado. It went much better this time! There were less people, and as I was already slightly familiar with the music, I found it easier to keep up. I got complimented on my singing voice (wheee!) and I learned a little dance number to "Three Little Maids." I also taped some music so I can practice at home, and I'm enjoying learning the songs.

It should be really fun, and I'm so excited to join in! This is something I'm doing just for me, and the sole object is to have a good time. Awesome.

You've got to be kidding me!!!

I can't believe I forgot to post something yesterday. Three days to go, and I LOSE!!!!


NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

:)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

So. Tired.

Well, I don't have a sore throat, but I'm certainly suffering from a disease of some sort. Pounding head, exhaustion, coughing. Blergh. Nothing serious, but nothing enjoyable, either.

Mommas don't get sick days.

Monday, 26 November 2007

I've never been so intimidated in my life!

I don't have a bad singing voice. Really! I can hit the notes, read music (kinda sorta) and I sing nursery rhymes regularly with my children. That does not make me a coloratura, apparently. Who knew?

Seriously, those people can sing. It was beautiful, sitting at the back, listening to everyone go at it in parts and everything. I started getting the hang of the music a bit, and I've come to the conclusion that I would be happy with a chorus part. I've never been in this league of performing on stage before -- always having been a big fish in a small pond -- so it would be great to just observe the more experienced cast members do their thing.

I hope I'm at least good enough for a chorus part! Eeep!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Friendly little tip.

Say, for instance, you are auditioning for a musical tomorrow night.

Say, you wake up the morning before with a sore throat. NOooooo!

You try to think of home remedies to soothe a sore throat and prevent it from getting worse. You remember that a friend of yours swears by gargling with TCP.

Whatever you do, DON'T TRY IT.

Gack, I hate my very existence right now. Bleergh! Barf!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

Being in England means that Thursday was just a normal working day for the husband. No big deal; we just celebrated turkey day today! We got together with another American family, and we had a great time. Our children are similar ages, so they ran around like loons and thoroughly enjoyed themselves while the adults chatted and ate too much.

I was a baking and cooking fiend this afternoon, and I am quite proud of my achievements. My green bean casserole was "magical" (thank you, AllRecipes!) and while the mini sweet potato pie/tarts were a pain to make (I doubled the recipe and ended up making more than 60), they were a big hit with everyone, so that was cool.

We only observe Thanksgiving every other year. It was a good one this year, but I'm glad we get a reprieve next year. It's a lot of food, and you feel obliged to eat more than you normally would. It's not Thanksgiving if you don't have second helpings -- it's just a normal meal, and what's special about that, right?

Friday, 23 November 2007

Eeek! Lice!

Luckily, not on my child. Thus far. Fingers crossed. Touch wood. Cross eyes. And anything else that will (a) bring luck and (b) prevent infestations.

I am slightly freaking out after receiving a letter from the school saying they have a confirmed case of lice in the student population. They failed to say which class/year this child is in, so I really don't know what the likelihood is of my child getting lice. Nonetheless, I am combing her hair thoroughly each night just in case.

We now own a zapper louse comb -- killing the buggers with a small electric shock that is harmless to small children -- and a traditional louse comb. The zapper can only be used on dry hair, so the regular comb is used in conjunction with wet and heavily conditioned hair.

She is getting a hair cut tomorrow. If she gets lice, I am not going to be combing through long, thick hair. Short, thick hair is bad enough! I am slightly surprised that she's not freaking out at the idea of bugs in her hair, biting her scalp, but I shouldn't be. This is a girl who loves spiders and will talk to them like little babies when she finds them in the bath. She was reduced to tears when Middle Child squashed a spider one afternoon.

The upside of these preventative lice combing sessions is that she has beautifully soft, tangle-free hair. Until tomorrow morning at least!

Oh, and any tips on remaining lice free would be greatly appreciated. As would anti-louse karma!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

My little Stitch

Perhaps you've seen the movie Lilo and Stitch.

Perhaps you remember the scene in which Stitch is frustrated because he is nowhere near a large city so he creates his own miniature city with Lilo's toys, and then proceeds to crush and destroy everything as if he's a 40 foot beast.

