Posts tagged ‘memes’

Things I’ve Done

Edited to add, I’ve had the chicken pox! Good thing my mom reads my blog…

A meme I saw over at Libby‘s. Blogger’s bold didn’t look so bold, so I’ve starred the ones I’ve done.

*1. Started your own blog
*2. Slept under the stars
*3. Played in a band
*4. Visited Hawaii
*5. Watched a meteor shower

*6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland
*8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
*10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
*12. Visited Paris
*13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

*14. Taught yourself an art from scratch – I don’t quite know what this means. Does making puff pastry count? Then I have.
15. Adopted a child
*16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – this hasn’t been legal for a while. I’ve visited, though.
*18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
*20. Slept on an overnight train
*21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
*23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
*24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
*26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice – no, but I’ve ridden the vaporetto (less romantic, I know)
*29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
*31. Hit a home run
–it was 5th grade softball, but I did it.
*32. Been on a cruise
— just this summer, to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary with the whole family
*33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
*36. Taught yourself a new language Hebrew, from my friend’s Hebrew school books. It didn’t take.
*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

*38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
*39. Gone rock climbing
*40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

*41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt — no, though I have seen other, less predictable, geysers erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
*50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
*51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

*52. Kissed in the rain

*53. Played in the mud

*54. Gone to a drive-in theater
*55. Been in a movie – do student productions count? then yes.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
*59. Visited Russia I have to admit I was 2, so I don’t remember it at all
*60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
*62. Gone whale watching and also just happened to see some from the beach in Stinson recently
*63. Got flowers for no reason

*64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
*67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

*71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
*73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
*75. Been fired from a job — and I was so happy about it, too!
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
*80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican — I hung around outside for awhile, though.
*82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper – most recently here in the NY Times.
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House – like the Vatican, I’ve done a drive-by. Ben fully expects to visit President Obama in the White House when we visit D. C. in April, however.
*87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – it was a fish, which is probably not what this meme has in mind
*88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
*90. Sat on a jury
*91. Met someone famous

*92. Joined a book club
We’re a little group that’s been meeting nearly 6 years; one wedding, one divorce (different couple), and 3 babies later, still going pretty strong.
*93. Lost a loved one

*94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
*98. Owned a cell phone
*99. Been stung by a bee

*100. Read an entire book in one day – several times, but the most memorable was probably reading all of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter mysteries in ten days the summer between sophomore and junior years of high school. I was sick with something like mono and moping around reading was all I could do.

That’s 59, if I counted correctly, which leaves plenty of interesting things to do in the years to come (though I’ll continue to skip the bungee jumping and sky diving, thanks).


This comes from Outside Voice; if you’re reading, consider yourself tagged!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? my maternal grandmother.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? oh, just a couple days ago, in frustration with my insomnia.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I do, but it’s illegible to most.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Bacon, which I continued to eat for a year after I was calling myself a vegetarian.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Two boys


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Less and less.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No; makes my neck hurt just thinking about it.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Every morning: Joe’s O’s with homemade granola, dried cranberries and milk. Even if there’s brunch happening soon, or pancakes — I need my cereal first.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, although the only lace-up shoes I own are my running shoes, which I kick off as soon as I’m home.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Sometimes. Then sometimes also not.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Vanilla. With chocolate sauce and salted peanuts.


15. RED OR PINK? Until recently it was always pink. But lately more often red: clothing, lipstick, wine…

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That’s not such a fun thing to consider, really. Let’s just say my knees.




20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Popcorn and red wine right now.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The kids chattering in bed, my friends clicking away on their keyboards.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Bread dough, freshly bathed boys, newly mown grass


25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes! but we’ve never met 🙁

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? It used to be baseball but lately, basketball.

27. HAIR COLOR? Brown

28. EYE COLOR? Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to; now, Lasik!

30. FAVORITE FOOD? fresh peaches, milk, dark chocolate, kale — not all together, though

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? definitely happy endings

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Who Does She Think She Is? Watch for a column on it next week



35. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who’s giving them

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Warm peach pie with vanilla ice cream


38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND. Whoever doesn’t feel like it

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Captive Bodies: American Women Writers Redefine Pregnancy and Childbirth, by my friend Mary Ruth Marotte

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Who uses a mouse pad anymore?

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? No TV last night; when I get home, there’s a tivo’d episode of Top Chef waiting for me.

