This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


My new year is starting off well with a new restaurant to try.  Doesn't the new year start December 26th? MiMi and I hit ShabaShabu for lunch yesterday, while CJ had a play-date with some old friends.

I've wanted to try this place out for a good long while, well, after it opened which was quite a few years ago. Just shows how much I get out...

It was pretty empty around lunch. We were greeted warmly and MiMi requested we sit at the sushi bar. There was only one other 'family' there: a couple with their toddler son. I am already impressed with them, bringing their kids to an ethnic, high-end restaurant. That takes 1) balls and b) they like ethnic food so they must be cool.

Our waitress was also very inviting, not stuffy, but very casually friendly. It didn't feel forced. We had cool water glasses: squared white porcelain tumbers, with a lemon wedge (I didn't even have to ask for lemon).

MiMi decided on her favorites California Roll and the Avocado Roll. I liked that they had a section on the sushi menu for just "Vegetable Rolls". I wasn't in the mood for sushi, so I didn't try something with eel. I had intended on hitting on some green curry, as I recently decided that I *do* like green curry...but once my eyes found the Pad Woonsen Chicken, I knew I was getting that...#3 (out of 4) spicy.

We started off with some Miso soup, again, one of my favorites. Surprisingly, MiMi didn't like it. I, on the other hand, loved it. Definitely a slight advantage over other miso soups and presented in a really nice shaped bowl. Wish I took a picture of it.

MiMi's sushi was first. A nice presentation with a lot of sushi for an 8 year old. She doesn't have the chopsticks down (not without effort) but I usually get handcramps using chopsticks (and only for sushi) so I told her not to worry about it. She used her fingers. Hey - I think it's the BEST way to eat sushi...

I tried a few with my cramped hand and they were quite delicious. Of course, it's difficult to go wrong with california rolls and they tend to taste identical across sushi bars (to me). But MiMi LOVED them and that's what counts.

My pad woonsen was also nicely presented. I wasn't used to such flair for lunch! The variation of this dish, as opposed to other places I've had it, was the big chunks of cabbage in it. I enjoyed it but I expect that sized cabbage in a stir fry vs. a noodle dish. Regardless, it was quite yummy. A couple pieces of the chicken were grisly, so I would have expected a better cut of the chicken (wow - I sound like a real food critic). I tend to be a bit more hokey about chicken, as there was a time period where I was repulsed by it. My, how times have changed...

My #3 spicy was just right. It wasn't as spicy as I anticipated and my friend Bob would have needed the #4, or one that wasn't actually advertised. We had plenty of food leftover, which made for a nice dinner for MiMi and I.

We ended the lunch date with Banana Katsu Ala Mode. I almost took a picture but 1) the dish looked pretty phallic and d) MiMi requested I stop with the pictures already.

It was a breaded and fried banana, between a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This presentation needs some work but the dish was good. Not great, as the breading was overbearing on the banana. I think using plantains might have worked better than a regular ole banana. But hey - what do I know? That  may have been what they used...but it didn't appear that way.

I definitely would go back. The restaurant itself is really a beautiful place. The staff was amazingly good. And the food was delicious. I would definitely want to try some of their sushi specialties, as well as some of the other Japanese and Thai dishes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Do I Dare?

No matter what, these things still show up more often than not...making it a freakish 21st century phenomena.

This one is from Christmas Eve. Must be a Santa present...

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Eve Before Christmas

After a big, homemade breakfast, we set off for Lake Lynn to walk our two fat asses (the twins, not Tim and I), and the rest of the crew for a walk around the lake.

My hope is to get one of the twins, perhaps Lucy, used to walking, then running, to have her as my running partner. She needs the exercise and she's manic, so she has energy to burn.

Ricky was not really in the running (pun intended) as a running partner because he is richly spoiled. He hates being outside for very long. He prefers to snuggle with anyone, preferably whatever is most uncomfortable for you, and if you take him for short walks in the 'hood, he will drag his four paws - or even resort to lying on the sidewalk in order for his human to pick him up and carry him. MOST of the time, we just drag him (gently but firmly).

Apparently, however, Lucy was the one that ran out of energy in the end and ended up being stubbornly slow while Ricky booked it in the end. Brenna, the third (and not fat) dog is a genuine pro at walking and running, so she was a "10" the whole time. Well, except when she was losing and I was running with Lucy, and Tim was running with Ricky. She howled, moaned, and attempted to drag an even more stubborn CJ, who found it hilarious to hear Brenna go nuts.