Now hold that image in your mind and imagine a young baby, innocent of face. She has just recently begun walking, so her gait is still unsteady. She sees a small rug on the floor, with pictures of roads and buildings on it, something that Middle Child enjoys driving his cars upon.

Baby Child homes in on this rug. Several grunts escape her lips. She lumbers forward -- stomp! stomp! stomp! She growls like a primeval creature and begins to crush and destroy everything in her path. Smash! Kick! Grrrrrr! She aims carefully, and sits squarely on Middle Child's hands and/or head. Middle Child shrieks and runs away, in fear of his life.

Satisfied with her efforts, she climbs into my lap for a cuddle.

I have created a monster, and she isn't even 11 months old yet.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

To my Mom.

I've been thinking a lot about single mothers recently. My parents divorced when I was only 12, and for most of my teen years I lived in a single parent household with my two younger brothers. During that time, my mom worked nights, put herself through university and gained a teaching degree so she could support her family. We were poor, but never really felt it. Life was hard, but she was home when we were home (one of the main reasons she went for a teaching degree), and she was very involved in our lives.

I don't know how she did it. I struggle to get through most days, and due to the husband's long working hours, I often feel like a "single" parent, but at least I have someone to turn to during night wakings and on weekends. At least my kids have a father who is there every morning to play with them and read to them.

In an ideal world, I would have grown up with married parents, but my mom did the very best she could and I'm in awe of her efforts. She shrugs off any compliments, saying, "You do what you gotta do," but I want to say how impressed I am of her, without being interrupted.

Thank you, dear mother, for always caring for me, always listening to me, and always sacrificing for me. I hope I can be that kind of mother to my children, especially when times get tough. You've been a great example and I feel very blessed to have you in my life.

Monday, 19 November 2007

You know what I love?

I love passing the buck to my husband, getting him to change the poopy diaper, to only find out a few minutes later that the other child in nappies has soiled herself.

Sigh. Now it's my turn.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Saturday, 17 November 2007

It's supper time.

On this day, six years ago, the Mister and I got married. Let's give a rundown of our relationship thus far:
  1. Together for 8 years, married for six.
  2. Three children, all under the age of five years old.
  3. Lived in three homes so far: a studio flat, a two bed house, and a three bed house.
  4. Currently on our third car.
  5. The Mister has changed jobs once.
  6. No serious injuries to report, but Mister has been diabetic for two years.
  7. We are still happy and healthy.
Life is good, and to celebrate, we went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the local theatre.

It was a blast! The theatre was tiny and the acting was gloriously amateur. I enjoyed it immensely and my only regret was that I didn't get the chance to audition for the show myself.

I will be auditioning for their next show -- the name of which I cannot remember -- next week. Woohoo! I would love to be in a musical, so this is exciting for me.

I auditioned for a play about a year and a half ago, but didn't get the part. It was disappointing, sure, but also fortuitous because I ended up getting pregnant just a few weeks later and would not have been able to take part anyway. There is no baby on the horizon for me this time around, so it's time to give it another shot.

I'll let you know how things turn out!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Barbie and Ken: An Outfit for Every Occasion.


Your Barbie will be be the best-dressed doll in town with these easily-knitted patterns.

Why spend hundreds on outfits for Barbies and other similar sized dolls? These versatile patterns are the perfect way to inexpensively create a fun and attractive wardrobe.


These also make great gifts! Or keep them for yourself and enjoy the pride of creation.



Finally! A way to save hundreds of pounds on my Barbie and Ken clothing collection while "enjoy[ing] the pride of creation"!

Come, sit down with me and bask in the glow of my creation.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Knitting High Fashion

A friend of mine explained how to read knitting patterns to me today. This is good, because now I can understand the following: K1, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, rep across.

Yeah, that's right. I have the knowledge. Fear my kneedles!

Ahem. Anyway. Apparently there is a vast amount of free knitting patterns on the world wide web, and I've found some Barbie clothing to knit for Eldest as a Christmas present. I figure, the clothes are small, so should be quick and easy to knit in time for the big day.