42. FAVORITE SOUND. The boys talking to each other in their room after bedtime; Tony’s laugh; and lest I get too sentimental, also: loud car radio; electric mixer; clothes dryer


44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I’ve lived in Japan, but I guess that wasn’t being far from home; the furthest I’ve traveled from home since I moved to the States was probably Austria

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Making ice cream before breakfast



Four Things Meme

Because Ericka is recovering from her cold, but I haven’t yet, I’m doing everything she’s doing today. Including this meme, even though I should probably be sleeping…

Four jobs I’ve had in my life:
1. Babysitter/mother’s helper
2. Hardware salesgirl
3. Fabric swatch cutter at Esprit
4. Permissions manager at a literary agency, a job which required that I call Maurice Sendak daily

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. Manny and Lo
2. The Searchers
3. Big Night
4. Toy Story 2

Four places I have lived:
1. Tokyo
2. Oxford
3. Manhattan
4. Berkeley

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Mad Men
2. Top Chef
3. Project Runway
4. Weeds

Four places I have been:
1. The Philippines (does it count if I don’t remember?)
2. Moscow (ditto)
3. Barcelona
4. Toledo

Four people who email me regularly:
1. Libby
2. Elrena
3. My parents (one of whom has a blog)
4. Literary Mama editors seeking approvals on pieces they want to publish (and if any of you are reading this, I know I’m behind! you’re next!)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. chocolate
2. peaches
3. chard, sauteed with pine nuts and raisins (really)
4. homemade granola

Four of my favorite beverages:
1. milk
2. tea
3. water
4. red wine

Four places I’d rather be right now (at the moment, I’m sitting in the boys’ room waiting for Eli to fall asleep for his nap, so I’m not really complaining…)
1. out in the sun
2. back on the French barge with my family
3. in a bookstore
4. in bed

Four things I’m looking forward to in the next year:
1. Mama, PhD readings
2. taking the boys to my parents’ house (next week!)
3. finding a great publisher for Learning to Eat
4. watching the boys move on to 1st grade and preschool

If you read this, consider yourself tagged!

6 Things

Libby tagged me for this meme, and while it’s not required to have any thematic focus, I found an entry forming in my head as I went about the morning. First, though, the rules:

Here are the meme rules:
1. link to the person who tagged you
2. post the rules
3. write six things about yourself
4. tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their sites.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Now on to the meme, which covers what’s on my mind today:

Six things I am grateful for today, while Ben is home sick from school (the annual Track Day at Kezar Stadium) with a fever and stomach bug:

1. NASA tv

2. apple juice

3. a patient little brother, happy to hang on the couch with his feverish brother (the bug started with him, so I didn’t mind their cuddling)

4. Tony running to the track meet to record “Feel better!” videos from Ben’s classmates (we’ve watched it twice and it still cracks him up)

5. laptop computer and a wireless internet connection

6. children’s tylenol

Finally, I tag Mama(e) in translation, Multi-Culti Mami, Marmee’s Corner, Fertile Ground, Having Enough and LoveBug and Rolley Polley.


From Libby, Susan, Violeta and various other blogs…

1. Who was your first prom date? His name was George, and he was my friend’s boyfriend, but she didn’t want to go to what was called the Sixth Form Dance (private, anglophile school that it was) with a junior. So she went with a fellow senior, and I took George! And yes, it was every bit as awkward as it sounds.

2. Do you still talk to your first love? No; the last time we talked was when he called to say he and his wife were expecting their first child, and I told him I was getting married. I think he still lives nearby, though.

3. What was your first alcoholic drink? Probably something ghastly like rum and coke. I was in high school.

4. What was your first job? I started working as a mother’s helper for neighbors when I was twelve or so, and then in high school I worked as a cashier in a hardware store, and then several summers working in various offices of the hospital where my mom worked.

5. What was your first car? A 1990-something Nissan Sentra, bought used from Libby. It was a good little car, but it was totaled when somebody turned left into me on Fell Street here in San Francisco.

6. Who was the first person to text you today? Nobody. Tony occasionally texts me.

7. Who is the first person you thought of this morning? Eli.

8. Who was your first grade teacher? Miss Nesbit, I think? (Mom, do you remember?!) I can remember all my other elementary school teacher’s names but I am blanking on this one.

