Getting Back To Business

August 18, 2008

What I did last week: read some books, ate some cake, watched the Olympics, surfed the Internet, did some laundry, Twittered (a lot), did laundry (a lot), contemplated the futility of ever having any real authority in my household, coined the term ‘boobaphobe,’ defended the term ‘boobaphobe,’ read some more books, worried that I should be reading better books given my limited amount of reading time, worried that I might have more in common with ‘Twilight Moms‘ than is strictly comfortable, dismissed idea that I should be reading better books given fact that I’ve read Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita in Latin and liked it, got the song ‘Sherry’ by Journey stuck in my head, ate more cake, watched more Olympics, did more laundry, Twittered some more, read my own blog without ever once having to worry about becoming calcified by narcissism because, hey, it wasn’t me writing the blog last week! and just generally contributed nothing to the betterment of the world other than care for my lovely children, who, as it happened, managed to not kill me. Barely, but still.

All things considered, it was not a bad week. I don’t feel any more rested now than I did last Sunday night, but whatever. I didn’t really expect to. Until someone gives me a few days off from everything, I’m pretty much resigned to existing in a perpetual state of functioning exhaustion.

So I’m ready to commence this week. There’re just a few small matters of business to take care of first:

1) You read my guest posters? You totally should. They were amazing. They talked vaginas, more vaginas, the radicalness of mommyblogging (from a dad’s perspective), the reasons why the road more medicated is sometimes the road best travelled, corpses in bathrooms, team building and swallowing cameras, how to be almost sort-of always sometimes Canadian, and – because it wouldn’t be a well-rounded week of guest posts if it didn’t come full circle back to genitalia – balls and porn. A round of applause, please.

2) So, it came to my attention in a round-about way last week that there are maybe a few people who wouldn’t mind having the opportunity to vent a little bit about persons and things that make them crazy. But on the down-low, right? Because sometimes, you can’t vent openly without risking big trouble. The Basement is always available for that kind of thing, of course, but it occurred to me that sometimes we need to be invited to spill our guts, to be welcomed to vent and rant and get all messy. So, I was wondering, would any of you be interested in a sort of ranty, venty Bitchin’ Bitchfest Blog Exchange? Where we arrange some swapping of blog spaces so that we can all blog openly on a theme that isn’t entirely appropriate for our own blogs? Like, say, ‘Things (Or People) That Make You Go ARGH’? (Not that I would know anything about this, but, say, family members? In-laws? WHOMEVER?) Would you be interested in that? Leave a comment. Maybe I can arrange something.

3) I did a lot of reading last week. I liked it. But I’ve run out of books to read, and have exhausted my list of recommended reads and must-reads and Things To Read Just Because Everyone Else Is Reading Them And One Must Keep Up With The Culture Even If It’s Being Driven By Lovelorn Fifteen Year-Olds With Vampire Fixations. So, um… you got any recommendations? Fiction, please. And note that I’m not – as I discovered this past week – above reading books that are marketed to lovelorn fifteen year-olds with vampire fixations. But I’ll read anything, other than comic books. Unless they’re Archie comics. But I’ve read all of those. ANYWAY. You got any recommendations for end-of-summer book consumption?

4) I missed you.

This? Is my happy place. And also, the place in which I exist in a state of perpetual mental and physical exhaustion, and from which there is no vacation, but also, from which I have no real desire to vacate. Life is beautiful, and complicated. Or something like that.

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    { 107 comments }

    Auds August 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Bitchfest! Oh let me count the ways I’d love to be included. Or something like that. YES! count me in.

    Welcome back!

    Your beautiful place in indeed beautiful!

    verybadcat August 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Missed you.

    Yes, would be very interested in bitchfest. Kind of need bitchfest in the worst way. There are only so many days you can cry at work before they get concerned.

    Honig August 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Welcome back!

    For book suggestions I’d go with:

    The Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters–crime/murder mysteries with Egyptology overtones, set in turn of the century England/Egypt with an incredibly fierce heroine…tounge in cheek humor and romance, too. http://www.ameliapeabody.com

    For a fantasy series, read “The Dragonriders of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey. First book is Dragonsdawn.

    Happy reading!

    fairytalesandmargaritas August 18, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I’m up for a bitchfest.

    My recent must reads are Jodi Picoult books, love them.

    sam {temptingmama} August 18, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Glad you’re back friend! Though, didn’t have much of a chance to miss you since you were still all over the internet. LOL

    kgirl August 18, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. Get it while it’s hot.

    jenB August 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Sweet mother of pearl she looks like you in this photo.

    for a different kind of girl August 18, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    That picture makes my heart ache with bliss! The smile! The eyes! She’s captivating.