What I didn't reckon for was the amazing quality of these patterns, and the beautiful clothes they create....

This little number is a bridesmaid dress. Of course! The holes in the skirt plus the matching "hat" give it away! Frankly, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't come across this pattern six years ago when I was planning my own wedding. Such a wasted opportunity.


Every doll needs a "Lace trim dress". Perhaps the tiers of lace are there to represent the wedding cake that Bridesmaid Barbie is attending? Perhaps the dress is the cake.
This outfit isn't so bad, as far as puffy tartan-esque designs go. What disturbs me is that I can't figure out if Barbie has been posed with her back facing the camera but with her head turned around.

Cute jumpsuit. Can anyone explain to me how Barbie is suffering from cameltoeitis?

This jumpsuit looks very practical. Say, for instance, when you are clearing debris from the side of the highway while chained alongside your closest inmates friends.

I will be knitting several pairs of these "Bell bottom pants" for my daughter's dolls, because anything that makes Barbie's butt and thighs look that huge is a thing of beauty to be treasured forever.

"Knit native american #1". I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to find that this was the only version available. The "#1" was very misleading, and I really wanted to see a Ken doll dressed up to match this ensemble.



There are several cute patterns available, too, so I'll keep you up to date when I've finished the first dress. I am really tempted to make a day-glo orange jumpsuit, though, just so I can play Convict Barbie games with my child. (Of course my kids will grow up to be normal, functioning adults... why do you ask?)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Double posting today, because I can.





Our message board: The Vegetable Patch


Hosted by Runboard.com

Mmmmm. That's good eating.

One of my favourite websites is Allrecipes. It is full of great recipes, practically anything you could think of, and they are all rated. The higher the number of ratings and number of stars, the better and more trustworthy the recipe.

I'm American, living in the UK, and I love getting recipes that I remember when I was growing up and don't have access to anymore. Sure, I grumble a bit at the difference in ingredients (some things just aren't available over here), but I'm able to substitute for the most part.

One of the best aspects of this website, however, is the recipe reviews written by site members. Most of the time they are along the lines of "Wow! Great recipe! It's a keeper!" or "Yuck! I can't believe this got so many stars! It turned out awful for me!". Sometimes, however, you can find real gems. The kind of reviews that give blow-by-blow accounts of how they made this fabulous dish, and all of the changes they made to the recipe. Invariably, at the end of the review, they will exclaim, "What a great recipe!", but by the time they've finished fiddling with it, the original recipe is nowhere to be found.

To whit:

great oatmeal cookie. I did make a few changes. First used splenda instead of white sugar to cut the sugar amount (used the brown sugar as stated). I also accidently used nutmeg (thought I grabbed cinnemon)- still added cinemon and it was good. Also had no raisins only cran mix (nuts/cran/choc) and the cookies were still good. I only baked for 8 minutes. I think this is a cookie that you really can't screw up.

Let's be honest here, Dutchwife. The cookies you made weren't even close to "Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies". They weren't even raisins in them. A basic ingredient, I would have thought.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my favourite baked treats. Maybe I'm getting a little defensive; I'm sure "Dutchwife's Spicy Oatmeal Nuts/Cran/Choc Cookies" were delicious in their own right.

Dangit. Now I want cookies.



Tuesday, 13 November 2007

I'm a loser!

I had the chance to go out with friends tonight, but I decided to stay at home in order to watch the recent episode of Heroes.

TV instead of socialising. I have no excuse for having no friends, I really don't.

But the episode was awesome!!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Time for a Meme.

30 years ago I....

Wasn't even a twinkle in my parents' eyes!

25 years ago I....

Was 18 months old and probably wreaking havoc like most toddlers do.

20 years ago I....

Was just starting the first grade. I had a great first grade teacher, Miss Menermeier. She fascinated all of us, because she suffered a hedge clipper injury as a child and lost the tip of her finger.

15 years ago I....

Was starting middle school! This was the year of learning how to work lockers, change classes every hour, playing the clarinet, and liking boys!!1!!

10 years ago I....

Was driving the Dink, my lovely yellow 1982 Honda Civic. I was a drama nerd in high school and loved every minute of it.