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? I think to the Philippines with my parents when I was a baby. The story goes that the immigration officials failed to stamp my passport on the way in, and so were disinclined to let my parents return to Japan with me. I guess they thought my parents were stealing me? Obviously it all worked out.

10. Who was your first best friend, and are you still friends with him/her? Anne, in elementary school, whose house I could get to by squeezing through the fence behind our house, sprinting down a mean old man’s driveway (because every childhood needs a mean old man in it somewhere), and crossing the street. We’ve lost touch.

11. What was your first sport played? Softball, in 5th grade. I was on a team called the Firecrackers and I played right field (read, wasn’t any good). We won one game and went out to Baskin Robbins for ice cream to celebrate.

12. Where was your first sleepover? At Anne’s house. We did a seance to try to hypnotize our friend Sarah, and I was so unsettled by the whole experience I pretended I was sleepy and curled up in the corner in my sleeping bag.

13. Who was the first person you talked to today? Eli. I said, “Good morning, sweetie!” with more enthusiasm than I felt.

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time? Libby‘s! I was in high school, working some boring summer job, when Libby flew home from LA to deal with the caterer and get a picture taken and make various other arrangements. She and my mom would go bridesmaid dress-scouting in the afternoons (I was the only one in the wedding party, so I got to wear whatever Libby and I agreed on), and they would pick me up after work and take me to various stores to try on the dresses they’d found. It remains one of the best shopping experiences of my life.

15. What was the first thing you did this morning? Cuddle up with Eli and Ben.

16. What was the first concert you ever went to? The Cure, Madison Square Garden, probably 1985. Jennifer and I took the train to the concert, and the other people — all pierced and gelled and dark eye shadowed — kind of scared us.

17. What was your first tattoo or piercing? Pierced ears, maybe 3rd grade? My godmother gave me gold studs for Christmas, and I got my ears pierced shortly after that.

18. What was the first foreign country you went to? The Philippines when I was a baby (see above), and then Russia when I was two. I moved to the United States when I was five.

19. What was your first run-in with the law? Fall 1990. I was involved in an anti-war demonstration in Union Square Park, and I stepped on to a pedestal to see better when one of New York’s finest told me to get down or he would shoot me in the knees. I understand that protesters and police are not generally on the best terms, but still, I never even spoke to the man. I got down right quick.

20. When was your first detention? I’ve never had detention.

21. What was the first state you lived in? Connecticut.

22. Who was the first person to break your heart? Oh, number 2, I guess. I’m over it.

23. Who was your first roommate? Aside from tent-mates in camp (whose names I forget), I had three, my first year in high school: Anna, Nina, and Shana. The older girls in the dorm would come to our room and sing “Three of these girls belong together, one of these girls just doesn’t belong!” Nice.

24. Where did you go on your first limo ride? I’ve never been in a limo.

Random Things Meme

I saw this first on Susan‘s blog, then Libby‘s, and since I want to see more of these posts, I’m doing it myself and tagging everyone who reads it! If you don’t have a blog, post your responses down in the comments.

1. Spell my name as it sounds: Karoliiiine? How can I convey that it’s not Karolihn? It rhymes with “valentine!”

2. Am I a worrier? Yes. I have a fortune cookie fortune on my desk that says “You are worrying about something that’s not going to happen.” But I don’t believe it.

3. What’s my favorite CD? Oh, it changes all the time. I’ve got the Into the Wild soundtrack (thanks, Vicki!), Amy Winehouse, Feist, and Bruce Springsteen on the shuffle right now. But I love Libby’s choices, too ( James Taylor’s “One Man Band,” and Hem’s “Rabbit Songs.”)

4. Favorite colour(s)? Blue

5. Does my home have an attic? Really just a crawl-space. The boys joke that the contractor who renovated our house still lives up there. I sort of wish he did.

6. Have I ever been to Canada? Yes, to New Brunswick on a fly-fishing trip with an old boyfriend and his dad.

7. Have I ever gone fishing? Yes, several times (see #6, above); also plain old hook and line fishing with my grandfather and uncle, and “party-boat fishing” on the Long Island Sound (which I don’t recommend).

