Beautiful clouds

Check out Iowa, Maine, and Washington. I'd love to take pics like those!


Thought for the week

"You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan." - Lt. Frank Drebbin


Hmmm...why was this person Googling me?

Executive Office Of The President Usa 17 July, Sat, 22:21:03

Must be to give me the National Book Award! Thanks; I am honored.

Scream for ice cream

In the news: "For our sweet-toothed readers, we have some bad news to report: Baskin-Robbins announced that it's shelving five of its 31 signature flavors including the classic staple French Vanilla, which was with the company since it started in 1945, Caramel Praline Cheesecake (1970), Campfire S'mores (1975), Apple Pie a La Mode (1976) and Superfudge Truffle (2007). This has happened before, but never to such magnitude."

I actually wasn't aware that Baskin-Robbins had such interesting flavors. I think I would have really liked all of those. Oh well! My favorite specialty ice cream flavor remains Ben & Jerry's triple caramel chunk (which was discontinued for a while and then brought back...thanks to ME [just kidding, but it WAS brought back]). I sometimes go years without having any, but I highly recommend it!



'When I do No. 2, I look like No. 1!'

This is the funniest commercial. It's for new limited edition 'denim' Huggies diapers. Watch it - only 30 seconds long. You'll be glad you did!

Oh, we won't be buying these for our son. He's not into fashion.


Coming out of your shell

This just in, from AOL news:

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (July 11) - A New Hampshire couple says a 25-pound pet tortoise has reappeared four years after escaping from its pen.
Mike and Christine Wellington say their African spur thigh tortoise named Lucy made off from their greenhouse business in Brentwood. But on Friday, the Wellingtons received a call from a neighbor half a mile up the road that Lucy had reappeared.
The Wellingtons say they're certain the tortoise is theirs because of the unusual protruding bumps on its back.
Mike Wellington says turtles of Lucy's species dig deep holes in the ground for protection in extreme weather. He says he supposes Lucy did just that to survive New Hampshire's winters the past four years.

These people are so naive. I know the truth. The turtle's stepmother kidnapped it!!!
Jennifer Weiner writes about self-promoting one's book

Jennifer Weiner has a fun blog entry about this. Not that she has to self-publicize, but she did anyway. She bought a full-page ad in the Times book review this weekend. She writes... "The rest of us are left to beat, and tweet, our own drums."

Spotted in stores

On Saturday I went with a friend of mine to visit some friends in Westchester whose baby is nearly 2 years old and I haven't seen him yet. So I finally got to visit cute little Jackson. Hi Jackson!

Anyway, we walked to the main street and there was a Border's book store, so I had to see if my book was there. They had five copies in the teen section! That's pretty good. By the time I found them, said friend had already convinced some poor girl who looked about 14 to buy my book. She DID say, "It sounds interesting, actually." She was buying three or four books to take on a vacation. I signed one for her even though I she hadn't bought it yet. Hope I don't scar her for life. Anyway, thanks to my friend who talked her into it (if I can use your name, let me know).

The book was right beside to a lone remaining copy of Will Leitch's Catch from a few years ago. Will has a new book out, although not for teens. Actually, it could be for them too, I guess.

That's about it for book updates!

Food I have to avoid, and food I am eating

Has anyone else found that peaches really taste bad this year? Well, it can't be all peaches. But I've bought peaches at different stores, and they all taste kind of...dirty. (Yes, I wash them, of course. It's just something about the way the whole peach tastes.) I'll stick with plums, blueberries, and teeny bananas (less wasteful than big ones) for now, I guess. I also love cherries and kiwis. Apples and grapes give me heartburn right now.

Speaking of which, here is a list of foods I don't eat because I'm pregnant. Now, keep in mind, this is NOT a complaint. Just a little exposition on why it's sometimes hard to find things to eat these days:

>Deli meat, including bought in packages. Deli meat can contain listeria, an infection that is pretty rare, but prego women are 20 times more likely to get it. Being that my doc said he's never seen a case, and many pregnant people probably eat it all the time, it's probably a low risk. But not one I can afford to take. You can read about this here. Oh yeah, you can heat the deli meat up to 140 degrees or something, but when I'm at work, I don't have access to an oven. And I've been told that microwaving really wouldn't kill it. (Also, the prepackaged kind is probably better but I'm still not chancing it.

