Camping, My 6 Quirks, and Other Excuses Not to Write My Reviews

October 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Posted in LIfe, Reading | 15 Comments
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I had a great time camping with my family and co-workers over the weekend.  Our tent worked out great.  Emma got to spend nearly the entire time taking care of two puppies.  Allison became fast friends with Maya, my co-worker’s daughter.  We had s’mores, we took a paddle boat ride, Danny and the girls went on the Pipestem Tram, and we shared some great family bonding the first night as we all lost a few fingers and toes due to the cold.  🙂  I’ll post some pictures in my Sunday Salon post on Sunday. I didn’t get to do as much reading as I had wanted, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I did read.

Despite some lukewarm reviews I’ve read, I’m really enjoying The Other Queen.  In fact, for the first time in my memory, I’ve dreampt about this book – not just once, but twice!  What others have seen as repetitive, I’ve enjoyed as a look inside the heads of Bess and Queen Mary.  You can really tell when they are anxious.  Bess especially reminds me of the two years after Allison was born.  When I was anxious, I had a mantra of things I would think about over and over again.  I’ll write more about it during my review (Ha!  Write a review.  What’s that?), but I’m enjoying looking at these characters from a psychological perspective.

When I returned home from camping, there were 359 posts waiting for me in my Google Reader.  There were over 430 when I got home from work tonight.  I’ve gotten half way through the blogs and I’m hoping to completely catch up tomorrow night.  I missed a lot in a few short days, that’s for sure.

I was tagged by Amy at Passages to the Past to list 6 quirky things about me (just six? really?).  Here goes:

1) I am afraid of hay – most specifically the sort found in bales.
2) I will not knowingly eat a food stuff that has touched raisins.  I will never forgive someone who tries to trick me.
3) My toes play with each other all the time and I’m mostly unaware of it.  Nervous habit I suppose.  It drives my mother crazy and she is all the way in Michigan.
4) When I was four I loved Wonder Woman.  I would always pretend to turn into her.  Once I did that too close to the sliding glass doors and have a nice scar in the shape of a sickle on the side of my right hand from where it went through the glass.  I need to buy the series on DVD so I can watch them again with my girls.  BTW, the only Halloween costumes I remember were my Raggedy Anne and Wonder Woman costumes.  Those damn plastic masks were hot, but I loved dressing up in them.
5) I can pick out Ted Levine’s voice in just one note.  After making me vomit (literally) during The Silence of the Lambs (finding the YouTube video for the above link made my tummy hurt and I have the sound turned off on my laptop), I have become hyper sensitive to it.  I cannot watch Monk because of this.  My husband used to doubt this super power, but no longer.  If you found Joyride at all scary, it was because he was the one saying, “candy cane.”  Otherwise, it would have just been a silly, silly movie.
6) I enjoy watching Drake and Josh and iCarly with my family.  Spencer on iCarly cracks me up.

I have completely lost my book review mojo.  I don’t know if this is because work has been pretty darn intense over the past few weeks, but I like to blame it on that anyway.  I have some interesting books to write about, but every time I sit down to seriously write about them I hear the crickets in my head louder than the owl and bobcat that scared Emma to death during the first night we were camping.  Speaking of which, I seriously wonder if I could write a review to keep the owls and bobcats away.  What kind of a mother am I???  ACK!

Okay, I’ve spent the better part of three hours reading your posts (very enjoyable) and writing this post (complete and total procrastination).  I can write this quickly and easily to keep myself from writing a review – what is wrong with me?  Actually, after reading about my quirkiness, please don’t answer that question.


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  1. I’ve never watched any Wonder Women. I’m dressing up this Halloween for the first time in probably a decade. My husband bought my costume so we would all match. I don’t think I have a choice.
    I haven’t dressed up for Halloween for years. I hope you post pictures!

  2. Ted Levine scared the crap out of me in Silence of the Lambs. After that, anything I saw him in made me hate his character (actually, I actively avoided watching things with him, but he was pretty typecast after that, so it wasn’t hard). Now, though, I watch Monk fanatically, and I love him. But, I will avoid Silence of the Lambs now (even though I really loved that movie – and the book) because I’m afraid I’ll not be able to watch Monk without getting the heebie jeebies.

    My husband used to do this ‘put the lotion in the basket’ thing every time I would say the word lotion (or basket), until he finally got that it really did bother me, and then it wasn’t so funny any more.

    There was this show several years ago that didn’t last long. It was about an emergency room in a mental hospital (or something like that). I was really excited about it – until it was on for 5 minutes and Ted Levine was in the cast. I cannot watch Monk. I’m sure that Ted Levine is a very nice man, but he can never be my friend.

  3. I always wanted to be Disney princesses for Halloween. The only one I actually remember being is Belle, though we have video evidence of my Snow White costume when I was about two.

    I haven’t dressed up in years now and as I’ve never been a fan of Halloween (this is one of my quirks, I think), I doubt I will until I have kids.
    The Disney princesses were after my time, but I can definitely understand the allure there. I’m with you about dressing up as an adult. We share a quirk. 😛

  4. I had completely lost my book reviewing mojo as well! Last night I wrote my first one in a month, and I think there is a three or four week gap back to the previous one as well.