8. Have I ever seen a celebrity? Yes. Ted Danson, Sean Penn, Mollie Katzen, Rusty Staub, Aaron Neville, Steve Young.

9. Have I ever been on a motorcycle? Yes, on my uncle’s when I was a little kid.

10. How much money do I have on me right now? None on me, but $13 in my wallet.

11. How many cars have I owned? Five; drive two of them currently.

12. How many jobs have I had? About 8 employers (several different jobs at some of them) since graduating from college. Five or six more (counting “babysitting” as just one job) before.

13. How tall am I? 5’5″.

14. Last person to call me: The accountant. On a Saturday. Goodness, that makes me feel old.

15. Last thing I yelled out loud: “Ben, stop! I don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself!” as he stood on a stool, reaching on a high shelf for the Ovaltine.

16. Last person I was in a car with: Eli and Ben.

17. Last time I ate at McDonald’s: High school?

18. Last thing I bought: Grilled cheese sandwiches for Eli and me at Tumble & Tea Cafe in Oakland.

19. Last person I saw: Ben.

20. Last time I cried: Last week sometime, in frustration with the kids.

21. Last time I laughed: This morning at Eli.

22. What is the temperature outside? 56F.

23. What time of the day did I get married? Late afternoon.

24. What did I do two nights ago? Read proofs for Mama, PhD.

25. Who’s birthday is coming up next? Libby‘s!

26. What time did I go to bed last night? 11:30.

27. What was the first thing I thought this morning? Really? it can’t be morning yet.

28. What are my plans for this weekend? Read Mama, PhD proofs, take Ben to his basketball game, revise an essay I’m working on, publish new writing on Literary Mama.

29. Lemonade or iced tea? Both, mixed half and half.

30. What do I dislike at this moment? My hair (too long), the weather (too rainy).

31. What did I dream about last night? Ugh- that the boys were kidnapped. Still haven’t shaken it off.

32. What’s the last TV show I watched? Project Runway.

33. What is my favorite piece of jewelry? Engagement ring.

34. Am I a dancer? Nope.

35. Have I ever cut my own hair? No!

36. What is my favorite treat? Dark chocolate salted caramels .

37. How many piercings/tattoos do I have? Pierced ears.

38. Where’s my
favorite place to be? Home, unless it’s a real mess.

39. Is there someone I haven’t seen in a while and miss? Yes, several friends.

40. Who was the last text I sent to? Tony. It took me about half an hour to text “Doing OK. Lots of love.” I keep meaning to practice this.

41. Do I care what strangers think about me? Strangers? no, not at all. People I know? a little bit.

42. Last person I talked to on Instant Messenger: Probably Elrena? via google docs, about Mama, PhD.

43. Last person to make me cry: Eli.

44. Who can I tell anything to? What Libby said: “Myself. That’s what writing’s for.”

45. What am I doing tomorrow? More of the same (see #28 above)

46. Do I have alcohol in my home? Wine, whiskey and bourbon (that’s Tony’s domain), various liqueurs, sherry.

47. Do I like ketchup? Yes, please. And mustard.

48. Do I think I will be on a vacation this summer? 2 weeks in France!

49. What colour is my master bathroom? Cream, blue, and slate grey.

50. Do I wear a bikini at the beach? Last summer; maybe not this summer.

51. Have I ever been to the Grand Canyon? No.

52. What is my favorite fruit? Peaches in the summer, satsumas in winter.

53. What did I really want to do today? Sleep in. Stay in bed a long time after I woke up, reading. Do some cooking (which in fact I’m doing: onion confit, chocolate toffee bars, pizza. Am I avoiding a writing project? Yes.)

54. Am I always cold? No.

55. Does it annoy me when someone says they’ll call or text, but don’t? It really, really does. A lot.

Pay It Forward Book Exchange

OK, it’s been so long since I’ve done this that I’m giving away three (three!) books this month. And I’ll probably do another give-away before the end of the month. I’m just in a giving kind of mood.

The books I’m letting go of this month are Elizabeth Irvine’s Healthy Mother, Healthy Child: Creating Balance In Everyday Life; Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary; and a signed copy of Santa Montefiore’s The Gypsy Madonna. A get-your-year-started-healthy how-to, a fascinating history, and a curl up by the fire novel.

Here are the rules, as created by Overwhelmed with Joy:

Once a month (or so) I’ll pick a book to give away to one lucky reader (you don’t have to have a blog to enter). It may be a book that I’ve purchased new or used, or it may be a book that someone has shared with me that I really like. It’ll probably be a paperback, just to make things easier, but no guarantees.