5 years ago I....

Was a few months pregnant with Eldest Child. The husband and I were in the process of moving out of our teensy weensy studio flat and into the shoe box two bed house we were to live in for three years. I was also throwing up a lot.

2 years ago I....

Was just moving into our current home. Life was hectic and veeeeery stressful; it's much more difficult to move with two toddlers underfoot than it is while pregnant. The new house is twice the size of the old place, and that took a long time to get used to.

1 month ago I....

Was recovering from Middle Child's birthday party the weekend before. That was a lot of work, and it took several days for the kids to come down from their sugar high. Middle child constantly demanded cake for weeks afterwards.

1 week ago I....

Was feeling nervous about my job interview.

1 day ago I....

Was feeling good about how the weekend had gone.

1 hour ago I....

Was putting the kids to bed.

And right now?

I'm trying to get this done so I can spend time with the husband!


Happy Monday, everyone.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

A day of remembrance.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


John McCrae

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Birthday party craze.

Eldest child went to her school friend's birthday party today. She came home with the following:

  1. A little plastic watch that she won in a party game.
  2. A conical party hat filled with sweets from the frog piñata.
  3. A party bag from the entertainer, filled with "magic tricks" (read: goofy crap that isn't worth the plastic it's made out of), sweets, and little notebooks.
  4. A party bag from the birthday boy filled with more sweets, a piece of birthday cake, and a glitter-covered pencil that is now shedding glitter all over the house if you so much as glance in its direction.
I am absolutely astonished. With the cost of hiring a hall, hiring an entertainer, feeding twenty children and providing party bags for afters, that party must have cost a fortune. I've heard of extravagant parties for children, but so far I've been lucky enough to keep my kids from getting any ideas of their own.... this was the first birthday party she's been invited to this school year, and I really hope the other mothers don't get into a competition with parties, upping the ante with every one. There are 30 children in Eldest's class; I can imagine the party bag situation could spiral quickly out of control.

Before today, I had vague ideas of a homemade pizza and cake party, or possibly an all girls fairy princess party (wherein they could make their own tiaras and magic wands or something). It all depends on if Eldest child is still associating with boys at that point. Right now she makes friends with anyone regardless of gender, but I'm sure the boys-are-stinky phase will kick in soon enough.

Now I worry that she will see all of her friend's parties and want the same thing. She wouldn't really enjoy an entertainer or (eep) a clown forcing her to be the centre of attention all afternoon. She is very shy in front of crowds and never performs in front of an audience.

Maybe I can start a revolution in children's parties! Home grown, simple games, and a relaxed atmosphere. Well, a relaxing atmosphere is probably aiming too high -- I'll settle for surviving the afternoon with my sanity intact. As long as I am not forced into buying each child their first car as a parting gift, I'll be happy.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Busy busy

Tomorrow is going to be hectic. I got a table in a school fair at the last minute, from 8am to noon. Eldest has a birthday party to go to in the afternoon, and we have a church activity in the early evening, that I am helping with.

I have to do some cooking and baking for this church activity, and I haven't even gotten started on it. I may cheat and buy some crusty brown bread rather than making the stuff, since the activity is themed on the life cycle of wheat. Technically, I should have lead by example and ground it into flour myself, baked it, sliced it, and made sandwiches with it. Who has time for that? I certainly don't. This week has flown by, and I just haven't had the time or inclination to bake bread. I even bought the stuff where all you have to do is add warm water! I would have probably ruined it, anyway. I am rubbish at baking bread.

I think I'll just cheat and buy some bread, make cheese sandwiches, and call it a day. No one will even notice the difference, I imagine!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

A surprisingly good day, with a sad realisation.

Today was one of those on-the-go-every-second sort of days. Once we dropped Eldest off at school, we were out for the rest of the morning, then had friends over for lunch, dropped Middle child off at nursery, then went to Eldest's school for a parent-teacher literacy meeting where I also set up an Usborne book stall. (no orders, but plenty of leaflets handed out)

I came home with Eldest and Baby for a few minutes and then we went out to collect Middle child (who stayed for after school club to give me time to sell!sell!sell! my books), so when we were all home again it was 4.30pm. I managed to throw together an easy, quick dinner, so we had a chance for a leisurely bath and story time tonight before sending them off to bed at 6.30pm. All three of them were barely standing up straight, they were all so tired.

