The -30- update

When Chris got home at midnight, we
toasted his termination with some whisky.

Folks very kindly ask me how things are going. It's been two months since we got word that The Birmingham News would move to publishing only three days a week — Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. With the push to the digital side of things, the corporate powers reduced the staff to almost nothing, laying off 60 percent of the newsroom ...

Yesterday, Chris officially signed his termination papers. So, our time with the News has come to an end (I say our time because I worked there four years and sometimes it feels like I haven't left the building). But not quite yet, because while Chris, and most of our journalism family, got the pink slip, they still have to work until Sept. 30. If not, bye-bye severance package. Talk about making a bad situation worse! I hate sending him off to work every day. Morale is awful!

We're doing all right on the home front though, considering. We need to figure out what the future holds. We have cut back on expenses but need to do even more. I don't want to go back to work yet but hey, que sera sera. I'm more worried about what it's going to be like having Chris home at nights come October 1. He's worked a night schedule the last 20 years. Talk about a big adjustment for all of us. And we'll have whole weekends off — what the heck do people do on Friday and Saturday nights?!

So when you ask how things are going, I don't have a very good answer right now. We're treading water but I feel like the water's getting deeper. Ask me again in another two months.

Just to be clear, since Chris is applying for jobs and all, that bottle is empty and the picture was totally staged. He would never abused Maker's that way. Especially now that we can't afford it.

(Curious about the title of this post? -30- is used to indicate the end of a story. And it makes for a pretty cool T-shirt too.)


Fifty shades of oh my!

I resisted picking up Fifty Shades of Grey for as long as I possibly could — bought a copy last week. Oh my! The word I would use to describe the book is naughty, very naughty.

I'm intrigued that the story line started as Twilight fan fiction. The Fifty books certainly share many details — hot guy, lots of money, taboo love ... minus the fangs. Many Twilight fans certainly wanted Edward Cullen (or Jacob) to do naughty things to them. (I'm Team Edward myself.)  The author is not going to win any awards for writing but I raise my glass of red wine to E L James for her success. (I want to write a book soooooo badly!)

While the first book was quite the ... page-turner, I found the second book a little boring. Take out the naughty bits and the angst (I love you. No, I love you more) and it could be a short story. Of course, I'm going to read the third one! I liked the third installment better — more story, less naughty. All that naughty got a little monotonous.


Does it encourage violence against women, as this Forbes post worries? Does the Fifty books romanticize controlling jerks? Give us the impression that our bad boys can be changed if we're open to taking his crap? It ain't happening! Your boyfriend/husband will not change. They will still have all the annoying habits they had when you first meet them. I myself still annoy Chris by having too many lights on in the house and leaving my shoes where I took them off.

Does it give guys another impossible-to-reach standard of perfection? I warned my teenage cousin there are no Edwards in the world (while there are great guys out in the world, no real man can be that perfect). Just like Edward, Christian is a fantasy — his world revolves around Ana, he buys her anything she wants and more, he'll even microwave dinner when he has too. (That link has spoilers but I found it a good read. The writer makes a lot of the same points I would.)

Does the series send a message to publishing houses around the world that as a housewife and mother I'm only interested in reading "mommy porn?" I really hope not. But just like vampire fiction flooded the bookstore, I'm sure we're going to see a lot more on shelves soon.

And maybe the most important question, how the heck are they going put the books to film and avoid a NC-17 rating??? (By the way, my vote to play Christian is Ryan Gosling!)


We heart Legos 2.0

Gone are the two 34 quart storage boxes. We needed more storage for our legos ... much more! 

I loved the idea Family Fun featured in the November 2011 issue. Which is basically what we've got now, just minus the board on top that creates a smoother building surface. We mostly build on the floor anyway. If I ever get around to turning the nursery into a playroom/office, maybe I'll move the bricks in there and add the board and space for a chair or two. 

I love Remy Evard's (funny) essay on lego storage. I think we are now around step 11.


Playing in the rain

"Peter Spier's Rain" 

Sometimes, a parent can forget that a kid just needs to be a kid. Sometimes, all it takes is a book to remind us how special and fun and messy childhood can and should be. 

For this post, I have to thank Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books for her post on Peter Spier and his mostly wordless books. A few days after the post, I brought home "Peter Spier's Rain" from the library. And a few days after that, it did in fact rain fairly hard at our house.

I took Joseph and his friend Woodrow out to play in the rain puddles (mom's still responsible — no thunder or lightning). They had a ball getting muddy. Then they had fun getting clean in the tub. Ain't it great to be a kid!


Friday find

I took a box of books to our 2nd & Charles last week. It's a huge used book store, the idea of the folks running Books-A-Million. What I like is they offer a higher buyback if you opt for store credit. Come on, we all know I'm just going to turn around and buy more books. I came home with three books — restraint! — including "What's for Lunch, Charley?" by Margaret Hodges, copyright 1961.

A quick scan at the book store convinced me it might be a fun read for Will. For a dollar, I can take a chance that we'll like it. It wasn't until I got home that I noticed the publisher's price (on the price tag) was listed as $25.00. What? The other two books had $3.99 and $1. So I did some research. Folks have fond memories of it in the Amazon reviews. And sure enough, the resale prices are pretty high. I'm going to consider it quite a find. 

How about you ... any good finds lately?