2) Details on how you can enter to win will be listed below.

3) If you’re the lucky winner of the book giveaway I ask that you, in turn, host a drawing to give that book away for free to one of your readers, after you’ve had a chance to read it (let’s say, within a month after you’ve received the book), or donate it to your local library or shelter. If you mail the book out using the media/book rate that the post office offers it’s pretty inexpensive.

4) If you’re really motivated and want to host your own “Pay It Forward” giveaway at any time, feel free to grab the button above to use on your own blog. Just let her know so she can publish a post plugging your giveaway and directing readers your way!

So there you have it, the Pay It Forward Book Exchange, designed to encourage people to read, to share good books, to possibly get you out of your reading comfort zone, and to get fun stuff in the mail instead of just bills!”

Leave me a comment saying you want to enter by the end of the day Wednesday, January 2nd and I’ll announce a winner on Thursday.

Currently Reading Meme

I am still behind on the memes I’ve been tagged for, but this one was easy, ie, requiring little of me in terms of reflection or writing ability. (My apologies, but if you’d seen my email inbox this weekend, you’d understand. Elrena, who tagged me for this one, certainly understands, as she sent me half that email as we were copyediting our book!) Anyway, all that work’s starting to ease up, my brain is starting to re-engage, and I’m reading the most fabulous book. I don’t think I’ll be able to part with it anytime soon, so don’t hold your breath that it’ll turn up in a Pay It Forward Book Exchange; I’m only half-way through, and I know this is one I’m going to start re-reading as soon as I finish.

Here are the rules:
“Open the book you’re currently reading to page 161, and post the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag.”

And here is the sentence, a bit of dialogue between two of the novel’s main characters, Prue Winship, a gin distiller, and her younger sister, Tem; the setting is Brooklyn, late 18th century, just after their father’s death:

“The fires have been cold almost three weeks,” she told Tem, before her sister went off for her evening’s drinking, “Will you help?”

But that’s not the kind of sentence, fine as it is, that makes you run off and buy a book, so here’s another. It would probably be useful to know that Prue Winship, gin distiller, is hoping to build a bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan:

“Prue thought if she could bridge the distance between here and the Other Side; if she could build a monument to expiate her sin and her folly, and to embody the love she had borne her parents, who’d crossed over too soon, before she was ripe to understand them; if she might take this wealth of money and skill her father had bequeathed her, and do something with it, for the public good and perhaps to the general wonderment–if all, if any, of these circumstances might come to pass, Will Severn could keep to himself, and Ben could remain in the wilderness, and she could never move a hair’s breadth closer to knowing where the dead resided, yet she would be happy the rest of her days.”

That’s a good sentence.

And now I tag Feed Your Loves, Midlife Mama, Marmee’s Musings, Fertile Ground, and LoveBug and RolleyPolley.

Pay It Forward Book Exchange

It’s time again for the Pay It Forward Book Exchange, as started by Overwhelmed with Joy. Here’s how it goes:

Once a month I’ll pick a book to give away to one lucky reader (you don’t have to have a blog to enter). It may be a book that I’ve purchased new or used, or it may be a book that someone has shared with me that I really like. It’ll probably be a paperback, just to make things easier, but no guarantees.

2) Details on how you can enter to win will be listed below.

3) If you’re the lucky winner of the book giveaway I ask that you, in turn, host a drawing to give that book away for free to one of your readers, after you’ve had a chance to read it (let’s say, within a month after you’ve received the book). If you mail the book out using the media/book rate that the post office offers it’s pretty inexpensive.

4) If you’re really motivated and want to host your own “Pay It Forward” giveaway at any time, feel free to grab the button above to use on your own blog. Just let her know so she can publish a post plugging your giveaway and directing readers your way!

So there you have it, the Pay It Forward Book Exchange, designed to encourage people to read, to share good books, to possibly get you out of your reading comfort zone, and to get fun stuff in the mail instead of just bills!”

So here’s how to enter: leave a comment saying, “I want to enter.” That’s it. No muss, no fuss. I’ll randomly choose one lucky commenter on October 20th and mail the book out; you agree to give the book away when you’re done with it, via your own Pay It Forward Book Exchange or, if you don’t blog, by donating it to a local library or shelter.

This month’s book: Elizabeth Costello by J. M. Coetzee.

