Archive for November, 2010

Published by PaintingChef on 30 Nov 2010

The magical, mystical free book-giving place.

So I have a bit of what might be loosely classified as an “Amazon Problem.” It generally goes something like this… see book, add book to shopping cart, make an ill-advised glance down to the little scrolling section just below book where I see many other books and suddenly I’ve bought 5 books instead of the one that I could have bought and called it a day, sign into simple one-click ordering that is SUCH a problem because when you don’t have to enter your card number, do you really have to think about the money you are spending?

It’s like if I spend cash. I know that the “cash” system works for most people but with me, it’s the opposite. If I have cash in my wallet, it is unaccountable, free money. As soon as its in my wallet, I consider it already spent. If I have enough cash, I’m like WHOOPEE! I don’t even have to think about this!

Note to self… look up “Unhealthy Spending Habits” in the dictionary. See self-portrait. Question whether bangs were really a good choice for you. (Hint? The answer is no. Ill-advised move number two of this blog post)

So. Patrick, in all his infinite wisdom, noticed the status of my ever-crowding and RECENTLY PURCHASED bookshelf and thought… Hmmm… perhaps this is an even bigger problem than the shoe pile?** (I am just now realizing that this post would be much more effective with photographs. Perhaps I should delay it a day almost a week and add them. Yes. I shall do just that. Moving on.) He then questioned whether or not I was aware of this magical mystery place where they let you take BOOKS! FOR FREE! FOR WEEKS! Just so you could read them.

Exhibit A. The recently purchased bookcase. Not shown. The pile of books on the kitchen counter. Also not shown. The TWO copies of Patricia Cornwell’s latest that showed up today because apparently I pre-ordered it TWICE. Awesome.


Which is all just a long way of saying that we spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at the library procuring library cards and checking out oh so many books. I took one step in that building and felt like I was home. First of all, gone was the strange odor that permeated the library I remember from when I was a kid. A strange mixture of feet and diapers? It was unpleasant. I’m so sorry for even bringing that up. Sunshine and puppies! Gumdrops and unicorns!! Cupcakes and pretty, pretty purses!

All better…

But there were SHOPPING CARTS! In the lobby!

Here is my only complaint about the library. I kind of have a hard time unless I know exactly what I’m looking for. How do you “peruse” the fiction section? I know the authors that I like but for the most part, I’ve read all their books. Here is where you come in.

What are you reading? Do you love it?

I’m a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell and Jefferson Bass so I’m trying to pick up the Kathy Reich series but I’m having trouble getting into them. I kind of want to punch Temperance Brennan in the nose. She seems kind of… whiny? I love David Baldacci and have read all his books except for the Camel Club series and I’d like to start that one but the first two are always checked out and I REFUSE to start a new series in the middle. I’ve read the Stieg Larsen books, loved them. I’ve read Jonathan Kellerman, Richard North Patterson and John Sandford.

I’m not a huge fan of John Grisham’s more recent offerings and the Twilight crap just doesn’t do it for me. I have a secret love of True Crime books and I’m also working my way through the resumes of Brett Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney (can someone please explain the ending of Imperial Bedrooms to me? SPOILER ALERT Did she kill him? Did Blair kill everyone? Was she stealing faces?). I love a clever and well-written memoir, anything David Sedaris touches and the occasional chick lit, provided it isn’t a bodice-ripping harlequin and the heroine doesn’t make me want to bury her in a shallow grave.


** For reference… shoe pile. Also? Cat questioning “Why no room for Lilly in shoe cavern?” (that looks oddly empty in this picture and maybe I should get down on the damn floor and shuffle some summer sandals around off the floor and pull out a few pairs of all those black heels and wear them once in a damn while.)

Published by PaintingChef on 18 Nov 2010

BUSTED. And here I thought I was so clever.

“Patrick, why are you walking around the office in your socks?”

“Because I went to one jobsite and got muddy and then drove to another and stayed muddy. I thought I was done so I got un-muddy and changed my shoes to the non-muddy ones but then I ended up making a detour and got muddy again.”