Lucy, as I have mentioned before, is a 'bad-ass'. She barked and growled at every passing dog. At one point, a doberman and its owner came over to sniff the twins. Tim warned the owner that Lucy will probably nip at his dog. "Oh that's OK" was what the owner got out before bad-ass went nipping at the dobie's face. "See." Was my reply.

Afterward, we headed to Target for christmas cookies, snacks, and pajamas. Ever since the first Christmas episode of Modern Family, we give each other pajamas on Christmas Eve, open them up, and wear them. So this year, we bought them on Christmas Eve, CJ wrapped them, and then we opened them up during the evening.

Tim has a boom lift rented out for the week for one of his jobs he's working on. So we all got a ride up in the thing. MiMi did pretty good - getting high up before she grabbed Tim and begged to go back down. CJ didn't get as high as MiMi and then, somehow, the gang ganged up on me to get in there too. I kept my mouth shut but kept a tight grip on Tim.
I'm sure it's stable, as Tim said, but not the kind of thing I would want to do everyday.

We enjoyed our new pajamas (although my shirt was itchy) and watched "A Christmas Story", which was awesome because it's one of my favorites and CJ seemed to enjoy it as much as I have. The fire burning in the fireplace was built by yours truly, ace firestarter.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Bests of 2011

My annual "Best of" post. Let's see if I can remember all the things I wanted to write, that I've been 'writing' in my head...

Best Song: Hands down, one of the most overplayed song on the radio...still, I love it, love it, love it: Rolling in the Deep by Adele. While I don't care to listen to it as much as I used to, I still am not sick of it. Her other songs, like Someone Like You, I am not fond of *and* I am UP TO HERE with regard to hearing it AGAIN. But she has an amazing voice and this song is such a creative upbeat song, despite it being about being scorned.

And the remakes of it? People went crazy. Why? Because that song is just amazing.
Linkin Park I love how everyone sings along with him.
A co-worker sent me this one: Vasquez.
One of my favorites is one I heard from Mike's Top Five Downloads...a cappella by John Legend.

My favorite book of the year? Well, I read some amazing books this year. The Harry Potter series would have swept this one away had it not been for George R.R. Martin. Out of his amazing A Song of Ice and Fire series, I'd have to pick A Storm of Swords. A Storm of Swords is the third book in his series and contains one after another shocking developments that I never saw coming. It changed the entire perceived direction of the story-line...which takes huge kahunas and by god, that IS what Martin is good at.

Favorite Movie: I don't blog about all the movies I watch. I really should so I can remember. But I do remember this one: The Princess Bride.

I actually have seen this one a few times before. I knew a lot of people were obsessed with this movie and I just didn't get it. But, one day, while doing laundry, I decided to watch it again on one of my on-demand channels, to see yet again what the ado was all about.

And I was hooked. I loved it. Every fricking minute of it. It was hilarious and Inigo Montoya became one of my favorite heroes. Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Andre the Giant? Superb and perfectly placed in each of their roles.

I loved it so much that when I found out that The Colony theaters was showing this for their Cool Classics series, I immediately blocked my calendar for it. Granted, I blocked my calendar about four months in advanced. December 21st, just a few days ago, was the date and all of us attended. The theater was FULL. I warned the family that, much like Tim does around The Shining, Tombstone, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Boys of Company C (which I haven't actually watched), people will be quoting the movie out loud. They did. They clapped. A lot. And they LOL'd. A lot. Me included.

Favorite Dining: I didn't do a whole lot of eating out at different places this year. I don't get much opportunity to do this as I'd like except during work and this year, me and some girlfriends hit Coquette. I had the Croque Madam, which is one of my favorites from La Farm Bakery. Our server was friendly and prompt and the food was delish.

Funniest Moment: This happens to be one of the most embarrassing moments but surprisingly, I do not flush with embarrassment when I think about this. Honestly. The one thing I wish I had at that moment was the ability to take a picture of myself because, my description in no way compares to the way I actually looked.

