Friday, July 10, 2009

It's informal poll time dear readers: Should I join Twitter or not? It's been suggested to me a few times that I should join because it would help to get my blog numbers up - and I'm on the fence about it just because I'm worried that I will get totally sucked in and waste ridiculous amounts of time on it.

So I have a few questions for my dear readers who are on Twitter: How much time do you spend/waste on Twitter every day? How addictive is it?

And now I have a question for those who Twitter and have a blog: Do you think it helped you get your numbers up?

And now, a question for everyone, whether you're on Twitter or not: Do you really care what I'm doing at 10 o'clock in the morning? If I joined Twitter would you actually want to read both that and this blog, or is this blog all the Angie you can handle? (You can be honest, I promise I won't be offended if you say that you can't handle that much Angie, sometimes I even have trouble dealing with this much Angie.)

If you're one of the people who has already had too much Angie then you might want to skip past the next part of the blog entry because it's picture time.

Here I am in the Summer of 1987, and I'm riding a bike that says It's the late 80s and I'm embracing it. I'm so glad to see that I coordinated my shorts and socks to my bike - I would hate to think of a child riding around on a bike that wasn't properly coordinated with their outfit (how vulgar.)

I wish I had a picture of my most vivid memory from that Summer, but at the time I was too embarrassed to let my Mother take a picture of it. 1987 was the year when my Dad finally let me use the riding lawnmower (why that what something I was actually looking forward to remains a mystery), and I got really annoyed with him because he was following me around supervising and I insisted that I could handle it. So he decided to go in the house for awhile, at which point I accidentally hit the swing set with the mower, which resulted in the lawn mower climbing its way up the side of the swing set while I was still on it. If I hadn't been so panicked it would have been fun because it felt a little bit like being on a roller coaster while its going up the first hill - it even made the same sound. And then my Mother, who has no ability to remain calm during difficult times, came running out of the house screaming at the top of her lungs, "Get off the lawnmower before it crushes you to death." There are no words more soothing than that coming from ones Mother. So I jumped off the lawnmower, and it continued to climb up the post of the swing set while my Dad tried to figure out how to turn it off and pull it back down to the ground. And of course, as always happens when I do something embarrassing, a crowd gathered. Everyone in the neighborhood made fun of me for that for the rest of the summer. And since I was incredibly shy back then (hard to believe I know) I was mortified by the extra attention.

When I talked to my Dad about this earlier, to ask him what year this happened in, he said, "The mower still has the dents from that, I'll have to show it to you sometime." And then my Mother, who is better able to be soothing while not in the middle of a crisis, chimed in with, "But see, you didn't ruin the mower. He's still able to use it all these years later."

Today's book, "This sequel to her delightful and wacky Hens Dancing finds Venetia Summers with a roiling mass of children and dogs at her feet and her tipsy mother announcing the upcoming marriage of Venetia's brother Desmond. David, the love of Venetia's life from the prior book, has gone off with a movie crew to the jungles of somewhere and communicates to her via e-mails with her children, strange parcels bearing live parrots, and infrequent phone calls. Venetia is certain that he has found another love in the jungle, has told him that their relationship is off, and is thoroughly depressed. But when she discovers a talent for designing unique clothing from odd bits of junk, things start looking up."

I picked today's book because of the cover - nope, still haven't learned my lesson about that one - which explains why I had no idea until the moment when I posted the description of today's book that it was a sequel. The "Experiment in Having Standards" can't come fast enough as far as I'm concerned. In my defense dear readers, the cover of today's book looked so old-fashioned and whimsical that I figured How could that go wrong?

The book wasn't terrible, so I guess it didn't go as hideously wrong as it could have, but I wouldn't call it good either. I enjoyed the plot - but the main character, Venetia, annoyed me (that is, when she wasn't boring me senseless.) The most annoying thing about the character was the constant references to how she was scared of her three year old, afraid to tell her no, afraid to try to stop her from being in charge of the household. And so I spent the whole book thinking Venetian needs to take a lesson from Mary Poppins - be kind, but firm. That's what I used to do in my early nanny days - I'd ask myself What would Mary Poppins do? Of course I stopped doing that after a few months of channeling her when I was informed by the four year old that I didn't quite measure up because I'm unable to pull entire pieces of furniture out of my bag. I never should have let her watch that movie.

And to demonstrate just how unobservant I am, I was about 60 pages into the book before I realized that the book didn't even take place in the summertime - well not completely anyway. Half of the book takes place in the the springtime and the other half in the summertime - so perhaps the book should have been called Springtime & Summertime. Although this way is preferable to those books that have ridiculously long titles. This is the longest one I've seen lately, Organic Housekeeping: in which the Nontoxic Avenger shows you how to improve your health and that of your family while you save time, money, and perhaps your sanity. Now I ask you dear readers, is it really necessary to cram that much into one title? Doesn't it seem a little desperate? And then I started to wonder, what is the longest book title ever? I looked it up and discovered that the longest book title contains 1,022 words. Okay, so that person was clearly trying to get their picture in the Guinness Book of World Records - and is also slightly unbalanced - so he doesn't count. I wonder what the longest book title, that wasn't written simply to get attention, is? But I tried typing in "Longest book title ever written by person who wasn't making an obvious bid for the attention they were denied when their parents refused to hug them enough as children" - and strangely enough, nothing relevant popped up.

And now it's time for another installment of the Fine Foods Angie Hour:

Barbecue Sauce

1 (18 oz) bottle barbecue sauce

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup steak sauce

1 tbsp dried onion flakes

6 oz. coca cola

Mix together all ingredients except coca cola. Pour in coca cola and stir until blended.

(I like to use this for baked chicken rather than grilled because it's thinner than most barbecue sauces.)