“That tells me one thing.”

“That I’m guilty of poor planning?”

“NO! And you have no idea how much it excited me to say this. I feel as though my way of life is somehow about to be validated.”

“Should I sit down?”

“No. You need more shoes. You need to be more like me.”

“Really. And how many pairs of shoes would you say that you have on your person right this second.”


“And you don’t get to count the ones in the trunk of your car in the boxes that you think I don’t know are there.”

“Damn. You weren’t supposed to see those.”

I am in the midst of writing a charming entry about my foray into the world of FREE RENTAL BOOKS (do you know of this place? I am astounded at how they have changed since my childhood!) when I realized that perhaps it would be best served with some photography assistance.

So what I am wanting to say is this. Yes, I was GOING to post something of substance (or at least something that allowed you to laugh at me a little because sometimes I am ever so clueless) but I decided to take some pictures this evening so that you would really have an idea of just what I’m talking about.

Until then… for the record… those shoes in the trunk have been there for a while because I’m a little scared of them. The heels are a good 2 inches higher than I thought they would be and apparently I don’t have quite the use for purple plaid peep-toe 4 inch heels that I initially thought. Who knew?

Published by PaintingChef on 08 Nov 2010

Game Playing.

It’s been my experience, in my VAST 33 years, that there are two types of households. Those that play games together and those that don’t. And those of us entrenched firmly in the “DO” column inevitably spend a portion of our teen years undercover, so to speak. Because as you may know (if you are a member of the board and card game playing elite such as myself) we choose these family game nights. They are FUN. We enjoy sitting around a table with our parents and siblings. And sometimes, on a Friday night, they are the best thing going on.

This is where I come clean. Throughout my teens, I begged off many a Friday night outing, movies, football games, parties and even dates because quite honestly? Nothing sounded as appealing as lounging in pajama pants, drinking hot chocolate, laughing and talking with my sister and parents over a game of Rook, Rummy, Dominos or one of the dozens of board games that filled the closet beside our breakfast room. But I dare you to try and pass that one off with your friends and keep your oh-so-important social status in high school. Not happening.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times here, I was an asshole. A completely unlikable person. Hello, my name is Susannah and I was a teenage asshole. I had the jerk boyfriend who I thought ruled my world. I snuck out with friends to drink and smoke pot, I lied to my parents about where I was and who I was with and when I would be home. I talked back, pouted, rolled my eyes and was generally a plague on my family for the better part of a decade. No joke. Ask them. They’ll confirm it.

But we still played games. All that could be pushed aside for a few hours and we could just sit down, hang out and enjoy each others’ company.

It was fairly early on that I learned that my family’s obsession with games wasn’t the most normal thing on the block. I was always surprised when I would go to a friend’s house and come across their “game closet” which would usually be a few abandoned and dusty children’s games long forgotten on the top shelf of a closet or under a bed. I would ask “where is Sorry? Parcheesi? Life? WHERE IS SCOTLAND YARD!?!? (Or Mr. X as it was fondly known in my house) Eventually I learned to stop asking. Apparently it wasn’t the coolest thing to admit hanging out with the ‘rents and LIKING it.

But family game night holds its place of honor in my life. And when we all find ourselves in the same time zone, we always sit down to a game night as often as possible and break out the wine, cookies and the scorepad. Last night, my parents and I indoctrinated Patrick into the way of Mr. X (Scotland Yard is one of my family’s most beloved board games. If you are a game person or family, I HIGHLY recommend it.) Patrick doesn’t come from a game family but he has blended seamlessly into ours and I think enjoys it as much as the rest of us. (At least enough to have hit the game aisle at Target pretty heavily when we were registering for wedding gifts nearly a decade ago.)

It was a great evening, we sat around my dining room table and laughed and chatted and shared memories and remembered how to play one of our favorite games. We hadn’t played it in years but I have a feeling that it will find its way back out again this Christmas when Betsy and her husband are in town too. But in the meantime, I managed to convince them to leave it with me… Patrick and I need the practice!