Friday, February 27, 2009

Tough Chicks

Crazy lady's sister, Cece Meng, is a children's author. Unlike crazy lady, Cece doesn't write about death, sex and destruction. Like her older sister, however, Cece does write about strong, independent females who have fun living their lives. Her new book, Tough Chicks, is a wonderful story for all ages:

"From the moment Penny, Polly, and Molly hatch from their eggs, the whole farm knows they are truly tough chicks. They wrestle worms, rope roosters, and are often found under the hood of the tractor. All the other animals and even the farmer himself tell Mama Hen to make her chicks good. "They are good!" Mama Hen replies. But could her chicks be too loud, too independent, and too tough? Lively language and bold illustrations capture all the fun and humor of this delightfully different farmyard romp that's also a resounding endorsement for letting girls be girls (even if they're loud and tough and like to play with tractors.)"

According to Kirkus Reviews (a very big deal in the publishing world), Tough Chicks is "sublime and original":

"Mama Hen's three new chicks just won't be cute--or good, much to the dismay of all the barnyard residents, except their proud Mama. They race the bugs, rope the rooster and dive off the fence for fun, running around the farm with an unusual series of un-chick-like cries: "Peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!" They won't learn how to cluck, scratch for grain or build a nest. They even poke around under the hood of the big red tractor. Even the hyper-supportive Mama worries that their differences might get them into mischief or, even worse, make them outcasts. One day, Farmer Fred has some trouble with his tractor; it careens out of control and lands in a mud hole, and it's Penny, Polly and Molly to the rescue. Suber's bright acrylics fit the broad strokes of Meng's delightful tale, investing each yellow, droplet-shaped chick with an individual personality. Comfy, round shapes dominate her compositions, which tile and veer off-kilter with the chick's energy; taking a cue from the cartoons, she depicts the chicks' running feet as a blur of tiny orange strokes. Sublime and original."

Crazy lady suspects that the chicks in Cece's new book are a lot like the girls in her own family. Whenever a neighbor would complain about crazy lady and her three sisters, their mom would always say, "What? My children? They would never (insert insane moment here)." Did they steal the neighborhood garbage can lids to act as shields during food fights? Did they pummel the neighborhood kids with rotten fruit from their compost heap, giving new meaning to the phrase "food wars?" Did they convince their only brother-- poor, sensitive, kind soul-- that he could fly off the garage roof, like Superman? Never...(uh huh, right).

You can order Tough Chicks here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Did you'all see much?

Crazy lady can't stand the food, but loves the woman. A long, long time ago, my mom produced a cooking show called "Becky and Jody's Good Eats." It focused on "food of questionable nutritional value." In other words, spam, jello, mayonnaise and cool whip concoctions were a big part of the show. Paula Deen's recipes would have been featured the same week as the "Elvis, the man and his food" specials. Ah yes, crazy lady remembers the good ol' days of Becky & Jody's...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fabio's Poodle

For fans of Top Chef, here's Fabio playing with his poodle:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bed, Barbie and Purr Demon

After my 6 AM walk and feeding, crazy lady grabs her previous day's ramblings, lays in bed, and edits her work. She talks to herself, usually mumbling "trash" or "genius." I ignore the chatter and mock her inflated ego. The TV is on for background noise, and I take nap on the corner of the bed:As you know, I decide when it's time to take a break, and I interrupt her work. She bought me a bed a couple of weeks ago, but I refused to use it. That is, until Echo arrived. We would share the bed in the morning while crazy lady edited her previous day's ramblings. Since Echo has returned home, I still spend the mornings on the bed:Sigh... I miss that dog...oh well, crazy lady let me watch Barbie's runway show, because "everyone needs a Ken." No comment.