Conscious Consumer Meme

Elrena tagged me for this on a day that I had gone to the grocery store for celery and seaweed, and that just didn’t seem like quite enough to blog about! (We used the celery for Tony’s puttanesca recipe, by the way, and the seaweed for sushi).

Now it’s been over a week and it took till today to get back to the grocery store which demonstrates a) how successful I’ve been in getting Tony to take over the grocery shopping; b) how little in-person shopping of any kind that I do. I do as much shopping as possible on-line, even though that has tended to limit me to big chain stores; I’m trying to search out more places like this fabulous site, Etsy, which lets you buy handmade objects from individual people (nothing here I particularly need right now, but it’s all awfully pretty).

In the meantime, things have been purchased, of course; the weekly produce delivery has come a couple times, and I ordered Ben a tux for his Halloween magician’s costume (yeah, a tux is probably overkill, but for $15 on e-bay, who can resist?) But no shopping trip worth a blog post, which does makes me think that, much as I like a pretty new lipstick like the next girl, maybe I could consider joining The Compact and go without anything new for a year (yes, they make certain exceptions for kids needs, and for food and medicines); I mean, if I could still go to Crossroads occasionally for a new-to-me shirt, I think I’d be good. And given how infrequently I remember to wear lipstick, I could probably make it through the year without a new one…

Anyway, I did finally go to a store today, with Eli, and even though we didn’t buy very much, it is perhaps a blog-worthy experience. You be the judge.

Here are the rules for the meme:
Pick a recent shopping trip — for clothes, shoes, groceries, doesn’t matter. The only guideline is that it will be easier to play if you purchased at least a few things.

Now tell us, about your purchases:

1. What are you proud of?
2. What are you embarrassed by?
3. What do think you couldn’t live without?
4. What did you most enjoy purchasing?
5. What were you most tempted by? (This last one may or may not be an actual purchase!)

So, we went to the grocery store, a small, family-owned chain in the neighborhood, and bought a gallon of 2% milk (for the boys), a half gallon of skim milk (for me), a bottle of soy sauce, a big container of non-fat plain yogurt, and two bottles of dishwasher rinse aid.

1. I am, oddly, proudest of the rinse-aid. I have hated to buy the stuff, it seems like a ploy concocted by the dishwasher manufacturers and chemical companies to make you buy more junk that just goes down the drain, and it has seemed fairly poisonous. But the dishwasher works a lot better when we use it, so what to do? Today, I finally found a “greener,” biodegradable version of the stuff. And it’s cheaper than the regular kind. So, yay.

2. I’m not embarrassed by anything I bought, but I am annoyed that I forgot to bring canvas shopping bags. We have half a dozen, and I need to start keeping them in the car, especially now that San Francisco is, in an effort to reduce the use of plastic grocery bags, charging for their use. I used paper today, and got the canvas bags out of the closet — one step closer to the car.

3. We couldn’t live without the milk. The boys and I eat cereal every morning for breakfast, Eli drinks 2 glasses of milk a day, Tony makes a cappuccino or two every day, I put milk in my tea. We have become the kind of family that always needs a gallon of milk. We’ve got several brands of organic milk to choose from, all of it local, too.

4. Nothing terribly exciting on this grocery list, but I think I most enjoyed purchasing the rinse-aid (I know, I know), partly because of #1, partly because it was the one thing light and durable enough that Eli could take it off the shelf and fling it into the cart. Watching him enjoy that so much made me buy two bottles.

5. Well, we were tempted by a few things. Eli, oddly, was most tempted by the Silicone-Zone Bar Board Set, four colorful anti-skid cutting boards for your cocktail set-up. We don’t really drink cocktails around here, though maybe Eli’s trying to tell me we should! On the other hand, I was most tempted, as I always am, by the pretty, robins egg blue Nigella Lawson mixing bowls. But I have three sets of mixing bowls, including a really lovely ceramic set Tony gave me, so I just admired these and moved on. We were both tempted by ice cream: “Mama, look! ah-keem! and more ah-keem! lot ah-keem!” said Eli. Mmmm, ice-cream. But I know we have a gallon in the freezer, so we moved on.

And now for the tagging: Libby, Violeta, Momifesto, LoveBug and RolleyPolley, Fertile Ground, and anyone else who needs a kickstart to a blog post!