    I kind of wonder if it is because I seem to be spending so much time just trying to be up to date in the blogosphere, that I then lose the will to write my own (usually because it is so late at night when I start thinking about it!).
    I finally posted my review that I’ve been trying to write for about two weeks. Just writing about my mojo brought it back a little, at least. I completely agree with keeping up on the blogosphere. Sometimes it feels like I can do one or the other, but not both.

  5. I guess I am really out of it – I don’t know who Ted Levine or iCarly are.
    Kathy, as far as Ted Levine is concerned, you should be thankful to be out of it. He played the sicko serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs. To find out more about iCarly, check out Nickelodeon just about any evening of the week. You can also go to It’s a show for tweens, but loved my this parent and my preschool/just school aged daughters.

  6. I didn’t know he was the voice of the creepy guy in Joyride…now I know why it was so scary! He’s freaky!

    So, what’s with being scared of hay? I have to say that is one I haven’t heard. Don’t go on the Maury tv show – the other day I saw a clip of a woman that was scared of chickens and they got this guy to dress up like a chicken and scare the bejesus out of her!

    I too was Raggedy Ann – it was one of those really cheap plastic costume that I begged my mom to buy even though she thought it was hideous!
    Don’t let the actor who played the truck driver fool you. The voice was Ted’s. Okay, to get the full story, check out the link. I wrote about it early on in my blogging life. It started with my 4th grade teacher, but may have come to me through the collective unconscious. I will have to have my mother send me the picture she has of me with my Raggedy Anne costume. I can’t believe someone would think that was hideous.

  7. I’ve been addicted to my season 1 DVDs of Wonder Woman. I used to own the underoos! Remember those?
    All my brother wore were underoos! Where have they gone? You’d think they’d be making a comeback by now. I need that DVD collection!

  8. If I don’t write the reviews within a couple days after I finished reading, it would be all the more difficult to gather my thoughts. Travel would impose that obstacle for me.
    The way I write makes it possible for me to get myself in this kind of trouble. Ever since high school I’ve written my papers the night before they were due. I lived for the all nighters. I used to think that the impending deadline was the adrenaline rush I needed, but the truth of the matter is that I was writing that paper in my head the entire time. I’m the same way with my book reviews. I sometimes feel like the longer I put them off the better they are. That’s not necessarily true, but I continue to think them through the entire time. It would help me immensely, however, if I could be more like you and be organized and take notes while I’m reading. I do aspire to be more like you. 🙂

  9. I love Ted Levine’s voice–it’s so deep and resonant. I can understand why it freaks you out though; SOTL was so disturbing!

    The quirk that made me laugh the most is the toes playing with each other. Does your mother have ESP? Can she tell when your toes are playing and call you and say in her sternest motherly voice: “Jennifer, you stop that toe squirming this minute! I can hear that ugly rubbing sound all the way over here in Michigan! Just wait till your father gets home…” Oh, Lordy!

    I think I’m going to buy you a California Raisin doll!
    It’s a good thing that I didn’t know how you felt about Ted Levine until after I loved you already! The fact that you’d even taunt me by mentioning those damn California Raisins proves that you are in league with the Buffalo Bills of this world. 😉 Of course, I wouldn’t have you any other way. As far as my mother’s concerned, it’s not the rubbing sound that gets to her. It’s the toenail clacking sound. I just don’t get it myself… 😉

  10. I used to love Wonder Woman when I was little. I’d watch the show all the time and I was her once for Halloween. I’m pretty sure those plastic masks are very unsafe…lol
    dont worry bout losing your review mojo, it happens.

  11. No one has expressed fear that you heard BOBCATS???!! while camping???

    That’s pretty terrifying. I’m glad you made it out okay.

    I too remember those hot plastic masks and their elastic strings. Very visceral memory.

  12. Funny stuff.
    My kids love icarly, Josh and Drake (or is it Drake and Josh?), The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (or is it…), etc. etc. etc.
    The actor who plays Spencer on icarly is Crazy Steve on Josh and Drake (or is it…).
    I don’t want to know these things, but I watch with my kids (or is it that they watch with me?).

  13. I’m so glad you enjoyed the camping trip. OMG I cannot believe you saw a bobcat. Poor Emma. I would have been totally freaked.

    I like Drake and Josh too. (Though I’d never admit it to my daughter. I should though, shouldn’t I?) I love the brother with curly hair. He is so funny. I always loved Cory on That’s So Raven too.

    Jennifer, don’t worry, you’ll get your review writing mojo back. I think creative processes sometimes go through phases, but the phases always pass.

    From Shana, a fellow raisin hater 🙂

  14. What a lively post! I was laughing throughout and with the comments/responses. I think these stream of consciousness posts help restore the mojo, but I loved your rational for the procrastination. I also like how you spell dreampt. That isn’t right, is it? but I like it.

  15. Oh my GOD!!!! I never realized that he was Stottlemeyer! I can’t believe it!

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