Since I obviously lacked the proper respect for Barbie's New York fashion show, she tormented me with a video from "the Order of Perpetual Indulgence in Edinburgh at work and at play, with the occasional cat or monorail (but not yet any monorail cats) for variety":

Damn Scots. Btw, evil demons are NOT cute.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Quiet Monday Morning

Crazy lady spent the weekend playing with us and her friends from out of town. She discovered that her "damn Scots" attend Boskone every year, and they surprised her at a party Saturday night! She hasn't seen them since Torcon-- which means she had zero prep time for alcohol consumption and political debate. No matter. She returned home at 3:30 AM to a house filled with playful dogs. The beginning:
The middle:
The end:Hah. Crazy lady really thought we'd let her sleep before her 10 AM reading on Sunday? Silly woman.Echo's parents returned last night, and the house is peaceful. I'm moping, but crazy lady can't tell if it's from exhaustion or depression. Oh well. I'll just look sad until she gives me extra chicken.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All about the schedule

Crazy lady is headed to Boskone for her readings today, but she wanted to post some pictures of our play time this morning (our heads are blurry because we are fast moving wild ones!):She is keeping us on a schedule, so things have calmed down. The only challenges are the walks-- we want to play, instead of poop! The leash gets tangled, and crazy lady starts dropping her keys, phone and treats all over the sidewalk. So, we take our short morning and evening walks together, but she brings us on individual walks during the day. We have worked out a routine, and we have claimed our space in the house. Echo has stopped waiting by the door for her folks to return (although I can tell she still misses them).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Echo's Here!

Meet Echo:
Her folks are away for the weekend, and we're dogsitting. There aren't any good pictures of us together. Crazy lady tried, but all she got was my infamous "booty shot":
And, the wild blur of our play time:
She's hoping we'll settle down, soon. It has been 15 hours (and counting) of constant play, with 20 minute breaks for walks, food and rest. We were so wild last night that she actually had to separate us! Echo stayed with crazy lady in the master bedroom, and I slept in the guest room. No worries. Remember the house of dogs? Well, Echo is a lot like my playmates Bandit and Otis (except Echo is a girl, of course). I loved to play with those wild mutts; but crazy lady had to separate me from Bandit and Otis at night, just so she could sleep. It's the same scenario with Echo. Play, play, play...that's all we do! We're starting to calm down this morning. Echo watched crazy lady work:
And I watched for the evil demon spawns (oops, cats) outside the window:
During quiet time, crazy lady knows that Echo misses her family. She will sometimes lay down in front of the door, waiting for them to return. It's okay, though. Echo will usually find a toy, and we start to play. Again.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just too cute

Bank robbers, anyone?

More CEO Smackdown can be found here. Crazy lady finds it interesting that her old employer now insists that they never wanted the money, and they tried to refuse it. And yet, did they give it back? Hmmm...crazy lady thinks they probably can't find it...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cuteness Wins

Crazy lady has been spending a lot of time at Haar-vaard. She forgot how she loves to spend endless hours in book stores and libraries.
She's an addict on a schedule-- no more than 6 hours surrounded by books. It's hard work to lure her away from the musty smell of decrepit pages. Libraries and book stores are very seductive, to those who are crazy-inclined. you see how hard I try?Cuteness 1. Books 0.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Work? Hah! It's my birthday!

Work? Why bother?
I'm much more interesting than computers and books.
One year ago, you adopted me. Don't you remember? I was shy, scared and skinny. The early pictures of my time in Taiwan were not beauty shots:
Of course, I always had a fine sense of style, regardless of the circumstances:
Still, I was sad and scared:
I had a wire band around my neck, and I was frightened of anyone who approached me:
My first days in the U.S. were exhausting. Check out the first couple of days with my new foster mom:

You read my story, and you thought I would be a good addition to your life. You had recently lost Abby, your companion of 13 years.
You knew you could never replace that crazy mutt, but the advertisement said I was a "talker." You remembered the conversations you would have with Abby during bouts of writer's block and cravings for ice cream, and you thought I would fit into your life. The shyness never bothered you. You used to work with abused kids, and you were used to having little people shy away and hide from you. You figured I would respond like the children, and you could give me safe boundaries to come out of my shell. You were right, and wrong. It would take the kids weeks and months to trust you. It only took me 3 days. Hah! I had you fooled, huh? I wasn't really shy, just cautious.
I had heartworms, and hated the shots and months of recovery. I waited for the days I could run with the dogs and Bambi:
You have 10 seconds to get off your bee-hind and take me outside. So what if it's cold? It's my birthday, and my friends wait for no one! Time to play and attack the snow drifts. I'm all bundled in my new, pink birthday hoodie. Get moving, woman!
It's my first year in my home and country. We can't waste a second of fun!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009