    Love the bitching idea. I can rock the bitching!

    I’ve got a ton of books waiting for me to finish the other ton I’m all presently half way through. I’ve been madly in love with Cormac McCarthy of late. The Road. No Country for Old Men, and Blood Meridian. I believe someone also mentioned Outer Dark. I love McCarthy’s writing. I’ve also been trying to read some classics. Dracula and such; however, those are ones I go in spurts on. Working in a bookstore is like porn for me. Sometimes it’s just too much!

    Elaine August 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    That really is a great picture! I’ll read anything by Christopher Moore or Tom Robbins. Also, but I have to be in the proper mood for her, Jodi Piccoult. One of the first commenters recommended Water for Elephants, and that is one of the next things on my list! I enjoyed your guest posters, but I’m glad you’re back.

    Mommy Melee August 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Middlesex is a fantastic book. I’m blanking on the author’s name right now. Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner is my all time favorite gay-men-with-swords-and-political-snark novel. You know, from that expansive genre.

    Mommy Melee August 18, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Also I totally plowed through the Twilight books last month. They ate my brain. Now that I’m beyond the initial honeymoon I’m having more fun picking them apart with friends, but I plan on reading the last one soon–even though I hear from everyone ever that it’s awful.

    Jenny, the Bloggess August 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    “Sin in the Second City”. It reads like fiction even though it isn’t.

    Or (yes it’s a comic book technically but it’s a fucking AMAZING graphic novel that everyone should be required to read): Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sandman_(Vertigo)

    IRISHKAT August 18, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I would so love to vent somewhere, anywhere! My brother ratted out my blog, damn him!

    On a side note, I can see why you tweeted your little one dominates you – have you seen those eyes and THAT smile??! I think they would make me melt into a puddle. So sorry for you!

    metro mama August 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    I have a few things I can send you. I’ll email some suggestions, and you can choose!

    kittenpie August 18, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Sigh. This is EXACTLY what twatmail would have been for, had we gotten it off the ground once the giggling died off…

    and books? Fiction? Well, I only read teen and kid fiction, generally, but since you’re not above that, yuo could see what I’ve been reading here, if you like.

    Miss Grace August 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Regarding guest-ranting, I think Immoral Matriarch is starting up something like this?

    Books: Gregory McGuire books
    Prep
    Sloppy Firsts
    Ordinary People
    Music & Silence
    Lots of other stuff if you've read all of that.

    Sandra August 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Smooches to sweet E – best photo.

    And boy do I need to sign up for the venting action!!!

    Kate August 18, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the links; they led to the last word in bf-ing coverups, courtesy of the Cow Goddess: http://www.thecowgoddess.com/2005/05/24/buttinski/

    niece mad August 18, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    hi catherine! it’s mad. stalky, eh?
    definitely check out michael winter. amazing toronto writer. ‘this all happened’ and his new one ‘the architects are here’ are both amazing and inspiring and have changed my life.

    actually i could probably just drive out for a visit and give them to you.
    say hi to the fam!

    Jess August 18, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Man!! I’ve been looking for someplace to talk about things that could possibly get me fired if someone ever found them on my blog (no readers, but that’s not the point. could happen).

    Love Love Love the idea!

    Vodka Mom August 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    found you while surfing the blogging world. Cool, cool, cool. Love the photo, and can’t wait to read more!!!

    jennster August 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    i just got done reading nineteen minutes by some chick. no really jodi picoult maybe? something like that. god i suck at this. it was good. it was “fictional” about a school shooting and was so reminiscant of columbine at times i couldn’t bear to read another sentence. but it was good.

    Loralee Choate August 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Hell, YES I would be insterested in swapping.

    And? I am sure you have to have read it but “A heartbreaking work of staggering genius” by Dave Eggers (Eggars?) is my very, very favorite book.

    Which is like saying I know my favorite grain of sand on the beach, but there it is.

    Mom101 August 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Hm. books. Fiction books.

    Hm.

    Still thinking.

    Does People Magazine count?

    Shit.

    Black Hockey Jesus August 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Borges.

    All of it.

    Amy August 18, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I recently read “The Book Thief” and thought it was brilliant. I also love the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich if you’re up for a quick read (or 14 of them). I love anything by Babara Kingsolver but most especially “The Poisonwood Bible” and “The Bean Trees.” My book club just finished “The Saffron Kitchen” which was my recommendation and our next book is called “Soul Music” by Terry Pratchett. Hope you follow these suggestions (all 9O something of them) with reviews. Will that entail you starting a new blog?