And that leads me to, the best damn gift I've ever received: my iPhone 4s. I have been smartphone-less for centuries. My obstinate mind-set made me believe I didn't need such a thing: a phone, a camera, and a PDA were enough for me. But the PDA was an itouch and when I can't get service to read my email, catch up on the news or worse, play Words with Friends, I felt cheated out of life's greatest pleasures. And then Tim buys one for me...leaves it in a bucket of KFC for me to find...and I have been walking on airs ever since. I love my iPhone. Love love love it. I would tell Siri this every day if I could remember, which my iPhone can help me do.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Obits 2011

As I have mentioned before, I actually 'enjoy' reading obituaries. Morbid fascination, you may think. Yes. Sometimes it is. I tend to check out wikipedia's "Recent Deaths" section, to see who died...they are usually people known for something. But when I used to get the newspaper, I skimmed the daily obituaries. You may think it weird...and it is...but who said I cared about being weird? But the key to these things are: they summarize someone's live in just a few paragraphs, if not shorter. Someone who loved this person wrote something profound about them, and the least anyone can do is take a minute or two to read it. For a moment in time, I can imagine the life this person had, and how much they had in their lives.

I have a section of posts that are related to obituaries. One of my favorites is this one about Count Goddfried von Bismark:

It's much more difficult in the online world to run across the 'average' person. Apparently specializes in obituaries, so I'll have to check that out some day.

But this article from the NY Times? Wow. My virtual-friend Kevin posted this on facebook. I read it last night before I went to bed...and I was moved. I cried. And I read every one of these. And I'm still thinking about these people today. I couldn't imagine a better, well-thought out article to write. I have to share it again and hope you all are as moved as I was.

BTW. The first person they write about is Mike DeStefano, a comedian. He was on Last Comic Standing and he died at the young age of 44. I listened to the podcast that they cite in the article. It's an amazing podcast and I recommend listening to it. I think they picked out one of the most beautiful pieces of his interview to present in this article.

Without further adieu:

My Kind of Bible Story

I love Rick Gervais. I can't wait to see him do the Golden Globes again. I thought he was awesome for the last one. Stupid, stuffy, over-paid hollywood blow-hards...

Last night I watched his stand-up comedy special on HBO. He read a story about Noah. He can read this to me anytime, especially before my bedtime...snuggling.

Oh. It's over 14 minutes long. But it's worth the time to spend watching it. Or watch the entire comedy special. Or go to youtube and watch three minute increments. Why on earth anyone would do that, I don't know, but hey, if that's your thing...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random Philosophy

This morning I made a donut run with MiMi. In true drive-thru form for us, we had another glitch in the order. The essentials were met: a dozen donuts, a cheese croissant for me (oddly enough, I am not a donut eater) but missing was the Drunkaccino that I ordered for MiMi.

"Where's the Drunkaccino?" I asked, after getting everything but.

A look of confusion and panic -- there was a big line for morning donuts -- a check on the register and a "We didn't charge you for it" was my answer. I wasn't getting one unless I placed a new order for it. I wasn't going to hold everyone up behind me over their (not surprisingly) error. After all, I have coffee at home. I told MiMi I would make her coffee at home. At one point, after she continued to berate the crappy service ("We need a school for stupid people to do this job!"), she said "Yours will be better than anything they can make". "Wait until you drink it before you say that..." was my answer to that.

Anyway, this is how this conversation went:

Me: "There is nothing better than coffee with your donuts."

Her: "Except a million dollars."

Me: "Yes, a million dollars is definitely better than coffee and donuts."

Her: "Everything is better than dying."

Way to throw a deep thought into an inane conversation about crappy service.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different

This would be different only if you were coming from the last post, which I am. 

These videos came from Facebook posts that my friends posted. The first one is silly but funny. At least to me. I don't fit this stereotype in total, nor do I know very many women that do, but it's just funny.

OK. The "let me read you this..." and the fumbling through the purse is definitely me. I HATE the fumbling through the purse thing. I can't find shit. And it doesn't matter if I have a teeny-tiny purse or a big-ass purse, I still can't find what I'm looking for.

Next up is the Jimmy Kimmel clip of asking parents to give their kids early xmas presents...but they had to be crappy. The reactions are not as funny to me as the actual gifts they are given:

Lastly, a very cool video. This is amazing. The production of it is brilliant. I can't stop thinking about it. Grand Rapids, MI put this together as a response to being on the list of America's Dying Cities by Newsweek.

Assholes of the Week

I have two Jon Stewart clips to share. These ended up being on one episode, back-to-back.

The first one is incredulous, to say the least. Yet another conservative religious body that forces their ignorance into the public eye. It just amazes me that people can be happy, seeing the world through such obscene glasses. Why do these type of people hate so much, all in the name of their god and family values? It just adds so much more intolerance on my part...I continue to just be disgusted by these sort. And they continue to feed into the very reason why I cannot stand anyone who feels the need to proclaim their "christian values". Hey - I am not pretending to believe in a god and feel like I am a good christian person that loves all. I don't love all. I despise with every bone in my body the hatred anyone has for people they don't agree with...especially blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, and gays.