So yes, busy day, but enjoyable. I didn't have the computer on all day, which is a rare event. Normally I have it on for one reason or another, and I'm usually drawn to it like a moth to a flame if there is ever a lull in the mayhem. Once the kids hear the squeak of the desk doors opening, they are scrambling over my lap or pressing buttons, or generally doing everything in their power to be a nuisance and grab my attention.

They didn't have to do that today, because I was giving my attention to them. I knew that I had a problem with wasting time on the computer during the day, but I never contrasted my normal routine with a computer-free day. Now that I have, I see that days like today are better. More fun, more peaceful, more relaxed.

We have been tv-free during the day for the entire week, and it's been going very well. I think I shall go computer-free during the day from now on, as well. Okay, almost computer free. If the kids are at school/nursery, and Baby is taking a nap, I'm happy to waste some time on the net or something. Otherwise, I think I'll give it a miss.

How long do you think I'll last? We could set up a betting pool. I promise to be honest! (but can you truly depend on the word of an addict?)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Clerkin' it up.

Well, the interview went well! I am now a Clerk to the Governers of Local Lower School, My Town. Woo hoo!

I am really glad I bought the suit now, because regardless of the impression my clothes made on the interviewers, I felt very smart, professional and grown-up wearing it. I used large words and made myself sound intelligent. I took myself by surprise really, because I am so used to reading Dr Seuss books and talking about bodily fluids all day. I actually have a brain in there somewhere!

My new boss (!!) told me I have all the skills they want for the position "in abundance." How cool is that! This has really made my day. The job isn't high paying -- meetings only take place a few nights a year -- but it's something to add to my resume and keep me sharp. Plus, they provide free training and this could lead to another clerking position with more hours at some point in the future. Who knows?

My first interview in four and a half years, and I was offered the position two hours later. Not bad!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Heroes rules!


Thanks to the magic of the internet, we watched the most recent episode of Heroes tonight. I was getting really impatient and slightly disappointed with the past few episodes, but tonight totally rocked. I loved how the feudal storyline completely paid off in the last few minutes. That was classic Heroes fare, right there.
I think our good man HRG is coming completely unhinged, and it is wonderful to watch. I listened to an interview on TWoP with Jack Coleman, and he is not only a great actor but seems like a cool person, too.
My only real disappointment was how Hiro magically became goofy again when he put those glasses back on. He was all serious and calm in the past, but as soon as he came back home (and suddenly couldn't see without his futuristic eye wear), he was the man-child Hiro again. No! What about in the first season when he was all "Save the cheerleader, save the world" with Peter Patrelli on the train? That's the Hiro I want to see.
Writers, take note. My opinion matters.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Dude, clothes are expensive!

I don't buy clothes very often, but when I do, I shop at Tesco or Matalan or something cheap and cheerful like that. I have young children, and clothing stays looking nice for about two seconds before their grubby little hands create stains.

But, I have a job interview on Wednesday (eep!), and after much dithering, I decided to go for a suit jacket and matching trousers at Debenhams. The jacket was cheap, compared to the others on the rack; only £30. The trousers were quite reasonable, I thought, at only £18.

Still. Combine the two and we're talking fifty quid spent on clothes solely for myself for a job that I may not even get. And -- keep this a secret between you and me, will you? -- I signed up for a store card to make the purchase. Yes, I opened up a dreaded store card account with massive interest. I don't ever shop at Debenhams, and don't plan on making a habit of it, so I figured I could pay it off quickly and not ever use it again.

Famous last words, right? The clothes fit me so nice, it was pretty amazing. I didn't have to try several different sizes or styles and the trousers are very comfortable. I guess paying extra for clothing means better quality. I'll take any justification that I can get!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Cantique de Noël

The Relief Society (a women's group) in my church is preparing to sing "Oh Holy Night" for the congregation in December.