    Anissa Mayhew August 18, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    If you’re serious about opening the bitchablogathon up, count me in. I have been in a rage all day and I’m holding onto it pretty good. I can haz xanax?

    Her Bad Mother August 18, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    BHJ – Borges: been there, done that. But, yes.

    Kim/2 Kids August 18, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    The best book I’ve read in the last few years is “The Book Thief”. I loved it, not romantic but meant for the young adult and it still interested me.

    The picture is too cute for words.

    Jennifer August 19, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I am new here, can’t even remember how I found you. I read a lot and read different stuff. Have you read any of the Janet Evanovich books? One for the Money is the first one. They are light good fun easy reads. The other books I read are the Sookie Stack house books by Charlaine Harris, vampire lit books.

    As for a bitch fest, count me in, I can’t stand my in-laws, thus no blog because I would unload and cause all kinds of trouble.

    The Domesticator August 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    That pic of your daughter is beautiful!!!! What a cutie.

    Anyway, yeah, I have lots of things to talk about taht I can’t blog about….I think a switch sounds like fun.

    The Domesticator August 19, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Sorry about the double post. My computer is on the outs.

    Diana August 19, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Oooo, that blog exchange sounds heavenly. I am in there like swimwear, baby. Also, if you need help arranging the whole thing… let me know. I would be happy to offer my services. I can make buttons, match bloggers, email matches, and so much more. ;-)

    Her Bad Mother August 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Diana – e-mail me.

    Kimberly C August 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Neil Gaiman- American Gods. Hell, ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman, but especially American Gods.

    Immoral Matriarch August 19, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I just joined Laura David’s ‘The Space for Rent’ which is basically what you’re talking about. But I’ll totally open up my blog for anyone via the Bitchfest too.

    Mis casa es su casa. :)

    shauna August 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    well, it just so happens my first novel was published a few weeks ago! it’s called HEAPING SPOONFUL and you can get it online at amazon and barnes and noble. please everyone read it! it’s getting good reviews.

    hbm–if you want to review it on your site i can send you a copy. i just so happen to have a few lying around.

    ~shauna glenn

    carrie August 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I would gladly welcome a good ‘ole bitchfest. Venting is good for the soul. :)

    Nikki August 19, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak. Technically, it’s classified as Young Adult… but it’s the best book I’ve read in years. That is all.

    Mrs. Chicken August 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I would be up for the bitchfest, oh yes indeedy.

    merlotmom August 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I’m a bitch, can I join? Also, have you read “Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea?” FUn, light reading. And my old standard, if you haven’t read Aimee Bender’s short stories, you MUST.

    ScientistMother August 19, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I know you have no time to redistribute this but you so deserve so I’m giving it to you. don’t worry about nominating others right now!
    An award for you!

    Design Mom August 19, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    We missed you too! Welcome back.

    catherine August 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    ‘Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea’ wins for best title, EVER.

    Her Bad Mother August 19, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Um, have lost my identity? I CAN HAZ BACK PLZ KTHX BLOGGER?

    Kelsey August 19, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    I love everything by Kelley Armstrong. She writes a series called “Women of the Otherworld” in which strong, confident women (who also happen to have supernatural powers) narrate (the narrator changes every few books).
    The series order is:
    Bitten
    Stolen
    Dime Store Magic
    Industrial Magic
    Haunted
    Broken
    No Humans Involved
    and Personal Demon
    All of them are excellent. The author also seems really genuine. She lives in Ontario and seems to really care about her fans. Her website is http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com if anyone is interested. :)

    Kelsey August 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    sorry! stupid blogger!

    Anonymous August 20, 2008 at 11:32 am

    This would be perfect if I had a blog.

    But I don’t.

    But I should create one just to vent about my husband’s family. It’s like a circus of freaks.

    Her Bad Mother August 20, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Anonymous! You don’t need a blog – some bloggers are just going to open up their spaces. Also, there’s the Basement. Join in!

    gurukarm August 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    2 comments (and keeping in mind I didn’t read any of the above, so if someone else recommended my book ideas, sorry!):

    1: Your daughter has the sweetest, most uplifting, smile! Thank you for every time you share it with us. It always lifts my heart to see her.

    2: Check out JD Robb’s “…In Death” series – she’s really Nora Roberts “writing as”, and this series is semi-sci-fi – set in the year 2059; semi-detective – main character is NY police lieutenant Eve Dallas solving homicides; semi-romance (not too much, I’m not a romance fan in general) – she’s married to an ex-criminal who happens to be the universe’s richest man (no joke!). Good character development, witty dialog, fun people.

    Enjoy!

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