>Sushi, even cooked. Sure, cooked should be fine, but do you really think the sushi chefs are preparing it on a different counter than they're preparing the raw stuff? Nooooo.

>Deli cheese. Because the deli people are probably slicing it with the same machine they use for deli meat. Unless they keep kosher, which I doubt. (Packaged cheese is fine with me.)

>Feta, brie, bleu, and some other cheeses we're told not to eat because they're sometimes unpasteurized. I really doubt these would cause a problem, but I can sure live without them.

>Chocolate - Maybe it's psychological, but even when I wasn't prego, I could feel myself breaking out when I eat it. I think my organs are better off without the miniscule caffeine.

>Certain seafood at restaurants, like mussels. I just don't trust the chefs. Sorry.

>Tea or anything with caffeine. Told caffeine is bad, and don't have it much anyway.

>Trying to limit artificial sweetners although they say some are OK. The tests aren't extensive.

...Which reminds me. There are lots of things that doctors think are probably safe but no one is gonna test them on pregnant women, so you don't know for sure. The experts have categories of medicines, for instance: A, B, C, X....for how safe they are in pregnancy. There are categories for "probably ok but not in animals who we gave big doses to" etc. Not always reassuring.

>Tomatoes, tomato products, apples, oatmeal. All good for me, but cause too much stomach acid. I think I can add granola to that list, too.

>Category "DUH" - Alcohol, which I hardly ever had anyway. I don't even remember last time I had any. Although it's ok to eat it as part of cooking - like when I had bananas foster for my b-day earlier this year. It's got rum sauce. I was kinda afraid but I did have some of the rum sauce.

>Certain fishes that are on the list of too much mercury. I can still eat most shellfish, which is mainly what I like anyway. I kinda miss white meat (albacore) tuna, which I have to keep to a low amount. Here's the grand fish-in-pregnancy amount list for whoever cares (no one).

THIS JUST IN: My hubby just called from the Mets game to tell me his whole row won free pizza for some reason. The one time I'm not there, they get free food! But the tomato sauce would have given me acid, so I guess it worked out.

Things I do eat:

-Eggs. Cooked well enough, of course.
-Shrimp, non-albacore tuna, crab - Because I still have to make sure I get enough good brain food (as long as I avoid the fishes I'm not supposed to eat.)
-Fruit. Yummy. Bananas are kind of so-so but my mom has been on me since the beginning to eat bananas.
-Yogurt. Some with artificial sweetners, some without.
-Yogurt covered raisins. These actually aren't all that healthy, but sometimes I need the sugar.
-Rice pudding. Hey, it's got calcium!
-Hummus. Hummus is the one food that doesn't give me any heartburn or reflux at all. Not sure why, but ok!
-Cereal. My beloved hot cereals give me heartburn, but sugar cereal is OK and also is, as you know, fortified with vitamins! Plus the milk and fruit I put into it can't hurt.
-Pasta. Butter, garlic, cheese instead of tomato sauce.
-Avacado squeezed on sandwiches. Not the healthiest veggie, but nummy.
-Some veggies. Especially peas. I like peas.
-White pizza is ok.
-Trying to push myself to eat meat, like burgers and chops, even though I've never eaten all that much meat. I need the iron.
-Potatoes with melted cheese, broccoli, sour cream - mmm. Also mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Potassium is important. And yummy.
-Chicken. Pushing myself to eat more chicken than I used to. Protein is key.

The main problem is at lunch. Most of what's above isn't for lunch. But I've made do. Yesterday I ate a grilled vegetable sandwich from the local deli - fried eggplant with grilled portobellos and zucchini and olive oil. That was GOOD!

Baby has been measuring a week ahead on growth, so so far I guess we're doing ok. He's a boy, and I think boys tend to be a little ahead. 10 weeks to go!!!


New word

Musician and witty punster Michael Lynch writes:

Unonymous....That's when everyone agrees to not sign their names.

I like it!


Re-release today!

Today's the official re-release date for Carrie Pilby! Buy your new edition here...

And here's an interview and contest that went up on the Chick Lit Central blog today.