If anyone in my family continues to read on, know this: my children are welcomed to be muslim, love a god, two gods or no gods, love a woman or a man, no matter what race or religion that person is. Of course, I would probably freak-the-fuck-out if that person ends up being a conservative christian. That, my friends, would be a major problem for me...but not in a way that I would disown my child. I feel pretty confident that this will not be the case as my children are being raised in a household much different from how me or Tim were brought up.  They don't HAVE to be anything (catholic or southern baptist or atheist). They ask questions, we answer and we tell them that one day, they will figure out for themselves what they want/need/have to believe in. And I think that is going to work out in my favor (i.e. NOT a christian conservative ignoramus).

The next clip is about the working poor. I could barely recover from the idiotic "let's-see-muslims-the-way-my-ignorant-mind-sees-them" segment, that The Daily Show throws me this:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Newt Gingrich's Poverty Code
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

My mouth dropped. My head continued to shake no in disbelief. And somewhere out there are millions of Americans who hear this fucked up dribble coming out of this fucker and agree with him. WHY? Why do you people think it is OK for you to feel this way about other people? Guess what? I know WHITE PEOPLE that are like you're stereotype of black people. And the white people that point out any of their viewed misgivings that black or hispanics have are USUALLY THE LAZY ONES WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR GOVERNMENT. The irony. The hypocrisy. Fuck you if you think like this. Fuck you and your mamma. Fuck you Newt Gingrich. Gods, Buddha, Allah help us all if he actually gets the republican nomination...

Monday, December 12, 2011

May I Take Your Order?

This is what I wanted from my trip to McDonald's today:
2 small strawberry-banana smoothies with whip cream
1 medium french fy
1 small mocha, milk, no whip cream.

CJ usually likes to have a smoothie before volleyball practice and sometimes, I grab a coffee. The last time I came to the Mickey D's that's on the way, I waited over 10 minutes for my coffee. I was in the fricking drive-thru parking space. And when I continued to wait, I fricking got _out_ of my car, went inside, and STILL had to wait to get my coffee.

Today MiMi was with me, hence the fries and extra smoothie.

I got to the drive thru order thingy.
McD: May I take your order?
Me: Yes. I would like two small, strawberry-banana smoothies with whip cream. A medium fry and a small mo...
McD: garble, garble garble, smoothie
Me: ?? Um. Can you repeat that?
McD: Two small berry smoothies. Will that be all?
Me: Actually, I want two small *strawberry-banana* smoothies. With whip cream.
McD: Do you want whip cream on those?
Me: !!!!! Yes, please.
McD: Anything else?
Me: Yes. A medium french fry.  ...  ...  ...  And a small hot, mocha coffee, with milk and no whip cream.
McD: A caramel mocha coffee. No whip cream.
Me: No, just a mocha please.
McD: Your total is blah blah blah.

When I pull up to the window, she asks me again "You want whip cream on those smoothies?" "yes" I say pleasantly.

When we get our stuff, I can see we have the fries, the coffee and the two smoothies with whip cream. Why is the whip cream important? Because McD's charges EXTRA for the whip cream. And I have purchased it before without it being on.

So I say: yay! At least they got it right and the machine isn't broken this time.

Once I get rolling, I drink my coffee. Hmmm...this tastes like peppermint. And sure enough, the label on my coffee has this label:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yeah. I said it. "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S". I ain't afraid. But if you think I am writing to _defend_ the "christ" in christmas, you've come to the wrong place.

The word "Christmas" has never meant christ to me. It's the name of the holiday, like Halloween, or Turkey Day. "X-mas", "Happy Holiday", "Santa Day"...all the same to me. If anything, when I see or hear "put the christ back into christmas", I want to throw up. But I am not offended because, you know what? It doesn't change my perspective on the word or the meaning it has for me...which has NOTHING to do with the birth of christ, those magi and the manger.

Sacrilege, I know. Blasphemous even! I love it.

But even though I am not afraid to say Christmas, it doesn't mean that those who want to FORCE IT BACK into the vernacular still don't piss me off.  Lay off, inane christian fanaticals! I'm not telling you to take the christ your own thing with like-minded fools. Let me be.