I have recently been assigned to lead the Relief Society in all things musical, and this includes teaching them to sing this song, and leading them during the performance. I have no formal music training.

Well, that's not entirely true; when I was ten I took a few piano lessons before bottling out, and when I was thirteen I played the clarinet at school. I sing for fun, and I just about know how to read music. A couple of years ago I bought a clapped out old piano and then bought Piano for Dummies. So basically, my musical knowledge is limited.

I was very nervous about getting in front of a group of people and leading them in song. Fly swatting during run-of-the-mill church hymns is no big deal; those songs are ones that I've sung every Sunday since I can remember. But this song, this "Cantique de Noël" is special. I didn't want to make a fool of myself up there, while they were looking to me to provide cues for rhythm and pitch.

Luckily, most of the hard work was done for me. My assignment is only a recent change, and everyone has been practicing for a few weeks before I came along, so I can't really take much credit. But after I worked with the altos and we joined with the sopranos, they sounded beautiful.

I may not have any formal musical training, but I'm loving this assignment.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Cute or scary? You decide.



My vote is for scary. I know many people would disagree with me. One of those people was at the craft fair I attended today. As I set up my table of books, she set up her table of "hand-made" porcelain dolls. I just can't get behind the idea of collecting things that look so creepily life-like. From the snippets of her conversations I overheard with her customers throughout the day, she has a vast amount of dolls in her home, in every single room. That's right, folks. Little porcelain doll eyes to stare at you while you sit upon the porcelain throne. Little doll faces to watch over you while you sleep. Little doll hands to strangle you while you.... Sorry. Got carried away there.

At one point, she lifted a doll's hair off its head. She had forgotten to glue its wig on, apparently. She giggled and said, "Whoops, I hope I don't sell that one!"

I think I may have bad dreams tonight.

Friday, 2 November 2007

The Baby Brain Drain

My husband pointed out this article from The Times, written by the respected Dr Miriam Stoppard. She discusses the dubious claims of Baby Einstein (or Mozart or Newton, whatever it's called) that say these DVDs can actually make your baby smarter.

Her conclusions, unsurprisingly, treat those claims like the pile of rubbish they are. This quote from the article particularly stood out to me:
...for every hour that infants of 8-16 months watch videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby they understood 6-8 fewer words than other babies who were not exposed to such videos.
It's like the television is this mental hoover, sucking the thoughts out of our children. Quite frankly, if true, I'm horrified.

I admit that I have used television as a babysitter on more than one occasion. Sometimes, when the kids are sniping at each other and all three are clambering for my attentions whilst simultaneously beating each other to a pulp, a bit of Disney is the only thing that will calm them down. It's also a way for me to hide away behind the computer for an hour or so.

We don't have a tv licence, so the normal television airways are not piped into the house. The kids get their tv fix through DVDs of television shows or movies. I was planning on buying a new movie or two to add to their collection, but now I'm not so sure. Do I really want my kids glued to the screen? Shouldn't I be a more attentive and creative mother, able to handle the rough times and stay away from the lure of the computer screen?

I'm sure a healthy balance can be reached; moderation is key in most aspects of life, after all. But my 10 month old needs to be kept away from the television more than the others, I think. If tv time is restricted to Baby's naptime, limits would be easier to enforce. Sounds like a plan.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

MyFace

I am a Facebook addict. Well, let's be clear. I am a Scrabulous addict, which just so happens to reside on Facebook.

The whole friends networking and messaging and emoting thing is all well and good, but give me a triple word score any day! I like to have about 10 games going, so I can open each one in a different tab and play my turn several times at once.

Scrabble is a big thing in my husband's family. His father is great at strategy and bluffing his way through dubious words. The husband doesn't try to bluff his way against me, but he is definitely a sore loser. We have a book where we keep track of all our past game scores, and in the six years that we have been married, I've only won twice against him. Twice! Both times, he sulked for hours. Heh.

But he's going to have to learn to lose gracefully, because I've been honing my skills on Facebook ("MyFace" to my dear mother), and I'm gonna kick his butt. Funnily enough, he hasn't challenged me to a game recently. Hrmm....