But how can we when we have Fox-fucking-news to harbor on the conservative front? As promised, my Jon Stewart clips begin with that very subject:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tree Fighting Ceremony
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

And coincidentally, I saw this article on CNN today about 'share your holiday experience' if you are a non-believer. Within that article is a link to research that shows a trend towards organized religion becoming extinct.

While I find that hard to believe, bearing how much this country seems to mix politics with conservative religious views, I am not totally lost on that idea. Most of my peers are non-believers, whether agnostic, atheist, or just march to the drum of their own beat (like me). If anything, most of my peers are SICK AND TIRED of religious-fanatics forcing their dribble down everyone's throats. And it's ironic that people like that - the obscenely-ignorant-religious-fools - are trying so hard to show how they are right and it's probably one of many (like logic and education) reasons that so many of us non-believers are turning away from organized religion.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

All Done!

It's done and I'm done. Girls on the Run (GOTR) Fall 2011. The culmination of 12 weeks of training for 14 girls ended yesterday with the Reindeer Romp 5K. All but two of the girls completed the 5K with ecstatic smiles. Unfortunately, one girl ended up being out-of-town and another was plagued by asthma. But the latter was out there, in full force of support, and handing out medals to her fellow GOTR-mates.

It's been a great season and I love hanging out with these girls. They are funny, sweet, deep, beautiful, confident, and now, 5K runners. I met new people, including parents, who I normally like to avoid. And it ends up that I actually liked them. I enjoyed working with my fellow coaches too. And having MiMi part of the program *with me*.

"GOTR" spelled out
But I certainly didn't enjoy the stress of trying to make these meetings, twice a week for twelve weeks. It hasn't been easy to put a hard stop on at work and get out to our practice by 4:15. Once there, life was joyous but it takes a lot out of my day, personally and professionally, to "be there" emotionally and physically.

I would love to do this again. But I won't anytime soon. *Maybe* in the Fall of next year. Maybe. I want a bit more out of the coaching aspect than I had/gave this round. Maybe a different site. This one is too close home. Literally, it's near my home but also, philosophically, I think it would be easier for me to work at a site when I am detached from the place other than via this program.

But it's tough as this provides me with such insight to the young inspires me and I love inspiring others. Whether I am doing that or not, I'll probably never know, but in my own mind, it feels good for me to do this. I love running and bringing that to this generation is amazing.

And then there's the race. I was so happy to see all of our girls come through the finish. But my last girl? I nearly cried. Well, technically I did cry but I blinked back my tears. This girl worked so hard. And when she ran through the finish, she was giddy, laughing, raising her hands up in the air. It was the perfect ending.

I'll miss these girls and this snapshot of my time with them will just be a fleeting memory for them. I'm glad I could have been a part of it.

What's My Background?

I get that question a lot. Actually, it's more like "What are you?"

But that's not what this is about. This post is about my background on my desktop. I saw an article about what your background image says about you and while I think those things are hokey, they are fun to read.

You can read more about their assessment of personality traits based on desktop backgrounds. But this one describes perfectly a select few people I work with. They will remain unnamed and even if they read this, they wouldn't think of themselves in this way. But those of us who work with them, they know who I'm talking about.

I do put family photos up occasionally but since my (work) laptop has windows 7, I love the themes that are available and tend to use those. I try to change them every month or so. And the phase I'm in are cityscapes, landscapes, which tend to include animals. Currently, my theme set is "Galapagos by Ryan Good", with the "Characters" sound set.

Now, my *browser* has a different background. I am a Chrome-user and I have had this as my background for a good while. I love the giggles I get when my laptop is hooked up to a projector at work. So far, no one 'gets it' so no major brownie points, or instant-bonding moments with co-workers.  If I could get a GoT as a windows 7 theme, I would be in heaven.

The Third Day Cookie

Every year around this time, I receive the "12 Days of Cookies" newsletter from a couple of popular cooking sites. And every year, I read some of their cookie-a-day recipe and think "I'm going to make those!" And then either the fervor passes or mostly, I forget.

Fortunately, I have a teen who loves to bake. And cook! And she's fabulous at both. I mentioned this before and I'll mention it again (not for the last time either) that she has the ability to watch someone make something, come back to it at a later time, and make it based on her memory. It's fricking incredible to me. I mean, I can do that with foods I have made over the years but my personality is that I can do *anything* if I have directions. Sounds confident, eh? Well, without directions, I'm at a loss.

It's also a gigantic help to have her do this. It's nice to have another chef in the kitchen. Dinner is usually prepared by either Tim or I, and we enjoy it, but we love to empower CJ to take control. My parents never did that for me (no offense...but to this day, they still think I'm 15 years old and can't possibly cook; I get cooking-anxiety when they are around and Tim ends up being my co-chef or *the* chef...otherwise, it's eating out or letting them do the cooking...and my dad doesn't cook; same with my in-laws).

Back to cookies. Without knowing about the Holiday Cookie Countdown, CJ decided to make cookies the other day. This is my incentive, and inspiration, to make more baked goodies (whether it's through me or her) this holiday season. These are Oatmeal Chocolate Chips, which was a pleasant surprise as I didn't realize she would eat anything with oatmeal. I LOVE oatmeal goodies and these turned out fantastic.

Mrs. Fields Oatmeal Raisin Chews
2 1/4  cups flour
½  teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick oats (not instant)
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½  cup sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 ounces raisins (about 1 ½ cups)
3 ounces walnuts, chopped (about ½ cup) (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and oats. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl blend sugars with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add honey, vanilla and eggs. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture, raisins and walnuts and blend at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 ½  inches apart. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.

Yield: 2 ½ dozen without walnuts; about 3 dozen with walnuts.

As you can see/read, she substituted chocolate chips for raisins because, seriously, why would anyone ruin cookies by adding raisins? And sadly, she doesn't like nuts, so those were definitely OPTIONAL.

Friday, December 02, 2011


A great word. I am lucky that I find inspiration in something, someone, every day. I think I should write more about what inspired me 'that day'. This might counter the negative dribble that will come out of my fingers, especially with the elections and the douche-bag conservatives running...

But back to inspiration.

Wednesday was Quail Ridge Book (QRB) Teen Writing Club night. My partner-in-crime, Sam, was out of town so I headed over there after Girls on the Run (GOTR). Tim and CJ were at volleyball practice (we've come down to man-to-man defense with handling the kids' extracurricular activities) and since MiMi is a GOTR runner, she came along with me to QRB.

We stopped at Whole Foods for dinner first, where MiMi chose her own plate: mac-n-cheese, two pieces of tofu, clam chowder, and a salad. I love watching her eat good food.

Afterward, we headed to QRB and she had a choice of sitting outside the back room we meet, and reading or sitting in with me to hear the stories.

I think she confused writing club with book club because she thought the writers were writing about the books they read. "No. They write their own stories. They do this, outside of school, because they like to."

I continued with the fact that, if she listened in, she may not "get" the stories, as they cover very different story lines than what you she is used to reading. But, I said to her, I think you'd enjoy it, even if you didn't understand it. The writers themselves are so different and cool, you might just like meeting them.

She decided she would sit in. She tried to read her book but I would sneak glances her way and I could see her listening in on the conversations and the stories.  She sat a bit a way from the table and by the end of the evening, she had managed to sneak herself between me and another writer (Emily), and was right at the table. Adorable.

We usually clap after each writer's reading...not out of courtesy but because, well, it's just that fucking good. Again, at the end of the evening, I saw MiMi clapping vigorously. She wasn't mimicking us. She was truly enjoying the story. My heart soared.

Once we got in the car, she looked adrenalize-d. She was glowing.

"Maybe the next time you go, you can bring my scary story that I am writing and read it to them?"

OMG. I love this. "I think that is a great idea."

"You know. I really love to write too. I love reading but I love writing stories. Especially scary stories."

"That is great! I'm glad you like reading since I love it. I like to write too; I just don't do it as much as I'd like."

"I get my inspiration from reading other books."

"Nothing wrong with that. Anywhere you can find inspiration to write a story is a good thing."

"I also get inspiration from my mind. I have all this memory. I go to my SD card in my brain. And in there are folders with different things. So I like to go to the folder that has 'things that I am scared of'."

OMG. Did she just use computer metaphors to describe her brain capacity? Or does she really have the ability to make folders in her brain and store certain things there? If so, I want to learn how to do that!!

I asked her if she wanted to join me for the next club meeting, when I shared her story with everyone. She shyly nodded yes. I know that had to be a brave thing because, it is a difficult thing to share your story to others "out loud".

She asked me how old you had to be to join the club. I said that the age QRB publishes is 13 but most of the writers are now high schoolers and much older. I love that she felt inspired by the group because, lord knows (and I mean that as non-religious as possible), I am.